Re: Patriarchy: Re: What Matriarchy?
4 Aug 1996 16:41:10 -0600
In article <3202E8F0.683C@megafauna.com>,
Stephen Barnard <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>I'll sign up for those assumptions. The consequences that follow from
>those assumptions are what make the keys that you hit on your keyboard
>show up as characters on my screen. Maybe it doesn't work that way
>outside the "Western cultural context."
This alludes to my point. That WaiWais do not understand cell theory,
evolution, or that bacteria cause disease does not make these
observations of value only in cultures where they are widely accepted.
Antibiotics kill bacteria in the gut of WaiWais, geneticists, and
postmodernists equally well. Gravity applies to Wiccans and rationalists
equally well. Sperm impregnates female creationists just as well as
darwinians. That sperm exist, carry DNA, etc., is not the same sort of
culturally relative "knowledge" as the names of bush spirits or the
nature of godly pantheons or the acceptability of infidelity.
Unlike faith-based systems of knowledge, scientific knowledge is filtered
through hypothesis-testing, statistical analysis subjecting rigor that
lends a degree of objectivity. Hence, atomic theory is not a
political statement, and cell theory represents no social bias.
And fluid mechanics was studied after the mechanics of solids because
it's a tougher subject, not because fluids are "feminine" and solids
"masculine," as one feminist's historical analysis of physics recently
If you want to argue social Darwinism, which (unlike scientific theories)
proscribes rather than describes, that's another kettle of fish. But
there is no inherent, inescapable social or political message in the
theory that DNA, not proteins, carry genes.