Re: Patriarchy: Re: What Matriarchy?

Bryant (
5 Aug 1996 16:32:31 -0600

In article <4u5dhq$>, Susan <> wrote:

>1. There is a prevailing assumption that the notion of everything having
>a set of culutral assumptions underlying it it somehow "bad." I never
>meant to imply that.

Me, either. I meant simply to point out that atomic theory has no
cultural content. It may have been more likely to be discovered in one
culture than in another, but it is not a reflection of cultural biases.
It is a description of the physical world. An approximation, perhaps,
but not an approximation of Western or Eastern or WaiWai ideals.

>3. On a related subject, your example of Watson and Crick is an
>interesting one, only because of the unsavory aspects of sexism which
>permeate it.
>regarding the structure of DNA from a female scientist (Rosalind
>Franklin) and never bothered to acknowledge her contributions until years
>after winning the Nobel prize. To this day her contribution is not
>acknowledged in standard textbooks.

False. Intro biology texts include discussions of Rosalind Franklin's
(lethal) x-ray diffraction photographs of DNA and her unjust exclusion from
the nobel prize awarded to Francis and Crick. That's a nit, since this whole
discussion is a tangent at best to the thread on social bias and the
content of scientific theories.

The Curtis & Barnes intro biology text talks about her on pages 288 and
in a special section, "Who Might Have Discovered It [DNA]?" on page 291.

>course doesn't invalidate their conclusions, but it is ironic that their
>work would be cited in the context of "objective" scientific research.

In my opinion, it is ironic that you just revealed that you've never
opened an intro biology textbook.

I didn't say that Francis and Crick were fair, integrity-minded, or
egalitarian. I said that their model of DNA has no social bias. Point,
if you will, to the molecule in their double helix that justifies sexism.