Re: Patriarchy: Re: What Matriarchy?

Joel and Lynn Gazis-Sax (
Tue, 13 Aug 1996 16:26:52 -0800

Dear eric:

Thanks for the modest praise

Eric Brunner wrote:
> Joel and Lynn Gazis-Sax ( wrote:
> : First, allow me to put a little history out for your consideration:
> Agreed. His corpus in sci.anth has been rather Twilight Zone-esque.
> : A few months ago, Bryant began posting to sci.anthropology, cleverly
> : trying to pass himself off as a professor of anthropology in defense
> : of Gerold Firl.
> But is s/he?
> : He immediately began potshooting at certain people,
> : particularly myself, Eric Brunner, and Mary Beth Williams, on the
> : grounds that they "did not understand evolution". What it really
> So far, as a processualist/selectionist he hasn't hit the usual high points,
> so I for one haven't learned anything from him on that score. Then again, I
> find David Rindos a better read on every score, and he _is_ one, prof and
> processualist that is.
> : means is that we set questions about his theories that he finds
> : difficult to answer.
> : What I have found with him is a relentless eagerness to accuse others
> : of some of the same tricks he pulls. (Remember how just a few days
> A the most recent author of moral relativity to settle Indian Land Claims.
> Always a familiar foray, rarely well done.
> : > Truth at the lab door.
> : > Many scientists are questioning the ability to measure things in any universally
> : predictable manner. Physics and chemistry are currently undergoing a revolution
> : thanks to the insights of chaos theory. The gist of this is that there are many
> : factors which can affect a phenomenon. Consistently, I have seen Bryant rule
> : out the possibility that other factors other than his pure vision of science
> : affect his conclusions.
> Oh. So he's also the current Chaos Theoritician. I see. Maybe he can explain
> fractional dimensional Hausdorf space topology to me then, I can always use
> an education.

In fairness, no. I am the one who brought chaos theory in and then had what
I meant twisted by the High Priestess from Washington who first said there
was nothing personal and then said I knew nothing about science.

What my point has been all along is that you can take the same building
blocks and get some dramatically different results. My primary example
was the genotype and the phenotype distinction used in genetics to
explain why two individuals can have the same genes and yet turn out
quite differently. Vulgar sociobiologists (to use Sahlin's distinction)
want to reduce all human behavior to a black box. Forget culture.
Forget thought. It is all in the genes they say.

I happen to believe that the human mind can have quite an effect on the
phenotype and on nature itself if it can find ways to affect nature
within the framework provided. This isn't an "anything goes" like
Angeline so nicely accuses me and doesn't accuse me of. We have our
limits but the interesting thing is that within those limits there can
be a nearly infinite number of variations.

*scratches his beard*

Which makes me wonder: why are the meteorologists claiming /they/ invented
chaos theory? Sounds to me like the social scientists and geneticists got
there first....

> : > standards of evidence to Gale earlier, and felt so frustraited that he
> : > refused to reciprocate. (Without a standard of evidence, my
> : > science-trained brain tells me, how can we evaluate which perspective is
> : > more useful?)
> : Actually, he is claiming some contradictory things. He announces
> : that Science is more amenable to uncertainty than Religion is and then
> : he turns around and says that the superiority of Science comes from
> : its ability to more certainly portray the Universe.
> I noticed that. It was internally inconsistent, and within one post. A nice
> touch that.
> : bold new challenge. If Science truly wants to defeat the most worthless
> : and dangerous superstitions, it is going to have to open itself to good
> : criticism. It cannot take as a given its own unbiased nature. It must
> : listen to the questions and work towards providing acceptable answers.
> Personally, I'm waiting on the advocates of High Scientism to explain the
> work of a mathematician... Kurt Godel...
>Perhaps YOU can explain it to ME sometime, Eric! :)

> I can wait, of course, I'm not a strict constructionist (mathematically
> speaking that is).

> : Joel GAzis-SAx
> Nice summary Joel, as a poster s/he leaves a bit to be desired.

So does anyone who takes one sentence and goes into a half-cocked, completely
denied, but utterly betrayed attack on a poster.

> --
> Kitakitamatsinohpowaw,
> Eric Brunner

___ ___
/\ _|_ /\ Joel and Lynn GAzis-SAx
/ /\_|_/\ \
/ / /\|/\ \ \
\ \ \/|\/ / / "If we try to flee from our human condition into
\ \/_|_\/ / the computer, we only meet ourselves there."
\/__|__\/ William Barrett