Lawrence Summers, Biological Foundation, Google discussed on Waking Up with Sam Harris


If you know if there's some potential way of understanding some of those, the things that drive those people to be particularly good in those professions or just to merely want be in those sorts of professions. As soon as we acknowledge that there's a. Biological foundation, then that means that you know week should confine women or can only think of women as embodying girlish stereotypes at, you know that they should be in the maternal role and if they try to achieve, they will somehow get smashed up against the glass ceiling. And I think that that is a lot of what people are concerned about, and that's a lot of what has delayed our understanding of some of the biological foundations of behavior, and I can certainly speak about that with respect to women and hormones since it's something that I write about fairly extensively in the book, obviously have been some very prominent cases of people getting fired for acknowledging or speculating about critical differences between men and women that might explain differential success or differential representation varies field and the to come to mind for me or Lawrence Summers along time ago, president of Harvard. Gave a speech where he, if memory serves, he said, I think quite uncontroversial that the based on the literature as it existed then. And as it still exists, he was suggesting that there's there's more variance in the kind of quantitative ability. I think it was talking about engineering and stem, throw generic math in there as well. He was talking about the consequence of being more variance in the distribution for quantitative ability for men than for women, which would give you fatter tails at both ends. And so when you're talking about the the one percent of the one percent in ability, you would see a much greater representation of men there than women and that and that alone could explain why you see this crazy difference in certain fields, and you know, he was just thrown from the ramparts and then we have the James damore memo at Google. Where he speculated mostly about not differential ability, but differential interest among women and men for certain kinds of jobs in this case computer program, and he was fired for having on Google account traffic in some damaging gender or sex stereotypes. Whereas most people who looked at his memo thought that he had essentially written a fairly accurate summary of the state of the literature is how do you view these situations? Okay. Well, I guess there are two things that I'd like to two points. I'd like to make one is that I think that a lot of the controversy that ensued for in these particular cases and others is a result of the misconception that as soon as you have a biological explanation, that means that there are no other factors at play. And so we've courses. Social scientists. We know that it's always interaction. There's, you know, you can't have the action, any action biology without environmental inputs, and certainly everything occurring within a social context. And also that our social context is going to be affected by our evolved biology. So it's always both. I, when I have given talks, sometimes at conferences have gotten some pushback on understanding the relationship between women's hormones and whole variety of things. There may preferences but also some of their preferences, their economic behavior and so forth. And people have gotten really upset about this and even said things like, you know, well, people are just going to believe that it's all biology if you're going out there and saying that. And I said, well, then that means we are not doing our job as competent. We should get our PHD's revoked. If we can't explain or if we don't take the time to explain that, it's. Got to be both. Right? So we can't just and that can't be the guiding factor that makes us do this kind of research or avoid doing this kind of research because we're gonna miss out on way too many important questions and I do. I do wanna come back to that issue because I think that that's an important part of the Darwinian feminism stance that I take. But the other thing that I wanna say and this is more on the technical side is that it is absolutely true that as soon as we start looking at something that is on average different between men and women, let's take a really fairly large sex difference and that.

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