Still Bad Reasoning
Vincy notes Supreme Court Justice Ginsberg experience getting into Harvard and how the general attitude was that she was occupying a seat that could have (should have?) been filled by a man. Also baseball in the 1930’s. My reply is simply we don’t live in the 60’s or the 30’s. What happend 4 or 7 decades ago while important to remember is not necessarily reflective of what is going on today. History is not a perfect predictor of the future. Yes, I’m sure 50 years ago a woman getting into a top science program would be difficult irrespective of how talented she was. Is that still true today? It is on this crucial point that many of the critics of Summers tend to fall short. Suppose for example that there really are genetic differences between genders that manifest in how well each gender does in certain subjects such as mathematics. So when do we say there is discrimination or not? Suppose the tails of the two distributions are different. In the case for men, the tails are twice as fat than for women. Then is an acceptable ratio of men to women 2 to 1? Or do we have to keep pouring resources into educating women in mathmatics to try and drag the ratio to 50-50.
Vincy also wants to reject Summers’ entire hypothesis outright.
This has nothing to do with rejecting a hypothesis because it offends, and everything to do with the fact Summers’ hypothesis does not withstand scrutiny.
But this begs the question, are there genetic differences? Many on the Left just don’t want to look at that question at all and focus solely on the issue of discrimination. As noted, if your hypothesis doesn’t fit the evidence you need to modify or discard it. Vincy has decided to discard based on one aspect of the hypothesis that might be false (the discrimination issue).
Vincy then puts words in Summers’ mouth,
Was Summers really meaning to argue that there was no discrimination against women in the 1950s, as his theory would imply?
I don’t believe Summers’ was offering an explanation for the hiring of science professors at universities for all of human history let alone back to the 1950’s. I know it is fun to beat a guy about the head and shoulders with a strawman, but have some basic honesty here. Stretching Summers’ comments to apply to all time is like treating Summers’ statements as a statement about a phsyical constant like the speed of light.
Vincy says he isn’t rejecting Summers’ position simply because it is distasteful, but I find it hard to believe given what he has written.