Guest post: A category error an atheist should be familiar with

Originally a comment by Sastra on Any observable and consistent pattern?

So which other patterns exist in humans? Name one.

I copied this a while back:

Woman: “ A rich cultural artifact with many cues used to designate that aspect of their identity. Also: A complex, multi-dimensional and highly variable category. There isn’t one definition.” — PZMyers

I suppose we could use that a possible answer, but it’s still not specific. Suspiciously so. Because giving a list of those “cultural cues” would involve things like long hair, dresses, loving shopping and pretending to be shy. He wouldn’t want to imply that, though I don’t see how it could be avoided.

That second sentence looks to me like the transgender version of “God is the Ground of Being.” It sounds like it’s saying something deep and profound, but it’s empty.

Mostly, I see the acceptance of sex categories immediately followed by dismissing them as irrelevant as a form of Equivocation. “Yes, ‘female’ is a reproductive category but a WOMAN is MORE than someone who can have babies.” There’s a sudden switch from biological classifications to personal choices. It reminds me of creationists denying reductive physics because a PERSON is MORE than a bunch of atoms. “ We can’t get meaning from a blind process of evolution. “ It’s a category error an atheist should be familiar with.

Those who argue against creationism also ought to be familiar with the strategy employed by the Intelligent Design folks: pick little holes in the Theory of Evolution in order to convince others (and yourself) that it’s hopelessly inadequate, and then wheel in something with BIG holes as the satisfying replacement. All biology is fuzzy at the borders, but if there were no such things as species, evolution couldn’t take place. PZ doesn’t deny sex differences. Creationists agree that there’s “change over time.” After that, it gets murky.

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