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Los Angeles Times Propaganda about Brains

© Peter Zohrab 2006

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The Los Angeles Times seems to churn out Feminist propaganda feature articles at regular intervals which are then republished in The Dominion Post (Wellington, New Zealand). In 2005, one of these articles reported on an interview with Sandra Witelson about Albert Einstein's brain and about the differences between men's and women's brains (Dominion Post, July 9, 2005).

The focus of the article was, first, on what made Einstein's brain special, and, secondly, on the differences between men's and women's brains. Universities are awash with political correctness, and the emphasis in such institutions on formulating one's findings so as to conform to the ruling (Feminist) ideology often competes with, or is allied to, the more usual priorities of furthering one's career and/or telling the truth as one sees it.

 

Conflicts

At first sight, there would seems to be a conflict inherent in this article: if the focus is on finding something in Einstein's brain which accounts for his particular talents, and if it is agreed that there are differences between men's and women's brains, then it would seem inherently likely that there would be differences between men's and women's talents. However, the article highlights (in a large font) the statement: "Men's brains, for instance, are typically bigger -- but, on the whole, no smarter." One would expect that size would have some effect -- after all, anthropologists routinely refer to the larger brain-size of Homo sapiens, compared to that of other hominids and great apes.

At first sight, also, this article might seem to be anti-Feminist, in that it quotes Sandra Witelson as follows:

"What is astonishing to me is that it is so obvious that there are sex differences in the brain and these are likely to be translated into some cognitive differences, because the brain helps us think and feel and move and act. Yet there is a large segement of the population that wants to pretend this is not true."

In fact, however, the article specifically denies that men's brains gives them any advantage over women, while also claiming that women's brains are better in certain ways than men's brains. This is a typical Feminist trait -- claiming that men and women are equal in one breath, and then claiming that women are superior in the next breath. That is why we have to be wary of the term equal rights activists, when the article states:

"... battle lines between scientists, equal rights activists and educators have formed."

The activists may or may not call themselves equal rights activists, but experience should teach us that they are probably actually Female Supremacists.

 

Men's Brains vs Women's Brains

The article states:

"Women's brains ... seem to be faster and more efficient than men's. All in all, men appear to have more grey matter, made up of active neurons, and women have more of the white matter responsible for communication between different areas of the brain."

and

"Overall, women's brains seems to be more complexly corrugated, suggesting that more complicated neural structures lie within, researchers at UCLA found last year."

At first sight, again, this all seems to imply that women's brains are superior to men's brains. After all, it would seems to be advantageous to be fast and efficient. However, the article does not say how this was tested, and I have been unable to find any articles by Witelson herself that deal with this issue.* It could be that the notion of the efficiency is a mere deduction from the fact that women's brains are smaller, while at the same time women seem to be able to think as well as men. In other words, it is perhaps just an attempt to argue that women do not suffer any disadvantage by having smaller brains.

The notion that women's brains are faster and more efficient is probably contradicted by a fact that is linked to the fact that women's brains have more white matter. Women have to have more means of communicating between the two hemispheres of the brain (i.e. more white matter and a larger Corpus Callosum), because (right-handed) men are known to have more brain functions that are localised in one particular hemisphere, whereas women have corresponding functions that are split between the two hemispheres. I would have though it was inevitably more efficient and faster to have functions specialised in particular areas, and therefore to say that women's brains are faster and more efficient is probably to state the opposite of the truth (a typical Feminist behaviour). I can't comment on the function implications of women's brains being more complexly corrugated.

 

 

Size Matters

Witelson is quoted as saying, about Einstein:

"Here was somebody who was clearly very clever; yet his overall brain size was average.... It certainly tells you that, in a man, sheer overall brain size can't be a crucial factor in brilliance."

Yet the article goes on to state:

"She found that one portion of Einstein's brain perhaps related to mathematical reasoning -- the inferior parietal region -- was 15 percent wider than normal. She also found that it lacked a fissure that normally runs along the length of the brain."

Far be it from me to cast aspersions on the size of the reasoning part of Witelson's brain, but it seems to me that her logic is faulty: Einstein was not famous for being multi-talented -- on the contrary, he was only working in a patent office until his research made him famous, as far as I am aware. So there is no reason to expect that his overall brain size would have been large, whereas one might suspect that of some multi-talented "genius" such as Leonardo da Vinci. If Einstein's brain was extra-large in the precise part that was involved in the kind of thinking that he was famous for doing very well, then it would seem very likely that the size of every part of the brain might well be related to its effectiveness in performing its specialised functions (which is what we see with muscles, for example). So if men's brains are, on average, bigger than women's brains, it might well be the case that men are, on average, better at everything that the brain does.

 

* I have emailed both Sandra Witelson and the article's author, but have received no reply.

 

See also:

Are Women just Dumb, After All ?,

Feminism, Brains and the Workplace,

The Non-Wage-Gap,

Psychologists and Women Don't Have the Brains to Study Intelligence, and

Women's Brains and the Feminist "Research" Scam.

 

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