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Razib Khan's Unsupervised Learning

May 7, 2024

On this episode of Unsupervised Learning Razib talks to Colin Wright, a returning guest, host of the Reality’s Last Stand Substack and a fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Before digging deep into the biology of sex and the cultural politics of gender ideology, Razib and Wright touch on what’s been happening to Jonathan Pruitt, Wright’s erstwhile advisor. He was accused of academic fraud in 2019, and dozens of papers where Pruitt was the primary contributor of data had to be retracted. Notably, papers where his mentees collected the data did not suffer from the same problems. Evidence quickly mounted that Pruitt’s whole career productivity was built on fraudulent data. As of 2024, Pruitt’s university, McMaster, where he had an endowed chair, found him to be guilty of fraud, while his doctoral dissertation from University of Tennessee was withdrawn. He resigned from his university in 2022, and embarked on a fantasy writing career. Today he is the author of the dark fantasy, The Amber Menhir.

Then Razib and Wright talk about the current state of gender ideology, and the conflicts around trans rights in the US and abroad. Wright, who is working on a book on sex and gender, believes we may have seen the high tide of gender ideology, with the retreat occuring earlier abroad in places like Britain, where youth medical gender transition has been severely curtailed. He also reviews the major terms and concepts, like the difference between sex and gender, and also what exactly is meant by binary sex and why it is so important in our ability to understand biology generally and patterns in human society specifically. Finally, Razib asks Wright to expound on the different factions in the “gender wars,” from gender critical TERFs to social conservatives and queer theorists. This is where you will find all the podcasts from Razib Khan's Substack and original video content.

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