There were two articles in this week’s Newsweek that got me thinking.
The first was about women in science. It was discussing the controversy surrounding Lawrence Summers remarks about inherent differences in men’s and women’s ability in science. First of all I think that his comments are probably being taken out of context. He was hired to give a thought provoking speech on gender in science. Looks like he accomplished his mission. From what I understand he proposed inherent differences in understanding as a theory for why there are more male scientists than female. It is too bad that the world has gotten so PC that you can’t even put an idea up for debate without getting slammed for it. As for the female professor who walked out of the speech and then alerted the media – childish. The appropriate response if she disagreed would have been to stay and debate it – not to run out yelling “Mommy, he said something mean!”
As for the substance of the debate I have to say that I agree to a point. I was a biology major and chemistry minor in college so I had all the science and math courses. I was very good in math up through calculus. But I hated every minute of it. The happiest day of my life was when I finished my last required college math course. I went to a small school so I knew the abilities of each of my classmates pretty well. I was a great biology student. One male classmate and I always got about the same top scores in biology classes. But when it came to physics he blew me away. He just seemed to get it. I’ve always thought that the men had a better innate understanding of what was going on. I don’t know if that was because of the way it was explained or what but I know that when the women were looking at each other with WTF? looks the men were nodding in understanding and our test scores showed the difference.
The second thought-provoking article was about the Catholic Church’s process to make saints. This is a concept I’ve never understood. Just because a group of people say you are a saint that automatically makes you one? What if they are wrong? Personally if their God wants them to have saints as they define them I think they should leave it up to him to pick the best candidates. The article was about saints needing to do miracles after death to be made into a saint. They have to be proven miracles. How do you do that? What if a sick person is praying to several people? Do they all get credit if the person gets well? What if the person dies? Shouldn’t that count against them like a negative miracle? Then they’d need two confirmed miracles to get back into positive numbers. The whole thing is just amazingly stupid to me. If dead people do have these miraculous powers don’t you think that they’d have more important things to do than trying to get their quota of miracles up for a committee? My understanding of Christianity is that all glory for miracles should go to God anyway. Isn’t this whole concept blasphemous?