Sunday, 18 August 2013

How do you know what you know?

How do you know what you know?

I had an interesting experience with a skeptics group when I posed this question. It's one of the defining questions of Skepticism. If you can't answer it, I can't see how you can call yourself a skeptic.

That said, everyone will differ with the answers.

However, you should also be able to deal with people questioning those things closest to your heart. Why don't we eat our children? Is cruelty to animals so bad? How offensive these things are; yet skeptics ask others equally offensive questions.

"Why do you believe in this religion or that?"

"How can you say your god/s are good when they do the things they claim are evil?"

A skeptic should not be asking others to do what they cannot.

And so i come to questioning one of the pillars of contemporary Feminism:

"Women are paid less than men in the same jobs, for the same work"

Almost everyone believes this to be true... somebody proved it, didn't they? But when you try to pin down who proved it, and how, things get vague. There's constant attempts to talk about
"Women are paid less than men in the same industry"
which is off-topic, and a straw man argument. In the same industry, you have part time, casuals, full time, people doing enormous amounts of overtime,  etc. You also have a tiny percentage sucking up all the wealth, which i dislike, but welcome to 21st century capitalism.

So when I say equal work, I mean the same task for the same hours. If 20 pallets of beer have to be shifted by an employee, we don't say "well, left handed people only have to shift 18 because they are more artistic"! We should be saying, regardless of skin colour, religion, or sex, you have to shift the same amount in the same time for the same wage. Our military, our fire service, and so on, should all have the same physical entry requirements. That's what equality means.

So when i was banned for asking this, on the grounds it's a sexist question, I was at first angry, then intrigued. Sexism seems to be commonly defined as "any form of sexual discrimination which is negative for women". Shouldn't we have freedom from sexual discrimination for all? Are some animals more equal than others?

By the way, averaging incomes is immensely misleading. Consider a town with everyone doing the same wage, the same job, same hours, same income. Utopia! :*)

Now a left handed person moves in doing the same job etc, but they are paid ten times as much for their hours. Suddenly, statistically, left handers are doing brilliantly! Despite the fact almost all of them haven't made a cent more than before, and they don't understand the sudden hostility against them, which seems to be leading to nooses and a short swing.

Should right handers demand the wages of all left handers be cut until the average is equal once more? Or should they target the overly paid person and see that as the problem instead?

Average, median, mode. These are not the same thing!

    1,552 members
    • Skeptics in Australia is a forum for discussion around topical issues of science, pseudoscience and the paranormal.
      Thi...s group is for general skeptical discussion, and is not the official presence of Australian Skeptics Inc on Facebook.

      The official Australian Skeptics Inc page is located here:


      While we encourage free and open debate and expression of opinion, we reserve the right to moderate discussions and delete inappropriate postings. Posts containing any of the following will be deleted:

      1. Profanity or pornography
      2. Personal attacks or threats of violence
      3. Repetitive or disruptive comments
      4. Criminal or potentially illegal activity
      5. Spam or unsolicited commercial activity

      Threats, harassment, bullying & abuse will not be tolerated. Members of the page who do so will be reported and banned from the page.

      For the purpose of this group, skepticism is not defined as a simple rejection of an idea but rather as scientific skepticism/rational skepticism/skeptical inquiry; the practice of questioning whether claims are supported by empirical research and have reproducibility, as part of a methodological norm pursuing "the extension of certified knowledge". This is based on the idea that empirical investigation of reality leads to the truth, and that the scientific method is best suited to this purpose.

      The focus on the scientific method and empiricism distinguishes skepticism from denialism.


      To report issues or discuss policy, please contact one of the moderators listed below:

      Amanda Devaus
      Chris Guest
      Lauren Cochrane
      Luke Freeman
      Tim Scanlon

      ** UPDATED 2013-06-13 LF **See more

            • Brett Caton
              How do you know what you know?

              For example, something I always heard growing up was "Women are paid less than men in the same jobs, for the same work". I never questioned it. When I was in the workplace, I learnt that that was actually a crime, and comparing salaries, I never saw any evidence.

              In fact, working in tech support, a guy I knew found and proved statistically that there was a gender basis to promoting women to managment.

              (I suspect there was a dark reason for that, but i don't want to be sued for speaking my mind.. and no, it's nothing to do with misandry).

              I love numbers. They are the natural born enemy of "everybody knows".

              Anyway, a few minutes ago, a friend in the US repeated that piece of common wisdom. I checked; the same laws applied over there. I asked for examples. She didn't have any. "How do you *know* that's true?" I asked. No reply.

              So what about yourselves, gentle readers? Have you ever questioned something you knew to be true and was surprised to find it wasn't? Or successfully changed someone's mind when they were being dogmatic?
              Share · 13 August at 06:42
      • 5 people like this.
      • Ishai Sagi So...the anecdotal evidence of what you see around you negates statistically significant studies across the entire country? A quick google search will show you what everyone know. The problem is- its very hard to find a single person to prosecute under the laws- it's the average that proves the point.
        13 August at 07:06 via mobile · 5
      • Brett Caton Ishai Sagi
        So was the study comparing people doing the same jobs for the same hours? If so, why not contact those people and get them to go to court?
        If the evidence is not strong enough to convict, why do you find it strong enough to believe?
        "Somebody says the Jews are poisoning the wells. It's well known that the Jews poison wells, because they hate Christians. "
        "So which Jews are poisoning which wells? Perhaps this plague has another cause?"
        "Why are you questioning this thing we all know is true? Maybe you are.. A SECRET JEW!!!"
        (*cue the pogrom*)
        13 August at 07:12 · Edited · 3
      • Amanda Devaus Evidence being strong enough to convict in a criminal or civil court is not necessarily the same thing as being strong enough to believe. Usually people will believe if something is logical enough in their thoughts to make sense. Within the judicial system, the bar is raised quite a bit higher. So while i see where you are going with this, i think your example is a little flawed.
        As to your original question - I am always open to have my mind changed about soemthing. To be a true open minded skeptic isnt about saying "well that isnt true". It is about saying "i am open to the possibility, however i need to see the evidence". THere have been a few times when i have thought something and the evidence presented to me changed my mind. It took a while because i am rahter - stubborn, but i did change my thinking to accept the facts as they were. I hope to always be that way, but as humans we are flawed so you never know.
        13 August at 07:31 · 5
      • Tom Keen Okay, I know it wasn't the point of your post, but I have to comment about the gender wage gap you mentioned.
        It is illegal to pay people differently based on gender, but it still happens. E.g., this study found that men were more likely to be hired and offered higher starting salaries than women with exactly the same qualifications. And this is in the science profession where, arguably, the least subjective hiring decisions should be made (as science is, after all, the pursuit of subjectivity reduction).
        The Work Gender Equality Agency documents similar findings across industries in Australia, e.g.,
        And while graduate positions are the easiest to identify situations of gender discrimination, evidence suggests that the disparity is actually worst amongst workers in the highest pay brackets. E.g.,
        13 August at 07:35 · 6
      • Nigel Dobson-Keeffe Brett, the issue isn't as simple as specific hourly rates. It is the opportunity to get access to promotions and the better pay that comes with it. There was a time when the hourly rates were different but thankfully we overcame that flaw in the system however we are now left with a more insidious sexism. If you want facts about this go find the figures for women as CEOs or managers as a percentage in the workplace.
        13 August at 07:36 via mobile · 4
      • Mick Sievers I think it is because how the data is collated. It's not because women are paid less for the same job but because (if they have children) over a working lifetime they are delayed in their career (and therefore earnings) a couple of years per child. Also, re-entering the workforce after a break can result in a couple of backwards steps down the corporate ziggurat...
        Another thing that has a big influence in the numbers is that the desire/need to stay near the home OR not work the STUPID hours that some jobs demand during the 'family years' it can limit access to some higher paid jobs.
        These are generalisations but I really think it makes a significant difference at the big end of town and perhaps skew the averages enough?
        In a nutshell - blame the kids!
        13 August at 07:37 via mobile · 2
      • Tom Keen The numbers provide strong evidence that there is wage discrimination across and within industries. Making comparisons only within individual work places is flawed, and as nearly all contracts have subtle differences (even if the skill and time required for the jobs is identical) it's often hard to clearly demonstrate that discrimination is occuring.
        As for the "family time" comments - the social scientists who analyse these issues aren't all completely stupid. They do control for these factors. The fact that after having children women "re-entering the workforce after a break can result in a couple of backwards steps down the corporate ziggurat" is a form of gender discrimination in itself.
        13 August at 07:53 · 4
      • James Dominguez Wow.
        13 August at 07:53 via mobile
      • Alexis Cattley I feel (with no data to back the feeling up) that the problem is the turn of phrase used to describe pay inequality.
        "Women are paid less than men in the same jobs, for the same work" is probably less accurate but more eye catching than "Historically women have had less chance of promotion and/or been in lower paid fields of employment"
        13 August at 08:35 via mobile · 1
      • James Dominguez It's not rocket surgery. A handful of well-paid female executives doesn't change the averages. What was it, something like 92% of corporate CEOs are male, and 80-something% of board members? There's a difference between handily disproving a widely-believed myth and using flimsy anecdata to challenge something that has been reliably shown to be true.
        13 August at 08:38 · 3
      • James Dominguez End of 2012, top 200 Aussie companies: 94% male CEOs, 87.7% male boards of directors.
        13 August at 08:40 · 1
      • Brett Caton Well, it's just that I've seen papers arguing that dodgy statistics are used to weight the argument.
        That when apples and apples are compared, rather than apples and oranges, people are paid the same if they do the same work for the same type of job, and to bias the results in favour of men earning more, you have to look at jobs like mining, where men are paid a lot in return for a really dangerous and (here at least) isolating job.
        The worst thing I can imagine is deciding that truth is whatever google says it is. I'm glad only a few agreed with that.
        It leads to a "we've always been at war with Eurasia" absurdity that should be obvious to any skeptic. If today the answer to the googled question of "what's right, evolution or creationism" is 'creationism' today, but 'evolution' on Wednesday, it does NOT mean reality re-wrote itself in the intervening time.
        And with the CEOs, for one thing, there's very few, but they get paid a lot. If anything, as a rabid communist, I feel they should have their wages reduced to 1960s levels, but realistically that's not going to happen. It doesn't change the experience of the great majority of men, who will never, ever see that much income except when playing the Sims.
        Are most men earning more than most women at the same work?
        Does the presence of outliers change the answer?
        Can we really know things to be true even if they can't be proven in a civil court, where the standard is set to be quite low? Most employers shake in their boots at the thought of litigation and go through extreme measures to avoid it.
        Isn't believing something to be true because it sounds true, well, truthiness? The stuff the 9/11, the birthers, the "Obama is a secret Muslim satanist from Kenya" folk believe?
        13 August at 08:48 · Edited · 1
      • Tom Keen Alexis , the problems seem to be all of those things you mention. As the papers I linked to above demonstrate, women are indeed offered lesser pay and offered fewer positions than men with exactly the same qualifications, and are actually paid less than men to do jobs that require the same skills and time commitment. Women also have less chance of promotion (particularly in the higher income brackets) *and* tend to work in lower paid fields of employment.
        13 August at 08:48 · 1
      • Brett Caton Tom Keen
        "after having children women "re-entering the workforce after a break can result in a couple of backwards steps down the corporate ziggurat" is a form of gender discrimination in itself."
        Say I want to write a novel. I take time out to create my baby. I love my baby! It's MY baby. Does my employer have to pay me the same as my workmate who drudged away while I was having my baby?
        13 August at 08:50 · 1
      • James Dominguez The CEO/board problem is a symptom of a greater problem, though: women are offered fewer chances to gain promotions or attain management level roles. There are exceptions, of course, and the public service for example is very female-dominated (until you get to the elected positions, of course, where you once again have a HUGE male majority). However, any industry in which wages are negotiated instead of being set by specific standards will see women falling behind.
        13 August at 08:51 · 2
      • James Dominguez The fun bit is that even when men work in female-dominated fields, like nursing, they STILL get paid more on average than the woman they work alongside.
        13 August at 08:54 · 2
      • Brett Caton James Dominguez
        "The fun bit is that even when men work in female-dominated fields, like nursing, they STILL get paid more on average than the woman they work alongside."
        Ok, now i've asked quite a lot of nurses about that and they say it's untrue. How do you *know*, going back to the knowing question?
        13 August at 09:00
      • James Dominguez Because I have read statistical reports from organisations I trust to be truthful. If you care to posit a theory as to a) why major organisations such as the ABS are just making up data, and b) how the hell they are getting away with it when their data is so closely scrutinised, then please do.
        13 August at 09:03 · 2
      • James Dominguez The "they're all liars and my personal data is the only data that can be trusted" approach sounds a bit... well, like a climate change denier.
        13 August at 09:04 · 1
      • Shane Nixon Brett, you could apply for a grant to the Australia Arts Council (or whatever it is called) for your novel.
        And it is called parental leave these days. Either parent can usually take it.
        13 August at 09:04
      • Brett Caton Ok, I'm on the ABS website. Whereabouts does it say male nurses are paid more than female nurses for the same hours etc?
        13 August at 09:04
      • James Dominguez Scepticism and denialism are, as always, not the same thing.
        13 August at 09:05
      • James Dominguez The nurse pay data is from the US Census, roughly equivalent to our ABS:
        13 August at 09:06
      • Brett Caton I'm looking at
        I do not see anything which says what you say it does. I see "Men are more likely to be in the subfields with higher earnings -- nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists."
        Apples and oranges.
        Report: More men entering nursing profession
        More men are joining the nursing profession, according to a new study. The propo...rtion of male registered nurses has increased from 2.7% in 1970 to 9.6% in 2011, the study finds.See more
        An ad hominem (Latin for "to the man" or "to the person"[1]), short for ad hominem, is an argument made personally against an opponent instead of against their argument.[2]Ad hominem reasoning is normally described as an informal fallacy,[3][4][5] more precisely an irrelevance.[6]See more
        13 August at 09:21 · 2
      • Shane Nixon Brett, you actually have to open the spreadsheets you know. And there are more than one spreadsheet.
        13 August at 09:22 · Edited
      • Brett Caton Ok Shane, I can see you are going to continue attacking me and not my arguments.
        13 August at 09:23 · 1
      • Tom Keen "As I pointed out before, average wages are skewed by the very few rich individuals."
        Brett Caton , even if that hypothesis is true it does not contradict the data that clearly show substantial gender wage gaps and opportunities amongst graduate workers and job seekers across and within different industries, as I already mentioned up thread with data and studies to back it up. The pay differential simply gets *worse* when you get up into the higher pay brackets.
        The data are clear: women with the same skills and time commitments as their male counterparts are offered fewer job opportunities and paid less.
        13 August at 10:03 · 1
      • Birthe Bridgeman Brett Caton, being a sceptic means being swayed by scientific evidence not anecdotal evidence-look up the difference where you look up ad hominem arguments. If you have decided women are not discriminated against and can't be made to change your mind by any credible statistical evidence you're not sceptical just griping. I'm sure the situation is as you described in your workplace, but I've also met many bitchy women and that has not made me conclude no nice women exist!
        13 August at 10:13 via mobile · 2
      • Brett Caton Tom Keen
        I'll have to go back and look for that later.
        Birthe Bridgeman
        (the autocomplete doesn't love me anymore)
        I'm not arguing about whether or not nice women exist, but whether "Women are paid less than men in the same jobs, for the same work".
        Tom says he has provided the evidence, I'll have to come back to that later. I haven't seen anything elsewhere to back up the assertion that I'm wrong. Mostly what I have heard is
        "Everyone knows it to be true, therefore it is"
        "If you compare people in specialist jobs, and generalist jobs, in a capitalist system, the specialists get more, and more men are specialists" (and I'm not sure if the point is that capitalism should be abolished?)
        "You lose income if you take time out from working to do stuff you want to do like having kids"
        Which is true, but I'm not sure why the employer has to subsidise that, by taking money from more productive workers. Perhaps the money could come from the State, via taxes... but then why bother working, you can live off being a baby factory.
        And I'm not sure how that addresses the "being paid less for the same work at same job" issue, because you are then not working the same.
        "If you use the average, rather than looking at actual cases, the wages are higher for males than females"
        True, but all that means is a few men are paid enormously more. If some rich person has a million times more income than you do, so the average of people earning in your suburb is in the squillions of dollars, does that make you rich? I learnt back in year 9 mathematics that that was a dodgy case of statistics.
        13 August at 10:25 · 1
      • Maureen Chuck I think this thread was started to be deliberately inflammatory
        13 August at 10:31 via mobile · 3
      • Birthe Bridgeman Brett that was just an example...the statistics are not using the method yoy are describing, that would be dodgy if that was the case. Again, anecdotal evidence is not evidence but a funny/interesting story.
        13 August at 10:32 via mobile · 2
      • Alexis Cattley Maureen I don't think it's inflammatory, it's simply trying to analyse a well held belief and find the supporting evidence it was based on.
        'Women earn less (or a paid less) than men on average'
        Is easier to prove than...
        "Women are paid less than men in the same job for the same work".
        One possible way of making a comparison is looking at a trade. Electrician for example.
        The sample group having the same qualification, work in the same community, same economy, same level of years on the job etc. the only difference being gender.
        13 August at 10:43 via mobile · 1
      • Brett Caton Ok, one quick word aand then i have to go..
        Imagine you have a suburb with everyone doing the exact same job, for the same pay, for the same hours. Average salary is 20K. A couple move in and the average salary, counting their enormous income, is now 25K.
        But they are both men. the average male salary has jumped! There's a gender based wage gap. Should we cut the average man's wage until they are rebalanced?
        Btw, from memory, homosexual couples earn more because they are less likely to have kids, and that gap can be huge. Address the sexual orientation wage gap now!! :*)
        Maybe we need decent state funded childcare? Too commie? Oh well.
        13 August at 10:47 · Edited
      • Tom Keen Imagine you are a recent female dentistry graduate in Australia, and that you can expect to earn $14,000 less than a man in your first year on the job.
        That is the current reality in Australia.
        Cherry-picking? No. The trend is present across most occupations.
        13 August at 10:54 · 3
      • Matt Wilson In the USA, I have been drilled that women earn 77% of what men earn for the same job and the same work :
        13 August at 12:07
      • Jeremy O'Wheel One of the interesting things about the gender pay divide is the strong current trend in university graduates favouring women. Women are more likely to go to university, get better results, more likely to graduate (rather than drop out), and more likely to do post graduate study. Because of this, in the upcoming decades there's going to be a switch among the gender ratios of the highest qualified people, favouring women. A number of studies (I can dig them up if you like) have demonstrated that men and women are both more likely to employ people of their same gender than of the other gender (for professional jobs). Therefore it seems very likely that within our lifetimes we're going to see this issue shift around.
        13 August at 12:09 · 1
      • Tristan Blinddeadmcjones Skerratt Jeremy O'Wheel , do you think (or possibly have some studies) that the trend of females in university being successful during their studies and after could have something to do with how the system is structured?
        Is there any science behind thinking males learn differently to females? Or is this exactly what brett's original post is about.
        13 August at 13:26
      • Brett Caton jumping back again fo a sec;
        Many years ago I was taught to watch out for bias.
        At one time, a hundred or so years ago, it was the received wisdom that white people were smarter than black people. 'Everyone' *knew* this. (The ones who disagreed were often black, and thus safely disregarded)
        Now the scientists of the time weren't knowingly racist. And one of the measures at the time for intelligence was by determining skull capacity (and hence brain volume).
        The standard test was with lead shot, from memory. Count the number you need to fill the space up and you can work out the volume inside used by the brain.
        A scientist had a skull from a black man and a skull from a white one. However, this scientist was perplexed; he kept getting the wrong answer!? So he grabbed seeds instead.. and managed to get the right answer! Terrific!
        The trouble is those skulls were kept and if you measure them now, sure enough, the skulls give the answer that the black man has a bigger brain! No! So how did the scientist get the 'right' answer? It's suspected he pushed and pushed at the seeds as he worked, until, phew, he came to an experimental result in line with theory.
        Others had done similar tests and come to the agreed answer, so perhaps he didn't want to look foolish. Scientists want to hang with the cool kids, too!
        The lead shot was incompressible, so it's harder to 'cheat' with it.
        Now, no-one believes the scientist was dishonest. His bias was unconscious. Everyone knew the answer, after all.
        It was just that reality was in disagreement.
        13 August at 13:56 · 1
      • Tristan Blinddeadmcjones Skerratt That's what i find so alluring about (todays) scientific process, I think. They actively try to remove any preconceived ideas, ideals and conflicts. If they can't remove them, they are honest and state any conflicts within their research.
        That said, I am sure the process can be ever more refined.
        13 August at 14:01 · 3
      • Peter Dellys It's the hallmark of a maturing mind to occasionally review long-held beliefs. Now some of these beliefs may not be particularly important. The issue arises, what do you do if a core belief is found to be suspect or invalid? That's a very real, existential dilemma.
        13 August at 14:09 · 2
      • Jeremy O'Wheel Tristan : I'm not sure. I do vaguely recall reading somewhere that women have better attention spans and can focus on a task better and for longer (as a generalisation), but I don't recall the source, or know if that's the reason why.
        13 August at 14:12
      • Tristan Blinddeadmcjones Skerratt I guess that is the point of mixing critical thinking and reflection.
        So maybe all that crapola they try to teach me at uni means something.
        There you guys, the entire point of this post just happened to me.
        13 August at 14:12 · 1
      • Brett Caton Tom Keen
        "Imagine you are a recent female dentistry graduate in Australia, and that you can expect to earn $14,000 less than a man in your first year on the job."
        Cite references, please. Do they work the same hours?
        I knew lots of guys who worked overtime at IT in their first years, sometimes for ridiculous lengths of time. They had impressive salaries, during the boom years. The women I knew in IT wouldn't have thought of doing the same. It was a job to them, not a vocation.
        One woman in particular I know turned down $1 million per year job, because she thought it was "too much". Grrrr!
        I used to dream I was working. That wasn't uncommon.
        13 August at 14:12
      • Tristan Blinddeadmcjones Skerratt Jeremy , I have the same vague memories. I remember reading something about how females can learn better in the normal school environment and how males have a more kinesthetic(?) form of learning. I can't decide if it a little bit of gender bias on my part or just because I see girls at school who seem to be able to do it better than me, which makes me jealous
        13 August at 14:17
      • Brett Caton James Dominguez "Because I have read statistical reports from organisations I trust to be truthful."
        Ok, sounds reasonable. So whereabouts are the reports which say "Women are paid less than men in the same jobs, for the same work". They should be easy to find but I can't see anything here.
        At best what I seem to be finding is that "breeders get less money overall than non-breeders". Is that fair? Well, that's a different topic. I suspect that's best handled in a separate thread.
        "If you care to posit a theory as to a) why major organisations such as the ABS are just making up data, and b) how the hell they are getting away with it when their data is so closely scrutinised, then please do."
        I don't see anything which says they say what people are assuming they say. If anything, they just seems to say "looking over an entire industry and mooshing all jobs within it into one mush, men get more money than women, and having a kid will result in permanent damage to your career unless you have a partner who is willing to be a full time carer for you".
        Now why do the men get more money over the entire industry?
        From the nursing example, it would seem because they are working the better paid jobs, which does not mean "Women are paid less than men in the same jobs, for the same work". It means "in the capitalist system, different jobs are paid at different rates, and being a specialist can give you an enormous amount more income than being a generalist".
        The carer issue is complicating the matter, and it would be interesting to compare salaries of gay men to see if they exceed straight men. My hypothesis is they will, because they aren't suffering the child bearing costs at the same rate as straight men. In which case, surely we should reduce the sexual orientation gap in wages? No?
        Maybe in capitalism we should just accept that having a child costs a lot and is worth it, like touring the world or writing a novel, or we can go more socialist and have the state subsidise costs a lot more than it does.
        No skin off my nose either way, I'm neither a breeder, nor a tax payer.
        13 August at 14:28
      • Jacinta Richardson Brett Caton you have the story wrong. "Morton initially measured cranial capacity by filling skulls with seed, but he grew dissatisfied with the accuracy of this method and switched to using lead shot, which yielded more repeatable capacity values. In Morton's initial seed-based 1839 study, “Caucasians” had the largest average cranial capacity (87 in3) followed by “Mongolians [Asians]” (83 in3), “Malays [Island Southeast Asia]” (81 in3), “[Native] Americans” (80 in3), and “Ethiopians [Africans]” (78 in3). His final shot-based tally in 1849 again had “Caucasians” with the largest mean capacity (92 in3) followed by “Malays” (85 in3), the “Negro Group” (83 in3), and the “[Native] American Group”
        "Gould famously suggested that Morton's measurements may have been subject to bias: “Plausible scenarios are easy to construct. Morton, measuring by seed, picks up a threateningly large black skull, fills it lightly and gives it a few desultory shakes. Next, he takes a distressingly small Caucasian skull, shakes hard, and pushes mightily at the foramen magnum with his thumb. It is easily done, without conscious motivation; expectation is a powerful guide to action”. While Gould offers this as only a “plausible scenario,” and did not remeasure any crania, subsequent authors have generally (and incorrectly) cited Gould as demonstrating that Morton physically mismeasured crania."
        13 August at 14:34 · 3
      • Brett Caton James Dominguez
        "Women 'under-represented' in executive ranks"
        "So women are tired of the corporate environment because it doesn't provide flexibility, and they today have the ability to walk out, leave their employer behind and start up their own business, and that's exactly what we're seeing is happening."
        Ok, so women aren't working in the same way men are... and get different results. Why does that mean they are "under-represented"? If left handed people decided they weren't going to suffer the " corporate environment because it doesn't provide flexibility", and they didn't become CEOs, would we demand quotas for lefties?
        "I don't want to work that hard.. but I demand you pay me as much as those who do!"
        Then why should those who do work in that system continue?
        Women 'under-represented' in executive ranks
        The latest Census of Women in Leadership reveals that Australian women are going sideways when it comes to running the nation's top companies.
        13 August at 14:35
      • Brett Caton Jacinta Richardson
        Oh well, just goes to show how long ago it was that I studied biology. Zee leetle grey cells are not what they were.
        13 August at 14:38
      • Tom Keen The $14,000 figure is from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency report, cited in the ABC article that I already linked to above, which you clearly still haven't bothered to read. It is for full-time employment.
        Frankly, I think that Maureen was correct in stating that this post was deliberately inflammatory. 3 hours ago you wrote publicly on your facebook wall that "Feminism is about treating all people equally, so long as they are women."
        You are clearly a denialist with an agenda and I am washing my hands of you.
        13 August at 14:39 · 3
      • Brett Caton Tom Keen
        I see nothing in about the number of hours worked, whether overtime was involved, etc.
        13 August at 14:42
      • Jeremy O'Wheel Tom that article you've just posted isn't talking about people being employed in the same job though. It's talking about people being employed in the same field. I think the thing Brett is skeptical about is whether women working in the same job get paid differently - ie. are women paid less for doing the same job, or are a women less likely to get higher paying jobs?
        13 August at 14:42 · 1
      • Jacinta Richardson Regarding the actual conversational topic, the reason why it's hard to actually show specific examples of this in action is because people get paid what they negotiate to get paid, and no two people are the same. Two candidates out of university, both with identical marks apply for jobs at a company and both get employed. The first gets offered $15,000 more than the latter. Why? Is it because of their gender? Is is because the first has a bunch of work experience doing things applicable to that job in their free time at university? Is it because they're the CEO's family member? It could be any reason...
        If you work in an office with other people who do essentially the same work as you, there are bound to be people earning more than you, and others earning less than you for essentially exactly the same work. Except that you're not all the same, and you don't do all the same work. Jill over there is more of a specialist in something valuable to the team and Jack is more of a jack of all trades, able to pick up the slack when any of the rest of you are off sick. Or whatever.
        So it's *hard* to find immediate direct evidence of gender bias in pay discrepancies. However systematic discrimination suggests that it's much more likely that any women in your team are earning less than the men, for pretty much any occupation. And the ABS has been reporting on this for years and years.
        13 August at 14:43 · 3
      • Tristan Blinddeadmcjones Skerratt On the point of gender biased pays; I think that if it were half as bad as some people make it out to be, there would be mass protests ect. or maybe Australians are just incredibly complacent
        13 August at 14:45 · 1
      • Jeremy O'Wheel You can't really say "for pretty much any occupation" The link Tom just posted provided 7 industries out of 20 where women are paid more than men. That's 35%. It's interesting to note those 7 fields were all sciences.
        13 August at 14:45 · 1
      • Jacinta Richardson Sorry Jeremy I didn't read the link Tom just posted. I stand corrected.
        13 August at 14:47 · Edited
      • Tristan Blinddeadmcjones Skerratt I also think we are going completely off topic.
        13 August at 14:47 · 1
      • Jeremy O'Wheel Ah, sorry, there are also 3 industries where men and women are paid the same - so 7/23 where women earn more than men, 13/23 where men earn more than women.
        13 August at 14:47
      • Brett Caton Ok, here's an interesting thought experiment.
        Looking at , imagine an equivalent one with
        Chinese Descent | Non-Chinese Descent
        as column headings.
        Oh no! Chinese descendants earn more! There's a race gap! We have to fix this!
        Another interpretation would be:
        Capitalism pays people who work in certain fields more, for longer or more inconvenient hours more and so on. It's possible that the Ch-desc. are just plain working *harder*. Isn't it fair to pay them more? Should we really dock the wages of our best workers?
        Now, I have no idea if the results of such a survey would work out this way*, but I do know we wouldn't interpret that as meaning that non-chinese are handicapped and need special treatment.
        *it wouldn't surprise me, the Hong Kong Ethnic chinese I encountered at Uni were generally the most studious.
        13 August at 14:49
      • Brett Caton Tristan Blinddeadmcjones Skerratt
        yeah, i think i might have to start again with the topic isolated from an example that stirs such strong emotions.
        13 August at 14:51 · 1
      • Tristan Blinddeadmcjones Skerratt ^ the age old international students taking our uni places thing.
        In a society that values the quantity of work over the quality, yes, people who work harder should get more pay.
        Having worked with nurses who "work hard" and nurses who "work smart" i would choose the latter any day.
        13 August at 14:52 · 1
      • Sarah Jones I was surprised when found out there were mammals that laid eggs. lol that's about it.
        13 August at 14:57 · 1
      • Brett Caton I remember being taught in school that marsupials weren't mammals
        13 August at 14:58
      • Jeremy O'Wheel You were taught incorrectly.
        13 August at 14:58 · 2
      • Tristan Blinddeadmcjones Skerratt Technically, all mammals "lay" eggs. THey just lay them in a womb.
        13 August at 14:59 · 1
      • Brett Caton By today's understanding, but i suspect that was 'true' at the time. Definitions change.
        13 August at 14:59
      • Peter Dellys Monotreme FTW!
        13 August at 14:59 · 2
      • Sarah Jones Echidna's and platypuses are mammals.
        13 August at 15:00 · 2
      • Brett Caton Oh yes, but no breasts, which was the school level definition of the time. Unless the teachers i had were all wrong, which is possible. Not a huge sample there.
        13 August at 15:00
      • Jeremy O'Wheel Monotreme's aren't marsupials either. Both marsupials and monotremes have mammary glands, and as a result have always been classified as mammals.
        13 August at 15:01 · 3
      • Tristan Blinddeadmcjones Skerratt I think the platypus is my favourite animal... that or the pangolin
        13 August at 15:01 · 1
      • Tristan Blinddeadmcjones Skerratt now we are WAY off topc
        13 August at 15:01 · 1
      • Jeremy O'Wheel Brett Caton : they have breasts.
        13 August at 15:01 · 2
      • Jacinta Richardson Some reptiles have live birth, too.
        13 August at 15:01 · 1
      • Sarah Jones I don't know, I only found out today. Where I come from we don't have either so I never learned about them.
        13 August at 15:01 · 1
      • Tristan Blinddeadmcjones Skerratt i have breasts
        13 August at 15:01 · 2
      • Tristan Blinddeadmcjones Skerratt Here is a good example: I always thought that you had to poke holes in sausages on the bbq.
        Turns out, you don't
        13 August at 15:02 · 4
      • Sarah Jones
        13 August at 15:03
      • Peter Dellys It's great sport to ask a David Icke fan-boi how the reptilian-human hybrid thing works. What does the mating consist of, and who gives birth to what, and how?
        13 August at 15:04 · 2
      • Maureen Chuck I though the topic was "How do you know what you know" so we haven't changed topic just talking about something a little more scientific and factual
        13 August at 15:04
      • Brett Caton
        "And this isn’t just my warped childhood memories, you should see the latin names. Placental mammals are ‘eutheria’, true or good animals. Marsupials and their relatives are ‘metatheria,’ the sort of animals or behind animals. Poor monotremes are ‘single holes,’ because they have a single cloaca like reptiles and birds, rather than separate genital, urinary and rectal openings. You could say that study of Australian mammals was based firmly on the deficit model."
        Yup, that's my early memories. Australia was a land of these primitive mammal like things.
        My teachers weren't biologists, they just passed on their understanding. A game of chinese whispers...
        Koalas are not failures
        Marsupials are not lesser mammals – they are an alternative adaptation to suppor...ting a developing foetus for a long time. In an unpredictable environment they have advantages over placental mammals.See more
        13 August at 15:04
      • Tristan Blinddeadmcjones Skerratt ^ Pandas are failures
        13 August at 15:05 · 1
      • Brett Caton Oh, i figured the topic was done, and had to be rebooted in a radically different format to get anywhere, like X-Men, Star Trek and the DC Universe.
        13 August at 15:06
      • Sarah Jones Just thinking how weird it would be if we laid eggs or had a pouch.
        13 August at 15:07 · 1
      • Jeremy O'Wheel "Eutheria" is a clade within the class "Mammalia". "Mammalia" is defined as having mammary glands. "Eutherians" are defined as having a placenta.
        13 August at 15:07 · 2
      • Sarah Jones Again with the star trek.
        13 August at 15:07 · 2
      • Tristan Blinddeadmcjones Skerratt Hence the name hey Jeremy ?
        13 August at 15:08 · 1
      • Brett Caton Ahh, but these are the impressions of childhood from teachers who barely knew themselves. I do recall getting into a big argument with my librarian about what science fiction was, for example. I had read Philip K Dick, she knew Flash Gordon. I knew there was a much bigger world within it than space ships and lasers.
        13 August at 15:09 · 1
      • Brett Caton Everything goes better with star trek!
        13 August at 15:09
      • Sarah Jones No no, I loath Star Trek. I love space... hate star trek, star gate all of those.
        13 August at 15:11 · 1
      • Tristan Blinddeadmcjones Skerratt leave now and never come back :p
        13 August at 15:12 · 2
      • Tristan Blinddeadmcjones Skerratt That said, I find Science fact way more mind blowing than science-fiction
        13 August at 15:13 · 2
      • Sarah Jones I agree.
        13 August at 15:13
      • Brett Caton Ah, but if you come up with a good science fiction idea, there's a chance it'll get made. Look at the iPad. The mobile phone. Touch screens. All from a certain TV show...
        13 August at 15:14
      • Tristan Blinddeadmcjones Skerratt I think there is an Isaac Asimov quote like that ^
        13 August at 15:16 · 1
      • Brett Caton If you look at the interface used in Hitchhiker's guide, it's quite reminiscent of wikipedia.. but was made around 1980 by a very clever artist. He wasn't a computer dude. I used the internet in 1988 but I don't even recall a graphical browser back then.
        13 August at 15:17
      • Sarah Jones I do love hitchhikers guide. Awesome!
        13 August at 15:18 · 1
      • Sarah Jones The radio broadcast from the 70's and the book.
        13 August at 15:19 · 3
      • Sarah Jones Don't forget your towel!
        13 August at 15:20 · 2
      • Tristan Blinddeadmcjones Skerratt The greatest science fiction ever was/is War of the worlds on LP. topic done. next.
        13 August at 15:22 · 1
      • Brett Caton My copy of the original fell to pieces, but it's one of the few books that made me laugh uncontrollably in public.
        I heard the radio series as a boy, on an ancient crystal set. No-one had ever done anything like that before.
        13 August at 15:22 · 2
      • Sarah Jones We have the podcasts of both,the kids find them funny too.
        13 August at 15:24 · 2
      • Amanda Devaus You all need to lay off the sugar today :)
        13 August at 15:26 via mobile · 1
      • Tristan Blinddeadmcjones Skerratt You MUST hear the original LP. It gives it an almost surreal quality. Probably why people lost it when they first heard it.
        13 August at 15:26 · 2
      • Sarah Jones Original as in on an old radio with white noise?
        13 August at 15:27
      • Tristan Blinddeadmcjones Skerratt Original as you can get it. The LP will give the same feel as old time radio broadcasts.
        13 August at 15:28 · 1
      • Sarah Jones We have the original.
        13 August at 15:33
      • Sarah Jones I don't know how you can get more original lol
        13 August at 15:33 · 1
      • Tristan Blinddeadmcjones Skerratt Buy one of those things that broadcast your phone to your radio. plug that into your record player, tune in to it. BAM
        13 August at 15:35 · 2
      • Sarah Jones What's BAM?
        13 August at 15:44
      • Brett Caton It includes the original broadcast warning of Bigfoot attacks. Good times.
        13 August at 15:47 · 1
      • Brett Caton The sound of the speaker blowing up because you plugged in the wrong wire
        13 August at 15:48 · Edited · 1
      • Tristan Blinddeadmcjones Skerratt BAM means thank me later.
        13 August at 15:57
      • Amanda Devaus Brett Caton reading through the posts tonight(been too busy this week to sit down and have a good read) i have noticed you seem to have a definite thing against "feminists". Is that true? and why?
        13 August at 19:24
      • Wesley Dean Wells I think the continued existence of the glass ceiling is quite evident, but it is changing and a delight to see the emergence of equality in the work place. I'm not so sure that there has been reverse discrimination in bringing this about, but think it has had a minor role if any.
        13 August at 19:31
      • Amanda Devaus Wesley Dean Wells - completely agree. I dont see a huge issue with reverse discrimination, especially in my work place - however discrimination may exist for either gender, because that is just the way the world goes, hopefully we may reach a time where society accepts a individual on their merits, rather then their body parts:)
        13 August at 19:40
      • Maureen Chuck And then you have a politician today referring to a candidate as having sex appeal. I'm not sure that the candidate who has an MBA and her own business would've thought that had anything to do with her ability to be a local member.
        13 August at 19:43 · 3
      • Maureen Chuck Could I also point out that it is slightly redundant to post a Wikipedia reference to ad hominem on a Skeptics page.
        13 August at 20:26 · 2
      • Maureen Chuck How do you know what you know? This is an area of philosophy called epistemology. But rather than explore in detail a particular example, they explore how it is that you collect the information that you think you know and how that knowledge is changed.
        Reading through this thread it has failed miserably on both counts because for the most part it has only explored the veracity of the example cited rather than the actual question "How do you know what you know"
        Do you think we could explore the original question?
        13 August at 21:03 · 1
      • Brett Caton Maureen Chuck
        "Could I also point out that it is slightly redundant to post a Wikipedia reference to ad hominem on a Skeptics page."
        Sadly, humans do not work that way. People can call themselves skeptics without knowing all the logical fallacies, or knowing them but being too emotional about something close to their heart to realise when they are guilty of them. We are not completely rational beings, as much as we might hope to become so.
        Thus, a gentle mention is relevant.
        13 August at 22:02
      • Brett Caton Maureen Chuck
        ""How do you know what you know"
        Do you think we could explore the original question?"
        As I mentioned earlier, I think that would have to be done in a separate thread with an example that was less likely to evoke an emotive response.
        13 August at 22:03
      • Maureen Chuck Perhaps you could have shown a little more consideration in your example which may have prevented the complete derailment of the discussion.
        13 August at 22:14 · 1
      • Brett Caton Skeptics should be able to face the questioning of their most intensely held beliefs, because that is exactly what they do to others. If we can't take it, how can we ask them to?
        13 August at 22:15
      • Maureen Chuck I'm not sure that skeptics actually have intensely held beliefs. In fact I think that is the opposite of a skeptic.
        13 August at 22:17 · 1
      • Brett Caton
        At this point, I think you are simply contradicting me for it's own sake. I see people having strong beliefs all over this forum, and have observed passionate confrontations in person at a conference, and online.
        Argument Clinic
        Monty Python's Flying Circus
        13 August at 22:37 · 1
      • Maureen Chuck So you think that skeptics do have intensely held beliefs and that I am only arguing for the sake of it?
        13 August at 22:40
      • Brett Caton I think most skeptics would agree that they do, they fight, get angry, and sometimes even split over things. So yes, I think you are contradicting me out of a personal dislike.
        13 August at 22:42
      • Jeremy O'Wheel I certainly have the intensely held belief that everybody should critically examine the evidence supporting any belief. In a less metaphysical sense, I have many intensely held beliefs that are a consequence of following that belief; vaccinations are usually good, climate change is really happening, the Earth orbits the Sun etc. I strongly believe these things to be true.
        13 August at 22:42 · 1
      • Maureen Chuck yes but are they beliefs or conclusions bsed on evidence?
        13 August at 22:43 · 1
      • Amanda Devaus I have a intensely held belief that i should be having chocolate chip ice cream right now..does that count?
        13 August at 22:43 · 2
      • Maureen Chuck Why would you think that I would have a personal dislike for you Brett. I certainly disagree with many of your personally held beliefs but I don't know you.
        13 August at 22:45 · Edited
      • Brett Caton Non-skeptics feel their beliefs are "conclusions based on evidence". Whether they are or not, we would probably disagree. If we apply a standard to them that we cannot match, then they can rightly call us hypocrites, and ignore us.
        13 August at 22:46
      • Maureen Chuck I'm not sure that conclusions based on evidence can be call beliefs. What sort of standard are you thinking of that we cannot match?
        13 August at 22:49
      • Brett Caton We should be able to use reason, rather than emotion, to back up our positions. Instead, like our opposition, when certain taboo topics are raised in our communities, all hell breaks loose.
        13 August at 22:52
      • Jeremy O'Wheel There are two meanings of the word "belief."
        1. Things that you think are true.
        2. Things that you thing are true because of faith instead of evidence, as in the religious sense.
        I assume from the context of this discussion that Brett was using the first definition (and I note that the first is the correct dictionary definition, just skeptics like to contrast "religious belief" with evidence based belief).
        13 August at 22:58 · Edited · 3
      • Maureen Chuck Brett of course we are using reason, who is using emotion and where?
        And I completely agree Jeremy but if skeptics are to be divested of their most intensely held beliefs then there must be adequate evidence to do that.
        13 August at 23:01
      • Amanda Devaus Actually i disagree, Brett. I believe we should use a healthy mix of reason and emotion. Emotions trigger a part of the brain where creativity and passion comes into play, it pushes us to go that extra mile with our reason and logic. As long as we dont let either one be the dominant feature, i think both can be useful in rational discussion and critical thinking.
        13 August at 23:03 · 1
      • Brett Caton Maureen Chuck , do remember claiming I was deliberately inflammatory? How can someone be inflammatory unless emotive rather than rational responses are possible?
        13 August at 23:04
      • Maureen Chuck Yes
        13 August at 23:05
      • Brett Caton Amanda Devaus
        I agree that we need emotions; a hypothetical purely logical being would have serious difficulties making decisions, and I believe Oliver Sacks wrote about people whose emotions were hampered by brain damage, who were stymied by problems like "which tie should i wear?"
        13 August at 23:08
      • Maureen Chuck What?
        13 August at 23:09
      • Maureen Chuck I don't remember anyone saying we don't need emotions, I think that Brett stated we should be able to use reason rather than emotion.
        13 August at 23:11
      • Alexis Cattley *checks in to see the conversation train is so far of the rails it is about to be used as an infrastructure metaphor on an election page*
        13 August at 23:24 via mobile · 3
      • Royston Wilding Can a higher authority be considered as "evidence"? We tend to believe something if it is said by someone who we rightly or wrongly think is an authority on the subject. Catholics believe the Pope is ordained by God, so for them, if the Pope says something, it is evidence. We do the same. If Richard Dawkins or Francis Crisk says it, we believe it too.
        16 August at 16:35
      • Royston Wilding As for "equal pay for equal work" - having the same title, job description and qualifications does not always relate to equal performance, and the most highly-paid positions are remunerated on performance, not job description, or hours worked. IMHO the "glass ceiling" is a euphemism for under-performance.
        (throw rocks now)
        16 August at 16:41
      • Tyson Adams No. There have been several analyses that have proven that assertion wrong by actually weighting various factors. Women still get paid less.
        There is some exaggeration in some of the figures that get thrown around, though, as you still have baby boomers in the mix, who had to drop out of careers when they got married or had kids, so less of them higher up. You also tend to get the labour and minimum wage jobs of women being less remunerated as they aren't hazardous or physically demanding (checkout chick vs road paver). But compare apples to apples, women get paid less.
        Want a classic example: Mel and Kochie host Sunrise together. Kochie gets paid over a million, Mel gets about $750k. Both are completely useless and bring as little to the table as each other.
        16 August at 17:07 · 2
      • Maureen Chuck I bet Virginia and Michael get paid the same. Or at least did until she went part-time.
        16 August at 17:26
      • Amanda Devaus In my workplace as far as I know we are all paid the same level - but I work in government so it's pretty heavily regulated
        16 August at 17:43 via mobile · 2
      • Alexis Cattley My work is likewise regulated as part of being a government employee. I am paid the same as women with the same qualification and same job title. Hours and overtime however is won not on equal merit but by the squeakiest wheel.
        16 August at 17:47 via mobile
      • Amanda Devaus One of my pet irritations is when women and men with kids get priority over leave requests during holiday periods. Pfft
        16 August at 17:50 via mobile
      • Brett Caton To be fair, life at the 'Sunrise' end of the wage scale isn't representative of the great majority of working experience. It's true that more of the top earners are men, but that might simply be because they are more competitive, such as the example of a friend of mine who turned down a job paying a million dollars per year (early 90s) because she felt it was "too much".
        Or the body within that channel that negotiates wages is not representing the channel's investors well, and should be replaced.
        Or Mel really does bring less to the table than Kochie. I have no idea how anyone could objectively assess their value, to be honest.
        16 August at 21:26
      • Amanda Devaus One friend making a decision isnt really an accurate representation of how "competitive" women are compared to men.
        16 August at 21:31
      • Brett Caton Ah, but we are talking about a small sample here. The number of people working in that sort of industry is few. Why might the behaviour be different? Here's something that might be relevant (gives anecdote). This ties in with the common belief that men are more competitive due to testosterone, so it's hardly irrelevant.
        It's a basis for investigation, not a proof.
        16 August at 21:33
      • Amanda Devaus I will be interested to see the evidence that the levels of testosterone is correlated with levels of competitiveness. I would tend to disagree though, i know of many women who are way more competitive then some of the men i know. I think it can also depend on what you are passionate about:)
        16 August at 21:46
      • Amanda Devaus Actually my memory is now going back to growing up..I had always been more competitive and driven then my brothers. Not sure if there is a biological reason for it or just the way it was.
        16 August at 21:48
      • Tyson Adams One of the studies did look at "competitiveness" and found that the reason for some of the wage difference was down to men asking/demanding a raise or promotion when women wouldn't. But that still didn't explain all of the disparity.
        I'm pretty sure this was summarised nicely in an article on The Conversation.
        16 August at 22:06 · 1
      • Royston Wilding Simple question - why would you pay more for a man to do a job if you can employ a woman to do it for less?
        16 August at 22:10 · 1
      • Brett Caton Oh, very true.
        Reminds me of an article i read as a youth which claimed that test. levels rise when people get into top jobs, which would correlate with similar responses in other primates.
        The trouble with the top end jobs is because of the wage pyramid being narrowed since the 1960s, the people in the top 1%, for example, earn errrnormously more than the ordinary folk, to the point where they totally tip the scales in most analyses.
        For example, a simple study shows that, for Australians, being named Gina Rinehart is the best strategy, at 9 billion net worth ( )
        "There are 138 women on this year's billionaires list -- up from last year's total of 104. "
        Forbes counts a total of 1342 ( )
        A few people.. and it's much less than 1%.. own almost everything now. It's funny that I can recall when that wasn't the case.
        It's more reasonable to discard the wealthiest cases and focus on income that might reasonably be attained by the commoners.
        List of Australians by net worth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
        A list of the richest people in Australia is compiled by both Forbes Asia and Business Review Weekly. The lists assess the net worth of individuals (and families in the case of BRW) and are published on an annual basis in February and May respectively.See more
        The everyday physical activities of an isolated group of forager-farmers in cent...ral Bolivia are providing valuable information about how industrialization and its associated modern amenities may impact health and wellness.See more
        16 August at 22:18
      • Royston Wilding I don't know about sportsmen, but everyone knows that red cars go faster.
        16 August at 22:20 · 1
      • Maureen Chuck That study actually shows that competitive activity shows a spike in testosterone.
        16 August at 22:20
      • Tyson Adams No, the question of why you would employ the man at a higher wage is not a simple question.
        There is perceived value, inherent value, attitude, etc, that all roll into this. So instead I'll quote my mate when I asked him about wages he pays his people, "You know what you can afford to pay them and if they are smart they will ask for it."
        16 August at 22:20
      • Royston Wilding So employers are more interested in adhering to urban mythology than making money, Tyson Adams ?
        16 August at 22:23
      • Maureen Chuck What urban mythology is that?
        16 August at 22:24
      • Royston Wilding "perceived value, inherent value, attitude, etc"
        16 August at 22:25
      • Tyson Adams You haven't understood what I've said at all.
        16 August at 22:25
      • Royston Wilding IMHO employing a woman is more risky than employing a man.
        16 August at 22:26
      • Tyson Adams Well that is patently false.
        16 August at 22:27
      • Amanda Devaus Yeah i agree that is false also. What reason would you give for that? (and dont bring up the "having a child" thing, because that is a falsehood also).
        16 August at 22:28 · 1
      • Tyson Adams If anything, men are more of a risk because they are likely to want to change jobs and progress, so they are less likely to honour the length or terms of a contract (using the previously stated reasons for men being paid more).
        16 August at 22:31 · Edited
      • Maureen Chuck I'm sorry Tyson but your quote has as much validity as Royston 's. Much like the employers who who think that people over 50 can't adapt to change. In fact we've adapted to more change than the younger generations who just grew up with it.
        16 August at 22:35 · 1
      • Royston Wilding When a man has a child his job becomes more important to him. For a woman it becomes less. There is no need to worry about PMT etc. with a male employee. Men don't need paternity leave, women need maternity leave. There is a much higher risk of being sued for sexual harassment by a female employee, whether justified of not. Until recently, men's retirement age was 65, and women's was 60. More bathrooms are required if you have women employees. With manual work, awards prevent women lifting heavy weights, and they have longer personal and fatigue rates. Shall I go on?
        16 August at 22:38
      • Amanda Devaus I think you are being incredibly generalistic and without basis for those statements. I know of women who wanted to stay at work, so the husband wanted paternity leave. As well as vice versa.
        16 August at 22:39 · 4
      • Amanda Devaus Oh and BTW, i just realised the PMT reference..that is offensive and pretty much invalidates your entire comment.
        16 August at 22:45 · Edited · 5
      • Royston Wilding An exception or two in no way invalidates the generalization.
        16 August at 22:46
      • Brett Caton The manual work one is actually true in some cases, where the standard of entry is different depending on sex, when it should be identical.
        Can do a search for stats if it makes a difference, but i recall being told about that when i worked in liquor shop, and thinking it unfair. Also applies to firies and the military, from memory.
        16 August at 22:46
      • Tyson Adams Maureen, I don't think you or Royston have understood what I was saying. Essentially my point was that in private industry you tend to negotiate for your wage and most people will either have a ballpark idea of what they are worth to the position or will have a very specific number in mind that they will ask for. Thus, my friend was essentially using this as part of the selection criteria: did the applicant know what they were worth, would they ask for too much or too little. Thus my statement about perceived, inherent value and attitude.
        Now, as for Royston's comments on men and kids, what fucking decade are you living in?
        16 August at 22:47 · 3
      • Tyson Adams Brett, no. Military standards are across the board.
        Frontline combat roles aren't really happening for Aussie women, so can't really make that claim at all, despite the qualifiers being the same there too (from what I understand).
        16 August at 22:50
      • Amanda Devaus Brett, I think you can agree that you have a very "anti woman/feminism" stance, so that colours most of your arguments. have so offended me with your PMT comments -especially because up until now i have pretty much agreed with most of what you say. Just that kind of generalist argument turns me off.
        16 August at 22:51 · 1
      • Amanda Devaus Brett..i know people in the military, no favoritism is shown. Same with police entrance tests
        16 August at 22:52
      • Royston Wilding Sorry, Tyson, yes in my day men didn't get PMT, go through pregnancy, and couldn't breast-feed. I guess that's all changed now? Hey, (sadly) don't recall ever having to complain about being sexually-harassed by a female employee, either.
        16 August at 22:52
      • Amanda Devaus I didn't see sexual harassment being referenced in this discussion. That is a different level to your inference that women are less desirable as employees due to the fact they get PMT.
        16 August at 22:54 · 3
      • Amanda Devaus But nice logical fallacy
        16 August at 22:54 · 3
      • Tyson Adams In your day? So your arguments and opinions are out of date and irrelevant. Thanks for clearing that up.
        16 August at 22:55 · 2
      • Royston Wilding Christine Nixon when chief of Victoria police, obtained an exemption from Prue Goward, then discrimination commissioner, to have a lower entrance standard for female recruits than male, to address the imbalance in gender ratios.
        16 August at 22:55
      • Amanda Devaus interesting..i might do some research on monday and see what info i can find about the entrance exams
        16 August at 22:59
      • Brett Caton Amanda Devaus
        Not sure about australian, i could dig further, but i was told by reservists of both sexes that they had different requirements.
        Physical Fitness Test
        Soldiers are required to take a physical fitness test at least twice per year. are three events which are measured: push-ups, sit-ups, and a timed two-mile run.See more
        Fitness tests for the police are to be made easier because they are too hard for...women. Half of female recruits fail the physical examination they undertake as part of their trainingSee more
        The United States Marine Corps requires that all Marines perform a Physical Fitn...ess Test (PFT) and a Combat Fitness Test (CFT) once per fiscal year. Each test must have an interval of 6 months (same standards apply for reservists). The PFT ensures that Marines are keeping physically fit and in a sta...See more
        PubMed comprises more than 23 million citations for biomedical literature from M...EDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.See more
        16 August at 23:17
      • Birthe Bridgeman Oh my I love watching these discussions derail...what has women's physical weakness to do w anything-or this discussion-what century are we in?? If anything the question would be brain power, another can of worms. But sorry, carry on...sure my mind is fogged by all my maternity hormones floating around.
        16 August at 23:20 via mobile · 4
      • Tyson Adams Royston, seriously? You're defending The Daily Fail? You need to get out of this group if you accept them as a source for anything at all.

        Now, on the military standards: Australia is very clear, women have to achieve the same fitness levels as men with the exception of upper body strength, as a study by the military made the recommendation that the lower muscle mass in the upper body was not a useful test for women to have the same pass (you may as well say the same of height or weight, etc, in which is different but irrelevant). Everything else is the same.
        I found similar guidelines for the US:

        And while we're at it, WTF does this have to do with the original discussion? This non-sequiter is painfully dismissive of the fact that many studies have shown that men and women in the same jobs ACROSS THE BOARD average lower pay.
        16 August at 23:21 · 2
      • Amanda Devaus Birthe Bridgeman dont know about you but i am feeling the PMT kicking in...;)
        16 August at 23:21 · 3
      • Royston Wilding Brett, sexism is only a problem when it disadvantages women, not when it is to their advantage.
        16 August at 23:22 · 1
      • Royston Wilding So is post-natal depression a sexist myth too?
        16 August at 23:23
      • Tyson Adams Men get post-natal depression too. Men also like to take paternity leave, look after their kids, etc, etc, etc, etc.
        16 August at 23:24 · 3
      • Amanda Devaus He is now just being ridiculous to the point that i am thinking this is all baiting on purpose. So i wont bite, i have more important things to discuss.
        16 August at 23:24 · 3
      • Tyson Adams One more blatantly sexist comment and I'm tempted to use the ban-hammer.
        16 August at 23:25 · 2
      • Brett Caton Birthe Bridgeman

        "what has women's physical weakness to do w anything"

        You have two candidates. You don't know what sex they are but one is weaker than other. It's for a manual labour job. Which do you hire?

        According to the current standards, you can't decide until you find out what sex they are. That's the definition of sexism.

        Royston brought up that point earlier. It was said to be incorrect. Now it's been shown to be true. Of course, those who said it was false don't acknowledge it.
        16 August at 23:26 · 1
      • Birthe Bridgeman So is this the time to point out that men have hormonal fluctuations too? And forget the post natal what about plain old depression? Men get plenty of them too or so I hear..
        16 August at 23:26 via mobile · 3
      • Tyson Adams Brett, it is a non-sequiter. Manual labour jobs require the ability to do the job and that is not what is being discussed. What is being discussed is the fact that women get paid less for doing the same jobs.
        16 August at 23:28
      • Royston Wilding Gee, better repeal the Victorian Crimes Act 1958 section 6, then, or at lest remove the gender specificity.
        16 August at 23:28
      • Royston Wilding I recall an interesting case at a steelworks in NSW where the company was sued for not employing women for a job that required lifting billets weight more than women are allowed to lift according to the award.
        16 August at 23:31 · 1
      • Birthe Bridgeman Brett Caton, the whole point of the discussion to begin with was whether women get equal pay for equal work...not whether they are less suited to manual labor jobs than men.
        16 August at 23:31 via mobile
      • Tyson Adams Again I ask you, Royston, what fucking century are you living in?
        16 August at 23:32 · 1
      • Royston Wilding Brett's point is valid in as much as the work is not equal.
        16 August at 23:32
      • Tyson Adams No it isn't. The studies compared apples to apples. When will you and Brett admit that.
        16 August at 23:34
      • Royston Wilding I'm talking about current legislation, Tyson - this century.
        16 August at 23:34
      • Brett Caton Birthe Bridgeman
        Is it equal work if women are given a lower bar than men? Can I say "oh men, you don't have to type as fast as women now, because men aren't as good at multitasking"?
        16 August at 23:35
      • Amanda Devaus That kind of ridiculous statement isnt even worth addressing
        16 August at 23:37 · 1
      • Tyson Adams Royston, you cited outdated legislation, there is shitloads of that on the books, you know, like gay marriage and Aboriginal rights.
        Brett, multitasking is bullshit and this is not about "lowering a bar" or anything. Women get paid less for the same job, all other factors held equal!!!!!!
        16 August at 23:39 · 1
      • Tyson Adams I'm logging out and logging back in. Any sexist comments in that time will be ban-hammered. You have been warned.
        16 August at 23:39 · 2
      • Royston Wilding Let me ask again, if why would an employer pay more for a man if a woman can be employed to do the same job for less money?
        16 August at 23:40
      • Birthe Bridgeman I thought you'd left Amanda? ;) Brett, you have decided that the bar must be lowered for women n there's no way of arguing with that. And on that note I will leave this discussion cause I do have a kid-n if that disqualifies me I'm fine with that :) goodnight
        16 August at 23:40 via mobile · 1
      • Amanda Devaus Birthe Bridgeman was just finishing my work on international criminal law before bedtime. But this conversation has now entered the stupid phase so i am out also:)
        16 August at 23:42 · 1
      • Royston Wilding Outdated legislation?
        I don't think so
        "CRIMES ACT 1958
        No. 6231 of 1958
        Version incorporating amendments as at 1 July 2013"
        16 August at 23:42
      • Brett Caton "multitasking is bullshit"?

        It was drummed into us at my old job that it was critical. We went from focusing on one thing at a time to trying to juggle a lot of balls at once. This was a tech support role.

        We noticed that women were promoted more, an...See More
        16 August at 23:43
      • Peter Dellys As someone who employs a bunch of people, I have this to say. I don't give a rat's arse about my staff's race, creed, colour, gender or just about any other discriminating factor, other than the real ones, like capacity, punctuality, performance etc. My staff include a Mormon, a devout Muslim, someone with mild Aspergers and an ex refugee from South Sudan. Great people. Any employer who discriminates pay or any other conditions based upon anything other than the real factors is a jackass.
        16 August at 23:51 · 7
      • Vanessa McConville I am a best person for the job kind of person. People are people so no one gender is better than another at anything. Sure one gender may have a higher % bodily suited to a job but there are always exceptions.While there is definitely nepotism and entrenched preference by a large number of employers, there is no doubt from the smallest business to the big corporations.
        It is a matter of attitude change and not something that can be achieved through affirmative action legislation. (my opinion only), perhaps only time and the old warhorses giving up the reigns a generational change.
        I loathe sexism especially in advertising it is more rampant against men than women at the moment, nice to actually see advertising where dads get a role, sad when it is mocking. I could go on forever about advertising.
        16 August at 23:54 · Edited · 4
      • Vanessa McConville And one gender being better than another at multitasking I call bullshit. :)
        16 August at 23:53 · 2
      • Brett Caton

        It's not entirely clear either way

        A study by psychologist Keith Laws was widely reported in the press to have provided the first evidence of female multitasking superiority.[23]...See More
        Gender differences - Human multitasking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
        Although the idea that women are better multitaskers than men has been popular i...n the media as well in conventional thought, there is very little data available to support claims of a real gender difference. Most studies that do show any gender differences tend to find that the differences are small...See more
        16 August at 23:54
      • Royston Wilding Sorry, but it’s not BS Brett. A woman can chat on hands-free while having her toenails painted, with her head under the dryer, while reading Celo magazine, while watching a soapie on TV, while eating chocolates, while filing her nails, while listening to talk-back radio. A man can only build one shed at a time – pathetic!
        What I can’t figure ‘though, is why it takes a multitasking woman, compared with a single-tasking man, 3 times as long to take a shower, can only go to the bathroom in pairs when at a restaurant, take 5 times as long to get dressed, and all day to buy a pair of shoes.
        16 August at 23:57
      • Royston Wilding (throw rocks now - I'm going to bed)
        16 August at 23:58
      • Vanessa McConville I run an office from home and have three small children. I do not classify it as multi tasking. It is one thing at a time and I write everything down. Change nappy, call customer, sort out fight, send email. No one can keep it up for long and it is stressful to be under the pump from several directions.
        16 August at 23:59 · Edited · 2
      • Brett Caton Yeah, to tell you the truth, i think they thought they could pressure us to work harder for the same pay. I don't think for a second that getting a techie to type and think at the same time is better than getting them to think about the problem, then type.
        I know who i'd rather have solving my problems!
        Yesterday at 00:01
      • Tim Scanlon Before I ban Royston and Brett I would like to summarise and rebut a few points.
        Multitasking is a myth:

        The physical ability is a red herring.

        The introduction of physical ability is a non-sequiter in this discussion.

        Women get paid less for doing the same job:

        The point on outdated legislation: just because something is on the books still, doesn't make it fair, equitable, moral, rational, or up-to-date with current knowledge and standards. As such, citing legislation or points similar, is a non-sequiter and irrelevant.

        If either of you want to protest your bans, PM me with a bloody good excuse for your sexism.

        The Skeptics in Australia doesn't tolerate sexism. We are rational and inclusive, not illogical and bigoted.
        Yesterday at 00:24 · 7
      • TJ Marx I think as skeptics we need to realise (and Sharon Hill wrote a fantastic piece on this the other day), that what we share in common is merely critical thinking skills. That is to say, we all have the ability to discern what is probably fact based, andwhat is probably bullshit. And, honestly that is where our similarities in some cases end. Ultimately as skeptics we are all human which brings with it the potential for disagreement, including to the extreme; and the potential for offense. It also brings with it the potential for skeptical persons to do or say things which we may personally feel are against our own morals, which was of course highlighted recently with a criminal case I'm sure you're all aware of (if you're not, there is plenty of information and discussion elsewhere for you to check out if you're so inclined).

        I haven't read all 252 comments in this thread, but I think I can garner the jist of what has gone on from the last 20 or so, which brings me to my point. The skeptics who have been here longer will know me as someone who likes to play devils advocate, who likes to push boundaries (and cross them sometimes) and to question the motivations and thought processes of everyone, including myself. With that said whilst I don't condone any form of prejudice and this comment should not be taken as condoning anything at all, it is perhaps in all parties best interests when tempers and emotions are flying to take a deep breath and come back to center point. We are all adults here, or at least I hope that is the case, and as such I would hope we are all quite capable of defending ourselves and remitting from conversations which would otherwise cause offense or discomfort to our person.

        But more over to my point, and a big reason as to why I am far less active in this group of late, perhaps, just perhaps, it may be an idea to refrain from conversations inside this forum which do not fit its mandate. As a skeptical group; and I acknowledge this as long been an argument of mine; it is our mandate to discuss subjects of a scientific and woo based nature, but of late I have noticed quite a dip into other subjects which have a high potential to cause the kinds of unwanted discussions as we have seen here, such as those based on politics (yes I realise the election is coming up).

        So my proposal is simply 2 fold, that we all act like adults in the real world acknowledging there will be disagreements and commonalities between all of us no matter how remote, and that we should focus on recentering our discussions on the purpose of this forum and make every effort to not stray outside thereof. I await being flamed.
        23 hours ago · Edited · 2
      • Maureen Chuck I guess everyone was asleep so couldn't flame you ;).
        I agree with most of what you've said TJ. We are human and when people deliberately try to rattle your chain it can be difficult to show restraint. It also depends how they do it.
        Overt sexism and bigotry have no place in a skeptic group.
        16 hours ago
      • James Dominguez Men are so oppressed. :(
        What men need to do is try to get some representation in parliament, if only they could get past the impenetrable wall of oestrogen that shuts so many men out of the public discourse.
        16 hours ago via mobile · 6
      • Maureen Chuck We actually had 2 different types of sexism presenting here. one was as you stated James - the poor white male who thinks he is oppressed and the other is the dinosaur who actually thinks that women are inferior to men and whose only worth is based on their looks and child bearing. Both equally nasty and offensive.
        16 hours ago · 3
      • James Dominguez Awesome. I'm so sad I stopped reading this thread a couple of days ago and missed all of that. Well, apart from the "my anecdata trumps your actual data" thread-starter, of course.
        16 hours ago via mobile · 2
      • Birthe Bridgeman I think when people's qualifications start being questioned based on their gender it is time to stop the conversation-just as it would if people's sexuality or race was being questioned. That bias goes against the whole idea of this group. Can't say I don't have a laugh when they go off topic though....I'm glad to see the male chauvinist aussie is still alive n kicking-there's hope for Abbot yet! Ups was that off topic?
        13 hours ago via mobile · 1
      • TJ Marx I guess what I'm saying in the part about "being an adult and accepting disagreement" is that if someone does cause offense, be it unintentional or otherwise, one should simply choose to walk away, or defend their position, or even a mixture of both, in short whatever you would do if they were standing in a public room having that conversation with you, and what that is will be different for everyone.

        I guess my concern is biased, but free speech shouldn't be threatened because someone finds what was said offensive, I mean if we never expose ourselves to ideas that are not ideal to us, ideas that perhaps go against everything we know or feel strongly about, then how can we ever grow as people or even be skeptics? Isn't that our job as skeptics, to expose ourselves to ideas that offend rationality and attempt to educate, even in the face of tedium?

        An argument based on morals, or perceived rights of the day is no argument at all.
        11 hours ago
      • Wesley Dean Wells Can anyone recommend the book "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus"?
        7 hours ago
      • Ros Byrne ^^^^ that book is a load of pseudo-scientific bull! Lol
        4 hours ago via mobile · 2
      • Amanda Devaus Wesley that book is the most ridiculous piece of pseudoscience i have read in a long time. Added to that the author is a pig who truly believes women will be happier if they were all at home and not working and having their own life - as well as devoting their lives to their husband/boyfriends/etc
        3 hours ago · 1
      • Vanessa McConville Really glad I missed it, all self help books, romance, life, riches, belong in the garbage. I know some find hope but to me it is easy answers with only the authors wallet in mind.
        2 hours ago · Edited
      • Amanda Devaus TJ Marx what criminal case are you talking about?
        2 hours ago
      • TJ Marx I'd prefer to not spark a whole big thing, as I really do think beyond an example it really is quite irrelevant to my sentiment. If you can track down the article from Sharon Hill that I mentioned, she talks about it in more detail, that would be my recommendation.
        2 hours ago via mobile
      • Wesley Dean Wells Thanks for feedback about the book. I noticed that it sold over 50 million copies and topped the best seller list for 121 weeks. Also Dr Gray must have made hundreds of millions dollars from that book, it's sequels, and all that followed. Wiki says "The book and its central metaphor have become a part of popular culture..."
        I brought it up as an example of what people face today as they try to get through life without screwing it up, as they work to be the best they can be, and as their attitudes get shaped or influenced by "popular culture". This is central to why I joined this group, and I am impressed by many of the comments and perceptions. On the other hand, when emotions come into play in discussions, as they have in this thread, reason fades and arguments lose their power.
        Sidetracks will occur in any worthwhile discussion, but keeping the focus on the central issue is important. Especially an issue as important as working and progressing toward a world devoid of inequality and injustice.
        2 hours ago

    No comments:

    Post a Comment

    Please try to avoid logical fallacies!