I don't believe everyone is equal but that in academia and most other fields of endeavor they should be given equal opportunity. The fact that there are fewer women academics in fields like mathematics may reflect individual inclination, or discrimination, or ability. No one knows for sure, and Lawrence Summers was force to resign the Harvard presidency when he suggested that the matter ought to be studied scientifically.
- It could very well be a disinclination toward risk-taking, such as the kind inherent in a scientific career that could end up being largely wasted if one pursues theories that ultimately turn out to be fatally flawed. Statistically, women have shown a tendency to be risk averse in other fields, such as finance; often they will put their money into low-risk investments rather than pursuing opportunities for great wealth. That is probably a large part of the reason why there aren't many female captains of industry. Tisane 17:07, 14 July 2010 (EDT)
By everyone being equal, I meant that everyone is born equal. However, that equality can (and often does) change, through social and economic conditions, and, more importantly, personal initiative. If a woman (or a man, for that matter) doesn't take the effort to become a scientist, that is entirely their fault. However, that doesn't change the fact that recently women have taken a larger role in the scientific field.--Jaddriscoll
- In what way are they born equal? Certainly not equal in abilities and other traits. People are not even born with equal opportunity in all respects, because some people indisputably start out with greater advantages that others. Which is not to say that disadvantages can't sometimes be overcome or that advantages can't be squandered. But, for instance, that there may be a link between race and intelligence, which might require people of a certain race to generally need to work a bit harder to overcome the disadvantage caused by lower intelligence. Or, someone who happens to be less attractive may be at a disadvantage in becoming a model. Likewise, gender could result in some difficulties in accomplishing certain work; e.g., females may have trouble working in certain trades that require lifting extremely heavy objects. Tisane 19:19, 14 July 2010 (EDT)
- This is great! An actual discussion, with each of us contributing different ideas, and all of us actually listening to each other instead of talking past each other to score ideological points. Are we ready to collaborate on an article (or article series) exploring these themes in encyclopedic detail? --Ed Poor Talk 12:07, 15 July 2010 (EDT)
- People are born equal in the fact that they (barring unfortunate birth defects) have a functioning human body and a mind capable of reasoning. What they do with that body and mind is up to them after that. If someone puts their mind and effort into a goal, they can achieve it. In fact, I believe that so long as it is within the laws of physics, humans can achieve anything (of course, I'm not a scientist, so please point out any examples to the contrary that you can think of). Also, Ed, an article or two about equality (I noticed the article on equality is a little lackluster) is a great idea. Now, I'm still relatively unfamiliar with the wiki editing system, but I'm learning, so, I'll see what I can do in the next few days.--Jaddriscoll 8:37, 15 July 2010 (EDT)