Copernicus, Da Vinci, Galileo, Newton, Einstein; all males. There have been few
females who might be called great scientists, why?
The ability of girls to achieve high scores for university entrance has
demonstrated that they have as much ability as boys do. Is the problem
that women have been discriminated against and downtrodden, not
permitted to compete on an equal level?
In the past I've little doubt that this would have been true, but not
at present; at least not to anywhere near the same degree.
I believe that some part of the the reason that women have not had such high profiles in science can be found in the nature of the two sexes. Men are more inclined to take on projects that have nothing to do with their social group, women are more inclined toward social matters, including family. To achieve greatness in any field requires something very close to obsession and it is men who are more inclined to have obsessions with matters not relating to family and relationships.
Of course this is all speculation, but I do suspect that it's in our hormones.
In the West it is fashionable at present, politically correct,
to hold that there are no differences that go beyond skin-deep
between people of different races.
Those who hold this belief admit (reluctantly?) that some racial
groups have darker skins than others, some groups have broader
noses than others do; but to hold that different races have
different levels of abilities is not acceptable to them.
Is it likely? Some races are heavier boned than others, some are
taller, some have different facial features; is it not very likely
that some will, for example, live more from day to day while others
will tend to plan and work for the future?
There seems to be an 'in-built' love of gardening in Western People.
Especially as they get older, Caucasians love to scratch about in their gardens. I haven't seen this in Australian Aborigines.
I suggest that this love of gardening has been selected for in
Western people (and many others, but not Australian Aborigines) over the
last 10 000 years.
People who had a stronger love of gardening
produced more food crops, consequently they suffered less from
famines, and left more descendants.
Western peoples have been associated with agriculture for up to 10 000 years, while Australian Aborigines, for example, have developed an agricultural way of life to a far more limited degree.
(This perception has recently been brought into question. Some aboriginal groups did develop the beginnings of an agriculture, they encouraged some of those plants that they found useful and they did farm fish.) Can one believe that no selection for characteristics associated with farming developed over 10 000 years when the lives of the agriculturalists depended on their skill? To be a successful raiser of plants one must always have in the back of one's mind the needs of those plants; there is a need for a 'work ethic' (another concept that seems to be less fashionable at present).
Hunter-gatherers, by contrast, did not need to devote themselves to the needs of other organisms in this way.
People who lived in places with severe winters had a much
greater need to plan ahead than did those who hunted and gathered in
milder climates. In the former group, if you didn't collect enough
food during the period when it was plentiful to get you over the time
when it was scarce you faced starvation; while hunter-gatherers in
tropical or mild climates could live by what they found every day.
None of this necessarily means that one racial group is superior to
another; the idea of superiority or inferiority is a very difficult
one to judge, the human being is a very complex thing; and I'm not
at all sure that superiority or inferiority is
a very useful concept when considering racial characteristics.
However, I do believe that to deny the possibility of deep-seated
differences between races is to deny reality, to hide one's head
in the sand.
Some will claim that while such difference do exist between racial
groups they are due only to the education and social pressures that
the people involved have been subjected to during their life times;
the 'nature or nurture' question.
Again, I cannot believe that 10 000 years of selection is
insufficient to bring about some pretty fundamental differences
We must keep
open minds; to deny concepts because they may be unpalatable is always an error; even worse, to deny concepts because they are unfashionable.