Your world-without-men idea comes from a creationist mindset. In the modern scientific frame, we no longer believe in creationism by a deity, but because we do indeed solve problems by focusing on them, we have a sort of residual intelligent design intuition. You see this manifest in all sorts of top-down plans to save humanity.

Only the evolutionary perspective is truly explanatory of the human situation. Any physical or behavioral human trait you can name exists on a bell-shaped continuum. The traits influenced by testosterone are, of course, strongly concentrated in males. This includes aggression and violence. But it also includes other male predominant traits. Take the distribution in interest between the STEM professions and the more caring professions. The distributions do overlap; you’ll find women in STEM and men in social work. But the statistical correlation with sex is robust. The key is that these different human traits exist because they are evolutionarily adaptive for a highly cooperative species.

You may respond that there is nothing a man can do that a woman can’t do. But crucially, it’s not only the traits that are adaptive, it’s the population distribution of these traits that is adaptive. A world without men wouldn’t actually function.

The notion that we can address the tragedy that is the human condition by a grand redesign of society is addressed by Steven Pinker in The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. In it he quotes the philosopher Michael Oakshott, “To try to do something which is inherently impossible is always a corrupting enterprise.”

Expand full comment

Hi there, thanks for your input, much appreciated. I do welcome your interest, and debate too.

First, just to let you know, I'm not religious. Very philosophical, but not religious.

Second, I'm not a true believer science worshipper either. Should you explore this blog (see the philosophy section) you'll see that my belief is that the biggest threat to science is science itself, or more precisely, our relationship with science.

Third, this is not a "top down" plan, because the elites of our society, probably any society, are not in a position to really explore any idea that's too far outside the group consensus, because doing so presents a threat to their reputation, that is, it's not good for business.

I would encourage you to write an article making the argument that a world without men couldn't function. That's an interesting premise, but I don't see it yet. What I see is that a world with men is on course to destroy itself. That said, if you can write up a more detailed version of your claim, I'd be happy to see it here, or where ever you wish to put it.

You're obviously intelligent, educated and articulate. You might consider your own blog on substack or elsewhere. I'm always looking for people like you to engage with.

I can understand anyone's skepticism of ideas as large as a world without men. I can agree that any idea that big requires serious challenge. I'm just saying, we don't have forever to come to a decision.

It might be true that a world without men wouldn't work. There's obviously no way to know it would for sure. But what we can know for sure is that the current status quo world doesn't work. If we keep on traveling in the direction we are currently going, we're headed for a game over event. It's from that understanding that I'm reaching for radical ideas.

Expand full comment

>>1. QUESTION: Is the marriage between violent men and an accelerating knowledge explosion sustainable?

2. Why are we still doing science? Who is it that we think will inherit the knowledge science is developing today?

3. Why are we worried about climate change? What difference will reducing C02 emissions make to a collapsed society?

4. Why are we educating our children? Educating them for what?

5. Why are we planning for the future? What future?<<

1. No.

2. Science does not provide answers to the questions you’re asking, e.g. the problem of evil.

3. No difference at all. Climate change is secondary to the issues you raise.

4. Excellent question.

5. We are planning for the future & thinking about the future because at some level — a level that we may not be conscious of — we believe that future exists. We have faith that the future might be better than the past. Which, as I’ve said repeatedly, is a profoundly biblical idea: https://outofbabel.substack.com/p/the-circle-vs-the-line

Thank you for a great series. You’re a good writer & a thoughtful guy. We can also agree on this: the questions you raise are vastly more important than 95% of what gets published here on Substack.

Expand full comment

Hi Alan, I believe a future exists too. And over a very long run it might be a very good future. But on the way there the situation could become pretty horrific if we don't wise up. Thanks for your engagement and kind words, it surely helps here.

Expand full comment