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Trans Athletes and Conflicting Rights: Male-to-Female transgender swimmer Lia Thomas from the University of Pennsylvania is crushing the female competition. Is that her right? Is it right? No. Here’s why.

Trans rights are human rights, but rights do not mean that any of us can do anything we like any time. There are restrictions on our actions, and when there are conflicting rights something must give. In this article on trans athletes, Michael Shermer explains why Male-to-Female trans athletes competing in women’s sports is unfair and a threat to the hard-earned rights of women to compete in their own athletic divisions, and why biological males that have gone through puberty cannot be considered equal to women with just a year of hormone suppression therapy.

Frans De Waal on Sex and Gender Across the Primate Spectrum

What is gender? How different are men and women? Are differences due to biological sex or to culture? How do they compare with what is known about our fellow primates? Do apes also culturally learn their sex roles or is “gender” uniquely human? Michael Shermer and Frans de Waal discuss sexual orientation, gender identity, and the limitations of the gender binary, exceptions to which are also found in other primates.

Wicked Games: Lance Armstrong, Forgiveness and Redemption, and a Game Theory of Doping

Part 2 of the documentary film “Lance” airs tonight on ESPN and served as a catalyst for this article that employs game theory to understand why athletes dope even when they don’t want to, as well as thoughts on forgiveness and redemption. The article is a follow up to and extension of Dr. Shermer’s article in the April 2008 issue of Scientific American.

eSkeptic for May 31, 2020

Part 2 of the documentary film “Lance” airs tonight on ESPN and served as a catalyst for this article that employs game theory to understand why athletes dope even when they don’t want to, as well as thoughts on forgiveness and redemption. The article is a follow up to and extension of Dr. Shermer’s article in the April 2008 issue of Scientific American.

Life’s Score

Michael Shermer in the 1984 Race Across America, crossing from Arizona into Utah through the Virgin River Gorge.

Michael Shermer reviews Knowing the Score: What sports can teach us about philosophy (and what philosophy can teach us about sports), by King’s College philosopher David Papineau.

eSkeptic for August 9, 2017

Michael Shermer in the 1984 Race Across America, crossing from Arizona into Utah through the Virgin River Gorge.

Michael Shermer reviews Knowing the Score: What sports can teach us about philosophy (and what philosophy can teach us about sports), by King’s College philosopher David Papineau

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