As everyone in the blogosphere knows by now, Larry Summers, president of Harvard, stuck his foot in his mouth earlier this week when, at a meeting of college presidents, he suggested that one of the reasons why there are so many more men than women in certain fields involving lots of math is that there are innate biological differences between women and men.
He was met with immediate outrage from the members of the audience, and soon, from well-nigh the entire blogosphere, and was forced to make an embarrassing apology.
I have a modest proposal for Summers. The ultimate studies for determining whether genes or environment are responsible for individual differences are identical twin studies. All he has to do is take a look at identical twins reared apart, and if there are differences in their math ability, it must be due entirely to environment!
Just take a boy and a girl (actually, preferably a lot of boys and girls) — now remember they must be identical — and rear them apart for many years, and then we’ll know the answer for sure.
Now where are we going to find a whole bunch of identical boys and girls? It shouldn’t be that hard, should it? I can’t believe scientists haven’t thought to do this study yet.