[Marxism] Liberal Science, Socialist Conclusions?

Y. K. ykleftis at hotmail.com
Sat Jul 1 21:04:06 MDT 2006


Dear Mark,

I don’t know about your Da Vinci Code comments.

Certainly, statistical analysis for past populations is historical, not 
predictive. I’m referring to statements like these:

“I strongly suspect we'll soon begin to see more NBA-quality players coming 
from China”

and

“distinct group appearances will continue to exist in many parts of the 
world for hundreds of years. But as intermarriage accelerates — and as 
people gain a greater understanding of our genetic relatedness — the 
tendency to say that a person must have particular attributes because of the 
way he or she looks will inevitably decline”.

http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/booksellers/press_release/olson/#steve

Here, Olson’s US-centered liberalism emerges. Yet in these same comments, so 
too emerges his faith in natural science. He presupposes that knowledge of 
natural science determines social change.

I should say that I am less convinced by genetic science at this point, 
especially applied to human beings, than I am about mathematical 
probabilities. For me, the interesting claim is that even conservative 
estimates give all humans a common group of ancestors well after the 
development of agriculture. If these are good estimates, then this creates 
ideological problems for all kinds of people.

I’m suggesting that prediction in human affairs is impossible except as an 
abstraction.

I’m also suggesting that insofar as Marx (or Marxists) predicts historical 
change, he accepts this attitude of the natural sciences.

-Y.K.

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