[Marxism] Bonds, Genes, Racism

Naveen Jaganathan naveenkj3 at gmail.com
Sat Aug 11 21:15:39 MDT 2007


Sayan.... Ugh!  The Wiki article you posted says:

"Many critics draw an intellectual link between sociobiology and biological
determinism <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_determinism>, referring
to the social Darwinism <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Darwinism> and
eugenics <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics> movements of the early 20th
century, and to more recent ideas such as the IQ test
controversy<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IQ_test_controversy>of the
early
1970s <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1970s>. Steven Pinker argues that
critics have been overly swayed by politics and a "fear" of biological
determinism[9] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociobiology#_note-8>. However,
all these critics have claimed that sociobiology fails on scientific
grounds, independent of their political critiques. In particular, Lewontin,
Rose & Kamin drew a detailed distinction between the politics and history of
an idea and its scientific
validity[10]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociobiology#_note-9>,
as has Stephen Jay Gould
[11]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociobiology#_note-10>.


Sociobiology has been used by right wing interests. For example, the
conservative right-wing, anti-affirmitive-action Heritage Foundation of the
US helped fund Richard Hernnstein's *The Bell Shaped Curve: Intelligence and
Class Structure in American
Life*.[12]"<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociobiology#_note-11>


On 8/11/07, Sayan Bhattacharyya <ok.president+marxmail at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> On 8/11/07, Naveen Jaganathan <naveenkj3 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Since your absurd argument about Barak Obama being the negation of
> racism in
> > America has already been addressed, let me take this one up.
> >
> > > Naveen: That sociobiology is racist,
> > > and new tracts, however implicit in its racism is still racist should
> be
> > > obvious to anyone that has seriously looked at this subject.
> >
> > >Sayan: Ah... the "it is obvious" (non)-argument.
> >
> > Sayan,
> >
> > May be you are unfamiliar with the history of Sociobiology.  It is not
> some
> > "scholarly" study motivated by academic interests, that ought to be
> answered
> > at only an academic level.  These "studies" had/have real world
> > consequences.  When Samuel Morton
> > When the "Bell Curve" was published it was used by the likes
> > lack of cultural prowess.  For a good analysis of all of this, read
> > "Mismeasure of Man" by Stephen Jay Gould.
>
>
> Okay, I see the problem here. By "Sociobiology" you seem to be
> referring to the people who did skull-measurements many decades ago,
> and "The Bell Curve" authors, and people like that. That stuff has
> been discredited, for good reason.
>
> But in the academy, that is not what sociobiology refers to today.
> Sociobiology is mainly associated with the work of the biologist E.O.
> Wilson, who teaches at Harvard. No one refers to "The Bell Curve"
> authors as sociobiologists.
>
> The word "sociobiology", in fact,  was coined by Edward O. Wilson in
> the 1975 book, "Sociobiology: The New Synthesis".
>
> See: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociobiology>. As this Wikipedia
> article states:
>
> "Sociobiology is often associated with arguments over the "genetic"
> basis of intelligence. While sociobiology is predicated on the
> observation that genes do affect behavior, it is perfectly consistent
> to be a sociobiologist whilst arguing that measured IQ variations
> between individuals reflect mainly cultural or economic rather than
> genetic factors."
>
>
>
>
>
>
> The bringing up of cranial-measurement people, "The Bell Curve", etc.
> is a straw-man argument.
>
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-- 
--Naveen

"Merciless criticism and independent thinking are the two necessary traits
of revolutionary thinking."  -- Bhagat Singh



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