[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
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
as has Stephen Jay Gould

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

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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of revolutionary thinking."  -- Bhagat Singh

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