Should We “Stop Equating ‘Science’ With Truth”?
Damore’s heresy turns on innate differences between men and women that have never been noticed by anyone in the history of human life on the planet except him.
So, of course, the entire obsolescent traditional media melted down in shock. Heying:
Evolutionary biology has been through this, over and over and over again. There are straw men. No, the co-option of science by those with a political agenda does not put the lie to the science that was co-opted. Social Darwinism is not Darwinism. You can put that one to rest. There are pseudo-scientific arguments from the left. Gould and Lewontin, back in 1979, argued, from a Marxist political motivation, that biologists are unduly biased in favor of adaptive explanations, which managed to confuse enough people for long enough that evolutionary biology largely stalled out. And, perhaps most alarming, there are concerns that what is true might be ugly. Those who would impose scientific taboos therefore suggest that it is incumbent on scientists not to ask certain questions, for fear that we reveal the ugly. That, I posit, is what underlies the backlash against Damore’s memo.
To which science and scientists need to respond: the truth is not in and of itself oppressive. To the extent that selection has produced differences between groups, such as differences in interests between men and women, denying the reality of that truth is hardly a legitimate response. More.
Heying is struggling with a problem here that she may be reluctant to discuss. Darwinism is a naturalist metaphysic. People like Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett make that quite clear.
To the extent that Darwinism is a metaphysic, Social Darwinism was a logical outcome of Darwinism. And it gave rise to sociobiology, then in turn, evolutionary psychology.
Heying and I agree that Social Darwinism is bunk. I think its descendant sociologies are also bunk. But all of it is bunk with a family history.
Darwinians can’t just raise an army and Fix all the people who suspect that at once.
Heying’s best bet would be to quit being represented by people who see Darwinian evolution as a metaphysic. To just see evolution in general as the history of life, in which explicitly Darwinian evolution is one mechanism among others.
Differences between men and women are best discussed in an environment where evidence is accorded some respect. But that, unfortunately, is not the direction in which much of science is headed just now.
See also: A note on that fired Google engineer (a biology major)… The misrepresentations of this case in outmoded traditional media should wake us up, if we did not already know, that they are simply not useful sources of information anymore.
The evolutionary psychologist knows why you vote — and shop, and tip at restaurants
How naturalism rots science from the head down
Shift!: The Third Way of evolution is beginning to penetrate science-and-religion yawnfests
What the fossils told us in their own words