At Quillette, Brian Boutwell defends the concept of “race”:
Evolution, as it applies to the social sciences, would have also made the list some decades back. But pioneers like E.O. Wilson, Leda Cosmides, John Tooby, David Buss, Margot Wilson, and Martin Daly (as well as a number of others) have absorbed many punches and blows for us younger generation of scholars. Their efforts produced a sizeable evidentiary base regarding the role that evolutionary processes have played (and continue to play) in sculpting human psychology. Debates still rage, and controversies still exist, but nowadays arguing that natural selection played some role in molding human psychology will no longer jeopardize your career.
Huh? Far from thinking evolutionary psychology would jeopardize a career, we find it can legitimize almost any nonsense.
So this brings us back to the notion that race represents academia’s true Bermuda Triangle. Perhaps never has the topic of genetic ancestry been so important, yet despite its relevance, bright scholars continue to stay away from it in droves. Who can blame them, really? As John McWhorter has pointed out, screaming “racist” at every one who dives off into this topic has become a religious rite, of sorts. It will not matter how noble you think your motives are, if you factor in race as a variable, your actions are subject to impeachment, and your reputation may be sacrificed as a burnt offering to our new religion. More.
Isn’t “race” sort of like “species”?: Not nearly well-defined enough to be anything like science. And worse, sort of like a terrorist: Wired to blow up.
But then Darwin’s Explain-it-all was called The Origin of Species. Oh well, let’s see what happens at the Royal Society’s rethink evolution meet.
Is it legal to open a window in the meantime? One wonders if these people wouldn’t be the first to stomp on anyone who thinks the universe shows evidence of design.
See also: “Speciation” means what exactly? No one can define it but it is the basis of Darwinian evolution.
Neanderthal Man: The long-lost relative turns up again, this time with documents
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