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Jerry Coyne weighs in on the Darwin and race controversy

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Allen Orr, my first Ph.D. student, has developed a thriving career as a popular book reviewer, and in this week’s New York Review of Books, he critique’s Nicholas Wade’s new book, A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race, and Human History.

I made a few comments on this book a few days ago, saying that it was in the main pretty bad, though one part, the presentation of the case for genetic differentiation of human populations, was not too bad. But Wade’s main thesis was that differences between human societies, as well as rapid changes within human societies, was due to evolutionary change mediated by natural selection. That latter contention, I claimed, had no evidence behind it, though Wade argued otherwise. I did not, and do not, recommend that you read the book

What’s really interesting is the comments.

See, the problem is that these people need to be pro-Darwin and anti-racism.

Darwin only had to be pro-Darwin.

It’s an interesting dance but the steps are pretty complex.

Note: The controersy has taken a weird turn because it turns out we are liberal creationists and everybody is a creationist now anyway. We thought we owned the sucker, but that just shows ya.

4 Replies to “Jerry Coyne weighs in on the Darwin and race controversy

  1. 1
    phoodoo says:

    I love this part of it, where Coyne (and Orr) quotes Wade, with his trademark condescension :

    “Readers should be fully aware that in chapters 6 through 10 they are leaving the world of hard science and entering into a much more speculative arena at the interface of history, economics and human evolution.”

    It perhaps would have been best if this sentence had been reprinted at the top of each page in chapters 6 through 10.At one moment, he will concede that he writes in a “speculative arena” and, at the next, he will issue pseudofactual pronouncements”

    Its pretty hilarious how Coyne and all the Darwinists can’t even recognize their own sloppy ammunition they use regularly, even when it is pointed at their own noses.

    The “speculative arena” . Oh please tell me more about that Jerry! Its a subject you certainly must know well. Where would Darwinism be without its “speculative arena”? hahaha

    Maybe Jerry can then expound on the atrocities of owning cats. Surely that would be no less hypocritical of him.

  2. 2
    phoodoo says:

    I think the “Speculative Arena” would be the perfect title for Coyne’s own blog.

    Who says one has to understand the title of one’s own blog to be able to write about it with such irony.

  3. 3
    Mung says:

    Seeing the vast number of species out there, it seems God himself is a liberal creationist.

  4. 4
    Timmy says:

    The differences that we observe between the “races” are microevolutionary, not Darwinian, and well within its limits given the time frame. Macroevolution does not come into play at all.

    Denying Darwin is one thing. Denying microevolution is something entirely different.

    People may well not want to embrace a microevolutionary explanation for “racial” differences, but it’s pure dishonesty to frame the discussion in terms of Darwin.

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