Darwinism Intelligent Design Racism

At Skeptic mag: Colleague defends Darwinian great E. O. Wilson from accusations of racism

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Well, what goes around comes around, as they say:

And now this from Skeptic Magazine, from a long-time collaborator with E. O. Wilson:

The point is I never found one statement in his writings that would indicate that Ed Wilson followed a racist ideology. This was the invention, or rather the falsehood, created by the International Committee Against Racism (INCAR), members of which physically attacked Ed at the beginning of an invited lecture he was to deliver at a meeting of the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science). This is intellectual fascism. In fact, even Lewontin made clear that Wilson is not a racist. As Lewontin said in an interview with The Harvard Crimson on December 3, 1975: “Sociobiology is not a racist doctrine, but any kind of genetic determinism can and does feed other kinds, including the belief that some races are superior to others. However, this is very far from Wilson’s intuition. Because Wilson is concerned with the universals of human nature — his chief point is that we are all alike.”

Bert Hölldobler, “Self-Righteous Vigilantism in Science” at Skeptic Magazine (April 5, 2022)

Wait. Excising racism from Darwinism is like trying to get the wet out of water. If we are all merely evolved apes, some may indeed be more evolved than others. The traditional stories preclude that by declaring that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” But all that involves precisely what Darwinism denies.

And about Wilson’s support for genuine racist, Canadian Philippe Rushton (1943–2012)?

Having now looked at the work by Rushton with greater attention, it is clear to me that Ed could not have paid much scrutiny to Rushton’s work but rather was motivated by the impression he got from Rushton’s own description of his plight, namely, that he was being persecuted by far-left wing ideologues, as Wilson himself had been after publication of Sociobiology. Note too that Rushton had strong academic credentials as a former John Simon Guggenheim Fellow and a fellow of the Canadian Psychological Society. Nevertheless, Ed’s recommendation of a manuscript submitted by Rushton to the journal Ethology and Sociobiology, in which Rushton wrongly applied Wilson’s r-K selection model, was in my opinion a serious misjudgment. When Wilson encouraged Rushton to pursue this line of investigation and advised him not to be discouraged, at one point warning him “the whole issue would be clouded by personal charges of racism to the point that rational discussion would be almost impossible,” my guess is that Wilson’s response was colored by his own and painful experience and decision to continue with his work despite vicious attacks from Science for the People, rather than an in-depth examination of the of Rushton’s paper. If we could ask Ed today, I am sure he would say: “I made a mistake, I was wrong.” But a misjudgment made when reviewing a paper for a journal does not make Ed Wilson a racist or a promoter of race science!

Bert Hölldobler, “Self-Righteous Vigilantism in Science” at Skeptic Magazine (April 5, 2022)

But again, wait. Racism wasn’t an incidental, culturally conditioned element in Rushton’s work. It appears to have been the point of it. If the great E. O. Wilson couldn’t see that, the likely explanation is that elements in Darwinism blinded him to what was pretty obvious to most of Rushton’s fellow Canadians. And why is that?

Anyway, if interested, you might wish to read the above in light of:

People who doubt “evolution” are more likely to be racist? Reader’s comment on the study: The principle that isolation breeds prejudice against the “other” is a truism. And you could find evidence supporting this truism from very different groups. If you surveyed attitude of ivory tower types you’d find similar prejudiced against conservative religious groups you’d find similar discriminatory attitudes. Why? Because those evolutionary secular academic types who accept human evolution have very little contact with conservative religious people.

and

E. O. Wilson and racism: The smoking gun is found. Some have dismissed the findings but others say they fit a pattern. From Schulson’s story: “I don’t really care that Wilson had racist ideas, because I know pretty much all of the people that I dealt with, when I was coming up through the science system, had racist ideas,” said [evolutionary biologist Joseph] Graves, who in 1988 became the first Black American to receive a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology. “Wilson was just one of many.” Oh. And remember, Wilson was supposed to be the second Darwin. Funny no one talks about that now.

One Reply to “At Skeptic mag: Colleague defends Darwinian great E. O. Wilson from accusations of racism

  1. 1
    Silver Asiatic says:

    If the great E. O. Wilson couldn’t see that, the likely explanation is that elements in Darwinism blinded him to what was pretty obvious to most of Rushton’s fellow Canadians. And why is that?

    Good point and good question. “Blinded” is the word that especially caught my attention. It’s not necessarily blaming a person, but just noting a reality that any of us can fall victim of.

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