Unfocused claims of “racism” are a familiar Woke tactic for destroying careers and reputations and they are only beginning to hit Darwinians, so now we read:
Scientific American has hit rock bottom with this new op-ed that is nothing more than a hit piece on Ed Wilson, basically calling him a racist.
It is written by someone who apparently has no training in evolutionary biology, though she says she “intimately familiarized [herself] with Wilson’s work and his dangerous ideas on what factors influence human behavior.” I usually don’t question someone because of their credentials, but this piece is so stupid, so arrantly ignorant of Wilson’s work, that I can attribute its content only to a combination of ignorance (perhaps deliberate) or a woke desire to take down someone as a racist who wasn’t a racist. Or both.
In fact, the piece below could have been written by any social-justice ideologue, for its real aim is more than smearing Wilson; it;s also to change the nature of scienceJerry Coyne, “Scientific American does an asinine hit job on E. O. Wilson, calling him a racist” at Why Evolution Is True (December 30, 2021)
From the piece:
His influential text Sociobiology: The New Synthesis contributed to the false dichotomy of nature versus nurture and spawned an entire field of behavioral psychology grounded in the notion that differences among humans could be explained by genetics, inheritance and other biological mechanisms. Finding out that Wilson thought this way was a huge disappointment, because I had enjoyed his novel Anthill, which was published much later and written for the public.
Wilson was hardly alone in his problematic beliefs. His predecessors—mathematician Karl Pearson, anthropologist Francis Galton, Charles Darwin, Gregor Mendel and others—also published works and spoke of theories fraught with racist ideas about distributions of health and illness in populations without any attention to the context in which these distributions occur.Monica R. McLemore, “The Complicated Legacy of E. O. Wilson” at Scientific American (December 29, 2021)
Sharp intake of breath here. Why didn’t anyone see all that before? Don’t say we didn’t warn them. All we got for our trouble was blather about Darwin opposing slavery, as if that were difficult when slavery had been abolished throughout the British Empire for most of his life. Imagine comparing Darwin to the brave white Americans who helped slaves escape despite the Fugitive Slave Laws!
But Coyne is right in thinking that the ultimate Woke goal is that “any social-justice ideologue” will rule over scientists:
I really can’t go on, except to add two things. First, McLemore herself is being unscientific in accusing “problematic” Ed Wilson of racism without mentioning one bit of evidence. And MENDEL??? There is no scholarship involved in this piece, and, in the end defaming Wilson seems like merely an excuse for McLemore to vent her ill-considered antiracist views of science on the readers of Scientific American.
Finally, the really problematic people today are not Ed Wilson; they are people like McLemore herself, who simply ignores evidence, makes misleading statements about scientists, and accuses science of being structurally racist in a way for which only she knows the cure. It is people like her who are not only defacing and distorting history, but trying to change the face of science from being a set of tools to investigate nature into a set of ideological practices to achieve Social Justice.Jerry Coyne, “Scientific American does an asinine hit job on E. O. Wilson, calling him a racist” at Why Evolution Is True (December 30, 2021)
Yes, Jerry. Exactly.
Piano, piano, piano drop head. And you helped set the tone.
Sadly, the readers of Scientific American may be fighting tooth and claw to be first to lap it all up.
Some of us predict that most Darwinians will roll over and beg. They don’t really believe in truth anyway, not in an ultimate sense. They believe in what survives. And Woke is thriving just now compared with truth.
We’d like to be wrong. But let’s see.
You may also wish to read: “Darwin’s heir” E. O. Wilson remembered for ants; sociobiology is sidelined. Had Wilson’s career begun fifty years later, it would have been quickly and fatally Woked.