Recently, we noted that Darwinian biologist Jerry Coyne had taken the risk of protesting, at his blog Why Evolution Is True, a recent claim in a mainstream medium that “I am of Indian origin. My parents [were] born in India. But if I were to randomly pick a South Asian person on the street and randomly pick a white, Canadian person on the street and test their genomes, it’s perfectly statistically possible for my genome to have more in common with a white person than with the Indian person. That’s how almost complete that overlap is. So we are incredibly similar as a species, and the vast majority of difference that we see is accounted for by individual difference.” That didn’t sound like it could possible be correct to him and he took the risk of saying so.
Our physics color commentator Rob Sheldon offers some thoughts:
“Woke” science is bad science and heavily biassed toward PC answers while abusing the data. What perhaps Coyne doesn’t appreciate, is that the same methods used by woke science are used by Darwinist science, and indeed by any science captured by an ideology. Therefore the danger is not that they arrive at the wrong conclusion, but rather that this infectious method so permeates academia, that when the goals change, say, as in Germany in 1933, the method quickly adapts to producing the “correct” output. Coyne doesn’t know it, but his own ideological preferences are ruining the methodology of his own field of study.
Second, Lewontin himself has been taken to task for arguing against the notion of race. A fascinating white paper on the late Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza calls him “a bird in a gilded cage”, because his pioneering research into human genetics caused him to be an outcast of the genetics field, since it supported Darwin’s idea of racial differences (when everyone was trying to whitewash Darwin). Meanwhile, Lewontin’s (erroneous) work denying race caused him to rise to a full professorship at Harvard.
Coyne was a graduate student of Lewontin, and surprised me by calling out his advisor for bad logic, despite that fact Lewontin was a 1980’s version of “woke” genetics!
Third, somebody, somewhere is smart enough to figure out that the way to take over a field of study is to pervert its methodology. In the case of “woke” genetics, it is the effort to whitewash Darwin’s racism that leads to these bad papers. Coyne’s message is clear—the cure can be worse than the disease. We could cure Covid, as some cartoonists suggest, the way Kim Jong Un cures Covid and rebellious thoughts. But once we allow this type of methodology, it can be easily turned on its owners later on. Coyne needs to be made aware that, like Lewontin, he is being used by nefarious powers. He only thinks he’s in control, when in fact, he is a tool of the state.
Fourth, if, as Coyne suggests, everyone knows that Lewontin is wrong, then why isn’t Cavalli-Sforza being rehabilitated?
See also: Jerry Coyne on genetics and race. If Saini is Woke and Correct, her output doesn’t need to make sense. That’s what the last twenty years of higher education have largely been about. Jerry’s attempt to correct the errors is creditable but he is facing a tsunami. You can’t correct a tsunami. One hopes this kind of thing doesn’t end badly for him. He doesn’t deserve that.