Media Science

Well, Jogalekar finally got a chance to tell his story re what happened at Scientific American

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Anyone remember Scientific American may be run by Nature but it is now owned by Twitter?

Ashutosh Jogalekar, a reasonable science journalist, got dumped by Scientific American for reasons that were never clear. Via Scott aronson:

After reading my Facebook post, my friend Ashutosh Jogalekar was inspired to post an essay of his own. Ashutosh used to write regularly for Scientific American, until he was fired seven years ago over a column in which he advocated acknowledging Richard Feynman’s flaws, including his arrogance and casual sexism, but also understanding those flaws within the context of Feynman’s whole life, including the tragic death of his first wife Arlene. (Yes, that was really it! Read the piece!) Below, I’m sharing Ashutosh’s moving essay about E. O. Wilson with Ashutosh’s very generous permission. —Scott Aaronson

Scott Aarnanson, “The demise of Scientific American: Guest post by Ashutosh Jogalekar” at Shtet;e-optiomzed

Read it. Think for yourself. Who else is going to think for you?

Note: At the time, We thought the whole business it had something to do with racism.

3 Replies to “Well, Jogalekar finally got a chance to tell his story re what happened at Scientific American

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    At this point the people who want real news have already figured out that the networks with “news” in their names are the opposite of news. The people who want real science have already figured out that the “science” named journals are the opposite of science. Real journalists are leaving the sinking ship of “news” media quickly, and real science writers are doing the same for “science” media. The problem is self-balancing.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Evolution News and Views recently posted an article on Wilson. It is very respectful in its tone towards Wilson.

    The issue the article had with Wilson is that Wilson himself, via his belief that humans are purely material beings with no free will, undermined his own moral argument that we should strive for “the greatest goal of all time, the unity of the human race.”

    Remembering E. O. Wilson and Sociobiology – Richard Weikart – January 4, 2022
    Excerpt: Behavior, Morality, Religion
    Wilson believes that everything about humans — behavior, morality, and even religion — is ultimately explicable as the result of completely material processes. Even our most deeply held beliefs are simply products of mindless evolutionary processes inscribed on our gray matter: “Perhaps, as I believe, it [religion] can all eventually be explained as brain circuitry and deep, genetic history.”8 Wilson admits that he is a reductionist, and he exudes optimism that scientists will someday explain everything about human behavior.,,,
    No Ultimate Meaning or Purpose
    This problem permeates Wilson’s most recent book, The Meaning of Human Existence (2014), too. Therein Wilson explains that there is no ultimate meaning or purpose in life. Rather, he asserts, the only meaning we have is that we are the product of mindless evolutionary processes.,,,
    ,,, Interestingly, Wilson explains that this freedom gives us options that “empower us to address with more confidence the greatest goal of all time, the unity of the human race.”12
    Living a Lie
    But why should this human unity be our goal? Wilson explains that everything that makes us human, including morality and religion, is the product of chance mutations and natural selection. He explains that both selfishness and altruism arose through natural selection, because each, in its own way, contributed to human survival and reproduction. He also argues that religion is a trait produced by the evolutionary process. Thus he understands both religion and morality as illusions in the human mind that helped us in earlier phases of evolutionary history. But in modern society, he argues, religion is no longer beneficial, but harmful, so we should dispense with it altogether and face up to the reality that religion is a pernicious fiction. However, while encouraging us to bravely face our loneliness in the cosmos, Wilson is unwilling to jettison his own illusion that he admits was put on him by his evolutionary past: morality. I heartily say amen to Wilson’s moral desire to forge the “unity of the human race,” but given his own worldview, I do not understand why Wilson thinks that he should fight for one illusory product of his evolutionary heritage — morality — at the expense of the other — selfishness. In the end, Wilson is — if his worldview is correct — just as much living a lie as those religionists that he castigates.13
    https://evolutionnews.org/2022/01/remembering-e-o-wilson-and-sociobiology/

  3. 3
    aarceng says:

    What I found interesting about Sci Am’s article on E.O. Wilson is that it had almost nothing to say about E.O. Wilson. It was really just a starting point for McLemore to make ideological statements.
    (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-complicated-legacy-of-e-o-wilson/)

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