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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

SJW science

Whether they call themselves scientists or science fiction writers, the lesson, as always, is this: SJWs always lie. Robert Trivers writes about Stephen Jay Gould, an evolutionary biologist he quickly learned was strongly inclined towards intellectual fraudulence and faux scientific fakery:
Many of us theoretical biologists who knew Stephen personally thought he was something of an intellectual fraud precisely because he had a talent for coining terms that promised more than they could deliver, while claiming exactly the opposite....

Recently something brand new has emerged about Steve that is astonishing. In his own empirical work attacking others for biased data analysis in the service of political ideology—it is he who is guilty of the same bias in service of political ideology. What is worse—and more shocking—is that Steve’s errors are very extensive and the bias very serious. A careful reanalysis of one case shows that his target is unblemished while his own attack is biased in all the ways Gould attributes to his victim. His most celebrated book (The Mismeasure of Man) starts with a takedown of Samuel George Morton. Morton was a scientist in the early 19 th Century who devoted himself to measuring the human cranium, especially the volume of the inside, a rough estimate of the size of the enclosed brain. He did so meticulously by pouring first seeds and then ball bearings into skulls until they were full and then pouring them out and measuring their volume in a graduated cylinder. He was a pure empiricist. He knew brain size was an important variable but very little about the details (indeed, we do not know much more today). He thought his data would bear on whether we were one species or several, but in any case he was busy creating a vast trove of true and useful facts.

I love these people—they work for the future and gather data whose logic later generations will reveal. Precisely because they have no axes to grind or hypotheses to prove, their data are apt to be more reliable than the first wave after a new theory. I have benefitted from them in my own life, most memorably when I was shown a large and accurate literature on ratios of investment in 20 ant species, gathered long before anyone appreciated why these facts might be of some considerable interest, as indeed they were.

In any case, Morton grouped his data by population according to best estimates of gross relatedness, Amerindians with Amerindians, Africans with Africans, Nordic Europeans with Nordic, and so on. It is here, Gould alleged, that all sorts of errors were made that supported preconceived notions that among the smaller cranial capacity (and therefore stupider)) peoples would be Amerindians and Africans. For example, Gould claimed that Morton made more subgroups among Nordic people than tropical ones, thus permitting more of them to be above norm, but in fact, the opposite was true. Morton reported more Amerindian subsamples than European and routinely pointed out when particular Amerindian subsamples were as high or higher than the European mean, facts that Gould claimed Morton hid.

In other cases, Gould eliminates all samples with less than four individuals in order to reduce the number of sub-samples with only one sex—a statistically meaningless goal but one that happened to be biased in his favor and permitted him to make additional errors in his favor by arbitrarily eliminating some skulls while including others. If you are comparing group means, you may not wish to use means of less than four, but if you are adding up sub-samples to produce a larger sample, there is no reason not to aggregate all data. Morton is made to look careless and incorrect when it is really Steve who is arbitrarily biasing things in his own favor.

There is an additional contrast between Morton and Gould worth noting. To conjure up Morton’s mistakes, Gould lovingly describes the action of unconscious bias at work: “Morton, measuring by seed, picks up a threateningly large black skull, fills it lightly and gives a few desultory shakes. Next, he takes a distressingly small Caucasian skull, shakes hard, and pushes mightily at the foramen magnum with his thumb. It is easily done, without conscious motivation; expectation is a powerful guide to action.” Indeed it is, but careful re-measures show that Morton never made this particular mistake—only three skulls were mis-measured as being larger than they were and these were all either Amerindian or African.

The same can’t be said of Gould. He came across distressingly objective data of Morton, and by introducing biased procedures (no sample size below four) he was able to get appropriately biased results. And by misrepresenting the frequency of Nordic vs Amerindian subpopulations, he was able to create an illusion of bias where none existed, by mere emphatic assertion (no one bothered to check).

Where are the unconscious processes at work here? Is Steve flying upside-down on auto-pilot, unconsciously making the choices (substitute Nordic for Tropical, delete all samples smaller than four) that will invite the results he wants while hiding his bias? Is the conscious organism really completely in the dark while all of this is going on? Hard to imagine—but at the end the organism appears to be in full self-deception mode—a blow-hard fraudulently imputing fraud, with righteous indignation, coupled with magnanimous forgiveness for the frailties of self-deception in others.

In response to the criticism of Lewis et al, the keeper of Gould’s Tomb—his longtime editor at Natural History, Richard Milner—had some choice comments in defense of Stephen. Gould acted with “complete conviction and integrity” (that is, with full self-deception). “He was a tireless crusader against racism in any form.” (In what way is misrepresenting the true facts about population differences—and then hiding this misrepresentation—a contribution to anti-racism?) And then, fully in flight, he says that any bias was “on the side of the angels”. Who of us is in any position to say what is on the side of the angels? We barely know what is in our own self-interest.
Quelle surprise. Anti-racism is intrinsically anti-science.

Labels: ,

50 Comments:

Blogger Jim April 28, 2015 12:07 PM  

“He was a tireless crusader against racism in any form.”

Which is really the most damning statement, isn't it? Milner is saying that Gould had a preset conclusion, and tirelessly worked to reach that conclusion.

Blogger Crowhill April 28, 2015 12:22 PM  

Vox, I assume you've read That Hideous Strength.

In the article you cite above, a little further down than the part you quote, is this.

***
“Throughout the history of modern biology there has been a confusion between two basic questions about organisms: the problem of the origin of differences and the problem of the origin of state. At first sight these seem to be the same question, and taken in the right direction, they are. After all, if we could explain why each particular organism has its particular form, then we would have explained, pari passu, the differences between them. But the reverse is not true. A sufficient explanation of why two things are different may leave out everything needed to explain their nature.”
***

As I read that, for some reason I felt I was reading a press release from the N.I.C.E. :-)

Anonymous indpndnt April 28, 2015 12:25 PM  

The world needs Christianity more than ever. Without rooting human value in God, it will be rooted in whatever the popular utilitarianism of the day is. I will shift and change without end, or mercy.

What does this have to do with science and anti-racism? People who run scared and try to disprove scientific 'racism' are tacitly expressing beliefs that human value and dignity come from intelligence/chess championship counts/cranium size/etc.

This is a major reason, I think, why SJWs always lie. They lie to protect utilitarian and selfish beliefs. They lie to prop up their own desires to be victims and to have the moral high ground that comes from that. To not lie would put them face to face with uncomfortable truths about the world that wouldn't make them precious snowflakes.

Blogger Poor Guy April 28, 2015 12:29 PM  

Sounds as if his defender even admits he was crusading against perceived racism rather than acting in the interest of science.

Blogger Russell April 28, 2015 12:29 PM  

Samuel George Morton sounds like a true scientist in the tradition of the Novum Organum. Measure, record, measure again. Collect reproducible results and document the process.

Gould is a 'scientist' in the tradition of the Origin of the Species, that is, note some observations, make up just-so stories to explain how your theory is right and everything not your theory is wrong, then call it science, followed by disqualifying anyone that disagrees.

What's that? No reproducible evidence for my theory you say? You, sir, are a cad, a drooling moron, sir. To prove my point, I'll mischaracterize everything you've done or said using a platform whereby you cannot rebuttal. If you are dead, so much the better for me. See? You're a cad. And a boor. Probably a Christian, too.

Anonymous Stickwick April 28, 2015 12:51 PM  

Geez, and here I thought Gould was one of the better, more honest ones amongst the Darwinists.

Why do these people lie? What is the point of deliberately placing yourself at odds with reality? Is it a form of mental illness? hatred of God? a lack of belief in objective reality? All of the above?

Anonymous Nutritious Fried Chicken April 28, 2015 12:56 PM  

Anti-racism is also intrinsically anti-white. Anti-racism efforts are only found in white countries, and only aimed at white people. The same can be said for diversity. Diversity is only demanded from white people living in white countries, because diversity is a code word for white genocide.

And all these anti-racist, anti-white ideologies form the foundation of modern liberalism and the religion of political correctness. Liberals can't afford to have their beliefs questioned, because their beliefs are based on such obvious lies that even the dimmest can see through them.

Blogger Alexander Thompson April 28, 2015 1:16 PM  

I remember this guy being mentioned on an episode of QI. He said there was no such thing as a fish in biology. There very clearly is, but the panal and host all just accepted it because a scientist said so.

There are the prophets of their religion after all and must never be questioned. (Even when disputing something even children know.)

Anonymous anonymous coward April 28, 2015 1:21 PM  

Anti-racism is also intrinsically anti-white.

Eh, no. Racism is even more anti-white.

Imagine for a second that science has, indeed, irrevocably proved that blacks are genetically inferior to whites. What then? There is nothing that SJW's love more than birth defects and abnormalities of all stripes. If blacks are genetically inferior, then privilege checking (affirmative action, forced miscegenation, etc.) will become a legal obligation, enforced with all strictness of law.

(They can't force us to privilege check right now because their love of degeneracy logically contradicts their belief in equality; however, eventually the love of degeneracy will win. This has already happened with 'gay rights', see the 'born this way' spiel.)

OpenID intbal April 28, 2015 1:38 PM  

I wouldn't even need to read Gould's argument.
His usage of "threateningly" and "distressingly" reveal the entirety of his personal beliefs. Beliefs which have proven over time to reliably predict behavior (much like the data Morton compiled).

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 April 28, 2015 1:41 PM  

Imagine for a second that science has, indeed, irrevocably proved that blacks are genetically inferior to whites. What then? There is nothing that SJW's love more than birth defects and abnormalities of all stripes. If blacks are genetically inferior, then privilege checking (affirmative action, forced miscegenation, etc.) will become a legal obligation, enforced with all strictness of law.

Sorry, but the opposite is true. SJWs will abort all those babies and sterilize both women and men if said group turned out to be inferior genetically.

Where do you think this notion of aborting children with Down Syndrome came from? Not from God-fearing men, that's for sure.

Anonymous The Obvious April 28, 2015 1:45 PM  

"Why do these people lie? What is the point of deliberately placing yourself at odds with reality?"

In Gould's case, his ethnic heritage biased the outcome that way.

Anonymous NateM April 28, 2015 1:46 PM  

That's about as close as biologists come to a bitch slap. What he describes is the primary problem with biology: there far fewer biologists who want to go out and do the work for the sake of creating more points of data for posterity than their are those like Gould who want to make grand pronouncements to add to their own prestige and doubty old frauds like Dawkins who claim to speak for science. That man is like the Lorax of bullshit

Anonymous Stilicho April 28, 2015 1:56 PM  

What is the point of deliberately placing yourself at odds with reality?

It's symbolic of his struggle against oppression:?

JUDITH: Here! I-- I've got an idea. Suppose you agree that he can't actually have babies, not having a womb, which is nobody's fault, not even the Romans', but that he can have the right to have babies.

FRANCIS: Good idea, Judith. We shall fight the oppressors for your right to have babies, brother. Sister. Sorry.

REG: What's the point?

FRANCIS: What?

REG: What's the point of fighting for his right to have babies when he can't have babies?!

FRANCIS: It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.

REG: Symbolic of his struggle against reality.

Blogger The Deuce April 28, 2015 2:00 PM  

Stickwick:

Why do these people lie? What is the point of deliberately placing yourself at odds with reality? Is it a form of mental illness? hatred of God? a lack of belief in objective reality? All of the above?

I suspect that for a lot of them, it has to do with a desire to avoid the ugliest implications of their worldviews, while keeping the implications of those worldviews that they like. They have reduced man to less than an animal in their minds, a mere meat machine, no different in their view from any other animal except that he happens to be more intelligent. And in their theories, man's intelligence is a mere quantitative difference from the lower animals, not a qualitative one, like an Intel Core i7 compared to a 386.

This view allows them to justify their lack of moral restraint (sexual restraint in particular), by providing a rationalization for moral relativism. However, it has the unspoken implication that if any group of humans is less intelligent than another group, they must be less human as well, and more like the inferior animals.

Most of these people have enough of a shred of human decency left that they are unsettled by the idea of unpersoning entire races in service of their ideology (and besides, they want to claim the civil rights struggle for themselves, even though their philosophy is opposed to it), but they don't want to abandon the ideology either, so they form dogmas that every single group MUST have exactly equal intelligence no matter what, and they viciously lash out at anyone who threatens that dogma.

Blogger Poor Guy April 28, 2015 2:14 PM  

Reality is oppression! That explains a lot. If we aren't "down with the struggle" against reality we are the enemies.

Blogger RobertT April 28, 2015 2:15 PM  

" it is he who is guilty of the same bias in service of political ideology. "

I discovered a long time ago, when people slander you, they're guilty of that specific slander themselves. If they say, "you're racist", they're racist. If they say, "you cheat", they cheat. Just look them in the eyes when they're slandering your and you can see the truth there. Although they seldom will look you in the eyes.

Anonymous anonymous coward April 28, 2015 2:38 PM  

What is the point of deliberately placing yourself at odds with reality? Is it a form of mental illness? hatred of God? a lack of belief in objective reality? All of the above?
They want to destroy the world; or, lacking the means to do that, at least destroy society.

The reasons for this are religious -- SJW's can be clearly traced back to old gnostic/manichean cults. ('The Demiurge' claptrap, etc.) SJW's are just a agnostic flavor of the same religious insanity.

Remember that SJW's don't have a political platform or a coherent viewpoint. They're driven by an ecstatic (religious) urge to watch the world burn, the political or logical 'arguments' they make are just ad-hoc rationalizations of their primal emotions.

(I'm live in Russia; here our SJW's are rabid anti-comminists and fervent pro-white racists. In all other respects and mannerisms they are just like your American SJW's. Don't try to find any logic in this; they just pick a political platform that they judge to be the most destructive to their host country. They don't really care about equality or race or justice.)

Blogger Danby April 28, 2015 2:42 PM  

"So, tell me, is your hair color symbolic of your struggle against the oppression of reality?"

Blogger darkdoc April 28, 2015 2:48 PM  

Why not be a SJW?

Evolutionary biology is fantasy and science fiction dressed as profound truth to explain make-believe of the finest scientific kind. I am exhausted trying to even talk to those people in my university.

Example: Here is a brown animal. It must be brown for this reason (insert here) because after all, even you can see that it is brown.

Blogger ScuzzaMan April 28, 2015 2:49 PM  

The irony is the Gould really was one of the more honest atheists, when it came to openly acknowledging that the fossils don't show what Darwin's theory (or the new synthesis) predicted, and thus the theory must be amended since science does not blame reality for failing to live up to theory.

Well, not in theory, anyway.

So he cadged the notion of punctuated equilibrium from cosmology, where it was invented ex nihilo (in an act of stunningly un-aware irony) by big bangers desperate to explain how their theory could be true and still be congruent with reality. It is, in fact, an enormous universal fudge factor. Gould was roundly criticised and pilloried by both sides. By the adamant gradualists amongst the Darwinists, for abandoning their god and worshiping at another altar, and by theists for inventing a "scientific theory" which posits that the process of evolution occurs so fast it leaves no evidence - as blatant a contradiction of empirically-driven theorising as one could imagine.

In short, he got the well-deserved and utterly predictable consequence of straddling the fence; he was impaled and set upon by both sides.

Nonetheless, for his eloquent rebuttal of the gradualists, I keep a warm soft spot for him in my bowel.

Anonymous vevets April 28, 2015 2:50 PM  

...not attempting to hijack the thread, but Oh! how I wish someone would scrutinize Noam Chomsky's writings in this same manner. I HATE that Chomsky's writings and political musings are,to the Left's Received Wisdom, as if they were holy writ.

Blogger Noah B April 28, 2015 3:01 PM  

"Why do these people lie? What is the point of deliberately placing yourself at odds with reality? Is it a form of mental illness? hatred of God? a lack of belief in objective reality? All of the above?"

All of that. Another way of saying the same thing is that he placed his ego about his professional reputation and personal beliefs above the search for truth.

Blogger Eric April 28, 2015 3:20 PM  

I suspect that for a lot of them, it has to do with a desire to avoid the ugliest implications of their worldviews, while keeping the implications of those worldviews that they like.

Robert Putnam delayed publication of his trust research for three years because it was at odds with his politics. I guess it's to his credit he published at all instead of just burying the whole thing.

Anonymous Stickwick April 28, 2015 3:24 PM  

The Deuce: I suspect that for a lot of them, it has to do with a desire to avoid the ugliest implications of their worldviews, while keeping the implications of those worldviews that they like.

This confirms my suspicion that it ultimately comes down to a hatred/rejection of God, even if it's not explicit. There are no ugly implications for the Christian, biblical worldview, which is why we are much more willing to conform ourselves to reality than SJWs.

Blogger kh123 April 28, 2015 3:31 PM  

The enjoyable takeaway from all of this:

Gould was a lying windbag.

He was on the side of angels for missing more than just a few marbles.

His reading of "Nihil nisi bonum" as "Please ream me when I'm down, Sir Harvard."

Now reaping what he's sown, if only in writing.

There's a significant Santa Claus Factor to equalitarianism, and it is denied anytime an opposing viewpoint is voiced.

SJWs are Tumblr Skinheads.

There are no fish.

"Yes Virginia, this is brown."

There is a Lorax of Bullshit, and thy name is Dawkins.

Blogger Simon Alhazred April 28, 2015 3:41 PM  

"Hitler Painted Roses" -- No matter how good those paintings might be? I'll never buy one. Ever.

Or buy anything from any shop/venue/emporium that chooses to sell them. Ever.

According to the Supreme Court of the United States, money equals speech.

And that's how I'll exercise my freedom. By withholding cash from the sour grape little tin clowns who've chosen to stink-bomb a great institution and ruin the fun for all those who knew better than to invite them to the party in the first place.

That, my friends, is the ultimate power of the science fiction and fantasy community.

The only power we need.

Blogger kh123 April 28, 2015 3:50 PM  

...Speaking of the Santa Claus Factor.

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents April 28, 2015 3:56 PM  

Gould's discussion of the empirical work of Morton is really nothing more than an academic disqualify via the usual emotional statements.

DISQUALIFY is the first, and often only, tool of the SJW's. We must bear that in mind at all times.

I remember the whole punctuated equilibrium jazz; the idea that organisms evolve soooo fast they don't leave anything in the fossil record reminds me of the old joke about the man who saw purple elephants. When his friend demanded that he produce one, the reply was "Well, I can't, because they're shy. They don't want to be seen by people who won't believe in them".

Anonymous Stickwick April 28, 2015 3:57 PM  

Eric: Robert Putnam delayed publication of his trust research for three years because it was at odds with his politics. I guess it's to his credit he published at all instead of just burying the whole thing.

Too bad Charles Walcott didn't have that much integrity. He discovered the Burgess Shale fossils, and seemed to have immediately grasped their significance, because he collected tens of thousands of them. But as an avowed Darwinist (who also believed in God, interestingly enough), he could not bring himself to proclaim the obvious inference that they destroyed Darwin's theory, which is why he buried them in storage at the Smithsonian. They stayed there, unknown to anyone else, for something like 80 years, when a graduate student named Simon Conway Morris finally found them.

Gerald Schroeder argues that Walcott understood the implications of the Cambrian fossils, but didn't want to rock the boat of Darwinian evolution. In a twist of irony, it seems Gould took a different view, and accused Walcott of being too blinded by his worldview to understand the true significance of the fossils:

Like Wonderful Life [Gould's book], Conway Morris's book takes us through the story of Charles Doolittle Walcott's discovery of the Burgess Shale and his efforts to describe the animals revealed by the high level of preservation in this very special (but now by no means unique) location in the Canadian Rockies. Walcott was Gould's anti-hero, the paleontologist who shoehorned a whole range of bizarre Cambrian types into a few known categories, mostly arthropods. I have often wondered if Gould's attitude was influenced by the fact (which I found out from his book) that Walcott had masterminded the plan to blacklist Franz Boas's anti-racist anthropology within the American scientific community. Be that as it may, Gould's real complaint was that Walcott was blind to the obvious strangeness of the Burgess Shale creatures because he was committed to the orthodox view that the cone of evolutionary diversity must expand through time.

Blogger natschuster April 28, 2015 4:01 PM  

I would imagine that Gould guilty advocating for evolution, since it Evolution was used to justify racism, genocide, Nazism, and all kinds of really bad stuff. This was his way of trying to say, "Nuh uh, it wasn't us."

I was impressed with the way he went public with the fact that Heackel's faked embryo drawing were used as proof of evolution in textbooks fro a century. Between Heackel's fraud and punctuated equilibrium, I don't understand why he remained an evolutionist to the end.

Blogger Russell April 28, 2015 4:07 PM  

@Stickwick
"All of the above?"

Gould seems to be following in the footsteps of his master, Darwin.

At the very beginning of Origin of the Species, Darwin says:
"Altogether at least a score of pigeons might be chosen, which if shown to an ornithologist, and he were told that they were wild birds, would certainly, I think, be ranked by him as well-defined species. Moreover, I do not believe that any ornithologist would place the English carrier, the short-faced tumbler, the runt, the barb, pouter, and fantail in the same genus; more especially as in each of these breeds several truly-inherited sub-breeds, or species as he might have called them, could be shown him."

Got that? Ornithologists cannot tell the difference between wild birds and pigeons if they don't know already.

Shortly thereafter: "Great as the differences are between the breeds of pigeons, I am fully convinced that the common opinion of naturalists is correct, namely, that all have descended from the rock-pigeon"

Say what now? An appeal to consensus of naturalists outweigh classification of ornithologists? Just because Darwin agrees with the former?

All through the book he does this sort of nonsense. More than once Darwin does this sort of thing: "Natural Selection might do X", then a few sentences later he continues with a "Now that X is proven by NS we can blah blah..."

So Gould is following right along.

Look to the sources.

Anonymous BluntForceTrauma April 28, 2015 4:40 PM  

When I was an undergraduate at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, Stephen Jay Gould headlined an annual Nobel Conference on Evolution. His crowning moment was showing a slide of that familiar image of an ape gradually morphing into a striding Homo Sapiens. Except that he altered the image to devolve into an ape-like biblical Creationist with a large cross around his neck. Haw! Haw! Haw! So superior in intellect to us all!

My first realization that "science" was not entirely objective.

Anonymous BluntForceTrauma April 28, 2015 4:54 PM  

@Stickwick April 28, 2015 12:51 PM: Yes, SW, at least in Gould's case it was a hatred of God, or at least a warm, dripping disgust with Christianity. Surprising in the case I cited, since my college was in the constellation of private Lutheran colleges and should have been Christian-friendly. But it was of the liberal Lutheran persuasion and enjoyed mocking Bible Thumpers just as much as guest atheist biologists. The campus champlain was a pantheistic New Ager, for example.

Blogger LysanderSpooner April 28, 2015 5:17 PM  

Mortons original text: Craniaamericana

https://archive.org/stream/Craniaamericana00Mort#page/n19/mode/2up

Anonymous Darth Toolpodicus April 28, 2015 5:29 PM  

To add to the earlier, SJWs beholden to athiesm hold that man is nothing more than a really smart animal. It follows then that the very characteristic which defines man, should also measure man.

Instead of being just another physical characteristic of human beings, such as strength or agility; they equate intelligence with humanity itself. Those who have more of it are more human and those who have less are less human. For the SJW this feeds both their public anti-racist zeal and their private paternalistic racism in-fact.

Contrast with the Christian view that we are all made in God's image and have innate value by virtue of that, not because of our particular blend of traits. One could even argue a more strenuous obverse: that God may concern Himself more over the -4sd person than the +4sd person.

Anonymous BluntForceTrauma April 28, 2015 6:06 PM  

Don't overthink atheist professors. Don't over-psychoanalyze them. They want to sell books. They want speaking fees. They want tenure. Yes, they want adulation to stroke their egos. And co-eds to give them other strokes.

These frauds come up with the latest new controversy simply to make money. The simplest explanation is usually the correct one. Follow the money. There's no money in, "Yeah, what HE said."

Blogger bob k. mando April 28, 2015 6:49 PM  

Stickwick April 28, 2015 12:51 PM
Geez, and here I thought Gould was one of the better, more honest ones amongst the Darwinists.



that's funny. his fellows on the Left appear to have known the truth all along:
http://monthlyreview.org/2002/11/01/stephen-jay-gould/
What Does it Mean to Be a Radical?
...
Third, he was a consistent political activist in support of socialism and in opposition to all forms of colonialism and oppression.
...
What characterizes Steve Gould’s work is its consistent radicalism.

Blogger Sean April 28, 2015 6:49 PM  

vevets- while not a take down of his writings, I read a great book called Intellectuals by Paul Johnson that takes the person down. It does a great job taking the piss out of a lot of the so called intellectuals the left regards so highly. I found the chapter on Marx highly entertaining and sad that anyone would have given a man like that the time of day.

Blogger ScuzzaMan April 28, 2015 7:17 PM  

Sean

Just remember that function of the court intellectuals is to furnish **plausible-seeming** rationalisations for the existence of the court itself.

These dont have to withstand serious intellectual scrutiny; they are never intended for an audience capable of such.

To any serious thinker it is obvious the emperor has no clothes.

Blogger Sean April 28, 2015 7:25 PM  

ScuzzaMan. Makes sense to me. However as someone who had never read anything about Marx, it was startling what a wretched creature he was.

Blogger ray April 28, 2015 9:06 PM  

"And then, fully in flight, he says that any bias was “on the side of the angels”. Who of us is in any position to say what is on the side of the angels? We barely know what is in our own self-interest."


I'm sure I usually don't know what's in my self-interest. God handles that. Independence is an illusion.

So many 'big names' of our times were fakes, or just mediocre . . . trotted-out and trumpeted for adherence to their ideo-political religion. Sure, Gould and Co. were on the 'side of the angels'. Hey Barack is on the side of the angels too. A third of the truth is enough for the lie go down smooth.

Anonymous coyote April 28, 2015 9:50 PM  

dem angels dindu nuffin

Anonymous Discard April 28, 2015 10:29 PM  

IIRC, I saw a photo of Gould in his office with a picture of Karl Marx on the wall. He was just a Red, that's all.

BTW, IIRC, the L.A. Times took him down on August 10, 2011. As is usual in journalism, the money quote is the last one. The article ended with a couple biologists who called Gould a charlatan.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 28, 2015 11:17 PM  

Geez, and here I thought Gould was one of the better, more honest ones amongst the Darwinists.

I suspect that the better known a scientist's name, the lower the odds of his being honest. Like BluntForceTrauma said, they want to sell books. Or get grant dollars. Or speaking engagements. Maybe just cocktail party invitations.

There's a script and a narrative they have to support for all that, and that narrative doesn't jive with reality (if it did, there wouldn't be any need to reward people like Gould for supporting it).

How often do people really get paid to tell the truth? Especially the obvious truth? There's far more money to be made telling lies.

Anonymous Discard April 29, 2015 12:37 AM  

Jack Amok: I understand that Gould made a lot of money lecturing to leftists, telling them what they wanted to hear. A real dirtbag.

Anonymous The other robot April 29, 2015 12:44 AM  

I remember the whole punctuated equilibrium jazz; the idea that organisms evolve soooo fast they don't leave anything in the fossil record reminds me of the old joke about the man who saw purple elephants.

Well, as I recall, he used to talk a lot about allopatric speciation because it was thought that reproductive isolation was hard to achieve otherwise. With a bit of handwaving, I think he suggested that the intermediate fossils were rarely preserved etc.

However, recently it seems to have been discovered that a couple of Muntjac species have engaged in rapid and parallel chromosome reduction and sympatric speciation:

http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/17/9/1326.full

The other cute thing about one of the muntjac species is that females have all of 6 chromosomes while males have 7. It's pretty much the only way that a species could have an odd number of chromosomes.

All creatures great and small.

Blogger bob k. mando April 29, 2015 1:52 AM  

The other robot April 29, 2015 12:44 AM
However, recently it seems to have been discovered that a couple of Muntjac species have engaged in rapid and parallel chromosome reduction and sympatric speciation:



wait a cotton pickin minute. the muntjac is BOTH the ( possibly ) oldest species of deer AND is also the most quickly evolving ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muntjac
Muntjacs are the oldest known deer, thought to have begun appearing 15–35 million years ago
...
Muntjacs are of great interest in evolutionary studies because of their dramatic chromosome variations

and yet they STILL have pretty much the same appearance across their entire range?

shouldn't a species with a HIGHLY VARIABLE GENOME have evolved into SOMETHING ELSE by now?

Anonymous rho April 29, 2015 1:57 AM  

I first heard of Gould in regard to "punctuated equilibrium." It seemed like an answer constructed out of whole cloth to a problem. Elegant, but ephemeral.

I first liked Gould when he sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" on Ken Burns' Baseball. I didn't hold his politics or activism against him--we can both agree that baseball is swell.

That's about all that Gould has to offer to me, since he's dead now.

Blogger guest April 29, 2015 10:26 AM  

Evolutionary Biologists by definition are required to involve themselves with a large degree of story-telling. There isn't any empirical science to be had in this field of study. It's when biologists--especially those creating new medications, and physicians,start inventing or using false science, that life gets deadly.

Then there was Annie Dookhan who faked positive drug tests in Massachusetts. Her work affected the lives of 40,000 people on trial. Scary thing.

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