Re: Buzzwords (was)Judging Beauty (the sociobiological big three!)

From: Michael LaTorra (
Date: Sun May 07 2000 - 18:25:00 MDT wrote:

>OK I assert that fashionable trendy stuff is a-priori research gone a
>wack. I mean things like Bell Curve, Howard Gardner, Selfish Gene,
>IQ, etc.
>It doesn't mean it's not USEFUL nor does it mean it does not contain SOME
>: ) It is just questionable as to whether it shows the whole picture, the
>*complete* truth. It's skewed. Extremely suspect. They start with the idea
>justification, not pure research. They all have ramifications on social
>order. That is why so many react emotionally to these theories. If the
>thing reflects YOUR particular justification, you are likely to believe it.
>If not, it's utter horse dookie.
>Steven J. Gould has a good book out about brain size and intelligence,
>was a fashionable scientific theory for a while...

Oh, I agree completely. But please do not exempt Gould from the category of
thinkers whose theories are made to fit the social ramifications they
prefer. Gould's scientific work is not generally held in high regard by
other paleontologists. His trendy politics are another story. Since, as he
once said in an interview, he "learned [his] Marxism at [his] father's knee"
many people - although I would hope few on THIS list! - are willing to
overlook the weakness of his theories.

Michael LaTorra

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