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Maybe They’re On To Something, After All

I’ve often criticized sociobiology in the past; in part because I regard it as a pseudoscientific screen for reactionary politics, and in part because I regard some of its key goals as conceptually incoherent, and as depending onthe deadly combination of a crude form of determinism and a crude form of scientistic positivism in its underlying motives, and in the typical content of the explanations that issue from sociobiological accounts.

photo: Howling Baboon

Welcome to my neighborhood.

Indeed, I’d intended to write another post tonight ragging on sociobiology–this time, in the context of a laughable flight of fancy entitled Adam’s Curse, which I discovered through ms.musings. But I’m going to shelve that for a little while–because, while I’m certainly not entirely convinced, I’m beginning to think that maybe, just maybe, the sociobiologists are onto something. Empirical evidence has led me to wonder whether it is a productive programme after all: specifically, there seem to be an excessively high number of people in my neighborhood who sound just like howling baboons on a nature documentary.

God I hate Friday nights in a college town.

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1 reply to Maybe They’re On To Something, After All Use a feed to Follow replies to this article

  1. Martin Striz

    The Y chromosome did in fact deteriorate for tens of millions of years, but the point is that it long ago reached a size where every gene left is absolutely vital for the differentiation of males, and therefore what’s left is highly concerved. The author’s hypothesis is predicated on the idea that the Y chromosome continues to deteriorate, and will continue in the future, but an analysis of conserved syntenies between modern mammals shows that the Y chromosome hasn’t deteriorated much in the last 50 to 100 million years. That being said, this isn’t really relevant to sociobiology, nor is sociobiology in EO Wilson’s sense a robust view anymore.

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