Re: Patriarchy: Re: What Matriarchy?

Bryant (
15 Aug 1996 10:17:39 -0600

In article <>,
Stephen Barnard <> wrote:
>>Another very influential theoretical biologist who deserves more popular
>>recognition is John Maynard Smith. It doesn't hurt that he has leftist
>>politics, so his motives are less likely to be questioned.

Interesting, how many sociobiologists and fellow travelers, far from
being the reactionaries folks like Gould assert they are, express leftist

Haldane was a Communist, which may actually have been why, even after his
wry comment that he'd give up his life for "three full sibs or six first
cousins" (hope I got that right), he never developed inclusive fitness
theory. I think that Haldane probably understood the explanatory power of
altruism toward relatives contained in his joke, but as a communist, probably
didn't feel to comfortable explaining human altruism in that (genetically
selfish) manner. Maybe I'm wrong: in his essay "So Cleverly Kind an
Animal," even Gould concedes the explanatory power of inclusive fitness
theory in explaining human kindness.

Earlier (this year?), Joel was venerating Gould as a progressive and
slamming (black panther sympathizer) Robert Trivers as an "imperialist" or
"reactionary" right-winger because of his large role in the development of
human sociobiology. It was classic timing on Joel's part: as he wrote about
the Saintly Gould and Demonic, Reactionary Trivers, Gould was sitting on
his ass in Harvard while Trivers immunized poor children in the Jamaican

I worked for another supposedly reactionary "bad guy" of sociobiology,
Randy Thornhill, for a couple of years. I'm sitting below his Dr. Martin
Luther King poster, right now, in his lab. I found his politics to be
left of my own fairly liberal views. I wonder if there *are* any
right-wing sociobiologists, come to think of it.