Re: Race, Science, & Political Correctness

Phil Nicholls (
Sat, 30 Nov 1996 02:43:10 GMT

Bob Whitaker <> wrote:

> As I keep repeating, you are saying that the fact that Scientific
>Antropoly at any moment is ALWAYS politically correct just happens to be
>one of the great happy perfect coincidences of human history. I think
>that's absurd.

Well, Bob, the fact that you continue to repeat something does not
make it more true. You seem to regard any kind of critique of
western culture as "political correctness, " rather than the more
narrow usage of that term popularized by D'Souza and others.

Scientific Anthropology is always engaged in cultural critique because
that is one of the two things it is supposed to do.

> As I keep repeating, Franz Boas went from a bit a joke to
>anthropologists in 1939 to The Only True Anthropologist in 1945. By a
>happy coincidence, there was a war in that period, which made the Boas
>conclusion de rigeur if Scientific Anthropology was to reamin
>Politically Correct.

Again, repetition does not improve truth content.

Franz Boas established the first department of anthropology in the
America in 1888. In 1892 he was the chief assistant in anthropology
at the Chicago Exposition. The Field Museum in Chicago grew out of
that exposition. Between 1901 and 1905 he was curator of
anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History. In 1910 he
established the Internation School of Amercian Archaeology and
Ethnology. By 1936 he had retired and he died in 1942.

By 1945 American Anthropology had moved well beyond Boas. Boas shaped
the early years of anthopology in this country. At no time was he
regarded as a joke nor was he every regarded as the ONLY
anthropologists. By 1945 Alfred Kroeber, Robert H. Lowie, Edward
Sapir, Ruth Benedict, Ralph Linton and Leslie White AND MANY OTHERS
had all made their marks on American anthropology with ideas very
different from those of Boas.

> By a wild coincidence, that was the VERY period when Science marched on
>and made Boas scientific Truth.
> What utter crap.
> Anthropology gives the side it's paid to give.

Utter crap is a rather good explanation of your revisionist approach
to the history of anthropology. Since you can't even get the
chronology straight, why do you think anyone should accept your
treatment of ideas, even if you "keep repeating" them.

Phil Nicholls
"To ask a question, you must first know
most of the answer." Robert Sheckley