Re: Definition of Race

Rod Hagen (
Mon, 20 Feb 1995 11:58:23 +1000

In article <3hlcrf$>, (Jennifer Mansfield-Jones) wrote:

> In article <>,
> Gerold Firl <> wrote:
> >Last night I looked through the two books I own written by Gould; urchin in
> >the storm and pandas thumb - looking for some examples of flagrant and
> >outrageous ideologically based polemics. In all honesty, I couldn't find
> >any. I guess I overstated my case. What I found instead was a more
> Gould is silent at interesting points. One might expect that someone
> with his interests in genetics and history would be in an excellent
> position to offer a scathing analysis of Lysenkoism. I'm not aware
> of any such, though I may have missed something.

I don't know if Gould has written anything substantial on Lysenkoism, but
the following extract from "The Pandas thumb certainly seems to me to
qualify as scathing!

"When Lysencko began to advocate Lamarckian cures for the ills of Soviet
agriculture during the 1930's, he had not resuscitated a bit of early
ninteenth century nonsense, but a still respectable, if fast fading,
theory. Although this tidbit of historical information does not make his
hegemony, or the methods he used to retain it, any less appalling, it does
render the tale a bit less mysterious. Lysenko's debate with the Russian
Mendelians was, at the outset, a legitimate scientific argument. Later he
held on through fraud, deception, manipulation, and murder - that is the

(S.J. Gould, The Panda's Thumb,1980)

Rod Hagen