Re: Replacing babies

Bruce D. Scott (
10 May 1995 11:27:38 GMT

[Chapman at it again?? I took the alt.terrorism.american stuff out]

Bryant ( wrote:


: He is *not* presenting a sociobiological argument. Sociobiology is the
: study of the evolutionary basis for animal behavior. No moral implications
: or positions have ever been argued or supported by sociobiological
: research, because scientific "are's" have no direct translation into
: moral "ought's"... His argument smacks of Social Darwinism, a quite
: different creature.

I just wanted to say I am rather glad someone else -- someone serious --
said this before Gil got the chance to blame the whole thing on me.

The fact that people in the media and their consumers grasp misrepresented
versions of a field of scientific inquiry does not discredit that field of
scientific inquiry. But it does devolve upon the scientists an urgent need
to explain clearly to the rest of the culture what their study actually
says. Otherwise, other people with interests of their own will do it for
them. Gil, _that_ is why Harris took so much trouble to speak directly to
the whole culture, not to write fluffy paperbacks. Same for Jared Diamond,
and same for Sarah Hrdy (who are sociobiologists; note that Harris is not).

As Bryant states, sociobiology is _not_ Social Darwinism, and
sociobiological research itself does not state anything about the moral
status of a given state of affairs. Therefore, I would add, it is false to
ascribe to it a political agenda.

Dr Bruce Scott The deadliest bullshit is
Max-Planck-Institut fuer Plasmaphysik odorless and transparent -- W Gibson