Re: Replacing babies (was Re: PROPOSAL: Alt.terriorism.american)

Gil Hardwick (
Thu, 11 May 1995 02:27:34 GMT

In article <3oivls$>, Bryant ( writes:
>What a shame. The Big Bang, various threads on whether or no God exists,
>and other nonsense gets extended play here at sci.anthro, but you refuse
>to share your expertese on a misguided line of "Darwinian" (Spencerian)
>thinking to which many laypeople subscribe. As a member of the academy,
>I thought that part of our mission is to contribute to the general

The only reason these others have managed to get "extended play" here
is because the particular vermin persisting so haven't quite got the
message yet.

That we suffer a plague of fleas, however, is not a valid argument
for re-introducing the same plague of roaches periodically visited
upon us.

On the other hand, were you people seriously interested in working
through the various arguments, you can surely approach us seeking our
advice and counsel in the proper manner.

>Mike, Eric doesn't own the Internet. He can ignore your thread just like
>he can ignore the ones about cosmology and mysticism, if he's so
>inclined. It's important that rational arguments be presented to a
>public all to eager to buy into Spencerian rationalizations for immoral
>behavior. I, like you, would have thought that anthropologists would
>have an interest in contributing to such arguments. They're more than
>willing to characterize human sociobiologists' research as dangerous and
>wrong; I cannot imagine why they would attack you for inviting
>contributions regarding social Darwinism.

No, Eric does not "own the Internet", and neither do I. We both merely
insist that this particular newsgroup of the Usenet science hierarchy
assigned to anthropology, remain set aside to that purpose.

If you seriously wish to invite our "contributions regarding social
Darwinism", surely you will be as seriously content to approach us in
the proper manner.

Insisting that "they're willing to characterise human sociobiologists
research as dangerous and wrong" as hardly a good place to start in
making such an approach. The fact merely remains that the discourse of
this "sociobiology" is tautological in the extreme. The arguments are
derived only from secondary and tertiary sources, and as such do not
even rank as valid scientific theory in the first place.

Your whinging and moaning here that you have no scientific standing is
surely no valid criticism of mainstream anthropology. It is a credit
to our disciplined enquiry and rigid standards of data analysis, in
fact, that we have exposed your humbug and pretence. And shall no
doubt continue to do so through all of our generations.

That the "public" are "eager to buy into Spencerian rationalisations
for immoral behaviour" is no goad. We know already that only a few of
the more extreme political elements subscribe to such nonsense; we
know too that the vast majority of people out there are thoughtful
and sensible people.

We but need continue with what we are doing already, yes?