Re: evolution everywhere?

Stephen Barnard (
Tue, 10 Sep 1996 20:34:56 -0800

Shannon Adams wrote:
> Stephen Barnard wrote:
> >


> >
> > You are absolutely right. Anthropology as it exists today has no
> > predictive power at all. It therefore does not deserve to called a
> > science, despite the fact that this is sci.anthropology.
> Isn't that why it is a *social science* instead of a *natural science*?

A social science can at least attempt to be predictive. Economics does. It often
fails, but it sometimes succeeds.

> >
> > It seems to me that Anthropology (with the big A) is largely conducted
> > by a bunch of assistant professors scrambling aboard the latest
> > political bandwagon, or by tenured professors defending their turf
> > against interlopers from more rigorous fields.
> Probably true (about the defending their turf, the assistant prof. comment
> was a little mean don't you think). But aren't you defending your turf.
> Trying to keep *science* clean, pure and HARD?

I don't have any turf to defend. I have no professional relationship to Anthropology.
I'm just an interested bystander.

The assistant-professor crack may have been a little mean, but it was a little true,

> >
> > This is all a tempest in a teapot. If the old guard insists on
> > wallowing in the dustbin of history, and if the young Turks (no offense
> > to those of Turkish ethnicity intended) keep trying to one-up them, this
> > so-called field will just become even more marginalized, while the
> > rational biologists, economists, psychologists, etc. get on with the
> > task of trying to understand mankind.
> Why is it that every field outside of the natural sciences HAS to be
> marginalized? Isn't their more to experience, life, humans, animals, than
> can be perceived through a microscope? maybe that's the real center of this
> arguement. BTW, I can think of quite a few psychologists (not many
> psychiatrists on the other hand) that aren't as biologically deterministic as
> you seem to think they are.

It doesn't *have* to be marginalized, but it can happen. Look to the wider world, to
disciplines that have a bearing on your interests (that you may even disagree with),
apart from standard academic Anthropology. It isn't all bullshit. Not by a long

Steve Barnard