Re: Feminist critique of sociobiology...critiqued

Stephen Barnard (
Mon, 16 Sep 1996 16:33:26 -0800

Bryant wrote:
> In article <>,
> Jim Bowery <> wrote:
> >If traditional sociology and/or "psychology" were held to similar
> >standards of rigor, you might have a leg to stand on. You don't.
> My server cannot access the earlier portion of the thread you responded
> to, here. What was your statement in response to?
> Bryant


I've appended the post that this was in response to.

Steve Barnard


Re: Feminist critique of sociobiology...critiqued
9 Sep 1996 02:46:29 -0400
From: (Paul Gallagher)
PANIX Public Access Internet and Unix, NYC
1 , 2 , 3

In <50k9du$> (Bruce
Scott TOK ) writes:

>So what's the problem? Why do feminists see this as their enemy? I've
>never understood why that should be the case and would be quite willing
>to see a serious explanation. I can't believe simple misrepresentation
>is the only reason. I hope simple caricature is not the only reason.

Perhaps you should consider, at least tentatively, that it's because
human sociobiology is empty speculation, presented without evidence and
without a tractable research program to evaluate its hypotheses. You
will dismiss this as "simple caricature," but try this for an exercise:
describe any aspect of human culture, not in respect to its teleology,
but solely in terms of the biological mechanisms that give rise to it,
from the level of individual codons through all phases of its
If that's too difficult, provide evidence that variation in any aspect
human culture is genetically determined. (Extra points if you can do
without referring to "g".) These are the sorts of questions you need to
answer before you can even start sociobiological research, much less
ditch traditional psychology and anthropology and philosophy and replace
them with sociobiology.

Some people think human sociobiologists haven't done this this
quite apart from their personal and political dislikes.