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[OBG] Negotiating the gap

I would like to submit the attached manuscript for review. The title is "Negotiating the gap. Four academics and the dilemma of human biodiversity."

I have edited the thread title to fit guidelines. -Emil

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.pdf   Negotiating the gap - Peter Frost.pdf (Size: 176.49 KB / Downloads: 896)
Well said about Dawkins ("Pathetic"). I personally dislike him because of his reductionism in biology (denying group selection) and his dismissal of evidence for psychic abilities. He's a living example of a dogmatic, close minded thinker. Best to avoid him. And yes, I completely agree with you about the limits of Evolutionary Psychology. It has always struck me as incoherent.
This paper should be published.
I think scholarly writing should not use swearing, so the "pathetic" has to go. In its stead, you could write something about what appears to be Dawkins' lack of intellectual courage.

Perhaps Darkins thinks that it is better that he does not publicly speak about his beliefs on that matter since it would hurt the huge atheist/rationalist movement he has spent the last two decades building.

See also: http://www.paulgraham.com/say.html

Dawkins does accept racial classification in his book The Ancestor's Tale and also cites AF Edward's Lewontin's fallacy paper.

Quote:We can all happily agree that human racial classification is of no social value and is positively destructive of social and human relations. That is one reason why I object to ticking boxes in forms and why I object to positive discrimination in job selection. But that doesn't mean that race is of'virtually no genetic or taxonomic significance'. This is Edwards's point, and he reasons as follows. However small the racial partition of the total variation may be, if such racial characteristics as there are are highly correlated with other racial characteristics, they are by definition informative, and therefore of taxonomic significance.


There is a parallel with Dawkins and eugenics. He has made several suggestions but not come out as a eugenicist as far as I know.


Dawkins is clearly a fan of what is sometimes called "liberal eugenics". Well, among informed people, who isn't?

Dawkins also talked about it in his book The Greatest Show on Earth.

It is quoted here: http://libertyhq.freeforums.org/fear-mon...t2045.html

But otherwise just download the book.


As for EP, one of their primary models in testing for the presence of an adaptation is to do cross-cultural studies (e.g. on mate preferences).

Buss, David M. "Sex differences in human mate preferences: Evolutionary hypotheses tested in 37 cultures." Behavioral and brain sciences 12.01 (1989): 1-14.

However, given HBD such adaptations may not be present in all populations and hence testing them in this way does not work. And even if they were present in all populations, they might not be equally strong (e.g. preference for masculine/feminine partner) or parental investment.

This part of EP always struck me as clearly wrong-headed, but not many others seemed to have noticed it. Peter has, of course.

I'd like to think that Richard Dawkins is simply closed-minded. Unfortunately, that's not my impression from my reading of his works. He was one of the first to grasp the significance of gene-culture co-evolution and he has touched on that subject off and on over the past four decades. But that's all he does. He "touches". Moreover, over the past decade, he seems to have become more reticent in dealing with the subject. Has he commented on "A troublesome inheritance"? His silence seems strange, especially given his interest in evolution and genetics.


Yes, I should replace the word "pathetic" with a longer comment on his lack of intellectual courage. I'm certainly interested in knowing how his thinking has developed since his 2004 essay. Unfortunately, I get the impression that he has become more timid, not less so. This is possibly related to his wish to create an international movement against religious fundamentalism. My impression is that the whole issue has simply become more taboo in England over the past decade.

The issue of race as a valid biological construct is of tangential interest, at least for me. One can easily retreat to the position (as Dawkins has done) that the relevance of human races is limited to taxonomy and reconstruction of human prehistory. Even Richard Lewontin would not disagree with that position.
OBG reviewers are invited to review this article to assure a speedy review. So far only 1 OBG reviwer (myself) has commented on this paper.
The author seems to be working on a second draft, so reviewers may be waiting for that.
(2014-May-25, 22:21:28)Emil Wrote: The author seems to be working on a second draft, so reviewers may be waiting for that.

Oh really? Where does he say it? I think reviewers should start reviewing it!No excuses.
Sorry, I haven't had time to work on the manuscript. I'm tied up with other work. I should be able to work on the second draft next week.

It may be that the other reviewers feel that this submission is out of place, being more appropriate in a "history of science" journal.
Or that they don't check the forum often. :) You could email them after you have updated the draft.
(2014-May-28, 02:55:24)Peter Frost Wrote: Sorry, I haven't had time to work on the manuscript. I'm tied up with other work. I should be able to work on the second draft next week.

Maybe they're planning to wait until they get tenure.

I had some stylistic concerns. If you post a .doc copy, I will highlight and comment on areas which could, to my mind, use some editorial work.

Of course, you would be free to disregard any suggestions.
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