Nicholas Wade vs. the anthropologists

The Mitrailleuse

This sort of thing has a lot to do with why, if I could do it over again, I wouldn’t have bothered with anthropology. Reading a review like Jon Marks on A Troublesome Inheritance, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that refusing to consider the implications of Wade’s argument has everything to do with protecting the academic turf anthropologists have carved out, and nothing to do with scientific inquiry or truth.

It would be one thing if Marks just thought Wade was wrong; he’s a geneticist (as is Greg Cochran, who was also unnerved by some of the sources), Wade isn’t. But he doesn’t even bother to argue with the thing, he just calls it “idiocy,” “fundamentally anti-intellectual,” and “as crassly anti-science as any work of climate-change denial or creationism.”

If you’re paying attention, Marks tells us what this is actually about: “Wade’s book is of a piece with a…

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