Posts

Comments

Comment by zenkat3 on Professing and Cheering · 2007-08-02T19:24:06.000Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I'm also very happy to discuss Dawkin's theories on the selfish gene, if you wish. As a genomics researcher, I get to play with the transcriptional junk left behind by selfish DNA replicants (ALUs, transposons, endogenous retroviral DNA, gene duplication, and copy number variants) on a daily basis. Other fun topics for discussion might be the effects of Intralocus Competitive Evolution on species divergence, and/or the evidence for recent selective pressures on the human genome that have been uncovered by the HapMap project.

Anyways, I'm detecting an form of anti-Gould bias that appears to be a particular conceit among libertarian economists. Interestingly enough, I don't find that the controversy is shared by most biologists. Perhaps you should read the Wikipedia article on Gould's scientific career with an unbiased eye. It provides balanced and well documented review of Gould's accomplishments, and provides extensive references.

As far as I can tell, most of the knee-jerk reactions against Gould are a hangover from his feud with Dawkins and Wilson over sociobiology and evolutionary psychology. Personally, I side with Dawkins on this one (my comment did appeal to evolutionary psychology, after all), but I am always amazed at the vitriol spewed at Gould. Seems more akin to the furious debates between Pre- and Post-Millenialists than reasoned scientific discussion to me.