One distressing characteristic of the Left, at least as far as science is concerned, is to let our ideology trump scientific data; that is, some of us ignore biological data when it’s inimical to our political preferences. This plays out in several ways: the insistence that race doesn’t exist (and before you accuse me of saying that races do exist, read about what I’ve written here before: the issue is complex), that there are no evolutionarily-based innate (e.g., genetically based) behavioral or psychological differences between ethnic groups, and that there are no such differences, either, between males and females within humans.Yes, Coyne is right. Leftists nearly always deny biological truth.
These claims are based not on biological data, but on ideological fears of the Left: if we admit of such differences, it could foster racism and sexism. Thus. any group differences we do observe, whether they reside in psychology, physiology, or morphology, are to be explained on first principle as resulting from culture rather than genes. (I do of course recognize that culture can interact with genes to produce behaviors.) This ideological blinkering leads to the conclusion that when we see a difference in performance between groups and genders, the obvious explanation is culture and oppression, and the remedy is equal outcomes rather than equal opportunities. Yet in areas like most sports, where everyone agrees that males are on average larger and stronger than females, it’s clear that the behavioral differences (i.e., performance) result from biological differences that are surely based on evolution (see below). In sports like track and field or judo, nobody would think of making males compete with females. ...
Thus, to claim, as does P.Z. Myers in a new post, that higher testosterone levels in males have minimal influence on their aggressiveness compared to the effects of culture, is a claim based not on data—which show that he’s wrong—but on ideology.
Update: Coyne responds to feminist criticism, and promises another response.
Update: Here is Coyne, The evolution of sexual dimorphism in humans: Part 2.
Update: Here is a comment:
Its high time we declared there are two major ideological enemies of evolutionary biology, and Right-wing/creationism is now less dangerous than the Leftist/feminist one.
The ways they will get their Leftist ideologies past science is by
1. pushing postmodernist poisons – truth does not exist, science is white male whatever, facts are oppressive.
2. calling scientists who are looking at evidence, data and facts from the point of view of truth and intellectual honesty as racist, sexist, bigoted etc to silence them.
3. insist any criticism of THEIR theories is hate, harassment and, ironically, “ideology”.