Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Why EO Wilson was Hated

I commented on E.O. Wilson's obituary, but I am still trying to figure out why the Left hated him so much. It appears that everyone liked and admired him personally.

Here is an open letter attacking him:

In his attempt to graft speculation about human behavior onto a biological core, Wilson uses a number of strategies and sleights of hand which dispel any claim for logical or factual continuity. Of the twenty-seven chapters of Sociobiology, the middle twenty-five deal largely with animals, especially insects, while only the first and last chapters focus on humans. Thus, Wilson places 500 pages of double column biology between his first chapter on “The Morality of the Gene” and the last chapter, “From Sociobiology to Sociology.” ...

This approach allows Wilson to confirm selectively certain contemporary behavior as adaptive and “natural” and thereby justify the present social order. ...

For instance, in insect populations, Wilson applies the traditional metaphors of “slavery” and “caste,” “specialists” and “generalists” in order to establish a descriptive framework. Thus, he promotes the analogy between human and animal societies and leads one to believe that behavior patterns in the two have the same basis. ...

What we are left with then is a particular theory about human nature, which has no scientific support, and which upholds the concept of a world with social arrangements remarkably similar to the world which E. O. Wilson inhabits. We are not denying that there are genetic components to human behavior.

Wilson did once call Stephen Jay Gould a charlatan. That was correct.

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