Evolutionary Psychology's Anti-Semite

Arts, entertainment, and more.
Jan. 24 2000 10:35 AM

Evolutionary Psychology's Anti-Semite

(Continued from Page 1)

On the contrary. MacDonald thanks several prominent evolutionary psychologists in the acknowledgments to his trilogy. Among them is David Sloane Wilson, the leading advocate of group-selection theory. What exactly these scholars did for MacDonald is unclear. (Wilson did not return Culturebox's phone calls.) But MacDonald appears to have given them an opportunity to have their names suppressed, because there are other scholars he says he could have identified but didn't: "Regrettably," he writes, they "have asked that their names not appear here."

Advertisement

Can we blame the field of evolutionary psychology for Kevin MacDonald? Intellectually speaking, no. Evolutionary psychology is a fairly new endeavor trying to overcome an extremely disturbing past, and you can't make serious scholars accountable for all the discredited notions their peers cling to. But we can hold specific academics responsible--Itzkoff comes to mind--and we can ask what on earth the officers of HBES were thinking when they allowed MacDonald to become such an active member of their organization. If the response to Hartung's review is any indication, they would probably say that they don't believe in censoring their members. But it is the job of a scholarly association not just to foster discussion but also to police the boundaries of its discipline. When this evolutionary psychologist and HBES officer testifies in the Irving trial, he is bound to get his counterparts in a lot of trouble. In many ways, they deserve it.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Medical Examiner

Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?

Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The World’s Human Rights Violators Are Signatories on the World’s Human Rights Treaties

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 12:44 AM We Need More Ben Bradlees His relationship with John F. Kennedy shows what’s missing from today’s Washington journalism.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 9:42 PM The All The President’s Men Scene That Perfectly Captured Ben Bradlee’s Genius
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 11:44 PM Driving in Circles The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.