MacDonald vs. Culturebox, Continued

MacDonald vs. Culturebox, Continued

MacDonald vs. Culturebox, Continued

Arts, entertainment, and more.
Jan. 27 2000 10:42 AM

MacDonald vs. Culturebox, Continued

Is Kevin MacDonald an anti-Semite with nauseating ideas or just a misunderstood evolutionary psychologist? If he's an anti-Semite, should the editor who published his scholarly work and the colleagues who welcomed him into their professional association be held partly responsible for his ideas?

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MacDonald, a professor of psychology at California State University at Long Beach, is about to testify in London on behalf of David Irving, a historian of World War II who is suing another historian over her charge that he is a Holocaust revisionist. In "Evolutionary Psychology's Anti-Semite," Culturebox gives a foretaste of MacDonald's testimony, drawing from books in which he argues 1) that Judaism is a conscious strategy of eugenicism designed to maximize Jewish intelligence, and 2) that anti-Semitism is therefore justified. In "On Fighting Bad Ideas," Culturebox argues that the association of evolutionary psychologists, the Human Behavior and Evolution Society (HBES), of which MacDonald is the secretary, archivist, newsletter editor, and executive board member, should never have let him get as far as he has without refuting him.

MacDonald disagrees strongly with Culturebox, as do several evolutionary psychologists who feel it is unfair of Culturebox to call them to account for someone else's ideas. Click here to read MacDonald's letter to Culturebox in The Fray. Click here to read Culturebox's reply. Other notable contributors to The Fray include MacDonald reviewer John Hartung, group selection theorist David Sloan Wilson, John Horgan  (author of The Undiscovered Mind), and Steven Pinker  (author of How the Mind Works and Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language).

For a continuation of the debate, see Slate's "Dialogue" between Culturebox and HBES president John Tooby.