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January 03, 2005

Comments

Bob S.

Did you notice the comment in the Yglesias thread that takes Fiamond to task?

Also, might be interested in Diamond's work on ethnic differences in testicle size

http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/003206.html

published in Nature.

Drew

Hi Bob - I did indeed notice the comments (there were numerous) taking Diamond to task; I noticed several in defense of him also. I really can't give an opinion either way on Diamond's work, considering I haven't actually read any of it (but plan to soon) aside from Gladwell's explanations in the New Yorker.

As for his calling for an ethnic testicle size study, I'm not sure how that conflicts with the view that societies often vanish due to ecological factors, and especially with his hope that his theories will eliminate racist views of -history-. There's a whole debate on GNXP and other sites that I'm definitely not knowledgeable enough to enter into, so I'll leave it at that for now.

Bob S.

Drew,

I've followed Diamond's work for a while now and when I came across the GNXP post I remembered that 1986 Nature study. Diamond talks out of both sides of his mouth and changes his opinion to fit the newest popular thoughts.

After the testis study he came out and said that there is little variation in humans. Quite PC and something touted in his follow-on book.

Simply, you can't trust that he means what he writes.

Drew

Sounds to me like he's saying there are indeed differences among groups of humans but that these biological differences don't account for how history and societal development have played out.

That may or may not be valid, but I don't think it changes the point emphasized in my post, which is that we place too much importance on extravagant economics and arbitrary cultural customs and ignore what we are doing at the most basic level - destroying the environment we rely on for our very existence.

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Our Wedding

  • Buffalo News
    October 29, 2005 2:30PM Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo The pictures start with the prior day, at the rehearsal dinner. What a fun few days it was!!