含有〈学术〉标签的文章(16)

当代科学史上的一桩丑闻

Steve Pinker70年代,当进化生物学进入心理学和社会学领域(分别开创了进化心理学和社会生物学)时,遭遇了该领域学者的激烈抵抗,道金斯而威尔逊被视为人民公敌,从指责、辱骂、发展到身体攻击、开会起哄、高音喇叭干扰课堂,最后,一批学者在国际和平年来临之际,在西班牙集会签下了Seville Statement on Violence,其内容、形式和口吻,都像极了公元325年基督教尼西亚会议上的十二信条,更惊人的是,1989年,联合国教科文组织(UNESCO)正式采用了这些戒律。

当然,UNESCO可没把这当作丑闻,它至今还把它当作一项荣耀,以正式声明发布在其官方网站上(在这里),甚至还放在其所属的联合国大学(UNU)的首页上。

在今天的科学界,那些反对人碳暖球说法的科学家,他们的处境和遭遇,和当初的威尔逊,大概也差不多。

以下文字摘自Steven Pinker: How The Mind Works第一章PSYCHOLOGICAL CORRECTNESS一节:

The evolutionary psychology of this book is a departure from the dominant view of the human mind in our intellectual tradition, which Tooby and Cosmides have dubbed the Standard Social Science Model (SSSM). The SSSM proposes a fundamental division between biology and culture. Biology endows humans with the five senses, a few drives like hun(more...)

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Steve Pinker70年代,当进化生物学进入心理学和社会学领域(分别开创了进化心理学和社会生物学)时,遭遇了该领域学者的激烈抵抗,道金斯而威尔逊被视为人民公敌,从指责、辱骂、发展到身体攻击、开会起哄、高音喇叭干扰课堂,最后,一批学者在国际和平年来临之际,在西班牙集会签下了Seville Statement on Violence,其内容、形式和口吻,都像极了公元325年基督教尼西亚会议上的十二信条,更惊人的是,1989年,联合国教科文组织(UNESCO)正式采用了这些戒律。

当然,UNESCO可没把这当作丑闻,它至今还把它当作一项荣耀,以正式声明发布在其官方网站上(在这里),甚至还放在其所属的联合国大学(UNU)的首页上。

在今天的科学界,那些反对人碳暖球说法的科学家,他们的处境和遭遇,和当初的威尔逊,大概也差不多。

以下文字摘自Steven Pinker: How The Mind Works第一章PSYCHOLOGICAL CORRECTNESS一节:

The evolutionary psychology of this book is a departure from the dominant view of the human mind in our intellectual tradition, which Tooby and Cosmides have dubbed the Standard Social Science Model (SSSM). The SSSM proposes a fundamental division between biology and culture. Biology endows humans with the five senses, a few drives like hunger and fear, and a general capacity to learn. But biological evolution, according to the SSSM, has been superseded by cultural evolution. Culture is an autonomous entity that carries out a desire to perpetuate itself by setting up expectations and assigning roles, which can vary arbitrarily from society to society. Even the reformers of the SSSM have accepted its framing of the issues. Biology is "just as important as" culture, say the reformers; biology imposes "constraints" on behavior, and all behavior is a mixture of the two.

The SSSM not only has become an intellectual orthodoxy but has acquired a moral authority. When sociobiologists first began to challenge it, they met with a ferocity that is unusual even by the standards of academic invective. The biologist E. O. Wilson was doused with a pitcher of ice water at a scientific convention, and students yelled for his dismissal over bullhorns and put up posters urging people to bring noisemakers to his lectures. Angry manifestos and book-length denunciations were published by organizations with names like Science for the People and The Campaign Against Racism, IQ, and the Class Society. In Not in Our Genes, Richard Lewontin, Steven Rose, and Leon Kamin dropped innuendos about Donald Symons' sex life and doctored a defensible passage of Richard Dawkins' into an insane one. (Dawkins said of the genes, "They created us, body and mind"; the authors have quoted it repeatedly as "They control us, body and mind.") When Scientific American ran an article on behavior genetics (studies of twins, families, and adoptees), they entitled it "Eugenics Revisited," an allusion to the discredited movement to improve the human genetic stock. When the magazine covered evolutionary psychology, they called the article "The New Social Darwinists," an allusion to the nineteenth-century movement that justified social inequality as part of the wisdom of nature. Even one of sociobiology's distinguished practitioners, the primatologist Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, said, "I question whether sociobiology should be taught at the high school level, or even the undergraduate level. . . . The whole message of sociobiology is oriented toward the success of the individual. It's Machiavellian, and unless a student has a moral framework already in place, we could be producing social monsters by teaching this. It really fits in very nicely with the yuppie 'me first' ethos."

Entire scholarly societies joined in the fun, passing votes on empirical issues that one might have thought would be hashed out in the lab and the field. Margaret Mead's portrayal of an idyllic, egalitarian Samoa was one of the founding documents of the SSSM, and when the anthropologist Derek Freeman showed that she got the facts spectacularly wrong, the American Anthropological Association voted at its business meeting to denounce his finding as unscientific. In 1986, twenty social scientists at a "Brain and Aggression" meeting drafted the Seville Statement on Violence, subsequently adopted by UNESCO and endorsed by several scientific organizations. The statement claimed to "challenge a number of alleged biological findings that have been used, even by some in our disciplines, to justify violence and war":

It is scientifically incorrect to say that we have inherited a tendency to make war from our animal ancestors.
It is scientifically incorrect to say that war or any other violent behavior is genetically programmed into our human nature.
It is scientifically incorrect to say that in the course of human evolution there has been a selection for aggressive behavior more than for other kinds of behavior.
It is scientifically incorrect to say that humans have a "violent brain."
It is scientifically incorrect to say that war is caused by "instinct" or any single motivation...

...We conclude that biology does not condemn humanity to war, and that humanity can be freed from the bondage of biological pessimism and empowered with confidence to undertake the transformative tasks needed in the International Year of Peace and in the years to come.

What moral certainty could have incited these scholars to doctor quotations, censor ideas, attack the ideas' proponents ad hominem, smear them with unwarranted associations to repugnant political movements, and mobilize powerful institutions to legislate what is correct and incorrect?

参考:Wikipedia: "Seville Statement on Violence"词条