The Best Things Marxism Brought, Part I: Early Anthropology and Franz Boas (1858-1942)

The topic of Marxism in academia is hot, as it has been since The Communist Manifesto hit the presses more than 150 years ago in 1848. I’ve been reflecting on the prevalence of postmodern approaches in anthropology for a while, a topic which is especially more relevant now that more and more people are discussing them after hearing more publicly its criticisms by social science popularizers like Jordan Peterson. Continue reading “The Best Things Marxism Brought, Part I: Early Anthropology and Franz Boas (1858-1942)”

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Socio(Onto)Geny Book Club Update: The Horse, the Wheel, and Language

I don’t believe I mentioned it here, but I have been running a book club on a private Discord server for the last several months with a bunch of interesting people. Over the past three months we’ve read EO Wilson’s Sociobiology, Robert Triver’s Natural Selection and Social Theory, and most recently Peter Turchin’s Ages of Discord.

This month we’re moving into different territory with David Anthony’s The Horse, the Wheel, and Language. As an in-depth account of Proto-Indo-European origins, this book has been suggested by Spencer Wells as one of the best texts out there on Bronze Age Europe. If you enjoyed my post on David Reich and V. Gordon Childe, you will enjoy this book. Anyone who would like to join should feel free to reach out to me on Twitter or on my contact page here. Continue reading “Socio(Onto)Geny Book Club Update: The Horse, the Wheel, and Language”

David Reich and The New York Times

“Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.” – Luke 6:42, or Robert Trivers

I have to apologize because my last blogpost was about The New York Times, but they won’t stop publishing stories that need to be attended to. For anyone who is following, on Thursday they published a hit piece on Harvard Med School professor David Reich. At 12,000 words, the piece was somewhat difficult to coherently sift through (they have a tendency to do this lately), but it made a number of accusations against both Reich’s lab and the field of ancient DNA in general ranging from scientific racism to methodological sophistry to the use of scare tactics to harass others out of the field and away from valuable skeletal samples in order to monopolize science. Continue reading “David Reich and The New York Times”