Not in Our Genes
|Not in Our Genes: Biology, Ideology and Human Nature|
|Author(s)||Richard Lewontin, Steven Rose, Leon Kamin|
Not in Our Genes: Biology, Ideology and Human Nature is a 1984 book by evolutionary geneticist Richard Lewontin, neurobiologist Steven Rose and psychologist Leon Kamin that provides a critique of sociobiology and genetic determinism.
Not in Our Genes makes a strong statement about the entanglement of science and politics: "Science is the ultimate legitimator of bourgeois ideology", and makes the following comparison "If biological determinism is a weapon in the struggle between classes, then the universities are weapons factories, and their teaching and research faculties are the engineers, designers, and production workers.Not in our genes described Dawkins as "the most reductionist of sociobiologists".
In retort, Dawkins wrote that the book practices reductionism by distorting arguments in terms of genetics to "an idiotic travesty (that the properties of a complex whole are simply the sum of those same properties in the parts)", and accused the authors of giving "ideology priority over truth". He also accused the authors of having a "bizarre conspiracy theory of science", accusing them of lies and idiocy, and concluding that it is a "silly, pretentious, obscurantist and mendacious book".
Richard Webster described Not in Our Genes as "a critique of sociobiology and genetic determinism which is, for the most part, much more subtle and valuable than the Marxism which frequently informs it."
Steven Pinker writes that the book's authors use words such as "determinism" and "reductionism" as "vague terms of abuse", and misrepresent the views of scientists such as Wilson and Dawkins, falsely ascribing ridiculous beliefs to them.
- Not in Our Genes: Biology, Ideology and Human Nature ISBN 0-14-022605-2
- Webster, Richard (2005). Why Freud Was Wrong: Sin, Science and Psychoanalysis. Oxford: The Orwell Press. p. 611. ISBN 0-9515922-5-4.
- Pinker, Steven (2003). The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. London: Penguin Books. pp. 112–113. ISBN 0-140-27605-X.
- Richard Dawkins, "Sociobiology: the debate continues", a review of Not in Our Genes: Biology, Ideology and Human Nature by Steven Rose, Leon J. Kamin and R.C.Lewontin (Pantheon Books, 1985), appeared in New Scientist 24 January 1985, web version
- Dawkins, C.R. Critical review in New Scientist by Richard Dawkins. New Scientist 24 January 1985