Religion | Politics

Sowell’s Visions

Why do beliefs cluster the way they do? If someone believes that only police and military should have guns, why is that person also likely to support socialized healthcare and a government-imposed minimum wage, and be unsupportive of school vouchers? In his 1987 book A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles, economist Thomas […]

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Features

A Primer on Statistics to Help Quell Your Outrage at the Google Memo

By now you’ll probably know that Google employee James Damore recently published a memo regarding differences in population averages in some traits in men and women, questioning the basis for certain diversity practices and indicting a culture of ideological conformity at the tech giant. The result was incandescent outrage, denouncement of the memo, demonization of Damore, […]

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Science | Tech

Assessing Female Mate Preferences: Answers to Ten Common Criticisms of Evolutionary Psychology

A few years ago, I was giving an invited presentation to an audience of mostly sociologists and family studies professors on the topic of evolution and human reproductive strategies. I mentioned that some social scientists hold false beliefs about “evolutionary psychology,” such as the mistaken assumption that evolutionary psychologists think all men are interested in […]

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Features

In Defense of the Google Manifesto

James Damore, the Google employee who wrote the viral Google manifesto, was fired yesterday for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.” From the various reactions I’ve read, you would think Damore wrote the next iteration of Mein Kampf. Gizmodo labelled it an “anti-diversity screed.” Mashable called it a “racist/sexist manifesto” when reporting that the author’s identity had been revealed. Tweetstorms were fashionable, with […]

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Review

15 Years Later, Why Do We Still Believe in the Blank Slate?

On Twitter, I once saw a cultural anthropologist refer to Steven Pinker’s toenails as “magical” when accosting an evolutionary psychologist who had angered him. Some time later, on another scroll session, I saw a sociologist and gender/ masculinity/ post-colonial theorist very politely say to another professor: “Hi Diana, I remember discussing my view that Evolutionary […]

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