Resources That Should be Required Reading for Anyone Writing/Blogging/Tweeting/Speaking About Evolution and Society/Behaviour/Ra


There is a vast, fetid sea of "pop-science" speculation at the intersection of evolutionary biology and human behaviour/human society. Much of this goes under names like "evolutionary psychology", "race science," "human biodiversity" (just a euphemism for race science), "race realism," hereditarianism, genetic determinism, etc.

Much of it is annoying to evolutionary biologists but fairly harmless otherwise — e.g. naive adaptationism along the lines of "human fists evolved for punching." However, with the advent of the "Intellectual Dark Web" and the "alt-right," much of the same lazy adaptationism and half-baked evolutionary theorising is being applied to race, gender, economics, and social inequality.

Usually this is done in near-total ignorance of the long, very bad history of such arguments and why they were long ago discarded by most serious academics and especially by evolutionary biologists. Even worse, much of the modern advocacy of these positions (on YouTube, Twitter, etc.) is done with a massive amount of attitude, claims of revolutionary insights that are being suppressed by the establishment, and a lack of the humility, carefulness, referencing, critical analysis of sources, and effort to consider alternative hypotheses — in a word, a lack of serious scholarship.

I have been involved in evolution education for almost 20 years, starting with the creationism/intelligent design wars of the early 2000s, and in that time I have become pretty familiar with misunderstandings of evolution common amongst the public, and (unfortunately) with many academics, even scientists, who have not really been thoroughly educated in modern evolutionary biology.

In this page, I will accumulate what I think are Resources That Should be Required Reading for Anyone Writing/Blogging/Tweeting/Speaking About Evolution and Society/Behaviour/Race/Gender.

This may eventually turn into a highly-organized set of notes, or an article; more likely it will just accumulate random material that impresses/annoys me.

Correlation in the Social Sciences

The Crud Factor in the Social Sciences

The Crud Factor: roughly, everything in social science is correlated to everything else…which social science/psychology types have been discussing for decades

Meehl, Paul E. (1990). Why Summaries of Research on Psychological Theories Are Often Uninterpretable. Psychological Reports, 66, 195-244.


From 1925-1927, the famous defence attorney and civil libertarian was defending teacher John Scopes from Tennessee's law banning the teaching of evolution. The Scopes "Monkey Trial" took place in Dayton, TN in 1925, and appeals continued until 1927 when the Tennessee state Supreme Court threw out the case. A little-known bit of history is that, in that same period, Clarence Darrow was also an early, vociferous opponent of eugenics. Importantly, this was well before it was "popular" to be against eugenics.


Darrow, Clarence (1926). "The Eugenics Cult." The American Mercury, Volume VIII, Number 30, 129-137. June 1926. (Local PDF | Online text | Panda's Thumb)

Darrow, Clarence (1925). "The Edwardses and the Jukeses." The American Mercury, Volume VI, Number 22, 147-157. October 1925. (Local PDF | Amazon)

"Out of Africa" happened several times successively

The 'Ghosts' of 2 Unknown Extinct Human Species Have Been Found in Modern DNA

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License