Haidt & Gazzinaga on E. O. Wilson

E. O. Wilson’s latest book, The Social Conquest of Earth, has generated the usual firestorm. Wilson couldn’t publish a bus schedule without complaints from a large group of angry scientists who prefer the train.

So it’s a little unusual to encounter so close together two predominately positive references to Wilson.

The first is admiring passages in Jonathan Haidt’s new book, The Righteous Self. (Review to come — I’m still reading.) The second is last week’s Wall Street Journal article, “Evolution Revolution,” by Michael Gazzaniga.
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Conservative Morlocks, Liberal Eloi — does psychology explain politics?

As the U. S. settles in for six months of Romney v. Obama (with an interruption for the Zimmerman trial in Florida), all of the psychologists who want to be political pundits — and all of the political pundits who want to be psychologists — are wasting no time getting their message out there.

And last week’s loudest message was a rehash of research that purports to show that we’re not conservative or liberal because we’re rational beings who have been convinced by the merits of the arguments for and against.

Oh no. We were, in the words of almost every headline writer, “Born This Way.”
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