Why I Want My Students to Read Jared Diamond's Latest Blockbuster, Part II

Scientific American - Energy & Sustainability 2013-01-21


In my last post, I defended mega-pundit Jared Diamond against his critics, especially social scientists who imply that a book may be scholarly or a bestseller but not both. Bullshit. Envy more than genuine scholarly disagreement seems to underpin much of the resentment toward Diamond. Anthropologists and other investigators of human behavior should applaud Diamond, not denigrate him, for showing that popular appeal and scholarly rigor are compatible. That is not to say that we shouldn't question Diamond's propositions about humanity. The chief value of his books--like those of Steven Pinker, Edward Wilson, Francis Fukuyama and other popular scientific synthesizers (all of whom I've criticized)--is that they provoke informed debate about major issues facing us: What are we? Where did we come from? Where are we going? Where do we want to go? [More] Add to digg Add to StumbleUpon Add to Reddit Add to Facebook Add to del.icio.us Email this Article



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energy & sustainabilitymind & brainevolutionhealthtechnology

Date tagged:

01/21/2013, 11:10

Date published:

01/21/2013, 09:04