Phi Beta Cons

Tom Wolfe on Big Thinkers

Over at Uncommon Knowledge, Tom Wolfe walks through the history of academia’s favorite big thinkers — Darwin, Freud, Marx, E.O. Wilson.

Also, this prompted me to read “Sorry, But Your Soul Just Died” for the first time. It opened my eyes to the fact that Larry Summers got off easy for a Harvard man who dares to suggest that men and women aren’t exactly the same:

In his personal life [E.O.] Wilson is a conventional liberal, PC, as the saying goes–he is , after all, a member of the Harvard faculty–concerned about environmental issues and all the usual things. But he has said that “forcing similar role identities” on both men and women “flies in the face of thousands of years in which mammals demonstrated a strong tendency for sexual division of labor. Since this division of labor is persistent from hunter-gatherer through agricultural and industrial societies, it suggests a genetic origin. We do not know when this trait evolved in human evolution or how resistant it is to the continuing and justified pressures for human rights.”
“Resistant” was Darwin II, the neuroscientist, speaking. “Justified” was the PC Harvard liberal. He was not PC or liberal enough. Feminist protesters invaded a conference where Wilson was appearing, dumped a pitcher of ice water, cubes and all, over his head, and began chanting, “You’re all wet! You’re all wet!”

Feminists do tend to come up with such thought-provoking chants.

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