Category Archives: genetics

Note and correction on the “Lewontin fallacy”

Yesterday I wrote about Angela Saini’s misguided claim that human populations and races (I prefer “ethnic groups” rather than “races”) are basically genetically identical. So identical, in fact, that, as Saini argued, it’s entirely possible (or even likely) that the genomes of a South Asian and a white Canadian could be more similar than the […]

Genetic ignorance in the service of ideology

Angela Saini is a British science writer who belongs to what I call the Cordelia Fine School of Science Journalism (CFSSJ): a school whose members have an explicit ideological bias that colors all of their popular writing. In the case of Fine, her ideology is that there is essentially no evolutionary/genetic difference between the brains […]

Part 2 of Ken Burn’s “The Gene” broadcast tonight

The tweet below came from Matthew, who may in fact be featured in this documentary. This tells us that Part 2 (the last part) of Ken Burns’s documentary “The Gene: An Intimate History” will be broadcast on PBS tonight. And it will probably be available for free on the show’s website for at least a […]

A new Ken Burns series on genes and genetics

Both Matthew and reader Leon alerted me this morning to a new two-part series (four hours total) by Ken Burns, based on Siddhartha Mukherjee’s book The Gene: An Intimate History. You can watch the first episode (aired on PBS last night) by clicking on the screenshot below. I just learned about it, and haven’t yet […]

An example of Galton-bashing by a UCL genetics professor

As I wrote earlier today, the tendentious Angela Saini claimed, in a new Nature piece, that it was the humanities scholars at University College London (UCL) who got their school to finally see the odious nature of Galton’s legacy (she’s talking about eugenics; Francis Galton made many positive contributions to science). As Saini asseverated: I’ve […]

Angela Saini misrepresents Galton kerfuffle at University College London; fails to see the beam in her own eye

Angela Saini is a British science writer who has two degrees: in Engineering from the University of Oxford and in Science and Security from King’s College London. She’s written three books: Saini, Angela (2011). Geek Nation: How Indian Science is Taking Over the World. Hodder Paperbacks. ISBN 978-1444710168. Saini, Angela (2018). Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong – and the New Research […]

Discovery Institute makes hay of Dawkins tweet, and a geneticist mistakenly says that artificial selection won’t work in humans

Unless you’ve been in Ulan Bator (and actually, some people in Mongolia do read WEIT), you surely know about Dawkins’s latest twitter kerfuffle, in which he said, correctly, that human eugenics would “work”. That is true in the sense he meant it: artificial selection practiced on human traits would yield a change in mean trait […]

My last research paper. Part 3: Significance

In the past week I’ve written two posts about what I think will be the last “research paper” I write, i.e., a paper in which I actually did work at the bench (pushing flies). I’ve covered the paper at some length because I think the experiment is cool, because the results were conclusive, and because […]

My last research paper. Part 2: Results

A few days ago I began a two-part summary (it’s now become three parts!) of what will probably be my final “research” paper: the last paper in which I pushed Drosophila flies with my own hands to gather data. (This doesn’t mean it’ll be my final science paper.) That post discussed the aims and the methods […]

My last research paper: Part 1: Aims and methods

My last “research” paper—one in which I collected data with my own hands by pushing flies (i.e., manipulating Drosophila under the dissecting microscope)—has finally been published in Genetics, and I was pleased to find that it is a “highlighted paper.” Well, I thought it was pretty cool, too, and a good way to end my […]