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“Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.
[Billions and Billions of Demons - JANUARY 9, 1997 ISSUE]”
Richard C. Lewontin
“The contrast between genetic and environmental, between nature and nurture, is not a contrast between fixed and changeable. It is a fallacy of biological determinism to say that if differences are in the genes, no change can occur.”
Richard C. Lewontin, Biology as Ideology: The Doctrine of DNA
“Unutmayın, bugün ne kadar bencil, zalim, duyarsız olmuşsanız olun, her nefes alışınızda bir çiçeği mutlu etmektesiniz.”
Richard Lewontin, Üçlü Sarmal - Gen, Organizma ve Çevre
“[...] Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”
Richard C. Lewontin
“When the wrong question is being asked, it usually turns out to be because the right question is too difficult. Scientists ask questions they can answer. That is, it is often the case that the operations of a science are not a consequence of the problematic of that science, but that the problematic is induced by the available means.”
Richard Lewontin, The Ontogeny of Information: Developmental Systems and Evolution
“The interpenetration of chance and determination bears on the problem of how there can be a scientific approach to society when individual human behavior and consciousness seem unpredictable. Those who despair to point out that people are not machines, that there are subjective processes in the making of decisions, that it is not 'classes' but individuals who make choices. Terms such as "the human factor" or "subjective factors" with their implication of chance and unpredictability are invoked as the negation of regularity and lawfulness. And indeed it is true that individual behavior and consciousness are the consequences of intersection of a large number of weakly determining factors. But it does not follow that where there is choice, subjectivity, and individuality there cannon also be predictability. The error to take the individual as causally prior to the whole and not to appreciate that the social has causal properties within which individual consciousness and action are formed. While the consciousness of an individual is not determined by his/her class position but is influenced by idiosyncratic factors that appear as random, those random factors operate within a domain and with probabilities that are constrained and directed by social forces.”
Richard C. Lewontin, Biology Under the Influence: Dialectical Essays on Ecology, Agriculture, and Health
“In the ensuing chapters, we will look in some detail at particular manifestations of the modern scientific ideology and the false paths down which it has led us. We will consider how biological determinism has been used to explain and justify inequalities within and between societies and to claim that those inequalities can never be changed. We will see how a theory of human nature has been developed using Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection to claim that social organization is also unchangeable because it is natural. We will see how problems of health and disease have been located within the individual so that the individual becomes a problem for society to cope with rather than society becoming a problem for the individual. And we will see how simple economic relationships masquerading as facts of nature can drive the entire direction of biological research and technology.”
Richard C. Lewontin
“Biology Under the Influence is a collection of our essays built around the general theme of the dual nature of science. On the one hand, science is the generic development of human knowledge over the millennia, but on the other it is the increasingly commodified specific product of a capitalist knowledge industry.”
Richard C. Lewontin, Biology Under the Influence: Dialectical Essays on Ecology, Agriculture, and Health


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