HEAT ON WILSON
To the Editors of The Crimson:
In the Crimson of Friday, January 30, a thoughtful and perceptive article on Sociobiology included some extensive remarks by the book's author, E.O. Wilson. While I have no way of knowing whether the quotations were accurate, they certainly reflect correctly two errors that Wilson has made repeatedly, and on which I need to comment.
The first error is contained in Wilson's reference to the Sociobiology Study Group as the "Lewontin group." Despite several attempts on our part to correct him, Prof. Wilson persists in the obsession that I somehow lead, dominate, or otherwise manipulate the Study Group. This myth arises out of the general error that characterizes Wilson's entire work of "sociobiology": the belief that he can universalize over all humanity his personal experience of the narrow social interactions of which he is part. While the groups to which E.O. Wilson belongs may indeed be hierarchically organized and may be dominated by persons of high social or professional status, that is emphatically not the case for us. If I, or any other member, attempted to dominate the Sociobiology Study Group, he or she would be strongly criticized, and if the behavior continued, the offender would be asked to go away. There is a whole world of social and political arrangements not dreamt of in Wilson's philosophy.
The second persistent error embodied in Prof. Wilson's remarks is the impression he tries to create that all who oppose him are "Marxists". Aside from the narrow point that his political myopia prevents him from distinguishing Marxists from anarchists from populists, I would like to remind Wilson of what he already knows: the first public attack on Sociobiology came from that noted Marxist economist, Paul Samuelson, who in his column in the rabid left periodical, Newsweek, called "Sociobiology just another example of "social Dar-winism." No, Prof. Wilson, it doesn't take a Weather-man to know which way the wind blows, especially when it is a blast of hot air. Richard C. Lewontin '50 Agassiz Professor of Zoology