Falsehoods

Category archives for Falsehoods

Voting is not party involvement. We hear a lot of talk these days about “voters” being repressed in their attempt to be involved in the Democratic primary process. There may be something to that, and it might be nice to make it easier for people to wake up on some (usually) Tuesday morning and go…

This is the third of three parts of this particular falsehood. (Here is the previous part)

In the first part of this discussion, I reminded you that we are talking about “falsehoods.” “Falsehood” is a term I and others have co-opted and have used for well over a decade in courses across the land on evolutionary biology and related topics. The idea is to identify a statement that, when uttered in…

This is yet another in a series of posts on falsehoods. To refresh your memory, a falsehood is a belief held by a number of people that is in some way incorrect. That incorrectness may be blatant, it may be subtle, it may be conditional, it may be simple, it may be complex. But, the…

I’m an anthropologist and a biologist, so really, I have no problem with the idea of a “placebo effect” in which people become convinced that they are being given an effective treatment and thus, because of that thought in their mind, improve.

At issue here is the idea that “biology” is slow and ponderous, glacial, even geological, in its rate of change, while culture is quick and snappy and makes rapid adjustment. Connected to this is a subtly different but very important idea: Culture actually makes sensible adjustments to compensate for changes in the biological realm.

Today’s falsehood is the idea that individual animals act for the benefit of their own species.

Good morning and welcome to another installment of “The Falsehoods.” Today’s falsehood is the assertion that the poor have more babies than the rich, or that the poor just have more babies to begin with. In comparison to … whatever.

This is another falsehood, but a tricky one. Remember the point of falsehoods: They are statements that are typically associated with meanings or implications that are misleading or incorrect, and in some cases downright damaging. “Humans evolved from apes” is an excellent example of a falsehood because it is technically correct, yet the implied meanings…

Falsehood: Nature maintains balance.

There is a lot of evidence that nature is in balance. An invasive species throws off the balance of nature in a given region by out-competing some similar indigenous form. When something destructive happens there is a return to status quo, eventually. A few cold years are followed by a few warm years, or a…