Talk:Lewontin's fallacy

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This needs real citations, not half-ones. Or it needs to go.--ADtalkModerator 11:35, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Well it IS a thing apparently - but yes this article is woeful - delete unless someone volunteers to improve. Tielec01 (talk) 11:39, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Needs to be cited properly (Wilder, 2013). And it could just as well be a section rather than an article. SophieWilderModerator 12:19, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
There are hundreds of articles here with no citations at all. I'll take the five minutes to expand the cites. Are there any other problems? (talk) 12:42, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
The biggest problem with this is it doesn't even begin to cover the controversy over whether this is a fallacy or not. From skimming WP
  • The view that while geographic clustering of biological traits does exist this does not lend biological validity to racial groups was proposed by several evolutionary anthropologists and geneticists prior to the publication of Edwards critique of Lewontin.
  • "Since an individual's geographic ancestry can often be inferred from his or her genetic makeup, knowledge of one's population of origin should allow some inferences about individual genotypes. To the extent that phenotypically important genetic variation resembles the variation studied here, we may extrapolate from genotypic to phenotypic patterns. [...] The fact that, given enough genetic data, individuals can be correctly assigned to their populations of origin is compatible with the observation that most human genetic variation is found within populations, not between them. It is also compatible with our finding that, even when the most distinct populations are considered and hundreds of loci are used, individuals are frequently more similar to members of other populations than to members of their own population. Thus, caution should be used when using geographic or genetic ancestry to make inferences about individual phenotypes."
  • Similarly, biological anthropologist Jonathan Marks agrees with Edwards that correlations between geographical areas and genetics obviously exist in human populations, but goes on to note that "What is unclear is what this has to do with 'race' as that term has been used through much in the twentieth century - the mere fact that we can find groups to be different and can reliably allot people to them is trivial.
So, yeah, there is such a thing but there is also significant disagreement about exactly what this thing is. Innocent Bystander (talk) 13:06, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
This about the specific claim that low Fst invalidates a taxonomy, which is without question false. Whether race is a valid taxonomy apart from this is another matter. (talk) 13:10, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Marks: " What is unclear is what this has to do with 'race'". Lewontin made the claim Fst invalidates race, that's false. (talk) 13:34, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Innocent Bystander reverts[edit]

"(Edwards criticism is only of part of Lewontin's argument)" What is the rest? Please reference/describe, from Lewontin. I hope you are not making things up after a quick google/wikipedia. (talk) 15:00, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

I'm working off secondary sources - I'm not going to cough up the thirty quid necessary - but, from the abstract
What has changed during the evolution of scientific thought, and is still changing, is our perception of the relative importance and extent of intragroup as opposed to intergroup variation. These changes have been in part a reflection of the uncovering of new biological facts, but only in part. They have also reflected general sociopolitical biases derived from human social experience and carried over into “scientific” realms.
Not the argument that race comes from sociopolitical biases derived from human social experience. He may have been wrong when in his interpretation of the data but this doesn't invalidate his wider argument. Innocent Bystander (talk) 15:11, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Lewontin's fallacy specifically refers to the claim that Fst invalidates taxonomy, which is manifestly false. The argument has been parroted ad nauseam as a race denial argument, even by the AAA prior to similar analyses on other species which leave no doubt that it is false. Any later arguments by Lewontin are simply irrelevant. (talk) 15:26, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
No one is disagreeing with you over whether Lewontin was wrong in his analysis of the data. However, there is a massive implied question that you seem to wish to avoid which is "is race a genetic or social construct?". There are many who would wish to see the former and would like to use the fact that Lewontin used an incorrect argument when arguing the latter makes his conclusions incorrect. Unsupported by this argument, yes; incorrect - unproven.
This does not follow. We are doing those who use this wiki a disfavour if we even begin to imply that Lewontin's error has in any way proven or disproven the larger argument. Given the way certain types like to leap upon this and go "aha! Look, see, race is genetically determined, that just goes to show that some races are better than others" it is incumbent upon us to show that this argument is also unsupported by Lewontin's mistake. Innocent Bystander (talk) 15:44, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I agree, feel free to point that out. Don't write "Both Edwards and Lewontin were correct". Lewontin was wrong. (talk) 16:16, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Marks and Kaplan shift the goalposts to claim 'Lewontin was correct all along!'. This isn't wikipedia where we mindlessly parrot sources. Lewontin was wrong, and whether race is valid regardless of Fst is another article. Please, make that point. Don't parrot these disingenuous idiots. (talk) 17:03, 18 November 2013 (UTC)


As per AD et al, do we have the three votes for deletion. Given that it's a magnet for "race realists" like our current BoN friend I'd be certainly glad to see it go so


  1. Innocent Bystander (talk) 15:56, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
  2. The current version is so lacking in context as to be close to unintelligible. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 17:26, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
    Seems clear to me. Are you sure you understand the point? (talk) 17:39, 18 November 2013 (UTC)


  1. Important statistical fallacy supported by scholars at the highest level, and logically unassailable. Of high historical and political relevance. Politically motivated charlatans could only attempt rationale free censorship since they cannot argue against it. (talk) 16:12, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

The text[edit]

Is less clear than 'the source of all misinformation' [1]. Do certain geographicly defined populations (with limited intermixing with other such populations) show distinctive 'genetic fingerprints', if so how much, and to what extent does it matter (outside forensic pathology and 'minimising the transmission of certain genetic problems)? (talk) 16:20, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

They certainly do but please understand that this article is specifically about the claim that Fst invalidates taxonomy, which it doesn't. (talk) 16:24, 18 November 2013 (UTC) is sockpuppet/troll Mikemikev[edit]

The IP is one of Mikemikev's countless socks as is logged here: is logged and banned under Mikemikev at wikipedia - scroll to the bottom: 12 November 2013 Suspected sockpuppets.

Mikemikev recently had his Admin rights removed at Metapedia.

Mike is even rejected by posters at Metapedia, and googling his name shows he has been banned from just about everywhere even including racialist websites. He's even considered a troll/fake by race realists.Torch (talk) 16:39, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Do you have anything to say concerning this article? (talk) 16:47, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it's a deliberate misrepresentation of a minor theory used by racists to go "Aha!" at normal people. Now fuck off back to Nuremburg. SophieWilderModerator 17:40, 18 November 2013 (UTC)