More on the reclamation proclamation26 Feb 2013
Michael E. Smith comments on the Chagnon/Sahlins flap from the perspective of archaeology: “Chagnon, Sahlins, and science”:
What about archaeology? Are we exempt from this kind of serious but silly debate? We certainly have our sociobiologists and our cultural explanations partisans. Mostly they talk past one another, and if they do happen to engage, discourse takes the form of "Is so!" "Is not!" "Is too!" I've commented on a parallel manifestation of the serious but silly debates about the role of drought in the Maya collapse, and archaeological opinions on Jared Diamond's collapse book.
When we allow personal ideological bias rule to our scholarly work, we limit the value of our research to answer real questions and to contribute to broader social and scientific debates. If you have an ideological axe to grind, either leave scholarship and go into politics, or else find ways to achieve a level of scholarly objectivity in your research and writing.
Oh, how I wish I didn’t have a grant proposal to finish tonight. More when I have a chance…