January 22, 2009

Tyler Cowen's snippy review of the Cochran-Harpending book

You can read it here at Marginal Revolution.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

12 comments:

Jeff Burton said...

And the second comment is a slam on Saylour*.

* I know how it's spelled, but this way makes me feel better. Somehow.

Outland said...

"and the lower levels of Ashkenazi social achievement before 1800 are dismissed quickly."

Actually, low levels of social achievement among ethnic minorities are dismissed rather quickly all the time.

Funny how that never seems to be a problem when libertarians are agitating for ever more immigration and open borders.

Anonymous said...

He also makes a big technical goof, citing a Wired article, of all things.

http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/08/no-neanderthal.html

The article mentions a failure to find Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA. But we would only find Neanderthal mitochondria if there had been vast amounts of interbreeding, within an order of magnitude or so of the human population, or if the mitochondria had been selected for.

Cochran's thesis is that if a few dozen matings occurred, then crossing over lets each gene or allele with a selective advantage sweep the human population, while the rest of the genes languish and remain vanishingly infrequent or get eliminated (with a few getting swept along by adjacent selected-for loci).

So much for Tyler's claimed knowledge of the subject. If he actually read the book and knew first-year biology, he could have avoided that error.

bjdouble said...

I get the impression TC reads very quickly and without much care . . . his comments on books suggests that he may have read at most 50% of the book.

agnostic said...

"Hated it!"

Anonymous said...

The commenters are schooling him. It's amazing how, in such a short review, he could make so many mistakes and completely unresponsive objections while failing to talk about the meat of the book at all. I'd like to see another post by Steve on this once the commenting dies down.

steve burton said...

Tyler Cowen is, quite simply, a *poseur*.

He constantly posts lists of what he's supposedly reading, or viewing, or listening to, at the moment - but he hardly ever has anything even slightly interesting to say about any of it.

And on the rare occasions when he does say something interesting, it turns out to be thoroughly incompetent. As in the present case.

billswift said...

Your point about paging the comments is a good one. Several people on overcomingbias.com have complained about theirs also, but at least their blog provider doesn't start a new page until it reaches 50 posts. A bigger problem with marginal revolution's comments is that a link (like the one you have) goes directly to the **last** page of comments which is really disconcerting and irritating.

Anonymous said...

Cowen's either very dumb or very mendacious. I suspect the latter.

Mike T said...

Guys like Cowen are just itching to say, "OKAAAY, it's all true! So what do you want to do then, killsixmillionjews? Admit that's what you want!" Go on Cowen, unburden yourself. (And don't worry pal, there's no problem More Immigration can't solve, right?)

Dennis Dale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"Tyler Cowen is, quite simply, a *poseur*."

That's absolutely true, and it's been evident for years. Why this guy has any sort of credibility on the net is a mystery. The only reason to read Cowan is to see how he's going to embarass himself next.