dear andrew perrin: sociobiology is right, you are wrong, deal with it

A recent study provides evidence for a strong effect of biological factors on social behavior. A new article in the journal Pediatrics describes how newborn infants accurately infer their parents’ socio-economic status. From the discussion section of “Social Class Out of the Womb: An Autoethnography of Parent-Newborn Visual Cues:”

“From the moment they open their eyes, newborns can tell if their mother had no other options and was forced to settle for their father, or if their father is a sad sack who has no friends and gets drunk on a single glass of chardonnay,” said researcher Dr. Stuart Lindstrom, explaining that despite their blurry vision, infants can still identify basic loser body types, and have specialized olfactory receptors allowing them to detect the odor of failure.

Given that day old infants haven’t been socialized yet, this is a compelling reason to believe that all people possess an evolved and innate “universal social grammar” that allows people to accurately infer social structure from a handful of facial expressions. Our readers will recognize this as the main prediction of the Chomsky-Bourdieu conjecture, which synthesizes Baguette Theory and Generative Semantics.

Of course, not all sociologists accept the validity of this study. Andrew Perrin of the University of North Carolina said such studies are “an exercise in shoveling fog.” In his blog, Satoshi Kanazawa, a strong defender of sociobiology, said in response to Perrin: “If your baby thinks you are a loser, that’s your problem. If your baby thinks Andrew Perrin is a loser, that’s Andrew’s problem.” The original study in Pediatrics can be read here.

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Written by fabiorojas

April 1, 2012 at 6:09 am

6 Responses

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  1. what a dumb argument



    April 1, 2012 at 11:38 am

  2. Hilarious! gotta’ love the Onion.



    April 1, 2012 at 7:34 pm

  3. Isn’t this just a variant of the “Sociologist’s Paradox” they discuss in intro logic courses? I don’t remember exactly how it goes, but it is something like “when presented with evidence of the biological bases of behavior, the judgment of the sociologist is always wrong.” Anyone remember this? In my undergrad class there were “red” and “green” buttons involved: “the sociologist always presses the red button…the red button is always incorrect…except for when it isn’t…something like that. Any help?



    April 2, 2012 at 11:29 am

  4. Am I missing something? The link to the original article is a link to The Onion website. The Onion is a satirical news site that publishes fake articles for comedic effect. Where is the link to the real article published in a peer reviewed journal?



    April 12, 2012 at 10:30 pm

  5. The date David, the date…



    April 13, 2012 at 5:29 am

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