Sociologists: No Better Than Biologists

(Update 04/04: People, I don't know why you're all being directed to this post by google when looking for pics of Natalie Portman; when I click on the referring link, I get an error message. Anyway, feel free to look around this superduper blog; a link to a very nice pic is at the bottom of each of these posts. But generally, this is a much better resource for pics of Natalie than this blog. And remember: Never use a vacuum cleaner to please yourself; that's dangerous. I don't want to go into details.)

At gnxp, Razib writes:

In The Altruism Equation Lee Alan Dugatkin notes that it's rather obvious that in the scientific literature the citation for many of Hamilton's two papers where he outlined the nature of inclusive fitness were blindly based on the verbal summary in Sociobiology and The Selfish Gene; errors in the bibliographies of both books are replicated in a substantial portion of the cites after 1975. That's pretty sad
I agree that it's sad, surprised I am not. In my own field, it is easy to tell that most people who cite Shaw and McKay's Juvenile Delinquency and Urban Areas, which lays out the final version of what has come to be known as Social Disorganization Theory, have never read the book. The usual summary is along the lines of "lotsa disorganization mean lotsa crime", which is not exactly a fair rendering of this rather complex theory. My guess is that most people's account is actually based on the famous 1989 Sampson and Groves paper (abstract) that simplifies the theory extremely without explicitly saying so.

Wait a minute, didn't I promise you "links to hot pictures of Natalie Portman"? I did! (Link safe for work, which probably means it's not that hot after all.)

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