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Yanomamo

Spin-Doctoring the Yąnomamö: Science as a Candle in the Darkness of the Anthropology Wars

On the occasion of the recent death of Napoleon Chagnon, one of the world’s most famous and controversial anthropologists, we reprint Dr. Michael Shermer’s analysis of the charges leveled against Dr. Chagnon by the journalist Patrick Tierney in his book Darkness in El Dorado.

eSkeptic for October 1, 2019

In Science Salon # 85 Michael Shermer and Deepak Chopra make an attempt at mutual understanding through the careful unpacking of what Deepak means when he talks about the subject-object split, the impermanence of the self, nondualism, the mind-body problem, the nature of consciousness, and the nature of reality. PLUS, on the occasion of the recent death of Napoleon Chagnon, one of the world’s most famous and controversial anthropologists, we reprint Dr. Michael Shermer’s analysis of the charges leveled against Dr. Chagnon by the journalist Patrick Tierney in his book Darkness in El Dorado.

13-03-06

In this week’s eSkeptic, we present an excerpt from Frank Miele’s interview with Napoleon A. Chagnon, usually described as “the most controversial anthropologist,” hero to some, villain to others. His studies of the Yanomamö of the Amazon basin formed a cornerstone in the application of sociobiological theory to humankind. Chagnon himself helped found the discipline of evolutionary psychology and the Human Behavior and Evolution Society (HBES). However, his findings were disputed by other anthropologists who argued for the primacy of culture over genes and evolution. An expanded version of this interview will appear in Skeptic magazine, volume 18, number 2 (later this summer).

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