Richard Lewontin  

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“We [Richard Lewontin, Steven Rose, and Leon Kamin] share a commitment to the prospect of the creation of a more socially just—a socialist—society. And we recognize that a critical science is an integral part of the struggle to create that society, just as we also believe that the social function of much of today’s science is to hinder the creation of that society by acting to preserve the interests of the dominant class, gender, and race.” --preface to Not in Our Genes (1984)

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Richard Charles "Dick" Lewontin (born March 29, 1929) is an American evolutionary biologist, geneticist and social commentator. A leader in developing the mathematical basis of population genetics and evolutionary theory, he pioneered the notion of using techniques from molecular biology such as gel electrophoresis to apply to questions of genetic variation and evolution.

In a pair of 1966 papers co-authored with J.L. Hubby in the journal Genetics, Lewontin helped set the stage for the modern field of molecular evolution.

In 1979 he and Stephen Jay Gould introduced the term "spandrel" into evolutionary theory. A spandrel is an evolved biological feature which arises as the result of the modification of another trait.

Lewontin strongly opposes genetic determinism, especially as allegedly expressed by sociobiology and evolutionary psychology.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Richard Lewontin" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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