Monday, August 30, 2010
[From left to right, Jon Meacham of Newsweek (moderator), Marc Hauser, Daniel Dennett, Antonio Damasio, and Patricia Churchland.]
Marc D. Hauser is an American evolutionary biologist and a researcher in primate behavior and animal cognition who teaches at the Psychology Department at Harvard University. In August 2010, Harvard found him solely responsible for eight counts of unspecified scientific misconduct.
The details are still hazy, however apparently Dr Hauser attempted to enhance his scientific prestige by fabricating results of experiments he had done with monkeys. He is probably best known for his 2007 book Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong, in which he argues that people are instinctively moral and this evolved naturally from our monkey and ape ancestors.
This is hardly unique in the history of science. Freud, history's most famous psychiatrist, is now know to have been a fraud. Margaret Mead, history's most famous anthropologist, was apparently a fraud.
So in any case, the next time you read about some scientific evidence proving that the Torah is bogus, don't rush to throw away your tefillin. Take a deep breath and take it all with a large grain of salt. No offence to any chimps out there, however people who learn their ethics and morals from apes may be a little suspect.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 1:53 PM