Thursday, August 31, 2006

Functionalism ain't all that   posted by Razib @ 8/31/2006 11:02:00 PM

Over at my other blog I have a post up about inbreeding fundamentalist Mormons. When brown Muslims are hittin' it with near relations that warrants eyes averted, but if I point to slack-jawed Anglos, well, that is BoingBoing worthy. But in any case, my post focused on an older article about the prevelance of fumerase deficiency among many children within the fundamentalist Mormon community of Colorado city. But one thing struck me about the article, the top-down pro-natalist and conformist nature of the community seemed to be a perfect example of the functionalist notions of evolutionary biologists like David Sloan Wilson. He promoted the reemergence of functionalism and evolutionary analogies in sociology and anthropology in Darwin's Cathedral, the hyper-fecund & genetically inbred fundamentalist Mormons are an ideal case of a group level super-organism, but just like a putative lineage of human clones who reproduce parthenogenetically they are clearly doomed. I suspect that functionalism isn't totally bunk, but like socialism it looks better on paper than it is in practice, really successful long term societies are more decentralized, flexible and fluid.