The “Google Manifesto”: Bad Biology, Ignorance of Evolutionary Processes, and Privilege

By Augustin Fuentes, PhD, University of Notre Dame, August 2017, Plos One

Dr. Fuentes challenges one of the very tempting and risky approaches that consists in legitimizing social beliefs in gender (or racial) differences by grounding them into biology or evolution. He first highlights some of the main arguments developed by James Damore in his manifesto “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber”. He then answers each one of them by presenting the current state of knowledge. Overall, James Damore’s assertions seem to hold untrue because of insufficient or unclear evidence, or because of a lack of appreciation of the complexity of each question addressed in James Damore’s manifesto. As many of his biological and evolutionary contemporaries, Augustin Fuentes reminds scientists’ responsibility in denouncing invalid statements and preventing the spread of flawed ideas by providing evidence-based knowledge. Lastly, he calls for the use of the scientific method to deconstruct assumptions on gender or ethnic differences in all aspects of society. To ‘bad science’, Dr. Fuentes wants to answer with ‘good science’.