Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Taboo Hypothesis

I minored in Anthropology in college, and during my senior year I wrote a term paper for Physical Anthropology about Professor Arthur Jensen and his work on race and intelligence. After examining his studies and those of other scientists, I concluded that there seemed to be an irreducible genetic component to IQ. However, there was not enough evidence to draw firm conclusions, and given the incendiary nature of the topic, I suggested that it would be unwise to force the issue.

My proto-PC attitude was typical of a high-minded long-haired college student in the early 1970s. Little did I know that further work on this subject — indeed, even the mere discussion of it — was about to be shut down. By the middle of the decade, the current reign of politically correct science had begun, and it was no longer possible to consider any linkage between genes and intelligence.

It just wasn’t done. It was the hypothesis that dared not speak its name.

In the intervening thirty-five years, the scientific evidence on the issue has continued to accumulate. Prof. Jensen’s widely reviled scholarship has never been refuted by the data, but his conclusions have been politically squashed. On race and intelligence — just as on global warming — “the science is settled”. The academic establishment has determined the truth by fiat, and any further discussion of the subject can only be evidence of “racism”.

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James Watson, the renowned biologist and co-discoverer of the double helix in DNA, ventured an opinion last year on the subject. His statements put him on the wrong side of “science”, and the disapproval of the establishment came down on him like a ton of bricks.

Back in October, Honest Thinking posted a pair of articles about the whole affair. The first one focused on an article by Jason Malloy published in Medical Hypotheses, “Those who punish, those who lie, those who silence, those who condemn, those who intimidate… they have corrupted science”.

HT posted some excerpts from Malloy’s article:

Summary: Recent comments by the eminent biologist James Watson concerning intelligence test data from sub-Saharan Africa resulted in professional sanctions as well as numerous public condemnations from the media and the scientific community. They justified these sanctions to the public through an abuse of trust, by suggesting that intelligence testing is a meaningless and discredited science, that there is no data to support Dr. Watson’s comments, that genetic causes of group differences in intelligence are falsified logically and empirically, and that such differences are already accounted for by known environment factors. None of these arguments are correct, much less beyond legitimate scientific debate. Dr. Watson was correct on all accounts: (1) Intelligence tests do reveal large differences between European and sub-Saharan African nations, (2) the evidence does link these differences to universally valued outcomes, both within and between nations, and (3) there is data to suggest these differences are influenced by genetic factors. The media and the larger scientific community punished Dr. Watson for violating a social and political taboo, but fashioned their case to the public in terms of scientific ethics. This necessitated lying to the public about numerous scientific issues to make Watson appear negligent in his statements; a gross abuse of valuable and fragile public trust in scientific authority. Lies and a threatening, coercive atmosphere to free inquiry and exchange are damaging to science as an institution and to scientists as individuals, while voicing unfashionable hypotheses is not damaging to science. The ability to openly voice and argue ideas in good faith that are strange and frightening to some is, in fact, integral to science. Those that have participated in undermining this openness and fairness have therefore damaged science, even while claiming to protect it with the same behavior.

(c) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

The article goes on to quote Dr. Watson:
- - - - - - - - -
“A priori, there is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically. Our wanting to reserve equal powers of reason as some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so”.

This seems reasonable enough. No one who favors the objective evaluation of evidence could disagree with him, right?

Wrong!

Here are some of the responses. In Nature:

“Crass comments by Nobel laureates undermine our very ability to debate such issues, and thus damage science itself”.

In the Chicago Tribune:

“The damage to Watson’s legacy from his statements may be difficult to mend,” said Jerry Coyne, a professor of evolutionary genetics at the University of Chicago. “He’s done tremendous damage to science, to himself and to social equality,” Coyne said. “It makes us all look bad”.

The author goes on to note the similarity between Dr. Watson’s case and what happened to former Harvard president Larry Summers, who dared to suggest that there might be inherent biological differences between men and women. The scandal!

What effect will this continuing intellectual mob violence have on future and current scientists and researchers who want to freely study human genetics, cross-cultural psychology, sociology, or any discipline that may reveal similar facts that have the potential to cause their professional or personal destruction by an intellectual community that resembles the medieval church?

Those who punish, those who lie, those who silence, those who condemn, those who intimidate… they have corrupted science.

They have injured the intellectual openness, freedom, and fairness of our society and our institutions, with untold costs to our collective human well-being.

Not James D. Watson.

Honest Thinking had this to add:

I find it particularly disappointing that Francis Collins, Watson’s successor in the Human Genome Project (HGP), released the following statement:

“I am deeply saddened by the events of the last week, and understand and agree with Dr. Watson’s undoubtedly painful decision to retire in the aftermath of a racist statement he made that was both profoundly offensive and utterly unsupported by scientific evidence“.

It is of course always disappointing when some scientific authority resorts to downright lies instead of facing up to some disturbing truth. But Collins is not just a high profile scientist, he also happens to be high profile Christian. This means he is bound by the biblical command not to lie, as well as the prescription to love the truth. Unfortunately, Collins has demonstrated that he prefers smooth lies over unpleasant truths. This is all the more ironic, since in his book he criticizes creationists for their unwillingness to face the truth about evolution.

However, even creationists understand (unless they are prepared to invoke miraculous intervention on the part of God to prevent natural developments from taking place) that one cannot have genetic separation of populations without also having genetic differences accumulating. This is just simple and obvious micro-evolution, which is accepted as a fact of life by virtually everyone (in particular by creationists, as it happens). Thus, it turns out that Collins is eager to convince people of the truth, beauty, and explanatory power of evolutionary theory, but he is unwilling to accept one of the most obvious consequences of that very theory.

Not only has Collins betrayed his HGP predecessor and scientific colleague, James Watson; not only has Collins betrayed the scientific community by failing to stand in firm defense of the truth; not only has Collins betrayed the general public by deceiving them and lulling them into a false sense of security (at a time when the West is about to commit demographic and civilizational suicide); on top of all of this, he has betrayed his own faith by joining ranks with the forces of darkness and ignorance. And instead of being a staunch friend in a time of need, he turned his back on Watson and washed his hands to cleanse himself of ‘racism’. If Collins takes his faith seriously (as I suspect he does) he needs to change his ways.

Many scientists owe Watson a public apology for their cowardly behavior during and after last year’s scandal. To my knowledge, not a single one of them has yet had the courage to come forward and admit that they attacked and criticized Watson on insufficient grounds. The longer they wait before doing so, the more embarrassing it will get. Sooner or later some of these people are going to start muttering about “more profound differences than previously thought” or something along those lines. Ok, that’s better than nothing. But I wonder who will be the first to simply cut the crap, skip all lame excuses, and unreservedly apologize to Watson (preferably while he is still alive). This is the kind of situation that separates the men from the boys.

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Prof. Jensen is still studying this subject and writing about it. Thirty-five years of vilification have not stopped him.

In the second article, Honest Thinking reviews an article by Rushton and Jensen published in Medical Hypotheses, “Race realism and the moralistic fallacy”.

Here are some excerpts from Rushton and Jensen’s article:

Summary: Recent editorials in this journal have defended the right of eminent biologist James Watson to raise the unpopular hypothesis that people of sub-Saharan African descent score lower, on average, than people of European or East Asian descent on tests of general intelligence. As those editorials imply, the scientific evidence is substantial in showing a genetic contribution to these differences. The unjustified ill treatment meted out to Watson therefore requires setting the record straight about the current state of the evidence on intelligence, race, and genetics. In this paper, we summarize our own previous reviews based on 10 categories of evidence: The worldwide distribution of test scores; the g factor of mental ability; heritability differences; brain size differences; trans-racial adoption studies; racial admixture studies; regression-to-the-mean effects; related life history traits; human origins research; and the poverty of predictions from culture-only explanations. The preponderance of evidence demonstrates that in intelligence, brain size, and other life-history variables, East Asians average a higher IQ and larger brain than Europeans who average a higher IQ and larger brain than Africans. Further, these group differences are 50—80% heritable. These are facts, not opinions and science must be governed by data. There is no place for the “moralistic fallacy” that reality must conform to our social, political, or ethical desires.

(c) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[…]

When one of the greatest biologists of the 20th century, Nobel-Prize winner James Watson, noted that people of African descent average lower on intelligence tests than do Europeans and East Asians, he was excoriated by the mass media and elements of the scientific elite and forced to retire from his position as Chair of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory [9,34]. Watson’s treatment was especially egregious given that, in point of scientific fact, more than a century-and-a-half of evidence corroborates his statement. Moreover, supportive new data and analyses appear regularly in mainstream, peer-reviewed journals in the relevant scientific disciplines. Evidence to the contrary is exceedingly weak. Most of the opposition to the genetic hypothesis consists of mere moralizing and worse, the creation of a threatening and coercive atmosphere incompatible with academic freedom, free enquiry, and the civil liberties of a truly democratic society. An enormous gulf separates the politically correct gatekeepers and enforcers from true experts in the behavioral sciences.

Nor is Watson’s case unique. He is but the latest in a long line of academics that have been pilloried and defamed (detailed accounts given in Hunt [20]). The others include Nobel-Prize winner William Shockley, Hans Eysenck, Linda Gottfredson, Richard Lynn, Richard Herrnstein, Charles Murray, Christopher Brand, Glayde Whitney, Helmuth Nyborg, and Tatu Vanhanen. The present writers too have endured their share of attacks. The taboo on race will surely become a major topic of investigation by sociologists of knowledge. There is no parallel to it in the history of science. It is uniquely imposed, mainly through self-censorship, by members of the Western intelligentsia in their own academy — which prides itself on a tradition of academic freedom, open inquiry, and the unfettered discovery, systematization, and pursuit of knowledge and its dissemination to the general public.

Despite the chilling effect described, we (and the others) have persevered in part because of the great importance of the topic, the fascinating data it provides, and the theoretical issues it raises…

Because many consider the race-IQ hypothesis incendiary, it is essential to thoroughly examine all the relevant data. We did this in our 60-page review, “Thirty Years of Research on Race Differences in Cognitive Ability,” which was published as the lead article in the June 2005 issue of Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, a journal of the American Psychological Association [51]. In the current article we summarize and update those findings (more complete statistical details and references can be found there). Again, the preponderance of evidence argues that it is more probable than not that the genetic contribution to racial group differences in intelligence, brain size and other life-history variables is between 50% and 80%. A good introduction to the issues involved is Bartholomew.

Notice the cautious and non-inflammatory nature of the authors’ conclusions: It is more probable than not that the genetic contribution to racial group differences in intelligence… is between 50% and 80%.

Yet this is simply not allowed. We must not consider the possibility. To do so is racist. The science is settled. These guys are making scientists look bad. Etc.

Once again: it’s the hypothesis that dare not speak its name.


Important Note:

Commenters are warned not to generate a race-based free-for-all on this post.

This post is about the anathematizing of scientists who dare to question the politically acceptable orthodoxy on the topic of race.

This post is about the enforced group consensus that reigns in the scientific establishment.

This post is about the way academic and fiscal pressure is used to marginalize anyone who goes outside that consensus.

This post is not about the characteristics of one race or another.

This post is not an invitation to list the positive or negative characteristics of any particular race.

This post concerns process. It does not concern content.

Racial diatribes are off-topic. There are plenty of other forums available where you can hold forth on such subjects to your hearts’ content.

If the thread gets out of hand, it will be closed to further comments.

58 comments:

Natalie said...

Interesting post, Baron. It's too bad that the left continues to stifle scientific debate.

Just out of curiosity, what did you major in in university?

Baron Bodissey said...

Natalie --

I earned a BA in Math, which was unusual, because most Math majors ended up in the School of Sciences.

My minor could have been either English or Anthro -- I had 30 hours in each, so it was my call.

Unrepentant British Nationalist said...

A great article. I posted about this very thing last month, though your article is far more thorough and illuminating.

Unrepentant British Nationalism: Racial Difference is Real

Conservative Swede said...

It is more probable than not that the genetic contribution to racial group differences in intelligence… is between 50% and 80%.

Yes indeed, and who's surprised really? But there are other differences too, the races with lower intelligence have other qualities, so I think not only intelligence should be discussed from a genetical perspective (but also e.g. musicality).

By knowing the both the strong and weak sides of each group we can organize the society accordingly (or rather not fight it when it naturally does so itself), and then all the colours can live happily together in an harmonic way.

It used to be just like that of course, before utopian ideology and TV took over completely.

laller said...

I don't know if Helmuth Nyborg has been villified for his work on race and intelligence/IQ, but he was certainly villified for his owrk on sex and intelligence/IQ. I remember the Danish scientific community going nuts, accusing him of scientific malpractice, though he was cleared of those charges by a tribunal of sorts. I remember "equality spokespersons"(don't know the proper translation) og various political parties going nuts, accusing him of scientific malpractice, sexism and other things.
Certainly anything to do with differences in intelligence between groups is highly controversial, not just racial differences. I think it would be more correct to say that anything that goes against "political orthodoxy" is controversial, though. I remember reading about a female Australian researcher who found that "too many" women on company boards was bad for business. That too sparked controversy, though apparently mostly in Norway, where quotas were introduced some time ago.(Any Norwegians feel free to correct me, as I've only read that it caused controversy in Norway)

Anyway, as long as "races don't exist", and "men and women are the same" etc., this kind of science will never be accepted.

Armance said...

Thus, it turns out that Collins is eager to convince people of the truth, beauty, and explanatory power of evolutionary theory, but he is unwilling to accept one of the most obvious consequences of that very theory.

This is one of the strangest contradictions of the leftist mindset: they praise Darwin and use Darwinist arguments when it's about natural evolution, but at the same time they refuse to acknowledge any consequences of the same Darwinist theory at the societal and human level. Fully Darwinists regarding the evolution of species, they turn themselves into fanatical idealists when the discussion about the evolution of human groups and societies is started. Darwinist arguments at the natural level are strangely mixed with the most deranged forms of Platonic and/or Christian exaltation when human evolution and history are concerned. I have a great respect for the Darwinists who are consequent and admit all the implications of Darwinism (like James Watson) because I rarely saw such examples.

Francis W. Porretto said...

The suppression of all discussion of racial, ethnic, and gender differences is the most rigidly enforced taboo in Western society. It could only be made more rigorous by law -- and in all the nations of the West except the United States, this is being done or has been done already.

I have my own position on the matter, of course. And though it's occasioned some abuse, I find candor more confortable than dissimulation.

Darrin Hodges said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darrin Hodges said...

The reverse does not hold true and race means everything when the target is Caucasian. For example in Melbourne, Australia the Monash University is holding a study on "whitness" - "Re-Orienting Whiteness Conference 2008" - some of the papers involved:

“White Colonialism in the Early Childhood Field”;

“Cultural Contagion in the Eye-To-Skin Encounters of Inter-Racial Sexuality”;

“Whiteness and the Working Mother”;

“Brown bully, white class; brown teachers exposing whiteness to white students”;

“The Good White Nation Once More Made Good: Apology for Atrocities to the Stolen Generations”;

“Re-orienting Racism. ‘Raggers’ and ‘Rednecks’ in Relation to a Proposed Islamic School”;

Then we have this story from Canada:

Ottawa university boots cystic fibrosis from charity drive

The Carleton University Students’ Association has voted to drop a cystic fibrosis charity as the beneficiary of its annual Shinearama fundraiser, supporting a motion that argued the disease is not “inclusive” enough.

Cystic fibrosis “has been recently revealed to only affect white people, and primarily men” said the motion read Monday night to student councillors, who voted almost unanimously in favour of it.

Suddenly, race matters, but only when its about "whites".

Conservative Swede said...

Laller,

I remember the Danish scientific community going nuts, accusing him of scientific malpractice, though he was cleared of those charges by a tribunal of sorts. I remember "equality spokespersons" (don't know the proper translation) of various political parties going nuts, accusing him of scientific malpractice, sexism and other things.

That's how people always react when the feel that their core myths are threatened (which they do simply when someone discretely state some fact that differs from it): they freak out, behave hysterically and start bullying the person who said it.

This is all probably somewhere down there in the genes too.

as long as "races don't exist"

Oh, but races do exist! Only just not in biology and genetics. However in history it does, otherwise white guilt cannot be created over the many evil and sadistic sins of white man in history. And we of course have Blackness and Whiteness studies.

Conservative Swede said...

Armance,

This is one of the strangest contradictions of the leftist mindset: they praise Darwin and use Darwinist arguments when it's about natural evolution, but at the same time they refuse to acknowledge any consequences of the same Darwinist theory at the societal and human level.

Yes this shows us what weak minds they have. It doesn't take much thinking to see that there's something wrong with that picture. But people do not think.

And there are many such paradoxes. Look at traditional conservatives who completely accept the idea of evolution for the society; that the "ideal" society cannot be made according to a plan, and that the best society is that which has historically evolved, and that we should leave that untouched by social engineering. While at the same time they cannot accept the idea of evolution in nature, but hold on to creationism.

And vice versa for the liberals/leftists. Quick to accept the idea of Darwinism and evolution in nature (probably not because they have understood the idea, but because it goes against Christianity). But completely unable to accept the usefulness of the very same idea of evolution when it comes to society. Then everything has to be made according to a plan, a great master plan. Indeed for the society the liberals/leftists are all into Intelligent Design.

Félicie said...

There is no question that IQ is heritable. I think that the 50% estimate is way too low. It's closer to 80% correlation between IQ and genetics. It is also indisputible that there is a strongs correlation between verbal IQ and the wealth of nations.

At the same time, I don't believe that IQ is an accurate measure of intelligence. I believe rather that IQ correlates with intelligence, but not perfectly. What is an IQ? I read the history of intelligence tests. At one point, someone just picked some tests and said that these tests measure intelligence. Somebody else might have chosen different criteria. The criteriathemselves are not something you can test. God will not step out from behind a cloud and declare these tests legitimate. Whenever you choose some tests, some people will do better, and some worse. Similarly, some populations will do better, and some worse. I personally think that IQ tests are strongly skewed towards people with "visual" thinking. People with "kinesthetic" intelligence will not do as well. Somebody like Heidegger, who, I am sure, had a kinesthetic mind, would not have a genius IQ, I am sure, although it's kind of hard to check now. Another thing is that the IQ geniuses (those with the IQ around 200)are never real life geniuses. There are societies for these people, so you can check their biographies. Most of them are successful professionals, but not famous scientists or philosophers.

At the same time, there is a correlation between IQ and college grades, IQ and the wealth of nations. So I am not arguing by any means that the IQ studies and correlations should be dissmissed. It is obviously a valuable tool. It's interpreting what exactly it tells us. I prefer to interpret it not in the way that the IQ is a measure of intelligence, but that it is a measure of adaptaion. Clearly, populations with a low IQ are not adapted to living within societies with a high IQ. Their thinking is just too different. They are incompatible. The popultaions with a low IQ should live in their own societies that suit their style of thinking and unique talents. Maybe in time, their societies will evolve and become more technological. And maybe this will happen because of a gradual rise in their IQ. Maybe the IQ is a characteristic capable of evolving. Who knows?

Baron Bodissey said...

Conservative Swede --

I don't know if Europe is different, but in America any conservative who subscribed to "Social Darwinism" would be very unlikely to be a Creationist.

Creationism does not go along with Social Darwinism. The two do not mix. A fundamentalist who rejects Darwinism generally rejects it in all its forms. I have never encountered a single exception.

Within the conservative movement, however, there is quite a mixture. There are a lot of atheists/secularists among conservatives. The Creationists and the Darwinists have to rub elbows. The groups sometimes attack each other viciously, and the supporters from one faction will often sabotage the election of a candidate from the other faction.

But these same two traits do not, in my experience, mix within a single individual.

There are also many "moderate" Christians -- like yours truly -- who have no problem with science, modern cosmology, the Big Bang, evolution, etc.

Hucbald said...

The comparison of the PC scientists, and leftists in general, to the medieval Church is particularly apropos. While the data on race, gender and intelligence is saying the world is round and orbits the sun, they continue to claim that the world is flat and is at the center of the universe.

This also translates to leftists believing in global warming superstitions et al. That they also engage in the same types of intimidation tactics as the medieval Church is also obvious to a dispassionate observer. Seriously, it is only modern Western law that prevents them from forming a PC Inquisition to mirror the old Spanish Inquisition and having race/gender/IQ researchers who only reveal the results of scientific method inquiry burned at the stake.

It is far, far beyond ironic, especially when you consider that many of these PC "scientists" are atheists who trash modern Churches at every opportunity. Too funny.

As a musician who composes using traditional techniques, I can add a few anecdotal observations from my own experience and research: There are no female Beethovens. This can obviously be extended to Einsteins, Di Vincis et cetera.

Leftist PC musicians hate it when I point this out, and I have done so for decades now, and refuse to be cowed: Men and women are different in terms of intellectual abilities, which is why I'd much rather conduct an orchestra made up of women who can work together for the common goal easily than one made up of temperamental men, especially homosexual men who are notoriously difficult.

I could go on...

Conservative Swede said...

Baron,

How easy it is to misunderstand each other, indeed.

I don't know if Europe is different, but in America any conservative who subscribed to "Social Darwinism" would be very unlikely to be a Creationist.

I didn't imagine that anyone would get my text wrong in that way so I missed to secure it against it. It's my mistake of course, but it's hard to secure for everything. With such an interpretation my text must become incomprehensible and pretty pointless (since the important symmetries will be all lost). I will have to amend it with an addendum here:

No I'm not talking about Social Darwinism above but about basic Conservatism 101; it's unplanned society of evolved institutions as opposed to liberals/socialists planned/engineered society. This is the most basic principle of all in Conservatism.

Social Darwinism is something entirely different, and has little to do with the idea of slow evolution (the opposite of revolution). Instead it's just another kind of progressivism, and a branch on the tree of liberalism, and not at all conservative, no more than e.g. fascism.

It seems that it's common to associate the term "evolution" to "Darwinism" and "survival of the fittest", and the thoughts fly on from there. I will make a note about it. To me evolution represents the opposite of revolution, the opposite of planned. E.g. in Bernstein's book "Evolutionary Socialism" (which doesn't advocate Darwinism in any form).

Baron Bodissey said...

CS --

OK, I see your point.

But even your version -- the natural evolution of human societies, customs, and institutions -- would be unlikely to be espoused by a hard-core Creationist.

All developments over time, whether human or natural, are directed by God.

Exceptions are drawn for groups that are in thrall to Satan, and these include Islam, Hinduism, Wiccans, atheists, feminists, homosexuals, world government enthusiasts, etc. All of those groups are satanically inspired, and have a demonic component.

Honestly, you need to spend some time checking into the carefully worked out corollaries of the fundamentalist Christian worldview. The Enlightment never touched their theology at all.

I don't know how many people believe this kind of thing, and there are numerous less stringent forms of evangelical Christian belief. But those who reject Darwinism in its entirety generally subscribe to something similar to what I outlined above.

Conservative Swede said...

Baron,

But even your version -- the natural evolution of human societies, customs, and institutions -- would be unlikely to be espoused by a hard-core Creationist.

First of all I didn't say natural evolution. I said evolution. Secondly, those who you refer to as "hard-core Creationist" are clearly, according to the description given by you, not at all conservatives but religious fanatics, probably fostered by TV evangelists.

All developments over time, whether human or natural, are directed by God.

No, the traditional conservative idea is not that God created the society for us. He created the world yes, but not the society we live in. A conservative see the society as a product of our history. Of course it's not untouched by the hand of God, but that an entirely different thing.

When the conservatives argued against the liberals back in the 19th century they didn't say that the society should be untouched by reform because this is how God had planned it. No, they were suspicious against social engineering since they saw the society as a product of history and respected the fine social fabric that was torn apart by the liberal social engineering.

To say that the society was planned by God would be theocracy, and conservatism is not theocratic. I expect the American creationists you talk about never thought more deeply upon Christianity and the society, but the important conservative thinkers knew very well that there is no support in Christianity that the society was planned by God. In Islam there is, and it's all coded down in the Koran. In Christianity however it is not.

Czechmade said...

CS, strange - you condemn indirectly 2 "ingeneered" (one in the past, one now and throughout its past) societies, but you fight me when I say the same in detail (facts and quotes included).

Conservative Swede said...

Baron,

I thought I should present you some good quotes from conservative thinkers. Well, Wikipedia will have to do for the moment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflections_on_the_Revolution_in_France

My quotes are from Wikipedia's description of Burke, not of Burke.

1. Burke says (according to Wikipedia) "that society should be handled like a living organism, that people and society are limitlessly complicated, thus, leading him to conflict with Thomas Hobbes's assertion that politics might be reducible to a deductive system akin to mathematics."

=> People and society are to complcated to be understood. Therefore don't tinker with it!

2. "As a Protestant and Whig, he expressly repudiated the belief in divinely-appointed monarchic authority and that a people have no right to depose an oppressive government, however, he advocated central roles for private property, tradition, and 'prejudice' (adherence to irrational values) to give citizens a stake in their nation's social order. He argued for gradual, constitutional reform, not revolution (in every case except the most qualified case), emphasising that a political doctrine founded upon abstractions such as liberty and the rights of man could be easily abused to justify tyranny. Instead, he called for the constitutional enactment of specific, concrete rights and liberties as protection against governmental oppression."

=> No divinely-appointed monarchic authority.

=> Notice the importance of prejudice (irrational values). Goes together with the idea that society and people are to complicated to understand (even less re-engineer).

3. In the phrase, "[prejudice] renders a man's virtue his habit", he defends people's cherished, but untaught, irrational prejudices (the greater it behooved them, the more they cherished it), because a person's moral estimation is limited, therefore, people are better off drawing from the "general bank and capital of nations and of ages" than from their own intellects.

=> Nothing about moral guidance from God here. The guidance comes from our history! Burke was not a TV evangelist, but a serious political thinker.

Conservative Swede said...

Czechmade,

CS, strange - you condemn indirectly 2 "ingeneered" (one in the past, one now and throughout its past) societies, but you fight me when I say the same in detail (facts and quotes included).

The only thing you have said to me are long tirades of attacks on me, including calls for having me banned. You have called me every nasty thing you could come up with (including their opposites). The amount of self-contradiction in what you write makes it effectively incomprehensible.

And now you are pitying yourself because I "fight" you. How misunderstood are you not? Poor you! (Gee, get a grip on yourself, man!) However, as you may have noticed I do not care much any longer for defending myself against your constant attacks and name calling. Your behaviour is so beyond the pale that it need not be answered anymore.

And now you are pitying yourself that you feel left out of the interesting debates. You do not really have a clue at all, do you?

Baron Bodissey said...

CS --

I think we are talking past each other here. I’ll return to your original statement:

Look at traditional conservatives who completely accept the idea of evolution for the society; that the "ideal" society cannot be made according to a plan, and that the best society is that which has historically evolved, and that we should leave that untouched by social engineering. While at the same time they cannot accept the idea of evolution in nature, but hold on to creationism.

In the United States, at least, virtually no one, conservative or otherwise, believes in Creationism unless he is also a fundamentalist Christian (or perhaps a fundamentalist Muslim or Zoroaastrian, but that’s another matter). A fundamentalist Christian who does not accept evolution would also be ill-disposed to a theory that posits any gradual evolution within human institutions, except that which is planned and directed by God. The exceptions, as I mention above, would be Satanically-inspired human institutions, like the UN or the World Bank.

To say that the society was planned by God would be theocracy, and conservatism is not theocratic.

In the United States, this is incorrect. There is a theocratic strain within Christian conservatism which believes the American Republic was ordained by God and is a specifically Christian institution, with a God-given mission. Its adherents are a small minority, but they exist. I have occasionally encountered their writings.

I expect the American creationists you talk about never thought more deeply upon Christianity and the society…

This is also untrue. They have thought very, very deeply on these topics, but their thinking has led them to conclusions that would be totally alien to you (and to me, too). Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this subset of American Christianity is made up entirely of mouth-breathing morons. That’s what the liberal elite believe, and they are wrong, too. Be careful not to buy into the mainstream propaganda. The truth about Christian belief in the USA may be different from what you think.

Unless he has spent years away from the big cities and academic centers in the United States living in small-town, rural, and redneck areas, it’s hard for a European to understand the varieties of American Christianity. There are plenty of ignorant people among them, but there are also many people who are intelligent and sophisticated, but do not live in a cultural milieu which would be familiar to you. Some of them are well-read, articulate, and have thought carefully, but they have reached theological conclusions which are very different from any that I would ever reach.

American conservatism is very different from the European variety. It has a number of different strains, and some of them are mutually contradictory.

Paul Green said...

While I certainly agree with the proposition that "the race-IQ hypothesis" should not be off-limits to scientific discussion on pain of a screeching chorus of "anti-racist" denunciation*, the question that immediately comes to mind is: Does "IQ" equate to "intelligence"?

I, for one, do not think it does. "IQ," whether measured by the Stanford-Benet, the U.S. Army GT, or some other test, gauges nothing more than one's ability to achieve a good score on aptitude tests. There are vast areas of cognitive ability such tests -- at least, the ones I've seen -- don't even touch on.

* Excellent point, Darrin Hodges.

xlbrl said...

26 different IQ tests have been used to establish the comparative numbers, and they never are in conflict.
It seems the IQ difference is two standard deviations--one being 15 points. And it seems clear that removing the African from the environment also removes one of those standard deviations. You can call that part 50-50.
My brother has spent much time in Cameroon with his wife, who is native. He believes those IQ scores unhesitatingly, and describes the environmental deficit as being common brutality. What brutality robs in intelligence, it provides for in cleverness. He is certain his own lack of cleverness could not support his survival on his own there.

Conservative Swede said...

Baron,

Hmm...

So if you are right, and I'm sure you are, then the paradox I presented has become anachronistic. There are no longer any real conservatives holding on to creationism then. I was speaking of pre-WWI Europe, and this conservatism does not exist anymore (Or maybe in Russia? Russia is truly refreshingly pre-WWI in its mentality in many ways.)

Thank you for your description of the American Christian Right. Apparently it's not what I thought it was. It's not conservative, except in the most superficial and anecdotal ways. And my paradox does not apply to them then, since they are pretty consistent theocrats.

Of course many of them are intelligent, quite as there are many intelligent Scientologist. But these people apparently haven't thought deeply upon Christianity and the society quite as I said (and when I say deeply I mean deeply and not superficially-deeply such as liberal smarta**es thinking "deeply" upon global warming).

Conservatism is dead.

Czechmade said...

CS - the size of your responses speaks volumes. 3 lines deserve 3 lines. Or pregnant responses to my questions (no limit).

Conservative Swede said...

IQ measures intelligence well enough to being able to draw some conclusions from it. The point with having IQ tests as they are is that this is a feasible way to measure it, and makes it possible top quantify the results well.

It's quite often in science that we do not measure exactly the thing that we are after but something related to it. Not even the thermometer in the glass of water is measuring the temperature in the glass of water, but more exactly the temperature of the mercury in the thermometer.

Geoffrey de Bouillon said...

Understanding Human History

This book restates the numerical data and gives a brief proof for various ethnic groups based on their historical and cultural achievements.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

Now, you see, I find this quite odd (and excuse me if I meander a bit, lack of sleep and lots of nasty headaches make me... something something... anyway)

Can someone define creationism for me? I mean, really? Because my experience of people from the US is rather different on this matter. A lot of people I know over there are who I would braodly call "creationist" - they believe god made the world in a week and so on - but they aren't dogmatic about much of it. The time limit of 6000 years, for example, is rarely brought up by anyone except people trying to smear all creationists as loonies. THere are btter ways to smear creationists as loonies.

The thing is, Ifm by creationist, you mean the whole-hog, god made the world, nothing evolves, it's only 6000 years old and that age was built into it from the start argument then yes, I doubt these people would subscribe to any sort of evolutionary theory. But that's only a very tiny subset of what I would define as creationists.

I would call myself a creationist but I don't see why the world has to be exactly 6000 years old. God moves in mysterious ways. The genesis account is very obviously a story - it didn't happen that way. BUT... it's a story that tells the fundamental truth (in the christian view), that God made the world.

Hell I'd even go as far as to describe myself as a fundamentalist, but again I think that depends on how you define "fundamentalist christian". To borrow a certain ex-senator's turn of phrase, that isn't the fundamentalism I thought I knew.

I would suspect that the main problem isn't "creationism" or what have you but a critical inability to think. If you think about it, this incapability of thought seems to afflict anyone at any extreme. Just as the extreme darwinist will refuse to see anything that challenges evolutionary theory (or even the idea of abiogenesis), the hardcore creationist stance will be defended with increasing ferocity, and the social engineering of the left will become a dogma to match that of original sin.

That's the problem. Lack of thought. You can be as open minded as an empty bowl and still lack the ability to think.

Baron Bodissey said...

CS --

It's not as bad as all that. As I said, the outright Creationists are in the minority in conservative circles. There are other varieties of Christians, and of conservatives.

Many committed Christians are socially and fiscally conservative and are in favor of small government.

Armance said...

My brother has spent much time in Cameroon with his wife, who is native. He believes those IQ scores unhesitatingly, and describes the environmental deficit as being common brutality. What brutality robs in intelligence, it provides for in cleverness. He is certain his own lack of cleverness could not support his survival on his own there.

This is my conclusion from what I've seen around - well, it cannot be relied on too much, since it's the simple anecdotal unsystematic observation of an individual - but it led to my personal conclusion that people who lack intelligence and learning abilities develop a sort of cunningness. It applies also to groups. That's why corruption (a form of non-intelligent cunningness) is so widespread in some societies, particularly those societies where education - and consequently some aptitudes - is not valued too much. But the network of human relations created in such societies can be very complex, so to speak. And a very intelligent German engineer, for example, could be absolutely helpless if he tries to survive in Zimbabwe because he lacks the cunningness necessary to live there, even if he is more intelligent (in IQ terms) than most of the people around. One more reason against the idea of a "multicultural" society. It doesn't work because the abilities required to survive in a type of society (with a certain racial, ethnic, cultural background) become obstacles to survive in a different environment.

Conservative Swede said...

Baron,

It's not as bad as all that. As I said, the outright Creationists are in the minority in conservative circles.

Sure. But according to your description there are no real conservatives (such as in Burke) in America, only Christian fundamentalists and right-wing liberals. It's all logical of course since historical evolution plays comparatively little role in the American mindset. History is short and mainly about your revolution, and how conservative is that? Your society is seen as "designed" by the constitution. Your identity is not based on a ethnic web evolving over millenia.

Many committed Christians are socially and fiscally conservative and are in favor of small government.

Except for "socially conservative", this is the definition of being right-wing liberal. "Fiscally conservative" is America speak. Economically liberal policies are called "conservative", since the word "liberal" has become reserved for left-wing political liberalism. The leftists have sort of hijacked the word "liberal" since nobody wants to be called socialist in America.

And socially conservative has little to do with politics. It relates to personal attitudes in the private life. Politics is about how a country should be governed.

Sagunto said...

IQ testing and "planned society" or "social engineering" have gone hand in hand.

How tight the link is between IQ testing and something called "intelligence" seems rather academic, when the issue is about differences in mean IQ scores and whether or not racial differences associated with those scores should be a normal part of the scientific debate (i.m.o. that goes without saying).

Of course there shouldn't be any taboos on asking tough scientific questions, but hey, tell that to all those scientists so keen on "consensus" when the public debate gets likewise heated on climate change.

To put things into perspective: what is the added value of IQ testing to predict academic success of children? The verdict of the headmaster scores better, so there you go. Simpler and a lot cheaper. From a conservative point of view, I'd say that when there is no apparent need to bring in the social scientists, then don't.

Sag.

Conservative Swede said...

Sagunto,

From a conservative point of view, I'd say that when there is no apparent need to bring in the social scientists, then don't.

Sure. A true conservative sticks to his prejudices, which represents the "general bank and capital of nations and of ages" (see Burke above).

Sagunto said...

CS,

Yep. Prejudices based on (tried and tested) traditions are usually the most valuable pj's and of course the ones most under attack by "progressives" of all ages.

The thing with the race/IQ and the progressive "thinkers" seems like a specific version of the well known misunderstanding/distortion by socialists of their own history (take e.g. the whole nazi, neo-nazi and "anti"-fascist thing). Progressives/socialists of days past used to push for drastic societal change, through eugenics and so on, while today's progressives have this "anti"-racist reflex when scientists dare venture into areas they haven't approved to be "fit for progress". Yet.

Sag.

Baron Bodissey said...

CS --

I hate to tell you you’re wrong twice in one day, but, alas, you are. You just don’t understand Americans very well, at least not when we stray from the BosWash corridor and the Left Coast.

You’d have to spend a lot of time here hanging out in places like Tulsa or Elizabeth City to get an idea of the varieties of American conservatism that exist. Or, failing that, read a dozen or so local American newspapers online every day. Different ones each day, to get a representative selection.

You make several assertions which are just plain mistaken:

1. But according to your description there are no real conservatives (such as in Burke) in America, only Christian fundamentalists and right-wing liberals.

That is not what I said, not at all, and it’s not true. The largest faction of American conservatism (not neocons, mind you) consists of secular people who advocate free-market economics and liberty for individuals. They look to Burke, Adam Smith, and Ronald Reagan, among others. Most of them are at least nominally Christian, but their religious beliefs don’t directly drive their political opinions. I know a committed Christian activist in Lynchburg who exactly fits the description I just gave. He also smokes, drinks, and considers the Second Amendment very important. He may well be fairly typical of this type of conservative.

The conservatives who hog the talking-head spaces on TV — Obamacons and neocons, mainly — are not representative. They are at least marginally part of the establishment, and get all the media attention, but they are quite different from conservatives in flyover country. They wouldn’t know how to gut a deer or fix a truck.

2. It's all logical of course since historical evolution plays comparatively little role in the American mindset. History is short and mainly about your revolution, and how conservative is that?

I am truly surprised at you! You have fallen for the standard elite European stereotype of Americans. Honestly, this is a very ignorant statement. What foolishness!

Many Americans have a strong sense of history that goes back way beyond our Revolution. My late cousin Mary, a lady of the old school from Richmond, knew more about the Kings and Queens of England than anyone I ever met in Britain. She explained to me the historical-political background in France that led to the establishment of a Huguenot (Calvinist) settlement on the south bank of the James back in colonial days. She told me stories about Mary Queen of Scots.

Things have deteriorated in recent years due to the decline in our educational system, but you can bet that the homeschooled children — most of them Christians — are being well-educated in history, going all the way back to ancient Mesopotamia. I know my kid was.

3. Your society is seen as "designed" by the constitution. Your identity is not based on a ethnic web evolving over millenia.

There is some truth in this. But, once again, those who know their history know that the American idea is firmly rooted in English Common Law, and can trace its pedigree back to the Magna Carta and beyond.

The detachment of the Republic from its basic English antecedents is a relatively recent (and superficial) phenomenon.

4. Except for "socially conservative", this is the definition of being right-wing liberal.

Balderdash. Most socially conservative Christians see the value of respecting time-hallowed institutions. They do not subscribe to any of the tenets of modern liberalism, even if they do tend to be innately tolerant. They are fierce about liberty, suspicious of government, and go to church. Which part of that is “liberal” (in the modern PC sense)?

“Fiscally conservative” means keeping the size of the government to a minimum, forcing it to live within its means, and avoiding the over-regulation of private enterprise.

There are some socially conservative Christians who favor a coercive public morality. But most simply want to regain a public space that is free of the most debased aspects of modern culture, leaving the various forms of debasement to private spaces. I am one of the latter.

Lex said...

I must conclude at this point that Baron is intentionally trying to be humorous on with his posts.

Conservative Swede said...

Baron,

The largest faction of American conservatism (not neocons, mind you) consists of secular people who advocate free-market economics and liberty for individuals.

Which is precisely right-wing liberalism.

The conservatives who hog the talking-head spaces on TV — Obamacons and neocons, mainly — are not representative. They are at least marginally part of the establishment, and get all the media attention, but they are quite different from conservatives in flyover country.

But that's how it is in Sweden too. We have SD and you have Tancredo, that's as much conservative it gets in either place. But surely in both places there is much more under the surface.

They are fierce about liberty, suspicious of government, and go to church. Which part of that is “liberal” (in the modern PC sense)?

That makes them right-wing liberals who go to church.

Conservative Swede said...

Baron,

I wrote a longer comment after above one, but it got lost in an update. I will have to get back to the issue tomorrow or in the weekend.

Baron Bodissey said...

CS --

Your formulations are nonsensical, at least to me. Maybe some other Americans can weigh in with their own definitions.

An American conservative has respect for tradition, observes the principle of unintended consequences, upholds the right to private property, expects to be left alone by the government, and supports ordered liberty. Those are liberal values in the old-fashioned sense of the term "liberal".

There. I've defined my terms. That's what I mean when I use the word "conservative" in an American context.

I recognize that "conservative" has quite a different meaning in a European context, since the institutions which need to be conserved are different. In America we attempt to conserve the institution of liberty, which has fallen on hard times for the last 75 years or so.

Félicie said...

"There are no female Beethovens. "

My professional musicologist friend considers Sophia Gubaidullina to be one of the world's best composer today.

Conservative Swede said...

Those are liberal values in the old-fashioned sense of the term "liberal".

Precisely my point. Those are liberal values, not conservative.

Baron Bodissey said...

Swede --

OK, now I understand. I knew we were talking past each other.

Yes, the word "liberal", as co-opted by the Left, has been ruined, at least in the USA. Like "gay", "retarded", and countless other once useful words, its meaning has been altered.

Conservatives are liberal, and up is down.

Conservative Swede said...

Excellent!

I had added more meat to the discussion in my lost post, but I have to rewrite it another day, since I'm heading for bed quite soon.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

Now now, that's a naughty word, Lex.

Lex said...

GD(A)--yet strangely applicable to the argument proposed here. Rather, most of them. But I'll stick to the OP.

BTW, it's hardly an "f-bomb"...LOL.

Bilgeman said...

Sayeth the Baron:

"This post concerns process. It does not concern content."

who also asserts:

"This post is about the anathematizing of scientists who dare to question the politically acceptable orthodoxy on the topic of race"

Ah-yup.

Government scientific funding in an open democratic society is a Political Process.

On the fundees' side, it's a "gang-bang in waiting" for the first schmuck who drops his trousers to answer a call of nature.

What a surprise...beggars having fistfights for the cheap bottle of Muscatel.

As for the content...I assume that I'd test out as a retard if I took a Chinese standardized aptitude test that was written in Mandarin.
I might not do so goodly either if they would be kind enough to translate it into what they say is my language.

According to my Physics 101, IQ is a SCALAR qunatity that is misapplied in describing a VECTOR phenomena.

It's all in the maths...

And that's all I have to babble about that subject.

Natalie said...

"There are no female Beethovens."

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's little-known sister Nannerl was at least as talented as he was, if not more so, but was not allowed to pursue music the way Wolfgang himself was.

Mitch said...

I, for one, welcome our new Chinese overlords.

Whiskey said...

Of course, there is the scary prospect of gene therapy to make us all "smarter" and "stronger" and more long-lived and taller and the rest. What if there was a process by which fetuses in the womb could be genetically modified (through viruses) for "enhanced" strength, or intelligence, or height, or what have you.

THAT folks is the scary thing. Not the Galileo treatment given to Watson. But the ability to directly manipulate fetuses in the womb to produce desired characteristics.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

Lex, I understand why you would be afraid of this kind of research. It could so very easily be used to justify some horrible things. Potentially.

The problem is, the alternative of not pursuing this research is causing actual harm, right now. People are not able to reach their full potential because they're forced into societal moulds that refuse to acknowledge their particular strengths and weaknesses. The denial of any genetic distinction between "races", or ethnic groups of any sort, is already causing medical complications. We have, on the one hand, the recent funcing cut for cystic fibrosis research in Canada because the disease is "too white". On the other we have a very real problem with the treatment of heart disease amongst people of west african descent, who are liable to simply not respond to the drugs normally prescribed for a range of diseases. Eurasians are far more prone to heart disease than western europeans. Most east asians and africans are lactose intolerant due to differences in their genome, but are nevertheless encouraged to consume dairy products because it's "good for them".

Do you see the problem? To acknowledge the differences between races is no different than acknowledging that jupiter is somewhat bigger than mars.

And, for the record, I actually find the use of the the word retard as an insult highly offensive for reasons into which I prefer not to go.

Lex said...

The research is bad science. Period. The best rebuttal came from someone who couldn't post on Blogger so posted at my post on this one. Please see that. Jensen's work is bunk.

Dymphna said...

Further back in the comments Geoffrey de Bouillon linked to a blog promoting the book "Understanding Human History".

There are some reviews on the site, including this one by John Derbyshire:

Magical Thinking on IQ

(Derbyshire is one of the Baron's favorite curmudgeons. For those of you not familiar with his views, this review would serve as a good introduction. Derbyshire is a transplanted Englishman whose roots are lower class British. His wife is a native Chinese; as a result he's done some traveling in China)

Derbyshire's ideas carry some gravitas. He is a mathematician by training and by inclination.

What follows is not the whole of the review, though I did clip most of it. Readers would be doing themselves a service to look at the whole thing and to follow, in turn, the many links Derbyshire provides. I have bolded some of these links to give you some indication of how much information he embeds in this review:

Hart’s aim [in "Understanding History"] is to do for the history of our species what Lynn and Vanhanen did for economics: to bring forward intelligence — the different statistical profiles of different peoples on measures of cognitive function — as an important factor. Not the only factor, of course, but an important factor.

[...]

History on the grand scale is about different human populations interacting via war, trade, migration, or religious proselytizing. The Proto-Indo-Europeans occupied Europe; Phoenician traders established Carthage; Dravidian-speakers swept in over the aborigines of India, and were swept over in turn by Indo-European speakers; the Roman Empire fell to German pagans, the Meso-American ones to Spanish Christians; Polynesians colonized the Pacific; black African slaves were shipped to Arabia and the Americas, while white European ones where shipped to North Africa; Jews from the Middle East scattered into Europe to form merchant communities; the Mongol Horde came and went; Buddhism spread throughout southeast Asia; the East India Company morphed into British India, and so on.

Different populations, descended from different small founder groups, and evolved through hundreds of generations in different homelands under different selection pressures, emerged from those homelands at the end of the Neolithic and began these historic exchanges — began to trade, fight, conquer, enslave, settle, convert. If it is the case that intelligence — the ability to comprehend and manipulate the world, including the social world (which includes the military and political worlds) — if it is the case that intelligence is differently distributed in different populations, that fact must have had great consequences for history. And if not, then obviously, not.

Hart is not obsessive or dogmatic about the I.Q. factor in history, and freely admits that population differences in intelligence may have played no part, or an unknowable part, in some big events.

[…]

On the premise that it is the case, Hart works his way through history taking intelligence as one of the determinants for events. He tells the story of the earliest human migrations, paralleling the account in Nicholas Wade’s fine book. He comes up with novel explanations for some puzzling facts — e.g. that successful north-to-south invasions are much more common than south-to-norths. He gives a good critique of Jared Diamond’s thesis that, to put it in the smallest possible nutshell, natural selection came to a screeching halt 50,000 years ago — that the laws of biology were suspended back in the paleolithic in order that 21st-century Western liberals should not be plagued by thoughts that are unpleasant (Diamond’s actual adjective is “loathsome”) or unpopular.

Hart’s science is sound so far as I can judge. (He has a bachelor’s in math, a Ph.D. in astronomy, and two masters — in physics and computer science.) It’s in the nature of the topic that much of what he writes is speculative, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Speculation based on sound science is interesting. When science has told us that X, Y, and Z are the case, an inquisitive commentator can say: “Well, then, X, Y, and Z being so, it may be that when we have inquired more deeply and gathered more data, A, B, and C will follow, since they do not contradict X, Y, and Z. Or possibly not; perhaps P, Q, and R — which likewise do not contradict the known facts — will turn out to be the case.” This is all a normal part of the imaginative and intellectual to-ing and fro-ing that inspires new research programs, from which in turn new knowledge emerges.

As interesting as all this population-genetics stuff is to us science geeks, what is just as interesting, though in a different way, is the tremendous resistance to it all on the part of non-science intellectuals…

IQ score either does, or does not, measure some real aspect of the human personality. Human populations who underwent the latest stages of their evolution in higher latitudes either do, or do not, have I.Q. distributions with higher means than those of lower-latitude groups. A people’s I.Q. profile either is, or is not, a determinant of its economic or military success, or cultural prominence. Let’s gather the data and crunch the numbers and see if we can get clear answers, shall we? (With the understanding, as always in the sciences, and most especially in the human sciences, that clear answers may not be forthcoming from the datasets we have been able to gather.)

Knowing that I lean to the nature side of most nature-nurture controversies, readers occasionally e-mail in with something from the newspapers offering evidence for nurturism. My stock response is: “All nurturist claims in the general press must be read with the understanding that there is terrific psychic & social pressure on any commentator or researcher who wants to keep his job and his friends to make as much as possible of any nurturist evidence, and as little as possible of any naturist evidence. You should apply an appropriate bias-correcting discount to all you read.”

The ordinary modes of human thinking are magical, religious, and social. We want our wishes to come true; we want the universe to care about us; we want the esteem of our peers. For most people, wanting to know the truth about the world is way, way down the list. Scientific objectivity is a freakish, unnatural, and unpopular mode of thought, restricted to small cliques whom the generality of citizens regard with dislike and mistrust. There is probably a sizable segment in any population that believes scientists should be rounded up and killed.


Derbyshire cites a post from Gene Expression that is of particular interest vis-a-vis this comment thread:

The Progression of IQ

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

I'm sorry, Lex, I believe missed your apology there.

Lex said...

None needed Graham.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

for the record, I actually find the use of the the word retard as an insult highly offensive

Lex said...

Then I put it to good use.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

In that case I believe I must apologise for assuming your words were ever motivated by any sense of decency or justice. I sincerely hope you never have to understand why I find this insult to be so offensive.

Lex said...

Well Graham I'm sorry about the word then for only your sake. Substitute another equally horrid one for Baron and his disgusting post in this case.