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PZ Myers dissects evolutionary psychology: brief, sharp and fabulous

I admit I LOL'd at the part about "lighting up like a Christmas tree." WATCH AND LEARN all IDWs!

The Brian Ferguson Interview

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Chotiner strikes again - Chotiner vs. AEI's Danielle Pletka


When we last saw the New Yorker's Ian Chotiner, he was embarrassing free speech grifting stooge Thomas Chatterton Williams (to think I once admired Williams.)

Now Williams is, as far as I have been able to discern, only loosely connected to the wingnut welfare system funded foremost by Koch.

But in Chotiner's interview, published today, with Danielle Pletka, he strikes at the heart of the Koch plutocracy since Pletka is an American Enterprise Institute bigwig (like IDWs Charles Murray and Christina Hoff Sommers). 

Chotiner asked Pletka about her time working for infamously racist Jesse Helms.

You know things that were wrong. This isn’t a “may.”

But I worked for him on the Middle East and South Asia, and I was very proud of what we accomplished.

You know his record on South Africa, though, correct? [Helms opposed any sanctions against the apartheid regime in South Africa. When Nelson Mandela visited the Capitol in 1994, soon after he was elected South Africa’s first post-apartheid President, Helms turned his back on him.]

I didn’t work on South Africa. I worked on the Middle East and South Asia.

I understand that. But I’m saying you must know about the guy’s career? I mean, the Civil Rights Act, the Martin Luther King holiday, his interactions with Carol Moseley Braun, his ads, his comments about South Africa and African National Congress. This stuff isn’t completely unknown to you.

I’m not quite sure what this has to do with my article.

What a weasel. And then this part:

Most significant to me is that Pletka was a "never Trumper" who claims to have changed her mind about Trump. I think what likely happened was that the plutocrats yanked her chain and she fell in line.

...and I really am crushed by this cancel culture, by the bullying, and by the transformation of American political discourse. And, by the way, I have really been happy, actually, to in some ways blame Donald Trump for that. It started with him. What did Michelle Obama say? “When they go low, we go high.” That has not been the guiding principle here.

Trump is probably making cancel culture, however much significance you attribute to it, significantly worse. That’s why I was surprised a little bit by the op-ed, because it seems like his defeat would be good for some of the things you’re worried about.

Yes, except for the fact that I think the ship has already sailed.

The obsession with "cancel culture" is telling. I think it's probable the AEI is the original instigator of the Harper's letter. Certainly many of the Harper's letter signers have Koch connections.

The Koch-dominated branch of the Right promotes the Trump antifa smear campaign against Biden, a campaign possibly inspired by and coordinated with the IDW's favorite shameless grifter Andy Ngo
Who was nominated is irrelevant, you mean?

Yes. I think that that choice was irrelevant, because I don’t think that those voters are the people who are steering the direction of the Party.

You write, “Are there problems on the right—horrible nasties on a par with the violent protesters who have lately inflicted untold damage on many U.S. cities, businesses and lives? You bet. These execrable gun-toting racists have received too much tacit encouragement from Trump.” Would you say it’s tacit? Isn’t it more direct than tacit?

I have to think about my answer. I think Donald Trump has played an opposite and equal role in encouraging bad people in the destruction that we’ve seen this year.

I’m asking because he talked about liberating Michigan. And then what he said about Kyle Rittenhouse.

Well, again, Donald Trump’s reaction, for example, in the wake of Charlottesville was abhorrent. I find an unwillingness on the part of many to condemn the destruction that takes place. The shootings, the violence, the threatening that’s been taking place—I find that also extraordinarily troubling. Now, is it incumbent upon the President to behave better? Damn, yes. That is why, for the last three and a half years, I’ve done very little but condemn Donald Trump on these matters. I try to be fair in calling balls and strikes, as I tried to be fair with Obama. I’m a conservative, so my view of what a ball and a strike is is different from yours. Nonetheless, those things are abhorrent. The problem that I see and the problem that brought me to write this is that there is an almost equal and opposite reaction on the other side.

You follow up that last quote by writing, “But they do not represent the mainstream of the Republican Party or guide the choices of the vast mass of Republican members of Congress.” Can you explain this a little bit more? I was slightly confused, because Trump is actually the President. And so it feels like maybe that does represent the mainstream of the Party, since he is the nominee and extremely popular and the most powerful and important Republican.
So Pletka's argument is that while violent extremists do represent the Democratic Party in spite of its nominee's moderate positions, on the other hand violent Trump supporters don't represent the Republican Party even though its leader, Trump, openly defended their violence.

The mind-fuckery and SHAMELESSNESS is absolutely appalling.

And to demonstrate once again the wretched character of the people aligned with Koch and the IDW, like Pinker and his defenders and the IDW/GamerGate creeps, Pletka takes a stupid cheap shot at Chotiner.

I’m thirty-seven—no, no, I’m thirty-eight.

You can’t even add.

Pletka hates Chotiner for allowing her to reveal herself as the soulless toady and defender of racists that she always has been and likely always will be.

Friday, September 18, 2020

The continuing alignment between Trump and the Intellectual Dark Web

 Bari Weiss cheering on racist Trump's race pseudo-science promoting Department of Education and its latest scheme against Black Americans.

Trump recently threatened to nix federal funding for California schools that teach the 1619 Project, while the White House issued a governmentwide directive to stop what it called “un-American propaganda training sessions" about race.

"The only path to national unity is through our shared identity as Americans," Trump said. "That is why it is so urgent that we finally restore patriotic education to our schools."

Trump assails 'toxic propaganda' amid racial unrest

During her remarks, DeVos acknowledged that the federal government can't dictate school curriculum. The education secretary said during a conservative policy panel that she thinks a 1776 Unites curriculum "sounds really wonderful."

That project was launched this week by the group 1776 Unites, whose founder, Bob Woodson, has said "low income blacks are just collateral damage" in efforts of "radical leftists" seeking to "demean and destroy the civic institutions in this country."

The 1776 Unites project is described as a way to offer "a more complete and inspiring story of the history of African-Americans in the United States" and is a direct response to the 1619 Project.

The Intellectual Dark Web is clearly hoping for a Trump re-election to make all their anti-Black dreams come true.

The IDW has turned out to be more rightwing, racist and disgusting than even I imagined.

Monday, September 14, 2020

James Lindsay and his allies part 2: as cynical as they come

James Lindsay is as cynical as they come, publishing a book promoting "civil" discussions while being a complete asshole on Twitter, as I discussed here.

One of his allies is Christopher Rufo, promoter of "intelligent design" and a big Trump supporter.

And far from criticizing Lindsay and his reactionary, anti-science grift these alleged champions of science and atheism are supporting this clown.

Pinker and Sullivan are leading mainstream supporters of race science, Jerry Coyne is Pinker's leading flunky and also a supporter of race science. Peter Boghossian is one of Lindsay and Pluckrose's fellow free-speech grifters who appeared several times on white supremacist Stefan Molyneux's channel, and Andrew Doyle is a Koch toady.

I didn't realize Alan Sokal was a major-league idiot, but apparently he is.

Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker

Johnstone Professor Of Psychology, Harvard University, And Author Of Enlightenment Now
"Many people are nonplussed by the surge of wokery, social justice warfare, intersectionality, and identity politics that has spilled out of academia and inundated other spheres of life. Where did it come from? What ideas are behind it? This book exposes the surprisingly shallow intellectual roots of the movements that appear to be engulfing our culture."

Andrew Doyle

Andrew Doyle

Comedian, Playwright, Journalist, Political Satirist, And Creator Of Titania McGrath
"Cynical Theories is a brilliant book, offering an incisive and much needed critique of the cult of social justice. The authors painstakingly trace its origins in postmodernism and, in doing so, expose the ways in which a once fashionable coterie of theorists infiltrated the mainstream with catastrophic consequences for liberalism, equality, and free speech."

Alan Sokal

Alan Sokal

Professor Of Mathematics, University College London, And Coauthor Of Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse Of Science
"In this important and timely book, Pluckrose and Lindsay trace the intellectual origins of today's Social Justice crusaders. With clear prose and a fair-minded spirit, they argue forcefully that struggles for social justice are strongest when they are founded on respect for evidence, reason, and free and open debate. They deplore the harm that closed-minded Social Justice ideologues are doing to the cause of social justice (lower-case), and they offer practical strategies for doing better."
Jerry Coyne

Jerry Coyne

Biologist And Author
I’ve now finished Pluckrose’s and Lindsay’s new book, and can recommend it to readers. ... It’s more academic than I imagined and less of a screed against Social Justice (which they capitalize to indicate the woke version against classical “liberal” social justice), but I found that emphasis refreshing. ... This book will help you recognize Theory when you see it, and then you’ll start seeing it everywhere: in the New York Times, in the Washington Post, in the petulant acts of cancel culture, and on most every college campus in America."
Full review.

Peter Boghossian

Peter Boghossian

Author, Philosopher, And University Professor
"This is the most important book in the last quarter century. It's the unified field theory for economic, social, and political developments in Western civilization."

Andrew Sullivan

Andrew Sullivan

British-Born American Author, Editor, Blogger, And Political Commentator
The rhetorical trap of critical theory is that it has coopted the cause of inclusion and forced liberals onto the defensive. But liberals have nothing to be defensive about. What’s so encouraging about this book is that it has confidence in its own arguments, and is as dedicated to actual social justice, achieved through liberal means, as it is scornful of the postmodern ideologues who have coopted and corrupted otherwise noble causes.
This is very good news—even better to see it as the Number 1 Amazon best-seller in philosophy long before its publication date later in August. The intellectual fight back against wokeness has now begun in earnest. Let’s do this.
Full review.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Steven Pinker, Andrew Sullivan and the mainstream media gentlemen's agreement

Steven Pinker is even more ubiquitous in 2020 than he was last year, because this year he has a mission to portray himself as a free speech martyr.

And in all the interviews he has given since the Linguist Society open letter, the interviewers have abided by the long-standing gentlemen's agreement in the media to refrain from asking Steve Pinker about his support for Steve Sailer and race science.

The only time I've seen any prominent media person mention Pinker's support for Sailer was when Malcolm Gladwell caught Pinker in the act, and mentioned it in a letter to the NYTimes and on his personal blog:
I wondered about the basis of Pinker’s conclusion, so I e-mailed him, asking if he could tell me where to find the scientific data that would set me straight. He very graciously wrote me back. He had three sources, he said. The first was Steve Sailer. Sailer, for the uninitiated, is a California blogger with a marketing background who is best known for his belief that black people are intellectually inferior to white people. Sailer’s “proof” of the connection between draft position and performance is, I’m sure Pinker would agree, crude: his key variable is how many times a player has been named to the Pro Bowl. 
The only media outlet that picked up on this story was Business Insider - Gladwell: Steven Pinker got his data from a racist. And this was 2009. Not a peep since then even though Pinker was declared by the NYTimes to be a "celebrity intellectual."

If you Google Steven Pinker and Steve Sailer the top hits are from Steve Sailer and me.

And even though the major impetus to Pinker's free speech martyr media tour is a petition against Pinker which mentions Pinker's race science connection, the boys of the media still cannot find a single reason to ask Pinker about his support for the career of professional racist Steve Sailer nor his ongoing support for various race science crackpot theories like the Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence hypothesis.

Sailer himself is not shy about mentioning the connection.

Pinker is not asked about race science nor Sailer by these media outlets:

But this kid-gloves treatment is only for Pinker. The media is not afraid to ask Andrew Sullivan about his support for race science.

In a New York Times interview with Sullivan from August 30, 2020:
I tried out my most charitable interpretation of his view on race and I.Q. (though I question the underpinnings of the whole intellectual project): that he is most frustrated by the notion that you can’t talk about the influence of biology and genetics on humanity. But that he’s not actually saying he thinks Black people as a group are less intelligent. He’d be equally open to the view, I suggested, that data exploring genetics and its connection to intelligence would find that Black people are on average smarter than other groups. 
“It could be, although the evidence is not trending in that direction as far as I pay attention to it. But I don’t much,” he said. (He later told me he’s “open-minded” on the issue and thinks it’s “premature” to weigh the data.)
“I barely write about this,” he went on. “It’s not something I’m obsessed with.”
But he also can’t quite stop himself, even as I sat there wishing he would. “Let’s say Jews. I mean, just look at the Nobel Prize. I’m just saying — there’s something there, I think. And I’m not sure what it is, but I’m just not prepared to accept the whole thing is over.” 
I’ve been reading Mr. Sullivan too long to write him off. I’ve been influenced deeply by him on marriage, torture and other big questions; and I’m aware of how deeply he shaped how we all write for the web. When I nodded along with much of Jamelle Bouie’s criticism of Mr. Sullivan in 2017, I also recognized in Mr. Bouie’s piece the style of fisking that Mr. Sullivan helped popularize almost two decades ago.
I wish Mr. Sullivan would accept that the project of trying to link the biological fiction of race with the science of genetics ought, in fact, to be over.
When I said some of this to Mr. Sullivan, he noted that he had been born and raised in England, and he hasn’t always had perfect footing on American questions of race — though he has seemingly absorbed and mastered so much about American politics. 
But his exit out of big media is a very American story. His career, with all its sweep and innovation, can’t ever quite escape that 1994 magazine cover.

Sullivan's career can't ever quite escape one magazine cover, meanwhile Steven Pinker's career is untouched by his support, for about a decade, of the career of a toxic professional racist, Steve Sailer; and few in the media are interested and Pinker's continuing support for crackpot race theories.

Sullivan alludes to the "Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence" (NHAI) hypothesis when he says:
“Let’s say Jews. I mean, just look at the Nobel Prize. I’m just saying — there’s something there, I think. And I’m not sure what it is, but I’m just not prepared to accept the whole thing is over.” 
Instead of being criticized in establishment media, like Andrew Sullivan, Pinker and friends used a letter from a bunch of linguists complaining about Pinker's race issues to portray Pinker as Free Speech Martyr, and his beliefs - the same that Sullivan holds about race - are systematically ignored.

The gentlemen's agreement in action.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Evolutionary psychology is not hard to understand

Evolutionary psychology is not hard to understand.  PZ Myers explains it in this video, which also provides a good primer on actual evolutionary theory.

I've always thought its simplicity is why dullards like Quillette's Bo Winegard liked it. But maybe even evolutionary psychology seems hard to Bo Winegard and I've been overestimating him.

On the other hand claiming that objections to hereditarian beliefs are simply anti-rationality and over-emotionalism is a popular, if incredibly transparent, tactic of hereditarians, whether you're talking about evolutionary psychology or race science.

Could it be that hereditarians are so stupid in general that they can't grasp the arguments against their pet theories and so conclude the only reason others could object to those theories are "feelings and preferences"? Or as Steven Pinker suggests, because they want to get people "riled up" for the sake of moral outrage.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Trump, the IDW and investigating the 1619 project

People associated with the Intellectual Dark Web are on the record as hostile to the 1619 project.

The IDW is associated with many people who promote race science, from Charles Murray to Sam Harris to Steven Pinker to the many authors at Quillette.

I've been noting the hostility of race science promoters to the history of African Americans for years.

We see Sam Harris expressing that hostility in his debate with Ezra Klein (my highlights):

Ezra Klein
...(Charles) Murray does say he thinks that some combination of genetic and basically immutably environmental characteristics make it so we can’t do much about this and there just are big differences between the groups, and it’s just going to remain that way, and American politics need to rearrange itself around that reality. 

Yeah, I strongly disagree, and I disagree because of American history. That is why my fundamental criticism of that conversation was that you needed to deal more with the history of this conversation and the history of this country. 
Sam Harris
Okay, but even in this conversation you are unwilling to differentiate scientific fact and scientific data and reasonable extrapolations based on data, from past injustices in American history, these are totally separate things
Ezra Klein
No, we disagree on what a reasonable extrapolation from the data is.

Harris believes that scientific data should be considered "totally separate" from American history as an explanation for African American failure to thrive, post-Emancipation. The late Michael Brooks had an excellent response to Harris's position.

The attitude of race science towards African American history is perhaps most succinctly expressed by race science promoter Razib Khan, on his blog, when he took offense at Carl Zimmer in the New York Times pointing out that many African Americans have European genetic ancestry and that a significant number of white Americans have recent African ancestry.

Khan wrote (my highlight):
What genetics is showing is that in fact white Americans are shockingly European to an incredibly high degree for a population with roots on this continent for 400 years. If we removed all the history that we take for granted we’d be amazed that the indigenous peoples had so little demographic impact, and, that the larger numbers of people of partial African ancestry did not move into the general “white” population. 
Yes, if we could create a context-free scenario that eliminated all knowledge of the one-drop rule and slavery and systemic racism and the collapse of indigenous populations due to European diseases and expansion we would be amazed and baffled and perplexed. That's what lack of information will do to you.

So why even consider this context-free scenario? Because if race science promoters could eliminate knowledge of African America history it would clear the way for an explanation based on genetic inferiority. And then contemporary anti-Black racism could be declared not the result of centuries of systemic racism but rather the fault of Black people themselves.

In Sam Harris's debate with Ezra Klein over Charles Murray, Harris linked to an article in Quillette, A Tale of Two Bell Curves, which demonstrates how extreme are race science beliefs in the genetic explanation of African American failure to thrive. Authors Ben and Bo Winegard claim, using race pseudo-science as justification, that the only explanation is genetics (my highlight):
Of course, there are other possible explanations of the Black-White (intelligence test) gap, such as parenting styles, stereotype threat, and a legacy of slavery/discrimination among others. However, to date, none of these putative causal variables has been shown to have a significant effect on the IQ gap, and no researcher has yet made a compelling case that environmental variables can explain the gap. This is certainly not for lack of effort; for good reason, scholars are highly motivated to ascertain possible environmental causes of the gap and have tried for many years to do just that.
When I asked Ben Winegard about this on Twitter, before he blocked my Pinkerite Twitter account, his response was to claim the Asian American and Jewish American experiences were comparable to the African American experience. He tweeted:
Asian Americans were treated abysmally. And I don't think we need to tarry over the historical treatment of Jewish people.

This bogus equivalence is only possible if you know nothing about the Black experience in North America since 1619 - or you are doing your best to deny the significance of that experience.

One of the things I discovered from doing this blog is how little I knew of the many attacks on African American communities since Emancipation. I did not know about the murder of Blacks and the destruction of "Black Wall Street" in the Tulsa massacre. And that was one of many ignored and under-discussed incidents of African American history.

James Lindsay is obsessed with suppressing 
knowledge of systemic racism.

Not all violence and looting of black wealth has happened on a grand scale, but it has occurred systematically and with impunity as one of the articles in the 1619 project documents:
Elmore Bolling, whose brothers called him Buddy, was a kind of one-man economy in Lowndesboro, Ala. He leased a plantation, where he had a general store with a gas station out front and a catering business; he grew cotton, corn and sugar cane. He also owned a small fleet of trucks that ran livestock and made deliveries between Lowndesboro and Montgomery. At his peak, Bolling employed as many as 40 people, all of them black like him. 

One December day in 1947, a group of white men showed up along a stretch of Highway 80 just yards from Bolling’s home and store, where he lived with his wife, Bertha Mae, and their seven young children. The men confronted him on a section of road he had helped lay and shot him seven times — six times with a pistol and once with a shotgun blast to the back. His family rushed from the store to find him lying dead in a ditch. 
The shooters didn’t even cover their faces; they didn’t need to. Everyone knew who had done it and why. “He was too successful to be a Negro,” someone who knew Bolling told a newspaper at the time. When Bolling was killed, his family estimates he had as much as $40,000 in the bank and more than $5,000 in assets, about $500,000 in today’s dollars. But within months of his murder nearly all of it would be gone. White creditors and people posing as creditors took the money the family got from the sale of their trucks and cattle. They even staked claims on what was left of the family’s savings. The jobs that he provided were gone, too. Almost overnight the Bollings went from prosperity to poverty. Bertha Mae found work at a dry cleaner. The older children dropped out of school to help support the family. Within two years, the Bollings fled Lowndes County, fearing for their lives.
This is the knowledge that the race science promoters of the Intellectual Dark Web want to suppress. And they have found an ally in Donald Trump.

Trump says Department of Education will investigate use of 1619 Project in schools

President Donald Trump is continuing to wage battle against interpretations of history which he claims are un-American.
In a Sunday morning tweet, the President said the US Department of Education would investigate whether California schools are using the New York Times' "1619 Project" in public school curriculum. The Pulitzer-Prize winning collection reframes American history around the date of August 1619, when the first slave ship arrived on America's shores. 
"Department of Education is looking at this. If so, they will not be funded!" he wrote on Twitter, citing a message from an unverified account saying it was being taught in schools there. 
The message came after the President on Friday night banned federal agencies from conducting racial sensitivity training related to "white privilege" and "critical race theory."
Trump's Department of Education is headed by Betsy Devos, who is a fan of race science as evidenced by her citation of the work of "biosocial criminologists" John Paul Wright, Kevin Beaver, J. C. Barnes, Michelle A. Coyne and Mark Alden Morgan. She used their work to make claims about Black children.
In making the latter point, DeVos' commission cited several times a study in which researchers argued that the discipline discrepancies between black and white students are "likely produced by pre-existing behavioral problems of youth that are imported into the classroom, that cause classroom disruptions, and that trigger disciplinary measures by teachers and school officials...
...Early misbehavior is tied to later misbehavior and, in turn, that misbehavior is tied to school suspensions," the researchers concluded. "These findings highlight the importance of early problem behaviors and suggest that the use of suspensions by teachers and administrators may not have been as racially biased as some scholars have argued."
The paper's claim that there is no racial bias in the punishment of Black children seems extremely implausible. But I don't think it's impossible that there could be a bit more discipline problems with Black children, because Black children are more likely to come from poor homes and poverty is associated with bad behaviors.

And if you know African American history, which involved not only discrimination but terrorism and looting and practices like housing discrimination that continue right up to the present day, you know why Black children are more likely to come from poor homes.

The actual problem is that John Paul Wright and friends consider Black misbehavior not the result of socio-economic conditions but a sign there is something innately more criminal and less intelligent about Black people due to their own genetics.

As John Paul Wright bluntly explains in his chapter "Inconvenient Truths: Science, Race, and Crime" in Biosocial Criminology: New Directions in Theory and Research edited by Anthony Walsh and Kevin M. Beaver (my highlight):
Page 149: 
...Areas afflicted by crime and other social pathologies are more frequently black than white, and even less frequently Oriental. Part of the reason for these visible and dramatic differences may have to do with the differential abilities of races to organize socially. 
Page 150: 
From the available data it would seem ludicrous to argue that "race" is a construct devoid of a biological or evolutionary backdrop. That evolutionary forces have produced biological variance across races is now scientifically undeniable. That many of the characteristics that define races appear to be universal and time stable is also undeniable. Evolution can produce many forms of adaptations, but it cannot produce equality.  
The connection between race and criminal behavior is clearly complex and involves a range of historical, social, psychological and individual variables. Evolution however, provides a powerful mechanism to understand the development of human races and the distribution of traits and behaviors within and across races. It helps explain why races would appear and under what conditions races would appear. It helps to explain why certain traits would be beneficial and why these traits such as higher IQ, would be unequally distributed across races. Moreover evolutionary theory helps explain why race-based patterns of behavior are universal, such as black over-involvement in crime. No other paradigm organizes these patterns better. No other paradigm explains these inconvenient truths.
Just like Bo and Ben Winegard in Quillette, John Paul Wright declares that there is no other explanation other than "evolutionary theory" for Black crime rates.

Wright has also written for Quillette and appeared as a guest on white supremacist Stefan Molyneux's channel.

The Intellectual Dark Web and Donald Trump want to suppress the 1619 project, because it runs contrary to the race science narrative that there is no other explanation for African American failure to thrive besides "evolutionary theory."

Saturday, September 5, 2020

The Trump campaign and the IDW

The IDW is clearly part of the Trump campaign now.

Pinkerite has recently noted the connection between James Lindsay and "intelligent design" promoting Christopher Rufo. Here is Rufo tweeting an idiotic Photoshop of Trump with three stooges - the Larry on the very end is James Lindsay.

Pinkerite has tracked the alignment between Andy Ngo, his lawyer Republican committeewoman Harmeet K. Dhillon and Trump since last summer.

Here we see Trump retweeting Colin Wright, managing editor of Quillette.

"Critical race theory" of course criticizes racism. It should be no surprise that a magazine like Quillette, which is chock full of race science promoters, would align with a racist race-baiter like Donald Trump.

 It was obvious from the beginning how rightwing the IDW gang was in spite of its connection to faux liberals like Steven Pinker. Eric Weinstein the apparent founder of the IDW is an employee of hard-core Trump supporter Peter Thiel.

Joe Rogan did his part by supporting Bernie Sanders, but then once Joe Biden was the Democratic nominee, immediately switched to supporting Trump.

But where are all those Intellectual Dark Web brave heroes of new atheism, when James Lindsay makes a public alliance with Christian fanatic Michael O'Fallon and intelligent design Trump supporter Christopher Rufo?

We know brave new atheist hero Jerry Coyne admires James Lindsay.

Why doesn't Coyne denounce Lindsay for his alignment with religious fanatics?

And what about brave new atheist hero Michael Shermer? 

Here is Shermer's Skeptic magazine promoting Boghossian and Lindsay.

Where is brave new atheist hero Steven Pinker?

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Jerry Coyne & Soros conspiracies & a quirky little bicycle man

Left to right: Jeffrey Epstein, Alan Dershowitz, Steven Pinker, unidentified man and Lawrence "women aren't as innately good at STEM" Summers in 2004.
Jerry Coyne's blog commenters think conspiracy theories are pretty funny. In the comments section of Jerry Coyne's defense of Steven Pinker (as usual) against the Vice article about Pinker's block list which Coyne claims smears Pinker, they joked about conspiracies including one about Soros.
Posted September 3, 2020 at 2:04 pm | Permalink
Not so! Epstein was murdered by the Illuminati, Lee Harvey Oswald, and the Rothschild family all working hand in hand. Aliens were probably involved too, but don’t quote me on that.

  • Ken Kukec
    Posted September 3, 2020 at 2:14 pm | Permalink
    What’s the matter, you can’t work the Trilateral Commission and Bohemian Grove in there somewhere?

    • JP415
      Posted September 3, 2020 at 2:41 pm |Permalink
      I’ll have to ask David Icke about that.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted September 3, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Permalink
        I did.
        Quoth David, “It’s lizards all the way down.”

        • JP415
          Posted September 3, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink
          Icke said it.
          I believe it.
          That settles it!
          (To paraphrase a popular bumper sticker).

  • Mike
    Posted September 3, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink
    Soros for good measure.
Posted September 3, 2020 at 2:42 pm |Permalink
Don’t forget Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos …

But as we know Jerry Coyne is a fan of New Discourses, owned by Peter Boghossian, shameless hypocrite James Lindsay and right-wing extremist Christian fanatic Soros conspiracy nut Michael O'Fallon.

In Coyne's defense of Pinker, he provided a link to the Vice article which links to Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre's unsealed manuscript.

I haven't talked much about Pinker's connection to Epstein on this blog, as my beat is Pinker's defense of race science, but I followed the link to the unsealed manuscript and something really jumped out at me.

Below I've quoted more from the unsealed manuscript than what appeared in the Vice article:
Two weeks later, as if Jeffrey was trying to lighten my spirits, he told me I would be going to his island to meet a new client He is a Harvard Professor, named Stephen I would be spending two days with him showing him around the island, dining with him, and treating him to a massage whenever he wanted. Without Jeffrey even verbalizing the need to have sex with him, he told me to keep him happy like I had my first client. I packed my suitcase with island apparel, and kissed T.J good-bye, who had at least offered me a warm embrace upon the news of my miscarriage but none other than that knowing it wasn?t his. 
Stephen was a quirky little man with white hair and a mad scientist look about him. We arrived separately and greeted him when one of the housekeepers picked him up from the airport and arrived by boat, instead of helicopter as Jeffrey and Ghislane often arrive on. We made our acquaintances and he looked as if he was tripping over himself with words, obviously delighted with his company and location for the weekend. I showed him around as Jeffrey had asked and took him on an adventurous quad bike ride around the small curvy paths, leading the way and letting loose my hair, doing something that gave me a natural high instead of the prescription one. The sights alone were breathtaking from the mountainous peaks of the untouched parts of the island, we sat at a cliff and just sat there, not saying a word to each other besides to compliment the sights mother nature that appealed to us. I didn?t feel as if I owed this stranger anything but what was expected of me by Jeffrey and I could be polite, [just couldn?t be myself.

Giuffre refers to the Harvard Professor as "Stephen" rather than Steven, but Coyne will have you know that he doesn't think the rest sounds like Pinker either:
At any rate, yes, Pinker has white hair, but he’s not “quirky”, and I, at least, don’t think he looks like a “mad scientist”. 
Giuffre mentions Epstein and Maxwell mocking her for her ignorance on proper dining etiquette:

The first time Jeffrey and Ghislane had seen me cut meat and eat with a fork and knife they were so appalled, making fun of my unsophisticated habits. Ghislane took the fork and knife in her hands and proceeded to show me how to politely cut my food and eat.

So yeah, I can believe that a teenager from Giuffre's background (her father was maintenance manager at Mar-a-Lago) would think a Harvard professor with white hair (Giuffre later says "I made fun of his tousled hair") looked like a quirky mad scientist. And wouldn't know if his name was spelled Steven or  Stephen.

To be fair, at the time this would have taken place, around 2002, Pinker's hair was more silver than white.

But what was that again about the bike ride?
I showed him around as Jeffrey had asked and took him on an adventurous quad bike ride around the small curvy paths... The sights alone were breathtaking from the mountainous peaks of the untouched parts of the island, we sat at a cliff...
So an "adventurous" quad bike ride to mountainous peaks and a cliff. 

On top of Harvard professor and tousled white hair, Steven Pinker also likes a vigorous bike ride.

Pinker's love of biking is evident in Pinker's article for Cycle Plus in 2016: I'm a Rider Steven Pinker.
I've been a cycling fan since I was five years old when my dad took the training wheels off my first bike. The fandom intensified 30 years ago, when I got tenure at MIT (Massachusettes Institute of Technology) and could turn my mind to other things besides academic research... I used to ride on the bike path along the Charles River in Boston and Cambridge and in Boston's suburb, which are quaint New England towns. I was also a mountain biker during two sabbaticals in Santa Barbara...

Of course it's possible that the tousled-haired Harvard professor named Stephen who knew Jeffrey Epstein also liked vigorous bike rides 

Another interesting note is that Coyne won't absolutely swear with total confidence that Steven Pinker, whom Coyne serves so faithfully as a (presumably unpaid) public relations spokesperson is not Stephen from Harvard. 

If this incident took place in the Virgin Islands, Pinker apparently didn’t go there. If it did and he did and is guilty as charged, well, the law will find that out, but I’m betting against it. 

Social Darwinism and Anti-Evolution

James Lindsay, shameless hypocrite is apparently good pals with Christopher F. Rufo, the director of the Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth & Poverty.

The Discovery Institute is a leading promoter of the anti-evolution, religion-based theory known as "Intelligent Design."
The main premise of ID is that the living organisms on Earth are so complex and so intricately constructed that they cannot plausibly have arisen through the unguided action of natural selection, so there must be an "intelligent designer." (This entity is usually identified as God, but in a deposition taken January 3, 2005, Dover Superintendent Nilsen suggested that the "master intellect" described in an ID textbook might also be an alien.)

It's the worst of all possible worlds with Lindsay. Like all Intellectual Dark Webbers he is devoted to evolution in the form of social Darwinism, which is an early name for hereditarianism. Evolutionary psychology and race science are flavors of hereditarianism.
The reason that Steven Pinker is beloved by the IDW - we see Quillette editor Colin Wright expressing that love in this tweet - is because in The Blank Slate he used evolutionary psychology, a completely failed pseudo-science to try to claim that women were innately inferior at STEM subjects to men, which was then used by Larry Summers, possibly to justify his bad hiring track record.

The fact that nobody from the IDW cares that James Lindsay and the other "Sokal" grifters are aligning with religious extremists and opponents of science and evolution - we see champion of science and vocal atheist Jerry Coyne praising New Discourses, the project that James Lindsay and Peter Boghossian and rightwing Christian extremist Michael O'Fallon founded together - demonstrates that what the IDW/Quillette gang cares about more than anything else is not actual science but rather evolutionary psychology and race science. 

And right on schedule to confirm what I said, Claire Lehmann, founder of Quillette and leading race science promoter Bo Winegard demonstrate that if it comes to opposing racism versus Christianity, they will choose Christianity.

My guess: rightwing extremist Christians are donating big money to Quillette. And I predict you will never hear a word of complaint from dedicated atheists like Jerry Coyne or Michael Shermer any other alleged atheist member of the IDW. They prefer religion to fighting racism every time.