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Friday, February 14, 2020

Krazy Kat and more race riots



Through pure serendipity this week I came across a "Talks at Google" video of journalist Michael Tisserand discussing the life and times of George Herriman, famous for his comic strip Krazy Kat, from his book "Krazy: George Herriman, A Life in Black and White."  There's an excellent review here at the New York Review of Books.

Through his studies, Tisserand discovered more about Herriman's ethnic heritage, which was Creole from the free people of color community in New Orleans, although Herriman passed for white for most of his life and the "colored" designation on his birth certificate was unknown until 1971. Herriman died in 1944.
Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse

Tisserand discovered examples of Herriman's work, outside of his Krazy Kat strip, responding to racial strife of his time, including his response to the race riots that resulted when a black boxer, Jack Johnson, beat a white boxer in 1910.

One of the most important realizations I have had thanks to doing this Pinkerite blog is how many times since Emancipation white people have attacked black communities, killing and looting, and yet how rarely these incidents are reported or acknowledged. And here is another example - the hateful retaliation of the white majority against black communities over a boxing match.

Tisserand also makes the connection between Herriman's view on race and the Krazy Kat strip itself. Just fascinating stuff. I recommend you watch this Google talks video.

Meanwhile during this Black History Month 2020 I was surprised to see Steven Pinker tweeting about black history. The same black history that Pinker's friends, like Sam Harris and the gang at Quillette try to minimize as an explanation for the failure of African Americans to thrive post-Emancipation in favor of their claim that the fault lies with the genetics of African Americans themselves.

Has Steven Pinker turned over a new leaf, or is he using Henry Louis Gates as a shield for his own long-standing support for race science? 

We'll see how long it takes until Pinker once again promotes Quillette or another proponent of race science, as he did when defending racist charlatan Noah Carl just last month.


Thursday, February 13, 2020

African American History for race science proponents: high school v income

Originally posted on my personal blog February 15, 2018

So to recap: before Emancipation in the US black people owned nothing, not even themselves. Then once they were free they owned themselves but very little else. They've been slowly dragging themselves up out of this ditch of absolute poverty, in spite of the many roadblocks put in their way by the white majority.

The question isn't why are black people in the United States doing so poorly 150 years after slavery, the question is how have they come so far in spite of everything that's been thrown at them.

The Pew Research Center has some interesting charts comparing demographic trends for blacks, white, Asians and Hispanics.

This chart shows how black students are catching up with white students for high school graduation rates.


But their incomes have nevertheless stayed lower.



As Business Insider reports:
A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research (indicates)... the amount of money people make is strongly predicted by what their parents earn. Up until a parent-household-income threshold of roughly $150,000, adult children tend to earn another $0.33 for every dollar their parents earn.
It is obvious that black earnings are lower because they started so much lower, and even increasing their "self-control" of finishing high school doesn't seem to help.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

African American History for race science proponents: black codes, lynching & riots

Originally posted on my personal blog February 14, 2018

Although conditions were generally terrible for freed slaves, the US government did try to assist them in making the transition to freedom. In addition to abolitionists and Radical Republican members of Congress there was an attempt to get land to the slaves. This mostly ended in failure:
The Freedmen's Bureau Bill, which established the Freedmen's Bureau on March 3, 1865, was initiated by President Abraham Lincoln and was intended to last for one year after the end of the Civil War.[3] The Freedmen's Bureau was an important agency of early Reconstruction, assisting freedmen in the South. The Bureau was made a part of the United States Department of War, as it was the only agency with an existing organization that could be assigned to the South. Headed by Union Army General Oliver O. Howard, the Bureau started operations in 1865. Throughout the first year, its representatives learned that these tasks would be very difficult, as Southern legislatures passed laws for Black Codes that restricted movement, conditions of labor, and other civil rights of African Americans, nearly duplicating conditions of slavery. The Freedmen's Bureau controlled limited arable land.[4]
Black Codes were the first of many institutional roadblocks against black people in the South, the most notorious of which were the Jim Crow laws

And then there were lynchings. The Smithsonian provides this interactive map of lynchings between 1835 and 1964. And please note that although the vast majority of the lynching were of blacks, other "races" are represented, including Italians.

The descendants of slaves had a constant struggle for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness:
As the prominent historian Eric Foner writes in his masterwork on Reconstruction, “Black participation in Southern public life after 1867 was the most radical development of the Reconstruction years, a massive experiment in interracial democracy without precedent in the history of this or any other country that abolished slavery in the nineteenth century.” 
But this moment was short-lived. 
As W.E.B. Du Bois wrote, the “slave went free; stood a brief moment in the sun; then moved back again toward slavery.” 
History is made by human actors and the choices they make. 
According to Douglas Blackmon, author of “Slavery by Another Name,” the choices made by Southern white supremacists after abolition, and the rest of the country’s accommodation, “explain more about the current state of American life, black and white, than the antebellum slavery that preceded.” 
Designed to reverse black advances, Redemption was an organized effort by white merchants, planters, businessmen and politicians that followed Reconstruction. “Redeemers” employed vicious racial violence and state legislation as tools to prevent black citizenship and equality promised under the 14th and 15th amendments.

Juvenile convicts at work in the fields, 1903. Library of Congress/John L. Spivak
By the early 1900s, nearly every southern state had barred black citizens not only from voting but also from serving in public office, on juries and in the administration of the justice system.
 
The South’s new racial caste system was not merely political and social. It was thoroughly economic. Slavery had made the South’s agriculture-based economy the most powerful force in the global cotton market, but the Civil War devastated this economy.
How to build a new one?
 
Ironically, white leaders found a solution in the 13th Amendment, which ended slavery in the United States in 1865. By exploiting the provision allowing “slavery” and “involuntary servitude” to continue as “a punishment for crime,” they took advantage of a penal system predating the Civil War and used even during Reconstruction. 
A new form of control 
With the help of profiteering industrialists they found yet a new way to build wealth on the bound labor of black Americans: the convict lease system. 
Here’s how it worked. Black men – and sometimes women and children – were arrested and convicted for crimes enumerated in the Black Codes, state laws criminalizing petty offenses and aimed at keeping freed people tied to their former owners’ plantations and farms. The most sinister crime was vagrancy – the “crime” of being unemployed – which brought a large fine that few blacks could afford to pay. 
Black convicts were leased to private companies, typically industries profiteering from the region’s untapped natural resources. As many as 200,000 black Americans were forced into back-breaking labor in coal mines, turpentine factories and lumber camps. They lived in squalid conditions, chained, starved, beaten, flogged and sexually violated. They died by the thousands from injury, disease and torture.
So a combination of violence and legislation were used throughout the 19th century against blacks and naturally contributed to black poverty.

I thought about the evo-psycho bros claims about blacks as I read about the Memphis riots of 1866. The "Memphis massacre"
...was a series of violent events that occurred from May 1 to 3, 1866 in Memphis, Tennessee. The racial violence was ignited by political, social and racial tensions following the American Civil War, in the early stages of Reconstruction.[2] After a shooting altercation between white policemen and black soldiers recently mustered out of the Union Army, mobs of white civilians and policemen rampaged through black neighborhoods and the houses of freedmen, attacking and killing black men, women and children.
The sight of black soldiers from the Union Army must have seemed terrifying yet ridiculous to whites in the South who were accustomed to treating people with any trace of West African ancestry like dirt.

John Paul Wright Professor of Criminology at the University of Cincinnati and one of the most blatantly racist of all the members of the Criminal Justice branch of the evolutionary psychology brotherhood said:
John Paul Wright from "Biosocial Criminology: New Directions" 
edited by Kevin Beaver and Anthony Walsh

The fact that there were not more incidents of former black Union soldiers clashing with the people who almost all supported their recent torment belies Wright's claim that black people, by nature, have "low self-control."

And white people have killed black people en masse for far less provocation.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

African American History for race science proponents: 40 acres and a mule

Jim & Huck from my adaptation of the Twain novel.
Lorenzo Scott and Nick Fondulis
Originally posted on my personal blog February 13, 2018
But somehow I couldn't seem to strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind. I'd see him standing my watch on top of his'n, stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see him how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him agin in the swamp, up there where the feud was; and such-like times; and would always call me honey, and pet me, and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had smallpox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the only one he's got now; and then I happened to look around, and see that paper.
It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: 
"All right, then, I'll go to hell"- and tore it up.

~ Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain
Samuel Clemens, growing up in the slave state of Missouri in the 1840s had first-hand experience in the ways white people talked about black people during the days of slavery, as recounted by Hilton Als in a New Yorker article in 2002:
But, while Huck has to acknowledge his relationship with Jim, he can distance himself in other ways. First, he can call him a “nigger”—a word whose etymology Huck likely knows nothing about. Then he can fill the word with meaning, with the meanings he learned from his Pap: about the unconscionable lives that niggers lead; how their very presence can make a bad situation worse; and how associating with them can stain a good man’s whiteness. 
"It was according to the old saying, ‘Give a nigger an inch and he’ll take an ell,’ 
"Give a nigger an inch and he'll take an ell" is not something you'd say of a group of people who are congenitally stupid. It sounds like something you'd say of people who are forever calculating to get an advantage. Which is certainly an understandable way to be if you're forced to live in squalor and toil endlessly and be constantly under threat of rape or beating and have every cent of your labor stolen from you for your entire life.

There are many great things about Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, especially when Huck decides he'd rather go to hell than betray Jim and send him back into slavery. But Twain ruined the novel in its last third, in the section often referred to as "The Evasion." I wrote about it in this essay: What About Lil Lizabeth?

Jim was lucky, in the book he was set free ahead of general Emancipation and was given cash to start out his new life. The slaves who were set free at the end of the Civil War had it much harder: they were dumped into the countryside with nothing, which led to predictable results:

After combing through obscure records, newspapers and journals Downs believes that about a quarter of the four million freed slaves either died or suffered from illness between 1862 and 1870. He writes in the book that it can be considered "the largest biological crisis of the 19th century" and yet it is one that has been little investigated by contemporary historians... 
...Downs has collected numerous shocking accounts of the lives of freed slaves. He came across accounts of deplorable conditions in hospitals and refugee camps, where doctors often had racist theories about how black Americans reacted to disease. Things were so bad that one military official in Tennessee in 1865 wrote that former slaves were: "dying by scores – that sometimes 30 per day die and are carried out by wagonloads without coffins, and thrown promiscuously, like brutes, into a trench". 
So bad were the health problems suffered by freed slaves, and so high the death rates, that some observers of the time even wondered if they would all die out. One white religious leader in 1863 expected black Americans to vanish. "Like his brother the Indian of the forest, he must melt away and disappear forever from the midst of us," the man wrote.
The Southerners would have been happy perhaps if all the blacks died off, especially because some of the former slaves fought back against a fate of homelessness, poverty and starvation with some help from abolitionists and anti-slavery members of Congress:

According to Henry Louis Gates, Jr.:
The abolitionists Charles Sumner and Thaddeus Stevens and other Radical Republicans had been actively advocating land redistribution "to break the back of Southern slaveholders' power," as Myers observed. But Sherman's plan only took shape after the meeting that he and Stanton held with those black ministers, at 8:00 p.m., Jan. 12, on the second floor of Charles Green's mansion on Savannah's Macon Street. In its broadest strokes, "40 acres and a mule" was their idea...

...Stanton had suggested to Sherman that they gather "the leaders of the local Negro community" and ask them something no one else had apparently thought to ask: "What do you want for your own people" following the war? And what they wanted astonishes us even today.
 
Who were these 20 thoughtful leaders who exhibited such foresight? They were all ministers, mostly Baptist and Methodist. Most curious of all to me is that 11 of the 20 had been born free in slave states, of which 10 had lived as free men in the Confederacy during the course of the Civil War. (The other one, a man named James Lynch, was born free in Maryland, a slave state, and had only moved to the South two years before.) The other nine ministers had been slaves in the South who became "contraband," and hence free, only because of the Emancipation Proclamation, when Union forces liberated them. 
In areas where there had been a great deal of enslavement suddenly there were free black people who thought it was only fair that they be given some of the property that they had labored on for free for so long.

Which if course fueled white racist resentment since the custom of the prior three hundred years was to consider most black people livestock. Suddenly their former livestock wanted a piece of the pie.

Monday, February 10, 2020

African American history for race science proponents: The Political Legacy of Slavery

Originally posted on my persona web site February 12, 2018

In 2013 the University of Rochester announced a working paper entitled: The Political Legacy of American Slavery in which the authors wrote (I reformatted for greater readability):
Whites who currently live in Southern counties that had high shares of slaves in 1860 are more likely to identify as a Republican, oppose affirmative action, and express racial resentment and colder feelings toward blacks...
...To explain these results, we offer evidence for a new theory involving the historical persistence of political and racial attitudes. Following the Civil War, Southern whites faced political and economic incentives to reinforce existing racist norms and institutions to maintain control over the newly free African-American population.   
This amplifed local differences in racially conservative political attitudes, which in turn have been passed down locally across generations. Our results challenge the interpretation of a vast literature on racial attitudes in the American South.
The paper concludes (again I reformatted):
The years during and after the Reconstruction period saw whites coordinating to provide an informal social infrastructure (and to the extent legally permissible an institutional one as well) to maintain as much as possible the economic and political power previously guaranteed to them under slavery. 
As affirmative support, we showed that greater prevalence of slavery predicts more conservative (for many years more Democratic) 
  • presidential vote shares, 
  • higher rates of radical violence, and 
  • decreased wealth concentrated in black farms in the decades after Reconstruction. 
We also showed that the long-term effects of slavery are smaller in areas of the U.S. South that were quick to mechanize in the early to mid-20th century. 
Finally, we also offered evidence that parent-to-child transmission could be an important mechanism by which attitudes have been passed down over time. However, we do not rule out that Southern institutions may have also played an important role.
And as we saw, slavery was a huge source of wealth to slave holders.

Areas of the South that were less dependent on cotton had lower rates of racial antagonism and white resentment.

But I think the authors of the Political Legacy paper missed another reason for the antagonism - the former slaves wanted - nay expected -  restitution. We'll talk about that next.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Happy Black History Month


Originally posted on my personal blog on February 13, 2019


I really like this New Yorker cover and it's perfect for Black History Month.

I was recently thinking about the movie "Hidden Figures" and it occurred to me that some of the more extreme evo-psycho bros might have issues with black women being presented as STEM career heroes.

So I did some Googling and sure enough, Paul Kersey in the Unz Review, home of Steven Pinker's buddy Steve Sailer and former home of Razib Khan had this to say about "Hidden Figures" 
Hidden Figures was made with the painfully-obvious agenda of delegitimizing the contributions of white scientists, physicists, engineers, mathematicians, project managers, aviation experts and rocket scientists. Instead, America’s greatest triumph evidently hinged on unknown black women manually calculating trajectories already confirmed by computers and a white man named Jack Crenshaw.

NASA's chief historian, Bill Barry, explains that the film, which has been nominated for a slew of awards, depicts many real events from their lives. "One thing we're frequently asked," he says, "is whether or not John Glenn actually asked for Katherine Johnson to 'check the numbers.'" The answer is yes: Glenn, the first American in orbit and later, at the age of 77, the oldest man in space, really did ask for Johnson to manually check calculations generated by IBM 7090 computers (the electronic kind) churning out numbers at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Bill Barry is a white man, it should be noted, he's cooperating with this apparent scheme to "delegitimize" contributions of white men.

"Hidden Figures" is a movie and not a documentary so I'm sure artistic liberties were taken to heighten the drama etc. But most people understand this.

More likely the source of Kersey's contempt is that, as a writer at the Unz Review, he can't let black women have even this little bit of time in the spotlight.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

David Reich and the hereditarians

Originally posted on my person blog March 28, 2018

I found it amusing to read Razib Khan suggesting that the work of David Reich is support for  Khan's own beliefs. In The National Review he writes:
Who We Are and How We Got Here then addresses the reality that large numbers of public intellectuals are extremely hostile to the idea that humans can be grouped together into distinct population clusters. In other words, since race is a pernicious social construction, population geneticists need to tread very carefully. Reich is frank that the time may have come to break the alliance geneticists have made with academics who declare that all differences between groups are trivial. He suggests that science is advancing at such a rate that we will soon understand the genetic basis of complex behaviors in exquisite detail — and that researchers should be prepared for the possibility that some findings will be discomfiting to contemporary sensibilities.
As always with hereditarians, Khan lies about "large numbers of public intellectuals" but then that's the purpose of straw men. Few people deny that there are ethnic differences but in order to paint the Enemy as anti-evolution hereditarians constantly conflate ethnicity and race. The only question is, are they too stupid or careless to realize that's what they are doing, or are they just weasels?

In any case, what Reich said in his NYTimes op-ed piece last Sunday is the opposite of what hereditarians like Khan believe:
At a meeting a few years later, Dr. Watson said to me and my fellow geneticist Beth Shapiro something to the effect of “When are you guys going to figure out why it is that you Jews are so much smarter than everyone else?” He asserted that Jews were high achievers because of genetic advantages conferred by thousands of years of natural selection to be scholars, and that East Asian students tended to be conformist because of selection for conformity in ancient Chinese society. (Contacted recently, Dr. Watson denied having made these statements, maintaining that they do not represent his views; Dr. Shapiro said that her recollection matched mine.) 
What makes Dr. Watson’s and Mr. Wade’s statements so insidious is that they start with the accurate observation that many academics are implausibly denying the possibility of average genetic differences among human populations, and then end with a claim — backed by no evidence — that they know what those differences are and that they correspond to racist stereotypes. They use the reluctance of the academic community to openly discuss these fraught issues to provide rhetorical cover for hateful ideas and old racist canards.
Razib Khan is on the record supporting both Watson and Wade:

But obviously The National Review wants plausible deniability for its long history of racism and hereditarians like Khan are happy to provide it.

And Reich agrees with what I've said about addressing hereditarian views: Reich wants scientists to fight against the Pinkers and Khans of the world:
This is why knowledgeable scientists must speak out. If we abstain from laying out a rational framework for discussing differences among populations, we risk losing the trust of the public and we actively contribute to the distrust of expertise that is now so prevalent. We leave a vacuum that gets filled by pseudoscience, an outcome that is far worse than anything we could achieve by talking openly.
The reason that scientists aren't fighting against hereditarian views is because most of them have dismissed them as nonsense. And scientists like Neil DeGrasse Tyson would rather not focus on it.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Rutgers professor Lee Jussim goes full White Citizens Council

Pinkerite has been pointing out for a long time that the IDW is right-wing, especially in its promotion of race science.

So I was not surprised to find the Trump-loving, right-wing extremist publication Breitbart moaning on behalf of right-wing race science promoter, Lee Jussim, professor at Rutgers University, because Psychology Today did not want to join in the right-wing grievance grift for which Quillette has become so well known.

So Quillette published Jussim's Orwellian lexicon when Psychology Today wouldn't play along.

The question is, why did Jussim try to post it at Psychology Today in the first place, knowing how perfect it would be for Quillette? Why not send it to Quillette first?

The answer of course is the grievance grift - right-wingers want to make Jussim look like a poor victim of political correctness because of his extremist hereditarian lexicon.

Just a few entries demonstrate Jussim's extremism:
Equalitarianism: A dogmatic, quasi-religious belief that all groups are equal on all traits that matter, usually accompanied by the belief that the only credible source of group differences is discrimination and outrage at anyone who suggests otherwise. Often accompanied by the belief that women and minorities are inherently or essentially more virtuous. 
Europhobia: Fear of Europeans and prejudice against Europeans, their descendants, and practices and ideas that originated in Europe. 
Evopsychophobia: Fear of evolutionary psychology, especially of the possibility that social groups (such as men and women) might have evolved different psychological traits and behavioral tendencies.
I'll take them in reverse order. Evolutionary psychology is a pseudoscience that pretends to be based on evolution, but in fact throws out three-quarters of evolutionary theory to focus only on adaptation as biologist PZ Myers explains.

The fear of evolutionary psychology is the fear of charlatans infiltrating academia with their just-so stories.

Europhobia is a big deal with far-right bigots who believe European culture is perfect and above criticism. If you dare suggest that European culture is not the very best of all possible cultures in every way, you are Europhobic.

Equalitarianism though really gives away Lee Jussim's racism.

As I have pointed out Equalitarianism is a term that "human biodiversity" types like the Winegards brothers borrowed from the segregationists at the White Citizens' Council. And they are not unaware of its use by the White Citizens' Council. Note the reference to religion by Jussim and the use of the term "goddess" in relation to the term by Carlton Putnam.

From in the book The Citizens' Council: Organized Resistance to the Second Reconstruction by Neil R. McMillen
Setting forth his ethnological assumption in an influential and widely circulated book, Race and Reason (1961), Putnam asserted that one need not have advanced scientific training to dispute theories of racial equalitarianism: “Any man with two eyes in his head can observe a Negro settlement in the Congo… can compare this settlement with London or Paris, and can draw his own conclusions regarding relative levels of character and intelligence…” That so few informed Americans saw things so clearly was compelling proof to Putnam that the nation had been victimized by a “pseudo-scientific hoax” popularized by such early exponents of racial equipotentiality as Franz Boas and several subsequent generations of like-minded anthropologists more devoted to “the demo-goddess of Equalitarianism” than to “the Goddess of Truth.”
Breitbart and Quillette are centers for right-wing racism and it appears to me that in addition to being a creep, Lee Jussim of Rutgers University is a right-wing racist who knowingly uses segregationist terminology to attack critics of the hereditarian swill he promotes.

I suppose we can take some comfort in the fact that Quillette is still on a downward slide on Patreon, according to Graphtreon estimates. Although I'm sure they'll find right-wing racist plutocrats to support them, maybe the same ones who support the career of racist Steve Sailer.



Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Response to "A Tale of Two Bell Curves" ~ Part 5

Stefan Molyneux created a lovely logo for Brian Boutwell.
He appears to have gotten the image of his face
from Boutwell's St. Louis University faculty page.
Originally posted on my personal blog January 24, 2018

Ugh. I am so tired of writing about just this one section of the Winegard brothers defense of The Bell Curve, published by Quillette. It's turned out to be even more ridiculous than I expected and my expectations were not high to begin with.

And I originally wanted to review what the Winegards think race is, in a separate article, but I felt I had to plow through this one first. So let's wrap this up.

At least there are only two more links.
Many scholars in the field have noted that there is a bizarre and unhealthy difference between publicly and privately expressed views. Publicly, most experts remain silent and allow vocal hereditarian skeptics to monopolize the press; privately, most concede that the hereditarian hypothesis is quite plausible. Here, we’ll leave the last word to the always judicious Earl Hunt: “Plausible cases can be made for both genetic and environmental contributions to [racial differences in] intelligence…Denials or overly precise statements on either the pro-genetic or pro-environmental side do not move the debate forward. They generate heat rather than light.” (p. 436).
Whatever the truth about the cause of racial differences in intelligence, it is not irresponsible to forward reasonable, cautiously worded, and testable hypotheses. 
Link # 12 Many scholars in the field have noted that there is a bizarre and unhealthy difference between publicly and privately expressed views.

The link presents an edition of Society magazine. The scholars listed include J. Phillippe Rushton, professional racist and Linda S. Gottfredson, professional racist. I expect there are some other racists in the table of contents, but at this point I'm suffering from too-many-racists fatigue and can't be bothered to research the other names.

Link #13 ...it is not irresponsible to forward reasonable
Whattaya know. This is a link to the very article I originally wanted to discuss, On the Reality of Race and the Abhorrence of Racism written by the Winegard bros and Brian Boutwell.

OK, let's tally their supporting sources:
  • 3 - their own work;
  • 6 - work that relies directly on Jensen and/or Rushton;
  • 2 - refutations of the hereditarian position;
  • 1 - paper they think supports them but which denies skill is 100% innate;
  • 1 - THE 2013 SURVEY OF EXPERT OPINION ON INTELLIGENCE which has a chart indicating the most reliable source of news on intelligence testing is Steve Sailer's blog.
Presumably the Winegards and Boutwell don't believe it's racist to declare differences in test scores by "race" to be genetic, but rather "race realism." Hopefully their article will explain not only what they consider the "reality of race" but also what they consider racism.

A supporter of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, he has been described as alt-right by Politico and The Washington Post, and right-wing by CNN.[3][4][5][6] The Freedomain Radio internet community which he leads has sometimes been described as a cult.[7][8][9][6] Molyneux formerly worked in the software industry.
Molyneux is also a raging misogynist.   RationalWiki quoting Molyneux:
Women who choose the assholes will fucking end this race. They will fucking end this human race if we don't start holding them a-fucking-countable. Women who choose assholes guarantee child abuse. Women who choose assholes guarantee criminality. Sociopathy. Politicians. All the cold-hearted jerks who run the world came out of the vaginas of women who married assholes, and I don't know how to make the world a better place without holding women accountable for choosing assholes! 
The theory is that if someone is evil, it's his mother's fault because she deliberately chose to reproduce with "an asshole." This is evolutionary psychology logic, since in its view of humanity, everything is caused by genetic inheritance and nothing is caused by environment. Combine that with the Men's Rights Activists/Pickup Artists philosophy that women don't like "nice guys" and you've got yourself some raging alt-right Molyneux-style misogyny.

The real question is, how do Molyneux and his alt-right cult intend to hold women "a-fucking-countable" for all the evil in the world.

OK, I don't want to fall down the alt-right rabbit hole just now, I have enough to deal with their allies the evo-psycho bros. But here is Molyneux in a Youtube video with alt-righters Gavin McInnes, misogynist about town, Owen Benjamin, MRA/"comedian" and  Mike "pizza gate" Cernovich.

For an additional understanding of how extreme Molyneux is, here he is at Infowars:

STEFAN MOLYNEUX: LEFTISTS ARE JOYLESS ZOMBIES
Brainwashed liberals are trying to eradicate happiness for the rest of America

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Responses to Charles Murray's Human Diversity

The New Republic's Alex Shepherd has a response to the publication of Charles Murray's just-published book: Charles Murray Is Never Going Away - The author of "The Bell Curve" has a new book about race and genetics—because of course he does.

He begins by referencing the Sam Harris - Ezra Klein debate which I have previously discussed:
Two years ago, the atheist Sam Harris told Ezra Klein that Charles Murray was cancel culture’s patient zero. The co-author of 1994’s controversial The Bell Curve, which contained a chapter arguing that genetics caused blacks to have lower IQs than whites, was really a victim of political correctness, Harris said. “When I did read [The Bell Curve] and did some more research on him, I came to think that he was probably the most unfairly maligned person in my lifetime,” Harris said. “IQ is not one of my concerns and racial differences in IQ is absolutely not one of my concerns, but a person having his reputation destroyed for honestly discussing data—that deeply concerns me.”
It was a clever rhetorical trick, one frequently employed by those defending the allegedly canceled. The substance of Murray’s work was immaterial—what really mattered is that he was being silenced for pursuing “scientific” inquiry. Never mind that Murray isn’t a geneticist or biologist. Or, for that matter, that Murray’s findings have been thoroughly debunked. Or that they repeatedly cited Mankind Quarterly, which Charles Lane, writing in The New York Review of Books, described as “a notorious journal of ‘racial history’ founded, and funded, by men who believe in the genetic superiority of the white race.” The real problem was that people were pointing out that Murray’s work was based on shoddy evidence and racist journals and thus should not be taken seriously.   
Meanwhile Eric Turkheimer, whose work is cited in Murray's book, says he plans to do a series of blog posts on his responses to Murray's book. The first one was posted today and it's very good. I'm looking forward to more.

(excerpt) 
 think there are several reasons to avoid outrage in responses to the book. One that happens to pertain to me is that my ideas and research figure in the narrative, and Murray treats my work with respect even as he disagrees with it, which I acknowledge and appreciate. (Looking ahead, in the section on polygenic scores he sets up a “Turkheimer-Plomin” debate, and while conceding that in the middle rounds I am ahead on points, declares me the loser anyway, based on scientific advances that he is sure are going to occur in the next decade. More on that later.)
The more important reason to remain calm in the face of Murray’s assertions of biologically fixed differences across gender, class and race is that outrage only feeds into the scientific right’s preferred narrative about this subject, which is that most scientists recognize that the hereditarian position is correct, but refuse to admit it either because they are blinded by their own liberal prejudices, or cowed by oppressive SJW culture on today’s campus.
This is the stance Murray adopts in the Introduction. He says there is an orthodoxy in the Academe, consisting of three tenets: Gender is a social construct, race is a social construct, and class is a function of privilege. Any discussion of the biology underlying these things, he asserts, is met with contempt and exclusion from the community:

It is possible to survive on a university campus without subscribing to the orthodoxy. But you have to be inconspicuous, because the simplistic version of the orthodoxy commands the campus’s high ground. It is dangerous for a college faculty member to say openly in articles, lectures, faculty meetings, or even in casual conversations that biology has a significant role in creating differences between men and women, among races, or among social classes. Doing so often carries a price. That price can be protests by students, denial of tenure-track employment for postdocs, denial of tenure for assistant professors, or reprimands from the university’s administrators.
This picture of the PC-dominated college campus where biology is anathema is repeated so often that it is easy to assume that it must be true, but it has never made any sense to me. Are the social sciences really dominated by environmentalists? Galton, who more or less invented social science, was a hereditarian. Most of the major early theorists of genetics and intelligence were followers of Galton and hereditarians. (Murray cites John Watson, of all people, whose radical behaviorism is about as uninfluential right now as it is possible for an idea to be.) The dominant social scientists of the middle part of the century, the Cattells and the Eysencks, were hereditarians. Arthur Jensen had a pretty good run. Today, behavior genetics is a well-established part of most psychology departments in the country. Robert Plomin is among the top 5 most cited living psychologists, and was awarded the American Psychological Association’s highest award for lifetime achievement. Modern psychiatry is completely dominated by genetics and neuroscience. Do you have the sense that GWAS of behavior has been suppressed lately? You can’t get away from it. Neuroscience, if anything, is even more dominant that genetics in the modern behavioral sciences. People who still try to deny that genes or brains have anything to do with human behavior are the outcasts, not the behavior geneticists and neuroscientists.

Response to "A Tale of Two Bell Curves" ~ Part 4

Originally posted on my personal blog January 23, 2018

OK back to the Winegard bros defense of the claim in The Bell Curve that black people are intellectually inferior. I continue from this post.

Next paragraph:
For these reasons, and many more, in a 1980s survey, most scholars with expertise rejected the environment-only interpretation of the racial IQ gap, and a plurality (45%) accepted some variant of the hereditarian hypothesis. Although data are hard to obtain today, this seems to remain true. In a recent survey with 228 participants (all relevant experts), most scholars continued to reject the environment-only interpretation (supported by 17%), and a majority believed that at least 50% of the gap was genetically caused (52%). 

Link # 9 For these reasons, and many more
As with Link #3 we are back to  THIRTY YEARS OF RESEARCH ON RACE DIFFERENCES IN COGNITIVE ABILITY by Rushton and Jensen.

Link #10 1980s survey

The survey was conducted by Mark Synderman who gave a positive blurb to the work of Rushton in the right-wing National review.
"Describes hundreds of studies worldwide that show a consistent pattern of human racial differences in such characteristics as intelligence, brain size, genital size, strength of sex drive, reproductive potency, industriousness, sociability, and rule following. On each of these variables, the groups are aligned in the order: Orientals, Caucasians, Blacks."
---Mark Snyderman, National Review
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting notes:
In a positive review (NR, 9/12/94) of Race, Evolution, and Behavior, a 1994 book by Philippe Rushton, reviewer Mark Snyderman eagerly recounted the book’s ”ambitious” and ”fearless” thesis: ”Orientals are more intelligent, have larger brains for their body size, have smaller genitalia, have less sex drive, are less fecund, work harder and are more readily socialized than Caucasians; and Caucasians on average bear the same relationship to blacks.”
Apparently Mark Snyderman knows what "race" is: Oriental, Caucasian, Black.

However his co-author in the 1980s survey, Stanley Rothman, who opposed diversity policies in colleges, appears to have other ideas about which races exist:
We also tested for the effects of higher Hispanic and Asian enrollment. Hispanic enrollment has little effect on any group's ratings of the educational or racial climate. 
I don't know for sure if Rothman's "Asian" aligns with Snyderman's "Oriental" but Rothman seems to have identified another race, "Hispanic", and I'm not sure if that aligns with Caucasian or Black. Or if, in fact, Rothman has scientifically proven the existence of the Hispanic race.

 Link #11 In a recent survey with 228 participants (all relevant experts)

Holy shit. I'm going to have to end this post after this link because my mind is so blown!

And I really shouldn't be surprised after everything I've seen so far. But I admit, I gasped.

OK, so the point of the 2013 survey was to replicate the Synderman and Rothman (see above) 1980s survey, to see if there was any change in opinion. Here is how they describe their method.

2 Method
Experts
1. Authors of papers published in
• Intelligence
• Cognitive Psychology
• Biological Psychology (if article addressed intelligence or a related topic)
• Journal of Mathematical Psychology (i a i)
• Contemporary Educational Psychology (i a i)
• Journal of School-Psychology (i a i)
• New Ideas in Psychology (i a i)
• Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology (i a i)
2. For the subject well known scientists or journalists writing on it.
3. Scientists emailed by ISIR member list (thanks to ISIR and David Lubinski!).
4. Scientists informed by ISSID website (thanks to ISSID, Don Saklofske & Michael Houlihan).
5. Scientists and interested students (NSt≤3) informed by colleagues.
Participation only after invitation (to prevent any seizing by interest groups).

Web based survey
• Questionnaire with 62 main questions.
• LimeSurvey.
• Anonymous. We only know who has never reacted and who has
ever reacted, but we cannot identify persons: how many questions a person has answered and what a person has answered.

You're welcome to read the entire paper, but once I got a look at their chart "Accuracy of news sources relating intelligence testing" I knew exactly what I was dealing with.

OK, get ready. It's incredible, except when you view it, assuming you've read the rest of my evo-psycho bros series you'll probably go "oh, of course."

The survey chart has horizontal bars. It uses two colors - the blue one represents the responses of the survey-takers in 2013, the yellow bar represents the survey-takers from the 1980s survey. Some of the news sources were not available in the 1980s, and some I guess were just not included by Snyderman and Rothman  - in any case there are a lot more blue bars than yellow.

The wider the bar, the more accurate the survey-takers consider the news source to be.


OK - HERE IS THE CHART OF NEWS SOURCES RELATING INTELLIGENCE TESTING LISTED BY GREATER TO LESSER ACCURACY AS DETERMINED BY THE 2013 SURVEY OF EXPERT OPINION ON INTELLIGENCE 





That's right. These intelligence experts esteemed "Steve Sailer's blog" above some of the world's most famous and established news sources, with Anatoly Karlin's blog coming in second. I can't find Karlin's blog, but maybe they mean his column in The Unz Review.

I haven't found Karlin's scientific credentials yet. So far the most significant thing I've discovered about Anatoly Karlin is he loves Trump and Vladimir Putin:
Putin Derangement Syndrome and Trump Derangement Syndrome continue moving towards an ever more perfect union.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Response to "A Tale of Two Bell Curves" ~ Part 3

Originally posted on my personal blog January 22, 2018


I'm continuing to review the links that the Winegard brothers provided in their defense of "The Bell Curve" in Quillette. I've reviewed the first five here.

The Winegard bros maintained that the theory that some "races" are dumber than others is especially plausible because "there are, as yet, no good alternative explanations."
Scholars who support the hereditarian hypothesis have marshalled an impressive array of evidence to defend it. Perhaps the strongest evidence is simply that there are, as yet, no good alternative explanations.
They then proceed to mention some of the alternative explanations and dismiss them without discussing them.  Like this:
Upon first encountering evidence of an IQ gap between Blacks and Whites, many immediately point to socioeconomic disparities.
They don't provide any examples of people discussing socioeconomic disparities even though "many" do. Instead they jump right to:
But researchers have long known that socioeconomic status cannot explain all of the intelligence gap.
Which includes a link to work by Arthur Jensen as I already discussed. So in this next paragraph they say:
Another argument that is often forwarded is that intelligence tests are culturally biased—they are designed in such a way that Black intelligence is underestimated. Although it would be rash to contend that bias plays absolutely no role in race differences in intelligence, it is pretty clear that it does not play a large role: standardized IQ and high stakes tests predict outcomes equally well for all native-born people. As Earl Hunt argued in his textbook, “If cultural unfairness were a major cause of racial/ethnic differences in test performance, we would not have as much trouble detecting it as seems to be the case.” (p. 425).
Link #6: intelligence tests are culturally biased

They provide a link to an article from 2009 in the Huffington Post by Dan Agin Emeritus Associate Professor of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, who devotes one paragraph to the cultural bias issue. And they don't address his argument at all, they just move on.

Link #7: predict outcomes equally well for all native-born people

This is the first link they provide to support their position that is not written by the Winegard bros or Jensen/Rushton (Saletan references Jensen/Rushton before he apologizes for it) and they completely misrepresent it. The paper, Fact and Fiction in Cognitive Ability Testing for Admissions and Hiring Decisions is written to support the use of admissions/hiring decisions and does admit that cultural bias can have an impact on test results:
Standardized tests of cognitive abilities are grounded in the psychometric approach to intelligence, which has focused on understanding individuals’ ability to reason, plan, solve prob- lems, think abstractly, learn and adapt, and process and com- prehend complex ideas and information (Ones, Visweswaran, & Dilchert, 2005). This does not mean that cognitive tests are pure measures of individuals’ innate ability. Although highly stable over the course of decades (e.g., Deary, Whalley, Lemmon, Crawford, & Starr, 2000), test scores reflect developed abilities and are a function of innate talent, learned knowledge and skills, and environmental factors that influence knowledge and skill acquisition, such as prior educational opportunities.
Did the Winegards actually read the paper? Especially since the paper provides an explicit example of cultural bias in skill acquisition:
Now consider a skill assessment that shows some large racial differences and has effects on occupational and other outcomes. For example, there are very large Black–White group differences in swimming skills, with white swimmers, on average, being more skilled...
One could raise a legitimate societal concern that there are differential opportunities to learn swimming, as well as familial, social, environmental, peer, economic, and cultural factors that contribute to the difference. Indeed research has found support for some of these factors (Mael, 1995). However, this is not bias in the measure. The key points are that the swimming test is not the source of the difference and is a measuring a legitimate skill and a predictor of subsequent performance. We want life guards who can swim well. Addressing the skill disparity is a societal issue. Condemning the swimming test will not correct the societal issue any more than discarding a thermometer will make a fever go away. 
In other words, skill disparity caused by social conditions is not their problem.

Next paragraph in the Winegards' defense of The Bell Curve:
Of course, there are other possible explanations of the Black-White 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.

Link #8: certainly not for lack of effort

Again they provide a link to a single source, in this case a book by Richard E. Nisbett called Intelligence and How to Get It: Why Schools and Cultures Count and they don't address any of his arguments. They just declare it a failure and move on.

But what they say prior to that is truly jaw-dropping. The idea that "a legacy of slavery/discrimination" has no impact on black intelligence is an example of the primary problem with evolutionary psychology: its extreme resistance to acknowledging socio-economic factors.

David Buller demonstrated that David Buss, a giant in the world of evo-psycho bros, mistook female slavery for female choice because, I would argue, of the reflexive habit of evo-psycho to turn everything into evolved innateness
Buss cites several studies like this as indicating that "high status in men leads directly to increased sexual access to a larger number of women," and he implies that this is due to the greater desirability of high-status men (David Buss 1999 "Evolutionary Psychology the New Science of the Mind"). 
But, among the Turkmen, women were sold by their families into marriage. The reason that higher-status males enjoyed greater reproductive success among the Turkmen is that they were able to buy wives earlier and more often than lower-status males. Other studies that clearly demonstrate a reproductive advantage for high-status males are also studies of societies or circumstances in which males "traded" in women. This isn't evidence that high-status males enjoy greater reproductive success because women find them more desirable. Indeed, it isn't evidence of female preference at all, just as the fact that many harem-holding despots produced remarkable numbers of offspring is no evidence of their desirability to women. It is only evidence that when men have power they will use it to promote their reproductive success, among other things (and that women, under such circumstances, will prefer entering a harem to suffering the dire consequences of refusal).
You can build a case for "the legacy of slavery/discrimination" having an impact on intelligence in five minutes if you possess deductive reasoning ability and have access to the Internet.

Does poverty have an impact on intelligence? Yes.
Science Magazine: Poverty Impedes Cognitive Function
Have black people in general been poor since the days of slavery? Yes.
ScienceDirect: Slavery, education, and inequality
Abstract: We investigate the effect of slavery on the current level of income inequality across US counties. We find that a larger proportion of slaves over population in 1860 persistently increases inequality, and in particular inequality across races. We also show that a crucial channel of transmission from slavery to racial inequality is human capital accumulation, i.e., current inequality is primarily influenced by slavery through the unequal educational attainment of blacks and whites. Finally, we provide suggestive evidence that the underlying links run through the political exclusion of former slaves and the resulting negative influence on the local provision of education.

So there you have it - black people have been poorer than whites since the days of slavery and not only does the legacy of slavery impact the acquisition of wealth by blacks, an important cause is unequal education attainment.  Poor education leading to poverty and the stresses of poverty itself combine to provide a compelling case that blacks having lower intelligence scores than whites is not genetic.

I wasn't aware of either of the two studies I mentioned until I sat down to write this post. I made a tiny effort to look.

The Winegard brothers didn't find any compelling cases because they didn't bother to look.

Here is Steven Pinker on Twitter, in reference to the Winegard article, claiming he doesn't agree with The Bell Curve on race.

But if Pinker doesn't agree with the Bell Curve on race, and given that the "public discussion" of the book has focused on criticisms of what it says about race, and given that he maintains the discussion has been  "ignorant and dishonest" then what exactly is it about race in The Bell Curve that Pinker doesn't agree with?

More on the links in this Bell Curve article in the next post.




Sunday, January 26, 2020

Bernie Sanders makes common cause with the IDW

Sanders appeared on Joe Rogan's show and then made a promotional ad featuring Rogan's endorsement.

This is Joe Rogan:



Rogan made the Sanders endorsement, appropriately enough, while interviewing Bari Weiss, publicist for the Intellectual Dark Web, who wrote about Rogan in her NYTimes article about the IDW:
“People are starved for controversial opinions,” said Joe Rogan, an MMA color commentator and comedian who hosts one of the most popular podcasts in the country. “And they are starved for an actual conversation.” 
That hunger has translated into a booming and, in many cases, profitable market. Episodes of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” which have featured many members of the I.D.W., can draw nearly as big an audience as Rachel Maddow. A recent episode featuring Bret Weinstein and Ms. Heying talking about gender, hotness, beauty and #MeToo was viewed on YouTube over a million times, even though the conversation lasted for nearly three hours.
Rogan is considered such an important member of the Intellectual Dark Web he had his photo taken for the article, just like Michael Shermer and Christina Hoff Sommers.



It's important to note that Rogan would like to see a ticket with Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard. In other words the two candidates who hate the Democratic Party.

I hope that this stops Sanders' recent rise in the polls. I can't imagine why any African Americans, who were already trending towards Biden, would ever vote for Sanders in the primary after this.


Sanders supporters of course can't admit any of this is a problem. I am very disappointed in Ezra Klein for defending Sanders over this. Just like the Trump cult, the Sanders cult cannot admit when their mighty leader is wrong.





Response to "A Tale of Two Bell Curves" ~ Part 2

Unlike Pinker and Coyne, the HBD web site -
which links to work by them,
the Winegards and Razib Khan,
claims to know exactly what race is
and which races exist



Originally posted on my personal blog January 21, 2018

For my discussion of the Winegard brothers' Quillette article about the Bell Curve I excerpted the section concerning the racial component of intelligence. What I want to do in this blog post is address the sources the Winegards linked in that excerpt.

Please note that in my opinion the Winegards failed to demonstrate that "race" has any real meaning outside of the colloquial one generally used by North Americans. I will get to that issue when I review their  On the Reality of Race and the Abhorrence of Racism piece.

On to the references for their Bell Curve piece.

Here is the first paragraph that contains links from the excerpt.
Although one would not believe it from reading most mainstream articles on the topic (with the exception of William Saletan’s piece at Slate), the proposal that some intelligence differences among races are genetically caused is quite plausible. It is not our goal, here, to cover this debate exhaustively. Rather, we simply want to note that the hereditarian hypothesis is reasonable and coheres with a parsimonious view of the evolution of human populations . Whether or not it is correct is another question.

Link #1: The Saletan piece

The Saletan piece is used by the Winegards to show that at least one mainstream media contrarian is on board the belief in race-based intelligence differences. Its title is "Liberal Creationism" and was posted November 18, 2007.

What the Winegards fail to mention is that ten days later, November 28, 2007, Saletan posted an article titled "Regrets" and said this (excerpt):
...But the thing that has upset me most concerns a co-author of one of the articles I cited. In researching this subject, I focused on published data and relied on peer review and rebuttals to expose any relevant issue. As a result, I missed something I could have picked up from a simple glance at Wikipedia. 
For the past five years, J. Philippe Rushton has been president of the Pioneer Fund, an organization dedicated to "the scientific study of heredity and human differences." During this time, the fund has awarded at least $70,000 to the New Century Foundation. To get a flavor of what New Century stands for, check out its publications on crime ("Everyone knows that blacks are dangerous") and heresy ("Unless whites shake off the teachings of racial orthodoxy they will cease to be a distinct people"). New Century publishes a magazine called American Renaissance, which preaches segregation. Rushton routinely speaks at its conferences. 
I was negligent in failing to research and report this. I'm sorry. I owe you better than that.
In his 1994 review of The Bell Curve, Charles Lane discusses the connection between The Bell Curve and the Pioneer Fund:
Which brings us back to Murray and Herrnstein. They cite in their book no fewer than thirteen scholars who have benefited from Pioneer Fund grants in the last two decades—the grants total more than $4 million. Many of The Bell Curve’s sources who worked for Mankind Quarterly were also granted Pioneer money.16
But the Winegards, who don't mention the shady racist sourcing of The Bell Curve also don't mention that Saletan apologized for failing to mention the shady racist sourcing of his beliefs in racial intelligence issues.

Link #2: a parsimonious view of the evolution of human populations

In case anybody is foolish enough to buy into the Winegards presenting themselves as objective analysts of the claims in The Bell Curve, this link, used to argue "the hereditarian hypothesis is reasonable"  links to their own work Human Biological and Psychological Diversity which shows them to be firmly in the "human bio-diversity" camp.

The next paragraph contains this:
Scholars who support the hereditarian hypothesis have marshalled an impressive array of evidence to defend it. Perhaps the strongest evidence is simply that there are, as yet, no good alternative explanations.
Link #3: an impressive array of evidence to defend it

In addition to their own HBD paper, which I'm sure the Winegards feel is just as impressive, they describe another "impressive array of evidence" which turns out to be a paper THIRTY YEARS OF RESEARCH ON RACE DIFFERENCES IN COGNITIVE ABILITY written by the previously mentioned (by Saletan) Phillippe Rushton president of the racist Pioneer Fund along with equally racist Arthur Jensen who argued that programs like Head Start were doomed to fail because the genetic stupidity of those the program served. Studies have proven Jensen was wrong but you'll never hear about that from the likes of the Winegard bros.

To take the paragraph as a whole, the Wingards are claiming that racists, funded by racists making racist claims, are providing "an impressive array of evidence" to defend racist conclusions. And the strongest evidence in favor of racist explanations, they claim, is that there are "no good alternative explanations." Later on the Winegards dismiss without argument poorly-presented alternatives, but since the Winegards are already True Believers in "human bio-diversity" they have no desire to seriously consider alternative explanations. I'll get to that in the next post.

Next paragraph
Upon first encountering evidence of an IQ gap between Blacks and Whites, many immediately point to socioeconomic disparities. But researchers have long known that socioeconomic status cannot explain all of the intelligence gap. Even if researchers control for SES, the intelligence gap is only shrunk by roughly 30% (estimates vary based on the dataset used, but almost none of the datasets finds that SES accounts for the entire gap). This is excessively charitable, as well, because intelligence also causes differences in socioeconomic status, so when researchers “control for SES,” they automatically shrink some of the gap.
Link #4: socioeconomic status cannot explain all of the intelligence gap

One again, they link to the work of Arthur Jensen, The g Factor: The Science of Mental Ability (Human Evolution, Behavior, and Intelligence)

Link #5: almost none of the datasets finds that SES accounts for the entire gap

This links to a piece on the Florida State University web site which you can't access without login credentials so I can't examine it, but presumably it's by Bo Winegard, the Winegard associated with FSU.

So what's the score so far? Of the five links, two are to their own work, two are to work by Jensen/Jensen & Rushton) and one is to a piece that Saletan apologized for because of a Rushton connection.

More looks at links in the next post. Don't worry, we haven't heard the last of Jensen and Rushton.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Response to "A Tale of Two Bell Curves" ~ part 1

Originally posted to my personal blog January 20, 2018

It was my intention in this post to analyze the serious flaws of a piece published in Quillette on the issue of the existence of race as a biological reality but then I fell down the racist rabbit hole at Quillette. So I have to step back and discuss a few other things first.

Quillette is not some kind of peer-reviewed science periodical, but rather a right-wing/libertarian project by Claire Lehmann.

According to her bio, Lehmann is a psychology grad student drop-out who in addition to contributing to mostly right-leaning media outlets (National Review, Commentary, The Spectator) mentions writing for her own Quillette as one of her accomplishments.

Quillette opposes feminism - every article posted about feminism in Quillette is an attack on feminists. And of course it taps anti-feminist Susan Venker to write glowingly of Camille Paglia, buddy of Rush Limbaugh, whose entire claim to fame is based on attacking feminists.

I'll save you the time in reading Venker's take, which is, as always: feminists hate men.

Now typically I'd just ignore Quillette like I ignore the National Review or any other piece of right-wing trash (read about the National Review's history concerning the Civil Rights movement here), but it is used as a source frequently by Steven Pinker and Jerry Coyne. Meanwhile the third evo-psycho bro, Razib Khan, is contributor at Quillette.

And to my surprise and disgust I just realized that Jonathan Kay, who ghost-wrote Justin Trudeau's Common Ground and who I was inclined to respect and with whom I agree about the perniciousness of anti-cultural appropriation was also a contributor. Maybe I'll have to apologize to Jeet Heer, who called Kay a "rightwing provocateur." Although Kay claims on Twitter he's taking a break from Quillette.

In addition to Razib Khan, Quillette's go-to guys for opinions on race appear to be Bo Winegard, Ben Winegard and Brian Boutwell (the authors of  On the Reality of Race and the Abhorrence of Racism.)

The Khan piece I linked to early on in this post was co-authored by Boutwell.

Their bios at the end of the piece:
  • Bo Winegard is a graduate student at Florida State University. Follow him on Twitter @EPoe187
  • Ben Winegard is an Assistant Professor at Carroll College. Follow him on Twitter @BenWinegard
  • Brian Boutwell is an Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Saint Louis University. Follow him on Twitter @fsnole1 (NOTE: his actual account appears to be FSNole57 )

The Winegards and Brian Boutwell are proponents of "human biological diversity" as demonstrated in this piece: Human Biological and Psychological Diversity.

Not surprisingly, Steve Sailer, Steven Pinker's old buddy, is a big fan of their work.

While looking for work in Quillette by the Winegard brothers and Boutwell I discovered the Winegards':  A Tale of Two Bell Curves which was published after the Reality of Race article.

Here is an excerpt:
Claim 4b: It is likely that some of the intelligence differences among races are caused by genetics.
This was the most controversial argument of The Bell Curve, but before addressing it, it is worth noting how cautious Hernstein and Murray were when forwarding this hypothesis: “It seems highly likely to us that both genes and environment have something to do with racial differences. What might that mix be? We are resolutely agnostic on that issue; as far as we can determine, the evidence does not yet justify an estimate.” (p. 311). This is far from the strident tone one would expect from reading secondhand accounts of The Bell Curve!
There are two issues to address here. The first is how plausible is the hereditarian hypothesis (the hypothesis that genes play a causal role in racial differences in intelligence); and the second is should responsible researchers be allowed to forward reasonable, but potentially inflammatory hypotheses if they might later turn out false.
Although one would not believe it from reading most mainstream articles on the topic (with the exception of William Saletan’s piece at Slate), the proposal that some intelligence differences among races are genetically caused is quite plausible. It is not our goal, here, to cover this debate exhaustively. Rather, we simply want to note that the hereditarian hypothesis is reasonable and coheres with a parsimonious view of the evolution of human populations . Whether or not it is correct is another question.
Scholars who support the hereditarian hypothesis have marshalled an impressive array of evidence to defend it. Perhaps the strongest evidence is simply that there are, as yet, no good alternative explanations.
Upon first encountering evidence of an IQ gap between Blacks and Whites, many immediately point to socioeconomic disparities. But researchers have long known that socioeconomic status cannot explain all of the intelligence gap. Even if researchers control for SES, the intelligence gap is only shrunk by roughly 30% (estimates vary based on the dataset used, but almost none of the datasets finds that SES accounts for the entire gap). This is excessively charitable, as well, because intelligence also causes differences in socioeconomic status, so when researchers “control for SES,” they automatically shrink some of the gap.
Another argument that is often forwarded is that intelligence tests are culturally biased—they are designed in such a way that Black intelligence is underestimated. Although it would be rash to contend that bias plays absolutely no role in race differences in intelligence, it is pretty clear that it does not play a large role: standardized IQ and high stakes tests predict outcomes equally well for all native-born people. As Earl Hunt argued in his textbook, “If cultural unfairness were a major cause of racial/ethnic differences in test performance, we would not have as much trouble detecting it as seems to be the case.” (p. 425).
Of course, there are other possible explanations of the Black-White 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.
For these reasons, and many more, in a 1980s survey, most scholars with expertise rejected the environment-only interpretation of the racial IQ gap, and a plurality (45%) accepted some variant of the hereditarian hypothesis. Although data are hard to obtain today, this seems to remain true. In a recent survey with 228 participants (all relevant experts), most scholars continued to reject the environment-only interpretation (supported by 17%), and a majority believed that at least 50% of the gap was genetically caused (52%). Many scholars in the field have noted that there is a bizarre and unhealthy difference between publicly and privately expressed views. Publicly, most experts remain silent and allow vocal hereditarian skeptics to monopolize the press; privately, most concede that the hereditarian hypothesis is quite plausible. Here, we’ll leave the last word to the always judicious Earl Hunt: “Plausible cases can be made for both genetic and environmental contributions to [racial differences in] intelligence…Denials or overly precise statements on either the pro-genetic or pro-environmental side do not move the debate forward. They generate heat rather than light.” (p. 436).
Whatever the truth about the cause of racial differences in intelligence, it is not irresponsible to forward reasonable, cautiously worded, and testable hypotheses. Science progresses by rigorously testing hypotheses, and it is antithetical to the spirit of science to disregard and in fact rule out of bounds an entirely reasonable category of explanations (those that posit some genetic causation in intelligence differences among racial groups). The Bell Curve is not unique for forwarding such hypotheses; it is unique because it did so publicly. Academics and media pundits quickly made Murray an effigy and relentlessly flogged him as a warning to others: If you go public with what you know, you too will suffer this fate.

I find it odd that this article, published in March 2017 talks about how "if you go public with what you know, you too will suffer (a bad) fate" and yet don't even mention Razib Khan, who co-wrote a piece in Quillette with the bros' other co-author Brian Boutwell. Even though it's in the public record that Khan lost a job working at the New York Times thanks to the controversy about his racism.

Apologists for The Bell Curve never tell you that one of the major sources of claims used by "The Bell Curve" is itself racist. In Charles Lane's 1994 review of the Bell Curve he writes:
Surely the most curious of the sources he and Herrnstein consulted is Mankind Quarterly—a journal of anthropology founded in Edinburgh in 1960. Five articles from the journal are actually cited in The Bell Curve’s bibliography (pp. 775, 807, and 828).2 But the influence on the book of scholars linked to Mankind Quarterly is more significant. No fewer than seventeen researchers cited in the bibliography of The Bell Curve have contributed to Mankind Quarterly. Ten are present or former editors, or members of its editorial advisory board. This is interesting because Mankind Quarterly is a notorious journal of “racial history” founded, and funded, by men who believe in the genetic superiority of the white race.3 
Mankind Quarterly was established during decolonization and the US civil rights movement. Defenders of the old order were eager to brush a patina of science on their efforts. Thus Mankind Quarterly’s avowed purpose was to counter the “Communist” and “egalitarian” influences that were allegedly causing anthropology to neglect the fact of racial differences. “The crimes of the Nazis,” wrote Robert Gayre, Mankind Quarterly’s founder and editor-in-chief until 1978, “did not, however, justify the enthronement of a doctrine of a-racialism as fact, nor of egalitarianism as ethnically and ethically demonstrable.”4
Gayre was a champion of apartheid in South Africa, and belonged to the ultra-right Candour League of white-ruled Rhodesia.5 In 1968, he testified for the defense at the hate speech trial of five members of the British Racial Preservation Society, offering his expert opinion that blacks are “worthless.”6 The founders of Mankind Quarterly also included Henry E. Garrett of Columbia University, a one-time pamphleteer for the White Citizens’ Councils who provided expert testimony for the defense in Brown v. Board of Education;7 and Corrado Gini, leader of fascist Italy’s eugenics movement and author of a 1927 Mussolini apologia called “The Scientific Basis of Fascism.”8
I doubt that the readers of Quillette actually take the time to look at the hyperlinked references the Winegards provide in the piece.  However I did take the time, and the Winegards sources are primarily notorious scientific racists and their own work. I will review their sources in the next post.