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Thursday, December 5, 2019

Charles Murray and Emil O. W. Kirkegaard

The paper can be found here.

Kirkegaard gets a mention at the Southern Poverty Law Center:
Emil Kirkegaard, who edits (Wikipedia) frequently under the username Deleet, is a research fellow at Richard Lynn’s Ulster Institute for Social research and the co-founder of the online pseudojournal OpenPsych.
Although according to RationalWiki:
He is permanently blocked from editing Wikipedia,[21] having misused the wiki to spread his racist nonsense. He has since whined about Wikipedia deleting his pseudoscientific writings on race.[22] 
Kirkegaard gets his own profile on RationalWiki which notes:
As well as running Openpsych, Kirkegaard is the current domain owner of Mankind Quarterly, a white supremacist journal.[23][24]
Kirkegaard is also an author in Mankind Quarterly, listed as the author or co-author of fourteen articles, although some with the most interesting titles like Race Differences, a Very Brief View returned a 404 error. Although those articles that were available only provide an abstract without logging in to see the entire PDF. And I'm not about to pay $68 for a membership to Mankind Quarterly.

I confess I didn't read the Kirkegaard paper promoted by Murray past the abstract because the abstract makes clear that it is a standard specimen of race "science" -
Our sample (k = 16) comprised 84,897 Whites, 37,160 Blacks, and 17,678 Hispanics residing in the United States. We found that White, Black, and Hispanic heritabilities were consistently moderate to high, and that these heritabilities did not differ across groups. At least in the United States, Race/Ethnicity × Heritability interactions likely do not exist.
As I have mentioned many times, the term "Hispanic" has little to do with ancestry. Kirkegaard & co. appear to try to handle that by using the term "race/ethnicity" which is typical of the imprecision of race science. The term Hispanic refers to language. Anthropologist Maxine Margolis (I will have her interview online here ASAP) who specializes in Brazilian culture, mentioned to me that Brazilians don't consider themselves Hispanic because they speak Portuguese. But of course based on US demographic categories they would be counted as Hispanic or Latino, terms that are used interchangeably in practice.

If the Kirkegaard paper tells us anything it tells us about people grouped by United States demographic categories. In other words, politics, not science.

Notice that in his tweet Murray states: "...until we have large genomic databases from the principle populations."

But genetic testing services like 23andMe and other commercial enterprises already are building up genomic databases, and the response of race science to the information discovered by all that genomic testing is to ignore it because it is not what race science wants to hear, as discussed in the NYTimes by Carl Zimmer:
On average, the scientists found, people who identified as African-American had genes that were only 73.2 percent African. European genes accounted for 24 percent of their DNA, while .8 percent came from Native Americans.  
Latinos, on the other hand, had genes that were on average 65.1 percent European, 18 percent Native American, and 6.2 percent African... 
In spite of Murray's expression of interest in "large genomic databases" I think it's unlikely that race science will ever bother with testing subjects for genetic ancestry because it would be exponentially more work than the typical race science "study" and as we know:

race science is lazy

Fun fact, Kirkegaard linked to Pinkerite back in November:
People keep asking me about the state of the art re. evidence for physiognomy, so here’s a brief review. 
Phrenology used to be considered legit, and then eventually people realized it was all bogus. Since then, it is usually brought up an example of how science goes wrong in terms of stereotyping, and references to it are used to attack people who don’t agree with Aristotle that the brain is mainly used to cool blood — which is to say, to attack people who study brain size, shape etc. and relate this to differences in human psychology, chiefly intelligence. Some examples of such attacks can be seen here, here and here.
The link is to Yes, Kevin Drum, Quillette is defending phrenology and the main focus of the article is described in the title.

Kirkegaard suggests that critics of hereditarianism believe that "the brain is mainly used to cool blood" and this is funny because it is race science which harkens back to previous centuries for its foundation, including phrenology.

Kirkegaard has of course blocked Pinkerite on Twitter because race science proponents' cowardice is second only to their laziness.

Another fun fact: according to the RationalWiki entry on Kirkegaard:
Kirkegaard was born in Denmark in 1989,[26] but in 2018 moved to the US. A pseudointellectual he has described himself as a "polymath", "scientist", "geneticist", "philosopher" and "psychologist",[27][28] when he isn't any of these things and his only qualification is a BA Linguistics from Aarhus University. In 2019, Kirkegaard moved back to Denmark.[29]
At the present time, Kirkegaard describes himself on his blog as "Scientist etc."

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