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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

Monday, March 23, 2020

The Maxine Margolis Interview

I spoke with anthropologist Maxine L. Margolis about her research topics: gender and society and Brazil, with a focus on Brazilian immigrants, race classification schemes of Brazil vs. the US, and her association with Marvin Harris.

Dr. Margolis is Professor Emerita of Anthropology, University of Florida, Adjunct Senior Research Scholar at the Institute for Latin American Studies, Columbia University.
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts & Sciences, elected 2009
  • Lifetime Contribution Award, Brazilian Studies Association, 2014
Maxine Margolis' Wikipedia Entry

The video has a transcript available on YouTube and also available on Pinkerite here.

Some links associated with this interview:

Books by Margolis

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Meet the IDW's rightwing Christian extremist sugar daddy Michael O'Fallon

O'Fallon, Lindsay and Boghossian
made a video together
We already know that the 3 Stooges of the IDW, Helen Pluckrose, James Lindsay and Peter Boghossian got paid to run their hoax grift because James Lindsay admitted as much - and refused to reveal who paid them.

Their latest clown college project is a web site called New Discourses, promoted by Steven Pinker's #1 fanboy Jerry Coyne who writes:
It’s useful to know about this resource. The articles will change, and I haven’t yet had time to peruse them, but the Wokish Dictionary is already a good resource when trying to decipher the argot. There are also videos.
Coyne was once a worthwhile thinker but he's turned into a bigot and a right-wing stooge over the past ten years or so. And he's such a groveling fanboy of Steven Pinker he can be seen on his web site mooning over Steven Pinker's cowboy boots. Featuring a full-body shot of Pinker modeling his boots, which I assume Coyne printed out and taped to his bedroom wall.

The devolution of Jerry Coyne is a sad and sorry spectacle.

It's a hallmark of race science proponents that they are astoundingly lazy and clearly Jerry Coyne couldn't be bothered trying to learn anything about New Discourses before promoting it. But I made an effort and boy howdy are they in deep with Christian fanaticism.

Meet the funder behind New Discourses, Michael O'Fallon. His various activities are listed at Right Wing Watch.

According to the web site Religion News Service:
There aren't many cruise "experience" directors who spend their days defending what is described as America's Judeo-Christian heritage and promoting "nation-ism" — a version of nationalism that champions "the right of self governance and the right of people to be self-governed.” 
But Michael O'Fallon does, and he argues both are under attack by the Open Society Foundation, founded by billionaire philanthropist George Soros. He often says as much on his website, Sovereignnations.com, as well as through conferences with speakers who range from controversial psychologist Jordan Peterson to a slate of evangelical Christians of the Calvinist variety. 
And when he has some spare time, he goes on a cruise — like a recent journey to the Galapagos Islands, which O'Fallon recently highlighted on his personal Facebook page.
It's hard to overstate how obsessed Michael O'Fallon is with George Soros conspiracy theories. They are plastered all over his web site.

O'Fallon is mentioned nowhere on the New Discourses web site. 

I first made the connection between O'Fallon and New Discourses by Googling the address given on the New Discourses web site and found it is the same address used by O'Fallon's Christian cruise business. I took a screen shot of the two side-by-side.

And once I found Sovereign Cruises, I found two other O'Fallon web sites, Sovereign Productions and Events and then finally Sovereign Nations.

Although as someone on Twitter pointed out, I could have made the connection more quickly if I just Googled New Discourses LLC.


Company Number
Incorporation Date
17 September 2019 (6 months ago)
Company Type
Florida Limited Liability
Florida (US)
Agent Name
Agent Address
Directors / Officers

New Discourses doesn't have a single mention of O'Fallon, but he sure has no problem connecting himself to Linsday, Boghossian and Pluckrose on Sovereign Nations.

And there's a video series: GRIEVANCE SCHOLARS EXPOSE THE TROJAN HORSE OF SOCIAL JUSTICE IN FAITH & ACADEMICS which is a discussion with O'Fallon, Lindsay and Boghossian. 

Note the word "faith" in the title. As a fanatical Christian, faith is a huge deal with O'Fallon. As the article with the video says:
This isn’t merely a problem within the secular university system, however. As many will be aware, it has gone forth from our halls of higher education and taken root in education, law, the corporate world, society at large, and even public policy. Not only that, it has also been making significant inroads into the Christian faith, even conservative Evangelical Protestant faith. In June of 2019, the largest Protestant denomination in the world, the Southern Baptist Convention, passed a resolution stating that Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality could effectively be used by Christians as “analytical tools” alongside but subordinate to Scripture. This is what Lindsay describes as “a very fine wooden horse sitting outside your gates.”  
And since O'Fallon is a right-wing Christian extremist and a supporter of hereditarianism and the IDW, it was extremely likely he would turn out to be a Trump supporter. Which he is, as can be seen by the relentlessly positive mentions of Trump and defenses of Trump in Sovereign Nations.

O'Fallon is not pleased with homosexuality as noted in the Religious News Service article:
Speakers at Sovereign Nations' 2019 conference were united in their opposition to certain claims of “social justice” among progressives — including progressive people of faith. In December 2018, Ascol, O’Fallon and White were all listed as initial signers on a “Statement on Social Justice & the Gospel.”

The document rejected “the postmodern ideologies derived from intersectionality, radical feminism, and critical race theory,” calling them inconsistent with biblical teaching.
“We are deeply concerned that values borrowed from secular culture are currently undermining Scripture in the areas of race and ethnicity, manhood and womanhood, and human sexuality,” read the statement’s introduction. “The Bible’s teaching on each of these subjects is being challenged under the broad and somewhat nebulous rubric of concern for ‘social justice.’”
The statement also rejected “‘gay Christian' as a legitimate biblical category." 
The 2019 Founders Ministries conference was sponsored in part by Sovereign Alliance (an umbrella organization that includes Sovereign Cruises) as well as Ligonier Ministries, a group created by Presbyterian Church in America theologian R.C. Sproul. (O’Fallon and his wife worked for Sproul’s ministry for 10 years.) 
But O’Fallon pushed back on the idea that his movement is restricted to Calvinist Baptists.
He noted that the 2017 Sovereign Nations’ conference, which was convened in the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., included a talk by controversial psychologist Jordan Peterson on “Identity Politics & the Marxist Lie of White Privilege.” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former White House Senior Advisor Stephen Bannon were also invited to speak but did not appear to attend.
Brad Vermurlen, a scholar who has a forthcoming book on the New Calvinist movement entitled “Reformed Resurgence: The New Calvinist Movement and the Battle Over American Evangelicalism,” said the invitation of Jordan Peterson points to an often unspoken overlap between his audience and that of the Calvinist leaders highlighted at Sovereign Nations events.
New Discourses' strategy is straight out of the Quillette playbook: pretend to be non-political or centrist while relentlessly promoting right-wing positions and taking rightwing money.

According to the New Discourses About page.

New Discourses is, by design, meant to be apolitical in the usual sense. That means it is not interested in conservative, progressive, left, right, center, or any other particular political stances. It is, in this regard, only broadly liberal in the philosophical and ethical stance. In that case, whether you’re a progressive left-liberal or a conservative right-liberal, traditional or classical in any case, you’re likely to find what we’re doing refreshing. (And if you don’t, we can talk about it! That’s the point!
In their alignment with a far-right Christian fanatic like O'Fallon, this is obviously bullshit.

Some of the most prominent IDWs are outspoken atheists, and Jerry Coyne certainly is. Does the IDW and friends hate feminists, Muslims, trans-people, socialists, the left and critics of race science so much that they are willing to align with a religious extremist?

Monday, March 2, 2020

Women in STEM versus hereditarians

Great article in Slate recently by Meredith Reiches and Sarah S. Richardson. A few members of the IDW - which is of course relentlessly hereditarian get a shout-out:
We Dug Into Data to Disprove a Myth About Women in STEM 
The argument used to be that women were simply biologically less capable. Now it’s that they’re less interested. Both are wrong.
The stakes here are high. If men and women really have inherently different career preferences, then any attempt to get more women into STEM fields would be misguided and likely to fail. That was certainly how men’s rights activists such as Jordan Peterson and conservative think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute, who have cited the theory, interpreted the results.
 Pinker and Murray
The focus on “propensities” is a trend in the broader conversation about the role of social and biological factors in women’s and men’s STEM achievement. Twenty years ago, biological hard-liners, including Geary, argued that women are biologically less capable in the STEM fields. Now that women are outnumbering men in many scientific and medical fields, outperforming males on many standardized STEM tests, and receiving larger numbers of higher degrees of all sorts than men worldwide, hard-liners such as Steven Pinker and Charles Murray have moved away from such assertions in favor of the claim that women are biologically wired to find less joy in STEM or are simply less interested in it.
It turns the original claim that women were just less interested in STEM was based on a big mess:
After internal review, Psychological Science required extensive corrections to the published study. In their revised paper, Stoet and Geary maintain that there is a gender paradox in STEM but clarify that it relates to their more obscure measure, which they termed the “propensity” of women and men to attain a higher degree in STEM. This week, the same journal published a peer-reviewed paper from our group citing conceptual and empirical problems with the “gender-equality paradox in STEM” hypothesis. The paper shows that the negative association between gender equality and women’s STEM achievement does not persist when the measures of gender equality and achievement change.

Of course both Pinker and his groveling fanboy, Jerry Coyne promoted Geary (who is also a promoter of race science with the Winegard brothers) promoted the hell out of that garbage:

But although the Slate article has been out for several weeks now I haven't found them admitting they might have been wrong. Of course.

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