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Monday, August 10, 2020

Andrew Sullivan and Race Science

One of the reasons this blog is called Pinkerite is because Bari Weiss portrayed Steven Pinker as the most respectable of those associated with the Intellectual Dark Web. But now I'm wondering if that honor might have to go to Andrew Sullivan. Will I have to change this blog's name to Sullivanite?

I had no idea how enthusiastic Sullivan is about race science until this year, as indicated in this blog post. 

Although I was aware of Sullivan's love of evolutionary psychology via a tweet by Slate author Tom Scocca.

But Sullivan has been promoting race science for a long time and might be even more responsible for mainstreaming it than Steven Pinker.

Back in 2011 in a Gawker article A Reader's Guide to Andrew Sullivan's Defense of Race Science:
A million years ago, when the internet was just a gleam in Tina Brown's eye, Andrew Sullivan edited The New Republic, which was a Serious Magazine that had no time for your Liberal P.C. Dogma, such as "Race Is an Arbitrary and Unscientific Concept" or "Intelligence Is a Difficult Thing to Define, Let Alone Measure." As such, Sullivan gave a cover story to The Bell Curve, a horrendous piece of shoddy sociology about how blacks are not as smart as whites, and neither are as smart as The Chinaman; besides the general philosophical problems with writing a book-length study of the intersection between two variable, difficult-to-define, and scientifically problematic concepts, it was methodologically unsound and its data cherry-picked from a variety of unsavory sources.
This 2011 article is referring to a 1994 article in the New Republic which even predates Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate and his promotion of the career of racist Steve Sailer in 2004.

Steve Sailer expressed his admiration for Andrew Sullivan in 2011.

The New Republic expressed its regrets about Sullivan and The Bell Curve in 2015 in an article called The New Republic's Legacy on Race
The magazine’s myopia on racial issues was never more apparent than in Peretz’s and editor Andrew Sullivan’s decision in 1994 to excerpt The Bell Curve, a foray into scientific racism in which the authors, Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein, asserted that differences in IQ among blacks and whites were largely genetic and almost impossible to significantly change. The book had not been peer-reviewed, nor were galleys sent to the relevant scientific journals. As The Wall Street Journal reported, The Bell Curve was “swept forward by a strategy that provided book galleys to likely supporters while withholding them from likely critics.”
Predictably Sullivan has a problem with the 1619 project, since race science promoters hate anything to do with honest history of African Americans.