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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

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Cochran v Rutherford

I had previously noted that Gregory Cochran had not attacked geneticist Adam Rutherford in Cochran's West Hunter blog, as he had attacked anthropologist R. Brian Ferguson, but I should have known better than to assume Cochran had refrained from attacking Rutherford at all.

When Steve Sailer, who considers Cochran a friend, was celebrating the work of Cochran and Harpending, he compared them to Darwin. Cochran compared his own work to that of Einstein

Ron Unz, benefactor of both Cochran and Sailer, may be a kooky Holocaust-denier, but he's right about Cochran: "...he believes he’s far, far smarter and more knowledgeable than he actually is. This serious personal flaw leads him to make all sorts of grandiose claims regarding topics in which he knows absolutely nothing and therefore looks ridiculous."

While Googling for something else, I discovered that Cochran had indeed insulted Rutherford too, way back in February 2020, as we can see in his tweet response to evolutionary psychology creep Geoffrey Miller.

So Cochran feels intellectually superior to both Ferguson and Rutherford. Rutherford doesn't appear to be too impressed though.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Racist solidarity club

Racist Charles Murray retweeting Quillette team member, the racist Bo Winegard.

Racemongers pretend to want to engage with their critics but they never do. I'm blocked by Winegard and ignored by Murray, who refuses to engage with any of his critics.

The people who pay them to be racemongers aren't interested in their flunkies getting into actual debates, which they might very well lose. The people who pay for racemongering - most especially Charles Koch, Donors Trust and whichever racist filth supports Quillette - only care that racism is promoted, and promoted as "science."

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Another Steven Pinker - Razib Khan love fest

Racemonger Razib Khan, like professional racist Steve Sailer, has benefitted by having his career promoted by Steven Pinker. 

But unlike with Sailer, whom Pinker has refused to mention since about 2011, Pinker is not afraid to be linked in public to Razib Khan, which is why he granted Khan an interview to promote his book Rationality. Khan first interviewed Pinker in 2006.

Khan recently wrote a review of Charles Murray's book "Facing Reality," in which Khan agreed with Murray that we need to "connect the dots" about Black Americans or face "disaster." It was published in Quillette, which is probably why almost nobody outside of other racemongers has read it, but it's still a blatantly racist and menacing thing to say and nobody besides me seems to have written about it. 

Instead, people with establishment media platforms keep on promoting Khan, people like Noah Smith,  Lindsay Beyerstein and Julia Ioffe and most recently the New York Time's Nathaniel Popper.

I asked Popper via tweet and direct message if he agreed with Khan about the incipient disaster of refusing to accept the "reality" about Black people, but Popper refused to respond. I was blocked by Beyerstein and Smith on Twitter, and ignored by Ioffe. Their refusal to acknowledge the awfulness of Khan's lucrative racemongering career opens the question of whether Smith, Beyerstein, Ioffe and Popper either didn't know about Khan's racemongering career (very unlikely in Beyerstein's case); don't care that he's a racemonger and want to play nice with Khan in case he can benefit their career somehow; or agree with him, but don't want to admit it. 

And now there is the Albany Public Library.

I hadn't listened to the Pinker/Khan interview because as far as I knew it was only available via Khan's substack behind a paywall and I was not about to help support Khan's career. 

But while doing various Google searches recently I came across the interview available for free, and even better, because both Pinker's and Khan's voices get on my nerves, a transcript.

Pinker and Khan avoid politics for much of the interview, but they couldn't help themselves for long and eventually bemoan the fact that their evolutionary psychology and racemongering crackpottery is being called to account now, far more than it was when Pinker published his very political "The Blank Slate" in 2002:

Yeah, it's interesting that a number of the Catholic abuses of the scientific and public intellectual reasoning arena that I documented in "The Blank Slate" in '02 all of the elements of what we now call cancel culture, there were there were threads of it then going back even to the 70s in the reaction to E.O Wilson's, sociobiology But it has, it has exploded, you say the last 10 years, we've probably even more so in the last five years and still more so in the last two years, I think. After, I think a period following "The Blank Slate" in which there was a bit of a window, but it has, I think it has gone in the other direction certainly with with the whole set of movements that are sometimes called critical social justice and wokeism, it has taken a... an extreme form the denial of human nature, particularly when it comes to sex differences. And it is... I did luck out with that Nation review. Because, as I explained in a chapter at "The Blank Slate", there is a kind of historical alignment between the left and the blank slate and the right and somewhat dark vision of human nature. Although I pointed to a number of counter examples, even back then, like Peter Singers book a "Darwinian Left", like Noam Chomsky, like some of the behavioral economists, who use research on human nature as a justification for interventions in the economy. But the that alignment has, has reasserted itself, and a lot of the canceled culture that existed prior to '02 has really exploded since.

Of course social media was virtually non-existent outside of discussion boards in 2002. Pinker and Khan wish for the days when they could promote their pseudoscience-justified political beliefs with very little pushback. Blogger, which I use for Pinkerite.com was created in 1999, but didn't start to become big until Google bought it in 2003. Facebook was founded in 2004 and Twitter in 2006.

Another important aspect of social media is that it reveals who Pinker and Khan really are, and gave a chance for Steve Sailer to testify what a big influence he is on Pinker's beliefs. This only happened because I had direct access to Sailer, via Twitter, at least until he blocked me.

But the really interesting aspect of this interview is how it begins:

"This podcast is brought to you by the Albany Public Library main branch the generosity of listeners like you..."

I have to look into that. 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Pinker's guilt: more than by association

Steve Pinker is every-freaking-where these days, even more than usual, making the rounds, giving interviews to promote his Rationality book, which does not look promising and which brought us the already-classic review in the New York Times.

I don't bother with most Pinker interviews, knowing from grim experience how the establishment media loves to treat Pinker with kid gloves, sometimes to the point of grotesque fawning.

But since Pinker was interviewed in Salon by someone outside his usual interviewer demographic (middle-aged white man who hero-worships celebrity intellectuals without question) I decided to take a look.

Mary Elizabeth Williams does not fawn all over Pinker, which was refreshing, but it was still a frustrating read, and Pinker got to mention his favorite defense "guilt by association."

There's a classic list of dirty tricks that you can use to win an argument that don't bring you any closer to the truth, like ad hominem argumentation. You try to discredit your debating opponent on personal grounds, to imply that he or she is morally tainted. There's guilt by association. You try to discredit someone in terms of who they hang out, who they've published with, what conferences they've gone to. Argument from authority. You say, "Well, so-and-so has a Nobel Prize. Are you going to argue against him?" 

"Argument from authority" reminds me of the time ethics-free grifter Peter Boghossian attacked me on Twitter for daring to criticize much-cited public figure Steven Pinker. Pinker has promoted Boghossian's blatant grift, natch.

More importantly, the passage demonstrates that by his own definition of "guilt by association" Pinker has lied about his connection to Steve Sailer. Even the Guardian called him on that: Pinker didn't publish "with" Steve Sailer, Pinker selected an article written by Sailer to include in the best "Science and Nature Writing" of 2004.

It was clearly a favor to Sailer, since the article, "The Cousin Marriage Conundrum," is a piece of absolute shit. I reviewed it but I don't think I've done justice to its true awfulness and must revisit it one of these days.

But that's a question that the lazy feckless journalists of the establishment media will never ask of Pinker: "why did you publish a shitty article by a shitty racist in a publication called 'the best writing'?"

Why, in spite of the indisputable evidence that Pinker's connection to Sailer is far more than "association," did Pinker use the "guilt by association" defense when asked about Sailer?

I think we know why.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Speaking of racemonger Emil Kirkegaard

I just mentioned yesterday that I learned of the Ron Unz-Gregory Cochran feud via racemonger Emil Kirkegaard, who writes for the white supremacist Mankind Quarterly

Charles Murray is a fan of his work, of course.

And apparently Andrew Sullivan is also a fan of Kirkegaard. 

Is this why the Orwellian-named "Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism" asked Sullivan to be a member of its board of advisors?

Today we'll talk about Kirkegaard v Smith and what a legal loser Kirkegaard is.

Kirkegaard sued Oliver Smith for defamation for posting comments Kirkegaard didn't like:

Kirkegaard is suing me for four comments I wrote in January and February 2018 (one on my Twitter, three on The Unz Review) and he also wants an injunction so I don’t repeat them. 

That was in December 2018.

A year later Smith reported on the preliminary judgement in his favor:

To summarise the outcome – the judge has ruled in my favour the comments I wrote are expressions of opinion and agreed with me their real meanings are not what the Claimant erroneously pleaded. I’m happy with the judge’s ruling; the same cannot be said for the Claimant, who despite antagonising me online up to the date of the judgment – is suddenly silent, having to come to terms with not only losing, but humiliatingly paying a substantial amount of my costs. 

Kirkegaard is now in contempt of court, and Smith tweeted about it the other day:

Some fun facts about Kirkegaard via Rational Wiki:

Kirkegaard identifies as a proponent of HBD,[211] i.e. racialism and has described himself as a "race realist",[212] a term coined by J. Philippe RushtonWikipedia that is adopted by white nationalists like David Duke. His website contains posts on race and eugenics.[213][214][215] Against the scientific consensus that race is not an accurate way to describe or analyse human biological variation, Kirkegaard erroneously argues human races are valid biological constructs (as "genetic clusters") and makes PRATTs such as quoting Lewontin's Fallacy:

I think one can just read the various existing defenses of race realism if one is curious. The page you link to is well-sourced but an exercise in semantics and irrelevance. E.g. section Genetic evidence: Race does not predict human variation well presents results irrelevant to the title, it is well accepted that most variation is within the major racial groups. It does not follow from this that the between group variation is unimportant. Indeed, even very small differences can make a large difference, as people with mutations in e.g. SRY can report. It does not matter so much to me whether these groups are called races, genetic clusters, biogeographical ancestry or whatever (the most common euphemism in medical genetics).[216]

Kirkegaard doesn't just argue for human races, but maintains there is a racial hierarchy with different "tiers" of races based on average intelligence, for example he considers Indians to be a "lower tier".[217] He argues mean group differences in intelligence is mostly the result of genetic factors, for example writing "The hereditarian hypothesis is almost certainly true.[218] In fact, he has gone as far as arguing "100% genetic for the USA black white gap".[219] Nonsurprisingly, no peer-reviewed science journals would publish this pseudoscience and so Kirkegaard was left submitting a paper to the Mankind Quarterly.[220] On his website, Kirkegaard recommends outdated racialist literature such as John Baker's Race (1974) and in 2015 positively reviewed the far-right Metapedia article on race and intelligence.[221][222] He alleges a left-wing bias in academia that downplays heritability of race and IQ.[223]

Kirkegaard is permanently blocked from editing Wikipedia,[224] having misused the wiki to spread his racist nonsense. He has since whined about Wikipedia deleting his pseudoscientific writings on race.[225]

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Unz Foundation grants to Gregory Cochran, Steve Sailer and Razib Khan

I should have looked into the interconnections between Steve Sailer and the co-authors of the Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence hypothesis sooner. 

Hiding in plain sight online was the 2009 990 Unz Foundation tax form, which I found when doing a search on "Steve Sailer" and "Gregory Cochran." Apparently Ron Unz, founder of Unz magazine and friend of Steve Sailer, gave a grant of $600,000 to Gregory Cochran.

Cochran is a co-author of  the "Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence" hypothesis paper, published in 2005, which claims that Ashkenazi Jews are biologically more intelligent than other "races" because of various medical conditions that appear in a higher proportion among Ashkenazi Jews than other ethnic groups. 

It has never been tested, but many of the basic premises of the NHAI hypothesis have been debunked separately by anthropologist Brian Ferguson and geneticist Adam Rutherford.

But Steven Pinker is a long-time promoter of the untested NHAI hypothesis, which we will get to in detail when I review the speech Pinker gave entitled  "Jews, Genes and Intelligence."

But I could have found out about the Unz Foundation grant to Cochran much earlier had I not been blocked by racemongering Emil O. W. Kirkegaard - Charles Murray is a fan of his. But my new, additional Twitter account is not blocked (yet) by Kirkegaard. So I saw this, which not only confirms the validity of the tax form I found, but includes a link to a page on Unz where Unz admits to the grant.

Ron Unz is a rare bird even among rightwing cranks in that he is a Holocaust-denying Jew. But rightwing racemongers are happy to take his money. According to the tax form, Unz Foundation gave the following grants:

Khan got more Unz grants in 2012 and 2013.

I suspect that this was a bonus for Sailer over and above his regular Unz-related income - Sailer also takes money from VDARE which Unz also funds

The money Ron Unz gave to these racemongers was undoubtedly only one income stream for each, during the lengths of the grants, demonstrating how extremely lucrative racemongering is.

No doubt Unz funded Cochran because he was hoping Cochran would write another "Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence" paper and was not happy when Cochran failed to produce:

(Cochran's) a smart guy, but unfortunately he believes he’s far, far smarter and more knowledgeable than he actually is. This serious personal flaw leads him to make all sorts of grandiose claims regarding topics in which he knows absolutely nothing and therefore looks ridiculous.

Back about ten years ago, I’d given him a very large unrestricted five-year financial grant based upon his outstanding previous work. Unfortunately (as far as I can tell) that grant caused him to become very arrogant and lazy, and he did no subsequent work of any significance during that five year period. Therefore, I decided not to renew his very large grant for an additional five years causing him to become outraged.

Some time after that, he wrote a blogpost grossly insulting the intelligence of my old Harvard professor E.O. Wilson. This led me to point out some of the obvious flaws in his reasoning in a series of very polite comments on his blogsite. Since my analysis was clearly correct and his analysis was wrong, he immediately deleted my comments and also banned me from his blogsite so that my arguments wouldn’t “confuse” the flock of silly fanboys who foolishly worship his self-proclaimed brilliance.

Based upon this disagreeable history, the only circumstances in which I might allow him to join my webzine would be if he provided me an explicit personal apology for deleting my polite comments disputing his mistaken ev-bio analysis and then banning me from his blogsite. Given Cochran’s aforementioned personality, the likelihood of this happening is nil.

I won't lie - I enjoyed that, although Unz and Cochran are equally repellent cranks.

Also enjoyable was to discover that I'm not the only one who recognizes what a poor writer Razib Khan is. Here is a conversation of sorts between a couple of Unz regulars in the same comments section of the Unz post where Ron Unz bashes Gregory Cochran

But this being Unz, my enjoyment was diminished by the fact that these literary critics are also racist filth:


Svigor says:

Dr. Thompson is eminently more readable than Razib Kahn. Kahn talked the talk but was very poor at explaining the meaning of geneticist’s specialized terminology in everyday language. 

Razib’s poor at explaining lots of things, not just genetics. His historical and archeological references were routinely impenetrable. And his prose was Rube Goldbergian.

Its Khan (as in Genghis), bud.

Strangely, he inspired no shortage of suckups.

This led me to point out some of the obvious flaws in his reasoning in a series of very polite comments on his blogsite. Since my analysis was clearly correct and his analysis was wrong, he immediately deleted my comments and also banned me from his blogsite so that my arguments wouldn’t “confuse” the flock of silly fanboys who foolishly worship his self-proclaimed brilliance.

Maybe Razib and Cochran can start a site together.

That’s why I found his very rancorish public statements towards you very unprofessional and ungrateful. Shall we say that Cochran is endowed with a very churlish personality.

Ben Franklin probably would have predicted Cochran’s behavior.

In reality, the superior mind can reduce complexity to relatively simple, readily understood concepts, but this requires that one set aside his ego.

I dunno, I’m egotistical as Hell, and I often leave people marveling at how interesting and understandable I can make topics that bored them stiff in school (I’m talking about normal IQ folks, here, or their kids, so it’s not like I’m explaining really complicated stuff). Dave Ramsey calls it “the heart of a teacher”; you get a kick out of enlightenment. Razib’s an arrogant South Asian (but, I repeat myself) type, they’re not into giving, they’re into getting. Hence, South Asia.



Ugh, racists. Now I'm going to have to reconsider Khan's literary ability, since racists are agreeing with me about that. Maybe Khan is not such a bad writer after all.

This does answer a question I've had for quite awhile: Given how much in love the typical white supremacist is with whiteness and "Western Civilization," what do they think about racemongers who are not white, whose ancestry is not primarily European? 

Looks like, although Khan provides them with pseudo-scientific justifications for their racism, they have contempt for him as a person of color.

But with this Unz Foundation 990 tax form, we can see the kind of money that Khan has received from Ron Unz, just one branch of the racist-plutocrat-driven wingnut welfare system.

I'm sure Khan is crying all the way to the bank.

UPDATE: originally I said Emil O W Kirkegaard was an author in Quillette. That was incorrect, I got him mixed up with racemonger Noah Carl. 

However, Quillette's founder, Claire Lehmann, was apparently on friendly terms with Kirkegaard in 2018. Which should surprise nobody.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Steve Sailer and the Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence

I had an interesting exchange with a follower of Steve Sailer on Twitter recently. 

I had created a new Twitter account to avoid the inconvenience of my Pinkerite1 account being blocked on Twitter by Steve Sailer, Razib Khan and Steven Pinker. 

The new account was also soon blocked by all three, but before it was blocked, I used the account to question Sailer.

Back in April 2019, Sailer tweeted this at me, before blocking my Pinkerite1 account:

So with my new, as-yet-unblocked account, I questioned Sailer about this. I did not receive a response from Sailer but by someone I might call Sailer's assistant.

"Derroiciones Bilbao" is a pseudonymous right-wing pro-Trump Twitter account that tweets in Spanish. Since it is a rando account there's no way to find out what the exact connection the person(s) behind it has to Sailer.

But Sailer clicked Like on the tweet, so I assume that was his admission that the claim is correct.

The video Sailer's assistant shared was to a 2008 talk Pinker gave on the subject of "Jews, Genes and Intelligence" which was connected to the 2004 paper "Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence." 

Steven Pinker has been a long-time promoter of the paper written by Gregory Cochran and the late Henry Harpending. The NHAI hypothesis was debunked by anthropologist Brian Ferguson (which is why Cochran hates him) and geneticist Adam Rutherford.

The Human Biodiversity Reading Club: I thought I would start to periodically list important articles and  books I’m reading in order to generate discussion about them. Andrew Sullivan’s been doing this for a few weeks and is making rather a lot of money off the little kickback that Amazon gives you for touting books. Good for Andrew. It’s one of the best ideas yet for making money off personal web journalism.

I’m going to start off, however, with something free, a 7-page article called "In Our Genes," which proposes a "model system for understanding the relationship between genetic variation and human cultural diversity." A rather interesting and important topic, no?

It’s by two friends of mine, Henry Harpending of the U. of Utah, who is a rare combination of mathematical geneticist and field anthropologist (inventor of the important Dad vs. Cad distinction), and by Greg Cochran, the brilliant rocket scientist turned evolutionary theorist. The title is a pointed rejoinder to Not in our Genes, the famous anti-sociobiological tract by the neo-Lysenkoist scientists Richard Lewontin, Steve Rose, and Leon Kamin, although it’s also an attack on the evolutionary psychology party line handed down by John Tooby and Leda Cosmides, which Steve Pinker enthusiastically summed up as "differences between individuals are so boring!" (I’ve since managed to persuade Steve that differences between individuals are a tiny bit interesting.)
In the last paragraph, "an attack on the evolutionary psychology party line handed down by John Tooby and Leda Cosmides" refers to the split in sociobiology. One side of sociobiology - the Tooby/Cosmides side - claimed women have evolved to be inferior to men, while the Sailer/Harpending/Cochran side claimed that women and all Black people evolved to be inferior to white men.

Sailer demonstrated how that logic works in action, in an article about Michael Jordan in the National Post of Canada in 1999:

Interestingly, while blacks tend to be more masculine in physique and personality than whites or East Asians, they are often better at typically feminine, more subjective cerebral skills like verbalization, emotional intuition and expression, sense of rhythm, sense of style, improvisation, situational awareness, and mental multi-tasking.

It makes sense from a sociobiology perspective, which believes that our society, as it is now, is the direct result of evolutionary processes, not history and politics. Sailer just makes the next sociobio-logical leap and claims that Black men have feminine, non-logical brains.

Please note Sailer said all of this before Pinker decided to publish a piece of crap, authored by Sailer in "The Best Science and Nature Writing" in 2004.

The claim that Black people are biologically stupid is one side of the Sailerite sociobiology coin. The other side is the claim that Jews are biologically smart.

This coin was in currency among racists at least sixty years ago, as demonstrated by Henry Garrett, writing in Mankind Quarterly (funded by the Pioneer Fund) in 1961:

Steve Sailer's friends, Henry Harpending and Gregory Cochran simply took the racists' claim that Jews are innately "intellectually gifted" and attempted to invent a "scientific" explanation.

And when Harpending and Cochran* published their paper "Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence" in 2004, Steven Pinker began promoting it, as can be seen in his presentation to the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research, "Jews, Genes and Intelligence" which I will talk about soon.

*And Harpending's student, Jason Hardy who appears to have very little connection to sociobiology outside of this paper.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Pinkerite gets a shout-out from a racist fan of Steven Pinker

I don't usually pay attention to who is looking at my paper Steven Pinker's right-wing, alt-right & hereditarian connections, but I happened to notice someone coming in from Cambridge Massachusetts (home of Harvard University), who followed a link from a racemongering web site "Human Evolution News" to my paper. Turns out the site mentions me by name.

It doesn't take long to determine how racist the site is - its "Race Realism" page has a photo of Hans Eysenck, - right next to a photo of Steven Pinker. The quote under Eysenck: “I am not a racist for believing it possible that negroes may have special innate gifts for certain athletic events, such as sprints, or for certain musical forms of expression.. .. Nor am I a racist for seriously considering the possibility that the demonstrated inferiority of American negroes on tests of intelligence may, in part, be due to genetic causes.

It's funny how many hardcore racists love Steven Pinker.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Steven Pinker promoting race mongering rag Quillette again

 Steven Pinker and rightwing racemongering rag Quillette have a mutual admiration society, as Pinker likes to brag about regularly.

Interesting that Quillette would compare Pinker to Voltaire, since Voltaire was, as Adam Rutherford noted, a "hideous racist." 

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Music Theory & White Supremacy

I’ve been a fan of Adam Neely for months, watching his analysis of Lady Gaga's performance of The Star Spangled Banner at the Biden inauguration several times. But I hadn't yet gotten around to this video until another Twitterer brought it to my attention. It's really great.

The topic came up because Charles Murray was arguing (of course) for the superiority of European music.

But of course Al Franken nailed why Charles Murray is not big on jazz in 1996.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Is FAIR the FOX News of anti-Critical Race Theory? Or: deja vu for Megyn Kelly

I've been talking about the organization FAIR (Freedom Against Intolerance and Racism) over the past several months. It has a right-leaning board of advisors, full of race pseudoscience promoters, Trump supporters and Megyn Kelly.

Speaking of Megyn Kelly, she was the star of the movie Bombshell, which was about how disgusting Fox News was in sexualizing its female employees, making women feel they had to cater to the sexual desires of disgusting pig Roger Ailes (and others) to get ahead.

And now we see FAIR advisor Melissa Chen on Twitter publicly offering sexualized images to FAIR advisor Peter Boghossian.

FAIR is an organization that presumes to lecture the world on the proper way to educate children and young adults (by forbidding discussions of racism) and this is how a member of its board of advisors acts in public. 

I have never had any respect for FAIR advisors, to be sure, but even I would not have guessed that Melissa Chen, also a member of the board of an organization called Ideas Beyond Borders (with, inevitably, Steven Pinker) was capable of behaving in public with so little dignity.

And it's unlikely any male member of the FAIR or Ideas Beyond Borders boards would do this.

The fact that it's to service a truly loathsome, sleazy grifter like Peter Boghossian, makes it even more grotesque.

It must feel like deja vu for Megyn Kelly.

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