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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

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Steve & Gregory & Henry & Steven: how racist Steve Sailer birthed "The Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence" paper that Steven Pinker loves so much

The far-right, race pseudoscience-promoting,
Thiel-funded trash-rag Quillette likes to
use Steven Pinker in its promotional materials -
presumably with his enthusiastic permission

Quillette is at it again, promoting race pseudoscience

(The link goes to the Wayback Machine snapshot of the article, not to Quillette itself.)

And given how much Steven Pinker loves Quillette, and vice-versa, it was appropriate that Pinker got a shout-out in the article, in reference to his promotion of the paper "Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence":

Although they comprise only about 0.2 percent of the world’s population, the Jewish people account for a large portion of its top achievers in domains of intellectual success. For example, they have won between a fifth and a quarter of the world’s Nobel prizes, and comprise over half of its chess champions. Ashkenazi Jews are particularly noted for their high achievement, including their high average performance on IQ tests. In his textbook IQ and Human Intelligence (Oxford University Press, 2011), Nicholas Mackintosh gives the following summary:

[I]t has long been known that Ashkenazi Jews have an unusually high average IQ (see Chapter 1); some of them also have the misfortune to suffer from a number of diseases, such as Tay Sachs disease, caused by the possession of two copies of particular recessive genes. One suggestion is that the two are linked: while homozygotes with two copies of the genes develop the disease, heterozygotes with only one copy develop higher than usual intelligence (Cochran et al., 2006). (Mackintosh 2011, p. 285)

Aside from its scientific importance, this topic of research is also an important part of the rebuttal to antisemitic explanations for Jewish achievements. In 2006, Steven Pinker wrote in the New Republic that “Jewish achievement is obvious; only the explanation is unclear. The idea of innate Jewish intelligence is certainly an improvement over the infamous alternative generalization, a worldwide Jewish conspiracy.”

I've written many times of Pinker's support for the NHAI paper.

The paper, which is an untested hypothesis, debunked by, among others, anthropologist R. Brian Ferguson and geneticist Adam Rutherford, was written by Gregory Cochran, a one-time recipient of over half a million dollars from Holocaust-denying kook Ron Unz, and who has written for Quillette and the racist Taki's Magazine; and Henry Harpending, who has his own white nationalist profile at the Southern Poverty Law Center site

But that's not all. I've written about this before but it doesn't hurt to underline it - the "Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence" paper so beloved by Quillette's favorite public intellectual, Steven Pinker, was not only written by a couple of racists, it was facilitated by professional racist Steve Sailer.

2012 was the year Steven Pinker abruptly stopped mentioning Sailer in public, after spending years promoting Sailer's career (that promotion was resolutely ignored by the media until very recently.)

In 2012 Sailer made this claim in proudly racist VDARE: (The link goes to the Wayback Machine snapshot of the article, not to VDARE itself.)

On a rather less epochal note, the publication of The 10,000 Year Explosion marks the tenth anniversary of my invitation-only Human Biodiversity email group, which I started in 1999.

And that's where Greg and Henry got to know each other! Peter Brimelow
[note: founder of VDARE] recently called to my attention that the inscription on the Westminster Abbey tomb of concert impresario J.P. Salomon reads, "He brought Haydn to England …" Perhaps my gravestone will read, "He introduced Cochran to Harpending."

If anybody doubts the United States is in the grip of systemic racism, mention this fact to them.

Considering how many racists were involved in the creation of "Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence" - and considering how much race pseudoscience promoters like Quillette and Steven Pinker love the paper, it looks to me like the whole project was simply an attempt by racists to give "scientific" credence to an old racist trope, expressed 60+ years ago by infamous segregationist Henry E. Garrett, writing in infamously racist Mankind Quarterly, funded by the infamously racist Pioneer Fund.

The article by Garrett is entitled "The Equalitarian Dogma." This term, "Equalitarian," used by  segregationists against their critics, is sometimes revived by Quillette-associated race pseudoscience promoters like Bo and Ben Winegard and Michael Shermer who are certainly aware of the term's use by segregationists. I assume the segregationist connection is precisely why they use the term.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Buh-bye trolly Elon Musk

So it looks like the whole Elon Musk takeover of Twitter is no more. Hoorah.

Elon Musk is a trollish, toxic individual and appears to be an ally of the Intellectual Dark Web with all its race pseudoscience promotion and transphobia

Quillette of course was a big booster for a Musk-controlled Twitter.

So it was a great relief to discover the deal has fallen apart.

This Week in Google provides an interesting discussion of the situation.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

The latest example of Steven Pinker supporting the career of race pseudoscience promoter Razib Khan

Razib Khan is pretty well-known at this point for his anti-Black racism, and his long history of supporting the racist pseudoscience of J. P. Rushton and Charles Murray. This doesn't seem to bother Pinker at all.

It's curious - Pinker stopped mentioning Steve Sailer by 2012, after being a strong supporter of his for several years, but his support for Khan, whose views on race appear to be indistinguishable from Sailer's, continues. Why is that?

Now that the media has finally gotten around to asking Pinker about his support for the career of Steve Sailer, maybe it will ask him about his support for Razib Khan.

Pinker's interest in Ashkenazi genetics is probably related to his support for the wildly speculative and never-tested hypothesis laid out in the paper "Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence" written by two friends of Steve Sailer, the white nationalist Henry Harpending and the cranky race pseudoscience promoter - and beneficiary of Ron Unz money - Gregory Cochran. Razib Khan also received Unz money

Friday, July 1, 2022

The endless hypocrisy of Steven Pinker: infinity & beyond!

In this second part of the infinite series on the endless hypocrisy of Steven Pinker, we look at Pinker and Koch-funded, Koch-defendingFederalist Society contributor Harvey Silverglate, singing the praises of Carl Sagan.

Where? Why of course in the right-wing, race pseudoscience-promoting, Peter Thiel-funded Quillette

(I linked to the Wayback Machine version of the article to avoid giving Quillette the hits.)

Can there be any doubt that if Sagan was alive today, Pinker and all the rest of the plutocrat-funded Quillette gang would hate him for being too "woke"?


And if Sagan was alive today, I don't doubt he would despise racist Quillette and everybody associated with it.

In this paragraph in the article we see Steven Pinker reaching new heights of hypocrisy:

(Sagan) highlighted the virtues common to science and civil liberties that are needed to deal with these challenges: freedom of speech, skepticism, constraints on authority, openness to opposing arguments, and an acknowledgment of one’s own fallibility.

Wow. The shamelessness of the last two items took my breath away:

Openness to opposing arguments: Steven Pinker never ventures outside his cozy plutocrat-funded bubble to talk to anybody who might give him an opposing argument. 

Probably because when he does venture outside his bubble, he is asked about his promotion of the career of hardcore racist Steve Sailer

How unpleasant for Steven Pinker. He can be sure that Quillette has no problem with his promotion of Steve Sailer since Quillette is 100% in favor of Sailer's racist views, as displayed in its very positive review of Charles Murray's race pseudoscience screed against Black Americans, written by J. P Rushton's most devoted disciple, Razib Khan. Steven Pinker, naturally, has also been promoting the career of Razib Khan, since at least 2006.

Pinker is also infamous for blocking anybody on Twitter who has anything critical to say.

Acknowledgement of one's own fallibility: the only time Pinker has ever admitted to being wrong, to the best of my knowledge, is for helping Jeffrey Epstein's legal defense. He's never admitted it was a bad idea to promote the careers of Steve Sailer or Razib Khan, and he's resolutely ignored others pointing out that he miscalculated evidence in "The Better Angels of Our Nature" such as Brian Ferguson's paper  Pinker's List.

And when Steven Pinker was caught misrepresenting the words of others, as if the others agreed with him, Pinker had his fanboys Jerry Coyne and Michael Shermer attack Phil Torres for daring to point out the truth and for good measure, Shermer called Torres a "cockroach."

Pinker for his part, misrepresented the complaint against him and then said "so what?"

The rest of Torres’s complaint consists of showing that some of the quotations I weave into the text come from people who don’t agree with me. OK, but so what? 

Which is typical Pinker. Whenever someone mentions his long career of promoting race pseudoscience from Sailer to Khan to Quillette, his response is "guilt by association." As if picking a truly wretched piece written for a far-right publication and including it in a volume of "The Best Science and Nature Writing" is pure, innocent "association."

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