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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.