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Friday, September 30, 2022

Andrew Sullivan, still promoting racist pseudoscience

Andrew Sullivan is well-known for promoting the racist nonsense of Charles Murray's The Bell Curve.

More recently, when confronted by a New York Times reporter, Sullivan stepped back just a tiny bit from race pseudoscience.

I tried out my most charitable interpretation of his view on race and I.Q. (though I question the underpinnings of the whole intellectual project): that he is most frustrated by the notion that you can’t talk about the influence of biology and genetics on humanity. But that he’s not actually saying he thinks Black people as a group are less intelligent. He’d be equally open to the view, I suggested, that data exploring genetics and its connection to intelligence would find that Black people are on average smarter than other groups.

“It could be, although the evidence is not trending in that direction as far as I pay attention to it. But I don’t much,” he said. (He later told me he’s “open-minded” on the issue and thinks it’s “premature” to weigh the data.)

“I barely write about this,” he went on. “It’s not something I’m obsessed with.”

But he also can’t quite stop himself, even as I sat there wishing he would. “Let’s say Jews. I mean, just look at the Nobel Prize. I’m just saying — there’s something there, I think. And I’m not sure what it is, but I’m just not prepared to accept the whole thing is over.”

It was obvious that Sullivan was still committed to race essentialism and pseudoscience by his mentioning Jews and the Nobel Prize - he's referencing the Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence hypothesis, created by racists, with the goal, I believe, of inventing a "scientific" justification for a long-standing racist belief about Jews

In the past week, Sullivan not only recommitted himself to race pseudoscience, he did it via an even less-reputable individual, Emil O. W. Kirkegaard, best known as being described by comedian Stewart Lee as "weird far-right paedophilia apologist called Emil."

Emil Kirkegaard has such a bad reputation that even Abdel Abdellaoui refused to participate in a conference unless Emil O. W. Kirkegaard was disinvited from the Racist Roundup.

I think it's likely that Abdellaoui is just as committed to sociobiological (hereditarian) explanations of human hierarchies, given that he is an ally of anti-Black racist Razib Khan, as Kirkegaard. I think the issue is about status - Kirkegaard doesn't have the academic credentials that most people associated with the International Society for Intelligence Research, aka "the Racist Roundup" have.


However, I doubt this indicates that Sullivan is no longer a believer in race pseudoscience.

Then Kirkegaard jumped on the thread to defend white supremacy.

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