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Monday, May 8, 2023

Claire Lehmann loves race pseudoscience and hates women

It should come as a surprise to nobody that Claire Lehmann, founder of right-wing race pseudoscience rag Quillette, is still promoting race pseudoscience.

And Iona Italia, who interviewed Lehmann for her site Areo, was in full agreement with her. Italia herself has published articles in Quillette.

Now the reason that these two are so sleazy, besides their racism, is because they won't admit they get funding from right-wing plutocrats. 

It's been reported that Quillette gets funding from Peter Thiel, and when I asked ChatGPT if Peter Thiel had funded Areo, this was the response (my highlight):

There have been reports that Peter Thiel has financially supported Areo Magazine in the past. Areo Magazine is a digital magazine that covers politics, culture, and society from a liberal and rationalist perspective. Thiel is known to have supported a number of conservative and libertarian causes and organizations over the years, so it is possible that he has provided financial backing to Areo Magazine as well. However, I don't have access to up-to-date information on whether Thiel is currently supporting Areo Magazine or not.
Unfortunately, ChatGPT has been shown to be factually unreliable, so this must be confirmed by other sources.

And Areo publishes many of the same people who publish in Quillette and has published articles by extreme racists Noah Carl and Razib Khan, and neo-Nazis Bo Winegard and James Lindsay. All while claiming to be a liberal publication. I assume in order to move the "Overton window" - a concept Claire Lehmann is well acquainted with.

I didn't listen to the entire interview with Italia and Lehmann because there's only so much ninnitude I can stomach in one 24-hour period. I actually wanted to find out if Lehmann still admires pedophila-loving Camille Paglia and OF COURSE SHE DOES.

But as I was searching for the Paglia section I landed on the section right before, where they discuss their support for race pseudoscience:

Minute 47:35 (my highlights)

A lot of articles have been published in Quillette about links between race and IQ and about human biodiversity. In fact someone, a mutual of mine on Twitter says that you coined the term human biodiversity 1., you personally, which seems I think is probably incorrect? But I think that that is the thing that is probably on the Left causing the most anger, and I have even been the subject of a lot of kind of the backwash from that myself - an academic who has a very large following wrote this thread in which he said I was a fascist and racist 2.a and I had published lots of articles on race and IQ, and although I think it's perfectly valid to publish on that topic, um I've never published anything on that in Areo 2.b and I said this and all his examples were articles from Quillette. 3. Because he was confused, right who is associated where? What is your response to people who accuse you of having a kind of hierarchical notion of race that is based on differing average IQ or other kind of hereditary markers? 4.

Well, I would disagree with anyone if they were to suggest that I had to have a hierarchical view of races. I mean, that's just completely wrong and I reject that completely. I do not think that all I don't believe the science suggests that all human populations, whether we wanted to describe them as racial populations or all humans of all ethnic backgrounds, I don't think we're all the same basically. And just as men and women are not the same 5. and this, this is not my opinion, this is just scientific fact. 
I guess, what we've been in trouble, what we've gotten in trouble for at Quillette is simply airing a hypothesis called the hereditarian hypothesis.6. Now the group differences in intelligence scores on standardised intelligence tests is a scientific fact. What is controversial is the hypothesis that these gaps may have a genetic, partially genetic component. Now, I'm not a scientist. I'm not doing research in this area. I am not going to make a claim one way or the other. These gaps could be entirely the result of environmental factors like poor nutrition, lack of vitamin D, whatever. But I think to rule out that genes may play some role is to be antiscientific, anti intellectual. So I mean we've published articles that have aired this hypothesis and but this hypothesis is completely taboo. In certain academic circles. 
But I mean we just as we don't apologise for running articles on the efficacy of vaccines and the stupidity of advocating for Ivermectin without good evidence,7. I mean, we will also publish articles about that plausible and valid scientific hypothesis when it comes to individual differences, intelligence and other human other factors important to human behaviour.8.

Now I have a little bit of back - I mean, I'm not a scientist and I'm not doing research in this area, but I was trained as a psychologist and I did learn about intelligence. I did learn about individual differences whilst at university. So I have some confidence in my ability to read scientific papers aroud these subejcts. So I'm confident that everything we've published at Quillette is scientifically valid. 9. 
But I certainly reject any notion that because there may be group differences or individual differences, and there may be differences in IQ scores, I certainly reject any notion that that suggests people are morally unequal 10. or unequal. In terms of their human worth, their value, that innate dignity, I think every human being on the planet is precious, and we all have equal we’re all deserving of equal human rights and and respect and dignity and I abhor ideologies which rank people according to racial groups.11. I think it's abhorrent and vile and I actually don't think there's anything I. I don't think there's any justification of it. I mean I I'm not going to, you know, if I have a sibling or one of my children is let you know schools, Warren and IQ tests and the other, I'm not going to rank them in terms of their moral values. You know, I love my children equally and I think, we have to be able to separate compassion and our love for each other as human beings from, you know, being completely identical on traits, measurable traits 'cause it's just impossible. We can't all be the same. We can't, you know, I can't have the same score as someone else on an IQ test 12., but we have to be able to treat each other equally and with equal dignity and respect. 13.

1.  Steve Sailer coined "human biodiversity" as I just mentioned a couple of days ago. Although it's not surprising if someone confuses Lehmann with Sailer. RationalWiki has a great summation of Lehmann in its Quillette entry:
Claire Lehmann, Editor-in-Chief who founded Quillette in 2015 — an anti-feminist crank, who blames feminists for obesity[12] and has made videos for the alt-right The Rebel Media. Lehmann is a proponent of HBD and was quoted by Hbdchick in 2014 for posting a definition of "human-biodiversity".[13] Lehmann follows more than 16 alt-right accounts on Twitter including Richard Spencer and Steve Sailer.
2. a Italia doesn't say who called her a racist and fascist, so I can't verify the claim - a Google search came up empty although it did find Italia defending racist E. O. Wilson, as reported by reactionary race pseudoscience clown Jerry Coyne.

 2. b  A lie - Areo published a pro-hereditarian article in 2017 by Quillette author Oliver Traldi called The Philosophy of Group Differences. Areo has also published notorious racist  Noah Carl, another Quillette author, and not only published neo-Nazi Bo Winegard, they published an article presenting his side of his "I was fired because they hate free speech!" campaign. Written by Christopher Ferguson who of course has also published in Quillette.

3. Understandable confusion, since Areo is Quillette Lite as I discussed four years ago.

4. Notice how Italia claims that IQ is an "hereditary marker."

5. But women are also different from each other - I very much like to think I am very different from right-wing ninnies Claire Lehmann and Iona Italia.

6.a  Sleazy sleazy Lehmann. First, Quillette doesn't "simply air" the hereditarian hypothesis, they heartily agree with it, as when Razib Khan agreed with Charles Murray that Black Americans are an existential threat - when Murray claimed Black people are genetically inclined to criminality.  

Lehmann commented on the article comment thread:

Not a word of complaint about Khan's and Murray's incredibly vicious, racist claims about Black American morality.

(Like much of Quillette content lately, the Khan article is now behind a paywall, but you can still see it via the Wayback Machine.)

6.b  Second, it's the ONLY hypothesis they discuss - they never present criticisms or alternatives to the hereditarian hypothesis. Probably because Peter Thiel is a great big racist.

7.  In the moderate abilitied-brain of Lehmann,  the hereditarian hypothesis is as scientifically valid as vaccinations.

8. 9.  Lehmann thinks the hereditarian hypothesis is "plausible." Probably because she's a racist. And stupid.

10.  Clearly a lie - see note 6.a.

11. Another shameless, easily-refuted lie, as Quillette is a firm supporter of Linda Gottfredson. Gottfredson likes to rank races as I documented here.  

Also Quillette employs Bo Winegard who is such a neo-Nazi he wants to use "racial demographics" to "preserve a country's demographic composition." Presumably in Winegard's mind, he and his friends will be in charge of ranking races to determine the best "demographic composition."

12.  Apparently Lehmann is not aware that IQ tests are scored within a finite range. Of course you can have the same IQ score as someone else.

13.  Unless you're Florence Griffith Joyner. Lehmann became an internationally-reviled Twitter main character for her vicious lie about Flo-Jo. I can find no evidence that Lehmann ever apologized for her false claims about the death of Griffith Joyner.

Now what did Lehmann say about Camille Paglia? 

Minute 53:00 (my highlight)


It's been a little while since I read Paglia, but I do love her work and she has been very influential. She was, I discovered her when I was an undergraduate in English, I  studied English before I went into psychology. And she was the first person I found who actually criticised the post-structuralists. She was the only critic I could find who was willing to to push back on Foucault and Derrida and the others whose philosophical thought came to dominate the humanities, to its detriment. 

And so I loved her for that. I loved her for her criticism of post-structuralism, I loved her for her sex positive feminism. I consider myself a feminist, but it's a complicated kind of feminism 1. because I actually think that women have a have a lot of power. I don't think we're necessarily oppressed by the patriarchy. I also think that sexism exists. It's just that I think that women have a particular type of power that is, is not, that is female power and some some people might describe it as sexual power.2. That's certainly part of it. But I think female power has been under-appreciated by scholars and even feminists and but Paglia was one of the only thinkers who was able to conceptualise and articulate what female power was, and I found it just extraordinarily refreshing, empowering, invigorating to read her work and she's just such an original thinker. I mean, she she's she's not the most exquisite writer. Her stuff is a little bit punchy, but just the density of original thought in her work is just unparalleled, I think. I think she's just an international treasure3.


1.  I assume when Lehmann says hers is a "complicated kind of feminism" she means the kind of feminism where you despise women, as a group. This week Quillette is running a defense of Roman Polanski. The author, Peggy Sastre, is one of those misogynist boys-will-be-boys types. Or as the website Philonomist says, Sastre "is a journalist and writer with a PhD in philosophy of science, known for her polemical essays against feminism.

But "asshole" is more to the point.

2.  So does Lehmann think that, for example, Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister because of her particular kind of female sexual power?

3.  This is what "international treasure" Paglia said about pedophilia:

...As far as Ginsberg's pro-NAMBLA stand goes, this is one of the things I most admire him for. I have repeatedly protested the lynch-mob hysteria that dogs the issue of man-boy love. In "Sexual Personae," I argued that male pedophilia is intricately intertwined with the cardinal moments of Western civilization. Donatello's historically pivotal bronze sculpture, "David" (1430), was my main exhibit -- a languidly flirtatious work that would get the artist arrested for kiddie porn these days. In "Vamps & Tramps," I said that Western moralism and hypocrisy have driven the matter underground and overseas, where impoverished Third World boys now supply the sex trade.

Allen Ginsberg was the apostle of a truly visionary sexuality. Like the expansive, sensual, democratic Whitman but unlike the twisted, dishonest, pretentious Foucault, he saw the continuity between great nature and the human body, bathed in waves of cosmic energy. Seen from this pagan perspective, Ginsberg's celebration of boy-love was pure and sinless, demonstrating the limitations of Judeo-Christian paradigms of sexuality.

So does this not bother Lehmann? If she has a young son, would she let someone who agrees with Paglia babysit him? 

Or is she too stupid or lazy to bother to do any research on Paglia before calling her an international treasure?

Lehmann and Italia - what a couple of dull tools, useful only to right-wing racist plutocrats.

UPDATE - I took a quick stroll through professional race pseudoscience hawker Razib Khan's tweets recently and found him promoting Italia promoting an idiotic "decoupling" article in rightwing Unherd from 2020.

From the Unherd article:

As a high-decoupler, Harris thought that it was OK to talk about what-ifs; if there are genetic components to racial differences, then we still need to treat everyone with equal dignity, etc: “I’m not saying there are, but if there are…” He thought he’d performed the ritual.
But for Klein, the editor of Vox, the ritual was not strong enough. Murray’s ideas are reminiscent of a grim history, in which pseudoscientific ideas about a hierarchy of humans were used to justify slavery or Jim Crow laws. For Klein (a low-decoupler, in Nerst’s taxonomy), you can’t simply take an idea out of its context like that. The context comes with it.

What utter bullshit. This tells you everything you need to know about the author, in addition to the fact that he writes for rightwing Unherd.

Harris did not simply ask "what-if" - he defended The Bell Curve by linking to an article in QUILLETTE written by Ben Winegard and his twin, Bo Winegard, which claims the hereditarian hypothesis promoted by The Bell Curve is correct. 

According to ChatGPT, Unherd's funders are funded by Peter Thiel  - my highlight.

UnHerd's website lists its supporters and partners, but Peter Thiel is not mentioned among them. It's worth noting, however, that some of the organizations that have supported UnHerd in the past, such as the Nuffield Foundation and the Legatum Institute, have also received funding from Thiel's charitable organization, the Thiel Foundation. Nonetheless, it's important to emphasize that UnHerd maintains editorial independence and the views expressed in its articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of its supporters or funders.

It's not just that the IDW-race pseudoscience industry is rightwing and racist, it's that they are so sleazy in their pretending not to be rightwing and racist. 

ChatGPT has something to say about Sam Harris and Peter Thiel - more about that tomorrow.

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