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Tuesday, July 18, 2023

City Journal and its lack of evidence against a race pseudoscience critic

Steven Pinker, race pseudoscience promoter, sharing an 
article by race pseudoscience promoter Noah Carl in Areo,
edited by race pseudoscience promoter Iona Italia

One of the striking things about the City Journal/Manhattan Institute's attack on a critic of race pseudoscience, besides the fact that it appears to be part of a blackmail attempt and that "celebrity intellectuals" like Steven Pinker have promoted it, is how little evidence it provides for its claims.

For example:

Nevertheless, (Smith) set in motion the events that ended Carl’s and Winegard’s academic careers, and he has damaged the careers of Willoughby and various other academics. This has happened because many journalists, authors of open letters, and professional organizations don’t look carefully at who is writing these articles, or why.

I've already addressed the flimsiness of its claims about Winegard

So what evidence does David Zimmerman (appears to be a pseudonym) have that Smith was personally responsible for the fall of Noah Carl's academic career?

Zimmerman pins the blame on the end of Carl's academic career on a letter posted on Medium.

Carl’s story did not have a happy ending. The open letter ultimately received signatures from 586 academics, along with 874 students, though most of these academics worked in unrelated fields such as history, English literature and geography. 

Zimmerman then attempts to credit the open letter to Smith by the flimsiest of circumstantial evidence - because the wording in the open letter sounded like a Rational Wiki article that Smith had participated in editing.

A glance at the Rational Wiki "Fossil record" - which operates the same as Wikipedia's "View history" - for Carl from the period before the Medium letter was posted, demonstrates that even if Smith had shared the article with individuals related to Carl's career, and even if he had written/edited the article, the article was also edited by many other Rational Wiki participants.

As someone at Rational Wiki noted:

The (Zimmerman) article also only cited archived versions of the RationalWiki webpages showing Smith's work, rather than the current scrubbed versions,[46] possibly indicating some ignorance by the author of how wikis work.

Yeah ignorance would be one reason. Dishonesty could be another.

Is it really a coincidence that the one RationalWiki editor singled out for an attack has been victorious against Emil Kirkegaard in a lawsuit?

I received an email from someone else targeted by the race pseudoscience gang who commented:

 The implication that any of those people would still have a job if it wasn't for RationalWiki is laughable as well. I guess the "legitimate" right and far-right are blurring the distinction even more these days.

Zimmerman doesn't appear to have any complaints about the veracity of statements against Noah Carl. Rather he appears to be enraged that opponents of race pseudoscience have as much right to publish petitions against proponents of race pseudoscience as proponents have to defend race pseudoscience. 

I've mentioned how closely aligned the International Society for Intelligence Research is to the 1994 petition in favor of the Bell Curve. And the race pseudoscience gang, led by the Peter Thiel-funded Quillette, responded to the Medium petition. 

So Zimmerman's real complaint seems to be that people have publicized the beliefs of race pseudoscience promoters, so that even the clueless head-in-sand types in academia (and the sciences) finally take notice. Much like the dummies who had to be informed of Razib Khan's career after they signed his petition defending racist E. O. Wilson.

Zimmerman brags about all the race pseudoscience true believers who participated in the Quillette petition:

Quillette subsequently published a counter-petition in Carl’s defense signed by 606 academics. Unlike the earlier petition, this one included signatures from intellectual heavyweights in closely related fields, such as Douglas Detterman, founder of the journal Intelligence; Todd K. Shackelford, editor-in-chief of the journals Evolutionary Psychology and Evolutionary Psychological Science; Matt McGue, former president of the Behavior Genetics Association; Hal Pashler, a major figure in cognitive psychology; and the renowned cognitive psychologist and public intellectual Steven Pinker. Nonetheless, in May 2019, Cambridge acquiesced to the demands of the original open letter, and fired Carl only a few months after hiring him.

Of course Steven Pinker defended Carl.

What the City Journal article actually proves is that "intelligence research" is indistinguishable from race pseudoscience.

These include entries on some of the most prominent figures and groups in the field of intelligence research, such as Jan te Nijenhuis, Dimitri van der Linden, Heiner Rindermann, and the International Society for Intelligence Research, as well as other targets, such as OpenPsych, “pseudojournals,” Emil Kirkegaard, John Fuerst, Noah Carl, Edward Dutton, Aurelio J. Figueredo, James Thompson, Fróði Debes, Gerhard Meisenberg, Adam Perkins, and the London Conference on Intelligence. 

The London Conference on Intelligence...

...were a series of controversial pseudoscientific[2] conferences held annually at University College London (UCL) from 2014-2017, attended by far-right speakers, including white supremacists.[3][4][5][6] 

The conferences were secretive since Toby Young was invited to attend as an observer, but was told to not to tell anyone, especially not the media. However, Toby Young did not keep quiet and wrote about attending the UCL conference in December 2017.[7] In January 2018,[8][9][10] there was news exposure of the conferences and UCL set up an inquiry and published a statement noting that none of the conferences were approved by the university.

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