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Saturday, July 8, 2023

Racist Rodeo's a-coming - the annual conference of the International Society for Intelligence Research is only weeks away

David Lubinski yukking it up with
Linda Gottfredson
 in 2016 - isn't racism jolly?

The Racist Rodeo is coming up, July 26 - 29 in Berkeley California.

This is the twenty-third annual meeting of the race pseudoscience gang. 

I guess to present the casual, friendly side of "race realism."

The latest update for the upcoming Rodeo indicates that the timetable for the conference is still being finalized. But I see the "conference will feature a special symposium on giftedness with invited talks by giftedness researchers Michael Mhlolo and Camilla Benbow, among others."

Mhlolo is Black, so they now have two Black people attending this Racist Rodeo. But never fear, Camilla P. Benbow will be there to balance him out. Benbow is the wife of race pseudoscience hardcore David Lubinski, who is apparently the interview guy for the ISIR - here he interviews Charles Murray.

I discussed Lubinski conducting an interview with Pinker, asking Pinker why it took him a half-minute before joining the race pseudoscience true believers club. Or as Dubinsky calls it, "human psychological diversity."

It's clear that the push to legitimize race pseudoscience is not simply the project of weirdos like Emil O. W. Kirkegaard (will he show up at the ISIR this year now that Abdel Abdellaoui isn't there to chase him away?) This is a mainstream project with establishment people involved - Lubinski is Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Psychology at Vanderbilt, and Benbow is Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Education and Human Development, Office of the Dean at Vanderbilt.

We know their project is mainstreaming race pseudoscience because Lubinski signed Linda Gottfredson's race pseudoscience manifesto back in 1994, "Mainstream Science on Intelligence." This document is the Declaration of Independence of the ISIR - if you signed it, you are a founding father of twenty-first century race pseudoscience.

The ISIR's devotion to hereditarianism is obvious on its articles page. The fifth item down is "Mainstream Science on Intelligence" with the comment "The article is a classic. It’s one of the best overviews of intelligence, its causes, and its consequences."

The first two articles include incorrect definitions of the term "heritability." 

I've written on this blog about the misuse of the term. A great resource is The heritability fallacy by David S. Moore and David Shenk published in 2016, which states:
Contrary to popular belief, the measurable heritability of a trait does not tell us how ‘genetically inheritable’ that trait is.
Now they say "popular belief" which might indicate the general public. But the articles presented by the ISIR are written by people whose careers are staked on hereditarianism and should know better. 

And yet the first paper Genetics and Intelligence Differences by Robert Plomin and Ian Deary states:
For some areas of behavioural research—especially in psychiatry —the pendulum has swung so far from a focus on nurture to a focus on nature that it is important to highlight a second law of genetics for complex traits and common disorders: All traits show substantial environmental influence, in that heritability is not 100% for any trait.
They are using the term "heritable" as an exact synonym for genetically inheritable, and contrast that with "environmental influence."

The second paper in the list, Heritability in the genomics era - concepts and misconceptions states in its first key point:

Heritability, the proportion of variation in a particular trait that is attributable to genetic factors, is a fundamental parameter in genetics.

Now why would hereditarians so often mis-define the term heritable? Is it deliberate, with the goal of claiming that GWAS studies prove the hereditarian hypothesis? Or could it be that their belief in the ability of genes to control social outcomes is so reflexive that they can't imagine the term "heritable" could mean anything else?

Or could it be that the ISIR and fellow race pseudoscience travelers don't care so much about actual science - as long as their beliefs are presented in a way that sounds sufficiently sciencey to the lazy gullible media and the general public - as they do about political goals? 

The "Mainstream Science on Intelligence" paper, so essential to the ISIR and the race pseudoscience project ("a classic"), was written as a defense of The Bell Curve. The Bell Curve's co-author Charles Murray made it obvious, two years ago, that he would be happy to see a return to hiring discrimination, based on the beliefs of race pseudoscience.

 ...of the largest single beneficiaries of Wickliffe Draper’s generosity in the 20th century was the psychologist Thomas Bouchard, currently the director of the Minnesota Center for Twin and Adoption Research at the University of Minnesota, whose twin studies remain influential in intelligence research circles. Most recently, Bouchard’s work was cited in a 2022 paper in the Nature journal npj Science of Learning looking at genetic effects on cognitive performance as people learn over time. 
In her 2012 book “Born Together-Reared Apart: The Landmark Minnesota Twin Study,” the evolutionary psychologist Nancy Segal claims that Bouchard had never heard of the Pioneer Fund until its staff contacted him in 1980 or 1981. Despite concerns among his colleagues about accepting money from what was known to be a disreputable source, according to Segal, Bouchard admitted in 2009 that, “If not for Pioneer we would have folded long ago.” 
Wickliffe Draper was a political activist and the Nazis were big fans - and vice versa.

Racists funding race pseudoscience for political ends. That's what the ISIR is ultimately all about.

Fun fact - of course like Bo Winegard, racist weirdo Emil Kirkegaard has a Substack account. That's because Substack is run by people with Peter Thiel connections who have no qualms about hosting racism.

Another fun fact: Charles Murray is a big fan - and funder - of Bo Winegard and Emil Kirkegaard.

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