Saturday, May 18, 2024

Barrie Davis: Science and Universities

The ironic decision to cancel a meeting to discuss free speech at Te Herenga Waka University was because some students were ‘freaked out’ that there were some rightist speakers. That was not an isolated case but rather an example of mass hysteria on the Left and mass decadence on the Right that has taken hold in the West.

In recent times various people have been stopped from speaking in New Zealand because they hold rightist views: In 2018 Don Brash was banned from talking about Treaty issues at Massey University by Vice-Chancellor Jan Thomas after a complaint by some students. Also in 2018 commentators Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux were stopped from coming to New Zealand to speak by Auckland Mayor Phil Goff. In 2023 Kelly-Jay Keen-Minshull abandoned her tour of New Zealand without speaking after being booed, heckled and doused with tomato juice at Auckland.

Had they been able to speak, there was no compulsion to listen to them and if you did there was no compulsion to agree with them. Although the universities claim a policy of inclusion, we were not allowed to hear what they had to say. The authoritarian Left curtail our free speech, they censor our information and then they lie to us about it.

The usual excuse is that they are ‘protecting our most marginal minorities’, although it is not clear what they are protecting them from. On the other hand, in 2020, 2021 and twice in 2023 Te Herenga Waka University Press published a poem by Tusiata Avia about New Zealand consequent to the arrival of Captain Cook and his killing at Kealakekua Bay, which reads in part: “Hey James, it’s us. These days we’re driving round in SUVs looking for ya or white men like you … and I’ve got my father’s pig-hunting knife in my fist and we’re coming to get you … then we’re gonna FUCK. YOU. UP. FOR. GOOD. BITCH.” To be clear, that is a statement by a Polynesian woman of an intention to kill European men.

Whereas Keen-Minshull was the subject of an open letter from the Rainbow Greens to Immigration Minister Michael Wood calling for her to be banned from visiting Wellington in 2023, Avia’s The Savage Coloniser Book published by Te Herenga Waka University Press won the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry in 2021. That is quite a liberal outcome for such a trashy poem; yet as above, in 2024 the same university, Te Herenga Waka, cancelled a discussion on free speech which I doubt would have physically threatened anyone.

It is clear that the approach in the universities and from the Left generally is biased hypocrisy. How can we resolve that?


Intersectionality, which we colloquially refer to as ‘woke’, “is a sociological analytical framework for understanding how groups' and individuals' social and political identities result in unique combinations of discrimination and privilege.” Intersectionality considers race, sex and class to determine how oppressed a group or person is and assumes that the cause of that straitened condition resides entirely within their Western environment.

In Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender, Race, and Class, Charles Murray challenges that assumption. The title says it all: Murray claims human differences also have a genetic component, as instanced by race differences in intelligence. Thus, the status of a group or person in society is in part determined by their innate characteristics, such as average intelligence for a group or individual intelligence of a person.

In The Genetic Lottery: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality, 2021, self confessed leftist Kathryn Paige Harden says, “I find the conclusion that racial group differences are ‘genetic’ to be unpalatable.”

But, Harden further says,

“I also believe that intelligence tests measure an aspect of a person’s psychology that is relevant for their success in contemporary educational systems and labor markets, that twin studies tell us something meaningful about the genetic causes of individual differences between people, and that intelligence is heritable.”

We should not be surprised by that. Evolution – the process which put us on the planet both individually and as a species – comprises three components: replication, variation and selection. Variations occur in both memes and genes. Some variations are adaptive and are selected; others are not adaptive and are deselected. Intelligence is a candidate example of such variation.

A meta-analysis of the research on intelligence by Professor Richard Lynn in Race Differences in Intelligence: An Evolutionary Analysis (2015) gives average IQ by race relevant for New Zealand as: North East Asians 102, Europeans 99, Maoris 90, and Pacific Islanders 85.

These data are from the second edition (2015) of Lynn’s book which was revised and updated to include information from studies subsequent to the first edition (2006). The first edition is freely available on the internet here. A ‘Summary of race differences in intelligence’ is given in Table 13.1 of both editions and there is not a significant change to the general pattern of results.

The first edition has a chapter on Pacific Islanders (which is absent in the second edition) and includes a section on Maoris (p. 77). The chapter also has sections on ‘Brain Size of Pacific Islanders’ and ‘Environmental and Genetic Determinants of the Intelligence of Pacific Islanders’ (p. 80). Lynn says “The IQ of 90 of the Maoris is higher than the 85 of the other Pacific Islanders, suggesting a beneficial effect of living in an affluent European environment.”

Professor Helmuth Nyborg of the University of Aarhus says “This is the definitive study … by the man who did more than anybody else to collect the extensive data.” In his 2016 review of the book, Edward Dutton wrote, “Clearly, this new book will now be the definitive resource for anyone interested in understanding race differences in intelligence. … This is an important work, documenting all of the available data, and prosecuting the most parsimonious case to explain it.”

I previously covered this topic in “I Lift My Pen” (here) which attracted the following anonymous comment: “Richard Lynn (his professor emeritus status was withdrawn by Ulster University in 2018) and Helmuth Nyborg are both very controversial in the scientific study of intelligence. Lynn’s work in particular has been widely condemned as racist pseudoscience and white supremacist.”

So I read some relevant articles by the BBC (here and here).

The Beeb reports in the first article, 14 February 2018:

“Ulster University's (UU) students' union has called for the university to end its association with a psychology professor.

“The union has passed a motion calling for UU to revoke Richard Lynn's role as emeritus professor.

“The motion alleges Prof Lynn advocates views that are "racist and sexist in nature".”

And in the second article, 15 April 2018:

“Ulster University has withdrawn the emeritus title from psychology professor Richard Lynn.

“Prof Lynn taught at UU and some of his work has proved controversial.

“He has argued that people from east Asia have a higher average IQ than Europeans and that men have a higher average IQ than women.

“The university said it had made its decision "following due process and considering all relevant information".”

A few further points: 1) Like the cancellation of the free speech meeting at Te Herenga Waka, Lynn was cancelled after a complaint from a posse of students. 2) Lynn had also recognized that IQ declines with age, but that doesn’t seem to bother anyone. 3) It is sometimes objected that there are different sorts of intelligence; but for the purposes of this discussion ‘intelligence’ is whatever it is that IQ tests measure, usually called ‘general intelligence’ (g). 4) I have previously found it helpful that East Asians have a higher average IQ than Europeans, nevertheless the UU and its students still think that is racist.

Think about it. Lynn’s studies include hundreds of thousands of IQ tests. All you have to do is put three questions at the beginning: What is your sex, race and age and you can start making arguments regarding any correlation that is found with these variables and IQ. In particular, Lynn considered the effects of environment and the role of genetics.

Calling Lynn names, such as ‘racist and sexist’ is not only puerile, but it is also irrelevant to science. Science deals in facts. Nevertheless, science holds that all theories are falsifiable; that is, the book is never closed. So, if you think Lynn is mistaken, you write an article stating your rationale and publish it. That is how science works. Is there anyone that does not know that? Note that Lynn’s book went to a second revised edition, which gave 9 years for others to give feedback and for him to consider it.

But that is not what happened to Lynn. The University made an investigation that was initiated by students complaining and then they cancelled him in 2018 just five years before he died 17 July 2023 aged 93, thereby illegitimately negating his life’s’ work. Whether Lynn was right or wrong is not the issue; he was cancelled because some students complained his research is racist and sexist. Lynn was subsequently vilified because he transgressed a current collective precept; it was mob rule over science.

So also in New Zealand when Khylee Quince said of Gary Judd KC, “I suppose it was inevitable that one of the old racist dinosaurs would make a pathetic squeal in an attempt to preserve the status quo... Mr Judd and 'matauranga Maori is not science' friends can go die quietly in the corner.” That is puerile name calling by a senior Maori academic that will only serve to further lower the status of New Zealand academia and so diminish the idea of universities as statutory ‘critics and conscience’ of New Zealand society.

It is ridiculous to claim that Maori knowledge is science, as science comprises the documented, accumulated knowledge that was developed over thousands of years from Socrates, Plato and Aristotle to Newton, Darwin and Einstein. That covered developments including the Magna Carta, the Renaissance, the Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment, and the Industrial Revolution. The Maoris didn’t even have writing. European science is categorically different to Maori knowledge which is drawn in part from mythology. Modern science aims to be objective and universal, which invalidates claims which are from a particular perspective. Maori knowledge is from a Maori world-view, so it is exclusive which disqualifies it as inclusive science. Interestingly, Maori knowledge therefore also does not meet the DEI criteria of Inclusion.

What is said of Quince can also be said of Siouxsie Wiles and Shaun Hendy. These academics forego the tenets of science to fulfil their ideology and should don a dunce’s cap and ‘go stand quietly in the corner’ until they fathom the error of their ways.

When I did engineering at Auckland there were about 80 people in the class; the first two rows were Asians, there were three women and no Polynesians. I doubt that Asians would now spend a fortune to send their children to a New Zealand university for a quality European education when they read in the media that the waspish Maori head of the Maori indoctrinated law school wishes death to people who do not agree that science in New Zealand includes primitive Maori knowledge.

Engineering is science based and as a registered engineer I would not put my name to any design that had a hint of Maori knowledge in it. Doing so would be unreasonable, unprofessional and irresponsible; it would possibly also be dangerous and career limiting; it would be wrong. The law department may get away with it as the application and development of law is by partisan rhetoric predicated on discretional rules and selected facts, as instanced by the findings of the Waitangi Tribunal. You can say anything is law. But you can’t create quality infrastructure and technology in the physical world with knowledge gleaned from Maori ancestors.

What will transpire after the inevitable happens and someone is injured or killed when using mains powered equipment or when relying on electronic devices? With the inclusion of tikanga (Maori lore) in our legal system, the event could perhaps be designated an aitua, which denotes a misfortune or disaster of a serious or fatal nature. The aitua is usually assumed to be the result of a violation of tapu (restriction), makutu (sorcery) or some other disturbance of the natural order. In Maori lore, the compensation for aitua is the opposite of the present European law. So instead of the injured individual obtaining compensation from the supply company, the company would obtain compensation from the individual. On several occasions in the nineteenth century Maoris alleged makutu, but the courts refused to act because no legislation then existed for dealing with this crime. (Te Matapunenga, s.v., “Aitua”, “Makutu”)

No one knows where this is headed, because Maori lore is not law and has not yet been tested in the courts. That is Gary Judd’s point, for which he has been called “an old racist dinosaur” by Khylee Quince (here). I understand Judd to be saying that Maori lore (tikanga) cannot meet the standards required by European law and that we should not be regressing to primitive customs.

New Zealand is presenting itself as a primitive country on the world stage. If it is thought particular Maori knowledge has relevance as science, to be inclusive it should be written up and published in a scholarly science journal, or reference such an article. Otherwise Maori knowledge belongs in humanities as an object of study. The fundamental issue is that Maoris want to distinguish themselves; in other words, they want to be exclusivist. That is in contradistinction to the rest of the world: science is one of the few things that bring us together on a level playing field. But if Maoris participate in that, their contribution to knowledge will not be Maori knowledge; it will just be knowledge. Scientists do not claim to have French knowledge or Chinese knowledge, although they do have knowledge about France and China. The idea of knowledge that is peculiar to French people or Chinese people or Maori people is an anathema to science and useless to me.

It is a tenet of intersectionality that the weaker party is always right, but that is mistaken. The party that is right is the one that presents the more compelling argument based on the more likely facts. There is no other reason to believe that Maori knowledge is right. We need to return to merit as the measure, not race. To be inclusive, Maori knowledge should be tested for veracity the same as other knowledge. If we accept knowledge simply because it is Maori, we will fail, as a person, as an organization and as a country. That is a clear and obvious fact.

The Maoris and their woke patronizing supporters are trashing our universities and our country. They are doing so in thrall of an ideology that seeks equity; that is, to make all people the same. Nature, however, favours future variation – to make people different so that evolution may proceed. Sexual reproduction emerged only because it provides greater variation by uniquely combining genetic material from two different organisms. Dying is adaptive because it removes past variations from the gene pool. There is life because of variation; the purpose of life is life and true diversity is variation of life.

We need to come to terms with nature by accepting that the world is not as we think it ideally should be. In particular, to respect diversity – of intelligence, for example – we need to accept the possibility that there is both memetic and genetic difference in race, sex and class.

Then we can have a conversation.

Once we properly subscribe to diversity and inclusion, we exclude equity as a natural outcome. However that does not entail that we should not assist people who are disadvantaged due to natural variation. But we need to start the debate again as to what assistance is appropriate, this time with all the known facts on the table. We need to include that innate disadvantage of one group is just another way of saying that advantage of another group is due to a natural evolutionary process of adaptation. Moreover, the evolutionary advantage of that more adapted group of Europeans is what brought about the benefits that have increased all other human populations worldwide. These populations now have some responsibility to catch up with the Europeans: the Chinese achieved that quite quickly so why have the Polynesians not done the same? The reason is probably that there is a genetic difference in addition to a cultural difference, so the problem is innate to the Polynesians and the most likely indicator is the variation of intelligence. So in what way and to what degree are Europeans responsible for that?

Only racist dinosaurs and well trained academics have refused to frame the problem this way.

Dr Barrie Davis is a retired telecommunications engineer, holds a PhD in the psychology of Christian beliefs, and can often be found gnashing his teeth reading The Post outside Floyd’s cafe at Island Bay.


Erica said...

Evolution does not explain the origin of life and has many problems explaining quite a few other things as well. It has been challenged by a number of Nobel Prize winners as well. A NZ academic at Otago Univerdity last century Michael Denton wrote a book "Evolution a Theory still in Crisis'. His first book with a similar title is available free on the internet.

On the topic of IQ, I believe our Progressive education system, which in this country has produced the longest tail of underachievement, is responsible for lowering our IQs , particularly those of lower SES. You see IQ , is related to reading ability and Whole Language, based on now proven wrong evolutionary ideas has disadvantaged Maori who are consequently over-represented in the lower SES group.

Incidentally I have taught Maori children to read whom school psychologists had declared and blamed due to low IQs. They did not. The school had simply failed to teach them correctly using in effective reading methods with exolicit phonics.

I do agree with you Barrie over the absurdity of Victoria banning the free speech debate.

nuku said...

Some very cogent points here Mr. Barrie. As a former law student, I am particularly concerned with the attempt by woke activist judges to insert tikanga into the common law of NZ.
Imagine if your 18 year-old son got drunk with his mates, went out driving and crashed into my wife, killing her and her unborn baby. Under "utu", which is a concept of tikanga, I would not only be justified, but required to take vengeance on your son by killing him (and possibly you as his family). Your son's action has fatally damaged my family's "mana" and that must be redressed. As I understand tikanga, I get to decide (not a court) how that will be accomplished. Killing your son is completely justified and legal under that system of so-called "law".
The Peter Ellis case makes it clear that I could claim utu as a non-Maori European. I know of no other country that would even consider having 2 systems of law, one of which is unwritten and can be only interpreted by a select racial group, applying equally to its citizens. This is as insane as "Maori science". Only a group in thrall to a woke ideology could support this.

Anonymous said...

A lot of commonsense spoken but unfortunately unable to be taken in by the mentally challenged and those who don’t want to hear. Do I take it Victoria University can no longer be referred to as such?

Anonymous said...

It seems like all western values like equality, decency, and morals are suddenly right-wing views. At the supermarket last night i witnessed a woman walking out with a full trolley of groceries and not payimg. No staff member tried to stop her. When the staff member asked her is she had paid, she said that she had lost the receipt and kept walking. Several staff are off work due to being injured by customers. One had stitches. So they just let people steal whatever they want. It seems dystopian, but also it seems people are just happy to allow it. It is right wing to want society the way it was apparently.

Barend Vlaardingerbroek said...

Erica, you ought to know, as an expert commentator (or so you appear to regard yourself), that biological evolution does not even attempt to explain the origin of life as that is off its radar screen. The origin of life is the domain of abiogenesis. One of the main challenges for abiogenesis is defining life, which has been increasingly difficult since 1828 when the first nail was driven into the coffin of Vital Force Theory. I have myself written a cute little paper in the American journal EEO on the topic in which I apply the Sorites Paradox to the life concept and abiogenesis.
The term 'evolution' simply refers to a process of gradual cumulative change; no mechanism is implied. Hence we have more specific evolutionary frameworks including mechanisms such as in cosmology, geology and biology. It pays to know what the words you use mean.
Like all scientific theories, evolutionary theories (be it cosmological, chemical, geological, whatever) are incomplete or throw up the occasional anomaly. This is then investigated and rectified if possible. That is how science works.
As for the detractors of evolution, take away the frauds such as Ham and Hovind, and the downright liars such as Gish, and you have precious few left. Of those, most have been misquoted or misrepresented by people who appear to know as much about the science as you seem to.
Science is a self-critical intellectual activity. But finding deficiencies in existing theories makes no case for Bronze Age tribal desert spooks floating around in what is now Palestine.

Barrie Davis said...

Anonymous asked "Do I take it Victoria University can no longer be referred to as such?"

I have spent a lot of time at Victoria which I hold in high regard and I have long been grateful to the lecturers and my supervisors there. I'm blowed if I am going to associate Victoria with some of the things that are happening there now, such as the publication of Lusiata Avia's poem. Hence my use of Te Herenga Waka.

Barrie Davis PhD(Victoria)

Doug Longmire said...

Excellent article, Barrie.
As a retired pharmacist, educated in a science background, with a personal interest in Chemistry, Biology and Particle Physics, I completely agree with Gary Judd's point of view.

Maori lore is NOT Science. Your quote below sums it up:-

"I doubt that Asians would now spend a fortune to send their children to a New Zealand university for a quality European education when they read in the media that the waspish Maori head of the Maori indoctrinated law school wishes death to people who do not agree that science in New Zealand includes primitive Maori knowledge."

Anonymous said...

Great article Barrie. The pendulum is swinging mate. For every action there is an equal or greater reaction. Oh, wait that sounds like science, the left basket cases will be after me....

The left and the woke are in serious trouble which is why they are squealing.....keep holding them to account. Keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

Nuku, as a graduate of law from University of Canterbury in the days when law was law and there were standards, I likewise share your views.

When and where did present judiciary get their degrees? And how, why and when did they chose to go so off the rails? Did they listen to their wannabe children, go fishing or just decide to try and be desperately fashionably woke?

Erica said...

It is too risky for nontenured scientists and academics to speak out about their skepticism of Darwin's theory because of the enormous risks to their careers and reputations. However the number of scientists including prominent and highly respected ones is growing.

As a response to the demonstrably false claim that 'virtually every scientist in the world believes the theory to be true', Dr Jerry Bergman had little difficulty compiling a list of 3,000 scientists who reject Darwinism, including about half a dozen Nobel Prize winners. With more time and resources Bergman believes he could easily complete a list of 10,000 names. According to Harvard researcher (Gross and Simmons) this is but a small percentage of 113,000 Darwin skeptics in the US alone.

Barend Vlaardingerbroek said...

You really believe your own claptrap, don't you, Erica?
Bergman is a well-known shyster and is totally out of his depth in evolutionary biology.
Anyway you go ahead and convince yourself about all those highly qualified people in biology....... oh and of course a dash of conspiracy theorising comes across well to a certain audience.
My guess is you've never read Darwin nor any other acknowledged academic authority. If you had done so, you'd realise that 'Darwin's theory' refers exclusively to Natural Selection in the days before genetics was known about! And you would have known that the Darwinian conceptual framework does not include abiogenesis.
I suspect your primary sources of [mis]information are straight from the Amurrican Bahbel Belt. That's probably why you spell 'sceptic' their way......
It's all very intellectually dishonest but I expect nothing else when dealing with people who believe in Middle Eastern spooks and don't have the decency to check out authentic academic sources.

Doug Longmire said...

Well said, Barend.

Anonymous said...

BD doubles down on upholding the work and views of self-described “scientific racist”, Richard Lynn.

The huge problem is, Lynn’s work has been widely criticised by scientists for methodological flaws, misrepresenting data and promoting racist ideologies rather than objective science.
– For an overview, see the summary of Lynn and the science of IQ in this 2018 Guardian article: web search "Evans unwelcome revival of race science"
– For a peer-reviewed academic article on human intelligence, citing Lynn with disapproval, see Nisbett et al. (2012) with a web search "doi:10.1037/a0026699" (full text available on ResearchGate).

And here’s a radical thought for BD: student protests may not always and everywhere get it wrong!

Anyway, BD leaves me in a quandary:
(a) I agree largely with the points he makes about free speech, intersectionality and New Zealand universities’ bias to the radical left, but
(b) on the face of it BD promotes pseudoscientific racism, which to me is clearly wrong and obnoxious.

It does make me wonder… perhaps I’m wrong about (a) after all. Perhaps the “progressive”, identity-politics, decolonising, indigenising, pro-Māori activists are right after all?


Barend Vlaardingerbroek said...

We're not allowed to study race objectively because of the doctrine of racial equality. Any research that reveals differences between races other than the self-evident ones such as pigmentation is automatically labelled as pseudoscience.
The ideologues have had three quarters of a century to come up with IQ tests that doesn't produce interracial differences. They haven't and they won't.

Martin Hanson said...

As a retired biology teacher who has taught evolution for 40 years and authored a book on human evolution ("Apes and Ancestors"), I have to say that your quoted source of reference does not impress. Denton's book has been thoroughly debunked ( In my early years of teaching, I read creationist books such as "Evolution: the fossils say no!" by Duane Gish, and "The Genesis Flood" by Henry Morris, which only solidified my acceptance of evolution.
Creationists are impermeable to evidence and logic, as I wrote some years ago:

The Nobel prize-winning physicist Albert Einstein once reportedly said: “Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” He might have added a third; the capacity of humans to put emotional desires before reason, believing what they want to believe even in the teeth of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

If there were a Nobel Prize for this, it would surely go to Kurt Wise, who obtained a PhD in geology at Harvard University under the tutelage of the distinguished palaeontologist and evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould. Despite being intimately familiar with the geological evidence that the Earth is billions of years old, Wise’s brain is straitjacketed by his Christian fundamentalist belief that the world is less than 10,000 years old. In an article titled ‘In Six Days’ he wrote:

“Although there are scientific reasons for accepting a young earth, I am a young-age creationist because that is my understanding of the Scripture. As I shared with my professors years ago when I was in college, if all the evidence in the universe turned against creationism, I would be the first to admit it, but I would still be a creationist because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate.”

So for Wise, no matter how powerful the evidence for an old Earth, the Bible trumps science.

Anonymous said...

Science has units of measurements eg metric, imperial etc.
What units did Maori use ?
Absolutely none, therefore it's not science in any form.

This nonsense came directly from Hipkins mother, Rosemary Hipkins, whose ambition was to de-stabilize NZ science education .

Robert Arthur said...

It is incredible that the nature/nurture debate persisted so long. Every farmer and animal breeder knew and knows all about the importance of nature's lineage. It also explains why the offspring of low IQ low wage earners tend to be the same. But we pretend (or did until DNA) nature does not apply to humans. We drag down and slow able pupils at school trying to prove that the dim are their equals. Jordan Pedersen took under his wing some low IQ fellow and despite his skills found he simply could not penetrate sufficient to make much improvement. I am puzzled by the IQ numbers mentioned. IQs of 90 did not give us Ngai Tahu corporations or the artful Waitangi Tribunal or wWikato University, although may represent many glue sniffers and gang prospects. I recall a programme by Pedersen.. I think the US army in Viet Nam took down to IQ85 and most were seriously non functional. Pedersen described several disasters due the lack of intelligence.

Barrie Davis said...

LFC, thank you for the references, although some of them are quite old and research in genetics is proceeding at pace. I note that they accept that there are race differences in intelligence. The debate is about what if any is the role of genetics.
Professor Paige Harden further says in her 2021 book I quoted from, “Knowing what we know now, we cannot pretend that genetics do not matter,” (p. 20). Furthermore, “people who live in different parts of the world are genetically different from one another,” (p. 77) and “Of course racial groups differ in genetic ancestry,” (p. 79). So, “to hold that there are no genetic differences between groups of people who identify as different races is simply incorrect.” (p. 91).
Harden further says that correlation has been found between genetic variants and educational attainment for individuals within the group Europeans and that there are differences in educational attainment between racial groups. However, she says at present, “There is no scientific evidence for genetically based differences in intelligence test score performance between racial groups or between ancestral populations.” (pp. 88, 94)
Harden suggests, “One approach is to sweep genetic research under the rug, ignoring a large and remarkably consistent body of scientific knowledge, lest the eugenics genie be let out of the bottle.”
But Harden expects there will be further evidence: “Let us not flinch from considering what seems like the worst-case scenario: What if, next year, there suddenly emerged scientific evidence showing that European-ancestry populations evolved in ways that made them genetically more prone, on average, to develop cognitive abilities of the sort that earn high test scores in school? How would we ‘absorb’ that fact?” (p. 91)

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence and whether the evidence is racist or obnoxious is irrelevant. I am open to the possibility that genetics has a role.

Anonymous said...

Read Why Race Matters by Michael Levine and have a look at The IQ Facto by Arthur Jensen - to understand a bit more of the problem also check out an interesting website

An interesting series of articles with challenging views.

Comment on why race matters :, The comprehensive treatment of race differences ever published. Philosopher Michael Levin's classic work first appeared in 1997 but quickly went out of print. Used copies sold for as much as $500.00. New Century Foundation has now published a completely reset, corrected edition, with a foreword by Jared Taylor. Anyone with an interest in race and the courage to follow the scientific data wherever they lead will find a goldmine of information, analysis, and wisdom in this classic treatment of one of the most profoundly important—and taboo—subjects of our time. Experts in the field have lavished praise on Why Race Matters: Professor Michael Levin's analytical tour de force, remarkably engrossing, often exciting, differs uniquely from other books dealing with racial differences. Levin views the various complex arguments regarding the reality and nature of race and race differences, not from any of the typical specialized viewpoints of anthropology, education, evolution, genetics, psychology, or sociology, or from any social or political ideology, but from the sweeping vantage point of the philosophy of science, his specialty as a well-recognized professor of philosophy. Levin's impressive technical mastery of the vast empirical subject matter is evinced in his book's amazingly broad and detailed scope and analytical depth. But what I consider the most valuable and exciting feature of Levin's treatment of every facet of the race issue is the consistent critical stance his incisive intellect brings to every aspect, based entirely on his keen understanding of the philosophy of science. It is definitely a "must read" for all serious students of this subject. — Arthur R. Jensen, U.C. Berkeley Philosopher Michael Levin has delivered one of the most authoritative and incisive treatises ever written on the importance of race. Why Race Matters is must reading for anyone interested in race, IQ, crime, welfare, affirmative action, and multiculturalism. Levin analyzes statistics, psychological test scores, and behavioral genetics data, brilliantly illuminating the logical pitfalls in so much of what is written about race. His powerful logic digs deep and his courageous inferences vault forward. With panache and occasional humor, Levin seems to be always on target. — J. Philippe Rushton, University of Western Ontario Why Race Matters does everything the title promises—it removes all illusions about the insignificance of race, and explains what racial differences mean for a multiracial society. It is a thorough, overwhelmingly convincing treatment of America's most serious and least understood problem

Anonymous said...

BD at 5:54 on 18th. My earlier attempt to reply failed (I realise now that I missed an HTML error message), so I’ll try again.

Thank you for highlighting the Harden (2021) book. I confess I overlooked it as I was distracted by your unfortunate reference again to Lynn. In contrast, Harden appears to be well-regarded in the scientific community and, from a quick glance at it, takes a robust scientific approach in her book. Although I am anything but a “progressive” myself, I don’t self-censor purely on the political views of an author. Fortunately, Harden’s book was available at my public library and I have borrowed it. I notice that Harden does not cite Lynn even once, even though she cites several scientific sources going back decades.

That great care and caution is needed on this topic – even as it shouldn’t be ignored – is highlighted in this 2017 editorial in Nature – web search doi:10.1038/nature.2017.22021 – and by Harden (2021) too in Chapter 4 “Ancestry and Race”, which I quote here:

“In this chapter, I aim to clarify why today’s genetically inflected incarnation of scientific racism is both empirically wrong and morally blinkered. I will first describe what geneticists mean by ancestry and why it is false to collapse the idea of ancestry and race. I will then describe how genetics research has been done by predominantly White scientists using predominantly White research participants—a situation that creates conditions for false comparisons between racial groups and risks exacerbating inequities between racial groups. I also describe why it’s wrong to assume that research on the genetic causes of individual differences within a population gives us information on the causes of group differences, a statistical fallacy that is commonly buttressed by racist presumptions about White supremacy. And I conclude by looking ahead at the coming avalanche of multi-ethnic genomic data, and describe why we need not fear that any statistical result will compromise a commitment to antiracism and racial equality.”

Thanks again.