Giving race deniers a hard time
18.05.2008. The wikipedia page for Steven Rose informs us that this man has a reputation of giving "ideology priority over truth". See review of one of Rose's books by Richard Dawkins in "Sociobiology: the debate continues", New Scientist 24 January 1985, for an example of the substance of this criticism.
But some people never learn, and more than 20 years later Rose is still utterly unrepentant. In the wake of The James Watson affair he wrote a comment for The Guardian, the first paragraph of which read as follows (emphasis added):
For a clever man, James Watson is remarkably loose-tongued. He always was, and age does not wither him, nor custom stale his less than infinite variety. In the UK to publicise his new book, he has been in characteristic form. In the Sunday Times, it was that long-exploded racist claim that "Africans" are inherently less intelligent than "us".
He quickly got a reply from a reader with the nickname HalOnsgard (emphasis added):
"Long-exploded" in your marxoid-Boasian dreams, Rose. You are a dinosaur from Stephen Jay Gould's corner of Jurassic Park.
The existence of average differences in IQ between mankind's major races which are substantial and predictable; the fact that IQ measures something real and important; the robustness of the methods used to assay these scores; their persistence, their incorrigibility by human post-natal interventions and social engineering; and their tremendous impact on the collective outcomes for these groups... all are so well established that it is hardly a matter of serious dispute among consenting psychometricians in private any more.
Now it's just a matter of breaking gently to ordinary people the news that the real deal is what their common sense told them all along. The bromides the PC experts kept stuffing down their throats from c. 1950 were nothing more. Race is back, and it's bigger than ever. Just rejoice at that news!
Most will shrug their shoulders and say "we knew all along-- like dog breeds, isn't it?" A few gormless liberals will have nerve storms: the Nazis are coming, we must go on lying!
But it's too late. Now medical genetics are further confirming racial variation in the genotypes of sub-species, including their brains, and enormous policy implications are opening up-- which researchers not hag-ridden by Rose's egalitarian mysticism will certainly not ignore, even if his kind keep the lid on honest debate for a few years longer in the West, censoring and sacking.
We will merely lag behind China, Japan, Russia and India: where science is unshackled by soppiness, and where the very idea of race as "only skin deep" or a "social construct", of IQ as "culturally biased" and all the other squid ink squirted by Steven, Jacqueline and their dwindling tribe of lefty Luddites is laughed to scorn every day.
Darwin wouldn't be surprised at the change in the wind that at last has arrived. He might, however, be horrified at how those who profess to teach in his name have suppressed the most important aspect of his theory, in the service of a Platonic falsehood.
Here's another posting by HalOnsgard on the same topic, this time at Pickled Politics:
When you’ve finished comfortingly exchanging the liberal parrot cries you learned from the Great White Colour-Blind Bwana, you might care to review the irrefutable evidence for the existence of races (merely subspecies of the large mammal known as homo sapiens sapiens, somewhat inbred and evolutionarily isolated for most of their life histories) instead of conjuring theoretical objections based on strawmanship out of thin air.
Ooh, there are no 100pc pure races– so they’re cannot be such a thing as a race, tee hee! Yeah, and all colours blend undetectably one into another in the spectrum, so there are no such things as colours either. And some men are more feminine than others and there are a few hermaphrodites, so “male” and “female” are only cultural constructs. And no two people can quite agree who’s family and isn’t, so families are a myth too.
Not that any of you have the courage or curiosity of a polyp on the showing of this debate… but just in case there are one or two who might faintly wonder if Watson knows more about the subject than Professor Keith Vaz or Dr Ken Livingstone or Archbishop Trevor Phillips, here’s a brief introduction to what the vast majority of psychologists and geneticists are working on and are afraid to tell you:
You might even get round to reading Darwin’s “Descent of Man”, particularly chapter 7, if it hasn’t been bowdlerised yet on the grounds that some numbskull might find it “hurtful”.
HonestThinking comments: I invite my readers to consider the following remark from Steven Pinker (emphasis added):
"Sunlight is the best disinfectant," according to Justice Louis Brandeis's famous case for freedom of thought and expression. If an idea really is false, only by examining it openly can we determine that it is false. At that point we will be in a better position to convince others that it is false than if we had let it fester in private, since our very avoidance of the issue serves as a tacit acknowledgment that it may be true. And if an idea is true, we had better accommodate our moral sensibilities to it, since no good can come from sanctifying a delusion. This might even be easier than the ideaphobes fear. The moral order did not collapse when the earth was shown not to be at the center of the solar system, and so it will survive other revisions of our understanding of how the world works.
As well as the following one from the book «Evolution and the big questions» by philosopher of science David N. Stamos (emphasis added):
What [a particular argument by Richard Lewontin] seriously ignores, however, are two basic facts about genes. First, all it takes is a single base change in a gene, a single change in a DNA letter, to make a significant change in the phenotypic expression of the gene. Hence a little genetic variation can go a long way. Second, not all genes are on a par. Most genes are structural genes, but some genes are master or regulatory genes, turning structural genes on and off during development. A small variation in a master or regulatory gene, then, can go an even longer way in making a difference between two phenotypes. […] As it turns out, what [Lewontin] says about genetic variation in human populations is actually perfectly consistent with claims about racial differences such as Rushton’s. The racial differences can reside in relatively few key differences in structural and in master or regulatory genes, some of them the result of genetic drift, but more importantly some of them favored by natural selection. The averages cited by Lewontin are just plain irrelevant, since they are only averages in genetic variation and nothing more; as such, they cannot help but to obscure the above point. […]
At this point my own motives have probably come under suspicion, but I really do not care. My only desire has been to argue that, from an evolutionary point of view, there is nothing inherently mistaken or wrongheaded, let alone evil, in supposing that there are racial (geographic, cladistic, or ecotypic) differences in IQ or in other character traits within wide-ranging species such as Homo sapiens. Any aversion to research in this area is basically socially and politically motivated, it is not biologically motivated. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, it remains possible – indeed, quite possible – that from a modern evolutionary point of view there are innate statistical differences, even significant differences, in aptitude and behavior between different human races. […] Equal opportunity combined with a positive environment is the moral imperative. But we should not let the value of this imperative fool us into believing that biology makes us equal. Like it or not, biology just does not work that way. We need to be realistic, and to remember that we are always dealing with statistical phenomena. At any rate, for my own part, I prefer to rest content with the wisdom of Martin Luther King, Jr., who said it is not the color of a man’s skin that matters but the content of his character. Truer words were never spoken, possibly even if repeated from an evolutionary point of view.
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