May 16, 2013

Scientific American: Ban Race and IQ Science in America

Scientific American columnist John Horgan writes:
Should Research on Race and IQ Be Banned? 
By John Horgan | May 16, 2013 |  25 
So there it is, a neo-eugenics program, proposed by a Harvard-minted scholar employed by a prominent think tank. The Heritage Foundation quickly distanced itself from Richwine, stating that the claims of his Harvard thesis “in no way reflect the positions of The Heritage Foundation.” Richwine resigned from the foundation last week. 
Some pundits applauded Richwine’s downfall and attacked his Harvard research. I especially like how The Atlantic blogger Ta-Nehisi Coates compiled historical evidence that race is more a social than biological phenomenon.

As Jonathan Swift and Ignatius J. Reilly liked to say, "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him."
Others defended the premise of Richwine’s thesis—that genes account for at least some of the differences in IQ scores between different ethnic groups—and deplored attacks on him as threats to freedom of speech and scientific inquiry. Journalist Andrew Sullivan says that the “effective firing” of Richwine “should immediately send up red flags about intellectual freedom.” 
These are the same sorts of things said in 1994 when Harvard researchers Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray argued in The Bell Curve that programs to boost black academic performance might be futile because blacks are innately less intelligent than whites; and in 2007 when geneticist and Nobel laureate James Watson ascribed Africa’s social problems to Africans’ genetic inferiority. (Watson is also a former Harvard professor. What is it with Harvard? Could there be something in the drinking water?) 
I’m torn over how to respond to research on race and intelligence. Part of me wants to scientifically rebut the IQ-related claims of Herrnstein, Murray, Watson and Richwine. For example, to my mind the single most important finding related to the debate over IQ and heredity is the dramatic rise in IQ scores over the past century. This so-called Flynn effect, which was discovered by psychologist James Flynn, undercuts claims that intelligence stems primarily from nature and not nurture. 
But another part of me wonders whether research on race and intelligence—given the persistence of racism in the U.S. and elsewhere–should simply be banned. I don’t say this lightly. For the most part, I am a hard-core defender of freedom of speech and science. But research on race and intelligence—no matter what its conclusions are—seems to me to have no redeeming value. 
Far from it. The claims of researchers like Murray, Herrnstein and Richwine could easily become self-fulfilling, by bolstering the confirmation bias of racists and by convincing minority children, their parents and teachers that the children are innately, immutably inferior. 
Why, given all the world’s problems and needs, would someone choose to investigate this thesis? What good could come of it? Are we really going to base policies on immigration, education and other social programs on allegedly innate racial differences? Not even the Heritage Foundation advocates a return to such eugenicist policies. ...
Scientists and pundits who insist on recycling racial theories of intelligence portray themselves as courageous defenders of scientific truth. I see them not as heroes but as bullies, picking on those who are already getting a raw deal in our society.

Jason Richwine, unemployed father of two young children, is The Real Bully.
It’s time to put these destructive theories to rest once and for all. 
Irony Alert: It just occurred to me that two recent films, The Great Gatsby and Django Unchained, feature villains who spout pseudo-scientific theories of white superiority. The films imply that these theories are ludicrous relics of our racist past and that no modern person could possibly believe them. If only. 

A classic example of the increasingly popular Argumentum ad Tarantino. (Tarantino claims to be a dyslexic with a 160 IQ.)
Self-plagiarism alert: Some of the material above is recycled from my 1999 book The Undiscovered Mind.

76 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ban religions since religious wars killed many. Ban discussion of nations cuz national wars killed many. Ban discussion of sexual
differences cuz of history of 'patriarchy'. Ban discussion of class cuz communism killed many.

Ban discussion of freedom cuz the ideal of freedom fueled so many wars. American Revolution, Napoleon, Civil War, etc.

See, speak, hear no 'evil'.

Anonymous said...

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_75T__VWLm5M/SMuiKntx-gI/AAAAAAAAAgg/-ATIlW7t3Ec/s400/Planet+of+the+Apes+Simeon+Court+See+No+Evil.jpg

Anonymous said...

How very scientific of them.

FredR said...

Geoffrey Miller had a pretty strong response on twitter (although just saying 'on twitter' makes everything sound lame):

Miller: You really should have talked with serious IQ researchers before writing this; it's full of sophomore-level errors.

Horgan: "Serious IQ researchers," with a few exceptions, is an oxymoron.

Miller: It's an oxymoron like 'serious science journalists who call to restrict academic freedom for political convenience'?

eah said...

Reads like it was written by an 8th grader.

OT

The BBC has a question:

Why is violent crime so rare in Iceland?

David said...

>Why, given all the world's problems and needs, would someone choose to investigate this thesis? What good could come of it?<

A 11th-Century churchman couldn't have put it better.

The sheer depravity of the reference to Tarantino is breathtaking.

Scientific American is trash. It immolated itself in Horgan's article.

Anonymous said...

Two shit trashy movies are fountains of wisdom!

Replace the constitution with screenplay for django unchained.

Anonymous said...

Why, given all the world’s problems and needs, would someone choose to investigate this thesis? What good could come of it? Are we really going to base policies on immigration, education and other social programs on allegedly innate racial differences?



If those "alleged" racial differences actually exist - as they seem to - then why would not NOT incorporate that information into our policy making?



The claims of researchers like Murray, Herrnstein and Richwine could easily become self-fulfilling, by bolstering the confirmation bias of racists and by convincing minority children, their parents and teachers that the children are innately, immutably inferior.


But what if they are "innately, immutably inferior"? Horgan is not making a scientific argument here, he's making a moral argument - that we should treat everyone as being the same even if they are not, maybe especially if they are not.

Maguro said...

These are the same sorts of things said in 1994 when Harvard researchers Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray argued in The Bell Curve that programs to boost black academic performance might be futile because blacks are innately less intelligent than whites

And, uh, how are all those programs to boost black academic performance working out, eh?

panjoomby said...

Horgan's ignorance is scary. He should read Arthur Jensen's excellent 1980s tome "Bias in Mental Testing"- Horgan is arguing from ignorance & has no idea of the caliber of research in this area. Jensen's research is scrupulous - oddly, those who argued against him did so without the same level of rigor in their research. people like Horgan who don't even know what "g" is should not be allowed input. That's like me saying we should abolish research into parasitology.

Anonymous said...

Scientists and pundits who insist on recycling racial theories of intelligence portray themselves as courageous defenders of scientific truth. I see them not as heroes but as bullies, picking on those who are already getting a raw deal in our society.


To the extent that blacks and Hispanics get a "raw deal" in our society it's not because they are being picked on by "bullies", its because they lack the intelligence of other groups.

William said...

You know, I really do think that much of what is written in outlets like iSteve, VDare, Chronicles, etc., will be illegal within several decades.

But even this speech isn't banned outright, it will be consigned to a fate almost as bad: obscurity. A world in which a tenth-rate racial grievance monger like Ta-Nehisi Coates is widely published as some kind of authority is not conducive to a healthy intellectual life.

Dr Van Nostrand said...

Sad what happened to Scientific American and National Geographic.Over the years, I find myself reading them less and less since they seemed less interested in genuine scientific enquiry and more in promoting global warming,green energy and other PC garbage.
The most painful moment was when in the February 2009 issue of Scientific American,the top 20(or10?) science personalities of 2008 included one Barack Obama.
Hey if Kim Jong il can compose entire operas and generate inventions whose volume and ingenuity dwarf those of Leonardo Da Vinci, then that is small potatoes for the Magic Negro


"Why, given all the world's problems and needs, would someone choose to investigate this thesis? What good could come of it?"

Let me counter one pop culture reference with another. Im reminded of the Simpsons episode when Homers whistleblower website for which he recieved a Pulitzer suffers reducing traffic.In order to win back his audience he exclaims "I will just make up stories" to which a frustrated Lisa pleads" at least remove your pulitzer when you say that"
Similarly I would implore "Scientific" American to atleast remove the "Scientific" from their title when they indulge in such Oprahisms.

Anonymous said...

Well, take the recent incident at UCI, the Left which don't check its facts is blaming the GOP White pople. UCI is only 11 percent white and about 30 percent Hispanic and 48 percent Asian and a lot of the white is middle Eastern The Anti-black note and blackface was done by Asians but the left which sometimes has good agruments is too hang up on the multiculural things that when it wins some respect on enviromental or some agruments that some blue states like Minnesota have less poverty than Texas it loses but sterotyping situations.

C. Van Carter said...

"I am a hard-core defender of freedom of speech and science."

I can't imagine why anyone would think otherwise.

David said...

>Horgan is not making a scientific argument here, he's making a moral argument<

Willful blindness isn't moral.

Btw, I want to retract an intemperate comment. Eleventh-century churchmen weren't as bad as Horgan. My apologies to all sons of the Church.

Dr Van Nostrand said...

A world in which a tenth-rate racial grievance monger like Ta-Nehisi Coates is widely published as some kind of authority is not conducive to a healthy intellectual life."

Why do they have such stupid names. Its not ethnic.Like most black names its at best faux ethnic and pseudo African at best.

Dr Van Nostrand said...


Btw, I want to retract an intemperate comment. Eleventh-century churchmen weren't as bad as Horgan. My apologies to all sons of the Church."

Indeed, there was this pretty cool monk called Roger Bacon who was a proto Da Vinci of sorts due to his visionary works on optics and flying machines.

Anonymous said...

scopes monkey trial is back.

Anonymous said...

from inherit the wind to institute the windbag

Marc B said...

I suspect Horgan's call for a cease and desist has something to do with so much compelling research in the fields of Evolutionary Biology & Psychology, genetic research and brain mapping are not looking so hot for the egalitarians.

Whiskey said...

Research on Race and IQ will NOT be banned ... in China. Because there is a lot of money to be made by manipulating DNA for better athletic performance (this is already being done it is suspected by the FT) ... AND IQ.

Imagine a "smart shot" that alters DNA to make one ... well smarter. EVEN if it had serious side effects, who do you think would be the biggest consumer of such a shot? Asians? Ashkenazi Jews? High IQ Wasps and other Whites? Or ... Blacks and Hispanics?

Just like in vitro testing, for birth defects, gayness, and other stuff is coming, black market or regulated, like it or not, so too will widespread DNA modification. With serious side effects too. We are just on the cusp of modifying our DNA the way we have modified tools after tools. THAT impact will be like a brick on glass, for society.

Anonymous said...

It's not book burning when we do it!

Anonymous said...

Google blurb:

"John Horgan is an American science journalist best known for his 1996 book The End of Science"

I rest my case.

Jokah Macpherson said...

Geez, I thought Horgan was more scientifically literate than this. He's a science writer for crying out loud.

Toddy Cat said...

"Part of me wants to scientifically rebut the IQ-related claims of Herrnstein, Murray, Watson and Richwine"

Go for it, dumbass. I'd like to see you try.

Anonymous said...

Remarking on the intellectual superiority of Jews and Asians is being a big mean bully. How dare anyone suggest that European white historical victims are inferior to them. Only a white supremacist would do that. Wait, what... uhm. Let's just end this line of inquiry forever, please.

rob said...

Since race is a social construct and all, I have a great solution to all racial disparities: everyone could just check the same race box, we'd have to pick which one, and the same ethnicity box on the census. Poof! No more racial disparities.

Or a bunch of 'white' people could be assigned to be 'black.' until whatever disparities were gone. Presto! Race is a social construct, doncha know. By socially constructing myself as black, I am black. If Horgan thinks I can't decide to be black on Tuesdays, and then white the rest of the time, he should explain why.

I would think that people who had reality on their would welcome research that confirms that reality. If research into intelligence, or race and intelligence were prohibited because it's too dangerous, that looks a whole lot like the people in charge are afraid of what research would show. Why be against investigation if that investigation would prove racists wrong?

Finally if there are racial differences in intelligence, and Horgan is certain there's no genetic gap, then research could find what actually does retard black and hispanic intelligence.

Consider the lead paint-IQ thing. If IQ is totally unimportant, then there is no reason to worry about something that lowers IQ. It's as silly as worrying about some factor that depresses flimsquathness (which I just made up). Also, if there are no racial differences in intelligence, then it's simply not possible that higher lead exposure causes part of the gap: there's no gap to expain.

Horgan does not call for research that's done more honestly or competently than Richwine's. Research that could finally put these racial bugaboos to bed. Why doesn't he want the pure light of truth? What's he so scared of learning?

Anonymous said...

Shorter Horgan - "Burn the witch!"

Rohan Swee said...

So there it is, a neo-eugenics program...

Isn't it interesting that the same class of people who claim to be so concerned about the potential re-introduction of eugenics, are the ones pushing so hard for, and gloating so openly, about the marginalization, the "minoritization", hell, the outright End of whites? All in the cause of improving the country's/world's demographics for a better, brighter future for humanity?

David said...

"Truth is a social construct" = "the tribe determines truth".

Rob, Horgan would prob answer that your choice to be black on Tuesdays is an "individual construct" not a "social construct."

Your whole tribe would have to agree with your black on Tues. thing for it to be called a "social construct."

Tribalism and moralism and an active hostility to the idea of objective truth. Given that we're in the 21st-Century, it sounds Middle-Eastern than Medieval.

Cail Corishev said...

"Part of me wants to scientifically rebut the IQ-related claims of Herrnstein, Murray, Watson and Richwine"

You'd think someone would have thought of that by now, considering the fact that there would be a guaranteed multi-million-dollar book deal in it, plus the fame and fortune that would come on the TV circuit.

If I didn't know better, I'd think those guys are right.

ben tillman said...

Why, given all the world’s problems and needs, would someone choose to investigate this thesis? What good could come of it?

Let's see....

Scientists and pundits who insist on recycling racial theories of intelligence portray themselves as courageous defenders of scientific truth. I see them not as heroes but as bullies, picking on those who are already getting a raw deal in our society.

So, you've decided someone is to blame for the problems of less-intelligent races. Obviously, the "good [that] could come of" studying this stuff is that the accused could mount a defense againts "bullies" like you.

Anonymous said...

This post is absolutely crying out, just begging for a Dr Zaius image from Planet of the Apes (1968), and some quotes!

e.g.
George Taylor: There's your Minister of Science; honor-bound to expand the frontiers of knowledge...

Dr. Zira: Taylor, please!

George Taylor: ...except that he's also chief Defender of the Faith!

Dr. Zaius: There is no contradiction between faith and science... true science!

George Taylor: Are you willing to put that statement to the test?

...

Dr. Zaius: Ah, yes - the young ape with a shovel. I hear you're planning another archeological expedition. Cornelius, a friendly word of warning - as you dig for artifacts, be sure you don't bury your reputation.

Anonymous said...

Part of me wants to scientifically rebut the IQ-related claims of Herrnstein, Murray, Watson and Richwine

Then why don't you?

Anonymous said...

"http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_75T__VWLm5M/SMuiKntx-gI/AAAAAAAAAgg/-ATIlW7t3Ec/s400/Planet+of+the+Apes+Simeon+Court+See+No+Evil.jpg"

It seems that someone has beaten me to it.

ogunsiron said...

I've listened to a few of his vdialogs on bloggingheads and I already didn't like that guy too much.
He just didn't seem very smart.
He's sunk to unfathomable depths at this point.

Anonymous said...

No surprise that Scientific American is leading a jihad against crimethought, they do the same thing whenever anyone attacks environmentalism and global warming as well. John Horgan chiming in is even less surprising, he is so credulous about anything that attacks sociobiology that he uncritically accepted Patrick Tierney's character assassination of Napoleon Chagnon, before the book was even published. Horgan is so far left and so reflexively against studying the genetic basis of human behavior that he thinks Tooby and Cosmides are extreme right-wingers, bent on bringing back Fascism to the world. I'm only surprised it took him so long to publish something so stupid.

Anonymous said...

"Part of me wants to scientifically rebut the IQ-related claims"

But he can't, so he moves on to the usual prescription that leftist filth always recommend when reality intrudes into their fascist fantasies:

Such research "should simply be banned".

These people are transparently retarded, even though their cult has a great support group that props them up.

skh.pcola

Anonymous said...

Jensen's Harvard Educational Review article came out when I was a callow 19 year old undergraduate in thrall to the Age of Aquarius. I was asked for a class to read the article and make an argument one way or another in line with the Horgan article: whether this kind of thing ought to go on at all.

I'm not good at statistics and, hey, it was the Age of Aquarius, so I took the easy way out and argued that race research ought to be banned. I knew at the time I was not really engaging in the data, but it was an easy way to get at least a B--by sticking closer to "history" than "statistics" (as Coates would have it).

It is astounding to me that over forty years later someone from Scientific American would be as callow as I was as a kid.

TontoBubbaGoldstein said...

Part of me wants to scientifically rebut the IQ-related claims...

Part of me wants to win a $300,000.00 Powerball jackpot.

Unlike Mr. Horgan, there is at least a chance that part of me will get it's wish.

slumber_j said...

The Undiscovered Mind indeed.

Yeah, what is it that makes Harvard professors so racist? Must be the water that makes them so racist.

Maybe we should ban that damned Cantabridgian water. In Vino Veritas, after all.

Anonymous said...

Does Tarantino really have an IQ of 160? Because that would put him at genius level. Do we have a reliable source for this?

I'm sorry, but I've seen this guy's movies and heard him interviewed.

The term "genius" is the last thing that pops into my mind.

Dennis Dale said...

Scientists and pundits who insist on recycling racial theories of intelligence portray themselves as courageous defenders of scientific truth. I see them not as heroes but as bullies, picking on those who are already getting a raw deal in our society

Doesn't even work as a moral argument, does it? Because if NAMs aren't contributing because they're less capable--not because they're "excluded"--then they're not getting a raw deal at all, but a bargain. Unless we make no distinction between the society whites provide for NAMs and that which NAMs make for themselves.
Can't have that. Whites would be seen as nobly productive, as uncommonly generous and tolerant toward out-groups--to a fault, even.
No, the genocidaires can't let this conversation even get started.

Svigor said...

Imagine a "smart shot" that alters DNA to make one ... well smarter. EVEN if it had serious side effects, who do you think would be the biggest consumer of such a shot? Asians? Ashkenazi Jews? High IQ Wasps and other Whites? Or ... Blacks and Hispanics?

Just like in vitro testing, for birth defects, gayness, and other stuff is coming, black market or regulated, like it or not, so too will widespread DNA modification. With serious side effects too. We are just on the cusp of modifying our DNA the way we have modified tools after tools. THAT impact will be like a brick on glass, for society.


That's like asking who's more likely to take Steroids: athletes, or couch potatoes?

Yes, smart, wealthy people will be more likely to take IQ shots.

Like stupid people care about their intellects, lol.

Svigor said...

You'd think someone would have thought of that by now, considering the fact that there would be a guaranteed multi-million-dollar book deal in it, plus the fame and fortune that would come on the TV circuit.

If I didn't know better, I'd think those guys are right.


There's a guy working on that, and rebutting Kevin MacDonald. Understandably, he's a very busy guy.

Mr. Anon said...

I’m torn over how to respond to research on race and intelligence. Part of me wants to scientifically rebut the IQ-related claims of Herrnstein, Murray, Watson and Richwine."

But I can't, so I'll just call for it to be banned.

"For example, to my mind the single most important finding related to the debate over IQ and heredity is the dramatic rise in IQ scores over the past century. This so-called Flynn effect, which was discovered by psychologist James Flynn, undercuts claims that intelligence stems primarily from nature and not nurture."

In western countries, there has been a rise in average height during that same time, so clearly height is completely uninfluenced by genetics. People have been getting fatter over the last thirty years, so clearly there are no genetic influences on obesity.

"But another part of me wonders whether research on race and intelligence—given the persistence of racism in the U.S. and elsewhere–should simply be banned. I don’t say this lightly. For the most part, I am a hard-core defender of freedom of speech and science."

Except that he is quite clearly not a defender of the freedom of speech and scientific inquiry. Defenders of scientific inquiry do not call for scientific inquiry to be banned.

Scientific American has always been a mediocre magazine. The editing is ham-handed, leaving articles almost unreadable. They refuse to include even simple formulae; do they really think that any one who might read Scientific American doesn't know algebra? And they have become fashionably politically correct. Scientific American now would appear to have no redeeming value.

Anonymous said...

A thort from downunder:

I've read Horgan and 92 of the comments - overwhelmingly -ve which is pleasing.

Consider this, if SA wished to initiate a 'safe' debate re the Richwine saga, how might they go about it?

Anonymous said...

from #95 grandpa98

"Ugh Horgan! Although I found myself disagreeing, mostly, with the meaty part of your article, I was totally pissed at your remedy. Then I realized you’re pulling our leg. I suppose this has something to do with our governments handling of it recent scandals. If the evidence hurts, spin, dissemble, ignore."

I think he has it about right - the 'ban' definition is totally over the top!!

Anonymous said...

Personally, I have an absolute hatred of vivisection.

'Scientific research', daily, vivisects hundreds of thousands of animals inflicting pain and fear in them in the cruellest way you could possibly imagine.
If society ever took the notion that 'certain areas of academic research should be banned', well then surely a very large proportion of the public would wish for a complete ban on vivisection for moral reasons.
- And yet this will never, ever be done, because the argument about 'academic freedom' carries such enormous weight.
In the scheme of things which weighs more heavily - millions of living creatures being tortured to death or the possibility that a few hispanics migh have their feelings hurt?

aw said...

Because they have good reason to not want traditional white names. Their culture was forcibly nullified, give them a break.

Anonymous said...

"There's a guy working on that, and rebutting Kevin MacDonald. Understandably, he's a very busy guy."

I hear he's also working on a perpetual motion machine.

Dr Van Nostrand said...


"But another part of me wonders whether research on race and intelligence—given the persistence of racism in the U.S. and elsewhere–should simply be banned. I don’t say this lightly. For the most part, I am a hard-core defender of freedom of speech and science."

Except that he is quite clearly not a defender of the freedom of speech and scientific inquiry. Defenders of scientific inquiry do not call for scientific inquiry to be banned."

I think he gave himself away with the qualifier "for the most part" and "hard core"(lady doth protest and all that) ......or even if he just plainly states that he is for freedom of speech/science
And the rest of the piece is just one big fat HOWEVER as is so often the case with his types.

Dr Van Nostrand said...


Replace the constitution with screenplay for django unchained"

Please dont give Eric Holder anymore ideas.

teqzilla said...

Horgan's "The End of Science" is amongst the dumbest most arrogant books i've ever read. It examines the fact that he, an idiot, cant make much sense of string theory, and from that concludes that string theory is bull and that the overwhelming majority of theoretical physicists are idiots.

Anonymous said...

I note that he has included a "clarification". However, the article does not read as tongue in cheek. It reads as if he is serious. If he's trolling, this is the sort of thing I'd expect from John C Dvorak in PC Magazine, not from a magazine with "Scientific" in the title.

TontoBubbaGoldstein said...

You'd think someone would have thought of that by now, considering the fact that there would be a guaranteed multi-million-dollar book deal in it, plus the fame and fortune that would come on the TV circuit.

If I didn't know better, I'd think those guys are right.


*Attempts to sound serious and authoritative...*

Jeez. Stephen Jay Gould did this with The Mismeasure of Man in 1981. So there!



*Tries to stifle laugh.

Coughs.

Tries harder.

Makes choking sounds.

Loses control.

Rolls on floor, laughing maniacally.*

Rohan Swee said...

Scientific American has always been a mediocre magazine.

How old are you? It was once a fine magazine for intelligent laymen. (I don't recall there being any "fear of formulae" back in the day.)

It hit the skids in the early nineties, at which point I finally cancelled my decades-old subscription.

Sword said...

Whiskey is on to something.


If human genetic science is forbidden or heavily regulated in USA, then it will reach its highest levels somewhere else - quite likely China.

It seems hard to modify the genetic makeup of fetuses, but there is a much easier way - preimpnatation diagnostics. Prepare 10 zygotes from one couple, test them for all sorts of traits, discard those with known diseases, and choose one of the rest to implant. Freeze the rest.

Even if this is done while scientists are wholly ignorant as to which genes influence IQ from the beginning, that will not be so for long. Post-birth IQ tests and school results will be correlated to whatever genes were found in the fetus that was implanted, and fairly soon someone will find those genes that correlate most with IQ.

Since China has a large middle class with disposable income, a strict one-child policy, and no cultural aversion to abortions, they are the perfect market for this.

As a side effect, genes that code for other traits will be found.

Expect the rich Chinese to start producing very few male homosexuals in 2-3 decades.

David said...

>Horgan's "The End of Science" is amongst the dumbest most arrogant books i've ever read. It examines the fact that he, an idiot, cant make much sense of string theory, and from that concludes that string theory is bull and that the overwhelming majority of theoretical physicists are idiots.<

J.H. Christ. That's exactly what one would expect, isn't it? Dummies like Horgan don't know they're dumb. They think they're smart and everyone else is dumb. When they hear something they don't like, they reach for the truncheon (or for the phone, to ask their chancellor or congresscritter to introduce a speech ban).

Svigor said...

Whiskey is on to something.

If human genetic science is forbidden or heavily regulated in USA, then it will reach its highest levels somewhere else - quite likely China.


Yeah, it's called the alt-right. That's been a talking point everywhere from Stormfront to iSteve for years now.

It seems hard to modify the genetic makeup of fetuses, but there is a much easier way - preimpnatation diagnostics. Prepare 10 zygotes from one couple, test them for all sorts of traits, discard those with known diseases, and choose one of the rest to implant. Freeze the rest.

Correct. The real breakthrough will be more like cloning than genetic engineering; commoditize (mass) synthesis of eggs and sperm from donor cells, in vitro fertilization, and PGID, and you've got a back door into genetic engineering that'll more than do until the real thing gets here.

Anonymous said...

Buried in his moral preening is the not-so-subtle assumption that more research will prove Richwine's thesis... if he actually thought Richwine were wrong, he would call for more research. Sunlight disinfects.

So we have here a man who implicitly agrees with Richwine, but denounces him all the same.

Has anyone else noticed America is beginning to resemble the Soviet Union under Stalin?
-- the IRS persecutes kulaks
-- statue of MLK looks Soviet
-- the Academy condemns scientific inquiry that undermines political gospel
-- the media is spied on
-- discrimination is enshrined as progress
-- devious apparatchiks like Susan Rice are heralded as brilliant

We are all Trotsky.

pat said...

Everyone should remember that Scientific American is NOT American.

Scientific American is now published by a German company in Stuttgart. It was a American magazine up until 1986 when the Germans bought it and I canceled my life long subscription. Formerly it had been a semi-popular/semi-professional science journal. It was not peer reviewed but it attracted the most famous scientists of the day as authors. Typically one would read an article in Scientific American to discover some scientific issue or area of concern and then if you were interested you would read more in journals like 'Science' or 'Nature'.

They occasionally would write about some issue that had a political aspect but they were never political.

But all that changed when the Germans took over. After they owned it, the magazine seemed to pick political fights. They lambasted Borg Lomberg for example and have pushed the global warming agenda repeatedly. They have what can only be described as a left wing weltanschauung.

I'm saddened but not surprised by this editorial.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

Ban SciAm, instead. It's really limp compared to back issues from the '60s and '70s when they had a real impact on the science community. Now they have deteriorated into a less interesting version of Bob Guccione's Omni Magazine.

NOTA said...

Calling for a ban on research into an area is not something you do when you believe you are going to be happy with the results of that research, or when you think the truth is on your side and thus that more research will vindicate your side.

Look at creationists vs evolutionists. Which side would prefer to stop research on, say, human origins, altogether? It ain't the group with all the facts on its side.

I am glad someone relatively mainstream has made this call, though. I think a huge amount of the response to the Richwines and Jensens of the world is based on a similar senitment--the notion that some stuff, even if it's true, ought not to be discussed or looked into too closely. I would prefer to have *that* debate out in the open--shall we decide what may and may not be researched based on what discoveries and ideas might be upsetting and offensive to many of the citizens? Shall some research be suppressed to avoid giving offense or giving the proles the wrong ideas?

The downside is that I can imagine the political coalition of the moment that would like this particular discussion shut up getting enough power to actually start down that path. That's pretty much civilizational suicide, like a big dialog box on your screen saying "Start a new dark age? OK/Cancel".

Alan said...

"However, the article does not read as tongue in cheek."

He's not joking about calling IQ researchers bullies, but he is clearly being tongue-in-cheek about his intent to ban such research. Seriously, read his definition of "ban": it is over-the-top.

pat said...

BTW if Tarantino has an IQ of 160, what IQ test did he take?

If he can't read normal English it wouldn't have been the WAIS or the similar IQ-like aptitude tests the SAT or GRE.

The Stanford-Binet is given individually in a verbal one-on-one setting but it is almost never given anymore.

So it must have been Raven's Progressive Matrices. Right?

Or could it be that he or his publicist just made it up?

Albertosaurus

Cail Corishev said...

The real breakthrough will be more like cloning than genetic engineering; commoditize (mass) synthesis of eggs and sperm from donor cells, in vitro fertilization, and PGID, and you've got a back door into genetic engineering that'll more than do until the real thing gets here.

Well, up to a point. If two dark-haired people have 100 IQs and stand 5'6" and 5'2", how many zygotes are they going to have to produce before they get a blond, genius, basketball player? These methods may weed out the dysfunctional to some extent, but they won't give you offspring much better than the original, at least not in ten tries. I know people who have had 10 kids the old-fashioned way, with none being clearly superior to the parents.

Over enough time and a large population, there would be a eugenic effect, obviously. But in the short term, it's far short of being able to go in and tweak genes to get whatever you want in the very next generation, which seems to be what people are expecting any day now.

Svigor said...

Well, up to a point. If two dark-haired people have 100 IQs and stand 5'6" and 5'2", how many zygotes are they going to have to produce before they get a blond, genius, basketball player? These methods may weed out the dysfunctional to some extent, but they won't give you offspring much better than the original, at least not in ten tries. I know people who have had 10 kids the old-fashioned way, with none being clearly superior to the parents.

Right; up to a point. But we're definitely talking solid positive eugenics, with a pretty clear road map. The biggest question mark is commoditizing the mass production of sperm and egg cells, and it doesn't seem like all that big a hurdle. And I'm talking about more than 10 tries here (if that's what people want to do) - I'm talking commodity prices.

Btw, they'd have much better results just selecting the zygote with the highest projected IQ. :) I don't think it'd be that hard for them to find one with a projected IQ of 120, and no deal-breaking defects.

Svigor said...

Also, couples could fold donors from outside their marriage into the process, if they're really set on chasing traits they don't possess.

Anonymous said...

"Seriously, read his definition of "ban": it is over-the-top."

Are you sure that's not added after he started seeing the blowback? That's what it looks like to me, that he wrote it seriously and then got scared and tried to pass the whole thing off as a joke.

I suspect he's just not that bright. His book gets 3 stars on Amazon, that's not exactly a ringing endorsement.

Cail Corishev said...

Btw, they'd have much better results just selecting the zygote with the highest projected IQ. :) I don't think it'd be that hard for them to find one with a projected IQ of 120, and no deal-breaking defects.

Right, I don't disagree; I just don't know how many you'd have to try on average before you'd get a 120 from two 100 parents. But even if you get 105 from the 100 parents, and 125 from the 120 parents, you're obviously improving over time.

I just meant that's it's not going to produce a generation of super-geniuses who are suddenly going to leave us dumb Americans in the dust and show up to enslave us some day soon if we don't keep up, which is the way it seems like this stuff is usually presented.

Anonymous said...

Steve, just watched Django. write about Dumas. I didn't know he was "black". Your great at doing bios and history and making it simple. do it!

Anonymous said...

There was a time when the Catholic Church would have loved to ban the telescope.

'If it causes me to doubt my faith, I will not look."

Bibibibibib Blubb said...

The gap is an average though. It will close either way.

The reason you guys are so angry is because the longer it takes the smaller that gap will become, no matter the cause environmental or genetic.

The genes are all non exclusive to groups. 100% is shared.

Non white can have white baby and vice versa. Go check!

Also every time somebody says blacks or hispanics are less intelligent you are still wrong, because its an average. Having more "idiots" in one group at a specific time as opposed to another does not make the next black guy inferior by IQ/racist standards. Also does not mean "they" as a group can't get the exact same average as any other. All you need to do is make more babies with anyone smart, black white or Asian.

Tik, tok, tik, tok. Hurry!!! LOL. Stupid racists, don't understand.

Anonymous said...

>The gap is an average though. It will close either way.

That is nothing but your wishful speculation.

John Horgan is quick to claim that of course he doesn't really mean incarcerating people who publish works reaching the "wrong" conclusions, but he will forgive my skepticism when I point out that people of his ilk the world over have been doing exactly that. As Prof. J. Philippe Rushton was preparing his opus magnum "Race, Evolution and Behaviour: A Life History Perspective," it became known that his conclusions were not in conformity with the ruling PC doctrine firmly entrenched in Canada. The Ontario Provincial Police opened a criminal investigation to determine whether Rushton's research constituted "hate speech." The investigation was closed eventually, but one can only imagine doing research with hanging over one's head. More recently, Harvard Prof. Jeremy Waldron had published "The Harm in Hate Speech" in which he advocates laws against "hate speech." And Waldron's book is being seriously and favorably reviewed.

Political correctness is a totalitarian ideology which cannot withstand criticism. of course they want to shut down independent thought - at the point of a gun, if necessary.