September 16, 2007

More proof that David Brooks was right about IQ being passe

David Brooks's recent NY Times op-ed on how IQ is passe was supported by a new development over the weekend.

You may vaguely recall that back in 2005, the President of Harvard, Larry Summers, the former Clinton Administration Treasury Secretary, made some uncontroversial remarks about how, although men and women have the same mean IQ, the male bell curves are fatter in the tails, which has implications for elite faculty gender balance. His speech was greeted with yawns since everybody in the public sphere in America had long before internalized all the implications of psychometric research, as symbolized by the 2001 appointment of the pseudonymous statistician La Griffe du Lion as Secretary of Education.

Now, the San Francisco Chronicle reports:

Lawrence Summers, the controversial former president of Harvard University, has been replaced as the planned speaker at a UC Board of Regents dinner next week after complaints from faculty members.

"(UC Regents) Chairman Richard Blum and Dr. Summers talked last Thursday and agreed that the regents would have a different speaker," Trey Davis, director of special projects for the UC system, said Saturday.

Davis was unable to say whether a protest letter signed by more than 300 people from the university system had any effect on the decision to find a different speaker for the regents' dinner in Sacramento on Wednesday. He referred those questions to Blum, who is out of the country.

Summers, who was Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton, resigned from Harvard last year after a long-running clash with some faculty members over his questioning whether women might not have the same innate ability as men in disciplines such as science, math and engineering. He also had thorny relations with minority faculty members during his time at the university.

While Summers later apologized for his remarks, which he said were misinterpreted, it didn't slow the criticism, which continues to this day.

"I was appalled and stunned that someone like Summers would even be invited to speak to the regents," said UC Davis Professor Maureen Stanton, who helped put together the petition drive. "I think many of us who were involved in the protest believed that it wouldn't reflect well on the university that he even received the invitation."

The petition called Summers' invitation "not only misguided but inappropriate" at a time when the university is working to diversify its community.

"Inviting a keynote speaker who has come to symbolize gender and racial prejudice in academia conveys the wrong message to the University community and to the people of California," the petition said.

The decision to dump Summers as the speaker at the dinner was abrupt. His name was on the dinner invitation that went out Aug. 31, along with other information about the three-day meeting at UC Davis, Davis said.

"The dinner is an informal, social occasion, with more of a conversation with the speaker than a formal talk," he added. Blum, who is the husband of California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, made the original decision to invite Summers.

Susan Kennedy, chief of staff for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, will replace Summers as speaker at the dinner.

While delighted that the regents have decided to replace Summers, Stanton now hopes the dispute will be quickly forgotten.

"Frankly, we'd like to see the story just die at this point," she said.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

The left is constantly reminding us of the need to respect differences of views and of the absolute right to freedom of speech. They tell us that college faculty members need tenure to protect they're ability to espouse "controversial views." So what do we get? The second someone pipes up and expresses a cpn troversial conservative view, he gets canned, for one reason or another (often through bogus allegations of discrimination).

But when they're left-wing? Nich "million Mogadishus" de Genova is still employed at Columbia. UIC and Northwestern hire two convicted murderers who were terrorist in the left-wing Weather underground, and it took years to get Ward "little Eichmanns" Churchill fired.

Freedom of Speech? Not if you're a conservative.

Anonymous said...

If political correctness makes you stupid, a lot of people are dragging their knuckles all the way to the bank.

Anonymous said...

To some degree Summers deserves what he gets. This is a guy with two Noble winners in the family, who got tenure at the age of 28. He decided to use his talent by whoring himself for the Democrats. What exactly did he expect from a liberal university? Open intellectual debate about human nature?

By the way, don’t you get the feeling Brooks is trying to convince himself more than anyone else? *He* probably got exposed to IQ theory, began to realize it was true, and got scared. It’s not fun to be part of the elite and know the truth, either you have to be honest and face possible ruin (like Summers), or live the rest of your life lying in public. So he dug up the best possible research that disproves IQ (still very weak, which should tell you something) to soothe himself.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that it's women who are leading the witch hunt.

When women dominate an area, they become extremely intolerant and hold very feminine views: emotionalism, sentiment, profound pacifism, status-chasing, and so on. Women at critical mass abhor logic and particularly science. They'd rather feel than think.

The Academy, much of the bureaucracy, and most entertainment is dominated by women.

Summers did not realize how women dominate the University settings. It's all about feeling and showing the right status within the very stratified hierarchy. Universities resemble "the View" or Oprah. No wonder he's persona-non-grata. It's an expression of feminine power.

Naturally our research will suck as women increasingly enforce group-think and express their hostility towards fields dominated by men: mathematics, the hard sciences, engineering, etc.

But this is all about pure power. Who has it, who can make it stick, who can punish whom.

Yeah Brooks is afraid. It does move. Knowing that "God" i.e. multiculturalism and PC is dead has to affect him.

Dennis Dale said...

It might be fairly said of Summers that he was complicit in carving up the Soviet Union's remains among a small group of men, setting back its economic development and doing lasting harm to U.S.-Russian relations. The period is bitterly recalled in the Soviet Union.

Imagine the image: a group of capitalist vultures feasting on communism's corpse, and all our tired lefties can think to tar this guy with is a self-evidently absurd "gaffe."
It's like people don't even try any more.

meep said...

This crap makes me so tired.

My sisters-in-law are both six feet tall, and they don't feel the need to deny the reality that women, in general, are shorter than men. Working in Manahattan, I of average height for a woman (5'4") am taller than many men around me. And again, nobody thinks this remarkable because it's known different ethnic groups have different height distributions. Can't deny something so easily measured.

And yet, people also know that individuals aren't the distribution. Yes, six-foot-tall women exist, but they're greatly outnumbered by six-foot-tall men. So big deal. But women sitting out on the right tail of an intelligence distribution get all huffy when you point out they're outnumbered by men. And it's not just that - they get annoyed when other women decide they don't want to put up with the rat race crap (whether it's race to tenure or some other "prize" these women covet.) Come on, career preferences also differ between the sexes, and there's nothing wrong with that.

I get tired of this crap because I'm a woman who has done better than the bulk of everybody with regards to quantitative fields, and I'm tired of women not up to snuff being crammed into my areas because Math! Needs! Women! It certainly doesn't do me any good, and the good it supposedly does to the recipients of preferential treatment is questionable.

Anonymous said...

I get tired of this crap because I'm a woman who has done better than the bulk of everybody with regards to quantitative fields, and I'm tired of women not up to snuff being crammed into my areas because Math! Needs! Women! - mary pat

Great post.

What's odd is that the push for more women to go into math and engineering fields comes with the complaint that "too many women" who are scientifically inclined are going into fields like biology. Nevermind that biology is on the brink of revolutionary advances. Nevermind that there are more female Nobel Laureates in Medicine & Physiology (7) than in Physics, Chemistry & Economics (4)combined - and two of the latter were named Curie.

So let's drive women out of biology just as the field is getting interesting. Smart.

Anonymous said...

I think that you, Steve Sailer, should become more pro active in battling the PC crowd. Too often you mearly mention their stupidity yet you do not encourage your readers to take action.

Feminazi websites will list the home phone number and other contact information of anyone who crosses their path, and I mean ANYONE. The smallest infractions do not go unpunished with these nazis. So why not emulate them?

Here is the email of Maureen--

At she got reviews that accused her of being boring and speaking in a monotone voice. She looks ugly, too. Here is a picture of her --

Looks like David Koresh.

Anonymous said...

anon 9/17/2007 7:51 AMFeminazi websites will list the home phone number and other contact information of anyone who crosses their path, and I mean ANYONE. The smallest infractions do not go unpunished with these nazis. So why not emulate them?

Because we aren't them, and we don't want to become like them.

Anonymous said...

You're really outdoing yourself today, Steve. This obviously struck a nerve with you. I read it myself in the paper over the weekend and said to myself, what a lame piece. And this from a guy that thinks of himself as a conservative.

Anonymous said...


I think this is just a consequence of the idea that different outcomes (say, more women in medicine than in engineering) imply discrimination. Once you buy that, you have to see "too many women in biology/too few in physics" as a problem to be solved, rather than as an interesting bit of observed data to notice. I think it's not even an attempt to be dishonest, so much as just not being able to see your background assumptions.