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.and
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. It’s time to put these destructive theories to rest once and for all.some select commenter responses:
Does it really not occur to this author that in the day of Darwin, it was also widely thought that the science of evolution was deeply damaging to society and the public morality, because it undermined belief in religion, which was held to be the font of all morality? In what important way would the result that races differ on average IQ be any more damaging to society and public morality than the theory of evolution in Darwin’s time? Is it really possible that we couldn’t succeed in adjusting our moral and political principles to the new reality? Really, Horgan is just one more Church Lady, atremble that the pat, absolute, sacrosanct rules of her carefully constructed world is going to fall apart. And if a rigidly (perhaps even brutally?) enforced suppression of the truth is the only way he or she can get his or her world to hang together, so be it.
“no redeeming value”? Is knowledge not a redeeming value in and of itself? This article is sickening. I’m sure you’re a very “hard-core defender of freedom of speech and science”, at least until science begins investigating questions whose potential answers make you uncomfortable. Your opinion doesn’t trump the advancement of human knowledge, nor should the opinion of anyone else.
For God’s sake, would someone lynch this guy?
Horgan, Sounds like you are up for a good old fashioned book burning.
The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition sure could have used a guy like you.
John Hogan is spouting unadulterated nonsense. Minnesota reared-apart, monozygotic twins studies, in addition to numerous other studies and data bases overwhelming prove that the major contributor to IQ is genetics, no matter how politically incorrect it is to state that fact. If Scientific American considers political correctness to be more important than science, I will have to cancel my subscription.
I remember reading about a period in history called THE CRUSADES… yeah, among other things, they banned books and other forms of knowledge that didn’t fit within their worldview. They had good reason, of course… I mean, everything they banned had no redeeming value, as far as they were concerned… in fact, it was all quite negative, really… taking people away from God, and all that jazz. The point, sir, is that NO… it should not be banned. Who are you (or anyone else, for that matter) to decide what knowledge has value and what doesn’t? As far as I’m concerned, ALL knowledge has intrinsic value.
I decreed the discovery of fire was not relevant to the tribe as all it was good for was burning up my fellow tribe members.
I decreed the discovery of the Wheel was not relevant to the communities as all it was good for was making everyone weak as newborns and would undermine the well established pecking order established by the strong.
I decreed the discovery of numbers was not relevant to anyone as everyone new that if you didn’t like what going on you just beat the crap out of whom ever and took what you wanted.
I decree that any discovery that doesn’t fit my world view and understanding is not relevant to anyone ESPECIALLY IF IT CAUSES DISCOMFORT.
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
George Bernard Shaw
Irish dramatist & socialist (1856 – 1950)
Having read many of his other blog posts, I am fully prepared to believe he wrote this with profound sincerity.
I can’t imagine a greater condemnation than that.
Here is what this is all about. Every generation has its religion and its dogma. In the 17th century it was conventional Christianity. Now its “diversity”, “multiculturalism”, and Open Borders. Things change. However, some things don’t change.and it goes on.
The dominant elites are always intent on suppressing dissent to the dogma of the day, because the dominant dogma always reinforces the power of the elite. They are frequently quite successful. Science on the other hand is based on facts. Of course, sciences allows new facts to be discovered and added to mankind’s compendium of knowledge.
Back then the scary idea of the day was the heliocentric solar system and the earth orbiting the sun. Galileo Galilei (and others) demonstrated that the dogma of the day was wrong. Since this undermined the dogma (and power) of the church it was unacceptable. Galileo was prosecuted, threatened with torture, and placed under house arrest for the rest of his life.
In our time, the scary ideas are race as a biological / genetic fact and the existence of group differences. Of course, these ideas challenge the dominant elite orthodoxies of “diversity”, multiculturalism, Open Borders, etc. Hence, every effort must be made to suppress them.
However, science isn’t that friendly to anyone’s ideas. Research of the last few decades has established the biological / genetic basis for race. Stephen J. Gould has been shown to be a fraud (probably a deliberate fraud). Lewontin’s notions of gene variability have been superseded by full genome studies. This list goes on and on.
All of this is deeply threatening to the elite establishment as it clings to its preferred worldview and policies. Worse it is a threat to their power.
Galileo said it all.
“Eppur si muove” – And yet it moves.
discover magazine's genetics blogger razib khan speaks uncensored truth. if the tone of scientific american's comment section is representative of their general readerships views on the topic, discover mag might be gaining some market share soon.