>I also didn't realize that anybody still believed the Gould/Morton story. Here
>are the comments of two paleoanthropologists C. Loring Brace and
>posted to evolutionary-psychology
>[24 July 2000]
>(1) There is no evidence whatsover that Dr. Samuel Morton packed seeds
>into white crania more forcefully than he did with other groups. That
>Morton might have been a racist is very likely, but that he fudged the
>data from his collection is not evident.
First, Gould does not claim that Morton consciously fudged any data.
He wrote: "I detect no sign of fraud or conscious manipulation.
Morton made no attempt to cover his tracks and I must presume he was
unaware that he had left them. All I can discern is an a priori
conviction about racial ranking so powerful that it directed his
tabulations along preestablished line."
Second, Gould distinguishes four different ways in which Morton may
have unconsciously biased his data-"[s]ubjectivity directed toward
prior prejudice", which covers the claim about seed packing, is only
one of these. He claims, citing Morton's published data that "In
skulls direcetly measured by both methods [shot and seed], values for
shot always exceed values for the light, poorly packing seed. But
degrees of discrepancy matach a priori assumptions: an average of
5.4, 2.2, and 1.8 cubic inches for blacks, Indians, and whites,
respectively. In other words, blacks fared poorest and whites best
when the results could be biased toward an expected result." That
seems pretty good evidence that Morton packed seed more looseley in
the skulls of blacks and Indians. It certainly isn't "no evidence".
>(2) There is a paper by John Michael, published in either the 1987 or 1988
>volume of Current Anthropology in which Michael, as an undergraduate,
>re-examined the Morton Collection while at Penn, and found that indeed,
>Morton's rankings were correct. Gould was contacted (the full story is
>available from Alan Mann, a physical anthropologist there), but refused to
>comment taking the condescending position that he had written what could
>only be the last word on Morton's Collection. (As an aside, I have spoken
>with many students, graduate and undergraduate and colleagues in
>sociocultural and physical anthropology who believe that Gould actually
>studied the Morton Collection. He never did, but only the published
>accounts of Morton's. Which is fine, but the world out there has a
>different impression than the real one).
>The recent edition of Mismeasure makes no mention of Michael's study which
>was brought to Gould's attention giving him ample opportunity to comment
>in his new edition. I find it very difficult to swallow that opinion that
>this was simply some simple oversight.
It may be that Gould thought that Michael's article (which I have not
seen) was not worth commenting on. Which of Morton's many (and
changing) rankings does Michael claim is correct? I presume he does
not claim that Morton was correct to conlcude that Caucasians have on
average larger skulls than Africans. So what is his claim?
>(3) The discussion by Gould on IQ, "g". factor anaysis, is simply
>dismissive as if opined by god him(her)self without any attempt at
>scholarship or reviewing of recent findings.
>These examples are such a far cry from and contrast with "Ontogeney and
>Phylogeny", that I have lost my respect and admiration for this openly
>politicalization of areas of difficult research and complexity to
>which he is simply blinded by both his politics and pretentiousness.
>For fuller views, read the Rushton review of Mismeasure.
Rushton is a racist lunatic.
>Amen to that, Ralph. John S. Michael's paper appeared in Current
>Anthropology in April, 1988. Gould did acknowledge his mistake in a
>chapter in Sandra Harding (ed.) The "Racial" Economy of Science: Toward a
>Democratic Future (1993). He noted that he had not gone to Morton's
>original text but worked from a Xerox copy of Morton's chart and read the
>mean for the African sample as 80 when the range was 84-98. As he
>admitted, "I never waw the inconsistency -- presumably because a low value
>of 80 fit my hopes." As he noted, "The reason for this error is
>embarrasing" (footnote on p. 109). Since he wrote so much on the history
>of ideas and the history of science, he, of all people, should have known
>better, but he was persistently susceptible to reflecting what Herbert
>Butterfield called "Whig History," or "presentism," that is interperting
>the outlook of the people of the past from the perspective of the values
>of the present.
Gould admits this error in the original 1981 edition of Mismeasure
(p.66 footnote)! He acknowledged and corrected it and so it does not
undermine the critique of Morton published in the book one bit.
Loring Brace, Ian Pitchford and others should at least read Gould
before making their dismissive criticisms. If this is the quality of
stuff posted to the evolutionary psychology list, I for one am not