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Re: Genetics & Race
But one of the points of Gould's analysis is to show that the whole history of attempts to link race and intelligence are scientifically worthless, driven by social prejudice, not by logic or evidence. He tells the history in part so that we won't treat such claims as serious scientific hypotheses in the future (even if we may sometimes have to give measured explanations of why that is so to those who are ignorant of the history). The claim that there is a biological link between race and intelligence has about as much credibility as the claim that there is a biological link between religion and sense of humor. --PG

At 6:00 PM +0000 2/20/07, Michael Balter wrote:
Mitchel, go back and read what I said. I never said you were "dissing" Gould. My point is that he was effective because he used science to debunk the race-IQ connection, rather than simply calling those who advocated such views fascists. He saw the need to do that because unlike some fringe ideas we have unfortunately been discussing here, a lot of people think that there are racial differences in intelligence, even a lot of scientists.

To a great extent this is a question of political style, which I see as a very important issue. Some leftists think that it is sufficient to self-righteously brand this and that idea racist and fascist, without much thought to how we go about changing peoples' minds. That might get certain activists kudos for how dedicated to the struggle they are, but it doesn't change the world one iota.

MB
On 2/20/07, Mitchel Cohen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
The set of ideas promulgating the notion that intelligence is based on race, and that Black people are genetically inferior to whites when it comes to intelligence (or anything else, actually), is indeed fascist propaganda.

Why you think that my saying that disses Stephen Jay Gould, who tore that whole notion of race-based intelligence to shreds, is beyond me.

If you actually read my article -- I even linked to it for your convenience -- before opining about it -- you'd see that I quoted from the very work of Gould's that you ridiculously say that I'm dissing.

On another note, the same folks who think that it's okay for THEM to malign people on this list -- including calling those they disagree with infantile, crackpot, conspiracy nuts, etc., take umbrage that I used (and did so correctly) the term "fascist" to describe the race-based (genetic) intelligence "studies" of Herrnstein, Eysenck, Shockley, Jensen and their ideological descendants passing themselves off as scientists. Their articles and speeches gave purported "scientific" cover for fascist movements.

Are we really disagreeing here? Are you saying that the ideas promoting race-based Intelligence are actually legitimate scientific works?

Mitchel


-----Original Message-----
>From: Michael Balter < [log in to unmask]>
>Sent: Feb 20, 2007 8:45 AM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: Genetics & Race
>
>It is particularly silly and unproductive because this is one area where
>scientific arguments,  so successfully put forward in works like our late
>colleague Steve Gould's The Mismeasure of Man, have been particularly
>effective. The Bruce Lahn story I referred to earlier, pdfs again available
>to whoever asks offlist, is another good example of the chips falling where
>they may scientifically. Those who live by the gene sometimes die by the
>gene.
>
>M
>
>



--
www.michaelbalter.com

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Michael Balter
Contributing Correspondent, Science
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