These last posts from George and Jonathan, filled with self-righteousness
and amazingly distorted characterizations of my positions, say it all about
the closeted sectarian left. This whole discussion started when Mitchel
Cohen said that all discussions of race and intelligence were fascist
propaganda. I asked people to read my Bruce Lahn profile in Science from
last December--still only two people have asked for the pdfs, so most of the
posters here don't have any idea what I am talking about--because I saw it
as a case where science had won the day. It sometimes happens. When Lahn
published his original Science papers in 2005, they were trumpeted by every
right ring and racist blog from John Derbyshire at NRO to Steve Sailor at
vdare as evidence that Blacks were inferior in intelligence, and if you
Google Lahn you will find tons of this stuff. I broke the story in Science
that the followup studies by Lahn and Rushton had failed to show this
connection. My story has received a lot of attention and has had the effect
of stopping all this in its tracks. In doing so, not by pursuing an agenda
but simply doing my job as a reporter and reporting the facts (although it
was my idea to do this particular article), I did more to counter the
race-intelligence connection than all of the people who have attacked me
here put together and multiplied by 10. Why? Because too many leftists are
still talking to themselves, and think it is beneath their ideological
purity to actually engage with racist ideas in the real world, where
political correctness and self-righteousness don't get you anywhere. Science
operates in a social and political context, sure, and I have acknowledged
that all along the way in this discussion. But if you believe that
progressive ideas are right and true, then science also has the power to
help bring that truth to light. That is what S.J. Gould realized when he
wrote The Mismeasure of Man, a book that is still assigned in university
courses today and which has had a huge influence--and all because Gould knew
that he had to confront scientific racism rather than ignore it, and on a
scientific as well as a political basis. Some people here would rather stew
in their juices than follow Gould's example.

Stew away, some of us are trying to work in the real world.


On 2/22/07, George Salzman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>  *Subject:* Re: Genetics & Race
> *From:* Michael Balter <[log in to unmask]><[log in to unmask]>
> *Date:* Wed, 21 Feb 2007 18 <javascript:void(0)>:06:30 +0000
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> This is such an amazing distortion of my position on the issues we have
> been discussing that I find it staggering and question myself whether it is
> possible to discuss these issues here. I will leave the list if George
> personally asks me to, although I would be interested to hear whether others
> feel that these discussions have been useless.
> M
> ----------------------------------------------------------
> Dear Michael,
>       The issues here are much larger than you or me or the SftP listserv.
> The listserv has hardly discussed anything bearing directly on the fact that
> global human society is on a dead-end. I forget whether it's 80,000 people a
> day who die, basically from malnutrition, lack of potable water and related
> deprivation. The number is huge, and most of them are children, and most of
> them have skin color different from that of damn near everyone on this list.
> How many of us middle class people know the amount of fossil fuel we consume
> with our automobiles, air conditioning, electric dishwashers and driers,
> home laundry equipment, power lawn mowers, air travel, audio and television
> equipment, electric tooth-brushes and pencil sharpeners, ski-lifts and
> snow-making machinery, electric golf carts, overheated overlighted large
> houses, electric blankets, second houses, motor boats, power-this and
> power-that? How many thousand miles a year do we feel we are 'entitled' to
> fly and drive? What part have you, Michael, taken in the struggle to prevent
> that great center of scientific research, the University of California at
> Berkeley, from firing (or, as they say in academize, not granting tenure, as
> though tenure is a gift from the all high administrators) to Ignacio
> Chapela? What has the American Association for the Advancement of Science
> done to confront that threat to so-called academic freedom bought and paid
> for by Syngenta? And how much of its budget does the AAAS get from federal
> sources? The threat to the world's food supply is not being done by mistake,
> it's for profit above all else. The transgenic contamination of corn, first
> discovered here in Oaxaca and reported in *Nature* by Ignacio Chapela and
> a student of his, David Quist, was disowned by the cowardly editorial staff
> of *Nature* on the basis of a campaign mounted by the biotech industry.
> I've written about it in the posting that begins,
> -------------
> *Mexico, birthplace of corn, threatened by its contamination *
> *Scientist who first announced the danger threatened by firing *
> *A chance for you to act*
> May 2, 2004
> this page is at
> *Subject: Help protect honest, courageous scientists. Not just an academic
> matter.
> From:* George Salzman <[log in to unmask]<[log in to unmask]>>
> *Date:* Sun, 02 May 2004 19 <javascript:void(0)>:31:11 -0500; 20:03:05
> -0500
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *BCC:* (entire general list)
>       Corn is a primary food for many millions of humans. Transgenic corn
> was invented by agro-industrial giants in pursuit of greater profits. In
> 1998 the Mexican government, aware of the threat to its native corn,
> prohibited planting transgenic seeds, but permitted their importation for
> animal feed. In November 2001, in *Nature*, a premier British science
> magazine, Prof. Ignacio Chapela of the University of California at Berkeley
> and David Quist, a graduate student, reported finding transgenic
> contamination of Mexican corn. Agricultural bio-tech interests mounted a
> vigorous smear campaign to discredit the research. But the original results
> were subsequently confirmed. In that same year, 2001, Prof. Chapela's review
> for tenure began. *After three years, the Chancellor of the Berkeley
> campus denied tenure.* Prof. Chapela's position there is set to end on
> June 30.
> -------------
>       How much are you paid to plow the narrow furrow that you are
> assigned? Have you ever seen and talked with a farmer who workes with his or
> her hands, who relies more on metabolic energy than what I call mechanical
> energy to sustain the life of his or her family? Do you have any idea why so
> many of them here in Oaxaca have had to abandon their land to seek jobs to
> get money as hand laborers in the great USA as roofers, stoop laborers in
> agribusiness-run industrial farms? Do you think that possibly, just
> possibly, it might not be because of their inferior genetic heritage? In any
> event, I'm not interested in reading your 'science-out-of-context'
> arguments, written from within your subsidized middle-class bubble.
> Subsidized, I should add, as all of us middle-class folk are, by the labor
> of the poor people of the world and the robbery of so-called natural
> resources, which is rapidly destroying the ecosphere, as many frequent-flyer
> ecologists and other learned persons run around the world informing the rest
> of us.
>       There's no reason for me to ask you to leave the SftP listserv. If
> others want to make an effort to change your perception of the world, that's
> no longer a concern of mine. I just want Steve to take me off this list.
> Sincerely, with disappointment but not personal rancor,
> *George*
> ****


Michael Balter
Contributing Correspondent, Science
[log in to unmask]