This isn’t the “PC police” talking

Sunday, April 16th, 2017

Scientific American has published an embarrassingly unscientific piece by Eric Siegel on the real problem with Charles Murray and The Bell Curve:

Attempts to fully discredit his most famous book, 1994′s “The Bell Curve,” have failed for more than two decades now. This is because they repeatedly miss the strongest point of attack: an indisputable — albeit encoded — endorsement of prejudice.

So, the science is unassailable, but we should vehemently attack an encoded endorsement of prejudice that is based on that (apparently) unassailable science? “This isn’t the ‘PC police’ talking,” he asserts, but he completely ignores what Murray explicitly says about prejudging people:

Even when the differences are substantial, the variation between two groups will almost always be dwarfed by the variation within groups — meaning that the overlap between two groups will be great. In a free society where people are treated as individuals, “So what?” is to me the appropriate response to genetic group differences. The only political implication of group differences is that we must work hard to ensure that our society is in fact free and that people are in fact treated as individuals.


  1. Borepatch says:

    Scientific American stopped being about science years ago. There’s the infamous “Science Defends Itself From ‘The Skeptical Environmentalist’” hit job on Bjorn Lombord, of course. But there’s also the “climate heretic” hit job on Judy Curry.

    What a tragic fall for a once great publication.

  2. Bob Sykes says:

    Unfortunately, the Left has spent decades requiring people to act and vote their identities. All politics, and many social interactions, are now identitarian. There is no going back to “people are in fact treated as individuals.” That boat has sailed.

    Anyway, treating people as individuals is possible only in an ethnically pure society, or one dominated by a single ethnic group, as the US used to be. The rise of identitarian politics and policies is inevitable in a multi-ethnic society, as every historical example attests. In this case, the left is being driven by historical forces. Our current situation was predicable once the White majority fell below a certain percentage. If Whites become a mere plurality, White Nationalism will become de rigueur for Whites.

  3. Bruce says:

    The Bell Curve puts the case that income inequality combined with intellectual inequality is bad. Colleges have a business model of combining income inequality and intellectual inequality. Show me where a man gets his corn pone, and I’ll tell you what his opinions are.

  4. Lucklucky says:

    Scientific American is not about science, like the New York Times isn’t about news, like the objective of 99% of journalists is not to report news.

    Their objective is always the construction of more and more politics.

    They are totalitarians in fact because their objective is to give total power to politics.

  5. Jim says:

    Only a very small part of “The Bell Curve” even discusses group differences in IQ and what was stated in that book about black-white IQ differences – basically a one standard deviation difference – has been know since IQ testing of US Army recruits in WW I. But the simple statement of the data on black-white IQ differences caused liberals to completely freak out.

    Liberals argue at one moment that IQ is meaningless and in the next moment they fret about greater lead exposure among US blacks affecting their IQ negatively. They cannot think rationally about IQ.

  6. Alrenous says:

    Some years ago I was delighted by old back issues of Scientific American, and ended up reading years of them in a library. They became terrible long before they got to the present, so I quit. New Scientist lasted slightly longer. New Scientist was good enough that I accidentally discovered the replication crisis in the 90s, from remembering enough of the medical studies to notice how many contradicted earlier medical studies.

  7. Senexada says:

    Another example of Scientific American going explicitly anti-science is their blog post Should research on race and IQ be banned?

    “Science” in the popular press is rapidly becoming an Inigo Montoya word: “you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  8. Kydoimos says:

    I read Scientific American in the 1980s and found it a challenging read. You actually had to have some basic knowledge of various sciences to read an issue. There was no hand holding.

    A while back, it went from science reporting to science advocacy, and so the articles stopped discussing actual discovery, and started shilling for more funding. The discussion of actual discovery, of hypothesis, testing, and theory, disappeared.

    Now, virtue signalling is the latest/greatest way self-promote. And so, discussion in Scientific American is now a sales-pitch for funding based upon how virtuous, diverse, PC, SJWish the proponent is.

    I often wonder if the name of the magazine is no longer the intended audience, but rather, who they target for persecution.

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