- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 0 Hour
- Reading permission
The lone dissenting commentary, by Henry Harpending, objects to Lieberman repeatedly (56 times, not shown) attributing notions of “inferiority” and “superiority” to Rushton, but Lieberman insists that Rushton’s work implies them. He further connotes immoral politics by describing Rushton’s research as “notorious,” “destructive,” and “socially harmful” and situating it within a history of political evils (slavery, genocide, torture, exploitation) and social harm (misery, poverty, inequality).|
Resolute Ignorance on Race and Rushton 16
2.3. Mob science
Rushton was invited to submit a comment, as was one anthropologist “well-known [for his] support of racial differences” (p. 90). The other six individuals were already on record as hostile to such ideas. They are less restrained than Lieberman, their negative descriptors being more numerous (29 vs. 21 per page) and more extreme (“odious,” “quackery,” “same old lies”). They less often use politically neutral terms to allege scientific incompetence, but are over twice as likely as Lieberman (per page) to associate Rushton with racist thinking, evil politics, pseudoscience, social harm, and imminent danger. Their commentaries vary in emphasis and personal abuse, as such commentaries usually do: C. Loring Brace (“inexcusable anthropology”), Fatimah Jackson (“diseased,” “twisted,” “same old misrepresentations”), Jonathan Marks (“modern creationism,” “quackery”), John Relethford (“resurgence of racial classification”), Audrey Smedley (“so-called science”), Verena Stolke (“continuity of racist thought,” “persisting exclusions”), and Fredric Weizmann (“strong claims,” “relationships of minimal importance”).
Taken as a whole, the symposium illustrates what happens when high talk and low blows is practiced collectively: unrestrained mob action to destroy a purportedly vile member of the group, invite a single defender to speak from the sidelines, and allow the target to say a few words which the crowd will ignore or ridicule.
2.4. Resolute ignorance
The first rule in science is to consider the totality of evidence; the second is to make alternative hypotheses compete in explaining it. Rushton has done both, but Lieberman and commentators do neither. Table 2 helps illustrate how a hostile crowd can circumvent these rules yet still appear scientific to uncritical readers in order to maintain “resolute ignorance” about
Resolute Ignorance on Race and Rushton 17
some stubborn, unwelcome fact, as the late sociologist William Beer dubbed it—in this case mean racial differences in general intelligence.
The table lists the seven common rebuttals, ranging from “intelligence doesn’t exist” to “racial differences are unthinkable.” Most critics accept some of the foundational findings (second column) but seldom the same ones, meaning their “yes-buts” often clash. One may “discredit” the notion of racial gaps in intelligence by first accepting some of the evidence (“Yes, intelligence exists”) but then by rejecting the next link in the chain of evidence (“but it can’t be measured fairly”). Another may concede that “Yes, it can measured,” but reject a different link in the evidentiary chain (“but it isn’t important in real life”), yet both stand arm-in-arm to denounce the evidence. All that matters in mob science is that critics howl together at the target.
Insert Table 2 About Here
Lieberman and fellow critics likewise jab haphazardly at different nodes in Rushton’s network of life-history evidence. All dismiss his hypothesis of evolved racial differences in intelligence on the grounds that races don’t exist. But the evidence does not melt away for being relabeled, ignored, or characterized in nasty terms. Therefore, in “yes-but” fashion, some of the seven add that intelligence doesn’t exist either; others that it exists but isn’t important, or isn’t as heritable as it seems; yet others contend that the race-IQ gap is trivial, or will be washed away by the Flynn Effect, or that Gould discredited the whole business of measuring intelligence and brain size. They reunite again in suggesting that no credible scientist could possibly agree with Rushton. Yet it is Gould’s work on cranial capacity, not Rushton’s, that we now learn was fudged and falsified (Lewis et al., 2011)—just as Rushton said it was.
Resolute Ignorance on Race and Rushton 18
Ceci, S.J., & Papierno, P.B. (2005). The rhetoric and reality of gap closing—when the “have-nots” gain but the “haves” gain even more. American Psychologist, 60, 149-160.
Gottfredson, L.S. (1996). Review of Race, evolution, and behavior: A life history perspective, by J.P. Rushton. Politics and the Life Sciences, 15, 141-143.
Gottfredson, L.S. (2005). What if the hereditarian hypothesis is true? Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 11, 311-319.
Jensen, A.R. (1998). The g factor. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Lewis, J.E., DeGusta, D., Meyer, M.R., Monge, J.M, Mann, A.E., & Holloway, R. (2011). The mismeasure of science: Stephen Jay Gould versus Samuel George Morton on skulls and bias. PLoS Biology, 9(6):e1001071.
Lieberman, L. (2001). How “Caucasoids” got such big crania and why they shrank: From Morton to Rushton. Current Anthropology, 42(1), 69-80.
Rosenberg, N. A., Mahajan, S, Ramachandran, S., Zhao, C., Pritchard, J. K., & Feldman, M. W. (2005). Clines, clusters, and the effect of study design on the inference of human population structure. PLoS Genetics, 1(6), e70.
Rushton, J.P. (1998). The new enemies of evolutionary science. Liberty, 11(4), 31-35.
Rushton, J.P. (1995). Race, evolution, and behavior: A life history perspective.
New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.
Rushton, J.P., & Jensen, A.R. (2005). Thirty years of research on race differences in cognitive ability. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 11(2), 235-294.
Rushton, J.P., & Rushton, E.W. (2004). Progressive changes in brain size and musculo-skeletal traits in seven hominoid populations. Human Evolution, 19(3), 173-196.