Purity is elusive

It seems strange that the reason given by the Federation of American Scientists for their condemnation of James Watson’s views on race and intelligence, and their public characterization of them as “personal prejudices that are racist, vicious and unsupported by science,” is that they’re worried that the credibility of the disinterested truth-seeking scientific enterprise might be compromised by politics. My impression is that the majority view among actual investigators is that genetics plays some role in intergroup differences in intelligence. If that’s so, then how does the FAS statement promote the purity of the scientific enterprise? Should it lead us to trust them on other issues?

5 thoughts on “Purity is elusive”

  1. Inconvenient truths
    The purity of the scientific enterprise counts for very little when it is opposed by the ideological desire to suppress inconvenient truths – whether about the genetic basis of intelligence or any other “sensitive” data concerning intergroup differences.

    Alex. A.

  2. IQ and Race
    Generally I believe science should be a free and open enterprise that should be free from political considerations and should not be afraid to report findings that may offend people. However, on the issue of race and IQ, I do not think this is something we should be studying—regardless of whether it is a scientifically sound theory or not. I just see this type of research being extremely divisive and could inspire serious resentment between different peoples. Studying the differences in IQ between individuals is fine but when you use IQ as a means to distinguish different races and ethnicities I fear only bad things will come (it’s already been used in the past to subjugate certain people and I have no doubt it could happen again). This is one issue you can count me among the “politically correct”—this is one road that is better left untraveled.

    • It’s hard to keep people from thinking about things
      And in any event the divisions are already there. Why is it better to have people say that the reason blacks don’t do so well and Jews and Japanese do much better is that the people who aren’t doing well are being done to by the people who are?

      Belief in colossal deeply-rooted schemes of exploitation has led to very bad things. Putting aside bloodier instances, that belief is a major foundation for the view that the people can’t be allowed to govern themselves, and their traditional arrangements are bad simply as such, so their affairs have to be administered by their betters (who currently take the form of various experts, judges, bureaucrats, social therapists etc.).

      Rem tene, verba sequentur.

    • It is the unfounded belief
      It is the unfounded belief in innate racial equality which TODAY justifies programs which discriminate against white children and employess on a huge scale. If your stated position is sincere, you need to start objecting to AA, set-asides and so on.

      • ” If your stated position
        ” If your stated position is sincere, you need to start objecting to AA, set-asides and so on.”

        I already object to race-based AA, so there’s no problem there.


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