Why do research?

J. Philippe Rushton (RUSHTON@SSCL.UWO.CA)
Sun, 30 Oct 1994 15:41:46 -0500

with my intellectual answer on why I have spent the last four years
locked away writing a scientific treatise on race differences from
an evolutionary perspective.

For Lane, and many, many others, intellectual curiosity, truth
seeking, and scientific interest are highly suspect if not incomprehensible
motives. The only motives that apparently make any sense are to become
(a) rich and famous, or (b) political angst.

For some deconstructionists Truth doesn't even really exist, at least
not until after the Revolution (Marxist, Hippie, Whatever).

To dismiss an enormous work of scholarship such as Richard J. Herrnstein's
and Charles Murray's The Bell Curve (Free Press, New York) as motivated
by political prejudice and so dismiss the content as was done in the
Toronto Star this morning is easy. No doubt others on this list besides
Lane will also save themselves some energy by so dismissing it and
other books they find offensive.

I don't often find myself agreeing with Richard Lewontin the Marxist
Harvard biologist but in his polemical Not In Our Genes (1984) he does
make the point that scientists must separate out the process of discovery
from the process of verification. Thus it may be true that it was his
ultra-leftist views that led him and his coworkers (like Gould and Kamin)
to critique the IQ and behavior genetic literature, but this doesn't mean
his critique should be dismissed by conservatives. Even Marxists might
be correct sometimes on somethings.

So, if Charles Murray is a declared conservative and Richard Herrnstein
is the son of Hungarian Jewish immigrants, this is irrelevant to whether
they are right or wrong. They document in 850 pages and hundreds of
analyses their theses. This deserves serious refutation, not semi hysterical

Undergraduates and journalists can be forgiven. But where are the