Re: Is Bob Only Exaggerating?
Sun, 26 Jan 1997 14:21:29 -0600

<> wrote:
> It is the last decade I really do want to find out about. The voices of
> the educational establishment in Rushton's support were not very loud.

They don't like him. They think he does bad science. But the CAUT was in
on it, IIRC, and there was a significant number of letters in support of
his tenure.

> Steven Jay Gould sign anything on Rushton's behalf?

No idea.

> Why not show *positive* evidence FOR racial equality.
> These nose holder believe in it. Where's their evidence.

Ummm, what sort do you want? Cultural? I've been trying to provide
that from my own work in African archaeology? Genetics? See the
stuff posted here about sub-speciation in humans? Intelligence? Look
at all the critiques of IQ work and the variety of axes along which
IQ has been shown to vary. Besides, if you want to establish something as
important as differential intelligence or cultural potential among
human populations -- then you're making huge political and scientific
claims, and the person claiming that such differences exist must take
up the onus of proving them. And from what I've seen of late-20th
century 'racial science', it's in a sad state.

> I wrote to some Holocaust Revisionists about this, and they did turn up a
> small group of Gulag Deniers or at least claimants that the atrocities are
> "greatly exaggerated."

It wouldn't surprise me that it exists; the Net has room for every variety
of nonsense that I can imagine. But I see no such equivalent to the
variety of Holocaust revisionists on here -- we have no alt.revisionism.gulag
group that I knwo of.

> and large still are successful, as there is no *book* I can buy that
> answers the Holocaust Revisionists point-by-point, though I can buy books
> refuting Velikovsy and the Creationists.

That may be the case, although I think that there's such an overwhelming
mass of data on works on the Holocaust that such a book would be
unnecessary. Refuting such claims (usually sets of claims) is usually
unrewarding; they are mishmashes of old, discredited data, and the people
making them aren't amenable to convincing in any case. I find it interesting
that evidentiary claims for both the racists and the revisionists on these
newsgroups have the same characteristics as claims by creationists,
Velikovskyites, von Danikenites and so on -- they rely on a very few
discrete sources, they cross-reference to an unbelievable extent, they
use old data and they regard critics as representatives of various
conspiracies against them. Playing with them gets dull fast; last year
an article from a 1911 Encyclopedia Brtiannica on race was resurrected as
proof that racism had a scientific basis -- and to respond to that you
have to basically reinvent 20th-century anthropology for the edification
of the reader.


Scott MacEachern
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Bowdoin College
Brunswick, ME 04011

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