The Bell Curve

Troy Varange (
17 Dec 1996 16:43:54 -0800

> > : Sociobiology is alive, well and as dangerous as ever because it is used to
> > : mask social injustice by attributing social inequality to natural biology.
> > : Note the popularity of the _The Bell Curve_.
> >
> > Speaking of _The Bell Curve_... :) I'm currently reading it, and I'm
> > wondering if anyone knows of any good critiques that they could recommend.
> Yopu'll find Stephen Jay Gould's "important" one from _The New York Review
> of Books_ It's systematic, but misses the point: most psych testing
> experts do regard "G" -- or IQ -- as measurable, and a significant
> variable between the races. (The Wall Street Journal published an Op-Ed
> column signed by many in the field of psych testing, including Prof Lyken,
> researcher of the last Univ. of Minnesota twin studies that found IQ to be
> a more heritable trait than not -- I think it was published in the Fall of
> 1994.)
> Any way, <National Review> published an entire issue criticising _The Bell
> Curve_. Several interesting critical notices in it are missing -- and
> ought to have been included in Jacoby -- including on I remember from
> Philosopher Loren Lamasky -- I'd call it a libertarian one, which says,
> (in effect, since the measurements are so depressing and contestable),
> "let's compete!" Black's have the lowest rate of business formation of any
> American ethnic groups -- that's tragic, and must be addressed.

Are we supposed to accept the premise that success in business is
success in life as an axiom? Could genetically inherited
morality be inhibiting people from success in business? Are not
the rich associated with a lack of moral values, a lack of
concern for the health of culture as a whole; could this be a
genetic inferiority that pushes the rich to the top of the social

> My view? No one seems to notice the upside, (if we grant the Bell Curves
> thesis): Since Asians' IQ is superior to caucasians, why don't caucasians
> go to
> Asia to study higher education and business instead of the reverse?

Could it be the Asian universities exclude the foreigner?

> The fact that Asians come to America and Europe to study seems to indicate
> that culture matters, after all! In our case, an open, even anarchical
> political-economy that's generated the hugely successful industry of
> science and the industrial revolution -- based on the testing and
> falsification of knowledge-products, and the systematic replication of
> results.
> Somehow science has flourished more in the West -- and I need not add that
> even tiny Holland has trumped Japan in Nobel prizes; Why?

Are we supposed to accept the premise that the institution of the
Nobel Prize is an accurate meassure of scientific worth? Where's
the proof?

> The inference? Culture matters -- culture can even outweigh group IQ!

It can also be inferred that the rich, although they are tops in
this epoch, they may be at the bottom in a society without