Re: What Are the Race Deniers Denying?

Bryant (
15 Oct 1996 10:37:14 -0600

Spam reduced.

>Laura Finsten wrote:
>> () wrote:
>> >As for Steven Jay Gould, I'm surprised you'd bring him up, since
>> >his biases are so patent.

He does, I think, have a sometimes blinding (certainly biasing)
ideological bent. But so did Haldane, in the same direction.

>> >1. The data were cooked. (There is no scientist who does not cook
>> >his data, even if it is just tossing out "outliers."
>> You are whitewashing. Gould has demonstrating major doctoring of
>> data and results in 19th century racial science. Tossing out
>> outliers is required in some statistical analyses and is not
>> "cooking the data".

Well, Gould has indeed exposed absurdly non-scientific (and even corrupt)
practices by scientists with political agendas. Ironically, he himself
most recently contributed to that legacy by inaccurately measuring the
skulls used in Morton's studies. A re-remeasurement found that Gould's
errors were larger than Morton's, and that Morton's errors went in the
opposite direction from what Gould had claimed.

>> >2. Brain size has nothing whatever to do with IQ.
>> There is no evidence to the contrary.

This is mistaken. There is a robust, highly significant relationship
between brain size and IQ within the normal range of cranial capacities.

What is highly debatable is whether the relationship is causal (big brains
'causing' high IQ scores). A lot of this type of argumentation is based on
concepts that seem unlikely to be real, to my evolutionist brain. Like
abundant neuronal redundancy.

I suspect that smaller than average brains, like atypical hemispheric
asymmetries, are a result of developmental stress, and are only heritable
to the extent that vulnerability to developmental stress is heritable. As
I've pointed out before, of course, there *had* to be brain size
heritability in the distant evolutionary past, because cranial capacity
clearly increases in the fossil hominid line.

>> >6. Superiority has no meaning.
>> I think you have an agenda.

I agree; this comment suggests that the poster is not operating in a
scientific framework, but seeks to use scientific or pseudoscientific
arguments to support personal ideological bias.