Re: What Are the Race Deniers Denying?

15 Oct 1996 23:03:43 GMT

In article <540ejq$>, Bryant <> wrote:
>Spam reduced.

Putting them back in, because this is a political issue and I want to see
whether the race deniers really know what they mean when they make a
factual claim about the findings of biological science. Bogus science
should not be used to support a political agenda.

>>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.

Thank you for this information. Do you have a cite? Alas, it is page 37
news, while Gould's article was page 1 news.

>>> >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 agree about abundant neuronal redundancy. But Harry Jerison's
encephalization quotient (a measure of brain size relative to body size)
and its increase from fish to man. I forget the title of his book. And has
this relationship come to an abrupt halt with homo sapiens?

>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.

I was actually criticizing the type of argument people like Gould engage
in. To wit: Broca cooked his data. Even so brain size has nothing to do
with IQ. Even so IQ has nothing to do with intelligence. Even so,
intelligence is a meaningless idea. Even so, intelligence has nothing to
do with superiority or inferiority, which are meaningless ideas anyhow.