More Re: Rushton

Andy Skreija (skreija@CWIS.UNOMAHA.EDU)
Thu, 20 Oct 1994 09:54:02 -0500

I have been sort of following the exchange of views regarding Rushton's
ideas and have been moved to add my mickle pickle, or perhaps 1/2 cent's
1) Regarding canons of proof. I submit that yes different types of
statements have to be held to different levels of proof. If I were to
claim that in a certain population people have two arms and legs and one
head, I probably should not have to claim that I examined hundreds of
individuals and that the coeficient of correlation was 1. Nor is it
likely that many people would be interested in examining my research
procedures, data, statistics etc. Whereas if I
claimed that a particular population is telepathic I should be prepared to
have my research design, procedures, data, statistics and math scrutinized and
have a high N.
2) Race.
a) Biologically, the problem is that people are trying to use an
European folk category as if it were a scientific one. My understanding
is that the biologists, after years of wrestling with the issue, gave up
trying to define sub-specific categories. To me this is one of those
G.I.G.O. cases!
b) Culturally and socially in the US it has reality. It is
essentially treated as a synonym for caste, i.e., race = caste. And it
has social reality. A recent example documenting this is last Sunday's
"Frontline" on Berkely HI.
3) Rushton specifically. I am always benused that when people examine an
emotionally charged issue where the result implies some advantage it seems
that the results almost invarialby is that they belong to the superior or
advantaged group. One example is human origin myths or legends
in some Native American cultures where some supernatural being was making
humans and the first batch was underdone = whites, the next batch was
just right = Native Americans (or the teller's group), etc. Another
example is the original homeland of the Indo Europeans which seems to
relocate itself into the researcher's homeland. Remember, the ancient
Greeks thought N. Europeans were too stupid to even make good slaves!