* By the way, if you decide to send out dissenting tweets on this topic, please don’t copy Amy Harmon on them, because she will just use them to write a pity party follow-up article about how her New York Times article intended to “ignite another firestorm of criticism” of an infirm 90 year old scientist led to her receiving unappreciative tweets in her Notifications: that is Hate. In contrast, ginning up a Two-Minutes Hate against James D. Watson in the New York Times is Responsible Journalism.
* Why is James D. Watson talking about genetics when Amy Harmon, obviously, knows best?
* The refusal and inability of the right and conservative side of this country to defend “The Bell Curve” will prove to be most pivotal to its eventual demise. If you don’t defend the curve, then you are essentially accepting the premise that blacks and whites and hispanics are all equal, essentially handing the left and liberal side a big stick to beat you up when they do not in fact turn out to be equal, which they have been doing it non stop since the 90′s.
* Amy Harmon has a BA in American Studies, so – obviously – she is more of an expert in genetics than is Nobel Prize Winning molecular biologist James Watson.
* It’s always a sad moment when someone who looks so nice writes so stupidly (I’ll charitably assume not deliberately falsely). Someday Ms. Harmon should ask herself, (1) If there are obvious physical differences between races, how can you exclude a priori differences in nonphysical traits? (2) Since we know already that there are some nonphysical differences, such as those that alter disposition to certain diseases, how can you know a priori that there aren’t others? (3) If any two people of the same race can have different intelligence, how on earth can you insist a priori that any two very large groups of people must have the same average intelligence? The thing that is hard to forgive on her part is her willingness to act as an enforcer of orthodoxy toward a man who towers above her intellectually. But the Times is very good at helping its writers surmount that hurdle.
* She wrote the race-bait story that would win her first Pulitzer in spring-summer 2000, before she turned 32. The race-hustle gravy train sells, even for non-Blacks.
But Amy Harmon is no run-of-the-mill Methodist from Michigan or somewhere. On top of the circumstantial evidence that Amy Harmon is Jewish (her looks; her NYC origin; her unexplained rise to the top, hired by NYT at age 28 or 29, in a field requiring connections; her politics), here we have her confirming it in a 2006 article:
“THERE are a lot of things I may never know about K2a2a, one of four founding mothers of a large chunk of today’s Ashkenazi Jewish population and the one from whom — I learned last week — I am directly descended.”
So it would appear that Amy Harmon (BA, American Studies; landed in high-end journalism in a manner unexplained) may be interested in genetics specifically because of her Jewish identity. Take your Jewish identity and hold it firm, Amy, but why lead a highbrow pitchfork mob against us White Christians all the time? Give us a break.
* Before Stalin wacked his political enemies, he had a show trial where they would recant their blasphemies against Soviet Marxism. Looks like Watson’s show trial in the NYT is dragging on because he’s just not cooperating.
Watson was given another chance to recant and he told the establishment to pound sand: he’s a Scientist and he’s going with the conclusion that the evidence supports. As a Nobel winner, Watson’s opinion carries a lot of weight. Should be good fun watching the establishment squirm and twitch over this one.
* If you remember, Amy Harmon is the writer who did the weird milk-chugaluggin’ white supremacy “Could Somebody Please Debunk This?” piece last summer, in which a black high school student was razzed by classmates over IQ claims, and then set out to blow them away by researching the subject, but found that the evidence wasn’t quite there to debunk the claims.
Harmon took over the case and found that she too was having trouble getting any qualified genetics experts to go on the record over the issue, beyond a vague kumbaya statement. For some weird reasons, these researchers just don’t want to go on record with specific, scientific, detailed refutations. Some are happy to say “race is a social construct,” because what the hell does that even mean, and it’s probably true from some (beside-the-point, irrelevant) angles.
The great thing about articles like Harmon’s is, whatever their conclusions, they are ‘re-platforming” these issues and grappling with them on the scientific merits. This can only be good in the long run. Until now the strategy has been to try to slime and de-employ anyone raising the issues, ignore the facts, and move it to a discusstion of racism.
* It’s laughably funny that Harmon has a BA in American Studies, wrote some articles on DNA, and proclaims herself an arbiter of permissible opinions on the science of genetics (DNA) and environmental (nurture) influence.
* MORE COMMENTS: You could have also added the data showing that children of high income black parents have lower IQs than the children of low income white parents (and that this difference corresponds pretty exactly to an expected regression to two different genetic means.)
Does anyone who is actually familiar with the data, sincerely believe deep down that there is some big missing “environment” factor that has caused a one SD difference since tests have been conducted.
I mean, it’s one thing to nit-pick about whether the data is absolutely 100% conclusive in showing that genes account for the whole difference. But doesn’t it bother anyone on the environment side that they can’t even begin to propose an actual environmental mechanism to account for the gap.
The best they can come up with are things like eating lead paint or having “stereotype” test anxiety. Of course there is always “systemic racism” to blame, but that is a magical force field that can’t actually be measured or identified. So it’s nothing more than a place holder for a “thing we can’t actually find, but assume to exist.”
* Interesting tweetstorm by someone called A New Radical Centrism on the Amy Harmon/RobertPlomin thread about Watson on Twitter:
1/ So, you go after the low-hanging fruit — an old man whose world view was framed decades ago and who is not an expert in intelligence. Why?
2/ It’s a retreat strategy –- your paper and all the other (former) bastions of environmentalism are hitting soft targets as you backtrack from a decades-long battle that you know you’re not winning. Your own paper, Guardian, New Statesman, all publishing in 2018…
3/ … dispatches from the front giving your readers the bad news about the research advances on genes and intelligence. (By mid-adulthood about 80 percent of intelligence is attributable to genes, according to recent large studies.)
4/ In the genes vs environment battle over intelligence, your side has lost. Now you’re digging in for the bigger battle, over group differences, and have apparently settled on a strategy of winning skirmishes where the enemy is weakest. Mr. Watson, for example.
5/ Good luck w/ that. You’ll need it. Thanks to Reich and others in genomics, we now know that the “race is only a social construct” standby isn’t going to work anymore. And you can’t attack “g” or claim cultural bias in IQ testing, either –- a near-consensus is now against you.
6/ You can try to subtly smear the majority of scientists (most of whom lean left in their politics) who publish research on intelligence and who believe that the the racial IQ gap has a mostly genetic basis…
7/… with the “white supremacist” label, ignoring the fact that non-Jewish whites fall well behind NE Asians and Ashkenazi Jews on average IQ. So where’s the “white supremacy” in that?
8/ This leaves you with the current unavailability of DIRECT genetic evidence for existing group differences as your main talking point, but for how much longer?…
9/ …As Richard Haier has said, “It would not be unreasonable to hypothesize that genes at least partially influence group differences.”
10/ But since we we both know that no scientist at any major institution is ever going to get money to conduct genetics research into group IQ differences – what we call out here in flyover country a “rigged game” — you’ve probably got some time left to consider your options.
11/ But I’d still worry if I were you: The circumstantial evidence is overwhelming. Spectacular Ashkenazi Jewish Nobel Prize disproportionality, lowest-income NE Asian kids scoring much higher on average on the SATs than the very highest-income black kids…
12/ …“stereotype threat” meta-analysis failure, robust & reproducible published brain size and intelligence studies, lowest-income white kids scoring as high on average as the highest-income black kids on SATs, extreme consistency of racial gaps in IQ across dozens of tests…
13/ Finally, about Dr. Francis Collins’ carefully calibrated statement in your story that most experts “consider any black-white differences in I.Q. testing to arise primarily from environmental, not genetic, differences,” note the skilled usage of the word “primarily, “ and…
14/… also note that this statement is not true: The only recent large-sample survey of published PhDs in intelligence research indicated that most of them favor a genetic explanation for the racial IQ gap.
By Amy Harmon
N. is a black high school student in Winston-Salem, N.C., who does not appear in my article on Thursday’s front page about how human geneticists have been slow to respond to the invocation of their research by white supremacists. (Note: N.’s full name has been removed to minimize online harassment.)
But the story of how he struggled last spring to find sources to refute the claims of white classmates that people of European descent had evolved to be intellectually superior to Africans is the reason I persevered in the assignment, even when I felt as if my head were going to explode.
N. had vowed to take up the subject for a persuasive speech assignment in his Rhetoric class. Googling for information that would help him, however, yielded a slew of blogs and videos arguing the other side. “There’s only one scientific response for every hundred videos or so,” he told me when we spoke on the phone.
“Could somebody please debunk this blog post, if it can be debunked?” he finally posted on the Reddit forum r/badscience. “It’s convincing me of things I really don’t want to be convinced of.”
I was introduced to N. by Kevin Bird, a white graduate student at Michigan State University who had answered N.’s Reddit query, and others that had been flooding that forum about claims of racial differences that invoke the jargon and scientific papers of modern genetic research.
I had misgivings about simply reporting on the rise of a kind of repackaged scientific racism, which I had been tracking as a national correspondent who writes about science. Under the coded term “race realism,” it implied, falsely, that science had found a genetic basis for racial differences in traits like intelligence and behavior. Why draw attention to it?
But a series of Twitter posts from Mr. Bird late last year crystallized a question that had been on my mind. Unlike in the case of climate change, vaccines or other areas of science where scientists routinely seek to correct public misconceptions, those who study how the world’s major population groups vary genetically were largely absent from these forums. Nor was there an obvious place for someone like N. to turn for basic, up-to-date facts on human genetic diversity.
“Right now the propaganda being generated from misrepresented population genetic studies is far outpacing the modest attempts of scientists to publicly engage with the topic,” Mr. Bird had tweeted. “Why,” he asked in another tweet, “are scientists dropping the ball?”
In the course of investigating that question, I spent many hours digesting scientific papers on genetics and interviewing their authors. Some of them, I learned, subscribed to a common ethos among scientists that their job is to provide data and let society decide what to do with it. Others felt it was not productive to engage with what they regarded as a radical fringe.
It was more than a radical fringe at stake, I would tell them. Lots of nonscientists were just confused. It wasn’t just N. Mr. Bird had fielded queries from a graduate student in applied physics at Harvard and an information technology consultant in Michigan whose Twitter profile reads “anti-fascist, anti-bigot.’’ I talked to an Army veteran attending community college in Florida and a professional video gamer who felt ill-equipped to refute science-themed racist propaganda that they encountered online. It had come up in a source’s book group in Boston. They wanted to invite a guest scientist to tutor them but couldn’t figure out who.
But another reason some scientists avoid engaging on this topic, I came to understand, was that they do not have definitive answers about whether there are average differences in biological traits across populations. And they have increasingly powerful tools to try to detect how natural selection may have acted differently on the genes that contribute to assorted traits in various populations.
What’s more, some believe substantial differences will be found. Others think it may not be feasible to ever entirely disentangle an immutable genetic contribution to a behavior from its specific cultural and environmental influences. Yet all of them agree that there is no evidence that any differences which may be found will line up with the prejudices of white supremacists.
As I struggled to write my article, I began, sort of, to feel their pain. With each sentence, I was striving not to give credence to racist ideas, not to misrepresent the science that exists and not to overrepresent how much science actually does exist — while trying also to write in a way that a nonscientist, like N., could understand.
It was hard. It did almost make my head explode. I tested the patience of a very patient editor. The end result, I knew, would not be perfect. But every time I was ready to give up, I thought about N. Here was a kid making a good-faith effort to learn, and the existing resources were failing him. If I could help, however incompletely — even if just to try to explain the absence of information — I felt that was a responsibility I had to meet.
Luke: I got this email:
Why was it okay for Steven Pinker to say Jews may be smarter than gentiles? Or for Malcolm Gladwell to say Africa has the most super-geniuses at the tail end due to greater gene variability?
But it is so wrong for Watson to say blacks generally have lower IQ? If Watson said Gypsies may have lower IQ, who would have cared? (No one cares about Gypsies.) If he said blacks are smarter, he probably would have been praised. Just look at Google results for top US scientists. And there is no controversy about speaking of racial differences in sports: blacks are better.
So, Watson’s crime was not against the ideology of equality. After all, so-called ‘progressives’ don’t mind if people say blacks are superior in intellect, wisdom, musicality, creativity, dancing athleticism, sexual prowess, charisma, vibrancy, and etc.
Watson’s crime was he didn’t kneel at the altar of black superiority. Blacks, along with Jews and homos, are holy icons of the West, and it is blasphemous to say they are naturally disadvantaged in anything. Jared Diamond said the primitive natives of New Guinea are smarter but no controversy ensued.
“My perspective on this controversy comes from 33 years of working with New Guineans in their own intact societies. From the very beginning of my work with New Guineans, they impressed me as being on the average more intelligent, more alert, more expressive, and more interested in things and people around them than the average European or American is.”
If Watson had said Africa is brimming with people far smarter than whites and just waiting to be discovered(which was Gladwell’s shtick), would there have been any controversy? No. Praising, flattering, and celebrating blackness as superior is the American equivalent of secular spirituality in the post-religious age. It is the Cult of Identity where some groups are holier than others.
Also, the cult of black superiority (in every field) instills whites with ‘guilt’ because black failure in anything would be the fault of whites. Apparently, if not for white historical evil, blacks would all be creating and living in Wakandas. So, if blacks lag in school, it’s whitey’s fault and whites should be paralyzed with guilt. And then, Jewish elites can manipulate this guilt to make whites serve other peoples, esp Jews, for atonement. White Guilt says whites must serve their own identity and interests. They must forever atone. Oddly enough, one way whites must atone is by supporting the Zionist oppression of brown Palestinians. So much for equal justice. Has Begley ever written a piece about how Jewish power manipulates the US to support hateful murderous campaigns against Palestinians, Iranians, and other Muslims?
It is a lie that the current ideology is about equality. It is really about blindly acknowledging and serving the superiority of Jews, blacks, and homos.
Marc Lamont Hill, a black guy, called for equal justice for Palestinians, and guess what Jewish Power did to him. He was fired from CNN just like Rick Sanchez. So much for Jewish commitment to equality. So, American media power favors Jewish-Zionist supremacism(that wiped Palestine off the map from the river to the sea) than call for equal justice for Jews and Palestinians in Palestine/Israel.
This would be easy to prove, one way or the other, with an admixture study. We use admixture studies for many other traits, like BMI.
Someone should explain to Amy Harmon what an admixture study is.
— Gregory Cochran (@gcochran99) January 1, 2019
IQ scores are highly predictive of certain measures of success like educational achievement, health in middle age and life expectancy. But that doesn’t mean they are unchangeable, or not influenced by culture/environment. Recommend @StuartJRitchie‘s book: https://t.co/aGpQ4Adcj8.
— Amy Harmon (@amy_harmon) January 2, 2019