Earlier by Edward Dutton: “Brave And Kind”—Remembering Richard Lynn
Finally ending the Orwellian situation where Wikipedia couldn’t acknowledge evolutionary psychologist Richard Lynn’s passing because it won’t link to Politically Incorrect sources like VDARE.com or American Renaissance, a Main Stream Media outlet has published an obituary, more than a month after he died [Richard Lynn, evolutionary psychologist who declared his belief in the benefits of eugenics—obituary, The Telegraph, August 31, 2023]. But as Danish independent researcher Emil Kirkegaard, who worked with Lynn, has pointed out, the British newspaper’s send-off was quite an astonishing piece.
It's almost Straussian. "Look here's this guy, Richard, he's dead. His research was bad bad bad according to the people who gave us the replication crisis. Also here's literally 4 of his book covers, for work you shouldn't be reading. ;)"— Emil O W Kirkegaard (@KirkegaardEmil) September 5, 2023
It’s as if the anonymous writer wants the readers to realize that Lynn was logically correct, and wants them to read his research themselves. However, he also understands that he must disguise this desire as a Politically Acceptable condemnation of Lynn, though it is a condemnation that the intelligent reader—or the reader “in the know”—will be able to “see through.”
Kirkegaard’s term “Straussian” refers to German political philosopher Leo Strauss (1899-1973), who taught political philosophy at the University of Chicago. Strauss argued that great thinkers are socially and politically pressured not to openly express radical and original ideas. Accordingly, as one commentator puts it, “what they really think is true is found between the lines and often contradicts what they seem to say in the actual lines” [What is Straussianism (According to Strauss)?, by Peter Augustine Lawler, Society, 2011].
Thus, The Telegraph’s obituary begins with Lynn’s own words:
“Evolutionary progress means the extinction of the less competent,” he said. “To think otherwise is mere sentimentality.”
The first paragraph went on to emphasize just what a notorious scientist Lynn was:
[H]is belief in the value of genetic selection to improve the quality of the human population, led to his being described as “one of the most unapologetic and raw ‘scientific’ racists operating today” and as an “unapologetic eugenicist.” [Both descriptions courtesy of the SPLC]
Although “scientific racism”—the idea that there are evolutionary bases for disparities in intelligence between racial and social groups—had been widely debunked by scholarly research, and rendered morally unacceptable following the horrors of the Nazi death camps and programmes of sterilising and killing the unfit and unwell, the publication of The Bell Curve by Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein in 1994 renewed the debate linking intelligence with ethnicity and social class. [Links in Telegraph quotes added by VDARE.com—the Telegraph version contains no links.]
Now, the alert reader might think that the writer is just playing the game and he knows that his readers are aware of it. Of course, IQ differences run in families and “social groups,” so why isn’t the same true for race? But mentioning “social groups” rather than race makes it superficially appear that the anonymous author holds the Correct views.
Note also the Devil Words: “Debunked” is one of those Point-and-Sputterisms like “racist”: a fallacious insult to shut down debate over that which is ideologically inconvenient. The “lab leak” theory of Covid-19’s origin was “debunked” as a “conspiracy theory,” as we all recall, until it was all but proved.
“Morally unacceptable” is another Devil Word, and so obviously irrelevant when talking about scientific research that it seems most improbable that the writer doesn’t know that.
The Telegraph writer highlights Bell Curve /Lynn-style race realism as being targeted by Stephen Jay Gould:
These ideas were attacked by, among others, the evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, who criticised the IQ test for its racial and social bias, but they inspired Lynn, a former professor of psychology at Ulster University, to write Dysgenics: Genetic Deterioration of Modern Populations (1996), in which he argued that improvements in health care and welfare allow people of low intelligence to have more children, leading to an overall decline in the quality of civilised life.
But Stephen Jay Gould was a notorious scientific fraudster. For example, he deliberately manipulated data in a failed attempt to prove that head size does not vary by race. It’s as if the Telegraph writer is signalling to those in the know: These are the kinds of scientists—ideologues in disguise—who criticized Lynn.
The writer also misrepresented the late James Flynn and the “Flynn Effect” (rising IQ scores across the 20th century), implying that it refers to a genuine rise in intelligence (it doesn’t) and undermines Lynn’s views. For the record, even the BBC has admitted that intelligence has been declining in developed countries since the 1970s.
Beyond that, though, the Telegraph writer implied that Lynn proved Flynn wrong because of advancing genetics and reproductive biotechnology. “Lynn was further inspired by advances in the science of genetics to revisit the issue of eugenics … which fell out of favour after the Second World War,” the obituary continued.
The writer did permit Lynn to make his case:
In Eugenics: A Reassessment (2001) Lynn argued that the condemnation of eugenics had gone too far and that the new techniques of biotechnology—prenatal diagnosis of embryos with genetic diseases, embryo selection and cloning—offered a way forward. “The new medical technology of eugenics is going to take off, because it satisfies the needs of individuals, both for themselves and as parents,” Lynn told the BBC. “Parents would like to have children who are free of genetic diseases, and potentially in the future they will want to have children who are intelligent. This is serving people’s needs and wishes.”
In future it would be possible to use in vitro fertilisation to grow many embryos in glass dishes and evaluate their genetic make-up: “The information would cover those conditions—intelligence, personality, personal health, maybe personal appearance, height, sporting and musical abilities—the genetic potential of these embryos would be printed out and the woman or couple would choose which one to implant.
“People use the phrase ‘back-door eugenics’. They say this biotechnology is eugenics coming in through the back door. No one calls it eugenics, but let’s face it, it is eugenics,” he said. “A lot of people think this is eugenics and think it is a good idea.”
The obit very reasonably summarized Lynn’s views on eugenics, dysgenics and Cold Winters Theory (that they generally select for intelligence), and even included eye-catching covers of Lynn’s books, specifically Race Differences in Intelligence and IQ and Global Inequality, which he wrote with Finnish political scientist Tatu Vanhanen. Again, this enticed the curious reader to at least peek at the “forbidden literature.”
As we would expect, the obit included an anonymous critic’s attempt to refute Cold Winters Theory:
Lynn argued that when white Europeans’ Cro-Magnon ancestors arrived on the continent 45,000 years ago, they faced more difficult conditions than in Africa. Greater environmental challenges led to the evolution of higher intelligence. Faced with the icy climate of the north “less intelligent individuals and tribes would have died out, leaving as survivors the more intelligent.”
This, one critic noted, ignored the fact that agriculture, towns and alphabets first emerged in Mesopotamia, a region not known for its cold spells; moreover, it was inconsistent with the present global distribution of IQ scores. If his theory were correct, the people of Singapore, who originated primarily from China’s southern Guangdong province, would possess a lower average IQ than the people of mainland China. Yet the reverse is true.
But even this is followed by another book cover, The Global Bell Curve: Race, IQ, and Inequality Worldwide, as if to say, “Look! Here is where the counterargument probably lies!” The author also summarized Lynn’s research on sex differences in IQ, but of course included Nature’s claim that it is “utter hogwash.”
Only after all that do we get the rendition of Lynn’s life, which is typical of MSM obituaries about “controversial” people who must be anathematized. The obituary is behind a paywall (we linked above to an archive.org version) so you can’t see that the comments below the article are overwhelmingly pro-Lynn, as Kirkegaard noted:
Comments be like. Disabled when? pic.twitter.com/d4BC8RNuUp— Emil O W Kirkegaard (@KirkegaardEmil) September 6, 2023
So, what are we to make of this obituary? An optimistic conclusion: that there are people who work for the Telegraph, an extremely influential and mainstream center-right newspaper, who sympathize with Lynn and other controversial scientists, know they are right, and want their work to be known. But they also know that in our Woke 1984 World, they must carefully “play the game” and let readers read between the lines and be gradually persuaded.
Result: “The Straussian Obituary Of Richard Lynn.”
Edward Dutton (email him | Tweet him) is Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at Asbiro University, Łódź, Poland. You can see him on his Jolly Heretic video channels on YouTube and Bitchute. His books are available on his home page here.