Group Differences, Population Genetics, And The Thought Police
January 28, 2016, 08:41 AM
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For those who like this kind of thing, an interesting discussion has been fired off by a paper in philosophy, of all fields.

The actual paper is here.  The author, who bears the rather Nabokovian name Jonathan Anomaly**, blogged about it on a higher-ed website.

After reading some recent work on the biology of group differences last summer, it occurred to me that as an ethics professor, I should write something about the moral upshot: if there are such differences, what are the consequences for how we should treat one another? Should we support policies that attempt to equalize opportunities only if they produce equal outcomes?

My conclusion was modest: if there are biological differences between groups, and if, as Lee Jussim has argued, some stereotypes turn out to be accurate in part because of correct generalizations about biological differences, these facts should not undermine our commitment to treating one another as moral equals, or to increasing opportunity for all, regardless of group membership.

But I had committed a sin in the eyes of the two referees who read and commented on my paper. I simply acknowledged the possibility of group differences while arguing that whether or not they exist, they should not matter. For having done that, the two journal referees used expletives and exclamation points to give the most venomous and dismissive feedback I have ever encountered. (Needless to say, the paperwas not accepted for publication after such hostile comments.)  [The New Creationists by Jonathan Anomaly; The John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, January 22nd 2016.]

Henry Harpending (who has had some issues of his own getting papers published) passed some remarks on the West Hunter blog about Dr Anomaly's post.

That got picked up by Razib Khan at  All three posts—Anomaly's, Harpending's, and Khan's—have more-than-usually well-informed comment threads.

If you like this kind of thing and have an hour to kill, dive in.


**I once dated his cousin, Suzy Contradiction.