It's been depressing to read online obituaries of Jean Philippe Rushton, other than those on race-realist websites.
Salon's headline: LEADING RACE "SCIENTIST" DIES IN CANADA.
I bet I can name a deceased writer whom Salon would call a scientist without the scoff quotes, notwithstanding that he cooked his data.
The Salon piece was picked up by radical-left biologist P.Z. Myers. Myers was fairly restrained ? "[Rushton] wasted most of his life poisoning the discourse with evil racist nonsense" ? but his comment thread rose to the occasion: "Oh good news" . . . "I’m all for speaking ill of the dead if it prevents other people from being like them" . . . "I also have no trouble speaking ill of the dead, or for that matter being glad that they’re dead if I think they’re bigoted enough to deserve it" . . . "Well, it is better than [sic] a racist is dead than alive. We did not even have to cause it!"
(And what is it with lefties and taboo words? The 37 comments to Myers' piece contain four. Every leftie comment thread is like that ? indeed, so are some of the articles. They kiss their mothers with those mouths?)
Myers' pal Greg Laden got in a kick at the corpse, too.
I never met Rushton, but I read his book about 12 years ago, and it seemed like the work of a conscientious researcher. There are 29 pages of references ? well over 700, the majority to scholarly journals.
If Rushton left one big idea behind, it was surely the Rule of Three. A large number of quantifiable physiometric, psychometric, and behavioral indices (he said) show the population mean for white Europeans falling between those for East Asians and sub-Saharan Africans.
His book is full of substantiating data, and the Rule of Three anyway agrees with common observation and with racial outcomes worldwide, past and present. I'd be surprised to find Rushton proven wrong on the Rule of Three, and to the best of my knowledge he hasn't been.
If that's correct, Rushton added something to our stock of understanding. That's what scholars are supposed to do. So the case against Rushton, point'n'sputter aside, is . . . what?
Like the rest of us, though, Rushton was not infallible. At 0m10s here he argues that the "click" languages of (mostly) southern Africa have no vowels.
That is nonsense. Indeed, East !Xoon, a click language, has the most vowel sounds of any language on earth: either 24 (Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language) or 26 (Wikipedia), if you include all glottalized, pharyngealized, nasalized, and murmured variants.
It is in fact an odd thing about languages that those spoken by the most civilizationally primitive peoples often have the most complex phonologies and grammars. In the language of the Torres Straits, between Australia and Papua New Guinea, the verb has six tenses (remote future, today future, present, today past, recent past, remote past) and three aspects (perfective, imperfective, habitual), not to mention four numbers (singular, dual, specific plural, animate active plural), two voices (active and attainative), and two moods (indicative and imperative).