Professor Jerry Coyne On Hiding From The Truth About IQ
November 05, 2007, 08:18 PM
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I want to amplify the point about Professor Jerry Coyne in Steve's post below. Coyne [send him mail] is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago. In 2003, he wrote this about James Watson in the New York Times:

Watson is also keen about searching for genes that can cause differences in behavior or differences in personality among individuals and groups. As he sees it, ''Knowledge, even that which may unsettle us, is surely to be preferred to ignorance, however blissful in the short term the latter may be.'' I am not so sanguine. What possible good, for example, could come from a study of genetic differences in I.Q. between ethnic groups?

A finding of ''no difference'' may slightly reduce racism, but it would surely be disregarded by most bigots. The opposite finding would have disastrous consequences: institutionalized racism and odious social policies.

Doing Acid, By New York Times

Jason Malloy characterized this position as "I say unto you: A vote for the truth is a vote for Jim Crow!"

But we do have "institutionalized racism and odious social policies," already, based on the idea that all groups have exactly the same average IQ. We have:

So it would seem that ignorance isn't bliss, where social policy is concerned.

Here's a quote from a man defending science against obscurantism:

Whether he knows it or not, [his] forthright declarations, denying any possibility that empirical matters of fact might differ from those assumed by his creed, amount to nothing less than a rejection of the whole institution of science.

Was that Arthur Jensen, attacking Stephen Jay Gould? Or Charles Murray, attacking one of the mob of Bell Curve critics?

No, it was Professor Jerry Coyne, attacking Sam Brownback for raising his hand when asked if he "didn't believe in evolution." [DON'T KNOW MUCH BIOLOGY,, By Jerry Coyne, Edge 212,June 6, 2007] I might agree with him here, but I call it inconsistent.