Ten Questions For Charles Murray On Gene Expression -
July 24, 2006, 07:20 PM
Print Friendly and PDF
I was struck by the answer to this question:

9. Any scholar with a sincere devotion to seeking the truth is bound to have their own beliefs, expectations and prejudices falsified on occasion. Can you tell us about occasions on which you`ve discovered something which profoundly altered your beliefs?

Murray writes, with links added by me, as follows.

My epiphany came in Thailand in the 1960s, when I first came to understand how badly bureaucracies dealt with human problems in the villages, and how well (with qualifications) villagers dealt with their own problems given certain conditions. I describe that epiphany at some length in In Pursuit. The turnaround that led to TBC occurred in 1986, when Linda Gottfredson and Robert Gordon asked me to be on an American Psychological Association panel discussing their two papers on the relationship of IQ to unemployment and IQ to crime respectively, both of which discussed the B-W difference. The bibliographies astonished me—I had no idea that so much scholarly work had been done in these fields that so decisively contradicted what I had assumed (taught by the New York Times) to believe. If you want to see how far I moved: in Losing Ground, published in 1984, I cite The Mismeasure of Man approvingly.

My other movement has been less dramatic, but has been intensifying—and will not please the founders and probably most of the readers of Gene Expression. I have been an agnostic since my teens. But I am increasingly drawn to the proposition that of all the hypotheses about God, simple atheism is the least probable. That to be a confident atheist is the silliest of intellectual positions. That thinking about spiritual issues, despite all the difficulties, must be part of being a grown-up.[Read the rest on GNXP.com]