The boys over at Slate.com are busy engaging in Maoist-style self-criticism, leaving VDARE.com as the only professional publication that writes abundantly and honestly about IQ.
From today's New York Times:
Ever since the Nobel prize winner James D. Watson asserted six weeks ago that Africans have innately lower intelligence, fervid debates about race, genes and I.Q. have sprung up on the Web, in publications and in conference rooms.
But in recent days, along with long-simmering arguments over evidence, have come others about whether the topic is even worth studying, or whether it can be discussed openly without spurring charges of racism…
The risk of giving ammunition to racists or undercutting principles of equality hovers over such conversations like an uninvited dinner guest. That unwelcome visitor has been loitering at the online magazine Slate since last week, when it ran a three-part series arguing that hard science is showing that blacks’ I.Q. scores are lower than those of whites — and whites’ scores are lower than those of Asians — because of genetically based differences in intelligence.
Appearing on a site with a liberal bent and written by its generally liberal science and technology columnist, William Saletan, the articles drew particular attention — and particular scorn. “William Saletan and the Editors of Slate Demonstrate That They Are Not Members of the Genetic Elite” was the headline on the Web site of the economist Brad DeLong (delong.typepad.com). On his popular political Web site, talkingpointsmemo.com, Joshua Micah Marshall referred to it as “Will Saletan’s nauseating foray into black genetic ‘pseudo-science.’” …
On Wednesday, Mr. Saletan posted a fourth article labeled “Regrets,” confessing that he had not realized that J. Philippe Rushton, a researcher on whom he had heavily relied, is the president of an organization that has financed a segregationist group. He also amended his previous position, stating that it was too early to come to any firm conclusions about the causes of racial differences in intelligence.
“If I had to do it again, I would have been much more circumspect about judging” the evidence, Mr. Saletan said in an interview. He later added that he should have written about inequality and left race completely out of it.
Jacob Weisberg, the editor of Slate, said that since Mr. Saletan is a senior writer, his posts went up without anyone there reading them. “Given the sensitivity of the subject, Will’s commentary should have been carefully edited in advance of publication, and it wasn’t,” he wrote in an e-mail message.
Mr. Weisberg said he was disturbed by the casual “what if” thought experiment and some of the sources Mr. Saletan cited. “I wouldn’t have stopped Will from writing on this subject, but I would have challenged him on these and other issues,” he wrote.
He added that a rejoinder by another Slate writer, Stephen Metcalf, was scheduled to be posted Monday.
Metcalf, by the way, is a complete ignoramus on the topic, as I pointed out after reading his 2005 Slate article, "Moral Courage: Is defending The Bell Curve an example of intellectual honesty?"
Metcalf's denunciation of Charles Murray's Commentary magazine article "The Inequality Taboo" was full of howlers such as:
"Before I casually took up the cause of the race realists and assumed that only an overprogrammed PC hysteria had kept their work from gaining widespread legitimacy, I'd want to know a couple of things. I'd want to know why "the data" are always so selective and incomplete, if not hidden or misrepresented, and I'd want to know a whole lot more about the movement's two leading lights, J. Philippe Rushton and Arthur Jensen. Rushton and Jensen came to my attention when Murray fingered them, along with Lawrence Summers, as the impetus for his new Commentary article."
Slate is paying Metcalf to write about the validity of IQ research, and yet Metcalf admits that he had never heard of Arthur Jensen until a few weeks ago! Jensen, who has published 435 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, became a national figure in 1969 with the publication of his long meta-analysis "How Much Can We Boost I.Q. and Scholastic Achievement?" in the Harvard Educational Review. President Nixon even assigned his top domestic policy advisor, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, to keep him updated on Jensen's research.You really have to read this article to believe the quality of screeds that can get published these days.
Back to today's NYT:
So, the enemies of free speech win again, due to the cowardice of people with nice jobs who want to keep them.
Mr. Saletan said he was completely unprepared for the voluminous and vehement reaction. “I did not mean to start a wildfire.”
A subject as sensitive and complicated as this deserves to have a higher level of proof, he said, adding that he erred in treating it like any other topic.
“I don’t agree that it’s best not to discuss it,” he said, but “you have to do it in a responsible way and always with a constructive purpose.” Judging from his own experience, he said, the Internet is not a place where that can be done at the moment.
“I’m a little disappointed in myself,” he added.