SocraticGadfly: Now in print: The Bell Curve 2.0 reviewed

November 28, 2011

Now in print: The Bell Curve 2.0 reviewed

You may have thought Charles Murray was somnolent, in a quasi-academic back room of the American Enterprise Institute. And, how wrong you would be. (Reposted Nov. 28, 2011 due to Sully, on the sad-but serious side, being unable to avoid putting his foot in his mouth on race-intelligence issues. See below for details.)

For the past several years, Murray has been working on a shocking sequel to his shocking-enough book about race and intelligence, “The Bell Curve.”

Murray worked on the book from two angles, both designed to try to refute his critics, who said he woefully underestimated environmental influences of various types on expressions of intelligence, as well as the class-based structure of common IQ tests.

Murray’s first angle was to look at class and intelligence. Believing that America is still today a relatively classless society, he decided to go to the most class-based Western nation he could find — Great Britain. To “blind” his analysis, he decided to look at people moving from class-based Great Britain to the United States.

Murray’s second angle was to analyze people from a clearly genetically-controlled population, one readily definable and not subject to social changed. For a man not afraid of controversy, homosexuals made an ideal population group.

Looking at homosexuals moving from Great Britain to the United States, with a focus on intelligence, Murray naturally had Andrew Sullivan squarely in his cross-hairs.

Of course, a reputable researcher would recognize a huge conflict of interest was involved since Sullivan, when editor of The New Republic, forced his broadly and highly supportive view of Murray’s “blacks are naturally dumb” thesis down the throat of TNR editorial staff, eventually coming close to wrecking the magazine before, ironically, seeing it become a breeding ground of neoconservative bedbugs, known to constantly crawl over Sullivan’s later foreign-policy commentary.

No matter.

Murray thought he could attain more than sufficient detachment to continue the study. And he did.

To the point of producing results that stunned him.

An outside observer probably could have told Murrray, based on Sullivan’s uncritical TNR support of his original book, just how uniquely and self-blindly stupid Sullivan could be at times.

But, Murray wasn’t convinced until his own studies showed him Sully was more self-delusionally stupid than anything Murray thought he had shown about blacks in “The Bell Curve.”

And, you, my friends, see pictured at left the published results of Murray’s latest and greatest research.

And, the first conservative critic in agreement with Murray has now weighed in, his blogging, with link, is wrapped inside of my analysis.

First excerpts from the book are available here.

UPDATE, Nov. 28, 2011: Jokes aside, Sully is still, apparently, a full-on racialist. Ta-Nehesi Coates has a roundup of reaction to his pseudointellectual bigotry.

No, Andrew, there is NO "pc egalitarian conspiracy" to hide allegations, which are not true, that blacks are, on average and due to genes, intellectually inferior. And, I have the feeling that the postdoctoral researcher who makes these claims has shot his academic career dead, unless racialist ringleader J. Philippe Rushton gets a position for him at the University of Western Ontario.

Meanwhile, Gawker has a great, and hilarious, Sully racialist timeline.

Anyway, given Sully's original support for The Bell Curve, and his laughably wrong claims about the goals of scientific research, it's clear this is no "slip." He was a racialist, and still is. He's just trying to be a kinder, gentler an oilier, more slippery one than Murray, let alone Rushton.

Therefore, this is why I never cite or link to Sully as an "enemy of my enemy" type person on the occasional times he wanders off the reservation of his high-church British version of conservative orthodoxy. Don't be fooled by appearances. And, sometimes, "the enemy of my enemy" is not my friend, or even a "fellow traveler"; rather, his trail is just, for the moment, less than 100 percent perpendicular to yours.


Lippard said...

Some of the best critiques of the Bell Curve I've read:

Cosma Shalizi, "g, a statistical myth":

Clark Glymour, Review of The Bell Curve,

Gadfly said...

The link for Jim's first article has changed to: