A confederacy of dunces
Apr 9th, 2011 by Unamused
“When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.”
abagond (“500 words a day on whatever I can rip off”), eager to give his own take on the race realism/race denialism controversy, has “summarized” some of Zek’s ignorant, hateful, anti-scientific garbage in his Monday post, and the first of my two rebuttals of said garbage in his Tuesday post.
You can tell he’s going to be fair and balanced from the way he describes race realism (i.e., understanding the realities of race) as “scientific racism.” His idea of “summarizing” Zek is writing out his arguments for him, omitting the hateful screeching about made-up racial discrimination. Like Zek, he is unable to cite any evidence to back up those arguments. There are two particularly amusing cases.
Conspiracy theories revisited, or: the strange case of Cavalli-Sforza
Their insistence that race-realism and HBD are secretly true smacks of the self-same arguments used by Creationists to foist “intelligent design” into classrooms. They pretend that science is divided on the issue, and try to undermine the research done on the subject, portraying people’s work as quite the opposite of what they say it is. And the whole time, yelling, raving, that the establishment is trying to cover it up!
They talk of conspiracy theories like a crazy person. Like some ancient McCarthyite resurrected from the depths of the 50′s Red Scare. They call us indoctrinated, and yet cannot see the blatant mantra’s echoing from their very core. Like a zombie, moaning for… BRAAAAAAAAAAIIIINNNSSSS!
It’d be sad if it weren’t so offensive.
The reason scientific racists give for trusting, say, Steve Sailer, a computer salesman, over Cavalli-Sforza, a professor of human genetics who has, like, studied race, is, wait for it, that people like Cavalli-Sforza secretly agree with them but are too afraid to say so in public! Have they gone mad?
Have we, indeed, gone mad? It will soon become clear that neither Zek nor abagond has actually read anything Cavalli-Sforza has written about race. This is quite typical. Race denialists simply do not know anything about race. That is why they are unable to cite sources for their claims.
Here is a good introduction to what Steve Sailer, computer salesman extraordinaire, notes is “a politically-correct smoke screen that Cavalli-Sforza regularly pumps out to keep his life’s work — distinguishing the races of mankind and compiling their genealogies — from being defunded.” But don’t take a computer salesman’s word for it: let’s read what Cavalli-Sforza (“a professor of human genetics who has, like, studied race”) has to say about Cavalli-Sforza!
Here is his description of his own genetic map of human races in his 1994 book “The History and Geography of Human Genes:”
The color map of the world shows very distinctly the differences that we know exist among the continents: Africans (yellow), Caucasoids (green), Mongoloids… (purple), and Australian Aborigines (red). The map does not show well the strong Caucasoid component in northern Africa, but it does show the unity of the other Caucasoids from Europe, and in West, South, and much of Central Asia.
He even put the damn thing on the cover. But remember, Steve Sailer bad!
Cavalli-Sforza’s team compiled extraordinary tables depicting the “genetic distances” separating 2,000 different racial groups from each other. For example, assume the genetic distance between the English and the Danes is equal to 1.0. Then, Cavalli-Sforza has found, the separation between the English and the Italians would be about 2.5 times as large as the English-Danish difference. On this scale, the Iranians would be 9 times more distant genetically from the English than the Danes, and the Japanese 59 times. Finally, the gap between the English and the Bantus (the main group of sub-Saharan blacks) is 109 times as large as the distance between the English and the Danish. (The genetic distance between Japanese and Bantus is even greater.)
The most important difference in the human gene pool is clearly that between Africans and non-Africans…
Here is more about Cavalli-Sforza who, it should be noted, used to believe that, like, races are subspecies. But in 1994, he realized he was wrong: “[t]he classification into races has proved to be a futile exercise for reasons that were already clear to Darwin.” That’s why he wrote, in the same year, that his “color map of the world shows very distinctly the differences that we know exist among the continents,” and that “[t]he most important difference in the human gene pool is clearly that between Africans and non-Africans.”
From that link, here is Steve Sailer
on Cavalli-Sforza and human evolution hungering for brains:
… Cavalli-Sforza calculates the surprisingly short time in which a version of a gene that leads to more offspring can spread from 1% to 99% of the population. If a rare variant of a gene produces just 1% more surviving offspring, it will become nearly universal in a human group in 11,500 years. But, if it provides 10% more “reproductive fitness,” it will come to dominate in just 1,150 years. A classic example is the gene for lactose-tolerance. It was almost nonexistent until humans started milking cattle about 10,000 years ago. Today, its prevalence ranges from negligible among East Asians to 97% among Danes.
Are we clear on why Steve Sailer is a sad, offensive, yelling, raving, crazy, ancient McCarthyite zombie creationist for thinking that Cavalli-Sforza might be on our side after all?
Credentials, or: I think you left out the part where he tells an Asian theoretical physicist that he just really wants to be white
They’re not geneticists, biologists, anthropologists, or any kind of scientist. They’re fucking Regular Joe Shmoe, attempting to debate issues which are so complicated that most people need a PhD to understand them. … And the only credentials these guys have is some bullshit diploma-factory degree in Armchair Academics. … NONE OF THESE GUYS HAS ANY EXPERTISE IN THE FIELD! Not a single one of them is a biologist, geneticist, or forensic anthropologist. Only one is even in a “hard science” field, and it’s not even remotely related! I mean, don’t you think that if you’re going to make extremely controversial assertions that race, genetics, and IQ are interrelated you should… Oh, I don’t know… Have some expertise in the fucking field of bio-anthro-genetics!? But hey, maybe that’s just me. … Steve Sailer needs to sit his racist ass down, and let the Grown-Ups talk. Just because you were once a movie critic for The American Conservative does not make you an expert in bio-genetics. Please, go find someone to sell a computer, since that’s what you actually do for a living. … Meanwhile, Murray and Herrnstein need to get over everyone hating on their work, and realize they’re just a couple of racists in-denial. … As for Steve Hsu… Oy vey. That guy, you can tell REALLY wants to be White. But listen here Stevie… YOU’RE NOT WHITE. Stop trying to be. And stop being a racist douchebag. Seriously. You’re doing it wrong anyways.
Three of the “Armchair Academics” in question are professional psychologists.
It should be noted that Zek himself, in his even stupider follow-up rant, is happy to cite Paula S. Rothenberg, who has no scientific credentials; “Jarred” Diamond, a professor of geography and physiology; Noam Chomsky, a linguist and radical activist; Richard Lewontin, who actually has a race-related fallacy named after him; Cornel West, who has no scientific credentials, but he’s black so he must be an expert; Howard Gardner, a developmental psychologist (I thought they had no expertise?); James Baldwin, a black novelist; Frantz Fanon, a psychiatrist, philosopher, and revolutionary; Jefferson Fish, another psychologist; Martin Luther King Jr., a plagiarist (so abagond is in good company); Edward Said, a literary theorist, of all things; Tim Wise, a fanatical anti-white bigot who believes that family is a social construct; and dozens more like them. Whether this is the product of organic brain damage or mere hypocrisy, we cannot yet say.
It should go without saying that his enormous list is unaccompanied by any explanation of just what those people did to support what part of Zek’s rant.
Why in the world should we trust these people over biologists and anthropologists, the very people who study these things for a living?
I think you forgot psychologists. Oh, and black novelists!
The single most obvious fact about race
Here are two of abagond’s more amusing omissions from his “summary” of my post.
Me: “Good grief, race is biological? That can’t possibly be true! If it were, then black people would always have black babies, Asian people would always have Asian babies, and white people would always — oh.”
abagond’s summary: n/a
As for his summary of my section 4 on Zek’s conspiracy theories (“No argument of substance given.”): see above, abagond. See above.
Racism, or: no wonder a black man can’t get elected president!
Less amusing, but still kind of funny in a stupid way, is his attempt to suppress the truth about racism in America, by omitting the entirety of my demonstration that it is dead. You see, black author and political commentator Thomas Sowell has found that
in 1969, while American-born blacks were making only 62 percent of the average income for all Americans, blacks from the West Indies made 94 percent. Second-generation immigrants from the West Indies made 15 percent more than the average American. Although they are only 10 percent of the city’s black population, foreign-born blacks — mostly from the West Indies — own half of the black-owned businesses in New York City. Their unemployment rate is lower than the national average, and many times lower than that of American-born blacks. West Indian blacks look no different from American blacks; white racists are not likely suddenly to set aside their prejudices when they meet one [emphasis mine]. (Jared Taylor, Paved With Good Intentions, p. 25)
“They’re not just blacks, they’re immigrant blacks,” I noted, “yet racism doesn’t seem to affect them! How curious. The truth is, you can’t scare black people into failing tests, and the racism that exists in America today is designed to artificially raise black performance, not lower it.”
I guess his self-imposed 500-word limit got in the way of academic honesty.
Race-denialist Jews and blacks: a curious alliance.
This leads me to a great example of how people like abagond and Zek misrepresent race realism. According to that theory, European (or Ashkenazi) Jews are one the world’s most intelligent ethnic groups. But we don’t think all European Jews are intelligent — that’s just silly! Every race is capable of producing spectacular idiots.
Now, lest I be accused of committing an ad hominem fallacy, let me point out that Zek actually is a spectacular idiot, a claim which I will now prove. On March 9, Zek wrote: “I’m sorry, but in SCIENCE, if you have an ‘exception’ to the ‘rule’, then you’ve basically just disproved yourself.” On April 8, he wrote: “You do realize exceptions PROVE the rule, right?”
I pointed this out to him.
“Rule of thumb and rule of science are two different concepts,” he declared. “I’m sure even your limited grasp of the material can handle that.” Ouch!
I thanked him for proving my point: when an exception hurts his case, he calls it a “rule of thumb” — exception proves the rule. When he thinks an exception helps his case, he calls it a “rule of science” — exception disproves the rule. (Of course, his ludicrous “exceptions,” e.g. smart black people who can’t dance, are irrelevant to race realism, because we do not claim that all black people are anything. Average IQ is just that: an average, taken over millions of individuals from all points in the spectrum of human intelligence.)
Also, apparently don’t know the definition for idiom OR rule of thumb…
The former ["idiom"]: “a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words”
The latter ["rule of thumb"]: “a broadly accurate guide or principle, based on experience or practice rather than theory”…
P.S. I just realized you might not have gotten the point from my listing the definitions together like that.
THEY’RE SYNONYMS. [!!!]
If you can’t believe your eyes, he just wrote out the full definition of “idiom” (e.g., kick the bucket) and the full definition of “rule of thumb” (e.g., the financial Rule of 72 for estimating investment doubling times), and declared that they are equivalent. (This is completely different from saying that the expression “a rule of thumb” is itself an idiom, which is true but irrelevant.)
Am I making this up to make him look stupid? Unfortunately not. “Let me explain,” he offered, “synonyms are two words or phrases which have similar meanings. A rule of thumb IS an idiom” (as opposed to saying the term “rule of thumb” is an idiom). Hoo boy.
Incidentally, according to Zek, his definitions are “[f]rom the Oxford English dictionary. Not Wikipedia. Apparently you [that's me, Unamused] never went to college since you still use it.” Please note that Zek himself cites Wikipedia four times in his first race denialist post — there is, in fact, only one cited source other than Wikipedia, and it is a website entitled Steve Sailer Sucks. He also cites Wikipedia four times in his follow-up post.
What they don’t seem to understand is that when I use words — even words like stupid, hateful, ignorant, and prejudiced — it is because I know what they mean, and I know that they apply.
abagond and Zek J Evets are stupid, hateful, ignorant, and prejudiced.