Departing the Vacuousness
Started by Recusant, May 19, 2017, 12:17:06 AM
QuoteHarris is not a neutral presence in the interview. "For better or worse, these are all facts," he tells his listeners. "In fact, there is almost nothing in psychological science for which there is more evidence than for these claims." Harris belies his self-presentation as a tough-minded skeptic by failing to ask Murray a single challenging question. Instead, during their lengthy conversation, he passively follows Murray to the dangerous and unwarranted conclusion that black and Hispanic people in the US are almost certainly genetically disposed to have lower IQ scores on average than whites or Asians — and that the IQ difference also explains differences in life outcomes between different ethnic and racial groups.[. . .]Finally, let us consider Sam Harris and his willingness to endorse Murray's claims — his decision to suspend the skepticism and tough-mindedness we have come to expect from him. There is a fairly widespread intellectual movement among center-right social theorists and pundits to argue that strong adherence to the scientific method commits us to following human science wherever it goes — and they mean something very specific in this context. They say we must move from hard-nosed science of intelligence and genetics all the way — only if that's the direction data and logical, unbiased interpretation lead, naturally — to genetically based differences in behavior among races.Moreover, a reflexive defense of free academic inquiry has prompted some to think it a mark of scientific objectivity to look at cognitive differences in the eye without blinking. To deny the possibility of a biological basis of group differences, they suggest, is to allow "moral panic," as Harris puts it, to block objective scientific judgment. But passively allowing oneself to be led into unfounded genetic conclusions about race and IQ is hardly a mark of rational tough-mindedness. The fact is, there is no evidence for any such genetic hypothesis — about complex human behavior of any kind. Anyone who speaks as if there were is spouting junk science.Yes, Charles Murray has been treated badly on some college campuses. Harris calls Murray "one of the canaries in the coal mine" — his treatment a sign of liberal intolerance. But Harris's inclination to turn Murray into a martyr may be what leads him to pay insufficient attention to the leaps Murray makes from reasonable scientific findings to poorly founded contentions about genetics, race, and social policy.[Continues . . .]
Quote from: BooksCatsEtc on May 19, 2017, 02:17:23 AMIn my opinion if you have to preface a term with "not to be confused with racism", it's racist.