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October 30, 2007

Comments

Abiola

Hello,

Thanks for the comments. Although I was aware of James Watson's idiotic remarks and took it for granted that "certain parties" would seize on them to start trumpeting their same old tired "theories" which still haven't received an iota of substantiation, of late the demands of work and my other interests have been too great for me to feel it worth my time rehashing the same old arguments: basically, absolutely *nothing* one says to these guys will get through, no matter how well argued or backed with evidence, because for them the whole "blacks are retarded" idea is something which fills an *emotional* need; it is, in effect, an ersatz religion for them, and there as immune to refutation as any other religious system.

I think your post already reveals the cracks within any new "evidence" Jason Malloy might bring to bear to support his personal faith: any "researcher" who can buttress his claims with bunk about

"many reports of everyday behaviour from officials, traders, journalists, ethnologists and other scientists in 19th century to this day... "

as if objective, detached observation were a habit of mind in the heyday of colonialism, can be dismissed immediately as just another ideologue looking to push the same old racism under a new coat of statistical flim-flam. People who feel no shame about using statistics drawn from English-language testing of people whose native languages are completely unrelated to make inferences about their IQs are the ones who are truly retarded: how many of them would do half as well if administered the Cattell or Stanford-Binet test in the language they studied in high school?

Arguing with Malloy et. al. is a lost cause, I'm afraid: to the extent that he can even understand what you're saying and can't come up with a rational response, he'll just dismiss you as a "reactionary" who will soon be proven wrong by some tremendous scientific discovery which always seems to be just over the horizon ...

Ross

On the subject of the readability of Beowulf, what strikes me is how quickly the unintelligible Anglo-Saxon of Beowulf transforms into the Middle English of Chaucer that is still perfectly readable to English speakers 7 centuries on. There was vastly more change in the space of 250 years from 11th to 13th centuries than there has been in the 650 years since.

Abiola

"Of course there's racial differences in intelligence"

There's no "of course" about it: not only is "race" an ambiguous term - are Ethiopians white or black? What race are light-skinned Brazilians? - but taking tests out of their cultural context and applying them elsewhere is simply junk science. Even the idea that "nations" have IQs is ridiculous: a nation is a political entity with borders existing only on paper, not an organism with a particular intelligence.

"But really, perhaps sometime, I'd like to see you go at the data that supposedly shows africans as being "retarded", and this new work as well."

I'm not going to bother, as I've said enough in the past about this issue, and there's nothing new to be bothered about.

"since I'm still in high school, well, my parents wouldn't take kindly to me ordering racialist literature."

Don't bother. You'd be better off properly learning statistics and the many ways it can be misused to peddle junk research.

"Rindermann shouldn't be dismissed because of that comment"

No, he should. No honest and competent researcher dealing with such a topic would say such nonsense.

Now, if you'll excuse me, my interest in this whole issue is at an end. You can easily go through my archives to learn about my thoughts on the subject, so from now I'll restrict this particular thread to comments germane to this post in particular.

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