May 17, 2008

Race, Genes, and Rational Inquiry

Justin, let me reproduce the logic of your last post, mutatis mutandis, to give you a sense of why many aren?t exactly buying your claim that Chris and Paul are engaging in ?pseudo-science?: 

I?m really getting tired of those genderist who make wild generalization like, ?on average men are taller than women.? Oh really? I present to you exhibit A, Candace Parker of the National Champion Tennessee Volunteers. This woman really does refute the mythology promulgated by the genderists. If women were on average shorter than men, then please tell me how it is that Candace is 6?4??, 175, and can dunk a basketball?

Yes, it?s true, Candace has a male father, and this may account for some of her height. But the real question is: in light of Candace, why are all these averagists out there still trying to limit to just tall men our movement to fight state power?

Put simply, Justin, there is a massive difference between averages and individuals, and when you elide the two?by claiming, for instance, that the cognitively gifted Barrack Obama refutes the idea that there are genetic difference among groups (wow, this guy can really transcend a lot!)?you yourself start to sound, well, pseudo-scientific.

I also wish, Justin, that you wouldn?t conflate racialism/racism and rational inquiry into genetics—or else dismiss it as “determinism.” No one writing for this site has ever advocated treating individuals as groups or any kind of ideologically racist political program. So, I?m somewhat taken aback when you attack people simply for their willingness to ask questions about genetics. I?m in complete agreement that we don?t want to limit our political movement?which, among others things, should be about opposing unconstitutional, excessive state power?to only members of one race. Yes. I don?t suggest, however, that we use censorship?one the tools of the state you undoubtedly find most loathsome?to accomplish this.

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