June 09, 2009
Bryan Caplan observes of Behaviorial Geneticists versus Policy Implications:
In most disciplines, experts oversell their ability to give useful policy advice. In behavioral genetics, however, experts strangely undersell their ability to give useful policy advice….
…The upshot: Behavioral genetics makes its politically-correct critics angry because the scientists are putting the politically correct in an awkward position: Deny the science, abandon some of their favorite policies, or sound like dogmatic ideologues. It’s no wonder that they’re angry – and no wonder that they deny the science. They’re not just making the best of a bad situation; they’re also getting a little revenge on the researchers responsible for their unpleasant predicament.
As they say, “read the whole thing!” Currently the most emailed piece in The New York Times is Rising Above I.Q. Scientists know very well the sort of research and findings intellectuals and the public find acceptable. One set of conclusions will usher a chorus of denounciations, while others will prompt laudatory praise.
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