Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Franz Boas is finally debunked. More than anyone else, Boas was the leader in 20th century scientific thinking that there is no such thing as race. He was a socialist/communist anthropologist who was ideologically opposed to racial distinctions. In particular, he did widely cited research on craniometry which found skull measurements are the results of environmental influences, not race.

Stephen Jay Gould, a Harvard historian of science and evolution populist, was a follower of Boas. Gould's biggest selling book was a Boasian attack on craniometry called The Mismeasure Of Man.

Now the NY Times reports that the Boas research was bogus.
Dr. Jantz said that Boas "was intent on showing that the scientific racism of the day had no basis, but he did have to shade his data some to make it work that way."

Gould's work had been previously debunked, but he continued to enjoy high status among leftist academics. Politically incorrect essays on the subject may be found here and here. I don't know about these essays, but you can't trust the scientific establishment when they allow bogus work from Boas and Gould to go unchallenged.

Update: Here is the authors' abstract.

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