Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Gould not on side of angels

A new article praising the late Stephen Jay Gould gets quoted:
As Gould’s longtime friend, the anthropologist Richard Milner, told a correspondent from Discover magazine: “Whatever conclusions he reached, rightly or wrongly, he did with complete conviction and integrity. He was a tireless combatant against racism in any form, and if he was guilty of the kind of unconscious bias in science that he warned against, at least his bias was on the side of the angels.”
This is absurd. Gould is most famous for writing a book denying the reality of IQ. He faked his data, misrepresented the research in the field, made silly arguments, and refused to respond to academic critics who said that he got it wrong. I guess that this was supposed to be against racism, because it is easier to believe in egalitarianism if there is no such thing as intelligence. But to the extent that he was politically biased, it was a Marxist bias. Not angels.

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