Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Andrew Sullivan canceled for giving two sides of IQ

A lot of people thought that New York magazine fired Andrew Sullivan after killing a politically incorrect article he wrote on Georpe Floyd. But no, the NY Times explains, it wasn't that at all. He was canceled for some article written by someone else for some other magazine 26 years ago:
I’m Still Reading Andrew Sullivan. But I Can’t Defend Him.

He’s one of the most influential journalists of the last three decades, but he’s shadowed by a 1994 magazine cover story that claimed to show a link between race and I.Q. ...

The flap reminded his colleagues and critics of Mr. Sullivan’s original sin, his decision to put on the cover of the Oct. 31, 1994, New Republic a package titled “Race and I.Q.” The package led with an excerpt from the book “The Bell Curve” by the political scientist Charles Murray and psychologist Richard Herrnstein. They claimed that I.Q. test results are in large part hereditary and reveal differences among races;

Sullivan was the editor, and he also published about about dozen essays trashing the book.

The book was a hot issue of the day, Sullivan probably thought that he was doing a public service by providing multiple views. It is not clear whether he has any personal opinion on the subject.

I guess the problem with presenting both sides is that the evidence for one side is overwhelming. Regarding the above claims, all the studies show that IQ is heritable, and that IQ tests show racial differences. The above claims are literally true.

By showing racial differences, I mean that IQ scores vary among different races. There is some debate about whether those IQ test differences are due to inherited differences between the races. That would not necessarily follow from the above Murray-Herrnstein claims. That is, maybe IQ is heritable among Whites, and heritable among Blacks, but Blacks score lower on IQ tests because they attend worse schools. I am sure other explanations have been given also.

The point is that allowing a wide-ranging discussion of this issue is no longer permitted. You cannot publish data and evidence on the issue. If you try, the cancel culture mob will still be coming after you with pitchforks 26 years later.

A young person today would have a hard time finding the truth on this subject. He might wonder why no one wants to talk about. Probably no one will even tell him why the subject is forbidden.

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