Debunking Denialism

Defending science against the forces of irrationality.

Tag Archives: race realism

Mailbag: Flawed Race Troll Rhethoric vs. Confounders

Feedback email

Time to respond to yet another reader feedback email! If you want to send me a question, comment or any other kind of feedback, please do so using the contact form on the about page. For more answers to feedback emails, see the mailbag category.

Most race realists I encounter online hesitate to directly state their opinions of African-Americans (or other ethnic minorities). If they did, it would be pretty obvious that their position is based on nothing more than lazy stereotyping and ingrained prejudice. This means that they have to attempt to dress up their delusional beliefs in scientific terms to make it appear respectable. As a result, they tend to spread misinformation about scientific topics such as heritability, genetic risk factors, intelligence and aggression. Typically, they also add condescending complains about “cultural Marxism” or “suffocating political correctness gone mad” or something similar. Debunking these allegedly “sophisticated” race realists often demand both deep and broad knowledge covering topics such as adoption and twin studies, genome-wide association studies, haplogroups, principal component analysis, heritability, statistics and the biological influences of behavior. In addition, a lot of patience.

Ever so rarely, I come across what we might call an unsophisticated race realist. This simplified archetype typically do not bother to attempt to discuss the details of human genetic diversity or attempt any of the traditional pseudoscientific gambits. Instead, this kind of race realist just blurts out their favorite stereotype about a given ethnic minority Read more of this post

Mailbag: A Concern Troll (?) Tries to Talk About Race and IQ

A reader sent me an email about some arguments put forward by race realists, told me he did not know a good way to refute them and asked me for my take on it. I am not convinced he is a concern troll, but some of the language he used and the fact that the quotes of his opponents cannot be found on the Internet makes me suspicious. However, because it is so hard to tell, I will try to be charitable. The person asked not to have his name posted, so I will just refer to him as “he” or “the reader” below.

Hey there. I found your blog a month or two ago when I started researching the topic of racial IQ differences. Lately, I’ve been debating some people over the internet about this subject using some of the information that you and other egalitarians have provided. As expected, the folks who I was talking with didn’t like what they heard and responded with ad hominem attacks, but there was one point someone brought up that I simply couldn’t respond to.

For me, phrases that stand out here are “racial IQ differences”, “you and other egalitarians” and “one point someone brought up that I simply couldn’t respond to”. The first phrase is suspicious because it associates race with IQ difference, when most individuals who reject race realism thinks that most observed differences are due to other factors besides race. Furthermore, “egalitarian” is a word that reminds a lot about “Darwinism”. It has its uses, but most of the time, it is a concept that those opposing it use to try and make the science-based position appear as if it was an ideology. Finally, The last phrase reeks of concern trolling.

This is not an iron-clad case and we should welcome actual concerns. Also, it is important to respond to the point brought up no matter if the person is a concern troll or a person who has a legitimate question.

The point he “simply could not respond to”

The argument he had trouble with was: Read more of this post

An Annotated Summary of C0nc0rdance Case Against Race Realism

video

I have previously scoffed against race realism and related topics in a few blog posts.

The Youtube user C0nc0rdance (Youtube channel, blog) has made a set of two videos explaining the scientific flaws of race realism called “The Science of Human Races” (part 1, part 2) that I find very convincing. Consider this a summary of the arguments and evidence put forward (although c0nc0rdance might not have used the exact sources I list), with some personal comments from me and links or references to the primary scientific literature when possible. This list is also not necessarily chronological. Read more of this post

Mailbag: The Absurdity of Race Realism

I am always happy to answer reader emails set to me via the contact form at the About page of this blog. This email comes from “Nigel”. Nigel writes that:

Speaking about denialism, what about politically correct race-deniers? These people are so wrapped up on some ideology of Boasian Cultural Marxism that they regularly try to subvert the truth.

In just this short message, consisting of nothing more than two sentences, Nigel has managed to set off my baloney detector several times. This is because phrases such as “politically correct” and “cultural Marxism” are buzzwords frequently used by extremist right-wing…thinkers, who are often anti-immigration. “Politically correct” designates their belief that they are being suppressed by the establishment and “cultural Marxism” signifies the related idea that the establishment was been taken over by leftists who ignore the truth that race realists think is plain as day. Thus, Nigel has carried out two very common denialist tactics that I described in the article Common Denialist Tactics Defined and Destroyed, namely playing the martyr card and conspiratorial thinking: Read more of this post

Problems with Racial Realism and Race-Based Rhetoric

Racial realism can be defined as the notion that racial categories are based on sound biological evidence and that such categorizations are important because of differences in things like intelligence and impulsiveness between these groups.

However, there are a number of problems with this views in many areas such as statistics, genetics and phylogenetics that is important to keep in mind. These will be discussed in turn and then the post will finish up with a discussion of how modern biology view the concept of race.

1. The average says nothing about the spread

A common argument is that there is a difference in average IQ between different ethnicities and that this motivates the notion that some groups are more intelligent than others, creating a racial hierarchy. However, most phenotypic traits, such as intelligence, are normally distributed. That is, in any given group, some people will be more intelligent, some will be less, and most of the individuals will be between these two extremes. So the bell curves between different racial groups probably overlap to a significant extent, so it is important to remember that the average says nothing about the spread, that is, how different IQ scores are distributed in that group. So if group A has a lower average IQ score than group B, there will be many individuals in group A that have a higher IQ score than individuals in group B. Talking about averages in such a naive way is quite collectivist and ignores individual variation. Read more of this post

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