Stephen Jay Gould Mismeasured Skulls in Racial Records Dispute

Dan Vergano, USA Today, June 9, 2011

{snip}

In a 1978 Science paper,

Gould (1941 – 2002), reported that the Samuel George Morton (1799-1851),

“a prominent Philadelphia

physician,” had mis-measured the cranial capacities of his 1,000-skull

“American Golgotha” collection gathered from around the world, to

suit his racist beliefs. The finding led to one of Gould’s best-known books, The Mismeasure of Man, a critique of

scientific racism.

“Morton is now viewed as a

canonical example of scientific misconduct. But did Morton really fudge his

data?,” asks a PLoS Biology study led by anthropologist Jason Lewis

of Stanford University. “Are studies of human

variation inevitably biased, as per Gould, or are objective accounts

attainable, as Morton attempted?”

{snip}

Overall, they find, Morton did make

mistakes in measuring skull capacity (he first stuffed them with seeds, and

later lead shot to measure their brain size). But the mistakes were random.

{snip}

{snip}

Today, researchers know that larger

average skull size is largely a function of cold weather:

In reevaluating Morton and Gould, we do not dispute that racist

views were unfortunately common in 19th-century science or that bias has

inappropriately influenced research in some cases. Furthermore, studies have

demonstrated that modern human variation is generally continuous, rather than

discrete or ”racial,” and that most variation in modern humans is within,

rather than between, populations. In particular, cranial capacity variation in

human populations appears to be largely a function of climate, so, for example,

the full range of average capacities is seen in Native American groups, as they

historically occupied the full range of latitudes, say the study authors.

Morton neither manipulated his skull

samples, unfairly selected which data to report, skewed results by gender, or

ignored his mistakes to favor racist interpretations of his skulls, the PLoS Biology study authors conclude — all charges

made by Gould against the long-dead physician.

What’s more, the researchers found

Gould made some mistakes in his re-analysis of Morton. “Our analysis of

Gould’s claims reveals that most of Gould’s criticisms are poorly supported or

falsified,” they conclude:

Samuel George Morton, in the hands of Stephen Jay Gould, has

served for 30 years as a textbook example of scientific misconduct. The Morton

case was used by Gould as the main support for his contention that

”unconscious or dimly perceived finagling is probably endemic in science,

since scientists are human beings rooted in cultural contexts, not automatons

directed toward external truth”. This view has since achieved substantial

popularity in ”science studies”. But our results falsify Gould’s hypothesis

that Morton manipulated his data to conform with his a priori views. The data

on cranial capacity gathered by Morton are generally reliable, and he reported

them fully. Overall, we find that Morton’s initial reputation as the

objectivist of his era was well-deserved.

Dan Vergano, USA Today, June 9, 2011

Abstract:

Stephen Jay Gould, the prominent

evolutionary biologist and science historian, argued that “unconscious

manipulation of data may be a scientific norm” because “scientists are human

beings rooted in cultural contexts, not automatons directed toward external

truth”, a view now popular in social studies of science. In support of his

argument Gould presented the case of Samuel George Morton, a 19th-century

physician and physical anthropologist famous for his measurements of human

skulls. Morton was considered the objectivist of his era, but Gould reanalyzed

Morton’s data and in his prize-winning book The Mismeasure of Man argued that Morton skewed his data to fit his preconceptions

about human variation. Morton is now viewed as a canonical example of

scientific misconduct. But did Morton really fudge his data? Are studies of

human variation inevitably biased, as per Gould, or are objective accounts

attainable, as Morton attempted? We investigated these questions by remeasuring

Morton’s skulls and reexamining both Morton’s and Gould’s analyses. Our results

resolve this historical controversy, demonstrating that Morton did not

manipulate data to support his preconceptions, contra Gould. In fact, the

Morton case provides an example of how the scientific method can shield results

from cultural biases.

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  • Anonymous

    There is a enormous amount of bias in scientific studies, but not the way they think. The bias and prejudices is pc style, and it is a rigid doctrine with no equal.

    Probably the biggest fraud masquerading as science was Franz Boaz and his disciples.

  • Anonymous

    “we do not dispute that racist views were unfortunately common in 19th-century science”

    Was it really racist views or was it just scientists making observations without the distortions of today’s pc climate?

  • John Engelman

    Stephen Jay Gould is the author most cited by those who argue that “The Bell Curve,” and similar works have been “decisively refuted.”

    Professor Gould cannot explain, and the authors of these other works can explain, three facts. First, some people are better than others at everything they do intellectually. Second, some racial groups get better averages than other racial groups on all the mental aptitude tests however they are designed. Third, members of some racial groups tend to perform better than members of other groups in the classroom and on the job.

    Differences in collective ability, personality, and character have always been noted everywhere in the world that different races have interacted. They are not going away. Those who maintain that in a just society – presumably one with them in charge – these differences would disappear maintain something for which there is no evidence at all.

  • RJS

    Cmon…this guy was a member of the fraudulent Boaz egalitarians that started in the early 20th century.

    Frankly, I am very surprised that the creatures in the media even allowed this story any exposure.

  • Anonymous

    It is more likely Gould who was the master manipulator. Leftists like Gould not only lie, cheat, steal, and kill, in addition to fudge data, to push their agendas, but they also project upon all others the same motives. The same can be seen in jurisprudence, where all decisions of famous jurists are now reduced to the manifestation of some inherent bias of the jurist. Why? Because that’s what leftist hacks like Bader Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan do.

  • White Guy In Japan

    I am always happy to see people questioning and challenging Gould. He came out of a clique of Communists at Harvard in the 70s who proclaimed themselves to be “Marxist biologists” and spoke of synthesizing biology with the teachings of Mao and Lenin.

    Despite politically aligning themselves with the one politcal ideology that was responsible for more deaths around the world than any other, Gould and his friends (Lewontin, Levin, etc.) spent a lot of time attacking Christianity and Western culture in general because both are “evil” and “oppressive”.

  • Jeddermann.

    Deliberate. Gould had a very big agenda and it was political. And he did play in this case loose with the figures. I am sure he did. He did the very thing he was saying that Morton did. That makes it even worse.

  • sbuffalonative

    When I was in junior high, I remember a biology teacher making reference to the experiment of filling skull and weighing the contents. He told us the guy packed down the white skulls. He didn’t go into depth and he didn’t call the guy a racist but he did make sure we understood that the experiment was a fraud and that every race had the same cranial capacity. Not having any racial awareness at the time, I accepted the story and wondered why they guy had done what he was said to have done.

    A more accurate measure today would be CAT scans.

  • Anonymous

    The racial differences in brain size are confirmed via MRI scans and are consistent in every single study. I can only draw one conclusion from this:

    MRI scans are racist.

  • JPC

    No surprise. You have to lie to refute nature. For centuries, childish liberals have championed repeated idiotic “utopias” for man to attain, whether it is Marxism/Communism/Feminism/Multiculturalism etc… The real world of real people is always despised by these folks. Burke was right. So is the Church. Man (at least a portion, usually White) is inherently foolish enough to believe these fantasies. Separatism is simply “the fence between neighbors” writ large. If only these fools could comprehend this simple concept.

  • Scott Wilson

    The article states, “Furthermore, studies have demonstrated that modern human variation is generally continuous, rather than discrete or ”racial,” and that most variation in modern humans is within, rather than between, populations.”

    The Lewontin Fallacy again…sigh.

    So what if more variation is within groups rather than between them? The issue is how is this variation distributed? Around what mean does the variation cluster???

    For instance, considering the height of men vs women–most of the variation in height is within the sexes from, say, about 2.5′ to 7.5′ for a total variation of about 5 feet. The differences in height between men and women is only a few inches. And yet we can predict with a great degree of accuracy that the next man we meet will be taller than the next woman we meet.

    It is the same with race.

  • Anonymous

    Recall how the findings of Cyril Burt on twins and IQ were disputed after his death and he, and his view of genetic influence on IQ, were smeared. Later, others checked and he had not fudged his results, which were reconfirmed decades later in the Minnesota twins project. The Left scientist will do anything to smear those who reveal racial differences in intelligence.–HM

  • Madison Grant

    Morton showed over a hundred years ago that whites on average have bigger skulls and brains than blacks.

    And since brain size is correlated w/intelligence the lying Marxist propagandist Steven Jay Gould therefore had to slander the late Morton, blackening his good name because he told the truth about racial differences.

    Good to see the truth finally seeping out.

  • Anonymous

    I am skeptical of cranial capacity used as a marker of intelligence. If I remember correctly, Greenland Indians have the highest, but they haven’t exactly won too many Nobel prizes.

    The head size correlates with other factors such as the height of the individual and overall build. Stocky people in general tend to have wider heads,but doesn’t mean they are more intelligent than lean ones with narrow faces.

    The fact that blacks may have less cranial capacity may be just incidental, not the primary cause. I think there are specific differences in the anatomy of the brain itself (such as the number of folds and relation of prefrontal cortex with respect to the rest of the brain) which may contribute more towards IQ differences.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Stephen Jay Gould is the author most cited by those who argue that “The Bell Curve,” and similar works have been ‘decisively refuted.’

    — John Engleman

    John:

    Those who argue that Gould ‘decisively refuted’ The Bell Curve are not only wrong, they are profoundly wrong. There is a lot of good, reliable information repudiating Gould from Jensen, Rushton and other prominent psyshometricians that you can use to rebut them.

    Don’t let lies and misinformation go unanswered, Mr. Engleman!!

    Gould was a Marxist who taught a class at Harvard entitled “Biology as a Social Weapon.”

    Gould received a “Genius Award ” from the MacArthur Foundation. This is an unrestricted grant of half a million $ for doing nothing in particular — just being brilliant and being yourself. There are no strings or requirements.

    Steve Sailer writes:

    Raised by his father as a Marxist, Gould hated the possibility that evolution had shaped human nature beyond the powers of social engineers to alter. He especially loathed the concept that humans varied genetically.

    In 1997, Professor Jensen, in response to Gould’s severe criticism and portrayal of him as a fool and bigot, wrote a rebuttal of Gould’s Mismeasurment of Man in National Review entitled The Debunking of Scientific Fossils and Straw Persons:

    Gould originally charged nineteenth-century scientists with ‘juggling’ and ‘finagling’ brain-size data in order to place Northern Europeans at the apex of civilization. Implausibly, he argued that Paul Broca, Francis Galton, and Samuel George Morton, all ‘finagled’ in the same direction and by similar magnitudes using different methods. Gould asks us to believe that Broca ‘leaned’ on his autopsy scales when measuring wet brains by just enough to produce the same differences that Morton caused by ‘over-packing’ empty skulls and that Galton caused with his ‘extra loose’ grip on calipers while measuring heads!

    Spread the Word. For too long the odious Gould and his Mismeasurement of Man have reigned supreme in academia while the findings of Jensen, Rushton, Herrnstein and Murray have been suppressed and/or dismissed. It’s past time to explode and reverse Gould’s lies viz. IQ and racial differences in intelligence.

    http://goo.gl/6czSH

    Bon

  • Anonymous

    No, filling skulls with water and measuring the volume afterwards is still the best method.

    Morton probably did not want to ruin his skulls with wetting, therefore he used seeds first, but replaced them afterwards with more accurate lead shot.

  • Michael O’Sullivan

    I also remember this from school, The openly gay instructor talking about how the prejudiced white scientist jammed the white skulls full and didn’t fill the black skulls. I didn’t believe it. I and all the blacks in that class new blacks lacked the same aptitudes as whites. Most blacks from previous generations could look around and see that everything most craved by humans are white inventions.

  • Kingoldby

    Reading Stephen Jay Goulds books, it was always clear to me that he had a pretty open left wing, even Marxist bias. He was a prominent evolutionist but he would still twist and obfusticate evolutionary principles to try and down play biological realities and make snide points about social forces.

    He always came across as fundamentally intellectually dishonest. I am not surprised in the slightest by the confirmation.

  • elitist

    Part of the reason I am now a race realist instead of a crazy liberal is that the degree of dishonesty about race among progressives has increased dramatically in my lifetime.

    And blacks obviously have different physical proportions in relation to other races, and since their faces and skulls are shaped differently, it is in principle utterly and totally inconceivable for their brains to have the same configuration, size, articulation, chemistry, etc. as those of Caucasians.

    The only question is:

    How are they different, and how are those difference reflected in psychology and behavior??

    Racial difference it the most obvious fact about the world, so scientists who say that it does not exist are not doing their job, which is to explain the real world too laypeople.

    It is important to remember that people like Stephen Jay Gould were deliberately and consciously lying about race in order to serve political and/or career ends.

    Gould was much too intelligent to have believed his own lies.

    Please do not demonize Franz Boas – blamed for the denial of racial difference in modern society.

    Actually, he was much more forthright about racial difference and anyone could get away with being today!

  • Jeddermann.

    “{the experiment was a fraud and that every race had the same cranial capacity.”

    And the assumption was the larger the brain the smarter the person or race, etc. And modern science would say it is much more complex than that. NOT merely size of the brain but the “wiring”, the parts of the brain more highly “developed” in certain races and persons, etc. Brain size is too simplistic by modern standards.

  • Untergang

    Arthur Jensen’s devastating review of “The Mismeasure of Man” is essential reading:

    http://www.debunker.com/texts/jensen.html

  • Recovering Republican

    “Why Race Matters” by Prof. Michael Levin discusses ways the cranial capacities of the races have been measured: brain weight at autopsy; sizes inferred from birdseed or shot held; measured circumferences; and MRI (p.104). The latest results he cites – Prof. Rushton’s from 1994 – show Black brains average 1228 cubic cm, Whites 1284 and Asians 1312, controlling for sex and body size. Even variations in measurements, due to differing methods, are consistent. They all point to the same conclusion: the races have different brain sizes, which does correlate to IQ. In fact, there are not only racial differences in brain tissue “quantity” but also “quality.” Levin writes: “MRI and PET technologies have become significantly more refined since these studies were done and could now be used to search for direct physiological evidence of race differences in brain function, although attempts to do so would surely generate fierce opposition” (p.57).

  • John Engelman

    17 — Kingoldby wrote at 6:25 AM on June 11:

    Reading Stephen Jay Goulds books, it was always clear to me that he had a pretty open left wing, even Marxist bias. He was a prominent evolutionist but he would still twist and obfusticate evolutionary principles to try and down play biological realities and make snide points about social forces.

    He always came across as fundamentally intellectually dishonest. I am not surprised in the slightest by the confirmation.

    ——

    Steven Jay Gould used evolution as a stick to beat Protestant Fundamentalists with. Nevertheless, the same scientific findings that disprove the literal truth of the Genesis Creation Story demonstrate that individuals differ enormously in terms of innate abilities, and that races differ in terms of average innate abilities.

  • Anonymous

    While the term “scientific racism” can be defended academically, it is probably best to deal at the level of journalists (or of most undergraduates ) for primer purposes by advancing the dictum that “nothing factual can be racist; nothing racist can be factual”

  • Mike H.

    Ah, can the rest of you hear that glorious sound? It’s the sound of every self-hating white as well as everyone at the SPLC crying.

    I guess they’ll have to find another fake scientist willing to falsify information to get the results they want.

  • factualist

    Loony leftist characters like Gould demonstrate over and over that scientific enterprise is not about discovering the truth, for them it’s all about power and control of groupthink.

  • Anonymous

    From what I know of the late, un-great Prof. Gould, much of his hostility against racial IQ testing, was that the very premise of it was invalid. Because the findings of Rushton, Jensen, et al, went against what a radical-egalitarian Marxist like Gould could permit himself to accept, he resorted to the desperate, topic-changing tactic of insisting that intelligence was something that COULDN’T be quantified, therefore everybody should probably just stop trying (because it’s upsetting the minorities). Gould’s objections were on the level of someone trying to win a formal debate with a rhetorical gambit on the level of “No, you’re wrong, and besides, shut up!”

    One of Gould’s chief points in “The Mismeasure of Man” was that IQ testing was a futile attempt to what he called “reify” intellect. A free Internet dictionary I just finished consulting tells me that the verb “to reify” means “To regard or treat (an abstraction) as if it had concrete or material existence.”

    So, unable to refute the race realists, Gould turned instead to deligitimizing them by accusing them of measuring the unmeasurable. Of trying to use a tape measure on a chimera. Of being on a fool’s errand.

    This is the opposite of free inquiry — which is of course the prerequisite for any REAL science. Which actually makes Gould an anti-science scientist.

    Like the late, un-great Soviet Union’s “proletarian agriculturist” Lysenko, Gould is guilty of putting ideological goals first and foremost, and then twisting and chopping and slicing the science as necessary to make the results fit the diktats. Scientific experimentation with a pre-determined, politically-correct outcome. Two things to note about Lysenkoism: Only communists do it; and it always fails in the end.

    As for the article above, AmRen’s subhead asks, “Honest mistake or deliberate fraud?” Knowing the above about Gould, I’d have to say “deliberate fraud.”

  • white advocate – Canada

    I’d say Gould had great influence in the human evolution debate. For many prominent people who like to feel informed about this debate, Gould was the ultimate authority. Whites have suffered real damages in how this debate has played out. We insist there be restorative actions to compensate. For starters, how about an apology from Harvard for giving this communist agent a prestige job in science? Many of his distinctions and advancements required peer review. What went wrong there?

  • X-man

    I think stating different groups had different IQs based on cranial capacities etc and all the deductions based on these are not acceptable in the current era in the western world primarily because of what White people did to non-whites [including Jews] based on these observations.

    Had that not happened, I am confident these things would have been accepted, even if grudgingly. I completely agree with Amreners that there’s bias against Whites today. I only tend to see this as pendulum having swung to the other extreme as a reaction to whites having swung it to one extreme. It’ll come to equilibrium, just a matter of time.

    Whites are probably the most popular and pioneering group that exploited the hospitality of natives while having complete disgust towards them. ‘Dogs and Indians not allowed’ and such drivel was a complete White-on-non-white phenomenon. To this day whether in White or non-white countries I notice that Whites are the ones, especially when in majority, who have the greatest disgust towards those who aren’t as advanced as they are.

    It’s the White religion Christianity that enslaved so many non-whites and whites as well! The one and only one thing I find beautiful in Islam is that this is the only religion whose followers have been able to transcend race to quite an extent. I see it first hand in my country.

    The irony is, some of the best people on earth also happen to be whites whether collectively or individually.

  • Anonymous

    No one seems upset Asians have larger brain capacity than whites. Once again we fight the battle on their turf. We fight the battle leftists want us to fight. We accept their terms and argue for or against the bizarre cult of the victim they’ve created. At least the exaltation of certain persons of color. They win, we lose, once again I fear.

  • ghw

    “In reevaluating Morton and Gould, we do not dispute that racist views were unfortunately common in 19th-century science or that bias has inappropriately influenced research in some cases.”

    …………………

    “Unfortunately”? Oh?

    Insertion of that word is editorializing, not factual reporting. That is a clear expression of “racist views” and “bias” right there! Except that these are the current, politically correct kinds of racist views and bias.

    That doesn’t make them scientifically correct.

    I also object to the haughty, pompous attitude of superiority that is so casually expressed, so utterly taken for granted: the assumption that NOW we at last know the complete truth, that nowadays we are so much wiser and better than those benighted old fogies of yesteryear.

    Well, I beg to disagree!

    I imagine that those benighted old fogies would be appalled at the smug attitudes and unexamined, dogmatic, cult-like, quasi-religious assumptions of their intellectual heirs. They would be horrified at the abuse of “science” to serve the ends of politics and cause-driven social agendas; and they would not be at all pleased.

  • ghw

    Anonymous wrote:

    “From what I know of… Gould, much of his hostility against racial IQ testing, was that the very premise of it was invalid because the findings of Rushton, Jensen, et al, went against what a radical-egalitarian Marxist like Gould could permit himself to accept.”

    ……………

    It seems that Gould — once the coddled darling of the intellectual establishent, whose words dripping with wisdom were hung onto breathlessly by the media, recipient of a Genius Award — could not reconcile the scientist in him and the Marxist. When it came down to favoring one or the other, the Marxist won.

  • Anonymous

    17-“Reading Stephen Jay Goulds books, it was always clear to me that he had a pretty open left wing, even Marxist bias. He was a prominent evolutionist but he would still twist and obfusticate evolutionary principles to try and down play biological realities and make snide points about social forces.”

    Richard Dawkins is now pretty much following the same path.

  • Anonymous

    The theory is that the larger the brain size the higher

    intelligence hence East Asian is more intelligent than Whites

    and White more intelligent than Blacks. But how do you

    explain that according to Richard Lynn Eskimo has a larger brain

    size than East Asians and Whites , yet , for him, their

    IQ is below both races?

    Some are eager to support the claim that East Asians have higher than Whites only because of the presence of Blacks and other

    minorities as if as long as Whites are not ranked last then

    it is ok. They certaintly would not have if the USA had only

    East Asian and Whites.

  • Michigan Patriot

    As a retired teacher of biology and a B.A. degree in biology , I became clearly aware of Jay Gould’s lefty political bent concerning anything that was positive about Western man and his creativity when contrasted with non-Western man. Here is a Marxist who benefited from the university system from Christian-Europe spread through its global colonies that most became independent but retained its Western Civilization, yet, Jay ” bites the hand that feeds him & his heirs “; how unappreciative of him but how typical !

  • Anonymous

    I’ve seen all races act ranging from intelligent and decent, to very stupid and evil. Im sure the averages for each race vary, but the entire group is not one person. Too many assume that. It’s not that simple unfortunately, assuming only makes it makes it easier to hate.

  • sam d

    Plain and simple the man was not an objective scientist. It was politics before science with him, but there are many like him in the field who do the same, so his corruption is by no means unusual.

    Somebody said that this is the age of liars, and it describes the era we’re in perfectly. Everything is subordinate to political correctness for one underlying reason or another.

  • Anonymous

    Lysenkoism says that if you water every stalk twice as much, place it high in the sun, give it wonderful fertilizer and ‘say nice things to it’ it will grow into as strong and productive a wheat as any other which began as a higher quality lineage.

    No.

    At least not in the immediately (less than a 100 generation) sense. You may well get a stronger specimen -than it would have been if neglected- but where you have specific resource limits as to who gets what, you end up being better off giving the best to the best and then -challenging- what you make better from better genes to become better, more innovative, creative and efficient.

    Terman’s Termites come to mind here.

    Where this has racial aspects, it only makes sense that you would want YOUR kind to benefit because your children will marry up.

    The thing geneticists and evolutionary psychologists alike refuse to acknowledge is that OUR evolutionary development began and ended, several thousand years back. So waiting for social Lysenkoism to ‘catch everyone up’ is a waste of air.

    As the conditions which brought us up will never be replicated and we will run out of social resources as the time to replace them with alternatives, long before less advantaged genelines can start to carry their own weight and contribute.

    These (genetic/evolutionary scientists) are far from stupid and so the question becomes why they refuse to acknowledge the problem when bandaiding the plague of absent social altruism and true vice degree-equivalent intelligence only results in the impulse breeding of lower populations who have no understanding of self control as a function of self cognizance of the consequences deriving from their owned actions.

    I agree that we are looking at a variety of deficits in blacks especially rather than merely EQ (Ecephalization Quotient, skull to body biometric).

    You need to completely rewire their endocrine system outputs so their testes don’t kill their higher function and then increase prefrontals function and look at myelin coating percentages and how effects axonal traffic densities in each hemisphere and across the the Corpos Collosum.

    From that point you can look at convolute densities and specific regional brain center function as a means of gauging aptitudes through PET scan metabolic sugar analysis.

    But what we have to realize is that judging the same processes which created us (and are no longer functionally fit to our present social environment) MUST be equally applied to blacks and other races trying to operate in our modern environment.

    Because African evolutionary pressures NEVER created a Western mindset response to engineering our environment. At all.

    And failing to recognize or acknowledge this, as a _requirement_ necessary to justify other racial presences in our lands and societies is a principle shortcoming in the extreme left and right alike.

    The left because they respond with soft logic to victim psychology manipulation of their empath via a form of superiority complex whose proof lies in their ability to ‘bear the burden’ of caring or these supposed equal-yet-needy peoples.

    The right comes at the problem from the other side. They know outright that these groups are inferior in brain function and FEAR any change in that status because they want the ditch digger junk consumerists to sustain their profit-from-wage-slavery class status as white Americans, with our conservative spending habits, cannot.

    And neither side sees benefit, for themselves in he outcome of a genomic science effort to render everyone -fit- to participate in our advanced culture. Because social victim enablement is a for profit industry. And a service culture functions purely on the basis of offering the least to the most

    Change those conditions and you offer a direct competitive threat to their own class-elevated existence.

    Both the ultra left and ultra right are the real bigots, far more than anyone here is. And I think both know it. Because the first step to fixing inequality of outcome lies in admitting inequality of ability. With an eye towards what needs changing.

  • Southron

    Hmmm. Let’s see if I’ve got this right. Gould and company claim that intelligence is impossible to quantify. Then they say that everyone has equal innate intelligence. I wonder how they quantified that.

  • sshadow

    ##22“Why Race Matters” by Prof. Michael Levin discusses ways the cranial capacities of the races have been measured: brain weight at autopsy; sizes inferred from birdseed or shot held; measured circumferences; and MRI (p.104). The latest results he cites – Prof. Rushton’s from 1994 – show Black brains average 1228 cubic cm, Whites 1284 and Asians 1312, controlling for sex and body size. Even variations in measurements, due to differing methods, are consistent. They all point to the same conclusion: the races have different brain sizes, which does correlate to IQ. In fact, there are not only racial differences in brain tissue “quantity” but also “quality.” Levin writes: “MRI and PET technologies have become significantly more refined since these studies were done and could now be used to search for direct physiological evidence of race differences in brain function, although attempts to do so would surely generate fierce opposition”

    (p.57).

    Further analysis shows the average black brain is 4.36% smaller than the average caucasian brain. Could this 4.36% account for the difference between huts and cathedrals? It seems a rhetorical and unanswerable question, or maybe there is still more to the story. Total intracranial volume is a rather crude surrogate for intellectual capacity. Because cognitive function is only one of four general components that take up volume in the cranium, the other three could vary among the races also, which could make the 4.36% grossly misleading. I posit the other three components as 1. motor function e.g. the motor strip and the cerebellum, 2. the limbic system, accounting for emotions and sense of smell, 3. and cerebrospinal fluid. Anecdotally, by multiple accounts, blacks have more intense emotion, hence the “short fuse” cited multiple times in these pages. Do we know if limbic emotional volume impinges upon more cognitively oriented cerebrum, or do the oft imputed athletic differences take up more room in the motor strip or cerebellum, further impinging upon cognitively didicated volume? The percentage difference of cognitive neuronal volume might be well above 4.36 percent. As in so much of science, further research is needed.

  • Anonymous

    The entire head size/brain size thing is pointless.

    In the end it is like saying that hippos are bigger than humans so they should be put in head start programs and admitted to Harvard because they have been oppressed by white hunters and never achieved their full potential like they did when building the pyramids.

    You don’t need a brain scan to tell you that blacks have IQs of 80.

    It’s all a red herring.

  • Ben

    What exactly is a “Marxist Biologist?” How is that even possible? Can someone please explain that oxymoron?

    I disagree with people saying that science is used win the debate on race. It is used to understand the world, not to affirm preconceived bias. I hope Amrem readers don’t fall into the same hole as Gould.

  • Harumphty Dumpty

    17 — Michael O’Sullivan wrote at 5:47 AM on June 11:

    “Most blacks from previous generations could look around and see that everything most craved by humans are white inventions.”

    Then we need some black teachers from that era to teach that fact to whites today, since today’s whites can be very doubting when that fact is mentioned.

  • Sardonicus

    The Late Stephen J. Gould was a committed Marxist and was quite capable of skewing data to further his case for social engineering. For years, Gould has been used as the definite authority on race at most American Universities. These days his views have been supplemented by the equally bogus theories of another hypocritical leftist: Jared Diamond. Academics with contrary views (Rushton, Herrnstein and Murray) normally have to be surrounded by personal bodyguards to present their views at institutions of higher learning.

  • Spirit Wolf

    It’s very sad that even scientific study is never free from the prejudices and biases of the age in which it is practiced. Non-religious people are just as sticky any more as religious people are over the subject of human evolution, to the point where both sides want you to close your eyes to reality and say that H. sapiens has no real genetic diversity, beyond some sort of catlike mongrel hodgepodge.

    I like to use the dog family (excluding jackals for the moment, because I’m not sure where they fit in.) Coyotes, dogs and wolves can all interbreed. That should make them all one species, with perhaps three subspecies and lots of races. Or one species with lots of races. Applying the logic of the leftists towards humans to canids, there is just “the coyote” (since it seems to be the grandfather race) and the differences between a wolf, coyote, a St Bernard, and a chihuahua ought to be completely ignored, as they’re “only superficial” and the difference between them is, in fact, gradual, if you line them up properly, and there’s more behavioural variation within the different races than there is between them – anyone who has worked with either dogs or wolves knows that they are _individuals_ and not cookie-cutter robots.

    Actually, extending that even further through the tree of life and connecting it all, to recognize any difference at all between different creatures (including us and anything else), is speciesist, isn’t it? After all, don’t we all (well, most of us, anyway), share the same DNA code? Everything else beyond that is superficial, because the variation between ALL life forms is, guess what, gradated rather than truly discrete, especially if you throw in extinct transitionals! 😛

    The problem is, political correctness has made it verboten to recognize what should be scientific logic – as biological entities, evolution still works on human beings, though in our case more through artificial selection than natural (as is the case in domestic dogs and cattle.) Speciation, being rather gradual and rarely “discrete” (ie, making major jumps) would begin with population groups very much like what we have amongst humanity – a few races with differences in physiology and mentality that don’t stop them totally breeding or communicating with one another. Give those groups time apart, and they will continue on their own paths towards new species status.

    Basically, PC demands we deny humanity its chance to speciate. Large, homogeneous interbreeding populations(a one-race species) do not lend themselves to speciation; in fact, from what I understand, this is the most likely type of species to go extinct!

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Elitist writes:

    Please do not demonize Franz Boas – blamed for the denial of racial difference in modern society…he was much more forthright about racial difference and anyone could get away with being today!

    Could you please give some examples? Everything I’ve read about Boas indicates that he did indeed push the notion that “there are no differences between the races.”

    His premise is such that:

    All people have the same biological potential for accomplishment. and no culture is better than any other.

    IOW, Boas’s tremendous influence dissinmated the notion that “all cultures are equal” (except White Western Civilizations) — which to this day permeates academia and the media, and is used to rationalize massive non-White immigration into White homelands.

    Degler emphasizes the role of Franz Boas in the anti-Darwinian

    transformation of American social science: Boas’ influence upon American

    social scientists in matters of race can hardly be exaggerated. Boas engaged

    in a life-long assault on the idea that race was a primary source of the differ-

    ences to be found in the mental or social capabilities of human groups. He

    accomplished his mission largely through his ceaseless, almost relentless

    articulation of the concept of culture.

    Boas also opposed research on human genetics—Boas and his students were intensely concerned with pushing an ideological agenda within the American anthropological profession. They were a compact group with a clear intellectual and political agenda rather than individualist seekers of disinterested truth.

    By 1915 the Boasians controlled the American Anthropological Association

    and held a two-thirds majority on its Executive Board. In 1919 Boas could state that ‘most of the anthropological work done at the present time in the United States’ was done by his students at Columbia. By 1926 every major department of anthropology was headed by Boas’s students.

    IMO, the influence of Boas should not be underestimated!

    Bon

  • John Engelman

    Stephen Jay Gould was a charlatan who made a good living telling liberals what they want to believe, even when they suspect it is not true.

    Did Stephen Jay Gould describe himself as a Marxist? If he did, I wish someone would quote him doing so. If he did not, he should not be called one. Too many people on the right call anyone on the left a Marxist. I have known Marxists. They were not shy about telling people they were Marxists.

    On American Renaissance I even read where someone called Abraham Lincoln a Marxist. I doubt Lincoln ever knew Karl Marx existed. Words should be used to describe. They should not be used as weapons.

  • Fr. John

    One needs to study the new book by the Russian Avdeyev, titled ‘Raciology’ noted here a whilte back.

    This author clearly shows from the whorls on fingerprints, to skull measures, that there IS a racial difference, it is profound, and non-Europeans like Gould were all skewing the data for their own egalitarian dogmatic ideologies, and not at all for the ‘furthering of science.’

    In a related field, a wise man once said, “What fellowship hath Christ with Belial?”

    Why do the White nations of Christendom and her satellite countries continue to disregard what our ancestors knew? Whites lead the world in all academic areas.

    End of story.

  • White Guy In Japan

    @40-

    A “Marxist biologist” is one who believes that the teachings of Karl Marx fit perfectly into biology, that Marx’s politcal and economics ideas mesh with the biological sciences. I am paraphrasing Richard Lewontion, one of Gould’s friends from Harvard in the 70s. He also included Lenin and Mao (but not Stalin and Pol Pot).

    I share your confusion at putting the two words together. It makes about as much sense as “Republican astronomer”.

  • Sardonicus

    “Did Stephen Jay Gould describe himself as a Marxist?” John Engleman

    Gould never directly described himself as a Marxist, but many of his beliefs seemed derived from Marxist philosophy. He has said that his father was a “Marxist”

    He did say this about his background and beliefs: “I grew up in a family with a tradition of participation in campaigns for social justice, and I was active, as a student, in the civil rights movement at a time of great excitement and success in the early 1960s. Scholars are often wary of citing such commitments. … [but] it is dangerous for a scholar even to imagine that he might attain complete neutrality…”

    A fair assessment would be that the late Dr. Stephen J. Gould was a committed ideological leftist and liberal integrationist.

  • Efficient Thinking

    Brain size can correlate with IQ. However, there is also the element of neurological efficiency. This is why so many high IQ people have been found to have average or ‘below average’ sized brains. There are likely other factors involved as well. However, all we have to do is look at the real world, real world performance. Blacks and Latinos lag.

    Some will argue that size is the end-all, but Samoans and Hawaiians (and the Greenland Indians mentioned above) all have brains that are larger than Caucasians, E. Asians, etc. These folks are not top flight when it comes to intelligence, with the Samoans and Hawaiians actually rivaling blacks and latinos when it comes to certain areas of violence and impulsive behavior. Yes, many of us are aware of the argument about convolutions etc. but the main focus in this article is skull / brain size. Personally, I feel the structure of intelligence is more important, hence Asians doing well in academic settings where a premium is placed on memorization. Comprehending something doesn’t mean that you possess any particularly outstanding insight regarding the subject or the ability to link apparently unrelated ideas and so on.

  • Anonymous

    This story should be investigated by:

    http://www.stinkyjournalism.org/

  • ChemE

    11-Scott Wilson writes:

    “So what if more variation is within groups rather than between them? The issue is how is this variation distributed? Around what mean does the variation cluster???”

    Very true. The argument that there is more variation within groups than between groups is beside the point. The issue is whether or not the variation among groups is statistically significant. Besides, one normally would use a fixed-effects model to evaluate the differences among races, and one wouldn’t think of those fixed effects as components of variance.