Monday, December 31, 2018

Science in the Service of Ideology

Stephen Jay Gould was admired by journalists but not by scientists.

By Richard Lynn

With the death of Stephen Jay Gould on May 20, 2002, the world has lost one of its most determined — and mendacious — advocates of the view there is no relationship between race, intelligence and brain size. Not surprisingly, he has been widely acclaimed in obituaries for his contributions to evolutionary biology and for his critiques of the concept of intelligence, its heritability, and race differences. The New York Times called him “one of the most influential evolutionary biologists of the twentieth century;” the Washington Post said he was “a brilliant scientist;” the Los Angeles Times pronounced him “a latter-day Darwin,” and the London Times called him “one of the most gifted evolutionary scientists of his generation.”

All this, however, is in striking contrast to the evaluation of his work by fellow-scientists, most of whom regarded him as a lightweight and even a charlatan............Even anthropologists Milford Wolpoff and Rachel Caspari, who uncritically accept many of Gould’s distortions, have written that his writings “invariably have a not-so-hidden political agenda.” Professor Steve Jones, an evolutionary biologist who largely agrees with Gould on intelligence and race, has said that “scientifically, he was a failure.”..........It would be more correct to say that he was on the extreme left, and his writing consistently supported his politics..............It is not difficult to understand why journalists writing for The New York Times and The New York Review of Books were so effusive about Gould, while scientists were so critical.

Journalists have the same liberal-left beliefs as Gould. When they read him, they read what they wanted to hear, and they did not have the knowledge or integrity to question what he wrote. As for Gould himself, he must have known he was deliberately misrepresenting the evidence to suit his political agenda — and it was he who said scientists who do this deserve to spend the afterlife in the bottom circle of the Inferno...........To Read More.....

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