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Meisenberg, Gerhard. 2019. “Should Cognitive Differences Research Be Forbidden?Psych 1 (1): 306–19.

Some authors have proposed that research on cognitive differences, including differences between ethnic and racial groups, needs to be prevented because it produces true knowledge that is dangerous and socially undesirable. From a consequentialist perspective, this contribution investigates the usually unstated assumptions about harms and benefits behind these proposals. The conclusion is that intelligence differences provide powerful explanations of many important real-world phenomena, and that denying their causal role requires the promotion of alternative false beliefs. Acting on these false beliefs almost invariably prevents the effective management of societal problems while creating new ones. The proper questions to ask are not about the nature of the research and the results it is expected to produce, but about whether prevailing value systems can turn truthful knowledge about cognitive differences into benign outcomes, whatever the truth may be. These value systems are the proper focus of action. Therefore, the proposal to suppress knowledge about cognitive ability differences must be based on the argument that people in modern societies will apply such knowledge in malicious rather than beneficial ways, either because of universal limitations of human nature or because of specific features of modern societies.

In particular, Section 5 is a masterpiece in the art of reframing “liberal” objections to IQ research in a way that makes them out to be the reactionary troglodytes.

On women:

Today, some experts (e.g., Richard Lynn) claim a very slight (3–4 points) male advantage in general intelligence during adulthood while others (e.g., James Flynn) deny it… This contrasts with much larger non-cognitive differences, for example a one standard deviation difference in vocational interests on the people–things dimension[43], and even larger differences when multivariate effect sizes of latent factors are determined[44]. Non-cognitive sex differences, including lower female risk taking and competitive spirit, are generally recognized as the main obstacles for attempts at educating women into traditionally male value systems and occupations[45]. There is also evidence that female relative to male happiness and life satisfaction tend to be high in Muslim countries and in countries with low female labor force participation[46]. This kind of knowledge, rather than knowledge about female intelligence, should be prohibited in societies whose elites disparage traditional female values and social roles!

On class:

Free will belief is associated with moralistic standards applied to self and others, just world belief, retributive punishment, and generally with “conservative” values [53,54]. When used as an alternative to genetically based ability differences, it leads to victim blaming: the belief that the poor do not deserve sympathy or assistance because their poverty is their own fault.

Revealingly, the “Bell Curve Wars” of the 1990s coincided with a virulent (and bipartisan) anti-welfare movement in the United States that was driven by a belief in the undeservingness of the poor[55]. In the United States, genetic causes of poverty and other social disadvantages, and especially the belief in genetically caused intelligence differences, had been repudiated by the intellectual elite since the 1960s. With innate ability differences out of the debate, intellectuals blamed the persistence of poverty and social pathologies on other intellectuals, while everyone else applied the deservingness heuristic to blame the victims—the “black welfare mother”, in particular.

On race:

The most popular and most divisive alternative to innate ability differences as an explanation for unequal outcomes is discrimination, conceptualized as “institutional racism”, “symbolic racism”, and similar constructs [61,62], sometimes bordering on conspiracy theories[63]. In the United States half a century after civil rights legislation and after intense efforts at ending discrimination, the belief in the continued power of racial discrimination implies the belief that discrimination is intractable. This leaves racial segregation as the only remedy. Conversely, genetically based race differences in intelligence can be used to argue that affirmative action policies should be maintained until undesirable intelligence differences can be eliminated by genetic engineering—unless we prefer maintaining or enhancing these differences instead.

On existential risks:

What makes this knowledge objectionable is the traditional view that the prediction of disaster creates a moral obligation to prevent or mitigate the outcome. However, few people are motivated to promote the welfare of future generations. Thus the knowledge can be harmful by causing a bad conscience. In consequence, a principled argument for prohibition of this knowledge should be based on: (1) the factual claim that people do not care enough about future generations (and even their own children) to give them “good genes” but are still prone to develop bad feelings about it; and (2) the ethical claim that people living today have no obligation to promote the welfare of future generations.

 

 
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  1. Wow surprised I’m the only commentor on this issue…

    But I’ve been thinking for a while after reading various articles on this issue here and elsewhere that people have a moral obligation to begin offering some solutions on handling this new found information. Especially now that we are getting so much stronger evidence on the side of genetic influences on people’s intelligence and thus behaviors.

    Back in the 60s when we passed various legislation in the US forcing mass integration would it have been the same legislation if we had the knowledge then that we have now? Probably not…

    Maybe we need to start looking at, not reparations, but some form of ongoing investment to assure a certain basic income to various members of underperforming groups after ensuring they can no longer reproduce….it seems cruel but it might be one answer…

    Or another might be: separate cities, counties etc., run totally by and for that group only (under supervision of course) with no other member of other groups allowed without permission…similar to Indian reservations…which do receive government funding and other services.

    Not the best ideas but a start….

    • Replies: @songbird

    Back in the 60s when we passed various legislation in the US forcing mass integration would it have been the same legislation if we had the knowledge then that we have now? Probably not…
     
    IMO, many people at the time had already long understood that blacks are, in general dumber, and more violent. But they sort of judged it political suicide to acknowledge - probably because the many naturally egalitarian whites.

    But, of course, I very much doubt any of the egalitarian folks - even the elites - understood where things would lead. If they had seen modern Detroit, maybe that would have halted things. Or maybe not - it is amazing how some old people who lived in the very same neighborhoods, when they were white, in the Depression, can think there is a conspiracy to keep blacks down.

    The demographic transformation of cities - even ones still seen as functional is incredible. There are places that went from being 97% white in the '50s, to having less than 10% white public schoolkids today.

    And of course, none of this can be bottled in the cities. I travel into rural New England a lot, and it seems like I always see more black faces each time - many imported Africans. And we are talking what I would call deep country - tiny towns that had their heyday before the Civil War.

  2. Oh wow 😀
    He REALLY tears the Zeitgeist a new asshole!
    And not a moment too soon – rather, a few too late; and in their own words to boot.
    I think I´m in love (No … wait 😉 )

    But … will they be biologically equipped to follow the reasoning?
    Last I looked they were not thinking with their undersize brains, but …
    Well, the high was great while it lasted.

  3. Jewish Stalinist Eric Hobsbawm actually summarised the reasons for the Bell Curve Wars quite well;

    The concept of ‘race’ il­lustrates this interplay. The memory of Nazi racial policies made it virtually unthinkable for liberal intellectuals (which included most scientists) to operate with this concept. Indeed, many doubted that it was legitimate even to enquire systematically into the genetically determined differences between human groups, for fear that the results might provide encouragement for racist opinions. More generally, in the Western countries the post-fascist ideology of democracy and equality revived the old debates of ‘nature v. nurture’, or heredity v. environment. Plainly the human individual was shaped both by heredity and environment, by genes and culture. Yet conservatives were only too willing to accept a society of irremovable, i.e. genetically determined inequalities, while the Left, committed to equality, naturally held that all inequalities could be removed by social action: they were at bottom environmentally deter­mined. The controversy flared up over the question of human intelligence, which (because of its implications for selective or universal schooling) was highly political.

  4. He appears to have gotten significantly deplatformed – from both his previous institution and the board of Intelligence. The pressure is being ramped up by the system, a sign that this research is starting to impact in a serious way.

    AK is lucky he is able to do his stuff in a much freer (academically) country on these topics, though Russia is far from perfect, it is still eons ahead of many Western countries.

    I wonder how long until they go after Rindermann.

    P.S. I notice he is now with Ulster. So more core research moving to Europe. He is European, himself, after all. Appears my observation holds true.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    An alternative explanation is just that the system is starting to feel the weight of the insanity of its ideology, and so they need to ramp up repression. And since it’s not a very centralized system, this will always be an easy target, regardless of whether it’s actually useful to target it or not.
  5. @Thulean Friend
    He appears to have gotten significantly deplatformed - from both his previous institution and the board of Intelligence. The pressure is being ramped up by the system, a sign that this research is starting to impact in a serious way.

    AK is lucky he is able to do his stuff in a much freer (academically) country on these topics, though Russia is far from perfect, it is still eons ahead of many Western countries.

    I wonder how long until they go after Rindermann.

    P.S. I notice he is now with Ulster. So more core research moving to Europe. He is European, himself, after all. Appears my observation holds true.

    An alternative explanation is just that the system is starting to feel the weight of the insanity of its ideology, and so they need to ramp up repression. And since it’s not a very centralized system, this will always be an easy target, regardless of whether it’s actually useful to target it or not.

  6. @NYMOM
    Wow surprised I'm the only commentor on this issue...

    But I've been thinking for a while after reading various articles on this issue here and elsewhere that people have a moral obligation to begin offering some solutions on handling this new found information. Especially now that we are getting so much stronger evidence on the side of genetic influences on people's intelligence and thus behaviors.

    Back in the 60s when we passed various legislation in the US forcing mass integration would it have been the same legislation if we had the knowledge then that we have now? Probably not...

    Maybe we need to start looking at, not reparations, but some form of ongoing investment to assure a certain basic income to various members of underperforming groups after ensuring they can no longer reproduce....it seems cruel but it might be one answer...

    Or another might be: separate cities, counties etc., run totally by and for that group only (under supervision of course) with no other member of other groups allowed without permission...similar to Indian reservations...which do receive government funding and other services.

    Not the best ideas but a start....

    Back in the 60s when we passed various legislation in the US forcing mass integration would it have been the same legislation if we had the knowledge then that we have now? Probably not…

    IMO, many people at the time had already long understood that blacks are, in general dumber, and more violent. But they sort of judged it political suicide to acknowledge – probably because the many naturally egalitarian whites.

    But, of course, I very much doubt any of the egalitarian folks – even the elites – understood where things would lead. If they had seen modern Detroit, maybe that would have halted things. Or maybe not – it is amazing how some old people who lived in the very same neighborhoods, when they were white, in the Depression, can think there is a conspiracy to keep blacks down.

    The demographic transformation of cities – even ones still seen as functional is incredible. There are places that went from being 97% white in the ’50s, to having less than 10% white public schoolkids today.

    And of course, none of this can be bottled in the cities. I travel into rural New England a lot, and it seems like I always see more black faces each time – many imported Africans. And we are talking what I would call deep country – tiny towns that had their heyday before the Civil War.

    • Replies: @NYMOM
    The issue is not just the peoples in these cities/suburbs being 97% black it's the total deterioration of the places where these transformations takes place.

    It's schools, public places such as shopping malls, transportation hubs, streets, rampart crime and disorder everywhere. Child and animals abuse, drinking drug use etc.,

    It is that every single block and street becomes a crime infested war zone...

    Even ambulances and EMTs are afraid to enter without an armed police presence. There was recently a female EMT arrested and subsequently sentenced to jail time for refusing to enter a home with a choking child w/o the police there...

    Sadly I understand her perfectly after seeing what goes on in hospital ERs in NYC...
    , @EldnahYm
    If you look at the behaviors of many White people, including Democrat voting ones, things like putting their kids in "good" schools, going out of their way to live in non-diverse areas, etc. you see evidence that on some level they know the score. But they aren't willing to do anything about it, and often hypocritically support policies that worsen the problem. I think William Pierce got this right years ago:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-psP87DBTXo
    , @EldnahYm
    If you look at the behaviors of many White people, including Democrat voting ones, things like putting their kids in "good schools," living in non-diverse areas, etc. you see evidence that on some level they know the score. But they aren't willing to do anything about it, and often hypocritically support policies that worsen the problem. I think William Pierce got this right years ago:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-psP87DBTXo
  7. Conversely, genetically based race differences in intelligence can be used to argue that affirmative action policies should be maintained until undesirable intelligence differences can be eliminated by genetic engineering—unless we prefer maintaining or enhancing these differences instead.

    I agree with most of Meisenberg’s article, but this part confuses me a bit. I mean, sure, one could theoretically only allow the low-IQ to have access to IQ-enhancing technology (as in, embryo selection for the best IQ genes–though obviously high-IQ people could try moving to other countries to access this technology if they’re forbidden to access it in their home countries). However, while this would equalize the situation, it would also make our country and world more backwards in comparison to a scenario where everyone was allowed to have access to this technology. In such a scenario, the gaps would remain but everyone could be uplifted and wealth redistribution could ensure that the people with a lower IQ could still live better in this scenario than they would in the first scenario where everyone becomes equal (or at least all human groups become equal).

    IMHO, lifting everyone is a strategy that is likely to deliver better results than attempting to equalize everyone and eliminate achievement gaps.

  8. This all is old. IQ, blacks, “genetic engineering”,…

    Essentially, we’re always projecting & don’t know what the future holds. No one has ever predicted that from a hole like Portugal European colonial expansion will begin & eventually, in next 500 years, conquer & unify the globe; no one had even thought of Industrial revolution & its consequences.

    All we do is linear extrapolation off the current state of affairs & not much. And people are always motivated by quick bucks & don’t care for future, any future. For instance, to forcibly import millions of African slave workers on sugar plantations is an example of extreme idiocy. All those guys cared for was to make a huge & quick profit from spices & sugar & did not give a hoot about the idea that their very descendants’ future might be in danger because of tons of Africans they moved in to live alongside their progeny.

    Simply- we don’t know: a) whether peoples, as we know them, will exist in next 150-250 years, b) whether homo sapiens sapiens, as we know him, will survive next 500+ years.We live in times of fundamental change, not only civilizational, but essentially “human” or post-human.

    And, of course, we’re wasting our time on trifles….

    • Agree: AaronB
    • Replies: @NYMOM
    Maybe past Portugal was not what future Portugal 'morphed' into. I mean Brazil was a colony of Portugal at one time and it's a complete mess today.

    It's like the ancient Greece city-states after centuries of Muslim invasions.

    Of course, they are a complete mess today after what they went thru...

    So you can't compare these places w/o recognizing the histories and complete destruction wroth by various low IQ groups rampaging thru them...

    Brazil and Greece are both strong arguments for stringent birth control.
  9. @songbird

    Back in the 60s when we passed various legislation in the US forcing mass integration would it have been the same legislation if we had the knowledge then that we have now? Probably not…
     
    IMO, many people at the time had already long understood that blacks are, in general dumber, and more violent. But they sort of judged it political suicide to acknowledge - probably because the many naturally egalitarian whites.

    But, of course, I very much doubt any of the egalitarian folks - even the elites - understood where things would lead. If they had seen modern Detroit, maybe that would have halted things. Or maybe not - it is amazing how some old people who lived in the very same neighborhoods, when they were white, in the Depression, can think there is a conspiracy to keep blacks down.

    The demographic transformation of cities - even ones still seen as functional is incredible. There are places that went from being 97% white in the '50s, to having less than 10% white public schoolkids today.

    And of course, none of this can be bottled in the cities. I travel into rural New England a lot, and it seems like I always see more black faces each time - many imported Africans. And we are talking what I would call deep country - tiny towns that had their heyday before the Civil War.

    The issue is not just the peoples in these cities/suburbs being 97% black it’s the total deterioration of the places where these transformations takes place.

    It’s schools, public places such as shopping malls, transportation hubs, streets, rampart crime and disorder everywhere. Child and animals abuse, drinking drug use etc.,

    It is that every single block and street becomes a crime infested war zone…

    Even ambulances and EMTs are afraid to enter without an armed police presence. There was recently a female EMT arrested and subsequently sentenced to jail time for refusing to enter a home with a choking child w/o the police there…

    Sadly I understand her perfectly after seeing what goes on in hospital ERs in NYC…

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ

    Even ambulances and EMTs are afraid to enter without an armed police presence. There was recently a female EMT arrested and subsequently sentenced to jail time for refusing to enter a home with a choking child w/o the police there…
     
    Did this child survive?
  10. @Bardon Kaldian
    This all is old. IQ, blacks, "genetic engineering",...

    Essentially, we're always projecting & don't know what the future holds. No one has ever predicted that from a hole like Portugal European colonial expansion will begin & eventually, in next 500 years, conquer & unify the globe; no one had even thought of Industrial revolution & its consequences.

    All we do is linear extrapolation off the current state of affairs & not much. And people are always motivated by quick bucks & don't care for future, any future. For instance, to forcibly import millions of African slave workers on sugar plantations is an example of extreme idiocy. All those guys cared for was to make a huge & quick profit from spices & sugar & did not give a hoot about the idea that their very descendants' future might be in danger because of tons of Africans they moved in to live alongside their progeny.

    Simply- we don't know: a) whether peoples, as we know them, will exist in next 150-250 years, b) whether homo sapiens sapiens, as we know him, will survive next 500+ years.We live in times of fundamental change, not only civilizational, but essentially "human" or post-human.

    And, of course, we're wasting our time on trifles....

    Maybe past Portugal was not what future Portugal ‘morphed’ into. I mean Brazil was a colony of Portugal at one time and it’s a complete mess today.

    It’s like the ancient Greece city-states after centuries of Muslim invasions.

    Of course, they are a complete mess today after what they went thru…

    So you can’t compare these places w/o recognizing the histories and complete destruction wroth by various low IQ groups rampaging thru them…

    Brazil and Greece are both strong arguments for stringent birth control.

  11. LOL… this kind of research should be given to the Hindus… They’ve been doing such things for millenniums.

    It’s just a global version of the caste system. The Hindus have proven themselves very good at it too. Whitey are waaaay behind of Hindus in this field…

  12. @NYMOM
    The issue is not just the peoples in these cities/suburbs being 97% black it's the total deterioration of the places where these transformations takes place.

    It's schools, public places such as shopping malls, transportation hubs, streets, rampart crime and disorder everywhere. Child and animals abuse, drinking drug use etc.,

    It is that every single block and street becomes a crime infested war zone...

    Even ambulances and EMTs are afraid to enter without an armed police presence. There was recently a female EMT arrested and subsequently sentenced to jail time for refusing to enter a home with a choking child w/o the police there...

    Sadly I understand her perfectly after seeing what goes on in hospital ERs in NYC...

    Even ambulances and EMTs are afraid to enter without an armed police presence. There was recently a female EMT arrested and subsequently sentenced to jail time for refusing to enter a home with a choking child w/o the police there…

    Did this child survive?

  13. Sadly no…the mother was later arrested and charged with child abuse…

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    Do you have a link, please?
  14. @songbird

    Back in the 60s when we passed various legislation in the US forcing mass integration would it have been the same legislation if we had the knowledge then that we have now? Probably not…
     
    IMO, many people at the time had already long understood that blacks are, in general dumber, and more violent. But they sort of judged it political suicide to acknowledge - probably because the many naturally egalitarian whites.

    But, of course, I very much doubt any of the egalitarian folks - even the elites - understood where things would lead. If they had seen modern Detroit, maybe that would have halted things. Or maybe not - it is amazing how some old people who lived in the very same neighborhoods, when they were white, in the Depression, can think there is a conspiracy to keep blacks down.

    The demographic transformation of cities - even ones still seen as functional is incredible. There are places that went from being 97% white in the '50s, to having less than 10% white public schoolkids today.

    And of course, none of this can be bottled in the cities. I travel into rural New England a lot, and it seems like I always see more black faces each time - many imported Africans. And we are talking what I would call deep country - tiny towns that had their heyday before the Civil War.

    If you look at the behaviors of many White people, including Democrat voting ones, things like putting their kids in “good” schools, going out of their way to live in non-diverse areas, etc. you see evidence that on some level they know the score. But they aren’t willing to do anything about it, and often hypocritically support policies that worsen the problem. I think William Pierce got this right years ago:

  15. @songbird

    Back in the 60s when we passed various legislation in the US forcing mass integration would it have been the same legislation if we had the knowledge then that we have now? Probably not…
     
    IMO, many people at the time had already long understood that blacks are, in general dumber, and more violent. But they sort of judged it political suicide to acknowledge - probably because the many naturally egalitarian whites.

    But, of course, I very much doubt any of the egalitarian folks - even the elites - understood where things would lead. If they had seen modern Detroit, maybe that would have halted things. Or maybe not - it is amazing how some old people who lived in the very same neighborhoods, when they were white, in the Depression, can think there is a conspiracy to keep blacks down.

    The demographic transformation of cities - even ones still seen as functional is incredible. There are places that went from being 97% white in the '50s, to having less than 10% white public schoolkids today.

    And of course, none of this can be bottled in the cities. I travel into rural New England a lot, and it seems like I always see more black faces each time - many imported Africans. And we are talking what I would call deep country - tiny towns that had their heyday before the Civil War.

    If you look at the behaviors of many White people, including Democrat voting ones, things like putting their kids in “good schools,” living in non-diverse areas, etc. you see evidence that on some level they know the score. But they aren’t willing to do anything about it, and often hypocritically support policies that worsen the problem. I think William Pierce got this right years ago:

  16. @NYMOM
    Sadly no...the mother was later arrested and charged with child abuse...

    Do you have a link, please?

    • Replies: @NYMOM
    I am not really good with links but it's a story out of Detroit, the name of the EMT was Ann Marie Thomas. She was sentenced to three months in jail...It happened in 2015 but her trial and sentence took place in 2018...

    I, personally, thought it was unfair...
  17. @Mr. XYZ
    Do you have a link, please?

    I am not really good with links but it’s a story out of Detroit, the name of the EMT was Ann Marie Thomas. She was sentenced to three months in jail…It happened in 2015 but her trial and sentence took place in 2018…

    I, personally, thought it was unfair…

  18. In particular, Section 5 is a masterpiece in the art of reframing “liberal” objections to IQ research in a way that makes them out to be the reactionary troglodytes.

    that’s the way to do it

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