From The Guardian:
The long read
Its defenders claim to be standing up for uncomfortable truths, but race science is still as bogus as ever.
By Gavin Evans
“Gavin Evans lectures first year and post-graduate students in journalism at Birkbeck, and over the past decade has also lectured at Birkbeck in critical thinking, media law, online journalism and aspects of media theory. He also supervises MA dissertations at Cardiff University, where he lectures in research methodology, and he is a senior lecturer at the London School of Journalism.”
Fri 2 Mar 2018
One of the strangest ironies of our time is that a body of thoroughly debunked “science” is being revived by people who claim to be defending truth against a rising tide of ignorance. The idea that certain races are inherently more intelligent than others is being trumpeted by a small group of anthropologists, IQ researchers, psychologists and pundits who portray themselves as noble dissidents, standing up for inconvenient facts. Through a surprising mix of fringe and mainstream media sources, these ideas are reaching a new audience, which regards them as proof of the superiority of certain races.
The claim that there is a link between race and intelligence is the main tenet of what is known as “race science” or, in many cases, “scientific racism”. …
The recent revival of ideas about race and IQ began with a seemingly benign scientific observation. In 2005, Steven Pinker, one of the world’s most prominent evolutionary psychologists, began promoting the view that Ashkenazi Jews are innately particularly intelligent – first in a lecture to a Jewish studies institute, then in a lengthy article in the liberal American magazine The New Republic the following year. This claim has long been the smiling face of race science; if it is true that Jews are naturally more intelligent, then it’s only logical to say that others are naturally less so.
The background to Pinker’s essay was a 2005 paper entitled “Natural history of Ashkenazi intelligence”, written by a trio of anthropologists at the University of Utah. In their 2005 paper, the anthropologists argued that high IQ scores among Ashkenazi Jews indicated that they evolved to be smarter than anyone else (including other groups of Jews). …