I have held off talking about the Press attacks on the London Conference earlier this year. Triggered by journalist and educationalist Toby Young’s appointment to a UK Governmental education committee, rival journalists fired off a salvo of accusations in a “guilt by association” spoiling operation. I was simply collateral damage, accused of keeping bad company with a group of deplorables, whose secret meetings Toby had briefly attended in order to gather material for a talk he was giving at another intelligence conference. I thought it was better that the participants replied on their own accout, since they drew most of the fire, rather than I as the organizer tried to speak for them. Many of the participants have put their names to a joint paper which is soon to be published in a scholarly journal.
However, for some months I have been sitting on a charming essay by one particular participant, Julien Delhez, who has the great merit of being an Egyptologist. What is such a person doing at a conference on intelligence, otherwise infested by psychologists of a psychometric persuasion? Well, our inclusion criteria are pretty simple: people with interesting ideas who are committed to empirical methods. The notion that one could someday measure the intelligence of the Pharaohs seemed intriguing, and Julien’s ideas developed as he attended the conferences. Originally interested in estimating how illnesses may have diminished the ability of the highest status ancient Egyptians, he now wants to incorporate ancient DNA studies to do intelligence estimates.
I think he gives a very good background to the events, explains the conference content and general procedures, and draws attention to the underlying socio-political problems which arise when research even raises the possibility of genetic components in group differences.
Any comments you make here will be also be looked at by him, so both of us can reply to your remarks.