Why do we fear “The Bell Curve”?

The Bell Curve

OCALA, Fla., June 24, 2014 — The debate over human intelligence and the question of nature-or-nurture remains hot.

Since The Bell Curve was published twenty years ago, many have adopted the notion of intelligence being unrelated to heredity with a religious fervor.

There can be little doubt that genes play a large role in determining the intelligence of any given person. A 2011 study published in Molecular Psychiatry indicated that more than half of IQ can be attributed to genetic factors. Going back several decades, before the Nazis warped genetic science into a fantasy for rationalizing genocide, most of the developed world pursued this research with a passion.

READ ALSO: What does Affirmative Action actually affirm?

Today, scientists and scholars who speak frankly about group-based differences in intelligence are asking for career implosion. Why are reactions to their work so extreme?

“It’s a way to police the boundaries of ‘acceptable’ speech without direct government censorship,” Dr. Jason Richwine told me earlier this year. The Harvard-educated social scientist was on his way to the top until late last spring. A staffer at the Heritage Foundation, he wrote a lengthy study about illegal immigration’s impact on our national interest. His findings generated widespread media attention, and perhaps more importantly, professional acclaim.

Shortly after, politically motivated bloggers let loose with quotations from Richwine’s doctoral dissertation, which focused on IQ and the Hispanic community’s fortunes. Despite finding strong support from most of the right-leaning punditocracy, Richwine ultimately stepped down from Heritage.

While his work was defended as legitimate science by many, others claimed that he was a proponent of eugenics-inspired bigotry.

Richwine is hardly alone in being persecuted for studying the lesser-mentioned facets of human intelligence. Dr. Robert Weissberg is an emeritus professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana. For decades, he was a popular columnist, author, and public speaker. In 2012, he was fired by the National Review for his opinions about ancestry-related intelligence. Ironically, this afforded him intense national exposure. Today, he continues to write about sociocultural relations.

“(T)here is a vast industry to uplift a bottom that cannot be uplifted,” Dr. Weissberg explained. “Like turning lead into gold. Moreover, the shear futility of the quest bestows a moral virtue on these crusaders. Look at all the ‘noble’ foundations that have poured billions down the toilet.”

The time has come for American intellectuals and media figures to admit that biology cares not for political correctness.

Scientific data exist on their own terms, and while this basic fact can be ignored, it cannot be made to go away. Will our nation’s supposedly brightest bulbs ever come to terms with what is staring them in the face?

Probably not.

READ ALSO: Why is the science of human intelligence a secular heresy?

The resolute denial of biological realities is caused by an even larger problem. Many believe that intelligence and heredity have nothing to do with one another. This belief is held with a religious conviction; the sort of thing that cares not at all for logic or reason.

As intelligence is the quintessential matter of logic and reason, those who have no use for either or cannot be expected to evaluate IQ in a reliable fashion.

This can be attributed to the Church of Equality. Unlike most Americans, the Church defines “equality” not in terms of a level playing field, but a level quality of life. This means that there are no such things as differences in aptitude, economic power, or social standing. All who sit in the Church’s pews are one and the same, regardless of the fact that they are obviously different from one another.

Oops! There go those dreaded facts again! The high priests and priestesses of the CoE will have absolutely none of that. Dissent is for thinking people, and Church-mandated equality has no patience for thought.

After all, deep thinkers probably have moderate-to-high IQs. I wonder if their parents were smart? What about their ancestors? Might there be some sort of correlation here?

That leaves us with the original question, of course.

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  • Carl_Bankston

    “sheer futility,” not “shear”