07 July 2016

Biological race and human diversity

I am a long-time subscriber to The skeptical inquirer, and so I read in the April/March 2016 issue the article Biological race and the problem of human diversity, by Kenneth Krause (online here). It's the usual politically correct stuff, including demagogic one-liners such as
It is only tradition and shortsightedness that leads us to think there are multiple distinct oceans.
I usually distrust arguments that happen to coincide with liberal mainstream thought, be it on Global Warming, Gun Safety or the non-existence of Race. On the latter I'm happy to quote below a reaction in Letters to the Editor (not online) of the July/August 2016 issue. (Emphasis as in the original.)


Biological race and human diversity

I wonder how much experience those who say race is a "social construct" have of different ethnic groups ("Biological race and the problem of human diversity," March/April 2016). No one with such experience could doubt the reality of racial difference.

The taboo is old. Anthony Smith, in The Body (1968), begins his chapter on race by saying that the word must be dismissed as soon as it is brought forward.

Krause unsurprisingly makes only one mention of Arthur Jensen (calling him "Jenson"), only the briefest reference to The Bell Curve (most of which isn't about race), and no mention of Hans Eysenck, J. Philippe Rushton, Richard Lynn, etc., who presented evidence of real racial differences.

Nicholas Wade contends that academics fear for their careers, but more than careers are at stake: as well as demands that they be dismissed, some were vilified, forced from their homes, threatened in writing, by telephone, and in person—and even physically assaulted—for saying things that were well-known in he scientific world.

I detest racism and am utterly opposed to racial discrimination. I was a member of the Anti-Apartheid Movement  and boycotted South African products. But I agree with Anthony Daniels: "That the concept of race has been used to justify the most hideous crimes should [not] inhibit us from examining it dispassionately." Any such objective examination will confirm the reality of racial difference.

Ray Ward
London, United Kingdom


Yes, half a millennium after the renaissance, Dogma prevails over Facts once again!