It seems like there’s a total “disconnect” on this issue [eugenics] between science on the one hand, and popular opinion, on the other.
You’re absolutely right. There are two arenas in which the Nature-Nurture debate is taking place – the scientific one, and the public one – and the outcomes are exactly opposite.
Scientifically, the egalitarian (Nurture) position that heredity has no influence on behavior, that everyone is born exactly the same, and that the environment determines everything – is totally bankrupt. Proponents of this view have been not just beaten, but clobbered by overwhelming evidence from numerous twin studies and adoption studies, despite the fact that the “playing field” is absurdly uneven in their favor – it is far easier to get funds for research if you take an egalitarian stance, your articles will be greeted with great interest and approval, and you won’t have even one-thousandth the problem finding a publisher for your book, which will get rave reviews and sell lots of copies. In spite of all that, the egalitarians have been thoroughly trounced in the scientific arena for the plain and simple reason that they’re wrong, and the evidence against them is overwhelming.
In the public arena, just the opposite is true, and Nurture has clearly won the day. The egalitarian strategy has been to snipe at the research of the hereditarians. (I use “hereditarians” to mean people who believe heredity exerts a strong influence on behavior. No hereditarians I’ve ever heard of believe the environment is unimportant.) Egalitarians use ad hominem attacks, portraying hereditarians as evil men who deliberately distort their data because they want to make themselves feel superior, and because they want to deliberately make other people feel bad. (Oh please! How stupid can you get?!)
Egalitarians have no evidence, and they know it. They try to confuse the issue: “Nobody can ever know for sure.” “It hasn’t been proven.” They like to say that heredity and environment are so hopelessly entangled, how could anyone figure out the relative influence of each? (Easy – by studying identical twins reared apart.) Their obscurantist strategy is powerless against vast areas of new research such as biological correlates of IQ (e.g., .4 with brain size) so they simply ignore them. They point to a small flaw in one twin study done 50 years ago, for example, in an attempt to discredit twin studies, but neglect to inform their readers that a dozen more studies conducted since then have reported exactly the same results. They give examples of questions taken from IQ tests discarded decades ago, saying they’re “obviously biased,” as if it’s sufficient to simply make an assertion and leave it at that. But do the egalitarians really want to get at the truth? Ask yourself this question, “What research have Gould, Kagan, Lewontin, Rose, et al. ever produced?” Answer: None.
Among researchers in the field of IQ, it’s been common knowledge for many years that the leading proponents of egalitarianism are not merely mistaken or misinformed, they are thoroughly dishonest. They deliberately mislead people into accepting egalitarianism in order to further their own political agenda, and their allies in the media do likewise. (And in so doing, they all make lots of money – they must be in hog heaven.) Brilliant and sincere scientists, such as Jensen, Whitney, Lynn, Rushton, Herrnstein, and Murray, who consistently report the truth even though they know it’s unpopular, are branded “racists” and “bigots,” while the egalitarians portray themselves as the “good guys.” It’s downright disgusting the way they take on pious airs while blatantly lying to the public. (If you want to learn who these people are and precisely why they are doing this, read my anti-eugenics hoax paper .)
Everyone knows that if a person listens to only one side in a bitter divorce, he/she is likely to come away with a totally biased impression. (The wife’s friends say “The husband is a monster!” and the husband’s friends say “The wife’s a psychopath!”) But even though we know better, we still fall prey to believing what we hear based on just one side, and we do it all the time, because there are only so many hours in a day, and we can’t probe deeply into every single issue. On the question of genetics and behavior, the egalitarians and the liberal media have tightly controlled public discourse, so for decades, only their side has been presented to the public. Is it any wonder the public accepts what they say uncritically? It’s certainly not anyone’s fault for believing it. If I didn’t happen to study and do research on IQ, I’d probably believe it, too.
But then maybe someday, I might think to myself, “Why not just see what the other side has to say?” Many, many people are incapable of doing this, because they’re terrified the other side might be right, and to discover that they’ve been completely wrong would be such a jolt to their psyches they might never recover. Anyway, just imagine I summoned up the courage to venture into forbidden territory – I might read one really good book, such as The Bell Curve, by Herrnstein and Murray. I’d think to myself, “Gee, what a totally different world this is! It’s not a pretentious piece of propaganda like Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man– it’s down-to-earth, clearly stated, interesting, even engrossing. Hmmm . . . kind of exciting! It’s easy to read, yet it feels more . . . substantive, more satisfying, like meat-and-potatoes compared to that other stuff, which was like cotton candy. And look – all these interesting graphs and tables! I guess that’s because this is, well, science.” And when I’d finished, I don’t think I’d feel foolish at all – I think I’d be plenty angry at the dishonest low-lifes who had blatantly lied to me for decades.