Some Satoshi Kanazawa articles + thoughts

I had all these open in my tabs, and decided to share them.


I also note that apparently Satoshi Kanazawa was fired from writing at Psychology Today. Reading the various papers (detractors, defenders) listed on the Wikipedia page. I’m inclined to agree mostly with his defenders. The defenders included the most scientists that i respect. Many of the defenders were scientists that i have never heard of from not closely related fields (some example): Department of Communication Studies, Research Fellow in Linguistics, The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. Another strange thing was that the scientists that i had heard of, were apparently co-authors that werent also signatories: David M Buss, Linda S Gottfredson, Steven Pinker. Actually, these three, that were not signatories, were the only names i recognized form their 68 person list.


Actually, since the defender piece is so short, ill just quote it in its entirety:

Sinned against, not sinning

16 June 2011

We believe the recent criticisms of Satoshi Kanazawa’s work cannot be justified (“Damage limitation: evolutionary psychologists turn on controversial peer”, 2 June). Contrary to the assertion that Kanazawa does poor work, he has published 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals in the fields of psychology, sociology, political science, biology and medicine. These are listed on his London School of Economics web page and many of them have been published in top high-impact journals.

The critics assert that many of these papers are “bad science” and have been published only as a result of a faulty peer-review process. This cannot be accepted. The editors of journals send the papers submitted to them to reviewers with expertise in the fields in question and publish only those that are deemed to be sound. Thus, all of Kanazawa’s papers have been judged as sound by competent reviewers. Others may disagree, and in the case of innovative papers of the kind Kanazawa writes, frequently do. Time eventually tells whether the authors or their detractors are right.

The critics complain that when Kanazawa has a paper rejected by one journal, he sends it to another and publishes it there. Who among the academy’s members has not done that? Reviewers frequently misjudge a paper and editors accept their recommendations. The author then sends it elsewhere and it is accepted. If there were anything wrong with this practice, then, as the first online comment under “Damage limitation” puts it: “A few Nobel prizes will have to be returned.” [Yes, indeed, see JUAN MIGUEL CAMPANARIO – Rejecting and resisting Nobel class discoveries accounts by Nobel Laureates]

The detractors assert that Kanazawa rarely responds to brickbats. On the contrary, we believe that while he sometimes does not respond immediately, he frequently deals with criticisms in his subsequent work.

For example, in respect to the criticisms made by Columbia University’s Andrew Gelman about his paper reporting that physically more attractive parents are more likely to have daughters, Kanazawa replicated his earlier finding with a different dataset from a different nation, and published the replication in the Reproductive Sciences journal earlier this year.

Kanazawa even sought Gelman’s comments on the draft and the Columbia academic’s contribution is acknowledged in the published paper.

Kanazawa’s 2010 American Psychologist article also responds to many of the criticisms that were levelled against his 2004 Psychological Review article.

Finally, we believe that the proper place to make criticisms of academic papers is in the journals in which they were published, not in letters to the press where they cannot be adequately answered.

Among the names of the signatories we find: Bruce Charlton, Richard Lynn, Helmuth Nyborg, J. Philippe Rushton, Donald Templer.


I also looked in the comments below. There is a person who mentions a joint study by Lynn and Kanazawa as a “prime example” of something that isnt “wonderful, accurate or even worth reading”. Out of curiosity, i looked closer at this article. It is the kind of article that wud attract unwarranted criticism: it is a study of difference g averages in boys and girls which found a small difference in boys’ favor at age 16, and small advantages for girls at age 7 and 11. I read some of it, skimmed the rest. Doesn’t seem that there is anything wrong with it. Take a look urself:


Kanazawa’s research quality?

I agree that some of his research is dodgy, and i especially dont like his ad hoc‘ish savannah hypothesis that predicts that smarter people tend to do more evolutionary novel stuff. It is true that he has posted a few confirmations of this pattern. However, even false hypothesis sometimes give correct predictions. I havent seen any critical tests yet that convinced me.









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