Sesardić’s conjecture: preliminary evidence in favor

In Making sense of Heritability (2005), Sesardić wrote: On the less obvious side, a nasty campaign against H could have the unintended effect of strengthening H [hereditarianism] epistemically, and making the criticism of H look less convincing. Simply, if you happen to believe that H is true and if you also know that opponents of…

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“a kind of social paranoia, a belief that mysterious, hostile forces are operating to cause inequalities in educational and occupational performance, despite all apparent efforts to eliminate prejudice and discrimination”

Quoting from Arthur Jensen’s book Educability and group differences (1973). He was being criticized for postulating genetic causes, which some critics think would cause great social harm if they were to be believed. That is, Jensen was replying to the Turkheimers of yesteryear. The scientific task is to get at the facts and properly verifiable…

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Paige-Harden, Turkheimer and the psychometric left

Kathryn Paige Harden is professor of psychology who belongs to the Turkheimerian ‘left psychometrics’ school. I’ve discussed the odd behavior of Eric Turkheimer before, but since then I found a rather amazing essay: The Search for a Psychometric Left 1997 (the journal seems to no longer exist). It’s definitely worth reading in its entirely, but…

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What you can’t say: genetic group difference edition

Paul Graham‘s 2004 essay What you can’t say had a big influence on me and remains my favorite essay. In he argued essentially that popular morality shows fashion tendencies i.e. that it varies over time but for no evidence-linked reason. What is at one time considered a grievous moral evil is later considered not a…

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It works in practice, but does it work in (my) theory?

There’s a certain type of person that doesn’t produce any empirical contribution to “Reducing the heredity-environment uncertainty”. Instead, they contribute various theoretical arguments which they take to undermine the empirical data others give. Usually, these people have a background in philosophy or some other theoretical field. A recent example of this pattern is seen on…

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