"It is of little, if any, scientific advance to argue that something
is innate or has a 'biological basis', or to imply that this imposes
some necessary constraints on our minds. What has been put in us,
biologically, through natural selection, may be creative, inventive
and liberating, rather than constraining."
Ken RICHARDSON, 1989, Understanding Psychology. Milton Keynes : Open
"Man's brain lives in the twentieth century, [but] the heart of most
men lives still in the Stone Age."
Erich FROMM, 1941, Escape from Freedom.
"....there has never been a measure that has been so ardently endorsed
and widely validated and yet so pervasively controversial as IQ."
S.CECI, 1991, Developmental Psychology.
EMANCIPATION, n. A bondman's change from the tyranny of another to
the despotism of himself.
He was a slave: at word he went and came;
His iron collar cut him to the bone.
Then Liberty erased his owner's name,
Tightened the rivets and inscribed his own.
[The Devil's Dictionary A.B.]
'The attacks ... often read like an unintentional confirmation
of our view of the "cognitive elite" as a new caste,
complete with high priests, dogmas, heresies, and apostates.
They have revealed the extent to which the social science that
deals in public
policy has in the latter part of the 20th century become
self-censored and riddled with taboos - in a word, corrupt.'
This is a collection of materials relating to the book
The Bell Curve (Free Press, 1994)
by Richard Herrnstein and
Several reviews of the book
can be found here, and have been divided into sections depending on
their degree of balance (in the opinion of the editor - but make up your
own mind). Read the book, since its representation in the media
and elsewhere is thoroughly misleading.
J. Phillipe Rushton,
- Charles Murray's
NLSY data files are now available online.
- Richard Herrnstein, RIP
obituary by Charles Murray.
The Bell Curve and its critics by Charles Murray in
"when the Sturm und Drang has subsided, nothing
important in The Bell Curve will have been overturned. I say
this not because Herrnstein and I were especially far-sighted,
but because our conclusions are so cautiously phrased and our
so securely in the middle of the scientific road."
Replies and Counter Replies in Commentary.
Heckman, James J.; Kamin, Leon J.; Lane, Charles; Lewis, Lloyd B.;
Loury, Linda Datcher; Nisbett, Richard E.; Rushton, J. Philippe;
Ryan, W.H.; van den Haag, Ernest.
Statement by scientists in support
"Since the publication of "The Bell Curve," many commentators have
opinions about human intelligence that misstate current
Some conclusions dismissed in the media as
discredited are actually firmly
Skeptic Magazine's interview with Charles Murray.
"There seems to be a reflexive, almost deep inner
panic, in an awful lot of people to be on the right side
of The Bell Curve issue. And the right side is being
perceived publically that you are
shocked that these authors would suggest
that intelligence has an important role in social problems;
shock to think that anyone would still
suggest there are differences among the races in intelligence.
I've seen people, who I thought were both smart and honest,
lie when it comes to the book."
Murray Interview on National Public Radio
Skeptic Magazine's interview with Robert Sternberg
" there is definitely some heritability of intelligence in
the White population. Almost every psychologist believes there is
some heritability of IQ and I agree. But the public may not
understand just what that means. If you accept the use of the
heritability statistic, about .5 is probably right."
Interview with Robert Gordon on Eugenics.
"the most persuasive data that I've seen shows that after that early
stage in a child's life, changing the IQ is almost impossible.
The research that I've done on crime suggests that a family with
low IQ levels will
certainly contribute to the delinquency of a child.
And the family's genetic background almost always has a determining
effect on the child's
intelligence and ability".
Thinktank Transcripts - Charles Murray
"I am afraid, first, of racists taking what we say as a
basis for conclusions that Dick Herrnstein and I think are utterly
unfounded. I am worried -- we were both worried about all
the ways in which people are too inclined to take something like
IQ and make it into fate."
Thinktank Transcripts - Bell Curve Symposium 1
Roger Wilkins, Linda Gottfredson, Douglas Besharov,
Christopher Winship, Glenn Loury .
Thinktank Transcripts - Bell Curve Symposium 2
Roger Wilkins, Linda Gottfredson, Douglas Besharov,
Christopher Winship, Glenn Loury .
Living with Inequality
by Eugene Genovese
Is intelligence fixed?
by Nathan Glazer
by Ernest van den Haag
Paroxysms of denial
by Arthur Jensen
Meritocracy that works
by Glen Loury
Sins of the Cognitive Elite
by Michael Novak
Trashing the Bell Curve
by Dan Seligman
Legacy of Racism
by Pat Shipman
James Q. Wilson
by Michael Young
Review by Chester E. Finn in Commentary.
When facts and orthodoxy collide by Craig L. Frisby.
Implications for the discipline of school psychology
by Thomas Oakland.
Commentary on some of the empirical and theoretical support
for The Bell Curve by John Kranzler.
Why The Bell Curve is important for school psychologists
by J. Braden.
- Review by Thomas Sowell from
The American Spectator.
- Flint from The Boston Globe,
August 9, 1994.
Advance publicity before The Bell Curve was published.
Review by Jim Powell.
An attempted summary
by J. Laurie Snell, from Chance magazine.
Is the Bell Curve Statistically Sound? by James Case.
Review in Contemporary Psychology
by Thomas Bouchard
"As scholars such as Daniel Moynihan, Arthur Jensen, and E. O.
Wilson have learned, the mainstream media and much of the scientific
community have little tolerance for those who would question our most
cherished beliefs. Herrnstein and Murray have received similar
Intelligence and the social scientist by Leon Kass.
'Insufficiently appreciative that hypocrisy is the
tribute vice pays to virtue, they seek the same
(alleged) benefits that came from breaking the
Victorian taboos against public chatter about sex
(to which they compare ours about racial differences in IQ).
Herrnstein and Murray want to
let it all hang out: "Taboos breed not only ignorance
but misinformation." A richer social science,
seeking wisdom and not just statistical
correlations, might understand that taboos -
including the Victorian ones - are often the
embodiments of reason and goodness. Our taboo
about race, genes, and IQ seems to me profoundly wise.'
Aim Higher by Barbara Lerner.
Three Informal Fallacies in The Bell Curve by John
Goldberger and Manski
- Bell Curve Bibliography. Various hostile
references from the initial reception.
- Wringing the Bell Curve by
Devlin, Fienburg, Resnick and Roeder. In postscript!
"The Bell Curve is a strange work. Some of the analysis and
a good deal of the tone are reasonable. Yet, the science in
the book was
questionable when it was proposed a century ago,
and it has now been completely supplanted by the
development of the cognitive sciences
and neurosciences. The policy recommendations of the
book are also exotic, neither following from the analyses
nor justified on their own
terms. The book relies heavily on innuendo,
some of it quite frightening in its implications."
"The Bell Curve consists of no
dependable scientific evidence or consistent argument to suggest
that there is a relation between ethnicity and cognitive ability.
In fact, the body of data is so immense that, if one were to
examine the appendices with no knowledge of the book's premise, a
large number of varying inferences could be drawn about both the
data and the topic of the book."
'All things considered, I believe that "The Bell Curve's" statements
about race would have been better left unsaid even
if they were definitely true.'
- Steven Jay Gould
'"The Bell Curve," with its claims and
supposed documentation that race and class differences are largely
caused by genetic factors and are therefore essentially immutable,
contains no new arguments and presents no compelling data to
support its anachronistic Social Darwinism.'
- Gray on Gould
disappointed with Gould's math knowledge and his attack,
in ignorance of logistic regression, on another's professionalism."
- Sarle on Gould
Gould's treatment of Jensen is almost as scurrilous as his trashing of H&M.
While I have read and enjoyed some of Gould's work in the past,
I now consider him thoroughly unreliable
The Harvard Salient on Gould.
"Stephen Jay Gould, poster child of the cognitive elite,
has not allowed facts to impede his effort to refute
Murray and Herrnstein in print."
"The Bell Curve's conclusion that intelligence quotient is
distinctly different for the two subpopulations
hypothesized, cannot yield a normal distribution with the
one subpopulation squeezed into the lower ten percentile.
We are, from a theoretical
point of view, not in the domain of the normal distribution."
Psychologists question findings of Bell Curve
This is a highly innacurate piece from the APA Monitor
its own report on intelligence. Perhaps the predilections
of the reporter got in the way here?
Professors criticize best seller
from Golden Gater Online.
'The panel criticized the authors for not explaining what intelligence is.
"(The authors) say they do not need to define it," said black studies
Professor Laura Head.
During the three-hour discussion, Head called the book
"a piece of propaganda clothed in the
skirt of science."
Although Head has only browsed through the book, she has seen this kind
of pseudo-science before'.
Response to The Bell Curve by Douglas Metzler
Robert Wright on heritablility, from The New Republic.
"Upper-middle-class parents of pre-schoolers
lately have been swapping
anecdotes about how cd-rom software
can help a child's reading and math
skills. It's possible that even now technology
is creating a new environment
for early education, in which the i.q./heritability picture will look
This crosses the boundary into libellous territory, accusing
Murray of KKK affiliations, and claims both authors
are well-known racists.
No citations for these claims are given, and my written request to
the editors of the "journal" it appears in, for the citations, remains
Indulges in a fair measure of character assasination and attempted
rank-pulling, not to mention repetition of his now discredited
charges against Sir Cyril Burt (in an attempt to slur Herrnstein
by association and innuendo).
"Herrnstein and Murray's book concludes that genetic differences are
largely responsible for the fact that the average white IQ score of
100 is 15 points higher than the African American average." FALSE!
House and Haug
"If there were such a thing as social science malpractice,
these authors would be at risk. Not because of the topics
they address, but because their analyses are inadequate and
their arguments biased, even deceptive at times."
"Whites are smarter than Blacks, not because they
choose to be it's in their gene pool. This argument is
not based on racism it's based on genetics according to
Hernstein[sic] and Murray." FALSE!
"For those who have managed to avoid reading about The Bell Curve,
it's yet another resurrection of the pseudo-science of eugenics,
which applies mock-Darwinian notions of evolution to human
'The best analysis of what they see as the
statistical sleight of hand in
"The Bell Curve," Olkin and other experts said, was done by Harvard
professor Stephen Jay Gould, who has written volumes about attempts
to subvert science for the purpose of "proving"
that one race, gender or ethnic group is superior.'
The Boston Book Review
An appallingly bad review by Lucy Horwitz, claiming statistical
fallacy while demonstrating none, triumphantly repeating everyone
else's criticisms without checking them (repeats the elementary stats
errors made by Gould) and generally showing no balance,
no originality and no detachment whatsoever, to the point of
IQ and Race in General
See the sections on