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February 2-5, 2010
"This is the pot calling the kettle black."
Richard Posner, on Gould
accusing the Bell Curve
of being an ideological work.
p. 93, _Public Intellectuals_
And *this* is a case of one pot calling
another pot black while denying that the
original kettle was black, when all can
plainly see it is, in one sense quite
black, but in another, whiter than
white, and without much in the way of
IQ going for it.
"The _scientific_ disagreements between Gould on the one
hand and Herrnstein and Murray on the other are smaller than
meet the eye, which is typical of public-intellectual work."
Richard Posner, p.93, _Public Intellectuals_
If you actually read Gould, this seems like a very strange
thing to say. Gould attacks the "Bell Curve's" handling of
statistical matters, in particular he accuses them of
burying the data showing the weakness of their correlations.
"He is right to criticize Herrnstein and Murray (as others
have done) for having created an exaggerated impression of
the statistical robustness of their correlations between IQ
and worldly success or failure" -p.94
Uh, yup. So what exactly were you talking
about on the previous page?
Abusing statistics doesn't strike you
as a slight scientific problem?
Steve of Stevereads does a
fair job of defending Gould
from Posner's attack:
Perhaps Steve's best point is that while
Gould is a paleontologist, he's spent much
of his career working with statistics, and
is in fact well-qualified to talk about
"principal-components analysis". Gould's
application of it to the IQ debate could
turn out to be wrong, and even so he would
not deserve Posner's criticism for arguing Posner, on the
beyond his expertise. other hand *would*
This is one of the funnier points Steve makes:
"Posner claims that The Bell Curve had got the
better of the fight with Gould, which I don't
understand: the evidence against Herrstein &
Murray's book had been overwhelming for years
by the time Posner wrote. Public Intellectuals
came out in 2001, whereas Intelligence, Genes,
and Success: Scientists Respond to The Bell
Curve-- tearing H&M's book to shreds from a
number of angles-- had come out in 1997."
To get the joke, you need to know that Posner likes
to accuse other people of ignoring criticism they KRUGMAN_INCLINED
should be aware of, and so on.
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