Saturday, March 17, 2018


The Biosocial criminologists responded to Burt and Simmons' Pulling Back the Curtain on Heritability Studies in the Post-Genomic Era, of course, and Burt and Simmons wrote in response HERITABILITY STUDIES IN THE POSTGENOMIC ERA: THE FATAL FLAW IS CONCEPTUAL∗ - both the abstract and full PDF can be found here.

I had to laugh when I read the paper's description of the response - it sounds exactly like what you would expect from the biosocial gang (I added paragraph breaks for clarity):
...Barnes et al. (2014) wrote a response to our article. In their response (and now re- joinder in this issue, Wright et al., 2015), they adopted a strategy common to behav- ioral geneticists, which Panofsky (2014: 141) called, “hitting them over the head style.” This approach involves dodging criticisms by misrepresenting arguments and insinuating that critics are politically motivated and reject scientific truths as well as focusing on a few “‘tractable’ empirical objections” while “ignoring the deeper theoretical objections”...
...Consistent with Panofsky’s characterization of earlier behavioral geneticists, Barnes et al. and now Wright et al. (2015) question our scientific objectivity, distort our arguments and their implications, and attempt to bury the reader under mounds of data and mathematical simulations, which are all grounded on the flawed biological model at the core of our critique. 
Unfortunately, we do not have the space to address all of Barnes et al.’s (2014) and Wright et al.’s (2015) distortions of our arguments or the facts. 
Moreover, we do not wish to question their credentials or motives. Instead, we focus on the science. 
Specifically, our aim in this brief rejoinder is to correct Barnes et al.’s portrayal of our case against heritability studies—namely, their misguided assertion that the crux of our case against heritability studies rests on the empirical validity of a few select methodological assumptions—and, in so doing, refocus attention on our central claim: Recent advances in the life sciences demonstrate that the foundational biological model undergirding heritability studies is invalid, and heritability studies attempt the impossible.
It's no surprise that the biosocial criminologists suggest that Burt and Simmons were politically motivated in their first paper. It's so typical of the shameless, blatant hypocrisy of the whole evolutionary psychology brotherhood. They publish commentary in alt-right Quillette, white supremacist American Renaissance, Unz Review, VDare, Taki's Magazine - John Paul Wright even has a blog called Conservative Criminology - and appear on alt-right racist Stefan Molyneux's web channel, and then turn around and claim that it is their critics who are tainted by political views. I've documented the shamelessness in my chart Steven Pinker's right-wing, alt-right & hereditarian connections

Speaking of whom, the paper cites Pinker:
Although ours was not a politically motivated critique, we are cognizant of the political sensitivities surrounding this line of research. The possibility that unpleasant facts may result from a line of inquiry does not mean that it should be ignored or findings censored. Political or social sensitivities should not disrupt scientific progress. However, as Pinker noted (2011: 614): “The fact that a hypothesis is politically uncomfortable does not mean that it is false, but it does mean that we should consider the evidence very carefully before concluding that it is true.” History is replete with examples of enormous human abuses justified in part by (later determined) flawed scientific research linking biology to crime or other deviant behaviors (Rafter, 2008). There is nothing unscientific about acknowledg- ing this potential danger and proceeding carefully (Orr, 2014). At times, however, many biosocial criminologists seem to take the opposite approach while intimating that they alone are scientific enough to face politically sensitive scientific questions. For example, in a recent chapter by Wright and Morgan (2014) arguing for the biological basis of race and challenging the “egalitarian fiction” (specifically implying that Blacks, as a biological [racial] category, have higher rates of offending in part due to genetic differences; p. 58), they stated: 
[B]iosocial criminologists are a unique breed—no pun intended. As a group they are contrarian to the core. By this we mean that they question every theory, every postu- late, and every finding. . . . Simply put, biosocial criminologists are skeptical of entire bodies of research in part because they believe much of it to be misspecified, or worse yet, infused with disciplinary or political bias. (p. 55)
Organized skepticism is a core value in science. Scientists should question results until they are convinced that they have rooted out error and bias, and in our view, heritab- ility study scholars have not applied this organized skepticism to their own models. This may be an acceptable way of conducting science in a different world, one without a history of eugenics and pervasive racism, sexism, heterosexism, and other ’isms. To be sure, our attention to the methodological and conceptual flaws in heritability studies may seem relatively uncommon, hence, the conclusion by Barnes et al. (2014) that our critique was politically motivated. We believe, however, that in this politically sensitive realm such organized skepticism is certainly justified. 
I had to laugh again at the citation of John Paul Wright saying "biosocial criminologists are a unique breed... as a group they are contrarian to the core."

This demonstrates what I've said before about the evo-psycho bros, a group in which I include Wright: they like to imagine themselves as bad-asses.

I think that John Paul Wright and the Hells Angels of Criminology are mentally incapable of comprehending any and all good-faith critiques of their flawed methodology because they are so blinded by their paranoia. 

Which makes them utterly useless as scientists - but of course very useful to racists like American Renaissance and Stefan Molyneux. And Wright and the others are happy to oblige. And completely and utterly shameless about it.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Biosocial criminology: Pulling Back the Curtain on Heritability Studies in the Post-Genomic Era

It turns out there are serious scientists who are criticizing biosocial criminology. I found a paper called Pulling Back the Curtain on Heritability Studies in the Post-Genomic Era by Callie H. Burt and Ronald Simmons. Available online here for free.

Burt seems to be an especially good source for refuting hereditarianism as demonstrated on her blog, which unfortunately is not updated as often as I would like. Co-author Ronald L. Simmons has an interesting bio:
He received a Ph.D. in Sociology from Florida State University and completed his post doctoral work at the University of Wisconsin.
But based on the age given on his Wiki entry, he left FSU long before Kevin Beaver rolled into town.

Unlike the biosocial criminologists, Burt and Simmons don't have celebrity Steven Pinker promoting their work, and so I wasn't aware of this paper, and in fact I heard of it through one of the biosocial criminologist papers' reference.

The abstract is not kind to world of biosocial criminality:
...This study provides a critique of heritability study methods and assumptions to illuminate the dubious foundations of heritability estimates and questions the rationale and utility of partitioning genetic and environmental effects. After critiquing the major models, we call for an end to heritability studies. We then present what we perceive to be a more useful biosocial research agenda that is consonant with and informed by recent advances in our understanding of gene function and developmental plasticity.
 The paper includes some interesting commentary:
We are surprised that these somewhat astonishing findings reported in recent studies,
such as the reports of more than 50 percent heritability for such complex social behaviors as crime and victimization, have not generated more critical attention in criminology.
We also are perplexed by the lack of response to the heritability study finding that
so-called shared environmental factors play a minor role in explaining variation in crime  related phenotypes (e.g., Barnes, Boutwell, and Fox, 2012; Beaver et al., 2008; Beaver, Ferguson, and Lynn-Whaley, 2010; Boisvert, Wright, et al., 2013). Indeed, the conclusion from many of these heritability studies that little—if any—of the variance in criminal behavior is due to shared environments, often interpreted to include parenting and community factors, contradicts a wealth of research conducted during the past century as well as the major theories of crime. As the renowned psychiatrist and behavioral genetics practitioner Michael Rutter (2006: 11) noted, “[The] sweeping assertions on the irrelevance of the family environment are not supported by research evidence. It is quite striking that behavioral genetics reviews usually totally ignore the findings on environmental influences. It is almost as if research by non-geneticists is irrelevant.”
...most of the arguments in this article are not original but are those of prominent scientists, many of whom we cite, whose criticisms have been largely unheeded by the criminological community in recent years. We hope to renew a dialogue in criminology about heritability studies and stimulate what we view as a much-needed debate about the utility of heritability studies for crime and related phenotypes...
The paper also raises issues about Kevin Beaver's methodology used for twin and adoptions studies, something I have done about his claims about race:
...those respondents who had no knowledge about their biological parents’ jail or prison
status—almost certainly those who had the least contact with their biological parents
(and could not be influenced by potential labeling processes involved in having a criminal parent)—were not included in the analyses. This same Add Health adoption subsample and model also was used to “estimate genetic influences on victimization” (Beaver et al., 2013: 149). 
In sum, the adoption method was promoted as a powerful model for separating genetic
and environmental influences that avoided limitations of twin studies by “more cleanly
[separating] genetic and environmental influences” (Raine, 1993: 60; also Mednick and
Kandel, 1988; Plomin and DeFries, 1985) and as such has played a crucial role in bolstering findings from twin studies. It is clear, however, that the adoption method suffers from several of its own invalidating flaws, which—like twin studies—seem to bias estimates systematically toward genetic influences and against shared environmental ones (e.g., Joseph, 2004; Stoolmiller, 1999).
Most interesting of all to me:
Research has evinced that human behavior is a function of the interplay of biology and
the environment. As we have argued, we believe that this evidence clearly demonstrates
that quantitative genetics is a misguided endeavor that asks the wrong questions and uses flawed methods to try to answer them.8 
What remains unclear is why this enterprise continues. The question of nature versus nurture no longer makes any sense whatsoever in the context of modern genetics. These recent advances in molecular genetics “really should be the final nail in heritability’s coffin” (Crusio, 2012: 362).
What remains unclear is why this enterprise continues. I have a few ideas. This paper was published in March 2014.

Brian Boutwell first appeared in Quillette, in November 2015 and accused Burt and Simmons of trying to smear his colleagues and himself:
They maintain outmoded understandings about where crime comes from and generally reject the science suggesting that their knowledge base is wrong. Does this actually translate into real attempts to silence our work? It does. Just last year (2014) an article [7] was published in our flagship journal calling for studies examining the heritability of antisocial traits (i.e., the genetic contribution to those traits) to be ended and expelled from the discipline. 
While the suggestion to effectively censor research was bizarre, the ability of the authors to make such a suggestion must be defended on the grounds of academic freedom. They were well within their rights to mount such an argument. Yet, the fact that their solution was outright suppression of a certain form of research speaks to the deep animosity for biosocial scholarship that still exists in the field. And make no mistake, their arguments were not simply rooted in methodological nuance regarding whether heritability estimates are accurate or not. No, they were careful (in a subsequent article) to artfully link our work with the dangers of eugenicists of the past, conveniently reminding our colleagues (in case they forgot) what mark we bear on our forehead [8,9,10]. They wore the white hat and we wore the black hat.
Anybody who reads the paper will see that the argument to end heritability studies is based on the contention that those studies are simplistic, use poor methodology and are out-of-date thanks to new genetic research. Not because they are trying to "suppress" it.

Burt and Simmons don't speculate why "this enterprise continues" but I think it's pretty obvious why it does: those who promote the enterprise have a political agenda. And they know they are guaranteed a large and enthusiastic, if ill-informed, audience online.

The readership of alt-right Quillette wasn't enough for the biosocial criminology bros, and so they took their arguments to an even more ill-informed and blatantly racist audience. Boutwell's article was reprinted a month later in white supremacist American Renaissance, although it has since been removed from its web site. The evidence of its publication can be found via the Wayback Machine.

In May 2015 we see Kevin Beaver appearing on alt-right racist Stefan Molyneux's Youtube channelHe appeared again in 2016 and Brian Boutwell appeared in 2017.  John Paul Wright also appeared in 2017.

Clearly the hereditarians, whose twin studies are documented and critiqued in the Burt/Simmons paper of 2014, have no qualms whatsoever about the racism of Stefan Molyneux or American Renaissance.

And of course Steven Pinker has frequently promoted the work of these hereditarians when they have published in Quillette. And they are just a few of his many alt-right racist connections. Which makes Pinker's claim that academia and the media are "radicalizing" the alt-right so hypocritical, if not grotesquely cynical: in fact it's Steven Pinker and his hereditarian gang who are radicalizing the alt-right, providing American Renaissance and Stefan Molyneux with "scientific" reasons for their hatred of blacks.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Biosocial criminology ~ so what about Australia?

The biosocial criminologists don't seem aware, or don't care that their field is built on the shaky foundation of evolutionary psychology: untestable theories about how humans chose mates in prehistoric times; strict adaptationism; the Northern Superiority Hypothesis; and studies that were funded by racists.

It seems to me that the only way they can continue to believe in the hereditarian basis of their field is to ignore evidence that does not fit their theories. 

Two examples can be seen in this Quillette article written by Razib Khan and Brian Boutwell, which Steven Pinker recommended to his hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers: Heritability and why Parents (but not Parenting) Matter.

In the first example, we see the steadfast belief of hereditarians that human culture has so little impact that it is indistinguishable from "evolutionary processes." 

After admitting to the existence of arranged marriages Khan and Boutwell say:
...Consider the landmark and very famous work (highlighted by Dawkins) carried out on the selective breeding of foxes.8 The goal of the work, in large part, was to better understand the processes of animal domestication. Foxes displaying high levels of tameness (when around a human) were bred with each other.  As it turns out, if you continually cross one tame fox with another, what you eventually get is an animal that starts to act (and even look) more like a dog than a fox.7,8  “Humans are not foxes!” objects the incredulous critic. True, but we don’t get to play by different rules (apologies to our creationist friends [and sadly, to many sociologists*3]).  The same evolutionary processes that apply to the fox and the hound (and every other organism on the planet), apply to us.7,8
Animal domestication is not "evolutionary processes" because throughout the evolutionary history of the creatures which eventually became foxes, the animals chose which other animals they wished to have sex with - an aspect of evolution known as "sexual selection" - without humans controlling the pool of potential mates. And the animals did not prefer traits like "tameness around humans."

Arranged marriages - really any kind of marriage - like animal breeding is an example of human culture intervening in "evolutionary processes." Deciding to have children with an individual selected on the basis of non-sexual traits is not an example of sexual selection but rather a cultural socio-economic process - and in the case of arranged marriages a process not even based on the socio-economic decisions of those getting married. 

And arranged and forced marriages are not only an historical issue. In places all over the world, in the present time, women and girls are forced to copulate with and be impregnated by men they do not sexually desire, because it is in their parents' socio-economic interest that they do so. Patriarchal societies are built on a foundation of thwarting female sexual desire. 

And wealth is no indicator of evolutionary fitness - inheritance laws are not based on the physical beauty and healthy bodies and agreeable dispositions of heirs.

But evolutionary psychology theories can't work unless you completely throw out the inconvenient complexity of human culture. And so that's what they do. 

And then there's this section of the article:
Consider an example that dovetails with the previous point.  Criminologists (and psychologists) have been aware for some time that criminal involvement runs in families*4 and is also heritable (a good portion of that heritability seems to be narrow-sense, though not all; see  The psychologist Robert Krueger and colleagues10 some years back, provided evidence that humans mate assortatively for antisocial and criminogenic behaviors (put differently, highly antisocial individuals tend to pair off with each other in a non-random fashion).  Does this completely explain the concentration of crime in certain families?  No.  Can it be safely ignored and assumed to be irrelevant?  No.  Just as narrow-sense heritability is a puzzle piece that can tell you something about where the distribution of a trait could be headed in a population, it also helps inform the question of why certain traits cluster in families.9
Now I did some poking around in the books of the biosocial criminologists and can't find any significant discussion of Australia. Which is astounding when you consider that the British system of shipping off its criminals to Australia is the greatest natural experiment ever related to biosocial criminology:
New South Wales, a state in southeast Australia, was founded by the British as a penal colony in 1788. Over the next 80 years, more than 160,000 convicts were transported to Australia from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, in lieu of being given the death penalty.  
Today, about 20% of Australians are descendants of convicts, including plenty of prominent citizens. 
Twenty percent of Australians are descendants of convicts. Surely that's unique in the history of the world. There should be dozens of studies of Australia by biosocial criminologists. But as far as I can find, there are none.

It's hard to avoid the conclusion that biosocial criminologists never mention the history of Australia  as a penal colony  because it would immediately call into question their claim "criminal involvement runs in families."

But haven't they thought about it themselves? How could they not have thought about it, it's a well-known historical phenomenon.

I think biosocial criminologists have careers because few people take them seriously enough to ask basic questions like "what about Australia?" If serious scientists started asking serious questions the entire field would dissolve.

Meanwhile the biosocial criminologists can keep writing for alt-right Quillette and crying on alt-right Stefan Molyneux's shoulder about how they are discriminated against by those liberals in academia. Who, as they will tell you, have a greater tendency toward criminality, because they are liberal

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

It's the Biosocial Criminology Association

Here is the web site for the Biosocial Criminology Association

Here are the current officers of the organization. Every one of them has a connection to Florida State University. But then as Joseph L. Nedelec admits:
It was at FSU that Joe and the other two yahoos on this page (and under the tutelage of Kevin Beaver) concocted the idea for the BCA.
The other two yahoos are Joseph A. Schwartz and Eric J. Connelly.

Kevin Beaver at Florida State University is definitely the evangelist of biosocial criminology. 

The three yahoos have gotten lots of opportunities to co-author papers with the gang, especially Beaver, Wright and Boutwell. My absolute favorite one so far is this doozy - "political ideology predicts involvement with crime."

Knowing as I do John Paul Wright's obsessive, bitter hatred for anybody left of center, of course I knew immediately what it was going to say. And sure enough, here's what the abstract says:
Political ideology represents an imperfect yet important indicator of a host of personality traits and cognitive preferences. These preferences, in turn, seemingly propel liberals and conservatives towards divergent life-course experiences. Criminal behavior represents one particular domain of conduct where differences rooted in political ideology may exist. Using a national dataset, we test whether and to what extent political ideology is predictive of self-reported criminal behavior. Our results show that self-identified political ideology is monolgically related to criminal conduct cross-sectionally and prospectively and that liberals self-report more criminal conduct than do conservatives. We discuss potential causal mechanism relating political ideology to individual conduct.
It seems that everybody that John Paul Wright hates, especially blacks and liberals, are coincidentally genetically inclined to be criminal.

You can click the image to enlarge.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Biosocial criminology in Wikipedia

The Biosocial Criminology Wikipedia page makes clear how much biosocial criminology depends on evolutionary psychology.

Not only because "Evolutionary psychology" is the largest section on the page, but because the reference list is chock full of evolutionary psychologists including Buss, Pinker, Daly and Wilson as well as the biosocial criminology bros I've already mentioned in the evo-psycho bro series: Kevin Beaver, Brian Boutwell, Matt DeLisi and John Paul Wright.

Today by way of P. Z. Myers is a blog post from Larry Moran, professor of biochemistry about evolutionary psychology which says in part:
...the field of evolutionary psychology is a mess and many scientists and philosophers think it is fundamentally flawed... 
... there's no denying that the discipline is being attacked. In fact, it's hard to think of any other academic discipline whose fundamental validity is being questioned so openly
But in spite of the many doubts and arguments against the discipline itself, biosocial criminology has decided to take evolutionary psychology and run with it. Including making the argument that "race" - something they never actually clearly define - is a determinant of intelligence and criminal inclinations.

Although just as with the essay at the University of Cincinnati web site I mentioned yesterday, there's no direct reference to race in the Wiki article. Or rather, there was no reference to race. I fixed that.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Let's explore biosocial criminology

I feel that I've done all that I can with investigating Steven Pinker's alt-right connections, without becoming a professional journalist myself.

My evo-psycho bros series now has 86 entries beginning in mid-January up until early March. A high-level view of Pinker's connections can be seen in this chart I created at the end of the series, Steven Pinker's right-wing, alt-right & hereditarian connections.

I had already been well aware of some of Pinker's alt-right connections, in particular his connection to Razib Khan whose career I've been following on this blog for over 10 years. I was also aware of his Steve Sailer connection although if I was aware he had included Sailer in "The Best Science and Nature Writing" in 2004 I had forgotten.

What really surprised me though was his connection to "biosocial criminology" - I'm not surprised that Pinker is promoting the careers of biosocial criminologists via Quillette, and is in agreement with their research strategy, I'm surprised there is a network of biosocial criminologists in American colleges who, as far as I have so far been able to determine, are in complete agreement with John Paul Wright when he said:
From the available data it would seem ludicrous to argue that "race" is a construct devoid of a biological or evolutionary backdrop. That evolutionary forces have produced biological variance across races is now scientifically undeniable. That many of the characteristics that define races appear to be universal and time stable is also undeniable. Evolution can produce many forms of adaptations, but it cannot produce equality.  
The connection between race and criminal behavior is clearly complex and involves a range of historical, social, psychological and individual variables. Evolution however, provides a powerful mechanism to understand the development of human races and the distribution of traits and behaviors within and across races. It helps explain why races would appear and under what conditions races would appear. It helps to explain why certain traits would be beneficial and why these traits such as higher IQ, would be unequally distributed across races. Moreover evolutionary theory helps explain why race-based patterns of behavior are universal, such as black over-involvement in crime. No other paradigm organizes these patterns better. No other paradigm explains these inconvenient truths.
In fact, based on what I have seen of the alt-right connections of several of these biosocial criminologists, as demonstrated in my Pinker alt-right connections diagram, promoting the idea that "black" people are genetically more criminal than other "races" is the entire reason for the existence of "biosocial criminology."

Both John Paul Wright and J. C. Barnes, frequent co-authors together and with other leading promoters of biosocial criminology Kevin M. Beaver and Brian Boutwell work at the University of Cincinnati. The university's web site includes an essay How Biosocial Criminology Can Help Solve Crimes which does not provide a byline but I assume it was written by Wright, Barnes or both, especially since it references the work of both Wright and Beaver. 

Although Wright is the most frank about the race obsession that underlies biosocial criminology (as well as how much he bitterly hates liberals), he managed to tone it down for the school's web site. The closest the essay comes to admitting the racist heart of biosocial criminology is:
The study found impulsivity, which is one of the most important traits in the development of criminality, is not associated with just one factor, but is characterized by complex biosocial makeup. This and other studies have illustrated that impulse control, much like any human phenotype, is influenced by both social and biological factors.  Therefore, biosocial criminologists keep in account both biological and sociological factors to identify behavior that may lead to criminal behavior.

The New York Times didn't care that I had been tracking Razib Khan's career for years, it wasn't until Jamelle Bouie, a prominent black writer took notice of Khan that his beliefs became known well enough to prevent him from getting a gig at the NYTimes.

I imagine something similar will happen with biosocial criminology. Some day a journalist or maybe someone associated with the University of Cincinnati, Florida State University or any of the other colleges that teach biosocial criminology will wake up to the fact that they are harboring scientific racists whose beliefs are based on the crackpot Northern Superiority Hypothesis theory of Richard Lynn and the Pioneer Fund-supported studies that were used in The Bell Curve

Unless Donald Trump can succeed in his dreams of a dictatorship, in which case all those racists are golden.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Claire Lehmann & Jordan Peterson & other Quilletters

I have developed a strong aversion to the Australian dialect and it must be due to Lehmann. I used to think the dialect was charming when I heard Steve Irwin speak.

In your new book 12 Rules For Life, you’re very critical of Frozen. Why do you call it “deeply propagandistic”? 

It attempted to write a modern fable that was a counter-narrative to a classic story like, let’s say, Sleeping Beauty — but with no understanding whatsoever of the underlying archetypal dynamics. You could say that Sleeping Beauty was raised out of her unconsciousness via a delivering male. Another way of reading the story is that unconsciousness requires active consciousness as an antidote. And the unconsciousness is symbolized in that particular story by femininity and active consciousness by masculinity. I could hardly sit through Frozen. There was an attempt to craft a moral message and to build the story around that, instead of building the story and letting the moral message emerge. It was the subjugation of art to propaganda, in my estimation.

 Peterson tips his hand and reveals that he seems to be angry because Frozen has a plot twist.
Isn’t the darkness and the light in Elsa, who has the power to freeze things, for good or ill? 
The most propagandistic element of Frozen was the transformation of the prince at the beginning of the story who was a perfectly good guy, into a villain with no character development whatsoever about three-quarters of the way to the ending. 
He was a villain the whole time! He was a wolf in sheep’s clothing! 
That’s how it turned out in the end, but there was no indication of that at the beginning. 
That’s good story craft — not tipping your hand. Like The Crying Game. 
It’s certainly possible that I’m wrong about Frozen, although I don’t think so. 
I’m sorry. This is just the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. First off, he totally dodged Luscombe’s question about Elsa, because she is rather obviously correct that Frozen looks at both the light and darkness of having power—especially female power in a world that is afraid of it. 
But then we get this gem about Prince Hans: “There was no indication of that in the beginning.” First of all, did we watch the same movie? Sure, the hints were subtle—but like, by children’s movie standards. Did Jordan Peterson really watch the “We finish each other’s … sandwiches!” sequence and interpret it as an earnest, deadly serious indication of true love? 
By this logic, all murder mysteries ever written are vile propaganda. The Sixth Sense is a PSA. Macbeth is a Maoist poster. M. Night Shymalan is the one true propagandist of our age. 
Now, all that said, I would certainly agree that Frozen, like pretty much all works of art, does have an artistic and a moral point of view. (As George Orwell famously said, all art is in some sense propaganda.) But I will never stop giggling at the idea that it is uniquely propagandistic among all of Disney’s animated films, just because Prince Hans turns out to be evil and the story wasn’t around when the last woolly mammoth died. Come on, now.

It's already clear that Claire Lehmann is not an especially bright individual and, perhaps as a result, she's placing her bets on patriarchy reasserting itself over feminism, possibly led by Jordan Peterson. Anybody who hasn't already concluded that Peterson is a clown is just... slow. There's no way around it.

The only possible way Quillette can survive is if Lehmann is the recipient of wingnut welfare because it's not only transparently an alt-right publication, just one step up from Lehmann's former employer Rebel Media, it has a ridiculously amateurish and right-wing line-up of writers.

Currently on Quillette's front page:

  • Saloni Dattani - MSc student in behaviour genetics at the University of London
  • Matthew Blackwell - currently completing a BA in Economics and Anthropology at The University of Queensland.
  • Genevieve Weynerowski - a copywriter - fan of Pinker, Sam Harris, Jonathan Kay
  • Kirio Birks - a postgraduate student with B.A. in Philosophy 
  • Michael Shermer - hereditarian, New Atheist creep
  • David Johnson is an independent writer from the UK with a degree in Philosophy and a Master’s degree in IT.  Writes a blog under the name of David Hansard...  Right-winger
  • Elio Martino - a provisional psychologist, whose only writing credits appear to be hereditarian twaddle for Quillette
  • Stuart Reges - Principal Lecturer at the University of Washington where he manages the introductory computer science classes
Basically anybody who works cheap and supports the hereditarian or alt-right view of the world (and those are in agreement more often than not) will be published by Quillette, which presumably pays very little.

Also of the sixteen writers above, only four are women, and that's a huge improvement over its gender ratio from a month ago. Of those, one, Nicola Wright is a hard-core right-winger, one is Pinker's #1 fan-girl (Saloni Dattani) and the other two were probably just thrilled to be published anywhere.

When Lehmann was still working for Rebel Media she wrote a piece in Quillette defending Trump voters:
Depending on how you spin it, however, low information people might also be less prone to rationalization and high information people might be more vulnerable to ad hoc hypothesizing. Being high in intelligence or a need for cognition does not automatically indicate that one is high in rationality. Nor does it tell us much about a person’s practical wisdom.
I think Claire Lehmann has lots of empathy for low-information people. She just better hope she gets a plutocratic sugar daddy to support her amateur alt-right apologetics.

And now a message for Jordan Peterson:

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Finally some reviews by people who are not Pinker fanboys

After the first onslaught of hyper-ventilating Pinker fanboys praising yet another vacuous Pinker book, slowly but surely people of intellectual heft have been looking at Pinker's "Enlightenment Now" and finding there is no there there. I've already mentioned the New York Times review, which I think is the most effectively anti-Pinker by pointing out his incredibly dismissive take on the horrors of the Tuskegee syphilis study.
(Pinker) is especially piqued by those who observe that science was sometimes used to justify monstrous ends, including racism and eugenics. 
In one particularly tortured passage, Pinker goes so far as to downplay the harm of the notorious Tuskegee syphilis study — which tracked syphilis in 600 African-American men, many of them poor sharecroppers, withholding information and proper treatment from them — on the grounds that the doctors “did not infect the participants, as many believe.” The study, a “one-time failure to prevent harm to a few dozen people” (as he breezily puts it) “may even have been defensible by the standards of the day.” 
Why do this? Why not simply state that the study is a ghastly stain on the history of medicine? Despite the occasional warning that progress is “hard-won” and “perfect order” isn’t “the natural state of affairs,” Pinker’s book is filled with such fulsome apologias, which inadvertently suggest that the gains of the Enlightenment are so delicate that they require the historical gloss he compulsively provides.
There are quite a few others.

If Pinker had simply made these points, Enlightenment Now would have its uses. But he wraps his arguments up in such a thick layer of exaggeration and misinterpretation that the book does more harm than good. It makes use of selective data, dubious history, and, when all else fails, a contempt for “intellectuals” straight out of Breitbart. 
For the sceptical reader the whole strategy of the book looks like this. Take a highly selective, historically contentious and anachronistic view of the Enlightenment. Don't be too scrupulous in surveying the range of positions held by Enlightenment thinkers - just attribute your own views to them all. Find a great many things that happened after the Enlightenment that you really like. Illustrate these with graphs. Repeat. Attribute all these good things your version of the Enlightenment. Conclude that we should emulate this Enlightenment if we want the trend lines to keep heading in the right direction. If challenged at any point, do not mount a counter-argument that appeals to actual history, but choose one of the following labels for your critic: religious reactionary, delusional romantic, relativist, postmodernist, paid up member of the Foucault fan club.
In the end, “Enlightenment Now” is an erudite defense of the status quo and an apology for global capitalism (not surprisingly, the second-wealthiest man in the world as of this writing, Bill Gates, has named Pinker’s new book his “new favorite book of all time”). Though Pinker calls himself a classical liberal, by today’s standards it would be more accurate to call him a conservative (by comparison, the modern Republican Party, though labeling itself as conservative, is politically reactionary). 
The Guardian:
I am broadly sympathetic to his worldview. I agree with him that scientific knowledge is a moral imperative, and that we must use it to enhance human welfare. Like him, I’m enthusiastic about technologies that horrify other people, such as fourth-generation nuclear reactors and artificial meat. So I began reading his new book, Enlightenment Now, with excitement. 
I expected something bracing, original, well sourced and well reasoned. Instead, in the area I know best – environmental issues – the alarm began to sound for me when he characterised “the mainstream environmental movement” as “laced with misanthropy, including an indifference to starvation, an indulgence in ghoulish fantasies of a depopulated planet, and Nazi-like comparisons of human beings to vermin, pathogens and cancer”. 
Yes, I have come across such views, but they are few and far between. When they are expressed on social media, they are rapidly slapped down by other environmentalists. They are about as far from the environmental mainstream as they are from the humanitarian mainstream.

The Globe and Mail:
Enlightenment Now is a lengthy riposte to what Pinker regards, a bit hysterically, as swelling counter-enlightenment sentiment. He writes a lot about the "Two Cultures," following British author C.P. Snow's diagnosis of the radical split between the hard sciences and the humanities. (As a cognitive psychologist, Pinker is himself a sort-of-scientist; one imagines him donning a lab coat to sneak to into Serious Science Parties to which he was otherwise uninvited.) As Pinker puts it, "the disdain for reason, science, humanism and progress has a long pedigree in elite intellectual and artistic culture." Later, he's even cattier: "Intellectuals hate progress. Intellectuals who call themselves 'progressives' really hate progress."

The New Statesman:
To be sure, for Pinker there are no bad Enlightenment ideas. One of the features of the comic-book history of the Enlightenment he presents is that it is innocent of all evil. Accordingly, when despots such as Lenin repeatedly asserted that they engaged in mass killing in order to realise an Enlightenment project – in Lenin’s case, a more far-reaching version of the Jacobin project of re-educating society by the methodical use of terror – they must have been deluded or lying. How could a philosophy of reason possibly be implicated in murderous totalitarianism? Like the faithful who tell you Christianity is “a religion of love” that had nothing to do with the Inquisition, Pinker stipulates that the Enlightenment, by definition, is intrinsically liberal. Modern tyrannies must therefore be products of counter-Enlightenment ideologies – Romanticism, nationalism and the like. Enabling liberals to avoid asking difficult questions about why their values are in retreat, this is a popular view. Assessed in terms of historical evidence, it is also a myth.

Friday, March 09, 2018

So what's Steven Pinker's alt-right gang up to now?

I've pointed out on this blog that the apparent aim of alt-right Claire Lehmann's Quillette is to rebrand Ezra Levant's alt-right views: anti-black, anti-feminist, anti-Muslim, anti-Left as "centrist."

Here we see Razib Khan promoting the idea that Christina Hoff Sommers and Steven Pinker are "centrists."
To be honest these forays by centrists (Sommers is a registered Democrat with libertarian leanings, similar to Steven Pinker) into the academy are starting to remind me of those ridiculous “debates” that Jews had to have with professional anti-Jews (mostly apostates) in the courts of medieval European monarchs. There were the outward forms of debate, but everyone knew what it was about (since Sommers and Pinker are from Jewish backgrounds perhaps that’s apposite).

Or as this Twitterer observed a couple of years ago:

And Steven Pinker constantly attacks the left, as when he claimed that academia and the media are "radicalizing" the alt-right when it's actually he who is doing just that. Not to mention his good buddies, professional racists Razib Khan and Steve Sailer, who are also pals together as seen recently on Twitter.

I predict that Pinker will continue to lean ever further right, his hereditarian views are much too popular with the right and alt-right to avoid such a fate. 

And Pinker loves anybody who proclaims him brilliant and who promotes his bullshit Blank Slate theories.

Pinker doesn't do a very good job hiding where his real sympathies lie.

As a recent review of Pinker's most recent, "Enlightenment Now" by David A. Bell in The Nation noted:
But he wraps his arguments up in such a thick layer of exaggeration and misinterpretation that the book does more harm than good. It makes use of selective data, dubious history, and, when all else fails, a contempt for “intellectuals” straight out of Breitbart.
No big surprise there. Both of Pinker's good buddies Khan and Sailer were identified as leaders of the alt-right in Breitbart by none of than Milo Yiannopoulos.

And they have allies at the New York Times. In addition to Jesse Singal, Pinker fanboy and Razib Khan's buddy, there's Bari Weiss, who wrote a column decrying rude college students as the work of the Left and "Official Antifa" which turned out to be a hoax site. As reported in Mediaite:
New York Times opinion writer Bari Weiss — a self-described Iraq War-supporting “outspoken Zionist” — took a narrative from the alt-right in her newest column, and used Tweets from a phony account in order to do it. 
The op-ed, which suggests the political left is intolerant and does not believe in free speech on campus “at all,” used two tweets from a fake “Antifa” account run by online trolls to prove that young leftists were attacking new-right personality Dave Rubin for being anti-LGBTQ, despite the fact that he is gay. 
Weiss wrote the following regarding Rubin’s experience with college activists:
“[Leftists] seem to believe that the real cause for concern are the secret authoritarians passing as liberals and conservatives in our midst. Among them: Dave Rubin, a liberal commentator who favors abortion rights, opposes the death penalty and is married to a man, yet is denounced as an ‘Anti-L.G.B.T. fascist’ and a ‘fascist lieutenant’ for criticizing identity politics.” 
Upon clicking on the links attached to the terms “Anti-L.G.B.T. fascist” and “fascist lieutenant,” readers will find the parody account @OfficialAntifa is behind the claims — not an actual youth leftist organization.
I think it's pretty obvious that the right-wing and alt-right media have decided a good strategy is to promote right-wingers like James Damore and Christian Hoff Sommers at colleges, and when some of the more obnoxious students - or in Damore's case, not even students, just rando outsiders - make a fuss, use this to claim "the left" is intolerant and anti-free speech. My guess is that Weiss didn't realize "OfficialAntifa" was fake because not only is she a lazy, awful journalist, just like Jesse Singal, but in the alt-right online circles she travels in, there's little concern over whether "Official Antifa" is real or not - if they can get away with using fake news to smear their enemies, they'll do it. 

Naturally Weiss identifies Sommers as a "feminist" in spite of the fact that Sommers' entire career has been devoted to attacking feminists. 

And Steven Pinker makes common cause with these freaks. Anybody who knew anything about Sommers' career could have predicted she would be leading the backlash to #metoo. That's what the fucking Koch brothers pay her for.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

How alt-right Claire Lehmann celebrates International Women's Day

As befitting a woman who hates feminism - and I suspect almost all other women - Claire Lehmann posts her favorite "intellectual" Camille Paglia, whom Lehmann admires, in part because Paglia said:

"If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still be living in grass huts."

As always with the alt-right, you have to wonder what Bizarro World they come from where everything good is bad and vice-versa.

Sprinter is here

Balto in Central Park
Some years we don't get any Sprinter at all thanks to global warming - I recall 2012 being especially bad on that count. But we are definitely having Sprinter this year. Walking home from my birthday dinner at a restaurant on the UES I could definitely feel that sprinter-y wind and smell that burning-wood smell.

And then the massive snow-storm this week.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Southern Poverty Law Center can have my money

The Southern Poverty Law Center is a national treasure, keeping an eye on the right-wing, alt-right, racists and even male supremacists. I leaned heavily on their reporting in creating the text for my chart on Steven Pinker's right-wing, alt-right & hereditarian connections.

So today when I happened to be flagged down by a canvasser on Amsterdam Avenue asking for money and sign-ups for the SPLC of course I said yes. It was the least I could do. 

And I think we will need them more than ever going forward. The Trump presidency has emboldened racists and alt-right media like Quillette, promoted by celebrities like Steven Pinker are attempting to sneak alt-right attitudes about race into the political mainstream as "centrist."

As a recent Guardian article (I'm so glad they have somebody there very different from the guy who was so entranced by Pinker's twinkling blue eyes), The Unwelcome Revival of 'Race Science' by Gavin Evans notes:
In apartheid South Africa, the idea that each race had its own character, personality traits and intellectual potential was part of the justification for the system of white rule. The subject of race and IQ was similarly politicised in the US, where Jensen’s paper was used to oppose welfare schemes, such as the Head Start programme, which were designed to lift children out of poverty. But the paper met with an immediate and overwhelmingly negative reaction – “an international firestorm,” the New York Times called it 43 years later, in Jensen’s obituary – especially on American university campuses, where academics issued dozens of rebuttals, and students burned him in effigy. 
The recent revival of ideas about race and IQ began with a seemingly benign scientific observation. In 2005, Steven Pinker, one of the world’s most prominent evolutionary psychologists, began promoting the view that Ashkenazi Jews are innately particularly intelligent – first in a lecture to a Jewish studies institute, then in a lengthy article in the liberal American magazine The New Republic the following year. This claim has long been the smiling face of race science; if it is true that Jews are naturally more intelligent, then it’s only logical to say that others are naturally less so. 
The background to Pinker’s essay was a 2005 paper entitled “Natural history of Ashkenazi intelligence”, written by a trio of anthropologists at the University of Utah. In their 2005 paper, the anthropologists argued that high IQ scores among Ashkenazi Jews indicated that they evolved to be smarter than anyone else (including other groups of Jews). 
This evolutionary development supposedly took root between 800 and 1650 AD, when Ashkenazis, who primarily lived in Europe, were pushed by antisemitism into money-lending, which was stigmatised among Christians. This rapid evolution was possible, the paper argued, in part because the practice of not marrying outside the Jewish community meant a “very low inward gene flow”. This was also a factor behind the disproportionate prevalence in Ashkenazi Jews of genetic diseases such as Tay-Sachs and Gaucher’s, which the researchers claimed were a byproduct of natural selection for higher intelligence; those carrying the gene variants, or alleles, for these diseases were said to be smarter than the rest. 
Pinker followed this logic in his New Republic article, and elsewhere described the Ashkenazi paper as “thorough and well-argued”. He went on to castigate those who doubted the scientific value of talking about genetic differences between races, and claimed that “personality traits are measurable, heritable within a group and slightly different, on average, between groups”. 
In subsequent years, Nicholas Wade, Charles Murray, Richard Lynn, the increasingly popular Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson and others have all piled in on the Jewish intelligence thesis, using it as ballast for their views that different population groups inherit different mental capacities. Another member of this chorus is the journalist Andrew Sullivan, who was one of the loudest cheerleaders for The Bell Curve in 1994, featuring it prominently in The New Republic, which he edited at the time. He returned to the fray in 2011, using his popular blog, The Dish, to promote the view that population groups had different innate potentials when it came to intelligence.
Although Pinker has consistently denied what the Bell Curve said about African Americans it's clear that he does believe in "race" intelligence with the Ashkenazi bullshit. I think it's likely he believes what the Bell Curve said about blacks, since he's never explained why it is wrong, but he's too cagey a politician to admit it. 

And as my diagram of Pinker's connections demonstrates, he has frequently promoted the work of others who do believe that blacks are innately less intelligent and even, more criminal, than other "races."

And his fanboys worship him and think he can do no wrong. We will have Steven Pinker in part to thank for a racism revival in academia.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Steven Pinker's right-wing, alt-right & hereditarian connections

A PDF version of this document is available here. 

Click the picture to enlarge.

What are hereditarians?
Although right-wing and alt-right are fairly well-known terms, "hereditarian" is not and requires an explanation.
"Hereditarian" an advocate of the theory that individual differences in human beings can be accounted for primarily on the basis of genetics.

Although in practice the term most often refers to racial differences, as discussed by Linda Gottfredson:
Rushton and Jensen’s (2005) hereditarian hypothesis is that Black–White differences in general intelligence (IQ, or the general mental ability factor, g) are “substantially” genetic in origin...
Other terms which are similar are "evolutionary psychology," "human biodiversity" and "racial realism." Related to these terms is "biosocial criminology."
Steven Pinker
Steven Pinker is an experimental psychologist who conducts research in visual cognition, psycholinguistics, and social relations. He grew up in Montreal and earned his BA from McGill and his PhD from Harvard. Currently Johnstone Professor of Psychology at Harvard, he has also taught at Stanford and MIT. He has won numerous prizes for his research, his teaching, and his nine books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Better Angels of Our Nature, and The Sense of Style. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, a Humanist of the Year, a recipient of nine honorary doctorates, and one of Foreign Policy’s “World’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals” and Time’s “100 Most Influential People in the World Today.” He is Chair of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, and writes frequently for The New York Times, The Guardian, and other publications. His tenth book, to be published in February 2018, is called Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress.
The Blank Slate
Written by Pinker, published in 2002, this is the New Testament to The Bell Curve's Old Testament for hereditarians. 
Although Steven Pinker claims in The Blank Slate that he doesn't agree with the conclusions about black intelligence made in The Bell Curve, he has never to my knowledge explained why, although he agrees with almost every other hereditarian claim, the Bell Curve is wrong about that. 
...Intellectuals deny biology, according to Pinker, because it interferes with their pet theories of mind and behavior. These are the Blank Slate (the belief that the mind is wholly shaped by the environment), the Noble Savage (the notion that people are born good but are corrupted by society), and the Ghost in the Machine (the idea that there is a nonbiological agent in our heads with the power to change our nature at will). The "intellectuals" in Pinker's book are social scientists, progressive educators, radical feminists, academic Marxists, liberal columnists, avant-garde arts types, government planners, and postmodernist relativists. The good guys are the cognitive scientists and ordinary folks, whose common sense, except when it has been damaged by listening to intellectuals, generally correlates with what cognitive science has discovered. I wish I could say that Pinker's view of the world of ideas is more nuanced than this...
Quillette is an online magazine founded by Australian writer and former psychology graduate student Claire Lehmann. The publication has a primary focus on science, news, culture, and politics......The magazine has been praised by the evolutionary biologist and writer Richard Dawkins, who described it as a "superb online magazine", and has garnered support by the psychologist Jordan Peterson.
Steven Pinker has recommended Quillette articles on Twitter and said about Quillette: of the most stimulating & original new web magazines.

Quillette has published many hereditarians, some of whom have been interviewed by Stefan Molyneux and republished articles in the white supremacist American Renaissance including Kevin M. Beaver, Brian Boutwell, Ben and Bo Winegard and John P. Wright. 

Monday, March 05, 2018

Steven Pinker is radicalizing the alt-right

Pinker recommended to his hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers this article in alt-right Quillette entitled Heritability and why Parents (but not Parenting Matter) written by his old buddy Razib Khan and a criminologist, Brian Boutwell.

Brian Boutwell, Ph.D. is Associate Dean for Research and Corporate Partnerships, College for Public Health and Social Justice and Associate Professor Criminology and Criminal Justice at Saint Louis University, College for Public Health and Social Justice.

The article says in part:
...Criminologists (and psychologists) have been aware for some time that criminal involvement runs in families* and is also heritable (a good portion of that heritability seems to be narrow-sense, though not all; see The psychologist Robert Krueger and colleagues some years back, provided evidence that humans mate assortatively for antisocial and criminogenic behaviors (put differently, highly antisocial individuals tend to pair off with each other in a non-random fashion).

Does this completely explain the concentration of crime in certain families? No. Can it be safely ignored and assumed to be irrelevant? No. Just as narrow-sense heritability is a puzzle piece that can tell you something about where the distribution of a trait could be headed in a population, it also helps inform the question of why certain traits cluster in families.
Boutwell has authored or co-authored, if my count is correct 24 articles for alt-right Quillette.

Now Pinker declared the Boutwell/Khan piece in Quillette "witty and smart" but he doesn't explain how the "criminal involvement runs in families" theory aligns with why the Irish had high rates of violent crime a hundred years ago, as he discussed in his PC video:
In the case of, say, rates of violent crime, it used to be — go back 100 years, the rate of violent crime among Irish Americans was far higher than among other ethnic groups. That obviously changed. There's no reason that that can't change in the case of current racial differences
Surely if criminality ran in families the Irish would still have high rates of violent crime.

And then there is Australia:
New South Wales, a state in southeast Australia, was founded by the British as a penal colony in 1788. Over the next 80 years, more than 160,000 convicts were transported to Australia from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, in lieu of being given the death penalty. 
Today, about 20% of Australians are descendants of convicts, including plenty of prominent citizens. 
Wow, Australia must be a hellhole of criminality based on the family crime trait theory. Oops, nope, Australia has lower murder rates than most countries, including England.

So does Pinker agree with the hereditarian explanation about crime or the environmental one? He can't have it both ways, the two are mutually exclusive.

In the PC video Pinker said:
Now, if you've never heard these facts before and you stumble across them, or someone mentions them, it is possible to come to some extreme conclusions. Such as that women are inferior, that African Americans are naturally violent.
It turns out that Brian Boutwell has come to the "extreme conclusion" that African Americans are naturally less intelligent than whites.

Boutwell is a bit less direct when discussing African American violence but in his interview with alt-right Stefan Molyneux he references a theory by former head of the Pioneer Fund  J. Philippe Ruston's called "Life History" and associates it with "an evolutionary theory of criminal behavior" beginning around 56:30 on the video. Rushton says things like:
The reason why Whites and East Asians have wider hips than Blacks, and so make poorer runners is because they give birth to larger brained babies. During evolution, increasing cranial size meant women had to have a wider pelvis. Further, the hormones that give Blacks an edge at sports makes them restless in school and prone to crime.
Boutwell tries to distance himself from bigots, as he writes in Quillette:
It is true that bigoted people might use data about race and IQ to support nefarious political agendas, buttressing their own prejudices with scientific sounding arguments. However, the way to address this danger is not by distorting previous research or publicly attacking scholars who investigate this issue. Rather, it is by promoting the vision of society that Martin Luther King, Jr. advocated decades ago, one in which people are judged by their actions and the content of their characters and not by the average traits of a group (ethnic, political, religious, or otherwise).

The reality of racial variation cannot be hidden behind a veil of pleasant myths in perpetuity. And if researchers and moralists insist upon a noble lie about human genetic sameness, then they will not be prepared to grapple with the difficult ethical challenges that human variation in a cosmopolitan society presents.
Boutwell refers above to the off-quoted section of King's "I Have A Dream" speech in which he says:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
It's breath-taking the way Boutwell jumps from "not be judged by the color of their skin" to "the reality of racial variation" which means, in practice, claiming black people are genetically less intelligent and more criminal than white people.

So what actually distinguishes Boutwell from a bigot with nefarious political agendas, buttressing his own prejudice with scientific-sounding arguments?

Boutwell's "science" is bad. First because although race means everything to Boutwell and the hereditarians, they have no clear definition of race, and so there is no objective way to determine the "race" of any individual. Although they've learned from alt-right racist Steve Sailer to claim that this is all perfectly fine because we can't expect to have "platonic essences."

They admit to not testing subjects for genetic ancestry.

They don't admit they got lots of their data from racists. Although they did.

And then there's the Northern Superiority Hypothesis that Richard Lynn appears to have dreamed up. I've mentioned Lynn, making claims about Irish, English, Welsh and Scottish intelligence although they are genetically indistinguishable from each other.

And what about nefarious political agendas? Boutwell has no qualms about promoting his theories both via alt-right racist Stefan Molyneux, and by allowing the white supremacist media outlet American Renaissance to republish his work from Quillette.

Apparently there is nothing that a scientific racialist like Brian Boutwell can do that is racist, in his mind, not even making common cause with white supremacists.

So while Steven Pinker is pointing at the media and colleges, claiming they are inadvertently radicalizing the alt-right by denying "the truth" which leads to them over-reacting and believing that blacks are naturally violent, Pinker is sending his Twitter followers directly to people who say the very thing he considers an "extreme conclusion."

It's not the media and the colleges who are radicalizing people, it's Steven Pinker himself. Both by connecting to the work of racialists but also by lending racialists like Boutwell and Khan and Steve Sailer respectability thanks to his own science celebrity.