Misbehaving Science

Comedy gold at New Scientist — it really needs to be read to be believed. Kate Douglas reviews Aaron Panofsky’s book Misbehaving Science: Controversy and the development of behavior genetics, rising to a glorious crescendo with a restatement of Lewontin’s Fallacy (without giving any indication of recognizing it). If this book and review are panic symptoms, which seems highly plausible, Neo-Lysenkoism has to be sensing the winter winds of change. In any case, it somehow all went wrong for them:

The founding principles of social responsibility suffered, usurped by a responsibility to the discipline itself and to scientific freedom. And controversy bred controversy as the prospect of achieving notoriety attracted new talent. In short, the field became weak and poorly integrated, with low status, limited funding, and publicity the main currency of academic reward. This, according to Panofsky, is why it is afflicted with “persistent, ungovernable controversy” …

As a guide to what regional Cathedral breakdown looks like, this works quite well.

July 15, 2014admin 11 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Pass the popcorn

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11 Responses to this entry

  • E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Says:

    “Nature and nurture are not distinct” says the auteur, even after having made a clear distinction between the two: Growing plants in an optimal environment may show what they are genetically capable of, while growing them in a very inoptimal environment will result in plants with a greater outward similarity based on the conditions.

    If there is any question what the Cathedral science cult has in store for people, it’s equality through inoptimal conditions that produce equal results. The cure for social injustice was just equal cruelty after all!


    Posted on July 15th, 2014 at 11:03 am Reply | Quote
  • Orthodox Says:

    A tomato writing about tomatoes.


    Posted on July 15th, 2014 at 11:45 am Reply | Quote
  • Nathan Turner Overdrive Says:

    Paging Dr. Cochran…Dr. Cochran to the black discourtesy phone.

    How does this end? When China calls in its credit markers and demands some sanity in its new assets in the Academy?


    Posted on July 15th, 2014 at 2:08 pm Reply | Quote
  • Misbehaving Science | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on July 15th, 2014 at 2:34 pm Reply | Quote
  • Lesser Bull Says:

    The founding principle of social responsibility suffered?

    I’m so sorry.


    admin Reply:

    Yes, that is indeed a classic. The Cathedral, or as it would rather be known, “the founding principle of social responsibility”.


    Scharlach Reply:

    Like all those old secret societies, neoreactionaries should start using disguised acronyms. From now on, the Cathedral is the F.P.S.R.


    Posted on July 15th, 2014 at 2:41 pm Reply | Quote
  • Stirner (@heresiologist) Says:

    OMG, I planted garden tomatoes that are descended from evil Nazi eugenic science!

    45 years later, and ALL the evidence stacks up on the side of Arthur Jensen. Since them all federal education efforts to “close the gap” has been funneled into as social science abyss of psuedo-science akin to devoting all efforts of NASA to antigravity research.

    It is an abomination, and we get to reap the idiocracy that results.

    However, this sort of madness is and opportunity for Neoreacitonary propaganda. Because there Red Pill solutions to education policy that could be sold to wishy-washy liberals.

    Curriculum Reform. “Direct Instruction”, Developed by Zig Engelmann emphasizes spoon-feeding concepts in small chunks and assuring mastery with repetition and drill. Scripted lessons! Kids chanting in unison! Breaking down kids in a class into common skill levels, so instruction can be further tailored for their level of testing. They tested out it’s efficacy in Project Follow Through, a billion dollar Great Society study of the impacts of different curriculums. DI won by a landslide. There is even some evidence that DI can get ghetto hood rats to perform at an academic level equivalent to the white suburban schools at least through middle schools. But, even DI cannot close “the gap” – give kids the same DI curriculum, and hood rats may perform better, but the higher IQ kids will perform better too. The average performance can be raised, but “the gap” seems immutable. (Why haven’t you heard about this? Because DI beat all the ed. school ideas. So in the final analysis, the lumped all the different curriculums together, and said “gee, given all these kids and all these curriculums, there isn’t much difference from Project Follow Through kids versus everybody else. Nothing to see here, please move along.)

    Vocational instruction: Northern European countries do this right, tracking the low-IQ kids into vocational and apprentice programs. If you don’t have a 105 IQ, you cannot get through college. Why waste the time of these kids putting them on the college prep track? They may well have mechanical, social, emotional, or physical skills that would serve them well if they were pushed in the right direction vocationally. That has got to be better than the current system, both for the people on the bottom of the bell curve and society at large.

    Most people don’t give a rats ass about Monarchy vs Sovcorp vs Patchwork. Their kids education is a much different story. NRx as truth tellers with realistic and workable solutions may be better able to capture the attention of the politically passive.


    Posted on July 15th, 2014 at 5:42 pm Reply | Quote
  • FoolishReporter Says:

    Holy Science led them to heresy! The cognitive dissonance is palpable, lol.


    Posted on July 15th, 2014 at 6:28 pm Reply | Quote
  • sviga lae Says:

    “Behaviour geneticists came to see finding high heritability as a justification for their work. But heredity changes depending on the environment. Grow those tomatoes in a regulated greenhouse and almost all the difference in their height will be thanks to their genes; grow them on a sloping, partly shaded field and the effect of heritability is lower.”

    Perhaps you judged the author too quickly, she was trying to remind us how we are likely to underestimate heritability in the presence of environmental influences…


    admin Reply:

    It’s pretty much a quote from Lewontin.


    Posted on July 17th, 2014 at 11:27 am Reply | Quote

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