Reflecting On James D. Watson: Why The Truth, Even About About IQ Differences, Will Indeed Set Us Free

See also:

James D. Watson—A Modern Galileo

James D. Watson: Broken By The PC Inquisition, Betrayed
By The Righteous Right


ritual humiliation
of America`s most prominent man
of science,  James
, for publicly acknowledging that there are
differences in average intelligence among the races
highlights the extent to which today`s conventional
wisdom is hysterically hostile to

basic findings of the human sciences.

(Here, from the

Gene Expression
blog, is

Jason Malloy`s comprehensive exposition
of the
present state of scientific understanding concerning IQ
and race. Bottom line: “
Watson got in trouble for saying was entirely correct!”

But perhaps we don`t need to deal with all the
facts. Maybe we can

safely ignore the most unpopular ones.

Really, wouldn`t it be better if everybody just

shut up about IQ?

For example, David Vallejo, who says he`s Hispanic and a

about public discussion of IQ and ethnicity:

"Assuming that Sailer is correct … what good is it going
to do to non-whites?"

Mr. Vallejo is specifically concerned that:

"Don`t you think that making generalizations about the
level of intelligence of Hispanics (or other races
as being lower than that of whites is detrimental for
those of us who are actually more intelligent than the
average white person?"

These intelligent minorities are not trivial numbers of
people. Somewhere around eleven million Hispanics and
seven million African-Americans have higher IQs than the

average white American.
(Of course, you won`t see
estimates like this from those vilifying Dr. Watson—just
from those of us who

study IQ research seriously

Still, sizable majorities of


do fall beneath the white (and
) IQ average.

And it`s often assumed that, if evil folks like Dr.
Watson and myself weren`t around to spill the beans,
nobody would ever notice with their lying eyes that
these racial differences exist.

American homebuyers
(most of whom, I`m sorry to say,
are not readers) are obsessively interested in
ethnic make-up of local public schools
. Without my
help, they appear to accept the “stereotype” that
white and Asian students will provide a more studious
peer group for their children than

blacks and Latinos.

Thus, houses in districts with mostly white and Asian
students often sell for tens or

even hundreds of thousands of dollars
more than in

districts populated
mostly by black and Hispanic

Moreover, many middle class parents are obsessed with
getting their children into exclusive gifted and magnet
public schools. For example, the liberal

Los Angeles Times
runs an advice column by
performance artist

Sandra Tsing Loh
called "Ask
a Magnet Yenta
that`s entirely devoted
to advising

upper middle class subscribers
living in the huge

Los Angeles Unified School District
catchment basin
how to

maneuver their children

elite public school programs.
(The application
process for the desirable LA schools is so

that it weeds out lowbrow and unmotivated

acidly notes that when her "Prius-driving

talks about "diversity"
in a school, what he really means is:

"`Diversity` looks like 14 white kids and

Savion Glover
; 10 white kids and 5 brown kids is


5 white kids and 10 brown kids looks
, well, not

So, even though any

mention of average racial IQ differences is
ferociously punished, as demonstrated yet again the
forced retirement of Dr. Watson
, home prices
nevertheless show that the average American has somehow
come to a rough but reasonably accurate understanding of

statistical realities.

How did he ever

learn this
without reading it in the newspaper?
Apparently, as Yogi Berra

once said,
"You can observe a lot just by

Mr. Vallejo writes that his son is in a gifted class:

I am quite sure I am not stupid. I have

two engineering master`s degrees
and have always
been a straight A student. Neither is my son. His IQ is
above 140 and he`s in the gifted-student program in his
school, so he`s for sure not stupid."

But how did his son get into a gifted-student
program? Perhaps scoring above 140 on an IQ test had
something to do with it?

might also surmise that Mr. Vallejo`s

Graduate Record Exam s
cores helped him get into
advanced engineering programs. 

the Vallejos` own experience shows, for high-IQ
Hispanics and blacks,

IQ-type tests
less the problem than the solution
to negative

And this gives us a glimpse of the heart of a
little-discussed dilemma: Americans demand what John
Milton scorned as "flattery and

in our public discourse about
intelligence, while practicing a gimlet-eyed

obsession with smarts
in our

private affairs

turn, that explains much about modern America. We have a
private sector that is extremely productive—in part
because individuals are often allowed to quietly make
politically incorrect decisions, such as, oh, getting
your son away from

normal public school students
and in with
other high IQ students i
n a gifted program.

The vast wealth generated by our private sector allows
us to get by with a

notoriously dysfunctional public sector
. One major

our public school
s, say, are so

is that

nonsensical thinking about human beings
encouraged to run amok,

while truth is silenced.

For example, in a sensible world, we`d evaluate public
school principals by their "value added." We`d
measure the IQs of incoming students and then track the
children`s relative changes in performance over the
years, rewarding the school administrations that did the
best with what they had to work with.

Instead, the

No Child Left Behind
law put together by

President Bush and Senator Kennedy
mandates that by
2014 all public school students test as "proficient"

above average
). The only way this can be achieved is
through gargantuan fraud by the

state testing authorities

It`s crucial to understand that the insanity of NCLB is
a consequence of the same hysterical horror of openly
admitting that there are racial gaps in average IQ that
brought down Dr. Watson. George W. Bush



say it is unfair to hold disadvantaged children to
rigorous standards. I say it is discrimination to
require anything less–the

soft bigotry of low expectations.
Some say that
schools can`t be expected to teach, because there are
too many broken families, too many

, too much

. I say that pigment and poverty need not
determine performance."[
Child Left Behind – Part II,

By Governor George W. Bush CNS Information Services,
September 02, 1999]

a result, America has wasted years on a utopian scheme
based on politically-correct dogma that could have been
spent making feasible incremental improvements in school


near-universal hypocrisy
in what Americans do versus
what they say about schooling is not an isolated
example. Instead, it reflects the currently widespread
assumption that there should be two completely divorced
realms of thought:

This bifurcated mental model is strikingly similar to
the conceptual map Renaissance natural philosophers,
such as Galileo,

inherited from the Ancient Greeks.
According to
still-dominant cosmology,
there was a fundamental
divide between the grubby "sublunary
where we humans dwelled, and the higher
celestial realm—where, by definition, perfection

The sun and the planets revolved around the Earth
embedded in crystalline spheres, the circle being the
most ideal of all shapes. To make the observed data fit
the presumption of circularity, the Alexandrine

elaborated a baffling system of "epicycles,"

smaller spheres
embedded within larger spheres.

The Ptolemaic system is strangely reminiscent of the

Rube Goldbergian
explanations popular today to
explain away the racial test score gap.

One example: Claude Steele`s theory of "Stereotype
Steele hypothesizes that stereotypes
make minorities so scared of scoring badly on tests that
their discomfort makes them score exactly as
badly as the stereotype predicted they would! It`s
almost as

a theory as Ptolemy`s was for 1500

the conventional wisdom of 1600, the moon, like all
heavenly bodies, had to be a

perfect sphere

dark spots on the

that been visible to man throughout the ages
were explained away as parts of the moon that absorbed
and emitted light differently than other parts — the
surface itself was perfectly smooth."

Moon–Then and Now
(Rice University)]

When Galileo pointed his new telescope at the moon in
1609, however, he observed changing shadows that could
only be cast by mountains.

He announced

Moon certainly does not possess a smooth and polished
surface, but one rough and uneven, and just like the
face of the Earth itself, is everywhere full of vast
protuberances, deep chasms, and sinuosities."

This, and much other new evidence discovered with his
telescope, caused Galileo to doubt that the celestial
and sublunary spheres were fundamentally different.
Adopting the heliocentric theory of the solar system,
Galileo began to develop a theory of mechanics that,
unlike Aristotle`s, would work for both the heavens and
the earth.

first, Galileo was the toast of Italy, long the most
intellectually sophisticated land in Europe, and a
friend of the Pope. Gradually, though, the political and
ideological climate changed. In

, the Inquisition forced Galileo to recant his
belief that the Earth went around the sun. ("And
yet it moves
he was later reported to have
muttered in defiance.)

Perhaps heliocentrism had seemed to the Inquisition to
be an esoteric issue of little practical importance—just
as many now assume that IQ is a trivial matter that can
be shouted down with little risk to the advancement of
other sciences.

Yet, the

cost to Italian science
of the Galileo affair proved

. The English poet John Milton visited
Galileo in Arcetri where the now-blind astronomer was
confined. Six years later, Milton wrote in

, his defense of a free market in

this was it which had damped the glory of Italian wits;
that nothing had been there written now these many years
but flattery and fustian. There it was that I found and
visited the famous Galileo, grown old, a prisoner to the
Inquisition, for thinking in astronomy otherwise than
the Franciscan and Dominican licensers thought."

Maybe Milton exaggerated the speed of the downfall of
Italian science. But he got the trend right. According
to the database Charles Murray sent me of the 4002
eminent artists and scientists he compiled from
authoritative reference books for his 2003 book

Human Accomplishment
, from 1000 AD to Galileo`s
arrest in 1632, Italy furnished 34.7% of the world`s
scientific eminence. From then up through 1950 (the end
of Murray`s database), Italy only accounted for 3.46%.

The transition of intellectual leadership from Southern
to Northern European is famously symbolized by the year
1642, when Galileo died under house arrest in Italy,
while Newton, who would explain "the system of the
in 1687, was born in England.

The underlying trouble with

forbidding discussion of any single element of
scientific knowledge,
whether the movement of the
Earth or the distribution of intelligence, is that all
truths are connected. Lies, ignorance, and wishful
thinking are dead ends. But if you follow one truth far
enough, it will eventually lead you to others.

That`s why the impact of the censorship of any one
scientific fact is as unpredictable, and as potentially
immobilizing, as removing one part from your
automobile`s engine.

The symptomatic destruction of the careers of Dr. Watson
and Dr. Summers could prove as deleterious in the long
term as the trial of Galileo.

And that, despite the risk of hurting innocent feelings,
is why we at VDARE.COM are compelled to speak up for

[Steve Sailer (
him) is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and

movie critic


The American Conservative
His website

features his daily blog.]