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An Intelligence Researcher Speaks Up For Science
The "Occidentalist" blogger ─ whose blog, like Mangan's and OneSTDV's, has gone invitation-only ─ links to an upcoming paper in Personality and Individual Differences by psychometrist Heiner Rindermann. The article concerns African intelligence, but it contains some ringing affirmations of the scientific spirit.
Science sometimes creates tensions between research ﬁndings and society. Epistemic-scientiﬁc principles can be at conﬂict with legitimate economic, cultural or ideological interests, usually represented by the political class, media, church, intellectuals or the public. However, also in hotly debated areas of research, fundamental principles of scientiﬁc thinking should be applied. Science is seen as a process based on epistemic rationality guided by logicality, empiricity and argumentativity. Scientists write for an abstract, rational reader who can be convinced (an ability and a willingness) through argumentation using logic, empirical facts and systematic reasoning. Freedom of research and respect for others in their scientiﬁc endeavor will help the entire scientiﬁc community to progress (Ceci & Williams, 2009; Flynn, 2007).
Other, in their ﬁelds legitimate orientations are empirically relevant, but not for science as endeavor to pursue truth. In science, from an epistemic-scientiﬁc view, only the truth or falseness of statements matter and an angel’s truth is as true as a devil’s truth. It is irrelevant, if a statement is blue or red, progressive or conservative, up or down, welcomed by the x or y, right or left, pc or nonpc, published here or there, welcomed and repeated by the right or wrong people. Of importance is, if it is correctly describing the world and explaining it, and secondly, if it is new and develops stimulating theoretical approaches.
Not all those arguing about intelligennce have observed such rules, and participants of past conﬂicts have suffered from offensive treatment including violent attacks (Gottfredson, 2010; Nyborg, 2003). But intellectual conﬂicts are not new in the history of thought, as the fate of scholars like Thomas Aquinas, Galilei, Spinoza, and Darwin show. From today’s perspective many past disputes sound quite ridiculous and their formerly not questionable ‘‘arguments’’ are today scientiﬁcally and ethically disapproved. But the conﬂicts have been important in developing in the long run a climate of argumentation and thinking. The frequently difﬁcult process of Enlightenment will not be strengthened if people shy away from such conﬂicts.
("Occidentalist," before he disappeared behind that invitation-only screen, was doing some interesting work on group intelligence from a contrarian ─ contrary, I mean, to the HBD Lynn/Vanhanen/Rushton/Jensen/VDARE.com consensus ─ viewpoint. I didn't follow the arguments with close attention, but I got the impression Occidentalist was winning some of his arguments.)