An Intelligence Researcher Speaks Up For Science
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September 24, 2012, 04:38 PM
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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 ?ndings and society. Epistemic-scienti?c principles can be at con?ict 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 scienti?c 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 scienti?c endeavor will help the entire scienti?c community to progress (Ceci & Williams, 2009; Flynn, 2007).

Other, in their ?elds legitimate orientations are empirically relevant, but not for science as endeavor to pursue truth. In science, from an epistemic-scienti?c 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 con?icts have suffered from offensive treatment including violent attacks (Gottfredson, 2010; Nyborg, 2003). But intellectual con?icts 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 scienti?cally and ethically disapproved. But the con?icts have been important in developing in the long run a climate of argumentation and thinking. The frequently dif?cult process of Enlightenment will not be strengthened if people shy away from such con?icts.

I look forward to meeting Dr. Rindermann in the camps.   In the meantime, I salute him for daring to preach his, and my, old-time religion ? free inquiry and the open exchange of ideas. 

("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/ consensus ? viewpoint.  I didn`t follow the arguments with close attention, but I got the impression Occidentalist was winning some of his arguments.)