"We destroy people with the inappropriate tools we use to study them" - Ray Birdwhistell Jason Richwine has emerged to defend himself in a National Review editorial. As you might expect, Richwine contextualizes his dissertation as an exercise in scientific fortitude and paints himself as a heroic seeker of truth. For example, he sums up … Continue reading Jason Richwine, Scientist?
by Amina Tawasil Schooling is supposed to either spark or augment IQ/cognitive ability which is then exhibited as ‘skills’. Thus, it only follows that schooling increases the chances of upward mobility for girls, women and people of color. And, for men and women in ‘small villages of ailing countries’, schooling is considered a pillar to … Continue reading “1 + 1”: More than an Equation
I’ve been living in Germany for the last nine months. One of my goals is to improve my German skills, and guess what, I am getting better. But still my German is still far from perfect. Occasionally I will be in a conversation (ok more than occasionally) and I will try to guess about … Continue reading The All-Time Stupidest Question to Ask a Language Learner: Did You Understand what He/She said????!!!!” (Repeated loudly)
This morning, armchair scientist and noted fan of this blog, Razib Khan, decided it would be prudent to write about race. It comes by way of Khan issuing a corrective, of sorts, to Ta-Nehisi Coates. The Coates article is wonderful. He takes a historical look at how race has been deployed over the last 150 … Continue reading Does PCA Have Politics?
Here is a recent article about test scores from the New York Times, “No Rich Child Left Behind.” They got through the entire article without connecting cognitive abilities to inherited intelligence. Instead, the connection is made to wealth, poverty, and early childhood development. Do middle/upper class things for a child at night (“Goodnight Moon time”), … Continue reading Test Scores, Inequality, and “Goodnight Moon Time”
We have had a good week on Ethnography.com grappling with the diffrerences between the Social Sciences, and the Cognitive Sciences. Last month it was the Social Sciences and Population Genetics. I am of course a Social Scientist, and much more in tune with what Michael Scroggins and Max Holland write. They are squarely in the … Continue reading Inter-disciplinary Work Sounds Exhausting
Donald Campbell was one of the leading psychologists of the second half of the twentieth century. His was a time of optimism for planners—there was a belief that the power of technology could be brought to bear on many of the world’s ills. And indeed they were, often with positive effects. As a result of … Continue reading Campbell’s Law and the Fallacies of Standardized Testing
by Maximilian Holland There is no such thing as philosophy-free science; there is only science whose philosophical baggage is taken on board without examination (Dennett 1995) An inherent feature of the practice of observation in empirical science is its dependence upon how perception is ordered into description via language and communicated to others. This is … Continue reading A note to Evolutionary Psychologists: Culture and science are two sides of the same coin
Steve Hsu has been on a tear lately. Giving talks about IQ, here and here, and partnering with BGI to sequence the genomes of “high cognition” individuals in a quest to solve the giant “problem” of IQ. This effort has hit Vice magazine, Slate, and, more recently, NPR. To give you the CliffsNotes version of … Continue reading The Political Economy of IQ, Or Tilting At Windmills with Steve Hsu (and Jason Richwine)
Michael in the last pot here, is pointing to a book review “No Big Deal, but This Researchers’ Theory Explains Everything about How Americans Parent” in Slate.org that describes something that is self-evident to anthropologists, i.e. that whatever is defined as “cognitively advanced” is in fact culturally determined. This is a point which I tried … Continue reading A Rumination on Hillary Clinton, DNA, Cognition, and Culture in Just One Blog
In this installment of the seriocomic series Incidental Anthropology, I bring you three more media stories which incidentally illustrate anthropological points. Given the recent back and forth on this blog over genetics, I highly recommend the first link. 1) Why are Americans so focused on how “cognitively advanced” their children are? 2) Some thoughts on … Continue reading Incidental Anthropology: American Parenting, Mendeley, and “Japan’s Modern Divide”