Skip to comments.Modern-Day Galileo: J. Philippe Rushton (1943-2012)
Posted on 10/13/2012 11:41:04 AM PDT by River Hawk
Last week the world of science lost one of its most courageous and brilliant practitioners, and I have lost a dear friend and colleague. On 02 October, J. Philippe Rushton passed away at an infuriatingly young age of 68.
I first learned of Phils work in 1999 when, as a then member of the Social Psychology Section of the American Sociological Association, I received a complimentary copy of the abridged edition of Race, Evolution and Behavior, which Phil had sent to all 600+ members of the Section at his personal expense. I read it right away, then I purchased and read the unabridged version.
When I met Phil in person for the first time the following year, I could not believe that a man so intensely hated in public (nearly always by idiots who did not know him personally and who did not know anything about science) could be so gentle, genial, and generous in person. His very kind and mild manners always impressed me, especially in stark contrast to how people thought and assumed he was.
Heres one of my most favorite pictures in the world, which I call The four most hated men in science, and Jim Flynn. The four most hated men are, from left to right, J. Philippe Rushton, Helmuth Nyborg, Richard Lynn, and yours truly, with James R. Flynn at the center. The picture was taken at the 2007 conference of the International Society for Intelligence Research, by a young intelligence researcher Jonathan Wai. I proudly display this picture in my office at LSE. My latest book The Intelligence Paradox: Why the Intelligent Choice Isnt Always the Smart One is partly dedicated to Phil, as well as to the other two most hated men in the photo and other courageous pioneers in the field of intelligence research. I cant believe there cant be any more pictures like this with Phil.
Heres another picture of Phil and me, also taken by Jon at the same conference. It simultaneously displays Phils gentle nature and my characteristic inability to make eye contact. The behavior geneticist Robert Plomin is in the background.
Theres another picture that I love, even though neither Phil nor I are in it. In the early 1990s, during the height of the controversy about his work and student protests against him on the campus of the University of Western Ontario, where Phil taught most of his career, a photographer from the student newspaper, the Western Gazette, captured an image of a black student protestor vandalizing Phils office and spray-painting on the door Racists pig live here. If thats not supreme irony, I dont know what is. There is one very small consolation in Phils tragically early death: Phil was not an artist, he was a scientist. When an artist dies, his art dies with him, which is why there has not been (and will never be) Beethovens 10th Symphony or Guernica II. Unlike art, however, science is cumulative. The rest of us can honor his memory and his scientific legacy by continuing his work. Phil was simultaneously a tremendous role model and a very tough act to follow. He was a model of scientific integrity. Unlike Galileo, he never recanted.
Well, that was interesting.
Thank you for posting this information.
For a perspective on the sort of "scientists," who have tried to suppress the work of men like Prof. Rushton, see Myths & Myth Makers In American "Higher" Education. They are not altruists, in any sense--only poseurs, denying reality.
Great article. Thanks for posting. I always enjoyed reading Rushton’s articles. And you know that anyone like Rushton who catches the flak that he caught from uber-leftist academics was on to something.
Neither did Giordano Bruno...
That doesn't mean I think people from east-asia are superior to people of my ethnicity, it just means that in this moment of time, their mental capabilities in certain areas on average are superior to my ethnic group. Why they are has yet to be explained. But to deny obvious differences in physical and mental capabilities is stupidly exceeding the present limits of political correctness.
“The book [Race, Evolution & Behavior] argues that Mongoloids, on average, are at one end of a continuum, that Negroids, on average, are at the opposite end of that continuum, and that Caucasoids rank in between Mongoloids and Negroids, but closer to Mongoloids. His continuum includes both external physical characteristics and personality traits.
Citing genetic research by Cavalli-Sforza, the African Eve hypothesis, and the out of Africa theory, Rushton writes that Negroids branched off first (200,000 years ago, Caucasoids second 110,000 years ago, and Mongoloids last 41,000 years ago), arguing that throughout all of evolution, more ancient forms of life (i.e. plants, bacteria, reptiles) are less evolved than more recent forms of life (i.e. mammals, primates, humans) and that the much smaller variation in the races is consistent with this trend. “One theoretical possibility,” said Rushton “is that evolution is progressive and that some populations are more advanced than others”. Rushton argues that this evolutionary history correlates with, and is responsible for, a consistent global racial pattern which explains many variables such as worldwide crime statistics or the global distribution of AIDS.”
(more at Wikipedia)
One theoretical possibility, said Rushton is that evolution is progressive and that some populations are more advanced than others
Hmmmm. That sounds familiar. Wasn’t that what the famous and the notorious eugenics movement based their belief on? Yes, Margaret Sanger, Bertrand Russel, H. G. Wells, the Fabian Socialists and all those the anti evolution / creationists love to bring up to blacken the reputations of modern scientists seem to embrace Rushton. The problem is that there is no normative element to evolution. It has been popular to dress up various ideologies with scientific proof. Hitler, Stalin, Mao all enlisted their scientist to prove the theories of their fairy tales.
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Thanks River Hawk.
I do believe there is an explanation, and it's MOTIVATION! One reason some students from the Asian countries, specifically China, Japan, Korea and India do so well is because they are pushed, cajoled, and otherwise encouraged by their parents, from an early age, to do well in school. They are given opportunities by their parents to experience many different activities, and the culture in which they are raised VALUES education, as do the other kids their ages.
As has been shown many times in the past, ANY child, of any racial or economic background, given encouragement, and raised with the idea that education is extremely important to his or her future, can also do very well in school. Too often, especially in the black and Hispanic communities, and some lower socio-economic white communities, kids who try to better themselves are ridiculed by their friends, and as we all know, for school kids, it's very hard to go against the peer group. And if their parents aren't encouraging their efforts, either, it's extremely hard for a young person to do well.
Galileoo recanted for a number of reasons: he couldn't prove his hypothesis, he had remorse for breaking his agreement with Pope Urban VIII and he was afraid that the protestants who were calling for his head would succeed where they had failed with Johannes Kepler at Tubingen.
Then you have to ask the question: why do the parents of Asian kids go to those efforts and the parents of other ethnicities not so much?
I lived in southern California growing up and witnessed firsthand how parent’s attitudes towards education influenced their children.
For many people from Mexico, getting an education wasn’t all that important in CA. However, those people who came from Asia, particularly China and Japan, it was very important. This has to do with their respective cultures and the value those cultures place on education.
I do not see those cultural values having changed at all in the past forty to fifty years.
Yes, I’m 60-years old.
Yes, but why do some cultures stress what’s important and others don’t? Saying all ethnic groups are equal in intelligence only some cultures stress education and others don’t is denying the fact that some cultures stress education because the people/parents in those cultures are smarter than than the one that don’t. Wouldn’t it be logical to say that the people of the cultures who stress intelligence, (Jews, East Asians) might have more intelligence on average than the people of the cultures that don’t?
Within any group of people, and for the sake of this discussion I’ll refer to them as a ‘culture’, there exists a ‘bell curve’ of intelligence. And no, I do not consider it logical that cultures who stress education to their children might have more inherent intelligence on average than other cultures.
It may well be that certain cultures have developed a reputation for intelligence BECAUSE of the stress on studying and intellectual pursuits. If you look closer at families within those cultures, you will also find the children who have no interest in intellectual endeavors. In other words, they couldn’t care less about studies and school.
Then there exist the ‘out of the blue’ genius who appears in the midst of a culture not accustomed to such individuals. The Maya developed a calender that was the most advanced in the world, yet one would hardly consider them “educated”. Their descendents certainly haven’t demonstrated great intellectual advances.
Why not? Why do some cultures stress working hard in school and some don't? You're trying to rule out inherited intelligence out of hand. It's probably the biggest reason.
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