Ian Tattersall on Stephen Jay Gould

Kevin MacDonald

The great thing about being a liberal/radical academic is that even falsifying data isn’t enough to seriously tarnish one’s reputation. Franz Boas’s finagling of his data on the skull shapes of immigrants in pursuit of his ethnopolitical agenda certainly hasn’t hurt his reputation, and Ian Tattersall’s remembrance of Stephen Jay Gould in the current issue of Natural History certainly won’t do anything to damage Gould (“Remembering Stephen Jay Gould“). Indeed, we read that the tenth anniversary of Gould’s death occasioned a “commemorative meeting in Venice organized by the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti in collaboration with the Università Ca’ Foscari.” Doubtless replete with adulation.

Tattersall is quite frank that Gould’s politics influenced his views on science, describing him as “an unrepentant political liberal, he was firmly on the side of nurture.” Tattersall is saying that being a liberal implies that one will naturally support environmentalist positions in the social sciences. Given the dominance of the left in the academic world and the media, that means that the official message promulgated from elite institutions in the West inevitably supports the nurture argument and its typical correlate that all problems of non-Whites are due to White racism. (Predictably, Adam Carrolla was recently called a ‘racist’ for wondering why 50% of Blacks and Latinos in California couldn’t manage to obtain a checking account when Asian immigrants have managed to do just fine despite the pervasive racism by White Americans.) And of course this means that social science is impossible. The same names can be counted on to go to bat against any data that threaten the egalitarian academic consensus.

It also goes without saying that the media falls in line with the same mantra. This is true even for what passes as conservative media. Discussions of the failure of public education to erase racial/ethnic differences among mainstream conservatives routinely blame lack of choice in schools or poor teachers and completely stay away from mentioning IQ. If the ballgame is over, Gould won.


Tattersall is obviously part of the liberal academic consensus, writing as if Gould’s pronouncements on the Black-White IQ/achievement gap are a badge of honor and so obviously correct as not to need defending. As Steve Sailer comments: “As you can see by looking around you, everything has changed since the publication of [Arthur] Jensen’s Harvard Education Review article in the 1960s. Since then, The Gap has completely disappeared, proving Jensen wrong and Gould right.”

For Tattersall, as for so many academics, truth counts for nothing. What counts are displays of being humane — a good example fitting into Anthony Hilton’s analysis of Whites competing for real world rewards by displays of morality and compassion:

There is no doubt whatsoever that Gould’s humane and passionate writing in defense of racial equality will be looked upon by future anthropologists and historians as a beacon of rational positivism in an age in which genetic reductionism was showing alarming signs of resurgence—as indeed it still is, as race-stratified genome-wide association studies continue to dominate research on human variation. As Gould’s longtime friend, the anthropologist Richard Milner, told a correspondent from Discover magazine: “Whatever conclusions he reached, rightly or wrongly, he did with complete conviction and integrity. He was a tireless combatant against racism in any form, and if he was guilty of the kind of unconscious bias in science that he warned against, at least his bias was on the side of the angels.”

Notice that for Tattersall being “humane and passionate” counts as ”rational positivism,” as if expressing an emotion like empathy has anything at all to do with supporting a belief in a rational manner. Clearly we are in an Alice in Wonderland world here where words can mean whatever he wants them to mean.

It’s apparent that Tattersall believes that anything is justified in the face of [politically] “alarming signs” that the data may not support the egalitarian dogmas.

And despite Milner’s claims, there is no evidence at all that Gould had integrity in his conclusions about Morton. Given his “”tireless” campaign against the “racism” of finding real differences (no matter how well supported empirically), the possibility that he deliberately falsified his data is quite reasonable. If Gould did not have enough integrity to honestly review  data on the correlation between brain size and IQ or indeed any of the modern research on IQ (Gould’s lapses as an IQ scholar are summarized here, pp. 34-35.), why would anyone believe he would have enough integrity to resist falsifying skull measurements to fit his political views?

Moreover, given that Morton has been vindicated as properly measuring skull sizes and given the contemporary data linking skull size and brain size with IQ, the obvious implication is that the data — both Morton’s and more recent corroborating data — do show race differences.

Further, it is not often enough pointed out that the results of race differences research impact real world conflicts of interest. For example, open borders policy makes a bit more sense if indeed genetic race differences are mere noise and if all human groups have the same genetic potential for intelligence and achievement as well as the same genetic tendencies toward criminality and ethnocentrism (high ethnocentrism leading to non-assimilation). But if not, then Western countries are compromising the interests of their White majority while giving massive benefits to non-Whites at the expense of Whites — what an evolutionist would see as a wildly maladaptive altruism. Given that the academic establishment sees the issue only as a moral issue in which White interests have no standing while the interests of other groups are sacrosanct, data are irrelevant. People like Morton (and Jensen and J. Philippe Rushton and Richard Lynn) are vilified; and when they turn out to be right, as Morton has (and hence also Jensen, Rushton and Lynn), they are ignored in the interests of lofty moralisms.

But these attitudes have real world effects on genetic fitness within Western societies, benefitting non-Whites at the expense of founding White populations. The entire edifice is a good example of how culture drives evolution in contemporary societies, much to the detriment of Whites.

Finally, in his discussion of Gould’s manipulation of Morton’s data, Tattersall notes

it is hard to refute the authors’ conclusion that Gould’s own unconscious preconceptions colored his judgment. Morton, naturally enough, carried all of the cultural baggage of his time, ethnicity, and class. But so, it seems, did Gould. And in a paradoxical way, Gould had proved his own point. Scientists are human beings, and when analyzing evidence they always have to be on guard against the effects of their own personal predilections.

Tattersall is pretty clearly saying that Gould’s Jewish ethnicity influenced his stance. After all, if Tattersall viewed Gould as just another White guy like Morton, then the expectation would be that Gould would be a champion of race differences because the evil of Whiteness that influenced Morton (and Jensen, Rushton and Lynn) would naturally influence Gould the same way. And indeed, there is more than enough evidence that Gould’s immersion in Jewish leftist culture beginning in his youth had a formative influence on his thinking  (see  Ch. 2 of Culture of Critique [pp. 30-37], updated here).

The reality is that Gould as a Harvard professor, media figure and leftist radical is an exemplar of the Jewish left that came to dominate elite universities and the mainstream media beginning in the late 1960s. As discussed here, universities (and much of the mainstream media) were always a bit to the left of the average White American. But beginning in the late 1960s they became imbued with what really amounts to an anti-White consensus, championing multiculturalism, displacement-level non-White immigration, the interests of non-White racial and ethnic minorities, women as an oppressed group, and sexual non-conformity. All of these values typify the Jewish communities in Diaspora in the West and conform to Jewish perceived interests in multiculturalism as a model for Western societies.

Hence it goes without saying that Gould’s leftism is entirely in the mainstream of Jewish attitudes. In essence, for decades Jews as an intellectual and media elite have been making alliances with all of the groups mentioned above that directly benefit from these policies, as well as with Whites who, for a variety of reasons are cooperating in their own dispossession. These reasons include succumbing to the incessant propaganda emanating from elite universities and media or self-interest within the new system of rewards and punishments, including public displays affirming the desirability of White displacement as a reliable tactic for upward mobility or at least keeping one’s job.

This culture not only dominates all the elite areas of Western societies, as emphasized here it is completely impervious to scientific data. Gould’s lack of integrity in his writings on IQ combined with his position in the elite media and academic world is yet another example of the corruption of the new hostile elite–apparent also in admission to elite universities. And given the rapidly expanding non-White population in all Western countries, the power of the multicultural establishment continues to increase even as Whites increasingly abandon the culture of the left — the pattern, after all, of recent American presidential elections.

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