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Political Correctness

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Whilst trust is the foundation of virtue, political correctness is the dictatorship of virtue. This brief article offers an overview of political correctness, and includes definitions, history, science, politics, academia, law and personnel selection. The novelty lies with the exposure of the politically correct nature of classical statistics.

Definitions

History

Political correctness (PC) is the third great evil arising from Western civilization in the last century. PC and fascism are both derivatives of Marxism and both have their roots in the 1920s. However, unlike fascism and Marxism, PC is not restricted to a small number of countries, it pervades every country in the developed world right down to the level of the family. In this sense, the spread and acceptance of PC fascism (PC is a form of fascism) means that we are currently experiencing the darkest days of fascism so far experienced in the world. There has never been anything more anti-scientific or unjust in the history of Western culture.

Science

The politically correct Stephen Jay Gould (Gould 1996) has probably done more damage to the educated public’s understanding of intelligence, evolution, heritability and race than any other individual: he was either confused or dishonest. See Rushton (1997), Carroll (2004) and Sesardic (2005). To take just one example, Eurasian and black races split around 100,000 years ago. Gould (1984) wrote that ‘Homo sapiens is a young species, its division into races even more recent. This historical context has not supplied enough time for the evolution of substantial differences.’ Is he correct? How different are Africans and Europeans? It depends on the trait; for example, Africans and Europeans have similar blood pressures, yet skin tones are so distinct that there is no overlap. Could it be that there was enough time for superficial traits to evolve, but not non-superficial traits? This seems unlikely, because a complex trait would have greater genetic variation and thus provide more opportunities for natural selection to act. Why, then, are traits like blood pressure uniform across the globe? Individuals with an average blood pressure are healthier than those with low or high blood pressure; so in instances such as this, natural selection favours the golden mean. J. Philippe Rushton argues that the survival challenges faced by our ancestors who lived in colder climates, such as making warm clothing, building shelters to protect against the elements, finding and storing food and caring for their young in a harsh climate selected genes for higher intelligence, greater levels of parental investment, a reduction in personal and sexual competitiveness and greater personal restraint. So average blood pressure but higher than average intelligence but were selected for. Gould’s assertion is quite false, 100,000 years is sufficient time for non-trivial differences to have evolved.

In Not in Our Genes, Rose, Lewontin and Kamin (1984) are quite explicit about their anti-scientific bias: ‘We share a commitment to the prospect of the creation of a more socially just—socialist—society. And we recognize that a critical science is an integral part of the struggle to create that society.’ Indeed, their 100% environmentalism stance no doubt appealed to egalitarians. Unfortunately, this is not science. It is no wonder that Dawkins (1985) describes the book as ‘silly, pretentious, obscurantist and mendacious’.

Steve Jones (Professor of Genetics at UCL) hasn’t a single peer-reviewed publication in the area of human behaviour genetics, but this doesn’t seem to trouble The Guardian, where Jones (1996) accused Chris Brand (1996) of the ‘elementary mistake’ of inferring between-group heritability from within-group heritability. One problem: it wasn’t actually true. Brand made no such error; see Sesardic (2005). In reference to the black/white differences in IQ of Americans, Jones stated that, ‘for IQ there is a curious readiness to accept that such differences are due to genes. The evidence on its own supports neither idea (although at least the environmentalists have some experiments to try).’ In doing so, he has stated the polar opposite of the truth: the media (science editors and journalists) actually emphasize the view that the differences are entirely due to the environment, whilst the majority of experts believe that the differences are partly genetic (Snyderman and Rothman 1988). Besides, groups create their own environment anyway! Your environment consists largely of other people’s genes. The Guardian article satisfies Jones’s view, which allows for human evolution only to the extent that it doesn’t contradict his (socialist and egalitarian) political views, it’s also what the paper’s readership want to hear. Nice scientists must learn to deal with their own cognitive dissonance.

In Guns, Germs, and Steel, Diamond (1999) (an environmentalist) proposed that societies with domesticated animals and plants (Eurasians) would attain immunity to many diseases, which sounds plausible. He refuses to consider that societies which managed to domesticate animals and plants may have done so due to having a higher intelligence. He counters this unpopular argument by proposing the polar opposite: that New Guineans are actually more intelligent than Westerners. The mean IQ in Papua New Guinea is 84, whilst the mean European IQ is 100. His argument is both wrong and inconsistent.

The PC line is ubiquitous, even among the best scientists. For example, for theoretical reasons, we can not transcend our genes: everything we do is either reproduction or instrumental to it. The great Dawkins, Dennett and Pinker apparently disagree—or are they in fact being politically correct? See Moxon (2010).

Statistics

Bayesian inference formalises the fact that a surprising result requires more evidence. In practice, this should mean that the onus of ‘proof’ should lie with those who support the more surprising hypothesis.
P(hypothesis) = prior belief × strength of evidence
The prior is your degree of belief before viewing the data. For example, given my prior beliefs, it would require a great deal more evidence to convince me that astrology works than I would require to convince me that it does not.

In classical statistics, the null hypothesis i) is that no difference exists; and ii) is presumed to be true initially. Note that from the outset the onus lies with those who hypothesize inequality, rather than those who support the more surprising hypothesis. The conventions of classical statistics (setting alpha less than beta) ensure that scientists bias their decision-making systems towards accepting the null hypothesis when it is false (type II error), in other words, failing to observe a difference when in truth there is one.

Political correctness dictates that—even when there is evidence to the contrary—one should assume by default that all things are equal. The politically correct, for example, will insist that the onus of ‘proof’ should lie with those who propose that the sexes or races are different. Given that there are obvious observable differences between the sexes and the races plus plenty of evidence for unobservable differences, this is clearly irrational. As another example, in the politically correct multicultural West all religions (along with atheism) are assumed to be equally valid, and it can even be an offence to criticise a religion (despite the fact that criticism is the only rational response to any religion). As a third example, PC fascists hate Bayesian methods, because Bayesian inference explicitly forces them to put their prejudices in the prior where everyone can see them. Non-Bayesians often put the onus on Bayesians to justify using Bayesian inference. Various distinct axiom systems developed to deal with uncertainty (the axiomatic approach, Dutch book argument, scoring rules and using a standard) all lead to probability. Also, Bayesian methods have not been bettered in over 200 years. Therefore, it would be surprising if Bayesian methods were not the best way of dealing with uncertainty, so the onus should lie firmly with the Bayesian skeptics to provide evidence.

Imagine that, being somewhat unhealthy, you’d never eaten fruit before. You are presented with an apple and an orange. Given that from the outside you can see that they are different colours, different textures, different smells and slightly different shapes, would you expect that a) they are the same inside; or b) they are different inside? The rational answer is b) but the PC answer is a).

The twin evils of the egalitarianism of political correctness and null hypothesis testing are self reinforcing. Regardless of the evidence, political correctness dictates that one should prefer the hypothesis that two or more things are equal. Moving up a level, the ‘things’ that the PC claim are equal may be hypotheses.

Politics

The politically correct dictate that multiculturalism is good, and ignore the evidence which portrays it in a bad light (such as the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, the 7 July 2005 London bombings and Iraq). Every human being is equipped with the same psychology—of perceiving their membership of their own community, race or nation as an ‘in-group’—whereas other foreigners belong to an ‘out-group’. Indeed, Vanhanen (1999) found that ethnic heterogeneity was strongly correlated with institutionalized ethnic conflict. Therefore, a priori, it is far from self-evident that multiculturalism is inherently good. Mass immigration means that the middle classes can get a cheap plumber; but there is a cost. Cheap imported (mostly male) labour displaces home-grown working class men. On the plus side, multiculturalism offers an enticingly exotic gene pool to the opposite sex. On balance, it may be, or it may not be a good thing; that is not the point here. The point is that the PC dictate what you should believe.

Political correctness dictates that men and women are equal. That’s not ‘deserve equal opportunities’, they believe, insist and dictate that the are actually equal. But there is no symmetry, the PC, via feminism, have decided that women (at the expense of men) require privileges. This means that women end up displacing possibly better qualified men.

The irony is that although political correctness emerges where liberalism and leftism intersect, it is totalitarian and it is working class men who suffer the most. Therefore, the liberal left are quite literally working against themselves.

Academia

There exists a miniscule number of academics who are neither PC fascists, sympathetic to PC fascism, or cowards. There are so few, in fact, that I can list all the notable members of this group, and what became of them.

British universities muzzle their academic staff. Chris Brand was sacked from his 27-year tenured position at Edinburgh University in 1997 for expressing his (expert) opinions on race and intelligence. In 2006 Dr Frank Ellis was suspended from Leeds University for restating what has been known for half a century. Of the eight signatories on the letter published in the Sunday Times in support of Frank Ellis, only one had its roots in a British University, and that was Chris Brand. It would appear that political correctness also breeds cowardice.

Lawrence Summers was pushed out of the Harvard presidency for academic honesty (he actually considerably understated his argument). That was a disgrace. The current president, Drew Gilpin Faust, ran the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study which is one of the most powerful incubators of feminist complaint and nonsensical academic theory in the US. This is worrying. The triumph of political correctness over science and meritocracy in the most influential university in the world does not bode well for science or progress.

David Irving, a brilliant historian who only uses primary sources, was imprisoned in Austria for daring to write about the war from Hitler’s perspective, rather than follow the politically correct line which is that history is written by the victors and is not subject to review. I have read Hitler’s War (Irving 1977), which is an excellent book, and the result of painstaking research. He does not deny the holocaust, he simply questions whether this was the original plan and whether the orders were given directly by Hitler.

Helmuth Nyborg, one of the most cited Danish psychologists, had a paper on intelligence pass peer review in Personality and Individual Differences (Nyborg 2005). Because of his politically incorrect findings (that men have a higher mean IQ than women), Aarhus University assembled a committee to investigate accusations of scientific malfeasance and fraud. They found errors but no fraud. In 2006 he was suspended and then given a ‘severe reprimand’.

In October 2007 James Watson, the Nobel Prize-winning co-discoverer of DNA, stated publicly that Africans are less intelligent than Europeans. Despite the fact that Dr Watson’s statement was true (Malloy 2007; Rushton and Jensen 2008), and should not have even been controversial, he was widely condemned by the media, the Science Museum cancelled his talk, the Bristol Festival of Ideas cancelled an appearance, he was suspended from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and forced to cancel his tour of the UK. That a Nobel Prize-winning scientist was heavily vilified for telling the truth is an absolute disgrace. For more on the story, see James D. Watson.

Orchestrated mob rule has been used to intimidate professors Michael Levin, J. Phillipe Rushton, Chris Brand, Arthur Jensen and Hans Eysenck. US universities in particular are some of the most PC fascist places on the planet. Throughout the West, the PC liberal left in academia have formed their own smug (and totalitarian) in-group.

Law

Even the British judiciary is not immune. In his book Institutional Injustice the former president of the Law Society, Martin Mears, provides plenty of evidence that the courts are deeply biased and hopelessly infected with all the worst aspects of political correctness (Mears 2006) .

Personnel Selection

Miller (1994) uses Bayesian reasoning to show that groups such as races, sexes, ethnic groups and age classes are, in general, relevant to problems of selection for school and employment. The implications go further than dismissing positive discrimination and recommending that people are treated as individuals, the paper proves that discrimination on the basis of the group that one belongs to is quite rational.

Non-PC Search Engine

Filters out the politically correct!

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