Well, as a case in point, consider the following abstract of a published paper of his-
Several reports have highlighted that, within Britain, allegations of electoral fraud tend to be more common in areas with large Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities. However, the extent of this association has not yet been quantified. Using data at the local authority level, this paper shows that percentage Pakistani and Bangladeshi (logged) is a robust predictor of two measures of electoral fraud allegations: one based on designations by the Electoral Commission, and one based on police enquiries. Indeed, the association persists after controlling for other minority shares, demographic characteristics, socio-economic deprivation, and anti-immigration attitudes. I interpret this finding with reference to the growing literature on consanguinity (cousin marriage) and corruption. Rates of cousin marriage tend to be high in countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh, which may have fostered norms of nepotism and in-group favoritism that persist over time. To bolster my interpretation, I use individual level survey data to show that, within Europe, migrants from countries with high rates of cousin marriage are more likely to say that family should be one's main priority in life, and are less likely to say it is wrong for a public official to request a bribe.This is utterly mad. Democracy took root peacefully and permanently in India but not in East or West Pakistan. Elections were always more or less fraudulent. It is no great surprise if a culture of criminality evolved around the ballot box in Pakistan but not India and if this was carried over into the diaspora in Britain.
Cousin marriage is normative in Islam and certain strains of Judaism but prohibited in Hinduism & Sikhism both of which, however, have a more complicated way of achieving the same objective- viz the maintenance of strong kinship bonds of reinsurance.
Electoral fraud is also a function of levels of literacy. Here, a gap opened up between Muslim and non Muslim immigrants from the sub-continent because of greater urbanization and upward mobility in the non-Muslim areas which exported labor to the UK. Furthermore, whereas undivided Pakistan actively encouraged migration from rural areas like Mirpur, the Indian authorities discouraged it in response to pressure from the British until the Indian judiciary prohibited the practice. However, Britain then imposed immigration controls on Commonwealth citizens. Nevertheless, poorer, more rural, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis were still favoured over Indians under the 'voucher scheme' precisely because the need was low skilled factory workers, cleaners and so on.
However, better educated and more entrepreneurial Indians found themselves under greater pressure to migrate at this time. Furthermore, the arrival of East African Asians, with sound English medium education and entrepreneurial drive, tended to lift up the aspirations and life-chances of other Hindus in Britain. Thus, the 'political culture' and socio-economic trajectory of Hindus started to diverge from that of Muslims and, to a lesser extent, Sikhs. As Hindus moved out of factory jobs and deprived neighbourhoods, the scope for, and rewards from, electoral fraud disappeared.This was not the case for low wage, low education, Pakistani and Bangladeshi populations stuck in deprived areas and working in 'ethnic' service industries rather than gaining access to well paid jobs in manufacturing or construction. It was among these 'ghettoised' populations that higher incidence of electoral fraud prevailed. It had nothing to do with the permissibility of cousin marriage as leading to greater nepotism or closer kinship ties.
Is it possible that Noah Carl is ignorant of all this? Or is it rather the case that he expected his paper to be read in the light of, a former Tory Cabinet Minister, Sir Eric Pickles' claim that 'political correctness' was causing the police to turn a blind eye to widespread electoral fraud and intimidation based on Religion, by Pakistanis and Bangladeshis (who voted Labor)? This was a time when some Tory candidates in London targeted Hindu and Sikh voters with thinly veiled Islamophobic pamphlets.
Brexit changed the political landscape in Britain at the same time that the election of Trump broadened the horizons for Junk Social Science. Dr. Carl attracted ire for attending a Conference on 'Intelligence' last year. He published a paper in April in which he gives examples of
the violent lengths to which some people will go to in order to stifle debate around race, genes and IQ. Why does this area of research incite such vitriolic indignation?The reason for this is historic. There was a Eugenicist 'Race Science' which was adopted by Hitler's Nazis. It was utterly foolish. The Slavs turned out not to be inferior to Teutons. Jews and Blacks and so forth were not just excellent soldiers, they were also superb scientists and artists. The same was true of women. Britain's superior female participation rate was a factor in its victory over Germany. The reason all countries- even Iran and now Saudi Arabia- want women to be economically and scientifically active is because that makes everybody better off. Irrational prejudices based on race or gender mean falling behind in an increasingly competitive world.
Dr. Carl takes a different, a bizarre, view.
A likely reason, as Winegard and Winegard (That's a likely reason? Do a large number of academics in the West really believe chicks got dicks same as wot blokes do? Is that a 'sacred value' for them? ) argue, is that for a large number of academics in the West, the notion of biological sameness between groups (classes, sexes, races) has become what Tetlock ( ) calls a ‘sacred value’ (and see Ginges et al., ).
Sacred values possess at least two important properties. First, they are incommensurable with respect to instrumental values: no amount of a sacred value can be traded off for any amount of an instrumental value.Nonsense! A sacred value- e.g. getting into heaven or out of purgatory- can be traded for an instrumental value having to do with the opportunity cost of time and money and whom you beat or burn to death. If no trade-off is possible then sacred values can have no effect on revealed preference- i.e. actual behavior. But, in that case, sacred values would be worthless.
And second, proposals to accept such trade-offs are met not merely with rejection, but with moral outrage.Moral outrage is appropriate if there is no trade-off between something inherently repugnant and some concrete benefit. Stem cell research sounds a bit yucky but if it can help people like Michael J Fox then there is a trade-off.
However, in the case of Dr. Carl's own work, there is no possible benefit. The thing is Junk Social Science of a click-bait kind.
Because arguments such as Wilson’s, Jensen’s and Murray’s clearly threaten the sacred value of biological sameness between groups, it is not enough simply to attack the arguments; the defenders of those arguments must be hounded, and their characters impeached.Wilson, Jensen and Murray were not hounded, their characters were not impeached, by at least some people whose 'sacred values' consecrated the eschatological sameness of groups. This readily translates, in a Thomist manner, into a notion of biological sameness from the point of view of telos.
Furthermore, there is a large body of research in psychology showing that people are quite bad at objectively appraising risk (Kahneman,But, if you know that, why stick your neck out? You are likely to be underestimating the harm you do or the harm that will be done to you. , Ch. 13).
For example, we tend to be more afraid of snakes, spiders and large carnivores than of loaded guns, faulty electrical wires and driving without a seatbelt (Pinker,But, if you know about 'affect heuristics' why pretend moral outrage poses a risk to society? The thing is silly. , Ch. 6.) One particularly important source of error is the ‘affect heuristic’, whereby people judge things to have worse consequences if their mental images of those things are imbued with more negative emotional content. As Slovic et al. ( ) note, “activities associated with cancer are seen as riskier and more in need of regulation than activities associated with less dreaded forms of illness, injury, and death (e.g., accidents)”. The existence of the ‘affect heuristic’ should give us pause before concluding that the degree of moral outrage associated with a phenomenon constitutes a good measure of how much risk that phenomenon actually poses to society.
Although a great many areas of science (e.g., the germ theory of disease, the chemistry of particulates, the psychology of manipulation) are open to misuse, there are few if anywhere the putative asymmetry between societal costs and scientific or other benefits is held to be as great as in the area of race, genes and IQ.Carl can't write a proper English sentence. No doubt this is because of something to do with his race, genes and IQ.
Of course, the main concern among commentators who subscribe to this asymmetry is that evidence of a genetic contribution to IQ differences between human populations would be used by racists to justify oppression or exploitation of populations with lower average IQs.Don't be silly. If you are oppressing and exploiting someone you can't justify it by saying 'the fellow is a cretin.' You have to say 'this guy is real smart- indeed, he is so smart that he understands that I'm actually doing him a favor. You aren't as smart as him and so you'll never understand the reason for this even if he could be bothered to explain it to you. So just take my word for it already and let me exploit and oppress you in the same way.'
For example, if it were found that the difference in mean IQ between European Americans and African Americans is partly genetic, the difference would be in some sense fixed, and the worry is that racists would then have a justification for oppressing or exploiting African Americans.Carl, have you ever met an African American? Do you really think it would be easy for you to oppress or exploit one? Let us suppose you are able to capture a cretinous little African American. What would happen if you started oppressing and exploiting the wee creature? You'd get arrested, mate. You may say to the Judge- 'I have evidence that this African American is an utter moron. This justifies my oppressing her. Coz, like that's the Law, right? Smart people are allowed to fuck over the mentally handicapped.'
I don't know much about the Law, but even I know that the statement given above is not exculpatory, rather it is damning.
One can't justify evil actions- like oppression or exploitation- by pointing to the mental or physical inferiority of the victim.
Carl, bless his cotton socks, believes otherwise-
It goes without saying that this concern should be taken seriously; the possibility of an asymmetry between the costs and benefits of discussing race, genes and IQ is not one that should be dismissed out of hand.I have long contended that Iyers are stupider than almost everybody else. Indeed, my entire oeuvre is a testament to the right of all Iyers everywhere to be categorized as an 'Educationally Backward' Caste by the Government of India.
In the West, where Caste does not exist but Color does, I'd enthusiastically support any research which purports to show that Whitey be smarter than me. Why? The theory of optimal taxation would then militate for higher taxes on White people- and also Iyengars. I fucking hate Iyengars. It is because of them only that us Tambrams got stuck with a reputation for being brainy. Anyway, Rajaji was Iyengar and it was his idiocy which destroyed our caste's political prospects in Tamil Nadu.
Returning to Carl, who is Amia Srinivasan (& therefore Iyengar) level stupid, we find
his paper argues that.. that stifling debate around taboo topics can itself do active harm.This guy writes worthless shite about how cousin marriage correlates with electoral fraud. The 'Structural Causal Model' he is appealing to can't be tested by picking out the one ethnic grouping in the UK for whom cousin marriage is normative and which also has a historical record of electoral fraud. You have to compare like with like- i.e. Indian Muslims settled in the UK who practice cousin marriage with undivided Pakistan origin Muslims. Immediately you do this, you understand the absurdity of the underlying 'structural causal model'. To the extent that the paper’s argument has force, it cannot simply be taken for granted that, when in doubt, stifling debate around taboo topics is the ethical thing to do.
Would it be a good thing for the Academy to stifle junk social science of this sort? No. These guys are monkeys playing with their own faeces. Let them do it in the Academy, where they earn peanuts- which is cool coz they iz monkeys- rather than let them loose on the City.
It is not ethical to let our future Ivy League Professors do anything useful in their late Twenties and early Thirties. They too, like the rest of us, must keep their nose to the grindstone of 'meticulous nonsense' or mindless shite. Since people wot go to posh Skools & Collidges are more at risk of ending up as junk Social Science monkeys, it follows that allowing that shite to flourish cancels out an aspect of their 'moral luck' and is thus part and parcel of providential theodicy.
Dr. Carl's main claim is that-
WTF?! 'the difference in mean Spiritual Quotient between Iyers & Iyengars may be partly epigenetic' is as unscientific as the one Carl quotes. Both lack a coherent, not utterly absurd, Structural Causal Model. If it had been shown that a selective breeding program in a particular population had indeed permanently changed expected I.Q- in other words, if eugenics worked- then, there would be a coherent, not absurd, SCM. However, it would militate for an inter-racial selective breeding program such that 'Caste' would get delinked from Race. It may be that 'assortative mating' is already doing this amongst Ivy League STEM subject hotshots. But there is nothing 'Racial' about the fact that this leads to the existence of Iyers whose moms are Italian or Korean and whose brides or grooms are Ghanaian or Israeli. What matters is that the grandkids understand that the real enemy is the Iyengars. Fuck you Iyengars! How dare you deny the possibility of a jivanmukta? I'm sure, if I can just finish this bottle, I will attain complete metaphysical liberation while still alive in this body. That will afford scientific proof that the difference in mean Spiritual Quotient between Iyers & Iyengars is almost entirely epigenetic.
By equating particular scientific statements (e.g., “the difference in mean IQ between European Americans and African Americans may be partly genetic”) with racism (e.g., “African Americans are genetically inferior to European Americans”), those seeking to stifle debate commit the moralistic fallacy of concluding that a statement cannot be true if it has unpleasant moral implications (Davis, ).
But you and I and the next guy know this will never actually happen. Why pretend otherwise? Carl's next assertion explains the reason for this cretinous hypocrisy-
And in doing so, they make a rather perverse assumption, namely that if the relevant scientific statements were ever shown to be true, then the unpleasant moral implications would be valid.Why impute so perverse an assumption to anybody? Ordinary people are perfectly happy for scientists to study genetic predispositions if this improves their own health. I don't call my Doctor a racist when she tells me that, because of my South Asian ancestry, I am more at risk of certain diseases.
The problem here is that Carl is not a scientist. His Junk Social Science isn't helping anyone. It is immoral to call it scholarship.
No doubt, a 'blank state' or 'Social Constructivist' dogma can hinder science, but useful discoveries persuade people to abandon such dogmas.
It is not the case that attacking those dogmas helps anybody. You actually have to do some useful science or put forward a better Structural Causal Model.
Carl claims that
there are clear examples of where stifling debate has done material harm to both individuals and societal institutions.The example he gives is that of Asian grooming gangs who targeted young white girls. However, these girls were regarded as delinquents by Social Workers. It was their policy to let them fend for themselves. They considered it inevitable that they'd end up 'on the game'. Theodore Dalrymple, a psychiatrist who had worked in the NHS as well as the Prison system, wrote an article in the Spectator about the plight of these young girls 'in care'. One 12 or 13 year old had her teeth knocked out by the older girls because she was undercutting the going rate for blow jobs- which was 50 pence. It was in this context that Asian pimps were considered a better option for these girls. They would be accessing a slightly safer and better paying client network. Indeed, shockingly, Social Workers still think it a good idea for these girls, who have given birth to children, to keep in touch with their rapists and to give them visiting rights. Why? The answer is that it reduces the case-load for the 'caring profession'.
The Police do want to put bad guys in prison. These were clear cases of (at least) statutory rape, pimping and so forth. This was organised crime. But it was a type of crime condoned by Society. It was assumed that these girls would end up as prostitutes. If their pimps were Pakistani origin taxi drivers, the crime statistics would go down because street-walking would decrease. The girls would be less likely to spend their time bashing each other up so as to prevent the price of blowjobs going down by ten pence. Hopefully, some of them wold convert to Islam and put on hijabs and stop showing up at the A&E or in the drunk tank.
No doubt, the Police Force is sensitive to claims that they are racist. Perhaps they genuinely are racist. But, the truth is, if Society at large believes the Police are racist then, in England, the conviction rate will go down. Juries will have a reasonable doubt. The CPS will use this as an excuse to drop the prosecution. Thus, it is very much in the interest of the Police to reach out to ethnic communities. Here in Fulham, we see personable officers in our Churches and Mosques and Gurudwaras chatting to the Vicar or Imam and smiling warmly at young people. I once made a complaint about what I thought was a case of the Police ignoring my call. Two officers turned up at my door and listened to me patiently. The younger explained that police procedure was to first locate the injured person, then apprehend the assailant and only return to the scene of the crime to take statements after that had been accomplished. I said I was perfectly satisfied with the explanation but the older officer reproved the younger. He said that the Force was grateful for my input and was always looking to improve its procedures. I got a follow up letter from the Superintendent.
This encounter showed me that even if the Police are racist and don't care about poor people, still, their rational self-interest will cause them to ignore race and economic status. It saves money in the long run. During the hoodie riots, Hammersmith and Fulham were unaffected. Why? Working class people trusted the Police.
It is quite true that 'Political Correctness' is counter-productive. But so is Carl's own work. What is needed is not yet more Junk Social Science but actual Science. A guy who has made a new and very useful discovery has a right to gas on for a bit about his beliefs. After all, his discovery is based on a better Structural Causal Model of some aspect of existence. No doubt, he is likely to say many absurd things along the way but there may be a grain of wheat among the chaff.