Re: regarding that infamous book, "The Bell Curve"

From: Timothy Bates (
Date: Sun Feb 27 2000 - 16:15:10 MST

I cannot believe the nonsense that people "know" about intelligence.

on 2/28/00 9:44 AM, john grigg wrote:
> Actually, there were two author's who cowrote the book, Richard J.
> Herrnstein and Charles Murray. Herrnstein died shortly after the book was
> published. He was seen by critics as not having the real research
> experience to write the book, though he was a Harvard trained psychologist.

Pardon me? Herrnstein had published extensively on both social issues (crime
in particular) and intelligence. If anyone lacked "credentials" it would be
Murray. He, however, is a smart guy with plenty of experience in dealing
with social data and a good partner for Herrnstein. The correlational issues
are not, in fact, rocket science (though the underlying genetics are).

It is true that neither Herrnstein nor Murray where the originators of much
raw data and basic theory (for that turn to Jensen, Eysenck, and a host of
other less well known names). But two points need to be clear here. Not
having published original analyses (thought the Bell Curve contains ample
amounts of these) does not exclude one from entering a scientific arena.
Secondly, and risibly, no one appears to be upset when people like Gould
(who have never published on intelligence - "not a single piece of original
research") pontificate (not analyse, merely claim) on what "must" be the
case regarding differences between individuals.


"I should see the garden far better," said Alice to herself, "if I could get
to the top of that hill: and here's a path that leads straight to it -- at
least, no, it doesn't do that --" (after going a few yards along the path
and turning several sharp corners), "but I suppose it will at last. But how
curiously it twists! It's more like a corkscrew than a path! Well, *this*
turn goes to the hill, I suppose -- no, it doesn't! This goes straight back
to the house! Well then, I'll try it the other way."

    -- Lewis Caroll, Through the Looking Glass

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