On This, the “Racist” was Right! By Brian Simpson

Marxist biologist, Stephen Jay Gould, was among other things, a critic of racialism, at least as it related to claims that supported some sort of positive conclusion about Whites. I could not find, for example any work critiquing say East Asian IQ superiority, although he could have written on it, I did not find it.

But one claim he did make in his 1981 book, The Mismeasure of Man, was that Samuel Morton, who measured hundreds of human skulls in the 1830s and 1840s, concluding that the brain volume of Europeans was greater than that of Asians and Africans, was a “patchwork of fudging and fingling in the clear interest of controlling a priori convictions.” Ok, he was a racist, just doctoring data, the same way we might see today, the Democrats doctoring votes. Only, he was not.

However, Gould did not go back and do an empirical test of this, by remeasuring the skulls, which is what science, rather than ideology, would require. This has now been done though:


“Stephen Jay Gould, the prominent evolutionary biologist and science historian, argued that ‘‘unconscious manipulation of data may be a scientific norm’’ because ‘‘scientists are human beings rooted in cultural contexts, not automatons directed toward external truth’’, a view now popular in social studies of science . In support of his argument Gould presented the case of Samuel George Morton, a 19th-century physician and physical anthropologist famous for his measurements of human skulls. Morton was considered the objectivist of his era, but Gould reanalyzed Morton’s data and in his prizewinning book The Mismeasure of Man argued that Morton skewed his data to fit his preconceptions about human variation. Morton is now viewed as a canonical example of scientific misconduct. But did Morton really fudge his data? Are studies of human variation inevitably biased, as per Gould, or are objective accounts attainable, as Morton attempted? We investigated these questions by remeasuring Morton’s skulls and reexamining both Morton’s and Gould’s analyses. Our results resolve this historical controversy, demonstrating that Morton did not manipulate data to support his preconceptions, contra Gould. In fact, the Morton case provides an example of how the scientific method can shield results from cultural biases.”

In an article published in all places, The New York Times,  Gould is hammered, although one would not have expected it from an article entitled: “Scientists Measure the Accuracy of a Racist Claim”:


“The Penn team finds Morton’s results were neither fudged nor influenced by his convictions. They identified and remeasured half of the skulls used in his reports, finding that in only 2 percent of cases did Morton’s measurements differ significantly from their own. These errors either were random or gave a larger than accurate volume to African skulls, the reverse of the bias that Dr. Gould imputed to Morton.

“These results falsify the claim that Morton physically mismeasured crania based on his a priori biases,” the Pennsylvania team writes.

Dr. Gould did not measure any of the skulls himself but merely did a paper reanalysis of Morton’s results. He accused Morton of various subterfuges, like leaving out subgroups to manipulate a group’s overall score. When these errors were corrected, Dr. Gould said, “there are no differences to speak of among Morton’s races.” … Ralph L. Holloway, an expert on human evolution at Columbia and a co-author of the new study, was less willing to give Dr. Gould benefit of the doubt.

“I just didn’t trust Gould,” he said. “I had the feeling that his ideological stance was supreme. When the 1996 version of ‘The Mismeasure of Man’ came and he never even bothered to mention Michael’s study, I just felt he was a charlatan.”


So, politically correct New York Times, your own article says that the so-called “racist” claim is correct! Hang your head!




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Wednesday, 27 January 2021
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