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Something very scary and very wrong is happening


Replies to: Something very scary and very wrong is happening

  • Ohiodad51Ohiodad51 Registered User Posts: 2,243 Senior Member
    @HarvestMoon1, this is not often the case, but I agree 100%.
  • awcntdbawcntdb Registered User Posts: 3,553 Senior Member
    I would feel a lot better with speakers like this if it was presented in a debate format.

    The only issue I have with this is it is intellectual discrimination masquerading as fairness. Who determines who are "speakers like this?"

    Most modern day social and science studies that academia "deems acceptable" have serious dissenting voices. For example, there is an entire field of science that sees transgender as a medical issue. Same with the issue as to the extent of man-made climate change - tons of dissenting voices with equally valid studies of their own. Yet, these speakers, who promote one point-of-view and are deemed acceptable, can speak without a debate format?

    I just do not understand the logic of why Murray (or others) should be forced into a debate format, when others who present positions that are also subject to rigorous dissent by equally brilliant peers should be free of such debate.

    This is one of those ideas that sounds good in theory, but becomes discriminatory rather quickly as it is subject the biases of who determines what is controversial and what is not - and that determination sounds determined by mob mentally and threat of mob violence than actual scholarship.

    Personally, I would rather see all speakers who are promoting a position to be debated by a peer of equal stature. But, that does not make sense either because a talk to present one's ideas is a wholly different intellectual exercise, as one rarely gets to delve very deeply into theory and policy in a debate, as one can with a focused speech or talk.
  • Ohiodad51Ohiodad51 Registered User Posts: 2,243 Senior Member
    @awcntdb, I think the debate format is best for everybody. Particularly at colleges, which at least hold themselves out as uniquely committed to intellectual inquiry.
  • HarvestMoon1HarvestMoon1 Registered User Posts: 6,031 Senior Member
    @awcntdb - yes, identifying those speakers presents some challenges but we pretty much know what the current "hot button" issues are. If we are looking to mitigate the violence this might be one approach that could help on college campuses where protests occur often.

    Unfortunately these specific protests are against a "fictional" version of what Murray and Herrnstein actually said in the book. Their views have been misrepresented so widely that some are reacting without much understanding of what was written.

    The whole fiasco could have been avoided if they had simply chosen the term "achievement gap" rather than "IQ gap." In my view that more accurately reflects the conclusions that they reached which is basically "we just don't know."
  • warbrainwarbrain Registered User Posts: 665 Member
    I wonder what the reaction would be here if a group of white guys from Alabama pulled the hair and twisted the neck of a Professor of Gender Studies at a speech by Lena Dunham, and then attacked the car they were in. I have no doubt it would be significantly different.

    Probably no one would care. They certainly wouldn't be as outraged as people are about this incident at Middlebury.
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 10,312 Senior Member
    I'm good with the students turning their backs on him during the speech and protesting with signs and such but not with the assault or auto damage.

    For the record.
  • eiholieiholi Registered User Posts: 312 Member
    edited March 4
    Is what so controversial about Murray because of his views on race and intelligence? I thought his bell curve book was based on some solid data available then. We will get more data and terms, definitions and people’s views will be updated accordingly, his included if he lives long enough. Intelligent people ought to be challenged by different views to remain intelligent IMO. (unless someone's views are not data/evidence based)
  • Ohiodad51Ohiodad51 Registered User Posts: 2,243 Senior Member
    @warbrain, you don't really believe that, do you?
  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    edited March 4
    This is the same argument used in the Middle Ages when scientists were trying to inform the self-proclaimed purveyors of knowledge that the earth was spherical, not flat. These scientists were not allowed to speak and to present their information for some hundred years, and some were jailed of their fanatical thought.

    Actually, the flat earth premise was not a popular one among medieval scholars and educated elite who were aware of the fact the earth was round from reading the Greek classics discussing the topic.

    This link is a good starting point for some sources though this has been common knowledge among historians and medieval/early modern European specialists for at least several decades, if not longer:

    That said, I wish universities would stop promoting people who use bad science and misuse statistics. There are certainly debates to be had and they should happen- even testy, controversial debates. But institutions of higher ed need to stop putting up people who have been repeatedly debunked in the interest of "fairness."

    It's one of the reasons that things like anti-vaxx "debates" still get so much traction. In some debates, there aren't "two sides to every story," there are just sides that are right and sides that are wrong based on decades of research.


    Giving a legitimizing platform of speaking at a college...especially an elite one to someone whose work has been found to have serious and objectionable methodological problems and hasn't been peer-reviewed is about as bad as say....inviting proponents of other pseudosciences such as Lysenkoism, "Intelligent Design" or Physiognomy to tout the "scientific validity" of their favored pseudoscience or inviting someone who believes in debunked conspiracy theories about certain racial/ethnic/religious groups to speak about it as legitimate fact.

    Incidentally, here's a clip demonstrating the ridiculousness of Physiognomy as "valid science" in action from Europa, Europa, a movie about how a Jewish adolescent's(Based on the life of Solomon Perel) efforts to hide from the Nazis resulted in him being adopted by a Nazi officer's family and being placed in a prestigious Nazi prep school for children of Nazi officials:


    Saddest part was how this pseudoscience was widely accepted in Western Europe and the US among the highly educated from the mid-late 19th century onwards...including academics as illustrated by why Columbia U's College undergrad application originally included a section to enclose one's photograph*.

    This pseudoscience was only completely discredited among the highly educated as a result of Nazi Germany's total defeat at the hands of the "racially inferior" allies and widespread revelations of how that regime took such a pseudoscience to genocidal extremes.

    * While it is voluntary now, inclusion of the photograph was mandatory until recent decades for the express purpose of adcoms/university to use physiognomy to summarily reject applicants it felt didn't have the facial/racial features befitting their ideal students.

    George L. Mosse's "Towards the Final Solution" provides a good discussion of the adoption and popularity of Physiognomy among the highly educated in Europe and the US from the mid-late 19th century until the end of WWII.
  • roethlisburgerroethlisburger Registered User Posts: 1,722 Senior Member
    edited March 4
    @cobrat Giving a legitimizing platform of speaking at a college...especially an elite one to someone whose work has been found to have serious and objectionable methodological problems

    This is an extremely broad standard of exclusion. I think some of Alan Krueger's work has serious methodological problems. Should he banned from speaking on college campuses?
    ....inviting proponents of other pseudosciences such as ... "Intelligent Design" .....

    Last I checked, there's not a single admitted atheist in Congress. If you want to take the radical view that only atheists and agnostics are qualified to speak on college campuses, then virtually no national level politicians from either party would qualify.

This discussion has been closed.