Academic Racist J. Philippe Rushton Dead at 68

Picture: IsaacMao, Flickr (CC)

Jean Philippe Rushton, one of recent history’s most controversial, even hated, ‘scientists’ has died, leaving behind a cesspool of overly-simplistic theories in the field of race and intelligence. His research ignored the complexities of genetic variance, mutation and of course the social and environmental factors that indeed change genes in a lifetime, and the myriad of factors affecting IQ testing from education and income to the various testing methods themselves. His contrived conclusions harken back to the days of phrenology, eugenics and social Darwinism.

As moral philosopher James Flynn points out, mere inheritance would not explain why study replications get different results, why we’re all getting smarter so much faster today, how blacks could be so rapidly ‘catching up’, or how women seem to have even surpassed men by some testing measures. And even if intelligence were directly linked to the genes, and testing methods were perfect, researchers like Chris Chabris and David Laibson are finding more and more that “social science traits are complex. There is no single gene causation like .. Huntington’s disease. There are probably multiple or even hundreds of genes at play.”

IQ testing, and our understanding of the nature of intelligence itself, is spotty at best.

Rushton’s myopic bias was clear in his claims of an inversely proportionate brain-to-penis size ratio, as represented by blacks, whites and asians (with a lack of logical mechanisms linking each of those faulty premises to one another and IQ). His ‘academic racism’ will have its legacy in heated pseudoscientific web comments, fooling themselves at to what the consensus view in science is, as well as policy-makers and police who exist trapped in a worldview of hatred and prejudice.

His remaining acolytes will continue to consider his work both ‘ground-breaking’ and ‘persecuted’, when he was neither. His science was very simply bad.

Don Terry writes about the despicably misleading work of Academic Rushton at Hatewatch:

Rushton taught psychology at the University of Western Ontario for 25 years and began his academic career investigating the basis of altruism – why one person sometimes aids another, even at personal risk. But it was in the fields of biology and genetics, academic disciplines unrelated to his training, that Rushton made his biggest mark — and left his largest stain.

Rushton’s infamous theory about race and intelligence can be summed up in two words: size matters.

He postulated that brain and genital size are inversely related, implying that whites are more intelligent than blacks and that Asians are the smartest of all.

Saying that Rushton’s ideas were “monstrous” and “simply do not qualify as science,” David Suzuki, an actual geneticist, debated Rushton on the Western Ontario campus in 1989 before 2,000 students and more than 100 reporters and television crews. Security was tight inside and out of the auditorium.

“I did not want to be here,” Suzuki told the audience. “I do not believe that we should dignify this man and his ideas in public debate.” A few minutes later, he added, “There will always be Rushtons in the world. We must be prepared to root them out.”

Brian Timney, dean of social science, which includes the psychology department where Rushton actually worked, said Rushton’s legacy “was not a great one.” “His research was not highly thought of,” Timney said. “I work in neuroscience and I expect some academic vigor. He was not vigorous.”

While simultaneously defending his academic freedom, University of Western Ontario officials twice reprimanded Rushton for conducting research on human subjects in 1988 without required prior approval, according to a Southern Poverty Law Center profile of RushtonIn the first incident, Rushton surveyed first-year psychology students, asking questions about penis length, distance of ejaculation and number of sex partners.

While it would be unscientific to ignore findings of the differences between IQ in different races, it is not unreasonable to refute the findings of a prejudiced fraud with hack methodology. Read the whole article at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

, , ,

  • Sonnenritter

    You know who was an even bigger fraud? Stephen Jay Gould. He systematically and outrageously lied about Samuel Morton’s skull measurements, in an effort to debunk race/brain size evidence. I have no comment on Rushton’s work, but merely say this because you are insinuating that scientific “racism” is inherently fraudulent, while in reality there are also frauds and hacks on the egalitarian side of the argument.

    Races differ in average height, bone structure, musculature, adiposity, hormone levels, susceptibility to various diseases, total brain size as well as relative sizes of different brain lobes. So, a myriad of easily observable physical biological differences. But intelligence and mental traits? This idea is off the table and un-debatable, if you suggest it in a public forum you will be insulted and disgraced. The taboo has nothing to do with scientific evidence suggesting equality/sameness, since any debate over mere fact would never result in such emotionally charged (if not vicious) rhetoric and consequences for supporting the “wrong” side: the taboo exists because of the assumed political implications of asserting cognitive differences as reality. Open minded people should consider that the question of whether race is biologically real and whether races are different in compelling ways is a scientific issue independent of melodramatic identity politics. 

    Heres some material for those interested in seeing another side of the argument:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1ePILrB11c
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZurClqPGLc

    http://sciencefocus.com/forum/scientists-call-for-end-to-race-denial-t530.html

  • Sonnenritter

    You know who was an even bigger fraud? Stephen Jay Gould. He systematically and outrageously lied about Samuel Morton’s skull measurements, in an effort to debunk race/brain size evidence. I have no comment on Rushton’s work, but merely say this because you are insinuating that scientific “racism” is inherently fraudulent, while in reality there are also frauds and hacks on the egalitarian side of the argument.

    Races differ in average height, bone structure, musculature, adiposity, hormone levels, susceptibility to various diseases, total brain size as well as relative sizes of different brain lobes. So, a myriad of easily observable physical biological differences. But intelligence and mental traits? This idea is off the table and un-debatable, if you suggest it in a public forum you will be insulted and disgraced. The taboo has nothing to do with scientific evidence suggesting equality/sameness, since any debate over mere fact would never result in such emotionally charged (if not vicious) rhetoric and consequences for supporting the “wrong” side: the taboo exists because of the assumed political implications of asserting cognitive differences as reality. Open minded people should consider that the question of whether race is biologically real and whether races are different in compelling ways is a scientific issue independent of melodramatic identity politics. 

    Heres some material for those interested in seeing another side of the argument:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1ePILrB11c
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZurClqPGLc

    http://sciencefocus.com/forum/scientists-call-for-end-to-race-denial-t530.html

  • Ted Heistman

    I think its funny that he was basically bragging about having a small pecker….

  • Ted Heistman

    I think its funny that he was basically bragging about having a small pecker….

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Francis-Miville/1330628616 Francis Miville

    Pro base-ball playing does not train one for woman-beating.  Pro base-ball playing exposes to indecent amounts of money (a good thing per se, that should be used for charity and enterprise-building, not glamour), and unfortunately indecent amounts of money induces glamorous immature behaviour and woman-beating in most people, hence the OJ Simpsons etc.   A negro genetic does not induce a weaker intelligence.  A negro genetic endows one with a superior seduction power through dance, telepathy, sensitivity, musical ear…  a very very good (albeit very physical, as genetic as skin colour, having no moral implication per se) thing that should be used for art and religion, not womanizing.  Womanizing diminishes intelligence as certainly as smoking diminishes lung capacity.  Unfortunately most people who can seduce all women they want are into womanizing and get less and less intelligent right at the onset of puberty.  Even among whites only, too much talent in music, even classical music only, is known to be statistically most noxious both to academic achievement and also moral conduct.  It is not that taste and aptitude for music is stultifying and corrupting, quite the contrary classical music was meant to benefit the brain and the heart.  Doing only music at the expense of everything else, as is necessary to be a virtuoso and get applause, just prevents you from doing intellectual exercise and showing moral courage.  Elementary my dear Watson, elementary my dear Rushton.  Rushton whenever presented such an elementary fact of reason would always find another reason to rush out of the interview.  His thesis is thus proven to be conscious mendacity at the service of the fascism to come.  Rushton would also accept only high-sounding, fuzzy-thinking, self-righteously humanistic, easy to destroy ideologues as his interview opponents (Suzuki, Jacquard), never other scientists of his own level of matter-of-factedness.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Francis-Miville/1330628616 Francis Miville

    Pro base-ball playing does not train one for woman-beating.  Pro base-ball playing exposes to indecent amounts of money (a good thing per se, that should be used for charity and enterprise-building, not glamour), and unfortunately indecent amounts of money induces glamorous immature behaviour and woman-beating in most people, hence the OJ Simpsons etc.   A negro genetic does not induce a weaker intelligence.  A negro genetic endows one with a superior seduction power through dance, telepathy, sensitivity, musical ear…  a very very good (albeit very physical, as genetic as skin colour, having no moral implication per se) thing that should be used for art and religion, not womanizing.  Womanizing diminishes intelligence as certainly as smoking diminishes lung capacity.  Unfortunately most people who can seduce all women they want are into womanizing and get less and less intelligent right at the onset of puberty.  Even among whites only, too much talent in music, even classical music only, is known to be statistically most noxious both to academic achievement and also moral conduct.  It is not that taste and aptitude for music is stultifying and corrupting, quite the contrary classical music was meant to benefit the brain and the heart.  Doing only music at the expense of everything else, as is necessary to be a virtuoso and get applause, just prevents you from doing intellectual exercise and showing moral courage.  Elementary my dear Watson, elementary my dear Rushton.  Rushton whenever presented such an elementary fact of reason would always find another reason to rush out of the interview.  His thesis is thus proven to be conscious mendacity at the service of the fascism to come.  Rushton would also accept only high-sounding, fuzzy-thinking, self-righteously humanistic, easy to destroy ideologues as his interview opponents (Suzuki, Jacquard), never other scientists of his own level of matter-of-factedness.

    • Ockechukwu

      This is a little confusing. Can you elaborate please?

      • JohnEngelman

        No. Francis Miville is using complex terms to hide simple minded nonsense.

  • JohnEngelman

    Those who claim that the obvious differences between the races are not genetic almost always resort to emotional, and ad hominem outbursts like this, “a cesspool of overly-simplistic theories in the field of race and intelligence.” They are not able to explain why the differences can be found everywhere, and why they have always existed. Environment can change in a generation. Innate characteristics take centuries and thousands of years to change.

    Professor J. Philippe Rushton deserves to speak for himself. His essay, “RACE, EVOLUTION,
    AND BEHAVIOR,” describes racial differences that are not in serious dispute.
    http://www.charlesdarwinresearch.org/Race_Evolution_Behavior.pdf

    “The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution” explains how these differences evolved, and why social reform and social welfare spending cannot erase them.
    http://the10000yearexplosion.com/

    As more is learned about the human genome it is becoming increasingly clear that what J. Philippe Rushton, Arthur Jensen, Richard Herrnstein, and Charles Murray and others have said is true. Rushton, Herrnstein, and Jensen died before they could be vindicated. I hope Murray lives long enough to receive the recognition he has always deserved as a courageous exponent of what nearly everyone is privately aware is true.

    Because the truth about the genetic reasons for individual and racial differences has obvious and legitimate political implications, it should be expressed frequently and publicly without fear of legal, economic or social sanctions.

    • Breshvic

      While “cesspool” is a charged word, how is it an ad hominem attack to point out the relevant overly-simplistic theories of academics like Rushton? Scientific realities are far more complex than the world of Rushton and Jensen.

      I also don’t make any claims about race and genetics in the article. Differences are observed, but are not so easy to identify in the genome. Their theories do not account for epigenetics, gene expression or blain plasticity, and often unfairly downplay or even outright ignore environmental and social factors, while stressing the sole importance of the genes and racial inheritance themselves.

      I’ve read a lot of the research on both sides, and I’m satisfied with the consensus view, as well as the work of James Flynn which admits racial differences but posits more complex factors than mere inheritance. I have tried to overcome my own ‘bleeding heart’ bias and falsify my position, but the overwhelming data does not lend support to your position. I would suggest you broaden and do the same.

      • Kaz

        Racial prejudice and hostility itself provides such a strong emotional bias in an individual, so when Rushton was regurgitating and misapplying comments normally heard in U.S right wing circles to Canadian audience: ” ..let’s face it that is what blacks do, ask for special treatment, we have to change everything in our education system..” What was changed in Canada exactly? But his comment makes sense if you see his circle of friends:

        1) Rushton was a key member of Sailer’s Human Biodiversity group (founded by renowned racist pseudo-scientist Steve Sailer).

        2) Rushton has spoken at American Renaissance conferences (since 1996 and contributed to the publication. A known racist movement as per SPLA.

        3) He took and accepted funding from the Pioneer Fund. The Pioneer Fund was established in 1937 by the American white supremacist multimillionaire Wickliffe Draper and others who were supportive of Nazi race policies in Germany.

  • Kaz

    SOMETIMES you save a lot of effort by just following the motivation of the individual:

    1) Rushton was a key member of Sailer’s Human Biodiversity group (founded by renowned racist pseudo-scientist Steve Sailer).

    2) Rushton has spoken at American Renaissance conferences (since 1996 and contributed to the publication. A known racist movement as per SPLA.

    3) He took and accepted funding from the Pioneer Fund. The Pioneer Fund was established in 1937 by the American white supremacist multimillionaire Wickliffe Draper and others who were supportive of Nazi race policies in Germany.

    SO HOW IS IT a surprise that he fudged his data; that he left out groups that will contradict his findings, as David Suzuki said, with that kind of selectivity, I can proof anything!

    Most people who tend to believe such materials don’t care whether it is proven to be wrong or right, their emotion into the subject overwhelms and surpasses their reasoning capacity, and many more do not even have the scientific literacy nor the time to do some basic digging, and see that his work is simply racism dressed as legitimate science.

    Racism is just an outward display of centuries known phenomenon of xenophobia! I am an African who immigrated to North America, I begun learning English at the age 15, in addition working part time after school. Yes, racist attitudes here and there has tripped me couple of times; like the white male TA who constantly gave me a bad look when chatting with a pretty white girl in the classroom, and who could also not mysteriously find my course assignment (worth 15%), where everyone else dropped theirs as per his instructions.

    Despite the occasional racial slurs and objects thrown my way in mostly small white town, I successfully graduated, got my license in Engineering and have been working in my field for 8 years. If you want to feel superior than others, or you are eager to believe that you are superior, then show by your actions and integrity, but not by shooting people in the leg and claiming to be faster than them.