March 23, 2017

November 3, 2011

Ugley Vicar on Crime, Race and Evolution

I've been thinking a lot again recently about the inconsistency of the New/Pop Atheists. So has John Richardson, the "Ugley Vicar". Some excellent stuff here on how our obsession with evolution quickly falls away when it comes up against other cherished beliefs. Crime - its a 'black thing'

And in case anyone seeks to construe this post as racist, let me remind you of at least 4 reasons why I abhor racism of any sort.


Eysenck was perhaps the most influential behavioural psychologist in his generation and certainly neither a fool nor a charlatan. Unfortunately for him, his reading of the statistical evidence suggested a genetic component to intelligence which basically meant some races are smarter than others and he published the results in a deliberately ‘popular’ format. Instead of a dispassionate examination of the evidence, however, Eysenck was personally vilified and attacked.

Yet from a strictly scientific point of view, his was an unexceptionable conclusion. There is no a priori reason why genes should not be a determinant of intellectual ability. Moreover, if that’s where the evidence goes, that is where we must follow if we are real scientists. Four years earlier, Desmond Morris had published, in a similarly popular format, The Naked Ape, subtitled A Zoologist’s Study of the Human Animal, and it went on to be a best-seller. Why was Eysenck treated any differently?

The trouble is, when it comes to specifically racial differences, we’ve been there before and we’ve seen where it leads, and few people want to go there again.
And this is the problem. Part of us wants to go with the ‘evolutionist’ paradigm, not least because it seems to provide a neat ‘explanation’ of human altruism: you don’t have to be religious to be good — it’s in our genes. (See, e.g., Dawkins passim for an elaboration of this.)

But when others want to apply that same evolutionary paradigm in ‘unsavoury’ ways, something else kicks in. Like the Apostle Peter in John’s Gospel, we feel someone leading us where we do not want to go.

The question is, are we right at this point, or are we simply being irrational? Is the person who fears the social implications of such an approach unenlightened, or are those who want to follow wherever it may go at whatever the price darkened in their understanding?

Indeed. Yet again a major inconsistency. As I noted before, atheists/materialists just don't live with a consistent ethic. Which is a good thing, I reckon. Heaven help us the day that they all do.


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Let’s put it this way that won’t offend too many: Could it be that Asians really are smarter than Caucasians? The main issue with the question is that it assumes that “smartness” is a quantifiable in a manner where one can order people in a row. Joe is smarter than Sue and Sarah is smarter than Joe, therefore Sarah is smarter than Sue. This isn’t going to happen with any notion of smartness. Joe has an eidetic memory and Sue forgets where her keys are, but Sue can compose iambic pentameter verses spontaneously whereas Joe find a word to rhyme with bulb. (Actually, bulb doesn’t have a rhyming word but Joe can’t rhyme with toe.)

Lawrence Summers got in trouble for asking whether there might be some notion of “math ability” that is quantifiable and that one might find that males were “better” than females. Even posing question was grave secular sin for which he was hounded out of academic office.

Now, even in the oppressive atmosphere of political correctness, we are still able to talk about ethnic based medicine and, for example, point out that Africans have low rate of cleft lip deformity and Native Americans have a high rate when compared to those of European ancestry. Such statements will soon be outlawed, however.

What John Richardson+ is asking is whether there could be a notion of innate criminality and that there might be ethnic variations. He points the very politically incorrect example of rapes in Sweden which is higher than all the rest of Europe and pretty much all rapes are in Sweden are carried out by Middle eastern immigrants. (In Norway, it is not pretty much all rapes but rather all non-acquaintance rapes in Norway in the past five years were carried out by middle eastern men.)

I think that most people, even those that aren’t held hostage by political correctness, would say that criminality is not a ethnic issue but a cultural issue. Can we still say that being raised in a single mother household are more apt to engage in criminal activities? I hope so because it is true. Anne Coulter points out that a study in the late 90’s showed that 70% of serious juvenile offenders were from single mother homes (and girls were more sexually promiscuous and divorced more often).

Can we point out that certain religions might have laxer notions of criminality, especially when carried out on people of other religions? No, we can’t. Don’t even think it. You, yes you, over there. I can see you are harboring such thoughts and you need to stop it. And don’t try to say that it is true, even if it is. That is apparently no defense in Scandinavia.

[1] Posted by robroy on 11-4-2011 at 04:39 AM · [top]

As one who has studied stats, I can say that there have been attempts to understand and quantify “criminality”  as well as intelligence (think of the I. Q. test and all of its ramifications) for quite sometime. Let’s not forget that the original purpose of designing an IQ test was not to reveal the geniuses among us but just the opposite to reveal those with lower scores in order to help them. To say there is no genetic influence on intelligence would be just plain WRONG and incredibly politically incorrect. That won’t change the reality that there is indeed a genetic influence on both. JMHO.

[2] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 11-4-2011 at 05:01 AM · [top]

Intelligence is a complex aspect of human beings; as the first commenter noted, there are several varieties of intelligence. I studied developmental psychology as part of my psych major, and even back on those days (60’s), it seemed clear that intelligence had genetic, home environment, and cultural influences. From what I have observed over the years, each of those elements has a part to play in intelligence - and also in values and behavior.

[3] Posted by AnglicanXn on 11-7-2011 at 08:07 PM · [top]

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