Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Bill Nye, Spreading the New Instant Orthodoxy About Race

   Wow is that ever embarrassingly bad.
   He seems like a reasonably intelligent guy. If he'd just reflect for a couple of minutes on those terrible arguments, he'd see through them. But, of course, he's not going to think about them. These propositions have been transmogrified on the left into religious dogma.  
   Though, on the bright side, though Nye is pushing a false view, at least he's pushing a coherent one. The discussion goes into a hellish tailspin when social scientists shove their oar in and start arguing that race is real, but "socially constructed." That view is such a tangle of incoherence that the average person has little chance of understanding what's going on there. So...that's something?
   What's most amazing to me is that no one calls these people on the obvious fact that they are confusing politics (or, at best, morality) with science. They are obviously driven by the desire to fight racism. That's good...but it's not science. Science must be walled off from politics. Even morality can't be allowed to dictate conclusions to science. Questions about racism are not questions about race. And scientific views about science can't be accepted or rejected on account of their effects on the moral/political project of fighting bigotry.
   Furthermore...and I usually don't let myself point this out...fantasies about the unreality (or social reality) of race are in no way necessary to fight racism. We've been pushing the forces of racism farther and farther back for 150 years now in 'Merka, and haven't needed to make up biological just-so stories to do it. Races are natural kinds--real biological groups. That doesn't mean that some of them deserve more rights than others. But the main point is: insofar as your goal is fighting racism, you aren't doing science. You might even be doing something better than science...but it isn't science.


Blogger Dark Avenger said...

Winston, find one biologist who agrees with you that races in H. sapiens sapiens are natural and real.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...


There are plenty of biologists and anthropologists who haven't drunk the Kook-Aid, though it wouldn't matter much if there weren't.

I'll ask you for the third time:

Were the arguments you gave last time your actual reasons for believing that races are not natural kinds?

And, incidentally: are you suggesting that you'd like to defend Nye's arguments in the link?

11:05 AM  

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