Do go read Jim Manzi's two posts on the subject, arguing against the hereditarians - or at least for the limits of their evidence.
Also, I'm a big admirer of Will Saletan, and therefore inclined to take his side against critics who charge him with not doing his homework, but this addendum is more than a little surprising:
Many of you have criticized parts of the genetic argument as I related them. Others have pointed to alternative theories I truncated or left out. But the thing that has upset me most concerns a co-author of one of the articles I cited. In researching this subject, I focused on published data and relied on peer review and rebuttals to expose any relevant issue. As a result, I missed something I could have picked up from a simple glance at Wikipedia.
For the past five years, J. Philippe Rushton has been president of the Pioneer Fund, an organization dedicated to "the scientific study of heredity and human differences." During this time, the fund has awarded at least $70,000 to the New Century Foundation. To get a flavor of what New Century stands for, check out its publications on crime ("Everyone knows that blacks are dangerous") and heresy ("Unless whites shake off the teachings of racial orthodoxy they will cease to be a distinct people"). New Century publishes a magazine called American Renaissance, which preaches segregation. Rushton routinely speaks at its conferences.
I was negligent in failing to research and report this. I'm sorry. I owe you better than that.
I am (or at least I hope I am) a much more casual follower of this topic than Saletan, but I'm very familiar with the whole Rushton-and-racism controversy, and it seems implausible - to the point of negligence - for him to have written a three-part series on race and intelligence without running into it somewhere along the way.
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