IQ, Race, and Heredity
To the Editor:
In “ ‘The Bell Curve’ and Its Critics” [May], Charles Murray does your readers a disservice by using the same standards of evidence and scholarship that he adopted in the book he wrote with the late Richard J. Herrnstein. By portraying himself as a persecuted scholar held to higher standards than other social scientists by his critics, he hints darkly at a unified conspiracy against him by like-minded but intellectually slovenly social scientists.
The academic response to his book does not present a united front. There is much more subtlety to the criticism of his work than Mr. Murray’s broad-brush summary conveys. It is surely disingenuous for him to lump serious academic criticism with the inflammatory journalistic reviews that appeared in the popular press. As one of the critics mentioned by name, and the first person thanked in the acknowledgments section of The Bell Curve, I wish to report that Mr. Murray does not mention or respond to any of my substantive criticisms of his work, nor does he mention any of the fundamental points of agreement that have emerged in the literature that responds to his work. (My survey is scheduled for publication in the October 1995 issue of the Journal of Political Economy, the house journal of the University of Chicago. A more popular version appeared in Reason magazine, March 1995.)
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