It tries hard to be generous to both Murray and Harris, but this analysis of their racist claims also doesn’t cut any corners in tearing apart their claims.
Harris is not a neutral presence in the interview. “For better or worse, these are all facts,” he tells his listeners. “In fact, there is almost nothing in psychological science for which there is more evidence than for these claims.” Harris belies his self-presentation as a tough-minded skeptic by failing to ask Murray a single challenging question. Instead, during their lengthy conversation, he passively follows Murray to the dangerous and unwarranted conclusion that black and Hispanic people in the US are almost certainly genetically disposed to have lower IQ scores on average than whites or Asians — and that the IQ difference also explains differences in life outcomes between different ethnic and racial groups.
In Harris’s view, all of this is simply beyond dispute. Murray’s claims about race and intelligence, however, do not stand up to serious critical or empirical examination.
I’m far less charitable in my opinion of the two. It also doesn’t help that after I posted my criticisms of their bad science, I got flooded with racist email — the people who love Harris and Murray most are not dispassionate, objective scientists, but rather a motley assortment of unhinged bigots. Among other things they did, they subscribed me to goddamned awful newsletters and mailing lists, such as the one from American Renaissance. I got an invitation to attend their 2017 conference, featuring such illustrious racists as Peter Brimelow, Jared Taylor, and John Derbyshire.
That is the company Harris and Murray keep. Let’s not pretend they’re serious scholars anymore, ‘k?