Monday, June 29, 2020

Science papers now being memory-holed

More and more scientific papers are being retracted, usually for plagiarism or data fraud. Here is
one for ideological reasons:
That fear has come true with the removal of a paper by J. Phillippe Rushton and Donald Templer from the psychology journal Personality and Individual Differences. Rushton is known for his belief that cognitive ability varies not only between individuals but also between human populations. That was not, however, the subject of the removed paper. The subject was body coloration, specifically the fact that darker animals tend to be larger, more polygynous, and more aggressive. This correlation seems to hold true not only between species but also within species.
I am not sure what the ideology is here. Maybe writing about darker animals is now considered tasteless, in the light of the death of George Floyd?

There is more info here.

A lot is being done in the name of George Floyd, and now that includes the whitewashing of scientific papers. Even in Medieval Europe, where the Pope famously doubted heliocentrism, nobody removed scientific works from libraries.

If scientists want to contribute anything to the George Floyd, then I wish they would explain specifically how racism or police misconduct contributed anything to his death.

Scott Aaronson complains that the NY Times has caused a popular psychiatrist/rationalist blog to be taken down. The newspaper publishes anti-Trump garbage on a daily basis that is sourced to unnamed officials, but it intended to dox the blogger out of editorial policy.

One of Scott's readers says that he should not use terms like SJW and snowflake, because they are used by political enemies. A couple of others insist that there is no such thing as human races.

Obviously there are human races. Saying that race does not exist because a few people are hard to classify, is like saying there are no planets because of disagreements about how to classify Pluto.

People only deny race to pursue leftist politics, not for any scientific reason. So politics is causing scientific articles to be censored.

There has long been an effort to bring down the Slate Star Codex blog. The author is clearly left-of-center, and most of the comments are leftist. But leftists hate the site because it permits right-wing comments. The author tried to move some of those comments to Reddit, but that did not satisfy the leftists. It is amazing that the leftists got the NY Times to conspire in the effort to take down the blog.

If anything, Slate Star Codex promoted rationalism, where one can objectively examine the facts and come to reasonable conclusions. Sometimes those facts were uncomfortable for some people. For that, the blog was hated.

Those opposing the rationalists seem to belong to something called the Sneer Club.

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