The Bell Curve

The book, The Bell Curve, was published in 1996 and immediately encountered a maelstrom of criticism, particularly from those on the left.  Why would a thesis that was so meticulously studied, researched, and given the rigorous statistical evaluation be subject to so much criticism.  It was akin to questioning the divinity of popes.  One can go on Amazon and read any number of reviews that either extol the authors or crucify them in the cauldrons of hell, assuming one believes in such places.  So why should such a book attract so much attention one way or the other?  I would believe that the reason would be the assumptions we hold about the human conditions.

Let me take you back to 1776 and what was then Carpenter Hall, which would be names Independence Hall.  That document, as written by Thomas Jefferson echoed the sentiment of liberal thought, that is, the divine right of kings should be questions and curtailed.  We forget that the liberal of that age was one who advocated the rights of the nobility over the exclusionary rights of the royalty.  That is, Kings were not infallible and subject to the sames laws and rights as the nobility as to governing the country.  England had fought this batter in the fifteenth century with the results that the Round heads under Cromwell had chopped off the head of a Catholic king and asserted the ultimate right of Parliament to govern the country.  Parliament being the representative of the nobility and to a much lesser extent the propertied people.  Those without property were not deemed to be able to act for themselves in governing the affairs of state.

We hold these truth self evident, that all people are created equal by their creator and that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights….  Notice that such equality and unalienable rights are supported by a creator, that is, a god or some religious experience.  Jefferson may have been something of an agnostic but he was not an unbeliever.  He also believed along with most others of his generation that the people should be governed by their betters.  That is, those individuals of property were the best judges of what was best for the masses that inhabited this country.  And we were one nation under god.  Now that under god part has become a relic of the past.  For those on the left, liberals if you like, we now have that term, the end of history which signifies that sense of perfection in human affairs.  History has always been defined, for the most part by conflict, by wars.  In the new age of reason wars become obsolete and needless.  The perfection of the human condition is the necessity of that new age in which we all recognize our place in society, our roles in the social fabric.  If this sounds a bit idealistic, it is due to that sense of Eden where all know their place and follow the precepts of their betters.  And the precepts decree that all men are equal and equality is the order of the day.  That is being equal is the ultimate being.  That means that incomes must be equal regardless of ability and the willingness to save in order to form capital for investment.  The liberal of today pushes to the extreme logical conclusion that all must be equal in all manner of interpretation.  Thus, if one plays basketball and happens to be six foot ten inches, all others shorten are unequal and the taller man or woman must be dealt with in a manner that takes away the advantage of genetic disposition towards above average height.

Thus we have the collection of data and its analysis that shows individual variation both withing group and between groups.  But this cannot be left to stand on its own.  Individual variation cannot exist when one is committed to equalness among all individuals.  This must mean that the idea of racism, that promulgation of the superiority of one race over another  is an abhorrence of humanity.  I would agree that such a promulgation is without merit.  On the other hand, in measuring what we call Intelligence Quotient, we find that such a thing is subject to the problems of individual variations and grouping.  We might note that if the population we call Black Americas seems to have a lower average IQ score, those we lump together as Asian-Americans have a higher average score than white Americans.  Grouping is not necessarily what we can call race, for as a concept race is a nebulous quality that is not easy to either quantify or qualify.  But the group averages tend to follow genetic tendencies, that is, some groups of individuals who share genetic composition slightly different from the mass of individuals will as a group exhibit some differences that cannot be easily explained.  It is a problem of vectors and variables that are not well understood.

So what are we to make of the book under discussion?  It is a statistical analysis and interpretation of such analysis so that we might understand what has been researched.  The problem is that the left, that liberal progressive group has, in reality, established a church and religion to such a degree that any disputation of their authority is tantamount to apostasy.  How dare such unbelievers undermine the authority of the high priests of liberal progressive thought.  This is the essential contest before the public.  This is not about scientific debate or even scientific truth.  I would believe that it is a contest between those who believe that we should unquestioning believe the way they would have us believe.  As a result, this is not a debate about race but about ideology.


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