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I don’t like to censor comments here, as you may well have guessed. I prefer the approach of showing the third parties the weaknesses of bad arguments and egregious claims. For example, Otto T. Goat has claimed variously, on many threads, things like:

Black males are more likely to go to jail than males of other races because they commit crimes at a higher rate than males of other races. Schools blacks attend are worse because blacks attend them.


You have to adjust for demographics. White and Asian Americans score above the OECD average (and New Zealand) on PISA tests.

Why is liberal California ranked 50th in number of high school graduates, below Texas? Could it be both states get a lot of immigrants from Mexico? You should look into it.

These quotes are just some of the latest from him, but he has previously gone to town on the idea. He was making many in this fashion when I did my piece on differing equalities of opportunity, seemingly to justify why black people should have less access to opportunity than whites. This just opens up a whole can of worms. I responded to this as follows:

Wow, you are just amazing. Your claims here and on other threads are so misrepresentative, it boggles the mind. You claim IQ and genetic differences between ethnicities (which may or may not exist) but fail to quantify them. You then say this is responsible for differences in educational attainment and criminality.

You fail to acknowledge the importance of environment, which is clearly the bigger influence by a country mile, because you have a racist agenda.

You, being no doubt white, begrudgingly admit Asians have similarly higher stats than whites here, but do not advocate the same approach to whites in comparison as you do for blacks in comparison to whites.

You are also nebulous with what you do with your claims of racial differences, other than trying to dismantle ideas of equality of opportunity.

You seem to think that because a group might have an on average lower IQ than another group, that all the people in the former group should not be entitled to the same opportunities as the latter.

Shall we apply that to height? Hair colour? propensity to laugh?

You are singling out one phenotypic aspect of a human, looking to that to represent entire ethnicities such that it should define what they have access to in a society that itself was defined upon appealing to the poor, huddled masses.

The New Colossus should be rewritten for you, “Give me your poor, your tired, huddled masses, and if they are within a group of people who have a slightly lower average IQ, then then will be invalidated from accessing the same opportunities as people in other groups. But if that group is white, and they have a lower average IQ than Asians, then they should still be entitled to everything Asians get. In other words, fuck the blacks. Lots of love, Otto.”

Which is why you come across as a total arse.

Alan Duval added to this a great comment:

Furthermore, to support the strong heredity argument that he does, Otto has to (and has, when I’ve raised it before) ignore that there is greater genetic diversity in Africa, than in the rest of the world combined. To claim that a given trait is unique to a member of the “African race”, when Africa contains people of vastly differing tendencies and abilities is begging the question.

In the same breath Otto will make a distinction between Northern and Eastern Europeans. Of course this presents no difficulty for someone supporting the idea of an Aryan race, despite their grudging admission that East Asians (another genetically diverse “race”) surpass Aryans on all measures, but blondness, and blue-eyed-ness.

It is also a fact that two people of different “races” can be more genetically similar than two people of the same “race”, given that it is quite clear that the primary differentiator for “race” is a visible one, i.e. melanin (doctrine of similars, anyone?), and the claims about IQ are post hoc justifications of this. This is similar to the fact that there is greater variance within each of the physical sexes as regards behaviour, than there is between the sexes, making sexism as absurd as racism.

Social construction and the genetic fallacy interact to explain these clearly fallacious beliefs.

And this really sums up the problems with such racial categorisation. it is in a very real sense an arbitrary distinction. Otto doesn’t distinguish hair colour, or even on IQ itself (using some cut-off point). And neither does he really go as far as he would like to lay out what he would like to do with his information, claims and categorisations. Never quite enough, because he knows he would be taken to pieces.

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Jonathan MS Pearce

A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...