Why the HBD Guys Reject Red/Blue Brain Science and Endorse Race Theory

In this amusing article from UnDark, soi disant scientist Razib Khan makes the following claim–

“The science is always prior to everything else,” Khan told me. “Everything else is just commentary. If the commentary comes before science, that’s a problem, but that’s how a lot of discourse works. I understand. I’m not trying to be naive about it. But the reality is that’s not how I work.”

But this is not really how Khan works– because he and all the rest of the HBD (Human Biodiversity) cohort furiously reject the science of red/blue brain biochemistry.  Its not difficult to internet-trace Khan’s affiliation with John “Sun People/Ice People” Derbyshire– they co-blogged for years with Khan assuming the pseudonym of David Hume, or his long standing affiliation with socio-cultural pariah Steve Sailer.  But why not devote research to the biodiversity of brain science?  The reason is probably that “scientist” Khan and the HBD crew don’t like the implications.

You see, on simple observation there aren’t any theoretical mathematicians or theoretical physicists that subscribe to Khan’s conservative beliefs.  Conservative (redbrain biochemistry) scientists seem strictly limited to applied sciences– geneticists (Khan, Cochran, Wade), sociobiologists and evolutionary biologists (Pinker, Dawkins, Harris) and political “scientists” (like Charles Murray).  Could there  be linkage between brain biochemistry and IQ?  IQ is a very sensitive subject, and yet Khan and others in the HBD community have been “boldly” addressing the component of racial IQ for many years.

My theory…and we shall see if I can prove this in complexity science and socio-physics— is that red/blue brain biochemistry is a competitive/cooperative CAS dynamic that greatly benefited h. sapiens sapiens until very recently, when the relative fitness of the two phenotypes began to dis-equilibriate.  The data science revolution is going to provide torrents of data on cognitive genomics.  It will be hard to ignore.

I think what is happening in the US right now isn’t really red/blue polarization, but a kind of psuedo-speciation based on brain biochemistry and genetic tendency.

And it will be delicious to watch the HBD “scientists” become hoist on their own petard of deterministic hereditarianism over the next 10 years.

The popcorn’s on me.


6 thoughts on “Why the HBD Guys Reject Red/Blue Brain Science and Endorse Race Theory

  1. When Nazi Germany fought Soviet Russia, the Germans thought it was about race, the Russians thought it was about class. You may have identified the corresponding perspectives in the coming culture war over cognition and genetics.


    • Have u read Pentland’s book on socio-physics Mitch? Or about the MIT Social Machine?
      thats the leading edge of the wave.
      I just wanna apply complex adaptive systems analysis and socio-physics Big Data crunching to red/blue brain biochemistry and political polarization. In a predictive and demographic sense of course. 😉


  2. Yesterday I watched half an hour of Pentland lecturing at Google, and it reminds me of the crushing helplessness I have felt when trying to imagine a way to live free of the NSA. Forget Mercer and Trump; Pentland is like a one-man Cambridge Analytica that binds together Davos, the Democrats, and Silicon Valley. I hate and fear these activist-technocrats, they’re straight out of Brave New World.


  3. lol!
    thats not it all
    its a revolution…much like how RA Fisher and Sewell Wright revolutionized genetics thru quantitative analysis
    its the quantization of the social sciences!!!!
    its gobsmackingly beautiful
    u do unnerstan that Math is the only true epoché…

    read this!!!

    “Each of these causal layers contains progressively more data. There are only a handful of cosmological parameters but the maps and the noise they contain are made up of billions of numbers. The goal of physics is to analyze the big numbers in a way that reveals the smaller ones.

    And when phenomena have this hierarchical structure, neural networks make the process of analyzing it significantly easier.

    “We have shown that the success of deep and cheap learning depends not only on mathematics but also on physics, which favors certain classes of exceptionally simple probability distributions that deep learning is uniquely suited to model,” conclude Lin and Tegmark.”


    • I seem to be a lot calmer today about the existence of social network hackers, acting as consultants for governments and corporations. I can look at it as just another example of the management of a new technical or social phenomenon, turning into a new profession. That’s happened many times before. I am not even objecting, in principle, to this sort of intervention in social networks – though the ways in which such interventions can take place, must run the gamut from transparent and voluntary, to hidden and diabolically evil… But when I first saw video of Pentland speaking, I was truly taken aback, at the revelation of a new level of control.

      That paper by Lin and Tegmark… it seems to contain a bunch of theorems and specific ideas, about capabilities of neural networks. That part’s fine, it connects to computational complexity theory and to much older work like Minsky and Papert’s book on perceptrons. Then there’s the hype that deep learning works “because of the laws of physics”. That part is mystical catnip. People of a certain inclination love to hear that “consciousness collapses the wavefunction”, and that *physics* says, that “we create our own reality”. This has similar potential, e.g. God is benevolent to religious intellectuals, by giving them minds suited to the understanding of their universe. Tegmark isn’t a theist, but he’s some sort of platonist, so he probably has his own metaphysical interpretation of these theorems. But that’s nothing new and needn’t be taken as gospel – scientists have a long history of making a genuine localized advance in knowledge, and then treating it as proof of some soaring philosophical corollary.


      • I think its much like the early 20th century introduction of rigor to genetics– like RA Fisher and Sewell Wright. Also…maybe…the death of Black Swans– LaPlace’s Demon come to life.


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