A Letter to Allison Stanger on Charles Murray and Racial IQ Theory

Dear Alison,

I’m very sorry to hear of your injuries, and of course I do not condone violence as a form of protest.  But I’m very disturbed by your treatment of Murray as just another speaker with a difference of opinion that must be respected under free speech law.

those who prevented Charles Murray from speaking must be punished for violating college rules. But what the events at Middlebury made clear is that, regardless of political persuasion, Americans today are deeply susceptible to a renunciation of reason and celebration of ignorance. They know what they know without reading, discussing or engaging those who might disagree with them. People from both sides of the aisle reject calm logic, eager to embrace the alternative news that supports their prejudices.

Murray has never retracted Racial IQ Theory, even though his thesis has been repeatedly discredited.   And Charles Murray is a political scientist, not a social scientist.  The social science guy that was the co-author of the Bell Curve has died.   The social science (as well as statistical science and data science) problem with Murray Racial IQ Theory is that between group variance is smaller than within group variance.  Competently illustrated below by Dr. Taleb, the Black Swan guy.

So inviting Murray to speak as a social scientist, given that he has never retracted his bad science of Murray Racial IQ Theory, is actually giving legitimacy to “alternative facts”.  I have no problem with Murray speaking as a political “scientist”.  His alt-right, white nationalist POLITICAL views are openly embraced by AEI, his sponsors.  But alternative, conservative fake-science cant be allowed on campuses.  Would you support a Republican climate denialist speaking on climate science?  A Republican Creationist lecturing on evolution?  I don’t think the students would.  Its fine for Murray to speak as a republican political activist.  But make that crystal clear–that needs to be separated from his fake science of Racial IQ Theory.

This is going to be a huge problem going forward– the big reveal from the election results is the deep correlation of educational attainment and liberal voting patterns.  Alt-right sites are already proposing some sort of alternative system to public universities, which seems impossible to me– the US university system is the finest in the world.

You are correct that the extreme polarization of the country has led to the politicization of news and the rise of Kellyanne Conway “alternative facts”.  But we can’t allow the rise of “alternative science”.  The Middlebury students have every right to block the promotion of bad science and conservative “alternative science”.

Meanwhile real scientists are still waiting for Murray to retract his discredited theories on race and IQ.

heres wishing you a speedy recovery and continued academic success

best witches,


10 thoughts on “A Letter to Allison Stanger on Charles Murray and Racial IQ Theory

  1. Anyone should be allowed to say whatever they want to: that’s what freedom of expression is. Those who don’t want to hear them shouldn’t go. If no one goes, then it’s unlikely anyone else will book them to speak. It’s despicable to shut down speakers just because you don’t agree with them.

    If a lot of people enjoy listening to their ideas, and you don’t agree with them, then you are free to engage in debate and explain why you think they are wrong or objectionable. You do NOT have any right to shut them down no matter what they say or who goes to listen to them. You have not been given the right to decree that Murray may not speak as a social scientist.


    • im sayin’ he cant speak as a social scientist at universities– because he isnt a social scientist or an academic. He is a paid claquer for AEI, a conservative “think tank”. He has degrees in history & polysci only. the students have every right to exercise their free speech rights to shut him down– he is trying to impersonate a scientist or professor in their sub-population of academic culture, and being rejected.
      it isnt about the science– its about university culture and polarization and EGT.
      read this– https://bintchaos.wordpress.com/2017/03/29/polarization-charles-murray-and-the-evolutionary-theory-of-games/


      • Not the case. Non-experts speak at universities all the time. The only important thing is whether there are enough people who wish to hear him or her to justify the expense and trouble of hosting their talk. Threats of violence if they are allowed to speak should be prosecuted to the fullest degree. Ayaan Hirsi Ali should not have had to cancel her talk in Australia last week under threat of being killed, and Milo should have been permitted to talk about sanctuary campuses without the violence which occurred in order to silence him. And many others. The only limitation is that they may not advocate or stir up illegal violence. You may not agree with what he says, but there are many who believe that we must defend his right to say it.


      • I am in favor of same-sex marriage, but would not try to silence someone like Heather who was against it. Everyone has a right to their opinion, and a right to express their opinions at universities or anywhere else if there are enough people interested in hearing them. Universities are meant to be places where all kinds of opinions are expressed and discussed, and they have never been meant to be bastions of any particular kind of orthodoxy. Those who feel threatened by such lectures and discussions have the options to not go, or to write letters to the editor about why they do not agree with the opinions expressed. Or blog or write articles or even books about their own opinions. But never to silence those expressing other opinions, or attempt to do so, and certainly never to threaten them in any way for holding them. It’s frightening to read about the violence taking place at many universities now to impose the new orthodoxies, and frightening that university students are being intimidated into fitting into one mold and one mold only, and expelled into the outer darkness if they are not 100% politically correct.


      • lol, university students are smart enough to think for themselves. they have every right to reject paid shills like Heather and Charles (for the Manhattan Institute and AEI) coming on their campus.
        these people arent academics– they are marketeers.
        Universities are laboratories for the excellence of ideas– memetic fitness–but conservative ideas just suck.
        THATs why there arent conservative professors.


      • and conservative ideology isnt new– conservative orthodoxy is being replaced by heresies– that is how science (and evolution) works. Thats why conservatives are so bad at science and exploration of new ideas — they are clinging to outdated orthodoxies.
        we dont have time at universities for conservative crapology– read this book– Social Physics by Pentland– we are in the middle of a revolution!


      • I’m reading Bruce Bawer’s The Victims’ Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind. This is a pendulum. At this time the former victims have been granted excessive power and influence in academe, in politics, in the media, but it has gone too far and the former victims have become autocratic and quite thuggish and ridiculous. So now the inevitable self-correction is starting to occur. It is the orthodoxy which got its grip in the ’70s which has now become vieux jeu, and yes, we are in the middle of a revolution, but one which is sweeping out the foolishness which is now forty or fifty years old and is quite outdated.


      • Charles Murray had been invited to speak by a group of conservative students at Middlebury. He was going to talk about his recent publication of Coming Apart, on the struggles in the US of the white working class, so long put down, exploited, and reviled, which was nonetheless instrumental to the victory of Trump. It seems that a class which is not a certain type of woman or of a certain ethnicity no longer has any rights which are respected by the new left-wing, which has not noticed that poor and white is the new victim class. So it’s not a question of human rights at all, but only a struggle for supremacy and power, by despicable student thugs who not only did not permit the lecture and Stanger’s rebuttal to take place, but formed a mob which jumped on the car of one of the participants, damaging it, and yanking professor Stanger by the hair so that she had to get a neck brace. Physical violence to silence the expression of ideas. How far is this from killing those who have a different opinion than yours for their beliefs? Middlebury tried to act ethically, but was rousted by its in-house student thugs. Has Middlebury made it quite clear in their prospectus that in the future only those totally on-board with identify politics need apply? That in fact they will be taking their lives in their hands if they attend Middlebury without being in 100% agreement with the orthodoxy du jour? That they will have to skulk about the dingy corners of campus and mutter without moving their lips about what they really think of such murderous totalitarianism?


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