Notes and Reflections on Books and Media
by Hannah Leitheiser
The Mismeasure of Man
Stephen Jay Gould
- Stephen Jay Gould , The Mismeasure of Man (1996)
Gould's Critique of The Bell Curve's reasoning:
- The Bell Curve continues a publication genre popular in xenophobic times that began with skull measurements of races -- dodgy statistics supporting pre-established conclusions. The Bell Curve makes much of some slight correlations, and the ideas are not original.
- While you can average scores on a battery of tests to produce a number for 'intelligence', such an average is only a statistical thing, not a scientific thing.
- The Bell Curve co-author Murray clings to an idea of pure objectivity, which is disingenuous when his recommendations and associations lean markedly conservative. Objectivity is better approached by identifying potential bias.