25 April 2011

Proselytizing


Is HBD a 'gospel' that needs to be 'preached'?

Was heliocentrism a 'gospel' that friends of Copernicus or Galileo would have been wise to 'preach'?



In any case, whatever the 'natural salesman' disposition is, I have the opposite.  I hate selling and I hate being sold to.  First and only telemarketing job, I lasted one afternoon.  Conversely, I hang up on them without a word when they call (saving their time as well as mine, no?) and Jehovah's witnesses always get a brusque door slam.  Don't sell me anything, and don't make me sell to anyone else.

In a word, I don't want to evangelize.  Ever.

However.

Policy is the point of this blog.  Its goal is to present a pool of practical proposals for that mythic future day when Science turns to Government and says, 'HBD is real.  Public policy should reflect that.'

But Science won't.  Not ever.  Not even if Science woke up one day and decided, to a person, it were true.  Why?  Telling Government things is not Science's job (unless it's specifically asked to).  Science doesn't have time.  It's busy doing what it loves--science.

A messenger, therefore, is necessary.  But who?  And why?


Who?    You.


Why?

Well, why would Government (= the Church) in 1543 have benefited from a messenger enlightening them about the heliocentric theory?  Science was only taught in institutions run by her, so 'education policy' was in every way the purview of the Church  (who can thus stand in for 'Government' here).

Would an earlier acceptance (i.e., teaching in schools) of Copernicus's theory have sped the formulation of the laws of gravity and relativity?  Perhaps.  Has the knowledge of gravity and relativity been a boon to society? 

'Does a bear excrete in the buckwheat?' you may say.  'Of course it has.'


Good science = good policy = everyone benefits.


If you feel your life is harmed by current policy on affirmative action/quotas, education, criminal justice, housing, immigration (and many more), chances are it's partly due to bad HBD-knowledge leading to bad laws being passed.


Government depends on Science for policy inspiration, but draws on two different kinds:  'hard' and 'soft.'  As far as HBD is concerned, at this point, we have a lot of 'hard' scientists saying one thing and a lot of 'softs' saying something completely different.


In the 1530s, many of Copernicus's colleagues came out in favor of his theories. (Idem Galileo in the 1630s.) Most, fearing the rack, did not.  Can you blame them?

But an awful lot of astronomers started to make calculations based on them.  And, to quote Severyn Zoledziowski, "By the middle of the seventeenth century it was difficult to find an important astronomer who was not a Copernican; by the end of the century it was impossible."


Voted, in effect, with their feet. 


All well and good, you may say, but really, it's hard to find a science 'harder' than astronomy.  Sociology it's not.  Cultural anthropology it's not.  Our comparison, it would appear, begins to break down.


But not so fast.  Scratch any social scientist (blank-slatist or not) and you'll find an accidental biologist lurking underneath.  Why does that group act like that?  'It's in their culture.'  Where does their culture come from?   'It comes from them, of course.'  What are they?  'Why, they're human beings.'  Why is that group of them so different from this group?  'Umm…Their culture.'


HBD is obvious, or used to be, to anyone who interacts with other people.  Heliocentrism is anything but. (Would you have thought of it yourself?)  So HBD-ers have a built-in advantage.  Trying to convince people of Copernicus's theory in the 1530s was truly an evangelist's work.  But trying to convince folks of HBD's existence and relevance today, as sad experience may have already taught you, is no different.


Proselytizing?  Anthropogenic Global Warming is the subject, currently, of an awful lot of proselytizing.  Agree with it or not, its disciples are utterly convinced that policy (environmental in this case) won't get better until their gospel is widely accepted, not just by average folks but by Government.


Do you believe the same of Human Biodiversity?  Then swallow your pride and admit that you need to proselytize.  No fun being pegged as a cult member.  But also no fun watching your neighborhood disintegrate because no one in Government has given the least little thought to the real effects of intractable group differences.


So here in this corner of the internet, let's talk not just about good policy, but let's also talk about how to talk about HBD.  How to talk about it to people who aren't convinced it exists, or that it matters.


When enough astronomers had 'voted with their feet' and enough average folks had accepted it, Government (the Church) finally gave in and took heliocentrism-supporting books off the dreaded Index Librorum Prohibitorum.  In 1835.  That would be 219 years after they first put them there.  Today it's taught to every schoolchild in the nation, and no one bats an eye.


So don't lose heart.  But don't stop spreading the word.


Thank you for reading.

4 comments:

DailyKenn.com said...

What's HBD?

M.G. Miles said...

What HBD is.

Anonymous said...

What you're doing doesn't count as evangelizing, you aren't shoving this site down my throat, I came here. And I'm looking forward to more posts.

M.G. Miles said...

Thanks for stopping by, Anon. My next posts will be about affirmative action and immigration, I hope you stick around and share your opinions on them.