Sunday, May 11, 2014

He Wrote About The Wrong Thing

I remember the brouhaha over The Bell Curve a couple decades ago.  I wonder how good this guy's statistical analysis was:
Nicholas Wade, a British-born science reporter and editor for more than 30 years with The New York Times, is no longer with the newspaper — just days after the release of his latest book, in which he depicts blacks with roots in sub-Saharan Africa as genetically less adapted to modern life than whites and Asians.

Was The New York Times uncomfortable with Wade’s science or his conclusions? It’s unclear. Neither Wade nor his former employer returned requests for comment...

Wade’s main thesis is that “human evolution has been recent, copious and regional.” He writes, “Though there is still a large random element, the broad general theme of human history is that each race has developed the institutions appropriate to secure survival in its particular environment"...

In Slate, Andrew Gelman, a professor of statistics and political science at Columbia University, said the book’s central theories were “simultaneously plausible and preposterous: plausible in that they snap into place to explain the world as it currently is, preposterous in that I think if he were writing in other time periods, he could come up with similarly plausible, but completely different, stories.”
How good were his numbers?  What hidden gems do they illuminate?  I'd be interested in hearing from a statistician about the statistics.

Because without data, all you have is an opinion.

3 comments:

maxutils said...

I'm sure that the NY Times was uncomfortable with his conclusions, and that the science didn't matter. I doubt his science is any good, because evolution occurs over time periods none of us can experience ...but even if it did, and he has good numbers, I can understand why the paper would not want to associate themselves with him. This is not the same as the case of Donald Sterling, who was allowed to own an NBA team despite being charged with racism in civil cases, but got hung out to dry when he made private comments that were illegally recorded. This is a guy who published his views ... and even if he has numbers to go with them, they would just illustrate that poor countries with tons of religious issues and in fighting do less well than rich ones.

socalmike said...

Check out Steve Sailer's blog, or the links on HBDChick. The stats, as I've seen them in the reviews, are solid.

Chad Vader said...

I understand that the Daily Caller got it wrong and he was never fired.

https://twitter.com/charlesmurray/status/465541496843026432