| The colorful pseudoscience|
|Hating thy neighbour|
|Divide and conquer|
His CV on his website shows he's never had a job and oddly cites his non-academic webshite publications in the right-wing online magazine Quillette and conservative National Review Online. While he has published in peer-reviewed journals such as The American Sociologist, Human Nature and Personality and Individual Differences. His co-authors include Islamophobes and eugenicists such as Noah Carl and Michael A. Woodley of Menie.
Cofnas attended the pseudoscientific London Conference on Intelligence in 2016 where he met Edward Dutton. In 2012 he wrote a book published by the Ulster Institute for Social Research (reviewed by Michael A. Woodley of Menie, although he later withdrew it from publication). As of 2019, Cofnas denies he has links to Richard Lynn's Ulster Institute, despite observers have pointed out he's clearly part of the HBD "Lynn network" and on his social media is in the same circle as Emil Kirkegaard and Hbdchick. On his website he has defended the London Conference on Intelligence.
The author of the criticism of MacDonald’s work, Nathan Cofnas, travels in the same intellectual circles as Edward Dutton, who wrote the pro-MacDonald response. The two men met a few years ago at the London Conference on Intelligence, an annual gathering where attendees reportedly talk about contentious (and largely disproven) topics like eugenics, IQ, and the biology of racial difference.
Both men also have ties to the Ulster Institute for Social Research, a small British think-tank that publishes reports on racial differences, human evolution, and IQ. The organization is run by Richard Lynn, a controversial scholar popular among those who argue that black people are inherently less intelligent than white people. Cofnas published a book with the Ulster Institute in 2012, which he has since withdrawn from publication — hoping, he says, to preserve it for inclusion in future work. Dutton told me that he receives funding from the Institute, where he is an affiliated scholar.
Climate change denial
Cofnas is sympathetic to climate-change denial, for example he questions the scientific consensus of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming and claims that he disagrees with labelling climate-change denialists as pseudoscientists, furthermore he describes scientists who accept the evidence of anthropogenic global warning as "climate alarmists":
Hereditarianism, eugenics and race
“”Mainstream medicine already practices various forms of "eugenics." And work in genetics shows that "race" has a genetic basis (see, e.g., David Reich's recent book), so there is plenty of "race science" going on.
“”It's difficult to think of any important issue in our society that isn't affected by race differences in IQ—yet honest discussion of the topic is banned from mainstream television, newspapers, most university classrooms, etc. Not surprising that people are hungry for information.
Cofnas formerly studied under Neven Sesardić. Like Sesardić, he identifies as a proponent of hereditarianism and "racial realism" (a term used by white nationalists like David Duke as well as the HBD online movement). He argues human races are valid biological categories against the scientific consensus they're not; he disagrees with the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2019) Statement on Race and Racism:
“”The usual pseudoscience: race isn't real b/c we share 99.9% of our DNA & "a substantial body of research demonstrates" that race diffs are caused by "interpersonal" & "structural racism."
In regards to the average IQ of Ashkenazi Jews, Cofnas defends the hereditarianism hypothesis opposed to environmental explanations:
“”Jews have a higher average IQ than gentiles because of genes, not because Jewish mothers train their children to be good at taking IQ tests.
Cofnas erroneously claims the US black-white IQ gap is 15-18 points and isn't budging, when it is actually around 9.5 points and has been substantially reduced:
“”There have been many studies on the African American/white IQ gap of 15-18 points. (African Americans are ~30% European genetically.) No single study is definitive, but contrary to some false claims the gap isn't budging. Maybe you've seen this.
A Letter to Nathan Cofnas: Please Stop Misrepresenting my Research.
The February 2015 edition of your journal included a paper by Nathan Cofnas (Science is Not Always “Self-Correcting”) which referenced my 1988 article, “A New Look at Morton’s’ Research.” Unfortunately, Cofnas has misrepresented the conclusions of my paper to make it appear that my findings verified the craniological research and overall conclusions of Samuel George Morton. Although my re-measurements of the Morton collection of skull did indicate that Morton’s measuring technique generated data that was “reasonable accurate,” I also prominently noted that the way in which Morton classified human into races (as he defined the term race) was “meaningless.” Thus, Morton was measuring arbitrary subsets. As a result, his anthropometric research was pointless. Morton might as well have been accurately measuring the skulls of twenty-four categories of humans whose names began with different letters of the alphabet. I am dismayed that Cofnas has failed to mention the most important aspect of my research. It is only recently that I found out Cofnas’ colleague, Neven Sesardic also misrepresented my work in a similar way in his 2005 book Making Sense of Heritability.
Defence of Noah Carl
“”This is the hill we must die on: We cannot allow Noah Carl to be fired/penalized for heresy. The left always wins in academia, not by winning arguments but by censoring & intimidating. Successful persecution of Noah would mean the end of free thought in the UK for a generation.
Cofnas has made a bunch of Tweets that seem to imply he wants the alt-right to be accepting of Jews:
“”Your statements about the debate indicate that you think the alt-right is mistakenly hostile to Jews, such that I see your goal as to make the far right more welcoming for Jews.
For example, Cofnas wrote:
Anyone who points out Cofnas' racialist views and quasi-alt-right beliefs (minus the anti-Semitism), ends up with him lashing out and getting extremely defensive:
“”I'm not going to tell you my life story on twitter. I'm just asking, once again, that you stop making ignorant, irresponsible insinuations about me.
“”This is all based on how *you* have framed the debate. So I'm baffled by this whole charade. If those are your views, own them. If you don't want observers like me to come away with this impression, then you should correct these public statements.
Cofnas' response is to masquerade as some sort of crusader against political correctness:
In 2018 he co-wrote an article for Quillette criticising anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and Kevin MacDonald's literature. Co-author, Jonathan Anomaly is a eugenicist. Despite being Jewish, Cofnas dislikes the ADL and criticises left-wing politics. He has also engaged in sexist and anti-feminist trolling on Twitter (see below).
Cofnas has linked to the work of the controversial philosopher Michael Levin who the SPLC describe as an "unabashed white supremacist". Later he would deny endorsing Levin, claiming he just promotes Levin's literature.Do You Believe That?
Instead Cofnas has posted a bunch of demonstrably false and misleading statements, e.g.:
“”RationalWiki can claim that human races aren’t valid biological categories, but it can’t say that this is the “scientific consensus” because many prominent scientists say that race is a valid category. For example, David Reich, who runs a leading genetics lab at Harvard, just published a book containing a chapter called “The Genomics of Race and Identity,” which discusses the genetic basis of race and the possibility that there are significant, genetically based race differences in traits like intelligence. He writes: “whether we like it or not, there is no stopping the genome revolution. The results that it is producing are making it impossible to maintain the orthodoxy [about race] established over the last half century, as they are revealing hard evidence of substantial differences across populations.” There may still be a controversy about race and race differences, but my view that race is real is not opposed to “the scientific consensus.”
In reality, there is a clear scientific consensus that human races are not valid biological categories. For example in a 2012 survey of American Anthropological Association members (n = 1909), 86% disagreed with the idea humans "may be subdivided into biological races." The Human Genome Project, American Association of Physical Anthropologists and American Anthropological Association have also all published statements that note human races don't exist. Cofnas rejects this consensus and cherry-picks David Reich a geneticist whose book chapter on race in Who We Are and How We Got Here, has been heavily criticised by 67 academics in an article titled "How Not To Talk About Race And Genetics" for containing inaccuracies and misunderstandings; further, they note that Reich's opinions about race are "seriously flawed".
In his page about RationalWiki Cofnas denies being an anti-feminist and says this was somehow made up "out of whole cloth". However, the anti-feminist description is well sourced and based on a provocative tweet he made trolling Katie Bouman. In April 2019, the Event Horizon Telescope Imaging team, including Bouman, published the first image of a black hole. Bouman's contribution has been widely regarded as a symbol of women's accomplishments in science. In response, anti-feminist trolls from the alt-right, incel and MGTOW communities have questioned or downplayed Bouman's involvement; on 14 April Nathan Cofnas joined these trolls on Twitter to claim the media had somehow lied about Bouman:
“”Would have been fine to hold up Katie Bouman as an ex of a successful female scientist. Why did the media have to lie and say she was "The woman behind the first black hole image" (BBC)? Completely predictable that this would provoke "trolls" and people who enjoy exposing lies.
Cofnas' troll tweet has been "liked" 83 times by alt-righters, anti-feminists and incels, e.g. Emil Kirkegaard (who openly identifies as a sexist), an incel user who goes by the name "inceluprising" and Robert Windhager who describes himself as a "plain normal old cis white male. Hates #PoliticalCorrectness".
- @nathancofnas (Twitter)
- Based Jew. @nathancofnas is both a race realist and a Jewish realist and no fan of the ADL. He's an Alt Right Jew trying to make the Alt Right better. A light unto the nations! Tikkun olam! Moshiach now! #613 by Luke Ford (08:44 - 14. March 2018) Twitter (archived from April 21, 2019).
- Vegetarianism/veganism are part of the package of political correctness. There may be a couple conservative vegans =) but in general this is promoted by liberals (even if many liberals don't live up to the ideal). by Nathan Cofnas (19:24 - 3 Dec 2018) Twitter (archived from April 24, 2019).
- Be careful of collateral damage to yourself. There's a growing community of ex-vegans/vegetarians… by Nathan Cofnas (06:48 - 2 Oca 2019) Twitter (archived from April 24, 2019).
- Cofnas has publisher with the Ulster Institute, attended London conference on intelligence. He is part of the Lynn network. by Steven Klein (9:19 AM - 9 Aug 2018) Twitter (archived from April 24, 2019).
- This is consistent with family tradition (7/8 great-grandparents Jewish). by Nathan Cofnas (4:49 PM - 6 Feb 2019) Twitter (archived from April 24, 2019).
- Big mistake to equate "climate change denial" w/ creationism. Evolution is one of the most successful theories in history supported by all evidence for 160 yrs. Climate alarmism is based on computer models w/ poor record of prediction and fake "consensus." by Nathan Cofnas (7:39 AM - 19 Apr 2019) Twitter (archived from April 24, 2019).
- (((race realism))) by Nathan Cofnas (7:30 AM - 20 Mar 2018) Twitter (archived from April 24, 2019).
- The usual pseudoscience: race isn't real b/c we share 99.9% of our DNA & "a substantial body of research demonstrates" that race diffs are caused by "interpersonal" & "structural racism." Neglected topic in phil sci: many scientists are simply liars. See https://philpapers.org/archive/COFSIN.pdf … by Nathan Cofnas (09:10 - 20. Apr. 2019) Twitter (archived from April 21, 2019).
- Jews have a higher average IQ than gentiles because of [genes, not because Jewish mothers train their children to be good at taking IQ tests.] by Nathan Cofnas (5:22 PM - 24 Jan 2019) Twitter (archived from April 24, 2019).
- What you need to know: Noah is the good guy. by Nathan Cofnas (02.22 - 7 Des 2018) Twitter (archived from April 24, 2019).
- This is the hill we must die on: We cannot allow Noah Carl to be fired/penalized for heresy. The left always wins in academia, not by winning arguments but by censoring & intimidating. Successful persecution of Noah would mean the end of free thought in the UK for a generation. by Nathan Cofnas (7:24 PM - December 6, 2018) Twitter (archived from April 24, 2019).
- In my paper on Kevin MacDonald I acknowledged that the alt-right position has *some* basis in logic and facts, and isn't based only on deranged hatred. Many liberals accused me of "legitimizing" MacDonald/anti-Semitism. by Nathan Cofnas (6:40 AM - 5 Nov 2018) Twitter (archived from April 24, 2019).
- What the Alt-Right Gets Wrong About Jews by Jonathan Anomaly & Nathan Cofnas (March 15, 2018) Quillette (archived from March 27, 2019).
- (1) I never claimed to be on your "side." (2) I have criticized leftists just as much as I have the alt-right. I even wrote an article attacking the ADL. You could have easily discovered this by googling me--but you just make it up as you go along. Not worth "debating." by Nathan Cofnas (4:33 PM - 26 Nov 2018) Twitter (archived from April 24, 2019).