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Talk:Eric Turkheimer

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Status of discussion[edit]

Clearly CBH supports the page he created. I don't think he can be convinced, and I think this page provides a record demonstrating that his commitment to keeping this page in its current form is at odds with RationalWiki's stated purpose.

I, Ariel31459, Concerned, and possibly appear to believe that the label of pseudoscience is unwarranted.

Noah Carl's RationalWiki page specifically cites Turkheimer as an example of a psychologist who studies human population differences in IQ who is NOT a pseudoscientist.

Does anyone have any specific evidence to offer in favor of this label? (ideally from a peer reviewed journal, since Eric Turkheimer is heavily published and cited in peer reviewed journals).

@GrammarCommie What say you?

Absent specific evidence in favor of the designation, I think it is time to fix this page. Jsolinsky (talk) 07:01, 13 December 2018 (UTC)

That seems to be correct from what I can tell, @Jsolinsky. I would like to hear what GrammarCommie has to say. Bongolian (talk) 07:42, 15 December 2018 (UTC)

Based on his comment here, in which he said "I am very pleased to have come to this realization before I spent any meaningful effort here", Jsolinsky appears to have quit RationalWiki, and Concerned is now blocked for 3 months. As Jsolinsky and Concerned were two of the main people arguing for this article to be whitewashed, I believe there to no longer be a consensus for that change. @Bongolian would it be acceptable for me to undo Jsolinsky's changes now? --CBH (talk) 20:34, 20 December 2018 (UTC)

@CBH Can you give better evidence that Turkheimer is a hereditarian or engages is pseudoscience? What was there before was not very convincing. Bongolian (talk) 20:44, 20 December 2018 (UTC)
Look at his Twitter post here. What kind of person uncritically talks about "high Jewish IQ"? This is a racialist dog whistle, and not a subtle one. Also look at his extensive, and mostly approving, discussion in this paper of hereditarian "research" by Arthur Jensen. --CBH (talk) 21:12, 20 December 2018 (UTC)
I dunno. It's not that clear cut. I'd really like to see an source who does a thorough breakdown of some of the same stuff your version of the article was saying. Like-it-or-not credentialwise and publication process wise, turkheimer is a legitimate academic. And just pointing out that some of what he says is pretty shit(the three laws are dumb, e.g.) is okay, but when I reviewed his publication history I found plenty of non-ideologically locked things that acknowledged the limits of hereditarian analysis, in direct contradiction to what we imply by just citing the dumb laws. I'd like to see an expert in his field commenting on his work. I have some explicit concerns with adoption and twin studies vis-a-vis IQ that hereditarians never seem to answer, but merely publishing in that field of study is not wrong. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 21:20, 20 December 2018 (UTC)
The twitter post you refer to asserts evidence for non-hereditary causes for high Jewish IQ averages. Are you taking the hereditarian position? Also, "almost approving?" I have to ask what "almost approval" means, scientifically.Ariel31459 (talk) 21:26, 20 December 2018 (UTC)
I said "mostly approving" not "almost approving". And the problem with talking about "high Jewish IQ" is that it assumes "Jewish" is a biologically meaningful category (it isn't) and that IQ tests measure a real ability that can be compared between racial categories (they don't and it can't). The way he makes all of these false assumptions, and then excuses himself by saying "genetic determinism not required", is an example of what I meant by "painted-over race science". --CBH (talk) 21:34, 20 December 2018 (UTC)
The replies definetly indicate "#1 with racists" syndrome though. But still, I, personally, want something, anything related to serious academic critique of his work that highlights the same problems. It's too easy to focus on the social media shuffle. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 21:46, 20 December 2018 (UTC)
There is also the view that social media concerns is no way to direct the course of scientific inquiry. Ariel31459 (talk) 22:07, 20 December 2018 (UTC)

CBH's lies[edit]

Old discussion, but everything CBH has written is lies and a distortion of what Turhkheimer actually argues - he's a staunch critic of hereditarianism and argues group differences in IQ are environmental in origin. Tobias (talk) 10:24, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

He noticed us![edit]

This is him calling the now-deleted article about Kathryn Paige Harden "awful". Jinx (talk) 00:56, 4 February 2019 (UTC)

On Peer-Review and Reputation[edit]

Personally, I don't know anything about Eric Turkeheimer so I hold no opinion about him or his work, but I am seeing this kind of argument showing up repeatedly that is kind of fallacious, to say the least; which seems to avoid any discussion regarding the actual content of said work. Being published in a peer-review journal is a pretty low bar to set for science. Studies arguing in favour of Homeopathy, n-rays, and even studies that suggest that water fluoridation is dangerous have all been published in peer-review journals that doesn't necessarily mean these things or these findings from these studies are therefore scientific.

When determining whether or not something is scientific you need to evaluate methodology, and the larger context in research before reaching said conclusion. Obviously, something that isn't published in a peer-reviewed journal is a red flag that something is bullshit, but merely being published in a peer-review journal doesn't prove the opposite. You need to evaluate the actual content of the research, the larger consensus of the field, the conclusions of other related fields, the logical reasoning employed in the conclusions drawn, and whether or not there is any contradictory evidence present within the field with good methodological standing.

Appealing to a scientist's reputation isn't exactly a good substitute for critical thinking. Folks like Jordan Peterson have a lot of peer-reviewed publications under their belt, but they still peddle a lot of pseudoscientific nonsense. I think the discussions present on this talk page would benefit by actually discussing the content and context of such research rather than just appealing to a researchers reputation, number of publications, and popularity. These are just thinly-veiled appeals to popularity and authority. I don't know what conclusions to draw from reading this talk page since there is so much talking around the facts, than actually discussing them directly. - Only Sort of Dumb 01:53, 4 February 2019 (UTC)

Article creator and rewrite[edit]

I banned the article creator, CBH, an obvious troll for defamation and harassment. The article had to be completely rewritten and the above complaints are legitimate. Turkheimer also thought the original article was written by a troll.Tobias (talk) 10:18, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

@Tobias Why do we even still have this page? — Dysk (contribs) 10:25, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
Article creator CBH is a sock of User:Jean_Lusaz a problematic editor who was Cooped and had most his article creations deleted for lying and misrepresentations, one of those articles was Kathryn Paige Harden (now deleted) a colleague of Turkheimer's. Unlike Harden, Turkkheimer's article CBH/Lusaz made wasn't deleted, so it was rewritten as a stub. Someone is working on Draft:James Flynn article (Flynn holds similar anti-hereditarianism views on race and intelligence to Turkheimer), so it's probably best kept, but can be expanded. On a positive note, Turkheimer has been critical of Emil Kirkegaard.Tobias (talk) 10:41, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
I could never prove who owned CBH/Lusaz, but I always suspected it was Emil Kirkegaard or someone else from OpenPsych. It was a fake account that came here to cause trouble and then on Twitter, Kirkegaard was linking to CBH's dubious page creations to discredit RationalWiki.Tobias (talk) 10:49, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
Yeah makes sense. I read what Dev wrote in the section directly above and wondered what the heck was going on. — Dysk (contribs) 11:01, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
That's... ironic, considering. Thanks for the precedent though.--Greenrd (talk) 20:36, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
Kathryn Paige Harden & Eric Turkheimer are anti-hereditarians, so this wiki should not be bashing them. We should only be bashing hereditarians, who are the actual pseudoscientists. If we start bashing legitimate scientists, the wiki is discredited and I think that was CBH/Lusaz' intention.Tobias (talk) 21:15, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
Why is what you call hereditarianism pseudoscience, Tobias? Can you give me a capsule summary? It's something I've wondered about for a long time.--Greenrd (talk) 21:48, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
It seems we are using our own definition of hereditarianism. Certainly using IQ averages to make racial claims is bad science because racial classes are artificial. But I can't easily find any authority that defines hereditarianism as being attached to that practice. e.g., Wikipedia doesn't do it. If our object is to promote anti-racist scientific concepts, shouldn't we use standard English such as the OED: "Relating to the theory that heredity is the primary influence on human behaviour, intelligence, or other characteristics." Ariel31459 (talk) 23:08, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
If hereditarianism means merely recognising within-group heritability of IQ test-scores is 40-60% virtually all scientists are hereditarians since the scientific consensus is “experts believe within-group differences in IQ to be at least partially inherited” (Snyderman & Rothman, 1987). This has never been controversial. The pseudoscience is to then say like Jensen first argued that because within-group heritability of IQ is moderate-to-high, between-group heritability of IQ test-scores is the same. Why this is erroneous is explained on the hereditarianism article, that restricts the term hereditarianism to so-called Jensenism. It seems pointless to use the OED definition because by that definition virtually all scientists are hereditarians. As for why is Jensenism a pseudoscience, this has been covered in science publications for decades. If you simply look up what characterises pseudoscience on this listWikipedia you will see it in Jensen's work and his successors, Lynn, Rushton, etc. To take one example of exaggerated and misleading claims, right from the beginning Jensen deliberately inflated within-group heritability: "Plomin and DeFries (1980) reviewed a large body of modern data that jointly indicated that the broad heritability of IQ in contemporary Western populations is around .50, rather than the .75-.80 that Jensen estimated." (Mackenzie, 1984) Tobias (talk) 02:06, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
Hereditarianism doesn't seem to usually mean that, this wiki excepted. My point is, despite some so-called hereditarians advancing opinions about race, hereditarianism is not often defined to require racial theories of IQ heritability. Disagreement about heritability percentages alone is not, in itself, pseudo-scientific. Sometimes people just do science badly. Wikipedia cites heritability of IQ for adults to range 57%-73% (Bouchard and McGue, 2003). These are estimates for individuals, not groups. I'm not sure that in-group and out-group heritability are coherent ideas. As I have said before, some people think calling an idea pseudo-scientific has greater rhetorical effect. Bad science and unscientific are usually the correct terms. Wikipedia may tell us how to id pseudoscience, but they don't id hereditarianism as such. Let me add, I am more concerned about definitions than the actual accepted estimates for heritability of IQ. Perhaps Jensenism would be a more accurate term for what you mean in this context.Ariel31459 (talk) 04:44, 2 May 2019 (UTC)

Rationalwiki should be gaurded from the sub-literate[edit]

The appalling and sub-literate comments on this talk page attacking Turkheimer are obviously written by those uneducated in genetics research. Do not attack a subject which you know nothing about if you want to maintain standards.

The three laws of behavioural genetics are uncontroversial and universally accepted. Further, they do not mean what you may think they do if you do not know anything about genetics. Consider the following paragraph of Turkheimer and Paige Harden, which I recommend be added to the article in a shortened version lest people misinterpret the three laws (there are now four):

There is another threat to the validity of association studies, usually identified with GWAS but in fact relevant to all studies of genetic association: population stratification, sometimes called the “chopsticks gene”problem (Hamer, 2000). Here is how one could find a gene associated with the use of chopsticks. Assemble a sample consisting of half North American and half Japanese participants, and identify a gene – any gene will do – that occurs more frequently in the Japanese than in the North Americans. Assuming the Japanese are more likely to use chopsticks, eating style will necessarily be correlated with variation in the gene. Population stratification is usually controlled either by ensuring ethnic homogeneity in the sample or by using statistical methods like principal component analysis to identify ethnic dimensions in the SNPs and then controlling for them statistically. The problem, however, extends beyond the confines of ethnic identification (Turkheimer, 2011). In the context of GWAS, culture of origin is an instance of the core problem that we identified in the analysis of twin studies – a shared environmental confound. In the chop-sticks example, the problem is not that the candidate gene and chopsticks may not actually be associated, because their correlation is a simple statistical fact. The problem is that the statistical association is not an indicator of an actual causal pathway from the gene to the chopstick, in exactly the same sense that holds for an association between religiosity and delinquency.Page 177. From Behavior Genetic Research Methods Testing Quasi-Causal Hypotheses Using Multivariate Twin Data ERIC TURKHEIMER AND K. PAIGE HARDEN

If you do not have the literacy level to be able to comprehend this paragraph, then your personal opinion on heritability, genes, race, etc. is meaningless. — Unsigned, by: 2001:8003:D861:8301:7520:2FA4:24D3:F62F / talk

Please state the specific elements of the article that you take issue with... ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 11:41, 28 June 2021 (UTC)
It seems this debate was settled years ago, and the consensus was that the laws weren’t pseudoscience. What are you complaining about? Christopher (talk) 11:43, 28 June 2021 (UTC)
There is nothing wrong with the article, but I do think it should have a greater discussion rather than merely definitions. If this wikipedia purports to critique misinterpretation of science it should have a greater discussion of the topic of the laws of behavioural genetics, a topic which is commonly misinterpreted and taken to insidious conclusions. The incorporation of the quotes I gave will serve the greater educational function that the wikipedia purports to represent: the fighting of pseudoscience. The task of educating people is not being served if commentators do not even understand what these laws mean. — Unsigned, by: 2001:8003:D861:8301:7520:2FA4:24D3:F62F / talk
RationalWiki is not affiliated with Wikipedia, nor are we an encyclopedia, nor do we claim to be either. Further, I'm still not sure what your problem with the article is. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 14:05, 28 June 2021 (UTC)