Talk:Gregory Cochran

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Is it even worth pointing out how irrational this wiki is?

Emotive reactions to conclusions does not an argument make.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

You don't argue with bigots who are off the deep end. They exist only to be mocked. Hope that helps. Ikanreed (talk) 01:37, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

It's obvious that one can argue with specific claims, even ones made by people described as bigots, but chooses not to. The second quote by Cochran is a satirical catalog of what he sees as scientifically well-understood facts, which are denied or ignored in the media. Average IQ differences between different classes and races; heritability of IQ; etc. Does the RationalWiki article take the view that they are false? It seems that it just rejects their expression on emotional grounds (i.e. with epithets), without considering their truth value. Maybe I don't understand the project, but it seems embarrassing, given the name "RationalWiki." — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs (signed by bot) 04:54, 01 May 2015 (UTC)

I don't drink, so I'm not taking a shot for that. Either way, before you start thinking average IQ differences between "races" (whatever the fuck that is) are something to bother with, you have to show that IQ tests measure something significant, and then control for environmental factors. Children tend to speak the same language as their parents, but it doesn't mean English is encoded on the British race's DNA.

This should be called Emotionalwiki since it uses emotion-loaded words and instead of referencing facts, lashes out at its target.

"But I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki!" Drink!. No, but really, HBD losers are pretty much always basically going to only ever warrant contempt. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 17:10, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Hbdchick[edit] Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 00:46, 11 October 2015 (UTC)


At the time I write this, the page labels Cochran a pseudo-scientist. That's false. He is a legitimate scientist. (Of course, that doesn't legitimize opinions he holds independently of his published work.)

It's true that he has some very controversial beliefs that would be considered offensive by many. But having offensive beliefs does not make a person a pseudo-scientist. (talk) 07:42, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

Indeed; espousing pseudoscientific views and/or practicing pseudoscience is what makes one a pseudoscientist. Look at Michael Behe. The appeal to authority regarding where the guy works is what is irrelevant here. That being said however, it's important that all controversial claims regarding this living person be either sourced or removed. Also, the article's much too stub as it is. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 12:20, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
I'm failing to find much information on his curriculum vitae. Wikipedia and Daily Kos describe him as primarily a physicist, and elsewhere he's described as an independent researcher. I'm not exactly sure what a research associate is in the American university system; Wikipedia says it normally requires a masters degree or doctorate, but it appears a very junior academic position. Cochran has also written about how much fun it is to make up wildly improbably scientific claims... (links added to article) Annquin (talk) 15:43, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
There's a list of publications on ResearchGate, which also says he has a Physics PhD: Since the earlier poster requested something beyond just journal publications as evidence that he's doing actual science, Pinker said in a talk summarizing one of the papers, "By the criterion that a good scientific theory is one that offers instructions as to how to prove it false, this claim, even though it's crucial and is yet only sketchily supported, is a good example of falsifiable science.". Of course you can read the paper and watch the talk and see if you agree. The strong accusation of "pseudoscience" really isn't warranted. (talk) 07:19, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
Could you specify that Pinker is talking about Cohran's exact work in that link? And even if he is, that only shows that something Cochran did was arguably scientific. I agree with Pinker's definition — though it leaves things to be said — but certainly Pinker isn't speaking on the combined body of research ever attempted by the exact person Gregory Cochran. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 08:22, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
That quote is about a claim in a paper that Cochran co-authored (with two co-authors). Yes, it is not an endorsement of everything Cochran has ever published. (talk) 10:02, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Putting aside whether Cochran does science or not, and just considering whether he does pseudoscience too, the only evidence on the main page of pseudoscience is his opinion that homosexuality is likely caused by a pathogen. However, Cochran does not present this as a proven fact, just as an opinion that he holds for theoretical reasons, which is why he hedges the statement with the word "likely" instead of saying it's a fact. (Homophobes in his comment section notwithstanding.)

I don't think there's even much reason to think Cochran is a homophobe. He clarifies elsewhere that even though he thinks homosexuality is non-adaptive in an evolutionary sense, that doesn't mean it's bad in a moral sense:

I think that the driving impulse behind this is a notion that adaptations are good, and since homosexuality is thought to be good by all right-thinking people, it must be adaptive. Adaptive isn’t quite the same as good, though: consider parasitic wasps.

Some homophobes hang out in his comment section, but I haven't seen anti-homosexuality beliefs expressed by Cochran himself. (talk) 10:27, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

"make it up"[edit]

This is currently quoted out of context on the main page:

You know, esoteric, non-intuitive truths have a certain appeal – once initiated, you’re no longer one of the rubes. Of course, the simplest and most common way of producing an esoteric truth is to just make it up.

This is a misleading way to pick the quote. In context, it's clear that he's actually saying the opposite! He's complaining about this sort of behavior. Here's the full quote:

Worse yet, they generalized their error: they concluded that contagion was never the answer, and accepted miasmas as the cause, a theory which is too stupid to be interesting. Sheesh, they taught the kids in medical school that measles wasn’t catching – while ordinary people knew perfectly well that it was. You know, esoteric, non-intuitive truths have a certain appeal – once initiated, you’re no longer one of the rubes. Of course, the simplest and most common way of producing an esoteric truth is to just make it up.

The way the quote is currently presented on the main page makes it seem like Cochran is admitting to trolling via making deliberately false controversial statements, which is a misquotation. (talk) 10:09, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

The full quote above reminds me of certain doctors fatuously claiming that you can't catch a cold from getting cold, when everyone knows is not true. After hearing this theory as a teenager, I tried to put it to the test by going for a run during a thunderstorm in cold weather, and immediately came down with a cold.--Greenrd (talk) 12:31, 14 February 2017 (UTC)


Has anyone read him work on "Jewish intelligence"? It's very similar to Kevin MacDonald's shit. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

COVID-19 Alarmism and Dismissal of Western Public Health Consensus[edit]

Cochran did a set of interviews on a podcast titled "Future Strategist" starting on February 8th 2020 in which he made a series of dire predictions about the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, his views were extremely controversial, and included very negative views on Western epidemiologists. He also claimed the Eastern public health measures were more sensible, and gave specific examples. His views on public health and the burden of disease from COVID-19 were extremely radically and should be included in the wiki. — Unsigned, by: / talk