On liberty and debate 2

April 14, 2006

A. C. Grayling's commendable application of John Stuart Mill's On Liberty to the suspension and threatened sacking of Leeds University's Frank Ellis is marred by his assertion that Ellis is wrong about his facts.

In 1995, the Board of Scientific Affairs of the American Psychological Association published a report on the book The Bell Curve . The APA concluded that black-white racial difference in IQ of some 15 points in the US (and larger in sub-Saharan Africa) was real and not attributable to bias.

There is further consensus that East Asians have the highest average IQ, so such work hardly suggests a white supremacist agenda; and even mainly hereditarian scholars such as Richard Lynn attribute black people's problems in Africa largely to malnutrition.

We would do no service to blind people by denying that they lack vision and slandering critics of such denial as "blindist bigots". If we are to help disadvantaged people of other groups, we have to start by being honest about the basic facts of their problems. If universities are not about telling the truth, then they should stop filching the taxpayers' money on false pretences.

Robin Clarke
Birmingham

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