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

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

Common cactus finch (Geospiza scandens)

Tiffany Taylor on a thought-provoking view of the forces acting to ensure survival

Student asking question during class

University of Reading research finds link between undergraduate satisfaction and ethnicity of lecturers

Level of quality compass

Authors argue this means universities should spend less on senior academics and give promising younger scholars more of a chance

Maths lecture

Students are arriving at university with unrealistic expectations of the mathematical demands of their subject, finds Paul Glaister

United Kingdom policemen standing by patrol car

Paul Hamilton speaks of ‘heartbreaking’ detention by Home Office officials after leave to remain application refused