Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Retraction: Jim Flynn and Eugenics

The Alliance blog has a long piece by Jim Flynn explaining his position on eugenics. It seems that he has been seriously misrepresented by the Sunday Star Times, which somehow managed to turn his opposition to eugenics into support for eugenic policies. Instead, Flynn argues that:

  • The correlation between university education and IQ is mild;
  • The downwards trend in IQ is both insignificant and counteracted by a much stronger upward trend;
  • The upwards trend is not likely to disappear, and that there are many ways (such as social democratic social policies) to continue it;
  • That better access to family planning will reduce the differential the eugenicists care so much about anyway.

So, it would seem I owe Professor Flynn an apology for this post. And it would seem that the Sunday Star Times owes him rather more than that.

On the plus side, I now know how to respond to those who do believe that IQ decline is a problem: grant them every one of their assumptions, and then point out that their "problem" is so miniscule that it doesn't justify any policy whatsoever.