Yes, it’s eminently so, and that’s the thorny issue here: how to resolve the scientific incongruities without getting into murky waters. As an aside, Murray seems to have been particularly ill-suited for the task of defending the book’s scientific findings:
Originally Posted by hundredmillionlifetimes
Herrnstein, a professor of psychology at Harvard with an impeccable reputation for scientific integrity, died of cancer just a week before The Bell Curve arrived in bookstores. This in itself may have had something to do with the frenzy of the public response. Had Herrnstein lived to participate in the debate, critics might have found the book harder to malign than it became when Murray, whose training was not in psychology but in sociology, was left to promote and defend it by himself.
Not that Murray, the author of Losing Ground (1984) and a vocal critic of the liberal welfare state, failed to do so energetically. But his lack of credentials as a hard scientist, and his overabundant credentials as a scourge of liberalism, made him a tempting target for an attack that was itself motivated as much by political as by scientific differences, and that was almost entirely focused on a side-issue in the book. That side-issue was differences in intelligence not among individuals but among groups--and specifically between whites and blacks--the degree to which those differences might or might not be explained genetically. So heated, and so partisan, was the furor at its peak that even President Clinton was asked about the book at a press conference. (He had not read it, but disagreed with it nonetheless.)
But enough about The Bell Curve already! About the Slate articles: yes, Turtles is right in that far too little space is devoted to examining possible cultural and socioeconomic explanations, but I found this sentence interesting:
In Malaysia, Chinese and Indian minorities outscore Malays.
If that is so, and if it can be established that the Chinese and Indian minorities in Malaysia are less well off than ethnic Malays in terms of their economic, social and cultural standing, then I would say that finding is very interesting indeed.