On the eve of Andrew Sullivan’s announcement that he is poised to grace yet another American Institution (this time, he will be traveling across the sea of the Atlantic), a timely reminder that the debate over The Bell Curve lingers on:


Liberals who dismiss the notion that race is linked to intelligence simply because the link has not been proven lock, stock and smoking barrel are akin to “creation scientists) who believe that just because evolution has not been proven beyond a metaphyislca doubt, creation accounts for our existence.

At the same time, though, wanna know why there has been no reputable (let alone even detailed and thorough) follow-up study of The Bell Curve that echoes its conclusions? Because conservatives, as Paul Krugam once said, are the kinds of folk that favor “revelation over research”. In this case, the word “revelation” is the lynch (no pun intended) in that it both preceded and was preceded by what Republicans call “research”.

This debate (unlike the evolution “debate,” really, which puts ignorance on one side while the other side marches on to the beat of progress) – the debate over nature v. nurture – is one worth having. But the debate won’t happen, as Justice Scalia once said, as long as both sides allow themselves to fight freestyle while placing Marquis of Queensbury rules on their opponent.

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