Pat, I was going to try to respond to this and I thought of this lecture by Jonathan Haidt.
He hits on a couple of interesting things about science in the last 10 minutes. About minute marker 49 to the end. Including a brief part about the APA at about minute marker 51:50.
@ Psychology and the Social Sciences. There are a lot of good people doing interesting and valuable research. And on the clinical/ therapeutic practice end the same is true. Yes, there are some really wacky people doing some WooWoo therapies, but I do not intend to imply that it’s everybody or even a majority. I have never felt like I had to compromise my values. I’m also over in a very practical field and I’m mostly very interested in kids with learning difficulties, so it’s a lot less of a WooWoo area.
There are issues with so many studies in the social sciences NOT being reproducible, and that’s sort of another issue. As an example, I put up a link awhile back in the Science Thread about the popularity and prevalence of the Implicit Association Test. It’s been used a lot to show implicit racism, and we’ve found that it’s problematic in so many ways. The professors who came up with it have had to retract a lot of their claims, and conclusions, but it’s still cited by politicians like Hilary Clinton most recently that I’m aware of. Politicized.
Certainly I’ll agree with you and with people like Haidt when he says that we have some real problems talking scientifically about hot issues like intelligence, gender or sex differences, and race. Also, with the proliferation of publications in really obscure journals that nobody every reads or cites again. Some of it’s pure nonsense. Literally, embarrassing.
With regard to IQ, gender, or race - I have seen a lot of this evolve since the early 90s. Now there seems to be a swinging of the pendulum again as so many new studies point out neurological and important behavioral differences.
I’m a bit hopeful that situations like the Google, James Damore memo where he got demonized, called a misogynist and so forth, will help bring us back around to being able to talk more reasonably about some of these issues. There are often many factors at work when we look at something like a gender pay gap. This is a really nice link to some of the discussion of the science related to the Google Damore Memo, if you’re curious.
@ Charles Murray. Haidt does a really good job at talking about why someone like Murray has been wrongly labeled as a racist or an alt-right figure, or something of that nature. Also about why conservatives are often assumed to be the following things by progressives. A) Self-interested people defending their privileges B) Racists C) Just Stupid.