Did you hear? Racist, misogynist pseudoscientist Satoshi Kanazawa has been given a new home at Big Think, where he can spew more racist, misogynist bullshit. PZ links to some of his greatest hits, like his “scientific” proof that black women are ugly and Africans are stupid and other brilliant theories based on evolutionary psychology, Science’s embarrassing cousin who cooks meth in his grandmother’s basement. Just watch Kanazawa put these things in his own words as he sweats and stammers through his introductory video on Big Think.
Note that he explains who is more intelligent than whom based on what’s “natural,” describing that those who pursue the “unnatural” are more intelligent. So, he says that liberals, atheists, homosexuals, and monogamists are all “unnatural” and therefore more intelligent. Other groups that are “unnatural” and therefore more likely more intelligent? I don’t know, I guess pedophiles, people who fly in airplanes, and furries? Looking forward to seeing those papers, Satoshi. Oh, but note how many times he says he has no data or evidence to back up his claims? So I guess peer-reviewed papers won’t be necessary.
After actual scientists and skeptics raised their concerns about Satoshi, Big Think responded with this baffling, content-free statement:
Having tracked his thinking for years, including having him appear for an interview on Big Think, we cannot help but admire Satoshi’s convictions to freedom of thought, even if sometimes we too have cringed at his missteps . At its best, it yields wondrous new perspectives on confounding aspects of modern life, such as the challenge of dating in big cities. At its worst, it yields the intellectual equivalent of shock-jock antics which serve as a call-to-arms for the legions of self-righteous self-promoters eager to decontextualize and oversimplify matters into stark injustices they condemn into oblivion across the cable news airwaves.
Our support for his approach to thinking, and intellectual purview, should not be confused with an endorsement of his conclusions and prescriptions, to the extent that he actually argues on behalf of any specific outcome or conclusion in any given instance. The best and fairest criticisms of his work are truly academic in nature and involve just how far his cross-cutting postulates (one might call them intellectual mash-ups) can extend on the backs of the (current) consensus theories that underpin them and the empirical data he marshals alongside them (often circumstantially).
So Big Think supports his “approach to thinking,” which you’ll note doesn’t actually include thinking. Just the way he approaches thinking. Tentatively. Coyly. Only getting just so close before tittering and running away. Again, this is a person who believes that the human brain stopped changing in the Pleistocene Epoch, and who believes that we don’t need scientific evidence to know what our Pleistocene ancestors got up to during that time period, and who believes that pretty much all our present day behavior can be explained by these just-so stories. Stories like these:
That’s not a typo, by the way: the article really does include Satoshi’s reasoning for why men sexually harass women because they’re some kind of egalitarians.
Dr Kanazawa says men have always subjected one another to abusive and degrading treatment in work, in the battle to get ahead.
It is part of their reaction to competitive situations. Men are not treating women differently if they harass them, in fact they are not discriminating.
Makes sense! You know how men are always getting their asses grabbed at work? How men are subjected to humiliating comments from their co-workers concerning how well they give blowjobs? How men are expected to dress sexily every day? It’s true because I read it in a Michael Crichton novel.
I particularly like this part at the end of Big Think’s defense of Satoshi:
Toward this end, we plan to maintain an open dialogue with our collaborators and community members to create a space that celebrates Satoshi’s best qualities as a bold thinker without sheltering him from rightful criticism.
I like it because comments are currently turned off on Satoshi’s blog. I guess what they meant by “without sheltering him from rightful criticism” was that they’d happily allow blogs like this to criticize him and link back and increase their revenue. Boy, they are smart over there!
Happily, there are comments allowed on the blog of Adam Lee, another Big Think contributor who is disgusted to be sharing a platform with Satoshi. It’s fun to see him kicked around a bit, but still depressing that yet another large network has given a bigot a large audience after already seeing what he did at Psychology Today.
On a side note, Pharyngula commenter Ms. Daisy Cutter points out that one of Satoshi’s defenders (on Adam Lee’s post) is also posting over on Dispatches explaining why his adopted 11-year old mentally challenged sister was responsible for her own rape. Trigger warning, obviously. I was horrified and so I felt it only right that you all be horrified, too.