Jun 032018

Before Affirmative Action, before social justice had replaced competence as a reason for study, incoming college Freshmen as Fred Reed explains, were expected to be fully literate and know algebra cold. It was real chemistry, sink or swim, and most swam because we were looking at med school or graduate work. If there had been affirmative-action students–”students”– most of the material would have had to be eliminated. Read that again for there is much wisdom in it. Mathematical illiterates do not balance redox (reduction/oxidation) equations or interpolate four-place log tables which, in those slide-rule days, we did.

America’s suicide note: How Identity Politics is Harming the Sciences, (HERE), by Heather Mac Donald. It is long but well worth reading because it documents the systematic lowering of intellectual standards in the sciences to increase the numbers of women and underperforming minorities. This, as she makes clear at length, is strongly supported by the federal government. A few examples:

“Entry requirements for graduate education are being revised. The American Astronomical Society has recommended that Ph.D. programs in astronomy eliminate the requirement that applicants take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) in physics, since it has a disparate impact on females and URMs….” (These are “Underrepresented Minorities.”)

“Mathematical problem-solving is being deemphasized in favor of more qualitative group projects; the pace of undergraduate physics education is being slowed down so that no one gets left behind.”

“A typical INCLUDES grant from October 2017 directs $300,000 toward increasing Native American math involvement by incorporating “indigenous knowledge systems” into Navajo Nation Math Circles.”

“The National Institutes of Health are another diversity-obsessed federal science funder. Medical schools receive NIH training grants to support postdoctoral education for physicians pursuing a research career in such fields as oncology and cardiology. The NIH threatens to yank any training grant when it comes up for renewal if it has not supported a sufficient number of “underrepresented minorities” (URMs).”

“Medical school administrators urge admissions committees to overlook the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores of black and Hispanic student applicants and employ “holistic review” in order to engineer a diverse class. The result is a vast gap in entering qualifications.”

Mac Donald goes on to tell of school after school accepting diversity with credentials well below those of real students, of schools dropping the GRE requirement because it makes obvious that in STEM fields women and minorities are not performing as desired. (“Minorities” always means “poorly performing minorities.” Chinese, Japanese, Koreans and so on don’t count.)

“Affirmative action” means hiring people because they can’t do the job well. Near-synonyms are “diversity,” meaning groups that cannot do the job well, and “inclusiveness/Multiculturalism,” which means seeking people who you know cannot do the job well. These underpin American society, and have ruined education. 

Not admitted by Rev. Al, but as a matter of observable–if, to many, the unwelcome–fact, virtually all of the work in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in America is done by whites. Blacks contribute nothing and Hispanics, to date anyway, very little. Rev. Al refused to have grasped or even noticed. For reasons of politics America must pretend not to notice. When a piano is falling toward one’s head, one may pretend that it is not, but not for long. The arrival of the piano will ensure this. Rev. Al surely knows that much about the physics of falling bodies.