If we're going to shift gears and talk about process, let's go to foundational levels. Recall that I'm criticizing liberal creationists and that includes those in the academy. Let me quote Matt Ridley in Nature Via Nurture: Genes, Experience, & What Makes Us Human (actually I'm going to make this an extensive quote so that the end of the quote is embedded in context)
Originally Posted by Taylor
From then on, even the assertion of heritable IQ led to vitriolic campaigns of denunciation, assaults on your reputation and demands for your dismissal. The ﬁrst to suffer this treatment was Arthur Jensen in 1969, following his article in the Harvard Educational Review. By the 1990s, the argument that society was segregating itself by assortive mating along intellectual and therefore racial lines—asserted in The Bell Curve by Richard Hernstein and Charles Murray—provoked another wave of rage among academics and journalists.
Yet I suspect that if you took a poll of ordinary people, they would hardly have changed their views over a century. Most people believe in “intelligence”—a natural aptitude or lack of it for intellectual pursuits. The more children they have, the more they believe in it. This does not stop them from also believing in coaxing it out of the gifted and coaching it into the ungifted through education. But they think that there is something innate. . .
Brains are composed of white matter and gray matter. When, in 2001, brain scanners reached the stage that people could be compared for the amount of gray matter in their brains, two separate studies in Holland and Finland found a high correlation between g and volume of gray matter, especially in certain parts of the brain. Both also found a huge correlation between identical twins in volume of gray matter: 95 percent. Fraternal twins had only a 50 percent correlation. These ﬁgures indicate something that is under almost pure genetic control, leaving very little room for environmental inﬂuence. Gray matter volume must be “due completely to genetic factors and not to environmental factors” in the words of Danielle Posthuma, the Dutch researcher. . . . .
The opening words of Harris’s article were: Do parents have an important long-term effect on the development of their child’s personality? This article examines the evidence and concludes that the answer is no.
From about 1950 onward psychologists had studied what they called the socialization of children. Although they were initially disappointed to ﬁnd few clear-cut correlations between parenting style and a child’s personality, they clung to the behaviorist assumption that parents were training their children’s characters by reward and punishment, and the Freudian assumption that many people’s psychological problems had been created by their parents. This assumption became so automatic that to this day no biography is complete without a passing reference to the parental causes of the subject’s quirks. (“It is probable that this wrenching separation from his mother was one of the prime sources of his mental instability,” says a recent author, referring to Isaac Newton.)
To be fair, socialization theory was more than an assumption. It did produce evidence, reams of it, all showing that children end up like their parents. Abusive parents produce abusive children, neurotic parents produce neurotic children, phlegmatic parents produce phlegmatic children, bookish parents produce bookish children, and so on.
All this proves precisely nothing, said Harris. Of course, children resemble their parents: they share many of the same genes. Once the studies of twins raised apart started coming out, proving dramatically high heritability for personality, you could no longer ignore the possibility that parents had put their children’s character in place at the moment of conception, not during the long years of childhood. The similarity between parents and children could be nature, not nurture. Indeed, given that the twin studies could ﬁnd almost no effect of shared environment on personality, the genetic hypothesis should actually be the null hypothesis: the burden of the proof was on nurture. If a socialization study did not control for genes, it proved nothing at all. Yet socialization researchers went on year after year publishing these correlations without even paying lip service to the alternative genetic theory.
Liberal creationism is the default position and when we look at the strength of the two competing world views - evolution versus liberal creationism, evolution is the stronger in terms of predictive power. Liberal creationists start off with the wrong null hypothesis. All of social science is predicated upon the notion that evolution doesn't exist and has no effect on the issue of study.
Here are Barbara Ehrenreich and Janet McIntosh writing in The Nation (The Nation, for pete's sake, cannot be accused of being a right-wing creature):
When social psychologist Phoebe Ellsworth took the podium at a recent interdisciplinary seminar on emotions, she was already feeling rattled. Colleagues who'd presented earlier had warned her that the crowd was tough and had little patience for the reduction of human experience to numbers or bold generalizations about emotions across cultures. Ellsworth had a plan: She would pre-empt criticism by playing the critic, offering a social history of psychological approaches to the topic. But no sooner had the word "experiment" passed her lips than the hands shot up. Audience members pointed out that the experimental method is the brainchild of white Victorian males. Ellsworth agreed that white Victorian males had done their share of damage in the world but noted that, nonetheless, their efforts had led to the discovery of DNA. This short-lived dialogue between paradigms ground to a halt with the retort: "You believe in DNA?"
More grist for the academic right? No doubt, but this exchange reflects a tension in academia that goes far deeper than spats over "political correctness." Ellsworth's experience illustrates the trend -- in anthropology, sociology, cultural studies and other departments across the nation -- to dismiss the possibility that there are any biologically based commonalities that cut across cultural differences. This aversion to biological or, as they are often branded, "reductionist" explanations commonly operates as an informal ethos limiting what can be said in seminars, asked at lectures or incorporated into social theory. Extreme anti-innatism has had formal institutional consequences as well: At some universities, like the University of California, Berkeley, the biological subdivision of the anthropology department has been relocated to another building -- a spatial metaphor for an epistemological gap.