We Need A True Science of Man


The relative capabilities of the various races is a subject of the utmost importance today. The domestic and foreign policies of the United States are based on the assumption that all races are equal. If this assumption is not correct, it is likely that many of our actions will not have the intended result. In domestic policy the primary concern is the equality of the Negro, but the current concern with this one group should not obscure the larger question involving all races. This larger question has a bearing on the practical and ethical problems which America and other countries face now and in the future.

There will be immediate protests that the social sciences have shown that all races are equal. This simply is not so. Work in these areas appears to have shown that there is an overlap in the abilities of the members of different races. That is, the smartest members of any race are smarter than the bulk of the members of any other race. This is not an answer to the question however. The question is how does one race rank against another race in ability? Are there any differences and are these differences significant in accounting for the different levels of attainment of various races? Must these differences be taken into account if one wishes to help a group?

Difficult as these problems are, they probably would not be insurmountable except for the current bias of the sociologists. They have been infected with the intellectual fad which assumes that all races are equal. As a result, much of their work seems aimed at vindicating this point of view. Indeed, the combination of bias, sloppy experimentation and dubious statistical analysis has made sociology pretty much a waste of time.

Strangely enough, the current importance of knowing whether or not racial differences exist rests on the motive underlying many of America's actions. This motive is an abstract desire to advance the well-being of mankind. This may require that certain things be done which are not in our best interest but which will yield some long-term benefit. Many things fall in this category. Integration of the races in America, foreign aid, and the encouragement of former colonies to seek their independence fall in this category. All of these things are the result of a desire to do what is right and, more importantly, of a particular assumption about the nature of mankind. The assumption is that all races are equal. This assumption has a corollary since, if all races are equal, then all differences in culture are due to environment alone. If environment alone determines cultural characteristics, then all races can be made equal in practice and something approaching universal brotherhood can be achieved if the proper environment can be created.

Since we are expending men, time and money on the assumption that all races are equal, the validity of this assumption should be the subject of careful analysis. There is negligible evidence to support this theory. In addition there is almost no discussion of this point in the United States. This would seem to be due to the predisposition of many people to believe that all races are inherently equal. Although most Americans never carried this belief to its current extreme, this national inclination has been augmented by the propaganda of the intellectuals, with whom the equality of all men has become an article of faith. Probably the greatest triumph of the intellectuals was to capture the minds of the social scientists. Once these men subscribed to the beliefs of the intellectuals it was not long until the intellectuals' propaganda was supported by statements that their position was based on scientific fact.

If the races are not equal and one desires to help mankind, then one must ask how a particular group can be helped. Can they be given a democratic form of government plus a highly technical culture? Can they absorb and use the necessary knowledge? Must they he re-educated before they can be helped? Might they be dangerous to the rest of the world if they learned to make and use modern weapons? Or are they so incompetent that they should be made wards of some more competent group? Is intermarriage between the races desirable? What should be the status of the children of such marriages?

These and many other ethical, social and political problems would arise in a world where the races were not equal. Answering these questions would put the more advanced nations in the role of playing God. In so doing they would deny the less competent groups control of their own future. Even if their actions were motivated by altruism and not selfishness they would be responsible for any harm that came to these groups.

The current belief that all races are equal, and that the brotherhood of mankind is inevitable, relieves one of having to solve these problems. It says that these problems do not exist. This belief denies that any group will be hurt by what is being done now at the same time that it justifies our actions. In one neat package it provides all that is needed to permit one to remake the world, be universally loved (almost), and be beautifully self-righteous.

What if the belief that all races are equal, and that the brotherhood of man is inevitable, is wrong? We are still forcing the world into an ideal state based on our beliefs. If our beliefs are wrong and our actions harm rather than help mankind then we will still be responsible. Mere good intentions will not absolve us from any blame we may incur. Once again then, it seems imperative that we examine our belief in the equality of the races and the brotherhood of man. We should do this for our own protection and because we have assumed a moral obligation to the world to use our power in the most sane and just manner possible. The people of the world have given us no mandate to remake the world to fit our prejudices.


Sociology and the related fields of study are not sciences. They are pseudo-sciences. They lack the essential ingredient of science, which is the desire for verifiable truth. There have been a few times when these fields approached being scientific, but these have been few and far between. For the most part, they have been so swamped by the emotional tides of the times and by the personalities of people in these fields that they have made negligible progress. Is this because scientific progress in these fields is difficult and facts are so few? Partially, but it is more due to the difficulty of thinking rationally in these emotion laden areas. To investigate an area when the results may offend one's contemporaries, or even oneself, requires a rare type of man. The tragedy is that these fields of study attract the man who is least capable of this type of thinking. A man imbued with the ideals of his time, desiring to do good, desiring social approval, is the last man for such a job. These men try to benefit society in accordance with their humanistic beliefs, but they do not seek the truth.

The present state of sociology derives directly from this mixing of science and humanism. A man cannot be a humanist while he is a scientist. This is not to say that a man cannot be both a humanist and a scientist. But to be a humanist while a scientist is to carry morality and ethics into an area where they have no relevance. The result is a pseudo-science because, in such a mixture, the ethical and moral considerations far outweigh the scientific. It would be better to abandon the pretense that a combination of science and humanism is anything but a means of advancing humanism. Is this conflict between science and humanism inevitable? Yes, so long as humanism takes its present form. Humanism as a philosophy is not dynamic today. It is frozen into certainty. Only the implementation of the philosophy is still a dynamic process. To humanism, as to religion, science is a potential danger. Science means change and change is a threat to any established system, particularly one that seeks to fix man's relationship to both the physical and spiritual worlds. Both humanism and religion may tolerate the physical sciences, but neither is comfortable with any real investigation into the nature of man. The existence of a science is an admission that all is not known. The existence of a social science would be an admission that there are things about man which are not known or understood which both religion and humanism deny.

The social scientists chide the physical scientists because the latter do not make their work conform to morality. This is asking the impossible because a true science is amoral. In all science a thing is or is not, it is not moral or immoral. Some will object that scientists seek the truth and that truth and morality are synonymous. Others will say that the truth will make you free. But this truth is not the scientists' truth. The scientist seeks facts which can be verified by experiment. These facts may be useful, useless, or even harmful. Such facts, like science, are amoral. They exist, they have no moral significance. True, one might assess the effect of science on society as being either good or evil if one had standards by which to judge. But who shall be the judge and what will be the criteria?

It is wrong to say that scientists are driven by a desire for truth or by a desire to help humanity. It is better that one should say that they are curious and enjoy scientific work. Scientists are playing a game whose object is to uncover some of the unknown. One learns what is already known and, with luck, adds to the store of knowledge. In acquiring the scientific knowledge which is available one begins to appreciate The immensity of man's ignorance and the utter impossibility that all will become known in one's own lifetime. This is no place for a man obsessed by a desire for complete knowledge and certainty. So it is that those who need completeness and certainty turn to religion, philosophy and humanism. Here a man can know and be sure. Thus a part of the conflict between science and humanism arises from the opposing temperaments of the two groups.

In view of the conflict between science and humanism it is quite comprehensible that the humanists should stifle the social sciences. As sciences these could cause unwanted changes in society, or even in humanism. However, sociology as a pseudo-science is ideal for the humanists' purpose. In this form it assists in forcing society into a pattern that has already been decided upon. Under these conditions it is easy to understand the animosity of the humanists toward the physical scientists. The inventions of the physical sciences, such as nuclear weapons, have altered the humanists' world, they have made it less secure. It is difficult for the humanists, who have subverted the social sciences to their ends, to understand why the physical scientists will not or cannot make their sciences subservient to humanism. One of the strangest suggestions ever made is the humanists' suggestion that a moratorium should be declared in the physical sciences until the social sciences catch up. Even with a moratorium the social sciences could never catch up so long as the humanists control them. The humanists' concept of progress in the social sciences would be to find a way to make the world fit their preconceived ideas, and to freeze it there.

The emphasis the humanists put on the social sciences, even as they hamper them, is a form of self-deception. It is a means of retaining the belief that the answers to the problems of humanity will soon be found. In truth, the problems that face humanity are difficult and unending. There is no science, no religion, no philosophy that will provide for man kind a quick and sure path. The ultimate responsibility for man's rise or fall is his own. He cannot delegate it to anyone or anything.

One cannot blame the humanists' crusade on the social sciences. These sciences are the victims of the crusade. Had the social sciences been more advanced, they might have retained their integrity or even moderated the extremism of the humanists. As it is, these so-called sciences accentuate the extremism because they assure the humanists that their heart's desire is based on scientific fact.

It is paradoxical that, even as some social scientists offer nonsensical advice on race relations and the like, there is evolving a true science of man. This scientific schizophrenia has one group of scientists saying that racial differences do not exist and that all races have the capacity for democratic self-government. Yet they do not even know if racial differences exist or what effect possible differences might have on a society's evolution. This group resembles the Greek philosophers who constructed elaborate, logical, but often erroneous explanations for everything. Like them this group tries to explain too much too fast. There is the same mixing of logic, morality, and a little science.

The other group in this scientific split personality is actually proceeding in a scientific manner to try to understand man. Their findings, while not always complete, are supported by evidence. The knowledge that this group acquires is interesting, sometimes useful, and sometimes disturbing. Like the physical sciences it is likely to extend man's capabilities but unlikely to solve any ethical problems.

Unfortunately, this last group is small and not particularly vocal. The other group has captured the stage with their advice on current problems. The ability of this vocal group in the analysis of social phenomena is best illustrated by their failure to realize that they have been caught in one of the ideological movements of the twentieth century.

July 1964