A commenter on a recent post of mine writes:
CC asked for examples of the reigning orthodoxy among academics. Here's a short list:
--There is no such thing as "race." It is not a scientific concept.
--Affirmative action is necessary because racism continues to be the primary cause of the poor performance of blacks in school.
--IQ tests do not measure anything real about human intelligence.
--IQ is not heritable.
--If government programs for the elimination of poverty have failed, it is for one of two reasons: 1) they have not been sufficiently funded; or 2) those implementing the programs have not been sincere.
--All differences between men and women are culturally determined.
If anyone doubts the extent to which these ideas dominate public discourse on college campuses, I invite that person to assert publicly a contrary view and see what happens. I say "publicly" because many people will tolerate such notions in private, but they will feel compelled to silence them if they are offered as part of the public discourse of the campus.
I agree that everything in his list is part of current orthodoxy, with "all differences between men and women" not including obvious physical differences. Also that most or all of them are false—I'm not entirely sure that one couldn't have at least reduced poverty if a sufficiently large amount had been spent by sufficiently sincere people.
I am curious whether anyone reading this is willing either to argue that the claims on the list are true, or at least defensible, or to deny that, in many parts of the academy, it would be imprudent for an academic without tenure to dispute them.