From Toni Airaksinen at Campus Reform:
In the postmodern tradition, Gillborn and his team also argue that racism can be reinforced through numbers because they are social constructs.
“Numbers are social constructs and likely to embody the dominant (racist) assumptions that shape contemporary society,” they write. As a consequence, they assert that “in many cases, numbers speak for White racial interests.”
Despite the purported danger of statistics being used to reinforce white privilege, they predict that if used properly, statistics can “expose and delegitimize the racist (and sexist, classist, hetero-normative, and ableist) assumptions, policies, and practices that are currently supported by the uncritical use of quantitative data.”More.
In short, statistics can useful if manipulated (“properly used”). Post-modernism, welcome to science!
The authors’ identified goal is fighting racism but one senses that, once their approach is accepted, it can serve any politically powerful cause. And cover over any number of abuses. and that’s what gives it such awesome destructive power.
See also: See also: The rigor mortis of science: The war on measurement itself has commenced
Nature: Stuck with a battle it dare not fight, even for the soul of science.