Interesting discussion vis-a-vis The Bell Curve over at Atrios. I personally don't like participating in discussions like this, because I think part of the problem with the "Liberal versus Conservative" phenomenon is that when they inject subjects like the intellectual superiority of one race over the other into public conversation, they really aren't interested in winning the argument. They just want to make it part of the debate. When we retaliate we play into their hands. That was the horrifying genius of the book.
From What Liberal Media?
The book entered the public discourse, as one writer commented, "like a noseful of cocaine." It spent fifteen weeks on the New York Times bestseller list...Magazines published special issues: talk shows offered up two-part editions, and four seperate collections of essays were published , devoted entirely to arguments about the book. As Chester Finn asked in January 1995, "Is there anyone left with access to a microphobne, television camera, or printing presswho has not unburdened himself of an opinion of The Bell Curve?"
It never mattered that the book's findings were later totally discredited. The damage had been done. I'm not sure how we can avoid getting sucked into the arguments but I am sure that the louder the invective the more they win.