J. Philippe Rushton


J. Philippe Rushton : biography

December 3, 1943 – October 2, 2012

The psychologists Arthur Jensen, Hans Eysenck, Richard Lynn, Linda Gottfredson and Thomas Bouchard have all spoken highly of Rushton’s Race, Evolution and Behavior, describing Rushton’s work as rigorous and impressive. However, many of these researchers are controversial in their own right, and all of them have also received money from the Pioneer Fund, which had already funded much of Rushton’s work when these reviews were written.Buist, Steve. . The Hamilton (Ontario) Spectator, April 17, 2000.

Some criminologists who study the relationship between race and crime, regard Rushton’s r/K theory as one of several possible explanations for racial disparities in crime rates.Goodison, Sean (2009), "r/K Theory", in Gabbidon, Shaun L.; Greene, Helen T. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Race and Crime. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, pp. 713–716. ISBN 978-1-4129-5085-5. Others, such as the criminologist Shaun L. Gabbidon, think that Rushton has developed one of the more controversial biosocial theories related to race and crime; he says that it has been criticized for failing to explain all of the data and for its potential to support racist ideologies.Gabbidon, Shaun L. (2010). Criminological Perspectives on Race and Crime, 2nd ed.. New York: Routledge, pp. 41-44. ISBN 978-0-415-87424-3. The criminologist Anthony Walsh has defended Rushton, arguing that none of Rushton’s critics has supplied data indicating anything other than the racial gradient he identifies, and that it is unscientific to dismiss Rushton’s ideas on the basis of their political implications.Walsh, Anthony (2004). Race and Crime: A Biosocial Analysis. Hauppauge, New York: Nova Science Publishers, pp. 15-17. ISBN 978-1-59033-970-1.


In 1989, geneticist and media personality David Suzuki criticized Rushton’s racial theories in a live televised debate at the University of Western Ontario. He said, "There will always be Rushtons in science, and we must always be prepared to root them out!" At the same occasion, when Rushton was asked if he believed in racial superiority, he said, "Oh, no!" He said, "from an evolutionary point of view, superiority can only mean adaptive value – if it even means this. And we’ve got to realize that each of these populations is perfectly, beautifully adapted to their own ancestral environments."Peter Knudson, A Mirror to Nature, pg 187

Also in 1988, Rushton conducted a survey at the Eaton Centre mall in Toronto, where he paid 50 whites, 50 blacks, and 50 Asians to answer questions about their sexual habits. Because he did not clear his survey and proposed to pay for answers with the university committee at UWO, the administration reprimanded Rushton, calling his transgression "a serious breach of scholarly procedure," said University President, George Pederson.

Rushton’s work was criticized in the scholarly literature; he generally responded, sometimes in the same journal. In 1995 in the Journal of Black Studies, Zack Cernovsky wrote, "some of Rushton’s references to scientific literature with respects to racial differences in sexual characteristics turned out to be references to a nonscientific semi-pornographic book and to an article in the Penthouse magazine’s Forum."Cernovsky, Zack (July 1, 1995). . Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 25, p. 672.

Anti-racism activist and Political Scientist Tim Wise criticized Rushton’s application of r/K Selection Theory to crime rates and IQ, charging that Rushton ignored things such as systematic/institutional discrimination, racial profiling, economic disparities and unequal access to judicial defense in his attempt to apply r/K Theory and IQ theories to explain racial disparities in American crime rates. He also criticized Rushton and others like him of ignoring things like "white-collar crime" rates,

The biological anthropologist C. Loring Brace criticized Rushton in his 1996 review of the book, Race, Evolution and Behavior (1996):