Stephen Black wrote of the Norwegian documentary on nature/nurture 
presented by the comedian Harald Eia (links in Stephen's post below):
>This is a great documentary...It's provocative and
>informative, and it sets a standard of excellence in
>presenting scientific information to the public.

I totally concur with what Stephen says about the documentary.  I 
appreciate that most TIPSters don't have the time that Stephen and I 
have to watch several 38 minute sections, but they're well worth the 
effort. Proponents of each "side" were presented with what their 
opponents had to say, so that they could respond. There were some gems 
from the cultural determinists:

"If you don't take genetics into account you can explain everything 

In response to being presented with evidence of genetic influence:
"In social science we try to introduce theories."

And: "I have the theoretical basis. There's no room for biology in 

Do watch at least the first two sections, and the last:

Brainwash 1: 7 - "The Gender Equality Paradox":
Brainwash 2: 7 - "The Parental Effect"
Brainwash 7: 7 - "Nature or Nurture"

The password is "hjernevask" (no capital letters, no quotes).

Allen Esterson
Former lecturer, Science Department
Southwark College, London

Subject:        Norwegian wood and the nature-nurture question
Date:   Wed, 23 Feb 2011 21:21:50 -0500
What? You were expecting maybe the Beatles? Think again.  I meant the
wooden thinking of Norwegian social science experts about nature-
nurture (feel free to add scare quotes and/or the modifier "so-

Here's the background. A  well-known comedian in Norway, Harald Eia,
has produced a documentary on the biological bases of gender
differences.  Called "Brainwashed", it was shown on Norwegian public
television (the NRK), where it was watched by much of the country. It
created a huge controversy. Its burden is that while many experts
outside Norway have concluded that gender differences are
substantially genetic in origin, those in Norway, that most
egalitarian of countries, reject this conclusion. They instead claim
that this question is uninteresting, morally suspect, and it's all
due to culture and upbringing anyway. Really!

Eia brilliantly shows them to be sadly misinformed (a euphemism for a
less charitable descriptor).  He chases around various countries,
consulting people like Robert Plomin, Steven Pinker, Simon Baron-
Cohen, Richard Lippa, David Buss, Simon LeVay, Richard Nisbett,  and
Judith Harris.  Also Norwegian experts. He shows them what each said
about the other, and asks for responses. Their reactions are

This is a great documentary. Despite Eia's status as a leading
comedian, it's not a comedy (in fact, in his person-in-the-street
interviews he first has to convince his interviewees that he's
actually going to be serious).  Nevertheless,  the presentation is
entertaining, with a  light-hearted touch. It's also packed with
scientific content, visually-arresting images, and helpful diagrams.
It moves at a rapid pace,  with Norwegians talking very fast, and one
can barely keep up with the subtitles. It's provocative and
informative, and it sets a standard of excellence in presenting
scientific information to the public.

The series consists of seven 38-minute segments, posted on-line on a
password-protected site. Here's the good news.Through an intermediary
(thanks, Richard Lippa), I've received permission from one of the
producers to make the urls and password available on TIPS.

Here they are:

Brainwash 1: 7 - "The Gender Equality Paradox"
Brainwash 2: 7 - "The Parental Effect"
Brainwash 3: 7 - "Gay/straight"
Brainwash 4: 7 - "Violence"
Brainwash 5: 7 - "Sex"
Brainwash 6: 7 - "Race"
Brainwash 7: 7 - "Nature or Nurture"

The password is "hjernevask" (no capital letters, no quotes).

An article on the series and the controversy it generated is
available here:

You could also check out the short entry on Harald Eia on Wikipedia.
But be warned. If you watch these, you may end up speaking with a
Norwegian accent.

Stephen L. Black, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology, Emeritus
Bishop's University
Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
e-mail:  sblack

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