Genetic Future

Just in case anyone has missed it, the pair of duelling essays in the latest issue of Nature is well worth a read. The topic is whether there is any justification for scientific exploration of associations between gender or race and intelligence; Stephen Ceci and Wendy M. Williams from Cornell argue the affirmative, while Steven Rose takes up the opposing case.

The debate continues as a lively discussion on Nature Network, which contains many thoughtful comments from both sides.

I find it pretty hard to stomach the notion that any field of scientific enquiry should be completely off the table, even an area as contentious and politically charged as this one – in fact especially in such an area, since nowhere are solid facts needed as desperately as in a debate driven largely by ideals and emotions. Thus while Rose makes some fair points about the difficulties of defining both race and intelligence, I find his overall argument less than compelling.

In fact this sentence from Rose’s final paragraph is downright worrying:

In a society in which racism and sexism were absent, the questions of
whether whites or men are more or less intelligent than blacks or women
would not merely be meaningless — they would not even be asked.

This borders on defining anyone who even thinks about group differences in cognition as a bigot. Poisoning the well in this fashion is a highly effective strategy for shutting down debate on a particular topic – but this is a terrible strategy for a scientist to adopt.

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Comments

  1. #1 razib
    February 16, 2009

    as a person of color, this post frightens me, and makes me wonder if scienceblogs is a welcoming & person-of-color-friendly environment which nurtures diversity and promotes the human dignity of postcolonial peoples & persons of color who reside in white majority societies.

  2. #2 Muse142
    February 16, 2009

    I agree with what you’re saying here, totally.

    Also, especially if race is “merely” a sociocultural construct, it would be really useful to see how living under the effects of those constructs can shape things like cognition – if only to ameliorate or reduce any negative effects and to enhance or encourage any positive effects.

  3. #3 Bob O'H
    February 16, 2009

    razib – imagine trying to write that comment without mentioning or hinting at race or colour. That’s (roughly) equivalent to what Rose is suggesting.

    It seems to me that it’s going to be almost impossible to get a proper handle on the problems (I work on the genetics of geographical variation in natural systems, and there we pretty much have to use crosses in controlled environments). This means there’s plenty of wiggle room for both sides to claim they’re right, without having solid evidence either way.

    So, the debate is going to continue, with more heat than light.

  4. #4 Dan
    February 16, 2009

    I’m not totally sold on the race as “merely” a sociocultural construct either (I think that’s a bit off the mark), and I agree with your last paragraph in the abstract sense.

    For the specific case of race and “IQ” however, while I don’t know crap about theories of intelligence, I thought that the claim that there was any innate difference between human subgroups had been completely debunked by Gould in The Mismeasure of Man. Reading over the “Pro-” article though, it looks as though they’re stirring up a hornets nest with a title about “race and IQ” when they’re really interested in “socioeconomics and intelligence”, especially since we know that the idea of an intelligent “quotient” has no scientific basis. If they’d have correctly titled their article, I’m sure we’d all agree that that was reasonable.

  5. #5 Colugo
    February 16, 2009

    This little debate is just the beginning.

    There is currently a revival of research and theory in group (i.e. racial) differences in temperament and intelligence. This movement is different from earlier post-1945 waves of racial science in three ways: 1) It’s fueled by genomics rather than old-fashioned psychometric techniques (IQ tests) and evolutionary theory/handwaving. This genomic evidence is interpreted in light of models of rapid evolution rather than reconstruction of the Pleistocene. 2) Biologists and biological anthropologists are heavily represented, rather than it being dominated by experimental psychologists. 3) Its practitioners include political liberals and not just conservatives and extreme reactionaries. Due to these features, it is poised to be much more mainstream than previous postwar waves of racial/ethnic science.

    Bruce Lahn broke ground for the movement with his (now-debunked) microcephalin/ASPM theory of Eurasian civilization. Cochran, Harpending, and Hawks are currently the main flag-bearers. Jonathan Haidt has jumped on the bandwagon in his Edge essay on ethnic differences in moral biases.

  6. #6 Cannonball Jones
    February 16, 2009

    It’s the job of science to explore all avenues of thought, no matter how unappealing they may seem. You can’t shirk away from things because you find them politically offensive. I personally haven’t seen anything to convince me that race means more than a slight difference in physical appearance but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep investigating. Obviously any such research could be abused by groups pursuing a political agenda – it’s just a danger we have to live with.

  7. #7 Muse142
    February 16, 2009

    One small addition to my comment:

    I do not think there is any biological basis for race (see Greg Laden for more on that one), or in fact any other basis for it than the sociocultural. I just didn’t want to disparage the BS that racial divides cause by calling it “mere”. Any person who is visibly non-majority-race I’m sure can tell you that the effects of these concepts in practice are profound.

    I don’t understand why exploring these effects is scary… maybe it’s just my privilege showing? =/

  8. #8 plschwartz
    February 16, 2009

    OK
    Maybe it is the rise of the Brain Police and new think.
    So lets scratch the idea of comparing race and IQ.
    Instead let us correlate haploid types and IQ.
    Or Facial features and haploid type then facial features and IQ proxy.etc.
    Remember from er.. Jensen’s data it were Asians with highest IQ. Do you think Asians won’t want to post their genetics and IQ??
    Finally if we get to Depression-level unemployment, do you believe that affirmative action type stuff will remain? Or that people will not WANT to present their genetic profile with a job application???

  9. #9 Daniel MacArthur
    February 16, 2009

    I do not think there is any biological basis for race (see Greg Laden for more on that one), or in fact any other basis for it than the sociocultural.

    Well, that’s going a bit far. Sure, human genetic and phenotypic diversity forms a continuum, but it’s far from smooth, and recent high-resolution genetic data show a very strong correlation between genetic variation and geographical ancestry. Human diversity isn’t categorical, but simply saying “there is no biological basis for race” is pretty misleading.

    If you’re interested in a well-rounded view of modern population genetics I’d advise reading a little more widely than Greg’s blog – his views are certainly not representative of the majority of working population geneticists.

  10. #10 Anon
    February 16, 2009

    Science shouldn’t concern itself with what is politically correct.

    The scientist tests a hypothesis. Either it’s true or it’s false. Science advances either way.

    No questions should be off limits. I thought we learned this back in Galileo’s time.

  11. #11 N/A
    February 16, 2009

    Quote: “No questions should be off limits.”

    So all science is ok?

  12. #12 Bob O'H
    February 16, 2009

    I do not think there is any biological basis for race (see Greg Laden for more on that one), or in fact any other basis for it than the sociocultural.

    I would agree with Daniel’s assessment (it’s always good to agree with the blog owner :-)), but I’d go a bit further and point out that, depending on how you define race, this could be absurd. If it’s primarily defined by skin colour, then I think it’s clear that there is largely a biological – indeed genetic – basis.

    What this means is another matter – whatever we’re using to define race may have little correlation with any other trait, of course.

  13. #13 DrugMonkey
    February 16, 2009

    I think you are missing the point.

    Perhaps consider whether it is of even the vaguest interest anymore in the US to speculate whether those with anywhere from 0.05 “Irish” ancestry to those with two parents fresh from Dublin differ in ability from those with similar proportions of Danish, English, Scottish or whathaveyou European ancestry.

    At one point in this country this would have been a matter of spirited debate and interest not that different from the black/white and male/female discussions of today.

  14. #14 Insulin
    February 16, 2009

    At one point in this country [IQ of Irish vs Danes, English, etc] would have been a matter of spirited debate and interest not that different from the black/white and male/female discussions of today.

    True – but was there ever any quality evidence?

    Further, I wonder exactly what you are driving at.
    Are you saying that most humans have some innate tendency to regard outgroups chauvinistically (a tendency which can be decisively altered by education, prosperity, etc)? And that this tendency can lead to specious beliefs about other ethnes? If so, I agree.

    Are you saying that today’s work on race and IQ must be wrong, or all such work must be wrong? Obviously, that does not follow from the fact that chauvinistic tendencies are part of the human makeup.

    Or are you just saying that in the future no one will care about IQ by race or want to study it?

  15. #15 Matt Springer
    February 16, 2009

    “So all science is ok?”

    Absolutely. Not all ways of doing science are ok.

    As a deliberately extreme example, it’s fine to do studies examining how the early death of a parent affects the development of children. It’s not ok to do it by actually going out and killing people’s parents.

    As to the post itself, I too find Ross’ view disturbing. Indeed it’s incoherent; he’s assuming the premise. Maybe in a racism-free world there would be no average cognitive differences between the races and it would be so obvious that no one would even bother to check. But maybe it wouldn’t. There’s no way to know without the study.

  16. #16 N/A
    February 16, 2009

    Quote:”So all science is ok?”

    Quote: “Absolutely. Not all ways of doing science are ok.”

    Ok Madam, today I’m going to perform a new experiment on your child. I’m going to inject stem cells in his brain to see if he can learn how to speak.

    ******************
    You are dead wrong to say that all science is ok, but just the way the science is done can be wrong. We can keep people alive forever if we wanted to. Should we perform random experiements to ineject stem cells into a person and see if we can regress the process of aging?

    Should we slow down the process of aging until we live to 500 years old?

  17. #17 Matt Springer
    February 16, 2009

    You’ve missed my point completely. Science is just the business of systematically answering question. There’s no such thing as a question that it’s not right to ask.

    “Do stem cells injected into to the brain affect speech development” is a fine question to ask. But it’s also one where there’s probably not a good way to answer it. However, twenty years from now we might be able to answer the question by understand the brain and stem cells well enough to run a simulation in a computer without ever having to involve real brains. Again, it’s not the question that’s the problem – it’s only that the methods of answering the question might be a problem.

    “Should we slow down the process of aging until we live to 500 years old?”

    That’s not a scientific question. “Can we…” is a scientific question. Once we have the knowledge, the science is over. What to do with the knowledge is not something that science as science cares about. Science has exactly zero requirement that the ensuing technology be used.

  18. #18 anomalous
    February 16, 2009

    Ye shall know the truth; and the truth shall set you free.

  19. #19 Luna_the_cat
    February 16, 2009

    Actually, oh you ivory-tower types, I see the issue that Rose is concerned with as being simply this: that over the course of our history, almost no-one has “investigated the correlation of race or gender with IQ” without actually having a premise of the superiority or inferiority of a given group that they want to prove. The question is often asked in the first instance with an agenda of demonstrating some inequality, from Galton to Shockley.

    I suspect that you are arguing from the assumption that investigators will probably prove that there is NO inherent discrepency in ability between groups, thus invalidating racist/sexist argument. However, much of the world does not make that assumption — and speaking from experience, almost any result can be “spun” to support an agenda, which makes this research very loaded.

  20. #20 Luna_the_cat
    February 16, 2009

    …and before anyone snarks at me over my “oh you ivory-tower types”, please be aware that I and my husband are both ivory-tower types too. It’s along the lines of, the only people allowed to make Jewish jokes are Jews.

  21. #21 jay
    February 16, 2009

    People who design furniture and other ergonomic equipment often refer to a book called ‘Humanscale’ which does a detailed percentile based measure of humanity. There are significant components in length and proportion of limbs, torso, head and digits. A chair or automobile designed just for a Japanese would poorly fit most Zulus. Differences (and similarities) exist throughout our bodies, in ways both superficially visible and not. It’s not ‘better’ or ‘worse’ but simply different.

    There is no intelligent designer. There is no one who carefully controlled genes so that the only things that could vary are considered ‘insignificant’ differences (whatever that is defined to be). Nature is full of genetic variation, and for every one you can see there are probably a hundred that you cannot. Evolution does not prefer ‘superficial’ variation over ‘significant’. Evolution does not prefer ‘socially acceptable’ variation over ‘socially unacceptable’ variation. Evolution only favors what works in a particular time and place. We can only assume that whatever genetic differences did arise were, for whatever reason, quite effective at outperforming their competitors.

    Being afraid of the conclusion is never a good reason to suppress science. That will only fuel the uglier people in our society.

    there was any innate difference between human subgroups had been completely debunked by Gould in The Mismeasure of Man.

    Gould was a brilliant and thoughtful researcher. However some of his arguments and conclusions were heavily influenced by his ideological beliefs.

  22. #22 Luna_the_cat
    February 16, 2009

    jay, skin colour, limb length etc. are not “insignificant” differences with regard to adaptive fitness to local conditions, although there is probably a large degree to which they were affected by the neutral evolution and divergence in founding colonies, however. But the argument is that the skin colour/limb length etc. are only socially important because they serve as indicators for the REAL socially important affect, which is intelligence/inherent ability. In that regard, limb length per se is not important by itself, it is merely a visible signifier for the important difference of an internal quality.

    But while there is a good argument that skin colour or limb length might serve adaptive functions with regard to specific physical environments, there is no good evidence that some environments might be more demanding of intelligence and others less, leading to inherent cognitive differences between groups. The fact is that pretty much every human society, at every technological level, creates for itself a similar level of mental and cultural complexity — even stone-age hunter-gatherers end up with an extremely complex mental environment, in which they concern themselves with genetic lineages, social relationships, oral histories, and actions towards supernatural powers to a degree that would utterly lose anyone in a “developed” country (except for possibly those in the Deep South, where they can’t tell you that someone fell off his roof and broke his leg without starting six generations back and three lines of cousins over, just to tell you who he was).

    The point is, though, that although you are correct in that one can’t argue that there is no group-based difference in intelligence on the basis that intelligence wouldn’t/couldn’t vary according to group, you are going further than that and essentially arguing that there IS inevitably some group variance in intelligence, same as with skin colour, etc. And there is poor evidence for this, and even poorer evidence that this would be adaptive or even sustained by evolution.

  23. #23 Ryk
    February 16, 2009

    I am wondering why such research would be a problem. Intelligence is a physical ability. While it is undeniably important it is a genetic trait like any other. Few people are offended if we study a link between race and height, or race and eyesight, or race and predisposition to heart disease. These are all legitimate topics for research, so why not intelligence?
    Are the concerned persons worried that their race will be shown as less intelligent? If so why? If for example it were determined that Native Americans are less intelligent on average than African Americans, this would in no way make me personally less intelligent, it would not affect my abilities or worth in any way. It would simply be a piece of scientific data that may prove useful to biological research. So why is there a controversy?

  24. #24 Luna_the_cat
    February 16, 2009

    Ryk, are you seriously this clueless? It is an issue because this is the basis which has historically been used to systematically exclude groups from certain careers, educational opportunities and other arenas. Women were denied access to higher education for a long time on the systematic basis that their brains were unsuited for it. Blacks were denied access to many “intellectual” careers on the systematic basis that they could not manage that level of intellectual pursuit. These were not judgements made on an individual basis, the entire group was classified according to the assumption of difference, and denied access to resources and opportunities because of it. THAT’S why.

  25. #25 MarkH
    February 16, 2009

    I’m sorry but this is a big fail. This has been covered again and again, the best being Mismeasure of Man by Gould. These exercises inevitably become biased explorations of racial prejudice, they fail to acknowledge fundamental issues of our ability to measure one’s raw intelligence, or the reality of the racial and socioeconomic mixture in this country.

    1. The IQ test was never meant to be a fixed measure of intellectual capacity but a unfixed measure of educational need. Americans have always used these tests to sort people without regard for the fact that a measured intelligence is not a fixed number but can be influenced by education, training, etc. You can train people to think better, it’s that simple. But we typically just use it to stamp someone stupid and move on to the next kid. It’s hysterical because the whole discussion starts from the incorrect assumption that we are even capable of measuring raw intellect or educational potential accurately in humans.

    2. You are not going to be able to control for sociological, cultural, and economic differences between groups. Period. It won’t happen. Ultimately these have always become studies of socioeconomic class and cultural differences in education.

    3. Race, especially with regard to blacks and whites in this country, is largely a social rather than genetic construct. There has been so much mixture over the last 400 years that there is no meaningful way to distinguish between people by skin color and have any realistic way to evaluate what that says about their genetic identity. If someone is the result of multiple crosses, let’s say 5, but has dark skin, are they still black? Or white? Genetically they may be a minority white, but culturally they may be black. The distinctions are not genetically meaningful and my grossly simple example of why this is flawed doesn’t even begin to cover the different possibilities of racial heterogeneity of someone who is ultimately stamped “black” or “white” in this country.

    4. Who cares? What are we going to do with this information except fuel the bigots with more BS science? Maybe one day this question might be interesting, but I can think of about 500 other things that should have priority, in these fields other than sorting out which race wins the absurd IQ war.

  26. #26 Ryk
    February 16, 2009

    Hardly clueless. Observant more accurately. Women and blacks were not, as you say, excluded because they were proven to be less intelligent. They were excluded because people with a vested interest in oppressing them claimed, without evidence, that they were less intelligent.
    We no longer have the option of making blatant generalizations like that because they are easily proven wrong. Countless women and blacks for example have demonstrated their intelligence and worth, people who dispute that are widely condemned and ridiculed. Even if it were proven that men were on average less intelligent than women it could not be used as a basis for excluding an intelligent and qualified man because he could prove he is intelligent and qualified. Blinding ourselves to knowledge because we fear stereotypes doesn’t eliminate those stereotypes it gives them power.

  27. #27 razib
    February 16, 2009

    There has been so much mixture over the last 400 years that there is no meaningful way to distinguish between people by skin color and have any realistic way to evaluate what that says about their genetic identity.

    genetic tests make it rather easy to distinguish the constructed identities of blacks and whites. only a tiny minority of blacks are assigned as white, an only a tiny minority of whites are assigned as black. black americans are 20% white, on average. a large minority are 50% or more white, but very few have so little african ancestry that their africanness ancestry is not obvious.

    in any case, as it happens, turns out that skin color and blood quanta correlate well among black americans.

  28. #28 Colugo
    February 16, 2009

    Christopher Wills: review of The 10,000 Year Explosion by Cochran and Harpending

    http://tinyurl.com/cdr3lx

    “They spoil their argument by contending that the majority of the differences that have an impact on individuals are differences between one racial group and another, rather than those within individual racial groups. … (T)hey … make the entirely specious argument that human evolution is like that of domesticated dogs, where between-breed differences are far more important than within-breed differences.
    … By de-emphasising within-group variation, the authors ignore some of the most powerful trends in our recent rapid evolution and resurrect dangerous arguments about the importance of racial differences.”

  29. #29 Insulin
    February 17, 2009

    Luna, your points about discriminatory ideologies that do not evaluate people individually are of course correct as far as they go, which is pretty far. And these racist & sexist ideologies certainly still exist in many circles in western society. However, I doubt that sexism is the main cause, or a majority cause, of eg the quite low share of Ivy League physics professorships held by women. I would think that most women who are candidates for such positions in the first place, are mainly moving in rather enlightened elite circles throughout most of their lives. I remain open to persuasion – but lots of people on the other side act like it’s a rather certain fact that discrimination is the primary cause of this phenomenon, an attitude that seems hard to justify… and which is made quite concrete in their attacks on certain Harvard presidents who dare mention these matters aloud.

    That’s basically why I support free inquiry in this area, even though it is a bit of an uncomfortable business. I think some beefs about discrimination are unfounded, so if women are less likely to exceed the population 99.99th percentile in physics than men, or if women just enjoy physics a bit less on average, I think it would be enlightening to find this out. If anyone practices tilted or ideological IQ science, I hope they will be called out on it, and I think it likely that they will be – today more than ever. I do believe it is possible, for at least some people, to examine these things dispassionately and do objective work. I could, if this were my field. Various in-the-know people like to point out that, contra the conventional public wisdom, there are indeed more than a few scientists who are significantly biased about what they study. True dat… and yet there are nonetheless a fair number of scientists who do carry objectivity almost to the point of a fetish or religion: humble before nature’s facts, proud of their readiness to give up their suspicions, hypotheses, theories, and convictions even, if new data call for that.

  30. #30 Colugo
    February 17, 2009

    Insulin: “If anyone practices tilted or ideological IQ science, I hope they will be called out on it…”

    Michael Hart and Frank Salter certainly appear to have ideological agendas, no matter how rigorous or unbiased they may believe their science to be.

    Michael Hart, organizer of the Preserving Western Civilization conference.
    http://preservingwesternciv.com/about.html

    A favorable review of Frank Salter’s On Genetic Interests.
    http://www.amren.com/store/on_genetic_interests_rev.html

    Salter’s book is clearly prescriptive as well as descriptive.

  31. #31 ogunsiron
    February 17, 2009

    Black guy here , so don’t presume cluelessness or “priviledge” or whatever you want to call it and sorry for the length:

    As to most people, it’s obvious to me that these issues are loaded. Of course they are .That so very few people move beyond those feelings of dread is a problem though , imho.

    I for one absolutely do not believe in the ” race is nothing but a social construct” idea. Racial substructure is real for the simple reason that for most of human history, humans reproduced with those they were most similar to and/or who were geographically closest to them.

    There were significant geographical barriers (deserts , mountain ranges , oceans, etc )to population movement placed here and there on Earth and this resulted in relative isolation of continental populations from one another. There may even have been cultural or political barriers which played the same role. This doesn’t mean that migration or moving around didn’t occur! It just seems to have not occurred that often !

    In any case , as razib has pointed out, it seems extremely easy to distinguish individuals belonging to 2 populations that haven’t mixed that much, such as black and whites in the USA. I’m not sure how well one could automatically sort out brazilians or mexicans according to self-assigned race, but the method seems to work VERY well for american populations, precisely because of the rather low level of mixing between blacks and whites in the USA.

    So at least in the USA context here is such a thing as black and whites who are *biologically distinguishable*! It’s as simple as that. It’s *not true* that there’s no biological basis for race. Just *not true*. Greg Laden and Gould say otherwise but their fight seems political above all. You may say that I’m political too. Ok fine, but only one side is telling the truth, political spin or not, and it should be possible to tell which side’s story fits reality the best.

    Whether differences in IQ are genetic, environmental , or both is theoretically at least an empirical question. There should be a way to answer this, and many have been trying , with varying motives.

    Based on my readings and else, I think a genetic component to the difference exists. I don’t *know* this as a fact but I see no reason at all to rule it out out of hand . Maybe my reading has been one sided..Time will tell.

    I find it strange that there aren’t any black or black african scientists actively working on these topics. What if black people are *really , in fact* disproportionately affected ( because we’re of course talking about group characteristics , proportions, percentage and not essences here ) by what can be very reasonably be called a serious handicap ? Why aren’t african economic development people at least curious or even *alarmed* ? If this problem is real, is it something that should be ignored ? Really ? Because Gould and Rose said so ?

    Yes those are delicate topics, so they need to be approached with care . They’re important though so i think they need to be approached.

  32. #32 Insulin
    February 17, 2009

    Colugo – I don’t know the figures in the field well enough to evaluate them individually (maybe I should have acknowledged that clearly above).

    I guess there is a distinction to be made between someone whose knowledge drives certain political views (subject to revision), someone in whom politics drive views on matters of fact, and someone in whom it’s a mix. That makes it very hard to sort out. The first type of person could have certain politics, yet with virtually no impingement on his objectivity – but it’s rather difficult to identify this type of person on the ground in any particular case, even though I am personally fairly convinced that this type is not rare.

    I have read a little about Salter at GNXP and tried to puzzle it out. Whether or not Salter is properly detached as a thinker – a question which does matter somewhat – at least he presents a clear idea about evolution/genetics which can be detached from him rather cleanly. If I recall, Harpending thinks there may be something to it, but I’m certain Cochran adamantly maintained that Salter was flat wrong.

  33. #33 ogunsiron
    February 17, 2009

    insulin :

    Frank Salter seems to be basically worshiped by the majorityrights.com crowd and they’re a scary crowd ( some of them at least). With that said, Salter either makes some sense or he doesn’t. Well intentioned people should be able to use Salter’s science if his claims are real.

  34. #34 Deny This
    February 17, 2009

    MarkH wrote:

    “This has been covered again and again, the best being Mismeasure of Man by Gould”

    I agree, Gould’s dishonest piece of hack work is the best the anti-IQ side has been able to come up with. That it still gets invoked as an authority despite being resoundingly and widely debunked highlights how weak the race-IQ denialist case is. And it has been debunked. Start with “Neo-Lysenkoism, IQ and the press” by Bernard D. Davis.

    “You can train people to think better, it’s that simple.”

    High IQ people are especially easy to train to think better. Low IQ people, not so much.

    “But we typically just use it to stamp someone stupid and move on to the next kid.”

    Could you name the U.S. school districts that use IQ testing to do that?

    “Ultimately these have always become studies of socioeconomic class and cultural differences in education”

    There’s been a huge amount of work to seperate out those factors. Not that you care.

    “There has been so much mixture over the last 400 years that there is no meaningful way to distinguish between people by skin color and have any realistic way to evaluate what that says about their genetic identity”

    Bullshit.

    “Who cares?”

    That’s what creationists say about evolution.

    “What are we going to do with this information except fuel the bigots with more BS science?”

    Despite being unfamiliar with any of the current research you feel qualified to describe it all as “BS”.

  35. #35 Sigmund
    February 17, 2009

    I think there does exist a problem of ignorance of genetic variation that confounds public understanding of this issue.
    Lets hypothesis a situation where we do all the controls we can think of and the data comes back that one population (say, the Irish) has a lower IQ on average than every other population.
    What should that mean in terms of an Irish Job or University applicant?
    Should it mean they are automatically placed at the back of the queue?
    If one understands the variation inherent in human populations one should recognize the problem of extrapolation from the group level to that of the individual.
    Any reasonably large human population will contain individuals with higher intelligence than the average for the world population as a whole and as such ‘race’, however you care to define it should never be a limiting factor.

  36. #36 razib
    February 17, 2009

    out of curiosity, any other coloreds here besides ogs & myself? ;=) or is dan’s house the white house.

  37. #37 razib
    February 17, 2009

    salter’s work is really normative IMO.

  38. #38 DrugMonkey
    February 17, 2009

    Further, I wonder exactly what you are driving at.
    -snip-
    Or are you just saying that in the future no one will care about IQ by race or want to study it?

    I am saying that MacArthur’s take on Rose’s final paragraph is missing the point. It is on the one hand an optimistic point that is backed by my example. Just because something seems of pressing scientific interest now does not mean it will always be so.

    On the second hand, the eventual loss of interest suggests a certain interpretation of the motivations in the first place-although this is less clearly the intent of Rose. I should say underlying motivations. The societal level interest is bigoted and racist. This does not by any means require that those scientists trying to answer the questions on the front lines are themselves motivated by bigotry which is where MacArthur goes astray in his interpretation.

  39. #39 razib
    February 17, 2009

    DM, dan also beats his wife, fwiw.

  40. #40 Colugo
    February 17, 2009

    “salter’s work is really normative”

    Sure, if by that you mean deriving ought from is.

    If we owe our genes and their interests total fealty, perhaps each one of us should endeavor to clone ourselves, or better yet, induce our cell lines to evolve into transmissible cancers and infect the rest of humanity (like Cochran’s neandertal speculation).

    That’s aside from the problem of his notion of ethnic nepotism, which seems to stretch kin selection beyond the breaking point. It’s an overextension even of group selection.

  41. #41 Insulin
    February 17, 2009

    Ogunsiron, I think you are pretty right about Laden’s views.

    Genes do mix and flow at least a bit even if people move very short distances (like 2 miles); real migrations or movements aren’t totally necessary, though they lead to larger effects. Gene flow fails totally to occur only if people in each town or county never mate with people in neighboring towns/counties.

    But like you say, the main point is, there is well-defined genetic variation which corresponds to geography. This analogy isn’t absolutely perfect, but it’s pretty close: if you put some red, some blue, and some yellow watercolor on a variably damp-to-wet piece of paper and let the colors sort of run together, you get a lot of complexity. There will be an area that is pretty much straight-up red. Parts of the border of this red area will be pretty well defined; parts will be pretty vague/gradual. Only at the edge of the paper will the border be absolutely perfectly well-defined – which would be like the edge of the Pacific ocean, or the Himalayas, in genetic geography.

    Laden seems really, really focused on the fact that it’s usually impossible to draw a perfectly well-defined line between races or ethnic groups, unless you are up against the Pacific or the Himalayas. I would put more emphasis on the fact that the color of every point on the watercolor paper is perfectly well-defined. Also, the distribution of colors within any arbitrary zone on the watercolor paper is perfectly, 100% well-defined. Say we define on the spectrum a continuum where zero is pure blue, 1000 is pure red, and we are interested in the purple color values ranging from 503 to 507. I can draw an arbitrary zone on the paper, and divide this zone into a hundred, or a trillion pixels, and then tell you exactly how many pixels in this zone have a color value between 503 and 507.

    Likewise, I can give the exact frequency of some gene in the human population of Chicago, or Illinois, or any arbitrary zone defined anywhere on the earth. These things are 100% well-defined. So is the distribution of human skin tones, or whatever, found in any arbitrary zone anywhere on earth. Exactly X percent of people in the portion of mainland Italy south of Y latitude have a skin tone between A and B, or a height between 72.1 inches and 72.2 inches, and so on for every other microslice of height values. Nothing vague about it at all, even though the idea of an ethnic Italian is made rather vague by the smooth transition to more French-like gene frequencies as you move toward the French border.

    (Of course, I should add for anyone who might be reading who doesn’t know much genetics, human genomes are all very similar individual by individual and population by population, but here I’m only talking about the differences. Actually, there are very few if any gene variants found only or mainly in France; mainly what varies is the frequencies; in France 43% of people have gene variant XYZ, and in Italy 37% do, and so on for all ~22,000 human genes.)

    There’s still a lot we don’t know. The Flynn effect is pretty weird. It would be a lot easier to make sense of if it weren’t so damn large. Hopefully the black-white IQ difference in the USA will keep going down (if it indeed is; many think so) and black IQs will continue to rise though white IQ has stopped rising. (I mean, it would be preferable on the whole if white IQ would also keep rising, but you know what I’m sayin’.) There are strong arguments that IQ in Africa can probably also go up significantly with better environments. If the mean IQ in Africa (and much of the rest of the world) remains in the end a few or several points below 100, as seems pretty likely in my non-expert opinion – then it is possible something specific should be done on the policy front, as Ogunsiron suggests. It’s possible, though not guaranteed, that some headway could be made by a specific discipline that aims to figure out how advanced infrastructures can be developed and maintained by countries with mean IQs below 96, below 91, or whatever – not that IQ is the sole factor in non-advanced economies being non-advanced. Of course, this specific discipline/awareness already exists to an extent, informally and unspokenly; whatever views they may espouse, people don’t go about trying to assist Ghana or Bangladesh in exactly the same way they went about trying to help Japan (back in the 1940s and 50s). It’s not clear how much, if at anything, can be gained by being more explicit about this.

  42. #42 razib
    February 17, 2009

    If we owe our genes and their interests total fealty, perhaps each one of us should endeavor to clone ourselves, or better yet, induce our cell lines to evolve into transmissible cancers and infect the rest of humanity (like Cochran’s neandertal speculation).

    *shrug* you know the background. salter has white nationalist associates way back. he was an activist at one point himself, and white nationalists still claim he is friendly to them in his private life. he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about cloning, he’s just mining the theoretical models to support his preexistent norms.

    as you note, he’s extended kin selection in a really weird way. you don’t have to worry about someone like him or kevin macdonald, they’re jokes. now, some of the other stuff you say….

  43. #43 insulin
    February 17, 2009

    Ogunsiron – yeah, I did notice some pretty thick wackiness and unenlightenment surrounding Salter when I googled him back them.

    I agree with you exactly that Salter’s ideas could be useful. Ethnic affinities obviously exist sometimes, whether or not it has anything to do with Salter’s idea. In a mixed-ethnicity society, we have to recognize ethnic affinity, because it’s a factor in our effort to make a cohesive if not necessarily fully-blended society. Everyone understands that to some degree, but intellectuals have a particular role in exploring the possibilities formally and explaining what they think of to the rest of society. If Salter’s idea turned out to be right, then of course it would be part of the explanation intellectuals would give about ethnic affinities.

    It’s kind of like, I always think if I had kids I would totally explain to them about evolutionary psychology and in relation to the theory of parent-offspring fitness conflicts (especially in terms of crying and whining) and sibling fitness conflicts. In my mind – which is probably not exactly how it would turn out in reality – I could calmly explain to my kid why he would sometimes have gratuitous hostile feelings against his sibling, and he shouldn’t really feel guilty about it, which maybe just makes things worse, but anyway he damn well better keep it in check. Somehow I doubt this would lead to perfect enlightened tranquility, but it might help. Personally I was a definite jerk to my little sister (for no reason) until I was ten years old or so, when she pretty rapidly became my best friend, for no apparent reason – it seems pretty clear it was just a biological program in my brain. I wonder what would have happened if when I was six someone tried to very patiently and repetitively explain to me approximately how it all worked. I could have at least understood I was an animal (literally) with totally natural tendencies that were in conflict with how things should be.

    In the same way, ethnic affinity (which implies a degree of ethnic friction) should be studied; the results might help people deal with their feelings in an optimal way.

  44. #44 Colugo
    February 17, 2009

    Rushton, of course, is also a white nationalist. (C of CC, Amren…) I hate to skirt the genetic fallacy (what an appropriate term) but where would modern human biodiversity (an appropriation of the term) AKA race realism be without him? (And MacDonald is hardly a joke – despite the virulence of his ideology – given the respect DS Wilson has for some of his work.)

    I do not believe it is yet time to passively accept Cochran, Harpending, Hawks, Moyzis, Lahn, and Haidt’s suggestion that there are substantial racial/ethnic differences in genetically determined potential & biases in intelligence, temperament and/or moral values.

    New data on population differences in frequencies in alleles – a number of which are expressed in the brain – will keep coming, and these will inevitable be related to differences in income, education, criminality, gross national product and so on. Candidate smoking guns for the HBD case like microcephalin will come and go, and there will be flurries of excitement. So the HBD set will probably have fuel to last decades. But we still have a lot to learn about developmental psychobiology, epigenetics, and epistatic networks. It is premature for the HBDists to pop the champagne.

    As for accelerated positive selection: sure, I can buy that. But just how accelerated? Perhaps it’s been grossly overestimated due to surfing and hitchhiking. We’ll see.

  45. #45 Colugo
    February 17, 2009

    Note: By “hardly a joke” I mean that McDonald is really not all that marginal in terms of prominence and influence, especially in the HBD world. (Certainly not in Steve Sailer’s haunt VDARE.) A joke in other respects, sure. And how marginal is Salter given that Harpending contributed an appendix to his magnum opus? Frances Cress Welsing, MacDonald and Salter ain’t.

  46. #46 Colugo
    February 17, 2009

    I ought to clarify another of my points: population differences in allele frequences will inevitably be used to *attempt* to explain group differences in criminality, income and so on (religiosity, promiscuity…). Whether these genetic differences actually explain these race-level sociological phenomena is another matter.

  47. #47 insulin
    February 17, 2009

    DM – ok, I understand your comment better now that I know what you were responding to. Now that I grasp what you were saying, I see my above reply to you didn’t make much sense.

    > The societal level interest [in this stuff, today] is bigoted and racist. This does not by any means require that those scientists trying to answer the questions on the front lines are themselves motivated by bigotry which is where MacArthur goes astray in his interpretation.

    That’s pretty fair. There are non-scientists with a non-bigoted interest in these questions, but on the whole, on the societal level in the USA, a more or less bigoted interest is pretty prominent. I guess that comes close to being the crux of the matter. The tense energy on this topic exists largely because we all know that 733t doods like us can have a high minded thread like this one, but the results of it out in broader society are a lot harder to predict.

    I guess I feel like Rose’s ideal colorblind and gender-blind society is – not that he claims otherwise – pretty far from reality. As such, it could be quite valid for making philosophical points, but the relevance of those points could be in question. Ethnic affiliative feelings can exist under many circumstances. In another world, the pre-1800 world – a more desperate one where poverty was a much stronger promotor of untimely death via disease or via military attacks from abroad – people were not real inhibited about using ethnic affiliation to savagely oppress other ethnies in order to gain material advantages. We still try to cope with that inheritance. Today the same old-school chauvinisms persist primarily in the lower economic strata of society. Minorities and women are advantaged in many elite realms – and surely some good does come of it – based on blank slate theories that are arguably at least not fully true. The blank slate theories IMO indirectly promote anti-occidentalism and, more directly, immigration policies which I find risky in the long run. But I can understand disagreement. Ending affirmative action (which would be my preference) could also have good effects; it provokes resentment and ending it could make whites less interested in borderline-virulent forms of bigotry. None of these ideas are novel, and lots of people argue about them… but in the end no one can quantify all these risks or hoped-for benefits, or all the ones I haven’t even broached… as I already said, uncertainty is prominent.

  48. #48 Dan
    February 17, 2009

    ogunsiron and Deny This,
    Re: Gould and Mismeasure of Man, I didn’t see anywhere in there any mention that race doesn’t exist. (I just finished reading it about a month ago). His argument what that reification of intelligence into a single monolithic value (a quotient) has no scientific merit (see other theories of intelligence), and that differences in quality of education more than explains differences in apparent intelligence.

    So the way I read Gould is that he was ambivalent on whether race exists, but education level heavily outweighs genetics when it comes to intelligence across subgroups. Or is there some other writing of his aside from Mismeasure where he explains his views on race?

  49. #49 Susan
    February 17, 2009

    The problem I have with the idea of race and intelligence is that we really don’t have a very clear definition of what “intelligence” is. If we have a gifted musician and compare them to a person who has an unusually profound understanding engineering and machine building, to a computer gaming programmer, to my grandfather who never attended highschool, worked all his life as a stonemason but spoke six languages and built his own house from scratch (including all the wiring and plumbing). My grandfather would have done crappy on an intelligence test but he was far from stupid.

    It’s not about race, it’s about culture. A second generation Japanese kid in the U.S, would probably perform poorer on an I.Q. test then a Japanese kid in Japan would. That’s because Japanese culture focuses more on education and discipline then U.S. culture does. Why do Jewish people, a relitivly small segment of the global popluation, excell so much in intelluctual persuits such as math and science and stand up comedy? Do they posess a superior intelligence? Do they have a better sense of humor? Or does Jewish culture base a lot of importance on education?

    I think the best you can hope for is you might discover one race has a slight advantage when it comes to some aspect of intelligence, like better memory or spatial recognition skills or something. But so what? Really why do we need to know this? The question isn’t uncomfortable, it’s stupid it’s a waste of time and money. The main reason why it’s pointless to ask these “dangerous” questions is because the mesurment of I.Q. is statistical and not quantitative. There are too many variables that define intelligence and when you base something on statistical analysis it’s too easy to interpret the results any way you want. There’s no such thing as I.Q. science.

  50. #50 Daniel MacArthur
    February 17, 2009

    DrugMonkey – I’m finding it reasonably hard to follow your arguments, but it seems like there are two separate criticisms mixed in there.

    The first is this:

    The societal level interest is bigoted and racist. This does not by any means require that those scientists trying to answer the questions on the front lines are themselves motivated by bigotry which is where MacArthur goes astray in his interpretation.

    The quotation I gave from Rose says, “In a society in which racism and sexism were absent… [questions about group differences in cognition] would not even be asked.” [my emphasis] This obviously implies that anyone who asks these questions is themselves a bigot, since (according to Rose) if there were no bigots such questions would never even arise.

    Firstly, this is obviously wrong – in a world where racism and sexism did not exist, but in which there were overt group differences in cognition, questions about these differences would be perfectly viable and interesting scientific pursuits; to claim otherwise is absurd.

    Secondly, Rose is implicitly poisoning the well here by defining anyone who even raises these issues as a bigot. That effectively seals the whole area off from investigation, which I think is totally inappropriate from a scientific point of view.

    I’ll freely admit that a substantial amount of the public interest in this area is driven by xenophobia, and the association of some prominent HBD researchers with white supremacist groups is disturbing. Still, the fact that racists are interested in group differences in cognition doesn’t mean that these questions could only possibly be interesting to racists, and Rose’s insinuation to the contrary is anti-scientific.

    Your second argument is that it seems likely that the issues of black/white or male/female differences in cognition will eventually be uninteresting or irrelevant, in the same way that Irish/non-Irish differences are today. That may well be the case, but obviously we don’t know this until the questions have been asked and answered scientifically; and in any case, how does this speculation justify Rose’s pre-judgment of anyone interested in these issues as a bigot?

  51. #51 Christophe Thill
    February 17, 2009

    I suggest a research program on the psychology of Jews, and the causes determining their well known personality trait: an immoderate love for money. Does it come from genetic causes? Are there cultural reasons linked to their history as a group? Or religious influences?

    Hey, all science is ok, so no one could possibly find this offensive, right?

  52. #52 ac
    February 17, 2009

    Daniel, you misrepresent Rose by cutting off his last sentence:

    “The problem is not that knowledge of such group intelligence differences is too dangerous, but rather that there is no valid knowledge to be found in this area at all. It’s just ideology masquerading as science.”

    We make choices every day about the problems we choose to study, and the hypotheses we choose to test. You can’t just pick any question – it needs to be a question for which your inquiry can result in an increase in useful knowledge. In Popper’s language – your hypothesis must by falsifiable in principle, and there is no point doing the work if it’s not falsifiable in practice. In more Bayesian terms, your research ought to be able to adjust your prior belief. Rose argues that in questions of race an intelligence it is simply not possible to do meaningful science. Then there are questions of research ethics and morality.

    When you choose to spend your research capital (intellectual and monetary) testing the hypothesis that one ‘racial group’ are less intelligent than another you are supporting prejudice. You are doing this in three ways: by making the question seem civilised; by providing cover for more politically motivated race scientists; by risking producing results that are statistically underpowered or ambiguous such that they can be use to support racism.

    I simply can’t see why anyone would touch this research while there are more pressing, more interesting problems to be solved.

  53. #53 Mu
    February 17, 2009

    One point that’s missing in all this (and what would be an interesting reason to really try to study racial differences) is average vs. outliers.
    Looking at professional sports, you have a high representation of blacks. This doesn’t automatically say blacks have better physical development than all other races, only that the top 3000 out of 30 Millions have. Ditto on Ivy league professors, you probably find a very high ratio of Asian decent there – so this might not mean anything at all since a lot of those are actually first generation immigrants, specifically chosen for intelligence out of a pool of 3 Billion.
    I think the argument “you can’t study race and property x due to bias” should only motivate us to do better science, not cave in to political correctness and leave the question to be “answered” by the pseudo-scientists and bigots.

  54. #54 bsci
    February 17, 2009

    I think the discussion of the Rose piece is missing the key quote from that article, “To meet the canons of scientific enquiry a research project must meet two criteria: first, are the questions that it asks well-founded? Research based on the assumption that burning coal releases phlogiston fails this test. And second, are they answerable with the theoretical and technical tools available? ”

    The issue is not just whether or not it is ethical, it is whether it is good research. The Ceci and WIlliams piece that holds up non-experts with big mouths has heros for the cause of racial & intelligence studies answers part of that question.

    The answer here is that studies with the top-line goal of examining race and intelligence are simply not good research. Race isn’t a social construct, but to classify the descendants of American slaves as black for the sake of black vs. white research studies ignores the fact that the population is hugely genetically diverse (The descendants of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings are far from the exception).

    Good research can indirectly examine race. If one says there are genetic links to various aspects of intelligence, then study genetics. Identify target genes or do population studies that link genes to intelligence. Study other biochemical factors such as hormone levels. These types of studies also can control for socioeconomic status in ways that plaque most of the current races studies.
    Some studied factors might correlate with race, but the goal of the research is to understand intelligence and not make broad-brush, oversimplified observations about race.

  55. #55 trrll
    February 17, 2009

    The quotation I gave from Rose says, “In a society in which racism and sexism were absent… [questions about group differences in cognition] would not even be asked.”

    Scientifically speaking, this is quite correct. While the genetics of intelligence are likely to be scientifically interesting, looking at race is not a good way to go about it. When you want to identify the effects of genes, you don’t look at populations that are genetically different at a large number of loci, you look at large families where the amount of genetic difference is limited, making it much easier to isolate correlations of genetic markers with phenotype. At this time, I can’t imagine any scientifically valid motivation for investigating correlations between intelligence and those phenotypic differences that are identified as “racial.” Given the inevitable misuse of the results of such studies, and their limited scientific value at the present time, it is hard not to suspect the motives of those who advocate them.

    On the other hand, at some point in the future, once genes that affect intellectual capacity are identified, there will be valid scientific interest on the evolution of such traits, which will necessarily involve genetic studies of populations from different parts of the globe, so sooner or later science will end up confronting the issue of intelligence and “race.”

  56. #56 Tulse
    February 17, 2009

    The Flynn effect is pretty weird.

    The Flynn Effect is the elephant in the room that pretty much undermines any talk of the importance of genetics, much less race, in the development of IQ. Unless one can account for it, it is ludicrous to look at race and IQ.

  57. #57 Ryk
    February 17, 2009

    Christophe Thill wrote:
    “I suggest a research program on the psychology of Jews, and the causes determining their well known personality trait: an immoderate love for money. Does it come from genetic causes? Are there cultural reasons linked to their history as a group? Or religious influences?

    Hey, all science is ok, so no one could possibly find this offensive, right?”

    This proposed research is offensive only in that it targets a particular group based on stereotypes rather than evidence.
    The questions asked by the proposed study seem legitimate and inoffensive. A study that undertook too explain whether there was a racial basis for acquisitiveness could be interesting and valid. Conducting such a study would be difficult in the extreme because of all the variable factors, but the premise is not offensive. Answers to those questions could in fact be useful. They could answer other questions such as “Is valuing the acquisition of wealth a survival trait in a society or is it a liability.” or “Is there a positive correlation between horded wealth and reproduction.” These seem like useful things to know. His only fallacy was in directing your inquiry at a particular race when it should have been directed at humanity as a whole.

  58. #58 Matt Springer
    February 17, 2009

    “I suggest a research program on the psychology of Jews, and the causes determining their well known personality trait: an immoderate love for money. Does it come from genetic causes? Are there cultural reasons linked to their history as a group? Or religious influences?

    Hey, all science is ok, so no one could possibly find this offensive, right?”

    In fact there has been a very large body of work done on the genetics and its epiphenomena in various Jewish populations. Obviously no such thing as a genetic “love of money” exists, or at the very least no research supports it. But if you think for some reason that Jewish populations aren’t interesting to geneticists you’d be wrong.

    All science can do is examine the natural world. If what it happens to uncover is offensive to some people, so much the worse for them. Nature doesn’t care.

  59. #59 Daniel MacArthur
    February 17, 2009

    ac,

    In more Bayesian terms, your research ought to be able to adjust your prior belief. Rose argues that in questions of race an intelligence it is simply not possible to do meaningful science.

    Just to be sure I’m understanding you – your interpretation of Rose’s argument is that there is no experiment or study that could be done that could possibly alter priors regarding group differences in cognition? I find that extremely difficult to believe.

    When you choose to spend your research capital (intellectual and monetary) testing the hypothesis that one ‘racial group’ are less intelligent than another you are supporting prejudice. You are doing this in three ways: [1] by making the question seem civilised; [2] by providing cover for more politically motivated race scientists; [3] by risking producing results that are statistically underpowered or ambiguous such that they can be use to support racism.

    I’ve numbered your arguments for convenience.

    1. The notion that the question of group differences in cognition is “uncivilised” is precisely the topic at issue. Is it appropriate to simply denote certain domains of enquiry as out-of-bounds for civilised scientists? Who gets to make such decisions?

    2. This would be most effectively addressed by more open scientific discourse, which is precisely what you are choking off by defining the area as “uncivilised” a priori. If some scientists are performing politically-motivated research of poor quality, they will be rapidly unmasked if the field is also populated by other researchers generating unbiased, high-quality data. If the field is politically off-limits this will not be the case.

    3. This is a reason for focusing on the production of high-quality science, not a justification for sealing an area off from investigation.

    More broadly, to what extent should science be guided by a desire to avoid generating results that might be used to justify prejudice? This is a genuine question; I don’t have a simple answer myself, although I do lean fairly heavily towards the “not at all” camp.

    I simply can’t see why anyone would touch this research while there are more pressing, more interesting problems to be solved.

    This is a much more reasonable argument. So the important question is: are there positive outcomes that might result from the study of group differences in cognition that would justify research investment in this area?

    I honestly haven’t thought about this question enough to answer it intelligently, but it strikes me that there are many people here who strongly believe, a priori, that such differences do not exist. So here’s a question for these readers: wouldn’t it be worth investing in high-quality research in this area simply to establish once and for all that no such differences exist?

  60. #60 trrll
    February 17, 2009

    to what extent should science be guided by a desire to avoid generating results that might be used to justify prejudice?

    This is a risk-benefit question. It seems to me that if there were some substantial benefit to such a study (identifying genetic diseases affecting cognition, perhaps, or using genetic information to devise more effective individualized courses of study) and if this were the best way to go about obtaining this information (which it clearly is not) than such research is justifiable.

    I honestly haven’t thought about this question enough to answer it intelligently, but it strikes me that there are many people here who strongly believe, a priori, that such differences do not exist. So here’s a question for these readers: wouldn’t it be worth investing in high-quality research in this area simply to establish once and for all that no such differences exist?

    The notion that no such differences exist is sheer wishful thinking. There is genetic heterogeneity in every other aspect of physiological function that anybody has managed to study, so it is inconceivable that this will not apply to intellect as well. Moreover, since this is a lousy approach to the question of the genetic basis of intelligence, it is virtually certain to yield spurious results that will impede scientific progress in studying the genetics of cognition, as well as being inevitably misused by racists to rationalize their prejudices.

  61. #61 Colugo
    February 17, 2009

    “wouldn’t it be worth investing in high-quality research in this area simply to establish once and for all that no such differences exist?”

    Because there is no “once and for all” with so-called race realists.

    Data on the allele frequencies of thousands of genes, many of which are expressed in the brain, is going to be rolling in for decades. A good number of these will significantly differ between populations, whether distinct ethnic groups (e.g. Jews) or continental races (the classic 3-5).

    There have always been sociological differences in populations as seen in income, political attitudes, values, crime, education etc. Relating allele frequency differences to these sociological differences will keep race realists busy for decades. They are not going to give up at some point and say the premise of race realism – that sociological differences are caused by genetic differences – has been debunked, not sufficiently supported, or are more parsimoniously explained by other factors.

    The Irish becoming white, and nobody caring about the allegedly stupid Irish demographically overtaking the smart Scot, did not lead them to reconsider racial categories and notions of difference. The demise of the 19th c Irish-Scot r-K model is unlamented. The Flynn effect didn’t make them rethink their position. And the flameout of Bruce Lahn’s microcephalin/ASPM theory of why Eurasian civilization overtook sub-Saharan Africa – which for a year and a half they touted as a smoking gun – did not cause any second thoughts.

    Guys like Razib are of good faith and are motivated by scientific interests, but as the thread has shown, there are definitely some white supremacist (I mean, white nationalist) axegrinders cranking out this stuff.

    But if we take Rose’s position that will only validate the sanctimonious free speech martyrdom that race realists thrive on. And that will be regarded as evidence that the “PC police” have something to hide.

    Race realists will run with genomics for a while (and enjoy a more a scientific aura than they did when their stock in trade was pencil and paper tests and speculative reconstructions about the Pleistocene). Over time, our understanding of epigenetics, life history plasticity, niche construction and related phenomena will become more sophisticated and genomics-fueled race realism will likely be widely viewed as being as dunderheaded as pre-WWII scientific racism. But for the time being we’re in for a resurgence of race realism AKA ‘human biodiversity.’

  62. #62 razib
    February 17, 2009

    colugo, fyi, for the past few years i have disavowed that i am a ‘race realist’ because of the clownish of rushton et. al. that being said, this argument is irrelevant because if sequencing gets cheap enough the main expense will be applying something like a raven’s matrices test to subject groups. this isn’t going to be ‘big science,’ so the possibility of not exploring these hypotheses are pretty much 0 in this world so long as our economy doesn’t collapse. it’s not like scientists don’t ever divert funds to small pet projects now and then.

  63. #63 Caledonian
    February 17, 2009

    Colugo, the idea that genetic differences between individuals, and between populations on average, has no impact on sociological outcomes whatsoever is grossly implausible.

    The only way to determine what influence genes have on those outcomes is to study the subject. I can see no valid grounds for objecting to the scientific examination of the topic, nor do there appear to be valid reasons to pressure people to avoid hypotheses that we may find politically disturbing.

  64. #64 Tulse
    February 17, 2009

    if sequencing gets cheap enough the main expense will be applying something like a raven’s matrices test to subject groups

    To what extent do the genetics support the traditional notions of race, that humans grouped by skin melanization are more closely related genetically than other groupings?

  65. #65 razib
    February 17, 2009

    To what extent do the genetics support the traditional notions of race, that humans grouped by skin melanization are more closely related genetically than other groupings?

    frankly, there’s a word for people who think that traditional notions of race are based on skin melanization: morons. now, that does include the majority of the american population.

  66. #66 José
    February 17, 2009

    Finally if we get to Depression-level unemployment, do you believe that affirmative action type stuff will remain? Or that people will not WANT to present their genetic profile with a job application???

    Well, I already try too hide my ethnicity on my resume by changing my name to Joe. I get more responses that way.

    Could you name the U.S. school districts that use IQ testing to do that?

    Franklin Area School District in Franklin, PA. At least that’s what they say they do. But in reality they have a tendency to stick high IQ minorities in remedial classes anyway.

  67. #67 tif
    February 17, 2009

    there’s a word for people who think that traditional notions of race are based on skin melanization: morons.

    Razib, I ask you this because I when I asked Dan (not to be confused with our blog owner Daniel) this next question in one of Greg Laden’s “race” posts (http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2009/02/insisting_that_races_are_real.php) he just refused to engage me. Later on he cited you as one of the reason why he believes “race” is real; so it’s better I get the ‘info from the source,’ so to speak. My question:

    “What are the human ‘races,’ and what are the traits that define them?”

    If you already answered this question, could I have a link to it? If someone else has answered the question better then you can I still get your opinion.

    human genetic and phenotypic diversity forms a continuum, but it’s far from smooth, and recent high-resolution genetic data show a very strong correlation between genetic variation and geographical ancestry. Human diversity isn’t categorical, but simply saying “there is no biological basis for race” is pretty misleading.

    Daniel, perhaps you could clarify things by telling us what you think “race” is? If I were to read your words as you think that “race” is any type of geographic/ancestor/kin “genetic variation” would I be wrong (I’m guessing ‘wrong’ but then help me out).

  68. #68 Godless Materialist
    February 17, 2009

    Of the thousands of categories that exist along a continuum, “race” is the only one that is singled out and said not to exist on that account.

  69. #69 razib
    February 17, 2009

    tif, one of my old posts:
    http://scienceblogs.com/gnxp/2006/04/race_ii.php

    i’m an instrumentalist when it comes to race. categories always fail on the margins. on a deep ontological level it is arguable that nature does not separate into neat divisions except on a very fundamental quantum level.

  70. #70 D
    February 17, 2009

    Razib, from your post:
    One can change the name from “race” to something else, I don’t care, as long as pragmatically oriented people don’t disregard the correlations of alleles which map onto geographical races.

    Given the inanity over word definitions on display in tif’s link, have you considered an actual rebranding from “race” to something else? It would be like liberal -> progressive or sociobiology -> ev psych. It wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) confuse anyone, but at least this particular idiotic discussion might be avoided

  71. #71 razib
    February 17, 2009

    yes. population substructure? intergroup variation? i don’t care. some of my fellow GNXPers thought believe that fleeing from word to word is an endless recurrent cycle, and that a line should be drawn….

  72. #72 Bert Chadick
    February 17, 2009

    Is science an ethics free zone? The question of ethnic or racial difference has proven itself an agent of evil for centuries. If someone can show me the way that the study of racial differences can’t be used as a tool of the most vile human inclinations and ultimately genocide, I’ll go along. Science has a soul (for want of a better word) and must do better for the sake of all of us.

  73. #73 MarkH
    February 17, 2009

    I think deny this seems to have a vested interest in racial purity. He didn’t like my suggestion that (gasp!) there has been mixing of races in this country for hundreds of years. Oh noes! Yes it is a fact that some 95% of blacks in this country also have white ancestry. Think for about 5 seconds why this is the case.

    I think I can smell the ideology. This is who wants this research done so badly people. This is who dreams that we’ll be so stupid as to pursue it as if we’re different from all the other scientists over the decades who fooled themselves into thinking they were safe from bias and then inevitably perform research confirm whatever societal bias exists at the time. We’re just ignoring history yet again and it’s embarrassing.

  74. #74 Dan
    February 18, 2009

    tif,
    Sorry about not responding to you on Greg’s blog. As I said, your tone there had seemed a bit hostile and I just wasn’t comfortable responding to you.

    Mind if I ask why you’re asking nicely from Razib, but were downright threateningly demanding to me?

  75. #75 Sigmund
    February 18, 2009

    As others have no doubt mentioned the whole question of ‘should we or shouldn’t we’ is going to be moot in the post genome sequencing world. Intelligence (however you measure it) will most likely be associated with particular combinations of alleles. Human geneticists are not interested in the race question but in the allele question. In world where we have the genomic sequence of a hundred thousand individuals from all around the world from all walks of life (rich, poor, educated and uneducated) as well as some type of test results that can be used as a marker for intelligence then the race question is going to be posed just as the questions of economics, religion and who-knows-what. I admit that defining some universal standard of intelligence may be somewhat tricky but lets not kid ourselves that there exists any modern society where there are no distinctions between intelligent and non intelligent individuals – the most common of which is the fact that higher education levels and grades are almost always associated with higher degrees of intelligence.

  76. #76 stewart
    February 18, 2009

    Is there anyone here who’s done serious review or actual analysis of the data that’s out there? (I don’t mean Gould, or The Bell Curve, or The Mismeasure of Man, I mean going back to the actual studies). There’s a lot of junk out there, and a huge factor that most of the work has been done in the US, with the huge conflation of social and ‘racial’ issues there. What about Scarr-Salapatek, and work outside the US? For example, Scarr-Salapatek found no difference in IQ between German kids whose fathers were African-American or Caucasian servicemen from the US. Longman et al (2007) found no difference between IQs of various ethnic groups in Canada, but a difference in the US. Why do children from Asian backgrounds (Chinese, japanese, Indian) perform better academically than you would expect on the basis of IQ? Because it’s not an IQ difference, it’s an academic achievement difference.
    Intelligence is a collection of behaviours, with local definitions. It’s highly affected by familial and cultural factors. Of course there’s genetic components to it, but why should these genes differ in frequency between different populations? Interacting with our colleagues and trying to avoid being manipulated is a large driver of intelligence, and it’s essential everywhere. It’s like expecting one population to lack the genes to metabolize carbohydrates.
    I’m sure research in this area is going to continue. But, much of it will be bad research, using samples of convenience with little identification of the social contexts. I’d rather have good research, or no research, than bad research. For example, demonstrating that Zimbabwean children show low IQ’s on average. What does this prove? It disproves a naive genetic equivalence viewpoint that assumes environment is unimportant. No-one holds that view. It doesn’t say anything else. Yet it was published, crowding out real papers that might have been useful for something other than bad examples and fueling racist beliefs.

  77. #77 Daniel MacArthur
    February 18, 2009

    Deny This – if you intend to respond to Mark’s comment, make it more civil than your first comment. There will be no flame war.

    Mark – Deny This’ comment was needlessly offensive, but there’s nothing in it that justifies the claim of a “vested interest in racial purity”. It would be very easy for this discussion to devolve into back-and-forth accusations of hidden political agendas, but let’s not.

    tif – I guess my definition of “race” is very similar to razib’s. If pressed, I’d say something like “genetic and phenotypic clustering of individuals due to shared geographic ancestry”. Note that this definition doesn’t require discontinuities, which seem to be crucial to the definition of the term proposed by e.g. Greg Laden.

    Follow-up post here.

  78. #78 Tulse
    February 18, 2009

    Can anyone explain to me why those who argue that possible “racial” differences are vital to study ignore the much larger Flynn Effect? How are we to take cross-sectional group differences seriously when such huge longitudinal changes are observed, changes that are extremely difficult to account for with genetics?

    And, to echo tif’s question, a lot of folks are talking about the construct of “race” without really defining it. What is a “race”?

  79. #79 catgirl
    February 18, 2009

    All of the above arguments demonstrate that it is completely pointless to study race/sex and IQ. Everyone is already very passionate about their point-of-view, and any new study won’t change any minds. There are plenty of posts that are based on the logic of what evolution would or would not do, that don’t even mention any actual evidence. Then there are plenty of posts about how some evidence is wrong and some is right, and the conclusions about which expert is ‘right’ is most likely based on previously-held beliefs.

    Studying race and IQ would not be used to answer questions or find facts. It would only be used by one side to feel like they are being more scientific while all other viewpoints would discredit the study because it is very likely to be biased. Any study like this would not change people’s minds, and it would only serve to make one group feel more justified in disagreeing with all the other groups. Scientists are susceptible to confirmation bias just like everyone else. In our current social situation, it would be almost impossible to have a non-biased study.

    I think it would be very unlikely for a scientist to end up with a study that disagrees with their position, and even less likely for that scientist to change their belief because of it. Because of this, any study would be more rationalization than science.

  80. #80 DK
    February 18, 2009

    If pressed, I’d say something like “genetic and phenotypic clustering of individuals due to shared geographic ancestry”.

    There exist perfectly good dictionary definition! From The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language:

    Race
    n.

    5. Biology
    1. An interbreeding, usually geographically isolated population of organisms differing from other populations of the same species in the frequency of hereditary traits. A race that has been given formal taxonomic recognition is known as a subspecies.

    H.sapiens populations quite obviously interbreed, used to be very much geographically isolated, differ in the frequency of genetic traits and are not given formal taxonomic recognition. To deny any of this is silly.

  81. #81 Tulse
    February 18, 2009

    H.sapiens populations quite obviously interbreed, used to be very much geographically isolated, differ in the frequency of genetic traits and are not given formal taxonomic recognition. To deny any of this is silly.

    I don’t think anyone is denying this. And examples such as Tay-Sachs and sickle-cell anemia make it clear that certain groups of related humans will have different frequencies of specific genes than other groups. However, I for one very much doubt that a) relative isolation geographically and/or reproductively generally produces large difference in gene frequency, b) that the groups identified in this fashion correspond very well to those traditionally identified as “races”, and c) the genetic frequency differences one will find in such groups are at all practically meaningful in those areas that tend to be the focus of such research, such as intelligence.

  82. #82 Caledonian
    February 18, 2009

    “If someone can show me the way that the study of rapid combustion can’t be used as a tool of the most vile human inclinations and ultimately genocide, I’ll go along.”

    There you are, Bert Chadick: I’ve altered your comment into one that is equivalent in its tone and connotative content.

    Immediately cease the utilization of any substance or technology that ultimately derives from humanity’s use of fire, and perhaps then we will consider your request to similarly abandon things that could potentially be used in a way that violates your ethics.

  83. #83 Sigmund
    February 18, 2009

    Tulse said
    “However, I for one very much doubt that a) relative isolation geographically and/or reproductively generally produces large difference in gene frequency,”
    Really?
    Doesn’t that sort of go against all the prevailing data on how things like genetic drift and natural selection operate to produce genetic and phenotypic differences?
    How about genetic markers like lactose tolerance that are present in high frequencies in some continental populations but nearly absent in others?
    Its difficult to know how to prevent these sorts of questions being asked without banning all research on the connection between alleles and intelligence levels.

  84. #84 Tulse
    February 18, 2009

    Sigmund, let me be clear — I am emphatically not suggesting that research on “race” and IQ be banned. I am merely suggesting that such work is extremely likely to suffer from simplistic conceptions of “race” that don’t actually map onto patterns of descent and associated gene frequency similarities, and a general lack of practical utility given the other non-genetic impacts on the characteristics that are most often trotted out for race research, such as intelligence, tendencies toward violence, and sexual behaviour.

    I have no doubt that, in some cases, there are important gene frequency differences among populations that have historically been reproductively isolated (relatively speaking). I listed two examples of those. But note that those kind of single-allele differences associated with population subgroups that have a significant and practical impact are relatively rare. Also note that, with these examples, the gene frequencies do not map onto standard conceptions of “race” — Ashkenazi Jews have an increased frequency of Tay-Sachs, but Sephardic Jews have a much lower incidence, and French Canadian, Cajuns in the US, and Irish Americans all have elevated frequencies similar to Ashkenazi Jews.

    And this is just a single allele change, where the mechanism is well understood and the effect is not impacted by cultural characteristics — how likely is it that something as vaguely defined, complex, polygenetic, and environmentally/developmentally sensitive as intelligence will show clear genetically-based group differences based on past selection history?

    Put this another way — I think that one could do fine science looking for UFOs, analyzing possible landing sites, interviewing alleged abductees, etc. etc. etc. There is nothing that precludes a sober, objective analysis of this issue, with careful specification of one’s terms and rules for evidence. But those who are the keenest and most insistent on doing such work I generally don’t trust. Likewise with research on race and intelligence. It is certainly possible to define one’s terms sufficiently carefully and explicitly, and to collect data objectively and with appropriate scientific care. But almost all the people who make claims in this area don’t, and clearly have an axe to grind.

  85. #85 Daniel MacArthur
    February 18, 2009

    Catgirl,

    I think it would be very unlikely for a scientist to end up with a study that disagrees with their position, and even less likely for that scientist to change their belief because of it. Because of this, any study would be more rationalization than science.

    Essentially you’re arguing that science is futile in any field in which there are strong passions and/or political controversy. Are you sure you want to make that argument?

  86. #86 Sigmund
    February 18, 2009

    Tulse, there are a huge number of papers coming out in the past couple of years that answer your points about the genetic differences between populations. As a quick example the recent analysis of Ashkenazi individuals with the title
    “A genome-wide genetic signature of Jewish ancestry perfectly separates individuals with and without full Jewish ancestry in a large random sample of European Americans.”
    http://scienceblogs.com/gnxp/2009/01/how_ashkenazi_jewish_are_you.php#more
    From the paper;
    “In conclusion, we show that, at least in the context of the studied sample, it is possible to predict full Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry with 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity, although it should be noted that the exact dividing line between a Jewish and non-Jewish cluster will vary across sample sets which in practice would reduce the accuracy of the prediction. While the full historical demographic explanations for this distinction remain to be resolved, it is clear that the genomes of individuals with full Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry carry an unambiguous signature of their Jewish heritage, and this seems more likely to be due to their specific Middle Eastern ancestry than to inbreeding.”

  87. #87 WhySharksMatter
    February 18, 2009

    I just wrote a post on my blog about these same articles.

    I’m just as irritated with the Left telling scientists we can’t study something because it’s not politically correct as I am with the Right telling scientists we can’t studying something (i.e. stem cells) because it’s morally wrong. Science should pursue truth, regardless of who finds that truth politically inconvenient.

  88. #88 Tulse
    February 18, 2009

    “it is possible to predict full Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry with 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity”

    Right, Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, and not Jewish ancestry. Again, as I noted above, I doubt that the groupings that such research may give us will match up with the colloquial notion of “race”. This would seem to be an example of that, especially when one notes:

    “this seems more likely to be due to their specific Middle Eastern ancestry than to inbreeding”

    …in other words, this is not due to recent reproductive isolation, but instead general Middle Eastern features which presumably would overlap with other peoples of semitic ancestry.

    And even with this analysis, there is no indication that the groupings actually differ on any of the measures that are of such interest to race researchers, such as intelligence.

  89. #89 windy
    February 18, 2009

    Can anyone explain to me why those who argue that possible “racial” differences are vital to study ignore the much larger Flynn Effect?

    Perhaps in the same way that people who do QTL mapping for plant growth don’t spend most of their time talking about how fertilizers boost plant growth? One source of variation does not exclude another possible source of variation.

    Of course the Flynn effect warns us that any genetic study might easily be confounded by environmental variation. Gene-environment interactions will be very difficult to test in humans. But it’s not true that we can’t look into genetics at all without controlling for all possible sources of environmental variation, since we are already doing things like QTL analysis in wild animal populations.

  90. #90 razib
    February 18, 2009

    since we are already doing things like QTL analysis in wild animal populations.

    humans aren’t animals silly suomalaiset.

  91. #91 Ben
    February 18, 2009

    “I thought that the claim that there was any innate difference between human subgroups had been completely debunked by Gould in The Mismeasure of Man.”

    Actually, Gould has been debunked. You should visit Linda Gottfredson’s home page which has numerous articles on psychometric testing if you want to find out more about it.
    http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/index.html

    Also, Professor Steve Hsu has some excellent links to a summary of psychometric research here:

    http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2009/01/psychometrics-links.html

    While the nonscientific reviews of The Mismeasure of Man were almost uniformly laudatory, the reviews in the scientific journals were almost all highly critical (Davis, Bernard D. (1983). Neo-Lysenkoism, IQ, and the press. The Public Interest, 74, 41-59).

    Gould spends a lot of time attacking old testing methods while studiously avoiding more sophisticated tests that strongly predict academic performance (and that the army still uses). For instance, East Asians (eg Japanese & Chinese tend to do very well on the non-verbal section of the tests, which is consistent with their above average performance in math/science subjects – see Dan Seligman’s “A Question of Intelligence”).

    Gould also says “Thurstone dispersed g as an illusion” but this is horrendously misleading (see John Carroll’s review Intelligence 21, 121-134 (1995), (also, Jensen Contemporary Education Review Summer 1982, Volume 1, Number 2, pp. 121- 135.)

    David J. Bartholomew, from London School of Economics, who has writtena textbook on factor analysis, also explains in “Measuring Intelligence: Facts and Fallacies” where Gould goes wrong in this area.

    Gould’s factor analysis is incorrect..http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2006/09/some-notes-on-g-and-factor-analysis.php

    Gould also makes some misleading comments about the early performance of Jewish migrants on psychometric tests. Goddard never found that Jews as a group did poorly, and there is no evidence the tests were used in passing the 1924 Immigration Act (see, Franz Samelson (1975, 1982), Snyderman & Herrnstein 1983). Also, see (Cochran, Gregory; Hardy, Jason; and Harpending, Henry (2006): “Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence”. Journal of Biosocial Science 38(5):659-693 SEP 2006.)

    http://homepage.mac.com/harpend/.Public/AshkenaziIQ.jbiosocsci.pdf

    Gould states that Morton “doctored” his collection of results on cranial size, but J. S. Michael (1988) remeasured a random sample of the Morton collection he found that very few errors had been made, and that these were not in the direction that Gould had asserted.

    He attacks Cyril Burt for fabricating his twin studies, but books since Gould’s first edition came out have vindicated Burt (Joynson (1988) and the other by Ronald Fletcher (1991). Further, twin studies since show average heritability from these studies of 75%, almost the same as Burts supposedly ‘faked’ heritability of 77%.

  92. #92 Ben
    February 18, 2009

    “It’s not about race, it’s about culture. A second generation Japanese kid in the U.S, would probably perform poorer on an I.Q. test then a Japanese kid in Japan would. That’s because Japanese culture focuses more on education and discipline then U.S. culture does. Why do Jewish people, a relitivly small segment of the global popluation, excell so much in intelluctual persuits such as math and science and stand up comedy? Do they posess a superior intelligence? Do they have a better sense of humor? Or does Jewish culture base a lot of importance on education?”

    See the paper by Cochran, Hardy & Harpending, “Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence, Journal of Biosocial Science 38 (5), pp. 659–693 (2006).

    http://homepage.mac.com/harpend/.Public/AshkenaziIQ.jbiosocsci.pdf

    Note that Cochran and Harpending’s thesis about Ashkenazi Jewish IQ is subject to a cheap, simple experimental test: see whether heterozygotes for the diseases have higher IQ’s than their non-carrier siblings. Yet, years later, the study still hasn’t been done because it’s too non-PC.

    If you look at recent research, New Scientist noted in December 2005:

    “A detailed look at human DNA has shown that a significant percentage of our genes have been shaped by natural selection in the past 50,000 years, probably in response to aspects of modern human culture such as the emergence of agriculture and the shift towards living in densely populated settlements…

    “This analysis suggested that around 1800 genes, or roughly 7% of the total in the human genome, have changed under the influence of natural selection within the past 50,000 years… That is roughly the same proportion of genes that were altered in maize [corn] when humans domesticated it from its wild ancestors. Moyzis speculates that we may have similarly ‘domesticated’ ourselves with the emergence of modern civilization.”

    We don’t know what these 1,800 genes do. It will take years to figure out the uses of each one. You can’t rule out the possibility they will affect things like athletic or cognitive ability.

  93. #93 Ben
    February 19, 2009

    “But so what? Really why do we need to know this?”

    Well, having a blank slate view can lead to persecution of successful groups who are perceived to have an unfair advantage (see Armenian Jews, Chinese in Malaysia etc).

    Peter Singer has written about this in the Darwinian Left:

    “A Darwinian left would not: deny the existence of a human nature, nor insist that human nature is inherently good…[would not] assume that all inequalities are due to discrimination, prejudice, oppression, or social conditioning….”

    And, what if you lived in a European today, and your government is trying to figure out what to do about the rock bottom birth rate. Someone notes that there are millions of people in the Africa with rather large families, so just invite them in. Of course, this idea presupposes that Nigerians and Germans are interchangeable, and if they are, maybe it will all work out. But what if they’re not? What if the black-white IQ gap is as much a function of nature as it is of nurture? We know that low IQ correlates with a boatload of social pathologies. What would become of the country if it became half-African over the course of the next 100 years? Would it go the way of Zimbabwe or South Africa?

  94. #94 Ben
    February 19, 2009

    Some people make slippery slope arguments, suggesting that this kind of research will lead to genocide. However, as David Friedman points out here, history shows this is bogus. For instance, the Nazis actually banned IQ testing because Jews performed above average on them.

    http://daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/2007/10/ethnic-cleansing-other-horrors-and.html

  95. #95 Tulse
    February 19, 2009

    this idea presupposes that Nigerians and Germans are interchangeable, and if they are, maybe it will all work out. But what if they’re not? What if the black-white IQ gap is as much a function of nature as it is of nurture? We know that low IQ correlates with a boatload of social pathologies. What would become of the country if it became half-African over the course of the next 100 years? Would it go the way of Zimbabwe or South Africa?

    Thanks, Ben, for pointing out what seems to underlie a lot of the interest in race and IQ research — basic raw racism.

  96. #96 Caledonian
    February 19, 2009

    Tulse, Ben’s comment was in no way racist. If your standards actually identified it as such, I think you need to rethink your standards.

    But I suspect that you’re simply trying to label a hypothesis that you don’t like with a label which signals others to reject it out of hand.

    What scientifically valid reasons do we have to reject the hypothesis Ben mentions? If (as I believe) there aren’t any, are you willing to say that we should alter the standards of science to rule out such consideration? What reasons would you offer for such a change?

  97. #97 Ben
    February 19, 2009

    “Thanks, Ben, for pointing out what seems to underlie a lot of the interest in race and IQ research — basic raw racism.”

    Possibly. But given that we constantly read news stories complaining of group disparities in academics, earnings & health why shouldn’t IQ be looked at? There is loads of research that shows IQ has considerable explanatory power in terms of outcomes in these areas.

    The alternative, Tulse, is that we end up demonising more successful groups as has happened to Armenian Jews, Jews in Germany, & the Chinese in Malaysia. Because with your blank slate view the only explanation is institutional or societal unfairness. And that leads to resentment.

    And in terms of immigration, can you tell me why IQ should not be considered?

  98. #98 Tulse
    February 19, 2009

    Caledonian:

    What scientifically valid reasons do we have to reject the hypothesis Ben mentions?

    That “black” and “African” are not genetically homogeneous groupings, but crude race-based terms that mask genetic diversity within Africa that is greater in some instances than between individual groups of “blacks” and “whites”.

    That the “the black-white IQ gap” has been in fact closing for many years (the Flynn Effect is especially marked in “blacks” living in developed countries), and thus that there strong counter-evidence to the claim that such difference is “nature”.

    That using IQ as a measure of intellectual potential for those in Africa ignores such obvious confounds as education, nutrition, parenting, and other environmental and developmental factors that have a vastly larger impact on one’s actual IQ (regardless of the possible limits placed by genetics), and such impacts would not (generally) be an issue in the developed countries of Europe and the West in general.

    How are those scientifically valid reasons for starters?

    Ben:

    Possibly.

    Thanks for acknowledging at the least the possibility that the suggestions made are based in racism — Caledonian seems to claim otherwise.

    why shouldn’t IQ be looked at?

    I have never said that it shouldn’t, merely that using race as a proxy for IQ is racist. I think one can indeed study the genetic bases of IQ, to the extent that we can define some notion of a unitary cognitive ability of “IQ” in a useful manner (which some have questioned). I am dubious, however, that the genetic bases will involve differences in allele frequencies that map onto crude notions of “black” and “white” race, or that the genetic differences will prove to be anywhere near as significant as other determinants of cognitive abilities, or generally societal success.

    The alternative, Tulse, is that we end up demonising more successful groups as has happened to Armenian Jews, Jews in Germany, & the Chinese in Malaysia.

    Wow — justifying racism against blacks by citing the Holocaust, that’s a neat trick.

    And just to clarify, since the Jews were the successful ones in Germany, yet were exterminated, how does keeping less smart immigrant out solve this problem? I don’t understand the purported logic here.

    Because with your blank slate view the only explanation is institutional or societal unfairness.

    I have never made the claim that everything is a “blank slate”, so let’s be sure we’re arguing about what has been actually stated, and not straw men. I do think that there is a lot of evidence for environmental factors in these issues — that does not deny the possibility of genetic contributions, but the evidence for environment is generally far stronger.

  99. #99 Ben
    February 19, 2009

    “And just to clarify, since the Jews were the successful ones in Germany, yet were exterminated, how does keeping less smart immigrant out solve this problem?”

    I wasn’t suggesting it would solve the problem of racism or other conflicts. The reason I think it should be used in immigration is because low IQ is linked to so many social problems (education, poor health, welfare dependency etc). As economies & society becomes more complex it becomes even more of a problem as there will be a lack of reasonable jobs.

    “Wow — justifying racism against blacks”

    I don’t justify racism against anyone. I was saying that blaming societal disparities purely on environmental factors can lead to unfair persecution of those who are seen to be privileged. IQ seems to have considerable explanatory power. It is also seems apparent that, for whatever reason, group differences exist. But rather than treat people as individuals educators look at group outcomes & then blame disparities on some institutional bias.

    Here is a classic example “Higher learning: More middle-schoolers leapfrog into advanced classes — but are minorities being left behind?”

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/education/orl-middle1509feb15,0,7368875.story

    Professor Linda Gottfredson has written extensively about these issues:

    Gottfredson, L. S. (2005). Implications of cognitive differences for schooling within diverse societies. Pages 517-554 in C. L. Frisby & C. R. Reynolds (Eds.), Comprehensive Handbook of Multicultural School Psychology. New York: Wiley.

    http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/2005cognitivediversity.pdf

    Gottfredson, L. S. (2006). Unmasking the egalitarian fiction. Duke Gifted Letter, 6(3), 10.

    http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/2006DukeGifted.pdf

    Gottfredson, L. S. (2004). Schools and the g factor. The Wilson Quarterly, Summer, 35-45.
    Won the 2005 Mensa Press Award.

    http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/2004schools&g.pdf

    Gottfredson, L. S. (2004). Realities in desegregating gifted education. In D. Booth & J. C. Stanley (Eds.), In the eyes of the beholder: Critical issues for diversity in gifted education (pp. 139-155). Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.

    http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/2004desegregatingGiftedEducation.pdf

    Gottfredson, L. S. (2003). The science and politics of intelligence in gifted education. Pages 24-40 in N. Colangelo & G. A. Davis (Eds.), Handbook of gifted education (3rd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

    http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/2003giftedpolitics.pdf

  100. #100 Ben
    February 20, 2009

    “And just to clarify, since the Jews were the successful ones in Germany, yet were exterminated, how does keeping less smart immigrant out solve this problem? I don’t understand the purported logic here.”

    It doesn’t. My comment was simply that if IQ predicts a number of social outcomes, it makes sense to use it in immigration decisions.

    “Wow — justifying racism against blacks by citing the Holocaust, that’s a neat trick.”

    No, I’m pointing out that assuming groups are equal can lead to persecution too. This is because group disparities must therefore be due to some societal or institutional unfairness.

    If government agencies viewed people as individuals, rather than looking at group outcomes, then one of the reasons for looking at race & IQ would fall away. However, by insisting on looking at group outcomes, looking at the reasons for group disparites (including possible biological reasons) becomes unavoidable.

  101. #101 Sigmund
    February 20, 2009

    Tulse said,
    “I do think that there is a lot of evidence for environmental factors in these issues — that does not deny the possibility of genetic contributions, but the evidence for environment is generally far stronger.”
    I agree with you 100% there.
    My main discomfort with the current direction of this discussion is that there seems to be a significant number of individuals who are saying we cannot apply the standard skeptical approach to this matter. If we cannot ask “whats the evidence for that?” of ANY matter it has ceased to be science and has become a question of politics. I see the question of intelligence or academic potential correlation with genotype as being scientifically valid (the priority is another matter – its certainly way down my list) but perhaps not currently politically viable.

  102. #102 Tulse
    February 20, 2009

    “And just to clarify, since the Jews were the successful ones in Germany, yet were exterminated, how does keeping less smart immigrant out solve this problem? I don’t understand the purported logic here.”

    It doesn’t.

    Then I have no idea why you brought up the Jews in Nazi Germany.

    My comment was simply that if IQ predicts a number of social outcomes, it makes sense to use it in immigration decisions.

    And, oddly enough, I have never said anything about using IQ for making immigration decision, just using race as a proxy for IQ, which opens the doors to naked racism. Many countries already take into account academic background and career skills in their immigration process, though, so I don’t see that using raw IQ would be all that helpful, especially since what we’re presumably interested in is immigrants who will be productive citizens, and not smart but unemployable (like a lot of grad students I know).

    “Wow — justifying racism against blacks by citing the Holocaust, that’s a neat trick.”

    No, I’m pointing out that assuming groups are equal can lead to persecution too.

    Right, because the Nazis thought that Jews were equal to them. Seriously, WTF?

    If government agencies viewed people as individuals, rather than looking at group outcomes, then one of the reasons for looking at race & IQ would fall away. However, by insisting on looking at group outcomes, looking at the reasons for group disparites (including possible biological reasons) becomes unavoidable.

    In terms of immigration, governments generally do only look at individual qualifications. Again, what the hell is your point, and how does it make contact with reality?

  103. #103 insulin
    February 20, 2009

    > Then I have no idea why you brought up the Jews in Nazi Germany.

    He explained above. They were persecuted in large part because of their economic overachievement. Yet it is likely IMO that the Cochran-Hrdy-Harpending is true, and their mean IQ is higher largely because of their heterozygote-advantage alleles (which cause disease when homozygous). Understanding this (if it does turn out to be proven true) means one has less cause for resenting their mean wealth, which I assume is still well above the gentile mean.

    > And, oddly enough, I have never said anything about using IQ for making immigration decision, just using race as a proxy for IQ, which opens the doors to naked racism.

    I don’t believe anyone has suggested that. I can’t speak for Jared Taylor or whatever extremists since I have no interest in their thoughts and haven’t read em. No one – and I mean no one – who I have read who is aware of this sort of research and against affirmative action favors the use race as a basis for discrimination; they favor evaluating individuals purely as individuals.

    > Many countries already take into account academic background and career skills in their immigration process, though, so I don’t see that using raw IQ would be all that helpful, especially since what we’re presumably interested in is immigrants who will be productive citizens, and not smart but unemployable (like a lot of grad students I know).

    That’s a solid point as far as it goes. But if you are here in the US as I am, notice that our de facto policy re central america doesn’t necessarily include any screening on any basis at all, since a large percentage of those immigrants are illegal and the state arguably doesn’t try very hard to deport them.

    Here’s a random fact: not only do women now have parity in med school enrollment, they have 78% of the spots in US and UK vet schools – and are still gaining at least in the UK! Yet women’s sharp under-representation in Ivy physics professorships is mostly due to subtle discrimination in these ultra-Brahmin institutions and the highschools and societies that feed into them.

  104. #104 Caledonian
    February 20, 2009

    “How are those scientifically valid reasons for starters?”

    Wrong answer. Those are not valid reasons to reject the hypothesis. They are valid reasons to reject the hypothesis that the difference comes only from nature.

    You’re rejecting the possibility that any of the difference comes from genetic inheritance. That’s very difficult to do, and requires strong evidence which we do not possess; in fact, we possess quite a bit of evidence which indicates the opposite.

    “Understanding this (if it does turn out to be proven true) means one has less cause for resenting their mean wealth, which I assume is still well above the gentile mean.”

    Quite right, insulin. Demonstrating that European-ancestry Jews have a real biological advantage (statistically speaking) is good counterevidence against the claim that Jewish good fortune comes from shady dealings and cheating. It’s hard for white supremacists to maintain their credibility when it’s shown they really are inferior to (some) Jews.

  105. #105 Tulse
    February 20, 2009

    Caledonian:

    You’re rejecting the possibility that any of the difference comes from genetic inheritance

    Um, NO.

    Honestly Caledonian, let’s debate what is actually said, rather than straw men. I have never said that it is impossible than group differences in IQ are due to genetics. Never. What I have said is that evidence shows that a) genetically-related groups don’t map on easily to crude notions of “race”, b) the Flynn Effect suggests that any such differences are unlikely to be due to genetics, c) environmental/developmental impacts are a far more likely explanation for most of the differences seen among different nations/continents, d) such impacts are also likely to account for far more of the variance in IQ in general than genetics, and e) “intelligence” is a poorly-characterized notion that, as best understood, involves multiple cognitive abilities and thus its genetic basis is extremely likely to be extremely complex.

    insulin:

    Understanding this (if it does turn out to be proven true) means one has less cause for resenting their mean wealth, which I assume is still well above the gentile mean.

    The claim was about the persecution of the Jews in Germany — is your claim seriously that if the Nazis understood this, they wouldn’t have persecuted the Jews? Really?

    “And, oddly enough, I have never said anything about using IQ for making immigration decision, just using race as a proxy for IQ, which opens the doors to naked racism.”

    I don’t believe anyone has suggested that

    Yes, Ben did right in this thread, when he said:

    Of course, this idea presupposes that Nigerians and Germans are interchangeable, and if they are, maybe it will all work out. But what if they’re not? What if the black-white IQ gap is as much a function of nature as it is of nurture? We know that low IQ correlates with a boatload of social pathologies. What would become of the country if it became half-African over the course of the next 100 years?

    He is not proposing that all immigrants be tested for IQ, he is worried about the “black-white IQ gap” and “Nigerians” and the country becoming “half-African”. In other words, he is using race as a proxy for IQ.

    our de facto policy re central america doesn’t necessarily include any screening on any basis at all, since a large percentage of those immigrants are illegal and the state arguably doesn’t try very hard to deport them.

    And once again we show that the real issue isn’t the genetic basis of IQ and its possible connection of genetically related groups, but instead political concerns about race. What the hell does immigration from Central America (which excludes Mexico, by the way, since it is in North America) have to do with the discussion at hand?

  106. #106 insulin
    February 20, 2009

    Tulse,
    Serious persecution of the Ashkenazim had a long history – centuries. I should have been more clear that I wasn’t talking only about the Nazis; in context it did sort of look like I was talking only about them. Anyway, if one does look at the broader history, there was lots of relatively milder, broader-based, less entrenched antisemitism that might have been more alterable by a “fax from the future” about the Cochran-Harpending-Hrdy hypothesis. And it was that history that led up to the Nazi position on the Jews. Granted, once you reach the point of Nazi extremism, such a fax from the future would not have been effective.

    > He is not proposing that all immigrants be tested for IQ, he is worried about the “black-white IQ gap” and “Nigerians” and the country becoming “half-African”. In other words, he is using race as a proxy for IQ [and I am doing the same vis-a-vis Mexicans and central Americans].

    Well, now I can understand where you are coming from in your choice of words. But I think you are misinterpreting. Ben and I are simply talking about a narrower scope of possibility than you are. It’s certainly possible that five million Nigerian immigrants could come to America in 2010-2020 and that they could have a mean IQ of 100, or 110. But it’s very unlikely. Thus, I think Ben was simply making the reasonable assumption that any large group of immigrants from any third world nation would have a mean IQ under 100. (Ethnic Europeans and northeast Asians being the only ethnic groups with mean IQs of 100+, at least so far.) If that is indeed what he meant, that doesn’t imply that he actually wants to use race as a proxy for IQ in immigration criteria. Likewise, when I mention de facto unregulated immigration from Latin America into the USA, it’s formally possible, but overwhelmingly unlikely based on known data, that the millions of illegal Latin American immigrants (or the legal ones) have an IQ of 100+. That’s what I meant. I didn’t mean that individuals should be judged using race as a proxy, or that blanket laws should be applied to immigration from certain countries. But I do think the future mean IQ of the USA is a very valid concern.

  107. #107 Tulse
    February 20, 2009

    lots of relatively milder, broader-based, less entrenched antisemitism that might have been more alterable by a “fax from the future” about the Cochran-Harpending-Hrdy hypothesis

    So you think that anti-Semitism arose because people thought Jews were genetically inferior, and not because they were envious of their economic success, associated them with the murder of Jesus, or viewed their cultural isolation with suspicion? Sorry, I find it preposterous in the extreme that the multitude of pogroms the Jews experienced in Europe might have been somehow alleviated if folks were told the Jews were just naturally smart.

    I think Ben was simply making the reasonable assumption that any large group of immigrants from any third world nation would have a mean IQ under 100.

    First off, means have nothing to do with individuals, and if we’re talking about immigration policy, we are generally talking about approving specific individuals, so I’m not at all clear why race enters into this at all. Second, I am willing to bet that there are various non-African nations, whose inhabitants have light skin, that nonetheless would have a national IQ mean of below 100 (a lot of former Soviet Eastern Europe, for example). Third, as I pointed out earlier, if environment and development are indeed much larger impacts on IQ than genetics, allowing such folks in will have little impact on future generations, because when the immigrants’ offspring are provided with good nutrition, enriched education opportunities, etc., their IQs will increase (and indeed, we see this already as “black” IQs are increasing in the US faster than “whites”).

    If that is indeed what he meant, that doesn’t imply that he actually wants to use race as a proxy for IQ in immigration criteria.

    Then why did he make such comments? If the concern is letting stupid people into the country, why not just say that, rather than comment on skin colour? I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it.

    Likewise, when I mention de facto unregulated immigration from Latin America into the USA, it’s formally possible, but overwhelmingly unlikely based on known data, that the millions of illegal Latin American immigrants (or the legal ones) have an IQ of 100+.

    I think their economic impact on the US (both negative and positive) is a far greater concern than whether they impact the national IQ. In any case, this gets us rather far afield from the topic of this thread, which is whether IQ is related to genetic differences among genetically-related groups.

    I do think the future mean IQ of the USA is a very valid concern.

    Then support Head Start, school nutrition programs, enriched after-school programs, and prenatal care programs. Encourage parents to read to their children. Support increased spending on basic research. Fight against anti-intellectualism, such as creationism in schools. If you’re really concerned about the national IQ, it is much more effective to worry about these aspects than to be concerned with immigration (especially since the kind of immigration you seem to be worried about will have little impact in US competitiveness — the jobs these folks are likely to find do not generally depend on major intellectual ability).

  108. #108 insulin
    February 20, 2009

    You seem to suggest that according to me the pronounced non-integration of the Ashkenazim, etc, were not likely factors in their treatment by european gentiles – in fact I didn’t say that. A phenomenon can have many causes.

    If you don’t agree that recognition of the Jews’ genetically higher mean intelligence (if indeed they have such) could have altered the history of european antisemitism, there’s probably not much I can say to convince you. Counterfactual history is a gestalt kind of thing, and very speculative. It’s barely worthwhile for a non-expert, which is what I am.

    First off, means have nothing to do with individuals, and if we’re talking about immigration policy, we are generally talking about approving specific individuals, so I’m not at all clear why race enters into this at all.

    That’s why I raised US policy towards Latin American immigration in the first place. That policy is, de facto, to pretty much “approve” any individual who immigrates illicitly. Which, in effect, means the whole population of Mexico is more or less approved for immigration to the US. Mexico is a population with a mean IQ below 90. The subset which carries out legal or illegal immigration to the US probably varies very little from Mexico’s national mean.

    In other words, I don’t object to a policy that allows all Mexicans of IQ 120 to immigrate to the US. Or, as you prefer, Mexicans with certain qualifications – say, a PhD in physics. Race should not be a criterion applied to individuals, but again, we are essentially letting in anyone from Mexico – we are de facto “approving” the whole population for immigration, not selected individuals. Thus, enthicity, vis-a-vis IQ, applies to the US immigration debate.

    (Since you use a generally non-american spelling of “colour,” I’ll assume you may be from elsewhere and may need to be informed that we have 11 to 12 million illegal immigrants, ~80% from Latin America. Total pop of the USA is 300 million.)

    In reality, it’s a bit harder to only bring in people with an IQ above 100, whether we do that using IQ itself, or using an intelligence proxy like education attainments, etc. For one thing, they generally want to bring family. For another, since adult IQ may have a narrow-sense heritability around 0.7, peoples’ children will typically regress to the population mean. So if a husband and wife both have an IQ of 105, but come from a population with a mean of 87, their descendants’ mean IQ will be in between.

    Also, “swiping” all the high-IQ people from foreign countries does engender moral qualms in me. For example, as I recall, the USA has grabbed a ton of doctors from the Phillipines, to an extent which creates a serious problem. In fact, I feel this is really rather terrible. These people send massive remittances back to their native countries. However, their grandchildren will probably send a lot less – and if IQ variance within the Phillipines is indeed singificantly genetic (which is actually a separate question from whether the population mean gap between the US and the Phillipines is significantly genetic), then the negative effect of emigration on the mean IQ of the Phillipines will be largely permanent. One more reason to answer these questions about genes and IQ and also allow them into polite society.

    Then why did he make such comments? If the concern is letting stupid people into the country, why not just say that, rather than comment on skin colour? I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it.

    He mentioned a population (Nigeria), not a skin color. We agree race cannot be a proxy for IQ in individuals, but nationality/population is relevant to whether mass immigration from country XYZ should be allowed. Many on the far left would prefer to greatly liberalize immigration from basically all countries. Race is relevant only because it tallies with the IQs of populations – as I mentioned, europeans and northeast asians are the only ancestralities in the world, so far, with mean IQs of 100+ (or close). Ergo, with respect to most countries, an open borders policy would be IQ-lowering for the west, and ethnicity has to do with that.

    As you mentioned, Iberian and east european mean IQs have often measured at more like 95, it seems (I’m not an expert) – though they still seem to cluster above the middle eastern, latin american, and southeast asian populations which come next.

    I think their economic impact on the US (both negative and positive) is a far greater concern than whether they impact the national IQ.

    I agree that the economic impact is of primary importance. However, the mean IQs of nations are highly correlated with their GDPs. IQ may be highly significant economically. See “IQ and the wealth of nations.” I haven’t read it, and it’s certainly been criticized from some quarters; however, the correlation claimed is so high that it would still be of interest if it were cut by a large fraction.

    The correlation only becomes more impressive if you correct for extraordinary mineral wealth (oil, diamonds, gold) and for economic retardation due to communism (North Korea sucks despite high IQ; South Korea does fine; China’s breakneck growth and now Vietnam’s robust growth follow conversions to cryptocapitalism).

    Generally in the west we are always trying to reduce the economic inequalities in our countries – bringing in more people in the 70-95 range certainly won’t help; supply and demand.

    Then support Head Start, school nutrition programs, enriched after-school programs, and prenatal care programs. Encourage parents to read to their children. Support increased spending on basic research. Fight against anti-intellectualism, such as creationism in schools. If you’re really concerned about the national IQ, it is much more effective to worry about these aspects than to be concerned with immigration (especially since the kind of immigration you seem to be worried about will have little impact in US competitiveness — the jobs these folks are likely to find do not generally depend on major intellectual ability).

    My information, secondhand, is that Head Start has rarely or never been measured as having an effect on adult IQ (which is quite a bit more heritable than pre-adult IQ). I’d be glad to read anything that shows otherwise if it cites data.

    My opinion is that immigration will affect future US competitiveness much more than any known intervention a la Head Start, and that lower-IQ people will be disproportionately affected. The general trend for decades has been for low-IQ/low-skilled people in the west to get creamed economically – or at best hold static in standard of living while others get way richer. This will probably continue, as it probably has to do largely with technologic advances (mechanization), trade liberalization (equals competition from cheaper overseas labor), and the ongoing expansion of teeming nations like China and India into ever higher skill brackets (call centers, manufacturing, tele-tutoring). Just three years ago or so, USA grocery stores filled up with self-checkout counters – that’s probably 40 less jobs per 100,000 people right there. I don’t see why the value of low-skill and unskilled labor in the west should rise.

    Only measurements convince me. I don’t know of any Head Start-like intervention that measurably succeeds in the first world, though perhaps some environmental factors depressing IQ in worse environments (ie the third world) are known. I certainly support research into whatever causes the Flynn effect, and policy reflecting it.

    Obviously everything I say above assumes that the population level IQ differences are partly genetic, something which may not be fulsomely proved yet. But I hope you can see why it can be a question of some importance to people not entirely odious or bigoted (which was more or less the original question for the thread as you note). I see you arguing for the preeminence of environmental causes but I don’t see you denying that there could be significant genetic causes. There are indeed studies that support an environmental component far less than 100% – for example studies on the IQ of upper class African-Americans. I haven’t read any of these things myself. There are also some interesting cases like this one, of impoverished high-IQ groups later becoming rich:

    “in Brazil, it is the Japanese who are the highest achieving population. They were brought in as indentured labourers to work the plantations after slavery was abolished in 1888. Yet, today, the Japanese outscore Whites on IQ tests, earn more, and are over-represented in university places. Although they are less than 1% of the total population they comprise 17% of the students at the elite University of Sao Paulo.”

    …but again I won’t vouch for something I haven’t studied myself; the devil is always in the details. All I can say is I’ve heard enough that I would be surprised if the genetic contribution to population mean IQ gaps were insignificant (ie, less than ~15-20%), and I’d also be surprised if this didn’t have significant economic implications.

  109. #109 Ben
    February 21, 2009

    “Then I have no idea why you brought up the Jews in Nazi Germany.”

    There are a couple of reasons. One is that resentment of successful groups can lead to problems if it is felt that success is based on unfairness. However, if you see the results of psychometric testing a lot of the group disparites can be explained.

    As you mention in your post above, one factor was envy of the Jews economic success. However, it is harder to be resentful if the success is earned (ie. the reason they are overrepresented in the professions is due to having a high proportion of highly intelligent people, rather than some underlying bias).

    A more recent example is Satoshi Kanazawa’s paper explaining pay differences in the US: Kanazawa, Satoshi. 2005. “The Myth of Racial Discrimination in Pay in the United States” Managerial and Decision Economics. 26: 285-294.
    http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/MES/pdf/MDE2005.pdf

    Another reason to mention the Jews in Germany is that opponents of psychometric testing often seem to cite the Nazis. Of course they overlook that the Nazis banned tests, because Jews performed well on them. And, as you observe, group persecution isn’t dependent on seeing others as inferior. Cultural isolation or simply being an “out-group” is enough.

    “as I pointed out earlier, if environment and development are indeed much larger impacts on IQ than genetics, allowing such folks in will have little impact on future generations, because when the immigrants’ offspring are provided with good nutrition, enriched education opportunities, etc., their IQs will increase”

    They might. But where is the evidence that the Flynn effect will close the B-W gap? It doesn’t change substantially as you climb the socioeconomic scale. Also the Minnesota Scarr transracial adoption study found
    There are notes of a discussion with Flynn here on Steve Hsu’s site.

    http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2009/01/psychometrics-links.html

    Black children adopted by white families mature to have IQ’s that are consistent with their biological peers and are not higher, due to their rearing; Asian children adopted by white families mature to have IQ’s that are consistent with their biological peers and which are higher than their adoptive parents.

    Also, Sandra Scarr, after conducting the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study: “Within the range of ‘humane environments,’variations in family socioeconomic characteristics and in child-rearing practices have little or no effect on IQ measured in adolescence.” P. 476

    “There is simply no good evidence that social environmental factors have a large effect on IQ, particularly in adolescence and beyond, except in cases of extreme environmental deprivation.” P. 476

    By adulthood, all of the IQ correlation between biologically related persons is genetic. P. 178 Phenotypic g closely reflects the genetic g, but bears hardly any resemblance to the (shared) environmental g. P. 187 Jensen, A. R. (1998). The g factor: The science of mental ability. Westport, CT: Praeger:

    Contrary to “culture” theory, the ethnic academic gaps are almost identical for transracially adopted children, and to the extent they are different they go in the opposite direction predicted by culture theory. The gap between whites and Asians fluctuated from 19 to .09 in the NAEP data while the gap in the adoption data is from 1/3 to 3 times larger. This is consistent with the Sue and Okazaki paper above which showed that contrary to popular anecdotes, the values that lead to higher academic grades are actually found more often in white homes. In other words Asian-Americans perform highly despite their Asian home cultural environment not because of it. And though the sample is meager, I find it interesting that the gap between the black and white adopted children was virtually identical (within just 4-6 points) to the gap between whites and blacks in the general population, just like in the Scarr adoption study.

    [1] Clark, E. A., & Hanisee, J. (1982). Intellectual and adaptive
    performance of Asian children in adoptive American settings.
    Developmental Psychology, 18, 595–599.

    Frydman, M., & Lynn, R. (1989). The intelligence of Korean children
    adopted in Belgium. Personality and Individual Differences, 12, 1323–1325.

    Winick, M., Meyer, K. K., & Harris, R. C. (1975). Malnutrition and
    environmental enrichment by early adoption. Science, 190, 1173–1175.

    http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/004064.html

  110. #110 Ben
    February 21, 2009

    “Then I have no idea why you brought up the Jews in Nazi Germany.”

    A couple of reasons. One, as you acknowledged above, economic resentment may have been a factor in what happened. That is why assuming groups must have equal ability can be dangerous. Disparities get blamed on unfairness, when they may simply reflect differences in ability.

    Dr Satoshi Kanazawa has written about this in the context of the US. Kanazawa, Satoshi. 2005. “The Myth of Racial Discrimination in Pay in the United States” Managerial and Decision Economics. 26: 285-294.

    Another reason I mention them, is because opponents of testing and looking at group results scream about the Nazis. But, as said above, the Nazis banned IQ tests. As you say, cultural isolation, religious reasons, or simply being an ‘out-group’ can be enough for persecution to arise.

    “Third, as I pointed out earlier, if environment and development are indeed much larger impacts on IQ than genetics, allowing such folks in will have little impact on future generations, because when the immigrants’ offspring are provided with good nutrition, enriched education opportunities, etc., their IQs will increase”

    Where is the evidence that the environment is a larger factor, or that the Flynn effect will close gaps between groups? Are whites catching up to East Asians, or Ashkenazi Jews? Gaps between groups remain as you go up the socioeconomic scale.

    If you go to Steve Hsu’s site there are notes of a discussion by Bob Williams with Flynn, who apparently doesn’t see the gap closing due to the Flynn effect.

    From Jensen, A. R. (1998). The g factor: The science of mental ability. Westport, CT: Praeger:

    Sandra Scarr, after conducting the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study: “Within the range of ‘humane environments,’variations in family socioeconomic characteristics and in child-rearing practices have little or no effect on IQ measured in adolescence.” P. 476

    “There is simply no good evidence that social environmental factors have a large effect on IQ, particularly in adolescence and beyond, except in cases of extreme environmental deprivation.” P. 476

    By adulthood, all of the IQ correlation between biologically related persons is genetic. P. 178 Phenotypic g closely reflects the genetic g, but bears hardly any resemblance to the (shared) environmental g. P. 187

  111. #111 Tulse
    February 21, 2009

    Disparities get blamed on unfairness, when they may simply reflect differences in ability.

    Oh please — you honestly think the Holocaust wouldn’t have happened if people thought Jews were “naturally” more economically successful? I think you are being either profoundly naive or profoundly disingenuous.

    Where is the evidence that the environment is a larger factor, or that the Flynn effect will close gaps between groups?

    Here: “blacks have gained 5 or 6 IQ points on non-Hispanic whites between 1972 and 2002.”

    Really, this evidence is not that hard to find, and again, one would have to be either profoundly naive or profoundly disingenuous not to be aware of it.

    I think there are scientifically interesting questions to be asked about what the nature of what we call “intelligence” is, how much this characteristic (or characteristics) is influenced by genetics, and how much and in what way such genetic influence differs across genetically-related groups. What is not interesting is debating this issue with people who have racist agendas, and selectively twist the often poor research for their own ends. I think all that can reasonably be said on this topic has been essayed in this thread, so I for one am done here.

  112. #112 Caledonian
    February 21, 2009

    “Honestly Caledonian, let’s debate what is actually said, rather than straw men.”

    By all means. When are you going to start doing so?

  113. #113 Ben
    February 22, 2009

    “Disparities get blamed on unfairness, when they may simply reflect differences in ability.”

    Oh please — you honestly think the Holocaust wouldn’t have happened if people thought Jews were “naturally” more economically successful? I think you are being either profoundly naive or profoundly disingenuous.”

    Tulse,

    You accuse me of being disengenous, yet you misrepresent what I posted above. I’m not saying it wouldn’t have happened. I’m referring to the general point that if you assume groups are completely equal then disparities must be blamed on some unfairness. You have studiously avoided this point.

    “Here: “blacks have gained 5 or 6 IQ points on non-Hispanic whites between 1972 and 2002.”

    Really, this evidence is not that hard to find, and again, one would have to be either profoundly naive or profoundly disingenuous not to be aware of it.”

    Thanks for referring that to me. I see that the following paper questions that finding, but that’s another matter. Rushton, J. P., & Jensen, A. R. (2006). The totality of available evidence shows race-IQ gap still remains. Psychological Science, 17, 921-922.

    “I think there are scientifically interesting questions to be asked about what the nature of what we call “intelligence” is, how much this characteristic (or characteristics) is influenced by genetics, and how much and in what way such genetic influence differs across genetically-related groups.”

    Great, then I guess we agree on that.

  114. #114 Caledonian
    February 23, 2009

    1. We know that cultural ideas of race aren’t useful to identifying genetic subgroups BECAUSE past research demonstrated that to be the case. Before we did the research, we had no grounds for saying popular racial concepts wouldn’t be useful.

    2. Although not generally useful, in many specific situations, popular ideas match realities. “Jews” as a cultural group don’t have a significantly higher verbal IQ than most populations, only Ashkenazis do. But in the US, almost all Jews are Ashkenazis. Referencing the concept of “Jewishness” for a scientific study wouldn’t be worthwhile, but the word will come up in discussing any results that are found, especially in non-technical contexts.

    3. “African-Americans” can refer to, for example, South Africans of Caucasian descent who have emigrated to America. But in general usage, it refers to blacks (or Negroes, or whatever term you wish to use). It is trivially obvious that such African-Americans are more likely to have certain gene combinations than people who aren’t African-American.

    4. Just because concepts are fuzzy at the edges does not mean that they’re not useful. A person who had one black great-grandparent may or may not appear obviously ‘black’, either phenotypically or genetically. That does not mean that knowing ancestry can’t give us information about the likelihood of someone possessing certain genes!

    These arguments don’t only apply to ‘whites’ and ‘blacks’. We can substitute any group or subgroup you wish that isn’t merely cultural — we could talk about ‘Asians’, ‘Chinese’, ‘Sichuans’, or ‘people in an identified subgroup in Sichuan province’, for example.

    The arguments against investigating links between race and genetically-influenced traits are distortions, misrepresentations, and strawmen. The science WILL be done, the only question is when and by whom. Unpleasant truths will not only be known eventually, but they exist and affect reality whether we know them or not. The best way to deal with bigotry is the truth, even if it’s an ugly and unpalatable truth.

  115. #115 Andrew Callaghan
    February 24, 2009

    The problem of isolating the differences between subjects to a simple problem of ‘Race’ and ‘IQ’ is profound. How does one find a statistically significant number of people of different races but identical culture? I suspect that people coming from similar cultures are going to have similar IQ’s. This is because the notion of IQ itself is a cultural artifact, peculiar to Western ideology, weighted with Western (predominately male) values. Can we compare the ability to perform calculus with the ability to manage social conundra? How, exactly, does one measure intelligence in a truly objective way?
    So, without a clear proposal of how the study could be in any way ‘scientific’, is it not intellectually dishonest at best, and dangerous at worst, to perform a ‘scientific study’ on a question that lies outside the realm of any real quantitative measurement? Particularly when it is undertaken in such an explosively divisive topic?

  116. #116 insulin
    February 24, 2009

    Andrew Callaghan,
    There is no objective definition or measure of intelligence. That’s easy to concede, and I certainly agree with your desire that things be well-defined. Perhaps social acumen (“having social skills”) is particularly oblique to the sort of intelligence measured by IQ.

    Parenthetically, “less than 100% well-defined” doesn’t mean “totally undefinable” – “not objective” does not mean “without any intersubjectivity at all.” This is very important because not all of life is formal or scientific. In many or most cases, it would be a mistake to deny that to an extent we largely “know what something is” and substantially agree on it, despite substantial disagreement or haze. (Arguably, postmodernist relativism tends to make this mistake.)

    That doesn’t matter, though, when we return to the scientific realm; here we would like things to be extremely clear; otherwise we are not going to claim a scientific validity for our knowledge. IQ can be objectively measured. But it cannot be related to intelligence with 100% clarity, because the IQ test has more than a grain of arbitrariness. What is perfectly objective and measurable are the correlations between IQ and good performances in various concrete activities that are definitely important in our culture. Economic production – doing jobs, being employed, or employing yourself. Doing medical research. Performance in all these spheres is likely to correlate with IQ, and research on such correlations (which I am not expert in) exists. Our ways of doing things like medical research or making parmesan cheese are constrained by the nature of the universe, but are also given a grain of the arbitrary which comes from western culture and are culturally relative. The way medical research should be done or parmesan cheese should be made are not 100% objective or well-defined. But it doesn’t matter. We are doing those things and the way of doing them isn’t likely to change that much by next year or 20 years from now. I want good health and parmesan cheese; so does everyone I know. Thus, these things have salience despite being a bit arbitrary. A given IQ test is somewhat arbitrary but its results are perfectly well-defined; our ways of doing medical research or making cheese has a certain degree of arbitrariness but are highly salient anyway according to virtually everyone; the correlation between IQ test results and excellence in medical research or managing a parmesan cheese factory is much less than 100%, but is well defined. Your factory either delivers X amount of cheese or not – there’s no controversy there. Therefore the IQ test has some objective importance: namely this correlation with salient acts and successes in the economic world. Ergo, it is my opinion that one can dispute the objective importance of IQ only insofar as one does not have any interest in good health, parmesan cheese, a car, a computer, a nuanced system of law which is effectively enforced, etc. Now, I am not engaging in an agon with you, just telling you my view, so I will give up my view with pleasure if you convince me it’s wrong.

  117. #117 insulin
    February 24, 2009

    An addendum. David B at GNXP recently pointed out that you could have a group bias in an IQ test and yet the test results could still correlate with a concrete performance within each group. Say we have a Nevada-biased IQ test. Nevadans score on average a standard deviation higher than Wyomingans, because of certain differences between the two states that are sociocultural, and/or biological (environmental and/or genetic).

    It’s logically possible that the factors for successfully managing a parmesan cheese factory overlap with those that produce the variance on the test scores within in each state, yet are orthogonal to the factors that produce the between-state differences in mean test scores. If so, Wyomingans may appear to be less capable of running my cheese factories, according to the test, but they may in fact do just as well as Nevadans.

    Thus, showing that IQ is in general partially-arbitrary-yet-salient because of its relationship to things like successful management of parmasean cheese factories, does not suffice to prove that the Nevada-Wyoming gap on my IQ test has any salience.

    In reality, it’s hard to imagine a Nevada-biased test which is equally Nevada-biased on every single question. When we examine the results by question, we should find some evidence of group differences in performance on a per-question basis. One GNXP commenter says that such evidence has been hard to find, but I don’t know much about that.

  118. #118 Ben
    February 24, 2009

    “This is because the notion of IQ itself is a cultural artifact”

    Article by Linda Gottfredson discussing how ‘g’ can be measured by psychometric tests & some biological correlates for it:

    http://www.psych.utoronto.ca/users/reingold/courses/intelligence/cache/1198gottfred.html

    Also, see Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2007), 30:135-154 Cambridge University Press:

    “Overall, we conclude that modern neuroimaging techniques are beginning to articulate a biology of intelligence. We propose that the P-FIT provides a parsimonious account for many of the empirical observations, to date, which relate individual differences in intelligence test scores to variations in brain structure and function.”

    http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract;jsessionid=2E0FAE4D
    62ECC1DEF8ED3885C4379E1.tomcat1?fromPage=online&aid=1305780

    Also, EEG studies show increased neural efficiency in the cortex of ‘brighter’ individuals:

    “In the field of physiological study of human intelligence, strong evidence of a more efficient operation (i.e., less activation) of the brain in brighter individuals (the neural efficiency hypothesis) can be found”

    ‘Intelligence and neural efficiency: Further evidence of the influence of task content and sex on the brain–IQ relationship’Cognitive Brain Research
    Volume 25, Issue 1, September 2005, Pages 217-225
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6SYV-4GNCG7K-1&_user=2653470&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000058261&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=2653470&md5=b28c9a39fd30b8e9eb73d4a9aef23f11

  119. #119 Ben
    February 24, 2009

    “This is because the notion of IQ itself is a cultural artifact”

    Article by Linda Gottfredson discussing how ‘g’ can be measured by psychometric tests & some biological correlates for it: ‘The General Intelligence Factor
    Despite some popular assertions, a single factor for intelligence, called g, can be measured with IQ tests and does predict success in life’

    “Some critics of intelligence research maintain that the notion of general intelligence is illusory: that no such global mental capacity exists and that apparent “intelligence” is really just a by-product of one’s opportunities to learn skills and information valued in a particular cultural context. True, the concept of intelligence and the way in which individuals are ranked according to this criterion could be social artifacts. But the fact that g is not specific to any particular domain of knowledge or mental skill suggests that g is independent of cultural content, including beliefs about what intelligence is. And tests of different social groups reveal the same continuum of general intelligence. This observation suggests either that cultures do not construct g or that they construct the same g. Both conclusions undercut the social artifact theory of intelligence.

    Moreover, research on the physiology and genetics of g has uncovered biological correlates of this psychological phenomenon. In the past decade, studies by teams of researchers in North America and Europe have linked several attributes of the brain to general intelligence. After taking into account gender and physical stature, brain size as determined by magnetic resonance imaging is moderately correlated with IQ (about 0.4 on a scale of 0 to 1). So is the speed of nerve conduction. The brains of bright people also use less energy during problem solving than do those of their less able peers. And various qualities of brain waves correlate strongly (about 0.5 to 0.7) with IQ: the brain waves of individuals with higher IQs, for example, respond more promptly and consistently to simple sensory stimuli such as audible clicks. These observations have led some investigators to posit that differences in g result from differences in the speed and efficiency of neural processing. If this theory is true, environmental conditions could influence g by modifying brain physiology in some manner.

    Studies of so-called elementary cognitive tasks (ECTs), conducted by Jensen and others, are bridging the gap between the psychological and the physiological aspects of g. These mental tasks have no obvious intellectual content and are so simple that adults and most children can do them accurately in less than a second. In the most basic reaction-time tests, for example, the subject must react when a light goes on by lifting her index finger off a home button and immediately depressing a response button. Two measurements are taken: the number of milliseconds between the illumination of the light and the subject’s release of the home button, which is called decision time, and the number of milliseconds between the subject’s release of the home button and pressing of the response button, which is called movement time.

    In this task, movement time seems independent of intelligence, but the decision times of higher-IQ subjects are slightly faster than those of people with lower IQs. As the tasks are made more complex, correlations between average decision times and IQ increase. These results further support the notion that intelligence equips individuals to deal with complexity and that its influence is greater in complex tasks than in simple ones.

    The ECT-IQ correlations are comparable for all IQ levels, ages, genders and racial-ethnic groups tested. Moreover, studies by Philip A. Vernon of the University of Western Ontario and others have shown that the ECT-IQ overlap results almost entirely from the common g factor in both measures. Reaction times do not reflect differences in motivation or strategy or the tendency of some individuals to rush through tests and daily tasks–that penchant is a personality trait. They actually seem to measure the speed with which the brain apprehends, integrates and evaluates information. Research on ECTs and brain physiology has not yet identified the biological determinants of this processing speed. These studies do suggest, however, that g is as reliable and global a phenomenon at the neural level as it is at the level of the complex information processing required by IQ tests and everyday life….”

    Also, see Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2007), 30:135-154 Cambridge University Press:

    “Overall, we conclude that modern neuroimaging techniques are beginning to articulate a biology of intelligence. We propose that the P-FIT provides a parsimonious account for many of the empirical observations, to date, which relate individual differences in intelligence test scores to variations in brain structure and function.”

    http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract;jsessionid=2E0FAE4D
    62ECC1DEF8ED3885C4379E1.tomcat1?fromPage=online&aid=1305780

    Also, EEG studies show increased neural efficiency in the cortex of ‘brighter’ individuals:

    “In the field of physiological study of human intelligence, strong evidence of a more efficient operation (i.e., less activation) of the brain in brighter individuals (the neural efficiency hypothesis) can be found”

    ‘Intelligence and neural efficiency: Further evidence of the influence of task content and sex on the brain–IQ relationship’Cognitive Brain Research
    Volume 25, Issue 1, September 2005, Pages 217-225

  120. #120 Andrew Callaghan
    February 25, 2009

    Insulin: yes, the post modernists did indeed throw out the baby with the bath water. I am not suggesting that the realm of science is limited to the speed of falling rocks.
    However …

    “What is perfectly objective and measurable are the correlations between IQ and good performances in various concrete activities that are definitely important in our culture.”

    Of course I would expect a person with an IQ of 70 to be less successful (at making cheese or curing cancer, at least) than a person with an IQ of 110. Should I be surprised when a test that judges performance on values defined by our culture correlates to an ability to perform and succeed within our culture?

    My argument was not about the ability of an IQ test to work within a closed system of what is more or less a monoculture, but its ability to cross the cultural divide. If it can not, I would then argue that to attempt to use it to explore intelligence differences (whatever that really means) between races is impossible. Particularly when the number of IQ points we are talking about is relatively small in the results of these studies, the impact of parallel factors (culture, impact of adoption, dietary factors etc) is literally immeasurable.

    Ben, ‘g’, as far as I can ascertain, is a theorised correlation between a number of diverse tests. Again, I would question the methodology of those tests: What is the number and diversity of subjects? How to establish culturally universal problems? The brain-as-computer model you cite would appear to ignore notions of creativity, or the ability to lie. Where do savants fit in to such a picture? How to explain the curious inability of the physics genius to find a date?

    Humans have and continue to exist with abilities that many will never even recognise, let alone understand and measure. Psychology is still a young science and is only beginning to come to grips with methodology, measurability and bias; hence the rapid rate at which DSM continues to change. What to say of a ‘science’ that problematised sexual orientation until the 1970s? I say this not to disparage psychology but as a caveat: we are talking about the science of human behaviour, not the science of falling rocks. Subject, object and observer all in one: let’s remember our grain of salt.

    Place this in the politically charged context of the question you posit, and you will have problems. Even with the most watertight methodology available, the results will be used, misused and remain disputed, all for political reasons.

    I also hate the way political correctness gets in the way of the expansion of knowledge: it has in some respects created a mini dark age for the past generation. My doubts about the raising of the question certainly are politically motivated: I wonder where such knowledge, if it were obtainable, would take us. I feel uncomfortable objecting to the question on principle, but I do. When that is compounded by sincere questions as to HOW such a question can be objectively asked, I would have to say that our world is just not ready to ask it. I’m sorry, but there it is.

  121. #121 Eon
    February 25, 2009

    @razib: as a person of color, this post frightens me, and makes me wonder if scienceblogs is a welcoming & person-of-color-friendly environment which nurtures diversity and promotes the human dignity of postcolonial peoples & persons of color who reside in white majority societies.

    If you were a person who unusually tall, would you be frightened by a discussion of other traits associate with your height? And wish to shut down objective discussion and inquiry in favor of a nurturing environment?

  122. #122 Daniel MacArthur
    February 25, 2009

    Eon,

    To clarify for you and other readers, since it’s totally unclear from the context: Razib was trolling, which is something he does frighteningly well (see here). He’s actually a sensible person.

  123. #123 Luna_the_cat
    February 27, 2009

    razib appears to like being a troll. I leave what that says about him as an exercise for the reader, but personally, I find it incompatible with the designation of “sensible”.

    But then, some of the things he has decided to use as an opportunity to troll have indicated that it’s not so much about having a sense of humor, and more about just liking to piss on things. Sometimes it just ain’t funny.

  124. #124 Caledonian
    February 27, 2009

    We seem to have reached a consensus: yes, scientists should study race and IQ, without restrictions or limits.

  125. #125 M.Oliverio
    March 6, 2009

    In my opinion, ANY scientific question with merit deserves to tested and tested again and clearly testing the link between genetics and cognitive intelligence is something of great importance to science and humankind. We are all different because of our ancestry and this does somehow affect not only our body type, skin color, gender, whatever, but ability to learn and potential intelligence. But how, we are not entirely sure, and this is what I want to see studied. There are so many different types of intelligences, and often they are favorably biased towards whites (who are usually the creators of IQ tests). I hope studies comparing race/gender/intelligence will reduce racism and sexism in our society by empowering us with the knowledge that we are all different and need to be accepting of everyone regardless of their genetic predispositions. (I am a 21 year old white-italian male biology college student)

  126. #126 Wellsmed
    May 8, 2009

    I think the correlation between race and IQ is a very important topic, and it would be best for scientist to find the truth as soon as possible. More research on cognitive ability and economic development is needed. Older generation of researchers do not dare to touch this hot potato. We need a new generation of researchers to take up this issue and finish it.

  127. #127 Robert Jenning
    October 6, 2009

    I can’t see anything about this line of scientific inquire that is racist. If we can accept that Blacks are more proficient at sports because they are physically superior to other races then why can’t we scientifically test differences in IQ between various races? Why is it always called racism when we discuss Black’s IQ or propensity toward violence?

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