Environmentalists Have Conceded a Lot of Ground in the Race/IQ Debates

The environmentalists have conceded a lot of ground in this debate. I had a strong feeling that they had conceded a lot of ground, but I have never seen any hard proof of it until just now. What is odd is that many of the points that the environmentalists conceded on continue to be used by nonspecialists in academia, on the Internet and especially in popular journalism:

  • IQ tests do not measure intelligence.
  • IQ tests are biased on favor of Whites (and Asians?!) and against Blacks.
  • IQ tests have nothing to do with success in school or work.
  • IQ tests only measure “book learning” which is only one type of intelligence and is not very useful anyway.
  • Variations in IQ are 100% environmental and have nothing to do with genetics – that is, genes play no role in IQ or intelligence.
  • Genes have nothing to do with whether someone ends up upper class, middle class or lower class.
  • IQ shows no correlation whatsoever with brain size.
  • There are no average differences in brain size between the races.
  • There is no way to define intelligence and even if there were, there is no way to measure it.

Every one of these positions has now been abandoned by the main parties in the academic IQ/race debate, yet the nonspecialists carry on as if these questions were still up in the air. Obviously popular culture and the popular media is way behind the times as far as this debate goes.

Rushton notes:

The dust jacket blurb puts Nisbett`s book in the tradition of Stephen Jay Gould`s Mismeasure of Man (1981, 1996). What is striking, however, is how much ground the egalitarians have given since Gould`s effort to debunk race, genetics, and IQ.

Nisbett concedes that general intelligence exists, that IQ tests predict success at both school and work, that scores are influenced by genes, and that in White populations, genes contribute to social class differences. He even accepts that IQ is related to brain size and that “Blacks are sometimes found to have smaller brains than Whites.”

References

Jenson, Arthur and Rushton, Philippe. 2005. Thirty Years of Research on Race Differences in Cognitive Ability. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. Vol. 11, No. 2, 2.

4 Comments

Filed under Genetics, Intelligence, Neuroscience, Psychology, Race/Ethnicity, Science

4 responses to “Environmentalists Have Conceded a Lot of Ground in the Race/IQ Debates

  1. Jason Y

    quote by Robert Lindsay

    Nisbett concedes that general intelligence exists, that IQ tests predict success at both school and work, that scores are influenced by genes, and that in White populations, genes contribute to social class differences. He even accepts that IQ is related to brain size and that “Blacks are sometimes found to have smaller brains than Whites.”

    Well of course those with natural advantages are going to do better in work and school. However, those with natural disadvantages can do things to “make up” for the handicap. Nonetheless, the environment is not geared (in most of the world) to help out the handicapped group.

    When an IQ test is taken, of course, it causes those with natural advantages to shine, while the other group falls behind. That’s no shock.

    Finally, those with natural handicaps often suffer from poor self esteem. If there isn’t any help, then they usually won’t help themselves. They’ll just say “fuck it” and accept their lower mental state. For instance, we all know people who drop out of tough courses on the first try.

    • EPGAH

      So you think people shouldn’t accept their handicaps? Great! Let’s put a person in a wheelchair against the last say, 5 Olympic Gold Medalists. They’ll be so far behind they’ll REALLY have a reason to give up!

      That bullet list Robert gave sounds like every one of your posts!

      Are not countries better when the smarter are in charge?

      Seriously, though,

      “LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS!”
      “Life’s tough, it’s tougher when you’re stupid.”
      “A Man’s Gotta Know His Limitations!”

      One of those I made up, the others are quotes from old Western actors. All three are good advice.

      • Jason Y

        Your making vast exxagerations ep-gah. Of course we can’t let the handicapped play in the NBA. They couldn’t let me play either, even though I can walk and move normally. They couldn’t have even done that when I was in the prime of my life.

        Are not countries better when the smarter are in charge?

        Whoever said the smarter shouldn’t be in charge? The question is should the smarter and stronger help the weaker? In some instances, yes, in other ones no, depending on the situation. Some people, like gangbangers are too far down the road of evil to help.

        “LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS!”

        Iv’e always advocated reforming the welfare system, though not destroying it. Anyhow, a lot of poor people do live within thier means. But it would be much better if the government would make an effort to improve education etc.. so the poor would NOT be poor !

        “Life’s tough, it’s tougher when you’re stupid.”

        Again a reformed welfare system would provide a little negative incentive to make the poor less wasteful, say using welfare as a lifestyle rather than seeking education to become self-reliant.

  2. Johnny

    As someone who has usually tested well even I can see that people who don’t do well on tests aren’t always mentally challenged either. IQ is an interesting factor to consider, but one that is so variable due to numerous factors besides race and ethnicity that it really only serves to divide people when given an identity politics dimension. The role of genetics is quite probably real since it plays a role in numerous ways in how people behave and so on. It is important to remember that IQs change and various groups have seen their IQs go up over generations. What’s different? Sometimes it is environment as well as economics and other factors. Maybe some slow level of evolution even, although true evolution generally takes thousands of years to fully come to fruition. The point ultimately has to be to what end does the study of IQ based on race rather than economics play? A shift to the economic aspect is ultimately what sane democracies do because the alternative is pointless conflict and some people contemplating violence. Not much of a poison to choose from there.

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