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.
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.”
- 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.