I.Q. Debate Adds a Chapter Online


The Inspector!
Oct 20, 2004
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Ever since the Nobel prize winner James D. Watson asserted six weeks ago that Africans have innately lower intelligence, fervid debates about race, genes and I.Q. have sprung up on the Web, in publications and in conference rooms.

But in recent days, along with long-simmering arguments over evidence, have come others about whether the topic is even worth studying, or whether it can be discussed openly without spurring charges of racism.
“It’s a subject that almost dare not speak its name,” said Howard Husock of the Manhattan Institute, a conservative research group, as he introduced a debate Wednesday night between James R. Flynn, the author of a new book “What Is Intelligence?” (Cambridge University Press), and Charles Murray, a co-author of “The Bell Curve,” the controversial 1994 book about intelligence that set off a previous free-for-all on race, genes and I.Q.

The risk of giving ammunition to racists or undercutting principles of equality hovers over such conversations like an uninvited dinner guest. That unwelcome visitor has been loitering at the online magazine Slate since last week, when it ran a three-part series arguing that hard science is showing that blacks’ I.Q. scores are lower than those of whites — and whites’ scores are lower than those of Asians — because of genetically based differences in intelligence.

Appearing on a site with a liberal bent and written by its generally liberal science and technology columnist, William Saletan, the articles drew particular attention — and particular scorn. “William Saletan and the Editors of Slate Demonstrate That They Are Not Members of the Genetic Elite” was the headline on the Web site of the economist Brad DeLong (delong.typepad.com). On his popular political Web site, talkingpointsmemo.com, Joshua Micah Marshall referred to it as “Will Saletan’s nauseating foray into black genetic ‘pseudo-science.’”

Mr. Flynn and Richard Nisbett, two noted researchers on intelligence, also criticized the Slate series as grossly one-sided. Mr. Flynn said he was most persuaded by evidence that the environment causes I.Q. differences, but added that certainty on either side is misplaced given that the research is still in its infancy.
On Wednesday, Mr. Saletan posted a fourth article labeled “Regrets,” confessing that he had not realized that J. Philippe Rushton, a researcher on whom he had heavily relied, is the president of an organization that has financed a segregationist group. He also amended his previous position, stating that it was too early to come to any firm conclusions about the causes of racial differences in intelligence.

“If I had to do it again, I would have been much more circumspect about judging” the evidence, Mr. Saletan said in an interview. He later added that he should have written about inequality and left race completely out of it.
Jacob Weisberg, the editor of Slate, said that since Mr. Saletan is a senior writer, his posts went up without anyone there reading them. “Given the sensitivity of the subject, Will’s commentary should have been carefully edited in advance of publication, and it wasn’t,” he wrote in an e-mail message.

Mr. Weisberg said he was disturbed by the casual “what if” thought experiment and some of the sources Mr. Saletan cited. “I wouldn’t have stopped Will from writing on this subject, but I would have challenged him on these and other issues,” he wrote.

He added that a rejoinder by another Slate writer, Stephen Metcalf, was scheduled to be posted Monday.
Mr. Saletan said he was completely unprepared for the voluminous and vehement reaction. “I did not mean to start a wildfire.”
A subject as sensitive and complicated as this deserves to have a higher level of proof, he said, adding that he erred in treating it like any other topic.

“I don’t agree that it’s best not to discuss it,” he said, but “you have to do it in a responsible way and always with a constructive purpose.” Judging from his own experience, he said, the Internet is not a place where that can be done at the moment.

“I’m a little disappointed in myself,” he added.
Linda S. Gottfredson, a sociologist at the University of Delaware, insists that Mr. Saletan has nothing to apologize for. Ms. Gottfredson, who along with Mr. Flynn had been participating in a separate monthlong online debate about intelligence sponsored by the libertarian Cato Institute, wrote that Mr. Saletan “may be the first journalist to so directly acknowledge the scientific evidence” supporting a genetic explanation for racial differences in I.Q. “and to be allowed to publish his views.”
She calls the fierce response generated by the Slate articles evidence of “moral panic.” Ever since the 1970s, Ms. Gottfredson said in an interview, most researchers have steered clear of the subject altogether (Mr. Murray aside). “No one wants to stick their neck out and say what they really think for fear that they’ll get shot down like Watson or criticized,” she said. “People are in hiding.”

Amid the controversy over his comments last month, Dr. Watson, 79, apologized for his remarks and resigned as chancellor of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island.
Ms. Gottfredson says the cause of the black-white achievement gap is one of the most pressing social science questions, and the refusal to consider genetic causes means either blaming white racism or black culture, making it someone’s fault and placing the issue “in the moral realm.”
“We’re ginning up more tensions by denying it,” she contended.

To Eric Turkheimer, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia who specializes in behavior genetics, the research itself is morally weighted. Given the complex interaction between genes and the environment, Mr. Turkheimer said, “the question is fundamentally impossible to settle scientifically because we can never take people out of their environment.”
That doesn’t mean research into genetic differences in intelligence should be banned, he said, but it should be judged. “What troubled me about posts at Cato” — an exchange Mr. Turkheimer participated in — “and the tone of Saletan’s blog is the assumption that because these papers are labeled as science, they are value-neutral and they’re as deserving of respect as any other scientific hypothesis,” he said of genetic racial theories.

That doesn’t mean research into genetic differences in intelligence should be banned, he said, but it should be judged. “What troubled me about posts at Cato” — an exchange Mr. Turkheimer participated in — “and the tone of Saletan’s blog is the assumption that because these papers are labeled as science, they are value-neutral and they’re as deserving of respect as any other scientific hypothesis,” he said of genetic racial theories.
“But you can’t get away from what these people are trying to prove, which is exactly the basis of the stereotypical beliefs that informed segregation here for 200 years.”

If the Internet, as Mr. Saletan says, is not the place for civil discourse about race and I.Q., the Harvard Club clearly is. That is where the Manhattan Institute held its debate this week. “Not one single person has run out of the room screaming,” Mr. Murray said at the evening’s end to the 70 or so guests, a handful of them black. This issue has “festered in the American psyche,” he added. “Everybody pretends it doesn’t exist.”
Mr. Flynn, who said he had been attacked by both conservatives (for playing down the significance of genes) and by liberals (for arguing that black culture is at the root of the I.Q. gap), told the group, “I want to say how deeply I believe in this sort of discussion.” He later explained that his own desire to disprove the genetic arguments is what spurred his research.
“If at any time we had cut off scientific examination of race in the past,” he said, “we would have more racial prejudice than we do now.”

no topic should ever be considered taboo.
Africans have the highest educational attainment rates of any immigrant group in the United States with higher levels of completion than the stereotyped Asian American model minority.[2] It is not only the first generation that does well, as estimates indicate that a highly disproportionate percentage of black students at elite universities are African or the children of African immigrants. Harvard University, for example, has estimated that two-thirds of their black population is not comprised of traditional black Americans.[3] This is true for other universities such as Yale, Princeton, Penn, Columbia, Duke and Berkeley.[4] As a result, the benefits of affirmative action are not efficiently serving traditional multi-generational black Americans who are descendants of American slaves.[5] This also includes recent black immigrants from other areas of the African diaspora, like Afro-Caribbean people.

In an analysis of Census Bureau data by the Journal of Blacks in higher education, African immigrants to the United States were found more likely to be college educated than any other immigrant group. African immigrants to the U.S. are also more highly educated than any other native-born ethnic group including white Americans. Some 48.9 percent of all African immigrants hold a college diploma. This is slightly more than the percentage of Asian immigrants to the U.S., nearly double the rate of native-born white Americans, and nearly four times the rate of native-born African Americans[6].

I hear those African parents can be pretty pushy when it comes to educating their kids.

I hear those African parents can be pretty pushy when it comes to educating their kids.

Even worst then Asian parents! Because they know how important education is. Until education is paramount over sports and entertainment in the American Black community, we'll continue to fall further behind. To many of us are getting the false impression that we can all play in the NFL, or live like P.Diddy by selling rap Albums. To many of us are influenced by the MTV thug culture, that doesn't preach education, and teaches us that being a *pimp* is the cool thing to do. But that only leads to unwanted pregnancies, single parent households, undisciplined children, and an esculating crime rate as a result.

That's why there's alot of animosity between American Blacks, and Africans. They've embraced the culture of higher education, while a dispaportinate amount of us (not all, we're making some strides but not enough) are embarcing the thug culture. Where being into books and shcool is definately not cool! Whenever you hear about some hanus crime being committed by a Black American, never do you hear the name Shaka Musafa It's allways names like O.J Simpson, or Bobby Cutts Jr.

So this is why IQ tests don't tell the full story. Because Africans, who alledgedly have a lower IQ then American Blacks, are kicking the living **** out of us at every level of higher education.
^ I'm having a bit of trouble distinguishing "American Blacks" from "Africans". By the latter do you mean new generation African immigrants?
I mean at this point the I.Q. test has been dismissed as a successful detemination of one's intelligence.
Revealed: scientist who sparked racism row has black genes

A Nobel Prize-winning scientist who provoked a public outcry by claiming black Africans were less intelligent than whites has a DNA profile with up to 16 times more genes of black origin than the average white European.
An analysis of the genome of James Watson showed that 16 per cent of his genes were likely to have come from a black ancestor of African descent. By contrast, most people of European descent would have no more than 1 per cent.

"This level is what you would expect in someone who had a great-grandparent who was African," said Kari Stefansson of deCODE Genetics, whose company carried out the analysis. "It was very surprising to get this result for Jim."

The findings were made available after Dr Watson became only the second person to publish his fully sequenced genome online earlier this year. Dr Watson was forced to resign his post as head of a research laboratory in New York shortly after triggering an international furore by questioning the comparative intelligence of Africans. In an interview during his recent British book tour, the American scientist said he was "inherently gloomy about the prospects for Africa" because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really".

The Science Museum in London cancelled a lecture by him, while the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, branded his comments "racist propaganda".
Other scientists working in the field of molecular biology quickly distanced themselves from the comments, saying that it was not possible to draw such conclusions from the work that had been done on DNA.
The study of the DNA of Dr Watson – who shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for medicine – adds another twist to the controversy surrounding the American scientist's comments.

In addition to the 16 per cent of his genes which were identified as likely to have come from a black ancestor of African descent, a further 9 per cent were likely to have come from an ancestor of Asian descent, the test indicated.

^ I'm having a bit of trouble distinguishing "American Blacks" from "Africans". By the latter do you mean new generation African immigrants?

American Black = An American, who was born an raised in America, who happens to be Black.

African= Someone that was born and rasied in Africa.
Personally, I think it's just that Americans as a whole are pretty dumb.
I can't speak for everything as a whole, but I can tell you my experience. The college I went to had a huge African (Not African-American, but actual African) student population. And I swear, they were all geniuses. All on the Dean's List. All studying to become chemists, doctors, biologists and computer programmers. They had a tireless work eithic that put most of the other students to shame.

That said, I agree with bell110. American's aren't dumb as much as they are lazy. It's not an African-American thing; it's an American thing. There were also students from many European nations that were better students than American students.

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