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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

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The debate on race and intelligence reminds me of the debate on evolution.

On one side, the cold, hard scientific facts support a certain theory. On the other side, our emotions and morality make us desperately want to believe another theory.

However, what makes the race and intelligent debate unique is that even most scientists don't have the courage to stand by the evidence. While I am confident that will change in due time -- especially as the evidence for racial differences becomes irrefutable -- I do think the race and intelligence issue will go down as the most shameful instance of scientific cowardice.

With all due respect, John, I must disagree with these accusations and claims. I have my doubts about whether you really know what the "scientists" think.

While I am confident that will change in due time -- especially as the evidence for racial differences becomes irrefutable.

First, I don't know anyone in the field who disputes a consistent difference in average IQ. The current state of the research leaves most to say that we can't definitively explain all of the difference. We simply do not have direct evidence of a genetic cause for the difference, as we do with something like sickle cell. We do know from the research that IQ potential and limits are heritable, but we also know that numerous other non-heritable and non-genetic physical contributions are also possible.

I think you're right that we will eventually know much more, but as someone who has a pretty good background in the subject, I'm loathe to make a prediction of what we'll find out, not because I'm afraid of what the answer will be, but because I don't know what we will learn.

Perhaps this is similar to our inability to say that homosexuality is proven to be genetic, because we don't have proof of a genetic role. Do you think that psychologists generally don't take that position because of cowardice? If you do you do, you'd be wrong again.

What this should not be is contest of egos between people playing Kreskin and calling it science.

Hmm. Another assumption here (changing subject slightly because I know nothing about the researchers) is that higher intelligence is, or ought to be, correlated with breeding success and cultural success. Humans of all strains, I believe, are sufficiently intelligent to succeed as humans.

But after that, comparative success in contests between different strains don't seem to correlate with pure intelligence, self control, reasonableness and those other qualities we would like to pride ourselves upon.

Rather, for breeding success, control of territory, diversion of the efforts of others to our own benefit, and other forms of cultural and tribal success, it appears to me that cultural structures and genetic predispositions to duplicity, savagery (both cool and hot varieties), and a special kind of elective, situational insanity are the key elements.

Noni

Here's the strange part. Americans who don't care about psychological research and the many ways that the distribution of money and attention in research isn't easily explained don't whine about it except when they suspect that there isn't enough attention to the inferiority of black people.

No bias there. It just so happens that research into the inferiority of black people is the most grave injustice imaginable and conservative white Americans are the tragic victims of this travesty. So white people who don't care about anything else in psychology are up in arms about this horrifying evil, but move along folks. Nothing to see. No unconscious biases here.

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