Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Race and intelligence

I see that William Saletan has written a piece in Slate called Race, genes, and intelligence, or rather he has written 3 articles, starting with that one.

Saletan is a careful writer, so he adds a lot of remarks about average doesn't equal individuals, but he is basically writing about the long debunked idea that there is some kind of racial base for intelligence.

There is probably some basis in the belief that heritage has an influence on intelligence, but only if we speak about genetic and social heritage. The kind of heritage the Bell Curve crowd (Saletan included) speaks about, only take skin pigment into account, and ignores the simple fact that unless you can show some kind of relation between IQ and the genes that influences the skin color of an individual, there is no more common heritage between an African American, a Zulu, an Australian Aboriginal, and Moroccan, than there is between any of those and a Northern European. Speaking about heritage, when referring to skin color is just trying to hide the real meaning.

IQ is known to be heavily influenced by upbringing, health, and other social factors, where the poorest part of the population have a lower IQ than the richest part. Given the racial inequity, it shouldn't come as a surprise that black people in the US on average scores lower on IQ tests (as the Irish did in the past).
Anyway, IQ isn't really a particular good measure of intelligence - and again, intelligence is not even a well-defined attribute.

Greg Laden, a man who knows much more about this subject than I do, have written some good posts about race and iQ in the past, but two relevant posts are:
this and this.

Edit: I forgot to say that I became aware of Saletan's articles through Tapped

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Blogger ezrah said...

Black immigrants do better than Whites & Asians

Black Immigrants, An Invisible 'Model Minority'

March 19, 2007
Black Immigrants, An Invisible 'Model Minority'
By Clarence Page

WASHINGTON-Do African immigrants make the smartest
Americans? The question may sound outlandish, but if
you were judging by statistics alone, you could find
plenty of evidence to back it up.

In a side-by-side comparison of 2000 census data by
sociologist John R. Logan at the Mumford Center, State
University of New York at Albany, black immigrants
from Africa average the highest educational attainment
of any population group in the country, including
whites and Asians.

For example, 43.8 percent of African immigrants had
achieved a college degree, compared to 42.5 of Asian
Americans, 28.9 percent for immigrants from Europe,
Russia and Canada, and 23.1 percent of the U.S.
population as a whole.

That defies the usual stereotypes of Asian Americans
as the only "model minority." Yet the traditional
American narrative has rendered the high academic
achievements of black immigrants from Africa and the
Caribbean invisible, as if it were a taboo topic.

Instead, we should take a closer look. That was my
reaction in 2004 after black Harvard law professor
Lani Guinier and Henry Louis Gates Jr., chairman of
Harvard's African-American studies department, stirred
a black Harvard alumni reunion with questions about
precisely where the university's new black students
were coming from.

About 8 percent, or 530, of Harvard's undergraduates
were black, they said, but somewhere between one-half
and two-thirds of black undergraduates were "West
Indian and African immigrants or their children, or to
a lesser extent, children of biracial couples."

If we take a closer look, I said at the time, I bet
we'll find that Harvard's not alone. With all of the
ink and airwaves that have been devoted to immigration
these days, black immigrants remain remarkably
invisible. Yet their success has long followed the
patterns of other high-achieving immigrants.

As one immigrant Jamaican friend once told me, "I'm
too busy working two jobs to worry about the white
man's racism."

Now comes a new study that finds a consistent pattern
of Ivy League and other elite colleges and
universities boosting their black student populations
by enrolling large numbers of immigrants from Africa,
the West Indies and Latin America.

Immigrants, who make up 13 percent of the nation's
college-age black population, account for more than a
quarter of black students at Ivy League and other
elite universities, according to the study of 28
selective colleges and universities. The authors of
the study, published recently in the American Journal
of Education, included Douglas S. Massey of Princeton
University and Camille Z. Charles of the University of
Pennsylvania. The proportion of immigrants was higher
at private institutions, 28.8 percent, than at the
public ones, where they comprised 23.1 percent of

Are elite schools padding their racial diversity
numbers with black immigrants who do not have a
history of American slavery in their families? This
development immediately calls into question whether
affirmative action admission policies are fulfilling
their original intent.

But as Walter Benn Michaels, a professor of English at
the University of Illinois at Chicago, writes in his
book "The Trouble With Diversity: How We Learned to
Love Identity and Ignore Inequality," the original
intent of affirmative action morphed back in the 1970s
from reparations for slavery into the promotion of a
broader virtue: "diversity." Since then, it no longer
seems to matter how many of your college's black
students had slavery in their families. It only
matters that they are black.

That said, I don't begrudge black immigrants or any
other high-achieving immigrants for their impressive
achievements. I applaud them. I encourage more
native-born American children, particularly my own
child, to take similar advantage of this country's
hard-won opportunities.

But I also think we need to revisit the meaning of
"diversity." Unlike our current system of feel-good
game-playing, we need to focus on the deeper question
of how education can be improved and opportunities
opened up to those who were left behind by the civil
rights revolution.

We tend to look too often at every aspect of diversity
except economic class. Yet, the dream of upward
mobility is an essential part of how we Americans like
to think of ourselves.

It's also why a lot more people are trying to get into
this country than trying to get out.

Page is a Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist
specializing in urban issues. He is based in
Washington, D.C. E-mail: cptime@...

(C) 2007 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

November 26, 2007 4:56 AM  
Anonymous E.A. said...

Jewish people are the most intelligent. They win almost 40% of the Nobel Prize's and they have a small population of only 14 million. So by far they exceed the other races in intelligence. The other races having huge numbers and such small contributions.

IQ tests, test intellectual conformity, not creativity and originality. This would explain the Asian high IQ's. They as a people are the ultimate conformists.

In IQ tests there is typically only one answer to the problem. That problem being a social conformity to reason. But everyone knows that Genius's and all of the greatest developments in the world are not the product of conformity. Conformity never breeds creativity. We can see this in the lack of influence the Asian population has had on Science. China used to be called the "sick man" of Asia. Their population is massive and their contribution to innovation is almost nil. We can see this lack of originality in their adoptation of European philosophies, I.e. Communism.

Friedrich Nietzsche and other Philosophers have critized Asians. Nietsche used the words "Pallid osification" to describe Orientals.

Pallid: lacking sparkle or liveliness.

Osification: The process of becoming set and inflexible in behavior, attitudes, and actions. Inflexible conformity, rigid unthinking acceptance of social conventions.

The reality is Asian people have yet to understand that laws and rules are arbitrary. Europeans make the rules and Asian's follow them.

It also doesn't make sense that Asian's are considered smart because of the fact that they have destroyed their own countries. This is due to over-population and their basic lack of enviromental understanding.

It is also common scientific fact that women who have many children are ignorant, and those who have less children are more intelligent. This has already been proven in studies. So it seems strange to say that Asians are smart when the obviousness of their backwards countries, and medieval lifestyle makes them contrary to that premise.

Europeans have the most advanced civilizations and every other race has yet to meet these levels other than the Japanese. The Japanese only being good at copying other people's inventions and making them better. Other than that their original creativity is lacking as well. They took American cars and made them better. They took the German camera and made it better. And they took German steel and made it better. Otherwise the greatest advances still come from Europeans and Jews. Other than that the Orientals have yet to produce an Einstein or a Thomas Edison.

When it comes to Black people. It makes sense that they have low intellectual comformity, I.e. IQ tests. They are far too creative to be trapped in this unoriginal form of conditioning. You can tell their creative capacity in their athletics, music, dance, and the way they talk. They by far exceed the Asiatic races in these areas. Being better singers, musicians ect. Blacks far exceed Asians in emotive expression. In all of North America there is only one or two famous high-paid Asian actors.

Reality, Europeans rule the world and they have allowed others to exist only out of desire for economic bennifet. They, (Europeans) are also the physically strongest, winning the Strongest Man competitions again and again.

The greater the conformity, the weaker the race. Thus we see the races as they are today. The wild animal being bred out of man, and the physically impotent, conformist thriving.

Otherwise "Group psychology" is the most destructive thing in the world. All these stereotypes are false when it comes to the individual. Individualism is the most important thing for this time. All countries, Religions, groups need to dissolve for man to live in peace.

June 04, 2008 7:30 AM  

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