Sunday, December 09, 2007

Race and IQ debate - links

William Saletan, a writer for Slate, recently wrote a loud series of articles on genetic racial differences in IQ in the wake of James Watson's controversial remarks. It prompted lots of discussion; here is an excellent response from Richard Nisbett, a leading authority in the field on the environmentalist side of the debate.

More academic articles: Rushton and Jensen's 2005 review of evidence for genetic differences; and what I've found to be the most balanced so far, the 1995 APA report Inteligence: Knowns and Unknowns which concludes for all the heated claims out there, the scientific evidence tends to be pretty weak.

Blog world: Funny title from Brad DeLong; and another Slate response to Saletan and Rushton/Jensen.

The politics of the race and intelligence question is a huge distraction from trying to find out the actual truth of the matter. But I suppose the political implications are why it attracts so much attention -- for good or bad.

The most interesting thing I learned is the Flynn Effect: IQ's as measured by standardized tests have been consistently rising, in all populations throughout the world ever since IQ tests were invented. This implies some sort of non-genetic determiners -- perhaps education and environmental factors -- can have a very large effect on intelligence. Here is a good overview from Ulric Neisser, the lead author on the APA report.

3 Comments:

At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind93/chap1/gif/01-0993.gif

What Dr. James D. Watson said is totally True.

The races do have different races.

Africans in usa have IQ of 82-85.

15-18 gap with whites of 100

Africans in africa have IQ of 70 in sub-saharian africa.

All facts known to the world via internet and google.

Google the truth. google truth.

Look at SAT scores from NSF: national science foundation.

Races do diifer in IQ scores.

Races differ in SAT scores. From the National science foundation

http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind93/chap1/gif/01-0993.gif

 
At 4:03 PM, Blogger Mike said...

I was going to comment, but anonymous really said it all when they said "Google the truth. google truth."

 
At 11:19 AM, Blogger Eric Fish said...

Let's go back over this logic:

Claim: James Watson is correct that the difference in mean IQ test results between black people and white people is caused mostly by genetic rather than environmental differences.

Justification: There is a difference between the mean IQ test results of black people and white people.

Flawless.

 

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