Race and intelligence

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Watson, a founder of modern genetics, landed in a kind of professional exile by suggesting that black people are intrinsically less intelligent than whites. In , Dr. Ever since, Dr. Watson, 90, has been largely absent from the public eye. His speaking invitations evaporated. But his remarks have lingered. They have been invoked to support white supremacist views , and scientists routinely excoriate Dr.

Watson when his name surfaces on social media. Eric Lander, the director of the Broad Institute of M. Lander quickly apologized. Lander wrote to Broad scientists. And yet, offered the chance recently to recast a tarnished legacy, Dr. Watson has chosen to reaffirm it, this time on camera. Watson said. I would like for them to have changed, that there be new knowledge that says that your nurture is much more important than nature.

His son Rufus was diagnosed in his teens with schizophrenia. At the very least, they will pose a challenge for historians when they take the measure of the man: How should such fundamentally unsound views be weighed against his extraordinary scientific contributions? In response to questions from The Times, Dr. Collins said he was unaware of any credible research on which Dr. Watson is unable to respond, according to family members. But in October Dr. Watson was hospitalized following a car accident, and he has not been able to leave medical care.

Some scientists said that Dr. But to me, it feels very current. David Reich, a geneticist at Harvard, has argued that new techniques for studying DNA show that some human populations were geographically separated for long enough that they plausibly could have evolved average genetic differences in cognition and behavior.

Even Robert Plomin, a prominent behavioral geneticist who argues that nature decisively trumps nurture when it comes to individuals, rejects speculation about average racial differences. Whether Dr. Watson was aware of any of this science is unclear. Only IQ and g needs to be confirmed too for this style of study. After that, the only thing left to confirm is to identify specific genes for g, and check their frequency in different races.

After that there can be no more arguing. Even now the environment-only position is stupid, but it will be worse when it fails the predictions on these studies described. You could also look at the historical probability of mixed marriage given what we know on assortative mating for intelligence and intelligence-openness correlations.

So, where you end up after receiving more fairly indeterminate information may still depend on your prior. Experiments are stronger evidence than correlations, even if one is from social science and one is from genetics. My conclusion is that the necessary scientific will does not exist for researchers to organize the right samples and measure the correct variables, and that existing datasets will not have the precise variables needed to resolve the issue. Lighter skinned blacks perform better than darker skinner blacks on IQ tests, but this relationship only exists between families, not within families.

Similarly you can look at the nexus between IQ, self-reported ancestry and interviewer-rated appearance. Once again, with this method, ancestry is what mediates the relationship between skin color and IQ. Cite: Templer, Donald I. The comments at the end of that article were an interesting read. Yes, you are right about that. It could not be a large effect.

Race and IQ – The Alternative Hypothesis

Even if IQ and skin color had pleiotropy, it would be a very small effect on IQ only 6 genes or whatever. In any case, someone did test whether skin color mediates IQ in siblings. So pleiotropy also appears to fail the empirical test, along the the discrimination theory based on skin color. It might be quite difficult to do the kind of study you suggest, not for any technical reasons but for cultural and political reasons. Good random genetic samples from the target group African Americans would be required.

This may not be easy to obtain. Subjects would need to be told that the study involved would help to determine whether there is a genetic basis to the IQ gap between blacks and whites. Blacks tend to be reluctant to participate in any kind of DNA testing. I would think that only a small minority of blacks would volunteer to provide their DNA for purposes of determining whether there are genetic bases to the IQ gap between blacks and whites. Self selection by the studied group presents obvious problems.

There would be a high likelihood of systematic biases — those who volunteer are likely to be atypical of all African Americans. One certainly could not just advertise for submissions of specimens and academic achievement data. Given the hostility of many towards any research concerning genetic basis of IQ, falsified submissions aimed at corrupting the research would be a major issue.

But how do you get in contact with the hundreds of sibling pairs you collect, and make them take IQ tests? One could pay them for the samples. Tell them it will be used to look for all kinds of differences on a population level, and between population level. That is, after all, true. Then give them all kinds of tests, ask about disease history, interests, personality test big five. Race is not specific enough and can probably only rarely be used.

Most human gene pools have not had enough isolation. There are always new mutation so when does a race split and become a new race? There was some discussion of this topic on 3quarksdaily. Suppose we find that the average Japanese is a few IQ points smarter than the average Indian. What then? In terms of policy or individual life decisions, what will that change? If that is true, some arguments in favor of affirmative action that having a workforce which does not accurately reflect the makeup of the population of the nation as a whole shows evidence of prejudice are false.

Note that there are still other arguments in favor of affirmative action even if all groups are not equally capable. Racial stereotyping would be useful in cases where individual testing is not available. I dislike group discrimination and like individual discrimination. This is important for e. FWIW,if it became proven most of the black-white IQ gap was hereditary, I actually think that promoting interracial marriages to the highest degree possible although obviously not compulsory would be of paramount importance. And yes, your proposal might lead to less social problems.

For a very homogenous country, like mine sort of, but decreasing fast Denmark , this is a bad idea. Better to have strict immigration laws. The nonwhite population in the U. Of course, in the real world, there would be a color gradient due to assortive mating, as you suggest. On the other hand, India throws off its share of geniuses, considering the overall IQ is fairly low and people there are quite admixed.

Regardless, I see myself as an American first and foremost, not a white person, or even a smart person. Once the fact that racial differences in IQ are genetic is more widely accepted, we can stop harassing teachers for being racist and perpetuating the test score gap. We can also recognize that our American teachers are actually doing a pretty good job compared to their predecessors, once we account for the change in the student population. We might even get some reversal of white flight, if people recognize that differences in school test scores are largely artifacts of different demographics in the schools, and that any school which is reasonably orderly and safe is likely to be as effective at teaching any particular kid as any other.

In the town where I live, test scores vary widely across schools. Test scores for white and black kids vary across schools almost not at all, and for Hispanics and Asians, not that much. I thought I was the only person alive who believed that enough to put his children in the local mostly-minority public high schools.

“Race” and “IQ” Yet Again

And there are non-academic issues my wife and I worry about. If we lived in Oakland, those issues would be enough for us to deal with private school. It means we should not use affirmative action for the reason that certain minorities do badly because they are discriminated against. Lower obesity, also a known correlate of g factor. Another confirmation for hereditarian position. Yes, this is odd. I have some proposals. Research is definitely ongoing in the sex question. Have you been following it? It is very interesting. IQ cannot be relied upon, need to look at g-scores. All hunter-gatherers have IQs below — but Eskimos have the highest.

It is as if brain size if one of several factors affecting intelligence. A case like Cape Verde is subject to selection issues related to the settlement and socioeconomic history of the jurisdiction.

Genes and intelligence: a clear verdict

Getting a non-biased sample is so hard that unless you have an intrinsic way of adjusting for it, systemic uncertainty is significant, undetermined and not easy to rule out since any significant effect could be due to some bias in a factor not measured by the researchers. For these purposes arbitrarily small e.

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Getting a non-biased sample is so hard that unless you have an intrinsic way of adjusting for it, systemic uncertainty is significant. In retrospect, this was a mistake. The results of the transracial adoption study can be used to support either a genetic difference hypothesis or an environmental difference one because the children have visible African ancestry.

It DOES matter.


Because it means we should not have affirmative action and other disgraceful discrimination based on the idea that social differences cause the differences we see. Clearly, positive discrimination for blacks in the US have not made them as smart as whites. I ended up as such because I inherited genes for above-average intelligence from both my parents, which resulted in me doing well in college and graduate school, which then resulted in me getting a professional job. Someone else may have gotten into the same position due to affirmative action.

I suppose I can see if you come from a narrow procedural idea of justice. I actually do have issues with Affirmative Action, but not the same issues as most people on this forum, but in some ways similar to what you note here. As I see it coming from my own political stance, which is broadly socialist , the central problem regarding the African-American condition is poverty.

Gene Expression

Indeed, on a fundamental level, I think Affirmative Action is no different than school vouchers, despite proponents generally being on opposite sides of the spectrum. Both try to solve systematic problems by giving a small subset a leg up. In some ways, I think the bigger social effect of Affirmative Action within the U. I think that the lessening of stereotypes has been an unmitigated good, so this aspect of Affirmative Action has not been unsuccessful.

At least one of the authors does not reject it. She explicitly tried to make the data palatable to the environmentalists at the time, a move she regrets. At the average of 7 years, the African-American adopted children scored I on IQ tests.

Do kids from mixed genetic backgrounds have an advantage?

By the average age of 18 however, their IQ scores had declined to Children with one White and one Black parent scored, on average. My col- leagues and I reported the data accurately and as fully as possible, and then tried to make the results palatable to environmentally committed colleagues.

We should have been agnostic on the conclusions; Art would have been. See: Scarr, Sandra. The entire issue is devoted to Jensen. Ok, so we agree on GxE. Though people would always find ways out of correlational evidence, e. But that would seem pretty ad-hoc. Before, you claimed that it was a spurious result based on publication bias as did Emil below. This criticism and the ones in the Wikipedia section are refuted by the meta-analysis I linked.

You brought up priming repeatedly, but priming need not be the mechanism for ST, though that has been suggested, it could well be conscious rumination.

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I do not agree that priming effects are more traditionally accepted in psychology. The experimental claims of an aggregated effect size of. That does not mean that a writing intervention supposedly boosting self-esteem has to work or that the whole gap should disappear when the ST is somehow lessened a little. But it goes to show a plausible, environmental explanation how test results can be lower in objective tests for a certain, stigmatised group, that is actually experimentally demonstrated.

So, it beats a lot of the correlational evidence cited by those whose priors peak at more-genetic variance. If those experiments can show a small effect, the true effect of real, prolonged discrimination may be large. I think that is not a big leap. So, is that bet on? We would have to wait for someone to pre-register a stereotype threat study on eg. Re: the dyad case. Yes, the most obvious thing would be appearance, which you could rule out via discordance with actual ancestry. But what I suggested actual ancestry-aggressive correlation would work because it is an ad-hoc idea to highlight a limitation.

I could certainly be convinced of a genetic component with good evidence. Most actors are too ideologically entrenched to disconfirm their own preconceived notions. Stereotype threat manifests itself as a violation of measurement invariance. However, there are generally no violations of measurement invariance in studies of black and white American IQ differences for example, see this study and the references therein. This indicates that stereotype threat is a laboratory curiosity with no real-world significance. The real-life black-white gap is 1 SD, but stereotype threat can make it larger in some settings.

Presuming a perfect correlation with IQ e. But instead the average score is Do you mean to say this invalidates the meta-analysis I linked and my account to Razib of why this should shift your prior? I understand the authors as giving one theoretical explanation of stereotype threat affecting measurement by especially affecting difficult items?

Do you want to elaborate what you mean? Sorry, this is just dishonest argumentation. Or maybe you still misunderstand my argument. What you say does not invalidate the notion that ST is a plausible mechanism that can link discrimination to lower test scores. Test scores work as gatekeepers at many levels of society. For example they can affect how much education you get. Education is bidirectionally linked to IQ.

Some of that and other effects discrimination in hiring, thus income etc. Experimentation is used to isolate effects. If ST were the only factor that could possibly affect measurement invariance, this would be true. It is not. It might counteract, diffuse or strengthen measurement invariance caused by ST.