Thursday, April 28, 2005


Academic news report below from Chris Brand:

"Licensed scholarly warfare broke out in the APA journal Psychology, Public Policy and Law (vi 05), (full articles here) over whether psychological race differences (especially in intelligence) are substantially heritable. Race realists Arthur Jensen, Phil Rushton and Linda Gottfredson fought their corner excellently, conveniently reviewing the literature (cf. the Cambridge debate (i 97) and adding some useful points (e.g. that skin lightness is linked to IQ among South Africa's Blacks - which it is not among America's Blacks, where lighter skins often came about from historical Black female matings with White farmhands during the days of slavery). The hereditarians were opposed by such as Robert Sternberg (sometimes said by me to believe in 666 types of intelligence - Behav.Res.&Therapy, 1992) and Richard E. Nisbett (reviewed by me in Heredity, 2003) who claimed among other things medium-term boosts on non-IQ tests from Headstart-type programmes involving 8 hours intervention daily! Overall, the race realists had a coherent message with copious evidence and the environmentalists had the scraps - they remained respectively the `stompers' and `stompees' as amusingly caricatured by Professor Earl `Buzz' Hunt (Brand, Person.&Indiv.Diffs, 1999). Occidental Quarterly reckoned the 60-page Rushton & Jensen article might prove as much of a landmark as Jensen's classic 1969 Harvard Educational Review article, `How much can we boost IQ and educational attainment.' The race-realist argument was summarized in News-Medical Net, 26 iv."

The articles Chris summarizes above are not notable for being published in an academic journal. Almost all of the research in this field has been first published in academic journals. It is however of some note to find such articles in a journal of the American Psychological Association. The APA is distinctly Left-leaning and their journals are the most prestigious and authoritative ones ones in psychology. Logical Meme has a bit more on the Rushton & Jensen paper. He also has a short roundup of the medical research that has found race differences.

There is another academic report here (PDF) of similar interest. One of the authors in this case is a Nobel prizewinner! Working from a very comprehensive body of data, the authors found that average racial differences in adult income are almost entirely predictable from childhood differences in IQ. They also found that, from early childhood on, black males have other disadvantages (less self-control, less tendency to plan ahead etc) and that those differences also influence income in later life. The third finding is that although blacks and Hispanics share similar environmental disadvantages in childhood, Hispanics tend to rise above that whereas blacks do not -- showing again that the source of black disadvantage is not environmental. There are fuller discussions of the report concerned here and here


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