I’ve been immersed in a (popular) science book—not dipping in and out for research or reference, but swimming from one end to the other. It is an edited interrogation of the original Jensenist, Arthur R. Jensen, by Frank Miele, former senior editor of the American Skeptic magazine (not to be confused with the British The Skeptic magazine or the Australian The Skeptic journal) called Intelligence, Race, And Genetics. I recommend it. It is written for intelligent lay readers. There are clear explanations of the important technical concepts and a minimum of what one of my former biologist co-workers refers to as “dead-hard sums”. It helps that both participants in the dialogue write clear, precise English.
Jensen is a clever, determined scientist who has been vilified for advancing a politically incorrect—and I believe flawed—thesis. He argues that general intelligence is measurable, meaningful, largely inherited, and correlates with “race”. In particular he believes that black Americans score consistently less well than white Americans (15 points on the IQ scale) in tests of general mental ability and do so mainly for genetic reasons. I disagree with him, but I sympathise with him because, on the whole, he has shown greater scientific rigour and personal integrity than many of his critics. Anyone who is depicted in a Nazi uniform by the right sort of cartoonist is usually worth a moment’s hearing. (It doesn’t help that, on the strength of his photograph, Jensen would easily win an audition for the part of an escaped war criminal.)
So reading the book has been a bracing swim for the same reason that writing PooterGeek can be: there’s nothing more educational than disagreeing with smart, honourable people—especially when they are wrong.
In my experience, race has never had the slightest bearing on intelligence. American blacks’ test score problems are by and large a social and family problem, and interestingly enough they only developed those problem once a few social engineers began “trying to help them”. Good intentions have paved a rather pitiful road. I blame LBJ.
I have read a few simplifications of Jensen’s work, but I get the feeling from the philosophy chatrooms I’ve been in (where all the self proclaimed geniuses and scientists hang out) his work is dismissed as being a latter day Galton, I guess. What I did find scary was the BBC’s Test The Nation IQ test where people with brown eyes tested several points lower than those with blue and grey eyes. I am not a great fan of IQ as a measure of intelligence, although I like the fact that men and women score equally on average (even if men have a greater standard deviation which is probably why all the really really best scientists are men) . Was Jensen the one who did the research on Jewish people too? I’ve read online their average IQ is in the 120s.
I’m not sure if he did the research on Jewish people, but I have seen several reports on it in Evolutionary Psychology forums.
According to the theory, Ashkenazi Jews effectively bred their way to higher IQs because the culture of Eastern European Judaism valued brains over brawn. The daughters of the richest men would be married off to the smartest young men in the communities rather than the strongest so those genes get rewarded. That’s how the theory goes.
Apparently, Sephardic Jews revert more to the mean or even below the mean with IQ scores.
But now that I look at it, perhaps this gives proof that group IQ is cultural rather than genetic. How many people are going to bother to learn the methods to solve problems that IQ tests value if their cultures do not reward those methods and ways of thinking?
Then again, maybe I’m just talking out my ass…
OF course intelligence is inherited. There is no other conclusion looking around the world. Asians have been practising eugenics for centuries, it is just not talked about. The average japanese has an average IQ of 106 in both Japan and in other parts of the world. IQ is both cultural and genetic. You have to take in the fact that IQ is generally associated with success in life. There are always exceptions but this is for the most part true. In older asian societies and even the ones that exist today, the poorer people generally don’t get married and have as many children as the rich. The rich in ancient china and japan used to have many wives and children. They got thier status by passing imperial examinations which relied on memory and reasoning skills. Both these are inter-related with intelligence, we just do not have an accurate way of measuring these factors. Today we are faced with dysgenics in many parts of the world due to the social welfare system such as in Britain. This begins to breed a class of lesser intelligent people because the poor and uneducated tend to have more children.
IF government policy is written on the supposition that all are born equal and that it is purely environment that influences success, society will not acheive the result it wants. Eg, compare Singapore and Malaysia, 2 small countries in SE asia. Singapore has a policy of meritocracy. Malaysia does not. Both have similar forms of one party government, similar laws and education philosophies. However, Malaysia has a policy of affirmative action for it’s indigenous malays. Singapore does well, Malaysia does not. Malaysia has placed uneducated malays in positions reserved for the educated and marginalised the chinese only to create even more malaise amonst the malay race. This is a very simplistic explanation which you could write a thesis on but it is very realistic.
I think although not politically correct, culture and intelligence are both interwined and will dominate your destiny. As a human race, some are born more intelligent than others and we just have to work with what we are given and try to fit in with each other.
Unlike Jensen, kriss, you offer no solid data to support your views, those views are self-contradictory nonsense, and you write about them badly. Perhaps you should be sterilised to reduce the risk of your breeding “lesser intelligent people”.