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Should Research on Race and IQ Be Banned?**

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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The old issue of genes, race and intelligence has exploded once again. The trigger this time is social scientist Jason Richwine, who recently co-authored a study of immigration for the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. The study contended that granting amnesty to illegal immigrants could cost the U.S. more than $5 trillion.

Jason Richwine, author of "IQ and Immigration Policy"

After the study’s release, The Washington Post reported that Richwine asserted in his 2009 Harvard Ph.D. thesis, “IQ and Immigration Policy,” that the average IQ of U.S. immigrants “is substantially lower than that of the white native population.” Arguing that “the totality of the evidence suggests a genetic component to group differences in IQ,” Richwine added, “No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against.” Richwine proposed that IQ be considered as a factor for screening immigrants.

So there it is, a neo-eugenics program, proposed by a Harvard-minted scholar employed by a prominent think tank. The Heritage Foundation quickly distanced itself from Richwine, stating that the claims of his Harvard thesis “in no way reflect the positions of The Heritage Foundation.” Richwine resigned from the foundation last week.

Some pundits applauded Richwine’s downfall and attacked his Harvard research. I especially like how The Atlantic blogger Ta-Nehisi Coates compiled historical evidence that race is more a social than biological phenomenon. Others defended the premise of Richwine’s thesis—that genes account for at least some of the differences in IQ scores between different ethnic groups—and deplored attacks on him as threats to freedom of speech and scientific inquiry. Journalist Andrew Sullivan says that the “effective firing” of Richwine “should immediately send up red flags about intellectual freedom.”

These are the same sorts of things said in 1994 when Harvard researchers Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray argued in The Bell Curve that programs to boost black academic performance might be futile because blacks are innately less intelligent than whites; and in 2007 when geneticist and Nobel laureate James Watson ascribed Africa’s social problems to Africans’ genetic inferiority. (Watson is also a former Harvard professor. What is it with Harvard? Could there be something in the drinking water?)

I’m torn over how to respond to research on race and intelligence. Part of me wants to scientifically rebut the IQ-related claims of Herrnstein, Murray, Watson and Richwine. For example, to my mind the single most important finding related to the debate over IQ and heredity is the dramatic rise in IQ scores over the past century. This so-called Flynn effect, which was discovered by psychologist James Flynn, undercuts claims that intelligence stems primarily from nature and not nurture.

But another part of me wonders whether research on race and intelligence—given the persistence of racism in the U.S. and elsewhere–should simply be banned. I don’t say this lightly. For the most part, I am a hard-core defender of freedom of speech and science. But research on race and intelligence—no matter what its conclusions are—seems to me to have no redeeming value.

Far from it. The claims of researchers like Murray, Herrnstein and Richwine could easily become self-fulfilling, by bolstering the confirmation bias of racists and by convincing minority children, their parents and teachers that the children are innately, immutably inferior. (See Post-postscript below.)

Why, given all the world’s problems and needs, would someone choose to investigate this thesis? What good could come of it? Are we really going to base policies on immigration, education and other social programs on allegedly innate racial differences? Not even the Heritage Foundation advocates a return to such eugenicist policies.

Perhaps instead of arguing over the evidence for or against theories linking race and IQ we should see them as simply irrelevant to serious intellectual discourse. I’m sympathetic toward the position spelled out by Noam Chomsky in his usual blunt fashion in his 1987 book Language and Problems of Knowledge:

“Surely people differ in their biologically determined qualities. The world would be too horrible to contemplate if they did not. But discovery of a correlation between some of these qualities is of no scientific interest and of no social significance, except to racists, sexists and the like. Those who argue that there is a correlation between race and IQ and those who deny this claim are contributing to racism and other disorders, because what they are saying is based on the assumption that the answer to the question makes a difference; it does not, except to racists, sexists and the like.”

Scientists and pundits who insist on recycling racial theories of intelligence portray themselves as courageous defenders of scientific truth. I see them not as heroes but as bullies, picking on those who are already getting a raw deal in our society. It’s time to put these destructive theories to rest once and for all.

Irony Alert: It just occurred to me that two recent films, The Great Gatsby and Django Unchained, feature villains who spout pseudo-scientific theories of white superiority. The films imply that these theories are ludicrous relics of our racist past and that no modern person could possibly believe them. If only.

*Clarification: Some readers may wonder what I mean by “ban,” so let me spell it out. I envision a federal prohibition against speech or publications supporting racial theories of intelligence. All papers, books and other documents advocating such theories will be burned, deleted or otherwise destroyed. Those who continue espousing such theories either publicly or privately (as determined by monitoring of email, phone calls or other communications) will be detained indefinitely in Guantanamo until or unless a secret tribunal overseen by me says they have expressed sufficient remorse and can be released.

**Clarification clarification: The above clarification has left some readers puzzling over whether my whole post was a joke. The clarification is obviously (I thought) sarcastic, and the rest of the post is obviously (I thought) deadly earnest. So what do I really mean by a ban? Here’s one possibility. Institutional review boards (IRBs), which must approve research involving human subjects carried out by universities and other organizations, should reject proposed research that will promote racial theories of intelligence, because the harm of such research–which fosters racism even if not motivated by racism–far outweighs any alleged benefits. Employing IRBs would be fitting, since they were formed in part as a response to the one of the most notorious examples of racist research in history, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, which was carried out by the U.S. Public Health Service from 1932 to 1972.

Post-Postscript: Scientific American has just published two excellent article on “stereotype threat,” which is a kind of reverse placebo–or “nocebo”–effect; victims of negative stereotypes may underperform because they believe the stereotype. See here and here. Some clever critics of my post might accuse me of hypocrisy, because these articles present esearch on race and  and should be subject to my proposed ban. Obviously I’m trying to eliminate research that reinforces rather than counteracting racism. I mean, Duh.

Self-plagiarism alert: Some of the material above is recycled from my 1999 book The Undiscovered Mind.

Photo of Jason Richwine from Jason Richwine/Facebook.

 

About the Author: Every week, hockey-playing science writer John Horgan takes a puckish, provocative look at breaking science. A teacher at Stevens Institute of Technology, Horgan is the author of four books, including The End of Science (Addison Wesley, 1996) and The End of War (McSweeney's, 2012). Follow on Twitter @Horganism.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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  1. 1. curiouswavefunction 2:03 pm 05/16/2013

    No.

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  2. 2. ScrotumgrinderO'Coolihan 2:39 pm 05/16/2013

    “no redeeming value”? Is knowledge not a redeeming value in and of itself? This article is sickening. I’m sure you’re a very “hard-core defender of freedom of speech and science”, at least until science begins investigating questions whose potential answers make you uncomfortable. Your opinion doesn’t trump the advancement of human knowledge, nor should the opinion of anyone else.

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  3. 3. mludkips 2:45 pm 05/16/2013

    For God’s sake, would someone lynch this guy?

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  4. 4. rkipling 2:47 pm 05/16/2013

    Horgan,

    Sounds like you are up for a good old fashioned book burning.

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  5. 5. bsebadger 2:48 pm 05/16/2013

    While I would be against halting any research because it might be inconvenient, I would prefer that these spurious works field were properly debunked with actual science. That would be fitting.

    And don’t get me started on why I don’t think social ‘science’ and psychology should be classified as science… And forget Watson… I think he’s been going senile.

    Let ‘em have freedom of speech, and then use the same tool to shut them up.

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  6. 6. rkipling 2:49 pm 05/16/2013

    The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition sure could have used a guy like you.

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  7. 7. gj2001 2:54 pm 05/16/2013

    Jason Richwine may be superior to most gnats, but hardly superior to most non-whites.

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  8. 8. marximo 3:08 pm 05/16/2013

    Let’s break down the cause of this article. A research paper which identifies lower IQs in mexican immigrants. Mr. Horgan, where is the racism in that? You see the result, and that it affects a certain race, and YOU say it’s racist. Rational thinkers don’t ‘reverse engineer’ their facts and look for a sinister motivation.

    But if you must hold true to your beliefs, then please pull your kids or friends kids out of their AP and gifted classes, because IQ identification and awareness can only produce ‘evil.’ But you won’t, because what you are repeating is just propaganda.

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  9. 9. GeekStatus 3:18 pm 05/16/2013

    Refute his work logically and scientifically or dont refute them at all.

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  10. 10. jtdwyer 3:19 pm 05/16/2013

    If they screen immigrants based on IQ tests I certainly hope they raise the bar – Americans don’t do very well. In fact, those of Asian descent statistically perform better on IQ tests than all other groups – perhaps we should recruit Asian immigrants!

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  11. 11. Spin-oza 3:19 pm 05/16/2013

    “No redeeming value” says the author, Mr. Horgan. Well, perhaps to him and his ambivalence on the issue… but not to me… and many, many others.

    Some folks don’t see any reason to pursue scientific research on a whole host of seemingly “nonessential”, tangential… or gasp, irrelevant areas. But thankfully, curious minds want to know… and knowledge in any area, has its own intrinsic value.

    From an evolutionary… and especially a sociological/cultural developmental standpoint, this sort of research may shed light on why a particular ethic group has adopted whatever mores, customs and level of technology that appears to define them. It has far less significance for any individual in that genetic group. Further, with “inter-marriage” between and among various “races”… the lines blur ever more.

    Unfortunately, sound unbiased research in this field is scant… while predispositions and “political correctness” are rampant.

    Genetics and there nexus with the environment (epigenetics) are absolutely foundational and cannot be underestimated as fundamental determinants of all animal development both as a specie and individuals striving to survive and thrive.

    The list of human genetic-based and genetic-influenced diseases is staggering. Genetic and proteonomics includes all alternations and manifestations of our biochemistry/physiology… our neurochemistry/behaviors.

    I say let the unfettered research begin… and let us all prosper from a broader understanding of human evolutionary development. The results may just surprise… everyone.

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  12. 12. jtdwyer 3:20 pm 05/16/2013

    I forgot the proper closing – <%)

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  13. 13. JacquesR 3:34 pm 05/16/2013

    Dear lord. That’s an awful argument. We need this research precisely because it might turn out to be true – on aggregate – that there are “race” and/or “gender” (in whatever definition) differences. We want to be able to say – if those differences were ever discovered – that arguments for equal consideration are based on the wrongness of generalising to individuals from the aggregate, and because there is independent merit in equal consideration, regardless of equality on aggregate. Stymying research on this sort of thing is just fuel for conspiracy theorists, and creates a taboo where we should just confront human idiocy head-on.

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  14. 14. MisterJet 3:36 pm 05/16/2013

    No this must not be banned. It must be pursued.
    The results will be what they will be.
    Whether it matches your ideological beliefs or not we will know for certain.

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  15. 15. lexcorvus 3:44 pm 05/16/2013

    I didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition—but then, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

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  16. 16. vmfenimore 3:46 pm 05/16/2013

    I am amazed that so much emphasis is placed on IQ. Feral children raised by wild animals usually cannot learn to speak even after they are placed with a human family. So much for nuture not counting for A LOT. Nurture is so important that if you don’t receive it as a small child you will end up mentally disabled.

    Are we limited by nature? Probably. Does every successful person have a high IQ? No. Does every failure have a low IQ? No.

    Which is more important? IQ or hard work? A good disposition or a negative attitude? A tendency towards fairness or a tendency toward cheating?

    If we were going to test immigrants, why stop at IQ? I’d rather accept into our country an honest hardworking person with an below average IQ then a genius criminal sociopath.

    What about other gifts? Artistry? Music?

    It is a sad sad world for the person stuck in their ivory tower who thinks IQ is everything.

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  17. 17. toomepuu 3:52 pm 05/16/2013

    John Hogan is spouting unadulterated nonsense. Minnesota reared-apart, monozygotic twins studies, in addition to numerous other studies and data bases overwhelming prove that the major contributor to IQ is genetics, no matter how politically incorrect it is to state that fact. If Scientific American considers political correctness to be more important than science, I will have to cancel my subscription.

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  18. 18. julia smith 4:02 pm 05/16/2013

    I find it appalling that the Inquisition is always called Spanish (eg. 15.). The Inquisition existed in most European countries, whether it was the Roman Inquisition(ie under the catholic pope) or protestant. And, as far as I know, there was nothing particularly virulent with the Spanish subsidiary.

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  19. 19. DjMikeWatt 4:04 pm 05/16/2013

    How many problems are there with the idea of banning certain kinds of research because some people don’t like what it concludes?

    I remember reading about a period in history called THE CRUSADES… yeah, among other things, they banned books and other forms of knowledge that didn’t fit within their worldview. They had good reason, of course… I mean, everything they banned had no redeeming value, as far as they were concerned… in fact, it was all quite negative, really… taking people away from God, and all that jazz.

    The point, sir, is that NO… it should not be banned. Who are you (or anyone else, for that matter) to decide what knowledge has value and what doesn’t? As far as I’m concerned, ALL knowledge has intrinsic value.

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  20. 20. julia smith 4:08 pm 05/16/2013

    Why does SCIENTIFIC American include anything about the misnomed social “sciences”? I think most of us want knowledge not ideology.

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  21. 21. RHoltslander 4:10 pm 05/16/2013

    Has there been a study done by anyone that makes claims for inferiority for their own race? That is, this “research” always claims that some other race (other than the researcher’s) is inferior in some way. It might just be a coincidence but it seems odd to me.

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  22. 22. Snicker-Snack 4:11 pm 05/16/2013

    Ignorance should never be perpetuated for any reason so research on race and IQ ought not be banned. However, no preliminary research results should be made public, only conclusive, corroborated findings.

    I wonder if when Richwine is referring to Hispanics, if he means caucasian ones, those of african descent, those of indigenous pre-Columbian descent, or those that are a mix of these three groups.

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  23. 23. miltday 4:13 pm 05/16/2013

    There is a reason this area should be studied. In an effort to push affirmative action programs, people claim that any disparity in outcome is the result of discrimination. Therefore, they say, AA is needed to level the playing field. If there is an alternate theory behind disparities shouldn’t we figure that out rather than just assume it is because of discrimination?

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  24. 24. apache 4:18 pm 05/16/2013

    Here is why scientific research on race and IQ should not be funded–race is a social construct, not a biological one. There is more variation within the so called races than there is between them and the markers by which humans divide populations into categories is (like many other things, psychologist I’m talking to you here)ON A CONTINUUM! Should it be banned? I don’t think so, anybody has a right to be a d-bag, we should probably just ignore them. And one last thing the “social sciences” are not all nonsense, simply look at a modern anthropology textbook and you will find good science supporting the statements made above. Anthropology is a social science.

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  25. 25. apache 4:24 pm 05/16/2013

    Oh yeah, Julia, I’m pretty sure that the Spanish Inquisition comment was referring to Monty Python, not a dig at the Spanish culture. You should check out Monty Python, if for no other reason than to be able to understand about 1/4 of all nerd-type reference humor made by people over the age of 35.

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  26. 26. paulus 4:31 pm 05/16/2013

    Of course, most people don’t know that the original IQ test was changed when the results showed that blacks taking the test scored higher than whites. Give that it was too much for a white privileged society to take, they simply rewrote the test to fit the society.
    I know that such information will not fit the average cracker’s brain, regardless of his educational level.
    Sorry about that.

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  27. 27. rkipling 4:32 pm 05/16/2013

    apache,

    Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time-a.

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  28. 28. Snicker-Snack 4:32 pm 05/16/2013

    I was too hasty in typing that research on race and IQ ought not be banned. What I wanted to say was that research on the differences between different populations should not be banned. There is no scientific definition of race and IQ tests are not valid for groups unfamiliar with the language and culture of the tests’ authors.

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  29. 29. ndoris 4:34 pm 05/16/2013

    I wish SA used IQ screening on their writers. You really just advocated burying our heads in the sand. What kind of scientist are you?! I’m not suggesting IQ tests are the answer to everything relating to intelligence, but understanding how and why people are different is a fundamental part of being able to improve humanity as a whole. I think it is obvious that there are people (of every race) that are superior to their peers (think of astronaut screening). The goal should be to elevate everyone to that level, but how can we do that if we ignore cultural differences that inhibit learning (maybe genetic differences, but it could very well be social differences to blame). The world would be so much better if we could put an end to stupidity.

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  30. 30. rshoff 4:41 pm 05/16/2013

    There’s not really a purpose, is there? Regardless of what we learn about race and IQ, we are not going to change people’s freedom to fall in love and reproduce with whomever they choose, are we? In fact, the interest in such leads me to think of the Nazi’s dream of a super race. Let’s leave this one behind, there are many many many other unfunded ideas for research projects out there.

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  31. 31. rkipling 4:42 pm 05/16/2013

    paulus,

    I hate to break this to you, but it seems likely that we all trace our ROOTS back to Africa about 150,000 years ago. For all we know you are Swedish (And for all you Swedes out there, I’m not dissing you.) and just looking to cause trouble.

    If you are Black or some portion thereof, you are related to “crackers” as you say. Whatever happened to Ebony and Ivory? Can’t we all just get along?

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  32. 32. rshoff 4:44 pm 05/16/2013

    Apache commented: “Here is why scientific research on race and IQ should not be funded–race is a social construct, not a biological one. ”

    @Apache – Thank you!

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  33. 33. rkipling 4:45 pm 05/16/2013

    ndoris,

    Bingo! Journalist not a scientist.

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  34. 34. Derick D 4:49 pm 05/16/2013

    Intelligence and Race: Two things that we can’t really define very well. There is no genetic underpinning to the “races” we’re all familiar with – no clear genetic boundary can be found between any one “race” and another. In other words, “race” is a purely qualitative description – it’s a label we apply, not a quantifiable categorization. Similarly, we don’t have a clear definition of intelligence – we can’t even decide on what intelligence is, so it’s the height of arrogant stupidity to think that we can measure it with any sort of accuracy (and without overwhelming cultural bias in IQ tests, a phenomenon which in itself completely invalidates any study that relies on IQ as a measure of general intelligence).

    So, basically, you’re asking if we should ban the scientific study of how two poorly-defined criteria interact. You might as well study how little-white-lies interact with only-slightly-stinky-farts.

    There are better ways of spending our science budget than on this ridiculous (not to mention racist) crapola.

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  35. 35. jstevewhite 4:55 pm 05/16/2013

    “Of course, most people don’t know that the original IQ test was changed when the results showed that blacks taking the test scored higher than whites. Give that it was too much for a white privileged society to take, they simply rewrote the test to fit the society.”

    I’m fascinated by this. Can you provide documentation, paulus?

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  36. 36. rkipling 4:57 pm 05/16/2013

    rshoff,

    The stag in the forest runs free.

    But, the Fatherland is still occupied Germany.

    And just to be sure they stay on good behavior, we have told them that the next time they invade France we will make them keep it.

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  37. 37. jstevewhite 5:02 pm 05/16/2013

    RHoltslander: “Has there been a study done by anyone that makes claims for inferiority for their own race? ”

    Yeah, Murray was white (co-author of “The Bell Curve”) and the book placed ‘Average Asian IQ” as the highest.

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  38. 38. andrea ostrov letania 5:04 pm 05/16/2013

    Ban religions since religious wars killed many. Ban discussion of nations cuz national wars killed many. Ban discussion of sexual
    differences cuz of history of ‘patriarchy’. Ban discussion of class cuz communism killed many.

    Ban discussion of freedom cuz the ideal of freedom fueled so many wars. American Revolution, Napoleon, Civil War, etc.

    See, speak, hear no ‘evil’.

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  39. 39. andrea ostrov letania 5:05 pm 05/16/2013

    Ban religions since religious wars killed many. Ban discussion of nations cuz national wars killed many. Ban discussion of sexual
    differences cuz of history of ‘patriarchy’. Ban discussion of class cuz communism killed many.

    Ban discussion of freedom cuz the ideal of freedom fueled so many wars. American Revolution, Napoleon, Civil War, etc.

    See, speak, hear no ‘evil’.

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_75T__VWLm5M/SMuiKntx-gI/AAAAAAAAAgg/-ATIlW7t3Ec/s400/Planet+of+the+Apes+Simeon+Court+See+No+Evil.jpg

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  40. 40. rkipling 5:08 pm 05/16/2013

    andrea ostrov letania,

    “It’s a Mad House! A Mad House!”

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  41. 41. jstevewhite 5:09 pm 05/16/2013

    Apache: “Here is why scientific research on race and IQ should not be funded–race is a social construct, not a biological one. There is more variation within the so called races than there is between them and the markers by which humans divide populations into categories is (like many other things, psychologist I’m talking to you here)ON A CONTINUUM! ”

    Uh, this doesn’t demonstrate what you seem to think it does. There’s considerably more difference between the genome of a schnauzer and an akida than there is between the average of the dog genome and the wolf genome, but that doesn’t make the distinction ‘purely social’, and we do a shit-ton of research into what, exactly, makes the difference.

    If race makes no difference, why do we discover clear, statistically significant differences like the one in this NIH study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3455741

    I’m not a “racist”, as I don’t believe one race is superior to another, but neither do I believe that we’re all identical creatures, nor do I believe that eons of isolated breeding gave rise to no significant genomic differences.

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  42. 42. albittle 5:12 pm 05/16/2013

    Okay. I’m no scientist. But it seems to me that results that continue to reappear must indicate SOMETHING. All the comments I have read seem to stop with “RACE” as the only possibility. Race was, I am assuming, the only qualifier used in this research. Why aren’t we looking at reasons for these results. How about poverty or nutrition as factors as they relate to race? Sorry. I’m jumping in here where I probably have no business being. But facts are facts and we need to look into “WHY”.

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  43. 43. andrea ostrov letania 5:16 pm 05/16/2013

    Just because A racial theory is wrong doesn’t mean ALL racial theories are wrong. After all, there was Lamarck before Darwin.

    One thing for sure, Blacks are superior in muscle and speed, which is why most racial violence is black on non-black.

    Whites are generally superior in certain things, inferior in other things. Same with dogs. Greyhounds run best, pitbulls fight best, and bloodhounds track best.

    Horgan is being bullying and hysterical–good career move–, not rational ad scientific.

    A real scientist: http://pinker.wjh.harvard.edu/articles/media/2006_06_17_thenewrepublic.html

    Pinker accepts Jews are smarter.

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  44. 44. LarryW 5:30 pm 05/16/2013

    Members of the master race will always have proof that they are superior to those lesser beings they lord over. This is news?

    To quote Einstein: “The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius is has its limits.”

    Use scientific resources to debunk the obvious junk studies? No science would ever get done debunking pseudo-science. As Einstein said, there is no limit to stupidity and therefore there would be no limit to the waste of scientific resources used to debunk this stuff.

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  45. 45. Chryses 5:33 pm 05/16/2013

    paulus (26),

    “… I know that such information will not fit the average cracker’s brain, regardless of his educational level.
    Sorry about that.”

    What purpose was served by your discourtesy?

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  46. 46. rkipling 5:35 pm 05/16/2013

    Chryses,

    How do we know paulus isn’t a self-hating cracker?

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  47. 47. EnigmaMaitreya 5:40 pm 05/16/2013

    I decreed the discovery of fire was not relevant to the tribe as all it was good for was burning up my fellow tribe members.

    I decreed the discovery of the Wheel was not relevant to the communities as all it was good for was making everyone weak as newborns and would undermine the well established pecking order established by the strong.

    I decreed the discovery of numbers was not relevant to anyone as everyone new that if you didn’t like what going on you just beat the crap out of whom ever and took what you wanted.

    I decree that any discovery that doesn’t fit my world view and understanding is not relevant to anyone ESPECIALLY IF IT CAUSES DISCOMFORT.

    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
    George Bernard Shaw
    Irish dramatist & socialist (1856 – 1950)

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  48. 48. highly_adequate 5:55 pm 05/16/2013

    Does it really not occur to this author that in the day of Darwin, it was also widely thought that the science of evolution was deeply damaging to society and the public morality, because it undermined belief in religion, which was held to be the font of all morality? In what important way would the result that races differ on average IQ be any more damaging to society and public morality than the theory of evolution in Darwin’s time? Is it really possible that we couldn’t succeed in adjusting our moral and political principles to the new reality?

    Really, Horgan is just one more Church Lady, atremble that the pat, absolute, sacrosanct rules of her carefully constructed world is going to fall apart. And if a rigidly (perhaps even brutally?) enforced suppression of the truth is the only way he or she can get his or her world to hang together, so be it.

    What such a person is doing writing for the so-called Scientific American, rather than, say, the Righteous American, escapes me.

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  49. 49. scientificamericansucks 6:02 pm 05/16/2013

    John Horgan should be banned for being too wrong. What is his redeeming value?

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  50. 50. Ingamas 6:07 pm 05/16/2013

    Wow.
    1) Hispanic is not an ethnic group but language.
    2) South of the US border it is as diverse as north but a bit more native american, a group related to Asians and western Europeans.
    3) How you measure IQ is not very clear; I am sure a non speaker of english would do poorly on an English test.

    I would conclude if IQ level is to be used then it should be used other things like right to vote or hold office.

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  51. 51. apache 6:08 pm 05/16/2013

    @ jstevewhite, one statistically significant difference doesn’t mean that overall the differences are significant, statistically or otherwise. It is true there is variation between groups, and genetic pressures applied to a specific group can bring about changes. This doesn’t somehow validate a concept that in my opinion is, well, a matter of opinion. By the way, do I think that if we separated two groups of people, in two different environments for a really long time we could create two distinct races? Probably, but we wouldn’t be sure until they reunited and their genomes were compared. Then we would have to have some agreed upon level of genetic variation that officially marks two distinct species to test the genomes against. Seems like more trouble than its worth to me.

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  52. 52. M Tucker 6:10 pm 05/16/2013

    John, I’m sure you know that Jason Richwine is a well known racist white supremacist. Well known on white supremacist web sites before he went to Heritage.

    “I’m torn over how to respond to research on race and intelligence.” Well you do not accept the conclusions prior to investigation and investigate the research to see if it is sound and the conclusions follow from the evidence provided. Richwine’s, Herrnstein’s and Murray’s, and Watson’s work are all flawed and of no value what-so-ever.

    You can’t ban research. That is not possible. I heard that crap about blacks being intellectually inferior long before the crappy bell curve paper came out. Long before. If you grew up prior to or during the 1960’s it was a commonly held belief. The British had the same belief about those from India. Racism has been and still is common throughout the world. If you investigate history you will find this to be true. Wrapping your racism in some phony study is just an attempt to give it legitimacy. At one time the Bible was used as the authority.

    All those articles about how we now live in some kind of post-racial harmony were also full of crap, witness the ever present racists.

    Link to this
  53. 53. JoeShipman 6:11 pm 05/16/2013

    What is mind-bogglingly stupid about Horgan’s question

    “Why, given all the world’s problems and needs, would someone choose to investigate this thesis? What good could come of it? Are we really going to base policies on immigration, education and other social programs on allegedly innate racial differences?”

    is that ignores that we are ALREADY basing policies on the assumption that there are no innate racial differences, and if you are going to base policies on a factual premise, it is better for it to be a true premise than a false one. The reason I care about race and IQ is NOT because I enjoy feeling superior to members of other races; it’s because the false assumption of no innate differences leads to the false conclusion that the underperformance of blacks and Hispanics is White People’s Fault. This false conclusion is then used against me in many different ways: my children get discriminated against by colleges, and I have to pay for the increasingly expensive and misguided project of closing unclosable “gaps”. I’d be perfectly happy to ignore race completely, except for all the people who are NOT ignoring it and are using false scientific premises against me.

    Link to this
  54. 54. outsidethebox 6:12 pm 05/16/2013

    Scientific American should be very ashamed.

    Link to this
  55. 55. Archimedes 6:29 pm 05/16/2013

    Those that state that it is perfectly “politically correct” for a massive number of individuals to criminally invade the USA because of their race while, also, stating that it is “politically incorrect” for Caucasians to object to the same are the Bolshevik “politically correct” racists.
    Illegal immigrants are criminals. Criminals tend to have lower IQ’s than non-criminals.
    Therefore, using standard syllogistic logic, illegal aliens are likely to have a “bell curve” of IQ’s that is shifted towards the lower IQ range.
    There are, probably, other reasons for this shift of the illegal alien “bell curve” IQ towards the lower IQ range. However, their “criminality” is definitely one of the same.
    I never heard anyone state that Richwine had asserted that he disavowed “republican” principles upholding the uniqueness of the individual with individual rights and liberties without regard to race or ethnicity.
    In fact, those that are using slander and lies against him and others opposing illegal immigration are most often denigrating these republican principles for the purpose of promulgating racist Bolshevik principles that are inimical to the same.
    This is referred to as “post modernism” which rejects the principles of the Age of Enlightenment and the Age of Reason upon which our nation and the concepts on which it was founded were established.

    Link to this
  56. 56. highly_adequate 6:30 pm 05/16/2013

    A further point.

    It would be nice to know how Horgan might even envision the ban on such research might be implemented. Who would identify the forbidden studies? How far might these topics reach into legitimate topics? What kinds of penalties or punishments might be exacted for research that violates the imposed boundaries?

    Now I simply can’t begin to see how any of this is going to end in a way that will not engender an Inquisition-like atmosphere, and the sense that there are heretical beliefs, doubts, and in general a notion of crimethink.

    But one of the worst aspects of such a ban is how distorting it will be of science and of the truth. Because is it even imaginable that Horgan and his fellows would suppress findings, however poorly grounded, that would try to show the opposite — that all races and groups are the same in intelligence? But what could be more unscientific than the idea that one side of a question can be allowed — even tremendously encouraged — to express itself, but the other side suppressed, even crushed?

    In fact, it is roughly in this situation that we find ourselves, though it is only society’s ability to impose a taboo that is operating, at base.

    Horgan isn’t in this piece arguing that the strictly environmental explanation of IQ differences between races be suppressed. He is arguing only that the other side of the question be suppressed. He isn’t in any way appalled that literally hundreds or thousands of books have been written that argue or simply assume that all races are the same genetically on IQ, or that Identity Politics departments and courses in universities exist; he doesn’t challenge their right to ask and answer the questions they do. No, it is only the OTHER side that must be suppressed.

    I ask, what scientist, or person who simply respects reason and the truth, would be comfortable with such a deliberately distorted approach to a question of fact?

    Link to this
  57. 57. Chryses 6:38 pm 05/16/2013

    “Should Research on Race and IQ Be Banned?”

    Of course not. Stop being silly.

    Link to this
  58. 58. Drowkin 6:59 pm 05/16/2013

    You are too emotional to write for a science publication if you truly ask these questions, and even ponder a banning. All information, good or bad, is that, information, and not out to force you into a conscience riddled with guilt.

    Marvel at the probably flawed science, and move to report on it’s debunking (as I’m fairly certain it will be), if you must evoke emotion, but please, leave the preaching to those publications with words like “Christian” in them.

    Link to this
  59. 59. paulus 7:04 pm 05/16/2013

    Chryses and rkipling,
    You are right to dismiss my comments on ‘crackers’. It was a flippant remark, whether I am a Swede or not.
    The article itself is problematic, of course, as there is no scientific evidence that there is such a thing as ‘race’. It is nothing more than a social construct.
    Check out the drama of the week on BBC downloads this week. It is an 1859 play entitled ‘Octaroon’, about a woman who is one-eighth ‘black’, and so was considered a black under American law. (Under American law, a person was considered ‘black’ if they had up to 1/256 ‘black blood’.) It was because of this stupidity that Charles Drew, the discoverer of blood plasma and head of the first blood bank was dismissed from his job as head of the first blood bank at the Red Cross during the Second World War. This was because he refused to segregate white and black blood plasma.
    I only have to wonder how many soldiers died from that stupidity. Race is one of the dumbest ideas of history, and it has no more place in science than pixie dust and angels dancing on pinheads.

    Link to this
  60. 60. Scienceisnotagenda 7:05 pm 05/16/2013

    Yikes, what anti-science political fluff.

    Fortunately research on the essence of human biology will be spearheaded by China, India, etc. The USA will either keep up or become irrelevant in research about our very nature.

    The idea that human intelligence is ‘magical’ is pathetic. It has a physical base like everything else in existence.

    Link to this
  61. 61. v4 7:07 pm 05/16/2013

    “These are the same sorts of things said in 1994 when Harvard researchers Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray argued in The Bell Curve that programs to boost black academic performance might be futile because blacks are innately less intelligent than whites”

    What an obviously ridiculous idea that was. Murray and Herrnstein will be proved wrong any decade now, I’m sure. Keep the faith, Horgan.

    http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/college_bound/2013/05/gap_widens_among_high_achieving_students.html

    Link to this
  62. 62. rkipling 7:09 pm 05/16/2013

    You folks should be nicer to Horgan. Horgan is a doubleplusgood duckspeaker.

    Link to this
  63. 63. Scienceisnotagenda 7:12 pm 05/16/2013

    Huh…how will they be ‘proven wrong’? You have a conclusion before research is done . Political correctness does not equate with scientific methodology.

    Link to this
  64. 64. PeterGibbons 7:12 pm 05/16/2013

    This is why political liberalism is the new Creationism. Every ideology abhors science, because science only knows truth.

    Link to this
  65. 65. Coreander 7:13 pm 05/16/2013

    Just remember, IQ doesn’t matter, unless it shows that liberals are smarter than conservatives, then it is very very important.

    Link to this
  66. 66. rkipling 7:22 pm 05/16/2013

    v4,

    “Keep the faith”? Really?

    Although I doubt you intended to disclose your true position, you correctly describe Horgan’s position as an article of faith. I’m sure support from another true believer is heartening to him.

    Link to this
  67. 67. MP019 7:23 pm 05/16/2013

    @ 32. rshoff & apache,

    Individuals are easily classified into genetic clusters that correspond almost perfectly to self identified ethnicity. Also, forensic anthropologists can identify an individuals ethnicity from their cranial and skeletal features.

    As Steve Hsu, a member of the BGI Cognitive Genomics Project, notes – the existence of group differences in terms of cognitive abilities is an open question:

    “This clustering is a natural consequence of geographical isolation, inheritance and natural selection operating over the last 50k years since humans left Africa.
    ….
    Two groups that form distinct clusters are likely to exhibit different frequency distributions over various genes, leading to group differences.

    This leads us to two very different possibilities in human genetic variation:

    Hypothesis 1: (the PC mantra) The only group differences that exist between the clusters (races) are innocuous and superficial, for example related to skin color, hair color, body type, etc.

    Hypothesis 2: (the dangerous one) Group differences exist which might affect important (let us say, deep rather than superficial) and measurable characteristics, such as cognitive abilities, personality, athletic prowess, etc.

    Note H1 is under constant revision, as new genetically driven group differences (e.g., particularly in disease resistance) are being discovered. According to the mantra of H1 these must all (by definition) be superficial differences.

    A standard argument against H2 is that the 50k years during which groups have been separated is not long enough for differential natural selection to cause any group differences in deep characteristics. I find this argument quite naive, given what we know about animal breeding and how evolution has affected the (ever expanding list of) “superficial” characteristics. Many genes are now suspected of having been subject to strong selection over timescales of order 5k years or less. For further discussion of H2 by Steve Pinker, see here.

    The predominant view among social scientists is that H1 is obviously correct and H2 obviously false. However, this is mainly wishful thinking. Official statements by the American Sociological Association and the American Anthropological Association even endorse the view that race is not a valid biological concept, which is clearly incorrect.

    As scientists, we don’t know whether H1 or H2 is correct, but given the revolution in biotechnology, we will eventually. Let me reiterate, before someone labels me a racist: we don’t know with high confidence whether H1 or H2 is correct.

    Finally, it is important to note that group differences are statistical in nature and do not imply anything definitive about a particular individual. Rather than rely on the scientifically unsupported claim that we are all equal, it would be better to emphasize that we all have inalienable human rights regardless of our abilities or genetic makeup.

    http://infoproc.blogspot.co.nz/2007/01/metric-on-space-of-genomes-and.html

    Link to this
  68. 68. fyouell 7:24 pm 05/16/2013

    Burn the witch! Burn the witch!

    Link to this
  69. 69. fyouell 7:27 pm 05/16/2013

    I found this online.

    “It beyond belief that, in the year 2013, there are still some that want to posit that there is a genetic basis for race.”

    I could well imagine our learned professor fitting in with his colleagues featured in this article published in The Nation:
    http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/comm/steen/cogweb/Debate/Ehrenreich.html
    When social psychologist Phoebe Ellsworth took the podium at a recent interdisciplinary seminar on emotions, she was already feeling rattled. Colleagues who’d presented earlier had warned her that the crowd was tough and had little patience for the reduction of human experience to numbers or bold generalizations about emotions across cultures. Ellsworth had a plan: She would pre-empt criticism by playing the critic, offering a social history of psychological approaches to the topic. But no sooner had the word “experiment” passed her lips than the hands shot up. Audience members pointed out that the experimental method is the brainchild of white Victorian males. Ellsworth agreed that white Victorian males had done their share of damage in the world but noted that, nonetheless, their efforts had led to the discovery of DNA. This short-lived dialogue between paradigms ground to a halt with the retort: “You believe in DNA?”

    If our learned professor was encamped in the science faculty there would be no toleration for his creationist, anti-science, viewpoint, but because he’s a political scientist he’s given free reign to spout off his creationist nonsense and to likely hold his students accountable to this nonsensical, faith-based, vision of race.

    Link to this
  70. 70. fyouell 7:32 pm 05/16/2013

    “A climate of fear is a third important characteristic of the initial conditions of the witch hunt. First, the witch hunt is based on, and propelled by fear of the stigmatized individuals that are the objects of the hunt. Witches are portrayed, for example, as both repellent and dangerous. But second, the whole procedure of the witch hunt is suffused with fear. Everyone who could be accused is terrified, because they know that targeting is relatively random, and even an innocent person can be accused. But also, they know that once they are accused, and caught up in the tribunal process, the consequences are horrific (for anyone whose reputation matters to them) and the outcome is inevitably certain to be bad. Thus a climate of (well-founded) fear is characteristic of the whole process of the witch hunt.“

    Link to this
  71. 71. Crawfurdmuir 7:33 pm 05/16/2013

    If Richwine, Murray and Herrnstein, or other proponents of nature over nurture as an explanation for the differing IQ distributions of various racial or ethnic groups (noted since the time of Lewis Terman) are to be disproved, the only way it can be done is by showing us the evidence against it.

    Horgan does not do this. He denounces these researchers not for scientific errors but for heresy against the prevailing orthodoxy of political correctness. Ultimately, this appeals only to those who, like him, are willing to put belief before evidence, dismissing any evidence that does not confirm their belief as unworthy. This is not science – it is theology. John Horgan and Cardinal Bellarmine share a mode of thinking, and its weakness is that it permits those who disagree with them to respond to their condemnation – whether they be factually right or wrong – with “eppur si muove.”

    Link to this
  72. 72. Chryses 7:44 pm 05/16/2013

    Mr. Horgan was bored, which is why he posted this.

    Link to this
  73. 73. olsonjam 7:51 pm 05/16/2013

    Effective peer review ought to weed out the bogus science…though as you note, Harvard seems to be rather friendly to this kind of foolishness.

    Claims that Africans are genetically inferior are especially ludicrous, since Africans have the highest rate of genetic variation of any human population.

    Link to this
  74. 74. rkipling 7:58 pm 05/16/2013

    Having read many of his other blog posts, I am fully prepared to believe he wrote this with profound sincerity.

    I can’t imagine a greater condemnation than that.

    Link to this
  75. 75. fyouell 7:58 pm 05/16/2013

    Here is what this is all about. Every generation has its religion and its dogma. In the 17th century it was conventional Christianity. Now its “diversity”, “multiculturalism”, and Open Borders. Things change. However, some things don’t change.

    The dominant elites are always intent on suppressing dissent to the dogma of the day, because the dominant dogma always reinforces the power of the elite. They are frequently quite successful. Science on the other hand is based on facts. Of course, sciences allows new facts to be discovered and added to mankind’s compendium of knowledge.

    Back then the scary idea of the day was the heliocentric solar system and the earth orbiting the sun. Galileo Galilei (and others) demonstrated that the dogma of the day was wrong. Since this undermined the dogma (and power) of the church it was unacceptable. Galileo was prosecuted, threatened with torture, and placed under house arrest for the rest of his life.

    In our time, the scary ideas are race as a biological / genetic fact and the existence of group differences. Of course, these ideas challenge the dominant elite orthodoxies of “diversity”, multiculturalism, Open Borders, etc. Hence, every effort must be made to suppress them.

    However, science isn’t that friendly to anyone’s ideas. Research of the last few decades has established the biological / genetic basis for race. Stephen J. Gould has been shown to be a fraud (probably a deliberate fraud). Lewontin’s notions of gene variability have been superseded by full genome studies. This list goes on and on.

    All of this is deeply threatening to the elite establishment as it clings to its preferred worldview and policies. Worse it is a threat to their power.

    Galileo said it all.

    “Eppur si muove” – And yet it moves.

    Link to this
  76. 76. paulus 8:39 pm 05/16/2013

    A dominant thread of this comment page is the attack on liberal ideas, that politically correct ideas are somehow diluting science. In reality, political correctness exists in many forms, on both the left and the right. Generally speaking, the practitioners do not see their own blindness. So, while one side may refute DNA , another attacks those who question race as a scientific fact.
    Of course, both sides refuse to see their own blindness. But I must comment that it was long before political correctness became en vogue that I learned that race as a scientific fact does not exist. All people are referring to when they talk of race is skin pigmentation. This is the most narrow and scientifically inaccurate manner to talk of different populations. It was borne of imperialism, specifically that of Goubinot, a Frenchman, several hundred years ago. It is a modern idea based on no scientific evidence.
    All the protesting does not change the fact that those who adhere to the idea in this day and age are practicing a perverse Lysenkoism that only serves to justify a dumb prejudice which will disappear in time as most of us continue to choose mates beyond any imaginary line called race.

    Link to this
  77. 77. sEth Day 9:13 pm 05/16/2013

    apache

    “Here is why scientific research on race and IQ should not be funded–race is a social construct, not a biological one”

    Race deniers have been saying this a long time but where is the evidence?

    Link to this
  78. 78. JayMan 9:19 pm 05/16/2013

    Freedom of speech and free thought so long as it’s not in an area you want researched – and that’s because that research comes to conclusions of which you don’t approve, right?

    How about we let the scientific process do its work? If someone produces faulty research on race, only subsequent investigation can unearth the truth. You can’t do that if you ban research into that topic.

    Since when did modern America go the route of the Catholic Church in response to Galileo?

    My blog

    Link to this
  79. 79. sEth Day 9:28 pm 05/16/2013

    olsonjam

    Effective peer review ought to weed out the bogus science…though as you note, Harvard seems to be rather friendly to this kind of foolishness. Claims that Africans are genetically inferior are especially ludicrous, since Africans have the highest rate of genetic variation of any human population.

    Intellectual inferiority and genectic inferiority are different things.

    Link to this
  80. 80. sEth Day 9:34 pm 05/16/2013

    paulus
    But I must comment that it was long before political correctness became en vogue that I learned that race as a scientific fact does not exist. All people are referring to when they talk of race is skin pigmentation.

    So their are no differences in height, muscle distribution, hormone levels ect.

    This is the most narrow and scientifically inaccurate manner to talk of different populations. It was borne of imperialism, specifically that of Goubinot, a Frenchman, several hundred years ago. It is a modern idea based on no scientific evidence. All the protesting does not change the fact that those who adhere to the idea in this day and age are practicing a perverse Lysenkoism that only serves to justify a dumb prejudice which will disappear in time as most of us continue to choose mates beyond any imaginary line called race.

    Right.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3455741

    Link to this
  81. 81. sEth Day 9:37 pm 05/16/2013

    paulus
    But I must comment that it was long before political correctness became en vogue that I learned that race as a scientific fact does not exist. All people are referring to when they talk of race is skin pigmentation.

    So their are no differences in height, muscle distribution, hormone levels ect.

    This is the most narrow and scientifically inaccurate manner to talk of different populations. It was borne of imperialism, specifically that of Goubinot, a Frenchman, several hundred years ago. It is a modern idea based on no scientific evidence. All the protesting does not change the fact that those who adhere to the idea in this day and age are practicing a perverse Lysenkoism that only serves to justify a dumb prejudice which will disappear in time as most of us continue to choose mates beyond any imaginary line called race.

    Right.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3455741

    If any race denier has evidence to back up their claim do us a favor and give us some.

    Link to this
  82. 82. paulus 9:38 pm 05/16/2013

    Those of you who cling tenaciously to race as a valid scientific concept–where is your proof?
    I would suggest you consult Barbara Heath’s writings on Google Books to get a scientific understanding of human variability. A semester in a physical anthropology class might help you avoid embarassing yourself in front of educated people. She was a terrific scientist and teacher who advanced both physical anthropology greatly in the Twentieth Century, and authored one of the few textbooks then that helped dispel the antiquated notion of race.

    Link to this
  83. 83. sjn 9:43 pm 05/16/2013

    It is vital to remember the history of the eugenical arguements about I.Q. etc, perhaps best laid out decades ago by S.J. Gould in his “Mismeasure of Man”. These arguments have always been brought out by anti-immigrant groups in times of economic crises. As the history shows, some of the earliest I.Q. based arguments were made against East European Jews and Italian immigrants in the 1920′s (again, ?by Chance? by Stanford linked scholars) utilizing mass WW I IQ testing by the military to again justify anti-immigrant policies (in the days were the above groups were not quite accepted as “white” enough & were the despised immigrant threat).

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  84. 84. o.toole 10:14 pm 05/16/2013

    This piece is a disgrace to the author and to Scientific American. It will do enduring harm to the reputation of both. The footnote by the asterisk is a tacit admission by the author that he is taking a position that cannot be reconciled with reason or the ideals of a free society. You work for Scientific American, not The Onion. What’s your real definition of ban?

    Link to this
  85. 85. m 10:36 pm 05/16/2013

    Political views must not get into scientific american, America has a hard enough problem with religious people wanting stoning back. Its important scientific research, certainly of this kind that doesnt harm anyone be maintained.

    Immigration is not a necessity, it is a privilege given by countries for humanitarian, industry and defence reasons (naming a few).

    Is a component of iq genetic, indeed your ENTIRE iq is genetic, try teaching a rock something, and no matter how much nurturing you give it, nothing will change. Too many people are too stupid to understand this.

    Now skin pigmentation aside, we are one race, that has chosen to reside on separate continents, meaning each has different genes active. This is no hypothesis, this is a factual theory. A recent bird study proved that groups evolve differently if separated by only a small distance, to make my point.

    Therefore skin pigmentation, and the continent you come from is a DIRECT relationship to every gene in your body, which includes iq. Some countries populations have favoured the stupid and so stupid genes have become the norm. The monarchy system spread genes from top down, smarter, wiser genes generally. Feudal systems spread conniving, ruthless, impassioned genes.

    Now to reality, immigrants have genes from their countries that directly relate to their country and its world-views, the genes have been nurtured to be what they wanted and so have changed to suit the conditions.

    Bringing in a low iq person will dilute the population as a whole over time. I cant recall how many generations before everyone is interrelated but its possibly a few hundred.

    So if you want a smarter country, you must and there is NO doubt, you must have immigration limits to iq as a minimum, along with trying to get the smart people to have more children. Attack the problem at both ends.

    Link to this
  86. 86. fyouell 10:52 pm 05/16/2013

    sjn,

    You need to stop quoting Stephen J. Gould. Subsequent research has shown that he was a fraud (apparently a quite deliberate fraud).

    Link to this
  87. 87. fyouell 10:57 pm 05/16/2013

    paulus,

    Race doesn’t exist as a biological fact. Really? Please try to convince the right-wing racist New York Times.

    “Gene Study Identifies 5 Main Human Populations
    By NICHOLAS WADE http://www.nytimes.com/ads/bet…

    Scientists studying the DNA of 52 human groups from around the world have concluded that people belong to five principal groups corresponding to the major geographical regions of the world: Africa, Europe, Asia, Melanesia and the Americas.

    The study, based on scans of the whole human genome, is the most thorough to look for patterns corresponding to major geographical regions. These regions broadly correspond with popular notions of race, the researchers said in interviews.

    Several scientific journal editors have said references to race should be avoided. But a leading population geneticist, Dr. Neil Risch of Stanford University, argued recently that race was a valid area of medical research because it reflects the genetic differences that arose on each continent after the ancestral human population dispersed from its African homeland.

    “Neil’s article was theoretical and this is the data that backs up what he said,” Dr. Feldman said.

    But Dr. Feldman said the finding essentially confirmed the popular conception of race. He said precautions should be taken to make sure the new data coming out of genetic studies were not abused.”

    Link to this
  88. 88. fyouell 10:58 pm 05/16/2013

    Let me offer a practical suggestion. John Hogan should resign. Anyone who doesn’t believe in science has no business at a publication called Scientific American.

    Link to this
  89. 89. fyouell 10:59 pm 05/16/2013

    sjn,

    100 years ago it was already well known that Jews had high IQs. 7% of the entering Harvard class in 1900 was Jewish. By 1920 is was way over 20%.

    You are just repeating a dumb line from Stephen Jay Gould (now universally recognized as a fraud) about the work of Professor Goddard. Here is what Goddard really thought about Jews.

    “In 1927, he supervised a Master’s thesis entitled “The Intelligence of Jews compared with Non-Jews”, which was published by Ohio State University Press. In his introduction, Goddard said that it proved that Jews are more intelligent than Gentiles and his conclusion was substantiated by the constant persecution of the Jews, “for we are seldom jealous of our inferiors.””

    Read it all over at “Early IQ tests on Jews with low scores”

    Link to this
  90. 90. ChristopherWilliams 11:00 pm 05/16/2013

    Part of me wonders whether people who desire to censor scientific research—given the persistence of opposition to science in the U.S. and elsewhere–should simply be executed. I don’t say this lightly. For the most part, I am a hard-core opponent of the death penalty. But censorship—no matter what its subject is—seems to me to have no redeeming value.

    Link to this
  91. 91. fyouell 11:09 pm 05/16/2013

    “Scientists and pundits who insist on recycling racial theories of intelligence portray themselves as courageous defenders of scientific truth. I see them not as heroes but as bullies, picking on those who are already getting a raw deal in our society. It’s time to put these destructive theories to rest once and for all.”

    Let’s see what James Flynn (a Socialist) has to say about this. From the rabid, racist, New York Times.

    “A noted authority on intelligence, Professor Flynn has long opposed Professor Jensen’s views on the subject. “Take it from me, the evidence is highly complicated,” he said. “The best we can say is that it is more probable that the I.Q. gap between black and white is entirely environmental in origin.””

    If James Flynn won’t go any further than “more probable” you can be sure that there is plenty of science on the other side.

    Sorry, about using the “science” word. “Science” is probably hate speech around here.

    Link to this
  92. 92. Tim May 11:10 pm 05/16/2013

    From the tone of the “clarification,” with the tropes about monitoring e-mail, sent to Gitmo, etc., I suspect that Horgan is being facetious.

    But it’s not signaled very well. And, of course, it closely matches other sentiments from the apologists for the “underprivileged” who rant about white male privilege, the evils of capitalism, etc.

    And given the increasingly leftward, “soft science” views of SciAm, and with blogs about those poor crackheads in the inner cities, perhaps it’s not meant as an ironic piece after all.

    Link to this
  93. 93. fyouell 1:22 am 05/17/2013

    Actually I think Horgan is correct. Research into race and IQ should be banned. However, the name of this publication should be changed as well. I suggest.

    Righteous American
    Creationist American
    Dogma and Faith – Grinding “Science” into the Dirt
    Burn Em Now – American Witchcraft Exposed
    The Party Line

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  94. 94. fyouell 1:23 am 05/17/2013

    Paulus,

    “Of course, most people don’t know that the original IQ test was changed when the results showed that blacks taking the test scored higher than whites”

    What a joke. Got any references to support your nonesense? Didn’t think so. Of course, the really funny part is that they (those bad whites), then changed the test to make sure that Jews and Asians go the highest scores.

    Snicker-Snack,

    “There is no scientific definition of race and IQ tests are not valid for groups unfamiliar with the language and culture of the tests’ authors.”

    The biological basis of race is the clustering of the human genome. Check the work of Neil Risch if you want to learn something. The nothing that IQ tests are culturaly biased was discarded decades ago. Look up “Raven’s Progressive Matricies” before embarrassing yourself.

    Apache,

    “Apache commented: “Here is why scientific research on race and IQ should not be funded–race is a social construct, not a biological one.””

    Do explain how a computer can find the race of a person from their DNA with 99.8% accuracy. Sure race doesn’t exist. Gravity is a myth too.

    DD,

    “There is no genetic underpinning to the “races” we’re all familiar with – no clear genetic boundary can be found between any one “race” and another.”

    Learn some science before you post. Their is no clear boundary between the climate of Moscow and Nairobi. Care to claim that Moscow and Nairobi have the same climate? I guess climate doesn’t exist either? Another myth along with race, IQ, and gravity.

    jstevewhite,

    He can’t because he made it up.

    albittle,

    Poverty and nutrition have been researched to death.

    See “The Widening Racial Scoring Gap on the SAT College Admissions Test” in The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education

    “Blacks from families with incomes of more than $100,000 had a mean SAT score that was 85 points below the mean score for whites from all income levels, 139 points below the mean score of whites from families at the same income level, and 10 points below the average score of white students from families whose income was less than $10,000.”

    LarryW,

    Marx – “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force.”

    Diversity, multiculturalism, Open Borders, etc. are the dominant ideas (obsessions) of our time. Hence the condemnation of Jason Richwine as a heretic.

    Think of the persecution of Galileo by the church. “Eppur si muove” – And yet it moves.

    Chryses,

    IQ doesn’t exist unless it can be used to denounce people we don’t like. Then it is real. Very real.

    Ingamas,

    Hispanic is a self-identification. People are classified as Hispanic if they say they are. IQ test are given in the native language of the individual. Some tests have no language (Raven’s Progressive Matricies). The results correlate rather well.

    Apache,

    “By the way, do I think that if we separated two groups of people, in two different environments for a really long time we could create two distinct races? Probably, but we wouldn’t be sure until they reunited and their genomes were compared.”

    That’s what happened and their genomes have been compared. The results show a distinct clustering of human genes matching (rather exactly) the traditional notions of race. See Neil Risch and many others on the subject.

    M Tucker,

    Trying to pass your DAAR test? You get 100 this time. Jason Richwine has asserted that Jews and Asians have higher IQs than whites many times. Some white supremacist.

    Try to learn some “facts” before you post.

    JoeShipman,

    +10

    Paulus,

    “Race is one of the dumbest ideas of history, and it has no more place in science than pixie dust and angels dancing on pinheads.”

    Numerous other posters have documented the biological basis for race. Don’t like science? Go elswhere. If race is irrelevant, why do colleges and universities have racial quotas?

    olsonjam,

    “Claims that Africans are genetically inferior are especially ludicrous, since Africans have the highest rate of genetic variation of any human population.”

    The science on this point is complex and evolving (pun intended). One theory (and that is what it is, a theory) says that wide variability in African DNA is a response to disease load. It is quite possible (but rather far from proven) that this is a tradeoff. A higher rate of mutations (or retained mutations) protected Africans from tropical diseases, but burdened them in other ways. In one specific case, this is clearly true. Sickle cell is a disaster, but essential in a high Malaria environment.

    Don’t read any hard and fast conclusions into this. None are warranted based on the current state of the science (as I understand it). However, don’t reach the reverse conclusion either. The greater variablity of African DNA may be a blessing or it may not be.

    Paulus,

    “But I must comment that it was long before political correctness became en vogue that I learned that race as a scientific fact does not exist. All people are referring to when they talk of race is skin pigmentation.”

    No. Read the many other comments. When people talk about race casually they are referring to continental geogrphic origins. When scientists talk about it, they are referring to the clustering of the human genome. For better or worse, these definitions align.

    Paulus,

    Barbara Heath is an is an archaeologist. Neil Risch (and others) are population geneticists and biostatisticians. Check out here Wikipedia page. Lots of archeology and history. No genetics, biology, statistics, etc.

    sjn,

    Gould was shown to be a fraud after he died. See “Scientists Measure the Accuracy of a Racism Claim” in the New York Times. His claims about Jewish IQs and the role of IQ testing in the 1920s have also been debunked.

    Link to this
  95. 95. grandpa98 1:50 am 05/17/2013

    Ugh Horgan! Although I found myself disagreeing, mostly, with the meaty part of your article, I was totally pissed at your remedy. Then I realized you’re pulling our leg. I suppose this has something to do with our governments handling of it recent scandals. If the evidence hurts, spin, dissemble, ignore.

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  96. 96. N a g n o s t i c 2:02 am 05/17/2013

    Are chihuahuas and mastiffs social constructs?

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  97. 97. rkipling 3:10 am 05/17/2013

    You folks have really gotten torqued up over this blog post. This has been a great entertainment. It’s been way more fun than watching the same old crowd flailing away at each other about global warming over on the environment topics. Part of what makes it better is the tone of the discussion. (Well except for the person advocating executions. Admittedly that one was harsh.)

    Some are aghast that Scientific American could be contaminated with politics. (chuckle snort) That might have happened a time or two before now. But that’s okay. There is no rule that says you have to agree with the writer.

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  98. 98. szopen 3:17 am 05/17/2013

    But the discussion is not really about the IQ, but about the g. G and IQ are two different things. Flynn effect is on IQ, but is it on g?

    Besides, I find it strange that you want to ban the research on the basis that it is offensive or dangerous. It seems to me that you would support people wanting to ban research on evolution or ban Copernicus theory, since e.g. Copernicus theory undermines social order and does poorer job of explaining things than so beatifully refined theory of Ptolomeus. I never expected to find so many inquisitors amongst liberals.

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  99. 99. artbrns 3:19 am 05/17/2013

    wherever the research goes, whatever the proven conclusion, that is intellectual honestly. To pretend the scientific method and critical thinking should be suspended to avoid hurting the feelings or potential of readers goes against every principle that this publication should stand for, because it is beyond reason that every reader supports the science and theory behind every paper.

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  100. 100. hartson 3:35 am 05/17/2013

    There is only one race, the human race. If there were truly differences other than color, we could not produce fertile children. The children would all be the mules that are produced when breeding horses and donkeys.

    Link to this
  101. 101. fyouell 3:49 am 05/17/2013

    hartson,

    You are confusing the biological definition of species with the biological definition of race (or breed). Humans are one species. We are not one race.

    Link to this
  102. 102. fyouell 3:50 am 05/17/2013

    “But the discussion is not really about the IQ, but about the g. G and IQ are two different things. Flynn effect is on IQ, but is it on g?”

    Good question. One of the better ones.

    Link to this
  103. 103. El Kapitaino Krunch 5:19 am 05/17/2013

    Horgan wrote: “These are the same sorts of things said in 1994 when Harvard researchers Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray argued in The Bell Curve that programs to boost black academic performance might be futile because blacks are innately less intelligent than whites”

    This is a misrepresentation of Herrnstein and Murray’s actual view as stated in The Bell Curve. They remained agnostic with respect to the causes of racial disparities in IQ.

    Horgan wrote: “and in 2007 when geneticist and Nobel laureate James Watson ascribed Africa’s social problems to Africans’ genetic inferiority”

    Ask and double-check whether Watson was actually making any direct claim about “genetic inferiority”, or whether he was citing the IQ of sub-Saharan Africans.

    Horgan wrote: “For example, to my mind the single most important finding related to the debate over IQ and heredity is the dramatic rise in IQ scores over the past century. This so-called Flynn effect, which was discovered by psychologist James Flynn, undercuts claims that intelligence stems primarily from nature and not nurture.”

    The devil is in the details. Are you qualified to speak on all of the empirical and theoretical nuances of the Flynn Effect as it relates to both the wider intelligence literature and the debate between environmentalists and hereditarians?

    Horgan wrote: “But research on race and intelligence—no matter what its conclusions are—seems to me to have no redeeming value.”

    What’s the “redeeming value” of M-theory, even if it turns out to be basically correct?

    Horgan wrote: “The claims of researchers like Murray, Herrnstein and Richwine could easily become self-fulfilling, by bolstering the confirmation bias of racists and by convincing minority children, their parents and teachers that the children are innately, immutably inferior.”

    Here’s a hypothetical counterexample to ponder, by way of thought experiment. Suppose there came a point where very compelling evidence was amassed showing that acceptance of evolution by people with certain personality traits bolstered their risk of depression, existential meaninglessness, and perhaps half a dozen other undesirable outcomes. (I’m not suggesting this is actually true, only to consider it hypothetically.)

    Would you then be calling for further research in evolutionary biology to be banned, by dint of these possibilities?

    Horgan wrote: “Why, given all the world’s problems and needs, would someone choose to investigate this thesis?”

    Why, given all the world’s problems and needs, would someone choose to investigate the question of dark energy?

    Horgan wrote: “Are we really going to base policies on immigration, education and other social programs on allegedly innate racial differences? Not even the Heritage Foundation advocates a return to such eugenicist policies.”

    So it’s guilt by non-existent association? Is it really eugenics? Is having immigration, education, and social program policies informed by empirical evidence intrinsically evil? Do citizens of a country not deserve to know whether potential future immigrants to their country might become an economic burden that leaches from the state (i.e., special education programs, welfare, health care, etc.)?

    Horgan wrote: “Scientists and pundits who insist on recycling racial theories of intelligence portray themselves as courageous defenders of scientific truth. I see them not as heroes but as bullies, picking on those who are already getting a raw deal in our society. It’s time to put these destructive theories to rest once and for all.”

    And if affirmative action policies and very economically-burdensome government largesse designed to redress inequalities in various sectors (education, hiring, etc.) is predicated on false blank slate assumptions, then how would such policies and special programs not amount to a “raw deal” for other people in our society? Why spend money on programs that can’t work? Why institute reverse-discrimination quota policies if certain inequalities are driven by factors like differential intelligence?

    How is this piece not bad journalism?

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  104. 104. Chryses 5:46 am 05/17/2013

    fyouell (94),

    “IQ doesn’t exist unless it can be used to denounce people we don’t like. Then it is real. Very real.”

    While I’ve no doubt this is in response to a post of mine, I’m unsure what it might be. Would you please flesh it out a bit?

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  105. 105. david123 6:51 am 05/17/2013

    53. JoeShipman

    I agree with much of what you write in #53 but I would like to change it a bit.

    Instead of saying what I think you are saying, that this “research” on race/IQ should continue so that it will correct our “faulty assumptions”, I’d rather just push a kind of social contract — a binding social contract that particularly binds the policy makers.

    Here’s the deal: no more research on race/IQ, no more talk about race/IQ differences, and in return, no more pushing of racial quotas or affirmative action of any kind. Concentrate all public zeal on projects like making public schools work for ALL children, especially poor children, but turn a completely blind eye to who is what color. Completely. Totally. And if more Asians than Whites pass the standardized tests, that’s just tough titties. Same with all the other groups. Level the playing field by doing things in education that have a chance of working (school vouchers, for instance), and drop all reference to race… EVERYWHERE.

    That’s the deal. No race for the IQ research studies and no race for the policy makers.

    Let’s just say no more looking at race. Period. And long prison sentences for any policy maker who tries to make race an issue.

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  106. 106. bobayob 7:03 am 05/17/2013

    Rationalisation remains merely someones opinion.

    I believe IQ without training allows an ability to detect a greater range of possibilities.

    ..Things I’d like to know. IQ fluctuates, sometimes over hours, or it does with me, does that apply to everyone?

    Please nominate those lifeforms that don’t preference their own kind?

    Are lifeforms that preference their own kind more successful?

    Rule of life seems to favour Diversity of genes not Homogeneity? ..

    Genes mutate faster in small isolated groups? ..

    Is the purpose to any small pocket of differentiated genes to allow something that fits to take over after Cataclysm?

    An insurance to preserve life itself in any unforeseen circumstance in the energy matter chaos in which life exists?

    Is there only consciousness at the highest level?

    Which direction is nirvana?

    How many directions are there?

    How much is three pence ha’penny?

    will it ever return?

    I want to see research not faith based controlling bigots nor the insane who believe life begins at death.

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  107. 107. rkipling 8:07 am 05/17/2013

    bobayob,

    Dude, those were not the portabellas.

    Link to this
  108. 108. stevenlmeyer 8:28 am 05/17/2013

    Do away with affirmative action based on “race.”

    Do away with de facto quotas based on “race.”

    And this whole issue goes away.

    Keep these policies alive and people are going to ask questions and demand answers.

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  109. 109. david123 8:42 am 05/17/2013

    stevenlmeyer, well said.

    Better than when I tried to say it. You said it much more succinctly.

    Get rid of racial politics and policies and you’ll cut the ground out from under racial “studies”.

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  110. 110. stevenlmeyer 8:46 am 05/17/2013

    Another point.

    It is all very well saying you want to ban this sort of research. But the United States is not the only jurisdiction in which the relationship between IQ and race is under investigation. I know for a fact that there are scientists in Russia researching this area.

    So what are you going to do? Are you going to ban the results of race-IQ research being disseminated in the US? If so, how?

    Give it another decade or two and we’ll be able to link cognitive ability to genomes. Then we’ll know.

    Till then what’s the point in arguing?

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  111. 111. stevenlmeyer 8:51 am 05/17/2013

    david123

    Thanks.

    As I said in my previous post, give it a decade or two and we’ll have the answers. Whether I’ll still be around then I don’t know. I’m 68.

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  112. 112. christinaak 9:14 am 05/17/2013

    There may be a relationship between race and IQ and if there is it could explain differences in educational performance. I am not saying that it is true, but if it is should we ignore it? After all it needs to be determined if such race related variations have an environmental or genetic explanation. The only way to do so is through scientific examination. It may well be that interracial mixing will eventually eliminate any disparities (eventually) if they exist. Tailoring educational programs to account for such differences may also mitigate difficulties in educational performance (and attainment). Simply hiding our heads in the sand will not address the problem.

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  113. 113. southron_98 10:41 am 05/17/2013

    Richard Feynman, James Watson others make us nervous like the scientific community in Europe say studies in the US can and will never again be foremost as they have to abide by the PC police. IQ has found to be higher in Asian and India then whites, so what there still successes to brag about. But once you harness science you’ll never know the truth.

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  114. 114. rkipling 10:44 am 05/17/2013

    Individuals should not be pigeonholed by race. If it turns out that there is a measurable difference in mean IQ by racial group, the distribution of IQ values within any group will be too broad to indicate anything meaningful about the IQ of an individual member of the group.

    So, the idea of tailoring educational programs to specific racial groups (even if well intended) seems a bad idea. Tailoring course work for groups by capability or potential, on the other hand, makes sense. Just because we are all equal under the law, that doesn’t mean we all have equal abilities.

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  115. 115. rkipling 10:49 am 05/17/2013

    southron_98,

    Your translation program isn’t working very well.

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  116. 116. christinaak 11:12 am 05/17/2013

    The notion that geographically isolated populations ( or socioculturally, etc.) of the same species may evolve variations in average physical or intellectual aptitudes is consistent with evolutionary theory. Furthermore, the notion that such intellectual variations may exist is certainly a falsifiable proposition and a appropriate subject for scientific examination. Political ideology should not dictate the course of scientific inquiry.

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  117. 117. osuzanna7 12:42 pm 05/17/2013

    Horgan,
    you are full of it!
    I really enjoy reading you. I always find it interesting, but this almost seems like a devils advocate read today.
    Come on, it is information and the political stuff be darned.

    Information is power. All information.

    And would you quit self plagerising that dang book!

    Seriously, I am chuckling here. You are pulling our legs.

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  118. 118. rshoff 12:43 pm 05/17/2013

    @rkipling – Your punchline in your response to my comment kept me chuckling this morning, as intended I’m sure! Thanks.

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  119. 119. rshoff 12:45 pm 05/17/2013

    @rkipling… but I’m still against studying it.

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  120. 120. rkipling 1:07 pm 05/17/2013

    Thank you. Thank you.

    I’ll be here all week.

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  121. 121. fyouell 1:42 pm 05/17/2013

    @Chryses(104)

    You reposted paulus(26). I was responding to paulus’s crass bigotry, not what you actually wrote.

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  122. 122. rshoff 4:34 pm 05/17/2013

    67. MP019 – Ok, fair enough. Let’s say for the sake of argument that you are correct and that we are genetically different (geesh, what does that make most Americans that are mixed across many ‘races’?). Let’s say it’s not just a social construct -for the sake of discussion. Then my question would be, ‘what in the world would you do with the information provided by studying IQ by human genotype?’. There is nothing that could be done with this information other than pursuing human breeding policies and unfairly creating race based caste systems. Studying genetics as it relates to disease is ok, even desirable, but to study something as elastic and abstract as IQ as it relates to race is a terribly dark and dangerous place to go. Therefore, back to my first comment, there is no good purpose for these studies.

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  123. 123. rkipling 5:33 pm 05/17/2013

    rshoff,

    Caste systems actually exist in another country. (I don’t believe I have to mention its name.) People already sort and mate by IQ to a large extent. They do that across races. It’s a considerable leap to assume eugenics would be the result of such knowledge if the premise is true.

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  124. 124. Chryses 5:52 pm 05/17/2013

    fyouell (121)

    “You reposted paulus(26). I was responding to paulus’s crass bigotry, not what you actually wrote.”

    Oh, OK. I didn’t understand.

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  125. 125. Nathanwartooth 6:01 pm 05/17/2013

    I just made an account just to praise you for this article.

    It is a great piece of satire that pokes a great deal of fun at the idiots who just point and sputter at race research.

    There are probably people out there who are sick enough to want the research banned.

    Thanks for the fun article.

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  126. 126. Sad American 6:08 pm 05/17/2013

    I must believe this is satire. What a sad statement that in this PC deluded world – one must wonder.

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  127. 127. tpaine37 6:36 pm 05/17/2013

    “For the most part, I am a hard-core defender of freedom of speech and science.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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  128. 128. Kevin O'Keeffe 7:17 pm 05/17/2013

    “Should Research on Race and IQ Be Banned?”

    No, research into any and all topics should always be permitted. If you don’t agree, then you are an enemy of Western civilization, as well as of yours truly.

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  129. 129. CCinLV 7:19 pm 05/17/2013

    The old issue of man’s central place in God’s universe has exploded once again. I’m torn over how to respond to research on heliocentrism. Part of me wants to theologically rebut the naturalist claims of Galileo, Copernicus, et al.

    But another part of me wonders whether research on the natural world—given the persistence of heresy in Christendom–should simply be banned. I don’t say this lightly. For the most part, I am a hard-core defender of freedom of speech and science. But research on heliocentrism—no matter what its conclusions are—seems to me to have no redeeming value.

    Far from it. The claims of researchers like Copernicus could easily become self-fulfilling, by bolstering the confidence of heretics and by convincing Christians that we are innately, immutably Godless and alone in the universe.

    Why, given all the world’s problems and needs, would someone choose to investigate this thesis? What good could come of it?

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  130. 130. John A. 8:10 pm 05/17/2013

    It is not lost on some of us that this is essentially the same argument creationists use. They accept an ideological viewpoint and refuse to consider any evidence to the contrary. They talk about how the world ought to be(we all should live forever in heaven!) instead of how it really is. They point out how certain followers of the “ideology”(“social Darwinism”) were evil. They ask what tangible good to humanity will come from the theory(how does this feed the world’s hungry?). If you answer with an example, they will ignore you.

    The difference is that they simply believe in a different ideological God(literal God, literal race equality). Saying that we should subject the scientific truth to an ideology is repugnant to many scientifically-minded people, and hopefully they will resist such ideas. Even if they don’t investigate it here, it will likely be investigated elsewhere in the world, in countries like China and Japan. It is also likely that with continuing advances in genetics and neurobiology it will be impossible to overlook. We already know that blacks have significantly higher testosterone levels than whites, thanks to research on kidney cancer.

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  131. 131. John A. 8:22 pm 05/17/2013

    The idea of “race” is indeed a sociological concept. The idea of race in America is not the same thing as the definition of race in Brazil, for example, where the “one drop rule” did not exist. Similarly, most Puerto-Ricans have African blood(~20%), but they are not considered “black.”

    The same argument can also be made about color. Some African tribes only have words for the colors red, black, and white. Even Japan did not until recently have different words for green and blue. Color is more socially constructed than one would think. However, just because it has been interpreted in different ways by different societies does not mean that there is no difference between the colors red and blue.

    In race and intelligence studies, pointing out the sociological definitions of race does not diminish the main point. The one drop rule assures that those who identify as white are of almost all European heritage. The fact that many blacks have a significant contribution of European blood would if anything raise their intelligence. There would be no reason that if only “pure” blacks and “pure” whites were measured, the gap would be expected to diminish.

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  132. 132. mstamper 9:06 pm 05/17/2013

    “I envision a federal prohibition against speech or publications supporting racial theories of intelligence. All papers, books and other documents advocating such theories will be burned, deleted or otherwise destroyed. Those who continue espousing such theories either publicly or privately (as determined by monitoring of email, phone calls or other communications) will be detained indefinitely in Guantanamo until or unless a secret tribunal overseen by me says they have expressed sufficient remorse and can be released.”

    The word “NAZI” is often overused. However in this case, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.

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  133. 133. Dunnyveg 9:07 pm 05/17/2013

    The elevation of liberal ideology above scientific inquiry is why I quit carrying “Scientific American” in the library I run right after the purging of Watson. It’s worth noting that this fellow, in true liberal fashion, doesn’t try to refute Richwine’s claims, but ban them. He’s infinitely worse than the most narrow-minded, ignorant Medieval inquisitor because he knows better. For him, fashionable thought is obviously more important than the disinterested pursuit of truth and facts. Americans deserve better and shouldn’t accept less.

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  134. 134. Echos 9:23 pm 05/17/2013

    I think it is Very important to ban this research! I remember when Scientific American banned anyone questioning the “Global Warming” hysteria (16 years of flat temps and counting!) or breathlessly reported on the deforestation of the East Coast due to “Acid Rain”. Then ooops! Those nasty studies came out and broke the bandwagon for Sci/American. And how is that Ozone Hole going for ya?

    By banning this research, it will allow Scientific American to cover its rear when it turns out that people with different genetic makups are fundamentally (gasp!) different. Right now people can only get on their knees and mutter under their breath that “it still moves” or “they are still different” or something but control of thought and ideas is socially important. Restricting information makes Beta males feel strong and important and putting down Scientists that study “bad things” must be brought to heel, no matter how the policy repercussions of not knowing damage the country.

    So let us put on our Church hats and demonize those who study IQ and Genetics, and biology and Anthropology and…

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  135. 135. Echos 9:44 pm 05/17/2013

    Hartson said “There is only one race, the human race. If there were truly differences other than color, we could not produce fertile children. The children would all be the mules that are produced when breeding horses and donkeys.”"”

    Liar.

    Ligers are crosses between Lions and Tigers and they are different species. Further, Dog breeds can cross but is their any question if the German Shepard breed has a higher genetic IQ than say, the Pit Bull? There are several other examples. Most animals are considered different species if their genetic content is more than 0.025% such as a Chimp and a Baboon. African negros are more than 0.25% from the Asian (i.e. Ten times the necessary difference between species to declare a separate sub-species.) As has been referenced above The Euro-White should be classified as “Homo Sapiens Sapiens” and the African “Homo Africanus”.

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  136. 136. rshoff 10:22 pm 05/17/2013

    John, perhaps not to ‘ban’ research, but to avoid supporting it when there are more things to research than there are researchers or money. This is not valuable enough under the best of circumstances. And I’m far from a creationist.

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  137. 137. 1stworlder 10:47 pm 05/17/2013

    The research could be self fulfilling? Isn’t the lack of civilization and invention from anywhere but Asian and European origins already fulfilled? I guess someone should watch a lassie video and then compare it to one with a pit bull that keeps attacking a porcupine.

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  138. 138. John A. 10:50 pm 05/17/2013

    vmfenimore, banging a child’s head against the wall will have a similar effect. I think we should structure our immigration policies in accordance with benefits to Americans, and higher IQ immigrants will contribute to that. Of course we should disallow those convicted of crimes. We should not let those immigrants who abuse the welfare system to stay either.

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  139. 139. rkipling 11:26 pm 05/17/2013

    This is no longer interesting.

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  140. 140. Chryses 5:59 am 05/18/2013

    rkipling (114),

    “… Tailoring course work for groups by capability or potential, on the other hand, makes sense. Just because we are all equal under the law, that doesn’t mean we all have equal abilities.”

    You’re approaching political incorrectness.

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  141. 141. C H Ingoldby 6:42 am 05/18/2013

    Is this article a satire?

    It’s hard to believe such a piece has been published by Scientific American.

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  142. 142. MP019 7:49 am 05/18/2013

    #122 rschoff,

    Well I’m not sure those concerns are well founded. After all, the phenotypes aren’t exactly a secret. There are average differences but there is a lot of overlap.

    Also, ironically the blank slate position is used to justify racial discrimination in college admissions and hiring. That is because lack of representation must be due to privilege, or bias. Therefore it’s justifiable to discriminate in favor of certain groups.* Also, many market dominant minority groups have been persecuted because success is attributed to unfairness.

    * Gottfredson, L. S. (2006). Social consequences of group differences in cognitive ability (Consequencias sociais das diferencas de grupo em habilidade cognitiva). In C. E. Flores-Mendoza & R. Colom (Eds.), Introducau a psicologia das diferencas individuais (pp. 433-456). Porto Allegre, Brazil: ArtMed Publishers.

    http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/2004socialconsequences.pdf

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  143. 143. david123 8:21 am 05/18/2013

    A lot of points have been discussed in these comments. I think a comment is now due from the author. There’s no way he hasn’t read these comments. Did I miss a post from him, from a screen name, perhaps, that I didn’t recognize? Horgan, are you there? I’d like to hear what you have to say about some of these comments. Specifically, an idea that has been mentioned about me and others: If public policy didn’t cram race down our throats, maybe nobody would be interested in studying racial differences in the first place.

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  144. 144. david123 8:25 am 05/18/2013

    correcting typ0:

    Specifically, an idea that has been mentioned by me and others:

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  145. 145. Caligal 8:39 am 05/18/2013

    This subject appears to raise everyone’s emotions. Most of the comments appear to questions it’s use as a researched topic, which to me means there is a bias towards learning the outcome. If we really want to grow as a planet we must not fear honest researched results. Take facts and learn from them. If we had applied this to other of life’s quandaries we would still believe the world was flat. Research is important for our advancement and one group should not stand in the way of that because they don’t want to hear the results. This simply becomes selfish ideology. I still believe the persecution of Jason Richwine is wrong. We are only dooming ourselves to ignorance and indoctrinating ourselves to believing what makes us feel good if we keep up this path.

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  146. 146. rkipling 11:04 am 05/18/2013

    We can hope this was intended as satire. I really hope it was.

    I found some of Mr. Horgan’s earlier articles annoyingly narrow-minded. Readers can read those earlier posts and decide for themselves. In light of his earlier offerings, I’m unsure of his intention here.

    If it wasn’t satire, I would feel no anger. I would feel genuine pity for a fellow human being who has lost touch with reality. Absent a declaration of his intention, I suggest to other commenters that we treat the possibly tortured soul more kindly. (I intend no mockery.)

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  147. 147. Jackryanvb 11:22 am 05/18/2013

    Scientific America’s brave defender of scientific inquiry writes:

    “But another part of me wonders whether research on race and intelligence—given the persistence of racism in the U.S. and elsewhere–should simply be banned. I don’t say this lightly. For the most part, I am a hard-core defender of freedom of speech and science”

    I comment:

    What other forms of research, speech books do you also want to ban?

    Maybe ban/burn Mark Twain’s Huck Finn – contains “the N word”.
    Maybe ban/burn Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice – negative portrayal of Jewish money lenders.
    Maybe ban all the writings of Thomas Jefferson and Abe Lincoln, both said that freed Blacks couldn’t live in peace with White Americans.

    Hey

    “hard-core defender of freedom of speech and science” – STFU, we aren’t going to let you ban/burn anything. You’re a coward, a PC boot licking pussy trying together real scientist purged for thought crimes.

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  148. 148. rkipling 1:00 pm 05/18/2013

    Jackie Boy,

    You seem to have some anger issues. Mr. Horgan isn’t dangerous at all.

    It’s not like he is part of the IRS which is becoming more and more like a 21st century version of the Geheime Staatspolizei.

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  149. 149. ChrisYoung1972 1:15 pm 05/18/2013

    The Catholic church tried in vain to suppress/control scientific research. How long can the currently reigning belief system do it? Eventually, the truth – The REAL truth that most people already know, will be fully confirmed.

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  150. 150. ChrisYoung1972 1:29 pm 05/18/2013

    The idea that Researching racial/group differences is too dangerous, is a Poisoned Well/Association Fallacy, and the assertion that such research is unimportant/irrelevant is just unscientific.

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  151. 151. way2ec 2:21 pm 05/18/2013

    Where is the “science” in “race” ESPECIALLY if you think Hispanic is a race? Where is the “science” in your belief in “IQ” let alone your ability to measure it? Did they “measure” the Mexican immigrant IQ in Spanish ignoring the fact that Spanish is often the second language of immigrants from the poorest parts of Mexico and the other countries often crossing the Mexican border? How did they select candidates to be tested from these immigrants? Do IQ tests even exist in the various indigenous languages? Does the relative lack of education among the immigrants figure into the measure of IQ? As with African American populations how do you categorize “race” with mixed ancestry? Are your IQ tests “sophisticated” enough to record differences between 100% indigenous groups and those mixed with say Spanish blood? And always measured against or compared with the “white” race? Please define the “white” race. Do we still have “White Russians” vs. the Russians from Asia, which is yet another example of racism run amok as if Europe and Asia were two continents. The line dividing them tries to separate the “whites” from the “others”. Do IQ tests exist that are developed and used by other “races” and how would “whites” score on them? What happens when IQ tests are translated out of whatever language they were developed in? Finally, if one believes in multiple intelligences, how does one test measure any or all of the possible intelligences or their possible combinations? And where is the science that would suggest that this genetic “racial” IQ is fixed and inherited, that the process of immigration alone and its impact on nature and nurture would not impact future generations? How an institution like Harvard would accept a Ph.D. thesis based on such bogus “science” is disgusting.

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  152. 152. Chryses 5:11 pm 05/18/2013

    John Horgan

    “I envision a federal prohibition against speech or publications supporting racial theories of intelligence. All papers, books and other documents advocating such theories will be burned, deleted or otherwise destroyed.”

    U.S. Constitution

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    You may select one or the other, but not both.

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  153. 153. SilverTusk 5:19 pm 05/18/2013

    @Horgan

    “Scientific American has just published two excellent article on “stereotype threat,” which is a kind of reverse placebo–or “nocebo”–effect; victims of negative stereotypes may underperform because they believe the stereotype … Some clever critics of my post might accuse me of hypocrisy, because these articles present esearch on race and and should be subject to my proposed ban. Obviously I’m trying to eliminate research that reinforces rather than counteracting racism. I mean, Duh.”

    Obviously, you’re trying to advance your political POV, and suppress what you think are “bad thoughts”.

    I mean, Duh.

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  154. 154. John A. 5:53 pm 05/18/2013

    If the last paragraph hadn’t been added, I wouldn’t have been sure if this was really satire.

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  155. 155. John A. 6:06 pm 05/18/2013

    way2ec, IQ has been measured in many languages, and also by non-lingual forms, and Richwine accounted for that.

    The fact that many Mexicans and blacks have white blood should not contribute to reducing their IQ. “White” is based off of self-identification. There are “Asiatic” Russians who are not “white” as their phenotype resembles that of East Asians.

    Other races haven’t developed IQ tests, they have tests but they aren’t IQ tests. IQ tests have been shown to measure intelligence very accurately and correlate very well with success in many parts of life, from success in mathematics to success in the Army. If you can develop a test that can measure intelligence equally across the races and still have predictive power you would be a millionaire. It has never been done. Besides, on the tests developed by white people, it is Asians who score on average the highest.

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  156. 156. CarefulReview 8:08 pm 05/18/2013

    “For the most part, I am a hard-core defender of freedom of speech and science. But research on race and intelligence—no matter what its conclusions are—seems to me to have no redeeming value.”

    I wonder what Horgan will say if research shows that intelligence has a genetic component?

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  157. 157. Cyndi Simpson 8:43 pm 05/18/2013

    What is disturbing and frustrating is the author’s ignorance. The reason ‘race’ should not be studied regarding intelligence or anything else is because it has no scientific or empirical meaning! Therefore it CANNOT be used accurately in any sort of study. Why does the author not know this information, which has been around since the early 20th C? There is no such thing, biologically speaking, as ‘race’! Why do so many Americans not know this? Why do so many supposedly educated people not know this?

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  158. 158. LenkiMoonshine 8:46 pm 05/18/2013

    “I wonder what Horgan will say if research shows that intelligence has a genetic component?”

    Burn the heretic?

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  159. 159. elitist 9:01 pm 05/18/2013

    The most helpful part of your article is the so-called “clarification,” through which you come crashing out of the closet as a fascist who wants to have thought police crushing the scientific enterprise under a truncheon of ideology.

    Assuming Darwin was right, and that genetics is a real science, there will in fact be significant differences in personality, psychology, temperament, and cognitive ability between various human populations.

    Unless all of modern science is false, it is theoretically impossible for all psychological traits and mental abilities to be distributed uniformly throughout all populations worldwide.

    All scientists on earth without exception have known this for more than a century.

    These issues should be studied intensively, scientifically, without apology, and discussed openly, without stigma, hysteria, or censorship.

    Anything else is fascism, totalitarianism, antiscience.

    The article is a toxic call for repression and censorship, and its only virtue is the openness with which you propose a series of atrocities and perversions of the scientific method.

    Clarification: you are the terrorist, for proposing that scientists who have the temerity to study the human evolution of intelligence and psychology should be sent to the Gulag in a Soviet style annihilation of the scientific enterprise.

    The fact that Scientific American has published this perverted nonsense means that we are making the transition from the soft fascism of political correctness to something more overtly fascist.

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  160. 160. ccccffcc 9:13 pm 05/18/2013

    Truth, Love, Beauty: Three important virtues. The possibility of the existence of non-superficial racial differences pits truth against beauty–what’s true wouldn’t be beautiful. Truth and beauty should be reconciled through love.

    And also: Our talk should be influenced by love, but I disagree with laws which serve to limit the expression of explanations or ideas–even those with which I disagree.

    Here are my thoughts on this matter in a somewhat more expanded form: http://cognitiveparfait.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/my-comment-on-wesley-smiths-derbyshires-racism-denies-human-exceptionalism-post-at-his-secondhand-smoke-blog/

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  161. 161. agwisreal 11:43 pm 05/18/2013

    John Horgan’s ban on research into race and IQ would not suffice to quell public interest in the subject or public discussion of evidence bearing on it. We would have to outlaw the compilation or possession of lists of past world chess champions, for instance. Likewise with records of Olympics results by national origin, lest somebody infer that Chinese are good at table tennis.

    To be on the safe side, we’d also have to outlaw newspapers, because they publish the names of SAT national merit semifinalists, and aggregated, such lists of names can amount to crimeknowledge.

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  162. 162. Eric Fowler 11:57 pm 05/18/2013

    Should Scientific American change it’s name to Political American?

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  163. 163. Austen Layard 9:17 am 05/19/2013

    Please tell me this is satire.

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  164. 164. rkipling 11:13 am 05/19/2013

    Austen,

    Okay, it’s satire.

    But like I have said before, with this guy who knows?

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  165. 165. mwalker96 12:25 pm 05/19/2013

    John,

    Human biodiversity is very real:

    http://www.humanbiologicaldiversity.com/

    Evolution predicts that various population groups should differ in intelligence.

    Your Lysenkoist / egalitarian rejection of basic Darwinsim reminds me of the Church’s banning of Galileo. People like you are frightening.

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  166. 166. rkipling 12:58 pm 05/19/2013

    mwalker96,

    I would think you would appreciate Horgan’s rant as rock solid proof of variation in intelligence.

    Arguably, that proof holds whether it was intended a satire or not.

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  167. 167. centromere 1:48 pm 05/19/2013

    @162. Eric Fowler

    “Should Scientific American change it’s name to Political American?”

    They already have. They just use the title “Scientific American” to imply there is Science associated with these foolish ideas.

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  168. 168. John A. 4:40 pm 05/19/2013

    To those who have said “race has no biological meaning,” that is simply not true. There are obvious differences between white Europeans and black Africans, from their skin color to their skeletal structure. These are populations that have been evolving separately in radically different environments for 50,000 years. The fact that there are racially mixed blacks who might be able to pass as white does not mean there is no biological definition of race. And besides, how could blacks having white blood lower their IQ?

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  169. 169. SugarTax 5:15 pm 05/19/2013

    Gentlefolk,

    I must say that upon review, I doubt Mr. Horgan was serious when presenting his version of A Modest Proposal , even if most posters here found it distasteful.

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  170. 170. Chryses 5:35 pm 05/19/2013

    SugarTax (169),

    By George, I think you’ve got it! At least that interpretation makes sense of the otherwise irrational proposition. TY! :)

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  171. 171. Glossy 6:42 pm 05/19/2013

    “*Clarification: Some readers may wonder what I mean by “ban,” so let me spell it out.”

    The mention of Guantanamo and the phrase “overseen by me” in what follows imply irony. Yet when Mr. Horgan first brought up banning, he added “I don’t say this lightly.” So which is it?

    The capacity for consistency has got to be correlated with intelligence, by the way. It’s often difficult to ascertain what unintelligent people “think” about any given subject because their opinions are constantly moved like weather-vanes by their emotions. Opinions expressed minutes ago are quickly forgotten.

    “Some clever critics of my post might accuse me of hypocrisy, because these articles present esearch on race and and should be subject to my proposed ban. Obviously I’m trying to eliminate research that reinforces rather than counteracting racism. I mean, Duh.”

    The stereotype threat idea isn’t just false, it’s also derogatory to whites. It’s slander. It implies that blacks (but for some reason not Asians) do badly because of things whites say about them. It’s blame-shifting. The promotion of such research, as in Mr. Horgan’s article, reinforces anti-white racism.

    Like a lot of unreflective people Mr. Horgan interprets racism not as “racial animus” or even as “unfounded racial animus”, but as “white-on-non-white racial animus”. Black-on-white, Asian-on-white, black-on-Asian, Asian-on-Black racial animus is not racism in this view. In other words, this view is racist even on its own terms. It treats the races differently. People who are not self-aware, who are unreflective by nature, have a tendency to fall prey to projection.

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  172. 172. Glossy 7:28 pm 05/19/2013

    Why isn’t most science journalism done by former scientists? There are a lot more former athletes color-commentating games than former scientists writing about science in periodicals. Scientific productivity falls off with age. The public benefits when science isn’t explained to it by morons. What went wrong?

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  173. 173. highly_adequate 11:08 pm 05/19/2013

    “Scientific American has just published two excellent article on “stereotype threat,” which is a kind of reverse placebo–or “nocebo”–effect; victims of negative stereotypes may underperform because they believe the stereotype. See here and here. Some clever critics of my post might accuse me of hypocrisy, because these articles present research on race and and should be subject to my proposed ban. Obviously I’m trying to eliminate research that reinforces rather than counteracting racism. I mean, Duh.”

    I can only assume that this assertion at least is in earnest.

    The issue here, Mr Horgan, is not hypocrisy. It is whether you and others at so-called Scientific American have any remaining respect for the methods of science and rational inquiry.

    Does it not occur to you, or to anyone at Scientific American, that one simply can’t call a conclusion scientific, especially in such a complex subject as the relation between race, genetics, IQ, and achievement, unless the contrary proposition is allowed to be explored and tested and publicly expressed?

    Truly, do none of you grasp and appreciate this most basic feature of scientific methodology? Is that really how far gone you are?

    Indeed what happens if the entire structure of “stereotype threat” itself seems to come apart, due, say to inability to replicate experiments (already a problem, as in the related field of “priming”), or if some of it is exposed as clear fraud (as is again true of some of it — see the career of that charlatan Stapel)? Do you suppress these facts because they can be said to “reinforce racism”? It’s quite clear already that matters of SES just can’t come close to accounting for the IQ gap between races. Almost certainly, the claim that that gap is purely environmental can only be made plausible under the assumption of a “stereotype threat”, or something closely akin. But then isn’t any finding that undermines the existence of a very potent “stereotype threat” operating in many, many settings, “reinforcing racism”, and so something that should be banned?

    You see, once you start implementing a ban, then, given the web of logical, evidential, and scientific connections, vast branches of inquiry must be regulated so that only the “correct” side is aired.

    Let me end this post with the simple point that your approach to this matter represents such a deep perversion of science, that I am truly aghast that it might be printed under the auspices of Scientific American. When a taboo is so deeply ingrained in our culture that such corruption of basic principles is possible, I can only despair of our future.

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  174. 174. Glossy 12:50 am 05/20/2013

    “Has there been a study done by anyone that makes claims for inferiority for their own race?”

    Sure. Richard Lynn is British. His books show the mean IQs of Chinese, Koreans, Japanese and Ashkenazi Jews to be higher than the mean IQ of Brits. Actually, all psychometric literature shows that. Charles Murray isn’t Asian or Jewish either, yet he has acknowledged those facts in his works.

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  175. 175. AnalogMan 4:52 am 05/20/2013

    paulus #26 said -

    Of course, most people don’t know that the original IQ test was changed when the results showed that blacks taking the test scored higher than whites.

    I did not know that. Did you learn that in Black History Month?

    Damn, I wish they hadn’t done that. Why couldn’t they have at least taken a back-up of that test! Do you realise, that test is the Holy Grail of psychometrics? For at least the last half-century, smarter men than both of us have been searching for an intelligence test on which blacks score higher than whites (or at least not too much lower), and that also correlates with other measures of cognitive ability. Like, you know, academic success, or ability to do jobs with high cognitive requirements. Like, lawyers, engineers, computer programmers, or even firemen. So far, no luck. And to think we had it at the start.

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  176. 176. AnalogMan 5:07 am 05/20/2013

    apache #26 said -

    race is a social construct, not a biological one. There is more variation within the so called races than there is between them and the markers by which humans divide populations into categories is (like many other things, psychologist I’m talking to you here)ON A CONTINUUM! Should it be banned? I don’t think so, anybody has a right to be a d-bag

    That’s wrong on so many levels I don’t even know where to start.

    “Race is a asocial construct”: don’t believe your lying eyes. The races don’t even look the same. It’s not skin deep, even skeletons are distinctive and can be identified as to race. But the clincher is DNA. Do a bit of research.

    “More variation within races …”: This one even has its own name. The Lewontin Fallacy. Research it.

    “ON A CONTINUUM”: To the extent that even means anything, the same could be said for the differences between humans and chimpanzees. We share a lot of DNA. It’s not the similarities that define us, but the differences. A little difference goes a long way.

    Before you go calling people d-bags, might it not be smarter to wait until you find out whether they’re not right? In fact, the evidence is mounting that they are. Hence, this article, of course. If the truth contradicts your ideology, then the truth must be suppressed.

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  177. 177. AnalogMan 6:57 am 05/20/2013

    olsonjam #73 said

    Claims that Africans are genetically inferior are especially ludicrous, since Africans have the highest rate of genetic variation of any human population.

    What does this mean? That Africans are superior? How does that follow?

    Do you have any corroborating evidence for that assertion? Like, maybe, superior civilizations built by Africans? Superior average academic records at any institution of higher learning?

    The discussion is about intelligence. Several posters have pointed out that Africans can, on average, run and jump better than Europeans. They have a great sense of rhythm, too, or so I’m told. This is trivial nonsense. Show me any community, city or state that is predominantly inhabited and run by Africans, anywhere in the world, that is equal or superior to a comparable European one. By their fruits ye shall know them. Show me the fruits of that intelligence.

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  178. 178. James watson 9:56 am 05/20/2013

    Maybe marxist ideology that you John Horgan espouse should be banned.The idea that all the races are equal has resulted in such places as North Korea,the killing fields of Cambodia of PolPot,Cuba,China Etc.Why do you you think the Soviet Union fell.Have you ever heard of Lysenkonism. Such thinking ruined russias cattle industry.But maybe you do not consider people to be no more than cattle.

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  179. 179. AresX 12:33 pm 05/20/2013

    Well you’re not very scientific and you’re obviously not much of a historian either, as the ideas of human equality are very much old 18th century ideas; whereas the ideas on race and genes are 20th century ideas that came about with the rise in science and technology.

    Anyways, how do you ban research on anything and call yourself scientific? You sound more like a fanatic trying to purge society of “heretics.”

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  180. 180. johnhorganlenin 1:28 pm 05/20/2013

    John Horgan

    https://twitter.com/Horganism

    jhorgan@​highlands.com

    (201) 216-5057

    Hi John

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  181. 181. PhysicsDood 2:30 pm 05/20/2013

    Regarding should this be “allowed” or not.

    Sure! However, what I don’t get is that a his dissertation never had its fundamental assumption challenged, that IQ has any direct relationship with the success of the individual. The first major study by Lewis Terman was originally designed to prove that high IQ people were inherently more successful than low IQ people. It was demonstrated, fairly conclusively, that there is no direct relationship. Was it a factor? Yes, but not decisive.

    So, let him try to get his dissertation through a group of people who know something about what IQ measures and what it doesn’t, instead of bunch of gormless twits who think IQ is as solid as a kilogram.

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  182. 182. phylogeny 4:47 pm 05/20/2013

    Fair enough. I would go further and question if there is a basis for the examination of ‘race’ or ‘IQ’ in any meaningful way. My I proffer the view that there are only people and there is nowt as daft as folk?

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  183. 183. Robot_Sam 5:19 pm 05/20/2013

    This is another liberal sissy coward who has to believe in non-fiction beliefs that all races are equal in all ways. Or a better way to say it is that they have to believe that white people are either lacking in some area or nothing special. I am sure he would be behind (in the most literal way) a study showing blacks had bigger penises than whites, or that Jews and Asians (Orientals not the Paki tards they call Asians now) have higher IQs than whites. IQ is important because it has a synergistic effect. Lots of people with high IQs form safe advanced civilizations (Japan and pre-diversity white countries) and a people with low IQ create dangerous hellholes wherever they are (Africa, Haiti, Mexico, Detroit). Science is no longer science. Science is now another arm of the liberal egalitarians and their anti-white hate. Race matters, IQ matters, the races and sexes are different and no matter what you ban, you can’t ban reality, and reality just happens to be ‘racist’. It must make John confused that some races can have intelligence, creativity, industriousness and beauty all wrapped up into one while other races are lacking in so many areas. It just doesn’t seem fair, does it Johnny?

    Horgan is just another loser liberal who runs from reality, because it might hurt his job prospects (It’s all about the liberal’s well paid, cushy job folks, not about truth or even the emotional well being of their current favored pets, let’s be honest). Let’s ban research on pollution, global warming, or disease, what do you say John?

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  184. 184. greenhome123 6:09 pm 05/20/2013

    Race is such a vague term, and for that reason I think it is not very scientific to try to hypothesize about ones IQ based on their race. I think that research should be allowed to see if there are certain genes responsible for higher IQ. For instance, 23andme genetic testing has identified several genes which puts one at a higher likelihood of having a high IQ (by the way, I am white male with blonde hair and green eyes, and I don’t have the high IQ gene according to 23andme DNA test). Also, as any geneticist can tell you, genetic diversity, aka interracial breeding, is good for a species. And, there has been a lot of interracial breeding going on for the past several generations, which is even more of a reason that the term “race” is becoming irrelevant and less scientific term. Nevertheless, my point is that there is a lot of genetic variation in any given “race” of people, and therefore trying to group people into races and then draw conclusions about their IQ is pointless, but I don’t think that research on a genetic component to IQ should be banned by any means.

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  185. 185. DeniseIam 8:25 pm 05/20/2013

    rshoff
    4:34 pm 05/17/2013
    67. MP019 – Ok, fair enough. Let’s say for the sake of argument that you are correct and that we are genetically different (geesh, what does that make most Americans that are mixed across many ‘races’?). Let’s say it’s not just a social construct -for the sake of discussion. Then my question would be, ‘what in the world would you do with the information provided by studying IQ by human genotype?’. There is nothing that could be done with this information other than pursuing human breeding policies and unfairly creating race based caste systems. Studying genetics as it relates to disease is ok, even desirable, but to study something as elastic and abstract as IQ as it relates to race is a terribly dark and dangerous place to go. Therefore, back to my first comment, there is no good purpose for these studies.

    Errr…no. Birmingham, AL, Elizabeth, NJ, and the Classic African Clusterf##k Dystopia of Dee-troy’, MI, are “terribly dark and dangerous place to go”…to

    And it’s all because of Race! Whites allowed the thriving, productive, beautiful cities they built to be invaded and destroyed by Negroes.

    Mestizos are wreaking the same sort of havoc and destruction on California and Arizona.

    There’s plenty of “good purpose” for these studies. Culture, and civilization, are the expressio nfo genetics. Where do you want to go tomorrow? Hey, Rosh – why are Israelis hurling the African workers they imported, to “do the jobs Israelis consider beneath them” out, faster than they brought them in? Any thoughts? Judaism is a religion based on racial exclusivity, and supremacy. Why are the Israelis refusing to ignore Race?

    Horgan – why are you so invested in denying Racial Reality? Why? Is it all about retaining your cushy gig, as an academic? Miscegenation in the family woodpile? Why?

    IQ is heritable, just like eye color. Some Races are much better than others. World history proves this truth. Why are you so deranged about easily observable reality? Why are you promoting the supremacy of the least worthy, over the most? What do you suppose the outcome of your suicidal, fraudulent, and massively evil ideologies will be? Where do you WANT to go, tomorrow? Do you want the entire world to degenerate into Detroit?

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  186. 186. Dr. Strangelove 10:41 pm 05/20/2013

    Horgan,
    Why are you afraid if Africans or another race turns out to be less intelligent than another race? If the research is truly scientific, then we accept it like any other scientific research. The sports world accepts that Africans are more physically endowed than other races. Look at boxing, track & field, basketball, etc. Their muscles are better built and stronger. Is that racism?

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  187. 187. Rita Rabbit 11:54 pm 05/20/2013

    “Why, given all the world’s problems and needs, would someone choose to investigate this thesis? What good could come of it?”

    Because, for one thing, our children’s education is hampered when forced to go to school with non-Whites.

    Why are we always expected to suck it up for them? We’re sick of it!

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  188. 188. rshoff 12:35 am 05/21/2013

    wow, I’m so disappointed to read the bias and bigotry in some of the comments where I would expect, if not educated and knowledgeable conversation, at least a thoughtful one.

    Regardless of any particular attribute or set of attributes a single human or group of humans exhibit, it takes the variety of all of us for the human race to achieve any sort of definable success. The variation between individuals and groups provides strength to humanity. We should want to carry that variation forward. And the best way to advance the human race is to rely on our own human reproduction instinct. We will select the most appropriate mates, it’s in our genes to do so.

    The conversation proves to me that we are not prepared to appropriately handle the results of a study of race and IQ. Probably not even race and anything.

    The only time race could be appropriately used it to help determine healthcare issues such as disease screening, effective treatment protocols, and other types of beneficial insights. Even then, I thinks it’s better to look at it from a genetic perspective instead of race.

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  189. 189. rkipling 12:45 am 05/21/2013

    This is Just Great. It was bad enough before, but now the Klan has found this site. If you multiply the IQ of of one Klan member by another, you always get a lower number.

    WAIT??? The Klan can type???

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  190. 190. Caligal 6:41 am 05/21/2013

    Scientific American is against being scientific.

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  191. 191. scottalias 6:44 am 05/21/2013

    No, it is not acceptable to ban, burn or in any other way suppress the theories you dislike. You may debunk these theories, refute them, prove them wrong but you may not ban them in a free society. This was an absolutely stupid editorial, unworthy of publication by Scientific American.

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  192. 192. Caligal 6:45 am 05/21/2013

    Greenhome123……….How is diversity good for everyone. I hear this propaganda on a daily basis but only see the negative in real life. Just what are you talking about(and no “feel good” fluff)?

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  193. 193. AnalogMan 6:53 am 05/21/2013

    rkipling #189

    You have usurped the name of a far wiser man than yourself.

    I find it striking that in every (EVERY!) discussion on this topic, you always get two vehemently opposed sides. The one presents facts, research and logical argument, and the other presents meaningless slogans (“race is a social construct”), name-calling (Klan, bigot, rayciss!, Hitler!) and insults (e.g. your post).

    I’m going to give you a chance to redeem yourself. The following is a quote from James Watson, joint Nobel prize winner for the discovery of the structure of the DNA molecule and life-long researcher in genetics. For this heresy, he was hounded out of his job, and public life:

    “There is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically. Our wanting to reserve equal powers of reason as some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so”.

    Refute.

    You don’t have to prove that all races are equal. Just give one “firm reason to anticipate” that they should be so.

    But you won’t even try, will you? I’ve never found one true believer in your ideology who will take that challenge. They always fall back on unsupported assertions, names and insults.

    Anybody?

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  194. 194. rkipling 10:28 am 05/21/2013

    When I read comments advocating such things as school segregation, I have to speak up.

    I don’t think “usurp” means what you think it means, but to your general comment, I don’t care what you think. I write this for others if they have interest. (Now I never won a spelling bee, but sometimes even I can catch an error. Maybe one of the “r” pages was missing from the single dictionary in the prison library? Here’s a hint. Check the 5th line on your second paragraph.)

    Allow me to explain something to you. The gambit (that means trick) of setting up a challenge and stating that if your perceived opponent doesn’t respond you win, doesn’t work if your opponent knows you are doing it.

    I try not to engage in name-calling or personal insults, but I’m making an exception here. I was a little surprised that someone would admit to identifying with the Klan by taking personal offense at my Klan comment. The unspeakably vile acts of butchery and terrorism perpetrated upon fellow human beings, under the banner of the Klan, shame all humanity. So, in this case, please take personal offense on behalf of your “people”.

    I.Q. obviously is not distributed uniformly. Investigation into the factors causing variation, also obviously, should not be banned. My guess is some here are confusing the concepts of people being equal under the law and deserving of being treated with equal dignity, with everyone having equal intellectual potential.

    Belonging to or association with a particular race says nothing important about the worth of any individual. We should look to the content of a person’s character.

    Link to this
  195. 195. highly_adequate 12:13 pm 05/21/2013

    I very much agree with the comments of rkipling 10:28.

    It is one thing to acknowledge that different groups exhibit different distributions of various socially important traits — IQ being a prime example — and quite another to draw social, political, and moral consequences from it. While a 1 SD difference in IQ is not trivial, we should be thankful that it is not larger than that — something divergent paths in evolution might readily have produced. (It is in some sense little more than a happy accident that previous, and vastly more limited, iterations of homo no longer exist.) The overlap between the different groups is certainly very substantial, which allows societies to move forward without drawing invidious distinctions under the law, or building invidious distinctions into our institutions. I myself support Affirmative Action at least at some level and in some contexts not because I believe that groups are all the same genetically, but because I don’t. For groups thus disadvantaged, the need for a leg up to feel real participation in our society and institutions is only more compelling and inescapable. Yes, there will be unfairness on an individual level because of it, but this strikes me as a case in which the larger good of societal harmony should prevail.

    I will say this, though, about the sorts of arguments routinely offered up by so-called progressives against those who would recognize racial and other group differences: they playing into the hands of the genuine racists. These progressives pillory those who recognize differences as being “racists” or “supremacists”. Or they characterize the arguments for differences as asserting that certain groups are “genetically inferior” or “stupid”. Or they say any of a number of things to depict certain positions on what are matters of fact as being equivalent to some morally depraved view only a true racist would hold. These cheap arguments work today politically because they can tap into the taboo against the untoward findings, and the dogma that supports equality of all groups on all traits.

    But the day will come — likely soon — when that dogma will be overturned, as is obvious to anyone following the developments in these fields.

    And then the true racists will turn to the very arguments offered up by progressives, which say such findings support racism, supremacism, entail that certain groups are “genetically inferior” or “stupid”, etc. These progressives will be convicted out of their own mouths of believing these things.

    And that, more than anything else, is why such smears are so deplorable. There will be a price to pay, and it will be the disadvantaged groups that will have to pay it.

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  196. 196. DeniseIam 1:52 pm 05/21/2013

    To all of you pearl-clutching, smelling-salts grabbing “I Am Not A RAAAAYCIST (Although I don’t live anywhere NEAR my beleoved Dark Diverse, and will do everything I can to keep a safe distance from them, as long as I can, while excoriating the genuinely honest and brave Whites, that are telling the truth about Race, because I am addicted to wallowing in my faux moral vanity, art the expense of Civilization, itsef)” careerist paycheck wh0res – why was the Klan formed, in the first place?

    Where do you live? I find that the Anti Wayyycist Whites (Anti Racist Is code for Anti White) live as far away from the Vibarantly Diverse as they possibly can. Why are all of you soooooooooooooooooooooooo invested in such disastrous, and utterly failed social engineering memes? The screechy, ear-hysterical tone of Horgan’s screen is a sure indicator that the entire Racial Utopianist fraud is collapsing.

    Why are you SOOOOOO invested in supporting the collapse of Human Civilization?

    Link to this
  197. 197. Heteromeles 2:20 pm 05/21/2013

    Yup, I’m exactly interesting in supporting the collapse of human civilization, at least the kind that’s supports such silly theories as eugenics and racism.

    Personally, I think that “Hispanic,” as a “Race,” is hilarious. This “Race” didn’t exist prior to 1492, and it’s a result of the so-called Columbian Exchange, where white conquistadores (themselves the descendents of “Moors” as well as “whites”) conquered and enslaved the indigenous people of central and south America (who migrated from Siberia a mere 14,000 years ago, and are thus genetically Asian), then brought over slaves from the area of most human genetic diversity (Africa, although we hilariously lump this 90% of human diversity as “the black race”), along with a soupcon of Chinese immigrants, mixed this whole potpouri for 500 years, and call it a unified race.

    This is a race? Hilarious.

    This is the problem with racial theory in a nutshell. The two most “disadvantaged races” aren’t uniform clades at all. Instead, they represent the vast majority of human diversity. There’s no genetic signal there to map, only a prejudice that sees skin color and assumes this means something.

    The only racial research I’d like to see are studies of how white male psychologists inadvertently draw on their learned stereotypes to create things like IQ tests that identify people like them as superior. I think there’s a lot to be learned from understanding how scientists use numbers to reinforce their own preconceptions, because that’s a problem in all the sciences.

    As for Richwine? Too bad his thesis committee didn’t get slapped too, for promoting bad science, and (in one case) failing to speak out against what they saw as pointless research.

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  198. 198. rkipling 3:50 pm 05/21/2013

    Dear Denise-I-am,

    You would be easier to understand if your sentences weren’t 84 words long and you used spell check. Also, it seems some of your keys stick.

    I had to look up pearl-clutching. So thanks for adding to my vocabulary.

    Although your writing lacks syntax, I get your general drift. I regret to inform you that your invective (bad words) is without its intended effect. I have dealt with others of your kind in person. Without getting into details, let’s just say they came to regret the encounter.

    You see, we don’t care what you think of us. We have no fear of you. We don’t wish you harm as long as you bring no harm to others. You bring harm enough to yourselves. However just to be safe, you are being watched.

    I’m sorry life has been unkind to you. We will do what we can to make this country a better place for everyone: even you.

    Link to this
  199. 199. rshoff 4:36 pm 05/21/2013

    I don’t think the article is questioning whether it’s good or bad that IQ varies based on race. I think the article is introducing a discussion on whether IQ by race should be studied. Unfortunately, being human, we are all jumping to the conclusion that there is a difference and expressing why all races should be treated equally, or not. Many even assume that there is a super-race running around hoarding most of the IQ points.

    My thoughts are that because many already assume there is a race based IQ differential, that this is a topic that will lead to further bias instead of bringing enlightenment.

    Let’s spend research money and time on more immediate issues that will benefit our entire species and the planet on which we live regardless of racial categorization. That means move away from race based scientific studies. Ban them? No. Fund them? No.

    Link to this
  200. 200. rstanley41 8:56 pm 05/21/2013

    As odious as his thesis is, it doesn’t work to make an exception in the principal of free speech and ban similar research in the future. It’s up to all of us to defend against this type of person who would drag us back to our worst as a species.

    In fact, it occurred to me that by banning research like this it might make things worse? Ever heard of the Streisand Effect? Seems applicable to me.

    Streisand Effect: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect

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  201. 201. Dr. Strangelove 3:27 am 05/22/2013

    @heteromeles
    If you believe Hispanic is not a race because it originated from other races, by your logic there is only one race: Africans. All humans today descended from Africans 70,000 yrs ago. Well some interbred with Neanthertals, which is a different species from modern humans (homo sapiens). So much for racial purity.

    Yes historically there’s some bias for whites. Like why is Europe considered a continent? Geographically it’s part of Asia. Or why was Europe considered the civilized world? China, Iraq, Egypt had older civilizations. Why do we say North America, South America, Australia were discovered by Europeans? People lived there for thousands of years before their “discovery.”

    Link to this
  202. 202. rshoff 12:11 pm 05/22/2013

    I like your thinking dr strangelove. It’s not the size of the ship but the motion of the ocean… as they say.

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  203. 203. Diogenes11 8:12 pm 05/22/2013

    Australian melanoma researchers showed a linear correlation between northern latitude and cancer incidence. They also found they could use phonebook surnames as a proxy for ‘race’, because melanomas are far more common in pale folk of Celtic origin – search for O’Somebody and McWhoever, and you find the most likely candidates.

    My eye doctor pointed out that the best uncorrected visual acuity is in Australian Aborigines and Native Americans, who evolved as open grassland hunters. Worst, of course, the Chinese, because 10,000 years of civilization allowed the shortsighted to flourish as craftsmen and office-workers, while those with better vision might be overrepresented in armies or dangerous outdoor jobs.

    There was a great fuss a few years ago when the FDA approved a ‘racially-based’ anti-hypertensive, as studies had shown it to be effective only in African Americans. Yet I use a racially based medication daily – sunscreen for my Celtic skin in Australian sunlight.

    There are definite, measurable physical differences in populations, and it is logical to assume that brains are not exempt from population variance. Of course, an individual Scotsman descended from a southern Frenchman, courtesy of the Auld Alliance, may be darker skinned and less prone to melanoma than an albino Aborigine. Mr Obama may well be higher in IQ than the white NRA president (although perhaps less politically skilled!).

    But that is the message of science, rather than emotion or ‘religious’ prejudice. My pale skin makes me less genetically fit for the environment to which I have migrated, and I need medical supplementation to compensate for my genetic failing. Some deficiencies cannot (currently) be corrected – lacking West African genes for fast-twitch muscles, I will never win the Olympic 100m race.

    Health and welfare promotion dollars are best targeted to the populations most at risk: advertise sun safety at the Celtic club, not the Jamaican club; promote safe sex at the gay men’s bar, not the nuns’ retirement home; and target remedial educational funding to poor black urban males, rather than the Jewish Nobel Laureates Society.

    The application of science to correct our evolutionary failings, is unique to humans. Identifying our deficiencies is essential as the first step in this process.

    Link to this
  204. 204. rshoff 9:06 pm 05/22/2013

    @Diogenes – I agree with your sentiment, and the practice of targeting healthcare issues to the groups that it affects most. However, this can be done geographically by socioeconomics and by genetics. If I’m blue eyed, yet darker skinned -definitely not celtic how does that fit into this race targeting? Although racial groupings could be a convenient shortcut to genetic profiles, what we are really looking at is the genetic profile in addition to socioeconomics (genes that affect skin, eyes, cardiovascular, etc in addition to cultural profiles including things like diet and exercise). Racial grouping shortcuts to genetics is dangerous because suddenly assumptions are made about these groupings across the board. Biased assumptions.

    So let’s look at genes vs skin cancer. Not race. Race is becoming more and more mixed anyway -at least in the US.

    Link to this
  205. 205. Diogenes11 12:47 am 05/23/2013

    rshoff, The trouble with individualising (which is ideal) is the cost. In particular, those in the socially disadvantaged groups are least likely to have their genes (or phenotypes) profiled, and an individually crafted medical or educational programme.

    Angelina Jolie can afford the $3,000 for a BRCA gene test, and multiple medical specialist consultations, but as a public health measure, that is too costly. Every Oxford postgrad. student gets a personalized study plan, with a one-to-one tutor, but that is not going to happen in underfunded public schools.

    The author’s original contention was that racial variations in performance on intelligence tests should not be a subject for scientific research, but it is common to research racially diverse species, from fruit flies to Galapagos finches, and make general population observations. I can see no difference, from a scientific point of view, between researching IQ variability between jews and asians, and researching chocolate consumption variability between Baltimore residents and rural Alaskans. It is simply measuring something which is measurable.

    These population statistics can then be used for a variety of purposes. What one does with scientific data enters the unscientific areas of politics/philosophy/religion.

    If a particular racial/ ethnic/ social group is generally of lower IQ, they can be enslaved (as in Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’), sterilized (as were over 60,000 in the US between the World Wars), or executed (Kornbluth’s ‘Marching Morons’). Recycled (‘Soylent Green’) is another, trendy-’green’-sounding option.

    Personally, I come from a Christian ethical perspective, that each individual has an intrinsic value, rather than a purely economic or caloric value. This is as a direct result of their humanity, not merit-based. The moral teaching of Jesus is that the strong and wealthy should help the less well-off. While morality/ ethics is outside the field of science, one can use science to achieve one’s moral aims.

    I would favour targeting help eg higher teacher:pupil ratios to those disadvantaged groups, whether their disadvantage is genetic or social/ cultural. In that respect, in both Australia and the US, it is better to target remedial educational aid to blacks rather than jews. If a school has 100% jewish enrolment it will have better test results than a school with 100% black enrolment, ie ‘race’ is a useful proxy for predicting educational disadvantage, just as it is for skin cancer screening.

    Individual genetic screening, and personalized educational programmes, may not be that unfeasible in the future as computerization brings costs down.

    Link to this
  206. 206. rshoff 4:42 am 05/23/2013

    diogenes- You are more educated and knowledgeable about this topic. And I completely agree with you. But with all due respect, and I really mean that, many people do not subscribe to our benevolent view of race. I truly believe, through wisdom and observation as a human, that race based perspectives harm more people than it helps. The end does not justify the means no matter how we might wish. There are malelovent humans -many- that will prey upon race based research.

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  207. 207. rkipling 6:04 am 05/23/2013

    Diogenes11 and rshoff,

    I would grant that you both have the best of motives. I would offer that your conversation misses the point.

    It’s a fairly easy task to determine who has what educational deficits. You give them tests. It’s done all the time. My guess is that approach is far more effective than race based education plans.

    Now if the underprivileged only had teachers as good as you folks are/would be, then there could be progress.

    Link to this
  208. 208. AnalogMan 10:34 am 05/23/2013

    rkipling said

    I try not to engage in name-calling or personal insults, but I’m making an exception here. I was a little surprised that someone would admit to identifying with the Klan by taking personal offense at my Klan comment.

    Oh, well, if it’s an exception, then that’s all right, then, isn’t it? Pardon me for misunderstanding.

    I didn’t take personal offense, so don’t worry your little head about that. You can’t offend me by calling me any of those names.

    When you say, “Racist!”, I say, “Damned right I’m a racist; did you take me for a fool?”

    I never met a real Klansman, to my knowledge, but from my limited reading of American history, I think I’d have been proud to know them.

    I’m not surprised you ducked that challenge; they all do. At least you say “IQ is not distributed uniformly, obviously”, which is still a weaselly statement. Say it out straight: there are obvious racial differences in average intelligence. Pretending it’s not so will not make them go away. And basing public policy on reality doesn’t seem to me to be such a heinous crime. In that respect, I differ strongly from both you and highly_adequate, who says

    It is one thing to acknowledge that different groups exhibit different distributions of various socially important traits — IQ being a prime example — and quite another to draw social, political, and moral consequences from it. While a 1 SD difference in IQ is not trivial, we should be thankful that it is not larger than that — something divergent paths in evolution might readily have produced.

    Because, you see, the differences are in some cases much larger than that. American negroes boast an average IQ of 85, largely because most American negroes have significant European admixture. In Africa, measured IQs average about 70 (as low as 50 among Pygmies). Australian aborigines average about 60. Among White Americans, those levels are regarded as retarded, and are usually associated with conditions like Down’s Syndrome. These children are rightly educated separately from the normal population.

    highly_adequate supports Affirmative Action, on the grounds that we mustn’t be mean to the racially handicapped. You oppose segregated schools, even knowing of racial differences, apparently on the basis of some presumed inequality of dignity. I’m sure you are both nice people; at least you regard yourselves as such. But do you have children? Do you send them to those integrated schools? Where they’re in a racial minority?

    You may want race not to matter, but it does. It matters to those non-White kids. How dare you prescribe to parents who love their children, that they must be schooled among a hostile, violent and intellectually inferior population? Just so that you can bask in the sanctimonious moral superiority of your racial charity? It’s not yours to give away. You’re not the ones taking the punch. You’ve had sixty years of forced integration in your schools. Has it improved the quality of your schoools, for anybody? Has it closed the achievement gap? Has it given those black kids “dignity”? Have you anything at all to show for it?

    deniseiam, I think I’m in love. Haven’t I seen you elswhere on the web posting as plain denise?

    Link to this
  209. 209. cosmo120 12:43 pm 05/23/2013

    There are certainly direct benefits that would follow these scientific studies. These studies can be used to pinpoint groups for which specialized education programs would be beneficial. Follow up studies can determine what those programs would entail. The end result of these studies would be to bolster the intelligence of the demographics in question. The malevolent nature of some groups of human beings shouldn’t stop this initiative. If we were truly scared of dual-use then scientific and social progress would be halted. Nuclear research can be used to make energy or destroy populations. Virus research can be used to combat ugly diseases or create a super-virus. Weapons research can be used to develop conflict solutions with minimized casualties or mass casualties.

    If you are truly scared about dual-use then you might as well burn all science literature, let’s not just stop at these race studies. Don’t you dare defend your support of free speech after writing this. Pick a side and stick to it.

    Link to this
  210. 210. Homa Sapiens 2:04 pm 05/23/2013

    The research should not be banned– no research should be banned.

    However the media should be prevented from trumpeting the results of one study or another as if it were a conclusion. That’s what should be banned.

    Repeat after me; “There is not enough data.”

    Link to this
  211. 211. rkipling 2:09 pm 05/23/2013

    AnalogMan,

    I didn’t read your rant. You will be selected against. You probably don’t know what that means.

    Link to this
  212. 212. rkipling 2:10 pm 05/23/2013

    IP addresses are traceable.

    Link to this
  213. 213. dsunar 5:21 pm 05/23/2013

    No need to “ban” or obstruct research. What needs to be done is to teach people the meaning of overlapping distributions. It’s possible to find average group differences on practically any trait, from height to blood type to extraversion to intelligence. But these differences have no implications for any given individual. Chomsky is right.

    Link to this
  214. 214. rkipling 5:48 pm 05/23/2013

    dsunar,

    I’m unfamiliar with Chomsky’s writings,but your other points are exactly right.

    Link to this
  215. 215. larkalt 8:37 pm 05/23/2013

    People’s education, mental stimulation, etc. influences their scores on IQ tests. If you have a job where you’re constantly thinking, you’ll do better on an IQ test. IQ is highly influenced by environment.
    Therefore if race is correlated with social privilege, the scores on IQ tests will appear to show that people of some races are smarter than others on average.
    And this will make differences in privilege look like differences in capability.
    That is the problem in a nutshell. You can’t measure purely the genetic component of IQ, because everyone’s experiences are different. Yet people tend to assume that IQ is mostly genetic (actually, it’s about 30-80% genetic).
    However avoiding such research could cause a problem: people will keep on imagining that blacks are inherently less intelligent. So in people’s imaginations, refusing to fund research on it would mean they imagine we’re trying to avoid exposing the “dirty secret” that black people aren’t as intelligent. They might oppose such research because they don’t want the “dirty secret” revealed.
    But if you believe there aren’t any such genetic differences, you might want to support such research. It would give black people a powerful argument for righting the disadvantages and prejudice that make them perform less well on IQ tests, because it would SHOW what a powerful effect racism and inequality has on black people.
    Here’s an essay on such research: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~nisbett/racegen.pdf
    A good deal of such research has been done and it doesn’t generally seem to support the idea of inherently lower intelligence in black people.
    Such research has to be done very carefully to try to correct for environmental differences, so it doesn’t give a false impression of difference where none exists.

    Link to this
  216. 216. rshoff 1:40 am 05/24/2013

    cosmo & lark – Valid points. Same to homosapiens, rkipling, and others. many good perspectives. my head might explode.

    Link to this
  217. 217. larkalt 7:56 am 05/24/2013

    An article from the New Yorker: http://www.gladwell.com/2007/2007_12_17_c_iq.html
    makes similar points: the data doesn’t seem to fit a model of genetic black/white IQ disparity.

    Link to this
  218. 218. jmayoral 9:57 am 05/24/2013

    Mexican is not a race nor is Hispanic. The majority of Mexicans and Hispanics in the Americas are of mixed race with a significant amount of Caucasian (European origins mostly). Biologically these peoples would be expected to demonstrate the advantages of heterosis. As larkalt indicates above, IQ is highly influenced by environment. Most people reading this would not get a very high IQ if such a test were available for the Amazon jungle environment or the Arctic environment. Most people immigrating to the U.S. would be in a similar position.

    Link to this
  219. 219. EliyahuBenYisroel 5:34 pm 05/24/2013

    The real problem with this sort of testing is not that it’s inherently racist. Rather, the problem is simply that it’s not very useful. If broken down by race or ethnicity, IQ scores will still spread across a large bell curve, and even if the center of the bell is higher or lower for any group, the high end scores for that group will still be head and shoulders above the average scores for all the other groups. Every group will have its geniuses and its idiots, making the “average” for each group useless for any reasonable purpose. We know, for instance, that Asians and Jews have higher average scores on most tests than other groups, but so what? Both of those groups also have individuals who couldn’t find their way to the testing center without an adult to hold their hand and guide them. The focus of IQ testing for any purpose, whether it be immigration, hiring, scholarships or training, has to be on the individual and not the larger group from which he comes.

    Link to this
  220. 220. larkalt 10:39 pm 05/24/2013

    @Eliyahu The problem is that people latch onto obvious physical characteristics to try to simplify reality. They do this when they are anxious, feeling threatened.
    And people who are insecure like to think that a simple inalterable fact like their race or gender, makes them superior.
    If research does show different genetic potential for racial groups – that will influence at least people’s initial impression of an individual, based on their race. Perhaps they will change their minds later when they get to know the person, but maybe not.
    First impressions have a lot of influence, and the first things one notices about someone are their race and gender.
    But if research disproved a different genetic potential for racial groups – as the links I gave suggest – then that would actually tend to destroy stereotypes.

    Link to this
  221. 221. karl 10:55 pm 05/28/2013

    Isn’t IQ highly cultural dependent? (I remember reading that the tests dropped from the 20s to the 40s because boys couldn’t recognize a 20s telephone as such, hence couldn’t perform correctly on the test)
    If you could make a double blind test for the validity of this results, like if they can discern the low IQ test of an immigrant from the low IQ test from someone white who had little education because of poverty then they might have a point. (after all Carlos Slim or Bill Gates won’t be an immigrant because things are ok for them).
    Second, I have a bunch of names of non white thinkers that could refute the high IQ linked to a race thesis, people that finds solutions to trouble exist everywhere.
    I think that true controlled research (ideally made by people who has no bias or second best by an equal numbered group of raving oposite proponents) to determine the validity of such things, and maybe put an end to this debate, if a double blind test gets race different results,ok, we are different, but on the other hand, such an effort might be futile if Darwin still has trouble being accepted!

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  222. 222. Jwooden 12:40 am 05/29/2013

    Went back to look at Descartes “Discourse on the Method for Rightly Directing One’s Reason and Searching for Truth in the Sciences” and did not find an analysis of when scientific propositions should be be dismissed out of hand. I was looking to see if maybe there was something along the lines of, “When to dismiss when you do not like the conclusion,” or, “When cultural politics should guide scientific discourse” but did not find anything. If you can find any standard that justifies such a thing as part of scientific discourse please keep us posted.

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  223. 223. cobra67 2:09 pm 05/31/2013

    I do testing for an employment agency. Day after day I see the same results. Asians score slightly higher than whites. White covers a wide range of people as does Asians. They score overall the highest. Brown skinned Hispanics score lower and black skinned Hispanic even lower.Some score so low that they shouldn’t even be allowed to drive a car because they cant possibly understand the consequences of their actions. Scoring in the imbecile range with a high school diploma? They didn’t earn that and are unemployable. These facts are hidden from the general population. That is why the question is raised to ban this research. The answer is already known about the I.Q. of different races. Just look at their home country’s.

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  224. 224. Matt Sedaris 3:50 am 06/3/2013

    No**

    **clarification: Nope

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  225. 225. Michalaki 7:42 pm 06/25/2013

    No of course not! It’s a fact that we are all different. Both on the outside and on the inside. Not to do research would be cowardly. I think in general all races have their advantages and disadvantages. I read somewhere that East Asians score highest in IQ tests, well they can’t handle their liquor as can be seen in the link below. In the end the qualities will even themselves out I guess.

    http://lordsofthedrinks.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/why-indians-are-alcoholics-and-asians-cant-drink/

    Link to this
  226. 226. olu_comes_in 3:15 pm 07/19/2013

    Hi John,

    So you can filter for my prejudices or bias I declare I’m African and Black.

    I think you(and Socety) should be supportive of scientific research whether it immediately useful or NOT
    (it usually is too hard to tell when it would become of use)
    As for scientific research on race and intelligence, I think this is very pertinent to issues of genetics,
    genetic engineering and human origins, that it would be unwise to restrict or even demand certain reservations
    of it at this stage.

    The problem at hand however is not one of absolute consideration but proprotional consideration.
    Scientist should not be hindered from proposals, hypothesis, mechanisms and theories as they search for factual consensus on issues. However this issue is NOT simple, high g or good processing (both speed and completion ) are complex.

    The use of a model might explain better what I am about to say.

    The current computer state-of-the-art high level architecture is based on the following:-
    (1) A Processor : Reduced Instruction Set Processor
    (2) Systems Software Processor : Operating System
    (3) Application Software : Application

    This architecture is not arbitrary it mirrors a natural order of intelligence processing.
    To explain better would required advanced aspects of the Von Nueman Architecture and Stored process
    processing that would take us out of the way of this discussion.

    The core conclusion which you can challenge is that intelligence in carbon based life forms does
    mirror this and much more so the Homo Sapiens Species as an evolved form of this lifeform.

    I further plunge into my thinking and perceptions at this point with similarities
    Processor = Human brain (whole just over 1000 cm cube, 3 pounds)
    System Software = Implicit Human Cuture (From Language to religious traditions)
    Application = Central Human Fulfilment

    In order to raise the accomplishment of Human aspirations we need to be congnizant of the fact that
    we need a processing system that is capable of accomplishing this task.
    The more powerful and applicable the processing system the more likely we would achieve our goals.
    We should NOT shrink away from the prospect that, certain statistically more correllated gene pools
    produce better processors(this would also identify assistive genes), we already know this is a fact for certain

    physiologies and even temperaments.
    We should also NOT shrink away from the very strong likelyhood, the entire processing system can be
    improved by seeking improvements in either or both of the System and Application Software.
    I am willing to place a wager that the observer Flynn effect is probably a system software level optimizing switch which is being set by the currently more information intense environments within which homo sapiens are being placed. Too little is understood about Epigenetics to make conclusions, but we can almost always follow the trend that gene pool sets and resets for adaptability.

    More directly in line with what is being disscused here is that we should NOT shrink away from any fact
    supported Scientific hypothesis.
    We should not take them out of context of the larger issues of sociology and politics until
    we have a high degree of certainity, in this I agree with you.
    To those want to use this half understood knowledge to formulate policy, I point to human history.

    Too use the information derieved properly, it takes being able to be comfortable understanding of the effects in multiple disciplines including the social sciences, political science and psycology with a deeper understanding of what conotes to high g and high accomplishment.

    My highest call would be that we enhance the entire human race and NOT split into narrow groups, as a species our gene pool is already extremely narrow despite our high population.
    Eugenics should be on the table but We should use eugenics to solve only to most intractible of our problems.
    To apply this to issues easily solved elsewhere would be to play chess with the Utimate of protecting “Queen” rather than the “King”.

    Cheers
    Olu

    Link to this
  227. 227. olu_comes_in 3:52 pm 07/19/2013

    (Correction inc..)
    Hi John,
    So you can filter for my prejudices or bias I declare I’m African and Black.
    I think Society (and yourself if I may say so) should be supportive of any research whether it immediately useful or NOT(It is usually is too hard to tell when or whether it would become of use)
    As for research on race and intelligence, I think this is very pertinent to issues of Genetics,
    Genetic engineering and human origins that it would be unwise to restrict or even demand
    significant reservations of it at this stage.

    The problem at hand is not one of absolute consideration but of proportional consideration.
    Scientist should not be hindered from proposals, hypothesis, and theories as they search for factual consensus on these issues. However the issue is NOT simple, high g or good processing (both speed and completion) are complex.

    The use of a model might explain better what I am about to say.

    The current computer state-of-the-art high level architecture is based on the following:-
    (1) A Processor : Reduced Instruction Set Processor
    (2) Systems Software Processor: Operating System
    (3) Application Software : Application

    This architecture is not arbitrary it mirrors a natural order of intelligence processing.
    To explain better would require advanced aspects of the Von Neumann Architecture and Stored process
    Processing that would take us out of the way of this discussion.

    The core conclusion which you can challenge is that carbon based life forms intelligence does
    mirror this and much more so the Homo Sapiens Species as an evolved form of this life form.

    I further plunge into my thinking and perceptions at this point with similarities
    Processor = Human brain (whole just over 1000 cm cube, 3 pounds)
    System Software = Implicit Human Culture (From Language to religious traditions)
    Application = Central Human Fulfillment

    In order to raise the accomplishment of Human aspirations we need to be cognizant of the fact that
    we need a processing system that is capable of accomplishing this task.
    The more powerful and applicable the processing system the more likely we would achieve our goals.
    We should NOT shrink away from the prospect that, certain statistically more correlated gene pools
    produce better processors (would identify causative genes), we already know this is a fact for certain
    Physiologies and even temperaments
    We should also NOT shrink away from the very strong likelihood, the entire processing system can be
    improved by seeking improvements in either or both of the System and Application Software.
    I am willing to place a wager that the Flynn effect is probably a system software optimizing switch which is being set by current more information intense environments Homo sapiens are being placed into. Too little is understood about Epigenetics to make conclusions, but we can almost always follow the trend that gene pool sets and resets for adaptability.

    More directly in line with what is being discussed here is that we should NOT shrink away from any fact
    Supported scientific hypothesis.
    We should not take them out of context of the larger issues of sociology and politics until we have a high degree of certainty, in this I agree with you. To those want to use this half understood knowledge to formulate policy, I point to human history.

    Too use the information derived properly, it takes being able to be comfortable in multiple disciplines including the social sciences, political science and psychology with a deeper understanding of what connotes to high g and high accomplishment.
    My highest call would be to the prospering of the entire human race, as a species our gene pool is already extremely narrow despite our high population.
    Eugenics should be on the table but we should use eugenics to solve only to most intractable of our problems to do so with issues easily solved elsewhere would be to play chess with the Ultimate of protecting “Queen” rather than the “King”.

    Link to this
  228. 228. Overexertion341 1:18 am 10/20/2013

    What good does it do to ban his work? Are you so blinded by your ignorance that you are willing to deny anything that has to do with race? Is it so hard for you to accept that people of African decent are genetically inferior than there white/Asian counterparts that you are willing to punish anyone who speaks out and shun them for researching the truth? If so, then you have a lot of growing up to do.

    Link to this
  229. 229. No one 11:19 pm 11/12/2013

    My interest in this subject began when my research on helping a student brought me to posts on line from people identifying themselves as teachers, one who asked “why do american blacks have such low iq’s”. Yes, neither American nor I.Q was capitalized. I was shocked by the reported teacher’s impression of her what she called “A.A” students was so negative, and I felt sure that the information that blacks had reportedly scored lower on I.Q tests seemed to have influenced his/her perception of the children or at least seemed to be in agreement with her perceptions. Other educators or just ordinary people chimed in, one promoting segregation so blacks could be in “slower learning” classes while whites and Asians would be free to excel.
    I am not sure why anyone would give credence to this study. I had no idea to the amount and degree of racism in this country, and the results of this study are clearly being used by some people to justify racism.

    Link to this
  230. 230. Brent 2:44 pm 11/19/2013

    In the early 1600s, Galileo Galilei, after having done good science in good faith, asserted that the Earth orbited the Sun. This discomfited the religious powers of the day, whose fanatically unshakable belief was that the Sun orbited the Earth. In their day and to their way of thinking, the very idea that the Earth would orbit the Sun was just “wrong” and the idea should be banned. In 1633, the Roman Inquisition found Galileo “gravely suspect of heresy” and sentenced him to indefinite imprisonment, which was subsequently commuted to house arrest, under which he remained for the rest of his life.

    In 2007, after having done good science in good faith, James Watson asserted that “[I am] inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa [because] all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours—whereas all the testing says not really.” This discomfited the religious powers of the day, whose fanatically unshakable belief was that the races MUST be EQUAL in every way. In their day and to their way of thinking, the very idea that different groups of people, having evolved in isolation from each other for many thousands of years, could display differences in intelligence was just “wrong” and the idea should be banned. On October 25, 2007, Watson was compelled to retire as chancellor of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on New York’s Long Island and from its board of directors, and has ever since been ostracized from the “scientific” community.

    Link to this
  231. 231. Counter Balance 6:32 pm 11/19/2013

    The flip side of the unwillingness to accept statistical differences in I.Q. between races is the unscientific presumption that persistent racism is the root cause of racial underperformance. The result is affirmative action and diversity programs that discriminate on the basis of race instead of achievement or ability. This can only hurt our competitiveness as a nation.

    Link to this
  232. 232. imom007 3:47 pm 11/22/2013

    What a disgusting article. Why are you so afraid of the truth? You state that there is something in the water at Harvard – perhaps it is veritas!

    If there really is no difference in intelligence based on genetics, then you should welcome research to disprove the hypothesis once and for all. However as we all know there is a correlation, whether that fits in with your personal politics or not.

    You ask what good it could do, and that’s a fair question. The first good which comes to mind is the cessation of all so-called equal opportunity programs which insist on equal representation of races, regardless of merit. THAT is the injustice which we should be ridding ourselves of.

    Link to this
  233. 233. imom007 4:03 pm 11/22/2013

    “Of course, most people don’t know that the original IQ test was changed when the results showed that blacks taking the test scored higher than whites. Give that it was too much for a white privileged society to take, they simply rewrote the test to fit the society.”

    Most people don’t know it because it is pure fabrication. Go away, troll.

    Link to this
  234. 234. imom007 4:09 pm 11/22/2013

    Apache: “Here is why scientific research on race and IQ should not be funded–race is a social construct, not a biological one.”

    What nonsense. Differing levels of skin melatonin alone are biological differences but the differences do not stop there. Bone density, brain size, immune systems, etc all vary between races. It is quite illogical to think that the brain did not evolve in divergent races, as other body parts did.

    Link to this
  235. 235. Rexxx 12:43 am 11/29/2013

    Pfft you can utterly bury the race crowd.

    Lets do this one at a time.

    First the fundamental facts:

    1: “There are innate IQ differences between races” No, there are no IQ’s determined by race. An average difference in the number of people with the same kinds of scores does not equate to an innate IQ difference. There are no exclusive genes for a “race”, so it is IMPOSSIBLE for there to be an innate difference in IQ caused by being “black” or “white”. Simply put there is no such thing as a “black” IQ or “white IQ.

    2: “There are brain size differences between races” No there are none. Its an average difference in the same sizes of brains. As in there is NO racially determined brain size, no such thing as a “black” brain or “white” brain. There is also only a weak to moderate correlation with IQ. A correlation is not even a cause and it is fact that somebody with a smaller brain can score a higher IQ than somebody with a bigger one.

    3: “Race is more than skin colour” Nope, a “black” person can have the same skin tone as a “white”, same eye colour, facial structure, everything because the genes are non exclusive. What racists keep regurgitating about bone structure and genetic markers is actually based off where those traits are most common in frequency or originally found, they are not EXCLUSIVE to a “race”. It does not mean they are fundamental traits, it does not mean that having them is a “black” trait. It isn’t, because not all “blacks” or “whites” have them and the frequency/average of all these things including IQ is completely unfixed to a “race” even if its genetic. Which mean there is no fixed average “racial” IQ or “racial” cancer rates or “racial” anything. None of those things are fixed to the said “race” its just a temporary frequency which changes generationally/or environmentally.

    4: “Race is a social construct” YES it is, some racist Europeans went around deciding at what point to call someone a different race and then brainwashed everyone into believing/following it. That study of self identification correlating with the classic “races” proves the point. You can tell anybody genetically, you can tell a German from a French, a Norwegian from a Ukrainian, you can tell a blond from a brunette etc etc, but when you can tell a Nigerian from a English European, it suddenly becomes a “race”? Why? Two “white” people can differ enormously in all the things that are temporarily on average different between “races”. You can get “white” people who are different to each other in blood type, bone marrow type, brain size, IQ, EVERYTHING. So it is a social construct, because at some point racist people from one society, decided when to start calling someone a different “race”.

    You can take two random groups of “white” people right now and there will be average differences in everything and depending on the size of groups there could be genes/traits completely missing in one or both. Thats the thing, when you take “blacks” and “whites” as a group there are no exclusive traits or genes, 0%. As in 100% of the genes are shared between the two groups, even though two “white” people can be missing genes that another “white” has.

    Oh and before one of the racialists comes here with the Neanderthal genes argument. No guy, Neanderthal genes are not exclusive to non Africans. Africans and “blacks” have them, but not all. What that study says is that all non Africans have those genes, not that Africans do not. All it says is that SOME Africans don’t have it. Same thing as when a “white” person doesn’t have a gene that another “white” person does.

    If you really want to see how little “race” means go check “mixed” people who are “white” or “black” on Google. It can even get to the point where even two people from one “race” can give birth to someone who is (socially) considered from another “race”. Go check. Just go to google and check.

    Those were fundamental, observable, tested, proven facts.

    Now lets get to the IQ stuff.

    What can affect the score on an IQ test other than genes: You can Google my exact wording to check the proof.

    1: Motivation can affect IQ.
    2: Breakfast can affect IQ and brain size.
    3: Prenatal and early childhood nutrition can affect IQ.
    4: Depression and stress affect IQ.

    Other things that can affect brain size/structure:

    1: Learning new languages.
    2: Learning to play musical instruments.
    3: Becoming a London can driver.
    4: Eating fish, omega 3 increases brain size.
    5: Playing video games.
    6: Meditating.
    7: Love.

    All those things are environmentally, on average different per “race”. Even when people are adopted, the “black” kid will on average have different things put in his/her head by the outside world. As in what is a “black” thing to do, what they are supposed to “identify” with…list goes on.

    Also on top of all that you can have entire countries with very low IQ but still be very developed. For example look at Barbados, 90% “black” and 78 average IQ, but its a first world country. Lebanon and Qatar is also like that, but instead of “blacks” its Arabs. Qatar is the richest country in the world but with less than 80 IQ.

    Bushmen in South Africa have 65 average IQ, thats supposed to be retarded, but go look at videos and people talking to San bushmen. They are not retarded, period.

    Bottom line, this research is fundamentally flawed, it is illogical and bastardises science, it should be stopped period.

    Link to this
  236. 236. G3RK3 4:09 pm 12/10/2013

    Seriously? is this farenheit 451 or something? Horgan… Dude… No knowledge should ever be banned, simply because it makes others feel insecure. And your “stereotype” articles simply prove that ignorant people believe what’s told to them, which is why their stupid to begin with. Also, your book should be titled “An Unremarkable Mind”, it’s more accurate.

    Link to this
  237. 237. Janepha 1:18 pm 12/21/2013

    My opinion of this subject developed from my experience. I am white, and I obtained near perfect SAT scores, in part because my high school emphasized the skills measured on that test. Years later, I attended numerous services at black churches. I noticed something: the quality of preaching in the black churches was, on average, considerably higher than that in the local white churches. You could have drawn two bell curves, with the black preachers scoring higher. This was not just a matter of the black preachers being more emotional, as some whites have claimed. These guys were using highly sophisticated techniques, similar to some of the techniques used by great novelists. I knew, just based on statistics, that most of these guys probably had academic test scores lower than mine. Yet their preaching was highly skilled and really good.

    Which brings up the question of Martin Luther King’s GRE score. Dr. King scored lower than average on, of all things, the English section of the GRE. One might well ask, if being one of the greatest orators in American history is not English, what is English?

    When I thought about it, I realized that the great black preachers I heard had put thousands of hours into the development of this skill. And, significantly, they had not spent those hours studying physics. What people become good at is a matter not just of intelligence, but of the direction in which intelligence is channeled.

    Many whites assume that our current tests measure the totality of intelligence and achievement. But the problem may be not with what we measure, but with what we do not measure.

    If we could find a way to measure those skills emphasized by black culture, and combined those measurements with the ones we currently have, it would then be possible to gain a more complete knowledge of the potential of individual students.

    Link to this
  238. 238. AnInconvenientTruth 10:31 pm 03/17/2014

    I doubt that John Horgan sends his children to predominantly black public schools. Liberals are never so hypocritical as on the subject of race.

    This hypocrisy has been noticed by white blue collar workers who lack John Horgan’s financial ability to escape the consequences of John Horgan’s ideals.

    The reason research into race and intelligence should not be banned is because the findings have legitimate policy implications.

    Link to this
  239. 239. thefeynmanfanatic 9:28 pm 05/26/2014

    Yes, this must be banned. As it will would only fuel racism more and more. In the eyes of the scientifically-ignorant (note that they are numerous), science would be seen as a force for evil that causes only more and more societal problems in this case potential intensification of racism.

    Link to this
  240. 240. centuryvisit28 9:19 pm 06/19/2014

    No. This doesn’t mean it should be made public at the time in early 21st century. This IQ knowledge is already known from 20th century per differences in races however; it changes greatly in the 22nd century so it doesn’t matter to the public per knowledge.

    Link to this

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