The Truth About Race and IQ


It is time for the long-awaited deep dive into race and
IQ that we’ve been working on a lot of time has gone into this producer Noah Ferguson has done some great
Research and editing and this is exactly the type of work that we can do more of the more support
We have from you so with no further ado
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investigation, please continue supporting us and let’s get right into part one of race and IQ today the topic of race and intelligence can be
Sort of uncomfortable to discuss for a lot of people and it’s a subject. That’s very often steeped in identity politics
There’s a lot of people on the Left who don’t want to touch the issue or at least they don’t want to have a conversation
About the fact that yes certain races do score higher or lower on IQ tests
But then there’s many on the right who want to use IQ
tests to make false claims about genetics and other matters it is true that in the United States white people as
Defined on average score higher on IQ tests than
Hispanic people and black people and it’s also true that Asian Americans on average score higher than white Americans
On IQ tests, but the key is not to misinterpret
This information to take IQ scores and conclude that some races are
Genetically more intelligent than others you have to rely on several false assumptions
Just looking at IQ test scores does not tell us
That certain races are genetically smarter than others for a number of different reasons
Iq is not an objective measure of innate general intelligence intelligence is complicated and intelligence
manifests in a number of ways linguistic skills
logical and mathematical skills spatial reasoning
introspective skills interpersonal skills
Kinesthetic skills most aspects of intelligence are just not tested for on IQ tests so intelligence
manifests in a number of ways but biologically
Intelligence itself is also not a unified genetic trait that we can even discuss as a single phenomenon
with a single genetic driver the another major problem with trying to link race and intelligence, which is that race as a
Biological construct is not something that can be defined
Concretely and specifically enough and thus you can’t really measure it against other genetic traits like intelligence
There simply aren’t enough genetic
Similarities within races to tie an entire race to a small set of genetic traits like intelligence
The concept of race is essentially meaningless in biology
And thus races meaningless as an independent variable in studies about intelligence and genetics
But even when we are just talking about IQ there’s a lot of data out there suggesting that IQ is largely based on
environmental factors during a person’s development
IQ tests don’t measure
innate
intellectual capacity they measure certain obtained
intellectual skills
That are more common among certain social groups
And as we’ll discuss higher socioeconomic status causes higher IQ because higher socioeconomic
Environments foster the skills that are actually measured by IQ
Tests many people simply claim that certain races are just less intelligent because they’re genetically born with less
Intelligence and it’s easy to shut down debate about race and intelligence with accusations of racism
It’s easy to stigmatize people and their claims about race and intelligence simply by calling them bigots
But alleging racism isn’t the same as proving that an argument is fallacious or that the data have been misused
having a moral objection to
Someone’s assertions about race and IQ is one thing and sometimes those moral objections are justified because some people really are just
racist but proving someone wrong
requires us to examine the facts and I would like to do exactly that let’s start with the brief history of
attempts to tie race with genetic intelligence for centuries many white researchers have been eager to prove the
Intellectual superiority of white people and they’ve used any number of non-scientific means for the 18th and 19th
centuries before modern
Standardized intelligence testing we saw researchers making assumptions about intelligence differences between races based on
Primitive and totally absurd means of testing like measuring skull and brain size
Measuring cranial volume to make racial claims about intelligence was total pseudoscience practiced by prominent
scientists like Dutch physician Petrus Kemper an American anthropologist
Samuel George Morton measuring a dead person’s skull can tell you something about the size of their brain
But not about their intelligence and in fact excess brain tissue is linked to a number of neurological
disorders in
1913 at the dawn of standardized intelligence testing prominent American psychologist and eugenicist Henry Goddard
Established a written intelligence test at Ellis Island
Not only has this test been shown to have put ethnic minorities at Alice Island at a disadvantage
It was later discovered that the only subjects being chosen to even take the test were immigrants who were already
Suspected to have lower intelligence this testing program reported that 87% of Russians 83% of Jews
80% of Hungarians and 79% of Italians were quote
feeble-minded and had a quote mental age younger than 12 and
Goddard’s test had real-world effects the reporting from these tests directly
influenced Congress’s passing of the Immigration Act of 1924
Which essentially ended Ellis Island as an immigration hub and drastically limited immigration into the United States in general?
another prominent figure in the early days of intelligence testing was English psychologist and Nazi sympathizer Raymond Cattell who in the
1930s did research that concluded that the average British IQ was going down because of non-white immigration
Into Britain his conclusions were eventually disproved by what we know today
Which is that the IQ of most human populations has actually been increasing since the beginning of the 20th century?
But regardless katella’s work was extremely influential
And he used his research to loudly advocate against the mixing of races
And then we come to American physicist William Shockley who became famous as an out
and proponent of eugenics starting with his address to the
1965 Nobel conference where he said that non-whites were causing the quote genetic deterioration of humans
Shockley’s findings have since been debunked again by the consensus today that human intelligence is constantly improving around the world
Shockley spent much of his career throughout the 20th century arguing that blacks are
Intellectually inferior to whites because of genetics and that we should not try to remedy this through education
He said instead we should just try to limit the birth rates of non-white people by using
contraception and sterilization
Shockley said that individuals with IQs lower than 100 should be sterilized our discussion of William Shockley
Makes it necessary for me to bring up an institution that has played an important role in
studying and advocating for eugenics in the 20th century a great deal of Shockley’s writings and lectures were funded by an American nonprofit
Organization called the pioneer fund which was founded in
1937 with the goal of achieving what they called race
Betterment through promoting the genes of white people back then and still to this day the pioneer Fund has primarily existed to fund
Eugenic studies the pioneer fund has ties to Nazi Germany during the 1930s and 40s and for the last 60 years
they’ve been funding the International Association for the Advancement of eugenics and
Ethnology which is an organization that promotes racial segregation they’ve given over a million dollars to eugenicist Arthur Jensen
Who’s known as the father of modern academic racism one of the pioneer fund’s biggest?
beneficiaries over the last twenty years has been you Genesis Roger Pearson who spent his career working with
neo-nazis to advocate for the superiority of the so-called Aryan race
Recent pioneer fund grantees have included white supremacist like Jared Taylor as well as several
Organizations listed as racist hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center
and here’s something very interesting the pioneer fund has also given money to a group called the
Federation for American immigration reform which is an organization with ties to white supremacy several of that organization’s
highest-ranking employees now work at the White House
Whenever there are people
Painstakingly conducting what sometimes may appear to be objective research to prove the superiority
Of white people or people in government trying to shape policy based on an agenda that non-whites are harmful to society
There is often an organization like the Pioneer fund quietly looming in the background
Providing funding somewhere down the line and no discussion about race and intelligence would be complete without mentioning
what’s probably the most well known book ever published on the subject the 1994 book written by political scientist Charles Murray and
Psychologist Richard Bernstein called the bell curve the bell
Curve is widely thought of as a work of pop science because it was aimed at a general public audience
It was not submitted for peer review before publication
It wasn’t even allowed to be circulated among book reviewers before being published
Like most nonfiction books are but the book created a huge stir in popular culture when it was published in
1994 and the bell curve is one of the most commonly cited books today by modern white
Supremacists and eugenicist s– although, it was published twenty-three years ago
The book has seen somewhat of a revival in sales over the past few years
With the rise of the alt-right and author Charles Murray’s recent college speaking gigs
The book tries to bring back to life a bunch of theories about race and IQ that have long been
Discredited and some of the book central claims are that IQ tests are the best measures of cognitive
Ability that IQ tests aren’t biased against any economic ethnic or racial groups that
non-hispanic white Americans are
Naturally more intelligent than black and Hispanic Americans that IQ has more of an impact on someone’s success in life than their childhood
Socioeconomic status and environmental factors and that IQ in the u.s.
Is declining because we’re allowing too many low IQ people in other words non-white people to immigrate to the United States
The bell curves conclusions about race and IQ largely draw from studies by 13
Researchers and these studies cited in the book were funded by guess who the Pioneer fund again the pie
Your fund is a nonprofit that promotes eugenics and has direct ties to white supremacists
several times the bell curve cites studies conducted by Jay Philippe
Rushton who for many years was the head of the pioneer fund Rushton has said that black people are
Biologically predisposed to break the law have lower intelligence and are more impulsive
Rushton once said quote blacks of an advantage in sport because they have narrower hips, but they have narrower hips because they have smaller brains
Rushton has also said that intelligence has an inverse correlation with penis size Jay Phillipe Russians research has been
universally dismissed by the scientific community because of its flaws and biases
But these are the kind of people whose research is used in Marie’s the bell curve
but we have to remember that the claims made in the bell curve aren’t wrong because of the
Motivations of the authors and the researchers that are cited the bell curve has problems because it doesn’t stand up
scientifically the book drew so much attention when it was published that the following year the American Psychological Association
Commissioned a report by 11 leading intelligence experts to address the claims made in the book the report was called
intelligence knowns and unknowns
The APA said that the bell curve created serious
misunderstandings and that there was urgent need for an authoritative report on these issues one that all sides could use as a
basis for discussion in this report in the response to the bell curve the APA said
There is certainly no such support for a genetic interpretation
It is sometimes suggested that the black/white differential in psychometric intelligence is partly due to genetic differences
there is not much direct evidence on this point, but what little there is fails to support the genetic hypothesis and
It shouldn’t be any surprise that neither of the bell curves authors actually worked in biology or any hard science
There’s a mountain of
scholarship
Directly debunking the claims made in the bell curve the APA
Along with a multitude of intelligence experts have agreed that the bell curve like most other modern attempts to link genetic intelligence to race
Rely on a few fundamental assumptions that are just not supported by science one
that there must be enough genetic differences between races and enough genetic similarities within races to
biologically tie intelligence to race that IQ test scores must be
synonymous with general intelligence and innate intelligence and
That intelligence must be primarily based on genetics and not on environment
Let’s start with the first false assertion that it’s legitimate to even have a conversation
About genetic intelligence in terms of race the truth is trying to figure out the average genetic intelligence of different races is
Essentially arbitrary and meaningless first of all over time there have been countless
Definitions of race people throughout history have divided humans into races in many different ways and even today
Different people in different parts of the world use varying definitions when they’re talking about race for instance are
People from India and people from Japan part of the same race what about people from Spain and people from Russia?
You’re going to get different answers to those questions in different contexts
But even in the way we talk about race today in the u.s.. Things don’t have that much biological basis
Let’s say that some examples. We accept of races are white black
Maybe East Asian maybe Native American these labels have a lot of important social significance
Which is why the idea of race is valid when we’re talking about the census or political polls
But there is no such thing as race in genetics and biology
So studies that examine correlations between genetic race and innate intelligence are
inherently flawed from the get-go the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural, Organization
Declared as early as 1950 that there is no such thing as race in biology
based on the findings of an international panel of leading anthropologists
geneticists
sociologists and
psychologists, and this is still the scientific consensus today supported by the National Institutes of Health the American Medical Association the
American Psychological
Association and the American Anthropological
Association in the study of genetics there is no way to break humans up into races now
That is not to say that there isn’t genetic
variation between humans populations there obviously is but race is
Biologically, not a definable construct. There is no white gene or black gene
There is no one gene that all people from a given race have in genetics
There is no such thing as blackness or whiteness genetic variation is fluid
It’s possible to use DNA to figure out where someone comes from
Geographically with some accuracy but no one who believes in genetic races is able to accurately tell us
Which genes should be tested to determine someone’s race people?
Subjectively make social distinctions about race based on things like skin color hair and eye shape which are based in genetics
But the crucial thing to understand is that those traits don’t predict
Everything else about a person’s entire genetic makeup someone’s skin color doesn’t
Necessarily tell you whether or not they’re going to have dimples or whether or not
colorblindness runs in their family
Skin color also doesn’t tell you anything about a person’s intelligence
So maybe you’re thinking well hold on certain races are more susceptible to certain diseases
So why can’t certain races be smarter than others. Here’s one example
There’s this common misconception that black people people with African heritage as a race are
genetically inclined to get sickle-cell anemia
Not exactly true the misconception goes like this skin colour is inherited and sickle cell disease is inherited
Therefore sickle cell disease is caused by race
susceptibility to sickle
Cell is a response to a certain population being exposed to malaria for a long period of time over many generations
And malaria is only rampant in certain parts of Africa so only people of African descent
That come from certain parts of Africa have the gene for sickle-cell
Not all black people and by the way there has also historically been a lot of
Malaria in southern Europe the Middle East and South Asia and populations from those regions. Also have the sickle cell gene
It’s not a black phenomenon
Humans can be split up into separate populations that have significant similar genetics
But these populations are confined to relatively small
geographical regions for example two people
with 100% of their genetic heritage coming from the same village in Eastern Europe many generations ago are
Likely to have significant genetic similarities
But when you compare those people with someone of Scottish genetic heritage their end up being far fewer genetic similarities
So even though a fully Eastern European person and a fully Scottish person
Both appear to be white and in many cases these two people may be ethnically
indistinguishable in their appearance
It’s useless to lump them into the same category as white in order to test for other outcomes like intelligence
We don’t yet know which genes are associated with intelligence
But we can’t assume that whatever genetics are manifesting make them both appear
White are also tied in with all other genetic traits. They may have like their intelligence. There are just not enough genetic
Similarities within what we refer to as a race to make assumptions about other aspects of a person’s genetics
There’s even huge genetic variation within local regions like Scandinavia or the Iberian
Peninsula or Southeast Asia there are several
Thousand genetically similar human populations on earth you have to go to a very micro level
geographically to find humans with significant genetic similarities and
85% of human genetic variation takes place within these tiny individual populations
So even comparing these small local
Populations wouldn’t necessarily give us any useful data about intelligence much less comparing people by continent
Classifying all of these thousands of groups in order to further test for outcomes like intelligence in a meaningful way would be really difficult
But it’s especially meaningless to report findings about a very specific set of genetic traits like intelligence in
relation to someone’s skin color or continent of origin and
biologically measuring anything in terms of race is especially problematic in the Western Hemisphere
Because it’s so common for people’s genetics to have a multitude of geographical origins even though people socially
If I with a particular race if someone in the u.s.
Is five-eighths black and three-eighths white they will probably for social reasons identify as black
Because they look like what we think of as a black person so even if intelligence was tied to race how would we know?
Which intelligence genes are being expressed in that person are they?
Manifesting the black intelligence or the white intelligence very few people in the u.s.
Can trace their ancestry back to a single place the average african-american genome is twenty four percent European?
the average American Latino genome is 18 percent Native American
65 percent European and six percent African and where those genetics come from within those continents is
Also going to vary a lot
So when someone takes an IQ test and simply tells you their race
There are a ton of genetic variables that are just not being accounted for
Another big problem with using IQ tests to judge the average innate intelligence of different races is
Assuming that IQ is the same as a person’s general
Intelligence like I said before the idea of intelligence is very
Complex, and it manifests in a number of different ways it’s like trying to measure if someone is a nice person
What are we really measuring?
We shouldn’t discount
IQ tests wholesale because IQ tests are good at measuring what it is that they measure, but the important thing is not to misinterpret
IQ there’s a common misconception that IQ is a measure of someone’s overall
Intelligence that they’re born with that is not what IQ is and any intelligence expert will tell you that a person’s general
Intelligence can’t be summed up by one number
IQ tests measure only a set of specific skills and these skills have to be acquired all
IQ test measure is a person’s ability to perform
particular cognitive tasks like reading comprehension a person’s ability to work with analogies and do other certain
analytical tasks and to measure
What kind of vocabulary they have that’s a pretty narrow range of what we could consider to be?
intelligence and whether it even measures any
Aspects of intelligence is questionable depending on whether you define intelligence as someone’s potential to perform
Or someone’s actual performance, but humans aren’t just blank slates at birth
We don’t all have the same amount of potential to learn those skills and have higher IQs some people are born with biological
Predispositions to better learn the skills that IQ measures
But after you’re born your acquisition of those skills is mostly determined by your environment which accounts for most of your IQ
We don’t know what the limits of what a person’s IQ can be
Unless they have the right resources and the phenomenon that the IQ scores of a particular person
tend to remain more or less the same at different ages isn’t evidence that IQ is innate and
Unchanging because of biology this just shows
What should be obvious that a person’s environmental conditions are likely to stay the same throughout their development and many studies have shown that
Intervening in a child’s development with cognitive skills training will raise their IQ and that is because higher
IQs are correlated with better access to
Resources that foster those cognitive skills and those resources are more present in the lives of children of higher socioeconomic
Status there can be a huge difference between what someone is capable of due to their biological disposition
And what skills they obtain because of their environment a French study published in the journal Nature
observed siblings adopted by families of contrasting economic status they track children who had the same biological parents
But were adopted and raised from an early age by different families
And they took into account those adoptive families education occupations and income the study found that being raised in a high
Socioeconomic status home can boost IQ 12 to 16 points
By the way that also happens to be the approximate IQ difference between the average white person and the average black person
psychologist Eric, Durkheim, er conducted a similar study
But assessed twins who were adopted into different families so that the children’s genetic makeup would be 100% the same
The study found that the heritability of IQ among children raised by families low
Socioeconomic status was only around 10% and a little higher in more affluent families this suggests that while yeah
IQ can be inherited from parent to child to some degree
Children are less able to benefit from their genetics. If they’re raised in a lower socioeconomic
Environment which is to say if you’re a rich kid you’re going to have plenty of educational opportunities
And your IQ is more likely to just be what it is whether high or low
But if you have fewer educational opportunities your IQ is much more likely to suffer from that but like I said before
Even though some of your IQ can be linked to genetics
There’s no meaningful way to relate that to race because there is an incredibly huge amount of genetic variation
inside races
But anyway if IQ tests are evaluating people of drastically different upbringing and environments
Then their inherent intelligence is not being assessed in a vacuum
instead IQ test scores are just
Arrived from a number of variables that are hard to measure
Everything from a person’s home life during their development to the quality of their education
to whether or not they have attention deficit issues to their actual motivation to do well on the test itself and
Skills measured on an IQ test are not valued taught or used
Across all groups of people to the same degree if you take someone who came from a lower socioeconomic
class and had less access to quality early childhood education
They are likely to score lower on an IQ test
Let’s take two people who were born with the same level of innate intelligence at Birth
One of them is an American with great access to quality American education throughout their development
And the other lives in a tribal community who had to learn an entirely different set of skills to survive and succeed in their society
Which of these two people do you think would score better on an IQ test?
IQ tests largely measure a person’s ability to think abstractly and use theoretical analysis
But if a child isn’t immersed in that type of thinking during their development
They’re not going to learn as many of those skills
American children are more likely to develop these skills than children in a third world country and
Of alleged white American children are more likely to develop these skills than a Hispanic American living in a low-income neighborhood
And it’s a cycle right well-educated people who make more money have children who are given more
educational opportunities to develop these cognitive skills and
Uneducated people with less money are more likely to raise children with that same lack of opportunity another thing like I mentioned before
Global IQs have been rising since the beginning of the 20th century
This is also evidence that IQ has more to do with environment than genetics the scientific consensus
Is that IQs around the world have been rising at a much faster rate than could even possibly be explained by genetics
Human genes can’t mutate that quickly so this huge acceleration in IQ
Over the past hundred years is most likely due to globalization and dissemination of Western education
During that time the skills assessed by IQ tests have become more necessary
And nurtured in more parts of the world and in lower socioeconomic
Echelon, and so understandably guess who has seen the biggest leaps in IQ over the past hundred years
non-whites and
marginalized ethnicities within different societies all of which supports what we know about IQ being more affected by
Environment than genetics so to sum up race isn’t even a valid
Context to begin with when you’re talking about biology, and IQ tests are not the be-all end-all of measuring intelligence
But even when we are just talking about IQ there is evidence that genetics can determine IQ to some degree
But there is conclusive evidence that environment plays a bigger role in determining IQ assumptions
We make about groups of people have real-world
consequences the way we see people as groups and as individuals should be rooted in fact and
Even though racial differences in IQ are grounded mostly on environment having
Prejudices about certain races is still racism one irony. Is that people on the right?
Supposedly espoused the ideas of individualism and personhood yet
They are usually the ones who want to make these false judgments about groups of people and make fallacious claims about race and IQ
Another irony is that people on the right are the people who say pull yourself up by your bootstraps
But it’s usually people on the right who perpetuate these inaccurate narratives about certain races being genetically
Destined to be less intelligent and less successful
the most important thing is that an individual’s race can’t tell you anything about their intelligence or their character and
Human beings should be judged on qualities other than their IQ, but there is certainly no current scientific proof
Indicating that there are differences in genetic innate intelligence
Between the social lines that we call race

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