Race And IQ: A Conservative Debunks

Jul 30 2012 @ 12:17pm

Ron Unz challenges the "Strong IQ Hypothesis," which he defines as the belief "that IQ accurately reflects intelligence, that IQ is overwhelmingly determined by genetics, and that IQ is subject to little or no significant cultural or economic influence after we adjust for the universal Flynn Effect." He does this in the American Conservative, one of the few places on the right currently interested in ideas and debate rather than propaganda for power. One highlight:

If these differences of perhaps 10 or even 15 IQ points between impoverished Balkan Europeans and wealthy Western ones reflected deeply hereditary rather than transitory environmental influences, they surely would have maintained themselves when these groups immigrated to the United States. But there is no evidence of this. As it happens, Americans of Greek and South Slav origins are considerably above most other American whites in both family income and educational level. Since the overwhelming majority of the latter trace their ancestry to Britain and other high IQ countries of Western Europe, this would seem a strange result if the Balkan peoples truly did suffer from an innate ability deficit approaching a full standard deviation.

Similarly, he notes that "almost two-thirds of the IQ gap between American-born Mexican-Americans and whites disappeared in two decades." In a follow up post, he encourages IQ skeptics to confront the issue head on, and sees an open debate on this as nothing to be frightened of:

For decades now, many liberal intellectuals have tended to shy away from any scientific investigations involving "race" or "IQ", or (especially) those two concepts in close proximity, perhaps fearing the dreadful Satanic truths which they might discover. As a perfect example of this, several of the individuals receiving my article told me they felt great trepiditation when they read my title, fearful at the possible factual conclusions presented therein, and were enormously relieved when these turned out largely to be the ones they might have most desired.

Unfortunately, one problem with avoiding debates on horrifying topics is that these debates take place nevertheless, but with only one side participating.

What a breath of (liberal) fresh air. Unz address the urban/rural IQ divide here.