April 29, 2010

White person fails IQ test

I don't think it is that controversial of an opinion to say I think it is at least possible that African Americans are less intelligent on a genetic level ...
Harvard law student (which you have to pass an IQ test to be).

Come on, she was only saying she didn't think that that possibility was a controversial opinion for her personally to espouse.

I don't believe you can even determine "race" from genetic material.


Tom said...

I don't believe you can even determine "race" from genetic material.

It depends. For example, if you find the mutation which leads to sickle cell anemia in the hemoglobin gene of an individual, you'd be safe in assuming that that individual was from Sub-Sahara Africa (up to 1/3 of the indigenous inhabitants of that area carry this gene ... and it is passed to their descendants). As a social construct, I assume that would mark someone as of being a particular "race".

However, that begs the question of what does one mean by "race"? It does not have many uses (IMO) in a scientific sense. In the example above, the sickle-cell anemia mutation would be one of many different genotypes that could be found throughout the homo sapiens species (singular). Plus there are a variety of studies which have looked at region specific markers and have come to conclusions that truly indicate that the world is becoming a "melting pot" with a variety of these markers being carried in individuals who would not otherwise claim any relationship to them (e.g., European genetic markers in people who would claim to be African American). Given those studies, determining race raises even more questions ... if it doesn't render the entire issue moot to begin with.

Pete Gruett said...

A mutation causing deformation in a single cell type (or increased skin pigmentation) is far too superficial to affect anything as complicated (and ill-defined) as intelligence.

If she had learned anything at all during her undergrad work with a sociologist studying race and the achievement gap she should've learned that her opinion is only non-controversial in that it's too absurd to be taken that seriously. Though sociologists aren't geneticists so maybe it just didn't come up.