An impartial retort to an article posted on Vox, calls for critical thinking into the controversial scientific question on whether black-white IQ differences are due to genes. The article, which is a continuation of a discussion of Sam Harris’s interview of Charles Murray on Harris’s Waking Up podcast, emphasizes that Murray was wrong in 1994 in his reading of the evidence for a genetic basis for the black-white IQ difference.
The three academic psychologists who have studied human intelligence, contend with the fact that Murray’s views do not represent the consensus in their field. They therefore insist that Murray is still wrong until today.
Well, it’s important to note that Sam Harris made an erroneous approach by treating Murray as if he were someone who merely passes along scientific facts that don’t call for clarification.
A closer look at the facts reveals that the three academic psychologists, who have studied human intelligence, are right with their contention that Murray’s views do not represent the consensus in their field.
IQ existence is not debatable, its well known that it also predicts many life outcomes. There’s also a gap between black IQ scores and white IQ scores; that IQ is at least partly heritable. However, Bell Curve’s conclusion that the black-white difference in IQ must be partly genetic is not accurate.
The issue is whether the black-white IQ gap is partially genetically determined. There is currently no strong evidence to support this conclusion, whereas Murray presents it as a near certainty, and Harris endorses Murray’s position.
Our objective response concedes with the three psychologists who point out that there’s currently no good reason to believe that the black-white difference in average IQ is due to genetic differences between racial groups; and rather than thinking there is no way to influence intelligence by improving the environment, we think there is, in fact, good reason to believe that improving children’s environments will improve their cognitive skills. Murray and Harris’s current endorsement of a genetic contribution to the black-white IQ gap is based on sketchy empirical evidence.
Then again, (without freaking out about racism) do you think blacks with equivalent education outperform whites on any IQ scale?