User talk:Moonriddengirl/Race and intelligence/backgound/Archive 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The purpose of this page is a temporary workplace for a section to be added back to the main article. --Kevin Murray 13:17, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps it would be beneficial to move this to userspace for sandboxing, maybe at User:Kevin Murray/sandbox, until it can be added to the main article? That would help prevent future confusion. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:31, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
We really need a neutral space. I'd suggest a sub page of the talk page, if having it in the main article namespace is an issue. futurebird 14:33, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
FB, you are right. That's a better place. My mistake. --Kevin Murray 14:49, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
What would you like to call it? --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:51, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Actually, can we keep it here? If we leave it here we get a talk page with it, which will allow us to make changes here and talk about them at the associated talk page. --Kevin Murray 14:52, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
I really think this may not be a proper use of articlespace. If you want a neutral location, I will gladly create a sandbox for it in my own userspace, and you can have your talk page and work on it there as much as you like. I have no intentions of working on the article, so there's no conflicts from me. :) Would that work for you, Kevin? --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:55, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Random but fair, let's do it. :) futurebird 15:00, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Okay. Let me know at my main talk page when the two of you are done with it, please, and I will delete it. :) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 15:02, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Background information in context

It is hard to work with bits of the article out of context like this. Some of the time what we need to do is move things around between sections. We need to look at 'the balence of the article overall. This section could be fine, or it could contribute to problems of "undue weight" -- Also, a sub-section on race and on intelligence were both parts of the background section. Where are they? futurebird 14:00, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

it is not uncommon to work on sections of a project at a time. The main article is there to give the big picture. I'm hoping that we can get broad consensus one section at a time and then ask the admin who locked the page to repalce the protected text with our improved version. --Kevin Murray 14:15, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
It would help if you stopped reverting my changes. Are you saying that we need to get rid of the sections from the main article? futurebird 14:17, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Please slow down and focus on what is happening. A new user has been trying to delete this page and made undiscussed deletions of text from JJ's last edit. Also this page is meant to discuss just this one section, Not to discuss other sections which I hope we can handle one at a time. --Kevin Murray 14:21, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

I think we should look at the section and the sub-sections together. I'm not concerned about the "deleteion" it won't go through when they realize what the point of this page is. Also thanks for putting JJ's changes back in again. It looked to me like you were just reverting everything and I'm already mad about the reversions at the main page. I thought that you'd lost you mind! Ha! Okay. But, can we look at more than just this little scrap? futurebird 14:32, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

No worries. Can we keep this first exercise limited to a very short segment? I now see that what you had added are subsections, but maybe we try the first experiment as a baby step. OK? --Kevin Murray 14:37, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

On Intelligence

On Intelligence . . . More or Less: A Biological Treatise on Intellectual Development Is this book about race and intelligence or just intelligence? I think the g-based sentence is taking the idea of g-based intelligence out of context. futurebird 14:08, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Since the term "g-based factor" links to the WP article "general intelligence factor" I ahve substituted the latter for the former in the test. Am I right on this? --Kevin Murray 16:16, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

I think we need to addres the question of how this source is being used. futurebird 17:47, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Robert M. Entman and Andrew Rojecki

We reference a publicatin written by Robert M. Entman and Andrew Rojecki, but we have no articles about these men at WP. Althoguh it is not required, I would like to know a little about their credentials. Perhaps there is enough info to write articles. --Kevin Murray 16:04, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

"The black image in the white mind" is used at Columbia University in a course on race and the media. I know this because my husband went there and has the book from one of his courses. People take them seriously. futurebird 18:17, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Here is some research on Enteman whcih is cut and paste for the university site (link below). Does someone ant to write an article? A list of his books at Amazon is the other link:

Robert M. Entman is J.B. and M.C. Shapiro Professor of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University. He earned a Ph.D. in political science as a National Science Foundation Fellow at Yale, and an M.P.P. in Public Policy Analysis from the University of California (Berkeley). He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Duke, where he earned his A.B. in political science. Prior to joining GW, Dr. Entman served on the faculties at Duke, Northwestern and North Carolina State. His most recent books include Projections of Power: Framing News, Public Opinion, and U.S. Foreign Policy (University of Chicago, 2004); Mediated Politics: Communication in the Future of Democracy (Cambridge, 2001, edited with Lance Bennett), which will be published in Chinese translation by Tsinghua University Press in 2006; and The Black Image in the White Mind: Media and Race in America (University of Chicago, 2000, with A. Rojecki), which won Harvard's Goldsmith Book Prize, the Lane Award from the American Political Science Association, and other awards. For his work on media framing, he won the 2005 Woolbert Research Prize from the National Communication Association. Other books include Democracy Without Citizens (Oxford, 1989) and Media Power Politics (Free Press, 1981, with D.L. Paletz). He has also published dozens of journal articles, reports, and book chapters in such fields as political communication, public opinion, race relations, and public policy. Dr. Entman is currently writing a book called Media Bias Scandals and, with Clay Steinman, is editing an anthology called Key Works in Communication Studies for Blackwell Publishers. He also edits the book series Communication, Society and Politics (with Lance Bennett) for the Cambridge University Press. Dr. Entman lectures frequently at universities in the U.S. and abroad and served as the Lombard Visiting Professor at Harvard in 1997 and a visiting professor of communication at the University of Rome in 2005. In 2006 Entman was awarded the APSA Political Communication Division’s Murray Edelman Distinguished Career Achievement Award.

Robert M. Entman J.B. & M.C. Shapiro Professor of Media and Public Affairs School of Media and Public Affairs The George Washington University 805 21st Street NW, Suite 400 Washington, DC 20052 202-994-0039

Book list: BIO:

John Milton Hoberman

John Milton Hoberman has an article at WP, but it says little more than is in the footnote (one book, the one referenced here). Who is he and why is he a credible source for the assertion in this article? Can we thus expand the article on Hobernman --Kevin Murray 16:14, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I've now expandsed the Hoberman article to include three of his publications and that he is a University of Texas professor. This still would not survice an AfD, but I do feel better about him as a source here. Any more info to expand the article would be appreciated. --Kevin Murray 17:01, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I was able to find more info at the U of T site and have written to Professor Hoberman to see whether he can point us to more sources. Perhaps if he is cooperative, he might bring some more ideas to our project here. --Kevin Murray 18:11, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
He's a nice guy he responded to emails I sent last year giving a me few ideas for sources for this article. futurebird 18:18, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Great! --Kevin Murray 18:26, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Removal of link to "Craniometry"

Question for JJ: Why did you remove the link to Craniometry from the term "brain size"? I thnk that I agree, but want to discuss, and wonder how it got there in the first place. Thanks. --Kevin Murray 16:31, 4 November 2007 (UTC)


Modern theories and research on race and intelligence are often grounded in two controversial assumptions:

  • that the social categories of race and ethnicity are concordant with genetic categories, such as biogeographic ancestry, and
  • that intelligence is quantitatively measurable (see psychometrics) by modern tests and is dominated by a unitary general cognitive ability "general intelligence factorg-based factor."

I don't like the bullet points, in general one should avoid bullet points when simply putting something in sentence form will do. futurebird 17:53, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

I have mixed feeling. I would agree with you if the two assumptions were described by simple phrases, but when the descriptions get this complex the setence becomes rather dense adn hard for many people to follow. --Kevin Murray 18:09, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Word choice

"have been shown to moderate IQ in children"

Could we substitute "influence" for "moderate"  ? --Kevin Murray 18:13, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes, change it. futurebird 18:19, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
If your OK with that, please make the change in your next edit. I'm going to stand by so as to not edit-conflict while you are working. Cheers! --Kevin Murray 18:27, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

futurebird on pause

I'm going to stop editing for a bit so others can look at the changes. I'm not saying it's perfect now, but it's getting to the point where I think it could work. futurebird 18:56, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

I struck one of your sentences as being off the point (?). I too would like to stand-down to let others participate. But we really have not shortened the section much, if at all. I think that FB has done a good job of removing some overly technical terms. Remember this is an encyclopedia not a technical journal. --Kevin Murray 19:03, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't think we need to think about making every section shorter. Esp. an overview section. There may be whole sections that we can ommit... that's how I think we'll get the size down. futurebird 19:31, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Inclusion in main article

I think it looks good. If more editors agree you should try to get it in. Brusegadi 16:34, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Made a few changes

I've gone in and made a few changes which I feel are relatively minor. Please anybody feel free to comment or change as necessary.--Ramdrake 16:44, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Some observations

I've had a quick look at the History section in the "Race and intelligence", this seems to focus mainly on the black/white dichotomy, but as far as I know much of the work done in the early 1920's in the USA was done on immigrants of European origin. The conclusions at this time were that Italians, Jews and Russians were intellectually, and therefore genetically inferior, based on IQ testing. There was, at that time concern that "inferior" European "races" would "dilute" the US gene pool and "weaken" it intellectually (sound familiar?). This does not seem to be mentioned in the article at all, but this observation was used to make US policy on immigration. Of course there is a great deal written about how eastern Europeans, southern Europeans and Jewish people became "white" in the USA, but the article should at least make mention of the fact that these groups weren't always considered "white", and that early in the 20th century they were considered racially and intellectually inferior. This highlights that this is an ongoing problem and that these sorts of claims of "proof" of intellectual inferiority have been made before against groups that are now assimilated into the dominant social group, and therefore are now considered intellectually equal. Joseph L. Graves has quite a lot to say about this.

There should be more on the history of IQ tests and testing and it's application.

Another point worth noting is the distinction between the observations of "The Bell Curve" and that of people like Rushton and Jensen. I can't claim to be an expert, but there seem to be two contradictory claims made here that may need to be treated separately.

  • My understanding of "The Bell Curve" (and I have not read it, but have read some reviews of it) is that it is primarily about economics. It's essential thesis is that people are successful because they are clever, that essentially the "market" rewards cleverness and punishes stupidity. Therefore all poor people are stupid and don't deserve any social security etc. This implies that all people who have achieved a certain socio-economic status have done so because the market has rewarded them appropriately for their ability. The market is colour blind, and therefore we would expect all people of the same socio-economic status to have the same intelligence, irrespective of "race".
  • People like Jensen and Rushton claim that African Americans have lower IQ test scores in all socio-economic groups compared to their Asian or European American counterparts. Clearly if this is the case then the "Bell Curve" model is incorrect, because if Rushton and Jensen are right then the market is not behaving in a uniform manner, and the "Bell Curve" economic theory is therefore nonsense.

Clearly these two claims are irreconcilable with each other, one is overtly racist, the other is a defence of class, although there is implicit racism, obviously. I think they should be dealt with separately.

We need to discuss environmental pollution, in the USA poor people, especially African Americans are far more likely to live in polluted environments, especially environments with lead pollution, but also in housing in closer proximity to toxic dump sites etc.

I noticed a section called "stereotype threat". I hadn't heard about this before, but interestingly I was listening to a Science podcast [2] from September 2006 (I think, about that time anyway) which showed a similar result, but with the parameters reversed. In this work they found that by asking African American children to take a short self affirming exercise (such as writing about something they are good at, or discussing people who love them) before a school test it eliminated the test score difference between "races", non-African American students showed no such increase in their test scores when they took the exercise. Actually the podcast is on the page I link to above, it's from the 1st of September 2006, you need to scroll down, the piece is called "A small intervention with big results for African-American students". How do we cite a podcast? Anybody? Alun 18:13, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Alun, The Bell Curve, AFAIK seems to affirm that socio-economic status is a by-product of intelligence as measured by IQ, and that since Blacks have a lower IQ which seems genetically driven, their social success will always be mitigated, and goes on to make some policy recommendations based on that. The theory that Blacks have lower socio-economic status because of a lower IQ (rather than say, the other way around, a lower IQ because of unfavorable socio-economic conditions) is where it rejoins the theories of Rushton, Lynn and company. I don,t see this as a contradiction, but rather as a prolongation one into the other. Did I miss your point, or is that what you meant? BTW, so that everyone's clear, I'm just summarizing positions here, none of which are mine.--Ramdrake 19:50, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
I think there is a misunderstanding here. The tails of the Normal distribution (as I was taught to call it) never reach zero, if I remember my A level stats well enough (futurebird will know more about this, she's a maths teacher, so I will defer to her superior knowledge if I am wrong). There seems to be some belief that this shows that African American people are never as clever as non-African American people, but this is incorrect. If we look at the distribution closely, we will find that for any give measure of intelligence there will always be representatives from any ethnic/racial group, the thesis of the "Bell Curve" is simply that there will be proportionally a greater number of non-African Americans in high IQ ranges. If we accept this thesis, then it is evident that there are always going to be very clever people from all groups, and therefore we would expect that people of the same socioeconomic status will be as clever as each other, just that African Americans will be underrepresented in the top socioeconomic groups, and overrepresented in the lower socioeconomic groups. But hey, that's the pattern we actually get anyway. So if the "Bell Curve" theory is correct, then it is the "market" that decided that African Americans would be underrepresented and not discrimination. But Rushton et al. claim that the IQ of African Americans is lower in all socioeconomic groups, which seems to imply that the market is not actually the deciding factor in this. The other striking thing is that it seems to imply that the market favours African Americans getting and keeping jobs even when they are supposed to have a lower IQ than non-African Americans doing the same job. No privately run company will ever keep someone employed who cannot do their job well (irrespective of "affirmative action" or equal opportunities as we call it), so there is definitely a contradiction between the "Bell Curve" and Rushton et al. in their analysis. Someone other than me must have noticed this discrepancy. I'm currently waiting for a copy of "Race and IQ" by Montague and "The Mismeasure of Man" by Gould to be delivered from amazon. This subject is very new to me, but it seems that the "race and intelligence" debate has prety well been dispensed with by mainstream scientists, and that only a small group of "true believers" are still pushing this issue. Alun 12:43, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

* I agree with almost everything you are saying.

  • See: stereotype threat it has much better sources than the podcast. Stereotype threat undoubtedly plays a role, but it is not the entire explanation for the achievement gap, the people who discovered it went to some lengths to make that clear.
  • I think Jensen and Rushton blame affirmative action for this "paradox"-- because clearly that's the only way black people ever get ahead. (eye roll)
  • Can you focus on this one little section? your ideas make sense to but you're all over the place. Do you have any criticism about what we've scrubbed through so far? futurebird 18:25, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Ok the podcast I'm referring to is not discussing the stereotype threat but the opposite effect, one reduces test scores, the other increases test scores. They do appear to be different sides of the same psychological coin though.
  • As for this section, well I'm a bit confused by the content. I just don't see this content as background, it is a general discussion of the "race and intelligence" debate, but surely background would be more about why this article exists? Who invented psychometric testing? Why was it invented? Why were different classes/ethnic groups compared against each other? What is it's relationship to the eugenics movement? Shouldn't it be about the history of this subject?Alun 12:43, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Couple of things, to answer Alun: first the Bell Curve (IQ curve), while it looks like a Gaussian (a.k.a. normal distribution) curve, actually isn't quite one, especially at the tails, which explains in good part why you basically can't have anyone with a IQ lower than about 30 or so, or higher than about 190 or so (give or take). And AFAIK (I'm no psychometrician) the correct intepretation indeed isn't that all "Blacks" are dumber than "Whites" (choke, gag) but rather that there will be a larger relative percentage of smart "White" people than smart "Black" people, and likewise, a higher relative percentage of dumb "Black" people relative to "White", "smart" and "dumb" being defined relative to the IQ score (sorry if it feels like I'm giving you the junior high school primer here), so I think we're trying to say the same thing here. :)--Ramdrake 19:44, 10 November 2007 (UTC)


Can we set a deadline of 18:00 11-8-07 to finish this section? Then one of us could remove the strikouts, bolding, and edit notes. Perhaps then we can have a chance to review the final product until 18:00 11-9-07, and then ask Guy to replace the section. Is that good? --Kevin Murray 18:34, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Removed bold and strike out

Now the at strikes are removed I still see some minor changes in working that might help. --Should I make them? futurebird 14:57, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes, please make changes that make sense to improve the flow. Thanks for doing this. --Kevin Murray 15:01, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

and if so of which magnitude

Do we need this? I know Ramdrake added it, but I just think it is confusing. The real, deabte is about if it happens at all. Right? futurebird 15:04, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree with your latest adds and deletes. Perhaps see what Ramdrake thinks. You have my support with whatever choice you make. I've asked Moonriddengirl to insert the text into the article when you are done, since Guy is in Britain and likely done for the day. Have a great weekend. --Kevin Murray 15:11, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
That point is very important, as a number of intelligence-related specialists think there might be a genetic contribution to IQ differences between racial groups in the US, however they think this contribution is minor, even negligible. Fewer scientists think there is no genetic contribution possible whatsoever. If you feel the wording is bad, change it, but I think it is important that a specific point be made that a part of the controversy is about the magnitude of the genetic contribution, if it exists: as I said, few scientists think there is zero genetic contribution to the gap, but even fewer think there is as large a genetic contribution as the likes of Rushton and Lynn. Sorry for painting much grey into this black-and-white situation.
Another point which I'd like to bring up, is that both differences in physiology and anatomy have been hypothesized in racial brain differences (we are of course speaking about fine physiology and anatomy, i.e. relative differences in the sizes of certain cortical areas, of the depth of certain neuron layers, in the number of interconnexions between neurons, etc.). As you can see what is being invoked is mostly observed differences in fine anatomy, which could lead (by an as-yet-unexplained mechanism) to differences in functioning (physiology), and hypothetically in mental performance (yah). Thus, the expression anatomy and physiology would be much more appropriate in this case, IMHO.
These two points are the only ones where I didagree with you, FB. I'd really like to discuss how we could reintegrate them, or at least take into consideration the concerns I just raised above.--Ramdrake 16:17, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

I think what is mainstream is that:

  • there are genetic differences between population clusters
  • "races" may be be population clusters
  • IQ test scores correlate in a way that suggests has some genetic component
  • There is a test score gap

But, combining these ideas to say "the test score gap between races has some, possibly small, genetic component" isn't said by many at all.

What you said is that no one can rule this idea out. That's true. No good scientists would rule that idea out. We also can't rule out the idea that the genetic component leads black people taken as a "population cluster" to be on average slightly better at taking IQ tests than whites. We can't say either because there is no way to control for all environmental factors.

Fewer scientists think there is no genetic contribution possible whatsoever.

Of course, and we have no idea what that possible contribution might be. It could be making the gap smaller, for all we know.

futurebird 16:31, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Actually, I think we're saying the same thing, as you said: Fewer scientists think there is no genetic contribution possible whatsoever. Some scientists (Rushton et al.) think there is a significant genetic contribution. Many others, while acknowledging that there might be some genetic component, think that it is minor, even close to negligible, and fewer scientists think there is no genetic contribution possible whatsoever, indeed. So, yes part of the controversy does revolve not on whether any sort of genetic contribution is possible, but really to whether this possible genetic contribution amounts to anything significant, wouldn't you say?--Ramdrake 16:56, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
It depends on if you mean "contribution to the average test score of the group" or "positive contribution to the size of the gap" -- That is, making it larger than it would be otherwise due to environmental factors alone. The controversy is about if the gap is there, in part, due to a genetic contribution. If it works in the opposite direction, or is "negligibly small" it's not really a contribution to the gap. futurebird 17:11, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Again, my point is, the issue is about whether there is a genetic contribution to the size of the gap, and if so, what the size of that contribution might be, as I stated earlier. I really feel that representing the debate as being solely about whether or not there might be a genetic contribution to the gap really doesn't tell the whole story. What are your misgivings about stating in the article that the debate is also partly about the size (or significance) of a genetic contribution, if it exists?--Ramdrake 17:26, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

my point is, the issue is about whether there is a genetic contribution to the size of the gap, and if so, what the size of that contribution might be

By this do you mean "what the size of the positive contribution might be? The genetic contribution could be making the gap smaller-- That's what we don't know.

What are your misgivings about stating in the article that the debate is also partly about the size (or significance) of a genetic contribution, if it exists?

I think we'd need to explain what I said here in the bulleted listed above. It's a slightly complex concept and not really helpful in the overview. I don't think it's OK to talk about "Few scientists thinking there is no genetic contribution possible whatsoever." without explaining that the contribution could be making the gap smaller or larger. But if you really want to get in to all of that in the first few paragraphs we can... I guess. But, then we'd need to ad a few senetences explaining what that means. And, it's bloated already. futurebird 17:51, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

I think it would be worth a shot to frame the debate as precisely as possible in the introduction, but with only the strict necessary as far as explanations are concerned. Otherwise, I'm concerned some might think we're trying to miselad the reader by injecting a subtle POV. But you're right that the genetic contribution, if it exists, could conceivably be positive or negative, and that should also be taken into account.--Ramdrake 18:05, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Much Most of the research on intelligence is based on IQ testing of blacks and whites in the United States. M, and much of the current debate centers around which environmental factors may influence IQ scores the most, and whether or not there are genetic differences between races that play a significant role in creating the gap, and if so of which magnitude, these this last two questions being the most controversial in the debate.

How's this? futurebird 18:44, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Succinct, yet takes everything we discussed into account without being overly wordy. I certainly agree with this wording. Thanks!--Ramdrake 19:18, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

OK, great. It's in and I'll get the text ready to move. futurebird 19:37, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Alun's suggestions

If I can suggest some alterations?

Most of the research on intelligence is based on IQ testing of blacks and whites African Americans and Non-African Americans [don't they claim that Asian Americans are "cleverer" than European Americans?] in the United States. M, and much of The current debate centers around the relative effect of how much environmental factors compared to genetic factors may influence on IQ scores the most, and whether or not any genetic effects on IQ are due to genetic differences between races, and what selective pressures could produce such differentiation and if so of which magnitude, these these last two questions being the most controversial in the debate.

Now without crossings out (am I the only one who finds it difficult to read this text with all the crossing out?, It's a nightmare!!)

Most of the research is based on IQ testing of African Americans and Non-African Americans in the United States. The current debate centers around the relative effect of environmental factors compared to genetic factors on IQ scores, and whether or not any genetic effects on IQ are due to genetic differences between races, and what selective pressures could produce such differences, these last three questions being the most controversial in the debate.

Futurebird thinks the main points of acceptance are these:

  • there are genetic differences between population clusters
Well there are genetic differences between populations, but they are relatively small, and identification of populations and their boundaries may be impossible. Clustering analyses are very controversial, and there are often greater genetic similarities between individuals from different clusters than between individuals within clusters. Clustering hides a great deal of between group similarities. Remember that only about 6-10% of genetic variation is between continental groups, and even then there is always gradual clinal change. Also remember that about 6-10% of genetic variation is between populations within continental groups.
  • "races" may be be population clusters
Races, from a biological point of view are the same as subspecies, mostly when we talk of biological races we are talking about classification, and the lowest level of taxonomic classification is the subspecific level. There is no biologically recognised level of classification below the subspecies level, and humans are not considered differentiated enough to warrant subspecific classification. So "biological races" are not population clusters. Furthermore, even Neil Risch, one of the most voiciferous proponents of the race=cluster=population model cannot specifically define what he means by "race" in this context,[1] clearly from a population genetics point of view a population cannot ever be considered equivalent to a "race", and most clustering analyses are attempting to identify genetic populations. Also there is plenty of evidence that clustering itself may well be a product of discontinuous sampling of the human population, and that most variation is distributed clinally. If clustering is due to faulty sampling strategies (ie sampling discontinuously along a gradient may give the false impression of how the variation is distributed) then it brings into question the whole clustering concept.
  • IQ test scores correlate in a way that suggests has some genetic component.
But we know that most genetic variation is within group. So it probably means that there are lost of clever people, and also lots of stupid people in all populations, and that clever people tend to have clever children and that stupid people tend to have stupid children. So yes, a genetic component, but distributed like the vast majority of genetics, by family.
  • There is a test score gap
Sure, but what are the tests actually measuring? Is it intelligence?

what I think is accepted:

  • There is a test score gap.
  • Test scores are thought to correlate with mental ability.
  • Reminding someone that they are from a minority before a test reduces their test score.
  • Reminding someone from a minority that they are a valuable human being before taking a test improves their test score (and nullifies the test score gap).
  • African Americans are a minority.
  • African Americans tend to live in polluted environments, especially environments polluted with lead, which causes irreversible damage to children's cognitive developement.
  • There is evidence that test score ability is genetically inherited, it therefore runs in families.
  • Genetic differences between groups (not populations) are often under environmental selection, for example haemoglobinS is selected for in malarial regions due to heterozygote advantage or melanin pigmentation in the skin is selected for in regions with high UV radiation, while low melanin pigmentation in the skin is selected for in regions with low UV radiation. Neither of these examples is specific to any given "race", selection is due to environment alone.
  • There is no accepted model for different continental regions to select in favour or against "cognitive ability".
  • Controlling for environmental factors significantly reduces any differences in test scores.

Ok, I'm sorry if I'm going off topic here. This subject is quite new to me, and in some regards I'm trying to clarify things to improve my own understanding. I'm confident enough with the genetics, but all else is still very new to me. Sorry if I'm wittering a bit. Alun 21:58, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Actually, far from wittering, I suspect you may have helped a few readers here. :)--Ramdrake 22:05, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Alun, I don't see how your changes to the text are supported by your oberservations. I agree with your observations, and thank you for clearing up the stuff about "populations" ---But, I don't understand some of your changes to the text. First of all:

The current debate centers around the relative effect of environmental factors compared to genetic factors...

I would say that most of the debate, in respectable academic circle is strictly about which environmental factors are most important. Nobody really takes the genetic theories very seriously. The question is are kids underperforming because of the "negative influence of hip hop" or is because their schools are of poorer quality? That's the heart of the debate. Then there are people who want to speculate about genetics. This makes it sounds like genetic factors between races are accepted, and were just discussing the degree.

OK, thanks for clearing that up. I thought that the main thrust of the debate was about nature/nurture, clearly I was wrong. Alun 11:28, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

...on IQ scores, and whether or not any genetic effects on IQ are due to genetic differences between races,...

This clears it up-- but I'd rather not have the implication that we're just discussing the degree at all.

Is this the implication? If so it's not intentional. The only thing this is supposed to say is that any genetic difference in ability to do well at IQ tests are not likely to be distributed between continental groups, but within continental groups. But if it is true that the debate is not really about nature/nurture than this is irrelevant. Alun 11:28, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

...and what selective pressures could produce such differences, these last three questions being the most controversial in the debate.

The only information we have on 'selective pressures' are wild speculations and fringe theories. It's not even an important aspect of the debate, at all. No way should this be in here. futurebird 23:38, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

OK, well this doesn't need to be included then. This was only to say that if it is supposed to be a biological thing then it only makes sense if one can show that natural selection has a role, but as you say, the main debate is about what environmental factors are most important, rather than about environment vs biology. So this just shows I don't know much about this subject. Alun 11:28, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Futurebird, I really respect you as a Wikipedia editor, now I feel like I've offended you, but my contributions were genuine. I'm withdrawing from this debate. Alun 00:41, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

You're taking it way to personnel. I really appreciate your help, I just don't understand your changes. I'm not offended, just confused, especially when I agree with everything else you've been saying. I could be totally wrong here too. So don't back down that quickly. I must be misunderstanding your intent. I don't know. futurebird 01:02, 11 November 2007 (UTC)


  1. ^ when asked about genetics proving that race doesn't exist Risch responds What is your definition of races? If you define it a certain way, maybe that's a valid statement. There is obviously still disagreement. when asked about this disagreement he says Scientists always disagree! A lot of the problem is terminology. I'm not even sure what race means, people use it in many different ways., so this guy constantly claims that population clusters are the same as "race", but then admits that he doesn't even know what a "race" is, and obviously doesn't have anything like a coherent definition that he or his group uses.[1]

another view

(section moved to R&I talk page)

Purpose of this page

Hi. The purpose of this page is to have a focused discussion on specific sections one at a time. Please keep other discussions on the main article talk page so we can keep focused on this micro-project. Thanks! --Kevin Murray 01:44, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Background section merger

Kevin Murray tells me at my talk page that this material is ready for merging, and I have placed it into the article. Please let me know at my talk page if I am mistaken, and I will undo it. Meanwhile, I'll withdraw from this talk page and allow you to go on with it. :) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 02:34, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

New sections have been posted from R&I for cooperative editing here