Race And IQ
By Dr. Thomas Sowell

Years ago, while doing research on education and IQ, I happened to be in the principal's office at a black school in Cincinnati, as he was preparing to open a large brown envelope containing the results of IQ tests that his students had taken. Before he opened the envelope, I offered to bet him that a large majority of the students with IQs over 110 would be girls.
He was too smart to take the bet. Studies had shown that females predominated among high-IQ blacks. One study of blacks whose IQs were 140 and up found that there were more than five times as many females as males at these levels.
This is hard to explain by either heredity or environment, as those terms are usually defined, since black males and black females have the same ancestors and grow up in the same homes. Meanwhile, white males and white females have the same average IQs, with slightly more males at both the highest and lowest IQs.
This is just one of many unsolved mysteries that is likely to remain unsolved, because doing research on race and IQ has become taboo in many places. My own research was financed in part by a grant from a foundation that told me to remove any mention of IQ research from the activities listed in my project's application.
They didn't care if I used their money for that purpose but they did not want it on the record that they had financed research into race and intelligence. Many schools and boards of education also did not want it on the record that they had cooperated by supplying data for any such research. Only when assured of complete anonymity would they let me into their records.
A well-known black "social scientist" urged me not to do any such research. His stated reason was that it would "dignify" Professor Arthur Jensen's thesis of a genetic basis for black-white differences in IQ scores. But my own suspicion was that he was afraid that the research would prove Jensen right.
As it turned out, the research showed that the average IQ difference between black and white Americans -- 15 points -- was nothing unusual. Similar IQ differences could be found between various culturally isolated white communities and the general society, both in the United States and in Britain. Among various groups in India, mental test differences were slightly greater than those between blacks and whites in the United States.
In recent years, research by Professor James R. Flynn, an American expatriate living in New Zealand, has shaken up the whole IQ controversy by discovering what has been called "the Flynn effect." In various countries around the world, people have been answering significantly more IQ test questions correctly than in the past.
This important fact has been inadvertently concealed by the practice of changing the norms on IQ tests, so that the average number of correctly answered questions remains by definition an IQ of 100. Only by painstakingly going back and recalculating IQs, based on the initial norms, was Professor Flynn able to discover that whole nations had, in effect, had their IQs rising over the decades by about 20 points.
Since the black-white difference in IQ is 15 points, this means that an even larger IQ difference has existed between different generations of the same race, making it no longer necessary to attribute IQ differences of this magnitude to genetics. In the half century between 1945 and 1995, black Americans' raw test scores rose by the equivalent of 16 IQ points.
In other words, black Americans' test score results in 1995 would have given them an average IQ just over 100 in 1945. Only the repeated renorming of IQ tests upward created the illusion that blacks had made no progress, but were stuck at an IQ of 85. But we would never have known this if some researchers had not defied the taboo on studying race and IQ imposed by black "leaders" and white "friends."
Incidentally, Professor Jensen pointed out back in 1969 that black children's IQ scores rose by 8 to 10 points after he met with them informally in a play room and then tested them again after they were more relaxed around him. He did this because "I felt these children were really brighter than their IQ would indicate." What a shame that others seem to have less confidence in black children than Professor Jensen has had.
Dr. Thomas Sowell is African-American< /A>
From kh6
Dear Mr. Rense:
Regarding Mr. Sowell's observation that the gap between Black IQ's and White IQ's is narrowing, although Black IQ's may be increasing, White IQ's are increasing too. Thus, if the Black mean today is 100, then the White mean is 115, one standard deviation.
If your viewers would like a little more information on Black-White IQ differences, then the "Bell Curve" by Herrnstein and Murray would be a good place to start.
Genes or environment (too much TV)? You be the judge.
From Richard at Founders' America 10-4-2
October 2, 2002
Dear Professor Sowell,
Re: IQ and Flynn Effect. Please take into consideration the inclusion of mixed-race "blacks" in IQ studies, the inclusion of which shifts results upward, rather than providing a true MEAN measure of Black racial IQ.
Best, Richard
Dumbing-Down Lifts All Unequal Boats ©1996
Chief editorial writer for Scripps Howard News Service, Jay Ambrose, writes about the "Flynn Effect," which he tries using to dismiss Murray and Hurrnstein's work, "The Bell Curve."
He believes the phenomenon gives IQ supporters their "comeuppance," as he put it, and leaves the theory of IQ differences between the races "shattered" ["IQ study points to smarts as developmental, not fixed factors," Washington Times, July 28th].
But IQ measures reveal indications of IQ differences between individuals, and between groups of individuals.
They have never been touted as perfect measures, or as perfectly static (read my essay, "Issue of Heritable Traits").
But Mr. Ambrose writes as if IQ proponents view IQ results as carved-in-stone measures, rather than as the comparative indicators they are--for determin- ing where individuals and ethnically homogeneous groups of individuals stand in comparison.
Imperfect But Useful
New Zealander James Flynn's demonstration that IQs in industrial nations have increased over the last few decades - the "Flynn Effect" - in no way proves that IQ indicators are flawed or dismissable.
The effect simply supports what most everyone already knew--that IQ indicators are imperfect but useful measures, as Ambrose admits by giving "the devil his due": "IQ tests can give a glimmer [of academic giftedness]."
Note: Mr. Ambrose might wish to read Adrian Woolridge's piece in the February 27th, 1995, issue of National Review magazine. In "Bell Curve Liberals," Woolridge exposes that "glimmer" as a saving light, and scores the left for abandoning the "best means yet devised for spotting talent wherever it occurs, in the inner cities as well as in the plush housing estates, and ensuring that that talent is matched to the appropriate education- al streams and job opportunities . . . [While IQ measures] ought to be one of the left's most powerful tools for opening opportunities . . . [they've] tried to turn it into an excuse for closing doors".
All Other Things Being Equal
The Flynn Effect simply attests the influence of physiological variables altered by environmental factors; it doesn't refute the all-other-things- being-equal rule--that giving Johnny a nutritious diet and a vitamin each morning can positively affect his IQ indicator the second time around, if he was nutri- tionally deficient the first time he was measured.
But it doesn't help him beat Sally if she gets the same nutritional diet and vitamin. Johnny might have been in a dietary-induced funk the first time he was measured, and Western democracies may have been in a war-induced psychological depression fifty years ago to negatively impact IQ results then, presenting James Flynn with something to measure in the Nineties.
What has not changed, is that - just as track stars are born with genetically determined limits on their athletic abilities - all humans' intelligence capacity is limited by: 1) brain size, 2)neuro-pathway density, 3)uniquely wired pathways, 3) and numerous chemical triggers that widely vary among individuals [and between racial groups] in amounts and interactions, and which variabilities are determined by HERITABLE factors--affected by certain environmental influences, such as nutrition and, say, anger- or love- or depression- or motivation-inducing stimuli.
Like the tide that can lift all boats, advances in nutrition and medicine can raise all IQ measures. But they can't make all boats equally seaworthy--they can't remove disparities in mental abilities between the races, nor between men and women (read my essay, "Tragedy of the Commons in Public Education").
Non-verbal IQ measures of blacks' average intelligence potential (I'm not speaking of mixed-race "blacks" here) reveal that they are INHERENTLY less capable than, say, Asians, and which disparity won't change-- except through long-term eugenics on the part of blacks or dysgenics on the part of Asians.
Mate-selection traditions in cultures may explain most disparities in intelligence, character, and temperament potentials among the races.
Lower Classes Try Modeling The Elites
All men are not created equal--because some gene pools have been breeding for intelligence through courtship and marriage traditions while others have engaged in indiscriminate breeding.
The movie "Sense and Sensibility" is a window into a culture's rigid rules for courtship and marriage (and divorce), which rules helped spawn some of the world's greatest minds (an aristocracy in breeding always precedes a rise in high-culture civilization; examine the history of ancient Greece or Jews' historical traditions in that regard).
What that movie failed to relate is the fact that lower classes tried to copy the elites' efforts at good breed- ing, attempting as best they could to improve their stock, by encouraging - if not arranging - certain marriages for their offspring (both passive eugenics [bad habits, disease, misfortune] and active eugenics [good rules for living, courtship rules, marriage rules, parenting rules, etc.] contribute to improving human stock).
If one examines the history of Germanic tribes, you'll discover a similar rigidity about courtship, marriage and divorce. One won't find anything approaching it in African tribes' history, which lack therein may help to explain their low IQ measures--as compared with, say, tradition-steeped Asians in matters of marriage and divorce (African traditions are steeped in ritual dance and war-based aggression, so that one finds blacks today excelling in music and sports, and not in the sciences).
Other Considerations
Mr. Ambrose also emphasizes the importance of other measures in an attempt to distract the reader from reality, such as using "high-energy levels" and "doggedness" (these are heritable temperament and character traits), in order to try countering any low intelligence (read my essay, "The Politics of Race and IQ," which explains the motive for leftists' opposition to IQ measures).
Again, no one who sees value in IQ indicators dismisses those factors in contributing to humans' accomplishments.
But all other things being equal (study the Myers-Briggs personality indicator)--how many want a brain surgeon or general practitioner who had to struggle through medical school on caffeine and doggedness? One ought to expect a brilliant mind, a mind which easily absorbed and retained everything the medical school presented. One ought to reject a struggling woman or minority student who had filled some quota, which brain-dead liberals now demand for making everyone appear more equal.
Note: "White men score higher than women of all races on the science exam that medical students must take to become licensed doctors . . . White men also did better than men from other racial groups." [Washington Times news brief, September 7, 1994]).
Today, if you're lucky enough to be able to choose your physician (and you don't suffer low IQ), find a white Anglo-Saxon male, a Jew, or an Asian male of either Chinese, Japanese, Korean or East Indian descent, who attended medical school in the U.S. before dumbing-down became a means for lifting all unequal boats (read my essay, "Dysgenics: Signs of Western Civilization's Decline").
Founders' America P.O. Box 71024 Richmond, Va 23255

From Alfred Lehmberg
The "Bell Curve," indeed. Both sides of this "Bell" curve miss the larger point. How EVER the differences are parsed and noted, and for ALL the busy facilitations of unnecessary demarcation by passionately dispassionate ideologues (and for whatever reason!), there is only ONE race in the end, the human race, and the individual human beings composing it cannot be held reflexively accountable for spurious and suspect *identifications* contrived within it. "Bellcurvers" forget that the individual is KEY! They need to.
But that's the way it is with a "Bell Curve" egregiously used to justify a prejudice. Both sides lose all touch with one another and the center that supports them, and "that center cannot hold." Great work from the mouth of the "Bell", fellows. Not.


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