Stop obsessing over race and IQ

Our valuation of intelligence, combined with black people’s grievous history in America, suggests an eccentric yet logical approach to the issue of race and IQ: As a topic whose discussion will yield injury, fury, and doubletalk with no countervailing benefits in terms of prescriptions for how society ought to operate, it ought be exempted from open discussion.

That is: Intelligence researchers, writing in dense, obscure academic journals, will continue to quietly present data that show that race influences the heritability of IQ to certain degrees; others will present data in disagreement. I hope they ultimately settle on a verdict that environment really does entirely trump the heritable portion of the IQ difference; possibly they will not. However, in the wider world, I see no reason that this research should be “faced” and subject to ongoing “debate.” For example, undergraduates should not feel comfortable bringing up these data in class discussions unrelated to genetic research; society would gain nothing from their doing so. Our mainstream media organs, while remiss in their current tendency to insist the issue is settled, will not be remiss in declining to program articles and symposia exploring it out of some kind of “curiosity.”

Those who continue to follow this research and decry in the blogosphere that America refuses to “face” its implications need to consider what they are actually calling for. None of the three hypothetical scenarios I have considered would serve any purpose in the real-world America we live in. What, then, would be the purpose of dwelling on the race-and-IQ issue at all? If these objectors did somehow make America openly and ongoingly designate black people as, on the average, less intelligent than others, upon what constructive grounds could they congratulate themselves for having succeeded?

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