Monday, October 1, 2007

A hidden gem

From the NY times article on affirmitive actions

Black students at better high schools have a much easier time, but it’s not as if they are keeping up with their peers. Even if U.C.L.A. tried to get around Proposition 209 by giving a big leg up to low-income applicants, it wouldn’t increase its black population very much. At every rung of the socioeconomic ladder, the academic record of black students is worse than that of other groups. As Taylor says: “There is a great deal of pressure to look for a proxy for race. There is no proxy for race.”

He and many other defenders of affirmative action consider this to be a self-evident fact, but there has also been a good deal of social science to support the view that the specific problems surrounding race — including discrimination — endure. One illustrative study found that résumés with typically black names are less likely to lead to job interviews than those with typically white names. Other recent studies have looked at intelligence testing. There have long been two uncomfortable facts in this area: Intelligence, indisputably, is in part genetic; and every intelligence test shows a gap between black Americans and others. For a long time, scientific research wasn’t very good at explaining this gap. But it has gotten better lately. For one thing, the gap between white and black adults has narrowed significantly since 1970, according to work by the noted researchers William Dickens and James Flynn. Four decades is too short a time period for the gene pool to change, but it’s not too short for environment to improve. Most intriguing, Roland Fryer and Steven D. Levitt, two economists (the latter is one of this magazine’s Freakonomics columnists), have found there to be essentially no gap between 1-year-old white and black children of the same socioeconomic status.

There are still vigorous debates about all this work — intelligence tests of 1-year-olds are iffy, for instance — but it points in one direction. Innate intelligence may be partly genetic, but it doesn’t seem to vary by race. So while race may not be the only source of disadvantage in today’s society, it is certainly one of them.

I think the author set up the genetic straw man and took it down with weak evidence.
Steve Sailer has some good points, but I'd make some additional notes:
-He says that after correcting for socio economic status, there is no gap between one year olds.
Obviously an IQ test for 1 year olds is really suspicious. But, he also before says
-"At every rung of the socioeconomic ladder, the academic record of black students is worse than that of other groups"
How can you reconcile those two?

The way you reconcile that is that HERITABILITY OF IQ INCREASES WITH AGE. Yeah, seems counter-intuitive, right? But actually, twin adoption studies show that the highest correlation between twins (.6-.8) usually occurs in adulthood.

So, anyone that points to infant IQ tests to show that black children are just as capable as whites are truly being misinformative.

Also, there is another race issue here. I know Rushton gets alot of criticism, but his r-K is useful occasionally. African babies tend to develope faster than other babies in terms of coordination development and Asian babies lag the most. So, any study that compares babies is actually going BACKWARDS, as African children have an advantage in the studies at an earlier age.

Anyway, take it for what its worth. It would be nice to talk about things not dealing with race, but there is just too much absurdity and pop anthopology in mainstream media.


Byrdeye said...

Let's face it - the whole point of this coddling article has nothing to do with IQ or actual scientific reasoning...but apologetic Anglo guilt and residual reactionism against Nazi eugenics.

TabooTruth said...

True. I have always wondered about the what race relations would have been like in the US if that bomb that was supposed to go off during a Hitler speech actually got him (instead of him leaving early).

Can only wonder. What would the 60's have been like?

byrdeye said...

Yup, the juvenile Anglo thought process goes like:

1) NAZIs were bad!
2) So, if I just believe the exact opposite of everything they believed in...then people will think I'm good!
3) This is what causes the "pendulum effect" in society where people swing from one extreme to the other like braindead monkeys...

Because I guess it would take too much intelligence and courage to actually separate the baby from the bathwater and come to your own conclusions independently.