Saturday, November 03, 2007

A test for Lynn's theory

Fortuitously, Slate just ran a story that suggests a test for Robert Lynn's theory that intelligence differences across races are (mostly) genetic. The focus has been on Africans, which makes it difficult to design an experiment to distinguish between genetic factors, and the self-fulfilling prophecy that blacks are inferior to whites, which leads to institutionalized discrimination against black people, which leads to lower performance on standardized tests (among other deleterious effects). But happily there is another "racial" group, Ashkenazi jews, who are genetically isolated but much less visually distinctive from WASPS than Africans are. Show me a group of descendants of Ashkenazi Jews who were raised as an assimilated population in a non-Jewish community where the average IQ is normal or below, but who still as a group sport IQs one full standard deviation above the mean and I will (tentatively of course, because nothing in science is ever final) accept Lynn's conclusion.

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