The attempts by do-gooders to dismiss the evidence against racial differences in IQ are often amusing for their desperation. They almost invariably come up with claims and ideas that have been very thoroughly raked over long ago and are too arrogant to suspect that they might learn something by checking the research on the subject (Rushton's demolition of Gould's "Mismeasure of Man" is a handy introduction to some of the more common issues). In his Freakonomics blog on the New York Times, however, economist Steven D. Levitt has come up with something that is at least original -- though at the price of absurdity. He reports a study in which he studied the IQs of one-year-olds. And guess what? At that age there were no differences between blacks and whites.
The idea that one-year-olds can have their IQs reliably measured is of course a joke and Steve Sailer satirizes it well. Steve does not go the full monte, however, so I will -- thus making me perhaps the most incorrect blogger on the net. I regret if it loses me readers but I have never shrunk from telling the full truth.
The fact is that if Levitt had included one-year-old chimpanzees in his group of infants, he WOULD have found some differences -- in favour of chimpanzees. Chimps grow up faster than humans so are capable at an earlier age -- but at the price of a lower final intelligence and a shorter lifespan. Generally speaking, the higher the final IQ, the longer it takes to reach its peak. If the test used by Levitt had really measured IQ, he would almost certainly have found the white children at that age to be LESS intelligent than black children. Blacks do reach puberty earlier than whites. Levitt was the simpleton for being unable even to form a reasonable hypothesis for his study.
The outrage brigade will have stopped reading by now but I must make clear that I am NOT equating blacks with chimpanzees. Blacks are clearly vastly more intelligent than chimpanzees. But comparisons between primates can sometimes help illuminate general principles. Leftists have long claimed to find great significance for human beings in the behaviour of the "peaceful" Bonobos, for instance. But more on that some other time.
Finally, let me add a routine caveat: People have a tendency to see statements about groups as applying to all members of that group. That is rarely so and is certainly not true in this instance. There is no inconsistency in saying that blacks as a whole are less intelligent while also acknowledging that some individual blacks are very intelligent. What is true of most need not be true of all.
(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)