Race and IQ: A High School Science Fair Project Ignites a Storm
We don’t know the student’s name, but we do know that he hit a nerve — in fact, he hit a whole bunch of them. Identified only as a boy of Asian descent at C.K. McClatchy High School in California, the teen’s recent science-fair project, “Race and IQ,” propounded the thesis that differences in groups’ average intelligence influence their academic performance. He couldn’t win, though, because his project was removed after parents, staff and other students became “upset” and one girl said she felt “unsafe and uneasy.” The irony?
A project on evolution would no doubt have been well received — even though an assumption of racial differences is implicit in evolutionary theory.
In fact, The Sacramento Bee, which hasn’t yet evolved out of the progressive primordial soup, mentioned that the student’s thesis is associated with eugenics (which the Bee casts negatively), the science of improving the human race via selective breeding. The paper is likely unaware, however, that the term “eugenics” itself was coined by Sir Francis Galton — a cousin of famed evolutionist Charles Darwin — and that Galton made clear that in his eugenicist endeavors, he was merely building on his cousin’s work.
Philosopher G.K. Chesterton once noted that if people “were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal.” This is easy to understand: What are the chances that different groups could have “evolved” isolated from one another for eons — subject to different environments, stresses, procreation-influencing cultural imperatives and adaptive realities — and ended up identical in every worldly measure? Why, even if the peoples evolved isolated in identical environments, the separation alone would make the prospects of winding up completely “equal” a virtual statistical impossibility.
Whatever you believe about evolution, it’s clear that equality is not a thing of this world. Do we see it in nature? Some species can dominate others or are more adaptable, which is why the rat is a pest and the dodo is extinct (and, in fact, the rat helped drive the dodo to extinction). Even within species, some members are hardier, smarter, faster or stronger than others. There are alphas and betas, with a silverback gorilla running his troop and a dominant lion leading his pride. And different breeds of dogs have different characteristic traits, with some being more intelligent than others.
As for people, how is it that we can even characterize different groups as “groups”? Since we don’t do it based purely on location (e.g., dividing 10 boys into two groups of five, each on opposite sides of a room), we can only do so because there are differences among them. We can only speak of “men” and “women” because sex differences actually exist. Regarding the races, we know there are distinctions relating to skin color and hair, for example. It’s differences that make groups “groups.”
But are the differences only skin deep? Tay-Sachs disease is most common among Ashkenazi Jews, while sickle cell anemia is almost exclusive to people of Middle Eastern, Indian, Mediterranean and African heritage. Relative to American whites, American blacks generally have longer limbs, more sweat glands (and thus dissipate heat better), narrower pelvises and greater bone density; and black men have higher free testosterone levels than white men do. Not that it’s the focus of this article, but all these characteristics bring advantages and disadvantages.
Now, next question: Are the differences only neck high? If evolution is a reality, would its principles be operational with the body but, somehow, some way, be suspended with the brain? My, believing that would truly take faith.
Of course, whether nature, nurture or both — whether the tests are valid or not — the fact remains that we do see marked IQ differences among groups. Ashkenazi Jews score the highest of all, at 115 (the world average is currently about 88); this may explain why Jews are only 0.2 percent of the world’s population but were 22 percent of the 20th century’s Nobel Prize winners. Hong Kong and Singapore lead the country list with average IQs of 108, while many nations register far, far lower. Note that while good scientists may debate why these differences exist and how meaningful they are, that they exist is not in dispute.
Of course, some may quibble with the numbers I provided or the group differences I cited, but the details aren’t really the point. The point is, again, that evolution and Equality Dogma contradict one another. Embracing both is akin to believing it likely that on two different occasions, you could spin a giant bin with one million numbers in it, remove them randomly and put them in a row, and they would end up in the precise same order each time. Random processes yield variable results.
That is, unless you believe that God guided evolution. Even this belief, however, allows for the inequality that is the world’s apparent norm. How could this be? It’s simple: Equality is our hang-up — not God’s.
Is “equality” emphasized in any great, time-tested religious canon? It’s certainly only mentioned in the Bible in reference to weights and measures. In fact, Christian theology holds that in that perfect, sinless realm of happiness — Heaven — we will not all have equal glory, as St Thérèse of Liseaux once explained.
As for this fold, Hell on Earth is what Equality Dogma helps create. It has spawned perverted scientific priorities that deny Truth and demand ideological determinations. We’ve seen this before. The Soviet equality dogmatists did it with Lysenkoism, insisting that acquired traits could be inherited because Marxist ideology demanded a malleable human nature. The Nazi superiority dogmatists did it with their racial theories, believing in a “master race” that could become all the more masterful through selective breeding. And we’ve combined elements of both, demanding an unnatural and unattainable equality and measuring it by racial, ethnic and sexual representation in worldly endeavor.
In a saner time, Equality Dogma would be considered a vile heresy. The truth here isn’t hard to grasp: There are differences within groups, but there are also differences among groups. We know we mustn’t paint every individual with the same brush. Why would we paint every individual group with the same one?
One group we should paint over with the label “Rejected” is equality dogmatists. The McClatchy student’s scientific methods might very well have been shoddy, but this wasn’t what got his project scuttled. Rather, The Sacramento Bee article quoted individuals who said the it was “shocking” and its creator “closed-minded”; it spoke of how people felt “upset” and “unsafe and uneasy.” What’s notable is that no one quoted said the project’s conclusion was wrong or untrue.
Oh, if asked, the critics would surely bellow, “Well, of course it’s untrue!” But it’s no accident that they didn’t think to say it; in fact, this failure is typical today when fashionable emoters react to unfashionable science. These critics don’t think to call it untrue because the truth of the matter isn’t their focus. Ideology is.
It’s feelings over facts, emotion over education. But science doesn’t exist to make us feel good or bad; its purpose is the discovery of Truth via the scientific method. People who reject this, who subordinate Truth to agenda-driven lies, are dangerous to civilization. They also are hardly progressive — except insofar as they’re progressing toward ignorance.
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