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Race/IQ: The Jason Richwine Affair

Amid loud cries of “Witch! Witch! Burn the Witch!” an enraged throng of ideological activists and media pundits late last week besieged the fortress-like DC headquarters of the conservative Heritage Foundation, demanding the person of one Jason Richwine, Ph.D., employed there as a senior policy analyst. The High Lords of Heritage, deeply concerned about any possible threat to their million-dollar salaries, quickly submitted, though they waited until late Friday, the dead-zone period of national news coverage, before announcing that young Dr. Richwine had been expelled into the Outer Darkness.

Only a week earlier, Richwine had reached a pinnacle of his career, listed as co-author of a widely trumpeted Heritage research study demonstrating that Congressional passage of proposed immigration reform legislation would cost American taxpayers some six trillion dollars…or perhaps the figure was six quadrillion dollars.

But then some enterprising journalist discovered the dreadful evidence of Richwine’s horrific heresy, namely that his 2009 doctoral dissertation [1] at the Harvard Kennedy School had focused on the very low IQs of those racial groups providing most of our current immigrants, with his conclusion being that such inflows must be halted lest American society be dumbified into disaster. Taken together Race and IQ constitute an exceptionally volatile mix in modern American society, and ignited by a six trillion dollar spark, the resulting explosion blew Richwine out of his comfortable DC employment.

Now it seems to me that Heritage’s reaction was a bit difficult to justify. After all, the title of Richwine’s dissertation had been “IQ and Immigration Policy” perhaps providing some slight hint that his topic had something to do with IQ and immigration policy. So the inescapable conclusion is that Heritage was perfectly willing to employ someone with Richwine’s racial views but only so long as the media and the public remained unaware. Last week the media found out, hence exit young Richwine.

However, the behavior of Richwine’s mob of media-tormenters seems just as reprehensible. Glancing over a few of the multitude of denunciatory columns I see little sign of any serious attempt to rebut rather than merely vilify poor Richwine. His attackers seem horrified that anyone might dare believe such heretical notions, rather than whether those beliefs are correct or incorrect. This absurd situation has certainly been noted by Richwine’s own legion of determined defenders, with blogger Steve Sailer [2] citing this case as a perfect example of the recent American tendency to “speak power to truth.”

But in the famous words of Talleyrand, the approach followed by Richwine’s critics “was worse than a crime, it was a blunder.” When a Harvard Ph.D. makes extremely controversial claims about race and intelligence and the main response is to lynch the messenger rather than dispassionately refute the message, the natural conclusion of reasonable onlookers is that Richwine may have been “politically incorrect” but he was factually correct. For example, David Weigel’s lengthy discussion in Slate [3] seems to imply this perspective, and how can anyone blame him? If race and IQ constitute the sort of intellectual pornography never to be candidly discussed in respectable company then the primary sources of information and opinion become small brown-paper-wrapper websites, whose opinions on such ideologically-charged topics may or may not be wholly reliable.

I suspect that Weigel is merely one of many prominent journalists and media pundits who draw important portions of their world view from furtively exploring the nether regions of the Internet. After all, our reigning academic orthodoxy has insisted for decades that “race does not exist,” a scientific claim roughly equivalent to declaring that “gravity does not exist.” Hence, many younger journalists have come to doubt this palpable absurdity, and may often seek transgressive truths by reading the perspectives of various racialist bloggers, who unfortunately are often just as ignorant and mistaken as their orthodox opponents. The Washington Post and Slate.com are sister publications and there was the amusing spectacle of bloggers David Weigel and Jennifer Rubin [4] taking diametrically opposite positions on the Richwine controversy, although neither apparently has the scientific or quantitative background necessary to evaluate the actual issues under dispute.



Having thus sketched the political atmospherics of the Richwine Affair, including the bad and self-damaging behavior of so many participants on all sides of the controversy, I should also discuss the substantive issues, namely whether Richwine’s views are right or wrong, and also my impression of the general quality of his scholarship in advocating them. My own background is in the hard sciences, and I prefer determining reality based on evidence and quantitative data rather than from ideological first principles. Personally, I’m less interested in whether Richwine’s views are “incorrect” than whether or not they are correct.

My first substantial encounter with Richwine came in early 2010 when I published a major article arguing that Hispanic crime rates in America were roughly similar to those of whites of the same age, a claim that naturally ignited a firestorm of hostility from various rightwingers. Although most of the attacks were merely vituperative, Richwine had recently undertaken major research on exactly that same topic and had come to polar opposite conclusions, so he soon became my strongest analytical opponent, resulting in a long series of very productive exchanges. Although he confined his critique to just one of the three or four major pillars of my case, he initially made some effective points. But after several rounds of debate and the discovery of additional evidence from California, I think most impartial observers concluded that my analysis was almost entirely correct. I urge all interested parties to read my original article [5] and the series of lengthy exchanges with Richwine and others [6], and then formulate their own conclusions.

Richwine’s behavior during this lengthy debate was exemplary and the exchanges proved very useful in extending my own analysis.  And later that year we were both invited to reprise our arguments in a public debate at a major anti-immigrationist conference, where I met him for the first time.

As I mentioned earlier, an unfortunate consequence of Richwine’s intellectual martyrdom may be the widespread assumption among uninformed journalists that his various theories were probably correct, and indeed Weigel states that Richwine “demolished” my own analysis of Hispanic crime. But that is Weigel’s own error and I tend to doubt that he either read my article or the subsequent exchanges with Richwine before making such an erroneous claim. Perhaps the current controversy surrounding these racial issues may prompt the major media to more carefully compare my own arguments with those of my opponents, carefully weigh the evidence, and then bring the important conclusions to much wider public attention.

With regard to Richwine’s IQ arguments, last year I published a major 7,500 word article [7] on exactly the same topic of Race/IQ, arguing that there was overwhelming evidence that the IQs of various ethnic groups were far more malleable and environmentally influenced than is widely believed by many of those interested in the topic. Once again, this article provoked a vast outpouring of angry commentary from various rightwing bloggers and pundits, probably the most uniformly hostile reaction I’ve ever received to anything I’d written. I responded to my multitude of critics in a long series of columns [8], totaling perhaps another 15,000 words. By the time the debate wound down, I think the accumulated evidence in favor of my position was absolutely decisive, and several of my strongest early opponents privately told me so, though I’m sure many of my angriest critics will never admit that.

Unfortunately, the mainstream media timorously avoided this explosive subject and almost entirely ignored the many tens of thousands of words produced during the long debate. Once again, perhaps the current Richwine controversy will provide the media a second opportunity to objectively review the topic and bring the important facts to a wider audience.

Richwine himself had not participated in last year’s heated Race/IQ debate and at the time I was only vaguely aware of some of his previous work on that topic. But the question of Mexican-American IQ was an important focus of my own analysis and taken together with some additional evidence that came out during the course of the debate, I would argue that the conclusions Richwine formed in his doctoral dissertation are almost certainly incorrect.

Obviously, it would be absurd for me to attempt to summarize nearly 25,000 words of my arguments in just a few sentences, and I urge all interested parties to read my material and decide for themselves whether my arguments are persuasive. But after quickly reviewing major sections of Richwine’s controversial doctoral dissertation, I would like to make a few important points.

First, he argues that the large IQ deficit of impoverished Hispanic immigrants is likely to inflict a long-term social disaster upon American society. However, it is well known that nearly all previous immigrant groups—southern and eastern Europeans—who came here in poverty similarly scored very low on IQ tests in the decades after their arrival, with results that were sometimes far below those of today’s Mexican immigrants. Yet after a generation or two their tested intelligence had almost invariably converged close to the American mean. Evidence of the past does not necessarily predict the future, but such a strong historical pattern should leave us cautious about assuming it will not continue.

In fact, Richwine specifically discusses the famous study by Carl Brigham, who concluded on the basis of the tests taken by WWI recruits that southern and eastern Europeans were drastically inferior in innate mental ability to America’s mostly northwestern European population and argued that their continuing immigration would produce a national disaster. Richwine rather cavalierly dismisses this historical analysis as having been based on poor testing methods and probably motivated by a belief in “bizarre…racial categories.” But Brigham was a highly regarded psychometrician and his careful research was widely accepted by nearly all the leading experts of that time. Having carefully read his book, I cannot find any serious fault with his methods nor any indications of unscientific bias on his part. Brigham may have been mistaken in his conclusions, but they seem to have been based on the best evidence and theory of his day.

Furthermore, Richwine chooses to ignore a vast amount of additional evidence from that same period, much of which was collected in Clifford Kirkpatrick’s important 1926 academic monograph “Intelligence and Migration.” Kirkpatrick provides page after page of separate studies demonstrating that during the 1920s the tested IQs of American schoolchildren of Greek, Slavic, Italian, and Portuguese ancestry were usually in the 75-85 range, and that Jewish schoolchildren sometimes performed just as poorly. These results are hardly obscure since they have been cited for decades by Thomas Sowell, and I think it is a serious scholarly lapse for Richwine to have essentially ignored them. Perhaps he simply believes that all IQ experts of a century ago were frauds and their empirical work should be dismissed, but if so, he should explicitly make that argument. Otherwise, we must accept that southern and eastern European immigrant groups had very low IQs a century ago and have average ones today, which is an extremely important finding. In fact, I have demonstrated that there is overwhelming evidence that various other group IQs have risen rapidly over time, and I also provided some strong indications that this exact process is already occurring among today’s Hispanic immigrants.

On another matter, Richwine must be aware that Arthur Jensen and Hans Eysenck rank as two of the greatest figures in twentieth century psychometrics. Yet decades ago both these scholars reviewed the structural evidence of Mexican-American IQs, and reached conclusions almost identical to my own, namely that the acknowledged gaps to white intelligence scores were largely perhaps almost entirely due to environmental factors and would steadily disappear as the population became more affluent and acculturated. Scientists should not argue from authority and Jensen and Eysenck might certainly have been mistaken, but it seems unreasonable for Richwine to never mention their contrary analysis.

Richwine’s doctoral work was performed at Harvard’s Kennedy School for Public Policy, which is separate from the main graduate school containing academic disciplines such as evolutionary biology, psychology, and sociology. The typical Kennedy School graduate receives a Masters Degree in Public Administration, and is often a mid-career government official, seeking to burnish his academic credentials. The three faculty members who evaluated Richwine’s dissertation—George Borjas, Richard Zeckhauser, and Christopher Jencks—are noted social scientists, but with the possible exception of Jencks, who was apparently a late addition, none seems to have a strong background in IQ issues; otherwise, they surely would have brought the facts I have cited above to Richwine’s attention and required him to properly address them. And once the media mob began baying for blood, Richwine’s advisors immediately backpedaled on any familiarity with IQ issues and quickly disassociated themselves from the dissertation they themselves had approved.

Again, the fault is less Richwine’s or that of his advisors than the totally taboo nature of the topic in question. Even given the best of intentions and effort it is difficult to undertake solid research in a subject that few are willing to discuss in public and one in which there exists such widespread misinformation.

Several months ago a prominent liberal academic with whom I’ve become a bit friendly was horrified by my article speculating on the Social Darwinist roots of Chinese success [9], pointing out that my analysis so sharply deviated from the established description of reality promoted by Stephen Jay Gould. He also mentioned that several of his friends wondered why I seemed so “obsessed” with race.  I would argue that racial issues are an interesting and important subject, especially in a country as racially diverse as our own, but another factor behind my focus has been what I see as a dangerous vacuum of calm and reasonably informed discussion.  After all, if I don’t write about Hispanic crime, I shudder to think who else will.

Perhaps our major media might use the opportunity of this current controversy to begin covering racial subjects in a manner more substantive and thoughtful than just quoting endless exchange of smears and slurs. If so, then the intellectual martyrdom of Dr. Jason Richwine [10] may have served a useful purpose.

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#1 Comment By old possum On May 15, 2013 @ 11:41 pm

You say that you “prefer determining reality based on evidence and quantitative data rather than from ideological first principles.”
Well, the idea of “race” is an ideological first principle. It has no empirical basis. How, for instance, are you going to sort out who is “Latino” and who is not, scientifically? Think: on what basis should we consider a Polish Jew and a Portuguese person to be of one race, while a Mexican person of entirely Spanish ancestry is not of that same race? There are Mexican people who are more European in blood than most “white” Americans, and there are Mexicans who are entirely Amerindian. Even assuming that these ancestral groups make any difference whatsoever to issues like intelligence, the racial categories we use make no sense and have no consistency. They are cultural categories with a veil of pseudoscience pulled over them.

Richwine dismissed older work ranking the intelligence of various European groups, saying that it used “bizarre racial categories.” Well here is the reality that both you and he are failing to see: ALL racial categories are bizarre racial categories. Trying to account for people’s behavior on the basis of these nonsense categories is just an exercise in circular reasoning.

#2 Comment By VJ On May 16, 2013 @ 2:28 am

Sadly No, M_Young, I’m reasonably familiar with the 1924 Immigration Act, and the controversy and arguments around it. History as they say is not that easily washed away.

1.) No Hysteria & Hatred? Sorry, see: The Palmer Raids. Then it was the rising fear over the Anarchists. Now, it’s Terrorism, principally ‘radical Muslim’ or other Al Qaeda type. Both committed or encouraged acts of terror here.

2.) Not aimed at Jews? No, carefully crafted to do so:

“Though the law’s quota system targeted immigrants based on their nation of origin rather than ethnicity or religion, Jewish immigration was a central concern. Hearings about the legislation cited the radical Jewish population of New York’s Lower East Side as the prototype of immigrants who could never be assimilated.[14] The law sharply curtailed immigration from those countries that were the homelands of the vast majority of the Jews in America, almost 75% of whom came from Russia alone.[15] Because Eastern European immigration only became substantial in the final decades of the 19th century, the law’s use of the population of the United States in 1890 as the basis for calculating quotas effectively made mass migration from Eastern Europe, the home of the vast majority of the world’s Jews, impossible.[16] From the Wiki.


3.) And yes, largely a blanket exclusion for Asians, which was by long & durable tradition certainly ‘race based’:

4.) The often harrowing and barely survivable routes that many key scientists and artists took to gain entry into our country before & during WWII are also well known.

5.) And yes, Police force was used there for a reason.

Cheers, ‘VJ’

#3 Comment By Colm J On May 16, 2013 @ 10:18 am

I’d agree with the contributor above who says the debate about immigration should not be confused with IQ controversies. Anti-immigrationists who do so should bear in mind that it can be a double-edged sword. Some neo-liberals and leftists use such IQ tests as an implicit argument for MORE immigration: e.g. citing the intelligence of east Asians as evidence that their presence will benefit western economies.

#4 Comment By NGPM On May 16, 2013 @ 12:31 pm

“IQ tests claim much more through dubious means.”

It occurs to me that most critics of IQ have absolutely no idea what it actually measures beyond the fantasies of the White Nationalist boogeymen lurking in the corner. Go read up on psychometrics and then I will take your critiques seriously. To begin with, rather than linking to commentaries which are only vaguely related to the articles they cite, read the actual articles they cite.

(You seem proud of your citations and you take me to cause for not citing anything. I suppose you have learned in school that good arguments cite lots of sources. That’s only true if the sources actually relate to the arguments and are of decent quality themselves.)

Otherwise, I will conclude you have not read or digested any of my charges.

#5 Comment By James Canning On May 16, 2013 @ 2:20 pm

ColmJ – – Indians do well in schools, in Britain and the US, thanks to good parental guidance. Flourish, in fact. Generally.

#6 Comment By Michael N Moore On May 16, 2013 @ 4:23 pm

I think that we need to consider looking at the immigrant variation question as UNnatural selection (apologies to Darwin).

A Greek-American friend of mine came back from Greece a few years ago complaining that the Greeks have no work ethic. Since I was used to seeing Greeks working themselves to death in the American restaurant industry, I asked how this contradiction was possible. He told me that the Greeks who come to this country are selected by their financial backers because they are exceptional.

The point is that we do not understand the extent to which prospective immigrants study our economy and try to make adjustments to it. They have a plan. For many years the Chinese plan was the same as the Greeks; open a restaurant and work 12-hours a day.

More recently the Chinese have adopted the immigrant plan of academic achievement. The question is: Is that due to routine upward mobility or is it a self-selecting plan? If you look at the numbers you have to think it is a self-selecting plan, just like the Greeks who are selected to run US enterprises.

Likewise it takes capital to get from Mexico to the US. The people who come are betting that they can do back-breaking labor better than others. They are locally selected for this task and not to work as hedge fund managers.

I would really like to see a study of ethnic Chinese high achievers. Are they second and third generation Americans? Are they from the upper middle class? And the big question: Were they or their parents selected in China for immigration to the US as a policy or as a result of policies in China?

#7 Comment By Glossy On May 16, 2013 @ 6:26 pm

Mr. Unz compares Italian, Irish, etc. immigrants to the US of a century ago with modern-day Italian-Americans, Irish Americans, etc. That’s not an apples to apples comparison. These groups have heavily intermarried with other whites. Surely that explains at least some of the convergence in IQ and socioeconomic status. I haven’t read all the thousands of words that Mr. Unz has written on this topic, just some of them. Can someone here enlighten me: does he admit anywhere that modern Irish-Americans aren’t very Irish, that modern Italian-Americans aren’t very Italian, etc? There is a well-known phenomenon of Americans of mixed ethnic backgrounds choosing to emphasize the most exotic part of their heritage.

Without looking any of this up, just going from personal impressions, I’d say that significantly more than 50% of the marriages of people who self-identify as Irish Americans are to people who do not identify as such. And this has been going on for several generations now. And this can be said about most of the groups which Mr. Unz uses to build his IQ plasticity argument.

If in the future Mexican-Americans heavily intermarry with whites, then of course the two groups’ mean IQs will converge at some level below 100 and above 90. That would prove nothing about the plasticity of IQ.

#8 Comment By M_Young On May 16, 2013 @ 10:16 pm

” Some neo-liberals and leftists use such IQ tests as an implicit argument for MORE immigration: e.g. citing the intelligence of east Asians as evidence that their presence will benefit western economies.”

Agreed. The immigration debate should focus on fiscal impacts, jobs, social cohesion, social mobility, the local environment, the global environment, etc.

#9 Comment By M_Young On May 16, 2013 @ 10:25 pm

VJ, I stand by my statement. German Jews could enter like any other German. Russian or Polish Christians were equally subject to the national quotas as Jews were. Numerically, it was probably Italians who were most affected — but strangely, you don’t hear Italians kvetching about 1924. In fact, some of the best immigration patriots –Tancredo, Barletta, Aripaio, have Italian surnames.

The Palmer raids had just aboutzero to do with the 1924 law.

BTW the Jewish labor leader Gompers supported the law, pointing out the unholy alliance of big business and ethnic interests.

The truest expression of the cultural restrictionist is this:

“Let me emphasize here that the restrictionists of Congress do not claim that the “Nordic” race, or even the Anglo-Saxon race, is the best race in the world. … What we do claim is that the northern European, and particularly Anglo-Saxons made this country. Oh, yes; the others helped. But that is the full statement of the case. They came to this country because it was already made as an Anglo-Saxon commonwealth. They added to it, they often enriched it, but they did not make it, and they have not yet greatly changed it. We are determined that they shall not. It is a good country. It suits us. And what we assert is that we are not going to surrender it to somebody else or allow other people, no matter what their merits, to make it something different. If there is any changing to be done, we will do it ourselves. (Cong. Rec., April 8, 1924, 5922) ”

William Vaile of Colorado.

#10 Comment By Jason On May 17, 2013 @ 10:52 am

You’re honestly comparing the idea of biological race to the law of gravity? Conservatives truly are the stupidest people on this planet.

#11 Comment By Curle On May 18, 2013 @ 11:38 pm

I see the ‘race is a social construct’ crackpottery has surfaced on this site as it seems to whenever the issue of IQ is raised.

The contention, that race has no useful meaning, is debunked by the following discussion at the Discovery blogsite Gene Expression (though it is depressing to realize that some will forever get tangled up in this tedious distraction):


#12 Comment By Dan On May 21, 2013 @ 5:16 pm

It’s easy to get away from discussions of tests and just look at accomplishments in things like politics, science, literature, architecture and the arts.

Italians have distinguished themselves well across the centuries.

One test I have of a nation’s human capital is its ability to have a homegrown auto industry. The nations that have been able to do this profitably across the decades have special first-world human capital not found in abundance elsewhere:

United States, Germany, Britain, France, Japan, Korea, Sweden and yes, definitely Italy. It is a special list.

#13 Comment By Mike Steinberg On May 22, 2013 @ 1:17 am

@ Ron Unz,

Chuck the psychometric blogger at Occidentalist has pointed out a problem with the argument though. He writes:

“The most recent meta-analytic estimate is a correlation of 0.8 between g-loading — a perfect index of genetic loading — and the magnitude of the difference.

Ron also argues that the H/W gap is like the previous immigrant/native gaps. Yet, Richwine showed that in an important respect it isn’t. In doing so, he provided compelling evidence that the IQ gaps will persist for at least another couple of generations. The reasoning is simple: (a) prior to the closing of previous immigrant gaps, the gaps exhibited a narrowing across cohorts and generations; (b) this is consistent with theory, by which gaps, when intergenerationally environmentally transmitted, disappear by the third/fourth generation; (c) such a narrowing is not seen in the case of the Hispanic-White gap; (d) it is, therefore, unlikely that the Hispanic-White gap will vanish anytime soon…

Flynn and Sowell, for example, compared the B/W gap, the origins of which is in question, respectively, to the Flynn Effect and to the Protestant Effect, the origins of which seem to be environmental. They argued that the Black-White gap is like the other gaps, and, therefore, the causes are alike. But analogical arguments work to the extent that the compared are similar in the first dimension being compared. In these cases: A is like B in psychometric nature, therefore A is like B in terms of etiology. Flynn and Sowell’s arguments failed because the compared gaps are highly psychometrically dissimilar. In fact, the contrary arguments work better: The B/W gap is very unlike, in psychometric character related to genetic/environmental influence, the seemingly environmental FE and PE, therefore this suggests a non-environmental etiology to the B/W gap. Ron’s analogy fails because the comparison gaps behave dissimilarly when it comes to inter-generational transmission. And here too the contrary argument works better. But what about psychometric characteristics – how do the Hispanic immigrant/Native Whites and White immigrant/Native White gaps compare psychometrically? Unfortunately, no one has thoroughly explored this issue.* ”

Chuck goes on to look at the NLSY 79 data and comments:

“The NLSY 79 Native White-Mexican immigrant difference can be interpreted as a difference in g, while the Native White -European immigrant difference can not, given standard interpretative rules. I note this merely as an example of an analysis that could be done to help clarify the issue.”

#14 Comment By jb On June 1, 2013 @ 4:09 pm

Ron —

I have an interest in the question of race and IQ, and while I’ve haven’t been able to read all of your articles (or the comments) I’ve read quite a bit. One thing that really struck me what how little you had to say about blacks! You talked about Hispanics, and Asians, and various European ethnic groups, but I just don’t remember you taking any position on blacks. That’s something that really struck me, because for most people that is the heart of the race/IQ question!

Personally, I believe that there is most likely a major genetic component to the black/white gap in measured IQs. But I don’t consider this a certainty, and I found your arguments about the variability of national IQs to be quite interesting. (I’ve never understood how IQ could be as impervious to environment as people claim. As an analogy, genes certainly have a major influence on absolute muscular strength, yet training also has a big impact. I just find it kind of difficult to believe I would be just as smart as I am now if I had been raised as an illiterate peasant, rather than spending my childhood absorbed in books and intellectual conversations with my parents, and then going on to college and exercising my mind even harder).

So, forgive me if you have already done this and I missed it, but is there any chance you will publish something focused directly on the black/white IQ gap? (I have to say that if you don’t, one natural conclusion might be that you have a politically incorrect position on the issue, and that you don’t want to risk publishing it!)

#15 Comment By Fernando On July 23, 2013 @ 7:35 am

I am genuinely confused about this supposed connection between race and IQ. Intelligence is dependent on brain functioning, so the question for me is why should there be a connection between brain functioning, skin colour and all of the other characteristics that supposedly comprise “race” What is the biological mechanism whereby melanin for example could impact on the way that the brain works? People who make the connection between race and IQ seem to just assume that there is some connection without ever spelling out what that connection might be. We do not consider hair colour as having any connection IQ, but why not? If Asian people are supposedly smarter than whites, then maybe the relevant factor is their hair. Why is this seemingly farcical connection anymore absurd than say it is their “race” which accounts for their intelligence.

#16 Comment By Mizael On August 6, 2013 @ 10:55 pm

Why worry about race color IQ? I think each person can work on intelligence more and more. Let me tell you something. This country in the years 2040’s will become more likely the stereotyped the “Hispanic America.” There for, the White race will become minority in the future. This will be a multicultural race country each time more and more. Why worry so much about race color IQ? The Mexican American IQ is 95 and each decade it will continue to go up more. If we are good at making babies we will continue to succeed and go to colleges and universities as well.

#17 Comment By Frederik On November 12, 2013 @ 6:13 pm

Ok first of all people have to stop refering to blogs as if they were proper scientific evidence on a topic like this everything but a reference to a scientific article published in a peer reviewed journal is a waste of time. futhermore it is very obvious nobody in this debate have a background in psychology, this is a problem because people fails to realise that the current paradigme about intelligence (it is actually called GMA now not IQ) is that it is influenced by both nature and nurture. An individuals biology determines his/hers possible range in the IQ spectre this range is quite broad and can vary from individual to individual but the rule of thumb is a range of about 40-65. Nuture influences were on this range the IQ score of an individual will lie and this is not static because IQ (or rather GMA) is scored by a mix of learned and inherent skills. also it is important to know that no test in the world is free of cultural or etnic bias. now i havent read richwines dissertation but it seems to me he might have forgotten to control statistically for socioeconomic status, educational/socioeconimic/mental status of parents, educational level and so forth, Because if he had compared the immigrants to the white american population that corresponds to them on these parameters (i am of course talking about redneck hillbilly white trash) i am quite convinced he would not have found this marked difference in intelligence

#18 Comment By Timothy Tang On April 21, 2014 @ 7:16 pm

How People Misunderstood Jason Richwine’s Dissertation: Explaining Racial Incompatibility is Different From Denigration

The definition of the word “racism” is the following:

“1. the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.”

To judge whether or not people are racists, one has to judge their intention to denigrate others and not simply by judging their actions and behaviour alone, because racism is based on a person’s intention to denigrate others, racism cannot be determined simply by judging the words they wrote in a dissertation.

Jason Richwine’s dissertation was to explain whether or not certain groups of people would be compatible or incompatible for American society and its economy.

Being analytical about different races’ compatibility to living in American society does not make the person a racist that is obsessed with denigrating other races of people.

Jason was perceiving the incompatibility/compatibility of different races for living in American society in his dissertation, no one except him can know whether or not he had any intention to denigrate those races.

For people to simply assume that Jason had the intention to denigrate those races without evidence(of his true intentions) is simply being unfair, over-assuming, immature and perhaps blame-shifting as well.