Monday, December 10, 2007

Race and IQ

A brouhaha is raging at the moment about race and IQ. James Watson started it off when he was quoted as saying he was "inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa" because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours - whereas all the testing says not really". Then William Saletan over at Slate added fuel to the fire when he argued in a series of posts that Watson was supported by the scientific evidence. Saletan's claims were soon debunked by several people - most notably by Cosma Shalizi, Stephen Metcalf, and Richard Nisbett. (Saletan issued a semi-mea culpa about not realizing just how biased one of the journals he relied upon really was).

Now, the always fantastic and worth-reading Malcolm Gladwell has entered the debate with the release of his latest New Yorker article. The article is highly recommended - if you don't have the time or the patience to read all the articles I link to above, simply read Gladwell's contribution. It's a fine gloss.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Michael,

    This is a great post, and thanks for the Gladwell link. I wish Gapminder would take up this topic as well because there is a lot of stigma about this.

    Best wishes,