[Paleopsych] VDare: Steve Sailer: Charles Murray Re-enters Great American Inequality Debate

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Steve Sailer: Charles Murray Re-enters Great American Inequality Debate

    [14]Steve Sailer Archive

Charles Murray Re-enters Great American Inequality Debate

    By [17]Steve Sailer

    Social scientist [18]Charles Murray, the co-author of the [19]1994
    bestseller [20]The Bell Curve, is perhaps America's premier [21]data
    analyst. His 1984 book [22]Losing Ground provided the [23]intellectual
    impetus for the successful 1996 welfare reform law. His 2003 work
    [24]Human Accomplishment is a delightful statistical romp among the
    most [25]eminent scientists and artists in global history.

    Now, Murray is back with a landmark essay, "[26]The Inequality Taboo,"
    in the September issue of [27]Commentary. The printed text alone
    totals 7,500 words, and the web version contains over 10,000
    additional words of notes and sources. If published just by itself,
    Murray's 1,500-word [28]Footnote 44 would rank as the crucial
    statement on the recent trends and future prospects of the white-black
    IQ gap.

    Known among his friends for his remarkable judiciousness, Murray is a
    rather sensitive soul. The foul calumny he has been [29]subjected to
    over the last eleven years must have been tiresome.

    Murray hadn't crafted an essay about IQ since his little known (but
    important) [30]1999 effort reporting the then latest results of the
    enormous military-funded National Longitudinal Study of Youth look at
    IQ and life outcomes. This year, however, the [31]absurd denunciations
    visited upon Harvard president [32]Larry Summers for offering what
    Murray calls "a few mild, speculative, off-the-record remarks about
    [33]innate differences between men and women in their aptitude for
    high-level science and mathematics," persuaded Murray that
    intellectual discourse in America had decayed so shamefully that he
    needed to return to the fray.

    "[34]The Inequality Taboo" consists of three parts:

    bullet A defense of Summers's discussion of why brainiac math nerds
    are more likely to be male than female;

    bullet An updating on the last decade's worth of new findings on the
    white-black IQ gap;

    bullet And a ringing call to Americans to start discussing honestly
    the group differences that we see every day:

    "What good can come of raising this divisive topic? The honest answer
     is that no one knows for sure. What we do know is that the [35]taboo
    has crippled our ability to explore almost any topic that involves the
     different ways in which groups of people respond to the world around
    them--which means almost every political, social, or economic topic of
                               any complexity."

     Murray suggests that both high-end male-female cognitive differences
    and the white-black IQ gap appear to be more or less "intractable"--he

      "Whatever the precise partitioning of causation may be (we seldom
       know), policy interventions can only tweak the difference at the

     Murray's defense of Summers is well-done, although the [36]stupidity
      and [37]bad faith of the attacks on the Harvard president were so
      blatant that [38]lesser analysts managed to make most of Murray's
                           points [39]last winter.

         One interesting fact that Murray doesn't mention is that the
    much-demonized IQ researcher [40]Cyril Burt was the first to determine
    that women were equal to men in intelligence. British psychometrician
                           [41]Chris Brand writes:

     "[I]n 1912, the British psychologist Cyril Burt overturned Victorian
    wisdom by finding males to have the same average general intelligence
      as females (using the new [42]Binet tests from France), [and] this
     finding was replicated in countless investigations (and qualified by
    the observations that males have a wider range of IQs--thus producing
      more geniuses and more mental defectives--and that adolescent boys
    only temporarily lag behind adolescent girls in mental development)."

    The majority of psychometricians, including, most notably, [43]Arthur
      Jensen, support Burt's finding of mean gender equality. (However,
    [44]Richard Lynn has a paper coming out [45]arguing that men average a
        third of a standard deviation--or five points--higher in IQ).
         Nor is there any dispute that, just as Summers said, at the
        [46]extreme right edge of the Bell Curve, from which Harvard's
      [47]math and science professors are drawn, there are more men than

       One of the most newsworthy aspects of "The Inequality Taboo" is
       Murray's view that the [48]white-black IQ gap may have narrowed
      slightly in recent years. According to Murray's article, the three
        most recent re-normings of major IQ tests came up with a mean
          white-black gap of 0.92 standard deviations, or 14 points.

        That doesn't sound like much of a change from the one standard
     deviation (15 points) racial gap that IQ realists have been talking
        about for decades. But, in reality, they've been intentionally
         understating the traditional size of the difference. A 2001
     [49]meta-analysis of eight decades of data suggested a 1.1 standard
    deviation gap (16.5) points. So, if this new 14 point gap found in the
     three recent re-normings holds up as more data comes in, we may have
        seen some significant progress on this massive social problem.

    Currently, though, the evidence remains far from clear. Murray writes
                              in a [50]footnote:

     "Forced to make a bet, I would guess that the black-white difference
       in IQ has dropped by somewhere in the range of .10-.20 standard
    deviations over the last few decades. I must admit, however, that I am
     influenced by a gut-level conviction that the radical improvement in
    the political, legal, and economic environment for blacks in the last
           half of the 20th century must have had an effect on IQ."

         Murray is too honest, however, to skip over the other, more
     disturbing, possibility: that the [51]greater fertility of lower IQ
     women has had a dysgenic and/or "[52]dyscultural" effect. Murray has
       calculated that 60% of the babies born to black women who began
    participating in the National Longitudinal Study of Youth in 1979 were
    born to women with IQs below the black female average of 85.7. Only 7%
                 were born to black women with IQs over 100.

          I hope that the improved nutrition, health care, and other
    environmental enhancements that have allowed African-Americans to come
    to dominate [53]basketball, [54]football, and [55]sprinting in recent
    decades have also driven up black IQ scores more than the tendency of
    intelligent black women to [56]remain childless has driven them down.

     But the overall situation remains murky. It needs more research than
                          is currently being funded.

       Does part of the white-black IQ gap have a genetic basis? Murray
             suggests an experiment that might prove conclusive:

        "To the extent that genes play a role, IQ will vary by racial
       admixture. In the past, studies that have attempted to test this
         hypothesis have had no accurate way to measure the degree of
      admixture, and the results have been accordingly muddy. The recent
    advances in using [57]genetic markers solve that problem. Take a large
    sample of racially diverse people, give them a good IQ test, and then
      use genetic markers to create a variable that no longer classifies
       people as 'white' or 'black,' but along a continuum. Analyze the
    variation in IQ scores according to that continuum. The results would
                          be close to dispositive."

      I bet, however, that Murray's critics won't rush to [58]fund this
              study and put their money where their mouths are.

                          In his coda, Murray says:

        "Thus my modest recommendation, requiring no change in laws or
     regulations, just a little more gumption. Let us start talking about
      group differences openly--all sorts of group differences, from the
         visuospatial skills of men and women to the vivaciousness of
    [59]Italians and [60]Scots. Let us talk about the nature of the manly
      versus the womanly virtues. About differences between Russians and
        Chinese that might affect their adoption of capitalism. About
      differences between [61]Arabs and Europeans that might affect the
     assimilation of [62]Arab immigrants into European democracies. About
    differences between the [63]poor and non-poor that could inform policy
                          for [64]reducing poverty."

               Sounds like the table of contents for VDARE.com!

                              Murray concludes:

    "Even to begin listing the topics that could be enriched by an inquiry
    into the nature of group differences is to reveal how stifled today's
      conversation is... Let us stop being afraid of data that tell us a
    story we do not want to hear, stop the name-calling, stop the denial,
                          and start facing reality."

      I'm sometimes asked why I come up with more new insights than the
     typical pundit. (Here's a [65]list of four dozen things I've either
     discovered myself, accurately forecasted, or scooped the rest of the
                                press about).

      It's not because I'm smarter. It's because I just tell the truth.

     The great thing about truths is that they are causally connected to
    all the other truths in the world. If you follow one truth bravely, it
                          will lead you to another.

      In contrast, lies, ignorance, and wishful thinking are dead ends.

      The Great American Inequality Debate is in one of those dead ends.
      Charles Murray--and we here at VDARE.COM--are trying to rescue it.

     [Steve Sailer [[66]email him], is founder of the Human Biodiversity
    Institute and [67]movie critic for [68]The American Conservative. His
      website [69]www.iSteve.com features site-exclusive commentaries.]


   14. http://www.vdare.com/sailer/index.htm
   17. http://www.vdare.com/sailer/index.htm
   19. http://www.vdare.com/sailer/bell_curve_10yr.htm
   20. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0684824299/vdare
   21. http://olimu.com/Journalism/Texts/Reviews/HumanAccomplishment.htm
   22. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0465042333/vdare
   23. http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/lm_pr_address.htm
   24. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/006019247X/vdare
   25. http://www.amconmag.com/11_17_03/review.html
   26. http://www.commentarymagazine.com/production/files/murray0905.html
   27. http://www.commentarymagazine.com/production/files/murray0905.html
   28. http://www.commentarymagazine.com/production/files/murray0905.html#_edn44
   29. http://www.mugu.com/cgi-bin/Upstream/People/Murray/bc-crit.html
   30. http://www.lrainc.com/swtaboo/taboos/cmurraybga0799.pdf
   31. http://www.vdare.com/francis/050124_harvard_women.htm
   32. http://www.vdare.com/sailer/050220_summers.htm
   33. http://www.vdare.com/sailer/050306_summers.htm
   34. http://www.commentarymagazine.com/production/files/murray0905.html
   35. http://www.vdare.com/pb/gambler_dan.htm
   36. http://www.vdare.com/sailer/050220_summers.htm
   37. http://www.vdare.com/sailer/050306_summers.htm
   38. http://www.isteve.com/2005_National_Post_Summers_Harvard.htm
   39. http://www.isteve.com/2005_Education_of_Larry_Summers.htm
   40. http://www.indiana.edu/~intell/burtaffair.shtml
   41. http://theoccidentalquarterly.com/vol3no2/cb-boasa.html
   42. http://www.psych.umn.edu/psylabs/CATCentral/Binet.htm
   43. http://www.isteve.com/jensen.htm
   44. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/4183166.stm
   45. http://www.vdare.com/misc/mercer_050106_silly.htm
   46. http://www.isteve.com/2005_National_Post_Summers_Harvard.htm
   47. http://www.vdare.com/pb/purpose_of_tenure.htm
   48. http://www.vdare.com/sailer/no_excuses.htm
   49. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5001029349
   50. http://www.commentarymagazine.com/production/files/murray0905.html#_edn44
   51. http://olimu.com/WebJournalism/Texts/Commentary/MarchingMorons.htm
   52. http://slate.msn.com/id/33569/entry/33726/
   53. http://www.vdare.com/sailer/march_madness.htm#hoops
   54. http://www.vdare.com/sailer/limbaugh.htm
   55. http://vdare.com/sailer/lynch_mob.htm
   56. http://www.isteve.com/IsLoveColorblind.htm
   57. http://www.isteve.com/2002_How_White_Are_Blacks.htm
   58. http://www.vdare.com/sailer/pioneer.htm
   59. http://www.vdare.com/guzzardi/basta.htm
   60. http://www.vdare.com/sailer/fischer.htm
   61. http://www.vdare.com/sailer/risky_transactions.htm
   62. http://www.vdare.com/fulford/racial_rape.htm
   64. http://www.vdare.com/francis/culture_of_poverty.htm
   66. mailto:steveslr at aol.com
   67. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/iSteve-movies/
   68. http://www.amconmag.com/
   69. http://www.isteve.com/
   70. http://www.vdare.com/asp/donate.asp

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