Slate Trumps Time: Publishes Response To Saletan On Race And IQ

Unlike Time, which blocked all responses to Joe Klein’s factually challenged column on FISA, via Matt Yglesias, Slate has published a response by Stephen Metclaf to Will Saletan on race and IQ. The nuts:

Much of Saletan’s précis of the rest of the research surveyed in “Thirty Years of Research Into Race Differences on Cognitive Abilities” is highly questionable. His takeaway regarding the “admixture” studies is precisely the opposite of what an American Psychological Association task force concluded the studies show-that more “European” blood in a black American does not make him smarter. Saletan points up the problems with a favorite study of the environmentalists, into the IQ outcomes of children fathered by foreign soldiers and raised by (white) German mothers. This study showed that kids with African fathers scored the same as those with white fathers. But, Saletan says, it suffers from a fatal flaw: Blacks in the military had been screened for IQ. Saletan concludes, “Even environmentalists (scholars who advocate nongenetic explanations) concede that this filter radically distorted the numbers.” But this is flatly untrue. The two most prominent environmentalists, Richard Nisbett and James Flynn, have dismissed this very objection. Both have pointed out that white soldiers were also screened, and so had higher IQs than the general white population. James Flynn has argued extensively that the black-white gap in the military was the same as in the population at large.

In essence, Metcalf demonstrates that Saletan, like Joe Klein on FISA, simply did not know what he was writing about. It is to Slate’s credit that it was willing to publish such a demolition of one of its regular writers. Score another one for honesty for Washington Post Company, which allowed Krauthammer to be demolished today.


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    • pfiore8 on December 5, 2007 at 02:20

    i thought you’d enjoy this comment:

    I Forget Where In the Order He Falls

    But Will Saletan, no matter what his genetic code says, has got to be one of the top 10 stupidest fucking guys on the face of the planet. Quoth The Racist Fuckwit:

    The lowest black IQ averages in the United States show up in the South, where the rate of genetic blending is lowest.

    I really picked the wrong week to stop huffing paint fumes. No link as I have no desire to support a business model centered around the courageous notion that black people are stupid.

    -Atrios 22:51

    add to that the debate on the validity of IQ tests, the emergence of theories of multiple intelligences (and their relationships as opposed to just one general type of intelligence), cultural and gender context, and nurture (like neo natal care, and nutrition during developing years etc). there’s plenty to consider. for example, gender is an important marker because some of the spatial aspects of IQ tests favor male brains over female brains.

    it’s all a power ploy anyway. i’d like to take some of those masters of the universe types and put them on a deserted island. and on another deserted island, lets say we have some economically oppressed street kids from Newark NJ. it’d be interesting to see which group has more smarts to stay alive.

    just a fantasy i’ve entertained for a while… is my bias showing?

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