Lynda Callicotte (
4 Feb 1995 22:04:21 -0500 (Martin Hutchison) writes:

> Self-selection is a perfectly acceptable definition of race for
> certain purposes, but not for claiming that "intelligence" is inherited.
> As an article in _Utne Reader_ a couple of issues ago pointed out,
> on standardized tests and other documents people shift race quite actively.
> My wife and I make a point of it -- though our favorite answer is "human."
> If I can shift race at will -- merely by getting on a plane,
> what have I inherited? Besides which, most of the people of subSaharan
> africa, according to classic European racist
> science, would have got the answer wrong 100 years ago.

And now, I will boldly go where no one on this thread has gone before:
Yes, of course intelligence is inherited! How could humans have evolved
from less intelligence hominid species if it wasn't? That isn't really
the question, is it? The questions are: Does innate intelligence vary
from individual to individual within our species? Is innate intelligence
definable and measurable such that the first question is scientifically
testable? Does innate intelligence vary between what the average person
thinks of as races? Is this question testable? Does evolutionary theory
allow the possibility, in the face of natural selection, that intelligence
differences between races could be maintained? In other words, why didn't
the "smart" race kill off the "dumb" race way back before the dawn of
recorded history? Isn't that what probably happened to many of those
non-human hominid species? I think it would be more interesting if we
argued about some of these questions instead of silly bickering back and
forth about whether there is such a thing as race and whether intelligence
can be inherited.

Lynda Callicotte
Molecular Biosciences program, Rutgers University