Re: Race, intelligence, and anti-racist prejudice

Frosch (
18 Feb 95 21:08:56 GMT (Thompson, Craig E.) writes:

> wrote:

>>Most whites and Asians chose to came to America to better
>>themselves. It is possible that they were more ambitious, hard
>>working or adventurous than the group that stayed at home. It is
>>quite likely that the whites and Asian that decided to come to
>>America are not typical of the population in Europe or Asia.

it is almost certainly true that those who immigrated were not
completely typical of those who remained behind. but placing the
differences as 'cultural values' is begging the question. among
jews who left the pale for the usa early this century, there will
have been a good percentage who left because of antisemitism. the
economic roles they had played in their home regions (eg. in the
clothing industry) happened to give them skills that were needed
in the usa at the time they arrived. partly as a result of this,
they enjoyed success in their new environment. the immigration of
computer scientists, engineers, etc, from asia in recent decades
and their success in the usa is a similar phenomenon, as is the
success of those skilled cubans (businessmen) who left cuba after
batista's overthrow. immigrant groups with needed skills have a
head-start. it says nothing about differing cultural values, and
much less about genetics.

>Ambition, adventuresomeness, industry -- you consider these to be genetic?

some people do this, and it amounts to biological determinism.
some people say there is a cultural constant determining behaviour
in a group over generations, and it amounts to cultural determinism.
both are effectively dangerous in spreading myths about groups, and
both ignore the historical background of the events under discussion.

>Additionally, by this line of reasoning, wouldn't this mean that the
>descendents of Europeans that participated in the western expansion of the
>US have a higher mean IQ than those who stayed on the East Coast? Any data
>around that shows an East-West anomaly?

>>It is possible that those Europeans and Asians who decided to come
>>to America had a somewhat higher IQ than those who did stayed in
>>Europe and Asia. This could explain why in the US that the whites
>>and asians have higher median IQs.

given a whole host of unproven assumptions, and if you are prepared
to totally ignore the historical context, you might tend to adopt this
simplistic and unsupported explanation, yes. i don't.

>Maybe -- for those who came willingly?
>Doesn't address "regression to the mean" though, if my great-great-grandpa
>was bright enough to come here, what does that say about me -- not much I

coercive factors played a role in the movement of many immigrant
groups - the loss of work with increasing industrialization, religious
persecution, and so forth. talking about 'those bright enough to come'
doesn't make much sense to me.