Re: Race, intelligence, and anti-racist prejudice (Was: Genetic Evolution)

Kaa Byington (
Fri, 24 Feb 1995 22:41:47 GMT

George Boggs ( wrote:
: In article <>, (Kaa
: Byington) wrote:
: >
: >
: > It looks to me like the correlation is with poverty, which is the
: > underlying cause of all those things.

: You are referring to one of the interesting things that H&M had to say.
: Before I go on, let me include your next statement, which says...
: >
: > A lesson from the first day of Statistics class: There is a perfect
: > correlation between ice cream sales and drownings. When one goes up, the
: > other goes up. Year after year. Does that mean that buying and eating
: > ice cream causes drowning? No. That's spurious causality. It means they
: > both go up in summer.
: >

: Remember that it is your *theory* that poverty is the root of many social
: ills. Poverty is correlated with social ills, and it is you who are
: inferring causation - take some of your own advice, here. It so happens
: that both SES and IQ correlate with a number of social phenomena like crime
: that we - or I, at least - would like to see reduced. It so happens that IQ
: correlates higher, but neither SES nor IQ have eye-popping correlations.

: One of the major lessons, IMO, to be taken from TBC is that the causes of
: social dysfunction are not very well understood. Unfortunately, individuals
: like yourself and government agencies do not seem to be willing to admit
: this. Instead, year after year, the same dead horse gets beaten - i.e.,
: poverty is the root of all ills - and the situation keeps getting worse.
: When will you be willing to admit that you really don't understand what the
: hell is going on, that whatever it is is extraordinarily complex, and we
: need hundreds of little programs and experiments to begin to try and get a
: handle on how to better help the disadvantaged.

: G. Boggs
: I'd rather be rich than stupid.
: J. Handey

Sorry, but I'm not your average ivory tower theoretical liberal. I know
that poverty is far far more correlated with crime and violence than IQ.
Until quite recently I was a research sociologist working on problems of
poverty--not theory. I have spent thousands of hours talking to people
in slums. Interestingly
enough, I worked on research projects here--with those low IQ blacks
and even more interesting, not only is my graduate degree from a
university in Asia, but most of my research projects were there. The
problems of poverty in both places are much the same, the crime and
violence rates are much much higher in Asia. And yet Asians have those
high IQs. And they do.

So you can't have it both ways--high IQs cause crime in Asia (which has
worse conditions of poverty) and low IQs cause crime and violence in America.

However, there is an explanation for this, and it's not genetic: it has
to do with the cultures. In most Asian countries, the rich look no
different from the poor, physically. There is no depressed
look-different underclass. And they have upward mobility. The poorest
family skimps on food, all the family members work at whatever they can
find, to send one child to college, and that one child becomes a
professional of some kind and puts the rest of the kids through college,
and voila, the family is part of the middle class--and socially accepted.
It's their one hope
to get out of poverty. And, with the weight of your whole family on your
back, you better believe those kids excel both in studies and in test taking.
Which are very closely related.

Unfortunately, the causes of crime and violence and those other
anti-social behaviors that you so deplore are very well known. It's
poverty. (I leave white collar crime to you to explain.) And those little
social experiments have been tried, and they
work. Head Start, the school lunch program, the Job Corps, Medicaid, all
those were part of Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty, and they worked. We
know they work. A simple, cheap, easy program like Midnight BAsketball
was derided by people like you, but here, where I live, it cut juvenile
gang violence by 50%

I suggest that to the people who have embraced the Bell Curve with such
warmth, that your real desire is to not have any of your tax money going
to those welfare bums, and you'd love to find a magic pill to give poor
people so they'd stop behaving badly and coveting your property. And you
latch on to IQ and race as the way to that magic cure. Now think ahead:
if the Bell Curve is right (Black = low IQ = crime and violence) I
propose two obvious solutions to you:

1) You can coach almost anybody on test taking and raise their score on
the next test by 15 or 20 points. For a relatively small amount of
money, every "disadvantaged" kid in the country can have his IQ raised to
above the average. That, of course, would eliminate all crime and violence.

2) If the Bell Curve is right, and IQ is genetic, you can sterilize all
low IQ blacks, and in one generation, you've solved the problem. If you
want to do it sooner. . .

And tell me--have you ever once talked to a black welfare mother? Asked
her what she wants, what she hopes for her children? You should. And
you could ask her what she thinks the causes of crime and violence are, too.