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

Stephen Lajoie (
Fri, 24 Feb 1995 02:50:38 GMT

In article <3ihngk$>,
David A. Johns <> wrote:
>In article <> (Warren Sarle) writes:
># No, it's because Sowell actually read the book and responded to
># issues therein, unlike most other reviewers who responded not to
># the book but to their own hallucinations. If you think Sowell
># "discredited" TBC, read Sowell's review again. For example:
>Hmmm. I guess it's worth reading all the way through Sowell's review
>too. Do the following paragraphs, near the end, sound supportive?
> Strangely, Herrnstein and Murray refer to "folklore" that
> "Jews and other immigrant groups were thought to be below
> average in intelligence." It was neither folklore nor anything
> as subjective as thoughts. It was based on hard data, as hard
> as any data in The Bell Curve. These groups repeatedly tested
> below average on the mental tests of the World War I era, both
> in the army and in civilian life. For Jews, it is clear that
> later tests showed radically different results - during an era
> when there was very little intermarriage to change the genetic
> makeup of American Jews.

It would seem that the reviewer did not read the book. Page 5 of TBC states:

Two stories about the early IQ testing have entered the folklore so
thoroughly that people who know almost nothing else about that history
bring them up at the beginning of almost any discussion of IQ. The first
story is that Jews and other immigrant groups were thought to be below
average in intelligence, even feebleminded, whcih goes to show how
untrustworthy such test (and the testers) are. ...

The first story is based on the work done at Ellis Island by H.H.
Goddard, who explicitly preselected his sample for evidence of low
intelligence (his purpose was to test his test's usefullness in screening
for feeble,omdedmess), amd did not try to draw conclusions about the
general distribution of intelligence in immigrant groups. ...

The issue is not, as the reviewer false assumption states, that the data
did not exist. The issue, which the review ignored, is that the data was
based on a non randome sample, and people not knowing such made incorrect

Steve La Joie