Race and head/brain size

Allen Lutins (al2032@CSC.ALBANY.EDU)
Wed, 19 Oct 1994 11:58:54 -0400

"J. Philippe Rushton" <RUSHTON@SSCL.UWO.CA> writes:

> In my book and published articles (am I allowed to cite the journal
> Intelligence, 1992) I review 150 years of research including work
> carried out by the Japanese and several studies done since 1980
> showing a racial gradient in brain size of Asians/Europeans/Africans.
> In the 1992 article cited above I examined a random stratified sample
> of 6,325 U.S. Army personnel measured in 1988 for purpose of fitting
> helmets and uniforms. External head measures of length x width x height
> gave cranial capacities of 1,416 cm3 for Asian-Americans, 1,380 cm3 for
> European-Americans and 1,359 cm3 for African-Americans after covariance
> for height and weight. Same ranks for unadjusted measures.
> Beals et al.'s data in 1984 Current Anthroplogy based on endocranial
> volume shows similar figures. Asians, 1,415 cm3; Europeans, 1,362 cm3;
> Africans, 1,268 cm3.
> Using autopsy brain weight from an article in the 1980 Archives of
> Pathology we find European-Americans average 1,322 cm3 and African-Americans
> average 1,222 grams. (I meant grams in previous line).

> Thus converging data from three separate techniques (external head
> measures, endocranial volume, wet brain weight) triangulate on the same
> conclusion. There is much, much more data I am willing to provide/
> discuss if the net is intersted.

...your data may well be impeccable--but your analysis and
interpretation of that data are seriously flawed...

...first of all, you must present evidence that external cranial
dimensions are directly correlated with brain size...i suspect that
this is not the case...

...next, you must prove that brain size and/or weight is directly
correlated with `intelligence' (someone already mentioned what a
dubious term this is); this is certainly not the case, as post-mortem
analyses of the brains of some brilliant people has demonstrated...
also, are you ready to suggest that men are more intelligent than
women? ...women's brains average less weight than men's, but i would
suggest it's because of their overall stature...whaddya say?

...finally, someone mentioned the problem of proving causation versus
correlation...okay, African American heads are smaller--is that
because they're dumber, as you suggest, or rather, as i'd proffer,
that African Americans as a group tend to be more impoverished than
European Americans, and thus are more likely to have bodies which
exhibit symptoms of minor malnutrition...?...
allen `alley cat' lutins al2032@thor.albany.edu

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