Re: Rushton, why?

David James Russell (djrussel@ARTSCI.WUSTL.EDU)
Mon, 31 Oct 1994 19:04:32 -0600

On Mon, 31 Oct 1994, Read, Dwight ANTHRO wrote:

> Since (emic) races are also the basis for much mate selection (i.e., most
> marriages are not random with respect to (emic) races), it follows that race
> is a channel through which genetic information is spread.

Well, I'm sure that Rushton appreciates this defence of his
theories. Not only have you offered an assumption as relevent, you have
choosen a different meaning of race. Although race certainly influences
marriage patterns in the USA, Rushton is making assertions which apply to
entire continents. All I meant to say was that there appeared to be too
great of range of variation within these very large areas. Your point
MIGHT be relevent if Rushton's argument was contained to the USA, but
since he considers race a continental feature (or subcontinental), your
argument actually is closer to mine, for within a continent like Africa
there exist so many different groups with values which would effect
marriage patterns and likewise confuse Rushton's attempt to describe
blacks as a monolithic genetic pool.

And again: the part with 2>> is mine...
>> " .. how can you possibly try to link an inherited trait (as you're
>> convinced IQ is) ..."
> I take it that the parenthetical comment is inserted to express the author's
> disagreement with the assertion that some portion of intelligence, however
> imperfectly measured by IQ, has a genetic component and hence is inherited
> via genetic transmission. Clearly, individuals differ in intelligence
> (the phenotype) not solely by virtue of environmental conditions, but also by
> virtue of variation at the level of the genotype (regardless of environmental
> conditions, I could never be an Einstein, a Mozart, a Shakespeare, a Fermat,
> etc.). The genotype is "inherited"--what is less clear is the extent to
> which the genotype constrains the phenotype.

Well, forgive my punctuation, but I simply wanted to highlight the fact
hat the heritability of a numerical IQ is fundamentally necessary to
Rushton's argument but is not satisfactorily established. We should keep
this in mind when we read Rushton's conclusions. Even though part of
intelligence is most likely inherited, is the part reflected by the IQ
number genticly-determined? I'd also like to add that to me the
phenotype would be the physical nature of the brain, not the phenomenon
of human intelligence resulting from the configuration of nuerons. Not
only is this configuration extremely conplex and appears to be largely
variable by environment, we seem to need alot of faith in order to accept
that intelligence goes through racial channels that don't exist and
produces specific changes in the highly-environmentally-influenced brain
which then corresponds to a number whose actuall connection to the nature
of that same organ has never been soundly proven.
Looking back over this, I realize that its not entirely clear,
but perhaps its best that way, for I recognize the extreme complexity of
nuerology and am confused while Rushton and friends look at it and see
clear patterns of cause and effect.