Murray on Race Differences in IQ

Charles Murray’s Human Diversity contains little on the genetic basis of racial differences in average intelligence; it is clear Murray doesn’t want to be the subject of another moral panic like that which greeted The Bell Curve. He merely mentions that it is “tough” to defend the belief that “ethnic differences in IQ are meaningless,” (206) and explains why in a long endnote (416–18). Here he points out that attributing the Black-White gap in America (or other Western countries) to “racism” predicts that Blacks would score higher in all-Black countries; in fact, scores are uniformly lower in Black Africa and Haiti than among for American Blacks. If you then appeal to “the legacy of colonial racism” (416), you must explain how colonialism affects IQ. The most plausible suggestion is through parental SES. To test this hypothesis, one must adjust scores for parental SES. Murray notes that “this has been done frequently,” and the literature “consistently shows that doing so diminishes the size of the B/W difference by about a third.” In other words, two-thirds of the gap cannot be accounted for in this way. Moreover, most studies indicate that the B/W difference increases as parental SES rises; in other words, higher parental SES is associated with a rise in Black IQ, but with an even bigger rise in White IQ.

Other explanations offered for the race gap include Blacks’ relative unfamiliarity with standard English, the administering of tests by White rather than by Black teachers, or Blacks’ lack of motivation to work hard on tests which “clearly reflect White values.” In response, Murray cites the consensus statement “Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns” published in the February 1996 issue of the APA flagship journal American Psychologist in response to the public controversy surrounding The Bell Curve. The eleven experts reported that controlled experiments have revealed no substantial contribution to the racial gap from any of these causes (although they may play a role in particular cases). The statement also notes the high predictive value of tests for academic performance.

Since that statement was issued, experimental evidence has been produced indicating that the racial gap is “effectively eliminated” when Black and White students are “tested on the basis of newly learned information.” The difficulty here is that such tests inherently measure short-term memory as much as, or more than, IQ; the gap disappears because the test is no longer so g loaded.

Murray acknowledges the possibility of arguing that the role of bias is too broad to be captured by any assessment of language and predictive ability. He calls this “the ‘background radiation’ theory of racism’s effect on IQ.” (418) This perspective would make “racism” an occult but omnipresent reality not unlike what Africans call “bad juju.” As Murray says, such a perspective cannot be refuted with data, since it conceives all data as vitiated a priori by racism; in other words, it is an unfalsifiable metaphysical commitment.

10 replies
  1. Eric
    Eric says:

    If you can’t stick to your guns, it’s almost better to say nothing.

    Pat Buchanan got into trouble with William F. Buckley and “Conservative, Inc.” for saying that the U.S. Congress was an “amen-corner” for the Israeli Knesset. He went on to write several books that were anti-Third World immigration, plus a book decrying U.S. involvement in both world wars. No mention of Jews in any of these books.

    There’s a whole industry of similar books (when it comes to immigration and multiculturalism) from the likes of MIchelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, Michael Savage (who is Jewish), Bruce Bawer, Douglas Murray, and many more, where the Jewish Question is studiously avoided.

    You could say, with justice, that Tucker Carlson’s program on Fox News is a polemic against the Jews in which the word “Jew” is never mentioned.

    Not only is the Jewish Question not addressed by these pundits, white people are never explicitly supported by them. Racial and gender discrimination against white males (“affirmative action”) is not even on their radar anymore — if I ever was.

    • Ludwig
      Ludwig says:

      Eric says:
      February 20, 2020 at 9:38 pm

      “……..No mention of Jews in any of these books. ………….in which the word “Jew” is never mentioned.
      ………..Not only is the Jewish Question not addressed by these pundits.”

      This is a major obstacle for Europeans everywhere, but especially in North America and Australia, in understanding our history. The fact that histories can be written without any penetrating reference to jewish influence in the halls of power and money, in war and the aftermath, except as brave but unfortunate victims is a testament to thier real power. But worse, its a testament to our cognitive disonance, blind to the asymetric warfare being waged on us.

      James Bowery said it – the fact that we can’t be allowed to name the war prevents most people from recognising the war on them. It paralises most Europeans from responding on a war footing. Archibald Ramsay called it the “Nameless War”.

      • Richard B
        Richard B says:

        “The fact that histories can be written without any penetrating reference to jewish influence in the halls of power and money, in war and the aftermath, except as brave but unfortunate victims is a testament to thier real power. But worse, its a testament to our cognitive disonance, blind to the asymetric warfare being waged on us.”

        You’re giving them way too much credit Ludwig.

        Jewish Supremacy Inc. didn’t invent censorship.

        No ruling power has ever permitted its authority to be criticized, except one – Whites, in the 19th and 20th century.

        Thereby making the accusation of “White Supremacy” even more laughable and historically illiterate than it already is.

        If anything, the fact that JSI is placed above criticism AFTER 200+ years of Whites allowing their authority to be criticized (how, after all, was JSI able to slime its way to the top?) can be used to our advantage.

        Because it it brings into relief and enables us to better see and focus on patterns of behavior that have emerged through time.

        In other words, it enables us to focus on history and behavior.

        The reason it isn’t used to our advantage is because too many Whites are almost as historically and behaviorally ignorant as those they rail against, and that’s saying plenty.

        I don’t mean to be snobby or pick on them. On the contrary. It’s not their fault. Though they’d do well to get themselves out of it by being a little more cautious in some of their comments, particularly on youtube channels that are more or less sympathetic to White interests.

        But they’re not cautious. That’s why too many of them have this deer in the headlights thing going on with JSI’s power, ie; acting like it’s “all been planned” and that JSI is insuperable.

        I’m not saying JSI hasn’t had a plan. They have. I’m saying that there’s no way – no way – that they could account for the accidents of cultural history and for the obvious random character of events.

        But, sad fact is, many Whites still believe in Divine Providence, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary.

        So, predictably, JSI has simply exploited this very easy to exploit character defect of most Whites.

        • Richard B
          Richard B says:

          In the past 500 years no one who challenged authority, especially in print, could do so directly.

          if they did, as in the case of Luther, they knew in advance that the other side was at least willing to dialogue and that they had enough political support that if things went south. That’s why Luther survived.

          Whereas Muntzer and Savanarola were easily crushed.

          JSI wants to encourage the Muntzers and Savanarolas among us, so to speak, and discourage the Luthers.

  2. George Kocan
    George Kocan says:

    While race most certainly has a genetic basis, one must not forget that most Blacks must endure public school system taught by Democrats. Yet, the Dems take no responsibility for graduating students who cannot read and do basic math. They will, however, vote for Democrats at a rate near 90%. So, what;s the problem?

  3. David Ashton
    David Ashton says:

    All these non-genetic “explanations” of low performance on IQ tests are old hat. They go back go the 1960s when I challenged Otto Klineberg at London University and got an evasive response.

  4. JRM
    JRM says:

    I admire Murray’s intelligence and industry. He is certainly not deserving of the “cuck” brand. Let’s use a little nuanced intelligence here. Murray is clearly attempting to spread some light while avoiding a full Inquisition style flaying.

    I think he expects his audience to be intelligent enough to put 2 and 2 together. This is about context and consequences. Murray gives us much to work with.

    Murray doesn’t need to shout about an intelligence deficit among blacks. It’s actually quite obvious to most people, even the ones who scream the loudest that it can’t possibly be true. The final redoubt is a mystical (religious) one of the “background radiation” proposition, which is where Murray correctly states that no further argument is possible.

    The situation actually becomes quite ridiculous. Imagine a group of Whites watching a basketball game, and suggesting that some inherent unfairness in the rules or imbalance in the philosophy of the game results in White losses and black victories. Liberals trying to explain away IQ differences are just as ludicrous, if less obvious.

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