Jen-sen-ism (jen’se niz’em), n. the theory that an individual’s IQ is largely due to heredity, including racial heritage. [1965-1970]; after Arthur R. Jensen (born 1923), U.S. educational psychologist, who proposed such a theory; see -ism]—Jen’sen-ist, Jen’sen-ite’, n., adj.
— The Random House and Webster’s Unabridged Dictionaries
Arthur Jensen’s death on October 22 is a pathetic reminder of the strangehold of political correctness on our society. To the extent that it has been mentioned at all, Professor Jensen’s death has been contextualized in such a manner that leaves little doubt among readers that Jensen was wrong about his ideas on race differences in IQ. Thus the New York Times obituary mentions Stephen Jay Gould’s critique of IQ testing, despite Gould’s well-established track record as a leftist activist who likely engaged in fraud to support his views (see also here). The obituary also gives far less prominence to Jensen than to one Sonja C. Grover, an educational psychologist at Lakehead University in Ontario who feels that “you cannot separate social science from human rights.”
However it also quotes Prof. James Flynn whose work has indicated rising intelligence over recent decades and has taken the rather cautious view that “The best we can say is that it is more probable that the I.Q. gap between black and white is entirely environmental in origin.”
“Jensen was a true scientist, and he was without racial bias,” Professor Flynn added. “It never occurred to Arthur Jensen that people would use his data to argue for racial supremacy. Now, to be fair to his critics, over time he became more and more convinced that the evidence did show a genetic component.”
I suppose we should be grateful for the statement that Jensen was a true scientist, but how in the world are his critics supported by the simple fact that Jensen continued to believe that racial differences were genetically influenced when his own views are hardly a ringing endorsement of environmentalism? Read more