Tuesday, December 11, 2007

CNu vs UCBM - Grueling Dueling II

In the prior installment, I asked the following kwestins;
I know from our blackprof.com exchanges that you have a racially tinged interest in crime and criminality. Have you included in your crime category, kidnapping people, murdering them, raping them, and making them labor for you without compensation - a pretty good description of the American economic system for 300 years? Any chance that this crime and criminality could have had an adverse effect on Black folks heritable position and status within the American social hierarchy?
Having laid to rest the genetic and psychometric pseudo-science, which are crushingly persuasive on their own, I reread Stephen Metcalf's devastating disavowal of William Saletan with my own endgame as against Mill's anti-egalitarian position in mind. From where I sit, all that's left that's worth knowing is the relevant history, sociology, morality and personal experiences framing our respective world views. Why do you believe and profess as you do David? Here's the logical nougat of my own political arguments against American-style eugenic polemicization a la Metcalf;
the APA (American Psychological Association) task force lays out—finally!—the real heart of the conflict. To understand what is really being fought over when we fight over the IQ gap between blacks and whites, its authors explain, you must think through an analogy. Imagine two wheat fields. Now imagine two genetically identical sets of seeds. (The analogy was first made famous by the Harvard evolutionary biologist and geneticist Richard Lewontin.) Now imagine each field is planted with these two identical seed stocks. Field No. 1 is given the best possible inputs: sunshine intensity, rain, soil nitrates, etc. Field No. 2 is given much less of all of the above. Within each field, inputs are kept uniform. Inevitably, the first field grows a healthier supply of grain than the second. But here is the rub: Within each field, the variation in outcomes is entirely hereditary. Between the two fields, the variation in outcomes in entirely environmental.

The APA task force reduces the question of the IQ test score gap to a single set of questions. As they list them:

Are the environmental and cultural situations of American Blacks and Whites also substantially and consistently different—different enough to make this a good analogy? If so, the within-group heritability of IQ scores is irrelevant to the issue. Or are those situations similar enough to suggest that the analogy is inappropriate, and that one can plausibly generalize from within-group heritabilities? Thus the issue ultimately comes down to personal judgment: How different are the relevant life experiences of Whites and Blacks in the United States today?

To the APA's superb list, I would add some related queries. Does it feel as though researchers like Jensen and Rushton, the so-called "race realists," have spent their careers examining a range of competing hypotheses for the black-white IQ gap, and carefully scrutinizing the quality of the research at their disposal? Or have they been attempting, at all costs, to prove a single hypothesis—that blacks are congenitally dumber than whites? Shouldn't researchers on any highly charged subject be required to show a minimum of clean hands? Why is it that every researcher I can find who supports the heredity-only thesis takes money from the Pioneer Fund? Would you ever take money from the Pioneer Fund? Under any circumstances?

In the absence of some startling new evidence, the crux of the issue turns out to be this: Do you believe the legacy of American racism, in all its complexity, can explain depressed black IQ scores, even when controlling for all other factors, including socioeconomic status? Is the black experience, in other words, so unique as to constitute, for nearly all black Americans, a separate wheat field? If you say yes, then good news: You believe (along with the most prominent environmentalists) that the black-white IQ gap will close in the next 50 or so years. If you think no, then bad news: You believe, with the most prominent hereditarians, that blacks as a group must resign themselves to higher rates of poverty, unemployment, divorce, and violent criminality purely as a matter of genetic fate.
And that ladies and gentlemen, from my humble perspective, is what this is all about. So David Mills, I'ma axe you one more time again - but this time echoing the sentiments of your commenter Bay Radical;
what on earth would ever make even an undercover Black man say that there are racial inequalities in our society because the beneficiaries of these inequalities (white people) are, in general "smarter" than those who get the short end of things (for the most part people of color, but also women, and poor people of all ethnicities and genders)?
and my brother Submariner;
What Mills hasn't explained to my (and Bay Radical's) satisfaction is other than a constitutional right to 'free speech' why is this subject worth his serious consideration? What is his endpoint? To use a spades analogy, I'm willing to let his little joker walk. What's next?
we're all still waiting with baited breath to hear you out.....,