Race and Intelligence: Separating Science from Myth

Race and Intelligence: Separating Science from Myth

Race and Intelligence: Separating Science from Myth

Race and Intelligence: Separating Science from Myth

Synopsis

In recent years, reported racial disparities in IQ scores have been the subject of raging debates in the behavioral and social sciences and education. What can be made of these test results in the context of current scientific knowledge about human evolution and cognition? Unfortunately, discussion of these issues has tended to generate more heat than light. Now, the distinguished authors of this book offer powerful new illumination. Representing a range of disciplines--psychology, anthropology, biology, economics, history, philosophy, sociology, and statistics--the authors review the concept of race and then the concept of intelligence. Presenting a wide range of findings, they put the experience of the United States--so frequently the only focus of attention--in global perspective. They also show that the human species has no "races" in the biological sense (though cultures have a variety of folk concepts of "race"), that there is no single form of intelligence, and that formal education helps individuals to develop a variety of cognitive abilities. Race and Intelligence offers the most comprehensive and definitive response thus far to claims of innate differences in intelligence among races.

Excerpt

Anthropologists long ago began investigating the observation that peoples who live at great distances from one another look different; speak different languages; and have different customs and ways of experiencing, relating to, and understanding the world. It took a great deal of effort and investigation to conclude that these apparent relationships are socially, rather than biologically based. That is, language, customs, and worldviews result from the ways individuals are socialized by their groups and are unrelated to their physical appearance. Healthy newborns from anywhere in the world can be equally well socialized into any distant society, learn to speak its language(s), and become a part of its culture and show no linguistic or behavioral traces of the culture of their faraway biological parents.

The discipline of anthropology incorporated this understanding into its very structure, known as the four-field approach. The primary division is between the field of physical (or biological) anthropology and the three subdivisions of cultural (or sociocultural) anthropology—the fields of ethnology (the description and comparison . . .

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