Charles Murray and Albert Einstein

By Reiland, Ralph R. | The Humanist, March-April 1995 | Go to article overview

Charles Murray and Albert Einstein


Reiland, Ralph R., The Humanist


In their recent book The Bell Curve, Charles Murray and Richard Herrn stein rank the races by IQ with Asians outscoring whites and blacks bringing up the rear. Murray and Herrnstein assume a substantial genetic component for these IQ differences and assign to blacks a basically unalterable inferiority. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Murray pre-diets "a state in which high and moderate IQ taxpayers would become custodians of an underclass dominated by low IQ individuals," disproportionately black. In this new "custodial" state, the "cognitive elite" will bunch all the dummies together in a "more lavish version of the Indian reservation." It's all too reminds cent of the Warsaw ghetto, where an Aryan elite put a "subhuman" minority "in its place"

Murray and Herrnstein don't seem to worry that theories of racial inferiority have fueled the most colossal crimes in human history. Instead, with much media hoopla, they have offered an increasingly unequal and polarized nation the mes sage that the current distribution of power and money is natural, genetic, perhaps ordained by God, and therefore inherently fair and basically unchangeable. "For many people," Murray and Herrnstein cold bloodedly conclude in The Bell Curve, "there is nothing they can learn that will repay the cost of teaching"

A key factor about IQ differences for Murray is "how hard they are to change" Instead of seeing racial differences in IQ as connected to centuries of slavery and continuing discrimination and as a reason to increase efforts to improve environ meets--to develop better programs in nutrition, prenatal care, education, and the like--Murray suggests the opposite: that society just throw in the towel because blacks "are different from everyone else"

What's wrong with all this is that it's the same thing that was said about the Chinese in America earlier in this century, even though now Chinese Americans lead the IQ pack. David M. Kutzik, professor at the Center for Applied Neurogerontology at Drexel University, states: "During the 1920s, IQ testers pegged the Chinese at the bottom of the intelligence pile: average IQ between 65 and 70. By the 1950s, Chinese Americans were scoring almost on a par with whites and 20 years later they were scoring higher than whites."

Until the mid 1920s, women in the United States lagged behind men by a 15-point spread. …

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