IQ stands for “intelligence quotient”. Intelligence quotient is the test used in order to measure a person’s intelligence. Although there are serious suspicions about the success of IQ tests in measuring a person’s whole intelligence, some scientists by using correlations in a purposeful way try to establish a link between race and intelligence. In their researches, Arthur Jensen, William Shockley, Herrnstein and Murray and some other researchers have found that there is a correlation between race and intelligence. Some people tried to use these findings for their political purposes and implied that the white race is superior to others especially to black people. This kind of racist ideas are very dangerous since we know what happened in Europe before and during the Second World War due to this kind of ideas derived from social Darwinism. Robert Todd Carroll thinks that there is no such correlation between IQ and race for four reasons. In this assignment, Carroll’s ideas about the lack of correlation between IQ and race will be explained in detail.
First of all, in Robert Todd Carroll’s idea, IQ tests cannot measure the total intelligence of a person and it is a weak instrument to talk about the general intelligence level of a race. IQ test is inaccurate since “it assumes that there is only one kind of intelligence”. However, there are different types of intelligence such as EQ (emotional quotient). Moreover, there are “some people with fantastic memories, some with mathematical minds, some with musical genius, some with mechanical expertise, some with good vocabularies, some good at seeing analogies, some good at synthesizing, some at unifying etc.”. That is why, Carroll states that IQ test do no really represent the IQ level of individuals so, we cannot make correlations by looking at IQ tests’ results. I
Secondly, Carroll says that “since the publication of Richard Lewontin’s article ‘The Apportionment of Human Diversity’ in evolutionary biology the view that race is a social construct” has been widely accepted. Science writer Deborah Blum for instance claims that individuals’ genetics differ around 15 percent whereas only 6 percent of this percentage is related to race. This means that a white person can be genetically closer to an African person more than another white person. In Carroll’s idea, race is not something strictly biological and it is mostly composed of socially constructed characteristics. Biologically, people from different countries can be much closer to each other rather than same country’s citizens. However, of course socially learned cultural elements such as language, traditions etc. make people closer and similar to each other.
Thirdly, Carroll asserts that these racist claims are based on suspicious correlations not facts. Using correlations for political targets by making stupid generalizations is an unethical behavior in science. Moreover, in 21st century in a globalized world “how can any rational person take seriously notions such as the Aryans or racial purity?”. Furthermore, genetically it was proved that not the pure race but the mixed race is superior. Carroll is absolutely right to say that using correlations in a purposeful way and to show them as cause-effect relations is very dangerous and unethical. In order to form a theory, findings should be tested and same results should be acquired everywhere at any time.
Fourthly, according to Carroll these researches can be made deliberately to have political benefits. These racist works try to legitimize the socioeconomic inequalities and the suppression of African-American communities that have serious problems in the country. It is a fact that African-American people because of socioeconomic condition have more tendency to commit crime but this does not give us the right to make racist generalizations. As far as I am concerned, this kind of works are made deliberately in order to make authority based claims over other countries and people from different ethnic backgrounds. However, discrimination in today’s modern democratic world should be definitely rejected.
Finally, in my opinion this kind of works are very dangerous and they spread the racist thoughts. Scientists should try to solve the problems of humanity (such as social problems, maladies) rather than making this kind of discriminative theories based on small coincidences.
- Carroll, Robert Todd, “IQ and race”, http://www.skepdic.com/IQrace.html