Saturday, February 6, 2016

On Race and IQ

[Originally posted on Facebook]

Look, here's a quick lesson on race, what it is and isn't:

Ashkenazi Jews have the highest IQ on the planet of any distinct ethnic group. They average a full standard deviation above the human average; the average Ashkenazi is in the top 32% of the human race intellectually.

The Wilson family is a lot smarter than that. Probably a full standard deviation above the Ashkenazi, as a whole.

There are other families out there who are smarter than the Wilsons. Many of them are Ashkenazi. But none of these families constitute a recognized ethnic group, so they don't count as "races." "Race" is ultimately a social construct built on hereditary genetic reality--genes are real, but society dictates when you get to call a family a "race" or not.*

Any given Ashkenazi is probably smarter than the average person. Any given Wilson (or Pesin, or Cochran, or Hunter, or whomever) is probably smarter than the average Ashkenazi. Any given person who is smarter than a Wilson/Pesin/Cochran/Hunter is disproportionately likely to be an Ashkenazi; but most people smarter than Wilsons/Pesins/Cochrans/Hunters are not Ashkenazi, because they're still a tiny minority.

"Race" tells you something, but it's not as specific as family, and specific data always tells you more than broad generalizations. (See what I did there? "Always.") The most specific data comes from studying the specific individual.

* Of course, you don't have to listen to society. In my own head, I can legitimately consider myself the founder of a race of Wilsons, even if there's only one of us so far.

If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way.

I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Loved I not Honor more.

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