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The Specter of Eugenics: IQ, White Supremacy, and Human Enhancement
Benjamin Abbott   Jun 5, 2013   Ethical Technology  

The recent controversy surrounding Jason Richwine’s Havard dissertation “IQ and Immigration Policy” serves as an opportune point of departure for reflecting on biological determinism in transhumanist thought. Are transhumanists, as Michael Anissimov says, eugenicists without the coercion? What does channeling eugenics in a white-supremacist society mean and do? Why the obsession with IQ among various transhumanists, particularly AI enthusiasts?

I argue that the scientific racism of Richwine and company, with all its elaborate statistical wizardry, functions first and foremost as rationalization of inequality and privilege. I call on transhumanists to reject to biological determinism and struggle for social justice in social terms. To begin, media attention fell on Richwine in relation to current immigration reform negotiations in the U.S. government. Richwine’s 2009 dissertation made headlines because of eir position in the Heritage Foundation; ey resigned following the public outcry.

The work in question describes IQ as a prime driver of normative success, assesses the IQ of Hispanic immigrants to the United States as significantly lower than that of non-Hispanic white citizens, and proposes IQ tests for immigrant sorting. “IQ and Immigration Policy” is parade of academic white supremacy, with so many notable making at least a cameo appearance: Arthur Jensen, J. Philippe Rushton, Richard Lynn, Linda Gottfredson, and Charles Murray, to name a few. Although Richwine takes pain to distinguish eir work from that of early twentieth-century immigration opponents, claiming that the science of intelligence quantification has advanced and that purported low test scores for European immigrants were unreliable, the dissertation as a whole intimately resembles the discourses of 1920s, albeit with Hispanics in place of southern and eastern Europeans.

Pioneering psychometrician Lewis Terman in 1922 gave a racial hierarchy of intelligence based on cognitive tests virtually identical to Richwine's: whites and East Asians on top, blacks, Native Americans, and Mexicans on the bottom. Terman appropriately also requested mental tests to screen immigrants. The discipline of psychometrics as presented by Richwine has advanced remarkably little as it relates to immigration. During the great immigration debates of the 1910s and 1920s, eugenicists specifically and restrictionists in general marshaled a wealth of human measurements on their behalf.

As Nancy Ordover writes in American Eugenics, they wielded “charts, photographs, and even human skulls” in order “to provide the visual and mathematical support that rendered racism scientifically valid and politically viable” (9). For example, the (in)famous Army Mental Tests conducted by Robert Yerkes reported the inferior cognitive ability of southern and eastern European immigrants as well as blacks. Harry Laughlin – cited positively in Murray’s The Bell Curve and beloved by Nazi scientists – dramatically testified before U.S. Congress about how immigrants from southern and eastern Europe and Asia had a disproportionate presence in asylums, jails, and prisons.

Laughlin and others ominously warned that these immigrants would ruin the national breeding stock. Richwine aligns more with that era than ey realizes. Of course, this resemblance to and connection with classical eugenics speaks to the political interests and implications, not the invalidity of the empirical data involved.

I leave that question to psychometricians and statisticians. Befitting my humanities training, I’ve scant interest in battling over the numbers; instead, I seek to undermine the conceptual frameworks involved. The genetic meaninglessness of popular racial categories – Asian, black, white, etc – forms a basic obstacle to ascribing difference in IQ to genetics. (Richwine and friends repeatedly and insistently suggest biological factors as explanatory, though Richwine runs away from these suggestions when confronted.) From the anthropological perspective, Mark Nathan Cohen describes IQ test as a culturally and socially specific set of values. Past biology, it’s trivial to reach the circular point of tests that show oppressed groups aren’t as likely to succeed – conform to normative standards of success – within dominant society as their oppressors.

Now there’s a shocker. The confirmed dynamic of stereotype threat – that people told their group tends to do worse on tests tend to do worse on tests – heightens the theme of self-fulfilling prophecy. The fundamental assumption present in studies like Richwine’s is meritocracy, that the socioeconomic system in the United States ranks people according to their quality. It’s within this logic that Richwine identifies Hispanic immigrants as underperforming non-Hispanic white citizens. Richwine portrays the economy as a game that in which players with higher stats – IQ – individually and mechanistically produce more value. But that’s not how the economy works at the material level.

While some smart people do invent marvelous machines or provide life-saving services, many if not most of the high-status professions associated with IQ – lawyer, politician, CEO, distinguished professor, etc – have a parasitic role. The stereotypical Mexican immigrant farmworker or construction laborer Richwine fears produce a hell of a lot more materially than the brilliant banker who skillfully manipulates the system – or, for that matter, than the PhD student who worries about the IQ scores of immigrants. Far from being drains on society, the workers Richwine, Murray, and their ilk disparage literally and directly create society. When was the last you saw a capitalist doing anything physically useful?

IQ in this analysis reveals far more about capitalist culture and its structural need for rank ordering than it does about the scrutinized subject. Standardized tests instill the desired competitive ethos that both makes for self-motivated workers and militates against that deadly workers’ solidarity. These tests furthermore offer a neat justification for the manifestly unequal operations of the actually existing market. Poor? Well, you’re probably just stupid – and lazy, too, among other things. Psychometricians have gleefully correlated every normatively positive trait they can think of to high IQ and every negative one they can think of to low IQ. It’s crucial to recognize that the sorting itself constitutes a key function of evaluation, whether it be IQ testing or college grades.

Inequality requires rank ordering, a workable basis for giving the lion’s share of the nice things to a minority of the population. Thus IQ tests are great measures, just not of what they purport to quantify. As Dale Carrico and the aforementioned Anissimov note, transhumanism, with its focus on enhancement, bears striking similarity to eugenics, the quest to improve the genetic composition of the human species. Various AI enthusiasts walk in the footsteps of eugenicist pyschometricians like Terman. Anissimov, Eliezer Yudkowsky, and other advocates of Friendly Artificial Intelligence place extreme importance on IQ. They reference some of the same research as Richwine; in 2006, Anissimov cited Gottfredson as providing the best argument for IQ tests. The g these tests attempt to assess forms the theoretical basis for crafting AI. While most acknowledge greater complexity, the simple numerical measure of IQ guides thought about intelligence; fictional AIs often spout their superhuman scores.

Raising the IQs of the unfortunates who rate low frequently appears as a lofty egalitarian and humanitarian project in transhumanist circles. Like Carrico and Jaron Lanier, I find this understanding of intelligence reductive and the eugenicist echoes disturbing. However appealing transhumanist ideas of human uplift seem within their white-nerd cultural context, campaigns to get everybody to conform to white/rational/civilized/scientific/etc norms have a supremely sordid history. However academically detached – i.e. innocent – transhumanists may view investigations into questions intelligence and biology, all research happens within the social circumstances of white-supremacist heteropatriarchy.

Knowledge production like Richwine’s dissertation has a harmful effect in that it attributes inequality to rigid factors beyond the social and political, furthering stereotype threat and reinforcing oppression. Transhumanism risks doing and does the same. There’s no magical position of objectivity or neutrality in which to stand; nowhere’s safe from the mind-killer. As a telling example of reductionism and myopia, in “Transhumanism as Simplified Humanism” Yudkowsky presents the matter of increasing IQ as a universal binary choice between higher IQ bad and higher IQ good. While I think this piece contains attractive moral principles and a valuable critique of arbitrary limits, its orientation toward singular truth and fixed dichotomies lead to a totalizing vision.

Transhumanism with a unitary definition of enhancement and self-righteous humanitarian mission is the stuff of nightmares. If enhancement means global homogenization compelled by cultural or market power, if it means the complete and final ascendency of bourgeois norms, if it means making everybody porn-star sexy, then I don’t want any part of it. To make a concept as fraught as human enhancement a force against rather than for oppression, I recommend that transhumanism insistently stress diversity of standards as well as individual and community freedom. At the same time, transhumanists must vigorously and meaningfully reject white supremacy.

Given the unambiguous connection between the eugenics movement and such overwhelming suffering – including most notoriously the Nazi regime in Germany – professing to be kinder, gentler eugenicists strikes me as misguided. Eugenics has earned its poor reputation. Although transhumanism may share certain dreams with eugenics, we do ourselves no favors by blithely treading the eugenicist path or trying to win back a good name for the term. I encourage transhumanists to find different intellectual genealogies and traditions; personally I situate my desire for human enhancement in anarchist/communist/socialist utopianism.

Critically, transhumanists should value the fight against white supremacy alongside cherished ideals like rationality, empiricism, and science. White supremacy and colonialism are foundational structures in North American society. Liberty and justice demand their total annihilation. Biological determinism in its various permutations tells us that we can’t radically transform society for the better and should accept status -quo inequalities. Looking for technofixes to hardwired limitations, as transhumanists so often do, has some merit but proves counterproductive unless grounded in social struggle. We don’t need to wait. We already have the technical ability to distribute nice things equitably across the planet. Let’s make it happen. Human enhancement means undoing all oppression.

Benjamin Abbot is a genderqueer, transgender PhD student in American Studies at the University of New Mexico.


This is a good piece. Not being a scientist/engineer, cannot address the topic of eugenics however immigration issues have become sound ‘n fury: virtually no one is serious about doing anything on immigration.
I monitor ‘patriot-oriented’ (wingnut) radio stations which call for volunteers to act as border guards, yet v. few would-be guards show up. At one time nativists were serious concerning immigration reform—whatever ‘immigration reform’ meant in the past, means today—but now immigration is a wedge issue. In ‘65 LBJ passed an Immigration Act allowing increased immigration so firms in the US could easily hire more employees obtaining lower wages; the resistance to immigration back in ‘65 was slight—today nativists want to close the barn door after the status quo has irreversibly altered: after basically acquiescing for 48 yrs to increased immigration quotas and turning something of a blind eye to the entry of undocumenteds, nativists today want to complain for little other reason than to vent their frustrations. And yes, racism/ethnicism does play a part.
Now, it is not the same as the pre- ‘80s era; back in shall we say Jim Crow days. Way back when, minorities were disliked merely for being minorities.. whereas in 2013 the focus has greatly shifted to economic warfare—esp to fighting for govt benefits because nativists/racists-ethnicists think their people deserve handouts yet the Other does not. The following Stormfront tirade is worth reposting as it clearly, unambiguously, sums up the overall (not vague, though; such simple ideology is quite exact) racist/nativist position.
What a crypto-nativist will say in private, a white nationalist will be upfront (and Stormfront) about. Will not include a link to this sort of propaganda:

In a nutshell, the problem with humanity is not so much one of ideology - this or that religious, political, social, or economic doctrine - but rather one of blood. That is, that a great deal (possibly 90% or more) of a person’s intelligence and character is determined by their DNA, which determines the structure of their brain before they are born. This is why Blacks, as a group, do the things they do. This is why Sweden, despite being “socialist” (a system which we are told often leads to economic stagnation), is a far better place to live than, say, “capitalist” (a system which we are told should always lead to economic prosperity) Nigeria. Of course, it is true that bad political/economic systems can ruin a country with otherwise “good” people (e.g., communist Russia), but if the genetics of a people are “bad” it’s pretty much hopeless regardless of the political/economic system (e.g., Africa). This is not to say that all Whites are “good”, or that all Blacks are “bad”. And it is true that social programs can teach Blacks and help them to some extent. However, in the long term, the quality of life of a nation is almost entirely determined by the quality of the mental character of the average person. If Blacks or Mexicans become a majority, then they will not be able to maintain the White man’s social, cultural and economic systems because they do not have to minds needed to do so. Most Whites in the United States know what happens when too many Blacks get together in a community, city or country - they “pull themselves down”. So, as the United States and Europe are flooded with Browns and Blacks, eventually the quality of life in these once great lands will become like that of the third world regardless of the social/economic/political system. And, not to be “racist”, but we Whites can’t have that. That’s not fair to us and our families. I know it isn’t “fair” of the world for Blacks to have to be born with such a disadvantage, but the first rule in wanting to help them is that you don’t become like them. Nobody is going to help the United States and Europe if our people fall to a third world status. Thus, our prime directive - the 14 words - “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children.” We want a few areas on the Earth (and states in the US) that are reserved for Whites, and Whites only, where we can live in peace apart from the horrors of the third world. Our children deserve that and we owe it to them. This is the basic principle of “White Nationalism” (WN).
The attentive reader may wonder at how the situation has gotten as grave as it has. How could people have become so detached from reality to believe the delusion of racial equality? Why would anyone in their right mind allow immigration from places like Iraq, Somalia and Mexico into the United States and Europe?...The United States and Europe are being flooded with tens of millions of third worlders who are having a lot of kids. Soon, White people will soon lose control of the countries their ancestors founded. Many Whites think this is OK as long as the immigrants work. Really? Are the immigrants going to vote? Are they going to intermarry Whites? No where are these important issues seriously discussed in the mainstream media. And think about that!  That’s how sick our world has become.
Wake the heck up - Buy pro-White produced books and DVDs and learn about the problem we face;
Keep Informed - Visit pro-White news sites regularly and subscribe to pro-White periodicals to keep alert as to what is going on;
Donate to pro-White groups - Many groups are happy with as little as $30-$50/year. Donate what you can. If you can afford $500/year for Jewish-controlled cable TV, surely you can afford a fraction of that to ensure a future for your children. Anything is better than nothing;
Talk to your friends and family, wake them up and get them to do the same.
If most Whites did these simple steps, our problems would be over in short order. Fail to do them, and watch your world continue to fall apart (and deserve it too).

Funny how progressives embrace statistical reasoning when it tells them what they want to hear, for example, Nate Silver’s prediction of Obama’s victory last year; then deny the same science when it tells them things with conflict with their egalitarian ideology, as in Jason Richwine’s example.

America’s effective institutions, for example, the U.S. Army, elite universities and Silicon Valley companies, depend on IQ testing on some level to find the best people for their purposes, regardless of their origins. (When the Army Air Corp drafted my father in 1945, it decided from his scores on the IQ test to train him as a cryptographer. Not bad for an Oklahoma farm boy.)

It says something about the cognitive abilities of California’s Latino population that Silicon Valley’s demographics looks dramatically whiter, more Asian and more Jewish than the state’s, despite all the educational and social-welfare resources spent on Latinos.

But the effort to force cognitively inadequate people into positions with objective criteria of performance will just lead to disaster. I suspect it just didn’t happen coincidentally that America’s space program declined in the 1970’s at the same time that the diversity ideology became official U.S. policy. You just couldn’t have a high-profile government agency run by mostly white men from the working class who rose up to their positions through ability and discipline in their self-development, without its example raising awkward questions about the cognitive abilities of under-represented groups.

All true, Mark; nevertheless one cannot go all over the road in comments on quotas, race baiting, IQ, and the rest of it without writing books.
My discrete focus is: how the funds and services given to (in PC) lesser-abled minorities are the same funds/services given to lesser-abled whites who think they deserve what they and their’s obtain, yet minorities do not deserve. Can’t we discuss this at a technoprogressive site?

My opinion - not a good article. I have written several articles that examine issues, with IQ as a metric. IQ determines problem-solving ability. That’s what the IQ test does - it determines the test-takers ability to solve problems. I think it’s helpful to know what gives or does not give humans the ability to solve problems. To be transhumanist… means to desire to improve our biological abilities. To want our brains to function well. To want our brains to solve problems. Articles like this that politicize and condemn research into brain functionality - I regard them as very regressive.

At present there is multiple research being done to determine pollutant impacts on the brain, disease impacts on the brain, educational impacts on the brain, parent-raising impacts on the brain - with IQ as a metric.  This is all valuable, IMO.

This article’s equation of Transhumanism = Eugenics = Nazis is really tiresome.  I won’t say anything more vehement than that because I established a Buddhist Rights Speech policy on this blog that I will adhere to.

Good to have you back, Hank! An honor.
But must disagree: if Ben isn’t transhumanist-oriented he is not obliged to accept the logic that Transhumanism = Eugenics = Nazis is a mistaken logic. Only dispute is Ben’s reckoning on Native Americans is flawed. By his lights we could postulate virtually everyone as progressive.

Hank, in my experience test taking also tells how well you do on test taking. Some of us suck at taking tests in the form of the current IQ Test. It’s a method, and pretty lousy one I think, to understand ones “intelligence”.

I will not say what my IQ is, but I have taken mutiple IQ tests with professionals and I remember some of the questions were absolutely important to science and technology, however those same questions only raised my IQ score, but they had nothing (or little) to do with empathy, compassion, sympathy, friendlyness, or coopertation. So to hell with the IQ test I say. When I think of “intelligence” I dont just think about math, language and problem solving, but also the ability one has to think about freedom, egalitarianism, social equality, community and lack of apathy.

>“personally I situate my desire for human enhancement in anarchist/communist/socialist utopianism.”

I tend to agree with Abbott about “politicizing” transhumanism - I think CygnusX1 or Intomorrow said it best, but I can’t find the comment - that basically true social “anarchism” is the ultimate ideal for a society. If transhumanists do not understand the importance of freedom, cooperation, the goal of eliminating suffering, and the power of compassion, and liberation, I think it would make for basically the same old competition, capitalism, and oppression that we see today, just on a higher level - and that level would be, because of the “enhancing” of the parts of the brain that we associate with the IQ test:
7.Pattern recognition

If that is the way the future folds out, I can only hope that logic innately leads the critical thinker to the ideals that anarchism and anarcho-socialism are all about.

If I could come up with a new ideology that is better than anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian-socialism, I personally would, but from what I thought as child is true: as it turns out humans have evolved their thinking about how to run a cooperative society. No need to create a new ideology - the information is there - it was there before I was born, it is just a matter of spreading it and the continuation of evolving it: education and real world action.

That is my opinion however, and of course I could be wrong, but am I, is Abbott, or the millions of anarchists and socialists around the world? If the liberation of mind from oppression is indeed simply somewhere in future logic, so be it, but I am not too sure about that… thoughts?

I’m with Hank on this one. While the article’s thrust does seem to be slightly more nuanced than T=E=N, it’s not by much, and is the obvious equivalence the author continuously dances around.

@advancedatheist: Your argument would have some merit if the widely-recognized cultural and socioeconomic biases inherent to most IQ tests didn’t exist.

@Kris: While I’ve seen you and Benjamin repeatedly exalt anarchism (or whatever hyphenated subgenre you prefer), despite agreeing with the thrust of your criticism of existing injustices, I’ve yet to see anything remotely resembling a feasible framework for accommodating the giant complexity required for achieving the transhumanist aims you purport to value (preferably while also mitigating the risks).

I tried to explain it here:

The idea is that we would all be connected to vote on actions in a bottom up egalitarian society - with the help of supercomputers and BCIs.
- Nanotech: could transform trash and the like to food
- Biotech - could unleash the power of gene therapy to enhance any part of the human body
- AI (unconscious) could compute simulations of worlds or scenarios we vote on in seconds and give us back the results to think about
- Hive Mind - could connect each other’s minds to feel and think like someone else, to literally see through someone elses eyes, and of course bring about the feeling of togetherness
- I am just NOT a fan of vanguardism because of historical reasons. I do think that experts exist, but in our lifetime AI or SAI will truly become the new experts especially if SAI is free, mobile, and free to program itself - for it would have consciousness, that is if multiple realizability is true.

we also have to remember we are heading to a posthuman future. BUT will the people who want to be “upgraded” have the opportunity to be? Will we make it ubiquitous (for example to anyone in Bangladesh, the poorest of the poor who want it?)

do we need to be posthuman in order for positive political theories to work?

Is the world ready for radical bottom up / horizontal democracy?

Surely in a posthuman world we would, right?

I think IQ measures little more than the ability to do well in IQ tests. I know people with extremely high IQ who have achieved nothing, and people with moderate IQ who have done very well.

To clarify, I do consider myself a transhumanist and I’m not simply saying transhumanism = eugenics = Nazis. The connections between the three are far from spurious; they are direct and personal as well as ideological. While not all classical eugenicists supported the Third Reich, notable ones like Harry Laughlin did. German Nazis unambiguously looked to U.S. eugenics as guide for remarking society. Through the Pioneer Fund,, we have an unbroken line between Laughlin and company and current racial IQ researchers such as Charles Murray and Jason Richwine. The eugenicist-Nazi-Pioneer Fund association has overwhelming evidence behend it.

However, even that does not make eugenics the same thing as Nazism; eugenics at its height attracted adherents from countless political persuasions. It would be spurious to describe everyone who expressed sympathy for eugenics as Nazis. That’s not what I’m doing here. Transhumanism enters because of both similarities in vision - rationally improving the species - and through the currency Pioneer Fund scholars hold in the FAI scene. I’m far from the first to identify this connection - Dale Carrico and David Correia come to mind - though my colleagues in the humanities tend to dismiss transhumanism because it. I don’t take that route, though I understand it. Thus, as far as Carrico’s concerned, I’m Robot Cultist.

My criticism of Richwine and IQ does not amount to an argument that IQ is meaningless or that research into IQ should cease. I’ve minimumal interest in IQ myself, but I have little objection to carefully qualified IQ studies. Calling Richwine’s dissertation “research into brain functionality” - as you do, Hank - draws dubious battle lines between real science and politically motivated critiques. I rejection any rigid distinction between science and politics, but even if you to draw such lines, I recommend against taking Richwine under your wing. Eir dissertation doesn’t tell us anything about how intelligence or the brain works; it draws on Pioneer Fund scholarship and utilizes psychometric data to promote immigration restrictions based on IQ tests. If you like the racial-political project, okay, but please don’t feel compelled to defend Richwine because ey claims science and you like science too.

My main is point that our context of living in a white-supremacist settler-colonial society matters and should guide our politics. History, published analyses, statistics, and daily personal experience form the basis for my characterization of modern society as white-supremacist and settler-colonial. I don’t have enough time to go into this in the detail it deserves; anyone who questions this should review the ample literature. I recommend the Zeus Leonardo essay linked in my article. Anyway, within this context, I believe transhuman needs to vehemently oppose white supremacy and colonialism wherever they appear. Oppressive knowledge production like Richwine’s causes immediate harm to people I know and love. Appeals to science cannot justify these baleful political effects. It’s a question about what kind of world each of us want to live in. Discourses matter; the idea that innate inferiority explains social inequality has caused and continues to cause profound suffering. That the history and present of white supremacy and colonialism affects our actions is damn good thing and the appropriate ethical response, not an example of politics diluted the purity of academic investigation.

questions on IQ tests aren’t that different than questions on any other test - like the PISA test or the STAR test etc. There are also a variety of IQ tests, and “IQ” tests that test various types of math, spatial, logic or language skills. If humanity doesn’t like the IQ test it can develop another test that determines problem-solving better.

If you go to PubMed where research is archived, you will find IQ used as a metric to determine whether or not brain damage or brain gain (neurogenesis) has resulted via some trauma or beneficial advantage. It is used as a measurement, just like inches or centigrams, etc.

I think IQ has been demonized and politicized, which is rather silly. I agree with Guilio—I don’t think it is an accurate indicator of success. But to throw out IQ entirely as a measurement of anything valuable, is just an hysterical over-reaction.

I have written an article on this site called “Six Brain Damage Scourges that Cripple IQ in Sub-Saharan Africa” that tries to deal with this overly-sensitive topic in a rational manner.

The Quantified Self crowd uses IQ as a measurement of brain function - two examples are Gwern and David Asprey. Assessing the validity of nootropics or the Dual n-Back test is dependent on a measurement, and IQ is used there. I personally consider biohackers and Quantified Selfers as the important “doers” of transhumanism, since they are actively seeking methods of self-enhancement.

Kris - I agree with you that Direct Democracy - is a great bottom-up way to gan egalitarianism.

Summerspeaker - I don’t find the “white supremacist colonialist” rhetoric that you use at all useful, and in the IQ sphere - it’s not even accurate. East Asian nations score highest in IQ - South Korea is #1 and they are neither white nor colonialists.

Instead of flinging about disparaging terms to defend people of color, it would be better to do something helpful. My personal experience with transhumanists is that they aren’t very generous - I conducted a cell phone drive for Africans at IEET and what did I get?  About 50 phones from close family members, about 35 from a Mormon, and ZERO from transhumanists.

To all, please watch any personal attacks you decide to post, this is a public forum.

BTW: I wonder how many transhumanists / posthumanists are even out there? I think many people enjoy seeing radical new technology and scientific findings, but don’t label themselves trans/post humanists….

I don’t know why this subject gets me so worked up. Other than the fact that I feel defensive because I wrote about 10 articles that express an opposite point of view.

Hank, if you don’t find any utility in focusing on white supremacy and colonialism as key discourses and dynamics of modernity, we may have too different conceptual and political frameworks to have worthwhile conversation/argument. The specifics of the IQ racial/ethnic hierarchy complicate but do not negate the white supremacy involved. Based on Pioneer Fund research, high average East Asian and Ashkenazi Jewish IQ has proven compatible with strains of social-Darwinist white supremacy. (It’s critical to note that white supremacy as used by scholars in my field and various revolutionaries means much more than the KKK or even the Pioneer Fund.) I don’t know about generosity, but I’m all about some wealth redistribution.

If anyone feels that I am editing comments too much, or being too rigid please let me know - .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

I think people who cite bell curves of certain racial (or ethnic) groups are missing a very important point: even if you concede the statistical point that there are significant differences in “IQ” (whatever that means, as there are at least several categories of intelligence such as emotional or social), there are still many members of each group that fall higher on a given gradient than the average of other groups.  Over-generalization is a low IQ trait, so it is with some irony that those who push to discriminate based upon a so-called objective standard of IQ are utilizing a faulty heuristic that is frankly stupid.

I don’t think IQ is a good measure of human worth or even intellect. However, I think it’s wise to ask scientist to refine their positions on exactly what the data is measuring as opposed to ignoring it and vilifying well intentioned researchers.

Also, I think it’s unfair to call a focus on IQ ‘white supremacist’ since IQ’s are high throughout Eurasia and even tend to be higher in some non-Caucasian communities. I think IQ is perhapse best conceived of as a tool for measuring the probability of success in Eurasian culture along certain dimensions.

I believe all people should have dignity and opportunities not just those who are especially compatible with one popular way of being.

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