Liberal Creationism, or: Yippee, It’s Bell-Curve Time Again!

mistersloane

heavy heavy monster sound
I did actually revisit the Bell Curve discussion earlier this month, thanks to this old interview with Charles Murray (such great enunciation!). .
Ain't that the truth. I got as far as 'Tonight Charles Murray talks about the Bell Curve, intelligenT AND ( my emphasis ) class structure in American Life' and I clicked off.
 

Gavin

booty bass intellectual
When the Irish became white did their IQ go up? What about Italians? Or did they drag the White Race down?
 

mixed_biscuits

_________________________
Part 3: All God’s Children

If we set aside Murray’s overstated case and look solely at the science, why do you all think the results are skewed one way or the other?
I doubt that anyone on here is qualified to talk sensibly about this issue until they can handle the stats, have actually read Murray's book rather than read about it and have also done a thorough literature review.

I've done the second (a while ago, tho') but definitely fall short on the first and third counts.

The Slate article is a bit of a dog's dinner, tbh.

Regarding Murray's book: as far as I remember, the main sociological point that was made was that society is failing its not-so-smart citizens while the 'cognitive elite' live it up.

As far as wealth and IQ goes, high IQ helps ppl create wealth (cultural, economic) in the first place and allows them to sustain it.
 
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shudder

New member
why does *anyone* still believe that it makes sense to talk about IQ as if it actually measured something real??? Why should/would/could there be a unary measure of "general intelligence"? Has anyone read Gould's Mismeasure of Man? Essential on the story of scientific racism from the 19th century to the mid-20th century.
 
I doubt that anyone on here is qualified to talk sensibly about this issue until they can handle the stats, have actually read Murray's book rather than read about it and have also done a thorough literature review.
What an appallingly ignorant claim to make. I suppose nobody is 'qualified' to talk or question racist eugenics or the Nazi eugenics programme either unless "they can handle the stats", have actually studied all the relevant racist texts and "have also done a thorough literature review".

There is no science whatsoever in any of this, it is entirely based on a racialized pathologization of the human population rationalized via an elaborate distortion of data and twisted notions of 'general intelligence', a perverse, fascistic pseudo-science (or 'scientism' as Popper called it in The Poverty of Historicism). And its not at all surprising that these obscene, fascist notions should be gaining popularity once again in response to a rapidly globalising, predatory capitalism.

Intellectual brown shirts - Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, authors of 'The Bell Curve' - by Adolph Reed, Jr.

In The New York Times Magazine, Charles Murray recently tried to defend himself against charges that he doesn't like women by jovially recalling his romps as a consumer in the Thai sex trade during his old Peace Corps days. In the profile, part of the media blitz accompanying publication of his book, The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, Murray recoiled elaborately from characterizing his partners as prostitutes. (He prefers "courtesans" or "ladies of the evening," perhaps seeking to preserve to the end his illusion that he was not simply buying the sexual services of women who provided them because they were exploited, oppressed, and quite likely enslaved.)

It is certainly understandable that Murray - who, despite a Harvard/MIT pedigree, basically knocked around doing nothing special until the threshold of middle age, when in an epiphany he discovered the novel truth that people with power and privilege really are superior and that everyone else is defective - would avoid the "p" word. You know, like Dracula and mirrors.

The Bell Curve is a vile, disingenuously vicious book by two truly odious men, Murray and Richard Herrnstein, the Harvard psychologist known outside the academy - like his Berkeley counterpart, Arthur Jensen - for a more than twenty-year crusade to justify all existing inequality by attributing it to innate differences in intelligence. Murray's epiphany led to Losing Ground, in which he argued that the source of poverty among black Americans in particular, the so-called urban underclass, is the attempt to alleviate poverty through social provision. The welfare system, he argued, provides perverse incentives that encourage indolence, wanton sexual reproduction, and general profligacy.

Appropriately for a book bearing a 1984 publication date, Losing Ground proposed that the best way to help the poor, therefore, is simply to eliminate all social support. A regimen on the good old-fashioned model of root, hog, or die would shape up that lazy human dreck on pain of extermination. This argument made him the Reagan Administration's favorite social scientist and pushed him into a seat on the standing committee of the politburo of the social policy industry.

Imagine the celebrity of Thomas Malthus (maybe even an American Express commercial or a Nike endorsement?) if he could come back into a world with computers that do multiple regression analysis.

As their title implies, Murray and Herrnstein contend that the key to explaining all inequality and all social problems in the United States is stratification by a unitary entity called intelligence, or "cognitive ability" - as measured, of course, by "IQ." This claim has resurfaced repeatedly over the last seventy-five years only to be refuted each time as unfounded class, race, and gender prejudice. (See, for instance, Stephen Jay Gould's The Mismeasure of Man.) Yet The Bell Curve advances it with the same deluge of statistical and logical sophistries that has driven its predecessors.

Murray and Herrnstein reject a substantial body of scholarship discrediting the idea that there is some single thing identifiable as "intelligence" that can be measured and assigned numerical rank. Instead, they see rigid IQ stratification operating through every sphere of social life.

But The Bell Curve adds two new wrinkles. First is the claim that IQ stratification is becoming ever more intense and central in a supposedly postindustrial world that requires and rewards cognitive ability over all else. Second, they shy away from expressing the strength of their eugenic convictions, the memory of the Nazi death camps having not yet faded. Instead of direct endorsement of extermination, mass sterilization, and selective breeding, which nonetheless implicitly shadow the book, Murray and Herrnstein propose a world in which people will be slotted into places that fit their cognitive ability.

The effect will be to end resentment from and against those who seek more than their just deserts. Of course, we'll have to have controls to make sure that dullards do what is best for them and don't get out of line. But that price is necessary to avoid continuing the social breakdown that will eventually force the cognitive elite, increasingly merged with the intellectually ordinary petite bourgeoisie, to mobilize in self-defense and use its superior intelligence to establish itself as an oligarchic caste. We may, that is, have to destroy democracy to save it.

The Bell Curve is - beneath the mind-numbing barrage of numbers - really just a compendium of reactionary prejudices. Despite their insistence that it is not so reducible, the authors frequently infer "cognitive ability" from education or simply class position. For example, corporate CEOs must have high IQs, the authors decide, for how else could they have risen to lead large complex organizations?

IQ shapes far-sightedness, moral sense, the decisions not to get pregnant, to be employed, not to be a female head of household, to marry and to remain married to one's first spouse (presumably the divorced and remarried Murray has an exemption from this criterion), to nurture and attend to one's offspring, etc.​

Continued in next post.
 
Simply being stopped but not charged by the police becomes evidence of an IQ-graded tendency to criminality. (White men who never have been stopped have an average IQ of 106; those who have been schlep along at 103.) Instructively, they restrict their analysis of white criminality to a male sample and parenting to a female sample. "Parents"=mothers. And while they examine abuse and neglect of children among this female sample, spousal abuse is mentioned nowhere in the book, much less considered a discrete form of male criminality.

The analysis of supposed white variation in IQ, though, is ultimately a front to fend off charges of racism. What really drives this book, and reflects the diabolical power of the Murray/Herrnstein combination, is its claim to demonstrate black intellectual inferiority. They use IQ to support a "twofer": opposition to affirmative action, which only over-places incompetent blacks, and contention that black poverty derives from the existence of an innately inferior black underclass. (They actually waffle on their key claim, that IQ is inherited and fixed by nature, but, having granted in passing that it may not be, they go on to treat it as immutable.)

As has been conventional to a stream of racism claiming scientific justification since Thomas Jefferson, Murray and Herrnstein feign a posture of neutral, if not pained, messengers delivering the indisputable facts. Since the book's publication, Murray has insisted that he and Herrnstein in no way want to be associated with racism, that the book is not even about race, which is the topic of only one of the book's twenty-two chapters. Beneath his distinctively sibilant piety, here, as elsewhere, Murray is a liar.

In addition to the infamous Chapter Thirteen, "Ethnic Differences in Cognitive Ability," three others center on arguments about black (and, to varying degrees, Latino) inferiority. The very next chapter, "Ethnic Inequalities in Relation to IQ," is a direct attempt to explain existing racial stratification along socioeconomic lines as the reflection of differences in group intelligence. The other two chapters in Part III seek to pull together claims about racial differences in intelligence and behavior. Those four chapters set the stage for the book's only two explicitly policy-driven chapters, "Affirmative Action in Higher Education" and "Affirmative Action in the Workplace," both of which are about initiatives directed toward blacks and slide into stoking white populist racism with hypothetical cases of poor or working class whites shunted aside in favor of under-qualified, well-off blacks.

Murray's protests suggest something about his views of race, however. The Bell Curve makes a big deal of restricting the eight chapters of Part II to discussion of whites alone. Whites, presumably, are also a "race," as much as blacks, Latinos, and Asians are. Therefore, well over half the book is organized consciously around race as a unit of analysis. Moreover, the theme of racially skewed intelligence runs through the entire book. And how could it be otherwise in a book whose point is that the society is and must be stratified by intelligence, which is distributed unequally among individuals and racial groups and cannot be changed in either.

Despite their attempts to insulate themselves from the appearance of racism, Herrnstein and Murray display a perspective worthy of an Alabama filling station. After acknowledging that genetic variations among individuals in a given race are greater than those among races, they persist in maintaining that racially defined populations must differ genetically in significant ways, otherwise they wouldn't have different skin color or hair texture.

Most tellingly, however, they attempt explicitly to legitimize the work of J. Philippe Rushton, the Canadian psychologist who resuscitates classic Nineteenth Century scientific racism in its most literal trappings - measuring cranial capacities, brain weights, and penis sizes to argue for racially separate rates and patterns of evolution. They announce self-righteously that "Rushton's work is not that of a crackpot or a bigot, as many of his critics are given to charging." This about a man who attempts racial rankings on "Criteria for Civilization" (only "Caucasoids," naturally enough, have met all the twenty-one criteria on his checklist) and "Personality and Temperament Traits," in addition to erect penis size (by length and circumference, no less) and who computes an "Interbreeding Depression Score" to help clarify his statistical findings!

The Rushton connection reflects a particularly revealing and sinister aspect of the Herrnstein/Murray collaboration. It is embedded in the intellectual apparatus of the cryptofascist right. The central authorities on whom they rely for their claims about IQ, race, and heredity are nearly all associated with the Pioneer Fund, an ultrarightist foundation that boasts of having been almost entirely responsible for funding IQ and race and heredity research in the United States in the last twenty years, and much of it worldwide. (Rushton, along with almost everyone else who writes jacket blurbs for his book, is a major recipient of Pioneer grants.)

The Fund is also deeply implicated in the movement to restrict immigration (see Ruth Conniff, "The War on Aliens" in the October 1993 issue of The Progressive) and has helped bankroll California's nativist Proposition 187. Wealthy American eugenicist racists created the Fund in the 1930s, as Stefan Kuhl recounts in The Nazi Connection: Eugenics, American Racism, and German National Socialism, to "'improve the character of the American people' by encouraging the procreation of descendants of `white persons who settled the original thirteen colonies prior to the adoption of the constitution.'"

Professor Barry Sautman of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology notes that this international network of racist scholars, quite like Herrnstein and Murray, recently has converged around tentative claims that Asians, especially Northeast Asians, rank above whites on the scale of competence. The researchers hold up this thesis, which is gaining adherents among Asian reactionaries, as a way of deflecting charges of racism.

What makes this international vipers' nest so dangerous is that many of its members have maintained academic respectability. Rushton, for instance, as recently as 1988 won a Guggenheim Fellowship. Others routinely do contract research for the U.S. military. Most hold respectable university appointments. I can't account for the others' legitimacy because their academic precincts are far enough away from mine that I don't have a sense for the protocols that govern them or what other kinds of scholarship they may do.

But Murray is a different matter. He has been an intellectual Brown Shirt since he first slithered into public life. He has neither changed nor done anything else that might redeem his reputation as a scholar. We can trace his legitimacy to the spineless opportunism and racial and ideological bad faith of the liberals in the social-policy establishment. They have never denounced him. Instead, across the board they have acquiesced in his desire to be seen as a serious and careful, albeit conservative, scholar. They appear on panels with him and engage him as a fellow worker in the vineyard of truth. They have allowed him to set the terms of debate over social welfare and bend over backward not to attack him sharply. Take a look, for instance at the first chapter of William Julius Wilson's catechism of liberal underclass ideology, The Truly Disadvantaged, and compare the way that Wilson treats liberal and left critics of the culture of poverty notion and the way he treats Murray.

Indeed, their response to The Bell Curve should give us important insight into just how bankrupt the new technicians of dispossession are. There's not much reason for optimism on this score. This past July, Daniel Patrick Moynihan announced at his Senate Finance Committee hearing on welfare reform that we could be witnessing the processes of "speciation" at work among the inner-city poor. And he did so with the assent of Secretary of Health and Human Services, Donna Shalala, and her two world-class liberal poverty-researcher under secretaries, Mary Jo Bane and David Ellwood (the originator of the "two years and off" policy who, incidentally, shows up in The Bell Curve's acknowledgements). Just how different is that from Rushton or the Aryan Nation or the old White Citizens Council?
Adolph Reed Jr. teaches political science at Northwestern University and serves on the boards of the Public Citizen Foundation and the Chicago-based Coalition for New Priorities. His column appears in this space every other month.
 
What an appallingly ignorant claim to make. I suppose nobody is 'qualified' to talk or question racist eugenics or the Nazi eugenics programme either unless "they can handle the stats", have actually studied all the relevant racist texts and "have also done a thorough literature review".
Your statement is wilfully disingenuous. Mixed Biscuits was merely seeking well-informed
dissection of researched facts.

You got your opinions off Adolph Reed Jr.'s chest forcefully enough, but without recourse to anything but slurs and nebulous diatribes. I am far from willing to admit that one's character and motives (in this case Murray's) guarantee the corruption of one's methods and findings. If there is racist bias in Murray's work, illuminate his work and hence his leanings rather than the other way round. I must say that Reed's wild language

since he first slithered into public life
and hints of pre-determined conclusions

only "Caucasoids," naturally enough, have met all the twenty-one criteria on his checklist
damages its validity as sober scientific argumentation and leaves him open to charges of hypocrisy.



It is intriguing to know if there are differences between the races of mankind. Not everything in this world stems from or incites prejudice. Stupid people are less intelligent than intelligent people, racists will always be racists, and the open-minded will never be turned by dots on a graph.
 

vimothy

yurp
It is intriguing to know if there are differences between the races of mankind. Not everything in this world stems from or incites prejudice. Stupid people are less intelligent than intelligent people, racists will always be racists, and the open-minded will never be turned by dots on a graph.
I've not read it (though I am enjoying the series of articles in Slate), but does The Bell Curve even suggest that the differences are genetic?

From wikipedia:

The authors were reported throughout the popular press as arguing that these IQ differences are genetic, although they state no position on the issue in the book, and write in the introduction to Chapter 13 that "The debate about whether and how much genes and environment have to do with ethnic differences remains unresolved."
 
Your statement is wilfully disingenuous. Mixed Biscuits was merely seeking well-informed dissection of researched facts.
No it isn't, on the contrary: if you cannot recognise out-and-out racism posing as 'scientific research', then no amount of 'well-informed dissection of researched facts' will persuade you.



It is intriguing to know if there are differences between the races of mankind.
What 'races of mankind'? There is no such thing as 'race', except of course for racists. As for Reed's "slurs and nebulous diatribes", as you disingenuously term them, it is the sick 'research' he is criticising that should be so described. His anger is to be defended. Murray is a sick fuck in need of counselling, not a 'scientist', unless you wish to describe the Nazi scientists as having been 'scientific.'

Some other 'well-informed' criticisms for those who don't even understand the concept of racism:

BOOK REVIEW: The Bell Curve Cracks

Inequality by Design-Cracking the Bell Curve Myth, by Claude S. Fischer, Michael Hout, Martin Sanchez Jankowski, Samuel R. Lucas, Ann Swidler, and Kim Voss. Princeton University Press, 1996. 318 pages.

Reviewed by Brian Siano

A mountain peak, and its darker silhouette displaced by 'one standard deviation,' is the image from The Bell Curve that persists in memory. It's the purported shape of the distribution of IQ scores classified by race, derived from the scores of 11,878 people taking the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT), and it appears in TBC's notorious "Ethnic Differences in Cognitive Ability" chapter. (It also appeared in the New Republic's cover story on the book, as well as in the pages of Skeptic,) One could easily imagine the shapes rising into view as Microsoft Excel or SAS scattered the points on the computer screen, like a lost Aztec city shining through a false color enhancement of satellite data. The symmetry of the slopes, of course, spoke for a natural evenness of distribution- the classic "bell curve" one sees for height, life expectancy, shooting craps, and other natural processes. The conclusion: an underlying pattern has been revealed through the ruthless application of statistics.

On page 32 of Inequality by Design, the authors provide a re-casting of the same magic runes. As before, the whites-only Matterhorn of Herrnstein and Murray is present. But beside it is a grey lump, slouching towards the high ends of the scale in defiance of the demanded symmetry. This insubordinate lump is the original distribution of scores on the AFQT.

Looking further in The Bell Curve for an explanation, one finds that answers are somewhat elusive. Herrnstein and Murray could have used centile scores-placing people in the 99th percentile of scores, the 98th percentile, etc. This would have been a lot simpler. In Appendix 2, they state they "we knew from collateral data" that the important IQ stuff "occurs at the tails of the distribution," and "using centiles throws away the tails." In short: the original scores are not a bell curve; but IQ scores must follow a bell curve; all the action in our project happens at the tail ends of a bell curve; therefore, we must derive a bell curve with distinct tails from the unruly data. If you're one of those people who feel that data should shape the theory, this may seem somewhat less than valid. Toss in the fact that intelligence tests are frequently designed to provide bell-curve distributions of scores, and we notice a kind of circular reasoning implicit in the psychometric model used by Herrnstein and Murray. Reshaping the lump into the mountain was, in the words of Inequality by Design, the result of "a good deal of statistical mashing and stretching," demanded by the assumption "that intelligence must be distributed in a bell curve."

The authors take Herrnstein and Murray to task for presenting the AFQT as an intelligence test. This isn't the case: the AFQT was designed to predict performance in the armed forces (no wisecracks, class), and it functions best as a test of the level of schooling the subject has received. The math sections, which make the greatest differences in the final scores, require having had exposure to high school algebra. The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, which administered the AFQT to its thousands of subjects, measured schooling at a very crude level (number of years and whether the subject was in an academic track), but these two factors correlated well with AFQT scores. Other studies, using the same data, argue that Herrnstein and Murray drastically underestimated the influence of schooling.

(In one passage, the authors argue that if we keep education level constant, age correlates negatively with AFQT score. In other words, older respondents with 12 years of education score lower than younger respondent with the same level. If AFQT measures education level, then this difference is explained by the fact that the older respondents had been out of school longer, and had forgotten some of their education. But if we accept the psychometric claim that the test measures innate ability, then we'd have to believe that people start getting stupider around their midteens.)

What can we say about Herrnstein and Murray's "cognitive elite," that upper 5%? They were people who had had schooling beyond the high school level, disproportionately male (thanks to the weighting in favor of math), and just plain lucky; one or two more wrong answers, and they would've dropped down into the "bright" category. As for the other end of the curve, 27 % had dropped out of school at least three years before taking the test.

The core of Herrnstein and Murray's argument is that IQ is a better predictor of life outcomes than the usual measure of socioeconomic status (SES). Contrary to the forbidden-data claims of The Bell Curve, sociologists have been working with intelligence tests and the AFQT for years. The authors of Inequality by Design "accepted Herrnstein and Murray's evidence, their measure of intelligence, and their basic methodology and then reexamined the results. By simply correcting a handful of errors, we showed that coming from a disadvantaged home was almost as important a risk factor for poverty as a low AFQT score."

Herrnstein and Murray defined SES very narrowly, as four factors: level of education, income, and parents' occupation(s). They then needlessly compiled these into a single index-thus giving them equal weight amongst each other. This is a major error, since NLSY data shows that parental income has a far greater effect than parental education on a child's life outcome.

Also, when such information was missing from the NLSY respondents, they simply assigned them the average value derived from other respondents. (This introduces error, in the case of respondents who are rich or poor, and reduces the statistical association with effect variables.) The NLSY only included four questions about parental SES, which makes it far less reliable than the 105-question AFQT-which stacks the IQ-vs-SES face-off in Herrnstein and Murray's favor.

Herrnstein and Murray also left out several factors known to have effects on a subject's life outcome. The number of siblings, for example, was not incorporated into their analysis. The adult community environment-local unemployment rate, geographic region (rural, urban, suburban)-was also overlooked. Was the subject, at age 14, living in a two-parent household? What about access to quality schools? Bringing these factors into play provides a probability-of-poverty graph that matches Herrnstein and Murray's AFQT curves. In short, the authors conclude that the subjects' "life chances depend on their social surroundings at least as much as their own intelligence... The key finding of The Bell Curve turns out to be an artifact of its method."

Inequality by Design goes on to present a far more detailed analysis of poverty. For example, despite rough parity in IQ scores, women are far more likelier than men to be poor. Using the NLSY-AFQT data, the authors state that "a young woman would have had to score forty-one points higher on the AFQT than a young man of the same age, formal schooling, and background in order for her risk of being poor to have been as low as his." [Italics in original.] Having children increases the risk of being poor. The economic effects of marriage and divorce are more dramatic for adults who grew up in low-income families. Herrnstein and Murray say nothing substantial about gender; instead, they argue that unmarried status is a result of lower intelligence. But the AFQT scores of unmarried respondents were no higher than those of marrieds....

Again, data seems to have lost primacy over theory through much of The Bell Curve. In one spectacular example, Herrnstein and Murray claim that a three-point drop in average American IQ would increase unwed motherhood and incarceration rates by about 10 % (pp. 364-368). But to explain the doubling of incarcerated men in the 1980s, the 150% increase in unwed motherhood since 1970, and the rises and dips of poverty between 1960 to 1992, we'd have to believe that average IQ varies as much as 55 points within a single generation-a claim Herrnstein and Murray explicitly rule out.​
 
When the Irish became white did their IQ go up? What about Italians? Or did they drag the White Race down?
Did you notice the other exasperatingly bizarre articles on that site [ William Saletan's Liberal Creationism] that Guybrush linked to? Especially this other one by Saletan: Jewgenics: Jewish intelligence, Jewish genes, and Jewish values.

Just convert the population of Africa to Judaism, dispatch them to Israel, and their IQs will automatically double!
 

vimothy

yurp
So black people tend to have black kids and white people tend to have white kids...why, exactly? Coincidence? Force of habit? :slanted:
Yeah, and two-legged people tend to have two-legged kids.

Obsessing over skin colour, distinguishing people primarily on the basis of skin colour, segregating them so, concocting 'tests' for purposes of proving their 'innate' inferiority to ultimately legislate for a fascist ideology ... is racism. It is formally wrong, so arguing about these loonies' 'research findings' is to implicitly accept their terms of reference, the terms of their research ie that racism is an acceptable ideology.

So now you're defending institutionalized racism. Charming ... and predictable.
 
Er, what?

Didn't you read the words "Jewish genes" in the post you just made?
This is mind-boggling in its hilarious insanity. Jewish genes? If someone is Jewish they have 'Jewish genes'; by becoming a Jew, by converting to Judaism, you, by definition, then have 'Jewish genes', being Jewish an' all ... and should you later decide to become an atheist [a 'self-hating Jew' as they are popularly dismissed and derided], why, you'll have 'atheist genes.' Isn't that amazing!
 

vimothy

yurp
This is mind-boggling in its hilarious insanity. Jewish genes? If someone is Jewish they have 'Jewish genes'; by becoming a Jew, by converting to Judaism, you, by definition, then have 'Jewish genes', being Jewish an' all ... and should you later decide to become an atheist [a 'self-hating Jew' as they are popularly dismissed and derided], why, you'll have 'atheist genes.' Isn't that amazing!
It's not really that hard to understand:

Jewish genes = member of a group with common ancestors called "Jews"

Judaism = Abrahamic religion historically practiced by Jews

So simply converting to Judaism will do nothing for your genes, obviously.

Obsessing over skin colour, distinguishing people primarily on the basis of skin colour
It certainly seems as though you're the only person here obsessing over this, but let me ask you -- do you believe that differences in skin colour exist?
 
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Slothrop

Tight but Polite
Obsessing over skin colour, distinguishing people primarily on the basis of skin colour, segregating them so, concocting 'tests' for purposes of proving their 'innate' inferiority to ultimately legislate for a fascist ideology ... is racism.
What about concocting tests for purposes of proving that there is no innate correlation between skin colour and intelligence? Or rather, for purposes of finding out whether there is or not. And if there is no innate correlation, then that should be the result that it turns up. And if research suggests that there is an innate difference when there isn't, then it should be easy to pick holes in the methodology - which I thought was what had already happened with IQ tests.

You seem to be saying "of course there is no innate difference. But doing research that might prove that would be an attempt to justify racism."
 
So simply converting to Judaism will do nothing for your genes, obviously.
Which is why to speak of Jewish genes [and the implied 'genetic' superiority] is not only nonsense, but thoroughly racist.

It certainly seems as though you're the only person here obssessing over this, but let me ask you -- do you believe that differences in skin colour exist?
Leave it to Vimothy! Those who are racist don't obsess over skin colour, never, but those who expose racism obsess over skin colour!

[Differences in eye colour exist too: let's create a slave trade based on eye colour! "What a very clever idea! You must have a really high IQ!"]

Addendum:


"rac·ism (rszm) n.

1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others."

By that definition, the authors of The Bell Curve and any who subscribe to its thesis are racists. The dictionary is neutral about the empirical validity of racism, but given the huge wealth of empirical evidence that race is not a biological category, but a semiotic construct, and that environmental factors greatly contribute to social stratification, anyone who claims that "there is a good probability that this is one of these cases" is clearly a racist in the standard pejorative sense.
 
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