Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Unequal outcomes between population groups

We conclude that the preponderance of evidence demonstrates that in intelligence, brain size, and other life history traits, East Asians average higher than do Europeans who average higher do South Asians, African Americans, or sub-Saharan Africans. The group differences are between 50 and 80% heritable.

Racial group differences are now being observed on a global scale. Sub-Saharan Africans (IQ 70) lag the most, with the genetic cluster “South Asians/North Africans” (IQ = 85) becoming part of an increasing “Clash of Civilizations.” Lynn and Vanhanen [14] found that national IQ scores correlate .68 with per capita income and rate of economic development. They further document that national IQ differences explain a number of other social phenomena, such as adult literacy (.64), enrolment in tertiary education (.75), life expectancy (.77), and democratization (.57).
There is no value in denying reality. While improving opportunities and removing arbitrary barriers is a worthy ethical goal, we must realize that equal opportunity will result in equitable, though unequal outcomes. Expanding on the application of his “default hypothesis” that group differences are based on aggregated individual differences, themselves based on both genetic and environmental contributions, Jensen [59] proposed “two laws of individual differences”—(1) individual differences in learning and performance increase as task complexity increases, and (2) individual differences in performance increase with practice and experience (unless there is a low ceiling on proficiency). We must recognize that the more environmental barriers are ameliorated and everybody’s intellectual performance is improved, the greater will be the relative influence of genetic factors (because the environmental variance is being removed). This means that equal opportunity will result in unequal outcomes, within-families, between-families, and between population groups. The fact that we have learned to live with the first, and to a lesser degree the second, offers some hope we can learn to do so for the third.


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