Viewpoint: It’s time to stop ‘connecting race to intelligence’

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Image credit: Javier Zarracina/Vox

The race-and-IQ debate is back. The latest round started a few weeks ago when Harvard geneticist David Reich wrote a New York Times op-ed in defense of race as a biological fact.

I’ve watched this debate for more than a decade. It’s the same wreck, over and over. A person with a taste for puncturing taboos learns about racial gaps in IQ scores and the idea that they might be genetic. He writes or speaks about it, credulously or unreflectively. Every part of his argument is attacked: the validity of IQ, the claim that it’s substantially heritable, and the idea that races can be biologically distinguished. The offender is denounced as racist when he thinks he’s just defending science against political correctness.

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I know what it’s like to be this person because, 11 years ago, I was that person…

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Here’s my advice: You can talk about the genetics of race. You can talk about the genetics of intelligence. But stop implying they’re the same thing. Connecting intelligence to race adds nothing useful. It overextends the science you’re defending, and it engulfs the whole debate in moral flames.

…What I’m asking for is clarity. The genetics of race and the genetics of intelligence are two different fields of research.

What’s the path forward? It starts with letting go of race talk.

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Read the full, original post: Stop Talking About Race and IQ

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