why does difference = war? (was Re: disparaging Gould)

Tim Bates (tbates@karri.bhs.mq.edu.au)
Sat, 30 Jan 1999 20:15:22 +1100

Spike said

>there is a logical error called the argument of irrelevance (if i remember
>my college logic class correctly) wherein one argues that concept
>x cannot be true because the consequences of x are unacceptable.

Yes, that is common in this area: don't ask and don't tell.

>looks to me like [1. iq is a real quantity, and 2. it is inheritable
>lead to not only racism, but in fact could eventually lead to
>race war, which is truly bad, however, the two concepts seem correct
>to me. thoughts? spike

This interests me a lot.

Why does knowing that IQ is "real" (read: "general ability is a valid construct) and that it is heritable ( read: heritability is greater than zero in any known environment) lead to racism and even race war?

JP Rushton argues that there will be a race war, pointing to such figures as mean IQs in some black African nations of 75. But i just don't get why any of this "leads" to either racism or race wars.

I, like most scientists in the area believe that there is a general ability factor and that a substantial part of individual differences on this factor are at present (though not, i believe in the future) due to differences in genes. However, I am not at all racist nor would I ever support anything remotely resembling a war based on race.

SO then, why do most people seem to make this connection?

My only conclusion is that these individuals would steal other peoples goods if they could and that low IQ makes theft without punishment more likely.

Historically, it seems that most wars occur in the opposite circumstances: very similar peoples fighting for niche possession (England/France and Germany, the north and south in the USA (how much more similar can you get?) -- and that was the bloodiest conflict America has experienced in all its history, up to and including the modern day.

Other peoples thoughts welcome, but I think that understanding how our minds and brains work, even if those answers involve genes DECREASES racism.

My prime exhibit would be decrease homophobia in the 20th century following both large social trends in tolerance, but also scientific advances in understanding these differences between us.