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03:46 PM on 05/01/2010
She most certainly did not say "Blacks Are Dumber Than Whites". What she said was, as you quote, "I absolutely do not rule out the possibility that African Americans are, on average, genetically predisposed to be less intelligent." The whole tone of her e-mail was like that, i.e. scientific and inquisitive. Why would you choose to mislead your readers about what she said? This reflects very poorly on you, Dr. Farley.
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Dr. Jonathan David Farley
mathematician
06:08 PM on 05/01/2010
You're right. She actually meant to say, "Whites are dumber than blacks."
09:03 AM on 05/02/2010
Doesn't her email also say that she could be convinced that blacks are as smart as whites?

"I absolutely do not rule out the possibility that African Americans are, on average, genetically predisposed to be less intelligent. I could also obviously be convinced that by controlling for the right variables, we would see that they are, in fact, as intelligent as white people under the same circumstances."
09:35 PM on 05/02/2010
You are a mathematician. You should know the difference between asserting a theorem and allowing the possibility that a conjecture is true.
06:46 PM on 05/01/2010
Real simple. Africans taken to America. Learning to read was punishable by death. End of slavery millions of Blacks wondering looking for lost ones. Education system set in place for these freed blacks was substandard if there even was one. Blacks must make a key decision on letting their children get a n education or support their families. Blacks move to urban cities in America. Forced to settle in pre determined lower impoverished neighborhoods with substandard education. Substandard education leads to students receiving lower paying jobs. Lower paying jobs ensures that they will settle in lower imcome impoverished neighborhoods. Lets add drugs that ensures anyone caught with crack cocain receives a mandatory 10 years. In essence directly splitting the family. Addiction is treated as a crime and not social health issue and addicts are not able to take care of their children. Those children grow up to have children during their pubescent years. Being forced to depend on a government assisted program that open rejects a two person house hold further letting black men off of the hook to be fathers to educate their children. This study isnt telling black or white america (maybe) anything we didnt already know. What I want to know is was she planning on doing anything to break this cycle or was she just gloating the fact that she is happy to be part of the oppressive race of this land?
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09:09 PM on 05/01/2010
Masterful summary.
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einhverfr
Heathen Distributist
06:15 PM on 05/05/2010
Good summary. I'd add that Billy Murphy has pointed out that drugs have already been effectively decriminalized in the US for white folk. I personally think he has a strong point.

Also Dr Farley may not like Cato's stance on free speech (they are pretty libertarian) but everyone (black or white) should watch this:
http://www.cato.org/events/100212screening.html

We shouldn't underestimate the racism that's still present in the USA. However, against any abuse of power every citizen can and should prepare themselves.
10:38 PM on 04/30/2010
The saddest thing about this article, in my opinion, is the lack of response from other Black people. I know more than 3 people have read this blog and have many thoughts on the validity of the student's and the agreeing professors claims that Black people are somehow genetically predisposed to being less intelligent. Why aren't we hearing from these people Doc? It hurts me to even think about your mention of cowardice among African Americans today when confronted with an issue of bigotry. It hurts because it's true; as if they don't want to 'open that can of worms'. Well guess what? It's already open and oozing out onto the sidewalks and getting on your shoes!

It seems to be acceptable of late to make racially incendiary comments about Black people, only to be followed by a half-hearted if any response. I rationalize it by saying that we want there to really be a "post-racial" America but for now, it's still out of reach.

Should the student be expelled? Well if this article has taught anything, it's that they need to stay in school a bit longer.. travel a bit... see the world beyond their sprawling back over looking the tennis courts.
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B Cryer
06:24 AM on 05/01/2010
I agree. If it involved a rapper, there would be a riot.
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GAYF
Would love to interact more; I do not have time.
02:20 PM on 04/30/2010
Indeed, I so tire of the ignorance of the most elemental science, history and experience that I would like to never see/hear/read such drivel again. To Stephanie Grace and fellows with closed-narrow- reptilian brain stem thinking:
#1. Throughout human existence there have been rises and declines of civilizations. Every geographic area has been, and continues to be, part of this evolutionary cycling process. European dominance is minuscule in the totality. #2. There are four blood types on the planet; they exist everywhere. Pick yours. #4. There is one "race," e.g. species, the human race. If that were not so everyone would be--given the intercourse everywhere across the planet--hybrids, like mules, unable to reproduce. inbreeding can produce defective offspring due to the dominance of formerly recessive genes. #5. Individuals vary from one end of the continuum to the other within any designated group/population, so-called "race" ethnicity, etc." to a far greater extent than across so-called "racial" divisions. Why don't idiots learn and mature? This balderdash is a waste of energy--and evidence that anyone who utters such garbage crosses all self-designated demarcations. Separatists-Segregationists-Fearful little people.
09:25 PM on 04/30/2010
Fanned!
11:46 AM on 05/04/2010
Yes, thank you. I agree. And maybe the reason that African-Americans in particular respond, or may respond only half-heartedly is that they are just sick to death of this topic of discussion! I mean, it's been going on for decades and decades, and how many times do you say, "The absence of yeast is what makes some breads unleavened," before it just gets too ridiculous, nonsensical and tiring to repeat. There's an interesting quote from Dr. Height, who just died recently: "Prejudice doesn't cause segregation. Segregation causes prejudice." There are things perhaps that can only be profoundly known and understood by experience. I'm very fortunate to have grown up in a multi-ethnic neighborhood and region of the country so my inter-relationships from basically infancy onward taught me that individuals are individuals and that stereotypes are basically silly (if not fatal, I mean) ignorance. I'm very disappointed, though, that we are not as a nation and a world at this time in our development beyond all this useless, really, bigotry and bickering when there are so many other truly significant activities that need engagement and participants. We're wasting our lives and our world on trivia, what we should know by now to be trivia. Anyway, blessings....
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einhverfr
Heathen Distributist
07:46 PM on 05/04/2010
It may be tiresome but I actually think it's an important topic. We know there's a test score gap but we don't know what it means or what is causing it. Yet this question is of tremendous social importance because it critically addresses our educational system and some elements of society as a whole. Some folks are afraid to look at the gap because they are afraid that the science will justify further oppression. Personally I see reason for hope, that what we find by looking at it closely and studying it may result in a more fair educational system with more opportunities for disadvantaged groups.

We can't discuss this though without getting into "what does the gap mean?" Unfortunately this leads to....
12:57 PM on 04/30/2010
I'm really confused, Doc. In Roland Fryer's abstract, he says that there are statistically insignificant differences in the races when children 12 -18 months are tested with age appropriate intelligence tests, but differences begin to manifest themselves as they grow older and presumably more suspectible to enviromental factors. Kinda supports the point you're making here, doesn't it?
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Dr. Jonathan David Farley
mathematician
01:18 PM on 04/30/2010
I quote from pages 25 and 26 of Fryer's paper (pages 26 and 27 of the PDF file), where he explicitly states that he has not ruled out genetic differences in intelligence between blacks and whites. This sounds to me like what the Harvard law student was saying.
03:30 PM on 05/01/2010
Dr. Farley, I really disagree with your treatment of Fryer and Levitt.

I'm a black graduate student at Georgetown, and I think Stephanie Grace is obviously a despicable person.

But I think we as black people fall into a trap when we attempt to defend against the "But you can't prove that there are no differences in intelligence!" argument white people love to scream during these things.

I mean, I can't prove that fairies don't exist but I'm not going to entertain the thought for very long.

I think what Dr. Fryer and Levitt are trying to do is to confront the racial superiority argument head on, and when you do that in an academic setting you have to be as honest as possible and state over and over that your research *does not and can not prove that the fairies don't exist!* But at the end of the day, their paper shows that the superiority argument is extremely weak, which I think provides a great benefit to this horrible but necessary discussion.

It's a little bit like writing an anti-incest paper. You're bound to find "I can't prove incest isn't good" in there somewhere, but that doesn't mean the author supports incest.

So I think we as black people need to approach this argument strategically. We need to be laughing and shaming people like Stephanie out the room as essentially flat-Earth deniers instead of attacking the people who happen to prove the Earth is round.
10:53 PM on 05/01/2010
Cute article. Still, most people, black or other, don't pay attention to any of this. I'd be nice if they were aware because Think Tank "manufactured" statistics about the intellectual inferiority of blacks are scientifically unjustified and morally wrong no matter who says it. Roland Fryer's statements are no surprise and he should be called out. Most people haven't caught on to him yet. Fryer is simply the latest black opportunist to hit the "market." Fryer is learning well what another Harvard Professor, Henry Louis Gates, already knows - there is a lot of money to be made when you are willing to bash black people.
03:50 PM on 05/04/2010
We are referencing IQ tests as if they are measuring spoons -- one teaspoon, one tablespoon -- and cups -- 1/4 cup, 1/2 cup, one cup. A quantity that is distinctly and discretely measurable. That is not the case. There is a great deal of controversy historically about intelligence tests, including what exactly they are measuring. The only agreed-upon consensus is that the tests are measuring ability to succeed in school, as school exists -- meaning as it is and has been reflective of the dominant culture, which has been Gentile and male, and its distortion of facts and data to undergird the "affirmative action plan" that's been in place for centuries for that grouping in terms of employment, housing, and governance. In fact now, that group is in the minority. There are more females and ethnicities as a group in number than there are numbers of Gentile males now in the United States of America. And that may be part of the hysteria we are witnessing here and there. They have become a minority in what they call "their country." Meanwhile, we don't even agree on the complete definition of "intelligence" as a concept. Does it include musical facility? Is it tactile? Does it include conscious awareness and descriptive memory of one's environment? Etcetera.
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einhverfr
Heathen Distributist
07:28 PM on 05/04/2010
I think there's an ugly premise behind both sides in this debate. On the pro-Grace side, there's an urge to try to investigate the issue on the basis that it might support an argument that whites are "more intelligent" (whatever that means) than blacks. Even accepting a genetic component to the IQ gap, I am unwilling to accept that premise.

But on the anti-Grace side, there's also an argument that you can't look at these things because they'll justify discrimination and that we should tar and feather anyone who brings the issue up.

But your post has hit the nail on the head. We can't even agree on what "more intelligent" means much less how to measure it. IMO, that's the point where Ms Grace deserves heavy criticism. Maybe such targetted criticism might even change her mind :-)