Yes. The American Black population tested in the past scored a mean (average) of 85, (the average IQ is set at 100. The score of 100 falls at the 50th percentile with half of the population below and half above). The tested mean IQ in the United States is approximately 98. The white population mean is about 100. Hong Kong and Taiwanese Asians score higher near 110.
With masses of people tripping over themselves trying to be politically correct, this is not the answer many want to hear. There are several reasons suggested by some to try to explain away the differences in scores. Some of their objections are perfectly valid, others less so. Some of the differences relate to factors affecting nurturing and brain development discussed in another paragraph below, or in the literacy and language skills of the ones taking the test, or the conditions under which they take the test or even the test itself (See my blog, “Is IQ Relevant”). This schism is not a new issue and in spite of substantial educational expenditures made in an attempt to remedy the situation, only some progress has been made.
Some people plainly have more difficulty learning than do others, especially those who are substantially below average. Some may have learning disabilities but perhaps normal or even superior intelligence, and some are actually of lower intelligence. The political motivation afoot currently appears to be to promote a fiction – an overwhelming desire for us all to be the same. That way, no group can be singled out and treated differently and be made to feel inferior.
People who feel inferior often lose their self-esteem and many quit trying to succeed. Many become unemployed or unemployable. They tend not to try because they are convinced they will fail. Rather than stigmatize ANY group, the thought is to build self-esteem, and provide any remedial assistance necessary to help them become a productive and proud member of society.
Personally, I feel we need to bring vocational training BACK into high schools as it once was, because NOT every high school student should go to college. We need people with vocational training – plumbers, electricians, carpenters, workers of all types.
Our reality is that we ARE NOT equal. We are all different. We do have equal rights under the Constitution – or at least we are supposed to have them. That is the meaning of the phrase, all men (and women) are created equal. Most of us are so physically different compared to professional athletes, WHY is it so hard to accept that we can’t be mentally different as well? Why is it so hard to believe that some of us are below average? Perhaps we just don’t want to accept it.
There can be many factors leading to our differences, such as our early brain formation and development.
Children of women who breastfeed longer- as long as a year or more – seem to gain an edge. The presence of certain types of fat in the diet of infants seem to give an edge. Proper nutrition at critical times during both the formation of the child within their mother, and after birth gives an edge. A proper diet in early childhood can give an edge. Parental encouragement and nurturing can give an edge. Genetics give an edge. A lack of any of those things can work against the individual.
There are a lot of things we might wish were different in our lives. We are stuck with the parents we have, and so I am shorter than I would have liked to be because my dad and mom were short. I wish I could have been an all-star basketball player, but that never happened.
What I find most interesting about IQ demographics is how a very, very small group of people – only about 11 million world-wide, so .00157 – slightly less than two-tenths of one percent of the world wide population and about 1.88% of the American population- because more live here), test higher than any other ethnic group. They are approximately one standard deviation above the average. In IQ parlance that means that with average intelligence falling at the 50th percentile, (again, with half of people above and half below), this groups average intelligence scores in the 84th percentile with a mean IQ at about 115. That means that IQ wise their average score is higher than 83% of the general population. That group’s population can today trace itself back to only about 350 individuals who lived around 600-800 years ago.
This is the same group in which Albert Einstein, artist Marc Chagall, Doctor Sigmund Freud, producer/director Stephen Spielberg all find themselves – Ashkenazi Jews. This was also the largest segment of the Jewish population exterminated in World War II by the Nazi’s. Think of the lost lives, the lost musical composers, lost scientists, and mathematicians, inventors, writers, philosophers, teachers – all gone because of a mad man. Think how much richer our world would be today, and how much more advanced we might be today if the Holocaust had never happened.
I remember once attending a Mensa meeting and someone I met came up to me and said, “I wish the members weren’t allowed to invite their spouses.” I asked why and he said, “Because I can’t tell which ones here are the smart ones and which ones are just ordinary people!” “So what do you care,” I asked, “…if you can’t tell and you find them interesting and their ideas intriguing?” He looked at me as if I was one of those spouses and walked away.
The scores listed above are available in books and on the web. I was hesitant at first to list them in this article for my concern that my purpose might be misunderstood and that they might be used to disparage others. Instead let them help us to be more accepting of others and to mentor those in need.
So what is your opinion on Race and IQ? What do you think about it?