Thursday, March 16, 2006
Are White Babies Smarter?
After Herrnstein and Murray published their controversial study and findings, "The Bell Curve," many people in academia scorned at the notion that whites were smarter than blacks; and Asians were smarter than both.
Now a close examination of data from 10,000 babies by two economists from the University of Chicago and Harvard show that when comparing black babies with white babies, there is no IQ difference; and both score higher than Asians.
So much for that theory. Economists Roland G. Fryer of Harvard and Steven D. Levitt of the University of Chicago analyzed a data set that contained measures of mental abilities for more than 10,000 babies 8 months to 11 months old and born in 2001. Trained evaluators rated a baby's skill in exploring objects (reaching for and holding items), exploring objects with a purpose (trying to determine what makes a bell ring), babbling, early problem solving (when a toy is out of reach, using another object as a tool to retrieve it), and using words to communicate.
Talk about a turned upside down world?!?
When they looked at the data, they found there were no difference in mental ability between black and white babies -- and, if anything, Asian infants did slightly worse.
As a hard-core sociological thinker, the Bell Curve theory always smacked a tad too close to Cesare Lombroso's discredited theory of "atavistic traits" which he concluded were "physical, biological indicators of a person such as body type or the shape of the face" that predicted criminality. His theory was all the buzz in the early half of the 20th century.
And yes, this glorious theory also posited that since "criminal tendencies stem from biological factors," punishment would never work. The only thing society could do was to neutralize (i.e. zap, nuke, fry, nix, kill) the evil deviant; and we know how his theory turned out for the millions of Jews, Gypsies, Catholics, Poles, Slavs and other undesirables during World War II.
Although the Bell Curve is less ambitious, it is equally objectionable. Their premise is that life's chances hinge on intelligence; the higher the IQ, the more likely one is to suceed in life; and the American Dream is predetermined by genetics at birth.
The rub of the problem for Bell comes when African-Americans are tied to "a bell curve of IQ scores" that veer "to the lower side of the white mean." East Asians are said to have "bell curve of IQ scores...slightly to the right of the white curve."
With Lombroso, it was deviancy; with Herrnstein and Murray, it's class and race. No countermeasure such as pre-natal care, early child education, safe home environment, well-trained educators or good diet can help. One is born stupid and lives a life of stupid choices.
Gracias a Dios, after 12 long years, their bogus study has finally been debunked; pesky countervailing facts showed little black babies are just as smart as white ones; and even smarter than their yellow buddies.
This is a country that voted for Bush...twice. As far as I'm concerned, regardless of race, we're ALL stupide.Post a Comment