'Black Brain, White Brain' author interview

yeah what did they have to say when it came to the theories of of these for lack of a better term a racist yeah okay so the the in terms of of science firstly and the race is at most a kind of convenient shorthand description but really it has no scientific basis the genetic variants within the so called races is much is often much greater than that between them so within Africa you have you have much more genetic variation than you do say between European and Indian populations in in in Eurasia and it's because only relatively small groups migrated to Asia and then and in Europe so there was a there was much more genetic variation in in in Africa so the idea of race then and is fallacious in a in a scientific sense it's it's it's all it's describing a very superficial characteristic skin color hair type things like that but that's that's not profound in terms of your your whole genome so that's the that's the first point that that scientists were make so then when looks at different population groups eye nets a term that scientists use more often rather than races so you look at different population groups and indeed there are there is some variation between them so for example people who live in malaria zones and there are more people who have sickle cell anemia there and the result of that is because if you have one allele of a particular gene then that protects you against malaria so taste sucks in the Jewish community lactose tolerance we evolved for that skin color so those in that sense there has been continued evolution of humanity but all of those are single gene mutations where as intelligence is a neck involves a network of thousands of genes so you're not comparing liked alike because one of the the racist arguments is dead look people have evolved for skin color people have evolved for sickle cell anemia therefore what's just to say they're not involving for intelligence and the and the answer to that is that you you not it's it's trying to compare apples and oranges fish and bicycles yeah now as we seen the book the study the study keeps popping up in different in different forms yes year after year and you speak about the bell curve now this was published in 1994 can you talk us through what exactly the bell curve set out to prove okay the bell curve was a as you say a book it came out in America in 1994 with huge publicity and what it was arguing Chris the the two authors were arguing was that the reason people were poor was because they were stupid basically em they had lower IQ so it wasn't the other most people and say that the reason people in poorer areas have lower IQs relates to poverty but they were saying no it's the the low IQs were causing and the poverty and the corollary of that they said was the reason in America why there were more poor black people was because they said that black people are innately less intelligent than white people so that was the core argument there look it's a long book there are lots of other stuff in it but that's the that's the that's the kind of core argument of the the racist section of the of the book and it and in common with a lot of the this kind of people who hold this kind of view they believe that IQ and it's something that is biological so that that the how you score on an IQ test is a reflection of your innate intelligence so I mean the arguments against that are if we if we take separated identical twins who've grown up in different class backgrounds their IQ sometimes vary by as much as 30 points so it's clearly there's a very strong environmental and what we also know is that each generation average IQ scores get higher so they in order to keep a mean of 100 it's supposed to be the average and they have to make the IQ test more and more difficult now people are not genetically changing but what what is changing is their exposure to abstract logic so at the moment like kids for example who play like Tetris or I'm Grand Theft Auto or or whatever it's they dealing with with abstraction and with concepts in a way that will help them in in IQ tests and and that has been demonstrated so the reason why different population groups might have different average IQs has nothing to do with genetics what it has to do with is the kind of exposure particularly an early childhood and that they've had to abstraction

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