Blacks Being Underrepresented

From Scott’s blog Black People Less Likely

One must tread carefully when discussing matters pertaining to race. Emotions often run strong, and people tend to take arguments personally even if the subject matter has nothing to do with their personal lives.

Inevitably the question that arises is why blacks are underrepresented in science fields, and the the boilerplate explanation is environmental – poor parenting, poverty, oppression, etc. – never biological.

But even when taking into account pre-civil rights oppression, how do we account for the persistent post-1964 lag in academic performance among African Americans? Or the persistence of a 1-.5 standard deviation under-performance in IQ scores versus Asians and whites, or that blacks fail to meet the minimum IQ requirements to join the armed forces at a rate higher than whites? Or the Lynn maps showing significantly lower IQ scores in African countries. It’s not unreasonable to postulate that biology shapes culture, that people who are biologically predisposed to excelling in STEM would be more partial to pursuing STEM endeavors than those without such biological endowments?

But, okay, we can dismiss all of this as being attributable to environmental factors, but here is where the left becomes intellectually dishonest in their discourse, and this more inadmissible than merely being wrong.

No one seems to raise a fuss about short, puny whites being underrepresented in the NFL and NBA. Likewise, no one raises a fuss about obese and asthmatic people being underrepresented at endurance competitions such as the New York Marathon. The scientists who study these matters attribute it to whites being too short, having thinner bones, having short tendons, .. etc. – all reasonable explanations – and few on the left seem to raise any objections over this. Being obese means having to carry extra weight, sapping the energy required to be competitive in a a marathon. Pretty obvious. Samoans, who are biologically predisposed to being overweight, would fare much more poorly at marathons than the svelte Kenyans. Again, no objections over this by the left. But to try to pose biological explanations for blacks being underrepresented at cognitive endeavors, and suddenly you have all these white guys channeling their inner Farrakhan, leaving logic at the door. And then the discussion ends, because not being offended trumps any pursuit of knowledge or truth.

But this denialism is not surprising, because intellect is sine qua non to socioeconomic advancement and self-worth in a post-2008 society that increasingly rewards smartness and cleverness. Being less intelligent is equated with being less human and less evolved, and this is a notion that many could understandably find unsettling. But liberals also take umbrage that if intellect is biological, and intellect plays an outsize role in socioeconomic advancement, then therefore the ability of the state to create egalitarian outcomes is hamstrung.