The converse of the naturalistic fallacy is themoralistic fallacy,
which occurs when reasoning jumps from prescriptions aboutwhat ought to be to
statements about what is. It was coined by Harvard Universitymicrobiologist
Bernard Davis (1978) as a response to calls for ethical guidelinesfor studying
what could purportedly become “dangerous knowledge,” such as thegenetic basis of
IQ. Davis reasoned that chilling an area of inquiry on moralgrounds fixes our
knowledge in that area, so it becomes, in effect, an illogicaleffort to derive
an “is” from an “ought.”
An example of the moralistic fallacy isto claim that because warfare is
wrong, it cannot be part of human nature.One corollary of the moralistic fallacy
is the demonizing of those who refuseto observe it. Another is that someone must
be blamed whenever Nature stubbornlyrefuses to conform. Because Blacks and
Whites ought to be equal in IQ andeducational outcome but still are not, some
who adopt a moralistic position hold,in effect, that White people’s attitudes
are largely to blame (e.g., Ogbu, 2003;Thernstrom & Thernstrom, 2003). Both
fallacies are conjoined when it is arguedthat whereas minority dislike of Whites
is “natural” (because of mistreatment, orbecause of feeling “culturally
dominated”), White prejudice is inherently bigotedand “unnatural.”Despite
repeated claims to the contrary, there has been no narrowing of the 15-
to18-point average IQ difference between Blacks and Whites (1.1 standard
deviations);the differences are as large today as they were when first measured
nearly100 years ago. They, and the concomitant difference in standard of living,
level ofeducation, and related phenomena, lie in factors that are largely
heritable, notcultural. The IQ differences are attributable to differences in
brain size more than toracism, stereotype threat, item selection on tests, and
all the other suggestions givenby the commentators. It is time to meet reality.
It is time to stop committing the“moralistic fallacy” that good science
must conform to approved outcomes.In our target article (Rushton & Jensen,
2005), we proposed a hereditarianmodel—50% genetic–50% environmental—to explain
the 15- to 18-point averageIQ difference (1.1 standard deviations) between
Blacks and Whites. We reviewedthe worldwide distribution of test scores, the g
factor of mental ability, theheritability of within- and between-groups
differences, the relation of brain size tointelligence and of race differences
in brain size, regression to the mean, crossracialadoption studies, racial
admixture studies, and data from life-history traitsand human origins research.
We were unable to identify (in Section 12 of Rushton& Jensen, 2005) any
reliable environmental contribution to the Black–White IQdifference, including
the non-g Flynn effect (i.e., the secular rise in IQ scores). Wealso found that
on many dimensions, East Asian–White differences were a mirrorimage of
Black–White differences. In Section 14, we concluded in favor of aneven stronger
hereditarian model—80% genetic–20% environmental—based on Jensen’s (1998, p.
443) “default hypothesis” that, by adulthood, genetic andenvironmental factors
carry the same weight in causing group differences as theydo in causing
Gottfredson (2005) is the only commentator who confronted head-on all
theempirical, theoretical, and moral issues. The other commentators (Nisbett,
2005;Sternberg, 2005; Suzuki & Aronson, 2005) sidestepped the totality of
the threewayrace– behavior matrix shown in our Table 3.
They invoked one or other of theculture-only refrains, that “race” is
only “skin deep”; if not, then any differenceis too small to matter; if not,
then it is due to cultural factors such as statisticalartifacts, insensitive
tests, racism, stereotype threat, and poverty; if not, then it ispoor form to
talk about it. They also offered the usual culture-only promissorynotes that the
Black–White IQ gap can be reduced by economic improvements,interventionist
programs, culture-friendly assessment systems, and nonweightedmodels of gene–
environment interaction. Their examples only confirm what wedescribed in
Sections 2, 13, and 14: Culture-only theory is a degenerating
researchparadigm.Nisbett (2005) provided the most empirically forceful of the
rebuttals. Heclaimed that the Black–White IQ difference had decreased to only 10
points inmagnitude (0.70 standard deviations) and that it could be eliminated
altogetherwithin 20 to 60 years. He based this assertion on a purported
narrowing of theBlack–White difference on school achievement tests (reading,
vocabulary, andmathematics), which he then extrapolated to the IQ
Reality, however, is stubborn. Jensen (1998, pp. 375–376, n. 33,
407–408,494–495) showed that gains in scholastic achievement do not equal gains
in g,and the Black–White differences in g are as large as ever, even for
measures ofreaction time. Jensen’s conclusion dovetails with a meta-analysis by
Roth, Bevier,Bobko, Switzer, and Tyler (2001) that we cited at the opening of
our target article.They found a mean effect size of 1.1 standard deviations that
ranged from 0.38 to1.46 (based on a sample of 6,246,729 from corporate,
military, and highereducation samples) depending on the g loading of the test.
On the question of whether the difference was diminishing, they
suggested any reduction was “eithersmall, potentially a function of sampling
error . . . or nonexistent for highly gloaded instruments [italics added]” (Roth
et al., 2001, p. 323).In her commentary, Gottfredson (2005) underscored this
message with evidencethat no narrowing had taken place in average Black–White
differences. Shecontrasted Black–White differences on highly g-loaded “IQ tests”
with those onless g-loaded “school achievement tests.” Gottfredson found that
Black–Whitedifferences on IQ tests remained constant at 1.0 standard deviation
throughout the20th century. She agreed that the differences on school
achievement tests didnarrow slightly from 1.07 to 0.89 standard deviations from
the 1970s to the 1990swhen the National Assessment of Educational Progress
collected data on 9- to17-year-olds.
However, as she then pointed out, even this 20% reduction ineducational
achievement (a) had occurred by the mid-1980s and no longercontinues, (b) is
compatible with the group differences in g, and (c) does notcontradict the
hereditarian hypothesis.These variable Black–White differences are explained by
Spearman’s (1927)hypothesis, which states that Black–White IQ differences are
“most marked in justthose [tests] which are known to be saturated with g” (p.
379; see Section 4 ofRushton & Jensen, 2005). The differences are lower on
specific tests of memory,or arithmetic and spelling, than they are on general
reasoning and transforminginformation.
One implication is that test constructors could in principle reduce
theBlack–White difference to zero (or even reverse it) by including only non-g
items(or those negatively loaded on g). However, they would then be left with a
testthat had little or no predictive power. Roth et al.’s (2001) meta-analysis
concluded:“Overall, the results for both industrial and educational samples
providesupport for Spearman’s hypothesis. That is, black–white differences on
measuresof cognitive ability tended to increase with the saturation of g in the
measure ofability” (Roth et al., 2001, p. 317).There is in fact no good
evidence, contrary to Nisbett (2005; and Suzuki &Aronson, 2005), that g is
malleable by nonbiological variables. That wouldrequire not just evidence that
training produces higher scores but evidence ofbroad transfer of training
effects to other highly g-loaded tasks. Extrapolation ofthe trends into the
future may be like extrapolating the non-g secular rise in IQscores (the Flynn
effect; see Section 12). That the Flynn effect is not a Jenseneffect (i.e., did
not have a loading on the g factor) was corroborated by Wichertset al. (2004).
This is consistent with the lack of convergence of White and Blackmeans across
decades despite the overall rise in IQs.Two recent monographs show just how wide
the achievement gap betweenBlacks and Whites remains.
First, Thernstrom and Thernstrom (2003) comprehensivelydocumented the
scale of the Black deficiency: For example, in reading,history, geography, and
mathematics, 12th-grade Black students do not do as wellas eighth-grade White
students. The authors showed, moreover, that despitenumerous, often
well-publicized, countywide projects (such as the $2 billionprogram in affluent
Montgomery County, Maryland, as well as the Kansas City,Missouri, school
district, under judicial supervision since 1985), no plan has yetmade a
replicable dent in the Black–White achievement gap (despite low student–teacher
ratios and computers in every classroom). Second, Ogbu (2003) studiedthe
persistent underachievement of Black children in the well-to-do suburb ofShaker
Heights, Ohio, as a result of concern raised by their (Black) parents,
oftenhighly paid professionals who had moved to the area specifically for its
The Black students did better than Black students elsewhere, but there
were hugegaps between the Blacks and their non-Black counterparts. Instead of
genetic differences in intelligence, both books offer
variations on the usual culture-onlyexplanations: poor schools, prejudice,
stereotyping, low expectations, and alienationfrom White cultural domination.
Nor do they consider regression to themean (Section 9) or other genetically
influenced traits that differentiate the racesand affect attitudes to schoolwork
(Section 10).-more here from
Prof. Rushton and Prof. Jensen
The reason genetic science and racial studies are such a taboo today is because they show continued and consistent differences in the races.
If you reject the reality of genetic racial differences then you are left with blaming Whites (who make up 13% of the population of the world) for the continued (historical) socio-economical gaps between the races, whether they be In America, Europe, Latin America or Africa.
If you are going to follow the pursuit of truth through science, then you must ask yourself if it is reasonable to believe that various groups of Homo sapiens, spreading out and evolving over tens of thousands of years in wildly varying environments, will evolve to the same abilities, skills, intrinsic societal values, IQ and Morality.
The honest answer is of course, "no they will not".
Do Homo sapiens share commonalities and genetics?
But then we also share commonalities and genetics with plants and animals as well.
The pursuit of "The Universal", whether it be in the religious (as in monotheism) or the secular (as in equality) , is the quest of the arbitrary fool.It is road down which no Civilization or people return...