restricted access 86 The Sources of The Bell Curve
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86 The Sources of The Bell Curve JEFFREY ROSEN AND CHARLES LANE By scrutinizing the footnotes and bibliography in The Bell Curve, readers can more easily recognize the project for what it is: a chilly synthesis of the work of disreputable race theorists and eccentric eugenicists. It would be unfair, of course, to ascribe to Murray and Hermstein all the noxious views of their sources. Mere association with dubious thinkers does not discredit the book by itself. But even a superficial examination of the primary sources suggests that some of Murray and Hermstein's substantive arguments rely on questionable data and hotly contested scholarship, produced by academics whose ideological biases are pronounced . To this extent, important portions of the book must be treated with skepticism. Much of The Bell Curve's data purporting to establish an inherited difference in intelligence among blacks, whites, and Asians is drawn from the work of Richard Lynn of the University of Ulster. In the acknowledgments to The Bell Curve, Murray and Hermstein say they "benefited especially from the advice" of Lynn, whom they refer to elliptically as "a scholar of racial and ethnic differences." Lynn is an associate editor of, and, since 1971, a frequent contributor to, Mankind Quarterly, a journal of racialist anthropology, founded by the Scottish white supremacist Robert Gayre. Mankind Quarterly has a long history of publishing pseudoscientific accounts of black inferiority. Lynn and others have used its pages to ventilate their view that society should foster the reproduction of the genetically superior, and discourage that of the genetically inferior. Murray and Herrnstein rely most heavily on an article that Lynn published in Mankind Quarterly in 1991, "Race Differences in Intelligence: A Global Perspective." In the article, Lynn reviews what he calls the "world literature on racial differences in intelligence." He notes that "the first good study of the intelligence of pure African Negroids was carried out in South Africa" in 1929, without mentioning that this study was based on an administration of the now-discredited U.S. Army Beta Test. He also asserts that the median IQ of black Africans is 7D-based solely on a single test of blacks in South Africa in 1989. Murray and Herrnstein invoke this dubious figure, but they manage to confuse it: they say that the median black African IQ is 75. Lynn concludes that "Mongoloids have the fastest reaction times" and the highest IQs, "followed by Caucasoids and then by Negroids." After examining what he calls "1,500 of the most important technological and scientific discoveries which have ever been made," Lynn reaches the following conclusion: "Who can doubt that the Caucasoid and the Mongoloid are the only two races that have made any significant contribution to civilization?" As Murray and Herrnstein observe in a footnote, "Lynn explains the evolution of racial From THE BElL CURVE WARS, edited by Steven Fraser. Copyright © 1995 by Basic Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Basic Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. Copyrighted Material The Sources of The Bell Curve 529 differences in intelligence in terms of the ancestral migrations of groups of early hominids from the relatively benign environments of Africa to the harsher and more demanding Eurasian latitudes, where they branched into the Caucasoids and Mongoloids." Similar theories, Murray and Herrnstein note without irony, "were not uncommon among anthropologists and biologists of a generation or two ago." Murray and Herrnstein also introduce readers to the work of J. Phillipe Rushton, a Canadian psychologist. Rushton has argued that Asians are more intelligent than Caucasians, have larger brains for their body size, smaller penises, lower sex drive, are less fertile, work harder, and are more readily socialized; and Caucasians have the same relationship to blacks. In his most recent book, Race, Evolution and Behavior, Rushton acknowledges the assistance of Herrnstein ; and Murray and Herrnstein return the compliment, devoting two pages of their own book to a defense of Rushton. Among the views that Herrnstein and Murray suggest Rushton has supported with "increasingly detailed and convincing empirical reports" is the theory that, in their words, "the average Mongoloid is toward one end of the continuum of reproductive strategies-the few offspring, high survival, and high parental investment end-the average Negroid is shifted toward the other end, and the average Caucasoid is in the middle." In a gratuitous two-page appendix, Murray and Herrnstein go out of their way to say that "Rushton's work is not that of a crackpot or...