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RACE: What the scientists say

The third in a series about the great racial scientists, by Steve Brady

No. 3: Arthur Robert Jensen

IN ANY discussion of the Race issue, the name of Professor Hans Eysenck, whom we featured in our last issue, is inevitably linked with that of an equally distinguished scientist, Professor Arthur Robert Jensen of the University of California's Berkeley campus.

The link between these two learned men goes back to the late 1950's when Jensen worked under Eysenck at the University of London Institute of Psychiatry. In 1958 Jensen left to take up the Professorship of Educational Psychology at Berkeley, a post he has held ever since. Professor Jensen has enjoyed a brilliant scientific career, being elected to the Fellowship of the American Psychological Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Eugenics Society. He is also the author of numerous important papers and books.

In 1969, in his paper "How Much can we boost IQ and scholastic achievement?", published in the Harvard Educational Review, Professor Jensen stepped forth to challenge, on behalf of scientific opinion at large, the prevailing liberal orthodoxy that intelligence differences between individuals and races were primarily the result of socio-economic and other environmental factors.

Jensen opened his brilliantly incisive demolition job on this liberal delusion by examining the outcome of educational policies based on that delusion. Throughout the 1960's, the U.S. Federal Government massively funded "compensatory education" programmes aimed at boosting the academic performance of Negro children by spending more on their education at the expense of less "deprived" children. The result of these massive positive discrimination programs were reviewed by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which body (scarcely noted for its fanatical adherence to the cause of the White Race!) concluded, as Jensen pointed out, "that these special programmes had produced no significant improvement in the measured intelligence of scholastic performance of the disadvantaged children whose educational achievements these programs were specifically intended to improve". In other words, they had been a dismal failure.

Jensen went on to argue that the reason for this failure was that the theory of the environmental origin of differences in intelligence upon which these programs were based was itself fundamentally and hopelessly flawed. In his own words, "much of my paper was a review of the methods and evidence that led me to the conclusion that individual differences in intelligence are predominantly attributable to genetic differences, with environmental factors contributing a minor portion of the variance among individuals. The heritability of the IQ comes out at about 80%, the average value obtained from all relevant studies now reported".

Then Jensen's paper went on to confront the ultimate "taboo" ― Race. And here the Professor proceeded to take the environmentalist premises and the logical conclusions they implied, and see how far the facts supported them. If, as environmentalists claim, the demonstrably poor performance of U.S. Negroes on all tests of intelligence was merely the consequence of their low social status, together with the facts that the tests in question were written by White middle class Americans, then other groups equally, or more, "disadvantaged" and divergent from middle-class U.S. Cultural norms should perform equally badly, or worse. But in fact, as Jensen pointed out, they do not. "Despite greater environmental disadvantage, as assessed by 12 different indices, the (American) Indian children, on the average, exceeded the Negro in IQ and achievement. But I did not pick the environmental indices. The sociologists picked them. They are the factors most often cited by social scientists as the cause of the Negroes' poor performance on IQ tests and in school work".

Professor Jensen went on to ask: "Does not the fact that another group rates even lower than the Negro on these environmental indices (Indians are as far below Negroes as Negroes are below Whites) yet displays better intellectual performance, bring into question the major importance attributed to these environmental factors by sociologists? Or should we grant immunity from empirical tests to sociological theories when they are devised to explain racial differences?"

The "cultural differences" argument Jensen also demolished by pointing out that Mexicans in the U.S. who are socially no better off than Negroes and who have, unlike Negroes, a wholly different language and culture, score only a little below Whites on intelligence tests, and far above Negroes. Thus we are left, as Jensen rightly pointed out, with the only possible conclusion that environmental differences cannot explain the poor intelligence of Blacks, so it must be due to inborn, genetic factors.

Such a paper from America's leading educational psychologist asserting decisively that individual and racial differences in intelligence were inborn and genetic provoked a major uproar. Many liberal sociologists mindlessly abused and poured scorn on Professor Jensen as a 'racist and fascist'. Some called for all research on race and intelligence to be banned (such commitment to the free pursuit of Truth by impartial scientific enquiry!!) And, after Jensen soundly trounced his opponents in a debate organised in Cambridge by the British Society for Social Responsibility in Science, the sociologists called for this "dangerously persuasive" man to be "denied a platfrom". Their students invaded the Professor's lectures and savagely beat him up in front of Jensen's own students. But the courageous academic persevered in his heroic stand for the truth.

And there were many who listened. Professor Hans Eysenck, long a liberal multi-racialist, read Jensen's paper, confessed himself unable to perceive any flaws in the argument contained therein, and publicly proclaimed his conversion to the idea of hereditary differences in individual and racial intelligence. Eysenck's own seminal work, Race, Intelligence and Education, was written specifically in defence of Jensen.

All in all, the Professor's paper was a major breakthrough for the forces of Science and Reason ever the opaque murk of Marxist, liberal and Levantine cant and ideologically-inspired bigotry. Though he has maintained his battle ever since, with a series of books and articles advancing the scientific view on the Race/IQ question, for his 1969 paper alone Professor Arthur Jensen deserves our respect as a scientist of intellectual integrity and a man of personal courage.