The Instigator
000ike
Con (against)
Winning
81 Points
The Contender
jimtimmy
Pro (for)
Losing
80 Points

Caucasians are inherently more intelligent than African Americans

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 38 votes the winner is...
000ike
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/12/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 31,769 times Debate No: 20366
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (272)
Votes (38)

 

000ike

Con

In accepting the debate, Pro agrees to the following parameters and definitions.

Inherently: Occurring from birth; within the very genetics of the group.

Round 1: Introduction of the Affirmative Case (by Pro)
Round 2: Rebuttals and arguments
Round 3: Rebuttals and arguments
Round 4: Rebuttals and conclusion (no new arguments on either side)

No semantics.

My opponent insists on receiving the final word, so contrary to the common debate structure, Pro will begin his argument in Round 1 and I will refute it in the following round and so on and so forth.

Without further ado, I await an honest, good willed, and challenging debate and wish my opponent good luck.
jimtimmy

Pro

I thank my opponent for challenging me to this debate. Just to be clear to all the readers, Con and I have agreed that IQ is intelligence, for the purposes of this debate. And, inherently means genetically influenced. Also, even though it only refers to "Caucasians" in the debate title, we have also agreed that this debate is about "Caucasian Americans". So, what I have to do in this debate is show that Caucasian Americans have higher average IQs than African Americans, and that this is influenced, at least partially, by genetic factors. I only need to show that it is partially influenced by genetic factors. Con needs to show that genetic factors play no role in Caucasian Americans having higher average IQs than African Americans. After all, if genetics play any role in the higher IQs observed in Caucasian Americans, then Caucausian Americans are "inherently" more intelligent.

To be clear, we are talking about averages. It is obvious that there are individuals and groups within the African American population that are more intelligent than individuals and groups within the Caucasian American population. There are also groups and individuals within the African American population that are more intelligent on average than the entire Caucasian American population. However, the claim I am defending is that the average IQ of the entire Caucasian American population is higher than the average IQ of the entire African American population.

When I refer to "whites" and "blacks" in this debate, I am referring to Caucasian Americans and African Americans. So, without further adieu, I begin my arguments.

IQ Gaps that are Observed

The IQ gap between blacks and whites in the USA is well known and widely accepted. The debate on this topic is not really over the existence of this gap, but it is instead over the cause of this gap. Still, I feel compelled to bring up this gap, just for the sake of clarity.

The gap observed is about 15 points. Whites average about 100 IQ. Blacks, on the other hand, average about 85 IQ [1]. I would hope and assume that my opponent would not dispute the existence of this widely acknowledged gap and would only argue the cause of this gap. I will know make the arguments for why I think these gaps have genetic influences.

IQ is Heavily Heritable

Given that is widely accepted that a black-white IQ gap does exist, it is also relevant to look at how heritable IQ is. The evidence is overwhelming that it is very heritable. IQ, like most other traits, gets more heritable with age. So, in younger children, genetics matter less for IQ than genetics matter for 17 year olds. In 1996, the American Psychological Association gave a heritability estimate of about .45 for children and about .75 during and after adolescence. In 2004, a meta analysis of reports in Current Directions in Psychological Science gave an overall estimate of around .85 for 18 year olds and older [2].

The evidence is overwhelming that IQ is very heritable. Since the black-white IQ gap is evident for people in adolescence or later, the high heritability in adolescence and later is the relevant figure here.

The Improbability of Genetics Not Playing a Role

Given the magnitude of the black-white IQ gap (about 15 points) and the heritability of IQ in adolescents and adults (somewhere from .75 to .85), it is highly unlikely that genes play no role in IQ. It would take virtually all blacks being severely malnourished and addicted to drugs and virtually all whites being well fed and drug free for this gap to be entirely the result of these environment influences. While it is true that blacks are somewhat more likely to be malnourished and are slightly more likely to be on drugs, the differences here are not nearly enough to explain the gap. Malnourishment is extremely rare in all races in the USA, and drug use is only slightly higher among blacks (8.5% of whites have used a drug in the past month versus 9.7% of blacks) [3,4]. Given these realities, the idea that environment influences explain the entire black-white IQ gap is simply implausible.


The Black-White IQ Gap is Larger on More G-Loaded (Genetically Influenced) Tests

If there were genetic influences on the black-white IQ gap, we would see parts of IQ tests that are more genetically influenced have larger gaps than parts that are less genetically influenced. In fact, this is exactly what is observed.

The black-white IQ gap is larger on the more genetically influenced Backward Digit Span test than it is on the less genetically influenced Forward Digit Span Test [5,6]. The fact that the black-white IQ gap is more pronounced on more genetically influenced tests lends a lot of support to the idea that there are genetic influences on the black-white IQ gap.

Differences in Brain Size

There is a correlation between brain size and IQ of about .40. Larger brains have more neurons and synapses and process information faster. Like all correlations, this does not always mean larger brains mean more intelligence. But, as a general rule, larger brains do suggest more intelligence. Whales, for example, have larger brains than humans, but humans are still more intelligent. But, whales are still intelligent animals and an overall correlation exists.

The 0.40 correlation of IQ and brain size is only within the human species. So, it is relevant that whites have larger average brain size than blacks and also higher IQs. It is also relevant that east asians have larger brain size than both whites and blacks and higher IQs than both whites and blacks [5,6]. This final element to this adds strength to the notion that brain size does matter for intelligence with human races.

This adds more strength to genetic influences mattering for the black-white IQ gap.


Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study

The famous Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study looked at individuals, some with two black biological parents, some with two white biological parents, and some with one black biological parent and one white biological parent, who had been adopted into upper middle class white families. So, the environments were somewhat similiar for all of these groups. If genetics did not matter for the black-white IQ gap, we would expect IQ to be somewhat similiar for these different individuals.

At age 17, the IQs of each of these groups had their IQ measured. The adopted children with two black biological parents scored an average IQ of 89, the adopted children with two biological white parents scored an average of 106 IQ, and the adopted children with one biological white parent and one biological black parent scored an average of 99 IQ. So, to summarize, pure white children scored an average of 106, pure black children scored an average of 89, and half white and half black children scored an average of 99 [7].

So, despite being raised in white upper middle class families, the black-white IQ gaps remained. This would suggest that genetics do matter for these IQ gaps. Granted, there are flaws with this study, but it is the only study that I know of that looked at kids at an old enough age for genes to fully express themselves for intelligence. Other studies typically looked at kids at too young an age to truly estimate the impact of genes.


This are my first round arguments. I look forward to my opponent's response.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[3] http://www.heritage.org...

[4] http://oas.samhsa.gov...

[5] (for the actual study) http://psychology.uwo.ca...

[6] (for a summary of the study) http://www.news-medical.net...

[7] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
000ike

Con

I return the thanks to my opponent for accepting this debate.

Introduction

Allow me to clarify the terms of the debate. My opponent and I have indeed agreed to equate IQ to intelligence, agreed that inherent refers to genetics, and agreed that Caucasians refer to Caucasian Americans. However, my opponent has mischaracterized his burden of proof. Having the duty of affirming the inherent intellectual superiority of a race suggests a direct and pervasive causatory link between Race and IQ. Let it therefore be established that to meet this burden, my opponent must not merely "show that [IQ] is partially influenced by genetic factors." He must show that IQ is principally influenced by genetic factors, for if it is not, then IQ is not inherent.

My opponent brought up a plethora of evidence in support of IQ differences and the inheritability of IQ. However, I need not refute them because I do not object to them. Those points neither address the resolution nor prove a race-based linkage - which my opponent neglected to mention in his entire argument as a matter of fact. That said, I will pursue my own burden by showing why race genetics cannot be the principal determination of IQ.


Race-IQ Disparities? : The African American Immigrant

If the IQ disparities of African Americans and Caucasian Americans are race linked, then one would expect to see the same roughly equal average intelligence in any sub-group of the African American race, regardless of background. However, an overwhelming wealth of evidense suggests the opposite! African American immigrants residing in America are THE most highly-educated group in the United States. In addition, African American immigrants tend to exceed the average Caucasian American score in IQ, automatically defying the race-IQ direct causation.

"Among African Americans, class divides exist between blacks native to the United States and foreign-born blacks, with the latter achieving higher incomes and levels of education than the former. In fact, the U.S. Census indicates that African immigrants to the U.S. are the most highly educated group of people in the entire country."(1)

"So that if one accepts the research suggesting direct casual relationships between academic attainment and IQ (Gottfredson, 1998; Ostrowsky, 1999) the median IQ for African blacks residing in the west should be about 110! This is especially true for those living in the United States and in the UK. One may also expect to find, according to much of the “corroborative” literature that relates IQ with education, approximately twice the number of African born immigrants with IQs in the 115 range, than among the general white American population (Gottfredson, 1998; Ostrowsky, 1999; Williams, 2005; Nisbett, 2002); and more than twice the number of African immigrants in the 125 IQ range.." (2)


(3)

I cannot stress the stark contrast between African American Immigrants and Native African Americans enough. If there are two groups of the same race but entirely different backgrounds, then they should both still have roughly equal averages in intelligence, and they should both still have roughly equal IQ rates. However, the fact that a different background has led to such success and intelligence proves that there is a component more powerful than genetics in the overall determination of IQ. The explanation for projected IQ gaps then becomes a matter of environment rather than inheritance.

I know that this debate is focused more specifically towards the United States, but I will briefly add the statistics from England to further dismantle the theory of the inherent intellectual inferiority of the African race.

" In fact, blacks with African origins over the age of 30 had the highest educational qualifications of any ethnic group in the British Isles. Thus, the evidence pointed to the fact that minority quotas for University admissions were actually working against students from these ethnic groups who were on average more qualified for higher education than their white peers (Cross, 1994; Also see, Dustmann, Theodoropoulos, 2006)." (4)


The Phenomenon of the Flynn Effect

The Flynn Effect essentially denotes a universal progression in IQ through time. These differences are visible in a matter of generations, increasing by 3 points per decade. (5) Prima Facie, this evidence would suggest that man was becoming more intelligent with time. However " Flynn himself does not believe this to be the case. It is conceivable that something about modern society (the greater need for abstract thinking, presence of computers, more visually-oriented culture) is responsible." (5)

The Flynn Effect virtually shuts down the notion of a dominantly genetic determination of IQ for very starting reasons. For one, in order for Pro to explain the Flynn Effect, he would have to demonstrate that genes are collectively changing consistently, progressively, and continuously at the same rate and time for everyone in the world,....a statistical absurdity. Since the only way genes can be changed is through the formation and subsequent inheritance of mutations (6), he'd also have to show that everyone is receiving the same mutations and passing them on, a self-evident improbability.

So, ultimately, the Flynn Effect proves that there is something else that is non-genetic and powerful enough to significantly alter IQ in such a widespread and pervasive manner. If IQ is so drasitcally alterable by non-genetic factors in a matter of decades, then racial genetics clearly does not have a principal role. Genes do not change that quickly!

" Since the black-white difference in IQ is 15 points, this means that an even larger IQ difference has existed between different generations of the same race, making it no longer necessary to attribute IQ differences of this magnitude to genetics."(7)


Conclusion

If African Immigrants, people of the same race but different background and upbringing show such a drastic and collective deviation from the projected African American norm, then there is obviously a reason for this occurrence outside the boundaries of race genetics. Also, if the Flynn Effect, which is widely accepted and acknowledged to occur, does indeed occur, then it implies a force on IQ that is more dominant than genetics could be, since it is virtually impossible to explain the Flynn effect using genetics. So, in short I have proven that genetics cannot be the principle arbitor of IQ, so it follows that intelligence disparities if they do exist are not necessarily "inherent."

Sources

1. http://racerelations.about.com...
2. http://www.africaresource.com...
3. http://s1.zetaboards.com...
4. http://bluecafe669.blogtownhall.com...
5. http://www.wordiq.com...
6. http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov...
7. http://townhall.com...
jimtimmy

Pro

I thank my opponent for responding.



The Point of this Debate


My opponent seems to have based much of his argument on a fundamental misunderstanding of what this debate is about. My opponent said this in his last round:

"Allow me to clarify the terms of the debate. My opponent and I have indeed agreed to equate IQ to intelligence, agreed that inherent refers to genetics, and agreed that Caucasians refer to Caucasian Americans. However, my opponent has mischaracterized his burden of proof. Having the duty of affirming the inherent intellectual superiority of a race suggests a direct and pervasive causatory link between Race and IQ. Let it therefore be established that to meet this burden, my opponent must not merely "show that [IQ] is partially influenced by genetic factors." He must show that IQ is principally influenced by genetic factors, for if it is not, then IQ is not inherent."


Let me offer an analogy to show how my opponent is wrong about what I need to prove in this debate. Imagine there are two groups, group A and group B. Group A has an average height of 6'0". Group B has an average height of 5'9".

To be clear, these are average heights. In the taller group A, the shortest member is 5'5". And, in the shorter group B, the tallest member is 6'2". So, if you took out just the tallest member of group B, you could point out that they are taller than the average member of group A.

However, when you look at the groups as a whole, group A is obviously taller than group B. There is no gene that links "group A or B" and height. Group A just happens to be full of individuals with a higher average height than group B.

If we accept that genes are largely responsible for height in group A and B (which both reside in the USA), which I hope everyone would, then we can say group A is "inherently" taller than group B. This is, again, despite the fact that there is no "group A or B" gene that is linked to height, and this is also despite the fact that there are individuals and individual groups within group B, the shorter group, that are taller than the average member of group A. However, group A is still "inherently" taller because it is filled with individuals who happen to be, on average, taller than the individuals that comprise group B, and height is largely genetic.

This is basically the same debate we are having over intelligence and race. Except, group A would be whites, group B would be blacks, and height would be intelligence.

After all, we are talking about two groups, whites and blacks. Whites have an average IQ of about 100. Blacks have an average IQ of about 85. This was shown in my first round argument. However, there are blacks with an IQ well above 100, and there are whites with an IQ well below 85.

Despite this, whites, on average, do have a higher IQ than blacks. There is also no "white or black" gene that is linked to intelligence. It just happens that "white" people are a group of people who happen to be comprised of individuals that have a higher average IQ than the individuals that comprise the group known as "black" people.

I also gave evidence in round one that IQ was 75% to 85% heritable from adolescence on forward. Given this and the other evidence I gave of genetic influences on the differences between these two groups, we can say that Caucasian Americans (whites) are "inherently" more intelligent than African Americans (blacks).

Again, this is true even though there are plenty of blacks that are smarter than the average white, and this is also despite the fact that there is no "black or white" gene that is linked to intelligence.


African Immigrants

My opponent's argument on African immigrants is based entirely on a misunderstanding of this debate that I explained above. His main point was that African immigrants to the USA are high achievers. This is true, but largely irrelevant.

African immigrants are an extremely selective group. Only the smartest and most skilled people from Africa come to the USA, so they can get a good education and have a higher standard of living. So, when we are talking about African immigrants, we are talking about a very selective group that is not representative of the actual African population.

Furthermore, African immigrants only made up 0.2% of the total USA population in 2000. African Americans as a whole made up 12.9% of the USA population in 2000. This means that African immigrants made up less than 2% of the African American population in 2000 [1,2]. There is no reason to think these numbers have substantially changed since then.

My opponent is essentially taking out a very selective group that makes up less than 2% of the total group and saying that their high intelligence is representative of the entire group. This is somewhat absurd as an argument. As I explained earlier in this round, you have to look at entire groups when making comparisons.


The Flynn Effect

My opponent also claims that the Flynn effect, the phenomenon of average IQ scores rising over time, proves that genes do not play a large role in IQ and that the white-black IQ gap has nothing to do with genes. This is a non sequitar.

First, let me go back to the analogy I made earlier this round. Imagine if group A had an average height of 5'8" in 1962 (50 years ago) and group B had an average height of 5'5" in 1962. 50 years later in 2012, both of these groups had the average heights that I mentioned earlier, 6'0" for group A and 5'9" for group B.

Now, as you'll notice, both groups had their average height increase by an incredible 4 inches each. This could be called the "Flynn effect" for height.

However, the 3 inch gap between average height in both groups stayed the exact same during this time period. The reason that average height increased for both groups over this period but the gap between groups did not change is that these two phenomenon have different causes. The increase in average height is because of environmental, non genetic causes. The gap is caused largely by genetic causes.

Now, let's shift back to IQ. IQ, as I showed in the first round, is about 75% to 85% heritable. We know this from various studies of identical twins. The Flynn effect, as far as we know it, only occurred during the 20th century. This was a time of rapidly increasing living standards. Therefore, it is reasonable to say that the the 15% to 25% of IQ that is non genetic improved so much during the 20th century that that can explain the entire Flynn effect.

However, when you look at the white-black IQ gap, you can see that that gap has not been narrowing, even as average IQ scores have been increasing. The average black IQ was 85 in 1954 compared to 100 for whites. In 2008, the average black IQ was 81 compared to 100 for whites. This means that the white-black IQ gap has actually increased since 1954 [3].

The reason that the white-black IQ gap has not only not been closing but actually been widening is that it is mostly caused by the 75% to 85% of IQ that is genetic. The Flynn effect is from the other 15% to 25% that is non genetic. So, I ask my opponent, if the Flynn effect disproves genetic influences on the white-black IQ gap, why has the white-black IQ gap not been narrowing?


Points that my Opponent Dropped


My opponent dropped my points on the white-black IQ gap being larger on more G-loaded parts of IQ tests, differences in brain size among races, and the Minnesota Transracial Adoption study. He also claimed that the points about heritability of IQ and IQ gaps were irrelevant. I showed that this was clearly not true this round.


I look forward to my opponent's response.



[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[3] http://www.charlesdarwinresearch.org...
Debate Round No. 2
000ike

Con

Introduction: The Burden of Proof

What my opponent offers with his talk of “averages” is an extreme perversion of the general consensus of what is inherent. If Americans, on average, are fatter than Europeans, does that mean that America is inherently fat? Averages do not address the resolution or Pro’s burden of proof.

"If we accept that genes are largely responsible for height in group A and B (which both reside in the USA), which I hope everyone would, then we can say group A is "inherently" taller than group B. This is, again, despite the fact that there is no "group A or B" gene that is linked to height, and this is also despite the fact that there are individuals and individual groups within group B, the shorter group, that are taller than the average member of group A"

Pro is confusing the genetics of the individual with the genetics of the group. How can he select an arbitrary group of people and then call the arbitrary fact that they are tall an inherent trait of that group? Pro seems to want to make the argument that African Americans are on average less intelligent than Caucasians, but that doesn’t actually suggest or prove or evidence that this observation of lower IQ is inherent to the genetics of that group. There is a reason why inherent was added to this resolution – not to play a game of semantics, but to establish a correlative link, genetic predisposition or aptitude for lesser Intelligence in the genes that define the African American race. If my opponent cannot prove this inherency or correlative link, then he cannot reach the conclusion for which he must affirm.

He may then say that “an individual” African American (or any member of any race for that matter) is genetically, and thus inherently less intelligent, but he may not say that African American(S) are genetically, and thus inherently less intelligent, for that addresses the race as a whole, thus implying that this intelligence (or lack thereof) is embedded in the genes that define that race.

Back to my opponent’s example: If group A is on average taller than group B, then unless group A and B are both dichotomized and succinct entities sharing a multiplicity of genes in common as to make them 2 distinct and separate races, then this height differential is nothing but an arbitrary fact and is not intrinsic to the group. That said, it is clear that my opponent’s example ineffectually strawmans the issue at hand.


The African American Immigrant

Pro’s only attempts to refute my African Immigrant argument were these:

Quote 1

Only the smartest and most skilled people from Africa come to the USA, so they can get a good education and have a higher standard of living. So, when we are talking about African immigrants, we are talking about a very selective group that is not representative of the actual African population.

Quote 2
Furthermore, African immigrants only made up 0.2% of the total USA population in 2000. African Americans as a whole made up 12.9% of the USA population in 2000. This means that African immigrants made up less than 2% of the African American population in 2000 [1,2].

Quote 1, needless to say, is an utterly unfounded assertion that my opponent conveniently neglected to support with some statistics, references, or sources. Because my opponent has no explanation for this influx of intelligence from Africa he casts it down as some kind of anomaly, and then even goes as far as to say that only the most intelligent come to America.

Quote 2 points out that only 0.2 % of the total US population consists of African Americans. This is not a refutation to my point. I am not trying to prove that the average African American is intelligent, nor am I trying to prove that most African Americans are intelligent. I am, however, proving that intelligence is more contingent on the variable of environment than race. My opponent seems to be ignoring the fact that the intelligence is highly concentrated on the immigrants of Africa in hopes that I would too.

Let us approach this contention using the scientific method:

Question: Is lesser intelligence inherent to the African American race?

Hypothesis:

  • If the African American race as a whole is inherently less intelligent (meaning that their race genetics is the PRIMARY reason for their IQ), then this lack of intelligence should be constant regardless of other variables.

- Other variables, if proven to completely change the outcome of the experiment, can then be assumed to be the cause of any projected intellectual inferiority, not genetic inherency.


Control:
The African American race

Variable: Environment

Experimental Data:

1. Native African Americans in the United States are often descendants of those subjected to slavery and segregation. They thus are born and raised in the very same antiquated neighborhoods and communities that their grandfathers and great grandfathers were subjected to live in as a result of discrimination and inhumanity. Such environments restrict potential, provide inadequate education, and wane opportunity...such environments are referred to as “the Ghetto.” The South was the predominant source of American racism, segregation, and discrimination, the South was the primary proponent of slavery, and ultimately the primary abode of African Americans. Let us see where African Americans live today:

They Still live in the South! They still live in the same area because poverty begets poverty; those born in poverty are likely to stay in poverty. The injustices of history that subjected this demographic to ghettos is still the very reason for the denigration of this race in America.

2. African Immigrants for the most part were not subjected to segregation or slavery. They have come to America for a better life, so will thus live in better environments and have better opportunity. They come to America with a blank slate, no specific history of subjugation and sociological retardation, no enclosure in an already failing neighborhood, they are free to live well and show their fullest potential in the land of opportunity and guess what, they turn out to be staggeringly intelligent as a result!

Compared to other immigrants, the African born tend to be highly educated and speak English well. (2)

U.S. Census data from 2000 indicate that black African immigrants have the most education of any population group in the United States. Indeed, they even have higher levels of academic achievement than Asian Americans.(3)


Conclusion:
I have used the scientific method to conduct a brief research experiment, and I have found that with a different environment, intelligence within the same race radically changes. As a result, my hypothesis (Jimtimmy’s hypothesis) was FALSE.


The Flynn Effect

Now, as you'll notice, both groups had their average height increase by an incredible 4 inches each. This could be called the "Flynn effect" for height. However, the 3 inch gap between average height in both groups stayed the exact same during this time period.

My opponent does not understand the point I was making in referencing the Flynn effect. I was not trying to show that the projected gaps were decreasing; I was showing that the Flynn effect is proof that IQ changes drastically with outside variables, so genetics cannot be the principle explanation. So, please carry over my explanation from last round here, as I’m out of characters.


Points I Allegedly Dropped

MTAS, G-loaded IQ tests, and inheritability of IQ all proved that there were IQ gaps between Native African Americans and Caucasians. I don’t object to them so I see no need to refute them. They also don’t address the issue of inherency. I do, however, apologize for dropping the brain size argument I will address that in the next round.


Sources

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...

2. http://www.migrationinformation.org...

3. http://immigration-online.org...


jimtimmy

Pro

I thank my opponent for responding.


Burden of Proof


My opponent has an odd view of what this debate is about. He basically claims that I have to show that there is some genetic link between race and intelligence.This would lead me to having to defend the absurd position that all whites are smarter than all blacks. As I said, that is clearly not true.


The fact of the matter is that races should be looked upon as groups, in the context of this debate. Just as I looked at group A and group B in my last round. Group A, as readers will recall, had an average height that was higher than group B. Even though group B had some members that were taller than some members of group A, group A was still taller, on average. So, we could say that group A was taller than group B. Since my opponent and I agreed that "inherent" means genetic, all I have to do is show that there are genetic influences on these height differences for me to show that group A is "inherently" taller than group B.


All I have to do to show that whites are "inherently" smarter than blacks is show that whites are, on average as a group, smarter than blacks, on average as a group, and that there are genetic influences at work here.


African Immigrants


My opponent makes a few arguments on African Immigrants. First, he says that I cannot explain why African Immigrants do so well. This is not true. As I said, only the smartest Africans immigrate to other countries with better education systems and higher standards of living.


My opponent was rather dismissive of this seemingly obvious explanation. He does not explain why he is so dismissive, but he does criticize me for not having a source. In fact, we do know that African nations have very low IQs. In fact, the average IQ in African nations is lower than the average IQ of American blacks [1].

The fact that African nations average such low IQs, while African immigrants achieve so much suggests that only the smartest African people leave their nations to come to the USA. This should make sense. After all, it would only be worth it for a somewhat intelligent person to spend all kinds of money leaving their homeland just to get a good education and occupation.

My opponent then tries to conduct a scientific experiment showing that genes don't matter for the white-black IQ gap. Oddly, the only piece of evidence presented here is that blacks are heavily concentrated in the south, which has had more historical injustices. This is an incredibly weak argument.

The burden of proof is on my opponent to show that injustices that took place over 50 years ago is holding down black IQ today. Just offering up a map that shows blacks being heavily concentrated in the south is not evidence for my opponent's case. I hope my opponent offers more support for this argument next round.

Most of my opponent's argument on this point is based on the fallacy that this debate is about finding a gene that links race and intelligence. As I have explained, races are groups filled with individuals that differ in average intelligence. There are genetic influences on these average differences between these two groups. There is no direct link between race and intelligence. The African American race is just filled with individuals who happen to have a lower average intelligence than the individuals that fill the Caucasian American race.

As I showed last round, African Immigrants are less than 2% of the black population. You cannot take out a very smart and small segment of a larger group when looking at group averages. This is a fairly obvious point. Furthermore, if you look at African nations, the average IQ there is even lower than it is in African Americans, as I showed earlier. This would suggest that African immigrants really are the "cream of the crop" from Africa.


Flynn Effect


My opponent does not respond to my point on the Flynn Effect. As I have showed in the past, IQ tests are 75% to 85% genetic. The Flynn Effect took place during the 20th century, a time of rapidly increasing living standards. The increase in average IQ test scores can easily be explained by the improving environment helping the 15% to 25% of IQ tests that are not genetic.

However, if the white-black IQ gap, which is the topic of this debate, were not genetic, then we would see this gap narrowing. However, over recent decades, it has actually widened slightly. This would suggest that the white-black IQ gap is genetic in origin.

The key point here is that the Flynn Effect and the white-black IQ gap are seperate phenomenons. The Flynn Effect is non genetic in origin. The white-black IQ gap is genetic in origin.


Arguments my Opponent Dropped


My opponent still refuses to adress the MTAS, G-loaded IQ tests, and the heritability of IQ tests. This seems to be based on my opponent's misunderstanding of my burden of proof that is driving his arguments. So, my opponent has basically dropped all of points.

I do, however, look forward to him adressing the point on brain size.



I look forward to my opponent's response.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...










Debate Round No. 3
000ike

Con

***In an effort to save characters, all quotes are in the form of images. Their respective sources are indicated within those images as well.


Introduction: Average =/= Inherent

all I have to do is show that there are genetic influences on these height differences for me to show that group A is "inherently" taller than group B.”

?The average American is fatter than the average European. Therefore Americans are inherently fatter than Europeans?

genetics of the individual =/= genetics of a race.


My opponent needs to prove that IQ is carried by racial genetics, not individual genetics...else how is it inherent to the race?

African Americans

As I said, only the smartest Africans immigrate to other countries with better education systems and higher standards of living. My opponent was rather dismissive of this seemingly obvious explanation. He does not explain why he is so dismissive, but he does criticize me for not having a source. In fact, we do know that African nations have very low IQs. In fact, the average IQ in African nations is lower than the average IQ of American blacks [1].”

My opponent proceeded not to find a source for the assertion that “only the smartest come to America.” The “[1]” you see in my quote of Pro is a source showing that African nations have low IQs, not a source showing that only the smartest come here. My opponent seems to think he’s helping his case by pointing out IQ scores in Africa. However, the reality is that many African countries are in cultural turmoil, political disarray, and domestic inadequacy. The schools are dilapidated and educational resources are scarce. There’s mass starvation, malnutrition and lack of opportunity (1). Only those born into decent living conditions and some money have the ability to travel and succeed. The less fortunate, born into poverty stay there in squandered potential. I don’t know why my opponent thinks it fair, accurate, or sound of mind to take those living in squalor and use their resulting Intelligence Quotients as proof of the innate inferiority of their race.

Pointing out the low IQ rates of poverty-stricken Africa would be the cross-racial equivalent of testing all the poor and uneducated Caucasians in America and using their inevitable low scores to argue that Caucasians are not intelligent. In order to determine genetics as the principal ruler of IQ, we must first subdue all other variables or points of contention. We must take individuals from Africa and give them the same environment and tools that their Caucasian counterparts were given and then allow their natural abilities to shine through undisrupted.

I have understood this necessity for controlled experiment from the very beginning. I gave you cases where the environmental field was level, and showed you that this so-called gap seems to vanish under such conditions. I have showed you that if you take an immigrant from Africa and place him in the United States, he will excel. I have showed you that if you pull a Black American from deteriorated neighborhoods and into an environment of affluence and adequate educational tools, he will succeed. In the face of this IQ fluidity according to environment, it is a difficult assertion to establish that IQ scores are a pure manifestation of innate racial genetics. IQ changes drastically with outside variables. This is a point I will not let my opponent ride roughshod over.





Twins

Twins are genetically identical human beings sharing 99% of the same genes. If there is a pervasive genetic component of IQ then we should expect to see little to no variability in the IQs of twins raised in separate backgrounds. However, this is consistently not the case. Some studies in which twins were tested in opposite socioeconomic backgrounds yielded opposite IQ scores. The twin from a poorer background scored less than the twin from a more affluent environment.



The Flynn Effect

However, if the white-black IQ gap, which is the topic of this debate, were not genetic, then we would see this gap narrowing. However, over recent decades, it has actually widened slightly. This would suggest that the white-black IQ gap is genetic in origin.”

This is false. For what reason or evidence does my opponent suggest the gap would narrow? If the factors of poor environments still hamper the African American race in comparison to other races, then the difference will certainly not reduce.

The increase in average IQ test scores can easily be explained by the improving environment helping the 15% to 25% of IQ tests that are not genetic.”

This is also false. My opponent clearly acknowledges that environment plays a role, but now it appears that he wants to diminish that role to a level of insignificance that is completely absurd. The Flynn effect has the power to account for 5 to 25 IQ points (6). This far exceeds the projected gap which is 15 IQ points (Black – 85, White – 100). Changing environments has the power to account for well over 15 IQ points in a controlled experiment. My opponent’s numbers of “15% - 20%” are complete nonsense. I provide you with 2 separate studies in addition to my other quotes proving that environment is powerful.



Brain Size

This was my opponent’s only attempt to address inherency. However this feeds into the original resolution. The same reasons that we see Blacks on average to score lesser IQs is the one that accounts for brain size. Brain size is not a reflection of inherency, but it is rather a reflection of body proportions. The mass starvation and rampant disease in Africa are the reasons for retarded growth and transitively average smaller brains. In short, brain size is contingent on body size and body aspects. If you take a race who’s majority is in starvation (Africa), expecting them to have average brain sizes equal to the rest of the more affluent worlds is a tremendous feet of unfairness. I believe this quote explains this point excellently.

". In mammals for example, 90% of all variation in brain weight can be explained by variations in body weight (Jerison 1973). Differences in body size are used also to explain why women, on average, have smaller brains than do men (Peters, 1991; Gould, 1981) and why these differences in no way reflect that the level of male intelligence is higher than female intelligence." (8)

Conclusion

I have proven that Pro’s use of averages, standing alone, says nothing about what is actually genetic. I have proven that environment is larger than genetics in the overall determination of IQ. I have proven that much of Pro’s projections can be attributed to non-inherent influences. I have proven how IQ plummets and rockets depending on external variables like socioeconomic status, quality of education, and availability of tools to build intelligence. It is thus a distortion of reality to assert some races inferior to another because they arbitrarily developed in such a way. We have seen the proof, now it is our burden to decide what is and is not honest in the views proposed.



In words of "Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war and until there are no longer first-class and second-class citizens of any nation, until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes. And until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race, there is war.

Thank you for reading. Vote CON.


Sources

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://www.ipr.northwestern.edu...

3. http://www.iqtestexperts.com...

4. http://www.3quarksdaily.com...

5. http://en.wikipedia.org...

6. http://www.indiana.edu...

7. http://allpsych.com...
8. http://www.africaresource.com...

jimtimmy

Pro

I thank my opponent for his response.

Burden of Proof

My opponent continues to misunderstand the nature of this debate. The question he asks is whether or not the fact that Americans are on average fatter than Europeans makes Americans "inherently" fatter than Europeans. He says that the answer is no.

This is missing the point. What my opponent is disputing is that Americans are fatter than Europeans. After all, there are plenty of individuals within America that are thinner than plenty of individuals within Europe. There are also many subgroups in America that are thinner than Europe as a whole.

However, on average, Americans are fatter than Europeans. My opponent then seems to agree that we can say that Americans are fatter than Europeans.

Now, on the question of "inherent". My opponent and I agreed that "inherent" meant genetically influenced. So, if we could establish that the reason that Americans were fatter than Europeans was partially genetic, we could then say that Americans were inherently fatter than Europeans.

This same thinking applies to race. Just like we could say Americans are fatter than Europeans, because Americans are fatter than Europeans on average, we could say that Caucasian Americans are more intelligent than African Americans, because Caucasian Americans are more intelligent that African Americans on average.

Just like Europeans and Americans, there are a lot of black individuals that are smarter than white individuals. However, as a whole on average, whites are smarter than blacks.

Since my opponent and I agreed that inherent means genetically influenced, all I need to do to show that these differences in intelligence are "inherent" is to show that whites have a higher average intelligence than blacks and that there is a genetic influence here.

African Americans

My opponent again disputes that African immigrants are smarter than the average African. First, I feel compelled to point out that this is a completely irrelevant point. We are talking about the entire African American population here, not a sub group that only comprises 2% of the African American population as I showed in the first round.

Also, the fact that African immigrants achieve so highly yet native African that do no immigrate do so poorly on IQ tests shows that only the smartest Africans come here. After all, it makes sense that only the smartest Africans would come to a place to earn a higher income and get a better education.

Still, I must emphasize that this entire point is irrelevant because we are talking about the entire African American group in America, not one small sub group.

My opponent then claims that bad environment explain the white-black IQ gap, and genes have nothing to do with it. He cites two studies to support this. The first study looks at young kids. As I have explained before, IQ becomes much more heritable with age. Genes get much stronger as organisms age. Chickens, humans, and fish all look fairly similiar at early stages of development but grow different with age as genes are expressed more strongly [1].

A massive study on IQ heritability found that IQ went from being 41% heritable at age 9 to 66% heritable at age 17 [2]. When looking at IQ differences, it is only appropriate to look at people after adolescence, when genes are more fully expressed.

My opponent then mentions how the Head Start program has been successful at raising IQs. However, he is ignoring the vast majority of the research on early childhood education. In fact, IQ gains caused by childhood intervention are shown to almost entirely fade out by adulthood [3]. This is because genes are expressed more strongly by this point.

Twin and Adoption Studies

My opponent then cites a study that claims to show that poverty substantially lowers IQ. The issue with this study is that it looks at 7 year olds. As I pointed out earlier, it is only appropriate to look at people old enough to have their genes fully expressed.

The other study he shows shows that kids that were severely abused could have their IQ raised from near retardation to still below average when taken from an abused environment and put in a regular one. All this shows is that severe abuse lowers IQ in young children. I never disputed this.

However, that kind of severe abuse is rare in America. And, it is certainly not an explanation for the white-black IQ gap unless my opponent holds that nearly all black children are severely abused and all white children are not abused at all. That is somewhat absurd.

I would also like to point out that the one study that looks at children from different races all the way to late adolescence, the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study, found that environment did NOT make the white black IQ gap go away. I explained the results to this in the first round. My opponent dropped this point entirely.

The Flynn Effect

My opponent once again fails to respond to my point about the Flynn Effect. The fact of the matter is that IQ is 15 to 25% non genetic, as I showed in the first round. The dramatic rise in living standards and the improving of test taking ability can easily account for the Flynn Effect, just because of that 15 to 25%.

However, if this Flynn Effect was at all relevant to the white-black IQ gap, we would see it narrowing. We do not see it narrowing. In fact, as I showed in the second round, it has slightly widened. The reason for this is that the Flynn effect is caused by non genetic factors and the white-black IQ gap is largely genetic.

My opponent also cites a study showing that wealthier people do better on IQ tests. This is quite odd because this supports my argument. People with higher intelligence have more socioeconomic achievement. So, people who achieve more would be more intelligent. I don't know why my opponent cited this.

My opponent also cited a study about Welsh children. There are a couple issues here. First, it is not relevant for the white-black IQ gap. Second, the kids are too young to see genes fully express themselves. Third, all this shows is that better nutrition can slightly raise IQ. This study is also irrelevant to the white-black IQ gap.

Brain Size

My opponent did attempt to respond to my point on brain size and intelligence. However, he did not really adress the points. My point was that, in America, east Asians have the largest brains and highest IQs, whites have medium sized brains and medium IQs, and blacks have small brains and lower IQs. As I showed earlier, starvation is not a big issue in the USA, so that is not what is causing these differences.

The brain size to IQ correlation is 0.4. That is far from perfect, but it does exist. The reason is that larger brains have more neurons and synapses and process information faster. As I said, this is not a perfect correlation. However, the relationship does exist. And, it is just how it would be predicted if there were genetic differences between races.

Conclusion

My opponent has dropped my points about heritability, the Minnesota Transracial Adoption study, and G-Loaded IQ tests having larger gaps. These are all key parts of my argument that my opponent completely dropped.

The points my opponent did make were largely irrelevant and filled with irrelevant studies. Despite, I adressed them anyways.

The only possible way someone could vote, given all of this, is PRO.


[1] http://www.sciencedaily.com...

[2] http://www.nature.com...

[3] http://www.sciencedirect.com...
Debate Round No. 4
272 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wrichcirw 1 year ago
wrichcirw
Well, this was an interesting read...I got directed here from this discussion:

http://www.debate.org...

---

I will say that PRO was overall much more cogent than CON, and refuted most if not all of his points. The problem with this debate is with its initial structure - CON did not define anything in round #1, and while PRO ostensibly listed a bunch of terms that CON supposedly agreed to, CON actually challenged many of them throughout the debate.

I fully agree with PRO that given the methods we use to measure intelligence, that Caucasians are inherently more intelligent than African Americans...however I disagree in that I think this is not necessarily due to genetics. It could easily be environmental factors inherent in the upbringing of the respective races. It could be that even given the controls cited in PRO's Minnesota study, that black kids are discouraged to think at school regardless of the race of the parents, and that such a mentality would detrimentally affect them on tests used to measure intelligence.

PRO easily refuted CON's arguments about African immigrants and the Flynn effect.

Overall, well argued by both sides, but a poorly structured debate. I would have given arguments to PRO.
Posted by Eitan_Zohar 1 year ago
Eitan_Zohar
This. Is. Incredible.

How did I miss this?
Posted by Sui_Generis 1 year ago
Sui_Generis
jimtimmy should have won. Regardless of personal beliefs, Pro made a more compelling argument.
Posted by Connoisseur 1 year ago
Connoisseur
I'm extremely happy that con won.

F*ck racism.
Posted by Angel_Miche 1 year ago
Angel_Miche
Your race has nothing to do with how "intelligent" you are. Yes years ago African American did not have the educational background that our white counterparts had because of segregation, but thats all
Posted by khkan 2 years ago
khkan
It is sad that we even have a debate such as this here; but it is even more depressing that almost half of the voters voted "pro". Shame on America.
Posted by Dik_Dawg 2 years ago
Dik_Dawg
Fake and gay!!!!!!!!!!

No, it was rather interesting
Posted by nonentity 2 years ago
nonentity
@Johnnyboy, Royal "couldn't" vote, because the second she did, there was an uproar from the "Conservative Coalition" and her vote was rendered useless (they countered it, like they countered mine). She only gave up because she realized it was useless.
Posted by nonentity 2 years ago
nonentity
**Ike only won
Posted by nonentity 2 years ago
nonentity
lol *tiny violin and Beethoven's 5th* You keep complaining about my vote with no evidence, and tried to claim ike only one because of my vote, despite the fact that I'm being counter vote bombed. You sir, ARE a moron.
38 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 2 years ago
1dustpelt
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Reasons for voting decision: Same as Bluesteel. Look in comments.
Vote Placed by Viper-King 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Countering Deathbeforedishonour's vote-bomb.
Vote Placed by Xerge 2 years ago
Xerge
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Reasons for voting decision: This debate came down to correlation and causation. Con showed there are other factors at work when dealing with IQ and genetics was not the only factor with evidence.
Vote Placed by overmind25 2 years ago
overmind25
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Reasons for voting decision: 000ike got the cause and effect backwards on IQ and college education. African immigrants that are let in to the US are the cream of the crop of Africa (the higher end of the African bell curve) and since Africa has some of, if not the worst universities on the planet the brightest would want to leave if accepted. He used a skewed sample.
Vote Placed by MikeyMike 2 years ago
MikeyMike
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD In Comments, Comment posted awhile ago.. Godspeed in your search for it...
Vote Placed by bluesteel 2 years ago
bluesteel
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments - 500 characters is too short
Vote Placed by chainmachine 2 years ago
chainmachine
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro did a better job proving his point, but con did provide better sources.
Vote Placed by nonentity 2 years ago
nonentity
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments. How many times do I have to explain that I gave conduct to Con because of jim calling the RFD of anyone who voted against him fake, and getting people to cancel out all the votes against him. That IS poor conduct. Morons.
Vote Placed by OberHerr 2 years ago
OberHerr
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Reasons for voting decision: Just countering Contra's source vote. I believe it has been agreed upon that the sources were good on both sides.
Vote Placed by Contra 2 years ago
Contra
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Reasons for voting decision: Was a close debate. Good job to both debaters. However, CON proved that environment played a role in determining intelligence. Since the parents would've been affected by the environment, their children would of been harmed as well and inherently given less intelligence. Thus, it is not fully genetics to blame, but the environment that has not allowed the children to reach their potential to help themselves and their children as well.