The Instigator
VocMusTcrMaloy
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
bluesteel
Con (against)
Winning
19 Points

Racial IQ Differences- Social or Genetic?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
bluesteel
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/8/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,248 times Debate No: 17815
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (32)
Votes (4)

 

VocMusTcrMaloy

Pro

Resolved:
IQ differences between races are more likely to be the result of social factors than of genetic factors.

Being that this resolution is a comparative resolution between social factors and genetic factors, the burden of proof shall be shared between my opponent and me. My opponent and I both agree that both genetics and environmental factors effect differences, but we differ in which factors have MORE effect. I shall endeavor to prove that IQ differences between races are more likely to be because of social factors. My opponent shall endeavor to prove that those IQ differences are more likely the result of the genes of the different races.

Definitions:




1. Race- 1. any of the traditional divisions of humankind, some being "Asian," "White," "African-American," "Native-American," "Latino," etc. characterized by supposedly distinctive and universal physical characteristics: (modified from Dictionary.com)

2. Social factors- any action of another person or type of social influence on a person from conception until death. This includes the influence of drugs, alchohol, and nicotine consumed by the mother during pregnancy, the home environment during childhhood, the social climate of the child's neighborhood, the socio-economic status of the family, the school the child attends and historical/anthropological influences such as slavery.


3. Genetic factors- any traits inherited from parents and a child's ancestry through genes or any other biological factor.












Debate Organization:





Round:


1. Acceptance only- no arguments

2. Opening Arguments

3. Rebuttals and Summary/Conclusions






bluesteel

Con

Thanks for the topic VocMusTcrMaloy.

I was about to post my argument, but I saw the rules again.

Please try to keep your next round short, given that I have to present my case AND respond to your case. Thank you.

I look forward to proving that genetics have more to do with IQ differences than social factors.

-bluesteel
Debate Round No. 1
VocMusTcrMaloy

Pro

I would like to extend a warm thanks to my opponent for taking this debate. Being that I was not familiar with bluesteel prior to this debate, I looked at his debating record on ddo and found it quite impressive. It is quite an honor to debate someone of his caliber.

Before I go any further, I have an item of business. In the comments section of this debate, there was some confusion about the contender addressing 16000 characters of text with 8000. My opponent may have been swayed by those comments because he stated, "Please try to keep your next round short, given that I have to present my case AND respond to your case." In all fairness, I would like to remind the reader and my opponent that I have two remaining rounds (including this one) and so does my opponent. My opponent has the last round and final say in this debate, so he will certainly have adequate and equal debate space. I hope that clarifies the issue.

Opening Argument for Pro:

My debate resolution was rather broad in scope, so for the sake of this debate, I will narrow our discussion to Black/White IQ scores. I have material to discuss the broader topic; however, I feel we will not be able to adequately discuss more because of character limitations. If my opponent wishes to discuss more than the Black/White comparison, perhaps we can expand this discussion to other debates.

The topic of our debate has been debated in the psychological community for years. My opponents point of view has been the prevailing viewpoint until recent years. Newer research is proving quite the opposite.

Genetics effect much concerning the appearance and physical characteristics of people. At birth, one's hair color, eye color, skin color, hair texture, facial features, bone structure, eventual height, etc. are determined by genes. The distinguishing characteristic of genetic features is that they are immutable (unchangeable). They may be malleable (capable of being altered by outside forces or influences), but they are not mutable (changeable). One may alter some genetic features temporarily, but not permanently. Even if one altered facial features through plastic surgery, one still passes the genes for those facial features to one's posterity. Hair color is malleable in that it can be dyed, but it is immutable because when it grows out the roots are colored by genetics not by chemicals.

Intelligence on the other hand is both mutable and malleable, which I shall prove in this round. Intelligence can be improved and altered permanently. If I my evidence proves this, then I shall have proved that genetics has a minimal role in intelligence and that social factors play a major role in one's intelligence. That being the case I will have proven my resolution, " IQ differences between races are more likely to be the result of social factors than of genetic factors," and have won the debate.

Statistical Data:

I will be giving statistical data in the following examples and studies. In order for the reader to understand the data, I would like to explain in layman's terms what that data means. The term "mean" refers to the average. A standard deviation (SD) is a statistically significant amount. What is meant by "statistical significance" is an amount that is enough to have meaning to research. For example, if hot dog sales at a concession stand amount to $578 and nacho sales amount to $581; one cannot truly say that nachos are a better seller than hot dogs. In other words the difference is not statistically significant. If, however, the hot dog sales amount was $579 and the nacho sales were $392, there would be enough difference to say that hot dogs were a better selling item than nachos.

An IQ of 100 is average and is considered the "mean" for IQ statistics. In studies of intelligence, a standard deviation is 15 IQ points. On a bell curve graph, an IQ of 100 would be in the middle at the 50th percentile, and 84% of all people would fall within one SD above or below the mean. In other words 84% of all people have IQs between 85 and 115. When one goes to the second standard deviation above and below (IQs of 70- 130) one encompasses 98% of the population. One standard deviation is a very significant amount of difference. .50 SD is still significant enough to make a difference. .20 SD and less is considered too small by researchers to make a difference.

Adoption Studies:

A well-designed study [1] done in 2005 determined that children whose parents were from the lower-class (and had low intelligence), and who were adopted into middle- to upper-middle-class families had an 18-point IQ advantage over their biological siblings who remained in lower-class homes. That is an SD of 1.17! What this study implies is that children who would be expected to have lower intelligence due to socio-economic factors can have their IQs increased significantly if their cognitive environment is changed. Richard E. Nisbett, Ph.D. who has had a long career as a psychology professor and psychological researcher says in his recent (2010) book, Intelligence and How to Get It, "the degree of heritability of IQ places NO CONSTRAINT on the degree of modifiability that is possible." (p. 38) In other words, genetics have little effect on the mutability of intelligence.

Academic intervention:

An extremely ambitious academic intervention, called the Milwaukee Project, was performed on African-American children in who were at high risk for mental retardation because their mothers lived in poverty and had IQs of 75 or less. The intervention was so successful that at the end of the treatment, the children had an average IQ of 124! Although after the intervention, the 124 score was not maintained; these children averaged 101 in their teens, which is much better than the 75 or less of their mothers. [2]

Historical Considerations:

In recent times, studies of IQ have shown a difference in IQ scores of 15 points (1 SD) between Whites and Blacks with Whites averaging 100 and Blacks 85 on IQ scores; [3] however, this has not always been the case. In the US North during the early19th century, many Blacks were free and were integrated with White society. In Washington DC, some of these Blacks formed their own schools staring in 1807 which their children attended until 1862 when they were admitted to the public schools. In 1870, they founded the first Black high school. Three quarters of those high school students went on to college from then until the middle of the 20th century. Students at this Black high school scored higher on city-wide standardized type tests than did their White counterparts. After IQ tests were invented, students of that school scored higher than the national average. [4] This ideal situation for Blacks in the North ended when many freed slaves moved north after reconstruction.

Conclusion:

My documentation shows that intelligence can be altered by adoption, and by intervention. My documentation also shows that the current IQ gap between Whites and Blacks has not always been there. Since social factors such as adoption, academic intervention and education can alter IQ significantly, obviously, social factors have a greater bearing on intelligence than do genetic factors.

[1] van IJzendoorn, M. H., Juffer, F., and Klein Poelhuis, C. W. (2005) Adoption and cognitive development: A meta-analytic comparison of adopted and nonadopted children's IQ and school performance, Psychological Bulletin, 131, pp. 301-316.

[2] Garber, H. L. (1988). The Milwaukee Project: Preventing mental retardation in children at risk. Washington DC: American Association on Mental Retardation.

[3] Nisbett, R. E. (2010). Intelligence and how to get it: Why schools and cultures count. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company. p. 93

[4] Sowell, T. (1978) Three black histories. In T. Sowell (Ed.), Essays and data on American ethnic groups. New York: Urban Institute

bluesteel

Con

Thanks again VMTM.

==My case==

According to News Medical, "A 60-page review of the scientific evidence, some based on state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of brain size, has concluded that race differences in average IQ are largely genetic. The lead article in the June 2005 issue of Psychology, Public Policy and Law, a journal of the American Psychological Association, examined 10 categories of research evidence from around the world." [1]

According to Philippe Rushton of the University of Western Ontario, one of the studies authors, "Race differences [in IQ] show up by 3 years of age, even after matching on maternal education and other variables [like income level]. Therefore they cannot be due to poor education since this has not yet begun to exert an effect." [2] If you control for maternal education and income level, and test the individual before they enter society/school, the racial differences MUST be genetic.

The study finds that, "The Gene-Environment Architecture of IQ is the Same in all Races, and Race Differences are Most Pronounced on More Heritable Abilities. Studies of Black, White, and East Asian twins, for example, show the heritability of IQ is 50% or higher in all races." [3]

In addition, the study finds that, "Brain Size Differences. Studies using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) find a correlation of brain size with IQ of about 0.40. Larger brains contain more neurons and synapses and process information faster. Race differences in brain size are present at birth. By adulthood, East Asians average 1 cubic inch more cranial capacity than Whites who average 5 cubic inches more than Blacks." [4] This explains the average IQ of 106 for East Asians, 100 for whites, and 85 for blacks (in the US).

The study debunks a number of environmental explanations. It says, "[In] Trans-Racial Adoption Studies. Race differences in IQ remain following adoption by White middle class parents." [5]

The study explains racial differences in IQ through natural selection: "Race Differences and the Out-of-Africa theory of Human Origins. East Asian-White-Black differences fit the theory that modern humans arose in Africa about 100,000 years ago and expanded northward. During prolonged winters there was evolutionary selection for higher IQ created by problems of raising children, gathering and storing food, gaining shelter, and making clothes." [6]

Cultural theories fail. The study finds that, "No interventions such as ending segregation, introducing school busing, or "Head Start" programs have reduced the gaps as culture-only theory would predict." [7] If culture mattered, you'd expect the end of segregation ot have improved IQ's for blacks.

A meta-study by TJ Bouchard of 111 different studies found that genetics explains 85% of the variance in IQ between 18 year olds. [8] According to the NY Times, "A century's worth of quantitative-genetics literature concludes that a person's I.Q. is remarkably stable and that about three-quarters of I.Q. differences between individuals are attributable to heredity." [9] Prefer these meta-studies to individual studies.

The ultimate studies for heritability are of identical twins, raised apart. The 2006 edition of "Assessing adolescent and adult intelligence" by Alan S. Kaufman and Elizabeth O. Lichtenberger reports correlations of 0.86 for identical twins raised together compared to 0.76 for those raised apart. So 76% of IQ variability in identical twins, raised apart, is explained by genetics, and altering an identical twin's environment only alters their IQ by a marginal amount from what would be expected.

In The Bell Curve, Harvard psychologist Richard Hernstein documents why hereditary factors affect IQ and concludes that the following factors are genetic: frequency of alpha brain waves, latency and amplitude of evoked brain potentials, and rate of brain glucose metabolism. People with higher IQ's have brains that are not only bigger, but more efficient and can process data more quickly.

==Rebuttal==

R1) Opening statement

My opponent says that all genetic traits are immutable. This is silly, since genetic diseases, like schizophrenia, only have correlations of 0.5 in identical twin studies. Many genes can be turned on or off by environmental factors, but the underlying cause is still genetic. My opponent admits this himself when he says in Round 1 that I don't have to prove that IQ is 100% genetic, just that it is influenced MORE by genes than by environment.

My opponent claims he wins by showing that IQ can improve. This is silly because it ignores the *baseline* and the *capacity for improvement.* Both of these are influenced by genes. I agree 100% that anyone can improve their IQ with enough hard work. However, some people start at an IQ of 100 and some people start at 150, and where they start is influenced almost entirely by genes, which I've shown in hundreds of studies referenced above (meta-studies). In addition, capacity for improvement is different. One person might put in 100 hours of studying to improve one IQ basis point, while another person might improve 10 basis points, for the same amount of work; the capacity for improvement is also genetic. Some learners are just more gifted than others.

R2) Statistical data/adoption studies

I read my opponent's study, found here. [10] On page 308, "Results," you'll find my opponent's quote, but it says, "Comparison of adopted children's IQ with IQ of siblings or peers who stayed behind." The study mostly compares kids that are adopted out of foster care with kids that stay behind in foster care, and mostly compares kids with their "peers" rather than someone related to them.

So two problems with the study:

1) Selection Bias

Adoptive parents are picky when they go to a foster home; they often meet multiple children and specifically try to select the ones that are most engaging and most intelligent. The really dumb ones get left behind in foster care, vastly dragging down the IQ average for the kids left behind. This completely ruins the study.

2) Uses non-related "peers"

Self-explanatory. The best studies use identical twins who are separated, such as the Kaufman (2006) study I cited above. Identical twins can sometimes improve their IQ when adopted, but only marginally; 76% of IQ variation is still explained by genetics in cases of identical twins, raised apart.

Also, remember the Rushton 60-page meta-study that reviewed "Trans-Racial Adoption Studies" and found that "Race differences in IQ remain following adoption by White middle class parents."

R3) Historical considerations

My opponent cites one black high school in Washington D.C. that scored higher than the national average on IQ tests. This is just cherry picking data; the author of the book he cites, T. Sowell, OF COURSE didn't think it was noteworthy to mention all the black high schools that were scoring below the national average, but there were many (obviously, since blacks scored lower than the average as a group). When we want to look at trends, we have to look to averages, not cherry picked data.

Once again, there is selection bias. Many of the free blacks had either escaped, which meant they were more resourceful than their compatriots, had been a house slave (who were selected for intelligence) and had gained their master's sympathy (since master's did not interact sympathetically with field slaves), or had bought their freedom, again meaning they were more intelligent than the average.

There was additional selection bias since school attendance was not mandatory in those days, so the bad students dropped out much earlier than high school (when they were tested for IQ) and took up a trade or manual labor.

Both of my opponent's sources are fatally flawed and thus I urge a Con vote.

[1] http://www.news-medical.net...
[2] Ibid
[3] Ibid
[4] Ibid
[5] Ibid
[6] Ibid
[7] Ibid
[8] Bouchard, TJ (2004). "Genetic influence on human psychological traits - A survey". Current Directions in Psychological Science
[9] http://tinyurl.com...
[10] http://tinyurl.com...
Debate Round No. 2
VocMusTcrMaloy

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for his opening argument and his rebuttal.

In my opening argument, I stated, "The topic of our debate has been debated in the psychological community for years." In other words, the experts are going to disagree with each other. This debate is a comparison. Basically, I am arguing "Racial IQ differences are because A is greater than B"; and, my opponent is arguing "Racial IQ differences are because B is greater than A."

Let me sum up my opponents opening argument: "B>A because my experts say B>A." Well, of course, that is a given, being that the experts disagree. My experts happen to disagree with his experts, what's the big deal? The difference in my opening arguement is that I actually gave logical EVIDENCE for my position using actual case studies while my opponent merely told you that what his experts concluded. Sure, my opponent said that there were studies done with identical twins; but did these studies include variables of socio-economic status(SES), IQs of the biological parents and the adoptive/foster parents, or other variables between the families to which the twins went? My opponent did not include any of this in his argument. His documentation is merely a surface research.

The biggest problem with my opponent's argument is that he failed to check out the credibility of his sources. Now concerning his number one expert, J. Phillipe Rushton, please take a look at the following:

"Philippe Rushton, a psychology professor at the University of Western Ontario, has taken over the leadership of the Pioneer Fund following the recent death of its former administrator, Harry F. Weyher.
The Pioneer Fund was established in 1937 by the American white supremacist multimillionaire Wickliffe Draper and others who were supportive of Nazi race policies in Germany. The incorporation papers of the Fund states its policy to support the 'procreation of the white colonial stock' and to finance research into 'problems of race betterment' and 'problems of heredity and eugenics in the human race.'" [1]

"Rushton (who's gotten more than $770,000 from Pioneer) has transformed the Victorian science of cranial measurement into a sexual fetish--measuring not only head and brain size, but also the size of breasts, buttocks and genitals. 'It's a trade-off: More brain or more penis. You can't have everything,' he told Rolling Stone's Adam Miller (10/20/94), explaining his philosophy of evolution.

Rushton was reprimanded by his school, the University of Western Ontario, for accosting people in a local shopping mall and asking them how big their penises were and how far they could ejaculate. 'A zoologist doesn't need permission to study squirrels in his backyard,' he groused (Rolling Stone, 10/20/94)."
[2]

"J. Philippe Rushton is best known for his dubious work as a race scientist, proposing such theories as an inverse relationship between brain and penis size and the general notion that blacks are not as smart as whites. Recently, the venomous psychology professor at the University of Western Ontario in Canada -- a man who heads up and also is subsidized by the racist Pioneer Fund -- unleashed yet another attack, saying 'Toronto the Good' had been wrecked by 'black people.'"

At this point, I feel it would be fair to say that my opponent has based his argument on biased research. Of course, Ruston is going to conclude that Whites are smarter than Blacks in his research, that is the whole purpose of his research! Rushton is not a scientist, he is a bigot with an agenda.

Response to Rebuttals:

"My opponent claims he wins by showing that IQ can improve. This is silly because it ignores the *baseline* and the *capacity for improvement.* Both of these are influenced by genes. I agree 100% that anyone can improve their IQ with enough hard work. However, some people start at an IQ of 100 and some people start at 150, and where they start is influenced almost entirely by genes, which I've shown in hundreds of studies referenced above (meta-studies). In addition, capacity for improvement is different. One person might put in 100 hours of studying to improve one IQ basis point, while another person might improve 10 basis points, for the same amount of work; the capacity for improvement is also genetic. Some learners are just more gifted than others."

My opponent's position here is pure conjecture. My opponent has not proven that there is a baseline or that there are differences in the capacity for improvement, that is an assumption (influenced by Rushton?). If one's IQ can improve by 18 points (van IJzendoorn, et. al. study) or by 49 points (IQ 75 or less improved to IQ 124 in Garber study), then social factors have had a much greater influence on IQ than genetics.


"I read my opponent's study, found here. [10] On page 308, "Results," you'll find my opponent's quote, but it says, "Comparison of adopted children's IQ with IQ of siblings or peers who stayed behind." The study mostly compares kids that are adopted out of foster care with kids that stay behind in foster care, and mostly compares kids with their "peers" rather than someone related to them."

Well, did my opponent read this when he was reading my study?:
"The influence of the adoption experience may become larger when the change of environment becomes more drastic. Scarr and Weinberg (1976) studied the IQ and school achievement of 130 Black children adopted before the age of 12 months by advantaged White families. The adoptees from educationally average families scored above the average level of IQ and school achievement of the White population. The high IQ scores of the Black adoptees suggests that IQ is malleable under rearing conditions that are relevant to the tests and the schools and that deviate drastically from the preadoption social background."

My opponent goes on to say: "My opponent cites one black high school in Washington D.C. that scored higher than the national average on IQ tests. This is just cherry picking data"
I wonder if my opponent actually read the account? The high school was founded in 1870 and had a standard of excellence until the middle of the 20th century. That is approximately 80 years of excellence. If I'm cherry picking, my cherry tree is quite prolific! My example proves that social elements do make a difference!

Summary/Conclusion:

I have shown that intelligence is both mallable and mutable. My evidence shows that Black, children from lower SES familes achieve significantly higher (by 18 points) intellectually than their siblings when adopted by White, higher SES families. I have shown that academic intervention can make significant differences in intelligence (up to 49 points); and I have shown that history has not always seen disparities in IQ scores between Blacks and Whites.

My opponent has used the work of a biased researcher to validate his claims. I recommend the reader disregard my opponent's dubious evidence.

If intelligence can be altered by one's social environment, then the notion that one is born with a certain level of intelligence is certainly questionable. The fact that intelligence can be altered over 1 standard deviation through altering different social factors, then IQ differences between races are more likely to be the result of social factors than of genetic factors!

I won't tell you how to vote, but it should be quite obvious who the winner of this debate is.



[1] http://www.bethuneinstitute.org...
[2] http://www.fair.org...
[3] http://www.splcenter.org...
bluesteel

Con

Thanks for the great debate VMTM.

==Burden of proof==

To prove that IQ is mostly genetic, I only need to prove that more than 50% of IQ comes from genetics.

==My case==

Literally, the ONLY response to my case that my opponent makes is to indict Rushton. Let's start by looking to all the sources that aren't Rushton that my opponent DROPS and thus concedes to:

1. A meta-study by TJ Bouchard of 111 different studies found that genetics explains 85% of the variance in IQ of 18 years olds.

2. The NY Times does a review of all the quantitative research on IQ for the past 100 years and concludes that the literature finds that three-quarters of IQ is genetic and IQ, for the most part, cannot be changed.

-These meta-studies include my opponent's singular studies, but look at a broader literature to get rid of problems in individual studies like selection bias.

3. The Kaufman & Lichtenberger (2006) study of identical twins, raised apart, finds that 76% of their IQ variability is explained by genetics. Since identical twin studies are the most accurate, I should win the debate right here.

4. Harvard psychologist Richard Hernstein explains that people who have more gifted genetics have more frequent alpha brain waves, have better latency and amplitude of brain potentials, and have a greater rate of glucose metabolism, meaning that their brains are more efficient at processing information. You can't improve on tests designed to measure how fast you can think, UNLESS you are "taught to the test."

Now lets look at the Rushton study. My opponent is merely doing an ad hominem attack on my author, who I now agree sounds kind of racist and weird. But it is still fallacious to reject a study without an opposing debater explaining why anything he said is wrong. [This would be like him arguing Thomas Jefferson said X and my only response being, "yeah, well Thomas Jefferson owned slaves."] My opponent's only response is "yeah, well X is racist." Yeah, well he can be racist and RIGHT.

Problems with this attack:

1. No reasons given to doubt his findings.

2. His co-author is LEGIT. Arthur R. Jensen of the University of California at Berkeley, is the author of over 400 scientific papers published in refereed journals and currently sits on the editorial boards of the scientific journals Intelligence and Personality and Individual Differences.

3. This is a literature REVIEW, so besides the cranial size study, which belongs to Rushton, he is just reviewing all the literature on the topic.

I tracked down the actual study; let's see where each claim I made before comes from.

[Paragraph 2 from Round 2]
1. Race differences in IQ appear at age 3, controlling for maternal education and income level. Since the child has yet to enter society or school, the only possible factor affecting these race differences is genetics. This is from a study by (Peoples, Fagan, & Drotar, 1995). [1]

[Paragraph 3 from Round 2]
2. Blacks score worse on tasks that are more genetically determined.

Blacks score MUCH worse than whites on g-loaded tasks, which are tasks that measure "brain evoked potentials, brain pH levels, brain glucose metabolism, as well as nerve conduction velocity, reaction time, and other physiological factors," meaning tasks that are the "best predictor . . . of that test's correlation with scholastic and workplace performance," and g-loaded tasks are also the most heritable, based on twin studies. This is from Jensen (1998). [1]

Nichols (1972) looked at 13 factors in IQ and found that on heritable factors, there was a .67 correlation with the black-white gap in IQ, but on environmental factors, there was a negative correlation, meaning that genetics explains the gap greatly but environment COMPLETELY fails to explain the gap, meaning there IS NO GAP for factors that are environmentally determined; the gap only exists for genetic factors. [1]

[Paragraph 3 from Round 2]
3. Twin studies find that in ALL races, heritability of IQ is above 50%. This is from (Bouchard, 1996; Bouchard & Loehlin, 2001; Deary, 2000; Plomin et al., 2001). [1]

[Paragraph 5 from Round 2]
4. Trans-racial adoption studies show that race differences remain after adoption

This actually uses the Scarr and Weinberg (1976) study that my opponent himself cites in his previous round. At age 7, the adopted black children scored a 105, but when re-tested at 17 (with a more standardized IQ test – tests for children are far less accurate), the black children scored an 89. Jensen explains that although this is higher than the national average for blacks of 85, it is NOT higher than the average IQ score for blacks in Minnesota, where the study was conducted. [1]

[Paragraph 7 Round 2]
5. Ending segregation and other interventions did not improve black IQ, as you would expect if IQ was culturally determined.

Coleman (1991) found that integrating schools did not improve black IQ scores. [1]

Currie and Thomas (1995) did a study of 4,000 children in Head Start-style programs (to give disadvantaged students a good pre-school education) and found that blacks failed to make lasting gains in IQ from the programs. [1]

The only two arguments that I cited that are Rushton's are the out-of-Africa theory, that whites evolved higher IQ to deal with harsher and colder climates and the brain size study, which found that East Asians have 1 cubic inch more brain mass than whites, and whites have 5 cubic inches more than blacks, explaining their IQ scores of 106, 100, and 85 respectively. This study is still valid and unrefuted.

Ultimately, not a single one of my studies was refuted by my opponent.

==Rebuttal==

My opponent now has 4 sources, which I'll refute.

1. van IJzendoorn, et. al. study (18 point boost)
This was the study with the massive selection bias, since adoptive parents CHOOSE children that appear smarter and more engaged at the adoption center. The child building a tower out of blocks is going to be more intelligent than the children eating play-dough, and the smarter child is much more likely to be adopted.

This was ALSO the study that compared adopted kids to their NON-RELATED "peers." Studying non-relatives is no way to study genetics.

2. Scarr and Weinberg (1976)

This is the same adoption study that Jensen uses in my study to show that trans-racial adoption, ultimately, does NOT increase IQ. The initial IQ boost measured at 7 years of age disappears with more accurate IQ testing at age 17. They use different and less accurate tests for kids. When I was initially tested in elementary school for IQ, they thought I was mentally retarded.

Ultimately, the adopted black kids had a slightly lower IQ than the average IQ for blacks in their state.

3. Garber study

My opponent didn't initially source his Milwaukee Project evidence so I didn't respond to it yet. However, in this study as well, the gains seen in childhood completely disappeared in adulthood. [2] The 49-point IQ boost is FAR too good to be believed! Arthur Jensen explains that the Milwaukee Project is a classic example of "teaching to the test," since the "education" these children received through the program was designed to teach them all the answers to the IQ test, without actually permanently raising their IQ's. [2]

Ultimately, there was ZERO gain when they were tested again at age 17.

4. One black high school in Washington D.C.

My opponent's only response to my arguments is that this is a really GOOD cherry picked example. Of course, all cherry picked examples are really good. I could go find the black man in the US with the highest IQ and claim that this proves black people all have amazingly high IQ's. We have to look at averages, not singular examples.

In addition, my opponent doesn't respond to my two selection bias arguments. Free blacks at the time were already smarter than non-free ones because they were usually former house slaves, who were selected by their masters for intelligence. This is just selection bias; the ones who were naturally gifted in terms of IQ (through GENETICS) were disproportionately the ones who escaped to the North.

There's also selection bias because the stupid students dropped out of school before high school. So the students tested at this high school were all the gifted ones, but the national average my opponent then compares this to was an average of ALL people in the US (including the high school dropouts).

=====
My opponent still claims that because IQ can improve, it is solely environmental. However, again, my NY Times evidence and TJ Bouchard meta-study of 111 different studies show that IQ is genetically determined – between 75% and 85% due to genetics. The Kaufman & Lichtenberger (2006) twin study also proves that IQ is 76% genetic in identical twins, raised apart. So the baseline IQ is determined genetically.

In addition, the NY Times evidence says that improvement is nearly impossible, and we see from my opponent's own studies that improvements are temporary and often a result of teaching to the test. Even if improvement is possible, my Rushton and Hernstein analysis shows that some people have bigger and more efficient brains than others, so capacity to learn is larger for the genetically gifted as well.

=====
Because I refuted all of my opponent's studies and he refutes NONE of mine (except for one ad hominem), you should clearly vote Con in this debate. I have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that IQ is determined FAR more than 50% by genetics AND that interventions in environmental factors are either temporary (and disappear by adulthood) or don't do anything (ending segregation, Head Start).

[1] http://psychology.uwo.ca...
[2] Jensen 1998, pp. 340–342
Debate Round No. 3
32 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by tarkovsky 5 years ago
tarkovsky
Pro's position is invalid because it portrays genetics as they aren't. If I understand correctly, his position is as follows:

Genetic features are immutable ("genetic features" here, is a suspiciously vague word. Perhaps he meant phenotype?) while also maintaining malleability. Intelligence has shown to be mutable (altered permanently) therefore intelligence is, at best, minimally determined by genetics.

The problem is is that this sets up a false dichotomy that is bred from a plain falsehood. The dichotomy is of the form "If intelligence is mutable then it isn't genetic, if it's immutable then more evidence is needed to make any determination about its character." The falsehood is, plainly, that genetic features are immutable: (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

I conjecture that this difficulty is predicated out of the vague terminology pro is using, viz., genetic features. The argument seems to dismiss gene expression as irrelevant. In fact, though the actual gene isn't changed in that none of nucleosides are rearranged or omitted, gene expression, itself, can be permanently altered by environmental factors and these changes in gene expression can be passed on to future generations, even if those future generations aren't exposed to the same environmental factors.

Therefore, permanently altering ones intelligence by environmental factors may be just an elaborate hoax, for the environment may be playing an epigenetic trick, altering the way an individual's genes are expressed, activating and deactivating specific codons, and ultimately altering the individuals intellectual capacities.
Posted by bluesteel 5 years ago
bluesteel
Thanks for all the comments OreEle! I definitely see what you mean about the peers thing; I kind of realized that in my third round. But I still think there's selection bias if you compare the kids who got adopted to the kids no one wanted. The unadopted kids are generally going to be less desirable than the adopted ones, on both measures of intelligence and social skills. A true study would have to randomly assign the kids from foster care to the adoptive parents' houses, not allow parents to select the kid they want.

And yeah the 3-year-olds study wasn't the best, although the Nichols (1972) study, which broke apart the 13 different factors by being influenced by genetics or environment, I found really really interesting.

And thanks again for the debate VMTM. It was a lot of fun.
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
Based on that stuff, it may seem like I should have given at least the sources to BS, however, I feel that while BS's comment about 7 year old IQ tests being inaccurate basically negated his 3 year old stuff, he also firmly negated one of Pro's few sources (espiecally by showing how at 17 those differences were gone and they were actually slightly below state average for blacks). Con also effectively negated all but one of Pro's sources (IMO), that one being that a study of "peers" isn't accurate.
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
Anyway, about all the stuff that I wanted to say but didn't have room in the RFD.

1) (Since this was brought up in the last round and not able to be refuted I want to comment on it) Bluesteel says that 7 year old IQs are not very accurate (the younger the less accurate the study), however he uses an IQ study of 3 year olds.
2) 3 year old IQs are not just genetic, since parents can, from the moment of birth, have environmental effects on their IQs
3) A study of "peers" is sufficient (while "twins" are good too) because this was only about racial genes, and not genes in general.
Posted by VocMusTcrMaloy 5 years ago
VocMusTcrMaloy
Good debate bluesteel! I enjoyed the challenge!
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
just finished reading and saw it.
Posted by bluesteel 5 years ago
bluesteel
lol, you'll see that's exactly what I did in my final round already.
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
Then why not just use the same link? So instead of saying... alhdsk[1] akldaklj[2] asklalda[3] lkhaeh[4].

[1] source
[2] Ibid
[3] Ibid
[4] Ibid

Just say... alhdsk[1] akldaklj[1] asklalda[1] lkhaeh[1].
[1] source
Posted by bluesteel 5 years ago
bluesteel
lol, everyone seems to ask me that. Ibid is a footnoting tool, meaning it's the same source already cited.
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
what is with the "Ibid" sources?
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by jimtimmy 5 years ago
jimtimmy
VocMusTcrMaloybluesteelTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con made better arguments and had better sources. Of course, Con also had the advantage of having a majority of evidence on his side. But, the thing that killed Pro was his Ad Hominem attacks.
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
VocMusTcrMaloybluesteelTied
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Reasons for voting decision: The biggest issue is that Pro doesn't address the vast majority of con's evidence. As indicated, Rushton only applied to two studies. This leaves the 116 count meta-study and all but one of the News Medicals studies unanswered. Con also made strong arguments on selection bias, and invalidated Pro's sources since the IQ gains of blacks didn't last in the long run. This was a very interesting debate, but in the end the evidence supported Con much more strongly.
Vote Placed by larztheloser 5 years ago
larztheloser
VocMusTcrMaloybluesteelTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Enjoyable debate. Both sides presented good evidence, but con ultimately provided better rebuttal. Pro should rebut all of con's sources, and search for biases in the report rather than attack the authors.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
VocMusTcrMaloybluesteelTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Ultimately, Pro lost argument because he used his rebuttal to attack one source of Con's but ignored the rest. Con was also correct in that Pro's reasons for rejecting that one source were not fully legitimate. You cannot reject something because the author was bias, but you should double (and triple) check their work to confirm. Other stuff in comments.