The Instigator
feverish
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points
The Contender
wolfgangxx
Pro (for)
Losing
5 Points

The race gap in IQ testing is caused, in part, by inherent genetic differences between races.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+2
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Con Tied Pro
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/7/2010 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,793 times Debate No: 12197
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (27)
Votes (5)

 

feverish

Con

I am Con to the above resolution and my opponent has asked me to challenge him and make the opening arguments in this debate. It is difficult to know exactly how to set things off without an argument to respond to but I will do my best to set out my own position.

However my opponent did previously begin another debate on basically the same subject (unfortunately his opponent backed out half way through) so I think I can infer some of the arguments he may make from there. http://www.debate.org...

Thanks wolfgang for the opportunity to debate this emotionally loaded and controversial topic. I hope we can both stay civil and have a rational discussion despite our differing views.

________

The suggestion that certain races are more intelligent than others and especially that black people have lower intellectual capacity is not a new one. From when Western European anthropologists first wrote about Africans they were assumed to be sub-human and even after the abolition of slavery in America, psychologists were still characterising "the mental qualities of the Negro as: lacking in filial affection, strong migratory instincts and tendencies; little sense of veneration, integrity or honor; shiftless, indolent, untidy, improvident, extravagant, lazy, untruthful, lacking in persistence and initiative and unwilling to work continuously at details. Indeed, experience with the Negro in classrooms indicates that it is impossible to get the child to do anything with continued accuracy." Frank Bruner 1912 http://books.google.co.uk...

Then as now these prejudiced opinions are associated with pseudo scientific methods and bigoted attitudes.

There is no solid scientific backing for the claim made in the resolution and the inferences made from the shoddy data collected by racist "scientists" is generally easy to expose as misleading, inconclusive, downright fraudulent or a combination of the three.

__________

I think myself, my opponent and anyone who takes time to investigate this subject at all can agree on the following facts:

1. IQ test results within mixed populations (most notably in the US) tend to show a slight trend for a better average performance among white people compared to black people and also among those of East Asian origin compared to either.

2. While an IQ test is by no means a precise tool for measuring a persons overall intellectual capacity or "smartness" it does provide some indication of popular notions of intelligence related to academic ability, reasoning etc.

3. While a parent's IQ results are good indicators of those of their offspring, environment has a massive impact on IQ results.

_____________

I believe the race gap in IQ testing can be attributed wholly to the many non-genetic factors that influence the results of the tests. The resolution relies almost entirely on a basic fallacy of cause and effect.

Social status, income, education, good nutrition, a stable family environment and countless other factors and variables have all been shown to have far more correlation with IQ than racial classification.

It is hardly surprising that the groups most disadvantaged in all the above areas perform less well in IQ tests and the racial correlation presents no evidence of causality.

"The experiences of low- caste groups around the world show that subordinate ethnic minorities do worse in schools and on school tests than do dominant groups, whatever the genetic differences or similarities between them. Whether it is Eastern European Jews in 1910 New York, the Irish in England, Koreans in Japan, or Afrikaaners in South Africa, being of lower caste or status makes people seem "dumb." The particular history of blacks and Mexicans in the United States fits the general pattern. It is not that low intelligence leads to inferior status; it is that inferior status leads to low intelligence test scores" Fischer etc. 1996 http://press.princeton.edu...

Even just the psychological effect of being in a lower caste group (and in this case the expectation of lower intelligence from the ethnic group) can have a profound effect in the form of stereotype threat. It has been shown that when race is emphasised in testing procedures the race gap increases substantially.

"in several experiments that Black college freshmen and sophomores performed more poorly on standardized tests than White students when their race was emphasized. When race was not emphasized, however, Black students performed better and equivalently with White students ... To date, over 300 experiments on stereotype threat have been published in peer-reviewed journals" http://www.reducingstereotypethreat.org...

____________

There are many factors about the variability of IQ scores which are still a long way from being understood.

Perhaps the best known example of this is the phenomenon known as The Flynn Effect. http://en.wikipedia.org...

Because IQ scoring is based around an average score of 100 for the subject population, tests need to be constantly re-calculated and adjusted within population groups. Bizarrely the average has been observed to rise substantially over time within almost all populations, so that some groups can become as much as 20 IQ points "more intelligent" within a single generation.

"In the Netherlands, for example, all male 18-year-olds take a test of abstract-reasoning ability as part of a military-induction requirement. Because the same test is used every year, it is easy to see the mean score rising, in this case, at about seven points per decade.
The cause of these enormous gains remains unknown." http://www.americanscientist.org...

This means that technically black people today have roughly the same average IQ as white people from the 1940s. Many theories exist to explain this effect but there is no significant consensus.

Another unexplained issue particularly relevant to this debate is that the race gap has actually shrunk over time.

There are many strange things going on with the numbers on IQ test scores that nobody really understands, the race gap is only one of them and the theory that it's causes are inherently racial has no solid foundation.

________

From a molecular genetic perspective, the resolution fails on two fundamental levels.

1. There is no gene that has been established to have a direct link to intelligence.

2. Race is not a scientific classification, merely a folk taxonomy.

"race is a social construction with no scientific definition. Thus, studies of the relationship between race and other constructs may serve social ends but cannot serve scientific ends. No gene has yet been conclusively linked to intelligence, so attempts to provide a compelling genetic link of race to intelligence are not feasible at this time." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

"Modern human genetic variation does not structure into phylogenetic subspecies (geographical 'races'), nor do the taxa from the most common racial classifications of classical anthropology qualify as 'races' ... it has not been demonstrated that any human breeding population is sufficiently divergent to be taxonomically recognized by the standards of modern molecular systematics." http://www.nature.com...

__________

I look forward to my opponent's refutations and his presentation of his own Pro argument.

Thank you.
wolfgangxx

Pro

I apologise for asking CON to go first but at the time I had 2 other debates going on at the same time and, while that was entirely my fault, I did not have the energy to do an 8000 essay which will basically repeat the points I made in my previous debate http://www.debate.org...; and, as CON said, he was capable of infering my points from the aformentioned debate and our own informal discussions on this matter.

I also hope that this will remain civil as it is indeed a very emotive subject that many will feel strongly about; but, knowing my very worthy opponent, I have every confidence that this debate will not descend into ad hominem attacks and the such.

-------------
Arguments
-------------

1) According to the title, all that I have to do is show that genes have a 0.1% impact on the intelligence of the individual - in essence, show that intelligence is heritable - and I will have successfully argued my case.

2) http://www.udel.edu...

This is an article, first published in the wall street journal, is on the view of mainstream scientists on the question of race and intelligence - it also has 52 signatures by eminent professors from leading Universities all over America to show that the views expressed are that of the scientific community at large.

I quote from the bottom of page 2: "Individuals differ in intelligence due to differences in both their environments and genetic heritage. Heritability estimates range from 0.4 to 0.8 (on a scale from 0 to l), most thereby indicating that genetics plays a bigger role than does environment in creating IQ differences among individuals."

So it is the mainstream view that genetic differences account for from 40% to 80% of an individuals IQ score or intelligence. This clearly demonstrates that genetics accounts for more than 0.1% and so more than substantiates my assertion that genes account for, at least least part, of the difference in IQ scores between races.

------------
Rebuttals
------------

1) In the first section CON goes on at some length about how this theory of different races have innately different IQs or intellectual capacities was used by Europeans to attempt to justify such barbaric acts such as slavery - I feel this is of no relevance to the debate as we are discussing the validity of the theory and not the, rather dubious, morals of some who have subscribed to this theory. This is a logical fallacy know as Guilt by association (http://www.nizkor.org...).

CON also then goes on to attack the validity of data collected by some scientists who do research in this field without backing up his claims with any evidence. Also, unless he is able to show that the unscientific methods described were systemic among the researchers in this field then he will really have not done anything to weaken my position.

2) In this section there is nothing to rebut as I fully accept CON's carefully thought out premises.

3) Here, CON gives an account of how being of a "lower" caste can have a negative affect on the performance of said person. And while this may play a large part in IQ test results, the fact remains that CON's statement that IQ is not heritable and can be wholly attributed to "non-genetic factors" flies in the face of all evidence.

In the table shown here: http://www.nature.com... we see that Mono-zygotic twins (basically exactly the same genes) reared apart show a 0.74 correlation in IQ scores ( 1 is an absolute correlation; 0 is no correlation), if genes did not play a role then siblings (sharing only some genes) reared apart should also show a 0.7 correlation give or take 0.1 - however, the IQ test results show that the correlation is only 0.24 which is staggeringly low compared to the correlation shown by MZ twins reared apart. This massive discrepancy tells us that genes must have played a role in IQ determination.

4) In this section he goes on to talk about how IQ scores are not very well understood by giving the example of how IQ scores rise with each progressive generation. Now CON has himself admitted that IQ scores are quite a good indicator of general intellectual ability so unless he is wishing to contradict his own premise, I'm not quite sure what he's trying to do here. A possible cause of the Flynn effect is better nutrition causing better brain development, but another possibility is that we, like all other animals, are simply evolving to be better adapted to our environment.

He also talks of how the " race gap has actually shrunk over time", now this is only true Africans and other disadvantaged groups in western countries and a reason for this could be that the better education system and better nutrition are drastically improving their environments and so cause a one-off jump in IQ that is slightly higher than the natural increase in IQ experienced by all races. I say it is only true for Africans and other very disadvantaged groups (e.g. Hispanics) because I have yet to see any studies on the white IQ rising faster than the East-Asian IQ - but if CON has then I would be extremely grateful if he could point me to the right paper.

5) In the fifth section CON raises two distinct points.

i) That "no gene that has been established to have a direct link to intelligence". This is thought to be due to the fact that many genes all contribute to this overall thing we call intelligence - just because we cannot identify each and every gene that contributes to intelligence does not mean we should ignore the mountain of evidence pointing towards the fact that intelligence is very much heritable. I would also like to draw CON's attention to the key word in his quote:
" No gene has YET been conclusively linked to intelligence".

ii) That race is "merely a folk taxonomy", so why is it that when given a skeleton a coroner is able to tell the race of the deceased using things such as bone density, skull size or hip width?

In the 2004 Stanford Study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...) 3,636 individuals of varying ethnicity from 15 different locations in Taiwan and America were asked to state their self-identified race. Microsatellite markers taken from these individuals produced four major clusters after genetic cluster analysis:

__________A____B___C____D
Caucasian_1348_ 0___0____1
African____3____0___1305_0
Hispanic___1____0___0____411
Chinese___0____407_0____0
Japanese__0____160_0____0
Other_____1____2___0____9

As you can see only 5 individuals identified wrongly (0.14%) and to quote from the article: the results showed near-perfect correspondence with the four self-reported race/ethnicity categories. This study shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that genetically distinct groups exist and that these groups tie in with our perceived notions of race.

In summary, I have shown that intelligence is indeed heritable and linked to our genes through the comparison of the IQ correlation mono-zygotic twins reared apart (0.74) and siblings reared apart (0.24) - the more genes two individuals share, the more their IQ scores correlate. I have also shown that race is not a social construct; but rather, something that is written into our very bodies.

I wait with eagerness for CON's reply.
Debate Round No. 1
feverish

Con

Thanks wolfgang.

I'm a little disappointed that there has been some confusion regarding the resolution of this debate but hopefully my discussions with my opponent in the comments section have cleared that up.

In his first round post, my opponent seems to think that he has affirmed the resolution by providing scientific references stating that IQ test results are somewhat heritable.

This of course comes nowhere near proving the resolution as heritability covers a lot more than just racial classification. The terms race and genetics are not synonymous, as my opponent seems to suggest. http://www.google.co.uk... http://www.google.co.uk...

I can find nothing in the article my opponent sourced that goes any way to confirming the resolution.

I respectfully ask my opponent once again to make a case in support of the resolution of debate.

============

1) In my introduction I briefly looked at the history of the issue of race and intelligence. I think this was entirely relevant to give background and context to the debate.

I think the accusation that I have committed a "guilt by association" fallacy is entirely inaccurate. To practice such a fallacy in this context I think I would have to be condemning a particular scientist due to their association or similar views to another.

To make the statement that most of the "scientists" I have heard expressing a view similar to the resolution are easily discredited is not such a fallacy. If my opponent refers to a "scientist" that I feel I can discredit, then I will do so on the individual merits of his research, not his association with others.

2) I am glad we agree on these points.

3) I am glad my opponent accepts the reality that stereotype threat and other environmental consequences of low status "may play a large part in IQ test results".

>>Pro: "CON's statement that IQ is not heritable and can be wholly attributed to "non-genetic factors" flies in the face of all evidence."

This is a complete straw man as I made no such statement.

IQ is indeed partly heritable. I have never denied this and made it very clear when originally discussing this debate with my opponent. http://www.debate.org...

It is the race gap rather than individual test results that I believe can be "wholly attributed to non-genetic factors".

Pro's source here is therefore entirely irrelevant and my points stand unrefuted.

4) My opponent skates over the issue of just how fuzzy and unclear the implications of IQ results are. Yes they provide an indicator for what we commonly refer to as intelligence but this in no way makes them anything approaching an exact science.

As I said previously: "Many theories exist to explain [the Flynn] effect but there is no significant consensus." My opponents suggested possible causes are among the most unlikely.

I would love to see data suggesting that changes in nutrition could effect anything like 21 IQ points in 30 years as seen in Holland. If this were true it would identify nutrition as the best individual predictor of IQ by a long shot.

As for evolution, significant evolutionary changes in the gene pool within a single generation would be literally impossible. Evolution is generally only observable over hundreds or even thousands of years unless there is catastrophic environmental change.

My opponent is entirely correct in his observation that the race gap has only been observed to shrink in societies where the minority group has made significant strides in improving their status in recent history, most notably in the case of black people in the USA who finally had their "equal" status legitimately granted by the Civil Rights act.

I think this is a far greater argument against the resolution than in favour of it.

5)

i) I am happy to see that my opponent concedes that the resolution can not be proved on a molecular genetic level, since " No gene has YET been conclusively linked to intelligence". This illustrates how unclear the science is in these fields and how much of what is spoken about intelligence is pure conjecture.

ii) My opponent has raised some good points here but he has ignored the detail of my own argument so I'll reiterate the crux of them first.

"race is a social construction with no scientific definition."

If my opponent disputes this, I would like him to supply a scientific definition of race and explain how it applies to specific human "racial" groupings.

>>Pro: "why is it that when given a skeleton a coroner is able to tell the race of the deceased using things such as bone density, skull size or hip width?"

To say that our labels of race are not a scientific classification does not imply that there aren't obvious genetic markers that can help distinguish geographical ancestry and fit an individual into one of the socially defined groups.

This link may be informative: http://interact.stltoday.com...

"Researchers speak in terms of "clines," or the continuum of observed human features. Skin color might be a cline, for example, ranging from dark to pale. Sampling the genetic code from an individual's blood might tell something about a person's skin color — and where a person is from geographically. Researchers might be able to do the same with other adaptive characteristics — hair color and texture, eye color, perhaps even the thickness of one's lips... Sussman said: There's not necessarily a correlation between one "cline" and another. "You don't necessarily find thicker lips in the same places you find darker skin," he said. That, again, makes it impossible to define "race" in the sense we usually discuss it."

The fact is that modern humans all evolved far too recently from common ancestors in Africa and have since migrated and interbred to such an extent that the biological meaning of race http://en.wikipedia.org... simply can't be accurately ascribed to us.

The Stanford genetic cluster study again only provides evidence for ancestral origins that help to furnish the social concept of race, not a scientific classification of race itself. As Wikipedia notes "the authors of the study do not equate the clusters with race" http://en.wikipedia.org...

A more detailed analysis of the implications of these types of study is here: http://www.nature.com...

" it might be tempting to conclude that genetic data verify traditional concepts about races. But the individuals used in these analyses originated in three geographically discontinuous regions ... each individual within a cluster shares most, but not all, of his or her ancestry with other members of the cluster (e.g., a member of the European cluster might have a posterior probability of 90% for assignment to that cluster, with 5% probability of assignment into each of the other two clusters in Fig. 3a). Ancestry, then, is a more subtle and complex description of an individual's genetic makeup than is race... human genetic variation tends to be distributed in a continuous fashion and seldom has marked geographic discontinuities. Thus, populations are never 'pure' in a genetic sense, and definite boundaries between individuals or populations (e.g., 'races') will be necessarily somewhat inaccurate and arbitrary."

______

I await my opponent's response to my own points, as well as an attempt to argue his own case as Pro for the resolution.

Con.
wolfgangxx

Pro

wolfgangxx forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
feverish

Con

A forfeit. What a shame.

Happily, this is a four round debate so if my opponent does decide to make an argument in favour of the resolution this round, then I will at least be able to respond to it.

I wait with anticipation.

Con.
wolfgangxx

Pro

Firstly, I would just like to apologise for not participating in the previous round; I will not pretend I had any major exams or anything like that - I simply left it to the last minute and then forgot about it.

However, I will do my best to make up for that lapse in this round.

As to the confusion with the resolution, it has been cleared up. We have agreed that if I prove "there are genetic differences between races; and, secondly, that these differences account for the gap in IQ testing." then I will have "prove[d] the resolution" http://www.debate.org... (16th and 15th comments).

-----------
Rebuttals
-----------

1) "I think this was entirely relevant to give background and context to the debate."

I was merely pointing out that linking a respected scientific field of study with the comments of a 20th century racist claiming Negros have little sense of "honour" is to misrepresent the field.

2) "I am glad we agree on these points"

Ditto

3) "IQ is indeed partly heritable[...]It is the race gap rather than individual test results that I believe can be wholly attributed to non-genetic factors."

This is akin to saying yes, a car's parts may have metal in them BUT the car itself does not. If IQ is heritable then a race with higher IQ will obviously pass some of this higher IQ onto their offspring and so the race gap in the next generation will be at least partly due to their genetic make-up.

4) Here CON basically casts doubt upon the validity of IQ tests since "the implications of the IQ results" are "fuzzy and unclear."

5)
i) "I am happy to see that my opponent concedes that the resolution can not be proved on a molecular genetic level." I said that no gene - singular - has been linked to intelligence; but, I believe that many genes contribute to our understanding of intelligence in the same way that many genes contribute to our hair colour.

ii) I am somewhat surprised that race has lasted as a point of contention since it seems to me and at least one of the readers (http://www.debate.org...) that the resolution implies that races do exist. The resolution states that there is a "race gap" and for there to be a "race gap" there must be races. So the question of whether races exist or not is moot.

And now onto my arguments:

-------------
Arguments
-------------

So basically I have to prove that "there are genetic differences between races; and, secondly, that these differences account for the gap in IQ testing."

6) "There are genetic differences between races". This is rather like saying there are physical differences between countries since the very fact that they are of different races means that there will be genetic differences.

Here is a definition of race: "A group or population of humans categorized on the basis of various sets of heritable characteristics (such as color of skin, eyes, and hair)." And when it says heritable characteristics it basically means genes since they are only heritable because the same genes are passed on. http://www.biology-online.org...

Further proof of the genetic difference (aside from the obvious physical differences and the fact that babies aren't born all looking the same) is that in the Stanford study I linked in the first round they were able to identify a person's self-identified race from their genomes alone - this would have been impossible if there were no differences between races.

7) "these [gentic] differences account[,in part] for the gap in IQ testing."

Now to prove that these differences account, in part, for the gap in IQ testing (just realised that neither I nor CON noticed that the "in part" was omitted but it must now be put it in as it is in the resolution) it must be shown that the in the genetic difference between races there are certain genes that make it so that Caucasoids are at an advantage to Negroids and Mongoloids to Caucasoids when it comes to intelligence.

If the genetic differences between races do not account, in part, for the gap in IQ testing - i.e. it was all environment - then adopted black children would do about as well as white children with the same environment, however the Minnesota adoption study shows that this is not the case and adopted black children scored 89 at age 17 while white children scored 109. This shows that there is a genetic factor to it and so that the genetic difference between races contributes to the difference in IQ scores. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
feverish

Con

Thanks wolfgang, I'm glad you managed to get your argument in before the deadline this time.

1) Okay, I agree that the reference to honour has nothing to do with the debate but as I said before, the passage as a whole helped set some context to the debate and my opponent doesn't seem to dispute this.

As far as misrepresenting the field, I think it is interesting to note the absence in my opponent's arguments of "scientists" that explicitly support the resolution . Many of the pseudo scientists in this field do such a bad job of presenting themselves that no misrepresentation is required to debunk them.

2) Me too.

3)

I said: "IQ is indeed partly heritable[...]It is the race gap rather than individual test results that I believe can be wholly attributed to non-genetic factors."

Pro said: "This is akin to saying yes, a car's parts may have metal in them BUT the car itself does not."

This is simply a ridiculous analogy that completely ignores the distinction between race and genetics as well as the distinction between an individual and a group.

No matter how much I try to explain that race and genetics are not equal or synonymous, this semantic barrier seems to remain been my opponent and I.

For him and anyone else who can't comprehend the distinction, please refer back to the links in my round 2 that show a selection of definitions for these two terms from respected dictionaries provided by the define tool on google.

A more accurate representation of my point about heritable IQ results not explaining the race gap, using my opponent's rather bizarre car and metal symbolism would be: "Each individual car has some metal parts but not every part of every car is entirely made of metal." Still ludicrously inappropriate though.

Pro: "If IQ is heritable then a race with higher IQ will obviously pass some of this higher IQ onto their offspring"

This makes no sense. A race does not have "an IQ" because it is not an individual. "Offspring" do not necessarily have the same "race" as their parent. IQ and race are both abstract concepts and one abstract concept cannot pass on another.

There is no contradiction in the statement that while an individuals IQ result is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, statistical differentiations between groups can appear from environmental factors alone.

Since my opponent accepts premise 3 from round 1, the fact that "environment has a massive impact on IQ results", since identical twin studies have shown results as much as 24 IQ points apart ( http://www.springerlink.com... )and since the racial groupings with the lowest results are universally those most vulnerable to the negative environmental factors, I think any rational unbiased mind can see that my argument makes perfect sense.

4) Pro: "Here CON basically casts doubt upon the validity of IQ tests since "the implications of the IQ results" are "fuzzy and unclear."

An analysis that my opponent does not attempt to disagree with.

Since he apparently accepts the unreliability and many unknown variables of IQ testing, I fail to see how he can attempt to uphold a scientific argument in favour of the resolution.

5)

i) I agree that any genetic component of intelligence would probably be caused by multiple genes rather than just one. The point is that, of all the genes that might correlate with intelligence, not a single one has been found that actually does.

Therefore no solid conclusions can be made about intelligence on a molecular genetic level.

ii)

Pro: "The resolution implies that races do exist. The resolution states that there is a "race gap" and for there to be a "race gap" there must be races. So the question of whether races exist or not is moot."

This is basically a semantic argument and a straw man.

Obviously the labels of race do exist and I have never suggested otherwise.

Since the artificial categories exist, a disparity between them can suitably be referred to as a "race gap".

The entirely relevant point that my opponent has decided to evade rather than argue against is that these labels have no solid scientific basis.

The way my opponent casually ignores and sidesteps the scientific articles that I reference is most obvious here but extends to most of the debate.

6) I'm going to assume that my opponent has actually read the content of my round two, nevertheless he has avoided addressing the material in it that rebuts his arguments here.

Having totally ignored my earlier list of definitions for race, Pro now decides to furnish the debate with one that is to his liking. However the biology online site that he uses as his source adds the following supplement below his chosen definition: "Humans have been categorized into many distinct varieties or races[...] At present, such classification is disputed to have no biological validity."

My opponent has carefully selected a definition of the outdated Blumenbach concept of races and his own source notes the biological inaccuracy of his definition.

The heritable characteristics that help categorise people into the folk taxons of race are the clines I referred to when refuting my opponent's points about the Stanford study back in round two. Pro refers to this again without acknowledging my previous rebuttal.

7)

Pro: "If the genetic differences between races do not account, in part, for the gap in IQ testing - i.e. it was all environment - then adopted black children would do about as well as white children with the same environment"

How would adoption address an issue like stereotype threat (my opponent has already acknowledged this has an effect). Unless you can make a black child appear white, then this powerful environmental factor can still play a part. There is of course also the statistical likelihood that the black child will have had pregnancy complications, adoption itself has been shown to negatively effect IQ results and many societal and other non-genetic factors still apply.

I can't help but chuckle after clicking on my opponent's link to the wiki article about the Minnesota adoption study. It seems that he has looked at the figures and made his own conclusions without bothering to scroll down to the "Interpretations" section, where he would find that the majority of scientists have concluded that the results are "support for the view that racial group differences in IQ are due to environment only."

The ambiguous nature of the results is noted, the study "can be used to support either a genetic difference hypothesis or an environmental difference one" but the consensus would seem to support the Con side of this debate.

It is also worth noting that plenty of adoption studies have recorded results of adopted black kids with higher results than adopted white kids such as Moore and also Tizard et al, as shown in these tables below the Minnesota study. http://en.wikipedia.org...

Conclusion:

In this debate, my opponent has ignored quite a few of my points, especially those I have drawn from scientific sources. He also didn't actually post an argument in favour of the resolution (that he chose to be Pro for) until the penultimate round.

In contrast, I have made my own case in depth, responded in detail to all of his points and showed how the sources he used have actually refuted his own arguments.

I somehow doubt I will change his mind but hopefully I have demonstrated some of the flaws in the racist claims of the inherent intellectual superiority of some ethnic groups over others.

Although the forfeit means this debate will probably largely go unnoticed, hopefully people will vote on who they think won the debate, not on any preconceived notions about the resolution.

Thanks wolfgang and anyone else who reads this.

Con.
wolfgangxx

Pro

I have lost this debate, perhaps I will debate this subject with feverish again in the future once I have looked in more depth at this question of whether race exists. Please vote CON.
Debate Round No. 4
27 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Anacharsis 7 years ago
Anacharsis
I thought that points concerning inherent biases in testing could have been much more developed. But of course there was no real need because Feverish had already won on all the important grounds. I think that could become an important line of argument in a future debate on the topic if anybody wanted to keep trying to pursue the racist position here.

Also, as race is only a conventionally accepted category, if it were defined in such a way that I might accept its validity there could be an argument to make that certain ethnic groups score higher on IQ tests due to a cultural emphasis on factors that contribute to testing success. Such an argument would of course support a claim of testing bias, but that also begs the questions of whether IQ tests are really a measure of intelligence and what the definition of that might be.
Posted by feverish 7 years ago
feverish
Glad you enjoyed the debate Roy but I must say that I'm disapointed in your conclusions as I thought you were more impartial than that.

You've given the convincing arguments points to a debater who didn't address the resolution till the penultimate round and then conceded the debate in the final one. You've also given sources to someone who's links contradicted the points he was trying to make.

You say: "Pro won the arguments that "race" was an identifiable characteristic and that intelligence was an inheritable genetic trait."

Even if you consider them "won" by my opponent (despite the fact that I clarified the second in my own round 1 and never argued against it), please could you explain how either of these issues go any way towards proving the resolution?
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
A very good debate. Both sides were civil, and, I dare say, intelligent.

My viewpoint is that intelligence is highly overrated as a human characteristic and that the standard deviation of intelligence is a more important property of intelligence than the average. Yeah, higher intelligence is a really importance difference between humans and squid, but 5 or 10 IQ points is meaningless. So it's a mistake to think that the resolution is very important.

Con wins conduct due to Pro's forfeit. Con also wins S&G due to a few significant flubs by Pro, like confusing "emotive" with "emotional."

Pro won the arguments that "race" was an identifiable characteristic and that intelligence was an inheritable genetic trait. Con conceded that intelligence differences among identifiable groups are present, but disputed that the groups could be described as "races." Con's best argument is that all the factors affecting IQ have not been identified, which I think Pro effectively conceded. So if the standard is sort of "guilt beyond a reasonable doubt" then Con would win the arguments. But I think that the standard is more like "preponderance of evidence," which I think Pro won. Con's references were not as strong, because they were more general opinions by people who seem to think it very important to defend the Con position.

Probably the best scientific evidence is that Asians have a slightly higher average IQ than other races. I'm surprised that didn't come up in the debate.
Posted by badger 7 years ago
badger
e-fighting for equality.
Posted by feverish 7 years ago
feverish
Thanks for the debate wolfgang. Was interesting to research this topic and debate it with you.
Posted by feverish 7 years ago
feverish
No worries dude, and yeah that would be fine for the last round too.
Posted by wolfgangxx 7 years ago
wolfgangxx
*deep breathing* just managed to escape my family but will be posting my rebuttals today; for the last round would I be allowed to respond to your points as long as I don't raise any new ones?

But yeah sorry about forfeiting, I left it until the last minute and then the timer ran out. I will do some more research into scientific definitions of race and then I'll send you a 5 round challenge if thats ok.
Posted by feverish 7 years ago
feverish
Wolfgang wrote: "Don't worry, I never forfeit.... Cause f I do my family hunts me down and commits an honour killing"

Damn, I guess that's the last we'll be hearing from him. RIP wolfgangxx
Posted by mattrodstrom 7 years ago
mattrodstrom
wolfgang said: I thought you were arguing matt's point that the differences were not genetic, but this is fine as well =]

matt's point was that you can't prove that the smart genes are more clumped in "Mongoloids" than anywhere else.
Posted by Anacharsis 7 years ago
Anacharsis
@self - "Possibility 1: the genes most associated with intelligence are commonly associated with the same genes that produce the outer physical appearances that you call race. Not that they are the very same genes as you might have taken from my earlier post, but that they occur on at least a common basis with the genes that cause the appearance of "racial" characteristics."

Of course the genes for stupidity seem to occur pretty commonly with the genes for various racial characteristics, so you might also have to show (if you choose to debate in this manner) that they occur more often in some races than in others.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Anacharsis 7 years ago
Anacharsis
feverishwolfgangxxTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:60 
Vote Placed by innomen 7 years ago
innomen
feverishwolfgangxxTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
feverishwolfgangxxTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:25 
Vote Placed by belle 7 years ago
belle
feverishwolfgangxxTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Vote Placed by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
feverishwolfgangxxTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40