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Academic Racism: Richard Lynn’s and Satoshi Kanazawa’s bogus and sub-standard theory of racial differences in intelligence: An essay review of Racial Differences in Intelligence: An Evolutionary Analysis by Richard Lynn (2008) and a review of Temperature and Evolutionary Novelty as Forces Behind the Evolution of General Intelligence by Satoshi Kanazawa (2008)

Journal article
Authors Girma Berhanu
Published in Educational Review
Volume 14
Issue 8
Pages 56
ISSN 1094-5296
Publication year 2011
Published at Department of Education and Special Education
Pages 56
Language en
Keywords Intelligence, Academic Racism, culture, school
Subject categories Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified


Introduction This double review (of one book and one closely related article) is prompted by a response to my essay review1 of IQ and the Wealth of Nations by one of the authors of the book, Tatu Vanhanen. Vanhanen responded to my review of his book with Richard Lynn in a private e-mail: Dear Dr. Berhanu, Thank you for your review of our book IQ and the Wealth of Nations. I would like to inform you that my colleague Richard Lynn has found a new study on intelligence in Ethiopia. It is: Aboud, F., Samuel, M., Hadera, A. & Addus, A. (1991). ―Intellectual, social, and nutritional status of children in an Ethiopian orphanage.‖ Social Science and Medicine, 33, pp. 1275-1280. This study is based on a sample of 134 children in an orphanage in Jimma tested in 1989. According to Richard Lynn, Ethiopia's national IQ would be 71 on the basis of this study. It is significantly higher than estimated in our book. It should be noted that there is a margin of error in all national IQ estimations. I do not go to the details of your review, but I would like to emphasize that we do not suggest that poor countries should blame themselves for their poverty, which is significantly related to national IQs. Our point is that differences in national IQs reflect the evolved human diversity. Nobody is responsible for those differences, not rich nor poor countries. Such differences are consequences of evolution through natural selection, which is not controlled by anybody. Our message is that we should learn to accept the evolved human diversity and its consequences in social, economic and political conditions. This means that human ability to equalize human conditions is quite limited. We should learn to accept our limitations and learn to live with them. They reflect the endless diversity of life. Sincerely, Tatu Vanhanen Date July 5th 2007: 08:58 As is clearly seen in the above e-mail, the author is adamant that racial differences in intelligence are a result of the evolutionary process and natural selection and there is very little we can do to reverse the situation or equalize human conditions. Vanhanen has got his argument backwards. It makes far more sense to argue that the populations of rich countries do better on IQ tests because they have access to better nutrition and education; Vanhanen 1 Berhanu, Girma. (2007). Black intellectual genocide: An essay review of IQ and the Wealth of Nations. Education Review, 10(6). Retrieved November 16, 2011 from Education Review 3 and his co-author Richard Lynn use scientific jargon, and techniques to support claims of natural superiority of one identifiable human population2 or group to another. The message is essentialist, nativist, and deterministic. It denies the conventional view and scientifically proven fact that group differences in intelligence are primarily or exclusively determined by different cultural circumstances, schooling, knowledge, and socioeconomic factors and therefore could be eliminated by improvements in behavioural standards, access to cultural capital, socioeconomic status, home environment, and so on. The e-mail message and the contents of Richard Lynn‘s book are in line with many of the luminaries (e.g., Kant, Hume, and Hegel) of Western philosophy who at one time or another have written about race as if those human groups that distinguished themselves both geographically and phenotypically constituted natural ―types‖ in terms of temperament and intellect.

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