July 26, 2012

Racial Differences?

John Derbyshire thinks they exist and that research will reveal them. He also thinks the research will be done in Asia because the West is too screwed up to do it. As befits a working scientist, Steve Hsu, a very gifted guy who is actually doing such research, is much more tentative than Derbyshire:
An astute commenter asks why we should oppose race-based decision making, if there is real correlational information to be had from ethnicity. I offer two reasons: 1. this country has a bad record on race, and striving towards a race-blind society is worth some small sacrifices, 2. the evidence for genetic group differences is not conclusive and should be treated with great caution.
(Boldface mine.)

For political and quasi-Marxist (oppressed minority = oppressed class) reasons, US anti-discrimination policy is formulated in terms of groups. Differences in group outcomes are attributed to discrimination. The finding of outcome-affecting genetic differences (if they exist) between groups would be mitigated were social policy focused on treating individuals fairly.

No comments: