Ten Arguments for the Existence of Racial Differences in Intelligence - and Why to Welcome Race Realism


"This House believes that there are deep-seated racial differences in intelligence."

For Gonville Hall Debating Society (University of Cambridge)
Tuesday, January 28, 1997

Mr President, I owe Cambridge a debt. During 1996, I have achieved a certain notoriety for making what I call 'realistic' observations about race, sex, genes, IQ and paedophilia. As a result of upsetting the new Thought Police -- the 'politically correct' -- my book, The g Factor, was withdrawn by my censorious 'publisher', John Wiley & Sons (New York and Chichester); and I am suspended from teaching and administration at the University of Edinburgh. Yet student societies at the University of Cambridge have twice invited me to address them - and even though I am myself an Oxford man! I am grateful to you, Mr President.

Ironically, when last asked to talk in Cambridge on race and IQ, I declined. I said it would be irresponsible to talk to a non-specialist audience on race without having first covered the topic of IQ itself in reasonable depth. This year is different. I now have no alternative but to present and support the views for which I have been vilified. However, I will be presenting this address on the Internet and will there be able to indicate some of the sober academic detail that I must needs omit tonight. I will also gladly put up Darcus Howe's address should he wish me to do so. I will leave the Website address <http://cycad.com/cgi-bin/Brand/> with you, Mr President.

Whether there are deep-seated group differences in any important human qualities is today an excruciatingly delicate topic in the West. Two years ago, Sir Roger Bannister, the first four-minute-miler, himself a medical man of distinction, provoked media frenzy in Britain by mentioning the obvious truth that Black people are superior to Whites at running. Last year, my own repetition of the seventy-year old observation that Whites are 15 points ahead of Blacks on IQ tests was what most commonly interested British newshounds. Following the withdrawal of my own book, US Wiley soon cancelled a book by Arthur Jensen while that pre-eminent IQ scholar was writing the book's last two chapters - on race.

Yet what happens when my views do actually vault the censors and reach the pubic domain? In September, my article for trend-setting Blacks -- explaining that I wanted relevant, IQ-respecting education and suitable marital arrangements for them (including polygamy) -- went out to 10,000 readers of the smart Black magazine downlow ('music for the hip hop nation'). Well, I did not receive a single letter or e-mail or phone call of protest. Whoever wants to censor me and Art Jensen, it is not Black people, even Blacks who read 'Black power' magazines that play up to full-blooded Black racists like Louis Farrakhan and Ice Cube.

I will now address the factual question that confronts this House tonight; but I will return to identify the true source of the demand that deep seated race differences be denied.


The factual question about racial differences is one that would have surprised many of our cultural forebears. The Hebrews of the Bible were certainly nationalistic and what would doubtless today be called 'racist.' Yet the Jews did not base themselves on any race realism about the lasting qualities of other peoples from whom they kept themselves apart when not trying to fight them. The Greeks, too, despite their own wars and empire-building did not have any racial theory. Serious race-theorizing only developed with the European Enlightenment and the arrival of White missionaries and explorers in Africa itself. David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Richard Burton (who translated the Karma Sutra), Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx, Francis Galton, H. G. Wells (ex-PM Michael Foot's hero) and Winston Churchill were among the many who accepted that Black-White differences in mentality were substantial. The arrival of IQ testing from France after 1910 allowed the first serious demonstration of the correctness of this view. At the same time, the testers found other interesting results for racial and ethnic groups: Jewish people reliably have IQ's which, averaging 117, are markedly superior to those of other Caucasian peoples; and East Asian peoples have average IQ's of around IQ 105-110. These differences are largely as Galton estimated them in 1869 and in line with the frequency with which Nobel Prizes are awarded to people from the different groups: for example, Jewish people (3% of the US population) account for 27% of US Nobel Laureates. As Darwin put it (1871, The Descent of Man): "The races differ....in constitution, in acclimatization and in liability to certain diseases. Their mental characteristics are likewise very distinct...." What twentieth-century psychometry has achieved is reliable measurement allowing objective testing of racial theorizing.

Are measurable racial differences deep-seated (most probably genetic) (contrary to the infamous 1951 declaration by the United Nations Organization)? There are ten main lines of relevant evidence.

1. Economic. Poverty and low social class do not provide much explanatory help. The Jews arrived in America in poverty from pogrom-torn Russian and Poland and nevertheless scored well immediately on the early mental tests and soon prospered. What happens if we match Black and White children today for the income of their parents? Doing this reduces the children's usual 15-point IQ gap by only around 3 points.1

2. Medical & educational. What of other environmental features as indexed by the mother's level of education, lack of pregnancy complications (e.g. because of drug addiction) and the early health of her child? Again, matching Black and White three-year-old children on these variables narrows the IQ gap by only one or two IQ points.2

3. Paternal deprivation. Father-absence has often been ventured by social science as an explanation for the problems of Black children with delinquency and school failure.3 But the Black-White difference has grown no greater through the twentieth century despite Black family structure -- once more stable than that of Whites -- collapsing from 1970 into what is now the Black norm of single-parenting.

4. Alienation. What about the handicap of growing up as part of a different culture, speaking a non-standard form of English and experiencing hostility from the dominant culture because of one's difference? Fortunately for scholars, this problem does not afflict Black people alone. In Britain, Pakistani children are bilingual, have a different religion and sexual code from their hosts, and experience intense racial hostility (often based on jealousy of their family's success). Despite these handicaps, the IQ of Pakistani children has never been a problem, being an entirely normal 100 in children of families who have been in Britain for five years or longer; and, perhaps because of hard work, Pakistani schoolchildren perform a little better than do other British children in mid-adolescence. Still worse for the 'alienation' thesis, children who grow up deaf have entirely normal IQs on non-verbal tests: mainly born to hearing parents, these children grow up in a misunderstanding environment in which even their nearest and dearest are often cross with them and label them as 'stupid'; yet their IQs are at normal Caucasian levels. Perhaps worst of all for the alienation thesis, the Japanese of California, after experiencing a century of racial prejudice (which banned them from churches, swimming pools and trade unions) found themselves cordially detested after the Battle of Pearl Harbour and put into 'relocation camps' in the Eastern Californian desert. Subsequently they were released on condition that they did not return to their ruined homes and businesses but went eastwards instead. The result of all this racial discrimination is well known4: the American Japanese are over-represented in all of the professions, have a crime rate almost as low as that of the Jews, and have been awarded multi-million dollar sums for the violation of their civil rights in the 1940's.

5. Psychometric. In the 1970's, it became fashionable to suppose that IQ tests must be somehow 'unfair' to Black children. Yet no criterion emerged by which this claim could be demonstrated - except of course the very B-W difference which the 'unfairness' theory was itself meant to explain. IQ tests have the same psychometric properties (reliabilities, correlations between their component parts) for Blacks as for Whites of similar intelligence; and, far from homing in unfairly on special Black weaknesses, the tests actually over-predict how well Blacks will do when assigned to educational courses or jobs.5 Some psychological tests are better measures of intelligence than others - they correlate higher with other mental tests; and some psychological tests yield relatively better scores for Black children; but they are not the same tests -Black children do better at just those tests (rote memory, simple reaction times, bead threading) that are not principally measures of general intelligence.

6. Psycho-social engineering. Head Start programmes were long held by the media to be likely to discredit hereditarianism about the race difference. But even beyond-the-norm spending of $10,000 dollars annually per child was not enough to achieve lasting IQ gains - and normally only those gains that could be expected from 'teaching the test' (i.e. from nursery school children becoming familiar with the types of materials and problems used by mental testers).6 After 30 years of effort in the States, mainstream scholars conclude that Head Start programmes have a slightly improving effect on delinquency rates (presumably because of the kindly atmosphere provided for pre-schoolers) but not the long-term effects on intelligence and achievement that were once eagerly anticipated.

7. Caucasoid genetic admixture. Many US Blacks have a degree of Caucasian genetic admixture which can be estimated in groups by the frequency of occurrence of the Duffy gene - a gene found in all Caucasians and in virtually no pure Blacks. In the one study to date, Californian Blacks (of whom 23% have the Duffy gene) had an average IQ of 90 on US Army tests; by contrast, Georgian Blacks (of whom only 11% had the gene) scored around 80. Likewise, testing in Africa itself - where Caucasian admixture is far less - yields IQ levels of around 70. Lately, testing in Soweto yielded a mean Black IQ of 57; and testing in Israel of Black Jews from Ethiopia found an IQ of 70.7 The most recent result was provided by a Black psychologist in Zimbabwe: he found 200 representative Zimbabwean children scored around IQ 67 whereas White inner-city children in London averaged 95.8 By contrast, Vietnamese and North Korean refugee children adopted into Belgian families had IQ's of 110 in 1994 - ten points higher than modern Belgian norms.

8. Within-group heritability. Within each of the three main racial groups -- within Whites, Blacks and East Asians - identical twins are substantially more similar to each other than are fraternal twins (who share on average only 50% of human genetic variations). It would be surprising and require some special explanation if differences that were principally genetic when occurring within races turned out to be largely environmental when happening to occur between races. (Needless to say, at present no such explanation has been advanced, let alone vindicated.)

9. In-breeding depression × B-W difference. An indication that a trait is inherited on dominant genes is provided when trait levels are reduced by cousin marriage - a phenomenon called 'inbreeding depression.' Some mental tests show more inbreeding depression than others, and it is mainly these tests which show the biggest Black-White differences in performance levels: poor Black performance occurs on just those tests where dominant genes are influential.9

10. Adoption studies. The main recent adoption study involves Black, mixed-race and White children in Minnesota who were all fostered into White homes. Fifteen years ago, when the children were around age 7, it appeared that the Black adoptees had an IQ of 95. This raised environmentalist hopes; but in the 1990's it transpired that, by late adolescence, the White adoptees averaged 106, the mixed-race adoptees 99 and the Black adoptees 89.10 As is usual, the high-quality environment provided by adoptive parents had helped all the children to slightly higher IQs than are normal for their racial groupings; but the racial differences between them had only been temporarily, not permanently diminished. (In modern psychogenetic work, it is quite common to find that environmental influences on intelligence which are strong in early childhood wear off in adolescence and adulthood.)

Mr President, in 1933, a momentous debate took place at the Oxford Union. A straightforward motion was rejected by that House. It was 'That this House would fight for King and Country.' Mr Hitler heard of this rejection with delight, and within six years the opponents of that motion were eating their words while fighting the man with whom pacifists had thought peace could be made.

Just as the mid-1930's marked the high peak of British pacifism, so the mid-1990's mark a new peak - hopefully the highest - of Political Correctness (PC), the movement that is the true source of demands that deep-seated race differences be denied. Even though the British Labour Party today acknowledges the need for 'fast track learning' (which permits educating children according to their own abilities rather than in defiance of them), the forces of PC say 'No!' PC favours egalitarianism, not freedom -- whether for parents or children. PC insists on treating children according to their chronological ages rather than the psychological reality of their mental ages. Entrenched in the media, the publishing houses and many universities, the PC 'liberal'-left has completed its 'long march through the institutions.' Communism has been seen off, but PC demands reality-denying egalitarianism anyway. In cahoots with so-called 'postmodernism' and 'constructivism' which deny the existence of realities such as race, sex and IQ differences, the PC proposition is that, even if there were such realities, it would be impolite to speak about them -- and PC people will make it impolitic, as my own case shows. Racism is to be challenged by the encouragement of ignorance - by 'ignoracism', indeed. Weirdly, the years of rising 'anti-racism', 'ignoracism' and 'affirmative action' have been a disaster for ordinary Black people. In the USA, one young Black man in three is in jail at any given time, fifty per cent of the prison population is Black; and the percentage of out-of-wedlock births has soared. No one even maintains there is any less racism!

Tonight the eyes of a new authoritarianism are trained on this House. PC has had a great year: it has suppressed two books and left academics afraid to discuss race. Tonight, PC looks to this House to oppose this motion so it can continue its despotic, self-serving work that is of no lasting use to either Blacks or Whites. There are deep-seated racial differences in intelligence. There is no need to fear them. There is every reason to acknowledge them in schools to the advantage of *all*. I thus urge this House to reject PC hysteria, speak the truth and support the Motion.



Subsequently, Darcus Howe showed no sign of wishing to have his own talk put up at this Website. Examples of his 'arguments' are as follows. (a) Whites have to make up for slavery. (b) Nelson Mandela's university degrees and the recent award of Nobel Prizes for Literature to Black men show that there can be no deep-seated Black-White difference in intelligence. Mr Howe twice expressed the desire to murder me.

Students' questions were largely addressed to me. This allowed me to provide coverage of arguments 5, 8 and 9 which had been omitted from the talk itself because of time considerations. To an allegation that IQ tests were unreliable, I explained that a 40-year follow-up of representative Canadian soldiers had found a test-retest correlation of .78.11 To a suggestion that intelligence was multiple, not unitary, I referred to the remarkable work of the leading follower of Louis Thurstone (himself the first psychologist to argue for multiple, independent dimensions of mental ability). In John Carroll's recent summary of his life's work, the 'g' factor emerges supreme.12 To Darcus Howe's argument that Whites should continue to beat their breasts about slavery, I pointed out (a) that the early slaves to the American plantations were mainly white but do not seem to have nursed their wrath to keep it warm; (b) that Blacks and Arabs were in their own way just as instrumental as Whites in organizing the trade; (c) that Whites stopped the slave trade despite pleas from Black countries for it to continue; (d) that at least one Black country, Mauritania, still has half a million slaves (according to the British Anti-Slavery Society, 1991).13

There were no closing addresses, but something of my intended 'Finale' was hopefully conveyed during questioning.


Mr President, all men are equal in three important senses -- before the God of the Bible and the Koran, before Darwin (for we are all, equally, evolutionary survivors) and before the law in Western societies. I have no wish to persuade this House otherwise.

However, such overall equality does not mean that people are similar, or even that they are similar in all the ways that really matter. Some men, are physically puny; while others are athletic. Some girls are not blessed with good looks. Some people 'got rhythm' while others just haven't. The same is true of group differences: Black men plainly excel at boxing, basketball and athletics generally; White men and women dominate rowing and swimming; and neither Blacks nor Whites seem as yet to take on Sumo wrestlers or to have much chance at table tennis.

Naturally, we all try to be sensitive in what we say about people's differences. One doesn't talk about the splendid size of another man's sexual tackle when one is with one's own indifferently equipped boyfriend. Some people even conspire to help the disadvantaged believe that penis size doesn't matter, or that fat girls have more fun.

Nevertheless, we surely avoid outright lies if we can; and never more so than when asked for serious advice as to a friend's prospects. We do not advise fly-weights to argue about girlfriends with Mike Tyson. We do not advise girls to go in for mountaineering or motor car racing. More particularly, few would formulate expensive public policies on the basis of downright untruths.

Yet this is the position in which the West finds itself after thirty years of increasing 'anti-racism', ignoracism and PC. The education system has been 'dumbed down' so that brighter children are held back and more people can appear to be succeeding. Racial quotas in the USA discriminate heavily against Asian and Jewish children. Racism itself remains undiminished even according to the architects of 'anti-racism.' Faced with such nonsense, it is time to return to respecting individuals, practising colour-blindness and telling the truth. This is why this House should support the Motion tonight.


The result of the Debate, by a public show of hands, was that the Motion was overwhelmingly defeated. (One hand went up in favour, then many went up against. No one remembered to count the abstentions, but they probably numbered about 35.)

Whether the 98-strong audience was at all 'rigged' is not known. It subsequently came to light that the Debate had not been advertised in 'Varsity' (the newspaper for Cambridge University students).

My own reaction was one of relief at having held my ground in all the arguments in which I engaged - though in truth my opponents were, surprisingly, so ill-informed that this turned out to be easy. On the other hand, it is horrifying to see the spread of emotional and downright irrational 'anti-racism' even to such a respectable university as Cambridge. No doubt many in the audience wished to advertise their sympathy for Black people as 'underdogs'; but I maintain that underdogs as well as overdogs deserve to be handled realistically, not patronized. In the absence of realism, we *all* suffer -- notably in the educational arena, but also more widely in that 'anti-racism' will reliably fuel 'racism' (currently mainly Black racism, but real White racism will return in time if 'anti-racists' persist).

Perhaps worst of all, the Debate revealed starkly the unwillingness of psychologists and biologists to take any part at all in public debates on race and IQ: hardly any member of staff at Cambridge showed up for the Debate, and none supported me or voted for the Motion. Here the 'Anti-Nazi League' can congratulate itself: it has not frightened off Gonville & Caius College, the Cambridge police or me; but it has frightened off virtually all those who are paid by the British taxpayer to tell the truth about human psychology.

I will try to deal with genuine questions and criticisms from people who show familiarity with this talk and with relevant references which are listed below in 'Endnotes'. (All these references are readily accessible. The list is not intended to be complete but rather to indicate key starting points for anyone trying to follow the race & IQ controversy today.)


As a final note to this episode, let me announce a happy development for supporters of The g Factor. The problem of terminology for the position of Phil Rushton, Richard Lynn and myself has now reached a solution. We now all three agree to describe ourselves as race realists - while of course stressing that we are not racially prejudiced and do not propose any form of racial discrimination and are thus not racists in the everyday understanding of that term (see NewsLetters for May, 1996).


1 JENSEN, A.. R. (1980). Bias in Mental Testing, pp. 42-3, 57-9. London : Methuen.

(Or see BRAND, C. R., 1996, 'The 'g' Factor', Chapter 1, pp. 38-9. Chichester, UK : Wiley DePublisher.)

2 MONTIE, Jeanne E. & FAGAN, J.F., III (1988). 'Racial differences in IQ: item analysis of the Stanford-Binet at 3 years.' Intelligence 12, 315-332.

3 HERMAN, Ellen (1995). The Romance of American Psychology: Political Culture in the Age of Experts. Berkeley, CA : University of California Press.

4 VERNON, P.E. (1982). The Abilities and Achievements of Orientals in North America. New York : Academic.

5 REYNOLDS, C. R. & BROWN, R. T. (eds) (1984). 'Perspectives on Bias in Mental Testing.' New York : Plenum. (Or see BLINKHORN, S. (1985). 'Dispatched from the trenches.' Nature 313, 24 i, 328-329.)

6 SPITZ, H. (1986). The Raising of Intelligence: A Selected History of Attempts to Raise Retarded Intelligence. Hillsdale, NJ : Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. (And BRAND, C. R., 1996, 'The 'g' Factor', Chapter 4, pp. 129-134. Chichester, UK : Wiley DePublisher.)

7 OWEN, K. (1992). 'The suitability of Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices for various groups in South Africa.' Personality & Individual Differences 13, 149-160.

8 ZINDI, F. (1994). 'Differences in psychometric performance.' 'The Psychologist 7', xii, 549-552.

9 RUSHTON, J. P. (1996). Review of The Bell Curve. Personality & Individual Differences, c. ix.

10 See LYNN, R. (1994). 'Some reinterpretations of the Minnesota transracial adoption study.' Intelligence 19, 1, 21-27.

11 SCHWARTZMAN, A.E., GOLD, D., ANDRES, D. ARBUCKLE, T.Y. & CHAIKELSON, J. (1987). 'Stability of intelligence: a forty-year follow-up.' Canadian Journal of Psychology 41, 244-256.

12 CARROLL, J.B. (1993). Human Cognitive Abilities: A Survey of Factor-Analytic Studies. Cambridge, UK : Cambridge University Press. (Or see BRAND, C. R., 1993, 'The importance of the g factor.' Times Higher Educational Supplement, 1094, 22 x, p. 22.)

13 D'SOUZA, Dinesh (1995). The End of Racism: Principles for a Multiracial Society, pp. 111-2. New York : Free Press.

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