According to Knox and Gobineau, should these so called different species have integrated marriages and reproduce, the mixture of races would result not so much in immediately infertile offspring but, perhaps more insidiously, a gradual `decomposition’ or `degradation’ of the fertility of the hybrid, whom Robert Knox called: “a monstrosity of nature. Racial hierarchies were also applied in this theory, as it was suggested that races which were `near’ to each other, such as the varieties within European `stock’, were more likely to produce fertile offspring than a union of more `distant’ races such as a European and an African.
Around 1962, Arthur Jensen began extensive testing of black, Mexican-American, and other minority-group school children, developing a series of “culturally-free” intelligence tests that could be administered in any language. The results of that program soon led him to distinguish between two separate types of learning ability (or intelligence): Level I, repetitive memorisation of simple facts and skills; Level II, or conceptual learning, is roughly equivalent to the attribute measured by I. Q. tests – the ability to manipulate and transform inputs – that is, the ability to solve problems.
Statistical analysis of his findings led Jensen to conclude that Level I abilities were distributed equally among members of all races, but that Level II occurred with significantly greater frequency among whites than among blacks (and among Asians somewhat more than among whites). Because of these and other study results, Jensen was convinced, as had been the English psychologist Cyril Burt, that 80 percent of intelligence is based on heredity, and 20 percent on environment. As a result, he was convinced that intelligence is fundamentally an inherited trait.
Jensen concluded “that the well-known differences in performance on intelligence tests of American blacks and white, with whites as a group regularly scoring higher than blacks as a group at all social-class levels, were due to inherent and essentially unchangeable intellectual differences between the two races, rather than to the effects of poverty, discrimination, and similar remediable factors. Many perceived Jensen’s finding as racist and he set off an intense controversy with the 1969 publication of his genetic research results in a 123-page article in the Harvard Educational Review.
“The sound and the fury surprised and puzzled Jensen, who felt his findings were of vital importance, and who had intended to open up for objective discussion a subject that, he believed, had been too long swept under the rug. Jensen continued to research racial and hereditary influences on intelligence. In his 1979 book, Bias in Mental Testing, he presented the values and validity of mental tests. Jensen concluded, “None of these attempts to create highly culture-reduced tests had succeeded in eliminating, or even appreciably reducing, the mean differences between certain race and social class.
The tests are colour blind, and that should be reassuring. In other words, the IQ tests are culturally biased, aimed at the white middle class. While some of the ideologies behind the latter three might have some truth, scientists have proved that genetics have more to do with our existence on this planet. The 6 billion human beings who today inhabit the earth are very different from one another. However, despite these differences, there are no biological barriers between them. All the men and women of the world could have children together and their children, in turn, could have their own children.
We all belong to the same, single, biological community – the human species. In the course of 100,000 years of human destiny, our ancestors diversified physically and they also developed different cultures. Today there exists an extraordinary wealth of clothing styles, hair styles, languages, religions, ideologies, social organisations, and technological inventions. Some of these man-made differences are probably responsible for some of the effectively real cultural barriers between some human groups. Our cultural characteristics are not determined at birth. We assimilate them and accommodate to them in the course of our lives.
They are transmitted from generation to generation by learning and education. Accordingly, any individual person whosoever, from birth onward, can acquire any culture whatsoever. Our considerable physical diversity, unlike our cultural characteristics, reflect physical traits inherited from our biological parents at the moment of our conception. All humans have the same internal and external organs and we all have one of four blood groups, meaning that any one of us can donate blood to another of the same blood type regardless of their origin. Some of our physical differences give the impression that it is possible to divide us into races.
But when these physical characteristics are subjected to detailed study, the conclusion is that our features and skin colour cannot possibly determine our intelligence or ability to learn equally as much as the next person so while monogenesis might be somewhere along the right lines, it’s about as outdated as polygenesis. As Darwin states, “we may conclude that when the principle of evolution is generally accepted, as it surely will be before long, the dispute between the monogenists and the polygenists will die a silent and unobserved death” (Descent of Man).
It is an illusion that there are races. The diversity of human beings is so great and so complicated that it is impossible to classify the 6 billion individuals into discrete “races”.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Social Class, Race, and Psychological Development ( M. Deutsch and I. Katz 1968) “How Much Can We Boost I. Q. and Scholastic Achievement? ” (Harvard Educational Review February, 1969) Genetics and Education (1973) www. irr. org. uk/threefaces/index. htm www. trinity. edu/mkearl/race. htm.