Ethnicity and IQ

Thomas Sowell, The American Spectator, February 1995.


The Bell Curve is a very sober, very thorough, and very honest book—on a subject where sobriety, thoroughness, and honesty are only likely to provoke cries of outrage. Its authors, Charles Murray and the late Professor Richard J. Herrnstein of Harvard, must have known that writing about differences in intelligence would provoke shrill denunciations from some quarters. But they may not have expected quite so many, quite so loudly or venomously, and from such a wide spectrum of people who should know better.

The great danger in this emotional atmosphere is that there will develop a two-tiered set of reactions—violent public outcries against the message of The Bell Curve by some, and uncritical private acceptance of it by many others, who hear no rational arguments being used against it. Both reactions are unwarranted, but not unprecedented, in the over-heated environment surrounding so many touchy social issues today.

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