An excellent response to this piece of total garbage by Nisbett. (Nisbett is one of my heroes by the way, just not today).
You have hit the nail on the head. The proof is in the results not the race of the cook. Social policies don’t fail because there is some hereditary IQ difference somewhere.
Nisbett is playing a favorite American Psychological Association game, in which a chosen APA heavy-hitter points out the obvious point that intelligence and skin color are not genetically linked. That’s a good enough point in its way, but not what Watson was saying at all.
Watson seems to me to have said that Africans have somewhat lower IQ according to some measure of central tendency. Some Africans are black, of course, but Watson didn’t say that Africans had lower IQ because they were black, nor did Herrnstein.
We find out whether or not Africans have a somewhat lower IQ by gathering IQ data. If they do, they do. The causal connection between skin color and IQ requires a different sort of proof than mere IQ data; it is an inherently suspect hypothesis anyway because of prior genetic research; and it is a racist hypothesis. However, rejection of the skin color-IQ link does not mean that IQ does not differ by continent or country or city or neighborhood. It probably does. Many other characteristics do.
If one's ancestors spent 50 generations running from assorted beasts in the jungle or on the veldt, it would hardly be surprising to find that the present-day genetic pool carried an excess of whatever genes encourage sprinting. The same is clearly true in the case of whatever genes encourage mental processes.
If mental processes are stimulated and used over generations, genes will adapt and propagate and those connected to mental processes will become enhanced; if not, then the reverse occurs, and genes will adapt to enhance other things and, to one extent or another, let mental processes diminish.
If they finally unlock the mysteries of the genome and epigenome and then discovery a way to cheaply and precisely manipulate and alter them, then the entire population (without taking into account race) can be tested for intelligence (IQ isn't exactly intelligence, though it's obviously often used as such), and those with a low intelligence due to genes or epigenes(?) can get their intelligence fixed.
This fixation of 'race' and intelligence is pointless (in terms of good points). As another freeper pointed out, some Africans are very fast (others have high endurance). Why aren't there many studies testing which is the faster or slower 'race'? Why aren't articles about these studies posted in droves on FR? (both quite rhetorical).
Can you honestly argue that there isn't the slightest degree of a wish to gloat or be smug on the part of people (almost invariably of European descent) who obsess over these race-and-intelligence studies and that they should be done and, in some cases*, who conduct such useless research?
As for FR, there are so many whites-are-smarter-than-blacks postings, often in the guise of rational 'science.' If you (to some particular freepers, not necessarily VaFarmer) want to be scientific, why not harp on and on about how those same studies showed Asians as having a higher IQ than 'whites?' Because that isn't the point of your postings, is it? (rhetorical). /rant
*some, such as the one by Moore in the article were probably to disprove the earlier studies rather than a wish to prove 'whites' are smarter than 'blacks' (often phrased as 'blacks' being less intelligent than 'whites'--why they even try to go for the appearance of humility/humbleness.....).