Jens 'n' Frens
Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

"A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures."
  -- Daniel Webster

Sunday, May 02, 2010 :::

A third-year law student at Harvard named Stephanie Grace emailed another student a few months ago; the note has spread far beyond them in the last few days. To summarize, Grace is uncertain whether the average black American is genetically predisposed to be less intelligent than the average American, but she suspects that culture is a bigger factor in explaining the disparity of success among races and thinks one should be cautious about jumping to a conclusion just because the conclusion is attractive. From what I've seen, this note has been largely characterized by its opening (or at least the opening of the excerpt I've seen), which states
I absolutely do not rule out the possibility that African Americans are, on average, genetically predisposed to be less intelligent.
According to those fanning the flames of this controversy, this agnosticism is racist.

I would be more inclined to characterize her email by a sentence near its closing, though, noting that:
it is bad science to disagree with a conclusion in your heart, and then try to find data that will confirm what you want to be true.

Eugene Volokh has a lot more point-by-point discussion; some of his cobloggers follow on. Althouse is briefer and more in response to the Law Dean's response.

UPDATE: Miss Self-Important has comments, too.


::: posted by Steven at 7:02 PM

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Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

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