sports, race, and IQ...
• 'Blacks' do not have a genetic advantage in sports.
• 'Blacks' do not have a genetic intellectual disadvantage.
• Human races do not exist.
• The IQ literature is a series of frauds.
Some academics and others peddle pseudo-science in order to allege that blacks are good at sports and bad at thinking. Resurrecting Racism answers them with proper science. The first half of the book shows that blacks do not have superior sports ability and that biologists, using the latest genetic data, have concluded that human races do not exist, contrary to what racists would like to believe. The second half of the book (beginning in chapter 6) traces the history of IQ testing, documenting that the IQ literature was built by committing outright fraud. IQ 'research' has been used to allege that blacks have inferior 'intelligence,' but those who developed the IQ literature turned the purpose of the original tests upside down, twisted their statistics, made up their math, and invented nonexistent researchers, publishing fake studies under phony names. These 'researchers' were also the major propagandists of the eugenics movement, which movement is responsible for creating the German Nazis. This is also documented in the second half of Resurrecting Racism, as is the fact that today's IQ 'researchers' continue this fraudulent and dangerous tradition.
Table of Contents: http://www.hirhome.com/rr/rrcontents.htm
Dear reader, please do not skip the introduction, which is meant to give
you the historical context necessary to
fully understand Resurrecting Racism, including why
Jon Entine's book Taboo is just the tip of the iceberg of the
current resurgence of academic racism. FGW
The claim that
“black athletes dominate sports” misuses the sports data.
In his recent book, Taboo: Why black athletes dominate sports and why we’re afraid to talk about it, Jon Entine attempts to convince the reader that ‘blacks’ are a separate ‘race.’ This alleged black race, according to Entine, is superior at ‘sports,’ and consequently they tend to win at the same.
Entine works hard to create an appearance of scholarship:
he would like you to think that he is the spokesperson for mainstream
science. For example, he
bombards the reader with charts, graphs, and study after study which,
according to him, reveal a “yawning performance gap between blacks and
everybody else” in athletics. The difference, he says, is
significantly biological, and again comes an avalanche of citations. It
is not politically correct, he continues, but race is a reality and most
biologists agree, and he practically drowns you in a deluge of
‘authoritative’ quotes. And yet, somewhat awkwardly, most of the people whom Entine quotes
and/or cites were writing way back in the first half of the twentieth
century, when Western governments, across the board, were writing racist
policies into law under the influence of a pseudo-biological and
pseudo-psychological movement called 'eugenics' that was especially
strong in the United States, and then even more so in Nazi Germany. Also
somewhat awkwardly, those of Entine's citations or quotations that do
not fall in the above category are overwhelmingly to scientists
with zero training in population biology. But he doesn’t make a special point of this.
Supposing that Entine succeeds, he will
have convinced you that, according to biological
humans supposedly can be divided into biological races;
those races are supposedly precisely the same ones you already think you
your intuitive notions about these races are supposedly pretty accurate, even
though they are not politically correct. Specifically, your notion that
the black ‘race’ is better at sports is on solid scientific ground
and, while we’re at it, adds Entine, the black ‘race’ does worse on
Funny that he should add that.
Of course, only if the first belief is true can the second and third even be considered. In other words, if there are no human biological races, then they can’t have particular traits—any traits, whether this be a level of intelligence or something else—because races, as such, do not exist. Consequently, Entine devotes a good part of Taboo to asserting that biologists supposedly agree with him, and also to ‘showing’ why it is supposedly biologically sound to divide the human species into races. What is true, however, is that as a result of the latest genetic data, population biologists are now convinced that there is no cut of the human species that will yield any races. You read correctly.
Despite this, Entine’s pretense has been generally successful for two reasons. First, because few readers have the background in biology to know that he is misrepresenting the truth. And, second, because there has been little public exposure of this well-funded pseudo-scientific hoax.
In this volume, I present Entine’s arguments and explain, in plain language, why he is wrong. The demonstration is not hard to follow. In addition, I will show that Jon Entine’s claims of having represented the findings of modern biology are simply false.
begin by analyzing the supposed subject of Entine’s book, namely, his claim
that the black ‘race’ is better at sports. I will not challenge his
data concerning athletics. Rather, I will show that even if one accepts
all of Entine’s ‘facts,’ one finds that these contradict rather
than support his argument that “blacks dominate sports.”
With that out of the way, I will confront Entine’s mythology about supposed human races with the data collected by biologists—the same data that he pretends to represent but in fact studiously ignores.
that, I will explain why IQ testing is not proper science, and the role
that the racist eugenics movement played in promoting IQ testing as if
it were, with a special focus on how this fraud has been used against
blacks. This, by the way, is the same eugenics movement that Jon Entine, as I will
show, defends, even as he recognizes the role that the eugenics movement
played in producing the German Nazis.
ollowing that, I will explain why IQ testing is not proper science, and the role that the racist eugenics movement played in promoting IQ testing as if it were, with a special focus on how this fraud has been used against blacks. This, by the way, is the same eugenics movement that Jon Entine, as I will show, defends, even as he recognizes the role that the eugenics movement played in producing the German Nazis.
I n closing, I
will examine who is behind the production of Jon Entine's Taboo, how powerful
they are, and what their ultimate purposes may be.
n closing, I will examine who is behind the production of Jon Entine's Taboo, how powerful they are, and what their ultimate purposes may be.
Now, before I begin, one important clarification, just so that nobody becomes confused: Differences in athletic performance must result, in part, from biological differences, and some of these differences may be clustered in particular populations and regions. There is nothing controversial in this. But that hardly means that the American layperson’s concepts of ‘black,’ ‘white,’ and ‘yellow’ are the categories that capture such differences; they aren’t. And neither does it mean that you can cut up the human species into biological races; you can’t.
Entine’s initial concern is with an alleged “yawning [sports]
performance gap between blacks and everybody else,” and he pleads with
his readers to give the facts a fair hearing. I followed this
recommendation. However, what I found is that even if all of Entine’s
purported facts were true, they would not reveal a “yawning
performance gap between blacks and everybody else.” This is because the
category ‘black’ that Entine keeps talking about is not, in fact, the
category from which his data are drawn. Entine claims he is talking about
apples but his data deal with oranges.
have a look.
book and also in an article he wrote for Skeptic Magazine, Entine
marshals different kinds of evidence for what he claims is the
biologically based athletic superiority of what he calls ‘blacks.’ For
example, he writes,
in contrast to runners from other parts of the world:
reading of this makes it seem like impressive evidence for Entine’s case that
so-called blacks have an athletic advantage. But reading more slowly one
notices that a contradiction is present in the words: “East African.”
Well, if East Africans, also supposedly black, are slow-pokes like the
rest of us, then Entine is not really talking about a ‘black’ advantage,
but an advantage that
belongs exclusively to people in “western African coastal states” (his
another way, if West Africans have a unique advantage in speed and
jumping, this cannot be used to argue for a black advantage, because
‘West African’ and ‘black’ are not synonyms. Entine seems not to
have noticed this—but it’s obvious. And he rushes to make the same
mistake a second time. “East Africans,” he tells us next, uniquely
“dominate distance running”—in other words, to the exclusion of West
Africans—and this again supposedly demonstrates
that blacks have an advantage in sports. But ‘East
African’ and ‘black’ aren’t synonyms either. So even assuming that East
Africans really do have an advantage in distance running, and even
assuming this advantage is biological, this can only be an East African advantage, not a black one.
Entine is making an argument about apples (so-called blacks) with data about oranges (one or another region of Africa—that is, isolated subsets of those whom Entine calls ‘black’). And given that he argues for a biological ‘black’ advantage, it is curious that he is not in the least bothered by the fact that different subsets of ‘blacks’ are not even consistently good at the same sports.
It is perhaps
worth pausing here to fully digest the meaning of this: Entine’s own
claims amount to telling us that black athletes, in fact, do not
He has refuted himself.
He has refuted himself.
And how. So far I have offered Entine two gifts: his definition of who is ‘black,’ and also his interpretation of the facts of athletic performance in Africa. This is granting him quite a lot. And yet, as we just saw, he ties these generous gifts around the legs of his argument and performs an immediate pratfall. One could therefore argue that we have done enough. That is, if the thing Entine is supposedly going to explain is not even true, namely, that “black athletes dominate sports,” why then bother with his ‘explanation’ of a non-fact? To go further and demonstrate that nothing in Entine’s book makes sense might seem like beating the proverbial dead horse overmuch. But it will hardly be an excess if we can kick some valuable lessons out of the corpse. For example, a clarification of Entine’s motives, and a better understanding of what biological science has to say about ‘race.’
This is our motivation to proceed.
claims about West African and East African superiority in two different
sports domains are based on data which he conveniently summarizes on a map
showing the performances of athletes in different parts of the continent.
The map is reproduced from Kenyan Running, a book by John Bale and
has drawn three circles on Bale and Sang’s
Entine has drawn three circles on Bale and Sang’s map:
When I look at the Western part of the map I notice that the advantage in speed and jumping belongs not to the West Africa region as a whole, as Entine claims in explicit defiance of his own map, but to much smaller groups, sprinkled at great distances on, yes, the western coast of Africa.
Entine draws a big circle
to surround all of these widely separated small groups to create the
impression that the entire Western coast of Africa runs and jumps fast, but this is
What Entine has circled is a region in the same way that a constellation is a drawing. The ancients arbitrarily chose certain stars because, by connecting the dots, culturally familiar pictures could be ‘discovered’ in the heavens (for this reason, of course, different societies have drawn different pictures using the same sky). Entine’s West African ‘region’ is of the same order of reality. He has drawn a circle including small areas of high performance on the west coast of Africa, even though these are separated by large areas of very low performance. Why? Because he wants to create the impression that high performance in speed and jumping are a ‘West African’ trait.
The same holds for his supposed East African region. The Kenyans are the distance-running superstars producing world-class athletes at 9.79 times the world per-capita norm, but their immediate neighbors to the south, who may wish they could run long distances fast enough to eat the Kenyan dust, cannot, at only 0.22, even see it.
And Entine did not show his readers some other maps that also appear in the Bale & Sang volume, and which the authors used to show that fast runners are geographically much less than a Kenyan phenomenon. For example, Entine did not reprint the following map (Bale & Sang 1996, p.141) which shows that almost all the good Kenyan athletes come from just one area of the country: the Rift Valley.
And even that is not quite true. When you look at the distribution of good runners inside the Rift Valley, it turns out that just a few ethnies account for the overwhelming majority of that country’s medals, as shown in yet another map that Bale & Sang provide (p.148), and which Entine likewise does not reprint:
Bale & Sang explain (p.148)
“By 1993, Maasai runners had won nine medals in major athletic championships. Members of a neighboring ethnic group, however, the Gusii (Kisii), had won 78 medals; another Rift Valley group, the Kalenjin, had won 317. These latter figures amounted respectively to 15.4 per cent and 62.6 per cent of the 506 medals won by Kenyan athletes in major competitions up to 1993.”
In other words, members of just two ethnies from the Kenyan region known as the Rift Valley account for almost 80% of all Kenyan medals! The deeper you look, the smaller Entine’s ‘East African region’ gets…
I see not a regional pattern of advantage here, much less a racial pattern, but rather a scattering of different performances (some better, some worse) in different small populations.
This does not bother Entine in the least. In fact, he explicitly focuses on the Kalenjin as if the uniqueness of this particular ethnie supported his case. Although some have argued that the surprising endurance of the Kalenjin results from their macho circumcision rituals, Entine, who insists the advantage is biological, dismisses this. And notice how:
course, many East Africans undergo this [circumcision] rite, yet only the
Kalenjin turn out world-class runners in such disproportionate
A gem: once again Entine has explicitly refuted himself.
If, in order to argue for a biological advantage in
sports, Entine points out that other East African cultures with
similar circumcision rituals do not produce world class athletes
like the Kalenjin, then what argument is he defending?
Or perhaps Entine is not so much being absent-minded as bold. He picks up a basket full of oranges, selects the choicest one, holds it high for all to see, and lectures at length about...apples. Then, as if daring you to deny that he is holding an apple in his hand, he bites into the unpeeled orange. He is explicitly and joyously incoherent.
Let me press the point home.
Suppose that instead of the Kalenjin we focused on the Mbuti: a Central African people often called ‘Pygmies’ because of their small size, which for an adult male is about four feet. I expect Mbuti will do very poorly in all track-and-field events (especially jumping). It would be ludicrous to argue, from Mbuti performance, that this is evidence for the athletic inferiority of ‘Central Africans.’ It would be even more ludicrous to argue that Mbuti performance demonstrates the athletic inferiority of ‘blacks.’ And yet the logic of such arguments is indistinguishable from Entine’s own. Why then does Entine choose to argue the superiority as against the inferiority of ‘blacks’ in sports?
Reviewers qualified to evaluate Entine’s claims, such as Kenan Malik, did not fail to notice anything so obvious as Entine’s apples-and-oranges confusions:
to Entine, East Africans are naturally superior at endurance sports,
West Africans at sprinting and jumping, and 'whites fall somewhere in
if East and West Africans are at either end of a genetic spectrum of
athletic ability, why consider them to be part of a single race, and one
that is distinct from whites? Only because, conventionally, we use skin
color as the criterion of racial difference…
blacks naturally better athletes than whites? Not necessarily. After all,
how many African Pygmies have you ever seen climbing on to the winners'
regard to ‘sports,’ Entine’s arguments are also apples and oranges.
Though he says “black athletes dominate sports” (the quote is from the
subtitle of his book), the facts he presents support the superiority
of certain groups of people, not ‘blacks,’ in some sports, not in ‘sports.’ One could reply to Entine: “What about the fact
that East Asians have always overwhelmingly dominated ping pong?” Using
such data, might Entine have written a book about the stubborn denial in
which we wallow concerning the biological advantage of the ‘yellow’
race in sports?
Sure, different population groups may have different traits, and these may affect how well they do at various sports. And these traits may well be caused by genetic differences. But as we have seen, the differences that Entine points out in order to ‘prove’ his case prove instead that he has no case. Some of the people he calls ‘blacks’ can only win races if they are long-distance; others win only the races that are short-distance. And others will never win any race at all.
It is certainly embarrassing to be wrong. It is doubly embarrassing when your own facts prove you wrong. But isn’t it triply embarrassing when, rather than confess the mistake, one is incoherently pushing the disconfirming facts in support of the theory? And isn’t it quadruply embarrassing when the argument that shows the theory to be wrong is included—and with some insistence!—in the book that defends the theory? Finally, not to be uncharitable but the question must be asked: isn’t it quintuply embarrassing when all of this should be transparently obvious?
Then how can we explain Entine’s performance? Is he a fool? Or is he hoping to fool us? Let’s keep that question in mind while we examine Entine’s arguments about ‘race.’
»» Continue to
Entine, Jon. 2000. Taboo: Why black athletes dominate sports and why we're afraid to talk about it. New York: Public Affairs. (p.50)
New Statesman, September 18, 2000, 2066 words, "Why black will beat white at the Olympics"; Yes, nature does help to explain African sporting success. If you think that's racist, your idea of race is wrong. By Kenan Malik.
 Los Angeles Times, March 23, 2000, Thursday, Valley Edition, Page 10, 1129 words, Valley / Ventura County Sports; Fact Or Fiction; Author Contends Genetics Make Blacks Athletically Superior, Fernando Dominguez, Times Staff Writer, Agoura Hills