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Intelligence, Race, And Genetics: Conversations With Arthur R. Jensen Paperback – October 20, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0813342740 ISBN-10: 0813342740

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Westview Press (October 20, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813342740
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813342740
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,135,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Scientific American

Arthur R. Jensen is the psychologist who set off an enduring controversy with his 1969 article in the Harvard Educational Review holding that an individual's IQ is largely attributed to heredity, including racial heritage, and that efforts to boost IQ educationally do not achieve much. Miele, senior editor of Skeptic magazine, set out to "skeptically cross-examine" Jensen on his views. The questions and answers traveled by e-mail, but they read like a conversation. Jensen, now professor emeritus of educational psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, holds that the scientific evidence is stronger now than it was in 1969 that IQ is highly genetic, that race is a biological reality rather than a social construct, and that the cause of the 15-point average IQ difference between blacks and whites in the U.S. is partly genetic. Miele hopes the exchange will enable the reader "to decide for yourself whether Jensenism represents one man's search for provisional, not metaphysical, truth through the continuous and vigorous application of the methods of science ...or a dangerous diversion back down a blind alley of old and disproven ideas, deceptively dressed up in modern scientific jargon."

Editors of Scientific American --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Research psychologist Arthur R. Jensen, once a staunch advocate of compensatory education, gained instant infamy when the media discovered his 1969 professional essay "How Much Can We Boost IQ and School Achievement?" with its three conclusions: compensatory education of disadvantaged children had failed, genetic rather than cultural differences explained more about differences in IQ, and genetics probably accounted for the 15-point difference in average IQ between whites and blacks. The last point was construed as supportive of white racial superiority, and all hell broke loose. Jensen continued his research, however, and now enjoys his colleagues' near-unanimous support. Indeed, in these interviews with Miele, he says his contentions, which he still regards as provisional, were never controversial among his peers. The main topics of conversation besides "Jensenism" and Jensen's motivations are intelligence per se, the heritability of intelligence, the nature of race (whether biological or cultural), science and politics, and science and policy. This makes fascinating but often demanding reading and confirms that Jensen is no racist: exogamy, he says, facilitates higher intelligence. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

In any case, Miele understands the material well and presented very well formulated questions.
Graham H. Seibert
Frank Miele (the author) acts as a "devil's advocate" in this book, as he interviews psychologist Arthur R. Jensen, who is a well-known geneticist.
Joseph H Pierre
He provides us with very convincing and well-researched arguments that strongly support his position.
Dr. Bojan Tunguz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Werner Cohn on August 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the best documented facts of social science is the following: it is possible to administer tests of intelligence that are remarkably (though not completely) reliable and consistent over time. This tested intelligence correlates very highly with success in school. It is also known that tested intelligence correlates with social-economic status, and, even when controlled for SES, within families. So it has been generally accepted, for about a hundred years now, that intelligence has both genetic and environmental components.
But for almost as long, there has been a debate over the relative contributions of heredity and environment. There are implications of this debate for social philosophy, for this reason: liberal social philosophers stress the perfectibility of man, while conservatives have a gloomier, more pessimistic view. Since it is easier to alter environmental than genetic factors, liberals hope that intelligence is more environmentally influenced.
Now enter Arthur R. Jensen, an enormously productive and talented researcher at the University of California. Since the late 1960's, he has produced a barrage of totally persuasive research that shows, beyond much question, that intelligence has much more to do with heredity than with environment. Any hope that all human beings can have an equal amount of ability is now shattered. In retrospect, of course, such a hope was never reasonable.
This is bad news, and not only for the liberals. Jensen's findings make us look at society with less optimism than we would like. His findings do not mean that we must give up on more humane arrangements, nor on our ideals of equal opportunity. But it warns us we must take into account the inequalities in ability that seem here to stay.
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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Joseph H Pierre on October 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Frank Miele (the author) acts as a "devil's advocate" in this book, as he interviews psychologist Arthur R. Jensen, who is a well-known geneticist. Miele says, in his preface,

"In this book, I skeptically cross-examine Arthur R. Jensen on Jensenism' how and why he believes the scientific evidence is even stronger today that:

"'IQ is real, biological, and highly genetic, and not just some statistic or the result of educational, social, economic, or cultural factors:

"race is a biological reality, not a social construct; and, most controversially of all,

"the cause of the 15-point average IQ difference between Blacks and Whites in the United States is partly genetic.'"

Jensen went from being a highly respected but little-known educational psychologist and professor at the University of California, Berkeley, until he was solicited, in 1969, to write a 123-page article for the prestigious Harvard Educational Review which began with the opening sentence, "Compensatory education has been tried and it apparently has failed." With that article he became a highly controversial figure because of his contention, which runs counter to the institutionalized politically correct view among social scientists, that heredity is of more importance than environmental factors in determining human intelligence.

Jensen, no racist by any stretch of the imagination, demonstrates throughout this book "the interviews which were conducted through e-mail" mainly through statistical analysis and other valid research methodology, the care with which he had arrived at his tentative conclusions.

As with The Bell Curve, by Herrnstein and Murray, The Blank Slate, by Steven Pinker, and Race Evolution and Behavior, by J.
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28 of 35 people found the following review helpful By southpaw68 VINE VOICE on March 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Intelligence, Race, and Genetics spends a lot of time on the scientist Arthur Jensen's opinions and what his agenda or ideology may be. Some questions are along the line of, "Have you ever been associated with, or now a member of a Neo-Nazi organization?" The silliness aside, one comes to the conclusion that Jensen is hesitant to say what the political implications of what his race and IQ research will be. He is mostly interested in doing accurate science, no matter whether the conclusions are politically convenient or not.
One gets the impression that public policy problems can't be solved unless the solutions are backed by good, accurate science. You can't solve such problems by wishing that problems and solutions fit a liberal ideology. Otherwise, you'll keep spending money on programs that don't work.
I gleaned a few of his opinions from the book. He still believes in integration, but favors a more individualistic education system with less government control. Vituperative attacts from liberals don't bother him as much as winning approval from people who have their prejudices confirmed by his research. (Although I can't see how an opinion based on scientific research can be called merely a prejudice.) He does not think that mass third world immigration to America will benefit this country. An ethical and voluntary eugenics program would benefit this country, but reducing world population growth is his first concern.
This book is a nice complement to The Bell Curve, the classic on hereditarian science. Some of the technical explanations of how Jenson comes to his conclusions may be hard to understand for the layman. Jenson puts science first above politics in his research, I don't know if we can say the same for other academics.
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