I'm aware of the extreme sensitivity and taboo surrounding this subject, but I'm fascinated by it, and thought that this would be the ideal place to bring up such a subject, since I'm surrounded by open-minded people. If your only response is "oh my god, you racist", or something similar, then I politely ask you to fuck off.
I'm going to expound upon my current view, which is a kind of brainstorm or mish mash of ideas, and which is totally open to both constructive criticism and a total change. I see myself as an advocate of objective fact, and so if my thinking is not factual, I'd like to know about it. Now, to clarify, I'm a fence-sitter at the moment, for lack of evidence. However, I am seeing two possible alternatives at the moment, and I'd like to see some evidence before I adopt the more racially-orientated viewpoint. You might at this point be looking at the computer screen with complete disgust or bafflement at my choice of words, but consider what I'm talking about and please, respond accordingly. I'm not writing to get trounced by hate mail and bad words from everyone on the board. I'm writing to gain a more appreciative understanding of the world. Nothing I say will lead me to change the way I act or speak towards people.
The subject I'm most interested in is race and intelligence. I want to know whether or not there is (even a rough) correlation between race and intelligence. I read about comments made by James Watson, a distinguished scientist, a few months ago. The first obstacle encountered is to get past all the moronically subjective and fabricated crap various people have attributed to the scientist as having said. The second obstacle is deciding whether or not his comments are true or not - is there actually a correlation between race and intelligence?
Firstly, I need to define what I understand to be race. A lot of people (including me) see "race" as being "the human race" - that is every human being. However, another view which I see as perfectly legitimate is the view that there are different races within humankind. When people like Watson use "race", they are talking about whites, blacks, browns and yellows, and this is what I'm interested in. Another view, propounded by my housemate (who is a scientist (albeit a chemist rather than a biologist, which his father is)), is that there is a single human race, but that black people are less evolved than other types of people (I will call them "races" for simplicity's sake). This is, according to him, because black people are biologically closer to apes (from which every human being evolved) than other races. Think about the logic of this: apes -> black people -> white people. He backs this claim up by explaining that Africans cannot rule themselves, and are better with white rule e.g. Zimbabwe, Somalia, Sudan, Sierra Leone and so on and so forth. I realise that this looks backed up by irrational prejudice (and indeed I do think it is, and he actually recognises that it is), but I do think he has a valid point which needs to be properly challenged instead of just being dumped in the bin. Now, I have a few problems with this which I shall outline.
Firstly, it is quite possible (although not necessarily true, unless someone could perhaps show me evidence to suggest that it is), that the human race evolves as one, and that there are no sub-races which evolve slower (such as black people) or quicker (such as white people). In this case, skin colour does not determine intelligence, but is rather due to melanin content in the skin. That is, if I and a collection of other white people moved into Africa into a colony and remained there, our ancestors would become black people over a long period of time. (If you disagree, by the way, you're going to have to dismiss the melanin argument - which is my main argument - and come up with a better one (please do so, I really want to hear more opinions on this issue)).
My second issue is twofold; the first part is that there are some external phenomena which means the Africans would have a problem ruling themselves, as well as a problem with evolving societally. Colonial exploitation has led to societal chaos within various African tribes in some cases (black slavery), as well as loss of natural and valuable resources in others. Moreover, introducing a political system (in this case whatever was at the time the predominant system in Europe) which does not take into account the natural progression of civilisation, can damage a country long-term. The second part involves a straight-off refutation of his view, by appeal to certain countries which run counter to this idea. Ignoring the north African countries (which are generally run by brown as opposed to black people), countries such as Botswana and Gabon have made progress - compare their ever-expanding GDPs of $15,800 (it was $14,300 in 2007) and $14,900 respectively with Zimbabwe's GDP per capita of $200. I'm sure there are other countries in Africa just like Botswana and Gabon, but for lack of research, I can't refer to them.
So, back to race theory. What do you make of it, and of what I've said?