May 17, 2008

Can Barack Obama and Racist Pseudo Science Coexist?

Justin?s latest ventures in behavioral genetics and differential psychology gives us a stunningly logical argument: Barack Obama is so smart that there is no way that blacks could, on average, have lower IQs than whites, or at the very least, not as low as the various racist pseudo-scientists who he doesn’t bother to name (or read?)

I’ll be the first to admit—or should I say the 250 millionth to admit—that Barack Obama is intelligent and articulate. I?m sure Obama is smarter than George W Bush and probably even John McCain; but he?s not a genius. I wouldn?t be surprised if Mitt Romney, Bill Clinton, and Hillary Clinton are smarter than him, but we don’t hear much about how smart they are.  That everyone has to go out of their way to mention how intelligent and articulate he is, suggests that they implicitly acknowledge that he is an anomaly among African Americans.

As I said earlier, I am not saying that racial differences in intelligence are genetic and that while Obama is smart, he?s not a genius. But for the sake of argument let?s assume Barack Obama has a genius IQ of 145 and that the racist pseudoscience is actually correct. Are these two incompatible?

The best known pseudoscientific book that argues that intelligence testing does matter and may have some genetic and racial component is Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein?s The Bell Curve. The title refers to the Bell shaped normal distribution of IQ scores. According to pseudo-scientists, different racial groups have different, but overlapping distributions.

Justin has already expressed his aversion to statistics, and perhaps he thinks the whole concept of a standard deviation is racist pseudoscience since it was discovered by Francis Galton, but I hope you all will humor me.

A standard deviation is a unit of statistical measure that is a unit of the probability of an outcome would occur. The more standard deviations from the mean, the less likely it will occur. This chart shows the likelihood of up to three standard deviations on a bell curve.

In IQ, each standard deviation is 15 points. So every 15 points away from the mean, a random person has the above likelihood of having that IQ .

Racist pseudoscientist Richard Lynn estimates that the average IQ of Kenyans is approximately 72. This is quite low. It?s considered borderline retarded, and nearly two standard deviations lower than those welfare taking, illegitimate child having, Hillary Clinton voting rapists in West Virginia. Nonetheless, this means that 13.6% of the population has an IQ between 87 and 102, 2.1% of the population has an IQ between 102 and 117, .3% of the population as an IQ between 117 and 132, and .006% has an IQ above 132.

As Justin acknowledged, Obama?s mother was White. The originators of racist pseudoscience normed IQ tests at 100 for the average White score. So according to the pseudoscientists, the average IQ of a half-White, half-Kenyan would be 86. The genius IQ of 145, is slightly four standard deviations above 86.

That means that approximately one in 16,000 Cau-Kenyans would have an IQ of 145 or higher. This is less likely than the one in 300 whites who would have such a score, but not impossibility.

In reality, Obama is much more likely to have that score. Racist pseuedo-scientists admit that their pseudoscience is not a perfect science. They fully acknowledge that the gap between whites and Africans is not entirely genetic. While they don?t think that forced busing and head start would create black Einstein?s, they believe that basic nutrition and education have an impact. This means that a random Kenyan baby in the raised in the right environment would have an IQ above the average of 72. Obama was certainly raised in such an environment.

Furthermore, regardless of what the average Kenyan IQ is, Barack Obama Sr. was certainly on the far right end of its Bell Curve, and his mother was smarter than the average white person.  Hypothetically let?s say that Obama Sr.was in the top 1% of Kenyans, and Obama?s mother was in the top 10% of whites, then there is a 1 in 50 percent chance that Obama would have a genius IQ.

Given that Obama is seen as the greatest hope for America, I think that?s pretty good odds.

Subscribe to Taki’s Magazine for an ad-free experience and help us stand against political correctness.


Sign Up to Receive Our Latest Updates!


Daily updates with TM’s latest