Race and Intelligence – Science’s Last Taboo Review: Bang Goes The Theory
RACE AND INTELLIGENCE – SCIENCE’S LAST TABOO: Monday 26th October, Channel 4, 10pm ALERT ME
When Nobel-prize winning scientist James Watson suggested that black people were naturally less intelligent than everyone else, normal citizens joined the PC freaks in enthusiastically battering the US academic.
As he was hounded from the British speaking circuit, Barack Obama was in the process of becoming the first brother to take up residence in the White House – surely we were now in an age when we didn’t have to bother with this kind of crap anymore.
Unfortunately, as Nick Griffin’s appearance on Question Time proves, we aren’t.
In this first episode of a new series from Channel 4, black journalist Rageh Omaar travels around chatting to various scientists as he tries to understand this pernicious reasoning which tries to divide the human race into a continental (and even more horrible) school league-table.
Omaar succeeds in creating a very absorbing documentary which delves into the cultures concerned and tackles the difficult questions head-on without making the mistake of automatically dismissing them.
He does that by simply highlighting gaping holes in these controversial theories.
According to the research in question, the East Asian race comes out on top in the IQ stakes, followed by white Europeans and finally black Americans and Africans.
But wait a minute, surely these results represent little more than wealth and standard of living? Well sort of, but as Rageh finds out, the real explanation for these warped conclusions is slightly more complicated.
He delves into the history of IQ testing, which to our not-so-great surprise turns out to be flawed in many respects – anyone who has had the pleasure of taking the 11 plus could have told him that though.
Furthers layers are added as Omaar references some of the most important pieces of race history in recent memory, from apartheid to segregation via a horrendous piece of US legislation which sanctioned the sterilisation of ‘scientifically diagnosed’ morons in the mid-20th century.