Any link between skin colour and brain power was long ago disproved by science.
Hesitant though I am to argue with a scientist of Steve Jones\’ standing, this isn\’t actually true.
We can see links between average brain power of this group as against that group very easily. And yes, many of those groups are delineated by skin colour.
What is true is that, having found those links between skin colour and brain power we find two further things. Firstly, that we can see links between skin colour and other factors known to influence brain power. Poverty, access to education, childhood nutrition, social pressures to develop innate intelligence (whatever that I in IQ might actually be) and so on.
Secondly, and much more importantly, that differences between group averages don\’t in fact matter: for variances around those averages within groups are vastly greater than the between group differences.
Say, arguendo, that the group average IQ for white Britons is 100 and that for black Britons is 105. The within group variance will still be from the roughly 60 at which someone can just about function in the world to the super-genius levels of 150, 160, 180. So while we may see this, on average, lower IQ of the whites, it doesn\’t tell us anything interesting at all about any random individual or small group placed in front of us. They will still be spread on that 60-180 span.
So it\’s irrelevant.
(There is an argument that looking at the very tails of the distributions might lead us to something: but that\’s an argument about greater variance within groups (standard deviations etc), nothing to do with the averages. For example, the preponderance of males amongst top tier university mathematics professors has nothing to do with average male or female ability at maths. It\’s to do with greater variance within males, more fools and more geniuses. At least, that\’s the argument put forward by the likes of Larry Summers.)
This however is simply straight wrong:
Girls do better than boys at exams nowadays, and the Y chromosome is a real handicap for many who bear it.
No, they don\’t. Girls do better now at the tests which we use to measure progress through the education system. But we have changed those tests from being the more boy friendly \”exams\” (here\’s three hours, get on with the questions) to the more girl friendly continuous assessment. And we\’ve quite deliberately made this change: you only have to go back a few decades and read the educationalists insisting that exams are boy friendly and that the system should be changed to the current one in order not to disadvantage girls.
Whether this is the right or the wrong thing to have done isn\’t the point: it\’s what we have done.