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Beyond VersusThe Struggle to Understand the Interaction of Nature and Nurture$
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James Tabery

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027373

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027373.001.0001

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Race, Genetics, and IQ: Interactionin the IQ Controversy

Race, Genetics, and IQ: Interactionin the IQ Controversy

(p.43) 3 Race, Genetics, and IQ: Interactionin the IQ Controversy
Beyond Versus

James Tabery

The MIT Press

In 1969, Arthur Jensen drew on heritability measures from behaviour genetics to infamously claim genetic differences between black and white Americans best explained the gap in IQ scores between those two races. Jensen’s controversial thesis ignited what came to be known as the “IQ Controversy”. Richard Lewontin countered Jensen’s genetic hypothesis by appealing to the interaction of nature and nurture, but Jensen dismissed this criticism as confused and irrelevant. What explains the divide between Jensen and Lewontin? Scholars reflecting on this episode have appealed to racism and political bias to explain the debate. This chapter argues instead that what separated Jensen and Lewontin was an explanatory divide—a divide concerning how explanation works in science.

Keywords:   Behaviour Genetics, Explanation, Gene-Environment Interaction, Heritability, IQ, IQ Controversy, Arthur Jensen, Richard Lewontin, Race, Racism

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