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On average, there is a 15 IQ points gap between whites and blacks. Is there a scientific consensus on whether this gap is explained by nature/genetics, nurture/environment, or both?

This NYT article refers to a quote from Dr Francis Collins saying that most experts on intelligence “consider any black-white differences in I.Q. testing to arise primarily from environmental, not genetic, differences.


Is that true, or is he being politically correct?

The article also mentions James Watson's unchanged views that the gap is explained mostly by genetics. It refers to his infamous comment on black people's intelligence being the same as whites: “people who have to deal with black employees find this not true.

After looking at the bell curves, I am afraid I would never look at a black/african person the same again. I never thought that science would teach me to be racist.

Edit: My thread may share the same 'topic' with others, but it is not a duplicate. I am asking more specific questions with regards to the scientific consensus on the matter, and whether Dr Collins statement in the NYT article is true.

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  • $\begingroup$ And psychology.stackexchange.com/questions/17486/… $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Nov 8, 2019 at 22:44
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    $\begingroup$ I strongly encourage you to read all the answers for the many other questions on this topic that I linked and try to form your own view of the evidence. I'd probably rephrase Collins' statement to be something closer to "black-white differences in IQ can be explained by environmental differences". There's no "arise primarily from" here - when race is confounded by environment the differences are not statistically separable. However, it is definitely irresponsible to take this ambiguity and make claims about racial superiority, and that's the crux of Collins' statement. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Nov 9, 2019 at 3:32
  • $\begingroup$ The problem with your question is how do we define consensus. Then NYT cited some contrary opinions. I'm not sure there is a poll of scientists/experts on this. Actually, I may be wrong about that ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4804158 $\endgroup$ Nov 9, 2019 at 7:37
  • $\begingroup$ The scientific consensus is that environmental impact especially inequality, differences in educational access, discrimination, etc etc is the main cause of the discrepancy. Believing IQ is genetic contributes to racism. $\endgroup$
    – Poidah
    Nov 9, 2019 at 13:36


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