Arthur R. Jensen (2000) Name-calling is a Disappointing Substitute for Real Criticism. Psycoloquy: 11(009) Intelligence g Factor (25)

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Psycoloquy 11(009): Name-calling is a Disappointing Substitute for Real Criticism

Reply to Brace on Jensen on Intelligence-g-Factor

Arthur R. Jensen
Educational Psychology
School of Education
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-1670


Brace's ad hominem criticism and nihilistic stance regarding key concepts in my book (Jensen 1998, 1999), particularly the g factor and race, as I have carefully defined these terms, can serve only one useful purpose: It gives present-day readers a view of one of the remote outposts of the 1970's style of attack by the ideologically committed opponents of my position 30 years ago.


behavior genetics, cognitive modelling, evoked potentials, evolutionary psychology, factor analysis, g factor, heritability, individual differences, intelligence, IQ, neurometrics, psychometrics, psychophyiology, skills, Spearman, statistics
1. Way back in 1972, at the Davis campus of the University of California, I was having lunch with the evolutionary geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky. He had invited me to come to Davis and discuss the manuscript of my book Educability and Group Differences (Jensen, 1973), on which I had solicited his comments. (He was a respectful and friendly critic.) On that same day, the campus newspaper gave notice of a speech to be delivered by one of the leading figures in the Creationist crusade that aimed to banish Darwin from the biology textbooks used in California high schools. The article also stated that this Biblical Fundamentalist had challenged Dobzhansky (who was then the world's foremost expert on the genetic theory of evolution) to a debate on Creationism, and that Dobzhansky had declined the offer. I asked him why. He said he had long since reached the conclusion that any argument between persons who were not in at least ninety percent agreement on the issues was a total waste from a scientific standpoint, although he conceded that a poorly informed audience might find it entertaining. I have remembered Dobzhansky's wise advice ever since, but have rarely had occasion to act on it. In reading Brace's review, however, I deemed it is most appropriate to do so.

2. Brace (1999) seems to have read into my book only his own preconceptions, claiming that it contained nothing new, besides some mathematical elaborations on factor analysis, since my 1969 article How Much Can We Boost IQ and Scholastic Achievement? (Jensen, 1969). Actually, since 1969 a great many new advances have been made in this field, and many of them are expounded in my latest book, The g Factor (Jensen 1998, 1999). (Note how very few of its literature citations, listed in 35 pages of references, predate 1980.) It would be otiose to describe specifically all these new developments and discoveries, which will be easily recognized by those who have kept up with the literature of behavior genetics, information processing theory, cognitive neuroscience, the evolutionary genetics of populations, transracial adoption studies, and various subsidiary topics. All of these developments are integral to my book.

3. Authentic criticism is actually something quite different from sheer invective, which is obviously intended for a different purpose. I think that, as Dobzhansky advised, it would be pointless for me to argue the issues in my book point-by-point with one who even dismisses the g factor as a mere artifact, holds that race is purely a social construct, misrepresents and caricatures central concepts in my book, disapproves of virtually everything I have written in the past 30 years, and ends up calling me a racist and a bigot. Those who read the book without prejudice will readily find that the few substantive points in Brace's ill-conceived critique have already been clearly dealt with in my book.


Brace, E.L. (1999). Racialism, Racism, and the Bigot Brigade. PSYCOLOQUY 10(62) psyc.99.10.062.intelligence-g-factor.11.brace

Jensen, A.R. (1969). How much can we boost IQ and scholastic achievement? Harvard Educational Review 19: 1-123.

Jensen, A.R. (1973). Educability and group differences. London: Methuen.

Jensen, A.R. (1998). The g factor: The science of mental ability. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Jensen, A.R. (1999). Precis of: The g Factor: The Science of Mental Ability PSYCOLOQUY 10(23). psyc.99.10.023.intelligence-g-factor.1.jensen

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