Unlike Time, which blocked all responses to Joe Klein’s factually challenged column on FISA, via Matt Yglesias, Slate has published a response by Stephen Metclaf to Will Saletan on race and IQ. The nuts:
Much of Saletan’s précis of the rest of the research surveyed in “Thirty Years of Research Into Race Differences on Cognitive Abilities” is highly questionable. His takeaway regarding the “admixture” studies is precisely the opposite of what an American Psychological Association task force concluded the studies show-that more “European” blood in a black American does not make him smarter. Saletan points up the problems with a favorite study of the environmentalists, into the IQ outcomes of children fathered by foreign soldiers and raised by (white) German mothers. This study showed that kids with African fathers scored the same as those with white fathers. But, Saletan says, it suffers from a fatal flaw: Blacks in the military had been screened for IQ. Saletan concludes, “Even environmentalists (scholars who advocate nongenetic explanations) concede that this filter radically distorted the numbers.” But this is flatly untrue. The two most prominent environmentalists, Richard Nisbett and James Flynn, have dismissed this very objection. Both have pointed out that white soldiers were also screened, and so had higher IQs than the general white population. James Flynn has argued extensively that the black-white gap in the military was the same as in the population at large.
In essence, Metcalf demonstrates that Saletan, like Joe Klein on FISA, simply did not know what he was writing about. It is to Slate’s credit that it was willing to publish such a demolition of one of its regular writers. Score another one for honesty for Washington Post Company, which allowed Krauthammer to be demolished today.