The Spectator

Feedback | 31 May 2003

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Comment on Are whites cleverer than blacks? by Sean Thomas (24/05/2003)

Sean Thomas is right to condemn left-wingers for dishonestly shouting down discussion of IQ and race (article, 24 May 2003), but despite their bad faith, 'The Left' has a point.

I studied at several institutions where we all had high IQs, and the more kinds of intelligence I see in life, the less sure I get.

The appearance of creativity tests in corporate recruitment in the 1960s showed that many in the private sector (never mind politically correct socialists) were already dissatisfied forty years ago with what IQ tests test.

The difficult grammars of many African languages, notorious among linguists, should give anyone pause before we decide that black people have less of something intelligence-related than we do.

Here in Budapest, I've noticed that most Africans master the tricky Hungarian language (unrelated to any major African or European languages) before Europeans. Other explanations suggest themselves, but a basic possibility demands consideration. Perhaps Africans are cleverer at languages.

And if proficiency at picking up unfamiliar languages is not a demanding test of practical intelligence, what is?

Mark Griffith