anthro101lec10.jan30.y08 - ANTHROPOLOGY 101 LECTURE 10 Race...

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ANTHROPOLOGY 101 01.31.08 LECTURE 10 I. A final point from the last lecture: Gould corrected for these kinds of lapses (except for stature since he didn’t have any figures) and found (a) that the average difference between Blacks and Whites was vastly reduced (from 10 cubic inches to just 4) and (b) that the differences are not even statistically significant anyway. II. Why look at Morton at all? It’s ancient history right? A. Understanding historical mistakes help us to be aware of the kinds of logical errors that might be made in race-IQ thinking even today. The history of bias. The history of underlying assumptions show continuities. B. Understanding that people like Morton were scientists tells us that even science is influenced by culture; that “science” doesn’t equal “perfect knowledge.” It forces us to be critical. III. Is this argument anti-science? A. Not at all! Scientists expect their work to be re-tested and re-examined in light of new thinking, new ideas. Morton kept good notes; and these allowed Stephen Jay Gould to analyze the same skulls using the same methods to reach new conclusions. B. Remember, “science” as a word used to have the general meaning of A knowledge” and its more specialized meaning confined to a special method for knowing is quite recent. IV. The physical measures (used by Morton & Broca, for example) fell out of favor eventually and a new phase of measuring content, something called innate intelligence, began in the 20th century. --> this movement from physical “thing” to intangible “content” makes culture an increasingly important part of arguments against race-based theories of difference --> culture: models of and models for reality A. This work was actually based on the pioneering research of a Frenchman named Alfred Binet who developed a series of diagnostic tests with the intent of helping children with learning disabilities (these tests are the direct precursors of the IQ texts we have today) --> he wanted to identify children having learning problems so that they could receive additional attention --> one of his biggest worries was that his tests would be misused to A give up” on kids with problems 1
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ANTHROPOLOGY 101 01.31.08 LECTURE 10 Race & Intelligence, cont’d --> Binet was very careful to argue that intelligence could not be abstracted as a single number B. It took the transfer to America to link Binet’s tests with hereditarian theories of IQ through the work of H.H. Goddard and Robert Yerkes
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anthro101lec10.jan30.y08 - ANTHROPOLOGY 101 LECTURE 10 Race...

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