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In the educated quarters of the United States, a new book about race is causing quite a stir. It’s called ‘A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History’ and was penned by NYT science correspondent Nicholas Wade. In the book Wade argues that race – contrary to liberal consensus – is not a ‘construct’ but a biological fact, and that because of this, average levels of intelligence (as well as various aspects of personality) vary between ethnic groups.

The ‘controversy’ here is of course unwarranted. The findings of modern science almost always suggest ethnic disparities in cognitive ability exist and are severe enough to have political and economic consequences. 

But if you’re still unconvinced, Wade may be of some help to you. I also came up with a nice thought experiment today which may help our side of the argument albeit in a less scientific manner.

If you’re an egalitarian – a Communist of some kind perhaps – and have stumbled upon this horrible, fascist, racist blog by accident, please don’t go before you read and consider the following:

Imagine if sixteen years ago, a South Korean family adopted a Nigerian boy at birth, and then, two weeks later, adopted a Korean boy, also at birth.

The two 16 yr old brothers have grown up eating the same food, and have enjoyed the same amount of exercise. Both also attended the same schools, and were raised by the same stable and complete family.

For a reason we don’t have to go into, the two brothers are entered into a head-to-head IQ contest, and you are obliged by law to bet money on the outcome.

The money you bet with isn’t your own though. In fact, it is the total UN aid budget for Africa for the next ten years. If you lose or decline to take part, the money will be redirected into the bank account of Rush Limbaugh.

Who would go for and why? This direct confrontation between conscience and ideology makes for an interesting dilemma. The answers will be revealing.