A week ago I had a discussion with another teacher about intelligence, whether IQ tests can measure it and what the differences in IQ scores between different racial groups mean. He thought that IQ tests are culturally biased towards white people and the fact that the first wave of Jewish immigrants to America scored lower than later arrivals proved conclusively that genes couldn’t possibly be involved. That of course is nonsense but there’s no persuading some people.
It occurred to me today that he may well have come away from our discussion with the mistaken belief that for me human value is predicated on IQ. After all, liberals regularly attribute all manner of weird beliefs to us non-liberals, including maliciously wanting black people to fail, presumably because we don’t want them to contribute to society and prefer it if they drag the economy down. If liberals believe we are that stupid and malicious, why wouldn’t they believe that we want to exterminate anyone with an IQ below 100?
The truth is it would be foolish for me to judge people by their IQ scores since my own score is nothing to write home about. (I don’t actually know what it is but since my school performance was poor and I can’t do Maths then it can’t be great). Apart from this intelligent people are often seem a bit peculiar, having unnatural predilections and gravitating towards leftist politics, all of which puts me off them. So the idea that a Harvard professor of Gender Studies has greater human value than a plumber because he has a higher IQ strikes me as pretty stupid.
That said, this doesn’t mean I believe all people have equal value and that I should put myself out for someone, simply because he belongs to the same species as me. For example, I view criminals, drug addicts and people too irresponsible to provide for themselves as having less value than their opposites. Also, if given the choice between saving Ian Brady or leaving him to perish, I would choose the latter. I know, I know, in one sense Brady couldn’t help being who he was and ‘There but for the grace of God go I’ and all that. Even so, mosquitoes and cockroaches also can’t help being what they are yet I have no desire to save them. In fact I believe a society that wants to survive can ill afford to help its enemies to prosper.