victions. “Well, even if you went, younwould have to come back down sometime,nor you would die. Come onnhome with me now.”nFred Chappell’s latest book, due thisnfall from St. Martin’s, is Brighten thenCorner Where You Are. His longnpoem, Midquest, has just beennreprinted by Louisiana StatenUniversity Press.nThe Twenty Years’nWarnby Joseph AdelsonnThe IQ Controversy, the Media,nand Public Policynby Mark Snyderman andnStanley RothmannNew Brunswick, NJ: TransactionnBooks; 192 pp., $24.95n^ ^ T ntelligence” may offer the clear-nX est example Vv-e have of how ideologyncan corrupt social science. Althoughnthe topic has been politicized bynboth left and right, during the lastngeneration the ideological pressuresnhave come almost entirely from the left,nand along these lines: that intelligence isnessentially the product of experience —nabove all, the nature of the child’snenvironment—the genes having littlento do with it; group differences in testnperformance are spurious, contrived tonfavor the socially privileged; the meaningnof intelligence is in any case unclear;nand the methods of measuring it inadequatenand likely to be prejudicial.nThis indictment reflects a more generalnaversion towards heredity, intelligencenbeing only one of a large numbernof qualities where a genetic influence isndenied. Until recently, schizophrenianwas thought to be produced by pathologicalnchUdrearing, despite much evidencenfor a significant biological influence.nWhen the infantile autismndisorder (the “Rain Man” syndrome)nwas diagnosed in the 1940’s, it was alsontaken to be the result of a disturbednupbringing — in this case, by a “refrigeratornmother.” This assumption, especially,nillustrates vividly the power ofndogma over observation, as significantnfeatures of the syndrome point to anstrictly neurological explanation.nAlthough fierce environmentalismnhas given way where severe mentalndisorder is concerned, it remains stubbornlynin place regarding intelligence. Itnis not hard to see why: measured intelligencenis highly correlated with bothnsocial class and class origin. Professionalsn(and their children) score highernthan skilled tradesmen (and theirs) who,nin turn, score higher than unskillednlaborers and their offspring. While thisntells us little about the genetics ofnintelligence, nevertheless it is sometimesntaken quite seriously indeed: environmentalistsnargue that the class-IQnlinkage demonstrates that the sociallyfavorednpass on their social advantages;nhereditarians hold that genetic merit isnrewarded economically. The argumentnis intensified by the black-white disparitynin tested intelligence. As the authors ofnthis excellent study tell us, observednracial difference is at the heart of thenmodern IQ controversy, where it hasnproduced a resistance to “rational publicndiscussion.” Are those differences duento test bias, or the outcome of deprivation?nIf not—what then?nThere is another element in thendispute — the struggle to dominatenpublic opinion. Many environmentalistsnare willing to acknowledge some hereditaryncontribution to intelligence, as,nlong as it is kept out of sight. They fearnthat ordinary citizens, not grasping thensubtleties of the argument, will findntheir bigotry toward members of socialnand racial minorities confirmed, a resultnthat would reduce support for specialnefforts intended to benefit the deprived.nIn short, the IQ controversy involvesnmuch more than an argument aboutnthe “facts”; it concerns equally hownfacts are to be understood.nAll these issues and many more arencovered in this exemplary work.nSnyderman and Rothman have given usna remarkably complete account of thencontroversy, its history, and current status.nThat is a considerable achievement,nsince it comprises a large number ofnsmaller disputes, some of them highlyntechnical. We have here a balanced,naccessible, and accurate appraisal of thenevidence, subordinated to an ingeniousnformat that combines discussions of thencentral questions with a survey of expertnopinion. Over six hundred scholars,nchosen for their competence in testingnand education, were questioned onnnnsuch issues as the definition of intelligence,nits measurement, its relation tonlater success, the plausibility of groupndifferences, and its heritability. We learnnthat these specialists “share a commonnview of the most important componentsnof intelligence, and are convinced that itncan be measured with some degree ofnaccuracy.” They “also believe that individualngenetic inheritance contributes tonvariations in I.Q. within the white community,”na somewhat smaller majoritynexpressing “the same view about Black-nWhite and SES (socioeconomic status)ndifferences in I.Q.”nShould these conclusions conie as ansurprise to you, the reason is probablynthe discrepancy between them andnwhat you’ve gathered from televisionnand the better newspapers. The pivotalnpart of this book examines how thensubject of intelligence has been coverednby the media, through content analysesnof news reports carried by the majornnews magazines, the television networksnand the most influential nationalnnewspapers. These reports, the authorsnfound, were both wanting in their graspnof the complexities of the subject andnaffected by a tendency to reduce, simplify,nand dramatize them. Those arensins generic to journalism, of course,nand to that degree they can be understood,nif not quite forgiven; far morentroubling is the frequency of seriousnerror. For example, such significant figui’esnas Arthur Jensen and RichardnHernstein were reported to hold viewsnthey would not entertain for a minute.nMost troubling of all, as you mightnguess, is the consistency and pervasivenessnof comfortably biased assumptions:nthat IQ is a myth, that intelligence isnhard to define and measure, that IQntests are racist and sexist and don’tnpredict much of anything anyway, andnthat heredity has almost nothing to donwith intelligence. The media offers antopsy-turvy view of reality, in whichnmainstream scholarly opinion is representednas deviant while genuinely deviantnviews, such as those espoused bynLeon Kamin, are treated as widelynaccepted conclusions. The explanationnis that the media have been free tondetermine who is and who is not annexpert, what is and is not the truth, andnhave elevated scholariy views they findnideologically acceptable above thosenthey consider “reactionary” and unacceptable.nNOVEMBER 1989/37n