1970s >> 1978 >> no-892-december-1978

Myths of ‘race’ exposed

The National Union of Teachers (Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London WC1 9BD) have just brought out an excellent short pamphlet Race, Education, Intelligence which debunks some of the popular myths about so-called race and about IQ tests. To illustrate its worth we can do no better than quote its conclusion, which brings out many of the points we ourselves have made in the two pamphlets we have published on the same subject. The Racial Problem (1948) and The Problem of Racism (1966):


  1. “In biological terms the concept of race’ is meaningless for human populations.
  2. More than 94 per cent of all genetic differences between individuals that have been studied occur between individuals of the same ‘race’, not between ‘races’.
  3. Intelligence tests may help predict children’s school performance but they say nothing about any fixed ‘biological potential’ of the individual.
  4. It is not meaningful or possible to divide a child’s performance into ‘genetic’ or ‘environmental’ components.
  5. The determinants of ‘civilisation’ and the development of different human societies should be sought in social, economic and historical factors, not in biology.”