Although I don't directly disagree with all of the writer's ideas, I think the above writeup is incoherent and self-contradictory.

The writer says that "IQ is not related to race." A few lines later, this becomes "IQ is more correlated to 'well-off'-ness than to DNA or race [italics mine]." It must be one or the other. In either case, the view that genetics plays a minimal-to-negligible role in intelligence is without experimental support. If genes are so trivial, why do identical twins raised apart show a 76% correlation in IQ scores? If the environment is all-powerful, why do unrelated children adopted by the same family show an IQ correlation of zero percent? (Ridley, 1999*)

But suppose we accept the claim that IQ really is entirely to do with class. In that case, poor people are stupid. Is this what the writeup is supposed to be arguing? If so, it is no less bigoted than racial prejudice; it is merely transferring the stupidity from one group to another, whether or not the claim is backed up by evidence.

Either intelligence has a significant genetic factor, in which case some people are more intelligent than others by nature; or the only important determinants of it are environmental, in which case some people are more intelligent than others by virtue of their upbringing and lifestyle. In either case, some people are going to be less intelligent than others.

Later on, it is claimed that one of the supposed "proofs" that IQ is not racial is the existence of the Ainu people. These are whites with a "less advanced" culture, so IQ can't be a racial thing. Where does this conclusion come from? Is he saying that the Ainu people are stupid, thus proving that every race is capable of stupidity? He compares them to native Americans and eastern Africans, so this is presumably not his intention. But the paragraph contains no mention of IQ, only cultural advancement, so what exactly is his point? As far as I can tell, his argument number 2 is totally irrelevant to the discussion.

I haven't read The Bell Curve, so I can't comment on it directly, or on Thomas Miconi's (or Stephen Gould's) opinions of it. Is IQ related to race? One problem here is that this question can be interpreted in two different ways. IQ is definitely related to race in the sense that different races score different average IQs. That is not a debatable fact, given that we are talking about IQ, which is defined as the result of an IQ test, and not actual intelligence, whatever that may be. But the question people are interested in is whether there is a genetic basis for these differences. I'm not a geneticist or a psychologist and I don't know the answer. However I suspect it's most likely that the IQ differences between races (as opposed to individuals) are largely environmental in origin, as this is backed by most of the evidence I've encountered (as an interested layman).

Miconi is right, unlike some, in recognising that the issue is not a priori, as he seeks to provide practical rather than theoretical arguments. But one of the practical arguments in the above writeup, the one that I discuss, is not very good. On the other hand, I think that his first point, about non-white children adopted by white parents, is a good argument that racial IQ differences are not genetic - the influence of white parents is not, of course, to do with their white skin, but the fact that whites in the U.S. are on average wealthier than non-whites.

*Ridley, M. (1999). Genome. Fourth Estate Limited, London.

Since writing this, another point has been made known to me which is important when dealing with the differences between groups. Whether or not there are genetic or environmental differences between the average IQs of races, racial discrimination is wrong. Some far-right groups have tried to use the "fact" of innate IQ differences to justify racist political policies, but it is no justification at all. Racism, sexism, xenophobia, and all such prejudices, although they may be hard to avoid, are still repugnant. Even if it were confirmed that one race was genetically more intelligent than another (which I don't think is going to happen anyway), this would not have any practical moral implications. Racism is wrong because of the universal ethical sense shared by all people, not merely on the testable proviso that all races are identical. There is no justifiable reason to discriminate against an individual because their "group" (be it race or anything else) is on average 5 IQ points lower than another, whatever the reason for that difference.