Re: Social Problems and Evolution (Part C: Racism)

Bill Hamilton (
Fri, 06 Mar 1998 10:55:15 -0500

Russell Maatman wrote

>What happens if we do use the worldly way of proving that all races are
>First, it is conceivable, as suggested earlier, that scientific studies
>will suggest that some races are inferior. Such a conclusion might be the
>consequence of using intelligence tests. Obviously, that conclusion could
>be invalid; scientific conclusions are usually tentative. But if we are
>going to depend upon scientific conclusions, the only usable conclusions
>are those we have, not those we might have in the future. Then, if we use
>the worldly way of thinking, racism would be justified at the time results
>showing inferiority are obtained. Later, racism could be proven wrong by
>newer results. It is obviously ludicrous for morality to depend on
>scientific analyses.

In addition, it may cause the truth to be suppressed. Not long ago a
candidate for president of Michigan State University withdrew his name
under pressure because he had stated a fact that every track coach and
every track team member knows: that black atheletes have an advantage in
sprint races because the structure of their leg muscles differs from that
of whites. According to my son, who ran track and cross country for 4
years in high school and 4 years in college, this is a research result
which is well-established. But because it says there is a difference in
races, it's a politically-charged statement. Obviously a result like that
has to be treated carefully. White track team members should be encouraged
to try out for the events they have a passion for. Some will excel, and
the fact that someone else has a heriditary advantage shouldn't be used to
discourage them. But to simply suppress the truth -- in this case
derailing the candidacy of a potentially highly-qualified individual, is
not the right solution.
Bill Hamilton
Staff Research Engineer
Chassis and Vehicle Systems
GM R&D Center
Warren, MI