Professor Shockley's Experiment
By Glayde Whitney
Professor Florida State University, Tallahassee
Former President Behavior Genetics Association
Republished from Mankind Quarterly, Fall 1996.
Mankind Quarterly, published by The Institute for the Study of
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One of the experiments that Professor Shockley suggested to the
National Academy of Sciences at its Spring Meeting of 1968 ("Proposed
research to reduce racial aspects of the environment-heredity
uncertainty") has been conducted; the results are in, but
you won't hear about it in the mainstream media. If recent history
is a guide we will first wish the results the death of silence.
Pretend they do not exist. If that fails, then yell and scream
and call names. Outrage at insensitivity; heap acrimony upon ad
hominem (see Pearson, 1991). The unfortunate truth that no one
was particularly hoping for is completely at odds with the revealed
wisdom of the egalitarian left: when black babies are adopted
into middle class bright white families they grow up to function
intellectually and emotionally like blacks.
Professor William Bradford Shockley (1910-1989), you will recall,
was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1956. That was for
research conducted at Bell Telephone Laboratories where he was
director of solid- state physics research. It was in 1948 that
his three-man research team created the point contact transistor;
Shockley personally invented the junction transistor, the analog
and the junction field-effect transistor, thus ushering in the
age of solid state electronics. He and his co-workers shared the
Nobel Prize. Shockley left the Bell Laboratories in 1958 and in
1963 was appointed to a named chair at Stanford University. From
the mid-'60s until his death in 1989 he devoted much of his scientific
efforts to questions of heredity, intelligence, and the welfare
of western civilization. He spoke out repeatedly against the "entrenched
dogmatism" which prevented open discussion and unbiased research
concerning some of the most important issues facing our civilization.
For his humanitarian efforts he was excoriated by the left-leaning
press and "politically correct" academic scientists
alike (Pearson, 1992). While it has become de rigueur to complain
about an uninformed and biased media, they merely reflect a deeper
problem. The power to destroy civilization lies with the scientists
and intellectuals, our modern secular priesthood, who have given
up the canons of science - objective observation of the real world
combined with honest reporting - in order to accomodate the dogmas
of a secular religion. An irrational ideological zealotry that
emphasizes the dogmas of socialism at the expense of scientific
knowledge has already brought about the downfall of one of the
two great superpowers. Can we be far behind if we pervert truth
to follow the precepts of the same secular religion?
Roger Pearson has well summarized Shockley's thesis, which scared
the political Left. It was simple: intelligence is a quality which
is of prime importance to humankind in the struggle to survive
- but it is not evenly distributed between individuals and races.
The available scientific evidence indicated that the level of
an individual's intelligence is predominantly determined by heredity,
and also that the less intelligent members of the American population
are reproducing more quickly than those genetically better endowed
in this vital area of human competency:
Shockley's attempts to bring these facts to the attention of the
public, and his campaign for a top-level, government-funded scientific
enquiry into the question of human quality, was anathema to liberals
and to those on the political Left. The liberals felt that his
ideas challenged the doctrine of equality to which they were wedded,
and the political Left quickly recognized that they challenged
their traditional argument that poverty was due solely to class
(and race) exploitation rather than, as Shockley implied, the
low intelligence of the inhabitants of the inner city slums who
were unable to find employment they could handle in the increasingly
technical world of modern America. (Pearson, 1992, p. 18).
It was in the 1960s that the Great Society's War on Poverty got
going, in the 1960s that Arthur Jensen first got into trouble
for pointing out that Head Start programs had not been successful
in raising the intelligence of black youth, and in 1968 that Shockley
suggested a "research proposal that might reduce the environment-heredity
uncertainty regarding racial differences".
Shockley told the Academy "I have heard that the drastic
environmental change of adoption from a Negro slum into a middle-class
New York Jewish family has actually occurred for some 70 orphans."
(Shockley, 1968, p. 102). Of Course. The adoption design is the
closest that you can come with humans (for ethical reasons) to
conventional scientific procedures for separating genetic from
environmental causes of the traits of individuals. It's the human
analog of the cross-fostering experiment: Take a Pit Bull puppy
and have it be raised by a Cocker Spaniel mom (and dad) in a Cocker
Spaniel-provided home and social milieu. If the Pit Bull grows
up to think like a Cocker Spaniel, or to act like a Cocker Spaniel,
then you know that the environment of rearing influenced the traits
in question. Now, if the radical environmental change of cross-fostering
does not change the Pit Bull into a Cocker Spaniel, then what
hope is there for the less drastic and less complete interventions
of Head Start and other "enrichment" type programs?
Since 1965 over $5.4 Trillion dollars have been spent in the Great
Society War on Poverty (Rector & Lauber, 1995), and we find
ourselves bracing for the arrival of the Super Predators (Dilulio,
1995). In the meantime, Shockley's experiment has been conducted,
more or less, and the results are in.
For the experiment we are indebted to the eminent child psychologist
Dr. Sandra Scarr (recent President of the American Psychological
Society and a Past President of the Behavior Genetics Association,
among other accolades), and her colleagues (Scarr & Weinberg,
1976). The experiment began in the early '70s when Scarr and her
original collaborator Richard Weinberg were faculty at the University
of Minnesota. They have pointed out that "The intellectual
and social climate of Minnesota is generally conducive to liberal
and humanitarian movements such as interracial adoption"
(p.727 ). In 1966 an influential organization named the Open Door
Society of Minnesota was formed by adoptive parents of black children.
The founding president of the Open Door Society was a leading
columnist for a Minneapolis daily newspaper who frequently wrote
about his multiracial family. In this auspicious social climate
Scarr recruited 101 families that lived within a 150-mile radius
of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St.Paul) metro area. Many of the
participating families were recruited through the Newsletter of
the Open Door Society. The 101 families included 321 children
who were 4 years of age or older when originally tested in the
1970s. There were 145 biological offspring and 176 adoptees, of
whom 130 were black and 25 white. The remaining 21 consisted of
children of Asian, American Indian, and Latino ancestry. Further,
many of the "black" adopted children could be grouped
as to whether they had 2 black biological parents (black/black
kids) or one black and one white biological parent (black/white
kids). When originally evaluated the average age of the children
was seven, and the results were happily reported in many media
outlets and reviewed in many standard psychology and child development
or educational psychology textbooks. A follow-up study was conducted
10 years later, at an average children's age 17 (Weinberg, Scarr,
& Waldman, 1992). Don't expect to see the results of the follow-up
study in the textbooks or the mainline liberal media.
The national dilemma that provides the backdrop for Professor
Shockley's experiment is the large gap between black's and white's
average intelligence. It is important to note that among serious
scholars the IQ gap has never been an issue: It is the reason
for the gap - cultural deprivation, genetic differences, etc.-
that has been the issue. The racial gap in average IQ is large
and important: About 15 points separate the black average of 85
from a white average of about 100. These 15 points represent about
one standard deviation of the bell curve of the intelligence distribution.
From this it follows that only about 16% of blacks equal or exceed
the average of whites, thus by white standards fully 84% of blacks
are of below average intelligence. The racial discrepancy is larger
the further one gets from the average - blacks are very much over
represented among the intellectually disabled and very much under
represented among the exceptionally gifted. These facts are essentially
what is behind the perceived need for affirmative action and other
black preferential social policies, although it is generally quite
incorrect to mention outside the confines of the ivory tower -
as Charles Murray discovered in the firestorm of criticism for
having written (with the late Richard Herrnstein) The Bell Curve.
Faced with the racial gap, as well as a wide range of individual
differences within each race, the egalitarian priesthood has waged
one of the most successful disinformation campaigns in the annals
of modern propaganda. IQ went from being one of the brightest
stars in the firmament of applied psychology to being deemed useless,
misleading, evily oppressively racist, and even outlawed in many
settings. (If the race is important and Cocker Spaniels regularly
run substantially faster than do Pit Bulls, then viciously attack
the stop watch). Antidotes to the ideological zealotry include
The Bell Curve (Herrnstein & Murray, 1994), as well as Arthur
Jensen's Bias in Mental Testing (1980) and Stanley Burnham's America's
Bimodal Crisis (1993). Of course intelligence is important and
of course IQ well predicts performance in many settings.
Childhood Results: Environments Matter [Blacks will be Whites]
Against this anguishing national (and international) backdrop
Scarr and Weinberg (1976) reported that when evaluated at an average
age of seven, the 99 black and interracial children adopted in
the first year of life had average IQ scores of 110. Wonderful.
The egalitarian liberals literally jumped for joy. Quickly into
virtually all the introductory textbooks in the relevant fields
went the findings and the interpretation: Blacks raised in the
favorable home and cultural milieu provided by bright middle class
white parents not only did well, they actually did substantially
better than the national average for whites. Clearly the interpretation
was that the abysmal conditions and performance of blacks in general
was correctable by the liberal agenda of environmental treatments.
Improve the home environments, schools, and general social milieu
of blacks and their intellectual performance will substantially
benefit. Scarr and Weinberg (1976) interpreted their results thusly:
"One reason for the substantial increase in test performance
of the black and interracial adoptees is that their rearing environments
are culturally relevant to the tests and to the school .... [the]
black children in this study have been fully exposed to the culture
of the tests and the school,"(p. 737). "There is no
question that adoption constitutes a massive intervention, as
noted earlier, and that it has a favorable impact on IQ"
(p. 738). "The major findings of the study support the view
that the social environment plays a dominant role in determining
the average IQ level of black children" (p. 739). Of such
findings and interpretations are myths created and liberal heroes
Although not emphasized, usually not even mentioned in the secondary
reports, there were disquieting patterns in the data of the seven
year olds. And in fairness to Sandra Scarr and Richard Weinberg
it should be noted that they presented the data in an apparently
unbiased manner; they are of course free to emphasize whatever
interpretations they find appropriate for whatever reasons. The
final words of their 1976 report are "that both social and
genetic variables contribute to individual variation among them"
Other critics found in the study results which were interpretable
from a genetic perspective. For instance, the adoptees with two
black biological parents (b/b kids) averaged IQ of 98.6; for b/w
adoptees the value was 109.0, while white adoptees (w/w) had average
IQs of 111.5 and the biological offspring of these unusual middle
class parents averaged 116. Well. Here we have approximately 13
IQ points difference, not so far different from the 15 points
that separates blacks from whites in the general population:
[w/w 111.5] - [b/b 98.6] = 12.9
Give the b/b a dose of white genetic parentage (b/w) and the average
IQ goes up about 10 points. Raised in a white family environment
so advantageous that the children born to those white families
average an IQ of 116, b/b adoptees only manage an average of 98.6.
Of such politically incorrect observations are doubts made. Well,
answered the authors, in effect, no single experimental study
is perfect in all respects and this one is no exception. There
were unfortunate confounding variables in the data that could
perhaps have been responsible for the discrepancies. For example,
b/b kids tended to have been placed for final adoption somewhat
later than others, thus perhaps early perinatal experiences were
somehow detrimental to IQ, or, perhaps "expectancy effects"
were at play and parents adopting b/b kids didn't expect as much
of them as from b/w or w/w kids. The possibilities for equivocation
are seemingly endless. But, however, it seemed clear that the
b/b value of 98.6 was higher than the black population average
of 85, and 98.6, by golly, is awfully close to the general population
average value of 100. Bottom line for the interpretations widely
accepted from the study conducted at average age seven: Environments
matter and "good" environments like those provided by
bright white middle class parents increased the IQs of black children.
In other words, Pit Bull puppies raised by Cocker Spaniels acted
like Cocker Spaniel puppies. But what of their behavior as adults?
Limits of the Family Influence
While questions of racial inequalities and what to do about
them, or indeed, what can be done about them, have been festering
in the national agenda, quite remarkable progress has been made
in the general sciences that deal with human development and behavior
genetics. From new data have come new and quite surprising interpretations.
The new data are mostly from studies of adoptees evaluated when
they are adults, rather than as in most older studies where adopted
children were studied in childhood. Also there are many new data
concerning adult twins, raised together or raised apart, and other
kinds of family arrangements. It now seems that for many physical
and psychological traits, including measures of personality, intelligence,
and psychopathology, identical twins that have been raised apart
in different families resemble one another very closely in adulthood.
At the same time, adoptees, although sharing a common family environment
across many years, do not resemble each other in adulthood. Quite
amazing and quite surprising, even to the scientists who have
conducted the studies. Geneticist David Rowe in his recent book
The Limits of Family Influence (Rowe, 1994) points out that
Most people believe that different rearing experiences
have something to do with differences in the way children turn
out. ....... A social scientist opposing this cultural belief
would be dismissed as uninformed and possibly dangerous. In
response, many people would recount stories from their own lives.
Social scientists would mention the massive research literature
showing influences of rearing on behavioral development. Nonetheless,
many societies once accepted a flat earth; both experts and
cultural beliefs, on some occasions, may be wrong. ( p. 1).
This is pretty heady stuff, and Dr. Sandra Scarr
has herself been an influential theorist in these new directions.
The traditional view in the social sciences, with roots in centuries-old
philosophical speculations, has been that family environments,
the social fabric in which individuals grow up, have important
and lifetime cumulative influences on how the individuals turn
out. Different societies or social class experiences caused differences
among the individuals that grew up in them. The problem has always
been that by-and-large genetically different people raise their
children in their own differing ways, so that when the children
grow up to resemble their family and to be different from others,
it was impossible to separate the genes from the environments
as causes of individual differences. To put it somewhat crassly,
it has been known for centuries that , in general, poverty and
stupidity tend to go together. The liberal catechism has taken
it as central that poverty causes stupidity. However, that may
be mostly, if not entirely, wrong. To an important extent stupidity
causes poverty, and the "root cause" may be largely
genetic. Such heretical thoughts are usually branded as evil,
even "racist", by the enforcers of liberal ideological
orthodoxy. But science accumulates knowledge, sometimes even in
hostile intellectual environments. It takes a cross-fostering
experiment - an adoption study, to separate genes and family experiences
as causes of individuality. Now that a number of such studies
have been done, the newly emerging interpretations run something
like the following:
In childhood, adopted children tend to correlate somewhat with
the parents who are raising them. This is because children are
very importantly under the care, guidance, and coercion of their
parents. At average age seven or ten, whether a child plays the
piano or shoots hoops on a street corner, depends largely on the
interests and involvement of the parents. Does the child know
and enjoy camping, fishing and the great outdoors, or music, concerts
and the symphony, or beer, booze and dope? It depends very much
on what the parents are into and to what the parents expose the
child. So, in childhood, adopted children tend to somewhat resemble
each other and to resemble the people who are raising them. However,
around adolescence/puberty some major changes take place. Biologically
some genes active in children turn off and other genes active
in adults turn on. One of the consequences is physical and mental
maturation: Sex organs grow and sex fantasies grow apace. Another
consequence is the "dispersal stage" common to most
mammals and manifested among humans as adolescent "rebellion",
mild or severe. Most young people begin to more- and-more control
their own interests and choose their own activities and their
own friends. At 10, who you play with is largely determined by
what the parents allow; at 16 most youths much more choose and
select their own friends from among a wider field of possibilities,
often to the consternation of their parents. Play the piano? At
10 it is parent's choice, by 18 you quit if you wish. The upshot
of all this becoming-adult is that individually different people
seek out their own individually compatible lifespaces. The surprising
outcome is that as adults, individuals that were raised together
but are not genetically related (adopted siblings) correlate zero
on many measures of intellectual and personality functioning.
Similarly, the adopted children, when adult, do not resemble (the
correlations are zero order) the parents that raised them. There
is little or no evidence for cumulative effects of family environment.
Rather, family resemblances, and differences, are importantly
influenced by genes. Heresy.
Adult Results: Blacks will be Blacks
In this minefield of theoretical readjustments Professor Shockley's
experiment sits, waiting to detonate. A ten-year follow-up was
done, the children evaluated at an average age of seventeen (Weinberg,
Scarr & Waldman, 1992). The results and their interpretation
have created a bit of a tempest, so far largely confined to the
academic teapot as reported in the scholarly journal "Intelligence".
Initially the authors maintained an interpretation of the evidence
as supporting environmental influences on the malleability of
black's IQ: "These results (demonstrate) the strong effects
of the rearing environment on IQ." (p. 131), "the results
of the longitudinal follow-up continue to support the view that
the social environment maintains a dominant role in determining
the average IQ level of black and interracial children" (p.
133). To some it looked like spinning through Alice's mirror,
or theoretically jumping through the Politically Correct environmentalist
hoop twice. But, after all, genetic interpretations of human race
differences in IQ will not get you elected president of the American
Psychological Society; they will get you defamed and shunned,
at least. After challenge, especially by Richard Lynn of the University
of Ulster and Michael Levin of City College of New York (Levin,
1994; Lynn, 1994), the authors wrote that "it is not possible
to reach definitive conclusions .... Our findings do not speak
directly to genetic and environmental etiologies of racial differences
in IQ," (Waldman, Weinberg & Scarr, 1994, pp 41, 42).
On the contrary, the results not only speak, they literally shout,
but very Incorrect Politically.
When retested as young adults (average age 17) the b/b adoptees
displayed an average IQ of 89.4 while the w/w adoptees averaged
105.6 and the white biological children of the adopting middle
class white parents scored 109.4. Recall that generally the racial
IQ gap nationally is about 15 points, whereas here the gap is:
[w/w 105.6] - [b/b 89.4] = 16.2
This is substantially similar to the previous result when the
children were young. What is different in this testing of older
adoptees is the b/b average of 89.4. Where is there any evidence
for a role of the social environment? Remember the earlier quotation:
"There is no question that adoption constitutes a massive
intervention .... the black children in this study have been fully
exposed to the culture of the tests and the school," (Scarr
& Weinberg, 1976, pp 738,737). A lifetime of immersion in
middle class white family life sufficient to produce average IQs
of 109.4 (biological offspring) and 105.6 (white adoptees), for
an average black outcome of 89.4. This may appear to be above
the nominal national average for blacks of 85, yet Levin (1994)
points out that Minnesota blacks score somewhat above the national
average. Parenthetically, the white biological parent dosage effect
was maintained in that b/w adoptees averaged an IQ of 98.5:
[b/w 98.5] - [b/b 89.4] = 9.1
As noted above, no single experimental study is perfect, and Scarr
and colleagues now emphasize that there were some differences
across adoptee groups in pre-final placement experiences. Perhaps
Professor Shockley's experiment is important enough that an attempt
should be made to replicate it on a large scale and without equivocal
confounds. In the meantime, in the main these results are very
clear, and very consistent with a wealth of other data and theory.
Unfortunately these real data are completely at odds with the
revealed wisdom of the egalitarian left. Here in the real world,
as a young adult the Pit Bull, after being raised by Cocker Spaniels,
acts like a Pit Bull.
An early abstract of the follow-up experiment conducted when the
adoptees averaged 17 years of age mentioned social deviance and
psychopathology at higher levels than had been found in other
adoption studies (Scarr, Weinberg & Gargiulo, 1987). Languishing
in two unpublished doctoral dissertations completed by graduate
students are some potentially interesting findings. One dissertation,
by Kimberly DeBerry (1991), was completed at the University of
Virginia where Sandra Scarr is now a Professor. Among other things,
the DeBerry dissertation reports the results of the Minnesota
Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) testing at average age
17. Fully 2/3 of the interracial adoptees that took the test are
said to display evidence of maladjustment by having at least one
clinical scale elevation on the MMPI. Moreover, the white biological
offspring of the middle class white adoptive parents fared just
as poorly. These data require some speculative interpretation:
Do they mean that Pit Bulls raised by Cocker Spaniels grow up
to be at increased risk of psychological maladjustment? Could
it be that Cocker Spaniel pups are harmed by being raised in mixed
litters with Pit Bulls?
To interpret the MMPI results from the adoptees requires a consideration
of the characteristics of the test. The Minnesota Multiphasic
Personality Inventory was one of the most reliable and most widely
used assessment devices for identifying abnormalities of personality.
However, like any psychological test it was not perfect and has
been revised to become MMPI-2. The first version of the MMPI was
used in the DeBerry version of Professor Shockley's experiment.
The normative group for the original MMPI was 724 people at the
University of Minnesota hospital tested in the late 1930s and
early '40s. It was reportedly a good match for the 1940 Minnesota
census. Dr. Ned Megargee, a noted MMPI expert, once checked those
census data and estimated that there might have been 1.5 black
people included in the 724 (Megargee, 1996). It is well established
that generally blacks tend to have elevated scores relative to
the standardization norms. Also, younger people tend to have elevated
scores on some of the scales. Of the 10 basic MMPI scoring scales,
the four with the most reported elevations in DeBerry's dissertation
were, in order of frequency, 9, 5, 8, and 4. The standard characterizations
of high scorers on these scales are:
9 (Ma) Mania - High scorers are called sociable,
outgoing, impulsive, overly energetic, optimistic, and in some
cases amoral, flighty, confused, disoriented; 5 (MF) Masculinity-Femininity
- High-scoring males are described as sensitive, aesthetic,
passive, or feminine. High-scoring females are described as
aggressive, rebellious, and unrealistic; 8 (Sc) Schizophrenia
- High scorers are often withdrawn, shy, unusual, or strange
and have peculiar thoughts or ideas. They may have poor reality
contact and in severe cases bizarre sensory experiences - delusions
and hallucinations; 4 (Pd) Psychopathic Deviate - High scorers
often are rebellious, impulsive, hedonistic, and antisocial.
They often have difficulty in marital or family relationships
and trouble with the law or authority in general. (adapted from
Rosenham & Seligman, 1984, p.163).
Without a matched age and race comparison group
it is difficult to know what to make of the finding that 2/3 of
the tested transracial adoptees had clinical elevations relative
to the norms. It could simply be that these young people, although
raised in the home and social milieu provided by middle class
white parents, are performing like typical blacks raised under
usual conditions. In other words, as was the case with the IQ
data, the personality results indicate that Pit Bulls raised by
Cocker Spaniels grow up to be Pit Bulls.
Does it Hurt Whites?
The elevated scores of the white biological children of this
sampling of middle class white parents are problematic. Of the
many possible interpretations, three likely possibilities come
to mind. One is that it is hard on the white biological children
to be raised alongside black adopted siblings. It would not be
the first time that well-intentioned liberal humanitarian endeavors
turned out to have unanticipated consequences (a fascinating book-length
account of the effects of The Great Society is titled Paved with
Good Intentions (Taylor, 1992)). We really don't know the consequences
for the white siblings. We do know that there are many physical
traits and maturational rates that are different between black
and white children, beyond the psychological variables that were
the chief focus of the study. Would it affect the personality
of a bright white child to be raised with a different race sibling
that tended to be stronger, had denser bones and better physical
coordination, matured sooner and was more boisterous and less
intelligent (Rushton, 1995)? A recent report from the U.S. Department
of Agriculture (concerned with nutritional needs in childhood)
reports that black children experience their growth spurt two
to five years earlier than white children. By age 7 for boys and
6 for girls, blacks have accelerated muscle and bone development.
They sooner grow taller and heavier and mature sexually about
three years earlier than whites (Nando.net, 1996). A very extreme
across-species adoption study was conducted back in the 1930s
by the animal psychologists Winthrop and Louella Kellogg. They
reported their findings in a 1933 book The Ape and the Child:
A Study of Environmental Influence Upon Early Behavior. When their
first child Donald was born they located a baby Chimpanzee named
Gua. Donald and Gua were raised together as siblings and treated
as alike as possible, until being separated when Gua was 16.5
months of age and Donald was 19 months. We have no way of knowing
if there were any long range effects of this experience for Gua
or Donald. Anecdotally, a scientist who knew him has reported
that Donald had a gait with a definite simian lope. Tragically,
Donald committed suicide as a young man.
A second possibility to account for the elevated clinical scales
on the MMPIs of the biological children of the middle class white
parents that took part in transracial adoptions would be to invoke
normal familial relationships. Unfortunately we do not have the
data for the biological parents and thus cannot make the necessary
comparisons. However, a likely possibility is that these youth
are simply displaying the well-known phenomenon of familial correlations.
Without casting any aspersions on the adopting adults, one must
ask what kinds of middle class white couples in the social environment
of 1960's Minnesota initiated cross-racial adoptions? Undoubtedly
caring adults who felt a social commitment and followed through
with quite unusual behavior. Such adopting was a very rare event
and was "not normal" in just this sense of being rare.
People who engage in very unusual behaviors, whether socially
desirable or socially undesirable, tend to be unusual in a wide
variety of ways, including personality traits. Thus it is entirely
reasonable to hypothesize that the MMPI results of their biological
children might simply reflect the well known familiality of personality
characteristics. This parental- resemblance hypothesis is less
likely to account for the elevated deviancy rates of the black
adoptees because in other studies personality characteristics
of young adult adoptees have been found to not correlate with
those of their adoptive parents or adoptive siblings (Rowe, 1994).
The third possible interpretation of the elevated rates of psychopathology
reported for both black adoptees and the white biological children
in DeBerry's dissertation is simply that the findings may be spurious.
That is, they may not replicate nor generalize. These results
could be due to any number of quirky events that might be unique
to this particular study. For instance, at the 17-year old follow
up, not all of the adoptees or biological offspring from the original
study took the MMPI. Was there selective participation that led
to the particular pattern of findings reported? Because the results
and interpretations are of potentially great importance, Professor
Shockley's experiment probably should be replicated.
In a dissertation completed at the University of Minnesota, L.
Fischer (1991) related patterns of family functioning to MMPI
characteristics of both the transracially adopted and the biological
offspring. She noted generally that the white "Biological
children showed significantly more psychopathology than transracial
adoptees" (p. 73). So again an indication that Cocker Spaniels
do not thrive when raised as littermates with Pit Bulls. Two of
the dimensions of family environment are labeled "Adaptability"
and "Cohesion". Cohesion has to do with the emotional
bonding among the family members. The members of high cohesion
families are said to be "enmeshed", while low cohesion
families are "disengaged". When measured by deviancy
of MMPI scores, the white offspring seemed to be better in highly
cohesive families and worse with low cohesion. For the transracial
adoptees, family cohesion was not as important as was adaptability.
The adaptability dimension has to do with the tendency of a family
to change its rules and relationships (power structure, roles,
etc.) in various situations. Adaptability involves the discipline,
roles, rules, and control systems of the family. Very high adaptability
is called "chaotic" which grades through "flexible"
to "structured" to "rigid" for low adaptability
families. The transracially adopted young adults clearly did better,
as measured by MMPI deviancy, with low adaptability. With rather
rigid, structured roles and rules they appeared better overall
and for them cohesion was unimportant. Without getting into the
conundrums of directionality of causation (psychologically healthy
adoptees create rigid family rules, or families with rigid rules
tend to develop psychologically healthy adoptees, or both are
parallel manifestations of genetic predisposition), it is potentially
important to note that the relationship between kind of family
structure and the apparent well-being of the children was different
for the white biological offspring and the transracial adoptees.
Consistent with the historical observations of such disparate
commentators as Albert Schweitzer and traditional Southern County
Sheriffs, one interpretation is that Pit Bulls do best with rather
strict and inflexible rules. On the other hand Cocker Spaniels
respond favorably to emotional bonding.
What is to be Done?
One of the experiments that Professor Shockley suggested to
the National Academy of Sciences at its Spring Meeting of 1968
has been conducted and the results are in. What is to be done?
As suggested at the beginning of this article, if recent history
is a guide we will first wish the results the death of silence.
Pretend they do not exist. If that fails, then yell and scream
and call names. Outrage at insensitivity; heap acrimony upon ad
The unfortunate truth that no-one was particularly hoping for
is completely at odds with the revealed wisdom of the egalitarian
left: When black babies are adopted into middle class bright white
families they grow up to function intellectually like blacks.
Less clear is what happens emotionally and in terms of personality
adjustment. Whatever, there is no evidence that either the white
children or their black adopted siblings grow up better adjusted,
and there might be substantially more social deviancy and psychopathology
than without the mixed-race adoptive experience. These data are
consistent with a large and growing body of other findings.
In a rational civilized and civily humanitarian culture there
might be a call for further investigation and study of the implications
of the best scientific information that is available. In a civilization
that is experiencing a phase of irrational ideological zealotry
the response would be quite different.
In 1961 a president of the American Psychological Association,
Henry Garrett, called the egalitarian dogma that blacks and whites
are genetically equal in cognitive ability the "scientific
hoax of the century" (Garrett, 1961). In 1967 the Nobel laureate
William Shockley lamented the "entrenched dogmatism of inverted
liberals" that prevented open discussion and unbiased research
(Shockley, 1967). In 1995 the sociologist Robert Gordon referred
to the "degradation ceremony" which is held to heap
acrimony on anyone who deviates from "one-party science"
(Gordon, 1995). The Canadian psychologist J. Philippe Rushton
has experienced attempts to criminalize him because of his research
(Whitney, 1996). Charles Murray in his "afterword" for
the 1996 soft-cover edition of The Bell Curve opines "The
social science that deals in public policy has in the latter part
of the twentieth century become self-censored and riddled with
taboos - in a word, corrupt." (Murray, 1996, p. 575) The
inquisitional zeal with which the secular priesthood attacks any
apostate from the egalitarian fiction would be ludicrous if the
consequences were not so serious.
Science and Socialism
The current state of affairs in the social sciences is not
unprecedented in recent scientific history. The conditions of
soviet science under socialism are only just now becoming known
in the west. There have been a spate of books, one is the 1994
Lysenko and the Tragedy of Soviet Science by Valery N. Soyfer
(translated by Leo and Rebecca Gruliow). Under socialism, the
genetics that forms the basis for individual and race differences
was first attacked, then ridiculed and essentially outlawed as
an anti-egalitarian invention of Western capitalists that was
inherently evil because it was inconsistent with Marxist-Leninism.
In America The Science and Politics of IQ, or Not in Our Genes,
or Ever Since Darwin will give you the flavor (Gould, 1977; Kamin,
1974; Lewontin, Rose & Kamin, 1984). The absurd anti-factual
structure which developed was able to dominate all of the biological
and social sciences in the Soviet Union and its client states
for a period of decades. This perversion was not the work of any
one man, not the great Lysenko, rather it required the active
involvement and support of many of the leading scientists and
intellectuals. It is a fundamental structural flaw of socialism,
to claim to establish reality on the basis of the scripture according
to Marx. Genes and heredity did not influence differences between
individuals, or races, or eventually even species. Instead, conditions
of rearing were all-important. Everyone knows fertilizer is important,
so manipulate the early experiences of the puppies in order to
change their development. "Vernalization" was the name
for one sort of head start program, sure to transform winter wheat
into spring wheat. No need, or time for basic research, there
was a pressing national need that called for intervention now.
So, throw money at nice-sounding intervention programs. Then,
without evaluation introduce nation-wide applied programs. Discourage
any mention of genetics - it represents the Hell of Capitalism,
the Devil's work in total contrast to the Paradise of Egalitarian
Socialism. Inheritance and genetics is Nazi-tainted evil; its
practitioners must be despicable racists. When one program after
another fails, simply give them more rubles, or quietly close
them down while touting with much fanfare yet another enrichment.
It is truly scary; the parallels between Soviet practice under
socialism and environmentalist - egalitarianism in American social
policy. Egalitarian agriculture and the food shortages it caused
played no small role in the demise of the Soviet Union.
Soyfer says it well:
In any society, there are charlatans and people
who are simply mistaken. They may try to deceive their fellows,
either by design or out of ignorance. But in a healthy society,
others will call attention to their errors, test their assumptions,
and make objective appraisals. Shams are exposed, and no one
punishes those who do the exposing; members of the government
or secret police do not hurl political accusations against seekers
of scientific truth. But that is what happened when an alliance
of the Lysenkos, the Stalins, and the Berias was part of the
onrushing, bloody chariot of socialism.(p.300)
One of Professor Shockley's suggested experiments
has been done and the results are in. Now after 30 odd years and
over $5.4 Trillion dollars, perhaps it is not too late to dust
off some of his other suggestions.
Acknowledgment: I wish to greatfully acknowledge the encouragement,
and suggestions from earlier drafts of Tom Markin.
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