Thomas Sowell: The tragedy of human isolation has had lasting consequences
Differences in mental test scores among different racial and ethnic groups were taken as proof of genetic differences in innate mental ability during the Progressive era in the early 20th century. Progressives regarded the fact that the average IQ test score among whites was higher than the average among blacks as conclusive proof of genetic determinism.
These mountain communities were often not only isolated from the outside world but also from each other, even when they were not very far apart as the crow flies, but were separated by rugged mountain terrain.
Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. His website is www.tsowell.com.
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