What an athlete! What a high basketball I.Q.!
Matt Yglesias, on the Biden-Obama kerfuffle, writes:
One thing hanging over Barack Obama is the idea — voiced by Debra Dickerson among others — that he isn’t really black. He was, after all, raised by his white mother. And his dad was from Kenya, not the descendant of American slaves. It seems to me that Joe Biden should have dispelled that kind of talk, by showing that Obama’s black enough to be subjected to bizarre race-related crap from white people.
He continues on, touching upon sports stereotypes:
Similarly, if you watch the NBA I think it’s clear that there’s a set of stereotypes associated with black players (“amazing speed and athleticism”) and a different set associated with Europeans…
What I want to know is, is this generalization valid or not?
I think the theories about differing cognitive abilities among the races are pure crapola. But I’m not so sure there isn’t some validity to be observed when it comes to things like muscles, lung capacity, etc. It does seem like one very rarely observes a real, bonafide, freak of nature “athlete” amongst the ranks of white NBA players.
My total non-scientist theory: there’s never been a large group of homo sapiens for whom natural selection wouldn’t have strongly favored intelligence (I’m thinking especially in terms of competition for mating opportunities), so, the human brain has evolved more or less at a constant rate since our species first left Africa. But this hasn’t been the case when it comes to other organs or physiological systems. The extra big lungs that help you survive until sexual maturity in what is now Tibet, in other words, might have been a net energy waste if you make your home in the Amazon basin. But in both places better brains would help you get laid.