David SimsEssays

Does Neil DeGrasse Tyson “Prove Racial Equality”?

by David Sims

NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON might be as smart as his reputation makes him seem. He’s “Black,” or, rather, he is an American mulatto, as you have no doubt noticed, and his race has an IQ distribution with a mean that is downwardly offset from the mean of the White race’s IQ distribution by about 15 points.

However, statistics say little about individuals, and even a generally dull race can have exceptionally smart members. To predict how many smart members a race has, do the following:

The fraction, f, of a race having an average IQ of x̄ and a standard deviation in IQ of σ, which is above the minimum IQ of μ.

f(μ) = ½ − [σ√(2π)]⁻¹ ∫(x̄,μ) exp{ −[(x−x̄)/σ]²/2 } dx

You can avoid integrating the probability density function if you have a handy error function to call.

f(μ) = 1 − ½ { 1 + erf [(μ-x̄)/(σ√2)] }

The IQ distribution of White people resident in the United States has a mean of 101.5 and a standard deviation of 16.4 points. The IQ distribution of US-resident mulattoes (typical ancestry 80% Black and 20% White) has an average of 85 and a standard deviation of 12.4 points.

μ, f for Whites, f for Blacks, ratio

100, 0.5364, 0.1132, 4.739
110, 0.3021, 0.02189, 13.80
120, 0.1296, 0.002382, 54.43
130, 0.04112, 0.0001422, 289.1
140, 0.009448, 0.000004593, 2057
150, 0.001552, 0.00000007945, 19530
160, 0.0001805, 7.315e-10, 246742

Given equal numbers of randomly selected US-resident Whites and Blacks, you’d expect to find 2057 Whites having an IQ above 140 for each Black you found who had an IQ above 140.

Since there are about five Whites for each Black in the United States, a random sample from US residents would be expected to turn up about ten thousand Whites having IQs above 140 for each Black similarly gifted.

But a ratio of ten thousand to one doesn’t mean that the one does not exist. Of the 40 million Blacks in the United States, about 184 of them would be expected to have IQs higher than 140 and thus be certifiable geniuses. It is possible that Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson is one of them.

I have read a paper by Dr. Tyson on the extinction of light from distant sources by interstellar gas present in a great many dwarf galaxies arranged along the line of sight. There didn’t seem to be anything wrong with it. The logic was straightforward, and the conclusions were unsurprising. Dr. Tyson’s co-authored paper on the iron abundance differences in the galactic hub and in the galactic halo are likewise fairly simple deductions from spectral data on Fe/H ratios. Nothing wrong with it.

Whereas I’ve yet to see anything from Dr. Tyson in the nature of cutting-edge theory, or anything that would confer “great scientist” stature on him, he does appear to do basic data analysis without any trouble.

It’s understandable that Dr. Tyson’s race influences our perceptions of him. Blacks are commonly less intelligent than Whites. You should, however, remember that Dr. Tyson is an individual who has passed through a considerable number of social filters pertaining to his education as an astrophysicist that would tend to weed out the people who could not get that far. You’ll have noticed that there aren’t many Black astrophysicists, and that Dr. Tyson (and John Johnson) are part of a racial minority of about one percent among astrophysicists — though their race comprises about 13% of the US population. Someone who doesn’t appreciate the effectiveness of those social filters would likely judge those exceptional Blacks who passed them according to expectations appropriate for common Blacks and would, thus, be misled.

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Walt Hampton
Walt Hampton
17 December, 2016 2:56 am

For those who may be interested
to know, Tyson was the protégé
of the deceased Jew Carl Sagan.

19 December, 2016 8:02 pm

I do have some knowledge of academia – especially the physical sciences. Information that is very dated but still relevant. Scientific publications often reflect the work and findings of many people – most often these people are the PhD students – graduate students. Most supervisors (Doctor or Professor) of graduate students – will include all names of all contributors on a peer reviewed scientific publication – even their own. This does not mean that the supervisor was the source of the findings or even that the supervisor did any of the work. Some supervisors will only publish papers in their own name – irrespective of who did the work in their laboratory. Neil might seem to be a big fish, but in reality he is just another fish in a… Read more »

Walt Hampton
Walt Hampton
20 December, 2016 8:10 am

Tyson’s skin tone is Politically Correct. Certainly
not an African Bushman or an Aussie Aborigine.

Josef Tone
Josef Tone
13 September, 2020 7:07 pm

He has a gift of gab and humor, often not present in white or Asian scientists. This of course–along with his Negro roots and the politic of the day–has helped garner him widespread popularity. Without that, he might be just another name of note. He also has a certain arrogance for a man whom most of his ancestors never had a written language or any wheel might suggest. He’s outspoken on the subject of Christianity (apparently he leaves Islam alone); attacking them if they attempt to influence mainstream/academic science. I recall of him shushing them and following with “… and let me take care of the universe.” There was some issue of him allegedly sexually harassing more than one woman over the years, although I don’t know the particulars having… Read more »