Race and Sport: Evolution and Racial Differences in Sporting Ability
Edward Dutton and Richard Lynn
London: Ulster Institute for Social Research, 2015
The Ulster Institute’s latest study in human differences will come as a pleasant surprise to those who have complained about their previous somewhat narrow focus on IQ. Race and Sport is not the first book to venture into the taboo area of innate racial differences in athletic aptitude, but it is the most thorough and systematic so far.
The ice was first broken by Jon Entine’s Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We’re Afraid to Talk About It (2000). Numerous publishing houses rejected this work before it could see the light of day; some publishers were explicit about their fear that discussion of innate Black superiority in sport would lead inevitably to genetic explanations for low Black intelligence. A more serious objection to Mr. Entine’s thesis is that there are many sports Blacks do not dominate, and not all of these are winter sports (where an environmental explanation might be convincing).
Dutton and Lynn see reason for cautious optimism in the relative lack of furor surrounding the more recent publication of David Epstein’s The Sports Gene: What Makes the Perfect Athlete (2013). Epstein accepts that athletic ability is partly genetic in origin, although he does not focus on this matter…
Chess is sometimes considered a “mind sport,” and success is heavily dependent on intelligence. This explains the massive overrepresentation of Ashkenazi Jews among grandmasters. Intelligence may also explain why Whites continue to dominate quarterbacking in American football and coaching in basketball, sports otherwise dominated by Blacks. Read on.