Insight on the News
Whites Smarter than Blacks?
● The writings of Cyril Burt, the British founder of educational psychology, were viewed for years as ‘proof’ that racial differences in intelligence are caused by heredity. Recent findings published in “Science” magazine have shown “beyond any reasonable doubt” that such data collected by Burt was “fabricated.” In his widely acclaimed writings, Burt asserted that whites were smarter than blacks, that upper-class children were mentally superior to slum children, that the English were more intelligent than the Irish and Jews, and that men were brainier than women.
It was previously thought that some of his errors resulted “from carelessness rather than deliberate fraud,” but the disclosure revealed that the entire column of numbers arranged by Burt was identical with figures published over 30 years earlier and derived from a completely different survey. He merely picked various IQ’s and assigned these to different classes of persons.
The report summarized recent findings of IQ tests: “[An IQ test] measures only a particular aspect of mental ability. Different tests test different mental faculties. In any group of people there will be those who excel in one capacity but do poorly in another.” No race is inherently more intelligent than another for “[God] made out of one man every nation of men.”—Acts 17:26.
Gambling and the Church
● What did the Roman Catholic Church advise its members about voting to legalize gambling? “Catholic voters looking to the church for guidance generally found equivocation from the hierarchy—often because the church’s own legalized gambling generates millions of dollars annually in revenues.” So stated the “National Catholic Reporter,” which added: “The church generally does not condemn gambling; church leaders tend to condemn ‘excessive’ gambling. There is little consistency when the church goes public: In New Jersey, the Newark archdiocese opposed the 1974 and 1976 referendums that finally permitted casino gambling in Atlantic City: In the Camden diocese, which embraces Atlantic City, the bishop said the question was for each voter to decide.”
What about Church-sponsored bingo games? If these are mere recreation as the Church claims, then why the need for large “jackpots,” some reportedly worth $1,500 (U.S.)? New York priest William Bradley admitted: “We shouldn’t be in bingo—except that we have to pay the bills, subsidize the schools.”
Whether the Church authorities are willing to label bingo as gambling or not, the 1976 report from the Commission of Review of the National Policy toward Gambling stated that “charitable bingo . . . is operated, however, like a commercial [gambling] operation . . . and the commission recommends, for regulatory purposes, no distinction be made.”
God-fearing persons realize that all forms of gambling build greed and that “greedy graspers for more” and “swindlers” will “not have a share in the kingdom of God.”—1 Cor. 6:10, “Williams” translation.
● Ten years ago there were 373 suicides in the 10 to 19 age group of German schoolchildren. Two years ago the figure was 517, of whom 103 were between 10 and 15 years old. Eight hundred are expected to commit suicide this year, according to a report from two citizen groups in the Federal Republic of Germany.
The picture is just as bleak in Canada, where it is reported of young people: “They have slick discos and high-rise apartments, flexible politics and easy-going sex. They also have more competition for fewer jobs, shrinking wages, inflationary prices—and the fastest growing rate of suicide.”
What is wrong? Referring to the “me” generation of today, a Toronto psychologist says: “Chronically lonely people in this age group are self-centred. They don’t give to others yet they expect enormous attention in return.” But hundreds of thousands of happy youngsters have found satisfaction by following the Bible counsel to remove vexation and calamity from their lives and make a commitment to their Grand Creator.—Eccl. 11:9–12:1.