My contribution to the (endless) Race-IQ debate is out in this week's New Yorker. You can read it here. In the meantime, the psychologist Richard Nisbett has also published a rejoinder to the James Watson-Will Saletan foolishness in Sunday's New York Times. It is--characteristically--very good, and includes this:
The hereditarians begin with the assertion that 60 percent to 80 percent of variation in I.Q. is genetically determined. However, most estimates of heritability have been based almost exclusively on studies of middle-class groups. For the poor, a group that includes a substantial proportion of minorities, heritability of I.Q. is very low, in the range of 10 percent to 20 percent, according to recent research by Eric Turkheimer at the University of Virginia. This means that for the poor, improvements in environment have great potential to bring about increases in I.Q.
I confess that I haven't read Turkheimer's research. But take a look for yourself at the paper Nisbett is refering to here.
It's very persuasive. And it would be interesting to see what, if anything, die-hard hereditarians like Charles Murray have to say in response.