Scientific Racism-


As the role of the brain in human behavior became clear, scientific racism spilled into the newborn area of neuroscience. That likely started with craniometry, measurements of the skull, which quickly turned to phrenology, the idea that head shapes can predict mental traits.


Those early examples of scientific racism paved the way for much of the eugenics movement in the 20th century.

Intelligence in biological determinism and scientific racism:

Alfred Binet (1857–1911) designed tests specifically to measure performance, not innate ability. From the late 19th century, the American school, led by researchers such as H. H. Goddard (1866–1957), Lewis Terman (1877–1956), and Robert Yerkes (1876–1956), transformed these tests into tools for measuring inherited mental ability. They attempted to measure people’s intelligence with IQ tests, to demonstrate that the resulting scores were heritable, and so to conclude that people with white skin were superior to the rest.

IQ and Eugenics:

Lead by Henry Goddard and Lewis Terman, two prominent eugenicists, the US adapted and adopted the first versions of IQ tests, firstly created in France. Based on those tests, and combating what they called “feeble-mindedness”, eugenicists pushed laws for forced sterilization.



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Muhammad Wajahat

Muhammad Wajahat

Psychiatry Resident | Aga Khan University Hospital | Philosophy | Psycho-dynamics | Writer