Some academic publications infer from studies of transracial adoptees’ IQs that East Asian adoptees raised in the West by Whites have higher IQs than Western Whites, and that White adoptees raised by Whites have higher IQs than Black adoptees raised by Whites. Those publications suggest that this is because genetic differences give East Asians a higher mean IQ than Whites, and Whites a higher mean IQ than Blacks. This paper proposes a parsimonious alternative explanation: the apparent IQ advantage of East Asian adoptees is an artifact caused by ignoring the Flynn effect and adoption’s beneficial effect on IQ, and most of the IQ disadvantage of Black adoptees disappears when one allows for attrition in the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study, and acknowledges the results of other studies. Diagnosing these artifacts suggests a nil hypothesis: East Asian, White, and Black adoptees raised in the same environment would have similar IQs, hinting at a minimal role for genes in racial IQ differences.
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