Beyond Reason and Dignity

W. Frank Epling, Judy Cameron


This paper examines J.P. Rushton’ s contention that the concept ‘race’ is useful for distinguishing between Blacks, Whites, and Orientals. He argues that Blacks evolved first followed by Whites, then Orientals. From this perspective, Blacks are the most primitive race and Orientals the most evolved. Thus, the rank order is Yellows > Whites > Blacks. According to Rushton, intelligence, personality characteristics, social organization, and sexual restraint index racial differences. These characteristics are said to covary with the reproductive strategies of races and are explained by r/K theory. This theory is borrowed from population biology and refers to two ends of a reproductive continuum. At the r end, organisms like oysters produce many offspring and offer no parental care. The great apes represent the K end of the continuum since they have few offspring and provide a great deal of parental care. Rushton argues that r/K theory extends to differences within the human species and that some races are more K than others. Yellows, he suggests, are the most K followed by Whites, then Blacks. This view of human nature challenges the importance of contingencies of reinforcement for the control of socially significant human behavior.

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And Behaviorists for Social Responsibility