J. Philippe Rushton - Work and Opinions - Application of r/K Selection Theory To Race

Application of r/K Selection Theory To Race

Rushton's book Race, Evolution, and Behavior (1995) uses r/K selection theory to explain how East Asians consistently average high, blacks low, and whites in the middle on an evolutionary scale of characteristics indicative of nurturing behavior. He first published this theory in 1984. Rushton argues that East Asians and their descendants average a larger brain size, greater intelligence, more sexual restraint, slower rates of maturation, and greater law abidingness and social organization than do Europeans and their descendants, who average higher scores on these dimensions than Africans and their descendants. He theorizes that r/K selection theory explains these differences. Rushton's application of r/K selection theory to explain differences among racial groups has been widely criticised. One of his many critics is the evolutionary biologist Joseph L. Graves, who has done extensive testing of the r/K selection theory with species of drosophila flies. Graves argues that not only is r/K selection theory considered to be virtually useless when applied to human life history evolution, but Rushton does not apply the theory correctly, and displays a lack of understanding of evolutionary theory in general. Graves also says that Rushton misrepresented the sources for the biological data he gathered in support of his hypothesis, and that much of his social science data was collected by dubious means. Other scholars have argued against Rushton's hypothesis on the basis that the concept of race is not supported by genetic evidence about the diversity of human populations, and that his research was based on folk taxonomies. A number of later studies by Rushton and other researchers have argued that there are empirical support for the theory.

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