Books; May 2000; Scientific American Magazine; by Dipietro, Staff Editors; 3 Page(s)
Few issues are as provocative and as poorly understood as biological differences among the races. So loaded are statements suggesting racial superiority or inferiority that, for the most part, an anxious hush surrounds the topic. To his credit, journalist Jon Entine has tackled this problem with a noholds-barred assault. Not shy about poking at the issue's softest spots, he goes after the history of sports and race science, the segregation and integration of sports, racial breeding and eugenics, sports and IQ, and the emergence of the black female athlete.
Entine has put together a well-researched, relatively thorough and lucidly written case, arguing that in many sports-particularly basketball, football, and track and field-athletes of African descent show a competitive advantage. He opens Taboo with the firm conclusion that "to the degree that it is a purely scientific debate, the evidence of black superiority in athletics is persuasive and decisively confirmed on the playing field. Elite athletes who trace most or all of their ancestry to Africa are by and large better than the competition."