Primitive thoughts

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 January, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 January, 1995, 12:00am

THE uncritical reportage of Dr Chan Wing-cheong's statements about genetics and intelligence and Ms Christine Loh's casual acceptance of the premise of Chinese genetic superiority (South China Morning Post, January 16), are shocking.

Anyone who has followed the extensive debates over IQ testing and genetics in North America and Europe is aware that responsible scholars consider the relationship between test scores and intelligence to be highly questionable.

One cannot help but wonder whether the willingness of Dr Chan and Ms Loh to embrace this principle is indicative of one of the most fundamental of all failures of intelligence: racism.

I would suggest to Ms Loh that she can easily identify a more basic obstacle to economic development and modernisation than Confucianism. Racial mythologies that prevent recognition and utilisation of good ideas and human talent - regardless of their origin - are a far more serious enemy of material progress.

In an increasingly interdependent world economy, modernisation in China and Hong Kong will suffer until those primitive forms of thought have been left behind.