Inequality is in reality two books that differ substantially in tone and confidence if not in basic conclusions. It is also a book that covers a wide variety of issues in sociology, genetics, psychology, and economics. To some extent the statements in the main text of the book are at variance with the qualifications in the footnotes and appendices. For example, the text states that forty-five percent of IQ is inherited yet a careful reading of the appendix leads to the conclusion that we do not really know within a very wide range (say ten percent to ninety percent) how much of IQ is or is not inherited. Since the same authors wrote both the text and the appendices, they are clearly aware of the difference in tone between the two parts of the book. I assume that this is a legitimate dramatic device to get people to read a challenge to their firmly held prejudices, but it is a device that requires the serious reader to read the footnotes. Given the number and extent of the footnotes, this is a formidable hurdle, but it is a necessary part of understandingInequality. As more and more footnotes and appendices are read, the reader will find himself retreating from the self-confident certainty of the text to a state of increasing ignorance and uncertainty. The truth is not that IQ is eighty-five percent inherited or forty-five percent inherited, but that the data give conflicting results and that we simply do not know and are not likely to know in the near future what percentage of IQ scores is inherited.

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