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James Brody
March 24th, 2006, 12:15 PM
Rushton & Jensen published a review, (2005) Thirty years of research on race differences in cognitive ability. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. 11:2, 235-294. One critic raised the interesting point that if these things be true, what are the gains from talking about them? After all, marriages and other partnerships rest on kindness and calling the other partner "stupid" hardly builds loyalties.

Nonetheless, Phil Rushton, persecuted by the press and his academic colleagues for several years after he published "Race, Evolution, and Behavior," announced both a new book, Race Differences in Intelligence: An Evolutionary Analysis (Paperback), about $17, by Richard Lynn, on that same topic. Rushton's comments on Lynn's book are at:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/customer-reviews/159368021X/ref=cm_cr_dp_pt/002-1657562-7952825?%5Fencoding=UTF8&n=283155&s=books
and at: http://www.vdare.com/rushton/060322_iq.htm.

The question is not only a matter of "having the science that you like" but also in finding resolutions to many world tensions.

For example (from Rushton's review): "These findings in Lynn's latest book have profound geopolitical
significance. They imply it may simply not be possible to transmit Western-style democratic and economic systems to the populations of Latin America and Moslem North Africa and the Middle East, let alone sub-Saharan Africa. They mean that the world's long-term problems will stem from its populations' capabilities-much deeper and more intractable than any "Clash of Civilizations"-style competition between different political concepts."

I'm not sure about "intractable": intermixture eventually solves lots of problems, but I'm not sure what else might occur during the time required. And Lynn confirms other sources that in any IQ measurements: the northern Orient shelters the brightest.

It's gonna be a bumpy ride...

JB

Margaret McGhee
March 24th, 2006, 08:06 PM
From the reviews that you pointed to and the enclosed quote These findings in Lynn's latest book have profound geopolitical significance. They imply it may simply not be possible to transmit Western-style democratic and economic systems to the populations of Latin America and Moslem North Africa and the Middle East, let alone sub-Saharan Africa.

Then, you said, And Lynn confirms other sources that in any IQ measurements: the northern Orient shelters the brightest.
If this is true why is it that northern Oriental cultures for the last several thousand years seem to have had some form of dynastic totalitarian regime - which are essentially more highly organized versions of the mafia - and totally controlled economies. I could be wrong about that but I can't recall any kind of non-totalitarian government in these regions in the history I am familiar with.

Democracy seems to have first germinated in Greece, a southern mid-eastern mediterranean region at a time when northern Europe was populated by warlike barbarian tribes - and far south of those northern climes supposedly more conducive to IQ bloom. Democratic thinking (though not democracy) was then resurrected in (relatively dumber than the northern Orient) France and England. It finally blossomed forth in a functional government in America. One hunderd years later we were importing Chinese laborers for the grunge-work of building our railroads. We mistreated them badly and denied them any of the blessings of democratic citizenship. Most died here and were buried in their own special graveyards. At that same enlightened time we were importing thousands of slaves from Africa.

Now, our democracy has thrived for little more than two hunderd years. But, even with our bright example of success, the higher IQ Chinese have only recently decided to implement some free market reforms (so the leadership can tap into the global cash flow, not for egalitarian reasons I am sure) while still retaining tight state control over people's lives.

It seems according to the model presented (high IQ = capacity for enlightened democracy, low IQ = only capable of totalitarian corruption) the Chinese would have figured out Democracy and free markets a few thousand years ago and would have taught our ancestors all about it (if they thought they were smart enough to understand such advanced principles) - and the Ashkenazim would have been running Europe long before Hitler came to power.

I'm not questioning the science showing IQ differences by race - just the ideological conclusions that seem to come from it. And I'm pointing out that world history seems to say that cultural influences were far stronger than IQ in determining government organization and economic systems. Am I missing something important here?

Margaret

Fred H.
March 25th, 2006, 10:58 AM
MM: I'm not questioning the science showing IQ differences by race….
That’s huge Margaret (I don’t think that was Gould’s POV), b/c once the reality of general intelligence differences is acknowledged, then the rest of the argument just boils down to what we can (or should?) infer from that reality, the just so stories that that fact may imply.

E.g., can we infer that those capable of designing and building igloos really are smarter than others, or should we infer instead that the igloo builders lacked the sense to move to a warmer climate, say Greece, and discover, say, the Pythagorean theorem and Democracy?

A puzzle for me is that while there may be an inverse relationship between religiosity and general intelligence, you white atheists nevertheless generally don’t seem to put that intelligence you’ve been blessed with to much positive use.

TomJrzk
March 25th, 2006, 12:09 PM
the Chinese would have figured out Democracy and free markets a few thousand years ago and would have taught our ancestors all about it
Or maybe they're just biding their time while the democracies disarm themselves in the name of egalitarianism and they will then clean our clocks. Emporers ARE better at building empires, after all. A nation bent on subjugating the entire world is, after all, more fit if they're unfettered by human rights.

I'm not arguing for their government, I'm just pointing out that maybe this moment in time is not necessarily the end of the test and maybe a free market economy is not necessarily the ultimate goal of intelligence.

Margaret McGhee
March 25th, 2006, 12:35 PM
In replying to my own post, above, I am reminding any advocates of biological (genetic) determinism that my closing paragraph was, I'm not questioning the science showing IQ differences by race - just the ideological conclusions that seem to come from it. And I'm pointing out that world history seems to say that cultural influences were far stronger than IQ in determining government organization and economic systems. Am I missing something important here?

I should have stated that first sentence more clearly as -I'm not questioning the science showing IQ differences by race in this post - just the ideological conclusions that seem to come from it.I am not addressing the question of racial IQ difference here, just postponing it so I can focus on one area of scientific misinformation at a time. ;)

And I'm still waiting for any genetic determinists here to point out what it is that I may be "missing" - just as I am still waiting for a cogent response to my free will challenge.

I would also remind any careless or hopeful readers that my discussion of the balance between genetic and environmental influences on behavior (or IQ) - and the effect that may have on the human condition - is in no way a suggestion on my part that some influence of spirit or soul may be at work. I stopped considering such questions as relevant sometime around 1957.

Since this post is meant to prevent further misunderstanding, please realize that I make these challenges in the spirit of a friendly competitive discussion. When I challenge the correctness of your assertions I'm not saying you are a bad person. I respect everyone's on-topic opinion here, even those I disagree with, except those that are obviously ad hominem attacks - which I try to ignore.

Margaret

Margaret McGhee
March 25th, 2006, 12:38 PM
Tom, you said, . . . I'm just pointing out that maybe this moment in time is not necessarily the end of the test and maybe a free market economy is not necessarily the ultimate goal of intelligence.

Good observation! ;)

Margaret

Fred H.
March 25th, 2006, 12:53 PM
MM: And I'm still waiting for any genetic determinists here to point out what it is that I may be "missing"
All you’re missing, Margaret, is the overwhelming evidence, statistics, science that proves the reality of general intelligence differences—read and study Jensen’s books/research—if you still don’t buy it, discussing/arguing any other aspect is completely pointless, not to mention intellectually dishonest.

Face it Margaret, your ideology simply doesn’t permit you to accept or acknowledge the science or evidence that proves the reality of general intelligence differences.

alexandra_k
March 26th, 2006, 12:17 AM
It is interesting to me that people are taking 'IQ' tests to measure intelligence. I mean there is a sense in which 'intelligence tests' are measures of intelligence (by definition) but operationalism tends to severely alter what interested us in the first place in order to be able to study it.

like how consciousness has been operationalised as reportability, wakefulness, etc etc because while one cannot measure whether it is like anything at all for the person one can measure whether they can report on something or whether their brain activity is correlated with wakefulness as opposed to being asleep etc.

it is typically acknowledged that IQ tests mean something very restrictive indeed re 'intelligence'.

it is also typically acknowledged (and really i am surprised nobody has mentioned this before now) that there are major problems with ALL current intelligence tests re cultural bias.

cultural bias.

interesting.

but no of course black people are less smart than white people so why bother spending money on educating black people.

are people aware that the bell curve findings were used to support eugenics in the US before Hitler... the US and the UK were implementing eugenics programs... but after Hitler they distanced themselves from that.

it is of course a jump from how one scores on a test to whether their ability to do those kind of tasks will generalise back to the real world or not. then there is the point about how abstract rationality is diffeent from practical rationality which requires emotions / appropriate desires as well...

then there is the point that the differences between black people and white people can be explained by appealing to the differences in socio economic status between black people and white people. and also the access to quality education between black people and white people.

one can study for intelligence tests to do better. practice mental rotation tasks etc. the more one does those kinds of tasks the better one gets. the more formal schooling one has and the more one is encouraged in those kind of tasks the better one gets.

they went to some tribe and tried to test their intelligence by asking them some abstract rationality question along the lines of 'suppose 3 women live in the tribe next door and then.....' the people shrugged and walked away. the anthropoligists thougth they were stupid 'cause they couldn't answer the question. the members of the tribe thought the anthropoligists were stupid 'cause there weren't 3 women in the next tribe and who cna be bothered to listen to people spouting nonsense when there is fishing to be done...

who are the stupid ones?

anyways... just my 2c.

alexandra_k
March 26th, 2006, 12:48 AM
http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-inferiorIQ.htm

http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-intervention.htm

Margaret McGhee
March 26th, 2006, 01:29 AM
Hi Alexandra, Good to have you back. Thanks for posting those links and comments. I was hoping to get the genetic determinists to commit to some more silly social generalizations like the quotes from Rushton that started this thread - before bringing out the data. But you beat me to it. ;)

Margaret

Fred H.
March 26th, 2006, 11:14 AM
Margaret: I was hoping to get the genetic determinists to commit to some more silly social generalizations like the quotes from Rushton that started this thread - before bringing out the data.
Regarding genetic “determinists” you must be referring to TomJ’s “determinism” (me being more a free will/moral responsibility kind of guy)—hopefully Tom will respond; and maybe he’ll be able to tie it in with his “It's ultimately not their fault,” beliefs for you too.

Regarding your “data,” that ideological Internet site that you ladies cite, “THE LONG FAQ ON LIBERALISM,” was a hoot. Thanks for the laughs. Bye, bye for now girls; it’s been surreal.

Margaret McGhee
March 26th, 2006, 01:24 PM
I have never denied that there is a genetic basis for behavior and personality. Before we get into the details however, I think it's very important to recognize that genetic basis does not imply genetic control of behavior.

It means that we have an emotional control system that uses dispositions and hormones and neurotransmitters to mediate our behavior. And our emotional control systems do vary genetically between individuals, genders and races. It may be inately harder for some persons to learn some some types of behavior - or for others to avoid some types of behavior.

But, observation shows that we are all capable of overcoming that difficulty - and civilization requires that we do so. Our dispositions and emotions often tell us, for example, that it would be nice to have something that belongs to someone else. But most of us in almost every human culture learn to resist the disposition to just take what we want if we are big enough.

That's because we have evolved to have software programmable behavior that can interact with our emotions and that allow us to resist such urges. For most small children in the sandbox, not imposing one's will on others, is their first introduction to that necessary social programming.

But, there's much more going on here.

Even though most of us learn to curb our more socially destructive dispositions, those who have power and status in society are more easily offended by this necessity. This seems especially true in male dominated cultures like ours where competition is not just a healthy way to optimize the production of goods and services. Here, it is culturally fetishized.

Those who hold power can be very imaginative when justifying their right to retain that power - and in preserving the rigged competitive institutions that make that possible. For example, they can take things like IQ testing, that was originally developed to help teachers in France identify students that needed special help, and over the years turn that into a way to justify barriers to changes in the status quo.

But, what is IQ. We are told it is a measure of innate ability. I would ask, innate ability for what? The only thing certain is that it shows one's ability to answer some particular questions - and that it correlates well with a person's ability to compete in the particular games that are fetishized in that culture. Games like, Who Get's to be CEO, or Who Get's to Run Research Departments at Harvard, for example.

But IQ tests show consistent results, they say. Yes, they do. That's because IQ testing is big business. IQ tests that don't produce the results that school boards and other institutions expect are not purchased next time around - and millions of dollars of taxpayer money and even seats on the school board are at stake. IQ tests evolve to lose the questions that don't provide those consistent results - that don't support the cultural prejudices of those who pay for them. Companies that design IQ tests tout their ability to show this remarkable consistency in their advertising.

But, IMO the greatest problem with IQ is the notion that IQ is some real psychological variable, like empathy or fear or aggression. But it is not because it can't be. It is a sleight of hand composed of esoteric terms and statistical formulae. It reminds me of the mathematical equations behind the potency of homeopathic remedies.

The only forces that actually exist in our minds are the emotions that we experience. Our emotions direct our minds to produce concepts - fleeting networks of neurons firing in particular spatial patterns and at particular frequencies. Like subatomic particles, they are only visible because of their effects. Their ephemeral existence is entirely dependent on the emotions in the human minds that conjure them.

The types of concepts that any person produces and learns to use effectively are completely subject to the context of their own lives - their gender, their society, their experience, etc. They have no direct connection to their genetics, as our emotions do. Intelligence testing then purports to measure the efficacy of those specific chimeric patterns.

A magic number is produced - IQ - a single number that supposedly represents everything we'll ever need to know about who that person can ever become in life. According to Phil Rushton and some others, even a society's average IQ supposedly tells us everything we'll ever need to know about what that whole society can ever become. How fortunate we are to have scientists simplify such complicated questions for us.

But, IQ turns out to be nothing more than a person's innate ability to be good at creating and manipulating the particular classes of concepts that are valued by those paying for the IQ tests.

And, like the social construct of IQ itself, the concepts we produce in our minds - at the behest of our emotions - turn out to be far more useful for justifying our prior emotionally held beliefs than for examining them.

Margaret

Fred H.
March 26th, 2006, 03:54 PM
MM: But, what is IQ. We are told it is a measure of inate ability. I would ask, inate ability for what?
Glad you asked Margaret—innate cognitive ability. Or “intelligence”—think of it as the “cognitive” in Ledoux’s mental trilogy; the other two being emotion and motivation.

From Wikipedia: An intelligence quotient or IQ is a score derived from a set of standardized tests developed to measure a person's cognitive abilities ("intelligence") in relation to their age group. An IQ test does not measure intelligence the way a ruler measures height (absolutely), but rather the way a race measures speed (relatively); IQ is described as a "quotient" because, originally, it represented the ratio between a person's "mental age" and actual chronological age.

For people living in the prevailing conditions of the developed world, IQ is highly heritable, and by adulthood the influence of family environment on IQ is undetectable. IQ test scores are correlated with measures of brain structure and function, as well as performance on simple tasks that anyone can complete within a few seconds.

IQ is correlated with academic success, job performance, socioeconomic advancement, and "social pathologies". It is taken by psychologists to be an excellent proxy for intelligence, and possibly the best measurable definition of intellectual ability, but generally not taken to represent intelligence perfectly. Recent work has demonstrated links between IQ and health, longevity, and functional literacy. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IQ#Social_construct]

James Brody
March 26th, 2006, 06:35 PM
Margaret:

Check one of my favorite authors: Charles Murray, Human Accomplishment, who addresses relevant aspects of Chinese achievement.

The Chinese accomplished the first civil service system and a fairly enlightened system of environmental modifications at around 1200 (not sure of the dates).

I'm not sure why things eroded. They also had a handicap from their type of intelligence: that of seeing too much of a balanced order and not breaking things into linear components. Changes were neither possible nor desirable.
I suspect they have learned very well from us about the blessings of linearity and of making changes.

Get to know Murray: you will find him thorough and well motivated. (You can also find a review that I did on Alice Andrew's site: (2004) Magnificent inequality. A review of C. Murray, Human Accomplishment, Entelechy (Evolution, Mind, & Culture) http://www.entelechyjournal.com/magnificent_inequality.htm Spring/Summer.

And you probably still need to read Pinker's "Blank Slate" ...

JB

James Brody
March 26th, 2006, 06:38 PM
" MM: But, what is IQ. We are told it is a measure of inate ability. I would ask, inate ability for what?"

IQ predicts academic achievement. It also predicts male excellence...it also relates to figuring things out, manipulating hierarchic standing, getting wives who are more fit, finding underlying order despite all of your wives, and asking "Why not?" about things that matter most of all...

Again, read Pinker and drop some prejudices...

JB

Margaret McGhee
March 27th, 2006, 02:02 AM
JimB, I just noticed that you posted two messages. OK, I just ordered Blank Slate and How the Mind Works for good measure. I have watched two interviews of Pinker. One was an extensive one-hour session where the interviewer was Robert Wright. I have read The Moral Animal a couple of times and it is on my shelf.

Steven Pinker seems like a smart and reasonable person. I like his ideas (so far) and his hair ;) I find it hard to believe that in The Blank Slate he's going to tell me how the lower average IQ's of women and blacks make us inferior to white men in terms of excellence. But I'm ready if it happens.

Which particular prejudices of mine should I be on the lookout for his book to correct? Or, do you think he can cover them all in one book? :confused:

Meanwhile, I'll be working on some thoughts about competition and the pursuit of excellence that I'm sure you'll enjoy. :cool:

Margaret

Fred H.
March 27th, 2006, 09:54 AM
Margaret: Which particular prejudices of mine should I be on the lookout for his book to correct? Or, do you think he can cover them all in one book?
Excerpts From a piece in U.S. News & World Report - Mar 1, 2006, “Liberals and inconvenient science,” Posted at 08:00 AM by John Leo, (http://www.usnews.com/usnews/opinion/leoblog/archives/060301/liberals_and_inconvenient_scie.htm):
. . . The feminist assault on Larry Summers, however, is a much better example of what Fumento is talking about [that liberals often show disrespect for science when it suits their purposes]. Summers suggested that in addition to antifemale prejudice, "intrinsic aptitude" may explain why women are scarce in the most advanced levels of math, engineering, and some sciences. Summers said this casually and with no political finesse at all, but he was right. A very large–make that gigantic–amount of research compiled over decades shows that at the upper reaches of hard science and math, males outperform females. The research points to one conclusion: The sexes are different, and men and women make choices based on those differences.

Males are much better than females in spatial ability, the most clearly defined of all differences in the research. In 1995, a task force of the American Psychological Association unanimously reported that there are "both social and biological reasons" for male pre-eminence in visual-spatial tasks like mental rotation and spatio-temporal tasks like tracking a moving object. Males also tend to outperform females on mathematical reasoning and mechanical comprehension, while females tend to be better at language use, verbal fluency, and verbal memory.

Perhaps the most famous study, done by psychologist Camilla Benbow and various colleagues, who tested 40,000 young adolescents, showed that there were 13 times as many boys as girls in the highest range of SAT math scores. The finding was not that women are unable to handle math but that at the very top, males persistently tend to dominate. In his book Blank Slate, Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker wrote that "neuroscience, genetics, psychology, and ethnology are documenting sex differences that almost certainly originate in human biology."

The evidence is massive and well known, but virtually the entire faculty of Harvard, and so far as we can see, faculties across the country let Summers twist in the wind, saying nothing. So did almost all of the news media. The universities are ruled by a religionlike orthodoxy now, and scientific truth is not allowed to intervene when dogma is under attack. Given what happened to Summers, it will be a long time before any honest discussion of gender and science unfolds.

Legal columnist Stuart Taylor Jr. referred to all the silent professors and administrators as "high-IQ ninnies, ideologues, cowards, and/or hypocrites." Like Summers, Taylor was right.


Margaret: Steven Pinker seems like a smart and reasonable person. I like his ideas (so far) and his hair….
Damn JimB, you’re good—I should have realized that Pinker’s big hair would be far more persuasive than Jensen’s boring science, statistics, and evidence. Note to Margaret—forget about Jensen . . . Jensen who?

TomJrzk
March 27th, 2006, 10:30 AM
Regarding genetic “determinists” you must be referring to TomJ’s “determinism” (me being more a free will/moral responsibility kind of guy)—hopefully Tom will respond; and maybe he’ll be able to tie it in with his “It's ultimately not their fault,” beliefs for you too.
Against the alternative of cultural determinism, I'm not one of your "genetic determinists", as I've said in the past. In case you're not intentionally forgetting (and maybe to reinforce my point to others) I'll reiterate: my discussion of IQ-genetics was only that there was a possible mechanism (not a proven one), without which I would have to believe wholly in cultural influences. And BTW that mechanism is the need to improvise in a difficult environment, which includes other influences beyond weather. War is another. The availability of game is another.

I agree that all of Alexandra's and Margaret's arguments may be true, and almost made a couple of them. Intelligence is not that easily measured.

Which leads to my initial statement on this issue: we can not yet discuss this topic objectively. But it's still interesting how people's brains affect how they read the same sentences.

Fred H.
March 27th, 2006, 11:13 AM
TomJ: Intelligence is not that easily measured.
Wake up Tom—intelligence quotient (IQ) is a score derived from a set of standardized tests developed to measure a person's cognitive abilities ("intelligence") in relation to their age group—obviously it doesn’t measure intelligence the way a ruler measures height (absolutely), but rather the way a race measures speed (relatively). See my above post and the quote from Wikipedia.

Take JimB’s advice and read Pinker—perhaps the charming, big haired Pinker will convince you and the girls of the reality of general intelligence differences. BTW, Pinker also has indicated that he doesn’t think free will is a myth, and believes in moral responsibility. (Pinker notes that, “In cases where we can tell with certainty that an identifiable kind of actor is undeterrable by criminal sanctions, in fact we don't punish him -- that's why we don't punish children, animals, machines, or the truly insane.” Unfortunately, however, Pinker apparently has been an atheist since age 13 . . . but then Flew was an atheist for 80 years b/f he saw the light)

Margaret McGhee
March 27th, 2006, 01:04 PM
Hi Tom, I'm not sure that I agree with your . . initial statement on this issue: we can not yet discuss this topic objectively.
At least in the sense that these things hardly ever get discussed objectively anyplace, I think we have as good a chance as anyone else. I also disagree with your underlying premise which seems to be that incontrovertible objective evidence has to exist before an objective discussion can take place. Objectivity only requires honest motives and no hidden agendas. I don't mind agendas as long as we're up front about them.

Here's mine. I am revolted by the idea of a world where someone's genes (translated as skin color, gender, perhaps IQ, etc.) could prevent them from receiveing fair and equal treatment or an equitable shot at happiness in the society they are born into. You know, those rights guaranteed to us by the US Constitution.

I don't have trouble discussing sex or racial differences in mental abilities or intelligence. But the facts on the ground are that conservatives are making two cases. One, is that those purported differences are incontrovertible and immutable. There is ample evidence to disagree with, if not disprove, both of those. An honest, objective discussion can be valuable to at least show that our current cultural re-embrace of eugenics is not nearly as science-driven as the RW think tanks and Steve Sailer (and JimB) would have us believe.

Their second case is that those differences justify some fairly radical conclusions regarding how we treat each other in the world. I mean, if so many people in this world really are genetically inferior - then you really can't expect the gifted classes to share their resources and their healthy, comfortable life-styles with the dumb ones, can you. How fair is that?

Rushton's quote that JimB posted to start this thread was quite revealing: These findings in Lynn's latest book have profound geopolitical significance. They imply it may simply not be possible to transmit Western-style democratic and economic systems to the populations of Latin America and Moslem North Africa and the Middle East, let alone sub-Saharan Africa. They mean that the world's long-term problems will stem from its populations' capabilities - much deeper and more intractable than any "Clash of Civilizations" - style competition between different political concepts.

But, even better evidence of where they are going with all this IQ stuff comes from The Bell Curve where the authors propose that (based on these easily understood, incontrovertible and immutable differences) the time has come for our society (the USA) to now organize itself to segregate the less mentally astute from the more capable - perhaps in special communities. From page 526, In short, by custodial care, we have in mind a high-tech and more lavish version of the Indian reservation for some substantial minority of the nation's population, while the rest of America tries to go about its business. I suspect that widespread resistance and even revolt will require that they become even more pragmatic in their approach, however. There are several million of us who have average (IQ 100) or even above who are apparently not intelligent enough to appreciate the economic wonders of Enron-style capitalism or who don't take a suitably homophobic version of Jay-sus as our savior or who fail to see the profound wisdom of a God and smart-bombs-fueled Republican foreign policy and are labelled as enemy combatants - and so I think those special communities may end up with a broader mix by IQ.

This discussion is not really one that I'm willing to postpone while we wait for conclusive evidence on IQ. The inconclusive, shaky and disingenuous evidence is already being put to conservative ideological ends by way of the cable-bigots who reach millions every day. I don't see Rush asking for better evidence, do you?

Objectively, Margaret

TomJrzk
March 27th, 2006, 02:10 PM
Objectivity only requires honest motives and no hidden agendas.
My dictionary says:

Objectivity: judgment based on observable phenomena and uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices

But, my comment was only about the concept of genetic IQ, not each side's use of heretofore undecidable 'conclusions'. Discuss away but I don't have a dog in this fight.

Fred and I ought to take identical IQ tests. Well, maybe identical except his ought to be translated into a language spoken by few people and then translated back into 'english'. Not fair?

Fred H.
March 27th, 2006, 06:42 PM
TomJ: Fred and I ought to take identical IQ tests. Well, maybe by few people and then translated back into 'english'. Not fair?
One’s IQ can give us some sense of one’s potential, but it’s not exactly destiny. While an IQ of 80 is probably going to preclude one from ever becoming a rocket scientist, there are, nevertheless, those with IQs over 140 that waste what they’ve been blessed with, and/or misuse it—it’s that free will thing (and then of course there may be various neurological disorders that can muck thing up).

I’d guess that your/my IQs are within a 5% range—believe it or not, you could be 5% higher on the curve, or maybe lower. But from what I’ve seen in many of your half-assed posts, I’d say I’m using mine more effectively than you’re using yours, so far anyway . . . and you seem to have other issues.

JimB suggested Murray’s Human Accomplishment—do yourself a favor and read it. Expand your mind Tom . . . or take the blue pill and believe whatever you want to believe. Anyway, if things are as deterministic as you suggest (and I think that they more or less are except for some amount of human free will), then there’s really nothing you can do to change them.

BTW Tom, I’m betting that even Pinker’s charm and big beautiful hair will not overcome Margaret’s ideology—that she’ll never accept or acknowledge, in any meaningful way, the reality of general intelligence differences. What do you think? (I fear that she doesn’t even acknowledge me anymore . . . and I’ve tried so hard to help her . . . oh well.)

alexandra_k
March 27th, 2006, 08:41 PM
I hope it is appreciated that to write off arguments because of the person rather than taking the arguments at their merit is what is known as an ad homenim attack.

Yeah I followed the link back to the main page too and some of the other arguments are a riot! But that being said... If you have a problem with the arguments you should address the arguments not attack the person (ie those 'raving liberals'

Margaret... If you are still interested in emotions you might want to check this out:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0195151453/104-3987704-6484727?v=glance&n=283155

Prinz engages with the most recent findings from the Cognitive Neuro-Sciences and he tries to extend the James-Lange / Le Doux theory of emotions (as perceptions of body state / perceptions of brain areas active when typically experiencing a body state) line. He also has a place for typical causes, appraisals (ie of danger), and action tendencies. He also engages in a fairly sophisticated analysis of the experimental findings and he considers an interesting analogy between emotions and perceptions. So for instance one can imagine oneself into an emotion one can also imagine a visual perception and both seem to involve the parts of the brain relevant to bottom-up (stimulus driven) visual perception and emotional response.

He talks a bit about the function of emotions too. He thinks emotions are perceptions of body / brain changes and that those states represent relational properties that matter for the organism (ie danger). A very interesting read.

Re intelligence... Nobody seems to have mentioned poverty again... And how poverty (and lack of education) can significantly impact on ones score.

Do people mean to dispute the claims regarding how opression of group seems to have a more significant impact on IQ than ethnic groups?
Do people mean to dispute the claims regarding remedial programs and increase in IQ?
Are people going to argue for those or are they just going to write off the links as words from the 'raving liberals'?
Also would be interesting to consider the role of self-fulfilling prophecy. If people are told they are smart they will do better than if they are told they are stupid. Experiments have found that teachers treat their students very differently depending on whether they are told they are 'smart' or 'stupid'.

Sigh.

Back to the nature / nurture debate again... Things just aren't that simple. If you really are interested I'd suggest Fiona Cowie "What's Within? Nativism Reconsidered" and also Paul Griffiths book on emotions... Title escapes me... Both are empirically informed but even better they engage in sophisticated analysis of the empirical information... Something that seems to be lacking from people who are taught facts without being taught how to think.

Sigh.

Fred H.
March 28th, 2006, 09:23 AM
AlexK: I hope it is appreciated that to write off arguments because of the person rather than taking the arguments at their merit is what is known as an ad homenim attack.
Those who deny the massive science and evidence verifying general intelligence and intelligence differences (and the undeniable genetic link) are as disingenuous and/or ignorant as the young-earth creationists who deny the science and evidence verifying that the earth is billions of years old.

The “write-off” of such “arguments” is not so much “ad hominem,” but rather well deserved contempt. Wake up and smell your own narrow-minded ideological bullshit.

TomJrzk
March 28th, 2006, 09:41 AM
But from what I’ve seen in many of your half-assed posts, I’d say I’m using mine more effectively than you’re using yours, so far anyway . . . and you seem to have other issues.

Interesting.

Regardless, if there were a set of identical twins where one was well-fed, educated and had a complicated environment and the other was none of those, do you think they would score the same on an IQ test? Use that wonderful mind of yours and think about it. I'll be expecting an answer ;).

There's a difference between stupidity and ignorance. And it's hard to measure the former if there's too much of the latter.

Fred H.
March 28th, 2006, 11:08 AM
. . . if there were a set of identical twins
JimB has provided much info and various studies on twins—if you weren’t such a slacker you probably could’ve use some of that info to help support your less than persuasive arguments against human free will. Still, your time will be better spent if you just read Murray’s Human Accomplishment.

TomJrzk
March 28th, 2006, 11:32 AM
JimB has provided much info and various studies on twins
Regardless of any statistical 'adjustment' for environment; liberals will not accept genetic IQ until there is a test which shows that every set of identical twins have the same IQ. There may be one day but it will probably have to include direct brain scans rather than answers to multiple-choice questions.

Margaret McGhee
March 28th, 2006, 12:41 PM
Tom, Some quick points.

* I am a liberal and I accept a genetic effect on cognitive abilty. I keep saying that but no-one listens.

* That 'statistical adjustment' for environment you refer to is the environmental effect on cognitive abilty.

* Cognitive ability has both genetic and environmental factors. IQ tests (so far) can not separate those for any individual. However, statistical methods and science has examined that question in terms of populations. The best estimates of those attempts so far attribute about a 50/50 contribution by genes and environment - although that could vary in any individual. Even hereditarians agree on this.

* That does not address the question of just what IQ is. I believe that a person's actual cognitive ability (both the innate and environmental components) is a complex variable that could not be expressed as a single number. IQ can be useful as a simple proxy for the complex concept of cognitive ability as long as people remember that - but they won't, of course.

* Even among the hereditarians there are three versions of the inherited IQ theory. The different brain structure model, the different information processing model, and the different intelligences model. The reality (for inherited cognitive ability) could well be some combination of those but all three are themelves plausibly subject to environmental effects during development.

* I accept that IQ predicts some forms of accomplishment. Like Binet I believe that IQ can be a useful tool to help identify children who may need special attention in school.

* Binet warned against and predicted that conservatives would sieze upon IQ as a way to justify unequal treatment of minorities. How right he was.

* If hereditarians agree that cognitive ability is a mix of inherited and environmental factors - and that Ashkinazim Jews can increase their IQ substantially in just a few generations - then why are they not demanding better environmental conditions for groups who test low on the IQ scale in order to eventually raise those scores and eliminate that drain on society for our descendents in future generations - instead of setting up special communities to house them.

Margaret

Fred H.
March 28th, 2006, 02:09 PM
MM: I am a liberal and I accept a genetic effect on cognitive abilty. I keep saying that but no-one listens.
But then in almost the same breath you opine, “that does not address the question of just what IQ is.”

Once again Margaret, here’s the science from Wikipedia: An intelligence quotient or IQ is a score derived from a set of standardized tests developed to measure a person's cognitive abilities ("intelligence") in relation to their age group. An IQ test does not measure intelligence the way a ruler measures height (absolutely), but rather the way a race measures speed (relatively); IQ is described as a "quotient" because, originally, it chronological age.

For people living in the prevailing conditions of the developed world, IQ is highly heritable, and by adulthood the influence of family environment on IQ is undetectable. IQ test scores are correlated with measures of brain structure and function, as well as performance on simple tasks that anyone can complete within a few seconds.

IQ is correlated with academic success, job performance, socioeconomic advancement, and "social pathologies". It is taken by psychologists to be an excellent proxy for intelligence, and possibly the best measurable definition of intellectual ability, but generally not taken to represent intelligence perfectly. Recent work has demonstrated links between IQ and health, longevity, and functional literacy. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IQ#Social_construct]
The problem of course is your lack of consistency and/or your disingenuousness—you also said in another post that you were “postponing it [addressing the question of IQ differences] so I can focus on one area of scientific misinformation at a time,” and that you were “waiting for any genetic determinists here to point out what it is that I may be missing.”

I’d say you’re missing consistency and intellectual honesty. And perhaps you’re also blinded by your hatred for “conservatives”—if so, I’d suggest you get over it—anyway, those evil “conservatives” will almost certainly outbreed the “liberals.”

TomJrzk
March 28th, 2006, 02:20 PM
Wow, Margaret, great post! It has my vote for post of the year.

My only response is that I don't know that anyone defends:
that Ashkinazim Jews can increase their IQ substantially in just a few generations
It might involve the group having evolved a high IQ over millennia, before there were accounts to reconcile. Then this group was chosen to perform this role for obvious reasons and the higher ones were culled from the group; it's this culling that may have turned an average (or somewhat above-average) population into a group of expected outliers.

Just looking for possible mechanisms...

Margaret McGhee
March 28th, 2006, 06:02 PM
Tom, Thanks for your kind remarks. For your reference,
Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence

Abstract: This paper elaborates the hypothesis that the unique demography and sociology of Ashkenazim in medieval Europe selected for intelligence. Ashkenazi literacy, economic specialization, and closure to inward gene flow led to a social environment in which there was high fitness payoff to intelligence, specifically verbal and mathematical intelligence but not spatial ability. As with any regime of strong directional selection on a quantitative trait, genetic variants that were otherwise fitness reducing rose in frequency. In particular we propose that the well-known clusters of Ashkenazi genetic diseases, the sphingolipid cluster and the DNA repair cluster in particular, increase intelligence in heterozygotes. Other Ashkenazi disorders are known to increase intelligence. Although these disorders have been attributed to a bottleneck in Ashkenazi history and consequent genetic drift, there is no evidence of any bottleneck. Gene frequencies at a large number of autosomal loci show that if there was a bottleneck then subsequent gene flow from Europeans must have been very large, obliterating the effects of any bottleneck. The clustering of the disorders in only a few pathways and the presence at elevated frequency of more than one deleterious allele at many of them could not have been produced by drift. Instead these are signatures of strong and recent natural selection.

This interesting paper is at:

Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence (http://homepage.mac.com/harpend/.Public/AshkenaziIQ.jbiosocsci.pdf)

Margaret

Fred H.
March 28th, 2006, 09:41 PM
MM: If hereditarians agree that cognitive ability is a mix of inherited and environmental factors - and that Ashkinazim Jews can increase their IQ substantially in just a few generations - then why are they not demanding better environmental conditions for groups who test low on the IQ scale in order to eventually raise those scores and eliminate that drain on society for our descendents in future generations - instead of setting up special communities to house them.

MM: Quote: Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence Abstract: This paper elaborates the hypothesis that the unique demography and sociology of Ashkenazim in medieval Europe selected for intelligence.
I’m not seeing that “environmental factors” necessarily caused much of the Ashkenazi IQ increase, other than perhaps whatever effect the (social?) “environment” may have had in compelling that society to “select” for intelligence, to practice a kind of eugenics; and the resulting evolution of those IQ increases seems to have required more than “just a few generations.”

Nevertheless, since you now seem to be acknowledging that IQ/intelligence is a reality and is at least 50% genetic, and even seem to be suggesting that conditions be implemented so as to increase IQ/intelligence, what kind of pogroms do you think could be employed to achieve such goals? (And wouldn't the "less intelligent" have to be selected out, or is there a way around that?)

TomJrzk
March 29th, 2006, 09:49 AM
Margaret, I'm afraid that I might have to agree with Fred (and I see neither ad hominems nor ad homenims in his post!).

I’m not seeing that “environmental factors” necessarily caused much of the Ashkenazi IQ increase, other than perhaps whatever effect the (social?) “environment” may have had in compelling that society to “select” for intelligence, to practice a kind of eugenics
This abstract talks about selection, so it stands to reason that there had to be something to select. And something had to be done about those not selected.

Margaret McGhee
March 29th, 2006, 12:46 PM
Tom, I think I was not as clear as I could have been and the fault for any confusion is mine. My statement was, If hereditarians agree that cognitive ability is a mix of inherited and environmental factors - and that Ashkinazim Jews can increase their IQ substantially in just a few generations - then why are they not demanding better environmental conditions for groups who test low on the IQ scale in order to eventually raise those scores and eliminate that drain on society for our descendents in future generations - instead of setting up special communities to house them. I can see why you might assume I was endorsing the strict hereditarian view when I was only using it to make a point.

My question has two parts, both of which question the motives of the hereditarians by showing that they ignore solutions to intractable social problems such as crime and poverty that present themselves from their own evidence - when those solutions go against their conservative ideology.

The first part asks that if IQ (that highly correlates with future accomplishment according to their view) is substantially dependent on both inheritance (that we can not control over a generation) and environment (that we can control, even hour by hour) - why are not heriditarians insisting that we do whatever we can in the area that we can control - to improve the chances for higher accomplishment in those groups?

Instead, the heriditarians focus on the part that we can not control to justify unequal treatment by society. It seems that every scientific explanation for this hereditarian view of maximum potential worth of a human being by birth invariably leads to such political conclusions. Also, that so many previous attempts by hereditarian scientists to support this view of nature over nurture going back over a century, were so aften the result of scientific fraud, makes me highly suspicious.

I offer Rushton's quote by JimB that started this thread again here for its ability to capture the essence of this view, For example (from Rushton's review): "These findings in Lynn's latest book have profound geopolitical significance. They imply it may simply not be possible to transmit Western-style democratic and economic systems to the populations of Latin America and Moslem North Africa and the Middle East, let alone sub-Saharan Africa. They mean that the world's long-term problems will stem from its populations' capabilities-much deeper and more intractable than any "Clash of Civilizations"-style competition between different political concepts." Oh, the white man's burden is great!

The second part of my statement is more difficult to justify because it leads in so many directions and because my beliefs in those areas are changing the more I read. About ten minutes after I posted it I realized that it would be challenged so I started then to re-examine the statement and compose some defense (or recantation). ;)

I'm still working on that at the level of trying to either justify or change what I believe is true about IQ, intelligence, innate ability, g, factor analysis, etc. I don't know where this will lead but I'm afraid I need more time. For now, I'll just say that it's a good question that deserves a good answer. I know it's silly to think that I'll come up with one when so many real scientists are struggling with it but I'll try just for the mental exercise and to increase my understanding of the question. If I can solidify a more defensible view in the next few days I'll probably start another thread with it as this one is starting to fray.

As far as answering a post because it doesn't include any personal attacks - even though those that preceeded it were full of them and those that are coming are sure to be - I have found that the people you come across in life who are worth knowing because of their basic decency are few and far between. It's almost as if people are born with a certain capacity for decency (the d factor) and no amount of training or encouragement can change that. I have found that the best way to make room in my life for those who have it is to ignore those who don't. :rolleyes:

Margaret

Fred H.
March 29th, 2006, 03:32 PM
MM: It's almost as if people are born with a certain capacity for decency (the d factor) and no amount of training or encouragement can change that.
Hmmm, I suspect that that may be directed towards me. Well, actually Margaret, there are a number of people who’d probably say that I do have much capacity for, and do exercise, a good amount of “decency”—my wife, my kids, my neighbors, those I’ve worked with, etc., etc. In fact, JimB might even say so (and maybe even Todd, but I may be pushing my luck).

Keep in mind Margaret that you were first to “raise the stakes,” as it were, with your hissy-fit here, http://www.behavior.net/bolforums/showpost.php?p=2767&postcount=49 when you inappropriately personalized whatever it was you perceived I was “suggesting” (at which point Tom seemed to join your attack); and it was you who started playing the racist card with your hideous post here, http://www.behavior.net/bolforums/showpost.php?p=3092&postcount=2 , revealing your self-righteous ideology using accusatory words/phrases directed at JimB, such as the “Full Monte” of a “famous racist,” Jim's “attraction to this area” of general intelligence differences, “the attraction of some Evolutionary Biologists to what I had always considered to be the pseudo-science of Eugenics,” etc., etc.

Your problem with me is not that I’m not “decent,” but rather that I candidly challenge and expose your own narrow-minded, self-righteous accusations and ideological dogma for what they are—and I of course always attempt to give as good as I get, or better than I get.

And consider that if I weren’t here to, as JimB has observed, “get the pot to simmer,” any threads with just you and Tom would probably be a boring lukewarm at best; plus you two probably wouldn’t have formed the alliance you now seem to enjoy. (I suspect that Tom may not be a “liberal” in quite the same sense that you’re a “liberal,” although you both seem to be “socialists.”)

TomJrzk
March 29th, 2006, 04:41 PM
Keep in mind Margaret that you were first to “raise the stakes,” as it were, with your hissy-fit here, http://www.behavior.net/bolforums/showpost.php?p=2767&postcount=49
Sorry, you're wrong here, Fred. If you had a higher 'd' quotient you would have been sensitive to Margaret's reasonable reaction to your implying that she is morally blind. And you would have apologized and clarified if you didn't mean to.

That you didn't says a lot. Maybe you could ask your wife to edit.

And I don't have an alliance with Margaret, nor am I socialist. I have plenty of differences with Margaret but my goal is to make this a comfortable forum and not beat people over their heads with our differences.

Fred H.
March 29th, 2006, 08:08 PM
TomJ: . . . Fred. If you had a higher 'd' quotient you would have been sensitive to Margaret's reasonable reaction to your implying that she is morally blind. And you would have apologized and clarified if you didn't mean to.
Au contraire Tom—I did “clarify,” what didn’t really need to be clarified, in my subsequent post, here, http://www.behavior.net/bolforums/showpost.php?p=2770&postcount=52 (that I was merely expressing what the movie seemed to convey, and that if indeed free will is an illusion, then obviously so is morality, and moral blindness would be an inevitable consequence); and I’m disinclined to “apologize” for something I’ve not done, for something I was unjustly (and irrationally) accused of by Margaret.

TomJrzk
March 30th, 2006, 09:37 AM
Au contraire Tom—I did “clarify,” what didn’t really need to be clarified, in my subsequent post, What you wrote is not a clarification that would retract any insult:
It’s what the movie seemed to convey.

If indeed free will is an illusion, as you believe, then obviously so is morality, and moral blindness would be inevitable.
In fact it just grinds the insult in further. There's nothing 'obvious' about your beliefs, which happen to be wrong.

Humans without free will still have a social instinct and their remorse module activates and makes them feel regret when they do something against those instincts; that's the only basis for your 'morality' no matter how much folklore you want to place around it. At least, those humans with a functional remorse module.

I don't 'decide' with 'free will' to feel uncomfortable when I run over even part of a dead dog on the freeway, much less a dead person; much, much less a live person. It's instinctive.

Margaret McGhee
March 30th, 2006, 11:01 AM
JimB, While I'm waiting for Pinker's books to arrive (should be here today) I went back and read your review of Murray's Magnificent Equality. Here's a little off-the-top-off-my-head review of your review before I run off to a Dr. appt. this morning - even though yours is less a review than a comparison or amplification of Murray's sentiments from your own perspective.

I like your writing. What makes it appealing is that you allow your emotions to shift the focus of your analysis across a range of levels and you seem willing to follow those traces wherever they lead. That kind of writing requires concentration to read - but the payoff is that the reader is treated to a very real account of what you speak. Even if I disagree with some of the linear elements at any one level, I can still appreciate the intellectual honesty of a good mind ticking along impressively. And it's always more interesting when I can feel a person's emotional presence so vividly in their writing.

I think writing it over a Barnes and Noble latte enhanced this effect.

Where I find fault is on the much less significant content level - where I'm sure we're bound to disagree on many things. The main problem I find with both your and Murray's view is that you both confuse social exaltation with worth - and you both write so unquestioningly, in the sense of how could it possibly be otherwise?. It reminds me of the attempts on the right not too long ago to have Ronald Reagan's likeness carved into Mt. Rushmore.

I won't try to dissabuse you of this infuriating conservative notion right now but when you least expect it - expect it - as Christy McNichol once said to her brother. ;)

Margaret

Fred H.
March 30th, 2006, 12:11 PM
TomJ: Humans without free will still have a social instinct and their remorse module activates and makes them feel regret when they do something against those instincts; that's the only basis for your 'morality' no matter how much folklore you want to place around it. At least, those humans with a functional remorse module.
Your assumptions that humans lack free will, that the “only basis for morality” is the “remorse module,” is nothing more you’re your own simplistic speculations, your own “folklore,” and something that those of us convinced that humans do indeed have some “free will”—e.g., Todd, Pinker, me, etc., etc.—would never agree with. I doubt JimB would see things as you do. Hell, even your buddy Margaret might not agree with your crude reductionism.

TomJrzk
March 30th, 2006, 04:22 PM
would never agree withNever is a long, long time. I understand how uncomfortable my views are (if you don't fully understand them) and would not expect many to subscribe, for various reasons.

If you could fully understand it, you would see that it's not different from the obvious; there is a basis for what you call morality. It's not blind determinism nor morally blind, as I've explained in the past.

And I know how confused you could get, I meant that 'social instinct' is the only source. My bad.

Fred H.
March 31st, 2006, 02:05 PM
MM to JimB: The main problem I find with both your [JimB's] and Murray's view is that you both confuse social exaltation with worth…. It reminds me of the attempts on the right not too long ago to have Ronald Reagan's likeness carved into Mt. Rushmore.
Margaret—

Undoubtedly the primitive, subconscious emotional and motivational mechanisms play a huge roll in our perceptions and cognitions, and obviously our behavior.

And I’ve generally thought that as we become more aware of that impact, the more likely we’re able to exercise some amount of “objective” thinking (and /or free will) in attempting to discern “reality,” and whether there even is an objective reality, and even some sort of objective morality, that we humans are capable of discerning, and to exercise LeDoux’s downward causation.

However, I’ve found interesting that, in your case, while you actually do seem to have acquired some appreciation for the impact of these primitive neural systems, that that understanding doesn’t seem to have been all that helpful in your own objective thinking when it comes to an admittedly provocative issue like intelligence differences. E.g., your own blatant and, as best I can tell, rather narrow ideology, despite the overwhelming science and evidence that speaks to the reality of intelligence differences, seems to have precluded you from truly accepting and/or acknowledging the reality of such differences; and seems to have resulted in your obsession with what you suppose are the “ideological ends” of the “right” and “conservatives,” which borders on paranoia.

Todd once said that “ideas have consequences,” and I’m inclined to agree. I think that your “ideas,” that we humans lack “free will,” (and therefore, inevitably, whether or not you’re able to acknowledge it, must also lack any kind of meaningful moral responsibility), and that “conservatives” and/or those that don’t share your ideology are somehow “backward,” greatly diminishes any objectivity in how you see things.

However, I remain hopeful that Pinker’s nice hair will have some positive impact on you . . . he seems to be a fairly moral guy, at least for an “atheist.” I don’t suppose that you and I will ever be buds—nevertheless, all the best,
Fred




P.S.—Margaret—I just read your interesting article, “Autogynephilia, a Narrative,” by Margaret McGhee, at http://www.geocities.com/margimcghee/Articles/AG.htm. I’m a bit irritated with myself—I should have paid more attention to your web site and referenced articles when you first started posting here—I’d have had a better appreciation for where you’re coming from. I’d almost certainly have argued differently, or perhaps not at all. My bad. Maybe I need to up my Ritalin dose.

Anywho, I now actually have some empathy for your POV, why you see things as you do, and perhaps even your contempt of “conservatives,” and/or the “right.” In your article under “Our Gender Narratives Become Our Controlling Beliefs,” you write:
Trans-women on the female-essence side of this dispute generally hold the strong belief that they are in some sense female. I find myself in this group. We believe that in a better world we would have been born with the bodies of women and would have had lives to match our gender identity. That belief feels so right to us because it closely matches our emotional experience. Many of us also hold a high level belief that self-realization, as long as it doesn't hurt others, is every person’s right. We demand that right for ourselves.
I’m inclined to agree with much of what you say in this paragraph—I doubt that we humans have much “choice,” or free will, probably none, when it comes to this “gender identity” thing; and I'd think that it is more or less hardwired, or at the very least a propensity, at a subcortical emotional/motivational level.

TomJrzk
March 31st, 2006, 03:00 PM
that we humans lack “free will,” (and therefore, inevitably, whether or not you’re able to acknowledge it, must also lack any kind of meaningful moral responsibilitySomething has to be true before "whether or not you’re able to acknowledge it" has any meaning.

There is nothing that proves that humans have free will and are not just following their social instincts.

Fred H.
April 1st, 2006, 09:03 AM
TomJ: There is nothing that proves that humans have free will and are not just following their social instincts.

Tom—In case you’ve missed it, I’ve added a P.S. to my previous post to Margaret. I’m inclined to agree that regarding gender identity, it’s unlikely that there’s much “choice,” or free will involved, that it’s something that’s probably hard wired at a subcortical level.

A mass murderer, however, obviously “chooses” to be a mass murderer (except possibly in cases where the mass murderer is truly insane, or perhaps is a “child”). As best I can tell, there aren’t many “sane” “adults” that would argue, as you seem to, that a mass murderer is somehow not “morally responsible” or that mass murderers are “just following their social instincts.”

TomJrzk
April 3rd, 2006, 09:47 AM
Tom—In case you’ve missed it, I’ve added a P.S. to my previous post to Margaret. I’m inclined to agree that regarding gender identity, it’s unlikely that there’s much “choice,” or free will involved, that it’s something that’s probably hard wired at a subcortical level.

A mass murderer, however, obviously “chooses” to be a mass murderer (except possibly in cases where the mass murderer is truly insane, or perhaps is a “child”). As best I can tell, there aren’t many “sane” “adults” that would argue, as you seem to, that a mass murderer is somehow not “morally responsible” or that mass murderers are “just following their social instincts.”Great post, Fred. I've responded at http://www.behavior.net/bolforums/showpost.php?p=3240&postcount=26

alexandra_k
April 17th, 2006, 07:32 AM
i don't know whether this is going to find the right place...

i'm responding to fred's 'wake up and smell your own ideological bullshit'

charming.

i have better things to do than try and talk to people who can't even be civil.

bluecafe22
August 23rd, 2006, 08:49 AM
IQ tests are not a valid measure of intelligence; they tend to ignore many aspects of human cognition and the cognitive process. Things like creatively, wisdom, ability to learn, ability to adapt and practical skills are not gauged by these tests in a meaningful way. IQ tests also fail to measure the same construct among all people to whom the tests are applied, the more culturally distinct the group (I.E. Truckers, and Musicians) the greater the discrepancy. To apply a single test to an entire population of distinct individuals from varying backgrounds is unbelievably biased unless used to gauge a particularly relevant skill. Example: Race horses are not gauged for their poker skills. - Just as Sociologists are not measured by their ability to paint.

The fact of the matter is intelligence does vary among humans, but this can be for many reasons: prenatal care, subjective interpretation, interest factors, differing environments, life circumstances etc. My concern is not with differences among individuals, but with claims that imply that group differences involving subjective and highly bias testing situations can amount to genetic differences in the traits being tested.

How does one compare the intelligence of a gifted painter with that of a mediocre Physicist? According to the narrow methods and perspectives used and held by many Psychometricians, the Mediocre Physicist is likely to be perceived the more intelligent. Why, because this is what the testing situation demands that they believe/think.

Psychometric tests do not and can not measure the number of years spent in practice, nor can they measure interest, motivation, interpretation, diet, home & social life, daily activities etc.; nor do they try! Despite these obvious and fundamental short comings this model is often presented as valid and unbiased by many practitioners.

Cole, Gay, Glick and Sharp (1971:233) made the following insightful observation: “ Cultural differences in cognition reside more in the situations to which particular cognitive processes are applied than in the existence of a process in one cultural group, and its absence in another.

Robert Sternberg and his colleagues ask the experts to define “intelligence” according to their beliefs. Each of the roughly two dozen definitions produced in each symposium was different. There were some common threads, such as the importance of adaptation to the environment and the ability to learn, but these constructs were not well specified. According to Sternberg, very few tests measure adaptation to environment and ability to learn; nor do any tests except dynamic tests involving learning at the time of the test measure ability to learn. Traditional tests focus much more on measuring past learning which can be the result of many factors, including motivation and available opportunities to learn (Sternberg,
Grigorenko, and Kidd, American Psychologist; 2005) This is because IQ test items are largely measures of achievement at various levels of competency (Sternberg, 1998,1999, 2003). Items requiring knowledge of the fundamentals of vocabulary, information, comprehension, and arithmetic problem solving (Cattell, 1971;Horn, 1994).

Further more, IQ is not a fixed quantity; it can be raised (It is not as difficult to rise, as it is to maintain). This has been demonstrated numerously through studies involving environmental stimulation.

Examples of such studies:

In 1987 Wynand de Wet (now Dr. de Wet), did his practical research for an M.Ed. (Psychology) degree on the Audiblox program at a school for the deaf in South Africa. The subject of the research project concerned the optimization of intelligence actualization by using Audiblox.
Twenty-four children with learning problems participated in the study, and were divided into 3 groups.

The children in Group A received Audiblox tuition. The children were tutored simultaneously in a group by means of the Persepto for 27.5 hours between April 27 and August 27, 1987. The first edition of the group application of the Audiblox program was followed. No diagnostic testing was done beforehand.
The children in Group B received remedial education. They were tested beforehand and based on the diagnosis each child received individualized tuition on a one-on-one basis for 27.5 hours between April 27 and August 27, 1987.
The children in Group C were submitted to non-cognitive activities for 27.5 hours during this period.

All 24 children were tested before and after on the Starren Snijders-Oomen Non-verbal Scale (SSON), a non-verbal IQ test that can be used for deaf children.
Dr. de Wet reported that he could do nearly all the Audiblox exercises without adaptations, except the auditory exercises. Because he had to use sign-language, the children could not close their eyes.
The average scores of the three groups on the SSON test were as follows:

Average IQ's before intervention, after intervention, and general Increase

IQ scores
Group A (Audiblox group): 101.125 - - 112.750 - - 11.625
Group B (Remedial group): 107.125 - - 116.250 - - 9.125
Group C (Non-cognitive): 104.250 - - 108.875 - - 4.625

Reports received from the teachers indicated that the improvements achieved through remedial education and through Audiblox transferred to the general school performance of the children. The transfer scored through the Audiblox, however, was superior to that of the remedial education, says Dr. de Wet. Finally, because Audiblox can be applied in a group setting, it is much more cost effective that remedial education, he says.

Reference: De Wet, W., The Optimization of Intelligence Actualization by Using Audiblox (M.Ed. (Psychology) Thesis: University of Pretoria, 1989).

The Glenwood State School

A particularly interesting project on early intellectual stimulation involved twenty-five children in an orphanage. These children were seriously environmentally deprived because the orphanage was crowded and understaffed. Thirteen babies with an average age of nineteen months were transferred to the Glenwood State School for retarded adult women and each baby was put in the personal care of a woman. Skeels, who conducted the experiment, deliberately chose the most deficient of the orphans to be placed in the Glenwood School. Their average IQ was 64, while the average IQ of the twelve who stayed behind in the orphanage was 87.

In the Glenwood State School the children were placed in open, active wards with the older and relatively bright women. Their substitute mothers overwhelmed them with love and cuddling. Toys were available, they were taken on outings and they were talked to a lot. The women were taught how to stimulate the babies intellectually and how to elicit language from them.
After eighteen months, the dramatic findings were that the children who had been placed with substitute mothers, and had therefore received additional stimulation, on average showed an increase of 29 IQ points! A follow-up study was conducted two and a half years later. Eleven of the thirteen children originally transferred to the Glenwood home had been adopted and their average IQ was now 101. The two children who had not been adopted were reinstitutionalized and lost their initial gain. The control group, the twelve children who had not been transferred to Glenwood, had remained in institution wards and now had an average IQ of 66 (an average decrease of 21 points). Although the value of IQ tests is grossly exaggerated today, this astounding difference between these two groups is hard to ignore.

More telling than the increase or decrease in IQ, however, is the difference in the quality of life these two groups enjoyed. When these children reached young adulthood, another follow-up study brought the following to light: ┨e experimental group had become productive, functioning adults, while the control group, for the most part, had been institutionalized as mentally retarded.⼢r> Other Examples of IQ Increase

Other examples of IQ increase through early enrichment projects can be found in Israel, where children with a European Jewish heritage have an average IQ of 105 while those with a Middle Eastern Jewish heritage have an average IQ of only 85. Yet when raised on a kibbutz, children from both groups have an average IQ of 115.

In another home-based early enrichment program, conducted in Nassua County, New York, an instructor made only two half-hour visits a week for only seven months over a period of two years. He spent time showing parents participating in the program how best to teach their children at home. The children in the program had initial IQⳠin the low 90s, but by the time they went to school they averaged IQⳠof 107 or 108. In addition, they have consistently demonstrated superior ability on school achievement tests.

Further References:
• Clark, B., Growing Up Gifted (3rd ed.), (Columbus: Merrill, 1988).
• Dworetzky, J. P., Introduction to Child Development (St. Paul: West Publishing Company, 1981).
• Skeels, H. M., et al., “A study of environmental stimulation: An orphanage preschool project,” University of Iowa Studies in Child Welfare, 1938, vol. 15(4).

Leon J. Kamin (Bell Curve Wars, 1995 p.92): extensive practice at reading and calculating does affect, very directly, one's IQ score.⼢r>

Robert Sternberg on the matter of IQ gains (Interview with Skeptic magazine): "I think it's hard to maintain the IQ gains. But if you think environment is important in the development of intelligence, and you put people in a really good program and you raise their IQ, and then take them out of the program and put them back in the poor environment in which they started, chances are you are going to lose a lot of the beneficial effect. If you give someone antibiotics for a disease, cure them, then put them back in the original septic environment, the disease will return. We've seen this when we work with children with parasitic infections. We can give them Albendazol and it will cure their parasitic infection. But if you put them back in the environment in which they acquired the infection, they will just acquire it again."

I personally do not agree with his comparing of IQ with disease or infection, but his point is valid; I am sure the same can be said for a good music program or art school. I think the main problem here is maintenance. Example: If a body builder does not exercise for some time his muscle mass will decrease. Or, if an artist does not paint for some years his/her skill will diminish. In other words, “use it or loose it.”

There are many other studies that prove IQ to be a non static phenomenon and/or none genetic trait, one of the most notable and well known being the Flynn effect: this study of IQ tests scores for different populations over the past sixty years, James R. Flynn discovered that IQ scores increased from one generation to the next for all of the countries for which data existed (Flynn, 1994). This interesting phenomenon has been called "the Flynn Effect."

”Research shows that IQ gains have been mixed for different countries. In general, countries have seen generational increases between 5 and 25 points. The largest gains appear to occur on tests that measure fluid intelligence (Gf) rather than crystallized intelligence (Gc).”⼢r>

http://www.indiana.edu/~intell/flynneffect.shtml

This being said, how well do IQ tests predict real world success? - According to Stephen J. Gould the only thing an IQ test can predict is how well a person scores on the test. Many others have made similar statements

Robert Sternberg on the matter of intelligence etc: "My first set of interests is in higher mental functions, including intelligence, creativity, and wisdom.- I have proposed a triarchic theory of successful intelligence, and much of the work we do at the PACE Center is in validations of this theory. The theory suggests that successfully intelligent people are those who have the ability to achieve success according to their own definition of success, within their sociocultural context. They do so by identifying and capitalizing on their strengths, and identifying and correcting or compensating for their weaknesses in order to adapt to, shape, and select environments. Such attunement to the environment uses a balance of analytical, creative, and practical skills. The theory views intelligence as a form of developing competencies, and competencies as forms of developing expertise. In other words, intelligence is modifiable rather than fixed."

We use a variety of converging operations to test the triarchic theory--componential (information-processing) analyses, exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, cultural and cross-cultural studies, instructional studies, and field studies in the workplace. The results of all of these kinds of studies have been encouraging.

Key References:
Sternberg, R. J. (1977). Intelligence, information processing, and analogical reasoning: The componential analysis of human abilities.Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Sternberg, R. J. (1985). Beyond IQ: A triarchic theory of human intelligence. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Sternberg, R. J. (1990). Metaphors of mind: Conceptions of the nature of intelligence. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Sternberg, R. J. (1997). Successful intelligence. New York: Plume.
Sternberg, R. J. (1999). The theory of successful intelligence. Review of General Psychology, 3, 292-316.
Sternberg, R. J., Forsythe, G. B., Hedlund, J., Horvath, J., Snook, S., Williams, W. M., Wagner, R. K., & Grigorenko, E. L. (2000).Practical intelligence in everyday life. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Sternberg, R. J., & Grigorenko, E. L. (2000). Teaching for successful intelligence. Arlington Heights, IL: Skyligh

Robert J. Sternberg (b. 8 December 1949) is a psychologist and psychometrician and the Dean of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University. He was formerly IBM Professor of Psychology and Education at Yale University and the President of the American Psychological Association

- Also see work by Howard Gardener.


Sternberg on Psychometric G (a quote from his interview with skeptic magazine): “What I found at that time was that if you use the kinds of tasks that are used in intelligence tests, then you will get the g factor. That statement reflected analyses we did that instead of using individual difference analysis used process analysis. Even using process analysis, we got a general factor. So if you were to ask me, "Do I think that there is general factor in the kinds of tests that psychometricians use?" I would say "Yes." That is a different question from, "If you define intelligence, not just as IQ, but as involving more than what the IQ tests in fact test, is there then a general factor?" then I would say the answer is "No." So the way psychometricians operationalize it, you get a g factor.”

Note: There are three major schools of psychometric interpretation and only one supports the view of g and IQ.


Race and Genetics:

- Osbonre and Suddick (1971, as reported in Loehlin, 1975) attempted to use 16 blood-groups genes known to have come from European ancestors. Testing two samples the authors found that the correlation over the 16 genes and IQ scores was not highly positive as would have been predicted if European genes in Blacks increased IQ scores. In Fact, the correlations were -.38 and +.01. Because the results were not significant, the authors concluded that European genes lower IQ scores.

- Zuckerman (1990) demonstrated the dubiousness of results obtained through race premises. He found much more variation within groups designated, and, like many other species, humans showed considerable geographical variation in morphology (p.1134). Yee, et al. (1993) further concludes this. Also see

- A study conducted Tizard and colleagues involving Caribbean children showed that there was no genetic basis for IQ differences between black & whites. The IQ of the children at the Orphanage was: Blacks 108, Mixed 106, and White 103 (Flynn, 1980; also see Richard E. Nisbett, Race, Genetics and IQ; The Bell Curve wars, 1995).

- Adjustments for socioeconomic conditions almost completely eliminate differences in IQ scores between black and white children.Co-investigators include Jeanne Brooks-Gunn and Pamela Klebanov of Columbia's Teachers College, and Greg Duncan of the Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research at Northwestern University.

- According to most geneticists human populations have never been separated long enough for anything but the most superficial traits to have developed; human psychical traits over lap and graduate into one another. As well, there is as much or more diversity and genetic difference within any "racial" group as there is between people of different racial groups. Traits like height and body shape offer much more genetic information than anything we use to designate the racial groups found here in North America and elsewhere. Also, what is considered black America could be considered white in Africa; that is, social ideas involving race differ from population to population."

- Also, IQ differences in the U.S are not as drastic as some might have you believe. Many researchers put the difference between 7-10 points (Richard Nisbett, 2005; Vincent, 1991; Thorndike et al, 1986; Leon J. Kamin, The Bell curve wars, 1995). As well, this conclusion is only reached after lumping the entire population to together as a single body. The truth is, blacks from the southern, western, Northern, Eastern (etc) regions of the U.S differ markedly in culture and achievement.

bluecafe22
August 23rd, 2006, 10:21 AM
- I am reposting a section of my last post, this time with references. Mind you, some of the cited references are Psychologists and not Geneticists; however, they are still great/reputable references. Enjoy*


According to most geneticists human populations have never been separated long enough for anything but the most superficial traits to have developed; human psychical traits over lap and graduate into one another. As well, there is as much or more diversity and genetic difference within any "racial" group as there is between people of different racial groups. Traits like height and body shape offer much more genetic information than anything we use to designate the racial groups found here in North America and elsewhere. Also, what is considered black America could be considered white in Africa; that is, social ideas involving race differ from population to population." (See Cavalli-Sforza, Menozzi, Piazza, 1994 & 2000; Davis, 1991; Allen & Adams, 1992. Yee, Fairchild, Weizmann and Wyatt, 1993; Also see Dryna, D.Manichaikul, De Lange, Snieder, and Spector, 2001; Holden, 2001; Also, see Flynn 1999; Neisser et al, 1996)

Fred H.
August 23rd, 2006, 11:17 AM
Also, what is considered black America could be considered white in Africa;IOW, all the best NFL running backs—really, virtually all the NFL running backs—really aren’t black after all . . . they’re all white, just like all the owners . . . yeah, that’s the ticket.

James Brody
August 25th, 2006, 06:18 PM
This may be an instance of only reading things that you already believe (for reasons of genomic conflict, maternal investment, and relative estrogen dominance)...

I used to believe as you do, at least until I got out of school.

I also used to believe that you, as "responsible scholar" might consider the orderly structure of data from as wide, and as gifted, a set of observers as those whom you cite. If there is, however, a significant heritability for beliefs such as yours, then you have found the right place in academia where many, including Leon Kamin, have graveyards to defend...

JimB

Daniel Wang
October 23rd, 2006, 11:28 PM
There is another side to the apparent high IQs of East Asians. In fact, what constitutes intelligence is very much debatable in a cross-civilizational context.

To put a complex idea into a few short lines, the Asian mind is bifurcated, where the part dealing with social relations is virtually paralyzed (forced to submit to a strictly hierarchical social code), giving the other part which deals with material things (such as technology) most of its energy. In addition, the unforgiving nature of the Confucian culture is manifested in its uniform child rearing practices, leaving the Asian mind in perpetual insecurity, which propels much of its learning.

Here is the link to my recent book "The Confucian Mind", which traces the evolution of Asian (Chinese and Japanese) psychology since the very beginning:

https://www2.xlibris.com/bookstore/bookdisplay.asp?bookid=35138

Margaret McGhee
October 24th, 2006, 12:34 AM
Daniel, Your book looks very interesting. I'll put it on my list. If you've been following some of these discussions you know that I see the mind as a mechanism that resolves emotional forces to produce behavior choices. I see cognition as a resource that can be called up by emotional need to contribute additional data, weighted with appropriate emotional value - but is basically along for the ride.

I believe that maturing (for all mammals) is developing a functioning emotional landscape in our minds that allows us to survive and find happiness in life. I am sure that there are significant cultural differences in how one's emotional landscape emerges as a product of our development and experience. Your comments on how Asian's think differently are interesting in this regard.

From the excerpts I have read, I saw no mention that genetics is involved in any significant way. Can I assume that is the case generally with your pov? I have known third generation Asian-American friends who seem quite American in their thinking - which would again point to culture as the dominant influence.

Also, in my own experience, I have had occasion to hire employees who were retired from the US military. I was surprised at first to see some consistent behavior patterns - that I attributed to their military culture - that were quite different from my typical male non-military employee. For one, they almost never contradicted or argued with me or any superior. They were always willing to do whatever was asked of them and seemed averse to second-guessing their supervisor - something most of my male employees seemed to enjoy immensely. :rolleyes:

This really stood out - as my companies tended to be free-form, not hierarchical in structure. Employees were expected to constructively question decisions and creatively contribute to the direction. These ex-military employees had a hard time with that - and I had a hard time with them for that reason. None of them worked out to be long term employees.

To me that illustrates the power that culture can have on thinking and behavior patterns - which is the theme of your book it seems. Let me know if I'm on the wrong track. Thanks for your comments.

Margaret

Daniel Wang
October 24th, 2006, 03:09 AM
Margaret,

I do not know if genetics plays a part in human IQ or “smartness” however measured. I am of the point of view that “culture” (a somewhat overloaded and vague term) is not genetic, but rather trained in the family, especially non-Western cultures.

However, since the training starts the day the baby is born, and has a visible impact – laying a framework on the baby’s blank slate – within a short time (sometimes as short as a few months), it often appears to the outside observer that culture is genetically based.

Asian experience tells me that if the human mind is put under enough duress, cognition can and does generate emotions. If I have to love my abusive father to survive, then I will love him. By that I do not mean just obedience, but “sincere” love, with all the devotion and voluntary self-sacrifice implied. My book details this mental process multiple times, under different circumstances. If I have to love my dear leader (Kim Jong Ill is a good example) to survive, then I will love him with every fiber of my existence. Do not believe the argument coming out of China and South Korea that if pushed too far economically, the North Korean government will collapse. The whole country could starve to death and they will still love and worship the Dear Leader, Chinese and South Koreans know this Confucian psyche only too well.

Since the bulk of Asian emotions are of this kind (a symptom of Stockholm Syndrome), both in the family and in the society, it begs new definition, so far not considered in the Western context, of what constitutes real emotion or cognition. If one spends his entire life, as Asians do, under coercion, real and perceived, we obviously can not apply established Western theories of psychology here.

Fred H.
October 24th, 2006, 03:39 PM
I was surprised at first to see some consistent behavior patterns - that I attributed to their military culture - that were quite different from my typical male non-military employee. For one, they almost never contradicted or argued with me or any superior.
Yeah, WACs tended to be passive that way, but male soldiers have been known to frag an incompetent officer on occasion.