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  #31  
Unread March 28th, 2006, 06:02 PM
Margaret McGhee Margaret McGhee is offline
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Default Re: Race Differences and Intelligence

Tom, Thanks for your kind remarks. For your reference,
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. 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

Margaret
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  #32  
Unread March 28th, 2006, 09:41 PM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
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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?)
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  #33  
Unread March 29th, 2006, 09:49 AM
TomJrzk TomJrzk is offline
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Default Re: Race Differences and Intelligence

Margaret, I'm afraid that I might have to agree with Fred (and I see neither ad hominems nor ad homenims in his post!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred H.
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.
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  #34  
Unread March 29th, 2006, 12:46 PM
Margaret McGhee Margaret McGhee is offline
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Tom, I think I was not as clear as I could have been and the fault for any confusion is mine. My statement was,
Quote:
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,
Quote:
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.

Margaret
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  #35  
Unread March 29th, 2006, 03:32 PM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
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Quote:
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/sh...7&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/sh...92&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.”)
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  #36  
Unread March 29th, 2006, 04:41 PM
TomJrzk TomJrzk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred H.
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/sh...7&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.

Last edited by TomJrzk; March 29th, 2006 at 05:10 PM.
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  #37  
Unread March 29th, 2006, 08:08 PM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
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Quote:
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/sh...0&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.
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  #38  
Unread March 30th, 2006, 09:37 AM
TomJrzk TomJrzk is offline
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Default Re: Race Differences and Intelligence

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred H.
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:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred H.
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.

Last edited by TomJrzk; March 30th, 2006 at 10:01 AM.
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  #39  
Unread March 30th, 2006, 11:01 AM
Margaret McGhee Margaret McGhee is offline
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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

Last edited by Margaret McGhee; March 30th, 2006 at 11:13 AM.
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  #40  
Unread March 30th, 2006, 12:11 PM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
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Default Re: Race Differences and Intelligence

Quote:
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.

Last edited by Fred H.; March 30th, 2006 at 12:53 PM.
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