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Tilting at Windmills

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January 10, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

COGNITIVE ABILITIES....Fred Kaplan writes in Slate that the Army has responded to its recruiting woes by dramatically lowering its standards:

The bad news is twofold. First, the number of Category IV recruits is starting to skyrocket. Second, a new study compellingly demonstrates that, in all realms of military activity, intelligence does matter. Smarter soldiers and units perform their tasks better; dumber ones do theirs worse.

"Category IV" is the Army's term for recruits who score in the bottom third of the Armed Forces Qualifying Test. Matt Yglesias comments:

I tend to doubt, however, that this line of criticism will gain any traction, since making the argument requires you to say that IQ tests (which is all the AFQT really is) are an important measurement and most liberals prefer to shy away from the topic.

If that's true, it's too bad for a community that likes to think of itself as reality based. Like it or not, all the PC handwaving in the world won't change the fact that (a) IQ tests are a pretty good measure of the cognitive ability normally referred to as "intelligence" and (b) intelligence is an important trait for a wide variety of modern day tasks. Kaplan reviews the evidence that intelligence matters for military tasks in his Slate piece.

Of course, we all know what the real problem is here: in contemporary discourse intelligence is inextricably bound up with race, which is why it's almost impossible to talk honestly about it. For that we mainly have conservative race demagogues like Charles Murray and Steve Sailer to blame although liberals themselves haven't been entirely blameless either when it comes to demagoging IQ.

In any case, I've long had a suspicion that one of the reasons IQ is so overvalued in our society it's important, but it's not that important is because it's one of the few cognitive traits that's routinely measured. Simply because it's something that most of us can put a number to, it becomes a de facto stand-in for all cognitive abilities, even though it very clearly isn't.

The answer? How about more testing, not less? Cognitive traits like sociability, empathy, self-discipline, and extroversion, just to name a few, are as important in contemporary society as IQ, but most of us have only a vague idea of how we compare to other people in these areas. If we routinely measured these things in addition to IQ, perhaps the lay public would start treating IQ as just one of many important cognitive traits and we'd all start to assign it an importance more in keeping with its true worth. This in turn might help to reduce IQ as the cultural flashpoint that it is today.

Anyway, it's just a thought. Let the rending begin in comments!

Kevin Drum 3:43 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (292)

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Comments

I worked with a guy who commanded a bunch of tanks during the 70s. He said that he finally left when they had to re-write the tank manual at a 6th grade level and some of his men were still having trouble reading it. He figured that it was only a matter of time before someone made a mistake in his general direction and he didn't want to tempt fate.

Posted by: Cathy on January 10, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

i wondered how all of a sudden the military began making even the lowered rates that they had trouble reaching during most of 2005....

category-4......from katrina to recruiting

gwb is a disaster


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on January 10, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

And liberals are to blame for what? Arguing with Charles Murray?

Posted by: Burzootie on January 10, 2006 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Extroversion? Does that mean that on the introvert/extrovert continuum, one end is "better" than the other?

I fail to see why extroversion is quality that is somehow better (by implication) than the alternative.

Posted by: Doctor Gonzo on January 10, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

The answer? How about more testing, not less?

How about more emphasis on teaching and learning, and less emphasis on "scoring"? The reduction of learning to "scoring" has had an incredibly counterproductive effect on actual learning, to the extent that teachers are often tacitly encouraged to teach the test (think "No Child Left Behind").

I am a professor who attended prestigious universities and scored relatively well on the SAT and GRE, so this is not a case of sour grapes, or of liberal "handwringing." Mine is a very real concern about what ever happened to learning? At what point did education devolve into a numbers game? I'd like to know.

Posted by: chuck on January 10, 2006 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with you, IQ tests are important when moonbats think they're important; and they are a despicable intrustion on civil rights when moonbats think they aren't important.

Tell me, is there any traditional liberal platform you lefties won't overturn in your quest to tarnish Bush? Remember, only 3 more years to get the job done.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 10, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Burzootie: Liberals in the 60s and 70s, and many today judging from past comments here, believe that IQ tests are simply bogus, nothing more than a measure of some culturally approved set of norms. I'm afraid that liberals have indeed spent a fair amount of time trashing the idea that IQ (and intelligence) are genuinely meaningful cognitive abilities.

IQ has been misused enough that I have some sympathy for this position, especially when the opposition is guys like Murray and Sailer. Still, reality is reality. We should fight the IQ bigots, but we should also be careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Posted by: Kevin Drum on January 10, 2006 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Gonzo: I didn't say that one was better than the other, only that they're important.

Posted by: Kevin Drum on January 10, 2006 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Two comments:

1) Read Atrois - excellent analysis that IQ tests measure both ability and what we've learned. And second that the army test is intended to measure what the candidate can do now - which liberals wouldn't get too upset by.

2) Why the specific shot at Murray and the Bell Curve crackpots paired with the general "liberals are guilty too", throw-away line?

Posted by: Samuel Knight on January 10, 2006 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

"In any case, I've long had a suspicion that one of the reasons IQ is so overvalued in our society it's important, but it's not that important"

If IQ isn't that important then, what's the point of this post? Sounds like Kevin is trying to have it both ways.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on January 10, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

"Mine is a very real concern about what ever happened to learning? At what point did education devolve into a numbers game? I'd like to know."

But you need numbers to measure. How do you objectively measure if something was learned?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on January 10, 2006 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

CNN is reporting dolphons can count. Maybe we can recruit them.

Posted by: bubba on January 10, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Dr. Gonzo,

Then you should get out more. ;-)

Seriously; that kind of "don't undervalue me!" reactionary quip is the kind of useless, emotion-laden conversation bomb that hobbles well-intentioned measurement efforts. Kevin's point is well-taken that IQ is a sensitive subject for reasons irrelevant to its usefulness as a measure. Why start howling about other measures (especially hypothetical suggestions)?

No. Extroverts are not better than introverts. By implication or otherwise. But they might be more useful for some tasks. So why not measure them?

Posted by: brent on January 10, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

bubba: CNN is reporting dolphons can count. Maybe we can recruit them.

The navy did that years ago.

The army also tried that with cats for Vietnam. As any cat owner could have told them, cats are smart enough to know when to play dumb.

Posted by: alex on January 10, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

CNN is reporting dolphons can count. Maybe we can recruit them.

Actually, they've been recruiting dolphins for some years now for special ops underwater. Crazy, eh?

Posted by: trex on January 10, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you should read Stephen Jay Gould's book "The Mismeasure Of Man." He severely undercuts the use of intelligence tests. Moreover, he did so at least a decade before "The Bell Curve" came out. After reading Gould, it's not clear that IQ is a very good measure of "the thing in the head" (as Gould calls it). In fact, he makes pretty clear that one of the great fallacies behind IQ is "reification": the habit of believing that if we can measure it, it must correspond to something real.

Posted by: Steve Laniel on January 10, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Gonzo: I didn't say that one was better than the other, only that they're important.

I thought that you might have meant that, it was just that the list you provided made for an odd juxtaposition:

Sociability: good to have.
Empathy: good to have (nobody wants to be around a psycopath).
Self-discipline: good to have.
Thus, I drew the conclusion that "extroversion" was another one of those "good to have" traits, something that was unwarranted.

Posted by: Doctor Gonzo on January 10, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

"Liberals in the 60s and 70s, and many today judging from past comments here, believe that IQ tests are simply bogus, nothing more than a measure of some culturally approved set of norms."

This can be easily proven or disproven through a series of simple scientific experiments to isolate social factors. The problem is of course not that liberals believe IQ tests are bogus, but that these tests will prove they are not bogus and thus they will let the experiments take place.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on January 10, 2006 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, no problem! Bush himself scored the lowest passable score on the Texas Air National Guard admission test and still got assigned to the "champagne unit". How do you suppose that ever happened???

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on January 10, 2006 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

I'm a psychologist, and the problem with using measures of other traits is that there's nowhere near the evidence that those other things you mention are related to performance as IQ. People like Gardner have suggested "multiple intelligences," and that has the same failing - his alternative intelligences don't have the same evidence of predictive validity as a general "G" factor.

But I agree with your basic conclusion that IQ is important but not as important as we've made it. It would just be nice to find other measurable traits with good predictive validity.

Posted by: BRussell on January 10, 2006 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

brent,

I'm not terribly worried about anybody undervaluing me, thanks! Like I said, though, the inclusion of "extroversion" in that list seemed a bit out of place. Generally, everybody agrees that more intelligence is better than less intelligence for just about anything. As is sociability or empathy (unless you are looking to hire torturers). Ditto for self-discipline. For all of those things, the purpose of testing is to see if an individual has enough of that trait for the most part.

Extroversion/introversion doesn't seem like it a category like those other traits, although there is certainly valid reasons for testing them, just like there are valid reasons for testing and measuring other personality traits.

Posted by: Doctor Gonzo on January 10, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

If IQ isn't that important then, what's the point of this post? Sounds like Kevin is trying to have it both ways.

No, it is important, but too often a single data point gets misrepresented as completely accurate. For example, myself, I'm fairly intelligent, but I did well on the PSATs (1350+), bombed the SATs (990), scored in the 98th percentile on the ASVAB, joined the military, aced every exam they threw at me. After my enlistment, I started at a community college, then transferred to a well-regarded state school and graduated magna cum laude with a science degree. I did well enough on the LSATs to be accepted to a tier 1 school (but declined because, frankly, lawyering isn't all that appealing to me).

So, should I be judged on that one data point, the SAT, or by the totality of my record? That's the problem with using IQ tests. People tend to regard these numbers as infallible despite the fact that they are generated by an imperfect measurement device. It's like trusting a house to be soundly built by using a coffee table leg instead of a tape measure.

I don't know about your extroversion/introversion test, though, Kevin. Apparently only extroverts can be productive members of society?

CNN is reporting dolphons can count. Maybe we can recruit them.

Too bad bubba can't spell. ;)

Posted by: ChrisS on January 10, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Hi Doc Gonzo. Actually, Extroversion is generally associated with more positive outcomes than introversion: It really is "better."

Posted by: BRussell on January 10, 2006 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

For that we have guys like Charles Murray and Steve Sailer to blame...

Yeah, right, blame them for being more honest about the issue than you.

If you're going to discuss I.Q., then you're going to have to face up to the discrepancies between ethnic groups. Perhaps there's a solution to this (and Sailer has in fact offered a few proposals for closing the gap) but you're certainly not going to find it by anathematizing the guys who point to the problem in the first place.

Posted by: Derek Copold on January 10, 2006 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, they've been recruiting dolphins for some years now for special ops underwater. Crazy, eh?

Not to mention Seals.

Posted by: Stefan on January 10, 2006 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

I represented a couple of Cat IV's in court martials during the early 80's. Those were the hardest trials in which I've ever been involved. I had to explain everything at least twice. I went to trial because the punishment was minor. Of course, there were no Cat IV's at Mogadishu.

Posted by: Joe on January 10, 2006 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Would you want a Blackhawk pilot flying over your village with an 85 IQ, but who's such a swell guy he scored well on an introvert/extrovert graph? How about your son's emergency room surgeon? Until you guys are ready to quit killing the messenger on the IQ test issue you will not come out into the sunlight of a truly reality based community. Rather than a vaugue ad hominum, why don't you give one specific as to why Murray is disengenuous, wrong-headed, or insincere.

Posted by: minion of rove on January 10, 2006 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum: The answer? How about more testing, not less?

Testing to what end? The problem with IQ tests is that they've become a fetish for some people. Their original purpose was as a diagnostic to determine whether an individual was doing poorly in school because of some cognitive problem or something else (eg behavior or lack of effort). That's it.

Since then tests have become far more specific and useful for the original purpose. I suspect that Binet would be very happy with this. Meanwhile mainstream kids are given the same old silly type of test, as though it was a useful measure for them.

The best measure of a kid's school performance is how well they're doing in school. If they're doing poorly, and simple "work harder" doesn't help much, then test them for specific problems. If a kid is an exceptional student, then challenge them more.

Don't turn testing, narrow or comprehensive, into a pointless fetish.

Posted by: alex on January 10, 2006 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

"Would you want a Blackhawk pilot flying over your village with an 85 IQ, but who's such a swell guy he scored well on an introvert/extrovert graph? How about your son's emergency room surgeon?"

Is it kinda like how a liberal would send their kids to private school but want to send others' kids to public school?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on January 10, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

We've lowered our standards for what constitutes a legitimate and competent president with Bush 43, so why wouldn't we lower our standards for the military too?

And the Bush administration has certainly lowered its ethical standards, moral standards, truth standards, and science standards, so what was left?

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 10, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure what Mr. Drum's point is. The military uses the ASVAB (the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) to rate prospective recruits -- not IQ tests. While I'm sure there's some overlap between the two, and that a person who does well or poorly on one is more likely to do well or poorly on the other, the ASVAB is, as the name implies, much more oriented toward measuring vocational skills.

I think Kaplan is just about the only reason to look at the Slate web site, but some of the examples he cited in this column seemed a bit off. For instance, he mentioned evaluations in which various categories of soldiers had to get signals stations up and running. I'd really like to know how many recruits of the lowest categories actually end up in signals units. Very, very few, I'd guess.

More useful would be a study measuring discipline problems among the different categories. Since I suspect that the infantry units would get disproportionate numbers of lower category troops, the big worry (in a place like Baghdad, anyway) would be how likely they are to give in murderous impulses.

Posted by: sglover on January 10, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

From the questions asked on the ASVAB, I think it's a serious misnomer to call it an "IQ test." It's pretty clearly a knowledge test like the SAT.

Unless someone here can convince me that the ability to figure out "If 6x - 3y = 30 and 4x = 2 - y then find x + y" is inborn and not taught, I think we've started a bogus argument.

The test is online here:

http://www.asvab.us/test/mathematicsknowledge.htm

Posted by: Mnemosyne on January 10, 2006 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

I for one am sick of lines that start with "liberals . . . " and then refer to the most extreme, defensive, self-hating among us, whose opinions have little or nothing to do with traditional liberalism. If liberalism is the willingness to be open minded about real problems and the willingness to try things to fix them, then liberalism as a doctrine does not demand that we buy into any particular position on the worth of the IQ test, or nuclear power plants or genetically modified foods, all of which I support. Nothing illiberal about those views, supported by facts and logic and shared by many other liberals.

Real world liberalism ought to object to discrimination based on race. Well it did, and it led to the Civil Rights Act and freedom to vote without being charged the poll tax, and a host of other improvements, including integrated schools. Those are the changes that southern conservatives left the Democratic Party over. Now they complain about judges who make law, because they didn't like the "law" that got made.

The fact that people disagree over IQ testing and the statistics that result should not be an issue of liberal vs conservative, although it often has been. I suppose that is because the results are not consistent enough with the wishful thinking of civil rights advocates on the one hand, and all too consistent with the views of conservative bigots on the other. I would suggest that unlike bigotry, science is (or at least can be) self-correcting, at least eventually, and someday we will either know a lot more or decide that the racial questions have become irrelevant.

Posted by: Bob G on January 10, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

what BRussell said.
it'd be nice to measure other traits with proven utility but we haven't been able to do it with much validity yet.

Steve Laniel. Gould's book (primarily written by his grad students) was a popular level history of 19th century biases which somehow was used to disparage a field that Gould knew nothing about. It's not taken seriously. (It's like confusing James Gleick with a serious mathematician.)

Posted by: Nathan on January 10, 2006 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

""The answer? How about more testing, not less? Cognitive traits like sociability, empathy, self-discipline, and extroversion, just to"

ha ha! Then we can test ''flip-floping'. I bet LIBERALS like you will test as a geniuos!

---------------------------

'FLIP. FLOP. FLIp. FLOP. Whats that sound? Sounds like a Drippy Hippy to me!' - GastroGuy269

Posted by: GastroGuy269 on January 10, 2006 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom F*cker: Is it kinda like how a liberal would send their kids to private school but want to send others' kids to public school?

You have a typo. You sentence was supposed to read . . .

Is it kinda like how a [conservative] would send their kids to private school but want to send others' kids to public school?

Or maybe it's just you lying again.

Who can tell anymore.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 10, 2006 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

If you're going to discuss I.Q., then you're going to have to face up to the discrepancies between ethnic groups.

That's right. I mean, Italian kids had IQs that were a full 20 points lower than those of native-born white kids, and Jewish kids did even worse on IQ tests:

http://www.epinet.org/content.cfm/webfeat_lessons20000202

When are we going to stop coddling all of these ethnic groups and face the fact that they're deficient? Huh? Clearly, they'll never make anything of themselves in American society.

Interesting how IQ correlates so closely with the parents' employment. Why, you'd almost think these working-class and poor kids weren't getting a very good education or something.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on January 10, 2006 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

Hi Doc Gonzo. Actually, Extroversion is generally associated with more positive outcomes than introversion: It really is "better."

I'm not sure how this even came up, but is extroversion considered some kind of indicator of curiosity, e.g., novelty-seeking behavior? It's easy to see how that might be important in some of definitions of intelligence, cognitive skill, what have you.

Posted by: sglover on January 10, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

C'mon guys (Matt and Kevin). This one can be resolved without venturing into the dark woods of testing bias and the nature of intelligence. The important question is not whether our military is recruiting the best and the brightest by some universal innate intelligence standard, but whether it's recruiting the best and brightest in terms of the standards that creates a better military. In short, does the AFQT accurately predict the war-waging abilities of recruits? Does a high score correlate with battlefield sucess? Ultimately, are the military's standards appropriate for military purposes, and are the Armed Forces compromising those standards?

Posted by: pickabone on January 10, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

"From the questions asked on the ASVAB, I think it's a serious misnomer to call it an "IQ test." It's pretty clearly a knowledge test like the SAT."

Weren't liberals arguing the SAT was culturally biased as well, and wanted to do away with it to justify discriminatory admission practices at certain universities?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on January 10, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

I'm pretty sure I got the oil pan in the jeep question right on the asfab, but I'm also pretty sure I'd get it wrong with a wrench in hand looking down at a broken down jeep.

Posted by: chris on January 10, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom F*cker: This can be easily proven or disproven through a series of simple scientific experiments to isolate social factors. The problem is of course not that liberals believe IQ tests are bogus, but that these tests will prove they are not bogus and thus they will let the experiments take place.

I believe we can both agree you meant to say . . .

This can be easily proven or disproven through a series of simple scientific experiments to isolate social factors.

The problem is of course not that [conservatives] believe IQ tests are [discriminatory towards them and] that these tests will prove they are not [inept] and thus they will [not participate in] the experiments.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 10, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

If we routinely measured these things in addition to IQ, perhaps the lay public would start treating IQ as just one of many important cognitive traits and we'd all start to assign it an importance more in keeping with its true worth.

What a wonderfully "liberal" idea!

In fact, such a scheme has been proposed for NCLB testing in California schools. The legislature has passed a bill allowing students to submit a portfolio of work in place of passing a test. "Basketweaving" used to be a joke, but the Democrats in Cali are trying to make it law.

See also Don't like the test results? Switch to Spanish. Thankfully, Arnold vetoes.

Posted by: TLB on January 10, 2006 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

When are we going to stop coddling all of these ethnic groups and face the fact that they're deficient?

I don't know how you score on IQ tests, but your reading comprehension leaves a lot to be desired.

In the very post you quoted I mentioned remediating the gap: Perhaps there's a solution to this (and Sailer has in fact offered a few proposals for closing the gap) but you're certainly not going to find it by anathematizing the guys who point to the problem in the first place.

I really don't know if there is a solution to it, but I do know that you're not going to find if it you keep avoiding the topic.

And even if there is no solution, the approach you're taking is extremely counterproductive because it reinforces the most radical racial supremacist argument by default: i.e., when you stigmatize discussing group differences you are implicitly saying that if there are immutable IQ difference than some groups are less human than others.

Posted by: Derek Copold on January 10, 2006 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

That's right. I mean, Italian kids had IQs that were a full 20 points lower than those of native-born white kids, and Jewish kids did even worse on IQ tests:

If memory serves, over the last century median IQ's have been risen substantially across the whole American population, as well as within various ethnic groups -- suggesting that "innate" intelligence tends to follow living standards.

Posted by: sglover on January 10, 2006 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

BRussell (and others, who claim that other measures haven't been studied enough so we should use IQ):

The article Kevin linked (which I wrote, BTW) summarizes some of the research that has been done on self-discipline. Though it's not nearly as much as what's been done on IQ, the preliminary results are intriguing. It doesn't discount the idea that IQ is an important contributor, but it does demonstrate that it's not the only contributor to achievement.

The fact that more research has been done on IQ doesn't mean we should abandon other measures; it suggests we should do more research on the other measures.

Posted by: dave munger on January 10, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

sglover: "I'd really like to know how many recruits of the lowest categories actually end up in signals units. Very, very few, I'd guess."

Actually, there are a number of positions in signal units that require more brute strength than intelligence. Stringing wire (or fiber optics now) or erecting antennas do not require high IQ. In my experience, signal units had both very intelligent and not so bright troops.

Posted by: arkie on January 10, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom F*cker: Weren't liberals arguing the SAT was culturally biased as well, and wanted to do away with it to justify discriminatory admission practices at certain universities?

No.

Liberals wanted to change the test to remove cultural bias and measure actual achievement, rather than familiarity with the cultural norms of White Amerika.

Again, more lies spew forth from your keyboard.

Again, you are caught in your deceipt.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 10, 2006 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

As the number of morons increases, the number of repukeliscum in the military will increase as well.

Today's Repukeliscum party doesn't just ATTRACT the morons, it REQUIRES people to act like morons.

Posted by: POed Liberal on January 10, 2006 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

To "FreedomFighter":

Weren't liberals arguing the SAT was culturally biased as well, and wanted to do away with it to justify discriminatory admission practices at certain universities?

Are you aware of how completely you missed the point of the post that you were trying to skewer?

And to Derek Copold:

And even if there is no solution, the approach you're taking is extremely counterproductive because it reinforces the most radical racial supremacist argument by default: i.e., when you stigmatize discussing group differences you are implicitly saying that if there are immutable IQ difference than some groups are less human than others.

You need a course in remedial sarcasm detection, I'd say.

Posted by: sglover on January 10, 2006 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

CNN is reporting dolphins can count. Maybe we can recruit them.

Geezus!! Even FISH are democrats.

Posted by: POed Liberal on January 10, 2006 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

"As the number of morons increases, the number of repukeliscum in the military will increase as well.

Today's Repukeliscum party doesn't just ATTRACT the morons, it REQUIRES people to act like morons."

Brought to you by: Champions of the unwashed masses, who by the way "support the troops".

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on January 10, 2006 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

The test used to determine eligibility for enlistment is the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT). It measures "trainability," or the likelihood that a potential enlistee will successfully complete initial military training.

The AFQT tests four ares: Arithmetic Reasoning, Math Knowledge, Word Knowledge and Paragraph Comprehension. AFQT results are given in percentile scores for 0 to 99. Scores are grouped into five categories, with I the highest and V the lowest.

By law, the services cannot recruit anyone scoring below the 10th percentile, Cat V. Also by law, no more than 25% of recruits can have scores in the 10th through 30th percentiles, Cat IV.

Since the early 80's the services have restricted the number of Cat IV recruits below the legal limits, ranging from almost zero to ten percent. Generally the Air Force and Marines took the fewest and the Army taking the most. In all but exceptional cases, Cat IV recruits had to be high school graduates.

What we are seeing now is not only an increase Cat IV recruits, but an increase in non-high school graduates. Just as AFQT scores predict success in completing initial training, high school graduation predicts successful completion of the entire initial enlistment.

The increase in Cat IVs and non-high school grads may alleviate the problem of getting the right number of "butts on the bus" (as we used to say in recruiting) but only at the expense of higher attrition rates in training and during those recruits' term of service. This also is likely to pose problems with the services' career personnel planning and management. Fewer people making through their enlistments means fewer people available to reenlist and an increased number of those will be less desirable to bring into the career cadres.

The longer the increased intake of lower quality recruits lasts, the harder it will be for the services to keep force quality up and the harder it will be to rebuild force quality after recruiting improves.

This is all of a piece: accelerated equipment wear and tear, increasing equipment cannibalization rates, recruiting problems, retention problems in critical personnel fields. No single of these problems is a show stopper. But taken together and lasting long enough they can do significant long term damage to the readiness and capability of the military.


Posted by: Paul E. Tickle on January 10, 2006 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

TLB: "The legislature has passed a bill allowing students to submit a portfolio of work in place of passing a test."

Isn't this how grad students are treated? How many real world situations do exams resemble?

Exams are merely a means to save labour, popularized in the 19th century, using ideas from factory mechanization. Note that where instructors have more invested in students, such as grad school and upper level engineering, "portfolio" results (thesis, projects, oral exams) are preferred. Where the students are considered expendable and in need of "weeding" (1st and 2nd), exams are preferred.

Personally I hate them. I recently went back and did a physics degree, and thought I'd be over it, being older. No. I often didn't sleep for two days prior to exams. It was impossible to maintain relationships. I saw more developing mental dysfunction (anxiety, depression issues and drug use as a means to self-medicate to stay calm, or stimulate after burnout) in the younger students around me than in any work environment I've ever seen, including full time politics.

When students are young, they have no frame of reference. The reality is their environment is severely status-stratified and stressful. And we notice the letting off of steam at breaks, and think they have it easy. They don't. Work is better. The private sector is actually more humane.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on January 10, 2006 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

I'd really like to see some sort of evidence about the "extroversion really is 'better'" thing. A link would be great.

Posted by: Justin Slotman on January 10, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

"sociability, empathy, self-discipline"

These are also retroactively desirable traits in the civilian leadership. But currently MIA.

Posted by: skimble on January 10, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Justin Slotman: I'd really like to see some sort of evidence about the "extroversion really is 'better'" thing. A link would be great.

In engineering school nobody will talk to you if you're an extrovert.

Posted by: alex on January 10, 2006 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom F*cker: Brought to you by: Champions of the unwashed masses, who by the way "support the troops".

No, you don't.

If you supported the troops, you wouldn't be supporting a president who denied them body and vehicle armor in order to protect his tax cuts for the wealthy, then had his Sec Def lie about why the armor wasn't provided.

If you supported the troops, you wouldn't be supporting a president who had the Pentagon try to cut their hazard pay for serving in Iraq.

If you supported the troops, you wouldn't be supporting a president who delayed improvements to body armor because he had more pressing concerns pushing tax cuts for the wealthy.

If you supported the troops, you wouldn't be supporting a president who refused to provide enough troops to get the insurgents the first time around and secure the country.

If you supported the troops, you wouldn't be supporting a president who sent our troops to Iraq on the basis of lies.

If you supported the troops, you wouldn't be supporting a president who fatuously proclaimed "Mission Accomplished" while our troops were still dying and then denied being responsible.

If you supported the troops, you wouldn't be supporting a president who didn't provide the proper training for our troops before sending them in to secure and hold a country.

If you supported the troops, you wouldn't be supporting a president who allows them to be scapegoats for torture policies designed and approved at the highest levels of the administration.

If you supported the troops, you wouldn't be supporting a president who invited terrorist attacks against our troops by saying, in effect, "bring it on."

If you supported the troops, you wouldn't be supporting a president who insists that they stay in harm's way even though there is nothing left to accomplish.

If you supported the troops, you wouldn't be supporting a president who lets the military punish those who don't re-enlist by sending them back to Iraq to serve out their remaining few days or weeks of tour.

If you supported the troops, you wouldn't be supporting a president who invites our enemies to torture our troops by condoning torture of our enemies.

If you supported the troops, you wouldn't be supporting a president who shirked his own duty and then helped defame those who did not.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 10, 2006 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

In engineering school nobody will talk to you if you're an extrovert.

And an extroverted engineer will look at your shoes when he's talking to you.

Posted by: ChrisS on January 10, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Brought to you by: Champions of the unwashed masses, who by the way "support the troops".

Unlike morons like yourself, I do not believe that the unwashed masses are morons. I do believe that the repukeliscum portion of the unwashed masses are morons.

Your inability to figger this out affirms my conclusion.

Posted by: POed Liberal on January 10, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

The dumber the recruit, the more likely he/she is to be the next Lynndie England, not the next Colin Powell.

The military has standards for a reason: the wrong people can be massively harmful in uniform.

Posted by: ColoZ on January 10, 2006 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

dave munger - that's a nice study, I'll have to check it out. But, as you know, there are tons of studies showing associations between various traits and performance. The problem is finding a test that has all the nice measurement characteristics, and then showing in study after study that it "works." So far, we've done that with IQ and other similar standardized tests, but not so much with other traits.

One example: Most of the reviews show that, today, standardized academic tests like the GRE are better predictors of future grades even than past grades. That's quite incredible if you think about it: Your college GPA is based on test after test after test, for year after year. It presumably taps into all the ebb and flow of motivation and self-discpline that comes from studying. And yet one test that you take for a couple hours on one day is a better predictor of future grades than all those previous grades. I think that's pretty amazing.

Posted by: BRussell on January 10, 2006 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

Has anyone here even tried the test?

http://www.asvab.us

I hope this link is a hoax. Please don't tell me the test is that bad. I expect that kind of knowledge from a 10th grader.

Sheesh. They even spelled 'buses' incorrectly. And DOS? Type '1' to continue? What the hell kinda crap program is that?!

Posted by: Tripp on January 10, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

The dumber the recruit, the more likely he/she is to be the next Lynndie England, not the next Colin Powell.

The military has standards for a reason: the wrong people can be massively harmful in uniform.

Amen. Instruction manuals and training materials have been produced in comic-book format for a while now.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 10, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

If you supported the troops, you wouldn't be supporting a president who denied them body and vehicle armor

I voted for the $87B before I voted against it

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 10, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

When I was in high school the ASVAB was given in 10th grade. Gave the recruiters a couple of years head start on the smart ones.

By the way, the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery is the actual name of the test, not the "Armed Services Qualifying Test."

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 10, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK
Actually, they've been recruiting dolphins for some years now for special ops underwater.

"Recruiting" suggests that the process is in some way voluntary. If one wants to treat dolphins as volitional actors at all, the word would be "impressing" or, more bluntly, "enslaving"; if not, OTOH, it would be "using".

Posted by: cmdicely on January 10, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

I fail to see why extroversion is quality that is somehow better (by implication) than the alternative.

Amen. This type of illogic permeates business school pedagogy. Class participation is a huge component of grades and grades are a big factor in who you interview with and what kind of job you get. This creates and reinforces a culture in which there is competition for "air time," individual silence is assumed to be ignorance, and group silence is viewed as wasting a precious resource, i.e, the opportunity to talk and show how smart you are. This begins in school and continues into the workplace.

How about more emphasis on teaching and learning, and less emphasis on "scoring"? The reduction of learning to "scoring" has had an incredibly counterproductive effect on actual learning, to the extent that teachers are often tacitly encouraged to teach the test (think "No Child Left Behind").

Unfortunately, there has to be some measurement system because too many of our public schools are doing their students a disservice. In Massachusetts, there is the MCAS which is given periodically from primary to high school and is required for graduation. I think it has diminished (somewhat) the quality of education in my mostly white, upper middle-class class school system, but it is a useful (if crude) yardstick for a) gauging a baseline of school performance, and b) measuring how various interventions help or impede progress.

2) Why the specific shot at Murray and the Bell Curve crackpots paired with the general "liberals are guilty too", throw-away line?It's important to distinguish between liberal-minded scholars who, for example, argued against the poor scholarship of The Bell Curve and liberal dilettantes who make vacuous claims of the cultural, racial, socioeconomic, and gender biases of all intelligence testing. The latter are akin to the philosophers and legal scholars who feel qualified and empowered to criticize evolutionary biology. The former know what the hell they're talking about. Most informed liberals argue about the malleability and causal factors affecting g, not whether or not intelligence can be measured.

The bottom line: if AFQT scores are going down, that's a bad thing.

Posted by: Mike B. on January 10, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen!

Thank you for wandering in. Missed you terribly.

The recruits they get nowadays rarely make it past Advanced Individual Training. Too many are being washed out either at the basic training level or in school. Many of those who get through both levels of training are being chaptered out within six months of getting to their unit.

That would mean that, regardless of the standards, the system eliminates poorly performing soldiers long after they should have been screened out in the delayed entry process.

It doesn't really matter how low they make the standards--a unit will get rid of a troublemaker as soon as possible.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 10, 2006 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

Advocate for God:

Way to bring the hammer down, big time! Kaboom. Nothing more needs to be said...

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on January 10, 2006 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

Mike B >Unfortunately, there has to be some measurement system because too many of our public schools are doing their students a disservice.

Then use the tests to grade the school, not the students.

"Provincial exams" work that way in Canada. They're only a minor part of the student's grade 12 grades, but the school district has hell to pay if the exam marks don't correlate well with final grades.

Exams are a peculiar thing, that conflate ability to take a sit-down test with knowledge. Their only virtue is standardization.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on January 10, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: I voted for the $87B before I voted against it

And Bush and the GOP held the legislation hostage to Bush's tax cuts, thus necessitating Kerry voting for the version in which protection of tax cuts was not the primary goal of the legislation and voting against the legislation that merely provided the necessary armor.

The only reason the latter came latter is because the GOP controls the order of vote.

So, don't pretend Kerry's voting for before against or against before for has any real meaning.

Such pretense is simply mendacious.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 10, 2006 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

Justin Slotman: It's very well known that extroversion is correlated with happiness and subjective well-being. Of course, it could also be that happiness leads to extroversion rather than the reverse.

Here's a url to one paper that was online by Diener, one of the leading experts in the area of :
http://www.psych.uiuc.edu/~ediener/hottopic/paper1.html

I believe the I/O people find that extraversion is associated with job performance, but I'm not as sure on that one.

Posted by: BRussell on January 10, 2006 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

The military has standards for a reason: the wrong people can be massively harmful in uniform.

I would suggest that this is true for the "wrong people" in critical jobs.

Seems to me the military has ongoing needs for personnel in jobs that might be condsidered "simpler" in nature that would be logically filled with Cat 4 recruits, e.g. kitchen workers, base maintenance, supply workers, munitions handlers, etc.

Posted by: pencarrow on January 10, 2006 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

Then use the tests to grade the school, not the students.I'm all for that. In fact, I think that the testing should be down on representative samples of students, not on all students. Teachers and administrators should be judged accordingly. So-called "high-stakes" testing is punative in my opinion.

Posted by: Mike B. on January 10, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Without getting into exruciating detail, the AFQT actually a subset of the ASVAB. The AFQT score is computed separated from several other scores generated from the ASVAB. It used to be that the AFQT could be taken without taking the ASVAB, but years ago it was folded into that test. If you look at the applicable federal statute and the various services' recruiting manuals, you will see that the all specify the Armed Forces Qualification Test as test for determining enlistment eligibility, not the ASVAB.


Posted by: Paul E. Tickle on January 10, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

AOG
Hey, Kerry can vote against funding the troops for whatever reason Kerry wants to use. He still voted against funding the troops. I don't know why you feel the need to dream up reasons for him, but whatever.

And I don't think it's Republicans carrying those signs that say "We support the troops, when they shoot their officers".

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 10, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Extroversion correlates with sociability, positive affect, gregariousness, risk-taking, and a variety of other traits valued by our society. About 3/4s of the US population is extroverted. However these proportions reverse when you look at specific occupations. For example, most mathematicians and scientists are introverts. Introversion correlates with tendency to experience negative affect (neuroticism) but also perfectionism, social inhibition, conscientiousness, etc. Poets and writers are frequently introverts.

The problem with using extraversion or introversion as a predictor of occupational success is that most people can learn to do the tasks involved in a job equally well, but their personality dictates only whether they would enjoy doing that job. Many teachers are introverts. They have strengths in intellectual analysis and organization, empathy, attention to detail, but may experience anxiety everytime they give a talk. They may speak fluently and well, even charismatically, but suffer while doing it. Does the internal suffering matter if the work product is the same and if no one knows the person is self conscious about speaking?

That's what bRussell means by lack of predictive validity. Extroversion predicts what someone might choose as entertainment, not whether they can successfully accomplish a job.

Posted by: Nancy on January 10, 2006 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum writes:

"Of course, we all know what the real problem is here: in contemporary discourse intelligence is inextricably bound up with race, which is why it's almost impossible to talk honestly about it. For that we mainly have conservative race demagogues like Charles Murray and Steve Sailer to blame even though liberals themselves haven't been entirely blameless either when it comes to demagoging IQ."

Actually, it's quite easy to talk honestly about IQ. Charles Murray and I do it every time we write about IQ. All that it takes to be honest about IQ is to be willing to put up with demagogic smears from the likes of Kevin Drum.

Posted by: Steve Sailer on January 10, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

Hello Pale Rider! I've missed you too.

In the Air Force, the branch I know best, the scores to get in are higher than the other branches. A lot of the Airmen in my husbands command were good enough to get in, but they weren't good enough to stay in.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 10, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

"Actually, they've been recruiting dolphins for some years now for special ops underwater."

I think it's a bit of a stretch to call what they're doing with dolphins and special ops "recruiting." Sounds more like "drafting" to me.

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 10, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

Heh. I've never seen a dolphin walk into a recruiting office, although a Cardinal once did.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 10, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Seems to me the military has ongoing needs for personnel in jobs that might be condsidered "simpler" in nature that would be logically filled with Cat 4 recruits, e.g. kitchen workers, base maintenance, supply workers, munitions handlers, etc.

Except that those jobs are now subcontracted out to civilians rather than being handled by military personnel. Which means that Cat 4 recruits who might have been put in those jobs must now be put in other jobs, like prison guard.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on January 10, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Mnemo: Back in they day, they just gave those jobs to the minorities.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 10, 2006 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

A Pat Tillman joke? that's sick, even by your standards of dark humor, GC.

Posted by: Doesn't Matter on January 10, 2006 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry. I almost didn't post that comment. If I get flayed, I probably deserve it.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 10, 2006 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

"'FLIP. FLOP. FLIp. FLOP. Whats that sound? Sounds like a Drippy Hippy to me!' - GastroGuy269"

SOOOOOOOOO 2004.

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 10, 2006 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

We used to "sell" the ASVAB to the schools as a way for them to get free vocational aptitude testing for their students. We agreed to provide the results of the test to their guidance counselors along with information on how to interpret the results. Of course, we also got info on students who could pass the AFQT.

It was an easier sell with the smaller schools that often had more limited resources for guidance testing. Of course, that was back in the day when "vocational training" was not a dirty word and parents, teachers and guidance counselors recognized that not every single child was going directly to college. There has been work correlating various ASVAB scores with various college curriculums and majors, but even so the obvious tie-in of the ASVAB to military recruiting makes selling the test harder every year.

Posted by: Paul E. Tickle on January 10, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

I would suggest that this is true for the "wrong people" in critical jobs.

Yeah, but few organizations have to assess and work with the raw material that the DoD does. And in the non-military world few people even become eligible for "critical" jobs until they've completing some sort of formal training, which is usually a lengthy, self-selecting process.

Posted by: sglover on January 10, 2006 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

My son has an even worse dark humor than I do. Some examples: About the WTC, he said "it really is 'Lower Manhattan' now, isn't it?" About the Chiefs defeating the Jets this season, he said "It isn't the first time Jets went down on Sept. 11" and about the faulty report out of West Va "Tomorrows headline will read 'A Miner Mistake'" (I think there might be a genetic link to dark and macabre humor.)

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 10, 2006 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for telling everyone I'm over 40, Paul E. Tickle. A lady loves that!

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 10, 2006 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

One reason IQ is measured often and other psychological/cognitive tests are very rare is a surprising result of IQ testing. One which supports the idea that "intelligence" is a useful concept and IQ tests are a useful measure. It is an observationm (not an assumption) that people's scores on different types of IQ test are highly correlated. This came as a surprise to Binet way back when.

In contrast, measurements of other attributes tend to be very highly dependent on the exact test. IIRC there was only a very modest correlation in the results of a test which measured willingness to cheat and one which measured willingness to lie. Thus the idea that honesty has an important principal component, as well as interesting facets, is not as well supported by the data as the idea that intelligence has such a component.

This does not mean that the useful part of IQ testing is the overall score. In fact, the relatively rare cases of large differences in scores on subtests is very useful. AMMTMASK (as my momma told me and she knows) an IQ test with a very low verbal score is useful as it is a hint of a specific learning disability (dyslexia) which it is possible to work around.

Now it does so happen that momma's who want to believe that their kids are smarter than they seem do tend to over diagnose dyslexia. Given my spelling, it isn't all that surprising that my momma suspected I was much smarter than I appeared to be but also dyslexic. However, I have heard a rumor that Michael Froomkin's mother had the same suspicion. Check out www.discourse.net and try not to shudder at the thought of what that guy would write if he didn't have a learning disability.

Posted by: Robert Waldmann on January 10, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

For that we mainly have conservative race demagogues like Charles Murray and Steve Sailer to blame

I'm saddened that Kevin himself has to stoop to demagoging and writing such libels, but if he feels that doing so provides him with cover and allows him to triangulate off of Sailer and Murray in order to raise the topic, then maybe some virtue can be salvaged from such dispicable tactics. It's a very effective technique - Clinton triangulated off the Republicans to pass welfare reform and Social Democrats triangulated off Communists to pass the welfare state. Kevin is by leaps and bounds the most "progressive" of the liberal bloggers and has the clearest vision of reality.

Mnemosyne,

Interesting how IQ correlates so closely with the parents' employment. Why, you'd almost think these working-class and poor kids weren't getting a very good education or something.

Chew on this for a while. The heritability of intelligence:

1. Monozygotic twins raised separately following adoption show a correlation of 0.72 for intelligence

2. For 48 identical twin pairs separated in early infancy and reared apart, Bouchard et al. found remarkably high between-twin correlations for verbal scores on the WAIS (0.64) and for the first principal component of special mental abilities (0.7

3. Psychometric g has been shown to be highly heritable in many studies, even more so than specific cognitive abilities (h2 = 0.62; h2 = 0.60.8,) ...

4. Intriguingly, the influence of shared family environments on IQ dissipates once children leave home between adult adoptive relatives, there is a correlation of IQ of -0.01

The heritability of height:

The importance of these groups is that they consist of the same individuals. The highest age-stratified heritability estimate (h2 = 0.88 ( 0.06)) was for height in the model adjusting for gender over all three age groups. SBP gave the lowest heritability estimate (h2 = 0.15 ( 0.11)) for the 70 age group in the model adjusting for gender, height, BMI, smoker, and drinker. BMI had slightly higher estimates (h2 = 0.64 ( 0.11)) in the 40 age group than previously published. The highest age-adjusted heritability estimate (h2 = 0.90 ( 0.06)) was for height in the model adjusting for gender. SBP gave the lowest heritability estimate (h2 = 0.38 ( 0.09)) for unadjusted model.

So let's paraphrase your reasoning, as follows - "Interesting how a child's height correlates so closely with the parents' height."

You think I'm leaving out the linkage between parent's IQ and their employment prospects. Nope, here it is from Scientific American:

Half a century of military and civilian research has converged to draw a portrait of occupational opportunity along the IQ continuum. Individuals in the top 5 percent of the adult IQ distribution (above IQ 125) can essentially train themselves, and few occupations are beyond their reach mentally. Persons of average IQ (between 90 and 110) are not competitive for most professional and executive-level work but are easily trained for the bulk of jobs in the American economy. In contrast, adults in the bottom 5 percent of the IQ distribution (below 75) are very difficult to train and are not competitive for any occupation on the basis of ability. Serious problems in training low-IQ military recruits during World War II led Congress to ban enlistment from the lowest 10 percent (below 80) of the population, and no civilian occupation in modern economies routinely recruits its workers from that range.

IQ is the independent variable that has strong predictive value for life outcomes. It, of course, isn't anywhere near certainty but it is too large to ignore.

While I'm at it, please entertain us with a culturalist explanation for the following:

. . new research showed Pakistani families produced an alarming 30% of the UK's genetically diseased children. . . .found that at least 55% of the community was married to a first cousin. . . .British Pakistani family is at least 13 times more likely than the general population to have children with recessive genetic disorders. . . .while British Pakistanis accounted for just 3.4% of all births, they had 30% of all British children with recessive disorders and a higher rate of infant mortality.

The ugly new health vs culture focus on British Pakistanis comes just days after separate new research described them as languishing at the bottle of the social mobility league table.

You can get background from these studies. Inbreeding depression:

The 50 inbred children were products of marriages between first cousins; their mean age was 7.7 years (range, 6-11 years). A significant (p 0.001) negative association was found between inbreeding and score on the Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-C). In addition, the weighted mean IQ of inbred children )88.4 + or - 1.37) differed significant (p 0.001) from that recorded among 50 noninbred controls of similar age and socioeconomic status (99.6 + or - 2.0).

and data on worldwide consanguinuity rates in Africa, Europe and a map here. Here are the findings:

Tanzania 37.8%
Algeria 22.6% - 34%
Nubia(Arabs) 69.8%
Egypt-Rural - 39.1%
Egypt-Suburban - 26.8%
Egypt-Urban - 22.1%
Sudan 44.2%
Tunisia - 26.9%
Guinea - 25.9%
Nigeria - 51.2%

Czechoslovakia - 0.2%
Hungary 0.5%
Great Britian - 0.2%-0.4%
Norway - 0.7%
Italy - 1.1%-1.6%
Spain - 4.1%
France - 0.8%

So, do you really posit that in the case of the British Pakistanis that White Britain is able to discern a Pakistani from a Indian who is Hindu and thus discriminates against them to such an extent that the SES of these phenotypically similar groups is now quite wide? What makes the Pakistani community in Britain immune to inbreeding depression? What makes the community exempt from cognitive demands that are necessary for more advanced job prospects? How do you as a culturalist, ignore the genetics, and ascribe life outcomes solely to environmental factors?

Posted by: TangoMan on January 10, 2006 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

c-nut would pass neither the weight nor IQ test for admission into the military.

If the sole criteria for admittance were a compulsion to try and score cheap rhetorical points though daft generalizations, historical revisionism, childish name-calling, and a misplaced smug cynicism -- then he'd be officer material.

Posted by: trex on January 10, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

Except that those jobs are now subcontracted out to civilians rather than being handled by military personnel.

But would this also be true of these jobs in a war zone?

Posted by: pencarrow on January 10, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and did I mention cognitive dissonance and intellectual dishonesty? He'd be on the fast track for sure.

Posted by: trex on January 10, 2006 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

I know it'll do no good to feed the trolls, but here I go.

conspiracy nut writes:
Kerry can vote against funding the troops for whatever reason Kerry wants to use. He still voted against funding the troops. I don't know why you feel the need to dream up reasons for him, but whatever.
Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 10, 2006 at 5:36 PM

Ummn, no. But don't let the truth get in the way of whatever point you're trying to make. Voting against a bill that contains, among other things, funding for troops is not the same thing as voting against funding the troops. If I propose a bill that links lowering marginal tax rates to forced sterilization of anyone who posts on the PA site under the name conspiracy nut, and you vote against it, is that the same thing as voting against lower taxes?

Steve Sailer writes:

Actually, it's quite easy to talk honestly about IQ. Charles Murray and I do it every time we write about IQ. All that it takes to be honest about IQ is to be willing to put up with demagogic smears from the likes of Kevin Drum.
Posted by: Steve Sailer on January 10, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

I can only hope that you're not the real Steve Sailer. However misguided he is, I'd like to believe that he's a little more familiar with the meaning of words like "honestly" and "demagogic," and more familiar with the logic lacking in "all it takes...[to talk honestly] is to be willing to put up with...", than is the person who posted under his name.

Posted by: keith on January 10, 2006 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you should read Stephen Jay Gould's book "The Mismeasure Of Man." He severely undercuts the use of intelligence tests.

Ahahahaha!

The Mismeasures of Gould
http://www.eugenics.net/papers/jprnr.html

THE DEBUNKING OF SCIENTIFIC FOSSILS AND STRAW PERSONS
http://www.debunker.com/texts/jensen.html

The errors and omissions of the 'revised' edition of S. J. Gould's The Mismeasure of Man
http://www.ssc.uwo.ca/psychology/faculty/rushtonpdfs/Gould.pdf

Neo-Lysenkoism, IQ and the press
http://www.cpsimoes.net/artigos/art_davis.html

Reflections on Stephen Jay Gould's The Mismeasure of Man
http://www.mugu.com/cgi-bin/Upstream/Issues/psychology/IQ/carroll-gould.html

Moreover, he did so at least a decade before "The Bell Curve" came out. After reading Gould, it's not clear that IQ is a very good measure of "the thing in the head" (as Gould calls it). In fact, he makes pretty clear that one of the great fallacies behind IQ is "reification": the habit of believing that if we can measure it, it must correspond to something real.

IQ has more predictive power (SES, etc.,) than any one thing you can name.

Posted by: Svigor on January 10, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

What exactly is it that Steve Sailer and Charles Murray say that you disagree with?

Posted by: daveg on January 10, 2006 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

If I propose a bill that links lowering marginal tax rates to forced sterilization of anyone who posts on the PA site under the name conspiracy nut, and you vote against it, is that the same thing as voting against lower taxes?
Yes, because I just voted against it.

But please, continue, I'm interested in this "voting against something isn't voting against it" line of reasoning.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 10, 2006 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

Pencarow: Ever heard of Haliburton? They are the ones contracted for supply lines and canteen services. There isn't an "Igor" cooking like there was on M*A*S*H anymore.

These "contractors" are paid a hell of a lot more than troops, still from the government coffers, of course.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 10, 2006 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

Advocate for God: Such pretense is simply mendacious.

conspiracy nut is too stupid to be mendacious. He simply, mindlessly, slavishly, mechanically regurgitates talking points.

That is, when he occasionally rises to the level of regurgitating talking points. More often, he just yells "Lefty! Moonbat! Dan Rather! Michael Moore!" at random.

Here, he manages to drool out the phrase "voted for the $87 billion before voting against it." Why? Because he's heard other rightwingers say it. He doesn't know what it means, but since he's heard other rightwingers say that, he figures that he'll be cool if he says it too.


Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 10, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

Are real IQ tests so broadly given anymore, if they ever were? How many people here have ever had a real IQ test given to them, as opposed to a proxy like the SAT or the ASVAB? I had one (WISC-R) only because my father's girlfriend was a school psychologist and so had the materials at hand, but I would like to know the fraction of the population as a whole that ever gets one.

thanks,

charlies

Posted by: charlies on January 10, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

daveg,

What exactly is it that Steve Sailer and Charles Murray say that you disagree with?

Without Sailer and Murray, Kevin would have no cover - he couldn't point to the "bad guys" and imply that he's not as bad as them. Without Sailer and Murray Kevin would be the bad guy for raising the topic in the midst of a liberal audience.

As it is, Kevin is doing a service for the liberal community (I know, just what he needs, praise from the likes of me) by pushing the topic so that it is discussed rather than blithely ignored and imagined to have no real world consequences.

It would be most informative if Kevin could show Sailer and Murray how one could write about IQ and race without being victim to the unwarranted charge of demogogery? I, for one, would be most interested in reading any liberal article that addressed the topic honestly. I'd also be curious to see if the writer would be immune from the pitchforks crowd that is poised to attack the bona fides of any liberal broaching the subject.

The point - if you don't like the issues raised by Sailer and Murray counter the facts from a liberal perspective.

Posted by: TangoMan on January 10, 2006 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

Liars should always be exposed.

At Jan 10, 4:31 pm Mnemosyne commented:

That's right. I mean, Italian kids had IQs that were a full 20 points lower than those of native-born white kids, and Jewish kids did even worse on IQ tests:

http://www.epinet.org/content.cfm/webfeat_lessons20000202

In actual fact, his original source does not support his claim about Jewish kids. Check it and see.

Couple of points for you all on IQ tests:

  1. multiple intelligence is an attractive concept - if you have multiple dimensions to measure people on then everyone can be above average if you just concentrate on their strengths. Unfortuantely, there is almost no scientific acceptance of the concept of multiple orthogonal intelligences. All the interesting things that most people would consider "intelligence" are strongly correlated with IQ measurements.

  2. Measurements of intelligence also correlate with more basic measurements of neural function and capability such as size of specific areas of the brain and speed of neural transmission. http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/002366.html

  3. Any general intelligence measure is expected to correlate with parents' socio-economic status for a number of reasons:
    1. Genetics
    2. Maternal pre-natal nutrition and the child's nutrition
    3. General treatment of the child - high income parents generally treat their children better, provide more stimulation for them, and apply less physical violence
    4. Motivation of the child to try to do well during the measurement process.

Posted by: Michael Friedman on January 10, 2006 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

IQ has more predictive power (SES, etc.,) than any one thing you can name.

See:
Stephen Fienberg, Daniel Resnick, Bernie Devlin, and Kathryn Roeder (eds.), Intelligence and Success: Is It All in the Genes: Scientists Respond to The Bell Curve, Springer-Verlag, 1997

Christopher Jencks and Merideth Phillips (eds.) "The Black-White Test Score Gap (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 1998)

for more rigorous treatments of the topic than you have cited.

Posted by: Mike B. on January 10, 2006 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

IQ is nothing more than modern day phrenology. Intelligence is not a quantifiable substance. It's not even a rigorously defined term.

Posted by: Tlaloc on January 10, 2006 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

And for the billionth time...

IQ tests tend to be pretty good at testing how smart you are.

But the thing is that being smart isn't entirely a function of intelligence (if we're defining intelligence as the potential for some sort of quantitative thought). Being smart is like being a good actor--it's something you may have a talent for, but it's also a collection of technical skills that a)you need to be exposed to and b)that you become more facile with the more you are exposed to and use them. Like, um, reading.

And also, being smart is the result of a bunch of other things. The same way an actor is a better actor if she's got the ability to not piss off the makeup guy so that the makeup guy makes her look like crap, a person ends up smarter if they are also, say, a charming and adorable little kid who the teachers LOVE to spend time with and explain things to.

So, as a liberal I absolutely agree that IQ tests are a pretty good measure of how smart you are. But what they don't measure at all is how intelligent you are, or even how smart you COULD HAVE BEEN if you'd been born, say, white. Or black.

That's the problem with the Bell Curve. They think IQ tests are scoring on a single thing that is inherent. But actually, they are scoring on multiple things that are a mix of inherent and learned.

I think IQ tests are super-useful to the military precisely because they don't test for intelligence, but they test for smarts. Because, again, if you're the kind of person who could get smart, you're probably the kind of person who was born with or was taught all kinds of other useful things--the ability to get along decently with others, to focus and pay attention when told to, the ability to show up on time many days in a row, etc.

So, really, IQ tests are useful to the military for the same reason they're NOT useful to the Bell Curve guys. It's because they don't test one's native intelligence all that well, but they do a very good job of testing for a whole bunch of useful things--whether inherent or learned--simultaneously.

And also, those Bell Curve guys are racists.

Posted by: theorajones on January 10, 2006 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

Mike B: I recall as a psychology student a million years ago that a group of black academics came up with an IQ test that was geared toward people of color, and whites routinely tested in the socio-cultural retardation range. I believe it was called the BITCH test (Black Inter-Cultural Heritage?) I came up with a bunch of crap like "Ladies, are you a bitch?" when I googled it. Can you verify?

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 10, 2006 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

I'm an African who began my foray into psychometrics after searching for critical reviews of Steven Pinker's "The Blank Slate" and came across Sailer's review of Pinker's book. Ever since then, I've investigated evolutionary science and philosophy more deeply and read the works of Jensen, Hernstein/Murray, Wilson and others. I can understand how a person can reject the conclusions of all these scholars because of that person's desire to maintain an ethical position that counters racism and nepotism, but I think that this approach is misguided.

The fact that intelligence is heritable and that the most significant factors influencing the disparate mean and statistical distributions of intelligence amongst racial groups are also believed to be inheritable is a position that is founded on years of research and testing. It's sad that to make himself look good, Kevin Drum has rejected all this evidence and cast aspersions on the characters of Murray and Sailer.

Posted by: African Man on January 10, 2006 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

Oh lord. The genex crowd is here.

I'd consider a reading comprehension and basic math test pertinent for the entry-level recruit. In some areas, additional written/computer-administered testing might be appropriate, eg, visual/spatial comprehension (those odd rotate-the-figure questions).

I have no clue how one would test for empathy, leadership, etc. People fake those MMPI tests all the time. Self-discipline could be observed by observing physical condition, high school graduation, work history, etc. of the recruit - ie, a resume, transcript, and a fitness test.

Posted by: NancyP on January 10, 2006 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

NancyP: Oh lord. The genex crowd is here.

Yeah, there goes the neighborhood.

Posted by: alex on January 10, 2006 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, no problem! Bush himself scored the lowest passable score on the Texas Air National Guard admission test and still got assigned to the "champagne unit". How do you suppose that ever happened???

See? Intelligence exists when it "proves" conservatives are stupid.

http://www.vdare.com/sailer/kerry_iq_lower.htm

Full disclosure: I despise Bush.

I'm not sure what Mr. Drum's point is. The military uses the ASVAB (the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) to rate prospective recruits -- not IQ tests. While I'm sure there's some overlap between the two, and that a person who does well or poorly on one is more likely to do well or poorly on the other, the ASVAB is, as the name implies, much more oriented toward measuring vocational skills.

Sorry, that's a crock. I scored a 99 on the ASVAB right out of high school, and I had NO vocational skills whatsoever. It's a g-loaded test, just like the SAT and IQ tests (I scored in the top 1 percentile in those too - coincidence? I don't think so).

If memory serves, over the last century median IQ's have been risen substantially across the whole American population, as well as within various ethnic groups -- suggesting that "innate" intelligence tends to follow living standards.

If we didn't have tons of data resulting from transracial adoption studies, twin studies, and the like, that might hold water. We do, and it doesn't.

Liberals wanted to change the test to remove cultural bias and measure actual achievement, rather than familiarity with the cultural norms of White Amerika.

I wish they would. In fact, I wish the whole test was written in ebonics, using examples from the 'hood. Europeans would continue to outscore Afrians, Asians would continue to outscore both, and the matter would be laid to rest.

The test that can both sort people according to g and equalize group scores cannot be devised.

It is an observationm (not an assumption) that people's scores on different types of IQ test are highly correlated. This came as a surprise to Binet way back when.

Yup. Those "EQ" tests are (or can be) just proxy IQ tests. Take an "EQ" test, and give the answers you think they want, rather than the "honest" answer. Using your "E" rather than your "I" can result in a higher score; try the reverse on an IQ test and see how far your "E" gets you.

Posted by: Svigor on January 10, 2006 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen: My son has an even worse dark humor than I do.

Bully for him!

Did he ever see "Fargo"?

Perhaps your husband, as a former cold warrior, could particularly appreciate "Dr. Strangelove".

Two of my all time favorites.

Posted by: alex on January 10, 2006 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

I recall as a psychology student a million years ago that a group of black academics came up with an IQ test that was geared toward people of color, and whites routinely tested in the socio-cultural retardation range. I believe it was called the BITCH test (Black Inter-Cultural Heritage?) I came up with a bunch of crap like "Ladies, are you a bitch?" when I googled it. Can you verify?

If you gave the test in Mandarin, everyone but Mandarin-speakers would fail initially, but eventually everyone would adapt and the gaps would be re-established.

Posted by: Svigor on January 10, 2006 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

Geez Kevin, cheap shot on Sailer and Murray. If you have a problem with their work, the spell it out instead of just calling them demagagues.

Instead, you sound like you'd agree with their point, but you don't want another "chick bloggers" mau-mauing so you'll throw them under the bus instead.

Posted by: beowulf on January 10, 2006 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

Alex: We own 'em both. In fact, when the kids were little and would fight, they would routinely hear "No fighting in the war room!"

Gotta go guys, have a good one, and I will catch you all tomorrow...

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 10, 2006 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

IQ tests are a pretty good measure of the cognitive ability normally referred to as "intelligence"

Evidence of this?

Posted by: Dadahead on January 10, 2006 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen: "No fighting in the war room!"

That always gets my vote for the greatest movie line.

Posted by: alex on January 10, 2006 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK
But would this also be true of these jobs in a war zone?

Increasingly, yes; heck, even armed security has been contracted out to "civilian" contractors in Iraq.

At the current rate, by 2070 or so, if the US needs to fight a minor regional they'll establish contracts with the 111th Executive Decisions Mechanized Division, the 13th Halliburton Combat Logistics Group, and the 5th United Airlines Air Combat Force to actually do the work; the "military" as we know it won't even need to be involved.

(And, if the contracting situation in Iraq is any guide, the contracts will allow the companies to collect full payment even if they decide the security sitaution makes it to risky to actually fight.)

Posted by: cmdicely on January 10, 2006 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

Evidence of this?

www.google.com
www.gnxp.com
www.isteve.com

http://www.lrainc.com/swtaboo/taboos/wsj_main.html

Posted by: Svigor on January 10, 2006 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

And also, those Bell Curve guys are racists.

Of course they aren't because you see, it's "science" - Steve Sailer sez so.

The gang over at American Renaissance are also big fans of Steve Sailer.

http://www.amren.com/mtnews/archives/2004/10/you_have_to_tel.php

Posted by: Nancy on January 10, 2006 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

The Wikipedia article on IQ doesn't seem to bad after a quick glance:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iq

Posted by: Svigor on January 10, 2006 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

I'm starting to wonder if "Svigor" is actually Don P.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on January 10, 2006 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

The gang over at American Renaissance are also big fans of Steve Sailer.

Argumentum ad hominem is one of the primary tools of the left. The first tool is avoidance; don't discuss the issue. The second tool is ad hominem; attack the character of the speaker, suggest guilt by association, etc. The third is obfuscation; construct and attack straw men, publish reams of propaganda, deny your opponent the opportunity to answer, etc.

Bah, never mind my amateurish enumerations, here's the leftist's tool box:

http://www.csun.edu/~dgw61315/fallacies.html
http://www.logicalfallacies.info/

Posted by: Svigor on January 10, 2006 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

I'm starting to wonder if "Svigor" is actually Don P.

For the purposes of argument, sure, I'm Don P. Similarly I'm a racist, a reader of iSteve, Amren, etc.

I'll concede to any ad hominems you want to proffer.

Posted by: Svigor on January 10, 2006 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

Svigor>Argumentum ad hominem is one of the primary tools of [political gamemanship].

The fact that you don't recognize that "toolbox" as being thoroughly common to both the left and right makes me doubt your claims of being in the "top 1%" on an IQ test. Anyone with experience in politics and a thimble of capacity of objective thought can recognize the same sh!t on either side.

And suggesting you might be Don P is not necc. such a degrading attack. For example, he would not have gone off on the little rant about "the left's toolbox" as you did. He (was) stubborn, had an ego, and often frighteningly ammoral, but he's also more aware than that. And dare I say, smarter.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on January 10, 2006 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

The fact that you don't recognize that "toolbox" as being thoroughly common to both the left and right makes me doubt your claims of being in the "top 1%" on an IQ test. Anyone with experience in politics and a thimble of capacity of objective thought can recognize the same sh!t on either side.

Where did I give the right a pass? The right essentially is left on this matter, though not to the same shrill degree. The right is shrilly "race-blind," the position of the left in the first half of the 20th century, the left is environmentally determinist and blames everything on whitey, but both sides are indeed reliant on avoidance and fallacy as you suggest.

I'm not on the right myself, btw; in fact I despise the entire gamut of mainstream western politics.

Posted by: Svigor on January 10, 2006 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

Bruce the Canuck,

The fact that you don't recognize that "toolbox" as being thoroughly common to both the left and right

I have no interest in defending Conservative tactics, so I''m quite willing to agree that these fallacious tactics are used by both sides.

However, the current Republican administration has been on the record stating that they govern by creating their own reality and that they are different from the "reality-based community." It is the liberals who whole-heartedly embraced the moniker of being "reality-based." Therefore, there is less tolerance expressed to a group who claims to deal with subjects as they are, yet employs the toolbox of fallacious arguments to pretend that reality is something more to their liking, than there is for a group that ihas forthfightly admitted to basing their policies and philosophies on fanciful delusions. The Republicans are delusional but the Democrats are hypocrites. Drop the claim that liberals are adherents of "reality based" prinicples and the liberals will go a long way to avoiding the charge of being hypocrites and can share the delusional label with the Republicans.

Posted by: TangoMan on January 10, 2006 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you, Bruce. I've resolved to stop using leftist as shorthand for race-denier or the like. I'm going to have to settle on a better word.

Posted by: Svigor on January 10, 2006 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

ASVAB is not an IQ test - it's a prior educational training test, so the military can figure out where to get the best bang for the buck in the further training they plan to provide.

If you know algebra, the math portions of the ASVAB are a piece of cake. To know algebra is not a function of IQ at the age you take the ASVAB, but more of prior training (classwork) in algebra. IQ can make algebra easier for you to master, with less effort, but a high IQ kid who gets an A with little effort and a medium IQ kid who gets an A with medium effort, and a lower IQ kid who gets an A because of very hard work, effort, and ethic, are going to know the same amount of algebra.

The military just wants to know your prior level of training so they can redirect best under their own programs. If you ace the math portions, the Navy recruiter will steer you to nuclear engineering - if you're terrible at math, they'll steer you to infantry or some other non-technical position (and further training).

Posted by: Jimm on January 10, 2006 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

Jimm: granted, it's not an I.Q. test, but it is a g-loaded test.

Posted by: Svigor on January 10, 2006 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

"Category IV" is the Army's term for recruits who score in the bottom third of the Armed Forces Qualifying Test -- Kevin Drum


I'm certain there's a perfectly good explanation they Category 4 relates to the bottom 3rd.

Posted by: MarkH on January 10, 2006 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

The way to talk honestly about IQ is to resolve to talk honestly _everything_, because all truths are interconnected and interdependent.

Posted by: Steve Sailer on January 10, 2006 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

Jesus Christ not again. Yet another invitation for the wingnuts to spout their Bell Curve nonsense. It has been hashed over enough that it is really getting tedious, and it is a parody of the "liberal" position (even if it is a self parody, I suppose, since it comes from Yglesias).

The Big Issue here, the Point of Principle, has to be broughtregardless of whether or not it has political "traction" for our side.

Specifically, the very large number of idiotic Bush administration policies -- from where and when to fight a war, to troop deployment decisions, to equipment issues and the way they treat veterans once they return -- all of these and many other very insane polices have had devastating effects on our military. They have made military service such a bad decision that people capable of making rational choices through inate "g", educational background, or whatever, no longer wish to serve their country in this way.

This does not make us safer, and it undercuts the entire Bush administration claim to legitimacy.

That is the point at hand. It needs to be made loud and clear and not hijacked by this other bullshit.

Posted by: Ba'al on January 10, 2006 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

Christ, here we go again.

Mostly, I think theorajones above makes the most important points in response to Kevin's rather weird take on IQ tests. Namely, there aren't many people, liberal or not, who contest that IQ tests measure something relevant to success in today's culture, or that they might be useful in distinguishing the good from the not-so-good potential Army recruits. Mostly, that's a matter of pretty indisputable numbers.

The real questions have always been in how reliably those tests measure something both important and innate across groups of people, races in particular.

And for those who have kept up with the literature, the major sticking point to The Bell Curve type of theory is the so-called Flynn effect. That effect basically notes that from, say, the 1930s to today, the average IQ test performance even within, say, whites, has risen by a full standard deviation, and most notably on the subtests supposedly without any cultural component, the so-called "performance" tests.

Want to reduce the Steve Sailor and TangoMan crowd to utter incoherence? Try to get a straight answer out of them as to how their theories handle the Flynn effect.

Expect much gibbering.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 10, 2006 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

Want to reduce the Steve Sailor and TangoMan crowd to utter incoherence? Try to get a straight answer out of them as to how their theories handle the Flynn effect.

Expect much gibbering.

Why don't you explain the Flynn Effect's impact?

Who has adequately explained it? I don't think you're going to be able to support all the inferences equalitarians take away from it, or how it argues against HBD-realist positions.

Posted by: Svigor on January 10, 2006 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, that should read, "why don't you explain the Flynn Effect?"

Posted by: Svigor on January 10, 2006 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK

Who has adequately explained it?

Probably no one, though Flynn has made some interesting observations.

My conclusion? People like you and TangoMan and Steve Sailer should shut up your big mouths until you DO know how to explain it, and stop pretending you have all the answers when you so transparently don't.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 10, 2006 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

"Want to reduce the Steve Sailor and TangoMan crowd to utter incoherence? Try to get a straight answer out of them as to how their theories handle the Flynn effect."

For balance, you should also try to get a straight answer out of culture-only theorists as to how their theories handle the Jensen Effect.

Posted by: JJ on January 10, 2006 at 9:21 PM | PERMALINK

Jimm: granted, it's not an I.Q. test, but it is a g-loaded test.

I don't buy it. Algebra has nothing to do with IQ. The ASVAB is the easiest test I've ever took, because being one of the "magnet" kids in a top California high school, we'd already covered everything the test threw out in toto. It was just a matter of utilizing what we learned in class and bringing back some recall.

It's meaningless to say that one got high scores on the ASVAB, SAT, and IQ tests, so that they all must have something in common, be g-loaded, because the ASVAB is the easiest test of all of them, so if you do well on the SAT and IQ tests, the ASVAB is a sleeper. And the SAT itself is really only a more advanced and longer version of the ASVAB, in terms of measuring prior training. The only real impact IQ will have over prior classroom training and work on the SAT is the analogies section, which is pretty tough (of course this might be because we don't emphasize teaching critical thinking and logic, but that's another story).

If you score well on IQ, then as long as you have a modicum of discipline and work effort, you're going to end up in the "gifted" or "magnet" classes, so you will be ahead of the other kids in terms of what you actually learn in the classroom (especially math and english), and you will do really well on standardized academic achievement tests like the ASVAB and SAT.

But you don't have to have a high IQ score to become a "gifted" or "magnet" student, but instead just need to show academic achievement in earlier grades, for whatever reason you achieve, whether it be because it comes easy to you or you work your butt off. I don't believe I ever seen saw an IQ test until I was already in high school - it wasn't a priority to give kids IQ tests - and we were allowed to take one for entertainment purposes in an English class (our teacher was a bit of a contrarian, and was not high on IQ tests).

There is almost nothing about the ASVAB or SAT tests that is a measure of IQ. You could have the highest IQ around, but if you grew up on a high mountain pass and never had schooling (home or otherwise) that reflected what we teach in our schools and tests like the ASVAB and SAT measure, you're not going to do good on it. IQ tests is a different story, and I'm not going to go into it.

If you haven't been exposed to algebra, you're not likely going to be able to answer questions on it in a time-limited test, no matter how high your IQ is.

Posted by: Jimm on January 10, 2006 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

If there is one person in the room who everyone agrees is really smart, the stuff IQ measures accounts for about half of the difference between that person and the rest of us.

What IQ doesn't measure is

(1) the ability of a person to handle multiple variables and

(2) the ability of a person to survey a situation, decide what facts are important to a decision, and make that decision.

Posted by: anandine on January 10, 2006 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

Jimm,

It's meaningless to say that one got high scores on the ASVAB, SAT, and IQ tests, so that they all must have something in common,

We must give credit where credit is due. Note the Matt Yglesias evolution on this very point. He is self-correcting on the technical points.

August 26th, 2005:

. On top of that Murray and Herrnstein don't quite seem to grasp which things are IQ and which things aren't, as Nicholas Lehman has noted:
What Herrnstein and Murray used to measure IQ is actually a measure of education as well as intelligence. All the people tracked in the National Longitudinal Study of Youth took the Armed Forces Qualifying Test, which Herrnstein and Murray treat as a good measure of intelligence. Because the material covered in the test includes subjects like trigonometry, many academic critics of The Bell Curve have objected to its use as a measure only of IQ and not at all of academic achievement. Herrnstein and Murray concede in the footnotes that scores tend to rise with the subjects' education . . .

My co-blogger, Jason Malloy, comments:

Well, did you wonder if maybe Lehman wasn't the correct authority, Matt? There is an appendix right in the back of The Bell Curve that deals with this issue, which the authors anticipated and justified. The criterion validity between the AFQT and standard IQ tests was just as high as it is between any two IQ tests.

Matt Yglesias on Jan 10,2006:

". . .IQ tests (which is all the AFQT really is) are an important measurement"

franklyO,

Probably no one, though Flynn has made some interesting observations.

Have you even read Flynn's research? In the same Yglesias comment thread Malloy addressed a similar challenge that you pose now. Here's his response, and please let me know what aspect you dispute:

Yes, the Flynn Effect was another environmental effect on IQ that had possible application to the black-white intelligence difference, but that never meant it was the most likely reason for it or somehow intrinsically "debunked" the genetic argument. The fact is, is that a) the Flynn Effect was and is seemingly artifactual, in that its effects are highest on scholastic measures and lowest to nonexistent on the g factor, with absolutely no real-world evidence to indicate the rising scores are valid (and note that James Flynn himself doesn't think the Flynn Effect is an actual rise in intelligence) and b) after 100 years of increasing IQ scores, the black-white difference has remained constant; both black and white IQ has risen at the same speed and the magnitude of the gap has been the same, and moreover, unlike the Flynn gains, the IQ difference between blacks and whites has been externally validated. To top this off, Wicherts et al. (2004) have demonstrated that the factor invariance of the Flynn Effect is nothing like the black-white intelligence difference, after examining a number of large data-sets the authors concluded in direct contradiction to your assertion: "the nature of the Flynn effect is qualitatively different from the nature of black-white differences in the United States . . . the implications of the Flynn effect for black-white differences appear small".

On a closing note, you display the worst tendencies of the closed minded members of the "reality based community" who want to shut out discussion on topics you find ideologically threatening.

Posted by: TangoMan on January 10, 2006 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

U guys are going to find this funny. But I scored higher than 750 on my GMAT (MBA test). Higher than the 20-80% range accepted in Harvard's MBA. Stronger verbal than math and a 6.0 AWA.

IQ is vastly overrated.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 10, 2006 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

TangoMan,

Ah, what a catalogue of evil you have presented.

Fear not, no one here has a closed mind. They have decency and perceptive abilities, and they are not swayed by the filthy lies you and your ilk have arrived to spread.

Just a question...how do you account for the reality of idiot savants? How does the IQ test and the Bell Curve parse and lie about specialized intelligence and skills?

Once you stammer a bit, let's talk about musical theory and intelligence.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 10, 2006 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

Want to reduce the Steve Sailor and TangoMan crowd to utter incoherence? Try to get a straight answer out of them as to how their theories handle the Flynn effect.

Nobody is arguing that environmental effects have no effect. In fact, one of Sailer's explicit suggestions for reducing the current black/white gap is to increase breastfeeding among blacks, since the currently available evidence suggests it is responsible for roughly 5 IQ points, and blacks don't do it nearly as much as whites. And if you actually read "The Inequality Taboo", you'll see that Charles Murray explicitly states that the black/white IQ gap has decreased ~20% over the last few decades, that the cause is most likely environmental, and more specifically that reduced discrimination has probably helped. These guys are NOT trying to keep blacks down; if anything, Sailer is more capable of helping blacks than any IQ-denier. You don't solve problems by pretending they don't exist.

The Flynn effect most likely reflects environmental improvements of various forms. Most of these improvements have helped all races roughly equally; so the Flynn effect alone has tended to leave racial gaps unchanged.

Posted by: Dog of Justice on January 10, 2006 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

These guys are NOT trying to keep blacks down; if anything, Sailer is more capable of helping blacks than any IQ-denier. You don't solve problems by pretending they don't exist.

I really like how you tried to flip that argument around. I also enjoy seeing that you posted with a UCSD e-mail address. So...are we to conclude you're an academic?

Which shill are you?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 10, 2006 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider,

Ah, what a catalogue of evil you have presented.

LOL. Give me a break. I should adopt the Pale Rider tactic of virtuousness by renouncing "reality-based" standards and adopting "ideologically congruent" blinders.

Posted by: TangoMan on January 10, 2006 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

Give me a break. I should adopt the Pale Rider tactic of virtuousness by renouncing "reality-based" standards and adopting "ideologically congruent" blinders.

I should adopt the TangoMan tactic of shilling for liars and spreading bullshit. Except that it would be intellectually dishonest to do so.

Still waiting--explain the mind. Why do idiot savants exist, and why does that skew any meaningful analysis of intelligence as viewed through the dark prism of race?

As promised, we'll chat briefly about musical theory and the cognitive ability of the mind to hear, compose, and ignore music.

Unless you're prepared to flee the discussion. Cowards usually flee. Which shill will take up the challenge?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 10, 2006 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

Why do idiot savants exist,

I don't know why they exist. Please educate me with the answer.

and why does that skew any meaningful analysis of intelligence as viewed through the dark prism of race?

It doesn't.

Your questions are incoherent. Oh, and by the way, please be so kind as to indicate something evil that I wrote. I guessing it had to do with my referencing inbreeding depression that results from consanguinous matings and how this practice is more prevalent in some societies than others.

Posted by: TangoMan on January 10, 2006 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

I should adopt the TangoMan tactic of shilling for liars and spreading bullshit.

I think you're completely off-base in libeling Matt Yglesias in such a fashion.

Posted by: TangoMan on January 10, 2006 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

Scientifically speaking, what is this organ called the brain? Why is it suspended upon the shoulders of men and women and why, dear TangoMan, do we not start with the organ?

The ideas espoused by TangoMan are more at home on stormfront.org than they are here.

But one would suppose TangoMan hasn't drawn anything from the handy white power freaks at stormfront.org. Much of the citation and study used by people who want to start talking about race and intelligence is found there. It's a delightful read, but I advise all of you to eliminate the cookie and the spyware they throw onto your computer.

One can't be too careful these days...

Right?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 10, 2006 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a question. If IQ and other testing is culturally specific, why do Jewish dudes and recent Asian immigrants (especially Asian females) do so well at it?

My theory was that being genetically predisposed to fail at sports and modeling ('cos of shortness), leads to compensatory behaviour that improves testing results.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 10, 2006 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

> Hi Doc Gonzo. Actually, Extroversion is
> generally associated with more positive outcomes
> than introversion: It really is "better."

Excellent example, actually. Extroverts naturally agree with your thesis. Those who are not extroverts disagree, and many of us consider extroverts to be mildly sociopathic. Now, if the "emotional quotient" tests happen to be developed by extroverts, what type do you think will do "better" on them? And if those results are then used to reinforce college and job placement, renumeration....

I trust you get the picture.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on January 10, 2006 at 10:29 PM | PERMALINK

I think you're completely off-base in libeling Matt Yglesias in such a fashion.

He's a hack. I never read Yglesias. The boy needs to live a little more life and then try to write.

What say you now, Mr. White Power?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 10, 2006 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

Cranky,

I'm not sure that I do. For one thing, unlike cognitive tests, practically nobody takes "emotional quotient" tests, so it's really unclear what the reinforcement you mention would be based on.

Higher elevations on extraversion are associated with better performance in sales and management positions. As far as I know, psychological research has not demonstrated any evidence that lower elevations on extraversion (i.e., introversion) are associated with better performance in any type of job.

So at least within that limited prism, it is in fact better to be extraverted than introverted.

Jay

Posted by: JJ on January 10, 2006 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

Why do idiot savants exist,

I don't know why they exist. Please educate me with the answer.

If you have no scientific understanding of the brain and analyzing intelligence, I doubt you could comprehend this concept. But if you think about it really hard, what is a 'normal' brain and what is 'normal intelligence?' Why would you run away from a perfectly good debate like this? If you really want to debate intelligence, let's talk about the exceptions to the rule rather than trying to skew things through race. Oh, that's right--an honest debate is not what you're really after. White Power! That's what you're after.

and why does that skew any meaningful analysis of intelligence as viewed through the dark prism of race?

It doesn't.

See above. A critical component of understanding things is being open minded. Weren't you lamenting this fact a while back on the thread? Or have you conveniently forgotten that?

Your questions are incoherent. Oh, and by the way, please be so kind as to indicate something evil that I wrote. I guessing it had to do with my referencing inbreeding depression that results from consanguinous matings and how this practice is more prevalent in some societies than others.

I'm not going to second guess your breeding preferences, but I can guarantee you, this is the response given by someone who is sputtering and scared shitless. On a blog thread, no less. A while ago, the delightful TangoMan was so smug and so serene, believing itself superior. Alas, you're merely a White Power troll throwing anything and everything out there without a single idea of your own.

Won't you start thinking for yourself? Waiting for the people you shill for to pass you more information to throw up on the thread?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 10, 2006 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

Several things: 1) how much more does the Army need to lower its intelligence standards before conspiring nut and Freedom Fudger are allowed to join?
2) medical doctors are some of the least intelligent people I know. They are great a memorization and diagnostics( much like auto mechanics or computer techs) but offer little in the way of higher thinking
3)BRussel - High school grades/class rank are better predictors of freshman year grades than the SAT. The SAT has a poor correlation with freshman year grades but a moderate correlation with parental income and father's educational level.
4) there is definitely racial/ethnic/geographical components of intelligence no matter how uncomfortable this makes liberals feel.
According to Pogue/Mahone 2004 the intelligence hierarchy looks like this -
from top to bottoem - Irish, Indian, East Asian, Welsh, Malay and South Asian, generic blacks and hispanics, generic whites, upper west side whites, Argentinians and Castillans, southerners, inbreds, Orange County Republicans,

Posted by: college bored on January 10, 2006 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

The sad thing is, TangoMan isn't even smart enough to talk about savant syndrome.

I love throwing out 'idiot savant,' a most regrettable term but necessary to stimulate debate and get things rolling.

All this deep thinking has TangoMan and his White Power friends gathered around the shortwave, trying to reach the Grand Wizard's compound in the wilds of Northern Idaho...

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 10, 2006 at 10:47 PM | PERMALINK

Dog of Justice,

Funny you should use a UCSD e-mail address...

As I was thinking about how best to reveal TangoMan as a White Power shill, I suddenly remembered the concept of 'perfect pitch' as it relates to the brain, development, and intelligence.

Psychologist Diana Deutsch (UC-San Diego) is a reasearcher who has studied the concept of perfect pitch and is a person who possesses perfect pitch herself. Her position? Everyone has a form of perfect pitch wired into them. Perfect pitch is a reality all humans have, regardless of their race. Or is it intelligence in some way? Which is it then? Is the ability to possess perfect pitch a matter of training, of intelligence, or is it something everyone has that merely needs to be realized, regardless of what 'race' they are?

The University of Wisconsin:

Researchers in early infant development, such as psychologist Jenny Saffran and her colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, have tested this phenomenon and observed that infants are almost universally able to make precise distinctions between pitches. Infants later lose this ability, perhaps because it may be a distraction in the course of acquiring normal communicative speech. In other words, if they aren't learning music early on, perfect pitch skills aren't particularly useful after a certain point. Infants enter the world with a structure or hard-wiring that helps them learn, Saffran has said. What's interesting here is we may not have dedicated hardware just for language. The structure is probably general to many complex forms of learning, including music.

So is this a racial thing? Of course not. And here lies the way to really unravel the lies and the bullshit--the shills want to introduce race into subjects where it doesn't belong.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 10, 2006 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

The ideas espoused by TangoMan are more at home on stormfront.org than they are here.

Of all of your comments, this is the one phrase that is coherent enough to actually garner a response. It is this very mindset which you so arrogantly display here, which I assume Kevin was thinking about in both this post and his earlier post on Difficult Sugjects that makes liberals no better than delusional Republicans. You are in no position to categorize what is accepable liberal thinking. I voted for Kerry, and for Gore before him, and for Clinton twice. You've no greater claim to the ideals of liberalism than those which I espouse. You have no right to apportion facts, theories, and argumentation to ideological niches that suit your peculiarities.

There's no way that Stormfront would welcome research like this:

Individual Differences in the Expression of a "General" Learning Ability in Mice

Louis D. Matzel, Yu Ray Han, Henya Grossman, Meghana S. Karnik, Dave Patel, Nicholas Scott, Steven M. Specht, and Chetan C. Gandhi

Human performance on diverse tests of intellect are impacted by a "general" regulatory factor that accounts for up to 50% of the variance between individuals on intelligence tests. Neurobiological determinants of general cognitive abilities are essentially unknown, owing in part to the paucity of animal research wherein neurobiological analyses are possible.

Research by One East Asian (Han). Three South Asians, including the last author (Karnik, Patel, Gandhi). Three Ashkenazi Jews, including the first author (Matzel, Specht, and Grossman). And a European gentile (Scott).

In all of your self-delusional fervor you seem to gloss over the facts that Richard Herrnstein, the co-author of the Bell Curve was Jewish and that Charles Murray, is married to a woman of Thai ancestry. The have no common cause with Nazis.

Neither do Mark Snyderman and Stanley Rothman who wrote:

In The IQ Controversy: The Media and Public Policy (1988), Rothman and Mark Snyderman collected data showing that the press overwhelmingly attributed IQ differences in the population to various cultural artifacts. The authors also surveyed 661 experts--academic psychologists, cognitive scientists, test specialists--who decisively rejected these cultural explanations and collectively stated that some 60% of IQ variance reflected the different genes of the high and low scorers.

Nor do the 661 academics have much common cause with Nazis. I'm sure that the Stormfront folks, if they had their druthers, would outlaw IQ tests, just like the Nazis did because Jews scored so highly on them, and like South Africa did because they showed overlap between supposedly discrete groups.

Really, you're not better than the Creationists in the Republican Party, you just subscribe to a different flavor of Creationism - teach Darwin, but teach that he didn't matter at all.

Posted by: TangoMan on January 10, 2006 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

TangoMan,

The aspersions cast were cast in your direction. Funny how decidedly deliberate you are in identifying the racial charcteristics of so many people you pretend to know something about...

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 10, 2006 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

I haven't read anything by Steve Sailer, but I did read The Bell Curve, closely.

Charles Murray may not be racist, but the book that he and the senior author, the late Richard Hernstein, wrote is racially provocative.

The book contains technical errors. For example, the authors did not handle missing data correctly in computing the effect of education on IQ, resulting in overly influential outlying data points. Once the missing data was correctly coded, it was found that education did in fact increase IQ, undercutting their argument.

The authors also indulge in the rhetorical device of observing that "Some may say... but we do not... ", e.g., "Some may say that blacks are too damn stupid to work as accountants, but we wouldn't go that far."

It is a dishonest work.

Posted by: Mike B. on January 10, 2006 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

"The ASBAV test is the easiest I've ever took"

Just imagine how much easier it would have been, had the "magnet" school taught English and grammar.

Posted by: stupid git on January 10, 2006 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

"Excellent example, actually. Extroverts naturally agree with your thesis. Those who are not extroverts disagree, and many of us consider extroverts to be mildly sociopathic. Now, if the "emotional quotient" tests happen to be developed by extroverts, what type do you think will do "better" on them? And if those results are then used to reinforce college and job placement, renumeration....

I trust you get the picture.

Cranky"

I am personally an introvert, without a doubt. Why must you assume that it's personal? Look up the research yourself. Extraversion is one of the Big Five personality traits - it has a very well-established body of research behind it. Do you seriously think it's as simple as "extraverts make the tests." Please. Extraversion is generally associated with more positive outcomes than introversion. Not all the time, not every single outcome, but generally, yes. In the highly social world we live in, I'm not really sure why that would be surprising to anyone.

Posted by: BRussell on January 10, 2006 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

You tell 'em, Tangoman. We liberals have our own form of creationists: People who essentially reject empirical research in the name of a higher calling.

Posted by: BRussell on January 10, 2006 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

If only I had scored higher on my GTs, they never would have put me into the infantry.

Audie Murphy, Sam Fuller, Charles Durning and a whole hell of lot of others as well.

And being in the infantry is "demeaning" in what way?

I will drink to that sayeth Walter E. and his Garand.

Posted by: Alvin C York on January 10, 2006 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

college bored: "BRussel - High school grades/class rank are better predictors of freshman year grades than the SAT. The SAT has a poor correlation with freshman year grades but a moderate correlation with parental income and father's educational level."

I'm quite familiar with the GRE, and my statements apply to that. You may be right on the SAT, but the trend is clearly toward standardized tests predicting future grades better and better, and earlier GPAs predicting future grades worse and worse, probably due primarily to grade inflation, but also due to some extent by standardized tests getting better. I bet high school grades aren't much better predictors than the SAT, probably both with correlations of around .50, and I bet that in the near future, the SAT will overtake HS grades as a predictor.

Posted by: BRussell on January 10, 2006 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

Odd. The argument about cultural acclimation affecting results seems to have been missed completely today. That's a "privileged" upbringing, bye-the-way.

Posted by: opit on January 11, 2006 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

BRussell,

Do you follow Benbow's work?

- A one hour test given at age 12 is sufficient to predict outcome statistics more than a decade later. In particular, it can identify a group of individuals more than 50-times more likely than the general population to obtain doctoral degrees.

- The threshold effect postulated by some investigators like Gardiner - which supposes that a 180 IQ does not afford much advantage over a 130 IQ - does not stand up to statistical investigation.

Posted by: TangoMan on January 11, 2006 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

What you are all looking for is an intelligence pill, hopefully one that works best with black people. Come on, just say it, then let's get back to the lab.

Posted by: Matt on January 11, 2006 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

Bruce the Canuck writes: Isn't this how grad students are treated? How many real world situations do exams resemble?

There are only a small number of grad students, and a very large number of high school students. It would be prohibitively expensive to each of the latter a grad-level exam. And, I'd bet money that the "portfolio" the California Democrats have in mind is not exactly challenging.

Posted by: TLB on January 11, 2006 at 1:08 AM | PERMALINK

The compromise position of accepting the reality of IQ (and those who do not accept its reality are by now no more worthy of a response than those who deny the guilt of Alger Hiss or the Copernican solar system) while ignoring its racial implications is untenable, simply because the racial dimention of the IQ question is a pressing issue that will have to be addressed eventually.

For example, if you accept IQ, you immediately recognize that IQ varies between racial groups. If you accept that IQ contributes to professional success, necessarily then racial groups with different IQs will enjoy differing amounts of professional success, or at least differring professional profiles.

This presents a dillemma: How do we respond to the disparity between the economic status of racial groups?

We can either:

A: accept it to some degree as a natural consequence of their IQ disparity

B: Proclaim that the racial IQ disparity is an aritificial product of "racism" and "status factors" and thus spend much energy trying to remedy those factors.

C:Deny the reality of IQ

D: Accept the racial divide, but insist on egalitarian grounds that economic disparity between races is unacceptable, regardless of its source.

Most Liberals are desperately clinging to option B, even as empirical research time and time again undermines its validity. In their desparation, they slander anybody who mentions facts inconvenient to them, such as Sailer and Murray, as bigots, even though the main reason why they press the issue is because it is of vital importance and no one else will do it. After the Bell Curve, Murray kept silent on the Race/IQ question for a decade (idiosyncratic behavior for an agenda-driven hate-maniac) until the Larry Summers fiasco compelled him to speak out again. They speak because it is an important question that people like Kevin Drum wish were supressed, out of desperate fear that their modern liberal faith will be exposed as the false and empty chimera that it is.

Posted by: Royb on January 11, 2006 at 1:24 AM | PERMALINK

After the Bell Curve, Murray kept silent on the Race/IQ question for a decade (idiosyncratic behavior for an agenda-driven hate-maniac) until the Larry Summers fiasco compelled him to speak out again.

So all of these articles and books that Murray put on his biography for the American Enterprise Institute are fakes?

http://www.aei.org/scholars/filter.all,scholarID.43/scholar.asp'

Somebody'd better call the AEI and tell them that Murray is lying and did not, in fact, write anything about race between 1994 and 2005 despite his claiming to have done so.

Oh, and there's no point in responding to TangoMan once he gets involved. TangoMan is convinced that there is absolutely no one in the world smarter than himself.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on January 11, 2006 at 2:22 AM | PERMALINK

A one hour test given at age 12.......can identify a group of individuals more than 50-times more likely than the general population to obtain doctoral degrees.
parody troll or idiot?

Posted by: aa on January 11, 2006 at 4:15 AM | PERMALINK

Run! Forrest, Run!

Posted by: McA on January 11, 2006 at 4:17 AM | PERMALINK

aa,

Sorry that the link was bad. Did you ever think of Googling Benbow + test or Benbow + IQ? If you had you would have had a correct response in the top 3 results. Regardless, here is one (pdf) of her papers. Back in 1980-83, before the SAT was renormed, the test was given to 12 y.o. gifted children across the nation. Benbow selected the 1-in-10,000 performers, the 12 year olds who scored greater than 700 on Math or Verbal for a 10 year study. Here is the abstract:

Adolescents identified before the age of 13 (N = 320) as having exceptional mathematical or verbal reasoning abilities (top 1 in 10,000) were tracked over 10 years. They pursued doctoral degrees at rates over 50 times base-rate expectations, with several participants having created noteworthy literary, scientific, or technical products by their early 20s. Early observed distinctions in intellectual strength (viz., quantitative reasoning ability over verbal reasoning ability, and vice versa) predicted sharp differences in their developmental trajectories and occupational pursuits. This special population strongly preferred educational opportunities tailored to their precocious rate of learning (i.e., appropriate developmental placement), with 95% using some form of acceleration to individualize their education.
Posted by: TangoMan on January 11, 2006 at 4:45 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: 免费在线看电影 on January 11, 2006 at 4:56 AM | PERMALINK

Just imagine how much easier it would have been, had the "magnet" school taught English and grammar.

Is this actually supposed to be make me feel stupid? I was in school ages ago, and when I'm madly typing a quick response in a blog thread at work, I'm not really focused on perfect English.

For what it's worth, I always thought the kids who took AP Grammar instead of AP Literature were insane, but I was never much of one to want to know every rule and stick by it, but to instead know enough the rules in order to be able to write something memorable that broke them.

And I don't even need to mention the emnity of most people towards clowns who correct people's English before ever addressing their point, or, in this case, never addressing the point. To do so in blog threads is even more ridiculous.

Posted by: Jimm on January 11, 2006 at 5:10 AM | PERMALINK

A lot of you are asserting Sailer, Murray, and their supporters are hate-driven, supporting a White Power agenda.

You do realize that your hypothesis self-destructs before it even leaves the ground, given the diverse set of nonwhite supporters they have? Exactly what incentive do Indian and Chinese scientist immigrants have to promote White Power, given that a nontrivial number of whites still have racist feelings against them? I've personally suffered more discrimination from whites than blacks.

Can you at least consider the hypothesis that nonwhite immigrants like me are supporting Sailer because we think he's right?

As far as perfect pitch and idiot savant capabilities go -- WTF do they have to do with this discussion? The brain has plenty of different functions. The reason IQ matters is because it correlates with the vast majority of economically relevant forms of performance. Almost nobody has a problem hiring people with a horrible sense of pitch, or with no ability to extract 13th roots of 100-digit numbers in their head. But most high-paying jobs have implicit IQ requirements.

If you can create a lot of good jobs which low IQ people can perform perfectly well, that will actually go a long way toward reducing racial tensions and reducing how much IQ matters to society. Nobody has figured out how to do this, but that doesn't mean it's impossible.

Posted by: Dog of Justice on January 11, 2006 at 5:59 AM | PERMALINK

Is it kinda like how a liberal would send their kids to private school but want to send others' kids to public school?

Maybe it's kinda how liberals want there to be a school to send kids to and right-wing nutjobs don't give a rats ass if there's a school to send kids to, because they can buy one?

Posted by: Crissa on January 11, 2006 at 6:51 AM | PERMALINK

A good alternative to IQ, especially for those of us with young people in our lives, is offered by the Johnson O'Connor Research Foundation. They've been doing aptitude testing for over 80 years, and relating the results to job choice.

They are located in many major cities, cover a range of aptitudes from music and design to numerical and engineering, and are reasonably priced. You want a broader view -- start here.

Posted by: streetsmart on January 11, 2006 at 8:17 AM | PERMALINK

A thread I would love to have joined, and instead, here I sit, a bored, homesick traveller in an internet cafe!

A couple of comments: First, I find these conversations ironic because the vast majority of people who post on WM are in the top 25% of the population in terms of IQ. I may underestimate--given the level of discourse, the majority may even be in the top 10%.

Second, don't confuse the Flynn effect, a rising mean, with changes in rank order. Third, check out the wikipedia article on intelligence. It's good.

Finally, in response to this comment:
"What IQ doesn't measure is
(1) the ability of a person to handle multiple variables and
(2) the ability of a person to survey a situation, decide what facts are important to a decision, and make that decision.

On the contrary, that is exactly what "g" does measure--the ability to deal with complexity, identify the important aspects of a situation and respond. "g" is highly adaptive.

Okay, I miss these conversations, but now I've got to go. You all be good now.

Posted by: PTate in India on January 11, 2006 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

TangoMan - I haven't seen her work, but she must be some kind of Nazi sympathizer, right?

Posted by: BRussell on January 11, 2006 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

I strongly suspect the real reason many liberals - and others - with high IQs (above 120) are reluctant to advocate tests of sociability, empathy, self-discipline and extroversion is that we're pretty sure we'd flunk them.

Posted by: yellowdog on January 11, 2006 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

Late to the game here, but I thought I'd simply mention that IQ was devised as a measure of deficiency. It was only a useful number at the lowest end. Above the lowest 2 standard deviations, it's just NOT a helpful number.

Second, the underlying racist argument regarding race and IQ is that there's a higher intelligence gene that blacks don't have. A suspiciously odd clump of people have the good one: Jews, Chinese, and Japanese all have the best one. White people have a pretty good one, but Africans just got shafted. They've got the clunker. That's patent nonsense, but THAT'S the race and IQ bugbear.

I seem to remember that the Murray book hemmed and hawed about race, but basically asserted that regardless of its source -- genetics or environment -- that once you were inflicted with a low IQ all the remedial efforts were to no avail. So, get rid of Head Start.

The Army has lowered its standards. That's dipping down into the area where a low measurement is considered useful. Hence the problem for the army. A guy with 100 IQ might be just as good a soldier as a guy with 150 IQ. But a guy with a 75 IQ is gonna be a problem.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on January 11, 2006 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

yellowdog: I strongly suspect the real reason many liberals - and others - with high IQs (above 120) are reluctant to advocate tests of sociability, empathy, self-discipline and extroversion is that we're pretty sure we'd flunk them.

What the hell are you talking about!?! Get away from me!!!

Posted by: shortstop on January 11, 2006 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

You do realize that your hypothesis self-destructs before it even leaves the ground, given the diverse set of nonwhite supporters they have? Exactly what incentive do Indian and Chinese scientist immigrants have to promote White Power, given that a nontrivial number of whites still have racist feelings against them? I've personally suffered more discrimination from whites than blacks.

I don't know. Does 'selling out' mean anything in your world?

As far as perfect pitch and idiot savant capabilities go -- WTF do they have to do with this discussion? The brain has plenty of different functions. The reason IQ matters is because it correlates with the vast majority of economically relevant forms of performance. Almost nobody has a problem hiring people with a horrible sense of pitch, or with no ability to extract 13th roots of 100-digit numbers in their head. But most high-paying jobs have implicit IQ requirements.

Actually, this is where you lose the argument. By applying the metric of 'commercially useful intelligence' to an examination of racial and IQ characteristics, you ignore the aspect of genius as it relates to a clear examination of ALL people and ALL forms of intelligence.

It's silly to continue--the reality is, you're simply advocating a selected slice of intellectual capability without acknowledging that intelligence comes in a variety of forms that defies being measured strictly by an IQ test or by examining 'racially charged' samples of people.

If you can create a lot of good jobs which low IQ people can perform perfectly well, that will actually go a long way toward reducing racial tensions and reducing how much IQ matters to society.

Why? So THE MAN can have one more tool to keep the people down?

You and your White Power friend TangoMan sure have a categorical and obsessive way of cataloging the racial characteristics of everyone involved.

Might it be easier to conclude that race doesn't matter?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 11, 2006 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

Now that we've broken the army etc. in Iraq and need dumber recruits to fill in, we'll have even more problems fighting the enemy. But of course, complaining about what went wrong is seen as the real lack of patriotism, not the screwing up.

Posted by: Neil' on January 11, 2006 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

When I was in bootcamp in 1970 I helped some guys do simple forms, because they were basically illiterate. I bunked next to a guy who literally broke down and cried because he had received a letter from home informing that the mule had died, and now mom and his sisters would have no way to plant the tobacco crop.
As a former school counselor, I am very familiar with the idea that there are different types of intelligence. There are also a great many types of jobs in the military. Does it take a lot of brains to operate a Stinger missile? Not really.
It takes some simple motor skills and some practice, which is increasingly done with simulators. If modern missile systems break down on the battlefield you basically replace modules until they work again. That is not very complex troubleshooting.
Socially, America's large military establishment since World War Two has been nothing but positive, in my opinion. It has taken a huge number of high school dropouts and taught them to be self-reliant, organization compliant, and mature in setting and sorting priorities. The military has given many, many young people a leg up them would have never received elsewhere.

It is true that America's educated elites and commoners like myself are becoming increasingly separate cultures. Male members of my family have served as far back as memory goes and we continue to serve to this day. I meet people who have never served, no one in their closer family has ever served, and they don't know anyone who has served.

America has four types of emissaries we send abroad. First, we send young troops, who are specialists only in war techniques, but exhibit their personal and socio-cultural values to inhabitants of foreign lands, often positively.
Second, we have traditional Christian missionaries, who are still flourishing (I went myself in 2003) and who unabashedly go to preach to people that there are better things to believe than what they experience in their traditional, local, cultures.
Third, we have young business people, employees of companies, often international corporations, who also, consciously or not, represent America to people all over the world, as well as represent a standard of competence and fairness in business dealings (we hope!)
Forthly, there are the Peace Corps types, who may be someday mingled with military types. These folks mean well, but they usually have no specific technical skills other than advanced literacy. They also have no real message to preach--they don't want to talk "progress" in the way Americans once did and they have no deeply felt gospel message, except maybe a promotion of civil libertarianism to a limited extent. I am not even sure that current Peace Corps paid employees (they aren't volunteers anymore) believe all that much in traditional democracy. Mainly, they go overseas to live as the foreign cultures do and "feel their pain." It is kind of a rite of passage thing, then they come home and often go into government bureaucracy work.

Posted by: Michael L. Cook on January 11, 2006 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

The Army of which Michael L Cook speaks is from the draft era. Our modern professional volunteer Army is completely different. The upper echelons of DoD have bragged for years that the military is better today, because they only take intelligent volunteers who wish to serve. They speak of advanced weapon systems requiring a higher intelligence level than those of the draft era. They have also outsourced the menial tasks, such as KP, cooking and base maintenance (The old "If it moves, salute, if it doesn't, paint it).

The dropping to Cat IV flies in the face of the smug DoD references to and degrading of the draftees of yore.

As to Cook's assertion of our soldiers mixing with foreigners positively, I would counter that when I was stationed in Germany for 33 months, very few GIs mixed with the locals. The majority either went to all GI bars, oh well, there were several German Bar Girls, or they stayed in the kaserne talking about wanting to go back "to the world". One of our best GIs took his 30 day leave, flew back to Kentucky, and returned with a recording of his hound dog.
There were a few of us, mostly college educated, who loved to go to the local cafes, bars and mingle with the locals.
However, high GTs do not necessarily translate into effective fighting leadership. I had a very high GT, but I would have never been a Sgt York, who was brilliant in combat.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 11, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

As to Cook's assertion of our soldiers mixing with foreigners positively, I would counter that when I was stationed in Germany for 33 months, very few GIs mixed with the locals.

PttO is absolutely correct. Sadly, they haven't improved on antibiotics in the last forty years; otherwise there'd be a hell of a lot more mixing.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 11, 2006 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

Hmmm, is that a comment reflecting on the disease-carrying properties of the locals or the sojers, PR?

Posted by: shortstop on January 11, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

shortstop,

Everybody. I've seen some freaky stuff in Korea; over in Germany, they get freaky Cabaret style and I don't want nothing to do with that.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 11, 2006 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Life is a Cabaret, my friend, come to the Caberet.

Posted by: stupid git on January 11, 2006 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

I notice that no one has yet given actual examples of demagogic statements made by Steve Sailer. Genuine white nationalists like Lawrence Auster and Jared Taylor have actually been quite critical of Sailer, bordering on hostile in Auster's case.
See:
http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/004384.html
http://www.vdare.com/taylor/050929_citizenism.htm.

Posted by: James Kabala on January 11, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

A few months ago my RSM told me (with barely suppressed glee) that 80% of VC winners had below-average intelligence, "because you have to be bloody stupid to do something like that".

But you don't want an army of VC winners. You want an army of competent soldiers.

Posted by: ajay on January 11, 2006 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

I may have been mistaken on Murray's output; I'll have to check. However, I do not recall his having emphasized the race-IQ question in some time.

It's silly to continue--the reality is, you're simply advocating a selected slice of intellectual capability without acknowledging that intelligence comes in a variety of forms that defies being measured strictly by an IQ test or by examining 'racially charged' samples of people.

Pale Whitey (or whatever his name is) feels it's "silly" to posit the question which he seems to avoid intentionally, namely whether these various forms of intellegence are correlated with some discernable measurable quantity. Apparently what "serious" people do is painstakingly gloss over obvious objections to poor arguments.

I doubt that anyone in this world has been lucky enough to go through life without having to talk to obviously stupid people. You'll notice that many share a common characteristic of not being to discern relevant from irrelevantinformation. Arguing with an idiot is infuriating for precisely this reason. They can't answer your points because they can't follow. This is what IQ measures in large part.

Posted by: RoyB on January 11, 2006 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

PR: Everybody. I've seen some freaky stuff in Korea; over in Germany, they get freaky Cabaret style and I don't want nothing to do with that.

What about getting freaky Lou Reed in Berlin style?

Posted by: shortstop on January 11, 2006 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Whitey (or whatever his name is) feels it's "silly" to posit the question which he seems to avoid intentionally, namely whether these various forms of intellegence are correlated with some discernable measurable quantity. Apparently what "serious" people do is painstakingly gloss over obvious objections to poor arguments.

Where is the poor argument? The central tenet of trying to prove race has anything to do with intelligence is by limiting the scientific sample or 'moving the goalposts.' My point was, as soon as you discount other possibilities, you are narrowing the field to prove your hypothesis--and that's great science at work, isn't it? Unless they perform research that way at Columbia.

When you point out variations in what is considered 'normal' and then get these people to spew endless defenses by highlighting the race of the people involved, you inevitably draw them out. They reveal themselves as race baiters, race apologists, and race obsessed. And, willing to do whatever it takes to skew the results, prove their hypothesis, and eliminate the possibility that race has nothing to do with intelligence.

I doubt that anyone in this world has been lucky enough to go through life without having to talk to obviously stupid people. You'll notice that many share a common characteristic of not being to discern relevant from irrelevant information. Arguing with an idiot is infuriating for precisely this reason. They can't answer your points because they can't follow. This is what IQ measures in large part.

Scored pretty low, huh? Buck up, little guy. They can retest you in six months.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 11, 2006 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

What about getting freaky Lou Reed in Berlin style?

Good lord, just don't bring Iggy Pop and David Bowie into this...

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 11, 2006 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

Candlelight and Dubonnet on ice.
It was very nice.
Oh, honey, it was paradise.

Then we get to the addiction, whoredom and domestic abuse, which kind of harshes the buzz.

Posted by: shortstop on January 11, 2006 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

Whoredom simply doesn't bother me.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 11, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Monsieur Cook's observations vis-a-vis Peace Corps participants directly contradict my own experience.
Every single person I have know who has served has been an engineer or science grad(fisheries, soil).

Not that that has much to do with IQ testing.

If you are at all interested in being so tested, check in with Mensa. Find an event locally, and sign up. They usually have you take at least two different ones.
You don't have to go to the party afterwards, but I'd suggest it ... they seem to know how to have a good time.

I don't personally think IQ is wholly useful as a predictor of success in all circumstances.
It will, however, help to tell you who has a greater likelihood of graduating college if they spend most of the first couple years screwing off.
And for those who don't attend post-secondary education for whatever reason, I believe it can give you a good idea of who is more likely to be able to learn and adapt quickly.

Posted by: kenga on January 11, 2006 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

"Recruiting" dolphins? Exactly how do you recruit a dolphin?

Posted by: Yancey Ward on January 11, 2006 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

yancey - I think it's pretty simple.
You whisper "There's a Burmese tuna fleet to the south, land to the north and west, and US Navy sonar testers to the east. Living in a pool part-time isn't so bad, really. Think about it."

Posted by: kenga on January 11, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know. Does 'selling out' mean anything in your world?

Are you trying to convince anyone other than yourself?

Actually, this is where you lose the argument. By applying the metric of 'commercially useful intelligence' to an examination of racial and IQ characteristics, you ignore the aspect of genius as it relates to a clear examination of ALL people and ALL forms of intelligence.

Nobody has claimed IQ captured everything the brain does. It's trivial to see that it doesn't; you've provided examples.

The reason IQ is worth singling out is because in practice, it matters in an awful lot more situations than other brain properties.

Most whites are lactose-tolerant. Most non-Europeans are not. Do people really care much about the gigantic racial difference in lactose tolerance? No, because it has negligible bearing on other things in life. I don't know which of my friends and colleagues are lactose-tolerant and which are lactose-intolerant, I don't care, and I don't have any incentive to care. Do you?

In almost every situation, I don't have any real incentive to restrict my choice of friends to those with perfect pitch, or idiot savants. Do you?

But in almost every situation (including the military situations which inspired Kevin Drum's original post), I do have an incentive to restrict my choice of friends to those who don't have significantly below-average IQs. I'm sure most other posters in this thread act under such an incentive as well.


We are many decades, at least, from a complete theory of the brain. But we don't need to understand the brain down to its last neuron to start to work on addressing racial IQ differences, any more than we need to reconcile relativity and quantum mechanics to build a working airplane. We know enough physics to build useful things, and we know enough statistics, biology, and psychology to start dealing with racial IQ differences (though a complete solution may have to wait until smart pills/genetic engineering).

If you can create a lot of good jobs which low IQ people can perform perfectly well, that will actually go a long way toward reducing racial tensions and reducing how much IQ matters to society.

Why? So THE MAN can have one more tool to keep the people down?

Did you actually understand my line of argument? Your question makes no sense.

If IQ no longer correlates with economic success, wouldn't you consider that a good thing? That's all I was getting at.

You and your White Power friend TangoMan sure have a categorical and obsessive way of cataloging the racial characteristics of everyone involved.

I was not the one who brought up the "White Power" ad hominem attack. The only reason I referred to my own race at all was to demonstrate the absurdity of that charge. I have not referenced the race of any other poster in this thread.

Might it be easier to conclude that race doesn't matter?

Of course it is easier. That is what I originally believed. I only changed my mind after I saw overwhelming evidence against that hypothesis.

Similarly, I was raised to believe in Christianity, and I only rejected it many years later because the evidence against its literal truth became overwhelming. The rest of my extended family is Christian. It would be easier to at least pretend to be one, if only to stop my mom from trying to win me back to the faith every other time we talk.

But it's not a question of what is easy. It's a question of what is actually true. Because only when you know what is true can you effectively solve real problems relating to that domain of knowledge.

Posted by: Dog of Justice on January 11, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

TangoMan, once again you and your "co-blogger" Malloy simply fail to acknowledge the obvious implication of the Flynn Effect: that what we think we know about the cultural bias of IQ tests, what seemed quite intuitively plausible, we simply DON'T know.

For many decades, practitioners thought that the so-called "performance" subtests of the IQ tests were NOT culturally biased, because, after all, they didn't make obvious reference to culturally loaded material, and instead focused on, for example, spatial reasoning and the like.

What the Flynn effect showed beyond dispute is that there absolutely must be some very heavy cultural dependencies in these subtests, despite our intuitive view that it wasn't so.

Now for people without a pre-existing bias for racially based explanations of intelligence, that might give them pause in any conclusion that IQ really must measure something inherent to different races. Not so, of course, you and your co-blogger, who still insist that the racially based explanation must be true, even in the face of the obvious anomaly posed by the Flynn Effect. But let's face it: you believe that because you WANT to believe that, and you are desperate to try to explain away the Flynn Effect so that you can save your racially based explanation. (Can you face that fact about yourselves? I rather doubt it.)

It's true that African-Americans have remained behind whites and Asians even as the overall IQ has risen a full standard deviation. But do we know whether the peculiar subculture occupied by African Americans to this day is primarily responsible for their lag? We can't possibly really know whether or not that is true until we actually understand what the cultural preconditions are for performance on IQ tests. And, again, what the Flynn Effect demonstrates is that we DON'T understand them.

It is simply rank speculation to say that African-Americans occupy the exact same relevant subculture as whites do nowadays. It's every bit as plausible to believe that the subculture they have occupied has improved over the previous 50 years, but is also still lagging that of whites.

An intellectually honest person, a person without pre-existing biases, would simply conclude that agnosticism on this point is the only scientifically correct position at this state of our understanding.

But you and yours will never be content will such agnositicism. You insist, for reasons best known to yourselves, that only the inherently racially based explanation can possibly be true.

Maybe you should reflect on why that point seems so very important to you.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 11, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

We know enough physics to build useful things, and we know enough statistics, biology, and psychology to start dealing with racial IQ differences (though a complete solution may have to wait until smart pills/genetic engineering).

Ah, the character of this troll is quite revealing. "...we know enough to start dealing with..." is a precursor to sterilizing and destroying those that are "inferior," isn't it?

Thank you for the nice long post. Buried in there was your tacit admission that race will play a part in the genetic 'purification' of the races. How obsessive compulsive you are! You mix a reply to the subject at hand with the proud pronouncement of your own rejection of Christianity--no one asked, no one cares. God hurt you, now you're an atheist. Well, well, well. How original.

I have not referenced the race of any other poster in this thread.

You've identified virtually everyone by race, by racial affiliation or by their marriage to someone of another race. Nice trick trying to back off and make it seem like no big deal.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 11, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

There is no signifigant difference between races in IQ scores, whether or not one assents that there is a measurable difference at all that is unrelated to family, cultural, and educational background. Ranking races is an exercise in statistics that says nothing about the actual impactd of any such difference.

Further, IQ is not really a measure of expected job success and/or fit. If you are good at solving particular kinds of problems that are favored in the job market by particular kinds of cultures that think that way, and do the hiring and have set up all the "games", that only means you're most adept at the particular cultural prejudices, which may be purely cultural and learned, or may possibly have a genetic component, or may have some mixture of nature/nurture that we are very far away from understanding.

And looking at the complexity of the brain, and the general success of children of all races raised in a particular family, cultural, and educational background that emphasizes the dominant social and cultural games and training, it makes little sense in evolutionary terms that the number of reproducible generations since "civilization" has started emphasizing particluar games and talents is going to result in a fundamental shift in the brain and intelligence in peoples not emphasizing these things (i.e. other "races").

In evolutionary theory, it is often counted as a given that the past 40,000 years really isn't enough time to expect fundamental evolutionary variation in human beings. When we're talking IQ and success in our modern civilization, we are talking about a radically shorter amount of time, maybe 4,000 years if I'm being very generous, which includes a lot of mixed breeding between formerly more isolated human populations.

There are just so many ways to blow up these arguments about not only the importance of IQ but the "racial" [sic] variation of IQ, it's silly, but the evolutionary theoretical foundation of their arguments is extremely sketchy too.

Posted by: Jimm on January 11, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Dog of Justice: I have not referenced the race of any other poster in this thread.

You've identified virtually everyone by race, by racial affiliation or by their marriage to someone of another race. Nice trick trying to back off and make it seem like no big deal.

To clarify, you have not referenced anyone's race. What you did do was adopt the theme started by Tango Man, where he identified people involved in the Bell Curve research by their racial affiliation here:

Dog of Justice: Exactly what incentive do Indian and Chinese scientist immigrants have to promote White Power, given that a nontrivial number of whites still have racist feelings against them? I've personally suffered more discrimination from whites than blacks.

While it is true you are not referencing posters by race, you are still bringing race into this as a means of defending indefensible results.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 11, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

But you and yours will never be content will such agnositicism. You insist, for reasons best known to yourselves, that only the inherently racially based explanation can possibly be true.

We have already identified very strong candidates for IQ-affecting genes which don't have uniform racial distribution. (Consider the Cochran/Harpending paper, or Lahn's paper.) We are discovering more on this front every year. It is likely that within a few decades we can use such knowledge to engineer smarter humans of all races.

At that point, what room is left for agnosticism?

That said, we haven't got there yet. I have nothing against honest agnosticism right now. Just acknowledge that my own conversion from agnosticism may not have been driven by a "White Power" agenda.

Ah, the character of this troll is quite revealing. "...we know enough to start dealing with..." is a precursor to sterilizing and destroying those that are "inferior," isn't it?

Smart pills and genetic engineering are the ways we see on the horizon to eliminating racial IQ differences without any coercion at all. Everyone buys the pills/chooses how they wish to upgrade their babies, and the problem is solved. No sterilization. No genocide.

I have in fact explicitly written about my concern that, in a free market, poor people might be unable to afford such technologies and fall behind everyone else; I am in favor of using government or other power to ensure the poor have just as much access to such technology.

Can't you get it through your head that I'm honestly trying to figure out how to best solve the problem?

You've identified virtually everyone by race, by racial affiliation or by their marriage to someone of another race. Nice trick trying to back off and make it seem like no big deal.

Where do I do this?

Posted by: Dog of Justice on January 11, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider: Ah, the character of this troll is quite revealing. "...we know enough to start dealing with..." is a precursor to sterilizing and destroying those that are "inferior," isn't it?

Dog of Justice: Smart pills and genetic engineering are the ways we see on the horizon to eliminating racial IQ differences without any coercion at all. Everyone buys the pills/chooses how they wish to upgrade their babies, and the problem is solved. No sterilization. No genocide.

I have in fact explicitly written about my concern that, in a free market, poor people might be unable to afford such technologies and fall behind everyone else; I am in favor of using government or other power to ensure the poor have just as much access to such technology.

All I can say to that is, 'barf.'

The unsavory qualities of these people are not to be believed. Excuse me while I go wash my hands--dealing with these animals makes me feel like I've been in the presence of something contaminated and evil.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 11, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0: The Flynn effect doesn't mean IQ-type tests are culturally biased, it means they're influenced by the environment. That's quite different.

It seems to me to be pretty settled among fair-minded psychometric people that the racial differences we see are 1) not due to culturally-biased tests, but 2) not proven to be due to genetic "inferiority/superiority," and 3) almost certainly due to the large environmental differences that currently exist between ethnic groups.

Posted by: BRussell on January 11, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

And one other point.

There is the quote ""the nature of the Flynn effect is qualitatively different from the nature of black-white differences in the United States".

I simply ask, so what?

The point of the Flynn Effect is NOT that, say, the differences in the relevant subculture of whites of 50 years ago vs today is the same as the differences in the relevant subculture of African Americans today vs that of whites today.

Again, to anyone without biases, the point is rather that, in general, we DON'T understand what the relevant differences might be; we DON'T understand how culture contributes to success on IQ tests. I would actually find it rather surprising if the two types of differences would be basically the same, given the obvious subtlety of whatever those cultural components might be.

Can you face the fact that the routine "explanations" you people have of the Flynn Effect -- e.g., it's video games or some such, which everybody has enjoyed equally -- are simply ad hoc explanations that have NO independent validation?

How do you know it's not instead something subtle, that really IS different from African Americans to whites?

Answer: you don't. But you'll be goddamned if you'll give up your racial explanations just because there's a stinking scientific anomaly out there.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 11, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0: The Flynn effect doesn't mean IQ-type tests are culturally biased, it means they're influenced by the environment. That's quite different.

I don't see the relevance of that distinction here. What are you saying, that it could be nutrition? I have no idea what you're driving at here.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 11, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

kenga,

LMAO!

Posted by: Yancey Ward on January 11, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

All I can say to that is, 'barf.'

You're going to be doing a lot of barfing in the future, I fear.

These technologies are being developed. There is demand for them. You can't stop people from using them.

Granted, it is possible that Ray Kurzweil is completely right, and humanity itself will become obsolete in the face of artificially intelligent machines. This would render smart pills/genetic engineering irrelevant. But assuming that he's overly optimistic about the time scale for AI development, the world you barf at is going to come. The real question, in my view, is whether only the privileged will have access, or whether everyone will.

Your descendants can voluntarily choose to stay out of this world. Just don't expect them to be economically competitive in that case.

By the way, Steve Sailer himself does not entirely agree with the view I've expressed here.

How do you know it's not instead something subtle, that really IS different from African Americans to whites?

We will know when, by splicing a few genes, we can eliminate the gap without making any larger effort to change culture than we have been doing.

Until we demonstrate this, an agnostic position is tenable. Once we do, however, what will your reaction be?

I don't have much else to say. Others have carefully outlined the reasons to believe that we will be able to develop such an engineering capability. You are free to be a pessimist. In the end, either we will actually be able to do the engineering, or we won't.

Posted by: Dog of Justice on January 11, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Dog of Justice, we shouldn't. Please read The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein, or the original Frankenstein story, and get back to us.

From my own exposure to high IQ people, including some of those claiming to be in this thread, they are not really that intelligent when it comes to the subtle art of framing an argument (they're great at determining validity, but soundness is another matter that requires rigor).

Why do we want to breed smarter kids exclusively, rather than more compassionate or peaceful kids? If we want the government (God forbid) to make an effort to "reprogram" kids genetically to be smarter, why wouldn't we want us (government) to do that compassionately or peacefully too? How ominous is this? How centrally controlled?

Please watch A Clockwork Orange too.

Posted by: Jimm on January 11, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0: "I don't see the relevance of that distinction here. What are you saying, that it could be nutrition? I have no idea what you're driving at here."

Well the difference is very important. If a test is culturally biased, then the test is flawed. If IQ scores are influenced by the environment, then the test isn't flawed, the environment is flawed (e.g., due to a history of racial discrimination, unequal access to education, etc.). With all respect, I suggest you grapple with that distinction, because it's at the heart of this thorny issue of race and IQ.

Posted by: BRussell on January 11, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Look, BRussell, this really is nothing more than a verbal dispute here.

As I'm using the word here, "culture" is intended embrace virtually everything about one's environment that is not, say, reducible to something of relevance physiologically, such as nutrition.

In that sense, if whites of 50 years ago scored a standard deviation lower on IQ tests than whites of today, and that is NOT attributable to something like nutrition, then the IQ tests ARE "culturally biased", because scores depend heavily on differences in culture -- the white "culture" of 50 years ago vs the white "culture" of today.

So I still have no idea what you might be driving at.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 11, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Why do we want to breed smarter kids exclusively, rather than more compassionate or peaceful kids? If we want the government (God forbid) to make an effort to "reprogram" kids genetically to be smarter, why wouldn't we want us (government) to do that compassionately or peacefully too? How ominous is this? How centrally controlled?

Okay, now we're finally moving out of the proving 1+1=2 part of the discussion and getting to something useful.

The promise of genetic engineering is that you don't have to choose between smart kids or more compassionate and peaceful kids. You can look at the catalog of understood genes and pick a collection for your children that helps ensure your children have all of these traits. It is unlikely that mutual exclusion will be a real concern, given that we know people in real life who manage to be smart, compassionate, and peaceful.

I don't advocate forcible reprogramming of anyone. All I advocate is choice for everyone, because the alternative is that the poor will not be given such a choice while the rich will have it. Market incentives ensure that most people will choose to enhance their children's intelligence. They will also choose to enhance other desirable traits, including compassion, peacefulness, and conscientiousness. (Especially conscientiousness, since that's the next most economically important trait after IQ.)

And sexual attractiveness. Sailer expresses concern that there will be a sort of "arms race" in engineering sexual attractiveness. I think he's right, but I'd rather have that problem than the problems we have now as a result of no engineering.

Posted by: Dog of Justice on January 11, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

And sexual attractiveness. Sailer expresses concern that there will be a sort of "arms race" in engineering sexual attractiveness. I think he's right, but I'd rather have that problem than the problems we have now as a result of no engineering.

With the big pointy boobs? Not only are you sick but you're a pervert, too.

Wow--way to earn yourself some credibility.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 11, 2006 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Dog of Justice, we shouldn't. Please read The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein, or the original Frankenstein story, and get back to us.

Perhaps, under many systems of morals, we shouldn't.

If this is what you believe, the problem you have to deal with is, how the hell are you going to prevent it? We can't even completely stop ordinary people from destroying their own lives with drug addictions. How do you propose to stop powerful people from using a technology that gives their children a major advantage, when the technology is available? If your answer is "stop the technology from being developed in the first place", you might be able to put a damper on American progress, but what about labs in Asia? How will you stop them?

Posted by: Dog of Justice on January 11, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

With the big pointy boobs? Not only are you sick but you're a pervert, too.

Wow--way to earn yourself some credibility.

Many of the other people on your side in this thread are trying to hold an intellectually honest discussion. They treat the arguments we are making as legitimate and offer logical counters, rather than ad hominem attacks.

You are free to join them at any time. If you don't want to,

"The kiddie game is down the street. Down the street." -- Mike Matusow

Posted by: Dog of Justice on January 11, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

How do you propose to stop powerful people from using a technology that gives their children a major advantage, when the technology is available?

That is a difficult issue, but what I'm opposing is your suggestion that the government go ahead and genetically engineer kids, whether it be for intelligence, compassion, nonaggression, or whatever trait you care to focus on.

If your answer is "stop the technology from being developed in the first place", you might be able to put a damper on American progress, but what about labs in Asia? How will you stop them?

I never gave this answer, and I am far from convinced the genetically programming more intelligent people is really going to be that adaptive, for some of the reasons I've already mentioned, which include basic concepts of evolutionary theory, as well as social theory.

It's not like we don't have geniuses already, and these geniuses are inordinately involved in research and development, so I fail to see how some social development to try and engineer the average person to be more like a genius is going to somehow propel one society over another in terms of competitiveness.

Alternatively, maybe you'll just generate far more angst and nausea, as people get smarter but are still forced into very economically specialized and intellectually limiting roles. Or you genetically engineer for one trait at the expense of a key counter-balance that is crucial so far in social human evolution, like compassion. Or you genetically engineer and get hit with a totally unexpected and unanticipated side effect of such engineering later, in the form of disease or emergence of novel and lethal new pathogens.

Perhaps it's time to consider genetic modification a WMD, since the more we know about ecology, information, and complexity theory, the more we know how little we know about spillover effects and potential dangers of messing with the genetic code.

Posted by: Jimm on January 11, 2006 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Dog of Justice, you're missing the point that you want to give government increasing power through genetic engineering. You said that earlier, that you want government to spearhead smarter kids. Get your shit straight (though I appreciate your improvisation, and there is a fruitful discussion there).

Let this be an example of intelligence, compassion, reaonability, and conscientiousness.

Posted by: Jimm on January 11, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Many of the other people on your side in this thread are trying to hold an intellectually honest discussion. They treat the arguments we are making as legitimate and offer logical counters, rather than ad hominem attacks.

Yeah, well, when you start bringing in the concept of "engineering sexual attractiveness" any and all comments you make from here on out are rendered moot because of the ridiculousness of your intellectual position. You are in the untenable position of 'nuttiness' with your easily discounted ideas. One need not engage you further in any serious discussion.

It conjures up a lonely man, trapped in his mother's garage, mail-order bride has left him in the lurch, he can't relate to others, now he's going to buy himself some genetically altered woman flesh from the local morgue and build a contraption that shoots lighting into the bolts attached to her neck...

Remember, Dog of Justice--black is negative and red is positive! Don't mix them up. Wait...red is negative, black is positive? Right?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 11, 2006 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

I hope all the open-minded people who are prompted to begin their own inquiries into HBD-realism bookmark this page and return one day to review Pale Rider's "arguments." It's not practical for anyone to catalog how wildly irrelevant they are (making errors takes far less time than correcting them), but they're readily apparent to anyone who's conducted such an inquiry.

PR, I loved the "sell-out" argument, btw; top-notch. :D

Posted by: Svigor on January 11, 2006 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

An intellectually honest person, a person without pre-existing biases, would simply conclude that agnosticism on this point is the only scientifically correct position at this state of our understanding.

So, you're saying you're not an intellectually honest person, then?

Alternatively, are you saying you oppose any and all policies based on the "disparate impact" argument? Do you oppose "Affirmative Action," racial preferences, "anti-discrimination" law, and generally, the entire mainstream Zeitgeist of "whitey caused it"?

Posted by: Svigor on January 11, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Compassion is caring that there is a problem of suffering and/or inequality of opportunity, conscientiousness is the concern to think through one's advocacy and actions to their logical and natural ends, intelligence is the varying ability to imagine these logical and natural ends soundly, and nonaggression is determination not to step on another's rights or security of person in one's actions and advocacy.

One way of looking at it.

Posted by: Jimm on January 11, 2006 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

I hope all the open-minded people who are prompted to begin their own inquiries into HBD-realism bookmark this page and return one day to review Pale Rider's "arguments." It's not practical for anyone to catalog how wildly irrelevant they are (making errors takes far less time than correcting them), but they're readily apparent to anyone who's conducted such an inquiry.

Is that why no one has made the case that they are 'wildly irrelevant?'

Or is it really because they blow the whole theory of linking race to intelligence out of the water precisely because they challenge the notion that there are 'normal' and established metrics for determining what is intelligence and IQ?

Perhaps you'd like to tackle the notion that the Aborigines of Australia really aren't intelligent creatures with a highly adept ability to pass down an oral tradition from one generation to the other?

Perhaps you'd really like to just go on believing there is no such thing as an intelligent dark-skinned person and race is what matters?

Beyond snark, what do you bring to the table?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 11, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

That is a difficult issue, but what I'm opposing is your suggestion that the government go ahead and genetically engineer kids, whether it be for intelligence, compassion, nonaggression, or whatever trait you care to focus on.

I never suggested that the government do this. I've only said that private individuals will do this whether we want them to or not, and in light of this fact it may be moral for government to ensure everyone else has access. Anyone can still choose not to use their access to the technology, and have normal kids.

I never gave this answer, and I am far from convinced the genetically programming more intelligent people is really going to be that adaptive, for some of the reasons I've already mentioned, which include basic concepts of evolutionary theory, as well as social theory.

Fair enough. I was just trying to anticipate the most common response.

It's not like we don't have geniuses already, and these geniuses are inordinately involved in research and development, so I fail to see how some social development to try and engineer the average person to be more like a genius is going to somehow propel one society over another in terms of competitiveness.

The high IQ people we have have been disproportionately important to our nation's competitiveness. What people do you think are keeping the US's state of the art ahead of that of other nations in most fields? This doesn't mean every high IQ person is productive -- far from it -- but there is in fact very good reason to believe that a society of people with engineered enhanced intelligence and other traits will outcompete an ordinary society. Enough reason that we can expect some nation to act on this belief.

Alternatively, maybe you'll just generate far more angst and nausea, as people get smarter but are still forced into very economically specialized and intellectually limiting roles. Or you genetically engineer for one trait at the expense of a key counter-balance that is crucial so far in social human evolution, like compassion. Or you genetically engineer and get hit with a totally unexpected and unanticipated side effect of such engineering later, in the form of disease or emergence of novel and lethal new pathogens.

This is a very good point you bring up. I advocate no government intervention beyond ensuring poor people can afford the technology, but a few of the problems you describe may require some sort of centralized strategy to avoid.

The good news is that only complete uniformity is a danger in the face of pathogens, so unless more than 99% of the population is choosing the same specific modification, the danger is limited. As for a compassion deficit, anyone who perceives such a problem can both engineer their own kids to have high compassion and communicate to others their motivation in doing so. The market should be fairly self-correcting. But you are correct that we need to be on the lookout for potential market failures.

Perhaps it's time to consider genetic modification a WMD, since the more we know about ecology, information, and complexity theory, the more we know how little we know about spillover effects and potential dangers of messing with the genetic code.

...well, you can see why I addressed the "stop the technology in the first place" position in advance.

It does have the power of WMD, unlike ordinary sexual and other forms of selection which can be likened to conventional explosives. (This analogy is fairly robust. E.g. with an enormous amount of explosives you can achieve the same effect as a WMD, but in practice that hasn't happened since the massive bombing raids of '44-'45. Something similar can be said about human evolution.)

But it cannot be stopped in the same way WMD can be stopped. I think the best we can do, in practice, is manage the use of such technology.

Posted by: Dog of Justice on January 11, 2006 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

(This analogy is fairly robust. E.g. with an enormous amount of explosives you can achieve the same effect as a WMD, but in practice that hasn't happened since the massive bombing raids of '44-'45. Something similar can be said about human evolution.)

Hardly. Ever heard of the Fuel-Air Explosive? It's been widely used in Chechnya. How about the Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB)?

The ignorance of these trolls is staggering. Everything is related to World War II, sex, and racial superiority.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 11, 2006 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Svigor,

Truly, you think like a child.

Only in the very limited capabilities of a winger is the concept of, say, Affirmative Action justifiable ONLY IF it has been conclusively established that there is no inherent genetic basis for differences in IQ between races.

There exist all kinds of good reasons to advocate for Affirmative Action if we simply don't know whether there's an important genetic component in those differences, and even if we did.

Is this too hard for you to understand?

Posted by: frankly0 on January 11, 2006 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Svigor,
Truly, you think like a child.

Possibly, but it seems to me that Svigor thinks like someone who thinks it would be preferable to sterilize a child in order to preserve the Master Race.

Still hoping, praying, waiting for you to bring something beyond that dull patina of snark to the table, Svigor. All I've seen from your side since this thread opened up are the ravings of white supremacists and wingnuts masked as earnest debate.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 11, 2006 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, I love topics where people say that intelligence doesn't exist and people who disagree with them are stupid, all in the same post.

Posted by: Rob on January 11, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Hardly. Ever heard of the Fuel-Air Explosive? It's been widely used in Chechnya. How about the Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB)?

(i) Reference a wartime use of any of these weapons that did more actual damage than the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima or the massive conventional bombings I referred to.

(ii) Explain why your nitpick, even if it was right, could possibly have anything to do with the main discussion.

All I've seen from your side since this thread opened up are the ravings of white supremacists and wingnuts masked as earnest debate.

The white supremacist charge again.

Exactly why the hell would white supremacists defend to the death a position that says Japanese, enemies we hated enough during WW2 that we nuked them, have a noticeable intelligence advantage over whites on average? And let's not even get started about Ashkenazi Jews. If you called us Jewish supremacists, you could at least assemble some concrete evidence to support your position.

Posted by: Dog of Justice on January 11, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps you'd really like to just go on believing there is no such thing as an intelligent dark-skinned person and race is what matters?

Bell curves have some area under the right side, you know. Not all African-Americans have IQs close to 90, any more than all whites have IQs close to 100.

No Sailer supporter would deny that Thomas Sowell is very intelligent. Or that Phil Ivey is. Or that any black admitted to a UC campus post-Proposition 209 should be intelligent.

In fact, as a math teaching assistant at UCSD, two of the students that have expressed the most appreciation for my teaching have been black. I'd like to believe that I give qualified blacks more real respect than average, but even if I'm wrong, it doesn't look like I'm giving them less respect.

Posted by: Dog of Justice on January 11, 2006 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Truly, you think like a child.

To the observers: why don't you go back and count the number of cheap shots the egalitarians have taken in this thread?

Only in the very limited capabilities of a winger is the concept of, say, Affirmative Action justifiable ONLY IF it has been conclusively established that there is no inherent genetic basis for differences in IQ between races.

There exist all kinds of good reasons to advocate for Affirmative Action if we simply don't know whether there's an important genetic component in those differences, and even if we did.

Is this too hard for you to understand?
Ah, so agnosticism goes right out the window when it comes to policies egalitarians support. I see.

Posted by: Svigor on January 11, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Exactly why the hell would white supremacists defend to the death a position that says Japanese, enemies we hated enough during WW2 that we nuked them, have a noticeable intelligence advantage over whites on average? And let's not even get started about Ashkenazi Jews. If you called us Jewish supremacists, you could at least assemble some concrete evidence to support your position.

For the record: amen.

Posted by: Svigor on January 11, 2006 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, so agnosticism goes right out the window when it comes to policies egalitarians support. I see.

This is just stone stupid.

What I said was that agnosticism on the point of genetic difference in race is fully compatible with advocating for Affirmative Action.

Affirmative Action's most important justification is that it promotes DIVERSITY, and that it allows easier access to positions of power for disadvantaged minorities. And, yes, for the cretin wingers out there, a group can in principle both be disadvantaged AND have genetic basis to some differences.

Of course, all of those concepts are way above the pay grade of winger neural wiring.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 11, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, I love topics where people say that intelligence doesn't exist and people who disagree with them are stupid, all in the same post.

Strawmen, anyone? Anyone? Anyone?

Posted by: frankly0 on January 11, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0: "Look, BRussell, this really is nothing more than a verbal dispute here.

As I'm using the word here, "culture" is intended embrace virtually everything about one's environment that is not, say, reducible to something of relevance physiologically, such as nutrition."

With all respect, if it is just a terminology issue, than you're not using the terminology correctly. I'm not just trying to nitpick, because I think the difference really is critical. Cultural bias has a very specific meaning in testing: It means that the test is bad. Most psychometrics people don't believe that's the case with today's common standardized tests.

What you're saying is that the environment affects intelligence. Well of course! No serious person would suggest otherwise. Nor is it even remotely conceivable that IQ tests can magically measure only innate intelligence or genetic ability or something that's unchangeable. That's simply an absurd idea. (I realize that the Bell Curve might have made such a suggestion, and if so, I think that's just silly).

It really doesn't matter whether the environmental cause of the Flynn effect is nutrition (which, as I understand it, the most commonly accepted theory) or some construct more to the liking of cultural anthropologists. In neither case does it mean that the test itself is "culturally biased." It just means that intelligence is changeable.

Posted by: BRussell on January 11, 2006 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

What I said was that agnosticism on the point of genetic difference in race is fully compatible with advocating for Affirmative Action.

Affirmative Action's most important justification is that it promotes DIVERSITY,

Affirmative action gives certain groups a leg up, and only those groups. Affirmative action does not promote DIVERSITY, per se. For example, when DIVERSITY would mean more white males (NFL, NBA, NYC Transit Authority), Affirmative Action is nowhere to be found.

This is all of course ignoring the fact that DIVERSITY isn't really the goal of DIVERSITY; no one worries that leftists hold overwhelming power over academia - that sort of DIVERSITY is immaterial. Diversicrats want racial diversity, perhaps in part precisely because racial diversity drives down ideological diversity.

Leftists seem to think DIVERSITY is a black leftist, a brown leftist, a yellow leftist, a red leftist, a homosexual leftist, etc.

and that it allows easier access to positions of power for disadvantaged minorities.

The whole point is that you can't make the claim that minorities are "disadvantaged" because agnosticism obviates it (unless by "disadvantaged" you meant "disadvantaged by natural selection").

Suggesting that "whitey caused it" isn't a huge part of the Diversicrat's game doesn't strike me as particularly honest.

I should add that the fact that Hispanics and African blacks just off the boat are entitled to Affirmative Action sort of belies the whole "disadvantaged" thing.

Of course, all of those concepts are way above the pay grade of winger neural wiring.

I find it odd how latered-up egalitarians invariably get over all this.

And, yes, for the cretin wingers out there, a group can in principle both be disadvantaged AND have genetic basis to some differences.

I'll leave that for the cretin wingers.

Posted by: Svigor on January 11, 2006 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

Excellent response to me Dog of Justice. I'm considering your arguments and we'll pick this discussion up again down the road.

Posted by: Jimm on January 11, 2006 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

Cultural bias has a very specific meaning in testing: It means that the test is bad.

Huh?

I'm thinking that it has a rather different, quite a bit more specific meaning than THAT.

I repeat, if whites of 50 years ago did a standard deviation worse than they do nowadays, the likely explanation is something different in the two "cultures", where that term is understood broadly.

Terminology aside, THAT is the important point.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 11, 2006 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider - You don't appear to be ignorant or an idiot, but you sure do argue like one. Try skipping the childish namecalling and try to formulate coherent arguments. Otherwise you are just more noise like Alice and Patton.

Posted by: CapitalistImperialistPig on January 11, 2006 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0: Of course it has a more specific meaning, but the point is that the test itself is flawed. Being clear about whether you think the test is flawed or that intelligence is influenced by the environment is a key distinction that I haven't seen you make.

I agree that the Flynn effect means that the environment is changing. I sincerely doubt that the change could be due to evolution, or that some other genetic effect is responsible. So what does that then imply? That the test is flawed, as you seemed to suggest earlier? Or something else? My view is that it doesn't change any of our views about IQ, unless you start with ridiculous idea that IQ is solely measuring some inherent or genetic quality.

By the way, I notice that you said whites are increasing their IQs. Is that not also the case with other groups? I honestly don't know, but I assume it has.

Posted by: BRussell on January 11, 2006 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

I repeat, if whites of 50 years ago did a standard deviation worse than they do nowadays, the likely explanation is something different in the two "cultures", where that term is understood broadly.

Terminology aside, THAT is the important point.

This means if whites voluntarily gave up all the nutritional and cultural advances that have been made over the last 5 decades, and blacks didn't, their performance would be comparable in important ways.

This might be accurate.

But it isn't very relevant. In practice, whites aren't going to voluntarily massively reduce the quality of their environment. The best we can do is give all groups access to the best available nutrition and culture.

We have explained why the evidence suggests that when we do this, some group differences will remain. You may disagree. I encourage you to act on this disagreement and work to reduce environmental disadvantages blacks suffer in a constructive rather than a purely redistributionary manner. In the meantime, we'll work on pharmaceutical and genetic engineering solutions to the problem. If it turns out such solutions aren't needed, then great! We just want to be prepared, because as far as we can tell we'll need to be.

Posted by: Dog of Justice on January 11, 2006 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

franky0, what is the racial composition of your neighborhood. Why is it a strawman to point out that you actually think intelligence exists but you say that it doesn't?

Posted by: Rob on January 11, 2006 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK

In fact, as a math teaching assistant at UCSD, two of the students that have expressed the most appreciation for my teaching have been black.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Yeah--not obsessed with race, are you? What a sicko.

Pale Rider - You don't appear to be ignorant or an idiot, but you sure do argue like one. Try skipping the childish namecalling and try to formulate coherent arguments. Otherwise you are just more noise like Alice and Patton.

Posted by: CapitalistImperialistPig on January 11, 2006 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

e-mail address used to post: none@none.com

This last post is interesting because each time the assembled trolls and shills take a shot at old Pale Rider, suddenly, a 'ghost poster' shows up to echo their sentiments as if to pile on.

What's clear to me is that this assemblage of race-obsessed shills isn't worth engaging with anything other than the insults they deserve.

Or indifference. After all, what can you do to beat the White Power freaks on a blog thread anyway?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 11, 2006 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Chang (Dog of Justice),
you are full of shit.

Posted by: bb on January 11, 2006 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

Dog of Justice wrote:

If you called us Jewish supremacists, you could at least assemble some concrete evidence to support your position.

It's highly unlikely that you are Jewish, as you claim. I'd be extremely suprised that to find a Jewish guy with Chang as his last name.

Posted by: Ben on January 11, 2006 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

It's highly unlikely that you are Jewish, as you claim. I'd be extremely suprised that to find a Jewish guy with Chang as his last name.

I explicitly stated earlier in the thread that I was a nonwhite immigrant, to point out how ridiculous the "white supremacist" charge was.

When I said "If you called us Jewish supremacists, you could at least assemble some concrete your position", the meaning should have been obvious from context -- Ashkenazi Jews perform substantially better than all other racial groups on IQ tests. And they have made corresponding disproportionately large contributions to modern science and culture. I deeply appreciate this latter fact, and so do lots of other non-Jews like me.

Posted by: Dog of Justice on January 11, 2006 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

When I said "If you called us Jewish supremacists, you could at least assemble some concrete your position"

Oops, garbled that self-quote. Insert "evidence for".

Posted by: Dog of Justice on January 11, 2006 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

I explicitly stated earlier in the thread that I was a nonwhite immigrant, to point out how ridiculous the "white supremacist" charge was.

It sounds to me like you are desperately obsessed with race and with the racial composition of everyone you come into contact with.

The Pale Rider is Scandanavian and Welsh, hailing from sea-faring folk who left Wales in the late 18th century to live in New York. On the other side of the family, we are Scandanavians who went to Minnesota to find a good life.

The Pale Rider served seven years in the Army, and that is his reason for posting here. The shills who want to link IQ to race are hilarious sendups of earnest, learned people who live in a vacuum of their own making. They cannot accept basic challenges to their desperate attempt to link the discredited science of their meager learning to a white supremacist agenda. They mask themselves in a variety of skins, but they are whites who hate all others, and their agenda is evil hatred for all things relating to diversity and truth in the world.

Shills, one and all. And poorly organized ones at that.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 11, 2006 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

You shills never learn from challenges. You claim I have made attacks. Certainly. After positing my various opinions and examples, which you shills blew past because you cannot address simple challenges to the bullshit science you are pushing for your masters, I attacked wholeheartedly because your agenda is evil. Instead of examining any of the ideas put forth from my side, or from any of the other posters hostile to your hate agenda, you repeat yourselves over and over again.

It is evil to push an agenda calling for using genetic engineering to make people more sexually attractive, to give legitimacy to data that has been skewed to make minorities seem less intelligent than other races. The unsettling notion using Asians and Jews to mitigate criticism and attempt to find a supposed 'middle ground' is also laughable.

There is no link between intelligence and race.

What is the scientific benefit of discovering the truth about this subject? Is it because the titillating idea of using science to compensate for some sort of insecurity about intelligence is too strong to put aside?

I have read lots of posturing and pseudo-intellectual babble, but nothing said from the shill point of view has the aroma of real education behind it.

Too much rote learning, it would seem to me. Too much...repeating endless lies...over and over again.

Gotta love the shills. They make the blog threads turn over.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 11, 2006 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

They mask themselves in a variety of skins, but they are whites who hate all others, and their agenda is evil hatred for all things relating to diversity and truth in the world.

WTF? Doesn't this contradict the fact that I'm not white? I can't exactly be pretending to be nonwhite since, as someone who buys many of David Brin's arguments in "The Transparent Society", I intentionally make myself easily traceable. You can track me down to a classroom and verify that a Chinese, not white, guy is responsible for the statements posted so far under the name "Dog of Justice" in this thread.

It sounds to me like you are desperately obsessed with race and with the racial composition of everyone you come into contact with.

Every explicit mention of race I've made in this thread has been with the aim of convincing objective readers that your "white supremacist" hypothesis is about as tenable as the "moon is made of green cheese" hypothesis.

Posted by: Dog of Justice on January 11, 2006 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

There is no link between intelligence and race.

What is the scientific benefit of discovering the truth about this subject?

So, have we discovered the truth, or haven't we? If we haven't, how exactly can you state that there is no link between intelligence and race?

You don't have to listen to me. I'm just a lowly grad student, after all. But you might consider Steven Pinker worth listening to.

Posted by: Dog of Justice on January 11, 2006 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

You can track me down to a classroom and verify that a Chinese, not white, guy is responsible for the statements posted so far under the name "Dog of Justice" in this thread.

I'm sure that the University of California at San Diego is thrilled to know that one of their math department flunkies is using the good name of the school to back up the theories you've been putting out here.

Is this the fellow I have to complain about you to?

bdriver@ucsd.edu

I'm sure he doesn't give a damn one way or the other...

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 11, 2006 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

It is evil to push an agenda calling for using genetic engineering to make people more sexually attractive, to give legitimacy to data that has been skewed to make minorities seem less intelligent than other races. The unsettling notion using Asians and Jews to mitigate criticism and attempt to find a supposed 'middle ground' is also laughable.

For once, you actually state a real point instead of making ad hominem attacks.

Steve Sailer does not like the prospect of an attractiveness "arms race" (which I believe was first predicted by Robert A. Heinlein). I don't like it either.

But reread my responses to Jimm. A crucial anchor of my worldview is the prediction that some private individuals are going to have access to genetic engineering whether we want them to or not. If I am correct about this, the only thing really under our control is whether we make sure everyone else has access. I believe that giving everyone access at that stage is a more moral choice than letting only well-connected private individuals have access. Sailer himself may not entirely agree with me here.

There is a legitimate discussion to be had on this subject.

But as for "data that has been skewed to make minorities seem less intelligent than other races", can you explain why white supremacists would skew data in favor of Asians? There are more Asians than whites, so Asians are the logical long-term "enemy" of white supremacists...

Posted by: Dog of Justice on January 11, 2006 at 11:32 PM | PERMALINK

Is this the fellow I have to complain about you to?

bdriver@ucsd.edu

You reveal with your pathetic threat how bankrupt your line of argument really is. Go ahead and make my day.

Posted by: Dog of Justice on January 11, 2006 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

Is this the fellow I have to complain about you to?

Garbled and hard to read. "To whom I have to complain about you" is slightly better, but still alkward. I would suggest "to whom I should address my complaints about you" but I can't tell for sure that's what you mean. (Who are you again? Nail Biter?)

Posted by: Roy B on January 11, 2006 at 11:47 PM | PERMALINK

"Is this the fellow I have to complain about you to?

bdriver@ucsd.edu"

Wow.

Posted by: BRussell on January 11, 2006 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

I don't see the quote from Yglesias on the TAPPED blog for 01/06 or 12/05, and not on the link you provided.

Yglesias has apparently been censored.

Posted by: Glaivester on January 12, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

Is this the fellow I have to complain about you to?

bdriver@ucsd.edu

I'm sure he doesn't give a damn one way or the other...

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 11, 2006 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

Nice stuff, Pale Rider.

Were you the guy who made the crack on bowl-shaped haircuts on Asians? I also remember the term 'rat-men'.

Anyone have your supervisor's e-mail so we can comment how a defense industry contractor is a white supremist?

I presume you have to work with Asians in your job?

I think you are being unfairly tough on Dog of Justice. Perhaps the difference in IQ's is due to nutrition, early childhood reading, breast feeding, personal care (maids or relatives over day care), anti-intellecualism in African-American culture (note that immigrants from Africa do OK), early childhood stimulation caused by learning a Hebrew alphabet as well as English
or the effect of learning Chinese.

...no one's going to know if its racist to discuss the issue.

Lots of English-educated Chinese think Chinese with better Chinese have better math.... maybe the discipline of learning pictograms does something?

...no one's going to know if the slightest reference is racist.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 12, 2006 at 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

And by the way, Pailpusher, whom I shall not address hereinafter, managed to simply evade my question about the possibility that various intelligences are correlated with certain generalized cognative capabilities. He basically said that anyone who has come to this conclusion is prima face guilty of doctoring his research or just a plain fanatic.

When confronted with the unpleasant fact that this issue is only garnering even meager mainstream press because the fact of racial intelligence profile variance is now nearly unanimously recognized by serious psychometricians, and has nowhere else to go but the popular media.

PunkRapper seems to feel that it is beyond the ken of the likes of Charles Murray or Steve Pinker to avoid elementary statistical errors like small samples and multi-colinnearity in their research. To him, everyone who isn't part of The Great and The Good is automatically an idiot. Thus, political correctness not only substitutes the espousal of conformist politics for actual virtues (such as sacrifice and charity) but it also exempts those who abide by it from the responsibility of acquiring real knowledge, since the incantation of its inane mantras is, conveniently, the only standard of learning it chooses to recognize.

Posted by: Roy B on January 12, 2006 at 12:19 AM | PERMALINK

I will note that we have been this way before and it ain't pretty. People are xenophobes. Some things are so set in human psychology that there is no dispassionate truth.

Posted by: opit on January 12, 2006 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK

Were you the guy who made the crack on bowl-shaped haircuts on Asians? I also remember the term 'rat-men'.

How is your bowl-shaped haircut? Which is more of a fashion choice than anything, you must agree.

How can I be politically correct when I am, without a doubt, usually the least 'politically correct' person around? I've ripped into McAristotle more times than I care to remember (and actually withdrawn some things, thanks to shortstop asking me to).

But hey, McAristotle--you can throw in with the White Power people all you want. You'll make a delightful little minion for them.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 12, 2006 at 7:24 AM | PERMALINK

You reveal with your pathetic threat how bankrupt your line of argument really is. Go ahead and make my day.

That sound you heard was the sound of a troll splitting the seat of his pants with a fear-induced release of compacted methane and waste byproducts...

Roy B, who is some sort of Columbia University hack, says:

And by the way, Pailpusher, whom I shall not address hereinafter, managed to simply evade my question about the possibility that various intelligences are correlated with certain generalized cognative capabilities. He basically said that anyone who has come to this conclusion is prima face guilty of doctoring his research or just a plain fanatic.

On the contrary; you will find the flaws in all race characteristics research by simply noting that the conclusions are often tainted through arbitrarily moving the goalposts around and skewing the data in such a way as to support a predetermined outcome. Unless you're willing to show us all of the 'contradictory' data that comes out from the various studies, don't even try to confuse the matter. Race has nothing to do with intelligence. Even a monkey can skew data to make it look like it does. Whoops--too politically correct for you? Not so politically correct? Ask your butt buddy Aristotle for a ruling on that.

When confronted with the unpleasant fact that this issue is only garnering even meager mainstream press because the fact of racial intelligence profile variance is now nearly unanimously recognized by serious psychometricians, and has nowhere else to go but the popular media.

So it's true because the Main Stream Media says it is so? We now have our nominee for the tallest pile of bullshit yet to be constructed on this thread.

How about we reprint for all to see one of the better articles debunking the Bell Curve? I promise it is relevant, in that it addresses the Military's ASVAB test:

For Whom the Bell Curve Really Tolls:
A tendentious tome abuses science to promote far-right policies

By Tim Beardsley

--------------------------------------------------

Rarely do 800-page books crammed with graphs reach best-seller lists. "The Bell Curve," an inflammatory treatise about class, intelligence and race by the late Richard J. Herrnstein, a psychology professor at Harvard University who died last September, and political scientist Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute, is an exception. The book's deeply pessimistic analysis of U.S. social woes, together with its conservative policy prescriptions, has hit a nerve.

Publishing "The Bell Curve" may have been a calculated political move on the part of its authors. As the country lurches to the right, many people will be seduced by the text's academic trappings and scientific tone into believing its arguments and political inferences well supported. Those readers should think again.

"The Bell Curve" depicts a frightening future in which, absent strong corrective measures, a "cognitive elite" will live in guarded enclaves distant from the dull masses. Opportunities for the underclass will become limited as tolerance evaporates. Strict policing will be widely accepted, and racial hostility will likely spread. The least intelligent denizens of this dystopia will be consigned to a "high-tech and more lavish version of the Indian reservation."

This apocalyptic vision is presented as the consequence of unpalatable, undeniable "facts" about inheritance and intelligence. But the thesis rests on curiously twisted logic. Its authors have been highly selective in the evidence they present and in their interpretation of ambiguous statistics. The work is "a string of half-truths," states Christopher Jencks, a sociologist at Northwestern University.

The arguments stem from the same tradition of biological determinism that led, not so long ago, to compulsory sterilizations in the U.S. and genocide elsewhere. The notion is that individuals' characteristics are both essentially fixed by inheritance and immune to alteration by the environment. Efforts to help those who are unfortunate by reason of their genes are unlikely to be rewarded. Solutions, therefore, should include those Murray has long advocated: abolish welfare, reduce affirmative action and simplify criminal law.

Herrnstein and Murray produce data suggesting that intelligence--as assessed by a high IQ score--is increasingly important to economic success. They also argue that people who have low scores--including disproportionate numbers of blacks--are more likely than others are to fall prey to social ills. The two accept evidence from studies of twins reared apart that there is a large heritable component to IQ scores: they estimate it to be 60 percent. The writers declare themselves agnostic on the question of whether racial differences in IQ scores are genetic, although they are clearly inclined to favor that possibility.

Herrnstein and Murray countenance that just because a trait has a heritable origin does not mean it is unchangeable. Nearsightedness is one example of an inherited, modifiable condition. But they decide, on the basis of a questionable look at the data, that "an inexpensive, reliable method of raising IQ is not available." This conclusion is used to justify an attack on programs aimed at helping society's most vulnerable: the authors prefer to let the genetically disadvantaged find their own level. Evidence that does not accord with Herrnstein and Murray's way of thinking--such as the observation that IQ scores worldwide are slowly increasing--is acknowledged then ignored.

Leaving aside the substantial and unresolved issue of whether a single number can adequately summarize mental performance, "The Bell Curve" plays fast and loose with statistics in several ways. According to Arthur Goldberger, an econometrician at the University of Wisconsin who has studied genetics and IQ, the book exaggerates the ability of IQ to predict job performance. Herrnstein and Murray assert that scores have an impressive "validity" of about 0.4 in such predictions. They report that the Armed Forces Qualification Test, an IQ surrogate, has a validity of 0.62 at anticipating the success of training for mechanical jobs. Yet many of the measures used to assess validity include supervisors' ratings, which are subject to bias, Goldberger notes. Furthermore, the validities that the duo see as so revealing are, in fact, hypothetical quantities that no employer would expect to find in prospective employees. "It's really bad stuff," Goldberger says.

Other correlations that the writers establish between social ills and low IQ scores are equally suspect. Herrnstein and Murray put great weight on comparisons between the ability of IQ scores and parental socioeconomic status to predict what will happen to young people. Yet the measures of socioeconomic status they use cannot ensure that homes are equally stimulating. The point is crucial because numerous studies have demonstrated that early childhood surroundings have a large role in molding IQ scores--certainly more studies than have indicated a significant role for heredity. Consequently, conclusions about the dominance of IQ cannot be taken at face value. Leon Kamin, a psychologist at Northeastern University and well-known critic of research on intelligence, maintains that interactions between genes and environment make attempts to weigh nature against nurture "meaningless."

Herrnstein and Murray's hereditarian bias is also obvious in their account of a study of 100 children from varying ethnic backgrounds who were adopted into white families. The study got under way in the 1970s. At age seven, the black and interracial children scored an average of 106 on IQ tests--considerably better than the national average of black children and close to levels scored by white children. A decade later researchers Sandra Scarr of the University of Virginia and Richard A. Weinberg of the University of Minnesota found that the IQs of the black children had declined to 89, whereas those of white adoptees had fallen from 112 to 106.

Scarr and Weinberg concluded that racially based discrimination at school probably explained the drop in the black youngsters' scores. Jencks agrees: "The results are perfectly consistent with the difference being due to something in the early home environment and, for older kids, their experience in school." But Herrnstein and Murray interpret the findings differently: "Whatever the environmental impact may have been, it cannot have been large."

"The Bell Curve's" most egregious failing, however, may be its bleak assessment of educational efforts to improve the intellectual performance of children from deprived backgrounds. Herrnstein and Murray cast a jaundiced eye over Head Start and other more intensive efforts for at-risk youngsters--projects that have been claimed to produce long-lasting gains in IQ, a possibility that would not square well with biological determinist thought. Herrnstein and Murray downplay such results, noting that such interventions are too expensive to be widely used. The only one they are enthusiastic about is adoption, which, paradoxically, they accept as having a clearly positive effect on IQ. "Their treatment of intervention wouldn't be accepted by an academic journal--it's that bad," exclaims Richard Nisbett, a psychology professor at the University of Michigan. "I'm distressed by the extent to which people assume [Murray] is playing by the rules."

Jencks is also unhappy with the book's conclusions about education. "Herrnstein and Murray are saying Head Start didn't have a profound effect. But that doesn't tell us that we couldn't do a lot better if we had a different society," he says. "In Japan, for example, children learn more math than they do in the U.S. because everybody there agrees math is important."

Scarr, who accepts a substantial role for heredity in individual IQ differences, insists that efforts to boost intellectual functioning in disadvantaged youth can deliver results. "There's no question that rescuing children from desperately awful circumstances will improve their performance," she notes.

Scarr also points out that ameliorating a child's environment may reduce social problems, regardless of its effect on IQ. "The low-IQ group deserves a lot more support than it is getting," she argues. "Other societies manage not to have the same levels of social ills as we do." Edward F. Zigler, a prominent educational psychologist at Yale University, asserts that "in terms of everyday social competence, we have overwhelming evidence that high-quality early education is beneficial."

Therein lies the fatal flaw in Herrnstein and Murray's harsh reasoning. Even though boosting IQ scores may be difficult and expensive, providing education can help individuals in other ways. That fact, not IQ scores, is what policy should be concerned with. "The Bell Curve's" fixation on IQ as the best statistical predictor of a life's fortunes is a myopic one. Science does not deny the benefits of a nurturing environment and a helping hand.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 12, 2006 at 7:38 AM | PERMALINK

But as for "data that has been skewed to make minorities seem less intelligent than other races", can you explain why white supremacists would skew data in favor of Asians? There are more Asians than whites, so Asians are the logical long-term "enemy" of white supremacists...

That's easy. White supremacists want Asians to work in their salt mines after they take control of the world. Duh.

just another Chinky-Dinky Ratman.

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on January 12, 2006 at 5:57 AM | PERMALINK

McAristotle: More liberal racism. Only PC when people agree with you. Ratmen own your bonds remember?

Dude, at least get it right when we insult you. I never said you were a chiny-dinky ratman--that was DoH. I said you were a bowl haircut wearing idiot when you used the term 'pollack.' Apparently, only McAristotle is allowed to be racist. Pity he doesn't understand that the White Power freaks are ready to put him to work in their salt mines...perhaps McAristotle can be Informant Number One and turn in everyone who fails to mine their allotment of salt each day.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 12, 2006 at 7:49 AM | PERMALINK

I will note that we have been this way before and it ain't pretty. People are xenophobes. Some things are so set in human psychology that there is no dispassionate truth.

This would almost be a reasonable position to take, if we didn't have any reason to believe genetic engineering would be possible in the future.

But a lot of people think we'll be capable of it, quite possibly within 3-6 decades. We've really made all the major conceptual breakthroughs already; all that's left is an information processing and engineering effort on the scale of tens of Manhattan Projects. One can try to argue that we shouldn't undertake this effort; but the biological research community is already moving full-speed in this direction since this same research is the logical way to develop cures for many diseases. You can try to stop them; I think we have to accept the availability of genetic engineering to at least well-connected private individuals as inevitable in any desirable future. (You could, in fact, confidently prevent the development of genetic engineering by nuking everyone. Or maybe by imposing Sharia law by force all over the world. But I think we can agree that such futures are not desirable.)

When genetic engineering is available, if relevant genetic racial differences exist, how will it be possible to credibly deny them? How is there no dispassionate truth then?

Therein lies the fatal flaw in Herrnstein and Murray's harsh reasoning. Even though boosting IQ scores may be difficult and expensive, providing education can help individuals in other ways. That fact, not IQ scores, is what policy should be concerned with. "The Bell Curve's" fixation on IQ as the best statistical predictor of a life's fortunes is a myopic one. Science does not deny the benefits of a nurturing environment and a helping hand.

If you actually read my posts with the aim to learn something from them, you might have been able to figure out that my position on what should be done about the reality of racial IQ differences is not the same as Murray's.

I am completely in favor of helping disadvantaged groups catch up, and not just in ways that can be measured by IQ. The reason I defend the reality of IQ to the death is because if you deny its reality, you are bound to misunderstand in crucial ways how to effectively help them.

Have you actually read Steve Sailer's suggestions as to how to help blacks? His ideas have a lot more potential than anything you have to offer, for the same reason that an architect that understands the equations driving structural stability can build more impressive things than someone who does not. If you don't understand the crucial equations, you might be able to draw prettier pictures than what the architect draws, but you will not be able to build what you drew.

That's easy. White supremacists want Asians to work in their salt mines after they take control of the world. Duh.

This is absolutely hilarious.

(i) If so, why wouldn't they also want blacks to work in salt mines as well?

(ii) You do realize India and China are nuclear powers, and Japan is a quasi-nuclear power?

(iii) Japan, in particular, is well on its way to becoming the first posthuman society. They don't need or want immigrants. You know why? One reason: they're building robots to do most things we use immigrants to do.

Though, in relation to that last point, I will come out of the closet and admit that, in some contexts, I am a robot supremacist.

Anyway, good luck convincing anyone that the Japanese are in danger of being sent to work in the salt mines.

Posted by: Dog of Justice on January 12, 2006 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider - Posted by: CapitalistImperialistPig on January 11, 2006 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

e-mail address used to post: none@none.com

This last post is interesting because each time the assembled trolls and shills take a shot at old Pale Rider, suddenly, a 'ghost poster' shows up to echo their sentiments as if to pile on.

Pale Rider - It's pretty interesting that someone who styles himself "death" talks about ghost posters. I've been commenting here for longer than you, I think. I'm not entirely ephemeral, since I do have a real blog, but I don't advertise my email address, because of people like you who like to dish out threats (as you did to DoJ). My comment was intended to indicate that I thought you had something to say but were not saying it very well because of your rhetorical approach - I could be wrong on both points.

Posted by: CapitalistImperialistPig on January 12, 2006 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not entirely ephemeral, since I do have a real blog, but I don't advertise my email address, because of people like you who like to dish out threats (as you did to DoJ).

Right. Short answer: you're a coward.

Dog of Justice isn't afraid of me, why should anyone else be afraid of me?

Let's have a link to your 'real blog.'

What is glaringly obvious is that most of the shills and apologists for the White Power freaks hide behind fake names and fake e-mail addresses, except for the ones stupid enough to reveal what Universities they work for.

Pale Rider's e-mail address is real. I love harvesting IP addresses--send me some mail.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 12, 2006 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

Never mind, found you:

Into the Trackless Swamp

Kevin drum ventures into the IQ Swamps. His post was inspired by Fred Kaplan's Slate piece GI Schmo on the dumbing down of the Army:
The bad news is twofold. First, the number of Category IV recruits is starting to skyrocket. Second, a new study compellingly demonstrates that, in all realms of military activity, intelligence does matter. Smarter soldiers and units perform their tasks better; dumber ones do theirs worse.

Category IV is the 10-30 percentile on the Armed Forces Qualifying Test - mainly an IQ test. (Kevin incorrectly calls it the bottom third.)

Kevin knows the risks, but decides to step into the swamp anyway:

Of course, we all know what the real problem is here: in contemporary discourse intelligence is inextricably bound up with race, which is why it's almost impossible to talk honestly about it. For that we mainly have conservative race demagogues like Charles Murray and Steve Sailer to blame although liberals themselves haven't been entirely blameless either when it comes to demagoging IQ.

Fortunately, our intrepid hero (my second favorite blogger, btw) thinks he knows what to do about it:

In any case, I've long had a suspicion that one of the reasons IQ is so overvalued in our society it's important, but it's not that important is because it's one of the few cognitive traits that's routinely measured. Simply because it's something that most of us can put a number to, it becomes a de facto stand-in for all cognitive abilities, even though it very clearly isn't.

The answer? How about more testing, not less? Cognitive traits like sociability, empathy, self-discipline, and extroversion, just to name a few, are as important in contemporary society as IQ, but most of us have only a vague idea of how we compare to other people in these areas. If we routinely measured these things in addition to IQ, perhaps the lay public would start treating IQ as just one of many important cognitive traits and we'd all start to assign it an importance more in keeping with its true worth. This in turn might help to reduce IQ as the cultural flashpoint

More testing! That surely is the way to go! After, everybody's got to be good at something, right? Right?

Let's pass over the miscelleaneous unproven slam at Murray and Sailer - I know little of Murray and less of Sailer. Let them defend themselves.

Unfortunately, Kevin still gets a lot wrong: I've long had a suspicion that one of the reasons IQ is so overvalued in our society it's important, but it's not that important is because it's one of the few cognitive traits that's routinely measured. he says. This idea that IQ testing is just a bad habit is dead wrong. As one of Kevin's commenters mentions, IQ gets tested a lot because (1) it's easy and repeatable and (2) it's strongly correlated with performance in almost every activity. The NFL doesn't test prospective recruits IQ because it's customary, it tests them because they know that certain minimums are needed to perform - and they have a very good idea what those minimums are for every position. Kaplan's story just told him that smarter recruits even shoot straighter than their lower IQ fellows.

The same commenter, BRussell, also points out that the other traits Kevin mentions don't have those two useful characteristics: They aren't predictive, and different tests don't correlate well.

Another commenter, TangoMan, has some intriguing data purportedly correlating low IQ populations with inbreeding in the form of first cousin marriages. It's not a crazy idea. All of us are packing a dozen or two deleterious recessive genes. It's well known that sibling matings produce a very high proportion of severely handicapped offspring. The odds are about four times better for first cousins (we share 1/8 of our DNA instead of 1/2), but still might be bad enough to make for some marginally damaging recessive pairs.

Kevin writes a liberal blog, so most of the grief he has taken so far comes from the outraged liberals. The Nazi racists are out there too though - that's why the swamp is so dismal. I doubt that the conditions are ripe yet for discussing IQ rationally.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 12, 2006 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

CIP,

Really--giving that shill TangoMan a forum for his hate speech is sad.

Anyone who disagrees with him is 'shouting him down' and is intellectually inferior to him--witness this exchange with someone else:

On a closing note, you display the worst tendencies of the closed minded members of the "reality based community" who want to shut out discussion on topics you find ideologically threatening.

By all means, allow TangoMan his right to post his deranged information for all to see. Shining a light on these cockroaches is fun.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 12, 2006 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Hi i really enjoyed to read this post and agreed with many of the responses . Keep up with the good work.

Posted by: Lori Bank on January 12, 2006 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Uh, Lori?

Which ones? Which side do you come down on?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 12, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

The Matt Yglesias post that Kevin linked to is now gone from the Prospect website. I guess liberals REALLY don't like to talk about IQ...

Posted by: Andrew on January 12, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Have you actually read Steve Sailer's suggestions as to how to help blacks? His ideas have a lot more potential than anything you have to offer,

I posted on my own blog how to help blacks here, and other thoughts on how the Race and IQ problems should be pursued here. Most of my suggestions came from Steve Sailer's writings, so the first post is essentially a collection of what Steve Sailer has written.

The Matt Yglesias post that Kevin linked to is now gone from the Prospect website. I guess liberals REALLY don't like to talk about IQ...

Here's a link to a Google Cache of the original post. (Thank you to Ken Hirsch).

I commented on the censoring of Yglesias in an earlier comment and on my blog.

Posted by: Glaivester on January 12, 2006 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

I have never come across this site or 'Pale Rider' before, but I must say his performance is among the most pitiful I've ever read on this subject.

TangoMan and Dog of Justice are in the right, and science supports them. Pale Rider is a relic of delusionary egalitarianism.

Posted by: Love Supreme on January 12, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

All that higher IQ did for the Chinese was that they were able to think of still more reasons not to change what they were doing while Imperial China sank.

Posted by: cld on January 12, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

TangoMan and Dog of Justice are in the right, and science supports them. Pale Rider is a relic of delusionary egalitarianism.

Wow, why doesn't that surprise me?

TangoMan, Svigor, Dog of Justice and whoever the hell else who is shilling for them represent something that I'll never be a part of and that doesn't bother me a bit. I think the racists and apologists for bad science are going to be with us for a long, long time and anyone, like myself, who calls them on their bullshit is obviously going to draw fire.

Fire away. Unlike them, I can take it. And, why hasn't anyone commented on the article that I posted by Tim Beardsley?

Oh, that's right--we talk about race anonymously and hide behind aliases but we certainly cannot be bothered to address anything that refutes the premise that race is linked to intelligence.

As frankly0 said, none of you will be admit anything that contradicts or derails your hateful, racist agenda.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 12, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

All that higher IQ did for the Chinese was that they were able to think of still more reasons not to change what they were doing while Imperial China sank.

No disagreement that China's performance was pathetic up to 1980, and its future course is still highly uncertain. You need the right systems as well as human capital; communism in particular has proven itself to be one of the best known ways to waste arbitrarily large amounts of human capital. The contrast between North Korea and South Korea is particularly stark; they're working from essentially the same gene pool, yet look at the difference that has emerged between them in just 50 years.

But when you do have the right systems, IQ is very important.

Posted by: Dog of Justice on January 12, 2006 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

And, why hasn't anyone commented on the article that I posted by Tim Beardsley?

I did earlier. See the second section of this post.

I have nothing against environmental interventions to help blacks. I just think the evidence says environmental interventions alone will close only part of, not all of, the current white/black performance gap. I want to see the entire gap closed if there is a reasonable way to do it, hence my advocacy of providing all citizens access to genetic engineering.

If it turns out that you guys are able to close the entire gap via reasonable environmental interventions, then great! I would congratulate you, and so would Sailer and all his other supporters. We just don't think that's possible, and we want to figure out what's the best thing to do in that situation. But we never want to get in the way of environmental interventions that actually help blacks. We are on your side there. In fact, we'll even offer suggestions as to what might work -- look at Glaivester's most recent post.

Posted by: Dog of Justice on January 12, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0, a culturally biased IQ test is one on which individuals from culture A score below (on average) individuals from culture B even though they are actually of equal intelligence. An example would be an English language test given to non-native speakers of English. On the other hand if on average individuals from culture A are less intelligent than individuals from culture B (whether due to genetic or environmental differences) then an unbiased IQ test should show this by finding group differences. Such differences do not mean the test is culturally biased.

Regarding the Flynn effect, increased scores for whites do not necessarily mean the tests are flawed. They could reflect an actual increase in intelligence. Such an increase could be caused by better nutrition, better health care, more stimulating environments, more outbreeding etc. On the other hand if whites today are not actually more intelligent than whites 50 years ago then you are correct there is some bias in the tests, perhaps some sort of test sophistication effect.

Regarding the black/white IQ gap this could be an artifact (meaning blacks and whites are actually of equal intelligence and the difference in IQ scores is due to flaws in the tests) or it could be real and due to environmental differences between blacks and whites or it could be real and due to genetic differences between blacks and whites. These explanations are not of course mutually exclusive.

Posted by: James B. Shearer on January 12, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

*drum roll*

...and finally...

scatology:

That sound you heard was the sound of a troll splitting the seat of his pants with a fear-induced release of compacted methane and waste byproducts...

Take a bow, PR, you're the absolute poster boy for the obscurantist/environmental determinist argument. You might want to peruse the toolbox above, so you can at least know the Latin for your tactics.

Posted by: Svigor on January 12, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

Well said James B. Shearer.

I'd just add that I believe we do have to be especially careful about concluding that IQ score differences between races are due to genetic differences, because there have been racists in the pasts who have advocated such things for their agendas. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't study them, let alone talk about the possibilities.

It also seems implausible to me that the (all too recent) history of racial disparities in educational access and economic opportunity WOULDN'T have an impact on tests like this, even if we know that, for individuals, IQ is highly heritable.

Posted by: BRussell on January 12, 2006 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

You shills are certainly obsessed, that's for sure.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 13, 2006 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

we do have to be especially careful about concluding that IQ score differences between races are due to genetic differences, because there have been racists in the pasts who have advocated such things for their agendas.

So, what happens when a racist decides to advocate lower taxes, or a strong military, or indoor plumbing as part of his agenda?

They need to start teaching logic again in schools, and save a front row seat for PR.

Posted by: Svigor on January 13, 2006 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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