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Re: [evol-psych] Gould's battle against racism

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  • Doug Mook
    ... In 1994, ... The average differences were not in dispute, but only the reason for the diffeences -- on which the authors remain, in their word, anostic.
    Message 1 of 28 , Jun 1, 2002
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      dippy@... wrote:

      > On Fri, 31 May 2002 13:09, Ian Pitchford quoted:
      >
      >
      >>Boston Globe
      >>
      >>Gould's battle against racism
      >>By Derrick Z. Jackson, 5/29/2002
      >>
      > [snip]
      In 1994,
      >>right-wing political activist Charles Murray and the late Harvard
      >>psychology professor Richard Herrnstein hit the best-seller lists
      >>with ''The Bell Curve,'' which claimed that black people have lower
      >>and more fixed IQs than white people.
      >>
      >

      The average differences were not in dispute, but only the
      reason for the diffeences -- on which the authors remain, in
      their word, "anostic." As for "more fixed" -- where do
      Murray and Herrnstein make that claim? I can't find it.


      > It is curious that people railing against the racism of "The Bell
      > Curve" always refer to Murray and Herrnstein's claim that blacks have
      > lower IQs than whites, but they rarely mention that Murray and
      > Herrnstein also claim that whites have lower IQs than Asians.
      >
      > But I guess that mentioning this would accomplish nothing except to
      > mess up the pretty little picture of Murray and Herrnstein as white
      > supremists hell-bent on inventing evidence for their prejudices.
      >
      It is striking how many comments on the book begin with the assertion

      that it "sets out to prove black genetic inferiority." Since the book sets

      out to do no such thing and makes no such claim, this
      assertion is a striking example of schema-driven inference.

      -- Doug M
    • Bert Gold
      It seems to me that Gould s critique of studies on intelligence warrants significant new work in two areas, both closely held as secrets : One is in the
      Message 2 of 28 , Jun 2, 2002
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        It seems to me that Gould's critique of studies on intelligence
        warrants significant new work in two areas, both closely held
        as 'secrets': One is in the realm of test validation, and the other
        is in the realm of statistics, particularly principal component
        analysis.

        As a geneticist, whose work is always open to the public (or
        at least scientific public's) gaze, it puzzles me that psychological
        tests, virtually all of them, remain copyrighted, secret, and closely
        held by licensed individuals. As if these were Class IV prescription
        drugs...

        Only when test design, theoretical underpinnings, and statistical
        validations and correlations can be openly discussed, will these
        tests come to have any meanings.

        Lack of debate in this area has prevented adequate honoring of
        Howard Gardiner's ideas of 'Multiple Intelligences' and tests for these
        from emerging, IMHO.

        It would be a nice contribution (and fitting tribute to Gould) if this
        debate could open up this area, so that environmental and genetic
        correlates could be adequately studied, characterized, and understood.

        Just my 2 cents.

        --
        Bert Gold, Ph.D., F.A.C.M.G. Board Certified in
        Human Genetics Section Clinical Molecular Genetics
        Laboratory of Genomic Diversity Home Address:
        National Cancer Institute - Frederick 6811 Kingfisher Court
        Frederick, Maryland 21702 Frederick, Maryland 21703
        Building 560, Room 1185 Home Voice: 301-360-0699
        Office: 301-846-5098 Personal email:
        Lab: 301-846-1997 bert@...
        Fax: 301-846-1909 Personal website:
        email: goldb@... http://kattler-gold.net/bert
      • Herbert Gintis
        Dear Irwin, Please look at my web site. There are several pieces there, from a book edited by Marc Feldman, the Journal of Economic LIterature, and the Journal
        Message 3 of 28 , Jun 2, 2002
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          Dear Irwin,
          Please look at my web site. There are several pieces there, from a
          book edited by Marc Feldman, the Journal of Economic LIterature, and the
          Journal of Economic Perspectives.
          It's hard to get data that have test scores, grades in school,
          personality measures, and economic performance. Osborne (our coauthor) has
          some good data using the Rotter scale with British and American cohorts,
          but that is all. Also, read Jencks' books, and the appropriate chapter(s)
          in Bowles and my Schooling in Capitalist America (on IQ). The latter are
          old, but not to my knowledge superseded.

          Herb


          At 10:30 AM 6/2/2002 -0700, Irwin Silverman wrote:
          >On Sat, 1 Jun 2002, Herbert Gintis wrote:
          >
          > > I think it is a mistake to confuse IQ and intelligence. I have
          > > done a lot of work on IQ and its interrelationship with social variables,
          > > but I never use the word "intelligence" in describing or interpreting the
          > > research. IQ has some important social effects (including higher IQ
          > > implies higher earnings), whatever it's relationship to intelligence is.
          >
          > One of my grad students (copied in this reply) is planning to do
          >her thesis on the relative contributions of IQ and various measures of EQ
          >(emotional intelligence) to occupational choice and success. (We figured
          >it was time to do the research on the claims of The Bell Curve rather than
          >just throw mud at it). We would be interested in references to or copies
          >of your work.
          > We would also appreciate any help, leads or suggestions from
          >anyone in locating samples where we could compare test scores (taken on
          >line) with some criterion of vocational success.
          >
          > Thanks
          >
          >Irwin

          Herbert Gintis
          Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts
          External Faculty, Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM
          15 Forbes Avenue, Northampton, MA 01060 413-586-7756
          Recent papers are posted on my <http://www-unix.oit.umass.edu/~gintis>web site.
          Get Game Theory Evolving (Princeton, 2000) at
          <http://www.isbn.nu/0691009430/amazon>Amazon.com.
          Saying of the Week:
          Freedom is having a lot to lose, yet not being afraid to lose it.
        • Herbert Gintis
          ... Actually, I don t think much of Gould s work in the area at all. He s just a mud-slinger and subject to journalistic excesses. Mismeasure of Man is a very
          Message 4 of 28 , Jun 2, 2002
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            At 11:18 AM 6/2/2002 -0400, Bert Gold wrote:
            >It seems to me that Gould's critique of studies on intelligence
            >warrants significant new work in two areas, both closely held
            >as 'secrets': One is in the realm of test validation, and the other
            >is in the realm of statistics, particularly principal component
            >analysis.
            Actually, I don't think much of Gould's work in the area at all.
            He's just a mud-slinger and subject to journalistic excesses. Mismeasure of
            Man is a very bad book, from a scientific point of view.
            My point of view in the IQ controversies is that IQ is much less
            important in determining life chances, whatever it measures, and the
            heritability of IQ explains very little of the intergenerational
            transmission of economic success, however heritability IQ is. Bowles and I
            wrote this in 1976, and with much better data, it show up just as true
            today (see the J Econ Lit and J Econ Perspectives papers on my web site).
            The best work critiquing a high heritability of IQ have been by
            Marcus Feldman and his coworkers, and for racial difference James Flynn
            http://www.sciam.com/1999/0199issue/0199profile.html.
            The AFQT and several other IQ tests are published, I believe.

            Best,

            Herb


            >As a geneticist, whose work is always open to the public (or
            >at least scientific public's) gaze, it puzzles me that psychological
            >tests, virtually all of them, remain copyrighted, secret, and closely
            >held by licensed individuals. As if these were Class IV prescription
            >drugs...
            >
            >Only when test design, theoretical underpinnings, and statistical
            >validations and correlations can be openly discussed, will these
            >tests come to have any meanings.
            >
            >Lack of debate in this area has prevented adequate honoring of
            >Howard Gardiner's ideas of 'Multiple Intelligences' and tests for these
            >from emerging, IMHO.
            >
            >It would be a nice contribution (and fitting tribute to Gould) if this
            >debate could open up this area, so that environmental and genetic
            >correlates could be adequately studied, characterized, and understood.
            >
            >Just my 2 cents.
            >
            >--
            >Bert Gold, Ph.D., F.A.C.M.G. Board Certified in
            >Human Genetics Section Clinical Molecular Genetics
            >Laboratory of Genomic Diversity Home Address:
            >National Cancer Institute - Frederick 6811 Kingfisher Court
            >Frederick, Maryland 21702 Frederick, Maryland 21703
            >Building 560, Room 1185 Home Voice: 301-360-0699
            >Office: 301-846-5098 Personal email:
            >Lab: 301-846-1997 bert@...
            >Fax: 301-846-1909 Personal website:
            >email: goldb@... http://kattler-gold.net/bert

            Herbert Gintis
            Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts
            External Faculty, Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM
            15 Forbes Avenue, Northampton, MA 01060 413-586-7756
            Recent papers are posted on my <http://www-unix.oit.umass.edu/~gintis>web site.
            Get Game Theory Evolving (Princeton, 2000) at
            <http://www.isbn.nu/0691009430/amazon>Amazon.com.
            Saying of the Week:
            Freedom is having a lot to lose, yet not being afraid to lose it.
          • Herbert Gintis
            ... I have never seen convincing evidence that IQ tests are culturally biased. Most IQ tests intercorrelate very highly, and some are constructed to be quite
            Message 5 of 28 , Jun 2, 2002
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              At 08:31 AM 6/1/2002 -0700, Leon Albert wrote:
               
              Even more interesting, I think, is the way in which these people obsessed with "racial" ranking based on IQ tests, beyond ignoring the blatant cultural biases of such tests, also ignore the constantly accumulating evidence of the modular nature of human mental abilities, both cognitive aspects and emotional aspects. As one analogy puts it, our mind-brain has more the nature of a "swiss-army-knife" than the "all-purpose-tool" implied by the old IQ "paradigm."

               
                       I have never seen convincing evidence that IQ tests are culturally biased. Most IQ tests intercorrelate very highly, and some are constructed to be quite culturally neutral. But I am not an expert in this area, and would appreciate serious studies that show cultural bias..

              Herb


              Herbert Gintis                                                       
              Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts                       
              External Faculty, Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM
              15 Forbes Avenue, Northampton, MA 01060 413-586-7756
              Recent papers are posted on my web site.
              Get Game Theory Evolving (Princeton, 2000) at Amazon.com.
              Saying of the Week:
                Freedom is having a lot to lose, yet not being afraid to lose it.
            • John Winston Bush
              Dear Dr Gold, Restrictions on access to psychological tests are intended to shield item content from persons who could use the information to produce faked
              Message 6 of 28 , Jun 2, 2002
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                Dear Dr Gold,

                Restrictions on access to psychological tests are intended to shield item
                content from persons who could use the information to produce faked
                performances and thereby undermine the tests' validity. Issues of test design,
                theoretical underpinnings, and statistical validations and correlations are
                routinely and openly discussed in the published scientific literature, which is
                available to anyone who is interested.

                Sources:

                1. The PsycINFO database at http://www.apa.org/psycinfo/, which can be accessed
                either through annual subscription or for $9.95 a day.

                2. The Buros Institute of Mental Measurements, available at
                http://www.unl.edu/buros/.

                ---------------------------------------
                John Winston Bush, PhD
                New York State licensed psychologist
                207 Berkeley Place
                Brooklyn, NY 11217-3801
                ---------------------------------------
                Tel: 718 636-5071
                Fax: 718 636-5166
                E-mail: jwb@...
                Web: www.cognitive-behavior-therapy.org
                ---------------------------------------

                It seems to me that Gould's critique of studies on intelligence
                warrants significant new work in two areas, both closely held
                as 'secrets': One is in the realm of test validation, and the other
                is in the realm of statistics, particularly principal component
                analysis.

                As a geneticist, whose work is always open to the public (or
                at least scientific public's) gaze, it puzzles me that psychological
                tests, virtually all of them, remain copyrighted, secret, and closely
                held by licensed individuals. As if these were Class IV prescription
                drugs...

                Only when test design, theoretical underpinnings, and statistical
                validations and correlations can be openly discussed, will these
                tests come to have any meanings.

                Lack of debate in this area has prevented adequate honoring of
                Howard Gardiner's ideas of 'Multiple Intelligences' and tests for these
                from emerging, IMHO.

                It would be a nice contribution (and fitting tribute to Gould) if this
                debate could open up this area, so that environmental and genetic
                correlates could be adequately studied, characterized, and understood.

                Just my 2 cents.

                --
                Bert Gold, Ph.D., F.A.C.M.G. Board Certified in
                Human Genetics Section Clinical Molecular Genetics
                Laboratory of Genomic Diversity Home Address:
                National Cancer Institute - Frederick 6811 Kingfisher Court
                Frederick, Maryland 21702 Frederick, Maryland 21703
                Building 560, Room 1185 Home Voice: 301-360-0699
                Office: 301-846-5098 Personal email:
                Lab: 301-846-1997 bert@...
                Fax: 301-846-1909 Personal website:
                email: goldb@... http://kattler-gold.net/bert
              • Herbert Gintis
                ... I just looked at this, and it is very good, and quite accurate. I just have a couple of bones to pick: First: 3. While there are different types of
                Message 7 of 28 , Jun 2, 2002
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                  At 05:22 PM 6/1/2002 +0000, John T. Goodrum wrote:
                  >You may have already seen this 1994 statement from the Wall Street
                  >Journal - if not, you might find it interesting:
                  >
                  >http://www.mugu.com/cgi-bin/Upstream/Issues/bell-curve/support-bell-curve.html
                  I just looked at this, and it is very good, and quite accurate. I
                  just have a couple of bones to pick:
                  First:

                  "3. While there are different types of intelligence tests, they all measure
                  the same intelligence. Some use words or numbers and require specific
                  cultural knowledge (like vocabulary). Others do not, and instead use shapes
                  or designs and require knowledge of only simple, universal concepts
                  (many/few, open/closed, up/down)."
                  "Intelligence" is just a word, and though this sentence is
                  correct, there may be types of things we would like to call "intelligence"
                  that are unrelated to what is measured on IQ tests.

                  Second:
                  "9. IQ is strongly related, probably more so than any other single
                  measurable human trait, to many important educational, occupational,
                  economic, and social outcomes. Its relation to the welfare and performance
                  of individuals is very strong in some arenas in life (education, military
                  training), moderate but robust in others (social competence), and modest
                  but consistent in others (law-abidingness). Whatever IQ tests measure, it
                  is of great practical and social importance. "
                  Other things (including educational level and social background) are
                  equally, or almost equally, important. More telling, however, is that the
                  direct contribution of IQ test scores to success in life is rather small.
                  Most of its effects are indirect (e.g., high social class background
                  entails high IQ scores and high income, but the class background is doing
                  much of the explaining, not the IQ test scores).

                  Herb



                  Herbert Gintis
                  Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts
                  External Faculty, Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM
                  15 Forbes Avenue, Northampton, MA 01060 413-586-7756
                  Recent papers are posted on my <http://www-unix.oit.umass.edu/~gintis>web site.
                  Get Game Theory Evolving (Princeton, 2000) at
                  <http://www.isbn.nu/0691009430/amazon>Amazon.com.
                  Saying of the Week:
                  Freedom is having a lot to lose, yet not being afraid to lose it.
                • Ken Hirsch
                  ... When The Bell Curve was published, the APA formed a task force to prepare an authoritative response to the issues it raised. The report, released in
                  Message 8 of 28 , Jun 2, 2002
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                    John T. Goodrum wrote:
                    >
                    > You may have already seen this 1994 statement from the Wall Street
                    > Journal - if not, you might find it interesting:
                    >
                    > http://www.mugu.com/cgi-bin/Upstream/Issues/bell-curve/support-bell-curve.html
                    >

                    When The Bell Curve was published, the APA formed a task force to prepare an
                    authoritative response to the issues it raised. The report, released in August,
                    1995, is available at http://www.lrainc.com/swtaboo/taboos/apa_01.html

                    Ken Hirsch
                  • Dennis Hollenberg
                    Gould s popular writing with its continuing focus on humans random good evolutionary luck and, implicitly, the equivalence of people, seems to me to be part
                    Message 9 of 28 , Jun 2, 2002
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                      Gould's popular writing with its continuing focus on humans' random good evolutionary luck and, implicitly, the equivalence of people, seems to me to be part and parcel of his proletarian political bent.

                      I think that predisposition might have caused him to emphasize hierarchical dynamics above the species level, that of "species selection" (a program of dubious usefulness). That I think occurred at the expense of the hierarchical dynamics below the "organizational" level of the individual organism (selection among developmentally interacting organs, tissues, cells and molecules ["genes"].*

                      The first renders us egalitarian good will, in principle, but the second offers insight into the nuts and bolts of organisms' functional complexity. Gould hated the notion of an increasing degree of complexity in the evolutionary panoply and actively argued against it (by citing morphological data, as we might expect a Paleontologist to do; see Full House: The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin). But the real issue is functional complexity as evidenced by human activity. His views of intelligence followed that idealized line of thinking in which randomness is seen as having produced just another (arbitrary) form of novelty. But we didn't become the creatures we are through purely random events just as we don't gain social prominence through the same mechanism. The observation that his outlook was rather Victorian says volumes: Gould was born late by a hundred years or so.

                      IQ's usefulness requires that all those allowing themselves to be measured do so with equal perception of the test's usefulness and resulting motivations, culturally endowed characteristics. Therefore, we can't usefully state that IQ tests are "universal" or that IQ randomly visits our human numbers.

                      On that score I think Herb Gintis puts the right light on IQ:
                      "Other things (including educational level and social background) are equally, or almost equally, important. More telling, however, is that the direct contribution of IQ test scores to success in life is rather small. Most of its effects are indirect (e.g., high social class background entails high IQ scores and high income, but the class background is doing much of the explaining, not the IQ test scores)."

                      All of which I attribute to the social connections we form as we pursue culturally approved goals: the auspicious interpersonal exchanges and advantages afforded by our networks.

                      Still trying to figure out which way is "up,"
                      Dennis Hollenberg
                      *Beginnings Creativity, Belief, Evolution and Our Interconnected Universe Idler's Cove Press (March, 2002).
                    • Charles Murray
                      I didn t see the original message, but my eye was caught by the 15 point spread line, which makes it sound as if someone is talking about a 15 point
                      Message 10 of 28 , Jun 3, 2002
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                        I didn't see the original message, but my eye was caught by the "15 point
                        spread" line, which makes it sound as if someone is talking about a 15 point
                        difference between Asians and whites. So just in case someone did: No, it's
                        a much smaller & more equivocal difference, with the only sure thing being
                        that East Asians have elevated visuospatial scores compared to whites, with
                        the verbal means being close to the same or (some argue) slightly lower for
                        Asians.

                        If anyone has good data from rural, lower-class mainland Chinese or South
                        Asian populations, I'd like to see them. The assumption should be that the
                        scores are lower than among the urban populations--that seems to be a
                        consistent pattern everywhere.

                        I agree with the observation re East Asians believing that differences are
                        based on effort--differences _among themselves_, that is. The East Asian
                        attitude toward the intelligence of other ethnic groups, whether referring
                        to its mean or how susceptible it is to improvement, is cheerfully free of
                        any sensitivity whatsoever.

                        Charles Murray


                        > From: evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com
                        > Reply-To: evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com
                        > Date: 2 Jun 2002 20:36:33 -0000
                        > To: evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com
                        > Subject: [evol-psych] Digest Number 952
                        >
                        >> I personally find it interesting that the cultural perspectives on
                        >> the question " what is intelligence?" then to be given short shrift
                        >> in this debate. My understanding (from my Asian students, as I am an
                        >> outsider) is that "intelligence" in most of their cultures, is
                        >> equated with "effort" and "learning' as opposed to the Western
                        >> version, which is closer to "talent" or "smarts." To them, it is
                        >> not something innate, it is developed. To us, it is more like a
                        >> gift.
                        >
                        >> I wonder too if the 15 point spread has any relationship to the
                        >> Asian people who take the test. If you threw in lower class and
                        >> lower middle class or recent immigrant Asians, would that gap
                        >> narrow? Or is were the test results given by H & M based on
                        >> instruments given in the many languages spoken on the Asian
                        >> continent, or the non-verbal IQ tests that are available?
                      • C. Loring Brace
                        ... Minor footnote: The most plausible reason for the elevated visuospatial scores could well be related to the fact that the reading and writing the
                        Message 11 of 28 , Jun 3, 2002
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                          On Mon, 3 Jun 2002, Charles Murray wrote:

                          > I didn't see the original message, but my eye was caught by the "15 point
                          > spread" line, which makes it sound as if someone is talking about a 15 point
                          > difference between Asians and whites. So just in case someone did: No, it's
                          > a much smaller & more equivocal difference, with the only sure thing being
                          > that East Asians have elevated visuospatial scores compared to whites, with
                          > the verbal means being close to the same or (some argue) slightly lower for
                          > Asians.

                          > Charles Murray
                          >

                          Minor footnote: The most plausible reason for the elevated visuospatial
                          scores could well be related to the fact that the reading and writing the
                          characters (zi in Chinese, kanji in Japanese) involves practice and
                          training in just those skills. This may simply be a matter of experience
                          and not anything innate.

                          C. L. Brace
                        • Ralph L Holloway
                          ... On the other hand, Australian Aborigines score extremely highly on many complex visual perceptual tests, above caucasians, and have enlarged primary visual
                          Message 12 of 28 , Jun 4, 2002
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                            On Mon, 3 Jun 2002, C. Loring Brace wrote:

                            >
                            >
                            > Minor footnote: The most plausible reason for the elevated visuospatial
                            > scores could well be related to the fact that the reading and writing the
                            > characters (zi in Chinese, kanji in Japanese) involves practice and
                            > training in just those skills. This may simply be a matter of experience
                            > and not anything innate.
                            >


                            On the other hand, Australian Aborigines score extremely highly on many
                            complex visual perceptual tests, above caucasians, and have enlarged
                            primary visual cortices as well. A correlation, admittedly, but a rather
                            hard one to avoid.

                            Ralph L. Holloway
                            Dept. Anthropology
                            Columbia University
                            NY, NY 10027
                            212-854-4570
                            Fax= 212-854-7347
                            Web Page www.columbia.edu/~rlh2
                          • Fredric Weizmann
                            Stephen Gould has been accused of many sins, many of which have been enunciated on this list; however one can not justly characterize his view that evolution
                            Message 13 of 28 , Jun 4, 2002
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                              Stephen Gould has been accused of many sins, many of which have been
                              enunciated on this list; however one can not justly characterize his
                              view that evolution had no particular direction as "Victorian."
                              Progressive interpretations of evolution were much more common in
                              Victorian times than those that stressed the randomness of evolution.
                              Although progressive interpretations seem to have made something of a
                              return in some quarters recently, the view that evolution exhibits no
                              systematic direction is in fact the more "modern" one.

                              Fredric Weizmann


                              Dennis Hollenberg wrote:

                              > Gould's popular writing with its continuing focus on humans' random
                              > good evolutionary luck and, implicitly, the equivalence of people,
                              > seems to me to be part and parcel of his proletarian political bent.
                              >
                              > I think that predisposition might have caused him to emphasize
                              > hierarchical dynamics above the species level, that of "species
                              > selection" (a program of dubious usefulness). That I think occurred at
                              > the expense of the hierarchical dynamics below the "organizational"
                              > level of the individual organism (selection among developmentally
                              > interacting organs, tissues, cells and molecules ["genes"].*
                              >
                              > The first renders us egalitarian good will, in principle, but the
                              > second offers insight into the nuts and bolts of organisms' functional
                              > complexity. Gould hated the notion of an increasing degree of
                              > complexity in the evolutionary panoply and actively argued against it
                              > (by citing morphological data, as we might expect a Paleontologist to
                              > do; seeFull House: The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin). But
                              > the real issue is functional complexity as evidenced by human
                              > activity. His views of intelligence followed that idealized line of
                              > thinking in which randomness is seen as having produced just another
                              > (arbitrary) form of novelty. But we didn't become the creatures we are
                              > through purely random events just as we don't gain social prominence
                              > through the same mechanism. The observation that his outlook was
                              > rather Victorian says volumes: Gould was born late by a hundred years
                              > or so.
                              >
                              > IQ's usefulness requires that all those allowing themselves to be
                              > measured do so with equal perception of the test's usefulness and
                              > resulting motivations, culturally endowed characteristics. Therefore,
                              > we can't usefully state that IQ tests are "universal" or that IQ
                              > randomly visits our human numbers.
                              >
                              > On that score I think Herb Gintis puts the right light on IQ:
                              > "Other things (including educational level and social background) are
                              > equally, or almost equally, important. More telling, however, is that
                              > the direct contribution of IQ test scores to success in life is rather
                              > small. Most of its effects are indirect (e.g., high social class
                              > background entails high IQ scores and high income, but the class
                              > background is doing much of the explaining, not the IQ test scores)."
                              >
                              > All of which I attribute to the social connections we form as we
                              > pursue culturally approved goals: the auspicious interpersonal
                              > exchanges and advantages afforded by our networks.
                              >
                              > Still trying to figure out which way is "up,"
                              > Dennis Hollenberg
                              > *Beginnings Creativity, Belief, Evolution and Our Interconnected
                              > UniverseIdler's Cove Press (March, 2002).
                            • Fredric Weizmann
                              I don t think ranking Asians at the top does them any favors either. Using Phil Rushton s characterization, for example, whites can be seen as representing
                              Message 14 of 28 , Jun 4, 2002
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                                I don't think ranking Asians at the "top" does them any favors either. Using
                                Phil Rushton's characterization, for example, whites can be seen as
                                representing a balance between the libidinous, aggressive, non-intelligent
                                blacks and the conformist, cerebral and aesexual East Asians.

                                Fredric Weizmann

                                Val Dusek wrote:

                                > Actually, this claim, ranking Asians, whites and blacks in that order is
                                > common in the recent race literature. However, since in the US, repressing
                                > blacks is the problem at hand for these authors, the sop too Asians is a
                                > helpful cover for their real task, which is too encourage negative attitudes
                                > toward blacks.
                                >
                                > Val Dusek
                                >
                                > In a message dated 6/1/02 5:25:11 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
                                > dippy@... writes:
                                >
                                > << t is curious that people railing against the racism of "The Bell
                                > Curve" always refer to Murray and Herrnstein's claim that blacks have
                                > lower IQs than whites, but they rarely mention that Murray and
                                > Herrnstein also claim that whites have lower IQs than Asians.
                                >
                                > But I guess that mentioning this would accomplish nothing except to
                                > mess up the pretty little picture of Murray and Herrnstein as white
                                > supremists hell-bent on inventing evidence for their prejudices.
                                >
                                >
                                > --
                                > Steven D'Aprano
                                > >>
                              • Jeremy Bowman
                                I think it’s a terrible mistake to define “racism” in terms of what anyone merely *believes* about matters of fact. We should define it not in terms of
                                Message 15 of 28 , Jun 5, 2002
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                                  I think it’s a terrible mistake to define “racism” in terms of what anyone
                                  merely *believes* about matters of fact. We should define it not in terms
                                  of what people *think*, but in terms of what they are prepared to *do*.
                                  Properly, a person should be considered a “racist” only if he *mistreats*
                                  members of certain races, that is, if he *disregards their interests*
                                  because of race.

                                  Just consider the ridiculous posturing we get ourselves into if we define
                                  “racism” in terms of what is believed about matters of fact. For example,
                                  suppose we call a “racist” anyone who believes that members of one race are
                                  inferior to those of another. Then the only way to avoid the charge of
                                  “racism” is to choose to disbelieve it. If there is compelling evidence to
                                  the contrary, this entails disregarding that evidence. In other words, you
                                  can either be a “racist”, or someone who idiotically “pretends” that there
                                  are no differences between races. That is a choice between moral turpitude
                                  and wilful ignorance.

                                  Surely that is too stupid a position to be taken seriously? -- I would have
                                  thought so, but a lot of scientists seem not to. To watch some of them
                                  falling over themselves in their anxiety to avoid the charge of “racism” is
                                  a pathetic but hilarious spectacle.

                                  As Peter Singer argued thirty years ago, to merely believe that members of
                                  a certain race are inferior does not justify mistreating them in any way.
                                  If you think members of more intelligent races are entitled to enslave
                                  members of less intelligent races, say, then you must accept that
                                  super-intelligent extra-terrestrials are entitled to enslave you!

                                  Anyway, one might argue that the very worst racist outrages have been
                                  perpetrated not against members of supposedly inferior races, but rather at
                                  members of races that are widely perceived as superior. For example, a lot
                                  of anti-Semitic German propaganda from the 1930s used images of “crafty,
                                  scheming” (i.e. more-intelligent-than-us) Jews.

                                  I wonder how much anyone would care about IQ and intelligence if they
                                  realised it has practically no moral relevance at all?

                                  Jeremy Bowman

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                                • C. Loring Brace
                                  ... And Inuits have also scored well on visuospatial tests, but rather than indicating racial characteristics as some have chosen to interpret, it may well
                                  Message 16 of 28 , Jun 5, 2002
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                                    On Tue, 4 Jun 2002, Ralph L Holloway wrote:

                                    > On Mon, 3 Jun 2002, C. Loring Brace wrote:
                                    >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > Minor footnote: The most plausible reason for the elevated visuospatial
                                    > > scores could well be related to the fact that the reading and writing the
                                    > > characters (zi in Chinese, kanji in Japanese) involves practice and
                                    > > training in just those skills. This may simply be a matter of experience
                                    > > and not anything innate.
                                    > >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > On the other hand, Australian Aborigines score extremely highly on many
                                    > complex visual perceptual tests, above caucasians, and have enlarged
                                    > primary visual cortices as well. A correlation, admittedly, but a rather
                                    > hard one to avoid.
                                    >
                                    > Ralph L. Holloway
                                    > Dept. Anthropology
                                    > Columbia University
                                    > NY, NY 10027
                                    > 212-854-4570
                                    > Fax= 212-854-7347
                                    > Web Page www.columbia.edu/~rlh2
                                    >
                                    And Inuits have also scored well on visuospatial tests, but rather than
                                    indicating "racial" characteristics as some have chosen to interpret, it
                                    may well have to do with the kinds of experience associated with growing
                                    up finding one's way around a landscape as hunters without road maps or
                                    signs. Some of that may account for the Australian scores although I am
                                    well aware of the enlarged visual cortex. Do you know anything about that
                                    relative development in Inuit/Aleuts?

                                    Loring Brace
                                  • C. Loring Brace
                                    ... Darwin, however, was much more modern than his Victorian colleagues. C. L. Brace
                                    Message 17 of 28 , Jun 5, 2002
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                                      On Tue, 4 Jun 2002, Fredric Weizmann wrote:

                                      > Stephen Gould has been accused of many sins, many of which have been
                                      > enunciated on this list; however one can not justly characterize his
                                      > view that evolution had no particular direction as "Victorian."
                                      > Progressive interpretations of evolution were much more common in
                                      > Victorian times than those that stressed the randomness of evolution.
                                      > Although progressive interpretations seem to have made something of a
                                      > return in some quarters recently, the view that evolution exhibits no
                                      > systematic direction is in fact the more "modern" one.
                                      >
                                      > Fredric Weizmann
                                      >
                                      >
                                      Darwin, however, was much more "modern" than his Victorian colleagues.

                                      C. L. Brace
                                    • Ralph L Holloway
                                      ... No, I have never seen anything to indicate the same sort of enlarged PVC that Klekamp et al found in Australian Aboriginals, although as I recall some of
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Jun 5, 2002
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                                        On Wed, 5 Jun 2002, C. Loring Brace wrote:

                                        > > On the other hand, Australian Aborigines score extremely highly on many
                                        > > complex visual perceptual tests, above caucasians, and have enlarged
                                        > > primary visual cortices as well. A correlation, admittedly, but a rather
                                        > > hard one to avoid.
                                        > >
                                        > > Ralph L. Holloway
                                        > > Dept. Anthropology
                                        > > Columbia University
                                        > > NY, NY 10027
                                        > > 212-854-4570
                                        > > Fax= 212-854-7347
                                        > > Web Page www.columbia.edu/~rlh2
                                        > >
                                        > And Inuits have also scored well on visuospatial tests, but rather than
                                        > indicating "racial" characteristics as some have chosen to interpret, it
                                        > may well have to do with the kinds of experience associated with growing
                                        > up finding one's way around a landscape as hunters without road maps or
                                        > signs. Some of that may account for the Australian scores although I am
                                        > well aware of the enlarged visual cortex. Do you know anything about that
                                        > relative development in Inuit/Aleuts?

                                        No, I have never seen anything to indicate the same sort of enlarged PVC
                                        that Klekamp et al found in Australian Aboriginals, although as I recall
                                        some of the earlier racial works, perhaps Shellshear, there was a
                                        suggestion that Chinese occipital lobes seemed "primitive", meaning that
                                        one could find a lunate sulcus more frequently. No one, as far as I know,
                                        has ever disproven the suggestion, or verified such observations. The PVC
                                        thing in Australians cannot be explained by experience, and it would be
                                        interersting to learn what Inuit test scores would be like given the same
                                        exact tests the Australians and Caucasians (Germans) were given. Of
                                        course, Inuits do have one of those "racial" thingabobs, called large
                                        brain weights...

                                        Cheers,
                                        Ralph L. Holloway
                                        Dept. Anthropology
                                        Columbia University
                                        NY, NY 10027
                                        212-854-4570
                                        Fax= 212-854-7347
                                        Web Page www.columbia.edu/~rlh2
                                      • Dennis Hollenberg
                                        The brief statement was not intended to tie Victorian and intelligence as a purely random phenomenon. I meant that Gould would likely have prospered in
                                        Message 19 of 28 , Jun 5, 2002
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                                          The brief statement was not intended to tie "Victorian" and "intelligence as a purely random phenomenon." I meant that Gould would likely have prospered in historical terms had he lived in those time to help direct the battle of the then new Darwinian paradigm's acceptance.

                                          I don't dispute that evolution shows no progress in purely biological terms; nor do I think that issue is significant outside biology. What I do advocate is the view that the increasing functional complexity of a subset of derivatives of the evolutionary process has occurred. Moreover, that process of complication is ineluctable (assuming dynamical environmental conditions persist). If post-Victorians wish to call that "evolutionary progress," so be it (although the issue wouldn't show up biological  research programs; the useful program requires interdisciplinary scope, IMHO).

                                          Cordially,
                                          Dennis Hollenberg
                                          *Beginnings Creativity, Belief, Evolution and Our Interconnected Universe, Idler's Cove Press (March, 2002).

                                          At 09:29 PM 6/4/02 -0400, Weizmann wrote:
                                          Stephen Gould has been accused of many sins, many of which have been enunciated on this list; however one can not justly characterize his view that evolution had no particular direction as "Victorian." Progressive interpretations of evolution were much more common in Victorian times than those that stressed the randomness of evolution. Although progressive interpretations seem to have made something of a return in some quarters recently, the view that evolution exhibits no systematic direction is in fact the more "modern" one.     

                                          Fredric Weizmann
                                           

                                          Dennis Hollenberg wrote:
                                           Gould's popular writing with its continuing focus on humans' random good evolutionary luck and, implicitly, the equivalence of people, seems to me to be part and parcel of his proletarian political bent.

                                          I think that predisposition might have caused him to emphasize hierarchical dynamics above the species level, that of "species selection" (a program of dubious usefulness). That I think occurred at the expense of the hierarchical dynamics below the "organizational" level of the individual organism (selection among developmentally interacting organs, tissues, cells and molecules ["genes"].*

                                          The first renders us egalitarian good will, in principle, but the second offers insight into the nuts and bolts of organisms' functional complexity. Gould hated the notion of an increasing degree of complexity in the evolutionary panoply and actively argued against it (by citing morphological data, as we might expect a Paleontologist to do; seeFull House: The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin). But the real issue is functional complexity as evidenced by human activity. His views of intelligence followed that idealized line of thinking in which randomness is seen as having produced just another (arbitrary) form of novelty. But we didn't become the creatures we are through purely random events just as we don't gain social prominence through the same mechanism. The observation that his outlook was rather Victorian says volumes: Gould was born late by a hundred years or so.

                                          IQ's usefulness requires that all those allowing themselves to be measured do so with equal perception of the test's usefulness and resulting motivations, culturally endowed characteristics. Therefore, we can't usefully state that IQ tests are "universal" or that IQ randomly visits our human numbers.

                                          On that score I think Herb Gintis puts the right light on IQ:
                                          "Other things (including educational level and social background) are equally, or almost equally, important. More telling, however, is that the direct contribution of IQ test scores to success in life is rather small. Most of its effects are indirect (e.g., high social class background entails high IQ scores and high income, but the class background is doing much of the explaining, not the IQ test scores)."

                                          All of which I attribute to the social connections we form as we pursue culturally approved goals: the auspicious interpersonal exchanges and advantages afforded by our networks.
                                        • Leon Albert
                                          ... From: Phil Rushton To: Sent: Wednesday, June 05, 2002 1:20 PM Subject: [evol-psych] Gould s
                                          Message 20 of 28 , Jun 10, 2002
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                                            ----- Original Message -----
                                            From: "Phil Rushton" <rushton@...>
                                            To: <evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com>
                                            Sent: Wednesday, June 05, 2002 1:20 PM
                                            Subject: [evol-psych] Gould's battle against racism

                                            > Phil Rushton here:

                                            <skip initial comments on Gould>

                                            >Thus he utterly failed to acknowledge (1) the
                                            > relationship between brain size and IQ established through MRI studies,
                                            > (2) the worldwide distribution of IQ test scores; (3) modern twin and
                                            > adoption studies showing the heritability of IQ scores; (4) trans-racial
                                            > adoption studies; (5) racial admixture studies; (6) modern studies of
                                            > criminal "stigmata" showing that Caesare Lombroso was likely right; (7)
                                            > new books and analyses suggesting that Sir Cyril Burt had been "framed"
                                            > by left-wing propagandists helped along by a sympathetic media; and so
                                            > on and so forth.


                                            Leon Albert:
                                            Phil Rushton,
                                            Given the centrality of average IQ scores to your "racial" rankings, and
                                            ignoring the ambiguities in the very concept of "race," as well as the
                                            uncertainties regarding the extent to which such "intelligence" test scores
                                            reflect cultural, i.e., learned, environmental influences, how would you say
                                            your "conclusions" are affected by the "modular" nature of the mind-brain
                                            being advocated by evolutionary psychology? More specifically, might it be
                                            that your IQ scores are "tapping into" just one kind of mental ability, or a
                                            limited "range" of mental abilities, that "happen" to be given prominence on
                                            such tests, for whatever reasons, to the exclusion of other, different
                                            abilities that are being ignored, though they may be equally "important,"
                                            depending on one's criteria for defining "importance?"

                                            Leon Albert
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