Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Re: [evol-psych] IQ, Islam, and Modernity

Expand Messages
  • Paul Barrett
    From: J. P. Rushton ... Hello Phil Is IQ a construct ? I had always thought that intelligence was a general loosely defined construct,
    Message 1 of 10 , Feb 1, 2003
      From: "J. P. Rushton" <rushton@...>

      > David Herman writes that IQ is a "myth." Well, see, there are still lots
      > of people around who believe in deconstruction and Blank Slate ideas.
      > Steven Pinker's THE BLANK SLATE is NOT flogging a dead horse. The truth
      > is that IQ is about the BEST scientific construct EVER to come out of
      > psychology or the social sciences.

      Hello Phil

      Is IQ a "construct"? I had always thought that "intelligence" was a general
      "loosely defined" construct, with 'g' as a very specific theoretically
      defined construct, and with "IQ" as merely the result of various
      culturally-based assessments of some features of the constructs of either
      'g' and /or intelligence.

      That "IQ" should be spoken of as a "scientific construct" seems highly
      dubious to me. That 'g' or 'intelligence' might be so named is much more
      plausible. "IQ" is surely just the result of various and largely
      idiosyncratic scaling exercises of observed "test" scores. I can see the
      analogy in temperature (IQ) and heat ('g'), but psychologists have
      consistently confounded the measures with the construct such that IQ is
      sometimes considered both as "the construct of intelligence" as well as a
      "measure of intelligence". I prefer to keep the two well apart
      "conceptually" from one another. Note carefully, I do not deny that an "IQ"
      score is a measure of sorts of a latent construct of intelligence of 'g',
      but it is not a consistently defined measure (in that there is no unitary IQ
      scale of measurement, or that all such scales of IQs are perfectly linearly
      equivalent to one another).

      However, I agree with your sentiments here (if not the bit about a
      "scientific construct"!)... "The truth is that IQ is about the BEST
      scientific construct EVER to come out of psychology or the social sciences".
      The variable (IQ) does possess enormous practical and theoretical
      significance - by no stretch of anybody's imagination can it be called a
      "myth" - albeit its status as a "quantitative measure" of "intelligence" or
      'g' still needs very serious attention, in my opinion.

      Regards .. Paul
      _____________________________________________________________________
      Paul Barrett DDI: +64-(0)9-262-6082
      email: paul.barrett@... Main: +64-(0)9-261-0221
      paul.barrett@... Fax: +64-(0)9-353-1681
      p.barrett@... Mobile: +64-021-415625
      p.barrett@...

      Web: http://www.liv.ac.uk/~pbarrett/paulhome.htm
      http://www.mariner7.com/
    • Roger D. Masters
      J. P. Rushton s point is important but there s another bit of evidence. Lead is a neurotoxin that is known to have an effect on educational performance (in my
      Message 2 of 10 , Feb 1, 2003
        J. P. Rushton's point is important but there's another bit of evidence. Lead
        is a neurotoxin that is known to have an effect on educational performance (in
        my data, the strongest predictor of lower test scores on standardized tests in
        each grade and subject is a town's average level of lead in children's blood).
        If lead also changes IQ scores, I would appreciate it if a critic of IQ would
        be so kind as to tell me (and the entire EP list) how this is a figment of
        ideology.

        roger masters

        --- You wrote:
        David Herman writes that IQ is a "myth." Well, see, there are still lots of
        people around who believe in deconstruction and Blank Slate ideas. Steven
        Pinker's THE BLANK SLATE is NOT flogging a dead horse. The truth is that IQ is
        about the BEST scientific construct EVER to come out of psychology or the
        social sciences. It is certainly the most predictive, for example, predicting
        occupational success from 0.20 to 0.50, sometimes with validity estimates
        taken decades later. With Richard Lynn's IQ AND THE WEALTH OF NATIONS showing
        predictions of GDP and GNP with validities of up to 0.70, the concept has gone
        truly global.

        Eysenck, (along with Galton, Spearman, Pearson, Burt, Jensen, and all the
        others) were right and Montagu, Boas, Gould, and some of the nay-sayers on
        this list are wrong. Two plus two really does add up to four, no matter what
        your cultural background (or even what species you are!).
      • David Herman
        Stephen Jay Gould, in his review of THE BELL CURVE, Curveball , in the New Yorker, 11-28-1994 writes: I closed my chapter in The Mismeasure of Man on the
        Message 3 of 10 , Feb 1, 2003
          Stephen Jay Gould, in his review of THE BELL CURVE,
          "Curveball", in the New Yorker, 11-28-1994 writes:

          "I closed my chapter in "The Mismeasure of Man" on the
          unreality of g and the fallacy of regarding
          intelligence as a single-scaled, innate thing in the
          head with a marvellous quotation from John Stuart
          Mill, well worth repeating:

          "The tendency has always been stong to believe that
          whatever received a name must be an entity or being,
          having an independent existence of its own. And if no
          real entity answering to the name could be found, men
          did not for that reason suppose that none existed, but
          imagined that it was something particularly abstruse
          and mysterious.""

          Myth, Myth, Myth!

          David Herman
        • Roger D. Masters
          In all sciences, the measure of an attribute is not a thing, but a more or less accurate assessment of the level or presence of that attribute: degrees
          Message 4 of 10 , Feb 1, 2003
            In all sciences, the measure of an attribute is not a thing, but a more or less accurate assessment of the level or presence of that attribute: degrees Farenheit are no more "REAL" than degrees Centigrade. The issue here is the tendency of modern philosophy to focus on concepts as the only units of thought (that debate on consciousness). I agree that IQ is not a REAL TRAIT -- it is merely a useful (if in some ways very faulty) measure.

            I can give you an example from my own work in neurotoxicology. I have found that head hair analysis is a useful means of getting preliminary data on likely levels of a large number of toxic elements to which an individual has been exposed. Because for some elements (eg., lead) and some purposes (danger of some diseases that only occur if blood lead is over 10 µg/dL), head hair is less useful than blood as a measure, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has stated that head hair is not reliable as a measure of toxins. It's also true that venous blood lead is usually thought to be more accurate than capillary blood lead (finger prick). In such cases, however, each measure has advantages for some purposes and not for others. For example, for a Native American tribe living at the site of an abandoned mine, head hair analysis was averey good way to get an inexpensive and quick population survey showing that the exposure to MULTIPLE toxins was causing serious problems that would not show up if one focused on a very precise measurement of lead.

            I agree with Mill and, to a large degree with Gould (e.g., processing of language has more than one dimension as one discovers with a brilliant severely dyslexic student like one I'm teaching this term). STILL, for those without a disability that makes the testing sitution dysfunction, IQ gives a rough measure of something that we intuitive have to admit: some people have better cognitive abilities than others.

            roger masters

            --- You wrote:
            Stephen Jay Gould, in his review of THE BELL CURVE,
            "Curveball", in the New Yorker, 11-28-1994 writes:

            "I closed my chapter in "The Mismeasure of Man" on the
            unreality of g and the fallacy of regarding
            intelligence as a single-scaled, innate thing in the
            head with a marvellous quotation from John Stuart
            Mill, well worth repeating:

            "The tendency has always been stong to believe that
            whatever received a name must be an entity or being,
            having an independent existence of its own. And if no
            real entity answering to the name could be found, men
            did not for that reason suppose that none existed, but
            imagined that it was something particularly abstruse
            and mysterious.""

            Myth, Myth, Myth!

            David Herman
          • Ralph L Holloway
            ... Sounds to me like you wish to replace intelligence, g , factor analytic statistical methods, etc, with, well, Myth,Myth,Myth. Besides being a
            Message 5 of 10 , Feb 1, 2003
              On Sat, 1 Feb 2003, David Herman wrote:

              > Stephen Jay Gould, in his review of THE BELL CURVE,
              > "Curveball", in the New Yorker, 11-28-1994 writes:
              >
              > "I closed my chapter in "The Mismeasure of Man" on the
              > unreality of g and the fallacy of regarding
              > intelligence as a single-scaled, innate thing in the
              > head with a marvellous quotation from John Stuart
              > Mill, well worth repeating:
              >
              > "The tendency has always been stong to believe that
              > whatever received a name must be an entity or being,
              > having an independent existence of its own. And if no
              > real entity answering to the name could be found, men
              > did not for that reason suppose that none existed, but
              > imagined that it was something particularly abstruse
              > and mysterious.""
              >
              > Myth, Myth, Myth!

              Sounds to me like you wish to replace intelligence, "g", factor analytic
              statistical methods, etc, with, well, Myth,Myth,Myth. Besides being a
              disingenuous charlatan, what did Gould ever offer in the place of these
              concepts that we should accept as non-Mythical?


              Ralph L. Holloway
              Dept. Anthropology
              Columbia University
              NY, NY 10027
              212-854-4570
              Fax= 212-854-7347
              Web Page www.columbia.edu/~rlh2
            • Steven D'Aprano
              ... Argument from authority! TWO authorities: Gould and Mill. But in fact the argument is a non-sequitor. If Mill is correct (and he may not be: I give as
              Message 6 of 10 , Feb 2, 2003
                On Sun, 2 Feb 2003 12:14, David Herman wrote:
                > Stephen Jay Gould, in his review of THE BELL CURVE,
                > "Curveball", in the New Yorker, 11-28-1994 writes:
                >
                > "I closed my chapter in "The Mismeasure of Man" on the
                > unreality of g and the fallacy of regarding
                > intelligence as a single-scaled, innate thing in the
                > head with a marvellous quotation from John Stuart
                > Mill, well worth repeating:
                >
                > "The tendency has always been stong to believe that
                > whatever received a name must be an entity or being,
                > having an independent existence of its own. And if no
                > real entity answering to the name could be found, men
                > did not for that reason suppose that none existed, but
                > imagined that it was something particularly abstruse
                > and mysterious.""
                >
                > Myth, Myth, Myth!

                Argument from authority! TWO authorities: Gould and Mill.

                But in fact the argument is a non-sequitor. If Mill is correct (and he
                may not be: I give as counter-examples the aether, planets Vulcan and
                Nemesis, cold fusion, red mercury, Atlantis, electrinos, and Big Foot,
                to name just a few) all this proves is that *some* things that have
                received a name are not real entities. It gives us no way to determine
                whether or not a thing with a name is a genuine abstruse and mysterious
                entity (such as Troy, the Z particle, the okapi, and a proof of
                Fermat's Last Theorem), or a faux entity.

                Perhaps Gould is right in his opinion that intelligence is an especially
                abstruse and mysterious thing which by its nature is unquantifiable.
                (That seems rather counter-intuitive to me: I have a pretty good ideas
                which of my friends and relatives are smarter than I am, and which are
                not, and I bet that everyone on this list understands what it means to
                say that one person is smarter than another.) But if Gould is correct,
                merely saying so isn't going to convince anyone who isn't already
                prejudiced against the concept of IQ.




                --
                Steven D'Aprano
              • Barry Desborough
                For my part, I would like to think that I am objective enough to be persuaded by the evidence, but, as I am sure you understand, the conclusions made about
                Message 7 of 10 , Feb 2, 2003
                  For my part, I would like to think that I am objective enough to be
                  persuaded by the evidence, but, as I am sure you understand, the conclusions
                  made about genetics, race and IQ are very difficult for many people to
                  accommodate. Some enquiries are a bit like striking a light to try and find
                  your way around a gunpowder factory! This is why so many questions and
                  challenges are raised. I have not read Lynn, but I intend to, just as I
                  intend to read any critiques of him (fully expecting some to be more
                  coherent than others). The initial question in my mind will be, OK, I can
                  understand a high correlation between national average IQ and wealth without
                  having to assume a high correlation, let alone a causal connection, between
                  these and its genetic makeup. I'll be looking for what arguments and
                  evidence Lynn may offer on this.

                  Regards

                  Barry Desborough
                • Nancy Melucci
                  I want to second this wise thought: The initial question in my mind will be, OK, I can understand a high correlation between national average IQ and wealth
                  Message 8 of 10 , Feb 2, 2003
                    I want to second this wise thought:

                    The initial question in my mind will be, OK, I can
                    understand a high correlation between national average IQ and wealth without
                    having to assume a high correlation, let alone a causal connection, between
                    these and its genetic makeup. I'll be looking for what arguments and
                    evidence Lynn may offer on this.

                    We have been measuring IQ for something short of 100 years. Various sub-groups of humankind have been struggling for world dominance for some tens of thousands of years. I wonder if IQ tests had been available back in the days of the Roman Empire, how the Germanic tribes who ultimately helped to destroy that empire, would have faired against the more literate and cultured Romans.

                    The samples of Asian population upon which this re-iterated correlation of Asians over Whites over Blacks are affluent. What would happen if we could sample some of the millions of impoverished and uneducated folks of Asian racial background? I wonder if this correlation would be so robust.

                    The correlation may be real, based on what is a very brief and narrow sampling of a vast, diverse and (if you step back and take a more realistic historical view) changeable species, I also am not sure what it means, and I suspect that is does not signify what Dr. Rushton and other would have us believe it means.

                    Nancy Melucci PhD
                    Long Beach City College
                    Long Beach CA
                  • Herbert Gintis
                    ... I think this is MUCH too weak a statement, Roger. First, there are alternate IQ tests for people with various disabilities, validated in the usual manners.
                    Message 9 of 10 , Feb 2, 2003
                      At 10:52 PM 2/1/2003 -0500, Roger D. Masters wrote:
                      >STILL, for those without a disability that makes the testing sitution
                      >dysfunction, IQ gives a rough measure of something that we intuitive have
                      >to admit: some people have better cognitive abilities than others.
                      I think this is MUCH too weak a statement, Roger. First, there are
                      alternate IQ tests for people with various disabilities, validated in the
                      usual manners. Second, IQ doesn't just correspond to our intuitions about
                      cognitive skills. It is the most powerful predictor of educational success
                      and achievement, it is highly heritable, and it correlates with important
                      real-world behaviors, such as economic success. IQ is real, and it is very
                      important in understanding differences among individuals.
                      Of course, IQ is much more difficult to use to understand
                      difference across demographic, ethnic, and racial groups, because different
                      groups have different environments, so the usual methodology of behavioral
                      genetics doesn't work well. This is why Irish and Jewish immigrants to the
                      US at the turn of the previous century were classified as mentally
                      deficient by the mental testers of their day.

                      Best,


                      Herbert Gintis
                      Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of
                      Massachusetts
                      External Faculty, Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM
                      15 Forbes Avenue, Northampton, MA 01060 413-586-7756
                      Fax: (011) 44 0 871 433 4050
                      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.
                      There is no sorrow so great that does not find
                      its background in joy.
                      Niels Bohr (1938)
                    • Steven D'Aprano
                      ... I don t wish to argue with your conclusion, but I think you understate your case. Immigrants to the US were typically tested in English, even if their
                      Message 10 of 10 , Feb 3, 2003
                        On Mon, 3 Feb 2003 03:42, Herbert Gintis wrote:

                        > Of course, IQ is much more difficult to use to understand
                        > difference across demographic, ethnic, and racial groups, because
                        > different groups have different environments, so the usual
                        > methodology of behavioral genetics doesn't work well. This is why
                        > Irish and Jewish immigrants to the US at the turn of the previous
                        > century were classified as mentally deficient by the mental testers
                        > of their day.

                        I don't wish to argue with your conclusion, but I think you understate
                        your case. Immigrants to the US were typically tested in English, even
                        if their native language -- or their only language -- was not. If you
                        imagine yourself being forced to sit an IQ test in Polish or Russian or
                        even German, being forbidden to ask for clarifications or explanations
                        or translations, and I'm sure you can see why so many immigrants got
                        low IQ scores.



                        --
                        Steven D'Aprano
                      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.