[lit-ideas] Re: Are Muslims lowering the intelligence of German society?

  • From: Mike Geary <jejunejesuit.geary2@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 27 Nov 2010 00:01:27 -0600

*Lawrence*: " Goodhart bemoans the fact that Sarrazin muddied the water of
his otherwise good book with pseudo-eugenics. And yet Sarrazin is doing
something very like what Herrnstein and Murray did in their 1994 book* The
Bell Curve. *People were outraged and just about everyone denounced the
book, but their arguments were valid and almost immediately changes were
made to the American Welfare system, during the Clinton administration, no

*Moi*:  Their arguments were valid?  Says who?  You?  Others take issue.
From Wiki:
* <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melvin_Konner>*Melvin Konner,
professor of anthropology
and associate professor of  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychiatry>psychiatry
and neurology at Emory University, called *Bell Curve* a "deliberate assault
on efforts to improve the school performance of African-Americans":

This book presented strong evidence that genes play a role in intelligence
but linked it to the unsupported claim that genes explain the small but
consistent black-white difference in IQ. The juxtaposition of good argument
with a bad one seemed politically motivated, and persuasive refutations soon
appeared. Actually, African-Americans have excelled in virtually every
enriched environment they have been placed in, most of which they were
previously barred from, and this in only the first decade or two of improved
but still not equal opportunity. It is likely that the real curves for the
two races will one day be superimposable on each other, but this may require
decades of change and different environments for different people. Claims
about genetic potential are meaningless except in light of this


Much of the criticism of *The Bell Curve* has focused on potential flaws in
the basic assumptions made at the beginning of the book. William J. Matthews
and Stephen Jay Gould list four basic assumptions of *The Bell Curve*:

   1. Intelligence must be reducible to a single number.
   2. Intelligence must be capable of rank ordering people in a linear
   3. Intelligence must be primarily genetically based.
   4. Intelligence must be essentially immutable.

According to Gould, if any of these premises are false, then their entire
argument disintegrates (Gould,
Similarly, in *"Science" in the service of Racism,* C. Loring Brace writes
that *The Bell Curve* makes *six* basic assumptions at the beginning of the

   1. Human Cognitive ability is a single general entity, depictable as a
   single number.
   2. Cognitive ability has a heritability of between 40 and 80 percent and
   is therefore primarily genetically based.
   3. IQ is essentially immutable, fixed over the course of a life span.
   4. IQ tests measure how "smart" or "intelligent" people are and are
   capable of rank ordering people in a linear order.
   5. IQ tests can measure this accurately.
   6. IQ tests are not biased with regard to race ethnic group or
   socioeconomic status.

Brace proceeds to argue that there are faults in every one of these

I'm surprised that you would resort to such a scurrilous study to support
your xenophobia.  Just come out and say you don't like these people.
They're different.  They scare you.  And at least then we wouldn't have to
wade through this all phony science garbage to get down to the nitty-gritty.

Mike Geary

On Fri, Nov 26, 2010 at 8:18 PM, Lawrence Helm

> http://www.lawrencehelm.com/2010/11/are-muslims-lowering-intelligence-of.html
> Lawrence

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