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

  • From: Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 27 Nov 2010 12:39:10 -0800

On 11/26/10 10:01 PM, Mike Geary wrote:
**Assumptions [made by the authors of the Bell Curve]

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, 1994).^<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bell_Curve#cite_note-15> 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 book:

   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 assumptions."
Lawrence replies (I believe to the foregoing), but in any case, he dismisses them with

'Yeah, yeah. I read the criticisms at the time, but unlike most of the critics, I also read the book.'

Is it your claim that Stephen J. Gould and C. Loring Brace didn't read the book?

Robert Paul
The Mutton Institute


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