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

  • From: Eric Yost <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2010 02:46:04 -0500

On 11/27/2010 3:39 PM, Robert Paul quoted:
4. IQ tests measure how "smart" or "intelligent"
people are and are capable of rank ordering people in a linear
    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."

No particular horse in this race except my usual glee in poking at people's motives.

I read _The Bell Curve_ about six years ago. The authors -- one of whom received an award for his statistical methodology and clarity -- seem to take every opportunity to qualify their claims. I recall an extensive section that discusses "5." and an even longer section on "6."

In the *section* on bias, the authors outlined a spectrum of cultural and social biases that can alter the results of IQ tests, as well as the variety and changes in such tests, and described the selection of bias-free or bias-adjusted testing. As I recall, they admitted the fallibility of attempts to evaluate the best bias-free tests or bias adjusted tests, and described how they employed the best metrics available at the time of the research.

The storm that followed the book interests me more than the results of the studies, but I'll take a moment to mention one of their findings (which were limited to the US population as I recall):

* American female high-school students with low IQs -- regardless of ethnicity -- are much more likely to have teenage pregnancies.

Back to the storm. Mike culled sections from Wikipedia about black-white comparisons. However the book seldom if ever reads as fuel for a racism campaign. For example, the authors state that Asian-Americans consistently score higher than white-Americans (albinos?) across the range of metrics. By Mike's and Konner's reasoning, then, this "scurrilous study" could be viewed as "a deliberate assault on efforts to improve the school performance of White-Americans." No sense schooling us European mutts: no good will come of it. Only school Asians only in that thar book learning.

I enjoyed the play of unexamined motives in the sudden rush to condemn the book. In fact, I read one supposed refutation of the authors' methods online which, although dressed up in statistics and straining to maintain the language of scientific journals, couldn't help but seethe out its ideological rage. Now that's comedy, ladies and gentlemen, a statistical version of _Pale Fire_, only the "Kinbote"-author of that refutation is more concerned with hate than with narcissistic memory. All scientific tuxedo and he was still sputtering with flushed cheeks.

IQ: 152
occupation: stooge

PS: As for IQ itself, my opinion is that it's like medical diagnosis and treatment: immense individual variability of one's personal baseline makes "best practices" dicey at best.

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