November 19, 2007

Bravo for William Saletan in Slate

William Saletan's defense of James Watson in MSM Slate (owned by the Washington Post) is turning out to be a three parter and he's not holding back. Today, he looks at the environmentalist attacks on hereditarian ideas and concludes:

"When I look at all the data, studies, and arguments, I see a prima facie case for partial genetic influence. I don't see conclusive evidence either way in the adoption studies. I don't see closure of the racial IQ gap to single digits. And I see too much data that can't be reconciled with the surge or explained by current environmental theories. I hope the surge surprises me. But in case it doesn't, I want to start thinking about how to be an egalitarian in an age of genetic difference, even between races. More on that tomorrow." [More]

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

46 comments:

Luis said...

Steve, your influence is everywhere. From the comments:

I suspect that Saletan is another Steve Sailer brain-washee. For those not aware, Sailer, a failed journalist, is the main purveyor of racist pseudoscience on the Internet. He charms his targets to the extent they lose the common sense required to check up on him and his sources before adopting his beliefs.

Rob said...

I think it is time for a g-prize now.

francis k said...

brownian motion in the steve sailer universe:

1. get public and private grants to do iq testing.

2. test the laggards until the cows come home.

3. keep forwarding the results to liberal magazine editors.

4. repeat forever.

after decades of struggle one or two liberal journals might crack and publish something "off the reservation". sadly, there will be zero real-world impact on the facts on the ground.

at some point a man must ask himself if libertarian ideals stand a chance against marxism. and also if, similar to a rebel insurgency, marxism retools and adapts to achieve greater virulence.

Anonymous said...

Keep it up Steve. You are a national treasure as far as I am concerned.

Roger said...

Hi Steve,

It's great news that the issue of Liberal Creationism is finally being talked about in the main stream media. Of course we need to deal with clueless fundies like the first comment poster.

Remedial science education should help the less close-minded of them.

fifi said...

I fought the race IQ realism until a couple of the members of one of the lower IQ races decided to antagonize me for the umpteenth time over an issue that should've been put to rest years ago. I had an epiphany. Of course these guys are intellectually challenged, that's why they keep doing this stupid stuff to me!

Thanks for clarifying it for me, Steve. I couldn't quite put my finger on what was wrong. Now I know.

I'd also like to suggest re-testing the IQs of the supposedly more intelligent liberals in this country. Perhaps drug use has eroded away one too many brain cells.

Evil Neocon said...

I fail to see how acknowledging scientific theories are conservative or liberal, "libertarian" or Marxist?

We either have the intellectual courage to understand that natural (and sexual) selection act on human beings like all other living organisms, and derive the advantages thereof, or we do not.

Libtertarianism is merely a political theory/persuasion which has it's own "religious beliefs" as surely as all the others.

Back On Topic, Corner is reporting that NYT has a study it will publish showing natural selection acting throughout human history and accelerating. Heroes quotes Darwin all the time. So yes, things are changing.

tommy said...

The first commentator on the Saletan thread today knows just enough about race and IQ studies to make an ass out of himself. Witness his incredibly lame argument against a genetic basis for racial differences in IQ:

Clearly, Saletan knows little about about the IQ debate, preferring instead to parrot the tendentious ideologically based research of pseudo-scientific psychometry.

But such research--which Saletan unflectingly appeals to--can be easily dismissed for its own internal inconsistencies and anomalies.

The claim is that IQ differentials are mostly genetic a nd that environmental effects are to be discounted.


Here it comes. Wait for it...

ASIA(West, East and South)

Iran: 83

Iraq: 87

India; 81

Nepal 78

Israel 94

Pakistan 81

Bhutan 78

Philippines 86

Saudi Arabia 83

Lebanon 86

NOTE THOUGH THAT THE REPORTED IQ OF CHINA IS 100. Koreas(N&S) 105, Taiwan 104, Japan 105

...

Obviously "IQ does not track race" and obviously IQ is environmentally loaded especially for societies that are highly industrialised and those that are rural/agricultural.


Yes, since it's obvious that those heavily agricultural Asians, the Saudis, don't score as high as those heavily industrialized Asians, the Chinese, then a lack of urbanization must be behind differences in intelligence among these nationalities of the same race. Got it?

You can't make this stuff up, folks. Only on Slate...

Fred said...

I admire Saletan's intellectual honesty, and Sailer certainly deserves credit for being in the vanguard here, but I wonder what the point of all this is. Secular liberal egalitarians kicked creationism and the bible out of public schools, and made a fetish of the right to abort fetuses, and what was the result? How did they help those they purport to help by kicking out a foundation stone of Christian theology and morality? Black illegitimacy rates shot up, and I don't think it's a stretch to say that the increased incidence of black babies being left in dumpsters represents a decline in the respect for human life.

So that was the result of the secular left's Pyrrhic victory over creationism; what will be the result of the victory of racial/IQ realists?

Steve Sailer said...

"I'd also like to suggest re-testing the IQs of the supposedly more intelligent liberals in this country. Perhaps drug use has eroded away one too many brain cells."

I can think of a prominent Republican who did decently on standardized tests such as the SAT (1206 old style) and Air Force Officer's Qualifying Test (around an IQ of 125) _before_ decades of heavy drinking and possibly other substances took their toll.

Anonymous said...

FYI -- "admixture" is a technical term.

Anonymous said...

This is from one of the comments to the relevant article from Salon.com. What an odious example of "ad hominen" attack. I am putting this post here because it mentions *****Steve Sailer***** by name.


http://fray.slate.com/discuss/forums/thread/536766.aspx?ArticleID=2178122



Point proven: Saletan is a racist
by Podesta
11/19/2007, 6:22 PM #
Reply
There is really no need to go with this. Only a fellow racist would take Philip Rushton, Saletan's main source for his baseless claims about black inferiority, seriously. Yesterday, Saletan embraced Rushton with the eagerness of someone who believes he has found redemption. But, who is Philip Rushton?


Philip Rushton is a Canadian psychologist who has long been discredited. Rushton has no training in genetics and is funded by the eugenics outfit the Pioneer Fund. He has been censured by the university he was affiliated with and is not taken seriously by anyone in mainstream science.

Rushton's most embarrassing episode occurred when he got in trouble for approaching men of color in shopping malls and asking them questions such as the size of their penises and how far they could ejaculate. Rushton claims that large penis size is a determinant of low intelligence and was hoping to support his theory by engaging in that behavior. Anyone who cites Rushton as a source is as likely as much a moonbat as he is.

Saletan's other source, Jason Malloy, is a member of one of the most notorious racist blogs on the Internet -- Gene Expression. The bloggers there claim blacks and Hispanics are geneticially inferior -- a missing link between apes and humans. Ironically, Malloy himself is at least a quarter black, but can pass for white. Hatred of his own ancestry seems to motivate him. He has no background whatsoever in science.


I suspect that Saletan is another *****Steve Sailer***** brain-washee. For those not aware, Sailer, a failed journalist, is the main purveyor of racist pseudoscience on the Internet. He charms his targets to the extent they lose the common sense required to check up on him and his sources before adopting his beliefs.

The only thing that Saletan is proving with his so-called series is his own lack of intelligence and bigotry.

Evil Neocon said...

Steve -- you're making the mistake of equating intelligence with wisdom.

There were a bunch of "really smart guys" around Kennedy and their track record was not very good. Same with those around various Liberal dogmas. Paul Campos in the Orange County Register made the argument that ordinary people were stupid, did not understand the "benefit" of open borders / amnesty and should not in effect vote. As contrasted of course to his credentials as a University of Colorado Law Professor.

Intelligence gives you the tools to solve certain types of abstract problems -- how to compose a sonnet, a symphony, an Opera, write a computer program, discover the linkage between cholera and polluted wells.

WISDOM on the other hand comes from direct experience of a wide variety of situations in life, different types of people, goals, and concentrated study of how other men have handled somewhat analogous situations.

Ike vs. Stevenson? Stevenson was no doubt of a much higher IQ, but had little wisdom. Unlike Ike, he had no direct experience with lots of ordinary men. Lots of high-powered men like Churchill, Monty, Patton, De Gaulle, and FDR not to mention Truman or MacArthur. He'd never endured the rigid discipline of West Point, demands of command where life and death decisions were common place, More important, Ike had seen with his own eyes what had worked in life-and-death situations and what had not. Why nations could not be weak, or over-aggressive.

How would GWB's MBA, which had him with other men of his situation, give him direct experience in seeing what worked and didn't in managing many men, a number of whom would be quite different in background? Or his failed career with the Rangers? The same would hold true for Al Gore, or John Kerry btw.

Looking at our political class, I don't see much wisdom, regardless of IQ. Edwards was reasonably effective in persuading juries, Hillary and Obama running against weak/non-existent opponents using gender or race cards, Fred being an actor and TN pol, and so on.

McCain has direct experience with torture, but his weakness is projecting his solid band of brothers under constant torture to a politically divided nation. Romney has led reasonably effective turn-around attempts at the SLC Olympics and MA, but remains a rich man's son with little direct contact with ordinary people. Rudy was very effective in turning around what was considered an ungovernable city, but has a bad habit of cronyism. Obama lived his childhood abroad in Indonesia but projects the more syncretic Islam of Jakarta in the 1960's with Wahabbism and Deobandi Islam today.

None of these men have made a habit, as most officers do, of studying past commanders to understand why decisions were made and how they turned out.

High IQ is not enough. I'd take an average IQ military officer who had wide experience and deep study of great men over the smartest guy in the room who's never left the lab.

[Wolfe's Wizard may have been smart but his "hick" boss probably had not merely "Alpha Male" characteristics but wisdom born of hard knocks / direct experience plus study of what worked and didn't in selling people things/stuff.]

Anonymous said...

Will Saletan is one of the dozen or so smartest people I've met in my time in Washington, and I've met a fuckload of extremely smart people. This series of article has already had, and is continuing to have, enormous influence.

It shouldn't matter, but he's also Jewish, which shields him from some (but not all) attacks of "racism."

What's especially interesting is that he evidently has the blessing of Slate editor Jacob Weisberg to publish this. They are taking to heart Steven Pinker's edge.org comment of a year ago that it is extremely "dangerous" (edge.org's word) to have a society that bases its egalitarianism on physiological equality.

I have tried (in private, of course) for several years to come up with a psychological and moral framework for egalitarianism in a world of racial difference regarding mental capacities. I could not come up with anything that remotely works.

Saletan has a degree in philosophy from Swarthmore, so maybe he has succeeded where I failed. We'll find out tomorrow.

If he has failed, he's opened up a Pandora's Box this country may never recover from

Prepare for a couple of strange, strange years.

Bill said...


I can think of a prominent Republican who did decently on standardized tests such as the SAT (1206 old style) and Air Force Officer's Qualifying Test (around an IQ of 125) _before_ decades of heavy drinking and possibly other substances took their toll.

-SS


I'm not sure that's it (I hope not, anyhow).

Heavy drinking eventually affects IQ, but Bush apparently quit drinking in his mid-30s. That's a little early for the cognitive defects that would explain his incompetence, especially considering Churchill and Stalin, who were astute politicians despite being drunks throughout their political careers.

Maybe Bush is more susceptible to the effects of alcohol, but I think something else is going on. Bush is essentially an ordinary man forced into extraordinary circumstances. He didn't so much earn his position as he did inherit it. Simply put, he just isn't cut out for the job. Very few individuals, high IQ or not, are suited for the job of President of the USA.

Even Jimmy Carter, who was a physicist, looked dumb after only one term. Unfortunately, we probably aren't going to get a good leader anytime soon. Too many people have a vested interest in saddling us with an incompetent who is dependent on their favors for power.

We'll all suffer for this, especially when we get a vindictive and intellectually mediocre president in the form of Hillary Clinton next term. She will be president, because women will vote for her out of vanity.

fifi said...

"I fail to see how acknowledging scientific theories are conservative or liberal, "libertarian" or Marxist?"

It's a correlation, Evil. Libertarians won't necessarily care about the political implications but liberals who are really Marxists do in this country. It didn't play out this way in the Soviet Union but the unique mix of American idealism with Marxist theory requires that everyone be the same not simply be treated the same.

fembot said...

"We'll all suffer for this, especially when we get a vindictive and intellectually mediocre president in the form of Hillary Clinton next term. She will be president, because women will vote for her out of vanity."

Hillary's greatest asset is also her greatest liability. Her husband! Though plenty of foreigners think well of Bill C, all Americans remember is Gennifer, Paula and Monica. Hillary can't stand on her own. She doesn't have the charisma she would need to create a separate political identity for herself.

Also, the Clintons had crossover appeal in the 90's but those days are over. People like me who were persuaded to vote for what appeared to be a conservative Democrat know better now.

I really don't see women lining up to vote for Hillary just because she's a woman. There's no passion behind her campaign and the brand of feminism she's promoting is all but dead.

Don't tell your wife but you are cute when you play chicken little, Bill ; )

Anonymous said...

This is happening now because the American people have been conditioned to take notice when someone says, "Studies show...."

In everyday life, numerous publications write articles about health which reference scientific studies on what is the best way to stay healthful. They justify their advice by referencing scientific studies. "Studies show that excess sugar increases the risk of diabetes" - for an example.

Furthermore, lots of advertising by drug companies references "Studies show...." when making their claims. "Studies show that taking aspirin once a day will reduce the risk of heart attacks"

An alternative format is, "4 out of 5 doctors say....."

Before this way of thinking became normal, ordinary people were not pre-conditioned to give respect to scientific studies. They just ignored it when someone brought up scientific evidence because they did not have the framework to understand what it meant. Nowadays, when "Studies show.." is said, they are pre-conditioned to believe that what comes next has meaning and should be something that they take into consideration.

Mark Seecof said...

I don't have any difficulty coming up with a moral framework for egalitarianism despite racial variance in average intelligence:

Let the chips fall where they may. Stop trying to hide the facts, and stop trying to achieve proportional representation by race in every school and every workplace.

Give everyone the same civil rights. Encourage people to rise as high as they can and do as well as they can in life without regard to race.

(Hell, give everyone IQ tests in the 3rd grade and place them in suitable academic tracks in school. I'd bet almost every kid would be happier studying a curriculum calibrated to his/her intellectual capacity. Why would that be so bad? We already give all the kids athletic tests in 7th grade and place them in suitable P.E./athletic tracks. And yes, we should let people switch tracks as they develop, according to interest and aptitude.)

I'm not minimizing the importance of race, but we do have a choice of how we organize our own society and what aspects of our culture we emphasize to our young people.

For half a century our leaders have been pushing the notion that any racial variance in academic performance results from bigotry and oppression by white people. That has embittered people of all colors: blacks because they think whites oppress them, and whites because they know that's not the real problem. Both smart and less-smart blacks suffer under this regime-- the smart ones because no one will respect them because affirmative action makes their credentials worthless, and the less-smart ones because they think they would reach greater heights if only whites didn't oppress them.

Let's try the other way. Our leaders could emphasize that we're all human beings with highly variable individual characteristics. With a level playing field smart blacks could get the respect they deserve. Less-smart ones could stop looking over their shoulders for white oppressors all the time. And whites could stop denouncing each other as racists for either (a) supporting affirmative action or (b) denouncing it.

All we have to do is admit that people vary-- on many dimensions. Then we can define social justice in individual terms and strive to provide it.

mnuez said...

Two points:

The "Marxism" vs. "Libertarian" debate is nothing but a bunch of name calling. I should know, I excel at name calling. Anyone however who actually believes that either Marxism or Libertarianism have anything to do with this debate is a fool. (There's that name calling I was telling you about.) In fact, as one who believes that people claiming to be Marxists (including Marx! :-) have given Marxism a bad name and have thus muddied the waters when it comes to an honest appraisal of Marxism - I can tell you that you can BOTH support Socialism and Scientific Truth at the same time. You simply have to be of the view (with much scientific basis it appears to me) that the vast majority of people will be better served (in terms of happiness, meaning, etc. as well as a lack of attendant detrimental factors such as depression, angst, jealousy, etc.) by more elements of socialism than of anarchism (which, unhindered, quickly moves power from the many into the hands of the very few).

My second point is more of a public wonderment at the "weighty issues" that we're supposedly facing for the first time. Does ANYONE mean to imply that absent the issue of race it is believed that all people are equally endowed by their creator with identical measures of intelligences and abilities? The fact of the differing averages in IQ between populations of whites and blacks is no more instructive in terms of what should be public policy than the average differences in IQ between Brandan McCoy's kids and Pat O'Leary's. Brandon Jr. is a dumbass and Pat Jr. is a genius. Whatever policies should or shouldn't be enacted to aid an inner-city black kid who's a dumbass should (or shouldn't) be enacted to aid little Brandon as well.

Of course being honest about race gives little (white) Brandon a chance that he never priorly had to get some public policy offering its wind at his back (in place of the racist Affirmative Action policies) but the "earthquake" in the minds of human beings everywhere regarding the supposedly sudden realization that "wow! people are born with differing levels of ability!" is a nonsensical one. People may or may not have already known this about racial averages but didn't we all already know it about individuals in general? And if we didn't, well, then we're so fuckin dumb that expecting these racial studies to make any meaningful shift in realigning people with scientific truths is laughably illogical.

mnuez
www.mnuez.blogspot.com

Martin said...

"Bill said...Even Jimmy Carter, who was a physicist, looked dumb after only one term.

Jimmy Carter was no physicist. His field of study was nuclear engineering and his degree was from the Naval Academy.

Not that a physicist wouldn't be capable of being just as incapable as Carter turned out to be.

I would also dispute a claim made previously that Adlai Stevenson was smarter than Eisenhower. Stevenson had a certain patrician facility with language, but other than that, I see no reason to suppose that he was smarter than Ike. Just the contrary.

And all the whiz-kids that Kennedy surrounded himself with turned out to be not so bright as they supposed. Actually, I think JFK himself was sharper than most of them. Cleverer I mean. And his instincts in politics and statecraft weren't bad, although he was a risk-junky when it came to women and dope.

I agree that school-smarts is not what one should look for in a President. Three of the worst Presidents I can name off hand were among the most highly educated - Wilson, Carter, and Clinton. A president shoudln't be a dummy, but I'd prefer one who is more worldly-wise in some way.

George Bush however, has neither the advantage of smarts nor much experience.

Admiral said...

"And all the whiz-kids that Kennedy surrounded himself with turned out to be not so bright as they supposed. Actually, I think JFK himself was sharper than most of them. Cleverer I mean."

Some of Kennedy's whiz-kids were undeniably intelligent (e.g., McNamara) regardless of what one thinks of their tenure in government. Kennedy remains the most over-rated president of the last century. His "cleverness" in placing nuclear missiles in Turkey nearly led to nuclear war with the Soviets when they tried to retaliate in Cuba. Kennedy also officially authorized the beret for Army Special Forces -- pretty clever to have them wear French-style hats in Vietnam; it's not like the Vietnamese had any negative associations with the French or anything.

What Kennedy benefited from was an enormous amount of PR support due to his family connections. Who else could get a heroic war movie made about an example of incompetence -- getting his fast, agile PT boat cut in half by a Japanese destroyer?

Anonymous said...

From post:

Kennedy also officially authorized the beret for Army Special Forces -- pretty clever to have them wear French-style hats in Vietnam; it's not like the Vietnamese had any negative associations with the French or anything.

Comment:

1. Doubly stupid was to have it in the color green. Because in Asian cultures, a man wearing a green hat means he is cuckolded at home. So the Viet-Cong figured how macho can these Green Berets be? And thus they were MORE emboldened, instead of intimidated by the sight of the Marines.

2. Bonus comment: I read somewhere that JFK's estimated IQ was 119. In a bio about him(I hope my memory serves.), his grades at Choate was C's in math and science, B's in English, but he got A's in history.

Mary Pat said...

I have to agree with the intelligence vs. wisdom point. I remember from hanging around math departments a bunch of certified geniuses, but the dumbest political ideas I had ever heard. The problem is, of course, that there is absolutely no repercussion to them if their ideas turn out to be wrong.

That's true of most politicians, too, not just academicians, as the actual impact of a policies are rarely the reason for continuing tenure in political positions.

Getting back to the point, the same can be said with ideas of education, in that most proponents of various educational "reforms" never even have to deal with students directly, and it's certainly not their lives screwed up when they made a mistake. I was lucky enough to have been taught math traditionally (with drills, flashcards, nightly homework, concrete math problems and directed learning, none of this "discovery" crap), with "tracking" of different levels starting in first grade. The teachers didn't freak out at the time that kids had differing abilities, or that certain groups were "overrepresented" in different levels.

This is to respond to mnuez, who wonders what the upshot of statistical IQ differences should be. The upshot is that racial quotas in education is a very bad idea. The theory behind the racial quotas was that the distribution of ability is the same amongst all races, and thus if you have no black kids in the "gifted" classes, something racist must be going on. That Harvard Law must have some bare minimum of people with the right-colored skin, or there goes all that liberal goodwill.
They never think that perhaps it's not kind to stick people in environments where they will be in way over their heads, and where the probability of failure is going to be high for them.

A good comparison would be with women and physically demanding jobs, like being a firefighter. That job requires a bunch of upper body strength, and in general, women don't have that strength. Every so often, in a place like NYC, people complain that there aren't enough women firefighters, but most people see the physical reality behind that and the furor goes nowhere. Not many women garbage haulers? Well, strike me down with a feather. Yes, some women are able to do the job and want to do it, and they should have the opportunity, but the mere fact that the numbers are low doesn't mean some pernicious sexism is going on unless you want to call Nature sexist.

I think more people understand the distinction when it comes to the sexes, especially as the physical differences (height, weight, strength) are much more pronounced (with height, ~2 s.d.s) than many racial statistical differences.

mnuez said...

Mary, I'm not sure what comment of mine you're responding to but rest assured that I'm familiar with the lessons in Problems of Lying About Racism 101. In fact I agree with the obvious point that you presented regarding underachievement not necessarily representing the results of institutionalized racism and I'm not sure how you could have thought otherwise.

mnuez

Anonymous said...

It's infuriating to think about all of the time and dollars wasted over the last 40 years trying to achieve equality of outcome among the races, all the while having liberals attack us race realists in the most hateful of terms. Now that they're finally having to admit to themselves what the average American has intuitively known since childhood, they want to make nice.

It's too late for that, liberals. You owe us an apology and about two decades of silence while we realists/adults work on solving the problems you created. Bottom line: We're stuck with an entrenched minority of dumbasses (think Katrina) that we will have to take care of indefinitely. One positive thing we can do is stop letting more dumbasses into this country. It will only make the native-born dumbasses more angry and violent and place an unbearable burden on the productive members of this country.

Sideways said...

from a comment on the article

For an honest description of the arguments which refute his claims see, for example, "MisMeasure of Man" by Gould

I choked on my drink because of that one.

Anonymous said...

A few thoughts. It is hard to find any PHD level mathematicians and physcicists especially elite ones who take seriously the claim that score on IQ tests=gentically fixed and unalterable.

I have been following this debate since the Bell Curve came out. The supporters of IQ and race research never give any deep scientific justification for this type of research. The only justification given is in terms of the presumed social policy implications. This is not a scientific question-obvioulsy.

This discussion seems to be about where to spend the scarce resources in a society.

So what is the point of giving IQ tests other than to tell some kids-including thousands of White Kids -that they are dumb?

I don't acccept the basketball analogy. Telling thousands of kids each year that a score on a certain test indicates that you are dumb will have very serious long term consequences for the kid than telling a kid the he or she should try another sport and study hard and become doctor.

Did anone see the show on the Science channel where several IQ individuals and several average IQ people were giving problem solving tasks. It was quite intersting. The High IQ hedge fund traitor was consistently demolished by the people with average IQ. Even MIT Seth Lloyd got his ass kicked on a task. The person who came closet to figuring out how to remove cork from the bottle was a artist who dropped put of school in seventh grade. The high IQ piano prodigy performed poorly on all the tasks.

One last thing, immigration reform doesn't require a discussion of IQ testing and race.

The fundamental issue is the racial transformation of the United Staes through legal and illegal immigration. Both Legal and illegal immigration should be opposed and completely shut down for this reason.

JCR said...

Since Jimmy Carter was brought up in these comments, this link clears up his education and "nuclear" experience. http://atomicinsights.blogspot.com/2006/01/picking-on-jimmy-carter-myth.html

Bert Rustle said...

The third Slate article on racial differences in IQ by William Saletan
Created Equal (All God's Children) addresses practical outcomes of this.

... Intermarriage is closing the gap. ... The more genetic the racial gap is, the faster we can obliterate it. ...

... raising the lowest IQs is a lot easier than equalizing higher IQs, because you can do it through nutrition, medicine, and basic schooling. ...

... All the evidence on race and IQ says black kids do better at younger ages, particularly with help from intervention programs. Later, the benefits fade. Hereditarians say this is genetics taking over, as happens with IQ generally. Suppose that's true. We don't abandon kids who are statistically likely to get fatal genetic diseases in their teens or 20s. Why write off kids whose IQ gains may not last? The economics may not pay off, but what about human rights? ...

I would hazard a guess that these three quotes alone are sufficient for William Saltan to remain within polite Society and will be used to shout down those opposed to anti-white discrimination.

Mary Pat said...

mnuez: Sorry, I didn't state well what I meant.

I was trying to extend what you were saying about noticing disparities in abilities between groups, not trying to make it look like you disagreed with the reality of statistical differences.

pinkonuez said...

"You simply have to be of the view (with much scientific basis it appears to me) that the vast majority of people will be better served (in terms of happiness, meaning, etc. as well as a lack of attendant detrimental factors such as depression, angst, jealousy, etc.) by more elements of socialism than of anarchism (which, unhindered, quickly moves power from the many into the hands of the very few)."

Oh, so that's the choice, socialism or anarchy? You are an obvious example of an intelligent person who should stay out of politics, Mnuez. The whole battle for racial quotas is a battle for power and money. There is no end to the comparisons that can be made between people that will qualify one group as disadvantaged. Haven't you noticed the persistent attempts at making propensities for certain diseases yet another reason the government has to spend money on those groups more likely to get high blood pressure and less likely to change their eating habits? Then there are Mexican immigrants who like the "public spaces" i.e. parks that must be plentiful in Mexico hence the desire to make the US more like Mexico. Because these meeting places supposedly build community and community is important, the government must provide and maintain more parks! Where does your socialism end, Mnuez?

Here's hoping that you're too busy abstracting to remember to vote on election day.

Anonymous said...

A lot of what Saletan says is good, i.e., average racial IQ differences don't tell you anything about individuals or subgroups, IQ isn't a measure of your human dignity, we should go after environmental factors that may also have an effect. But I could do without the totally unconflicted bosterism for gene modification.

-Osvaldo Mandias

Big John said...

Saletan ends predictably not with a bang but with a whimper.


The Grand old Duke of York he had ten thousand men
He marched them up to the top of the hill
And he marched them down again.
When they were up, they were up
And when they were down, they were down
And when they were only halfway up
They were neither up nor down.

tommy said...

A few thoughts. It is hard to find any PHD level mathematicians and physcicists especially elite ones who take seriously the claim that score on IQ tests=gentically fixed and unalterable.

I have been following this debate since the Bell Curve came out. The supporters of IQ and race research never give any deep scientific justification for this type of research. The only justification given is in terms of the presumed social policy implications. This is not a scientific question-obvioulsy.


Pure science needs no justification beyond simply wanting to know the truth. Physicists and mathematicians are generally not also geneticists and psychometricians. Your average physicist or mathematicians isn't going to know anything about the research. Nor are physicists and mathematicians absent bad ideas or immune to political correctness.

Your argument is interesting because it's an appeal to the authority of non-authorities.

KlaosOldanburg said...

Telling thousands of kids each year that a score on a certain test indicates that you are dumb will have very serious long term consequences for the kid

so let's just get rid of all competition/ranking systems. we don't want to hurt anybody's feelings, right?

in fact, since numbers are solely used to quantify things, they're obviously only going to make people feel bad. better quit using them all together.

Martin said...

" JCR said...

Since Jimmy Carter was brought up in these comments, this link clears up his education and "nuclear" experience. http://atomicinsights.blogspot.com/2006/01/picking-on-jimmy-carter-myth.html

11/20/2007 6:25 AM"

Thanks for the clarification. I seem to remember Carter stating at some point during either the '76 or '80 election that he was a nuclear engineer. Since I knew he was a naval officer, I assumed that he was telling the truth. Bad assumption, I know.

Martin said...

"A few thoughts. It is hard to find any PHD level mathematicians and physcicists especially elite ones who take seriously the claim that score on IQ tests=gentically fixed and unalterable."

I would dispute that. I got the impression from most of the physicists I have known (and I have met many) that they think that intelligence is inate and unalterable - that is to say that it is based on inherent ability. Most physicists don't think that most people would be any good at physics.

Most physics departments require GRE exams for admission, both general and subject area. The score a student gets on the physics GRE rigidly fixes his range of options for graduate school - if you want to get into any of the top ten schools, you need a score in at least the 90th percentile.

Of course, I can't know for sure: no physics prof would ever openly admit his opinion on this matter to anyone but a close friend and trusted collegue, especially when he's clawing his way towards tenure.

Ron Guhname said...

"Sailer, a failed journalist..."

Speaking of intelligence, look at how these kinds of people think: "Steve Sailer is a vicious bigot and should be professionally margninalized." And after he is: "He's never been able to make it in journalism, so that proves he has no credibility."

Anonymous said...

Tommy

I disagree with the view about the purity of the pursuit for knowledge.

First of all, there are the morally depraved human experiments conducted by German and Japanese scientist during WW11.

I take it as a obvious that there must be moral constraints on what scientific research should be conducted.Especially, if the knowledge gained from the reseach would have enormous consequences for certain groups of people.

As I mentioned in post, People who conduct rsearch into IQ and race have been very open about why they think this line of research is worth pursuing. As far as I can tell, every man an woman who either does research into IQ and race-and their supporters-the only justification for IQ and race research are the policy consequences of this research. It is scientifically trivial research-in the scientific scale of things-whose policies consequences will be enormous for certain groups of people. You shouldn't be shocked that there has been a strong backlash against Murray,Herstien,, Shockley and Watson.

William Poundstone had a chapter in one of his books aonut the genious sperm banks. He intervied several Noble prize winning physcicist including the very unPC Richard Feynman. Feynman and every other Noble prize winner interviewd thought the whole thing was complete nonesense and idiotic.

There was a very in-depth discussion last year over at condensed mattter physcicist Chad Orzel's website about Charles Murray(Murray had just come out with a new AEI sponsored paper about the policy implications of IQ and race research). I highly recommend everyone to check out the thread for this discussion. The discussion had a high degree of analytical depth

Also, Economist Brad Delong responded to Murray's paper by pointing out that the Murray and Herstien data completley suppress environmental variables.

tommy said...

First of all, there are the morally depraved human experiments conducted by German and Japanese scientist during WW11.

Those experiments were not morally depraved because of the sort of knowledge that was pursued but rather because of the methods that were used to obtain it. Arthur Jensen is not Josef Mengele.

Anonymous said...

Tommy

Your missing my point. The Japanese/ German evil doctor examples were mentioned to make an obvious and fundamental moral point that:Scientists have a very strong moral/ethical constraint placed upon them by society not to pursue scientific research where the knowledge obtained could very likley have negative consequences for certain groups of human beings.

Knowledge for knowledge sake rest upon some very shacky moral foundations.

I view IQ and race research as being scientific trivial. I do not consider a serious scientific. pursuit. It is pursued soley for its percieved policy implications.

Steve thinks that serious immigration must be deeply linked with a discussion of IQ and race research. Steve is wrong on this point. I've seen way too many debates abut the harmfull effects of non-white immigration onEuro-Americans sidetracked by discussions about the finer points of psychometrics. I can give you a depressing example of this.

tommy said...

Your missing my point. The Japanese/ German evil doctor examples were mentioned to make an obvious and fundamental moral point that:Scientists have a very strong moral/ethical constraint placed upon them by society not to pursue scientific research where the knowledge obtained could very likley have negative consequences for certain groups of human beings.

You're wrong. I would agree that we need not build an atomic bomb just to demonstrate that it can be done. But that would be an argument against engineering and not pure science. I also agree that scientists for the Axis Powers plied their trades immorally, but so long as science is pursued in an ethical manner, then I see no problem with learning anything about the world we inhabit.

You also aren't allowing for the possibility of negative consequences that come with avoiding science of this sort. The O'Connell powwow in California is a good example of that.

Anonymous said...

"I have tried (in private, of course) for several years to come up with a psychological and moral framework for egalitarianism in a world of racial difference regarding mental capacities. I could not come up with anything that remotely works."

What do you mean by this?

Chris Lowe said...

Quoth francis k: "at some point a man must ask himself if libertarian ideals stand a chance against marxism. and also if, similar to a rebel insurgency, marxism retools and adapts to achieve greater virulence."

Cf. this comment from at that famous bastion of marxism, The Manhattan Institute.

Chris Lowe said...

Leaving aside the question of whether intelligence is innate or inalterable for a moment, let's start with the prior questions of whether it is a) a single phenomenon and b) measurable.

Even the SATs/GREs acknowledge three kinds of intelligence held to be related to academic success: verbal, mathematical and logical. They also asknowledge a difference between their "general" tests and more specialized achievement tests.

How we purport to get from such multiple realms of intelligence to a single general intelligence is not at all obvious.

Leaving that there, and assuming for the sake of the argument that test scores have something to do with intelligence, test scores certainly are not innate or inalterable. Individuals do not score the same on multiple administrations of similar tests. That is why persons dissatisfied with initial SAT scores are advised to take them again. Individual scores can vary quite widely among administrations.

Part of this is a learning effect. The more often you take the tests, the more familiar and comfortable with them you become. Since they cost money, such familiarity and comfort have associations with the means to take practice tests. It would be interesting to know if there are studies which compare categorical mean disparities on all administrations with such disparities restricted to the first time individuals take tests.

After college, I worked in a couple of different settings as a tutor with much work focused on PSATs/SATs/GREs. From that experience I can tell you that coaching works, particularly on math sections. The math sections of these tests essentially test knowledge of middle/jr. high school and early high school math. In other words, they measure achievement in mathematical learning up to a certain level.

A person who never learned this stuff or who has forgotten it can learn a great deal and have it fresh in mind for a test with concentrated cramming. Virtually all of my students gained 50 points and a large proportion of them gained over 100 points in math following coaching.

The "stickiest" of scores tends to be the verbal. Verbal test abilities track closely with quantity of reading over many years, making them harder to learn by cramming. I suspect this also reflects the unsystematic character of English as a language, compared to many others, due to the historical influences of many other languages on English, such that there are huge numbers of exceptions and vocabulary tricks of false resemblances (what in learnign French are called faux amis) to be learned.

If our measurement tools vary widely in results of administrations to the same individual, that leaves us unable to say much about the underlying stability or otherwise of what is supposed to be being measured. It leaves us even further from being able to say anything reliable about whether such stability or otherwise is innate.