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May 15, 2003

IQ, g, etc.

Jane Galt takes up the IQ controversy. GNXPers are a bit late to the game....

Also-check out this fluffy review of the book Intelligence, Race, and Genetics: Conversations with Arthur R. Jensen. Here are some quotes that capture the flavor of the review:

In a sense, intelligence tests are like artificial intelligence: the “highest” brain functions, such as the ability to do algebra, are among the easiest things for machines to replicate - and tests to measure - whereas the deeply intuitive ways we make sense of each other are hardest to produce artificially.
My wild hunch, and this might be just wishful thinking, is that future generations will see Jensen’s work as a waste of his mathematical and statistical intelligence, equivalent of hiring me instead of Hattestad for the throwing job.

Update: Good response to the review above. From the Evolutionary Psychology list.

Posted by razib at 10:59 AM

MS Galt's discussion suggests a tactic to attack the "IQ is just what IQ tests measure" school of thought without running afoul of PC. Pretend that IQ isn't hereditary and push the well supported Bell Curve assertion that it is an important predictor of success in American life. IIRC, they showed that IQ predicted income, even when other predictors like SES, father's income and mother's education were controlled for.

Of course most of the fans of this site would regard attacking PC as the point of the game, but I am more interested in getting IQ admitted as a tool of social understandng.

Posted by: Dick Thompson at May 15, 2003 11:24 AM

IQ is an emergent property of humans, easily measurable. It is valuable to the extent that it correlates with other properties which are less measurable, and/or has predictive value. The degree of correlation determines the usefulness.

For example, if IQ is predictive of success within a particular job, it would be useful to screen applicants for that job.

The Bell Curve is particularly interesting because it shows that IQ correlates to social phenomena like criminality or parenting skills. Unfortunately the current political climate prevents use from being made of this.


Posted by: Ole Eichhorn at May 15, 2003 11:53 AM

ole, I'm not exactly sure why you think race can/should be excised from the discussion when you talk about differential reproduction rates among groups.

Where did ole mention race?

Posted by: Jason Malloy at May 15, 2003 12:24 PM

Nevermind. Just read it in the Galt post. Peronally I think individual and group differences are both central to the question of IQ, as they have always been. Either humans are a part of nature that can be evaluated as such or they are not. If they are this requires an objective (as possible) look at every potential human difference and similarity. Humans need to be able to examine themselves in every possible way w/o the burden of political objections. We will be stronger for it.

Posted by: Jason Malloy at May 15, 2003 01:24 PM

PS- ole

a)when is your book coming out? How much $?

b) do you have a major publisher? will this be on Amazon?

c) feel free to make posts outlining your argument here. It sounds fantastic!

Posted by: Jason Malloy at May 15, 2003 01:29 PM

Interesting - the guy who wrote the pro-Jensen response in the Ev Psych group is Herb Gintis, a former Marxian economist who seems to have now renounced his old belief system (I am guessing) and now pursues quite exciting research into evolutionary game theory (I also see he is affiliated with the Santa Fe Institute.

Posted by: Jason Soon at May 16, 2003 07:14 AM