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August 27, 2003

Intellectual capital & the nations

Gweilo touches the average national IQ question. A good wolf smells the blood on the trail and pursues....

Godless comments:

I tossed in a few comments that readers/co-bloggers may be interested in.

Posted by razib at 02:26 PM

Thanks for the comment and contribution. I've added one of my own in response.

Posted by: Conrad at August 27, 2003 08:16 PM

Bob wrote the following in the thread: " Label me dubious at IQ test results that place more than half of a few countries' population as mentally retarded (


Congo -- 73

Zimbabwe -- 66

Sierra Leone -- 64

Liberia -- 64

Godless, I read what you wrote in the thread, but still IŽd like you to comment those figures.
I am willing to accept those figures, although I believe we should reconsider who we label as "retarded".

Posted by: eufrenio at August 30, 2003 08:35 PM

Godless: "The point is that we will soon be able to tell whether IQ differences reflect something real (i.e., something *physiological* like height, degree of myelination, etc.) or whether they do not."

This is a real crux for me. IQ differences can reflect something real without being physiological (except as a result). What I mean is: suppose that, of two identical twins w/o malnutrition or brain damage, one is raised in a normally stimulating environment whereas the other is raised by illiterate parents and put to work at age 9 hauling bricks (e.g., in Vietnam or Bangla Desh). My guess is that there would be an IQ difference, and it would be real and probably physiologically measurable (brain scans, etc.), but socially-environmentally caused. To me the social or environmental is not unreal or imaginary.

As always, I'm the devil's advocate here. I do not doubt the genetic component of IQ nor the importance of IQ either, but I see a strong tendency on this board to overestimate the genetic factor (as well as IQ itself) and ignore the social-environmental factor, rather as if it were a contest between two teams wearing different-colored jerseys.

Posted by: zizka at August 31, 2003 03:46 PM

Zizka: "As always, I'm the devil's advocate here"

I agree with your views: surely, environment is partly to blame for intelectual under-development.
Even in Europe, you get a sharp difference between urban and rural populations, IQ-wise.

Posted by: eufrenio at September 1, 2003 06:07 AM