Race and IQ, and the whole messy biology of humanity

Discussions that deal with moral issues. Key questions in ethics include: How should one live? What is right (or wrong) to do? What is the best way for humans to live?

Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby Forest_Dump on March 14th, 2018, 12:13 pm 

On topics like this I am constantly reminded that rarely if ever can they really be considered neutral or impartial. A belief in races is a very old belief and was always accompanied by an attachment of value of some sort. Similarly belief in the utility of IQ was and is always attached to other values such as capacity to undertake some job. But we should also remember that one of the drives for IQ was also about justifying racial distinctions and also always with the assumption that European ideas about industrial society was at some kind do of apex. I have always been biased towards many kinds of scholarly pursuits that hope to be value neutral or objective, etc. However I am also aware that there often need to be limits such as in the danger of trying to find some kind of neutral or value free ultimate Ecolab virus or nuclear weapon. In the words of one TV character,finding a value free correlation between IQ and race might be like trying to pick up a turd by the clean end.
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby BadgerJelly on March 14th, 2018, 12:18 pm 

Braininvat » March 14th, 2018, 11:39 pm wrote:
You have an outdated, non-scientific understanding of race that is borrowed from 19th century slave trading societies.

Worry not! I have arrived to this thread to get you "up to speed" on our current understanding of human genetic groupings.....
- Hyksos

Worry not, Forrest Dump posted early in this thread on the obsolescence of the concept of race. I've stopped following the thread, as it's hard for me to really care about all these vague and unsupported metrics. As Serpent (IIRC) pointed out earlier, a competent elementary school teacher can spot aptitudes and help students build on those, while filling in cognitive gaps.


I am assuming you ignore the use of ethnic identities then? I am talking about the ethics of these terms being used, and promoted, for political means.

How do you think people are able to post statistics in the first place? The concept of "race" has merely been changed to sound more PC by calling it "ethnicity."

The question is is ethnicity really important? I am saying no.

Look here for the outdated terminology used on a national census (correct me if I am wrong but it says "Race and ethnicity" so your dislike of these terms doesn't make them simply disappear):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demography_of_the_United_States#Race_and_ethnicity

tbh I expected more from this forum than this. I have seen other people posting on these subjects (or similar subjects relating to religious views) elsewhere with the most ill-informed ideas and with little understanding of the multiple other factor involved that can be measured.

If the term "race" is obsolete you'd inform government censuses around the world because they still use the term (albeit spliced onto the more acceptable "ethnicity".) Talking about race of ethnicity is neither racist nor ethnicist.
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby BadgerJelly on March 14th, 2018, 12:27 pm 

Forest -

I was trying, and failing it seems, to look below the surface view and unearth the numerous other factors ignored by many people. Loudly voicing the difference due to social background and factoring language and cultural heritage will do something to dispel the weight race currently carries.

I am well aware of the danger of this subject. This is why it fascinates me too (as I've expressed.) They is someone about science being too wary of accidently adding too much weight to some nasty human element out there.

The whole problem of science and ethics in general is a rather peculiar one because the scientist is forever claiming that science is impartial whilst understanding that the scientist is not - and this is a theme you'd be more familiar with than most I expect because you deal with broader categories as well as understanding the importance of micro issues in regards to whole peculiar and vague tapestry of human culture.

Interpretation is has always been a big problem and given the amount of data at peoples fingertips it seems possible to provide evidence for almost anything unless people are forced to look at things with a wider lens.
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby BadgerJelly on March 14th, 2018, 12:43 pm 

Serpent -

Yes, an assumption and prejudice that likely carried far more weight in the past than today. The margin of difference is likely smaller than we assume. The difference may be a few percent between people who have or have not attended university, but to the top end of the scale we can, I think, say the higher up we go that the distinctions in IQ become more apparent.

The 50K debt is nothing. You only pay it back once you're earning X amount and even then it is a small amount (I have a few friends who don't notice it.) What is more obvious is the tuition fees which are pushing out less wealthy students (talking about the UK here btw.)

Anyway, now we've at least established that IQ does say something about intelligence, as we've both presented it, how would we go about finding data on blood samples from pregnant mothers? Is this available? My thinking is that the quality of blood will have a far greater effect on IQ than the colour of ones skin!

Sapolsky mentions some quite startling results from studies with rats ... I was hoping someone more informed would be able to give input (someone who knows their biology inside out.)

Can we also make comparisons for things like urban and rural living to IQ, and even number of siblings (this I have seen quite different results for before - again something Sapolsky pointed out: I'll try and find vid tomorrow.)

What I can say is that the things I have seen and heard puts emphasis on environment rather than genetics. Given that male and female genetics are different enough on a basic biological level IQ shows no difference except in the high of bell curve.
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby Serpent on March 14th, 2018, 2:25 pm 

BadgerJelly » March 14th, 2018, 11:43 am wrote:Yes, an assumption and prejudice that likely carried far more weight in the past than today.

Where do you see that? There was a moment - May 21, 1972, just before tea-time - when we thought we were within reach of a prejudice-free society. That hope has been broken, crushed and is now on the conveyor-belt to the grist-mill.

The margin of difference is likely smaller than we assume.

Not just smaller; also more diverse.
The difference may be a few percent between people who have or have not attended university,

As measured by those tests that heavily favour those with the most formal education.
We keep telling you: the IQ tests generally in use to produce the available data are accurate in a limited range of cognitive skills. Some skills are undervalued and therefore absent from tests; some are unfamiliar to the test designers, and not measured accurately; some are inapplicable to the military/business complex and therefore unrecognized as skills.

but to the top end of the scale we can, I think, say the higher up we go that the distinctions in IQ become more apparent.

The two skinny ends of the Bell curve always look peculiar as compared to the middle.
To what kind of difference do you refer?

The 50K debt is nothing. You only pay it back once you're earning X amount

So, the PhDLit who delivers your chicken masala never has to pay it back? What a relief! I guess it's harder for Americans.

Anyway, now we've at least established that IQ does say something about intelligence, as we've both presented it, how would we go about finding data on blood samples from pregnant mothers? Is this available? My thinking is that the quality of blood will have a far greater effect on IQ than the colour of ones skin!

What "quality" are you testing the blood for? We already know that fetal alcohol and heroin addiction will make babies stupid. We already know that poor nutrition, anxiety and disturbed sleep interferes with children's ability to learn. We already know that damage caused by neglect and lack of stimulation in the first three years is impossible to repair in later life. We already know that better child-care produces stronger students and better schools turn in higher overall test results.

If you really want to know how smart people are, make sure they get decent prenatal care and early childhood nurturing. Throw away the IQ tests and ask grade-school teachers what they need to make all the schools best serve the needs of all the students.
Finland, Japan and Barbados have a handle on this already.

What I can say is that the things I have seen and heard puts emphasis on environment rather than genetics.

Of course. We all know this. Hence the rejection of IQ tests.

Given that male and female genetics are different enough on a basic biological level IQ shows no difference except in the high of bell curve.

I still don't understand what you mean by difference in the high end. Difference in individuals or groups? In what areas of ability?

What I still don't get is why you want these comparisons. Just to show how little difference there is between ethnic groups?
I already told you how to tell: Read the honour roll of any high-school in a cosmopolitan city.
You know those students all live in the same neighbourhood and are roughly the same income level; they've been exposed to the same curriculum taught by the same staff under the same conditions, and they've taken the same exams. You don't need their DNA; their names will suffice.
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby BadgerJelly on March 14th, 2018, 3:02 pm 

Serpent -

Where do you see that? There was a moment - May 21, 1972, about tea-time - when we thought we were within reach of a prejudice-free society.


I was speaking generally and not necessarily over the past few years or even decades. I thinking further back when there was a larger chasm between rich and poor than there is today.

What "quality" are you testing the blood for? We already know that fetal alcohol and heroin addiction will make babies stupid. We already know that poor nutrition, anxiety and disturbed sleep interferes with children's ability to learn. We already know that damage caused by neglect and lack of stimulation in the first three years is impossible to repair in later life. We already know that better child-care produces stronger students and better schools turn in higher overall test results.

If you really want to know how smart people are, make sure they get decent prenatal care and early childhood nurturing. Throw away the IQ tests and ask grade-school teachers what they need to make all the schools best serve the needs of all the students.


That is the kind of information I was fishing for. I don't know what studies there are on this subject and was hoping people here might be able to present some. I am aware that the fist few years are vital and that prenatally seemingly small impacts can have an effect not seen until much later - again I'll need to revisit Sapolsky to give specific examples.

Rejection of IQ tests? Sorry, now I am confused. You say it does help show intelligence, but reject the results? What is it that is being "rejected"? Here I was still talking about genetics, but on the level of how environment effects genetics. This would be more in the area of epigenetics; my general ignorance abounds here! I was thinking about stress levels of mother, general psychological disposition and how endocrinal systems actively effect the genetic predisposition of the growing baby.

I am aware there are different tests and some have cultural bias (but certainly not all.) We'd struggle to get accurate results from some remote tribe because their way of life is not comparable.

I also think it is reasonable to say some people are smarter than others. What is it that makes them smarter and what things are lacking due to higher intelligence (if anything?) - and just to be clear I am not talking about differences and correlations as being 100% here, merely asking about the variability and the significance of the variability.

I still don't understand what you mean by difference in the high end. Difference between what specific areas? Between which groups of people?


I said men and women so I meant men and women? I thought that was clear enough. There is a suggestion that the curve of IQ for women is not as flat as for men; even though the average is the same - so there are more men with lower IQ's and more men with higher IQ's.

As you noted before at the extreme ends of the scales there are more obvious distinctions - with the extraordinary wealthy they can afford to be more, let us say, "relaxed" with their life concerning more mundane problems like finding food, water and shelter.
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby hyksos on March 14th, 2018, 4:27 pm 

BadgerJelly's faith in IQ tests is as unscientific and unreasoned as his faith in the outmoded concepts of race.

The only thing that IQ tests have going for them is that they give standardized results.

"Standardized results". Definition : A group of people who take a standardized test will have scores which fall into a bell curve. That bell curve will become more refined the more people you have take the test. All bell curves (c.r. Gaussian distributions) will have a peak. The statisticians associate a score of 100 to the peak of that curve. Any given group of tested people will have a peak in a different location, and that's expected. In this sense, IQ tests are having you "compete against your group". Most importantly they are not an objective universal measure -- your individual score on an IQ test is relative to those in your group.

For the black inner city adolescents. It may not be the case that they are "lower" on the test results in a universal sense. Rather the makeup of the white population in the USA , being so German and Irish and italian, just naturally score at world-record levels on these tests. It may be the case that the black students are just normal test takers. To understand how the black student feels, I could take a white kid from Kentucky, and send him off to a boarding school in south Korea. When IQ test day comes along, "Kevin" (lets call him) scores an 84, making him appear to be an imbecile.

I could transport Kevin back to Detroit for another IQ test, where he would score a 119, relative to the black kids making up the student body. Then the teachers could whisper to each other in the teacher's lounge about how "Kevin has a head on his shoulders and will end up at MIT".

It's all relative.
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby hyksos on March 14th, 2018, 4:33 pm 

Oh -- I forgot to mention. I personally like IQ tests whenever they have interesting questions on them. If anyone likes the recreational aspect of IQ tests, I invite you to the following threads :

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=32893

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=32894

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=32670
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby Braininvat on March 14th, 2018, 5:09 pm 

Rather the makeup of the white population in the USA , being so German and Irish and italian, just naturally score at world-record levels on these tests.


Excuse me, but what are you saying here? I am confused by your use of "naturally" in this context. Are you just saying cultural bias exists, in a different way than others express it?
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby Serpent on March 14th, 2018, 5:11 pm 

BadgerJelly » March 14th, 2018, 2:02 pm wrote:[ Throw away the IQ tests and ask grade-school teachers what they need to make all the schools best serve the needs of all the students. ]

That is the kind of information I was fishing for. I don't know what studies there are on this subject and was hoping people here might be able to present some.

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/08/japan-equal-education-school-cost/535611/
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/why-are-finlands-schools-successful-49859555/
https://www.classbase.com/countries/Barbados/Education-System
It's not a secret. Invest in the children, not the missiles.

Rejection of IQ tests? Sorry, now I am confused. You say it does help show intelligence, but reject the results? What is it that is being "rejected"?

There are better ways of getting more accurate information.
I agreed about what IQ testing measures, and pointed out, time after time, its shortcomings.
What's being rejected is a small team of European academics trying to measure the intelligence of anyone who didn't have years of the same type of formal education that they've had. How does a Danish professor know what questions to ask a Mongolian pony-whisperer? Set that 140IQ academic down on a steppe or savanna or Pacific island and he'll fail the simplest rite of passage every twelve-tear-old native child passes with ease.
https://www.enotes.com/topics/admirable-crichton

Here I was still talking about genetics, but on the level of how environment effects genetics. This would be more in the area of epigenetics; my general ignorance abounds here! I was thinking about stress levels of mother, general psychological disposition and how endocrinal systems actively effect the genetic predisposition of the growing baby.

None of that will be measured by an IQ test. By the time this baby is 16, there will have been so many other factors to affect his performance you still won't get meaningful results.

I am aware there are different tests and some have cultural bias (but certainly not all.) We'd struggle to get accurate results from some remote tribe because their way of life is not comparable.

Them too. I suggested two ways to make equitable tests, but you weren't interested.

I also think it is reasonable to say some people are smarter than others.

This has not been contested.
What is it that makes them smarter and what things are lacking due to higher intelligence

What makes people smarter is a combination of genetics and 438 other factors.
Why should anything be lacking due to high intelligence?
For a way to raise the average, and cumulative academic performance of a population, look at the examples I cited. Three very different cultures, all very successful education systems. What they have in common is not genetics but the dedication of resources.

[difference in the high end]
I said men and women so I meant men and women? I thought that was clear enough. There is a suggestion that the curve of IQ for women is not as flat as for men; even though the average is the same - so there are more men with lower IQ's and more men with higher IQ's.

According to a certain type of test.
I thought you meant difference in the type of intelligence, which I would readily believe, given that male and female children do not grow up in the same environment. I'm willing to lay a small wager that different types of test would show different results. You will almost certainly find that this discrepancy is less evident in the middle to upper income range than the lower half. It may also change the result if you try testing people of a different age bracket - say, 35-45, rather than post-pubescent students who are roughly divided into those who relish test-taking and those who dread test-taking; those who are driven to excel and those who don't give a flying fig.
Here's another thing wrong with testing: most of it is done on captive homogeneous populations - armed forces and student bodies - because people at large are hard to collect.

I suspect you're trying to reinvent a wheel that's already trundled by.
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby wolfhnd on March 14th, 2018, 11:42 pm 

I did a quick search of research papers on IQ and mostly what I got was a bunch of post modern, intersectionality gibberish. A shocking number of the papers talked about emotional intelligence which is frankly not only an absurd idea in and of itself but demonstrates that the authors are motivated by political not scientific interest.

The following article sums up my feelings on the topic minus the fact that if the results were different and the "oppressed" measured higher than the "patriarchy" IQ tests would be all the rage. One need only look at the dismal failure of head start to see why there is so much push back against the idea of IQ tests in an intellectual environment more concerned about feelings than facts.

http://bigthink.com/aeon-ideas/how-clev ... s-iq-tests
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby Serpent on March 15th, 2018, 1:03 am 

Here's the gist:
We need IQ tests to help us work out how to boost people’s intelligence, and thus to boost their productivity.


Right. This sounds a lot like Badger's original thesis.

Assumptions:
1. Intelligent people produce more than unintelligent people.
(Have you met the working class, who produced 99% of everything so far?)
2. It is desirable for people to produce more.
(More of what?)
3. Society would benefit from a smarter, more productive population.
(Hello Droid!)

What will you do with the surplus smartasses?
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby BadgerJelly on March 15th, 2018, 2:41 am 

Serpent -

None of that will be measured by an IQ test. By the time this baby is 16, there will have been so many other factors to affect his performance you still won't get meaningful results.


I think you'd be surprised how seemingly "tiny" biochemical influences can alter the development of an organism. Given that plasticity of the brain is at its highest in the earlier years it doesn't seem like an extraordinary leap to say that biochemical effects could be extremely drastic (showing the opposite to be true would be quite astounding.)

Just found it about 13:00 in ... probably best to watch from 12:00 (referring to differences in IQ due to differences in fetuses only 5 days after conception.) I am guessing Sapolsky knows his statistical math enough to be trusted btw):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0WZx7lUOrY&list=PLD7E21BF91F3F9683&index=6&t=0s

My original thesis? Not really. My question was more aimed at whether people, especially scientists, were brave enough to tackle this issue rather than avoid career death (like not so many years ago when studying something as wacky as "consciousness" was pretty much likely to severely effect your career prospects.)

Boost productivity? No, because productivity (aka. industriousness) is not measured in IQ tests. In fact industriousness doesn't even come close to correlating with IQ scores. That is why I said someone who doesn't nothing with a high IQ is not really someone you want to hire.

Nor do I know have to measure "productivity", and the measure for doing this is more of the big five personality traits, which I am deeply skeptical about and much more in line with Jung's view of such things - although they are useful to some people to help them distinguish features of themselves they may not have brought into question before (Jung said the best judge of personality is yourself; but that is a difficult path to navigate to say the least - those tests are certainly not as accurate as IQ tests.)

I suggested two ways to make equitable tests, but you weren't interested.


Wasn't I? Where? I did pause because I wasn't intending to get into a discussion about the validity of IQ tests, I will go back and check ... I couldn't find anything after a 5-10 scan.

As a reminder this was the thrust of the OP:

Can we have a reasonable discussion about race and IQ or are we forever going to be running away from inconvenient truths and holding to wishful claims that suit our personal positions.

I find this area intriguing for a number of reasons both ethically and statistically. The data is far from conclusive, yet there is enough data out there for people to select certain parts in order to insinuate X or Y.


There is some info here about different kinds of intelligence (crystalline and fluid), and some slight overlap between IQ and personality traits (obviously to be expected as they are not literally separate parts merely convenient markers for more distinguishable traits.)

The interesting point here would be this:

Intelligence and personality have some common features; for example, they both follow a relatively stable pattern throughout the whole of an individual’s life, which is genetically determined in different degrees.


What I have read shows that IQ cannot be increased, but it can be decreased. For other personality traits I am not so sure, but we're all aware of such things like trauma obviously having a degree of affect in changing someone's personality to a larger or smaller degree - this would be dictated by "neuroticism" more than anything.

The strongest correlation between personality and intelligence is this:

Openness shows the strongest positive relationship with g among the Big Five personality traits, ranging from r=.06 to r=.42. Individuals with a high level of openness enjoy the experience of learning and prefer an intellectually stimulating environment. Therefore, openness shows a significant moderate association with crystallized intelligence (r=.30), but a non-significant low association with fluid intelligence (r=.08), and these results are consistent with those of other studies.

Some psychologists have recently pointed out that previous instruments used to measure openness actually assessed two distinctive aspects. The first is intellect, which reflects intellectual engagement and perceived intelligence and is marked by ideas, while the second is emotion, which reflects the artistic and contemplative qualities related to being engaged in sensation and perception and is marked by fantasy, aesthetics, feelings and actions. On this basis, intellect was found to be associated with the neural system of the working memory, which is related to g, whereas openness was not. In addition, according to a study of genetic behaviour, intellect is genetically closer to intelligence than openness


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligence_and_personality
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby Serpent on March 15th, 2018, 9:42 am 

BadgerJelly » March 15th, 2018, 1:41 am wrote:[None of that will be measured by an IQ test. ]
I think you'd be surprised how seemingly "tiny" biochemical influences can alter the development of an organism. Given that plasticity of the brain is at its highest in the earlier years it doesn't seem like an extraordinary leap to say that biochemical effects could be extremely drastic (showing the opposite to be true would be quite astounding.)

Get a two-year-old to complete an IQ test. Even the smartest of them can't read yet.
You have to measure their intelligence some other way.
Want intelligent babies?
Let women decide when and whether to have children; provide both the mother and baby with a safe, clean place to live, wholesome food, good medical care and interesting activities. This is not news - it's just impossible for most of the world to carry out.
My question was more aimed at whether people, especially scientists, were brave enough to tackle this issue

They were, when that was an "issue"; they came up with all kinds of graphs and charts to prove the superiority of their elites over whoever they wanted to rule over. Lately, there hasn't been much profit in it, but maybe a new market is opening up.
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby BadgerJelly on March 15th, 2018, 10:54 am 

Serpent -

I have no idea what you're talking about now? Two years olds? I proved you with a video that talked about how evironmental conditions 5 days after conception that people infer to have an effect on IQ.

Elitist? Huh? What the hell are you prattling on about? I am guessing your idea was to blindly provide mothers with better care. Do you not see that looking into this helps us understand what constitute "good wholesome food"?

Given that two idenetical twins differ in IQ due to, what I imagine is, differences in blood supply it would be worth considering and looking into?
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby Serpent on March 15th, 2018, 4:31 pm 

BadgerJelly » March 15th, 2018, 9:54 am wrote:I have no idea what you're talking about now? Two years olds? I proved you with a video that talked about how evironmental conditions 5 days after conception that people infer to have an effect on IQ.

And I agreed, way back then, that it probably does. Then I said, but there will be so many other influences by the time they're old enough to take a standard IQ test that you can't measure the difference that a chemical in utero might have made. Infer, yes; test, no.

Elitist? Huh?

I didn't say elitist. I said scientists have made the correlation between race (a concept so ill-defined as to have no scientific meaning) and intelligence quotient (a quality of mind so ill-defined that its testing has only the most limited practical application). They have made those correlations when it suited their patrons (the rulers [elites] of whatever nations the scientists were patriotic sons of.) In recent times, only the most partisan scientists indulge in that futile exercise - futile, that is, from the standpoint of expanding knowledge. Race and IQ are not useful to expanding knowledge.
The study of human development, cerebral function continues, with better metrics and definitions.

I am guessing your idea was to blindly provide mothers with better care.

I'd be happier if it were done with full cognition. But I'll take blind decency if that's the only way it comes.
Do you not see that looking into this helps us understand what constitute "good wholesome food"?

IQ tests tell you nothing about grains and vegetables! We know what wholesome food is, and we know that no toddler will find it on the garbage heaps of New Delhi. So lets not wait until all the numbers and proofs are compiled.

Given that two idenetical twins differ in IQ due to, what I imagine is, differences in blood supply it would be worth considering and looking into?

By all means.

The comments on productivity were a response to the article cited by Wolfhnd.

(continued from before I had to go)
[two ways to make equitable tests]
Where?

Page 1, most likely. I first suggested the non-verbal tests used for testing other species. Then, for a more comprehensive result:
Get three experienced secondary-school teachers from each of five different geographic regions of the world; one who works in an up-scale private school, a poor urban public school and a rural public school. Have each of these teachers devise a test he or she believes will best demonstrate their students' intelligence. Then mix up the test papers and have students in those parts of the world take whichever test they get randomly.

The OP
Can we have a reasonable discussion about race and IQ or are we forever going to be running away from inconvenient truths and holding to wishful claims that suit our personal positions.

But, you see, that's a provocative and somewhat baffling, three-part question, to which there is no appropriate answer.
Can we have a reasonable discussion about race and IQ?
Sure, but don't be surprised if we examine the validity of the concepts.
are we forever going to be running away from inconvenient truths
That begs the question. No, just as we never beat our wives, we also haven't been running away from inconvenient truths. (BTW What inconvenient truth?)
holding to wishful claims
No again. Our claims are articulated and supported more than wishful. (BTW What positions?)

I find this area intriguing for a number of reasons both ethically and statistically.

I don't get where it's anything to do with ethics, and the statistics are debatable.
The data is far from conclusive,

Which is what makes dubious science.
yet there is enough data out there

There is also a lot of stuff "out there" that doesn't qualify as data.
for people to select certain parts in order to insinuate X or Y.

People can pick and choose whatever they feel like insinuating. That's not a convincing argument for or against whatever it is we're talking about - which seems to keep shifting.

Intelligence and personality have some common features; for example, they both follow a relatively stable pattern throughout the whole of an individual’s life, which is genetically determined in different degrees.

Okay. And?

What I have read shows that IQ cannot be increased,

Assuming you had a reliable test to begin with, and you began early enough. I know for a fact that IQ test scores can be increased, by the simple means of taking a series of practice tests. I'll hazard a guess that they would also show some improvement through reading and tutoring.

but it can be decreased.

By what process, other than chemical or physical damage?

The strongest correlation between personality and intelligence is this:

This wasn't originally on the table, afaik.
(BTW Where did race and ethnicity go?)
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby BadgerJelly on March 15th, 2018, 9:25 pm 

Serpent -

This wasn't originally on the table, afaik.
(BTW Where did race and ethnicity go?)


I was dealing with the concept of IQ here not race because you seemed to latch onto the IQ aspect which is important to accept as a valid form of measuring intelligence (which was why the conversation has gone down the lines it has.) I was presenting evidence that there is measured differences in IQ that are traceable to the instance 5 days after concept from two humans with identical genetic make-up. You question this and I provided some information.

The fact remains that between the two sets of twins the difference in IQ does seem to relate to this instance. It is worth noting because there is a control in the situation, it is not pure speculation. You cannot both agree with it and then deny its validity at the same time. Do you not understand the method? Of course there are other differences but the point is "on average" the difference is significant enough to mention - if it wasn't I don't think Sapolsky would mention this, do you?

As for race I don't think there is a serious difference, although there are more obvious features of people that show the appearance of genetic differences (the Grandma gene - mentioned later in the lecture I posted.) Today you can have your DNA tested and they will trace your genetic heritage (with varying degrees of success) and they can do so because there are distinct enough genetic markers to allow this. The funny thing is they show that we're all a mix of many different groups (or "races" or "ethnicities" if you prefer that phraseology?) - the evidence shows here, and most people agree, that the genetic difference between human groups is minute and that within these groups the variation is far greater than by comparison. It is clear enough to me that the differences in IQ scores (which I take to be a reasonably good enough representation of human intelligence as previously stated) show differences that relate to the Grandma effect (other possible personality habits) and social conditions.

The issue of ethics and politics I would've thought is quite obvious. Plenty of political organisations use group identity to shift the socio-political landscape in their favour. Given our visual predisposition we place a huge emphasis on what people look like and identify this way (be it by clothing or skin colour - that is not going to go away anytime soon I think.) The question, for me, then becomes what is there that can be done, other than education, and in what manner education can help humans interact rather than merely polarize society based primarily on cosmetic differences. The very culture of "race" seems to be something to tackle, yet by tackling it we draw attention to it and people get upset or act in a reactionary way.

And again, further in the lecture I posted, there was plainly a correspondence between stress levels and how this can play out in cognitive functioning. So even if we could suddenly give different groups the same environment now we'd not be taking into account the knock-on effect of previous generations (here Lamarckian ideas turn out to bare fruit even though they were ridiculed for some time.)

IQ can be decreased simply by bad parenting and/or bad schooling. Then there is the distinction between fluid and crystalline intelligence that comes into play. People can have brain damage where they are unable to learn new skills as quickly as before (fluid intelligence has been dramatically reduced) yet they can still apply old knowledge to new problems.

Why mention personality? Because that is the main reason for variance in testing. Note you make the mistake of assuming things like crystalline and fluid intelligence are not taken into account. Plenty of different tests for intelligence exist, and each is more tailored to this or that purpose.
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby Serpent on March 15th, 2018, 10:30 pm 

BadgerJelly » March 15th, 2018, 8:25 pm wrote:I was dealing with the concept of IQ here not race because you seemed to latch onto the IQ aspect

But you put them together to start with.
I mentioned the flimsiness of race as a concept, but then others, notably Forest_Dump, explained the problem better, so I concentrated on the intelligence aspect.
which is important to accept as a valid form of measuring intelligence (which was why the conversation has gone down the lines it has.)

Because it's not accepted.
I was presenting evidence that there is measured differences in IQ that are traceable to the instance 5 days after concept from two humans with identical genetic make-up. You question this and I provided some information.

You said inference, not evidence.

I'm not going around the IQ testing mulberry bush anymore. It has uses and it has limits. At best, it's an imperfect tool to be used by specialists on a familiar population in a specific application .

- the evidence shows here, and most people agree, that the genetic difference between human groups is minute and that within these groups the variation is far greater than by comparison.

That's been agreed for some time. So why speak of race at all?

It is clear enough to me that the differences in IQ scores (which I take to be a reasonably good enough representation of human intelligence as previously stated) show differences that relate to the Grandma effect (other possible personality habits) and social conditions.

We covered this in the first four posts.

The issue of ethics and politics I would've thought is quite obvious.

Not obvious at all! What facet of politics is involved what aspect of which ethics?

Plenty of political organisations use group identity to shift the socio-political landscape in their favour.

Of course. That's their function.
The question, for me, then becomes what is there that can be done

Done by whom? Where?
, other than education,

I told you. Keep the birth-rate down; make sure all the children are wanted and loved; feed them, clothe them, house them and nurture them. But education is still the single best remedy.
and in what manner education can help humans interact rather than merely polarize society based primarily on cosmetic differences.

Eliminate poverty, decrease disparity and privilege, let everyone have enough of the necessities, the opportunity to fulfill their potential and the freedom to find out what that potential is.
Contented people are tolerant and co-operative. Anxious people are suspicious and jealous.

The very culture of "race" seems to be something to tackle, yet by tackling it we draw attention to it and people get upset or act in a reactionary way.

It was an artificial barrier in the first place. You 'tackle' it by refusing to follow bigots and despots.
Not by by pointing out that ghetto kids are at a disadvantage in passing IQ tests. We already knew that.

And again, further in the lecture I posted, there was plainly a correspondence between stress levels and how this can play out in cognitive functioning.

Not to mention test-taking. I alluded to this in probably my first post on here.
So even if we could suddenly give different groups the same environment

Why would you want to?

IQ can be decreased simply by bad parenting and/or bad schooling.

Da.

Why mention personality?

Why suddenly introduce it at this stage. I told you in the first post that temperament is an unmeasured variable in SAT's. Not news.

Plenty of different tests for intelligence exist, and each is more tailored to this or that purpose.

If the subjects are taking all different tests, how can you compare the results?
And why do you want to?

Anyway, one of the things I never understood is how measured intelligence affects people's interaction.
Smart people interact all the time. Stupid people interact all the time. Average and mediocre people interact all the time. And all those people interact with other people of different ability, without ever knowing what their test scores are or whether their twin received a diminished blood supply in the womb.
I just never figured out what you are trying to find out.
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby BadgerJelly on March 15th, 2018, 11:26 pm 

Serpent -

Anyway, one of the things I never understood is how measured intelligence affects people's interaction.


There is no correlation here other than by way of siblings mediating the world to younger siblings - there the data is interesting (I think this is talked about in Sapolsky lecture too.)

When it comes to social interaction the psychological tests refer to this as being separate to intelligence. Extroversion and Agreeableness - I am pretty low on both of those >:vD

I just never figured out what you are trying to find out.


That is easy! I am trying to figure out everything. IQ and genetics interests me. They just happen to be things people don't like to talk about, so I added the race thing in within an ethical context to see what would happen and if anyone had anything interesting to say to counter these things that may help my personal research into "being human".

The main resistence came from IQ and then this was followed up by cloaked outrage about race being meaningless - even though there are distinctions genetically, it is just that they are not nearly as extreme as the visual identity. Last I heard the most genetically diverse region on earth was Africa. I am more interested in the difference of what is happening in the brain (things like domestication and climate combined with epigenetics - the renewel of Larmarckian ideas.)

All this and the biology of ethics. How aggression, stress and such plays into brain development. How certain groups with certain IQ's may still be in the same position for a generation or two simply due to epigenics and shifts from more domesticated living (that was one idea that grabbed me.)

As usual it was a multibarrelled post. The main point being the ethical issue scientists are faced with if they want to investigate this. Political groups using these things as tools to push agendas (meaningfully or not.) For example patriotism is a clear example of poltical use of group identity and there is miniscule genetic differences here - no one would deny that because you can trace your genetic heritage to nations this way.

I don't see why it is a bad thing to ask what these small differences are. Are they really "insignificant" or would we just prefer they were "insignificant"? By looking it may yield great things for the future of humanity.

Then there is the issue of understanding IQ by understanding more clearly the development of modern society and how IQ has appeared to "rise" (Pinker comments on this and looks at it as being due to the rise of widespread technology nurturing intelligence.)

One thing we can say is that IQ does differ across nations. If we conclude, as I do and many others do, that there is no real difference between people we know there is a problem. How about coming to understand how this can be changed and how quickly we'd expect to see effects (taking into consideration "Grandma" and such?)

Should we ready ourselves for what actually happens when the playing field is levelled or not? What kind of ethical backlash can we expect? Is this part of what causes revolutions? Some people like to blame the rise of women's rights and/or the influence of women on society as causes its collapse (which is comical, but maybe there is something interesting there to look at - not to support but rather to look at the shifting ethical landscape as being the inherent issue.)

With data from Scandanavia we see that the push for sexual equality has led to a more pronounced example of sexes life choices. Women going for more people orientated and caring jobs and men less so - biological it makes perect sense given that women are the primary care providers for children so they'd likely be evolutionarily inclined toward these areas of interest.

Would these things be an issue for shaping the cause of society. For one would this make the areas women are more interested in less well funded simply because they are going to exhibit more differentiation from men on a level playing field and maybe exhibit (in a more pronounced manner) other gender based characterists like "Agreeableness"? Is that even a statistical possibility for us to worry about?

Those are SOME of the things going through my head in this area.
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby Serpent on March 16th, 2018, 9:54 am 

wrong one
Last edited by Serpent on March 16th, 2018, 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby Serpent on March 16th, 2018, 10:32 am 

BadgerJelly » March 15th, 2018, 10:26 pm wrote: so I added the race thing in within an ethical context to see what would happen and if anyone had anything interesting to say to counter these things that may help my personal research into "being human".

The ethical context was unclear. Still is.

The main resistence came from IQ and then this was followed up by cloaked outrage about race

It was neither cloaked nor outrage. It was open disagreement, with cogent explanation.
being meaningless
because it is. You've said so yourself.
- even though there are distinctions genetically

That's a quite different thing.

People may have, and claim, racial and/or ethnic identity, based on appearance and culture, but it doesn't determine their intelligence or personality.
What colour do you get when you mix the spectrum? Mud. When you mix ideas, the same thing happens.

I am more interested in the difference of what is happening in the brain (things like domestication and climate combined with epigenetics - the renewel of Larmarckian ideas.)

Whenever you say "difference", we expect a comparison of a definite number of definite items - as: What is the difference between a horse and a zebra? A normal person can answer that. When you say, "What is the difference in intelligence of siblings in Arizona or their grandmother" We try to parse it - and fail.

All this and the biology of ethics.

plus the flavour of blue.

How aggression, stress and such plays into brain development. How certain groups with certain IQ's may still be in the same position for a generation or two simply due to epigenics and shifts from more domesticated living (that was one idea that grabbed me.)

II give up. How?

The main point being the ethical issue scientists are faced with if they want to investigate this.

They're not and they do.

Political groups using these things as tools to push agendas (meaningfully or not.) For example patriotism is a clear example of poltical use of group identity and there is miniscule genetic differences here - no one would deny that because you can trace your genetic heritage to nations this way.

How about the USA? They do patriotism louder than anybody else and they're genetically more diverse than anybody else, and they keep fighting among themselves the whole time they're going U!S!A! Nationalism is not related to minute genetic differences. Rabble-rousing isn't about race, either; nor is prejudice.

I don't see why it is a bad thing to ask what these small differences are.

It's no bad thing to ask. You may not be pleased with the answers. There may not be any answers. Or they may be based on insufficient, incorrect information.

By looking it may yield great things for the future of humanity.

Improbable.

One thing we can say is that IQ does differ across nations.

You can say it, and it may even true - within the margin of error due to testing methods. I just don't see this as meaningful.

If we conclude, as I do and many others do, that there is no real difference between people we know there is a problem.

What problem?
How about coming to understand how this can be changed and how quickly we'd expect to see effects
[/quote][/quote]
You never did explain who "we" is that has to do this.
Or why you want to engineer everybody into sameness.
What is to be gained?

How about: You study all these things, not as problems but as phenomena; with an open mind, just to understand - not to fix?

Fixing the real problems is simple and impossible.
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby BadgerJelly on March 16th, 2018, 12:12 pm 

Look for the answers I've already given if you want to know. Read my replies and look at the video.

Sorry, gotta go engineer everyone and turn them into wibblebobs ...
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby hyksos on March 17th, 2018, 5:50 pm 

The United States of America brought over people from the most desolate, squalid, poor, desperate sections of the east coast of Africa. They brought them in like livestock on ships. Those slaves were ordered to work the fields of cotton and tobacco all so the landed gentry could sell those resources to the rich Europeans.

They were not importing the "best and brightest". They were not bringing over the "best of the best". They were bringing the poor, the destitute.. the defeated tribals from those jungle coasts.

Fast-forward 100 years, and now we have standardized tests, and incredibly crowded, highly competitive K12 school system. Despite the him-hawing (from a number of people in this thread ) the data on these IQ tests did in fact account for reading level, grade level adjustments. Extra points were awarded even for amorphous things like "poverty" of the test-taker.

(I'm going to put this in colored text, cuz I'm kinda sick of repeating it...)

Even after accounting for these cultural and societal factors (comma) the black kids were still scoring lower than their white counterparts.

When the book came out in the 1990s, (The Bell Curve?) it created mass hysteria in American media and talkshows. Basically what was happening is American culture has this kind of "One-Metric HorsePower" way of looking at the world already. American culture had also applied way too much importance into these tests.

IQ tests were actually developed by the military to decide which recruits in basic training would go into infantry, and which would go into "more complex" tasks like artillery and tanks. That's all the deeper it should have ever gone. BadjerJelly's continued insistence that IQ tests are some objective measure of transcendent intelligence is unscientific in the extreme. Nevertheless, I'm not going to be stupid enough to deny what the data shows. They give standardized results, which I already defined earlier.

America, in its mass hysteria, had to deal with their own cultural biases and prebaked ignorance of IQ tests and what it all really means. The hysteria was their way of working through these issues.

America, having treated humans like animals, because they wanted agricultural products harvested, busheled and shipped to make profit and live in big mansions with big hats and spoiled rich girls -- their desire -- (their "Love of money" if I may) has produced the current situation. It is entirely to blame for what we have created today.

If the European colonizers had gone to Africa, and said "Give me the best of your very best", and brought those people in -- who knows what they would be scoring on tests today. I'm not gonna speculate. BUt in their greed and racism and malice, they didn't. They went over with their slave ships and said "Gimme your cheapest most desperate slaves and we will beat them like cattle." "I don't want good, I want cheap. I'm a businessman who has a turn a coin at the slave auction block back in Maryland.":

In the grand scheme of the universe it is one data point. America and its minority of descendants of former slaves is an anomaly in the world -- an anomaly of their own making. It is entirely unreasonable to believe that you import the worst people in the world from the worst place in the world, and then expect them to 'Turn on a dime' with a little care and education.

One data poinjt, a tiny waxing moon slice of the outer edge of East Africa. And prejudicio-petronum! we are all going to condemn an entire continent of people because their skin color happens to not match northern europe's bleached white skin color? There is no "African race". Africa is more diverse than all the people who live outside of its borders. This is a fact known to molecular biology.


This whole black people white people IQ test AMerican Horsepower conversation is .. like.. like what?>

It is like bad statistics mixed with stupid prejudice mixed with stupid premises giving rise to stupid conclusions.

Admittedly, the actual curves in the book were good statistics. But stupid Americans armed with a few graphs are dangerous. I'm not dangerous because I have historical insight and a deeper understanding of Africa.
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby Serpent on March 17th, 2018, 7:15 pm 

hyksos » March 17th, 2018, 4:50 pm wrote:The United States of America brought over people from the most desolate, squalid, poor, desperate sections of the east coast of Africa. ....They were not importing the "best and brightest".

How do you know? They were buying people wholesale from raiders and victorious enemies. When a nation loses a war, its clever and its stupid citizens are equally on the losing side. When an aggressive tribe raids a village, the raiders are not interested in mental capability: they know that young fertile women and healthy men fetch the highest price, and children are easy to subdue in transport.

Fast-forward 100 years,

That would be c. 1750. No standardized tests in schools until well into the 20th century. By then, the African slave gene pool was much diluted - mainly, but not exclusively by landowners of English origin. Quite a few were direct descendants of the much-admired American sage, Thomas Jefferson.

Despite the him-hawing (from a number of people in this thread ) the data on these IQ tests did in fact account for reading level, grade level adjustments.

That's more a test of the schools than of the students. Did anyone compare the scores of various ethnicities in middle-class suburban schools?

Even after accounting for these cultural and societal factors, the black kids were still scoring lower than their white counterparts.

I'm not sure how this "accounting" is done, but I'm sure the results were, and are, as you say.
https://www.brookings.edu/articles/unequal-opportunity-race-and-education/
Jonathan Kozol s 1991 Savage Inequalities described the striking differences between public schools serving students of color in urban settings and their suburban counterparts, which typically spend twice as much per student for populations with many fewer special needs.


It is entirely unreasonable to believe that you import the worst people in the world from the worst place in the world, and then expect them to 'Turn on a dime' with a little care and education.

And yet, that's exactly what they did. In two generations, since 1965, when desegregation finally got some teeth, and some black children did finally get that little bit of care and education, the post-graduate and professional classes of America have begun to show some healthy colour.


Note: Badger-Jelly was not comparing the different races of North America so much as race in different countries, and countries vs. one another. And it's still more a measurement of the education systems and lifestyles than of the native intelligence of peoples.
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby BadgerJelly on March 18th, 2018, 12:42 am 

Hyksos -

Even if things like "poverty" wete accounted for, I don't think factors like prenatal nutrition were. I havr already shown some pretty clear evidence that seemingly small prenatal differences, for merely 5 days after conception, is enough to present differences in IQ (which I do think is a marker for intelligence and I am more than willing to back that up and clear up the meaning of "intelligence" - which the main subject has been of the exchange with myself and Serpent.)

Then there is the issue of expectation. If you're expected to perform badly (for whatever reason) you will generally perform badly. Such is part of personality, which is in turn emphasised by social positoning and pressures.

The facts that people were enslaved doesn't make them necessarily mean they were not the best and the brightest. That doesn't hold up. For starters "best and brightest" inculdes more than mere intelligence, because the best may simply be psychologically adapted to thisbor that scenario rather than possessing high cognitive abilities in rpoblem solving - tolerance to stress matters a lot.

Stress in prenatal conditions may cause quite dramatic effects in later life. We know sex hormones produce differences in prenatal life and we know cortisol increases the size of certain areas of the brain and increases aggression. What we may find, if looking more closely, is an unfortunate chain of events subduing latent genetic intelligence and that after a certain number of generations in managed conditions all humans would show almost no significant distinction in IQ - by this there would be next to no corrleation between ethnic idnetity. Then there is the effect of "identity" and the stress this could cause - people need to feel part of a community/group in order to orietate themselves in the world.

As for practicing IQ tests to get better at them, this is not really an issue. The point is you cannot keep getting better at IQ tests because you cannot endlessly becoem more and more intelligent. IQ is designed to measure people's ability to deal with different problems quickly and accurately. If you put in enough time most people can do almost anything, but not all can do it as quickly and as accurately.
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby hyksos on March 18th, 2018, 1:42 am 

BadgerJelly,

The danger here is extrapolating a peculiar, provincial situation in the United States to some kind of universal truths about humanity or large geographic regions of humanity.

This kind of South-of-Kentucky deep south mentality that "Once you seen one black person, you seen um all".

Even if things like "poverty" wete accounted for, I don't think factors like prenatal nutrition were. I havr already shown some pretty clear evidence that seemingly small prenatal differences, for merely 5 days after conception, is enough to present differences in IQ (which I do think is a marker for intelligence and I am more than willing to back that up and clear up the meaning of "intelligence" - which the main subject has been of the exchange with myself and Serpent.)

Your words are symptomatic of a person who has not completely detached yourself from the importance and scientific relevance of these IQ tests. There is no deep theory behind these tests. They only are shown, after-the-fact to give standardized results. Define as : in a group of people administered such a test, the results will come back in a bell curve (or "Gaussian Distribution" if you prefer). The tip of the distribution of the bell curve is assigned the number 100. In short, standardized means "bell curve with a 100 assigned to the peak".

There is nothing particularly interesting or illuminating about the choice of questions on these tests. I would assert that they really measure an ability to take pencil-and-paper tests. Such one-off test certainly do not measure "ability to work in a team fluidly". We have seen in certain sports in the United States a very clear ethnic misbalance. It is ironic that in kindergarten and first grade we measure children on their "Works well with others" and then later abandon this somewhere while we chase down IQ.

If you are wanting to find someone on this forum who is in complete denial of human genetic differences, I'm afraid to inform you that you will not find a sympathic in this writer.

We have seen Kenyan distance runners run marathons (barefoot) and cross the finish line some 11 minutes before the 2nd place runner behind them. These differences can be found in (presumably) genetic adaptations to high altitudes. The trick here is very large veins going into the large muscle groups in the legs, particularly the upper leg muscles. Now such leg veins actually got into the Kenyan population through altitude mutations, and were not supposed to be used for distance running. But as they say, it does instill an advantage to a runner by accident.

There are clades of people in southeast Asia who lack the ability to digest cow's milk. There were pockets of native American tribes whose liver cannot metabolize alcohol.

There is no danger in discussion of human mitochondrial DNA. People shoudl be happy to discover that NAZI ideology was completely ungrounded in data.

What BadgerJelly is doing with his bizarre obsession with IQ tests is reminiscent of the Cephalic Index that was obsessed over by eugenics nutbars in the early 20th century.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cephalic_index

In this attempt to obsessively hunt down the "One single Horsepower metric" that differentiates the superior from the inferior. We could b obsessed with cephalic index, or perhaps turn to IQ as a "Modern-day cephalic index".

While I'm on the topic, what else could we obsess over in our crazed attempts to measure all humans by a single number? How about the size of occipital bun?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occipital_bun

The occipital bun is most pronounced on the heads of people in Western european populations. Many asian men don't even have one. Interestingly, the occipital bun was very large in neandertals. What does all this mean? It means nothing, really. It means mutations multiply in a population that is cut off geographically, and differences appear on the outside. Whether it be large veins in Kenyan legs or some strange aspect of the lungs of tibetan highlanders, or green eyes, or whatever else.
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby BadgerJelly on March 18th, 2018, 3:26 am 

Hyksos -

Interest in human intelligence is not really a "bizarre" or unique interest. I think you'll find many people are interested in human intelligence. Obsession is also a strong word for someone like me who is interested in numerous aspects of art, science, politics, and humanity in general - I admit I am "obsessed" with all of these things. I can present equal "obsession" on the topic of religion, language, neuroscience, psychology and a good number of other topics too.

Cephalic Index? What is it I am doing that is like measuring skull morphology? Yes, I am asking about neurogenesis during prenatal conditions, and I am doing so because there is hard evidence to show how important it is.

I was not the one saying "all people in slavery are of lower intelligence." Surely the smarter folk would do what it took to remain undetected and survive the ordeal of slavery? What day is it tomorrow ( St. Patrick, the slave taken by pirates.)

As for physical attributes we can look at men and women and see obvious physical differences, yet when it comes to IQ there is no difference (other than the spread of the curve is different but the mean is the same.)

I am not simply looking at this or that set of statistics, or this or that reading. There is also a higher proportion of genius level IQ's among Jewish populations than other groups that also correlate with higher rates of neurological diseases. Interesting or not? I find it interesting. I would also find it interesting to note the obvious plight of Jewish people in human history and wonder about how their treatment has shaped both prenatal conditions and later generations?

If we were to study persecuted groups, from former Yugoslavia, Tutsi's, Tamil, and the more modern disturbance in Myanmar, would we see measured effects in future generations? Of course this is nothing more than raw curiosity and not even any suggestion of this or that human characteristic - as well as being something we can not so easily test (although the term "stress" was brought about by research into rats and introducing them to various "stressed" environments.)

I am very curious about the effects of personal identity and psychological "individuation" in regards to stress factors - because I know stress effects brain development and may play a part in inhibiting latent intelligence.

Things like Phrenology were based on nothing simpler than physiological morphology - it was in principle a reason idea applied badly. The trend continued with some success into more intricate neurological investigations and led to the compartmentaliszation of brain "organs." This seems to be a common theme in all physical sciences, there is approximation taken as canon, which is then overturned by more subtle techniques. That said we have managed to distinguish the occipital lobe as being more or less about processing visual input - but in early life other brain regions are plastic enough to take on this function if need be; and of course we also understand that the occipital lobe does act like an independent organ of the human brain, it requires connection to other brain areas.

I am also well aware that the IQ test is a shifting test. There is also the problem of finding meaningful data because some people may take the test with quite distinct attitudes; some may perform badly on purpose because they believe they will do badly. Thus the psychological field of personality comes into too. As an example of what I mean someone would do this and then get a low score and say "I wasn't trying, and I think it is a stupid test anyway," because they care about how they are perceived - I guess we've all seen this attitude in our school days from other students (and even ourselves.) People are scared to fail so they don't even try because they don't want to know how bad they are at something.

Of course tests measure the ability of people's ability to take tests. The difference with IQ tests is they are designed to measure cognitive ability under duress. They measure the speed and ability to solve problems - some aspects of IQ measure fluid intelligence and others crystalline intelligence (the basic difference being crystalline intelligence is something like a "general knowledge" test where "common" knowledge is the primary issue.)

Life is one big test. We are faced with problems under unknown time limitations and have to act. In the workplace deadlines are more obviously set out so in this sense IQ plays into measuring how capable someone will be at work.

Intelligence, and I will repeat again, is merely ONE characteristic and by no means a measure of what a human is. To suggest I have said any such thing is untrue.

Your words are symptomatic of a person who has not completely detached yourself from the importance and scientific relevance of these IQ tests.


And I am well aware that you've insinuated that for the most part I am ignoring scientific research? How so? Is this because I question the ethical position of scientists? Because you deem yourself "scientific" and therefore part of the group I have seemingly offended?

IQ was not developed to measure someones ability to enter the US army. That is a false statement. The IQ test was originally developed to help school "retarded" students by Binet, and previous to that it was used. Francis Galton is generally accepted as the founder of psychometric studies and he was simply curious about human intelligence and human genius (as many people are.)

I am not massively concerned with individual instances of slave history without the broader picture. In the US I am suggesting that differences in IQ between "groups" is due to psychological conditioning (social and media attitudes, and peoples sense of indentity - plus these influences are amplified, so I believe, by prenatal conditions of stress that then have a knock-on "Grandmother" effect.)

How about commenting on why humans score higher on older IQ tests? Are we getting "smarter"? Is it due to, as Pinker suggests, the higher degree of technological interaction of the average person?

What do you mean by "there is no deep theory behind these tests" ?

There is nothing particularly interesting or illuminating about the choice of questions on these tests


If that was so wouldn't we expect to see a linear distribution? Would people bother to refine the questions and cross reference the correlation of correct answers to false answers? Is psychometrics to you nothing more than a pseudoscience? If so how come they can actually predict behaviors and, in some more recent cases, be found to have actual biomechanical parallels to biochemical mechanisms in the human body?

As for the disturbance that that book caused in the US what can we say about the responsibility of the scientist who published the book? Or is the ethical matter to be placed at the feet of the sensationalist media, political agendas (be it to misinform and cause social tension by way of distraction or something like that), or some other part of society such as general education of the populace - by the way, last I looked in the US the understanding of statistics was considered to be lower than other countries (which is quite strange given the obsession in US sports with how they pretty much introduced the idea of presenting statistics of games to the public - I cannot get my head around that, and maybe my historical assumption is wrong, but I never remember concern with statistical analysis in football when I was younger, but did notice that American football put particular emphasis on these things - as they did in baseball.)

Could the sports culture of statistics be an underlying reason for the appeal of statistical data in the US? Obviously I'd say, but how significant is/was it? - I am not expecting a definitive answer to this, it is just the kind of thing that pops into my head.

It is ironic that in kindergarten and first grade we measure children on their "Works well with others" and then later abandon this somewhere while we chase down IQ.


And such things are accounted for, in part, in other areas of psychometric testing. The point being here is that "works well with others" is not considered to be, for obvious reasons, distinctly to do with "intelligence." As an example you may have someone who works too well with others and never pushes their idea hard enough. Such qualities do not tell us about someone's cognitive ability to solve complex problems.

That is not to say "intelligence" is more important than being "agreeable." It is simply that they are not the same thing and they don't, in psychometric scales, correlate enough to be classed as the same thing.

The MAJOR issue with personality traits is the self-analysis element of these tests. There in lies the importance of making as sure as possible the people taking the test are applying themselves to the task as best as they can - which is kind of funny because if you are actually particularly low in "conscientiousness" then you're probably not going to pay much attention to the test. Plus, I have noticed in these tests that if you're reasonably interested in this subject you can pretty much second guess what the questions are pointing at (this is why I believe they are more of a guide to understanding your own personality rather than giving you a particular defined personality "type" better than you could do yourself alone if honest with yourself.) That is why these tests are used to expose general features and correlations across large populations - and why we can see particular distinctions between people and relate general personality types to certain personal interests.

I mention this because none of this is to say intelligence has nothing to do with personality. It just happens to be something we can measure more objectively than more slippery traits like "neuroticism" or "extroversion." And there are correlations (albeit weak ones) between personality traits and intelligence because they have been purposely separated from each other through question selection.

As a note to a certain mod here, there is something interesting about living in an environment where there is extreme polarization of wealth. It is much more likely to give someone a stressful view of the world because you're exposed to bare faced "inequality" and such stark differences in such close proximity are shown to increase violent crime in those areas. To live well in such an area would require higher than usual stress tolerance I would expect, but ironically children born in these conditions by mothers under such stress are likely to propagate the problem of stress - obviously there must be a way out of the loop hole or the entire human race would've likely destroyed itself sometime ago; so there is hope we simply have to look for how to find the use in the ugliness of each situation (so I feel - and this relates to Jungian ideas of the "shadow" and the common phrase of "facing your fears".)

As purposeful provocation how about introducing a tax on intelligence? Some people would actually be for this because some people believe that because they work as hard as someone else they deserve equal reward. What problems do you see with that (besides the obvious - I was thinking the nastiness of the counter argumentation and the difficulties that unearths.)
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby hyksos on March 18th, 2018, 6:34 pm 

Such qualities do not tell us about someone's cognitive ability to solve complex problems.

Of course tests measure the ability of people's ability to take tests. The difference with IQ tests is they are designed to measure cognitive ability under duress. They measure the speed and ability to solve problems - some aspects of IQ measure fluid intelligence and others crystalline intelligence (the basic difference being crystalline intelligence is something like a "general knowledge" test where "common" knowledge is the primary issue.)

For passersby to this thread -- the stuff BadgerJelly has written here is complete gobbledegook.

The reason for any obsession with IQ is because the tests are tweaked and tweaked until they do produce a Gaussian. After the fact, it is retro-actively assumed that "something" (but we don't know what) is actually being effectively measured with them. The logic is retro-active. The IQ tests are not built up from "first principles" with a theoretical expectation of a Gaussian upon the test results. That is to say, the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of IQ tests is accidental.

They most certainly do not "tell us about someone's cognitive ability to solve complex problems." This is not science.

Now do not mince my words : I did not claim that IQ tests are measuring nothing. The repeatibility of the Gaussian (read "bell curve" ) results mean they are indeed measuring something, and therefore, cannot be discarded as being useless.

BadgerJelly is using flowery language and "officially-sounding" jargon to pretend as if it is absolutely and theoretically understood what these tests are actually measuring, because blah blah blah. In the grand scheme of things, you could tailor and tweak any kind of pencil-and-paper test to produce a Gaussian on the scores. You would not really be sure what it is you are testing exactly with that thing, but you could be mostly confident you are getting at some kind of metric.

In the case of IQ tests, it literally could be the ability to do well on pencil and paper tests. There is nothing wrong with such a test. Taking exams is an important aspect of a person's academic career. Certainly no argument there. The point is we don't know. As far as I can make out, IQ tests are like "Smartness tests" , where "smartness" is defined mostly culturally. This idea that IQ tests are some absolute cosmic universal measuring stick of human intelligence -- that is just factually wrong.

To start taking this IQ number, and pinning it on human beings as if it is somehow a measure of a person's soul or some perfect metric to separate the superior from the inferior. This is idiotic. Worse than idiotic, it is not scientific.

Since we are on the subject I want to leave some other notes about recent studies in psychology. And also a personal note.

  • We have data now which suggests that being highly trained in chess, or in classical piano music, does not make you smarter in other areas. That is, being trained in a classroom in chess does not transfer skills to things outside of chess (or classical violin, or oil painting, etc).

This research and its results are really running contrary to a huge body of pedagogical tradition in many schools. I mean, it's kind of stupid to mention, but it is indicative of the kind of assumptions that many people hold about intelligence and smartness.

Whether BadgerJelly wants to admit it or not, these assumptions saturate our culture. There were companies that tried to convince mothers that their child listening to Mozart throughout their toddler years would make them grow up to be more intelligent, or something. The public relations and marketing teams started referring to it as "The Mozart Effect". It's nonsense, but it sold products and made someone rich.

There is a whole counter-culture of homeopathy. These companies selling parts of dead jellyfish with a claim that it "enhances memory". People buy this stuff. Literally the companies make profit off this ignorance.

BadgerJelly's obsession with IQ tests is no different in spirit than homeopathy. His obsession with IQ comes across to me like some hippy spiritualist in San Francisco suburbs who tells me I need to start drinking raw water. Because raw water is "Fresh from nature" and "untainted by impurities introduced by industry". and etc etc.

Everyone on this forum should realize that drinking raw water is extremely dangerous. You should also know that the specialty shops in SF bay area that sell "raw water" are selling it so fast that they are SOLD OUT.

I am not joking. http://www.ktvu.com/news/raw-water-is-the-new-silicon-valley-craze-healthy

Now some of you reading this have realized that I have compared IQ tests to homeopathy. Well I somewhat did that, but not really. What I actually compared and contrasted was BadgerJelly's obsession with IQ tests with San Fran hippies obsession with "raw water", and with mother's obsession with having their toddler listen to Mozart all day long. It is the unscientific obsession I'm trying to compare and contrast.

To emphasize to the reader how much these unscientific wive's tales saturate our culture, I gave the example of how decades of pedagogy operated so that all students should learn chess and classical piano , presumably, because doing so will quote , "make them smarter in all areas of their lives". We have recent studies and data showing this may not be true!! Most importantly --> It may not be true even when it was assumed to be for seven generations of teachers.

All this data points towards a single resolute conclusion. IQ tests are likely "smartness tests" where smartness is determined culturally. To nance around this forum claiming we have "The most perfectly refined test of human intelligence to separate the complex problem-solvers from their inferior brethren" this is idiotic. This is unscientific, and I'm shutting it down now. Right here I'm ending it.

It ends here. You will not drink raw water. You will not force your toddler to listen to Mozart concertos. You will stop purchasing expensive dried jelly fish because commercial on TV said it enhances memory. No. It ends here.

BadgerJelly has made his sales pitch. I am not buying.

You should not buy either. This guy does not have posession of an Elixir of Eternal Youth because nobody does. Do not be seduced by his jargony marketing language about "complex problem solving". You've all been warned.

(....and I'm dumping your raw water in the sink )
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby hyksos on March 18th, 2018, 6:40 pm 

Now on to the personal note.

I love IQ tests and find them interesting, particularly when a problem on them is interesting from the standpoint of recreational mathematics. IQ tests often have problems that dazzle the eyes of the highly educated. Those who presume the answer could be gleaned through some complex formula memorized in a combinatorics class in college. Then the person realizes they are over-thinking it and the answer is staring them in the face.

I have posted some questions taken from IQ test right on this very forum. I even linked them above. If anyone was under the impression that I "hate testing" in any form, you got me wrong. I neither hate nor shy away from such challenges. I embrace them. So come over to my threads and we will have a party.
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Re: Race and IQ, and the whole meesy biology of humanity

Postby BadgerJelly on March 18th, 2018, 9:02 pm 

Hyksos -

I am pretty sure passers by will note that you failed to address anything I said, or to refute anything I've said.

Just in case though, people should take note there are no direct quotes from me and I openly refute the baseless insinuations. My words speak for themselves and they have not been challenged. The above is no more than an attempt at slander.
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