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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More Evidence to the Contrary


After [a slew of posts] on [the subject] I've finally completed this final round of sources and citations regarding the heritability of IQ, the lack of validity for race as a biological category in humans, and the connection between race, genetics, and IQ -- all with regards to scientific racism.

Here at Saboteur Academia, we often bring you the latest and greatest in cyberspace counter-intelligence, particularly regarding the prevalence of interweb diseases, as well as strong inoculations against bigotry, prejudice, ignorance, discrimination, and outright vitriolic. We drop knowledge bombs like other blogs drop vapid text-walls.

It's a dirty job, but we enjoy it!

So prepare yourselves for one last foray into the breach my fellow saboteurs!

This is in response to [certain criticisms] that I've not cited enough source material properly, particularly from experts in the field, nor engaged with sufficiently recent research contrary to the opposition's position.

In good faith I contest these charges, as the objectionable source materials are part of [established principles in these fields] (so far even as to be put into introductory textbooks) as well as being [peer-reviewed by various scientists] in the field and outside the field, and having been found with [no fundamental or widespread objections] from the scientific and academic community.

I also contest the objections to our sources in general, as they are [myriad] and [authoritative], including specialists, experts, preeminent scientists, scholars, academics, critics, and other public figures who have dedicated their lives to these issues, as well as [entire governmental organizations]. More importantly, this is in direct contrast to the opposition, who posses [none of these qualities] in their arguments or sources.

 (but when they come right out and say so, well, then sometimes it really is)

Naturally there are those whose only objective is to fisk, rant, and otherwise devolve into convulsions at the sight of a single sentence detailing the major flaws and fallacies associated with scientific racism. Whether they be HBD, race-realists, self-haters, disaffected neo-Nazis, Stormfront acolytes, or members of the Steve Sailer Fan Club, these individuals are among Saboteur Academia's most fervent trolls.

Fortunately, they're lack of compassion or understanding is systemic, resulting in a severe  inability to comprehend basic English. (A favorite of mine was [a recent issue] regarding one blogger's inability to distinguish how [the expression of a "rule of thumb" is in fact an idiom]. Synonyms were clearly beyond the limited mental grasp of this individual.) While this allows us to more easily disabuse others of the notion that these racists have a point, it also makes conversations with them exceedingly inane as even [basic concepts with established validity must be reproven] -- as if the opposition were [a prisoner with a foreign dictionary].

As such, instead of directing our arguments towards the opposition (who have [a vested interest] in remaining prejudiced), we take our evidence directly to the readers, who may decide for themselves the factual from the flawed. We advise everyone reading to remember the immortal words of Benjamin Disraeli...


Now I'd like to introduce a few important people.

[Leon Kamin], [Steven Rose], [Richard Nisbett], [Richard Lewontin], [Joseph Graves], [James Mielke], [Lyle Konigsberg], [Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza], [James Flynn]...

Aaaaaaaaand [Three-Toed Sloth]!

These scholars will be my main sources for the following discussion, along with other articles from less preeminent researchers in the field. I encourage you to read their bios before continuing.

Did you read them? Good! (If you didn't, don't blame me when these concepts start going over your head!)


Now, the assertion that IQ is overwhelmingly heritable is false. How do we know this? Because when measuring IQ we get different results with each test. Unlike when measuring someone's height multiple times in a row, an IQ test score changes constantly. [It changes based on mood], [it changes based on diet]. [it even changes when testing the same person twice in a row!] This leads to IQ having a low heritability when plugged into narrow-sense and broad-sense heritability equations due to having a low repeatability. Therefore, it is impossible to determine if it is heritable, and to what degree.

Where am I getting this from? James H Mielke, and Lyle Konigsberg, two bio-anthropologists who wrote (along with other scientists) a basic introductory textbook entitled [Human Biological Variation, Second Edition]. [Among others] this text is used in virtually every physical anthropology class for undergraduate students in America, and all of them contain the same/similar information regarding heritability. Feel free to pick up a copy of the book and flip over to page 250-ish to read the section on this subject yourself if you're curious.

Now, even though we know that IQ heritability proportions have low repeatability, and therefore low heritability, [there is still considerable variation] between reported IQ heritability proportions. Philippe Rushton notably made the assertion that [IQ is heritable at 0.8, or 80%]. However, Rushton is wrong.

See [this book] for the theoretical limitations, [this study] for the methodological flaws (specifically in twin studies, one of the main ways to test IQ heritability), [this conversation] by anthropology students detailing Rushton's personal fallacies, and [this study] that outlines IQ heritability proportions under 0.5%, which is 50%.

This evidence demonstrates the variation of IQ heritability proportions, and the flaws in utilizing correlation coefficients -- which are what IQ scores become when applied to heritability proportions among a population -- to make causative claims. Attempting to use IQ like other physiological traits in order to determine its genetic heritability is theoretically limited in this regard, since [correlation coefficients DO NOT indicate causation]. This is a common problem among scientific racists.


Now, the above evidence comes from the biological field in anthropology. Like Stephen Jay Gould (who is a paleoanthropologist) these scientists work in the field of genetics and biology specifically for humans, and even more specifically for human variation. Complaints that anthropology is a so-called "soft science" field (despite the fact that Rushton is himself in a soft-science field, as is Richard Lynn, another scientific racist) do not stand up against bio-physical anthropologists, who engage in strictly "hard-science".

However, let's utilize some "soft science" in our debate that illustrates even more important factors that affect IQ scores.

Richard Nisbett is a psychologist (like Rushton) who wrote a book. (I know! So amazing! My references include actual books, than you can hold in your hands and turn the pages, instead of another URL to nowhere.) Entitled, [Intelligence and How to Get it] (2009, I hope that's recent enough for the HBDers) Nisbett engages in what he calls the "new environmentalism", which looks at how things such as schools, families, socio-economic class, and other factors which go into studies regarding IQ heritability are extremely dependent upon environmental factors. Yet Nisbett doesn't completely discount IQ, and indeed he agrees that there is a component of IQ that is genetic (but less than 50%), which is especially obvious when we look at mental disabilities in humans.

However, there are many factors which go into determining IQ, and if we were all brought up in the same environment, then studies would show IQ heritability to be 1.0, which is an absurd 100%. Obviously this is not the case, and as such determining how culture, environment, social class, race, and other defining factors are important when composing an outlook on IQ heritability. The most obvious proof of this is the shrinking "IQ gap" between White people and Black people. (Called the Flynn effect, which we'll come to in a moment.)

Nisbett's work also totally destroys the perceived racial hierarchy among scientific racists, whereby proper norming of IQ tests leads Asians to actually have lower scores than Americans (notably this includes Asian-Americans). And due to the sad fact that [American Blacks have an average of 20% of their genetics from European population] (it happened during slavery) one would expect those with higher percentages of European genes to have higher IQ's -- except they don't.


All of this information can be reviewed at your leisure. Just get a copy of his tome from the library and look it over. (Or just read the review in my link above.)

Now let's turn to James R Flynn, whom I mentioned above. [His work on IQ] revealed a trend towards IQ test results normalized against those from previous years, and decades, to show that the average scores are going up in recent populations. And this is happening AROUND THE WORLD. Yes, that's right, people are getting smarter all over, despite the racist assertion that your IQ is limited solely by your genes.

Consequently Flynn postulated that IQ is not determined overwhelmingly by genetics, and that environmental factors are just as important, if not more so when compared against the data. If you don't believe me, then read [this article], [this article], and [this book]. All of this evidence supports a combination of hereditary and environmental factors, particularly as IQ applies to race.

Compared to the above, Richard Lynn (also a psychologist, not a geneticist or biologist, so how he knows that genes specifically affect IQ is beyond me) comes off with a rather limited perspective. But more importantly, his work entitled [IQ and the Wealth of Nations] is a severely methodologically flawed treatise on IQ, race, and genetics. It was not peer-reviewed prior to publication, [the researchers used out-dated techniques], it [relied on small sample sizes], utilized IQ values from tests that were not designed to measure IQ (see Hunt, E. & Wittmann, W. (2008). "National intelligence and national prosperity". Intelligence. Vol. 36, 1, January–February pp. 1-9), and even more absurdly [garnered averages for entire populations from IQ tests done on the developmentally disabled!]

Leon Kamin who is also a psychologist (like Rushton, like Lynn, and who I mentioned at the beginning of my post) wrote, "Lynn's distortions and misrepresentations of the data constitute a truly venomous racism, combined with scandalous disregard for scientific objectivity. Lynn is widely known among academics to be an associate editor of the racist journal 'Mankind Quarterly' and a major recipient of financial support from the nativist, eugenically oriented Pioneer Fund." -- Scientific American 272. (The Pioneer fund is classified as [a hate group] by the Southern Poverty Law Center.)

(Aww, VDARE, American Renaissance, Pioneer Fund -- can't none of ya'll get a hotel room now!)

Leon Kamin has written an excellent book entitled, [The Science and Politics of IQ]. Like Gould was with Samuel George Morton, so Kamin was with Cyril Burt, who was a strong proponent of a strict hereditarian position during the time that Kamin began to investigate the topic of IQ. (See The Intelligence Controversy, 1981.) But more importantly, Kamin discovered that even respected psychologists had advocated racial theories -- circa 1920's -- and consequently became deeply interested in the parallels between 1920's pseudoscientific racism, and the unsupported pseudoscientific claims used to justify denials of assistance to People of Color in the 1970's.

He co-authored a book with Steven Rose and Richard Lewontin entitled [Not in Our Genes] which serves as a response to the creeping of prejudice into scientific research, notably among the fields of sociobiology and evolutionary psychology which regularly engaged in reductionism, biological determinism, and other fallacies. [These flaws are also seen in HBD and race-realism.]

The emphasis in this text was a dialectical approach to IQ, race, and genetics, utilizing multiple disciplines to analyze data and postulate theories or hypothesize conclusions. Also, twin-studies (the Rock of Gibraltar, as it were, of IQ heritability studies) were heavily criticized and found to be almost-universally flawed in their methodologies.

Again, any interested parties are encouraged to read the book. Especially those quite likely irate and twitchy HBDer race-realists who have received absolutely no education on the subject besides Steve Sailer's blog. READ A BOOK! It ain't that hard... for most people.

(or for cats, apparently)

So far we have [refuted most of the basic assumptions regarding IQ heritability] and now we will move to disabuse the notion that race is a valid biological category in humans.

Now, let's begin in 1951. [UNESCO published a statement entitled "The Race Question"]. In the wake of WWII, and Nazism, the scientific community was willing to take steps to provide an authoritative condemnation of racism. Since then they have revised the document, in 1967, and again in 1978. This treatise drew upon myriad fields, from anthropology to psychology to genetics to biochemistry. A full account of this article's history [may be found here].

Notably, Ashley Montagu was the rapporteur. His book, [Man's Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race] is a classic text on racism and why race in humans is considered a sociocultural construct by the academic community.

[Contrary to the assertion by scientific racists that scientists secretly believe in HBD and race-realism], the fact is that the scientific community has made several statement to provide [an authoritative stance] on [race in academia]. My own field of anthropology, which includes bio-physical anthropologists, cultural anthropologists, archaeologists, and forensic anthropology [published a statement on race] which directly contradicts any assertion by any scientific racist that race in humans is a valid biological category.

But moving in to the specific reasons why race cannot be considered a valid category in humans we turn to L.L. Cavalli-Sforza. Originally convinced that human races were subspecies (See Cavalli-Sforza, L.L. and W.F. Bodmer. 1977. The Genetics of Human Populations, San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Co) Cavalli changed his position after investing himself in research on the issue. (See Cavalli-Sforza, Menozzi, & Piazza, 1994, p. 19)

This is called "learning", but scientific racists like to quote him from 1994 (during the time he was still learning) when he said, "The most important difference in the human gene pool is clearly that between Africans and non-Africans" but not more recently when he published a book in 2000 entitled, Genes, Peoples, and Languages (written for the layman -- AKA race-realists) that, according to The Economist (Vol. 356, no. 8177, pg. 11) "challenges the assumption that there are significant genetic differences between human races, and indeed, the idea that 'race' has any useful biological meaning at all".

Damn, ain't that just embarrassing to completely misrepresent a preeminent scientist's entire perspective on the issue?


See, [people of different races differ less than people of the same race do], comparatively speaking, and the Human Genome project [empirically proved] that humans are 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% the same. (Okay, maybe not that many 9's. It's only 99.9%. Still very close!)

Furthermore, the basis for categorizing humans into different races is based on [morphological phenotypic traits], and [sociocultural associations], but most especially by [skin-color]. Despite [the ability for forensic anthropologists to determine race] from skeletal remains, the classification of race [continues to be arbitrary], as there is no allele, no gene, or genes which designated a person to be Black, White or whatever. See [here], [here], and [here]. Also, see [my own post] which goes into specific refutations on geographic ancestry, and how races change over time.

Joseph Graves, whose bio I linked at the beginning of this post is one of the few Black men in science that I have seen actually take time out of their lives to educate the rest of us folk on this issue. As a professor of biology specializing neuroscience, his credentials are impeccable. (Despite the fact that racists will attempt to discredit him because he's Black, and therefore not as smart as they are... which leads me to the curious question. If these racists actually believed in this pseudoscience, then wouldn't they trust my opinion that it's false because I'm Jewish and therefore far smarter than they or anyone else? Ah, but I digress. It's a paradox.)

Graves has given [a number of talks] on [the subject], as well as two books entitled, The Emperor's New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium (2003) and The Race Myth: Why We Pretend Race Exists in America (2004). His conclusions? "Most Americans still believe that there is some biological legitimacy to our socially constructed racial categories. However, our modern scientific understanding of human genetic diversity flies in the face of all of our social stereotypes." -- The Biological Case Against Race, American Outlook.

Now, the reason I highlight Joseph Graves is because I feel personally that few accounts of race, IQ, and genetics take into account what People of Color think about this issue. This is particularly problematic because while the HBDers are happy to hold up East Asians like [Steve Hsu] and [Francis Fukuyama] as model minority stereotypes, we anti-racists tend to channel too much Tim Wise and not allow People of Color to create their own agency and lead the charge on this issue.


But that said, I believe wholeheartedly that we should all -- regardless of skin-color or ancestry -- refute these lies at every level, from the most fundamental to the most esoteric. Each excuse for prejudice must be met with passionate protest, and reveal those pretenders to objectivity as extremely prejudiced bigots engaging in unadulterated hatred. As a proud Jew with an unfortunately long history of familial and [personal experiences with anti-Semitism], I am completely convinced that only be being assertive and proactive can we combat racism with reason, with the rule of law, with human compassion, and in the fields of academia through proper application of the scientific method.

The connection between race, genetics and IQ is tenuous at best. True, race does exist in our world, and racism is the best evidence for it. True, genetics do correlate to race, and to IQ, but in the former there is no causative link, and in the latter there is no good evidence for its overwhelming influence on intelligence. These inter-related issues are misused by HBD race-realists with no training parroting the words of scientific racists with training that subsequently made conclusions based on false science which seek to further oppress our fellow human beings.

This will be my final post on scientific racism for a while. After careful consideration, I feel that my blog has become waaaaaaay too focused on this issue, and I'm ready to explore other topics. I consider this my magnum opus on the subject, and can't really foresee expanding on it any further or better than I have already done. (Any questions will be answered in the comments, and all trolls will be moderated.)

Anyhoo, I appreciate ya'll taking the time to read!



Cheers

P.S. I know my detractors secretly admire me because they practice the most sincere form of flattery possible... [Imitation].

22 footnotes:

Mira said...

I don't have anything insightful to add, except to say you know yourself what's the best thing to do in this matter. Personally, I don't think it's bad you've taken the time to explore this issue and to argue with pseudoscientists and what not. But if you feel enough is enough, then so be it.

But there's one thing I've learned: you can't fight irrational people using rational arguments. It never works.

PS- And I'm stealing some of those photos...

RR said...

ek,

I again commend you for delving into this controversial topic. Despite the tendentious nature of this (and your previous) essay, I think it is great that you took the time to address the skeptics.

Is it possible to tone down the vitriol and crank up the dispassion. Present the facts. Let the facts speak for themselves. There is no need to name call. Are you open to the notion that not everyone who disagrees with you on racial matters is a racist? Is it possible for one to believe in the socio-biological reality of race and not be labeled a bigot?

There are a number of highly debatable assertions in your commentary:

Now, the assertion that IQ is overwhelmingly heritable is false.

This is debatable, but lets assume what you say is true. Most of those who have studied the issue admit that genetics plays a significant role in intelligence. Even Nisbett admits this. If it could be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that intelligence is only 40% genetic, would you be mollified? My guess is, and please correct me if I am wrong, that you would not be mollified and you would still call anyone who stated such a racist. 40% is a still fairly large percentage and it would point to the relative inflexibility of intelligence beyond a certain point.

Because when measuring IQ we get different results with each test. Unlike when measuring someone's height multiple times in a row, an IQ test score changes constantly. [It changes based on mood], [it changes based on diet]. [it even changes when testing the same person twice in a row!]

This is absolutely true, but you are neglecting the fact that IQ scores have a tendency to correlate with each other. That is, if we were to administer IQ tests to a collection of individuals over, say, a two day period, the scores would vary with respect to a single individual, but differences between the average individual scores would be fairly constant. If IQ tests were as variable as you say they are, they would not have very much predictive power and they would have been dispensed with a long time ago. The SAT, a g-loaded test that is highly correlated with IQ, is used by virtually all college admission offices as a selection criterion. Are the people in college admissions racist? Why would they use such a flawed tool? They use it because the SAT, and by extension IQ tests, is the most powerful tool we have to predict freshman year grades.

I have quite a lot more to say about your essay, but lets focus on these issues first.

RR said...

Mira,

I agree with you. Facts that I have presented to you in the past have had NO effect on your views with respect to race. Some people, like you, are wedded to their beliefs. Such is life.

Zek J Evets said...

Mira,

I think arguing with racists has its place when racism is supplanted with differing perspectives. (Like on Fox News.)

But you're right. Rational arguments never work on irrational people. That said though, the rational argument reveals the irrational man. (Or woman.)

And by all means, steal away with my photos =P

Zek J Evets said...

RR,

This is debatable

No, it's not.

Full stop.

It. Is. Not.

I say this empirically, scientifically, methodologically. IQ heritability, even at 0.5 is not "overwhelmingly", and demonstrates the reality that environmental factors have just as much importance -- and more, in many cases -- as genetic factors in the development of what we label IQ. All of this is IN SPITE OF the fact that intelligence is a trait with no universally agreed upon definition (like race) even according to psychologists.

This is absolutely true, but you are neglecting the fact that IQ scores have a tendency to correlate with each other.

Correlations do not equal causations. This is a basic tenet of scientific methodology. People REALLY need to stop attempting to circumvent it.

Are the people in college admissions racist?

Oh, I think a case could be made for this to be true. Both among racists and anti-racists. I doubt ANYONE would label college admission boards as "balanced".

Meanwhile the predictive power of IQ only seems to work in Western societies, diminishing their usefulness among a global population. Since most of the world is not Western, I am skeptical that any predictive power they have can successfully be applied to the populations most often tested for IQ. Especially since those populations are fraught with sociopolitical turmoil and lack basic resources.

But I digress, your assertions regarding IQ as a valid correlation to predictions of intelligence do not contradict my own evidence to the contrary, especially in the realm of genetics and race.

I have quite a lot more to say about your essay, but lets focus on these issues first.

If what you have to say is anything like what you have said before, I'm afraid your commending me on addressing this issue will be rather short-lived since you seem to be addressing points that color the issue, but do not directly address anything I've written in the post.

Mira said...

RR,

There were some facts you presented to ME? I don't remember any... When was it? (I'm not saying you haven't presented them, I just don't remember anything of the sorts by you).

Zek,

What I notice is that being rational irritates some people, especially when they feel passionate about a subject. Which is alright, and nothing wrong with it (being passionate about something), but you can't beat up logic with pathos. I mean, you can, but it's still not true.

RR said...

Mira,

I think I had confused you with someone else. I apologize.

RR said...

Zek,

The notion that genes have and overwhelming influence on intelligence IS debatable. As was pointed out in your previous blog entry, the genes related to intelligence have not yet been fully identified. Until all of the genes affecting intelligence are identified and their influence quantified, there will be debate. Anyone hazarding a guess as to how much intelligence is related to genes is engaging in conjecture. That includes Ruston, Jensen, Kamin, Nisbett, Gould (RIP) et al. I am inclined to believe that Jensen and Ruston are overstating the case, but who knows? Kamin doesn't know with certainty the influence of genes on intelligence and neither do you. So the subject is debatable.

Yes, correlation is not causation. But correlations are extremely useful in science, especially in genetics. Life is basically a question of probabilities. So, we can use correlations to make educated guesses as to general trends. Which is why admission committees still take into account an applicant’s SAT/ACT scores. Yes, these committees can be racist, and often are biased.....against whites (and Asians sometimes). But you have to take into account the reason standardized test scores are used. The tests were introduced in an attempt to make the college selection process culturally neutral.

I would agree with you that IQ tests are more applicable to Western oriented (i.e. modern)
societies, but the West is where most of the intellectual action takes place. Perhaps IQ tests really don't measure intelligence in a broad sense, but whatever IQ tests do measure, the results correlate positively to what is known in the West as success.

Zek J Evets said...

Amusing Racist,

Posting a link to your blog is NOT a comment. Please look up the definition of a comment via a dictionary or perhaps look at the examples on my blog. Shameless self-promotion to fuel a one-sided blog war with yourself is childish.

Also, you still didn't learn the meaning of repeatability in human genetics apparently.

Anyhoo, have a nice life? Or something like that.

Zek J Evets said...

The notion that genes have and overwhelming influence on intelligence IS debatable.

Not really. At least, not in mainstream science or academia. Genes have an influence, no doubt, but not overwhelmingly. The proof positive is found in all the examples of environment affecting intelligence, achievement, success, etc., allowing people to overcome great obstacles. Even people with severe disabilities have done great things in our history. But rare examples are only a small part -- the hard data has been published in more than just the tons of sources I cited here.

Kamin doesn't know with certainty the influence of genes on intelligence and neither do you. So the subject is debatable.

But Gould actually studied genetics. So does Lewontin. They both invented the idea of spandrels. Graves is a neurobiologist, and he agrees with me. Cavalli-Sforza is a geneticist, and he agrees with me. There are myriad fields -- the majority of them, in fact -- which agree with the evidence I have presented. Do you know why? Because it's their evidence. Very few arguments here are strictly my own. They are all based on the work of far greater scientists than I.

That said, I realize attempting to convince anyone of the veracity of my evidence is pointless, since the only ones who need convincing are beyond science or reason. And everyone else mostly understands the evidence I'm presenting, more or less, so my job is merely to continue to affirm reality. At least, that's what it feels like from here.

the West is where most of the intellectual action takes place.

This is also not true, and reflects the ethnocentric thinking we in western societies engage in. The Chinese and Japanese are LIGHT-YEARS ahead of us technologically speaking. The Chinese are among the best manufacturing nations on the planet at this point, and OWN OUTRIGHT a substantial portion of the US debt -- enough to buy us if they so wished.

JL said...

It is not true that IQ tests have low reliability. On the contrary, IQ is probably the most reliably measurable social science variable. The test-retest reliability of IQ is generally about 0.8 between different tests, and >0.9 for the same test, and reliability increases with age.

From the APA's report on intelligence research:

"When Jones and Bayley (1941) tested a sample of children annually throughout childhood and adolescence, for example, scores obtained at age 18 were correlated r=.77 with scores that had been obtained at age 6, r=.89 with scores from age 12. When scores were averaged across several successive tests to remove short-term fluctuations, the correlations were even higher. The mean for ages 17 and 18 was correlated r=.86 with the mean for ages 5, 6 and 7, r=.96 with the mean for ages 11, 12 and 13. (For comparable findings in a more recent study, see Moffitt, Caspi, Harkness, & Silva, 1993.)"

In a Scottish study, the correlation between scores on the same IQ test at ages 11 and 77 was 0.73 (after correction for range restriction). It's difficult to think of other behavioral variables that are so extraordinarily stable across the lifetime.

While an individual's IQ may sometimes change substantially over time (for example due to an illness or accident) for most people there is little change, and, what's more, when studying group differences the aggregation of scores from many individuals will eliminate any fluctuations due to unreliability. While low reliabilities are a problem for much of social science research, they are not so for IQ research.

Meanwhile the predictive power of IQ only seems to work in Western societies, diminishing their usefulness among a global population. Since most of the world is not Western, I am skeptical that any predictive power they have can successfully be applied to the populations most often tested for IQ.

That is not true. I do not know of any studies showing that IQ does not have predictive validity in some population. If you do, please cite them.

For example, regarding the validity of IQ in African countries, some excepts from this study:

With regard to claims of external bias, a review by Kendall, Verster, and Von Mollendorf (1988) showed that test scores for Africans have about equal predictive validity as they do for non-Africans (e.g., 0.20–0.50 for school grades in students and for job performance in employees). Kendall et al. also showed that many of the factors that influence scores in Africans are the same as those for Whites (e.g., coming from an urban versus a rural environment, being a science rather than an arts student, having had practice on the tests, and the well-documented curvilinear relationship with age). Similarly, Sternberg et al.’s (2001) study of Kenyan 12–15-year-olds found that IQ scores predicted school grades with a mean r = .40 (P < .001; after controlling for age and socioeconomic status, r = .28, P < .01).

[...]

"[In a study of South African engineering students] the Advanced Matrices also predicted final end-of-year exam marks measured 4 months later, with r = .34 for the Africans and r = .28 for the non-Africans"

Zek J Evets said...

JL,

It is not true that IQ tests have low reliability. On the contrary, IQ is probably the most reliably measurable social science variable

Did you happen to actually read the evidence provided in the post? I'm not talking from a cultural standpoint of success, or getting into a good school, but rather that in human genetics, traits with low repeatability (due to having different measurements with each test) have low heritability. And that's pretty standard for all traits like that. Aggression, shyness, and other amorphous traits also have low heritability.

Take note that the APA also agrees with my assessment in this article:

http://www.apa.org/monitor/apr04/herit.aspx

But even more importantly, immediately following publication of The Bell Curve, the APA issued a report entitled, "Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns" which also supports the evidence I have presented.

But take notice, I am not suggesting genes do not play a factor, but that they do not play an overwhelming factor. At best it's half-and-half, but typically less.

That is not true. I do not know of any studies showing that IQ does not have predictive validity in some population. If you do, please cite them.

They've been cited within my post. You need to actually read the material, because you're making arguments that have already been proven false as if you never heard them in the first place. It's very curious... Were you lazy and just skimmed?

But here's a sample source from Project Muse that details the flaws in using IQ to determine success in non-Western nations, as well as in general:

http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/merrill-palmer_quarterly/v047/47.1sternberg.html

Anyhoo JL, it seems like you didn't really read my post on the subjects and consequently I'd ask you to read the entire thing -- including the evidence! -- before posting your comments. Because otherwise what was the point of the post and evidence? ; )

RR said...

Zek,

I would like you to address the substance of my objection to your assertion. No one, not geneticists, not psychologists, not paleontologists or anthropologists know with certainty the degree to which genes influence intelligence. What they do agree on, for the most part, is that genes, along with environment, substantially influence intelligence. The genes influencing intelligence have not been identified, much less studied. The authors you have sited are basing their opinions on conjecture. NONE of them have proven that genes are subordinate to environment. By the same token, HBDers have not proven that environment is subordinate to genetics. Besides, what does “overwhelmingly” mean anyway. We know that we share an “overwhelming” percentage (98%) of our genes with chimpanzees, yet we are radically different than chimps. It seems that genetic affects are non-linear. So, your use of the term “overwhelmingly” doesn’t make sense. Is 49% genetic affect overwhelming? What about 51%? Or 60%? Again, no one has been able to accurately quantify the effect of genes on intelligence. So we really don’t know whether Jensen’s estimate of 80% genetic affect is accurate. I’m inclined to think that the estimate is too high, but this is conjecture on my part.

Twin studies seem to offer the best hope for ending this eternal debate. The study below seems promising:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15629096

Unfortunately, the results won’t be unsealed until 2066.

You wrote:

That said, I realize attempting to convince anyone of the veracity of my evidence is pointless, since the only ones who need convincing are beyond science or reason.

This is obviously debatable. I could make the same statement about you. You are well set in your biases, as you honestly stated in the other thread. It is admirable that you admit to your biases, but understand that you biases do impede you powers of analysis.

I think I am open to compelling arguments. In fact, I once subscribed, rather religiously, to the belief that genes played no role in intelligence (among other observable behaviors). The reality is that HBDers, at least with respect to intelligence, do make a compelling argument that the races differ. We can argue endlessly as to why the differences exist, but I think it is unreasonable at this point to deny the reality of racial difference.

RR said...

Zek wrote:

This is also not true, and reflects the ethnocentric thinking we in western societies engage in. The Chinese and Japanese are LIGHT-YEARS ahead of us technologically speaking.

What are you basing this remark on exactly? The Chinese and Japanese aren’t light-years ahead of the US in any scientific field. They are ahead of us in some areas, but behind us in many other areas. A few years ago, Georgia Tech conducted a study that quantified the degree of scientific leadership among countries:

http://www.ventureoutsource.com/contract-manufacturing/trends-observations/2008/china-as-global-technology-leader

Here is a choice snip:

The 2007 statistics show China with a technological standing of 82.8, compared to 76.1 for the United States, 66.8 for Germany and 66.0 for Japan. Just 11 years ago, China’s score was only 22.5. The United States peaked in 1999 with a score of 95.4

I wasn’t able to obtain a copy of the original study, so I don’t know what the parameters of measurement were, but even taking this study at face value, the Chinese (at 82.8) are hardly “LIGHT-YEARS” ahead of the US (at 76.1). Even this probably overstates the case because the study probably gave too much weight to the areas of green tech and high-speed rail (two economic non-starters). In any event, if we were to compare the intellectual output of the West as compared to the rest of the world, the rest of the world loses, but not by as much as they would have lost 20 years ago. There may very well come a day when the rest of the world does out-perform the West in intellectual achievement, but that day has not yet arrived. There are also these links:

E-Readiness rankings:

http://www.economist.com/node/13894742?story_id=E1_TPRJQSQN

Research papers:
http://sciencewatch.com/dr/cou/2008/08decALL/

Worldwide College rankings:
http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/2010-2011/top-200.html#score_OS%7Csort_rank%7Creverse_false

The Chinese are among the best manufacturing nations on the planet at this point, and OWN OUTRIGHT a substantial portion of the US debt -- enough to buy us if they so wished.

This is misleading. The Chinese are among the lowest cost manufacturing nations on the planet, mainly due to the fact that workers in China are paid less than workers elsewhere. Now the Japanese are a different story. Their manufacturing techniques are world leading, despite the fact that they have been in a 20 year recession. Also, the Chinese are not in an economic position to buy the US outright. They can make strategic purchases of US assets, but it is ridiculous to state that China can buy the US outright.

JL said...

I had read your post, but I wonder if you read mine.

Reliability is the technical term for what you call "repeatability". Psychologist Douglas Detterman defines it in this way:

Reliability is consistency. A measure is reliable if it provides the same measurement on repeated applications. A measurement is an attempt to estimate the value of a true score or latent trait. If it were possible to measure this true score or latent trait value exactly, the measurement would provide the same value on each measurement occasion so long as the trait remains unchanged. However, measurement is never perfect. There will always be some error. To understand the accuracy of any measure requires knowing the amount of error in the measurement.

Perfect measurement is impossible. And not only in psychology, but in all fields. You claim above that the reliability of height measurement is unity, but in typical real-life settings it's actually .80-.85, i.e. about the same as that of IQ. Similarly, engineers must always take measurement error into account in their designs, because all of them know that perfect measurement is impossible even if you're dealing with inanimate objects.

The reliability of IQ scores is a much studied subject, and the conclusion is that IQ is a highly reliable variable, perhaps the most reliable that social science knows. Of course, IQ cannot be measured perfectly (nothing can), but intelligence researchers know this, and take it into account in their studies. In practise, IQ scores are so reliable (particularly after childhood) that correction for attenuation makes little difference.

The problem is with other variables that IQ is studied in conjunction with. For example, the reliability of an individual's personal income year-on-year is something like 0.5 according to many studies, i.e. ostensibly people move from one income bracket into another all the time, whereas in reality it's just that it's difficult to obtain reliable income figures. If you want to criticize social science for using unreliable variables, IQ research is the last place you should be looking.

IQ research is different from most fields of social science in that not only are the effect sizes in correlational studies generally larger, but also that the effects are extraordinarily robust and replicable. Study after study in different countries, different time periods, and different populations give similar figures for the heritability of IQ, as well as for its predictive validity. Earl Hunt makes this point repeatedly in his new book "Human Intelligence" (Cambridge University Press, 2011), which I recommend to you if you want to learn about mainstream intelligence research.

JL said...

Take note that the APA also agrees with my assessment in this article:

http://www.apa.org/monitor/apr04/herit.aspx


"The APA" does not agree with you. That's an article by some individual researcher. S/he talks about Eric Turkheimer's well-known research on the interactions between SES and IQ heritability in children, where heritability was found to be low in a low-SES group. However, other studies have reached different conclusions: Plomin et al. found that heritability for verbal ability was actually higher in low-SES environments, whereas it was the same for all SES levels for non-verbal ability. Nagoshi and Johnson did not find any interaction between SES and heritability. I think these conflicting results may in part stem from the fact that IQ scores are less reliable and less heritable in children than in adults, and perhaps also from larger range restriction effects in low-SES samples.

However, it's possible that there's an interaction between SES and heritability in children, but that does not mean that heritability will remain low when the low-SES children grow up. One of the most replicated findings in behavioral genetics is that the shared, or between-family environmental effects (such as SES differences) play a large role in determining IQ and other behavioral outcomes in small children, but that these effects vanish entirely as the children get older, with heritable effects kicking in. See this graph for an illustration of this phenomenon.

It's a common fallacy among anti-hereditarian researchers to generalize findings from samples of small children to the adolescent and adult population, even though the heritability of IQ and other behavioral traits increases linearly with age. Nisbett commits this fallacy repeatedly in his book you mentioned above.

To get clear answers to the heritability-IQ-SES problem, there's a need for a longitudinal study that examines heritability over time in a set of individuals from diverse backgrounds.

But even more importantly, immediately following publication of The Bell Curve, the APA issued a report entitled, "Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns" which also supports the evidence I have presented.

Um, did you even read my previous comment? Or the APA report for that matter? I quoted from that very report a passage demonstrating that IQ scores are highly reliable over time. The report completely refutes your claims. The environmental differences influencing IQ that you mentioned in your original post are simply some of the variables that comprise the "environmental effects" component in behavior genetic studies.

If you want to claim that IQ scores have a low reliability, linking to studies showing that the environment influences IQ (no one denies that; the changes can be substantial, particularly in small children) will not get you anywhere. What you need to produce are large samples of people who were tested two or more times and whose test-retest correlations were low.

JL said...

That Project Muse article refutes your claim that "the predictive power of IQ only seems to work in Western societies, diminishing their usefulness among a global population". From the article: "These findings do not imply that tests of general cognitive ability have no place in low-income economies. Indeed, they confirm that IQ tests are predictive of some important outcome criteria." School success is one of those important outcome criteria that IQ predicts in non-Western countries, as indicated by Sternberg's own research in Kenya and elsewhere.

However, Sternberg claims that IQ is not predictive of some important outcomes in poor, developing countries. In principle, this is possible and even probable: some behaviors valued in traditional, pre-industrial societies may not be correlated with IQ, or may even be correlated negatively with it. Even if this is true, I don't think it discredits IQ, because even the poorest countries are quickly becoming modernized, and the same "g-loaded" abilities and skills that the West values, such as advanced educational qualifications, are increasingly important everywhere. Those who excel only at traditional, "pre-modern" skills are the losers of history.

Nevertheless, even the evidence Sternberg presents for his claim that IQ does not have predictive validity for some important outcomes in the Third World falls far short of convincing. For example, he reports that they found that Kenyan children's knowledge of the use of natural herbal medicines to combat illness was negatively correlated with IQ. Sternberg uses this study as an example of the existence of "practical intelligence", which he claims is a form of intelligence separate from IQ or general intelligence. (He has tried for decades to get other intelligence researchers to believe in practical intelligence, but has met with little success, because psychometrics is a field where theories are expected to be backed up by solid empirical evidence.) Linda Gottfredson interprets Sternberg's finding very differently:

Contrary to what Sternberg implies, this study did not measure skills or knowledge that actually enhance health, but only beliefs about illness and herbal treatments that are widely held in the rural village studied. For example, one of the answers scored as correct on the inventory was to agree that the ‘‘evil eye’’ is a likely cause of a baby’s crying and stomachache. Herbal knowledge scores correlated negatively not only with several tests of IQ and achievement, but also with parents’ social class. We might expect a belief in myths, superstitions, and other questionable folk ‘‘knowledge’’ to correlate negatively with both IQ and social class in the United States too, but that could hardly be said to dissipate the positive manifold [=g] of cognitive tests.

Sternberg argues that someone who thinks that stomachache is caused by the "evil eye" has more "practical intelligence" than someone who thinks that, say, dirty drinking water is to blame. Sternberg's evidence for his "practical intelligence" is shot through with dubious interpretations like this. I recommend reading Gottfredson's devastating critique of Sternberg's research program.

Sternberg also makes a big meal out of the fact that different cultures may have different ideas of what intelligence is. He goes as far as to claim that "a test that measures the Western conception of intelligence may be measuring something else, or, in a sense, nothing at all in a non-Western culture". He says that Taiwan is an example of a country where the definition of intelligence is very different from the Western one. However, research shows that the Chinese translation of the American WISC-III IQ test is a good predictor of academic achievement in Taiwan, too.

Zek J Evets said...

JL,

Ooookay, so apparently you DIDN'T read my sources, or the APA statement. Either that, or you simply didn't understand them. Either way the result seems to be the same. You didn't get it, and I'm not going to explain it any further or better than I have already done.

Take note however that you seem to be cognizant of the arguments about cultural constructions of intelligence, yet seem to fall back on the hegemonic Western concept of it in the end. More surprisingly you quote a direct passage which illustrates the incompleteness of IQ scores to predict cultural success, both in Western societies and societies around the world. But still you cling to the notion that IQ scores overwhelmingly indicate intelligence, and that genes and race are inextricably linked within that correlation, ignoring not only the basic (and oft repeated) "correlations are not causations" tenet, but also by acting prescriptively in your evaluation of the evidence instead of descriptively, despite hard evidence to the contrary.

Summation? Willful denial is just as bad as willful ignorance.

Sorry dude, but you just don't seem to understand science all that well =/

Zek J Evets said...

P.S. reliability and repeatability are two VERY different terms with VERY different meanings from two largely opposed fields of science. The former is psychology, and the latter is genetics. Again, this is why I say you don't understand science JL.

Zek J Evets said...

RR,

I think I am open to compelling arguments.

Oh RR... if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. Including scientific racism. That is really all I can say in regards to your comments at this point. Anything else would be superfluous and circular.

But I appreciate your attempts a civil discourse. As for me, I'm going to agree with myself to disagree with you and just leave it at that.

With regards to twin studies, I suggest reading Leon Kamin, and with regards to environment and genetics, I suggest you remember my argument is that both play a factor, but that genes are not the overwhelming determinant since the evidence proves otherwise. Overwhelming in this case meaning more than any other factor. With regards to the Japanese and Chinese, I suggest studying up on both country's current position in the socio-economic climate. You'll find "compelling" evidence of their superiority to America in many important, and far-reaching aspects. Same for South America, especially with regards to Green Energy, redistribution of wealth, and protection of indigenous peoples.

Anyhoo RR, keep on keeping on! Or something like that.

RR said...

Zek,

I think you have it exactly backwards. In science, one CAN’T stand for something (except the truth). One has to be willing to go where the data leads, even if one doesn’t like the destination.

Kamin and others deride twin studies because Cyril Burt’s data was discredited, but there have been subsequent twin studies that you, Kamin, Gould et al have actively ignored. That’s not science. That is politics. I understand this. You have a right to your opinion, but don’t pretend that your opinion is based on an objective analysis of available data.

I suggest you remember my argument is that both play a factor, but that genes are not the overwhelming determinant since the evidence proves otherwise.

I suggest you remember my argument:

Until all of the genes affecting intelligence are identified and their influence quantified, there will be debate. Anyone hazarding a guess as to how much intelligence is related to genes is engaging in conjecture. That includes Ruston, Jensen, Kamin, Nisbett, Gould (RIP) et al.

At this point, no one knows for sure whether genetics is subordinate to environment or vice versa. Your “evidence” doesn’t prove anything except that there is a lively debate regarding the issue.

With regards to the Japanese and Chinese, I suggest studying up on both country's current position in the socio-economic climate.

I suggest YOU substantiate this claim. I cited references that clearly indicated the rest of the world following the West. Could you please do a little work here to bolster your counter-argument?

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