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?

Race and IQ, and the whole messy biology of humanity

Postby BadgerJelly on March 7th, 2018, 11:47 pm 

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.

My position is I don't want there to be any racial distinction. In favour of my position there are innumerable flaws in data sets that show the opposite. These flaws include nutrition of pregnant women, size of data sets, environmental pollution, socioeconomic background, language, political systems, philosophical outlook, and general education and urban infrastructure - to name a few.

What we can also say is that someone born with a high IQ may be born in to conditions where their IQ is not nurtured and therefore it will fall quite quickly and dramatically.

I also question the difference between Asia and Europe, where Asia has a higher average, but a more narrow distribution. I wonder if this is due to language and philosophical disposition and that if enough Europeans or enough Asians were brought up in the opposite geographical locations, would there be any real discernable difference?

We also know from basic psychological studies that if people are told they are stupid they perform worse. Is a sense of victimhood and negativity perhaps more important than we realise. One thing that is certainly more important than we'd like to admit is simple nutrition, specifically prenatal nutrition - I hear the data in this area is pretty solid as a predictor of adult life and adult capacity.
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 5345
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


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

Postby wolfhnd on March 8th, 2018, 4:20 pm 

IQ is a tool, it does not measure all aspects of intelligence. Like every tool it is only as useful as the skill set of the tool user can make it. It's main utility is in directing the educational path of people who fall into general categories of intellectual capabilities. It also has some utility in job placement post formal education. If the administration of IQ test is done by people with the right motivation and skill set it can meet the moral objective of reducing unnecessary suffering.

IQ and race is to some extent taking a tool designed for individuals and applying it to groups. The question is does it have any utility when used for purposes it was not designed for. In this regard I would say it might. Just as with individuals it depends on the motivations and skill set of the tool user. In the west where individuals are not supposed to have a group identity determining their destiny it has little utility to apply group IQ concepts. That is why true liberals hate multiculturalism and identity politics. In under developed countries knowing something about the IQ distribution could on the other hand influence what kind of investments in education and industrial development would be most beneficial in the short run.

In general I prefer to use the concept of ethnicity not race.
User avatar
wolfhnd
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4647
Joined: 21 Jun 2005
Blog: View Blog (3)


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

Postby mitchellmckain on March 8th, 2018, 4:59 pm 

Now THIS is an issue where the pragmatic argument wins the day. Indeed we can confess that our insistence on racial equality may be one part wishful thinking, one part fear, and the largest part the simple pragmatism of realizing that believing in racial equality makes for a better world regardless of what the details may be -- and so we say "close enough!"

And yes... one factor in pragmatic thinking is the realization that our beliefs have a significant impact on the reality. When the focus is on ourselves, objective observation tends to have some gaping flaws.
User avatar
mitchellmckain
Active Member
 
Posts: 1326
Joined: 27 Oct 2016


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

Postby Lomax on March 8th, 2018, 5:56 pm 

I haven't read Charles Murray's book, but either way my understanding was that race is just a perceived phenomenon. Which is to say that there's no real scientific evidence that the human race is further subdivided in to races.

With this in mind I struggle to understand the premise of the question. What exactly is being correlated with, or against, intelligence?
User avatar
Lomax
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3653
Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Location: Nuneaton, UK


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

Postby wolfhnd on March 8th, 2018, 6:00 pm 

Lomax » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:56 pm wrote:I haven't read Charles Murray's book, but either way my understanding was that race is just a perceived phenomenon. Which is to say that there's no real scientific evidence that the human race is further subdivided in to races.

With this in mind I struggle to understand the premise of the question. What exactly is being correlated with, or against, intelligence?


Evolution never stops, isolated groups will diverge.
User avatar
wolfhnd
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4647
Joined: 21 Jun 2005
Blog: View Blog (3)


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

Postby Serpent on March 8th, 2018, 6:07 pm 


Not precisely. IQ is an abstract idea: that the thinking capacity of individuals 1. has a definite quantity, that 2. can be objectively measured and 3. displayed on a graph.
The tool used is an IQ test.

Like every tool it is only as useful as the skill set of the tool user can make it.

Absolutely right. And also: only useful at all if applied to the situation for which it was designed.

It's main utility is in directing the educational path of people who fall into general categories of intellectual capabilities.

Within a specific educational system - and up to a point.
For job placement, an aptitude test is more useful.

IQ and race is to some extent taking a tool designed for individuals and applying it to groups.

Well, not really that, because each individual has a final score, and I suppose you could compare the final score of one ethnically homogeneous with that of another ethnically homogeneous group... so long as their language, culture, value system and world-view were identical.
Otherwise, you're using left-handed scissors on a right-handed cut. The tests would have to be community-and environment-appropriate; they would have be devised by people who understand the test subjects.
In under developed countries knowing something about the IQ distribution could on the other hand influence what kind of investments in education and industrial development would be most beneficial in the short run.

Might be - if it's your country to develop and industrial development is the best future for that country. Not much use finding out how many children would eventually make good engineers if the population is inclined to agriculture. No sense building an education system around a resource that's nearly exhausted, or on an unrealistic assessment of the political climate - or the actual climate, for that matter. It would be far more cost-effective to introduce a comprehensive, flexible curriculum and let each child make as much of it as he or she can. Chances are, the same range of abilities will manifest in all countries. What difference would it make to development whether the students in Gabon score three points more or less than those in Japan?

In general I prefer to use the concept of ethnicity not race.

So do I. 'Race' is not only freighted with negative associations, but impossible to identify accurately. You'd have to give every participant a DNA test before you could even sort them into approximate racial categories.

Evolution never stops, isolated groups will diverge.

Very few groups are isolated anywhere on Earth now. Certainly not long enough to evolve into anything very different. Their divergence will be the adaptation of their skills, knowledge and attitudes to each different environment. So, how will an Oxford professor test the problem-solving speed of someone who lives in the jungles of Brazil?
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 3068
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


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

Postby Lomax on March 8th, 2018, 6:25 pm 

wolfhnd » March 8th, 2018, 11:00 pm wrote:
Lomax » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:56 pm wrote:I haven't read Charles Murray's book, but either way my understanding was that race is just a perceived phenomenon. Which is to say that there's no real scientific evidence that the human race is further subdivided in to races.

With this in mind I struggle to understand the premise of the question. What exactly is being correlated with, or against, intelligence?


Evolution never stops, isolated groups will diverge.

Which groups are isolated?
User avatar
Lomax
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3653
Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Location: Nuneaton, UK


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

Postby wolfhnd on March 8th, 2018, 6:36 pm 

Lomax » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:25 pm wrote:
wolfhnd » March 8th, 2018, 11:00 pm wrote:
Lomax » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:56 pm wrote:I haven't read Charles Murray's book, but either way my understanding was that race is just a perceived phenomenon. Which is to say that there's no real scientific evidence that the human race is further subdivided in to races.

With this in mind I struggle to understand the premise of the question. What exactly is being correlated with, or against, intelligence?


Evolution never stops, isolated groups will diverge.

Which groups are isolated?


I know what your saying and that is why I substitute ethnicity for race.
That said geographical origin of a person's ancestors will have some effect on your genetics. Invalidating the concept of race doesn't change that. We know for example that various diseases are more prevalent in people who share ancestors from a geographical location.
User avatar
wolfhnd
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4647
Joined: 21 Jun 2005
Blog: View Blog (3)


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

Postby Lomax on March 8th, 2018, 6:57 pm 

wolfhnd » March 8th, 2018, 11:36 pm wrote:Invalidating the concept of race doesn't change that. We know for example that various diseases are more prevalent in people who share ancestors from a geographical location.

We needn't go as far as Tay Sachs or sickle cell anemia; we know that dark-skinned people are genetically different to light-skinned people simply because genes are what determine your skin colour.

But if we're going to compare groups we need to be able to define those groups. Otherwise we're not saying much, except perhaps about ourselves. We're certainly not doing anything that passes for science.

My opinion is that the number of different ways of taxonomising people is potentially infinite. We might well find that there's a correlation between intelligence and hair colour, or armpit hair density, or preference for pepperoni pizza over ham and pineapple pizza. But we haven't bothered looking into any of those things. We looked into "race", whatever that may be, because we are obsessed. Our compulsion to spend so much time investigating this question speaks louder volumes about the divisions in the human race than the answer to the question ever possibly could.
User avatar
Lomax
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3653
Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Location: Nuneaton, UK
BraininvatSerpent liked this post


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

Postby Serpent on March 8th, 2018, 7:28 pm 

And again, even if you came up with a convincing classification - whether racial or ethnic or armpit-hirsutity -- what kind of test would render a meaningful result, and how would that result be used?
What, iow, is the point?

I don't think you can have a reasonable discussion of anything so poorly defined.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 3068
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


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

Postby wolfhnd on March 8th, 2018, 8:21 pm 

You can't have a reasonable discussion about much of anything with political ramifications these days.
User avatar
wolfhnd
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4647
Joined: 21 Jun 2005
Blog: View Blog (3)


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

Postby Serpent on March 8th, 2018, 8:33 pm 

Politics, sure, no problem.
But here is something non-political: Compare two dots.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 3068
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


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

Postby BadgerJelly on March 8th, 2018, 9:55 pm 

Okay, so things are poorly defined and most people would rather argue about the relevance of IQ.

The term "race" is no going away and it carries numerous instances of "nastiness" with it. Between certain groups of people we can recognise some subtle differences. The major issue of public contention that people get upset about is cognitive ability - this used to be an issue between men and women, but the scientific community has enough data to declare there is no IQ disparity between men and women (although the bell curve for men is more flat.)

The IQ test is a pretty well used test and we have data from all over the globe on it. It is not perfect, but it certainly tells us something.

Personally I have not seen any data that is convincing about differences in race that factors out numerous other social, environment and dietary factors. I have seen lots of this kind of data being pushed around as if it is given truth. This worries me. I have not looked a lot at the data, but more than the average joe I think.

The only things that seem to point to racial differences quite clearly are from very small data sets, but should we be so quick to dismiss them just because we don't like the results? Or should we assume they indicate something and investigate further?

I am referring to data about adopted children. Thanks to watching Sapolsky lectures I can now seriously question this data regardless of the size of the data set. This is because prenatal development is incredibly important and it may be nothing more than that - then the question becomes what can mothers and fathers do to help their babies before they are born to give their brains the best grounding for better potential cognitive ability?

This is assuming a world without dullards would be beneficial - which I don't claim to be the case, but I do think intelligence is better for humanity more than it is worse!

I highlighted IQ because it is a common item brought up about race and generally fuels hatred and uosets people. I imagine most of you here are aware that black people perform badly in IQ tests. Even though the data looks black and white (pun intended) there are quite bkatantly some very important factors being ignored - as mentioned in the OP there is the victimhood mentality and the known effect on all tests that shows peoples mood and emotional disposition effects their results.

And please don't let us assume IQ is the most important thing in the world anymore than it is completelt insignificant.

This is becoming more and more of a political issue and has been wranged over for some years now without much sense (so it seems to me.) So can we look at the issue or are with cool calm consideration, look at results we don't like, and potentially learn something about them and thus better human society by doing so? Or are we simply too immature and better off burying our heads in the sand and hoping the fallout from these contentious issues will not be too bad?
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 5345
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


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

Postby Serpent on March 8th, 2018, 11:13 pm 

I think there may be a third alternative, between accepting and attempting to use unreliable data and "burying our heads in the sand".
I see nothing useful to be discussed until we have convincing answers to the questions:
- What is the purpose of the investigation? (Supposing the data were sound, what would we use it for?)
- How is it to be conducted? What is the subject population? And where?
- In what circumstances is it administered?
- How is the subject populations selected?
- How are results graded, interpreted and collated?
- How objective is the test? Who made it? Was there a pilot study? Was there a control groups?

In other words, How rigorous is the science?
GIGO
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 3068
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


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

Postby wolfhnd on March 9th, 2018, 12:41 am 

The test was unfortunately named. It is the word intelligence that makes it controversial. Perhaps if it had been called intellectual aptitude things would have gone differently and the conversation would be easier.

When IQ tests were first developed it wasn't just "Nazis" that thought that people should be classified. Here is a quote from George Bernard Shaw "the only fundamental and possible socialism is the socialisation of the selective breeding of man" he even used the term "lethal chamber" as a possible solution. William Beveridge said "general defects" should be denied not only the vote, but "civil freedom and fatherhood". Marie Stopes who is championed by Marxist feminist said that the "hordes of defectives" should be reduced in number. I could go on but you get the point that it is hard to rehabilitate a concept from an age of different sensibilities.

As to the scientific validity of IQ test, like many other subjects that involve complex chaotic systems science has not been able to give us hard facts from a general perspective. In such cases we rely on correlation and IQ tests have proven remarkably able to predict the success of people in various aspects of life. That is about all we can hope for from any attempt to address something as enigmatic as human intelligence.

We should I believe focus on the utility of IQ test not try and argue against their validity. Even for something as obvious as coffin nails Doctors believe smoking causes lung cancer by damaging the cells that line the lungs. You don't need to know how something works to know what it does or does not do.
User avatar
wolfhnd
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4647
Joined: 21 Jun 2005
Blog: View Blog (3)


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

Postby BadgerJelly on March 9th, 2018, 1:00 am 

Serpent -

That is the issue that always bothers me about scientific investigation. People are curious about people, they necessarily need a movitation to prove anything. What is a problem with such touchy topics is people want to prove that there is no underlying difference, they will push the data to suit their views one way or another - it is the human factor of the interpretation.

Only overwehleming data will convince someone; and even then they'll be deniers.

IQ tests were developed to help better educate people and help them integrate into society. Those with less capacity for "intellect" (wolf has a point about the vernacular!) obviously require special attention, and those with greater capacity too. Really we're talking about social cohesion and a "better" society.

If we understand that IQ is mostly due to environmental factors (including prenatal conditions) we can introduce schemes to raise global IQ (or rather to give people the best start and be capable of more.) For me this is a case of increasing (or rather nurturing) people's potential.

I am by no means saying that IQ is more important than morality and ethics. I would argue that both morality and ethics can be complimented by greater cognitive capacities - it could also be argued that we'd all be better off with lower IQ!

Really though, the issue is about whether or not we're socially mature enough to deal with these issues directly? If not why not? If so what should we be careful to consider and guard against?
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 5345
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


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

Postby wolfhnd on March 9th, 2018, 2:54 am 

Daniel Dennett was asked about race and IQ and he said he saw no reason to research the question.

That is fine but the data exits as a consequence of how widely IQ test are administered. The question we are asking is if it is moral to not put the data to use. How to do that without doing more harm than good is the challenge.
User avatar
wolfhnd
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4647
Joined: 21 Jun 2005
Blog: View Blog (3)


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

Postby BadgerJelly on March 9th, 2018, 3:32 am 

That is the issue. We would prefer that everything show a neat and linear line, but we also know that will never be the case.

The best way, I feel, is to lay out the complexity of the problem and instances where one perspective of the data can be utterly misleading.

One example would be how women perform better in societies where there is greater sexual equality. It would be extremely useful if we could prove there is no difference between race (or as good as none.) Sadly we likely won't know until race stops becoming an issue, so Dennett is likely correct.

For me the danger is in concluding one way or another. IQ was set up to help educate people. For me that is why it is important. The extreme ends of the spectrum need attention; some more than others.
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 5345
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


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

Postby Lomax on March 9th, 2018, 4:08 am 

BadgerJelly » March 9th, 2018, 2:55 am wrote:Okay, so things are poorly defined and most people would rather argue about the relevance of IQ.

IQ measures spatio-temporal reasoning. I don't have a problem with it provided that we do not take it too seriously. What does "race" measure?
User avatar
Lomax
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3653
Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Location: Nuneaton, UK


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

Postby BadgerJelly on March 9th, 2018, 4:46 am 

Lomax » March 9th, 2018, 4:08 pm wrote:
BadgerJelly » March 9th, 2018, 2:55 am wrote:Okay, so things are poorly defined and most people would rather argue about the relevance of IQ.

IQ measures spatio-temporal reasoning. I don't have a problem with it provided that we do not take it too seriously. What does "race" measure?


I don't think "race" measures anything. Sadly we're burdened with the issue and people are desperately trying to attach meaning to it in absence of less visually obvious human distinctions (even though, ironically, we're all as good as genetically identical compared to other species of mammal!)

The point is, what can we do about this polticized issue? Put scientific weight behind it, or face the fact that we don't have the ethical capacity to deal with it yet and try and shift the focus to other issues?

This is identity politics. What can, or "should", the scientific community do - if it can do anything? And more to the point what can/should we do here? Is it worthy of our consideration or does talking about it make it more of a problem? Is talking about something sometimes a bad idea?

I would say talking about something is not a bad idea, but talking about it badly is a bad idea (obviously!)

People are always going to correlate data sets. They are always going to use what supports their claims and beliefs to bolster their position "empirically." The idea of "race" is no different to me than the idea of "nation." There is some meaning there, but it is so deep down we don't quite know what it is and we're scared to look.

As a comparison there is evidence of physiological data that correlates with body dismorphia and sexual identity and sexual preference. In this way I kind of view ideas like "race" and "nationality", other less obvious social identities as maybe being something to do with mental dismorphia (hence my liking of Jung's ideas of the process of Individuation - it being a way to break away from dependent attitudes and rejuvenate selfhood; sorry, that sounded jargony. Take it as a "gist".)

From everything I've learnt early life is deadly important toward what we become as adults. What language we learn, how we're taught, our nutrition, surroundings etc. I would hope the whole "race" question will lead us to unearthing more useful lines of questioning - much like ideas like cranial morphology and "feeling skulls to determine personality" led to more intricate investigation and eventually neuroscience (cannot remember the name of the guy? He was a genuine scientist though.)
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 5345
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


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

Postby Braininvat on March 9th, 2018, 10:45 am 

Franz Joseph Gall.

Race seems to be used vaguely to describe some genes that relate to geography. Melanocyte density relating to solar intensity, skeletal build and distribution of subcutaneous fat relating to average ambient temperatures, that sort of thing. So, yeah, the leap from that to defining races or subspecies was more political than scientific. Similarly, intelligence tests have been so saturated with cultural bias that they were really just tests of likelihood to adapt to a dominant culture and get into a good university.

When I was studying in the field in the 70s, some classmates sat around speculating about tests that would be neutral with regards to culture. One of my favorites was a locked room scenario where the key that would let you out was inside a sealed ping-pong ball at the bottom of a narrow vertical pipe whose inner diameter was just the tiniest bit larger than the ball, so most methods wouldn't work (like breaking off a narrow bit of wood from something or fashioning a hook). We tried the test (presented the scenario, not literally locking them up) on people and discovered that being a well-educated person of Euro extraction was not at all helpful to reaching the solution. Can you figure out how to do it? There is nothing in the room but you and bare walls.
User avatar
Braininvat
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 6706
Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Black Hills


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

Postby Lomax on March 9th, 2018, 10:55 am 

BadgerJelly » March 9th, 2018, 9:46 am wrote:
Lomax » March 9th, 2018, 4:08 pm wrote:
BadgerJelly » March 9th, 2018, 2:55 am wrote:Okay, so things are poorly defined and most people would rather argue about the relevance of IQ.

IQ measures spatio-temporal reasoning. I don't have a problem with it provided that we do not take it too seriously. What does "race" measure?


I don't think "race" measures anything. Sadly we're burdened with the issue and people are desperately trying to attach meaning to it in absence of less visually obvious human distinctions (even though, ironically, we're all as good as genetically identical compared to other species of mammal!)

The point is, what can we do about this polticized issue? Put scientific weight behind it, or face the fact that we don't have the ethical capacity to deal with it yet and try and shift the focus to other issues?

Either would be fine with me. My concern is that, by asking whether race correlates with intelligence, we're putting pseudoscientific weight behind it. We can't even explain what race is, or show that there is such a thing, so showing that it correlates with other traits is running before we can walk. I dislike identity politics and I dislike that the Left now panders to the Right's insistence on subdividing us this way. You spoke of inconvenient truths - well I do not think that we are dealing with either. If race is not a real thing, then the claim that it correlates with intelligence cannot be true. And if it were, it wouldn't - as you pointed out - relieve us of the responsibility to treat people as individuals. So I wouldn't find it inconvenient, either.
User avatar
Lomax
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3653
Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Location: Nuneaton, UK


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

Postby Serpent on March 9th, 2018, 11:29 am 

In the sealed room test -
Is the pipe affixed to the floor? Then piss in it to make the ball float.
A monkey would get that. Or crow, for that matter, but he couldn't physically do it.

As for using the data, I don't care who advocated IQ discrimination, when or why. I have a personal prejudice against junk science, that's all. I have seen plenty of IQ tests (unlike many of the subjects to whom it was administered) and i know that the more of them you've taken the better you do. I've also seen a lot of the academic bias that the devisers don't intend or realize. The biggest problem is that IQ tests are two-dimensional and people live in four or five dimensions.

Well, Duh! Kids who come from privilege do better on IQ tests than frightened kids who don't get enough to eat, and guess what, the ones that score high on IQ tests also do better in life, and more of the rich ones are white and more of the poor ones are black. Now we got statistics to prove it.

IQ testing may have been useful for sorting out army recruits for various assignments. What I still don't get how mass IQ testing will better educate or nurture anybody, or help anybody integrate into a society, or why we'd want smart people to integrate into dysfunctional societies. There are surely more reliable, more accurate, more readily applicable indicators of who need what, and what needs fixing.

Why not just assume that all children need individual attention: give them all enough food, security, a healthy environment, a good basic education and opportunities to improve.
If you can't afford that, invest in family planning.

If you want to know children's aptitudes, ask their Gr 1 teacher. Reading teachers' assessment would be a lot cheaper and more effective than administering all those tests.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 3068
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


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

Postby Braininvat on March 9th, 2018, 12:57 pm 

Serpent » March 9th, 2018, 8:29 am wrote:In the sealed room test -
Is the pipe affixed to the floor? Then piss in it to make the ball float.
A monkey would get that. Or crow, for that matter, but he couldn't physically do it.

As for using the data, I don't care who advocated IQ discrimination, when or why. I have a personal prejudice against junk science, that's all. I have seen plenty of IQ tests (unlike many of the subjects to whom it was administered) and i know that the more of them you've taken the better you do. I've also seen a lot of the academic bias that the devisers don't intend or realize. The biggest problem is that IQ tests are two-dimensional and people live in four or five dimensions.

Well, Duh! Kids who come from privilege do better on IQ tests than frightened kids who don't get enough to eat, and guess what, the ones that score high on IQ tests also do better in life, and more of the rich ones are white and more of the poor ones are black. Now we got statistics to prove it.

IQ testing may have been useful for sorting out army recruits for various assignments. What I still don't get how mass IQ testing will better educate or nurture anybody, or help anybody integrate into a society, or why we'd want smart people to integrate into dysfunctional societies. There are surely more reliable, more accurate, more readily applicable indicators of who need what, and what needs fixing.

Why not just assume that all children need individual attention: give them all enough food, security, a healthy environment, a good basic education and opportunities to improve.
If you can't afford that, invest in family planning.

If you want to know children's aptitudes, ask their Gr 1 teacher. Reading teachers' assessment would be a lot cheaper and more effective than administering all those tests.


You found the answer. There is really no other way. I didn't set up the experiment to rule out all cultural bias, btw. Which will make a point I'm coming to.

When my classmates and I worked this out, we had to tweak it so that any captive would know, for example, that a ping-pong ball floats. Maybe let them hold the ball and examine it beforehand. The "key" can be shown to the subject as something that doesn't appreciably add to the weight (and therefore, density) of the pingpong ball (e.g. a word written on the inside which, shouted through the door, will gain release....or if the subject is not literate, then they need only shout "I have the ball" and show it through a window in the door).

The point is to test basic problem-solving skills, and treat such as the core of real intelligence. The solution lies not in cultural knowledge, and actually involves seeing past cultural inhibitions to problem solving. A woman will have a bit more of a challenge than a man, given the greater messiness factor. That could be evened out by having an empty bowl in the room, though that detail might make it too easy for everyone. Some people will take longer to solve the problem is there is a video camera pointed at where the pipe is. Some cultures are more averse to being watched while relieving oneself.

What I was really getting at, in the context of an ethics thread, is how tests should evaluate an aptitude for solving a variety of types of problems, rather than something as nebulous as "intelligence." If you were going to be a field operative for the CIA, for example, you should be able to figure out piss-in-the-pipe sorts of problems. Or if you were going into engineering. Aptitude tests show how an individual might have a knack for certain kinds of cognition that would, rather than rank them on some dubious single scale of stupid-to-brilliant, help them settle on a good career choice or lifelong hobby. It would also show you areas where you could improve, rather than just putting you somewhere low on a fixed scale.

If, to use my experiment again, you didn't figure it out (some people don't, though I imagine if they were actually in that locked room for hours and their bladders grew full, the answer would present itself in due course), then that's just a reminder that you might be someone who needs to approach problem-solving by getting outside of cultural norms more, be less afraid to go outside the box, be more willing to experiment with ideas that initially seem unattractive. I suspect that everyone's aptitude is raised when they are taught that "the way to have one good idea, is to entertain lots of bad ideas."
User avatar
Braininvat
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 6706
Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Black Hills


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

Postby Serpent on March 9th, 2018, 1:57 pm 

For non-culture-biassed IQ tests, got to biologists
http://www.audubon.org/news/bird-iq-tests-8-ways-researchers-test-bird-intelligence
Assuming no flight is involved, any human can do the things a bird can do, once they thought of the solution.

Simple mechanical tests, like buoyancy and the use of sticks, are very limited in assessing the range of a subjects capabilities. Recognition, memory, learning, experimentation and some other non-verbal tests give a better indication of all-around intelligence, though they're still incomplete.
But then so are multiple-choice written tests!

There may be many clever and fair methods to find out who is smarter, and in what ways - but I still don't get how a statistical comparison of arbitrary groups is to be applied.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 3068
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


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

Postby Lomax on March 9th, 2018, 2:28 pm 

I don't think problem solving can be comprehensively IQ-tested, either. My best friend has, over the years, asked me the following questions:

1. "What's a pope?"
2. "What country is New York in, again?"
3. "Who's Mr. T?"
4. "Is Nigella the South African guy?"

Despite the fact she lives under a rock and can't do arithmetic or formal logic to anything like my standard, she has an almost psychic ability to understand other human beings. She reads us like books. That's problem-solving of its own kind; if the problem is that a kid's lost its mother, you can bet she be better at both caring and consoling than I would.

Intelligence is using your brain to acquire or apply a skill. We can't boil that down to a series of questions on a piece of paper, I'm afraid. I like IQ tests because they enable me to impress potential employers but they by no means stand in for a more general assessment of a person's cognitive worth.

Karl Pilkington, on the extraordinary abilities of others: "A two-day old fly can fly. I can't fly, and I'm 30." Yet somehow we fail to appreciate the talents of the fly; we take them for granted. We are always looking for exaggerated versions of our own skills.
User avatar
Lomax
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3653
Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Location: Nuneaton, UK


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

Postby wolfhnd on March 9th, 2018, 6:44 pm 

The question that Charles Murray is asking is how can people with different IQs live together in a technological world that dramatically favors high IQ. Race was only discussed in one small chapter in the Bell Curve which speaks to the underlying question Badger is asking which is why should IQ tests be so controversial when they correlate so powerfully with financial, family, and personal success. You can argue all you want about cultural bias but there are not many people wanting to immigrate to technologically backwards countries.
User avatar
wolfhnd
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4647
Joined: 21 Jun 2005
Blog: View Blog (3)


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

Postby Lomax on March 9th, 2018, 7:05 pm 

If you were paying attention you'll have noticed that I acknowledged their relation to success and solvency. What we should not do is confuse those things with the entire notion of intelligence. Spatio-temporal reasoning, unlike race, is not a dubious concept. But it is a narrow one.
User avatar
Lomax
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3653
Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Location: Nuneaton, UK


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

Postby Forest_Dump on March 9th, 2018, 7:17 pm 

I would be one of those who doesn't believe in either race or IQ as valid things. Correlations also show things like wealth, power, etc., are also correlated with stature or geography. But also with repressive political regimes, etc. But in the end, I have to admit that I am also skeptical about Correlations of IQ with anything because 1) I am not sure how well IQ data is collected given that there are also some studies that show that people tend to inflate their own IQ (eg. Trump) so 2) we really don't know how many people with high IQ's may not have done well in life, however that would be measured (my own opinion happens to be that anyone who devotes their life to just making money is not all that smart - but that's just me).
User avatar
Forest_Dump
Resident Member
 
Posts: 8780
Joined: 31 Mar 2005
Location: Great Lakes Region


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

Postby Serpent on March 9th, 2018, 7:46 pm 

My deepest suspicion regards that "correlation" of success with IQ.
Where was the level field in which this contest took place?
When you factor in all the other variables, you're left with some pretty dubious information.
And some pretty dubious motivations.

Again: even supposing the information were accurate and comprehensive - what purpose would it serve? How could the information be used? What action would be taken? Give all immigrants an IQ test and admit only the 120+? Put them in charge of business and send the 110- executives out to pick grapes?

If somebody were serious about finding out how people of varying IQ's co-exist, they would look at successful communities. (First, of course, they would have to define success in a community.) As for the industrial society that heavily favours high IQ's, we already know where that's headed: automation and obsolescence. Knowing that only 10% of the people will have jobs, no matter what their childhood potential might have been, leaves you with exactly the same problem you would have if you didn't measure anybody's intelligence.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 3068
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Next

Return to Ethics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests