Talk:Race and intelligence/Archive 19

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"study found"

This is just style, but "study found" is a common usage, at least in the natural sciences. Check google and google scholar. --Rikurzhen 18:55, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

I would say it like this: "Media portrayal of race and intelligence research and intelligence-related topics in general is misrepresentative of mainstream opinion in these fields (Snyderman and Rothman 1987)." There is no reason to have both "A study claimed that" in the beginning and a parenthetic reference at the end. This wording is completely in line with WP guidelines: the claim is undisputed (as far as I know, which may be not much) and properly sourced. Unless, of course, there there is somebody on this talk page who can point us to any respectable source that claims the opposite, in which case the guidelines would indeed (correctly) proscribe that we use the "X claims A but Y claims B". Arbor 19:20, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Of course that's the right thing to do. --Rikurzhen 19:28, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Wikipedia does not depend on terminology by others, but Arbor's approach looks quite OK to me. Harald88 19:38, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
For the sake of possible future consideration of this question, I don't think Harald88 is correct. The claims were a study does not "find" a conclusion and Wikipedia does not depend on terminology by others. in my experience the a phrase like this study found X where X is a conclusion is very common[1], at least in science writing. moreover, WP does depend on common word usage in so much as it seeks to be easy to understand and must avoid neologisms. --Rikurzhen 23:24, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
On second thought, you may be right if the statement that for example so-an-so "found that all blacks are retarded" is generally interpreted as a found opinion and not as found fact. As English is not my mother tongue, I'm not sure about this. Harald88 00:06, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

references, footnotes, inline citation

I updated the template strucutres on the reference page. A quick glance over the article finds that our referencing is not completely 100% complete/consistent. We cannot easily eliminate either inline citations or the footnotes. Some inline citations are integral ot the sentence, and some footnotes are extensive. However, we've been inconsistent with the choice of whether to put material in a footnote or inline for intermediate cases. We've also failed to keep the reference page up to date with new references. Suggestions? Happy Holidays. --Rikurzhen 20:17, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Using inline citations except for instances in which a number of sources are being cited does seem to be the best choice. I wonder if we could include links to online versions in inline citations: (Tucker 2002) (compared with (Tucker 2002)[2]). Readers would probably appreciate this.--Nectar 00:22, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

Media portrayal

The current version is inaccurate, one almost twenty years old study cannot be used as evidence for media portrayal today. Also, the study did not ask the opinons of IQ researchers. Ultramarine 01:53, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

1. The reference stating the study date should be enough. Are you referring to critics of these studies or anyone who has argued media portrayal has become more representative?.. the references that I've seen by r&i critics to these studies are accepting of the results.
It is you who are arguing the media portrayal is incorrect today. Therefore, it is you who should provide sources. A twenty years old study will not do.Ultramarine 04:15, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
I am arguing the section doesn't need to touch on an argument against the studies because even critics accept the studies AFAIK.--Nectar 04:33, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
You are clamining something without sources. Not acceptable. Please give an source for the claim about media portrayal today or accept that the age of the study should be mentioned. Remember, Wikipedia should be verifiable. Ultramarine 04:36, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
2. The 1988 media portrayal study used their findings from their 1987 survey of expert opinion, which included intelligence researchers. (IQ researcher as a phrase only has fringe usage.)--Nectar 03:47, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, maybe. But many others also. As such, stating something about the "mainstream opinion in these fields" is incorrect since the survey was not aimed only at researchers in these fields. Ultramarine 04:15, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
The only researchers surveyed were done so because they were considered to have relevant expert experience, be it in the psychological or psychometric etc. domains.--Nectar 04:33, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Not only IQ researchers were surveryed. The survey was given to members of the American Education Research Association, National Council on Measurement in Education, American Psychological Association, American Sociological Association, Behavior Genetics Association, and Cognitive Science Society. As such it includes for example sociologists. The survery says nothing about opinion among persons doing actual research related to IQ. Ultramarine 04:38, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
The surveyed scholars were in specialities related to intelligence research, which spans specialities in a number of disciplines. The scholars are thus considered part of that field, whether they're educational psychologists like Jensen, geneticists or sociologists. This was discussed some at Talk:Race_and_intelligence/Archive_17#labels--Nectar 21:07, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

A radical suggestion: move this article to Race and intelligence testing in whole or in part

I propose that we either move this article in its entirety to Race and intelligence testing, or at least split out most of the article into that and reserve this one for a more historical, less US-centric article. As just one example of my thinking, the beautiful graph that captures your attention as soon as you open the page is about testing, not intelligence. While one could argue that testing is the only way to measure intelligence, that is highly debatable, especialy in light of theproblems with defining who is what race when you do the testing, etc.. etc.

So, what do people think? BCorr|Брайен 04:03, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

I think it would be more parsimonious to keep the title and expand the existing history section into Race and intelligence (History) if/when someone writes more on that topic. Britannica and Encarta have "race and intelligence" articles covering similar material, so there's good precedent for the current formulation. Likewise, the modern research literature is clearly large enough to superceed the history for this name space. I suppose someone could discuss intelligence without "intelligence testing", certainly in the past they did, but it would be something like doing meterology without thermometers. Is there much of a literature on it? --Rikurzhen 04:15, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

SPLC definition of hate group

Nectar, if you want to give a definition used by them, then you should use a source from their website. Ultramarine 04:21, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Tolerance.org is a website of the SPLC (as stated at the top of the linked-to page).--Nectar 04:35, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
OK Ultramarine 04:40, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

What is the purpose of this sentence?

"The position that what is good bears on inquiries into what is, or efforts to derive an is from an ought, have been criticized by microbiologist Bernard Davis as the moralistic fallacy, an implied converse of the naturalistic fallacy. (Davis 1978)" Seems appropriate for an article about ethics. I do not understand the relevance for this topic? Ultramarine 04:29, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

The "moralistic fallacy" argument has been used by Jensen and Rushton, for example.[3] (A google search is fast and easier than posting on talk pages ;)--Nectar
If there is a point to this argument, then it should be explained in the article. As it is now, the sentence is not comprehensible since it has no relation to what is stated before and after. Ultramarine 04:48, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Blanking of criticism double-standard by partially-genetic IQ reserachers

See this from Tucker (2002) "Rushton has not only contributed to American Renaissance publications and graced their conferences with his presence but also offered praise and support for the "scholarly" work on racial differences of Henry Garrett, who spent the last two decades of his life opposing the extension of the Constitution to blacks on the basis that the "normal" black resembled a European after frontal lobotomy. Informed of Garrett's claim that blacks were not entitled to equality because their "ancestors were ... savages in an African jungle," Rushton dismissed the observation as quoted "selectively from Garrett's writing," finding nothing opprobrious in such sentiments because the leader of the scientific opposition to civil rights had made other statements about black inferiority that were, according to Rushton, "quite objective in tone and backed by standard social science evidence." 12 Quite apart from the questionable logic in defending a blatant call to deprive citizens of their rights by citing Garrett's less offensive writing—as if it were evidence of Ted Bundy's innocence that there were some women he had met and not killed—there was no sense on Rushton's part that all of Garrett's claims, whether or not "objective," were utterly irrelevant to constitutional guarantees, which are not predicated on scientific demonstrations of intellectual equality. Understandably and appropriately outraged at the violation of their own academic freedom, Pioneer grantees have found nothing objectionable in attempts, based on scientific conclusions that they have promulgated, to deprive others of their rights." Ultramarine 04:45, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

The section is on accusation of bias; harassment from collegues can be used in an accusation of bias, but the addition you're arguing for appears to be a meta-analysis reflecting on a larger "irony" here. (Tucker's stated argument is that this phenomenon is ironic. His opening thesis of that section states: "there is an inescapable irony in the complaints of Pioneer grantees, so many of whom have demonstrated precious little concern that their conclusions have been offered [...] to prevent [school integration]." (And opposition to school integration is already mentioned in the accusation of bias section.) --Nectar 05:19, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Tucker is stating that Rushton refuses to speak out against those who want to take away constitutional rights of citizens because of race. There is no mention of school integration here. Please do not delete sourced material just because you do not like it. Ultramarine 05:21, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
This section isn't about which side is right/wrong, but rather about accusations of bias. The preceding accusation is 'there have been incidents of unprofessional behavior.' 'They have a double-standard' or 'two wrongs make a right' are ruminations on if these researchers deserve such treatment, but are not responses to what's under discussion in this section, accusation of bias.--Nectar 06:23, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
The section mentions the violatons of academic freedoms against the partially-genetic researchers, which are very frequently and loudly mentioned by themselves. Now you are refusing to the mention the criticism of these researchers, that they are using a double standard. Why should their view be mentioned, but not the other side? This is a violation of NPOV. Remember, the views of both sides should be mentiond. Ultramarine 06:34, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
There are two reasons for excluding it, either of which would be enough on its own.
(1) It's digressionary from the actual point being discussed in this small section (bias).
(2) It appears to be a non-notable jab. The argument is that they support the views of researcher on X, therefore they support his/her views on Y, even though they haven't made such statements. Critics in this area likewise don't take seriously such argumentation when it's applied to them. An analogous application might be: "many critics who support liberal politics have not stated they oppose Hans Eysenck's 1973 physical assault by leftists, therefore it can be assumed they support it." (It's better to limit discussion to positions researchers actually hold.)--Nectar 20:59, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
1. NPOV requires mentioning both views. Why is restriction of academic freedom bias, but restriction of citizens right not bias?
2. By refusing to condemn those who advocate who advocate removing citizens rights, but at the same time themselves request that others should condemn those that discriminate themselves, they have a double standard. That is the argument and is valid regardless whether they state support or not. Again, you have given no reason why NPOV should be violated.
Finally, I find is strange that those in this article who repeatedly state that views should not be hidden, suddenly turn around and state that certain views should be hidden, when those views do not support there position. It seems like you have a double-standard yourself. Ultramarine 23:19, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

(restart indent) Tucker's point is that Rushton is a bad person, a coward, or a hypocrite, right? Nectar's point is that that is a separate point than Rushton is biased, no? If mentioned, this sounds like it might belong in the racism section. --Rikurzhen 02:43, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

IQ and mental retardation

This article is fascinating (I'm speaking as someone with no technical expertise in this area). However, I find one statistical claim positively ludicrous. The assertion that the average IQ of sub-saharan blacks is 70 seems incredibly flawed, since that would mean half the population would have severe or mild mental retardation. This seems rather extreme(!) Consider Equatorial Guinea, where the average IQ is 59 according to Lynn's "IQ and the Wealth of Nations." Yet (needless to say) according to anecdotal accounts, visitors to these countries do not encounter a nation of imbeciles. Can an expert provide some answers? User:Invsblmn

(I signed your post for you.) I am not an expert either, but the fallacy of your question is that you apply a standard from one group ("IQ 60 is retarded for Whites") to another group (Blacks, say). That doesn't work. But what is true (terribly), is that a non-retarded, perfectly nice, well-functioning and well-behaved average sub-saharan Black (who may speak five different languages, for example) will perform as bad on an IQ test as a mildly retarded European White. Arbor 08:37, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
That being the case, what is it that the tests actually measure? How do the test results actually indicate intelligence if the same score can't be applied in anything near the same way to people? This brings me back to my last question. BCorr|Брайен 14:40, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Because IQ testing is a good predictor for a lot of cognitive tasks, other than solving IQ tests, and they predict this across groups. Doing basic maths. Programming. Reading a time table. Installing a printer driver. "Figuring stuff out." That kind of thing. Your IQ predicts your success in doing these things, no matter what race you are. The fallacy is the claim "IQ 75 is retarded". That's simply wrong. A sub-saharan African with IQ 75 isn't retarded. But he cannot patch a printer driver, no more than an IQ 75 Swede can. Arbor 14:46, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
That's about education and exposure, not IQ or ability to learn and carry out cognitive tasks, which is what IQ is supposed to measure. BCorr|Брайен 16:33, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Very good. Group differences in education and exposure would be an explanation of the IQ gap. Analysing the explanatory power of such hypotheses is exactly what this article is about. Welcome. Arbor 18:31, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, Arbor, I'll stop offering my opinion as you seem to think I'm a newbie in need of a primer on the topic. If you review the history you'll see that Rikurzhen and I have been editing this article for a couple of years, even if I have not done so consistently, and I have avoided it because too often it has become flamebait. So I say to you: Welcome, and au revoir. BCorr|Брайен 00:55, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Thanks, Arbor, for your note and explanation on my talk page. I appreciate it. BCorr|Брайен 14:26, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

IQ and intelligence (trait) give a modest description of what the tests do and do not measure. The problem with the top question is that "retardation" is associated with low IQ, but low IQ is not sufficient for "retardation". Among whites, almost everyone with an IQ of 75 is also retarded, but among groups with lower average IQs this association no longer holds. The reason is that retardation describes both an inability to solve problems (what IQ measures) and an inability to perform everyday tasks (a social competence). Many whites with very low IQ have a genetic disorder (e.g. trisomy 21), whereas that level of reasoning ability is nearer to the "normal" range for blacks. Jensen (1998) describes this phenomena at length, including his great surprise at finding that people with normal social skills can perform so poorly on tests of fluid reasoning. --Rikurzhen 02:28, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

This is a provocative but plausible explanation, in any case highly fascinating. However, the main point still remains: regardless of the IQ threshold in any population for mental retardation, any functional society still needs engineers, teachers, lawyers, and politicians, etc. If 70% of the population in some sub-saharan African population is inherently INCAPABLE of doing these jobs (as compared to maybe 30-40% in a European society), how can these societies still function? Well, maybe the answer is: they don't. And that's the reason for their impoverishment. Yet without a hint of reference to political correctness this possibility is, to say the least, questionable. Mental retardation is mental retardation, regardless of race, and when the average IQ is 59 the number of people who can write literature, do advanced math, and deliver political speeches is vanishingly small. 71.29.76.252 05:02, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
This seems to be a very valuable explanation. I liked it so much that I have copied it to Race and intelligence (Average gaps among races). It goes without saying that the paragraph might need some extra polish. See you there. Arbor 08:21, 21 December 2005 (UTC)


I don't understand why any credence is given to work of this type. Having read work by Jensen, Rushton and others on this topic I am horrified that they are taken seriously. Any valid test to measure intelligence must be relevant to the test takers environment and the challenges that it contains. The ways in which our cognitive faculties make connections differ depending on our overall environment, because our survival and being socially accepted tend to depend on it. Whoever designs a test will make certain assumptions about what constitutes intelligence and how to test it based on their cognitive map. As early as 1971 (Reinhard) and 1975 (Stones) pointed out that the serious flaws in the methodology of such tests. As an example, why do African populations in Europe or the US perform substantially differently on the Raven's Matrices than those in Africa if the test is not affected by culture or environment as Jensen claimed? Furthermore is it reasonable to assume that people who have been taught the principles underlying such tests since before they could read will have no edge over those who have only just encountered them? Additionally, how do hispanics qualify as a group genetically and what about the fact that almost a quarter of African-Americans are wrong about their genetic origins (see Motherland: A Genetic Journey on the BBC site for an example). I agree that this article is well written stylistically, but it needs to make it clear that until the gene for "g" can be found, and people are categorised according to biological makeup not by something as primitive as race, this is just very, very bad science.

why do African populations in Europe or the US perform substantially differently on the Raven's Matrices than those in Africa if the test is not affected by culture or environment as Jensen claimed -- you are confusing the question of causes of average group differences with the question of test bias. the tests are not biased and they reveal the same factor structure for all groups, moreover Ravens mostly measures g which is highly resistant to environmental manipulation among people in developed countries. however, and here i think all people tend to agree including jensen and rushton et al., the environmental conditions in africa are reducing average IQ substantially, probably as a result of malnutrition. "hispanics" are a complex case, but at least when the term means mexican americans they are indeed genetically distinguishable from whites -- see race, tang et al (2005). at least when it comes to this topic, there is no compelling reason to distinguish between race and ethnicity as the two are mostly confounded. --Rikurzhen 07:36, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

No I don't think so. Intelligence being genetically determined is fine, but race is not a genetic classification. If a different objectively determined classification is used, then it would start to have some validity. Right now, it's at the red cars are faster than blue cars level (yes I can provide statistics to back this up empirically, does that make it worthwhile?) and then trying to isolate the element in red paint that contributes to the difference. Until the tests are truly neutral, they will just produce results that give higher scores to those that are familiar with your particular cognitive map and how it makes connections. The majority of children from the American International School in Lagos, Nigeria performed so poorly on locally constructed skills tests that they were five years behind Nigerian children in the same age range. Yet these are children that all fell within the top 25 percent on both the CTBS and ITBS tests. In fact, they performed so poorly that the school stopped submitting them for testing on the grounds that it served no valid purpose. Obviously this is only 2500 students over 10 years so it is not comprehensive in any way but it shows how cultural assumptions bias tests if the tester and tested are from different backgrounds. 172.203.36.169 16:43, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

You're mistaken about the current state of understanding regarding "race" and genetics. For recent, salient work see PMID 15625622 and PMID 16355252. Has this Nigerian data been published? Either way, I don't think it has much to do with this particular article as IQ tests given in developing countries are naturally suspect and almost all of the discussion is focused on tests given to U.S. citizens. --Rikurzhen 17:10, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Yes the study has been published in a peer reviewed journal but that has no bearing on its validity as regards subjects intelligence since the tests were not for IQ but can be seen as a basic skills test. How can a test administered by someone who cannot even communicate with or relate to his subjects be valid, but one tailored to their circumstances is suspect. As University College London was involved in formulating and administering the test regime, are their academics suspect as well or does that only apply to the African PhDs involved? I am unsure of your disciplinary background, so I am unsure of how you are using race. I know of no association of biologists, geneticists or physical anthropologists that sees the Caucasoid, Negroid, Mongoloid layman's concept of race as having any genetic validity whatsoever. Our genetic structure is not determined by our skin colour and we lack the genetic diversity to constitute races in the biological sense. Furthermore as there is more variation within groups than between them (by a very large factor) the groups cannot be described as different or distinct unless all the rules of analysis related to statistical significance are ignored. If you have access to academic databases such as ISI WoK then I can provide additional links otherwise you can use these. http://www.crystalinks.com/biorace.html, http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/1998/02/23/MN94378.DTL, http://www.aaanet.org/stmts/racepp.htm. For a thoroughly reviewed empirically based study related to the human genome which does require academic database access, see the Office of Science DOE sponsored study in Nature Genetics 36, S1 - S2 (2004). Sez who 02:28, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm a grad student in the field of genetics. Those papers have nothing to do with IQ, but rather "race" and genetics. I'm afraid you're behind the times when it comes to research on the structure of human genetic diversity, see for example Lewontin's Fallacy which you mention. But there's no point in this back and forth. Wikipedia is not a discussion forum. --Rikurzhen 02:42, 20 January 2006 (UTC)


Does that mean that I should have just made whatever changes came into my mind without discussing my concerns first? Why is the 2004 study outdated since Johns Hopkins genome research has butressed the results (2005)? Lewontin's Fallacy is used by people of a particular ideological bent as a strawman, nothing more and has very little to do with my concerns about the article. Which include: If we are trying to show that certain groups have particular genetic differences, then the groups have to be constructed in a scientific manner based on tangible genetic similarities or differences, not using something as ridiculous as race especially as Africans/Blacks are paraphyletic. If we do not do this, any conclusions that we draw about intelligence, iq or anything else are suspect to say the least. Incidentally I both teach and carry out research in the field and acquired my PhD from Imperial College as well as performing post doctoral work in Germany and the US before I started lecturing. So for a grad student to lecture me on being out of date and unable to understand the argument is very strange, I JUST DISAGREE WITH YOUR CONCLUSIONS! However you're right about the back and forth, my academic obligations do not allow me to spend any more time on this so I will not change the article. Sez who 15:02, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

That's very rude of you. I would lecture to anyone who demonstrated your level of unfamiliarity with the research literature. Your comments on Edward's "Lewontin's Fallacy" are highly inappropriate for an academic. In addition to looking more closely and open mindedly at the literature, you should acquaint yourself with Wikipedia policy. Neither your nor my personal opinions about the subject matter in the construct of the article. --Rikurzhen 03:27, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
For those who hold "race" to not be biologically meaningful, the scientific legitimacy of this article's topic should probably at least be established by the existence of divergent brain genetics between the races.[4]

--Nectar 07:05, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Rikurzhen I can see that you disagree with my colleague but I am unsure in what sense. Is it that you feel he is wrong that race is not actually a very good way of typing homo sapiens or is it that you feel the issue is not relevant to this article? Doc Meroe 12:58, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Short answer -- the second more than the first. Longer answers: The incongruities of racial classifications are many. However, for the immigrant populations of the U.S., race is still relatively precise categorization. Note that most of the research on group IQ differences is about the U.S.. In that context, self-identified race is an informative marker for (1) social categories/ethnicity and (2) biogeographic ancestry/genetics. It's the denial of (2) that has since c.a. 2000 been theoretically and empirically (e.g., PMID 15625622 and PMID 16355252) falsified. Thus, while race may be largely unhelpful in one field (e.g., anthropology), it may be good enough as a confounded proxy in another (e.g., medicine/genetics), and it may what you want to study in another (e.g., sociology). Intelligence research is in a similar situation to medicine. African Americans have higher incidence of hypertension than European Americans. To what extent is that observed racial difference due to the fact that race is a proxy for (1) versus (2). Analogously, the primary debate over IQ is to what extent is the IQ gap due to (1) versus (2). --Rikurzhen 18:16, 21 January 2006 (UTC)


Thank you for your explantion though I must say that I disagree very strongly on so many grounds that I think our views are simply irreconcilable. For example with regard to race, see Barbujani, Current Genomics 6(4) 215-226 Jun 2005. Doc Meroe 23:32, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Not a problem for me as it's really Francis Collins[5], Neil Risch[6], et al. that you are disagreening with. However, note that (1) Barbujani is speaking from a global/anthropological perspective which is inapplicable to the immigrant populations of the U.S. and (2) he spoke too soon as Rosenberg (2005)[7] has empirically falsified the claim that there are no genetic discontinuities. --Rikurzhen 00:09, 22 January 2006 (UTC)


"Our evidence for clustering should not be taken as evidence of our support of any particular concept of 'biological race'" Rosenberg et al (2005).Doc Meroe 01:33, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Indeed it should not (e.g., nothing in that data gets you to the one drop rule for African admixture). But if you are presented with a given race concept, say the racial self-identification of the U.S. population, then there is now plenty of evidence against the strong claim that this particular concept is biologically meaningless. The denial of race is biologically meaningless doesn't imply that race is fully supported by biology. On the other hand, there's plenty of reason to prefer a different categorization concept for any particular research question. For biomedical research, the emerging consensus seems to be that biogeographic ancestry narrowed to continental/sub-continental level is the right way to categorize people for a first-round look at genetic diversity, with the caveat in mind that your categorization will be confounded by social factors. --Rikurzhen 23:02, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Rikurzhen, I made no mention of Edward or the validity of his critique. I am saying that in this instance rather than state why you feel the 2004 and/or 2005 studies were flawed, you cited Lewontin's Fallacy so it seemed that you were using a rhetorical device (since neither of the studies is based on Lewontin's work) hence the use of the "strawman" tag. Sez who 18:57, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Edwards is to blame for that phrase. When I write it I mean Edwards' paper/reasoning, not as a personal attack of RC Lewontin. However, you are in part mistaken that Lewontin has nothing to do with the current debate on race, at least if Edwards' historical analysis of the race is biologically meaningless concept is correct. --Rikurzhen 23:02, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

The concept of IQ tests and Race

The article has gained several paragraphs that gives descriptions of "IQ tests" and "Race". These descriptions lack most of the criticisms that are found in the full articles and instead present them largely as unquestioned facts without giving any sources. I see no reason for them being in this overview article. Instead, there should simply be a redirect to the relevant pages where they are described in more and NPOV detail. Ultramarine 00:27, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Are you talking about the background section? Each of those sections gives background that is noncontroversial in the context of the science and also mentions the criticisms: "Some scientists argue that common racial classifications are not meaningful, often on the basis of research indicating that more genetic variation exists within such races than between them ... Some critics question the validity of all IQ testing or claim that there are aspects of "intelligence" not reflected in IQ tests." The background articles are on the same order of magnitiude in size as this article. The novice reader needs a brief introduction to the most salient details of those articles before considering the details of this one. Based on the questions that pop up on the talk page, it is pretty clear that people do not read the race or IQ articles. Thus, this article should strive to give a minimal background for the reasearch. The defintions of self-described ancestry groups in the U.S. are straightforward, as is the background on intelligence versus IQ tests. --Rikurzhen 02:37, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Your claims of "noncontroversial in the context of the science" is unsourced and simply false. I have previously cited four 2005 peer-reviewed studies that question the concept of race. Other problems is stating ""IQ test" denotes any test of cognitive ability", also false since IQ tests do not include for example tests of memory or EQ. Another "IQ scores are fairly stable over much of a person's life", Rushton himself frequently argues that one should ignore IQ tests in childhood since environmental effects will disappear in adulthood. So much for factual accuracy. Regarding NPOV, very little of the criticism of Race found in that article is mentioned. Nor is any criticism of the real-world importance of IQ.
What pops in questions on this page is no evidence for if people read the main articles about race and IQ, but if they do not then they certainly should not read the current factually incorrect and POV text. As such, these paragraphs should be removed, it should simply be stated that current article assumes that the concepts of IQ and race exists and is important, and that for further information and criticism they should read the main article. Ultramarine 02:51, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Ultramarine, on the IQ topics, you can find these facts listed in any textbook, encyclopedia of intelligence, or similar text. Ian Deary's short book [8] is a good example. Deary spends a lot of text discussing longitudinal studies of IQ -- the tests are fairly stable (but not perfectly so). The point about "IQ test" denotes is not of course to say that universally all tests of cognitive ability are IQ tests, but rather that whenever "IQ test" is used in this article, it refers to one of several tests of cognitive ability that measure g.
On race ... you can question the usefulness of using race in science till you're blue in the face, but it won't change the uncontested fact that Americans who are self-identified as belonging to certain racial groups share biogeographic ancestry. Again, the main purose of the text is to define terms for the reader.
The article would be significantly less useful without background summaries. --Rikurzhen 03:26, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
That people obviously have ancestors from different geographic areas is not the evidence that current concept of race is a useful way to categorize people. As the current text is factually incorrect and POV, which you have not in any way contradicted, the article would be improved by removing it and simply give a link to full and more NPOV articles. Ultramarine 03:45, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
From the race article which contradicts "noncontroversial in the context of the science". (Note that the age of the survey is about the same as that of the survey prominently displayed at two different places in this article and many of the subarticles):
A 1985 survey (Lieberman et al. 1992) asked 1,200 scientists how many disagree with the following proposition: ::"There are biological races in the species Homo sapiens." The responses were:

(edit conflict)

That people obviously have ancestors from different geographic areas is not the evidence that current concept of race is a useful way to categorize people. I think that was in fact my point -- this text makes no claim about whether race is useful*, rather it merely describes how it is actually being used by these researchers. Clearly that's important information to mention in this article, no? The meaning of Hispanic, for example, is a detail that is not readily gleaned by skimming the race article. If these details can be conveyed more simply, that might be worthwhile, but I don't see that we can do without these brief summaries.
(*In fact, my understanding of the current literature is that questions about the utility of race are context dependent, such that race may be of little value to cultural anthropology, great value to sociology, and of moderate value to medicine. Likewise, it matters whether you are discussing the global population of humans or the immgrant populations of the U.S.) --Rikurzhen 04:17, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

In fact ... The article currently says Within this context... (I must have written that???), where context was meant to refer to R&I research being done predominately in the U.S. --Rikurzhen 04:21, 21 December 2005 (UTC)


The Introductory Section

Zen Master I've rved your recent changes. I'm not opposed in principle to what you're trying to do but there are a couple of serious objections:

  • The first version was better written
  • It was more factual; your version dealt with criticisms rather than the area itself
  • The language was repetitive

I think these issues must be worked out before changes are made. --Davril2020 17:27, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

Ah. Ok, Rikurzhen beat me to it. Fair play. --Davril2020 17:28, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

Intro bias

Well, the current intro may seem better written but it is completely unclear and biasing at an abstract concept level. Here is a list of problems with the intro as I see it:

All causes investigated equally?

  • Does "race and intelligence" research study all possible causes for the test results disparity, or just presume one cause, "race"? Months ago I suggested a Nutrition and intelligence article but someone created a redirect of that to this article, for some unkown reason. Why do people want to exclude and thwart the possibility causes other than "race" are considered?
If you write an article, even a stub, with a few solid citations, there should be no trouble with it. Give it a try.
  • Please actually justify the current version of the article's presumption inducing dichotomy? The fact that few critics have figured out just how fundamental the biasing is and works is not an argument in defense of the current version of this article. zen master T 08:39, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
Please actually respond to things other people say.
I am not necessarily trying to create a new article, I am trying to understand the rationale and motivation behind this article which appears to use a highly biasing presumption inducing dichotomy. The proponents of this article also have a history of excluding or downplaying critical sources. zen master T 18:55, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

Presumptive first sentence

  • The first sentence is very presumptive and incomplete: "race and intelligence is a controversial area of anthropology and intelligence research studying the nature, origins, and practical consequences of racial and ethnic group differences in intelligence test scores and other measures of cognitive ability". The presumption inducing dichotomy is obvious, "sugar and tooth decay" implies sugar causes tooth decay, but there is no scientific basis to state "race" is a cause of "intelligence".
  • In the process of writing that was enforced by my dissertation director, one states a thesis for each paragraph in a topic sentence, and then one advances evidence and argument to substantiate that thesis. The same thing applies, in principle, for sections, chapters, and whole books. The thesis ZM quoted above says, in effect, that the word "race" has some meaning in the real world (i.e., that criteria can be stated that will unambiguously put individuals into one of several categories called, regretfully, "race"), that the word "intelligence" likewise is a meaningful term that can be given a valid operational definition, and that average intelligences can be computed for members of each "race." The sentence quoted implies, perfectly reasonably I think, that if you know that R1 has IQ=a, R2 has IQ=b, etc., then you can compare the values. It does not eliminate the possibility that a = b = c... = n. Nor does it affirm that "race" causes "intelligence." In itself, it is perfectly compatible with the idea that R1 is fed rice and cabbage, R2 is fed a diet rich in fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, etc., R3 is fed a SuperPhat diet, and that there is no direct causal link between race and intelligence. (I'm not saying that the article stays clear of confusing coincidence and causation later on, nor am I saying that it does confuse them, just trying to get clear on what is actually being said.)
  • The current intro completely confuses description and causation. Again you fail to provide a justification for the exclusive framing and presumption inducing dichotomy, proponents of this research do not seem to be followers of the scientific method. zen master T 08:39, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

Disputed definition of "race"

  • There is no scientifically accepted definition of "race" and "ethnic groups" and "racial distinctions", yet this article assumes one exists. Geneticists and human genome researchers have criticized the findings of "race and intelligence" research as contradictory with their own research, yet that fact is downplayed or excluded.
  • As long as one has one operational definition of "race" that is enough to provide a valid answer to the question of whether that kind of "race" correlates to the kind of "intelligence" that is involved in the study. Stupid questions get stupid answers, or GIGO. Somebody's "race" might be determined by hair color. Would we find that red heads are more intelligent that blonds? That might explain why we have dumb blond jokes and why Malcolm X was so intelligent. In fact, if it turned out that all red heads had IQs of over 190 and all blonds had IQs had IQs of under 90, that would make human resource people deliriously happy. No need to run aptitude tests, just hire red heads. (I don't have red hair, unfortunately. I take the fifth on what color of hair I do have.)
  • Given that the researcher's "operational" definition of "race" is fundamentally disputed why does this article state many things excessively conclusivly? "white-wash" is an understatement for this article. An "operational" definition is not scientific and is not enough for any sort of scientifically determined causation coming from one among many possible data correlations. zen master T 08:39, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
An operational definition is a fundamental requirement of science. You say it's too hot and I say it's too cold. The question is, who is right? We need to forget about "I'm cold and you're saying it's hot?" and define how to make a thermometer, where to draw the line for zero, where to draw the line for 100. Then we can both agree that the temperature is 75 degrees.
Mentioning the fact that a specific "operational definition" is disputed is a more fundamental requirement of science. Wikipedia is not in the business of objectively determining right and wrong, an article should be a superset of all viewpoints, and definitely should not be extremely biasing. zen master T 18:58, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

Disputed "IQ" tests

  • The intro and article do not mention the fact IQ testing is itself highly controversial and disputed. The first sentence of my change stated that both "race and intelligence" and IQ testing were "controversial", which is true. They are also both disputed.
  • IQ tests measure what they measure. The question is: What do they fail to measure? A while back there was a lady who worked in one of the largest department stores in Japan. She had a perfect record for spotting shoplifters. Any time she told the security grunts to take a customer aside it turned out that the customer had stolen goods on his/her person. I don't they anybody figured out how she did it, so the ability could not be measured. I guess it wasn't "intelligence."
  • It is fundamentally disputed what "IQ" tests measure, if anything. The question is: why do advocates of "race and intelligence" research censor or obfuscate the fact that IQ testing is fundamentally disputed? zen master T 08:39, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
  • If IQ tests didn't really measure anything, the same person would test out at random levels each time the test was taken. The ability to perform long division and long multiplation accurately and rapidly can be tested. The fact that one can do these operations does not guarantee that one can become a physicist, but the fact that one cannot do these operations well would tell you that such a student could not do well in a college physics class unless the use of hand calculators was permitted.
  • I am not trying to determine here on this talk page whether "IQ" tests measure anything or not, what I am advocating is that we include a much more direct statement regarding the fact that many people dispute the claim that "IQ" tests measure anything. "IQ" testing is fundamentally disputed yet the current version of this article has excluded a direct statement of that fact. zen master T 19:01, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I agree. This topic and the definition of "intelligence" thread are similar. One reason it is difficult to assert that IQ tests relate to intelligence is because intelligence itself is as yet, highly unquantified. In response to the argument that: if IQ tests didn't really measure anything, the same person would test out at random levels each time the test was taken; this is most certainly not true, as many tests can be created which engender repeatable yet varying response from differing classes of people. One simple test: How much is your household income?. This may seem off topic, but as you can see, there is no necessity for me to show scientific proof that the test is under controversy. The point is that the burden is on the test to show that it's results have, not only a correlation to intelligence, but actually indicate intelligence -whatever that may be. Another way to look at it is, the existence of this article is, in itself a compelling argument against the validity of IQ tests, simply because a correlation is shown between its results and an immaterial social construct. If any sort of consensus has been reached in the argument regarding the validity of human races, it has been to conclude that races do not exist. The only conclusion that can be drawn here is that this article works under two highly controlversial, and in my belief, flawed presumptions. It should not be deleted for that fact, but should be prefaced with an appropriate explaination of the questionable validity of its claims. --Inarius 18:08, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
  • No, IQ tests are both highly reliable and valid.[9] Moreover, their validity is equivalent for all groups raised in the culture for which the test was designed. Your claim about the existence of human races is essentially wrong, but also not the appropriate question to ask. No one seriously doubts that races exist in the sense that people believe in them and that belief has effects in the world. The more controversial question is the extent to which races describe a biological reality, and the answer to that is complicated but there's enough biology there (see PMID 15625622) to allow the hypothesis that race differences in IQ could be partly caused by genetic differences. --Rikurzhen 18:23, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I understand your point about races existing as a perception or belief among people, but have never been shown compelling evidence that there is enough biology there to warrant physical evidence of races. I admit that I had never seen the study you provided, and at the moment it sounds compelling. However, I would also argue that this wiki article also admits that the correlation between race and intelligence may be related to 'nurture' instead of genetics. Though I mention the viability of races in this comment to support my point, the heart of my argument is that the 'IQ' tests are lacking in validity because they cannot measure intelligence.
    Though popular definitions of intelligence may try to allow for the concept that may be altered over time, it is still considered by most sources to be a human trait, meaning that it is a "genetically inherited" and unchangeable quality of humans. I believe that this is a quality which IQ tests cannot effectively measure, and there is absolutely no data to support that it can. As I'm sure you know, IQ tests were originally conceived as a tool to measure learned knowledge, in order to rate a child’s need for additional instruction in schooling, implying an augmentable quality. Modern IQ tests have gone through some substantial changes, but they still rely on several elements of learned knowledge, including the breadth of a person's vocabulary (see: WISC). Since the final IQ score is based on an evaluation of ten areas of human 'cognitive ability', those who design the tests and the manner in which they are scored recognize that different people may have varying intellectual strengths in different areas. In addition, it has been conceded that people can impact their own intellectual strengths as measured by the WISC: U. S. children are improving in the skills tapped by intelligence tests, the 1991 WISC-III usually gives lower scores than did the 1974 WISC-R to the same student [10]. Yet all of this aside, a cumulative IQ 'score' is calculated and is henceforth assumed to be a "reliable" and universal measure of a person's intelligence. Though this, to me, seems like a ridiculous concept, many believe that an IQ score is a direct relationship to whether a person is fundamentally 'smart' or... not smart, and that this is an unchangeable quality. However the elements I have shown of the composition of IQ tests and their historical results contradict this conclusion. --Inarius 00:48, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
You should review the 1996 APA consensus statement on intelligence.[11] Your beliefs about IQ are out of line with expert opinion. A few things to note. IQ is a vehicle to measure the construct g. It is g, rather than IQ, which is identifiable with so called "general intelligence" -- the kind of intelligence that is important to all tasks that would require intelligence. The reliability of IQ is demonstrated by its retest precision (r >.9). The validity is demonstrated by its strong correlations (r ~.5) with other measures that we associated with intelligence, including educational achievement & attainment, job performance, functional literacy, brain size, and speed of performance on a variety of elementary tests that anyone can perform. You mention culture loading of IQ tests. For native born, English speakers in the U.S. this does not matter. For cross-cultural comparisons, culture-reduced tests exist which demonstrate comparable validity. --Rikurzhen 03:37, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
The article should not present one singular "expert" opinion, the experts disagree and have valid fundamental points of criticm against this field. Just because someone invented a concept called "general intelligence" doesn't mean they also invented an accurate or unbiased test for it. The point of science is to encourage iterative testing, the way this subject is presented in the current version of this article discourages any analysis. zen master T 04:35, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
I actually haven't commented on the reliability of the IQ test in terms of the consistency of its results. In fact, in my first post, I mention that repeated results is in no way an argument for the validity of a test, and that many tests could be organized such that any one given person would often receive the same score. However, when that leap is made to say that IQ tests are a reliable quantifier for intelligence, or the general intelligence factor g, which is a quantity generally accepted and used only in the field of psychology, this broad set of assumptions must be included n a preface for this article. Although this is an argument best left for another day, I would not qualify psychology as a science; it is a social science, which does not rely solely on the scientific method to derive conclusions. Yet, all of this aside, there are those in the field of psychology and a more technical branch of psychology, called cognitive science, who have pointed out that the concept of g is supported only by statistical correlation [12], thereby questioning its own validity. As others have said in this discussion page, correlation does not support the scientific method, and is only justification for additional research. Your arguments for the validity of an IQ test, its correlation to g, and its further correlation to intelligence is a string of assumptions that have been joined together to form broad claims, all of which have been attacked before. The point to all of this, as zen master points out, is that there are notable disagreements to the assumptions made in this article. Those assumptions, such as the validity of IQ tests, which I have sought to question, are unproven and heavily questioned. These things should therefore be pointed out in the article. --Inarius 16:39, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Indeed, there is a debate in cog-sci over the implication of g for mental structure, but this is a criticism aimed at a preceived implication of g that goes beyond what most psychologists think of it. For example, Arthur Jensen calls g a "construct" that is measuring something about the brain (but not necessarily a single thing). However, you are wrong that g is restricted to psychology. For example, see Thompon and Gray's Nature Reviews Neuroscience article (here) on the neuroscience and genetics of cognitive ability. Paul Thompson's lab has been mapping g to specific brain regions among DZ and MZ twins (Thompson, P. M. et al. Genetic influences on brain structure. Nature Neurosci. 4, 1253–1258 (2001)). Also, see the section immediately following the intro -- this is where we've tackled background question. There simply isn't enough room in the intro block to cover background and to do a reasonable summary of the article. --Rikurzhen 17:39, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Correcting factually inaccurate, incomplete or misleading statements (by adding caveats) trumps any "intro size" concerns. In my interpretation the entire concept of "g" or "general intelligence" confuses the issue and obfuscates the fact that this field relies on many fundamentally disputed assumptions as Inarius details just above. zen master T 20:00, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
I am personally not familiar enough with controversial Wikipedia articles to judge how big this intro should be. It does seem very important to me that the article make readers ware of this assumption before asserting any conclusions, just as is done in any mathematical or scientific proof/research. I would not be adverse to including a disclaimer early in the intro that simply states that this article operates under several disputed assumptions, and links to a section of the article, or another article such as Race and intelligence (Public controversy) (which would need to be augmented to include all the assumptions that have been pointed out in discussion, including IQ tests). That seems like an organized way to present the information, if it were done in a way that was not obscure. However, as I noted, I am not familiar enough with controversial articles to state that this is the best way to introduce assumptions. --Inarius 18:25, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

g and race are certainly controversial, mostly because of their relationship to one another. We had such a note a short time ago, but it became a matter of contention and was moved to the space directly below the intro. However, the intro still spells out the controversy -- Critics examine the fairness and validity of cognitive testing and racial categorization, as well as the reliability of the studies and the motives of the authors, on both sides. Critics often fear the misuse of the research, question its utility, feel that comparing the intelligence of racial groups is itself unethical, or fear sociopolitical ramifications, whether justified or unjustified. A link could be introduced in this text, but I'm not sure where it would go. --Rikurzhen 00:02, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Disputed definition of "intelligence"

  • The current intro errantly implies "IQ" tests objectively measure some sort of abstract notion of "intelligence", it needs a caveat as in: "intelligence as measured by controversial IQ tests".
  • I would say "as measured by conventional IQ tests." People who do well on these tests can replicate the solution of similar problems in the workplace, so if that is what you want then testing them that way and testing them with on-the-job tasks will get you the same results. What you don't learn from the IQ tests is that some of the high IQ types have sticky fingers of the second kind.
  • Who is arguing the IQ tests are "conventional"? Until IQ testing has scientific consenus we have to caveat all conclusions formed from them as possibly being inaccurate. zen master T 08:39, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
  • I read the above as implying that that there is scientific controversy over the validity of IQ testing. That's an interesting assertion, but where is your proof?
  • Why would an IQ test controversy article exist if there wasn't controversy? I've provided numerous citations in the past regarding accusations of test bias and fundamentally disputed IQ tests. zen master T 19:03, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

Apparently racist advocacy of "practical consequences"

  • The "and practical consequences" statement in the first sentence is way too premature and seems to advocate a racist world view. First, this so-called research is highly disputed and nothing has been determined with any sort of scientific rigor. Secondly, who are the people advocating any sort of "practicality" with this research, I'd like to know? The article should cite exactly who believes "race and intelligence" research could ever have "practical consequences". I just checked, and the only "practical consequences" the article mentions, later on, have to do with "race" and politics, no where is the "practicality" of say improving nutrition considered...
Ħ It studies the practical consequences, but what would you say if it turned out that when the research methods are perfected the practical consequences are about equal to zero? And going back to what I said above, what if it turns out that race J people are eating something that is common as a result of their geographical range or cultural preferences that inhibits the metabolism of methionine, so as a result they have a protein deficiency malnutrition that affects brain growth and function. You might never realize that fact if you didn't examine the intelligences of the group, just as they might never have figured out the cause of the prion disease in humans if they hadn't realized that all people who had the disease belonged to a particular ethnic group -- and then they started asking what these people had in common. (It turned out that it wasn't genetic, which was their first guess.)
  • The current version of the article and intro does not state nor propose the possibility any so-called "practical consequences" are zero. If geographic diet is the cause of the "IQ" test results difference then "race" isn't the cause, you consider and mention other causes here, yet the current version of the article frames everything around "race" being the cause, why? zen master T 08:39, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
So what if it doesn't state that the practical consequences are zero?
The first sentence in the current intro claims that "race and intelligence" actually studies "practical consequences", so we should either include them (if the sentence is true) or re-word the sentence. zen master T 19:16, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
The current article asks whether there is a correlation between race and intelligence, not whether there is a causal relation between the two. The only way you can find out whether nutrition has a bearing on intelligence is to ask whether there is a correlation between nutrition and intelligence. What if you wrote an article on nutrition and intellignce and somebody objected that you shouldn't examine that question because the real factor limiting intelligence might be the presence of high voltage electrical lines in the environment?
I've cited numerous examples in this larger section that directly errantly conclude that "race" is the cause, plus the entire way the issue is framed by the current version of this article is exponentially presumptive. If "race and intelligence" researchers are truly studying the "causes" (plural) of IQ test results differences, as the first sentence of the current version of this article claims, then they should focus equally on all causes, right? Why is everything in the current version of this article framed around "race" given the fact that is just one among many possible equally valid data correlations? I mention "Nutrition and intelligence" not to suggest that article should definitely be created but instead to point out hypocrisy and one sided framing of the issue in the current version of this article, it seems some proponents of this article want to present all non "race" causes within the "race and intelligence" presumptive dichotomy for the purpose of obfuscation. zen master T 19:16, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

Data correlation does not prove causality

  • A data correlation does not prove causality, especially when there are many other correlations from the same data, such as "nutrition and intelligence" or "wealth and intelligence". Why do these researchers focus on just one bit of information about the test taker, their "race", and ignore all other data such as: age, home environment, language proficiency, nutrition, parents education level, etc?
  • For the same reason that if you wrote your article on Nutrition and Intelligence you would look only on the quality or peculiarities of diet and ignore the "race," the height, the hair color, the religious preferences, etc., etc.
  • Rather than writting a series of "X and intelligence" articles I think we should drastically reformat the way this subject is presented to convey where the controversies begin, which would start with IQ test results controversy. zen master T 08:39, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
I would like it very much if you would indulge me by paying me the respect of not editing my little Ħ s out of my responses.
Why? The only theories I've come up with to explain the "Ħ"s is either a broken browser or you seek to damage the readability of this discussion (which I've experienced in the past on this page)? zen master T 19:43, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
A very long time ago I made the suggestion, which nobody respected enough even to comment on, that the "Race and Intelligence" issue was problematical because it was not being framed properly.
It would make sense to me to start with something a little broader, even, than what you suggest. The "title of the book" is Human Intelligence. The first chapter is, "What in hell is human intelligence, anyway?" The second chapter is, "Can we measure human intelligence, or, if not, can we measure various aspects of human intelligence?" The third chapter is, "What factors influence the factors we found we could measure in chapter two?"
If you agree that "race and intelligence" is not framed properly then let's fix it? I will respect you immensely if you help fix the apparent extreme bias in the current version of this article. I agree this subject should be reformatted much more generally and should avoid ambiguous words and presentation methods. zen master T 19:43, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
The third chapter would have a section on "Nutrition and Intelligence", a section on "Prenatal Care and Intelligence,"....and also a chapter on "Race and Intelligence." That would frame "race and intelligence" properly. My guess is that nutrition would turn out to be important, but primarily in regard to prenatal care, that pre-natal and infant richness of environment, particularly the linguistic environment and associated interactions between infant and caregivers, would turn out to be very important, and that once all of these inputs were properly investigated, assessed, and corrected in real life then the "race and intelligence" factors would turn out to be artifacts introduced by these other factors. I do not intend to get involved with approaches that are bound to be counterproductive. P0M 04:52, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
Ok, so this article should start including an examination of all causes equally and fairly? Same point applies to the alleged "practical consequences" though I still think it is more accurate to call them "political implications" which directly indicates what "race and intelligence" researchers and their sources of funding are most interested in, in my interpretation. The current version of this article currently claims it studies all causes so we should present each equivalently. Separately, why use a dichotomy to present this subject or each individual possible cause. X and intelligence is both a way of describing this issue which is actually abstract and is also a way of errantly suggesting that X is the cause, which is definitely ambiguous and likely confusing. We should find a more generic way of presenting this subject abstractly that conveys the fact that the possible data correlations are a many to many or at least a one to many relationship. We really do need to disassociate description from an investigation of causes too. I will think about it some more. zen master T 05:15, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
No. Your first sentence above is a serious twisting of what I have said. Please see the structure clearly. I think it should be clear from what I have said many times that I would never agree to turning an article on, e.g., Kuru and Funerary practices into an article that examined Kuru and Genetics, Kuru and Economic Development, or Kuru and Astrology. You could have an article entitled "Kuru and Everything" and then have sections for each of those, but you'd definitely go over the size limit. P0M 02:00, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
My sentence just above had a question mark at the end so I hoped you would have interpreted it as a question. The point is "X and intelligence" doesn't sufficiently describe or frame this abstract issue, I don't want to present things as a potentially presumptive dichotomy in the form of "sugar and tooth decay" because that unscientifically implies that sugar or X, causes tooth decay or "intelligence". This abstract subject is actually a superset of, and probably should be split between, articles titled to the effect of: Intelligence research controversy and IQ test results controversy, what do you think? We need to disassociate interpretation(s) of data correlation(s) from theorized causes for the abstract concept called "intelligence". What do you think? zen master T 02:49, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
I think that judging by the way your question was formed I have not been able to get my simple ideas across to you, so further discussion is not apt to be productive. When making a study to discover whether smoking causes lung cancer, we try to compare people with that one form of risky behavior and compare it with another group that does not have any of the known risk factors. We don't lump people who smoke cigarettes, smoke pot, live with untreated tuberculosis sufferers, get their calories primarily from alcohol, and avoid vitamin pills and open windows and then try to explain why they get lung cancer.. If we cannot agree on anything that elementary then there is no hope for sorting out our issues. P0M 01:47, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
But here "race" is not the cause of abstract "intelligence", test results differences could be 100% environmental (the tests prove weatlh and nutrition are distributed unequally not that some group is genetically less intelligent). This subject is being improperly framed as a one to one issue, it's not, it's a many to many issue. We should discontinue the use of a misleading one to one dichotomy and present this subject in a way that signifies the fact it involves a many to many correlation matrix. zen master T 02:39, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
I never said race was the cause of intelligence. I never said the test result differences could not be environmentally influenced. Why pick a fight with me on things that I don't even support?
The only way to find out the LD 50 of gooseberries is to eat a bellyfull or more of them. If you try to screen for the effects of gooseberry toxicity in a population of a billion, you'll find lots of newly dead people every day, and some of them will have had some gooseberries to eat, But would it make sense to have an autopsy made on all those dead people? Or would you want to concentrate on the gooseberry eaters who died, and also look at the gooseberry eaters who didn't die?
I am not saying you said "race" causes "intelligence", I am only saying the current version of this article errantly implies that all over the place, and you apparently support it. If someone is investigating the effects of gooseberry toxicity and nothing is concluded, and other researchers may even fundamentally dispute methodologies, it would be needlessly presumptive to state any conclusions in absolute and presumptive terms, right? I hope you agree it would be obviously wrong for proponents of one interpretation of gooseberry toxicity to exclude and mischaracterize critics' views in an encyclopedia article on the subject? And "race and intelligence" research is different because it is a many to many relationship, "race" is just one way of describing the issue. Many proponents of "race and intelligence" research don't seem to be following the scientific method's requirement of iterative testing and double checking, they make one among many possible data correlations and presume the matter is concluded for all time (which works conviently well since they ignore all their fellow scientists that have found problems with their data, methodologies and results). Dismissing or discouraging investigation and iterative testing of incomplete information perpetuates errant belief. That "race and intelligence" researchers use ambiguous language that induces an absolute conclusion is a big red flag for being unscientific, working hypotheses should come from a series of facts, logic, and withstand iterative testing. The vastness of abstract conceptualization has been severely limited and corrupted by the misleading "race and intelligence" dichotomy. zen master T 18:51, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Let's stick to the subject I brought up. If one group said "Gooseberry eating causes kidney failure," and another group said, "Wrong, gooseberry eating does not cause kidney failure," it might be that gooseberry eating causes 5% of all kidney failures. Would you expect people to promptly start taking precautions about eating gooseberries if some group jumped in and said, "The real cause of kidney failures is taking anti-inflamatory agents other than aspirin?" You can't find out whether gooseberries have some toxin in them without testing that hypothesis. You certainly can't find out about whether gooseberries are dangerous by investigating alcohol, diet pills, pain pills, and fluorine in the water. You can't tell whether dirty drinking water causes intestinal diseases unless you do your epidemiological studies correctly. Of course lots of other things can cause intestinal diseases, but that's irrelevant to whether bad water is a problem. I don't have to believe that gooseberries cause kidney failure to advocate studying the relationship between gooseberry eating and kidney disease so that one more crazy idea can be put to death. Why should that idea be anathematized? P0M 05:57, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

I believe you misinterpreted fundamental criticism as anathematization. Critics are all for testing hypotheses but they point out instances where "race and intelligence" researchers apparently are not going about their research using scientific methogologies. In fact, genome project geneticists have criticized and disputed the findings of "race and intelligence" research, which is the equivalent of the national association of kidney doctors stating gooseberries do not cause any kidney failure... zen master T 07:39, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Are you conceding that there should be an article on gooseberries and nephritis? P0M 09:39, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
No, why would I conceded anything tangential from understanding this article and its misleading "race and intelligence" dichotomy? The article on nephritis could mention gooseberry in a subsection (and vice versa), but not a separate article. zen master T 17:45, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
So by analogy there should be an article on intelligence, with sections on race, nutrition, prenatal care, epigenetics, etc., no? P0M 08:26, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it should also include all viewpoints and sources, and note exactly what the disputed points are. zen master T 08:29, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

"Race" ambiguously used for description and as suggested cause

The article ambiguates "race" by using it twice, first to describe a test results correlation and second as a possible cause for that correlation. Nutrition, and other environmental causes including test bias, could 100% explain the "race and intelligence" test result disparity, yet this entire article and subject are exclusively framed in terms of "race"...

Aren't you really saying that nutrition might explain the test result disparity? If that is the real explanation then somebody is missing out on a Nobel Prize or at least a department chairmanship by not proving it, and that somebody is being incredibly irresponsible by not GAIG.
I am saying other possible causes besides "race", of which nutrition is the most obvious, have seemingly been excluded from this article and area of research by needlessly dimissive and ambiguous language. Why does the current version of this article frame the abstract disparity around "race" if there are many possible causes and nothing has been determined with anything approaching scientific consensus because the methods, framing and definitions used by some "researchers" are all fundamentally disputed? zen master T 08:39, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
It's not that they've been excluded, but that the current article has not been correctly contextualized, probably because somebody jumped in an started an article years ago without thinking things through. If you dump all of the factors you are thinking of into the current article, it will no longer be an article on race and intelligence, it will be an article on "everything and intelligence," and then it will be so huge that it will have to be broken out into separate articles as I have started to outline above.
But according to the first sentence of the current version of this article "race and intelligence" researchers study the "nature and origins" of this data results disparity which basically means "everything and intelligence" in the sense of searching for a cause, right? You don't seem to be sufficiently disassociating between "race" as a possible cause and "race" as a way of describing the test results disparity? With "sugar and tooth decay" it's obvious it suggests that sugar causes tooth decay, so do you agree this article should avoid ambiguous presentation methods since, as you claim elsewhere, the use of "race" in the current version of this article is only for descriptive purposes yet cause is errantly implied? zen master T 19:49, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

Exclusion and obfuscation of test bias as the cause

Accusations and possibility of test bias as a cause for the test results disparity aren't directly mentioned at all in the intro, and later on in the article it is downplayed by quoting it as "test bias" for some unknown reason. Test bias is a fundamental criticism against a foundation of this research.

It's been a while since I've read over the article, but I'm pretty sure that I've hashed over this question before. Count me as lazy for not digging through the research to make sure that what other contributors have said is accurate. But sorting the issue of test bias out is almost a matter of forensic science. I don't think any non-expert can just assert that it must exist, and I think that there are going to be some "experts" who claim there is test bias and other "experts" who claim that test biases have been removed. If my doctor told me I had cancer I might ask another doctor for a second opinion, but I think I would want to go with people who have good credentials and not the lady with the pendulum in the health food store. My point is that we are in a position of weighing authorities, and even the knowledge of who is a good authority is hard to come by.
Your response does not address the concern the fundamentally critical point that test bias is a likely cause for the data disparity has been excluded and downplayed in the current version of this article. Many critical sources surrounding test bias have been eliminated from this article. The point proponents of this "research" apparently don't want you to consider is the fact test bias alone could explain the data disparity. zen master T 08:39, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
How do you propose to determine whose experts are the best experts?
I am proposing we include all viewpoints and only state something directly if there is consensus to do so, though we still need to cite who holds each view. To answer your question I think human genome scientists are "best" and they've come out against the findings of "race and intelligence" researchers. 19:21, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

Scientific research and "assumptions" contradict one another

  • Why is this research field "grounded in several controversial assumptions"? And why don't the two listed assumptions have the necessary caveats inside them? Critics dispute "race and intelligence" researcher's categorizations, we definitely should not state the listed assumptions in needlessly directly language.
Any operational definition you make of terms like "race" and "intelligence" is going to be controversial simply because operational definitions are crisp and clean and everyday vocabulary is muddy. Look at the people who call Tiger Woods "black."
As I stated above an "operational" definition is unscientific, especially when they are also fundamentally disputed. zen master T 08:39, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
Why do you put scare quotes around the word operational? Operational definitions cannot be disputed. If I say when I say "air pressure" I mean a reading made on a mercury barometer, that is just the way it is. We don't get into trouble when we are working with clear descriptions of how we measure things like air pressure. We get in trouble when one person means by heat what another person means by temperature or some such confusion caused by different understandings of the same word.
FYI: "operational" definitions in the case of "race and intelligence" are fundamentally disputed. Racial categorization is not analogous to barometric pressure. zen master T 19:23, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
I find that response demeaning as well as incorrect. P0M 19:44, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
You mean you disagree with critics of this subject? Critics are certainly arguing that racial categorization is not analogous to tangible sciences which includes measuring barometic pressure, why are you seemingly advocating the exclusion of this point? zen master T 19:53, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
No, I just do not like comebacks that start with, "For your information..." P0M 20:03, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
That is my entire point on this discussion page, I am informing people critical sources and viewpoints have been errantly and systematically excluded and mischaracterized in the current version of this article. zen master T 20:54, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

"Brain size" is a historic example of scientific racism

  • Brain size is a pretty much debunked and frequently cited historic example of scientific racism and eugenics proponents. Why does "brain size" wikilink to Neuroscience and intelligence, the latter has a much less suggestive title. And that neuroscience and intelligence article actually states "Modern studies using MRI imaging shows a weak to moderate correlation between brain size and IQ", certainly not justficiation for any sort of definitive statement in this article.
What is your point? Are you saying that this article should affirm that brain size "causes" intelligence? Brain size, like race, may be only indirectly related to intelligence. What if malnourished gestating women produce babies with deficient brains and smaller skull sizes? What if the skull grows to be large enough to contain the brain rather than vice-versa? It looks to me like the article is trying to clear away past misconceptions in this area.
  • My point is the use and reference to "brain size", which is a known historic example of scientific racism, is evidence proponents of this "research" are not interested in objective science, they are only interested in advocating a certain political worldview. I am not saying "brain size" shouldn't be studied, just the intro and/or article should directly state how it has historically be used and how this "research" is perhaps tainted because of this fact as critics claim. zen master T 08:39, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
Thank you for responding directly to my question.
You're welcome, I am here on this discussion page to point out what the current version of the article excludes. zen master T 19:25, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

Downplaying and misframing other causes

  • All alternative causes that would fully explain the test results disparity such as: lack of childhood nutrition, test bias, home environment, and economic disparity are described in terms unbecomming a possible cause, words such as "environmental factors" or not as potential alternative "causes". You don't get any more blatently biased than that. Apparently, proponents of this research only want people to consider "race" as the cause, they've tainted all other causes by labeleling them "factors". The article doesn't even directly state the fact nutrition effects IQ, instead the article confuses clarity by saying "nutrition is known to modulate IQ". And the rest of the intro completely contradicts the sentence at the bottom of the intro "The primary focus of the scientific debate is whether group IQ differences also reflect a genetic component". That sentence states as a fact "a genetic component" as the possible cause is not primarily accepted within the "scientific debate" yet the current version of this article presents a completely opposite reality?
  • I don't get it. Is the first sentence above yours or the article's? Anyway, it would be worthwhile to have an article on "intelligence and home environment." "Intelligence and economic disparity" would probably have to be done some other way since low intelligence may cause lack of economic success, and lack of economic success may lead to poor nutrition, poor home environment, etc., etc. -- factors that ought to be teased apart and checked separately
  • The point is this article and area of research present all other causes dismissively within an exclusive framing of the issue around "race". Environmental causes are causes, not "factors". (I updated the above to hopefully be more clear) zen master T 08:39, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

Suggestive word choices

The article uses suggestive, needlessly wikilinked and needlessly literal word choices:

  • Intelligence, just because someone named there test an "intelligence test" doesn't mean it accurately measures intelligence. "Cognitave ability" has the same problem, it is often used in place of or redundantly with "intelligence".
How do you define intelligence? How would you measure it? Just curious. Is intuition a matter of intelligence? I suspect that there are people who have very high intuitive abilities who might do poorly on intelligence tests. In fact I can think of one person whom I value very highly who can spot, analyze, and tear apart the rationalizations of recovering narcotics addicts, but he is not given his due because of his performance on the kinds of tasks that would be modeled in IQ tests. Then there are mental processing tasks in martial arts and sometimes in sports (think of Michael Jordan in "the zone") that are expressly not matters of discursive thought. The whole training is to put the discursive thought processes out of gear. How you could measure that with an IQ test I'll never know.l
I am not trying to define "intelligence", the point is it is unsufficiently defined so there is no justification for an excessively conclusive presentation in the current version of this article. zen master T 08:39, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Concordant and "cordance" within genetics applies to twins, not any sort of group categorization, why is it mentioned in this article? Also, the use of wikilinking of Concordance (genetics) seems to be trying to subtly and errantly imply the non-genetic definition of concordance which means "a harmonious state of things in general and of their properties (as of colors and sounds); congruity of parts with one another and with the whole".
  • Score errantly implies merit and test accuracy which is disputed, "result" is much more NPOV
  • Nature has more than one meaning and can errantly imply conclusiveness instead of possible cause and makes reading "nature ... of racial and ethnic racial and ethnic group differences..." a minefield of presumption. This article is a great example of the corruption of abstract conceptualization.
  • However is a word to avoid.
  • Debated is incomplete, "disputed" is more accurate.

Other disputed points

  • "Similar clustering" is not caveated or cited to who claims that, which would be the "research" itself.
  • Most sentences in wikipedia articles that begin with "Critics..." do not end with "...on both sides".
  • No where does the "critical view" directly mention the fact the entire research field and its methodologies are fundamentally disputed by critics.
  • The following is an obvious mistatement of critics view "...and fear the sociopolitical ramifications", there are no ramifications if nothing is proven, critics actually fear the acceptance of bad science and tainted research.
  • Where is the justification and citation for this statement: "The conclusion that some racial groups have lower intelligence...", it needs to be attributed to an individual researcher or group, as in: "Researcher X concludes that some racial groups have lower intelligence...". But then isn't it redundant for that sentence to continue after saying "conlusion that some racial groups have lower intelligence" sentence" "and the hypothesis that a genetic component is involved..."? It is a hypothesis not a conclusion that "some racial groups" have lower "intelligence", nothing has been concluded, and everything stated in the article needs attribution of who stated it. I think other scientists should study the possible negative effects on future test results after receiving a low "IQ" test result. Perhaps IQ testing has no scientific basis and is just a means of controlling the population through expectation. The authors of the current version of this article are seemingly masters at the psychological effect of language and ambiguation.
  • Why are proponents and advocates of this "race and intelligence" article and research the ones that also have created, edited and characterized the IQ test controversy and race and intelligence controversy articles? It seems they have duplicitously crafted a very one sided presumptive message by eliminating or mischaracterizing the critical view and sources from even the "controversy" articles.
  • Only a small percentage of people have ever taken an "IQ" test, how could they be justification for any sort of group based political decisions?

zen master T 00:11, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

Intro bias comments

I would hope that you start an article on Nutrition and Intelligence. Working through a parallel problem might be very helpful. P0M 02:42, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

As stated above a series of "X and intelligence" articles misses numerous points. This subject should be drastically reformatted around where the disputed and controversial points begin, which is precisely IQ test results controversy. The possible effects of nutrition on "intelligence" should be covered in nutrition and need not utilize a dichotomy for presentation. zen master T 08:39, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

Rewriting the Intro

I think Zen Master has some legitimate concerns over the introduction. It might be useful to see if we can come up with possible changes here since any alterations will be controversial So far as the first bit goes, I think two initial changes might be productive:

Race and intelligence is a controversial area of anthropology and intelligence research studying the nature, origins, and consequences of any possible racial and ethnic group differences in intelligence test scores and other measures of cognitive ability [1] and the biological and/or environmental origins of these differences, as measured by standardised psychometric tests. This research is grounded, and often criticised, in several key assumptions:

  • The social categories of race and ethnicity represent genuine genetic categories such as biogeographic ancestry, which can be meaningfully isolated from other factors
  • intelligence is measurable (see psychometrics) and is dominated by a unitary general cognitive ability as opposed to being situationally and ability specific

I've inserted (a) a comment that highlights possible, rather than certain group differences, (b) note that environmental rather than biological differences may be the cause and (c) I've editted the "social categories" comment to remove the 'concordant' word and commented on social constructs as an alternative which is not endorsed by race and intelligence researchers.

How does this sound as a start? I feel it leans a little bit too far in the other direction but I'm a bit biased on the subject. --Davril2020 13:55, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

The assumptions list itself needs caveatting inline, the preceeding "This research is grounded in several controversial assumptions" sentence is incomplete. Also, did you catch my point about whether this "research" really uses "assumptions" and how "intelligence" and "cognitive ability" should always have caveats as in "as measured by controversial IQ tests" or "as measured by proponents of race and intelligence research"? zen master T 16:20, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
I've removed 'practical' from the consequences section. In addition I've specified the form of measurement used earlier. I've also added moderate in-line criticism. Opinions on the new version? I'm not completely clear on what you want done with the 'assumptions' point so I'll leave that to you. I'm wary of adding too much criticism into the initial section as it really ought to be descriptive rather than analytical. I'd be grateful, if people feel it swings away too much, to post possible revisions. --Davril2020 17:01, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
The changes are good but there are more issues. I think we should mention that IQ testing is itself controversial and disputed. "intelligence" and "cognitave ability" need caveats as in "as measured by X". How about instead of a bullet pointed list of "assumptions" we reformat to sentence form? zen master T 17:14, 25 December 2005 (UTC)


Your last comment is certainly valid. I'm cautious about introducing caveats into the introduction for reasons already stated. Here's a further revision:

Race and intelligence is a controversial area of anthropology and intelligence research studying the nature, origins, and consequences of any possible racial and ethnic group differences in intelligence test scores and other measures of cognitive ability [1] and the biological and/or environmental origins of these differences, as measured by standardised psychometric tests. The research is founded upon several principles. These include the proposition that race represents a meaningful genetic category (such as biogeographic ancestry) that is seperable from other factors, and that intelligence is measurable and dominated by a unitary cognitive ability as opposed to being situationally and ability specific. The validity of race and intelligence research is closely tied to the validity of the (often controversial) method of testing intelligence via IQ tests, and the extent to which race can be extricated from other biological and environmental factors.

How does the new version sound? Particularly the last sentence - I'm not fully happy with it but it is technically neutral. It doesn't state that IQ testing is flawed, it just notes that any flaws in IQ testing will rebound in Race and Intelligence Research It seems a fair position to take, to me at least, and it doesn't seem POV. I've removed the bullets as you can see. The paragraph is a bit long (the first sentence is far, far too long) but that's easily fixed. --Davril2020 22:00, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

That is an improvement. I think "standardised" could be read as an uncited judgement call. I think we should add some mention of the fact the field is "disputed", not just "debated", what do you think? I think the other environmental "factors" should be mentioned as "causes" on equal footing. There is also the fundamental concern that "race and intelligence" is a presumptive dichotomy akin to "sugar and tooth decay", what do you think? What about the other intro paragraphs? zen master T 23:15, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

So little time... far too little for a detailed response. Much more has been examined and firmly established about this topic than Zen Master has ever been willing to acknowledge. Just a smattering of what is known and unknown can be read here and [13]. Check out the Encarta article on Intelligence, part of which I copied here: Talk:Race_and_intelligence/Archive_18#Encarta_on_this_topic. As these sources should make clear, the current discussion is too far removed from the realm of published expert opinions. --Rikurzhen 05:57, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

How do our proposed wording changes in this section disagree with the "expert opinion" sources you cite? We haven't actually proposed any meaning changes (yet), just wording changes for disambiguation and caveatting. So, I am not sure how applicable your criticism of our proposed changes is, please explain? Surely "expert opinion" can't be justification to violate wikipedia's presentation neutrality policies? For example, why are you against adding a caveat to the effect of "as measured by (controversial) IQ tests", which is true regardless what one set of "experts" say? Human genome scientists are also "experts" and they've criticized "race and intelligence" research so I further don't understand your criticism, you seem to advocating the article must present this subject one sidedly because the field's "experts" also frame the issue one-sidedly? As a side note, isn't it coincidental that the abstract concept of "intelligence" is supposedly measured by a test named an "intelligence quotient" test..? Just because someone named their test literally and conclusively doesn't mean it accurately measures that. I suspect many people do errantly and unquestioningly accept literal language at an abstract level, I wonder whether a small group of people have historically used that to their advantage. Fortunately it is increasingly obvious. zen master T 07:21, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Rikurzhen, the proposed introduction as it stands does not make substansive changes to the meaning of the passage. Indeed, it isn't really critical - all it does is note that the extent to which the research area is valid is tied to other areas and that these are sometimes controversial. That's not negative as such, since it doesn't lead the reader to a particular conclusion. I think it would be acceptable to qualify the qualification and suggest that criticisms of R and I research come from outside the field. Yet that in itself presumes we can determine how to define the field (one could argue that sociologists studying power relations and the history of how intelligence has been used and abused should have a say), and it is in itself a little POV since it implicitly suggests that the critics don't know what they are talking about - which is unfair. In addition, it may be a bit absurd since there is inevitably a self-selection process active - after all, if one was critical of R and I research, why would one be involved in it? We could subdivide it into internal and external criticisms but that would be unwieldy for the introduction.--Davril2020 11:08, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

I disagree with the use of the term "any possible" to refer to the differences in test scores. This seems to imply that it is not known for certain whether the gaps exist, when it is indeed known for certain. It is a simple fact that Asians score higher than Whites on the SAT, GRE, IQ tests, reaction time tests, and measures of brain size, and that Whites in turn score higher on these measures than Blacks. As is admitted by even the staunchest advocates of the culture-only view, the gaps exist, and the scientific debate does not revolve around whether the gaps exist, but around what causes them. Dd2 15:54, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

A test results gap exists but as Rikurzhen claims above "race" is only used to describe the disparity, it isn't a cause so I am perplexed by your seeming portrayal that "race" is the cause for the disparity? How can "any possible" not be appropriate given significant critical sources that allege "test bias" and IQ test controversy? The "any possible" is not caveatting the test results difference, I agree that exists, it is caveatting the possibility "race" is presumptively assumed to be the cause. "Brain size" is a historic example of scientific racism which is a fact that has been excluded from this article and is important to note as it may taint this research as critics claim. zen master T 16:35, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
Since the concerns of Zen Master and others revolve around psychometrics being accepted at face value, and race being presumed as a cause, it may be possible to rewrite the opening sentence more fairly. How about:

Race and Intelligence is a controversial area of anthropology and intelligence research studying the nature, origins and consequences of racial and ethnic group differences on standardised intelligence tests. Measurement is generally conducted through a variety of quantitative psychometric tests.

The research is founded upon several principles. These include the proposition that race represents a meaningful genetic category (such as biogeographic ancestry) that is seperable from other factors, and that intelligence is measurable and dominated by a unitary cognitive ability as opposed to being situationally and ability specific. The validity of race and intelligence research is closely tied to the validity of the (often controversial) method of testing intelligence via IQ tests, and the extent to which race can be extricated from other biological and environmental factors.

--Davril2020 16:45, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

That is an improvement. Additionally, since human genome scientists have criticized "race and intelligence" research I think we should make some note or include a more stronger caveat around any mention of genetics. I also had some points in the section above why "practical consequences" is inappropriate. The only "practical consequence" mentioned in the current version of this article revolves around politics if "race" is the cause, which seems to strongly violate undue weight especially since Rikurzhen claims in the section above that "race" is only mentioned for the purpose of describing the disparity. Perhaps "practical consequences" should be moved to another article or I think we should either: include all practical consequences equally, especially more on nutrition, or remove the phrase "practical consequences" from the first sentence. Are "race and intelligence" researchers really studying political consequences while having presumed "race" is the cause? That doesn't seem scientific. The word "consequences" also seems to errantly imply something has already been scientifically determined. Instead of "practical consequences" perhaps something along the lines of "political implications" would be more clear as to what "race and intelligence" researchers are truly advocating while additionally not being errantly conclusive? The word "intelligence" should not wikilink to "IQ" we should simply separately wikilink "IQ" to Intelligence quotient to avoid being potentially presumptive that the abstract concept of "intelligence" is accurately being measured by the tests. There are also clarity and NPOV problems in the other intro paragraphs in my interpretation, the last one directly errantly concludes that "race" is the cause (see section above). zen master T 17:14, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
Davril2020's suggested change goes too far. A great deal of work was done to find precise, simple, but accurate descriptions of what are truly the working hypotheses of this research. I don't have time now to read the massize discussion that's underway, but what parts I've skimmed appear to be greatly confused. Any discussion on this topic will be fruitless without consulting the scholarly literature, which is not happening here. I understand that you (plural) may not have access to the full text of scholarly literature, but most abstracts are freely accessible. We've also made a number of review articles accessible thru the external links section. Please consult these sources. --Rikurzhen 18:12, 26 December 2005 (UTC)
How does it go too far? The "scholarly literature" you refer to is all by proponents of "race and intelligence", this discussion is about writting a neutral introduction that takes into account experts and scholars that disagree with or critcize "race and intelligence" research, plus unambiguous word choices and presentation methods. Please acknowledge and comment on the need to disassociate between "race" as a way of describing this issue and "race" as an errantly implied cause for this issue. You stated above that "race" is only used to describe this issue yet we've pointed out many examples of the current version of this article either errantly directly concluding or indirectly implying that "race" is the cause, and you don't seem to support fixing this ambiguity because you now claim Davril2020's changes go too far? zen master T 18:56, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Rikurzhen, at present little has changed in the introduction except for a rewording. I do have the first-hand literature available, but since there are no critical or supportive comments in the introduction I cannot see exactly what you consider to be lacking. If you could specify specific criticisms it would help. I have specified more clearly the links to psychometric testing, but noting that they are controversial is not in itself critical of psychometrics. If there are any specific studies in question you feel are essential to the introduction then post them and I will read them, if I have not done so already. However, the strength or weakness of any individual argument is not important to me at this point (except for noting the degree of consensus) because the introduction needs to be descriptive rather than analytical. Again, if you cite specific sections you feel must be included, or excluded, then we can of course rework it. --Davril2020 19:42, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Davril, this discussion is rather long and Zen Master's comments are making it impossible to decipher what are serious suggestions and not merely original research. The suggesgted intro paragraph you wrote at some point included language which was inaccurate in that they committed the scholars being described to positions that they do no hold. In particular on the topics of what racial groups are and g theory. Can you point out what your latest suggestion is? --Rikurzhen 05:59, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

I can only assure you all my points are serious. How is pointing out the fact that sources and viewpoints have been excluded from this article "critical research"? Scholars and experts disagree with each other on this issue, shouldn't we include all viewpoints? zen master T 06:09, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Davril2020 lead rewrite

Rikurzhen, I have created three versions of my proposed introduction based on the comments of two people, but I can't tell from your comment whether you have only read the first version, or are requesting changes to the last version. I've reprinted the last version below this piece. I understand your concern over the definition of race and will change that. I'm a little concerned over the relationship between intelligence and g since defining it in a small amount of space will be difficult. I do believe Zen-Master's concerns should be noted, not as negatives, but as relationships. I feel a connection to methods and findings to be acceptable in the introduction so long as they are not presented in a prejudicial fashion. I will try to compose a compact explanation of the relationship between intelligence and g in the eyes of R and I researchers that doesn't involve too many changes.

If you have read the most recent version and your criticisms refer to this as well, and I have not posted a new version before you see this one, let me know. Here's the most recent version:

Race and Intelligence is a controversial area of anthropology and intelligence research studying the nature, origins and consequences of racial and ethnic group differences on standardised intelligence tests. Measurement is generally conducted through a variety of quantitative psychometric tests.
The research is founded upon several principles. These include the proposition that race represents a meaningful genetic category (such as biogeographic ancestry) that is seperable from other factors, and that intelligence is measurable and dominated by a unitary cognitive ability as opposed to being situationally and ability specific. The validity of race and intelligence research is closely tied to the validity of the (often controversial) method of testing intelligence via IQ tests, and the extent to which race can be extricated from other biological and environmental factors.

--Davril2020 20:48, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm afraid that the suggested changes look slightly worse than the existing version in every respect, to me. The word "standardized" (or that terrible misspelling of it :-)) doesn't add anything, but taking out "scores" reads slightly worse. The "measures of cognitive ability" clause looks helpful. "Controversal assumptions" in the existing version is just simply better than "principles". The word "meaningful" is much less descriptive or precise than "concordant". The existing bullet description of Q also looks much better, and the last clause in Davril2020's stuff looks like "vamping until ready" (extricated and all that just means "concordant" with genetic difference clustering). Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 21:35, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

As I said at the beginning, I feel (though not as strongly as Zen Master does) that there are some issues with the introduction as opposed to the rest of the article, which I consider to be very good. If the writing itself is poor that's not a problem as I can rewrite it until it is more acceptable. I've read over your statement, Lulu, and I think most of your comments are acceptable. I avoided the term concordant because it is rather more technical than meaningful, but in a semi-technical piece I suppose concordant will be ok, and given that it is more precise on balance it is probably the better word to use. I'm not quite sure what you mean when you say "vamping until ready" but I was unhappy with the final sentence myself as it has a 'tacked on' feel. As per the bullet points, I'm a bit concerned about a list with only two bullet points as they generally have a poor appearance. Reinserting them might be appropriate if there is a third point which can be inserted. I've revised again:

Race and Intelligence is a controversial area of anthropology and intelligence research studying the nature, origins and consequences of racial and ethnic group differences in intelligence tests scores and other measures of cognitive ability. Measurement is generally conducted through a variety of quantitative psychometric tests.

The research is founded upon several controversial assumptions. These include the proposition that race represents a meaningful genetic category (such as biogeographic ancestry) that is seperable from other factors, and that intelligence is measurable and dominated by a unitary cognitive ability as opposed to being situationally and ability specific. The validity of race and intelligence research is closely tied to the validity of the (often controversial) method of testing intelligence via IQ tests.

--Davril2020 00:41, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Some of this doesn't seem necessary. "Measurement is generally conducted through..." for example, seems to make the same point as the latter part of the preceding sentence. This version of the two assumptions seems to go in the direction of overstating their unreliability, as they're mostly just statements of mainstream opinion in those fields (as evidenced by surveys). --Nectar 03:51, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
race represents a meaningful genetic category (such as biogeographic ancestry) that is seperable from other factors is only about as true as gender represents a meaningful genetic category (such as sex) that is seperable from other factors. what you call represents i would prefer to call covaries or is concordant with, because there are too many examples demonstrating that race and ancestry two are linked only by historical coincidence and social forces, not the constant meaningful interpretation of genetic data.
i don't believe that the contemporary alternative hypothesis to intelligence being dominated by g is intelligence "being situationally and ability specific" (essentially the denial of g), but rather intelligence being dominated by g plus one or more factors not currently measured by IQ tests (e.g. Sternberg's practical intelligence/tacit knowledge). --Rikurzhen 10:42, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
I've rewritten again, comments at the end.

Race and Intelligence is a controversial area of anthropology and intelligence research studying the nature, origins and consequences of racial and ethnic group differences in intelligence tests scores and other constructed measures of cognitive ability.

The research is founded upon several controversial assumptions. These include the proposition that race is concordant with a meaningful genetic category that is seperable from other factors, and that intelligence is measurable and dominated by a unitary cognitive ability as opposed to being one of several abilities, which may or may not be measurable by present psychometric tests. The validity of race and intelligence research is closely tied to the validity of the (often controversial) method of testing intelligence via IQ.

Nectar, I've removed the 'measured by' passage and qualified the preceding sentence with the word 'constructed' instead, which is hopefully more succinct. I disagree that the version contains to much criticism. Really, it contains none; it merely clarifies some of the issues on which the integrity of the research depends. I don't believe saying the validity of R and I research is tied to the validity of psychometrics is itself critical, unless the sentence actually disputes the validity of psychometrics itself. Let me know what you think of the new version.

As to the 'bullet points' again my main issue is that there's only two of them at present. If we could expand it to a meaningful list (i.e. at least three) I wouldn't have a problem rephrasing it but a bullet point list of only two items is awkward.

Rikurzhen, I've fixed the' covaries' issue. I deleted the reference to biogeographic ancestry. Do we need to be specific in terms of what race might be in the introduction? It's certainly an issue most external critics are worried about. Even if the biogeographic reference was ok, in retrospect using a single example seems unacceptable. If multiple possibilities would seem ok I can re-insert it again with several additional examples besides biogeography. That seems appropriate; to continue your example it would be akin to saying gender represents sex, a social construction etc.

As to your last point about IQ, I am aware that the main challenge to g is not situationally/ability specific intelligence theories. However this point was mainly aimed at informing external critics. I've changed it for now. Zen Master, if you feel unhappy with the changes let me know here or on my talk pages.

My main reason for doing this is that, while the article itself is very good, the introduction is still a little biased. Additionally, when the last Featured Article nom failed, it was clear a lot of external critics were unsatisfied by the coverage of the introduction. I believe we can include factual information which acknowledges some of the criticisms of external critics (i.e. the issue of psychometrics, race as a meaningful category etc.) without being prejudicial or contradicting what academics within the subject claim. --Davril2020 20:23, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

The problem I have with the current into remains with your rewrite, namely that they both claim that R&I research is based on a number of assumptions (IQ heritable, race genetically meaningful, etc.). That's simply not true. A position in R&I research (a wrong one from my POV, but nevertheless one that has a large number of publications behind it) is that the IQ gap can be explained entirely by concepts like test bias, environmental influences, etc. This part of R&I research (which we should neither ignore nor label "not really part of R&I research") explicitly is not based on the "controversial assumptions". Quite the opposite, actually. Whenever we compile a list of nontrivial POVs on R&I ("race not ontologically deep", "IQ measures not intelligence", "test bias and negative stereotyping explains it all", etc), only one of these positions, the "hereditary POV", (arguably the one espoused by mainstream science) relies on the "controversial assumptions". Either we make the article more biased towards that latter position, thereby verifying the caveat in the introduction, or we take it upon ourselves to represent all significant positions (even the ones that I personally find ludicrous). Wikipedia's missions seems to be the latter. So the introductory caveat needs to be moved to the place where the hereditary POV is introduced, which is not currently in Introduction but in the next section. As a compromise, the second paragraph of the Introduction could introduce the hereditary POV and then be immediately followed by the "controversial assumptions". I would be for that solution, but one could argue that this gives undue bias to that POV. Arbor 07:14, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
There's a number of good points there. See my comments at the end:

Race and Intelligence is a controversial area of anthropology and intelligence research studying the nature, origins and consequences of racial and ethnic group differences in intelligence tests scores and other constructed measures of cognitive ability.

Opinions on how to define race differ within the subject. One proposition is that race is concordant with a meaningful genetic category that is seperable from other factors. Another is that race-intelligence differences can be explained by differences of rearing patterns, or nutritional standards between groups. Another issue is how intelligence is to be measured. Within the subject, the mainstream opinion is that intelligence tests measure a unitary cognitive ability, as opposed to only one of several major abilities. The validity of race and intelligence research is closely tied to the validity of the (often controversial) method of testing intelligence via IQ.

I've amended the 'assumptions' section significantly in order to pose several alternative viewpoints. Let me know if you think my weighting of each (and the time given to them) seems off to you. What are your opinions on it being continuous prose now? If we were to reintroduce bullet points, but each bullet point dealt with a separate position (i.e. emphasis on genetic, or nutrition, or early development etc.) that may be clearer. I'd argue it's less biased now, but what do you think? Does it go too much in the other direction, or lose too much information? --Davril2020 04:24, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

I still think your version is incomplete but it is an improvement. There doesn't seem to be consensus to rewrite the intro to avoid ambiguity, suggestive word choices, and presumption inducing dichotomies, so the only solution may be to seek a larger consensus of people to analyze this subject and the current version of this article and have each judge the neutrality of it themselves. Do you have any other suggestions Davril? zen master T 05:34, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Intro graph should be removed or relocated.

The graph at the beginning of the article is flawed for several reasons:

  • The graphs shown are perfect mathematical bell curves. Since real data obviously always has some noise in it, no actual study could yield results like that. It reflects the inferences of whoever made it, not empirical reality.
  • The graph is presented as undisputed fact. There is obvious controversey over what it presents.
  • In general it creates an air of certainty that is not at all appropriate.

I suggest removing it entirely. --Pyroclastic 05:16, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree it should be removed entirely especially since it didn't come from real data. zen master T 05:19, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

By definition, IQ scores are normally distributed. Thus, precisely normal curves are drawn. Explanatory graphs of these kinds are found in many review articles, discussing both IQ and racial-ethnic group differences in IQ. For example, Gottfredson (1997) PDF, p 117. The data supporting the average IQ scores shown is extensive, including literally millions of individuals tested (e.g. Roth 2001). The APA report is quite clear that the existence and of specifically the Black-White gap is well established. This chart is no more controversial or improperly precise than, for example, the introductory graphs at Global warming. --Rikurzhen 05:49, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Rikurzhen is exactly right. IQ is normal, by definition. Gaps actually exist. The graph is a good visual to show several elements of these gaps. Obviously, it is hotly disputed what causes this gap to exist, but the general shapes are not in dispute.
Actually, there is one way in which the graphs represent a simplification that may or may not exactly match the data. The tests are iteratively adjusted to produce an exact standard deviation of 15, but this SD within the test taking population as a whole. Within a subgroup, the SD could be more or less than 15, and the smaller the relative size of the subgroup, the more likely SD will differ from its normalized value or 15. But that minor simplification is well worth living with for the illustrative value of the chart. Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 06:02, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
You're confusing things. The IQ graph for all of humanity is of course by definition a perfect bell curve. But it doesn't follow that the chart of IQs of black people/white people/tall people/people with big ears, relative to those for all people, is a bell curve. That is, it is conceivable that the standard deviation for some group might be higher than 15 or display some other characteristic. --Pyroclastic 03:39, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

According to Gottfredson[14] All racial-ethnic groups appear to span the entire IQ range. ... Every racial-ethnic group’s IQ distribution is approximately normal, but has a small excess at the lower tail owing to various genetic anomalies and environmental insults. --Rikurzhen 23:21, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

In fact, I'm 100% certain that setting the latino and asian SD to 15 is an over-estimate, but I've been unable to find better estimates than that. Too many studies with too few participants. Those curves are just less certain than the black and white curves, but as far as I can tell the rank order is certain even if the exact numbers are not. I went with the best numbers I could find when I drew the graph. --Rikurzhen 14:59, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

At the very least the synopsis under the intro graph is incorrect and needs re-wording. The graph is not of "results" of studies it is an "average" data result extrapolated into a bell curve. Does clustering from real data really take the shape of a bell curve? The synopsis under the image needs a separate caveat after "IQ" to the effect of "as measured by the test authors" since the abstract concept of "intelligence" or "intelligence quotient" is not being measured despite how the test authors label their test. zen master T 06:19, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

I think you misunderstand what an IQ test is, Zen-master. An IQ test is required to have a bell curve distribution as a requirement of test design (along with SD=15 and mean=100). If a test did not produce this distribution in test takers, it would be rejected by the designers and adjusted until it did. It's sort of like "grading on a curve" in a college or high-school exam. A "natural quantity" like height may or may not fall into a bell curve (a whole lot of quantities do though), but IQ does so a priori because that's how its made. Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 06:37, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
Ok, but are you sure the graph used came from real data? Should we simply accept how certain test designers designed their test? I suspect the tests are criticized for how they were designed too. I remember reading something about how the re-normalization to 100 is criticized as hiding an increase in test results over the years which would be evidence against any sort of "race" test results disparity. zen master T 07:19, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
The Flynn effect (increasing scores over time) is discussed in the article. Indeed it's true that comparing scores from different decades is difficult because of the renormalization. But that's unrelated to a synchronic difference in group means (which might or might not change over time). Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 07:39, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
If "IQ" results are increasing over time isn't that evidence causes other than "race" explain the test results gap? zen master T 09:18, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
The Flynn effect already stopped in several western countries. IQ and Intelligence aren't the same thing either. --Scandum 12:05, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
Doesn't the current version of this article also need to disassociate between "intelligence" and "IQ"? If even a disputed measure of "intelligence" shows generational or faster improvement I don't see how there can possibly be a "genetic component". zen master T 16:09, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
ZM, if the current version doesn't do enough to distinguish between intelligence, IQ and g (in that order they go from ambigious to specific), then it should be easy to fix that. I previously wrote a section that distinguishes the three: Intelligence_(trait)#Intelligence.2C_IQ.2C_and_g. I've tried on several occasions to think of a way of merging this info into this article, but it seemed to break the flow of the current "cognitive ability" section which is a little more general in its discussion of what "IQ test" means in the context of this article, another important point. --Rikurzhen 15:04, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
Note my edit of a few days ago that tried to clean up the wording beneath the graph, what was your interpretation of that part of the edit? To me the entire concept of "g" is completely tangential and perhaps tainted and tainting as far as understanding the "race and intelligence" presumption inducing dichotomy is concerned. zen master T 15:52, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Double-standard II

Nectar, why are you removing this sourced information. We can move it to another section if you prefer. Ultramarine 10:52, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Rikurzhen suggested moving it to the racism section. I will restore the deleted sourced information unless a good explanation is given. Ultramarine 10:58, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
Racism is currently dealt with in the utility of research section, as an argument against utility (the reason for its inclusion in the article). Researchers having a double-standard wouldn't be related to the question "is the research good?" We don't currently have a section on "are the researchers good?"
The section is called utility of research and racism. However, we can create a separate racism section if you prefer.
Being sourced isn't the only requirement for inclusion in an encyclopedia article. There hasn't been presented any reason for including this in the article, and it doesn't appear to contribute to anything. --Nectar 11:50, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
This is a rather prominent argument by Tucker. As such it should be mentioned either in the current section or another. There is as much reason to include this as for including restriction of the academic freedom of the researchers. Ultramarine 12:44, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
Since when must a scientist state black on white that he/she denounces various political movements in order to do research? --Scandum 11:55, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
Nowhere. But they have a double-standard it they vehemently and often ask that others should condemn attempts to restrict themselves, but at the same time themselves refuse to condemn those who try to restrict the freedom of other people. Ultramarine 12:20, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
Freedom of speech, besides allowing people to say things, allows people to refuse to say things as well. This irrelevant accusation looks like emotional blackmail to me, and might fit better in the topic about the bullying of scientists. --Scandum 16:02, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
This is a prominent argument by Tucker. As such NPOV requires its inclusion. If it should be exlucded, then the constant clamor of the researchers that their academic freedoms is intruded should also be excluded. However, I do agree we can move it another section, preferably the section where this complaint by reserachers are mentioned. Ultramarine 16:06, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
Certainly, just like in some countries you have to swear allegiance to the great leader every morning, in more enlightened nations one must denounce the local hate group that holds a march on Rudolf Hess day at least 4 times a year and on every single random occasion the subject comes up. It would be very POV to exclude Tucker's argument since it proves how ridiculous and demeaning the treatment of these scientists really is. --Scandum 21:52, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

To step back here, Tucker's double-standard criticism is dependent on the researchers not addressing the issue of protection of minority rights vis-a-vis R & I research. This is, though, contradicted by their actual writing. Rushton and Jensen, for example, conclude their recent overview of the field: "Granting equal rights under the law and whether to provide social welfare, for example, are based more on moral and political philosophy than on research findings [...] The major policy implication of the research reviewed here is that adopting an evolutionary-genetic outlook does not undermine our dedication to democratic ideals."[15]--Nectar 22:44, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

You cite one statement. Tucker cites others that may have been made in less public circumstances.

"Rushton has not only contributed to American Renaissance publications and graced their conferences with his presence but also offered praise and support for the "scholarly" work on racial differences of Henry Garrett, who spent the last two decades of his life opposing the extension of the Constitution to blacks on the basis that the "normal" black resembled a European after frontal lobotomy. Informed of Garrett's claim that blacks were not entitled to equality because their "ancestors were ... savages in an African jungle," Rushton dismissed the observation as quoted "selectively from Garrett's writing," finding nothing opprobrious in such sentiments because the leader of the scientific opposition to civil rights had made other statements about black inferiority that were, according to Rushton, "quite objective in tone and backed by standard social science evidence." 12 Quite apart from the questionable logic in defending a blatant call to deprive citizens of their rights by citing Garrett's less offensive writing—as if it were evidence of Ted Bundy's innocence that there were some women he had met and not killed—there was no sense on Rushton's part that all of Garrett's claims, whether or not "objective," were utterly irrelevant to constitutional guarantees, which are not predicated on scientific demonstrations of intellectual equality. Understandably and appropriately outraged at the violation of their own academic freedom, Pioneer grantees have found nothing objectionable in attempts, based on scientific conclusions that they have promulgated, to deprive others of their rights."

Ultramarine 23:01, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Well, Tucker is criticizing the researchers for not defending equality and minority rights. However, these statements are quite common; Tucker only achieves his argument by ignoring their writing . Here's another statement, from Charles Murray: "The premise that is supposed to undergird all of our social policy, the founders’ assertion of an unalienable right to liberty, is not a falsifiable hypothesis [...] talking about group differences obligates all of us to renew our commitment to the ideal of equality that Thomas Jefferson had in mind when he wrote as a self-evident truth that all men are created equal."[16]
These are the statements that constitute the scientific and public debates, made by the researchers whose work constitutes the discussion in this article. The accusation of bias section already criticizes the researchers for opposing affirmative action and school integration etc, which are not confined to one researcher (as are the two examples Tucker gives in the above excerpt). Lulu has also been critical of including conspiracy theories.[17] --Nectar 23:39, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm curious now, could we dig up some dirt on scientists supporting the non genetic explanations? Like how many are black, if they get funded by anti-racist or otherwise tainted organizations, where the funding is coming from, how strong anti-racist politics influence scientists, if the researchers have ever expressed strong politic ideas about race, etc. To stay neutral this article should treat scientists of boths sides equally, and if no such information is available the article should at least state that scientists supporting the non genetic explanation seem to be above scrutiny. --Scandum 22:39, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
How are racist and anti-racist organizations in any way equivalent? To stay neutral what we should do is examine the actual supposed "science" itself. It's interesting you cry the foul of "double standard" yet the current version of this article, especially the intro, is as one sided as it can get as far as being presumption inducing is concerned. That is not something a scientist nor a fair researcher would do. zen master T 23:18, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
I think a racist would be as biased as an anti-racist. Observing the tendency of anti-racists to assault racists whenever they demonstrate I'd go as far as saying anti-racists are more biased because they have a strong social support for their viewpoints. So from a neutral viewpoint it's strange that the neutrality of the less corruptable group is questioned. --Scandum 01:10, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

The accusation of bias section seems pretty good now (I think both sides are expressed well), and I think Lulu had the right idea when he created it in its present form, that we should keep it to brief summaries. I think the criticisms that do occur of a marxist bias or the equating to "neo-lysenkoism" (Bernard Davis covers these pretty comprehensively[18]) may be better served under the moralistic fallacy argument, which occurs widely in various forms in the literature, and which I'll add back in soon, re-written.--Nectar 00:13, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

If a subject is disputed and has an accusations of bias section in the article about it, should the introduction in the article about it definitively conclude things about the subject or use ambiguous language or use presumption inducing dichotomies? zen master T 00:21, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Example of 0% genetic variance argument

Regarding our earlier discussion of culture only vs predominantly environmental, I came across this article by NYU philosopher Ned Block via GNXP,[19] in which he argues against the conception that there is any group genetic variance in IQ:

Herrnstein and Murray are "resolutely agnostic" about whether bad environment or genetic endowment is more responsible for the lower IQs of Blacks. But they indicate no agnosticism at all about whether part of the IQ difference between Blacks and Whites is genetic; and given their way of thinking about the matter, this means that they are not at all agnostic about some Black genetic inferiority" (his emphases).[20]

--Nectar 06:17, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Comparative genetic analysis from Volkmar Weiss

"Race and the two most important IQ genes NQO2 and DCDC2" (Dec 21, 2005). (Added to the article by anon.) This is an unpublished letter by Volkmar Weiss, a member of the International Academy of Science. His Intelligence paper "The Advent of a Molecular Genetics of General Intelligence," (1995) is further down the page.

Excerpt:

At our current state of knowledge, the genes DCDC2 and NQO2 have the highest probability to be correlated with general intelligence (IQ) ... The allele frequency of the A allele rs2274305 of the dyslexia-gene DCDC2 is about 0.28 among Eurasians and 0.99 among Yorubas from Nigeria, about 0.80 among African Americans (known to be admixed with some white genes), see [21] . ...
The allele frequency of the C allele rs2756081 of NQO2 is about 0.25 among Eurasians (0.41 in Tokyo in a sample, which is not in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium) and 0.00 among Yorubas from Nigeria, about 0.02 among African Americans, see [22] and [23]. ...
If we align the genetic code of Homo sapiens and the chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes, in both species NQO2 is coded by 231 amino acids. However, at the position 47 of rs2756081, see [24] , [Eurasians with an above average IQ are coding LF or LL (leucine), rather than FF (phenylalanine), which both Eurasians with a below 100 IQ and Blacks are coding, and which is also coded for by chimps and a number of other mammals].

--Nectar 12:22, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

I feel an edit war coming. Is this information reliable? --Scandum 15:46, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
No, it's not (I posted it here when I removed it from the article, posted by anon); unless any of these claims were simply observations of verifiably known data, they're merely unpublished arguments.--Nectar 22:56, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Stereotype threat

Here's an excerpt from article-link left by an anon.

("On Interpreting Stereotype Threat as Accounting for African American–White Differences on Cognitive Tests," Paul R. Sackett, Chaitra M. Hardison, and Michael J. Cullen, University of Minnesota.)

"Steele and Aronson ... have shown that stereotype threat can affect the performance of some students on some tests, an important finding worthy of careful exploration. What they have not done, and do not purport to do, is to offer stereotype threat as the general explanation for the long-observed pattern of subgroup differences on a broad range of cognitive tests. Our concern, though, is that others (e.g., Frontline) do, in fact, interpret the research as implying that stereotype threat plays a broader explanatory role for subgroup differences."[25]

--Nectar 11:48, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Couldn't we just move the added section to the appropriate subarticle? Anon contributor, if you are reading this: I think your paragraph was well-written, though it did indeed not belong to the (summary style) main article. Why not get a real account and joint the fun here? Arbor 12:07, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
I think it could be rewritten to about half the length, and there seem to be some accuracy issues. Sackett et al. state that in their survey they found 90% of accounts of this topic in both the media and in scientific journals implied something that shouldn't have been implied.--Nectar 12:32, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
I asume these studies were carried out on children, have there been any tests on adults and on how long the affects of stereo type threat last?
I also see other issues to the interpretation of this data. White history is oftenly displayed in a negative manner with a much higher focus of the media on white racism compared to black racism. Combined with a strong association between racism and low intellect, affirmative action which with bio egalitarianism as the norm is a direct accusation of white racims, could as well create a society where the white IQ is depressed due to stereo type threat.
Another issue is that an authority figure was involved in the examples I've seen. It's unlikely for authority figures to make racist statements nowadays. It's gonna be difficult to determine the exact impact of stereo type threat, while remaining a NPOV. --Scandum 15:04, 5 January 2006 (UTC)


On the critical side of this issue are Steve Sailer's,[26] GNXP's,[27] and Charles Murray's responses.[28]--Nectar 23:33, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

"Nazi Eugenics"

From the article:

Eugenics was later adopted by the Nazi party as a justification for the systematic elimination of "parasitic" races such as Jews and Gypsies. (Note that the Ashkenazi Jewish population has significantly higher average IQ scores than other Whites, usually approximated to be one standard deviation from the mean of other Whites.[29])

As far as I know it's common knowledge that the German population wasn't aware of the racial extermination policies and programs. Ich habe est nicht gewust and all that. Hence the above statement doesn't hold any ground. While there's too much bias in most controversial articles to properly address this I figure we try to at least keep things factual in this one.

I suggest someone finds a good source on nazi racial intelligence research and their view on IQ tests. I've looked into it in the past but never found a source. If we follow wikipedia standards, and nobody finds some factual data on nazi research I suggest we remove this part. What might be of interest is that the nazis did kill and steralize retards in their T-4 Euthanasia Program, this was within the same race which makes it unrelevant to this article. The Jewish IQ gap is interesting as well, but I've never read anything proving that the nazis considered the Jews to have a lower intelligence and of what I read their motivations were purely racial and cultural. --Scandum 22:09, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

I think the relevance of the Nazi's programs is based on the ranking of races according to supposed innate characteristics, and the use of eugenics, which is part of the history of race and intelligence (even if intelligence measures weren't directly involved). "Nazi party" is probably meant to refer to the ruling party, not members of the public who belonged to the party. --Nectar 03:22, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
As far as I can see the use of eugenics was only on their own population, calling the extermination of Jews and Romas eugenics would require a credible source since genocide has happend several times throughout human history, motivations are almost always national or cultural. As I already pointed out, the nazi ruling party didn't have to justify anything because the population knew nothing about the extermination policies. From what I've read the contrary is true, the eugenics program showed the ruling party that extermination policies caused unrest among the population which is why they stopped their euthanesia program.
I think the article should either state something about intelligence criteria (if any) of the T-4 program, or a source that shows racial research by the nazis focussing on intelligence and related attributes. If nothing valid can be mentioned about the nazi eugenics program, asuming we are talking about the T-4 program, the US can be refered to instead for steralizing several people for what they labeled as feeble mindedness. Regardless, I request at least one good source. --Scandum 12:17, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Difficult call. There are at least two questions (1) did the Nazi eugenics programme have anything to do with intelligence? German WP under "Eugenics in the 3rd Reich" lists the following reasons for eugenics: "angeborenem Schwachsinn, Schizophrenie, zirkulärem (manisch-depressiven) Irresein, erblicher Fallsucht, erblichem Veitstanz (Huntingtonsche Chorea), erblicher Blindheit, erblicher Taubheit, schwerer erblicher körperlicher Missbildung, [...] schwerem Alkoholismus." Only the first (Schwachsinn = idiocy) has anything to do with intelligence. This may be the "feeble mindedness" of the US progamme. (2) Did the eugenics programme lead to the Holocaust? The German WP article on eugenics addresses the question and says "maybe" the following disclaimer: Das exakte Verhältnis zwischen Eugenik und NS-"Euthanasie“ ist allerdings wissenschaftlich umstritten, which translates to somthing lke: "The exact relationship between eugenics and the Nazi euthanasia is scientifically disputed.
What I get from this is that there are several non sequiturs in the argument "R&I research -> Eugenics -> Nazi euthanasia -> Holocaust". I think (but I'm not sure) that the current formulation (quoted at the start of this section) is difficult to defend.Arbor 13:22, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
I've come up with the following text:
The T-4 Euthanasia Program was the official name of the Nazi Germany eugenics program, said to be inspired by the American eugenics movement. Roughly 200.000 mentally and physically disabled Germans were killed, and about 400.000 sterilized. Other groups such as the Jews and Gypsies were labled as "parasitic" or "undersirable" and subjected to segregration policies and extermination programs.
Firstly, the association of eugenics with nazism, who in turn said they were inspired by the Americans during the Neurgenberg trials placed the USA in an uncomfortable position, enhancing taboo subjects. Secondly there isn't much ground for the original statements without any sources to back that up as mentioned above. So I suggest some sources are cited before getting into an edit conflict. --Scandum 23:12, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
It seems to have been edit-warred slightly recently, but I feel that Scandum's rewrite above is much more encyclopedic and factual than the version that had been in place for a while. While I think in some general sense the ideological background of Nazi eugenics and their racialist exterminationist policies are connected, it does not seem to have been a direct equation of: "Murder of 'inferior races' is good because of their genetically lower intelligence". The prior version insinuates a more direct connection between those ideological elements of Nazism than seems supportable (and certainly than has been given citational support). Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 05:27, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
  • A few thoughts, as I understand them:
  1. Eugenics certainly was part of the Nazi rhetoric and motivation for their treatment of "undesireable racial types". But nobody has ever claimed it was the only motivation; there were of course many motivations behind the Nazi government's treatment of the Jews. But to say that eugenics was not considered one of them is plain wrong. There are dozens of books on this topic; my favorite two are Robert Proctor, Racial hygiene : medicine under the Nazis (Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1988) and the lavishly illustrated collection of essays edited by Dieter Kuntz, Deadly medicine: creating the master race (Washington, D.C. : United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2004). When people say that the "exact relationship" is disputed it is usually along the lines of whether or not eugenics played one of the major motivations or whether eugenics was a motivation or a justification. But there is wording possible which removes having to commit to one model of causality here.
    1. The connections between the Holocause and the other eugenics programs are also well documented; the gas techniques used in the death camps were not only first developed in the T-4 euthanasia program, but were administered by the same technicians.
    2. Arbor's list of characteristics are for the sterilization law specifically; the T-4 program was much more flexible. But to my knowledge the Nazis did not use IQ tests on a regular basis in any of these sorts of determinations.
    3. The Nazi eugenics programs are most relevant historically because of their later impact on eugenics discourse -- the Nazis were not unique in most of their eugenics programs, but eugenics became unavoidably associated with Nazism and genocidal concerns. The best way to deal with it in my opinion is the way it is dealt with in the eugenics article: Nazis had explicitly eugenic policies (sterilization, "euthanasia"), they also integrated eugenic concerns into their racial rhetoric. After the war, it was seen that the Holocaust was connected with Nazi attitudes towards race, and this was connected up with the eugenics as well. Now Nazism and eugenics are often seen as linked, though many writers have questioned whether this necessarily must be so. etc.
    4. Nazi eugenics can't be mentioned though without mentioning that they were not in a bubble and they were not the first. It is very much true that the Nazis were inspired in many ways by results from the U.S. (esp. regarding sterilization).
  • I hope this is helpful. I'm happy to provide references for anything I've written. --Fastfission 00:25, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
What would be interesting for this article is the racial research of the Nazis, specifically their findings. It's possible they used American (which might explain the lack of clear sources) or other research as well. It's also unclear how the Nazis thought the gene pool would improve by exterminating the Jews. Do the books you mention have any information on that?
Regardless of intelligence the racial politics are important for this article due to it's influence on anti-racist sentiments following the war. The eugenics program resulted in anti-eugenic sentiments, and eugenicists have always been particularly interested in intelligence.
What might fit is the emphasis of the Nazis on the so called Aryan features Jews and Gypsies lacked. While this could be labeled eugenic I think it's misleading to call it that. Labeling it racist/racialist would be more fitting? --Scandum 01:42, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
Some very useful links and information upthread; thanks a lot. I think my main quibble is the relationship to the Holocaust. I have a feeling the chain of implications from Race and intelligence research to Extermination of Jews and Gypsies is too long to merit inclusion on the this article, especially the summary version. (I am all for mentioning both the US and Nazi eugenics programmes.) But I know of no instance where Nazis claimed that Jews were exterminated for lower intelligence, which would be the single good reason to include the Holocaust here. (Please prove me wrong and I will shut up!) Instead, what we now have is simply make a chain of insinuations and implications towards a Reductio ad Hitlerum. To make an analogy, we don't mention the extermination camps of egalitarianism (Gulag) when we discuss Steven J Gould or other culture-only POVs either (easy enough: Gould -> communism -> Stalinism -> Gulag. Even easier if you start with Lysenko). Arbor 17:01, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Wrong Murray Herrnstein Figures

The article cites the Asian and Ashkenazim IQs as 106 and 113. However, this is on a scale where USA = 100 and White Americans = 103. We should note this, because many assume the White IQ to be 100.

Asian and Ashkenazim IQ strengths

The article states:

"These highly succesful minorities differ significantly in IQ subtest profiles. Ashkenazi Jews, for example, demonstrate very high verbal IQ's (120's) but average visuospatial IQ's (100-105), whereas East Asians demonstrate average verbal IQ's (90's-100's) but high visuospatial IQ's (105-115)."

Where did you get the verbal and visuospatial IQ's from? This needs a citation. (The Jewish figures might come form a book by the notorious anti-Semite Kevin MacDonald, but his figures--117-118 overall, 127 verbal IQ--are not widely accepted.

These figures were added to the article by an anon. Anybody know offhand a good source for the subtest profiles?--Nectar 08:05, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Why is "Hispanic" there

That "Hispanic" would better be described as Amerindian/Mestizos - as Hispanic is more a linguistic and cultural category --Someone 1/18 ,06'

For a similar reason to that discussed at Talk:Race#Why_is_.22Hispanic.22_there.3F. "Hispanic" and "Latino" are the terms used in the studies being described, so that's what's used here. This is because such studies use self-identified race/ethnicity, and few people describe themselves as "Amerindian/Mestizos". Personally, I too would prefer if the researchers classified people by their biogeographic ancestry (i.e., Amerindian) instead of the fuzzier racial/ethinic labels. --Rikurzhen 20:34, 18 January 2006 (UTC)