Talk:Race and intelligence/Archive 61

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Archive 60 | Archive 61 | Archive 62

Background section merger

The retooled background section from User:Moonriddengirl/Race and intelligence/backgound (I am hosting the information but am not involved in constructing the article) has been placed into the article. I am informed that consensus has been reached on this content at User talk:Moonriddengirl/Race and intelligence/backgound. (Hey, there's a typo in that title. Not mine! :D) If this understanding is mistaken, please let me or another administrator know so that this material can be removed and the last edit prior to the protection restored. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 02:31, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

It's at Talk:Race and intelligence/background now. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 22:17, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

Attack on racism

This article is really being used as a way to attack racism rather than to present a NPOV article on the subject. --Jagz (talk) 05:09, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Possible source?

I just ran across a recent article on this subject[1] and thought it might make a good secondary source for an article like this. However, it looks like a lack of sources is not the primary problem for this article. So -- there's the link, and if it's useful, then that's great, and even if it's not, then I hope your disputes get resolved before long. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:40, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Please correct Florence Nightingale image caption

The caption to the image of Florence Nightingale comparing her to the Irish "Bruiser" contains a statment saying she was a civil war nurse. This is factually inaccurate, as she was a Crimean War Nurse. - Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:54, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Why was this page merged with (test data) and (research)

I could not find any any discussion on this and due to the size of this article a merger seems like a highly illogical choice. (talk) 16:46, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

The merge resulted from an AfD, and the article has been since then pared down to a more manageable size. On the contrary, this was quite logical.--Ramdrake (talk) 18:02, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

I found the discussion.

"Delete. While there has been a lot of work done on these articles, the task, if one were to want to do a proper overhaul, is herculean. Better to start over if need be." (Ramdrake's initial comment)

Some of the pages did contain good information, specifically (test data). Anyway censorship rules! Turgonml 15:31, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Request for rewrite

Request that someone rewrite this article as a NPOV article on a user subpage and then invite others to review the article via this Talk page. If consensus is reached, it can be used to replace the current article. --Jagz (talk) 18:23, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

That's what Kevin Murray and I were doing and you didn't want to help. We've done that for the first section of the article, and it has been replaced. [There is a new section up and awaiting revisions, but I was waiting to see the outcome of this other conversation about renaming and topic organization before proceeding to edit it. futurebird (talk) 18:36, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I think it would be more successful if one capable person did a complete overhaul of the article and then afterwards others were invited to edit it further. --Jagz (talk) 18:41, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
That smells of WP:OWN and it just goes against the spirit of wikipedia. Brusegadi (talk) 01:39, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
Has there ever been a bridge designed by a committee? I wouldn't want to drive over it. --Jagz (talk) 04:18, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
No one is forcing you to be here. If you dont like the way wiki works, you can always log out... I have seen many editors invite you to say what you think, but you seem not to do it, and still complain. Mr. Murray and Futurebird are working together. I consider them to have different views on the subject, and yet, they have managed to work together. If they present material together, I am inclined to think it is good because of the subtle opposition between them. Also, consensus will not always result in everyone being happy, specially if there are some that care deeply or are radical about a topic (I have seen great editors lose their cool in topics they care too much about, my advice is your advice, perhaps you should sit this one out.) Brusegadi (talk) 04:36, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
Splash!!! --Jagz (talk) 04:46, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
Actually, so far, it seems to work just fine.--Ramdrake (talk) 19:00, 21 November 2007 (U5TC)
It works fine if you're going to keep it a POV article. --Jagz (talk) 20:11, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Let me rephrase: can you give a couple of examples of POV problems in this article so that we may know what the problem seems to be?--Ramdrake (talk) 20:15, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Suggestion: Change the article name to "Race and intelligence controversies" since the topic is so controversial. --Jagz (talk) 21:47, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

It's actually only a small group of researchers on this subject who are truly controversial. As far as the rest is concerned, changing the title would actually open the door to all sort of POV-pushing of these fringe ideas. Besides, I don't see how that would make it less POV, as opposed to more POV.--Ramdrake (talk) 21:52, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Neutral point of view (NPOV) does not mean no point of view. It means presenting different POVs in a neutral fashion. --Jagz (talk) 22:43, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Examples of what you find are problems would still be needed, if you want us to try to find solutions. You can't just shake a stick at the article and say "NPOV".--Ramdrake (talk) 23:00, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Here are a couple of POVs I can think of. One is that there is or is likely a difference between the intelligence of races. The other is that there is not a difference or that it has not been proven. --Jagz (talk) 23:14, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
These two POVs are represented in the article, so I still don't see what you're driving at.--Ramdrake (talk) 23:29, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I see that both POVs are kind of interwoven in the article in a point counterpoint fashion. I would just have an introduction section and then a section discussing one POV, and another section discussing the other POV. I think that would be more effective for the average Wikipedia reader. Throw away all the information that is not crucial to shorten it. --Jagz (talk) 00:16, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure that I agree, but this is interesting, if indeed there are just two major camps on the issue. Maybe this is too simplistic. --Kevin Murray (talk) 01:26, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
It's certainly not a question of two pov's. There is a massive amount of disagreement about whether IQ or any test results actually measures "intelligence". As for the issue of "race", that's a whole different kettle of fish in itself. The fundamental fallacies of "race and intelligence" are that (a) IQ/test results do not necessarily measure "intelligence" and (b) from a biological point of view discrete "races" do not exist, only gradual changes between populations. Alun (talk) 09:29, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Alun, there are more than just two points of view. futurebird (talk) 13:01, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

  • In essence we have a continuum along a sliding scale on two axis where at one pole is the belief that there are no races and no material discernable variances on the intelligence parameter within human populations, to the other extreme which believes in distinct racial divisions, with demonstrable variances among these races. Certainly there are many permutations and alternate theories, but this seems to be the general scope of the disputes. --Kevin Murray (talk) 13:20, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
  • A tale of two words: race and intelligence. I see that we are a bit hung up on semantics. Strictly defined there appear to be no races, but we have loosely definable sub groups of humans. Intelligence is loosely defined and not specifically measurable by a universally recognized tool; however we have tests which measure a potential surrogate called IQ. --Kevin Murray (talk) 13:27, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
    • If you wish to get philosophical, Kevin, yes there is something observable called race, but whether that is anything more than a social construct is a matter of hot debate. Also, while IQ is highly observable too, there are debates as to whether these measurements are a good proxy for overall intelligence, whether there are facets of intelligence which partially or totally escape measurement, and whether IQ tests are really as unbiased as some researchers think. On top of this "race and intelligence" is about (if one agrees race is a biologically meaningful construct and one also agrees IQ measurement measure something close to a reasonable proxy for overall intelligence) there is a relationship between these two contructs. So, yes, I would definitely say that the number of possible positions in this debate is close to infinite. Fortunately for our sanity, the number of notable positions in this debate is somewhat more manageable. :) --Ramdrake (talk) 13:45, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
    • It's not just one scale, Kevin it's multiple scales because there is significant disagreement about how various environmental factors influence intelligence. In fact, for many, this is at the center of the deabte not the genetic question which is unlikely, speculative and even if it did exist probably minor in comparison to the environmental factors. This is all related to the culture wars-- in the US there's debate about the impact that things like hip hop culture have on intelligence-- are some culture intellectually poor? or do they express intelligence in different ways... or are differences the function of a third factor such as poverty? This is where the real debate is because we KNOW that environment shapes intelligence, the whole genetics thing is a fringe side-show that, from time to time, rocks the headlines, but it's not really a focus for serious study-- not in-terms if race intelligence, although the genetics of intelligence is a serous area of focus. futurebird (talk) 14:03, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
      • It's really not our job to figure it all out because we are not supposed to do original reserach. Here are a couple of POVs I can think of. One is that there is or is likely a difference between the intelligence of races. The other is that there is not a difference or that it has not been proven. How many more can you think of? --Jagz (talk) 14:23, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
        • Others:
  1. Race isn't biologically meaningful, therefore "race and intelligence" as a field is meaningless
  2. Intelligence isn't properly measured by IQ, therefore IQ differences are meaningless
  3. IQ tests are biased thus observed differences don't really mean something tangible
  4. Observed differences are due to socio-economic factors (education, poverty)
  5. Observed differences are biological, but not inherited (e.g.: infantile nutrition-driven)
That's in under 5 minutes, off the top of my head. There are numerous others.--Ramdrake (talk) 14:33, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Okay, so that falls into a category that a difference cannot be proven. --Jagz (talk) 15:11, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I think that my point is being missed. I seem to have solicited a rehash of the dispute. I am saying that the dispute is related more to the semantics than the concepts. I don't dispute anything that RD and FB are saying as the weak points in evaluation, but we are talking about measurement failures. The title of the article seems (a) flawed and (b) incendiary. Regardless human populations have variations within groups and among groups, whether or not we can define the groups or accurately measure the variances or determine the causes. --Kevin Murray (talk) 15:22, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
    • I had suggested changing the title to "Race and intelligence controversies" since it is all controversial. --Jagz (talk) 15:41, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
      • Again, the biggest part of the subject of race and intelligence isn't really the controversy such as the likes of Rushton, Lynn, and co. raise. And I'd like to point out respectfully that your earlier comment (a.k.a. "a difference cannot be proven") is a bit of an oversimplification.--Ramdrake (talk) 20:24, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
        • No, you're incorrect, it is controversial. It is more that people are reluctant to speak publicly about these topics, not that they are noncontroversial. Also, you have to look beyond your borders. --Jagz (talk) 00:00, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Let me be more precise: there is a controvesy in the media and in the public too (to a certain extent), but there is actually little controversy in academia, as these theories are rather widely regarded as fringe (within academia).--Ramdrake (talk) 00:06, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Okay, so like you admit, the whole thing is controversial. So there is no need writing an article and pretending like it's not. It sounds like you're still going to be on this Talk page 5 years from now attempting to defend your position. If you want to cherry-pick what goes in the article then I would be in favor of deleting the article. --Jagz (talk) 03:35, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Actually Ramdrake didn't say the whole thing is controversial, he said that the controversy is not in academia, it's in the media's misrepresentation of the debate. There is a general consensus among academics that (a) races are social constructs and (b) that observed differences in test scores between different social groups are a product of the different social, cultural or physical environments of those groups. The discussion amongst most academics therefore mainly revolves around which environments are most important in producing these observed differences and how to counter them. There is a real controversy about what "intelligence" is, and whether it is at all possible to measure it, that controversy belongs in the "Intelligence" article, surely? There also exists a small group (and they are such a small group that we all know their names) that claim that 80% of the ability to pass tests is inherited and that these tests really do measure intelligence, this group also claims that the differences in tests scores between social groups are due to the inheritance of intelligence. This is the point of view that the media have highlighted, but the media are not interested in neutrality. The media are interested in a good story, and the media always portray a debate as if both sides of the argument have equal weight. In short the media are not an encyclopaedia, and do not have rules regarding neutrality. So the media conspired to misrepresent the debate and created the controversy, it sells newspapers after all, and that's what they want. If you want to have an article about the controversy, then it would have to be something like "Media generated controversy over race and intelligence", you cannot claim that there is any great schism in the academic world, what we have in the academic world is a very small group of racist scientists opposed to the consensus academic opinion. Alun (talk) 07:27, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

This is precisely why I suggested a refactoring of articles. The controversy over race and intelligence is not only almost entirely popular and in the news media, it occupies a small percentage of the popular attention; moreover, Rushton and others are such marginal non-notable figures, that their views and controveries over their views can best be handled by articles dedicated to whatever books by them have the largest circulation. We should really be focusing on debates among scholars, which I have suggested - just one idea, I am sure there are other good ways to handle this - one article on research into IQ and genetics, and ne article on IQ and socio-economic status. Such articles dispense with vague words like race and intelligence and focus on what scientists are actually looking at. I don't see any other way to move Wikipedia away from fringe POV warrioring to education articles on actual scientific research. Slrubenstein | Talk 14:32, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

It looks like this article is going to continue to suck indefinitely. --Jagz (talk) 14:55, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Are you under the impression that any article that does not represent your personal opinion must "suck"? Alun (talk) 17:54, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
The article sucks regardless of my personal opinion. You should come up with a master plan for making it suck less. --Jagz (talk) 18:25, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Alun, just ignore him. Jagz is the quintessential POV-pusher, because he can only express his own views by making believe they are some objective reality. "the article sucks" in his view - but in the same sentence he explains that it is not his view. This is just like his saying that everyone agrees with him but are too afraid to speak (if they are silent, how does he know what they think? It is all in his own fantasy world). Slrubenstein | Talk 18:33, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
No, I'm serious, the article is objectively a piece of crap. --Jagz (talk) 19:32, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Try to stay constructive, Jagz. The article will probably stay unrigorous as long as editors insist their POV is the only legitimate one (see Alun above). We all sometimes fall into the trap of only reading one side of a debate and believing everything we read.
It is, however, getting more difficult to maintain that insistence when mainstream sources give the debate more attention (see recent examples in Cato's "the IQ Conundrum", Saletan's "Liberal Creationism" in Slate, and NPR's "Race and Intelligence: Is There a Link?".--Mthson (talk) 04:36, 28 November 2007 (UTC)


This section ridiculously tries to explain the social status and IQ correlation by making a completely unfounded assertion that the social status causes the IQ, rather than vise versa. This section is very biased. Peoplesunionpro (talk) 03:09, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

No. Intelligence experiences regression towards the mean. So, very bright parents will have not as relatively bright children. On the other hand, wealth is like herpes, it does not go away. There are several countries in Latin America and Africa where wealth can be traced down to the colonizers. Brusegadi (talk) 07:02, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you're making an unfounded assumption that the 'mean' for these different compared population groups is the same. (for example that whites in the USA have the same mean IQ to regress to as blacks in the USA) Peoplesunionpro (talk) 03:39, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Thats irrelevant. The point was made to attack the persistence of the inequality. If IQ explained wealth and IQ was related to race, then within racial groups we would expect income mobility, but we do not observe that. The point is that in most countries the poor remain poor and the rich remain rich regardless of their race. Since intelligence is regressing towards the mean, we would expect wealth (within racial groups) to regress towards the mean, but it does not. So IQ alone cannot explain income levels and, more important, parent's income level seems to be a good predictor of offspring income level, thus, if IQ is correlated with wealth, it may be that parents' wealth is driving both, offspring wealth and IQ. Notice that, here, I do not attack racial differences, I attack the argument that IQ drives wealth. Brusegadi (talk) 04:35, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you're assuming that there are no wealthy members of 'underachieving' groups of a population... which is totally wrong. Just like in the USA, with regards to blacks and hispanics (as the "caste" section is trying to relate to), obviously there are a lot of wealthy black and hispanic families. The wealth is distributed on a .... bell curve! Peoplesunionpro (talk) 21:43, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
No, just that there are fewer "wealthy members of 'underachieving' groups of a population". Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 22:01, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
It has been a pleasure to correct you, but it begins to be repetitive :) Lets start from 0. The hypothesis is that IQ drives wealth. Empirically, we determine that IQ regresses towards the mean and wealth does not. Now, suppose that you have N populations (call them "races") Each population has its own 'mean' intelligence towards which they regress to. They also have their wealth distribution, some rich, some poor, etc. So, we have a bivariate normal distribution, if you will. We observe that the richest in each population remain rich. The poorest in each population remain poor. So, the rich black guy stays rich, the rich white guy stays rich, and so on. That is, class status persists over generations. You see how this does not make sense? If IQ were driving wealth in each population then we would expect wealth to regress towards the mean as well, much like IQ, but it does not, wealth persists. So, it is not good to conclude, simply, that IQ drives wealth. Get it? Of course that this is over simplistic, but the hypothesis was... Brusegadi (talk) 22:18, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
The social position of a very tiny percentage of the population (the rich) isn't really applicable, for many reasons but one being investment/interest (rich get richer, regardless of how smart they are). But it also ignores many various aspects, such as the possibility that amongst rich populations, the smarter members will be more likely to be paired up with the other smarter members, and have more children. But anyway, what is applicable are the lower and middle classes, and there are a lot of dynamics of income/wealth over time within these social groups. The table seems like garbage anyway - since when did the French speakers of Belgium have the higher social status and higher test scores, and the Flemish lower? It's the opposite. Maybe the French had the social status (but not the test scores) 500 years ago, when France was so dominant and had a huge economic/political influence on Belgium. But not today. It may sound simple and obvious to you for this section to make such assumptions about social status creating test score gaps, but it's operating under guessed and completely speculative assumptions and wishful thinking. Peoplesunionpro (talk) 12:48, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
I dont think we understand each other. "The smarter members will potentially pair up with other smarter member" (which does not matter because of the regress towards the mean...) Well, lets stop this because its not really helping the article. Our logic seems to be different, or we have axiomatic differences, or both. Brusegadi (talk) 07:01, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Article sucks

Just about everyone agrees that this article sucks except for the handful of editors. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:53, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

I am guessing that by everyone you mean the anons and the accounts with very low edit counts outside race topics? Brusegadi (talk) 07:05, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
There are 6 billion people on this planet and only five of them support this article sir so by my kalkulashun that means 5,999,999,995 people think this article sucks. Learn to think intelujent-like, like me! Slrubenstein | Talk 12:37, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Why don't you channel your efforts into improving the article rather than figuring out ways to contradict people who criticize the article? --Jagz (talk) 17:38, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Why don't 'you help with the revisions? JJJamal (talk) 23:09, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
I've made some suggestions but they have been rejected. I don't get a feeling of cooperation or compromise on this article. --Jagz (talk) 14:38, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Month of R&I articles at Cato

The Cato Institute's topic this month at their online magazine is R&I, featuring discussion by Flynn, Gottfredson, Stephen J. Ceci, and Eric Turkheimer. Interesting to see them in a more candid forum. Something that might be useful for this article is a tidy table Gottfredson presents summarzing the environmental position from the hereditarian point of view (source).--Mthson (talk) 21:26, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

In the news

"Research is exploring how DNA explains racial differences, but it could give discredited prejudices a new potency." In DNA Era, New Worries About Prejudice, The New York Times, by Amy Harmon, November 11, 2007

Also, here is a link to an article from 2005 that was removed from this Talk page: Race differences in average IQ are largely genetic --Jagz (talk) 14:25, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Biased or unbiased

I have read many articles on this topic. IQ tests are debatable and hotly so. There is no non-biased way of phrasing this article. The authors, have tried to put forth a grand effort. There is to much for one article, perhaps it should be broken down into several. The Idea that IQ tests something that is evironmnetally influenced, which is effected by wealth, social status, and culture, is apparent in the differences from the vary beginning of IQ tests. I would just except the difficulites with racism and the fact that there is no perfect way to be PC over this controversial topic.

IQ diffencies exist, not because of racial inferiority but skills taught by parents. Should be the main thesis of this article. Why does this article not include the orginal debate between the founders of IQ testing? 17:56, 27 November 2007 (UTC)LawGirl129.244.185.183 (talk)

Can I borrow your rose-colored glasses? It would be great if it were just that simple and nice of a solution. What you mention is a point of view that should be covered in the article but certainly not be the main theme of the article. A book could be written on the topic of race and intelligence but we are trying to condense everything to the size of a Wikipedia article. --Jagz (talk) 18:36, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
"IQ diffencies exist, not because of racial inferiority but skills taught by parents." - could you provide proof, so we could add it to the article? That would be cool. I'm sure neo-nazis would like to hear that white people aren't actually intellectually behind East Asians, but rather their parents just focus teaching their kids how to do well on IQ tests! In the meantime, wikipedia isn't ment to promote "feel good" ideas. Sorry if the truth hurts, but the truth is what wikipedia is ment to present. Peoplesunionpro (talk) 21:45, 28 November 2007 (UTC)