Talk:Race and intelligence/Archive 67

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Archive 66 | Archive 67 | Archive 68

Link to previous poll to delete article

I still support the deletion of the article. [3] --Jagz (talk) 20:46, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

What would you have instead?--Ramdrake (talk) 22:47, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Though despicable as it is, it is notable. All we have to do is make it absolutely neutral, meaning every comment utilizes reliable and verifiable sources. The KKK or Nazi-party rantings, even on paper, aren't either. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 01:07, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
"I still suport the deletion of the article?" Funny, none of your comments in the past weeks have suggested this at all. Obviously this is just another one of Jagz's trollish bait-and-switch tactics where he refuses to engage any other editorand if anypne responds to one of his comments, he changes the subject. That is what trolls do, they only wish to disrupt discussion. Above I made a concrete proposal for working our way out of this POV mess and Jagz could say only that he rejected my solution, but couldn't explain why. Then he wrote, " There are too many discoveries being made in genetics now to discard it. It's not like it was in the 1930s" and, assuming good faith i.e that he knows something I do not, I asked him to tell us even one discovery in genetics since the 1930s that bears on a relationship between race and intelligence. No reply. I asked three times, no reply ... maybe he really is just a BS artist. In any event, after my asking him three times for the evidence to support his claim, for him to explain what he means, he ... just changes the subject, creates yet another section of talk, wasting more space on the page. Just typical disruptive editing that is clearly all this troll has to offer. Slrubenstein | Talk 02:19, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
Since Jagz doesnt believe that the article should exist, then I believe that he will have no opposition to those who have ideas of how to make an encylopedic article. Please procede with your ideas. TheRedPenOfDoom (talk) 02:30, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
This isn't worth the trouble. You don't need me to have a consensus. --Jagz (talk) 04:06, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
In the end, sadly, no. I'm glad you realize that. However, if you have legitimate concerns, backed with reliable sources, we'll listen.--Ramdrake (talk) 11:22, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
I only support deleting the article. --Jagz (talk) 11:58, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
Then put in your AfD and let the other editors work on the article. TheRedPenOfDoom (talk) 13:27, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
Amen.--Ramdrake (talk) 13:31, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
If you can build a consensus to AfD, I will support. --Jagz (talk) 15:32, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

No, he is just being a lying troll, again. He doesn't favor deleting the article - above he wrote,

  • The article has a template disputing the factual accuracy of the article. It says, "Please see the relevant discussion on the talk page." I can't locate the discussion regarding the article's factual accuracy. What exactly is being disputed? --Jagz (talk) 14:21, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
  • the article states, "The contemporary debate on race and intelligence is about what causes racial and ethnic differences in IQ test scores." If you wish to present another POV, you can add it provided you cite your sources. --Jagz (talk) 19:40, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm planning to take the POV tag off the article in a few days because there has been no discussion. --Jagz (talk) 20:06, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

... and numerous times has expressed his commitment to this article. The truth is, he does not believe in anything, he simply says whatever will be most disruptive at the time, even if it leads him to claim he said things he never said or doesn't believe things he has said he believes. Slrubenstein | Talk 13:32, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

The POV tag stays. I even believe the "limited" tags should stay, since the POV in those sections are limited to racists and unscientific theories. So, I guess I'm in agreement with Jagz on that small point. But I agree with Slr, Jagz is a moving target. He just pops off with stuff that makes no sense, including AfDing this article. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 21:56, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Evolutionary history of IQ

Here is a link to this section in the October 2007 version of the article.[4] --Jagz (talk) 23:17, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Is it more spam, or do you actually have a point?--Ramdrake (talk) 23:57, 1 April 2008 (UTC)


I have not been here in a while, but when I was here I tried to enforce WP:TPG to the extreme. I have edited other articles were the topic at hand is frequented by "dogma", and much time was wasted in the talk until we started heavily enforcing WP:TPG, anything that is not remotely related to improvements gets reverted. Do you guys want to do that here, or do you think we are too divided to not be able to enforce it peacefully (that is, not being able to avoid an edit war on the talk page...?) Brusegadi (talk) 02:39, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Someone really should do a study of this page. It grows at a remarkable rate, with minimal impact on the article itself. Obviously some of the discussion is just disruptive tangential wastes of time, but one very very regretable effect is that the material written just weeks ago has to be archived because the page has grown too long. This is a shame because very relevant, valuable, construtcive content gets archived too quickly. So, a vicious sycle - constructive talk gets archived before it has paid off, while unconstructive talk floods the page, and the article remains stalled in its awful state. This is perhaps the most simple, objective, and practical reason why we need mediation. Brusegadi, are you volunteering to mediate? Would others accept you? If not, can we find another mediator? My point is that we may need a mediator not to resolve any specific conflict between two users but to inforce a discipline on this page whereine we systematically identify definable problems and discuss them in a disciplined way, so that we solve each problem before moving on to the next. And no tangents. Slrubenstein | Talk 09:46, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
SLR, if you tell me of anything worth saving that rolls off the page (or has rolled off the page already), I'll volunteer to retrieve it from the archives so we don't lose it until we're done with it. Conversely, if there are sections that the consensus agrees we can archive ahead of time to make the page less confusing (and less huge), I can take care of those.--Ramdrake (talk) 12:08, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Nothing off-hand. Of what is currently on the page, I think my proposal and at least one of my extended explanations for why I think it needes to be parsed. Some stuff by Nick especially where he explains why he thinks things are more nuanced or complicated than what I suggest, and stuff relating to his plan. Discussion betwen Alun and Legalleft whee they both claim to be working towards a resolution or realization that they are not that far apart. But my point is you can go through all the archives from the past year and you will find many important, substantive arguments that have been archived, including many points that keep getting repeated. The repition is both a cause and effect - the repetition leads to lots of archiving, but because an important point is archived it ends up getting repeated. My point: people are making poinst now that were made a year ago, yet in the past year the article has not changed in any fundamental way. Why not? Why is there so much talk and so little action? Slrubenstein | Talk 13:19, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
I am not the appropriate person to mediate because I have been involved in this page in the past, and I prefer the mediator to be unrelated. Yet, if we can all agree to have a higher WP:TPG standard I think thats a step. Anyone makes a remotely trollish remark and it gets moved to their talk page... We can also agree to a 1RR instead of 3RR on the talk page and the article page... If we are disciplined we can make it. Brusegadi (talk) 22:19, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
I hate long-winded talk-pages. I have only so much time in a day, and it gets tiresome. I wish there was a rule--list three bullet points in a sentence of say 25 words. Reply to those bullet points. Then shut up. I can't stand to come to this page, which is made up of one editor ranting about this or another thing, Slr trying to be patient, the one editor then throwing in rude and uncivil comments, Slr reply as best he can, then we end up with--Slr's point being the consensus one. I save time by reading Slr's comments, Ramdrakes amusing frustrations with the POV-editors, and maybe stuff here and there. OK, I'm off my soapbox. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 00:21, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

There is another discussion of this same topic occurring here in section "My view": [5] --Jagz (talk) 16:58, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Forming consensus

CCC Flowchart 5b.jpg

I've used the processes at this article among several to form a modified version of the Consensus Flow Chart. The example below is under discussion at the Consensus talk page. I bring the example here to find out if I am correct in assessing the evolution of how consensus is acheived at WP. Comments? Is this prescriptive or is this documenting practice? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kevin Murray (talkcontribs)

I have started a thread at WP:Concensus talk if others want to give their feedback there. Is there anything in this flowchart that might help this group better gain concensus on this article? TheRedPenOfDoom (talk) 17:40, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
So we have to put out a flowchart? Because one editor has a POV, and all of the others don't? Wow. I luv being edumicated on dis stuf. We're wasting energy on a racist POV!!!!! OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 00:25, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
See my reply in the Racialist POV section. --Jagz (talk) 00:55, 4 April 2008 (UTC) I moved that section to Jagz talk page because it was too offtopic, for all those interested, we have to tighten up TPG. Brusegadi (talk) 06:56, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
My reply was moved to my Talk page by Brusegadi and and then Ramdrake and can be found here:[6] --Jagz (talk) 12:35, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Notwithstanding some aggressive boldness, Jagz has broken through a long period of denial and over correctness in this topic. This topic is generally unpleasant and has potetial to do more harm than good. It is hard to see the upside, but on the other hand if we whitewash the issues then we are editorializing rather than informing. I'm really sorry to see the word racist being slung about here as it only tends to inflame. Labeling someone a racist is counterproductive; please attack the logic or the facts, but not the person or the motivation. This applies to editors as well as sources. Reporting the truth about racial variances is not racist; however, manipulating that data to a false conclusion is racist. Just some rambling thoughts to someone who has become more of an observer here than a participant. --Kevin Murray (talk) 15:43, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Race and IQ (article name)

Suggestion: change article name to "Race and IQ" since that is mostly what the article is about. Maybe "Race, ethnicity, and IQ". --Jagz (talk) 18:16, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

HEY! That would be a great way to get rid of the 'caste-like minorities' section as being off-topic!!! But seriously, that suggestion was part of the overall overhaul that was suggested above about a week or two ago. I seem to recall opposition from you about that, or is my memory going bad? TheRedPenOfDoom (talk) 18:20, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
If the article is about race and IQ it would be rather short, with the possible inclusion of examinators looking threateningly at black pupils whilst taking their test, other anecdotal evidence of that order, and of course the so called authorities pushing back and forth arguments about why their selection of studies is the least biased. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Zero g (talkcontribs)

It's a shame we can't discuss this change -- it's a good idea. No, it would not mean that there would be lots of material to remove from the article. Anything associated with IQ, such as metrics of achievement, discussed in terms of group differences, would also be appropriate. --Legalleft (talk) 22:20, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

The National IQ map

What happened to the IQ map anyways? I liked how clearly it shows what the fuzz is about. --Zero g (talk) 19:03, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
There are so many problems with the methodology use to arrive at the map that it is thoroughly discredited as far as mainstream science is concerned: non-comparable tests, non-comparable samples, interpolation made when data is not available, etc. Furthermore, this representation is according to one researcher, so there is the problem of undue weight attached to it.--Ramdrake (talk) 19:21, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
The actual differences in IQ scores isn't what's controversial, that's a fact given the scores are quite consistent. The map quite clearly shows what it's all about and in my opinion essential for that purpose. --Zero g (talk) 19:51, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
The controversy about this map is precisely the way the "national scores" were arrived at, and sampling ans scoring consistencies are the foremost reasons why this particular map is thoroughly debunked.--Ramdrake (talk) 19:54, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
(1) I'm not sure you two are even talking about the same map. There were two maps -- 1 from RDiI and the other from IQGI. (2) There's lots of controversial stuff. If it's notable and encyclopedia, etc., it should be included. Those are the criteria, not being good science (yes, clearly it's sloppy work, but even critics mostly agree that it's in the right ballpark +/- something). --Legalleft (talk) 22:20, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Actually, the problems I mentioned were raised as criticisms for both maps. BTW, we also need ensure that we don't give undue weight to minority arguments, so despite a certain amount of notability, I'm not sure it deserves inclusion in this article.--Ramdrake (talk) 23:51, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

[outdent] The data point that sells me on the importance of the maps to the topic is this: (2007 ISRI conference [7]): Symposium (8:00-11:40): International Differences in Intelligence Chairs: Rindermann and Lynn (52) 8:00-8:20 Kanazawa (32) Correlates of national IQ. 8:20-8:40 Lynn, Harvey, and Nyborg (36) Intelligence and religion. 8:40-9:00 Meisenberg (40) From the cradle to the grave: Effects of intelligence on fertility and mortality. 9:00-9:20 te Nijenhuis, van Rijk, and Kämper (58) Blindness, deprivation, and IQ: A meta-analysis. 9:20-9:40 Nyborg (45) Religion, IQ, sex hormones, and delinquency: Application of the general trait covariance model. 9:40-10:00 Break 10:00-10:20 Rindermann (51) Philosophies of life as religious, cultural, and political beliefs and their relationship to intelligence. 10:20-10:40 Rushton, Bons, Vernon, and Čvorović (53) Genetic and environmental contributions to group differences on the Raven’s Progressive Matrices estimated from twins reared together and apart. 10:40-11:00 Steppan (56) The influence of Protestant achievement ethic on test results in a g-based medical school aptitude test (EMS) in Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. 11:00-11:20 Vinogradov and Kolvereid (67) Cultural background, home country national intelligence and self-emplyment rates among immigrants in Norway. 11:20-11:40 Flynn Discussant That's a lot of discussion. Moreover, it extends beyond Lynn. Sternberg, for example, has done a lot of work in Africa to find evidence for practical intelligence. Also, the "international test scores" (e.g. PISA) that usually rank the US below other western countries are themselves examples of this kind of analysis. --Legalleft (talk) 00:58, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Fellow editors, this discussion [8] on the talk page for the 'Democracy' article resulted in this set of maps [9] being part of that article. A similar approach might work for this article. Of course the maps must be reliable and the methodology used to arrive at them should be discussed. I am invariant under co-ordinate transformations (talk) 04:11, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Now this seems like an excellent solution. We should print the IQ world map according to Mr Ghould (corrected for environment), and the IQ world map according to Mr Lynn. --Zero g (talk) 18:42, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm not aware that Stephen Jay Gould ever published "IQ maps". The very idea that IQ varies nationally by country is fringe.--Ramdrake (talk) 19:14, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Simply showing a single color world map would get the point across that some mainstream researchers argue that all human races and populations have the same exact intelligence. Possibly whites could be given a lower score, since frankly, waging war, imperialism, scientific racism, and slavery are quite stupid as Gould has pointed out.
The believe that administrating the same IQ test to different areas yields different results isn't fringe. National IQ tests are quite popular and are frequently published in the mainstream media, in Europe at least. There are also incidences of IQ results by state being published in the USA.
The map is mainly useful however to put the article in a more worldly context, rather than European Americans vs African Americans. --Zero g (talk) 19:28, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Not sure if I should cry or laugh. I think I'll laugh, though: better for one's morale.--Ramdrake (talk) 19:42, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
I have a low IQ, because I come from Eastern Jewish stock (whatever the hell that is), so I don't get it. I guess I'm a dunce. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 00:26, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
That does not contradict the table in the Caste-like minorities section. --Jagz (talk) 00:53, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Come now. An individual's IQ is a product of their genes, environment, and chance. Being a member of a group does little to "explain" an individual's IQ. --Legalleft (talk) 01:01, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
I've tried removing the "caste" table from the article several times and it keeps getting put back in. I've also discussed removing it from the article several times and have gotten nowhere. I recently tried taking the Belgium listing out a few times but it keeps getting put back in. One problem with the table is that it doesn't make it clear that being a member of a group is not an indication of the IQ of an individual in that group. --Jagz (talk) 01:32, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

<RI>Legalleft, I just guess sarcasm is not one of the characteristics you developed from either genes, environment or chance. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 08:14, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

IQ - irony quotient is genetic as proven by the world irony map. The known disparity between the irony scores of the US and UK is due to selective pressure during the 18th century when groups of puritans didn't get a whole series of jokes and ended up setting up colony dedicated to taking things literally :) . See World Irony Map Nick Connolly (talk) 08:29, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

What is Intelligence

I've just started this article on Flynn's most recent book What is Intelligence, for anybody whose interested.Nick Connolly (talk) 06:38, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Caste table section name

I changed the name of the section that the "caste" table is in from "Caste" to "Caste-like minorities" several weeks ago. I think a better name for the section is "Social status". Using the word "minorities" seems like POV. --Jagz (talk) 02:07, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

I've tried changing the section name to "Social status" but it keeps getting changed back to "Caste-like minorities". When looking at the book recently, I don't recall anything that said all those groups in the table are minorities. --Jagz (talk) 16:35, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
They are "caste-like" and they are indeed all minorities, but for the possible exception of Flemish people in Belgium. In any case, the title as it stands isn't wrong and is far more descriptive than "social status". Also, please explain why the word "minorities" is POV. Sounds like a factual description to me.--Ramdrake (talk) 17:08, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Ethnic groups: Fleming 58%, Walloon 31%, mixed or other 11%
Languages: Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less than 1%, legally bilingual (Dutch and French) --Jagz (talk) 19:29, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

I believe I said "the possible exception of Flemish people in Belgium". However, in the context of this part of Europe, the Flemish-speaking people are still a minority compared to the French-speaking people, as they are litterally next door to about 60 million French-speakers.--Ramdrake (talk) 19:44, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
But the table says Belgium, not Belgium and France. --Jagz (talk) 20:06, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
You are being specious. Please stop it.--Ramdrake (talk) 21:18, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
Then the people in the province of Quebec in Canada whose first language is French are a minority within that province because Quebec borders the rest of Canada, which uses English primarily as a first language. --Jagz (talk) 14:40, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
Funny you should say that, because the double status of majority/minority is exactly how most observers qualify the situation in Quebec: French speakers are a majority (80%) within the province, but a minority both within the country (23%) and within North America (2%). Nobody sees a contradiction in this.--Ramdrake (talk) 19:59, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
They are now a minority/minority. ;) --Jagz (talk) 01:46, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Skin color

I tried removing this reference about skin color but Ramdrake put it back in [11]. I don't think it is necessary to discuss using biotechnology to change one's skin color in this article. --Jagz (talk) 13:41, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

As this article is on "Race and Intelligence" and races are often defined according primarily to skin color, on the contrary I think such an example (which takes up half a sentence) is remarkably to the point.--Ramdrake (talk) 13:50, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
People should be satisfied with their skin color so it is not something we need to address. --Jagz (talk) 13:59, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
WP:DNFTT Slrubenstein | Talk 14:05, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Slrubenstein, I take this as meaning that you think this should be kept in the article? --Jagz (talk) 14:12, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Jagz, you may want to read this.--Ramdrake (talk) 14:30, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm discussing your edit to the article, not you. --Jagz (talk) 14:55, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Agree that this should be kept.Ultramarine (talk) 21:41, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Skin color genetics is certainly interesting, and it goes without saying that the alleles which strongly affect skin color are all but certainly not going to strongly affect IQ, but I wonder if it's supported by references that this is relevant. --Legalleft (talk) 23:27, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

I think what this is getting at is that supposedly, parents will be able to change the race of their children by altering traits such as skin color. I don't feel it is important to have this in the article but others disagree. --Jagz (talk) 13:43, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Importance tag on biotechnology section

I'd like Jagz to discuss the addition of this tag to the article, as I personnally think it is specious. Failure to discuss will result in its removal.--Ramdrake (talk) 20:16, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

You should allow more time for the discussion to wind down before removing the tag. The removal was premature. --Jagz (talk) 22:39, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
It can always go back up if the consensus changes, but so far, it seemed fairly certain from the partial result that this was a case of WP:SNOW.--Ramdrake (talk) 23:21, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I think the paragraph as written may be appropriate for those who believe that biotechnology will be able to change someone's race. --Jagz (talk) 23:31, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Legalleft's comments above on the Biotechnology section: "Is this important overall? Perhaps a better focus to this section is attempts at remediation. That sort of fits with the under-developed 5.Interpretations section below."
I agree with having the paragraph as shown below; this removes the off-topic information. However, maybe the whole thing should be deleted as unimportant since alleles influencing intelligence have not been found yet. --Jagz (talk) 20:44, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

"Gregory Stock argues that modern biotechnology will in the future allow parents to select desired genes in their children. He states 'current debates about whether some of the differences among ethnic and racial groups are cultural or biological will soon become irrelevant, given the coming [malleability of biological traits]'.[37] He writes that germinal choice technology may one day be able to select or change directly alleles found to influence intelligence or racially identifying traits (such as skin color; see gene SLC24A5), making them susceptible to biotechnological intervention."

As the text states, such options would have a profound impact on the whole concept of race and inheritance of intelligence and other traits. Obviously very important.Ultramarine (talk) 21:46, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Do you believe that someone will be able to change their race through biotechnology? Is this something significant to the "race as a social construct" advocates? --Jagz (talk) 22:33, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

"alleles influencing intelligence have not been found yet." -- actually, FWIW, a few associations have been reported, such as CHRM2 --Legalleft (talk) 21:42, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

I think the whole controversy boils down to whether alleles that are found to affect intelligence are more prevalent on different continents. That's why I can't understand those who have rejected the genetic view. We don't know yet. --Jagz (talk) 22:33, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Jagz, you never cease to amaze me:
  • alleles influencing intelligence have not been found yet
  • I think the whole controversy boils down to whether alleles that are found to affect intelligence are more prevalent on different continents. That's why I can't understand those who have rejected the genetic view. We don't know yet.
You do realize, I hope, that you just supported one argument and its exact opposite in two (nearly) subsequent posts? Obviously, you're just arguing for the sake of arguing. Please stop that, as it is disruptiuve.--Ramdrake (talk) 23:31, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't refuse to admit when I'm wrong. I try not to tenaciously cling to unfounded beliefs. --Jagz (talk) 23:37, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Here what Wikipedia says: [12], also in the Intelligence article "Despite the high heritability of IQ, few genes have been found to have a substantial effect on IQ, suggesting that IQ is the product of interaction between multiple genes." --Jagz (talk) 00:05, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
For real? TheRedPenOfDoom (talk) 23:45, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
And Jagz, thank you for proving once more that you truly do not understand what you read.--Ramdrake (talk) 00:14, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
You're just trying to draw attention away from the fact that you are ultimately in error. --Jagz (talk) 00:20, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
WP:DNFTT Slrubenstein | Talk 10:50, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Slrubenstein, I haven't seen you contribute anything to the article in six months. If you can't garner support for your content forking ideas, then maybe it is either time to start contributing or find something else to do. I noticed even back in 2002 you were trying to inspire others with your utopian philosophy but it has not worked in six years. --Jagz (talk) 12:23, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Jagz, if your only contributions are attacks like this, may I respectfully suggest you take a break from this page?--Ramdrake (talk) 12:45, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
I haven't seen you make any contributions to the article either. Only reversions and criticism. --Jagz (talk) 13:26, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

More specifically, population-wide individual differences in IQ are doubtless the product of a variation in many genes. More trivially, there are also many genes who's normal function is required to normal levels of intelligence (i.e. the causes of organic mental retardation). Jensen pretty clearly lays out the syllogism for inferring these and other facts to the plausibility of a genetic contribution to race differences in IQ in his 1998 book. Describing that published argument, rather than talk page debate about the truth of the argument, should be the focus. --Legalleft (talk) 00:15, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

There's a couple of problems with this reasoning:
  • population-wide individual differences in IQ are doubtless the product of a variation in many genes that is, if they are found to exist. So far, there seems good evidence for individual genetically-driven differences in intelligence. There is currently no direct evidence for such genetically-driven differences at the population level. That is in fact one of the main criticisms leveled at Jensen.--Ramdrake (talk) 00:40, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
By population-wide, I do not mean between population but rather "if you count everyone of all races in the national or world population". The point of saying population-wide is to emphasize that while mutants of large deleterious effect are known, they don't account for much of the overall population-wide variation, and so there must be lots of other unknown variants that cause IQ differences in the normal range. --Legalleft (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 00:54, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
It might have been equally suitable to say that the variation in IQ between family members is usually due to differences in many unknown genes, not just a few. It makes the same point, which was rather pedantic anyway. --Legalleft (talk) 00:57, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
My only point is, there is no evidence for a differential distribution of intelligence-modulating genes (whatever these may be) between the different populations of the world, and actually there is good reason to believe (based on the adaptive and survival values of high intelligence in humans) that positive selective pressure for those genes may have existed pretty much everywhere on the planet, judging by how successfully humans have adapted to every environment on Earth. And this isn't an argument of my making: if I remember correctly, it was advanced by at least both Gould and Cernovsky, and possibly other critics of the hereditarian position.--Ramdrake (talk) 12:45, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Having no evidence is not cause for rejecting a hypothesis. You are assuming that those leaving Africa thousands of years ago had an average IQ like the rest of the continent and that the harsh winters and ice ages did not have an effect on the average IQ. --Jagz (talk) 13:59, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
WHich is why early civilisations all started in cold climes like erm, Mesopotamia (oops), erm, Egypt (oops), erm, why Eskimos built pyramids and Mayans didn't (oops). Which is why European civilisation started first in erm Finland (!?) rather than Greece (oops) or Rome (double-oops). Sorry but actual evidence all points to the more g-loaded stuff that humans have done in the past (as opposed to basic adaptation) starting in warm places eg reading, and literacy, mathematics, philosophy, cities, civil society, AGRICULTURE! and dispersing north and south. Kanazawa has nice tale to tell but it really doesn't match what we actually know about humans cognitive history. Nick Connolly (talk) 20:00, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Right. I'm aware of lots of offline discussion about there being lots of counter examples which suggest that ancient human populations were not differentiated by cognitive ability to the extent they are today. Do you know of any publications that spell this out? OTOH, Jared Diamond makes a good case for a Eurasian technological superiority starting with agriculture. --Legalleft (talk) 20:56, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Nick, thank you for listing some of the evidence against Rushton's hypothesis (that I was cryptically referring to).--Ramdrake (talk) 20:03, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Nick, you mentioned things that have happened since the most recent glacial period ended about ten thousand years ago. You left out tens of thousands of years. --Jagz (talk) 20:48, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Because the majority of the notable g-stuff (as opposed to simply surviving) happend then. Prior to that tool use, rock art and other evidence of human intelligence is pretty much the same. Homo-sapiens in France painted funky pictures on the wall and Homo-sapiens in Northern Australia painted funky pictures on the wall. Humans used fire and tools and passed on information about their natural enviroment. There is no evidence that any groups of homo-sapiens did that any better than any other regardless of climate pre-agriculture. The difference comes when people started settling down, farming, building cities - all relatively recent events and all that occurred first in sunny climes. Evidence matters. It doesn't matter how cute the theory is, if doesn't match the facts then it doesn't cut the mustard. Nick Connolly (talk) 21:01, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
You have made a case in favor of the genetic hypothesis. --Jagz (talk) 21:25, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Hardly, for the bulk of homo-sapiens existance we have no evidence of any kind of cognitive differentiation AT ALL between geographic groups. Our ancestors all toddled along, gathering, hunting and probably singing and telling tales all much of a muchness. Different groups doing cognitively different things occurs relatively recentally. The idea that somehow Northern European advances in technology etc that occurred in the past few hundred years are actually due to major cogniticve differences that occurred thousands upon thousands of years ago and yet went unexpressed in any observable way is by any measure an extraordinary claim. Claims like that need huge, massive, enormous chunks of evidence. What Lynn and Kanazawa have is vague handwaving.Nick Connolly (talk) 01:41, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
No, you have made a case in favor of the genetic hypothesis for events in the past 10 thousand years. --Jagz (talk) 11:53, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Please familiarize yourself with Occam's Razor. There is no reason to assume any of these suppositions (as there is zero supporting evidence for them, and some evidence against them), except to bolster an explanation for a phenomenon (the B-W achievement gap) that can easily be explained using other hypotheses, the latter being supported by actual evidence.--Ramdrake (talk) 15:08, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
??? --Jagz (talk) 16:14, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
I think he indeed assumes that, as well as that the living conditions in Africa caused Africans to develop a more powerful physique making them the superior race on this planet, a theory often advanced by black supremacists who never read the bell curve.
It should go without saying that biotechnology would change little about the historical noteworthiness of racial (socio-environmental/genetic) differences, their evolutionary/historic cause, and social impact. --Zero g (talk) 14:48, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Please don't assume anything about my motives, lest I start assuming about yours.--Ramdrake (talk) 15:08, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

All -- Rushton's hypothesis that group differences emerged more than 10k years ago is pretty clearly wrong in the details, but that doesn't mean it's not notable. (I side with the Harpending et al. hypothesis that acceleration of human evolution within the last 10k years is the most likely culprit, but that too lacks almost any direct supporting evidence and faces problems such as Mesopotamia.) It should be described and published criticisms should be reported. Because it's notable, that's all that we care about. As to biotechnology, I still don't see that it's notable. There are no existing genetic interventions to affect IQ or skin color or almost anything else. I also don't see evidence in the literature that speculation about this is an important part of the debate. --Legalleft (talk) 20:56, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

All - Rushton's views on human evolution are not notable. he has no graduate or post-graduate training in human evolution; he has never done any original research on human evolution, he has never published in any notable journal in the field of human evolution, hes work is not cited in studies of human evolution. Slrubenstein | Talk 21:24, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
SLR -- I think that's the wrong level of analysis. Is his theory notable to *this* topic? Would a discussion of this topic without mentioning it be considered incomplete? I think if published criticisms exist, then it's especially useful to have it all included. --Legalleft (talk) 21:31, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
With all due respect, by that reasoning, we'd have to let Intelligent Design theories into the article on Evolution, as they too are notable to the topic, and have a number of followers. I'd agree with SLR that we need to separate mainstream science from fringe (not to say pseudo-) science. The theory should be included in an article about the popular debate regarding the subject, but it has no place in a scientific article on this subject. It's just bad, ebunked and disproved science.--Ramdrake (talk) 21:37, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. One is a falsifiable hypothesis, and Nick has shown how various pieces of evidence might falsify it. The other isn't even science. Not to say this analogy is perfect.... discussion of Laramarkian evolution could be useful for understanding evolution, if only because the data brought to bear against it serves a didactic end. --Legalleft (talk) 21:42, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
To rephrase my original point -- how many sentences does Rushton's ice age hypothesis warrant in a discussion of this topic? I'd say more than zero, but it shouldn't take more than a small paragraph to cover it. --Legalleft (talk) 21:51, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
The ID example is appropriate. Notability has to be in relation to people with some expertise in the field. otherwise the concepts of undue weight and fringe theories would have no meaning at Wikipedia. The point is not that Nick or I might personally have evidence that falisfies a hypothesis, or that you or I agree or disagree that something is science. The whole edifice of NPOV is to move away from what I or Leglaleft think. Rushton makes claims about human evolution. The question is not what Nick or Legalleft or I think about these claims, the question is what do experts on human evolution think. And they think ... nothing. In fact, when Rushton's book was mass-mailed to members of the American Anthropological Association free of charge by the publisher, the members of the association (and in the US, anthropology, specifically physical anthropology, is the academic discipline with expertise in human evolution) actually sanctioned the board for mis-use of the mailing-list. Experts on human evolution take Rushton as seriously as they do Gabineau or Chamberlin. I think there is another issue here: what constitutes science. Just because I have a PhD. in geology does not mean that my claims about psychology are "scientific." Just because someone has a PhD. in astronomy does not mean that thei claims about biology are "scientific." And just because someone has a PhD. in psychology does not mean that one's claims about human evolution are "scientific." "Science" is not some monolithic institution filled with white-lab-coat-wearing, thick-lensed-glasses-wearing "scientists" who make pronouncements which are magically thus "science." Science if divided into different fields which use different methods to examine different data. It was specialized in the 19th century and became only more specialized over the 20th century. Believe it or not, not everything a scientist says is "scientific." Scientists have opinions based on personal feelings, rather than rigorous research that meets professional standards, just like everyone else does. Rushton has his pet opnions about human evolution. They are as scientific as my own interpretation of quantum mechanics (confession: I do not have a degree in physics and have never done research in quantum mechanics. get the point?) Slrubenstein | Talk 08:49, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Unfortunately, if we ever hope to make progress on the article, you're going to have to start to be more compromising. --Jagz (talk) 11:48, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

SLR, if there had been no published reactions to Rushton, then I would agree he can be said to not be notable. However, Nick and I both seem to have read or heard the same objection to Rushton at some point. This is not in itself evidence of anything other than that we've probably read the same source(s). Above I ask Nick if he can remember where that was published. Off the top of my head, I can recall the following sources which cite and discussion Rushton: Jensen (1998), Templer & Arikawa (2006), Smedley and Smedley (2005), Roth et al (2001), Lieberman (2001), Rowe (2002), and Hunt and Carlson (2007).

Likewise, if this were the articles on human evolution, evolution, anthropology, genetics, etc., then your analysis would be correct. However, with respect to the topic of race/IQ/intelligence, Rushton clearly has a footprint on the debate. Excluding mention of him is a disservice to the reader and cannot be justified by his lack of penetration in fields outside of psychology. --Legalleft (talk) 18:09, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Apparent within-article/ between-sections "discrepancy"

First of all: I am just now tuning-in to this debate, so please excuse any contextual ignorance (to the whatever extent seems appropriate given the, er, context ;) that I am most likely about to exhibit.

I've now read through perhaps about half of the article itself, and while I see a number of relatively minor points that seem edit-worthy, there has so far been one particular issue that seems worth bringing up for discussion here. As far as I can tell at this point, there seems to be a rather glaring contradiction between what the following two sub-scetions of the article seem to be saying:

First, in the "Test results" section there is

Claim #1: Across a battery of tests, the size of the Black-White gap is correlated with the extent to which the tests measure the psychometric factor g, which also accounts for most of the variation in interindividual differences in IQ test performance.[1] Using a variety of statistical techniques, Dolan and colleagues have found that the Black-White IQ gap can be accounted for by differences in g and the other interindividual ability factors measured by IQ tests, and also that IQ tests measure roughly the same mix of abilities in both Black and white populations.[2][3][4]

Then, a bit further along in the "Nature and nurture" section there is

Claim #2: However, all commentators agree that these methods cannot and are not intended to distinguish genetic and environmental contributions to the development of individual people, and do not measure the direct effect of genes and environment on a trait or phenotype (for example the direct effect of environment or genes on intelligence cannot be measured).[5] Instead, they determine the extent to which difference between individuals, for example individual difference in IQ scores, can be used to estimate the relative genetic and environmental factors to the total phenotypic variance in a population. Thus, a heritability of 100% does not mean that environmental factors are unimportant for development, but rather that any physical or behavioral difference between individuals are not caused by difference in environment; [ie.,] the within group environment is [assumed to be] totally uniform. [emphasis mine]

Claim #1 appears to be trivially restating the result that scores on IQ tests "differ" between "White" and "Black" populations. But the problem I'm having with it is that it also seems to be claiming that that between-group difference can be "accounted for" in "the same way" that within-group differences are accounted for, ie. as primarily due to "heritable factors" -- which then appears to be entirely contradicted by the conclusions stated under "Claim #2."

Am I interpeting the difference between these two passages correctly? If so: any thoughts about how best to resolve the contradiction...?

Thanks!—Wikiscient— 21:39, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Very good comment. That's tricky and obviously the article doesn't do a good job of making the distinction clear. The distinction between claim 1 and claim 2 is that claim 1 is entirely about phenotype and not about causes of those difference (claim 2). Claim 1 says the phenotypic qualities of the black-white IQ gap are (according to the MGCFA study) qualitatively but maybe not quantitatively identical to the IQ differences that occur between people of the same race. Claim 2 is about causal factors underlying these phenotypic differences. This text is currently too long and circuitous, but cleaned up, claim 2 means: that high within-group heritability (WGH) alone does not entail non-zero between-group heritability (BGH), nor does high WGH on its own inductively prove non-zero BGH. Instead, only when high WGH is combined with empirical data about the relationship of the environment and IQ and race can it entail non-zero BGH. Thus debate about that empirical data becomes the focus of the causal debate. --Legalleft (talk) 22:09, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Also.... claim 2 contains a disambiguation about the definition of heritability -- heritability tells us about the effects of *differences* in genes and environment on *differences* in a trait. Thus heritability doesn't tell us about the genetic and environmental factors that are otherwise causally important but don't differentiate individuals (e.g. if everyone in your study population is healthy and well fed then the causal importance of health and nutrition is not being assessed by your measurement of heritability). To clean up claim 2, perhaps the first step is to separate the definition of heritability from the other discussion. --Legalleft (talk) 22:15, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Alun's attempt to introduce some neutrality

Alun made some edits to the article recently. Three editors including me subsequently made some refinements to his edits that I believe were fair and then Wobble reverted all those edits without explanation[13], seemingly against consensus and with no clear rationale except that he liked it the way he wrote it. However, that is however a possible violation of WP:OWN. --Jagz (talk) 23:38, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Not directly, but you're entitled to ask why he reverted. For myself, I can see heavy modifications especially to the first sentences of his edits, which significantly changed the meaning of his edits. I believe that's why he reverted. A single revert isn't an indication of WP:OWN, possibly just an indication someone may have been too WP:BOLD in editing. Again, please assume good faith.--Ramdrake (talk) 23:41, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
It is hard to see how a 100% revert could possibly be justified. --Jagz (talk) 23:51, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
I've asked Alun to explain his revert on this Talk page:[14] --Jagz (talk) 23:55, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Make up your mind. You have recently accused SLR and Ramdrake of not contributing to the R&I article enough, saying that they should make more direct edits rather than spend all their time on the talk page. You asked me to make constructive edits to the article rather than leave pov-tags.[15] Once I did this you proceeded to leave OR tags and extensively change my edit so that it more closely conformed to the point of view you are pushing. Clearly you only really want editors to contribute when they make edits you agree with. My edits were in line with WP:NPOV because they added balance, i.e. they gave a different point of view (something you actually asked me to do), indicating that there are other pints of view than those expressed in the article. You can't have it both ways, you can't on the one hand complain that editors are not contributing to the article enough, then on the other complain when they do. You make multiple significant edits to the article every day, whereas I have made a modest number of edits to this article, which represent only a tiny fraction of my total edit count. I see no evidence that you justify every edit you make on the talk page, whereas you seem to expect other editors to do just that. If anyone is displaying symptoms of WP:OWN it is you and not me. Many of the changes you made appear to be little more than disrupting wikipedia to make a point, especially the "Gaming the system" section. For example why would you dispute that Watson's statement in the Sunday Times is similar to the quotation from his book?[16]. Then you change them to synthesis tags for some bizarre reason.[17] Both statements are about "intelligence" and both discuss the possibility of differential intelligence due to biological differences in different populations. Besides both quotes were given in the article, so it is obvious to anyone that these are similar claims. Likewise you added an OR tag [18] after a section that is a mere two sentences long and in which the sum of changes that I made can best be described as a minor edit in that they do not actually change the meaning of the two sentences at all, let's take a look at the two versions.[19]

In recent years, the belief that there are no race differences in intelligence or potential has been challenged by scholars such as Charles Murray, Michael Levin, and J. Philippe Rushton and defended by other scholars such as Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Levin, and Richard Lewontin. They claim that, in light of the slight but definite effect that racial origins have on physical traits like medical risk factors and athletic abilities, there is no reason to suppose that such effects do not extend to mental traits.

It is apparent that the use of they claim is ambiguous to say the least. The preceding sentence gives a list of individuals that support the notion of biological reason for "race" differences and it gives a list of scientists that oppose this proposition, so the use of they claim is ambiguous. My edit merely clarified that it is the former set that supports the the biological deterministic hypothesis that the effect of "racial origins" cause the difference. Though I'm not sure what it means by "racial origins". My edit changed the wording to say

In recent years, the belief that there are no biological causes for "race" differences in intelligence or potential has been challenged by scholars such as Charles Murray, Michael Levin, and J. Philippe Rushton and defended by other scholars such as Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Levin, Richard Lewontin and Joseph L. Graves. Those claiming biological differences are the cause of "race" differences in "intelligence" also claim that, in light of the slight but definite effect that racial origins have on physical traits like medical risk factors and athletic abilities, there is no reason to suppose that such effects do not extend to mental traits.

This is essentially the same statement, but it is less ambiguous in several senses. How does this small change make the sentence OR? Originally the article claimed that "the notion that there are no race differences in intelligence has been challenged", but there is no dispute that the test score gap is real, only whether it is caused by biological differences or environmental differences. Or to put it in simpler terms one group of "researchers" thinks that education can only improve the average intelligence of a set of people (in this case a so called "race") to a certain extent and that this set's biology puts an upper limit on the set's average intelligence, the other group of scientists does not support the hypothesis that the biology of the set causes the test score gap, they think the differences between sets is due to exclusively environmental factors. So the new wording makes it clearer that the dispute is about the causes of the test score differences and not the observed differences themselves. So why did you remove the text that clarified this point?[20] as far as I can see at least four of the changes you made after my edit were little more than "Gaming the system", they added no value to the article and seem to have no purpose above and beyond gamesmanship.[21] [22] [23] [24]
I have no problem wit Zero g's edit [25] but I don't think it amounts to any improvement in the article per se, that's just a question of personal preference.
Legalleft now claims that the section on "Nature Nurture" is "too long" [26] but seemed to think it was just fine when it only expressed a single point of view. This is just a tactic and is similar to the ones he was employing before when I included criticism of heritability estimates.[27] [28] [29] So Legalleft has previously displayed a distinct antagonism to edits that include criticism of heritability, even though there are a plethora of reliable sources that critisise these estimates, if we are going to be neutral then we do need to include all significant points of view, and these are significant points of views from well established scientists and represent clearly reliable sources. He just wants to confuse the issue by implying that heritability is the same as heredity and by implying that it somehow measures the affect of environment on a trait, rather than measuring the effect of environment on within group Variance. Besides the section is not particularly long, it is possibly 50% longer than before, but it's still not a long section. [30]
There was little or no merrit to most of the edits I reverted through, the vast majority were little more than attempts to Game the system, and rather crude ones at that. Alun (talk) 07:10, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm not a big fan of "scare" quotes. If you question the validity of the concepts of race and intelligence you ought to do so in the article, or make a small subsection with a header link to an article that goes into detail about it.
I'm also not fond of blurring the distinction between biological and genetic. I think it's better to avoid the term biological entirely in the article and use environmental instead to avoid confusion. --Zero g (talk) 16:04, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
I use quotes around the term "race" because it is not genetically defined, not in this article or anywhere for humans. It's part of the problem really, if one is going to claim that the test score gap is due to genetic differences then one should be able to show that these groups are genetically distinct in a meaningful way. On the whole the tern "race" is being used in this article and by the proponents of a partially genetic explanation in it's socially constructed form and the sets they use for their analyses ("Black", "White", "Asian"?) are not distinguished by any genetic analysis. Nisbet (2005) is cited in the article as suggesting that skin reflectance can be used to estimate European vs African ancestry and whereas this is better than relying on the artificial concept of a "colour line" (which assumes that European and African Americans represent endogamous groups, clearly an absurd notion), it is still a very crude way to estimat ancestry, and of course it doesn't measure the amount of Native American or east Asian ancestry of either "White" or "Black" people. Edwards (2003) shows a better way to partition people with regards to their genetic makeup might be to use a clustering analysis such as those used by Rosenberg et al. (2002), Rosenberg et al. (2005), Rosenberg et al. (2006), Tang et al. (2005) and Li et al. (2008), but besides having some major disadvantages (it is dependent upon the number and location of sampling sites, the number and type of genetic elements investigated and the clustering algorithm used) but as Bamshad er al. (2004) shows, this approach ignores genetic similarities between individuals in different populations, so it is possible for two individuals to be partitioned into different clusters while at the same time being more genetically similar to each other than to other members of the clusters they have been assigned to. Witherspoon et al. (2007) [31] expanded upon this observation and suggested an alternative way to classify people into different groups based on genetic analyses. In Witherspoon et al.'s elegant analysis, individuals are classified into different groups based on a dissimilarity fraction which is defined as "the probability that a pair of individuals randomly chosen from different populations is genetically more similar than an independent pair chosen from any single population." This has the distinct advantage that for every individual so classified we know that they are not genetically more similar to someone from a different population than to someone from their own population. In their analysis Witherspoon et al. find that it is possible to unambiguously partition individuals into discrete populations under some circumstances, but the criteria for such partitioning are very stringent, using distinct populations (they investigate European, East Asians and Africans) they can unambiguously partition these individuals into the correct populations using 1,000 loci from data in a microarray analysis (though using resequenced data from the hapmap project, three populations form these continents (Yoruba, Utah (ancestry from north and western Europe) and Japanese (from Tokyo) + Han Chinese (from Beijing)) reach an asymptotic value of about 0.08, meaning that even using >>10,000 loci about 8% of people from these populations will be more genetically similar to someone from a different population than to someone from their own.) But when they come to perform the same analysis on intermediate and admixed populations (in this case the previous sets plus Indian, Native American, New Guinean, African American, and Hispano–Latino) it becomes impossible to differentiate unambiguously between these populations, even using the microarray data reaches an asymptotic value of 3.1% meaning that however many loci are investigated 3% of people will always be more similar to someone from a different group than to someone from the same group. This has very important implications for medicine and indeed for the genetics of "intelligence". Witherspoon et al. are interested in medical issues and "race", but their observations apply equally to how alleles for "intelligence" may be distributed between populations. This is what they say

many common disease-associated alleles are not unusually differentiated across populations (Lohmueller et al. 2006). Thus it may be possible to infer something about an individual's phenotype from knowledge of his or her ancestry....However, consider a hypothetical phenotype of biomedical interest that is determined primarily by a dozen additive loci of equal effect whose worldwide distributions resemble those in the insertion data set Figure 2A shows that a trait determined by 12 such loci will typically yield = 0.31 (0.20–0.41)....About one-third of the time ( = 0.31) an individual will be phenotypically more similar to someone from another population than to another member of the same population.

Obviously no one knows which loci are associated with "intelligence" or how the alleles for these loci are distributed between populations, but it is clear that people who claim a partially genetic cause for the test score gap need to do a lot more work to explain why they think their "populations" are unambiguously genetically distinct for these alleles. Not only can we not very easily classify people into genetically distinct groups, as Witherspoon shows, but also with a trait that is under the influence of many thousands of loci, a great deal of which will be polymorphic, the distribution of alleles cannot be assumed to be distributed between populations. Witherspoon go on to say

The population groups in this example are quite distinct from one another: Europeans, sub-Saharan Africans, and East Asians. Many factors will further weaken the correlation between an individual's phenotype and their geographic ancestry. These include considering more closely related or admixed populations, studying phenotypes influenced by fewer loci, unevenly distributed effects across loci, nonadditive effects, developmental and environmental effects, and uncertainties about individuals' ancestry and actual populations of origin. The typical frequencies of alleles that influence a phenotype are also relevant, as our results show that rare polymorphisms yield high values of CC, and CT, even when many such polymorphisms are studied. This implies that complex phenotypes influenced primarily by rare alleles may correspond poorly with population labels and other population-typical traits (in contrast to some Mendelian diseases). However, the typical frequencies of alleles responsible for common complex diseases remain unknown. A final complication arises when racial classifications are used as proxies for geographic ancestry. Although many concepts of race are correlated with geographic ancestry, the two are not interchangeable, and relying on racial classifications will reduce predictive power still further.

So I do think it is appropriate to put the word "race" in quotes, it is not a term used by geneticists, the people who identify their populations in this way have not defined them in genetic terms, and Witherspoon et al.'s paper shows that this is because it is probably impossible to define "race" in genetic terms. I don't see these as "scare quotes", in fact I can't see anything scary about quotes at all, I use quotes around the word "race" because I are quoting use of the word "race" by the researchers. They define their groups as "races", so when I want to use their description of the different populations they use I put quotes around it because I'm quoting their use of the word, I'm not using it myself.
I think you are probably right to say we should avoid the term "biological", but I'm also concerned with use of the term "genetic" as well, maybe we should just stick "partly genetic"? Alun (talk) 11:52, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
"partly genetic" is a term Jensen uses to describe his view about the cause of group differences. He uses "biological" to refer to biomedical phenotypes (e.g., low birth weight) and to classify environmental effects such as lead; but I agree that the term is almost uninformative as everything about the human brain is biological. there are probably more precise alternatives. --Legalleft (talk) 20:30, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
these groups are genetically distinct in a meaningful way -- s/distinct/distinguishable/g ;) -- You mean genetically distinguishable. Races don't have singular distinct characters, but they are distinguishable by looking at a range of phenotypes or genotypes. If the populations were genetically indistinguishable, then there could be no genetic differences between the groups. If there are genetic differences between groups, then the groups are be genetically distinguishable. The deconstruction of race and biogeographic ancestry is correct, but it isn't a criticism that sticks[32]. Experiments done in before ca. 2000 had little hope of using molecular genetic techniques to properly estimate admixture in African Americans or other groups. There is movement to get that work done.[33] Unfortunately, I'm told (off the record) that IRB approval for the experiments has been impossible to get. Charles Murray has publicly stated that he wants to assemble a collaborative/confrontational research team with various backgrounds to investigate the question, but has also stated that no researchers who believe that there is zero genetic contribution has been willing to commit.[34] --Legalleft (talk) 20:16, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

I happen to agree with Zero G's edit, changing "race" in scare-quotes to "genetic." The crucial thing is this: in all cases I know of, the word race is used to describe a social group or category (the criteria is usually self-identification). That there may be racial differences in IQ is to say that there are differences between two social groups. Some psychologists (but to my knowledge no geneticists) suggest that this is for genetic reasons; most scholars say it is for sociological reasons. But we need not use "race" in scare-quotes. To do so leads to an unecessary, unproductive and confusing situation where we sometimes say race is not a biological concept and other times say there is no evidence that racial differences explain differences in IQ. But for social scientists who believe that race is a marker of social difference, to say that racial differences explain IQ is to say that non-biological factors explain IQ which is perfectly consistent with the view that race is not a biological concept. That is, Alun should not use quotes around race because it is not genetically defined; he shoud use the word race without quotes and make it clear that it is socially defined. In short, if the word race is to appear at all in this article, let us be clear that race refers to self-identified membership in a social group, and that the debate, such as it is, is between those who ascribe differences between races to genetic or sociological and environmental factors. Slrubenstein | Talk 00:48, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Contemporary issues section

I suggest tightening up and integrating the "Contemporary issues" section.

  1. The first untitled subsection doesn't seem to have a single coherent topic.
  2. The stuff on Watson seems unimportant, over emphasizing an issue because it is recent. The James D. Watson article already seems to have deep coverage.
  3. I see the connection with eugenics and this topic, but the section in this article mostly summarizes eugenics generally. How does it relate to this article?
  4. Biotechnology -- while certainly very interesting, I don't see how it ties into this article. A more general summary of social and educational interventions might also mention speculation about biotechnological interventions. Alternatively, a discussion of known B-W differences in heritable traits might describe the genetics of skin color, disease susceptibility, etc.
  5. To be more general, some mention of the Ashkenazi IQ issue would seem appropriate. This topic has seen considerable public debate recently.

--Legalleft (talk) 22:28, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

I propose:

I propose that we extract any factual information this article may contain, scrap the rest, research the relevant literature, and write a new article to replace this one. And maybe it would need a new title at that point. Which is a lot like deleting the article. Which I would also support. User:Pedant (talk) 23:09, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Well, the issue continues to be what of it is "factual." (talk) 22:28, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Reverted edits on quotes on Mainstream statement section

Quotes are most appropriate as the term mainstream is being quoted from a title, it is a common shorthand for the full title, and it is a matter of dispute as to whether the statement is mainstream or not.Nick Connolly (talk) 07:50, 13 April 2008 (UTC)


Erm when I reverted that edit a huge chunk of the article disappeared! Sorry. I appear to have broken Wikipedia, or my browser has decided to be bold in its own way. Nick Connolly (talk) 07:59, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

  • Theory I think the article is now to long to fit in the edit box on my browser and hence the extra text got truncated.It's a sign...Nick Connolly (talk) 08:12, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
    • Try "my preferences"/"gadgets"/"Add an [edit] link for the lead section of a page". It avoids the need to edit entire large articles.LeadSongDog (talk) 09:38, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
That is helpful! Why isnt that the default setting? TheRedPenOfDoom (talk) 20:05, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Race-IQ Gap Remains

Here is a 2006 article press release from Rushton:

"Despite widespread claims that the gap is closing between Blacks and Whites in educational achievement and intelligence test scores, new research shows the 15-point IQ difference is as large today as it was 100 years ago."[35]

--Jagz (talk) 11:28, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Different opinions on this with Nisbett having another.Ultramarine (talk) 16:15, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
It may be useful to present this difference of opinions in the article. This is the article by Rushton and Jensen upon which the above press release is based. [36] --Jagz (talk) 22:41, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

I second that. I think it would be useful to present the difference of opinion. --DavidD4scnrt (talk) 05:37, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

We can possibly present this in the Policy implications section. --Jagz (talk) 15:14, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Why Does "BITCH" transer here?

not bitch or Bitch, but BITCH

It should refer to this:

The Black Intelligence Test of Cultural Homogeneity, or BITCH-100, was created by Robert Williams in 1972, and is oriented toward the language, attitudes, and life-styles of African-Americans. Unsurprisingly, white students perform more poorly on this test than blacks, indicating that there are important dissimilarities in the cultural backgrounds of blacks and whites.[6] Some argue that these findings indicate that test bias plays a role in producing the gaps in IQ test scores.[7] Similarly to the Williams test, the Chitling Intelligence Test is another example of a culturally biased test that tends to favor African Americans.[8] Both of these tests demonstrate how cultural content on intelligence tests may lead to culturally biased score results. Still these criticisms of cultural content may not apply to "culture free" tests of intelligence. The BITCH-100 and the Chitling test both have explicit cultural assumptions, while normal standardized tests are only theorized to have implicit bias. The fact that a test can have bias does not necessarily prove that a specific test does have bias. However, even on cultural free tests, test bias may play a role since, due to their cultural backgrounds, some test takers do not have the familiarity with the language and culture of the psychological and educational tests that is implicitly assumed in the assessment procedure.[9] Beverly Daniel Tatum writes that dominant cultures often set the parameters by which minority cultures will be judged. Minority groups are labeled as substandard in significant ways, for example blacks have historically been characterized as less intelligent than whites. Tatum suggests that the ability to set these parameters is a form of white privilege.[10]

from an older article that was merged into this one. Slrubenstein | Talk 11:10, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Seems notable enough and yet now the test doesn't appear on Wikipedia. Did some extensive merging happen in the past to this article - it would explain a lot, particulalrly why people now want to content fork it.Nick Connolly (talk) 19:51, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Jagz had mentioned that a number of articles were merged here ~ November timeframe I think. TheRedPenOfDoom (talk) 20:00, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Presentation of genetic view in article

  • This discussion was started in the preceding section. --Jagz (talk) 14:42, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Slrubenstein that there is a muddle here which is why we have both suggested content-forking. I think he and I still disagree on the extent to which the core article is an article about a controversy in the popular media around some fringe views (I think Slrubenstein's position) or whether it is on a hypothesis (most closely associated with Arthur Jensen) which wasn't fringe but which has largely been debunked and which was associated with a popular controversy. We can thing of three reactions to Jensen's work which lead to three good-faith POV approaches to the article. I'll charaterise them with the name of a notable academic rather than wiki-editors:

  • Gould: Jensen's race-IQ genetic hypothesis is demonstrably wrong, poor science and part of a racist tradition.
  • Flynn: Jensen's race-IQ genetic hypothesis is wrong in subtle ways and was useful and provocative research.
  • Rushton: Jensen's race-IQ genetic hypothesis is basically correct but further research is needed to demonstrate that it is right. It wasn't racist because policy is a seperate issue. Nick Connolly (talk) 19:18, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Excellent summary. As far as article writing is concerned, I agree completely with Nick's assessment -- allowing that (of course) there are continuum of views, with those representing three prominent clusters. The debates about heritability of IQ, meaning of race, etc. are suitably independent questions that deserve their own discussions separate from IQ/race. --Legalleft (talk) 19:53, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Could we build consensus around this outline and use it to refocus the intro section? Perhaps that exercise would help focus editing the rest of the article. --Legalleft (talk) 19:57, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
This seems like a good approach; presenting the genetic hypothesis not as fact, but as a view different people have different opinions on. --Jagz (talk) 22:23, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Where exactly does Flynn say Jensen's research was "useful?" Provocative in and of itself is meaningless, of course. Slrubenstein | Talk 20:08, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

On with the article

Folks, can we keep on discussing what to do with the article, lest we allow ourselves to get bogged down once more? I believe we all agree this article needs a major overhaul, and there are several very interesteing proposals on what to do with the article. So, I would suggest we continue working on the matter to achieve our common goal. What say you?--Ramdrake (talk) 12:54, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't think forking the content is a good idea because the motivation seems to be that the debate has no scientific merit, which is essentially a POV. --Jagz (talk) 13:30, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Objection duly noted. However, I believe there is already consensus about this.--Ramdrake (talk) 13:53, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I believe Proposal 2 and 3 above may have consensus but not 1 and 4. The article suggested by Proposal 2 already exists. --Jagz (talk) 14:03, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
Folks, can I get a new "show of hands" on Slrubenstein's proposals 1 and 4?--Ramdrake (talk) 12:46, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Okay, so no one responded. Now what? --Jagz (talk) 00:53, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Jagz thinks this article should be deleted, so it just doesn't matter what he thinks (he should propose an AfD through normal channels). My point is that there is clearly a controversy in the media and general public, and some views are notable precisely because they are controversial, publically, and we should have an article on this popular controversy. Ramdrake supported this and Nick Conolly had some constructive suggestions. I suggested a number of articles that could be used as the basis for such an article. I see no reason not to go ahead and work on such an article in this space. Slrubenstein | Talk 02:09, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

If you can build a consensus for AfD, I'll support. An AfD without consensus would be disruptive. --Jagz (talk) 13:25, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Genetic hypothesis

The "Genetic hypothesis" section of the article needs editing. For those who want to state that it is fringe or whatever, now is your chance; just be sure to provide reliable references. It's time to stop talking and start writing. Here is the link: [37] --Jagz (talk) 21:29, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Here is a previous discussion with ideas that could be incorporated into the "Genetic hypothesis" section.[38] --Jagz (talk) 19:47, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

WP:DNFTT Slrubenstein | Talk 17:48, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

? --Zero g (talk) 18:56, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

'High Achieving Minorities' -> Variations by ethnicity

While the previous subject heading is incorrect I am not sure why the following material was removed from the article. If the sources are reliable sources, it seemed to be some of the only on topic material in the article.

Some IQ subtest profiles show variations by ethnic group. Ashkenazi Jews, for example, demonstrate verbal and mathematical scores more than one standard deviation above average, but visuospatial scores roughly one half standard deviation lower than the White average[11], whereas East Asians demonstrate high visuospatial scores, but average or slightly below average verbal scores.[12] The Asian pattern of subtest scores is found in fully assimilated third-generation Asian Americans, as well as in Inuits and Native Americans (both of Asian origin).[13]

Any comments? TheRedPenOfDoom (talk) 14:30, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

It's too abbreviated and incomplete. The quality is very poor. --Jagz (talk) 14:42, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
The sources are poor quality? TheRedPenOfDoom (talk) 14:58, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Your not going to improve the article by being disagreeable. --Jagz (talk) 15:08, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
??? TheRedPenOfDoom (talk) 15:09, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Read it. It sucks. --Jagz (talk) 15:16, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
It does not tightly define some of its use of terms and some of the wording is still angled POV, but what specifically do you mean when you say 'it sucks'? TheRedPenOfDoom (talk) 15:24, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

The section fails to explain how these groups can be considered minorities since it is a relative term. East Asians are not minorities in East Asia for example.
Ashkenazi Jews- They have higher average IQ in US and Britain than in Israel, possibly by World War II migration of disproportionate numbers from right side of bell curve (those more well off) See Race Differences in Intelligence
East Asians demonstrate high visuospatial scores- how high?
The Asian pattern of subtest scores is found in fully assimilated third-generation Asian Americans, as well as in Inuits and Native Americans- what does this have to do with the price of tea in China?
The section no longer discusses achievement, just test results. There is another section in the article for discussing test results. --Jagz (talk) 16:10, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Your comments are applicable to most of the current article - My orignal pruning of the article grabbed only some of the most obvious low hanging material. I will be happy to continue to get more crap out the article this weekend. TheRedPenOfDoom (talk) 16:14, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
This is what the article looked like on January 1, 2008.[39] --Jagz (talk) 16:33, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
So has been a not very good article for several months at least? TheRedPenOfDoom (talk) 17:11, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
That was after all the sub-articles were merged into this one after an AfD discussion. In October 2007 it looked like this:[40] --Jagz (talk) 18:13, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
So, (I am just guessing here since you have not provided me really anything to go on) your point is that the article has been in piss-poor shape for over 6 months? Agreed. But that is no reason to let it continue to wallow in that state. TheRedPenOfDoom (talk) 01:03, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
I think it's getting better. The article got unlocked on February 1. I didn't do much until February 1. The vast majority of what's in the article now has been in there a long time, just organized differently. It's best to remove things a little at a time or else it becomes a pain for everyone else. --Jagz (talk) 01:27, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Unless the facts are actually fundamentally suspect, the better approach would be to flesh out or correct it rather than simply delete things. E.g., mention the points above about Jews in the US vs. other countries if you think that clarifies. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:57, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Dogma (equalitarian/egalitarian)

The following paragraph was in the article but Ramdrake repeatedly removed the second sentence:
In 1961, the psychologist Henry Garrett coined the term equalitarian dogma to describe the then mainstream view that there were no race differences in intelligence, or if there were, they were solely the result of environmental factors.[14] Garrett contended that Jews spread the dogma and that most Jewish organizations "belligerently support the equalitarian dogma which they accept as having been 'scientifically' proven" (Garrett, 1961 a, p. 256). [15]

Garrett was a racist; this is typical of the racist crap we do not want racists to put into the article. Slrubenstein | Talk 22:25, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Don't be belligerent. --Jagz (talk) 00:40, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
It is you who are being belligerent by posting an anti-semitic comment, out of context. You aren't bringing it upo in the context of any discussion, you had to create a new section for it. That suggests to me that you are just responding to my criticizing you for pushing a racist POV, and since you believe I am Jewish you post an anti-semitic remark. Slrubenstein | Talk 21:22, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm not familiar with Garret, but he does seem to be notable enough to be included as the subject of a WP article, though the sources seem to be autobiographical. Right or wrong he may be pertinent to the history of this topic. I think that we need to carefully walk the fine line between a whitewash of the history and promoting inflammatory racism, especially from non-notable sources. Considering the brevity of the history section, we should limit the discussion to fairly mainstream views. I’d like to know more about how widespread his effect was at the time. --Kevin Murray (talk) 14:27, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Hi Kevin. If I understand you correctly, it would be important to mention Garrett and his views as long as they are placed in context. I have no problem with that. I do have a problem with just plopping him in. According to Wikipedia's biography of him, he was a segregationist and racist 9and i had no hand in writing Wikipedia's article on him!) and this background information about his own personal politics and political agenda are I think essential to presenting an honest and balanced account of his ideas. Slrubenstein | Talk 15:18, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Was his work well known at the time and waws he influential? If not then I don't see him as relevant. Clearly what ever we add should be in context. --Kevin Murray (talk) 00:17, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Here is Egalitarian fiction and collective fraud by Gottfredson. --Jagz (talk) 21:18, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

It's pretty silly to say that it is "anti-semitic" to suggest that Jews strenuously promoted the idea of racial equality. He's really putting them down, eh. Further, even if he was a racist that does not mean everything he said was a racist thought, and in any case, Jews are not a race... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:02, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Request for Comment

The article is currently tagged, stating, "The neutrality of this article is disputed." Is the article sufficiently neutral? Please be specific and suggest improvements.

Comments by editors of article

  • No it is not sufficiently neutral that the NPOV tag should be removed. TheRedPenOfDoom (talk) 18:56, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Please specify your reason. --Jagz (talk) 18:57, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
I believe that comments from outside readers will provide the most insight and that further elaboration from me at this time is just a waste of electrons.TheRedPenOfDoom (talk) 22:16, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Umm...The reason given is "it is not sufficiently neutral". I don't think it could be more obvious. Alun (talk) 19:31, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your input Alun, I am looking for a more detailed answer.--Jagz (talk) 19:35, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

A more detailed example is no, the entire article is non-neutral ab initio. The very title is essentially a POV nightmare. The two main words: Race and intelligence presume the existence of 1)Race, and 2)Intelligence as meaningful terms in the context.

Further, the article goes on to use tests of "IQ" as measures of intelligence as if intelligence were measurable with a single value on a single scale. This is not a neutral point of view, and is widely debated.

Further, the methodology is flawed, you cannnot compare test scores of disparate tests, different IQ tests give different scores to the same individual. And different cultural influences and social norms affect the responses -- by people within different cultures -- to the SAME test.

This article is a waste of time. This is an encyclopedia, we should at least acknowledge scientific reality... or put the "fictional universe tag" on this one. User:Pedant (talk) 22:56, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

  • Confusing and bity. I think as well as there being tension between editors who fall on either side of the basic question there is also confusion about what purpose this article serves. Valid concerns about synthesis and undue weight have been raised but I'm of the opinion that these arise primarily out of the fact that much of the published peer-reviewed research is of poor quality. This issue isn't exactly like a scholarly dispute, nor is it quite a science versus pseudoscience but it shares features of both. Finally the issue splits along two major US political fault-lines: the perception by conservatives of leftist academic bias and social inequality based on race/ethnicity. POV minefield but either that is dealt with here or a plethora of POV forks.Nick Connolly (talk) 19:48, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
    • Actually, it might be even worse than that. There is a strain of thought, represented by Turkheimer's comments here, which states that anyone who happens to disagree with the position he holds is deserving of opprobrium. Notably a position which Ceci and Flynn disagree with him about. An editor who held the same position as Turkheimer would feel morally compelled to minimize the POV they dislike. --Legalleft (talk) 21:09, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Can be improved, I believe the significantly genetic view is still controversial among social scientists so maybe the article could be clearer on that. The genetic view does seem to be more plausible than the views that the hill on Mars is a face, the moon landings were fabricated, or that the World Trade Center collapse was a controlled demolition that the US government was involved in. If the article was rewritten indicating that the genetic view is pseudoscience, as an engineer I would consider the article amusing. --Jagz (talk) 05:08, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Don't know -- but I'm sure it would be much easier to improve the article if the neutrality issues were enumerated or at least made more specific. --Legalleft (talk) 21:09, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
    • Comment -- What would help is to find a heuristic for selecting which details are salient and which are not. For example, I imagine there doesn't need to be an entire section for Clancy Blair's gF' theory, as (IIRC) there has been no experiment work done on it since Blair's initial publication. Perhaps the "biotechnology" section can go too. OTOH, there really does need to be more on minorities other than Blacks and also more on the social and economic consequences of group differences. --Legalleft (talk) 21:23, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Not neutral - Note that the article is highly volatile, so making a statement about its neutrality at a certain point in time is tricky. The article seems like a battleground of POVs, it needs more cohesion. Brusegadi (talk) 07:32, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Not neutral - In its present state, which like Brusegadi said is highly volatile. POV seems to give undue weight to widely criticized studies, trying to present them as uncontroversial, mainstream research.--Ramdrake (talk) 10:49, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Not Neutral The lead says the article does two things. First, "Seeks the causes of any differences that appear in the measurements" - this is legit, there is a huge body of literature in the social sciences on the social, economic, and psychological causes of differences in test scores. But while the article mentions this, it does not give due weight to this body of literature by any stretch of the imagination. Second, "seeks to determine whether human intellectual abilities vary between races." This is entirely unacceptable. For one thing, Wikipedia articles never seek to determine anything; they provide accounts of notable views. But even if we were to read (or rewrite) this as saying that it will cover views of scholars who seek to determine this, it is still unacceptable as it is just a tarted up way of suggesting some races are naturally superior to others. That is just plain racism, and bad science. Indeed, there are scientists who do seek to determine this, and they are not only racist scientists, they are bad scientists who represent a fringe view among researchers. And the problem is, this article gives undue weight to these fringe theorists. The belief that some races are inherently superior is indeed a notable view, but not among scientists; it is notable among the gneral public. But the article doesn't present a good account from say media studies, or comunications scholars, or social scientists about the ways Westerners tend to biologize social difference, even though this literature exists. Instead, it elevates the fringe views of a few racist scientists (typically pscyhologists who have no training in evolutionary biology or population genetics) and presentes them as mainstream science. That is a clear NPOV violation. Slrubenstein | Talk 13:00, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
  • No. I'm not really a major editor of this article, but I have been on the talk page a bit recently and done a small amount of editing, so I'll put my two penneth here. There's been some attempt to make this article neutral, but it's an uphill struggle. When I tried a little while ago to include some observations regarding the non-independence of biological systems and environment all I got an edit war and scorn.[41] [42] Clearly there was an attempt to keep the information out the article, or to move it to an inconspicuous place. No sort of acceptable reason was given for this, the reasons varying from some nonsense about "behaviour genetics" (sic) (the source did not even mention behavioural genetics, and neither did my edit), "it's not relevant" (which was demonstrably not true") to "it's not important" (even though the authors of the several articles were stating that it was directly relevant and important to the subject at hand). And it wasn't like it was an article written by an obscure scientist, it was by Richard Lewontin.[43] [44] [45] There was clearly a concerted effort going on to either remove the edit, or at least give it as little prominence as possible. There was, and still is, a serious attempt to promote one pov while suppressing or giving as little prominence as possible to any information that does not support this pov. It is absolutely evident that some editors of this article are neither interested in neutrality nor acting in good faith, and if this means that I'm not assuming good faith, then tough, one can assume good faith for only a certain amount of time, but eventually it becomes obvious that it is pointless to assume good faith because it becomes obvious that other editors are not acting in good faith. This article is bound to be a magnet for certain types of people with an axe to grind, and they'll never act in good faith. The article certainly hasn't got any better recently, with even my small, but relevant, edit having been removed, with the only mention of Lewontin now being rather obscure and somewhat dishonest. Alun (talk) 22:06, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Not Neutral - While proponents of "race"-based intelligence differences have been largely successful in cloaking their propositions with what seems on its face to be valid science, I would submit that without a falsifiable hypothesis, what is being expressed is dogma, not science. That is to say, if one starts off with the hypothesis, "any group of 100 randomly chosen black people will have a lesser average IQ than any group of 100 randomly chosen white people", one can go out, perform the experiment, and generate results. A negative result falsifies the hypothesis. This of course assumes that we can come to some sort of agreement as to what constitutes a "black" person and what constitutes a "white" person (a definition which yields widely differing results depending on whether or not you consider internal or external identification). An equally robust hypothesis could be, "any group of 100 randomly chosen people with friendly last names will have a lesser average IQ than any group of 100 randomly chosen people with unfriendly last names" - in this case, the determination of what is "friendly" and "unfriendly" is the arbitrary social distinction being proposed.
With sufficient caveats (i.e., we have no concrete definition of "race", we have a somewhat more concrete but not totally accepted definition of "intelligence"), one can certainly describe correlations, but we cannot assign causality. For example, we typically imagine that eating too much and exercising too little cause weight gain - but the equation can work the other way as well, where weight gain causes eating too much and exercising too little (see Gary Taubes 'Good Calories, Bad Calories' lecture at Berkeley). In the same vein, it may be that in our retrospective analysis, lesser intelligence causes someone to be black, rather than being black causing lesser intelligence. While counter-intuitive, such inversion of causality is not necessarily improper since we may in fact be more likely to consider someone "black" if they have lesser intelligence (certainly some of the R&I proponents such as Rushton do regularly).
One of the questions I regularly ask people I disagree with is, "what would change your mind about this issue"? I consider it an important question for myself as well. In this case, I would change my mind about this issue if and only if - 1) we had a genetic test and specific definition of race used uniformly by all studies being considered as pertinent; that is to say, every intelligence test given included in its results would contain the individual DNA of the test taker, and this DNA code could by analyzed and categorized by an algorithm into a specific "race" category 2) we had a clear universal definition of 'g' which every intelligence test given yielded the same results for an individual regardless of age, diet, education or disease 3) intelligence tests were done under similar conditions of sleep/food availability. My suspicion is that we won't ever have a genetic definition that does not yield contra-commonsense results (i.e., a genetic definition that may categorize one sibling as one race, and another sibling as another race, or a genetic definition that categorizes someone who is "obviously" black like Nelson Mandela as white, or someone who is "obviously" white like Margaret Thatcher as black), but I am willing to be proven wrong.
In any case, glossing over these critical caveats is sufficiently POV-pushing to require a significant amount of work. --JereKrischel (talk) 14:16, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Comments by outsiders

  • Not Neutral per the reasons given by Slrubenstein. The asininity of the theory and the article itself is simply astounding. I could go on, but I'll just get truly nasty. Suffice it to say that the article, and the theory it fails to present in an NPOV manner, are shit. &#0149;Jim62sch&#0149;dissera! 17:56, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Not Neutral I'm going to give the same reasoning as Jim and Slrubenstein. This is pseudoscience, and it should be presented in the same manner as any other pseudoscientific theory on Wikipedia. We are giving undue weight to crap. And I'm seeing way too many anti-semitic Slr--I'm Jewish and lot less tolerant than Slr is. This is a sickening article. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 18:03, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Not Neutral From the reading I have done on this issue over the years, the impression I have is that this is an extremely amateurish attempt at an article, and is not particularly encyclopedic. It does cover some (although I think not all) of the historic studies which have a somewhat biased view. However, the mainstream or other side of the issue seems almost entirely absent. The scientific criticism seems quite weak and almost absent, which is disturbing when NPOV is supposed to be our guiding principle here. I will confess I have not read all of this article, but I read enough to be quite disappointed.--Filll (talk) 20:19, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Not Neutral The premise and title of the article are flawed from the start. This article is an embarrassment to Wikipedia. As it stands, there seems to be very little content that can be salvaged to use in a good article... and I've seen good articles, this sir, is no good article. User:Pedant (talk) 23:03, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Not Neutral, but not hopeless As most everything has been discussed on this talk page ad nauseum, I won't go into to much detail. I agree that this article definitely gives undue weight to those arguing for a significant difference of intelligence amongst races, but at the same time I don't feel that their work constitutes a fringe theory or pseudoscience. There are many scientists with good credentials that hold these views, but as it is an inherently highly controversial subject, its detractors are quick to brand it a pseudoscience. I think in essence there hasn't been convincing evidence shown on either side of the argument, but the burden of proof is on those that suggest there is a difference- thus this article must devote more to those who defend nurture over nature, as is implicitly suggested in the opener but not really carried out in the article. DJLayton4 (talk) 03:35, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Why is the burden of proof on those that suggest there is a difference? In other words, on what is based the assumption that average intelligence must be equal among different races? Torokun (talk) 02:20, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Because of a principle called Occam's Razor. There is no a priori reason to assume that any one race has been submitted to an environment different enough long enough to change selective pressure on intelligence relative to other races. For the same reason, there is no reason to assume, say, that any one race has better eyesight than another. While some physical characteristics such as body proportions may indeed be different because of differing climates, nobody has yet demonstrated an effect of climate on intelligence (Rushton's misguided hypothesis is easily disproved by historical facts and simple logic). That, and the fact that IQ score differences can easily be explained by other means.--Ramdrake (talk) 02:30, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Actually, inequality is a simpler explanation than equality. Physically separated biological systems do not stay in equilibrium because it would require that information be transferred magically between the systems. -- (talk) 16:34, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Please, go read up on how Evolution works. Your comment just demonstrates you don't understand some of its basic principles.--Ramdrake (talk) 16:38, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
If you can't understand how inequality is simpler than equality then it is a comprehension problem on your part. -- (talk) 16:48, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Not Neutral Not even remotely in the neighborhood of neutral. It is racist and based on questionable material; the academic literature that should be cited is mostly missing. It's all written from one side, the side that does not represent the best thought on the question. Woonpton (talk) 04:13, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Not neutral The article is bias against black people, depicting them as somehow less intelligent than other races. Yahel Guhan 05:49, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Not neutral Though I find that both sides of the argument receive reasonably equal and adequate attention, the article on the whole does seem to indicate that intelligence is related to race, without really addressing the doubtful nature of that conclusion. As far as I am concerned, the evidence presented is inconclusive, though to my mind leans heavily toward nurture rather than nature. I'd like to see a more neutral tone, as well as perhaps some follow up of criticism of the both sides from the perspective of race politics, i.e., how do people outside the scientific community view Jensen and his contemporaries? How do they see the argument that IQ disparity can be explained with reference to the social hierarchy, access and quality of education, and the western bias of intelligence testing? This article needs more politics to balance out the overabundance of science. Legianon (talk) 16:54, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Reasonably neutral, but inadequately synthesized (version discussed: [46]) Meticulously reading through the article, I can't help getting the impression that a lot of people pasted the abstracts of their favorite papers verbatim and thought that is all there is to it. This doesn't really lead to a conflict with the NPOV policy, except with respect to undue weight for fringe theories, but it makes the article difficult to read. (Please note that "Not neutral" does not mean "I don't agree" or "Bad writing".) Also, a list of minor issues:
    • General: has some "proseline" elements. The words "black" and "white" are often incorrectly capitalized ("Black").
    • The Snyderman and Rothman study was published in 1988, showing a liberal media bias on the reporting of race and intelligence. The study indicated the media gave a misleading impression of what the mainstream view is in the scientific community regarding the relative importance of genetic and environmental factors in explaining individual and group differences in IQ. It found that the media regularly presented the views of those who stress that individual and group differences may be substantially genetic as a minority view, however, their 1987 survey of expert opinion found that the opposite was true. This is incomprehensible unless you have studied American politics and know what this "liberal bias" is. Second, it's American-centric; there are media elsewhere too. Third, an encyclopedia should report, not repeat.
    • In recent years, the belief that there are no race differences in intelligence or potential Use "notion" instead of "belief".
    • Three paragraphs after "Test results" could be split for readability.
    • Repeating, in section labelled Environmental, to the extent that there are any genetically-driven racial differences in intelligence, these gaps must either emerge after the age of one, or operate along dimensions not captured by this early test of mental cognition.
    • The SOAR program produced gains equivalent to 120 points on an SAT test. What is a SAT test and how it is graded? (Rhetorical question, I could find out if I wanted.) This should be expressed in relative terms, like "improves probability of matriculation by 66%", for example.
    • Utility of research: Charles Murray, a conservative political pundit at the American Enterprise Institute has used their conclusions to criticize social programs based on racial equality that fail, he claims, to recognize the realities of racial differences. Why is this mentioned here? Is Charles Murray a notable politician? --Vuo (talk) 21:25, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

What is the dispute?

I know this sounds mildly troll-like, but I promise it's a genuine qeustion. I'm having a really hard time following the discussion page. A topic like this is bound to be controversial, but I can't tell what the dispute(s?) are that warrant the tag. Is it

  • a) The topic as a whole is too fringe-y to be included? (i.e. no redirects or including mention in some other article, just deletion and maybe page-creation blocks)
  • b) The topic is valid, but the studies and sources cited are too unreliable to be included?
  • c) The studies and sources are reliable, but even if they fit WP:Verify they're racist and don't belong?
  • d) The topic as a whole is wiki-worthy but parts of the article are not and need to be trimmed?
  • e) This page is some kind of fork, and needs a redirect (to the Bell Curve book or Scientific Racism or something)
  • f) Nearly all of the current content is good, but it's unbalanced and needs some more from the other side of the debate?
  • g) Some or all of the above?

While I'm sure various people have various answers, I know I couldn't even begin to contribute to the discussion at this point because I'm not entirely sure what you're actually discussing. If someone could sum it up, it might be helpful. Thanks! CredoFromStart talk 18:19, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

I may have answered part of my own question. Thisis a very good start to figuring out what's going on around here! (Thanks Nick) Although I got lucky when I found that one and it might not be done yet. CredoFromStart talk 18:29, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
My own opinion is that this is three different debates that keep getting muddled together. The first is the question, what is the heritability of IQ (which has its own article). The second is, why are there racial disparities in IQ scores. The problem is that some editors keep pushing fringe answers; the mainstrram and notable answers have to do with socio-economic status and social environment, and changes in testing practices. The third is a controversy in the popular media centering on a few books written by fringe social-scientists who claim that with regard to intelligence, some races are genetically superior and others genetically inferior. It is easy to understand why some would confuse and mix up these different topics, but the fact is each of the three involves a different body or scholarship/sources. Slrubenstein | Talk 18:47, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Slrubenstein that there is a muddle here which is why we have both suggested content-forking. I think he and I still disagree on the extent to which the core article is an article about a controversy in the popular media around some fringe views (I think Slrubenstein's position) or whether it is on a hypothesis (most closely associated with Arthur Jensen) which wasn't fringe but which has largely been debunked and which was associated with a popular controversy. We can thing of three reactions to Jensen's work which lead to three good-faith POV approaches to the article. I'll charaterise them with the name of a notable academic rather than wiki-editors:
  • Gould: Jensen's race-IQ genetic hypothesis is demonstrably wrong, poor science and part of a racist tradition.
  • Flynn: Jensen's race-IQ genetic hypothesis is wrong in subtle ways and was useful and provocative research.
  • Rushton: Jensen's race-IQ genetic hypothesis is basically correct but further research is needed to demonstrate that it is right. It wasn't racist because policy is a seperate issue. Nick Connolly (talk) 19:18, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Excellent summary. As far as article writing is concerned, I agree completely with Nick's assessment -- allowing that (of course) there are continuum of views, with those representing three prominent clusters. The debates about heritability of IQ, meaning of race, etc. are suitably independent questions that deserve their own discussions separate from IQ/race. --Legalleft (talk) 19:53, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Could we build consensus around this outline and use it to refocus the intro section? Perhaps that exercise would help focus editing the rest of the article. --Legalleft (talk) 19:57, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
This seems like a good approach; presenting the genetic hypothesis not as fact, but as a view different people have different opinions on. --Jagz (talk) 22:23, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
I copied this thread on Nick's assessment to the next section to focus the discussion. --Jagz (talk) 14:37, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

The dispute seems to be that people are going to say that this article is not neutral until it states that all groups of people have the same average IQ or if they don't it is because of environmental factors, discrimination, or racism. Presenting the genetic view as a possibility pokes holes in the veracity of that assumption. Some people do not want the genetic view presented or if so, as a pseudoscience. --Jagz (talk) 19:24, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

So it's not disputed that there are definite differences between IQ and races, but rather the cause of those differences - a Correlation does not imply causation vs. Duck test type of debate. Is that accurate? CredoFromStart talk 19:34, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
As the article states, "The contemporary debate on race and intelligence is about what causes racial and ethnic differences in IQ test scores." --Jagz (talk) 19:47, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
To a first approximation that's correct. Existence of US Black-White test score differences is noncontroversial. Their meaning and causal hypotheses to explain them are controversial. --Legalleft (talk) 19:53, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
From what I gathered it's not controversial, but the fact that the gap exists should not be put in the open in the form of maps or curves in the article. Instead the gap should be quietly assumed, preferably surrounded by weasel wording, and here and there a reference or hint of criticism - by researchers who themselves are (seemingly) above criticism. --Zero g (talk) 20:07, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

That's helpful, thanks everyone. Whenever I read an article that's thought-provoking or challenges my assumptions about something and there's an NPOV tag I like to try and figure out where the controversy is. It sounds like there's definitely no reason to merge or delete/redirect this article, and the editor disputes are mostly on the validity of some of the evidence on the genetics section.

I can see how this is a messy topic; it could be good science that can be used for negative things, it could be pure racism, it could be junk science with no ill-will intended, or it could be good science that challenges us to reexamine social justice issues. Whichever of the options it is, it's bound to piss off someone. I don't have a well-formed opinion on this yet, but I do appreciate the information. It looks like there's been a lot of hard work put in here! CredoFromStart talk 20:10, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Jagz continues to push his racist views. Here he continues to insist that what he calls the "genetic view" is valid science. Above, he made a flat out claim: that there have been many discoveries in genetics since the 1930s supporting the claim that different IQ scores for different races is due to genetics. I asked him thre times to provide just one example of such a discovey and he refused. Now he continus to make the same claim, and I want to know if this is just more bullshit, a disruptive edit. Jagz, you have made a claim. Now provide the evidence. Just one example of what you mean when you say there have been many discoveries in genetics since the thirties that explains IQ gaps between races. Just one example. Just one. Slrubenstein | Talk 20:58, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
I certainly never intended my comments to be interpreted in that manner. What I meant is that there has been an explosion of genetic discoveries recently[47], there is much more to come, and it is too early to accept or reject the genetic hypothesis. --Jagz (talk) 21:15, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
So, you're saying that because in the future some discovery in genetics might support the genetic hypothesis, we should treat as plausible science fringe theories based on bad scientific protocols? Is that what you're saying?--Ramdrake (talk) 21:23, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Are you saying that the genetic view is fringe or certain genetic theories are fringe? --Jagz (talk) 21:46, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Please answer my question.--Ramdrake (talk) 22:05, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Anyone with a little bit of intellectual honesty knows the partial genetic hypothesis is the only plausible one. Anyone who looks at the research critically knows that the egalitarian mafia hand picks studies that show the results they like, and makes up silly theories about supposed environmental influences that cause the gap like stereo type threat. Next it's well known they have an almost pedophilic preference for testing children, because they know that racial differences are more pronounced in adults. They constantly claim adoption studies proof them right, without showing any of these studies, and we know they do this because the studies that do matter proof them wrong. They use studies of Indian children, and hope nobody catches them with their hand in the cookie jar when they state how these 'black' children score very well on IQ tests and have no white ancestry. They mix whites with Hispanics to muddy the results, classify half white children as black, and leave out the poorest elements of the black community knowing that nobody will dare point that out.
Obviously part of the dispute is who of the two groups of researchers are the crack pots. Maybe we should dedicate a detailed article to the various claims of fraud made by the two parties? --Zero g (talk) 14:10, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
If you have reliable, verifiable sources to support your position, please produce them. If you're merely trolling this page, please go away.--Ramdrake (talk) 17:11, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
Maybe the traditional funding sources for social science research would react negatively to a finding that there is a genetic component to racial/ethnic differences in IQ. That is a potential form of research bias. Also, a researcher may be biased to prevent the notoriety they could incur as a result of controversial findings. Why just bash the Pioneer Fund? --Jagz (talk) 14:34, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
Here is Egalitarian fiction and collective fraud by Gottfredson. --Jagz (talk) 15:15, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
That's a possibility, but I haven't heard so far of any evidence to that effect, so this remains a totally naive (unfounded) hypothesis. As far as bashing the Pioneer Fund is concerned, that's because reliable and notable sources have done it already, and we are merely quoting the criticism.--Ramdrake (talk) 19:12, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
That's a nice source and there are others where the work of researchers supporting the environmental hypothesis is critically examined and accusations of intellectual dishonesty are made.
For example: The Totality of Available Evidence Shows the Race IQ Gap Still Remains
I don't have the time nor energy to engage in edit wars however. --Zero g (talk) 16:10, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
These are editorials by second-rate scholars that use straw-men arguments and are certainly not even close to notable research. I do not see any meaningful critique of a so-called "environmental hypothesis" although yes I do see intellectual dishonesty! Slrubenstein | Talk 17:04, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Amen to that.--Ramdrake (talk) 19:12, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
I assume you didn't read the links? Criticism by individuals who have their own page on Wikipedia and are experts in the field is certainly notable, especially compared to the half assed comments by some nobody from the NAACP throwing around "nazi" that made it into the article. --Zero g (talk) 15:36, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Here we are once again mired in bullshit and hot-air. We would save a lot of time if we stuck to Wikipedia policies like WP:V and WP:NOR. The fact remains that Jagz has claimed that there is research in genetics since the 1930s that supports the claim that genetics is (let's say, to some degree) the cause for IQ differences betwen races. I now ask for the fifth time: Jagz, to what are you referring? Provide a verifiable source from genetics research. Or shut up, and go away. Either you know something - not your typical racist bullshit, but something real, a verifiable source concerning notable research within the field of genetics (which you keep claiming you know) and you should provide us with that source and the details of the discovery in genetics research, or you do not. Every time you refuse to answer this simple question - a direct response to a claim you make on this talk page - I am more and more convinced that you have no knowledge or understanding of genetics at all and are just using disruptive edits to prevent any progress in addressing the real problems in this article. What a troll. Slrubenstein | Talk 14:39, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

I've already explained my comments. You can continue to ignore my explanations if you wish. --Jagz (talk) 14:54, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
And having refused to join in a mediation process, we are no longer under any illusion that you are here to edit in good faith and no longer obligated to act under that assumption. TheRedPenOfDoom (talk) 15:17, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
Rubenstein: Here is one: Has this been cited or considered previously? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Torokun (talkcontribs) 03:32, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

“Yes-But" Rejoinders Used to Ignore Key Scientific Findings on Intelligence and Race

Here is something we can incorporate into the article:
"Table 1 lists a series of seven “yes-but” gambits for such purposes. The first five deny the validity of basic facts about intelligence: the existence of intelligence (g), its fair measurement, practical importance, stability (lack of malleability), and high heritability. None of these facts relates to race, per se. The last two gambits concede all prior five facts but assert that racial differences in IQ are not genetic or must not be thought so. The first, Non-Existence gambit is to concede racial differences in scores on IQ tests but then to assert that IQ tests do not measure intelligence because, for instance, “intelligence” is only that which a particular culture chooses to value. In contrast, the Mismeasured (Test-Bias) rejoinder concedes what the Non-Existence rejoinder disputes (“Yes, IQ tests do measure intelligence”) but then targets a different link in the chain of plausibility (“but, they produce falsely low readings for blacks”). Both rejoinders, however, urge us to abolish IQ tests or question testers’ motives rather than take the IQ gaps seriously."[48] --Jagz (talk) 04:11, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

WP does not normally include personal opinions from websites or blogs. Peer-reviewed mainstream academic literature is preferred. Mathsci (talk) 06:02, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Let's first establish that there is a notable view among mainstream geneticists that IQ differences among races is genetic. So far no one has been able to extablish that this view even exists. So why waste time criticizing people who criticize this view, when the view itself is too fringe to occupy more than a brief amount of space (if any at all) in any article on the topic? Slrubenstein | Talk 10:48, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
"I suspect that most experts on the topic now believe that the gap is at least somewhat genetic, because that was the plurality judgment when solicited confidentially twenty years ago (Snyderman & Rothman, 1988)."[49]
That isn't the opinion of the APA statement.--Ramdrake (talk) 13:30, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I have repeatedly requested that you and others make your case by editing the "Genetic hypothesis" section. If you have reliable references that say it is a pile of rubbish then so be it. Let's see what you come up with and we'll take it from there. If the editors are so convinced that it is only science fiction, then I wonder why the "Genetic hypothesis" section has not been removed from the article. --Jagz (talk) 13:42, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
The references supporting this have been repeately supplied in general on this talk page over the past year. However, you have always chosen to ignore them. I will not go through this exercise again just for you to ignore them again and demand them again. Sorry, but this nonsense stops here.--Ramdrake (talk) 15:18, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Take whatever references you have and then use them to edit the "Genetic hypothesis" section or delete the section if justified. --Jagz (talk) 16:01, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Regarding the APA statement, the genetic hypothesis does not need direct evidence. That's one reason it is not called a theory. --Jagz (talk) 13:37, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
I think this would be an excellent way to organize criticism of the genetic hypothesis and present it more clearly to the reader. --Zero g (talk) 18:56, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Unfotunately no. There is absolutely no academic justification for this. If fringe science appears in this article, it should be prominently identified as such. Please do not try to "bury" this kind of information in the recesses of an already overlong article. Such attempts would give WP:UNDUE weight to a viewpoint not shared by mainstream scholars. Mathsci (talk) 19:20, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Then edit the "Genetic hypothesis" section and state that it is fringe. --Jagz (talk) 19:30, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
On WP the way to show that a point of view is WP:FRINGE is to describe that point of view with details of those that support it, followed by critisms of that point of view by mainstream scholars. The comments on a point of view have to come from published peer-reviewed literature. Hiding these criticisms elsewhere is misleading. Mathsci (talk) 20:40, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
How can the mere grouping of criticism be classified as non academic fringe science? From what I can see it sums up the various arguments and counter-arguments made by Flynn and Co in an orderly fashion. --Zero g (talk) 20:13, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

See this paper and related blog entries for leads on gathering some sound references.LeadSongDog (talk) 19:41, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Improper addition to the statement about the genetic position

This section: In recent years, the claim that there are genetic causes for differences in averages of I.Q. scores between races has been forwarded by scholars such as Charles Murray, Michael Levin, and J. Philippe Rushton, whose research has been criticized by other scholars such as Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Levin, Richard Lewontin and Joseph L. Graves. [20] [21] [22]

Has been supplemented by this blurb: Some have written that current evidence makes the black-white gap more plausibly 80% genetic than 0% genetic and others that 50% genetic is more plausible than 0% genetic, and yet others have argued that the available evidence is equally consistent with 0% genetic or is not yet sufficient to venture an opinion."[16]

This addition, which keeps being re-added by Jagz and Zero g, is wholly improper for four reasons:

    1. It is an exact, unattributed copy of Linda Gottfredson's opinion, therefore a direct copyvio
    2. It is presented as THE truth rather than the opinion of a single person, therefore fails WP:NPOV
    3. It is an op-ed piece from a blog site, therefore fails WP:RS
    4. By giving this much space in a summary section to the opinion of a single person we are also violating WP:UNDUE

I would like to widen the editorial input on this addition, as I believe it to be improper and it need of urgent remedy; however, I am at the revert limit and therefore cannot remove it myself anymore.--Ramdrake (talk) 20:15, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

I changed it so the quote is specifically attributed to Linda Gottfredson. --Jagz (talk) 20:31, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
You still haven't addressed WP:RS and WP:UNDUE.--Ramdrake (talk) 20:36, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I disagree with you on those points. --Jagz (talk) 20:39, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Gottfredson is an expert in the field, so WP:UNDUE does not go. Given it's a quote WP:RS does not go either, unless we decide to delete all quotes and remarks from flaky sources which would weaken the egalitarian POV in this article. I don't particularly care about the text being included or not, imo it sums up how the various experts feel about the subject nicely, but I object to the motivation and argumentation of your reverts. Your obstructive / uncooperative behavior and bullying isn't appreciated either. --Zero g (talk) 20:44, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Let me get this right. Ramdrake:
  1. knew it was from LG (presumably by following the cite) and thought it was better to revert the change than fix the cite.
  2. thought that lack of a balancing POV was reason to remove this one
  3. thought that CATO Unbound] was a blog, not a serious online journal
  4. thought that deletion was preferable to relocation as a means of addressing WP:UNDUE
While Jagz and Zero g:
  1. couldn't bother to properly cite while they readded
  2. didn't take the discussion to talk before re-adding
  3. thought that CATO Unbound] was a serious online journal, not a blog
  4. thought that readding in place was preferable to relocation as a means of addressing WP:UNDUE
Is that about it? LeadSongDog (talk) 20:47, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Cato unbound is an online mouthpiece for the Cato Institute, a "libertarian think tank". I don't think it is any way equivalent to a peer-reviewed academic journal. In this case the particular article in question would seem to be more like a commissioned newspaper article, by a newspaper with a definite political slant. How can an encyclopedia possibly be based on such articles? Mathsci (talk) 20:59, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
If we thought that no slanted opinion piece has a place in an encyclopedia we would miss out on a lot of the best discussion. What Neutral POV is about is finding a balance in the article between opposing opinions, not eliminating them altogether.LeadSongDog (talk) 21:38, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Right, but is anyone disputing the substance of the quote? --Jagz (talk) 21:43, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
That would be WP:OR. WP uses secondary sources to provide interpretation. This kind of "opinion piece" is wholly inappropriate: it is simply not a reliable source. Mathsci (talk) 22:21, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, but it seems to meet Wikipedia's standards. --Jagz (talk) 22:56, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
It does not. You, Jagz, are behaving exactly like User:MoritzB before he was banned from editing WP because of the way in which he inappropriately included material about James Watson's opinion. He, like you, wanted to include remarks outside their proper context which gave a false impression to the uninformed reader. This material has now been correctly represented in the article; it tells the reader more about James Watson than about R&I. Now you are playing the same game with this "opinion piece". You, Jagz, have no way of showing that it could be published in a reputable mainstream peer-reviewed journal. If you can find an article in a mainstream journal that makes similar claims then that would be acceptable. But at the moment, like Watson's initial statements, it could just be inflammatory hot air. We cannot rely on LG's reputation, because that failed with Watson. Like MoritzB, who was a WP:SPA WP:POV pusher, you should be community banned from lurking on this page. You seem to have only negative material to contribute to the WP project; and you seem incapable of presenting your arguments properly. Like banned editor User:MoritzB you at present seem to have your own agenda on WP, in your case to salvage the reputation of disgraced WP:FRINGE scholars such as Lynn, Rushton and others. This is unhelpful and unscholarly. Picking on minor and trivial points, as seems to be your "strategy" now, acting on this talk page as if you are in some way reponsible for organizing the editing of this article, all these things are examples of disruptive and absurd trolling. Slrubenstein is quite correct to leave his comments. That is what fillibustering is - tactics to wear down the perceived oppposition. But we're not playing a game at the boy scouts here: we are editing an encyclopedia. Mathsci (talk) 05:59, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
No you're not editing an encyclopedia. Your filling up the Talk page. --Jagz (talk) 11:49, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
And you aren't???--Ramdrake (talk) 11:57, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Here's some free coaching with your homework, gang: If you actually go and read WP:NPOV, you'll find it easier to understand what neutral is about. Unless you are arguing that a libertarian think tank can't possibly be a sensible place to find out what libertarian thinking on an issue is. (n.b. I have no real inclination either way on this, but I'm getting mighty weary of the pattern of argument I'm seeing. If people can't show any respect for each others views, they shouldn't be on WP.)LeadSongDog (talk) 23:01, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
LSD, for the record, I might not object to the quote, properly attributed and properly framed, to be included somewhere else in the article. However, I feel that showcasing the position of a single, controversial researcher from a non-neutral source in what is intended to be a summary of the main researchers around the debate, is definitely giving undue weight to a single person's viewpoint. If one wants to introduce a viewpoint in that section, why not that of the APA (representative of tens of thousands of members, and published in a peer-reviewed paper):

It is sometimes suggested that the Black/White differential in psychometric intelligence is partly due to genetic differences (Jensen, 1972). There is not much direct evidence on this point, but what little there is fails to support the genetic hypothesis. In my mind, that would be much more representative, and thus would indubitably meet both WP:RS and WP:UNDUE.--Ramdrake (talk) 23:10, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Ramdrake, you can add other sentences to the paragraph to help balance it. Removing a sentence is not always the best solution. --Jagz (talk) 23:20, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Jagz, I've been trying to tell you about six times: it's not in the right place.--Ramdrake (talk) 23:24, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
The sentence that is there now, which we discussed recently, is incomplete by itself. How do you suggest turning it into a complete paragraph? --Jagz (talk) 23:33, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
That's the first time you raise the issue. Before, it was other issues. You're sounding more and more like you're grasping at straws to object to the paragraph. Please demonstrate how the sentence is incomplete, because I honestly don't see it at all.--Ramdrake (talk) 23:56, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Please comment on the article, not the editor. Isn't that a favorite line of yours? I'll ask for a third opinion. --Jagz (talk) 00:19, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Fine. Go forum-shopping again.--Ramdrake (talk) 00:22, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

FWIW, I would avoid quotes altogether. There are a half dozen or so "authoritative" sources (e.g. APA report, Mainstream statement, etc) that all seem to say something slightly different -- making it hard to say that any one quote is fairly balanced. I realize that that in itself makes it difficult to say what balance really is, but at least we can edit text that isn't a quote to look for something that encompasses the range of published opinions. Restrict the use of quotes to situations where the opinion of the author is the point that is being described. --Legalleft (talk) 23:30, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
(outdent) Here's a technique to dial back the bickering: Eliminate editor names (other than your own) from your posts. It's not that hard to do. Try it on for a day.LeadSongDog (talk) 00:25, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Legalleft, do you feel the below sentence is complete as a standalone paragraph? It seems like another sentence or two would be appropriate:
"In recent years, the claim that there are genetic causes for differences in averages of I.Q. scores between races has been forwarded by scholars such as Charles Murray, Michael Levin, and J. Philippe Rushton, whose research has been criticized by other scholars such as Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Levin, Richard Lewontin and Joseph L. Graves." --Jagz (talk) 00:31, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, tough one. Several thoughts. (1) Researchers criticize one another's work all the time. So that's perhaps not the most informative statement. Something more precise would help. At what level do they disagree? I think you'll find that they disagree at various levels of the debate. (2) In some of these cases, the criticisms go both ways. Another reason why the formulation isn't that informative. (3) I'm not 100% sure that the implied all-to-all mapping of criticism is correct.
So perhaps its better to step back and ask what point is being made. It seems the point is (1) to mention prominent names and (2) to point that that there is disagreement. I'd question the precise choice of names. For example, most of Gould and Lewontin's work is pre Bell Curve. So their names should probably come earlier in the section. Else the aim of the sentence should be changed to simply account for all relevant figures. In that case the list definitely needs to be revised. Flynn and Jensen are missing for example. Moreover, its probably worth noting the range of positions that are being taken. Gould's arguments are not the same as Lewontin's which are not the same as Flynn's. There's definitely a lot of distance between the positions of Murray and Rushton also. In TBC Murray restricted discussion of Rushton to an appendix iirc.
I guess I'd recommend expanding the scope of his question to looking at the totality of that section and asking whether it gets across the time scale of the debate, the diversity of views, and the major names worth noting. Then later in the article, try to to miss out on less well known figures who's research is nonetheless an important part of the debate.
I hope he doesn't mind my pointing this out, but Nick and I started working on a notepad of sorts that lists (in certainly non-NPOV fashion) various facts that should be reported in the article. He and I have both slowed down work on it, but it may be helpful as a source of ideas. The page is here: User:Nick_Connolly/RaceIQ. Because it's his user space, please let the content remain as he chooses. --Legalleft (talk) 01:26, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
OR.... we can take a step further back and dedicate a section of the beginning of the article to the range of expressions which claim to describe the state of the debate. This has to be done carefully to not constitute an original synthesis, but there is some precedent for saying that the debate exists at different levels and that a variety of characterizations of the debate have been offered, not all of which have been accepted. Hope that helps. --Legalleft (talk) 02:21, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your analysis of the sentence. It sounds like you and Nick have some good ideas for moving the article forward. --Jagz (talk) 13:02, 24 April 2008 (UTC)


The archiving on this page had become a bit of a mess, because of the recent high activity. MiszaBot was still archiving threads older than 35 days, but talkpage activity was vastly outstripping this, and the size of the page had grown to 445K (!). I went ahead and manually archived all the threads that were over 3 weeks old, except for the RfC, which I have left in place. The page is still around 200K, but hopefully this won't crash as many browsers. I've also tweaked the bot down to a 14-day cutoff, and will keep an eye on it over the next week or so to see if it needs further tweaks. If anyone thinks the RfC should be kept "active" on this page, just add a date-stamped comment to that section, and then the bot will leave it alone for another two weeks. If the RfC is done though, then just leave that section alone, and the bot will probably archive it within 24 hours, probably to /Archive 67. --Elonka 12:04, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

You should consult Mrs. Ramdrake and Slrubenstein first in the future. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 00:33, April 29, 2008

reaction time and BW IQ gap

here's a recent paper: --Legalleft (talk) 21:45, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Correlations between IQ and reaction time are low.Ultramarine (talk) 22:09, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
i am not familiar with the doi organization. while the mere fact of my not being familiar is not to say that it is not a reliable source - the fact that its advertising sponsors send out phishing pop ups lends little to its credibility. And i did not see anything in the abstract where the authors identify reaction time as a facet of intellegence - they seem to be arguing that it is a correlating factor. Did I miss it or do you have some other source that says reaction time is part of intellegence? TheRedPenOfDoom (talk) 02:46, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
doi = Digital object identifier. reaction time = ECT (elementary cognitive task) = basic measures of information processing. Google around and you'll find more. Correcting for attenuation, the correlation between IQ test scores and ECT performance is about 0.5 (J. Grudnik and J. Kranzler, Meta-analysis of the relationship between intelligence and inspection time, Intelligence 29 (2001), pp. 523–535.) --Legalleft (talk) 03:19, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
hmmm there doesn't seem to be an article on elementary cognitive task. Anybody want to help write one?Nick Connolly (talk) 03:31, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

REACTION TIME? THINK SPRINTING !!!!!!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:19, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Caution: The study is not yet peer reviewed. LeadSongDog (talk) 17:43, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Sure it is. The proof wouldn't have been posted if it didn't survive peer review. (talk) 22:13, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
No it hasn't been published. Thats why it is marked as "Corrected Proof". It may shortly be published and then we can see if it made it into a journal that can be considered a WP:RS. TheRedPenOfDoom (talk) 22:37, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
No one said it was published. I said it WAS peer reviewed. (talk) 05:09, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Corrected proofs have been peer reviewed. It's common practice to publish the review-formatted manuscript before a final formatted manuscript is published. From the page under the link:

Note to users: The section "Articles in Press" contains peer reviewed accepted articles to be published in this journal. When the final article is assigned to an issue of the journal, the "Article in Press" version will be removed from this section and will appear in the associated published journal issue. The date it was first made available online will be carried over. Please be aware that although "Articles in Press" do not have all bibliographic details available yet, they can already be cited using the year of online publication and the DOI as follows: Author(s), Article Title, Journal (Year), DOI. Please consult the journal's reference style for the exact appearance of these elements, abbreviation of journal names and the use of punctuation. There are three types of "Articles in Press": Accepted manuscripts: these are articles that have been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by the Editorial Board. The articles have not yet been copy edited and/or formatted in the journal house style. Uncorrected proofs: these are copy edited and formatted articles that are not yet finalized and that will be corrected by the authors. Therefore the text could change before final publication. Corrected proofs: these are articles containing the authors' corrections and may, or may not yet have specific issue and page numbers assigned.

There are no content differences between a final published version and the corrected proof. In many disciplines, the corrected proof is retained in an open source repository, and will often be the most read version of the document. All that's missing from the corrected proof is assignment to a particular space in an upcoming issue of the journal. --Legalleft (talk) 01:59, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Race in Biology

Actually I can cite several sources that directly contradict you claim. One of the best review articles is Keita et al. (2004)[50] that states "'Race' is applied in formal taxonomy to variation below the species level." and "..the correct use of the term 'race' is the most current taxonomic one, because it has been formalized. 'Race' gains its force from its natural science root." and go on:

Current systematic theory emphasizes that taxonomy at all levels should reflect evolutionary relationships11. For instance, the term 'Negro' was once a racial designation for numerous groups in tropical Africa and Pacific Oceania (Melanesians). These groups share a broadly similar external phenotype; this classification illustrates 'race' as type, defined by anatomical complexes. Although the actual relationship between African 'Negroes' and Oceanic 'Negroes' was sometimes questioned, these groups were placed in the same taxon. Molecular and genetic studies later showed that the Oceanic 'Negroes' were more closely related to mainland Asians.
Arguments against the existence of human races (the taxa 'Mongoloid', 'Caucasoid' and 'Negroid' and those from other classifications) include those stated for subspecies10 and several others15. The within- to between-group variation is very high for genetic polymorphisms (approx85%; refs. 16,17). This means that individuals from one 'race' may be overall more similar to individuals in one of the other 'races' than to other individuals in the same 'race'. This observation is perhaps insufficient18, although it still is convincing because it illustrates the lack of a boundary. Coalescence times19, 20 calculated from various genes suggest that the differentiation of modern humans began in Africa in populations whose morphological traits are unknown; it cannot be assumed from an evolutionary perspective that the traits used to define 'races' emerged simultaneously with this divergence15. There was no demonstrable 'racial' divergence.
'Race' is a legitimate taxonomic concept that works for chimpanzees but does not apply to humans (at this time). The nonexistence of 'races' or subspecies in modern humans does not preclude substantial genetic variation that may be localized to regions or populations.

So the word "race" has a formally recognised taxonomic meaning, but it does not apply to human variation based on current concepts of "race" or subspecies. On the other hand "race" is used arbitrarily by non scientists and may well have very different meanings in different environments. As Keita et al. state

'Race' is not being defined or used consistently; its referents are varied and shift depending on context. The term is often used colloquially to refer to a range of human groupings. Religious, cultural, social, national, ethnic, linguistic, genetic, geographical and anatomical groups have been and sometimes still are called 'races

The Race, Ethnicity, and Genetics Working Group of the National Human Genome Research Institute advise geneticists thus:

One way for geneticists to ease the dilemma they face is to try to move beyond racial, ethnic, or ancestral categories in their work (Ota Wang and Sue 2005; Shields et al. 2005). Rather than using racial, ethnic, or ancestral labels as proxies for much more detailed social, economic, environmental, biological, or genetic factors, researchers can try to measure these factors directly. For example, controlling for socioeconomic status by use of census tract data can substantially reduce the excess mortality risk observed in disadvantaged minority populations (Krieger et al. 2005). Similarly, genotyping to estimate biogeographical ancestry can be a better control for population substructure than self-identified race, ethnicity, or ancestry (Shields et al. 2005)......When the use of racial or ethnic categories in research is deemed necessary, researchers can avoid overgeneralization by using labels that are as specific as possible. Today many genetic investigations label populations with the same loose terms used by the public (Sankar and Cho 2002; Clayton 2003; Collins 2004; Comstock et al. 2004). But labels such as “Hispanic,” “Black,” “Mexican American,” “White,” “Asian,” “European,” or “African” can have ambiguous or contradictory meanings among researchers, research subjects, and the general public. Use of such broad labels without careful definitions can impair scientific understanding and imply that distinctions between socially defined populations are genetically well established....A number of journals, including Nature Genetics (Anonymous 2000), Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine (Rivara and Finberg 2001), and the British Medical Journal (Anonymous 1996), have separately issued guidelines stating that researchers should carefully define the terms they use for populations, and some journals have asked researchers to justify their use of racial or ethnic groups in research.[51]

Genetics publications take the utility of their research very seriously, and geneticists know the pitfalls of overly simplifying when it comes to human biological categories. When social sciences make claims founded on concepts outside their field of expertise they have just as much duty as geneticists to properly define their research groups. When a social scientists, such as a psychologist for example, makes a claim that a constructed category of people in a society has produced a significantly different result from a different socially constructed category within the same society, this it is reasonable to take them at their word as long as their theory for explaining this difference is based on social sciences. As soon as they remove themselves to the field of biological sciences, for example by claiming that the differences in the results are due to innate genetic differences, then the criteria for defining their categories are required to be just as vigorous as we would expect for a research biologists. If these scientists want their research to have validity in the field of biology, then they need to meet the same set of criteria that biologists set themselves for group definition. Or in other words, to claim that social construct A is different to social construct B because of reasons founded in society is reasonable. But to claim that social construct A is different to social construct B for biological reasons is not reasonable, in this case the social scientists need to be held to the same standards group identification as geneticists and biologists use for themselves. If a social scientists wants to make claims about "biological differences", then they need evidence firmly grounded in biology, and not grounded in social constructs. But I digress.
My initial point was this: The term "race" is not "the word that English speaking people use to describe the categories "white", "black", "Asian" and so on." It is a word that is sometimes used to mean these categories, and sometimes used to mean completely different categories. It has a specific and well understood meaning in the biological sciences, but the biological sciences have shown over and again that humans do not meet the criteria set for classification into "races". I've made this point several times before on this page, but many people here do not want to accept what biology tells us, only what non-biologists using non-biological categories claim is a the product of "biological differences", i.e. they accept the tiny bits of pseudoscience that support their own racial prejudices and biases. Alun (talk) 14:35, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Possible copyright infringement above. --Jagz (talk) 14:40, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
How population geneticists use the word "race" is not necessarily how it has been used in the research reported in this article and in many ways diverges from the meaning that the (English-speaking) audience of this article will understand. Thus, fixed and precise definitions are neither necessary nor desirable where they interfere with the mission of writing an article that can be understood by a general audience. --Legalleft (talk) 21:15, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
It is precisely BECAUSE different groups use the term to mean different things that in this article we need to be ABSOLUTELY precise in defining how each source is using the term so that an unknowledgeable reader entering the topic will not be confused.TheRedPenOfDoom (talk) 21:42, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Legalleft, your response doesn't even approach a convincing argument. You claim that the "English speaking world" use the term "race" consistently, so that everyone "understands" the constructs under investigation. I provide a quote above from a paper that specifically states the opposite, regardless that the quote is from a paper written by geneticists, these geneticists are not talking about the technical use of the word race, they are talking about everyday use of the word "race". I'll include the quote again so there's no confusion:

'Race' is not being defined or used consistently; its referents are varied and shift depending on context. The term is often used colloquially to refer to a range of human groupings. Religious, cultural, social, national, ethnic, linguistic, genetic, geographical and anatomical groups have been and sometimes still are called 'races'.[52]

Besides this specific quote that undermines your claim, your contention amounts to original research. I see no reason why I should be expected to take your word that your set of categories are universal normal English colloquial usage, how do you know? Do you know the way this word is used colloquially in every English speaking country? Can you provide a source that states that in every part of the English speaking world, these "races" are always used specifically and absolutely to mean the same social constructs? Can you show evidence that if I were to visit Australia, then everyone would understand that when I say "race" I am always and invariably referring to "the categories 'white', 'black', 'Asian' and so on."? And that if I were then to visit South African and used the same set of terms, people would automatically understand that these terms encompass the same set of categories? Are the labels consistently used? I know for a fact that in the UK it has been common for any person of non-European ancestry to refer to themselves as "black". See Black British where it states "Historically it has been used to refer to any non-white British national." and "In some circumstances the word "Black" still signifies all ethnic minority populations." I have myself heard people of Indian sub-continental descent refer to themselves as black in the UK. It is also true that in the UK the term "Asian" is invariably used to refer to someone of Indian subcontinental origin, but in the USA I get the impression that it is primarily used to mean someone from the far East (though I'm no expert in US social constructs). Besides what do you mean by "Asian"? You claim it is a universally understood "race" in the "English speaking world", but what are it's referents? Does it include the indigenous peoples of Siberia, Han Chinese, Indian people, Pakistani people, Arabs, Turkish people, Kalash etc. all as part of the same Asian "race"? And exactly what "race" is "so on"? I've never heard of that one. You claim the use is consistent and specific in the "English speaking world", but you yourself do not seem to be able to list these invariant categories. So what do you actually mean? Do you include "Hispanics" as a "race"? Are "Hispanics" different to "Latinos"? Do "Hispanics" constitute part of the "white" category you list, or are they comprised of people from different "races"? Your claim that these are universally known and understood categories is not only not supported by any sources, you do not even seem able to list them yourself. It's not good enough to take the attitude that "everyone understands what I mean", because they do not. What you, specifically as an American (I assume), understand as a set of socially constructed categories is not the same set as someone would understand who lives in a different social environment, which clearly would have it's own specific set of social constructs. Even within the USA you have not provided any evidence that these constructs are always used consistently. Likewise you have no reason whatsoever to assume that the categories your society constructs are identical to the constructs of other societies, even if those societies happen to speak the same language as you. Alun (talk) 20:56, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Jeez, Alun. Get a grip. Just because there is ambiguity in a word does not mean it's meaningless. Every word we use has fuzzy boundaries. Check a dictionary. Here, I'll help you.
1. a group of persons related by common descent or heredity.
2. a population so related.
3. Anthropology.
a. any of the traditional divisions of humankind, the commonest being the Caucasian, Mongoloid, and Negro, characterized by supposedly distinctive and universal physical characteristics: no longer in technical use.
b. an arbitrary classification of modern humans, sometimes, esp. formerly, based on any or a combination of various physical characteristics, as skin color, facial form, or eye shape, and now frequently based on such genetic markers as blood groups.
c. a human population partially isolated reproductively from other populations, whose members share a greater degree of physical and genetic similarity with one another than with other humans.
4. a group of tribes or peoples forming an ethnic stock: the Slavic race.
5. any people united by common history, language, cultural traits, etc.: the Dutch race.
6. the human race or family; humankind: Nuclear weapons pose a threat to the race.
7. Zoology. a variety; subspecies.
8. a natural kind of living creature: the race of fishes.
9. any group, class, or kind, esp. of persons: Journalists are an interesting race.
10. the characteristic taste or flavor of wine.
–adjective 11. of or pertaining to the races of humankind.
[Origin: 1490–1500; < F < It razza, of obscure orig.]
—Synonyms 1. tribe, clan, family, stock, line, breed. Race, people, nation are terms for a large body of persons who may be thought of as a unit because of common characteristics. In the traditional biological and anthropological systems of classification race refers to a group of persons who share such genetically transmitted traits as skin color, hair texture, and eye shape or color: the white race; the yellow race. In reference to classifying the human species, race is now under dispute among modern biologists and anthropologists. Some feel that the term has no biological validity; others use it to specify only a partially isolated reproductive population whose members share a considerable degree of genetic similarity. In certain broader or less technical senses race is sometimes used interchangeably with people. People refers to a body of persons united usually by common interests, ideals, or culture but sometimes also by a common history, language, or ethnic character: We are one people; the peoples of the world; the Swedish people. Nation refers to a body of persons living under an organized government or rule, occupying a defined area, and acting as a unit in matters of peace and war: the English nation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:51, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Comments on sentences in "Contemporary issues" section

Here are some comments I have:
In recent years, the belief that there are no biological causes for "race" differences in intelligence or potential has been challenged by scholars such as Charles Murray, Michael Levin, and J. Philippe Rushton and defended by other scholars such as Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Levin, Richard Lewontin and Joseph L. Graves.

  • Having "race" in quotes in unncessary as the word is already in the name of the article. The article name is not "Race" and intelligence.
  • "Biological causes" is improper because intelligence is a biological phenomenon. The human brain is not a rock or pile of sawdust for example.

Those claiming biological differences are the cause of "race" differences in "intelligence" also claim that, in light of the slight but definite effect that racial origins have on physical traits like medical risk factors and athletic abilities, there is no reason to suppose that such effects do not extend to mental traits.[17][18]

  • "Those claiming" is improper because it can refer to more people than those mentioned in the previous sentence and is therefore an over-generalization not supported by the citations and is also probably incorrect.

Whereas Joseph L. Graves argues that differences in athletic performance and medical outcomes between so called "races" are likely to have an environmental origin.[19] [20]

  • Is Joseph Graves a significant player in the race and intelligence debate?
    --Jagz (talk) 15:43, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
biological is tricky. As brains process information they neccesarily have several levels of analysis. Mind versus brain is an issue even if we fully accept that the mind is a product of the brain. In this discussion the difference is whether a cognitive difference is matched by a long-term structural difference in the brain (eg London cabbies having an enlarged hippocampus {I think}) or not (eg I know who Barry Hall is and you don't but that doesn't mean I've now got a swollen BarryHallKnowing bit in my brain that you don't have). Environmental differences between individuals may or may not be difference that can be identified biologically (eg by autopsy or fmri) but genetic differences must entail actual differences in either how the brain is structured or in how it develops. Computer analogies can be misleading - but consider the software hardware distinction. Nick Connolly (talk) 20:03, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Comments on edited sentence

The sentences discussed above were edited and the remaining sentence is shown below. I have further comments:
In recent years, the claim that there are genetic causes for differences in averages of I.Q. scores between different races has been forwarded by scholars such as Charles Murray, Michael Levin, and J. Philippe Rushton, whose research has been criticized by other scholars such as Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Levin, Richard Lewontin and Joseph L. Graves.

  • The statement regarding Charles Murray may be wrong for the following reason:

In the The Bell Curve, the authors Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray, were reported throughout the popular press as arguing that "IQ differences are genetic, although they state no position on the issue in the book, and write in the introduction to Chapter 13 that 'The debate about whether and how much genes and environment have to do with ethnic differences remains unresolved'."

  • The phrase, "whose research has been criticized by other scholars such as", is not wholly supported by the linked Wikipedia articles and there are no citations provided. It needs to be rewritten to avoid over-generalization.
  • Maybe the whole sentence should be deleted as it has been edited to the point where it is no longer particularly useful. --Jagz (talk) 19:53, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
The sentence makes its point rather clearly and does not seem worth arguing about. Mathsci (talk) 02:38, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
I see you have restored the sentence. What exactly do you mean by discussion? Mathsci (talk) 02:42, 18 April 2008 (UTC) Sorry, I should refactor this: you placed a "dubious" tag on the sentence. Mathsci (talk) 05:13, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
You are also by now aware that at least three editors favour this sentence, so please stop reverting. I do not quite understand your objection to the sentence, despite your text above. Mathsci (talk) 02:46, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
I'll discuss this with an administrator prior to proceeding. --Jagz (talk) 02:51, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Wasn't there an attempt to have a mediator for this page fairly recently? Mathsci (talk) 02:57, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for now putting your comments in bold. However, I would also be most grateful if you could please answer my question about mediation. I have added three references to Gould, Lewontin and Graves. Cheers, Mathsci (talk) 03:47, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
I have also discussed it with MRG. I do not at all understand why you were so concerned by this neutral sentence. Is there some problem with the way in which WP describes fringe science? Mathsci (talk) 04:52, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
I would like to see you, Ramdrake, Slrubenstein, Alun/Wobble, and others make a serious effort in editing the "Genetic hypothesis" section of the article as discussed in the below section, and do it using Wikipedia quality standards so that we have something concrete to discuss. In regards to the sentence, references/citations have to back up statements in Wikipedia. Personal knowledge or just throwing in any citation doesn't cut it. It's not fair to throw in unsupported sentences and then when I object, infer that it is because I am biased and engaging in POV-pushing; that is just playing games. Now, can we continue to discuss the sentence below? --Jagz (talk) 17:32, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Please comment on the article, not the editors.--Ramdrake (talk) 17:40, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
That's a good observation Ramdrake, now let's proceed with discussing the disputed sentence. --Jagz (talk) 17:44, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Now that User:Mathsci has provided references for all three critics of the hereditarian position, do you still object to the sentence? While Murray and Hernstein may have said in Chapter 13 of their book that they left the debate open, at least for Murray (the surviving co-author) subsequent interviews have rather clearly put him in the hereditarian camp. If you still object, please state your remaining objections.--Ramdrake (talk) 12:50, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Dudes - WP:DNFTT Slrubenstein | Talk 16:19, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
WP:Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point --Jagz (talk) 21:19, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Let's try this again to make the sentence more accurate. How is this?:
In recent years, the claim that there is a genetic cause for the differences in the average of IQ scores of races has been advanced by scholars such as Charles Murray, Michael Levin, and J. Philippe Rushton, however, this genetic hypothesis has been criticized by other scholars such as Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Levin, Richard Lewontin and Joseph L. Graves.
However, for example, the linked article for Murray needs to be modified or a citation added to show that his works specifically advocated the genetic hypothesis and not just that he expressed a belief in it in an interview. --Jagz (talk) 18:50, 18 April 2008 (UTC) WP:DNFTT Slrubenstein | Talk 18:59, 18 April 2008 (UTC) WP:Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point --Jagz (talk) 21:26, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

"In recent years" is wp:weasel wording and exhibits a temporal POV. Better to say "From 1998 to 2004" or just lose it. The phrase "by such scholars as" might be justified if references as cited that call them scholars, but it contributes little to the meaning beyond "by". Consider instead Charles Murray, Michael Levin, and J. Philippe Rushton's position, that there are genetic causes for differences in averages of I.Q. test scores between different races has been criticized by others, such as Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Levin, Richard Lewontin and Joseph L. Graves.LeadSongDog (talk) 19:03, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
I have noted my reservation on Murray above. I think it is important to include some type of temporal reference because we are trying to give a brief indication of what has been happening since The Bell Curve came out in 1994 to the present. It is better to say that Gould, Levin, Lewontin, and Graves are criticizing the genetic hypothesis or something like that instead of them criticizing Murray, Levin, and Rushton's postition because it would be more difficult to support that with citations. We would need to add citations showing that they all criticized all of the others' positions. It would be much easier to show that they criticized the genetic hypothesis for example. --Jagz (talk) 21:00, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
That is incomplete. Gould, Levin, Lewontin and Graves have levelled specific objections to the research paradigms and methods of Rushton and Lynn, for example. So, yes they do object to the genetic hypothesis, but they also question the scientific methodology used by the proponents of the genetic hypothesis to prop up their theory. --Ramdrake (talk) 17:40, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Okay, how about this:
In recent years, the genetic hypothesis, which theorizes that there are genetic causes for the differences in the average IQ scores of races, has been supported by the works of scholars such as Charles Murray, Michael Levin, and J. Philippe Rushton; however, their scientific methodologies and the genetic hypothesis itself has been criticized by other scholars such as Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Levin, Richard Lewontin , and Joseph L. Graves. --Jagz (talk) 23:26, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
WP:DNFTT Slrubenstein | Talk 23:39, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
WP:Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point --Jagz (talk) 21:26, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Okay, how about this:
In recent years, the genetic hypothesis, which theorizes that there are genetic causes for the differences in the average IQ scores of races, has been supported by the works of scholars such as Charles Murray, Michael Levin, and J. Philippe Rushton; however, their scientific methodologies and the genetic hypothesis itself has been criticized by other scholars such as Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Levin, Richard Lewontin , and Joseph L. Graves. --Jagz (talk) 13:16, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Your formulations just say exactly what the current section says, just in a far less legible manner. I say we stick with the original formulation. Also, there are still several issues with your formulation; for example, how much support the works of Rushton, etc. really give to the hypothesis, which is a matter of controversy (many say that if the science was done properly, it wouldn't support their position).--Ramdrake (talk) 13:33, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Okay, how about this:
In recent years, the claim that there are genetic causes for differences in averages of I.Q. scores between different races has been forwarded by scholars such as Charles Murray, Michael Levin, and J. Philippe Rushton, whose research has been criticized by other scholars such as Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Levin, Richard Lewontin and Joseph L. Graves. -- Slrubenstein | Talk 13:35, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

My point, exactly.--Ramdrake (talk) 13:52, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
It seems very clearly and accurately put. Mathsci (talk) 16:30, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Please reword "between different races" because it employs redundant wording. Also, it would be better if you could be more specific than "whose research has been criticized"; use more specific wording than just "research". As stated earlier, I'm not sure Murray specifically advocated the genetic hypothesis in his works, although his works may have supported the genetic hypothesis indirectly. Please also add a sentence that shows that some scholars have rejected or criticized the genetic hypothesis. Also, the references must specifically support your statements and not just in an indirect or cursory manner. --Jagz (talk) 17:08, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Oh ... um, okay, so how about this:
In recent years, the claim that there are genetic causes for differences in averages of I.Q. scores between different races has been forwarded by scholars such as Charles Murray, Michael Levin, and J. Philippe Rushton, whose research has been criticized by other scholars such as Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Levin, Richard Lewontin and Joseph L. Graves. -- Slrubenstein | Talk 18:14, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Please reword "between different races" because it employs redundant wording. Also, it would be better if you could be more specific than "whose research has been criticized"; use more specific wording than just "research". As stated earlier, I'm not sure Murray specifically advocated the genetic hypothesis in his works, although his works may have supported the genetic hypothesis indirectly. Please also add a sentence that shows that some scholars have rejected or criticized the genetic hypothesis. Also, the references must specifically support your statements and not just in an indirect or cursory manner. --Jagz (talk) 18:47, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Okay, this is what I have come up with, it is dfinitely the best version: In recent years, the claim that there are genetic causes for differences in averages of I.Q. scores between different races has been forwarded by scholars such as Charles Murray, Michael Levin, and J. Philippe Rushton, whose research has been criticized by other scholars such as Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Levin, Richard Lewontin and Joseph L. Graves. -- Slrubenstein | Talk 19:09, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Jagz, here's my analysis:
  • Redundancy: granted, you have a point.
  • Research: the entire research on the subject of these researchers is eing put into question: their methodology, their motives, their theory, their analysis of the data, etc. The only way to list it off without making this tedious or specious is just to say "research".
  • Murray does support the genetic hypothesis, regardless of whether or not he admits it. Re-read the Bell Curve and it should be clear enough.
  • Rejection of the genetic hypothesis: ok, maybe you got another point.
  • Someone has already supplied specific references for the statement. I don't see that anything is missing.
Thus, you'd get:

In recent years, the claim that there are genetic causes for differences in averages of I.Q. scores between different races has been forwarded by scholars such as Charles Murray, Michael Levin, and J. Philippe Rushton, whose research has been criticized and rejected by other scholars such as Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Levin, Richard Lewontin and Joseph L. Graves.

In addition to the references already existing in the article. Now, can we please stop obfuscating and dancing around words and get to properly rewriting the article in a neutral fashion? Thanks.--Ramdrake (talk) 19:29, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I give in. I admit it: Ramdrake's version is much better than mine. Slrubenstein | Talk 20:06, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree, it was presented much more diplomatically. --Jagz (talk) 20:16, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Again, please comment on content, not on editors. Jagz, it would be nice if you kept such quips to yourself in the future.--Ramdrake (talk) 21:53, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
To be fair, you shouldn't make comments like this solely to those you view as the opposition. --Jagz (talk) 22:32, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
You are disrupting the talk page with your off-topic comments. Please cease and desist.--Ramdrake (talk) 23:47, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Jagz seems to be filibustering. The inclusion or not of "different" before races is a completely trivial point that does not deserve any kind of prolonged discussion. Please stop disrupting this page, Jagz, unless you have a point to make with some intellectual content. Mathsci (talk) 05:53, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
The sentence is not particularly informative and I'm not sure that the references can back up the statement that all the claimants were criticized by all the others. It is a poor standalone paragraph. --Jagz (talk) 14:13, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Please add a sentence that shows that some scholars have rejected or criticized the genetic hypothesis. --Jagz (talk) 17:48, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Request for Comment on how to present the genetic hypothesis in the article

I will do an RfC on how best to present the genetic hypothesis in the article. If you have any comments on how best to frame the RfC discussion, please list them below. --Jagz (talk) 16:53, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

At best, it should be a small section, even a footnote. It is fringe science, even junk science. Your obstinate refusal to heed other editorss viewpoints on this issue is becoming a breach of WP:POINT.--Ramdrake (talk) 18:11, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I am going ahead with it. You can add your POV to the RfC. My question above was about how best to frame the RfC discussion (the statements that will be the basis for the RfC discussion). --Jagz (talk) 18:30, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Then, I have this advice, taken from WP:PARENT: Attempts to change consensus must be based on a clear engagement with the reasons behind the current consensus — so in the new discussion section, provide a summary and links to any previous discussions about the issue on the articles talk page, or talk page archives, to help editors new to the issue read the reasons behind the consensus so that they can make an informed decision about changing the consensus. This means all the major arguments so far (on both sides) need to be represented in the new RfC, as this whole subject has been dealt with before, and there was indeed consensus, if not unanimity on the subject.--Ramdrake (talk) 18:46, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Anyone else? --Jagz (talk) 18:51, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

This is a very hard/technical question for a general contributor to answer. You'll need to give background. Probably easiest to get feedback by presenting alternatives and asking people to weigh in on why they would pick which alt. I also want to re-voice my disagreement with Ramdrake's opinion that the genetic hypothesis warrants "At best, it should be a small section, even a footnote." per the reasons I give in the section above. I would also point out that Nick appeared to have disagreed as well, as he wrote "I think [slrubinstein] and I still disagree on the extent to which the core article is an article about a controversy in the popular media around some fringe views (I think Slrubenstein's position) or whether it is on a hypothesis (most closely associated with Arthur Jensen) which wasn't fringe but which has largely been debunked and which was associated with a popular controversy". --Legalleft (talk) 19:23, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
After being involved in this article for several months, the evidence does not seem to support Ramdrake's opinion. --Jagz (talk) 20:18, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Funny, the previous two requests for comment (which you initiated) seem to bear out my position: way too much space is given to a very minor position.--Ramdrake (talk) 20:24, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Anyone else? --Jagz (talk) 20:30, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

WP:DNFTT Slrubenstein | Talk 20:50, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
WP:DNFTT --Jagz (talk) 21:06, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Anyone else? --Jagz (talk) 21:06, 28 April 2008 (UTC)


  1. ^ The g Factor. 1998.  Unknown parameter |Author= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  2. ^ Dolan, C. V. (1997). A note on Schönemann's refutation of Spearman's hypothesis. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 32, 319-325.
  3. ^ Dolan, C. V. (2000). Investigating Spearman's hypothesis by means of multi-group confirmatory factor analysis. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 35, 21-50.
  4. ^ Dolan, C. V., & Hamaker, E. L. (2001). Investigating Black-White differences in psychometric IQ: Multi-group confirmatory factor analyses of WISC-R and K-ABC and a critique of the method of correlated vectors. In F. Columbus (Ed.), Advances in psychology research (Vol. 6, pp. 30-59). Huntington, NY: Nova Science.
  5. ^ Lewontin, Richard (1974) "The analysis of variance and the analysis of causes". Am J Hum Genet 26:400-41
  6. ^ Racial Differences on a Black Intelligence Test Journal of Negro Education, 43, 4, 429-436, F 74
  7. ^ IQ Tests and the Black Culture McNiel, Nathaniel D.
  8. ^ Dove, A. The "Chitling" Test. From Lewis R. Aiken, Jr. (1971). Psychological and educational testings. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
  9. ^ Assessment in Multicultural Groups: The Role of Acculturation van de Vijver, Fons J.R.; Phalet, Karen from the Special Issue on Advances in Testing Methodology from an International Perspective Applied Psychology. 53(2):215-236, April 2004.
  10. ^ Tatum, Beverly Daniel (1997). Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria? And other conversations about race. New York: BasicBooks. ISBN 9780465091270. 
  11. ^ Cochran et al. 2005, p. 4
  12. ^ Lynn, [1] [2], Mackintosh 1998, p.178)
  13. ^ Murray and Herrnstein 1994
  14. ^ Lynn 2001 pp. 67–69
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Does Race Matter? - Recent Developments
  18. ^ Race is More Than Just Skin Deep: A Psychologist's View
  19. ^ Graves, Joseph L (2001) "The Emperor's New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium" Rutgers University Press. Chapter 11: The Race and Disease Fallacy. ISBN 0-8135-3302-3
  20. ^ Graves, Joseph L. (2004) "The Race Myth: Why We Pretend Race Exists in America". Dutton. Chapter 5: America is enough to make you sick: Differential health and mortality for racial minorities. Chapter 6: Europeans not West Africans dominate the NBA: The social construction of race in sports. ISBN 0-525-94825-2