Talk:Race and intelligence/Archive 81

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Arguments in favour of the Genetic hypothesis w. counterarguments from Nisbett

I think the article should contain explanations of all the arguments and counteraguments presented in the Appendix of Nisbett 2009:

  1. H&M argue statistically that if environmental causes should account for the IQ gap the environement of all blacks would have to be as bad as for only the lowest 6-2% of whites.
Nisbett counters this by using Lewontins argument that causes of in group variation and outgroup variation need not be the same.
That doesn't counter it. High within group heritability places a constraint on pure between-group environmentalism, so this calculation is correct. See Philosophy of Science that Ignores Science: Race, IQ and Heritability, Neven Sesardic. It doesn't really matter whether the X-factor is the same for both groups. mikemikev (talk) 13:23, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
That is Nisbetts argument, if you have counter counter arguments then please source them to reliable sources. ·Maunus·ƛ· 13:32, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
  1. The race gap is bigger on "culture fair" IQ tests.
  1. Nisbett counters by saying that the Flynn effect IQ gains is larger for culture-fair tests.
  1. IQs of Subsaharan Africans are as low as 70 or 75 on average.
Nisbett counters by saying that that is so low that the socres obviously do not mean the same as they do for Europeans. People with 70 average IQ could not survive in hostile environments. Furthermore the conclusions for these scores are based on highly environmentally responsive tests and on a small body of data. Other studies show that scores have risen in African popoluations by as much as 1.75 SD, and that a few months of education raise scores by as much as .70 SD. Nisbett concludes that the Flynn effect has not yet taken effect in Subsaharan Africa.
  1. H&M & Rushton & Jensen 2005 argue that the reason African Americans have a mean IQ of 85 instead of 70 like in Subsaharan africa correlates with their estimated 20% admixture of "white" genetic material.
Nisbett counters that this would mean that a 50/50 African/European genetic mixture would have an IQ of 115.
  1. Black performance is worse on heavily g-loaded subtests.
Nisbett counters that the WISC tests on which these data are based do not have much differentiation of g-loading. Flynn argues that the WISC is tilted towards crystallized as opposed to fluid g. The gap is biggest for crytallized g tests, but for fluid g-tests the flynn effect gains over time are higher.
  1. Blacks do worse in tests with high inbreeding depression.
Nisbett counters that IQ gains on tests with high inbreeding depression are also more affected by the Flynn effect IQ gains, which would suggest that if the inbreeding depression is genetic in origin then so is the Flynn effect (which he finds absurd).
  1. Whites have bigger brains than whites and among the white population high IQ individuals have bigger brains than low IQ individuals.
Nisbett counters with the ingroup/outgroup variation argument. Then he counters by saying that the male female gap in brain size is bigger than the black/white one. Then he mentions the existence of a high IQ/small brainsize group of people in ecuador. (wtf?) One sample of black females say that cranial capacity is the same as whites but IQ gap as the same 1 SD. Finally brain size is subject to prenatal environmental detrimental effects that black foetuses are more likely to experience.
  1. Reaction times are slower for blacks.
Nisbett counters with the ingroup/outgroup variation argument. Then he says that variability in reaction time among asians is higher than among whites - variability usually being correlated with a lower IQ. He then states that movement time is also correlated with IQ and blacks have lower movement time than whites - suggesting then higher IQ.
  1. Blacks regress towards a lower mean.
Nisbett counters that the same prediction can be derived from an environemental explanantion.

·Maunus·ƛ· 08:10, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

“I think the article should contain explanations of all the arguments and counteraguments presented in the Appendix of Nisbett 2009”
To some extent, the article does this already. What you’re suggesting is very close to what David.Kane was trying to accomplish when he wrote the majority of the “variables potentially affecting intelligence in groups” section. However, something to keep in mind is that Nisbett is far from the only researcher in this area who disagrees with the hereditarian perspective. In some cases, there are pro-environmental arguments which are common in the source material but which Nisbett doesn’t mention, in which case those arguments should still be included here; while other arguments used by Nisbett are used by almost nobody other than him, in which case giving Nisbett’s viewpoint equal validity with the viewpoint held by most pro-hereditarian researchers would be WP:UNDUE.
Please keep in mind that when I refer to undue weight, I’m not referring to giving undue weight to the 100%-environmental perspective in general; I’m just talking about specific arguments that Nisbett uses. An even more obvious example of the same thing is Gould’s anti-IQ arguments in The Mismeasure of Man, which are rejected by the vast majority of psychologists, regardless of whether they agree or disagree with Jensen about the cause of the IQ gap. As far as I’m aware, the current article describes all of these arguments with about the same degree of prominence as they have in the source material (with the exception of the “processing efficiency” section, which I intend to make shorter), although David.Kane can explain how this is the case more specifically than I can. --Captain Occam (talk) 23:56, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Comment from a non-editor:

  • A good secondary source (possibly to check mainstream views) is the 436 page 2002 book edited by Jefferson M. Fish, "Race and Intelligence: Separating Science from Myth". This book has contributors from many disciplines. Not all of it can be read on the web (I now have a copy). Wikipedians have no way of evaluating primary sources except through secondary sources. That is why secondary sources are preferred. The books of Nisbett or Fish are secondary sources. The sections are:
  1. A scientific approach to understanding race and intelligence, Jefferson M. Fish
  2. The genetic and evolutionary significance of human races, Alan Templeton
  3. The misuse of life history theory: J. P. Rushton and the pseudoscience of racial hierarchy, Joseph L. Graves
  4. Folk heredity, Jonathan Marks
  5. The myth of race. Jefferson Fish
  6. Science and the idea of race: a brief history, Audrey Smedley
  7. The Bell Curve and the politics of negrophobia, Kimberley Welch
  8. An anthropologist looks at "race" and IQ testing, Mark N. Cohen
  9. African inputs to the IQ controversy, or why two-legged animals can't sit gracefully, Eugenia Shanklin
  10. Cultural amplifiers of intelligence: IQ and minority status in cultural perspective, John Ogbu
  11. How heritability misleads about race, Ned Block
  12. Selection of evidence, misleading assumptions, and oversimplifications: The political message of The Bell Curve, John L. Horn
  13. Test scores, education and poverty, Michael Hout
  14. Intelligence and success: is it all in the genes? Bernie Devlin, Stephen Fienberg, Daniel Resnick & Kathryn Roeder
  15. Compensatory preschool education, cognitive development and "race", Steven Barnett and Gregory Camilli

One of the points here is that the researchers in the circle of Jensen, Rushton et al never discuss the biological problems with "race": they evade this issue. The articles in this book, which form a whole, discuss all of these problems - eg the "folk" notions of both "race " and heredity - instead of taking them as given. If a secondary source discusses them in detail, as here, so should the article. It's simply a question of summarising various parts of the book, which has partially been done by Jefferson Fish in chapter one. Mathsci (talk) 19:15, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

This would be a tertiary source (and a ridiculously fringe one). 146.179.213.158 (talk) 16:39, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
This source is not a secondary source. It is a collection of a dozen or so articles, each of which is a primary source, no different than other articles published in the scientific literature. MathSci constantly (and correctly!) harps on the wisdom of using secondary sources (Loehlin, Mackintosh, Nisbett, Flynn and so on) for this article. I agree. David.Kane (talk) 16:44, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Articles can be primary, secondary, or tertiary sources. If an article is reviewing a collection of past research without making new conclusions it is certainly a secondary source. A.Prock (talk) 18:29, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Okay, since we all agree this is a valuable source, can Maunus or MathSci or whoever has access to it add appropriate material to the appropriate sections of this article? Slrubenstein | Talk 19:07, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Would it be possible to discuss before adding? A lot of this stuff seems fringe. 146.179.213.90 (talk) 19:50, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
What have we done to deserve all these Imperial College IP editors? Are they meatpuppets or sockpuppets of another London editor that regularly edits this page?
The book is an organised and coordinated set of articles, described in the first chapter by Fish. The book is a secondary source. Summarising the articles - eg the ones on folk race and folk heredity - is a fairly simple exercise and a much better way of writing wikipedia articles than acting as if we understand anthropology, statistics, sociology, education, psychology, history, biology, genetics, etc, although there obviously are several incognito experts on some of these topics here. I don't think anyway that professors at University of California, Berkeley are necessarily fringe, are they? Some might be, particuarly if they have been at the centre of a controversy at some stage, but I don't think that applies to the likes of Michael Hout or John Ogbu. Is there something I'm missing here? Is there something fringey about Hout being a member of the National Academy of Sciences? Aren't these both in fact very distinguished academics in their spheres? Mathsci (talk) 21:39, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't say it is fringe, but please keep WP:UNDUE in mind. For example, an extensive discussion about "what is race?" does not belong in this article. Keep WP:SIZE in mind. David.Kane (talk) 14:48, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Figures

I see no reason to include figures of SAT scores. These are not any of the different kinds of IQ tests discussed in the article. Nor is the map of global IQ scores from Lynn & Vanhanen really acceptable, since Lynn's global figures have been disputed by experts and have not generally been accepted. Mathsci (talk) 02:32, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Intelligence doesn't equal to IQ scores; although IQ is a widely used measurement. Intelligence is the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. SAT is designed to test how well the test taker analyzes and solves problems, and it is a well established and widely accepted indicator of the ability to learn in college. I don't see any reason to not to use SAT scores unless there are data of better quality.
For Lynn & Vanhanen's data, you may argue that they're disputed, however based on the information provided in the article, those criticisms didn't actually challenge (with reason and facts) the fact that IQ scores are different in different countries, for which the figure shows.
I'm changing it back until it can be established why these facts, data, and figures should not be shown. --roc (talk) 03:19, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Look SAT scores are not IQ scores, that is just your own personal interpretation, not born out by any literature. If you are now edit warring to put that in, you risk being blocked. There are absolutely no sources to justify what your're trying to do. As for Lynn & Vanhanen, their claims about Africa have been widely challenged: there is a long footnote about it. You should understand that you are breaking W:BRD and that there are no legitimate reasons to support your edits. Mathsci (talk) 03:33, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
SAT is mainly a measure of g, and therefore an IQ test. See this paper [1].--Victor Chmara (talk) 06:46, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree with ROC and Victor Chmara. I have added the figures back. Note that the use of SAT scores in this field is widespread. See, for example, What is Intelligence? by Flynn. David.Kane (talk) 14:52, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm hit and run posting now as I need to scale back my time here for real world stuff. The SAT is indeed an IQ (g) test. Here's a paper by Frey and Detterman showing very large correlations between IQ and SAT scores. The second paper essentially replicates the first. Similar studies exist for the ACT and GMAT
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118793086/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0
http://www.iapsych.com/articles/beaujean2006.pdf

-Bpesta22 (talk) 15:16, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Mathsci, you're right, SAT scores are not IQ scores, but IQ scores do not equal to intelligence. There are many ways of measuring intelligence, and both SAT and IQ tests are widely accepted to be valid for such measurement. I created these SAT figures from official statistical data. There's no issue of previous consensus or WP:BRD because these figures are new. Fact is fact, even when it may be disturbing to your feelings or challenging to your belief. If these figures or data are wrong, please make a new version with the correct data. Until that, do NOT hide or censor fact! --roc (talk) 21:47, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
This is original research and the Lynn data is disputed. Entrance test for a university or college are not intelligence tests. I found two separate articles in the book of Fish which explained that SAT scores improve with training. Why are introducing this red herring which has nothing to do with the article. And why are you edit warring about it. Please give a secondary source to justify your edits. At the moment tour just adding irrelevant or dubious material to the article, which is not particularly halpful to the reader. I haven't been able to verify any of your claims, e.g. in Mackintosh's book. So secondary sources please that satisfy WP:RS. Saying they correlate is also useless because we're talking a subpopulation (those that apply to university) - Bpesta22, no intelligence tester would confuse these tests. Thanks, Mathsci (talk) 21:57, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
This is NOT original research, they are only figural representation of official statistical data, figural representation of fact, PERIOD.
Your argument of SAT score does not measure intelligence looks to me and many others original research, since SAT is one of widely accepted measurement for intelligence and learning ability.
I don't want to edit war, but my edits are being removed without rational or factual data as support. If these figures are wrong, I and readers will appreciate a new version with correct data. Thank you! --roc (talk) 22:12, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
The frey and detterman study I cited report a .87 correlation between SAT scores and g. Consensus in the field is that the SAT predicts academic success because it's a good measure of g. I have a paper, cited below, showing that elementary cognitive tasks (as measures of g) predict scores on the GMAT and MBA student gpa's. Could you explain what the SAT measures, if it's not g?
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2008.10.005

-Bpesta22 (talk) 22:24, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

(Comment from non-editor) I was skimming this after reading the article itself, and I'm surprised that people are making heated arguments about whether the SAT can be be or should be considered an intelligence test without looking into the test and recognizing that it has repeatedly been changed. The American Mensa Society says that the SAT ceased to be an intelligence test on 1/31/94, and it gives large variations in the qualifying score needed to join Mensa on the basis of pre-94 SAT tests. (http://www.us.mensa.org/Content/AML/NavigationMenu/Join/SubmitTestScores/QualifyingTestScores/QualifyingScores.htm).

Of course, Mensa could be wrong, but since the exclusivity of getting high scores on intelligence tests is their whole point of existence, they're probably less likely to be wrong in this area than most of the folks discussing it here. Apparently the SAT has been changed from an intelligence test to a mastery-of-college-learning-skills test, which is probably more useful for its function and also why it can be improved by coaching.

Pelvis size

It is important to make a chapter about pelvis size to show that the smallest average diameter of the pelvis corroborate the smallest brain size of the africans, and the largest diameter of the pelvis by east asians corroborate their greater brain size.

In fact, racial differences in cranial capacity are correlated with 76 musculoskeletal traits identified in standard works of evolutionary anatomy as systematically related to an increase in cranial capacity in hominids.

http://www.ssc.uwo.ca/psychology/faculty/rushtonpdfs/2004 20Human 20Evolution.pdf

These differences include: -The transverse diameter of the pelvis: The increase in cranial capacity and intelligence has been paired with an increase of transverse diameter of the pelvis, to allow passage of the skull at birth. Africans have a pelvic diameter significantly smaller than that of Europeans. (27.4 cm against 24.6 for Africans only) Accordingly, a wider pelvis, femur (thigh bone) that fit in the pelvis, has since despite a curved basin grew, spacing and inserting them femoral causing a wider angle for the output of both femurs, it was imperative that the correct knee makes a junction with the fibula, causing a curvature of the femur. The European femoral bowing significantly greater than that of Africans. -While the intelligence and cranial capacity increased, the skull became more spherical and deep. The Europeans have brains significantly more spherical, deeper and larger. -The increase of sphericity is reducing the protrusions, including the mastoid process. Whites have a mastoid process significantly smaller than the blacks. -The increase in cranial capacity occurred towards the front of the skull, it has resulted in a reduction of prognathism and an increase in orthognathic (flatter face). The Europeans have a face significantly less prognatic and more orthognathic that Africans.

Were you not just blocked for edit warring here? [2] Mathsci (talk) 17:28, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Indeed the IP appears to be edit warring again. The page could be semiprotected to stop this, Mathsci (talk) 17:32, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Mustihussain, who is an arab, don't support the table of average brain size and intelligence, but these values are recognized by lots of authors and have the right to by cited. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.147.47.204 (talk) 17:39, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

i'm not an arab, you racist turd! administrators should take action right now.

--mustihussain 17:48, 25 May 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mustihussain (talkcontribs)

It is somewhat easier to invoke "undo values" undo values "undo values" whenever articles do not confirm the views of some Marxists! Lynn, Rushton, Jensen and Eysenck psychologists are leading and have at best as much right to be cited as "Lieberman"! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.147.47.204 (talk) 17:44, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

The Lynn's table of average IQ and average cranial capacity is recognized by Rushton, Jensen, Vanhanen or Serge Larivée and has every right to be cited! It is not at all "undoe" !! It is an excuse !! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.147.47.204 (talk) 17:53, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

racist comment

please note the racist comment made by the 88.147.47.204 account against me under the "pelvis size"-section. this page needs be protected asap before more racist wp:spa show up.--mustihussain 17:57, 25 May 2010 (UTC)


The entirety of this article is racist I would point ^ ^ What a smart remark--88.147.47.204 (talk) 18:02, 25 May 2010 (UTC) mustihussain is an arab and he doesn't support the discussion about the intelligence of middle easterner, it is not my opinion it is a fact.

i am not an arab. period. but i guess racist imbeciles like you will never get it.--mustihussain 18:08, 25 May 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mustihussain (talkcontribs)
The page has just been semi-protected, so hopefully these half-baked comments from anonymous IPs will abate now. --Captain Occam (talk) 20:04, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Hereditarians vs Enviromentalists

I have removed a paragraph as being inaccurate. My understanding of the literature is that a small group following Jensen has pushed for a partly genetic explanation of the racial IQ gap. Various scientists have criticized their work. It is unacceptable to describe two camps opposed to each other actively doing research into race and intelligence. Richard Nisbett has written a popular book on the subject- a DIY guide for parents brining up children- but can't be described as a researcher in race and intelligence. Stephen J. Gould is dead. Richard Lewontin does research on ecology as far as I know. These biologists were critics. Please could wikipedians not write about the world as they would like people to see it, but with a little accuracy? If the debate started in the late sixties as the result of a not very good paper of Jensen, we say so. If it sparked a reaction, we say so. If there are only 30 researchers in the world actively involved in research on this, or less possibly, we say so, etc, etc. But no need to give a completely misleading picture of what's going on. The quote from Nisbett was completely out of context - he makes no statement about the need to do resaecrh in this area, and there is very little (none?) that is government-funded. Mathsci (talk)-

I note that Occam is claiming of some kind of consensus for what I see as BLP violations - inaccurately describing Lewontin and Nisbett as researchers as in race & intelligence. I assume, if he commnts, he will deliver one of his long lectures on consensus. However, there is strong evidence now of WP:CPUSH by a small group of users. The paragraph I removed was an example of a non neutrally written contribution which was factually completely misleading. Mathsci (talk) 04:15, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm still waiting for Captain Occam to comment about this material and the BLP violations. Mathsci (talk) 04:23, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
You’re pretty impatient, aren’t you? Sometimes it takes more than ten minutes to comment on something.
As I mentioned in my edit summary, the structure of this section was discussed heavily here and here. It’s probably been discussed more heavily than any other part of the article except the lead, and is the result of input from me, David.Kane, Stephen B Streater, Maunus, DJ, Muntuwandi, and Slrubenstein.
Read the discussion there for yourself. Rather than edit warring, you should be discussing your proposed changes with some of the users who determined this section’s current structure. The opinion of a single user is not enough to undo something that’s the result of a discussion between seven different people. --Captain Occam (talk) 04:26, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Then they were mistaken. There are plenty of things included in articles which are wrong and this is one of them. Nisbett is not a researcher in "race and intelligence". That's not what his research is about. Nor is he an environmentalist. He has written a popular book on intelligence. Passages like this can be removed on sight as BLP violations, which as you know is not covered by 3RR. Again try to give some kind of intellectual reason to justify this BLP violation. The section was pure WP:OR and WP:SYNTH - the quote ws taken out of context and was being used to prove a point not made in the popular science book. Citing names of other wikipedians is no justification whatsover. Mathsci (talk) 04:42, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
I've added the BLP tag to that section. It is written as a kind of essay, which I think is completely inaccurate. The correct statement is that a vociferous group of researchers has made claims about genetic differences between races and they have been countered by criticisms from other scientists. What is in that section is a gross misrepresentation of what goes on in academic departments in universities. Please read carefully also what is written on the BLP tag, perhaps several times, just to let it sink in. We cannot misrepresent living people or their views on wikipedia. Mathsci (talk) 04:52, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
If you do a search for papers by Nisbett, you’ll find that he’s written quite a bit on the topic of race and intelligence. The most important example might be this: when Psychology, Public Policy and Law published Jensen and Rushton’s Thirty Years of Research on Race Differences in Cognitive Ability, Nisbett was their researcher or choice to offer a rebuttal to it. By the standard you’re using, we shouldn’t consider Jensen a researcher about race and intelligence either, since the majority of his research is just about IQ and its heritability in general, rather than being specific to race.
You’re really out of control at the moment. You need to slow down, be patient, and have some WP:TEA. --Captain Occam (talk) 05:12, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
(ec) His research is described here.[3] Your opinion on the matter is completely irrelevant. At the moment it's a BLP violation. The BLP tag might have shocked you, but we simply cannot misrepresent living people and what they do in life in this way. He writes, "Finally, for the last several years I have been involved in the debate over the heritability of the black-white differences in IQ. I have argued that the voluminous evidence points strongly to an absence of any genetic contribution at all to the difference." In other words he disagrees strongly with what Ruhston, Lyyn, Jensen and Gottfredson have been claiming. I don't think he's a Marxist either. Mathsci (talk) 05:39, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

<= The debate, for that is what it was, between Rose and Williams & Ceci, none of whom agree with Jensen's point of view, continued here. [4]. The synthesis of the debate was incorrect in the article and blurred issues. The discussion of folk definitions of race can be found in many articles; similarly the discussion of folk definitions of heredity. These seem to be the definitions used by Jensen and co, although they avoid discussing the topic. Rushton even talks about paleoarchaeology to support his evolutionary theories, but has severely criticized for that in print. The characterisation I have given of the research in this area - increasingly more general claims by hereditarians about genetic racial differences sometimes countered by criticisms - seems to be borne out by both articles and the subsequent commentary (also relevant - these were not articles, they were opening statements at the start of a debate). That is what we should say in the article. This is more or less the first time I've started to read beyond the lede and the history section, and what I see is very poor and non-neutral writing which is trying to make various points, unsupported in the sources. I think Maunus has been writing the same thing. Mathsci (talk) 05:40, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

I don’t see how this most recent comment has anything to do with the portion of the article that you blanked, so I’m going to just reply to what you said above:
You haven’t explained how Nisbett is different from any other researcher in this field. Your argument seems to be just based on the fact that Nisbett’s personal page at the University of Michigan website doesn’t mention research about race; are you aware that Rushton’s personal page at the University of Western Ontario doesn’t mention this either? My point about this still stands: none of these researchers focus exclusively on differences between races, and none of them talk about it in their personal biographies either. Nisbett is no different in this respect than any of the researchers who take a pro-hereditarian perspective. --Captain Occam (talk) 05:57, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
In response to the second part of your comment: okay, so Nisbett says that he’s actively involved in the debate over race and intelligence, and that he disagrees with the idea that genetics contribute to the IQ gap. The part of the article that you blanked says, “Environmentalists argue that the hereditarians are wrong, and that genetic differences are not an important cause of differences in measured intelligence among human races”, and then it lists Nisbett as an example of someone who holds this view. And it doesn’t call him a Marxist.
Can you explain more specifically why you think the part of the article that you blanked was a BLP violation? It seems like a completely accurate paraphrase of what you quoted that Nisbett says about himself. --Captain Occam (talk) 06:12, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
(ec) The blanked section made a claim about distinct groups of researchers working on race and intelligence, which is quite inaccurate. I have written more than once now that Jensen and his school having been making claims about genetic racial differences in intelligence, their causes and effects, and various scientists have criticized those claims, sometimes through popular books. That is not what the section says. I can't say it any more clearly than that.
As far as the debate on race and intelligence is concerned, I can only type once more what Nisbett writes at the end of his research summary: "Finally, for the last several years I have been involved in the debate over the heritability of the black-white differences in IQ. I have argued that the voluminous evidence points strongly to an absence of any genetic contribution at all to the difference." His main research interests are different but he has been involved in the debate in countering the claims of Jensen at al. He is one of the group of eminent scientists, like Christopher Jencks, who have criticized Jensen et al. The 1998 text book of Mackintosh has a similar discussion on ethnic groups, but we don't describe him as an environmentalist. He is a retired professor of experimental psychology. It's quite easy to formulate sentences on wikipedia which get these things things right without any ambiguity or BLP violations.
The article is non neutral and biased and gradually, even perhaps after a rewrite of the history section, will be brought into some form that resembles neutrality. Obviously the staged debate in Nature can be mentioned but exactly as that, not as the basis for statements of fact in the article. Mathsci (talk) 06:20, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
If I understand your point correctly, you seem to be saying that researchers who favor the hereditarian hypothesis have some sort of special status or devotion to race and intelligence, while in the case of Nisbett it’s just one of several topics that he writes about. Is that an accurate summary of your argument? Because if it is, you’re making a distinction without a difference.
Look through a bibliography of Nisbett’s recent work, and compare it to one from Jensen. Perhaps an even better comparison to Jensen in this respect is James Flynn. Is the percentage of Jensen’s research that’s about race and IQ any higher than it is for Flynn and Nisbett? Looking through a bibliography of Jensen’s publications, I can see that at least 90% of them have nothing to do with race; they’re just about the nature of intelligence and intelligence testing in general.
If you think this section can be made clearer, you’re welcome to try and improve it, but just deleting it isn’t a solution. And neither is describing Nisbett and Flynn as being any different from Jensen in terms of their level of devotion to this topic. --Captain Occam (talk) 06:35, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

<= Historically - according to every secondary source available - the debate started with the assertions in 1969 on race and intelligence of Jensen, then Herrnstein & Murray in 1994, quoting Rushton and Lynn, then the Rushton-Jensen restatement in 2005: responses and criticisms followed at each stage. The debate has been a response to the hereditarian school of thought. A non neutral article might of course try to suggest that the debate had no historical context and was merely a matter of judging the facts: but of course that is entirely false. There are not two camps, just a vociferous group of advocates for the hereditarian point of view, sometimes advertised through more politically motivated channels (American Renaissance, The Occidental Quarterly, Mankind Quarterly, VDARE, Neue Anthropologie, etc). Other scientists have responded with criticisms, sometimes outspoken, sometimes cautious.

The section should be completely rewritten. Almost none of the sentences in it seem satisfactory. But there should also be a discussion on folk heredity, folk race, etc. And I strongly disagree with the structure of the article as "data driven". Again I think it's possible to write the article using secondary sources, of which Fish's book is a good starter. Whether it would be time well spent on wikipedia is another thing: if we look at the research of Lynn and Rushton, it has been severely criticized, is possibly or even probably scientifically flawed, and its wider conclusions are based on various misunderstandings of other disciplines. Their research probably has more notoriety than notability. Mathsci (talk) 07:05, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

MAthsci - tone down the drama please. You are escalating the dispute with those tags which you could have simply dealt with by improving the wordings and added the material you find missing. QUite possibly we will have to discuss how best to describe the debates different sides, but this display isn't helping very much. Be constructive. It is obviously not a BLP issue just like the Jensen drama wasn't a BLP issue that is just nonsense. I agree that the debate assumptions section should improved and while I did give David Kane input on how to improve it I never expressed that I was content with the way it turned out - it was merely an improvement to what was already there - not a perfect piece of prose not to be touched. Lets get to work and improve the article, not just play "tag and remove". ·Maunus·ƛ· 07:31, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
There is no drama here - just a perception of inaccuracy and inappropriate use of sources, which runs through most of the remainder of the article. My experience with other related articles - History of the race and intelligence controversy, Mainstream Science on Intelligence and Snyderman and Rothman (study) - is that the policy of finding secondary sources and then writing the article using those is probably the only way to produce a neutral and balanced wikipedia article. In the case of this section I notice that a staged debate in Nature, starting with two Op-Ed pieces, was used as material. I don't think that was really appropriate, since one of those in the debate, Steven Rose, is well-known for his extremely radical stance and many of his views are strictly personal. This was true in the 1970s and seems to be equally true now. In the resulting printed correspondence, there was a very sane reply from James Flynn [5]. However, the purpose of this article is presumably to record encyclopedic content and not to rekindle the debate, certainly not on this talk page. The debate section should match up with the history section. As I've said that involves accurately describing the main papers and books that sparked the debate - all of these were written by those supporting a hereditarian point of view - and then describe how other scientists have responded. I've already done this up to about 2000 in the history article. So in rewriting this section from scratch - possibly incorporating some of the original content - we should first locate a good secondary source. That might take some time. It isn't a good idea to use primary sources, particularly recent articles in Mankind Quarterly. We're not here to prove anything is true or false, which seems to be happening at the moment in the article. The issues with brain size for example are discussed at length in some secondary sources. The normal way to write an article would be to take a summary of Rushton-Jensen or Lynn from a secondary source (Nisbett?) and then have a criticism section afterwards. That would involve issues of folk race and folk heredity which so far do not appear to have been adequately discussed. Anyway finding the secondary sources could take a while. Mathsci (talk) 08:41, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Maunus, why don’t you try improving this section yourself? Your contributions to this and similar articles have been pretty good overall, so I have a fair amount of confidence in your ability to revise it in an NPOV manner. --Captain Occam (talk) 08:06, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
My opinion is citing Nisbett is fine, and organizing the whole article by his book is fine too. I think the only error we make is a recency effect. I don't think Nisbett has added any new or useful insights to the debate, though he has done a nice job summarizing all this. He is certainly qualified to offer opinions on the topic, and is very-well-respected in his area. I don't think, however, he has produced any original data on race and IQ (or even IQ) but I could be wrong. -Bpesta22 (talk) 15:21, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
I think that the fact that Nisbett hasn't done only little research in the field himself is exactly a reason that he is good as a secondary source.·Maunus·ƛ· 15:46, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
You should consider adding Sternberg as well then. He has more legitimacy here and probably is less a g-fan than is Nisbett. -Bpesta22 (talk) 18:25, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
I think that would be a good idea - some of Sternbergs articles are in essence review articles (the one written w Grigorenko & Kidd for example) and might count as secondary sources. His article about "Myths, countermyths and thruths" also seems pretty useful. I also found two other books "Alexander Allands: Race in Mind" and Jencks and Phillips "Black Whote IQ gap". Both seem poitentially useful. ·Maunus·ƛ· 19:34, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I have reverted to the version from two days ago. I agree with MathSci that this section could be much better than it is. I agree with Occam that much of it is correct and accurate. I agree with Maunus that less drama is good. Basically, I agree with everyone. Suggestion: Let's rewrite the section here at Talk first. MathSci did a great job with the History section using that procedure, resulting in a much better section than what we had before, as well as an excellent daughter article. So, let's try the same procedure again, with either MathSci or someone else taking the lead. David.Kane (talk) 15:39, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Moot now. Mathsci (talk) 17:22, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
A useful discussion could involve the four suggestions I made in the "Article stability" section below. In fact it's not really possible that the article remain stable in any sense unless it has a strong historical and chronolgical basis. New publications or events change things, Richard Nisbett's book is recent, although he made some of the points in his book 5 years ago. And whenever a new hereditarian book or article appears, the article usually has to be reedited. (Richard Lynn's new book on the IQ and achievements of the Jews was due to have appeared last month for example.[6]) Mathsci (talk) 13:49, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Fully protected

Today's edit history is a mess, even if it's been made worse by a disruptive IP SPA. One week for the conflicts to be sorted out on the talk page, please. When the article is unprotected, it will not take much edit-warring from an article regular to earn a block, regardless of 3RR. Black Kite (t) (c) 22:19, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Black_Kite:Thanks for taking action. I agree that we should flesh out our disagreements on the talk page. Also, the more experienced admins that keep an eye on this article, the more progress we are likely to make. David.Kane (talk) 13:57, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Article stability

In light of the article's recent full protection, wouldn't it be a good idea to reassess measures that would bring about long term stability to the article or is the current level of instability acceptable. Wapondaponda (talk) 00:52, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

The section starting "Debate assumptions" made no sense at all and was framed incorrectly. As discussed already in December, the article is mainly about the 2005 paper of Rushton and Jensen and the reaction to it. It is not an abstract debate independent of time, nor is it something that wikipedians can decide by reading the raw data and evaluating it for themselves. That seems to have been David.Kane's intention (I believe that he in fact agrees with the findings of Rushton and Jensen). So I added a statement about the literature written in response to The Bell Curve, Nisbett's summary of Rushton and Jensen's paper (that was absent in the article) and a description of reactions of scientists to it. I also included the two conroversies, related to repeating Richard Lynn's disputed claims about African intelligence. This provided the correct context for the staged debate by Nature on race and intelligence. I included the statement of James Flynn from a letter, because he is a major figure in psychometrics. I removed BLP violations and inaccurate descriptions of eminent scientists as "environmentalist researchers in race and intelligence", where the normal epithet would be "social pscyschologist" or "evolutionary biologist". I also introduced explicit references to folk race and folk heredity. The direction I've chosen is one discussed at length in December on Archive 0 of the mediation talk page. My suggestion is that
  • (a) a separate and longer description of the Rushton and Jensen paper be included;
  • (b) the present content on various bits of data they invoke be mildly adapted to be compatible with (a);
  • (c) a precise summary of Nisbett's commentary be included as a separate section;
  • (d) other points on folk notions of race, life history theory, folk notions of heredity, paleoarchaeology, etc, be placed in later sections.
One of the problems with David.Kane's writing was typified by his reference to an official report of the APA as "Some scientists said ..." That is WP:WEASEL wording, showing unwillingness to recognize that this probably represented the mainstream view, at odds with parts of the minority view expressed inthe WSJ article Mainstream Science on Intelligence. Starting with "Debate assumptions" the article gave WP:UNDUE prominence to a small group of scientists devoted to hereditarian research on race and intelligence. That imbalance continued in the subsequent sections, as others have already commented. That it was impossible to read in the article a short account, indeed any account, of what Rushton and Jensen wrote in 2005 before yesterday indicates just how misconceived the structure of the article was. I think it's an undisputed fact that much of Rushton and Lynn's research had been placed in doubt by mainstream scientists. Most of their findings are based on their statistical analysis of other scientists' raw data. This primary psychometric data for countries in Africa like Malawi is still being collected by researchers in top institutes (e.g. Harvard and Yale) and is being financed by major government funding agencies like the NSF. These kinds of things should not be skewed in the article. It should be neutral and properly represent the sources. Mathsci (talk) 10:09, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Other than the repeated unhelpful edits from anonymous IPs, most of the instability that caused it to get locked was the result of Mathsci edit warring to try and introduce changes that clearly weren’t supported by consensus. I’m not happy with this instability, but there’s only one solution to it: for Mathsci to discuss his edits here and obtain consensus for them before making them, rather than constantly re-adding this material every time it’s reverted while making barely any effort to justify it to other editors. --Captain Occam (talk) 07:16, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Please comment on the content added if possible. There is a lot of it. It is neutral, sourced, balanced and accurate. BLP violations were corrected. Mathsci (talk) 10:23, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
It'd be useful to separate the data-- which are pretty much un-disputed (unless you want to attack Lynn for "sloppyness," but throw him out and you still have the same data from others) from the explanations for the data. I think the best position now is agnosticism. Using that to frame the article might diffuse the emotion and lead to a good article. The evidence for genes is indirect; no one's found a set of environmental variables to explain the gap. A "we don't know" frame to the whole article could help resolve lots of the edit warring here. List the data on each topic, and let the reader decide how strong the evidence is. Perhaps focus less on attacking various researchers positions and again let the data speak for themselves?-Bpesta22 (talk) 14:36, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
It is problematic to "let data speak for itself" - if data is not directly comparable or if it has been gathered by disputed or controversial methods letting it speak for itself will create a false impression of validity or authority. If professional researchers can't agree on the implications or validity of data there is no way we can present that data and expect a layreader to process it themselves. Secondly we shouldn't build articles on primary sources. I do agree that a "we don't know frame" is the best approach and what is closest to neutrality - and it is nicely supported by sources. I think we should concentrate on views - simply explaining that different researchers have different views on the topic and not suggest that any are more or less right or accepted than others.·Maunus·ƛ· 14:42, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Bpesta in principle that it makes sense to distinguish between the data people are trying to explain, and the data they use to explain it. If all participants on all sides of the debates covered in this article agreed on "the data to be explained," there would be no problem following Bpesta's approach. Indeed, this is why I originally supported a data-centric approach. But it has become clear to me that there is a great deal of test result data that is not accepted by all sides of the debate. I think this is where Maunus's point comes in. If one of the debates this article has to cover is itself a debate over the quality of the data "that is to be explained," we cannot begin with that data, certainly not out of context.
By the way, Captain Occam, waving around "consensus" is not a constructive way to respond to intelligent questions or concerns. I happen to agree with MathSci's points. Earlier I criticized you for wanting to prohibit MathSci from the article and you said that you didn't want to censor anyone, you just wanted to make sure that people presented their reasons. here mathSci is presenting his reasoning. for you to reject it because it is not "consensus" is tantamount so saying "I do not agree because this is not what I agree to." If you cannot do better than that, let others figure out how to improve the article. I think MathSci points to a real problem in how the "debate" is introduced, and makes some constructive suggestions for dealing with them. What did he write that does not make sense? Slrubenstein | Talk 17:23, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
SLR, I don’t think you understand the point I was making about this. I still have the same opinion that I did before: If Mathsci can justify his reasoning for wanting to change this section, and get most of the rest of us to agree with him about it, then there’s nothing wrong with it being changed. Obviously, consensus can change. My problem with what Mathsci was doing in this case is that he was trying to modify this section before other people agreed with him that his changes were necessary—not even Maunus agreed with him that describing Nisbett as a researcher about race and intelligence was a BLP violation—and when Mathsci’s edits were reverted, rather than making an effort to seek consensus about them he was edit warring. That’s never a constructive way to try and contribute to an article.
If you look at the timestamps of the comments above, you’ll see that the comment in which he explained the reasons for the changes he wanted to make was left after my own comment accusing him of not trying to discuss his changes, even though he added his comment above mine rather than below it. Although in terms of content, his comment is basically just repeating a lot of the earlier claims that he made in this section, which have already been discussed, and which nobody else appeared to think were reasonable. This was where Maunus described Mathsci’s framing of the issue as a BLP violation as “nonsense”. If every other editor involved in the article rejects one of Mathsci’s points as unreasonable, then he needs to accept that consensus goes against his opinion, just as anyone else would have to do in the same situation.
I agree that when there are questions about the validity of data, and those questions have been raised in reliable sources, they ought to be presented in the article also. However, I don’t think that’s a reason to abandon the data-centric approach we’ve been using. All that it means is that when we’re discussing data that’s been heavily questioned, questions about the validity of the data are one of the things that we need to include in the article. The article already does this for the international test score data, which is the main line of data that’s considered to be of uncertain reliability. If there are other lines of data for which this is also the case, then we can do the same thing for those also.
Let’s not forget the reasons we agreed on during mediation for why a data-centric structure is best. When we try to break everything down into “hereditarian interpretations” vs. “environmental interpretations”, the way we did in the article before mediation, we generally fail to represent the differences of opinion that exist among both camps. For example, Flynn disagrees with Gould on more topics than he does with Jensen, even though in the earlier version of the article Flynn and Gould were both lumped into the “environmental” camp. In most cases, the majority of researchers on both sides also actually agree on what the data is, although they interpret it differently—the current structure of the article is based mostly on the way Nisbett 2009 describes the debate over this topic, and his own analysis involves most of the same data that’s also analyzed by Jensen and Rushton, although Nisbett obviously interprets it differently from how they do. By focusing on the areas where these researchers agree rather than where they disagree, we can present the current state of the debate on this topic in a much more informative way than we could if we were to divide it based on “hereditarians vs. environmentalists”.
This is just a brief summary of why we decided on this during mediation, and we spent so much time discussing it there that it’s difficult to summarize everything that went into this decision in a single paragraph. I still think this approach is the only chance we have at making the article stable, as it was during the more than a month between when the mediation concluded and when Mathsci began trying to introduce his changes without first obtaining consensus for them. Even though I know that what we agreed on in mediation isn’t written in stone, I think it would be really unfortunate if the reason these agreements were abandoned were for no other reason except that editors who weren’t involved in the mediation don’t have a full understanding of why it was decided that things like the data-centric approach were necessary. Rather than just basing their understanding of this on my one-paragraph summary above, I would appreciate anyone who’s uncertain about the value of a data-centric approach reading through the mediation archives, in order to gain an understanding of why this was the only type of approach that enabled us to reach any amount of consensus and stability. --Captain Occam (talk) 18:32, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

<= (continuation of dialogue with Bpesta22, Slrubenstein and Maunus) I certainly agree with Bpesta22 that the technical points could be carefully discussed in separate sections, taking great care as Slrubenstein says to indicate when there is doubt, dispute or controversy about various points. The aim is to inform the reader, not mislead or confuse them. There are certainly experts here who can help write content on the notion of folk race; I can locate secondary sources (Mark Cohen?). Folk heredity likewise and life history theory, That seems to be one of the places where Rushton has made unjstifiable assumptions. With properly framed sections outlining the paper of Rushton and Jensen and then the critique of Nisbett, the other sections will fall naturally into place. Anybody could just write either of the R&J or N sections, using secondary sources for Rushton and Jensen for example. They would comply with standard wikipedia editing policy. I can't see why there would be any objection. I view these segments as potentially being the core of the article - the rest would be appendices to clarify things for the reader. Mathsci (talk) 22:20, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

SAT scores as an illustration

Firstly, SAT scores are not IQ tests. Secondly, the graph given was SAT scores of college bound seniors. This ignores the effects of admissions policies at schools that provide for the admission of seniors with lower SAT scores due to minority status. These pictures add nothing, and, in fact, subtract from the factual content of the article. Is there any justification to include them? Thanks. Hipocrite (talk) 15:48, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

1) Please read the literature. SATs are used by researchers like Flynn as an IQ test because they measure intelligence. 2) Only a small percentage of US colleges feature competitive admissions and/or practice meaningful affirmative action. And, even if that were not true, it has no effect on the population of SAT takers. Nor does any source argue otherwise. In fact, these SAT figures show the same basic results (about a one standard deviation black/white gap) that every single other IQ test shows. David.Kane (talk) 15:53, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
It absolutly has an effect on the population of SAT takers. If you know you will get a 700 on the SAT, and that means you cannot get into a school that cares about SATs because you are of nationality X, you don't take the SAT. If you know you can get into a school that cares about SATs with your 700 because you are of nationality Y, you do take the SAT. I'll provide literature when you provide literature about your claims that "it has no effect on the population of SAT takers." Hipocrite (talk) 15:56, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Further, I have literature that the SAT is ethnically and culturaly biased. Hipocrite (talk) 15:58, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
1) No, it doesn't. There is an extensive literature on who takes the SAT and why. There is no evidence from that literature that affirmative action policies cause different groups to take the SAT at different rates. Students who can get 700 on the SAT verbal take the SAT. They don't decline to take it just because Princeton treats a 700 differently depending on the student's race. If you have a citation, you should provide it. 2) The SAT is not biased, anymore than any other IQ test. 3) The point of the illustration is to simply illustrate the score gap as described in this section. Would you propose we delete the words that say the same thing? David.Kane (talk) 16:03, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes there is. If you have a citation, you should provide it. The SAT is, in fact, more biased that other IQ tests - again, I'll provide literature to that effect, but only after you do. I suggest that the section to which you refer does not mention the SAT at all - it mentions IQ test scores - which the SAT is coorelated, but is not. Hipocrite (talk) 16:06, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
James Flynn in What Is Intelligence? uses SAT scores on page 119. Can we agree that, if SAT scores are mentioned in the article, then it is reasonable to include these graphics to illustrate those scores? David.Kane (talk) 16:09, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
How about this instead - since SAT scores are not mentioned in the section, you agree that it is not reasonable to use these illustrations? Hipocrite (talk) 16:10, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
The main section is titled Group differences and includes two subparts. Can you see the mention of SATs there, along with GRE, GMAT, et cetera? David.Kane (talk) 16:16, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
There is no discussion of SAT scores amongst different races in the entire article. The totality of mentions of the SAT are that it is an example of a test that measures intelligence and that tutoring in a specific program can raise SAT scores. The section in which the suspect graphs were included did not mention the SAT's at all. Changing your tune? Hipocrite (talk) 16:19, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
As cited in a section above, the predictive validity of the SAT stems from its ability to measure the general factor. The SAT really is an IQ test. Whether the graphs are included or not, though, is up to you guys-- they essentially replicate the IQ gap, which makes sense if both are driven by g. -Bpesta22 (talk) 16:35, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
They're correlated but obviously couldn't be used on 11 year olds, could they? Mathsci (talk) 17:23, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
SAT scores are not IQ scores, but IQ scores do not equal to intelligence. There are many ways of measuring intelligence, and both SAT and IQ tests are widely accepted to be valid for such measurement. There is no question that figures on SAT scores should remain, unless they are replaced with another better figure.
For the relationship between low SAT scores and affirmative action policies, which is the cause and which is the result? Which was noted first and which is noted after? Before that's clear, do not assume that affirmative action policies artificially caused lower SAT scores. And no matter what reasons cause it (genetic, cultural, political, nutritional, etc), fact is fact: there exists a racial difference in scores among all SAT test takers (and it may be interesting to understand why, but that's another question). If these figures or data are wrong, please make a new version with the correct data. (Great if you have data showing the curves superpose with each other.) Until that, do NOT hide or censor fact, even if it may disturb your feeling or beliefs! --roc (talk) 22:00, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

=> On pages 15-16 of Nisbett's book, in addition to what I said above about Fish' book, we read:

This is not the last time we will have occasion to note that SAT scores, which correlate highly with IQ scores, are not equivalent to IQ. Some cultural groups do better on SAT scores than would be predicted by their IQ -for reasons that probably have to do with motivation.

Unfortunately in this article it is scores on IQ tests that are being discussed, not scores on SAT tests. That is what the secondary sources say and that is what's being discussed. In fact I think, on some occasions when IQ scores were increasing, SAT scores were declining. Mathsci (talk) 22:20, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

The paper I cited above got rejected first at a real good journal. One of the comments they made was they'd take the GMAT over my ECTs as the GMAT was the better IQ test. The decline in SAT scores while IQ scores have gone up is due to greater access to college education for all. State IQ estimates, e.g., are based solely on so called "achievement" tests. If you could cite studies showing that achievement tests predict after g is stripped out, I would concede the point. I'm pretty sure they don't exist-- no one's been able to create a mental test the predicts unless it measures g. -Bpesta22 (talk) 03:26, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
If we are being so pure in our definitions, we should rename the article to "Race and scores on IQ tests". HiLo48 (talk) 03:03, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Also, from the Frey and Detterman study (the latter is the founding editor of the journal, Intelligence): These studies indicate that the SAT is mainly a test of g. We provide equations for converting SAT scores to estimated IQs; such conversion could be useful for estimating premorbid IQ or conducting individual difference research with college students. -Bpesta22 (talk) 03:39, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

So, in summary, we are in agreement that just dumping SAT scores into the article as pretty pictures without any explanatory text is a bad thing? Hipocrite (talk) 17:15, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

No, we are not. But let us try to make progress! Do you object to the mention of SAT scores in the article? David.Kane (talk) 18:40, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
I have not stated any concerns with the current mentions given to SAT scores. Hipocrite (talk) 18:41, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Good. So, now that we have established that SAT is acceptable to mention, as an example of a test which highlights the current racial gap, what is wrong with showing that gap visually? A good encyclopedia article includes graphics. David.Kane (talk) 21:08, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
That's a non sequitur. A good encyclopedia has informative images, not misleading images. I have already mentioned the quote from Nisbett. Certainly to the general public, it will give the totally misleading impression that intelligence is measured by SAT tests. There is a correlation but only for a selected part of the population. Mathsci (talk) 21:44, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
I think the point is just that if we’re going to include these images, we ought to also include some text explaining how they’re relevant to the article. I think that’s a reasonable request. After the article is unprotected, how about we add a small section under “group differences” explaining how since SAT scores also measure g, the racial IQ gap is reflected in SAT scores also? --Captain Occam (talk) 21:37, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Not mentioned in any secondary sources, so a complete non starter, as far as the racial IQ gap is concerned. Besides, as already mentioned, it is documented that performance on SAT tests can be improved by tuition, which of course creates a problem. I can't quite see the relevance of an entrance exam for American universities. IQ tests in general, even the ones adapted to San bushmen in the Kalahari desert, are properly internationalised. Mathsci (talk) 21:55, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
“Not mentioned in any secondary sources, so a complete non starter”
The relationship between race, IQ, and SAT scores is discussed by both Nisbett’s Intelligence and How to Get It and Jensen’s The g Factor. (Both of which are secondary sources.) There are probably more secondary sources discussing it than just those, but those are the first two that I thought to check, and since it was discussed by both of them I didn’t bother to search any further. David.Kane mentioned Flynn’s What is Intelligence? as another secondary source that discusses this, so that’s at least one other example.
At this point R.O.C., David.Kane, Bpesta22, Hipocrite and I have all made it clear that we either approve of this topic being discussed or at least don’t have a problem with it, as long as the images are contextualized properly, and you’re the only person who’s objecting to this. If there are five users who disagree with you about this and none who agree, can you accept that consensus opposes you about it? --Captain Occam (talk) 23:45, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
I have done no such thing. Cease putting words in my mouth.
Unless explanatory text is added to this article, I will remove the SAT images when it is unprotected, as everyone agrees that the images alone are not appropriate. 01:32, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Hipocrite, I’m assuming that this unsigned comment is from you.
Including explanatory text is what I meant when I said “as long as the images are contextualized properly”. I know that including explanatory text is a demand of yours about these images, and I think it’s a reasonable one. But you also said in your reply to David.Kane that you don’t object to mentioning SAT scores in general. Is it accurate to say that you don’t have a problem with the article discussing this topic, as long as explanatory text is provided for the images? --Captain Occam (talk) 01:41, 27 May 2010 (UTC)


just one question regarding the sat plots: why aren't "south asians" (e.g. indians) or "south east asians" (e.g. vietenamese) represented? it is because these groups outperform "whites" and thus the "racial iq hierarchy", as advocated by lynn and his fellow travelers, is shattered?--mustihussain 01:49, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

It's probably because Americans have the geographical skills of a blind earthworm! They lump 'Asians' together, it really is silly. But yeah, I heard South Asians in the US outperform whites. One explanation I heard of this was that immigration to the USA was from 'upper caste' South Asians (a group with one of the highest, if not the highest IQ's ever measured), whereas UK immigration of South Asians was mostly from the 'lower castes'. I agree that we need to distinguish between South, East and South-East Asian wherever possible. I don't think it's appropriate for you to imply that Lynn is motivated by 'white-supremacism'. mikemikev (talk) 10:45, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
i know a "little" about different castes and what you said is simply not true. it is the "lower/middle caste" individuals who usually immigrate to the west, especially from north-west india and nort-east pakistan and from the tamil regions of sri-lanka. the majority of indian americans or pakistani americans are not "upper caste" (i dunno anything about tamils in the usa). british indians also outperform "whites", see e.g. [7]. although pakistani britons, in average, still lag behind there are huge differences inside that community i.e. between north and south england (see the page about pakistani british here on wiki). in addition, people of south-asian origin outperform "whites" in many other countries as well, including my own country where youth with indian and pakistani origin are doing better than "whites". also here the majority descend from "lower/middle"-castes. the trend is actually reinforcing itself and people of south-asian origin are doing even better, year by year.--mustihussain 14:56, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
just to be clear; caste has nothing to do with it. south-east asians (and pacific islanders it seems) also outperform "whites", and they don't have a caste system.--mustihussain 17:02, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Given that SAT score is only mentioned in passing in IQ, and IQ is only mentioned in passing in SAT, including an extended discussion of SAT scores here is probably WP:UNDUE. If reliable secondary sources can be found which indicate that SAT tests are reliable IQ tests, the IQ article should probably be updated first.A.Prock (talk) 17:37, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Well, ETS stopped calling the S.A.T. the S.A.T. because it was proven that it did not predict academic success, so I do not see how SAT results reveal anything besides a good and somtimes expensive education. Funny how rich people who pay for their kids to take SAT review courses outperform students who cannot afford to take prep courses. Oh yeah - that is because genetically smarter kids are smart enough to pick rich parents before they are born. Um ... wait. I know I have a biological explanation here somewhere ... maybe it is under my toy trains... Slrubenstein | Talk 19:29, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
There are tons of studies showing that the SAT predicts success in school. Typically any achievement test plus prior grades predict about 25% of the variance in school success.
Also, were it true that one could train g, this whole article wouldn't even be here. -Bpesta22 (talk) 20:08, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
hehehe...! i think the important point here is the fact that people take courses in order to improve their scores. another thing that no one has bothered to mention is the fact that you can also improve your iq-score by cognitive training (Tzuriel & Kaufman, 1999; Kozulin, 1998 ). better education system and better nutrition is bound to boost the average iq of several nations significantly.--mustihussain 19:57, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

harvnb and harvtxt

I would suggest that we add the references used in this article in the reference section, so that harvtxt and harvnb can be used. I'm not quite sure what precise purpose Race and intelligence (References) serves. But it is quite inconvenient not having a list of references in the article; and it is standard practice for wikipedia articles have the references in the article. The citations for Earl Hunt's article - copy-pasted - should be corrected. They are useless at the moment. The quoted passages can also be paraphrased instead of being in quotation marks. Mathsci (talk) 17:16, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Is nobody concerned with this in the article? Because if not, I'll convert everything to these MOS norms when I have time. Mathsci (talk) 20:52, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Of course we are concerned with this article. It is just that your behavior in areas where we disagree is so annoying that it sometimes becomes difficult to work with you on neutral topics. Comments: 1) I prefer some standardization. So, either as it is or all harvtxt and harvnb is my preference rather than a mixture. 2) I defer to your judgment. If you think that the article is better that way, then, by all means, go for it. 3) I agree that more paraphrasing and less quotations are nice. 4) Race and intelligence (References) was (mostly) created by me as a why of trimming down the main article. I have no objection to you deleting it once you have converted the main article. 5) I hope that we can keep the total number of references to some reasonable number, like less than 100 and, ideally, less than 50 or even 25. I don't think that there is a Wikipedia policy on this, but there ought to be. Certainly, more extensive use of secondary sources will help. David.Kane (talk) 21:07, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't think that having a large amount of references is considered to be a problem. The abortion article, for example, currently has 139 of them. In fact, I think that we generally want more references, not less. Also, the more controversial the topic, the more references you tend to get, since someone is likely to be challenging most every statement in the article. --Xyzzyplugh (talk) 06:30, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
"more references, not less?" Surely that is not true for any number of references. What if the article had 200 references or 2,000 or 20,000? We can easily find 20,000 articles in peer-reviewed journals that mention the word intelligence. Should they all be included? No. Part of the point of having an encyclopedia article is to highlight the best sources. In any event, I have faith that MathSci could select those best sources and, if he is willing to put in the time to go to the same approach as he used (beautifully) in History of the race and intelligence controversy, I think that would be fine. It would certainly be neater and better organized. David.Kane (talk) 18:47, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Barack Obama has 254 references, George W. Bush has 350, World War II has 332. I didn't search around to find articles with a large number of references either, these were the only ones I checked (obviously I picked articles I assumed would be lengthy high traffic articles). Better sources are obviously far preferable to lower quality ones, but the general idea is that almost everything in a wikipedia article should ideally have a reference, so that we're not making things up ourselves. I'm not sure how it would be possible to have 2000 or 20,000 references in an article, it would seem that such an article would necessarily be much too long. --Xyzzyplugh (talk) 20:58, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. The whole point is to make the article more comprehensible to readers. Using harvtxt and harvnb is WP MOS and I believe is recommended. I don't understand David.Kane's reasoning. I'm used to long articles with lots of references fed by a footnote section. That seem to be the norm on WP. Mathsci (talk) 10:32, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

iq and myopia

in the "heritability within and between groups"-section it is stated that:

"a trait that is consistently associated with high intelligence is congenital myopia, and this trait shows a parallel frequency to the intellectual hierarchy by iq proposed by lynn.[49] the gene for congenital myopia (nearsightedness), a trait that is transmitted from homozygous recessive manner, shows a higher frequency among ashkenazi jews (average IQ 112), followed by east asians (105), europeans (100), and congenital myopia is lower for south asians, amerindians or pacific islanders and lowest for africans and australian aborigenes. the congenital myopics show a gain of 7 iq points on the general population.[50]"

the sole reference is an article from "mankind quarterly", a controversial journal [8]. on the other hand, mounting evidence indicate an environmental explanation [9]. the paragraph above gives undue weight to a fringe view.--mustihussain 14:54, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

I think having an entire paragraph about a single paper is bad practice in general, unless it’s a particularly important paper such as the APA report. I’ve condensed this paragraph down into a single sentence in the “genetics” section. I’ve also changed it so that rather than only describing Lynn’s view, it also describes a similar conclusion reached by Cochran and Harpending, which is probably a lot more notable than the paper from Lynn is. (Cochran and Harpending’s paper about this was covered in The New York Times and The Economist.)
I’ve also made a few other adjustments to the article, but hopefully none of them are contentious; most of them just involved improving its organization and some of the citations. --Captain Occam (talk) 22:30, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Numerous problems. Cochran and Harpending's hypothesis received a lot of publicity, but it is still a speculative and untested hypothesis. The information on Myopia shouldn't be in molecular genetics, since AFAIK, no gene has been identified with both Myopia and intelligence. As for Torsion dystonia, it has been strongly linked to a single gene. So far the general consensus based on several replicated studies is that no single genetic variant has been identified that accounts for more than 1 % of the variance in g, in fact 0.4% was the largest effect noted by Butcher et al. 2006. For the purposes of this article, we should not give undue weight to speculative and untested hypotheses. Wapondaponda (talk) 02:07, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
I don’t think a single sentence about two separate papers is undue weight. We need to report what the sources say, and in a ~75KB article, devoting a single sentence to the hypotheses that exist about correlations between IQ and other traits is about the amount of weight that’s appropriate.
I also think we can probably change the title of this section back to just “genetics”. I wasn’t the person who changed it from that to “molecular genetics”, and I think the original title was probably more appropriate. --Captain Occam (talk) 01:53, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
For the sake of simplicity, there are two approaches to the genetics of intelligence, one is indirect and the other is direct. I suggest that we don't mix the two because that would be WP:SYNTH. Heritability studies are indirect methods of measuring the effects of genes on a trait, whereas molecular genetic studies are direct and more reductionist methods. One does not need to be a biologist or a geneticist to estimate the heritability of a trait, what one needs is statistical training. Heritability is a statistical phenomenon rather than a biological one. It is the correlation of a trait between closely related organisms (parent/child, twins, other siblings etc) and if all non-genetic factors are controlled for, it represents the aggregate genetic influence on a trait. Heritability studies tell us nothing about how individual genes interact to produce certain phenotypes.
OTOH molecular genetic studies try to determine which specific genes influence a trait such as intelligence, and how they do it. There have been very few molecular genetic studies where race has been a variable, most have been race neutral. At present no genetic variants have been conclusively identified as having an association with intelligence. Whatever associations have been reported have been weak signals, Butcher et al. 2006 report that the strongest influence that a single region of the genome had on intelligence was 0.4% of the variance in g, though the authors suggest that the regions identified were non-coding DNA sections. When Plomin et al. 2001 studied the genomes of low and high IQ students, they found that high IQ students had nothing genetically in common with each other, and the same for low IQ students. IOW a high IQ students were genetically indistinguishable from low IQ students.
So at present there is a discord between heritability studies, which point to a partial genetic contribution to intelligence, and molecular genetic studies which have not identified genes contributing to intelligence. At some stage in the future, there will be breakthrough and we will know more about the molecular genetics of intelligence, and when that occurs, if it has any relevance to this controversy, it will probably be addressed here. So my suggestion is to keep the two topics (heritability and molecular genetics) separate because that is how they are treated in the literature.
As for Myopia, it is inappropriate to place the information in the genetics section because we know next to nothing about the genes that may contribute to Myopia. According to the Myopia article there are several lines of evidence that point to environmental contributions to myopia such as "near work".
In short, combining distantly related studies such as heritability, molecular genetics of intelligence, Myopia, Torsion dystonia in one section is WP:SYNTH Wapondaponda (talk) 15:54, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Problems with MathSci's behavior

Does anyone else have problems with MathSci's current behavior? He is making large changes [10] in an important part of the article, a section that was the result of many months of discussion and debate among several editors, without any discussion. This is not the way to productively edit a controversial article. I think all his changes out to be reverted until some consensus is reached. David.Kane (talk) 16:15, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Comment on the content, not the contributor. If you would like to comment on MathSci, please engage in dispute resolution, which this is not the appropriate venue for. Hipocrite (talk) 16:17, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
This is normal editing, Mikemikev David.Kane. That's what it's normally like on wikepedia. Sourced and neutral editing. Mathsci (talk) 17:20, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
MathSci: I made this comment, not Mikemikev. Hipocrite: A fair point. My problem with the content is mainly that we used to have a section called Debate assumptions that was clear and, I think, well-done. It could, of course, be better and I am in favor of such improvement. But having a section devoted to the assumptions of the debate makes a great deal of sense. But MathSci has made that section vanish. We no longer have a single section devoted to assumptions. This is bad in and of itself and runs counter to much hard work done during mediation. Much of the material that MathSci has added is reasonable, although it perhaps belongs more in the History section. And I am not necessarily against having a new section that gives an overview of the current debate. I just hate when MathSci runs roughshod over existing consensus. But, if I am the only one that feels that way, then . . . David.Kane (talk) 19:42, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
David, I agree with you. I think Mathsci's large-scale changes to this section ought to be reverted for the time being while we discuss them. This isn't because they're necessarily wrong, but just because a single editor shouldn't be overriding existing consensus with only a bare minimum of discussion. I'd rather not revert the article any more today, though, so I don't think I should do this myself. Does anyone else want to? --Captain Occam (talk) 19:57, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
WP:NPOV is gradually returning to the article. In the mean time, please could David.Kane explain why the 9 points in the summary from Nisbett don't match up properly with the subject headings he devised, despite the claim in the text. That seems to be a major problem. Mathsci (talk) 20:49, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
I used both Nisbett's 9 points and his not-exactly matching points he made in his reply to Jensen and Rushton (2005) in creating those headings, along with some adjustments that others seemed to call for. And note that the article has been edited since then. I have no objection to what we have now or to a move back to a closer parallel with Nisbett. My main point was that using Nisbett's overview of the debate as a central organizing influence was and is a good idea. David.Kane (talk) 21:10, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't propose moving back, but since Nisbett in the 2010 book discusses exactly those points, I think it might be a good idea to separate off his criticisms to each of the 9 points. I also think that a fuller summary of Rushton and Jensen should be given in a separate section. That probably would make it a lot easier for the reader to understand the article. Mathsci (talk) 21:24, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
I am agnostic on these issues. MathSci: Do you understand that, on many, many matters, you and I agree that your edits make Wikipedia a better place? For example, I applaud 98% of the material that you have added to History of the race and intelligence controversy. But, sometimes, you go to far and make edits that are strongly opposed by other editors and then, infuriatingly, you act as if your edits are the only possible correct answer. In this case, we had a Debate assumptions section that I (and others) felt was an import part of the article. It may have been OK for you to rename it, but once someone like me objected, you should have brought the discussion to the Talk page instead of acting petulantly. That is the problem that I, and others, have with your behavior. David.Kane (talk) 18:44, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
The section on "Debate assumptions" was mostly synthesis. It was an inaccurate attempt at rationalisation; not carefully written or representative of anything that could be read in secondary sources. There seemed to be a systematic problem in the way the article had been written after the lede and history section, mainly because the writing strongly suggested that the debate or controversy on race and intelligence is some kind of abstract idea. It is not. There have been a series of controversial papers or books that have generated a reaction from mainstream scientists. There is also a strong political element related to social policy in the US and a constant polemic against the critics of hereditarianism. This statement in 2005 by Linda Gottfredson, for example, is an outspoken attack on one of the leading experts in psychometry:

Critics have associated a belief in the hereditary basis of intelligence with evil intent so frequently and for so long that merely mentioning IQ is enough to trigger in many minds the words "pseudoscience", "racism", and "genocide." Even current APA president Robert Sternberg keeps the malicious association alive by regularly ridiculing and belittling empirically-minded intelligence researchers (e.g., comparing Jensen, in a book meant to honor him, to a child who would not grow up; referring to their work as "quasi-science" that has "recreated a kind of night of the living dead", and sprinkling his descriptions of it with mentions of racism, slavery, and even Soviet tyranny."

All of this occurs over time - there are no debate assumptions here, just a reiteration or reframing of arguments from the 70s, 80s and 90s. In editing wikipedia I avoid synthesizing content. I don't see the utility in having special editing rules for this article. Suggesting content here and then awaiting objections is often not a particularly constructive way to proceed. It can involve filbustering and zooming down in undue detail on content that is well-sourced but could do with a small amount of tweaking, That can be done directly in the article.
There is also a problem with real world attitudes to Jensen. As far as I'm concerned he is an academic from UC, Berkeley, with a distinguished academic career; that career has involved a few brushes with controversy (including unwittingly contributing to a far right journal and allowing his name to appear on the cover as an honorary member of the editorial board). What seems to be the case in the real world is that it has become expedient for far right wing organizations, with their own political agenda about race differences, to portray Jensen as a pure scientist who is somehow divorced from the real world: a Delphic oracle writing words of truth. Certainly Harry F. Weyher Jr. referred to him in that kind of way in an article in Intelligence. And on wikipedia I see many editors reacting disproportionately to references to statements Jensen has made about US government policy or to his acceptance of private funding for his hereditarian research; some academics have described these as controversial. On the other hand, academic freedom allows Jensen to make any of those statements, especially if he feels they are justified. The oft-repeated claim by editors on WP that reporting his speculative policy recommendations constitutes some sort of BLP violation is unreasonable. It seems like an attempt to whitewash history and sanitize the realities of the debate. It also give the appearance, possibly unwttingly, of following the same agenda as far right websites off-wiki: amongst others, these include VDARE, where Rushton publishes, and The Occidental Quarterly, which Lynn helps to run. By writing the article carefully we can hopefully avoid the pitfalls of any WP:CPUSH in that direction. Mathsci (talk) 11:44, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Mathsci, I agree that the social and political aspects of this debate are important to present also. However, we already have another article which is almost exclusively about this topic, History of the race and intelligence controversy, which is linked from this one. People who want to learn about the topics you’ve said that we need to emphasize can learn about them from that article, while the Race and intelligence article is for people who are interested in learning about what the data itself is in this area.
On the talk page for the R & I history article, I recall you saying that article shouldn’t attempt to rehash all of the arguments that are used for and against each viewpoint about the cause of the IQ gap, since that content belongs in the main race and intelligence article instead. I agree with that. But for the same reason, if we’re going to divide the content between an article about historical and political information about this debate and one about data-based arguments, we also should not be focusing on the social and political elements of it in the race and intelligence article. There are plenty of books and papers about the data on this topic without mentioning the political aspects, taking both perspectives about the cause of the IQ gap, just as there are books about the political aspects which don’t focus on the data, so both of these topics are clearly notable enough to deserve their own article.
As Jimbo Wales pointed out in the BLP thread, we also need to be careful to avoid making statements about the views of Jensen (or any other living person) that are cited to the conclusions of his critics, even if those conclusions are published in a reliable source, if the living person being described has not clearly stated this viewpoint themselves. --Captain Occam (talk) 19:46, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Current debate

I think the current version of the debate assumption section (now titled Current debate) is excellent and extremely well NPOV'ed but I would however propose one change: in the summary of Nisbett's summary of Rushton and Jensen I think we should provide Nisbetts counter arguments as the current text might make the reader believe that Nisbett agrees with R&J's "findings" (which possibly should be called conclusions instead of findings).·Maunus·ƛ· 07:17, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

OK, I'll leave that up to you commented can be changed to "criticized the paper". (I'm not suggesting that you use your admin powers to edit through full protection!) Mathsci (talk) 10:25, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Maunus: I agree with you that the material that MathSci has added (like 99% of his other additions) is excellent and NPOV. Well done! My complaints are: 1) That we have lost a section entitled "Assumptions." This is a critical part of the structure of the overall article. It makes everything else much easier to organize and discuss. We need it. 2) That MathSci makes major changes, changes he knows (at least after someone reverts them) that other editors have serious problems with, before he has even sought consensus on the talk page. Questions: Would you object to be adding back as "Debate assumptions" section once the lock is off? (I would put MathSci's new material in either its own section (labeled current debate) or as the end of the History section.) David.Kane (talk) 14:14, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
I tend to agree that it would be good to separate the current debate and the assumptions for clarity.·Maunus·ƛ· 09:24, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Which secondary source says that there are "debate assumptions" and what exactly is it supposed to mean? Is this taken from the introduction of the paper of Earl Hunt et al? In practice what happens is that X&Y write a hereditarian paper in ****, PQ and R criticize it, X&Y publish their rebuttal and so on. There are different types of criticism if that is what is meant, according to the discipline of the critic. I hope it doesn't mean describing authors as "enviromentalist researchers into race and intelligence". Mathsci (talk) 11:32, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
I was the one who advocated including such a section in the first part (I included a section which was first removed then later completely rewritten by David Kane and I agree there were problems with the current version). I did so to clarify some of the basic problems for the reader - My focus was primarily to give a brief overview of the problems with defining the concepts of "race" and "intelligence" because if such an overview is not given the reader is likely to read the entire article using his "common sense" understanding of those concepts. I think it is of importance to the article to describe the different views about those concepts because they are fundamental to understanding the disagreements among scholars about how to understand and interpret data. if there isn't consensus for including it I of course won't keep arguing its inclusion, but I think something of the kind needs to be included.·Maunus·ƛ· 17:38, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

The section on the debate is a vast improvement over the section on assumptions. The now-discarded section on assumptions confused three things: first, it presented conclusions (which are very different from assumptions). Second, it identified these as "positions." I am not sure what this word means in a scientific context. Was it Newton's "position" that gravity is a force, and Einstein's "position" that it is an effect of the shape of space-time? I guess when the data is pretty much clear (e.g. concerning the collapse of the Mayan empire) and people have different ways of interpreting that evidence, and argue for different ways of modeling it, those can be called "positions," but in scientific context we really have to be careful about how we use these terms. For example, if Rushton really is a scientist, he would have to be able to conceive of experimental results that would lead him to change his view (same goes for Nesbitt or whomever). So is he forwarding a "position" of just his conclusions based on the available data? I think "positions" is a word with much clearer meaning when we are talking about a public policy debate

The section on "assumptions" also included a claim by Rushton and others that other scientists are not really scientists but politicians, motivated by political concerns. I guess you could call this "Rushton's assumption about those who disagree with him" but that sure makes Rushton look pretty stupid. In any event, Rushton is not really a good source on the assumptions of others.

Now, if we actually discovered that major players in this debate wrote in their books or articles, "I assume x" I think it might be valuable to add such information to the article, but the source would have to be explicit (we can use primary sources when they are explicit and leave little room for interpretation and I think these are the conditions that ought to apply when we make any claims about what someone has "assumed." And we should definitely not create a section as a pretext for putting in ad homineim remarks, even if they are properly sourced. They have no encyclopedic value. Slrubenstein | Talk 13:22, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Slrubenstein: If Maunus agrees with me that having a separate section labeled "Debate assumptions" or something along those lines is a good idea, then surely we have enough of a dispute that MathSci was in the wrong to just delete that section without seeking consensus first. Don't you agree? Obviously, if I am the only one who wants such a section, or if such a section was recently added by me, that would be one thing. But, in this case, we have a section that had been around for months and that many, many editors had contributed to. Would you really object if I added it back (without deleting MathSci's new material)? Once it is back, I am more than happy to discuss content, most of which was not written by me. I can easily provide sources to secondary work like Loehlin, Mackintoh and others where much of this material (meaning of "race," meaning of "intelligence," major positions and so on) is covered. I have no problem with removing some of the content that was there (I am no Rushton fan) but I first need to convince you that Maunus is right and that having such a section is perfectly sensible. David.Kane (talk) 16:06, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

David, You will get nowhere by continuing to divide pople here into sides. This is not mathSci versus you, or me versus Maunus. When you have some time why don't you read any of the essays on wikiprocess or collaborative editing. We all throw in ideas; each of us will have good and bad ideas, and our ideas will change through discussion. From what I can tell, maunus sees som good reasons for such a section, but that does not mean he is "opposed" to MathSci. Did it ever strike you that Maunus might have a genuine interest in what MathSci's objections could be?

I am not opposed to Maunus. I am opposed to bad writing and unencyclopedic contnt. Now, I have no objection to a section called "debate assumptions" as long as that is actualy what the section is about. My point is that nothing that MathSci deleted in his revision could reasonably considered appropriate for a section called "Debate Assumptions." That something sounds like a good idea in principle is not an excuse jut to pour into it material that is irrelevant or inappropriate.

It is utterly beyond me why you want to add back crappy content and only then discuss content. While we are discussing content, people will be reading the article, and we have an obligation to ensure that the article is the best possible. Now mathSci and I have both explained our objections, why on earth would you want to add back content we find so objectionable? Your reasoning is beyond me.

Here is another suggestion: work on the content first. Either in a subsection of this page or your sandbox. Or I invite Maunus to draft a section in his sandbox. Then we can see if MathSci and I still have objections, or if we do have objections whether anyone can fix it, or whether we may ourselves be able to improve it. What is wrong with this process? Slrubenstein | Talk 19:05, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Nothing! In fact, this is exactly the process by which I created the Debate assumptions section in the first place: [11]. Any objections now to be adding back this section, perhaps with the same content as it had at that time. It seems churlish to allow MathSci's childish behavior to destroy work that I on many other editors spend many hours on. David.Kane (talk) 20:02, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
At the same time that you were typing this comment, I was leaving another comment recommending basically the same thing. Yes; something along those lines sounds like a good idea. --Captain Occam (talk) 20:17, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) I agree with Maunus and David.Kane that it’s important to have a section explaining what the debate assumptions are. SLR, you probably remember that one of the complaints about past versions of the article that was raised during the mediation was the fact that it did not clearly explain what both “race” and “intelligence” mean in this context, and the “debate assumptions” section was the result of most of us agreeing that these things needed to be explained towards the beginning the article. I also think that since this section’s existence was strongly supported by consensus, it’s problematic for it to be completely removed from the article (without consensus) until it can be improved. However, given that the article is protected until June 1st in a state that does not include this section, adding it back won’t be possible for another three days, so that gives us an opportunity to try and improve it before adding it back.
David, do you think that over the next three days it would be possible for you to improve this section so that other users will have less of a problem with it, so that it can be added back to the article when the article is unprotected? Some of Mathsci’s objections to this section have been rejected by everyone else who’s offered an opinion about them, such as his claim that describing Nisbett as a researcher about race and intelligence is a BLP violation, but that doesn’t mean this section can’t be improved at all.
Incidentally, I should also point out that I don’t have any serious NPOV objections to the material that Mathsci added. However, a concern that I do have is one that I mentioned above: we already have a separate article, History of the race and intelligence controversy, about the way that this debate has occurred from a historical and political perspective, and I’m not sure that a historical explanation of the past 15 years of the debate belongs in the Race and intelligence article rather than that one. I don’t have a strong opinion about this, though; I could see it going either way. The one thing I have a strong opinion about is that if this material is going to be included in the race and intelligence article, it ought to be in addition to an explanation of the debate assumptions, not instead of it. --Captain Occam (talk) 20:15, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

(ec)David i am not questioning your good faith. But (1) I have a real life and even through months of mediation I could not pay equal attention to all discussions. (2) believe it or not some things I do not think about right away and MathSci's comments now may show me something I di dnot notice before. There is nothing churlish about this. We all know when we work at Wikipedia that we do not own what we write and that anything we write can be rewritten at any time and in fact most things we write will over time be rewritten. I stated my objections to the section and they had nothing to do with whoever wrote them and I really wish you would not take it personally. Captain Occam's suggestions sound like a reasonable starting point and I hope Maunus, mathSci and others who have been giving this a lot of thought lately will weigh in. Slrubenstein | Talk 20:18, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Slrubenstein: Understood. I retract the "churlish" comment. I look forward to working with you on this topic. I will start up a new section later this week-end, featuring a draft proposal. (If someone else wants to tackle this in place of me, that would be fine. Just leave a note here. David.Kane (talk) 20:39, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

some changes

Changed genetics to molecular genetics. There was a previous discussion during mediation where it was agreed that molecular genetics and heritability are related but separate approaches to studying IQ differences.

The section on brain size gave the impression that the magnitude of brain size differences is fixed when it is highly variable. There was no mention that races overlap in brain size too.

The Lynn data is as usual controversial and shouldn't be treated as factual. Rusthon is not a physical anthropologist to be a reliable source musculo-skeletal traits. Wapondaponda (talk) 06:22, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Can you provide a reference for brain size differences being highly variable? And I'm not sure your argument that Rushton is not an anthropologist so any reference he makes to anthropology should be censored holds water. Surely he was collating data from anthropologists. If you can find an anthropologist who disagrees with him, that would be a reasonable argument. mikemikev (talk) 09:58, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Lieberman is a good secondary source for just that. [12]--Ramdrake (talk) 12:40, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Couldn't find it, sorry. Can you be more specific? mikemikev (talk) 15:38, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Page 70 of the article. It lists a variety of results by researcher.--Ramdrake (talk) 16:03, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
We've already established that that table isn't about racial brain size hierarchy. mikemikev (talk) 16:15, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
No, the table is about brain size hierarchies, showing that different researchers find different results, therefore a great variability.--Ramdrake (talk) 17:22, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
So you need to point to studies from 1849 (I won't even bother to double check them) to decide how we word the article regarding MRI variability? mikemikev (talk) 17:36, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
We use secondary sources like Lieberman. Wikipedians' personal points of view carry no weight at all. Mathsci (talk) 20:58, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Ramdrake, this is quite simple. Even if the table is about brain-size differences (it's called "Changing Racial Hierarchies" and a preliminary double check of the sources seems to indicate that it's more about intelligence hierachies), historical changes in between group brain size difference estimation have no bearing on within group variability for modern tests. Using this as an argument to say modern data is "highly variable" is simply ludicrous. Unless you can find a better source for within group brain size variablility, a specific data set, not some cobbled together obfuscatory nonsense about the 1800's, then I intend to reinstate the brain size section.
Mathsci: What you write has no relevance to the argument. mikemikev (talk) 10:32, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Nisbett, a good and recent secondary source, discusses the cranial size data at some length.·Maunus·ƛ· 10:54, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Rushton found a standard deviation of about 10%. Would it be acceptable to put the numbers back in and add the standard deviation? mikemikev (talk) 11:19, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Not based on Rushton. Also, the high variability of brain size in the population in general is something that is relatively well-known and uncontroversial, enough that it's mentioned as the very first sentence of this review: [13]--Ramdrake (talk) 12:59, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't see what we would gain by inserting a controversial number of contested accuracy, other than build up an illusion of authority and accuracy. ·Maunus·ƛ· 14:03, 25 May 2010 (UTC)


The problem I have with the brain size data is that I don't see how a race difference must be caused only by genes. I suspect environment-- especially pre-natal-- can affect brain size too. I know one study Rushton cites shows size differences in utero, but that still is not direct evidence of genetics to me (albeit prenatal development is not my area of expertise). -Bpesta22 (talk) 03:30, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Another problem is that brain size within humans varies from about 1000 cc to about 2000 cc, and shows a high variability (they even documented a PhD student in mathematics -- otherwise doing very well -- with a brain close to 1000 cc) So, holding that a mere difference of a few cubic centimeters influences intelligence (as is one of the tenets of Rushton's hypothesis, for example)is a problematic statement to neurobiologists.--Ramdrake (talk) 04:26, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Maunus, I've yet to see anybody demonstrate it's controversial, other than OR personal opinions. Is Rushton's peer reviewed paper which is taking fire from all sides not reliable enough for you? Is that because you don't like Rushton? Perhaps you have a better source.
BPesta, whether or not it's genes or environment (I don't know, but I would guess genes is a bigger factor) the fact is that the brain size difference is there.
Ramdrake, you're still not getting it. The variability for the whole population has no bearing on the within group variability. If I say "grapefruits are bigger than oranges", you can't say, "no, because fruits are all different sizes". You need a source which states the within group variability. Rushton is the only one I know of, and a within group standard deviation of 10% is not "highly variable". mikemikev (talk) 13:10, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
You have been presented with counterarguments from both Liberman and Nisbett who both reject the vaidity of Rushtons conclusions - are you just ignoring those because you don't like them? ·Maunus·ƛ· 13:24, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
I've clearly demonstrated that Lieberman says nothing of the within group variability of brain-size. Right now you're just sticking your fingers in your ears and going "La-la-la, I don't want to hear it". You've not actually presented anything from Nisbett other than saying "Nisbett talks about cranial capacity". That's not a counterargument. mikemikev (talk) 13:33, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Are you just trolling now? Cause then I'll have to stop feeding you. When you get tired of that and want to engage in a discussion please tell me and I'll stop ignoring you then. ·Maunus·ƛ· 13:37, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Maunus, this is not an acceptable response. I warn you to watch your manners. mikemikev (talk) 13:42, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
How about these three references, which are openly critical of Rushton's analysis on brain size and intelligence:[14][15][16]. I would recommend that you read thse before championing Rushton's analysis.--Ramdrake (talk) 18:11, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Ramdrake, you're just throwing paper at me now. Can you summarize your point? mikemikev (talk) 10:21, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
DONALD P. CAIN and C. H. VANDERWOLF (From Rushton's own department): "Zuckerman and Brody (1988) concluded from a partial analysis of Rushton’s theory and his cited evidence that he (1) used strained logic, (2) used sources that lack credibility, (3) selectively cited data that support his theory, (4) used sources that did not control for socioeconomic class, and (5) did not use statistical analyses to establish his claims. In general, we confirm these criticisms from a more detailed examination of Rushton’s cited evidence on race, brain size and intelligence. In addition, we found that Rushton miscited conclusions and numerical data from certain studies, without providing an explanation for the divergence from the original published form of the conclusions and data. If a theory in science does not mesh with the larger framework of what is known about the topic, most scientists would tend to reject it if it does not have very strong evidence in its favor. Since Rushton’s theory is not in accord with what is known about brain size and intelligence, and since the evidence for Rushton’s claimed relation between brain size and intelligence and differences in brain size between human subgroups is unconvincing and his theory is based on a superficial analysis of the available data, we are probably on firm ground if we reject it."·Maunus·ƛ· 11:29, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Alexander Alland Jr. (Evolutionary anthropologist) "Race in Mind" p. 165 "It [Rushton's argument that brain size enlargment is expensive for evolution and therefore must have had a high benefit] also ignores the fact that normal brain size in humans varies widely. Within the normal range very intelligent individuals have been found with relatively small brains and rather dull individuals have been found with relatively large brains."·Maunus·ƛ· 11:39, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Liberman in the cited paper: "Rushton’s view depends on a traditional concept of “race” that 20th-century genetics has shown to be invalid. He ignores research showing that cranial size varies significantly with latitude, not with race. He combines many populations into three races without establishing the biological similarity of the populations within each race and significant differences between them. He attributes inferior behavior to Africans and superiority to Asians without establishing that the behavior he cites is defined in the same way in different societies. He lists brain measurements for which there were no control variables and dismisses the influence of nutrition on cranial size and/or IQ."·Maunus·ƛ· 11:41, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Nisbett 2010: "A difference between black and white brain size is not always found, however (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1978). More important, the correlation found within the white population probably does not indicate that greater brain size causes higher IQ. Within a given family, the sibling with the larger brain has no higher IQ on average than the sibling with the smaller brain (Schoenemann, Budinger, Sarich, and Wang, 1999 )." "One large sample of blacks shows that the cranial capacity of black females was the same as that of whites, yet the IQ difference was the usual standard deviation typical of the gap at the time the data were collected (Joiner, in press). The IQ difference therefore is found in the absence of a cranial-capacity difference."·Maunus·ƛ· 11:52, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
You are aware that article already discusses whether brain size explains the IQ gap, with Neisser saying it's not good evidence? It also discusses whether environment/nutrition is the cause. What we're (trying to) discuss here is the within group variability of absolute brain size, in light of the fact that Muntuwandi removed the data, with the argument "highly variable", remember? You're not actually addressing the point. mikemikev (talk) 11:46, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Rushton and Jensen 2010: Nisbett cited a study by Joiner [143] that found Black females had equal or larger crania than White females but a lower IQ score. Nisbett used this finding to cast doubt on the causal relationship between race, brain size, and IQ. He failed to mention that Joiner’s sample was of 12- to 18-yearolds who had previously been analyzed by Rushton and Osborne [154] in a study of the heritability of cranial capacity in which an age x sex x race interaction found that girls matured earlier than boys and Blacks matured earlier than Whites, resulting in young Black girls being larger in body (and head) size than their White counterparts. However, by the end of the adolescent growth spurt, the typical race x sex pattern of differences clearly emerges (Fig. 6). The disordinal age x sex x race interactions have been found for samples of 7- to 17-year-olds since 1899 [155]. mikemikev (talk) 12:06, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

(reset indent) This doesn't change the fact that you've now been presented with multiple references that all speak to the high variability of brain size both in humans in general and within groups such as self-defined racial groups.--Ramdrake (talk) 12:50, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, I missed the study that demonstrates a high variability of brain size within racial groups, which one was it again? mikemikev (talk) 13:39, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
We've already provided you with several references which show that Rushton's conclusion aren't accepted by many researchers because they find flaws in both the data and the methodology used. This isn't a debate about who's right, this is about whether it can be verified that Rushton's conclusions aren't held as credible by many in the scientific community. Puhsing this point further is only a waste of time.--Ramdrake (talk) 14:07, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
I love how you have to resort to the weasely "many scientists" argument. You've just presented a couple of fringe nitwits saying "I disagree with Rushton". What a laughable argument. mikemikev (talk) 14:12, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Not to be rude, or anything, but it is inapropriate for you to judge individuals as "fringe nitwits." Cite reliable sources stating such. Hipocrite (talk) 14:14, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
No, I think Mikemikev just ran out of arguments, so he's resorting to name-calling. The discussion's over, I guess.--Ramdrake (talk) 14:29, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Yup, the discussions over. I'll be restoring the data at the next opportunity. mikemikev (talk) 17:14, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
If you are referring to scientists like Richard Nisbett, Nicholas Mackintosh or Joseph L. Graves as "fringe nitwits", that would be a BLP violation. It would also suggest that your own awareness of the scientific world is skewed; normally membership of the United States National Academy of Sciences or the Royal Society is.taken to be an indication of eminence. Mathsci (talk) 08:35, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Alexander Alland is one of the world's top (if not the top) authority on race, and is a noted biological anthropologist who published a textbook on human evolution. Nisbett has done authoritative research in cognitive psychology. Lieberman is another leading expert in race. Mikmike is pusing a racist point of view that is also fringe science, and rejects as sources widely respected scientists. Mikey, you may like spouting racist views among your friends, but Wikipedia is not your soapbox. It is an encyclopedia and we have higher standards for content. Maunus is contributing to what might become a good article. Since you seem incapable of making an intelligent contribution, can I suggest you go somewhere else. I mean, Wikipedia has thousands of articles, surely one of them is actually on a topic you know something about. Why don't you want to make a positive conribution to Wikipedia? Really? Slrubenstein | Talk 19:25, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Mike, can you please explain specifically what data you think is missing from the “brain size” section? This section currently presents Rushton’s (and Jensen’s, and Neisser’s, and Ho’s) view about brain size varying with race, and it also presents the view of other researchers such as Lieberman who consider brain size to vary based on latitude and not race. It doesn’t describe either Ho or Lieberman as being right or wrong, and I don’t think it should; I think just presenting both viewpoints about this is what’s most consistent with NPOV policy.
Perhaps you already explained this and I missed it, but I really don’t see what’s wrong with how the current article handles this topic. If you think there’s something wrong with how this is in the current article, could you please be more specific about what the problem with it is? --Captain Occam (talk) 02:07, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Occam, all I'm requesting is that the brain size average figures are put back in, and I also suggest adding the within group standard error from Rushton. There is no reason to remove this sourced content. All I'm getting in response is personal opinions and irrelevant quotes. Some editors seem to think that simply presenting someone who disagrees with Rushton about something unrelated is a valid counterargument, and I'm starting to wonder whether WP:COMPETENCE is lacking here. Anyway, what do you think?
SLR and Mathsci, my opinion that they are nitwits is neither a BLP violation, nor the point. The point is that all of the quotes provided fail to address the argument. SLR, you need to rein in those personal attacks. Calling me "racist" is especially inappropriate here. I would hate to have to report you. mikemikev (talk) 09:51, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
If you really think you are right about Richard Nisbett and Nicholas Mackintosh being "fringe nitwits", why not check that at WP:RSN? You could even try WP:FTN. Mathsci (talk) 10:10, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
DNFTT mikemikev (talk) 10:17, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Mike, what do you mean? Who is the troll here? What is your evience?
Mike, having a source is not sufficient grounds for inclusion in a Wikipedia article. It must also be a significant view. You wish to add fringe views to the article. No, that is not going to hapen. Please stop repeating the fact that you have sources; we all get that, we agree you have sources, this is not relevant to the disagreement. The question is whether the views are fringe or not. And Maunus has provided compelling evidence that they are fringe views. Slrubenstein | Talk 11:02, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
I would also like Mikemikev to explain what he means. Mathsci (talk) 11:08, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Mike, that data is not going into the article. When Rushton ventures into anthropometrics and population behavioral statistics he is a psychologist dabbling in the territory of anthropologists. We have several physical anthropologists saying that the data that Rushton's analyses are based on is not comparable, is incorrectly gathered and incorrectly processed making any conclusions based on them invalid. On top of that they state that his methods of comparison would not even be valid IF the data was of sufficient quality to even make those comparisons. This means that his numbers are utterly contested and cannot be used in the article without a full discussion of their flaws - this article is not long enough to go into that, nor is it the right place to do it. It is quite obvious that while the hereditarian viewpoint per se is not fringe science but Rushton's cranial size studies are fringe science and nearly uniformly rejected by those who have expertise in the field. The article needs to treat the topic of cranial size correlations with IQ - but presenting numbers is not an option untill there are statistics available the validity of which there is general agreement about among experts. Now, I fully expect one of your confrontational one-line dismissals to this arguments, and frankly I am only writing this rebuttal to show that I (and the others including Occam and David Kane) are in fact working to improve this article by discussing, compromising and colaborating towards an improvement. I have not once seen you working collaboratively and collegially towards imnproving the article, I have not seen you suggest a single improvement to the article that could be agreed on by all editors, and the only constructive edit I have seen you make to the actual article was fixing a typo (thanks for that though). Frankly it is hilarious to see you warining others to mind their manners or accuse them of trolling. I giggled out loud when I read your response to my previous post, I am sure other editors also saw the irony. Now, making it absolutely clear that untill I see clear evidence that you start working with other editors to constructively improve this article instead of merely halting all progress by spewing out confrontational, negative remarks to every proposal and making unreasonable demands that other editors do your homework for you, I am not going to waste any more of my time arguing with you. I urge other editors to do the same and simply ignore all unconstructive comments (from Mike or anyone else) that do not directly aim to improve article content in a collaborative, collegial manner.·Maunus·ƛ· 11:49, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Maunus the original brain size section was discussed here. It was written by TechnoFaye, modified by me according to concerns from Mathsci, and implemented by David Kane.
I consider much of what you wrote above to be a personal attack. Even if it was true that my only contribution here was to correct a typo, so what? Please don't try to assume authority here.
To return to the point: We have some anthropologists who dispute Rushton. Does this mean we censor Rushton? No, we put in both sides. A consistent finding of a racial brain size difference stratified according to military rank seems pretty notable to me. Properly attributed, it should go into the article. And you're welcome to add the explanation of how some anthropologists think this is invalid (can you summarize it for me, because I'm not seeing it). mikemikev (talk) 11:15, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Maunus is not alone here. I personally do not care who contributed to the text, or by how much, my only concern is the text, which imports fringe science verging on pseudoscience into the article. This is not "censoring" Rushton who - I observe - seems never to fun out of outlets to publicize his views. This article is not about everything Rushton thinks. We include Rushton's views on those areas in which he has expertise. Here we have Rushton writing about matters outside of his expertise. There is someone with a PhD in geology who has published a book on his own theories about Jesus and quess what: we do not use him as a source in the article on Jesus. That Rushton has expertise on some things does not make him an expert on all things. This is not a matter of "some anthropologists" disagreeing with Rushton, this is a matter of Rushton trying to write on a topic that he has no expertise on, and those people with expertise on it (you know, PhDs and stuff) consider his writing looney. As to your not "seeing it," well, Maunus provided the sources, go read them. If you still don't see it wait until you go to college and take some classes in anthropology, hopefully there will be a TA who can help explain it to you. In the meantime, fringe views beyond Rushton's expertise have no place in the article. Now, here is something I do not get: you just implied that Mathsci's concerns were accounted for in this version. Why? What do you mean to suggest by this? Slrubenstein | Talk 13:03, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

So you think measuring brain size is out of field for psychologists? I'll ask some of my friends at the various neuro-imaging labs in London (you know PhDs and stuff) what they think about that. Oh wait, no I won't, because it's ridiculous.
Do you think attempting to elucidate the genetics of intelligence is out of field for psychologists, and that studying subpopulations isn't one of the normal ways to do this?
And I can't really be bothered answering your question about Mathsci. mikemikev (talk) 13:54, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, it would be ridiculous - because we are talking about brain size data here, not functional MRI imaging. But we are used to ridiculous comments from you. And also uestions that you cannot or will not answer. Typical signs of a disruptive editor. Slrubenstein | Talk 14:28, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

No, it would be ridiculous because measuring brain size is very much the preserve of psychologists, probably more so than anthropologists. MRI is one way to measure it. What you write is just mind-bending rhetoric. You appear to have little integrity, or understanding. mikemikev (talk) 14:55, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Dude, i am sure all of us here would agree that if you shoot someone in their frontal cortex (or surgically removes a portion of the frontal cortex), it will likely have an effect on their intelligence. Is this all you have been trying to prove? It has nothing to do with Rushton's claims being discussed here, which, I guess I have to repeat for you, are outside of his expertise. Slrubenstein | Talk 16:04, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Fine, just keep repeating yourself. It seems I'll have to take you to a noticeboard.
Anyway, let's take a look at the sources Maunus provided, that apparently blow Rushton's brain size data out of the water so much we can't even mention it (incidentally if this was actually the case, wouldn't you want it to be in the article?).
  • selectively cited data that support his theory - this is from 1988, right? Anyway, it's too vague to consider.
  • normal brain size in humans varies widely - that's what you'd expect if there was a racial brain size difference.
  • that cranial size varies significantly with latitude, not with race - finding one doesn't preclude the other.
  • shows that the cranial capacity of black females was the same as that of whites - citing one sample of adolescents, when it's known that black girls reach maturity faster than whites? That's what I call selective, and disingenuous (possibly even nitwitical). And I thought psychologists were out of field here?
I can see why you don't want to put the refutations in with the data, you don't have any. And Maunus, don't throw references at me and ask me to "do my homework". You need to make your case.
Another thing I think you're failing to understand is that this is not about whether brain size explains the racial IQ gap, just about the data. mikemikev (talk) 17:38, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for beginning to argue your case, Mike. I apologize for what you perceived as a personal attack - I did not mean to attack you but to point out that certain patterns of your behaviour are deteimental to the progress here. Now: I am only adressing the data - the explanation is a different issue. The data Rushton bases his numbers on has been declared invalid (a very strong word in academia) by several unrelated researchers, even some from Rushton's own department. That means that writing "The average brain volumes (in cm3) are approximately 1,268 (Africans), 1,362 (Europeans), and 1,415 (East Asians). [6]" is a gross violation of WP:UNDUE it presents highly contested analyses as fact. Even if we were to put in several paragraphs of explanation of why those numbers have been rejected by a multitude of experts the fact that we even include them would be to give them undue weight. Rushton's theories should be mentioned, but they are much less accepted and much more criticized than most of the other points in the debate and this should be clearly visible to the reader, and we should not simply throw Rushton's numbers out there for the lay reader to make sense of. ·Maunus·ƛ· 07:39, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
The sources you've provided do not support your argument. One of them was from 1988, so clearly not about the modern data. One talked about whole population variabilty: irrelevant. And I hardly think Lieberman and Nisbett represent a "multitude of scholars". Also it will be difficult to summarize their "declarations of invalidity" without making them sound ridiculous, but I guess you will have to try. mikemikev (talk) 08:27, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
No, I won't because the data is not going into the article. Rushton's research doesn't have a shred of credibility. Rushton's research is even used as textbook example about how not to make arguments in evolutinary anthropology. Maybe you should try to find a source that supports his research that isn't a close friend of his or a Pioneer grantee. The only one sounding ridiculous here is you defending the inclusion of data that has been squarely rejected by the scientific community as if it were the holy grail. ·Maunus·ƛ· 09:12, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't need to find a source which supports it, it supports itself. You need to find a source which refutes it. It doesn't seem like you can. It really is quite a simple experiment: randomly select people of different races, and measure their brain size. Very easy to refute. Please stop claiming to speak for the "scientific community" or "most scientists", your attitude is distinctly unscientific. mikemikev (talk) 11:15, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Mike, the sources which demonstrate that Rushton's data and methods do not have credibility have already been presented to you above (there are more), but you dismissed them. Please remember that, according to Wikipedia policy, we cannot judge sources and therefore your dismissal of the refutations is not allowed. However, there are so many refutations to Rushton's brain size data and analysis that we couldn't put it in without giving up a huge chunk of space to all its critics, which on the one hand would be necessary to represent it as its proper level of acceptance "in the real world" but would on the other be a gross violation of WP:UNDUE (devoting this much space to a hypothesis which is overall soundly rejected by the overwhelming majority of the scientific community). What you personnally think of Rushton's data or of the arguments of his detractors doesn't matter; there are compelling reasons not to include it, and I believe most editors here agree that it should be left out. Please remember: Wikipedia is about verifiability, not "Truth".--Ramdrake (talk) 13:47, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Guys, DNFTT Slrubenstein | Talk 14:01, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Ramdrake, we use some discretion when selecting sources. For example, your source from 1988 which you claim refutes data from the 90's. Maybe wiki isn't about truth (shame), but neither is it about obvious nonsense. Please present all of your brain size data refutations, I have no reason to believe they exist. And you're just lying about a brain size gap being "soundly rejected by the overwhelming majority of the scientific community". Neisser acknowledges it, for one, as do all hereditarians, Flynn, Wicherts, actually I can't think of one psychologist other than Nisbett who doesn't. But luckily we have Ramdrake, voice of "the overwhelming majority of the scientific community", zero evidence firmly in hand. I can I see I'm wasting my time trying to reason with you, I'll just take it a noticeboard, after you revert me and start stonewalling. I'm happy to put in a few counter-arguments, but for you to claim we can't do that because you have too many to list, and then just listing the ones we already have, plus a few red herrings, is pretty weak. mikemikev (talk) 14:43, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

More information on variance of groups

I think that it would be helpful to include more information about the distributions of IQ scores in different groups. It looks like the only graph that takes into account via standard deviation of IQ, is from Richard Lynn. I think it might be helpful to represent these data as a histogram rather than a really smooth bell curve as well, just because it conveys a sense of precision, which may be misleading. Check out this image to get a sense of what I mean: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/46/121421245_612f18cd62_o.jpg

This image has no error bars: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SAT-verbal-by-race-ethnicity.png or any indication of 25th to 75th percentile, std deviation, etc. Am I alone in thinking that this is a serious problem? 24.13.82.216 (talk) 03:16, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Good suggestions. Wikipedia's article Correlation and dependence shows how many different data relationships can have many of the same summary statistics. The closer the article gets to the empirical data, the better.

WeijiBaikeBianji (talk) 01:56, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Debate assumptions

At one point, we had a separate section entitled "Debate assumptions." I wrote a part of this and several other editors contributed as well. That section was lost (I hope inadvertently) in some recent bold editing. I am adding it back in. I have picked the most recent stable version. I am also removing overlap material from the new section entitled Current debate. I make no claims about whether or not the material in "Debate assumptions" is perfect. Like all aspects of the article, it could be improved. But an entire section should not be deleted without us reaching some form of consensus. (I have no objection to bold editing of the content of the section, for BLP reasons or otherwise. I just object to the section itself disappearing. See previous discussions here and here. Note our extensive discussions about this section during mediation: here and here. I hope that, before major editing takes place, editors might read this background and outline some of their concerns so that we can discuss them. David.Kane (talk) 20:48, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

In reading through the article, and that at least some believe it is a victim (perpetrator?) of systemic bias, I rather think some of the intrinsic problem here can be handled by a judicious renaming, that is Race and tests of intelligence. Race and measures of intelligence sounds more encyclopedic but is, IMHO, open to the same problems as the current title.
   The results of cognitive, deductive, spatial etc. skills measured in intelligence tests cannot help but reflect both the innate capabilities of an individual as well as that individual's capabilities as either enhanced or inhibited by their circumstances—from education to nutrition to home life and beyond.
   Such a renaming would serve to organize the discussion along the lines of:
  1. Who was tested for what/when/how
  2. What were the results
  3. What was the interpretation of the results
    1. by those conducting the tests
    2. by those participating in the tests (if available)
    3. by outside observers, this would be organized primarily by
      1. those engaged in the study of intelligence through the administration of standardized tests and by other means, and
      2. those who are members of social and/or ethnic groups by which tests have been (widely) conducted and/or tabulated (from larger samples)
      3. debate in the media and society (focusing on serious discussion, not the usual arguing over whose hearsay is "more right" than someone else's)
Just some thoughts.  PЄTЄRS VЄСRUМВАtalk  16:24, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Some of the recent edits here are not making best use of the sources.

I see there have been edits back and forth here this morning on the issue of heritability estimates for IQ in the lead paragraph. In a moment, I will post a new edit, based on the following principles: (1) the same researcher's more recent views on a subject should be given more weight than that researcher's views from two decades ago, and (2) a researcher who writes a mainstream point-by-point refutation of a cited article ought to be mentioned in close proximity to that same article. This is a disputed issue, no doubt about that, but the lead paragraph ought generally to reflect the most recent point of view of authors cited in it, and moreover should be NPOV with regard to citing both points and counterpoints on issues for which there is major "clash" in the literature. WeijiBaikeBianji (talk) 16:30, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Hispanics?

Can someone answer me a question? If Hispanics can come in all races, why are they always considered for racial studies in the United States? It makes no sense. They don't do this silly "Hispanic/Latino" thing in any other part of the world. Finding an average can be easy, for example: I could take the scores of non Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks and collectively call them "Anglos" and find the average of the two and say that "Anglos" scored such and such number. So why are Hispanics included, why aren't they just divided into white, black, Native, mixed race, etc?--Fernirm (talk) 03:42, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

The category definitions used in the United States are specific to the United States, and have changed in my lifetime. See the Census Bureau definitions of races and of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity for more information, and note that the Census Bureau demographers say, "The concept of race as used by the Census Bureau reflects self-identification by people according to the race or races with which they most closely identify. These categories are sociopolitical constructs and should not be interpreted as being scientific or anthropological in nature." I hope this helps. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk) 16:01, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Significance and policy relevance: finally added

After more than a month of discussion (here, here, here, and in the mediation archives), I think we’ve finally come to enough agreement about what this section should contain that it’s ready to be added to the article. In addition to the changes that I and others have already made this section in response to the feedback It’s received in those threads, I’ve also followed these more recent suggestions I’ve received about it:

  • Per Aprock: the article now summarizes and links to the relevant parts about other articles on similar topics; namely Intelligence and public policy and Intelligence_quotient#Positive_correlations_with_IQ. I’ve also added two more secondary sources to this section, Jensen 1998 and Nisbett 2009, in response to your complaint that this section relied too heavily on primary sources.
  • Per Victor Chmara: the section no longer discusses the book World on Fire, and IQ and the Wealth of Nations is credited to both of its authors rather than just to Lynn. I’ve also added a more recent source discussing Jensen’s views about education.
  • Per Slrubenstein: I’ve gotten rid of the “between nations” section, and added the information about correlations with national IQs to the “IQ differences outside the USA” section instead.

Thanks to everyone who’s made suggestions about this section. As a result of all of your advice, I think this section is a lot better-written and more neutral than the version of it that was in January’s version of the article. I’m sure it still isn’t perfect, but I would hope that any additional changes to it can be made by editing it within the article, rather than doing a wholesale revert. The article’s under 1RR right now anyway, so trying to edit war over this section probably isn’t a good idea. --Captain Occam (talk) 10:23, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Seeing that this dispute is in the process of going to mediation, it is not a good idea to make major changes. Aprock discussed the "assertion of false consensus" in his Arbitration statement. This is what is taking place here. Having read through the links you added, I see no evidence for a consensus for your changes. This is not the first time, see this thread for a similar incident. In the mean time, I have reverted your changes, as the content is a POV synthesis. Wapondaponda (talk) 12:19, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Muntuwandi, have you actually looked at all of the changes I’ve made before reverting all of them? Around half of them were only to undo non-consensus changes that had been made to the article without any discussion, such as removing this image. I added the image back, and now you’ve re-removed it. Do you actually think this image doesn’t belong in the article, or did you not even pay attention to the fact that you’re removing it again?
Even if you don’t think there’s a consensus yet for the new piece of content I’ve added, you don’t appear to have any content objections to it. And what I mean by that is that you were active on this talk page during the month that it was being discussed, but during all of the time that I was asking everyone who had content concerns about this section to please bring them up, you never mentioned any. Other editors initially had concerns about NPOV and synth with it, but when they told me specifically what the problems with it were, I changed the section in order to fix them. From the fact that you’ve never come up with any specific problems with this section when I was asking for people to point them out, and that even now you aren’t providing any specific examples of what you think is wrong with this section, your problem with it appears to be nothing but WP:IDONTLIKEIT.
I think you should self-revert. It seems fairly clear that this revert was a reflexive action on your part, and that you barely looked at what it was that you were reverting. None of the changes I’ve made should be very contentious at this point, not even the new content. Even if you don’t think there’s a consensus for it yet, I’m clearly satisfying all of the requirements that other users have mentioned for what this section should be like. The only reason this section wasn’t added to the article before now is because the article was locked for a while, and then I wanted to wait for existing edit wars over it to subside before adding new content. But at this point, there’s no reason for its addition to be delayed any longer. --Captain Occam (talk) 13:52, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
I'll be happy to review it and discuss the various problems. Given the number of problems I see in your draft, it might make sense to do that on the talk page. aprock (talk) 14:24, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
So you still aren’t satisfied with it? I really thought I’d fixed all of the problems with it that you were raising. If you think there are additional problem with it, they must be things you haven’t mentioned before now.
But you’re still welcome to bring up any concerns you have about it. I think this section is good enough to be edited in the article itself at this point, but if you tell me what specific things you think ought to be changed about it, I’ll incorporate those changes whenever I re-add this section. --Captain Occam (talk) 14:34, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Please review the preliminary review here [17]. If the draft version in your sub page is done, I'll post another review sometime on Wednesday (or before). aprock (talk) 14:40, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
If this is what you mean by my subpage, then yes, that’s the current draft.
The preliminary review you’ve linked to is something we’ve already discussed at length. Some of the critiques you provided there I’ve followed, while for others I’ve explained in detail why following them isn’t necessary, and for several examples of the latter you’ve had nothing to say in response. If you’re going to post another review, I sincerely hope you aren’t going to just repeat some of your earlier critiques that I’ve already said aren’t appropriate, while not acknowledging any of my responses to them. I shouldn’t need to point out that this that of stonewalling isn’t acceptable behavior, but this was something you did a few times while we were discussing this section during the mediation, so I want to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen again.
If you aren’t going to be ready to post a review of this section until Wednesday, is it all right if in the meantime I add it back to the article, and I modify it based on your suggestions whenever you provide them? (Or you can just modify it yourself based on how you think it should be improved, if you’d prefer that.) Even if this section needs to be improved some more, I think the article is better off with it than without it, and I also think it’s better off with some of the other changes I’ve made that Muntuwandi reverted, such as re-adding the Lewontin corn image. --Captain Occam (talk) 15:02, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
I'll be happy to discuss content issues when I have time. That will likely be Wednesday, but possibly before. aprock (talk) 15:17, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Can you please answer my other question, in the last paragraph of my previous comment? Since I’ve followed the existing suggestions about this section, I don’t think the fact that you’re intending to make some new suggestions about it in the near future is a good reason to exclude it from the article until then, particularly when doing so also involves excluding other changes that are beneficial and not contentious at all. But before I undo Muntuwandi’s revert, I want to make sure you agree that what I’m suggesting is reasonable.
It looks like the corn image has been added back by someone else now, but I think all of my first five recent edits were obviously beneficial. (None of my first five edits involved the new section.) Adding back the corn image was only one of these edits, but Muntuwandi reverted all five of them. --Captain Occam (talk) 15:31, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
When I first saw that corn image, my first instinct was that it violated the definition of heritability, and I was about to remove it on those grounds. But I think I figured out what is trying to be said, which is simply an illustration of how variability within a population does not describe variability between populations. I have adjusted the caption to try to make this less controversial. WavePart (talk) 21:39, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Mustihussain, I'm undoing your revert. Please discuss here so that we can avoid a pointless edit war over a simple caption. I did read the source, and what I edited the caption to say is the same as what the source says next to that image. Unfortunately, your edit has some sentences that are strictly speaking incorrect. You cannot say, "The height of this "ordinary genetically varied corn" is 100% heritable", because that is factually incorrect if you do not specify WHICH group of corn you are referring to the heritability of. In fact, the height of the whole population shown in the graph is NOT 100% heritable, because there is quite plainly an environmental influence from the nutrient difference. My edit was entirely about explaining this difference between within groups vs between groups, which is the role of this figure in the referenced source. If you disagree with some specific aspect of that edit, please discuss here so that we can merge rather than simply reverting. WavePart (talk) 03:29, 7 June 2010 (UTC)