Talk:Race and intelligence/Sand assertions & results

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Here is an outline of what we have found about the various ways of construing the word "race" and then associating it with reports on IQ, g, or other empirical results that are asserted to be pertinent to intelligece.

Discrete sets ala Linnaeus[edit]

§Does anybody still believe that God created X number of races, ignore products of mixed marriages, etc., and then based on however s/he assigns people to those [racial] categories go out and measure average IQs or anything like that? -- p0m


Researcher Conclusions Critiques
Linnaeus Hierarchy of intelligences No discrete human groups
row 2, cell 1 row 2, cell 2 row 2, cell 3

Discrete sets defined as biological subspecies of humans[edit]

§Despite the fact that the biologists all seem happy with the idea that there may have been a couple of subspecies of H. sapiens at one time but that there is now only H. sapiens sapiens, maybe somebody out there is claiming biological subspecies still exist. (Templeton? If not, his idea of "race" applies only to non-humans and doesn't belong in this article.) If somebody does claim subspecies, has s/he gone ahead to take samples on the basis of the subspecies' definitions and report average I.Q.?

(Lineage1

Theory class Researcher Conclusions Critiques
Subspecies  ? NULL Scientific community denies. Templeton (1998) rejects for humans.

Essentialist definitions, quasi-discrete sets[edit]

§ If [races] are set up according to individuals possessing x number of traits, I guess it is possible that somebody has decided to pull samples this way (ignoring the people who don't fit into any [race]). Has anybody found any studies that work on these grounds?


Theory class Researcher Conclusions Critiques
Essentialist* NULL NULL No traits absolutely limited or linked
  • Somebody belongs to race X if s/he has traits a, b, c.... nn.

"Taxonomic" definitions, quasi-discrete sets[edit]

§This kind of definition is used in Great Britain for law enforcement purposes. It is at least plausible that schools might use the same system, e.g., to keep track of whether individual schools are getting too segregated. Any sign of anybody keeping group IQ scores for these groups?

Theory class Researcher Conclusions Critiques
Marker traits x Place of origin NULL NULL Pragmatic value for G.B. law enforcement only.

Lineage-2, ancestry and range[edit]

§This is the idea that one can divide the pie by looking at the geographical locations of people, where they come from, and look at other indications of ancestry. It ties in with the work of people like Spencer Wells who follow who went where when by looking at things like mtDNA, tracking it by tracking changes at multiple loci, and then deciding on that basis that there are two or three separate migration groups that reached the Americas, and that even though we don't know the details we at least know that they each had been breeding populations long enough that they must have reached genetic equilibrium, so if you knew that group A migrated from Norway you would expect one average appearance, and if group B migrated from the area around Manchuria you would expect a second average appearance.

§It is plausible that if such groups had different average body types, different average skin colors, etc., they might have different average intelligences (also on genetic grounds). I'm pretty sure that there are intelligence studies that do this work. Let's list them here.

Theory class Researcher Conclusions Critiques
DNA traits x Place of origin = lineage groups** ? ? ?

** Assumes that mtDNA or Y-chromosome DNA essentially "marks" people having reached genetic equilibrium who migrated to a relatively isolated place. The group can be viewed, metaphorically, as an asexually reproducing organism whose group characteristics are passed down very little changed from generation to generation.

Haplogroups and intelligence[edit]

§Doing these kinds of studies on a rigorous basis (not copping out and saying the self-identified [race] is a good enough stab at haplogroup membership) would demand deciding how many loci, how many clusters, how many clusters of cluster determine a set of haplogroup that the researcher hopes might have different average intelligences. It's my impression that nobody has had the inclination (or maybe the funding) to take statistically significant samples based on these considerations and then test each sample for group IQ. But I could be wrong. Who can list the studies below?

Theory class Researcher Conclusions Critiques
Haplogroups and intelligence ? ? ?

Clinal variation and intelligence[edit]

§Actually, the only way I can see that somebody might set up such a study (correct me if I am wrong) would be to look at some trait and graph out isogenic regions (which would make something like a topo map, but instead of everywhere on one band being of the same altitude, everybody on that band would have the same skin color -- like the Biasutti map of skin color). Then the researcher would perform IQ tests on a statistically significant group residing in each isogenic region. So, to use the Biasutti map, somebody would skip around the world giving IQ tests to a randomly aquired sample of a few thousand people all having skin so little colored that one can see their capillary systems (those nice rosy cheeks of Icelandic maidens), somebody else would start at the other end of the shade cline and test an equal number of people who are of the darkest shade of ebony. The "clinal" bit would come in when the scores were arranged by order of lightness-darkness. I think I've heard informal results, studies in individual countries that state that measured IQ doesn't correlate with how dark a darker brother is. But maybe somebody has been more ambitious and has looked at the whole world that way, not necessarily in terms of skin color. It could be rate of metabolizing all asparagus amino acids for all I know. Are there such studies? If so, please list them.

Theory class Researcher Conclusions Critiques
Isogenic regions (based on some set of traits) ? ? ?

Self-identified [race] and intelligence[edit]

§The only studies I know about have used this criterion. How good are the results? List the citations for studies. List the citations for critiques.

Templeton notes[edit]

Templeton does not see humans as having "races."

Washington University biology professor Alan R. Templeton argued persuasively that, biologically, race doesn't exist in humans. Templeton's analysis of millions of genetic sequences in human DNA demonstrated that most of our genetic variation occurs on an individual level, rather than between populations. While some genetic differences do exist between human populations, these do not define historical lineages in the way popular conceptions of race suggest.

"Race is a real cultural, political and economic concept in society, but it is not a biological concept," Templeton writes, "and that unfortunately is what many people wrongfully consider to be the essence of race in humans -- genetic differences."

--http://www.salon.com/books/it/1999/04/26/genetics/print.html

Summary (in progress)[edit]

§My impression is that for all the furor over this subject there is almost no real data except for the last category. That fact, simply stated, should have its own ironic impact. P0M 20:02, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

A number of scholars claim to have studied relationships

among intelligence, race, and genetics(e.g., Herrnstein & Murray, 1994; Rushton,1995). The thesis of this article is that these studies are not grounded in scientifically derived constructs but rather in folk beliefs about them.

--"Intelligence, Race, and Genetics, Sternberg, Grigorenko, and Kidd

§Are there any reasons for believing that there are more recent studies? Or is all this discussion over a few studies that have been largely discredited? P0M 01:42, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Biogeographic ancestry[edit]

Ancestry x ecozones?


Evaluation of citations[edit]

ftn 5

Risch, N., Burchard, E., Ziv, E. and Tang, H. (2002). "Categorization of humans in biomedical research: genes, race and disease". Genome Biology 3 (7): comment2007.2001 - comment2007.2012.

Does not mention intelligence.

Bamshed 2005

Does not mention intelligence.

Geneticist Neil Risch is involved with medicine, not intelligence measurement. (Gitschier, 2005) has a interview with Risch. The article makes no mention of intelligence or i.q.

  • Harpending and Rogers 2000. No direct mention of intelligence, word appears in two texts referenced:h
LEWONTIN, Richard, "Race and Intelligence," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (1971): 2-8 (Mentioned in one of the works cited. Retort from Jensen follows:)
JENSEN, Arthur, "Race and the Genetics of Intelligence: A Reply to Lewontin," Reprinted in N.J. Block and Gerald Dworkin, The IQ Controversy (N.Y., Pantheon, 1976): 93-106.
  • Bamshad, et al. "Human Population Genetic Structure and Inference of group membership" -- doesn't mention intelligence
  • Edwards, A. W. "Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy" criticizes Lewontin's way of attacking Jensen, but itself has nothing to do with intelligence and race.
  • Bamshad et al., 2004 "Deconstructing the relationship between genetics and race". (Interesting, but the abstract makes no mention of intelligence.)
  • Tang et al. 2005. "Genetic Structure, Self-Identified Race/Ethnicity, and Confounding in Case-Control Association Studies". No mention of intelligence.
  • Rosenberg, "Clines, Clusters, and the Effect of Study Design and the Inference of Human Population Structure" http://genetics.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371%2Fjournal.pgen.0010070

This is an interesting article on how clusters are identified. It does not mention intelligence, however.

  • Mountain and Risch, 2004: Assessing genetic contribitions to phenotypic differences among 'racial' and 'ethnic' groups' "Current understanding of the contribution of genes to variation in most complex traits is limited, however. Under these circumstances, assumptions about genetic contributions to group differences are unfounded." -- but no direct mention of intelligence.
  • Mekel-Bobrov et al. 2005. (URL is currently off-line.)
  • Evans et al, 2005. (URL is currently off-line.)
  • Voight et al, 2006. A Map of Recent Positive Selection in the Human Genome. (Nothing on intelligence.)
  • Wang et al., 2005. Global landscape of recent inferred Darwinian selection for Homo sapiens (no mention of intelligence)
  • Harpending and Cochran, 2002: In our genes, (No mention of intelligence, but some mental differences/disorders are considered)

Candidates for deletion or new draft[edit]

comment: The following section on the blind teen is anecdotal and does not support or refute the notion that there is a link between race and intelligence. The two examples (Wiltshire and Underwood) cause confusion because they are atypical of all teen-agers, and of black teen-agers in particular.

Multiple intelligences [[Ben underwood.jpg Ben Underwood Though blind exhibits exceptional skill and coordination. A combination of spatial and Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence. cbs video[1] ]]

comment: The following two paragraphs on Gardner and multiple intelligences are particularly weak in that they do not fairly or adequately summarize his views and lack any direct reference to whatever he's written on subject. This difference of point of view may have implications for the discussion regarding race and intelligence. That this sentence refers reader to yet another section would drive most readers away because it lacks logical flow.Skywriter 12:41, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

There are critics of IQ tests who advocate using alternative views of intelligence, such as multiple intelligences. This difference of point of view may have implications for the discussion regarding race and intelligence, see Race and intelligence (explanations).

According to Howard Gardner Multiple Intelligences include

  • Linguistic
  • Logical-mathematical
  • Spatial
  • Bodily-kinesthetic
  • Musical
  • Naturalistic
  • Interpersonal
  • Intrapersonal

comment: The following section on Savant Syndrome is unrelated to the topic, race and intelligence, and belongs in another article. It also is apt to confuse a reader because the example given is of a black teen who is not representative of "the race". Did Gardner provide this example or did a Wikkie editor make the connection, thereby constituting the verboten "original research"? What of white savants? Are they more or less "intelligent" than black savants? I suggest this section be deleted because it is hopelessly unrelated to topic of race and intelligence. Skywriter 12:41, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Savant Syndrome

[[Steven wiltshire.jpg| Stephen Wiltshire is an accomplished artist and has a photographic memory video ]] Tokyo skyline, ... drawn from memory by Stephen Wiltshire Gardner used case studies of Autistic Savants as part of his theory on multiple intelligences. On one hand they have severe mental disabilities and thus impaired social skills, on the other they have some extraordinary mental abilities not found in most people. The Savant Syndrome skills involve striking feats of memory and often include arithmetic calculation and sometimes unusual abilities in art or music. There is actually a disproportionate regularity with which the triad of blindness, mental disability and musical genius occurs in savant syndrome.[2] Example includes Derek Paravicini who has severe learning disability but can remember every song he has ever heard.

Others with savant syndrome are not autistic, but develop this abilities later on in life usually as a result of some accident, illness or trauma. For example Alonzo Clemons was a regular child until he suffured brain damage as a result of a fall. Afterwards he learned to create accurate animal sculptures from clay using his photographic memory[3]. Some scientists thus believe that the potential to be a genius is latent in all people but is obscured by normal functioning intellect. In the case of savants, the damage to the brain has somehow disrupted normal functioning and has allowed the brain to access these latent skills. [4]

§ These parts are indeed weak. I think it would be more appropriate to discuss the way that [intelligence] is constructed. One of the important observations that scholars in the field make is that almost nothing is done to measure intelligence that does not involve prior learning. So both memory and educational history (in the broadest sense) are favored.
§ When several ways of trying to measure intelligence and predict future success are tried, some tests will give good results in the sense that someone who can read well and can reason logically will be able to do well on certain kinds of IQ tests, and those who cannot do well on the tests are unlikely to have succeeded on similar tasks in university education. So measuring a graduating class of university students will show high average scores for these tests, and that result confirms the utility of the tests as a means of filtering out individuals who probably will not do well in higher education. Such tests will filter out dyslexic students as well as students who have other kinds of limitations.
§ Once the field had acquired several test modalities that produced satisfactory results, any new tests that were tried were eliminated if they produced contrary results.
§ There is a further difficulty in determining what really should count as successful outcomes in higher education. If the educational system measures students, e.g., those majoring in history, by the ability to take multiple choice exams, to fill in the blanks with dates and places, etc., one may get a result that could easily be anticipated by similar tests in college entrance exams. If the educational system regards such results as trivial and strives to educate students to discover patterns in history, functional relationships among social organizations, etc., it may be much more difficult to measure the preparation at intake and to measure the results at graduation time.
§ One other consideration makes it clearer that [intelligence] is a social construct. If there are several measures of intelligence and they all produce different numerical results, then a single score for an individual has to weigh the several measures, and it would appear that there is no objective way to do this task. So [intelligence] turns out to depend on what the researchers prize. P0M 15:52, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

process flowchart[edit]

A good practice for us all:

Wikipedia consensus process flowchart from Wikipedia:Consensus

--Kevin Murray 19:34, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

  1. ^ CBS News "The Early Show" How A Blind Teen 'Sees' With Sound
  2. ^ CBS News "60 Minutes" — Meet Musical Savant Rex
  3. ^ video of Alonzo Clemons
  4. ^ latent brain potential