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The Genetic Origin of Ashkenazi Genius

By Thrasymachus in Science
Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 04:40:34 PM EST
Tags: Science (all tags)
Science

A genetics paper published in the Journal of Biosocial Science in June, “Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence,” makes the following claims about Ashkenazi European Jews:

  • They have the highest average IQ of any ethnic group.
  • Their intelligence advantage is genetic.
  • Their intelligence advantage is recent.
  • Jews as a whole are not of above-average intelligence, just the Ashkenazi.
  • Ashkenazi intelligence is a result of natural selection.

The paper is important not just for what it says about the Ashkenazi, but also for what it says about the nature of intelligence and genes. A surprising amount of favorable press coverage was generated over it—positive coverage appeared in both The Economist and The New York Times—despite the fact that the authors are claiming that: a) some racial differences in intelligence exist, and b) that they can be genetic in origin.


The paper's claims in more detail:

Ashkenazi Jews and Intelligence

The Ashkenazi are the population of Jews originating in central and northern Europe. In the 20th century, they made up 3% of the U.S. Population, but won 27% of U.S. Nobel prizes. More than half of world chess champions are Ashkenazi. Einstein, Feynman, and Bobby Fischer are all of Ashkenazi ethnicity.

The Ashkenazi score 12-15 IQ points above the European average on intelligence tests, or in other words 0.75-1.0 standard deviations. They have high verbal and mathematical scores, but have visuospatial scores about 0.5 standard deviations lower than the European mean.

Jews of non-Ashkenazi origin do not have high average IQ scores and are not overrepresented in high-intelligence fields like the sciences.

Genetic Diseases that Increase IQ

The Ashkenazi have certain genetic diseases at an anomalous rate.

59% of Ashkenazi Jews have at least one of a list of alleles associated with specific genetic disorders. These alleles all appear to have something to do with brain function. *

Intelligence testing and occupation studies have shown that there is an intelligence boost in Ashkenazi Jews afflicted with Gaucher's disease, torsion dystonia, and non-classic congenital adrenal hyperplasia. All these conditions are caused by alleles from the list.

Some of these alleles increase the chances of certain cancers, some cause disease when two copies are present. All seem to be present in the Ashkenazi population at a higher rate than predicted by simulation studies. An explanation is that these brain-function related alleles boost fitness in some way for all carriers—59% of Ashkenazi Jews, as mentioned before.

Historical Selection for Intelligence

In medieval Europe, anti-Semitism locked the Ashkenazi Jews into intelligence-demanding careers like money-lending, tax-farming, and the merchant trade. Historical evidence shows that those who were more successful at these jobs—and therefore wealthier—had more children. During this time period, the Ashkenazi also had a low rate of intermarriage with other Europeans.

The combination of low gene inflow, career limitations, and differential reproduction set up the necessary conditions for natural selection of intelligence between 800-1700 AD.

Natural selection in Europe explains the high intelligence of Ashkenazi Jews compared to other Jews and compared to the rest of the world.

It also explains the anomalous rate of genetic disorders: positive selection for genes that improve IQ balances out the decreased fitness from disease. The genetic data suggests that the fitness advantage of intelligence for Ashkenazi Jews may have been on the order of 2% per IQ point.

Testing the Hypothesis

It is possible to test the genetic claims. Ashkenazi who are carriers for the alleles mentioned but who are not sick—often those with only one copy of the allele instead of two—are predicted to have better averages on intelligence tests than non-carriers. The control group would be any of their siblings who are not carriers. Since the alleles have a 1/2th chance of being passed on when one parent is a carrier, families like this should not be hard to find.

* * *

What I Think About This Research

If testing bears out the prediction that being a carrier boosts IQ, it means that individual genes and mechanisms that raise intelligence have been discovered and identified.

And that not everybody has them.

In some ways, this is a good thing. Exceptional people make the world a better place.

We will miss the extra-numerous Ashkenazi genius when it is no longer here: The conditions that caused natural selection for intelligence in the Ashkenazi are gone, and in some cases reversed. Today, they are probably regressing back to the mean. This may make the rest of us more equal, but in the end it is a tragedy.

It may not be an inevitable tragedy though. This paper is some of the first research to link specific genes to intelligence, and we can be confident of more like it in the future. Identifying the genes that cause genius will one day allow us to replicate that pharmaceutically: we will be able to boost IQ with a pill.

Facing some unpleasant truths about human differences now may wind up being the best way to improve things for everyone in the end.

--
* Alleles for sphingolipid storage disorders (Tay-Sachs, Gaucher, Niemann-Pick, and mucolipidosis type IV), DNA repair disorders (BRCA1, BRCA2, Fanconi's anemia type C, and Bloom syndrome), Canavan disease, familial dysautonomia, Factor XI deficiency (Peretz et al., 1997), the I1307K allele of the APC locus (Gryfe et al., 1999), non-classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

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Poll
I think that...
o 1. Race does not exist. 12%
o 2. IQ has nothing to do with intelligence. 10%
o 3. Both 1 & 2. 13%
o 4. Race and IQ are valid concepts, but all races are equally intelligent. 3%
o 5. Race and IQ are valid concepts, and there are only environmental differences in intelligence between races. 10%
o 6. Race and IQ are valid concepts, and there are genetic differences in intelligence between races. 50%

Votes: 88
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence
o The Economist
o The New York Times
o *
o Also by Thrasymachus


Display: Sort:
The Genetic Origin of Ashkenazi Genius | 475 comments (440 topical, 35 editorial, 51 hidden)
Nazi Jews? (1.50 / 10) (#3)
by LilDebbie on Fri Jul 29, 2005 at 09:21:36 PM EST

Ponfused.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

Dan Burros? (2.00 / 3) (#142)
by it certainly is on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 06:05:26 PM EST

He was a neo-Nazi Jew. He made good on his word when he promised to kill Jews; after being exposed in the New York Times, he killed himself. You should see the film The Believer, a dramatisation of his life.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Oh, and to keep this on-topic (1.00 / 2) (#143)
by it certainly is on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 06:12:52 PM EST

He had an IQ of 154, obviously due to his Ashkenazi Joooo heritage. As you can see, that high IQ correlated well with the great success he made of his life.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Smart enough (1.80 / 5) (#178)
by LilDebbie on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 01:48:06 AM EST

to realize the dominance of the National Socialist ideology.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Funny... (2.00 / 2) (#438)
by Winkhorst on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 01:45:33 PM EST

I am of Ashkenazi Levitic and Rabbinic stock and have a 154 IQ (Cattell test) and none of the mentioned genetic diseases. I do, however, have two types of genetically transmitted migraine disease, so I would suspect there are outlines here of a supportable theory. However, I also have retarded and Mongoloid first cousins, and furthermore, the term Ashkenazi is not terribly well defined. I, personally, have ancestors from Spain and Portugal, which would theoretically make them Sephardic, and yet there is no indication that they ever considered themselves anything but Ashkenazi. Apparently, upon migrating to central and eastern Europe, the Iberian Jews would just blend in with the locals unless they arrived in sufficient numbers to maintain their separate identity.

What I *have* learned doing genealogical research is that there is an incredible amount of inbreeding especially among my immediate ancestry, though this arguably goes all the way back to Pharaonic times. So I have to suspect that, if this higher than average IQ is real, it results more from that very inbreeding than from any sort of Darwinian process. And there are certainly other "Jewish" traits that could be fingered for a higher survival rate: higher rates of borderline paranoia, higher than normal rates of twinning (especially in the years leading up to the holocaust), higher than normal studiousness (90% of all physicians in Vienna were Jewish--hence Dr. Frankenstein's monster), etc.
______ *****Welcome to Avalon*****
[ Parent ]

Visual thinking (2.00 / 9) (#8)
by Back Spaced on Fri Jul 29, 2005 at 10:35:56 PM EST

The Ashkenazi score 12-15 IQ points above the European average on intelligence tests, or in other words 0.75-1.0 standard deviations. They have high verbal and mathematical scores, but have visuospatial scores about 0.5 standard deviations lower than the European mean.

Interestingly enough, with both Einstein and Feyneman described their methods of thinking through mathematical problems, both used visual/spacial techniques.

Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder. He's pre-med.

most engineers and scientists do, I think (1.50 / 2) (#180)
by xmnemonic on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 01:55:45 AM EST

(I speak mostly on engineering, because it's my field.)

Note the great value in engineering placed on diagrams, CAD/drafting, charts etc., all visual abstractions of raw data.  And also realize that engineers act between the layperson and the scientist, with the need to understand both worlds.

The book Engineering  and the Mind's Eye gives numerous examples of how engineering has relied on purely mental imagery, less hard calculations and facts.  Often engineers understood their machines in their "mind's eye" before putting chisel to stone.

[ Parent ]

Hmm... (2.00 / 3) (#204)
by mahju on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 10:18:47 AM EST

...could it be that the visuospatial "computing power" of the brain is redirected from external visual problems, to internal theroretical problems in this case?

[ Parent ]
Indeed (none / 1) (#439)
by Winkhorst on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 01:58:33 PM EST

I think you may have hit the nail on the head. I tend to think visually, and yet I do worse on IQ tests involving rotating geometrical objects than I do on ones that are strictly verbal and mathematical. Of course I also read a lot as a child, so I don't see how you could clearly distinguish between nature and nurture here.
______ *****Welcome to Avalon*****
[ Parent ]
My IQ is higher than Feynman's (1.50 / 14) (#13)
by MichaelCrawford on Fri Jul 29, 2005 at 11:26:04 PM EST

I recall reading somewhere that Feynman took an IQ test once. The result indicated that while he was an intelligent guy, he wasn't unusually so. He would have barely qualified for MENSA.

I don't think it's just me who has a higher IQ, I'm pretty sure there are many Kurons who do. Yet few of us have won Nobel Prizes.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


Indeed. (2.16 / 6) (#16)
by Thrasymachus on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 12:06:49 AM EST

IQ doesn't help much if you don't have ideas. You're right.

On the other hand I'd be surprised if anybody with an IQ of below 110 has ever won a Nobel prize. Francis Crick had an IQ of only 115, and he's the low-ball everybody tends to mention. He's only in the top 16% of the population for IQ. What a dunce! :)

Now imagine that there is a cutoff of 110 for winning the Nobel prize, like I guessed above. That would mean that for Europeans (avg. 100), a quarter of the population is "Nobel-prize eligible." For Ashkenazi (avg. 110), half the population would be. For African-Americans (avg. 85), it would be about 5%.

In reality, 110 is way too low a number to be thinking of when it comes to Nobel Prize winners. If you want a good chance, not the 1-in-a-million Crick chance, 150 and above would be a better choice. For Europeans, it would be less than .04 percent of the population. For Ashkenazi, it would be .39 percent of the population. A factor of 10 difference. I can't do the number for blacks because I don't have a Z-table that gets accurate enough.

In fact, using my factor of 10 guesstimate, I would assume that if the Ashkenazi were 3% of a population, they would win about 30% of the Nobel prizes. Which is just a few points off from the real number mentioned in my article. Pretty good for a back of the envelope calculation, huh?

[ Parent ]
So you think blacks are racially stupid? (2.00 / 7) (#36)
by Tragedy of the Kurons on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 04:11:29 AM EST

So why don't you be honest and put that in the article?

"That is a mean website. Some people are just mean and rude."
[ Parent ]

Putting words in his mouth (1.00 / 2) (#40)
by An onymous Coward on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 07:14:01 AM EST

You're the first person I've seen here imply that a lower IQ means unquestionably stupid. Why do you think black people are stupid?

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
Fuck off, troll (2.16 / 6) (#41)
by Tragedy of the Kurons on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 07:33:39 AM EST

The original story states that a higher IQ means a higher intelligence. Obviously he is implying the opposite is true - if high IQ means high intelligence low IQ must mean low intelligence.

"That is a mean website. Some people are just mean and rude."
[ Parent ]

That's the converse, not the opposite. (1.00 / 4) (#119)
by Ward57 on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 05:43:33 AM EST

The opposite of "higher IQ means a higher intelligence" is "higher IQ means a lower intelligence".

[ Parent ]
Depends on what you mean by opposite (1.25 / 4) (#158)
by curien on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 07:40:30 PM EST

The negation of the statement is "has higher IQ but not higher intelligence".

Proof:
p = "has higher IQ"
q = "has higher intelligence"

The original statement is
p->q

The negation of that is
~(p->q)
~(~pvq)
p^~q

--
We are not the same. I'm an American, and you're a sick asshole.
[ Parent ]

Let me clarify that a little (1.00 / 5) (#159)
by curien on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 07:44:59 PM EST

Your proposal for opposite was "If a person has higher IQ, it means he has lower intelligence". The negation (of the original statements) is, "There exists at least one person that has higher IQ but has lower intelligence". Hope that makes the difference clearer.

The problem is that the word "opposite" is not formally defined. There's negation, inverse, converse, and contrapositive, which all mean very different things.

--
We are not the same. I'm an American, and you're a sick asshole.
[ Parent ]

I don't think that. (1.00 / 3) (#43)
by Thrasymachus on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 08:16:41 AM EST

It's an average. Saying that "blacks are stupid" would be wrong and racist.

Still, the 85 average is a well-known figure, there is no scientific debate on it. There is debate on:
  • Whether it is cultural or genetic.
  • Whether IQ means anything.
I come down on the 'partly genetic' and 'means something' sides.

[ Parent ]
Yes you do (1.66 / 6) (#45)
by Tragedy of the Kurons on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 08:27:25 AM EST

You just said that you believe blacks are racially less intelligent than other races.

That's a very controversial fringe point of view which suggests you have an agenda here.

"That is a mean website. Some people are just mean and rude."
[ Parent ]

What I said is not fringe at all (1.25 / 4) (#48)
by Thrasymachus on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 09:01:00 AM EST

I say that, on average they do worse on intelligence tests. If you think that's a fringe view, then by all means, don't look here, you'll be fringified: 2004 SAT scores by race and gender

On average means exactly that. There are blacks who are smarter than me. 16% of blacks are smarter than the majority of whites. On the other hand their lower average is well known. It's even why the Supreme Court banned IQ tests for hiring.

[ Parent ]
I guess the Supreme Court isn't racist, then. (1.33 / 3) (#50)
by I HATE TROLLS on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 09:12:14 AM EST

Unlike you.

[ Parent ]
Yes it is (2.00 / 6) (#51)
by Tragedy of the Kurons on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 09:12:44 AM EST

You claimed that the reason black people on average do worse on intelligence tests is due to genetic reasons, i.e that blacks are genetically inferior due to race.

This is a fringe and controversial point of view. Most people would say that culture and environment are the reasons, not race.

"That is a mean website. Some people are just mean and rude."
[ Parent ]

So he's a racist (1.75 / 4) (#56)
by curien on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 09:34:16 AM EST

And you're the type who flings names at people when you disagree with them rather than engage in civil debate. My understanding of the data is that while there are many explanations that indicate the factors are mostly socio-economic, I don't think we have enough data to completely discount genetics.

Second, quit fucking equating "black Americans" and "blacks". Not all black people are American, so even though black Americans have an unusually low average IQ score, this alone says absolutely nothing about black people as a whole.

--
We are not the same. I'm an American, and you're a sick asshole.
[ Parent ]

Read the fucking thread (1.75 / 4) (#57)
by Tragedy of the Kurons on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 09:40:54 AM EST

I never called him a racist or any other "name". I was just trying to get a straight answer out of him for a simple question. Way to go imagining things.
Second, quit fucking equating "black Americans" and "blacks". Not all black people are American, so even though black Americans have an unusually low average IQ score, this alone says absolutely nothing about black people as a whole.
Since Thasywhatsis is claiming that the reason black Americans score low on IQ tests is due to their racial descent, he is in fact claiming that blacks are racially inferior to other races. Again R T F T.

"That is a mean website. Some people are just mean and rude."
[ Parent ]

Messed up there (none / 1) (#70)
by curien on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 01:27:27 PM EST

It was someone else who called him a racist.

However, on the second point, American blacks are not racially equivalent to blacks in general. First off, African blacks themselves are quite racially diverse. Most American blacks descended from Western Africa, so talking about African blacks implies a much larger and more varied racial pool. Second, American blacks have been more-or-less genetically removed from African blacks for the last 200-400 years. I don't know if that has much impact, but it could. Thirdly, American blacks have mixed somewhat with Europeans and American Indians. This has obviously affected their phenotype, as a cursory study of skin pigmentation would show.

--
We are not the same. I'm an American, and you're a sick asshole.
[ Parent ]

My IQ is higher than caveman joe's! (2.00 / 7) (#21)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 12:33:49 AM EST

Still, he invented fire, the wheel, and had the sense not to eat poison berries. I was going to write more, but I'm a bit hungry. Wonder if those red ones taste any good?

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
I read that too (1.00 / 2) (#228)
by Norwegian Blue on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 02:37:54 PM EST

I recall Feynman scored 130 on a test. I don't know when that was, but probably somewhere during the 1930's(he was born in 1918).

Maybe he wasn't that intelligent. Maybe the test wasn't that good.

In this specific case, while there surely was more to his talent and to his achievements than intelligence, I think the test wasn't good enough. 130 is too low.

Just 3 possibilities:

  • He could have been weak at a language related part.
  • Or, there's some data about smart people scoring too low on multiple choice tests because they can come up with more reasons for each of the options and they have trouble choosing.
  • Or the test was taken at a fairly young age when subsequent variation in results is still bigger.


[ Parent ]
yeah i read something like that too (1.00 / 2) (#237)
by I Mod Everything Up But Kitten on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 03:22:10 PM EST

although - as a physicist what i'm about to say is sacriligious - but there's a good degree of luck regarding nobel prizes. I met the guy who did the Bose-Einstein condesate (forget his name - he is a professor at UC Boulder) and he didn't strike me as unbelievably

On the other hand, Feynman was a Putnam fellow. And now only was he a Putnam fellow, but the graders remarked on the huge difference between Feynman's work and his fellow Putnam fellows. Wow! Anyone who is a Putnam fellow alone is impressive, let alone someone who kicks the asses of his peers. Don't forget many great mathematicians and physicists never are Putnam fellows: John Nash, for example.

[ Parent ]

or just jump in with big power (1.50 / 2) (#248)
by Norwegian Blue on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 04:59:36 PM EST

there is the piracy track too. Talented team is doing promising research. Spotters for big money team copy the approach. Big money team works faster and takes the prize. I recall the 1987 prize for ceramic superconductors. Part of the research was done in very secret circumstances to ward off pirates - with success. There is such a story about the Watson-Crick prize too. Don't know what weight this stuff has.


[ Parent ]
Or... (none / 0) (#440)
by Winkhorst on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 02:09:19 PM EST

Maybe the average IQ was higher then! 100 on any given IQ test is "average," yet that doesn't mean that 100 is always the same across generations. It could also be argued that his grasp of German wasn't as good as ethnic Germans.
______ *****Welcome to Avalon*****
[ Parent ]
-1 Dangerous (1.20 / 15) (#14)
by scatbubba on Fri Jul 29, 2005 at 11:31:34 PM EST

If a race can be superior due to genetics, then a race can be inferior due to genetics. Talk of inferior races leads to gas chambers. Humanity should pretend that these facts don't exist.

No. Instead, humanity should (1.75 / 8) (#17)
by parrillada on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 12:10:09 AM EST

stop being an asshole. Even if I truly believed that one race was superior to another, that doesn't necessitate me being a bigoted asshole. That doesn't necessitate me enslaving that other race, or gassing them, or Jim Crowing them.

Please don't discourage scientific dishonesty. Men and women are different. Different ethnicities are different. Just don't be an asshole about it.

[ Parent ]

No it doesn't (1.33 / 3) (#75)
by joto on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 02:11:53 PM EST

Talk of inferior races leads to gas chambers.

No it doesn't. It could lead to gas chambers, but not necessarily so. In fact, history shows that it would also take the very twisted mind of a mad dictator to do so.

[ Parent ]

what?! (1.25 / 4) (#274)
by Roman on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 01:32:27 AM EST

Humanity should pretend that these facts don't exist. - what the hell? Why not? If there are inferiour races, don't bother trying to destroy them, but pretending that all races are equal if in fact there is evidence to the contrary, then it is stupid and useless to pretend that it is not so.

[ Parent ]
What is this race you speak of? (2.33 / 3) (#430)
by toganet on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 03:35:05 PM EST

It's amazing how fast people jump to race as soon as they hear genetics -- when there is in fact no link between them.

Our definitions of race are based on a cultural consensus, not a scientific one.  We lump people into categories based on skin color, hair texture, etc.  What about the blue-eyed, black skinned aboriginies?  Does skin color trump all?  Well, take a look at Southern India.

An another thing -- have you ever seen anyone say, "My race is stupid on average, so I must be stupid, too.".  If this article were about how a certain ethnic group had lower IQ scores, the researchers would be flayed alive -- whether or not their data was accurate.

The fact is, people always want to be better than their out-group.  Too bad we can't agree on the groups.

Johnson's law: Systems resemble the organizations that create them.


[ Parent ]
All nature, no nurture? (2.73 / 15) (#19)
by ktakki on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 12:26:09 AM EST

I'm not going to attempt to refute the conclusions of this study, but I will comment on cultural influences that might have led to this intelligence differential.

First, literacy was encouraged among Ashkenazim, since post-Temple Judaism was centered around the Law (Torah, Mishnah, Gemara), a structure too complex for oral transmission. Compare this with pre-Reformation Europe, when Scripture was only available in Latin and accessible only to clergy and select laity.

Related to this is the ability to speak multiple languages. A European Jew would have to know the language of his host country, along with Hebrew (for reading the Torah), and most likely Yiddish (a German dialect spoken by Eastern and Central European Jews).

Second, since most European countries prohibited Jews from owning land, the Jewish population of Europe was largely urban (exceptions include agrarian settlements in Poland and in the Pale of Settlement in Russia). Life in an urban area would expose one to many different national and cultural influences, as opposed to the isolation of a rural area.

Finally, as an apocryphal datapoint, there is a traditional cultural affinity for learning and knowledge, one that has been institutionalized and ritualized. As an Ashkenazi Jew beginning my studies towards my bar mitzvah at age 11, my mother gave me a spoonful of honey when I received the first textbook from our rabbi. It was a symbolic act, meant to associate learning with the sweet taste of the honey, and a family tradition for generations.

In a broader sense, in just about every Jewish community I've lived in (New York, Massachusetts, California, etc.), scholarship is paramount, even in suburbs where you'd expect popularity or athleticism to be of greater value. The only culture I've known to rival this are the members of the Chinese and Vietnamese diaspora in America, who hold scholarly achievement in a similar light.

I think that if we start to see a bump in the number of Chinese- and Vietnamese-Americans earning Nobel Prizes in the next few decades, we'll see that it might be nurture and not nature that's the cause.


k.
--
"In spite of everything, I still believe that people
are really good at heart." - Anne Frank

So what if you're smarter? (1.00 / 9) (#20)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 12:31:58 AM EST

At least they didn't chop off part of my weiner when I was a baby.

Nyah nyah nyah.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

3.00 insightful. teach me to post too fast . nt (1.75 / 4) (#26)
by Kasreyn on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 01:22:37 AM EST

nt
"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
exactly my thoughts (1.33 / 3) (#60)
by blue tiger on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 10:41:52 AM EST

bonus research topic: show how much smarter the european aristocracy of 17/18th centuries was compared to the stupid serfs. good indicator: most the big scientific and artistic names of that period were aristocrats.

and to see why this kind of research is stupid and dangerous, just remember what the french did with their aristocracy...

[ Parent ]

... and that's, what? statistic evidence? (1.00 / 2) (#93)
by Surial on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 08:20:32 PM EST

I think not. A serf with a brilliant understanding of nature. What, exactly, do you propose he or she will do about it? Spend some time writing a book?

Eventhough your basic argument doesn't, by itself, mean jack, due to abovementioned reason, I do agree with you - your average 17th/18th century aristocrat was probably a lot 'smarter' than your average serf, if we define 'intelligence' in particular as having a very good grasp of the abstract, and being able to unearth fundamental relationships (in those times, it was that very thing that was behind most discoveries now touted as world changing, such as Newton's discovery of gravity and such).

That doesn't, in any way or form, disprove that the askenazi are all nurture or even somewhat nurture. It could possibly be used as an argument that one must research within the askenazi community if the differences are truely a genetic effect, but I think that goes without saying.

--
"is a signature" is a signature.

[ Parent ]

Further (1.00 / 2) (#137)
by NoBeardPete on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 03:45:00 PM EST

Compare childhood nutrition between aristocracy and serfs. A good indicator is the average adult height of these two populations. Contemplate what effect these nutritional differences may have had on brain and cognitive development.


Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]

about that spoonfull of honey. (1.60 / 5) (#109)
by Apuleius on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 02:04:33 AM EST

That is actually a Sepharadi custom. And the article is lacking in some details, an important one being that Sepharadi Jews didn't go much into moneylending, but they did go into the merchant trade whenever possible, and, more importantly, medicine, to the point that there is a persistent superstition in the Muslim world that Jews have magic powers. I could rant, but I'll hold my fire for once.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
I heard that that's dealt with in the paper (2.00 / 4) (#134)
by jongleur on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 01:25:46 PM EST

Yes there's the idea that for Jews, mental skillfulness was culturally valued, thus the smart young rabbi gets the rich man's daughter & can have a bigger family than Joseph Shmule, & smarts genes are passed on. But I think this paper deals with that idea and says that the effect wouldn't be strong enough, and in fact traces the beginning of the IQ growth to almost a millenium after the rabbinic culture began. But this is second-hand, I haven't read it myself.
--
"If you can't imagine a better way let silence bury you" - Midnight Oil
[ Parent ]
Culture of Learning (2.00 / 3) (#149)
by Mike the Kid on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 07:01:24 PM EST

In one of Larry Feynman's books (Nobel winning Physicist), he talks about meeting someone's Jewish grandmother, and how thrilled she was to meet a professor. She had met a general earlier in the day, and it sounds like meeting the two in the same day was like having the Pittsburgh Steelers over for tea.

[ Parent ]
Don't you mean Richard Feynman? (3.00 / 3) (#431)
by toganet on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 03:38:46 PM EST


Johnson's law: Systems resemble the organizations that create them.


[ Parent ]
Why do we ignore the things that happen everyday? (2.46 / 15) (#22)
by cburke on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 12:34:06 AM EST

So, the hypothesis is that this particular tribe of Jews was forced into "intellectual" jobs like money lending did a better job of surviving due to racism, which resulted in a genetic preference towards intelligence.

You know, I always wonder why people forget that 900 years is always a long time only in human conception, and forget that those human years are more important than genetics.  Why do we forget the ideas passed down from parents to children, in favor of the genetic?  We are human beings, and our ability to pass on non-genetic information is why we've gone from making fire to making microprocessors in less than twenty thousand years.

Could it be that racism forced those Ashkenazi Jews who survived using these indespensible financial jobs did a good job of teaching their trade to their children?  Could it be that they taught their children to survive, rather than granting them the ability through their reproductive cells?

I mean, they've found amazing connections between identical twins raised in different households...  yet at the same time said twins were distinctly different.  Genetics is meaningful, but over a course of just a few hundred years?  I'm going to have to give the nod to culture, the social hereditary trait.  

But to be honest, I tend to be sceptical of any claim of a genetic basis for a social stereotype.   We still aren't very different than the homo sapien of twenty thousand years ago, genetically.  Our cultures have been evolving and waging wars against each other for all that time.  I have a hard time believing that genetics is the cause of our social orders when those orders keep changing from region to region from age to age.  Give me a claim that genetics says that some racial group doesn't belong at their current socio-economic level, and has been stereotyped or oppressed or even privileged, and I might be more likely to think it isn't a veneer of dodgy "intellegence" testing and arbitrary statistical choices layed over our well known social biases in order to prove those biases don't exist.  

As it is, "natural selection breeds tribe of Jews with the Accountant Gene" sounds dodgy as hell.

Genetics over short periods of time (2.25 / 4) (#252)
by Peaker on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 05:45:18 PM EST

Genetics is meaningful, but over a course of just a few hundred years?

Male elephants have been hunted for at most a few hundred years, for their ivory/tusks.

A very rare mutation that caused some males to not have tusks has become, over the last century, not rare at all.

I am remembering the numbers so I may recite them incorrectly, but the mutation rarity was measured at some point at 0.5%, and now measured at 10-20%.

Evolution and genetics in action, in just a century!

[ Parent ]

A few links. (none / 1) (#268)
by your_desired_username on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 09:42:13 PM EST

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20050717/sc_afp/chinaanimalselephant_050717075953
Hardly my favorite news source, but I couldn't find the new scientist or national geographic articles I recall reading.

[ Parent ]
Don't overlook culture. (2.22 / 9) (#25)
by Kasreyn on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 01:20:57 AM EST

In the 20th century, they made up 3% of the U.S. Population, but won 27% of U.S. Nobel prizes.

Don't you think it's jumping the gun a bit to immediately assume this difference must be due to innate intelligence? Jewish culture also plays a large role, as it historically has done a much better job encouraging its young people to pursue careers in science (and, it might be hypothesized, rewarding those who do). How do supporters of the "Jew IQ" theory plan to measure and factor out the effect of Jewish culture on these statistics?

As a quick editorial, your last paragraph feels tacked-on and has little to do with the subject matter of your story body. It opens a whole can of worms on whether IQ enhancement is even possible, and unless you take the time to actually cover the topic more broadly, I suggest removing the fragment and staying on-topic.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Culture; last paragraph (1.50 / 4) (#29)
by Thrasymachus on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 01:44:28 AM EST

Culture doesn't explain the genetic data. Culture is not giving torsion dystonia patients massively high IQs, for one thing. (Before you say it, their being confined to a wheelchair is not causing the IQ spike either, otherwise you'd see it in lots of wheelchair bound people.) Beyond that, there are plenty of adoption studies that you could look at, were you so inclined, that pretty much eliminate culture from the picture for explaining population IQ differences.

You may be right about the last paragraph. It felt tacked on when I wrote it, but it seemed all right on re-reads. I may well get rid of it tomorrow morning, thanks.

[ Parent ]
Okay (2.28 / 7) (#33)
by Tragedy of the Kurons on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 03:54:27 AM EST

Beyond that, there are plenty of adoption studies that you could look at, were you so inclined, that pretty much eliminate culture from the picture for explaining population IQ differences.
I am so inclined. Don't hold out on us.

"That is a mean website. Some people are just mean and rude."
[ Parent ]

Hmmm (1.00 / 2) (#34)
by nightGeometry on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 04:10:16 AM EST

But we don't actually know that the genetic variation is causing the IQ spike.

Thus - we could say that a certain sub group has dark hair and who are encouraged to do well at science subjects. Direct result their average IQ soars. Do we make the assumption that there is a link between IQ and dark hair. No, obviously not.

Just because a group has two sets of characteristics does not mean those two characteristics are related.
The best is the enemy of the good
[ Parent ]
Put up or shut up. (2.00 / 3) (#125)
by Tragedy of the Kurons on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 09:12:42 AM EST

Beyond that, there are plenty of adoption studies that you could look at, were you so inclined, that pretty much eliminate culture from the picture for explaining population IQ differences.
Put up or shut up. Give the references.

"That is a mean website. Some people are just mean and rude."
[ Parent ]

culture doesn't explain this at all (2.00 / 4) (#99)
by Delirium on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 11:28:04 PM EST

The main interesting conclusion of the paper being discussed is not the disparity in Nobel-Prize winnings, but the disparity in certain abnormal genotypes: genes that cause various diseases but which also have suspected links to intelligence.

It's somewhat striking that Ashkenazi Jews have such a high concentration of these abnormal genes, which for the most part aren't related to each other apart from: 1) being abnormal genes that are usually harmful; and 2) being potentially linked to intelligence. The hypothesis is that they are being selected for due to #2, despite #1 suggesting that they ought to be selected against.

Now whether this is correct or not is another matter, but cultural factors certainly would have difficulty explaining why certain abnormal genes are more prevalent in Ashkenazi Jews.

[ Parent ]

Don't let those numbers fool you (none / 0) (#432)
by toganet on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 03:56:02 PM EST

Many of the Noble-prize winning Jews came here in the 20th century to escape what was going on in Europe.  Seems pretty smart to me.

There were 483 prizes awarded during the period 1901-2000.  27% of that is abou 130.  Many of these were teams, though -- and I can't tell from looking at lists of names who is an Ashkenazi Jew and who is not.  I also don't know who were Americans from the list.

I think some of this may be due to the fact that the  US was actively seeking out scientists, especially  during WWII, and making it possible for them to come to the US.  So within the 3% figure, the number of ultra-smart scientists is probably skewed even more than it would be within the Ashkenazi Jewish population.

Johnson's law: Systems resemble the organizations that create them.


[ Parent ]
I feel like an idiot. (1.75 / 8) (#27)
by Kasreyn on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 01:27:23 AM EST

And not just because ktakki said what I said sooner and better, but because I missed an even more fundamental point: who is handing out Nobel Prizes, and how can we be certain they don't just have a pro-Jewish bias? Aren't the people who hand out Nobel Prizes mostly from "central and northern Europe"? Surely we should factor out issues like third-party bias before we go using Nobel winning rates as an indicator of anything. Does anyone have any data or links they could post to inform me?


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
So taking the article as gospel, (1.33 / 3) (#28)
by Sesquipundalian on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 01:43:36 AM EST

what's the difference between a pro Jewish bias, and a pro intelligence bias, when it comes to handing out awards?

You could after all convincingly argue that Jewish propaganda making behavior, is responsible for intelligence being so highly valued in the first place. I mean given the selection of events that Jews typically choose to call "Jewish History" they aren't exactly going to go around handing out awards for traits like "relentless commitment to civil unrest" or "Award for the most capitalists killed in one year".


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
So now Einstein and Feynman (1.50 / 2) (#87)
by parrillada on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 06:07:13 PM EST

were given Nobels because of pro-Jewish bias? Given that contributions to scientific disciplines are more or less quantitative, it would be damn near impossible for the Nobel prize committee to have get away with such bias. If you follow the awards given by the committee at all, and you have a background in math or physics, it is incredibly obvious just how absurd such paranoia is.

[ Parent ]
but I don't follow them (1.33 / 3) (#92)
by Kasreyn on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 07:57:34 PM EST

and I have no such background. I wasn't declaring some sort of unresearched fact, but pointing out that his article needs to dispatch all possible variables that could *also* account for the correlation of Jewishness and braininess. Such as culture, bias, etc. He's the author, therefore it's his job to convince me, and that requires the elimination of those variables.

Do I think there's some sort of pro-Jewish bias? I have no reason to. But in order to make a strong case for a correlation between Ashkenazi Jewish genes and high IQ, as represented by Nobel Prize winning, it's a variable that must be explicitly removed. Unless he's only trying to convince Nobel Prize winners...


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
I like to go by my web IQ rather than (2.00 / 4) (#30)
by Sesquipundalian on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 02:11:54 AM EST

my more legitimate school tested IQ. By the term web IQ I am refering to the average score you get taking the free online IQ tests on web sites. I know they aren't the same as real IQ tests, I consider them to be a seperate measure of intelligence alltogether. They have a certain stabillity though; everyone I know who will take one of the tests (selected at random off of yahoo or google or whatever) always scores within +- 8 points or so of what they usually get. That's pretty tight considering that the average is by definition 100 and most of the test scores go up to at least 180.

I try to take a different one each week. I notice that my scores drop 10 to 15 points when I'm sick or tired (it's a bit like lifting weights, you can tell which questions are on the edge of being solvable by you with a certain ammount of effort or whatever, you have days when you suck and days when you kick ass). Drunk or otherwise always sets me back 30 points or so. I am trying to work out the correlation between my web IQ and my real one, a philosophical quest that I am sure will supply me with a lifetime of navel gazing rapture.

Heh ~ my faves are the questions where you know what they mean because you saw a similar question last week, but they screwed up the grammar or something so noone else can possibly understand the question except you and maybe five other people (because you happened to take the test that the current test designers were copying from, when you tested last week, or something...), that stuff is just a howl.


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
Believing your Web IQ (2.33 / 6) (#37)
by forgotten on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 04:43:55 AM EST

is a sign your real one is not high.

--

[ Parent ]

Believing any IQ test (1.25 / 4) (#95)
by livus on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 10:51:59 PM EST

is a sign that you're fucking stupid.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
depends on what you're measuring (1.25 / 4) (#97)
by Delirium on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 11:18:45 PM EST

If what you want to measure is pattern-matching ability, logical reasoning, and ability to form associations, the IQ test is a pretty good way of doing it.

[ Parent ]
I think its more likely to measure (1.60 / 5) (#101)
by livus on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 11:34:55 PM EST

willingness to take long tests, childhood familiarity with things like prime numbers and babylonian cuniform writing, and interior decoration skills.

Im sure I only got 130 because we used to play this weird game when I was a kid. It was full of IQ test questions. I am not of above average intelligence.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

quite possible, but still seems to be useful (none / 1) (#113)
by Delirium on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 04:04:39 AM EST

Repeated studies have shown that IQ tests are a good predictor of a variety of types of success. So whatever the reasons for people doing well on an IQ test, the sorts of people who score well on them are the sorts who also do well at other things. And since almost nothing explicitly uses IQ these days (college admissions don't even accept them much less require them), it's not likely to be a direct effect.

[ Parent ]
Agreed (2.40 / 5) (#104)
by forgotten on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 12:51:48 AM EST

The problem with then making a connection with intelligence is that different people come across concepts of logic, pattern matching, etc, at different times.

I started using computers when I was about 10, and so naturally came across concepts like AND, OR, XOR much earlier than usual (in those days). When I was about 13 I sat, along with the rest of the school year, an IQ test. I noticed that many of the questions were of the kind where one bitmap of blocks was combined with an other bitmap, and then a multiple choice response for the outcome of the a similar problem was to be given.

Even at the time I thought it was unfair that I was getting those questions right, because I assumed other people who had no programming knowledge would presumably have had to spend more time seeing what was going on there.

Its almost impossible to design an intelligence test that isn't skewed by things like that.

--

[ Parent ]

RTFA (2.31 / 16) (#35)
by bugmaster on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 04:11:11 AM EST

I've actually read the original article, and I even understood some of it (I'm not a biologist, so it's difficult for me, but still).

Firstly, the article states a well-founded hypothesis, and makes several predictions that should come true if the hypothesis holds. I am assuming that the authors are studying the data right now, and that we will know relatively soon whether they were right or not.

Secondly, the authors make a very plausible case. Ashkenasi Jews exhibit some unusually high concentrations of several genes which are a). very harmful (i.e., they lead to genetic diseases), and b). potentially linked to intelligence on the biological level. These genes are not related to each other, except in these two factors. Since the socioeconomic factors acting on the Askenazi Jews has always pressured them to increase intelligence, it stands to reason that the abnormal gene distribution that theye exhibit does indeed account for their intelligence.

Yes, it's discomforting to think that some people may be biologically predetermined to be smarter than others. But, when you think about it, it kind of makes sense. There's certainly a great degree of variation among human phenotypes on a purely cosmetic level: Black (er, African-American) people are, well, black; Asian people have narrow eyes; Swedes are uber-white, etc. It stands to reason that similar variations would exist on other levels, as well. In fact, I've read an article somewhere (sorry, I don't have the source) that Kenyans are genetically predisposed to function better anaerobically than Europeans, which makes them better marathon runners.

Those of you who are thinking, "but, if we believe that some races are dumber than others, we're bound to engage in ethnic cleansing !" are missing the point. Just because some bit of knowledge is uncomfortable, doesn't mean that it's false. Closing your ears and singing "la la la !" is no substitute for actually knowing how our bodies (and minds) are put together.
>|<*:=

Racist. (1.08 / 12) (#38)
by I HATE TROLLS on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 05:00:49 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Kenyan genetics article? (1.50 / 2) (#62)
by rpresser on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 11:11:39 AM EST

Maybe this or else maybe one of these
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]
It don't mean you are more clever (1.66 / 3) (#164)
by psychologist on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 08:34:40 PM EST

Selecting an advatange for promincence within a certain ehtnic group does not mean mutation has occured. As such, one race may be more intelligent that the other on average, but it does not mean that the most intelligent humans would not be in the other race.

[ Parent ]
Good paper (1.33 / 3) (#42)
by Nyarlathotep on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 07:47:23 AM EST

Its seems to be a diligent paper.  Yes, pharmaceutical applications are a good idea, but I doubt you'll see the full benifits unless you have it throughout your life.  So we'd be much better off genetically modifying our children.  Its easy to make sure your child has only one allele if having two creates dangerous side efffects.  We can also adjust the genes to cause less damage, but still boost intelleegence.  For example, It might help to have the gene be active throughout childhood but shutdown later in life.  Moreover, simply understanding the intellegence boosting effects of these genes would permit parents to intellegently pick and choose.

On a seperate matter, we must also change the social dynamics which incurage the poor to have more kids, as this just increases social divisions.  BTW, its not bad for the gene pool if the poor have more kids, as genetic natural selction will never act upon humans again, i.e. everyone will be seriously genetically modified in 100 years.  It might be bad for the meme pool if the pool have more kids, but its not obvious.  Here are some speciffic suggestions:

1)  Eliminate need based support for parents with bad memes, have society provide the memes these kids see.
Examples:  Eliminate the tax & direct payment welfare benifits for having children.  Instead provide "while you work" child care for everyone.  Also provide optional extended school hours, and "need based" boarding schools.  Kids can get all three meals at school & daycare while parents work (more healthy BTW).  

2)  Provide merit based livestyle flexibility.
Example:  Create free 24-7 child care for the 30%ish of single parents who "contribute the most to society" (doctors, scientists, academics, lawyers doing mucho probono work, freee software authors, etc.) and top 30%ish of students.  Productive parents would be free to spend as much or as little time with their kids as they wanted.  
Our goals should be:  (a) a higly produtive woman can have a kid at 20 without doing serious damage to here carrear, even if it involves 5 years of grad/med school.  not doing damage means she should be able to produce as much with the kid as without, meaning society has taken burden upon itself.  (b) create a selective pressure to be more useful to society.
Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!

racist bullshit (1.14 / 21) (#59)
by circletimessquare on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 10:26:27 AM EST

die you racist fuck

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Is that the liberal open-mindedness (2.00 / 6) (#61)
by LilDebbie on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 11:07:20 AM EST

I've heard so much about?

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
ah yes, that bullshit ;-) (1.42 / 7) (#68)
by circletimessquare on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 12:55:55 PM EST

sez conservative asshole: "liberal's talk of tolerance, but they won't tolerate my racist bullshit, so they are hypocrites"

tolerance has nothing to do with tolerating intolerance

duh

stupid asshole


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

The Educational Deficit (1.88 / 9) (#64)
by MichaelCrawford on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 12:12:17 PM EST

I was told by my shrink a few months ago that the "educational deficit", that is, the difference in IQ between raised in an enriched environment and being raised in an unstimulating one, is twenty points. That's a pretty significant difference.

I think it's no accident that you see kids who grew up in homes where education was prized going to college more than those who grew up where it wasn't.

There are cultures that traditionally prize education and intellectual achievement, and there are cultures that don't. In order to demonstrate whether a race's difference in IQ is due to nature or nurture, I think you'd have to do your IQ tests before they enter school, and even then you'd see some difference because of how they were treated as toddlers.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


Yes and no. (2.16 / 6) (#67)
by Thrasymachus on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 12:46:49 PM EST

Studies on twins reared apart puts the hereditability of IQ at 80%. The other 20% is environment. Most people think of "environment" as social enrichment like your shrink, but it actually includes a lot of other stuff like placental nutrition in prenatal development, and not banging your head too many times as a kid.

When studies look at enrichment specifically, what they tend to find is a short-term gain of as much as 10 points while that enrichment is going on. When the enrichment goes away, the 10 point advantage does as well. Studies like the "Minnesota Twin" adoption survey bear this out.

One thing that is known to improve IQ for life is breast-feeding. A couple of things that can decrease it for life are a mother smoking during pregnancy and lead intake as a child.

The Flynn Effect is counter-evidence however. It shows an IQ rise of about 2 points a decade in most populations since 1900. That might be nutritional, but a lot of people claim that it is cultural.

Adoption studies pretty well put the nix on the idea that white Americans are better parents than black Americans or anything like that. Testing on young adults who were adopted by parents of another race as children tends to show their IQ at the norm for their genetic population, not their parents' genetic population. Same holds for Asians.

In fact, to provide a little further detail on Asians, many of the cultural behaviors regarding education for Asians, when they show up in white American families, are counter-indicative for success. Beyond that, Asians adopted by white parents don't perform at the white mean. They perform at the higher Asian mean--somehow without all the "culture" that is supposedly responsible.

[ Parent ]
Negroes? (1.69 / 13) (#65)
by What Good Is A 150K Salary When Living In NYC on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 12:24:58 PM EST

Yes, but what does this have at all to do with negroes and their role in society, as a generalisation of course?


Skulls, Bullets, and Gold
Well for starters, (1.14 / 7) (#77)
by Sesquipundalian on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 02:23:20 PM EST

we owe them $Trillions in reparations for the terrible things we did to them (we meaning white people in general). Our whole continent was practically built on their backs!


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
I see. (1.44 / 9) (#79)
by What Good Is A 150K Salary When Living In NYC on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 03:12:00 PM EST

But have you considered the repercussions of giving trillions of U.S. Dollars to negroes?


Skulls, Bullets, and Gold
[ Parent ]
BUY STOCK IN MANUFACTURERS OF SHINY OBJECTS (1.87 / 8) (#88)
by Sigismund of Luxemburg on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 06:32:50 PM EST


ANONYMISED
[ Parent ]
They will have the money to move (1.00 / 2) (#107)
by monkeymind on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 01:37:38 AM EST

to the suburbs. Oh dear. where will the white flight head next?

Your witty saying here
[ Parent ]

Where, you ask? (none / 1) (#344)
by grendelkhan on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 01:15:42 AM EST

Back to the cities, where they frickin' belong, of course.

--grendelkhan
-- Laws do not persuade just because they threaten --Seneca
[ Parent ]

The cities?! (2.00 / 4) (#355)
by Cro Magnon on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 08:20:37 AM EST

Nooo! Anything but that!
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Nonsense! (2.50 / 6) (#363)
by grendelkhan on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 09:27:41 AM EST

White people were perfectly at home in the cities, until all the black people came in from the rural regions to settle there. Then they ran away, because black people are scary.

'Course, if you're talking about the really bad areas (I define "really bad" as "when people get shot, it doesn't make the news" in a city of under 150,000) all the black people that can leave, do leave.

I still think things wouldn't be as bad there if the white people didn't keep paying the most violent and rapacious among them by funnelling drug money into the area.

--grendelkhan
-- Laws do not persuade just because they threaten --Seneca
[ Parent ]

wrong, jews owned the first black slaves (1.60 / 5) (#80)
by fark is a piece of shit on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 03:41:12 PM EST

slavery of blacks was started by jewish people

i'll try to find the paper and link to it

[ Parent ]

Yes, that's right (1.00 / 2) (#148)
by stuaart on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 06:59:07 PM EST

All Jewish people in the world decided they wanted slavery. All of them, in some kind of specially coordinated telepathic seminary. TEH J00Z ALL THINK AS 1! TEHY ARE LIKE TEH B0RG!111elevent!!!!!oneone

Linkwhore: [Hidden stories.] Baldrtainment: Corporate concubines and Baldrson: An Introspective


[ Parent ]
Slavery was pretty much the norm (2.00 / 3) (#184)
by mikelist on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 05:19:45 AM EST

in ancient times, but the type of slavery inflicted on African black people reached the point of being an industry, rather than the result of conquest. As I understand it, North African Arabs did the bulk of the collection process, and the Dutch actually did the transfer to Europe and America. Somehow, slavery of this kind never really caught on in Europe. Slavery has always had its detractors, sometimes for reasons no more honorable than its supporters. It must be remembered that the science of the day considered African Blacks to be somewhat less than fully human, which isn't surprising, given the crude observational methods of that time. Even abolitionists often considered them as needing custodial support of whites. Not surprisingly, all non-whites were considered less capable, and vast cultural and language differences seemed to support that view. In those days, scientific knowledge was considered immutable, largely due to  the low education level of the masses (science was  often an idle occupation of the aristocracy back then). Only recently has science admitted that today's answers could very well be disproven tomorrow.

[ Parent ]
Ha. You wish. (1.50 / 2) (#345)
by grendelkhan on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 01:18:08 AM EST

Crudity of measurement? Oh, if only. Read The Mismeasure of Man and learn about the 19th-century experimentalists who would do their experiments out to the third decimal place and come up with "whtie people rock; black people are halfway between us and monkeys". Their sin was not imprecision; their sin was reasoning backwards from conclusions that "everybody knew" were true, and finding that their oh-so-precise numbers could be (surprise!) twisted to agree with their prejudices.

Numerical precision is not a cure for bias.

--grendelkhan
-- Laws do not persuade just because they threaten --Seneca
[ Parent ]

You're arguing against a ghost (1.33 / 3) (#350)
by curien on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 06:34:00 AM EST

He didn't say, "crudity of measurement", he said "crudity of observation".

--
We are not the same. I'm an American, and you're a sick asshole.
[ Parent ]
Huh? (1.33 / 3) (#364)
by grendelkhan on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 09:28:32 AM EST

What, precisely, does "crudity of observation" mean as opposed to "crudity of measurement"?

--grendelkhan
-- Laws do not persuade just because they threaten --Seneca
[ Parent ]

I see a big difference (none / 1) (#372)
by curien on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 10:01:07 AM EST

Crudity of observation might be something like, "This particular black person is uneducated, therefor all black people are stupid."

The measurement might be fine (the black guy is uneducated), but the observations are lazy (did they bother to check if anyone tried to educate him?).

--
We are not the same. I'm an American, and you're a sick asshole.
[ Parent ]

But that wasn't the problem. (1.50 / 2) (#380)
by grendelkhan on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 01:50:06 PM EST

The problem of nineteenth-century laughably-racist science wasn't that they reasoned "This particular black person is uneducated, therefor all black people are stupid." Their reasoning went "Black people are inferior, so they must have x-property. They have x-property, thus they are inferior." If they turn out not to have x-property, then just ignore the sample point.

The problem is not and was not with the observations---many scientists of that era were experimentalists as bright and meticulous as any today. The problem was that the conclusion was foregone, and everybody begged the question, never thinking to question their foundation ontology---the Great Chain of White Guys On Top. They weren't actually testing anything at all, and that was where they went wrong.

--grendelkhan
-- Laws do not persuade just because they threaten --Seneca
[ Parent ]

numerical precision only covers... (none / 1) (#436)
by mikelist on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 11:50:58 PM EST

...things that are known to be quantifiable. There was also a greater unquestioning faith in the creation fable, which probably led many to believe that such a different looking man must have been created separately (since Adam and Eve were the original people created by TMU, these must be a different creature)

[ Parent ]
What's this "we" shit? (1.25 / 4) (#231)
by smithmc on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 02:59:15 PM EST


we owe them $Trillions in reparations for the terrible things we did to them (we meaning white people in general)

Um, who's "we"? I never owned a slave, and none of my ancestors set foot on this continent before 1865, so explain to me how I would owe anybody anything?

[ Parent ]

You fool! (1.00 / 2) (#343)
by grendelkhan on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 01:14:30 AM EST

Passing the sins of the fathers down to the sons is so old-school! Nowadays we penalize people who look like people who enslaved and abused others, and give the bennies to people who looked like those who were enslaved and abused. It's remarkably easy to do.

--grendelkhan
-- Laws do not persuade just because they threaten --Seneca
[ Parent ]

Riddle me this Batman (2.16 / 12) (#72)
by MichaelCrawford on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 01:34:59 PM EST

I won't take a position on whether or not I agree with this story. But I ask those who disagree with it whether they believe in evolution and natural selection, and if so, why is it that there are demonstrable racial differences in height, weight and skin color, but to claim there are in intelligence makes one somehow a racist?

There are easily demonstrable differences in intelligence between humans as a whole and other species. If this arose through the process of natural selection, can you explain to me how it stopped when we achieved human intelligence?


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


Just to play devils advocate (1.66 / 6) (#82)
by godix on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 04:12:40 PM EST

The common answer is that once humanity reached a point where we protect the weak we have quit evolving because natural selection no longer removes the weak from our gene pool. Which doesn't neccesarily mean we quit evolving once we got intelligence but does indicate we quit evolving once we got civilizations that valued life, argueable an aspect of compasion instead of IQ.

I personally don't buy that, much of humanity has NOT reached the point where they protect the weak to begin with and those parts that have only reached that point within the last couple hundred years really. Even if we have reached that point, and done so long enough ago that it would effect evolution, that wouldn't mean evolution stopped. Instead it'd mean the weak genes would spread amoung the entire population and slightly de-evolving humanity.


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]

As a Man Who Wears Glasses... (1.83 / 6) (#84)
by MichaelCrawford on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 04:50:52 PM EST

... while I know I won't live to see it, I know I can proudly look forward to the day when all our children will need corrected vision to see the ends of their own noses.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

It's not the weakness (none / 1) (#433)
by toganet on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 04:18:24 PM EST

Natural selection stopped when chicks starting sleeping with fat dudes.

Johnson's law: Systems resemble the organizations that create them.


[ Parent ]
Because there aren't (2.28 / 7) (#105)
by it certainly is on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 01:07:14 AM EST

why is it that there are demonstrable racial differences in height, weight and skin color, but to claim there are in intelligence makes one somehow a racist?

Because there aren't demonstratable racial differences in height, weight and skin colour. Pigeonholing populations into different "racial" types lacks taxonomic validity. What defines a "race"? Skin colour? "Native" country? What, exactly? Is a black American counted in the same group as a black Jamaican? Just look at the USA, where most people have only been settled for a few generations and the "native population" lives in special reserves.

Racists get their name from adherence to the concept of breaking humanity apart into seperate categories. This goes against biology, which states there is just one human species - Homo sapiens.

Sure, skin colour is a genetic trait - it's one that can be inherited simply by moving to a hot climate for a couple of generations. Statistical correlations for height depend on diet - within a century, USians are getting shorter and Netherlanders are getting taller. Both these nations are "mixed race" - that is to say, mixed skin colour, yet the height difference correlates with nation/dietary/culture rather than skin colour. Weight again depends on culture and diet.

The nearest thing you can get to a "race" is groups with shared cultural heritage, and the populations of political nations.This isn't what racists want. They want political and cultural factors (such as language, intelligence, employment rate, social status) directly connected to genetics, so they can point at people with different looks and mark them as inferior.

The research on IQ and race by Arthur Jensen, William Shockley, Herrnstein and Murray (The Bell Curve) and others have not found any significant correlations between race and intelligence. They have found correlations between race and IQ, which has been used to support the notion that some races are inferior to others.
http://skepdic.com/iqrace.html

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

there are historically-identifiable groups though (1.50 / 2) (#117)
by Delirium on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 04:48:42 AM EST

For large portions of human history there were isolated breeding groups of humans, who developed noticeably different genotypes and physical characteristics. All you're pointing out is that in the modern world these groups are quickly intermixing and blending in complex ways, so cannot be delineated easily based on simple factors like skin color. That doesn't mean that, on average, people descended primarily from one isolate or the other won't differ in some traits.

[ Parent ]
Wrong (1.83 / 6) (#203)
by GhostfacedFiddlah on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 10:16:49 AM EST

This isn't what racists want.

Fortunately, we're not basing our studies on "what the racists want".  For the purposes of this study, a race is considered any population that has isolated itself genetically for a significant period of time.  The Ashkenazi Jews qualify for this.

There are measurable differences between the races.  Europeans have built an immunity to lactose, whereas Asians did not.  This immunity is in the genes themselves.  How can we describe this, except to call these two groups different races?

[ Parent ]

I'm pretty sure (1.50 / 4) (#232)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 03:07:33 PM EST

that when the FDA approved a drug for use only by African Americans it was because African Americans are genetically distinct from Euroweenies like myself.

Homo Sapiens may be moving towards a single, blended, genetic pool (and I think that will be a good thing) but we are still comprised of many distinct breeding populations and those populations have been distinct long enough to be genetically disparate.

In other words "race" is hardly a myth.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

Hey Michael (1.75 / 4) (#162)
by psychologist on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 08:28:59 PM EST

Which race is taller, white or black? Whatever your answer, it is wrong.

[ Parent ]
Which race is darker also (1.50 / 4) (#163)
by psychologist on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 08:30:47 PM EST

Dark skin is just pigmentation, it is not a racial characteristic. Feather color in birds is  racial, because it is a way to selectively breed. Skin color in humans is just to protect against the sun.

That is why many indians have got skin darker than many africans, even though the indians are caucasian.

[ Parent ]

WTF? (1.00 / 4) (#230)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 02:50:20 PM EST

Skin color is NOT a racial characteristic?

Dang. That explains all the white, red haired japanese.


How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

Of course it is not (1.50 / 2) (#245)
by psychologist on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 04:43:23 PM EST

As you may or may not be aware, japanese vary from very light-skinned to quite dark-skinned. They are the same race. Red hair is rare in continental europe, but common in the european islands. So it has nothing to do with race.

Negroid africans from South Africa and Kenya can often be much lighter skinned than caucasians from the Arab countries, Spain and Italy.

Similarly, American Indians share a similar color of skin with Asian-Indians, but are not of the same race.

Skin color is not a racial characteristic, rather, it is something that often, but not always develops alongside, since racial differences only develop because of geographical distance, and on earth this often means difference in exposure to sunlight.

The human being is not inherently racist, even the most racist society (the indian caste system) cannot prevent interbreeding and the effective disolution into one look.

You come from a culture that has always equated race with color. In reality, they have nothing to do with each other. Think about it a bit.

[ Parent ]

Lol. (2.00 / 4) (#255)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 07:01:59 PM EST

Hilarious.

I like the way you assume I equate race with color, as if color was the only criteria. I like the way you assume all Europeans are one race when anyone with any knowledge of history - or even who read the article - knows that is nonsense.

Even more hilarious is your blind assertion that humans aren't naturally racist - when our entire history consists of slaughtering anyone who looks or acts different from our own tribe.

Sorry, kiddo. Race, defined as a distinct cluster of genetic traits is a reality and color is one of those traits just as much as my hairy back and my native american buddy's sparse beard.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

All I can say to that is (2.40 / 5) (#285)
by psychologist on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 06:37:26 AM EST

If having a hairy back means you belong to the white race, and lacking a hairy beard means you belong to the indian race, then what race do my hairy balls make me?

[ Parent ]
IQ Offensive All By Itself (2.50 / 2) (#425)
by Western Infidels on Fri Aug 05, 2005 at 12:25:41 PM EST

It could be that many people find IQ testing to be offensive bunkum all by itself. It's certainly been at least controversial from the start.

The pro-IQ crowd has spent the better part of a century promoting the idea (often with a profit motive) that a person's ultimate worth can be boiled down to a single number, and pushing the notion that statistical correlations (like between IQ and income) are usefully predictive on an individual basis. That's a sort of a-priori anti-democratic idea.

I'm not opposed to research like this, but there is a strong natural tendency for people to treat it as more meaningful than it really is, and in negative ways. It would be a surprise if it wasn't controversial.

[ Parent ]

Interesting First Half of Article (1.33 / 3) (#78)
by Gruntathon on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 02:23:52 PM EST

But I dont like your historical selection argument.

I appreciate that you might want to keep it simple, but I am really just not feeling the genetic imperative so important here.

You dont even touch upon how these smart genes got into the Ashkenazi.
__________
If they hadn't been such quality beasts (despite being so young) it would have been a nightmare - good self-starting, capable hands are your finest friend. -- Anonymous CEO
Ashkenazi Jews and genetic diseases (1.80 / 5) (#83)
by alby on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 04:15:16 PM EST

It's worth that noting that Ashkenazi Jews are more susceptible to a whole variety of diseases, especially Tay-Sachs.

--
Alby

This is all well and good... (2.27 / 11) (#85)
by Back Spaced on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 04:59:08 PM EST

But, in your discussion of Nobel Prize Laureates, you fail to mention that women are dramatically under-represented, especially in physics and chemistry (if you consider that Marie Curie won both, the number of female winners in both catagories drops to five), and none since 1964.

Women are also under-represented in all other catagories. Yet I don't see you offering this up as evidence that men are genetically more intelligent than women. What makes you think, then, that you can do such a thing for Ashkenazi Jews? Your dismissal of cultural differences as being critical, when they are obivously what defines the male/female disproportion amounts only to so much handwaving.

Second, the IQ test as a measure of "intelligence" has been highly criticized, and not without reason. I am skeptical of its utility as an absolute measure, and you give me no reason to change my mind.

Given that both of the foundations of your argument are shaky (especially the first), I cannot take you seriously, in spite of your tendancy to drop name-drop genetic diseases.

Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder. He's pre-med.

In addition. (2.00 / 6) (#86)
by Thrasymachus on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 05:19:21 PM EST

Women are also under-represented by orders of magnitude among: leading physicists, leading mathematicians, leading composers, leading chess players.

Notice a pattern? Yes, this is biological.

As for the utility of IQ, go find a mathematician with an IQ of less than 110. I'm sure that you'll have no trouble if IQ doesn't measure anything.

[ Parent ]
Hum (1.33 / 3) (#90)
by levesque on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 07:47:29 PM EST

Yes, this is biological

Do you claim 0% environment?

I'm sure that you'll have no trouble if IQ doesn't measure anything.

Of course it mesures something but what that something is composed of is not clear. What seems clear to me is that higher IQs are not a mesure of higher usefulness.

[ Parent ]

Women. (1.57 / 7) (#94)
by Back Spaced on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 10:19:37 PM EST

Women are also under-represented by orders of magnitude among: leading physicists, leading mathematicians, leading composers, leading chess players.

Notice a pattern? Yes, this is biological.

So, women _are_ biologically stupider than men... or are you going to backpedal and say that winning nobel prizes and chess games does not correlate with intelligence?

As for the utility of IQ, go find a mathematician with an IQ of less than 110. I'm sure that you'll have no trouble if IQ doesn't measure anything.

Trying to send me on some ridiculous quest in no way proves your point.

Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder. He's pre-med.
[ Parent ]

Check this out. (1.83 / 6) (#98)
by Thrasymachus on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 11:24:31 PM EST

There is a new article out by the internet statistician "La Griffe du Lion" (real life one too): Sex Differences in Mathematical Aptitude.

If you don't want to read it, at least scroll down to his Figure 1. You'll notice that the bell curves of mathematics skills for men and women are quite similar. But not exactly the same. Men have an advantage of .12 standard deviations. There is also 1.20 male/female varience ratio. It means that the bell curve for men is slightly to the right and more squat.

This is a miniscule difference for most of the population, but when you start looking at cutoffs on the extreme right, it really matters. And it is more than enough to explain the dominance of men at the top of mathematical fields.

If you're interested in finding out more, read the whole article. In the Q&A section there is even a part on "other behavioral differences" that you can use to attack my position.

[ Parent ]
I looked at the graph (2.00 / 4) (#141)
by levesque on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 05:48:39 PM EST

What makes you think the difference is more bio than culturel especially since, amoung other things, it was done with a sample of 15 year olds? The fact that women seem less intelligent on this intelligence test and that the left tail is about the same for men and women would in my opinion coincide with environment/culture differences just as well.

I think race and IQ are valid concepts, and there are genetic differences in intelligence between races, nations, people, families, gender, height, etc. Take for example Bipolar disorder, approximately 50% of diagnosed people have the genetic marker, and having the genetic marker leads to a diagnosis approximately 50% of the time too. This means, in other words, we do not know much about the concept or how it relates to other concepts. Similar numbers also appear for schizophrenia.

Neither do we know much about the conceptualizations of intelligence, and the methods of testing used to measure IQ lead us into even more uncertainty about any conclusions we may infer. I see the data but I'm not sure what your premise is nor what you are inferring.



[ Parent ]

If you really believe that (2.16 / 6) (#96)
by your_desired_username on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 11:01:57 PM EST

then you should avoid (at all cost!) mating with women, in order to prevent their bad genes from being passed on.

[ Parent ]
IQ test are dodgy (2.00 / 5) (#138)
by Coryoth on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 05:36:37 PM EST

When interviewing for a job that required psychological testing I was required to take an IQ test.  The particular test was designed to distinguish the upper IQ range: there were 70 questions and people with IQ 100 were expected to get 10 right in the time given.  At that time I got another job offer that was considerably better and so passed up the opportunity.  2 years later my situaton had changed so I reapplied and was required to again sit the psychological component of the testing.  My results in those 2 tests varied by 10% - a very significant margin when we're talking about upper range IQs.  The tests were well respected and were administered by a professional psychologist both times.

IQ testing can give a good general indiction, but tryin to extract meaningful statistical data at the granularity you are discussing given the variablity in test scores is dubious a best.

Jedidiah.

[ Parent ]

Basic statistics (1.00 / 4) (#160)
by curien on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 07:57:25 PM EST

You're right that the tests don't show very much about a person when he's taken the test twice (sample size of 2). However, when you talk about sample sizes in the hundreds or thousands, the likelihood of differences being due to chance becomes extremely small.

Look up how to perform a z-test for confidence interval about a population mean.

--
We are not the same. I'm an American, and you're a sick asshole.
[ Parent ]

ALL HAIL THRASYMACHUS, KING OF RACISTS (1.11 / 51) (#100)
by I HATE TROLLS on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 11:34:53 PM EST

 ____________________________________________________________________________
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Did that take a long time? nt (1.00 / 2) (#155)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 07:28:21 PM EST



I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
Yes. (2.00 / 6) (#212)
by I ABHOR TROLLS on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 11:27:24 AM EST

But it was worth it, because it's art--and it will live forever on the internet, in the hands of many, fighting racism wherever it appears.

[ Parent ]
But it doesn't even look like me [nt] (2.33 / 6) (#213)
by Thrasymachus on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 11:37:24 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Shut up, racist. (1.33 / 6) (#214)
by I ABHOR TROLLS on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 11:39:45 AM EST



[ Parent ]
yeah stfu (1.33 / 6) (#260)
by squirlhntr on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 07:31:29 PM EST

i hope some nazi repeatedly rapes you in the ass. for gods sakes, just cause they correlated genetics with IQ doesn't mean IQ means anything, you fucking moron.

[ Parent ]
I'm really impressed. (1.00 / 2) (#270)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 10:14:21 PM EST

The parent post has been moderated by more people than any post I've seen before. Is it the champion?


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

No. (2.25 / 4) (#282)
by it certainly is on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 05:44:12 AM EST

That'll be this one.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Correlation does not imply causation (2.54 / 11) (#102)
by it certainly is on Sat Jul 30, 2005 at 11:58:02 PM EST

Firstly, the Ashkenazim and Jews in general are not a race. They are an ethnic group.

A significant proportion of Ashkenazi Jews either deliberately limit themselves to dating only other Ashkenazi Jews, or have family that prevent them selecting non-Ashkenazi as partners. Where this discrimination is carried out, it is done to try and protect centuries-old Jewish culture - their greatest fear is "the Silent Holocaust" of assimilation and intermarriage with non-Jews.

It is this ethnic protectionism that causes the dwindling gene pool and the associated genetic diseases.

There is a very small genetically inherited trait that contributes towards intelligence in Ashkenazim, fostered by centuries of culturally woven natural selection, which the paper outlines. However, this is greatly outclassed by the "memetic" inheritence, or cultural influence. Ashkenazi children grow up in a community which gives high regard to intelligence. The strong community is the common cause of both the genetic disease and the high IQs.

For further reading, see the Wikipedia bunfight on the topic.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.

It does here. (1.40 / 5) (#103)
by Thrasymachus on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 12:36:21 AM EST

The race/ethnic group distinction is bunk. Check out the first definition of race at dictionary.com.

The linked pdf explains the numerous problems with the genetic drift explanation. It's not possible. Besides, how would that explain why torsion dystonia gives you an extra 10 IQ points? And people have been looking for cultural explanations for IQ for years, but nobody has yet found a specific cultural trait with a specific IQ effect. The literature is firmly behind a genetic explanation.

[ Parent ]
So you're saying Hispanics are a 'race'? (1.75 / 4) (#108)
by it certainly is on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 01:53:57 AM EST

I'm not going to play your dictionary game, suffice to say that language, history, culture and identity do not fit in chromosomes.

The study's main failing is that it entirely bases its findings on a single ethnic group which has an incredibly strong sense of community and culture, i.e. overwheming evidence of "nurture". If they could find two distinct, but assimilated, ethnic groups within the same genetic catchment area, one which emphasised education and one which didn't, and found that both groups had statistically significant deviance, I might be impressed. Let me know when that happens.

Besides, how would that explain why torsion dystonia gives you an extra 10 IQ points?

In the same way that eating fish gives you an extra 6 IQ points and lead in your drinking water subtracts 11; namely that IQ is highly prone to fluctuations based on brain chemistry (diet, genetics and geographical location), not to mention culture (most IQ testing, and fails to isolate and correlate directly with "intelligence" -- if such a thing exists independently at all; most theories state that there are different intelligences (mathematical, logical, spatial, language, musical, etc.) and there isn't a "general" intelligence that encompasses all of these seperate intelligences.

The literature is firmly behind a genetic explanation.

By "literature", I presume you mean your favourite The Bell Curve, a book accused of scientific racism, which suggests that IQ differences between blacks and whites are due to genetics, despite offering no evidence to support such a statement.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

intelligence (1.75 / 4) (#116)
by Delirium on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 04:43:34 AM EST

Err, "most theories" don't posit Gardner's seven aspects of intelligence; that's Gardner's own particular theory, which is highly controversial. There are a few other multiple-intelligence theories, but they are also controversial. The issue is basically completely open and divided between the multi- and single-intelligence camps, each of which have some evidence but no conclusive evidence on their sides.

There's also a bit of a semantic argument over what constitutes "intelligence", properly so called; a frequent argument directed against the multiple-intelligence people is that they are taking all skills, aptitudes, and abilities and labelling them "types of intelligence". A single-intelligence proponent might suggest satirically that Gardner will propose next a theory of "physical intelligence", which makes being able to jump high a type of intelligence too.

[ Parent ]

Do you mean (none / 1) (#145)
by levesque on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 06:32:37 PM EST

IQ is genetic with up to a 10 to 12%, + or - 3%, 19 times out of 20, enviro/cultural bias.

[ Parent ]
But (1.75 / 4) (#291)
by Nyarlathotep on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 09:51:38 AM EST

Just imagine how much it'll piss the Chrisitans off when we all start genetically enhancing our children to "be more Jewish," by having doctors implant variants of these genes which boost intellegence but don't have as many side effects.  I look forward to seeing, in 40-50 years, the college students with shirts saying: "GMO and proud of it" "Asian by ancestry, jewish by science"  etc.
Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!
[ Parent ]
I realize this may come as a shock to you... (1.66 / 3) (#328)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 04:54:20 PM EST

but Christianity was founded by a jew.


How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]
Re: inbreeding (3.00 / 2) (#434)
by Highlander on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 12:10:31 PM EST

It is my understanding of the paper that inbreeding actually doesn't do much good to the genetic trait causing more intelligence, since having these genes in both chromosomes will result in (deadly) diseases.

The conclusion is, smart Ashkenazi should actually marry average partners. Admittedly, the marriage between smart Ashkenazi might actually produce a genius offspring now and then, but being a genius might not pay off enough if the price is a deadly disease.

If the info about the homozygotic diseases is correct, it also will not be easy/wise to simply copy and paste the Ashkenazi into the genes of someone.

Moderation in moderation is a good thing.
[ Parent ]

Nah. (2.50 / 2) (#473)
by kosuri on Fri Aug 19, 2005 at 03:17:33 PM EST

All these diseases are associated with recessive genes. That means any kids only stand a 1/4 chance of developing the disease if both parents are carriers. If one parent is not a carrier, the child will not develop the disease.
--
I'm glad that when this story goes down this stupid comment will go with it. -- thankyougustad, 11/23/2005
[ Parent ]
Correct, but .. (none / 0) (#474)
by Highlander on Sun Aug 21, 2005 at 05:48:52 PM EST

1/4 is a high chance, since some of the associated diseases are deadly. This is also the reason these genes are not a part of the 'common' genome.

Moderation in moderation is a good thing.
[ Parent ]
before reading the comments (1.75 / 4) (#110)
by fleece on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 02:23:06 AM EST

I knew this would be a hot topic, with debates between PC types who would say it's racist to suggest that some races are smarter than others, and other people trying to logically explain why it isn't and getting nowhere. Whatever the ratios are for nature vs nurture, why do so many people have such a hard time believing that intelligence could vary between races due to natural selection?



I feel like some drunken crazed lunatic trying to outguess a cat ~ Louis Winthorpe III
exactly (1.66 / 3) (#111)
by forgotten on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 02:46:22 AM EST

it seems such an obvious hypothesis to make. what is most surprising is that any differences seem so small. That in itself is worthy of study, imo.


--

[ Parent ]

Uh... no, not surprising (2.00 / 3) (#131)
by BerntB on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 11:36:16 AM EST

I'm not an evolutionary biologists, but I think this is true:
If there is small deviation in a characteristic of an animal, it is highly selected for.

This means that historically there would have been a high selection pressure (but lower than for Ashkenazi jews) for intelligence.

(It could also be a small genetic diversity (i.e. the population was small in quite recent time) -- or that the characteristic might e.g. is connected quite well with some other vital feature for a genetic reason.)

[ Parent ]

if i understand you (none / 1) (#181)
by forgotten on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 01:56:20 AM EST

you argue that if intelligence has a genetic origin, it would be a highly prized evolutionary trait. i agree with that, but why do you conclude that in geographically separate groups that pressure would result in the same intelligence means? after all that is not what has happened with other genetic features.

--

[ Parent ]

racism and marxism (1.25 / 4) (#206)
by BerntB on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 10:45:06 AM EST

you argue that if intelligence has a genetic origin, it would be a highly prized evolutionary trait. i agree with that
Well, probably.

There must be an evolutionary driver to build this costly (in energy) brain. It has evolved very quickly and probably still evolves. But the environment decides the pressure -- and the environment changes.

but why do you conclude that in geographically separate groups that pressure would result in the same intelligence means?
I didn't write that. I wrote that, as far as I know, when there is a small difference in a characteristic it has been selected for (or the genetic diversity is small).

Differences in intelligence between groups probably exists, but they seem relatively small. E.g. aborigines are said to have a very good visual memory.

All body parts of all animals have different characteristics depending upon the genes that built them (because of how evolution works; you need difference in the population to drive a change), so there are certainly differences between the brains of individuals and groups of people.

How big those geographic differences are isn't possible to discuss in a sane manner -- too much feelings involved. (-: I doubt the emotions have settled before most everyone in the west have been mixed since generations, anyway. :-)

The main problems seems to be that there are two religious groups: Racists and Leftists. And people that hate one or the other of those groups.

Personally, I hate both groups. :-)

Racism is an anti-intellectual excuse to hate others -- and marxism has some dogma that differences between people is because of environment. Believers are certain they are right. I hate and despise dogma and religion.

[ Parent ]

Because it doesn't fucking matter (2.00 / 8) (#112)
by Tragedy of the Kurons on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 03:17:58 AM EST

All the studies show that cultural and socioeconomic differences swamp genetic differences and other biological differences (such as malnutrition in early childhood).

The only reason to dwell on the racial differences is if you're a racist.

"That is a mean website. Some people are just mean and rude."
[ Parent ]

that's not the point though (1.66 / 3) (#115)
by Delirium on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 04:39:46 AM EST

The question of whether there are innate differences is an interesting one; the question of the magnitude of such differences, if they exist, is also an interesting one.

[ Parent ]
"All the studies show" -- hah (1.50 / 4) (#122)
by Thrasymachus on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 08:07:17 AM EST

Wanting that to be so doesn't make it true. The literature shows the exact opposite. It's clear that you've never read any of it.

[ Parent ]
by that logic (2.00 / 4) (#192)
by fleece on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 08:14:13 AM EST

studying the variance across different races of the incidence of different types of cancer makes you racist, because it can be shown that environmental factors are more significant in causing cancer.



I feel like some drunken crazed lunatic trying to outguess a cat ~ Louis Winthorpe III
[ Parent ]
Why is the idea verboten? (1.66 / 3) (#342)
by grendelkhan on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 01:11:11 AM EST

The idea is verboten because raising that baleful axe never ends well. It seems that we as a people are incapable of dealing with the idea maturely; thus, it's better to ignore it, as our options are, as history shows us, pretending it doesn't exist, and overreaction.

The group doing the measuring always ends up being (amazingly!) the Master Race, and it turns out that those at the bottom of the society-heap are there because, well, that's just the way things are and what can you do about it?

The destructiveness of the idea far, far outweighs any of its benefits. Why not let it rest?

--grendelkhan
-- Laws do not persuade just because they threaten --Seneca
[ Parent ]

intelligence does not make exceptional (2.40 / 5) (#120)
by boxed on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 05:57:14 AM EST

Mensa was founded on the intelligence=>exceptional idea, but as we all know mensa is just a big circlejerk and has accomplished nothing dispite having collected some of the highest IQ-ranking people in the world by far. In short, this is interesting, and all but in life and science success is not measured in IQ, but by your attitude to the problems at hand.

Needn't be Mensa-utopian to make a difference (none / 1) (#132)
by jongleur on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 12:56:32 PM EST

I saw a book that was touting Jewish accomplishment; despite being 2-3% of the population they had numbers like 20% - 30% of the following: top salaries, representation in the professions, ie doctors & lawyers, probably in nobel prizes, literature, this that & the other - so it sure does make a difference.
--
"If you can't imagine a better way let silence bury you" - Midnight Oil
[ Parent ]
oh I'm not arguing jews aren't exceptional to a... (1.00 / 2) (#187)
by boxed on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 06:11:43 AM EST

...high degree, but I was saying that attitude to problems is the real distinguising trait and not some IQ. Now if one can show that a reasonable and constructive attitude towards problems is genetic, THAT would be a pretty good measument of success (at least measured in nobel prizes), but I have a strong feeling that that kind of thing is cultural. That Jews have this attitude to a higher degree than the non-jewish is true though. There are other big difference between ethniticities in this area, compare Russians with Chinese for example. I notice big difference in this attitude between families in my daily life too, and it's clear that these things do run in family lines.

[ Parent ]
poor selection (2.20 / 5) (#310)
by Arkaein on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 01:28:19 PM EST

Using Mensa as a counter example to any link between IQ/intelligence and success/exceptional mental abilities is a poor choice I think. There is an inherent selection bias in Mensa members, people who are actively seeking recognition for their perceived qualities. I would hypothesize that Mensa members are therefore likely to be intellectual underachievers relative to their IQs.

Most people who have Mensa level IQs are successful in life and don't feel the need for this kind of recognition. Plenty of university professors, research scientists, and company executives surely qualify for Mensa but don't bother becoming members because they already have recognition from more tangible accomplishments than having a high IQ.

----
The ultimate plays for Madden 2005
[ Parent ]

Also this recent article; East Asians smart too (1.40 / 5) (#133)
by jongleur on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 01:17:11 PM EST

I thought this recent article would make more of a splash:
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-04/cdri-bai042505.php
.

What's interesting to me is, what the pressures were for East Asians (I presume that means Japanese). I speculate that it was population density - nothing enriches an environment cognitively than other smart beings. I read that all other things being equal, that social monkeys / apes are smarter than solitary ones, and Japan is notoriously crowded. Of course that's only glancing speculation.

I have had the fancy that the further from Africa races went, the more evolved they'd be - the pressures met along the way would winnow out the unsuitable traits of each locale, while the vicissitudes and strife would keep the travellers' population small & evolvable. Partly inspired by Asians seeming more advanced; smaller & more hairless. But of course this would mean that South American Indians were the most advanced of all, which I don't think is jumping out of any study. But it was a fancy, not a careful enough application of evolution anyway.
--
"If you can't imagine a better way let silence bury you" - Midnight Oil

Well, if for nothing else. (2.00 / 4) (#144)
by Back Spaced on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 06:30:13 PM EST

This article has been good for bringing the nutcases out in force. "Smaller" and "more hairless" are signs of "advancement?" Does anyone here know anything about evolution, or do we just have to put up with all the 19th century eugenics babble?

Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder. He's pre-med.
[ Parent ]

Something fishy (1.50 / 2) (#156)
by coljac on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 07:31:55 PM EST

That article you linked to states:
1. The Worldwide Pattern of IQ Scores. East Asians average higher on IQ tests than Whites, both in the U. S. and in Asia, even though IQ tests were developed for use in the Euro-American culture. Around the world, the average IQ for East Asians centers around 106; for Whites, about 100; and for Blacks about 85 in the U.S. and 70 in sub-Saharan Africa.
This is interesting if true, but the Charles Darwin Research Institute looks a bit dodgy.



---
Whether or not life is discovered there I think Jupiter should be declared an enemy planet. - Jack Handey
[ Parent ]

Hairless ... (1.50 / 4) (#401)
by onesimpleid on Thu Aug 04, 2005 at 06:15:57 AM EST

Actually, the genetic factors responsible for large amounts of body hair are limited to the caucasian race and are usually found in the mediterranean region, Iran and the northern and western parts of India and the Indian subcontinent. The mongoloid races and the negroid races do not possess such factors and hence are pretty hairless.

[ Parent ]
Something I have always found fascinating (2.10 / 10) (#139)
by parrillada on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 05:43:34 PM EST

is the apparently genetically selected-for trait of neuroticism in the Jewish population. I know it is not a very PC suggestion, but just about anyone who grew up in a Jewish family (including myself) can attest to the prevalence of genetically-driven neuroticism in Jews.

The reason I think this is relevant to the article is that it provides more support for the "Historical Selection for Intelligence" section, because it seems like a pretty huge coincidence that Jews have been persecuted for thousands of years and that they have a genetically selected-for fear-complex.

In an environment or racial persecution, neuroticism and intelligence are obvious traits to be selected for.

And that genetic intolerance for pork (2.00 / 5) (#146)
by it certainly is on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 06:40:18 PM EST

and all those genetic selection advantages for observing Shabbat and eating chicken soup when you're ill. Of course it's not cultural, it's genetic! That's the cool new thing these days, didn't you hear? Everything is genetic, it's not that our parents greatly influence us for 10-20 years of our lives, when we're at our most impressionable. Just pop a baby out of you and abandon it, it'll grow up just like you anyway, even if it never sees you again.

Neuroticism? Oy, that's what watching too many Woody Allen movies does for you.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

OF COURSE there is a sizeable cultural component (1.75 / 4) (#152)
by parrillada on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 07:22:57 PM EST

in these matters, and I did not imply that I am on one side of the nature vs nurture fence.

It should be noted, however, that current research has showed for the last few years that parents influence their children much less than previously believed. Simultaneously, childrens' peers play a much larger role than previously thought.

Also (and now I will jump on one side of the fence) twin studies have shown rather conclusively that for the most part genetics plays the larger role.

Anyways, when in comes to neuroticism in Jews specifically, I know of no particular research in the area, but from my personal relations in it clear to me at least that the characteristic is mostly genetic in origin. I have found that Jews adopted into non-Jewish families, for instance, share the same Jewish physical characteristics and the same neuroticism trait.

Finally, once again it is an enormous coincidence that Jews have been persecuted throughout their existence, and they almost magically have the same characteristics as one would expect them to have through natural selection. It is, at the very least, a fascinating idea that should be taken up, despite it's taboo nature.

[ Parent ]

Accuracy (none / 1) (#249)
by levesque on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 05:10:28 PM EST

twin studies have shown rather conclusively that for the most part genetics plays the larger role

A different role?

[ Parent ]

I have an idea. (2.00 / 4) (#171)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 12:43:02 AM EST

We can design an experiment so that it will account for culture, and prevent that from interfering with the results. All we need is a train full of cattle cars. We can then remove jewish babies from their parents, load them onto the cattle cars (preferably less than 6 months old), and ship them off somewhere where they can learn the things that babies learn without the influence of jewish culture. If they grow up still smart, we know genetics played a significant role.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
I know that's a joke, but... (2.40 / 5) (#191)
by curien on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 07:46:33 AM EST

A lot of the "nature" factors in IQ are pre- and neo-natal, so removing them at 6 months is about 15 months too late.

You'd have to grow test-tube babies from Ashkenazi and other stock and then raise some of the kids in Ashkenazi and some of them in normal homes. This would have to be double-blind, of course. For best results, some parents should be told their kids are Jewish even if they aren't, and some parents should be told the kid isn't Jewish even if they are.

I think that about covers all the variables.

--
We are not the same. I'm an American, and you're a sick asshole.
[ Parent ]

Jewish neurosis (1.00 / 4) (#219)
by smithmc on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 12:40:23 PM EST


I know it is not a very PC suggestion, but just about anyone who grew up in a Jewish family (including myself) can attest to the prevalence of genetically-driven neuroticism in Jews.

Nah, that comes from watching too many Woody Allen movies.

[ Parent ]

Statistical Significance (1.62 / 8) (#147)
by student on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 06:51:21 PM EST

Most people do not consider a result "significant" if it is less than two standards of deviation from the mean.  A result 1 standard of deviation above the mean occurs at random 16% of the time - if you have 7 ethnic groups, most likely one of them will be 1 SD above the mean by chance.

Thank you for posting your standard of deviation information.  Many more statistics could be debunked if the popular media shared sigma as well as mu.


Simon's Rock College of Bard, a college for younger scholars.

You misunderstand (2.20 / 5) (#153)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 07:24:42 PM EST

The difference doesn't need to be two standard deviations you're sureness of does.  In this case it would mean that you need a sufficiently large sample that you are 98% (2 standard deviations) sure that your measurement isn't off by 15 points.

Also we do not expect an ethinic group to be 15 I.Q. points higher than the others.  Fifteen points is the standard deviation of individuals.  An ethnic group is a large collection of individuals.  The standard deviation for an ethnic group is 15 points divided by the square root of the number of people in it.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

You're confused (2.00 / 6) (#161)
by curien on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 08:07:34 PM EST

If the sample size is 1, you'll get a number one standard deviation or more above the mean 16% of the time. The probability of being off from the true population mean decreases with the square root of the sample size.

--
We are not the same. I'm an American, and you're a sick asshole.
[ Parent ]
why is shm modbombing curien? nt (1.33 / 3) (#264)
by Polverone on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 08:14:53 PM EST


--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]
He's acting out all of our fantasies. (1.00 / 4) (#265)
by I ABHOR TROLLS on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 08:47:29 PM EST



[ Parent ]
I think I offended him (1.00 / 2) (#273)
by curien on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 01:24:06 AM EST

with this comment. That's my best guess, anyway.

--
We are not the same. I'm an American, and you're a sick asshole.
[ Parent ]
people tha think tehy know statistics (1.50 / 2) (#179)
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 01:53:33 AM EST

are dangerous.

[ Parent ]
Bull. (1.00 / 3) (#361)
by Eivind on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 09:20:45 AM EST

What is it about statistics that brings out the dullheads ?

You need to be reasonable (as in for example 2 standard deviations) sure that your result isn't pure accident.

If you have 7 random people, quite likely one of them will be 1SD above the mean. It does however *NOT* follow from there that having 7 *groups* of people you would expect by chanse alone that one group has a mean iq 1SD or more higher than the average.

Infact, with growing groups this becomes increasingly unlikely. This is true for the same reason that tossing a 6 with *one* try on a dice is a lot more likely to happen by chanse than to end up with a sum of 600 after 100 tosses of a dice.

[ Parent ]

Missing the Point (2.50 / 10) (#151)
by bobej on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 07:15:59 PM EST

I think there is certainly something to be gained from looking at the genetic differences in this cultural/racial group that contribute to increased intelligence, but to think that it is some kind of genetic panacea is assinine.
  1. "anti-Semitism locked the Ashkenazi Jews into intelligence-demanding careers like money-lending, tax-farming, and the merchant trade"... huh? I didn't get that from the paper at all, though they mention BOTH things being contributing factors. Anyways, I'd think anti-semitism would lock them into the shit jobs.
  2. Any paper that tries to quantify and use historical factors is just plain shady. There's no way a physicist would calculate something based on anecdotal or incomplete information like we have from the 9th Century. You can use it to make a hypothesis, but you can't use it to test a hypothesis.
  3. To think that a dozen or even 100 different genes could be manipulated to give higher intelligence is just a little bit naive.
  4. The social and physical factors influencing intelligence are innumerable and extremely intertwined. Perhaps the Ashkenazi just have particularly good vision, which leads to an enhanced ability to learn. The problem with a study like this is that it is impossible to identify and test all these possible factors. A genetic study of intelligence would be much better off just finding a bunch of really smart people and start comparing genomes, regardless of ethnicity.
  5. To say that we SHOULD increase the intelligence of our species as a whole is a little suspect. How much will IQ pills cost? Who will get them? Is high IQ necessarily a good thing? What if empathy is more important to a well functioning society than IQ? I'm not saying we should just sit on our fat dumb asses, but such questions need to seriously be considered.

The race of the subjects of the study are irrelevent. The study itself is suspect in my opinion. Nothing wrong with the topic, but this study seems incomplete.

money lending WAS considered a shit job [nt] (1.50 / 4) (#154)
by parrillada on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 07:26:17 PM EST



[ Parent ]
its not so much anti-semitism (2.33 / 6) (#172)
by benna on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 01:13:02 AM EST

though, as a jew myself, I know how much my people like to blame everything (apprenltly good things too) on it. The reason jews were the money lenders was that the catholic church banned usary. This was less of a factor after the protestant reformation.
-
"It is not how things are in the world that is mystical, but that it exists." -Ludwig Wittgenstein
[ Parent ]
Poor arguments (1.66 / 3) (#200)
by GhostfacedFiddlah on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 09:50:00 AM EST

  1. As another commenter posted, money-lending was considered a shit job.
  2. The important hypothesis is not how their intelligence is different, but whether or not it is at all.  It's the IQ tests that matter, not the hypotheses as to how this came to be.
  3. Why is this naive?  There are plenty of instances of a single gene causing huge differences.
On the other hand, 4 and 5 are great points.

[ Parent ]
Shit jobs (2.00 / 3) (#218)
by smithmc on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 12:38:54 PM EST


Anyways, I'd think anti-semitism would lock them into the shit jobs.

In that place and time, money-lending and -handling were considered shit jobs, as Europe was a very strongly Christian place at the time (so much so that it was called "Christendom", i.e. the Christian part of the world) and Jeebus said that handling money was bad.

[ Parent ]

Money lenders were essential but (1.60 / 5) (#227)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 02:37:05 PM EST

charging interest was considered a sin in those days - so you couldn't be a Christian and a banker.

This would have pushed jews into finance whether they were actually smarter or not - it was one of only a few career paths open to them.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

Quite wrong, a bit true (1.60 / 5) (#402)
by dasnake on Thu Aug 04, 2005 at 07:21:44 AM EST

First of all, you are referring to probably a several centuries span as "those days" so your sentence is at least inaccurate.

If you refer to late medieval / reinassance times you may want to know that banking was first experimented by wealthy families in Florence and then exported to other mercant cities in south germany, holland and baltics, spain and portugal.

There were a lot of christian bankers at the time, expecially in germany, anyhow there were also a lot of jewish or converted-to-catholicism-jews bankers, but they were mostly from portugal and spain, not central europe.

I think the central europe jews wealth status is quite more recent, after industrial revolution, and a lot exagerated by modern antisemitism.
Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per un selva oscura
che` la dritta via era smarrita.
Dante, Divina Commedia, Inferno, I, 1
[ Parent ]
So (1.80 / 5) (#157)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 07:35:39 PM EST

That mean that the Ashkenazi Jews are truly the Master Race?  Were the Nazis just jealous?

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
Jews aren't the master race, blacks are (1.50 / 6) (#165)
by curien on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 08:35:50 PM EST

The European Jews get oppressed for hundreds of years. They do society's dirty work, they work hard and take pride in themselves, and they become better than their white-bread (heh, pun unintentional) peers. What happens? The Yurpeans kill nearly all of them in a fit of jealous angst.

Then look at the black Americans. They get oppressed for a couple hundred years, do society's dirty work for a while, then mope around doing nothing for a good bit. They don't work hard, they don't demand respect. And you know what? They're not all dead!

Looks to me like the blacks are the smarter ones.

--
We are not the same. I'm an American, and you're a sick asshole.
[ Parent ]

Despite your attempt at humor, (1.25 / 4) (#166)
by IceTitan on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 09:55:40 PM EST

There have been instances documneted where slaves were forcibly bred for certain traits. The ideal was a strong stupid docile worker.
Nuke 'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
[ Parent ]
seems to me... (1.66 / 9) (#167)
by mikelist on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 10:22:46 PM EST

...that above average intelligence isn't the deciding factor for success, but it looks like a minimum IQ IS. I don't have a figure for that minimum score, but success rates for African descended Americans suggests that a slightly higher value than 85 is close. US blacks are not all ghetto rats or crack dealer/user types, anecdotal evidence (my experience) suggests that attitudes are a better predictor of success, which is a fairly subjective term anyway. I know and have worked with very intelligent and very obtuse people of white, black, and latino (Spanish/American Indian)derivation, and often the obtuse ones, especially whites, are as or more 'successful'than their more intelligent counterparts. There was some buzz about a GQ that involved long term rather than immediate gratification as a predictor of success (which would include stable personal and working relationships), but I haven't seen it recently. I'm interested in the dynamics of attitudes that could be considered racist, and am convinced that racism (basing conclusions about individuals of a given race on statistical data about that racial group overall) isn't completely off-base, only the conclusions reached by those who would advance racism as a primary social factor. I have an above average IQ (143-155, depending on the test)but am only moderately successful (stable personal relationships, consistently working at mid-tech jobs, mixed success of offspring, somewhat frequent economic hardships), whereas many obvious intellectually well endowed individuals seem to have a higher success rate (stable and consistently advancing jobs, stable relationships, and sufficient savings to avoid economic hardship). I do however, wake up every day with a positive attitude and enjoy my job(s) which could be considered another reasonable definition of success. I have a brother who consistently puzzled IQ testers with scores hovering around 200, he appears to be developmentally handicapped to casual observers, and is only minimally successful, using the parameters I have described. He also enjoys life, and has many friends, who nonetheless consider him 'retarded'. Low IQ scores for a group are much less meaningful than some would like to believe, presuming that those scores are above a set point that I would suggest is slightly above 85.

abnormaly highly inteligent people (none / 1) (#177)
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 01:46:56 AM EST

can seem retarded because they are so far beyond others that they can be in their own world due to becoming bored easily.

200 IQ is 4 standard deviations above the mean IQ... that puts him above the 99.5 percentile. probably the 99.9 percentile.

[ Parent ]

actually (2.00 / 3) (#186)
by benna on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 05:23:34 AM EST

an IQ of 200 is 99.9999999987%ile.
-
"It is not how things are in the world that is mystical, but that it exists." -Ludwig Wittgenstein
[ Parent ]
one in 10 billion (1.25 / 4) (#239)
by schrotie on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 03:52:27 PM EST

or a 100 billion? Something like that right? So that guy shouldn't exist or he must at least be the most intelligent human being currently sharing planet earth with us mere morons. I guess somebody got some numbers wrong ...

[ Parent ]
Supposedly.. (1.00 / 3) (#267)
by mikelist on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 09:04:58 PM EST

Sally Jessie Raphael (a talk show host) has an IQ of 200. My little bro has a photographic memory in that he can remember everything he has ever read, abnormal in itself. He is kinda like the manipulated rainman, he goes to local casinos,and has figured out how to count cards in blackjack, and further, when to walk away. The kicker is that he tithes his winnings to his fundie church.

I have a smaller version of the memory thing, I can remember most phone numbers and similar strings by writing them down an remembering what I wrote.

Empo, are you happy now?

[ Parent ]

PARAGRAPHS, MOTHERFUCKER (1.00 / 3) (#182)
by Empedocles on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 03:16:00 AM EST

DO YOU UNDERSTAND?

---
And I think it's gonna be a long long time
'Till touch down brings me 'round again to find
I'm not the man they think I am at home

[ Parent ]
Rants don't require (1.00 / 2) (#185)
by mikelist on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 05:22:35 AM EST

punctuation, good spelling or checking for typos, of which I found at least two, upon rereading my post. your mom says you should be less critical.

[ Parent ]
WTF does any of that (1.00 / 2) (#234)
by Empedocles on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 03:12:36 PM EST

have to do with paragraphs?

---
And I think it's gonna be a long long time
'Till touch down brings me 'round again to find
I'm not the man they think I am at home

[ Parent ]
ithasabsolutelynothingtodo (none / 1) (#266)
by mikelist on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 08:57:32 PM EST

withparagraphsyourmomsaidyouhavealwaysbeenapedanticlittletwitnowknockitoff Alternately I posted as formatted html without adding the appropriate tags.butsowhatifyoucanreadthenyoucanread.otherwise...

[ Parent ]
I couldn't agree more with what you say (1.00 / 2) (#197)
by xutopia on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 09:21:55 AM EST

I found myself doing way higher in IQ tests than a couple friends of mine who seemed to have it all going for them. The difference is all in the attitude though. They would see almost everything as an opportunity when I'd just throw my arms in the air and complain. I've found that changing this attitude of mine helped me advance further. I am now enjoying better career, awesome relationship (getting married in less than 2 weeks) and I'm happier than ever! Now my friends look to me asking themselves questions.

[ Parent ]
Interesting... (1.16 / 12) (#169)
by PhillipW on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 12:22:38 AM EST

...but it says nothing of the Jew's inclination toward being a money grubbing polluter of Aryan blood. I think if we can scientifically link race to intelligence, perhaps now we can link race to evil.

Your work is almost done, mein fuhrer!

-Phil
Sieg Heil! (2.00 / 2) (#170)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 12:36:14 AM EST

nt

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
IQ tests are a sham. (1.28 / 7) (#173)
by Tezcatlipoca on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 01:26:18 AM EST

IQ tests do not measure intelligence. They measure the ability of a person to pass a test. A test that is biased culturally.

If you apply a test, any test, to a big group of people, there is one to be bound to perform better.

What convinces me this is all sham science are the lame explanations given for the alleged superior intelligence of this particular group.

So racism foced this people into intelligence enhancing activities? And can we expect that a few hundreds years of genetic isolation would make up to contrarrest a million years or more of human evolution?

Pure nonsense. This "scientists" should get -1 for their conclussions. And anybody still trying to measure intelligence on this day and age should get -10.

Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?

Low IQ eh? (1.00 / 3) (#175)
by benna on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 01:35:07 AM EST

I agree that this perticular paper is flawed but I find that most people who don't like IQ tests get poor scores on them.
-
"It is not how things are in the world that is mystical, but that it exists." -Ludwig Wittgenstein
[ Parent ]
I scored 175. (1.00 / 6) (#183)
by your_desired_username on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 03:17:10 AM EST

And I too think IQ tests are bullshit.

[ Parent ]
peuh (2.00 / 2) (#188)
by Norwegian Blue on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 06:11:59 AM EST

you're only saying that because parent post index is 175 :)

[ Parent ]
awww.... (1.33 / 3) (#176)
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 01:40:32 AM EST

are you jaded and think you are smarter than you really are?

the fact is that they are very useful because they do measure general intelligence of an individual. Wexler is a very good test and is constantly reviewed for non-bias.

[ Parent ]

Useful (1.50 / 2) (#189)
by curien on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 07:36:59 AM EST

What are they useful for, exactly? Seriously, I'm curious.

--
We are not the same. I'm an American, and you're a sick asshole.
[ Parent ]
Hiring (1.60 / 5) (#193)
by Thrasymachus on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 08:17:20 AM EST

IQ tests are a great predictor for job performance—better than job specific tests even. Of course it's theoretically illegal to use them in the U.S. because the Supreme Court outlawed it in '71 or '72. The military's ASVAB is pretty much an IQ test, and they find that very useful.

There is a story about New York City hiring police officers during the depression. It was 1939 and there were 30,000 applicants for 300 positions. NYC therefore gave a written test (that correlates well with IQ) and hired the top scoring individuals. The 'Class of '39' achieved far higher ranks than their peers on average. Four became police chiefs, four deputy commissioners, two chiefs of personnel, one chief inspector, and one become the commissioner of the NY Police Department. They were disciplined a lot less, and many went on to successful careers outside the department as lawyers, businessmen, and academics.

[ Parent ]
Links motherfucker, do you speak it? (1.33 / 3) (#275)
by curien on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 01:36:03 AM EST

The ASVAB is an aptitude test, like the SAT. It measures how much you know, not some ethereal g factor. The EDPT is an IQ test used by the military, but they only use it for two career fields (computer programmer in the Air Force and something in the Marines). If IQ really is such a great way to tell these things, you'd think the military (which is exempt from all those crap hiring laws) would use it more, methinks.

I don't know about your other points, but since I do know you're wrong about that, it casts doubt on your other unsubstantiated claims.

Correlating well with IQ is a red herring. I don't care if something correlates with g, I care if it measures g. Any aptitude test where the applicants come from similar backgrounds will correlate well with g. That's what makes it g. A test that actually measures g will correlate well with it even if the applicants come from completely different backgrounds. That's the tricky test to design, and it's even trickier to prove.

--
We are not the same. I'm an American, and you're a sick asshole.
[ Parent ]

Recruitment and personnel (2.20 / 5) (#222)
by The Diary Section on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 01:43:29 PM EST

If you dig deep enough these things all have their roots in two things; 1. standardised competitive exams implemented by the British Empire to assess natives for entry to government jobs (based on Oxbrige entry examinations/Civil service entry examinations) 2. Military recruitment, particularly with regard to the RAF(+Commonwealth derivatives thereof)/USAAF in the earlier days of WW2. Those are your "drivers" that got the ball rolling.

Today they are still pretty useful, empirically speaking. It doesn't really matter in a sense how or why they work. I don't know if people realise this widely but recruitment/personnel people get assessed in terms of their retention and placement numbers. Anything that puts your numbers up is a Very Good Thing Indeed. Thats why they are used, but its a bit like stock traders and their charts/tea leaves/chicken entrails - whatever works.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]

determining learning disabilities (none / 1) (#470)
by modmans2ndcoming on Sat Aug 13, 2005 at 10:54:17 AM EST

and other educational diagnostics.

[ Parent ]
This does not buck evolution (1.50 / 2) (#202)
by PhilHibbs on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 10:13:07 AM EST

And can we expect that a few hundreds years of genetic isolation would make up to contrarrest a million years or more of human evolution?
Yes, in-breeding and heavy selection can produce odd things that evolution has not selected for so far. The article adresses your point, by pointing out that the incidence of genetic disease due to two copies of the same mutation is the reason that these alleles are not more widely-spread. Mutations bring a cost with them, and it's those costs that take millions of years of trial-and-error to eliminate or reduce to a tolerable level.

To those that say that this kind of science is racist: It is clear that we are more intelligent than chimpanzees. Do you think that this is due to genetics, or to environment? Is it therefore racist to believe that genes affect intelligence?

To those that accuse me of racism: I cannot claim to be entirely non-racist, as I believe that there is a trace of racism in all of us. We are more lilkely to sympathize with those who are more like us, and to fear those who are alien to us. I believe that it is important to realise that this is within us, and to guard against it overwhelming us or affecting our judgement.

[ Parent ]

Define race within Chimpanzees (2.00 / 3) (#238)
by therationalfool on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 03:31:24 PM EST

To those that say that this kind of science is racist: It is clear that we are more intelligent than chimpanzees. Do you think that this is due to genetics, or to environment? Is it therefore racist to believe that genes affect intelligence? I have heard this line of argument before - humans can talk; chimpanzees cannot -> humans are more intelligent than chimpanzees -> genes affect intelligence -> race is a valid concept. QED! This argument is specious (no pun intended here). Humans cannot reproduce by mating with chimpanzees; a "caucasian" can mate with a "mongloid" and reproduce -> humans and chimpanzees are not different races; they are different species -> genetics do influence the mental (and physical) capabilities of species. Please enighten me: what are the races within the species of chimpanzees? What precisely are "caucasian" and "mongloid"?

[ Parent ]
Riddle me this... (1.00 / 3) (#341)
by grendelkhan on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 12:59:42 AM EST

How, exactly, are tests biased culturally? I can imagine how tests involving the words "scunthorpe" or "cotillion" might be biased toward white people (because white people have scunthorpe cotillions! there, I said it!), but don't IQ tests involve wordless "which of these does not belong" and "which of these folds into a square" questions? How can those be culturally biased?

I'm really curious as to how, on the one hand, race doesn't exist and is an utterly meaningless social construct, and on the other hand, we can construct tests that detect race, even among people of the same upbringing and economic class. Does that seem right to you?

--grendelkhan
-- Laws do not persuade just because they threaten --Seneca
[ Parent ]

If the test is in English (1.33 / 3) (#351)
by curien on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 06:38:02 AM EST

it's biased.

There's no such thing as a bias-free test. The best we can do is minimize it.

--
We are not the same. I'm an American, and you're a sick asshole.
[ Parent ]

I attack the scunthorpe with my sword. (1.00 / 2) (#373)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 10:03:33 AM EST

Are we talking regular-domestic scunthorpes or the dire kind?

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]
Uh... (1.33 / 3) (#381)
by grendelkhan on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 01:50:46 PM EST

I don't know tha---WAAAAUUGHHH!!
-- Laws do not persuade just because they threaten --Seneca
[ Parent ]
Scaning intelligence (2.12 / 8) (#194)
by Norwegian Blue on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 08:27:41 AM EST

- 'Intelligent' is used along a spectrum, from a fairly technical 'scanning speed property' which intelligence tests try to measure ,
to a pure value judgement in the order of "good thinking" (as in "obviously this person is not TRUELY intelligent"). I'll stick to the technical version. The other one is merely funny.

- Intelligence is part genetic and part environment. A part of it can be taught.

- a fairly good job has been done to lessen impact of culture on the intelligence tests.

- Intelligence is like horsepower for a car. It's valuable, but don't get any ideas. Learn to drive. If you're a lousy driver, you might be able to spin your wheels in an impressive way, but mostly you're a danger on the road. Unfortunately, a lot of people do get ideas. This is made possible in part because a lot of other people are impressed by those nice spins. Related to this, weak ideas are often attributed to weak intelligence. In my judgement, this diagnosis is very often false.

- studies about genetic differences between groups of people can show statistically significant or outright significant differences.

- Statistically significant means "only statistically , not otherwise significant. Nothing to see here, please move on".  Of course people always stop to watch.

- Outright significant could become an indirect factor when hiring someone. That means, when you have nothing else to go with.

 - It's like hiring A's cousin because A is smart.

 - Reportedly, the distribution of intelligence for women is more narrow than for men. There are proportionally much more extremely stupid men and extremely smart men then there are extremely stupid/smart women.

 - Better check directly who your candidate is. If you have to rely on gender to figure out which programmer to hire, you need a better system for hiring people.

- Racial/ethnical differences in intelligence are a very loaded issue.
A statistically significant difference can be used to support claims about superiority of people,
by intelligent people who shouldn't be allowed to drive.
That means that claims about statistically significant differences between people will be attacked on being false claims. If successful, this at least is one less argument to use in schoolyard bullying. Somehow, I consider this funny. But don't listen to me. I also thought my subject title was cuter if I left the spelling error in.

Boosting intelligence can have some value, especially on the low end of the spectrum. But it's a secondary aim. Intelligence is valuable but overestimated. Learn to drive.


it's so sad this made front page (1.06 / 16) (#195)
by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 08:58:45 AM EST

you would think that the lessons of the wars and social movements of the 19th and 20th centuries would educate us as to the failures of racist thinking, and here we are, in 2005, on a website of "technology and culture," and this kind of racist shit rears it's head and makes front page

ever wonder how madness like world war ii could ever happen?

look into yourself if you voted for this story, and see the seeds of that same madness

racists, know thyself

what a damned shame, all of you racist assholes still out there, like retarded creationists and those who believe in a flat earth, dragging the HUMAN race down

just a damn sad shame, how long it takes fucking stupid ways of thinking of the world to die

just die you fucking racist dinosaurs, just fucking die already


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

rated 0 for being posted by ciircletimessquare (1.83 / 6) (#205)
by Zeriel on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 10:39:21 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Define Ashkenazi \nt (1.42 / 7) (#196)
by bob6 on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 09:15:41 AM EST



Cheers.
Jews originating from Europe... (1.50 / 2) (#277)
by Murkey on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 03:45:06 AM EST

...especially Germany, Poland and Austria. Established between the 10th and 19th Centuries.

[ Parent ]
Wikipedia is your friend. (none / 1) (#368)
by grendelkhan on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 09:53:13 AM EST

From the 'pedia:

Ashkenazi Jews, also known as Ashkenazic Jews or [bunch of Unicode stuff here], are Jews descended from the Jewish communities of Germany, Poland, Austria, and Eastern Europe mostly established between the 10th and 19th centuries. In historical times and through the mid-20th Century, Ashkenazi Jews usually spoke Yiddish or Slavic languages such as the (now extinct) Knaanic, and developed a distinct culture and liturgy influenced by their native countries.
-- Laws do not persuade just because they threaten --Seneca
[ Parent ]

I don't get it (1.00 / 2) (#399)
by bob6 on Thu Aug 04, 2005 at 04:09:29 AM EST

and developed a distinct culture and liturgy influenced by their native countries.
I thought the choice of Ashkenazi was precisely community isolation. There it says the culture varies according to the host country.

Cheers.
[ Parent ]
I must say i am rather skeptical... (2.16 / 6) (#198)
by spooky wookie on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 09:37:31 AM EST

To this type of science. I HATE TROLLS probably had the most insightfull comment yet.

People scoring high IQ's exist everywhere accros ethnic groups and so called races. If the authors wanted to research why some people score higher in IQ tests than others there are certainly enough test subjects inter racially, to determine if there is some kind of common factor involved.

And in all seriousness, this is alot more dangerous than most people aparently think. To the general public this will be reduced to:

1) All blacks are dumber than everyone else.

2) All Jews are smarter and a threat to everyone else.

We all love generalisations dont we?

thx bro (1.40 / 5) (#210)
by I ABHOR TROLLS on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 11:21:45 AM EST



[ Parent ]
should the pale skinned wear sunscreen? (1.56 / 16) (#207)
by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 11:02:29 AM EST

of course

in australia, a bunch of colonists from the murky british isles dropped on a brightly sunlit desert has meant soaring skin cancer cases

am i saying pale people shouldn't wear sunscreen because that would be racist?

of course not

that would result in thousands of needless deaths in australia alone ever year

less melanin means you should protect yourself from the sun in other ways

duh

and...

what is this supposed to mean to me?

what great lessons is supposed to be drawn from this?

geographic variations in biochemistry exist

so what?

what does it mean?

it doesn't have ANY SIGNIFICANCE WHATSOEVER

because race simply doesn't matter

there are many medical conditions which can be shown to be confined historically by geography

sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, lactose intolerance, HIV immunity, rhabdomyelosis vulnerability when on statin drugs, tay-sachs disease, chilblains, vulnerability to gout, etc., ad nauseum

just like nose size (arid or humid conditions), finger length (hot or cold), and skin color (melanin protection from sun), etc., ad nauseum

did you know that on the average, worldwide, men are about 10% darker than females because for females protection from the sun is less important than the critical need for folic acid during early pregnancy, and that can come from the sun?

what does this all mean?

nothing!

not a fucking thing!

JUST LIKE THIS FUCKING RACIST STORY

it's little scientific tidbits that don't add up to a whole

all of these little different surface features and biochemical quirks all overlap with each other

you can't draw any lines in the sand that signifies anything meaningful, because all these little quirks you add up have different geographical ranges

it's simply genetic white noise, and it's a quiet signal

meanwhile there is a strong solid tone that is a lot louder: the similarities

so how come the static of surface differences matter so much to some, when if you mapped them they would barely pierce the thick volume of similarities?

to focus on these surface statistical perturbations is like someone looking at ripples on the surface of the lake

and completely missing the volume of water in the lake underneath

this is the logical fallacy of racism: ripples on the surface have lessons for us about the volume of water underneath

;-P

race is a concept that is silly shallow antiquated nonsense, for if you really truly understood what you were talking about when you bring up medical quirks and statistical anomalies, if you truly had some wisdom behind your words, then the vast volume of medical knowledge and statistics would speak to you of the similarities more than differences, by orders of magnitude

so what the fuck is this article supposed to mean?

tell us how ripples on the surface of a lake means something

tell us racists, tell us the deep significance

tell me about sickle cell anemia... what is the lesson for us? what great significance are we supposed to attach to this?

this article is nothing more than a window into the filthy soul of racism, and the fallacies in the reasoning of racists that they overlook to make the evidence fit their presupposed ideas about how much we differ

when we the real lesson of all medicine and biochemistry is how similar we are

focusing on the ripples on the surface, versus the volume of water underneath

the fallacy of the "logic" of racism


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

the world needs more pople like you cts. (1.50 / 6) (#211)
by I ABHOR TROLLS on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 11:25:05 AM EST

it desperately needs more.

[ Parent ]
Eh? (1.00 / 3) (#216)
by MrMikey on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 12:26:41 PM EST

The world needs more people with a pathological aversion to their Shift key, and a rhetorical "voice" which seems the product of a childhood spent with no adult every explaining the concept of "inside voice"?

Me, I don't see it...

(If the parent post was meant as sarcasm, please disregard the above message, and instead visualize several bunnies frolicking about a peaceful, sunlit pastoral scene... cheerful bird twitter background music optional.)

[ Parent ]

nah (1.33 / 6) (#217)
by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 12:37:22 PM EST

it's just sad that a wackjob with a pathological aversion to their Shift key, and a rhetorical "voice" which seems the product of a childhood spent with no adult ever explaining the concept of "inside voice" still makes more sense than so many here

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
I'd like to buy the world a Coke (1.25 / 4) (#223)
by kero on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 02:00:23 PM EST

So underneath it all we are really just the same? That seems to be the jist of your latest rant. You still haven't said WHY the original artical is racist. Does it say that BECAUSE they are smarter we should do something to them? Does it say that BECAUSE they are smarter they are better than 'us?'

You say it doesn't matter because we are so much like them that the mere fact that in this one aspect they are different is meaningless. Why? Why shouldn't we try and understand how this group is different?

Is it your contention that it is impossible to say anything about a group of people without it becoming racist? That there is no way to discuss the physiological differences between the genders wihtout becoming sexist? That is political correct nonsense and is doing more harm than good. People are different for many reasons and only by studying those differences will we be able to understand them.

So while you are getting uppity and calling me a moron why don't you just answer a simple question: why is this paper racist?

[ Parent ]
are you for real? (1.20 / 5) (#225)
by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 02:20:19 PM EST

because it is saying members of a racial group are superior in intellectual skills

that's racism

duh

it has nothing to do with political correctness

if i said african americans were stupid, that's not being politically incorrect, that's being racist

durrr...

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

What? (1.00 / 4) (#233)
by kero on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 03:07:38 PM EST

I don't that word means what you think it means. If you can show the writers of the paper were prejudiced then perhaps you would have a leg to stand on. However, if the paper just says we did this study and here are what we found then it isn't really racist. At least not in the perjorative way you are using it.

If you had done research that was unbiased and showed that African Americans had lower IQ's than other racial groups and said that you wouldn't be racist. You would be pilloried in the press as one because of people who can't tell the difference between facts and opinions. However, if you just made up some crap about how you hated them and then spouted that as the truth and because they are stupid we shouldn't let them vote, then I'd say you were racist. It's a pretty wide line, I'm surprised you can't see it.

[ Parent ]
er, I don't THINK that word means... <NT> (1.00 / 2) (#236)
by kero on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 03:21:42 PM EST



[ Parent ]
are you for real? (1.20 / 5) (#240)
by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 04:21:33 PM EST

a paper has conclusions which tells me that ethnic group A is superior/ inferior in intelligence/ strength/ character as compared to ethnic group B/C/D

but it's not a racist paper... because i didn't shout about it (!?)

instead, i typed it all neat and grew pretty diagrams and quietly presented it... so it's not racist :-P

so, according to you, racism is a quality of jumping up and down, right?

according to you, racism isn't racism if it isn't negative?

what, oh dear wise one, is this article supposed to be, if not racist?

please, tell me, educate little old lost me ;-P

if i say god created man and the animals separately 12,000 years ago but i have lots of scientific looking fancy charts and figures instead of a bible to prove it i'm not a creationist?

if i drink a bottle of vodka before noon for years but clean up real good by 5 pm i'm not an alcoholic?

if i rob you with a smile i'm not a thief?

i didn't know entire meanings could be changed just by being positive! ;-P

it's not racism if it's POSITIVE RACISM!

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ;-)

you're either a real fucking moron or one retarded propagandist ;-)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

You are dense enough to be a new element (1.00 / 4) (#247)
by kero on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 04:46:48 PM EST

So if I do a study of the height of different ethnic groups and the study shows that one group is taller than another and I put that into a report it is a racist report? You are saying there is no way someone can point out the differences between groups without being racist? How stupid is that? About a 9 I'd think. Of course there is going to be differences between groups, how do you present them? How do I present a study showing that obesity has a positive correlation to poverty? Oh, is that going to make me prejudiced against the poor or the fat? If two teams of different races participate in a sporting event is reporting the winner racist? Good lord is Bob McCay a racist because of all the Olympics he covered?

Once again your narrow view and self rightousness are more important than the smallest bit of thought in your arguments.

[ Parent ]
glimmers of hope (1.00 / 3) (#254)
by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 06:03:35 PM EST

How do I present a study showing that obesity has a positive correlation to poverty?

you can do that, go ahead, just KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE DOING... you don't seem to!

Oh, is that going to make me prejudiced against the poor or the fat?

actually, yes it is! what does prejudice mean? if your study found that the poor were fatter or the poor were thinner, and someone said "i have a poor person behind this door" and you only had your study in your hand, would you say they were fat or thin behind the door? you would PREJUDGING them based on your study... right?

otherwise, WHAT IS THE FUCKING POINT OF THE FUCKING STUDY????!!!!!!!

this is you: "i'm going to study suicice, but i don't want anyone to draw any negative or contentious conclusions from my study... no matter how negative or contentious my conclusions are"

WTF!?

"i'm going to say that ethnic group a is smarter than ethnic group b, BUT I DON'T WANT ANYONE TO THINK ANYTHING NEGATIVE COULD POSSIBLY BE INFERRED FROM THAT"

what

the

fuck??????????????

what does the word MEAN:

PREJUDICE- the act of prejudging

RACISM- pointing out the differences between the races

and here i come along and saying what you are doing is racism, and you get angry because you don't like the negative connotations?

guess what, moron, GET USED TO IT

the negative connotations APPLY

based on the meaning of WHAT YOU ARE DOING

i'm sorry you don't like that!

but don't fucking shoot the messenger!

don't be angry at me for showing you exactly what you are doing!

this article is RACIST

because you are talking the differences between RACES

understand?

is it beginning to dawn on you?

you say that sutdying the differences between heights between the races is harmless

yes it is actually!

i agree!

now, riddle me this batman: IS IT HARMLESS TO SAY ONE ETHNIC GROUP IS SMARTER THAN ANOTHER

you really exepct me to hear you say you are going to do that, and there's absolutely NOTHING negative to come out of that????

please, i'm all ears!


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Ears (1.25 / 4) (#283)
by JOHNSEN on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 05:44:18 AM EST

You're a fucking idiot if you can't distinguish between research data and propaganda. Actually, you're probably just an idiot anyway. If cretins like you had their way, we would exist in stasis; too afraid to examine ourselves in any capacity, too afraid to move for fear of flexing a muscle. Any sort of data in the hands of the thick MIGHT be subverted for an unpleasant agenda - that doesn't mean that the data is valueless for learning about and identifying ways of improving ourselves as a whole (the whole of humankind - geddit?) If you are too timid to engage in any sort of useful debate, GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN! Tosser.

[ Parent ]
wake me up when someone says something intelligent (1.25 / 4) (#303)
by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 12:01:06 PM EST

You're a fucking idiot if you can't distinguish between research data and propaganda

that would 100% true

if there were any research data around here

but all i see is propaganda

anything else i can help you with?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Wakey wakey (1.50 / 4) (#336)
by JOHNSEN on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 08:26:05 PM EST

It seems to me that, to the discerning eye, evidence is being disclosed from research into the sources of intelligence, from selective breeding, environment, biological trade-offs and other factors. To the moronic knee-jerking foaming-at-the-mouth, polically correct, watchdogs of the peoples morality, it's evidence of racism. Perhaps if you woke up you'd notice that intelligent things are being said all around you, genius.

[ Parent ]
Good lord how do you even move (1.00 / 4) (#295)
by kero on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 10:28:23 AM EST

Aren't you afraid that your movements will cause something bad to happen? Get it through your head, heavy metal doesn't cause people to commit suicide, stupid kids commit suicide. A gun doesn't kill people, people kill people. A report isn't racist, people who use the results of the report to discriminate are racist.

Scientists have no control over how people use there data, whatever that data is. So should they only do studies about puppies making people happy? Or are you afraid that someone could take that information and use it as an excuse to kill all the puppies because they are mean?

Oh, and learn to use a dictionary, racism isn't pointing out the differences between races. You even had a reply to one of your other comments that had the defintion and you got it wrong.

[ Parent ]
wow (1.00 / 4) (#301)
by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 11:56:37 AM EST

"A report isn't racist, people who use the results of the report to discriminate are racist."

it doesn't even remotely enter the realm of possibility in your mind that the report is flawed steaming dogshit?

i have a report here which proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that ufos were in roswell new mexico in the 1950s

because i wrote it out all pretty and have pretty diagrams, it is to be taken as gold, unquestioned, uncriticized?

and if you attacked the report, you would be an opinionated loser for taking it seriously?

what if i just attacked the report because i thought it WAS FUCKING STUPID

because i do that, now i'm the loser?

because i don't just stand there and giggle and walk away when some asshole tells me about ufos in roswell, i'm the loser?

howabout the fucking wackjob who believes in ufos and thinks anyone who questions the report has serious problems?

what about them?

SO WHAT ABOUT YOU AND YOUR FUCKING RACIST PILE OF SHIT?

listen to me carefully

this article

IS FLAWED BULLSHIT AND RACISDM THROUGH AND THROUGH

do you fucking understand where i coming from now moron?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Well, I must say.... (1.25 / 4) (#276)
by SupraTT GOP on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 02:24:30 AM EST

I don't think this person is real. It can't be so. Too unbelievable.... or of course maybe this person came upon a profound inheritance and spends his/her days philosophizing and pondering solutions to the world's greatest problems, on K5 of course.

I think I saw this person on dailykos once... and a few thousand of their best friends.. haha

[ Parent ]
The study says no such thing (1.25 / 4) (#281)
by curien on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 05:36:54 AM EST

Some groups of people are have demonstrably higher intellectual skills. That's not an interesting question.

The interesting question is, "Why?"

For example, white people in South Dakota are demonstrably more intelligent that black people from South Caroina. This is an inequity that needs to be fixed or -- at the very least -- addressed in some positive way.

It's hard to address an issue when you don't know what the root cause it.

In the above example, the root cause is likely socio-economic status, and that's fine. So you take actions to try to correct the inequity in SES.

In the case of the Ashkenazi, the root cause is likely not SES; possibly it's some genetic factor. The consequences of that frighten you, so you throw epithets like "racist" around instead of using knowledge to address issues.

Perhaps this research will lead to a gene therapy technique which can make all of our children more intelligent, hopefully without giving them Tay-Sachs disease.

--
We are not the same. I'm an American, and you're a sick asshole.
[ Parent ]

It is demonstrable that (1.75 / 4) (#226)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 02:30:59 PM EST

the descendants of european jews are disproportionately represented in science and certain other fields, such as entertainment.

Should we be incurious what historic, cultural or genetic factors predispose someone to be an award winning physicist or a great actor?

Alternatively, should we be unconcerned with the connection between european jewish ancestry and the odds you have or carry Tay-Sachs disease?

The FDA just approved a drug for treating heart disease, but only for African Americans. Was that racist, too?

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

BiDil was rejected by the FDA in 1997. (1.33 / 3) (#229)
by Ignore Amos on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 02:40:43 PM EST

This could just be an example of Big Pharma looking for another angle on profitability.

And that explains why airplanes carry cargo on small boats floating in their cargo aquarium. - jmzero
[ Parent ]

True. (none / 1) (#256)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 07:03:31 PM EST

But I doubt "Big Pharma" would have taken the political risk of creating a race specific drug unless it was demonstrably more effective.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]
True, but ... (2.00 / 3) (#258)
by Ignore Amos on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 07:14:54 PM EST

racial identification is subjective. BiDil was tested only on 1,050 individuals who self-identified as African-American. The findings of the Human Genome Project indicate that there are no significant genetic underpinnings for racial classifications. Whether or not there is a specific gene that predisposes certain people for certain types of heart malady and allows BiDil to be an effective remedy for such has not been adequately explored. It is dangerous to approve pharmaceuticals for groups based on folk taxonomy or societal construct, even if test results seem to correlate with certain phenotypic characteristics.

And that explains why airplanes carry cargo on small boats floating in their cargo aquarium. - jmzero
[ Parent ]

and they dominated the financial sphere (1.33 / 6) (#243)
by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 04:34:04 PM EST

in europe before hitler, like the indians in pre-idi amin uganda, or the chinese in indonesia before suharto

gee i didn't know that was a genetic thing!

you know a lot of food stands in midtown manhattan are run by afghanis

astounding! afghanis have a GENETIC PREDISPOSITION to be able to run food stands!

a lot of gas stations in new jersey are run by bangladeshis

incredible! bangladeshis have a genetic affinity for petroleum!

and all those farms in california with mexican workers

unfuckingbelievable the genetic traits of mexicans that allow them to handle fruit better than caucasians!

so maybe your curiousity about "what historic, cultural or genetic factors predispose someone to be an award winning physicist or a great actor?" is a good one

seeing as you have none of them, because your way of thinking about the issue is so fucking retarded

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

You just get funnier and funnier. (1.00 / 2) (#257)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 07:05:03 PM EST

But, I guess I'll try one more time:

Please try responding to what I write rather than to the straw men that haunt your imagination.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

ok (1.33 / 6) (#263)
by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 08:05:47 PM EST

snip

the descendants of european jews are disproportionately represented in science and certain other fields, such as entertainment.

Should we be incurious what historic, cultural or genetic factors predispose someone to be an award winning physicist or a great actor?

snip

you know a lot of food stands in midtown manhattan are run by afghanis

astounding! afghanis have a GENETIC PREDISPOSITION to be able to run food stands!

a lot of gas stations in new jersey are run by bangladeshis

incredible! bangladeshis have a genetic affinity for petroleum!

and all those farms in california with mexican workers

unfuckingbelievable the genetic traits of mexicans that allow them to handle fruit better than caucasians!

ok, think REALLY HARD

we know it's difficult for you

see what kind of point i was trying to make?

c'mon, squeeze those butt cheeks goober! i got faith in you fucktard!

see, use of the word "straw men" is effective in refuting what someone says only when someone actually uses actual "straw men" in their reply!

amazing huh?

just using the word "straw men" when responding to someone doesn't make you look smart if you don't understand the concept goober!

LOL

otherwise, you look even stupider than you alreayd look, if that's still possible

hope i'm still getting funnier! ;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

your "point" is as blunt as ever (1.33 / 3) (#290)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 09:27:23 AM EST

just as your attempts at humor fail to amuse.

Just as, despite cutting and pasting my words, you still fail to comprehend them.

"Should we be incurious what historic, cultural or genetic factors predispose someone to be an award winning physicist or a great actor?"

Does not assume a genetic component; it asks the question of whether there might be.

And yes, I still think understanding the social/cultural dynamics that cause a single ethnic group to dominate an industry are interesting and worth study.

So, you keep attacking that imaginary racist who haunts your dreams; I plan on looking at how the world actually works and hopefully gain wisdom thereby.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

look, you backed off ;-) (1.00 / 6) (#300)
by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 11:43:31 AM EST

"And yes, I still think understanding the social/cultural dynamics that cause a single ethnic group to dominate an industry are interesting and worth study."

i do to

interesting how i got you to dump the word "genetic" this time around

so you're welcome for cleaning you out of your racist ways

glad i could be of assistance

;-)

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

And now this? (1.50 / 4) (#318)
by kero on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 03:09:41 PM EST

"Genetic" becomes the same in your world as "racist?" How the hell does that work?

[ Parent ]
try to follow the conversation moron: (1.50 / 4) (#323)
by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 04:40:43 PM EST

already addressed

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Racism (1.50 / 4) (#242)
by cdguru on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 04:27:36 PM EST

Well, it is certainly an interesting opinion to claim that anything exposing real, measurable differences between members of different racial groups is "racist". You can try to put the genii back in the bottle, but I doubt you will succeed.

If the "problem" to your perception is that if such differences are exposed then people will feel less like one cohesive "family of man", you are probably correct. Should we reach the point where everyone considers themselves first and foremost to be "human" and secondarily things like "a resident of South America", we might reach that point. I would offer that real, measurable differences between racial (and other) groups of humans will not be very significant when that point is reached. Regardless of any cultural overtones that such information might have.

We are not at that point today. In fact, if you ask people on the street you are likely to find that they first categorize themselves as belonging to a cultural group, perhaps a national group, then a race and finally, several steps below that would agree that "Yeah, I guess I'm human." I would offer that we are so incredibly far away from the "family of man" sort of view that it is pointless to consider the benefits of such.

In the US we have a distinct "Black culture" which is incredibly destructive. One aspect of this is a particular dialect which eliminates most such speakers - regardless of intelligence or potential - from dealing with a majority of other US citizens. Another example is that we are starting to see the effects of a self-isolated Islamic community which operates seemingly independently of the nation in which it resides. I am specifically pointing to a desire for Shar'ia law rather than US or Canadian or UK law by these groups.

There are lots of other such cultural groups to which people feel they belong to "first" before belonging to any other larger and more inclusive group. Most religions are like this, but in the US it isn't all that common to find someone that first identifies with their religion. An exception to this is where both the religion and cultural group overlap 100%, like Hasidic Jews or Catholic Nuns. Outside the US this is often different and an area I don't have nearly as much experience with.

The main point here is trying to brand information - neutral, unimpassioned, objective information as "racist" because it tends to enhance divisions between groups of people is absurd. You aren't going to get closer to the "family of man" state by trying to argue that such information prevents adoption of it.

I would even argue that the majority of people would object to the concept of their first allegiance being to the "family of man" rather than their cultural group. Humans have always been about dividing, clarifying divisions and introducing competition between such divided groups. For the most part, this has been a net benefit to everyone. There have been cases where such divisions led to poor outcomes but these have always been viewed as abberations rather than the norm. Few would argue that Hitler's division of the Jews from the rest of German society was a benefit and fewer still would say that the Spanish Inquisition (again dividing the Jews away from the Catholic population) was a good thing. However, the separation of the original British Colonies in America and the following "clarifying" of the differences is almost universally regarded as a positive thing. You can go through almost any period of history and see such divisions being either recognized or imposed. For the most part this has led to competition towards a goal, benefits for most of the participants and a better situation for everyone.

[ Parent ]

moron: there are differences (1.16 / 6) (#244)
by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 04:40:54 PM EST

but they are merely surface perturbations

underfuckingstand what i said?

read again what i said dipshit, focus on the magic W-O-R-D-S

ergo, all of the deeper inferences about the differences between ethnic groups is rendered null and void

...that includes all of your bullshit above, if you weren't able to follow what i said... again

why is this concept so hard for you stupid racist fucks to understand?

shallow bullshit doesn't have leverage on deeper meanings

THE RIPPLES ON THE SURFACE OF A LAKE DO NOT OUTWEIGH THE VOLUME OF WATER UNDERNEATH THEM

is that poetic enough for you to fucking grasp what i am saying you fucking racist retard?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Then riddle me this (1.50 / 4) (#250)
by kero on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 05:31:37 PM EST

Why is measuring the waves racist fucktard?

[ Parent ]
there's nothing wrong with it ;-) (1.00 / 3) (#251)
by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 05:42:14 PM EST

you go look at the molehills all day and tell me all sorts of fascinating things about the difference from one to the other

please, be my guest

it's just that all you're fucking molehills and all your study of them doesn't mean shit when compared to the fucking mountain

capisce?

do you understand the allegory now moron?

the point is that the tiny minor surface shit doesn't even begin to impact in the slightest way the fucking huge volume of water of similarities underneath

so you can point at the differences between ethnic groups for 200 years

please, be my guest!

it's still orders and orders of magnitude lower in import than the similarities

is it beginning to dawn on you now?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I don't get you... (1.50 / 4) (#269)
by MrMikey on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 09:47:39 PM EST

you talk an awful, awful lot, but you do so in a way which seems tailor made to get people to not listen to you and not take you seriously. Lord knows I've scrolled by your posts more than once.

So, do you want people to read what you write, or don't you?

[ Parent ]

i don't especially care (1.00 / 3) (#272)
by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 10:22:57 PM EST

i don't have much respect for racists

i'm not here to hold your hand asshole

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

So, in other words, ... (1.00 / 4) (#309)
by MrMikey on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 01:22:03 PM EST

you're here to indulge your desire to rhetorically scream and fap you way across the screen, and don't give a damn what anyone thinks (except for yourself, of course) about what you have to say, and don't particularly care what effect your words have.

If your point was "I don't have much respect for racists.", you could use your opportunity to post to do something about it, by showing the flaws in their ideas, or presenting better ideas of your own.

But, you don't do that, so I suspect "i don't have much respect for racists", while probably true, is irrelevant to your posts. You just like to yell, and this is as good an excuse to indulge in that as any.

I don't have any respect for racists. But, having actually read the article, it seems to me that, while some of the assumptions being made are dubious, at best, it does not qualify as racism.

The article does not define how an "Ashkenazi European Jew" is distinguished for purposes of making genetic comparisons to those not in that category. Indeed, no identifying criteria are given at all... a major weakness of the article, IMO.

Secondly, any connection between genetics and "race" (a term so poorly defined as to be virtually useless) is, at best, iffy. There was a recent study involving a set of genetic markers and a set of test volunteers who self-identified themselves as being of a particular "race", and found that the genetic markers and the self-identification correlated to a remarkable degree... but this is just one study using one set of genetic markers, so it remains to be seen whether or not this study will yield something more definitive.

Third, intelligence itself is a poorly defined term, even if a case can be made for the existence of the intelligence factor "g", and it's relationship to the sort of cognitive tasks that people associate with the word "intelligence."

In any case, just because someone uses the words "genetics", "race", and "intelligence" in the same paragraph doesn't automatically make it racist. Let's review what the word "racist" means:

adj 1: based on racial intolerance; "racist remarks"

2: discriminatory especially on the basis of race or religion [syn: {antiblack}, {anti-Semitic}, {anti-Semite(a)}]

n : a person with a prejudiced belief that one race is superior to others

Sure, racists will glom onto anything that they can reinterpret (e.g. lie about) so as to further support their bigotries. That, however, is a poor reason to scream "Racist!" and throw an unreasoned hissy fit at the mere mention of genetics, race, and a positive or negative trait.

[ Parent ]
additionally (1.25 / 4) (#311)
by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 01:42:55 PM EST

i have no respect for you:

"But, having actually read the article, it seems to me that, while some of the assumptions being made are dubious, at best, it does not qualify as racism."

it's racism, and you can't see that so i have no respect for you for your demonstrated inability to see the fucking obvious

give me a compelling reason why i should respect anyone who has anything positive say about this article, and you win, otherwise, you and everyone else who has anything positive to say about this article i have no respect for, for failing to see obvious racism for what it is

THIS ARTICLE IS RACIST

IT IS

anyone who says otherwise IS FUCKING STUPID

really!

100%!

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

You should be called mobiussquare (1.50 / 4) (#292)
by kero on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 10:20:09 AM EST

You say the same thing over and over without actually making a point. People are 99.999% the same and you freak out when someone looks at the .001% difference and call them a racist, but you don't really know what the word means. It means treating a member of a group differently (usually negatively, but not always) because they are a member of that group. It doesn't mean studying that group or learning about that group. If you take the results of this study and decide to treat AJs differently then you are a racist. If you take the results of this study and say, hey maybe we can figure out were smarts is in the brain, you are not racist. See, it's what you do with the study, not the study itself. So saying the study is racist is like saying guns, knifes, or baseball bats are evil.

Yes, any one who has read Guns, Germs, and Steel knows that people are more similar than different, but the differences are still striking. Yet trying to understand those differences in a scientific way causes you distress. So we should just ignore those differences, not trying to see why? What possible use to humanity could it be to see why one group of people is smarter than another?

In the end you are more enamored of your formatting than having any real message. Is it ironic that you seem to take the side of peace and harmony; no racism, no war, yet the voice you use is hateful? Is there a spoon?

[ Parent ]
listen to me verrrryyyy sloowllyyyy (1.00 / 3) (#299)
by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 11:41:10 AM EST

if you talk about ethnic group a being smarter than ethnic group b, you are tlaking about racism

i'm sorry, but that's just the fucking truth!

do you honestly expect that this racist bullshti crop up and because it's said nicely and quietly it isn't the same bullshit that we've heard before?

if you take a pile of shit and put a ribbon on it, it's still shit!

if you talk about one ethnic group being smarter than another

IT'S STILL FUCKING RACISM

i'm sorry asshole

but that's just the SIMPLE FUCKING TRUTH


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

You don't get it (1.00 / 3) (#304)
by kero on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 12:12:54 PM EST

If you talk about FACTS, as determined by a scientific study, you are not being racist.

You are right, a pile of shit with a ribbon on it is still a pile of shit. That is a fact; pile of shit is a pile of shit. If one ethnic group has been found to be smarter than other ethnic groups, that FACT is not racist. It is a fact. Like a pool ball is round.

Why can't you get this simple fact through your asshole sized brain. A fact isn't good or bad, it is a fact. You can argue the validity of the fact, but you can't call a fact racist.

[ Parent ]
You don't get it (1.50 / 4) (#307)
by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 12:35:32 PM EST

If you talk about FACTS, as determined by a scientific study, you are not being creationist.

You are right, a pile of shit with a ribbon on it is still a pile of shit. That is a fact; pile of shit is a pile of shit. If one species has been found to be unable to evolve into another species, that FACT is not creationist. It is a fact. Like a pool ball is round.

Why can't you get this simple fact through your asshole sized brain. A fact isn't good or bad, it is a fact. You can argue the validity of the fact, but you can't call a fact creationist.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

WTF? <nt> (1.50 / 4) (#315)
by kero on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 01:55:37 PM EST



[ Parent ]
cliff notes for the moron: (1.00 / 3) (#321)
by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 04:27:23 PM EST

just because it's written on teh intarweb doesn't mean it's true

"oh my gosh! here's a racist research paper on found on teh intarwebs!
it's all true and if you try to think critically about it you have a problem!"

;-P

i tried to convey that idea with the same think you wrote, about creationism instead of racism, to see if you get the general idea (replace one form of stupid dogshit with another)

but apparently the allegory is beyond your mental skills

or maybe you're a creationist as well as a racist?

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Ah, you are an idiot (1.00 / 2) (#324)
by kero on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 04:42:38 PM EST

Sorry I couldn't follow your hatchet and paste job. Let me get this right, because I disagree with you I'M a racist? Didn't see that one coming, surprised you held off so long, you don't strike me as having much self control. So now the report isn't just racist because it's stupid, it's racist because it's stupid AND on the internet? (maybe when I grow a goatee I'll be hip enough to call it an 'intraweb').

It still remains to be seen if you can come up with one real argument against this report, other than you don't like it, as to why it is racist.

I don't think you can do it. So, what are going do? Cry? Gonna cry baby?

[ Parent ]
What if it really is true? (1.00 / 4) (#352)
by curien on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 06:43:40 AM EST

There is an argument that it's not racism if it's true. There are other people who believe racism is inddependent of truth.

if you talk about ethnic group a being smarter than ethnic group b, you are tlaking about racism

What if it really is true that every single person in Group A is more intelligent that anyone in Group B? Would calling Group A more intelligent still be racist? What if just the average for Group A is higher?

What about height? If we were talking about "taller" instead of "smarter", would it still be racist? If not, why not? Is there something special about smarts that doesn't apply to height?

I'm genuinely looking for your personal answers, cts, so I can understand you better.

--
We are not the same. I'm an American, and you're a sick asshole.
[ Parent ]

Culture and race. (1.00 / 2) (#367)
by grendelkhan on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 09:51:10 AM EST

Whoa, sonny. You're confusing race, ethnicity and culture. Race is a poorly defined social construct, so we're talking about ethnicity here. Ashkenazi Jews are a separate ethnic group, with a slightly different genetic makeup from other groups.

Your argument of "black people talk funny because of their culture, and that makes them less intelligent" is incoherent. You're confusing an ethnicity with a culture. If you can't tell whether you're complaining that black culture is inferior, or black people are, then you're not really saying anything at all.

--grendelkhan
-- Laws do not persuade just because they threaten --Seneca
[ Parent ]

For once, I kind of agree (1.75 / 4) (#337)
by black orchidness on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 08:38:46 PM EST

I never thought I'd say it, but I think somewhere in those above comments, cts made a valid point. Studies like this (which tend to get picked up by the media for their entertainment/shock value) lead to more people (who are unwilling to see if the theory is supported by any other research) forming prejudicial ideas. I am not saying the report is racist, but I am saying that most people would use it in such a way as to be prejudiced. And while it is interesting information to note, maybe some info is better off not being put out there.

Let's look at some obvious facts: probably somewhere around 60%-75% (or higher)of Americans get all their news from, what, 6 sources of media? All mainstream, infotainment, brain-cell killing media. Then what do they do? They take the tidbit they heard on CNN last night, integrate it as fact, and without bothering to do any research to prove or deny it, proceed to throw that tidbit around in all conversations relating to the issue. Pretty soon it is considered accepted fact.

While it's probably not worth wading through that heinous deluge of comments and replies above, I do think this one point has some validity. I also agree that genetic potential is less important than the environment influences a person grows up in, etc. etc. Please feel free to rip this comment and/or any semblence of logic I may or may not possess.

[ Parent ]

Perhaps. (1.50 / 4) (#371)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 09:59:49 AM EST

Yes, a study like this could be used to reinforce anti-semitism, but we can't - we mustn't - look away from the truth, just because the truth can be abused.

The only way to make the world a better place is to first understand what it really is. If you pretend that it is anything else you are doomed to fail.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

i saw it on teh intarwebs (none / 1) (#444)
by circletimessquare on Mon Aug 08, 2005 at 01:53:13 AM EST

it must be true

i have no critical thinking abilities


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Natural Algernon (2.22 / 9) (#209)
by jabber on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 11:18:02 AM EST

Some years back, a fellow by the name of Eliezer Yudkowsky proposed something he termed "Algernon's Law". The name is a reference to the book "Flowers for Algernon", and the law states that any simple enhancement to the human mind results in a net evolutionary disadvantage. Put more simply, if making headway was that easy, nature would have done it long ago.

Yudkowsy's site no longer carries his lengthy thesis on this subject, but Google might reward someone determined enough to do some digging. In his analysis, Yudkowsky suggests that several "conditions" we see today may very well be natural Algernons - special adaptations and mutations which give individuals certain advantages, but render them less able to pass on such an advantage. Autism and dyslexia are his examples of the down-side of the numerical and spacial imagination upsides.

This research seems to have brought up another natural Algernon, which due to cultural constraints has been refined and passed down genetically, but with the disadvantages in tow.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

Somewhat unrelated (1.33 / 3) (#221)
by rianjs on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 01:33:38 PM EST

I clicked the link because of another bit about Ashkenazi jews, specifically how Myriad Genetics has patented a gene that only affects those women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent.

So basically on the one hand it sucks that you're an Ashekenazi Jew, and on the other hand you're probably smarter than most other people.

Heh. That strikes me as funny.


onthepharm.net
Plausible but obviously requires more research (2.00 / 6) (#224)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 02:19:03 PM EST

to confirm the effect.

It reminds me of a study from a few years back that claimed that the children of engineering couples (i.e., both parents were engineers) were significantly more likely to be autistic, implying a connection between the genes for spatial and mathematical skills and autism. I don't remember seeing if that study ever went anywhere, however.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?

ok, what's IQ then? (1.28 / 7) (#259)
by squirlhntr on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 07:17:43 PM EST

Yeah.

Look. So they took this algorithm, converted it into a number, and correlated it to genetics. Even if that was 100%, SO FUCKING WHAT?

Who says IQ means anything? Yeah, exactly. No one knows. If no one knows, then no amount of mathematical masturbation can get you laid.

Fact of the matter is, you can come up with these correlations with anything. You can correlate past sock prices to the amount of rain in Thailand. But like that tells you anything.

Without showing that IQ means anything, this is a worthless stupid fucking thing and its an embarassment that some dumb fucks in their moms basement got this into the front page cause they think they found the holy grail or something.

#1 lesson of science and math: what you can't measure, doesn't exist. Until you show you can measure intelligence, then, well, saying intelligence means anything just makes you a grade A asshole.

I guess muscular strength, (1.50 / 4) (#297)
by Sesquipundalian on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 11:32:32 AM EST

drug use, weight, stamina, drunkenness, and metabolic efficiency all don't exits either, eh? These are all things that we measure based on test performance.

Psychologists have created tests that yeild consistent results across a very wide range of people. Where do you get off your high horse saying that what they are measuring doesn't exist. I would think that after all the work they did creating those tests, the onus to prove your point in on you, not them.


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
tests are not measurement (1.75 / 4) (#312)
by squirlhntr on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 01:44:33 PM EST

ok, so you can point to someone and say: ah, they are 75.49% more intelligent then another person?

no, you can't. that's the whole point. just because they have numbers doesn't mean they've measured _anything_ because their results are not reproducible across all of humanity!

psychology is not a science. and IQ test does not measure intelligence. hell, they don't even know what intelligence IS.

http://www.arachnoid.com/psychology/

and another thing: effort put into tests doesn't mean anything. so they worked hard? since when the hell does that to do with anything? it doesn't make them more right just cause they put alot work into their oh so special "tests".

the onus is on them. measure intelligence, then use that to predict behavior with 99.9% accuracy across every human on earth. until that is done, you haven't measured jack shit.

[ Parent ]

hey tom (1.00 / 4) (#346)
by Linux or FreeBSD on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 02:21:22 AM EST

i thought you were great in war of the worlds. just so you know.

[ Parent ]
thanks (1.00 / 4) (#357)
by squirlhntr on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 08:22:53 AM EST

! i got laid 300000 times last night by Katie. god i love her so much!

[ Parent ]
By definition, they are (2.00 / 4) (#353)
by curien on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 06:50:43 AM EST

just because they have numbers doesn't mean they've measured anything

Um... yes, it does. That's the definition of measurement. It's a process that produces a numerical result. One property of a good measuring device is that it will produce consistent results when measuring the same thing repeatedly.

because their results are not reproducible across all of humanity!

Good measuring devices are not necessarily universal. The ruler is an excellent device for measuring length, but cannot be used to find the length of the curcumference of a circle.

IQ test does not measure intelligence.

Well, they measure something. Maybe they don't measure something useful; but to say they don't measure anything at all is ridiculous (as in, you should be ridiculed if you continue to say so).


--
We are not the same. I'm an American, and you're a sick asshole.
[ Parent ]

measurement (1.33 / 3) (#356)
by squirlhntr on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 08:22:01 AM EST

no no no. a measurement is one that is consistent. if the measurement of the same thing repeatedly gives inconsistent results, it's not measurement. its just us waving our hands and talking in numbers.

the question is: is intelligence testing reproducable and acurate across all humanity? so acurate that you can predict the future of those humans with it? no, it's not. what does an IQ test tell you about the future? nothing. it's not scientific. which is the whole point because its a leap of faith to go from the genetic sampling of DNA to some psychobabble and assume your results still hold.

also 2d space -> 3d space is not a good analogy because 3d space is strictly larger, so naturally 2d space can't measure 3d. it's like saying the natural numbers are bigger than the reals, or that a regular expression is as good as a turing machine. they're not comparable.


[ Parent ]

It doesn't matter (1.50 / 4) (#359)
by curien on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 08:51:13 AM EST

the question is: is intelligence testing reproducable and acurate across all humanity?

No, it's not. That question is interesting, but is completely orthogonal to the discussion at hand.

also 2d space -> 3d space is not a good analogy

I agree completely. It's a good thing I didn't say anything about either 2d or 3d space.

--
We are not the same. I'm an American, and you're a sick asshole.
[ Parent ]

What the fuck is this feeble bullshit you (none / 1) (#409)
by balsamic vinigga on Thu Aug 04, 2005 at 01:00:50 PM EST

have been spitting squirlhntr??????

First of all, of course the same IQ test doesn't work accross all humanity.  Language and cultural skills are required to take them.  That doesn't mean that an IQ test designed for a particular group of people isn't noteworthy!

And IQ tests ARE consistent and they DO predict the future.  The predict how well you would do on another IQ test should you take it.

IQ tests measure your ability to do well on IQ tests.  And that measurement is consistent for the cultural group of people the test is designed for.

Being that IQ tests are fashioned after everyday issues that even the laymen would say are "intellectual excersizes" it would seem that some measure of intelligence is taking place no matter how feeble.

Retarded people, or people who can't seem to function well due to intellectual shortcomings don't suddenly bust out good scores - it just doesn't happen.  A person who seems to do well in his life mentally doesn't suddenly score poorly (provided s/he gave the test a decent effort).

IQ tests do measure something.. there's no denying that.  So why do it?  Do you score poorly on them, and feel that you must devalue them to promote the dellusion that you're more intelligent than you are?  That wouldn't surprise me based on your line of reasoning and your tendency to think of circles as 3D.

---
Please help fund a Filipino Horror Movie. It's been in limbo since 2007 due to lack of funding. Please donate today!
[ Parent ]

Nice troll (2.20 / 10) (#262)
by stuaart on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 07:59:45 PM EST

Seriously. The formula on display here is thus:

Race + Jews + Science + Intelligence =

  1. Accusations of racism;
  2. Questioning the relevance of IQ;
  3. Talk about African Americans;
  4. ...
 ) ...
n) Endless, pointless, inconclusive debate.

I say again, nice troll. Let's face it. The fact is that IQ tests are horrendously poor measures, however there are seemingly many famous, clever, Jews about. Lots of Ashkenazi Jews with big heads and important jobs.

Like I said to Baldrson once, though, this is a myth, made up, perpetuated and rejuvenated by various conflicting stakeholders:

  1. Anti-Semites;
  2. Jews Who Don't Know Better;
  3. People who believe the claims of either of the above.
There are more, but you get the idea.

Let's end once and for all this incredibly dull debate, one which concentrates upon the unnecessary, largely meaningless claims about Jews. Let's move onto the point the author here makes about the question of `natural' selection impacting intelligence.

If we are to believe this `research,' then ironically perhaps we should start to persecute the Jews again, eh? What an obvious conclusion.

Linkwhore: [Hidden stories.] Baldrtainment: Corporate concubines and Baldrson: An Introspective


Baldrson! (1.60 / 5) (#279)
by wji on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 05:12:40 AM EST

Long time no see!

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
Interesting (1.80 / 5) (#294)
by johnpatrick on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 10:27:56 AM EST

i can not be more agree
Just feel the musik.-
Race != Genetics (2.44 / 9) (#296)
by mengel on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 11:02:14 AM EST

The poll seems to confuse two very separate issues:
  1. Does genetics influence intelligence?
  2. Does "Race" (as commonly understood) reflect genetics?
Personally I think the former is certainly correct, and the latter is horribly confused.

Most perceptions of race currently in effect in the world are based largely on skin/hair color, to the exclusion of all else. One could as easily use attached/detached earlobes, the ability to curl the tongue into a tube, or other easily identifiable genetic traits which clearly span groups of differing skin color...

And of course, genetics only gives you a higher possibility of something; you may have the genes to be 2 meters tall, but without enough calcium in your diet, you won't get there. You might have the genes to be able to develop mentally to do well on the SAT's, but without suitable mental stimulation and learning, you won't get there either...

So in summary, I do think genetics has a lot to do with the potential for intelligence; but I disagree that that has anything to do with what most people call "race". (OTOH, "species" seems to do pretty well, I don't expect many gorillas or chimpanzees entering Havard any time soon.)

you're too smart for this thread (1.33 / 6) (#313)
by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 01:46:20 PM EST

prepare for endless morons who don't get the fucking obvious


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
He's made the same points (1.50 / 2) (#327)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 04:51:33 PM EST

that have been made many times in this thread.

You must be tired from a long day of trolling.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

interesting though (1.00 / 3) (#331)
by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 05:04:20 PM EST

how from the same points some people can still deduce the most retarded tired racist lines of thinking

Does genetics influence intelligence?
Does "Race" (as commonly understood) reflect genetics?
Personally I think the former is certainly correct, and the latter is horribly confused.

dead on

and so you can consider most of the morons in this thread to be "horribly confused"

or, in my opinion, just fucking STUPID

considering what history has taught this world in the last couple of generations about racist lines of thinking, you would think that more people would understand the pitfalls about where some of their thinking is going

but no

the morons just walk right on down that stupid line of thinking

pathetic and ignorant


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Don't project your own failings (1.33 / 3) (#354)
by curien on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 06:54:37 AM EST

Just because you equate race with skin color doesn't mean the rest of us do.

--
We are not the same. I'm an American, and you're a sick asshole.
[ Parent ]
explain that bullshit LOL ;-P (nt) (none / 1) (#450)
by circletimessquare on Wed Aug 10, 2005 at 04:02:02 AM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
It is important to recognize that (1.00 / 2) (#326)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 04:50:19 PM EST

the original study does not use "race" as a generic term, it has identified a genetically/culturally distinct group within a larger group and identified potentially genetically-linked characteristics of that group.

While this is close to the common ideas about race it is hardly the same thing and doesn't have the same implications.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

Genetic Intelligence Booster Pill Unlikely (2.00 / 3) (#319)
by drclausen on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 04:15:03 PM EST

It is unlikely that genetic intelligence will be boosted in pill form. Most intelligence that is coded in the genes turns up in the developement of the brain early on in life. There are specific genetic sequences that code for protiens that influence the way our brains form. Variations in these genes cause variations in the way brains form and can result in variations in intelligence. Often, however, protiens that are used in brain developement are also employed in other parts of the body and so variations that cause increased intelligence can have the unintended side efffects that result in the diseases mentioned in the article. The problem with the idea of using a pill to change the genes that "code for intelligence" is that they have already done most of their work by the time a person could use a pill. There is a growing market of cognitive enhancers that increase abilities to concentrate (caffine, adderal, etc) but these do not change the structure of the brain, only how it can perform. It is more likely that genetically modifing intelligence will happen immediately after conception by altering the genes of the newly fertalized egg. While this is a promising area of reasearch, it is likely that we will run into the same problem nature did when selecting for intelligence. The protiens coded for in the genome of a human are used in so many places that it is unlikely that we will be able to snip a few genes here and add a few there and only modify intelligence, there will be other side effects as well.

Of course there are racial differences. (1.20 / 5) (#360)
by Anonymous Hiro on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 09:08:33 AM EST

Whilst the difference in humans aren't as marked as breed differences in dogs, there are differences (some dog breeds tend to have smarter individuals than others).

Also, even if the average representatives of the various races/breeds are about the same in intelligence, the percentage of exceptional representatives may be different. One breed/race could have more exceptionals on both ends (stupid and smart) keeping the average about the same - the "bell curve" is wider for one than the other.

Given that, don't forget it's not usually the average individual who makes the difference in many many areas - science, art etc. It's often the exceptional ones that do - whether in intelligence, creativity or other attribute.

I think this may also be true for the differences between the sexes. There appears to be fewer exceptional females than males. Would be happy to be proven wrong. Maybe the exceptional females are busy doing exceptional stuff that doesn't appear in history, news or whatever?

Nice bait... (none / 1) (#370)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 09:55:07 AM EST

I think this may also be true for the differences between the sexes. There appears to be fewer exceptional females than males.

While it may be true that there are relatively few women among the ranks of nobel prize winning physicists, if you think there are few exceptional women overall then you haven't been paying attention.

Condolezza Rice and Hillary Clinton both jump immediately to mind; in other fields the Williams sisters, half a dozen entertainment stars (is there a male equivalent to Madonna? You may not like her music or her morals but her business sense is almost without peer), J. K. Rowling comes to mind for literature... the list goes on.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

Huh? (1.00 / 2) (#406)
by Anonymous Hiro on Thu Aug 04, 2005 at 11:12:07 AM EST

You're the one not paying attention. I said fewer exceptional females compared to men.

Anyway, the number one woman tennis player won't be able to beat the top 100 male tennis player[1]. Same goes for most sports. The top women golfers have difficulty even qualifying in the men's league (ten pin bowling appears to be one of the exceptions - seems the top women bowlers can and do regularly beat men).

Similarly for chess. However the top Go player is probably a chinese woman (who's not being allowed to play against men in Japan. They probably know they'd lose...).

Lastly, Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton are to be paragon examples of exceptional females? You sure? I was expecting a bit more.

[1] Venus Williams highest rank in year 2000 was number 1. Her training partner, Jovan Savic's highest singles ATP rank was 754 in year 2000.


[ Parent ]

Apples and oranges (none / 1) (#475)
by bobdole on Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 10:46:02 PM EST

While I am following your argument, comparing female and male athletes is really pointless as most sports comes down to physical strength.

Somewhere where men are proven (and measurably) stronger/faster.

The "sports" you mention where women do favourably, are typical sports where fine motor skills and/or brains are more important than physical features.

You tennis "evidence" is somewhat circumstancial, to the best of my knowledge Jovan Savic has never been a professional tennisplayer and his ranking is more of a formality than a measure of any tennisabilities. From a sporting view, a training partner doesn't necesessarily have to be an equal when it comes to the sport. If so, it doesn't make sense that the top athletes in pretty much any sport usually come from different parts of the world and are rarely trainingpartners.
-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]

Several Problems (1.87 / 8) (#379)
by czolgosz on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 01:09:12 PM EST

1. IQ testing is a very reproducible measure of acculturation to a modern Western society. The article assumes that it measures something (intelligence), and that this measure is invariant over hundreds of years.

2. Assume that there is such a thing as IQ and it's inherited. The speculation that there is a causal relationship between inherited genetic disorders and the higher IQ of Ashkenazim would still be unfounded unless some causal mechanism could be proved. If Ashkenazy Jews are more intelligent, it is no more likely that being a heterozygous recessive for some lethal genetic disorder is the cause than to explain the lower IQ scores of African-Americans by claiming that the gene for melanin makes them stupid. There's likely to be something more complex going on there, and the wide disparity of environmental factors might matter a lot more.

3. Higher frequency of genetic disorders is not necessarily evidence of selective pressure for the genes for those disorders. It can equally well be nothing but evidence of the reduced genetic diversity of a population, and the heterozygous recessives are selectively neutral. Many populations that have been through a population bottleneck exhibit high rates of certain genetic anomalies.

4. This is a quibble: it was amusing to see Bobby Fischer cited as one of those "clever Ashkenazim" since only one of his parents is Jewish. To compound the irony, he's also a ranting antisemitic conspiracy theorist.

5. There is little or no meaning to the term "ethnic group" other than "an arbitrarily-chosen group of individuals with some vague historic or geographic connection." For example, "African-American" is a label applied in the US to people who have some ancestors from any of dozens of different societies who originated in Africa. This completely undermines any attempt to posit simplistic genetic explanations for differences in populations.

6. I'd like to see some meaningful statistics that infer rates of out-marriage (more correctly, reproduction outside the group) for different "ethnic groups" based on the genetic variability of the groups (keeping in mind the proviso that using that term reifies what is really an arbitrary category).

7. Part of the reason (6) matters is that, even if all the other methodological problems are explained away, other causal mechanisms might have a similar result. It may well be that vulnerable populations whose women were raped by Cossacks do better in IQ tests than others, for some obscure reason such as hybrid vigor or the fact that Cossack officers were on the whole smarter and got first choice of which women to assault. This is a brutal example, but the point is that, even if the phenomenon exists, there is no reason that the most obvious explanation for it is the correct one.


Why should I let the toad work squat on my life? --Larkin
Point by point (1.33 / 3) (#384)
by Thrasymachus on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 02:06:50 PM EST

1. We know that intelligence has existed through the centuries and that higher intelligence is helpful on all sorts of tasks. There is good reason to believe that IQ is a good measure of intelligence today.

2. If you're interested, check out the biology section of the linked paper. I barely touched on it. Mechanisms are identified.

3. Bottlenecks and genetic drift are explanations for over-common genetic diseases, yes. If you'll check out the linked paper, you'll find their problems as explanations here.

4. Both of Fischer's parents, according to FBI documents anyway, are Jewish. (His mother was cheating on her husband with some physicist or other.) He is one crazy bastard, yes.

5. There is more meaning to the word ethnic group than has been fashionable to claim lately. Labs can now find out the race of a criminal suspect by sequencing DNA. (They caught some serial rapist/murderer in Alabama like that last year.) Check out the map on the cover of Cavalli-Sforza's book to see how the genes clump. Also check out the chart in the linked paper to see genetic distances between the Ashkenazi and other populations.

6. The linked paper cites references claiming that gene flow from neighboring populations averaged 0.5% per generation. I know that the estimates of Ashkenazi intermarriage are buttressed by historical records: family registry type stuff that records births and marriages.

7. If you can posit a causal result that explains Ashkenazi IQ today, feel free to. The one you already mentioned contradicted 6. above. And it probably wouldn't have been large enough anyway.

[ Parent ]
you're full of shit (1.33 / 3) (#393)
by squirlhntr on Thu Aug 04, 2005 at 12:13:45 AM EST

1. we do? how? and how helpful is it? cause i know lots of "smart" people do stupid shit all the time. and i can't even list the number of genius mathematicians who killed themselves before bearing offspring, or who didn't have any known family to help bear their offspring. and why IQ is a good test? and how good a test? god.... i bet you can't answer any of those. it's clear where your assumptions lie.

2. copout.

3. i can't even tell what your ungramatical sentence means.

4. no comment. he was being humorous.

5. ... do you have anything other than your lame ass paper? like hundreds of references? and, do you have something published in, like, Nature? I mean, there is a reason this trash was published in Biosocial or whatever journal is was---it's because the paper was largly intellectual masturbation. if it was decent, it woulda gotten a pargraph or too in Nature. but it didn't. again, your use of the word "fashionable" reveals your bias. you must think you're some sort of counter-establishment hero or something. and as far as ethnic dna, please provide references. cause last i checked dna was too close to tell the  difference. the case you're referring to probably had another DNA to check against that had oher tests then just "is this a nigger?" REFERENCES!

6. what gene flow? and which genes? and then what happened to the new genes when they entered the population? gah. too many unknowns, don't you realize?!?

7. first, you have to show IQ means anything. tha is, show it predicts the future actions of all people with, say 90 or 99% accuracy. let me know when you're done. and as far as "not large enough anyway", you CAN'T TELL because of 6 above. this isn't a one-dimensional number. 0.5% introduction is just the start.... you then have to figure out the trillion things that happened to that 0.5%, year after year, compounded for centuries.

in sum:

a) IQ ain't science, moron. no one even knows if it measures accuratley or even what it measures. quantum mechanics is barely science as it is, and you pretend something as variable as IQ is just as good? give me something with ten digit accuracy, then we'll talk.

b) you're compressing ten trillion unknowns into one linear number, waving your hands, and calling it intelligence. god help us you ever have any decision making power in anyones life but your own.

p.s. grow up and learn some mathematics. it will help you greatly with these massive logical assumptions you keep making over and over while you pat yourself on the back.

[ Parent ]

setting a ridiculous standard of evidence (none / 1) (#435)
by birch barlow on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 12:28:46 PM EST

"5. ... do you have anything other than your lame ass paper? like hundreds of references? and, do you have something published in, like, Nature? I mean, there is a reason this trash was published in Biosocial or whatever journal is was---it's because the paper was largly intellectual masturbation. if it was decent, it woulda gotten a pargraph or too in Nature. but it didn't. again, your use of the word "fashionable" reveals your bias. you must think you're some sort of counter-establishment hero or something. and as far as ethnic dna, please provide references. cause last i checked dna was too close to tell the difference. the case you're referring to probably had another DNA to check against that had oher tests then just "is this a nigger?" REFERENCES!
[...]
first, you have to show IQ means anything. tha is, show it predicts the future actions of all people with, say 90 or 99% accuracy. let me know when you're done."

Racial groups, and even smaller "ethnic" groups like Russian or Chinese, are clearly distinguishable when enough DNA segments are used. Yes, it is true that a significant portion of human geographic variance is continuous (as say between Northwestern Europe and South Asia), but that certainly doesn't mean there aren't real differences between an Englishman and a Pakistani, or even an Englishman and a Russian. And there are areas of discontiuous (or at least very rapid) genetic differentiation, such as the Sahara Desert, the Himilayas, and the oceans dividing the Americas from the rest of the world.

Regarding IQ, it is true that an IQ test is not a perfect measure of intelligence, but it does correlate strongly with academic ability and workplace performance (especially in intellectually challanging jobs). Hell, IQ even has some predictive power in job performance in menial jobs, though as one would expect, it is much weaker than the predictive power IQ has in say, electirical engineering or physics.

In sum, your arguments regarding IQ, and regarding race, are simply lame. Much like creationists and the tobacco compaines when they were saying "nicotine is not addictive" in court, your only way of debating is setting an impossibly high standard of evidence so that it is virtually impossible to refute your side.

[ Parent ]
I thought Bobby Fischer (1.66 / 3) (#389)
by stuaart on Wed Aug 03, 2005 at 08:07:03 PM EST

was all part of the troll...

Linkwhore: [Hidden stories.] Baldrtainment: Corporate concubines and Baldrson: An Introspective


[ Parent ]
Yes. You've figured it out. (none / 0) (#413)
by your_desired_username on Thu Aug 04, 2005 at 03:13:51 PM EST

In fact, Bobby Fischer is one of God's favorite trolls. Every time more controversy about Bobby Fischer pops up, God's evil little heart grows warm.

[ Parent ]
obligatory mindless unabomber quote (1.80 / 5) (#407)
by ColloSus on Thu Aug 04, 2005 at 11:44:08 AM EST

From the Unabomber Manifesto:

18. Modern leftist philosophers tend to dismiss reason, science, objective reality and to insist that everything is culturally relative. It is true that one can ask serious questions about the foundations of scientific knowledge and about how, if at all, the concept of objective reality can be defined. But it is obvious that modern leftist philosophers are not simply cool-headed logicians systematically analyzing the foundations of knowledge. They are deeply involved emotionally in their attack on truth and reality. They attack these concepts because of their own psychological needs. For one thing, their attack is an outlet for hostility, and, to the extent that it is successful, it satisfies the drive for power. More importantly, the leftist hates science and rationality because they classify certain beliefs as true (i.e., successful, superior) and other beliefs as false (i.e. failed, inferior). The leftist's feelings of inferiority run so deep that he cannot tolerate any classification of some things as successful or superior and other things as failed or inferior. This also underlies the rejection by many leftists of the concept of mental illness and of the utility of IQ tests. Leftists are antagonistic to genetic explanations of human abilities or behavior because such explanations tend to make some persons appear superior or inferior to others. Leftists prefer to give society the credit or blame for an individual's ability or lack of it. Thus if a person is "inferior" it is not his fault, but society's, because he has not been brought up properly.



Cheers!
"Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey-cage." Mencken
[ Parent ]
Natural Selection? No way! (1.50 / 2) (#404)
by docjonez on Thu Aug 04, 2005 at 07:41:46 AM EST

The man says it was intelligent design.

So what this distills down to is... (3.00 / 4) (#415)
by Back Spaced on Thu Aug 04, 2005 at 04:52:52 PM EST

What the poster seems to be saying is this:
1) Ashkinazi Jews (AJs) are more intelligent, statistically, than non-AJs as evidenced by: a) Winning Nobel Prizes b) IQ tests c) an increased incidence of alleles that promote intelligence 2) Intelligence has a genetic component 3) The genetic component accounts for differences in intelligence between AJs and non-AJs 4) This is because of genetic selection that occurred during the middle ages in Europe.

I take clear issue with 1)a) in that intelligence is not the best correlator with winning a Nobel prize. Being selected by the Nobel comittee is. There are large access barriers to winning a Nobel prize that have nothing to do with intelligence. A girl born to farmers in Zambia, for example, has no realistic chance of winning a Nobel prize, in spite of what her intelligence may be. A backround of being born in a country that subsidizes scientific research is essential, as is being born into a culture within than nation that values scientific work. Just like the children of doctors are more likely to be doctors, the children of scientists are more likely to be scientists. It helps to have money as well, since being sent to a nice university where cutting edge research is being done by top faculty gives one an obvious boost.

So, if you're going to win a Nobel prize, it helps to live in a first world country, come from a family that values science and education and had a little money.

Well, guess where the Jews in the US came from? They were disproportionately the upper intellectual and financial class Jews of Europe that came here fleeing persecution at home (Einstein, anyone?). The Jews that were tailors and shoemakers were largely kept out my anti-semitic immigration laws, and a great many died in the 1940s.

So, Jews in the US came from a background that is disproportionately moneyed an intellectual, both cultural factors that would have a profound effect on winning Nobel prizes. It's quite a confounder, but this class-selecting effect of immigration laws is completely ignored in your assertion, as are any factors that might influence winning a Nobel prize other than intelligence.

In short, Nobel prizes are a bad example.

Insofar as 1)b) is concerned, the IQ test was developed initially as a means of identifying children with educational difficulties that might need special attention. In terms of measuring superior performance, the test is much more controversial, and the IQ tests most commonly administered in public schools as part of mass screenings are meant to locate underperformers for remedial education, not overperformers, and are not best utilized as such.

1)c) I am not aware of any functionally significant contribution to intellgence by the disease alleles you mention. I was not able to located papers on pubmed discussing such correlations using the mesh terms for each of the diseases and their alleles cross-matched with intelligence. All 16 papers produced focused on the intelligence limitations of homozygotes. The paper by Gryfe, et al. discusses the possible need for screening for APC genes in AJs, not the relation of those genes to intelligence. Looking for the reference to Peretz, et al., I found one that had a Peretz H. in the authors list with the following conclusions in the abstract:
These findings suggest that the Gaucher, connexin 26, and familial Mediterranean fever mutations are over 2000 yr old, that the cystic fibrosis 3849 + 10kb C->T and factor XI type III mutations had a common origin in Ashkenazi and Roman Jews, and that other mutations prevalent among Ashkenazi Jews are of more recent origin.
It therefore becomes harder to conclude, as your paper later does, that at least these genes arose as intelligence adaptations during the middle ages, although some must have arisen during that time.
The Peretz paper you site concerning Factor XI deficiency does not mention a role in intelligence, the title of the paper being "The two common mutations causing factor XI deficiency in Jews stem from distinct founders: one of ancient Middle Eastern origin and another of more recent European origin."
If you have an argument for point 3), then, you have only a circumstantial one and cannot point to specific intelligence alleles, or rule out a cultural basis, at least not with the information that you provide here.
Point 4) is controversial, as a few hundred years is too small a time period for evolutionary pressure to change a human population as large as the AJs, and you dismiss the founder effect rather carelessly.

Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder. He's pre-med.

Not worth it. (none / 1) (#416)
by Thrasymachus on Thu Aug 04, 2005 at 05:16:36 PM EST

I wrote no paper. I wrote a summary aimed at a popular audience of the paper which is linked in the first line of my article. Each of your points are answered in the original paper. If, after having read that, you have some points to make, we can argue those. Right now, having read through your response, I have to say that none of your points are worth my time.

[ Parent ]
You're right. (3.00 / 2) (#418)
by Back Spaced on Thu Aug 04, 2005 at 09:55:18 PM EST

The entire article wasn't worth your time. I hope.

Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder. He's pre-med.
[ Parent ]

Go! Read! [nt] (none / 1) (#419)
by Thrasymachus on Thu Aug 04, 2005 at 10:26:45 PM EST



[ Parent ]
not my take (2.66 / 3) (#448)
by khallow on Mon Aug 08, 2005 at 10:04:15 PM EST

Well, guess where the Jews in the US came from? They were disproportionately the upper intellectual and financial class Jews of Europe that came here fleeing persecution at home (Einstein, anyone?). The Jews that were tailors and shoemakers were largely kept out my anti-semitic immigration laws, and a great many died in the 1940s.

My understanding is that there were a large number of Jews prior to the exodus of the 30's from eastern Europe. These tended to be considerably poorer, yet they also seem to have done well.

Insofar as 1)b) is concerned, the IQ test was developed initially as a means of identifying children with educational difficulties that might need special attention. In terms of measuring superior performance, the test is much more controversial, and the IQ tests most commonly administered in public schools as part of mass screenings are meant to locate underperformers for remedial education, not overperformers, and are not best utilized as such.

Perhaps you ought to read the paper? I'm not going to defend their choice of IQ tests. But a reasonable hypothesis is that if they are right, then you should see the effect with other IQ tests.

1)c) I am not aware of any functionally significant contribution to intellgence by the disease alleles you mention.

Now you are. More seriously, I believe there's unusual concentration of allele mutations effecting the brain and neuron activity in the Ashkenazi. But that's just opinion on my part.

Point 4) is controversial, as a few hundred years is too small a time period for evolutionary pressure to change a human population as large as the AJs, and you dismiss the founder effect rather carelessly.

This is incorrect since you segregate the founder effect from human evolution. A current theory is that most evolution occurs through bottlenecks, winnowing of the genetic pool in some way. A small population which detaches itself and forms an isolated breeding group is a classic example of an evolutionary bottleneck and fits the circumstances of the European Jews nicely.

Further, the claim that human evolution can't happen on the time scale of a "few centuries" doesn't seem well founded. After all, most of the advances in breeding of livestock, crops, and pets has occured in the past few centuries. The problem is that we don't know many human groups that have experienced unusual *consistent* selection. The Ashkenazi seem to be one of the few that do.

But here's a couple of examples that may be relevant. First, high altitude is a selective environmental condition. A person who performs well at high altitudes will live better than one who barely gets by. I believe there are examples of South American ethnic groups who have made adaptions to living at high altitudes - namely larger noses and lungs, and higher red blood cell count.

Since humanity settled the Americas in the period 20,000 BC to 10,000 BC, then we have significant adaption in a span of around 160 centuries or around 600-800 human generations. Still a far cry from the period of 1000 or more years (and 40-50 generations) that the Ashkenazi were supposed to have.

Disease can be a strong selection agent since diseases for which virtually no one has resistance can be quite lethal. Further we have diseases that get introduced to the global population on the time scale of a few millenia including bubonic plague, smallpox, cholera, typhus, scarlet fever, and influenza.

These rapidly cause populations to evolve resistance. Conversely, the disease evolves to a less virulent form. But given the explosion of disease in the Americas when Europeans came over, it seems clear to me that many diseases rapidly becomes virulent again yet didn't strongly effect the Europeans who originally spread them around. Ie, this indicates that certain populations had evolved resistance to disease and probably over a relatively short time.

The point here is that the Ashkenazi may have through their particularly unusual circumstances and culture may have evolved under a strong selection pressure for intelligence.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

So answer me this... (2.50 / 2) (#437)
by nrsingadeva on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 06:12:31 AM EST

If intelligence isn't primarily determined by genetic factors, how can natural selection ever have selected 'for' intelligence?

Selection can only act on genes, ergo intelligence must have a genetic basis?

junk science (2.75 / 4) (#455)
by jcarnelian on Wed Aug 10, 2005 at 10:51:03 AM EST

"If testing bears out the prediction that being a carrier boosts IQ, it means that individual genes and mechanisms that raise intelligence have been discovered and identified."

Intelligence clearly has a hereditary component. But this particular paper has lots of problems.  Two major ones are the following.

First, just because a particular mutation is associated with increased academic achievement does not mean that it has a beneficial effect on the brain.  Academic achievement and intelligence are measures that arise out of a complex interaction of genetics and environment.  A mutation that lowers athletic ability slightly without affecting the brain at all might, for example, result in increased academic achievement for children in the US.

Second, talking about this in terms of ethnicity is unfounded.  While the gene may be associated with a particular ethnicity, there is no indication that the effects are in any way related to ethnicity.  That is, the same mutation in a Japanese, Eskimo, or Bantu would likely have the same effect.  The statistical association between this mutation and the Ashkenazi ethnic group is a historical accident (unlike, say, the association between being Germanic and having a higher risk of skin cancer).  And for the author to focus on ethnicity rather than specific family histories puts his research, his motives, and his understanding of genetics in question.

I've been saying this for years (2.50 / 2) (#460)
by alevin on Wed Aug 10, 2005 at 02:16:11 PM EST

Only thing is my stupidity and mental disorder(s) constitute a thick layer of dysfunctionality obscuring my transcendental intelligence allowing it to surface only on rare occasions.
--
alevin
The Genetic Origin of Ashkenazi Genius | 475 comments (440 topical, 35 editorial, 51 hidden)
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