Racists love to cooperate: Sam Harris and Charles Murray


No. I just couldn’t do it. Sam Harris interviews Charles Murray in his podcast (but of course it is a friendly, chummy interview, because two white guys are not going to criticize each other when it comes to talking about the inferiority of other races), but I was unable to listen to it. I tried. I got a few minutes in, but listening to that calm, soothing, rational monotone setting up a conversation in which the capabilities of the majority of the human race were going to be dismissed with cold, clinical detachment was just too infuriating. I just shut that fucker down.

And waited.

I knew someone would have the ability to listen to it all and distill it down to the key points, so I wouldn’t have to suffer through the insufferable for two and a quarter hours. Thank you, Angry White Men blog, for taking the bullet for the rest of us.

I did have a pretty good idea of what was to come, just from the title of the podcast: Forbidden Knowledge: A Conversation with Charles Murray. There was the assumption right there that what the ol’ bigot was dispensing was “knowledge”, rather than racist junk science. And, as usual, they’re going to set themselves up as martyrs, holding “knowledge” they’re “forbidden” to share, despite the fact that these scum have elected a president, have police forces that functionally act to enforce discriminatory oppression, that the internet is crawling with slimy advocates for their ideas, and that this crap is routinely published. Murray’s The Bell Curve was actually published and promoted by major media sources like the New York Times, you know, and it’s not as if Nicholas Wade was unable to get his trash fire of a book published recently. It’s not as if you have to obtain this stuff as bootleg samizdat, in the form of smeared photocopies distributed by a clandestine network of shadowy men in trenchcoats.

AWM recommends you read Lane’s article on the tainted sources of The Bell Curve — it’s poisonous garbage through and through. It’s bad science, something Harris should have brought up. He doesn’t. Instead, he just assumes that all of his biases are true, and that, once again, he and Chuck are the brave souls who are willing to accept the Forbidden Knowledge you peons are too cowardly to believe.

People don’t wanna hear that intelligence is a real thing, and that some people have more of it than others. They don’t wanna hear that IQ tests really measure it. They don’t wanna hear that differences in IQ matter, because they’re highly predictive of differential success in life. And not just for things like educational attainment and wealth, but for things like out-of-wedlock birth and mortality.

People don’t wanna hear that a person’s intelligence is in large measure due to his or her genes, and there seems to be very little we can do environmentally to increase a person’s intelligence — even in childhood. It’s not that the environment doesn’t matter, but genes appear to be 50 to 80 percent of the story. People don’t want to hear this. And they certainly don’t want to hear that average IQ differs across races and ethnic groups.

That was a revealing phrase: there seems to be very little we can do environmentally to increase a person’s intelligence — even in childhood, Sam. Sam. Sam, I want to introduce you to a word that seems to be unfamiliar to you. It’s kind of amazing that a neuroscientist hasn’t run across it before.

That word is education.

Boom. Mic drop. Done.

Now of course Harris does actually know that common English word, but what it reveals is that he has a different understanding of intelligence than most of us do. He want’s to believe that children are born with different capacities for learning, that education is something that just fills that capacity with knowledge. This is, obviously, not true — any educator should be able to tell you that brains grow in ability with use, and that the key to expanding its ability is practice.

He and his ilk like to use the phrase “blank slaters” to address a favorite straw man, the idea that we are born with no inherent patterns of behavior at all (which no one holds, unfortunately for their rhetoric), while they are confident that we’re born with a certain degree of hard wiring for the abilities of the brain.

I have a different phrase for them. They hold to an “empty bucket” theory of human intelligence. They discount education because, you see, it’s a different propery. People are born with an empty bucket for knowledge, which varies in capacity by race and ethnicity and sex, limited in its volume by genetic factors. IQ is a magically objective number for the size of your bucket, fixed by your history and ancestry, while education and knowledge are more variable products of your environment.

What Sam and Chuck want to argue (no, sorry, there was no argument between them) is that black people are born with a 9 gallon bucket, while white people are born with 10 gallon buckets. They have no evidence for this. They only have the assumption that IQ is a measure of maximum potential, and that the statistical average of a deeply flawed metric that doesn’t measure what they think it does is sufficient to allow them to condescend to the poor, intellectually-constrained brains trapped in black bodies.

What makes it even more appalling is that these are two conventional, conservative white men slapping each other on the back while telling each other how superior they are. You would think Harris would have learned by now that the perception that he is racist, which he decries, is only fanned to a white-hot heat when he engages in this kind of self-congratulatory behavior.

He doesn’t. He can’t. I guess his social awareness bucket is very, very tiny.

AWM concludes with a comment about Murray’s flaws that should have been brought up in a competent interview.

And all of these points — unwillingness to engage with critics, connections to white supremacists, consequences for poor and non-white Americans — would have been worth bringing up in Harris’ conversation with Murray. As an interviewer, he should have done more than toss softballs and whitewash Murray’s record. As a skeptic, he should have been more willing to examine Murray’s beliefs. His unwillingness to do so will only bolster racist pseudoscience and toss more red meat to Murray’s white nationalist fans.

Oddly, though, those criticisms of Murray — “unwillingness to engage with critics, connections to white supremacists, consequences for poor and non-white Americans” — also apply perfectly to Sam Harris, so I’m not at all surprised that he wouldn’t bring them up. I knew that about him well ahead of time.

And that’s why I wasn’t going to listen to him.

Comments

  1. Siobhan says

    “The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout ‘Save us!’… and I’ll look down and whisper ‘Conteeeeeext'”

    (sorry)

  2. kayden says

    Scientific racism as espoused by Charles Murray and now Sam Harris is just a way of White people saying that all the cruelty, oppression and discrimination they’ve reigned down on non-Whites is perfectly justifiable because those Blacks and Browns are just pathetic and will never amount to anything anyways. So why not kill them for their resources and land? Why not make laws to disadvantage them in terms of jobs, housing and education? Why not disenfranchise them and keep them in poverty? They’re not White. They’re not smart. They’re worthless.

    Good to know that Harris is now open with his racism. We can treat him accordingly.

  3. says

    Education and upbringing (which are both influenced by one’s parents money) – I wonder how Sam was raised. I know nothing about him as a person but he acts like a child who was raised by a parent that told him he was the smartest boy..

  4. says

    Does being an asshole fall on a bell curve too? It has to have a genetic component because I’ve observed that assholes frequently have asshole kids. No, don’t stop me, I’m sciencing!!

  5. JP says

    I found this a few days ago and shared it in the comments section at SBM in the context of a lengthy discussion with “Open Minded Skeptic” about Muslim immigration. He just kept posting brain-dead YouTube videos and Sam Harris clips over and over.

    Apparently he thinks that we need to limit the amount of certain (read Muslim) immigrants and give them time to “cool off” so they don’t OVERRUN US LIKE THEY ARE DOING IN EUROPE!!

    Yeah, those hot-blooded Arabs, amirite?

    But no, he’s NOT racist, of course.

  6. says

    there seems to be very little we can do environmentally to increase a person’s intelligence — even in childhood

    Ya I don’t think the science is very settled yet. And as an engineering-minded person, I’m usually suspicious of claims about what can or can’t be done. Especially before science understands the causal mechanisms fully.

    Before airplanes, there was very little we could do to fly, too. Because genetics ;)

  7. dhabecker says

    How can someone quantify the capacity of an others ‘bucket’, when their 10 gallon bucket is full of shit?
    Sorry; ‘shit’ is a 1 thru 9 gallon bucket word for ignorant pomposity posing as knowledge.

  8. says

    From wikipedia:

    The problem of determining the causes underlying this variation relates to the question of the contributions of “nature and nurture” to IQ. Psychologists such as Alan S. Kaufman[131] and Nathan Brody[132] and statisticians such as Bernie Devlin[133] argue that there are insufficient data to conclude that this is because of genetic influences. A review article published in 2012 by leading scholars on human intelligence concluded, after reviewing the prior research literature, that group differences in IQ are best understood as environmental in origin.[134]

  9. whellandowd says

    “[t]hese scum have elected a president”

    I admit that this part stymies me. Harris, if nothing else, has been as vocal a critic of Trump as you’ll find. He is no political conservative.

    “[T]hose criticisms of Murray — ‘unwillingness to engage with critics, connections to white supremacists, consequences for poor and non-white Americans’ — also apply perfectly to Sam Harris.”

    This is not a defense of anything cringeworthy Harris may have said or done, but I don’t see him dodging his critics and know of no “connections to white supremacists” that he has abetted or fostered (or has, period). I have no doubt that rabid racists reblog and retweet his ideas, but that’s obviously not the same thing.

    #2 kayden, PZ seems to abhor straw men, and the one your comment erects is about as tall as such things get.

  10. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    So performance on a test that is biased toward the most privileged in society correlates with success in that society? Who could’ve predicted that?

  11. robro says

    I want to introduce you to a word that seems to be unfamiliar to you. It’s kind of amazing that a neuroscientist hasn’t run across it before. That word is education.

    Here’s another word for them: Nutrition. Hunger is a frequent companion to poverty, and in this country being non-white often means poor. As far as I can tell, there is a fairly direct connection between chronic malnutrition and cognitive impairment. In general, you can’t starve children and expect them to develop well.

    Here’s another word for them: Healthcare. Chronic illness is a frequent companion to poverty. Andrew Solomon notes that among the poor there are large numbers of people with untreated mental illness, in part because being miserable isn’t so noticeable when you’re poor. Also, treating illness is expensive, even if you have heath insurance. Mental illness is particularly costly.

    And here’s another one that’s a little more complicated: The Criminal Justice System. In Ferguson, MO police were routinely targeting the poor…who just happen to be black…to impose fines to enrich the city. This is not unique to Ferguson. Here’s a little education on one aspect of this…the American bail system: The Bail Trap: American Ransom. The big reveal: the companies that profit from this rip off of the poor.

  12. kayden says

    #9 whellandowd. How the hell is anything I wrote a “strawman”? Scientific racism is used by racists to support their racism. What is strawmannish about that? And funny because if PZ didn’t like what I wrote, he could have responded or canned my comment. Just say that you don’t like what I wrote and end it there.

  13. says

    BTW, RationalWiki recently dragged our Racialism article (I argued to call it “Scientific racism” but the other term won out) up to cover article standard. We think we’ve exhaustively covered the main terrible arguments, but hints and tips on any we’ve missed that you’ve seen in the wild are most welcomed.

  14. says

    I have been taught at the university, that IQ can be influenced by upbrigning about plus-minus 15 points (one standard deviation). That was twenty years ago.

    Lat time I checked, it was found that the “IQ gaps” both racial and gender, are closing over time as more and more women and POC have the same childhood opportunities to intellectually grow as mostly only affluent white men had in the past.

  15. stevewatson says

    I don’t get it. Right in the podcast, as quoted at AWM, Harris says that IQ has been “creeping up for decades for reasons that are not totally understood” (and I’ve read the same elsewhere). How in hell is that compatible with a primarily genetic cause for IQ? I don’t think we’re selecting for high IQ in reproduction, particularly. To the extent that IQ means anything, that pretty much screams “environment” — better education, richer popular media, just generally forcing or enticing children and adults to use their minds more. The brain is a like a muscle, that way. And if different racial groups show a statistical difference in IQ, well, that tells you something about their respective environments.

    But apparently Harris doesn’t realize he already torpedoed Murray’s argument.

  16. zoniedude says

    Disappointed you didn’t point out that environmental influences can drastically lower intelligence. This has been well-documented with lead poisoning to the point that science says no blood lead level is considered to be safe. Indeed, the dose response is that the greatest loss of I.Q. occurs at the lower dosages. The FACT is that because of poverty, housing discrimination, redlining, and pure racism we created a situation where African-Americans essentially had to live in areas with deteriorating lead-based paint, leaded-gas fallout into the soil, and lead pipes so they incurred widespread brain damage. Not just I.Q. loss, but lead poisoning is associated (in both humans and animals) with increased violence, irritability, and impulsivity. American society deliberately allowed the African-American population to be lead poisoned (still does) and then measures the lower I.Q. of lead poisoned people to claim they have lower intelligence because of genetics. Murray should have known this at the time of his book.

  17. hjhornbeck says

    Huh, great minds. I’m currently working on a transcript which will form the basis of a second blog post on the subject, because Angry White Men really underplayed Sam Harris’ views of Charles Murray.

    [9:35] HARRIS: The purpose of the podcast was to set the record straight, because I find the dishonesty and hypocrisy and moral cowardice of Murray’s critics shocking, and the fact that I was taken in by this defamation of him and effectively became part of a silent mob that was just watching what amounted to a modern witch-burning, that was intolerable to me. So it is with real pleasure (and some trepidation) that I bring you a very controversial conversation, on points about which there is virtually no scientific controversy. […]

    [11:30] HARRIS: I’ve- since, in the intervening years, ventured into my own controversial areas as a speaker and writer and experienced many hysterical attacks against me in my work, and so I started thinking about your case a little – again without ever having read you – and I began to suspect that you were one of the canaries in the coal mine that I never recognized as such, and seeing your recent treatment at Middlebury, which many of our listeners will have heard about, where you were prevented from speaking and and your host was was physically attacked – I now believe that you are perhaps the intellectual who was treated most unfairly in my lifetime, and it’s, it’s just an amazing thing to be so slow to realize that. And at first I’d just like to apologize to you for having been so lazy and having been taken in to the degree that I was by the rumors and lies that have surrounded your work for the last 20 years, and so I just want to end- I want to thank you doubly for coming on the podcast to talk about these things.

  18. Siobhan says

    “Witch-burning” and “hysteria” my oh my. Awfully lively for someone who was chained to a pike and then burned.

  19. says

    [11:30] HARRIS: I’ve- since, in the intervening years, ventured into my own controversial areas as a speaker and writer and experienced many hysterical attacks against me in my work, and so I started thinking about your case a little – again without ever having read you

    Translated Sam Harris: In my endless quest to be convinced that I am right about everything, I went looking for other writers who were pilloried for saying incorrect things; I assumed that they were probably wrongly pilloried too – since I am right (always) perhaps they were also right. I actually don’t care about anything we’re talking about here, except insofar as it helps me feel better about myself, because I am not the only great genius who has been misinterpreted and wrongly reviled by the politically correct lumpenblogosphere. It still has never crossed my mind that I might be wrong. How could it? I know I’m right, because: context!

  20. screechymonkey says

    “Forbidden Knowledge.” Yeesh. It reads like one of the ads on this and other sites: “SJWs Hate Him! Learn the Forbidden Knowledge That ‘They’ Don’t Want You To Know!” “Your Jaw Will Drop When You See What Charles Murray Is Claiming Now!”

  21. says

    I wanted to say all those big polysyllabic words like nutrition, poison and healthcare (don’t forget prenatal healthcare and medical assistance during birth), but they have already been named.

    That word is education.

    Yep.
    I’ve got two kids. If we talk about that which is generally understood as intelligence, an ability to learn, see patterns, deduct things, they are pretty smart. They have “intelligence”. But here’s another thing they have: Two well-educated middle class parents in pretty good circumstances. They grew up with lots of input (and the science on stimuli in childhood is pretty clear), from books to trips and zoo visits and holidays in foreign countries. They grow up in a family where not knowing isn’t a problem, but not looking it up is a shame.
    But according to Harris, they would be just as smart if they’d been fed nothing but pop tarts and parked in front of TV for all their lives.

  22. says

    Someone asked, “I wonder how Sam was raised.” The answer is ‘with extreme privilege’. His mother is the creator and producer of “The Golden Girls”, for starters.

  23. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I wanted to drop in and say “nutrition”, but I see robro has beaten me to the punch, and did better than I would have. Thank you.

  24. rietpluim says

    Same old shit again.
    I’m not racist! White is the superior race!

  25. hjhornbeck says

    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk- @22:

    But according to Harris, they would be just as smart if they’d been fed nothing but pop tarts and parked in front of TV for all their lives.

    Yep, nailed it.

    [40:23] MURRAY: … the thing about the non-shared environment is it’s not susceptible to systematic manipulation. It’s … idiosyncratic. It’s non-systematic … there are no obvious ways that you can deal with the non-shared environment, in the way that you could say “Oh, we can improve the schools, we can teach better parenting practices, we can provide more money for – …” [those] all fall into the category of manipulating the shared environment and when it comes to personality, as you just indicated, it’s 50/50 [for genes and environment] but almost all that 50 is non-shared.

    [41:02] HARRIS: Yeah, which seems to leave parents impressively off the hook for … how their kids turn out.

    [41:10] MURRAY: Although it is true that parents – and I’m a father of four – uh, we resist that. … and with the non-shared environment and the small role left for parenting, I will say it flat out: I read [the research of Judith Rich Harris] with *the* most skeptical possible eye. I was looking for holes in it, assiduously. …

    [41:57] MURRAY: … the book was very sound, it was very rigorously done, and … at this point I don’t know of anybody who’s familiar with literature, who thinks there’s that much of a role left of the kind of parents thought they had in shaping their children.

    [42:15] HARRIS: Right, well I’m not gonna stop trying, I think, it’s [a] very hard illusion to cut through… as I read Harry Potter tonight to my eldest daughter.

    [42:23] MURRAY: … You know that, but I think that it’s good to reflect on that: reading Harry Potter to your eldest daughter is a good in itself.

    [42:32] HARRIS: Yeah.

    [42:35] MURRAY: And the fact that she behaves differently 20 years from now is not the point.

    [42:38] HARRIS: No, exactly, and it is an intrinsic good, and it’s for my own pleasure that I do it largely at this point.

    Sam Harris’ lesson in parenting: don’t bother doing anything with your kids, unless it’s for your own pleasure. You don’t have any significant impact on them!

  26. says

    Sam Harris’ lesson in parenting: don’t bother doing anything with your kids, unless it’s for your own pleasure. You don’t have any significant impact on them!

    It’s striking how this lets abusers get off the hook. If parents have no influence whatsoever, then they cannot be guilty. Really, it’s just coincidence that the trans kids whose parents are supportive turn out fine and those whose parents are abusive shitholes have a high risk of committing suicide.

  27. whellandowd says

    #12 kayden

    “How the hell is anything I wrote a ‘strawman’?”

    You wrote, among other things, that people like Murray and Harris might support “laws to disadvantage [minorities] in terms of jobs” based on their supposed endorsement of scientific racism. Leaving aside the noxious nature of any sort of racism, it is very clear that you did not listen to a word of the podcast, which puts you in good company in this motley assortment of histrionic sycophants. Murray expressly agitates against using IQ as a metric for establishing any sort of social policy. And in fact, though Murray’s imprecations are not the reason for this, it has never come to pass and (as it shouldn’t) hopefully never will. (I do wonder how many of the raving harpies here would claim that IQ is a deeply unreliable statistic if the results suddenly suggested that women or certain racial minorities were incrementally smarter than white men.)

    PZ Myers is now practically famous for various hypocrisies, among them a penchant for lambasting things he doesn’t read or listening to because he trusts his flunkies and proxies to do this for him (which sometimes works, but certainly doesn’t work when he trusts the notoriously dishonest Rebecca Watson to say anything true, coherent, or useful). He unscientifically criticizes ideas for being unscientific.

    Look, he can’t even get basic facts right here. He calls Harris a conservative and says he voted for Trump (at least it looks like he’s saying that; there are a lot of typos and ample unclear writing overall in the post).

    Shorter version: Racism sucks, but don’t look to PZ Myers as an envoy for declaiming against it. There’s a good reason he’s treated largely as a joke by the lion’s share of working scientists, evolutionary psychologists, and others. I will say this for him: Every time he is challenged, he doubles down angrily on what he said and seems perversely proud of being on the wrong side of patently clear issues. Remind you of anyone else you hear bout a lot?

  28. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    evolutionary psychologists

    Being on the wrong side of a clique that shows questionable ability to understand and evaluate solid evidence isn’t a bad thing, but rather shows one actually uses their intelligence, and understands what constitutes real evidence, and how to evaluate it. Just so stories based on flimsy evidence isn’t science, and the methods and results of EP should be subject to healthy skepticism.

  29. kayden says

    #28 whellandowd.

    Why are you here if PZ is so awful and the comments here are all horrible? You sound as if you would fit right in with Charles Murray and Sam Harris. Murray has made a living off his spurious and nonsense claim that Blacks are dumber than Whites. I appreciate PZ calling him out and calling out Harris for normalizing Murray’s nonsense.

    Looking forward to Harris bringing on a Holocaust Denier to “drop some knowledge” in the same vein that he’s now helping to spread Murray’s scientific anti-Black b.s.

  30. says

    he’s treated largely as a joke by the lion’s share of working scientists, evolutionary psychologists

    Hah. Evolutionary psychologists. You’re making a joke.

    whellandowd, you sound just like a slymepitter. Do me a favor and fuck off before I ban you, OK?

  31. says

    #26: Wow. That’s flat out rigid genetic determinism right there. I thought those were as mythical as the “blank slaters”.

  32. Siobhan says

    evolutionary psychologists

    I’ll file “considered a joke by evopsychs” to be an insult in the same range of effectiveness as “SJW.”

    I think I’ll even make it into a pin and wear it on my bag.

  33. Zeppelin says

    @whellandowd:

    “raving harpies”

    Oh come on, at least Harris made the effort to be a tiny bit subtle and said “hysterical attacks”. You weren’t even bright enough to think of a dogwhistle term to cover your sexist ass.

  34. hjhornbeck says

    PZ Myers @33:

    Wow. That’s flat out rigid genetic determinism right there. I thought those were as mythical as the “blank slaters”.

    Which is why the next section gave me whiplash.

    [43:12] HARRIS: That’s the one thing that it just occurred to me people should also understand is that, in addition to the fact that IQ doesn’t explain everything about a person’s success in life and … their intellectual abilities, the fact that a trait is genetically transmitted in individuals does not mean that all the differences between groups, or really even any of the differences between groups in that trait, are also genetic in origin, right?

    [43:41] MURRAY: Critically important, critically important point.

    [43:42] HARRIS: Yeah, so the jury can still be out on this topic, and we’ll talk about that, but to give a clear example: so if you have a population of people that is being systematically malnourished – now they might have genes to be as tall as the Dutch, but they won’t be because they’re not getting enough nourishment. And, in the case that they don’t become as tall as the Dutch, it will be entirely due to their environment and yet we know that height is among the most heritable things we’ve got – it’s also like 60 to 80 percent predicted by a person’s genes.

    [44:15] MURRAY: Right. Uh, the comparison we use in the book … is that, you take a handful of genetically identical seed-corn, and divide it into two parts, and plant one of those parts in Iowa and the other part in the Mojave Desert, you’re going to get way different results. Has nothing whatsoever to do with the genetic content of the corn.

    Speaking out of both sides of his mouth appears to be Murray’s shtick. Think he’s a genetic determinist? He’ll point to a passage in “The Bell Curve” where he says he isn’t, and decry your strawperson. But if you argue environment matters more than genetics, he’ll point to the hundreds of pages he spends that shows genes determine most if not nearly all of your behavior.

    No wonder Sam Harris loves him.

  35. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    he’ll point to the hundreds of pages he spends that shows genes determine most if not nearly all of your behavior.

    Does he point to the specific genes responsible? If he can’t, whatever bullshit he uses can be dismissed as such.

  36. mnb0 says

    “That’s flat out rigid genetic determinism”
    Let’s accept this just for the sake of argument.
    This guy

    http://img.opposingviews.com/sites/default/files/styles/402×250/public/featured_image/piece/16/02/maurice.jpg?itok=qkFmDUqs

    is a Grandmaster. There are less than 1600 of them. So he is better at chess than about 100% of mankind. Because his genes. His Afro-American genes.
    The same for women: Judith Polgar at one moment belonged to the top 5.
    I’m a white male and have played chess for 35 years or so. I could only dream of having their chess genes.

  37. mnb0 says

    From the Angrywhitemen blogpost:

    “scientific racism which posits that, on average, whites are more intelligent than blacks or Hispanics.”
    Let’s accept this for the sake of argument as well.
    Such an average says exactly zilch about the intelligence of individuals. It remains totally possible that 45 % of the blacks and Hispanics are more intelligent than 50 % of the whites. Those 45 % are still millions of people.
    Even on their own terms these quackscientific white supremacists don’t make sense, whether they bring up the extremes (almost all of chess Grandmasters are white males) or the averages.

  38. kayden says

    @38 mnbo,

    Not sure if pointing out that there are Black individuals who are geniuses would make any difference to racists like Charles Murray. His brand of scientific racism thrives on stereotyping all Black people and putting them into one pot marked “dumb”. There are real life consequences to his ideology as it pretty much gives racists a justification for their discrimination. He needs to be strongly opposed and not given platforms from which to spew his bigotry. This is it for Harris for me. I thought his anti-Trump videos were pretty good but I now see that he’s okay with the very racism which led to Trump’s election.

  39. Khantron, the alien that only loves says

    @28 mispelled well endowed

    Yes Murray just spreads the libel, but don’t hold him responsible for racists using his lies as pretexts for discrimination because he said don’t be racist like twice in his book. That’s how personal responsibility works.

  40. Khantron, the alien that only loves says

    Sam Harris is a typical modern white supremacist. Too cowardly to actually be open with his beliefs. But more than happy to give racists a platform to spew their lies. ‘Cause that’s what free speech is, you’re allowed to say anything you want, but if you say something racist we have to give you a bigger platform.

  41. Chuck Stanley says

    telling each other how superior they are

    Very true. That’s exactly what they do all the time. Good thing we never get any of that here. cough cough. Nope none of that elitist holier than thou crap here. Apparently we learn that people are the way they are because of education. Very likely true. Of course they all chose the circumstances in which they were born and what they were taught and the environments they were raised in. Oops, I guess that is only true for exactly all those who PZ disagrees with.

  42. Khantron, the alien that only loves says

    Shorter Chuck:

    Calling racists wrong is just as bad as calling black people stupid.

  43. Chuck Stanley says

    “Having realized all this, I experience the feeling that always arises deep within me when I am confronted with the symptoms of indoctrination and deception:compassion for the sufferer, coupled with burning anger toward those who perpetuate the deception. No hatred for the man on his knees, but a fierce burning resolve never to collude with those who urge him to adopt this humiliating posture and keep him there. Who would not sympathize with the victims of fraud? And who would not approve of battling the perpetrators?”

    Michel Onfray

    I agree with the sympathy expressed here. But what then of the circumstances of the “perpetrators”? Yes there are a lot of clear cut cases, but where do you draw the line between perpetrators and victims? There is a lot of gray area here.

    However what I read here is clearly disdain for huge portions of the population. People who in my mind fall on the victim side of the equation.

  44. says

    stevewatson@16, I wonder if they might claim that IQ has gone up because the number of interracial children has gone up. All those superior white people intelligence genes counteracting the inferior non-white people intelligence genes.

  45. Chuck Stanley says

    Calling racists wrong is just as bad as calling black people stupid.

    Nope. Not what I said, but don’t let that stop you.

  46. says

    And I probably should have put a sarcasm tag or something on my comment. I don’t want people lumping me in with the asshat squad.

  47. says

    Read the book. Listen to the podcast. Please don’t just write an article of an article and claim to have done any work for us. I’m really not sure what value you are giving us without actually spending time with the material you are writing about.

  48. Khantron, the alien that only loves says

    It’s hard to have gotten any meaning out of your comment Chuck. But maybe someone will say that racism is biologically determined and then your comment would make any kind of sense.

  49. Chuck Stanley says

    Khantron that is just exactly the opposite of what I said. Seriously?

  50. Khantron, the alien that only loves says

    Yes, chuck, I said the argument no one made that you were still nevertheless arguing against.

    Good job. ?

  51. says

    Assuming IQ tests measure anything about intelligence – that’s a great big chug-a-lug of ignorance about science right there. That psychology has danced around it since Quetelet/Binet only makes it worse – because they perpetuate a measure that is sadbad. In intro psych they teach “ok, this was not such a good measure” and then proceed to duck denouncing its use.

  52. says

    Isaac Newton: damned intelligent man. Everyone agrees.
    Person who sticks a fuggin’ gert wooden needle into their own eye-socket: not exactly the sharpest tool in the box.

    Until we can get conundrums like that sorted out and figure out what we exactly mean by “intelligence,” so far as I’m concerned, discussions of nature versus nurture are so much hot air.

  53. Chuck Stanley says

    No Khantron I am not.

    In this very post PZ talks about education. I said very likely true. We hear constantly about circumstance and environment and opportunity shaping people. Which yes “Daz” led to the sarcastic

    Of course they all chose the circumstances in which they were born and what they were taught and the environments they were raised in.

    I quoted PZ “telling each other how superior they are” with the OBVIOUS sarcasm that we don’t have that here at all

    Obviously half of the population that are “deploreables” are not the products of their environments. Do I need to sarcasm that on and off? You really can’t have it both ways.

    The self righteous attitude that leads to “telling each other how superior they are” is displayed here daily.

    Clear enough?
    .

  54. says

    A lot of stuff about “human capabilities for reason” seems like trying to measure human weight lifting ability by measuring the capabilities of random members of the population. For example, there’s a whole genre of articles like this one: Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds.

    Shouldn’t you be looking for the extreme “body builders”, and seeing how far they can get?

  55. says

    Chuck Stanley #58:

    Obviously half of the population that are “deploreables” are not the products of their environments.

    Who here has said this? To think that someone is born with deplorable views is to believe in something akin to original sin. A ludicrous and barbaric idea.

    The self righteous attitude that leads to “telling each other how superior they are” is displayed here daily.

    People tend to think their own moral and political outlook is superior to that of people whose outlook is antithetical to their own. So what? This is an attitude shared by those of all worldviews. To think otherwise would be to admit to holding to principles one knows to be immoral. We all think of ourselves as right—but that ain’t the same as being self righteous.

  56. Chuck Stanley says

    I give the hell up. I’m starting to feel self righteously superior myself.

    And to those here who can see irony I have seen this from my first comment. To the dense “products of your environment” reading this – to hell with your deplorable selves.

  57. Khantron, the alien that only loves says

    It’s basically a cliche in left wing circles that education is the first line of defense against racism.

    But sure, you know what, thank you so much Chuck for your contribution. You’re completely right that racists aren’t born racist but they’re shaped that way by their environment. The zero people reading this website who thought racism was biologically determined were set straight by your comment.

    I think it might be a bit much but I’m going to lobby PZ to build a statue in your honor right here in this comment section. Because without your brilliant insight who knows how many people would come away reading this article and think to themselves “racists are born racist” (zero people).

  58. Chuck Stanley says

    Khantron,

    Oh Jesus, Oh Jesus, Oh Jesus. Can you possible be more dense? Really? I’m not ARGUING that people aren’t born racist. JESUS FUCKING CHRIST.

    Do you not see that saying people are a product of their environment is NOT the same thing as “arguing” they are not born that way? Perhaps there is something else YOU ARE FUCKING MISSING?

    Hint: I understand you aren’t entirely responsible for how dense you have turned out.

  59. says

    Chuck Stanley #65:

    Do you not see that saying people are a product of their environment is NOT the same thing as “arguing” they are not born that way?

    Eh? If I say that their environment is what specifically causes them to become racist, for instance, then I am most definitely saying (or at least strongly implying), as a corollary, that their racism is not innate.

  60. owtr8ge says

    Right, so PZ Myers didn’t listen to the podcast.

    Here’s the 1996 report on The Bell Curve from the APA. There’s also an updated review,, but I can’t be bothered looking it up.

    “The report concludes with a summary, which in turn concludes with a list of “unanswered questions” about intelligence (these questions are taken verbatim from a Web-based version of the report):

    Differences in genetic endowment contribute substantially to individual differences in (psychometric) intelligence, but the pathway by which genes produce their effects is still unknown. The impact of genetic differences appears to increase with age, but we do not know why.
    Environmental factors also contribute substantially to the development of intelligence, but we do not clearly understand what those factors are or how they work. Attendance at school is certainly important, for example, but we do not know what aspects of schooling are critical.
    The role of nutrition in intelligence remains obscure. Severe childhood malnutrition has clear negative effects, but the hypothesis that particular “micro-nutrients” may affect intelligence in otherwise adequately-fed populations has not yet been convincingly demonstrated.
    There are significant correlations between measures of information processing speed and psychometric intelligence, but the overall pattern of these findings yields no easy theoretical interpretation.
    Mean scores on intelligence tests are rising steadily. They have gone up a full standard deviation in the last fifty years or so, and the rate of gain may be increasing. No one is sure why these gains are happening or what they mean.
    The differential between the mean intelligence test scores of Blacks and Whites (about one standard deviation, although it may be diminishing) does not result from any obvious biases in test construction and administration, nor does it simply reflect differences in socio-economic status. Explanations based on factors of caste and culture may be appropriate, but so far have little direct empirical support. There is certainly no such support for a genetic interpretation. At present, no one knows what causes this differential.
    It is widely agreed that standardized tests do not sample all forms of intelligence. Obvious examples include creativity, wisdom, practical sense and social sensitivity; there are surely others. Despite the importance of these abilities we know very little about them: how they develop, what factors influence that development, how they are related to more traditional measures.”

  61. Khantron, the alien that only loves says

    Hey, does anyone know what point Chuck was trying to make? I thought when they sarcastically said “[those PZ disagrees with] all chose the circumstances in which they were born and what they were taught and the environments they were raised in,” they were arguing against the position that “those PZ disagrees with” chose the environment they were born into and grew up in.

    Apparently there’s something else to it. We’re all smug? I dunno how sarcastically saying “racists choose the circumstances of their birth” accomplishes that.

  62. Chuck Stanley says

    OK I admit I didn’t give up.

    DAZ

    Of course. But THAT WAS NOT WHAT I WAS ARGUING. Khantron set up a straw man that I was arguing that people are not born racist and then you and him repeatedly demolished it by continuing to say nobody thought that in the first place.

    Read the following that I wrote in my original comment. Pay attention to the word “chose”. And then tell me that I was arguing that people were not born racist. Really? Of course that goes along with the territory but it is NOT what I was arguing. OMG. Do you get it yet? Hint: CHOOSE FUCKING CHOOSE

    Of course they all chose the circumstances in which they were born and what they were taught and the environments they were raised in.

  63. Khantron, the alien that only loves says

    Is your point “People don’t choose to be racist.”

  64. Chuck Stanley says

    Hey Khantron all of a sudden dropped the straw man and “thought” it all along?

    Because without your brilliant insight who knows how many people would come away reading this article and think to themselves “racists are born racist” (zero people).

  65. says

    Chuck Stanley #69:

    Khantron set up a straw man that I was arguing that people are not born racist and then you and him repeatedly demolished it by continuing to say nobody thought that in the first place.

    Huh? This would appear to imply (and I still can make no sense of your initial comment) that you meant to argue that people are born racist.

    If true, this makes you the only person in this thread who believes such a ludicrous idea. If not true, you definitely need (as if we needed further proof) to learn to express yourself in a way that people can understand. Either way, quit with the sarcasm. The problem here is with you, not us.

  66. Chuck Stanley says

    My point is:

    1) We are told people are a product of their environment (to a greater or lesser degree) (no argument)
    2) People don’t choose their environment they were born and raised in
    2) PZ and his rah rah band continually” tell each other how superior they are” by obvious disdain for people who think or do X (substitute any number of positions). And not just the “leaders” like Harris or Murry or Shermer or Dawkins et al – the masses
    3) PZ with a giant mote in his eye mocks the self-congratulatory feeling of superiority of others.

    I’m not hung up how responsible people are or free will. You can think different things on that. Although I tend to agree with PZ on it – The point is PZ preaches environment (as he did in this post). And then mocks superiority while displaying it himself daily. Along with most other commentators here.

    I suspect we will have a right-wing “People are responsible” story now. Free will forever. I could have been different.

  67. says

    Chuck Stanley #74:

    Yes, people are shaped by their environment.
    But adults have the choice to become better-informed. That they do not do so, even when presented with counter-arguments to their viewpoint, is down to them.

    Also, you would appear (if I understand you correctly, which is less than certain, given your performance thus far) to be disparaging PZ and others for showing disdain toward people who cannot control the environments they were brought up in. Since you would appear to think this absurd extension of the principle is useful in some way, perhaps you could explain why you think it reasonable to disparage them for being equally the products of their own environments? (As I say: an absurd extension, but you introduced it.)

  68. Chuck Stanley says

    We are all determined to waste our lives in this fucking ridiculous comment thread. Sorry I couldn’t help but write this. I couldn’t help but write that. I can’t help but keep writing what I write…

    Now I can’t help but go read a book and enjoy sanity again.

  69. chigau (違う) says

    Chuck Stanley #74
    Are you drunk?
    #76
    That’ll be a ‘yes’…

  70. says

    @Carl
    Why listen to Harris? Reputation is a pretty useful evolved sense. Rejecting them absent evidence of changed behavior is fine by me.

    If one of the defenders of racists and other bigotries that decided to come here (Carl for example) thinks there is something important to listen to they can bring it here. They can show us why it’s still a problem, or why it’s of value. The other Harris defenders came here crying “context” and expected us to do the work of puzzling out the context instead of showing us what they saw.
    Now we aparently must repeatedly re-analyze a racist every single time they meet and discuss racist books to make sure they are still racists. The bigot never has to do any work with the likes of chuck around. Carl is a good friend to racists, and likely other bigots.

    That’s got the formula backwards. When the racist has changed they, or someone on thier behalf with a better reputation, can appeal socially. We are nowhere close to that point. This is the point where we use more rapid communication to spread the message that Harris is still a bigoted piece of shit. So it’s fine that we notice who is talking, and about what books, and we have literal reason to expect more bigoted shit.
    If a mistake is made let the bigot’s friends and defenders point it out, for my part I will apologize if I make a mistake in thinking a bigot might say something bigoted about a bigoted book while interviewing another bigot.

    @Chuck
    So far it looks like your point is to get us to argue about trivialities. That’s what happens when you seperate the content from the context to rhetorically support bigots.

    No shit Sherlock! When two groups of humans dissagree they don’t like seeing one another speak in superior terms with respect to the thing they dissagree about. So it fucking relevant that we feel negatively about racists acting superior. It’s perfectly fine to dislike an otherwise neutral human behavior used in support of racism.

    Yeah, it sucks seeing a racist act superior. So fucking what if people act superior? Was there a problem with why someone was acting superior in the specific moments you have in mind? Link or quote it. I fucking dare you.

    I want to see what was so important that Chuckles just had to draw an equivalence between racists and people opposing racists. What was it that was worth distraction from socially useful criticism to something on the order of “but both of you are socially reacting to one another.

    You are useless to everyone but bigots Chuck. Fix that.

  71. Khantron, the alien that only loves says

    Yeah turns out my snarky shorter Chuck should’ve been, “if I can’t judge black people for being black you shouldn’t judge racists for being racist.” I wish Chuck had been clearer so I didn’t have to grope around for the stupid argument he was trying to make.

  72. hjhornbeck says

    OUTRAGE @67:

    Here’s the 1996 report on The Bell Curve from the APA.

    Had a look, not impressed.

    Much of the report is concerned with verifying differences (eg, IQ has a 0.3-0.5 correlation with supervisor ratings), but it rarely delves into the why. Are they primarily driven by genetics, environment, or a proportion? Murray argues for genetics, but in most cases the report is agnostic on the issue.
    When it comes to inheritance, the critical evidence for the genetic argument, the intervening years have not been kind. Twin and adoption studies have come under fire for being methodologically flawed, and as for genetic studies,

    The literature on candidate gene associations is full of reports that have not stood up to rigorous replication. This is the case both for straightforward main effects and for candidate gene-by-environment interactions (Duncan and Keller 2011). As a result, the psychiatric and behavior genetics literature has become confusing and it now seems likely that many of the published findings of the last decade are wrong or misleading and have not contributed to real advances in knowledge. The reasons for this are complex, but include the likelihood that effect sizes of individual polymorphisms are small, that studies have therefore been underpowered, and that multiple hypotheses and methods of analysis have been explored; these conditions will result in an unacceptably high proportion of false findings (Ioannidis 2005).[1]

    The report does nothing to defuse Myers’ citation in comment 58, which shows a plausible way to demonstrate false heritability from random data.

    [1] Hewitt, John K. “Editorial Policy on Candidate Gene Association and Candidate Gene-by-Environment Interaction Studies of Complex Traits.” Behavior Genetics 42, no. 1 (January 1, 2012): 1–2. doi:10.1007/s10519-011-9504-z.

  73. lemurcatta says

    @Kayden: I couldn’t tell for sure from your post (#2) but I am thinking we’re trying to say that Harris is cool with using IQ ‘science’ to support marginalization of minorities? If so, the odor emanating from this BS reeks so bad I’m surprised you even tolerate it. No where in that interview, or in Harris’s other writings, can any reasonable person find support for that kind of a claim. But I might be wrong, if I am, carry on. The interview was a series of softballs that disappointed even myself.

  74. owtr8ge says

    hjhornbeck81

    Finally an intelligent comment. Thank you.

    I think the challenge for those who prefer not to listen to the podcast and just yell “racist”, is how to explain that genetic causes have NO effect, but manage to be influential in every other area.

    Australian aboriginals have an average IQ of 62. Explain how that is solely due to environmental factors.

    Explain: “Differences in genetic endowment contribute substantially to individual differences in (psychometric) intelligence”.

    Explain the Flynn effect recording increases in intelligence. Explain modern societies recording much higher intelligence levels than pre-modern.

    As those who bother to investigate these things know, neither Harris or Murray claim that genetics explains everything or even half the story. Murray specifically advises IQ information NOT to be used to assess the merits of people from different populations of races.

    Anyone who has read “Humankind” by Alexander Harcourt, understands how the movement of human populations (and all living creatures) lead to the development of different traits. And why human populations (and RACES) have differing phenotypes and traits. SE Asians are mostly lactose intolerant. Nigerians can run fast. Sherpas need less oxygen. It’s hardly surprising there are differences in intelligence.

    And yet the scientifically literate among us should be able to digest this information without hysteria. It doesn’t mean some people have fewer rights. It doesn’t mean the value of human lives change. It doesn’t insist we discriminate against people. Those who think otherwise are racist, not those who simply want to understand and appreciate the facts.

    I don’t think science as yet has an answer to explain the differences in IQ between different populations. But it’s unseemly and bigoted to accuse anyone willing to investigate or discuss the issue of racism.

  75. says

    Now, I’ll admit to not being a psychology major. I only got the dumbed down intro lecture for teachers (more on that later), but I clearly remember the message of “it’s complicated”.
    Intelligence is hard to define when you look at it closely, many attempts have been made, none really satisfying.
    Now you take something that is badly defined and try to meassure it. I hope the problem is already obvious.
    And you measure with a tool that has its own problems and biases.
    You get results that you cannot fucking explain like the Flynn-effect (people keep scoring higher and higher when compared with previous generations. Meassured by today’s standards, most of our grandparents shouldn’t have been able to tie their own shoelaces).
    The experts themselves admit that they are clueless when it comes to many factors that influence the outcome.
    Yet here we are supposed to listen to a man who takes all of that and then concludes that the most genetically diverse group of humans is uniformly inferior.
    Makes total sense and we really need to listen to each and every word they say.
    It’s a bit like being supposed to listen to all the sophisticated religious arguments while not having evidence for the existence of god.

  76. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    owtr8ge #83

    I think the challenge for those who prefer not to listen to the podcast and just yell “racist”, is how to explain that genetic causes have NO effect, but manage to be influential in every other area.

    Please cite where anyone has claimed that genetics have NO effect, or admit you’re stacking straw.

  77. emergence says

    Okay, there’s one thing that Chuck kind of made clear; he thinks that PZ expressing disdain towards people with stupid ideas and having people agree with him is somehow self-congratulatory, and that it’s somehow hypocritical to point out self-congratulatory behavior in said people with stupid ideas.

    If you think that someone is stupid for thinking or saying something and express disdain towards them, that implies you think that you’re smarter than them for not agreeing with them. However, if you set the bar for being self-congratulatory that low, then it loses all meaning. You can’t argue that PZ calling out stupid ideas and having people agree with him is equivalent to Harris and Murray complimenting each other for being so smart and willing to talk about “forbidden” subjects. Chuck apparently thinks criticizing ideas you don’t agree with is just as arrogant as actively complimenting and aggrandizing yourself. Also, the perception of Harris and Murray as self-aggrandizing isn’t helped by being two white men discussing how white people have genetically higher intelligence than black people.

  78. owtr8ge says

    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Refer to idiotic article above, and the link. “Mainly held back by genetics”, “inferior”, et cetera.

    What is the objection to Murray otherwise? Pray tell.

  79. says

    Explain the Flynn effect recording increases in intelligence. Explain modern societies recording much higher intelligence levels than pre-modern.

    Yes, please. Explain the Flynn effect using evolution and genetics.
    On the other hand, you say things like “Nigerians run fast”, so maybe for the sanity of the readers, don’t bother.

  80. owtr8ge says

    Don’t be obtuse. Refer the Atlantic article.

    “Why Kenyans Make Such Great Runners: A Story of Genes and Cultures

    How an ethnic minority that makes up 0.06% of the world’s population came to dominate most of its long-distance races.”

    I asked you to explain how genetics can be discounted altogether. It seems no answer is forthcoming.

  81. says

    Answered in #12: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Racialism

    > As a case study: The highest level of long-distance runners comes not just from Kenya, but a particular part of Kenya and their success is defined, in part, by common genetics.[11] But that isn’t race. In fact, the opposite end of the running spectrum, sprinters, features a large proportion with ancestral origins in West Africa.[12][13] Both sets of genes favor running, but entirely different aspects of it. By these genes alone, the two groups might appear to be different races, even while our knee-jerk appearance-based definitions put them in the same race.

    There’s a whole section at http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Racialism#Race_and_sporting_ability .

    Please don’t do the creationist thing where you pretend any argument not literally in the comment doesn’t exist.

  82. Khantron, the alien that only loves says

    Explain the Flynn effect.
    The Flynn effect is an observed increase in IQ scores over a few generations.

    This effect is fairly large. It’s unknown what’s causing it but it basically can’t be due to a shift in genetics since the effect is only over a few generations. In this way the Flynn effect is hard evidence that on the population level large swings in IQ test scores can be caused by non-genetic factors.

  83. says

    In this way the Flynn effect is hard evidence that on the population level large swings in IQ test scores can be caused by non-genetic factors.

    Alternatively it is evidence that your test is probably lacking in validity and reliability.

  84. lotharloo says

    @owtr8ge:

    I think the challenge for those who prefer not to listen to the podcast and just yell “racist”, is how to explain that genetic causes have NO effect, but manage to be influential in every other area.

    Strawman. You are the one claiming something, we are just pointing out gaping holes in evidence and logic.

    Australian aboriginals have an average IQ of 62. Explain how that is solely due to environmental factors.

    Any study that claims an entire group of people are intellectually disabled while those people live/used to live in one of the most inhospitable areas of the world is so absurd it can be tossed out, unless it can explain how such thing is possible. The “intellectually superior white men” were not able to live there, many of their explorers perished in the Australian deserts while the aboriginals did not. They could only conquer the land by *importing* goods and equipment from outside.

    So to answer your question, we answer that by questioning the methodology and the relevance of the so called “IQ measurement”.

  85. jefrir says

    Owtr8ge

    Australian aboriginals have an average IQ of 62. Explain how that is solely due to environmental factors.

    So, there are two basic explanations here:
    1. Australian aboriginals are, because of genetics, so stupid they are basically universally mentally disabled
    2. A population that has been discriminated against for generations in a variety of ways including in education, and who may not speak English as a first language, does poorly in a test designed for white westerners
    You appear to be going for number 1.
    Also, can I ask when this test was carried out? Do you have a link to the research? Because some of the early IQ tests were really biased, even more than today’s. Like, “What sport would you associate a regatta with?” sort of level.

  86. says

    1. Look up what an “IQ of 62” generally means. (severe learning disabilities, problems to communicate verbally, often motoric disabilities as well)
    2. Compare with actual Australian aboriginals.
    3. Use brain.

  87. owtr8ge says

    So everyone googled and could not find any study disputing 62.

    Well here you go.

    http://clubtroppo.com.au/2006/04/19/race-and-iq-a-serious-discussion

    This is a summary which shows variance between 62 and 85. And notes some African populations with IQ’s as low as 54.

    But let’s not let the facts dissuade you from the power of pure assertion.

    Perhaps the genius biologist who runs this forum for prejudice might know something about it? Or perhaps not.

  88. says

    So everyone googled and could not find any study disputing 62.

    ???
    To my knowledge nobody here claimed that these studies don’t exist.
    People dispute the objectivity, validity and reliability of those studies.
    If the claim is that “result X means Y” but then there are all these people where you get X but not Y, there’s an obvious problem with your claim.

  89. lotharloo says

    @owtr8ge:

    But let’s not let the facts dissuade you from the power of pure assertion.

    “Pure assertion”? How about you dig a bit deeper and actually show that your “facts” are relevant? Yes, I can make up a silly test, call it an IQ test, run it on a bunch of people and then assign a number based on the final result. It would be a fact that those people got number X in my test. So what? What does that fact mean? How do you go from the result of a “test” to claim something about the “intelligence” of a person? Don’t you think first you need to establish that first?

    Your inability to even comprehend the very clear criticism that is being presented to you is very telling of your own power of “pure assertion”.

  90. Dunc says

    So everyone googled and could not find any study disputing 62.

    Well here you go.

    http://clubtroppo.com.au/2006/04/19/race-and-iq-a-serious-discussion

    This is a summary which shows variance between 62 and 85. And notes some African populations with IQ’s as low as 54.

    Yeah, you might want to re-read that link a bit more carefully and look at some of the explanations offered for those results. Hint: it doesn’t support the genetic explanation.

  91. says

    owtr8ge #99:

    This is a summary which shows variance between 62 and 85. And notes some African populations with IQ’s as low as 54.

    Then either something is wrong with the test, something is wrong with the interpretation of the results, or something is wrong with the entire concept of “IQ.”

    Why? Because the vast majority of those people do not display the symptoms which one would expect, given such a low test-score and the usual interpretation thereof.

    Which part of “The theory is not supported by the evidence” do you find hard to understand?

  92. owtr8ge says

    If you dispute the facts I’ve presented, feel free to provide your evidence.

    Let’s see the studies you base your views on.

    Otherwise, consider accepting some knowledge that challenges your worldview.

    Present evidence or shut up.

  93. owtr8ge says

    Dunc #103

    I don’t know to what extent it’s genetic or environmental. But the outrage is becsuse Murray suggested the differences were to some extent genetic.

    But there is no suggestion races are inferior just because they have a lower IQ.

    Just as there is no suggestion British men are inferior to Kenyans, because Kenyans are better distance runners.

    We don’t have to be all the same. Aren’t you advocates of diversity?

    Do you believe that humans are immutable creations who are precisely genetically equal?

  94. owtr8ge says

    Not at all.

    Just provide the studies.

    (Rather than folk logic and daft rhetorical questions)

  95. Dunc says

    @105: It’s not so much the “facts” presented that we dispute, as your interpretation of them. Amusingly, your own sources also disagree with your interpretation, as I pointed out in #103.

    Fact: IQ tests show abnormally low results for certain populations.
    Interpretation 1: Those populations are genetically pre-disposed to having low intelligence.
    Interpretation 2: Those populations are subject to environmental influences which suppress intelligence.
    Interpretation 3: The IQ tests used are not good measures of intelligence.
    Interpretation 3a: “Intelligence” is an ill-defined quality anyway.

    You’re going with Interpretation 1, the rest of us (and your own sources) are going with a blend of the others. The facts that you have presented are not sufficient to exclude those alternative interpretations, and a general understanding of the field seems to point to those interpretations being more reasonable. Furthermore, if Interpretation 1 were correct, then we would expect to see a pretty conclusive range of additional evidence, which is conspicuous by its absence. Therefore, by modus tolens, Interpretation 1 is probably incorrect.

    You’re over-interpreting the evidence to support a pre-determined conclusion.

  96. owtr8ge says

    No, read what I said. I don’t think that at all.

    My view is that I’d like to find out, and that I’m open to genetics having some influence.

  97. call me mark says

    Everyone is open to genetics having some influence. Please point out anyone saying it has none.

  98. owtr8ge says

    They all agree with Murray then! All good.

    What’s all this outrage then?

  99. call me mark says

    The outrage is that this, from the podcast, as quoted by PZ:

    People don’t wanna hear that intelligence is a real thing, and that some people have more of it than others. They don’t wanna hear that IQ tests really measure it. They don’t wanna hear that differences in IQ matter, because they’re highly predictive of differential success in life. And not just for things like educational attainment and wealth, but for things like out-of-wedlock birth and mortality.

    People don’t wanna hear that a person’s intelligence is in large measure due to his or her genes, and there seems to be very little we can do environmentally to increase a person’s intelligence — even in childhood. It’s not that the environment doesn’t matter, but genes appear to be 50 to 80 percent of the story. People don’t want to hear this. And they certainly don’t want to hear that average IQ differs across races and ethnic groups.

    …is what comes out of the south end of a north-facing bull.

  100. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What facts that actually show intelligence tests are culturally biased? That has been known from the sixties when I was in college.

  101. lotharloo says

    @owtr8ge:

    You really have big issues with moving past your simplistic talking points. This is yet another common problem exhibited by Harris and his Fanboys. This discussion is ultimately very boring, you will just repeat your talking points no matter how we shoot them down.

  102. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, #114 should say “aren’t culturally biased”. Moar coffee.

  103. owtr8ge says

    The APA thinks heredity account for .4 to .8 of intelligence.

    So what if it’s true?

  104. owtr8ge says

    Not one of you morons can present one shred of evidence to support your claims.

    You simply parrot PZ’s I’m king atheist vendetta’s.

    I challenge you to provide one racist quote from Murray. Do that or admit your wrong.

  105. Siobhan says

    Folks, don’t be so harsh on outr8age. He’s keeping the straw farmers in business.

  106. call me mark says

    owtr8ge: please show evidence that IQ tests measure anything other than the ability to complete IQ tests.

  107. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Not one of you morons can present one shred of evidence to support your claims.

    You don’t know the meaning of the “evidence”. If it supports your prejudices, it is evidence to you. I look at the competing evidence, and call you an intellectual equivalent of a presuppositional creobot.

  108. says

    I asked you to explain how genetics can be discounted altogether.

    No one is suggesting such a thing.

    The APA thinks heredity account for .4 to .8 of intelligence.

    Incorrect. You don’t understand what heritability means. It accounts for about 0.4 of the variation in IQ, and even there I’d suggest that flawed tests overestimate the difference and fail to account for sources of variation.

    This is a summary which shows variance between 62 and 85. And notes some African populations with IQ’s as low as 54.

    So the average intelligence of some African nations is so low that the inhabitants aren’t even capable of learning to tie their shoes? With that credulous and patently false inanity, you are now banned, “owtr8ge”.

  109. militantagnostic says

    Giliel @101

    Just to give you some rope, IQ between 50 and 65 is defined as mental age and capacities of a 9 to 12 year old in adulthood.
    Does that adequately reflect the described populations?

    I would think that would be well below the intelligence required to survive as a subsistence farmer even in optimum soil and climate conditions or as a hunter-gatherer in any environment more challenging than a grocery store.

  110. says

    You simply parrot PZ’s I’m king atheist vendetta’s.

    I wish I knew where this idea that I’m the King of the Atheists, or think I am, comes from. I’m a biology professor. That is what I aspire to, and that is what I’ve accomplished. I don’t have much in the way of higher goals or accomplishments.

    OK, I’m the father to three great young people, which is probably my highest achievement, but I have to give most of the credit for that to my wife.

  111. militantagnostic says

    Call me Mark @121

    owtr8ge: please show evidence that IQ tests measure anything other than the ability to complete IQ tests.

    Alfred Binet himself described the IQ test as measuring the aspect of intelligence that is measured by the IQ test.

    He also said

    Some recent philosophers seem to have given their moral approval to these deplorable verdicts that that affirm the intelligence is a fixed quantity, a quantity that cannot be augmented. We must correct and react against this brutal pessimism; we will try to demonstrate that is founded on nothing.

  112. The Mellow Monkey says

    militantagnostic @ 126

    I would think that would be well below the intelligence required to survive as a subsistence farmer even in optimum soil and climate conditions or as a hunter-gatherer in any environment more challenging than a grocery store.

    Yes. People with severe mental disabilities in, say, Amish communities need a lot of support from family members because farming is hard and takes a broad scope of knowledge and the ability to plan. Because of their isolated gene pool, certain disabilities are much more prevalent than the population at large, but their communities would be incapable of functioning if the average community member was so severely disabled they could not learn to tie shoes, like PZ’s comment above.

    Nobody tries to argue that the pale, European descended Amish are in someway naturally less intelligent as a group, absent cultural and environmental factors. I think there’s a reason for that, but I can’t think of the word. Oh! Wait, I remember. Racism.

  113. unclefrogy says

    as # 126 and #128 have pointed out IQ scores do not make seem to show what is claimed.
    If IQ score are the result of genetics mostly and there is a “real” difference between races with regard to intelligence then the there must have been some selective pressure for higher intelligence and selective pressure for lower intelligence.
    Looking back in time 5 or 10 thousands years what would the environmental elements have been that would have favored less intelligence or what was that environment that was so easy to live in that you could be so functionally retarded or handicapped and thrive.
    I see very little significant differences in the difficulty of living as a hunter gatherer coping with surviving save local climatic differences.
    Oh I know where that place that was so easy to live in it was “Eden” right?
    uncle frogy

  114. deepak shetty says

    Way back when , we had to give a GRE test to study in the US out of 2400 which more or less resemble IQ tests.
    Almost everyone of similar schooling would start off around about 1600/2400 and just by pure repetition (being able to complete similar problems faster) most scores could nudge close to 2000 and if you really went through the Barrons guide most were able to touch 2200 as their scores.
    I wonder how these clowns account for this “IQ” increase.

  115. thirdmill says

    I have a tested IQ of 152. That means I’m good at crossword puzzles, sudoku, scrabble and logic games. It does not, standing alone, mean I’m a decent human being, have a good work ethic, or play well with other people, and while I aspire to all of those things, my IQ is a neutral factor. My IQ doesn’t even necessarily predict success in life, though it probably has helped me avoid traps and pitfalls over the years. Oh, and here’s the other thing: I can’t even claim a high IQ is a virtue, because it’s something I was born with, like being tall, male or having a certain skin color. It’s something that was given to me, not something I went out and worked for.

    But here’s a question: Let us assume, for purposes of argument, that Harris and Murray are right about certain racial groups being less intelligent (which is what they’re really arguing, even though they couch it in terms of IQ scores). Just for good measure, let’s even assume certain races are more prone to laziness and criminality and whatever other stereotypes someone may wish to toss in. So what? Aren’t individuals entitled to be treated as individuals? When a particular individual comes along who is smart, hard working, and of high moral character, isn’t that person entitled to be treated as a person who is smart, hard working, and of good moral character, regardless of whether others of his or her race share those traits or not? Even if someone is the only smart person of that particular race in the entire world, why would that person not be entitled to be treated as an individual?

    So I don’t even see that Harris and Murray’s argument, even if true, gets them that much. We don’t just lump people into groups and ignore their individual traits.

  116. says

    And notes some African populations with IQ’s as low as 54.

    Given what a bunch of sloppy-ass experimenters psychologists seem to be, I wonder if they gave them an IQ test in English or maybe one with questions like:

    2. Find the answer that best completes the analogy

    people : democracy :: wealthy :

    A. oligarchy
    B. oligopoly
    C. plutocracy
    D. timocracy
    E. autocracy

    Correct answer: plutocracy

    That’s from a real IQ test prep question set. It’s not measuring “intelligence” it’s measuring vocabulary – and a specific vocabulary (that of ‘western’ political philosophy) at that. What’s funny is that the question is in the “Language skills” part of the test. What about knowing a whiff of Plato, Locke, and Hobbes is “Language skills”?

    Psychology has a lot to answer for. If you want to try to look at a population that’s apparently unusually ignorant, measure psychologists. Ask them questions about science and evolution and watch them score below your housecat.

  117. emergence says

    I have a few questions about all of this IQ business.

    1. How does an IQ score supposedly translate into actual intellectual capabilities? What quantifiable aspect of intelligence does an IQ point represent as a unit?
    2. Worldwide, what is the actual genetic makeup of what we consider “races”? On a genomic level, what similarities and differences are there within and between populations of humans?
    3. What does actually credible research by scientists who don’t have a racist axe to grind say about genetic variation in intelligence between people? Is the variation significant enough to have serious effects for people? Is the variation actually mostly within populations rather than between them?

    There are probably a lot of other relevant questions, but I’m mainly wondering how I can gain a decent enough understanding of anthropology and cognitive science to weed out bullshit about race and intelligence when it comes up.

  118. says

    emergence@#134:
    1: It doesn’t. Even the test’s inventor recognized that. It has been popularized as a measure of intelligence but there is not even a workable definition of what “intelligence” is that can be measured with such a test.
    2: I’m not a geneticist but I believe skin color, hair texture, eye color, and so forth is a fairly small number of alleles – under a couple dozen. Does your tendency to like the taste of cilantro, or despise it, constitute a ‘race’?
    3: What is ‘intelligence’? I’m not being sarcastic; it’s a question that has to be answered before we can talk about measuring it and comparing it. Unfortunately, IQ tests measure how well you do on IQ tests. Nothing measures what ‘intelligence’ is because ‘intelligence’ is a vague concept. There’s another problem, namely that to talk about ‘intelligence’ as opposed to ‘education’ we’d have to have a definition of the one and a way of measuring the impact of the other – separately.

    I’d recommend Stephen Jay Gould’s “The Mismeasure of Man” for a glimpse into the incredible pseudoscience that swirls around the plungehole that is psychology’s attempt to measure ‘intelligence’

  119. hjhornbeck says

    I’d also like to chip in a more recent paper.

    In this article, the authors argue that the overwhelming portion of the literature on intelligence, race, and genetics is based on folk taxonomies rather than scientific analysis. They suggest that because theorists of intelligence disagree as to what it is, any consideration of its relationships to other constructs must be tentative at best. They further argue that race is a social construction with no scientific definition. Thus, studies of the relationship between race and other constructs may serve social ends but cannot serve scientific ends. No gene has yet been conclusively linked to intelligence, so attempts to provide a compelling genetic link of race to intelligence are not feasible at this time. The authors also show that heritability, a behavior-genetic concept, is inadequate in regard to providing such a link.

    Sternberg, Robert J., Elena L. Grigorenko, and Kenneth K. Kidd. “Intelligence, race, and genetics.” American Psychologist 60.1 (2005): 46.

    Funny how Murray can claim the study of race and intelligence is taboo, yet a quick Google Scholar search shows a decent number of papers on the topic.

  120. waldo1b3ar says

    PZ “[Hereditability] accounts for about 0.4 of the variation in IQ, and even there I’d suggest that flawed tests overestimate the difference and fail to account for sources of variation”.

    Wrong. “…heritability of IQ is somewhere between .4 and .8”, according to 2012 American Psychological Association: Intelligence, New Findings and Theoretical Developments
    https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/amp-67-2-130.pdf

    Also read “..scientists have learned that not only intelligence but practically every aspect of behavior on which human beings differ is heritable to some extent”.
    “Most studies estimate that the heritability of IQ is somewhere between .4 and .8 (and
    generally less for children)”

    2012 American Psychological Association: Intelligence, New Findings and Theoretical Developments
    https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/amp-67-2-130.pdf

    This is from the APA’s 1994 report.

    “Differences in genetic endowment contribute substantially to individual differences in (psychometric) intelligence, but the pathway by which genes produce their effects is still unknown. The impact of genetic differences appears to increase with age, but we do not know why.”
    “Environmental factors also contribute substantially to the development of intelligence, but we do not clearly understand what those factors are or how they work. Attendance at school is certainly important, for example, but we do not know what aspects of schooling are critical.”

  121. Hj Hornbeck says

    Tsk, someone can’t read very well.

    Heritability is the proportion of variability in a phenotype that is “accounted for” (in the usual regression sense) by variation in genotype. Most studies estimate that the heritability of IQ is somewhere between .4 and .8 (and generally less for children), but it really makes no sense to talk about a single value for the heritability of intelligence.

    Creationists, amirite?

  122. Hj Hornbeck says

    Aww, I forgot a bold tag.

    Heritability is the proportion of variability in a phenotype that is “accounted for” (in the usual regression sense) by variation in genotype. Most studies estimate that the heritability of IQ is somewhere between .4 and .8 (and generally less for children), but it really makes no sense to talk about a single value for the heritability of intelligence.

    Because, well,

    The concept of heritability has its origins in animal breeding, where variation in genotype and environment is under the control of the experimenter, and under these conditions the concept has some real-world applications. In freeranging humans, however, variability is uncontrolled, there is no “true” degree of variation to estimate, and heritability can take practically any value for any trait depending on the relative variability of genetic endowment and environment in the population being studied. In any naturally occurring population, the heritability of intelligence is not zero (if genotype varies at all, it will be reflected in IQ scores) and it is not one (if environment varies at all, it will be reflected in IQ scores). That the heritability of intelligence is between zero and one has one important consequence: Without additional evidence, correlations between biologically related parents and children cannot be unambiguously interpreted as either genetic or (as is more frequently attempted) environmental.

    Reading can be fun! Why don’t you try it?

  123. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Measuring “intelligence” is a mug’s game. Measuring Intelligence© is big business. The companies that create these tests know what institutions are going to buy them, and they would stop buying them if their favored demographic didn’t score best.

  124. Hj Hornbeck says

    While I’m still haunting this thread, here’s one of my favourite arguments: what race is Barack Obama?

    According to data in a fascinating new Pew Research Center study, a majority of Americans describe the president as “mixed race,” while just more than a quarter (27 percent) call him “black.”

    While whites and Hispanics are far more likely to describe Obama as “mixed race,” a strong majority of African Americans see him as black.

    The concept of “race” implies that we can reliably bin people into distinct categories. In practice, even a famous person’s race can differ depending on who you ask, even within their country of origin. If we can’t decide on the boundaries of categories, how can we put things in categories at all?

  125. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    While I’m still haunting this thread, here’s one of my favourite arguments: what race is Barack Obama?

    Did you know that Obama is descended from black slaves

    (On his mother’s side.)

    Race and intelligence are such confused, incoherent constructs that any study including one of them is bound to be problematic; attempting to link both constructs is like trying to gauge the effects of pixie dust on leprechauns.

  126. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    And… forgot to preview. There should be a ? somewhere in there.

  127. waldo1b3ar says

    139.
    My point was that PZ Myers got the science wrong. I’d have thought he’d appreciate the information and want to correct that.

    IMO the jury is out on the extent to which genetic and envirnomental factors influence IQ. I understand the outrage, but I think it’s just irresponsible and immature to label people as scum or racists, because you disagree with their opinion.

    For those who think IQ is not important.

    “IQ is also important because some group differences are large and predictive of performance in many domains.
    Much evidence indicates that it would be difficult to overcome racial disadvantage if IQ differences could not be
    ameliorated. IQ tests help us to track the changes in intelligence of different groups and of entire nations and to
    measure the impact of interventions intended to improve intelligence.”

    Also not the moronic banning of this guy who said some groups have low IQ’s. That’s well established by numerous studies – the only disagreement is about how low they are. My suggestion is to grow up. https://www1.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/30years/Rushton-Jensen30years.pdf IQ’s of about 70 for sub-saharan Africa in multiple tests.

    My suggestion is to grow up.

  128. skeptikos says

    Personally I liked this youtube video from SciShow.

    At PZ’s suggestion (#56) I read the article by Cosmo Shalizi supposedly debunking g. No offense to PZ but it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Rather than writing a long post about statistics here I decided to write a blog post in response: How political science is like intelligence research.

    Writing about statistics is not so easy but hopefully I managed to make it intelligible.

    Experience: Spent 5 years mucking around with political scaling methods (which are related to factor analysis) as a hobby.

  129. hjhornbeck says

    Ah, an excellent article! I do have to quibble with your second point, though. Hope you don’t mind if I respond over here.

    The NOMINATE ideology scores used by political scientists are also based on many small factors – votes on issues ranging from abortion to taxes to NATO. Yet we all know the difference between conservative and liberal, and given a placement along the left-right axis we can make decent predictions about a person’s views on any number of issues. Clearly the left/right distinction in American politics is not a figment of our imagination, or a statistical artifact, even though it combines many smaller issues into one category.

    There are two reasons why we can make decent predictions. First, we’re using a specific context as a reference frame, the political landscape here and now. Add a Republican presidential candidate with close ties to Russia into the 1980’s Republican primaries, and they would sink to dead last. Conversely, should Ronald Reagan have entered the 2016 Republican primaries he would have be laughed out of the room as too liberal. This extends to geography somewhat, like the case of a Californian Republican or a Blue Dog Democrat.

    Likewise, I can get near-universal consensus that Barack Obama is black by polling mid-West farmers. Race is treated as an absolute, though: a black person in America is supposed to have the near-identical genes to a black person in Africa. It’s not enough for me to point to my poll and declare race to be a real thing, I need to canvas how the entire planet would classify Obama or point to a genetic test that works across the entire globe. Political polling and race are disanalogous here.

    Secondly, we can make decent predictions because both the Republicans and Democrats have leaders to whip their members into line. It’s Steny Hoyer’s official title, no less. This causes the members of each party to herd together and share similar views. There’s no real equivalent when it comes to genes, though; even in ancient times, we’d travel thousands of kilometres in order to trade, and this would inevitably lead to a bit of gene mixing. Genes are much freer to wander, breaking up any strict race-based boundaries.

    On average, the scientists found, people who identified as African-American had genes that were only 73.2 percent African. European genes accounted for 24 percent of their DNA, while .8 percent came from Native Americans.

    Latinos, on the other hand, had genes that were on average 65.1 percent European, 18 percent Native American, and 6.2 percent African. The researchers found that European-Americans had genomes that were on average 98.6 percent European, .19 percent African, and .18 Native American.

    These broad estimates masked wide variation among individuals. Based on their sample, the resarchers estimated that over six million European-Americans have some African ancestry. As many as five million have genomes that are at least 1 percent Native American in origin. One in five African-Americans, too, has Native American roots.

    Also: don’t equivocate “social construct” with “has no real-world consequences.” Money, country borders, and health insurance are all social constructs. IQ can be a mathematical fiction, yet still have real consequences or serve a useful purpose.

  130. emergence says

    PZ @145

    If I’m understanding you, where the two guys you banned got it wrong was thinking that the heritability of 0.4 – 0.8 meant that 40 – 80% of your IQ score that is explained by heritability. From the explanation you gave, it seems like what it actually means is that IQ scores vary by however many points between people, and 40 – 80% of that variation can be accounted for by heritability. Of course, even then it’s difficult to differentiate between genetic factors that affect intelligence and self-perpetuating social influences that pass between generations like economic class.

  131. skeptikos says

    Party has been an interesting issue that can make it more difficult to interpret NOMINATE scores. The whips do seem to have an effect– when a person switches parties their score tends to move as well. But it’s not all driven by party– you can use the scores to discriminate between the more moderate and extreme wings of each party.

    I’m not sure I’ve seen research looking at how the meanings of the scores differ over time or in different places (within the US). Though in the US Congress it’s the same basic liberal-conservative spectrum going back a good 70 years, at least.

    In terms of presidential candidates, I haven’t seen any estimates of Trump’s NOMINATE score. Since he has no history as an elected official we obviously can’t use his votes while in office to estimate one. (Some of the other methods could still work, though.) DW-NOMINATE scores suggest Reagan wouldn’t be that far out of tune with current Republican candidates, though. He was pretty far to the right.

    I’m not really here to argue about race. I just like factor analysis.
    I’m going to stick to what I’m good at. If you want to talk about the policy side of the issue I’ll be more opinionated. :)

  132. hotspurphd says

    The American Psychological Association assaigned a task force to study The Bell Curve to see if there was any support in the book to support its contention that African-Amer icons average IQ scores, 15 points below whites was because of genetic reasons. There did not find support for that contention. I’ll look for a citation.

  133. lotharloo says

    @skeptikos:

    I think you are misunderstanding Shalizi’s criticism and I think your example of political analysis shows this misunderstanding. The main issue point of debate is whether or not “g factor” exist, as an “innate” property or attribute of human brain. Factor analysis as Shalizi shows, cannot be used to prove it. Your example also shows this. Do you believe the “conservative/liberal” division is an “innate” phenomenon? Do you believe if you travel to some random land where you know nothing of their culture or traditions, you can meaningfully establish a valid political analysis based on your understanding of American politics? If not, then you are not talking about the same thing because when it comes to IQ and IQ tests and “g factor”, people do claim that.

  134. Saad says

    Earlier on, I was going to say that “dark-skinned people are inherently less capable of doing things” should be a much harder thing for Harrisites to defend than his torture stuff, but holy Jesus fuck…

  135. Hj Hornbeck says

    emergence @148:

    If I’m understanding you, where the two guys you banned got it wrong was thinking that the heritability of 0.4 – 0.8 meant that 40 – 80% of your IQ score that is explained by heritability. From the explanation you gave, it seems like what it actually means is that IQ scores vary by however many points between people, and 40 – 80% of that variation can be accounted for by heritability.

    I’ve got this one. It’s a quirk of the terminology used with linear models.

    The quantity

    R^2=1−(RSS(x) / RSS(ϕ))

    is know as the coefficient of determination, and is often described as the proportion of ‘variance’ explained by the model. (The description is not very accurate because the calculation is based on the RSS [Residual Sum of Squares] not the variance, but it is too well entrenched to attempt to change it.)

  136. emergence says

    HJ Hornbeck @153

    That’s a lot to process. I’m finishing up my class on quantitative methods for biology right now, so maybe reviewing the lecture material will help me understand.

  137. says

    thirdmill

    I have a tested IQ of 152.

    Of course you do.
    I hope you didn’t pay money for the test because you got cheated. AFAIK, there are no tests that (and I use the word loosely here) reliably test IQs on the far side of 130, simply because there are too few people to calibrate a test on.

  138. Hj Hornbeck says

    hotspurphd @150:
    Don’t bother, it’s quite well established that the mean IQ score of black Americans is well below that of white Americans. The debate is over why that is; do poverty rates and the school-to-prison pipleline explain the majority of it? Or, as Murray (sometimes) contends, is the difference primarily due to genetic factors in the African race?

    Here’s an interesting bit of evidence.

    The most definitive proof of Africans’ grossly underestimated genotypic IQ (80 according to Lynn, or 70 according to Jensen and Rushton, et al) has come in recent years from the performance of African school children in the UK. These results sparked instant reactions in the IQ debate world as soon as they started being reported by the news media, with some strong hereditarians suddenly becoming some kind of neo-environmentalists just to explain why white school children were not showing the kind of academic superiority over blacks that they have become accustomed to in the United States (wrong tests, declining white culture, an alleged war on whites, etc – the same kinds of reasons they always dismissed from liberal environmentalists explaining black underachievement in the US).

    The first report that caused some consternation in the IQ blogosphere indicated that black African pupils were apparently catching up with British white pupils on their GCSE tests and that in fact, they had already overtaken them at the lower end: the poor black kids were now performing better than poor white kids (The Guardian, 2010). ….

    A couple of years after that news and more stories of black and other minority progress on GCSEs, GL Assessment, an independent testing organization, published results of their Cognitive Assessment Tests (CAT), indicating the performance of different ethnic groups. The CAT, though given to children at age 11, is highly correlated with GCSE results at age 16. The CAT results confirmed what the GCSEs had shown: that black Africans were catching up with British whites, and this sparked even more panic in the IQ-human biodiversity blogosphere.

    Whoops, it seems black people aren’t a monolith after all; some sub-groups do poorly on tests, while others do quite well.

  139. skeptikos says

    lotharloo @151:

    The word “innate” is ambiguous, so I don’t have a solid answer to that. In some senses yes I think people’s political views are innate.

    The different-politics-in-different-places criticism makes sense for political scaling, but I’m not convinced it applies to g. It seems like you would run into some thorny issues trying to compare IQ scores cross-culturally, but it’s not obvious to me that g in America is different than g in other countries.

  140. b1rd0fprey says

    Isn’t the outrage at Murray overdone. Can anyone tell me what he’s said specifically that justifies the accusation of racist or scum or asshole?

    “Much of the controversy stemmed from Chapters 13 and 14, where the authors write about the enduring differences in race and intelligence and discuss implications of that difference. While the authors were reported throughout the popular press as arguing that these IQ differences are genetic, they write in the introduction to Chapter 13 that “The debate about whether and how much genes and environment have to do with ethnic differences remains unresolved,” and “It seems highly likely to us that both genes and the environment have something to do with racial differences.””

    The APA validated his findings that IQ was a solid predictor of success, and confirmed the Black/White IQ difference. Isn’t it reasonable to assume that genetics and environment both have some role to play in IQ?

  141. b1rd0fprey says

    # emergence

    This quote answers your question, and explains the difficulty in determining the extent IQ reflects genes or environment.
    From APA: Intelligence: New Findings and Theoretical Developments

    https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/amp-67-2-130.pdf

    “Heritability is the proportion of variability in a phenotype that is “accounted for” (in the usual regression sense) by variation in genotype. Most studies estimate that the heritability of IQ is somewhere between .4 and .8 (and generally less for children), but it really makes no sense to talk about a single value for the heritability of intelligence. The heritability of a trait depends on the relative variances of the predictors, in this case genotype and environment. The concept of heritability has its origins in animal breeding, where variation in genotype and environment is under the control of the experimenter, and under these conditions the concept has some real-world applications. In freeranging humans, however, variability is uncontrolled, there is no “true” degree of variation to estimate, and heritability can take practically any value for any trait depending on the relative variability of genetic endowment and environment in the population being studied. In any naturally occurring population, the heritability of intelligence is not zero (if genotype varies at all, it will be reflected in IQ scores) and it is not one (if environment varies at all, it will be reflected in IQ scores). That the heritability of intelligence is between zero and one has one important consequence: Without additional evidence, correlations between biologically related parents and children cannot be unambiguously interpreted as either genetic or (as is more frequently attempted) environmental.”

  142. b1rd0fprey says

    156 Hj Hornbeck

    “evidence”? You must be joking.

    “A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media”.

    It’s not even mainstream media, never mind scholarship.

  143. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Blrd0fprey, you forgot, or was unable, due to YOUR intelligence, so provide the link, not just a title.
    Dismissed.

  144. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Why the hostility Nerd? It’s in wikipedia and for anyone who actually has read his book.

    Ah, Murray, thanks for playing bigot. I’m a real scientist and skeptic, and know ignorant bullshit when folks like you show up citing Murray.

  145. b1rd0fprey says

    164

    Yeah right. Your the one scientist who refers to himself as a “real” scientist. Well, what a relief.

    Produce a “real” racist statement from Murray or the Bell Curve or fuck off.

    By the way, as a “real” linguist I’ve noticed that PZ Myers and Hj Hornbeck are the same person.

    How sad and pitiful that the King Pooba Bigot spotter has to make comments under an alias.

    LOL. Good one PZ you pathetic scum bag.

  146. Hj Hornbeck says

    Random Name Generator @161:

    It’s not even mainstream media, never mind scholarship.

    Why do bigots have such bad reading comprehension?

    The first report that caused some consternation in the IQ blogosphere indicated that black African pupils were apparently catching up with British white pupils on their GCSE tests and that in fact, they had already overtaken them at the lower end: the poor black kids were now performing better than poor white kids (The Guardian, 2010).

    See the bolded bit right there? If you clicked through to the original article, you would have seen it was a link to The Guardian, a British newspaper with a circulation of 160,000 in 2016 (according to Wikipedia).

    Had you clicked the Guardian link, the first two sentences would have been:

    Is Britain fair? A new report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission provides a complete breakdown of how fair Britain has become.

    Had you clicked on their link to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report… you’d have gotten a 404. 2010 was a long time ago in Internet years. :P Still, if you clicked on the “About Us” page, you’d find

    The Equality and Human Rights Commission is Great Britain’s national equality body and has been awarded an ‘A’ status as a National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) by the United Nations.

    Our job is to help make Britain fairer. We do this by safeguarding and enforcing the laws that protect people’s rights to fairness, dignity and respect.

    As a statutory non-departmental public body established by the Equality Act 2006, the Commission operates independently. We aim to be an expert and authoritative organisation that is a centre of excellence for evidence, analysis and equality and human rights law. We also aspire to be an essential point of contact for policy makers, public bodies and business.

    And, if you bothered to search around their website, within a minute you could be looking at the raw report itself. While the graph the Guardian and that article used isn’t in the final report, you can see the predecessor of it in Figure 10.1.1 on page 306. It shows that children of African descent who are eligible for school lunches do better than similar white British kids. Because white British kids who aren’t eligible do significantly better, however, the overall average for students of African descent is lower.

    Oh, and while I’m here, white British kids who qualified for school lunches were also outperformed by black Caribbean, Pakistani, and assorted non-white students. Looks like the problem isn’t genes, but school lunches.

  147. b1rd0fprey says

    Hj Hornbeck (PZ Myers) # 166

    Thanks PZ. The fact remains the article you extensively quoted was alternative media, “Here’s an interesting bit of evidence.” The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection. You take this seriously I suppose.

    Here’s another article from the same source confirming agreement with the supposedly racist actual scholarship pointing to lower IQ’s in African nations, “My argument is therefore not against the low IQ score estimates for African nations (by Richard Lynn, et al)”.

    Presumably you will now ban this magazine since it cites racists. Oh that’s right, drats, you can’t just ban stuff in the real world. Dammitt. Asshole, Scumbag.

    http://www.unz.com/article/will-scrabble-have-the-last-word-on-the-iq-debate/

    But it’s otherwise just a lamentable piece of stupidity suggesting that Africans ability in scrabble actually outweighs racial iq analysis, whatever that means.

    I’m not sure how the logic works with your argument. Black kids are catching up on white kids at the lower end, because of schools lunches. And that means, according to your cherry-picked analysis, that genes have nothing to do with IQ?

    Sorry champ, non-sequitur. All you can conclude is that environment has a role to play. Which everyone knows.

    The argument that people lack innate abilities in intelligence, and that genetic differences do not exist, is just wilful blindness.

    Thanks PZ Myers aka Hj Hornbeck

  148. hiddenheart says

    In practice, being a Charles Murray fan is, much like being Charles Murray, a reliable predictor that one will end up championing racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, imperialistic warmaking, the destruction of social safety nets, and…pretty much the rest of routine modern conservatism. There is no significant population of people who agree with Murray about IQ and yet support social democracy, let alone socialism, and who give anything beyond smug lip service to equal standing in civil society for all its members.

    Does subscribing to Murray’s idea of evidence and argumentation make you, reliably, predictable, a worse person and worse member of society? Or is it just that his ideas of those things are differentially appealing or appalling based on what sort of person one already is? (Or is it both – how much does supporting immoral trash on one front slosh over, anyway?)

  149. hjhornbeck says

    Burner Account @167:

    I’m not sure how the logic works with your argument. Black kids are catching up on white kids at the lower end, because of schools lunches. And that means, according to your cherry-picked analysis, that genes have nothing to do with IQ?

    Sigh, I find myself trying to use words on an illiterate bigot. Since you seem to be a fan of his, I’ll let Murray help explain this:

    [40:23] MURRAY: … the thing about the non-shared environment is it’s not susceptible to systematic manipulation. It’s … idiosyncratic. It’s non-systematic … there are no obvious ways that you can deal with the non-shared environment, in the way that you could say “Oh, we can improve the schools, we can teach better parenting practices, we can provide more money for – …” [those] all fall into the category of manipulating the shared environment and when it comes to personality, as you just indicated, it’s 50/50 [for genes and environment] but almost all that 50 is non-shared.

    Charles Murray thinks that genes trump environment: people from one race should do consistently better on measures of intelligence than people from another, unless there are dramatic differences in environment.

    Well, here’s test scores broken down by race, from Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission. Here’s the data for white kids of British ancestry and black kids of African ancestry. Here’s the data for kids who are in poverty and thus qualify for school lunches, a group that’s a lot more homogenous than those who don’t. The environment is pretty darn similar.

    And yet black kids outwit their white counterparts. Shoot the messenger all you want, that message isn’t changing.

    Fortunately, I do have some pity for the illiterate and ignorant. You want something peer-reviewed? Have I got a copy-paste for you!

    In this article, the authors argue that the overwhelming portion of the literature on intelligence, race, and genetics is based on folk taxonomies rather than scientific analysis. They suggest that because theorists of intelligence disagree as to what it is, any consideration of its relationships to other constructs must be tentative at best. They further argue that race is a social construction with no scientific definition. Thus, studies of the relationship between race and other constructs may serve social ends but cannot serve scientific ends. No gene has yet been conclusively linked to intelligence, so attempts to provide a compelling genetic link of race to intelligence are not feasible at this time. The authors also show that heritability, a behavior-genetic concept, is inadequate in regard to providing such a link.
    Sternberg, Robert J., Elena L. Grigorenko, and Kenneth K. Kidd. “Intelligence, race, and genetics.” American Psychologist 60.1 (2005): 46.

    The bolding’s mine, as I figure you need the help.

    Dammitt. Asshole, Scumbag.

    Argh! My self-esteem has suffered a mighty blow! NOooooooo….

    Thanks PZ Myers aka Hj Hornbeck

    Nothing gets past you, sparky.

  150. hjhornbeck says

    hiddenheart @168:

    Or is it both – how much does supporting immoral trash on one front slosh over, anyway?

    Quite a bit, I figure. I’ve had this sentence on a mental Post-It note for a few years now:

    Higher levels of [rape myth acceptance] were strongly associated with higher levels of other oppressive beliefs, such as ageism (ES =1.01, p < .001), classism (ES = 0.90, p < .001), racism (ES = 0.88, p < .001), and religious intolerance (ES = 0.82, p < .001).

    Suarez, E., and T. M. Gadalla. “Stop Blaming the Victim: A Meta-Analysis on Rape Myths.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 25, no. 11 (November 1, 2010): 2010–35. doi:10.1177/0886260509354503.

    Those effect sizes are shockingly high for social science, and probably out of reach of the replication crisis. And a correlation between RMA and classism plus a correlation between RMA and racism equals a correlation between classism and racism. My theory: the same cognitive flaws that allow you to remain bigoted on one front are very similar to those necessary to maintain bigotry on other fronts.

  151. chigau (違う) says

    …PZ Myers and Hj Hornbeck are the same person…
    which one is Rebecca Watson?

  152. chigau (違う) says

    I spell Myers correctly all the time.
    Where the fuck is my gold star?
    [{(and my cyberpistol)}]

  153. hiddenheart says

    hjhornbeck@170: Wow, that’s some amazingly strong correlation. Thank you for the citation!

  154. b1rd0fprey says

    #169 PZ Myers or clone

    I’m sorry you can whine all you want but I fail to see anything decisive in your mishmash of reports showing both black and white kids who need schools lunches perform about the same. But good on for having the determination to seek out the most obscure sources of information to support your cherished beliefs.

    Since your decade old study there has been some, albeit inconclusive, research on genes.

    “Studies of twins have repeatedly confirmed a genetic basis for intelligence, personality and other aspects of behaviour. ”
    http://www.nature.com/news/smart-genes-prove-elusive-1.15858

    “The researchers picked out 69 gene variants most strongly linked to education level. To establish a more direct link with IQ, they cross-checked this list with genetic variants in a second sample of 24,000 people who also had taken tests of cognitive ability. Three gene variants were found to be associated with both educational attainment and higher IQ scores.”

    http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_22-12-2015-10-13-44

    “Called M1 and M3, these so-called gene networks appear to influence cognitive function – which includes memory, attention, processing speed and reasoning.”

    “We know that genetics plays a major role in intelligence but until now haven’t known which genes are relevant,” said Dr Michael Johnson, lead author of the study from the Department of Medicine at Imperial College.

    “Earlier this year a team at King’s College London discovered that up to 65 per cent of the difference in pupil’s GCSE grades was down to genetics, after analysing genetic data fro, 12,500 twins.

    They found that all exam results were highly heritable, demonstrating that genes explain a larger proportion of the differences between children, between 54 and 65 per cent.”

    See the journal article here.
    http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v19/n2/full/nn.4205.html

    Presumably, you’d agree that the science suggests intelligence is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. The question is how much.

    So let me get this right. Murray is a racist for suggesting that the genetic component is dominant – “trumps” environment?
    Bearing in mind that the current answer to that question is that we don’t know, but we know both genetics and environment play a part???

    Some people seem awfully determined to be hateful.

    We should be talking about populations as opposed to races, as it more accurately describes the evolution of humans due to their movement to various parts of the Earth.

  155. chigau (違う) says

    b1rd0fprey
    Have you considered learning how to post a comment to this blog?
    You seem to have grokked the href but you are fucking-up the quoting.
    blockquote ain’t that hard

  156. b1rd0fprey says

    #178 chigau

    I’m expecting to get banned like others who dare question the current orthodoxy (albeit, not as incisively as the bird!)

    Still, I would appreciate your advice on how to do links and blockquote? I s’pose it says something on the site somewhere?

  157. hjhornbeck says

    hiddenheart @176:
    No prob, I’m always good for a citation!

    Illiterate @177:

    “Studies of twins have repeatedly confirmed a genetic basis for intelligence, personality and other aspects of behaviour. ”

    Keep reading…

    Studies of twins have repeatedly confirmed a genetic basis for intelligence, personality and other aspects of behaviour. But efforts to link IQ to specific variations in DNA have led to a slew of irreproducible results. Critics have alleged that some of these studies’ methods were marred by wishful thinking and shoddy statistics. A sobering editorial in the January 2012 issue of Behavior Genetics declared that “it now seems likely that many of the published findings of the last decade are wrong or misleading and have not contributed to real advances in knowledge”.

    Waiiitaminute, did Nature quote-mine Behavior Genetics? Maybe I should check…

    The literature on candidate gene associations is full of reports that have not stood up to rigorous replication. This is the case both for straightforward main effects and for candidate gene-by-environment interactions (Duncan and Keller 2011). As a result, the psychiatric and behavior genetics literature has become confusing and it now seems likely that many of the published findings of the last decade are wrong or misleading and have not contributed to real advances in knowledge. The reasons for this are complex, but include the likelihood that effect sizes of individual polymorphisms are small, that studies have therefore been underpowered, and that multiple hypotheses and methods of analysis have been explored; these conditions will result in an unacceptably high proportion of false findings (Ioannidis 2005).

    Nope, it looks like the scientific consensus hasn’t changed since 2005. This isn’t news to me, I’ve already quoted both sources.

    “Earlier this year a team at King’s College London discovered that up to 65 per cent of the difference in pupil’s GCSE grades was down to genetics, after analysing genetic data fro, 12,500 twins.

    They found that all exam results were highly heritable, demonstrating that genes explain a larger proportion of the differences between children, between 54 and 65 per cent.”

    Did you read your own citations? Because that quote isn’t in either of them. I also had a look, and there were zero mentions of race in both articles. Do you think that if genes influence intelligence, it must follow that race influences intelligence? They ain’t the same claim, sparky.

    Alas, you’re still an illiterate bigot, unable to comprehend your own citations. Maybe in a few decades, with some practice, you could evolve into a literate asshole. At least then you’d be entertaining, rather than a sad, hollow shell.

  158. chigau (違う) says

    b1rd0fprey
    have a porcupine
    Your banning will NOT be a result of your
    questioningthe current orthodoxy ,
    it will be a result of you violating the rules.
    .
    HTML can be learned everywhere on the intertubes
    you just hafta make the effort

  159. hotspurphd says

    Re 159 b1rd0fprey’s question : what has Murray said which justifies the accusation of racist ,scumbag etc? Can some answer this rather than just calling the poster names? I’m not defending Murray but I’d like to know what you think he said to justify the attacks of him and ‘prey. He quotes murrays book. I’ve seen that quote before. Are you saying the quote is inaccurate? Out of context? Negated by other things he has said. Please answer. And please note that my asking these questions rather than just accepting the orthodoxy here does not make me a bigot. Explain why prey is a bigot. Maybe I missed the evidence presented above but folks I don’t see anything to disagree with in the quoted Murray material.

    b1rd0fprey
    4 May 2017 at 7:59 pm
    Isn’t the outrage at Murray overdone. Can anyone tell me what he’s said specifically that justifies the accusation of racist or scum or asshole?
    “Much of the controversy stemmed from Chapters 13 and 14, where the authors write about the enduring differences in race and intelligence and discuss implications of that difference. While the authors were reported throughout the popular press as arguing that these IQ differences are genetic, they write in the introduction to Chapter 13 that “The debate about whether and how much genes and environment have to do with ethnic differences remains unresolved,” and “It seems highly likely to us that both genes and the environment have something to do with racial differences.””
    The APA validated his findings that IQ was a solid predictor of success, and confirmed the Black/White IQ difference. Isn’t it reasonable to assume that genetics and environment both have some role to play in IQ?

  160. chigau (違う) says

    hotspurphd #182
    After you sober-up, please re-phrase your questions.

  161. b1rd0fprey says

    The head up PZ’s Ass #180

    Here is the link to the missing quotes (please don’t bother posting the entirety of the article).
    http://www.kcl.ac.uk/ioppn/news/records/2015/July/SamegenesmayinfluenceGCSEresultsacrossrangeofsubjects.aspx

    As for the rest of your bloviation – Bravo! You shown the capability to cut and paste from the links I sent you. You think they disprove my argument because you seem to have a binary view of the world that anyone who disagrees with you must be taking an entirely antithetical position.

    Instead, use your outstanding literacy to read what I said. A task made easier by #182 who has helpfully re-posted the Pepsi challenge. You want to prove Murray and anyone who talks with him is a racist, a scumbag, and asshole, then use your prodigious cut and pasting skills to copy the relevant racist section from The Bell Curve in your next post.

    Got that champ? Paste the part that clearly justifies your anger and outrage at the racists.

    Let’s see it, bub.

    I won’t be holding my breath.

  162. says

    b1rd0fprey: You’re missing the forest for the trees. ALL of the commenters here are just me, talking to myself.

    That includes you, b1rd0fprey. You’re a shallow, ignorant fool I’m conjuring up to make all my other sock puppets look brilliant. It’s working marvelously.

  163. says

    I’m mystified how b1rd0fprey can include that quoted paragraph in #160 and think it somehow supports his argument.

    Also, if you want a quick summary of why we don’t like Charles Murray, the SPLC has you covered.

  164. hjhornbeck says

    Incomprehensible @184:

    You shown the capability to cut and paste from the links I sent you. You think they disprove my argument because you seem to have a binary view of the world that anyone who disagrees with you must be taking an entirely antithetical position.

    I’ve read that three times over, and it doesn’t make sense. My citations don’t disprove your arguments because I hold a binary view, my citations disprove them because they disprove the core premises. For that matter, your citations do the same task. No wonder you keep running from your arguments to silly things like this:

    Paste the part [of The Bell Curve] that clearly justifies your anger and outrage at the racists.

    [insert slow clap here]

    If government agencies and peer-reviewed research can be dismissed by you without justification, nothing I say or do would ever convince you. Fly free, little bigot! I release you from this argument! Enjoy a mint ice-cream cone in the sun, make sweet gentle love, and let not this thread trouble your head.

  165. b1rd0fprey says

    So no-one can quote the unambiguously racist part of The Bell Curve?

    QED.

  166. b1rd0fprey says

    The SLPC also includes Maajid Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. The organisation is internationally regarded as a joke. Rather than quote the section you simply cite this organisation as if it’s an unquestioned authority.

    Why not quote the book if it’s that obvious? There is an obvious reason.

    Thanks to the two posters who displayed some level of intellectually curiosity, and generosity of spirit.

    Best of luck to the trollmaster PZ and his meat puppets and aliases in becoming an increasingly closed minded and mean spirited group. Virtue is not achieved by hatefulness.

  167. says

    PZ must be some sort of supergenius if he can teach classes, do research, write a blog as PZ Myers, pretend to be hjhornbeck, write a blog as hjhornbeck, and possibly do similar things with other sockpuppets. Or maybe he’s actually the Flash.

  168. says

    @b1rd0fprey
    This should be interesting.

    Let’s agree on definitions of bigotry and racism first. Your issues with seperating individuals from the group suggest some cognitive vulnerabilities with respect to your own bigotry (which I will be happy to outline as we proceede).

    Do you want to go first?

  169. hiddenheart says

    Brony, Social Justice Cenobite@194: I’m in a similar situation. I have yet to see any sign that IQ correlates in any way with the qualities that strike me as essential for the best societies: concern for the dignity, security, and opportunity of everyone; a regard for consequences, both intended and not; kindness; good humor; a proper balance of forgiveness and judgment, particularly when it comes to harm inflicted on people not like oneself; a fascination with how the world actually works, a delight in learning, a willingness to admit one was wrong; respect for interests, outlooks, and priorities not one’s own while maintaining a suitable confidence in one’s own choices; and on and on. IQ genuinely tells us nothing about how likely it is that an individual or a population will have any of them.

    But obsessing over it is very handy for establishing and maintaining a racist and otherwise discriminatory hierarchical regime with hot and cold running authoritarianism, all while feeling good and scientific about oneself.

  170. says

    @hiddenheart
    I’m modifying my previous comment because after the fact I realized, I can’t can’t directly see how I have socially benefitted from as a white person. I don’t see a benefit between me and other white people.

    My challenge to the IQ troll is still valid, but I traded accuracy for rhetoric in my second comment. I learned something useful about myself.

  171. jazzyaltidore says

    IQ is highly predictive of life success, and many twin studies show it has a large genetic component. What’s the controversy?

  172. jazzyaltidore says

    LOL at the people humble-bragging about their IQs in this thread. For people who claim IQ is meaningless, they seem very proud of their IQs. Murray actually made this point on the pod-cast.

  173. jazzyaltidore says

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/12061787/Intelligence-genes-discovered-by-scientists.html

    Researchers have believed for some time that intellect is inherited with studies suggesting that up to 75 per cent of IQ is genetic, and the rest down to environmental factors such as schooling and friendship groups.
    But until now, nobody has been able to pin-point exactly which genes are responsible for better memory, attention, processing speed or reasoning skills.

  174. =8)-DX says

    @jazzyaltidore #199 – #201

    LOL at the people humble-bragging about their IQs in this thread.

    The point is that anyone can get a good IQ score from a test. In fact all you have to do is take multiple IQ tests, and many IQ tests available will easily provide “high” values. The number really has no bearing on one’s actual intelligence, success, educational attainment. It’s really petty for you to pretend people who think IQ is a meaningless metric are “bragging” about something they consider without merit: they’re saying exactly the opposite of what you think they’re saying.

    up to 75 per cent of IQ is genetic

    If you’d actually read the thread you’d know any percentage estimates of the heritability of IQ concern the variance of IQ, not the genetic components of IQ itself, and that any inferences of genetics from IQ rely on shoddy methodology and are essentially pseudoscience. Furthermore linking to a newspaper article and then quoting a journalist’s misrepresentations and speculation doesn’t constitute a very good argument. From the article you linked, it seems that at most there are some correlations between gene networks and cognitive disorders, none of which validate the spurious value of IQ tests themselves.

    If we’re going to be doing “argument by telegraph article”, I can respond with http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/9755929/IQ-tests-do-not-reflect-intelligence.html. Wow, gosh why didn’t the later researchers use these peeps’ multi-factor test instead of IQ? Perhaps because IQ measurement has been fetishised by race realists because it plays into people’s biases?

    =8)-DX

  175. Matthew Rogers says

    Are you guys still flogging Atheism +, i.e. smearing fellow atheists to score points with teenage communist edgelords who will never like you anyway? How did that work out? Hint Harris has a larger audience than you for a reason, because he calls out the sleazy smear tactics your ilk uses, because you are more committed to a political cause than empirical truth.

  176. says

    Hark! Harrisite Central sends out a stats turkey! Hint: we don’t care about being popular, we care about being right

  177. says

    We want to score points with “edgelords”? How would someone get that impression? The “edgelords” tend to be assholes who love the alt-right, kind of the opposite of this place.

    I do love how these people are so clueless that they think being conservative is non-political.

  178. jazzyaltidore says

    This site cares about being right so much that the original author of this article couldn’t even listen to the podcast because the subject matter was just SO TRIGGERING. LOL.

  179. jazzyaltidore says

    Finally, to respond to 202’s “anyone can get a good IQ score..” LOL. Clearly you’ve never met anyone who struggled greatly to break 1000 on the SAT, despite tons of preparation. Can someone with downs score 1500 on the SAT? If you’ve ever spoken to someone with an 80 IQ, and then with someone with a 130 IQ, the differences are immediately apparent.

    We know that schizophrenia, depression, and the existence of other brain functioning issues are genetic and inherited. Why would the brain functioning issue of intelligence be any different?

    IQ is highly predictive of life outcomes for blacks and whites alike. This is not limited to issues related to schooling. IQ correlates with mortality rates and out of wedlock birth rates, even when controlling for educational attainment.

    Arguments that (1) IQ has nothing to do with a “real” measure of intelligence; and (2) intelligence has no genetic basis are examples of science denial because of upset political feelings. Proven by the author of the original article, who somehow thought it would be good for her reputation to write a scathingly critical article about a podcast she never even listened to.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-intelligence-hereditary/

  180. chigau (違う) says

    jazzyaltidore #207
    Proven by the author of the original article, who somehow thought it would be good for her reputation to write a scathingly critical article about a podcast she never even listened to.
    Who?

  181. chigau (違う) says

    jazzyaltidore #209
    Why are you referring to the author of this blog as she and her?

  182. jazzyaltidore says

    Because it is politically correct to use “she” as your default modifier from time to time when the gender is unknown. I don’t see a name here. And of course you can NEVER assume GENDER in this world based on a name, because that is TRIGGERING. So I went with the SAFEST and MOST COMPASSIONATE pronoun.

    Now please answer the merits of my previous post instead of distracting.

  183. chigau (違う) says

    The blog author’s name and other info are on the side-bar.
    There is even a photo.
    .
    Your previous comment contains a link to itself.
    The comment before that one contains a link to an editorial comment.

  184. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    jazzyaltidore,

    Non-gendered pronouns are preferred as the default here. “They” works quite nicely.

    But PZ is a man, so it’s “he” for him.

  185. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Now please answer the merits of my previous post instead of distracting.

    What merits? Standard Harris fanboi drivel. Already discussed and refuted here for years, and therefore given its due consideration. None.

  186. jazzyaltidore says

    LOL. Yea that’s been refuted for years, just like global warming! I guess all the neuroscientists and psychologists and genetic scientists slowly unraveling the essence of intelligence are Sam Harris fan boys too. They must be evil, racist scientists.

    (And “they” is a plural pronoun, so I won’t be using it for a singular.)

  187. hjhornbeck says

    (And “they” is a plural pronoun, so I won’t be using it for a singular.)

    Uh…

    Much has been written on they, and we aren’t going to attempt to cover it here. We will note that this ungrammatical pronoun has been in consistent use since the late 1300s; that the development of singular they mirrors the development of the singular you from the plural you, yet we don’t complain that singular you is ungrammatical; and that regardless of what detractors say, nearly everyone uses the singular they in casual conversation and often in formal writing. – Merriam-Webster

    Despite objections, there is a trend to use ‘singular they’. In fact, it is historically long established. It goes back at least to the 16th century, and writers such as Shakespeare, Sidney, Byron, and Ruskin used it:

    There’s not a man I meet but doth salute me

    As if I were their well-acquainted friend (Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors)

    Oxford Dictionaries

  188. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    (And “they” is a plural pronoun, so I won’t be using it for a singular.)

    Oh really is that so?

    And I’m guessing you never use the singular “you” either….

  189. says

    Hey, jazzywhatsit probably thinks calling PZ “she” is a clever little insult. Says it all, really.

  190. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    just like global warming!

    Attempts at snark do not provide scientific evidence for the claims of Harris. Harris does science like creationistsm bringing up old, solidly refuted studies. You know that. Quit bluffing. You reek of philosophical bullshit, where arguments mean more that evidence to you.

  191. jazzyaltidore says

    Lets start small. I’ve yet to here a compelling defense of the blog author’s decision to write a scathingly critical article about a podcast she didn’t even listen to. Please proceed.

  192. jazzyaltidore says

    Also, please provide me your positions on (1) intelligence; and (2) IQ. Do either exist? Do either have biological factors? Do either have genetic factors?

    If you think you’ve answered my posts previously, please link me to the specific post doing so. This is “freethoughtblogs.com” after all.

  193. Ogvorbis: A bear of very little brains. says

    jazzyaltidore:

    My position on IQ is that it is a way to enforce conformity. Well educated white academics in a particular cultural and social milieu came up with a test that, basically, determines how closely you conform to the cultural and social milieu of well educated white academics.

    And I have anecdotal evidence of it being useless. I am really good at taking tests. Including the IQ test. I was tested in 4th, 5th and twice in 6th grades. I was tested in 8th grade. Each time I took the test, I scored higher relative to my physical age. So how is that an objective measure?

    Intelligence exists by many definitions. The one I think you refer to — academic intelligence — is (a) measurable via grades and (b) highly variable, dependent upon socialization and upbringing, dependent on nutrition and health care, and subject to racism and bigotry by teachers and administrators.

  194. chigau (違う) says

    jazzyaltidore
    You now know that the author of this blog uses ‘he’ and ‘him’.
    Why are you persisting in using ‘she’?
    Do you have a small IQ?

  195. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    This is “freethoughtblogs.com” after all.

    Freethought doesn’t mean anything you think should be considered by anyone else, as what you think may be fuckwittery. I’m waiting for YOUR unrefuted empirical evidence to support YOU. Example, the Bell Curve was refuted by The Mismeasure of Man. Yet folks still try to use The Bell Curve as evidence. It isn’t, once it was refuted.

  196. adrianrb says

    I tried to read through all the comments, but it was hard since English is not my main language, and people use a lot of slangs that are difficult to understand for me.
    There is something in this thread that I don’t understand. People here are labeling Harris and Murray as racists, but I don’t get why the label. This is what I understood from the comments (there might be other asseverations to be made, but I think these are the more important):
    1. There are flaws in the methodology
    2. The concept of IQ measures something, but that “something” cannot be considered as intelligence (or at least cannot be considered as “the” test to measure it.
    3. Harris was not critic enough towards Murray during the interview.
    I listened to the interview, but didn’t hear anything wrong, then I saw the comments here and some other places, and now I know that yes, there’s definitely something wrong with the methodology and the study might be invalid.
    But, with all of this, Why is Murray being labeled as racist? I really fail to see that. From my point of view, in order for someone to be labeled as a racist by doing an IQ test of this nature, I would think that this person needs to inflate or skew data on purpose in order to prove a point, which I don’t think is the case here.
    Forget me if someone else has made this point in the thred and I didn’t read it.

  197. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Adrianrb#226, from the OP.

    AWM recommends you read Lane’s article on the tainted sources of The Bell Curve — it’s poisonous garbage through and through. It’s bad science, something Harris should have brought up.

    The Bell Curve has been solidly refuted as racist bullshit, and isn’t scientific. The requirement for Harris defenders is to show with scientific, not philosophical evidence, that the Bell Curve is good science. They can’t/won’t do that, because they believe in the premise of the bad science (racism), not what the actual science says.

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