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October 23, 2007

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My knowledge of genetics is pretty much limited to what I've picked up from reading Gene Expression. Nonetheless, if I'm reading the quoted comment from "Marc" correctly, whites are closer to blacks than to Asians in terms of the three IQ-affecting alleles. According to most IQ studies, however, the IQ gap between whites and NE Asians is just a few points, nothing like the infamous 1 SD white/black gap. Is this really a contradiction, or am I just misinterpreting the comment?

To fully study the problem you need to take all genes into account, and this would be very hard. We don't even have a precise formulation for what IQ is. However, you might be right that there is some limited evidence that points to your conclusion.

The main problem with IQ that I see is that it doesn't fully describe intelligence. All the tests that measure something similar, including the IQ tests, SAT, GRE, LSAT, GMAT, are geared towards solving trivial problems fast. Because of the time concern, the view is that it measure raw IQness. But is this IQ?

No so! In my view, IQ needs to measure people's capability to make and understand complicated arguments and creativity. To be a researcher you need plenty of both, but you don't necessarily need to solve trivial problems quickly.

Take mathematics for example: in the IMO (International Math Olympiad), China has been leading.

According to http://www.srcf.ucam.org/~jsm28/imo-scores/ this is the list of countries that won the IMO (since 1977):

China: 13 times
Russia: 4 times
Romania, West Germany: 2 times
US, Bulgaria, Iran: 1 time

Israel never made it to top 10. India has two 7th places, a 9th and a 10th.

The IMO tests are way more complicated than the so called IQ tests, and way more relevant. However, a researcher needs even more; he needs a lot more creativity and the ability to make much more complicated arguments, and not under time pressure. Take a look at the MIT math department (the most meritocratic university), particularly at who's faculty. http://math.mit.edu/cgi-bin/directory.cgi

The egalitarians will say, correctly but speciously all the same, not all of the genes influencing intelligence have been found, so talk about racial differences in intelligence is premature.

Another thing is the ability to LEAD, which seems to be correlated with athletic power and not IQ.

Blacks have the highest athletic ability. Even body fat percentage is different: they have less of it.

Think of the top pro bodybuilders: nowadays almost all are black. There has never been an Asian bodybuilder competing pro.

Now, here’s an interesting point. If even a single gene correlated with intelligence occurs with different frequencies in the different races, this alone proves that there are racial differences in intelligence. How is that? Well, the egalitarian theory holds that every race has identical intelligence. Therefore, whatever genes there are that affect intelligence, they must be distributed exactly equally in all human races. Once even a small race difference is proven, the egalitarian theory is proven false. At that point, it’s only a matter of determining which race has the higher average intelligence based on the genetic evidence.

Wow, talk about a convergence of thought. I've been saying exactly this for years and I noticed the other day that Deogolwulf appears to have hit upon exactly the same idea. We may not be able to prove exactly how much difference there is by the discovery of a single "smart gene" but assuming intelligence is even slightly hereditary then it is impossible to come to the conclusion that all races are equally intelligent. In fact, the only reason to really presume they might be nearly equal is by some mechanism of cognitive convergence that hasn't been described or what Deogolwulf might call the "Conspecific Law of Equalising Inertia."

You could go further and state that even if intelligence genes had a roughly equal percentage distribution in various races, a mere difference in population sizes would guarantee that such gene distributions could not be exactly proportional at all times though they would almost certainly be otherwise inconsequential.

Finally, you need not even look for "smart genes" to prove there must be a difference in intelligence among various races: it could be pointed out that any difference in predisposition to genetic disorders resulting in mental retardation would guarantee differences in the mean IQ of races even assuming all non-retarded individuals of every race had the same mean intelligence.

The exception is genes that cause lower intelligence but nevertheless confer a unique survival advantage to Asian and European populations. Imagine a hypothetical genetic variant that causes both lower IQ but greater protection from the cold weather. This gene is useless to Africans living in the hot jungles, but valuable to northern people dealing with cold winters. This is an example of how a gene might buck the trend and appear to disprove the hypothesis that blacks are less intelligent than Asians and white.

I remember reading a physical anthropology study from way back in the 1950s which found that on average the children of whites and Native Americans from the Northern Plains were taller than either of their parents. This could be the result of different genes controlling height in Indians and whites.

Such a mechanism might have a parallel when it comes to genetic intelligence: even if we discover differences in intelligence among races that do not favor Africans or Native Americans (and mestizos) it could still be the case that individual genes at certain loci in either of these races are superior to European or Asian versions in conferring intelligence. The ideal combination of genes for intelligence might involve some African and Indian genes even in Africans or Indians are less intelligent on the average than whites or Asians.

I noticed this post a few days ago at Gene Expression:

TopTen the Hottest Smart Girls In Hollywood (NSFW if you page down). Any thoughts? These are supposed to be intelligent women, so I note that there is a 20% representation of Ashkenazi Jews (1 full, 2 half). Three women on the list are black-white biracial, while one is 1/8 Burmese.

This can't be considered strong evidence of the hypothesis I mentioned but it's a possibility worth keeping in mind.

Even before genetic sequencing, we knew of at least one gene correlated with intelligence. That’s the gene for myopia
...
Jews and Asians have the greatest prevalence of myopia, non-Jewish whites in the middle, and blacks have the least prevalence of myopia. The distribution is as expected. The smartest races have the greatest prevalence of myopia.

Anecdote Zone: David Alexander, his two siblings, mother, aunts, maternal grandmother, several cousins, and neice are perpetual glasses wearers, using them since childhood. OTOH, David's father, a civil engineer by training, does not wear glasses.

Retarded Question: What is the distribution of mentally challenged children of different races?

Once even a small race difference is proven, the egalitarian theory is proven false.

As an egalitarian*, the problem that many of us have is that this type of knowledge destroys our philosophy, and makes it hard to "sell". The egalitarian notion of races being equal is from my perspective the only thing that prevents the greater population from unleashing their hatred upon those of my race. I have no faith in the rest of humanity in either treating blacks equally if it's common and accepted knowledge that black average IQ is lower than white and Asian averages, nor do I have any faith in the ability of the average person to discern and treat the black population that reaches the white average with respect either.

*Yes, I'm one of those loser weirdos who wants to abolish the entire concept of "race" and just have people living together as one large cohesive group (yes, no more separate black neighbourhood), but you pesky scientists keep bringing it up and ruining "our" plans.

One of the half-Jewish women listed is Rashida Jones, who is Quincy Jones's daughter and per wikipedia, also of Cherokee, Black, and Welsh descent from her father. The other two mulatto women are Jennifer Beals (Irish Mother, Black Father), and Alicia Keys (Italian/Irish Mother, Jamaican Father).

Tommy wrote:

"TopTen the Hottest Smart Girls In Hollywood (NSFW if you page down). Any thoughts? These are supposed to be intelligent women, so I note that there is a 20% representation of Ashkenazi Jews (1 full, 2 half). Three women on the list are black-white biracial, while one is 1/8 Burmese."


Sharon Stone was on that list, and her IQ has been shown to have been fraudulent PR-BS put out by her/her agent years ago.

The other women on that list majored in non-math, non-science subjects. Im sorry folks, but the ability to speak two or three languages while getting a degree in "theatre" does not a Newton make. Natalie Portman was numero uno on this list and she has said some zany things. There are so many other real brainy women out there in the real world, and Hollywood too (but with the wrong politics I'd bet), that could blow these ten gals out of the water.


David Alexander wrote:
"Yes, I'm one of those loser weirdos who wants to abolish the entire concept of "race" and just have people living together as one large cohesive group (yes, no more separate black neighbourhood), but you pesky scientists keep bringing it up and ruining "our" plans"

........People who have "plans" for the rest of humanity and how they choose to live (segregation is practically voluntary and happeing more now than ever as our wealthy whites move behind gated community fences to get away from non-whites they'd rather not live around) is what makes conservatives hate liberals so much. There is no way to end segregation rather than by ending choice or forcing people to interbreed until there are no more visually distinct races left. The left would like to see both happen, and of course this will be resisited and resented by both the center and the right (and secretely by much of the left).

Who know? Maybe being really smarr isn't that crash hot anyway? What about that episode of The Simpsons where the local mensa group ran the town for a while and failed (you know, the one that had Stephen Hawkings at the end "Homer I like your theory of a doughnut-shaped universe I may have to steal it")?

I actually likewise wonder if there is a inverse proportion between long life and living fully. As in 'those who know they probably won't live to see 60 will live life to the fullest' or alternatively 'boring types who eat right, exercise right, no real history of family illnesses, etc., tend to simple dreary lives. Hence a genetic tendency towards a long life may in fact threaten innovation as those who 'live life to the fullest' are the movers and shakers that cause society to progress.

Sharon Stone was on that list, and her IQ has been shown to have been fraudulent PR-BS put out by her/her agent years ago.

Ah! Thanks. So that is what this is about. I keep hearing some say this is true and others say it's a hoax but I've never been able to get the full story on the Sharon Stone/High IQ controversy.

The other women on that list majored in non-math, non-science subjects. Im sorry folks, but the ability to speak two or three languages while getting a degree in "theatre" does not a Newton make. Natalie Portman was numero uno on this list and she has said some zany things. There are so many other real brainy women out there in the real world, and Hollywood too (but with the wrong politics I'd bet), that could blow these ten gals out of the water.

Yeah, I know this is a pretty debatable thing but you aren't going to find too many attractive men who are math or science majors in Hollywood either.

Anecdote Zone: David Alexander, his two siblings, mother, aunts, maternal grandmother, several cousins, and neice are perpetual glasses wearers, using them since childhood. OTOH, David's father, a civil engineer by training, does not wear glasses.

I pwn myopia. I'm very nearsighted. Reading this text on a flat-screen monitor from six inches away is impossible without contacts or glasses. I'm also ambidextrous and can write well with both hands though I have a slight preference for my right hand.

My father was also a civil engineer. He wore glasses only for reading.

"The ideal combination of genes for intelligence might involve some African and Indian genes even in Africans or Indians are less intelligent on the average than whites or Asians"

Evidence: The Seminoles (aka "The Unconquered People" and one of the Five Civilized Tribes). Don't know if there is a study of IQ among Seminoles, though.

There is a paper on IQ as a function of hybrid vigor among Eur-asians in Hawaii, however. (About a fifth of the state is bi-racial). Alon Ziv refrences it in his book Breeding Between the Lines. Some evidence of hybrid vigour.

Back to Afro-Indians and IQ: Cuba and Brazil should yield relevant evidence. I will predict that the average IQ among Afro-Indians is lower than the average among Euro co-nationals. But I am open to being proven wrong (and have given the grounds for doing so).

Anecdote Zone: David Alexander, his two siblings, mother, aunts, maternal grandmother, several cousins, and neice are perpetual glasses wearers, using them since childhood. OTOH, David's father, a civil engineer by training, does not wear glasses.

Ed Miller has a paper on the IQ-myopia connection.

The "money quote":

"The proximate cause of myopia is known to be an eyeball that is long relatively to the focal length of the lens (Curtin 1985). Such a physical trait is very plausibly subject to strong genetic influence. It is also known that brain size and IQ are correlated. (I summarized the evidence in my papers and Storfer has summarized it in the target paper). Embryologically, the eye is an outgrowth of the brain. This makes it very plausible that one growth related gene could affect the size of both the eyeball and the brain."

And yes, Miller wares glasses. :-)

Afro-Indians and IQ: Cuba and Brazil should yield relevant evidence.

Amerindian admixture is small in both those countries.

"Yes, I'm one of those loser weirdos who wants to abolish the entire concept of "race" and just have people living together as one large cohesive group[...]"

Race denial can have life-and-death consequences, especially if you are a racial minority looking for a donor organ that your body (or the body of a relative) will not reject.

"Retarded Question: What is the distribution of mentally challenged children of different races?"

Epidemiologic Study of Down Syndrome in a Racially Diverse California Population, 1989–1991

"The racial/ethnic diversity and large size of the population allowed the data to be stratified into five racial categories—Hispanics, whites, Asians, blacks, and others. For the period 1989–1991, the observed prevalence of Down syndrome was 1.13 per 1,000 live births, and the adjusted total prevalence, which took into account the termination of affected pregnancies following prenatal diagnosis, was 1.53 per 1,000 live births. In a comparison of quinquennial maternal age-specific risk rates of Down syndrome by race, Hispanics and whites were the only groups with rates that differed significantly from each other, with Hispanics exhibiting higher rates at maternal ages under 40 years

"Retarded Question: What is the distribution of mentally challenged children of different races?"

There are two types of retardation: familial and organic. The former is caused by normal population variation in intelligence while the latter is caused by diverse problems such as genetic defects or head injuries. Organically retarded people usually have related motor and social problems.

Retardation is measured by a combination of IQ and adaptive scales. Sometimes an IQ of 70 is used as the threshold of retardation. People with familial retardation and organic retardation of matched IQ perform the same in academic and training contexts, but organically retarded individuals do worse on the adaptive scales which measure things such as self-care, motor skills, and social functioning.

There are over five times as many blacks (16%) with an IQ of 70 or below than whites (3%). But of these about the same number are organically retarded (whites 1.5%, blacks 2.0%).

[Source: The g Factor, p 369]

Dude, you didn't post my correction regarding rs:2619538. (Maybe I hadn't made it yet when you were posting, though.) I got my alleles mixed up. Actually, 69% of blacks had the allele that correlates with the *higher* IQ, versus 31% of whites and only 1% of Asians.

When you calculate the sum effects of the four alleles using the hapmap data, it leaves blacks with an IQ deficit of 3.6 points relative to whites (the boost they get from rs:2619538 doesn't entirely make up for the distribution of the other alleles) and whites and Asians are nearly equal, with Asians having a deficit of .2 IQ points relative to whites.

Having said that, I got to say, once the gentle euphoria of "discovery" wore off, I realized that this doesn't really prove anything. I don't even know how many, if any, of the studies tying these alleles to intelligence have been replicated, and all the studies I've seen suggest that there may be as many as 50 alleles coding for intelligence, if not more.

Still, it was a fun exercise, and I do think that as more alleles are identified (and verified) we will be able to get a much more complete picture.

Having said that, I got to say, once the gentle euphoria of "discovery" wore off, I realized that this doesn't really prove anything.

We plugged this stuff in nearly a year ago at gnxp, and decided it wasn't worth much commotion. But, yep, it's definitely a start.

It is a start of an intellectual and scientific lynching by a bunch of white racists who are using science as a cover for their bigotry. Reading some of the coments here on this hateful website was like having a noose hung on my office door.

Yes, I'm sure it was JUST like that. (Rolls eyes...) Take your histrionics elsewhere!

How much would you like to bet that the Columbia noose incident was a hoax perpetrated by the professor?

The value of finding alleles that cause higher intelligence is in creating smart drugs to make everyone smarter. Environmental interventions had this rationale once upon a time, but that justification was abandoned as it became clear that they could not raise IQ by small changes in social and academic environment.

I would love to know what gives the Eskimo their advantage in spatial ability. In frames of mind, Howard Gardner says that 60% of eskimo children do as well as the top 10% of caucasian children. Given identical standard deviations, that means eskimos are about 1.5 standard deviations above whites.

Presuming Gardner is not lying, that would make them the Jews of spatial ability.

It would not be the first college hate crime that was actually perpetrated by the "victim" against whites. I was using hoax to be polite. A more accurate term would be fraud, or hate crime. She did not experience much institutional racism-she is a professor at an Ivy League school.

The only racism institutionalized at colleges is against whites. You may well support it. We call it affirmative action.

And would it kill you to adopt a handle?

Perhaps the invention of glasses in Europe around 1300, (Wikipedia on eyeglasses) removed the handicap of the myopia gene and allowed the intelligent to have more children. Recent natural selection?

Perhaps the invention of glasses in Europe around 1300, (Wikipedia on eyeglasses) removed the handicap of the myopia gene and allowed the intelligent to have more children. Recent natural selection?

Could be. Then again, before literacy was widespread myopia wasn't much of a handicap.

Robert,

Probably not, I would guess that it took even longer for a large fraction of the population to have access to them. Also Asians had glasses later, and they have a higher rate of myopia.

If I had to guess, I think it is the transition from hunting and gathering to farming that removed a big chunk of the cost of being nearsighted. But looking for selection looks like a job for our resident hapmasters. Also, having more jobs that required near work opened up more niches in society for the nearsighted.

There is also a diet-expressed myopia connection. If I feel ambitious, I'll see if I can find a study or two.

This page has a list of variables that correlate with IQ. http://www.childrenofmillennium.org/eugenics/articles/index.php

Perhaps the invention of glasses in Europe around 1300 ... removed the handicap of the myopia gene

I was thinking the same thing, but I don't think eyeglasses became commonly available until the late 1600s, and it was probably only the rich (and the very small middle-class that existed back then) who could afford them.

Galileo did his astronomical observations in the first decade of the 1600s using a telescope, so that's probably when lenses were first available.

The invention of the telescope was like the invention of gene sequencing today. Galileo observed stuff through his telescope that was politically incorrect for his time. We can observe stuff through gene sequencing that's politically incorrect for the present time.

I will not choose a name, so why don't you give me a slave name like you did to my ancestors, like maybe Toby or Bigger Thomas.

Troll.

Mr. No Name is a white dude pretending to be a black militant.

Enjoy the pantomime if you must, but please don't feed the troglodytes.

All you're ever going to "prove" with this data, is that different races take different tests differently. Which doesn't seem very surprising if one is willing to concede that the test is nothing more-nor-less than a comparison device, and one which is likely to self-select for people most similar to the creators.

IQ tests don't prove intelligence. And race is such a huge group, with so many different other factors involved, that it is impossible to prove that one "race" is significantly different than another with nothing more than a test that asks you to recognize vocabulary words and match shapes and patterns.

It's silly and willful to pretend this says something deep about a whole group of people. And I don't know why this claim is so important to some of you. But these comments make for ugly, uncomfortable reading.

It's silly and willful to pretend this says something deep about a whole group of people.

What it says is that alleles are distributed differently among different populations. Why is that even controversial?

And I don't know why this claim is so important to some of you.

Um, because human biodiversity is interesting? Really, someone who collects stamps for a hobby isn't constantly put on the spot to explain why it is he finds stamps so interesting. Amatuer astronomers aren't asked to explain why they find the sky interesting. It's called human curiosity. I find human biodiversity interesting. Sue me.

Dizzy,
Your comments sound great for some anthropology class at Williams or Wellsley, but "different tests" won't cut it in the real world. Maybe you would like to go to a doctor who has passed a "different test" instead of the usual boards or hire a lawyer who passed a "different" bar exam. What could go wrong?

http://lyingeyes.blogspot.com/2007/05/feds-brightest-not-diverse-enough-for.html

Check out the link above. How many "different tests" can we come up with for the FD? So maybe some black fire fighter took a diferent test and didn't know how many 3 foot lengths of hose make 90 feet. It is only your property or life that could be lost. But that is a small price to pay right?
Sorry, but 1+1=2 no matter your race, intelligence or whatever.

The difference is that stamp collecting cannot be used as a means to prove that an about one sixth of the world's population is inferior and incapable when compared to the rest of the population.

There are probably quite a few genes that increase or decrease intelligence. Making it difficult to determine which genes each population has. Suppose Europeans have gene A and Asians lack it, while another gene exclusive to Asians could have an even greater effect on IQ than gene A. Thus causing Asians to be smarter overall.

one which is likely to self-select for people most similar to the creators.

That is counterfactual. The tests were created by whites, but Asians get higher scores. But Jews score higher still, so I suppose one could argue that it is a Jewish conspiracy. But one would be wrong.

Genetic correlates of IQ are important because we may someday be able to create smart drugs. It is certainly more fulfilling to build robots than work as a Wal-Mart greeter. Few imaginable situations are worse than living in the Congo.

In our defense, the claim is considered interesting by lots of other people. Like the ones who suspended James Watson from his job. When people lose their jobs for making (possibly true) claims, it seems reasonable to see if the claims are actually true.

And I miss your blog Dizzy. I hope being a lawyer is better than law school. Your experiences in school convinced me not to apply.

The difference is that stamp collecting cannot be used as a means to prove that an about one sixth of the world's population is inferior and incapable when compared to the rest of the population.

Are you concerned that people will use information about longevity to "prove" that that Americans are "inferior" to Japanese?

Are you concerned that people will use information about height to "prove" that Japanese are "inferior" to Netherlanders?

People can and do use these sorts of data to "prove" these sorts of claims. But they are stupid.

It's silly and willful to pretend this says something deep about a whole group of people. And I don't know why this claim is so important to some of you. But these comments make for ugly, uncomfortable reading.
I don't know what anybody else's reasons are, but here I have something that powerful people know but want to keep quiet. And want it badly enough to cashier a Nobel laureate who everyone admits has shown real leadership in science as a followup to his prize instead of resting on his laurels.

I read the Memory Hole, was a conspiracy fan in my youth, and have to spend my whole working day pretending I like people I really couldn't care less about and who, for all I know, are badmouthing me behind my back. (That's the reality of the modern office, it wears easier on some people than others.) Being politically incorrect is nice for a change.

And I do like to argue. I could go to Daily Kos and post "yeah, I think Bush sucks too" but what fun would that be? Really, I can't get into physical fights because that would be painful (mostly for me), so I argue on a website. If you're hurt by what people say, you can always leave. It's closer to consensual S/M than anything else.

Speaking of arguing, where is Jewish Atheist? That guy usually has a response for everything. Maybe it has gotten too mean, nasty and (my favorite!) "uncomfortable" for him around here with all the "racists" and such. With all this reality going around he is in for a rough time.


But these comments make for ugly, uncomfortable reading.


And, of course, the constitution gives all an inalienable right not to be made to feel uncomfortable. Thank god for the constitution.

People can and do use these sorts of data to "prove" these sorts of claims. But they are stupid.

But those people are influential, and can spread their knowledge to people that I have deal with to interact with on society on a daily basis, and I am afraid that once these people learn, the way that they treat me and others like me for the worse.

But those people are influential

Stormfront types are fringe. Unfortunately, when you outlaw ideas, only outlaws will have them. People who promote the Nobel Lie only make things worse by granting the fringe a monopoly on reality.

"Nobel Lie"

You mean Noble Lie, right? With all the stuff about Al Gore and global warming I was laughing my ass off.

Why are you girls and guys so in love with IQ? I've met high IQ people who were idiots.

European White:

You got us pegged! Every person who is interested in issues of race and intelligence is really just trying to make up for the fact that we are 400 lb losers who can't get laid.

Grow up, dude.

A point that needs making is that if the more intelligent among us were less highly "privileged" -- by which I do NOT mean they tend to be the leaders of society, but rather that they arrogate to themselves a disproportionate share of the fruits of our economy -- people wouldn't care so passionately about possible racial differences in intelligence, which is what they do when they about their children's future welfare, whom they choose to marry, etc.

In other words: a more egalitarian society, in the redistributionist sense, would also be a less race-conscious society, for the simple reason that racial differences wouldn't matter so much.

This is one more reason why the unaddressed economic disparities driven by our current trade and immigration policies are so controversial: one more reason to search harder for better and more efficient ways to redress the economic inequalities that are naturally produced in a market economy.

It can be done -- the answers are there in the literature of economics (see BornAgainDemocrats.com)-- it's just that we as a society don't know how to do it yet because we haven't studied those answers in a serious way. Hint: they have nothing to do with minimum wage laws, means tested welfare payments, a progressive income tax, or collective bargaining agreements.

Yeah, this brings to mind a huge fallacy regarding the topic of "genes for intelligence".

Just 2 years ago, they found 2 alleles- one that lowers IQ by a full 20 points, and another that raises it vice versa. And while the IQ lowering allele showed up at a frequency of about 25% in european and east asian samples, it was completely absent in a sample of african yoruba: http://foreigndispatches.typepad.com/dispatches/2005/12/genes_iq_and_ma.html

Now, let's look at what they also said:

"Jirtle cautioned that inheriting the different version of the gene did not guarantee a lower IQ. Although as a group average IQ scores were lower, there were still males who had the variant gene and a higher IQ. (Two boys with the variant version of the gene had very high IQs of 160, Jirtle said.) And males with the more common form of the gene can also have a lower IQ."

Interesting. Looks like you can be a genius yet still carry such heavily-lowering alleles. Guess what that means? IQ variation is a very baseline genomic trait, considering how brain size correlates the same with intelligence throughout the primate order. These geographically varying alleles, genes, whatever for IQ that work outside of normal variation are pretty much irrelevant. Let's play a scenario. Say we have someone with an IQ of 100 and someone with an IQ of 80.

We then give the person an IQ of 80 that one allele that boosts IQ by 20 points. Now they have equivalent IQ's.

But wait, the person that started off with an IQ of 80, and now has a higher IQ, has more alleles for IQ than the person with 100! Despite how they now have equal IQ's. Guess what that means?

External genes for IQ are completely irrelevant, as they add nothing more than cumulative effects that can be corrected for by simple environmental effects on IQ- since, only a fool would assert environment has no effect on IQ. And, since these also work outside of normal variation, and one has to be a carrier to even see an effect, they wouldn't even be passed down properly to have any effect.

That's why this talk about finding "genes for IQ" is a load of garbage for any real political relevance. Let's also not forget how neurological structures are so complex, and take so long to change biologically, that these external "genes for IQ" would be very uncommon.

BTW Half-Sigma, do you honestly believe the Bell Curve?

"Half Sigma reminds me of Hitler."

"All you have to do is get some computer science training get a blog and propagate racism. Hitler did it."

This is parody, right?

"The egalitarians will say, correctly but speciously all the same, not all of the genes influencing intelligence have been found, so talk about racial differences in intelligence is premature."

Why is it specious or egalitarian to say that talk about racial differences in intelligence is premature? It's just the facts, man. It _is_ premature. Don't get your panties in a bunch because no one can prove your agenda.

Even if there are important genetic differences (and keep in mind we are all still 99% the same), until we map all the genes, we won't know who has what, or how it affects them. And by the way, if you do nothing with your high IQ it won't matter anyway--no one is "born" a rocket scientist or a surgeon or a chemical engineer. Even smart people have to work hard to get ahead--think Thomas Edison, "1% inspiration and 99% perspiration."

Not that I would believe what James Watson has to say about race anyway, since the sexist bastard wouldn't even give Rosalind Franklin credit for co-discovering the DNA sequence--but he did retract his comments. Check out this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_D._Watson

"If I had to guess, I think it is the transition from hunting and gathering to farming that removed a big chunk of the cost of being nearsighted. But looking for selection looks like a job for our resident hapmasters. Also, having more jobs that required near work opened up more niches in society for the nearsighted."

I don't know, I think myopia might not necessarily have been a problem in hunting & gathering societies. I've had to play pool a couple of times without glasses, and after a while, you just sort of figure out how you have to aim to hit the ball into the hole. Animals being bigger than cue balls, shouldn't be such a big deal.

Then too there's fishing and gathering, which don't seem to require good eyesight. I read a book by Oliver Sacks where he talked about a population of color-blind islanders who identified ripe fruit by smell. Was it a learned behavior? Genetics? Human adaptability? Certainly, it's food for thought.

Interesting. Looks like you can be a genius yet still carry such heavily-lowering alleles. Guess what that means? IQ variation is a very baseline genomic trait, considering how brain size correlates the same with intelligence throughout the primate order. These geographically varying alleles, genes, whatever for IQ that work outside of normal variation are pretty much irrelevant. Let's play a scenario. Say we have someone with an IQ of 100 and someone with an IQ of 80.

What ridiculous tripe! That just means we likely have multiple genes involved. I don't think anyone in this debate seriously believes intelligence will largely be explained by one, two, three, or even four genes. The genetic component of IQ is almost certainly determined by dozens if not hundreds of genes.

Not that I would believe what James Watson has to say about race anyway, since the sexist bastard wouldn't even give Rosalind Franklin credit for co-discovering the DNA sequence--but he did retract his comments.

Not that I believed Adolf Hitler when he argued the sky is blue. The racist bastard killed millions of people, after all.

As for Watson's "retraction," I recommend reading it carefully.

That's why this talk about finding "genes for IQ" is a load of garbage for any real political relevance. Let's also not forget how neurological structures are so complex, and take so long to change biologically, that these external "genes for IQ" would be very uncommon.

Really? Would you similarly argue that meteorological models are so complex that you think all of this talk of anthropogenic global warming is garbage and without political relevance?

Here's my problem with all of this argumentation: to what effect?
Even if Africans are significantly less intelligent on average, what could society justly do with that information? Any sort of discrimination based on mere averages would be just as ridiculous as discrimination without such information. Would we cease aid to Africa? Recolonize because of their inferior intelligence? Regardless of any evidence of intellectual inferiority, there is no morally justifiable way to act on it.

I just hope everyone remembers that if this line of inquiry continues.

"In response to whether it proves anything, it proves that alleles associated with intelligence don't appear with the exact same frequencies in each race, as the left-wing-egalitarian theory insists upon. In fact, it's quite a big variation.

The assertion that the races are exactly equal in genes that effect brain functions has been proven false."

"Left-wing-egalitarian theory," huh? Doesn't the Bible say something about all God's children being equal in the eyes of the Lord...?

In any case, I don't think a 3.6 or a .2 difference is all that significant. Aren't we all 99% the same? How can you say that a .2 variation matters compared to 99%?

As for your other comment:
"The assertion that the races are exactly equal in genes that effect brain functions has been proven false."

Well, I wouldn't say that, either. "Difference" doesn't mean "unequal." It just means different. And it hasn't been _proven_ false, either. I think someone has an agenda....

In any case, I don't think a 3.6 or a .2 difference is all that significant. Aren't we all 99% the same? How can you say that a .2 variation matters compared to 99%?

Here we go again! For the record, I believe 0.02% (rather than 0.2%) is more accurate. I suppose 2-4% difference seems pretty small also, but it is the difference between chimps and humans. Maybe chimps are just underprivileged and need our help to get ahead.

I've previously explained the problem with arguing that differences in raw base pairs are inconsequential; namely, it's the whole gene that matters, not the difference in base pairs and at the level of whole genes there is far more difference between individuals than people mentioning the minuscule difference in base pairs allude to.

"Not that I believed Adolf Hitler when he argued the sky is blue. The racist bastard killed millions of people, after all.

As for Watson's "retraction," I recommend reading it carefully."

Well now that you bring Hitler into it...I guess you can go ahead and take the word of a murderous dictator if you want to, but me, I'm checking the sky twice. (Now that you mention it, I'm pretty sure I've seen a grey sky before.) Hitler lied to millions of people about the Jews--why assume he would tell YOU the truth?

Now to get back to race, "tommy," your assumption that racial difference is as patently obvious as the sky is blue is really off the mark. If it were so simple, why argue it? Yet here we are, 150+ years later, still arguing away--and that's only according to the history of this country.

As for Watson's retraction--here's what I found:

"To all those who have drawn the inference from my words that Africa, as a continent, is somehow genetically inferior, I can only apologize unreservedly. That is not what I meant. More importantly from my point of view, there is no scientific basis for such a belief."

And you think he was implying...what exactly? Seems to me Watson has a habit of coming right out and saying what he thinks, which is admirable. That is, unless you're overweight, female, gay, Latino, anti-abortion, or "really stupid"--in which case, you are likely to be offended, since he has offensive things to say about all of those people, too.

Why is it specious or egalitarian to say that talk about racial differences in intelligence is premature? It's just the facts, man. It _is_ premature.

One doesn't even need ~one~ gene to recognize that Albert Einstein was better at abstract reasoning than Cassius Clay was, and suspect that the difference might not be all a matter of upbringing.

And the Minnesota trans-racial adoption study confirms the suspicion.

until we map all the genes, we won't know who has what, or how it affects them.

The test results are in: Asians do better than whites, whites do better then blacks.

Here's my problem with all of this argumentation: to what effect?

If one misdiagnoses the problem, the remedy is liable to fail.

Regardless of any evidence of intellectual inferiority, there is no morally justifiable way to act on it.

There is no morally justifiable way to act on innate ~inter-personal~ differences?

Also, as another note, exactly how did they link these alleles to IQ?

"And the Minnesota trans-racial adoption study confirms the suspicion."

There's quite a few problems with that study, but the most devestating one is how it was looking at the effects of HOME ENVIRONMENT, which is well known to exert little effect with the exception of highly stimulating household environments like those of east asians and Ashkenazi jews. That, and nearly all low IQ whites dropped out of the sample before the study was completed.

"The test results are in: Asians do better than whites, whites do better then blacks. "

You're a follower of the 3-way pattern aren't you?

Well now that you bring Hitler into it...I guess you can go ahead and take the word of a murderous dictator if you want to, but me, I'm checking the sky twice. (Now that you mention it, I'm pretty sure I've seen a grey sky before.) Hitler lied to millions of people about the Jews--why assume he would tell YOU the truth?

My point is that personal character is unimportant; it is the truth of the assertion that is the issue. Who cares if James Watson is personally unpleasant? If Adolf Hitler agrees the sky is blue, that doesn't make it any less true simply because it's Adolf saying it.

"To all those who have drawn the inference from my words that Africa, as a continent, is somehow genetically inferior, I can only apologize unreservedly. That is not what I meant. More importantly from my point of view, there is no scientific basis for such a belief."

He said that Africa, as a continent, is not genetically inferior. Continents don't have genes, but we will presume he means Africans for the sake of argument. That Africans are great athletes, there is little doubt; they may very well be genetically superior in many athletic activities. You'll notice he said nothing about whether or not Africans are less intelligent than whites or Asians.

Aren't we all 99% the same?

Brothers and sisters are even more similar than that. Does it follow that both males and females can give birth? Of course not.

DNA is like prise. A little bit goes a long way.

Now to get back to race, "tommy," your assumption that racial difference is as patently obvious as the sky is blue is really off the mark.

Not only is racial difference as obvious as the sky is blue, it is as obvious as the nose on your face. (Or ~my~ face, as the case may be.)

(Now that you mention it, I'm pretty sure I've seen a grey sky before.)

Obscurantism -- plain and simple.

"And you think [Watson] was implying...what exactly?"

Watson never said Africans are "inferior" -- which is a moral rather than a scientific claim. He said we have no good reason to believe that populations separated by continents for millenia are identical -- which is true.

Watson wasn't retracting. He was being contrite (which is what people are actually doing when they apologize for the reactions of others).

As an MD PhD workign actively in academic research (viral genetics), I have to point a serious flaw in the logic of the original blog.
This mistake is quite common among researchers working in clinical and population studies, but not involved in experimental medicine.

To cut to the point: correlation is by no means proof of cause-effect relationship.

For example, the assertion that certain gene variants may be more common in people with elevated IQ, can be explained in several ways:
1. These genes are involved in brain development and these variants are more efficient than others (resulting in smarter brains) - as claimed in the original blog.
2. These genes are not relevant for brain development at all. These variants are merely present in a population that puts emphasis on education and intellectual stimulation of their kids (resulting in higher IQs).
For all we know, these genes could be regulating the flow of magnesium ions in distal renal tubuli.
3. The genes in question are involved in brain development, and render its architecture more complex. This results in higher IQs coupled to deficits elsewhere, i.e. in socialization. Examples of the kind are well described as Asperger syndrome or Autism spectrum disorders. In that case, the genes may correlate to higher IQ, but are not of obvious benefit to the carrier. If a study focuses on IQ to the exclusion of other relevant information the results may be misleading.
4. The genes in question are relevant for intelligence in caucasians, but black people have alternative genes to perform the same function. Therefore, the loss of this gene correlates to a loss of function in whites only, but not in blacks.

Bottom line is: where is the proof that the genes in question are even expressed in neurons? Where is the experimental proof that they regulate brain development? And where is the molecular proof that the variants found in caucasians interact differently and more efficiently that those found in blacks? Without those, the assertions on gene correlation remain a huge leap of faith.

Finally, there is also a phylosohical consideration that renders the whole idea of genetics defining smarts quite a convoluted idea:

You see, the paradigm shift that occurred with the ascent of humans, was the transendence of genetics in the selection process.
Let me explain this: the dumb animals could not adapt to the environment very well, so they had to rely on their changing genetics, and natural selection of the fittest. To venture into colder climates, they had to grow longer and thicker fur. People managed without genetics, because of their smarts: If you figure how to start a fire and how to make clothes, you do not need to wait for generations to find the seventh son of a seventh son who is now adapted to the climate.
This has eventually led us to a society where people with lethal genetic disorders, (i.e. lack of genes regulating the development of their thyroid gland, lack of important enzymes that degrade phenylalanine, a common amminoacid found in just about any protein) are people who can still survive, grow into healthy adults and even have children of their own.

Our society and our medicine is based on the idea that all these individuals have something to offer, and their talents should not be disregarded.

Thus it is flat wrong to claim that the genetic make-up of an individual defines its worthiness. The personal history, comittment and dedication of a child, his educators, or her parents, is likely to contribute a great deal to the qualities and talents that our children will develop. Otherwise, we would still be no better than beasts.

Also, as another note, exactly how did they link these alleles to IQ?

There is hard evidence of ~association~, not ~cause~. To prove cause, one would need to jigger the allele and observe the results.

Additionally, evidence of cause could be found by comparing the IQ scores of identical twins who do not share the allele due to point mutation.

Thus it is flat wrong to claim that the genetic make-up of an individual defines its worthiness. The personal history, comittment and dedication of a child, his educators, or her parents, is likely to contribute a great deal to the qualities and talents that our children will develop. Otherwise, we would still be no better than beasts.

Individual talents aside, no one has shown that a good education can boost IQ. On the other hand, plenty of evidence suggests IQ is a strong predictor of future educational performance. Here you are prescribing an unproven formula after having just brought up the fallacy of confusing causation with correlation.

There's quite a few problems with [the Minnesota trans-racial adoption] study

So you are up for funding a re-do with tighter protocols?

What sort of evidence would be sufficient to prove that at least ~some~ of the difference in the average IQ scores between whites and blacks in innate? If this is a scientific debate rather than a religious one, that question must be answerable.

You're a follower of the 3-way pattern aren't you?

On tests of IQ in America, the average Asian scores better than the average white, the average white scores better than the average black. You deny this?

Bottom line is: where is the proof that the genes in question are even expressed in neurons? Where is the experimental proof that they regulate brain development? And where is the molecular proof that the variants found in caucasians interact differently and more efficiently that those found in blacks? Without those, the assertions on gene correlation remain a huge leap of faith.

Honestly!

In test after test after test, we have a pattern of IQ scores that has persisted over generations through numerous cultural variations.

In test after test after test, we have a pattern of IQ scores across countries that persists over numerous cultural permutations.

We have identical twins compared with fraternal twins compared with non-twin siblings compared with unrelated children -- all of which point in the direction of the heritability of IQ.

We have the IQs of identical twins raised apart.

We have trans-racial adoptions studies of IQ.

We have inter-racial spectrum studies of IQ.

We have cranial measures associated with IQ by race

We have autopsy measures of brains associated with IQ by race.

We have MRI scans on live brains associated with IQ by race.

We have studies of Inspection Time associated with IQ by race.

We have studies of Backward Digit Span Tests associated with IQ by race.

We have genes associated with IQ by race.

We have alleles associated with IQ by race.

An honest person can quibble with this part of that study in isolation, or that part of this study in isolation, or some other part of this other study in isolation. But when all of this evidence converges on the same conclusion again and again and again, the parsimonious thing to do is accept that some of the difference in the averages between black IQs and white IQs is innate. There is no need to handwave some baroque, unspecified, and unproven environmental explanation.

I have no doubt that people will continue to stick their heads in the sand 'til their dying days -- especially when affirming the obvious risks a swift and speedy job termination accompanied by vilification and demonization. People have a knack for raising the bar of evidence ever higher for conclusions they dislike (hereditarianism) while lowering the bar of evidence to non-existent for ones they do like (environmentalism). But after a while, the exercise just looks silly and tendentious -- if not obscurantist and obstructionist.

p.s.

I wonder what the Egyptians thought of Europeans 5000 years ago?(care to spring your IQ test then?) What the Romans thought of most Europeans (ignorant, barbaric idiots) outside of the Italian Peninsula.

The fact that this is being discussed it beyond ignorant. We carry AFRICAN genes because that is where we originated...ALL of us. Any deviation in our pool now is environmental evolution.

So lactose tolerance among European-Africans and sickle cell anemia among African-African is environmental? Do tell.

I was informed of this blog after reading the NYtimes article in which it, and this discussion was mentioned.

As a current medical student and a former neuroscience researcher (who's worked at Dr. Watson's lab), I feel I have a moral responsibility to comment of what I'm reading here.

Many informed posters are getting at the right points: It is RARE to ever find a phenotype (a tangible characteristic coded for in DNA (like skin color, or intelligence, in our case)) encoded by only ONE allele. Biology is extremely complicated, and there are genes to regulate genes that regulate genes. Decoding the genome has no correlation with figuring out how a particular gene (and therefore its protein) work in a living, breathing, human. I urge you all to wiki-search a term- epigenetics. You'll find that not all phenotypic differences arise from just the A, T, C, G code of DNA.

To go on further, as other posters have, expression of certain phenotypes is multifactorial. Not only are there numerous genes for intelligence, but the environment also plays a HUGE, if not critical role in expression of genes. Over our lifetimes, our DNA and the expression of our DNA changes to accommodate the environment we find ourselves in. Simply put, lining up genetic code and saying that "this allele confers a 9% drop in intelligence, while this one doesn't" is a certifiably false statement. Many factors are involved.

We're not talking about ability to run fast. We're talking about a behavior that originates in the brain, one of the least understood organs in the body. IQ tests and genetic tests can't explain the whole phenomenon.

Vikingman, can we get a citation for 35-30% African ancestry in American whites? It doesn't look that way, and rates of genetic diseases don't shake out that way.

Vikingman, can we get a citation for 35-30% African ancestry in American whites? It doesn't look that way, and rates of genetic diseases don't shake out that way.

I've never heard of anything remotely close to those percentages, low single digits is more like it.

Look at this photo of Joakim Noah, who is of 25% African ancestry. Does he look anything remotely like the typical American white?

Now, it is common mistake to think that differences mean unequality. Well, that is just plain stupid and mean. Your wife has tits, you probably don't. But you're supposed to be equal in the sense that both of you should be treated as fairly by other people, all right? It might be difficult to wrap your mind around this idea, but think DNA as cumulated experience. Everything that your ancestors have _learned_ from their experiences (mostly mistakes) has been saved within every cell as instructions in the case the same thing happens again. You can listen to those instructions that in the most apparent form are also known as instincts, or not, and that's where free will comes to play. My point being, if one says that races are not equal, it is the EXACTLY SAME THING as saying that people from different age groups are not equal, because it is all about experience.

The most powerful man on earth is reputedly of very average intelligence-perhaps even less-is notoriously lacking in intellectual curiosity and may well have damaged what brainpower he had by drug abuse. IQ, whatever it may be or may predict, is greatly overrated as a precursor to success in life. There are many attributes of far greater significance.

IQ, whatever it may be or may predict, is greatly overrated as a precursor to success in life. There are many attributes of far greater significance.
Correct. Don't forget he came from a powerful family. The problem is not that a high IQ is sufficient for success in life(many of us here prove that false, I think), it's that a non-low IQ is necessary. Bush may be incurious and intellectually lazy, but he's not flat-out retarded.

The most powerful man on earth is reputedly of very average intelligence-perhaps even less-is notoriously lacking in intellectual curiosity and may well have damaged what brainpower he had by drug abuse. IQ, whatever it may be or may predict, is greatly overrated as a precursor to success in life. There are many attributes of far greater significance.

The most powerful man on earth, while not an extraordinarily intellect, almost certainly has an IQ well above the white mean. I think I've seen estimates of perhaps 115-120. Undoubtedly though, Bush Jr. has benefited from the political clout and name recognition of a much smarter man: Bush Sr.

Dissimilar does not mean unequal.

IQ scores measure only a small set of skills and abilities, and have been widely acknowledged as racially and socioeconomically biased. Because IQ tests are written by upper/middle class white people, test takers of the same background have an innate advantage.

Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences seeks to evaluate a broader range of cognition, but there are significant gaps in any form of assessment.

Since IQ tests evaluate only a sliver of intelligence, and the whole of intelligence is greater than the sum of its parts, the author of this blog is drawing broad sweeping conclusions from a hopelessly incomplete data set.

Jonathan,

I think you need to take another look at the data. IQ is as nearly as predictive for blacks as it is for whites. (Blacks underperform for their IQ relative to whites) "Widely recognized to be racist" is because blacks score lower than whites. Nearly no one questions that some Asians and Jews outscore gentile whites.

Because IQ tests are written by upper/middle class white people, test takers of the same background have an innate advantage.

Please explain why Jews and Asians get higher scores than whites. Without resorting to some nutjob Jewish conspiracy theory.

"There is no morally justifiable way to act on innate ~inter-personal~ differences?"
Do we treat those of African descent different in society? The fact is, even with the most over the top estimates of the IQ differential, the vast majority from each race would overlap in IQ. And there will always be some African-American individuals who score as high as the highest whites. So how can we act justly on the information without excluding or mistreating a large number of individuals merely on the basis of a racial TENDENCY which may not (and in a plurality of cases, probably will not) apply to them?

Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences seeks to evaluate a broader range of cognition, but there are significant gaps in any form of assessment.

Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences has little empirical support unlike g.

It would seem that this line of research is flawed at it's core. It is obvious that in order to determine a statistically significant correlation in any experiment, one must have a good means of testing the hypothesis in question.

Intelligence is relative to the culture in which it is measured. It seams quite reasonable that a eurocentric culture would be able to correlate those concepts that it values as intelligence to specific genetic characteristics. This is not a valid experiment on it's face.

Perhaps a more valid experiment might be something to do with survivability, but the anthropological community is also based on a eurocentric paradigm, so the ability to interact with cultures that are intentionally closed to the western world is limited.

One can conclude that the experimental methods used are valid, but the questions being asked are not valid unless one assumes that the eurocentric concept of intelligence is the only one that matters. This seems to be quite arrogant and self-serving and points to the reality that science is a tool that can be used, lik any other tool, to achieve many different goals.

It is important to be honest about the questions that we are asking. A Dogon priest once told me that nature is not obliged to reveal itself, it only reveals itself by the nature of the questions that we ask.

You're asking the wrong question if you think that the eurocentric view of intelligence is an appropriate measure of anything that is of significance to the survival of the WHOLE human race.

Do we treat those of African descent different in society? The fact is, even with the most over the top estimates of the IQ differential, the vast majority from each race would overlap in IQ. And there will always be some African-American individuals who score as high as the highest whites. So how can we act justly on the information without excluding or mistreating a large number of individuals merely on the basis of a racial TENDENCY which may not (and in a plurality of cases, probably will not) apply to them?

In most situations in life we have an opportunity to judge people as individuals and should do so. However, there are some instances where we must judge by groups. Our immigration policy and our spending billions of dollars in the fruitless effort at closing the racial gap in academic achievement are just two policies that would be different if society acknowledged race differences in IQ. We would also better be able to evaluate which educational approaches provide the best outcomes for less intelligent people if we could identify and control IQ rather than pretend it isn't important or doesn't exist. We cannot take steps to deal with the consequences of a problem until and unless we recognize it.

Intelligence is relative to the culture in which it is measured. It seams quite reasonable that a eurocentric culture would be able to correlate those concepts that it values as intelligence to specific genetic characteristics. This is not a valid experiment on it's face.

No, this is incorrect. g is very much independent of culture. I refer you to Arthur Jensen's "The g Factor" and Lynn and Vanhanen's "IQ and the Wealth of Nations" for the details.

Tommy wrote:

" . . . there are some instances where we must judge by groups. Our immigration policy and our spending billions of dollars in the fruitless effort at closing the racial gap in academic achievement are just two policies that would be different if society acknowledged race differences in IQ."

Please explain how you think our immigration policy should change if, tomorrow, we determined with 100% certainty the genetic influences on IQ and also explain how our "fruitless" efforts to close the achievement gap would change as well.

"In most situations in life we have an opportunity to judge people as individuals and should do so. However, there are some instances where we must judge by groups. Our immigration policy and our spending billions of dollars in the fruitless effort at closing the racial gap in academic achievement are just two policies that would be different if society acknowledged race differences in IQ. We would also better be able to evaluate which educational approaches provide the best outcomes for less intelligent people if we could identify and control IQ rather than pretend it isn't important or doesn't exist. We cannot take steps to deal with the consequences of a problem until and unless we recognize it."

This is the problem: as an African-American, I would have been tracked into a program for the less intelligent as a child. My high school, without a mandate to close the achievement gap, would not have pushed me into more difficult classes. I would have been relegated to a second-class existence. Of course, my blackness belies the fact that I rarely scored below the 99th percentile on tests of standard intelligence (SAT, ACT, PSAT, etc.). How the f*** would my going under-educated have benefited anyone?

And what about those of mixed race? Do we set up a caste system, in the style of South Africa? Or base it on fractional ancestry, like the Nuremberg Laws?

Jesus, even if IQ is as important as you all consider it, why look to race? Why not adjust all policies and strategies based on individual IQ? Not to say I endorse such a stratifying policy, but it makes infinitely more sense than one based on giant and diverse groups of individuals like members of a race.

None of you who argue for accepting a genetic basis for racial variations in IQ can offer a single justifiable use to which such information can be put. You go on and on about people having their heads in the sand and how important it is to establish a genetic basis for racial variations in IQ. So let us concede that there are genetic variations in intellegence among ethnic groups.

Now what? Do any of you, other than Tommy (who argues for "changes" in immigration and education policies) have courage enough to speak to the uses to which you want society to put this information? Your continued silence on this question speaks volumes.

I have two comments:
1. It would be amazing if races, or for that matter national groups, all came out exactly equal in the genetic ingredients for intelligence, however one defines intelligence (which is a whole other subject). Much more likely is that there are some differences.
2. At the same time, the significance of this for policy--both on the part of people who want to see this displayed and those who fear it--is vastly overrated. The differences are likely to be small compared to the spread within each group. So there would be lots of people in a group with the lower average for a particular attribute who score higher than many people in a group with the higher average. In the end it comes down to dealing with each person on an individual basis. Any differences found would not justify treating groups differently. It would be helpful if everyone agreed to this at the outset. Anyhow, the various groups are becoming increasingly less well-defined. I have myself switched to checking the census box "mixed race."

Please explain how you think our immigration policy should change if, tomorrow, we determined with 100% certainty the genetic influences on IQ and also explain how our "fruitless" efforts to close the achievement gap would change as well.

(a) We should either halt immigration or move to a skills-based immigration system.

(b) We can stop wasting money on trying to close the achievement gap and spend on it on things that might actually help less intelligent people. Use your imagination.

This is the problem: as an African-American, I would have been tracked into a program for the less intelligent as a child.

Why? Can't the school test you as individual?

My high school, without a mandate to close the achievement gap, would not have pushed me into more difficult classes.

If you're capable of succeeding in more difficult classes that should be easy to determine. I'm not saying anyone should be denied the opportunity to prove themselves academically.

I would have been relegated to a second-class existence. Of course, my blackness belies the fact that I rarely scored below the 99th percentile on tests of standard intelligence (SAT, ACT, PSAT, etc.).

There you go, you can tested as an individual. But I see no need to push those who score in the bottom 20th percentile to succeed in areas where only people scoring in the top 20th percentile will get ahead and the very real needs of those less intelligent individuals shouldn't be ignored just so we can continue to pretend everyone can be above average.

Tony:

"There is hard evidence of ~association~, not ~cause~. To prove cause, one would need to jigger the allele and observe the results.

Additionally, evidence of cause could be found by comparing the IQ scores of identical twins who do not share the allele due to point mutation."

I find it hard to believe that the hapmap hasn't found any direct causational factors. Are you even sure of this?

"So you are up for funding a re-do with tighter protocols?

What sort of evidence would be sufficient to prove that at least ~some~ of the difference in the average IQ scores between whites and blacks in innate? If this is a scientific debate rather than a religious one, that question must be answerable. "

No, because like I said, the Minnesota study's mechanisms were contradictory to begin with.

And I'm not denying that the gap is partly genetic. I mean, people inherit their IQ's from their parents, so why not individuals in different ethnic groups?

"On tests of IQ in America, the average Asian scores better than the average white, the average white scores better than the average black. You deny this?"

No, but were you alluding to Rushton's work here? I just find it rather... bizzare to put so much faith in a snapshot of human history.

"On tests of IQ in America, the average Asian scores better than the average white, the average white scores better than the average black. You deny this?"

If this is true, we need to reconsider our entire schooling system.

White kids could be shipped off to special training establishments to make them useful workers for an ruling Asian class.

It's no good white kids crying about how smart they are. Compared to what? Black kids? Well, compared to Asians, they are dunces and this is due to genes.

Imagine, just two races in America: Asians and Whites.

Now it's "proved" Asians are genetically smarter, what are we going to do with the dumber whites?

"We should either halt immigration or move to a skills-based immigration system."

That assumes we only need high skilled immigrants. Yet the millions of low skilled immigrants that have found employment here illustrates that our economy needs immigrants of various skill levels.

"We can stop wasting money on trying to close the achievement gap and spend on it on things that might actually help less intelligent people. Use your imagination."

I'd rather that you think through the implications of your arguments and defend them yourself. You're arguing that the resources currently being spent on education is wasted on "less intelligent people." Less intelligent than you presumably? I'm not aware of any study that suggests that education is a wasted resource on anyone, are you?

I'm not aware of any school system that spends its money soley to close the achievement gap. Most are trying to ensure that all students master a minimum set of academic skills needed to have a meaningful opportunity to succeed in society. I doubt that resources will be decreased if genetic influences on intelligence are more fully understood.

RTB,

Since discovering alleles that influence intelligence and vary in frequency between races would have no effect on any policy, why worry about it?

'm not aware of any school system that spends its money soley to close the achievement gap.

They spend some of the money. Some is different than all. Do you understand? And they are required to close the racial achievement gap.

I'm not aware of any study that suggests that education is a wasted resource on anyone, are you?

Even with lack of studies, what do you think would be the outcome of replacing next year's incoming class of Harvard freshman solely with people living with trisomy-21? Do think they would do as well in their studies as previous classes did? Why, or why not?

Have you ever created novel mathematical theorems? Ramanujan did. He was poorer than you and everyone else who posts or comments here. Why is that? You have more resources than he did, and have achieved less.

Is Deano serious?

According to socialogist James Petras "Petras has put his views in a book on this topic. He puts forth the thesis that American Jewry are less than 2% of the population, yet represent 25-30% of U.S.'s wealthiest families (citing Forbes). He asserts that they wield their wealth effectively. As an example(citing Richard Cohen in the Washington Post) -- supplying 60% and 35% of the total contributions respectively of the American Democratic and Republican political parties." There are 13 U.S. Jewish Senators, 34 U.S. Representatives and with Chertoff and Mukasey two Cabinet secretaries. At one time with Wolfwitz and Douglas Feith, they controlled the No. 2 and No. 3 civilian positions at the Pentagon.

Is something genetic going on?

p.s. the above quote is from the wikipedia discussion page of the Petras bio article. It along w/ his allegations about dual loyalty is too hot to stay in the main article

"Even with lack of studies, what do you think would be the outcome of replacing next year's incoming class of Harvard freshman solely with people living with trisomy-21? Do think they would do as well in their studies as previous classes did?"

That is not proof that educational resources are wasted on those not destined for Harvard.

"Have you ever created novel mathematical theorems? Ramanujan did."

No and neither have you. Does it follow that the resources spent on your education were wasted because you have achieved nothing that can compare to Ramanujan's conributions?

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