Arizona uber alles

More evidence that the Arizona immigration law is simply a principled conservative policy:

Don Black is a Florida-based white supremacist who is deemed so dangerous he’s banned from the UK for inciting hatred. Arizona State Senate Majority leader Chuck Gray—a proponent of the recent immigration bill—follows him on Twitter.

Also too Bobo has a strange meandering column, which by my lights, is a dipping of the toes into racial supremacist waters.

It’s coming, folks. It won’t be long now until thoughtful, intellectually honest conservatives insist that we have a free-wheeling debate about some form of racial supremacism. Hear me now, believe me later.

Only left-wing ideologues will reject the idea that ill-designed tests prove that certain groups possess less of the ill-defined quantity of intelligence.

Update. I’m staying away from Eugene Volokh’s over-the-top rant along these lines because I agree that that Harvard Law Student shouldn’t be publicly humiliated over private email. But, yes, that was on my mind too when I wrote this.

261 replies
  1. 1
    Martin says:

    Look, none of these bad things happened before we elected a black man into the White House. How could they not be related?

    Post hoc ergo propter hoc and all that elitist latin shit.

  2. 2
    Mike Kay says:

    it’s a first strike on cinco de mayo day.

    shame on bobo. talk about Kapo. surely someone in his background fell prey to the lunacy of racial superiority.

    it makes him an elitists, also, too.

  3. 3
    jwb says:

    So what’s the betting line on when they go full Hitler?

  4. 4
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Only left-wing ideologues will reject the idea that ill-designed tests prove that certain groups possess less of the ill-defined quantity of intelligence.

    It is already starting.

  5. 5

    @Martin: Electing Obama made it surface, the reality of demographics favoring more minority electoral power and lessening white majority power will keep it fueled and line up the racial taboo sharks to be jumped in well scrubbed wingnut circles. Maybe a few DLC circles as well.

  6. 6

    DougJ just wants to pump…..you up.

    (with political science)

  7. 7
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    There already is a test, called Life. They scream about its left leaning bias, and somehow feel that they can correct it with more guns and more churches. Cause you know Jesus wanted us to cower in a corner and shoot anyone we don’t like.

  8. 8
    Martin says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: You mean there are racists in the Democratic Party? Yeah, and pumas can fly. Pffff.

  9. 9
    DougJ says:

    @Jason Bylinowski:

    Glad somebody caught the Hans and Franz reference.

  10. 10
    Mike Kay says:

    @DougJ: oh c’mon, only a girly-man didn’t pick up on it.

    time to inject some Iron Sheik

  11. 11

    This is nothing new. All this bell curve shit is just a dog whistle not necessarily for racism – though that is a clear bonus – but for a drawing back of entitlements.

    “Look at all we have done for the poor black folk, ” they’ll say. “And now some bioscience – did I say that right? – feller from the 1960’s says maybe they were better off in the fields with their tiki torches and quaint mythologies. Hey, we tried to help, we were totally on board with your hippy nonsense. You can’t say we weren’t on board with that. Well, you can, but we refuse to listen.”

    p.s. I got a new job and started last week. It’s fun but everyone there is racist. It really sucks. And this is exactly the sort of shit they talk about all the time. Fuck you, guys that pay me better than the last guy.

  12. 12
    Xanthippas says:

    It’s coming, folks. It won’t be long now until thoughtful, intellectually honest conservatives insist that we have a free-wheeling debate about some form of racial supremacism. Hear me now, believe me later.

    Huh?

  13. 13

    Nothing like some good wholesome wingnut humor to top the evening off. From The Republic of Arizona’s own Herr Kyle.

    According to a source who attended the meetings, Kyl told the assembled crowd a political version of the classic three-people-in-a-boat joke: “So [President Barack] Obama, [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi [D-Calif.] and [Majority Leader] [Harry] Reid [D-Nev.] are in a row boat, and it springs a leak and starts to sink

    Who gets saved?”

    Answer: “The American people.”

    Man, ain’t that a fucking riot.

  14. 14
    Dennis G. says:

    Looks like every month is CHM.

    What a bunch of assholes.

    Cheers

  15. 15
    Nellcote says:

    I wonder what Bobo’s columns would look like if he was forced to work a minimum wage job for 6 months. This latest one was seriously creepy.

  16. 16

    So biology is destiny. Hmmmmmm.

    The people in my birth family often surprise folks with how long it takes them to decide to die. We tend to pack in a few years before we kick the bucket.

    Some of these people lived long and healthy lives but I still wouldn’t want to be like them. Never have and never will.

    I have learned that a lot of things are not in our control but we REALLY, REALLY have control of the type of people we are. We can decide to be fun and creative and kind. We can decide to have the qualities we admire.

    Biology be damned.

  17. 17
    Roger Moore says:

    @Jason Bylinowski:

    All this bell curve shit is just a dog whistle not necessarily for racism – though that is a clear bonus – but for a drawing back of entitlements.

    I think you have that backward. Cutting entitlements is a dog whistle for the racist desire to screw over minorities. The “Bell Curve” shit is giving up the dog whistle and saying it straight out.

  18. 18
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @DougJ: I was thinking it was a DKs reference. “I am Governor Jan Brewer, I turn my state into a racist sewer… Something something… Knock, knock on your front door, It’s Sheriff Arpaio’s secret police, and they’ve come for your brown-skinned niece…”

  19. 19

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    Man, ain’t that (the kind of shit that leads to) a fucking (race) riot.

    FTFY

  20. 20
    whetstone says:

    I think you’re misreading the Bobo column. Basically all it says is “avoid genocide and things kind of like it.” Serious Research says so.

    His book on neuroscience or whatever is going to make Thomas Friedman sound like John Fucking Milton.

  21. 21
    El Cid says:

    This shit

    It won’t be long now until thoughtful, intellectually honest conservatives insist that we have a free-wheeling debate about some form of racial supremacism

    happens all the god-damned time on a fairly routine basis.

    I shit you not — before The Bell Curve shitbags hit the news, I was looking at the newsweeklies and wondering, hey, isn’t it time to have another round of front cover stories asking us whether or not black people are still stupider?

    It’s a semi-regular routine. A few years of letting the topic stay on the fringes, and then some flurry of cover stories on how the darkies are really genetically dumber.

    Always.

  22. 22
    Francis says:

    Would someone please tell me what the F*CK is group intelligence? (ahem, sorry to yell, but the Volokh threads are pissing me off.)

    On a genetic level, there’s obviously no such thing as an American. So right off the bat the little Harvard twit is comparing one purported group — African Americans — to a baseline that doesn’t even exist. Also, I’m pretty sure that there are a number of groups of “Africans”. It’s a big continent and the home of humanity.

    Then there’s the question of what is “intelligence.”

    But putting all that aside, what possible relevance is it that the median “intelligence” of one group of people is higher or lower than another? I’m sure that there are any number of traits that could be used to slice and dice me into different population groups. But really, what difference does it make if the median blue-eyed person worldwide is a shade more “intelligent” than the median brown-eyed person?

    (except, of course, to justify treating individual members of the disfavored group like sh*t.)

  23. 23
    DougJ says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    The title was a DKs reference. The “hear me now, believe me later” was SNL.

  24. 24

    @Roger Moore: Well. Shit. Next you’re going to tell me that the immigration thing isn’t really about national security.

  25. 25
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @DougJ: I see that now. It helps if I read all the words.

  26. 26
    Comrade Kevin says:

    A band from Phoenix has produced an Arizona Uber Alles already.

  27. 27
    Mike Kay says:

    Bobo is disgusting. He reminds me of Fritz Haber, who changed his name and became christian to fit in germany, and later devised poison gases for the military to get street cred from the Kaiser – gases that would later be used on his family members.

  28. 28
    El Cid says:

    I’m the Governor Jan Brewer you know,
    The baddest Governor to ever grab a mic and go BOOM

  29. 29

    @whetstone: You’re kidding, right?

  30. 30

    @whetstone: You must be smarter than I. It sounded like a bunch of free associative drivel with a bunch of ethnic and race statistics cobbled together to not say much of anything, other than he was thinking about race and ethnicity, for whatever reason.

    But I learned a new term. “high trust areas”. Which sounded a lot like rich white people gathered together.

  31. 31
    The Main Gauche of Mild Reason says:

    I hate this crap. What bugs me especially is that they think they’re making the “reasonable” argument–Volokh’s screed is a typical example of this.

    Volokh and his ilk: Nobody has proved with any rigor that there AREN’T genetically determined differences in intelligence between blacks and whites, therefore it’s the “scientific” view to say “I have to consider the possibility that there are differences until it’s proved otherwise”.

    For some reason, it doesn’t occur to them that the opposing argument is just as easy to make: that intelligence, like other physiological qualities, may vary within an ethnic group as much as it varies between ethnic groups (think height); that skin color/”race” is likely a poor proxy for genetic inheritance; that we have no accurate/reasonable way for actually defining the quantity “intelligence”,and that based off of this information I have to consider the possibility that there are NO significant differences until someone proves to me otherwise. (BTW, what would a “socially significant” difference in intelligence be, even?)

    I don’t like to bandy about casual accusations of racism, but the fact that they only like to discuss one side of the issue rather than the other is very suggestive to me. Just to be an ass, I’m wondering–is there a such thing as an Empathy Quotient that we can throw around and concern troll about differences in EQ between ethnic groups?

  32. 32
    Bnut says:

    Will Brooks PLEASE get a new pair of glasses. His mongoloid half-racist BS would be easier to stomach if he didn’t look the part so well.

  33. 33
    Violet says:

    @El Cid:

    It’s a semi-regular routine. A few years of letting the topic stay on the fringes, and then some flurry of cover stories on how the darkies are really genetically dumber.

    Maybe they’ll go with “Latinos are dumber” this time. You know, just to tie it into the whole immigration issue. Nice little bit of synergy there. “Smart people would be speaking English, you know.” See how easy that was?

  34. 34
    El Cid says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    But I learned a new term. “high trust areas”. Which sounded a lot like rich white people gathered together.

    Was it not said by Lawrence Welk that where ever 3 of white people are gathered together, he will be there?

  35. 35
    Original Lee says:

    The local paper’s editorial column was maintaining that the Arizona law is only explicitly enabling law enforcement to do what they are already allowed to do, namely, stop someone on the street they suspect may have committed a crime. So if they were already allowed to do it, why do they need a law telling them they need to do it? Gaah. (Mind you, this paper is distributed in a community that is about 30%-40% immigrants from all over, including from the former Soviet Union. I seriously doubt the Russians or Georgians will get pulled over for suspicion of immigration violations.)

  36. 36
    Joshua Norton says:

    Arayanzona – It’s not the heat, it’s the stupidity.

  37. 37
    Elie says:

    @Francis:

    but who wants intelligent discussion or points to be made about this?

  38. 38
    Comrade Luke says:

    Has there ever been a study done on what happens to a segment of a society as it transitions from being in the majority to being in the minority?

    It would seem like the most logical thing to happen would be that the transitioning group would use violence as a last gasp at maintaining their hold on things.

    In other words, isn’t it just going to get worse and not better for the foreseeable future?

  39. 39
    Comrade Luke says:

    @Joshua Norton: I’m totally stealing that.

  40. 40
    Mr Furious says:

    @Joshua Norton: I’ll be stealing that as well.

  41. 41
    JGabriel says:

    Although those Republicans wanted to do was de-Hispanic the state, and now they’re shocked that everyone thinks it’s despicable.

    .

  42. 42
    Max Power says:

    It won’t be long now until thoughtful, intellectually honest conservatives insist that we have a free-wheeling debate about some form of racial supremacism. Hear me now, believe me later.

    It’s ironic that it’s the Conservative Retardlicans that are drawn like moths to a flame towards a “serious” debate over the genetic basis for something no-one can even measure.

    How about a study into the genetic basis for an preening and overblown sense of cosmic entitlement?

  43. 43
    Beej says:

    Have you ever noticed that the only comparisons these bigots ever want to make are between African Americans and white Americans? I would love to see a comparison of intelligence between Chinese Americans and white Americans. Or Japanese Americans and white Americans. Who do you think would come out on the downside of those comparisons? Do you think the reason for that would be that whites are genetically dumber than Asians? Or do you think it might have something to do with a strong emphasis on education and family progress through education among Asian-Americans? You can bet that the white bigots would be spinning as fast as possible to find some cultural reasons that the results don’t really mean Asians are smarter than whites.
    I seem to remember back in the ’80’s when the University of California system was having a major upheaval. The right wing was screaming that racial quotas would have to go. Then it was discovered that going strictly by grades and SAT scores, a significant majority of the students who were going to get admitted to the top-tier state universities were going to be Asian, and to keep that from happening, the University of California system had been practicing “affirmative action” for whites! Funny how that story never gained much traction or got widely reported. Damn, these people make me tired. Why do they have such a pressing need to see themselves as superior by virtue of a genetic characteristic that they did nothing to earn?

  44. 44
    Martin says:

    @Francis:

    Would someone please tell me what the F*CK is group intelligence?

    I see you’ve never attended a tea party.

  45. 45
    matoko_chan says:

    You guys are loony toons on this.
    The bellcurve of IQ says a lot of things about both within group and between group differences.
    What Volokh says is true.
    phenotypic differences are based partly on genotypic differences.

    here are two things I know…..
    1. intelligence is influenced by all four parts of heredity, genetic, epigenetic, behavioral and symbolic. two of the four are environmental.
    2. intelligence is not very plastic. otherwise we could make individuals at the 70th percentile of the bellcurve (functional retardation) into rocket scientists….we cannot do that.

    I’m a girl that does math. There are no major mathematical theorems named after a woman…..yet. ;)
    that doesn’t bother me, that there are sexual differences in math ability.
    i am good at math….so i expect my within group difference puts me right up there with the boiz, even tho the girl mean is lower than the boy mean.
    within group variation is usually larger than between group variation, so groups overlap.
    Why are balloonjuicers so scared of IQ?
    and…why don’t you ever talk about g?
    i mean….its not just IQ, its IQ and g.

  46. 46
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Martin: Well, group intelligence would certainly not be found there.

  47. 47
    Mark S. says:

    I thought Derb was the creepy guy who even the other Cornerites were a bit embarrassed by, but it seems he was ahead of the curve on this:

    When the organizers first emailed me to suggest I appear on the panel, I told them that this is my view of the matter. I said that I was flattered to be invited [blah, blah,blah]; but that racial disparities in education and employment have their origin in biological differences between the human races. Those differences are facts in the natural world, like the orbits of the planets. They can’t be legislated out of existence; nor can they be “eliminated” by social or political action.

    Also, I put this on a probably dead thread, but I found it pretty funny: Evolutionary Psychology Bingo Card.

  48. 48
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @matoko_chan:

    You guys are loony toons on this.

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

  49. 49
    matoko_chan says:

    @Beej: the mean of IQ for non-hispanic caucs is 100, asians 103, african-americans 85, hispanic caucs is 87 i think.
    ashkenazai jews is somethin’ riddikulous….like 120? i dont remember.
    ill have to go look up Cochrans paper.

  50. 50
    Adrienne says:

    I know that this is SERIOUSLY off-topic, but I attended the pre-White House Correspondents Dinner festivities over the weekend. It was pretty cool. I got a lot of pics w/ celebs, journos, and politicians. I’m such a nerd though. The person that made me the most starstruck was Desiree Rogers. I LOVE her and I am still sad that she left the WH.

  51. 51
    Bnut says:

    @Adrienne:

    Get any shots of journos doing a circle jerk?

  52. 52
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @matoko_chan: No cultural, environmental, educational, or socio-economic factors come into play? Wrong.

  53. 53
    matoko_chan says:

    well….John Derbyshire is a bona fide racist.
    Have you read his Ice people/Sun people stuff?
    very crazipants.
    Like the rest of the wingosphere, he went insane when Obama got elected.
    That just blew all their crazy circuits at once for some reason…..
    or maybe they just couldn’t front anymore.
    i dunno.

  54. 54
    Adrienne says:

    @Bnut: Isn’t the whole damn event one big circle jerk? Or did I miss something?

  55. 55
    Mike Kay says:

    @matoko_chan: see, I always knew the Jews were tricky. Now we have scientific proof! Also, too Aryans are better athletes. No, really Germany has lots of stats on race.

  56. 56
    Bnut says:

    @Adrienne:

    True, was just hoping to have photo evidence this time.

  57. 57
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adrienne: I think he was looking for naughty pics.

  58. 58
    Elie says:

    @matoko_chan:

    And if you don’t mind my asking, how were these “means” compiled? What was the source of these data? And on what basis are they verified as accurate?

    Since last I looked, we didnt line up to have our IQ’s tested and recorded by race or ethnicity, how was this sampled, when was it done and what are the specs on your articles?

    Anyone, and I know you are a fair person Matoko, putting up such talk without 6000 links and attributions, needs to be questionned aggressively and be ready to show their shit.

    So do it

  59. 59
    Comrade Luke says:

    Jesus Christ. The Colbert Report just had a clip of Rush saying that if they should leave the spill alone because “the ocean would take care of this itself”.

    Unreal.

  60. 60
    mai naem says:

    I live in this f#$#ing state. And we have a bunch of f#$4ing maroons that run this f#$$ing state. This f#$ing state finally started taking medicaid money in 1979 because god#$mnit we are from Arizona and we know better than every other f#$ing state in the union. Apparently facing the MLK boycotts weren’t enough of a penalty for this state. Ohhhhh no, we have to have the baseball bat pushed up our ass with the boycotts from this law and then maybe we will learn, not that I am counting on it. We depend on tourist money. We have a crappy economy. We cannot afford to lost tourist dollars. On top of that they may be illegal but you know what? These illegals contribute to the economy. We have commercial strips centers completely empty. It’s tenants market for residential stuff. I’ll put up quite a few of our moron state legislators against the Oklahoma fools any day.

  61. 61
    matoko_chan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    No cultural, environmental, educational, or socio-economic factors come into play?

    what you are talking about are the components of behavioral and symbolic inheritance.
    you inherit your environment as well as your genes.

  62. 62
    Bnut says:

    @matoko_chan:

    As a Jew, I’ll start accepting bows and ring kisses tomorrow. Leave gifts with my dog, and messages with the cat.

  63. 63
    mai naem says:

    @Comrade Luke: Lets dump Rush out there. The ocean will take care of him too.

  64. 64
    JGabriel says:

    @Francis:

    On a genetic level, there’s obviously no such thing as an American.

    The Iroquois want to have a word with you.

    .

  65. 65
    gwangung says:

    Why are balloonjuicers so scared of IQ?
    and…why don’t you ever talk about g?
    i mean….its not just IQ, its IQ and g.

    Really. You’re not showing a very good grasp of both measurement theory and statistics. Because it’s not what you don’t know; it’s what you know and think is true BUT ISN’T that’s the problem.

    You think you can measure something that means it’s a real, separate thing? Ai-yahhhhhh…..

  66. 66
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mai naem: If the ocean is self-cleaning, it will throw him back.

  67. 67
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @JGabriel:

    The Iroquois want to have a word with you.

    That won’t end well.

  68. 68
    Jon H says:

    @matoko_chan: “I’m a girl that does math. There are no major mathematical theorems named after a woman…..yet. ;)”

    Yes there is. Danica McKellar, who was in The Wonder Years, has her name on a theorem, the “Chayes-McKellar-Winn theorem”, from when she was an undergraduate math major at UCLA.

    The ‘Winn’ in the theorem was another undergrad named Brandy Winn, who may also be a female.

    Okay, maybe that’s not ‘major’.

  69. 69
    matoko_chan says:

    here is Dr. Cochran’s paper.

    i’ll look for a source….umm….those means are pretty well established basic givens in my texts….umm…i guess that is the current “standard model” ….accepted in the scientific community.
    the wiki is ok for the history of IQ testing and background.
    i guess you can start there elie.

  70. 70

    @matoko_chan: why don’t you ever talk about g?

    Obviously, because it’s the first and second rule of G Club.

    I’m not particularly ashamed to admit I actually had to look up this g of which you speak. I would venture that we do not speak of it because it not a very testable construct. but apart from that, I don’t know. Perhaps a nice PR campaign could spice things up, since apparently IQ is not really a very good indicator of intelligence either.

    I am a fine case in point on this matter, though it is not something I speak of often. Since it is relevant here, why not: in 1990, my freshman year of high school, I tested out for the gifted program and scored 156. It was administered by a psychologist whose name escapes me. When it was scored they didn’t think it could possibly be true – I was only an slightly above average student with pretty much zero intellectual ambition, so they did it again with a different dude, and I scored a 148. Not quite the same but still close enough for government work. Eight years later I was being admitted to a mental hospital for the first time – that was a bad couple of years but I doubt it had much bearing on my overall intelligence – and they did another test after all the other psych evaluations. I scored a 92 on that exam. All of them were professionally administered exams with the best intentions on the part of everyone. So why have the scores been so different that in two tests I came out to be a certified genius, and on another practically only as smart as a black guy? (I am so KIDDING, people.)

    I’ll tell you why.

    Because they’re fucking bullshit.

  71. 71
    matoko_chan says:

    @Jon H: /grins
    not major.

  72. 72
    Jon H says:

    OT: NYTimes has a detail-free alert that a CT man was arrested in connection with the Times Square bomb attempt.

  73. 73
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jason Bylinowski: Actually, they test your ability to do well on the test. It seems rather tautological.

  74. 74
    JGabriel says:

    @matoko_chan:

    I’m a girl that does math. There are no major mathematical theorems named after a woman…..yet.

    Hmm. Emmy Noether would like to have word with you:

    Noether’s Theorem, has been called “one of the most important mathematical theorems ever proved in guiding the development of modern physics”.*

    For me, this seems to call into question the quality of the rest your argument.

    *Lederman, Leon M.; Hill, Christopher T. (2004), Symmetry and the Beautiful Universe, Amherst: Prometheus Books, ISBN 1-59102-242-8, pg 73.

    .

  75. 75
    Max Power says:

    Only morons think IQ is intelligence, or that intelligence can be measured.

    Oh, and makoto_chan:

    intelligence is influenced by all four parts of heredity, genetic, epigenetic, behavioral and symbolic.

    ….how many parts did you say that was?

  76. 76
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @Comrade Luke: Fortunately for Rush’s drug habit, proving you are a fucking idiot on the radio day after day has never been a bad career move.

  77. 77
    Elie says:

    @matoko_chan:

    From your own citation:

    There are no universally accepted definitions of either race or intelligence in academia,

    Not trying to be cute, but I don’t really understand the sampling strategy used on your first paper citing Ashkenaz Jews as being so intelligent. Your citation is without explanation — just stuck into your response without context to understand why all the other races and ethnic groups didnt make the cut.

    Sorry. You are smart. Your response is incomplete and inadequate to explain your assertions.

  78. 78
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @JGabriel:

    For me, this seems to call into question the quality of the rest your argument.

    I am willing to accept that she is a girl who does math. Beyond that, meh.

  79. 79
    gnomedad says:

    @Jon H:
    Don’t forget Noether’s Theorem.

  80. 80
    de stijl says:

    @Francis:

    Lighten up.

  81. 81
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @gnomedad: Leibniz cross-dressed.

  82. 82

    @Omnes Omnibus: That’s just what we get for adminning it through the Redundant Department of Recursive Redundancy Department of oh ok you get it.

    But yeah I get your drift.

  83. 83
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Before reading the comments: I really like the Pandagon’s take on it because I have always wondered why the possibility that blacks are smarter than whites is never brought up if it’s truly ‘just science.’ And, in skimming as much of Brooks’ column as I could stomach, let me just repeat once again, “Welcome your new Asian overlords, bitchez!”

    I think every time I hear a white person argue that whites are genetically smarter than blacks, I’m going to pull out the yellow card.

  84. 84
    DougJ says:

    Makato — IQ tests are an ill-designed measure of an ill-defined quantity.

    End of story.

  85. 85
    Ron says:

    @Jon H: I’d have to check about “major theorem” but “Noetherian rings” are pretty important, and Emmy Noether did a lot of major work in mathematics. And of course a bit of digging on teh intarwebs shows that there are more than one theorem named “Noether’s theorem”.

    As for the rest of this alleged mathematicians ramblings, it’s pure not very well disguised racism. IIRC, IQ tests are designed to have a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15. So she is making the claim that a particular group of people have a mean that is one standard deviation below the population mean (and another 1.3 standard deviations above).

  86. 86
    matoko_chan says:

    There is a whole domain called psychometrics, people.
    The tools aren’t perfect yet, but the American Psychiatric Association has been at it a long time.

    Jason, I don’t know what happened to you.
    Perhaps operator error in the test adminstration, or perhaps you sustained some trauma or other organic damage between the testings?
    A high score is not an indicator of superior academic performance.
    Consider Einstein….he got Ds in high school.
    ;)

    What Volokh is saying is if there are genes that code for phenotypic differences like hair color and height, shouldn’t we assume there might be genes that code for differences in intelligence?
    If hair color varies with gene sequences why wouldn’t IQ?
    And be able to discuss those differences without Doug sayin’ stuff like over the top rant?
    it wasn’t….it was an acknowledgement of scientific truth.
    And if we can’t talk about it, how can we ever fix it?
    If its partly environmental, we can do things….and within our lifetimes we will be able to fix genetic things too.
    La Singularitie Menace.
    ;)

  87. 87
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @matoko_chan: How many people do you know who visit a tropical island and get MORE work done there?

    @mai naem: I bought four major things online in the last 2 days. I hunted down the corporate addresses of every one of the vendors and checked that it wasn’t AZ before hitting the “checkout” button. I apologize if that puts the personal squeeze on any sane people, but I can’t stomach doing otherwise.

  88. 88
    DougJ says:

    @matoko_chan:

    There are no major mathematical theorems named after a woman…..yet.

    Ever heard of the Noether normalization lemma? You don’t know that much about math, with all due respect.

  89. 89
    Jon H says:

    @Ron: ” I’d have to check about “major theorem” but “Noetherian rings” are pretty important, and Emmy Noether did a lot of major work in mathematics.”

    I’m sure. I wasn’t agreeing with matoko_chan. It’s just that McKellar is the only theorem that came to mind. In my defense, McKellar is much sexier than Noether.

  90. 90
    Francis says:

    Those words I wrote earlier about no such thing as an American? om, nom, nom, nom. Hmm, they don’t taste terribly good.

    yup, as the son of immigrants I completely coasted over the fact that there are several distinct group of Americans. My most sincere apologies to anyone who is Native American.

    but somehow i suspect that the little twit from Harvard was not thinking about comparing one group of people who have alleles that code for blackish skin to another group of people who have alleles that code for reddish skin.

    and i still think that the very idea of measuring group intelligence is not a well-posed question.

    now, if you believe that the alleles for skin color also code for intelligence, and you want to investigate that question, have at it. That’s a legitimate research question, albeit one I suspect will be very difficult to answer. Before getting into that question, it’s probably worthwhile figuring out the various alleles that affect various kinds of problem-solving ability.

  91. 91
    Max Power says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    why the possibility that blacks are smarter than whites is never brought up if it’s truly ‘just science.’

    …because it’s not science!

    And, in skimming as much of Brooks’ column as I could stomach, let me just repeat once again, “Welcome your new Asian overlords, bitchez!”

    Racists – not necessarily white….

  92. 92
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    I think every time I hear a white person argue that whites are genetically smarter than blacks, I’m going to pull out the yellow card.

    I like to point out that, even if what they are saying is true (and I think it is BS)m they are talking about the mean for a group and, by blathering on about it, they are indicating that they are probably well below that mean. Or, in other words, I say, “You are a fucking idiot.” It seems to work as a debating technique.

  93. 93
    fucen tarmal says:

    now, if you follow this illogic to its logical conclusion, what do you have, in practical terms.

    suppose there happen to be racial differences in the as yet defined intelligence variable.

    suppose that the premature hypothesis of those pushing to link race as they define it, with intelligence as they believe we can define it works out in the way we assume they anticipate,”whites” being smarter than “blacks”

    i really want to know what they think society would have to do with such a theory, and i bet it wouldn’t just be theory at that point….

    could then this premature hypothesis, this presumed racial difference in intelligence then be justification for the “big government entitlements” the set asides, all of the things they claim to hate based on their own pretense to accepting the notion that a society of equals not only exists but doesn’t need these things, and is in fact(their opinion) hurt by them?

    aren’t they hurting their hard line stance with what they hope to find? wouldn’t a proper society then need some means of transferring wealth, opportunity, to those who have not through any fault of their own, had greater obstacles?

    i mean, if you want to get extreme, shouldn’t we redistribute wealth on the basis of intelligence? smart people pay more tax, achievement is measured in ratio to core intelligence? and also expectation of one’s group?

    ignore for a moment they refuse to acknowledge either the opposites of their binary, “blacks” are smarter than “whites”, or that some other group not mentioned, but definable by what they deem race(asians etc) blows out the end-game hypothesis ?

  94. 94
    Fern says:

    It’s my theory that the content of IQ testing is selected based on a.) aspects of intelligence that lend themselves to paper-and-pencil tests and computerized scoring and b.) aspects of intelligence that are valued in a particular culture.

  95. 95
    MattR says:

    So what is the breakdown of IQ by state? Arguing about the scientific legitimacy of the tests is not gonna convince any right winger or shut them up. But data that shows that children raised in Democratic states have a higher IQ than those raised in Republican states (or perhaps, southern Republican states specifically) might do the trick. They will still believe that whites are smarter than blacks, but at least they wont be spouting off about it in public.

  96. 96

    Oh noes!! another mutant math thread.

  97. 97
    Elie says:

    @matoko_chan:

    The American Psychiatric Association

    Well THAT is comforting!

    The group that pushes drugs uber alles — sorry, much of what you assert is damned offensive and you make few good arguments to support your statements.

    I have given you quite a while here to support your very racist and poorly supported arguments about race and intelligence and you have responsed by offering more offensive bull.

    None of what you present supports your thesis or provides documentation on the validity of your statements that blacks and latinos are less intelligent than whites, particularly some weird sample of Ashkenaz Jews that are not clearly explained in your article but somehow we are to take as gospel, and Asians aren’t really mentioned.

    Motoko, you just cannot do this, friend. Clean it up and bring your shit. This is inadequate and offensive

  98. 98
    chrismealy says:

    Bobo:

    There was basically no change in the life expectancy gap. Swedes now live 2.7 years longer. Again, huge policy differences. Not huge outcome differences.

    How the fuck is 2.7 years no change?! What would impress Brooks, 10 years? 20?

  99. 99
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Max Power: You talking to me? That’s very funny. I am just using the argument against itself. I don’t believe it because I know many stupid Asian people. It’s just amusing to me that most of the people interested in debating the intelligence of a particular demographic never want to compare themselves to Asian people who are (stereotypically) considered smarter.

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yeah. You are much blunter and to the point.

    @matoko_chan: I am not afraid of IQ. It’s bullshit, and I say that as someone with not a low one. It’s culturally-biased and so limited in scope, it’s not very useful. If you want to believe that Asians are smarter than whites, go ahead. it’s not fucking true.

  100. 100
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @chrismealy: I bet if someone offered to kill him now or let him live another 2.7 years, he would have little difficulty with the decision.

  101. 101
    matoko_chan says:

    Doug

    IQ tests are an ill-designed measure of an ill-defined quantity.

    sure..but its the best metric we have right now.
    shall we stop studying intelligence?
    we don’t have good tools to measure quantum events either….should we stop trying there?
    lawl.

    /Sigh
    Noether’s theorem is a physics theorem….umm …..you are unaware i presume of the strict class distinctions between mathematicians and physicists?

    biologists speak only to chemists
    chemists only to physicists
    physicists only to mathematicians
    and mathematicians only to god.

    im not getting any traction here, i yield me.
    Dr. Cochran’s paper raised a shitstorm of controversy when it was published too, btw….just as much as murrays book.
    people are very touchy about IQ.

  102. 102
    ChockFullO'Nuts says:

    We’re pretty upset out here, we Dems, now that we have an idea what is going on.

    First of all, the Republicans out here have decided on a new Western Strategery, to go along with their long-successful Southern Strategery. They intend to inflame the voters over a (truly) fucked up border situation and push the West firmly into the Red State column. Arizona was already Red but was getting some purple. This may put an end to that. Utah, Wyoming …Idaho.

    Texas is hopeless at the national level. If they can get New Mexico, pick up a governor’s seat in AZ, and win back some House seats, then AZ is a win for them.

    If they can pick up some electoral votes out here, and drive a wedge between the apparently impotent Dems and the indy voters in swing states, they have a real chance to prevent an Obama second term. And so far the Dems seem to be not just fumbling this ball, but now that it is on the ground, they are going to fail the tip drill and let the GOP run away with the immigration issue. Janet Napolitano, who seemed to have cred on this issue a couple years ago, now sounds like a BP executive talking about a blown out oil well. Uh, well, this border stuff is really hard. Yeah, no kidding. It is really hard. It is also being set up as the next Law and Order issue out here, and the GOP is licking its lips at the state level to advance this story.

    We didn’t see this coming. We foolishly thought we’d wait in line for immigration reform out of Washington. Meanwhile the most popular tv show out here is John McCain’s new campaign ads for The Fence.

    Take a look at these. These are going to win him another six damned years.

    Permanent Democratic Majority? This is the dealbreaker, people. And to top it off, the GOP apparently has palled around with crazy racist xenophobes to run the ground game.

    I never thought I would say this: We are So Fucked.

  103. 103
    russell says:

    It ain’t about race, specifically, although race certainly comes into it. But it’s really all about who is naturally born to rule.

    Russell Kirk’s fifth conservative principle:

    Fifth, conservatives pay attention to the principle of variety. They feel affection for the proliferating intricacy of long-established social institutions and modes of life, as distinguished from the narrowing uniformity and deadening egalitarianism of radical systems. For the preservation of a healthy diversity in any civilization, there must survive orders and classes, differences in material condition, and many sorts of inequality.

    Quaint folkways, y’all. They are there because God meant ’em to be there.

  104. 104

    that Harvard Law Student shouldn’t be publicly humiliated over private email.

    Forgive me if someone else has already said this. Email is not private. It is never private. If you send an email to someone, you are trusting in both their good will and their ability to avoid forwarding that email (whether intentionally or by accident) to another party, but that’s it. And you don’t have to be a 3L at Harvard Law to understand that. There have been enough examples of public figures hung out to dry by their emails that you’d think people would get this.

  105. 105

    @DougJ:

    The title was a DKs reference. The “hear me now, believe me later” was SNL.

    You must only use your powers of pop-culture-fu for good.

  106. 106
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @matoko_chan: We shouldn’t stop studying it, but you’re taking IQ testing and other intelligence testing as gospel truth (at least in your comments you are). I wouldn’t even say IQ testing is the best metrics we have because it’s devoid of any context. A high IQ cannot say if you are going to succeed in life, be a good partner, be a good parent, or even be successful at your job. It really is more of a party favor statistic.

  107. 107
    matoko_chan says:

    no, elie, i beg your forgiveness.
    believe what you like.

  108. 108
    hawkeye says:

    I am a lurker and a geneticist. The pandagon poster is absolutely correct, but to frame it in statistical language….this should be a two tailed test. The null hypothesis is: there is no difference in IQ scores between the races. The alternative hypothesis should be: one of the races is has higher IQ scores than another. If you presume a direction to that; i.e. whites may have higher IQ scores than blacks, but the vice versa is not tested…. one had better be able to justify it. I would argue the fact that one immediately considers the one-tailed test (whites will have higher IQ scores that blacks) rather than the two-tailed test (one of the races will have higher IQ scores than the other, while remaining agnostic to which race is which), says more about your prejudices than it does about intelligence and race.

  109. 109
    matoko_chan says:

    you too aisangrrl.
    mea culpa.

  110. 110
    Elie says:

    @matoko_chan:

    I have no belief about you, matoko. I DO believe what I want. What are you saying “no” to?…to provide documentation for your reckless and inaccurate assertions? No, I got that you wouldn’t or couldnt.

    Actually, I regret, you belive some things that are sad to me but your right. Just don’t insist your beliefs are some sort of fact.

    They undermine any belief I had that you were a person of intellectual integrity and personal honor and fairness — who cares, right — its just the internet

  111. 111
    MattR says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    It really is more of a party favor statistic.

    And when brought up, it often becomes a pissing match with at least one person trying to assert some sort of dominance. Which is why I made the effort not to remember mine so I could just avoid the whole conversation.

  112. 112
    Silver Owl says:

    I’m just tired of the never ending whining from so called “superior white dudes and dudettes” who wallow in their false notion of their importance merely because they exist. They are dumber than a yard full of winter dog chit.

    If the parents had raised these adult sized spoiled rotten brats correctly we could actually accomplish more than being a 24/7 adult day care center of a nation.

    I’m not babysitting these stupid fucks.

  113. 113

    @matoko_chan:

    Noether’s theorem is a physics theorem….umm …..you are unaware i presume of the strict class distinctions between mathematicians and physicists?

    That’s open to debate. You also don’t appear to be aware of the fact that Emmy Noether came up with more than one theorem. There’s Noether’s theorem and then there’s Noether’s normalization lemma. There are also the concepts of the Noetherian group, the Noetherian ring, the Noetherian module, Notherian topological space, the Lasker-Noether theorem, the Skolem-Noether theorem and something called the Brauer-Noether theorem. But hey, why let little things like evidence, or the difference between four and five slow you down, you’re on a racist tear worthy of John Derbyshire. You go girl!

  114. 114
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @MattR: Exactly. It’s of no use to me at all. I’d rather talk about sports or politics or music or how cute someone is.

    @Silver Owl: I know you’re being serious, but you made me chuckle. Thank you for that.

  115. 115
    srv says:

    Has Obama read the terrorist caught at JFK his rights yet?

  116. 116
    DougJ says:

    @Incertus (Brian):

    Look, I’ve said dumb stuff in email I wouldn’t want repeated. I’ve gotten (honestly much more) dumb stuff from others in email that I would never repeat. I think it’s better to not go there.

  117. 117
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Now the SAT, that tells us something!

    ETA: And on that note, I’m going to bed.

  118. 118
    justinslot says:

    @Incertus (Brian):

    And you don’t have to be a 3L at Harvard Law to understand that. There have been enough examples of public figures hung out to dry by their emails that you’d think people would get this

    Yes but a 3L is not a public figure. Even a Harvard 3L (and that’s why everybody feels free to talk about this person, I think, because she’s at Harvard and apparently entitled kids have no expectation of privacy. I hate the Ivy League like every other right-thinking American, but it’s ridiculous the way people can casually out this person just because she’s at Harvard so they can go on with their institutional racism or anti-bell curve or whatever points. If she’s at North Dakota nobody cares.)

  119. 119
    Donut says:

    Jason Bylinowski is correct about IQ tests being pretty much bullshit. Last time I took one, my score was at the low end of the genius range. Right before taking the test I ripped through several bong hits of some very kid bud. I’m really bad at solving equations, always have been. But I understand certain kinds of spatial and shape problems fairly asily. I get confused easily when it comes to adding fractions, but I can read complex texts and recall tons of details with total ease. I dropped out of Econ 101 after one week because plotting graphs made me crazy with frustration. But I earned a 4.0 in my major (history). I could go on and on. Point is, as Jason implies, context I’d everything when it comes to these tests.

  120. 120
    ChockFullO'Nuts says:

    I’d rather talk about sports or politics or music or how cute someone is.

    Luckily you are on the perfect website for that.

    But, the horror, a-g. This is the future, unless we motivate Dems and get Hispanic voters to the polls in droves.

    We have fallen, and we can’t get up.

  121. 121
    DougJ says:

    @matoko_chan:

    sure..but its the best metric we have right now.

    Famous last words.

  122. 122
    Donut says:

    ….also too…typing on iPhones is hard.

  123. 123
    pdf23ds says:

    Is there a good resource with lots of arguments with references on the race/intelligence issue, along the lines of the talk.origins FAQ? It seems to me that if the issue is so cut and dried, like so many on the left think, there would be something like it.

  124. 124
    Martin says:

    All I know is that if y’all knew my IQ, you’d be convinced for all time that it was bullshit.

  125. 125

    @matoko_chan:

    There is a whole domain called psychometrics, people.
    The tools aren’t perfect yet, but the American Psychiatric Association has been at it a long time.

    There is a whole domain called “Intelligent Design”, people.
    The theory isn’t perfect yet, but the Discovery Institute has been at it a long time. So I don’t want to hear any more nonsense about the divinity of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    There is also a whole domain called “Natal Horological Astrology”, people.
    The theory isn’t perfect but the astrologers have been at it for a long time. So I don’t want to hear any more arguments that astrology is bullshit, because that is so like a Virgo to say that.

    There is also a whole domain called “alchemy”, people.
    The tools aren’t perfect yet, but the alchemists have been at it for a long time and one of these days we’re going to turn lead into gold and when we do we’ll be farting through silk. Just you wait.

  126. 126
    Martin says:

    @matoko_chan:

    Noether’s theorem is a physics theorem….umm …..you are unaware i presume of the strict class distinctions between mathematicians and physicists?

    Yeah, there’s no such distinction in quite a few subdisciplines. Go study differential geometry and general relativity. Pretty much all of your colleagues in Canada will be in the math departments and pretty much all of your colleagues in the US will be in the physics departments. Perhaps you were also unaware that Stephen Hawking was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics.

  127. 127
    Mark S. says:

    @russell:

    For the preservation of a healthy diversity in any civilization, there must survive orders and classes, differences in material condition, and many sorts of inequality.

    That reminds me of some dipshit on Slate who argued that it might be a good thing if New Orleans became a shantytown (i.e. we shouldn’t spend any money to rebuild it) because a lot of great music came out of shantytowns.

  128. 128
    MattR says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    one of these days we’re going to turn lead into gold and when we do we’ll be farting through silk. Just you wait.

    Wait for it? I’m betting on it and hoarding lead as we speak. To paraphrase something I recently heard on The Office (hopefully I get this right): “If someone offers you 10 thousand to 1 odds on something you take it. If John Mellancamp ever wins an Oscar, I’m gonna be a rich, rich man.

  129. 129

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I bet if someone offered to kill him now or let him live another 2.7 years, he would have little difficulty with the decision.

    And I’ll bet that if someone offered to kill David Brooks right now or let him live another 2.7 years that nobody on Balloon Juice would have any difficulty with the decision either.

  130. 130
    dslak says:

    @matoko_chan: I say this not to pile on, but because it’s a commonly held, albeit false, belief: Einstein was not a D student.

  131. 131
    Jrod, Slayer of Phoenix says:

    @ChockFullO’Nuts: Look, if the Democrats are screwed unless they get the border sealed, then the Democrats are screwed, because the border is not sealable. It’s 2000 miles of open land over which billions of dollars of trade passes, not a fucking Tupperware.

    John McCain can say any bullshit he likes, because his party is out of power. The Democrats are limited by, uh, whuzzit called, oh yeah, reality. And the reality is, even if the Dems come up with a bill that drops 100 billion bucks on a super-wall, McCain and his cohort will filibuster it.

    If these realities mean that the Democrats lose Arizona, then so be it. I’m not going to call up my reps and ask them to support ridiculous fantasy legislation in the vain hope of peeling enough racists and nativists to win Arizona.

  132. 132
    Mark S. says:

    @Mark S.:

    Doing some googling, I was able to find the article in question (from a Steve Sailer link, ugh). Here it is in all its contrarian glory:

    Shantytowns might well be more creative than a dead city core. Some of the best Brazilian music came from the favelas of Salvador and Rio. The slums of Kingston, Jamaica, bred reggae. New Orleans experienced its greatest cultural blossoming in the early 20th century, when it was full of shanties. Low rents make it possible to live on a shoestring, while the population density blends cultural influences. Cheap real estate could make the city a desirable place for struggling artists to live.

    See, most people think of grinding urban poverty as horrible, but privileged douchebags like Tyler Cowen see it for what it really is, a chance for privileged douchebags to discover new music. Only Slate can bring you this cutting edge thinking, which is how privileged douchebags think.

  133. 133
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Oh yeah BTW most IQ tests are skewered towards the dominant culture. In other words, the tests were made by old white men. So they are culturally biases towards straight white males. Funny how that works.

  134. 134

    @Mark S.:

    That reminds me of some dipshit on Slate who argued that it might be a good thing if New Orleans became a shantytown (i.e. we shouldn’t spend any money to rebuild it) because a lot of great music came out of shantytowns.

    And if it weren’t for the Holocaust Jews wouldn’t have the state of Israel, and just think, without capital punishment we wouldn’t have Christianity! Man, I hate those petty contrarians over at Slate, why don’t they tackle big topics like the ones I mentioned?

  135. 135
    Martin says:

    Within the last hour federal agents arrested Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized US citizen from Pakistan, in connection with the failed Times Square bomb attempt.

    So I’m guessing the right will now double down and rail against legal immigration as well.

  136. 136
    burnspbesq says:

    @Incertus (Brian):

    You may have accurately described reality, but that reality is thoroughly fucked up. The Euros are way ahead of us in providing elementary protections for personal privacy in the new world.

  137. 137
    Mark S. says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    Schindler’s List, Sophie’s Choice, Life is Beautiful. Say what you will about it, but the Holocaust inspired some great movies!

    /Slate contrarian

  138. 138
    Yutsano says:

    @Mark S.: Thanks. That makes wiping out an eighth of my family so much more tolerable!

    P.S. I know you’re being snarky, in a way I am too. Still the truth however.

    @burnspbesq: Sigh. Boys and their toys.

  139. 139
    KG says:

    @chrismealy: the way I read that was that 50 years ago (or whatever the time length was) the Swedes lived 2.7 years longer, and today they still live 2.7 years longer. What I think he meant to say is that the real gap hasn’t changed. But since everyone is living longer the gap as a percentage has been reduced (50:52.7 ≠ 100:102.7), which kind of undermines his point a bit, possibly. I don’t know, it’s late and I don’t want to switch my brain to “idiot” when I have oral arguments in the morning.

  140. 140
    burnspbesq says:

    Scott Turow’s new book (sequel to Presumed Innocent) just downloaded to my iPad. See y’all in about 383 pages.

  141. 141

    @Martin:

    Perhaps you were also unaware that Stephen Hawking was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics.

    Not only was Stephen Hawking the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics but there was this other guy named Sir Isaac Newton who held the job back in the day. I’m wondering where, in matoko_chan’s scheme of things, Newton fits in. Was everything he did, including deriving the laws of motion and gravitation and his work on optics which led to the invention of the reflecting telescope mathematics? Or was it all, including his invention (shared with Leibniz) of Calculus and his authorship of the Principia Mathematica all physics. My guess is that it would depend upon what kind of bullshit argument matoko_chan was trying to make.

  142. 142
    KG says:

    @ChockFullO’Nuts: Dude, they tried this before. It was called Prop 187 in California in the early to mid 90s. Since then, two Republicans have won statewide elections (Arnold and Poizner, both of whom had the advantage of running against very unpopular Democrats). Arizona is going to end up in the blue column, because if the Dems out there are smart, they’ll do what they did in California a decade and a half ago and turn this into a voter registration drive. And they’ll also do it in Colorado (which has been trending blue), New Mexico (which is probably safely blue at this point), and they’ll even get Texas to start trending blue.

  143. 143
    Steve Finlay says:

    There was a time when I would have jumped all over what matoko_chan said, calling it racist and all that. But now I know enough about science and statistics to know that IQ differences between “races” are not going to justify racist conclusions EVEN IF SUCH DIFFERENCES EXIST.

    I’ll explain why that is in a minute, but first it is worth reviewing the reasons (which a lot of commenters know already) why claims of racial differences in IQ are unlikely to be supportable. First of all, while it is safe to say that IQ does measure something, it is not clear what that is, and the Flynn effect (a general tendency for average IQ scores to increase worldwide) proves that it cannot be entirely driven by genetics. Also, it is not clear whether a difference of 10 or 20 points indicates anything about a person’s competence in the real world.

    Not only that, but relating IQ to race requires defining “races”. Especially in the US and Canada, where people from every part of the world have been trading genes for 10 generations, good luck with that. Is Tiger Woods white, black or Asian? “Yes” is the answer, I think.

    Finally, there is the huge problem of controlling all the environmental variables so that samples from two “races” are comparable. People like Arthur Jensen tried hard to do this, and might have succeeded to a large extent. But unless he had a valid, independent definition of “race”, that would not have helped.

    OK, but all that is old stuff. My point is different. Suppose that somebody succeeded in defining “race” based on something solid such as independently verifiable genetic markers, or unambiguous and proven ancestry. Suppose that he also succeeded in obtaining comparable IQ results for large, comparable samples of two races. And now suppose that he did find that the mean and median IQ of the “black” sample was 5 points higher than the mean and median IQ of the “white” sample, or vice versa. (This would require quite large samples; otherwise, such a difference would be nothing but statistical error.)

    What would this mean in the real world, even if it were true? Just about squat. The point is that it would tell you nearly nothing about the relative intelligence of any member of one group compared to any member of the other. In both groups, as someone already said, the variation within the group would be vastly greater than the variation between the groups. The standard deviation of IQ scores is at LEAST 15. A difference of 5 points is therefore only 1/3 of a standard deviation — which means that someone whose intelligence is at the mean/median of the “smart” group would actually have a LOWER IQ score than 37% (almost 2/5) of the people in the “not as smart” group.

    So any racist conclusion such as “whites are smarter than blacks” would be directly and clearly contradicted by the plain statistical facts.

    I know there is a big problem in that racists, and a great many other people, do THINK that if the average of A’s is higher than the average of B’s, then all A’s must be higher than all B’s. But no matter how many people think that this follows logically, it does not and it never will.

  144. 144
    KG says:

    @Yutsano: I’ve heard that too, actually about most standardize tests. One example is the question: what color is a ruby? They supposedly found that African-Americans would answer “black” because they knew ruby to be the name of girls rather than the name of a stone. I don’t know how true that is, but I do kind of like the example.

  145. 145
    Mark S. says:

    @Yutsano:

    Sorry. My comment was definitely overboard.

  146. 146

    @burnspbesq:

    I’m going to be a total dick and ruin it for you. Reverend Green did it in the ballroom with a length of rope, two wetsuits and a dildo. But in the next book Detective Althouse will reveal that all of the evidence was Photoshopped by liberals.

  147. 147
    Yutsano says:

    @Mark S.: The part that scared me more than anything is that the idea more than likely isn’t original to you. I’m sure some fartknocker at the brain trust that is Slate has come up with something similar them remembered who signed his paychecks.

  148. 148
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Yutsano: Yup. Exactly. Part of my ill-worded rant. (I get too steamed about this shit). How you be, hon?

    @ChockFullO’Nuts: I think it’s the last death throes of the cultural warriors. It’s not going to be pretty, and it’s gonna to get uglier. I agree, but I am at a loss as to how to actually motivate Dems. Let’s face it. I’m feeling pretty low myself.

    @Wile E. Quixote: Man, you are fucking on fire today. Carry on!

  149. 149
    Mark S. says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    I’d read Detective Althouse novels. I see her surveying the crime scene with a box of wine under one arm.

  150. 150
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Mark S.: Hm. I could write Detective Althouse novels and have cameos by Douthat, Instapundit, Erick, son of Erick, and the all the MM. That could be my way onto the conservative gravy train!

  151. 151
    MattR says:

    @Wile E. Quixote: Green ballrooms, green ballrooms!!

  152. 152
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: I think we knew that the racist Right would get worse before they finally accepted the truth. The question is how much we can put them off before demographics make the changes inevitable. They will win some battles, most likely in 2010. Things will start reversing in 2012, simply because Obama will finally be able to show government can in fact be competent. Then the argument will shift over what exactly do we want the government to do rather than how big it should be.

    Damn my boss is smart. He’s trying to power play me into staying around. If he gives me the big promotion that I’m pretty sure I’ll apply for then I might just stick it out. However if any of the jobs I applied to want me for more money and better benefits then I’m outtie. Otherwise I’m hanging in there.

  153. 153
    burnspbesq says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    Droll.

  154. 154
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Yutsano: Ah, Mr. Optimist at it again. You are a good antidote to my more pessimistic attitude.

    And, maybe I can start with the murder of AA’s blog-readin’ hubby? Ooooh!

  155. 155
    Mark S. says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    Better you than me. I’d have them all dead in the first chapter and then I’d be stuck.

  156. 156
    Mnemosyne says:

    @ChockFullO’Nuts:

    Pete Wilson thought he could ride Prop 187 and anti-Latino sentiment straight to the White House. Instead, he tanked not only his own career, but the California Republicans as a statewide party. Don’t forget, Arnie may call himself a Republican, but he’s been excommunicated by the California Republican Party.

    This is a Hail Mary pass by the Republicans, a desperate hope that they can make lightning strike a second time, but history so far says that it’s more likely to turn them into a tiny rump of a regional party than put them back into control.

  157. 157
    Yutsano says:

    @Mnemosyne: Of course some on the Right choose to believe their own nonsense right into their awaiting white sheets. Witness David Frum:

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINIO.....ml?hpt=Mid

    I wonder if he’s going to finally be exiled from his home country over this column.

  158. 158
    Beej says:

    @matoko_chan: My point is that I don’t care. When you can show me a group of African Americans each of whom was raised exactly the same way and in the same environment and with the same educational opportunities as a group of caucasian Americans and then show me significant differences in IQ, I will consider the idea that one race is genetically superior to another. Until then, spare me the silly theories.

  159. 159
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Mark S.: Heh. There are ways to get around that, my friend. I am a voracious reader of mystery novels. I think I can do this!

    @Yutsano: I loathe him because he sounds smart when he writes really stupid things (and I didn’t read the article. I’m pissed off enough as is).

  160. 160

    @KG:

    Since then, two Republicans have won statewide elections (Arnold and Poizner, both of whom had the advantage of running against very unpopular Democrats).

    And it’s worth noting that not only did they run against unpopular Democrats but Ahnuld had huge name recognition as well. Plus neither one of them jumped on the immigrant bashing bandwagon. Ahnuld didn’t because he’s an immigrant himself and to tell the truth I don’t think he has that kind of thing in him (and if does he’s wise to keep his mouth shut about it lest he risk comparisons to another famous Austrian politician who bashed minorities) and Poizner was running for insurance commissioner, a position that doesn’t really lend itself to lots of immigrant bashing.

    Of course it looks as if the Republicans in California aren’t smart enough to stay away from immigration. Poizner wants to send the National Guard to the border (I’m sure that the California National Guard units that have been serving in the deserts of Iraq will be thrilled to hear this) and Whitman wants to build an “economic fence” to keep employers from hiring illegal aliens. Who the fuck knows what that means, but if it’s like the policies eBay had during her tenure as CEO to stop fraudulent bidders and sellers it doesn’t mean much.

  161. 161
    Brachiator says:

    @DougJ:

    It’s coming, folks. It won’t be long now until thoughtful, intellectually honest conservatives insist that we have a free-wheeling debate about some form of racial supremacism. Hear me now, believe me later.

    Hell, I’m wondering why it took the wingnut girly men so long to get to this. At some point, somebody is going to ask Obama to reveal the results of his IQ test. Note that no one will ask this of Sarah Palin, since everyone knows that a half-time governor quitter who barely got through college is the intellectual superior of a Kenyan Muslim who went to Harvard Law.

    And Dubya gained 40 IQ points as soon as he professed his faith in the Baby Jesus.

    @ Yutsano:

    Damn my boss is smart. He’s trying to power play me into staying around. If he gives me the big promotion that I’m pretty sure I’ll apply for then I might just stick it out. However if any of the jobs I applied to want me for more money and better benefits then I’m outtie. Otherwise I’m hanging in there.

    It’s great to have options, especially when the boss apparently realizes your value.

  162. 162
    Yutsano says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    Ahnuld didn’t because he’s an immigrant himself and to tell the truth I don’t think he has that kind of thing in him (and if does he’s wise to keep his mouth shut about it lest he risk comparisons to another famous Austrian politician who bashed minorities)

    Don’t forget who he sleeps with every night. Maria Shriver is still a Kennedy, and she will literally have his balls for brunch if he even thought of going down the teabagger route too far. She knew who he was when she married him, but I think whenever he does something half-reasonable, it’s because Maria got to him.

    @asiangrrlMN: I have no idea why I read it. I think mostly because I wanted to know how in the hell he was going to defend that position. He went so fast into KKK territory my head spun.

  163. 163
    steve says:

    I’ve taught high school, and been in gifted, and all that, and my only two comments on this topic are 1 IQ is not a very good predictor of success, delayed gratification is. 2 group differences matter almost nothing. I can find you dumbass white people, or dumbass black people, or dumbass chinese people. Or I can find you smart white people, smart black people, or smart chinese people. The differences between individuals are much greater than the differences between groups, if the latter exist at all.

  164. 164
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Yutsano: I actually dislike Frum more than I do, say, Erick son of Erick because of the former’s erudite tendencies. The latter is just plain idiotic.

  165. 165
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    In passing, some interesting statistics about the surging crime rates that were the impetus for this law in Arizona. We all heard the speeches, about how with the increasing influx of immigrants in recent years, crime had risen uncontrollably, police were being killed, and so they had to pass this law.

    Right?

    Wrong.

    Over the last decade, the violent crime rate has dropped by 19 percent, while property crime is down by 20 percent. Crime has also declined in the rest of the country, but not as fast as in Arizona.

    Babeu’s claim about police killings came as news to me. When I called his office to get a list of victims, I learned there has been only one since the beginning of 2008—deeply regrettable, but not exactly a trend.

    Must be some left-wing rag who published this, right? Nope, this is from Reason, which I can’t believe I’m even linking to, but it’s more revealing that it came from the Glibertarian right.

  166. 166

    […] DougJ at Balloon Juice has yet more on political connections between the new Arizona Police State Act and white supremacy and how an emerging debate on the subject will attempt to normalize it by objectifying it: More evidence that the Arizona immigration law is simply a principled conservative policy: […]

  167. 167
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: It’s pretty common, though, for people to KNOW that crime is on the rise when it’s actually going down. It fits into certain people’s narratives, facts be damned. Plus, the media has a vested interest in massaging certain story lines such as the evilness of the influx of undocumented immigrants. Put it all together and it’s not surprising that once again, the facts don’t support the beliefs.

  168. 168
    Mark S. says:

    @Yutsano:

    Frummy:

    It is not sufficiently neutral: Much better to check the work eligibility of all job applicants than to screen suspicious people at traffic stops.

    Who is supposed to check the work eligibility of all job applicants? The government? That sounds crazy. Employers? This goes to my theory that very few people accidentally hire illegal immigrants. They hire them because they are cheaper and they take shitty jobs most people don’t want.

  169. 169
    Yutsano says:

    @Mark S.: I am not of the school that there are no jobs that Americans won’t do. We don’t get to be the most productive nation on the planet by being a bunch of lazy asses. The real issue is that most American citizens won’t work for a lousy wage and no benefits. Look at what J. Michael is going through, Wells Fargo is offering that job because it’s more profitable for shareholders to screw your workers as much as possible. But since the next quarter’s numbers are all that matter to the corporate overlords, illegal immigrant labor is going to continue in this country. Status quos form because people in power gain wealth from them.

  170. 170
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Yutsano: I don’t think Americans are lazy, but most people (for good reason) do not want the shitty jobs. The problem is that the employers can hire undocumented immigrants with impunity to get around this. Our system is fucked.

  171. 171
    Tom says:

    @Steve Finlay:

    This should be required reading.

  172. 172
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: This is why cutting off the supply is a fool’s errand. There are always going to be those who are convinced that life in America will be better no matter what. Demand is what needs to be choked here, including going as drastic as revoking business charters/licenses and putting employers in prison. There are sufficient verification systems in place now (in fact Arizona put in the E-Verify system a couple years back, wonder how that wasn’t enough now) they just need to be followed and enforced. But you have to stop the employers from chasing a cheap profit.

  173. 173
    AngusJackBootedThugOfMeat says:

    @KG:

    I wish I could be as cheery as you guys. Usually I am optimistic about the trajectory of AZ politics. But this isn’t California, and CA doesn’t have a Mormon-infested legislature. We are more like Utah than we are like California.

    Utah is almost the reddest state in the Union. I think only Wyoming voted more heavily for McCain, 63%, in 2008, whereas AZ, his home state, only gave him 54%.

    One good thing happened today: Joe Arpaio announced that he is not running for governor.

    You know it’s a bad day in AZ when the news that Joe Arpaio is going to stay our sheriff sounds like good news.

  174. 174
    Jay Daverth says:

    I have no sympathy for legislators who pretend not to know better. This is purely an issue of supply and demand and demand-side solutions are expensive, don’t work, and are purely in the interest of preserving power for the ruling class (the ‘war on drugs’ is another good example of this). It plays well among the electorate to scapegoat the defenseless and it keeps people from questioning the obvious – that if there were no jobs for illegal immigrants, then there would be no illegal immigrants. It would be cheaper and more effective to crack down on the supply-side (employers) but that would be targeting our economic drivers (if I’m feeling gracious) or white people (for when I’m feeling a bit more cynical).

  175. 175
    patrick II says:

    See Stephen Jay Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man

  176. 176
    Anne Laurie says:

    @matoko_chan:

    … but its the best metric we have right now. shall we stop studying intelligence?
    __
    people are very touchy about IQ.

    You are just discovering this? You, with your (I have no doubt) very high IQ, as established by our best current standard of testing?

    I am a word person and not a numbers person, so I will offer an analogy: A few thousand years ago, the very best scientific minds, as measured by prestige & perquisites, spent their entire careers establishing the astrological systems of planetary retrogressions to an exquisite state of refinement. Their success at this science established, beyond any doubt, that the god-kings among whose courts the astrologers dwelt had been chosen by destiny to rule over all lesser tribes.

    A few hundred years ago, the very best scientific minds — again, as measured by the prestige/perquisites standard — spent their careers refining the theological proofs of the supremacy of a patriarchal Xtian male god who just happened to love rich pale-skinned European men better than any other creations of His particular universe. Isaac Newton, for instance, was under the impression that his theological work would be much more important to his historical influence than his early experiments with mere physical mathematics.

    At some point — assuming we humans don’t manage to destroy our species first — future historians are going to look over the many reams of arguments devoted to “intelligence quotients”, perform the action equivalent to shaking their heads in wonder, and ask each other “With all the problems of Terra-bound homo sapiens in the first part of what they called the 21st century, this meritricious crap is what they chose to waste some of the best-compensated minds upon?”

  177. 177
    Phil says:

    @Anne Laurie
    The best compensated minds are working on IQ? Shurely shome mishtake?

  178. 178
    MikeJ says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    A few thousand years ago, the very best scientific minds, as measured by prestige & perquisites, spent their entire careers establishing the astrological systems of planetary retrogressions to an exquisite state of refinement.

    Damn you Goldman Sachs!

  179. 179
    Xenos says:

    @KG: Years ago the example used for the class-based bias of IQ tests involved an analogical reasoning question using the term ‘elevator’. Most of the kids from cities got it right, and most of the kids from the rural midwest got it wrong.

    In any case, for an educated person to spout off opinions on the subject of the correlation between race and IQ without acknowledging that 1) IQ is a highly imperfect measure of intelligence that is very sensitive to culture and class, and 2) race is not a meaningful genetic category, is prima facie evidence that that person is a racist.

    Sorry, no educated person is that ignorant without being willfully so. And willfully ignorant people are not worthy of much respect.

  180. 180
    stuckinred says:

    They think they got the bomber. Looks like he’s a LEGAL immigrant.

  181. 181
    mclaren says:

    Eugene Volokh’s post certainly isn’t an “over the top rant,” it’s a carefully reasoned and perfectly logical statement from a classic sociopath.

    Specimens of pathology like Volokh lack certain elements of the psyche found in most of the population — empathy, a conscience, and so on. Volokh’s careful and rational discussion of the subject proves entirely similar to the fascination a serial killer exhibits when torturing his victims to death. The serial killer has zero empathy, views all other human beings as merely meat puppets to be tormented or duped or manipulated at will, and considers others peoples’ shrieks of horror as nothing more than fascinating involuntary muscular spasms.

    Volokh cannot imagine putting himself in the place of a black person or a Latino or an asian or a gay who might be discriminated against; Volokh views the shrieks of horror at such discrimination as merely intriguing forms of reflex action. Volokh long ago demonstrated his sociopathy by coolly confecting logical defenses for John Yoo’s torture memo while innocent prisoners were being tortured to death.

    Indeed, if Volokh had lived 150 years ago he would be coolly and logically concocting defenses of the Dred Scott decision. And if Volokh had lived 500 years ago, he would be creating analytically sound and carefully reasoned justifications for pouring molten lead down the throats of suspected heretics.

    We need to bear in mind that the statistics show that roughly 2% of the population consists of people like Volokh. These people don’t “rant” or “rave,” they make rational statements which simply strike the rest of us as horrifying and disgusting and appalling beyond description because people like Volokh lack those faculaties known as “conscience” and “empathy” which the other 98% of humanity takes for granted.

  182. 182
    frankdawg says:

    Why is “Are blacks smarter than whites” never brought up? That’s easy. Since we live in a _totally_ not-racist society where _all_the advantages go to the coloreds and yet the real Americans hold almost all the levers of power and make all the money and never get arrested for really bad stuff there must be a reason.

  183. 183
    SGEW says:

    All I know is that Brick Oven Bill must be beside himself with racist rage and frustration for being banned from B.J. and having to miss this thread.

  184. 184
    BR says:

    Isn’t there significant biological evidence that:

    1. The genetic differences between Africans are greater than the genetic differences between some Africans and Europeans?

    2. The notion that African-Americans are a racial group is one that only exists in the minds of non-scientists? That is, biologically it’s not a genetically cohesive group. That’s a reminder that a few visible “racial” features don’t at all define genetic makeup.

    It’s as if these folks want to use socially-constructed standards of race as a basis for biological evidence of inferiority, despite the two not matching up.

  185. 185
    Michael says:

    @Comrade Luke:

    Jesus Christ. The Colbert Report just had a clip of Rush saying that if they should leave the spill alone because “the ocean would take care of this itself”.

    Lardass and the rest of his conservative pals are like the 7 year old boy who refuses to clean up after himself. They’re the laziest fuckers on the planet.

  186. 186
    BethanyAnne says:

    @SGEW: Has he been put in the corner again? I was surprised to not see his shale oil rants clogging up the discussions of the Gulf Coast disaster.

  187. 187
    frankdawg says:

    @SGEW:

    Dang! I missed ol brick head getting banned – what’d he do? I mean specifically the LAST time to finally get the hammer? Why am I always a day late to the party, I miss all the fun?

  188. 188
    DPirate says:

    I’m guessing that white supremacists vote.

  189. 189
    pdf23ds says:

    My comment got held up for moderation (and the blog software doesn’t send approved messages to the end of the thread like sensible software ought to) so I’ll ask again.

    Is there a good resource with lots of arguments–with references–on the race/intelligence issue, along the lines of the talk.origins FAQ? It seems to me that if the issue is so cut and dried, like so many of you here think, there would be something like it, though perhaps in book form.

    Patrick II up there recommends The Mismeasure of Man. Anything else, possibly more recent?

  190. 190
    SGEW says:

    @BethanyAnne; @frankdawg:

    I missed the “fun,” but I believe that B.O.B. was banned for, well, saying the sorts of things that got that Harvard student in trouble.

    He’s probably in talks with David Brooks as a consultant for his next book by now, in conjunction with Charles Murray, Steve Sailer, and Pat Buchanan.

  191. 191
    WereBear says:

    I can grant personality being genetically influenced; I have a tortoiseshell cat. Like all torties, she’s got a ‘tude.

    But skin color is a response to environmental factors like UV exposure. That would have nothing to do with intelligence, even if intelligence was shown to be influenced by some genetic code for impulsivity or nerve transmission or what have you.

    So this would make it even less likely that intelligence variation would be keyed to skin color. Even the most superficial attempts to sort out “g” would pick something else.

    I would conclude, based on a sociological study of right wing thinkers, that they have very little intelligence. Now that I support.

  192. 192
    Barry says:

    “Only left-wing ideologues will reject the idea that ill-designed tests prove that certain groups who have been deliberately and systematically f*cked over for centuries possess less of the ill-defined quantity of intelligence. ”

    fixed.

  193. 193
    satby says:

    @Joshua Norton: I didn’t steal it, I put it on Facebook and credited you and linked back here.
    Because that was all kindsa awesome.

  194. 194
    Xenos says:

    @BR:

    The genetic differences between Africans are greater than the genetic differences between some Africans and Europeans?

    100% of humans are 100% African ancestry. As far as skin-color-based racial classifications are concerned, at least 50% of human genetic variation is present in sub-Saharan Africa, something you would expect for a region that is the ancestral home of a species that has had a recent diaspora out of an ancestral region.

    All this white vs. black comparison is, genetically speaking, a contrast between an isolated offshoot versus the majority of the rest of the species. This makes it, in those terms, a slightly hidden argument about white European genetic supremacy.

  195. 195
    El Cid says:

    I always remember what I read in an article on Klancore, hard-core rock/punk music from kids who grew up among white supremacists.

    These ‘Klancore’ kids aren’t in sync with their folks, necessarily, it’s just the milieu in which they operate. These are desperate, weird communities, poverty-stricken, the like.

    And I remember one kid talking about having grown up with poor, angry, troubled white supremacists.

    And he said something like, ‘One day I looked around at my parents and their community, and I saw drunks and drug addicts, and wife-beaters and child abusers, and no-job having welfare takers, even guys having sex with goats — sex with goats! — and I thought to myself, Yeah, this is the master race.’

  196. 196
    kay says:

    David Brooks is an idiot.
    The Homestead Act was federal policy that turned over millions of acres to people who were farmers in their country of origin, like Swedes. The requirements for citizenship were minimal. Had to be 21 years old and a resident for two years, and any judge could declare a person a citizen.
    Minnesota aggressively recruited Swedes, Germans and Norwegians to come there and farm. They had a state immigration board created for just that purpose.
    Federal and state policy, deliberately and carefully designed to benefit an immigrant group deemed desirable.
    Policy sure made a difference there.
    As always, conservatives refuse to look at what actually happened.

  197. 197
    Randy P says:

    @matoko_chan: Yes, yes, I remember that you’re a Bell Curve defender and you can’t be bothered to read critiques of it. Therefore it’s sound science and all that.

    There are no major mathematical theorems named after a woman…..yet.

    I’m sure this is not the only example, but Noether’s Theorem (1915), named after Emmy Noether, springs to mind.

    Edit: I see others got there before me. Late to the party, as always.

  198. 198
    geg6 says:

    Since there is no scientifically accepted definition of intelligence, the entire thing is moot. What is intelligence? Certainly nothing that can be measured using a multiple choice test that has been shown to be so culturally biased so as to make it completely unreliable as a measure of anything other than an individual’s ability to take multiple choice tests, especially if you are one of the members of the culturally privileged subset that develops the test.

    Anyone who thinks IQ tests are in any way indicative of anything useful probably thinks the tooth fairy exists and that humans used dinosaurs as a mode of transportation.

    Idiots, in other words.

    There is a shitload of research that shows that intelligence is something that a person has in numerous ways and may be oriented according to social and situation conditions, and are not able to be measured in the way IQ is measured. Howard Gardner is a good place to look for a contrary way of viewing intelligence.

  199. 199
    Darkmoth says:

    First of all, there are two separate types of blackness. There is external blackness (what people percieve as black) and genetic blackness (the preponderance of “negroid” genetic markers).

    My wife is white, and I am black. However, I am a descendent of slaves so it’s highly unlikely that I am 100% pure “black”. In essence, my daughter is more white than black, but she LOOKS “black” (sort of a mocha, really).

    So which blackness are these tests measuring? If people that LOOK black test lower on average, that could be considered a smoking gun for the deleterious effects of racism, since the largest thing these people have in common is that they are treated “black”.

    Also, as any statistician will tell you, the mean is not necessarily the best measurement. It’s entirely possible for population A to have a higher average intelligence than population B, while a randomly chosen individual of population B is smarter than a randomly chosen individual of population A (if the median is very different from the mean). Statistics not something the public understands well.

    As far as makoto_chan’s point, my issue is not that science shouldn’t study these things, but that it’s nearly impossible to study them fairly or rigorously. Shitty conclusions from junk science is far worse than no conclusions at all.

  200. 200
    Hypnos says:

    I don’t think humanity spread out of Africa long enough ago for it to have any notable impact on the fundamental genetic traits of the various offshoots; something trivial like skin color, sure. Fast-spawning species of moth changed skin color in a matter of decades when the Industrial Revolution covered everything with soot.

    But intelligence, defined as the basic ability of coping succesfully with one’s environment? Not a chance.

    Oh and think of this: how long would any of us make it in the Amazon jungle without technology? If we devised an IQ test based on how well we’d be able to survive in a rainforest setting, all Westerners would come out as complete retards, while Pirahas – an Amazonian tribe that lacks writing, numbers, and whose language is so simple it can be whistled – would be utter geniuses.

    Now, unfortunately this means that white supremacists would have to understand the basics of cultural relativism, something I am afraid they are completely unable of. And that only goes to show how limited their brain actually is.

  201. 201
    Remember November says:

    I have a friend who moved out there and I recently got into a tet- a tete with her because she started whinging about how we all don’t understand the pain they’re going through. In typical fashion she retreats into anecdote when I provide evidence and background of teh douchebags involved ( Pearce, Black, Gray, Arpaio) Thing is Arpaio is a local hero there because he saves the taxpayers money- a sad fact when you can overlook anything for a dollar these days. I’m on the fence about his tent city- criminals shouldn’t get cable tv and a/c for violent offense. The chain gangs smacks of old south corruption – and I bet if people start digging they’ll find Old Joe has been skimming from the till. And yet when I brought up the Nazi references her response was “I’m tired of the Nazi stuff” to which I replied- well do something about it, these guys are painting you by numbers as racist aholes. She does have the vantage of perspective first hand- and I can see their exasperation – but I was of the mind that yes, something should be done but not this way.

  202. 202
    Irrelevant,YetPoignant says:

    I’m not sure if I can have an entirely impartial opinion on the whole thing, as I’m a Sephardic-Asian male. Therefore, according to these IQ theories, I am genetically superior to everyone, ever (even if I am astonishingly bad at mathematics).

    ;|

  203. 203
    matoko_chan says:

    sheesh….you guyz have totally convolved white supremecism with the bellcurve of IQ.
    they are two different things.
    the within group variation of a selected parameter can overlap between group difference by a lot, as in the case of XX math ability. that is just the example that is relevent to me.
    the reason there weren’t any bernoulli sisters is more likely the historical environment of women as non-citizen chattel with fewer educational opportunities.
    you guys sound just like the wingnuts on global warming….discredit the scientists, discredit the science.
    there is a lot more interesting work going on in intelligence than racial IQ.
    the positive correlation of IQ with empathy, the negative correlation of IQ with religiosity, quantum consciousness, strong AI.

    but the bellcurve of IQ and racism are not the same thing.

  204. 204
    Lit3Bolt says:

    The coming Onion headline:

    Harvard Law Student Hypothesizes in E-mail That African Americans Have Bigger Dicks

    There should be a rule for these types of arguments that if you say anything akin to “I’m just sayin'” or “I’m just throwing this out there” or “We should consider all types of scientific inquiry” you have automatically lost.

  205. 205
    scav says:

    @matoko_chan: motoko, you’re a giggle, but you’re still weak-tea BoB on this subject.

  206. 206
    Barry says:

    Dougj: “Update. I’m staying away from Eugene Volokh’s over-the-top rant along these lines because I agree that that Harvard Law Student shouldn’t be publicly humiliated over private email. But, yes, that was on my mind too when I wrote this.”

    You know, it’s so predictable now, after having seen this for a couple of decades. Times get hard, and the reaction of the right is (a) kick the ‘mexicans’ back over the border (where ‘mexican’ includes ‘people whose grandparents were born here), and (b) ‘n*ggers is dum’ Bell Curve crap.

    It’s like clockwork.

    And just like clockwork, the ‘reasonable’ people on the right go along with it, finding excuses.

  207. 207
    Barry says:

    matoko_chan

    “I’m a girl that does math. ”

    We’ve heard this sh*t before: “I’m a liberal, and have to vote for Bush because librulz is all dumb…”, “Some of my best friends are _____, and even they admit that _____ are not very smart…”.

  208. 208
    matoko_chan says:

    @Irrelevant,YetPoignant:

    even if I am astonishingly bad at mathematics

    within group variance.
    :)

  209. 209
    matoko_chan says:

    well…..balloon juice seems to be homogeneous on their perception of IQ, and notably anti-empirical.
    i guess this is an example of liberal epistemic closure.
    i had heard this might exist, but this is the first time I have been able to make field test observations.
    astonishingly, it seems to be isomorphic with global warming denialism among the red/white/blue crested teatards.
    i need a name for this syndrome….IQ denialism?
    does that work?

  210. 210
    Darkmoth says:

    the reason there weren’t any bernoulli sisters is more likely the historical environment of women as non-citizen chattel with fewer educational opportunities

    I’d agree, but I’m curious as to why you don’t see this as undermining the entire “intelligence” debate. If what we perceive as intelligence depends on how many educational opportunities you have, we’re not actually measuring intelligence as such. We’re measuring some amalgam of intelligence and opportunity,

  211. 211
    Fern says:

    @matoko_chan: I didn’t notice anyone saying the racism correlates with IQ. Here’s what I did notice people saying: People who claim that the relationship between intelligence (as measured by IQ tests) and race is meaningful are likely to be racist.

  212. 212
    SGEW says:

    @matoko_chan:

    [Y]ou guys sound just like the wingnuts on global warming . . . .

    Complete nonsense; in fact, it is almost the exact opposite.

    The “Bell Curve” and associated “theories” are the Richard Lindzen and Roy Spencer wing of the social sciences; a handful of non-peer reviewed experts whose discredited ideas are trumpeted by people with a suspect political agenda. Anthropogenic global warming is the overwhelming scientific consensus; the “g” factor (or whatever the fuck they call it) is fringe, at best. (This doesn’t even address conflating the social “sciences” with something like climatology!)

    [T]he bellcurve of IQ and racism are not the same thing.

    To throw analogies back at you, this sounds like people saying that the American Civil War was about competing economic systems and a question of Federalism, not slavery or race.

  213. 213
    Keith G says:

    Wouldn’t the existence of genetically higher European IQ mean the breakthrough mathematics would have popped in Europe circa 600-1000 AD.?

    Where do we get the word ‘algebra’ from?

  214. 214
    Randy P says:

    @matoko_chan:

    balloon juice seems to be homogeneous on their perception of IQ, and notably anti-empirical. i guess this is an example of liberal epistemic closure.

    Or, as it is commonly phrased by crackpots on science forums, “You all are afraid of the truth. You’re stuck in your orthodoxies and afraid to open your minds.”

    A critique of your favorite book on scientific grounds is not “anti-empirical”. Here’s the concept: there are such things as bad scientific papers. Somebody can use all the language and still be spouting garbage.

  215. 215
    SGEW says:

    [I] guess this is an example of liberal epistemic closure.

    No, “epistemic closure” (as is being used in the current blogosphere debate) has been defined by Sanchez as a “construction of a full-blown alternative media ecosystem, which has been become more self-sufficient and self-contained as it’s become more interconnected.” That’s not what’s going on here, but it’s a common mistake.

    To be generous, what you think you are seeing is simply “closed mindedness,” or, at most, a specific social taboo (i.e., one “should not” discuss the so called “human biodiversity” theory, else face cultural opprobrium). I think that this is correct, in a way; there is strong cultural pressure (among people of the “left”) against supporting racist junk-science theories.

  216. 216
    TrevorB says:

    Just a quicky as I have been doing some research on intelligence. Can you define intellegence? No thats because there is no definition. Can IQ be applied to those without language skills? No, IQ tests cannot be used on animals, we have no other examples of intelligence. So what does IQ test? We don’t know but we do know it has nothing to do with someones ability to be successful.

  217. 217
    slightly_peeved says:

    I measured matoko_chan’s postings on the scale of FIQ (Forum Intelligence Quotient), and they average about a 2.55 versus the 5.7 of most of her detractors.

    Therefore her arguments can be safely dismissed, for empirical reasons.

  218. 218
    slightly_peeved says:

    That’s not what’s going on here, but it’s a common mistake.

    Judging from the Chomsky vs. Pinker discussion here a short while ago, I’d say the media ecosystem that many posters here dwell in on this subject is in fact the published scientific literature.

  219. 219
    matoko_chan says:

    @Fern:

    People who claim that the relationship between intelligence (as measured by IQ tests) and race is meaningful are likely to be racist.

    no…..you are saying they ARE racists, just for raising the question. that is Volokh’s point …that we should be able to discuss it.

    @Darkmoth: like i said, environment is heritable. the four parts of heredity?
    genetic, epigentic, behavioral and symbolic. the last two are environmental–culture, geography, parenting, nutrition, education, etc.

    @Randy P: that is not my favorite book. my favorite book is Sir Roger Penrose’s Road to Reality.

    @SGEW: fair enough…i’ll ax him….but i don’t agree I think….Dr. Manzi at TAS attacked the global warming chapter in Levin’s awful book as an example of epistemic closure on global warming specifically….because gw is his field of expertise.
    So I think the use of the term epistemic closure can be applied to a single issue……like IQ denialism in liberals.

  220. 220
    Darkmoth says:

    @Randy P:

    A critique of your favorite book on scientific grounds is not “anti-empirical”. Here’s the concept: there are such things as bad scientific papers. Somebody can use all the language and still be spouting garbage.

    Yeah, but it’s a slippery slope. We start out criticizing Bell Curve, next thing you know we’re dissing Intelligent Design.

    /irreducibly complex snark

  221. 221
    matoko_chan says:

    sorry, my comment is being moderated.

  222. 222
    Randy P says:

    @matoko_chan:

    no…..you are saying they ARE racists, just for raising the question. that is Volokh’s point …that we should be able to discuss it.

    Yes, we should, if it were a meaningful question. But when you try to apply rigid scientific methods to this, to define the research question, you come to a brick wall: “race” can’t be scientifically defined. It’s not a biologically-meaningful concept. We know this. It is firmly established.

    It’s a social construct, a product of prejudices. In order to stratify your sample you have to introduce racism into your formerly-scientific study to say “this person goes in the box marked white, this person goes in the box marked black”. It’s no longer an objective study.

  223. 223
    ericblair says:

    balloon juice seems to be homogeneous on their perception of IQ, and notably anti-empirical. i guess this is an example of liberal epistemic closure.

    Looking at the Crackpot Index, I’d say that equates to either “hidebound reactionaries” or “self-appointed defenders of the orthodoxy” and that’s worth 20 points.

    Ignoring the enormous classification issues on the race side, my basic problem with IQ equates to the fact that nobody proposes doing this with athletics. Why can’t we do this for sports, and figure out whether the gold-medal 100m sprinter is a mathematically better athlete than the Cy Young trophy winner is a better athlete than the winner of the Tour de France or the Australian Open women’s singles champion? Because reducing their performances to a single dimension seems pretty arbitrary and simpleminded and you’d be laughed out of any sports bar in the country. So why do we do this for mental ability?

  224. 224
    matoko_chan says:

    @Darkmoth:

    We’re measuring some amalgam of intelligence and opportunity,

    yeah, the 4 parts of heredity.
    the debate in the community is what are their relative contributions to the sum of IQ.
    For example, when I say that IQ is not infinitely plastic, that means someone at 70 on the curve (functional retardation) cannot have his/her IQ raised 30 points to the mean of IQ by adjusting environment…..but maybe could have their IQ raised 2 or 3 points.
    Nutrition, for example, is an environmental parameter that is non-reversible in adults….because of growth and differentiation of nervous tissue in seven and under.

  225. 225
    Randy P says:

    @TrevorB: I took an IQ test as a kid. Scored damned high. Skipped a few grades. What I remember most is progressively more difficult testing of remembering sequences of numbers and spatial reasoning. If I fold this paper and make these cuts, what will it look like when I unfold it? If I’m standing on a compass in this direction, which way is my left hand pointing?

    Those answers went into my IQ score. It was a predictor for my career path to the extent that spatial reasoning is certainly useful in visualizing mathematical proofs or many aspects of physics. But tests of spatial reasoning, ultimately, only test your ability to do spatial reasoning. Plenty of brilliant people (my wife for instance) aren’t necessarily good at it. I suspect that there are people in math and sciences who have other strategies than spatial reasoning to do their intuitive reasoning.

    And as for remembering strings of numbers, that seems to be a skill that I’ve lost. My wife, on the other hand, has a nearly frightening recollection of phone numbers. I’m not sure there’s a phone contact she’s ever had that she DOESN’T remember.

    Incidentally, she’s in the arts.

  226. 226
    Darkmoth says:

    @matoko_chan:

    Like i said, environment is heritable. the four parts of heredity?
    genetic, epigentic, behavioral and symbolic. the last two are environmental—culture, geography, parenting, nutrition, education, etc.

    Yes…but those things are inherited by the individual, not the “race”. Since there’s no such thing as racial geography, or racial education, it is impossible (or at least irresponsible) to impute the effects of those things to racial genetics.

    In short, if you are going to try to discern characteristics of people with dark skin, those characteristics must depend on dark skin, and not be primarily explained by other causes. Dark skin is purely genetic, and as such any corollary characteristics must also be purely genetic. As you’ve said, that is clearly not the case with intelligence (as currently measured).

    That’s why some of us see it as “junk science”, in that the conclusions are only peripherally related to the premise. There is no rigorous causal chain.

  227. 227
    matoko_chan says:

    @ericblair: but we do do it for athleticism….. for example heritabilty of muscle type in marathon runners….genetics of dancers ….we do it for everything. that is scientific investigation.
    Why can’t we do it for IQ?
    Because you think the act of investigating is racist?
    Because the data can be manipulated?
    Because investigation leads somehow directly to racism in a cause effect relationship?

  228. 228
    ericblair says:

    @matoko_chan:

    but we do do it for athleticism….. for example heritabilty of muscle type in marathon runners….genetics of dancers ….we do it for everything. that is scientific investigation.

    You’re completely missed the point. Of course we investigate these things. We certainly investigate what helps a marathon runner be a better marathon runner, and a dancer be a better dancer. But we don’t make one single damn number that says that Robert Charuiyot has an Athletic Quotient of 165 and Mikhael Baryshnikov has an Athletic Quotient of 163 and therefore Charuiyot is the better athlete. Because it’s arbitrary and meaningless.

  229. 229
    matoko_chan says:

    @Darkmoth: oh but there is benevolent complex linkage and hidden variables….dark skin and IQ are not causally related….but they could be linked thru a hidden variable they are both dependent on.
    For example why does the phenotype of serial killer persist in the population at higher than expected rates? they almost never reproduce. One theory is there is some linkage for the serial killer genotype to a benevolent gene complex.
    Same for homosexuals.

    All Volokh and I want is to make it ok to talk about the heritability of IQ. Take this thread as evidence.
    You guys don’t want to talk about differences in black/white group IQ means so you trash all the IQ research because it doesn’t fit your world model.
    The right/white supremecists will ONLY talk about black/white IQ mean differences so they trash all the other research in IQ that doesn’t fit their world model.

  230. 230
    matoko_chan says:

    @ericblair: but we investigate things like sub-saharan genetic inheritance of body type with some optimal percentage of flat muscle makes olympic marathon runners.
    IQ is a metric, a measurement tool, for intelligence….some what more difficult to measure than run speed.

  231. 231
    matoko_chan says:

    helpfully, there are supposed to be 11 or so genes that operate on intelligence…..that is not counting extra-nuclear epigenetic material.
    with interaction, that is a lot of parameters, not even including environmental triggers.
    its a hard problem.

    thats what she said.
    ;)

  232. 232
    ericblair says:

    @matoko_chan:

    IQ is a metric, a measurement tool, for intelligence….some what more difficult to measure than run speed.

    No kidding. My point, again, is that it’s a poorly defined measure of we’re not quite sure what. Maximum endurance pace is a well-defined metric that tells you something if you want to run a long way as fast as possible. IQ tells you what, exactly? And why do you want to know?

  233. 233
    SGEW says:

    @matoko_chan: Fine. I’ll even concede you the point, arguendo: “Liberals” are “epistemically closed” to discussions about racist junk science. Just as biologists are “epistemically closed” to discussions of Intelligent Design.

    Better?

  234. 234
    Randy P says:

    @matoko_chan:

    All Volokh and I want is to make it ok to talk about the heritability of IQ.

    Why? It is a meaningless, single statistic. There is wide agreement on that.

    Why not choose measurable performance in sciences if you are interested in science skills? Why not choose measurable performance in verbal skills if you are interested in verbal skills? Why keep coming back to a discredited measure? You think IQ is a perfect predictor of something important, something quantifiable. Why not go straight to whatever it is you think IQ predicts and measure that, and measure its heritability?

    Why this fixation on 100-year-old ideas? Join the 21st century. Jump in. The water’s fine.

  235. 235
    matoko_chan says:

    @SGEW: you seem to be epistemically closed on race, and on IQ…..that is what I am reading.
    you are saying those are not valid metrics.

  236. 236
    Hob says:

    There needs to be a word for someone who’s not exactly trolling, because they’re basically sincere, but who just has one fixed idea and will happily annoy you forever with their incredibly bad reasoning, their casual imputations of bad faith to everyone else in the room, and their always-smiling wistful surprise that people on the Internet keep taking offense at offensive bullshit that in real life would induce most people to either scream at them or strenuously avoid them, and this will go on exactly the same for as long as you insist on arguing at them.

    And now there is. A friend of mine has convinced me that the best word is “badger.”

    Please do not feed the badger.

  237. 237
    Randy P says:

    @matoko_chan:

    dark skin

    Since you’re unprejudiced and all that, what is your independent variable for skin darkness? Do Australian aborigines, Asian Indians, and Africans of all tribes all go in the same box? Is Tiger Woods in the “black” box, the “white” box or the “asian” box in your study? What’s a white person? I’m fairly dark, by virtue of Mexican rather than African heritage. My siblings range in coloring. My kids don’t have the same coloring. Do we all go in different boxes or the same box in your study?

    Where does olive skin fall in your study? How about Native American?

    You have one variable you want to study: “skin darkness”. Define it please, and tell me what you’ll do with siblings who have different values for this variable or kids who differ from their parents. Or whether instead you’re using a “one-drop-of-blood” rule. In a completely non-racist and scientific way of course.

  238. 238
    matoko_chan says:

    well….i ax Sanchez.
    He’s the Expert.
    l8r

  239. 239
    SGEW says:

    @matoko_chan:

    [Ye gods, let us please never use the phrase “epistemic closure” again unless it is in reference to the very specific context of the alternative media feedback loop. Let’s just say “closed minded” (which is how it is being used). Anyway . . .]

    Yes, I suppose I have a “closed mind” to the idea of race and IQ (in conjunction) being used as a “valid metric” when, as far as I can tell (and I’ve done my share of reading on this), there is no rigorous evidence for a connection whatsoever. It is, at best, sophomoric and contrarian dorm conversation while drunk (or a mediocre Slate article; same diff). At worst, it is explicitly racist. It is a line of thinking that is both unproductive and extremely suspect. There are several ideas to which my mind is closed without legitimate evidence; the faked moon landing, 9/11 as an “inside job,” Atlantis, Intelligent Design, etc. etc. Any discussion that is sparked by a defense of the Bell Curve theory is not taken in a vacuum; unless there is some new idea or convincing evidence presented, I feel safe in assuming that it is as illegitimate as previous discussions I have had, and that I lose nothing in “closing” my mind to it. Saves time and agita.

    Yes, there could (theoretically) be an honest discussion of the possibility of the heritability of intelligence, and how it interacts with “race”; a discussion done with total good faith among people of personal tolerance and good conscience (not to mention a noticeable lack of data). I give you the benefit of the doubt that you are such a person, and that your interest is entirely academic, if misinformed. If so, it should be acknowledged that your “open minded” free thinking is an admirable quality in and of itself; one should, after all, question everything, eventually. But one shouldn’t pat oneself on the back for bravely standing up for the side of the debate that has already been debunked by the consensus of the experts, and has a worrisome preponderance of outright white supremacists.

    N.B.: When one side of a “debate” is filled with egregious fuckhead bigots, you should take it as a clue.

    [gots to go; too much time on internets, now late!]

  240. 240

    […] expected the complaints that Mr. Brooks is a racist have already begun to emerge: Also too Bobo has a strange meandering column, which by my lights, is […]

  241. 241
    Mnemosyne says:

    @SGEW:

    If so, it should be acknowledged that your “open minded” free thinking is an admirable quality in and of itself; one should, after all, question everything, eventually.

    Question, yes. Refuse to accept an answer you don’t like and continue to ask the same question over and over again even after it has been answered, no. Don’t forget, matoko_chan claims that she knows for a fact that Stephen Jay Gould was wrong about punctuated equilibrium even though she freely admits she knows almost nothing about biology. She knows this because shut up, that’s why.

    (Actually, she “knows” it because she knows that SJ Gould completely destroyed all of the research that “proved” that black people are naturally/genetically stupid, so she has to malign Gould’s reputation if she wants to convince people that the question is still open when it isn’t.)

    What we’re dealing with here is the equivalent of one of those electrical engineers who insists that evolution is bunk, because if they’re smart in one specific realm, that means they understand all science, everywhere, better than the people who actually devote their lives to that branch of science. It’s a weird insecurity in their own intelligence, because they can’t admit that someone, somewhere, knows more than they do.

  242. 242
    Darkmoth says:

    @matoko_chan:

    oh but there is benevolent complex linkage and hidden variables….dark skin and IQ are not causally related….but they could be linked thru a hidden variable they are both dependent on.

    Yeah, and that hidden variable might well be the effects of racism on Blacks. I encourage you to look up the term “stereotype threat”. But in any case, the fact that you’re so casually dismissing the premise of your entire discussion (“dark skin and IQ are not causally related”) sort of lends credence to those on the Left who do the same.

    It’s also sort of difficult to argue that we don’t want to discuss race and IQ, while we’re discussing race and IQ.

  243. 243
    Darkmoth says:

    @Hob:

    Brilliant insight. I’m going to print that out and keep it next to my monitor.

  244. 244
    Hob says:

    @Darkmoth: Yeah, I learned that word as part of a sort of intervention, when I was having trouble not arguing with a friend-of-a-friend who turned out to be a particular kind of wingnut. He seemed like a pleasant enough dude except for the odd belief that saying things like “men should be manly and girls should be girly” was a bold anti-PC stance. Then, online, he started with the “Muslims will kill us all, they’re outbreeding us in Europe, I learned it from this interesting guy Mark Steyn” thing and the “I love Sarah Palin because she drives you people crazy!” thing. And of course the “I’m a liberal Democrat, but sometimes I wonder, because y’all are so crazy with the ‘Muslims won’t kill us all’ and the ‘Mark Steyn is a right-winger’ stuff, ha ha, where do you bleeding-heart idiots get those ideas and why are you so mad? I’m just asking questions!” thing. And it was so hard to stay away, because I knew the guy just well enough to know that he really wasn’t kidding (despite the weird sense that it was all a game on some level, because people aren’t normally so lighthearted when they’re basically calling their friends morons/traitors/etc.– and because I’d like to think that if I realized I knew some amazing truth that the rest of the world thought was kooky, I’d at least acknowledge that I was in a crank role, rather than acting constantly surprised that my supposedly open-minded pals had not yet accepted the hollow-earth theory), and because it’s so tempting to try to find the magic words that’ll get them to stop.

    But knowing the word “badger” is oddly comforting. Badgers will do what they do; they’re not really using words for the same purpose that you are. He who fights with badgers may become one.

  245. 245
    fucen tarmal says:

    @Remember November:

    criminals shouldn’t get cable tv and a/c for violent offense

    i appreciate where you are coming from, as a mostly law-abidding citizen.

    however, i have to speak about my 13 hour stint in a county jail. i was, however briefly, accused of a violent crime(police had to justify the use of 2 cans of pepper spray, the second one hurt, a lot) now there wasn’t anything to the charges, a couple of ill-considered “fuck yous” to the wrong person….

    i have to say, my jail experience reminded me a lot of high school. the singular worst part, the defining moment, the thing that makes me sure i never want to go back for any duration(and moderate my behavior accordingly)….

    was the movie on the jail cable we really had no choice but to watch. nothing reminds you more of the fact that you are in jail, and lost your freedom, than awaiting bail, or assignment to a cell, with 30 or so other men, while being force fed a leilee sobieski coming of age movie at 5 am…what it was called, or much about it i don’t recall, but we all sat there watching, there wasn’t anything else to do but that, and await our fate.

    sitting there also knowing there might be something else to watch, anything, if you only had some control over the matter.

    what i am saying is, sometimes those type of things, remind you more than the obvious of your situation. plus jails prisons need rewards and punishments too.

  246. 246
    Steve Finlay says:

    It would be instructive to do a study in which the groups were separated simply on the basis of “skin colour”, using an objective definition of those colours and using a machine (something like the one in the paint store that tells you what colour an old paint chip is) to put people in the groups. Two things would show up. First, a lot of people who get called “black” would not be “black” according to the objective definition. Second, the objective skin colour variable would be one of the most insignificant predictors of IQ compared to others.

    I understand the political and emotional reasons for not wanting to do any such research. If certain results turn up, they will be used by some as spurious support for racist arguments. But discovering the real world, whatever it is, matters to me. Therefore, I do NOT assume as a first principle that a relationship between “race” and IQ is impossible. I do know that the idea can’t even be tested without an objective definition of “race”, which is very hard. (Skin colour as described above is fairly easy, but it has a lousy correlation with ancestry, which is the usual definition of “race”.) So if someone does this research, they have to work really hard on the methodology.

    Finally, even if a relationship between “race” and IQ were proven to exist, this would not bother me, because it simply would not support any of the conclusions that racists try to make. One reason is the facts about statistical distributions which I posted about before. The other is that this relationship, if it exists, will be an insignificant predictor of IQ compared to education, early childhood nutrition, cultural factors, etc. — which means that it is not useful for decisions or policies.

    As an instructor who routinely enables students to push their GMAT scores up by 100 points or more, I know very well how much the environment can do to change a person’s performance on various measures of “intelligence”.

  247. 247
    Corner Stone says:

    My freude! It’s been schadened!

    This thread has given me one relentless happy.

  248. 248
    dj spellchecka says:

    if an African tribesman created the iq test, all of western civilization would flunk.

  249. 249
    liberal says:

    @matoko_chan:

    helpfully, there are supposed to be 11 or so genes that operate on intelligence

    LOL! “11” as the answer to “how many genes operate on intelligence” doesn’t even pass the laugh test.

  250. 250
    Brachiator says:

    @matoko_chan:

    but we do do it for athleticism….. for example heritabilty of muscle type in marathon runners….genetics of dancers ….we do it for everything. that is scientific investigation.
    Why can’t we do it for IQ?

    As ericblair noted, you kinda stepped into it here. There are few things that are as important financially as who might be a great athlete or which animal might be a great racehorse. And yet nobody in his or her right mind has ever wasted a nano-second of time trying to come up with something like an AQ, athleticism quotient, which would singularly apply to athletes.

    And even boneheads who try to reduce athleticism to a racial component trip up, especially when they ignore the environmental context — equipment and gear, for example. And here is an example of how equipment changed the way a sport was approached, which in turn totally changed the type of athlete who could succeed at it.

    High jumpers used to land in a sawdust covered pit. And so, jumpers used a straddle technique. Once the environment changed, and higher, softer landing materials came into play, then jumpers could lead with their bodies. The equipment, including changes in high jump shoes, sets the constraints on the type of athletic skill now needed to succeed, which differs from the athleticism needed to succeed prior to 1978.

    And then you have something like women’s gymnastics where, without regard to ethnicity, there is a current fetish for a small, squat, almost pre-pubescent body type.

    As for something like “genetics and dance,” you have got to be kidding. It’s interesting to note that a championship ice skater stumbles as badly as other celebrities on a show like Dancing With the Stars, and one can easily see that whatever it is that makes a great ballet dancer is different from makes a great ballroom dancer. On the other hand, one need only look at the leaping ability of great male ballet dancers and realize that the claim that white men (or Asian or whatever) can’t jump is ridiculous if you consider leaping ability in a wider context, instead of limiting it to basketball. Let’s call it LQ, leaping quotient, for short.

    It ain’t IQ denialism. The fetish over a single measure just doesn’t hold up, and looks rather primitive when compared to the complexity of sports or dance, or life in general.

  251. 251
    Dr. Morpheus says:

    O.K., let me get this out first since the whole BJ commentariat develops severe reading comprehension disabilities upon reading something that challenges a sacred cow.

    I know IQ tests are culturally biased and measure more one’s ability to take tests than anything else.

    I know that the claim that intelligence is solely or primarily determined by genetics is bullshit.

    But to claim intelligence has no genetic component is shear ignorance.

    Or are we to believe that every organ in the human body develops from the genetic instructions we inherit from our ancestors, except for the brain.

    A really good discussion of race and inherited capacities can be found here.

    To quote a particularly cogent part of the article, which talks about racial differences in athletic performance:


    Despite its notorious history, racial terminology can be helpful, such as when used in medicine. Many traits are correlated, such as dark skin colour and the presence of the sickle cell gene. But such links are not absolute. Blacks who have evolved in cooler climates are no more likely to contract sickle cell than are non-blacks. Genetic factors help explain the prevalence of any number of population-specific diseases and physiological responses to drugs. Tay-Sachs is a neurological disease more common among European Jews and their descendants. Northern Europeans are more susceptible to cystic fibrosis. Blacks are genetically more susceptible to any number of diseases, including sickle cell and heart disease. These are all ‘racial’ differences of a kind, although the interaction of genetic and environmental factors is extremely complex.
    __
    With these many exceptions in mind, no serious scientist would subscribe to the dogma that grips the post-modernist sociological community. Today, no credible scientist disputes that evolution, along with local social conditions, has helped shape Kenyan distance runners, white power lifters, with their enormous upper-body strength, and athletes of West African ancestry who are explosive runners and jumpers. In discussing basketball, for instance, Jared Diamond, the UCLA physiologist and Pulitzer Prize winner (for Guns, Germs and Steel), writes that the disproportionate representation of African Americans is not because of a lack of socio-economic opportunities, but on account of ‘the prevalent body shapes of some black African groups’.
    __
    Most scientists are quick to point out that this is not a ‘black and white’ issue, but the consequence of thousands of years of evolution in varying terrains. Modern humans are made up of overlapping, soft-edged genetic clusters. Although humans share most of their estimated 40,000 genes, there are as many as 500,000 gene components, or single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), many of which are more common among people from one geographical region than from another.
    __
    ‘The fact that monolithic racial categories do not show up in the genotype does not mean there are no group differences between pockets of populations,’ stresses Graves. ‘There are some group differences. We see it in diseases. But that’s a long way from reconstructing century-old racial science.’

    All claims of racial differences are NOT Galtonian ideological dogma. This article does a great job in stressing the fact that training, desire, and genetics all play a part in determining differences in athletic performance.

    It is ridicules to assume that the same does not hold for intelligence given the inarguable fact that genetics plays a role not only in brain development but also in brain function.

  252. 252
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Dr. Morpheus:

    But to claim intelligence has no genetic component is shear ignorance.

    No one is saying that there is no genetic component. What we are saying is that the genetic component cannot be tied to specific races. It’s an especially stupid endeavor in the US where just about everyone has another race’s genes in their sequence.

    Take my husband’s (white) co-worker. She was doing some genealogical research and came across a picture of her great-grandfather. Somehow, it had dropped out of the family history that he was Chinese, but there he was.

    Henry Louis Gates has lived his life as a black man, but he has more Irish ancestors than African ones. So if we’re going to try and claim that race and IQ are tied together, does he count as “black” or “white” since he’s more than 51% white?

  253. 253
    Dr. Morpheus says:

    Read the rest of my post. Or if you’re too lazy, I’ll quote the quote:


    The fact that monolithic racial categories do not show up in the genotype does not mean there are no group differences between pockets of populations,’ stresses Graves. ‘There are some group differences. We see it in diseases. But that’s a long way from reconstructing century-old racial science.’

    Also, click on the link and read the goddamn article.

  254. 254
    Shell Goddamnit says:

    Dr Morpheus, your goddamn link is broken, so nobody can read the goddamn article.

    And: “take that you evil, evil strawman!” ::thwack thwack::

  255. 255
    Brachiator says:

    @Dr. Morpheus:

    Blacks who have evolved in cooler climates are no more likely to contract sickle cell than are non-blacks.

    There is a problem with your link (or maybe it’s my browser), but still.
    The sickle-cell thing is kinda lame. The sickle cell trait is an adaptation to the presence of malarial parasites in Africa. It really doesn’t have much to do with race (as in sickle cell genes popping up in Africans just because or somehow being something that determines blackness). In fact, the sickle cell trait, which provides some protection against malaria, and evidence of African ancestry, can be found in some otherwise “white” Portuguese whose ancestors mated with Africans during the early European slave trade – in areas of Portugal where malaria is still a problem.

    Today, no credible scientist disputes that evolution, along with local social conditions, has helped shape Kenyan distance runners, white power lifters, with their enormous upper-body strength, and athletes of West African ancestry who are explosive runners and jumpers.

    What is tedious here is that “white” power lifters (all white folks?) is contrasted with Kenyans, presumably from a specific area of East Africa, with all people of West African ancestry. The notion of “groups” is so plastic that even though I understand what scientists are trying say, to any neutral observer it gets close to defining a group in whatever way proves a point about race. It also makes some supposed traits (e.g., “West African ancestry”) the magical X factor that “explains” the home run achievements of both Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez, while conveniently ignoring any European, Native American or Latino ancestry that these individuals might have, and which apparently counts for nothing.

  256. 256
    SGEW says:

    @Corner Stone: Great, thanks. I feel dirty now.

  257. 257
    Randy P says:

    @Dr. Morpheus:
    Is this thread still alive?

    Check out your own quote.

    Blacks who have evolved in cooler climates are no more likely to contract sickle cell than are non-blacks… Blacks are genetically more susceptible to any number of diseases, including sickle cell and heart disease.

    There’s a minor problem with self-contradiction there.

    It is certainly true, and non-racist, to note that there are traits correlated with geographical region. But note the first sentence there if you try to carry this on into general racial statements.

  258. 258
    Dr. Morpheus says:

    Well, FYWP ,

    http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/0657.htm

    Race has been typically defined as individuals who share a common ancestry that comes from a certain geographical area, specifically continents like Africa, Europe, Asia.

    The argument that I am seeing here is that there cannot be any correlation between one’s ancestors geographical origins and genetic traits, specifically intelligence.

    And the argument that there is no such thing as IQ and even if there is there isn’t any genetic component to it (with other people hedging by implying “to any significant degree”).

    The reason I posted and referred to that article is that there are clearly demonstrable, measurable differences in human capacity based on their geographical origins (which is a proxy variable for the similar ancestry that these individuals share).

    To argue, explicitly or implicitly, that this could not apply to intelligence (which is not adequately measured by IQ test) is patently illogical.

  259. 259
    Corner Stone says:

    @SGEW:
    I’m just hoping my happy lasts until this evening when I can get a little quality alone time.

  260. 260
    Brachiator says:

    @Dr. Morpheus:

    The argument that I am seeing here is that there cannot be any correlation between one’s ancestors geographical origins and genetic traits, specifically intelligence.

    Correlation does not necessarily imply anything that is meaningful. Geez. It’s 2010. Is this caution necessary?

    And the argument that there is no such thing as IQ and even if there is there isn’t any genetic component to it (with other people hedging by implying “to any significant degree”).

    My argument is that IQ measures something. Whether this is significant is another measure entirely. I used the analogy of athletics and horse racing, where trying to predict achievement is vitally important (and costs money), and yet no one has ever tried to reduce athletic performance into AQ.

    Most studies about racial differences in athletic performance are flawed in that they use a uselessly elastic notion of racial groups (white, Kenyan, West African) in order to validate an existing bias.

    The article you post is interesting, but is not the only view of the issue.

    The fetish over IQ is much like an earlier fetish over head shape. Scientists told themselves, “we can measure it, therefore it must measure something significant.”

  261. 261
    Shell Goddamnit says:

    Dr Morpheus. Can you find a version of that article with the cites intact? Entine gives a ton of information, most of it without cites, at least, not cites that appear in the article. I see some cites in the body of the text but the links are dead and there are no citations at the end for them to refer to.

    Graves wrote an entire book debunking Entine apparently, but Entine quotes him without cite – or if he cites, it has been stripped. Kevin MacDonald claims that Entine egregiously misquoted him in “DNA of the Chosen People” so I would think it would be particularly important to be able to check that out.

    Also, Entine is a visiting scholar at AEI, writes for Reason, and runs NGOwatch.org – which claims that “NGOs have positioned themselves as advocates of global governance and as shapers of corporate and government policy.” NGOwatch claims in turn to be just keeping them honest.

    If Entine has the facts, that’s one thing; but he appears to NOT have facts, just assertions, and he runs with a fact-resistant crowd.

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