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Race, Gender and Intelligence

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  • Same on a macro level. It cannot have escaped people's notice that any of sub-Saharan Africa barely made it as far as the iron age, and much of it didn't get that far. Aboriginal Australia never made it out of the stone age.

    Could this be due to inherent trends in intellect due to race? Maybe. On the other hand, climate, scarcity and so on are also important - necessity is the mother of invention, so if you don't need, why should you bother to invent?

    I think this is more a case of environment. Less resources means more time is spent on survival and less on invention. Societies that farmed or had an abundance of food could afford to have people who spent more time learning or inventing




  • Back to grown up conversation... Race and intelligence; correlation, yes - as I mooted already, physical and medical differences exist between races and the Bell Curve noted IQ differences based on ethnic background. However, causation is another matter; those same statistics showed that certain races were more likely to have better levels of education, especially in early childhood, and so environmental reasons need to be considered as the true reasons for such deviations.

    Same on a macro level. It cannot have escaped people's notice that any of sub-Saharan Africa barely made it as far as the iron age, and much of it didn't get that far. Aboriginal Australia never made it out of the stone age.

    Could this be due to inherent trends in intellect due to race? Maybe. On the other hand, climate, scarcity and so on are also important - necessity is the mother of invention, so if you don't need, why should you bother to invent?

    In short, perhaps there is a link between race and intellect (however we wish to define it), but it is clear that environment is also a major factor and either way there's no conclusive proof.

    Is the data actually there?

    How many Aboriginals or people living in Sub Saharan Africa have been given the Weschler or Stamford Binet tests to know this?

    Or do they have their own versions of this that I am not aware of?

    You are also looking at this geographically, not racially. Although it's impossible to say in the US. That Bell Curve book is ridiculous as no one in the USis racially pure. About 75% of black Americans have an Irish genetic component {saw that on a PBS documentary.}

    Inventiveness is also created by culture and motivation. Plenty of inventions came out of American garages...the Wright Brothers....Amazon.com for examples. A market was there and the culture of permission to fail is also there. I wouldn't necessarily mark that out as a signifier of higher IQ but of a spirit of attempt and potential reward.




  • diveout wrote: »
    I don't know about this. South America and Africa have tremendous resources. Gems, oil, mines. They wouldn't have been so attractive to colonists otherwise.

    Where you have sun and water, you have empire.

    They're not much use when you're in the stone age though. There were complex societies in the Americas when the Europeans arrived, and while they weren't as advanced as Europe, it was a combination of good fortune and disease that the Europeans were able to take over so quickly. Much of Africa and Australia didn't even get that far, as The Corinthian has pointed out




  • LiveIsLife wrote: »
    They're not much use when you're in the stone age though. There were complex societies in the Americas when the Europeans arrived, and while they weren't as advanced as Europe, it was a combination of good fortune and disease that the Europeans were able to take over so quickly. Much of Africa and Australia didn't even get that far, as The Corinthian has pointed out

    That's true. When you are busy surviving not much room for intellectual nourishment. Same applies to poorer people living in the West.




  • LiveIsLife wrote: »
    I think this is more a case of environment.
    Opinion.
    Less resources means more time is spent on survival and less on invention. Societies that farmed or had an abundance of food could afford to have people who spent more time learning or inventing
    Fewer resources often mean a necessity for invention - so the relationship is not simply relational.
    diveout wrote: »
    You are also looking at this geographically, not racially.
    I did both. I cited the Bell Curve which specifically examined scores from racial groups in the US, and when I looked geographically it was on the presumption that most people who have been living in sub-Saharan Africa in the last 10,000 years are not East Asian.
    Inventiveness is also created by culture and motivation.
    Raises the question of which came first though - did the culture develop from a history of inventiveness or inventiveness from the culture?
    LiveIsLife wrote: »
    There were complex societies in the Americas when the Europeans arrived, and while they weren't as advanced as Europe, it was a combination of good fortune and disease that the Europeans were able to take over so quickly.
    It should be noted that the Asiatic migration that populated the Americas meant that pre-Colombian culture was a lot younger than European culture. In short, they had less time to develop and innovate. I would also note that the Mayans independently developed the concept of zero, which I would certainly flag in the intellectual stakes - we leaned it from the Arabs, who in turn took it from the Indians.


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  • Black Swan wrote: »
    I would exercise caution when referring to IQ tests as THE MEASURE of intelligence. Depending upon how intelligence is defined, as well as how the IQ test was constructed and administered, there may be many important and substantial factors missed that may serve to confound what differences may exist between women and men; i.e., I am suggesting that we should exercise caution when interpreting the validity and reliability of such tests.
    Sure, but in the absence of the perfect intelligence measuring test IQ tests will have to suffice as a measure of a particular kind of intelligence and mental processing and these tests show time after time that the difference between the genders around the average is tiny if present at all, but that overall more men are to be found at the bottom of the heap and at the top of the heap.
    Back to grown up conversation... Race and intelligence; correlation, yes - as I mooted already, physical and medical differences exist between races and the Bell Curve noted IQ differences based on ethnic background. However, causation is another matter; those same statistics showed that certain races were more likely to have better levels of education, especially in early childhood, and so environmental reasons need to be considered as the true reasons for such deviations.
    True environment is a huge factor. However I do recall when the stats included those who were adopted into a different ethnic background there were still some differences. Still een there environment would have a part to play. The perception of one "race" in the wider societal mind would affect outcomes. One interesting bit of research I read showed that African Americans vocabulary went noticeably up if they thought they were writing a letter to a European American and dropped when they thought they were writing to another African American. That shít is subtle.

    That said it is pretty much a given and not just a perception that African Americans(and Caribbean folks) produce more athletes than the surrounding populations. That holds even when you take out culture and access to facilities. They also have a much higher rate of diabetes than surrounding populations or indeed their ancestral populations in Africa. One theory being that slavery caused a major artificial selection pressure on the populations which favoured strength and endurance(and diabetes came along for the ride). For someone just to survive the trip on a slave ship was an achievement. A sickening amount of people died and more died from the privations of slavery. It makes sense that the folks who were left would be stronger.

    Could intelligence also be affected by such selection pressures? I don't doubt that it could, however it would be just as likely that intelligence would go up as a survival trait.
    Same on a macro level. It cannot have escaped people's notice that any of sub-Saharan Africa barely made it as far as the iron age, and much of it didn't get that far. Aboriginal Australia never made it out of the stone age.

    Could this be due to inherent trends in intellect due to race? Maybe. On the other hand, climate, scarcity and so on are also important - necessity is the mother of invention, so if you don't need, why should you bother to invent?
    Very true. The selection pressures for inventiveness might be low. At least the selection pressures for a particular type of intelligence might be low, while others might be higher. Native Australians score low in IQ testing, one of the lowest of any population, however they score extremely high on pattern memory tests, much higher than other populations. It seems the environment selected more for one than the other.

    Environmental stability is a big selection pressure too. It tends to bring cultural stability along with it. Which sounds great in theory, but not so much in practice. Look at Egypt. A giant of early civilisation based on the like clockwork flooding of the Nile. The same culture changed remarkably little over the thousands of years of it's existence. SubSaharan Africa would have had a similar predictable environment. Australia would have initially been similar, but climate change(likely manmade) made it much harsher over time, so the pressure would have been aimed at basic survival. That takes brains of a different sort. In Europe it tended to go from one extreme to another and less predictably so that would select for a different type of "brain". Then again something else is going on here. Neandertals lived in Europe for 200,000+ years and through many ices ages and warm periods and major changes in environment and yet their inventiveness was minimal by comparison to ours. You could drop a Neandertal into any period within that time frame and he would likely find little to surprise him regarding the technology involved.

    Modern humans were different. For whatever reason our brains and minds were extremely plastic and adaptive over time. This plasticity is the mark of us and that apparent intelligence and cultural achievement can go up or down over time within our species. We can observe this throughout history. Go back three thousand years and the Greeks were giants of achievement. Throw a stone in an Athenian town square and you'd be likely to hit someone who would forever change the world in some field or other. At the same time the Jews were just another bunch of middle eastern farmers by comparison. Today the Nobel prize list is stuffed with Jewish folks, but precious few Greeks.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Wibbs wrote: »
    At the same time the Jews were just another bunch of middle eastern farmers by comparison. Today the Nobel prize list is stuffed with Jewish folks, but precious few Greeks.

    Sorry, could you clarify? Which Jews are you talking about? Don't they cross races? It's a religion no? Are the Jews that are on the Nobel Prize list middle eastern? Aren't there Russian Jews, Sephardic...

    And technically, my understanding, is that middle eastern is still "white." No?




  • diveout wrote: »
    Sorry, could you clarify? Which Jews are you talking about? Don't they cross races? It's a religion no? Are the Jews that are on the Nobel Prize list middle eastern? Aren't there Russian Jews, Sephardic...

    And technically, my understanding, is that middle eastern is still "white." No?

    I think he meant Jews as in the ethnoreligious group. Not simply members of Judaism.




  • NipNip wrote: »
    Does my 5 year old asking me 'why is the water falling to the bottom all the time' while she twirled a bottle around, some sort of apple falling moment? I explained gravity to her. She was 5. Not Newton.

    You never know, Newton was five once too. I think Einstein was also. She's in good company:pac:




  • I think he meant Jews as in the ethnoreligious group. Not simply members of Judaism.
    Actually diveout it technically correct. Jews are white in that as Semites they are part of the Caucasoid racial group (the other two being Mongoloid and Negroid). The term 'white' muddies the water a fair bit because it's a socially constructed term, generally used as a result of racial prejudice and the pseudo-sciences that promote such prejudices.

    Reality is that 'race' is a very dodgy concept to begin with because there's a lot of grey, or brown, areas. Indians are technically Caucasoid too, even though many may have extremely dark skin. Or what of Eurasians? Or Americans, for that matter?

    Personally, I've always thought that the concept of race is useful at a very broad level, but the moment you start trying to classify smaller and smaller subgroups, it gets terribly silly. So I'd avoid the use of such labels as 'white' or 'black'.


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  • I think he meant Jews as in the ethnoreligious group. Not simply members of Judaism.
    Yep pretty much. While the description Christian covers a diverse population, the description Jew covers a much smaller population originating in the Middle East with admixture from other populations over time through intermarriage. That admixture was often pretty low compared to other populations that migrated.
    Actually diveout it technically correct. Jews are white in that as Semites they are part of the Caucasoid racial group (the other two being Mongoloid and Negroid).
    Australoid used to be added in as well, but I dunno if that's still the case. I've got books printed in the 1960's that have Native Australians down as "more primitive humans", not quite fully modern. Yep, that late in the day. Yes they have some distinct features, but so does any population if you look at them in isolation.
    Reality is that 'race' is a very dodgy concept to begin with because there's a lot of grey, or brown, areas. Indians are technically Caucasoid too, even though many may have extremely dark skin. Or what of Eurasians? Or Americans, for that matter?
    I agree. I prefer populations myself. Even then there is a lot of overlap at the edges and in new world nations and other colonies all bets are off on the genetic level because of the hanky panky in the past down to today. Never mind that, if you look at Africa your racist thinkers would say "they're all the same, all Black" whereas in actual fact the most genetically diverse folks on earth hail from below the Sahara. It's all very grey and that's before we get into admixture from archaic different humans among different modern populations. You will sometimes read that humans are very related, but I would slightly disagree. Yep we're pretty related, but at the same time there is lots of diversity and long may that continue.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Wibbs wrote: »
    IQ tests will have to suffice as a measure of a particular kind of intelligence
    Once again, what does the IQ test measure? You suggest that it measures "a particular kind of intelligence." Is this particular measure a subset of a larger universal measure of intelligence? If particular and not universal as a measure, what is missing in IQ test measurement may confound the differences between women and men in terms of explaining intelligence.
    LiveIsLife wrote: »
    Regarding race, there are obvious physical differences, so could there be mental differences between humans...

    Race is a problematic concept in terms of measurement. Often when collecting such data (e.g., census, etc.), subjects are asked to self-identify their race by checking a box from a predetermined list of races. More often than not, the list assumes that race is at the nominal level of measurement exhibiting mutually exclusive categories. If you check Black, you cannot be Asian at the same time, but what if you are Tiger Woods?

    It gets a bit more complicated if we look closer at Tiger's immediate ancestry. Tiger's mother Kultida Punsawad is mix of Thai, Chinese and Dutch (i.e., Asian and White). To confound our so called mutually exclusive race category measure further, Tiger's father Earl Woods Sr has Black, White, and Native American ancestry. So what is Tiger Woods in terms of race, and which box does he check: Black, Asian, White, or Native American? If he is only allowed to check one box, to what extent is the data set misleading, confounded, or spurious?

    What about Tiger's children? What box do they check, given the immediate and extended ancestry of their mom and dad, grand parents, etc.?

    tiger-woods-2-240.jpg

    When studies are conducted that attempt to measure, analyze, and draw conclusions about intelligence based upon differences by race, do you see there may be problems in terms of validity and reliability of measurement? I do.




  • Black Swan wrote: »
    Once again, what does the IQ test measure? You suggest that it measures "a particular kind of intelligence." Is this particular measure a subset of a larger universal measure of intelligence? If particular and not universal as a measure, what is missing in IQ test measurement may confound the differences between women and men in terms of explaining intelligence.
    Then we may as well not even discuss it as any test you care to mention will never be universal and the goal posts will be forever shifting. We might look at results of intelligent and creative thinking. Throughout history when the vast majority of people men and women were barely subsisting, at the top end while there were examples of extraordinary women the drivers of culture and technology were overwhelmingly male in gender. Sure lack of gender equality was a major pressure, however look at today, more women are graduating secondary school and far more are graduating third level, but still at the elite top end men are far more represented. Look at the other end of the scale, more men are at the bottom of the heap. More addicts, more homeless, more mentally subpar etc. I'll bet the farm that won't change much either and will back up the general trend that men and women are basically the same when averaged out for intelligence, but more men than women occupy the extremes.
    Race is a problematic concept in terms of measurement. Often when collecting such data (e.g., census, etc.), subjects are asked to self-identify their race by checking a box from a predetermined list of races. More often than not, the list assumes that race is at the nominal level of measurement exhibiting mutually exclusive categories. If you check Black, you cannot be Asian at the same time, but what if you are Tiger Woods?
    Very true. It depends where you look at populations though. Tiger woods would be an example of a colonial new world population that has had major admixtures going on in the last 500 years. Brazil would be another example. They're unstable genetic environments where ascribing population heritage is fraught with issues. It can get even weirder. European man marries African woman. They have two sons. The Euro/African sons have kids with European women. Their offspring of either gender will have European mtDNA. No trace of African mtDNA in the African grannies grandkids in just two generations. We can see that historically. Take the UK, they were invaded by Anglo Saxons in the early medieval. It's historical and archaeological fact and today many English folks would think of themselves as "saxon", however the genetics show a very different picture. A tiny percentage of living English people have Saxon heritage and they're all men. The saxon female lines have all died out.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Wibbs wrote: »
    Sure lack of gender equality was a major pressure, however look at today, more women are graduating secondary school and far more are graduating third level, but still at the elite top end men are far more represented.
    Is increasing educational attainment some measure of intelligence, or are they associated but different concepts?

    For thousands of years males and females have generally been sorted into sex typed division of labor roles. When this occurred it may have had some environmental survival value, hence its persistence. Relatively recent advancements in technology have allowed for change to occur at unprecedented rates. Yes, women are now surpassing men in higher education enrollments and graduations from US colleges and universities, and this may eventually trend worldwide. But this shift in educational attainment has been very recent. In the US only a small proportion of women attended university before WWII. Plus there are still some cultures today that demand historic sex typed roles for women and men, and if women attempt to break that glass ceiling by seeking educational attainment, they might be stoned (e.g., Taliban).

    Because this division of labour has been in place for thousands of years, you cannot expect women to all of a sudden leap into the intellectual limelight in significant numbers across all disciplines where men have historically been given the opportunity to shine. Such a structural population shift may take decades, perhaps a century or two, but certainly not the thousands of years that this sex typed division of labour has been in existence.

    Demographer faculty I know have been quite excited about this relatively new shift of women into higher education, and although they toss out theories, until there are more decades of longitudinal data, they really don't know what the consequences will be (other than decreased fertility rates).

    "May you live in interesting times."




  • I think post #31 by The Corinthian hit this issue right on the head! We have correlations, the dubious construct of intelligence (specifically as it is defined by IQ), and no real proof of anything.




  • Valmont wrote: »
    I think post #31 by The Corinthian hit this issue right on the head! We have correlations, the dubious construct of intelligence (specifically as it is defined by IQ), and no real proof of anything.
    Of course, science cannot prove anything, only suggest.

    With the emergence of better theory, concept definitions, variable operationalizations, and related measurements we may discover differences in the future between women and men. Will such differences suggest that one is smarter than the other, or perhaps suggest that their combined intelligences make for a more viable species? Who knows?




  • Black Swan wrote: »
    Of course, science cannot prove anything, only suggest.
    Social science.




  • Social science.
    The scientific method does not prove, only suggests, regardless if it pertains to the soft or the more precisely measured hard disciplines. This takes into account how science historically has changed its positions in accordance to revisions or marked changes in theory, concepts, hypotheses, and improving measurement techniques. Consequently by convention we do not prove the research hypothesis, rather we reject the null hypothesis, and report what has been suggested by the data analysis. Such a convention leaves us open to discovery and contrary evidence, as well as avoiding bias as the result of being rigidly attached to something we believe to be true (proof).

    Whenever I read the statement, "Numerous clinical studies have proven" on the telly, I treat this as marketing/advertising spin, not science.




  • Black Swan wrote: »
    The scientific method does not prove, only suggests, regardless if it pertains to the soft or the more precisely measured hard disciplines.
    I'd still differentiate between the two.




  • Black Swan wrote: »
    Such a convention leaves us open to discovery and contrary evidence, as well as avoiding bias as the result of being rigidly attached to something we believe to be true (proof).
    Unfortunately they are rigidly attached to and biased towards their blunt statistical tools. That their methods are objective and free from bias as you claim is undermined by the fact that the belief in induction and empiricism is not grounded on evidence in the first place.


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  • I'd still differentiate between the two.
    Certainly there are differences. What's your point?
    Valmont wrote: »
    Unfortunately they are rigidly attached to and biased towards their blunt statistical tools.
    Some disciplines favour quantitative methods, while others qualitative, or triangulation between both methods. They all have their limitations.
    Valmont wrote: »
    That their methods are objective and free from bias as you claim
    An attempt to avoid bias was not claiming to be free of bias. Sorry if that was not clear in the wording.
    Valmont wrote: »
    belief in induction
    Not sure what you were saying here. Hypotheses testing is often, but not always, a deductive process from theory. If the researcher does not begin with theory or hypotheses, but first begins by examining data sets to see if there are meaningful patterns, they may inductively form empirical generalizations, which can feedback into theory creation or modification, and hypotheses testing processes. This is a bit of an oversimplification. See Wallace's Wheel of Science for a clearer picture.

    In any case, the scientific method is a useful approach to examining phenomena, but it has its limitations, consequently the results suggest, not prove.




  • Black Swan wrote: »
    Certainly there are differences. What's your point?
    Because there's a large difference between 'truths' found through straight empiricism and those found by statistical studies. The former may be wrong due to missing data, flawed axioms, mistaken measurements or calculation errors, but typically they are infinitely more objective than the latter, that suffer from far greater biases, agendas and manipulation, which lead them to become the "marketing/advertising spin" you mentioned earlier.

    Indeed, to falsify the conclusions of a physics experiment require out and out falsification, but to falsify the conclusions of a social study require just selective, and seemingly academically acceptable, bias.




  • Because there's a large difference between 'truths' found through straight empiricism and those found by statistical studies. The former may be wrong due to missing data, flawed axioms, mistaken measurements or calculation errors, but typically they are infinitely more objective than the latter, that suffer from far greater biases, agendas and manipulation, which lead them to become the "marketing/advertising spin" you mentioned earlier.
    This was the spirit and intent of my earlier critique of the IQ test as a measure of intelligence, as well as the measurement of race (returning to the subject of this thread).




  • Black Swan wrote: »
    This was the spirit and intent of my earlier critique of the IQ test as a measure of intelligence, as well as the measurement of race (returning to the subject of this thread).

    The IQ test is a measure of intelligence but it is not a measure of creativity or divergent thinking. The Stamford Binet seeks ONE answer, but you could argue that real intelligence is in coming up with several answers, solutions, inventions... the ability to make connections etc.

    Stamford Binet is trust worthy because it is quantitative, and not interpretive. But it is limited in what it can measure.
    Fascinating article here:
    http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/06/secrets-of-the-creative-brain/372299/


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