Thursday, November 08, 2007

An inconvenient truth

Following my nose I've ended up at a very interesting site, discussing the issues raised by James Watson, you know the Nobel Laureate who discovered the structure of DNA.

It is an extremely long post that I cannot summarize adequately other than to say that there is a very long list of research references (see bottom of post) that indicate the average IQ of "sub Saharan Africa" populations.

Putting aside political correctness, we should all consider the results of this research. Maybe it is necessary to remove ourselves from the gut instinct reaction and look at the scientific data on its own merit.

I think it is important to abstain from conclusions of "superior and inferior" as applied ot race.

Make your own conclusions but don't ignore the information.


Hammer said...

It's like the time of the Spanish inquisition. Science that goes against societal dogma can get you burned at the stake.

Jeannie said...

I couldn't make myself read the entire article but it would make sense that different "tribes" (since they raised the issue that there is no different race) would have different traits - intelligence or at least a certain type of intelligence having various scores in different areas. Just like physical traits. After all, we all know of families where most or all members were over-achievers and other families that were underachievers - regardless of race.
In all the blah blah blah - I didn't catch whether the IQ tests given were culturally biased.

For instance, a country boy stuck in the city is probably going to appear a little slow and backward to the locals until he adjusts - similarly, the city boy doesn't have the survival skills necessary to make it out in the wilds. Extend that to a place where the entire culture is different and they haven't been exposed to anywhere close to the same stimuli and who knows? Maybe outsiders would score poorly on their tests too.

I am academically smart. I score very high on IQ tests. I happen to be good at figuring out puzzles. My husband would probably not score as well. He is dyslexic. However, I would venture to say he is more intelligent (in survival, in understanding people, in street smarts) than I am. I have never ever felt superior intellectually to him - just different.
How come Asians weren't included in the testing? Was Watson afraid of what he'd find? - Our University (focused highly on math and science) here has Asians over represented.

Jeannie said...

Sorry to be verbose - I was thinking about this while I was in the shower...I wonder if they could measure the ability to learn rather than existing intelligence. Seems to me that the ability to learn plus ambition amounts to advances and more intelligence. Some might have the ability to learn but no ambition so it goes nowhere.

Lexcen said...

Jeannie, the article pointed out that the difference in average IQ between African Americans and Africans was around 15 points higher for African Americans.
The research was not done by Watson but by numerous psychologist, see list at bottom of article. Not all research can be faulty can it?
As for Asians, IQ research shows the average IQ score for Asians is very high!!

Jeannie said...

I must have skipped that part about the 15 points - or at least misread it...
My son must have read the same article - he spoke the other day about the low IQ testing of African Americans but said it would make sense since as slaves, they were bred for brawn, not brains.
Kinda like your Newfie Labs...

BEAJ said...

Jeannie, I was thinking of dogs as well, since I have a border collie which is considered the smartest breed.
Evolution doesn't care how smart one is. It is a matter of who can survive (find shelter, food, a mate, while not becoming food yourself).
Certain traits that help ones odds of survival will eventually make it into a population or at least be more dominant.
In the West, we don't need to worry about killing to eat, or where our next meal is coming from. Our brains are set up differently than from those who do, especially an isolated population.

Lexcen said...

Beaj, your comment reminded me of a book I read many years ago titled "Emotional Intelligence".