Re: "Facts is facts" and IQ tests

Subject: Re: "Facts is facts" and IQ tests
From: Michael LaTorra <mikel -at- HUEY -dot- ACCUGRAPH -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 7 Nov 1994 10:57:06 MST

Susan Fowler wrote on 4 Nov 1994 in response to my statement
(made in passing while addressing someone else's posting)
about THE BELL CURVE. The authors of that book are being accused
of "racism" because they discussed the average differences
in IQ test scores between races (where, by the way, Orientals
outscore Whites and Whites outscore Blacks *on average*). Susan

>Please don't confuse IQ or general intelligence with IQ _tests_. Stephen Jay
>Gould wrote a very useful book about IQ testing, the politics and history
>thereof, and the limits of the tests. (It's easy enough to study for IQ test,
>by the way, and get a better score.)

Stephen Jay Gould is great at debunking the already debunked
studies from 90 years ago. However, when Gould addresses modern,
scientifically/statistically valid studies, his arguments boil down
to "This is like those discredited studies from the turn of the century...."

I call this the "Hitler was a vegetarian" style of argument. That
sort of argument goes like this: "Hitler was a vegetarian. Hitler
was a mass murderer. Therefore, all vegetarians are mass murderers."

The point here is that one must examine the evidence before rejecting
the argument. The correlation between IQ scores and academic performance
as well as success in the job market is very high (although not 100%).
IQ tests are clearly measuring cognitive ability -- not perfectly,
but with a high degree of confidence. Although you can study for an
IQ test, the probablity is that you cannot increase your score by
more than 5 or 10 points at best. Herrnstein & Murray show in THE BELL CURVE
that an analysis of the many separate studies of IQ show an average
15 point difference between Whites and Blacks.

Nevertheless, before I get flamed for posting this information, let me
say that I know several Blacks of extraordinary intelligence and character.
I'd rather be stranded on a desert island with any of those guys than
with many Whites I know.

Finally, let's not confuse IQ with character. Character may not raise
IQ test scores, but as FORREST GUMP points out so clearly,
"Stupid is as stupid does." Character trumps IQ in the long run.

NOTE TO ERIC RAY: Shall we kill this thread now, or wait to see what

Live long & prosper,
Mike LaTorra

Documentation Supervisor
Accugraph Inc.
mikel -at- accugraph -dot- com
The opinions expressed are my own, ][ "The superstitions of intellectuals
and not necessarily those of my ][ are still superstitions -- and they
company -- but they probably ][ have a lot of them. The real ques-
should be. ][ tion is why we keep listening to
][ them after their nostrums have
][ failed time and time again."
][ -- Thomas Sowell

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