"Liberal creationism"

Yeah, Watson again. And this is also related to the gender gap thread. This sums up some of the data reasonably well.

Evolution forced Christians to bend or break. They could insist on the Bible’s literal truth and deny the facts, as Bryan did. Or they could seek a subtler account of creation and human dignity. Today, the dilemma is yours. You can try to reconcile evidence of racial differences with a more sophisticated understanding of equality and opportunity. Or you can fight the evidence and hope it doesn’t break your faith.

Either you believe in evolution - in the sense of being convinced that it is a good explanation and likely to be something that is actually happening, and therefore certain consequences should be expected - or you do not. Either you believe human beings are material creatures, and thinking is a consequence of the physical hardware and is affected by said hardware’s characteristics, or else you believe in magic.

One thing that has definitively been established (via twin studies and the like) is that no amount of nurture effects can change IQ more than a few points from its “default” setting for any given person, and that only temporarily. If it is vitally important to your view of justice and humanity that all people should be able to reach the same potential in terms of thinking ability, fine, but don’t pretend that’s anything other than ideology.

Cite please.

All I’m saying is that I’d rather live in “Brave New World” than “1984”

Disagree emphatically with that. You take one child and raise them in he ghetto with uncaring parents, and take another child who’s educated oto potential during the most important and formative period of a human being’s existence (ages 3-7) & continued education through life… and the difference is huge. Not only that, but environmental factors and nutrition also make an impact.

Recently I read the story of a girl who was ignored by her alcoholic parents. She was totally neglected from the age of 2-8, including almost never hearing speech. Though she had 10 years of intensive personal therapy and education after she was found, she would only have the intellect and capabilities of a child and was severely learning disabled whereas her older siblings were were of moderate-high IQ.

Otherwise you’re suggesting when 2 low IQ parents mate their child has little hope for having a high IQ even with the best parenting and environment - and this simply isn’t true.

And if you read the article closer API says genetics is half - not

no amount of nurture effects
And the article fails to state why people with abnormally large heads/brains have such low IQ’s with all other factors being equal.

Honestly, I don’t know how you can possibly create an IQ test that competently compares the IQ of people raised with crap education, poverty ridden hell-hole of Congo, with the excellent, well-funded, and regimented educational system of Japan. There’s just no way to do this even on a mass scale unless your IQ test is entirely composed of basic subjects like sticking a square block in a square hole.

Now I’m not saying there’s no genetic basis whatsoever, but I am saying the proof isn’t marred. This isn’t a subject that you can apply epidemiological data to like a viral outbreak. Nor is it without issue since the idea and implementation of IQ is always biased by those working on it. Psychologists like to work off IQ as if it were a proven mathematical theorem - but it’s not.

What has been proven in the nurture vs. nature debate is you can’t raise a boy as a girl and have it feel/be natural. This was the fallacy of nurture trumps nature.

In the end, they are qually important, but for the well-being & intelligence of a child growing up (barring any genetic diseases or parental in-situ drug abuse), nurture is much more important than the racial background.

Don’t bother.

Oh, you.

Read Yevgeny Zamayatin’s “We.”

I call bullshit, my dad is way smarter than his twin.

Just to continue the pile-on, I believe in the validity of well-constructed twin studies, the usefulness of the construct of intelligence, and the likelihood that genetic variation explains some of the ethnic and racial differences in intelligence (although individual variation in IQ is much larger than group racial differences).

Even with that background, I disagree with your assertion, and would ask you to cite your sources. I agree with you that some environmental interventions, like early educational programs such as Head Start, rarely result in enduring IQ changes. Other environmental effects have substantial long-lasting effects on the intelligence of individuals. Severe childhood malnutrition, exposure to lead, and alcohol use by mom during pregnancy are all environmental (or nurture) effects for purposes of twin studies, and they all can substantially lower intelligence for long periods of time, if not permanently.

It’s a common misconception that traits with substantial proportions of variation explainable by genetics are resistant to environmental influence. This is a oft-cited summary in psychology, although a bit dated now, that provides some references on the environmental variables I mentioned.

EDIT: The study also is referenced in the original article posted by the OP.

Is the artcile response to another specific article or something? It has a really weird tone for being a piece unto itself.

Rollory just wants someone to tell him he’s special. White males are a dime a dozen.

Actually, they’re a minority, world wide. Right-on crackers!

Well, in Rollory’s defense, at least he did cite something. It didn’t support his position nearly as well as he thought it did, but most of the time people just disappear when asked for their evidence. As long as people like Rollory link to their evidence, it can be refuted & maybe, eventually, they can be converted to a rational world view.

Rather than rehash all the old arguments, let me ask this, which IMO is the key question: What is the threshold level of genetic difference that matters? What I mean is, I do believe there is variation between groups - basic biology makes the odds of that very high. But variation by itself doesn’t mean you need to treat groups differently. The variation has to be of the type that would affect participation in society, and it has to be of a magnitude that would affect performance in society.

So before we get into this debate, lets have Rollory or his allies who hold the affirmative of this proposition put forward their threshold: at what level do group differences matter?

Personally, I think that the magnitude of the differences would have to be very large before I would advocate changing the laws or treating different groups differently. One argument is that as long as any member of the lower scoring group is equal to any member of the higher scoring group, that society should treat individual variation as outweighing group variation. If thats the standard we use, then all of this debate is moot as the measured variations are several orders of magnitude short of that standard.

If that’s not the standard we use, then what standard do we use? Because IMO you have to set that threshold before any of this discussion means anything.

I’m confused by the implicit notion that there’s still anything like “pure” races in humanity’s genepool. The last 500 years of history have been about stirring the pot. There are exceptions, I realize, but the other implicit notion in this thread is that it’s about the U.S.A.'s racial situation. Under that particular constraint, is there really anyone that you’d call “Pure Breed” anymore? Well, besides whatever Navajos weren’t… shall we say… culled. Even the people from the Mayflower, if you look back far enough, would surprise

Well, when you get to a stage where you have non-dna memory you really open up a whole can of worms. Determinism, kant, hayek, and popper. Really the ability to transfer data via a non-genetic medium really opens up the field. At hyperbolic levels. Thusly the genetic starting point becomes irrelevant as Information Technology develops.

The argument becomes what order of data propagation you engage in rather than the rate.

I suspect if everyone had the same skin color, forehead-to-nose size ratio, etc, people would just start to discriminate based on clothing, political party affiliation, OS choice, or whether you shop at Walmart or not.

That’s usually a pretty good response to Rollory’s posts.

I agree with Sidd’s take on this, but it’s worth emphasizing that there is, in fact, a substantial genetic influence on IQ. Since this also just came up in another thread, here are some back of the envelope calculations on jpinard’s assertion above.

A conservative estimate of the narrow-sense heritability of IQ is 0.34 (Daniels, Devlin, and Roeder 1997). A linear model for child IQ, denoted C, could be written

C = a + bP + u,

where a and b are parameters, P denotes parental IQ, and u denotes all non-genetic influences on IQ. Standardize IQ so the population mean is zero and the population variance is unity. The covariance between C and P holding u constant is estimated to be 0.34, and the population variance of C is by assumption 1 with a mean of zero, we have an estimated model predicting child’s IQ from parent’s IQ, ignoring common social influences which would drive the covariance way up, of,

C = 0.34 P.

Now consider the distribution of outcomes for the child of parents with IQs two standard deviations above the mean. Assuming normality, the probability that the child will also have an IQ two standard deviations or more above the mean is about 0.094. In contrast, the probability a child with parents two standard deviations below the mean will have a child with an IQ at least two standard deviations above the mean is about 0.0037. That is, the child of the two low IQ parents has a very low probability of having a high IQ, about 1 in 250. The child of the high IQ parents, through a regression to the mean effect, also has a fairly low probability of having a high IQ, about 1 in 10, but that’s about 25 times higher than the child with low IQ parents.


I know that intelligence has a heritable component.

However, Rollory made the following claims:

The distribution is not statistically the same between men and women, and it is entirely due to its being strongly linked to the X chromosome.

no amount of nurture effects can change IQ more than a few points from its “default” setting for any given person, and that only temporarily.

Both are completely outlandish. It is not surprising he has not been able to support them.

We couldn’t have evolved to have higher intelligence than other species if intelligence wasn’t a trait that has both variation and heritability. That’s not why I doubt the claims of Rollary and his ilk; there are plenty of other reasons to doubt them without doubting the validity of evolution.

Other people have brought up many of those reasons in this thread already, but I’ll expand on something Tankero points out: people use the term “race” in a sloppy way. The population of Africa has more genetic variation than any other continent, and African people have been interbreeding with Europeans and Native Americans in the New World for centuries now. And yet, in the U.S., you’re “Black” if you have more than a certain amount of skin pigment, regardless of how many of your ancestors were from Europe, or from Asia, or somewhere in the Americas, or wherever. In the U.K. (correct me if I’m wrong), people from the Indian subcontinent are also “Black”.

You might be able to make some kinds of sensible statements about IQ variation between groups if you did studies on very well-defined groups of people that have been isolated genetically for generations (you’d also have to ignore the impact of environment on infant development). But Watson, to his discredit as a scientist, didn’t do that in his latest outburst; he just talked about “blacks” and “Africans”. His use of those terms is typical of the people who keep bringing this topic up. The “one drop” rule is still alive and well in people’s minds.

Here’s what I think:

  1. Genes impacts intelligence.
  2. Environment impacts intelligence.
  3. Most studies are done after the environment has already muddied the waters – i.e., after 9 months in the womb plus the first year or two of life.
  4. People use the word “race” without thinking about what it really means, and their definition (if they even have one), is usually far too broad to be of any use in a scientific study.

So Rollary, how does that add up “Liberal creationism?”. Aside from your desire to insult people who disagree with you, of course.