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Is IQ Really a Genetic Thing?

  1. Feb 9, 2004 #1
    Here is an interesting quote:

    Professor Jensen on heritability of intelligence in "Intelligence, Race, and Genetics: Conversations with Arthur R. Jensen" by Frank Miele, 2002:

    [Jensen] "Consider the heritability of height. In our population, height has a heritability of about 0.30 in infancy, which gradually increases, up to about 0.95 in early adulthood. IQ shows a similar developmental increase in heritability, going from about 0.40 in early childhood to about 0.70 in adulthood, then up to about 0.80 in older adults. If environment and experience were the chief determinants of mental growth throughout our life span, you would predict that the longer we have lived, the lower the heritability of IQ, because the difference between our life experience and those of our kin should accumulate. But just the opposite is found to be true. IQ behaves like height and other physical traits in that the resemblance between genetic relatives increases with age, despite their differences in cumulative life experience."

    There is an interesting debate on race, intelligence, and eugenics going on at http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?t=32453&page=1&pp=20 and http://forums.philosophyforums.com/showthread.php?t=6121 [Broken] But, as a person of color, I am curious to know what White people plan to do with this information. I mean, let's say it's really true, all these claims about intelligence, race, etc. Some here have suggested that eugenics would be used to increase the intelligence of "lesser" races. Okey, fine. But what about those extremist types who actually want ethnic cleansing of the "lesser races?" You know, those inbred morons waving the Swastika flags and burning crosses on the yards of Blacks. In other words, will this information be used to help "lesser races" or to oppress them?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
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  3. Feb 9, 2004 #2


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    Well, as an old white man, I say this. I have worked with and for intelligent blacks, and I think the racist use of this g-gene connection is terrible.

    About 1/8 of our people, both white and black, have some trouble getting through the day in our bureauocratic country. we cannot expect the corproations to do anything for them, therefore the government has to help them. We should have a graduated income tax to support this effort, so that smart people, both black and white, will repay to society for the good fortune of their genetic inheritance.

    This would be anathema to a libertarian, but I hope that from your handle you may be inclined to receive it otherwise.
  4. Feb 9, 2004 #3
    All knowledge is inherently neutral. You're asking a very good question, Paleo-Conservative, but this is a political question, and it isn't something you can answer just with the raw facts.

    I actually make an effort to educate about racial differences precisely in the hope that people will use the knowledge humanely and wisely. Modern society is starting to fall into a trap - I've heard people say that "Of course slavery was wrong to deny minorities the right to vote, because we know that the races are the same." This kind of thinking confuses ethical issues with factual ones and essentially claims "If the races weren't equal, slavery would be justified." You already seem well aware of where that leads.

    The key at this point is to educate in a calm and neutral sense. If we integrate this knowledge slowly and gently, there's no reason why we have to abandon our current value set which calls for humane treatment of everybody, irresopective of intelligence or racial origin.

    This is why I have a problem with kids not having the right to vote and with retards getting off easy "because they don't know what they're doing." We're all U.S. citizens, and as long as we draw lines based on intellectual ability we're setting a precedent. We really need to re-think our entire political system, although the trouble is that we probably won't.

    Specifically regarding the fate of minorities, you can bet that this information will have some negative consequences. Affirmative action may well disappear, along with plenty of jobs currently held by minorities. Hate crime legislation will probably disappear. You'll probably see a lot of resentment on the part of whites who realize they've been hoodwinked and who take it out on minorities.

    But it doesn't have to be all bad - schools integrated on the basis on of ability are an absolute nightmare for another significantly above or below the average, and most blacks are significantly below the average, so school is an endless series of frustrations for blacks. Large national surveys show that black 17-year-olds perform in school like white 13-year-olds - they are four years behind. Can you imagine an entire group of children bumped up four grades and expected to keep up? I can, and it sounds like an absolute nightmare to me!

    Additionally people will finally be able to quit blaming minorities for economic and social failures. As it is now liberals blame conservatives and conservatives blame the minorities, but really this is just Mother Nature making us all different. Instead of flailing around ineffectually, we at least have the potential to strike at the root of the problem, apply gentle eugenic pressure, and resolve the issue in a positive way.

    One thing is clear, however - there's no turning back. Now that the facts have been brought to light, we can't make them disappear. All we can do is try to steer this in a sensible direction as best we can.

  5. Feb 9, 2004 #4
    Here's an article written in the 70's which I think is even more relevant to this issue today than it was then. We've had decades to adjust to this knowledge, and we aren't doing it very well.



    http://members.optusnet.com.au/~jonjayray/knowledg.html [Broken]

    There has recently been an extensive controversy in the psychology literature on the possible genetic base of racial differences in intelligence. This has been so acrimonious as to inspire the thought that the controversy itself forms an interesting case-study in the sociology of knowledge. I refer to the articles by Jensen (1968 and 1969) and Garrett (1969). One outcome of these controversies is the apparently justified accusation by Jensen (1969b) that an important body of his colleagues (the members of the council of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues) indulged in "propaganda" and disregard for the facts of the issue. Garrett (1969) makes similar observations. As Van den Haag (1969) points out, the cause of equalitarianism seems to have induced some remarkable failures of reasoning even among normally eminent social scientists. How may these phenomena be explained?

    Study of Intelligence as the Hereditary Given

    Before one can understand what is really going on in this controversy, it is necessary briefly to recapitulate some basic findings.

    There is no doubt that American Negroes obtain lower average scores on standard intelligence tests than do American whites (Tyler, 1965, p. 306; Garrett; 1969). In fact the differences found are often so large and so regular in their incidence that this might be held to be one of the most impressive uniformities in the whole of psychological measurement.

    To use Hebb's (1949) terminology there are two types of intelligence -- A and B. Intelligence A is the inborn, hereditary "given" whereas intelligence B is intelligence as measured, i.e. intelligence A plus some variable overlay of learned problem-solving strategies. It is mean differences across races in intelligence A that is of concern here.

    Substitution of Ideology for Science

    The way to assess differences in intelligence A is to control or equalize the influences and opportunities affecting the B Component. When this is done, differences remaining are attributable to intelligence A variations. Tanser (1939), Bruce (1940), and McQueen and Browning (1960) have carried out such studies where environmental influences on white and Negro groups have been controlled. All reported significant superiority of the white groups. In spite of this, most psychologists (Tyler, 1965, 9, 300) continue to claim that there are no innate differences in intelligence between whites and Negroes. The usual reason advanced for adherence to this credo is that the tests used must in some way be unfair to non-members of the dominant white culture (even though the Negroes and whites of Tanser's study had attended the same schools since 1890!). If this claim is true, how does one explain the consistent finding (Pintner, 1931) that Chinese and Japanese school-children get average test scores equal to or above those of American whites? One is asked to believe that the tests are unfair to people who have sat in the same classrooms as whites but not unfair to Chinese and Japanese who have a totally different cultural background.

    Why is it that psychologists, who are most in a position to observe racial differences in intelligence, resolutely refuse to believe the evidence before their eyes? The answer to this is, I believe, an instructive, if sad, incident in the sociology of knowledge. Often drawn to their profession by humane or humanitarian considerations, psychologists are so committed to the belief that whites and Negroes morally should be treated equally that they seem to conclude, albeit unconsciously, that the best way of securing this morally desirable end is to convince people that whites and Negroes in fact are ontologically equal. If the facts fell into line with this account, all would be well, but as it is, the present author would question whether any moral goal is ultimately well served by denying reality as it is. If there are native differences in intelligence, our strategy in pursuing humanitarian goals must presumably become more adaptive by a recognition of it.

    This question of the ideology subscribed to by the scientist is also relevant to the question of what we accept as a criterion for evidence. There have been many attempts to construct "culture fair" tests but their application has not been successful in removing Negro-white differences. We must then at some point ask ourselves: "When do we stop?" When do we consider the case proved? When do we start to conclude that there might not after all be some real difference there that is not attributable to a measurement artifact? Given the impressive uniformity of the findings to date, it seems abundantly clear that the existence of a real difference between races would long ago have been considered to have been proven out of hand were it not for an ideological commitment to the opposite viewpoint.

    When is Moral Moral?

    Just how much ideology can cause even an outstanding psychologist to drift into self-deception is exemplified in the position taken by McElwain (1970). McElwain is head of the Department of Psychology at Australia's largest university (Queensland) and author of the definitive "Queensland Test" of Aboriginal intelligence. This test was normed and validated on Aboriginal groups themselves. It includes only those sub-tests which could be shown to discriminate within the Aboriginal population. Although he does not appear to have committed himself in print, he has repeated to the present author in writing, an assertion often made to his students -- that when the Queensland test is given also to whites, a negative relationship between the discriminating power of a subtest within the Aboriginal population and the size of the gap between white and Aboriginal mean scores appears, i.e., as the test gets better so Aborigines rose closer to whites in average test scores. From this McElwain appears to suggest that if we got a really discriminating test, the difference between whites and Aborigines would disappear altogether.

    Here, then, McElwain appears to commit the same fallacy in reverse that is so frequently alleged against tests normed and validated for whites! A test is designed specifically for an Aboriginal culture and yet whites still get higher scores on it! The amazing thing is that whites do not get lower scores on it. Of course the discriminating power and the size of the cross-racial gap are related. As the test is more and more characteristically Aboriginal in specific background, so whites are more and more disadvantaged. A true comparison study of the question set by this paper using the Queensland's test would require that a group of whites be found who shared an environmental background similar to the Aborigine culture. In that case only, might mean scores on McElwain's test be reasonably compared across the two racial groups.

    If racial differences exist how do we explain them? A possible explanation is the ecological one: different racial groups develop different areas of excellence according to the specific demands of their characteristic environment. In the harsh European climate, forethought (symbolic thought) has historically been essential to survival -- particularly through the long winters. In Africa these same mental qualities have not had the same relative importance. Because of the more beneficient climate the importance of certain physical and psychomotor abilities has risen in comparison. In time the process of natural selection has ensured that these differentia became racially fixed. With the different characteristic environments of the white and Negro races, it would in fact be highly surprising to find similar levels in all abilities. What one would expect and what one does, I believe, find is that whites would be higher on cognitive abilities and Negroes higher on certain physical abilities.

    Using the concept of a morality hierarchy proposed by Hampden-Turner and Whitten (1971) it might be said in fact that the attempt to deny the empirical findings of racial differences in intelligence in order to secure the moral goal of having all races treated equally represents a very low level of moral maturity. The person at the highest stage of moral development would presumably not need to have his moral resolve to treat people equally bolstered by assertions that people are equal anyhow. He would be anxious to do justice to the empirical findings in the awareness that they are essentially irrelevant to the moral decision he has made.

    For the future then, humanitarian aims might perhaps best be served by abandoning the unlikely enterprise of proving all men equal. Instead, perhaps, we might concentrate on the question of what the difference between groups are -- and how differences might be used in the betterment of all.
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  6. Feb 9, 2004 #5

    Another God

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    What lesser races?
  7. Feb 9, 2004 #6
    Social science syllogisms

    There seems to be something missing in your syllogism.

  8. Feb 9, 2004 #7


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    It isn't a syllogism, it's a policy statement. Of course one solution would be just to kill those who can't "keep up", or to let them die of lack of food and medical care. But that isn't within my scope, and so something has to be done.
  9. Feb 10, 2004 #8
    Is this an example of what we non-Whites should be doing:

    [The following is the first essay from Jewish Eugenics and Other Essays,
    Three Papers Read Before the New York Board of Jewish Ministers, 1915,
    Bloch Publishing Company, New York, 1916.]

    Jewish Eugenics
    By Rabbi Max Reichler

    Who knows the cause of Israel's survival? Why did the Jew survive the
    onslaughts of Time, when others, numerically and politically stronger,
    succumbed? Obedience to the Law of Life, declares the modern student
    of eugenics, was the saving quality which rendered the Jewish race
    immune from disease and destruction. "The Jews, ancient and modern,"
    says Dr. Stanton Coit, "have always understood the science of eugenics,
    and have governed themselves in accordance with it; hence the
    preservation of the Jewish race."1

    I. Jewish Attitude

    To be sure eugenics as a science could hardly have existed among the
    ancient Jews; but many eugenic rules were certainly incorporated in the
    large collection of Biblical and Rabbinical laws. Indeed there are clear
    indications of a conscious effort to utilize all influences that might
    improve the inborn qualities of the Jewish race, and to guard against any
    practice that might vitiate the purity of the race, or "impair the racial
    qualities of future generations" either physically, mentally, or morally.2
    The Jew approached the matter of sex relationship neither with the horror
    of the prude, nor with the passionate eagerness of the pagan, but with
    the sane and sound attitude of the far-seeing prophet. His goal was the
    creation of the ideal home, which to him meant the abode of purity and
    happiness, the source of strength and vigor for body and mind.4

    The complete article is at http://groups.google.com/groups?q=r...TF-8&selm=b7j8f9$5qi$1@reader08.wxs.nl&rnum=1
  10. Feb 10, 2004 #9
    The breathless tone of pure science

    A syllogism is a "deductive logical scheme or analysis of a formal argument that consists of a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion." (M-W Unabridged 3.0)

    About 1/8 of our people, both white and black, have some trouble getting through the day in our bureauocratic country.

    That is a major premise.

    we cannot expect the corproations to do anything for them,

    That is a minor premise.

    therefore the government has to help them.

    That is a conclusion.

    Major premise; minor premise; conclusion. It looks like it indeed is a syllogism.

    It might very well be, but it appears to be in the form of a syllogism. The conclusion of that syllogism does not appear to follow from its premises.

    Was there a problem stated?


  11. Feb 10, 2004 #10


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    Nah, I was the one who wrote it and I say it wasn't a syllogism, so it wasn't. I didn't lay out all the possibilities or want to. This is a very "sylly" argument.
  12. Feb 10, 2004 #11


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    we're all US citizens?!

    Er, no we (PF members and guests) are not. FYI, the top five economies today (ranked by size of population):

    According to information from the US Census Bureau's website (http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/world.html), the US has <5% of the world's population (it doesn't seem to tally citizens and 'resident aliens' as separate groups).
  13. Feb 10, 2004 #12


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    Just as Nachtwolf assumed the US is the whole world, so Paleo is perhaps blurring the distinction between some White folk in the US and members of population groups such as 'English', 'Greek', 'Italian', and 'Danish' (per hitssquad's link to data from Cavalli-Sforza et al), most of whom don't live in the US.

    Paleo, if folk such as Nachtwolf were true to their beliefs, they should campaign for the US to become the 33rd province of the People's Republic of China (or something similar), then agitate for social benefits for disadvantaged whites. At the same time, they would encourage inter-breeding between folk in the 33rd province and Japanese, Koreans and Chinese, as part of a eugenic campaign to allow them (the whites) to catch up with the JKC's in mean IQ.

    Of course I'm kidding, but it makes you wonder how the boot feels when it's on the other foot. :wink:
  14. Feb 11, 2004 #13
    Re: we're all US citizens?!

    And the top six nations in terms of size of population of netizenry are:
    Code (Text):

    1  United States   165,750,000  2002  
    2  Japan            56,000,000  2002  
    3  China            45,800,000  2002  
    4  United Kingdom   34,300,000  2002  
    5  Germany          32,100,000  2002  
    6  Korea, South     25,600,000  2002  

    According to the CIA World Factbook's figure of 604,111,719 netizens in the world, the United States has 27% of the world's netizen population.

    So, 27% of us are U.S. citizens.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
  15. Feb 11, 2004 #14
    I'd say it's an example of what everybody should be doing, although it is merely an example. Eugenics has been practiced in many forms throughout society; older societies (such as Greece or China) often practiced infanticide on unwanted children and polygamy for the upper class males, and more modern societies (like my own state of California) have enacted forced sterilization laws. (See http://www.childrenofmillennium.org/essays.htm --> Ancient Times for a more thorough investigation.)

    It's important to realize that these severe or awkward eugenic methods are not necessary to improve intellectual ability. Certainly I know of no self described eugenist alive who advocates any of that! The best eugenic method - and this is only my opinion - is simply the voluntary procreation of intelligent and healthy couples. This is the form of eugenics promoted by Hawk in his Millennium, and its effectiveness rests entirely on the conscience of the individual rather than the impersonal hand of the state.

    Last edited: Feb 11, 2004
  16. Feb 12, 2004 #15


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    You forgot the 'resident aliens', illegal immigrants, ...!
  17. Feb 16, 2004 #16


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    retards? getting off easy "because they don't know what they're doing? You are unbelieveable.
  18. Feb 16, 2004 #17
    The only thing unbelievable is your ignorance, Evo - although I'm rapidly becoming a believer!


    The generally accepted definition of mental retardation is an intelligence quotient of around 70 or less, with significant limitations on adaptive skills, such as communication or caring for oneself. The high court's ruling last week barring the execution of the mentally retarded also requires the onset of such a condition by age 18.


    Currently, during pre-trial, trial and appeals, the law provides evaluation for mental competency -- and such an evaluation requires that the defendant understand the consequences of their actions, that they must be able to constructively participate in their own defense and that they understand the nature of their punishment. Furthermore, mental capability is one of the many issues that a jury might consider when establishing mitigation which may dictate a sentence less than death. Quite simply, only mentally competent capital murderers can face either execution or life in prison.

    I'm sure we'd all love to see Evo explain to us how a convicted murderer who gets to dance away from his sentence on account of mental retardation isn't "getting off easy!"

    Last edited: Feb 16, 2004
  19. Feb 16, 2004 #18


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    No you ignoramous, I was referring to your use of the word "retard" in reference to a person with a mental illness. What are you 10 years old?

    You are too ignorant and uneducated to catch that!!!!!

    Nachtwolf you are so stupid it is mind boggling.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2004
  20. Feb 16, 2004 #19
    Hahahaha, am I not politically correct enough for you? Just for fun, let's think back - the word "retarded" is actually an old PC term. It was a way to talk about people who were previously called "idiots" or "morons" in a friendly, non-stigmatized way.

    I'm sorry if you find the word "retard" offensive, although it's quite amusing that you'll defend the honor of the retarded and then immediately turn around and try to insult me by calling me the stupidest person you've ever seen.

  21. Feb 16, 2004 #20


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    Actually the word "moron" originally was a medical classification used in psychology for people with mild mental retardation of a mental age between 7-12 years of age generally having communication and social skills enabling some degree of academic or vocational education. It's original use did not have the negative connotations currently associated with it.

    The term "idiot" was originally a medical classification used in pyschology to describe a person with profound mental retardation, usually with a mental age below 3 years and generally unable to learn connected speech.

    The term "retard" has always been used by uneducated people as a slur against people with mental handicaps.

    So to be correct, I'd have to say you are a moron as opposed to an idiot, but I would never stoop to calling you a "retard". :wink:
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