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Thread: Huntsman on evolution, warming: 'Call me crazy'

  1. #281
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    Re: Huntsman on evolution, warming: 'Call me crazy'

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamT View Post
    I don't think that there is sufficient evidence to conclude one way or another that the universe is infinite. And no, I don't think that all things are possible.
    Do you think life was created by God?

    Coicidence? Just luck? ...or purposeful intervention?

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    Re: Huntsman on evolution, warming: 'Call me crazy'

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon W. Moon View Post
    This is still an error on your part.
    You have been unable to argue/demonstrate otherwise so I stand by the point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon W. Moon View Post
    IT is still to show that not all theories mean something that we are unsure about. Theory has an additional meaning in addition to that such as in teh cases of gravity and evolution.
    Which is a much better rebuttal than the standard, "Oh, like gravity is just a theory?" The truth of the matter is that ALL theories DO imply uncertainty. Let's be honest about that. The real question is the degree of uncertainty. Scientific (falsifiable or testable) theories that have lasted for decades greatly reduces that uncertainty. Nonetheless, the Theory of Evolution is by no means as certain as something like the Theory of Gravity, because of the relative difficulty in addressing falsifiability.

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon W. Moon View Post
    Yeah, like Germ Theory and the Theory of Gravity.
    How come none of the candidates are coming out against these other nut-ball theories?
    Perhaps the best response to such rebuttals is something like "No, more like Meismatic Theory, Steady State Theory, and the Theory of Spontaneous Generation.

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    Re: Huntsman on evolution, warming: 'Call me crazy'

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
    This is at least somewhat untrue. The Abcedarian study he references purports to show lasting differences in mean IQ up to the age of 21, although the environmental control was in place for just the first five years (with some variation, but interventions beyond this period were shown ineffective). Thus, some lasting differences were maintained for quite some time, long after environmental controls were in place. It's still not clear whether the resulting differences are due to a change in "intelligence" or whether is results from some other latent disposition. The effect sizes do decrease over time - I don't know if further followup tests are planned, but such tests may the difference disappearing altogether in another 8-10 years.

    When the results reported in one study stand part from the consistent results reported in the body of literature, then attention must be paid to WHY the results contradict the literature. The abecedarian project has generated quite a bit of back and forth on this issue.


    Does the Carolina abecedarian early intervention project prevent sociocultural mental retardation?

    An assessment is made of the claim that, when compared with a control group, this early intervention project has produced and maintained higher IQs in children who, because they were from economically and socially impoverished homes, were considered to be at high-risk for mild mental retardation. Four cohorts were recruited over a 5-year period, but the experimental group in Cohorts 3 and 4 produced unusually high scores on the Bayley MDI. Differences between experimental and control groups at 60 months of age were comparable to differences at 6 months of age. The assertion that the experimental group's advantage was due to the effects of the first few months of intervention, rather than to the chance allocation of brighter children to the experimental group, is discussed.


    Here's another paper which looks at differences at 12 years of age.


    Responses are given to Ramey's 10 “substantive amplifications.” The ability test difference between the intervention and control groups at 12 years of age is approximately the same as the difference had been at 6 months of age. This finding remains unexplained. Some of the data are still not forthcoming. I remain unconvinced that the Abecedarian Project provides evidence that quality educational day-care services can prevent mild mental retardation in children who are said to be at risk because they come from economically and socially impoverished homes.


    It's difficult to claim that you've raised IQ when the gap between the intervention and control groups remains unchanged between when the project started and when it finished. This criticism would point to Abecedarian Project being consistent with the results found in the existing literature on early childhood intervention.


    Still, whether the difference can be truly attributed to a credible boost in intelligence seems to me rather academic. The study has found quite meaningful differences in real-life outcomes as a result of the early intervention. By young adulthood, the treatment group was more likely to maintain education or hold skilled jobs, had a lower incidence of teenage pregancy, and were three times as likely to attend college or university.
    This was Heckman's conclusion as well. I have no issue with this conclusion.

    It should be noted that the variance between groups was almost entirely due to early verbal development - talking and reading to kids from a young age. And, as with most of these studies of early intervention, the results only generalize to children of low income, black families.
    In another project Heckman found something similar:


    Understanding The Sources Of Ethnic And Racial Wage Gaps And Their Implications For Policy



    Minority deficits in cognitive and noncognitive skills emerge early and then widen. Unequal schooling, neighborhoods, and peers may account for this differential growth in skills, but the main story in the data is not about growth rates but rather about the size of early deficits. Hispanic children start with cognitive and noncognitive deficits similar to those of black children. They also grow up in similarly disadvantaged environments and are likely to attend schools of similar quality. Hispanics complete much less schooling than blacks. Nevertheless, the ability growth by years of schooling is much higher for Hispanics than for blacks. By the time they reach adulthood, Hispanics have significantly higher test scores than do blacks. Conditional on test scores, there is no evidence of an important Hispanic-white wage gap. Our analysis of the Hispanic data illuminates the traditional study of black-white differences and casts doubt on many conventional explanations of these differences since they do not apply to Hispanics, who also suffer from many of the same disadvantages. The failure of the Hispanic-white gap to widen with schooling or age casts doubt on the claim that poor schools and bad neighborhoods are the reasons for the slow growth rate of black test scores.

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    Re: Huntsman on evolution, warming: 'Call me crazy'

    It's difficult to claim that you've raised IQ when the gap between the intervention and control groups remains unchanged between when the project started and when it finished.
    What's the logic behind that statement? If anything, the fact that the gap remains constant is proof that you've raised IQ (not intelligence).
    Last edited by AdamT; 08-20-11 at 06:04 PM.

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    Re: Huntsman on evolution, warming: 'Call me crazy'

    Quote Originally Posted by nijato View Post
    Because it's about as useful as putting together people based on what letter their name starts with. The point is that population groups that are genetically similar can look very different.
    Certainly not true.

    There are measurable racial differences in such things as muscle fibers and anthropometry. The differences are of course probabilistic, but that's a far cry from claiming them "useless." I can build a cockpit that will accommodate 98% of the projected soldier population in 2025 by sampling body dimensions and projecting the racial makeup of that future force (along with changing trends in height, weight, gender, etc.). Race is a very valuable construct in such an undertaking, and nothing like a consideration of "what letter their name starts with."

    Furthermore, a consideration of the genetic diversity you speak of would be uneccesary for such a task, greatly increasing the cost and difficulty of the study while providing no useful information above and beyond race.

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    Re: Huntsman on evolution, warming: 'Call me crazy'

    Quote Originally Posted by ric27 View Post
    Do you think life was created by God?

    Coicidence? Just luck? ...or purposeful intervention?
    No, I think God is a fantasy created by people to explain things they can't understand.

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    Re: Huntsman on evolution, warming: 'Call me crazy'

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamT View Post
    What's the logic behind that statement? If anything, the fact that the gap remains constant is proof that you've raised IQ (not intelligence).
    - The logic is that the average age of starting the program was 4.4 months. Establishing an IQ start point at 4.4 months presents some problems.
    - The IQ of all children increases when they are young and subjected to total environmental control.
    - If the IQ of the intervention group and the control gap rise in unison, then that casts very serious doubt on the effect that the intervention is supposed to be causing.
    - Improved social skills for these borderline retarded children is a beneficial outcome.

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    Re: Huntsman on evolution, warming: 'Call me crazy'

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverDad View Post
    - The logic is that the average age of starting the program was 4.4 months. Establishing an IQ start point at 4.4 months presents some problems.
    - The IQ of all children increases when they are young and subjected to total environmental control.
    - If the IQ of the intervention group and the control gap rise in unison, then that casts very serious doubt on the effect that the intervention is supposed to be causing.
    I still don't see the logic of your argument. If the intervention improves IQ, and IQ improves with age (generically), then you would expect the IQs of the intervention group and the control group to rise in unison with age.

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    Re: Huntsman on evolution, warming: 'Call me crazy'

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamT View Post
    I still don't see the logic of your argument. If the intervention improves IQ, and IQ improves with age (generically), then you would expect the IQs of the intervention group and the control group to rise in unison with age.
    Step back and think this through for a moment. Let's grant you the bolded red text. Let's say that intervention improves IQ. Secondly there is the more universal phenomenon of IQ in young children being somewhat responsive to the heavy control adults have over their environment and so we see slight improvement as the children age, but that process reverses itself as the children begin to assert their own individuality more.

    Now, if you tailor your intervention within the window of time where IQ can be raised and before it begins to recede, then your intervention will show success. Your control group is also showing success from normal parental, teacher, involvement. The way you phrased your question appears like you don't credit the children in the intervention group with aging, and so also enhancing their IQ via this normal process, but you grant that the children in the control group get this benefit.

    What has really happened is that the gap that was there in the beginning remained fairly steady over the 5 years of the study. If the intervention was successful then we would expect the gap that was recorded at the onset of the experiment to grow over time, thus showing the effects of the intervention.

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    Re: Huntsman on evolution, warming: 'Call me crazy'

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamT View Post
    No, I think God is a fantasy created by people to explain things they can't understand.
    You don't have to bend reality or reject science to have faith.

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