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

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

    Quote Originally Posted by nijato View Post
    RD, A few points...

    2. Your specific chart was identified . . . .
    What specific chart?

    3. It seems that if we accept a heritability of 0.5 to 0.9, there is MORE than adequate environmental influence to account for the deviations given (i.e. 1 SD black:white)
    And here we come to the game of whack-a-mole which has stumped the creationists for the last 60-100 years. The environmental factors COULD account for the deviation but what are those factors? Nothing so far is going up roses for the creationist-side. Not schools, not teachers, not school resources, not nutrition, not neighborhood, not income, not wealth, not busing, not black-only schools, not blacks in mostly white schools, etc. Go for it. The troubling part of this framing of the problem is the supposition that evolution must have created a cognitively uniform species and that all variation must be due to environment. As I noted, the environment-only position is quite extreme compared to the genes-environment combination.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverDad View Post
    Any report of a house on fire is meaningless without an explanation as to why the house is on fire.

    The differences are quite meaningful. They're real. They have everyday impact on millions of lives and on society. Knowing why the differences exist will give us more information, most assuredly, but knowing that something exists without knowing why is quite useful in itself. Knowing that your house is on fire gives you the information to call the fire department RIGHT NOW and then, later, you can look into why your house was ablaze.
    Knowing that one house is on fire (which actually isn't that clear -- maybe it's just someone barbecuing out back) isn't much help if your goal is to prevent house fires across the country.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamT View Post
    I think you also overstate the case that a link between IQ and race is generally accepted.
    The controversy focuses on cause, not existence.

    I should think that would be fairly obvious. If it proves out then we should invest more in early child education.
    So, in this make-believe world, when children from all races and socioeconomic groups begin to attend early childhood education and all have their IQs boosted by 4 points, then what?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverDad View Post
    We see the same phenomenon play out with Black children adopted into white households. After being raised alongside their white brothers and sisters, these black children are not performing on par with their siblings, they're performing at a level much closer to the African-American mean. This is a pretty clear sign that environment ain't all that.
    The only problem there is that it isn't actually true. These studies that you want to believe are so clear cut are in fact anything but.

    "Both Lynn (1997, this issue) and Rushton (1997, this issue) dispute the task force's conclusion that there is no direct evidence for a genetic interpretation of the Black—White IQ difference. Lynn's succinct comment cites two lines of evidence that he finds particularly persuasive: (a) the Minnesota adoption study and its 10-year follow-up and (b) studies relating head or brain size to intelligence test scores. I respond to these two points in some detail and then comment briefly on other issues raised by Rushton.

    The original Minnesota study ( Scarr & Weinberg, 1976 ) included both the adopted and the biological children of 101 middle-class families (each with two White parents), tested at an average age of about 7 years. The mean IQ of the adopted Black children was 106.3, well below the 111.5 of the adopted White children and the 116.7 of the biological children but a full standard deviation above the expected IQ mean of Blacks in Minnesota. Adoptees with one Black and one White birth parent scored higher than those with two Black birth parents, but even the latter averaged 96.8. These and other findings led Scarr and Weinberg to conclude that "the social environment plays a dominant role in determining the average IQ level of Black children" (p. 739). But follow-up testing when the children were about 17 years of age had quite a different result: The mean IQ of the retested Black adoptees was only 96.8, and those with two Black birth parents averaged 89.4 ( Weinberg, Scarr, & Waldman, 1992 ). That is why Lynn (1997) says, "Black babies adopted by White parents registered no IQ gains" (p. 73), a point he has elaborated elsewhere ( Lynn, 1994 ).

    As Waldman, Weinberg, and Scarr (1994) made clear in their response to Lynn (1994) , this conclusion is misleading. Everyone involved in this debate is well-aware that such comparisons must be corrected for the Flynn effect: Mean scores on all standard IQ tests seem to rise steadily at about 0.3 points per year. In the Minnesota study, where the tests used in the follow-up were generally not the same as those that had been given the first time, these corrections are complex and must be made on an individual basis. Until they have been made–Waldman et al. reported that they are in progress–raw figures like those above are relatively meaningless.

    A further complication is that race and preadoptive experience were strongly confounded in the Minnesota study ( Scarr & Weinberg, 1976 ). At the time they joined their new families, for example, the Black adoptees had had more prior placements, rated of poorer quality, than their White counterparts. This was especially the case for the children with two Black birth parents, who were not adopted until they were, on average, about 32 months old. Because any later IQ differences between these groups may have resulted from differences in preadoptive experience, the Minnesota data provide no clear evidence for the genetic hypothesis. But it is only fair to say that they do argue against certain versions of the environmental hypothesis (pending the necessary Flynn effect corrections): The mere fact of growing up in a middle-class home apparently does not, by itself, raise one's score on intelligence tests given at adolescence."
    http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~maccou...sser2.html#c19

    Notwithstanding your obviously strong wish that whites are genetically smarter than blacks, the science doesn't convince.

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

    The controversy focuses on cause, not existence.
    That is patently false. The existence of a statistically significant genetic difference, and the extent of any genetic difference, are very much open questions.

    So, in this make-believe world, when children from all races and socioeconomic groups begin to attend early childhood education and all have their IQs boosted by 4 points, then what?
    Whether IQ is boosted is immaterial. The significant finding was that many other metrics showed substantial improvement: less involvement in crime, higher rate of advanced education, much higher earning potential, etc. So the "then what" is that we may be able to improve people's lives. Terrible idea, right?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamT View Post
    That is patently false. The existence of a statistically significant genetic difference, and the extent of any genetic difference, are very much open questions.
    Really, you should look into a remedial reading comprehension class. You've done this numerous times now. Slow down and think about what you are reading on the screen in front of you. Wait until you understand what you've just read before you dash off a reply. Your inability to argue honestly by accurately engaging what I write is off-putting and leads me to conclude that you have no interest in honest dialog.

    Whether IQ is boosted is immaterial. The significant finding was that many other metrics showed substantial improvement: less involvement in crime, higher rate of advanced education, much higher earning potential, etc. So the "then what" is that we may be able to improve people's lives. Terrible idea, right?
    And what did I say when I summarized Heckman's findings? Huh?

    Even on the non-intelligence metrics, the improvement that is seen is improvement that is characterized as improvement in relation to how others are doing, but what happens when every child gets the benefits of early childhood education. For instance, school completion rates increased due to intervention, but the rates increased against a population that didn't have the benefit of early childhood education. Do you believe that when "the tide lifts all boats" that these gains will still be achievable or will the be lost due to the rest of the population's movement up the ladder?

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

    Really, you should look into a remedial reading comprehension class. You've done this numerous times now. Slow down and think about what you are reading on the screen in front of you. Wait until you understand what you've just read before you dash off a reply. Your inability to argue honestly by accurately engaging what I write is off-putting and leads me to conclude that you have no interest in honest dialog.
    Translation: you have no argument, so you go off on a meaningless ad hominem rant. Your modus operandi.


    And what did I say when I summarized Heckman's findings? Huh?

    Even on the non-intelligence metrics, the improvement that is seen is improvement that is characterized as improvement in relation to how others are doing, but what happens when every child gets the benefits of early childhood education. For instance, school completion rates increased due to intervention, but the rates increased against a population that didn't have the benefit of early childhood education. Do you believe that when "the tide lifts all boats" that these gains will still be achievable or will the be lost due to the rest of the population's movement up the ladder?
    Hmm, so your argument seems to be, who cares if we can improve the prospects of ALL these kids? It's only meaningful if we can improve some in relation to others? Like, it would a good think if we could raise half the classes test scores by 20%, but if you raise ALL the kid's test scores 20%, that's not worth doing? Seriously? That's your argument?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamT View Post
    The only problem there is that it isn't actually true. These studies that you want to believe are so clear cut are in fact anything but.



    http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~maccou...sser2.html#c19
    The only problem is, again (surprise) what you post not only isn't true....
    it's Not on point
    it's narrow, (Minnesota adoption)
    it's Dated.
    NOTHING post-1997.

    While virtually all my wiki Studies Post-1997, are Far wider than the cited/disputed Minnesota Trans-racial adoption study.

    You cite Lynn in 1997 re Minnesota..
    Here was Lynn as I posted him on the Whole wide issue in 2006:
    Richard Lynn, "Race Differences in Intelligence: An Evolutionary Analysis" 2006 Table 16.2 (indigenous populations)

    Estimated average IQ

    Arctic Peoples ---------------- ------------ 91
    East Asians -------------------- ---------- 105
    Europeans ------------------- - ---------- 100
    Native Americans (north & south) ------ 86
    Southern Asian & Northern Africans --- 84
    Bushmen (southern Africa) -------------- 54
    Africans (subsaharan) -------------------- 67
    Native Australians (aboriginals) --------- 62
    Southeast Asians ------------------------- 87
    Pacific Islanders -------------------------- 85

    Not to mention a whole host of other Info Unaddressed by your dated link that go as late as 2010 in my WIDE/CURRENT Wiki entry which cites numerous studies including use of 6¼ MILLION confirming IQ scores with SAT ones.
    Last edited by mbig; 08-21-11 at 03:28 AM.
    I'm personally sick of not being able to dunk a basketball because of racism.
    anon

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

    Quote Originally Posted by nijato View Post
    I accept that the word "useless" was an overstatement on my part. You did however identify the point I was attempting to make - that it's purely probabilistic. My contention is that there are probably significant genetic differences that will become apparent from the lumping together of disparate groups based on any characteristic - even what letter their name begins with.
    A couple of points:

    1) "Purely probabilistic" is not a bad thing. Just about anything you study in psychology or any social science is "purely probabilistic." [One could go so far as to argue that most all knowledge is purely probabilistic, that we can be certain of almost nothing.] Probability allows us to derive meaningful knowledge from what is too complex to comprehend or is simply unknown.

    2) I would certainly agree with you that "significant differences" could be found on just about any characteristic (assuming that by use of the term you're referring to statistical significance) - but that says more about the problem of making judgments on tests of significance alone than it does about making judgments based on racial distinctions. Current APA reporting recommendations (which guide most publishing of research on intelligence) ask for effect size, confidence intervals and power in addition to p values for significance. Any significant result based on "what letter their name begins with" would be so meaningless as to be unpublishible - save for an illustration on why it's poor science to gauge the practical significance of research findings on tests of statistical significance alone.

    It should also be noted that if any community has been critical of overreliance on significance testing in the social sciences, it is psychometricians, who have a far better understanding of statistics than your everyday social science researcher.

    Quote Originally Posted by nijato View Post
    Here's an example your post reminded me of: it would be correct but misleading to say that most marathon winners are of African heritage. It would be more useful to describe them as Kenyans.
    It is only "misleading" (which implies a purposeful intent to deceive) if we know it is Kenyans and not Africans as a whole who tend to win marathons. In the absence of that knowledge, the simple racial distinction is quite useful, is it not?

    I don't think there's any problem with the logic of using such distinctions. What can be misleading (and which occurs more often than not) are illogical generalizations based on these distinctions (e.g. thinking that white people as a group are smarter than black people as a group, or believing that the liklihood of a random white person off the street having a higher IQ than a random black person off the street is anything other than very slightly above chance).

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

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverDad View Post
    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.
    I think you'll agree that there's been "quite a bit of back and forth" on every major research study relating to race and intelligence. Spitz's critique identifies an anomolous finding inconsistent with the author's conclusions. It adds uncertainty to the conclusion but doesn't altogether invalidate the findings. Such limitations have been found in every major study on race and intelligence, and will continue to be found for quite some time. We are far from being able to declare with any certainty whether observed differences can or can't be mediated through intervention, or whether, how, and to what degree genes might play a role.

    On the latter topic - even if we were to accept on face value the results of twin and adoption studies, there are many alternative hypotheses still to be tested. Such studies have done little or nothing to control for potential prenatal confounds. What is assumed to be genetic could very well be the result of cultural differences in nutrition or some other variable - which may lead some researchers to conclude that the cause is largely environmental. Another researcher might challenge that finding, claiming that a key nutritional variable is not influenced by culture or upbringing, but by a genetic difference that causes certain cravings, etc.

    Perhaps in the future we'll be seeing longitudinal studies that track the outcomes of children born of surrogate mothers, or from an egg donor, or who knows what else?

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