No, you're wrong on all 3 points.
Originally Posted by theplaydrive
1.) No scientist who studies population issues, defines race as "unambiguous, clearly demarcated, biologically distinct groups." Like I told you before, when you, and the writers with a beef who write Wikipedia entries, define racial groups as platonic ideals, then you're arguing a false definition. Here's Jan Klein, a founder of immunogenetics and Naoyuki Takahata, a theoretical population geneticist address this issue in their book. Here is an excerpt:
The proposal to scrap the concept of race altogether is currently only one extreme in a range of views. It is certainly not shared by all anthropologists and is by no means the majority opinion of the public at large. It appears to be a conclusion reached more on the basis of political and philosophical creeds than on scientific arguments. Correspondingly, anthropologists who do hold this opinion often attempt to shout down their opponents rather than convince them by presentation of facts. Their favored method of argumentation is to label anybody who disagrees with them as racist. The public, however, seems unimpressed by their rhetoric. It refuses to believe that the differences they see are a mere figment of their imagination. A lay person can tell with a high degree of accuracy where individuals come from just by glimpsing their features…
Except for some anthropologists, everybody else seems to be able to distinguish people from different parts of the world at a glance by their outward appearance. This, apparently, is also the view of some governmental administrators in countries with programs designed to fight racial discrimination. Obviously, there is a credibility gap on this issue between some anthropologists on one side and the public, as well as the governments of some countries, on the other.
One way to settle the arguments among anthropologists and to reconcile anthropologists with the public might be to move away from physical characters and focus on the genes. If races are real, they should have a genetic basis separable from environmental and cultural influences.
2.) If intelligence is subjective then it would be impossible for tests which purport to measure intelligence to have any predictive validity. Wouldn't you agree? If what those tests are measuring is all over the map and loosely defined, then those tests would be useless, would they not?
A Study of Human Intelligence: A Review At The Turn Of The Millennium
Studies carried out in the US on the level of prediction of intelligence tests indicate that they are valuable instruments: "psychometric tests are the best predictors of success in school and in the world of work. And what’s more, they are no mean predictors of failure in everyday life, such as falling into poverty or dependence on the state (…). To say that other things are important, apart from intelligence, is not really a challenge until you say precisely what those other things are." According to the APA, standardised measures of intelligence correlate at levels of .50 with school performance, .55 with years of schooling, .54 with work performance, and –.19 with juvenile delinquency. No other psychological variable is capable of producing these correlations.
Damn, those IQ tests sure seem to correlate well to real world outcomes. In fact, there are no other measures which have greater predictive ability. How on earth can an IQ test predict outcomes if it's measuring subjective gobbledygook?
How can the US Army find these results from administering IQ tests?
Some may wonder: So what? Can't someone who scores low on an aptitude test, even very low, go on to become a fine, competent soldier, especially after going through boot camp and training? No question. Some college drop-outs also end up doing very well in business and other professions. But in general, in the military no less than in the civilian world, the norm turns out to be otherwise.
In a RAND Corp. report commissioned by the office of the secretary of defense and published in 2005, military analyst Jennifer Kavanagh* reviewed a spate of recent statistical studies on the various factors that determine military performance—experience, training, aptitude, and so forth—and concluded that aptitude is key. A force "made up of personnel with high AFQT [armed forces aptitude test] scores," Kavanagh writes, "contributes to a more effective and accurate team performance."
The evidence is overwhelming. Take tank gunners. You wouldn't think intelligence would have much effect on the ability to shoot straight, but apparently it does. Replacing a gunner who'd scored Category IV on the aptitude test (ranking in the 10-30 percentile) with one who'd scored Category IIIA (50-64 percentile) improved the chances of hitting targets by 34 percent. (For more on the meaning of the test scores, click here.)
In another study cited by the RAND report, 84 three-man teams from the Army's active-duty signal battalions were given the task of making a communications system operational. Teams consisting of Category IIIA personnel had a 67 percent chance of succeeding. Those consisting of Category IIIB (who'd ranked in the 31-49 percentile on the aptitude test) had a 47 percent chance. Those with Category IV personnel had only a 29 percent chance.
The same study of signal battalions took soldiers who had just taken advanced individual training courses and asked them to troubleshoot a faulty piece of communications gear. They passed if they were able to identify at least two technical problems. Smarts trumped training. Among those who had scored Category I on the aptitude test (in the 93-99 percentile), 97 percent passed. Among those who'd scored Category II (in the 65-92 percentile), 78 percent passed. Category IIIA: 60 percent passed. Category IIIB: 43 percent passed. Category IV: a mere 25 percent passed.
The pattern is clear: The higher the score on the aptitude test, the better the performance in the field. This is true for individual soldiers and for units. Moreover, the study showed that adding one high-scoring soldier to a three-man signals team boosted its chance of success by 8 percent (meaning that adding one low-scoring soldier boosts its chance of failure by a similar margin).
Smarter also turns out to be cheaper. One study examined how many Patriot missiles various Army air-defense units had to fire in order to destroy 10 targets. Units with Category I personnel had to fire 20 missiles. Those with Category II had to fire 21 missiles. Category IIIA: 22. Category IIIB: 23. Category IV: 24 missiles. In other words, to perform the same task, Category IV units chewed up 20 percent more hardware than Category I units. For this particular task, since each Patriot missile costs about $2 million, they also chewed up $8 million more of the Army's procurement budget.
Over and over and over again we see that IQ tests have very good predictive ability in terms of a wide-range of human activities. Why on Earth do you think that the liberals in the US Government have legally prohibited private sector employers from using IQ tests in job interviews? Because they work.
3.) Anything that relies on the American Anthropology Association is pretty much easy to discount. The whole field is becoming a joke to those in actual science departments. Here is the New York Times reporting on how the AAA chose to deal with science issues which conflicted with their mission of proselytization:
Anthropologists have been thrown into turmoil about the nature and future of their profession after a decision by the American Anthropological Association at its recent annual meeting to strip the word “science” from a statement of its long-range plan.
The decision has reopened a long-simmering tension between researchers in science-based anthropological disciplines — including archaeologists, physical anthropologists and some cultural anthropologists — and members of the profession who study race, ethnicity and gender and see themselves as advocates for native peoples or human rights.
Your position amounts to nothing more than an appeal to authority. "See, the American Anthropological Association says this . . " and it utterly fails because the AAA is an organization riddled with post-modern hacks who want to be "advocates" instead of scientists.
This is going to be my last comment in this thread because we've gone far afield from the OP topic and I don't want to get locked out of this thread for derailing it.
It was an interesting discussion, so thanks to all participants. If anyone wants to carry the debate forward I'd be happy to join in in a new thread where the debate would be on-topic.