IQ, from Scott Brooks

October 31, 2017 |

Normal people can have extraordinary abilities. Prof. Haier writes about a non-savant who used memory techniques to memorize 67,890 digits of π! He also notes that chess grandmasters have an average IQ of 100; they seem to have a highly specialized ability that is different from normal intelligence. Prof. Haier asks whether we will eventually understand the brain well enough to endow anyone with special abilities of that kind.

The Neuroscience of Intelligence also includes a good introduction to the history of intelligence research, beginning with the development of the first IQ tests. Prof. Haier notes that a significant turning point was Arthur Jensen's famous 1969 article in Harvard Educational Review. Jensen wrote that genetic limits on intelligence meant that there were limits to what could be achieved through early education, and that there was a significant genetic contribution to the black/white gap in IQ. This so horrified liberals that for the 1970s, 80s, and part of the 90s, it was impossible to get grant money to study IQ. Even today, most research on the brain ignores intelligence, and instead concentrates on such things as schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, and other mental disorders. The Jensen article set in motion what Prof. Haier calls "a decades-old concerted effort to undercut, deny, and impugn any and all genetic studies of intelligence."

This campaign was a success. Despite the enormous body of evidence to the contrary, many people still think that no person has any inherent limitations, and that with the right role models, cultural sensitivity, and other mumbo jumbo, anyone can become a lawyer or scientist. Prof. Haier writes that one reason for this is that people who make policy are usually fairly smart and don't know anyone who isn't. They have no idea what life is like for stupid people. Prof. Haier adds that the other reason is that denying genetics is an attempt to explain away race differences in IQ.

Bill Rafter writes: 

Did Will Haier suffer the same fate as Jensen?

Another money quote:

"As Prof. Haier notes, there are 51 million people in the United States with IQs of 85 or lower. Their poverty and social failure are not their fault. After 50 years of "programs" that do nothing, we should recognize that a huge part of the problem is stupidity and try to cure it."





Speak your mind

2 Comments so far

  1. Ed on October 31, 2017 10:45 pm

    The sub-IQ is a wealth and political power transfer conduit for the welfare/corporatist state, which is why his numbers are growing so rapidly and with such enthusiasm from above.

  2. jim davis on November 2, 2017 1:07 am

    I’d suggest that a reliable measure of low IQ would be disbelief that IQ had a significant genetic component.


Resources & Links