Saturday, August 11, 2012

Biology! Data! Prosperity and the Heritability of IQ

[Cc D.]


Long article by Unz. Unz takes data from Richard Lynn, which Lynn used to show a correlation between national mean IQ and GDP, which he implied pretty much meant that prosperity was genetic and couldn't be much altered. Unz shows that Lynn's data demonstrate pretty much the opposite of what Lynn claims: in countries where GDP rises or falls dramatically (e.g. East Germany after re-unification), IQ follows suit in a way which cannot possibly be genetic.

I love this from the conclusion:

We are now faced with a mystery arguably greater than that of IQ itself. Given the powerful ammunition that Lynn and Vanhanen have provided to those opposing their own "Strong IQ Hypothesis," we must wonder why this has never attracted the attention of either of the warring camps in the endless, bitter IQ dispute, despite their alleged familiarity with the work of these two prominent scholars. In effect, I would suggest that the heralded 300-page work by Lynn and Vanhanen constituted a game-ending own-goal against their IQ-determinist side, but that neither of the competing ideological teams ever noticed.

This article succeeded in changing my mind about how IQ probably works. It's actually philosophically more comfortable for me to believe that "all the minds and spirits that God ever sent into the world are susceptible of enlargement" (i.e. IQ is somewhat plastic and can be raised) but until this analysis I had no basis to believe that was true, since it doesn't show up in twin studies. It's possible that my mind may change back at some point given the right evidence, but I find this data compelling.

Anyway, I agree that something very odd is going on in the economics/international development scientific community, if no one ever noticed before that Lynn's data doesn't support his conclusions. It suggests that no one is actually listening to their opponents.

I love science.


Hahahahaaaa!!! That is ME laughing at YOU, cruel world.
    -Jordan Rixon

I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Loved I not Honour more.

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