Undecidable Propositions

I’ve been thinking about facts that are true and yet not true – true for the usual reason that someone would like it to be true, yet false because the fact strongly (and of course obviously) implies something else that people don’t want to be true.   Enslaved blacks  probably were systematically bred for various qualities, because it would be useful for some people’s arguments for that to have happened. It would have been difficult, considering long human generations, nor does there seem to be any hard evidence of it – but what am I saying?  Anyhow, at the same time it can’t be true,  because it would  imply negative things about existing black Americans, the products of that breeding experiment,  and we can’t have that.

Some people didn’t like the idea that, over time,  most Brits were descended from the medium-high bourgeoisie, as suggested by Gregory Clark. In order to remove that taint, they imagined a Merrie England where landless laborers did just fine, had about the same fitness as everyone else, rather than withering away over the generations. Of course, in this ‘blessed isle’ scenario,  the gentry must have been really nice people  – so why would having them as ancestors bother anyone?

James Heckman looked at a a series of cognitive tests given to low-birth-weight  3-year-olds.  Children of mothers who had graduated from college scored much higher at age 3 than those whose mothers had dropped out of high school, proof of the advantage for young children of living in rich, stimulating environments. The difference in cognitive performance was just as big at age 18 as it had been at age 3. The gap is there before kids walk into kindergarten,” Mr. Heckman told me. “School neither increases nor reduces it.”

Heckman therefore thinks, or maybe the word is exudes, that we should make massive investments  in incredibly early education, especially for super-disadvantaged kids.

But that can’t be true, because it would indicate that career women sending their offspring to preschools would have disastrous consequences.  Which it doesn’t,  by the way.

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69 Responses to Undecidable Propositions

  1. Milton Keynes says:

    I could be wrong, but I detect a hint of sarcasm in that there post.

  2. What if preschools are themselves the reason the middle class are successful? Wouldn’t it make perfect orthodox sense if intellectual excellence were reliably induced by early exposure to any institutional environment well regarded by the NYT? After all, stay at home mothers are deeply unfashionable. That’s what poor people do.

  3. ziel says:

    You’ve often puzzled over the correct label to ascribe to certain people – Moron or Liar. But in the case of Heckman, do you think perhaps what best fits is “Hopelessly Naive”?

    • gcochran9 says:

      I think that it’s more that a realistic view of things would cause him great pain. Thinking about it, I can imagine scenarios in which realism would make me pretty miserable too. More miserable, that is. For example, as everyone knows, albinos have a problem in southern Africa. Quite a number of people there have come to the conclusion that albinos have useful magical properties. They chop them up and sell their body parts to witch doctors (excuse me, ‘traditional healers’ !) who use them in rituals and for concocting potions. Although locals have had funny notions about albinos for a long time, these ideas are apparently new and seem to be spreading.

      Now if those ideas spread to the US, I’d be bothered. On the other hand, if it turned out that these ideas were true, that albino parts really DID have magical powers, my head would hurt.

  4. winestock says:

    You’re misusing the word undecidable. An undecidable proposition is one that cannot be proven either true or false. That’s just a nitpick, though.

    It’s fun to try to think of more examples of the pattern to which you’ve pointed.

    The cool people say that IQ tests measure nothing. Then they try to get murderers exempted from the death penalty on the basis of low IQ, even though that implies that IQ tests must measure something.

    Movie studios claim that sex and violence in movies do not affect anyone. Then they charge millions to advertisers for product placement, which implies that a logo seen for even a few frames must affect behavior enough to produce sales.

    Activists say that any abuse of free speech can be dealt with by more free speech so censorship isn’t necessary. These same activists solemnly warn us about Goebbels and The Big Lie, where a lie told often enough will be believed by many. This means that answering bad speech with good speech won’t be enough; libel works.

    • teageegeepea says:

      One theory for advertising is that it may not make you much more likely to buy a particular category of product, but by fostering brand recognition it ensures that people who were going to buy that product will choose a specific brand. Advertising is then one big zero-sum game.

    • Kiwi Observer says:

      Indeed, Steven Pinker also uses the example of people who are skeptical of IQ tests but find them reliable when it comes to showing the dangers of lead contamination.

      I think Jonathan Haidt’s explanation for a lot of this is useful:

      “If a group circles around sacred values, they will evolve into a tribal-moral community,” he said. “They’ll embrace science whenever it supports their sacred values, but they’ll ditch it or distort it as soon as it threatens a sacred value.”


  5. g2-337af867fe9cd20258bdbc586fbefd0d says:

    Propositions are undecidable if data is missing but that is not the case of the breeding farms. See http://youtu.be/NFqXvfmuuSA Ellison could produce and put on the market a child in two-four years, which is less than the investment cycle of an orchard, that needs six – seven years to start producing. In our times of manless robot factories and unemployable manpower it is difficult to imagine the past, where civilization was based on the exploitation of man by man. Plato’s Republic was to be ruled by philosophers and fed by slaves, as was Sparta and Athens.

    • Toad says:

      “Ellison was a slave breeder, selling off infant girls, a practice even some white owners found cruel”

      Apparently, it was just him. It wasn’t a common practice.

      “what many of thought an impossible oxymoron: a black slave owner.”

      “his slaves were the the worst fed and clothed of any in Stateburg”
      And those better off than those in Africa.

  6. Matt says:

    There are pretty good estimates of wages for unskilled labourers in Northwestern Europe from the Middle Ages to today. (Mind you, how many unskilled labourers actually found work?) Might we be able to tell how far above subsistence they were? Of course, being above subsistence and affording to have a family does not mean they reproduced at the same rates as richer people.

    e.g. http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/academic/broadberry/wp/britishgdplongrun8a.pdf

    A lot of the news reports I can recall on the subject (feelgood fallacies?) in the last couple years tend to report wages (and per capita incomes) being relatively high in Northwestern Europe in the medieval period, compared to much of their contemporaries.
    One thing I cannot remember whether Clark tested in his surname paper was whether the bourgeoisie left larger inheritences for their children because they had larger families, versus giving larger inheritences to their children because they saved more and wanted to give inheritances to support their children remaining in the same social class as them (by inherited wealth advantages), but thus could perhaps only afford smaller families while alive, as a consequence.

    e.g. as per –

    http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/newsevents/news/2012/small_family_size_increases_the_wealth_of_descendants_but_reduces_evolutionary_success.html“Evolutionary biologists have long puzzled over (why family size generally falls as societies become richer) because natural selection is expected to have selected for organisms that try to maximise their reproduction … (this paper) rejects a popular theory put forward to explain the phenomenon. This ‘adaptive’ hypothesis proposes that low fertility may boost evolutionary success in the long term by increasing offspring wealth, which in turn eventually increases the number of long-term descendants because richer offspring end up having more children. The researchers found that having a small number of children increased the economic success and social position of descendants across up to four generations, but reduced the total number of long-term descendants. They conclude that the decision to limit family size can be understood as a strategic choice to improve the socioeconomic success of children and grandchildren in modern societies, but this socioeconomic benefit does not necessarily translate into an evolutionary benefit.

    To be honest, I think it is still quite likely that richer people left larger families (even if smaller than they otherwise would do to a desire to leave an inheritance), but I am interested in whether Clark tested for this.

  7. hamilton bay says:

    Bermuda has a large black population, a low crime rate and had first dibs on the slaves they shipping a few hundred years ago.

  8. JayMan says:

    Slightly O/T, but here you go:

    Great Scientists Don’t Need Math” by E. O. Wilson.

    • misdreavus says:

      That’s so cute. No wonder E.O WIlson promotes this idea. He, by his own admission, doesn’t understand any math (Cs in calculus, WTF?), and the grad students he hires to make his models somewhat plausible don’t know any evolutionary theory. It’s a marriage made in heaven! Like melted processed cheese on cheap toast.

      All I have to say is, what kind of a researcher can’t even read his own papers, and is proud to admit his own ineptitude? Jesus Christ.

  9. Holm says:

    Schooling Makes You Smarter (PDF) (HTML)
    What Teachers Need to Know about IQ
    By Richard E. Nisbett
    Misconceptions about intelligence—for instance, that it is genetically determined and immutable—abound. The latest research shows that environmental factors are extremely important and that interventions, including high-quality preschool and rigorous, supportive teaching, increase intelligence.

    • misdreavus says:

      Nisbett is such a weasel. When it comes to IQ, both he and James R. Flynn have allied themselves with the anti-hereditarians, but at least Flynn tries his best to be honest — Flynn even admits in Where Have All the Liberals Gone? that there is no conclusive evidence that the black-white IQ gap is mostly environmental in origin, much to the chagrin of liberal well wishers.

      You see none of this sort of thoughtful meditation and self-reflection in Intelligence and How to Get It. The reader is left to follow the trail of citations himself to determine where Nisbett has misquotes the literature, where he stretches conclusions beyond the bare facts themselves, and what he selectively omits from the data.

      I doubt his problem is stupidity or deliberate mendacity — I think he himself suspects that the truth lies closer to the other side, but refuses to cross the bridge when he sees it. No, better to burn it down himself in case the wrong people get suspicious ideas.

      • gcochran9 says:

        I happen to know to that Dr. Nisbett believes, or at least thinks it likely, that one particular ethnic group is innately smarter.

      • misdreavus says:

        If so, he’s a liar, because he sure spends a lot of time pretending that it just ain’t so.

      • misdreavus says:

        Yeah, years back I read Pinker’s The Blank Slate with that idea in mind. One of his grad students, I forget who, even wrote a review of Nisbett’s book where it just barely seems that he is arguing from a hereditarian perspective, but in a way so subtle that the average liberal reviewer would never connect the dots. Sneaky!

        Nobody who is well versed in behavior genetics would believe otherwise. Someday I want to talk to him when he is inebriated.

      • Florida resident says:

        I hasve read Nisbett’s book “Intelligence and How to Get It” in full.
        From Introductino there:
        “I began having trouble with arithmetic in the fifth grade, after I missed school for a week just when my class took up fractions. For the rest of elementary school I never quite recovered from that setback. My parents were sympathetic, telling me that people in our family had never been very good at math. They viewed math skills as something that you either had or not, for reasons having mostly to do with heredity.”

        So, whom will you trust more in dealing with statistical material, like correlation, standard deviation, regression analysis, etc.:

        to this author, Dr. Richard Nisbett, who got these problems in fifth grade, his AB from Tufts U. and Ph.D. for Columbia U.,

        or to the co-author of “The Bell Curve” Dr. Charles Murray, who got scholarship from Newton, Iowa, for undergraduate education in Harvard university, based on his SAT score, and got his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology ?

        Apparently in his book Dr. Nisbett does not differentiate between genetic and hereditary influence on ability. Quite possibly he does that deliberately.

      • Richard Sharpe says:

        “Apparently in his book Dr. Nisbett does not differentiate between genetic and hereditary influence on ability. Quite possibly he does that deliberately.”

        He’s not alone. I have the same difficulty.

      • Florida resident says:

        To Richard Sharpe, April 8, 2013 at 3:24 pm :
        _Hereditary_ means the degree of correlation between phenotype of parents and phenotype of child.
        _Genetic_ means the extent, to which phenotype is pre-determined (or not pre-determined) by genes.
        Here is an example of Mendelian “recessive” gene responsible for blue color of eyes, and “dominant” gene responsible for brown color of eyes. Suppose that choice of mating partner depends
        neither on the phenotype: on the expression of the genes of eye color, i.e. on the visible eye color of adult person,
        nor on underlying genotype, i.e. on the set of genes (blue-blue), (blue-brown), (brown-blue), or (brown-brown).[In (a, b) “a” means the gene received form mother, and “b” stands for the gene received from father.] In other words, assume that mating is neutral with respect to the genotype (actual genes) or to the phenotype (external expression of these genes.)
        On average, in the absence of mating preferences, the 50%-50% ratio of “blue” and “brown” genes will be preserved infinitely long time in the gene pool of the population.
        Note now, that the “brown” variant is dominant, while “blue” variant is recessive. Therefore (blue-blue) pair of genes (genotype) is expressed in the form of [BLUE-eyed adult] (phenotype). Meanwhile, the genotypes (blue-brown), (brown-blue) and (brown-brown) are all expressed in the form of [BROWN-eyed adult]. Therefore the population is 25% BLUE-eyed and 75% Brown-eyed in appearance (in the phenotype.)
        The manifestation of eye color is 100% predetermined by corresponding genes in our model; potentially this manifestation (expression of genes) may be known at the moment right after conception, if DNA analysis of that particular gene is available. We can say that the color of eye is 100% _genetic_.
        Meanwhile, the _heredity_ of eye color in this population will show correlation only, not deterministic law. As already mentioned, the population consists of 25% blue-eyed adults and of 75% brown-eyed adults.
        Any [BLUE+BLUE]-manifested pairs of parents have 100% of BLUE-eyed kids in adulthood.
        An average [BROWN+BLUE] -manifested pair of parents has 33% of BLUE-eyed kids, and 67% of BROWN-eyed kids in adulthood.
        An average [BROWN+BROWN] -manifested pair of parents has 11% of BLUE-eyed kids and 89% of BROWN-eyed kids in adulthood.
        So, _heredity_, i.e. correlation of phenotype of a child with phenotype(s) of parents is less than 100%
        These numbers: 100%; 33% and 67%; 11% and 89%, — they may These numbers: 100%; 33% and 67%; 11% and 89%, — they may be found in almost any textbook on biology, but it took me about half an hour — to calculate them without textbook, and I had to verify them (numbers) with a person, who knows that stuff by heart.
        Your F.r.

      • Anon says:

        Lets say we establish beyond any reasonable doubt that race is primary factor in determining intelligence and proceed to blame all social ills on it. Do you see this scenario leading to a “greater good” outcome?

        Bonus question, do you see this process leading to other, non-race based identifiers (say redheads are found to have slightly lower intelligence?) used in the similar way?

        My personal view is that you are likely correct, all current evidence points this way. At the same time this knowledge gaining mainstream acceptance will lead to all kinds of discrimination and social ills.

      • Richard Sharpe says:

        FR, thanks for clearing up my confusion.

        If I were to restate what you said, heredity is about phenotypes while genetics is about genotypes.

    • misdreavus says:

      The idea some people have that careful environmental interventions could somehow reduce the gap between high and low achievers is a complete farce. Over a hundred years of cognitive research, and somehow nobody has discovered the statistical gene-environment interactions that could enable this to happen. We haven’t found them in mice, lab rats, pigeons, humans, or any other species.

      Let’s say we did discover some novel teaching method that could allow students with an average IQ to learn multivariable calculus, and imagine it were applied consistently across the IQ spectrum. While this might shift the first moment to the right, you can bet your ass that the high-IQ students would still advance far ahead of the others! There probably won’t be a damn change in the gap.

      • gcochran9 says:

        Come on, it’s easy. Royal jelly for the low scorers, ball-peen hammers for the high scorers.

      • misdreavus says:

        Yeah, I distinctly remember reading a paper where both smart and dumb lineages of mice scored equally well on a maze test when both were placed in severely deprived environments.

        Still ain’t gonna happen!

      • misdreavus says:

        To borrow Ned Block’s analogy, maybe we could all beat Ashkenazi Jewish on the head from the time they are born.

        • gcochran9 says:

          Block’s an idiot too. Which reminds me – I was thinking of making a master list of people in the public eye, cataloging and documenting their pinheadery and weaselhood. Although if you wanted to be fair, it would take a lot of work, because although most public intellectuals are worthless in every way, there are some who have made some real contributions as well as being a total loon on one or more topics. I mean, Fred Hoyle, right? I remember someone who was a high-class behavioral geneticist but was convinced that we were all going to starve death pretty soon, because you needed natural gas to make nitrogen fertilizer, and we were running out. I kept telling him that natural gas was often used in the Haber-Bosch process but was by no means required: Fritz Haber certainly didn’t use it. Any good source of energy, such a nuclear reactor, would do the job. But he wouldn’t listen.

      • misdreavus says:

        Are there any philosophers of science left who aren’t idiots, fools, liars, total obscurities, or some combination of the above? Back in high school I remember reading The Selfish Gene and The Extended Phenotype by Richard Dawkins, and then some of the usual denunciations of his work by Mary Midgley, Lewontin, Rose, Gould, et al. (It was in a compendium of essays denouncing sociobiology and the “adaptationist paradigm”, which I found in a library by chance,)

        Well it seems Lewontin and Gould are smart enough to be convincing liars, but Midgley is just a moron, and she’s probably not alone in that regard. Do they dole out PhDs like pez dispensers these days? Jeez.

      • Florida resident says:

        There is certain reason for difficulties with understanding multivariable calculus.
        Namely, the commonly used notation of the partial derivative (round small letter “d”,
        which I failed to reproduce here from MS Word) does not show explicitly, which (other) variables are assumed to be kept constant. An attempt by Profs. G. Sussman and J. Wisdom to introduce new notations was noble, but nobody adopted these notations (MIT, http://www.fisica.net/mecanicaclassica/struture_and_interpretation_of_classical_mechanics_by_gerald_jay_sussman.pdf ).
        The life is unfair.

      • Anonymous says:


        Lewontin, Rose, and Gould are no philosophers of science. Then again, a large swath of a whole generation of philosophers of science were heavily influenced by them on topics like IQ and such. Hmmm….

        The philosopher of science Neven Sesardic, however, is one of the rare individuals within the field that has analytically destroyed its prevailing anti-wisdom on IQ.

      • misdreavus says:

        Rose barely does any original research as it is, and yet has a prolific publishing career, so what could he be? You don’t need to be a philosopher to do philosophy of science.

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  11. Cloudswrest says:

    When I first read the headline I thought this post might be about the “Continuum Hypothesis” or something similar. Silly me, I’m reading Cochran’s blog, not Derbyshire’s.

    • The main point can be found in Supplementary Table 2, which shows that these patients were already compromised by heart disease, so although the study is pretty interesting (and worth extending), it would be good to see comparative figures with other 62 year olds who do not have heart disease, to see if these intestinal microbiota have the high predictive value implied by this clinical study.

    • Dahlia says:

      Thanks for posting that, Steve. I’d like to hear Greg’s thoughts, too. Also, what are effective ways of altering the flora without resorting to antibiotics?

  12. ben says:

    “Are there any philosophers of science left who aren’t idiots, fools, liars, total obscurities, or some combination of the above? ”

    As you said, the best we have are in total obscurity. Who is Neven Sesardic anyway? Nobody cares.

  13. Jim says:

    It’s funny that Heckman notices that 12 years of education makes no difference in the academic performance gap and then advocates more education as the cure.

    • Der Alte says:

      But the cure is _pre-K_ education (since first grade and maybe even kindergarden are too late).

      The huge return on investment in incredibly early education for the super-disadvantaged is based on claims that, while many of these super-disadvantaged kids will still turn out to be underclass scum, this quantity of underclass scum will be significantly lower than without the early investment.

      But a lot of these super-disadvantaged kids are the children of illegals. The benefits (to the rest of us) of deporting the parents and future parents of future underclass scum should be astronomical.

  14. albatross says:

    There is a difference between:

    a. A person who knows and soeaks truth in his own field, but who still has adopted the common and dumb ideas of his society in other areas. (Pretty much everyone.)

    b. A person who knows socially unacceptable truth in his own field, and speaks it, but does so with great deference and spin to protect himself. (Pinker)

    c. A person who knows or strongly suspects socially unacceptable truth, but lies about it to outsiders or everyone. (Probably Nisbett)

    d. A person who can’t or won’t see some kinds of socially unacceptable truth even in his own field. (Probably Gould)

    • dave chamberlin says:

      insightful comment. Readers of this blog who haven’t read Gregory Clarks ” A Farewell to Alms”, do so. It is a successful big history book and there aren’t very many of them. The book nails a common theme in Cochrans threads, how the different history of various populations has made us what we are. Give this book along with “The 10,000 Year Explosion” to your delusionally liberal friends. If they don’t get it then, then give up on them because they never will.

    • Florida resident says:

      I have read in full these two books by S. Pinker: “The Blank Slate” and “The Better Angels of Our Nature”.
      On the p.310, line 6 from the bottom, of 2011 hardcover edition of “The Better Angels of Our Nature” Pinker cites “Global Report on Conflict, Governance, and State Fragility”:
      anocracies are “about six times more likely than democracies and two and one-half times as likely as autocracies to experience new outbreaks societal wars” such as ethnic civil wars, revolutionary wars, and coup d’état. (end of quote.)
      IMO, only mathematically illiterate person (Pinker) could repeat this phrase from “Global Report … “.
      Neither Left-Hand-Side, nor the Right-hand-Side of this “equation” can be defined with the accuracy, warranting 20% precision (“two and one-half”: “one half” constitutes 20% of “two and one-half”.)

      • FredR says:

        I’m not particularly mathematically literate, but I also thought that Pinker’s logic and thought processes in The Better Angels of our Nature were pretty slippery.

  15. Jim says:

    To Florida resident – The confusion between a function and it’s values which causes relatively little problem in one variable calculus can engender considerable confusion in multivariable calculus. A very clear and lucid account of multivariable differential calculus can be found in Volume I of Dieudonne’s “Treatise on Analysis”.

    • Florida resident says:

      Dear Jim:
      Anything by a member of “Boubaki group” (and Dieudonne is one of them) can not be either lucid, or clear.
      In some sense, multivariable calculus is trivial.
      What is really non-tivial is the theory of _analytic_ functions of many complex variables.
      Thanks God (or any other entity of your choice), it is needed not very often.
      Your F.r.

  16. Jim says:

    Everything is trivial once you understand it. By the way I think Henri Cartan’s Introduction to Analytic Function Theory is one of the best undergraduate introductions. It is now available as a Dover paperback. Cartan was one of the earliest developers of sheaf cohomology which is one of the principal tools of analytic function theory. And of course Theorem A and Theorem B are due to Cartan. So Cartan was one of the major early workers in analytic function theory. He was one of the central members of the Bourbaki group. Eilenberg was associated with the Bourbaki group at one time. It is difficult to imagine a more lucid account of a mathematical subject than their classic “Homological Algebra”.

    • Florida resident says:

      Reading this comment by Jim (April 9 2013 at 8:07 am)
      is respectfully acknowledged by F.r.

    • Polymath says:

      There is an appropriate audience for any given math text, in terms of prerequisite knowledge, mathematical ability, and amount of effort demanded. One should not criticize texts without controlling for these variables. For any given piece of math, there is probably a minimum level of mathematical ability (math IQ) required to truly understand it, but the trick is finding the a presentation appropriate to the three variables.

      Anyone with the math IQ needed to be an undergraduate math or science or engineering major (my estimate: math IQ 125, or about the top 5% of the population, though their overall IQ might be significantly lower) should be able to learn multivariable calculus from the usual textbooks given an adequate teacher and strong effort, or a very good teacher and average effort, or from a great textbook with an adequate teacher and average effort. WIth a usual textbook, an adequate teacher, and average effort, the low end of that range won’t quite get it but might scrape a passing grade, and someone with math IQ 135 will still learn it just fine.

      Someone with math IQ 115-120 can still learn the subject with excellent teaching and motivation, for example if they need it to graduate or to use for their job, but the amount of effort required is disproportionate, so they could probably not be doing that for all the subjects necessary to get a “hard” undergraduate degree. Someone with math IQ below that (the bottom 5/6 of the population) will never really “get” multivariable calculus (single-variable calculus is probably 5 IQ points easier than that).

  17. Anthony says:

    Rape is about power, not sex. Rape is about perpetuation of the patriarchal oppression of women. Rape is how powerful men exercise power over women.

    Black men commit disproportionate amounts of rape. Therefore black men are the face of the patriarchy, and are the oppressor.

    Oh, wait.

  18. Greying Wanderer says:

    “My personal view is that you are likely correct, all current evidence points this way. At the same time this knowledge gaining mainstream acceptance will lead to all kinds of discrimination and social ills.”

    Acceptance is also the only way to solve the problem – and policies based on the acceptance of reality don’t have to be couched in terms of that reality. For example:
    1) There’s a lot of reasons for a strict criminal justice system but one is reducing the reproductive potential of impulsively violent individuals so they have fewer children per generation. You don’t have to say that’s the reason.
    2) Affirmative action based on g-loaded test scores makes the top 10% more atractive as mates.

    Basically you can take genetic reality, figure out what policies will solve the problem over time and apply them for whatever public reason you care to dream up.

    Private vices, public virtues.

    • Greying Wanderer says:

      “At the same time this knowledge gaining mainstream acceptance will lead to all kinds of discrimination and social ills.”

      Ignoring the truth also leads to all kinds of discrimination and social ills – most of them inflicted on white bluecollar scapegoats who get discriminated against in every area of life and get to have their children raped and stabbed as a bonus. The difference is social ills that have some chance of being reduced in the future and social ills that carry on forever.

    • rightsaidfred says:

      Greying Wanderer: nice reply.

      We don’t want to use better information to “blame” or “increase social ills”. We want better public policy.

  19. Florida resident says:

    Steve Sailer’s answer to the question, what public policy should follow from the knowledge about IQ:
    From the end of that article:
    ” Q. What’s the initial thing we should do?
    A. When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is to stop digging. By letting in so many unskilled (i.e., largely low IQ) immigrants, especially illegal immigrants, we’re digging a deeper hole for ourselves.
    So let’s stop. Now. “

  20. Undertaker says:

    It makes no sense that human populations differ in intelligence. It makes

    What cold climate = harsher = intelligence? Pfft please, cold conditions are not especially challenging, even animals know how to save food and find warmth. Eskimos aren’t so special are they now?

    Also all the earliest civilizations were in the desert and those in Meso America in the jungle. Earliest mathematics, astronomy and written language were in warmer places, especially in the desert.

    Europe was ahead only for a few hundred years about the same as any other Empire in history. Most of the modern inventions were in the last century, as in one grandfather away not 1000s of years ago.

    Makes no sense that human “races” have different intelligence, there was no specific selection for it. What was it? Civilizations actually mean that retards can survive doing a menial job and get fed by the system.

    Also cold climate = more energy needed, more intelligent brain = more energy needed. Makes no sense at all.

    This IQ thing also makes little sense. What if you simply don’t care about the test? What if you don’t take life seriously? What if thats what your genetically predisposed to be like? Does that mean you are less smart or just more lazy?

    Don’t tell me about those retarded Twin and Adoption studies either. Such stupid tests. Especially the Twin one. Identical twins are not identical first and they were raised in the same culture, same country and most likely the same type of family. Only certain kinds of people adopt you know.

    Do you even realize the amount of environmental and cultural effects a human beings has to deal with? Even before they are born, it counts BIG time.

    IQ is an average that can change from time to time and place to place, which it has.

    No logic in any of this.

  21. Rob King says:

    Someone may have already said this–but Chris Rock has argued exactly what you have said about black people in the US

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