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Unread 7 Apr 2005, 17:01   #67
MrL_JaKiri
The Twilight of the Gods
 
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Re: A chance to increase your post count by one

Quote:
Originally Posted by s|k
Okay, nevermind. Maybe I am wrong, maybe intelligence is real. Maybe people do vary in ‘intellectual’ powers. And as such, morons, idiots, dumb****s pervade throughout the world. No it could have nothing to do with personal bias and prejudice, I see that now. People who don’t see it the ‘smart’ way are terrible deviants, who lack the ability to stimulate any kind of activity in their neocortex. Head deformities, skull sizes may actually lead to insight into who is an idiot and who is not. Educational opportunities, life’s expediencies, and cultural background have nothing to do with anything. Of course now I see it. Right right. Okay.
When I was 6, I went to The Chorister School in Durham. In my first year, I wasn't particularly better than the rest of my class at any given subject. However, by the age of 13, I was an absurd distance ahead of them in Mathematical ability. I was taught by the same teachers, I did the same tests, and almost certainly less work. I wasn't doing anything in my spare time which I would consider to be particularly mathetically orientated, unless Super Mario Brothers 3 has undiscovered powers. It's fairly clear that there was some kind of basic difference between me and the rest of my class, and similarly for every other individual.

Whilst I admit that this is an imperfect experiment at the best of times, studies into intelligence (in particular) are ****ing difficult to make at the best of times. However, the point remains that there is an overwhealming amount of circumstantial evidence for different levels of intellect as either a random variation in growth that took place in the brain early in life or something directed upon a genetic level.

I consider it a truism to say that "intelligence" must have some sort of genetic cause. The varying levels of base "interaction" that different species posess must imply something to that end, unless we want to wander down a path of "souls" and such, which I don't think we shall be doing.

Now, I am not saying (and, if you check my posting record on this kind of thing, have never said, in fact outright opposed) the notion of one sort of quantatative measure of "intellect" in the vein of an IQ test. I admit that, if you read an enormous amount into my talk of outliers and distributions, I may be talking about some sort of scale using just the one number. I am, however, not. I don't know of any evidence that "intelligence" is in any way quantatative, but I would suggest that it remains plausable that what we know of "intelligence" can be broken down into several different areas of related abilities, and that qualitative statements may be made about an individual's relative ability in this (of course, we still have the problem of "people", and life in general, being imperfect tests subjects due to variation in the performances of individuals due to an outrageous number of factors, but that's a problem for making experiments rather than a theoretical one per se) so we can get some kind of distribution for relative abilities in each. Of course, with quite so many theoretical test subjects, it's possible we can group results into discrete sectors, and get a qualitiative approximation that way, but that's an irrelevence at this stage.

Now, the main problem with me describing such a situation in my post about outliers and probability (not that what I said was mutually exclusive with this view, far from it) is that I would be describing a probability cloud in at least 5 dimensions and people would probably get confused.

I have, however, seen little evidence to suggest that measured tendencies for abilities in this area is related in any way to prejudice or cultural bias or whatever. Judging people as "stupid" because they get a low score in a given test isn't a view I'd subscribe to, or have implied, but it goes against an immense amount of observed evidence to suggest that varying abilities are merely cultural in basis.

I do like your next strawman, about seeing people as "inferior". Having said that, this may not actually be a strawman because you're just making things up, rather than deliberately misinterpreting views. I don't see anything that's per se better about people with "higher intelligence", other than "better" performance at various kinds of tests. Yes, I would prefer it if people had a higher level of intellect, but then I'd prefer it if people didn't smoke, and I don't go around calling smokers stupid.

Quote:
Head deformities, skull sizes may actually lead to insight into who is an idiot and who is not. Educational opportunities, life’s expediencies, and cultural background have nothing to do with anything. Of course now I see it. Right right. Okay.
Wow! What an argument! First you compare my rather conservative comments to phrenology and similar quackery, then you suggest that I said that people who don't know where venezuela is are stupid, ignoring the implicit limitations of Dace's question, and given that we are working with an extremely biased sample! Wowee!
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