Debate and Discussion

polluting the gene pool?
Polkster at 10:36AM, April 20, 2009
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That's a total misunderstanding of the criticisms of the IQ exam. Yes, it is culture related, in that African tribesmen will score far lower than what their actual intelligence may be because their methods of rationalization may be different, more adapted to their lifestyles. However, someone who scores a 180 in AMERICA is not more “culturally integrated” than someone who scores a 100 in America as well. That 180 is simply superior at rationalizing by whatever standard the IQ sets to measure.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
ozoneocean at 11:16AM, April 20, 2009
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Of course they're more culturally integrated regarding the aspects of "intelligence“ that the IQ tests measure. lol!
No matter the country they're from. I think you misunderstand the concept of my statement…
The trouble is the assumption of objectivity. This is tangentially related to the thread subject in that it concerns incorrect assumptions or worth, ability, or ”worthiness" based on relative criteria falsely assumed to be objective.

I don't think I'll continue with that stream, it's apt to derail the course of the thread.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:34PM
Loud_G at 11:27AM, April 20, 2009
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Yes. The genepool is being further polluted everyday. Yes, technology has enabled it.

Yes, if we lost all technology (for some reason) people would be dying out in droves.


No, this doesn't not mean we should stop. Because unlike other animals, WE can think, prepare, alter our environment, and feel compassion for other creatures (including humans). I could sacrifice myself for the survival of mankind but I could not slaughter (or cause to die) other people. That is what makes us human. Our compassion and ability to think rationally about things such as genepools :D
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:46PM
Polkster at 12:11PM, April 20, 2009
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Here, this is the concept you're referencing:
http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2007/12/17/071217crbo_books_gladwell

It's only “cultural integration” insofar as an individual from a foreign, i.e. non-Westernized, society is less likely to receive high scores on a Western-biased IQ exam. But among members of that Western society, this is by no means a measure of “cultural integration”. It's a measure of rationalization speed and aptitude; it is an intelligence test. It may measure one facet, or multiple facets, of an otherwise extremely dynamic and innumerable quality, but fact is the correlation is there. The amount of geniuses scoring below 100 out there, possibly along the line of savants, represent an extreme minority, a statistical outlier. Again, I repeat, it is not a precise measure, nowhere near the level of precision necessary to say a 180 is more intelligent than 170, but it is adequate in creating very broad, conceptual, categorizations for the purposes of metal diagnoses or psychological evaluations.

An example: Bill and Bob were both born in Kentucky, they are twin brothers and went to all the same schools. Bill completes his IQ exam in one hour with a 70% correct rate. Bob also recieves a 70% correct rate, but completes it in 45 minutes. Cultural integration is identical, but Bob's mental processing abilities are quicker and therefore his IQ is higher.

Not all IQ exams are timed, but this is one potential example where the “cultural integration” argument is irrelevant to members of a particular society being tested by other members of that same society.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
Ochitsukanai at 12:12PM, April 20, 2009
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bravo1102
It's a family/tribe/village/town/city/civilization thing.
More than that, it's a genetic thing: it's kin-centrism, a la Richard Dawkins's The Selfish Gene. Humans are a social species with altruistic tendencies because that altruism has benefits. When we sacrifice something of ourselves to save those close to us, the odds would traditionally have been with something of ourselves being part of them - our genes would be similar, probably related. We therefore ensured the survival of our genes more effectively by caring.
—–
If genes are really so important, why discount those that appear to dictate our altruism, especially in the name of selective breeding that never turns out well anyway? Purebred dogs with inferior immune systems and skeletal defects - we've preserved just the traits we want, but look what else creeps in.

The whole mindset is somewhat laughable - are people useful only when they're strong? intelligent? fertile? People below some fabled halfway point aren't worth the time, and genetics unequivocally always determines this? Just sayin', eugenics and Social Darwinism are so asinine. :)

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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:20PM
ozoneocean at 12:33PM, April 20, 2009
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Polkster
Here, this is the concept you're referencing:
No, that's not it at all, or really that is just an extremely obvious example.
This involves too much explaining… Look, within any given society there are individuals who grasp the modes of common communication better than others, have more access to facilities that will improve their performance on tests such as these. An individual's performance will therefore vary due to such factors as ethnicity, class, wealth, personal interests, experience, age, and even the friends they commonly interact with.

They are a measure, but not necessarily of intelligence. Only partly.
But then “Intelligence” is a nebulous concept in reality anyway :)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:34PM
Polkster at 12:42PM, April 20, 2009
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So are you implying there is no correlation between IQ score and raw processing power or ability towards abstraction? Because if that's what you're saying, I completely disagree; not on the basis an IQ exam's questions are in themselves objective, but, again, because there does exist a correlation between score and intelligence.

You make it sound like no one can ever be smarter than anyone.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
ozoneocean at 1:13PM, April 20, 2009
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No, I'm saying there does exist a correlation, but it isn't direct. Since those other factors and more also have an influence, the score also reflects how far the individual meets that ideal as well (i.e. a person with the requisite abilities/experiences that most closely match that of the ideal test subject). Which is a very interesting aspect in my opinion.

We can't really accurately measure “raw processing power or ability towards abstraction”, the idea that we can is a conceit. Neither psychology or neuroscience is that advanced.

It's not that one person can't be “smarter” than another, rather it's that they're usually better at or more suited to certain fields. It's not like being heavier or stronger than someone- and even “strength” is problematic: an ant can lift more than a man, relatively. And one man might measure his strength by how much he can dead lift, while another rates himself on arm-wrestling bouts, or fighting.

All these concepts are really insuperable from the cultural matrix…
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:34PM
Polkster at 1:44PM, April 20, 2009
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I don't understand how the correlation isn't direct if probability of being intelligent–that is, functionally competent in an academic or otherwise dynamic setting–increases with IQ score for the statistical majority?

What a direct correlation may look like:
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
Ochitsukanai at 2:53PM, April 20, 2009
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Polkster
I don't understand how the correlation isn't direct if probability of being intelligent–that is, functionally competent in an academic or otherwise dynamic setting–increases with IQ score for the statistical majority?
I'm not Ozone, so just pretend I'm wearing a hat or something. o_o

Because it requires subjective principles and priorities to manufacture the standards by which everyone will be judged, the test itself is necessarily subjective.

An example from your own argument: “intelligence” is defined as “competent in an academic setting.” That doesn't unequivocally mean intelligence stops there or that there aren't different sorts of intelligence. It merely means that someone defined intelligence and their criteria for having it. Both of these things are arguable. They are not objective.

Even if you were to chart a direct correlation, it is subjective at its heart for that reason.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:20PM
Product Placement at 3:29PM, April 20, 2009
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ozoneocean & Polkster
bicker, bicker, IQ, bicker.
This is quite successfully derailing the topic.

Maybe you guys want to start a new topic about the legitimacy of IQ tests and see what others have to say about it?
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:50PM
Polkster at 9:01PM, April 20, 2009
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Ochitsukanai
Polkster
I don't understand how the correlation isn't direct if probability of being intelligent–that is, functionally competent in an academic or otherwise dynamic setting–increases with IQ score for the statistical majority?
I'm not Ozone, so just pretend I'm wearing a hat or something. o_o

Because it requires subjective principles and priorities to manufacture the standards by which everyone will be judged, the test itself is necessarily subjective.

An example from your own argument: “intelligence” is defined as “competent in an academic setting.” That doesn't unequivocally mean intelligence stops there or that there aren't different sorts of intelligence. It merely means that someone defined intelligence and their criteria for having it. Both of these things are arguable. They are not objective.
wit
Even if you were to chart a direct correlation, it is subjective at its heart for that reason.

All measures are subjective; the “meter” is just an arbitrary assignment of distance. Fact is, correlation most certainly exists, and that's enough to prove its legitimacy under particular conditions–those being, as I've stated, within the confines of a given cultural sphere.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
Ochitsukanai at 9:53PM, April 20, 2009
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Polkster
All measures are subjective; the “meter” is just an arbitrary assignment of distance. Fact is, correlation most certainly exists, and that's enough to prove its legitimacy under particular conditions–those being, as I've stated, within the confines of a given cultural sphere.

Yes, but everyone agrees upon the meter (at least, those who use the metric system). Because everyone uses the same measurements within populations, they've become standardized.

Do you think that intelligence is similarly standardized, since you draw that comparison? If so, does that discount the existence or importance of alternate forms of intelligence or learning?

Always, I wanna be with mew, and make believe with mew
and live in harmony harmony oh nyan
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:20PM
Polkster at 3:14AM, April 21, 2009
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Within a given society, yes, there tends to be one dominant notion of what is “intelligence”. African tribesmen and American entrepreneurs have different standards and thus cannot be measured on the same scale.

However, IQ tests are not all just, “If Jane is eight years older than Sally and Sally is three years younger than Bill…”, there are many tests that are purely visual in nature.

Look, I understand there are different ‘kinds’ of intelligence; emotional, creative, analytical, and on and on, but we don't take people with poor ‘musical intelligence’ and dub them handicapped. There is a very particular sort which these exams seek to measure.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
mlai at 5:02AM, April 21, 2009
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But in essence you're saying that IQ tests measure your aptitude or adaptability in a American/ Northern European industrialized social environment. How does this relate to evolutionary fitness in any way? Industrial society can break down in any number of ways, and then all the doctors and lawyers and stock brokers will instantly become less “fit” than the Australian aborigine.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
Polkster at 6:45AM, April 21, 2009
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Because brain development is elastic. The point I made earlier about how this idea that we're not “evolving” anymore is inaccurate reflects on this idea; collective evolution allows us to shape one another without altering our actual gene pool. We are, objectively, more fit than the Aboriginal Australians because we could kill them in a day, take their land, and, using modern technology, turn it into apple orchards. We have the capacity to survive anywhere. That is not an individual trait, that is a collective trait.

But if we were reduced to hunter/gatherers, no longer having a society or infrastructure upon which to rely, yes, as individuals, we'd be less fit than the Aboriginals (…arguably, because these are a people who never invented the wheel or a written language, much less mathematics, so our overall reasoning skills may be better (and again, not by some hereditary means, but because we grew up with math and literature, so our ability to devise strategies and create tools may be superior)).
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
Product Placement at 10:52AM, April 21, 2009
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Seriously you guys. Make a new thread. This topic is more derailed then the Nishapur train disaster.
Those were my two cents.
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Faliat at 6:19PM, April 21, 2009
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It's more than just pollution. Humanity is an absolute exception to the rule!

We need MONEY to survive on a day to day basis and if you don't it's a crime to steal and you end up in jail and digging a bigger rut for yourself. So going out foraging is considered a bad thing. It's why there's people starving in Africa. They could trade for tools to plant food to grow for ther families and dig wells for clean water, but no. It costs money. And if you don't have money you can't get ANYTHING. And if you have morals you can't just TAKE what you need. So it's not the FIT that survive, it's the WEALTHY.

People have a variety of sexual fetishes including attractions to those with disorders. And the media also has a heavy influence on how we pick mates.

We don't even need to adapt to fit our environment anymore. We adapt our environment to fit us.

Call that jumped up metal rod a knife?
Watch mine go straight through a kevlar table, and if it dunt do the same to a certain gaixan's skull in my immediate vicinity after, I GET A F*****G REFUND! BUKKO, AH?!

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Polkster at 10:12PM, April 21, 2009
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That's some great Marxist rambling there, man, too bad MONEY CAN BE EARNED. And the “fit” can sustain themselves by serving societal demand in exchange for monetary compensation. The boundary between middle and upper economic classes in the United States is fairly fluid.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
Ochitsukanai at 6:45AM, April 22, 2009
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Polkster
Look, I understand there are different ‘kinds’ of intelligence; emotional, creative, analytical, and on and on, but we don't take people with poor ‘musical intelligence’ and dub them handicapped. There is a very particular sort which these exams seek to measure.

But it is the case that people are then all put on the same spectrum regardless of specialty, and that due to this perfectly intelligent people WILL come out with lower scores. People don't all make the same score ASIDE from the handicapped and the genuises - they're still judged on the same relative criteria regardless, someone else's value, although clearly each would have their own value and the capacity to be just as “fit” in their own niches.

Besides, what situation are you talking about exactly? Wouldn't the importance of it just be your own prerogative?

Always, I wanna be with mew, and make believe with mew
and live in harmony harmony oh nyan
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:20PM
Polkster at 10:06AM, April 22, 2009
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IQ exams wouldn't be as big an institution as they are now if, as I've mentioned before, there wasn't some correlation between between overall intelligence and score. It is not “somebody's” arbitrary definition of intelligence, but some mutually agreed upon societal standard.

The point of this, the whole reason we got into this stupid debate, is because I mentioned people were getting smarter, as evidenced by a 10 point increase in average IQ (which is constantly recalibrated to 100) every decade, showing that no, our species is not stagnating.
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Orin J Master at 12:35PM, April 22, 2009
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i don't see how improving at taking written/verbal tests improves humanities survival chances, so i don't think there's any sign of evolution there.

nature hates you, deal with it and move on.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:22PM
Loud_G at 1:17PM, April 22, 2009
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Polkster
IQ exams wouldn't be as big an institution as they are now if, as I've mentioned before, there wasn't some correlation between between overall intelligence and score. It is not “somebody's” arbitrary definition of intelligence, but some mutually agreed upon societal standard.

The point of this, the whole reason we got into this stupid debate, is because I mentioned people were getting smarter, as evidenced by a 10 point increase in average IQ (which is constantly recalibrated to 100) every decade, showing that no, our species is not stagnating.

I don't really think that holds.

If society as a whole were getting smarter (as you claim the IQ scores reveal), then that means that we are killing off the dumb ones. We are not removing dumb people from the gene pool. Often we are providing more chance for them to produce offspring.

(IQ tests are far from an “agreed upon standard”. Many professionals refuse to use them any more. They are only good for people who have been through the same (or comparable) education. You could have a very smart uneducated person who would score abismally low on an IQ exam. )
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:46PM
Polkster at 1:34PM, April 22, 2009
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FALSE. FALSE. FALSE.

If society is getting smarter that DOES NOT mean we are killing off dumb people. Intelligence is not hereditarily innate; the propensity to become intelligent may be innate, as in some people's brains develop faster, but the ceiling for the average individual's potential intelligence has not been reached.

Albert Einstein's and Isaac Newton's DNA is fused into an embryo, a baby is made, that baby is locked up in a 4'x4' concrete cell and fed only stale bread, cheese, and water. That individual, by the time they reach 20, will not be more intelligent than an Aboriginal infant exposed to modern intellectual stimulation–education, media, etc.etc.

Fact is, the average person today is equipped with a greater set of intellectual skills than the average person 1000 years ago, or even 100 years ago. I've already cited that rat brain experiment.

Eliminating geniuses and the mentally handicapped from this discussion, intelligence is CULTIVATED, not genetically bestowed.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
Loud_G at 4:31AM, April 23, 2009
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I believe you are confusing education with mental capacity.

Society is “getting smarter” because literacy and education are going up. This is not evolution. This is improved methods of putting information into the vessel of the human mind. The only reason that we today are doing better is because we keep records and don't have to relearn things every generation. The actual intelligence in the human race has probably stagnated, we are just able to use more of our existing mental powers because we don't have to learn everything from first hand experience any more.

A counter to your example is to take that Aboriginal infant and raise it in London.
It will grow up to what we deem “normal”.

So this proves nothing, except that the educated know how to use their brains and the uneducated don't. That is not a measure of intelligence. IQ can never measure intelligence. Just how well a person has assimilated the information they have been taught.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:46PM
Polkster at 6:26AM, April 23, 2009
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You could not be more wrong.

Look at feral children as an example of stagnant intellectual development. There's more at play than just education; if a child does not learn how to speak by age 5 or 6, odds are they will not learn how to speak properly at all. This is due to brain development. You brain is not just this big static lump that's given to you by heredity, it's dynamic and develops in a variety of ways based on how it is stimulated.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:47PM
Loud_G at 12:01PM, April 23, 2009
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Polkster
You could not be more wrong.

Look at feral children as an example of stagnant intellectual development. There's more at play than just education; if a child does not learn how to speak by age 5 or 6, odds are they will not learn how to speak properly at all. This is due to brain development. You brain is not just this big static lump that's given to you by heredity, it's dynamic and develops in a variety of ways based on how it is stimulated.

You just said it isn't about education. And then proceeded to explain how it was about education.

Yes, there are certain stages in a child's development when education is best applied.

That stage is not changing and the only way to get through it is education. This is true for any young animal/creature/person. They need nurture and education in order to develop correctly. This has no bearing on intelligence. or innate ability.

You aren't really providing any examples of evolving or IQ having anything to do with heritable intelligence.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:46PM
Bittenbymonk at 4:32PM, April 23, 2009
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I look back on a thread I started about polluting the gene pool and it's now talking about IQ tests and intelligence? that's rather arbitrary to the point of the discussion at hand isn't it?
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:23AM
Product Placement at 7:00PM, April 23, 2009
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I said the same thing but they don't seem to be listening.
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:50PM
mishi_hime at 8:53PM, April 23, 2009
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OP
are we speeding up its demise by attempting to keep everyone alive?


I'm not sure if people living with diseases are considered to be polluters of the gene pool. The fact that someone lives should say something in itself. Is that not “survival of the fittest”? Granted, society has changed the rules a bit. “Fittest” might not mean mentally or physically fit, it might apply to wealth or in some people's case's, luck. I wouldn't look at the situation as “attempting to keep people alive” but rather in certain areas the survival bar can seem low.

I also don't believe that “We” (humanity) as a whole are not concerned with keeping others alive, but rather ourselves. People are selfish.

last edited on July 14, 2011 2:04PM

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