18 January 2006

Stupidity is its own Punishment

Several prolific and qualified researchers have made a study of human intelligence, among them Richard Lynn, Linda Gottfredson, Camilla Benbow, and several others.

Richard Lynn has written on issues of human intelligence for decades. Lynn teamed with Vanhanen to write the book IQ and the Wealth of Nations. As the authors ask in the first chapter, "Why Are Some Countries So Rich, and Others So Poor?". They then proceed, in a copiously documented ten chapters, to advance a partial answer to the question. By looking at national average for IQ, and comparing this nation by nation with economic output, a regression/correlation analysis is developed.

Gene Expression Blog took a look at the data set from the book, and found that it survives close scruitiny.

Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen examine IQ scores and economic indicators in 185 countries. They document that national differences in wealth are explained most importantly by the intelligence levels of the populations. They calculate that mean national IQ correlates powerfully—more than 0.7—with per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP). National IQs predict both long-term and short term economic growth rates. Second in importance is whether the countries have market or socialist economies. Only third is the widely-credited factor of natural resources, like oil.

The book goes for $80 US at Amazon. For those who would like to browse the data table, here is a link to the table of data.

Now, after you clean up all the lead exposure, the malnutrition, the childhood diseases, lack of education, and other negative features of the childhood environments in poor countries, what would the data table look like? It is likely that no one will ever know, due to the political incorrectness of the topic. This area of study is frowned upon by the establishment.

A different question might spotlight the north american black-white IQ gap, where middle class black students who are at the top of the black SAT curve, equal the SAT scores of lower class white students who are well down the white SAT curve. This New York Times article attempts to fit together possible reasons for the disparity.

This document takes Lynn and Vanhanen's data, and extrapolates global IQ into the future. The mental picture of an entire world that looks like Bangladesh or Zimbabwe is not appealing.

Ever notice that the politically correct attack any discussion of IQ as unscientific and racist . . . unless it serves their purposes? In discussions of lead exposure and IQ, and US military enlistments and IQ, the PC Thought Police issued a pass, freeing up discussion. Without such a pass, the repercussions would be dire.

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Blogger Dennis Dale said...

I wonder if others out there share my experience in looking for the Lynn/Vanhanen book. I'm fortunate to have a very good library system where I live. I normally expect to find something like this in the library catalogue within a couple of months of its publication; of course there is still no sign of it. I'm not holding out hope it will show up soon. At eighty bucks a pop, it would have been nice.
I hate to think my library administrators are ignorant of its publication; its worse to think they aren't.

Wednesday, 18 January, 2006  
Blogger al fin said...

If you have a friend who works at microsoft or another large and important employer in your area, you might ask them to write a short note on company stationery requesting the library (ies) obtain the book for their patrons.

Libraries have limited budgets and prioritise their purchases with their patrons' reading habits in mind. Of course we know that many librarians are political, and feel they know best what books the patrons should have access to. That is true for evangelical christian librarians as well as for proper and politically correct "progressive" librarians.

Just out of curiousity, what do you think your local librarian would do with the book if someone donated it?

Thursday, 19 January, 2006  
Blogger al fin said...

Dennis, some libraries have the book available as an etext for reading online, even if they do not have the hardcopy of the book in the library. You might check around for that possibility.

Thursday, 19 January, 2006  
Blogger Dennis Dale said...

Thanks, and thanks for the links too. My library didn't respond to an email request. I'm going to write a letter to them just to see what they say. I notice when searching their online catalogue by title for The Bell Curve the actual book is listed in the middle of a selection of books that are responses to it, with titles that sound, or clearly are, indicative of a scathing critique.

Friday, 20 January, 2006  

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