Intelligence and Social Policy: A Special Issue of the Multidisciplinary Journal INTELLIGENCE. Edited by Douglas K. Detterman. Jan/Feb 1997 (Vol 24, No.1).
THIS ISSUE OF INTELLIGENCE covers many of the questions with regard to the nature/nurture debate that has been so misreported by the press in the last few years. Ever since The Bell Curve, the media has held to the misconception that intelligence, in some unknown way, can be improved significantly if only we improve everyone's environment through better nutrition, various interventions, and educational opportunities. But the research is showing quite a different phenomena, one that is solidly based on recent studies that look at the individual as an emergent, niche-picking organism, not a passive recipient of societies programming. We are finding out that children, while genetically different and unique, will use that uniqueness to become even more unique and differentiated in the social unit that really counts, the family. Competition is between children, not between families as Sulloway has so elegantly argued in Born to Rebel.
Mainstream Science on Intelligence: An Editorial with 52 Signatories, History, and Bibliography by Linda S. Gottfredson. In the fall of 1994, after the liberal press and various intellectuals had thoroughly trashed the best seller The Bell Curve, Gottfredson approached the Wall Street Journal with a request for clarification of the issue and instead got permission to give a scientific reply if she could get 10 or 15 cosigners. She only had a few weeks to do it, so she quickly drafted what she felt were 25 statements or conclusions that were known at the time about intelligence and generally accepted as true by other academics. She then had to contact a list of experts. As it turned out, an astounding 52 experts of the 100 who responded (131 were sent invitations to respond) signed the declaration. This was an amazing feat, getting academics to agree on 25 scientific principles! They build their reputations on NOT agreeing with each other. Compare this consensus with the one that followed by the APA in 1995 Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns, and it becomes clear that what was stated in The Bell Curve, even though it did not go through academic review as it was aimed at a mass audience, nevertheless was mainstream science as it was known in 1994.
Gottfredson concluded that: "Mainstream Science on Intelligence is a collective statement that was first issued in order to inject some scientific rigor into an increasingly vitriolic and wrongheaded controversy concerning intelligence. That it garnered such immediate support from so many highly regarded scholars testifies to their confidence both that it represents the mainstream and that their joint testimony to that effect was needed in the public realm. No individual or group has systematically rebutted the statement. Some people might construe the 24-page Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns (Neisser et al., 1996) to be an alternative. However, that report was the result of 6 months' work by an 11-member task force created by the American Psychological Associations's Board of Scientific Affairs. (Three of the task force members were also signers of the 'Mainstream' statement.) That report differs in purpose, emphasis, and degree of equivocation, but its conclusions only reinforce the claim that the contents of the 'Mainstream' statement are squarely within the mainstream. It too concludes, for example, that differences in intelligence exist, can he measured fairly, are partly genetic (within races), and influence life outcomes. It is obviously not the case that there is no disagreement about these important issues or that scientific truth is a matter of majority rule. A significant minority of the experts who were contacted disagreed in part or in whole with the statement, and many of the signers would have written the statement somewhat differently. Rather, the lesson here is that what have often been caricatured in the public press as discredited, fringe ideas actually represent the solid scientific center in the serious study of intelligence. As Snyderman and Rothman's (1988) survey of IQ experts and journalists revealed, the media, among others, have been turning the truth on its head." (Mainstream Science on Intelligence and Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns is available from this web site.)
Psychometrics, Intelligence, and Public Perception by John B. Carroll. Carroll takes on six propositions as stated in The Bell Curve in hopes of clarifying where they stand (in early 1997) versus what the media had been reporting. He also notes that whatever anyone says, nothing in the social sciences is beyond technical dispute and he endeavors to show to what level of consensus science has progressed on some key issues.
Proposition 1 is, "There is such a thing as a general factor of cognitive ability on which human beings differ." Carroll describes factor-analytic research that is used to tease out those portions of intelligence tests that contribute to g. Though Gould spent a great deal of time and energy trying to refute the mathematical basis of factor analysis, today after a great deal more work and substantiation it remains one of the main tools of psychometrics. Arthur Jensen's new book, The g Factor: The Science of Mental Ability covers this method in great detail, including some of the more recent advances. Where psychometrics is at today is not trying to determine the top strata of intelligence, or g, but in locating and defining the lower levels that contribute to it, for example fluid intelligence or crystallized intelligence, which are often claimed to be the two major strata below g (Jensen claims that crystallized intelligence is not a part of g but is learned or gained knowledge). Carroll concludes that, "The consensus of most investigators is that some kind of general factor of cognitive ability exists and that it can be estimated satisfactorily from currently available measurements."
Proposition 2 is, "All standardized tests of academic aptitude or achievement measure the general factor to some degree, but IQ tests expressly designed for that purpose measure it most accurately." In the debate about intelligence, aptitude tests used by schools and universities are often used as proxies for intelligence tests. Strict IQ tests are expensive and time consuming, but standardized achievement tests can be used as a substitute for intelligence tests, especially when they are used on large populations for research purposes. But on the individual level for example, they will not uncover someone with dyslexia. Likewise, on the group level, if a particular school or program such as Head Start uses teaching to the test to raise achievement scores to try and show that intervention can raise intelligence, this proxy will not hold. It is only valid under normal learning conditions. That is, if you take one individual, and train them aggressively in vocabulary, to the detriment of other academic skills that are not as represented on tests, they will score higher than their intelligence would warrant. Carroll states, "The IQ score expresses the relative degree of progress attained in comparison with the progress achieved by the typical or [average] individual in a culture. Because, over historical time, the average levels of progress attained by individuals in a culture can change--upwards or downwards, but usually upwards--the average IQs can change as well, as documented, for example by Flynn." So again, intelligence is the engine that allows learning to occur, it is not learning itself. What is important here is that schools and intervention programs may teach to the test to increase academic scores, but an employer will still want employees that have a high intelligence so that learning can continue on the job. On the job, there are not teachers available to pound knowledge into your head as needed. It must be acquired by the individual. Education is fine, but without the engine of learning function at a high level, on the job acquisition of skills will suffer.
Proposition 3 is, "IQ scores match, to a first degree, whatever it is that people mean when they use the word intelligent or smart in ordinary language." This is similar to our reliance on what we all perceive to generally be attractiveness or beauty, with some personal tastes involved, and then one day along comes political correctness and it is denied that beauty pageants could possibly correlate with what we all perceive to be beauty. It is just a form of denial made to make one group feel equal to another (therefore create more forms of intelligence such as Gardner's). To understand intelligence is to recognize not some trait or sum of traits like conscientiousness or shyness, but as the cognitive engine of knowledge gathering. Behavioral traits are located in the more primitive limbic brain system, while intelligence evolved in the higher cortical region. Evolution wants to maintain different traits to take advantage of different environments, much like mixing up the genes of the immune system so that some individuals will survive any pathogen the group comes in contact with. But intelligence does not work at the same level. It is the efficiency with which an individual can learn and adapt, and it is always valuable to survival for the most part (under Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, being stupid seems to have incurred some survival benefit, but only from other humans, never from nature).
Carroll states, "To summarize: Experts have largely neglected what seems to be an obvious conclusion to be drawn from the evidence from IQ tests: that IQ represents the degree to which, and the rate at which, people are able to learn, and retain in long-term memory, the knowledge and skills that can be learned from the environment (that is, what is taught in the home and in school, as well as things learned from everyday experience). Children with high IQs rather quickly attain mental ages well above those of their age peers, and they maintain competence over many years, whereas children with low IQs are much slower in learning what the environment exposes them to, and they are deficient in retaining what they learn. Differences in IQ among adults are the resultant of these differences in learning rates over the years of childhood, adolescence, and later on. To the extent that people can judge the degree to which others can learn and retain those knowledges and skills offered to them by the environment, the general factor g does indeed correspond to what people conceive of as intelligence or being smart. It would be highly useful to pursue research devoted to obtaining more details about people's concepts of intelligence and the extent to which those concepts correspond to what is measured using different kinds of intelligence tests. Even more useful would be research on the degree to which g corresponds to people's rates of learning different kinds of tasks or tasks of different degrees of complexity."
Proposition 4 is, "IQ scores are stable, although not perfectly so, over much of a person's life." Obviously it is difficult at the present time to test the IQ of infants and find that they correlate well with intelligence as an adult. But IQ at the age of one does correlate well with an individuals IQ as an adult, and as passive intelligence tests improve, psychometricians will get better at determining a person's eventual IQ. And of course this is what is really important, what will a person's IQ be when they enter the work force, given that they have acquired as good an education as can be expected for an average person? And this also begs the question, if IQ cannot be improved through education, then what are the real questions we must ask about schools that are failing? Is it the school or the intelligence of the student body? And this of course is the real policy dilemma. If the scores cannot be raised, to agree with normal intelligence scores over the long haul, then group differences cannot be eliminated by education alone, and its back to the drawing boards for social interventionists who cannot tolerate natural group diversity (versus cultural diversity which is held in high esteem).
Proposition 5 is, "Properly administered IQ tests are not demonstrably biased against social, economic, ethnic, or racial groups." Achievement tests, used as proxies for intelligence tests, have to be verified and checked using more rigorous IQ tests, usually through sampling methods. That is, giving some people more rigorous tests to see if they correlate with achievements tests to give the relative IQs of different groups. There have been numerous attempts to show that testing can be influenced for example by telling the group that it is to see if they are inferior, or some other such nonsensical stressor. Or trying to show that some groups just try harder than others. But research has shown none of these to be valid over the large number of studies performed. And again and again, groups properly identified continue to test out at different IQ averages, such as Jews at 117, whites at 103, and blacks at 85. These numbers have been remarkably constant regardless of how Gould and others have tried to distort the history of psychometrics. And today, bias is no longer and issue outside of folk psychology as practiced by the media.
Carroll states, "This proposition, also, is well supported by massive evidence from psychometric studies, as summarized and extensively discussed by Brody (1992), Jensen (1980), and others. The bottom line is that IQ scores from most standard tests of intelligence correctly assess, within small standard errors of measurement, the individual's amount of progress, relative to his or her age cohort, in achieving the mental proficiency that it is possible for one to attain in an advanced culture such as ours. To the extent that such scores can predict success in school, in a training course, or in an occupation, they tend to make similar predictions for different social, economic, ethnic, or racial groups, regardless of the fact that average scores for those different groups may differ for one or more reasons. Agencies that construct and develop standardized tests of intelligence or scholastic aptitude make every effort to minimize bias in such tests."
Propostion 6 is, "Cognitive ability is substantially heritable, apparently no less than 40 percent and no more than 80 percent." Carroll defers this issue to Plomin and Petrill's article in this same issue of Intelligence as well as Rowe's article. Suffice it to say, that Carroll is hoping for another explanation other than genetics for the resultant disparity between the white and black IQ means. And this is exactly where psychometrics is at today. For the most part, The Bell Curve has been vindicated on all accounts outside of policy recommendations except this one. Can science find a reason that is an environmental cause for group IQ differences? So far, little has been shown for their efforts while genetics is moving to displace nurture as the fundamental cause of between group differences.
Genetics and Intelligence: What's New? By Robert Plomin and Stephen A. Petrill (P&P). P&P explain in their article how the pendulum has swung between nurture and nature over the last 100 years. Most of it I was familiar with except for the swing towards nature in the 1970's that was ended when Arthur Jensen wrote an article in 1969 that stated that the evidence showed that intelligence was inherited and the well recognized difference in IQs of blacks and whites was at least partially genetic. But the difference now is that after publication of The Bell Curve and Arthur Jensen's latest book (1998) The g Factor: The Science of Mental Ability, the pendulum according to P&P is no longer swinging but has settled between nature and nurture under a new paradigm that sees the individual as an emergent being, using genetic innateness to carve out its own individual niche, independent of cultural direction. They point out that twin and adoption studies over the past several decades have provided powerful tools to determine the heritability of many behavioral traits as well as intelligence, with intelligence being the most studied trait.
In an article entitled The Genetics of Cognitive Abilities and Disabilities by Robert Plomin and John C. DeFries in Scientific American in May of 1998, Plomin repeats much of what he states in the above 1997 Intelligence article. What is so surprising is that Scientific American, being a staunchly left leaning publication, has finally stopped calling such research pseudoscientific. There comes a time when the most ardent ideologues must admit the obvious, like the Catholic Church accepting evolution under the weight of scientific evidence, and another paradigm has finally established itself as legitimate and beyond reasonable doubt, that behavior genetics is real and here to stay. In this article, Plomin and DeFries state that psychologists have come to accept the role of genetics in intelligence, that heritability increases as a person gets older, and the family environment has little eventually to do with one's intelligence as an adult. The policy implications of such findings are enormous. Educators must stop deluding themselves into thinking that what children learn is merely a factor of how much effort is put into teaching. Children are their own masters, they will learn at a pace that is consistent with their own abilities, and they are much more self-directed and self-differentiating than what has been assumed by educators. To understand the knowledge acquired by students means we must recognize what is used to acquire that knowledge, raw intelligence. The authors state, " It appears that genes may have almost as much effect on school achievement as they do on cognitive abilities. These results are surprising in and of themselves, as educators have long believed that achievement is more a product of effort than of ability. Even more interesting, then, is the finding from twin studies and our adoption project that genetic effects overlap between different categories of achievement and that these overlapping genes are probably the very same genetic factors that can influence cognitive abilities. This evidence supports a decidedly nonmodular view of intelligence as a pervasive or global quality of the mind and underscores the relevance of cognitive abilities in real-world performance. It also implies that genes for cognitive abilities are likely to be genes involved in school achievement, and vice versa."
Why g Matters: The Complexity of Everyday Life by Linda S. Gottfredson. Gottfredson takes up the issue of what intelligence means in school, on the job, and in one's life. It is often dismissed by those who reject any genetic contribution to how one's life turns out, but to deny is not to make it less real. Intelligence, in this society, may have as much importance as say physical strength and stamina may have had 10,000 years ago. It is just what happens to be in demand today. (For a much more thorough treatment of this issue see Earl Hunt's book Will We Be Smart Enough?, 1995.) Gottfredson states, "By importance I mean functional importance. For example, to what extent does being brighter typically enhance academic achievement or job performance? To what extent will a firm's aggregate worker productivity rise if it selects brighter employees? My concern here is thus with the impact of actual capabilities, not with people's perceptions of their existence, utility, or moral value. Intelligence is viewed here, not as a virtue in itself, but as a means to commonly valued social ends."
She also details what has happened thanks to the civil rights laws and regulations. As corporations and white America was attacked for disparate outcomes in job selection (that is by hiring the most intelligent resulting in far fewer blacks being hired than were in the general population) the issue of intelligence and its meaning in the workplace has been researched as never before. Prior to civil rights, companies used whatever tests they needed to hire the best. But when minorities yelled "foul!", companies went back to work looking again at what made up a good employee, as required by the courts, to make sure there was no racial bias in selection. Because of this research, we are once again more confident that intelligence counts more than anything else, followed only by conscientiousness, a common behavioral trait. The new research shows a very high correlation between job performance and IQ, both by supervisor evaluation and an even higher correlation when actual output is measured. General intelligence or 'g' does matter, and it matters a lot, contrary to what the media and many social scientists would have us believe. Thanks to attacks by the left over the last few decades in the area of civil rights, researchers looked again at what was once accepted without question because it worked. If you wanted to hire an employee that could think and learn for themselves, could generalize, and not require continuous training and instructions, then hire an intelligent person. From this research it seems safe to presume that a company might be well advised to look for innately intelligent people that chose for what ever reason not to go on to college. They are out there, many of them friends and acquaintances, and it never fails to impress me how many of them did better than those who went on to college, only to end up competing with other college graduates. While some of the more successful people are those who went into occupations where college graduates rarely enter, only to make a lot of money because they stood out cognitively. And since researching the issue of intelligence, whenever my wife and I go through a check out at the store, we can easily discern the smart ones that not only are quick but are having fun with the job. At the same time, many of the dull clerks are laboring, disinterested, and unable to perform to the obvious level of the more intelligent. I then reflect back when I worked at a grocery store. I took pride in being able to pack a bag of groceries in a logical manner, quickly. It was a challenge, a puzzle. No job is without its cognitive challenge if one is smart enough to apply higher intellect to make the time pass faster. Gottfredson then goes on to explain why intelligence is much more than education, which is a fundamental policy issue that needs to be redressed. We are beating ourselves up over educational failures, while we may be doing the very best job we can with the intellectual potential of some of the students. If they cannot be taught they will not be taught. She goes on to show how even high level executives who grew up with undiagnosed dyslexia and did not acquire good reading skills nonetheless make outstanding decisions. Their high intelligence allows them to learn and to generalize on the job, where it counts. Education may be highly over rated, as is experience. She notes that experience has "weak to moderate effects on job knowledge and task proficiency." I might add that along with affirmative action there has been a corresponding dumbing down of education with a subsequent increase in credentialism. By getting a degree, by any means possible, some people hold themselves out as being equally qualified as any one else with a degree, even if they are of much lower intelligence. We are now seeing a similar attempt by academics and politicians to supplant merit with quotas. To get into college in Texas, after the courts restricted selection by race, it has been proposed that the top 10% of every high school graduating class be allowed to go onto college, no matter how smart they are. It is easily recognized that as school districts have become segregated that this is an easy way of flouting the law and reintroducing race based selection. Nothing it seems will stop those who continue to ignore the average differences in intelligence between whites and blacks. Any social program, no matter how unfair, will be used to make everyone equal at any cost.
Gottfredson goes on to explain, "Additional evidence of the causal importance of g is provided by the many unsuccessful efforts to eliminate or short-circuit its functional link (correlation) with job proficiency. For example, there have been efforts to train the general cognitive skills that g naturally provides and that jobs require--such as general reading comprehension (which is important for using work manuals, interpreting instructions, and the like). Another approach has been to provide extra instruction or experience to very low-aptitude individuals so that they have more time to master job content. Both reflect what might be termed the training hypothesis, which is that, with sufficient instruction, low-aptitude individuals can be trained to perform as well as high-aptitude individuals. The armed services have devoted much research to such efforts, partly because they periodically have had to induct large numbers of very low-aptitude recruits. Even the most optimistic observers have concluded that such training fails to improve general skills and, at most, increases the number of low-aptitude men who perform at minimally acceptable levels, mostly in lower level jobs." She then goes on to explain how intelligence is highly stable and cannot be altered by intervention specifically designed to improve it. In addition, it seems the media and many academics continue to ignore the many decades of research undertaken by the armed forces. Unhindered by a lack of funds, they have made some of the most revealing discoveries with regards to training versus general intelligence.
When President Clinton held one of the first of his dialogues on race he asked a panel member about affirmative action and the military, pointing out how successful it was. To my knowledge, no one caught the irony of such an assumption. The military, unlike the private sector, discriminates based on race right up front. They do not allow low intelligence recruits to enter the military. The lowest intelligence levels allowed are Army 85, Marines and Air Force 88, and the Navy 91! And what does this mean for affirmative action. Well, taking the army for example, over half of all blacks do not qualify with an average IQ of 85. All one has to ask is why is it alright for the Army to discriminate based on intelligence, but a business can't? Why the double standard? And using the same statistical data, the Navy is allowed to eliminate 65% of all blacks from consideration (that is, 65% fall below the 91 IQ cut off). So why wouldn't affirmative action work in the military, it bears no resemblance to affirmative action as imposed by the Government on others! If you allow me to select only those with a higher IQ, as the military does, no other selection criteria is as relevant or as meaningful for a corporation or for higher education. Gottfredson then quotes other researchers, "Laurence and Ramsberger (1991, pp. I46-147) were more skeptical about the future of low-aptitude men in the military: 'The reluctance of the military to accept these men, let alone keep them, appears to be steadfast. Higher quality recruits are easier to train and retrain and show greater promise for moving up the ranks and leading others as noncommissioned officers. Defense downsizing as a result of the thawing of Cold War tensions further removes the likelihood of increasing, and may even reduce, reliance on low-aptitude youth. . . No one seems to want people of low-aptitude, at least for long.'" But at the same time, the message for American industry seems to be that education and training will make it possible for everyone to be equally productive. The lessons well learned by the military are virtually ignored by academics and policy makers. They want companies to do what the military frankly says is too costly to do, try to train the cognitively challenged to perform at an acceptable level. It can't be done in a cost effective manner. And the reason for this is quite simple, "Although researchers disagree on how they define intelligence, there is virtual unanimity that it reflects the ability to reason, solve problems, think abstractly, and acquire knowledge. Intelligence is not the amount of information people know, but their ability to recognize, acquire, organize, update, select, and apply it effectively. In educational contexts, these complex mental behaviors are referred to as higher order thinking skills."
So g matters because it permeates everything we do. The level of education we can attain, the jobs we can perform and the value we bring to an employer, and how well we deal with the myriad of life's social challenges from shopping wisely, to voting, to not getting into trouble as often as someone that is less intelligent (there is no truth that there is such a thing as street smarts, only some smart people that end up on the streets). Gottfredson states, "The effects of intelligence--like other psychological traits--are probabilistic, not deterministic. Higher intelligence improves the odds of success in school and work. It is an advantage, not a guarantee. Many other things matter. However, the odds disfavor low-IQ people just about everywhere they turn. The differences in odds are relatively small in some aspects of life (law-abidingness), moderate in some (income), and large in others (educational, occupational attainment). But they are consistent. At a minimum (say, under conditions of simple tasks and equal prior knowledge), higher level of intelligence act like the small percentages (2.7%) favoring the house in roulette at Monte Carlo--it yields enormous gains over the long run. Similarly, all of us make stupid mistakes from time to time, but higher intelligence helps protect us from accumulating a long, debilitating record of them."
Finally, Gottfredson argues that the future will make intelligence even more important. Society is becoming more complex as we enter the information age. Manual labor is being replaced with machines built by the highly skilled. And expensive machines, many of them using robotics and artificial intelligence will demand intelligent people operating them, if only for emergencies when things go wrong. This all adds up to less demand for less intelligent people, while the more intelligent can name their price. Is this why we are seeing a greater separation of incomes, as intelligence becomes more in demand? The new workplace will demand those with higher order thinking skills, and social policy must come to grips with this reality. Some have held out hopes that the average IQ is increasing (the Flynn effect) and yet not many researchers in this field are exploring ways to exploit this phenomena. If it has any merit, it is more akin to the increase in stature due to health improvements. But no one really expects the trend to continue. And there has been little evidence that it has increased the number of scientists and doctors. If the effect is real, it has done little to increase the number of intelligent people, or to reduce the welfare roles. Perhaps more realistically, Gottfredson warns, is a dysgenic trend that will lower the overall intelligence. For example, in the black community the more affluent families are having far fewer children than those less well off or on welfare. This does not bode well for a nation in need of more smart people, and especially for a group that is struggling to catch up.
A Place at the Policy Table? Behavior Genetics and Estimates of Family Environmental Effects on IQ by David C. Rowe. Since the beginning of social intervention, sociologists have attempted to change the way children turn out by trying to find what makes them what they are. Now, behavior genetics is finally providing answers where sociology only wasted money on one program after another, trying to change us. Rowe outlines how a new metatheory of learning is changing how we view childhood development, by using new statistical tools to tease out those factors that have a real impact on development. But before I get into his article I must make note of a wonderful book by Frank Sulloway entitled Born to Rebel: Birth Order, Family Dynamics, and Creative Lives (1996). In his book he details how differences between children occur within the family unit, based on a neo-Darwinist analysis of children finding their niche. For anyone fascinated or even skeptical of Rowe's perspective, Born to Rebel is a less statistical description of family dynamics and well worth the time.
What behavior genetics is finding out, again from statistical analysis of twin studies, adoption studies, longitudinal studies, etc. is that as children grow older they are less and less influenced by the shared environment of the family and will tend to make their own environments for two basic reasons--to find their own niche and to express themselves in a way that is compatible to their own innate nature. With intelligence, this means that as children grow older, parental influence diminishes as children follow their own paths and trajectories. Smart children will find their own cognitively challenging niches to express themselves and learn, and stupid children will rebel or take up less intellectual pursuits, perhaps turning to crime or sports, depending on the friends they run with. But one thing is sure, family influence takes a back seat to what the child sees as their own wants and desires, no matter how much parents try to make their children into what they want them to be. And this is especially true when it comes to intelligence. Rowe states, "for working- to middle-class families, the shared environmental effects on IQ in childhood seem to be temporary rather than lasting." He explains that the passive exposure theory of intelligence, that assumed that children were passive receptacles that received whatever knowledge the family and the schools poured into them, is no longer valid. It is invalid because "first, exposure is not the sole determinant of what individuals learn, and, second, individuals create different learning opportunities for themselves." And later, "The interpretation of cognitive growth as a genotype-driven selection of experience may explain a puzzle. As children grow up, the heritability of IQ increases from about 0.4 in early childhood to about 0.8 in old age. The genes that one inherits become a more and more accurate guide to one's level of developed phenotypic IQ, which depends on education, both in and out of school. This can happen if people select those environments that feed their intellects and avoid ones that are too difficult. The child who catches on to arithmetic quickly wants more; the one who finds it difficult wants less. Too little academic challenge is boring, too great, frustrating [genotypes drive experience]. Ironically it is the behavior geneticists who have most strongly embraced the active organism view of development [finding one's niche]."
This new research makes another interesting assumption invalid. We are told that Asian and Jewish children do well in school and are intelligent because of the family influence. Now we know that this may well be true when they are young, but that when they grow older it must be achieved on their own as the shared environment effect shrinks to zero. The family may help them learn when they are young, but their own innate intelligence will make them outstanding students or not (see my article on this web site on how the Jews became so intelligent). In effect then, shared environments should induce behavioral resemblance among siblings, while nonshared environments contribute to dissimilarity. As children grow up they differentiate themselves from the family unit and from their own siblings in an effort to become unique (niche-picking). The presumption that the family that prays together stays together may be true, but some of the siblings may rebel against religion altogether, especially as the family size grows (again see Sulloway). But the real social policy impact is that neither family nor schools will have much effect on one's intelligence when it is really important, when you enter the work place. Entering with more knowledge and more credentials may give one a leg up, but in the end work performance will be based more on raw intelligence (along with adequate knowledge and skills) and drive (or conscientiousness). The individual is ultimately responsible for where they end up, given their natural tendencies, some luck, and hard work. So improving the family environment does not seem to be the solution to children not learning in school. It is more likely that the students in a school that does poorly educating children may just have stupid children that they are trying to educate. The military has accepted that fact for over 50 years now, but the rest of society refuses to look at the facts, continually coming up with new theories and costly interventions to make children learn more, and hoping that it will prepare them for citizenship and success.
And how about the nonshared environment? Rowe explains, "Now, some systematic nonshared environmental influences have been proposed, for example, birth order or birth spacing. Such variables make little contribution to IQ variation, however. Although new statistical methods can be used to identify nonshared effects, for the most part, we do not understand them, and some specific ones may not be practically modifiable. In particular, I do not believe that rearing influences that have been rejected as strong shared effects will emerge as strong nonshared ones." But the bottom line is that society will not close IQ gaps by improving the shared environments of some families over others, for example providing an Internet connection for poor families will not change their children's IQ. More likely, genes will continue to be the dominant factor as this story unfolds, with some variation between family members due to environment that is within the family unit and not easily addressed by intervention programs. Rowe goes on to explain, as many other researchers have, how intervention programs have all failed to raise the IQ of children that lasted into their teens. Only one study of an intervention program has shown an improvement in intelligence. The problem was the program directors kept testing the children over and over again using the same test. That is, they were teaching to the test, making the study results invalid. All other studies have shown that preschool interventions and adoptive family research studies both produce temporary effects on intellectual growth that are not sustained as children grow up. And one thing is certain, knowledge acquired in school will not be adequate to deal with all the workplace requirements in a fast changing technological world without innate intelligence to deal with change and diverse situations. Schooling can only do so much. Intelligence allows the smart worker to keep learning and adapting to benefit herself and her workplace value.
You may have noticed at the beginning of this article that Rowe did not include poor families in his conclusions about inheritance and intelligence. This is due primarily to the fact that adopted children are not normally placed in poor families and there is a dearth of poor families in longitudinal studies. This is a fact of research, some segments of society are harder to get information on than others for various reasons. Today, the common liberal belief is that if only the urban poor could be given adequate resources, they and especially their children would somehow break the cycle of poverty. But Rowe pointed out one interesting study showing rural cognitive abilities were more depressed than those in urban communities, when other variables are held constant. This seems to indicate that urban environments are not as detrimental as rural environments. And yet we seem to be focused almost exclusively on the poor performance of inner city schools. Again, it seems to suggest that it is the quality of the students rather than the quality of the environment that is the primary cause of failure.
Rowe also tackles the issue of race and ethnic differences in intelligence. He repeats the oft recognized standard deviation between whites and blacks that has endured for over 100 years, but new tools are coming forth to provide better answers of why this is so. The numbers most often heard are 117 for Jews (in America), 106 for Asians, 103 for whites, 89 for Hispanics, and 85 for blacks. There is little debate that these numbers are real and the Armed Forces Qualification Test data bears this out. But until recently, most scholars would only admit privately that they recognized that about half of the intelligence disparity between groups is due to genetics. We do not live in as free a country as many of us assume when academics must lie publicly about what they know to be a fact: whites and blacks differ significantly in intelligence and a good portion of that difference is most likely due to genetics. Rowe then goes on to explain how the "two realms" hypothesis has dominated the social sciences, possibly wasting billions of dollars on programs that are failure due to a bankrupt theory. The theory assumes simply that developmental processes are different for group means than they are for individual differences. That theory can no longer be sustained.
Rowe explains that, "Developmental influences should apply only to individuals, one at a time, not to groups. Groups do not 'receive' any developmental influence as a unit--group names are abstractions, not recipients of developmental processes. Hence, a group mean on a trait would be merely an average of the different developmental influences experienced by individuals within the category; there would not be 'group-specific' developmental processes. Consider any variable assumed to create minority versus majority group differences in IQ: Would it affect individuals differently within these groups? Think for example, of racism directed toward individuals who are more African American in physical appearance. The range of darkness of skin color and 'Africanness' of facial features is enormous within the Black population in the United States, all the more so because of the considerable mixture of genes of African and European origins in African Americans. If racists pick on individuals who appear more 'African,' then this bias would create variation in exposure to discrimination among lighter and darker skinned African Americans. Also, some Black individuals may have little contact with Whites and thus less opportunity to encounter racism directly; some may be more sensitive to criticism than others; some may have, by chance, been victimized more hurtfully. Hence, the degree of 'exposure to racism' should create individual variation in any trait it affects, in addition to affecting group means. Although African Americans were used in this example, the logic would apply to any physical feature that distinguished a minority group. In a sophisticated cultural explanation of racial and ethnic differences, Ogbu (1987) recognized that the existence of variation implies that not all minority members experience the same degree of stigmatization or discrimination. Ogbu wrote: 'Of course, not everyone feels this way. Some Black Americans do not identify with the oppositional identity and cultural frame of reference; some do so only marginally' (p.165). Or, in another article, Ogbu (1994) attributed the academic success of some African Americans to their ability to disguise their academic work and perseverance by various strategies that deflect attention away from their achievements (e.g., by accepting the role of class clown). In summary, minority-unique developmental processes that have been postulated (e.g., racism, minority-unique values, see Helms, 1992) should differ in psychological strength from one individual to another, either because one individual is more exposed than another, or because one individual resists the psychological influence more than another. As such, they should contribute both to individual variation and to group means."
Rowe and others then proceeded to run the numbers on minority-unique determinants of traits from numerous studies, using covariance matrices. Their conclusions from the analysis showed that only "one set of developmental processes" occurred within these populations. That is, there is no factor X that influences blacks or any other groups differently than others. We are all pretty much the same. No one group has a monopoly on some unique adverse conditions that effect the whole group in some mysterious way to make them less intelligent than others. It all keeps coming back to innate intelligence as the most parsimonious explanation for black failure in cognitive abilities. But what is really exciting about all this research is that it is made possible by recent advances in statistical analysis called structural equation modeling. What is happening in social science research, and especially in behavior genetics, is that every time new mathematical tools are developed they are applied to existing studies to obtain more data never before revealed.
Finally, Rowe concludes that "Behavior genetics says something about 'what is,' about the processes that create variation in psychological traits in our natural environments. Genetic processes are a powerful source of variation in IQ and in most other psychological traits. Excepting perhaps children who live under extremely adverse circumstances, the family environment makes a negligible contribution to IQ variation in adulthood; similarly, it also makes little contribution to variation in most adult nonintellectual traits. The genetic variation in social class levels themselves reflects the role that heritable traits like IQ play in social mobility between generations. Similarly, because family environments exhibit parents' behavior, variation in them is also heritable to a large degree. The covariation of parental and child traits, traditionally interpreted by social scientists solely as an 'environmental effect,' is mainly mediated by genes held in common by parents and their offspring. Clearly then, genes are a source of social inequality to the extent that genetically based traits may contribute to social success and failure.
Now, some new technology might produce greater environmental changes in IQ. Nonetheless, most evidence would suggest that recreating the environments of professional-class families and schools for children who have inherited genes unfavorable toward high IQ, will make little lasting difference in their IQs. Because most early intervention programs are not radically new, but are in the mold of advantaged families and good schools, they probably promise, at best, only modest gains, at least for less environmentally malleable traits like IQ. As social scientists, we should be wary of promising more than we are likely to deliver. Physicists do not greet each new perpetual motion machine, created by a basement inventor, with shouts of joy and claims of an endless source of electrical or mechanical power; no, they know the laws of physics would prevent it. Likewise, the negligible family environmental contribution to IQ in adulthood prevents any dramatic reduction in IQ variability, at least with the interventions known today. Indeed, the more we improve environments for children's intellectual growth, the greater the genetic component in the remaining variation. In Sweden, a country without the urban ills seen in the United States, tremendous IQ variability remains attributable to genetic variation. In an ironic sense, a high adult heritability of IQ could be seen as evidence of a social good, that is, of the successful elimination of much environmental inequality.
Social scientists, I think, should be more circumspect, like physicists, and view claims of new ways of raising IQ with a healthy skepticism. They should be aware of the weight of evidence in the fields of psychometrics and behavior genetics, although not as immutable as laws of thermodynamics that sets a background against which new ideas for changing IQ should be evaluated. They should also adopt the 'active organism' metatheory, which now undergirds much of the science of human development."
Incorporating General Intelligence into Epidemiology and the Social Sciences by David Lubinski and Lloyd G. Humphreys. Every day it seems we hear about how blacks suffer medically from discrimination and racism. It is just assumed, without evidence, that any differences in life's outcomes must be because of what happened TO them rather than WHO they are. Everyone is different, and evolutionary principles dictate that population groups under differing selection pressures BE different in the end. But aside from genetic reactions to life, including "one gene one disease" conditions like sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis, intelligence alone can make the difference in the way someone orders their life and the outcomes that follow. Lubinski and Humphreys' article explores the correlation between intelligence and the cause of disease beyond single gene occurrences. They state in their abstract that "The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the value of examining a variety of pressing behavioral, medical, and social phenomena as they relate to gradations in general intelligence. Although few (if any) variables in the social sciences can compete with the construct of general intelligence in its ability to forecast an array of socially valued attributes and outcomes, measures of general intelligence are seldom incorporated into correlational and experimental designs aimed at understanding maladaptive behavior (e.g., crime, dropping out of high school, unwise financial planning, health-risk behaviors, poor parenting, and vocational discord) or its opposite, highly adaptive behavior. We contend that, if consulted more often, the construct of general intelligence would contribute to understanding many puzzling human phenomena, because successive gradations of intelligence reflect successive degrees of risk. A method is provided for uncovering group trends, one expressly designed to reveal the range and prevalence of the many different kinds of human phenomena that vary as a function of intellectual gradations. By employing this method, policymakers and the public can more readily apprehend the significant, but often unsuspected, contribution made by general intelligence to many socially important outcomes. Our approach is similar to traditional epidemiological research aimed at ascertaining antecedents to maladies through the defining features of high-risk groups (e.g., for lung cancer, smokers and passive smokers; for AIDS victims, participants in unsafe sex; for academic mediocrity, among the intellectually gifted in nonaccelerative educational tracks; for mental retardation, high blood-lead levels). Once such high-risk groups are defined (i.e., groups of persons whose behavioral dispositions predispose them, and often others around them, to unfortunate outcomes), policymakers and scientists are in a better position to disentangle genuine causes from families of correlations and can concentrate ameliorative resources more effectively. Data from educational and medical contexts are analyzed to show how measures of general intelligence, and other dimensions from differential psychology, can complement epidemiological and social science inquiry. We also argue that by incorporating such measures of human variation into policy development and research, policymakers are more likely to forestall 'iatrogenic effects' (maladies caused by treatment)." In short, intelligence is the fundamental human trait that will keep you well and productive, without it you will not have access to the good life as now defined by modern culture, even though living in poverty in the United States is a far better life than living in the middle class in many third world countries.
One disastrous aspect of affirmative action that does not get much attention is what happens when the medical profession is allowed to dumb down in order the get more black doctors into medical school. What happens when a profession as important as medicine is no longer held to the highest standards, and mediocre doctors are allowed to graduate and eventually kill patients because they are not intelligent enough to enter into a profession that requires high intelligence? It has been estimated that there are over 100,000 fatal injuries to medical patients each year. How many of those people die every year because of affirmative action's detrimental impact on medical schools, in the drive for diversity instead of good medicine? Lubinski and Humphreys' article addresses this tragedy (in the quest for egalitarianism and socialism) and others. Blacks cannot be qualified to become doctors, if they do not have the intelligence to practice medicine! Yes, some will be bright enough, but not enough of them with an average group IQ of 85. And former Surgeon General Elders should be a shining example of how almost anyone of color can become a doctor and then embarrass themselves with their own ignorance on how to present a more open doctrine to the American public. Ironically I agreed with her doctrine, but her presentation lacked intelligence.
So if intelligence is so important, why has it not been studied to the same extent as SES or other causes of black dysfunction and disease. Again to quote Lubinski and Humphreys "There is a rule in the philosophy of science called the 'total evidence rule'. It is not an abstruse or controversial theory of epistemology but rather a guideline for inductive logic that is quite uncontested. It holds that when evaluating the verisimilitude of a theory or the plausibility of a hypothesis it is incumbent upon the evaluator to take into account all the relevant evidence when conducting appraisals. This sounds commonsensical, but the rule is frequently not observed. We believe that a sufficient evidential base has accrued to conclude that causal modeling, scale construction, experimental design, and building theories in the social sciences without regard to the considerable evidence on the wide relevance of general intelligence often constitutes a serious violation of the rule of total evidence. By violating the rule, one also commits a fallacy in logic--the fallacy of the neglected aspect--a fallacy in reasoning stemming from omitting relevant evidence. Castell explained the fallacy thus: 'In every case of Neglected Aspect, the general character of the argument is the same: true propositions, expressing relevant facts, are heaped up; but true propositions expressing equally relevant facts are omitted.' Such errors in reasoning surface in a variety of settings. Kuttner and Lorincz's (1968) reanalysis of the Coleman Report and our analysis of low-birth-weight babies exposed examples of both. Ignoring the possibility that general intelligence holds causal status for a variety of critically important behaviors is no longer scientifically respectable. We must answer questions regarding its scientific status empirically. We can no longer afford to say, 'You can study that, I'll study this.' It is too likely that whatever we are both studying is a covariate of general intelligence. In the following section, some designs underscore why it is important to examine general intelligence concurrently with wherever else we choose to study."
The social sciences has chosen to turn a blind eye to the cause of a myriad of social problems, and this stubbornness to include what is obvious to the casual observer is couched in political censorship because of concerns for the feelings of one group over another. White America has for many years observed a small minority of Ashkenazi Jews who have a far higher intelligence and reap the rewards of that intelligence without it causing any stress in the rest of society. Why can we not accept that likewise blacks are far less intelligent than other groups and deal with the facts rather than trying to hide them from policy considerations? These scholars are finally stating, openly and with incontrovertible evidence, that the facts can no longer be ignored without suffering a backlash from the rest of society. There are in fact only two excuses left, either they are less intelligent, causing dysfunction, or they suffer from racism at the hands of the rest of society. There is a preponderance of evidence for the former and none for the latter. It is time to apply the empirical rules of science to looking for and correcting the social harm that has come from forty years of scientific myopia and face the facts. It is no longer defensible to do anything less.
Everyday Life as an Intelligence Test: Effects of Intelligence and Intelligence Context by Robert A. Gordon. For many years intelligence has been subjected to testing, primarily in academics and for the workplace, to see how well people are suited for different tasks. Along with this testing has been an assumption that outside of these areas, different intelligences do not matter all that much. But this view is now being challenged through analyses of individuals and groups. Gordon states that the nontest items of intelligence, or how one conducts life is real and measurable. He looks at three levels of testing: the individual, the near context of individuals, and entire groups. He uses a population-IQ-outcome model to measure how much intelligence impacts life itself. And correlations and differences can be better analyzed and relationships found when they are aggregated on the group level, such as differences in Black-White IQ's and the impact it has on how they conduct their lives. What he is primarily interested in is whether outcomes of juvenile delinquency, adult crime, single parenthood, HIV infection, poverty, etc. are due to the lower intelligence of different groups.
This model is a direct challenge to the failed standard social science model that circularly argues that first poverty causes crime, then crime causes lack of jobs, then lack of jobs cause poverty, one problem causing the next ad infinitum. But one thing is apparent, it is not lack of money that causes poverty and its ancillary problems so much as a lack of intelligence and a support community to deal with an ever increasing complex world. That is, in a black community where the norm is low intelligence, life is much more difficult than for an individual who happens to be of low intelligence amongst friends and relatives of higher intelligence to watch over the less bright members. This is missing in the inner city slums where few have the intelligence to comprehend the world around them. Intelligence, is in fact the ability to deal with complexity, in all aspects of life. When one does not even know where the welfare check comes from, nothing else in life is going to be easy either.
It is still readily accepted in many academic circles, and much more so by the media, that low socioeconomic status (SES) is the cause of all of the above problems in life. But after years of work, the correlations only make sense if intelligence is ignored as an alternate cause. It is now believed that in fact intelligence is a cause of SES, not SES a cause of IQ, poverty, etc. If intelligence is highly inherited, how can SES account for more than a small change in general intelligence. As long as intelligence was assumed to be highly malleable, this false paradigm could continue blindly ignoring psychometrics and the large and consistent disparity between White and Black intelligence as a cause for differences in poverty. But that assumption can no longer be made. For example in crime the within-group differences are much less than the between-group correlations. Black-White ratios of crime are three to five times greater for Blacks. And what is truly ironic is how the multiculturalists are always trying to advance the concept of diversity, while trying to eliminate or homogenize societies differences in intelligence. Just what does diversity mean to them? Just skin color, cultural artifacts, or what? It seems to again be of hollow meaning when it eventually is decoupled from its real intent, to bash and denigrate white Europeans because some how we have become the new enemy.
There is a stratum of society that reads less, sees less, hears about less, travels far less, shows less interest, and is almost impossible to reach with positive information. Given this, how can it even be expected that the underclass is capable of even casting a meaningful vote, that is a vote based on analysis and recognition of the political process. They are out of touch and do not have the intelligence to understand the issues nor who is taking advantage of them or helping them. This stratum is caused not by poverty so much as the fact that for a myriad of reasons, and human nature being one of them, people of similar intelligence migrate together. Gordon writes, "The incongruous fact is that gifted individuals happily relinquish any advantages they might command in average settings to place themselves among peers who are equally advantaged intellectually. Is this elitism or egalitarianism?" And so society naturally stratifies by intelligence, and that is reflected in a class stratification. Marxist dogma believes it is based on class struggle, but the struggle is with the level of cognitive ability it takes to rise to the top or fall to the bottom, and is a direct result of our advanced technological society. It wasn't planned that way, it just happened. Intelligent people have far more value than less intelligent people, and people of low intelligence have a negative value. Low intelligent people as a group bring no value to the collective good, and that is a horrific reality that lies outside of politics and is grounded in the realization that the underclass are merely recipients of wealth, with little to contribute in return. Gordon speaks of the principal of reciprocity, and how everyone is expected to contribute, "There are, however, limits on normal help. Karl Marx's famous slogan, 'From each according to his ability, to each according to his need!', was one of the most sweeping formulations ever of help as a policy, but it remained an ideal that never was implemented. Helping is supported by social norms ('It is better to give than to receive'), but help as a permanent solution to stubborn differences in intelligence of any size eventually runs up against 'the norm of reciprocity,' which is described as one of the principal components universally present in moral codes. Reciprocity 'serves a group stabilizing function' and furnishes 'one among many starting mechanisms' for social systems; its absence, therefore, can have important consequences. The norm of reciprocity obliges one to give roughly comparable benefits to those from whom benefits were received, and its clear violation risks being seen as exploitation. According to evolutionary theorists, reciprocity is demanded especially between genetically unrelated individuals. Although Gouldner allowed for relaxation of the norm in relations with children, the elderly, and "those who are mentally or physically handicapped," he failed to consider that differences in intelligence throughout the remaining range can often be large enough to pose formidable barriers to fair reciprocation between randomly paired individuals. Society solves this problem in part through the market system of economic exchange and its unequal remunerations, and in part by abhorring random pairing and thus creating relatively homogeneous substructures encapsulated within a diffuse sense of community and nation. Hierarchically arranged substructures, in particular, limit exposure to demands for help that can never be reciprocated, but simultaneously they also limit the quality of cognitive help readily available within structures low in the hierarchy." And this inequality of the upperclass supporting the lower class shows up over and over again. For example, males with an IQ below 85 are almost three times more likely be killed in a car accident than males with an IQ above 100. And of course again we have to pay the price. Should people of low intelligence be restricted from driving?
The separation or stratification between high intelligent and low intelligent people will continue to accelerate. Up until about fifty years ago, many highly intelligent people merely blended into the working class and never advanced, presumably many of them unaware that they were exceptional. Now, every student is encouraged to go as far as they can, and many more are entering college where they will find mates closer to their own intelligence. This assortative mating is correlated somewhere between .36 to .43. Interestingly, many couples still consider looks in their mates to be as important as intelligence thus introducing the "bimbo" factor in reducing assortative mating's impact on IQ alone. (Interestingly in the Jewish eugenic's program that increased their IQ's to an average of 117, looks were heavily downplayed in favor of intelligence--see MacDonald.)
The bad outcomes of Blacks has been blamed on poverty and/or racial discrimination, but a more likely cause as Gordon has shown is a low general intelligence, "Is poverty to be understood as a continuous variable that is measurable, or as a virtually unanalyzable qualitative state so global that no set of measured variables seems to capture it adequately? According to the first view, 'poverty is most simply and clearly understood as a lack of money', a conception of the variable known as 'income poverty'. Improvements in specified variables such as income, however, often leave the dysfunctional behaviors they supposedly help explain, the so-called culture of the poor, little changed. Disappointments with variables that seem potent otherwise, such as income, years of schooling, and job training, have given rise to a more pessimistic, qualitative view of poverty. The qualitative conception of poverty, 'the seemingly intractable urban slum', is documented in statements such as the following: 'action at any one point on the poverty cycle would be useless without action at every point, to break the hold of an entire way of life'; poverty program participants could not be aided successfully 'until the whole culture [to which they returned] was transformed'; 'no spectacular breakthrough can be made until the whole structure of the culture of poverty is destroyed'. Such an indivisible qualitative state seems to demand an equally qualitative explanation, yet none has been suggested other than poverty itself. This recourse to poverty as its own explanation constitutes the cycle-of-poverty theory; born of desperation, the theory is perhaps no more than a thinly disguised tautology, and it fails to account well for why some individuals and groups have emerged from a history of impoverishment and others have not. The effects of general intelligence and the contexts it gives rise to may have the requisite pervasiveness to account for the widespread impressions of discontinuity and qualitativeness concerning poverty, while at the same time restoring continuousness and measurability to the explanatory variable." And later he writes, "In the social sciences, noneducational behavioral outcomes, such as criminal status, single motherhood, HIV infection status, and opinion status are often subjects of systematic inquiry. Theories based on motives, values, social learning, culture, social structure, economics (poverty), and power, with rare exceptions, have effectively dominated attempts to explain such outcomes. Investigations taking account of intelligence are relatively infrequent, and they have succeeded best in gaining a foothold where intelligence test data for individuals were available to be joined with individual outcomes in within-group models, as happened in the cases of delinquency and job performance. Attempts to add g to explanations of group differences have aroused more resistance. Herrnstein and Murray's (1994) The Bell Curve exploited an unusual data set that happened to include scores on a good test of g with records on a variety of individual outcomes, but reactions to their work have often been dismissive, as though their findings were merely empirical or incidental rather than possibly causal associations, and overstated at that if not the products of misanalysis. Ironically, Herrnstein and Murray's basic model is a within-group one, and thus typical of much sociology except for the respectful treatment given g. Hence, their measures of effect size often fail to convey the greater importance that g can assume at the population level. . . . The difference between the population-IQ-outcome model and the usual sociological approach to explaining race differences can be likened to two different approaches to explaining the cracks that radiate from a single point of impact to a mirror. The traditional sociological approach notices the cracks and attempts to use some of them to explain the others. Explanation often begins at any point, and can conceivably go round full circle in either direction if followed through the hands of different theorists: 'one kind of pathology breeds another'. Pessimistic attitudes of teachers, it is alleged, cause low achievement, rather than vice versa. Poverty causes low IQ, rather than vice versa. Poverty causes crime, and crime causes poverty. Closeness of cracks, and their convergence toward the point of impact may lend special cogency to some attempted explanations. In tacit acknowledgment of confused efforts, sociological explanations have sometimes employed phrases such as 'the tangle of pathology' and 'chronic, self-perpetuating pathology' to convey the lack of any clear causal progression, for 'the roots of the multiple pathology are not easy to isolate'. Inevitably, metaphors such as 'poverty cycle' and 'vicious circle' are invoked. Not surprisingly, social scientists find themselves trying to counter the impressions that 'nothing works' and that an 'entire culture seemed impervious to modification'. The population-IQ-outcome model finds that population IQ differences can represent the single impact and thus explain many of the cracks heading away from it. Some historical explanations have represented efforts to sidestep the circle dance by identifying a single impact event, such as the period of slavery, that would account for the many cracks. An important difference between the legacy of IQ and the legacy of slavery, however, is that the former can be quantified and used to explain quantified outcomes, the latter cannot. . . Only poverty has reflected a limited success in reducing IQ commensurability, and that mainly because money and jobs can, to a certain extent, be redistributed. In fact Black-White differences in diverse outcomes could often be accounted for entirely (delinquency, crime, HIV infection, poverty, opinions) or almost entirely (single motherhood, values) in terms of differences in g distributions. Not only were these race differences predictable, therefore, they were often totally predicted by g distributions. When policymakers attribute such differences in prevalences to properties of the larger society [putative white racism] without regard to differences in the properties of the populations themselves [black low intelligence], there occurs a shift in emphasis from errors made by members of the population to errors made by the society or system that in itself constitutes a redefinition of deviance. Sociological labeling theories, which are more concerned with who defines certain outcomes as deviant than with what causes the behavior so defined, are a prime example of the shift in emphasis."
In conclusion, there is a wealth of data showing that the disparity in life's outcomes between Whites and Blacks and any other group is primarily intelligence. It is what makes one group prosper while another group fails. Too often this dichotomy is made between Whites and Blacks when the same difference in life's outcomes can be shown to exist between Gentile Whites and Jewish Whites. With an average IQ difference of 103 to 117 it reflects the similar difference in Black-White differences in average IQ of 85 to 103. And again, just as the difference in wealth between Whites and Blacks can be accounted for by the difference in intelligence, the tremendous success of especially the Ashkenazi Jews of amassing great wealth even while living within anti-Semitic societies shows that intelligence transcends opportunity, prejudice, slavery, or any other social construct. If evolutionary theory has taught us anything, it has shown us that everyone tries to improve their reproductive success by any means necessary. Such concepts as institutional racism, the cycle of poverty, the legacy of slavery, etc. are all just excuses for what is obviously a difference in intelligence and a difference in what we would expect in plucking the fruit of life's treasures. Nature is neither kind nor mischievous, just "a blind watchmaker," tinkering with many different mechanisms.