Sunday, June 24, 2007
Cosma Shalizi on IQ, Heritabilty and Genetics
Cosma,over at his blog,Three-toed Sloth:
Attention Conservation Notice: 1500-odd words on the plasticity and importance, or lack thereof, of certain human faculties, a topic of endless controversy; a controversy which, like the air from a blow-drier, is both arid and heated, and which this certainly won't settle. Written in dialog form, which is always pretentious, especially when not used to good effect, which it isn't here.
Q: Very good. (It didn't fit the rhythm, and anyway they get the picture.) How would you react to the idea that a psychological trait, one intimately linked to the higher mental functions, is highly heritable?
A: With suspicion and unease, naturally.
Q: It's strongly correlated with educational achievement, class and race.
A: Worse and worse.
Q: Basically nothing that happens after early adolescence makes an impact on it; before that it's also correlated with diet.
A: Do you work at the Heritage Foundation? Such things cannot be.
Q: What if I told you the trait was accent?
Posted by Robin Varghese at 09:03 AM | Permalink