Print

Print


Except that all research in capitalist society takes place in an 
environment saturated with ruling class ideology. Unless one takes 
conscious steps to make oneself aware of that ideology, it is likely 
to have a greater or lesser distorting effect even in research in 
"pure" science (problems thought worthy of investigation, theoretical 
models taken seriously, causal factors controlled for in experiments, 
etc., etc.). --PG

At 4:12 PM +0000 2/21/07, Michael Balter wrote:
>Let's consider a more neutral example than intelligence per se. The 
>ability to produce or play music involves a whole host of cognitive 
>processes, and some people are much better at it than others. This 
>is an area I cover routinely for Science. There is little evidence 
>to shed light on whether these differences have a genetic basis or 
>environmental basis or both, but the evidence there is tends to 
>suggest that genetics plays an important role in these differences. 
>The ruling class has little to do with this research.
>
>M
>
>On 2/21/07, joseph schwartz 
><<mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]> 
>wrote:
>
>The point is that there is no evidence that has stood up to any degree
>whatsoever that there are genetic differences more exactly in IQ performance
>but also no evidence whatsoever that there are genetic differences in
>intelligence full stop.
>
>What is going on here is a category error. Perceptions of differences in
>each other's intelligence have been assumed to be genetic that is to say
>intelligence is in the same category as money - some people have more of it
>than others and it is inherited. Actually intelligence as we perceive it is
>in the category of language. Differences  in language are learned not
>genetic. We all have the capacities to learn each other's languages. An
>English infant raised in Shanghai by Chinese adoptive parents will learn to
>speak perfect Mandarin and vice versa for a Chinese infant raised in London.
>
>You can try this experiment for yourselves. When you see someone acting
>intelligently or someone who is more intelligent than you , or less
>intelligent than you ask your selves what you are responding to. You
>certainly are not examining  DNA. Similarly for accents: does  the working
>class accent of a Sommerville teenager tell you anything about his
>intelligence. Ditto for the articulate Harvard undergraduate.  But please
>don't bring in all the tests unless you yourselves have examined them and
>their flaws. The test just tend to conform social prejudice through the
>process of so-called test standardisation where the people who are suppose
>to be intelligent score high through the removal of questions on which they
>do poorly. Ditto for questions that show differences between the experiences
>of men and women - the tests are "standardised so that on average both sexes
>score the same by removing or adding questions until the result come out
>right.
>
>But I stress: think about it.  What are you responding to when you think
>someone is intelligent? What exactly are you responding to?  Try it out with
>a friend. Who are you smarter than? Who is smarter than you? What is really
>going on there? Your assessment clearly is not based on genome sequences.
>That part is just an assumption. Which of course that is what all the
>genetic studies assume. They assume the result they are meant to be proving.
>Mathematicians have long been aware of the hazard of assuming the result you
>are trying to prove. But the Race and IQ ideologues have never got the
>point. It is all just so obvious to them. Proof is irrelevant.
>
>
>
>
>--
><http://www.michaelbalter.com>www.michaelbalter.com
>
>******************************************
>Michael Balter
>Contributing Correspondent, Science
><mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]
>******************************************