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Just an addendum: If intelligence is only a social construct, then what do we call the cognitive functions and abilities that we clearly have, and which have evolved differently in humans than in other primates? Human cognition may be more complex than some would want us to think, but that doesn't mean we don't have it, as demonstrated by my ability to write this and yours to read and understand it.

M

On 2/21/07, Michael Balter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Joseph, I will have to ask you for the evidence that there are no differences in "intelligence"--whatever that means, verbal reasoning, spatial reasoning, other mental "faculties"--between individuals, even if there is little evidence for  such differences between populations (a crucial distinction.) If IQ tests are meaningless, then there is little evidence either for or against individual differences in mental functioning that I am aware of, except for the obvious cases of retardation and other pathologies. But you may know differently, and if you do, I assume you will be able to provide us with the evidence for your statement. And I mean scientific evidence, not your ideological or political views of the matter.

Michael

On 2/21/07, joseph schwartz < [log in to unmask]> wrote:
Mitchell I think you'll find that if you look closely enough and the
genetics and intelligence issue you'll find that, not only is there no such
thing as race,  there is no such thing as genetic differences in
intelligence full stop. Intelligence itself is an ideological construct
rather like money. Like money some people have more of it than others and
like money it can be inherited. It appears as an ideology in the latter part
of the 19th century when all the property was bought up so to speak and the
professional middle class, Hobsbawm's  nouvelle couche sociale,  needed a
justification for privilege. So you had Francis Amasa Walker president of
MIT teaching his students about the rent of (their) ability, their property
was their ability and in Britain you had George Bernard Shaw writing about
socialism as the "paradise for the able".



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Michael Balter
Contributing Correspondent, Science
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www.michaelbalter.com

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Michael Balter
Contributing Correspondent, Science
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