Bell Curve (was Re: comparisons with other lists)

Date: Wed Aug 08 2001 - 14:19:06 MDT

Emlyn O'regan wrote:
> > If you have access to Murray and Herrnstein's The
> > Bell Curve, do read their introduction...
> Also, I think that Stephen J Gould hammers it pretty hard in "The Mismeasure
> of Man". Emlyn

Hmmm. It looks like Mismeasure of Man" came out in 1981. The Bell Curve
was 1995. Was there a later edition by Gould that added to the anti-Bell
curve flamage?

When my reading group decided to read The Bell Curve, I said that I didn't
want to read the book, because I feared that Murray would convince me that
IQ was (at least partially) innate and (somewhat) related to race. I was

I've read some of the material attacking Murray and the book, and I didn't
find any that attacked his methods or his data. Mostly sound and fury
against his results and against discriminating based on these statistics.
If you read Murray, you'll find that he argues for public policies that are
aware of the differences between groups, but don't use them as the basis
for making distinctions between individuals.

The main point of the book, of course, is completely unrelated to race.
Murray and Herrenstein argued that modern industry is much more sensitive
to the difference that smart, competent employees make, and so the wage
differential based on intelligence has increased. This has the effect of
encouraging a much higher percentage of smart people to go where they are
most valued. This means that other groups have fewer wise old hands
around. This is a problem for all of us.


Chris Hibbert       Computers are telescopes we use to see the infosphere.  Some care about telescopes, most want to see the stars.
                            Paraphrased from Gelernter

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