Re: HR25Show82099 - BS

Technotranscendence (
Sat, 21 Aug 1999 11:29:46 -0700

On Saturday, August 21, 1999 12:07 AM phil osborn <> wrote:
> In fact, this is part and parcel of the whole Mensa nonsense propagated by
> Mensa founder Cyril Burt in his massively fraudulent Twin Study, very
> the most costly scientific fraud in all history. Burt got his job and his
> title "Father of British Eductation" as a consequence of this famous
> which appeared to definitively prove that intelligence was largely
> determined by heredity. You used to see this quoted in every intro psych
> 101 text.

Burt's data has been deleted from most of the literature because of his systematic errors which look more to be the result of his arrogance than of premeditated fraud. Arthur Jensen goes over this in _Straight Talk About Mental Tests_ (pp124-127) and offers the following conclusion, "the deletion of Burt's empirical legacy would scarcely make an iota of difference to any general conclusion regarding the heritability of intelligence, so much greater is the body of more recent and better evidence." This was written in 1981.

Now, this is not to say that non-hereditary factors have no impact, but we should _not_ adopt the syllogism:

Cyril Burt's data is wrong.
Cyril Burt's data supports the view that intelligence is inherited. Ergo, the view that intelligence is inherited is wrong.


Daniel Ust

Proud not to be a member of Mensa!