Re: HR25Show82099 - BS

Technotranscendence (
Sun, 22 Aug 1999 11:15:00 -0700

On Sunday, August 22, 1999 12:16 AM phil osborn <> wrote:
> >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
> >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
> >general conclusion regarding the heritability of intelligence, so much
> >greater is the body of more recent and better evidence." This was
> >in 1981.
> >
> >Now, this is not to say that non-hereditary factors have no impact, but
> >should _not_ adopt the syllogism:
> >
> > Cyril Burt's data is wrong.

My bad! That should be "are" not "is"!:/

> > Cyril Burt's data supports the view that intelligence is inherited.
> > Ergo, the view that intelligence is inherited is wrong.
> Nice how neatly - and quickly! - that whole chapter was covered over by
> academia.

Quickly? Burt died in 1971. Jensen's book which I cited came out in 1981. I'm not completely familiar with the history of the subject, but Burt was declining about a decade or two before his death as an influence in his field. (This is natural. Younger thinkers were gaining ascendancy.)

I'm not sure this is what Jensen and others have done. There are lots of other data that seem to point to the heritability of intelligence. I believe Jensen thinks about 50 to 70% of anyone's intelligence is caused by genetic factors.

Also, academia is rife with many people who hold the opposite view and many and influential they are, including Leon Kamin. And many others, such as Stephen J. Gould dabble in this too. So, it's not as if there's a monolith. In fact, if there is one these days, it seems to be against the "hereditarians" in this area.

>That syllogism wasn't my argument, BTW.

Oh, sorry if I misattributed that to Phil Osborn. I only read his post on this thread.

Anyway, I do think that newer technology will allow us to experiment here -- create models of the hardware and the environment of the brain. This will allow us to not only build better brains (whether AI or IA) as well as design better learning programs for existing ones.

I was and am not on the chat -- nor do I wish to be. Real time communication with others might make me fail the Turing Test.:):):)

Daniel Ust

Don't care much about Mensa or its members or their critics