Re: Intelligence increase

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Mon Oct 16 2000 - 12:23:54 MDT

Peter McCluskey wrote:
> You seem to have a plausible model of how societies improve their
>collective IQ and of how individuals are able to utilize social knowledge.
> But IQ tests appear to do a fairly good job of filtering out these effects
>and measuring mainly what individuals can do in isolation. It is hard to
>believe that this is affected by the compute cycles of the rest of humanity.
> I was mainly reacting to your claim that you had a good explanation for
>the Flynn effect. Your model may well describe some effects that will be
>important in predicting the social effects of AI.

I was just accepting the usual claim that there hasn't been time for selection
to produce the Flynn effect, which implies that IQ tests must not filter out
important social effects. I grant that the standard claim could be wrong,
but I do tend to accept it for now.

>Most people have underestimated the effects of sexual selection, and
>this has caused them to underestimate the maximum speed of evolution.
>Do you know of any analysis which says sexual selection can't cause
>IQ changes this quickly?

I have heard such analyses described verbally, and I'm pretty sure they
are in writing somewhere, but I don't know where off hand.

Robin Hanson
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030-4444
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

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