Law School Discussion

Specific Groups => Black Law Students => Topic started by: greenplaid on December 08, 2007, 12:21:37 AM

Title: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on December 08, 2007, 12:21:37 AM
Books Press Releases Press release distributed by PR Newswire
   
 

 
Cognitive Evolution Bridges the Intelligence Divide







 New Book Release: 'Cognitive Evolution: The Biological Imprint of Applied
     Intelligence,' by Alice Travis; a bold, reasoned and meticulously
                         researched knowledge leap

    BOCA RATON, Fla., Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The book "Cognitive Evolution"
addresses how the brain makes mental behaviors possible. It is the result
of an intensive analysis of interdisciplinary scientific efforts to codify
the physiological underpinnings of cognitive functions in Homo sapiens. In
a bold, reasoned and meticulously researched knowledge leap, the theory of
Cognitive Evolution proposes a new definition of biological evolution, and
reaches other conclusions believed to be of scientific interest in areas as
distinct as neurophysiology, computational theory, and psychology.

    (Book cover: http://www.ereleases.com/pr/2007-Travis.jpg )

    The Theory of Cognitive Evolution holds that "Race and ethnicity are
irrelevant to genius;" however, the same cannot be said of cultures. It
demonstrates, "Though categorically equal, cultures are decidedly unequal
in cerebral impact."

    "Cognitive Evolution" predicts that increasingly rapid technological
advances will permit invasive exploration of brain activity, and that group
brain differences will be observed. The book posits that without a
scientific framework for discussing the causes of differences among
disparate Homo sapien populations, global society will face a crippling
human relations nightmare of the magnitude of George Orwell's 1984, a world
where slavery is freedom.

    While "Cognitive Evolution" does not support Nobel Laureate James
Watson's recent scientific pronouncement that a "racially differentiating
gene" for intelligence will be discovered, the treatise suggests that
current public policy prohibiting debate of measured intelligence indicia
is flawed, debilitating and stultifying. The book raises the questions:


    -- Can society survive a tacitly recognized hierarchy of humanity?
    -- Can the categorized superior and dull expect to share a common
       evolutionary future?
    Information theorist and veteran TV broadcast journalist Alice Travis
[Biography: Marquis Who's Who America/World] has expanded her original
groundbreaking theoretical treatise. Riveting ... prophetic ...
controversial, Cognitive Evolution 2007 moves our kind to the precipices of
digitizing the anatomical gnome of reason. Released today by Universal
Publishers, the 236-page book is available through Amazon.com,
BarnesandNoble.com and Universal Publishers Bookstore. Library of
Congress-in-Publication Data for Libraries and book dealers is accessible
through the Library's online catalogue.

http://universal-publishers.com/book.php?method=ISBN&book=1581129815

 
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on December 08, 2007, 02:42:52 PM
Burning Sands, Esq. and some of our other Senior Citizens....

Does anyone have any insights on this book or this woman?
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on December 11, 2007, 06:44:39 PM
FWIW
saw a white dude on campus carrying this around
decided not to approach  anyone?
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on December 11, 2007, 08:30:52 PM
Burning Sands, Esq. and some of our other Senior Citizens....

Does anyone have any insights on this book or this woman?

Sounds interesting but I got nothing on it, sorry.
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on December 11, 2007, 09:44:13 PM
Burning Sands, Esq. and some of our other Senior Citizens....

Does anyone have any insights on this book or this woman?

Sounds interesting but I got nothing on it, sorry.

thanks anyway, man
and congrats on Esq. you're a big inspiration on this board
 maybe somebody will shout out.
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on December 11, 2007, 10:58:16 PM
James Watson is reported to have black genes.
http://news.independent.co.uk/sci_tech/article3239366.ece#2007-12-10T00:00:01-00:00

Revealed: scientist who sparked racism row has black genes
By Robert Verkaik
Published: 10 December 2007
A Nobel Prize-winning scientist who provoked a public outcry by claiming black Africans were less intelligent than whites has a DNA profile with up to 16 times more genes of black origin than the average white European.
A Nobel Prize-winning scientist who provoked a public outcry by claiming black Africans were less intelligent than whites has a DNA profile with up to 16 times more genes of black origin than the average white European.
An analysis of the genome of James Watson showed that 16 per cent of his genes were likely to have come from a black ancestor of African descent. By contrast, most people of European descent would have no more than 1 per cent.
"This level is what you would expect in someone who had a great-grandparent who was African," said Kari Stefansson of deCODE Genetics, whose company carried out the analysis. "It was very surprising to get this result for Jim."
The findings were made available after Dr Watson became only the second person to publish his fully sequenced genome online earlier this year. Dr Watson was forced to resign his post as head of a research laboratory in New York shortly after triggering an international furore by questioning the comparative intelligence of Africans. In an interview during his recent British book tour, the American scientist said he was "inherently gloomy about the prospects for Africa" because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really".
The Science Museum in London cancelled a lecture by him, while the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, branded his comments "racist propaganda".
Other scientists working in the field of molecular biology quickly distanced themselves from the comments, saying that it was not possible to draw such conclusions from the work that had been done on DNA.
The study of the DNA of Dr Watson – who shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for medicine – adds another twist to the controversy surrounding the American scientist's comments.
In addition to the 16 per cent of his genes which were identified as likely to have come from a black ancestor of African descent, a further 9 per cent were likely to have come from an ancestor of Asian descent, the test indicated.
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: A. on December 11, 2007, 11:01:04 PM
Dood, what. the. hell. are you talking about in here?
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on December 12, 2007, 10:14:24 AM
Dood, what. the. hell. are you talking about in here?

LOL


had to hit 'em with the dots?   :D
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on December 15, 2007, 01:24:43 AM
Dood, what. the. hell. are you talking about in here?

You go to YALE, right ???
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: A. on December 15, 2007, 06:58:31 AM
::sigh:: You're hopeless.
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on December 16, 2007, 12:31:53 AM
::sigh:: You're hopeless.

And you?
young...gifted and _________  ;D

WHY the hostility dude?
WHAT is eating you about this post?
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: A. on December 16, 2007, 07:20:35 AM
Lol nothing is eating me.  I find this whole thread quite amusing.  It's like entering the twilight zone...
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on December 16, 2007, 01:26:43 PM
Lol nothing is eating me.  I find this whole thread quite amusing.  It's like entering the twilight zone...

Cool.  8) Truce.
Couldn't raise anybody so I bought the book. It's not easy reading; but, it is HEAVY.
Check. it. out. (Ode to Burning Sands, Esq.)

I'm tempted to do a thesis on the dull, the superior and evolutionary prospects.
If this is the twilight zone then that is where we are.
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on December 18, 2007, 01:52:59 AM
Lol nothing is eating me.  I find this whole thread quite amusing.  It's like entering the twilight zone...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071218/sc_nm/chimps_math_dc
"It shows when you take language away from a human, they end up looking just like monkeys in terms of their performance."
"The researchers said the findings shed light on the shared mathematical abilities in humans and non-human primates and shows the importance of language -- which allows for counting and more advanced calculations -- in the evolution of math in humans..."

"Basic Math in Monkeys and College Students"
http://biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pbio.0050328



Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on December 22, 2007, 07:01:42 AM
Lol nothing is eating me.  I find this whole thread quite amusing.  It's like entering the twilight zone...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071218/sc_nm/chimps_math_dc
"It shows when you take language away from a human, they end up looking just like monkeys in terms of their performance."
"The researchers said the findings shed light on the shared mathematical abilities in humans and non-human primates and shows the importance of language -- which allows for counting and more advanced calculations -- in the evolution of math in humans..."

"Basic Math in Monkeys and College Students"
http://biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pbio.0050328




MATH MONKEY HUMOR
http://blog.wired.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2007/12/17/mathmonkey.jpg
http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2007/12/monkeys-challen.html#comments
Monkeys Challenge College Students at Basic Math
By Brandon Keim December 18, 2007 | 8:00:00 AMCategories: Animals, Brain, Math 

 
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: 20+ Andrew Hill Albums on December 22, 2007, 07:36:05 AM
Interesting.

I always saw language as being the key and essential difference between humans and other primates and animals.
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on December 26, 2007, 07:34:17 PM
Interesting.

I always saw language as being the key and essential difference between humans and other primates and animals.

I asked one of my sorta geeky friends about this and he said monkeys do not possess language. They do communicate, however. Mainly they send signals about food, or being the same as other monkeys, or warnings of pending danger to other monkeys. They squawk and cry out.
 
Monkeys can't perform the mental activities required for speaking human type languages but their brains have regions that are  similar in structure to language areas in people.

I guess this monkey math article is saying that counting dots in the head does not require a human language.
Obviously writing a report about the counting does.
I think it would be cool if we could get the monkeys' take on all this. ;D
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on December 29, 2007, 08:57:57 AM
Interesting.

I always saw language as being the key and essential difference between humans and other primates and animals.

Chimps and other non-human primates apparently don't have the necessary anatomical structures to produce human speech (see First Words link below).
http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Publications/ZooGoer/1995/6/firstwords.cfm

Lol nothing is eating me.  I find this whole thread quite amusing.  It's like entering the twilight zone...

Cool.  8) Truce.
Couldn't raise anybody so I bought the book. It's not easy reading; but, it is HEAVY.
Check. it. out. (Ode to Burning Sands, Esq.)

I'm tempted to do a thesis on the dull, the superior and evolutionary prospects.
If this is the twilight zone then that is where we are.

Does anybody agree with this cognitive evolution book's argument that some cultures make people smarter? What's the LSAT score impact of gangsta rap? street culture? ebonics?

Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Any thoughts? I could use some help here.
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: A. on December 29, 2007, 03:23:00 PM
Does anybody agree with this cognitive evolution book's argument that some cultures make people smarter? What's the LSAT score impact of gangsta rap? street culture? ebonics?

Ah finally, some direction ;).  How are they defining "smart"?  I think some cultures are better at imparting skills currently valued by our "meritocratic" society.
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on December 29, 2007, 06:51:10 PM
Does anybody agree with this cognitive evolution book's argument that some cultures make people smarter? What's the LSAT score impact of gangsta rap? street culture? ebonics?

Ah finally, some direction ;).  How are they defining "smart"?  I think some cultures are better at imparting skills currently valued by our "meritocratic" society.

I'm slowly (very slowly) wading through the book. But from what I gather it's saying that patterns of thought physically alter the brain, and make new kinds of thoughts possible, which then further alter the brain in a continuing spiral. It keeps saying that what we know is what we demonstrate first in our physical brain form and then this is reflected in our surrounding society. ( a collection of brains in action)
It seems to say that if you walk through a neighborhood you see a snap shot of the thinking patterns of the people who live there. A chaotic area reflects disordered thinking.

There's a lot of technical stuff about how the brain created the thumb and so forth which made man's ancestors able to think and do different kinds of things.

I haven't come across a definition of smart yet, but it does appear to state that people are inherently equal (Homo sapiens) and that IQ scores are not immutable (evolutionary jerks), but standardized achievement test scores on average do reflect what in fact people know ( how they think) at any given point. The book claims that people must do what they can't do until they can do it. Then their brains are wired differently and they can do more.
There's a great line "illiteracy does not spawn literature."

I would imagine that in law school disordered thinking is not advantageous. Learning how to think like a lawyer has to change the brain.

Is it easier being a 3L than a 1L?

Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: 20+ Andrew Hill Albums on December 30, 2007, 05:17:10 PM
Does anybody agree with this cognitive evolution book's argument that some cultures make people smarter? What's the LSAT score impact of gangsta rap? street culture? ebonics?

Ah finally, some direction ;).  How are they defining "smart"?  I think some cultures are better at imparting skills currently valued by our "meritocratic" society.

I'm slowly (very slowly) wading through the book. But from what I gather it's saying that patterns of thought physically alter the brain, and make new kinds of thoughts possible, which then further alter the brain in a continuing spiral. It keeps saying that what we know is what we demonstrate first in our physical brain form and then this is reflected in our surrounding society. ( a collection of brains in action)
It seems to say that if you walk through a neighborhood you see a snap shot of the thinking patterns of the people who live there. A chaotic area reflects disordered thinking.

There's a lot of technical stuff about how the brain created the thumb and so forth which made man's ancestors able to think and do different kinds of things.

I haven't come across a definition of smart yet, but it does appear to state that people are inherently equal (Homo sapiens) and that IQ scores are not immutable (evolutionary jerks), but standardized achievement test scores on average do reflect what in fact people know ( how they think) at any given point. The book claims that people must do what they can't do until they can do it. Then their brains are wired differently and they can do more.
There's a great line "illiteracy does not spawn literature."

I would imagine that in law school disordered thinking is not advantageous. Learning how to think like a lawyer has to change the brain.

Is it easier being a 3L than a 1L?



re: that final question, I think there are more factors involved in the answer to that question than how the brain has "evolved" through two years of law school. 

Still, I agree with the idea that some cultures/ethnicities (through their norms) and blood-lines (through the genetic make-up of the brain) do a better job at producing analytical thinkers than others.  A comparison of average IQs across cultures and ethnicities and races shows that to be true. 

And I see that we are all "equal" in the sense any culture or race lagging behind in this respect can "catch up" by changing certain thought patterns and mental activities while reinforcing others.
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: 20+ Andrew Hill Albums on December 30, 2007, 05:20:29 PM
Interesting.

I always saw language as being the key and essential difference between humans and other primates and animals.

I asked one of my sorta geeky friends about this and he said monkeys do not possess language. They do communicate, however. Mainly they send signals about food, or being the same as other monkeys, or warnings of pending danger to other monkeys. They squawk and cry out.
 
Monkeys can't perform the mental activities required for speaking human type languages but their brains have regions that are  similar in structure to language areas in people.

I guess this monkey math article is saying that counting dots in the head does not require a human language.
Obviously writing a report about the counting does.
I think it would be cool if we could get the monkeys' take on all this. ;D


To me, the importance of language always had to do with the fact that, in language, we both implicitly and explicitly assert our self-awareness.  By seeing that others are as self-aware as I am, I can identify and bond with them and we can work together to make sure that our collective needs are met.  It's like being in a club.  If you can assert that you are self-aware, then you are in the club.  If another animal species could do this (like we always imagine sentient aliens to be through science fiction), then they could be considered as "human" as us humans.
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: A. on December 30, 2007, 05:28:07 PM
Does anybody agree with this cognitive evolution book's argument that some cultures make people smarter? What's the LSAT score impact of gangsta rap? street culture? ebonics?

Ah finally, some direction ;).  How are they defining "smart"?  I think some cultures are better at imparting skills currently valued by our "meritocratic" society.

I'm slowly (very slowly) wading through the book. But from what I gather it's saying that patterns of thought physically alter the brain, and make new kinds of thoughts possible, which then further alter the brain in a continuing spiral. It keeps saying that what we know is what we demonstrate first in our physical brain form and then this is reflected in our surrounding society. ( a collection of brains in action)
It seems to say that if you walk through a neighborhood you see a snap shot of the thinking patterns of the people who live there. A chaotic area reflects disordered thinking.

There's a lot of technical stuff about how the brain created the thumb and so forth which made man's ancestors able to think and do different kinds of things.

I haven't come across a definition of smart yet, but it does appear to state that people are inherently equal (Homo sapiens) and that IQ scores are not immutable (evolutionary jerks), but standardized achievement test scores on average do reflect what in fact people know ( how they think) at any given point. The book claims that people must do what they can't do until they can do it. Then their brains are wired differently and they can do more.
There's a great line "illiteracy does not spawn literature."

I would imagine that in law school disordered thinking is not advantageous. Learning how to think like a lawyer has to change the brain.

Is it easier being a 3L than a 1L?



Hmm makes sense to me, although I don't know if I buy the "driving through a neighborhood" bit.  Being a 3L isn't necessarily easier, but doing the work of a lawyer is.
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on January 01, 2008, 12:09:18 PM
Interesting.

I always saw language as being the key and essential difference between humans and other primates and animals.
To me, the importance of language always had to do with the fact that, in language, we both implicitly and explicitly assert our self-awareness.  By seeing that others are as self-aware as I am, I can identify and bond with them and we can work together to make sure that our collective needs are met.  It's like being in a club.  If you can assert that you are self-aware, then you are in the club.  If another animal species could do this (like we always imagine sentient aliens to be through science fiction), then they could be considered as "human" as us humans.

I'm reading sections of the cognitive evolution book out of order to get a feel for the theory. Later I'll go back and try to delve into the scientific evidence offered.
Your "self-aware" comments are touched on in a sense. There are a few relevant paragraphs about cannibals. It's pointed out that most cannibals would not eat the flesh of a human being whose face was recognized. A "stranger" could be consumed.  Human value for "bonding" (not eating) was dependent upon visual recognition as part of or friendly to the tribe. Brain eating rituals were different. The brains of deceased wise elders, etc. were sampled to absorb the desirable qualities of the deceased.
This philosophy does appear to be similar to that of racial, ethnic & 'religious' gangs and movements today.
The primarily western idea of the value and sanctity of an individual human life (worthy of bonding) is actually quite revolutionary. Language permitted this evolution of thought. It did not mandate it?


Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on January 01, 2008, 12:35:00 PM
Does anybody agree with this cognitive evolution book's argument that some cultures make people smarter? What's the LSAT score impact of gangsta rap? street culture? ebonics?

Ah finally, some direction ;).  How are they defining "smart"?  I think some cultures are better at imparting skills currently valued by our "meritocratic" society.

I'm slowly (very slowly) wading through the book. But from what I gather it's saying that patterns of thought physically alter the brain, and make new kinds of thoughts possible, which then further alter the brain in a continuing spiral. It keeps saying that what we know is what we demonstrate first in our physical brain form and then this is reflected in our surrounding society. ( a collection of brains in action)
It seems to say that if you walk through a neighborhood you see a snap shot of the thinking patterns of the people who live there. A chaotic area reflects disordered thinking.

There's a lot of technical stuff about how the brain created the thumb and so forth which made man's ancestors able to think and do different kinds of things.

I haven't come across a definition of smart yet, but it does appear to state that people are inherently equal (Homo sapiens) and that IQ scores are not immutable (evolutionary jerks), but standardized achievement test scores on average do reflect what in fact people know ( how they think) at any given point. The book claims that people must do what they can't do until they can do it. Then their brains are wired differently and they can do more.
There's a great line "illiteracy does not spawn literature."

I would imagine that in law school disordered thinking is not advantageous. Learning how to think like a lawyer has to change the brain.

Is it easier being a 3L than a 1L?



re: that final question, I think there are more factors involved in the answer to that question than how the brain has "evolved" through two years of law school. 

Still, I agree with the idea that some cultures/ethnicities (through their norms) and blood-lines (through the genetic make-up of the brain) do a better job at producing analytical thinkers than others.  A comparison of average IQs across cultures and ethnicities and races shows that to be true. 

And I see that we are all "equal" in the sense any culture or race lagging behind in this respect can "catch up" by changing certain thought patterns and mental activities while reinforcing others.

Would have to disagree with you here, Mortimer. I submit that it has been proven time and time again that environment, more so than race or culture alone, is the predominant factor in determining mental ability/analytical acumen.  To the extent that one's environment is dictated or defined by racial or cultural barriers, then you have a point there, but I would be careful to distinguish which one is the controlling factor here.  If Frank Lucas had been born into an environment such as, say, the Hamptons or something like that, he could have easily been the next CEO of Merrill Lynch or Chairman of American Express.

The factor of race is definitely relevant when we're talking about the conditions in the U.S., but I would have to submit that it plays a secondary roll to environment for purposes of determining the ability to think.


-Just call me Randolf  ;)
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: 20+ Andrew Hill Albums on January 01, 2008, 02:01:35 PM
Does anybody agree with this cognitive evolution book's argument that some cultures make people smarter? What's the LSAT score impact of gangsta rap? street culture? ebonics?

Ah finally, some direction ;).  How are they defining "smart"?  I think some cultures are better at imparting skills currently valued by our "meritocratic" society.

I'm slowly (very slowly) wading through the book. But from what I gather it's saying that patterns of thought physically alter the brain, and make new kinds of thoughts possible, which then further alter the brain in a continuing spiral. It keeps saying that what we know is what we demonstrate first in our physical brain form and then this is reflected in our surrounding society. ( a collection of brains in action)
It seems to say that if you walk through a neighborhood you see a snap shot of the thinking patterns of the people who live there. A chaotic area reflects disordered thinking.

There's a lot of technical stuff about how the brain created the thumb and so forth which made man's ancestors able to think and do different kinds of things.

I haven't come across a definition of smart yet, but it does appear to state that people are inherently equal (Homo sapiens) and that IQ scores are not immutable (evolutionary jerks), but standardized achievement test scores on average do reflect what in fact people know ( how they think) at any given point. The book claims that people must do what they can't do until they can do it. Then their brains are wired differently and they can do more.
There's a great line "illiteracy does not spawn literature."

I would imagine that in law school disordered thinking is not advantageous. Learning how to think like a lawyer has to change the brain.

Is it easier being a 3L than a 1L?



re: that final question, I think there are more factors involved in the answer to that question than how the brain has "evolved" through two years of law school. 

Still, I agree with the idea that some cultures/ethnicities (through their norms) and blood-lines (through the genetic make-up of the brain) do a better job at producing analytical thinkers than others.  A comparison of average IQs across cultures and ethnicities and races shows that to be true. 

And I see that we are all "equal" in the sense any culture or race lagging behind in this respect can "catch up" by changing certain thought patterns and mental activities while reinforcing others.

Would have to disagree with you here, Mortimer. I submit that it has been proven time and time again that environment, more so than race or culture alone, is the predominant factor in determining mental ability/analytical acumen.  To the extent that one's environment is dictated or defined by racial or cultural barriers, then you have a point there, but I would be careful to distinguish which one is the controlling factor here.  If Frank Lucas had been born into an environment such as, say, the Hamptons or something like that, he could have easily been the next CEO of Merrill Lynch or Chairman of American Express.

The factor of race is definitely relevant when we're talking about the conditions in the U.S., but I would have to submit that it plays a secondary roll to environment for purposes of determining the ability to think.


-Just call me Randolf  ;)

Oh, Randolf, I was definitely NOT trying to say that environment is a non-factor.  Wouldn't culture be considered an environmental factor? 

I do believe that genetics is also a factor, but I certainly would not exclude upbringing and conditioning.  Which set of factors (genetic vs. environmental) is most responsible for analytic thinking is debatable.  Personally, I see no reason to think that it can't be moreso genetics for one great thinker and upbringing/environment for another great thinker and maybe split even for a third.  Depends on the circumstances. 

Would you exclude genes as a factor in cognitive or analytical ability?

-Mort
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: simonsays on January 01, 2008, 03:30:10 PM
do you have any links?  I was under the general impression that that genetics was more responsible for analytic capacity, while family upbringing and cultural conditions were responsible for shaping the genetic capacity.  That is probably what the original post was referring to by societies.

http://www.psych.utoronto.ca/users/reingold/courses/intelligence/cache/1198gottfred.html

My personal opinion is that genetics plays the positive factor, while the vast majority of cultural indoctrination introduces a negative influence.
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on January 01, 2008, 04:34:31 PM
do you have any links?  I was under the general impression that that genetics was more responsible for analytic capacity, while family upbringing and cultural conditions were responsible for shaping the genetic capacity.  That is probably what the original post was referring to by societies.

http://www.psych.utoronto.ca/users/reingold/courses/intelligence/cache/1198gottfred.html

My personal opinion is that genetics plays the positive factor, while the vast majority of cultural indoctrination introduces a negative influence.


The last chapter of cognitive evolution has an unusual take on the g factor. See table of contents.
http://universal-publishers.com/book.php?method=ISBN&book=1581129815

There is also a picture of Einstein's brain in the book which shows some structural differences from the 'control' brains. Did that result from an original difference or the extraordinary use of his spatial intelligence?

The theory is claiming that on average our brains (if physically normal) are created by what our existences (from conception at least) feed into them, primarily our culturally imposed identities of self.

For example, Black children reared by normally functioning Whites have higher average IQs than similar Blacks reared by normally functioning Blacks. The kids’ genes did not change when they became part of white households.

Maybe the kids reared by white families did not fully internalize a 'victim mentality.' Maybe they dared to begin to think of myriad possibilities like free White people.  

Honestly, if this theory is correct, the Black White achievement gap is unconsciously culturally self imposed.  This is not the same old, same old. This book is explosive.
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: simonsays on January 01, 2008, 05:48:33 PM
Not to make light of your thread.... but some might sacrifice a few IQ points for some more fun  :)


http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2007/04/intercourse-and-intelligence.php

By the age of 19, 80% of US males and 75% of women have lost their virginity, and 87% of college students have had sex. But this number appears to be much lower at elite (i.e. more intelligent) colleges. According to the article, only 56% of Princeton undergraduates have had intercourse. At Harvard 59% of the undergraduates are non-virgins, and at MIT, only a slight majority, 51%, have had intercourse. Further, only 65% of MIT graduate students have had sex.

The student surveys at MIT and Wellesley also compared virginity by academic major. The chart for Wellesley displayed below shows that 0% of studio art majors were virgins, but 72% of biology majors were virgins, and 83% of biochem and math majors were virgins! Similarly, at MIT 20% of 'humanities' majors were virgins, but 73% of biology majors. (Apparently those most likely to read Darwin are also the least Darwinian!)

Perhaps more revealing, HS, also showed that intelligence correlates with less sex within marriage for the same age range. While still consistent with pregnancy fears and competing interests, lower sex drive seems like a better fit. In fact another revealing finding from the Counterpoint survey was that while 95% of US men and 70% of women masturbate, this number is only 68% of men and 20% of women at MIT!

Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on January 02, 2008, 10:44:12 AM
Does anybody agree with this cognitive evolution book's argument that some cultures make people smarter? What's the LSAT score impact of gangsta rap? street culture? ebonics?

Ah finally, some direction ;).  How are they defining "smart"?  I think some cultures are better at imparting skills currently valued by our "meritocratic" society.

I'm slowly (very slowly) wading through the book. But from what I gather it's saying that patterns of thought physically alter the brain, and make new kinds of thoughts possible, which then further alter the brain in a continuing spiral. It keeps saying that what we know is what we demonstrate first in our physical brain form and then this is reflected in our surrounding society. ( a collection of brains in action)
It seems to say that if you walk through a neighborhood you see a snap shot of the thinking patterns of the people who live there. A chaotic area reflects disordered thinking.

There's a lot of technical stuff about how the brain created the thumb and so forth which made man's ancestors able to think and do different kinds of things.

I haven't come across a definition of smart yet, but it does appear to state that people are inherently equal (Homo sapiens) and that IQ scores are not immutable (evolutionary jerks), but standardized achievement test scores on average do reflect what in fact people know ( how they think) at any given point. The book claims that people must do what they can't do until they can do it. Then their brains are wired differently and they can do more.
There's a great line "illiteracy does not spawn literature."

I would imagine that in law school disordered thinking is not advantageous. Learning how to think like a lawyer has to change the brain.

Is it easier being a 3L than a 1L?



re: that final question, I think there are more factors involved in the answer to that question than how the brain has "evolved" through two years of law school. 

Still, I agree with the idea that some cultures/ethnicities (through their norms) and blood-lines (through the genetic make-up of the brain) do a better job at producing analytical thinkers than others.  A comparison of average IQs across cultures and ethnicities and races shows that to be true. 

And I see that we are all "equal" in the sense any culture or race lagging behind in this respect can "catch up" by changing certain thought patterns and mental activities while reinforcing others.

Would have to disagree with you here, Mortimer. I submit that it has been proven time and time again that environment, more so than race or culture alone, is the predominant factor in determining mental ability/analytical acumen.  To the extent that one's environment is dictated or defined by racial or cultural barriers, then you have a point there, but I would be careful to distinguish which one is the controlling factor here.  If Frank Lucas had been born into an environment such as, say, the Hamptons or something like that, he could have easily been the next CEO of Merrill Lynch or Chairman of American Express.

The factor of race is definitely relevant when we're talking about the conditions in the U.S., but I would have to submit that it plays a secondary roll to environment for purposes of determining the ability to think.


-Just call me Randolf  ;)

Oh, Randolf, I was definitely NOT trying to say that environment is a non-factor.  Wouldn't culture be considered an environmental factor? 

I do believe that genetics is also a factor, but I certainly would not exclude upbringing and conditioning.  Which set of factors (genetic vs. environmental) is most responsible for analytic thinking is debatable.  Personally, I see no reason to think that it can't be moreso genetics for one great thinker and upbringing/environment for another great thinker and maybe split even for a third.  Depends on the circumstances. 

Would you exclude genes as a factor in cognitive or analytical ability?

-Mort

Obviously our genetic make up is ultimately responsible for everything that we are, biologically speaking.  There's no escaping that.  But for purposes of this debate, if we are to isolate those factors that are most responsible for producing analytical thinkers, once we assume that we're all (mankind) composed of roughly the exact same stuff going on at a genetic level (10 fingers, 10 toes, two eyes, etc.), the difference between analytical thinkers and non-analytical thinkers becomes one of upbringing and environment.

Now you bring up an interesting twist to environment - and that is the fact that environment is largely shaped by culture & race.  Whites tend to live around other whites, blacks around other blacks, professionals around other professionals, blue collar workers around other blue collar workers, etc. 

Environment is an interesting dynamic made up of many different factors.  What's even more interesting is when we take a an astute young white male like Winthorp, take away his job and put him in the ghetto and simultaneously take a downtrodden young black male like Valentine, pull him out of the ghetto and give him an ivy league job.  The proof is all around us everyday - people from well off families tend to do well academically.  This makes sense when you consider that once you can eliminate negative environmental factors, such as where your next meal is coming from or where you will sleep tomorrow, etc. you can begin to allow your brain to analyze items more academic in nature such as mathematical formulae, logic problems, and the like.

- Randolf
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: 20+ Andrew Hill Albums on January 02, 2008, 11:46:59 AM
do you have any links?  I was under the general impression that that genetics was more responsible for analytic capacity, while family upbringing and cultural conditions were responsible for shaping the genetic capacity.  That is probably what the original post was referring to by societies.

http://www.psych.utoronto.ca/users/reingold/courses/intelligence/cache/1198gottfred.html

My personal opinion is that genetics plays the positive factor, while the vast majority of cultural indoctrination introduces a negative influence.


The last chapter of cognitive evolution has an unusual take on the g factor. See table of contents.
http://universal-publishers.com/book.php?method=ISBN&book=1581129815

There is also a picture of Einstein's brain in the book which shows some structural differences from the 'control' brains. Did that result from an original difference or the extraordinary use of his spatial intelligence?

The theory is claiming that on average our brains (if physically normal) are created by what our existences (from conception at least) feed into them, primarily our culturally imposed identities of self.

For example, Black children reared by normally functioning Whites have higher average IQs than similar Blacks reared by normally functioning Blacks. The kids’ genes did not change when they became part of white households.

Maybe the kids reared by white families did not fully internalize a 'victim mentality.' Maybe they dared to begin to think of myriad possibilities like free White people.  

Honestly, if this theory is correct, the Black White achievement gap is unconsciously culturally self imposed.  This is not the same old, same old. This book is explosive.

Is there any comparison between white kids and the black kids raised by white families?

Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: 20+ Andrew Hill Albums on January 02, 2008, 12:08:34 PM
Obviously our genetic make up is ultimately responsible for everything that we are, biologically speaking.  There's no escaping that.  But for purposes of this debate, if we are to isolate those factors that are most responsible for producing analytical thinkers, once we assume that we're all (mankind) composed of roughly the exact same stuff going on at a genetic level (10 fingers, 10 toes, two eyes, etc.), the difference between analytical thinkers and non-analytical thinkers becomes one of upbringing and environment.

Now you bring up an interesting twist to environment - and that is the fact that environment is largely shaped by culture & race.  Whites tend to live around other whites, blacks around other blacks, professionals around other professionals, blue collar workers around other blue collar workers, etc. 

Environment is an interesting dynamic made up of many different factors.  What's even more interesting is when we take a an astute young white male like Winthorp, take away his job and put him in the ghetto and simultaneously take a downtrodden young black male like Valentine, pull him out of the ghetto and give him an ivy league job.  The proof is all around us everyday - people from well off families tend to do well academically.  This makes sense when you consider that once you can eliminate negative environmental factors, such as where your next meal is coming from or where you will sleep tomorrow, etc. you can begin to allow your brain to analyze items more academic in nature such as mathematical formulae, logic problems, and the like.

- Randolf


Randolf, you're referencing movies. Even if the stories in these movies are true (and I have no doubts that they could be true), they are only anecdotal and only illustrate your point--not prove it.

What does science have to say on this issue?  I can't find any recent literature that places non-genetic factors before genetic factors on intelligence.

Longitudinal genetic study of verbal and nonverbal IQ from early childhood to young adulthood.
Hoekstra; Bartels; Boomsma
Learning and Individual Differences. 2007 Vol 17(2) 97-114

In a longitudinal genetic study we explored which factors underlie stability in verbal and nonverbal abilities, and the extent to which the association between these abilities becomes stronger as children grow older.... Genetic influences seemed to be the driving force behind stability. Stability in nonverbal ability was entirely explained by genes. Continuity in verbal abilities was explained by genetic and shared environmental effects. The overlap between verbal and nonverbal abilities was fully accounted for by genes influencing both abilities. The genetic correlation between verbal and nonverbal IQ increased from .62 in early childhood to .73 in young adulthood.

Genetic and Environmental Contributions to General Cognitive Ability Through the First 16 Years of Life.
Petrill; Lipton; Hewitt; Plomin; Cherny; Corley; DeFries
Developmental Psychology. 2004 Sep Vol 40(5) 805-812

The genetic and environmental contributions to the development of general cognitive ability throughout the first 16 years of life were examined using sibling data from the Colorado Adoption Project. Correlations were analyzed along with structural equation models to characterize the genetic and environmental influences on longitudinal stability and instability. Intraclass correlations reflected both considerable genetic influence at each age and modest shared environmental influence within and across ages. Modeling results suggested that genetic factors mediated phenotypic stability throughout this entire period, whereas most age-to-age instability appeared to be due to nonshared environmental influences.

And there are many other articles like these.
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on January 02, 2008, 12:13:17 PM
Obviously our genetic make up is ultimately responsible for everything that we are, biologically speaking.  There's no escaping that.  But for purposes of this debate, if we are to isolate those factors that are most responsible for producing analytical thinkers, once we assume that we're all (mankind) composed of roughly the exact same stuff going on at a genetic level (10 fingers, 10 toes, two eyes, etc.), the difference between analytical thinkers and non-analytical thinkers becomes one of upbringing and environment.

Now you bring up an interesting twist to environment - and that is the fact that environment is largely shaped by culture & race.  Whites tend to live around other whites, blacks around other blacks, professionals around other professionals, blue collar workers around other blue collar workers, etc. 

Environment is an interesting dynamic made up of many different factors.  What's even more interesting is when we take a an astute young white male like Winthorp, take away his job and put him in the ghetto and simultaneously take a downtrodden young black male like Valentine, pull him out of the ghetto and give him an ivy league job.  The proof is all around us everyday - people from well off families tend to do well academically.  This makes sense when you consider that once you can eliminate negative environmental factors, such as where your next meal is coming from or where you will sleep tomorrow, etc. you can begin to allow your brain to analyze items more academic in nature such as mathematical formulae, logic problems, and the like.

- Randolf


Randolf, you're referencing movies. Even if the stories in these movies are true (and I have no doubts that they could be true), they are only anecdotal and only illustrate your point--not prove it.

What does science have to say on this issue?  I can't find any recent literature that places non-genetic factors before genetic factors on intelligence.

Longitudinal genetic study of verbal and nonverbal IQ from early childhood to young adulthood.
Hoekstra; Bartels; Boomsma
Learning and Individual Differences. 2007 Vol 17(2) 97-114

In a longitudinal genetic study we explored which factors underlie stability in verbal and nonverbal abilities, and the extent to which the association between these abilities becomes stronger as children grow older.... Genetic influences seemed to be the driving force behind stability. Stability in nonverbal ability was entirely explained by genes. Continuity in verbal abilities was explained by genetic and shared environmental effects. The overlap between verbal and nonverbal abilities was fully accounted for by genes influencing both abilities. The genetic correlation between verbal and nonverbal IQ increased from .62 in early childhood to .73 in young adulthood.

Genetic and Environmental Contributions to General Cognitive Ability Through the First 16 Years of Life.
Petrill; Lipton; Hewitt; Plomin; Cherny; Corley; DeFries
Developmental Psychology. 2004 Sep Vol 40(5) 805-812

The genetic and environmental contributions to the development of general cognitive ability throughout the first 16 years of life were examined using sibling data from the Colorado Adoption Project. Correlations were analyzed along with structural equation models to characterize the genetic and environmental influences on longitudinal stability and instability. Intraclass correlations reflected both considerable genetic influence at each age and modest shared environmental influence within and across ages. Modeling results suggested that genetic factors mediated phenotypic stability throughout this entire period, whereas most age-to-age instability appeared to be due to nonshared environmental influences.

And there are many other articles like these.

"There had, in fact, been evidence for a long time that poor children fell behind rich and middle-class children early, and stayed behind. But researchers had been unable to isolate the reasons for the divergence. Did rich parents have better genes? Did they value education more? Was it that rich parents bought more books and educational toys for their children? Was it because they were more likely to stay married than poor parents? Or was it that rich children ate more nutritious food? Moved less often? Watched less TV? Got more sleep? Without being able to identify the important factors and eliminate the irrelevant ones, there was no way even to begin to find a strategy to shrink the gap."

"Researchers began peering deep into American homes, studying up close the interactions between parents and children. The first scholars to emerge with a specific culprit in hand were Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley, child psychologists at the University of Kansas, who in 1995 published the results of an intensive research project on language acquisition. Ten years earlier, they recruited 42 families with newborn children in Kansas City, and for the following three years they visited each family once a month, recording absolutely everything that occurred between the child and the parent or parents. The researchers then transcribed each encounter and analyzed each child’s language development and each parent’s communication style. They found, first, that vocabulary growth differed sharply by class and that the gap between the classes opened early. By age 3, children whose parents were professionals had vocabularies of about 1,100 words, and children whose parents were on welfare had vocabularies of about 525 words. The children’s I.Q.’s correlated closely to their vocabularies. The average I.Q. among the professional children was 117, and the welfare children had an average I.Q. of 79."


http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/26/magazine/26tough.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&ei=5087&em&en=996a8a48d175d21e&ex=1164690000
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: 20+ Andrew Hill Albums on January 02, 2008, 12:38:19 PM
"There had, in fact, been evidence for a long time that poor children fell behind rich and middle-class children early, and stayed behind. But researchers had been unable to isolate the reasons for the divergence. Did rich parents have better genes? Did they value education more? Was it that rich parents bought more books and educational toys for their children? Was it because they were more likely to stay married than poor parents? Or was it that rich children ate more nutritious food? Moved less often? Watched less TV? Got more sleep? Without being able to identify the important factors and eliminate the irrelevant ones, there was no way even to begin to find a strategy to shrink the gap."

"Researchers began peering deep into American homes, studying up close the interactions between parents and children. The first scholars to emerge with a specific culprit in hand were Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley, child psychologists at the University of Kansas, who in 1995 published the results of an intensive research project on language acquisition. Ten years earlier, they recruited 42 families with newborn children in Kansas City, and for the following three years they visited each family once a month, recording absolutely everything that occurred between the child and the parent or parents. The researchers then transcribed each encounter and analyzed each child’s language development and each parent’s communication style. They found, first, that vocabulary growth differed sharply by class and that the gap between the classes opened early. By age 3, children whose parents were professionals had vocabularies of about 1,100 words, and children whose parents were on welfare had vocabularies of about 525 words. The children’s I.Q.’s correlated closely to their vocabularies. The average I.Q. among the professional children was 117, and the welfare children had an average I.Q. of 79."


http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/26/magazine/26tough.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&ei=5087&em&en=996a8a48d175d21e&ex=1164690000


Didn't read the whole article, just the bit that you excerpted, but... Remember, children get their genes from their parents.  And I'd bet that if the parents were tested, we'd see very similar (if not the exact same) results... which would help explain (not completely explain, but help explain) why one group is made up of professionals and the other is made up of welfare recipients.
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on January 02, 2008, 01:35:29 PM
do you have any links?  I was under the general impression that that genetics was more responsible for analytic capacity, while family upbringing and cultural conditions were responsible for shaping the genetic capacity.  That is probably what the original post was referring to by societies.

http://www.psych.utoronto.ca/users/reingold/courses/intelligence/cache/1198gottfred.html

My personal opinion is that genetics plays the positive factor, while the vast majority of cultural indoctrination introduces a negative influence.


The last chapter of cognitive evolution has an unusual take on the g factor. See table of contents.
http://universal-publishers.com/book.php?method=ISBN&book=1581129815

There is also a picture of Einstein's brain in the book which shows some structural differences from the 'control' brains. Did that result from an original difference or the extraordinary use of his spatial intelligence?

The theory is claiming that on average our brains (if physically normal) are created by what our existences (from conception at least) feed into them, primarily our culturally imposed identities of self.

For example, Black children reared by normally functioning Whites have higher average IQs than similar Blacks reared by normally functioning Blacks. The kids’ genes did not change when they became part of white households.

Maybe the kids reared by white families did not fully internalize a 'victim mentality.' Maybe they dared to begin to think of myriad possibilities like free White people.  

Honestly, if this theory is correct, the Black White achievement gap is unconsciously culturally self imposed.  This is not the same old, same old. This book is explosive.

Is there any comparison between white kids and the black kids raised by white families?


From what I remember the IQ scores of the Black kids began to approach white norms. There was still a gap, however. The significant average IQ increase of the Black kids would imply that something in the average black household stunts intellectual growth...even in 'middle class' black homes.

Some studies have shown that many 'middle class' Blacks speak standard English on their jobs  but at home resort to and encourage Ebonics in the presence of friends and children. This cognitive evolution book says that such a pattern of behavior has brain consequences. The mental life of large numbers of 'middle class' Blacks may not resemble that of middle class Whites at all. This woman's theory says that "we are what we live." Period.
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: 20+ Andrew Hill Albums on January 03, 2008, 05:45:19 PM
This work from the University of Chicago Press posits that environmentally middle class Blacks are quite close to poor Blacks. Mary Pattillo-McCoy
Black Picket Fences: Privilege and Peril among the Black Middle Class

“...The Black English so readily used in Groveland illuminates an empirical point that this book seeks to emphasize. Even though the African American bank receptionist may answer the phone in perfect Standard English, he or she may have a much different linguistic style when in the company of other African Americans. This concept of "code-switching"—i.e., speaking differently to different populations, one in Standard English and the other in the vernacular—can be broadened to characterize the black middle class more generally because it emphasizes the different worlds that whites and blacks inhabit, even African Americans with well-paying jobs or a college degree...."

"...Speaking Black English while sitting around the kitchen table makes a Groveland teacher no less middle class, but it does illustrate the near completeness of racial segregation. It highlights the importance of race for cultural practices, connecting black middle-class people to the black poor, and differentiating them from whites. As many field excerpts will illustrate, Groveland residents use Black English when talking about the most middle-class of topics—going to college, planning for marriage and the future, working downtown, or owning a home. This might seem discordant to those who view Black English as an inferior language. It might even, perhaps, support a prejudice that middle-class African Americans are not equal to middle-class whites precisely because they do not possess the proper intellectual and behavioral dispositions...."

"...Black English can also be an impediment to advancement in the predominantly white mainstream. Segregation produces an incubator within which Black English flourishes, but it does not always foster the sophisticated development of Standard English. Black middle-class youth have fewer opportunities to practice and master Standard English in such an environment. The use of Black English by Groveland residents is emblematic of the particular handicaps with which black middle-class youth grow up because of their neighborhood context...."


Hmm... I never thought about the "ebonics" issue like that before. Is there something "stupifying" about "talking black"? 

But what about immigrant families who speak their first language at home. I wonder if any studies have been done to compare IQ and other test scores of Asian or Hispanic kids from immigrant families who still speak their first language at home vs. their counterparts who don't know the language of their ancestors. I'm going to try to look into that....
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: Burning Sands, Esq. on January 03, 2008, 05:54:58 PM
Studies have shown that biliingual children have higher IQ's on average than children who speak only one language.  It is important to note that we're talking about completely different languages here, as opposed to a broken down dialect of a language vs. the same language spoken properly.
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on January 04, 2008, 12:18:45 PM
Studies have shown that biliingual children have higher IQ's on average than children who speak only one language.  It is important to note that we're talking about completely different languages here, as opposed to a broken down dialect of a language vs. the same language spoken properly.

You seem to have hit the nail on the head, Burning. When immigrants attempt to learn English in schools and community centers those who know the grammar of their native languages have a much easier time doing so. People who have never mastered the formal grammatical constructs of a first language have an extremely difficult time learning standard English. (regardless of race)


Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: 20+ Andrew Hill Albums on January 04, 2008, 12:56:44 PM
Studies have shown that biliingual children have higher IQ's on average than children who speak only one language.  It is important to note that we're talking about completely different languages here, as opposed to a broken down dialect of a language vs. the same language spoken properly.

Good point. Even if socalled "ebonics" has its own informal structures, I guess that they are looser and more liberal than those of standard English.

Now, I feel like I need to check the way I talk around my son. Why can't we have some things in our culture be good for us?  Dag!
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: pikey on January 04, 2008, 01:00:59 PM
Studies have shown that biliingual children have higher IQ's on average than children who speak only one language.  It is important to note that we're talking about completely different languages here, as opposed to a broken down dialect of a language vs. the same language spoken properly.

Hmm, I wonder how much that's skewed by middle/upper class parents who make sure that their kids are learning a second language from kindergarden, as opposed to recent immigrant families.
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on January 07, 2008, 07:16:19 AM
Studies have shown that biliingual children have higher IQ's on average than children who speak only one language.  It is important to note that we're talking about completely different languages here, as opposed to a broken down dialect of a language vs. the same language spoken properly.

Hmm, I wonder how much that's skewed by middle/upper class parents who make sure that their kids are learning a second language from kindergarden, as opposed to recent immigrant families.

Perhaps Burning could provide links to the data cited.
Also, even if the data are skewed this would not appear to minimize the potential damage of Black English or any dialect as a child's first language. Thoughts?
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on January 10, 2008, 09:45:26 PM
Studies have shown that biliingual children have higher IQ's on average than children who speak only one language.  It is important to note that we're talking about completely different languages here, as opposed to a broken down dialect of a language vs. the same language spoken properly.

Links?

ALSO, do those who speak "a broken down dialect" (if admitted) make it through law school ???
Pass the Bar ???

Any anonymous examples?
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: pikey on January 10, 2008, 11:53:02 PM
Studies have shown that biliingual children have higher IQ's on average than children who speak only one language.  It is important to note that we're talking about completely different languages here, as opposed to a broken down dialect of a language vs. the same language spoken properly.

Links?

ALSO, do those who speak "a broken down dialect" (if admitted) make it through law school ???
Pass the Bar ???

Any anonymous examples?

The percentage of law students who speak a "broken down dialect" are probably extremely low.  I'm assuming you mean that as their primary dialect.
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on January 18, 2008, 12:56:38 AM
Studies have shown that biliingual children have higher IQ's on average than children who speak only one language.  It is important to note that we're talking about completely different languages here, as opposed to a broken down dialect of a language vs. the same language spoken properly.

Links?

ALSO, do those who speak "a broken down dialect" (if admitted) make it through law school ???
Pass the Bar ???

Any anonymous examples?

The percentage of law students who speak a "broken down dialect" are probably extremely low.  I'm assuming you mean that as their primary dialect.

Do legal writing grades tend to break down along racial and ethnic lines? 
LGPAs appear to do so.

Is law school rank a factor?
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on January 23, 2008, 01:31:06 AM
Studies have shown that biliingual children have higher IQ's on average than children who speak only one language.  It is important to note that we're talking about completely different languages here, as opposed to a broken down dialect of a language vs. the same language spoken properly.

Links?

ALSO, do those who speak "a broken down dialect" (if admitted) make it through law school ???
Pass the Bar ???

Any anonymous examples?

The percentage of law students who speak a "broken down dialect" are probably extremely low.  I'm assuming you mean that as their primary dialect.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/13/weekinreview/13liptak.html?ex=1266037200&en=a50ec15b9dd39d6a&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt

"Once at law school, the average black student gets lower grades than white students: 52 percent of black students are in the bottom 10th of their first-year law school classes, while only 8 percent are in the top half. And the grades of black students drop slightly in relative terms from the first year of law school to the third."

Has anyone personally observed this?  What is the cure?
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on January 28, 2008, 12:20:14 PM
Studies have shown that biliingual children have higher IQ's on average than children who speak only one language.  It is important to note that we're talking about completely different languages here, as opposed to a broken down dialect of a language vs. the same language spoken properly.

Links?

ALSO, do those who speak "a broken down dialect" (if admitted) make it through law school ???
Pass the Bar ???

Any anonymous examples?

The percentage of law students who speak a "broken down dialect" are probably extremely low.  I'm assuming you mean that as their primary dialect.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/13/weekinreview/13liptak.html?ex=1266037200&en=a50ec15b9dd39d6a&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt

"Once at law school, the average black student gets lower grades than white students: 52 percent of black students are in the bottom 10th of their first-year law school classes, while only 8 percent are in the top half. And the grades of black students drop slightly in relative terms from the first year of law school to the third."

Has anyone personally observed this?  What is the cure?

If these statistics are accurate (apparently, no contradictions posted) what should 'would-be 1Ls' do differently to escape this fate? Do professors relate to students based on group performance averages? Anyone ???

Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: pikey on January 28, 2008, 01:07:05 PM
From that same article:

For instance, Richard O. Lempert, a law professor at the University of Michigan, said that the university's law school had found little difference between its black and white students in rates of graduation, in passing the bar or in income afterward. "We think the fact that Michigan is an elite law school has a lot to do with it," he wrote in an e-mail message. "Sander's data, though he barely mentions it, convey essentially the same story. Thus his analysis provides no case for the Harvards, Yales and Columbias of this world to abandon affirmative action."



Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on February 02, 2008, 06:38:36 PM
From that same article:

For instance, Richard O. Lempert, a law professor at the University of Michigan, said that the university's law school had found little difference between its black and white students in rates of graduation, in passing the bar or in income afterward. "We think the fact that Michigan is an elite law school has a lot to do with it," he wrote in an e-mail message. "Sander's data, though he barely mentions it, convey essentially the same story. Thus his analysis provides no case for the Harvards, Yales and Columbias of this world to abandon affirmative action."

The article below would imply that the racial achievement gap is so large that average Black high school kids are embarrassed by their own performances. They are probably also predominately in the bottom tenth of their classes.

What then is the prognosis for these Black non Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Michigan, etc. admits?    
Certainly a few would dream of being lawyers.

'Black only' assembly offends sensibilities
 February 1, 2008
Leesburg --  Several Lee County High parents voiced their disapproval Friday, when the school held a Black History Assembly for the black students only.  White students were told they could not attend.

Only about 19% of the Lee County High School student body is black. Principal Kevin Dowling said he held the black student only assembly to talk to them about test scores, so that none of them would be embarrassed.

In Georgia and in Lee County, the black students test scores as a whole are lagging behind white students. In the assembly, Dowling had black parents and teachers talk to the students about racial history in Lee County, to try to get motivate them to take advantage of their opportunities.

Dowling said looking back on the objections from whites, he should have made it more clear what the assembly was about. "I should have been more up front, at the beginning in the days beforehand about what we are going to do. I didn't do that. I made it more general, because I didn't want it to be a big issue," Dowling said.

Steve Jenkins is one of the parents who went to Lee County High today to talk to Dowling about the black only assembly, saying he was worried about the message being sent.

"Singling out somebody-- I'm tired of this black white thing,"  said Parent Steve Jenkins. "We need to get over that."

Jenkins said after talking with Dowling, he knows that the Principal was trying to do the right thing, but disagreed with the assembly. Dowling said the school will hold three other assemblies during the month on Black History, for all the students.

Feedback: news@walb.com?subject=LeeAssembly-JW
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2008 WorldNow and WALB, a Raycom Media Station.
All Rights Reserved. http://www.walb.com/global/story.asp?s=7810499
 
 
 
 
 

Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on February 06, 2008, 07:35:27 PM
From that same article:

For instance, Richard O. Lempert, a law professor at the University of Michigan, said that the university's law school had found little difference between its black and white students in rates of graduation, in passing the bar or in income afterward. "We think the fact that Michigan is an elite law school has a lot to do with it," he wrote in an e-mail message. "Sander's data, though he barely mentions it, convey essentially the same story. Thus his analysis provides no case for the Harvards, Yales and Columbias of this world to abandon affirmative action."

Does anyone know the percentage of black law students who attend the "Harvards, Yales and Columbias" and Michigans, etc.... the elite law schools? How do the lower T1, T2-T4 black student graduation & bar passage rates compare with those of black students at the most selective schools?
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on February 13, 2008, 01:15:34 AM
December 2004 California Bar Journal Re: Richard Sander
http://www.calbar.ca.gov/state/calbar/calbar_cbj.jsp?sCategoryPath=/Home/Attorney%20Resources/California%20Bar%20Journal/December2004&sCatHtmlPath=cbj/2004-12_TH_01_Black-law-students.html&sCatHtmlTitle=Top%20Headlinesp

"...Yale Law School Dean of Admissions Megan Barnett said she doesn’t think the study applies to Yale because “all Yale law students are really exceptional. We get the most talented students in the country so they all end up very successful after they graduate.”

Affirmative action has a number of virtues,” said University of Michigan Law School Dean of Admissions Evan Caminker. “There are virtues in making sure people who graduate from elite academic institutions and are trained to be leaders of society represent what the community is like that they will be living and working in.”

Stanford Law School Dean Larry Kramer issued a statement that emphasized the school’s continued commitment “to diversity in recruitment and admissions of the student body. The faculty and staff of the school share complete confidence in the qualifications of each of our students and value the contributions that their differing backgrounds and perspectives, as well as their intellectual accomplishments, bring to our community.”

Richard Lempert and David Chambers of the University of Michigan, Timothy Clydesdale of The College of New Jersey and William Kidder of the Equal Justice Society issued a rebuttal that will appear in an upcoming Stanford Law Review. Although they did not disagree about the poorer performance of blacks compared to whites, they said that factors other than grades contributed to the gap. “Something about the atmosphere of law school exacerbates the entering educational gaps of minority and other atypical law students,” the rebuttal said.

The authors described Sander’s forecasts as “irresponsible” and said the document was based on “a series of statistical errors, oversights and implausible (and at times internally contradictory) assumptions.” They predicted that a ban on racial preferences would decrease the African-American presence at the top law schools from its current 7 to 12 percent to 1 to 2 percent. Instead of applying to lower-tier schools, as Sander assumes, many black students would not apply to law school at all. Ultimately, the authors said, the number of black law school students could drop by a quarter...."

Posted above:
"Once at law school, the average black student gets lower grades than white students: 52 percent of black students are in the bottom 10th of their first-year law school classes, while only 8 percent are in the top half. And the grades of black students drop slightly in relative terms from the first year of law school to the third."

This appears to be true even at elite schools. Any thoughts as to why ???
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on February 17, 2008, 03:37:16 AM
“Something about the atmosphere of law school exacerbates the entering educational gaps of minority and other atypical law students...."

"Once at law school, the average black student gets lower grades than white students: 52 percent of black students are in the bottom 10th of their first-year law school classes, while only 8 percent are in the top half. And the grades of black students drop slightly in relative terms from the first year of law school to the third."

Is this data dangerously irrelevant :-\
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on March 03, 2008, 04:00:08 AM
The University of Dayton School of Law
Blacks in Law Schools
Professor Vernellia R. Randall
http://academic.udayton.edu/TheWhitestLawSchools/2005TWLS/Chapter7/IsolationAfrican.htm

"The Least Isolating Law Schools. Schools were considered least isolating if they had greater than or equal to the percentage of African Americans in the National LSAC Application pool. Seventeen schools (9.1%) were found least isolating because they had equal to or greater 10.6% African Americans.  Five were historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) two of which had less than 50% Black and one of which had 50% exactly.  This information raises an interestingly dilemma.  Since most law schools (52.1%) are under-serving African Americans and most HBCU are decreasing their education of blacks, who will be responsible for the training of black lawyers?  It is ironic that University of District of Columbia, an HBCU, is only 34% black.  Of the least isolating schools, the Mid-South accounted for eight schools (47.1%) while the Southeast with only one.  Approximately 64.7% were private schools. The 1st tier had the highest number of schools with 29.4% while the 2nd and 3rd tiers each had 2 schools."

Top Ten Least Isolating (excluding HBCU)
Rank School Number Percent
1 Thomas M. Cooley Law School (Michigan) 413.00 17.90
2 CUNY-Queens College (New York) 71.00 15.20
3 University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill 97.00 13.70
4 University of Baltimore (Maryland) 130.00 13.40
5 Vanderbilt University (Tennessee) 79.00 13.30
6 Rutgers State University–Newark (New Jersey) 100.00 12.80
7 University of Georgia 88.00 12.70
8 University of Maryland 100.00 11.60
8 University of Arkansas (Fayetteville ) 53.00 11.60
9 Loyola University-New Orleans (Louisana) 92.00 10.80
9 Washington and Lee University (Virginia) 42.00 10.80

 

Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on March 04, 2008, 09:11:56 AM
Multimedia
 Graphic
http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2006/11/28/us/29diverse_graphic.html


"A recent study says grades help explain the gap. To ensure diversity among new associates, the study found, elite law firms hire minority lawyers with, on average, much lower grades than white ones. That may, the study says, set them up to fail."

From: The Black Experience at Major Law Firms http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/29/us/29diverse.html?adxnnl=1&pagewanted=all&adxnnlx=1204639529-NsqrWu7tOskb2/E9YJd21Q
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on March 06, 2008, 10:43:40 AM
Minorities, poor get "highly gifted" lift
A new DPS system awards some kids an extra boost to make things more equitable.
By Jeremy P. Meyer
The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 03/04/2008 06:34:50 AM MST

Polaris at Ebert second-graders Guinness Vanos, left foreground, and Jlynn Terroade, both 8 years old, join other students in learning dance techniques during a physical-education class. ( Craig F. Walker, The Denver Post )More minority and poor students in Denver are being classified as highly gifted under a new system that gives extra credit to children who are economically disadvantaged or nonnative English speakers.

Denver Public Schools is trying to fix a disparity in the program that serves its smartest and most talented students — which up until now has drawn mostly white students in a district that is mostly Latino.

"It's a much more holistic look at the kid," said Diana Howard, principal at Polaris at Ebert, the district's sole elementary school for the highly gifted and talented. "I wanted this system to look at much more than test scores. This is going to have a huge impact."

More than 1,800 students in Denver Public Schools — about 3 percent — fit the highly gifted classification and are served by magnet programs at seven elementary schools and one middle school.

Denver is the only district in the metro area that has a program specifically for "highly gifted and talented students."

To determine who gets into the program, the district previously relied on oral tests that measure a student's reasoning and IQ.

But some educators and social scientists believe those tests are biased against students learning English and poorer students who may not have had the same life experiences as their richer peers.

"They may be bright children but may not know what plaid is," Howard said. "Or their concept may not have involved a vacation. Or they may have never been on an escalator."

To make things more equitable, the district now relies on a sum of measures to determine eligibility into the highly gifted program — cognitive tests, annual assessments, reading tests and teacher nominations. Next year, the district will consider artwork and writings.

Also, students get extra points toward entry into the program if English is their second language or if they receive federal meal benefits — a measure of poverty.

For example, a student who scores as low as the 75th percentile on cognitive tests could be considered, Howard said. Previously, that child would not have been admitted.

"We want to find the gifts that these children have, not exclude them," she said.

Experts in the gifted field say DPS's change follows a national trend.

"Standardized tests are tipped against children from underserved populations and children from diverse backgrounds," said Nancy Green, executive director of the National Association for Gifted Children. "We have got to find other ways besides verbal tests to determine whether kids are gifted."

The American Civil Liberties Union in California last year threatened to sue the Tustin Unified School District over low numbers of Latinos and African-Americans in the district's gifted programs.

Districts from Miami to New York are giving more credit to smart children from culturally diverse or economically disadvantaged backgrounds, said Joshua Wyner, executive vice president of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

"If what we are trying to do is measure not accomplishment but giftedness and talent, then putting your thumb on the scale or adding points for kids from low-income backgrounds re-equalizes things," he said. "The question is how heavy should that thumb be?"

Wyner said weighting the system carries political risks.

"If there are a limited number of slots in those programs, then the wealthier student who is excluded will always feel wrongly excluded if their test scores were higher than a lower-income student or Hispanic student who was included," he said.

Jaime Aquino, DPS's chief academic officer, said adding more highly gifted students will not exclude others.

"Every school gets an allocation per student who is identified as gifted and talented, so they can provide them some enrichment or some differentiated services within the building," he said. "You have several magnet programs throughout the district. Many still have room. It's just whether the parents want to send their kids to those schools."

More students are applying

DPS's student population is 57 percent Latino, 20 percent white and 19 percent black. But the highly gifted and talented program serves only 25 percent ethnic minorities, Howard said.

After this year's screening, a third of the newly identified highly gifted students are ethnic minorities, Howard said.

One other reason for the more diverse field is that more students are applying to be in the program. This year, the district began mailing home applications to likely candidates with self-addressed stamped envelopes to be returned to the district office.

With that change, the district received about 500 more applicants for the program. Almost 170 more students were accepted for the 2008-09 school year than this year — including 49 English-language learners and 119 students who receive free and reduced lunches. Those were threefold increases in both categories over the previous year.

"This is exciting," said Howard, who started the district's only elementary school for highly gifted and talented students in 2000 in the old Crofton school in Five Points.

Initially, the student population was 30 percent Latino, 30 percent African-American and 30 percent Anglo — drawing mostly kids from the northeast part of town.

The program has since moved to the larger Ebert School, just north of downtown, and began getting kids from homes in the Stapleton redevelopment. Howard said that changed the demographics of the school, which is now 70 percent white. About 10 percent of the 341 students get federal-meal benefits.

Enrollment into Polaris is highly competitive, with an annual lottery and a waiting list. The Denver school board last year promised to open another highly gifted and talented school, but so far DPS has not delivered.

Letters went out late last month to parents who had sought to get their children into the school. Many were rejection notices telling them of other options for highly gifted students.To meet the growing need, Polaris is dropping a kindergarten class next year and adding another fourth grade, Howard said.

Thirteen of the 33 new fourth-grade students are ethnic minorities, Howard said.

Inside the brick building, off Park Avenue West, creative chaos takes place, Howard said.

"We're very messy," she said, pointing to a cardboard box overflowing with forgotten coats.

Artwork adorns the walls, African drumbeats waft from dance class, and fourth-graders in the library study for their trip to Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, near Mesa Verde National Park.

Chirps and squawks

Inside the kindergarten classroom, chirps and squawks come from the menagerie of caged animals — a snake, chicken and hedgehog.

"Does this belong in the classification of poetry or fiction," asked teacher Eileen Wise, after reading a story to the class while petting a hedgehog in her lap.

Kindergartners entering Polaris are reading "Harry Potter" while peers elsewhere are learning their ABCs.

"They are very different children — difficult to raise," Howard said. "They are very intense. This is a safe place for kids to be, and ask their weird questions and make up their strange games."

Soon, she hopes, kids from all backgrounds will have the same opportunity to be safe and weird in their brilliance.
http://www.denverpost.com/technology/ci_8442882
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: 20+ Andrew Hill Albums on March 10, 2008, 07:59:12 AM
I haven't been following this thread up close, but I saw an episode of Star Trek this weekend that reminded me of it.

There was this alien society that was made up of two main classes--a class of politicians and intellectuals who lived a life of priviledge in the clouds and a class of workers who lived on the surface and in the caves below.  When asked to explain this situation by Captain Kirk, the head politician claimed essentially that the workers below were an inferior race.  He didn't use those exact words, but he basically said that the workers were not capable of abstract thought or civility--that they were violent and stupid by nature.  Kirk then asks about the minority of workers who lived in the clouds to serve the intellectuals.  The guy says that those workers have had more intensive training and learned to be civil, but they were still inferior essentially.  Kirk obviously isn't comfortable with this situation.  The Federation is very much about equality, but it's also about respecting individual cultures and societies and letting them rule themselves--so it is a delicate dipolomatic balance for Kirk and crew. 

Eventually, McCoy figures out that the reason why the workers are so stupid and violent is because of a odorless, invisible gas that this emitted by the raw substance they mine. The reason why the workers who live in the clouds act and think better than the ones down in the caves is because of their lack of exposure to the gas, which is also the reason why the upper class is so intelligent.

Now, obviously, there was no genetic component to the explanation of the difference between the two races.  The difference was explained by a not-readily-detectable environmental factor.  A genetic component could have been injected here--like, generations of a people's exposure to this environmental factor leads to this racial difference.  (That would have made the show too complicated and made a resolution to the conflict difficult.)  But, I think that might be a fair representation of some racial differences we see in reality.

Just some random Star Trek-inspired thoughts.
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on March 20, 2008, 12:27:26 AM
I haven't been following this thread up close, but I saw an episode of Star Trek this weekend that reminded me of it.

There was this alien society that was made up of two main classes--a class of politicians and intellectuals who lived a life of priviledge in the clouds and a class of workers who lived on the surface and in the caves below.  When asked to explain this situation by Captain Kirk, the head politician claimed essentially that the workers below were an inferior race.  He didn't use those exact words, but he basically said that the workers were not capable of abstract thought or civility--that they were violent and stupid by nature.  Kirk then asks about the minority of workers who lived in the clouds to serve the intellectuals.  The guy says that those workers have had more intensive training and learned to be civil, but they were still inferior essentially.  Kirk obviously isn't comfortable with this situation.  The Federation is very much about equality, but it's also about respecting individual cultures and societies and letting them rule themselves--so it is a delicate dipolomatic balance for Kirk and crew. 

Eventually, McCoy figures out that the reason why the workers are so stupid and violent is because of a odorless, invisible gas that this emitted by the raw substance they mine. The reason why the workers who live in the clouds act and think better than the ones down in the caves is because of their lack of exposure to the gas, which is also the reason why the upper class is so intelligent.

Now, obviously, there was no genetic component to the explanation of the difference between the two races.  The difference was explained by a not-readily-detectable environmental factor.  A genetic component could have been injected here--like, generations of a people's exposure to this environmental factor leads to this racial difference.  (That would have made the show too complicated and made a resolution to the conflict difficult.)  But, I think that might be a fair representation of some racial differences we see in reality.

Just some random Star Trek-inspired thoughts.

"The reason why the workers who live in the clouds act and think better than the ones down in the caves is because of their lack of exposure to the gas."

It is interesting to substitute group mindsets for "the gas." 'Victim-hood' looms large.
'Expectation of oppression' might fit as well.

Others?
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: 20+ Andrew Hill Albums on March 20, 2008, 06:28:15 AM
"The reason why the workers who live in the clouds act and think better than the ones down in the caves is because of their lack of exposure to the gas."

It is interesting to substitute group mindsets for "the gas." 'Victim-hood' looms large.
'Expectation of oppression' might fit as well.


Sure, but we could also look at environmental and biological conditions of where black people live.  For example, we could look at malnutrition/starvation in sub-Saharan Africa, which cannot bode well for the outcome of intelligence tests.
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on March 26, 2008, 09:53:23 AM
"The reason why the workers who live in the clouds act and think better than the ones down in the caves is because of their lack of exposure to the gas."

It is interesting to substitute group mindsets for "the gas." 'Victim-hood' looms large.
'Expectation of oppression' might fit as well.


Sure, but we could also look at environmental and biological conditions of where black people live.  For example, we could look at malnutrition/starvation in sub-Saharan Africa, which cannot bode well for the outcome of intelligence tests.

News Release
3 March 2008

DREW BARRYMORE ANNOUNCES US$1 MILLION DONATION ON OPRAH

DREW HELPS “FILL THE CUP” FOR THOUSANDS OF KENYAN SCHOOL KIDS

CHICAGO – Drew Barrymore, one of the world’s most recognized film stars, today announced a personal donation of US$1 million on The Oprah Winfrey Show to help the World Food Program (WFP) feed thousands of school children in Kenya. 

“I have seen with my own eyes what a difference a simple cup of nutritious porridge can make in a child’s life,” said Drew Barrymore.  “It helps them learn, stay healthy and sets them on track for a bright future. I urge everyone -- everywhere -- to help WFP ‘Fill the Cup’ for hungry children, and make hunger history.”
... One of the schools Drew Barrymore has visited in Kenya is Stara, in Nairobi’s sprawling slums where students say WFP lunches make a real difference.

 “Often I come to school without anything to eat. A meal at school helps me because at home we sometimes don’t have any food to eat. The learning is going well for me - when I grow up, I want to be a doctor,” said Caroline Okasire, a student at Stara.

As part of the “Fill the Cup” campaign, WFP is seeking US$3 billion -- just 25 US cents a day -- to feed 59 million hungry school children in developing countries worldwide for a year. People can donate by clicking on “Fill the Cup” at www.wfp.org.

Last year, WFP provided more than 20 million school children with a daily cup of porridge, rice or beans, in addition to giving many girls a monthly ration to take home to their families. Up to 70 percent of WFP’s food used for school meals is purchased from farmers in the developing world.

http://www.friendsofwfp.org/atf/cf/%7B90e7e160-957c-41e4-9fab-87e2b662894b%7D/03.03.08-DREW%20BARRYMORE%20ANNOUNCES%20US$1%20MILLION%20DONATION%20ON%20OPRAH.htm

Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on April 04, 2008, 10:35:15 PM
"The reason why the workers who live in the clouds act and think better than the ones down in the caves is because of their lack of exposure to the gas."

It is interesting to substitute group mindsets for "the gas." 'Victim-hood' looms large.
'Expectation of oppression' might fit as well.


Sure, but we could also look at environmental and biological conditions of where black people live.  For example, we could look at malnutrition/starvation in sub-Saharan Africa, which cannot bode well for the outcome of intelligence tests.


...when  malnutrition & starvation are not factors in low academic achievement....

American Scientist
The Role of Intelligence in Modern Society
By Earl Hunt
"...improved education and training can raise the average achievement of all students.
A study by one of my colleagues (Levidow 1994) showed this in a controlled way. High-school students were given a test of fluid intelligence. They then took a year-long problem-solving-oriented course in elementary physics. The IQ test did indeed predict how much physics the students learned. At the end of the year they took an equivalent IQ test. Their IQ scores had not changed a whit. Furthermore, the IQ test did predict the relative standings of the students on the final examination. However, all students had learned a great deal of physics, as evidenced by comparisons to national standards. IQ may not have been changed, but cognitive competence, in the sense of the problems the student could solve, was increased...."

Levidow's study involved a carefully monitored educational program. Could similar increases in skill be obtained just by putting more effort into education? In 1994 the New York City school system, at the insistence of their new chancellor, required that virtually all 10th-grade students take science courses that previously had been taken by only half the students, usually the more able ones. Enrollment jumped from 20,000 to 48,000 students. Failure rates went up, from 13 percent to 25 percent. Pessimists can point to this as a consequence of trying to teach hard topics to less-intelligent students. There is probably some truth to this. But more than twice as many students successfully completed science courses in 1994 than in 1993. http://www.americanscientist.org/template/AssetDetail/assetid/24538/page/8


Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on April 18, 2008, 05:15:44 AM

Being a 3L isn't necessarily easier, but doing the work of a lawyer is.

A RESPONSE TO PROFESSOR SANDER:
IS IT REALLY ALL ABOUT THE GRADES?
JAMES E. COLEMAN, JR. & MITU GULATI∗

"...Racial Paradox paints all black associates with a broad brush. It
acknowledges that some black associates succeed, but does not
explain why. It leaves the impression that only those with relatively
high grades succeed, but does not specifically address the point. Our
experience is that elite corporate law firms do not recruit black
associates from the same range of schools from which they recruit
white associates. Black associates are more likely to be recruited
primarily, if not exclusively, from the most elite law schools. Our
guess is that the elite firms also hire white associates “with weaker
grades” from these same schools.20 Sander does not attempt to
compare the experiences of these two groups of similarly situated
associates, which one would expect to be similar, if merit rather than
stereotyping or discrimination explains the negative experiences of
black associates.

In other words, is the white male student with low
grades from Michigan hired by an elite law firm doing better or worse
than the black student from Michigan with the same low grades and
hired at the same firm because of affirmative action? We suspect that
the white student is doing better, perhaps a lot better, in terms of his
likelihood of winning the partnership tournament...."
http://www.law.ucla.edu/sander/NorthCarolina/coleman.pdf
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on April 25, 2008, 04:22:28 AM
do you have any links?  I was under the general impression that that genetics was more responsible for analytic capacity, while family upbringing and cultural conditions were responsible for shaping the genetic capacity.  That is probably what the original post was referring to by societies.

http://www.psych.utoronto.ca/users/reingold/courses/intelligence/cache/1198gottfred.html

My personal opinion is that genetics plays the positive factor, while the vast majority of cultural indoctrination introduces a negative influence.
http://www.sptimes.com/2005/05/17/State/At_FAMU_law__blacks_a.shtml

At FAMU law, blacks a minority
Supporters of the new law school said it would boost the percentage of black students entering Florida law schools. It hasn't happened.
By DAVID KARP

Enrollment at the new FAMU law school is 44 percent white and 12 percent Hispanic. Black students make up just 36 percent of the student body.

Those percentages are not what Florida lawmakers had in mind when they agreed in 2000 to re-establish the law school, which had been shuttered by the state in 1968 after the beginning of court-ordered integration.

FAMU supporters had promised the school would boost the small percentage of black lawyers in Florida. Instead, the percentage of black students entering Florida law schools has dropped since 2002, when FAMU opened its doors.

And racial diversity at Florida's older, already established law schools also is declining.

"The bottom line appears to be that we are redistributing fundamentally the same number of African-American applicants," said Joseph Harbaugh, the law school dean at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, which has seen its percentage of entering black law students shrink from 12.4 percent three years ago to 5.4 percent today.

The numbers are similar at the University of Florida, where the number of black first-year law students dropped by half this fall. The law schools at Florida State University and the University of Miami also have seen declines.

FAMU was expected to offset those losses by expanding the pool of black law school applicants. But it was built in Orlando, where it has drawn many white and Hispanic students.

Law school dean Percy Luney Jr. said he hears from FAMU alumni who want the school to be predominantly black. But he can't do that, he said. It would be wrong, and it would hurt the school's efforts to build a national reputation.

"I know there are people who think I'm not doing the service I'm supposed to do because I am not admitting more black students," Luney said in an interview. "But I cannot admit black students who do not have a strong likelihood of passing the Bar."

"I think that is the inherent conflict we have. And I don't know how we get beyond that."
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: ..................................1 on April 25, 2008, 10:41:35 AM
tag
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on May 03, 2008, 04:43:49 PM
do you have any links?  I was under the general impression that that genetics was more responsible for analytic capacity, while family upbringing and cultural conditions were responsible for shaping the genetic capacity.  That is probably what the original post was referring to by societies.

http://www.psych.utoronto.ca/users/reingold/courses/intelligence/cache/1198gottfred.html

My personal opinion is that genetics plays the positive factor, while the vast majority of cultural indoctrination introduces a negative influence.

The Volokh Conspiracy
[Ilya Somin, October 7, 2007 at 6:45pm] Trackbacks
Clarence Thomas, Yale Law School, and Affirmative Action:

"Like co-conspirator David Bernstein, I think it wasn't unreasonable for Justice Clarence Thomas to believe that he got into Yale Law School without the aid of affirmative action. It is important to remember that Thomas was in the top two percent of his undergraduate class at Holy Cross. When I was a student at Yale Law School in the 1990s, I had numerous white classmates who had gotten in by virtue of being in the top 1-2 percent at undergraduate institutions of the same caliber as Holy Cross, and in some cases ones significantly less prestigious. Admittedly, I don't have any aggregate statistics; but I certainly met quite a few such students during my time at YLS. I was able to meet a significant percentage of the other students at YLS at the time, due to the school's small size; so the people I met were probably a roughly representative sample of the YLS student body. Most of the white YLS students from non-elite undergrad institutions did not have anything in their backgrounds comparable to Thomas' inspirational story of growing up in poverty in a broken home (Thomas' father left his family when he was an infant, and Thomas was raised by his grandfather).

Assuming that Thomas had a good LSAT score, the combination of his record at Holy Cross and his life story might well have been enough to get him admitted to YLS were he white. Based on my observations, he might have gotten in on that basis in the 1990s - a time when admissions standards were probably slightly higher than in the 1970s because by that point Yale had regained its standing as the generally acknowledged no. 1 law school (a position it had arguably lost to Harvard in the 70s).

As liberal constitutional law scholar Mark Tushnet documents in this article, Thomas' opposition to affirmative action is not based on the view that it is intrinsically unjust to whites, but on his belief that it does blacks more harm than good in the aggregate. For reasons I discussed in detail here, it therefore would not be unethical for Thomas to benefit from affirmative action while personally opposing it. In fact, however, it is possible that Thomas had good reason to believe that he might have gotten to YLS even without the benefit of affirmative action. If that conjecture is right, then affirmative action was a net loss for him in that phase of his career (though it probably helped him later in the Reagan Administration). Its existence led potential employers and others to doubt his abilities, without helping him to get into Yale."
http://volokh.com/posts/1191797143.shtml
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on May 13, 2008, 01:53:01 PM
Brian Leiter's Law School Rankings
Ranking of Top 40 Law Schools by Student (Numerical) Quality 2008

Rank by Average of 75th/25th LSAT

Rank
 School
 Avg. of the 75th/25th LSAT
 Avg. of the 75th/25th GPA
 Approx.
Class Size
 http://www.leiterrankings.com/students/2008student_quality.shtml
1
 Yale University
 173.5
 3.870
 200
 
2
 Harvard University
 172.5
 3.850
 550
 
3
 Columbia University
 171.5
 3.685
 400
 
4
 New York University
 171.0
 3.700
 450
 
5 University of Chicago 171.0 3.625 200
6
 Stanford University
 169.5
 3.845
 200
 
7
 Georgetown University
 169.0
 3.630
 450
(day class only)
 
8
 University of Virginia
 169.0
 3.690
 350
 
9
 Northwestern University
 169.0
 3.600
 250
 
10
 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
 168.5
 3.640
 350
 
11
 University of Pennsylvania
 168.5
 3.690
 250
 
12
 Duke University
 168.5
 3.715
 200
 
13
 Cornell University
 167.0
 3.660
 200
 
14
 University of California, Berkeley
 166.5
 3.770
 250
 
15
 University of California, Los Angeles
 166.0
 3.695
 300
 
16
 Vanderbilt University
 166.0
 3.685
 200
 
17
 University of Southern California
 166.0
 3.590
 200
 
18
 George Washington University
 165.5
 3.630
 500
 
19
 University of Texas, Austin
 165.5
 3.590
 450
 
20
 University of Notre Dame
 165.5
 3.580
 150
 
21
 Boston University
 165.0
 3.660
 300
 
 
 Fordham University
 165.0
 3.575
 300
(day class only)
 
23
 University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
 165.0
 3.530
 250
 
24
 Washington University, St. Louis
 165.0
 3.500
 200
 
25
 Brigham Young University
 164.5
 3.690
 150
 
26
 Cardozo Law School/Yeshiva University
 164.0
 3.500
 250
 
  Emory University
 164.0
 3.550
 250
 
28
 Washington & Lee University
 164.0
 3.530
 150
 
29
 Boston College
 163.5
 3.590
 300
 
30 Brooklyn Law School  163.5 3.400 300
 
 University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
 163.5
 3.490
 200
 
32
 University of Maryland, Baltimore
 163.0
 3.655
 250
 
33
 University of California, Hastings
 162.5
 3.550
 400
 
34
 College of William & Mary
 162.5
 3.630
 200
 
35
 George Mason University
 162.5
 3.495
 150
 
  University of Alabama
 162.5
 3.575
 150
 
  University of Colorado, Boulder
 162.5
 3.580
 150
 
38 Wake Forest University  162.5 3.425 150
39 Temple University  162.0 3.560 250
  University of Georgia  162.0 3.640 250
  Runners-Up for the Top 40
(listed alphabetically) 
 
 American University
 162.0
 3.395
 350
 
 
 University of California, Davis
 162.0
 3.565
 200
 
  University of Connecticut, Hartford  162.0 3.440 150
  University of San Diego  162.0 3.315 250
  University of Washington, Seattle
 162.0
 3.545
 200
 
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on May 22, 2008, 05:01:45 PM
For anyone interested in college teaching, there is a related thread on the Law School Applications Board covering tips for obtaining academic appointments after law school. http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,4010475.10.html
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on May 30, 2008, 05:33:42 PM
The Volokh Conspiracy
[David Bernstein, February 4, 2008 at 4:36am] Trackbacks

Barack Obama and the Harvard Law Review:

Barack Obama was the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. The NY Times carried a story [link below] about this in Februrary 1990, which included a few quotes from Obama:

"The fact that I've been elected shows a lot of progress," Mr. Obama said today in an interview. "It's encouraging." "But it's important that stories like mine aren't used to say that everything is O.K. for blacks. You have to remember that for every one of me, there are hundreds or thousands of black students with at least equal talent who don't get a chance," he said, alluding to poverty or growing up in a drug environment... On his goals in his new post, Mr. Obama said: "I personally am interested in pushing a strong minority perspective. I'm fairly opinionated about this. But as president of the law review, I have a limited role as only first among equals." Therefore, Mr. Obama said, he would concentrate on making the review a "forum for debate," bringing in new writers and pushing for livelier, more accessible writing.

For what it's worth, a quick look at volume 104 of the Harvard Law Review suggests that not surprisingly given the genre, Obama didn't succeed in publishing "livelier, more accessible writing." But with regard to "new writers," the extremely prestigious Supreme Court term Foreword that year was written by Robin West, now of Georgetown, but who was then a professor at University of Maryland. Prof. West, moreover, didn't have the typical pedigree, having graduated from University Maryland Law School (yes, in theory completely irrelevant to her credentials to write the Foreword, but if I know my elite law review editors, something that gave many of them significant pause.) More typically, the Review invited Guido Calabresi (dean, Yale), Kathleen Sullivan (professor, Harvard), and Morton Horwitz (professor, Harvard) to write the next three years' Forewords. Prof. West is a very prolific, influential scholar, and was an inspired choice from outside the usual group of elite law school professors the HLR would consider. Call this the Obama effect, perhaps, though I'd be interested in hearing from readers who were editors that year about his effect on HLR culture.
http://volokh.com/posts/1202117776.shtml

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CE2DC1631F935A35751C0A966958260&n=Top%2FReference%2FTimes%20Topics%2FPeople%2FO%2FObama%2C%20Barack
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on June 02, 2008, 07:29:04 PM
I haven't been following this thread up close, but I saw an episode of Star Trek this weekend that reminded me of it.

There was this alien society that was made up of two main classes--a class of politicians and intellectuals who lived a life of priviledge in the clouds and a class of workers who lived on the surface and in the caves below.  When asked to explain this situation by Captain Kirk, the head politician claimed essentially that the workers below were an inferior race....

Color, Controversy and DNA
By Henry Louis Gates Jr. |
TheRoot.com

A conversation between The Root Editor-in-Chief Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Nobel laureate and DNA pioneer James Watson about race and genetics, Jewish intelligence, blacks and basketball and Watson's African roots.

James Watson: I've thought about these things a lot over the last couple of months, because those who know me well, you know, I'm mortified by those three sentences in the Sunday Times article. I'm not a monster, and yet, if you took them at their face value, I seem to be nasty.

Henry Louis Gates Jr. : But Dr. Watson, on behalf of the African Americans who admired you, studied your work, and read The Root.com, where in the world did those words come from?

JW: One sentence was just taken out of my book. It was [that] we shouldn't expect that people in different parts of the world have equal intelligence, because we don't know that. [Some] people say that they should be the same. I think the answer is we don't know. … With the other two sentences, I talked to [the Times reporter] for eight hours. When I read the [quotes], I had no memory whatsoever of ever saying them. Because if I'd said anything like that, it was so inappropriate!

HLG: Well, are you gloomy about the future of Africa?

JW: Not if we educate them. I think we've got to focus on education.

HLG: As soon as you were quoted in The Times,  David Duke posted on his Web site. He said, at last, the smartest white man in the world, the man who identified DNA, has confirmed what we've known all the time. …
http://www.theroot.com/id/46667?GT1=38002

Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on June 10, 2008, 05:50:48 PM

  Henry Louis Gates Jr. is editor-in-chief of The Root and is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University.

HLG: I can't run. It's a good thing I was a good student because I wouldn't have made it. … My father, though, will be 95, June 8th, God willing. And my father, every time he passes a basketball court of black boys, young black men, he will say, "If we study calculus like we study basketball, we would be running MIT." So to him, it's not genetic. It's the fact that we're in basketball laboratories instead of math laboratories, all of our lives.

James Watson:  Yes, and that's bad. Black kids have got to get different aspirations.

Full conversation:  http://www.theroot.com/id/46667/page/1
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on June 23, 2008, 04:25:47 AM

James Watson:  Yes, and that's bad. Black kids have got to get different aspirations.

TORONTO STAR
Cut black dropout rate to 15%, schools told
Jun 18, 2008 04:30 AM
Louise Brown
Education Reporter

Canada's largest school board is poised to set tough targets to chop the alarming 40 per cent dropout rate among black students to 15 per cent within five years.  Through mentors, teacher training and close tracking of the most needy students, the Toronto District School Board's sweeping new Urban Diversity Strategy – to be voted on tomorrow by a board committee and by all trustees next week – would aim to make all intermediate and high schools across the city more sensitive to the demographic roadblocks often facing students of differing backgrounds.

The action plan would also target the 25 most racially diverse, low-performing schools for extra youth workers, outreach staff to work with parents, summer programs for Grade 8 students who fail any of the 3 Rs, and a network of teachers who feel passionate about working in such challenging schools.

"We know this is not going to be an easy task, but with the data we now know about our students, and with what we see is working already at some schools – plus a little bit of pressure – we know it can be done," said Gerry Connelly, the board's director of education, in an interview yesterday.

The report is one of the ways the board is responding to new data showing children from poor or turbulent backgrounds or marginalized communities often lag behind.

While trustees voted to open an Africentric alternative school in September 2009 as a sort of test lab for a more global curriculum and more black teachers as role models, the board also charged staff to come up with ways to help children at risk in all schools.

But instead of recommending special programs tailored for children of various high-risk groups – Portuguese children, for example, or those from Somalia or Afghanistan – the staff suggests helping all teachers be more sensitive to the challenges diversity can bring.

"This approach won't ignore the role of race, or gender, or poverty, or disability; these are all part of students' reality," said Lloyd McKell, the board's executive officer of student and community equity, who consulted with many community groups while helping draft the plan.

"But our training will help teachers recognize the effect racial diversity has on students' lives." Among other recommendations:

Chop the overall dropout rate by 5 per cent in each of the next five years.

Every child not meeting the standard between Grades 7 and 10 would be assigned a staff mentor or "learning coach" – someone the report calls "a caring adult in the school" – to act as an advocate, someone who follows up when they stumble and offers help. "This is always at the top of the wish list of every student we talk to," said McKell;Principals would ensure experienced teachers are assigned to work with students with the greatest need, rather than automatically assigning veteran educators to the university-bound "academic" stream;

Expand free Grade 7 and 8 summer literacy and numeracy camps to all of the 25 high-need schools for students below standard in reading, writing or arithmetic, and have parents come to at least one session to learn about standards;

Boost after-school homework clubs, free tutoring, and expand access to library and computer labs. George Harvey Collegiate Institute, near Keele St. and Eglinton Ave. W., extended library hours and added popular "graphic novels" to the shelves, for example. Library borrowing jumped 245 per cent – and scores in the Grade 10 literacy test have jumped 6 per cent in one year.

While Connelly would not put a price tag on the extra support, she said much can be covered by using existing funding in a more strategic way, and noted the board will also seek some funding from Queen's Park. Sandra Carnegie-Douglas, past-president of the Jamaican-Canadian Association, called the plan "a good start" but warned it is crucial to choose staff mentors that truly care about children, not just track their attendance.

"Not all staff is that attentive to the barriers many students face, so how will you choose `an adult who cares?' The community should have some input," she said. Education Professor Patrick Solomon, who founded the Urban Diversity program at York University, hailed the plan to train teachers to be more sensitive to the community, a process he said is best done by having teachers design community projects in the neighbourhoods where they work.

Marcie Ponte of the Working Women's Community Centre, which runs a successful tutoring program for Portuguese children, said the board's plan is a sign it is "taking at-risk students seriously – and mentoring is a key piece.

"But Toronto is so diverse, schools need to let teachers think outside the box and be creative. No one solution will work for all kids."
http://www.thestar.com/article/445172



Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on July 10, 2008, 10:13:30 PM
THE JOURNAL OF BLACKS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Weekly Bulletin
July 10, 2008
Law School at North Carolina Central University to Host the Chief Justice Roberts

Students at the historically black law school at North Carolina Central University in Durham will have to be well prepared for next spring’s moot court competition. The judge presiding over the final competition will be John Roberts, chief justice of the United States.

Raymond Pierce, dean of the law school, met the chief justice at a judicial conference and Roberts offered to officiate at the moot court proceedings.

It will be the first time a current member of the U.S. Supreme Court has made an appearance on the campus of the law school. There are about 600 students at the law school, about one half of them are African Americans.

http://www.jbhe.com/latest/index.html

Chief Justice Roberts was nominated July 19, 2005.

THE JOURNAL OF BLACKS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Weekly Bulletin
George W. Bush, the NAACP, and the Persistent Damage to Black Higher Education

"Both of President Bush’s nominees to the Supreme Court — John Roberts and Samuel Alito —appear to be strong opponents of affirmative action. In late 1981 Roberts wrote a critique of a Civil Right Commission report in which he said the “obvious reason” for the failure of affirmative action programs was because they “required the recruiting of inadequately prepared candidates.”

The record on Roberts appears to be even worse due to information that came to light in his confirmation hearings. Before the hearings it was discovered that a file headed “Affirmative Action” was missing from the White House files stored at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Roberts had worked as a White House aide during the Reagan administration.

A report from the National Archives inspector general found that White House aides from the Bush administration visited the Reagan Library to do a background check on Roberts. The report found that the aides were permitted to bring personal items into the library and they were left alone at times with the document collection. The report says that the White House aides were the last known people to see the file entitled “Affirmative Action.”...."
http://www.jbhe.com/features/51_specialreport.html

Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: planet rugby on July 21, 2008, 06:32:56 AM
THE JOURNAL OF BLACKS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Weekly Bulletin
July 10, 2008
Law School at North Carolina Central University to Host the Chief Justice Roberts

Students at the historically black law school at North Carolina Central University in Durham will have to be well prepared for next spring’s moot court competition. The judge presiding over the final competition will be John Roberts, chief justice of the United States.

Raymond Pierce, dean of the law school, met the chief justice at a judicial conference and Roberts offered to officiate at the moot court proceedings.

It will be the first time a current member of the U.S. Supreme Court has made an appearance on the campus of the law school. There are about 600 students at the law school, about one half of them are African Americans.

http://www.jbhe.com/latest/index.html

Chief Justice Roberts was nominated July 19, 2005.

THE JOURNAL OF BLACKS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Weekly Bulletin
George W. Bush, the NAACP, and the Persistent Damage to Black Higher Education

"Both of President Bush’s nominees to the Supreme Court — John Roberts and Samuel Alito —appear to be strong opponents of affirmative action. In late 1981 Roberts wrote a critique of a Civil Right Commission report in which he said the “obvious reason” for the failure of affirmative action programs was because they “required the recruiting of inadequately prepared candidates.”

The record on Roberts appears to be even worse due to information that came to light in his confirmation hearings. Before the hearings it was discovered that a file headed “Affirmative Action” was missing from the White House files stored at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Roberts had worked as a White House aide during the Reagan administration.

A report from the National Archives inspector general found that White House aides from the Bush administration visited the Reagan Library to do a background check on Roberts. The report found that the aides were permitted to bring personal items into the library and they were left alone at times with the document collection. The report says that the White House aides were the last known people to see the file entitled “Affirmative Action.”...."
http://www.jbhe.com/features/51_specialreport.html

I was wondering if the Roberts gesture to North Carolina Central University students will make him more popular among African Americans? Does this sort of thing matter?
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on August 12, 2008, 10:33:00 PM


I was wondering if the Roberts gesture to North Carolina Central University students will make him more popular among African Americans? Does this sort of thing matter?

It's doubtful. (unless he begins to vote like Ruth Bader Ginsburg) ;)
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: treefity350 on August 13, 2008, 09:44:59 AM
I'm getting into this thread late, but I have to point out that there is evidence against this claim:

Quote
the difference between analytical thinkers and non-analytical thinkers becomes one of upbringing and environment.

In fact, in numerous studies of identical twins raised in different homes (sometimes at opposite ends of the economic and cultural spectrums) the twins nearly always test within a couple points of each other in terms of IQ. This would suggest that IQ is almost totally genetically determined.
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on August 14, 2008, 09:38:03 AM
I'm getting into this thread late, but I have to point out that there is evidence against this claim:

Quote
the difference between analytical thinkers and non-analytical thinkers becomes one of upbringing and environment.

In fact, in numerous studies of identical twins raised in different homes (sometimes at opposite ends of the economic and cultural spectrums) the twins nearly always test within a couple points of each other in terms of IQ. This would suggest that IQ is almost totally genetically determined.

The author of the above quote may want to comment, but certain types of thinking patterns are learned. (to greater and lesser degrees) People go to law school to learn how to "think like a lawyer." On average these people are considered very bright, but they still must learn not only legal concepts but how to analyze and apply them and how to make legal arguments.

As to the issue of twins, studies of black children reared by white families suggest that some of the studies of twins are flawed or incomplete. If the average IQ of black children reared by whites is significantly higher than the average IQ of similar black children reared by blacks, then IQ cannot be prescribed primarily by genetics.

You may want to check out a book called Cognitive Evolution mentioned in the beginning of this thread. It proposes that the act of thinking itself has biological consequences. Heady stuff.

Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: treefity350 on August 14, 2008, 10:39:10 AM
Do you have a link to this study on black children raised by white families?

I can't link you to the studies because I heard the results first hand from the researcher, who was a professor of mine, but I can tell you that the author of the studies I'm referring to was Al Maisto.
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on August 14, 2008, 01:38:15 PM
Do you have a link to this study on black children raised by white families?

I can't link you to the studies because I heard the results first hand from the researcher, who was a professor of mine, but I can tell you that the author of the studies I'm referring to was Al Maisto.

Here is a link to
Psychology, Public Policy, and Law
2005, Vol. 11, No. 2, 235–294
THIRTY YEARS OF RESEARCH ON RACE
DIFFERENCES IN COGNITIVE ABILITY
http://psychology.uwo.ca/faculty/rushtonpdfs/PPPL1.pdf

There is a section included on transracial adoptions which identifies by name some of the key studies and findings. You'll also find arguments that the studies require follow-up studies and cannot be taken at face value.

IMO, if you want a cutting edge perspective, take a look at the cognitive evolution book. It analyzes new brain studies to interpret what the iq data mean.

Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: planet rugby on August 27, 2008, 08:40:25 PM
THE JOURNAL OF BLACKS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Weekly Bulletin
July 10, 2008
Law School at North Carolina Central University to Host the Chief Justice Roberts

Students at the historically black law school at North Carolina Central University in Durham will have to be well prepared for next spring’s moot court competition. The judge presiding over the final competition will be John Roberts, chief justice of the United States.

Raymond Pierce, dean of the law school, met the chief justice at a judicial conference and Roberts offered to officiate at the moot court proceedings.

It will be the first time a current member of the U.S. Supreme Court has made an appearance on the campus of the law school. There are about 600 students at the law school, about one half of them are African Americans.

http://www.jbhe.com/latest/index.html





I was wondering if the Roberts gesture to North Carolina Central University students will make him more popular among African Americans? Does this sort of thing matter?

It's doubtful. (unless he begins to vote like Ruth Bader Ginsburg) ;)
Any other thoughts?
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on September 16, 2008, 07:34:56 PM
More on this Generous Gesture

http://media.www.thehilltoponline.com/media/storage/paper590/news/2008/07/21/Campus/Howard.Grad.Creates.Lsat.Prep.Scholarship-3392882.shtml

Howard Grad Creates LSAT Prep Scholarship
Jessica Lewis
7/21/08
Campus
 Students planning to take the LSAT may be able to prepare for the exam for free with the help of Kristina Maury.

Maury, a 2007 Howard graduate and Harvard Law student, introduced a scholarship for students interested in pursuing a career in law - The Terrance Mac Maury Scholarship Fund. The scholarship will cover the full cost of a Kaplan Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) classroom course, which averages about $1,299. Test takers will then be responsible for the $127 exam itself.

"The scholarship is named after my dad," Maury said. "He was murdered after getting involved with drugs and my scholarship represents the chance he never had."

After looking at the scoring pattern for blacks when compared to other races, who tend to be "overrepresented" in law school, Maury decided to hold a fundraiser to start her own scholarship fund to help adjust the trend.

"For my birthday, I held a mini fundraiser and asked my family and friends to make donations versus giving me gifts," she said. So far, Maury has raised enough funds to distribute the scholarship to one person in November 2008.

Junior legal communications major, Angela Porter expressed gratitude for the scholarship, as she thinks there is always a need for LSAT Prep courses, making this scholarship extremely beneficial to students.

"African-Americans tend to lag behind the majority when it comes to standardized testing," Porter said.

The average LSAT score for whites was 152.47 in 2004, and 142.43 for blacks, according to "The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education."

Maury recognizes this imbalanced trend. "I think the problem lies more in the tests versus whether or not we, as African Americans, are being prepared for it, but I think that I could make a bit of a difference," she said.

Along with the family and friends that contributed to the fund, Maury will judge applicants based on the criteria outlined on the Web site, www.makingtheway.org.

The scholarship is available to one black junior or senior currently enrolled at an accredited institution of higher education in the United States. The applicants must have a 3.5 GPA with a demonstrated financial need.

In terms of "demonstrated financial need," Maury requests applicants to define their need rather than provide documented proof.

Coming from a single parent, middle-class family, Maury says that she understands that financial need goes beyond numbers and income.

Porter is already planning to apply for the scholarship having met the criteria.
To increase the impact of the scholarship fund, Maury intends to provide the recipient with any help they may need in terms of preparation.

Maury plans to continue this scholarship in the coming years and increase the award amount by partnering with law firms and associations.
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on October 13, 2008, 11:38:22 AM
THE HUFFINGTON POST
Yolanda Young
Law Firm Segregation Reminiscent of Jim Crow
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yolanda-young/law-firm-segregation-remi_b_91881.html
Posted March 17, 2008 | 11:35 AM (EST)

At Georgetown University Law Center, I studied Constitutional Law with Father Robert Drinan. Having served paradoxically as both a priest and a Congressman, he was an apt guide through the maze of cases--Plessy v. Ferguson, Brown v. Topeka Board of Education, and the Bakke decision--that underscored the dichotomy between justice and law when race and power clash.

After graduating from law school, I sold my first book to Random House for a six-figure advance, lectured at Vassar and did commentary for NPR. Today I host the video blog, spadeproject.com and write frequently for newspapers. Still, a writer's income is inconsistent, so I've always kept my resume on file with legal placement agencies. Three years ago, a recruiter suggested a staff attorney position at Covington & Burling LLP as a "great opportunity." And it was...to experience the race/power dynamic firsthand.

Staff attorneys are non-partner track lawyers who handle the menial legal tasks--generating binders and attaching "relevant" or "not relevant" codes to thousands of emails, spreadsheets, and any other documents associated with a particular case--that associates shun. While paralegals have their own offices, as many as ten staff attorneys share windowless file rooms. Segregated from other lawyers in the firm, we go uninvited to attorney-only firm functions and are not provided jury duty or maternity leave. The base pay and bonus structure is half that of a 25 year old first year associate's.

Blacks at Covington comprise less than 5% of the Washington office's partners and associates, but make up 30% of its staff attorneys. A peek at the firm's website doesn't reveal this since, unlike all other lawyers there, staff attorneys aren't pictured. Were they, a peculiar pattern would emerge.

In a Legal Times essay, "The Unqualified Myth," Veta T. Richardson, Executive Director of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association wrote, "Law firms claim to have consistent hiring criteria, but their ranks are actually filled with exceptions to the rule. These exceptions are more likely to be white lawyers." Indeed, Covington's black staff attorneys (like its black partners and associates) hail from top law schools like Harvard, Duke and Georgetown while several white associates and partners attended schools like Catholic, Kentucky and Villanova (all ranked well below 50). Taken as a whole, the black staff attorneys' average law school rank is higher than that of white staff attorneys at the firm.

Blacks bought into the notion, stressed by legal literature, ranking systems and law firm recruiting departments, that investing in a top legal education is paramount for those wishing to work at top law firms. It's disheartening to then discover that the black student who borrows $120,000 to attend Georgetown will only earn half that of the white associate who's paid $60,000 to attend the University of Maryland.

Covington began stockpiling its staff attorney ghetto with blacks and other minorities in 2005, shortly after the General Council of some of the country's largest companies joined Roderick A. Palmore, Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary of Sara Lee in taking a tougher stance on law firm diversity. Signed by hundreds of General Counsel, this new "Call to Action" states they will retain firms that demonstrate a level of diversity reflective of their employees and customers and end their relationship with firms "whose performance consistently evidences a lack of meaningful interest in being diverse."

Covington has certainly diversified its firm; however, its attorneys are far from equals. The vast majority of Covington's black attorneys do no substantive work, have no control over their case assignments and no opportunity for advancement. This seems to be just the sort of structure the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission warned against in its 2003 "Diversity In Law Firms" report which stated, "In large, national law firms, the most pressing issues have probably shifted from hiring and initial access to problems concerning the terms and conditions of employment, especially promotion to partnership."

Palmore has made clear that in drafting the "Call", his hope was that rather than utilize minority attorneys solely to satisfy a billables requirement, firms would use diversity to advance a firm's culture so that a variety of perspectives influence how a firm functions. It is clear that when true diversity is absent, a dysfunctional work place arises, one in which even purveyors of racial jokes are tolerated.

At a staff meeting to address concerns regarding a colleague's reading aloud a Wikipedia list of racial slurs, the staff attorney manager downplayed the incident then recalled how as a child when his pet monkey got out of its cage, his mother never cared about the why or how. She simply wanted it not to happen. The analogy was ill-advised but the inference clear--rather than rooting out racism in the workplace, he only cared that the offender cease the behavior and the offended desist complaining about it.

One might wonder, "Why do blacks stand for such monkey business?" Because they know that to object, one risks ruining one's career. In the law review article, "Why Are There So Few Black Lawyers in Corporate Law Firms? An Institutional Analysis," authors David Wilkins and Mitu Gulati assert that black lawyers lack mentors who can protect them.

Recently, I contacted the black graduates from my law school class to find out how others were fairing in the legal profession. Many are working in government, a few have been very successful at careers outside the law and some are in-house attorneys. Nearly all who'd had experience in a large firm environment expressed chagrin, sighting instance after instance of suspect treatment. Of the few still at firms, I could only find one out of a class of more than 50 blacks who had made partner at a large law firm. How'd he accomplish this? "Sure I worked hard, made myself indispensable, but I'm not going to say I'm the only person who's ever done that. You have to have a Partner willing to be an advocate for you. I had several actually. There was a black partner who was helpful, but my most vocal advocate was a Jewish guy who made sure I stayed on track."

Absent a mentor, it's easy to be derailed. On August 14th, at 10am, I was told that I was being laid off. I received no severance and my computer was switched off at noon. Since then I have been resisting the impulse to question whether Covington's staff attorney policy is unfair to blacks and other minorities. It's a question no black professional wants to confront. We know the eye-rolling and impatient sighs the issue provokes. To protest, one faces reproach and career suicide. Firms know this and bank on everyone's silence.

Conservative columnists like Stuart Taylor Jr. have suggested that minorities aren't bringing discrimination lawsuits against law firms because disparate treatment doesn't exist, but try this logic.

Black attorneys know law firms have the resources to crush an adversary. It is possible that Covington or, more specifically, the partner charged with managing our group were not bias. Perhaps he was simply inept, better equipped for his other firm duties -- planning Friday Happy Hours, organizing the firm's NCAA pool and choosing the band for the office Holiday party. Even he remarked that it took him 17 years to make partner. Unfortunately, blacks don't get to stick around that long. I wish Father Drinan was still alive to help me make sense of this.
                             
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
LAW BLOG
http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2008/03/18/ex-staff-attorney-takes-aim-at-biglaw-minority-hiring/
Ex-Staff Attorney Takes Aim at BigLaw Minority Hiring
Posted by Dan Slater

Covington began stockpiling its staff attorney ghetto with blacks and other minorities in 2005, shortly after the General Council [sic] of some of the country’s largest companies [took] a tougher stance on law firm diversity. . . . Covington has certainly diversified its firm; however, its attorneys are far from equals. The vast majority of Covington’s black attorneys do no substantive work, have no control over their case assignments and no opportunity for advancement. — Yolanda Young, The Huffington Post
 
In recent years, major companies like Wal-Mart and Sara Lee have directed that their outside law firms increase the number of women and minorities among associate and partner ranks. The effort began when Roderick A. Palmore, Sara Lee’s general counsel, wrote a letter encouraging other GC’s to end or limit “relationships with firms whose performance consistently evidences a lack of meaningful interest in being diverse.”

Since then reports have varied as to how successful firm diversification efforts have been. But, according to Yolanda Young, who worked briefly as a staff attorney at Covington & Burling’s D.C. office, they’ve not been successful. In yesterday’s HuffPo, Young writes that Covington hired blacks into its staff attorney program after the call for greater diversity.

“Covington’s black staff attorneys (like its black partners and associates) hail from top law schools like Harvard, Duke and Georgetown, while several white associates and partners attended schools like Catholic, Kentucky and Villanova (all ranked well below 50),” claims Young. “Taken as a whole, the black staff attorneys’ average law school rank is higher than that of white staff attorneys at the firm.” Young writes that blacks at Covington ....
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on November 02, 2008, 08:56:08 AM
"Of the 420 black students who entered the top 18 law schools in 1991, only 24 of them would have been admitted in the absence of affirmative action."

TODAY ???

BOUNDLESS WEBZINE
"Defending the Race"
by David Orland     
      
A Review of John McWhorter’s Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America, The Free Press (New York, 2000).

This is a great moment for black America. In ways that would have been unthinkable just 30 years ago, black Americans today enjoy a place at the table of public life. Institutional barriers to black advancement are long departed. Jim Crow is dead. More black students graduate high school and university than ever before, swelling the ranks of the robust and growing black middle class. And white racism, once a virtual given in any encounter between the races, is today a marginal phenomenon, the preserve of a tiny band of closely monitored and universally reviled yahoos. On almost every indicator, black America seems close to attaining the mountaintop famously evoked by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Every indicator but one, that is. Despite the apparent strides made in the direction of social equality, black college students continue to post starkly lower test scores and grades than their white and Asian counter-parts. It has long been assumed that academic performance is a function of wealth: that the greater the number of middle class or better families in a given population, the greater the number of academically successful children it will produce. And yet as any number of recent studies have shown, the conventional wisdom fails in the case of African-Americans. Though the children of middle class black families do perform at a higher level than those of their co-ethnics who are impoverished, they still perform significantly worse than the similarly placed children of white and Asian families.

In Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America, John McWhorter, a Professor of Linguistics at UC, Berkeley, attempts to unravel and resolve this great irony of contemporary African-American life. According to McWhorter, the persistent under-performance of black students is the result, not of poverty or white racism, but of such culture-internal features of black American life as a sense of separateness and a deep-seated strain of inherited anti-intellectualism. "My aim," McWhorter writes, "is to show that while there is a reason beyond laziness or mental unfitness that the black kids in front of the Lexus are unlikely to be stars in school, that reason is not class ... we have expectations of blacks so different from those we have of other groups for a reason: because of something specific to black culture." It is a bold thesis and one which has earned McWhorter, who is himself black, more than a few enemies....

http://www.boundless.org/2000/departments/pages/a0000385.html
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on November 28, 2008, 11:56:28 PM
Columbia, Missouri | ColumbiaTribune.com
Achievement gap
Black students fall behind


By HENRY J. WATERS III, Publisher, Columbia Daily Tribune
Published Friday, November 14, 2008

"Lawson and Stephens have talked about building a target school or classrooms for failing black students led by blacks."  ???

THE TRIBUNE'S VIEW
Achievement gap
Black students fall behind

By HENRY J. WATERS III, Publisher, Columbia Daily Tribune
Published Friday, November 14, 2008

Despite the 2003 transformation of West Boulevard Elementary to a "model school" focused on closing the achievement gap between black and white students, recent test results show the problem has worsened. MAP scores show blacks now do worse in Columbia schools than across the state and the gap is even wider here, partly because local white students outperform their statewide peers. Nothing wrong with white outperformance, of course, so the issue is poor performance by blacks, not merely the achievement gap.

During the five years of the experiment, the district spent more each year per student at West Boulevard than elsewhere on extraordinary efforts aimed at raising test scores among the school’s minority population, without the desired result. Now Chief Academic Officer Sally Beth Lyon says the district will "go back to square one," reappointing its Achievement Gap Task Force.

School board member Steve Calloway says the district is failing "some of our kids." Rosie Tippin says the district doesn’t understand black kids. Black boys in particular think education is not cool, she says, so they conscientiously remain dumb. Calloway and Tippin are the black members of the board.

From an outside perspective, it seems more accurate to say black kids are failing themselves by not taking advantage of the opportunity offered by Columbia Public Schools. The school district should do anything it can to improve the learning level of all students, particularly the lowest achievers, but it’s not fair to say the district is failing.

Except in this important regard: Columbia schools lack black male teachers and other mentors.

If this is a failure, it is widespread. School districts everywhere struggle to hire black male teachers, so rare is the breed. But, as local activists Lorenzo Lawson and Nathan Stephens point out, this is a crucial factor leading to poor achievement among black students, particularly boys, and when boys opt out, girls usually are close behind.

I’ve discussed this issue often with Lawson and Stephens and have become convinced they are absolutely right. A few black kids can succeed in a district like ours, but it’s an extraordinary achievement. The youngster has to literally escape his own culture to succeed in a white school, and despite the presence of growing numbers of black students, Columbia schools can accurately be described as white, meaning the role models, the authority groups, are essentially white.

One can say it’s up to the black students to take advantage of what these whites are offering, which is everything one can expect, but they can’t fill the crucial peer model role.

Lawson and Stephens have talked about building a target school or classrooms for failing black students led by blacks. Sadly, we have such a student clientele, and public money is available for their continuing education if they can be kept in the system.

An ethnic role model presence is necessary. No such presence will be created using the traditional methods even our good school system uses. Until the district is ready to look further, the achievement gap will persist. To their credit, local school officials have tried hard with traditional approaches that, in retrospect, were bound to fail. Now, what do they have to lose by talking with Lorenzo and Nathan? They are thoughtful men who have some pertinent ideas, if our minds are open enough to let them in.
http://www.columbiatribune.com/2008/Nov/20081114Comm001.asp
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on December 14, 2008, 11:10:51 PM

Michigan law school’s plan to waive the LSAT
Skip the LSAT, Head Straight to Law School!

WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE

Posted By Dan Slater On September 25, 2008 @ 5:07 pm In Law School

UPDATE: Given all the hand-wringing over Michigan law school’s plan to waive the LSAT for Michigan undergrads who have at least a 3.8 GPA, we rang up Sarah Zearfoss, the dean of admissions, to get the inside dope.

“When it comes to this ‘gaming the rankings’ allegation,” says Zearfoss, “I think there are two important pieces. First, the number of people I’m contemplating admitting [on the Wolverine Scholars Program] is between 5 and 10. We have a first-year class of 360. So it wouldn’t have any effect on the LSAT median, and I don’t see how it could have any effect on the GPA median either. Second, there are only 200 people in the entire University of Michigan junior class who have a GPA of 3.8 or higher. Obviously, most of them don’t want to apply to law school, and of those who do, many won’t choose this program.”

She continued: “So if gaming the rankings isn’t our motive, then the question is, what is our motive? Michigan is in an unusual position. We’re a national school and a public institution. We know, from all kinds of anecdotal evidence, that our position as a national school often discourages people in our own backyard from applying. This is a way for me to to signal that I view Michigan as a strong institution.”

So why is 3.8 the magic GPA? “We looked at a lot of historical data,” explained Zearfoss, “and that’s the number we found where, regardless of what LSAT the person had, they do well in the class. As you get below that number, there’s a little less certainty.”
_____________________________ ____________________

Imagine this: No six-week LSAT review course. No struggling with those blasted “logic” problems. No horrendous pre-game anxiety dreams in which you show up at the testing site without pants or No. 2 pencils (or maybe that was just us).

A world of LSAT-free law school admission is coming to Michigan law school, according to a report on its Web site announcing the Wolverine Scholars Program. Here’s how it works: UM undergrads who have at least completed their junior year and at most are scheduled to graduate in Winter or Spring 2009 and who have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.80 are eligible to apply to the law school without taking the LSAT.

The Web site says:

      The Law School’s in-depth familiarity with Michigan undergrad curricula and faculty, coupled with significant historic data for assessing the potential performance of Michigan undergrads at the Law School, will allow us to perform an intensive review of the undergraduate curriculum of applicants . . . and have confidence in our ability to assess an applicant’s academic strengths and the likelihood of outstanding engagement with the Law School. For this select group of qualified applicants, therefore, we will omit our usual requirement that applicants submit an LSAT score. . .Because we wish to encourage broad participation in this program, we will waive the usual application fee for anyone applying under the Wolverine Scholars program.
http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2008/09/25/skip-the-lsat-head-straight-to-law-school/
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on January 24, 2009, 04:09:25 PM
INSIDE HIGHER ED
Sept. 30
A Crack in the Dominance of the LSAT?

While more and more colleges are questioning the use of the SAT, the use of standardized tests for law and medical school admissions is much more widely accepted. The American Bar Association, for example, views the use of admission tests as a key way to measure the suitability of law schools for accreditation. And as a result, the Law School Admission Test is routinely required by law schools.

As a result, more than a few eyebrows have been raised in the past few days by word that the University of Michigan’s law school will start admitting a small share of its class without LSAT scores. Michigan says that the goal of its Wolverine Scholars program is to attract more students from its home state. But because Michigan’s law school is considered to be among the best in the country and because the LSAT is so routinely a major part of law school admissions, the move is attracting scrutiny in the legal blogosphere.

By no means is Michigan abandoning the LSAT. The program is open only to Michigan undergraduates with a grade point average of at least 3.8. Sarah C. Zearfoss, assistant dean of the law school and its director of admissions, said that only about 5-10 students will be admitted this way, out of a class of 360, and that the primary goal is to attract more Michigan students. Michigan’s law school is unusual among public law schools in its relatively low proportion of in-state residents — 22 percent. (By comparison 70 percent of students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill law school are from the state; at the University of California at Los Angeles, the figure is 60 percent.)

Michigan’s description of its new programs gives this explanation for why it is not requiring the LSAT: “The law school’s in-depth familiarity with Michigan undergrad curricula and faculty, coupled with significant historic data for assessing the potential performance of Michigan undergrads at the Law School, will allow us to perform an intensive review of the undergraduate curriculum of applicants, even beyond the typical close scrutiny we devote, and have confidence in our ability to assess an applicant’s academic strengths and the likelihood of outstanding engagement with the law school. For this select group of qualified applicants, therefore, we will omit our usual requirement that applicants submit an LSAT score.”

Many law school bloggers have jumped to the conclusion that the law school is trying to improve its rankings in U.S. News by attracting students with very high grades but perhaps those students who wouldn’t score well on the LSAT. In this scenario, Michigan gets more points for a higher GPA and its LSAT average could rise, too. (Both grade and LSAT medians are part of the magazine’s methodology for law schools.) Michigan’s move is being called “a new low in ‘gaming’ the U.S. News rankings,” and there is much speculation that this is all about the magazine.

Zearfoss said there is no such strategy at work. The number of students who will be admitted this way is such a “fractional sliver” of the class that “this couldn’t be a successful route for manipulating the rankings, even if we were so inclined,” she said. Michigan has “well considered policy objectives” for the program, she said, adding that the law school has never made decisions based on “blind obeisance to rankings.”

She said it was surprising to find so much skepticism at “one very small outside-the-box” move by a law school, especially when “many organizations are examining the appropriate use of standardized tests.”

In fact some experts on standardized tests agree that what’s significant here isn’t the rankings, but the idea that a top law school would go on record saying that it’s possible to make informed admissions decisions, even in a minority of cases, without the LSAT.

Robert Schaeffer, public education director of the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, called the move “a step in the right direction.” He said he believes Michigan and other law schools don’t even need such a high GPA to make such a shift, but that the principle involved is what’s important. “Top-notch performance in a rigorous undergraduate curriculum is a better predictor of readiness for graduate school than any multiple-choice exam,” he said.

He also said that, for all the concern among educators about the hysteria over SAT scores and the growth of the test-prep industry, things are even worse for professional school testing, which he said “makes the pre-SAT frenzy look mild — nearly every person who sits for the LSAT, MCAT or GMAT has paid for some form of coaching.”

Law schools that don’t use the LSAT are shunned by the ABA. The refusal of the Massachusetts School of Law to require the LSAT was among several disputes that led to years of fighting with the ABA over its refusal to accredit the non-traditional law school. (Having lost in court, at this point the law school says it no longer wants ABA recognition and can operate without it.) The Massachusetts School of Law requires all applicants to have interviews and to take an essay test it has developed, and argues that its method helps to identify talented students who might not have earned great LSAT scores.

Lawrence R. Velvel, the dean of the school, said that the LSAT “is all about elitism — it’s about saying your law school is better than another law school because you have better LSAT scores.” While Velvel said his law school does not track students’ race and ethnicity, he said that well more than one fourth of students are from minority groups and that many students come from relatively modest economic backgrounds. The “interests of the public at large,” he said, demand that law schools not rely on tests on which wealthy students have advantages.

Asked about Michigan’s new program, he said, “I don’t care what Michigan does because we’ve known for 20 years that we are right. I simply consider that Michigan is the first very small inroad in the rest of law schools to doing what we know is right, and what is increasingly taking place in fields other than law.”

Michael A. Olivas, a professor of law at the University of Houston who has served on many national committees on legal education, said it was important not to overstate the significance of Michigan’s move. He noted that Bowdoin College went SAT-optional decades ago and for a long time, not many colleges followed, and even today, SAT-optional isn’t the norm for highly competitive colleges. So Olivas predicted a “modest” impact.

Still, he said that just as Bowdoin “got people thinking,” Michigan will also prompt other law schools to think about their approaches. “It’s a good idea to have alternatives floating around,” he said.

One person who thinks that Michigan is making a mistake is Ellen Rutt, associate dean for admissions at the University of Connecticut’s law school and chair of the Law School Admissions Council, which runs the LSAT. She noted that the ABA requires a test and said that LSAT was “the gold standard.”

In addition, Rutt questioned how Michigan would respond if many students with high grades applied, as could be possible at an institution as large as that university. “You have to discriminate among them somehow,” she said. “I think they are losing something very crucial to the admissions process” for “comparability” and providing “greater precision in predicting first-year performance,” she said.

— Scott Jaschik http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/09/30/lsat
Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on March 11, 2009, 08:15:24 AM
THE NEW YORK TIMES
March 11, 2009
Study Offers a New Test of Potential Lawyers  
By JONATHAN D. GLATER
Just what makes a good lawyer?  In trying to answer that question, professors at the University of California, Berkeley, have come up with a test that they say is better at predicting success in the field than the widely used Law School Admission Test.

The LSAT, as the half-day exam is known, does not claim to predict much beyond a student’s performance in law school. But critics contend that it does not evaluate how good a lawyer someone will be and tests for the wrong things. They also say it keeps many black and Hispanic students — who tend to have lower scores — out of the legal profession.

Marjorie M. Shultz, a law professor who retired last year from Berkeley and is one of the study’s authors, said she began to examine the issue after California voters approved Proposition 209, which banned consideration of race in admissions.

“Proposition 209 and the reduced numbers of minority admits prompted me to think hard about what constitutes merit for purposes of law school admission, and to decide LSAT was much too narrow, as well as having big adverse impact,” Professor Shultz said.

The Law School Admissions Council, which administers the LSAT, helped finance Professor Shultz’s research, which has not appeared in any scholarly journals. Nonetheless, Wendy Margolis, a council spokeswoman, defended the LSAT, saying that how a student does in law school “has a great deal to do with ultimate success as a lawyer.”

Ms. Margolis added, “We think it would be difficult to predict success as a lawyer prior to law school.”

But that is exactly what Professor Shultz and Prof. Sheldon Zedeck, a colleague in the university’s psychology department, wanted to do.

To find out what applicant traits should figure in admissions decisions at law schools, they coordinated individual interviews, focus groups and ultimately a survey of judges, law school professors, law firm clients and hundreds of graduates of Berkeley’s law school.

They asked, among other things, “If you were looking for a lawyer for an important matter for yourself, what qualities would you most look for? What kind of lawyer do you want to teach or be?”

The survey produced a list of 26 characteristics, or “effectiveness factors,” like the ability to write, manage stress, listen, research the law and solve problems. The professors then collected examples from the Berkeley alumni of specific behavior by lawyers that were considered more or less effective.

Using the examples, Professor Shultz and Professor Zedeck developed a test that could be administered to law school applicants to measure their raw lawyerly talent.

Instead of focusing on analytic ability, the new test includes questions about how to respond to hypothetical situations. For example, it might describe a company with a policy requiring immediate firing of any employee who lied on an application, then ask what a test taker would do upon discovering that a top-performing employee had omitted something on an application.

More than 1,100 lawyers took the test and agreed to let the researchers see their original LSAT scores, as well as grades from college and law school.

The study concluded that while LSAT scores, for example, “were not particularly useful” in predicting lawyer effectiveness, the new, alternative test results were — although the new test was no better at predicting how well participants would do in law school. Unlike the LSAT, the new test did not produce a gap in scores among different racial or ethnic groups.

But participants might have performed differently on it, had they taken the test when they were applying to law school. Professor Shultz said this was one reason the next step in the research should include tracking test takers over time, from when they apply to law school through their careers.

David E. Van Zandt, dean of the law school at Northwestern, said he would welcome a supplement to the LSAT to evaluate applicants, a sentiment echoed by other law school deans.

John H. Garvey, dean of Boston College Law School and past president of the Association of American Law Schools, said, “It would be good for us and for other schools to have other measures that complement the LSAT and that would help us identify promising candidates.”

While his school’s admissions decisions involved much more than just LSAT scores — grades, work experience, recommendations and the like — Mr. Garvey said that more and possibly better predictive information would be helpful.

“Everybody would be happy for that,” he said. “There is not that much magic in the LSAT that we wouldn’t be willing to add to it to accomplish our more important goals.”

Both Professor Shultz and Ms. Margolis, the Law School Admission Council spokeswoman, said the next step was to survey lawyers nationwide, not just alumni of Berkeley, to test the measures of lawyer quality in a bigger pool.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/11/education/11lsat.html?_r=1&ref=education


Title: Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
Post by: greenplaid on April 04, 2009, 03:34:18 PM
http://www.blackexcel.org/06-where-are-black-law-students.htm
Where Are Black Law Students?

Black Excel created the telling list below based on "diversity" data collected by
U.S. News Report for specific law schools for 2003. Go to the link below for the
latest data.

• Howard University (DC)---88%
• CUNY, Queens College-NYC---15%
• Rutgers State University-Newark, NJ---15%
• Thomas M. Cooley Law School (MI)---23%
• George Washington University (DC)---12%
• Touro College (Jacob D. Fuchsberg)---11%
• Georgetown University (DC)---10%
• Vanderbilt University (TN)---13%
• University of Maryland---11%
• Catholic University of America (DC)---9%
• Duke University (NC)--9%
• Loyola University of New Orleans---11%
• Oklahoma City University--7%
• Tulane University (LA)---10%
• University of Baltimore (MD)--14%
• University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill--10%
• Florida Coastal School of Law---11%
• Temple University (PA)--7%
• University of Cincinnati--9%
• University of Buffalo (NY)--7%
• University of Arkansas--10%
• Washington & Lee University (VA)---13%
• Ohio State University---8%
• College of William and Mary (VA)--9%
• John Marshall Law School (IL)--7%
• Indiana University (Bloomington) ---7%
• Indiana University (Indianapolis)--9%
• Wayne State University (MI)--10%
• Georgia State University---10%
• University of Georgia---11%
• University of Dayton (OH)--6%
• University of Detroit (Mercy)--11%
• University of Tennessee--12%
• Louisiana State University--10%
• University of Memphis---10%
• Mercer University (GA)---9%
• Capitol University (OH)---8%

For the lastest date, go to
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/grad/rankings/law/brief/lawdiv_brief.php