Law School Discussion

Are lawyers smarter than doctors? Than scientists? Than engineers?

Re: Are lawyers smarter than doctors? Than scientists? Than engineers?
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2009, 10:55:36 AM »
"My main point is that the different professions attract people with different types of cognitive skill. Asking which profession is more intelligent is like asking who was the better sports player: Michael Jordan or Wayne Gretzky?"

No, it really isn't, if you believe in the concept of a general intelligence.  It would be more like asking which sport is conducive or demands a higher general athletic ability as measured by qualities that are not sport-specific, such as aerobic endurance, stamina, hand-eye coordination and strength.

I understand that the hard part, from your end, is to argue against the concept of general cognitive ability.  However, I think you can do better than to throw your hands up in the air say "the question's already been decided" and then start talking about Michael Jordon.

I'm very disappointed.

nealric

  • ****
  • 2248
  • a.k.a. Miguel Sanchez
    • View Profile
Re: Are lawyers smarter than doctors? Than scientists? Than engineers?
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2009, 11:05:17 AM »
Quote

I understand that the hard part, from your end, is to argue against the concept of general cognitive ability.

Why would I do this? I don't need to and I don't have the background to do so. That's the providence of people who study cognition for a living. Of course the question has not been decided- there is a healthy debate amongst those people. I would also point out that whatever the objective, scientific measure of general intelligence is, individuals will continue to hold their own- often disparate opinions.

Whether or not "General Intelligence" exists in some sort of Platonic sense, it's not very useful to talk about in this context. Almost any two things can be tied together with a sufficiently broad concept. Yeah, you could say that Michael Jordan has a higher athletic ability than Wayne Gretzky based on some general concept of athletic ability, but where would that really get you? What conclusions would you actually be able to draw from it? Neither is ever going to compete against the other.

Say you could definitively show that doctors are smarter than lawyers based on some general concept of intelligence. What exactly would be the point of that other than to massage someone's ego?

Scentless Apprentice

  • ****
  • 507
  • My ego isnt LSD strong but I still want to play.
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Are lawyers smarter than doctors? Than scientists? Than engineers?
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2009, 11:12:23 AM »
"My main point is that the different professions attract people with different types of cognitive skill. Asking which profession is more intelligent is like asking who was the better sports player: Michael Jordan or Wayne Gretzky?"

No, it really isn't, if you believe in the concept of a general intelligence.  It would be more like asking which sport is conducive or demands a higher general athletic ability as measured by qualities that are not sport-specific, such as aerobic endurance, stamina, hand-eye coordination and strength.

I understand that the hard part, from your end, is to argue against the concept of general cognitive ability.  However, I think you can do better than to throw your hands up in the air say "the question's already been decided" and then start talking about Michael Jordon.

I'm very disappointed.

You must be a fan of Spearman. Have you read 'The Bell Curve'? Sounds like it would be right up your alley. I think the main issue in the debate is the accuracy of intelligence testing, and whether or not it's possible to get a measure of raw cognitive ability that can be compared across groups. 

Re: Are lawyers smarter than doctors? Than scientists? Than engineers?
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2009, 11:39:06 AM »
Quote

I understand that the hard part, from your end, is to argue against the concept of general cognitive ability.

Why would I do this? I don't need to and I don't have the background to do so. That's the providence of people who study cognition for a living. Of course the question has not been decided- there is a healthy debate amongst those people. I would also point out that whatever the objective, scientific measure of general intelligence is, individuals will continue to hold their own- often disparate opinions.

Whether or not "General Intelligence" exists in some sort of Platonic sense, it's not very useful to talk about in this context. Almost any two things can be tied together with a sufficiently broad concept. Yeah, you could say that Michael Jordan has a higher athletic ability than Wayne Gretzky based on some general concept of athletic ability, but where would that really get you? What conclusions would you actually be able to draw from it? Neither is ever going to compete against the other.

Say you could definitively show that doctors are smarter than lawyers based on some general concept of intelligence. What exactly would be the point of that other than to massage someone's ego?


Nice retreat.  I didn't contend that intelligence testing has any immediate practical value and that is obviously tangential to this discussion.  Anyway, I get that you're not going to take the central issue head on.  I'm cool with that.  Cheers.

Re: Are lawyers smarter than doctors? Than scientists? Than engineers?
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2009, 11:40:37 AM »
"My main point is that the different professions attract people with different types of cognitive skill. Asking which profession is more intelligent is like asking who was the better sports player: Michael Jordan or Wayne Gretzky?"

No, it really isn't, if you believe in the concept of a general intelligence.  It would be more like asking which sport is conducive or demands a higher general athletic ability as measured by qualities that are not sport-specific, such as aerobic endurance, stamina, hand-eye coordination and strength.

I understand that the hard part, from your end, is to argue against the concept of general cognitive ability.  However, I think you can do better than to throw your hands up in the air say "the question's already been decided" and then start talking about Michael Jordon.

I'm very disappointed.

You must be a fan of Spearman. Have you read 'The Bell Curve'? Sounds like it would be right up your alley. I think the main issue in the debate is the accuracy of intelligence testing, and whether or not it's possible to get a measure of raw cognitive ability that can be compared across groups. 

I don't know which "debate" you're talking about, but it's not this one.  Read the thread title.  Even if what's going on here could be considered a "debate," that "debate" would not be about whether or not intelligence tests, as currently administered, are accurate.


Scentless Apprentice

  • ****
  • 507
  • My ego isnt LSD strong but I still want to play.
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Are lawyers smarter than doctors? Than scientists? Than engineers?
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2009, 12:21:45 PM »

I don't know which "debate" you're talking about, but it's not this one.  Read the thread title.  Even if what's going on here could be considered a "debate," that "debate" would not be about whether or not intelligence tests, as currently administered, are accurate.


Yes, I did read the thread title, and I think it's pretty dumb. I wasnt talking about the debate within this thread, but moreso the debate within the field of psychometrics.

You mentioned the measuring of non sport specific qualities that could be used to determine general athletic ability. It's easy to measure things like that. Measuring cognitive ability is not as easy, and it's the debate within the psychometrics field that I was referencing. I guess I wasnt too clear..I somehow thought you would know something about it, since you seem to have an interest.

I can tell you don't really want to hear anything outside of your own thoughts on the matter. So, I won't even waste my time trying.


Re: Are lawyers smarter than doctors? Than scientists? Than engineers?
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2009, 02:01:57 PM »
"Yes, I did read the thread title, and I think it's pretty dumb."

LOL, you're easily the most articulate person on LSD.  Have a good weekend.


goaliechica

  • *****
  • 6178
  • It's only forever - not long at all.
    • View Profile
Re: Are lawyers smarter than doctors? Than scientists? Than engineers?
« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2009, 02:16:45 PM »

Re: Are lawyers smarter than doctors? Than scientists? Than engineers?
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2009, 02:35:00 PM »
I think the answer is probably no.  There are a lot of lawyers out there and many of them aren't very good.  The AMA controls who gets to call him/herself a doctor much more strictly.  It's a lot harder even just to get into ANY med school than it is to get into a tier 1 law school. 

"Engineering" is kind of hard one.  This is such a broad characterization that encompasses some of the brightest people in the world working on artificial intelligence and hydrogen bombs, and some people with associates degrees designing door handles. 

Scientists are simply the world's greatest people, whether they're the most intelligent people or not.

Scentless Apprentice

  • ****
  • 507
  • My ego isnt LSD strong but I still want to play.
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Are lawyers smarter than doctors? Than scientists? Than engineers?
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2009, 02:50:07 PM »
"Yes, I did read the thread title, and I think it's pretty dumb."

LOL, you're easily the most articulate person on LSD.  Have a good weekend.


Hey thanks, Pilofolo! I didn't think I was being articulate, but I appreciate the compliment!