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Author Topic: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?  (Read 20581 times)

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Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2008, 01:46:59 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?


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Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
« Reply #31 on: January 02, 2008, 02:08:34 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.

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Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
« Reply #32 on: January 02, 2008, 02:13:17 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
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Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
« Reply #33 on: January 02, 2008, 02:38:19 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.

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Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
« Reply #34 on: January 02, 2008, 03:35:29 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.

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Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
« Reply #35 on: January 03, 2008, 07:45:19 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....

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Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
« Reply #36 on: January 03, 2008, 07:54:58 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.
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Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
« Reply #37 on: January 04, 2008, 02:18:45 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)



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Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
« Reply #38 on: January 04, 2008, 02:56:44 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!

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Re: Evolutionary prospects for labeled "dull" and "superior" ?
« Reply #39 on: January 04, 2008, 03:00:59 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.
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