THE BELL CURVE

ROGER GREEN,MEDICINE,ST.JOHN'S,NF,CAN roger at kean.ucs.mun.ca
Tue Feb 14 15:50:30 EST 1995


In article <60.354.3898.0N1CFD8E at canrem.com>, mike.mehta at canrem.com (Mike Mehta) writes:
> Hello,
> I am reading a book called "The Bell Curve" by Richard Hernstein and
> Charles Murray.  It is a book about intelligence and class structure
> in American life.  Since I have started reading this book, I have
> become extremely interested in intelligence and genetics.  I was
> hoping to receive as much information: opinions, facts, recent
> updates, regarding these topics.  There are hundreds of questions I am
> dying to ask, so to start:
> 
> -  What is intelligence defined as?  Does it have multiple
> definitions?
	Multiple definitions. Any discussion of "intelligence" should begin 
with the definition being used. 

> -  What methods exist of measuring intelligence?  How accurate are
> they?  Can I obtain copies of these tests or test questions?
	Any number of "IQ" tests may be used as a 
measure of intelligence: not because they are particularly meaningful, but 
because "IQ", as defined in these tests, is easy to measure and fairly 
reproducible.

> -  Is Intelligence generally considered to be due to genetics or
> environment?  What evidence is there supporting either?
	You pays your money and takes your choice. I believe that if you
are talking about performance on an "IQ" test, then genetic factors 
outweigh environmental ones, perhaps by a wide margin. Be prepared for 
other opinions on this.

> -  What do you people see as the consequences of the revelation that
> intelligence may differ ON AVERAGE by racial group?
	About the same consequence as the revelation that skin colour or 
height differs, ON AVERAGE, between "racial groups". (Not sure how you define 
"racial groups"). In other words, it's hardly surprising.

> -  Have scientists found an 'intelligence gene'?
	To my knowledge, not yet. However intelligence is defined, there 
will be several genes involved (as there are in the determination of height.) 
Geneticists have not had much luck in finding genes for ANY complex trait.

> -  How does the brain function to form thought?
	I have almost no idea.

>-  Is it just a reaction to various chemicals being shifted around?
	Almost certainly.

>-  If that is true, can we accurately predict every thought of the mind?
	Not yet.  (I assume you're joking.)

> As well, information on cases regarding tests done on identical twins,
> or children and parents, etc.  would be appreciated.  I am open to any
> and all comments and opinions.  Please respond,
> 
> Mike
			__________________________

	This is probably not the right group for this kind of discussion. 
I suggest any follow-ups go to one of the other groups where discussions of 
"The Bell Curve" have been going on for some time.

Roger C. Green,	Faculty of Medicine               Phone: (709)737-6884
Memorial University , St. John's, Newfoundland    FAX  : (709)737-7010



More information about the Gen-link mailing list