Scientists 'locate' intelligence

mejqb at my-deja.com mejqb at my-deja.com
Tue Aug 22 17:19:34 EST 2000


In article <39A28ACD.AF41566D at guest.arnes.si>,
  Jure Sah <jure.sah at guest.arnes.si> wrote:
> mejqb at my-deja.com wrote:
> > It would help if you would actually *read* the thread once
> > in a while:
> >
> >    "
> >    Scientists measuring blood flow to regions of the brain have
found
> >    that one particular area (the frontal lateral cortex) was
stimulated
> >    when performing complex tasks. Even tasks that required a wide
range
> >    of cognitive functions did not stimulate numerous regions of the
> >    brain, as some scientists predicted. This finding gives credence
to
> >    the highly controversial idea of a "g" factor (generalized
> >    intelligence), as advocated in The Bell Curve.
> >    "
>
> Although the first post is not of any special importance, it is simply
> an article in a 'newspaper'.
> The main part to my opinion would be that what has triggered the big
> conversation about it.
> The question, I mean.

Sergio asks "why [I] bring The Bell Curve to the discussion".
It's isn't *I* who brought it into the discussion; I merely
paraphrased the article at the head of the thread that alluded to
the connection between that book and "the g factor".  And that
connection should be clear to anyone who is not appallingly
ignorant of discussion of the subject over the last decades.  TBC
authors Murray and (the late) Herrnstein are in the camp of
self-proclaimed "racial realism" (what some others call
"scientific racism" or "Jensenism"), along with Arthur Jensen and
Chris Brand, both of whom wrote books titled "The g Factor"; all
three of these books argue that there is a black/white genetic
divide.

A very interesting discussion of Jensen's "the g Factor" and
"mental structure" appears in
http://www.ai.univie.ac.at/archives/Psycoloquy/2000.V11/0062.html
and the thread in which is appears.  This should be of particular
interest to this group since references works by Libet, Dennett,
the Churchlands, and William James, although, considering the
already apparent level of ignorance here, I wonder how many of
those names will be familiar or their relevance appreciated.  In
which case people may prefer the next in the thread,
http://www.ai.univie.ac.at/archives/Psycoloquy/2000.V11/0063.html,
where Selmer Bringsjord rather uses the limited nature of the
"mental ability" of AI to undermine the value of the notion of "g
factor" as a measure of "mental ability".  (I would think that
evidence that solving "high-g tasks" involves only a small part
of the brain would undermine the notion that "the g factor"
really *is* a measure of *general* intelligence, but such is the
power of words and symbols).  A somewhat deeper-reasoned
rejection of the g factor useful is given at
http://www.ai.univie.ac.at/archives/Psycoloquy/2000.V11/0065.html,
where Paul Barrett writes in his abstract:

    Jensen's book is a masterpiece of scholarship and careful
    reasoning. It is the definitive presentation of the outcome
    of thinking and empirical work carried out in a substantive
    psychological domain of interest, work that extends back to
    the beginning of the 20th century. The sheer breadth of
    knowledge, didactic material, and empirical facts contained
    within this book make it virtually unique. Yet, I find it
    disquieting. Not because of its socio-political or
    socio-genetic aspects, but because it appears to exemplify a
    truly fundamental mistake made by many psychologists, who
    assume that they are doing science when in fact they are
    merely observing and classifying phenomena with ever more
    complex quantitative statistical methodologies. Whilst I
    stand back in awe of Jensen's profound scholarship in this
    book, I feel he has inadvertently written the epitaph of g as
    a meaningful scientific construct.

--
<J Q B>


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