Monday, July 16, 2012

Garbage Science

As you have no doubt read or heard via some news outlet, women for the first time ever scored higher than men on the intelligence test. No doubt the harpies on jeezebel cackle in delight at the news, while others might wring their hands that men aren't able to perform like 'smartl, independent, and driven' women.  My own take on the matter is that this is the best example of garbage.  There are a few reasons why but nothing better exemplifies the fact than this quote from the linked telegraph article
"This is a consequence of modernity. The complexity of the modern world is making our brains adapt and raising our IQ."
This in itself shows that the conclusions flawed simply because a) people suck at multitasking and there has been no indication that juggling multiple balls and responsibilities makes us any more capable than we were before, it only stresses us out.  This is simply the continuation of the myth perpetuated by many 'girl power' advocates that they can have it all; however, reality shows that trying to have it all just burns young women out, (and in fact burns young men out. You can't work 50-60 hours a week, binge drink on the weekends, chase tail, and live like a frat boy forever) and even higher profile women are now saying you can't have it all.  But this of course will be ignored, for now, and the science of this study go unquestioned.

Now I am shooting from the hip, and that can get you into trouble. But looking at the original article there is no citation to the study.  This is important because a person needs to know where the test came from.  I showed this article to my girl friend and she came to the same conclusion that I did, that this was junk science, because as she said "You're the only person I have ever meet that actually took a clinically administered IQ test". The fact is that 99% of the population has never, and will never, take an honest to god intelligence test.  They are expensive, they last forever, and they frankly suck.  I was forced to take these tests when I was younger and I hated it.  This means you have a very small section of the population from which the results are extrapolated to everyone else.  I wonder if the results are extrapolated form other standardized tests. Something Vox linked too in his many articles on intelligence.

Moreover, this means nothing more than that a particular batch of individuals, who have taken the test, scored better than others.  I have always stated that IQ is elastic and can increase or decrease given ones mental activity (or inactivity in some cases).  I say this because I have the clinical records, signed by a doctor no less, that proves it.  Nothing has been illustrated or revealed to us, though you will get some absolutely brilliant (the sarcasm is heavy here) comments like this:
“I think women probably always knew deep down that they were the more intelligent ones – but as the gentler sex we were quiet about it and let men continue to believe they ruled the world"
This same person probably decried how these tests didn't really mean anything when they showed the opposite. And back then she would have been correct.  But the cancer that feminism has become, a social agenda that seeks government enforced privilege of a gender over another rather than human rights, you will get all sorts of justifications that will come from bad, or rather inconclusive, science.

It's like the women earn 70% less than men line, all the while ignoring that men do more dangerous and dirty jobs and that market economics dictates that those jobs make more money.  Now are there instances where women are paid less than men, while doing the same job, simply for being women. I'm sure it does happen.  The world isn't a perfectly fair place.  But this hand wringing, crying, and harping needs to stop.  The time and effort that is spent by social 'scientists' over things like this could be better spent on real problems. Isn't there something called ocean acidificaiton (but that sort fo thing is studied by real scientists)

So in conclusion. Trying to prove which gender, or race, is more intelligent than another is a waste of time. I personally believe that there is no real quantifiable difference that cannot be explained by environment or culture. However, I could be wrong, but even if that is the case, it's still a waste of time. Because what is true in aggregate isn't necessarily going to be true in particular. (A great example is how BMI tests are horribly flawed when it comes to very muscular and active indiviuals.) That means even if women, whites, chinese, english or whoever can scientifically be proven to be smarter than men, minorities, koreans, non-english or whoever that given the vast variations between individuals that your better off judging in a case by case basis.

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Seattle resident whose real name is Kevin Daniels. This blog covers the following topics, libertarian philosophy, realpolitik, western culture, history and the pursuit of truth from the perspective of a libertarian traditionalist.