Congratulations for Almost Diamonds and Quiche Moraine blogger Stephanie Zvan for her brand new Guest Post at Scientific American.

The Politics of the Null Hypothesis

… Nothing about the field of IQ studies is free of political influence. It’s naive to believe that any kind of research on a purported measure of individual merit could be politics-free in a self-proclaimed meritocracy with wide inequalities. …

Read it HERE


  1. #1 vnm
    May 25, 2011

    “Why are empirical questions about how the mind works so weighted down with political and moral and emotional baggage?” I’m not sure I can answer Pinker’s question, but maybe he’s been asking the wrong people.

    Is this not a rhetorical question? Clearly the world is governed based on erroneous and outdated views of how the mind works. for example the level of control we have over what thoughts we happen to have on any given day, for which blame and/or reward is
    assigned inappropriately and unfairly.

    but however deluded, a society based on individualism and exceptionalism requires it.

  2. #2 Anonymous
    May 26, 2011

    but however deluded, a society based on individualism and exceptionalism requires it.

    Much like the paradox of “free will”: it’s impossible to act as if you don’t have it, even if you actually do not.

  3. #3 daedalus2u
    May 27, 2011

    It looks like I killed the thread over at SA, or maybe I give myself too much credit.

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    May 27, 2011

    Daedalus2u, I haven’t looked lately, but note that their comments section have multiple pages.

  5. #5 daedalus2u
    May 28, 2011

    I asked the author who responded and posted a link to his paper on the genetics of functional anisotropy what was his definition of the term “genetic”, did it mean “everything that MZ twins share that is not shared by their siblings”.

    I then asked if the MZ twins had been exposed to alcohol in utero and the siblings not, would the shared effects of alcohol be considered “genetic” using his definition?

    So far, no reply.

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    May 28, 2011

    Alcohol in utero may be one of the largest single factors in variation in adult cognitive performance in may parts of the world.