Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bell Curve @20 @Harvard



The host is Harvard professor Harvey Mansfield. I'm not sure who all of the other panelists are, but they seem to include a professor of government and another of economics. The Asian physics guy is probably Peter Lu.
The Program on Constitutional Government at Harvard University

March 14, 2014: Charles Murray, on “The Bell Curve Revisited.” Charles Murray is a Fellow at the American Enterprise Association, and the author of famous and influential books, among them, Losing Ground (1984), The Bell Curve; Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (1994, with Richard Herrnstein), and most recently, Coming Apart: the State of White America,1960-2010 (2013). He declares himself a libertarian, has written for many journals, and has received the Irving Kristol award from AEI and the Bradley Prize from the Bradley Foundation. He is Harvard ’65 and received a PhD in political science from M. I. T. in 1974. He is also the author of several “Murray’s laws” of social behavior.

7 comments:

nooffensebut said...

At 45 minutes, an audience member (Stephen Peter Rosen, author of War and Human Nature) brings up the "warrior gene," MAOA, and says that epigenetics affects it in males. Actually, epigenetics has been found to have significant influence only on MAOA in females. The guy is confusing epigenetics with gene-environment interactions. Both epigenetics and the "environmental" factor in g-e interactions can be mostly influenced by genetics. In fact, Fergusson et al found a smaller p-value for IQ as an interacting factor than for child abuse. There hasn't been any follow-up research on the IQ-MAOA interaction, but people repeatedly cite the abuse interaction to downplay genetic influence, even though a new meta-analysis determined that MAOA doesn't need the interaction factor to have some influence on antisocial behavior.

Pat Boyle said...

The first thing that surprised me was the discussion on Nicolas Wade's forthcoming book. I had not checked the date of the video so that was unexpected. The real story is overlooked in most of the reviews of Wade's book. The "Bell Curve" was very controversial at the time it was released. Quasi-scientific magazines and political commentary periodicals set up 'He Said - She Said' type debates in their pages. Yet twenty years later Wade says essentially the same things as Murray did - and there have been almost no modifications to the story. All those clever arguments as to why we shouldn't believe in IQ or racial differences have gathered no new support in the following decades. The same tests yield the same results as they did when Murray wrote his book.
Racial differences in intellectual ability must be 'settled science'.
I took my 23andMe results with me when I went in for a routine physical. I didn't take all the reports. I took only about the first forty pages of the print out. My doctor was amused and I wasn't surprised. I realized that at my age, genetics results are almost certainly going to be positive. If I had had the allele for Huntington's - I would have known about it by now. The fact that I've made it to age 70 means that my genome must be pretty good.
I would like to know if I'm going to get Alzheimer's. I used to think - maybe. Now after my personal genomic scan I think - maybe. The state of the art in genome testing for individuals seems to be medically irrelevant. Large samples from large populations will undoubtedly yield important insights. But for individuals in a clinical setting they seem to me to be useless - so far.

Emil Kirkegaard said...

The big government test Murray mentions, which one is that? Link?

Richard Seiter said...

I think it was the AFQT that was part of the NLSY79. https://www.nlsinfo.org/content/cohorts/nlsy79/other-documentation/codebook-supplement/nlsy79-attachment-106-profiles
If that isn't what you want it might be good to give the time of the mention you are referring to.

Pincher Martin said...

Pat,


Yet twenty years later Wade says essentially the same things as Murray did - and there have been almost no modifications to the story. All those clever arguments as to why we shouldn't believe in IQ or racial differences have gathered no new support in the following decades. The same tests yield the same results as they did when Murray wrote his book.



I'm guessing you either haven't read The Bell Curve or A Troublesome Inheritance.


Murray and Wade's books have little in common. The Bell Curve takes no position on the genetics of race. H&M use self-reported social data for race in their book, and the topic of differences in racial IQs is dealt with in only one chapter. The reader has to make some pretty big inferences in order to reach a conclusion about the genetics of race and IQ. H&M present no concrete position of their own.


Wade's book is about the the genetics of race. He is agnostic about IQ and talks little about it. He unfortunately seems to have bought into some of Ron Unz's ideas about the topic. Unlike H&M, however, Wade had the benefit of more than two decades of research on the genetics of race that they did not have. So his book's focus is entirely different.

Pat Boyle said...

Pincher,
I, Charles Murray, and Nicholas Wade all believe the two books are similar - as do the publishers and the majority of the critics.You hold a different and minority position.

Pincher Martin said...

They're both popular science books that many critics have attacked for promoting racist views because the authors dared to tell the truth.


Other than that, they share no commonalities. Wade does not - as you first claimed - say "essentially the same things as Murray did." Wade doesn't talk about IQ that much in his book, and he's not sympathetic to the science of psychometrics. Murray did not bother to establish a solid scientific basis for race in his book because the science of genetics was not anywhere near as advanced as it is today.

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