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Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence      Home login  
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 ToughLuv1984
Joined: 9/2/2009
Msg: 126
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligencePage 6 of 10    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
When it comes to things like 'objective' standards of intelligence... nurture FAR trumps nature.

Also, it doesn't really test for everything. I score pretty high on IQ tests but I find myself doing very stupid self-sabotaging stuff all the time. Guess I have uncommon sense?
 Rug Doctor
Joined: 11/2/2005
Msg: 127
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IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 12/2/2009 2:43:33 AM
common sense?


playing with it
words seem to want to associate so that even some of the more complex arrangements seem more natural and understandable than some of the simpler ones 1g/ already popping out as somewhat acceptable - more so than 1e/.
2g/ is looking pretty good...

Immediately. problems in the categorizing, start to arise


1/ un common sense
2/ not common sense
3/ non common sense
4/ anti common sense

1a/ un un common sense
1b/ un not common sense
1c/ un non common sense
1d/ un anti common sense
1e/ un common un sense
1f/ un common not sense
1g/ un common non sense
1h/ un common anti sense

2a/ not un common sense
2b/ not not common sense
2c/ not non common sense
2d/ not anti common sense
2e/ not un common un sense
2f/ not un common not sense
2g/ not un common non sense
2h/ not un common anti sense
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 128
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 5/13/2010 10:37:44 PM
IQ measures nothing but those who had a leg up in First World countries. After this...it has no relevance.
 itsallinthesoul
Joined: 6/26/2009
Msg: 129
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 5/14/2010 8:29:03 AM
I was tested quite high when I was a kid...but I can tell you that so much of the environment in which I was raised affected my ability to reach my potential. Much of my adult life has been spent struggling to meet my potential. Of course, that I struggle with and have capacity to improve my understanding and strengthen my abilities may have something to do with my brain's ability to "do stuff". There are some areas in my life in which I excel for sure and interestingly enough, I don't have to spend years post-secondary to improve those abilities, they are naturally there.

IQ tests IMO should not be administered to anyone...they are but a label laid upon people, the results of which have no actual direct correlation with any consistency to what someone actually achieves in life.
 robin-hood
Joined: 12/2/2008
Msg: 130
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IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 5/14/2010 6:21:06 PM
Interesting responses !

My earliest IQ tests were in Pennsylvania schools, and they didn't give the results to students nor parents. I assume they used it as a means to access the students abilites to maybe address the teaching methods and materials. The military gives IQ tests to determine what MOS training you are eligible for. At least they did a few decades ago.

Someone here mentioned that you can do better with practice, and many that do take the IQ tests have an advantage when parents buy booklets of previous tests and study materials geared to increasing your score. Its no different than the SAT study materials you can buy at most book stores. In fact SAT scores are so competitive that they can produce ulcers at a young age.

Soon I will be taking the new senior spacial time test of finding your car keys, cell phone and TV remote in less than 1/2 hour. The advanced spacial test is to find my car at Sams club (no time limit) :)
 .dej
Joined: 11/6/2007
Msg: 131
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IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 6/7/2010 4:27:30 PM
'intelligence', which involves many factors

Well no, not really. There are actually very few factors.


About 'IQ tests being a predictor of success in life', that might be true if you narrowly define success as 'monetary earnings', because those who are the best at (and don't mind) doing repetitive, boring, but sometimes minorly technically involved tasks at high efficacy usually make the most money.

That's really not true at all. In fact occupations involving repetitive tasks generally don't make much money. Problem solving and strategical application of business or science is where you earn high pay.


I love how they've also linked IQ to 'genetics' (which is nonsense)

When you say "they", do you mean scientists? People that work with facts? Right about here is where you start to sound of "the conclusion offends me, so it isn't true". People are certainly genetically pre-disposed to intelligence advantages. People are pre-disposed to innumerable conditions having to do with how their brain functions. This is like claiming that autism isn't genetic (which is just a description of how someone's brain works, like intelligence is), which would get you laughed out of the room.


but also find that certain races have much lower 'IQ's'. Yet they don't want to say that black people are 'inferior' in line with their bizarrely skewed conclusions because it would make them look nuts, so they just ignore it

They don't ignore it. This is a hugely controversial topic in psychological science circles.


The 'race' discrepancy really just shows that IQ is a function of learning environment and family.

No, it doesn't. We already know that mental development is part environment and part genetics. They both affect how intelligent someone is as an adult, or even adolescent.

There have been a litany of separated twins studies that have beyond a shadow of a doubt shown that genetics is a very powerful force in affecting behavior and intelligence. Separated identical twins have much more highly correlated intelligence and personality traits than do fraternal twins raised together. And this is where your argument falls flat on its face.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 132
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IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 6/8/2010 7:29:50 PM
RE Msg: 178 by .dej:
There have been a litany of separated twins studies that have beyond a shadow of a doubt shown that genetics is a very powerful force in affecting behavior and intelligence. Separated identical twins have much more highly correlated intelligence and personality traits than do fraternal twins raised together. And this is where your argument falls flat on its face.
Have you got some sources to support that?

It's only because if IQ is genetic, then it has consequences for adoption procedures. Academically-bright people in a non-academic family are likely to not fit in, and non-academic people in an academically-bright family are likely to not fit in, especially when they get to university age, and older, when their siblings would then either resent their success, or they would resent their siblings' success. So that would be very hard for any kids who are adopted into any family where the birth parents' IQ differs widely from the adoptive parents' IQ.

So if what you are saying is right, then adoptive procedures ought to only place kids where the adoptive parents' IQ is close to the birth parents' IQ.
 .dej
Joined: 11/6/2007
Msg: 133
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IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 6/9/2010 11:07:23 AM
There is plenty of reading material out there if you're looking for sources. Start by googling "separated twins", I suppose. But most of my reading is from books. Do you want me to cite them?

And no, certainly adoption procedures should not behave the way you've indicated. As I said repeatedly, intelligence is strongly affected by heritability, but there are other effects. Sibling rivalries are going to happen. You don't need to have completely homogenous families anyway. Being smart does not make one academic, anyway. Generally peer groups have a bigger influence on academic preferences than genetics.

I'd make more of an effort to help you find online sources to help you catch up on this stuff, but I'm on a phone with a not-so-accomodating browser. Apologies. When I get back, I'll come back to this and find something. But if you're inclined, it shouldn't be too hard to find some reviews at least.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 134
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IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 6/9/2010 1:07:23 PM
RE Msg: 180 by .dej:
There is plenty of reading material out there if you're looking for sources. Start by googling "separated twins", I suppose.
Most of the studies claim to make definitive conclusions. But when I have considered them, I notice that they never display the characteristics that would make sense if IQ is genetic.

But most of my reading is from books. Do you want me to cite them?
Up to you.

And no, certainly adoption procedures should not behave the way you've indicated. As I said repeatedly, intelligence is strongly affected by heritability, but there are other effects.
That's not what the studies I'd come across, claimed.

You don't need to have completely homogenous families anyway.
No, you don't. But as you put it, sibling rivalry becomes a factor in families. Academic ability comes into that, because so much stress is put today on academic qualifications. So parents often shower differing levels of attention and appreciation, depending on one's academic success, and how that reflects on the parent's goals for the children. So how a child feels he/she is treated by his parents, does depend on academic success and how the parents react to it, and that affects their self-esteem, which is a substantial factor in their success, particularly as they get older. In addition, when parents have differing levels of attention and appreciation between siblings, that makes for strong sibling rivalry and even bullying between siblings. That too factors into their self-esteem, and their success in later life.

The main goals of adoption heavily include to put a child in a family where the child feels loved and appreciated, and that they fit in with the other members of the family. So the issue becomes a factor in how much the goals of adoption are achieved or diminished. So this brings into question if the child should be put with such a family.

Being smart does not make one academic, anyway.
Aren't we discussing IQ?
And aren't IQ tests, like SATS and LSATS, used to determine who is a good candidate for further academic study in university?

Generally peer groups have a bigger influence on academic preferences than genetics.
That might be true of hierarchical peer groups.

I went to a school where the peer groups were parallel, side-by-side. The peer groups did not envy each other, or look down on each other. There were people in each peer group of differing academic preferences.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 135
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IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 6/9/2010 4:54:01 PM
Not only are IQ tests not a "garbage" tool for measuring intelligence, they are the only tool for measuring intelligence.

I think the rub stems from people attributing more to intelligence than it deserves, so-to-speak. People are not defining the word scientifically. Intelligence as a cognitive attribute has only modest correlations to objective measures of success. This is scientific fact.

I think the OP and other posters here are conflating knowledge and intelligence. Gauging one's intelligence based only on social interactions is extremely difficult. That means friends, forum posters, etc. People often think large vocabularies, knowledge in "rare" fields (rocket scientist!), the ability to recite a myriad of quotes at will, etc reflect upon one's intelligence. They don't. Well, only slightly. They do much more to reflect one's knowledge. Intelligence, as it is defined scientifically, is very limited. The extent of one's knowledge is much more easily assessed (and expressed) in normal social interactions than is the extent of their intelligence. Thus, most people are unwarranted in labeling someone "intelligent" after mere conversation. That is unless they define intelligence in an.... unintelligent way (tehehe). That is, in such a way that significantly incorporates knowledge.

Defining intelligence that way is fine. But critiquing IQ tests, which are built on a scientific definition of intelligence, with a personal lay definition of intelligence is comparing apples to oranges.
 GingersnapWA2
Joined: 11/26/2009
Msg: 136
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 6/9/2010 7:34:14 PM
The only thing that an IQ test reveals is the people who are good test-takers.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 137
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IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 6/9/2010 7:45:16 PM
That's half true.

But the word "only" makes the statement false. IQ scores do correlate positively and negatively with many things. They can therefore be something of an indicator for said things and thus "reveal" them.. depending on how you define the word 'reveal'.
 .dej
Joined: 11/6/2007
Msg: 138
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IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 6/15/2010 2:27:05 PM

Being smart does not make one academic, anyway.

Aren't we discussing IQ?
And aren't IQ tests, like SATS and LSATS, used to determine who is a good candidate for further academic study in university?

Yes. Being smart makes one more capable of succeeding academically, if they choose to go that route. It does not make them a more academic person. The logic only goes one way.


That might be true of hierarchical peer groups.

No, that's true developmentally of any peer groups. People adapt to the prevailing majority traits in the peer group they're surrounded by.


That's not what the studies I'd come across, claimed.

Then you are cherry-picking studies to support your ideology. Quite frankly, you're simply incorrect. Intelligence has a strong heredity correlation, and this has been shown repeatedly, study after study. It is difficult to cite peer-reviewed material on here on this subject because there is so much material to sift through in so many different studies over the span of 40 years, so I'll settle at the moment for posting summations and references:

Twin studies

Numerous studies have used monozygotic (identical) twins and dizygotic (fraternal) twins to get a sense of how strongly heredity affects IQ. Because monozygotic twins begin as a single fertilized egg which then separates, they are genetically equivalent human beings. In contrast, dizygotic twins are conceived as two separate fertilized eggs. They share about 50 percent of their genetic makeup, with the other 50 percent being unique to each twin. If identical twins have more similar IQ scores than fraternal twins, we can reasonably conclude that heredity influences intelligence.

Most twins are raised together by the same parent(s) and in the same home, and so they share similar environments as well as similar genes. Yet even when twins are raised separately (perhaps because they have been adopted and raised by different parents), they typically have similar IQ scores (Bouchard & McGue, 1981; N. Brody, 1992; Mackintosh, 1998; Plomin & Petrill, 1997). In a review of many twin studies, Bouchard and McGue (1981) found these average (median) correlations:

  Correlations of Twins’ IQs:
Identical twins raised in the same home .86
Identical twins raised in different homes:  .72
Fraternal twins raised in the same home .60

The correlation of .72 indicates that identical twins raised in different environments tend to have very similar IQ scores. In fact, these twins are more similar to each other than are fraternal twins raised in the same home.

Citation: http://www.education.com/reference/article/effects-heredity-environment-intelligence/


No, you don't. But as you put it, sibling rivalry becomes a factor in families. Academic ability comes into that, because so much stress is put today on academic qualifications. So parents often shower differing levels of attention and appreciation, depending on one's academic success, and how that reflects on the parent's goals for the children. So how a child feels he/she is treated by his parents, does depend on academic success and how the parents react to it, and that affects their self-esteem, which is a substantial factor in their success, particularly as they get older. In addition, when parents have differing levels of attention and appreciation between siblings, that makes for strong sibling rivalry and even bullying between siblings. That too factors into their self-esteem, and their success in later life.

The main goals of adoption heavily include to put a child in a family where the child feels loved and appreciated, and that they fit in with the other members of the family. So the issue becomes a factor in how much the goals of adoption are achieved or diminished. So this brings into question if the child should be put with such a family.

I don't know what to tell you. Sibling rivalry is a good thing. It causes siblings to grow together instead indifferently of each other. But this is all very ancillary to my point. Perhaps the fact that there is a strong heredity component in intelligence should effect how we arrange adoptions. I don't know, and I don't worry about it. That the biology of intelligence could affect something in a way you may not like doesn't change that it is still how it works. Perhaps it should change it. If you don't like that it could change things, that doesn't mean that the science is invalid because you don't like the effect it could have.

Personally, I believe (from my readings of siblings growing up) that this wouldn't change much in an adoption proceeding. I could be wrong. But I am not wrong about the fact that genetics do play a large role in intelligence, and I am supported by decades of scientific research pointing almost unanimously this way.
 JP1111
Joined: 4/13/2008
Msg: 139
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 6/15/2010 10:44:28 PM
All depending how you view what intelligence is, an IQ test can surely be a good measure of how one thinks. I tend to see an IQ test as a way of determining your level of thought process. If you are given a problem and can solve it correctly then, I would think you have a higher IQ. For instance, can you answer this question “What do you sit on, sleep in and, brush your teeth with?”.

If you can answer that correctly, then I would say that you have a higher IQ that the norm!

By the way, the answer is “a chair, a bed and, a toothbrush” :)
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 140
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IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 6/16/2010 3:29:57 PM
RE Msg: 185 by .dej:
.dej: Being smart does not make one academic, anyway.

scorpiomover: Aren't we discussing IQ?
And aren't IQ tests, like SATS and LSATS, used to determine who is a good candidate for further academic study in university?

.dej: Yes. Being smart makes one more capable of succeeding academically, if they choose to go that route. It does not make them a more academic person. The logic only goes one way.
Definitely. However, the same is true of IQ. Just because you have the ability to think more efficiently, doesn't mean you do. IQ tests measure how much you actually use the skill of thinking, not just your ability. Academic results are the same. They do not just measure your ability to be academic. They also measure how much you applied yourself to use the ability to be academic. So what is true for results of IQ tests, IQ, is true for academic results, and what is true for academic results, is true for IQ.

That might be true of hierarchical peer groups.
No, that's true developmentally of any peer groups. People adapt to the prevailing majority traits in the peer group they're surrounded by.That's a hypothesis, one that has been pointed out in many situations, especially in driving habits. However, we cannot say that just because drivers tend to drive in the herd, that all do. When there are accidents on a freeway/motorway, the drivers tend to copy the behaviours of the ones in front. As a result, when there is a small pile-up, it often turns into a big pile-up. But if all drivers followed the herd, then pile-ups would stretch all the way back to the beginning of the freeway/motorway, or at least as far as cars can be seen. That doesn't happen. We have several cars in a pile-up. But it often doesn't stretch all the way back to the start of the freeway/motorway.

That's because in any group, there are always some who "march to the beat of their own drum". That's true of drivers, who are a peer group, and many other peer groups.

Of course, that's not what we are told. We are told that most people act on peer pressure.

Most people who are acting mainly due to peer pressure, don't want to believe that they are giving up their freedom of choice, and are acting like automatons. So generally, if you ask people who have dated or not dated a person, due to peer pressure, what their friends think of that person, then they'll generally defend their choices as if they chose them out of their own decisions, when they haven't. So there is a huge tendency to deny the existence of peer pressure, in those who are acting mainly due to peer pressure.

As a result, scientific information tends to stress the effects of peer pressure, to compensate for one's cognitive bias, to deny it when it's happening. But that doesn't mean it happens all the time. It just means that scientific information tries to stress it more, to compensate for its complete denial in the very people who are clearly doing so.


That's not what the studies I'd come across, claimed.
Then you are cherry-picking studies to support your ideology.
On what basis are you making that statement? Because you've read my numerous posts, and have already formed a conclusion about my opinions, before you ever posted on this subject? No? Then how can you possibly say what my ideology is?

Perhaps you are not understanding my perspective.

1) IMHO, the human brain is very much like an organic computer, although much of its design is not yet implemented in even the most modern of computers. A computer cannot work, if the hardware doesn't work. So obviously, much of it's ability relies on the hardware. The same is true of the brain. So much of its functioning depends on its hardware design, as defined by its genes.

However, equally well, a computer with no programs, is just a dumb machine. It has to have programs to tell it what to do. So too with the brain. Without any information, it doesn't know what to do.

So genetics AND its learning from its environment will both obviously have an impact on its functioning.

2) But which is the more important? Which of genetics and environmental learning has the major effect on the functionality of the brain?

I have had 30 years' experience with metallic computers, What is interesting with metallic computers, is that they act differently to what we would expect. We would expect that if we double the power of the CPU, that we get double the performance, irrespective of the program, as the program is merely instructions to the CPU, and so it would appear that the main factor of performance is down to the hardware.

But that's not what happens. If you switch your old computer, with a 1 GHz CPU, with a 2 GHz CPU, you find that tasks get quicker, but not double the speed, not at all.

Here I have some additional experience about this. Back in the late-80s, a friend of mine wrote a program to run an entire business, namely a chemists' shop, on a BBC Micro. It would print the labels. It notified the chemist of all the contrindications to any drugs. It would produce stock listings of what needed to be orderd. It even calculated his taxes. It worked out everything he needed to know, on a machine that ran at less than 1/1000th the speed than a modern computer, on 64k, which is less than 1/60,000th of the memory of a modern computer. Yet I'd be extremely hard-pressed to find any standard machine that could 1000 shops by itself.

I also know that there are many computers that are several years old, and far less capable than most modern computers, which have been installed with very efficient programs, and configured very efficiently, that easily do what many modern computers only just about achieve.

I've even come across programs written in machine code, that were 10 times faster than their C++ equivalents.

It seems to me, that a fast machine with inefficient code, is far slower than a much slower machine, with very efficient code.

That's the opposite of what I would say is intuitive. But it does seem to be true, that software programming holds much more sway over the efficiency of a computer, than its hardware design. As a result, it seems to me, that programming, being memory, should have a much stronger effect on the functionality of the brain, than the hardware, genetics. So environmental learning should have a much stronger effect than genetics.

3) However, that's not the whole story. There is the OS to consider, the basic programming that defines one's main perceptions, cognitive processing, attitudes and behaviours.

A computer with a quality OS, often can handle very poor programming very well. It can optimise the handling of the code, to ensure any lack of efficiency by the program does not degrade performance all that much. But you can see if that is true, by the overall performance of the machine. Such a machine will regularly compensate for inefficient programming. So with such an OS, you expect to see that the differences in performance of different programs are generally not that much, and that when a program generates a massive error, that would normally lead to a system crash, that the OS handles things so that the program does not crash the system, and sometimes, is handled in such a way, that the error that would normally result, doesn't even shut the program down. Sometimes the OS can handle the program so it doesn't even need to stop doing its job at all. So if the OS is hard-wired, then it would still be programming having the main factor in IQ, but hard-coded programming, which equates to genetics being the major factor in IQ.

So is the OS hard-wired or soft-wired?

If your OS is hard-wired in your genes, then the human brain is like the old computers of the 70s and 80s, that had a hard-wired OS stored in a ROM chip. They always booted up, no matter what. No matter what you did to crash your machine, short of taking a hammer to it, and smashing it to bits, if you switched it off and on again, it would always reboot. However, if you did get a dud OS chip, which was rare, or your OS chip fried, then that was it. The chip didn't work, and so the computer just wouldn't run. It was, for all intents and purposes, dead. It was like a coma patient, but with 100% no possibility of recovery.

So if your OS is hard-wired, then no matter what emotional trauma you might experience, that will have almost zero effect on your functioning. But we know that people do suffer marked less functionality due to severe emotional trauma.

If a child had a dud OS, then that child would be like a computer with a dud OS. The child would be like a coma patient, or almost a coma patient, for life, no matter what their external environment showed them.

We might point to autistics. But even they show a small amount of response as a child, and a fair bit of response as an adult. So that's not a dud OS.

If someone's "chip" fried, that the cells that contained the OS, burned out, then that would be it. No possibility of recovery. Ever.

That's what people used to believe about the mentally ill. That's why they had sanatoriums, to care for people whose organic OS, their basic functionality, had crashed. They were assumed to be incapable of significant recovery. So when they did show signs of recovery, it was assumed that they were temporary symptoms, that would fade quickly, and never hold permanently. However, a few psychologists in the last 150 years started to question that. They went into sanatoriums, and tried to see if any unusual methods would help, and they did, in large numbers. That showed that the mind has a substantial capacity to recover, even after a nervous breakdown. As a result, many sanatoriums have been closed down for good.

I can imagine that someone considered that the mind might grow new brain cells in the case of recovery from a severe nervous breakdown. However, science has showed that the vast majority of brain cells are all grown before the age of 25, and very, very, very few brain cells grow anew after that point, if any at all, and only in a few cases. So what we've seen is that we know that the brain doesn't change physically, indicating that a hard-wired OS would not change at all either, and yet, we can see clearly, that it does, in so many cases, that it's very difficult to claim the OS is hard-wired.

So it seems to me, that the majority of the OS and the programming of the brain is soft-wired, and so, the majority of IQ MUST be down to soft-wiring, environmental learning, and not genetics.

That doesn't mean that our data is wrong. That just means we MIGHT be misunderstanding what the data means. We have to re-examine our process of deduction, of how we drew our conclusions from our data, to see if we've been missing something.

If we have missed something, it might be due to the beliefs of the self-image. Psychologists know the brain will not accept evidence that contradicts the self-image. They also know that evidence is re-interpreted, and even remembered differently to what actually happened, to fit in with the self-image. Many psychologists call this process "self-invalidation". Here too, the process of "self-invalidation" might be applicable. We need to examine our personal beliefs, and decide if they are might contradict the possible conclusions that the evidence might show us.

Identical twins raised in the same home .86
I decided to do some mathematical calculations, to see what this showed. While I was working out what these results meant, one thing that occurred to me, was that if 2 people have identical genes, and identical upbringing, then they HAVE to have IDENTICAL IQs. So how on Earth could identical twins, raised in the same home, have an IQ correlation of only .86? That means they are .14 not in correlation. So for an identical twin with an IQ of 100, we could expect that the other twin could have an IQ as much as 14 points difference. But the average IQ is 100! So that suggests that on average, identical twins could have a difference of IQ of as much as 14 points! We can easily observe that a difference of only 10 points is enough that 2 people find it very difficult to communicate, and certainly often have entirely different interests. So such a difference is a major difference. Yet, they seem to have exactly the same genetics AND environment.

We might suggest that they have different experiences. But identical twins raised together, tend to wear the same clothes, share the same interests, and stick with each other constantly, to a very high degree. So if they do have the same experiences, it's unlikely due to be because of what they do.

Thus, it's possible that even in the same peer group, and even in the same family, that they ARE treated differently, just not overtly, and this difference in environment could result in differences in IQ.

Of course, we need to check this, by examining identical twins raised in the same home, to identify not if they are raised similarly, but to list out exactly in what ways they are treated differently, in very detailed degree. If we cannot find any difference in environment, and there is a difference in IQ, this is impossible, and so, we know that if there is the slightest difference in IQ, and we don't see any difference in the environment, we just aren't paying enough attention to what might be a factor.

Identical twins raised in different homes: .72
Fraternal twins raised in the same home .60
We have to consider why this is the case.

We know that identical twins look alike. If they weren't raised in identical homes, then it's reasonable to assume they were adopted. We know that appearance and behaviour to the parents plays a significant factor in which kids are chosen for adoption by a family. So it's likely that similar-looking children are likely to be adopted by families with similar criteria for what characteristics of appearance and general behaviour generally appeal to the parents. So it's likely that the parents who adopt identical twins are similar.

Also, we can consider that they have the same genes that control immunity. That determines which diseases they wil get. We know that many great thinkers were sickly children, who were bed-ridden, and who took to reading to relieve boredom, and that gave them the motivation to become great scientists and great writers. The same can be true here.

Other factors, such as their size, their frame, their ability to play in sports, and their ability to perform manual labour, can all have an effect on their choice of interest.

In addition, we know that many identical twins who were separated at birth, have met up later, and led incredibly similar lives, even to selecting husbands and wives who were incredibly similar.

This is not true of fraternal twins.

So it's very reasonable to suggest, that even if IQ is mostly environmental, that identical twins will be adopted by similar families, that they will both be likely to be bed-ridden to a very similar extent, and that they choose similar interests, leading to similar environmental factors, and similar levels of effort, that lead to similar levels of IQ. But the same is not necessarily true of fraternal twins.

What we need to determine genetics, is studies where the identical twins had very different interests, whether in the same home or not, and where their parents, adopted or not, gave them very different levels of encouragement and support, and where they attended different schools that produced very different academic results, and fraternal twins, who had the same interests, and the same levels of encouragement and support by their parents, and attended the same schools, with the same levels of encouragement and support by their teachers, and yet the identical twins had a much higher level of correlation than the fraternal twins.

The correlation of .72 indicates that identical twins raised in different environments tend to have very similar IQ scores. In fact, these twins are more similar to each other than are fraternal twins raised in the same home.
Actually, it shows that the researchers assume that 2 children brought up in the same home, have almost identical environmental influences, and 2 children brought up in different homes, have markedly different environmental factors.

Problem is, that to say both, requires that all parents treat all their children identically, and so does everyone else, and all homes are unique. Both are patently false to anyone who has seen how children are raised by parents. So unfortunately, this study really doesn't prove all that much to us.

Citation: http://www.education.com/reference/article/effects-heredity-environment-intelligence/
Here is something from the same article:
This is not to say that children are predestined to have an intelligence level similar to that of their biological parents. In fact, most children with high intelligence are conceived by parents of average intelligence rather than by parents with high IQ scores (Plomin & Petrill, 1997).


Here is another thing mentioned:
Adoption studies, too, indicate that intelligence is not determined entirely by heredity (Capron & Duyme, 1989; Devlin, Fienberg, Resnick, & Roeder, 1995; Waldman, Weinberg, & Scarr, 1994). For instance, in one study (Scarr & Weinberg, 1976), some children of poor parents (with unknown IQs) were adopted by middle-class parents with IQs averaging 118–121. Other children remained with their biological parents. IQ averages of the children in the two groups were as follows:

Adopted children 105 IQ
Nonadopted children 90 IQ

Although the adopted children’s IQ scores were, on average, lower than those of their adoptive parents, they were about 15 points higher than the scores for the control group children, who were raised by their biological parents.
That's quite a large difference. There, it appears that if your family is poor, and you are raised in the same home, then your average is 90. Because that will then follow on to the next generation, then we can see that it is likely that the IQ of poor parents' could average around 90. But then, we can see that merely by being raised in a middle-class home with parents with an average IQ of 120, such children would gain 15 points in IQ. But the adoptive parents IQ is 30 points higher than the biological parents' IQ. So it suggests that adoption raises the IQ by 1 point for every 2 point increase in the adoptive parents' over the biological parents. But by the same token, the IQ of the adopted children is 15 points lower than the adoptive parents.

However, we're still not factoring in how the attitudes of the children already developed before they were adopted. So if any of these children weren't adopted at birth, those initial years will come into play, and might play a significant factor in their upbringing.

In addition, we have to factor in that pregnancy affects the growth of the foetus. Some studies have claimed that music played to the child while in the womb has a factor in intelligence. So it might be that the adopted children were negatively affected by the factors.

There are studies on page 2 that mention the effects of malnutrition and exposure to toxic substances, both of which are much higher in the environments of poorer families.

These suggest that the adopted children could have had much higher IQs, if they were the result of IVF, and were thus not grown at all in pregnancy by the poorer parents, and were not raised at all by the poorer parents, and thus the parents' environment had no effect on the adopted children at all.

There is obviously SOME effect of genetics on intelligence. But considering that their IQs could have substantially been altered by their pre-adoption environment, and that the adopted children have IQs already mid-way between the biological and adopted parents' IQ, so that without these effects, their IQs could be much closer to the adopted parents' IQ, indicating that most of IQ is down to environment, with a smaller effect due to genetics.


The main goals of adoption heavily include to put a child in a family where the child feels loved and appreciated, and that they fit in with the other members of the family. So the issue becomes a factor in how much the goals of adoption are achieved or diminished. So this brings into question if the child should be put with such a family.
I don't know what to tell you. Sibling rivalry is a good thing. It causes siblings to grow together instead indifferently of each other.
Sometimes, sibling rivalry works to help children. Sometimes, it causes friction, and encourages the smarter child to downplay his abilities, in order to not have so many problems at home. It depends on the dynamics of the environment. I guess that I'd agree that it isn't clear to me. This is one area in which I'd be interested in seeing studies on how much sibling rivalry positively affects the IQs of both siblings.

That the biology of intelligence could affect something in a way you may not like doesn't change that it is still how it works. Perhaps it should change it. If you don't like that it could change things, that doesn't mean that the science is invalid because you don't like the effect it could have.
That's my POV.

Most people I've met are 100% sure that I'm a whole lot smarter than they are. My friends have even admitted that it really annoys them that I'm so smart. Most of the people I know, believe that my high IQ should give me much greater success in life.

So it would help me to say that IQ is genetic. If my IQ is genetic, then I should be given better jobs than most people, at least jobs that require brains, and my life should be much better than most people.

But I cannot say that's happened. If anything, the reverse has happened.

I'm not even alone in this. There are quite a few people with PhDs, or even smarter, who work in places like MacDonalds.

Studies show that IQ has little correlation with success.
http://elearningtech.blogspot.com/2007/04/correlation-between-iq-and-net-worth.html

However, we know that IQ does help one get to university, and that can help one get a better job.

However, it's clear to me that most people who are very successful, have middle-class and upper-class parents. Success tends to be genetic.

I agree that genetics plays a part in intelligence. But it's not nearly as much as people expect. However, it's very clear that a large amount of people do believe that IQ is genetic, and believe that greater IQ leads to greater success. What boggles the mind, is that these people usually believed these ideas, even before they'd seen any studies on either subject.

Here the self-image comes into play. Jobs that require more ability, deserve more pay, and logically pay more. If you're smarter, then you can a job better, and logically, you'll get the jobs that require more ability, and so get better paid. So if greater success is due to greater IQ, then it's deserved.

But we know that's not really all that much the case. If success is not deserved that much, then most rich people, who have high-paying jobs, do not deserve to be rich. What is more, their employers only really care about how much money they make. If their employers ever realised that rich people do not do a good job, most of them would get the sack.

So it's in the interest of rich people to believe that success is dependent on IQ, and IQ is genetic, because then, success is genetically deserved. Their jobs are safe, and they can pretend that their children will be successful because they deserved it, and not because they got into the best schools because of daddy's money.

Even the social climbers like to believe that intelligence is genetic, because they want to be part of the rich, or have their children to be part of the rich, and if they or their children become rich, then they can believe they've developed a mutation that gives them the "smart gene", and so are entitled to be rich.

On the flip side, IQ does often lead to opportunities in university, and a university degree does often lead to a better job. Many poor people didn't pay attention in school. If we state that IQ does have an effect to improve success, which it does, then those poor people could have done much better in life if they'd paid attention in school. They'd also have to accept that if they don't bother to help their kids with their homework, then that's the reason that their kids will be on the same income as they are. So then that would make them feel bad about their life, and about how they are raising their kids.

Even the social dropouts, the rich people who like to hang out with the poor, like it. They like the casual attitude of poor people. They also feel sympathy towards poor people, which also helps them be accepted amongst them. Their casual attitude is because of the assumption that they cannot improve their lot. Remove that, and they become people who have a lower IQ and consequently a very low level of success, because they didn't make much effort in school. Plus, who wants you to hang out with them, if you believe they are poor due to their own lack of effort?

So there is a huge incentive, from both rich and poor, from social climbers and social dropouts, to believe that IQ is genetic. It supports their notions that the status quo remains the same, because of genetics, and not because of lack of effort and nepotism.
 desertrhino
Joined: 11/30/2007
Msg: 141
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IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 6/17/2010 4:30:14 PM
Scorpio, the strange tangents you think are direct responses to arguments will never cease to amaze me. If I were you, I'd go back and think about whether what you've argued actually addresses what was said, or simply states your particular take on the subjects.

If that's too much for you, I'll be back to point out the particular spots where you went agley.
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 142
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 6/19/2010 1:47:02 AM
First things first, for sure. Why
is everybody going back and forth
trying to read forum responses on P.O.F.
What a chore, what a bore...or am I the only
one having this problem? All of you high
iqs out there..tell me why P.O.F. does
this damage to my patience? Or is this
something beyond my ludditeness? At any
rate, I.Q. tests test well with only the secure. And
in nominal circumstances, the blessed.
Smile...
 .dej
Joined: 11/6/2007
Msg: 143
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IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 6/21/2010 1:15:56 PM
Man, I came in here a few days ago and wrote up a little rant about how off that post was that responded to me in terms of the science (for instance the identical genes in same households have to have identical IQs... major misunderstanding), statistics (.86 correlation doesn't mean the average IQ spread is 14 points; that's not how statistics work; furthermore saying "some people will..." illustrates why studies use large sample sizes -- it irons out the individual characteristics) terrible analogies (computers as analogies for adaptive people? people adapt to their surroundings to a degree; computers do not), factual errors (peer groups as well as hierarchical ones cause their members to assimilate), and a poor understanding of genetics (saying that average parents having an above-average child doesn't make sense is like saying two brown-eyed parents having a blue-eyed child doesn't make sense). Then I accidentally googled something on the page I had the writeup and lost it all. But the core message was to point out that in despite of the innumerable errors, all that didn't even end up disagreeing with me, when my point was "genetics play a large role, as does environment".
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 144
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IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 6/27/2010 2:48:43 PM
RE Msg: 189 by desertrhino:
Scorpio, the strange tangents you think are direct responses to arguments will never cease to amaze me. If I were you, I'd go back and think about whether what you've argued actually addresses what was said, or simply states your particular take on the subjects.
I'm not offended by your statements. It's entirely possible that you might think they are rubbish based on sound reasons. I always reserve the right to make mistakes and be wrong. However, that you are AMAZED by my responses, indicates to me that you have not yet considered the depth to which I think about these issues.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
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IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 6/27/2010 2:51:05 PM
RE Msg: 190 by Kardinal Offishall:

I really tried to shorten this. I took ages to do so. But you've put so many different points, that I just could not seem to combine them into one single post. Sorry, but it's a long one.

Interesting post, Scorpio. Though I think the metaphor with operating systems was rather extraneous.
Cognitive theories abound with little clarity. Knot theory required abstraction into Braids to understand it. The same might be as useful here.

Also, it would help to stick with empirically-grounded considerations, rather than get bogged down in anecdotally-driven speculation.
My views are based on decades of observations in this field, since I first heard of it in the 70s.


So it seems to me, that the majority of the OS and the programming of the brain is soft-wired, and so, the majority of IQ MUST be down to soft-wiring, environmental learning, and not genetics.
Must? This sounds like an argument heavily imbued with a priori reasoning. You know, a lot of thinkers have thought something to be impossible or certain on merely a prioristic grounds, only to be proved otherwise by empirical findings.
Kepler, Newton, Einstein, Maxwell, Dirac, Heisenberg, Noether, and the other great men and women of physics, who opened our eyes to the reality of the universe, all based their work primarily on mathematical grounds. Empirical evidence only confirmed what they first proved mathematically.

We like to think evidence is our greatest teacher, when almost always it's logic. Read the works of the empirical philosophers. They pointed out so many problems with empiricism, that they were all left with the conclusion that empirical evidence is almost totally unreliable. Hume went so far as to say that there are so many problems with empirical evidence, that you cannot rationally accept that reality exists at all, and that reality can thus only be treated as if it is only a product of one's mind!


one thing that occurred to me, was that if 2 people have identical genes, and identical upbringing, then they HAVE to have IDENTICAL IQs.
No they don’t. And this is metaphysical thinking.
I can see that we are talking at cross-purposes. Identical brains, and identical contents, contain identical neural pathways, and identical concept neurons, which lead to identical neural paths followed in response to the same stimuli.

Granted, it remains somewhat a mystery with respect to what exactly distinguishes monozygotic twins reared together -- that is, why they don’t have a perfect 1.0 correlation in intelligence and personality. Judith Rich Harris, for instance, suggests that both twins come to carve out an idiosyncratic niche within their shared social groups during development, and is hence what would account for any divergence that we find in personality and intelligence.
If 2 people have identical genetics, and identical environmental factors, then they have identical drives for the same selection of idiosyncratic niches, at exactly the same moments in time. So they would select the same niches. One can argue that one twin will choose first, and the second twin will choose a different niche as a result of not wanting to choose the same niche as his twin. But since they choose simultaneously, this cannot happen.

Aside from this, an emerging consensus has essentially pointed to the element of chance in playing the deciding role. And by chance is meant anything from the cascading effects of neural migration and axonal adhesion in the brain in early development; random events in experience; unpredictable effects to the same experiences processed by a stochastically-differentiated brain; to pretty much any other event that could exert a smallish effect which nonetheless swells non-linearly to a larger one over time.
Random differences in experiences are differences in environmental factors, because experiences come from things external to oneself, which are part of the environment. Even random factors in the electro-chemical development of each brain must be attributed to the environment, either in the foetal stage, or later, because chemistry and electro-magnetism both do not work randomly, but are based on the exact quantum information in the universe, and hence form part of the enviromental factors that are present.

One of the biggest findings in the human sciences in the 20th century is that shared family environments, and parenting, more generally, has little to no long-lasting effects on intelligence and personality traits.
Studies that show the lack of long-lasting effects of environment on intelligence and personality, show high degrees of correlation with environment in earlier years, but show higher and higher degrees of correlation with genetic similarity as time goes on. However, we know that genes act sometimes in error, and these errors increase as we get older. So clearly, if the issue was genetic, then we would expect to see that the similarities in shared genetics should decrease over time, and they do not, they increase. Hence, looking at the situation primarily from a genetic angle simply does not work. A different approach is required.

Moreover, different parenting behaviors toward children within the same family have been shown to be the effects of those child differences, not the causes.

This is an important point, so I’ll reiterate it: Simply put, differences in a given child’s personality and intelligence cause their parents to treat them differently. Parents adapt their parenting to the child. The parents don’t cause the personality and intelligence attributes through their freely-willed parenting decisions.
Transactional analysis shows that people react according to how their rules of transaction that we call a personality, are activated by the stimuli presented to them. However, the stimuli in their perceptions includes everything in their life, not just a particular act of a child. A classic case of this is middle-child syndrome, a well-known phenomenon, that acts in so many cases of children of such differing temperaments, genetics, and abilities, that it cannot be due to the child. Middle-child syndrome is due to the birth order of the child in the family, and how the child is treated by the family as a result.

All of these findings are so counter-intuitive that many people have reflexively assumed that the behavioral genetics findings are deeply flawed. But the truth need not comport with our folk theories of parenting, or anything else for that matter.
Parents accepted scientific theories on parenting since the 70s. They even got the law changed to suit those theories in the UK. So if those theories work, then why on Earth are millions of American parents sedating their kids on Ritalin? Why does Britain have more teenage pregnancies than anywhere else in Europe? It seems to me, that empirical evidence suggests these theories work a lot better in theory than they do in reality.


it's likely that similar-looking children are likely to be adopted by families with similar criteria for what characteristics of appearance and general behaviour generally appeal to the parents.
I'm puzzled as to why you think this follows.

If my neighbor and I both think the Real Madrid logo looks nice, does it necessarily follow that we will have the same criteria for who the best overall soccer player in the world is? In fact, does anything substantive necessarily follow from the simple fact that we have a shared predilection for a logo?
You're picking a fully trained adult for a job, with a full CV. I'm talking about picking a child to train from a young age from an adoption centre. How are you going to go about finding the right kid to pick?

The adoption agency cannot just hand you a CV for the kid. First, kids change a LOT from when they are young. So what you see now, is not going to be how they are when they are older. Second, the kids are going to be fed the same food, be given similar clothes, follow the same routine. So they are going to be in similar states of health. Third, if there are any good criteria for picking a kid, and the adoption agency tells you which kids have that criteria, then only those kids will be picked. It's not in the interest of the adoption agency to let you have full access to that data.

You could take your time getting to know the kid. But it takes months to get to know the kid. You have to do that for ALL the kids in the centre, 20 or 30 kids. That's several years. Plus, if you spend months with a kid, the kid will bond with you. It's incredibly cruel to drop a kid after spending months with him. So you'd never be given that chance anyway.

So you are left with very little time to assess if you want the kid, and most of what you do notice is going to change anyway, and so cannot be a consideration. You're left with only a few factors, personal appearance, pheromones, and if the kids displays some serious anti-social behaviour. But since most kids in adoption were taken away from their parents, and are none too happy to be in a centre, they all have some anti-social behaviour. You're back to physical factors, that are mostly dependent on genetics, and whether or not the kid naturally feels close to you. But the kid has even less to work on than you do, as he has far less experience to judge from, and so he's even more likely to base his decisions on whether you LOOK kind. It's more a case of which kid you instinctively feel a bond with.


it's likely that similar-looking children are likely to be adopted by families with similar criteria for what characteristics of appearance and general behaviour generally appeal to the parents.
You need to be explicit about why you think it's "likely" that adoptive parents of monozygotic twins are in any substantive way similar to the biological parents. What variables are we talking about here? We can't be vague and resort to simple hand-waving. I'll note that there have been many variables that have been controlled for in adoption studies.
I wrote that different sets of adoptive parents of different similar-looking twins are likely to be similar, because the parents have little to go on other than appearance. Different personality types are attracted to different types of appearance, in relationships, in friends, and thus, in potential children.

More to the point, these high correlations between the intelligence of monozygotic twins are not based on one or two studies. They've been documented countless times, over decades. We're talking huge data sets here. Arm chair reasoning only gets us so far. We have to look closely at the meta-analyses and all the variables that have been measured and then deal with them head-on, rather than making assumptions about what the data does or does not account for.
The law of large numbers requires that the larger the sample, the more the distribution tends to the expectation. It tells you the expectation of the sample data, the most probable value. If the most probable value disagrees with the probability, like a coin that lands on heads 70% of the time, it tells you that your coin is biased. One of the biggest problems that statisticians have to deal with, is that nearly ALL statistical studies have bias, even when multiple studies are used, as often multiple studies have the same types of bias.

I sense that in these discussions all too many people have the underlying impression that intelligence research is espousing a "biological determinist" line. And this couldn't be less true. The research has great explanatory worth, but this shouldn't be mistaken for a "genes equal destiny" mindset, whether that mindset is explicitly or implicitly held.
Weight can be changed substantially by changes to the environment, such as by activity, diet and exercise. Eye colour is largely genetic. When you show me that I can change my eyes to green, as easily as I can lose 1 stone in weight, then you might have a point.


it's very reasonable to suggest, that even if IQ is mostly environmental, that identical twins will be adopted by similar families, that they will both be likely to be bed-ridden to a very similar extent, and that they choose similar interests, leading to similar environmental factors, and similar levels of effort, that lead to similar levels of IQ. But the same is not necessarily true of fraternal twins.
Again, are you just assuming that monozygotic twins are in fact adopted by "similar families" (whatever that means), or have you checked the literature and verified this directly?
There is literature that makes it clear that the families in these studies are a lot more similar than we need to prove independence of environmental factors:
few twin studies include children from highly impoverished backgrounds, and because impoverished parents are generally unable to adopt, impoverished environments are systematically censored in adoption studies (Stoolmiller, 1999).
http://www.psychologytoday.com/files/u81/Turkheimer_et_al___2003_.pdf

Fraternal twins are less correlated in intelligence because they only share approximately half their genes. Monozygotic twins are much more highly correlated in intelligence because they share all of their genes. Surprise, surprise?
Correlation does not cause causation, mainly because there are often other entirely different factors that are correlated with the same property, such as genetic factors with environmental factors. The normal way we establish causation, is by showing that the results are independent of all other relevant factors. We do that, by showing the results are the same in all other conditions of those factors. This approach thus requires studies where half the kids are adopted into wealthier homes and half into poorer homes. But none of our studies show this.

The fact that intelligence and personality traits are time and again found to correlate proportional to the amount of shared genes cannot simply be swept under the rug that easily. Why are there such correlations that can be predicted on the basis of genes alone, whereas, for example, non-biological siblings (where at least one sibling is adopted) are always found to exhibit the same correlations that we would antecedently predict on the basis of shared genes, viz. that the two be no similar in intelligence and personality than two randomly selected individuals?
Because there isn't:
Adding to the controversy is an apparent contradiction between studies using different methodologies to study the development of cognitive abilities: Studies of correlations among twins or adoptees and their biological and adoptive parents typically yield large genetic effects and relatively smaller effects of family environment, whereas studies that compare the mean IQs of children rescued from poverty with the IQs of their parents or impoverished siblings often find large differences that are attributed to the environment (Turkheimer, 1991).
Ibid.

Please note that in studies where one family member is adopted, but the other kids are not, the differences between the kids' IQs are so different, that they have to be attributed to the environment.

The IQ of the adoptive parents has no bearing on the IQ of their adoptive children, at least not in the direct sort of way you seem to be implying. The critical variable in these cases is socioeconomic status, broadly construed. And it's important to note that genetic differences in intelligence become more salient as individuals become more socioeconomically well-off.
More money in your parents' bank account, simply cannot explain any advantages in IQ, whether due to genetics or the environment. It can explain better genetics, but only if your parents, grandparents, great-parents, and further ancestors, were all equally well off. But most people weren't wealthy at all 100 years ago, and most people who are well-off today come from very poor stock, particularly in America. Also, plenty of those whose family were well-off, lost their money in the 30s. It also doesn't explain why adopted children, who usually come from very poor families, and go to much better-off families, improve so much, when their genetics would indicate no increase in IQ should be found.

So rather than income, access to healthcare, and what not, being the ultimate equalizers, they instead amplify genetic differences between individuals.
That might be true in America, where much is private.

However, in the UK, we've had a public healthcare system, and a public education system, for the last 60 years. The gap between rich and poor diminished considerably, especially during the 70s. However, healthcare has gained more private options and further education has both lost more and more public funding, and become more and more dependent on private financing in the form of student loans. The gap has widened again considerably.

Also, in the UK, there are many faith schools, which accept poor and rich alike, provided they are of that faith, and many of these schools consistently outperform their state equivalents, many getting equivalent qualifications to the most expensive public schools attended by only the very rich. A lot of middle-class parents lied that they were Catholics just to get in. To stop that, the Catholic schools started demanding that the parents had to attend church regularly to get in. A lot of middle-class parents who were completely non-religious, and some who were atheists, started attending church regularly, just to get their kids in.

Also, in the UK, there are many schools, which were in poor areas, and whose kids got poor results, whose management changed, and then showed a marked improvement in results far above the average for state comprehensives. Then rich parents started putting these schools down as their first choice for their kids. But the kids in the school's catchment area (the urban area that each school covers for accepting pupils, designated by the government) got priority. Then these parents started buying homes in these catchment areas, moving into much poorer areas, just to get their kids in these schools. That drove up the property prices in the catchment areas of the good-performing schools. These parents just put themselves in more hock, just to get their kids in these schools.

Whether we like it or not, it seems that in the UK, greater socioeconomic status simply isn't a great indicator for academic results, or IQ. But AFAIK, in America, there is a huge divide between rich and poor, one that also affects numerous environmental factors. Also, the ancestors of many rich Americans were very, very, poor, only a few generations ago. The difference between rich and poor in America, is often very small in genetics, but very, very large in relevant environmental factors.

This is counter-intuitive to a lot of people and something that will probably have drastic implications in a globalizing world where absolute gains might very well be made against the backdrop of persistent and omnipresent income differences -- differences that could turn out to be largely (but of course not entirely) explicable by innate differences in IQ.
Actually, if you talk to most people, you find that they mostly believe that IQ is genetically determined. They tend to say that "either you got it or you ain't". It's counter-intuitive to most people to claim that it's mostly environmental.

There is some reason to believe that different populations (read: racial and ethnic groups) indeed have different mean intelligence levels, even when controlling for health conditions and invoking the "Flynn effect" (rising IQ scores with economic development).
Yes, there is. Asians, for instance, have mean IQs a few points above Caucasians, and African-Americans have a few points below that. However, we can also easily observe that Asian families drive their kids to study like crazy, that SOME Caucasian families push their kids to study, but not nearly as much as the Asians, and that in many African-American families, the concept of home study is virtually non-existent. There is a proportional correlation between these racially ethnic groups in line with how much studying they are pushed into by their families.

Accordingly, average group differences between populations may very well help explain why, say, an Asian tiger nation like South Korea has thrived in a modern global information economy,
Peter Owen-Jones interviewed the head of the biggest church in South Korea, the Yoido Full Gospel Church, which has some 830,000 members, and nearly all its members are so prosperous, that it is now considered that if you join the church, you will become wealthy. He asked David Yonggi Cho why his followers had become so wealthy. He pointed out that when he started, they were alcoholics, drug addicts, and other similar types of people. But now that they had joined and committed to the church, the church had managed to encourage them that now, they don't drink, they don't do drugs, they don't gamble, they don't really have other such vices, and they work hard. It's that simple. They used to spend all their money on worthless things, and didn't work that hard. Now, they work very hard, but don't waste their money.

and why, in the long-run, a nation like Bangladesh or sub-Saharan Africa is less likely to ever achieve an equal level of economic prosperity.
Bangladesh is going on a serious downturn. Between 1980 and 2005, inflation has risen by 106%, and the per capita income has dropped from 1.79% of American per capita income, to 0.95%, cutting the average person's income by half. But it was quite prosperous before polypropylene replaced jute. We simply cannot make predictions of its future, based on a current severe downturn, that is due to it having to adapt from an agricultural economy to the needs of the current global marketplace. It's simply unrealistic to even consider this.


Some studies have claimed that music played to the child while in the womb has a factor in intelligence
This is bunkum and has been dispelled many times.
Notice I said "Some studies have claimed", and not "several studies have proved". Second, I only included it, because a lot of citations on studies on twin studies of IQ seem to mention the influence of being in the same womb as a factor.

(Prominent cognitive scientist Steven Pinker also calls b.s. on this oft-repeated claim in his book "How the Mind Works.")
You have me at a disadvantage here. I cannot claim that Pinker's claim is right or wrong, as I have not read his book, and know almost nothing about it.

The only thing that I've found about Pinker, is that he seems to be a champion of Chomsky's theory of Universal Grammar. A very recent article in the New Scientist has stated that scientists are now starting to consider that Chomsky might have been wrong after all. Over the last 30 years, many new languages have been discovered. Everyone expected that all languages would follow Chomsky's theory, and so in every language, they looked for the basic grammar common to all language. But this has made certain languages extremely hard to learn. Very few people have been able to learn the language of the Piraha, and that was only done by accepting that their language has no concept of some of the most basic of grammatical components, like counting, colour, and recursive clauses. It's made some scientists consider that it could be that the reason why European languages are so similar, is that they have a shared history, and much shared experiences, rather than because of some genetic similarity between humans.

If this is a strong source of your theories, then you might be working with ideas that are only 30 years out of date with current empirical findings.


There is obviously SOME effect of genetics on intelligence. But considering that their IQs could have substantially been altered by their pre-adoption environment, and that the adopted children have IQs already mid-way between the biological and adopted parents' IQ, so that without these effects, their IQs could be much closer to the adopted parents' IQ, indicating that most of IQ is down to environment, with a smaller effect due to genetics
Again, this statement makes some sense when dealing with individuals raised by parents with lower socioeconomic status. Place those same individuals in a higher socioeconomic environment however and much of their IQ is indeed explicable by genetics.
Unfortunately, as I quoted earlier, there aren't any studies that deal with adopted kids raised in a poor environment. Studies of adoption almost exclusively only include well-off adoptive parents, and with a large portion (if not a majority), of the kids coming from poor biological parents.

We're not infinitely malleable creatures, despite what some of the tabula rasa mythologizers might proselytize.
I agree that the brain, being a physical construction, must have a definite finite limit of capability, But it depends on what you consider to be that upper limit. If you consider thousands of humans being able to memorise more than 4000 pages of information, in almost perfect recall, to be easily within that limit of malleability, then yes, I would agree that we are talking about the same criteria. Of course, most people would tell you that's impossible. They just don't know it was achieved my many thousands of humans.


Studies show that IQ has little correlation with success
Semantics. It depends on how one operationally defines "success." In one of my posts above I cited and linked to a paper by the psychologist Linda Gottfredson that reviews the psychometric and personnel psychology literatures on the correlation between intelligence and occupations. There is indeed a correlation between IQ and the types of jobs people attain. And there are objective criteria by which one can measure "success" in an occupation, where success is operationally defined by quantitatively measurable variables.
I agree that certain occupations require certain levels of IQ. Each occupation requires a certain minimum of ability in a certain set of cognitive skills, and some of those skills can be quantified by IQ. An example is in computer programming, because one requires to follow series of steps in logic, sometimes hundreds of steps, and to hold multiple values and constants in one's short-term memory, sometimes in the thousands. Those types of ability would be reflected in a much higher IQ.

Of course, the second connotation of "success," as in achieving wealth, is something separate.
That was what I was referring to, in the form of socioeconomic status. Perhaps I should have stated that socioeconomic wealth doesn't seem to have a strong direct correlation with IQ.

But Scorpio...I’m glad you likened the human brain to an “organic computer.” This is actually a nice simple way of putting it, and I wish more people would come to understand it as such, rather than the usual incoherent and mystically ethereal Cartesian substance that all too many people are wont to see it as.
The brain is a lot more complicated than I described. But I prefer bringing things down to a simple level, so that most educated humans can understand what I'm saying. Otherwise, they tend to get lost.

Then once we get more people to see the brain this way, we can get them to see it as an evolved organ too.
I think that before that, we have to educate people about what evolution really means. Evolution indicates that genes change due to mutation and sexual combination, but that some of those changes get removed due to natural selection and sexual selection. So evolution is a factor of both.

Sexual selection is that the healthiest get to mate, based on how well they survive. So sexual selection is a function of natural selection.

Natural selection is if there is not enough food for everyone, or that illnesses kill some, or that predators eat some, or that the weather kills some, and only those best adapted to the environment get to eat and survive illness, predators and the weather. So natural selection is a function of the environment.

The environment in which any organism lives, changes over time, according to the changes of the presence of illness, changes in the presence of predators, changes in the presence of food, the weather and extra-terrestrial occurrences such as meteorite collisions. Illness, predators, and food, are mostly organisms. So they feed back into the process of evolution as a recursive function.

The weather is a semi-independent value, although that too has been shown to be regulated within certain limits by basic organisms, in James Lovelock's Gaia Hypothesis. But within certain limits, it does have a semi-independent value.

Meteorite collisions are independent of the other factors, as they are extra-terrestrial. But they are few and far between, and so we have to treat them as random statistical events.

As a result, the weather has the most power in general. Weather changes slowly in general. But on occasion, does go through massive changes. Meteorites have an exceptionally powerful influence, but only on a rare statistical basis. So we have 2 ultimate factors in the process of evolution, the weather, which generally changes slowly, but regularly, and then rare massive changes, from the weather and meteorites, that we can only expect to happen on a statistically regular basis.

As a result, the whole process is incredibly dependent on a very dynamic iterative function, that is so difficult currently to determine, that we cannot even predict it further than a few months. We just know with the weather that it gets hot and cold, wet and dry, a lot, and sometimes, to extremes.

However, genetic changes cannot adapt quicker than the weather, as it takes generations for genetic differences to proliferate in great numbers. So genetics normally lags behind the environment.

However, we also know that we have "junk DNA", which seems to retain genetic traits of earlier species in the evolutionary process as well.

So it's rather like the weather and other effects, being like the Road Runner, running here, there, everywhere, with no discernible pattern, and evolution being Wile E. Coyote, following behind, but with white paint on his tail, marking a path all over the place. Our active DNA is Wile E. Coyote, with the painted path that is still visible being the junk DNA. As you can imagine, if you follow Wile E. Coyote's pattern, he doesn't really have one. He's just following the Road Runner, who doesn't really have a pattern either. It's all rather a huge mess.

That's why evolutionary theory tends to rather look at the past, and tries to invent explanations for it, but makes few predictions, unlike the theories of the hard sciences, which usually make large predictions, and then we test for them. The pattern of evolution is just dependent on so many recursive factors, that it becomes a chaotic pattern after several generations, far too few to indicate macro-evolution, and even the major non-recursive factors and still too dynamic and too unpredictable to base any solid theories on. We can only guess in hindsight with evolution.

But before we can expect people to grasp that, we have to first teach them about empiricism.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 146
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IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 6/27/2010 4:33:45 PM
RE Msg: 192 by .dej:
Man, I came in here a few days ago and wrote up a little rant about how off that post was that responded to me in terms of the science (for instance the identical genes in same households have to have identical IQs... major misunderstanding),
If you re-read what I wrote, you will see that I wrote that identical genes with identical environmental factors will produce identical brains. Perhaps you perceive "environment" to mean "home". It doesn't, not one little bit. "Home" means home. Environment, means the whole gamut of your experiences, in every factor. I pointed out, how that the same genes with the same home produces different IQs. shows that different children in the same home are NOT exposed to identical environmental factors, and thus cannot be treated as a similar enough factor to show independence of environmental factors.

statistics (.86 correlation doesn't mean the average IQ spread is 14 points; that's not how statistics work;
I agree that I skimped on the maths.

However, the mean IQ is globally around 100. A 10 point difference in IQ is significant enough that 2 people with such a difference find it very difficult to have conversations and usually differ very markedly in interests. But identical twins, even those separated at birth, have lots of shared interests, and when they meet up later, mostly find it very easy to communicate. As a result, their IQ would probably be much closer than a difference of 10 points, probably only 1 or 2 points at most. So it's reasonable to expect that the correlation coefficient would be much higher than this, but it's not. That shows that there are many identical twins that have very close IQs, but there are also a lot of identical twins with very different IQs, and that shows that such twins have factors that cause a marked difference in IQ. Genetics are the same, so it's not genetics. Homes are the same, so it's not "homes". So there have to be factors within the home, that can project a very marked difference in IQs, and that means that even within the same home, environmental factors are not identical, or even close to identical.

furthermore saying "some people will..." illustrates why studies use large sample sizes -- it irons out the individual characteristics)
We use the Law of Large Numbers, to statistical decoherence. Basically, if you toss a coin, then even if it is evenly balanced, after each toss, only one of 2 results can happen. So we get a very skewed result after one toss. For the same reason, even after 2 or 3 or even 10 tosses, we can still get more heads than tails, or vice versa. The results don't match the probabilities. But the results do converge towards the probabilities, as the sample size increases. So with larger and larger sample sizes, the results average out closer and closer to the actual probability, but rarely hitting the actual proabability dead on.

However, even then, all that does, is bring the results closer to the probability. If the coin is biased, say that the chances of getting heads is 0.75, then as the sample size increases, the results tend towards 0.75, and not 0.5. So we don't get an actual answer of the likelihood, but only of the likelihood, combined with any bias in the types of samples selected. I quoted a paper in the previous post, that points out something we all know, that very, very few poor people get to adopt. So the studies can only show IQs of adopted children in the case when the adopted family is assumed to be wealthy, and as a result, with a much higher IQ than average.

As a result, taking such correlations in the case of "different homes", still means homes of wealthy parents, who have a much higher IQ than average, and therefore, represent a much smaller part of the population, with a much closer IQ than is represented in the population.

We also have to consider that only certain types of homes are considered for adoption, ones that don't contain the drug-taking, alcoholic, party animal behaviour of the well-off. They tend to have very similar lifestyles.

We also have to consider that a large part of learning is dependent on education, and well-off parents tend to choose the same schools to send their kids to.

Once you consider only those people with a stable home, and who are pretty well off, you find that their lifestyles are not all that different, and that their IQs are much closer than on average, and the education of their kids are very close, so, their factors are very close. You've effectively artificially removed a lot of the environmental factors that normally exist.

terrible analogies (computers as analogies for adaptive people? people adapt to their surroundings to a degree; computers do not),
Computers DO adapt to their surroundings. They are designed to be flexible. Modern computers are designed to pick up changes such as daylight savings, different networks, and even regional changes, such as when you move country, automatically from the internet. Of course, you might not be aware of that, if you don't need to deal with the issues that occur, when they don't adapt. I do.

Anyway, I was only trying to give you a gross simplification, as going into the complexity of how the mind actually works, would bamboozle most graduates.

factual errors (peer groups as well as hierarchical ones cause their members to assimilate),
You live in Oklahoma, which is in the USA, a country whose citizens are known for their lack of knowledge of what happens outside the USA, and a country which has so artificially imposed the same cultural experiences on its citizens, that it is globally known as a melting pot.

I've lived on 2 continents for years, and spent time living in 3rd with the natives. I've had friends for years, from Canada, America, France, Russia, Morocco, and many more countries. I have relatives from England, Canada, Germany, Israel, Morocco and France. Life is not so limited as the American experience, once you go global.

and a poor understanding of genetics (saying that average parents having an above-average child doesn't make sense is like saying two brown-eyed parents having a blue-eyed child doesn't make sense).
Two brown-eyed parents can have a blue-eyed child. But statistically, they have brown-eyed children in the vast majority of cases. It's very rare for brown-eyed parents to have a blue-eyed child. In the case of genetics that contribute to IQ, if there is only 1 gene of 1 variant that represents high IQ, then both parents are missing that genetic trait. So it can only occur by mutation and that's very rare. If there is more than 1 gene or more than one variant, and the parents have some traits, and the child both sets of traits, then those genetic traits will each contribute to the child. But they will also contribute in part to the parent, so that each parent will have a slightly higher IQ, and the child's IQ will then be a combination of the rises above the average.

It is still possible for an average set of parents to have an above-average child, but not often, and even then, it will be not that much above the parent's level, not unless there are "sleeper genes" that only activate in combination, but that in combination, produce a much greater IQ. However, as they cannot be guaranteed to both occur in the parent, then either they are rare, and then it would be incredibly rare, or those sleeper genes would be common, and then you'd get a population where half the people are average, and half are super-intelligent. There are cases of areas where a substantial part of the population are idiots, and a substantial part of the population are geniuses, and the rest, still a substantial part of the population, are average. But that usually only is found where inbreeding is very common. I have assumed you are not talking about severely inbred populations. So if such sleeper genes existed in the population, then they are rare to being with, and thus their combination would be incredibly rare.

Whichever way you look at it, it would be rare for average parents to have an above-average child, but one close to their IQ. But to have a super-intelligent child, from average parents, is likely to be incredibly rare at best. It would constitute a statistical variation that would be so high, it would be eliminated by the use of statistical variances.

Then I accidentally googled something on the page I had the writeup and lost it all. But the core message was to point out that in despite of the innumerable errors, all that didn't even end up disagreeing with me, when my point was "genetics play a large role, as does environment".
Perhaps you didn't understand what I wrote. I agreed right in the beginning that genetics plays a role, and environment plays a role. But it's my hypothesis, that the environment plays a much larger factor, and that genetics does show itself as a large factor, but only once most of the larger environmental factors are removed.

Now, I agree that it's desirable from a human position, to claim that it's genetic. If it's genetic, then if you're a slacker from a poor family, then you don't have to feel bad that you screwed up your life, as IQ is genetic, and so your lack of effort in school made little to no difference. If you're a slacker from a rich family, then you can pretend that your IQ is going to be about as good as your hard-working parents, no matter how little you paid attention in school. Even if you're a guy who gets ahead, by manipulating others, then simply by getting others to believe that it's genetic, they will be inclined to think their efforts will not help or hurt them, so they won't try. Then only a small amount of effort on your part, will put you way ahead. The only person who doesn't like the genetic idea, is one that wants to work hard to gain a better life. But such people don't want to work for nothing. So they don't want to work if it's genetic. Plus, they know that they will only be able to climb so far, before hitting a glass ceiling in most cases, that can only be crossed by networking and social manipulation. So they too prefer to think that a lot is genetic, because if they cannot cross that glass ceiling at the moment, they can blame that limit on their genetics.

It's in the interest of most people to claim IQ is mostly genetic. It's just not the case.

The vast majority of people who get firsts, have spent many hours working hard. Even the ones who look like they never do any work, like me, still were up at 4am studying, when everyone else was asleep, and were thinking about it all the time, while others were just mucking about.

You want a high IQ? You work hard for it. It's that simple.

Genetics just gives you the natural tendency to work hard on mental effort. But even that can be increased, simply by desire, the same way as you can become a body-builder, simply by working out all the time.
 Apollodorus
Joined: 11/24/2009
Msg: 147
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 7/3/2010 6:47:59 AM
Just because you scored high on an IQ test does not mean you are smart, The measure of intelligent s is based how you use that knowledge in real life situations not the amount of information you know.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 148
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IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 7/4/2010 5:35:27 AM
RE Msg: 196 by Kardinal Offishall:

Kepler, Newton, Einstein, Maxwell, Dirac, Heisenberg, Noether, and the other great men and women of physics, who opened our eyes to the reality of the universe, all based their work primarily on mathematical grounds. Empirical evidence only confirmed what they first proved mathematically.
The point is that a priori thinking about the natural world is never enough. Ultimately there needs to be some degree of empirical corroboration, even if that corroboration only confirms a segment of a given theoretical edifice.
I rejoiced when I read this. We can come up with any theory we want. But we only know which ones relate to reality, by testing them aginst the evidence shown by reality.

Empiricism has come a long way since the British empiricists. If we followed the type of empiricism espoused by Hume, particle physics, astrophysics, molecular biology, inter alia, would not be possible.
Actually, the reverse was the case.

Electricity and magnetism were subjects that made little sense to us, until Maxwell ignored the evidence, worked mathematically to explain it, and produced Maxwell's field equations which even predicted totally unexpected phenomena like radio waves.

Particle physics was similarly a mystery until the quantum physicists took up working from the first principles of mathematics, and discovered that the universe reflected the mathematics.

Astrophysics was largely confusing to us, until Kepler, Newton and Einstein, all started working with the mathematics from the ground up, and found that the stars reflected the mathematics.

If logic were truly "our greatest teacher," we'd have little use for scientific investigation; philosophy would've long since delivered the goods on the most fundamental questions and much else. It ostensibly hasn't.
You are right. Philosopy uses the logic of discourse, Plato's logic. Mathematics uses the logic of rigorous examination of one's principles, to form a single integrated whole, Socrates' logic.

We cannot ever guarantee our theories are in tune with nature. So we are likely to develop theories that are simply not reflective of reality, and, because of the points of the European Empiricists, which we cannot deny, we are likely to find evidence that supports all of our theories, the wrong as well as the right.

But we can guarantee that nature is mathematically logical, and so those which are mathematically illogical, are not in tune with nature. Thus, by using mathematical Socratic logic, to eliminate our mathematically illogical theores, we guarantee that those theories that are left, are far more likely to be in tune with nature. Of those which are left, we have thought them out so well, that we can define their predictions to extremely exacting conditions. Those conditions are so very specific, that we can easily test for them, and thus guarantee ourselves to say that if they are not in tune with nature. Thus, it acts as an incredibly fast form of extinction of theories that lack good adaptations. All we then need to add is mutations of theories from our imagination, and we have an incredibly fast form of evolution of our theories.

If pure unadulterated logic were really the royal road to knowledge that you take it to be, then the anatomically modern humans of over 100 000 years ago (or, alternatively, humans during the Upper Paleolithic Revolution) should've been able to construct rocket ships and land them on the moon with nothing but their bare brains
I cannot see any reason why they could not have done so using mathematically Socratic logic. Maybe, if 2409 years ago, the world had sided with Socrates over Plato, we'd have been there a lot sooner.

I'm not sure which parenting theories you're referring to here. I, however, am referring to the behavioral genetics of intelligence and personality, which is sound science, based on a consensus of researchers in the field, the only opinions that ultimately count.
You have made it plain that will not even consider any view that is not that already stated by behavioural geneticists. So what you have already read, you have already accepted, and what you have not read, you will not even consider. So there is little point in discussing the issue any more.

It's nice to come across another person who knows what sexual selection is. I think that it's been an overlooked mechanism in evolution, something that Darwin himself was quite big on right from the start (viz. in "The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex). It’s essentially why, for instance, males and females are different in both body and mind. (I suspect you’ve read Matt Ridley’s book “The Red Queen” or Geoffrey Miller’s book “The Mating Mind”?)
Didn't read either. I simply used mathematically Socratic logic to figure it out for myself. That alone, should tell you something incredibly significant.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 149
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IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 7/4/2010 5:39:42 AM
RE Msg: 196 by Kardinal Offishall:
What many people also aren't aware of is that "middle-child syndrome" is actually a predicted outcome of Robert Trivers' elegant and landmark parent-offspring conflict theory, which derives its theoretical and empirical power from the fact that it's intimately grounded in the kin selection revolution in evolutionary biology -- that is, gene-centered neo-Darwinism.

As Trivers showed in the mid-70s, middle-born children are in the most precarious position so far as the resources invested in them by their parents are concerned. And since they only share approximately 50% of their genes with their siblings, it is in their genetic interest to siphon more investment than their parents ideally want to dole out.

(Incidentally, this is also the central reason why tensions between siblings exist.) Hence why they react adaptively to their place in the birth order. This is a cognitive-behavioral adaptation tuned to the contingent fact of where in the sequence of familial births a child finds themselves situated, and something all children have. It's a universal feature of our species-typical cognitive architecture, cued only in the right environmental circumstances.

Behavioral traits such as this one can just as well remain dormant yet still be universal in our species. And it's also worth bearing in mind that birth-order effects are completely consistent with the high heritabilities of personality. In other words, birth-order doesn't erase all genetic effects.

I've only given a sketch of parent-offspring conflict and kin selection, but I can expatiate on it if need be.
I am much interested in learning all views on behaviour, to increase my understanding. But I haven't fully comprehended this point. So I would greatly appreciate it if you would explain this theory in greater detail.

I would also appreciate it greatly, if you would explain all the jargon, like "parent-offspring conflict theory", "kin selection", "cognitive-behavioral adaptation", and "species-typical cognitive architecture", so that in future discussions, I don't come off like an ignorant moron.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 150
IQ is a garbage tool for determining intelligence
Posted: 7/15/2010 8:39:40 AM

Particle physics was similarly a mystery until the quantum physicists took up working from the first principles of mathematics, and discovered that the universe reflected the mathematics.

Huh? Your personal bias against physics and physicists causes you to make statememts which have no connection to historical fact or even the mathematics you claim applies to physical theories.

(1) Quantum mechanics does not solve any mysteries of particle physics, since quantum mechanics only quantizes the classical variables, i.e., it prescribes the canonical replacements of classical variables by hermitian operators, for example:

p -> -ihbar_d/dx and E -> ihbar d/dt

This is called first quantization and the quantization follows immediately from the (well known by physicists of he 19th century) Poisson brackets by replacing:

{p_i, x_j} = -delta_ij

with

[p_i, x_j] = -ihbar delta_ij

If you make those replacements in the classical Hamiltonian, E = (p^2/2m) + V, you get the Schroedinger equation. To obtain particles, you have to quantize fields which rquires quantum field theory and to obtain anti-particles and spin, you need relativistic quantum field theory, since both of those things explicitly depend on a Lorentz invariant spacetime.[1] The particles themselves require quantization of a field (second quantization).

(2) What's even stranger about your comment is that (a) proving the quantum mechanical formalism correct did not result in solving any mysteries apart from justifying the use of things like the Dirac delta function, which was used extensively by Dirac when the theory was developed, but only mathematically justified 30 years later in the context of distributions. (b) Quantum field theory, which does decribe particles has never been made mathematically rigorous. Attempts to do that have come in the form of axiomatic quantum field theory (in particular the Wightman axioms) and in attempts to mathematically justify Feynman path integrals. Neither has been accomplished, yet both predict the physical results. The closest one can get to mathematical justification comes from analytic continuation which turns a Lorentz spacetime into a Euclidean spacetime via the replacement t -> it and then rotating the result back (i.e., Wick rotation).


---------
[1]In particular, the metric tensor is just the anti-commutator of the Dirac matrices and the spin tensor is the commutator of those same matrices. This was also known in 1928 ot possibly earlier by Dirac who obtained a sloution to the energy-momentum-mass relation:

E^2 = p^2 + m^2

by rewriting in the form:

E = a.p + bm

and solving for the coefficients a and b. (a is actually three components, a_i, since p is a three vector and a.p is the scalar produc of a with p.) This is straight forward to solve although it's not very obvious that the a and b must be matricies of at least dimension 4. (Hint: square both sides to obtain conditions on the a_i and b). The Dirac matrices are obtained by multiplying the a_i by b so that b = gamma_0, and the
gamma_i = b a_i. The matrices along with gamma_5 = i times the product of all four matrices form an algebra (the Dirac algebra).
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