22 January 2007

"Morality skills"

Another terrible article about IQ in The Times. I am being prevented from writing and publishing replies to the pernicious ideology that pours out.

Heading of article (18 December 2006):
We are about as smart as we're going to get, says IQ pioneer
- Test results are starting to level out
- Morality skills are the "next step"
My comments

It is only to be expected that the ‘rise’ in IQ consequent on the inception of the Welfare State will level out and eventually turn into a decline.

I do not place any particular reliance on the truthfulness or objectivity of academic research workers, so when I read that rises in IQ were reported, I used to think that they might well be shifting the mean, changing the types of question, or just fudging the results to suit themselves. But in fact there is a plausible way of accounting for any rise in average IQ that has really occurred.

Research in America, as reported in the controversial (i.e. largely suppressed) book Dysgenics (David Lynn, Praeger 1996) indicates that the rise may well have been caused by ironing out the effects on adult IQ of poor nutrition and medically untreated diseases, some of which cause brain damage, in early life. Those with the lowest IQs had suffered most from this double whammy, and the rises in IQ were commensurate with those resulting from the medical treatment of disease in control populations. The rise in IQ occurred only in the lowest strata of the population, although of course this raised the overall average IQ to a lesser extent.

A counteracting negative factor, although less immediately noticeable, arose from the provision of medical treatment in early life. A higher proportion of the least functional populations survived to reproductive age. Estimates have been made of the percentage increase per generation of various disabilities, including mental disabilities, resulting from genetic defects.

What are we supposed to understand by ‘morality skills’? Indoctrination in egalitarian collectivist ideology, one supposes, with its dogmatic but unstated beliefs. It takes a very high IQ, as well as some unusual personality factors, to realise what is behind these beliefs, as they depend on a large number of unexamined assumptions about underlying issues that are never even mentioned.