Thursday, December 23, 2021

IQ Tests do Measure Intelligence

Professor Scott Aaronson defends colleges using standardized testing, and draws this silly anonymous comment:
It is a fact that minorities score worse on those tests than the standard advantaged classes. There are two possible explanations for this:

1) The tests are meritocratic, and minorities have less merit.
2) The tests are not meritocratic (and thus are probably reinforcing entrenched privilege, not eliminating it).

You do not seem to believe (2), which means you must believe (1). (1) could be explained by things like early childhood inequality (something like the iodine deficiencies of the early 1900s), but given the emphasis on meritocracy in adulthood I’m not sure how you plan on solving this as a generational thing even if you do believe it. And I don’t think you do. I think you, like the other Scott and like most people in your ideological sphere, believe that it’s genetic.

And I gotta be honest with you, Scott, I really don’t know how you can call yourself an advocate for social justice when you’re implicitly taking the stance “minorities are worse off because they’re naturally stupider”. Be a Bayesian for a second. Of all the people in history who claimed this, how many of them were right? Would they have been right when Ashkenazim were stuck in ghettoes for centuries, without a grand achievement to their name? Were they right when they closed the borders of Japan, believing nothing better could come from abroad? Were they right when they rolled their eyes at the challenge of some horseman from Mongolia?

When people have made this kind of claim they have, without exception, been wrong and been reflecting the biases of their time and culture. And the people promoting these claims today are obvious, active, and malignant racists (seriously, have you *seen* Steve Sailer talk?). Why on Earth would you listen to them, and why on Earth would you trust they’re not just manipulating you? Are you so arrogant as to believe you can definitely avoid manipulation, even by groups of bad-faith actors, often with the support of major governments?

This is wrong from beginning to end. First, some minorities score better on those tests.

No, iodine deficiencies cannot explain the differences.

Ashkenazi Jews were not thought to be of low intelligence. As far back as 1900, they were seen to have high IQ.

The advantage of those Mongolian horsemen was their stirrups. Not sure how that or Japanese nationalism relates to standardized testing.

IQ tests do measure intelligence differences between people. It is comical to see leftists try to deny it by citing someone a millennium ago rolling his eyes at a Mongolian horseman.

Many colleges are dropping standardized test requirements, but it is not because the tests fail to predict college performance. It is because they predict it too well.

No comments: