Thursday, October 18, 2007

Greens and Grays and IQ

James D. Watson appears to be a member of the Bell Curve club. He's also very old, and I suspect his own IQ is nowhere near where it once was.

Whatever the cause of Watson's opinion, the topic has lead to the usual questions about the genetics of "whatever it is that IQ tests test". I read the NYT response as relatively cautious about the influence of post-natal environment on IQ. It could be read as acknowledging that IQ is largely determined by genes and the intrauterine environment, with very little other environmental influence. I think that is roughly the current scientific consensus.

I've written about this before; it's a fascinating if unsettling topic. Ashkenazi Jews and South Koreans seem to be unusually good at clever things, and for the former there's even some suggestive genes to inspect.

But what of it?

Let us assume the human race was divided into Greens and Grays, and that Greens scored 20 points higher on IQ tests than the Grays. This would translate into lots of Green wealth and power.

What would the Greens then owe the Grays? What do the strong owe the less strong? That, to me, is the more important question.

I, of course, am a good commie. From each according to their ability, to each according to their need. Adjusted for human limitations of course.

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