[Paleopsych] Joel

Premise Checker checker at panix.com
Thu Jul 29 17:52:11 UTC 2004

That's a very good story, Howard, about Zaid. I should like to pose 
another question to you. While it does seem to me that much if not most of 
the differences in IQ scores between Moslems and Europeans is biological, 
the IQs of both groups will improve in the not very distant future, when 
adult intelligence can be detected in embryos at a cost less than that of 
a college education. (Governments will not prove strong enough to prevent 
parents from selecting the best embryos.) Other technologies to boost 
intelligence will be coming along, too.

However, the technologies will first become available (and cost effective) 
for the richer nations (and for the richer parents within each nation), 
though China is widely suspected of practicing coercive eugenics of the 
negative sort (removing defectives from the gene pool), though not yet 
positive eugenics (increasing IQ and other desirable qualities).

My question for you, Howard, and everyone else, is how Moslems will react 
to non-Moslem nations gaining ground through use of embryo selection and 
other forms of eugenics (whether coercive or not). Will they Moslems copy 
the other countries or step up terrorism (or both, depending on the 

Let me add here, that the equality issue (whether some races and subraces 
are more intelligent or better in other ways than others) is not so 
interesting--I suppose the more intelligent nations can subsidize embryo 
selection tests for parents in less intelligent nations--as whether racial 
and subracial *variety* will expand even further or converge on a single 
model (maybe American).

I opt for variety, since I'm a 21st century leftist, and part of the 
reason for that is that I'm a post-modernist who has realized that there 
is not one grand "metanarrative" toward which all thought must converge. 
Europeans and Americans have changed their *own* views too many times! The 
post-modernist message is the Darwinian message, really.

On 2004-07-29, HowlBloom at aol.com opined [message unchanged below]:

> A superb roundup of facts, Marcel.
> re: "Iraq than in Iceland. However, if you haven't
> got a meritocracy and there are lots of dimwits, the geniuses go
> unnoticed or are treated as oddballs (and perhaps become marginalized,
> lethargic or very frustrated and angry). In Iceland the geniuses are in
> science or play chess. What are the Iraqi geniuses doing at the moment?"
> The geniuses of Islam may well be concentrated in al Qaeda.
> There is a key lesson about meritocracy in the stories of the Companions of
> the Prophet, the tales that provide the role models for Islamic men, tales we
> in the West are never told.
> It's a story of meritocracy in a key enterprise--killing and war. One of the
> Companions of Mohammed--a freed slave named Zayd bin Haritha  leads his army
> in an attack on "the Romans" at Mootah...a town with a Christian ruler.  The
> Moslem force--probably a small and ragtag desert bunch--are defeated and Zayd
> bin Haritha is killed.
> Mohammed has a disease he knows is about to kill him but he is determined to
> erase the stain of this military failure.
> The world of the Mediterranean and Asia Minor is dominated by two
> superpowers, two massive empires so intent on destroying each other that they ignore
> these Moslem desert fleas.  One is Christian Rome--which controls all of Europe,
> the Mediterranan lip of North Africa, and roughly half of what we now call the
> Middle East.  (The Roman Empire at this point is divided into a Western half
> run by what's left of a barbarian-invaded Rome and an Eastern half ruled by the
> thriving capital of Byzantium.)  The superpower opposing Rome is the Persian
> Empire.
> The new expedition will attack the fringes of the Byzantine Empire--the
> border Byzantium's Syrian province.  But Mohammed equips his troop, gives them
> their battle orders, and places the son of the now-martyred Zaid bin Haritha at
> their head, making him their general.  Then he orders his closest
> companions--Abu Bakr, Umar, Abdur Rahman bin Auf, Abu Obaida ibn al-Jarrah, Sa'ad bin Abi
> Waqqas, Talha, Zubayr, Khalid bin al-Walid, and many others-- men many years
> older than this mere child, men with prestige and the wealth that comes from
> plundering many an settlement of non-believers, to report to this
> eighteen-year-old, the contemptible son of a slave.
> These elder aristocrats of the new religion object with all their might, but
> Mohammed is adamant.  Why?  Because he refuses to go by rank or seniority.
> Instead he insists on going with talent.  The son of Zaid bin Haritha is the
> best person for the job.
> Ill as he is, Mohammed personally prepares the battle banner and hands it to
> Haritha's son, then tells him, "Fight thou beneath this banner in the name of
> the Lord, and for His cause. Thus thou shalt discomfit and slay the people
> that disbelieveth in the Lord."
> When this story is told, it is repeated primarly to make one point.  If
> you've got a genius in the bunch, put him where he'll shine...especially if the
> mission is mass murder and a grab for females as sexual slaves.  Especially if
> it's a raid to build your wealth by looting the homes of those who refuse to
> listen to the truth of Allah.
> But there are two ironies.  One is that the teenage general Mohammed chose
> apparently failed to attack the Romans and instead came back to Medina two
> months later with nothing but a few camels stolen from a bedouin camp or two the
> army had raided.  The second is that the name of the lad Mohammed chose for this
> job was--Osama.
> Howard
> In a message dated 7/28/2004 6:48:02 AM Eastern Standard Time,
> mroele at hetnet.nl writes:
> Heritability of IQ in western countries and other affluent countries
> like Japan is 60% for young adults (45% for 12-yr olds; 80% for 60 yr
> olds). The remaining 40% is non-shared environment - i.e. NOT the things
> siblings have in common like parenting methods, neighbourhood, primary
> school etc. Home environment is certainly not "the primary place for
> nurturing high IQs" - and by the way the HOME has a high heritability
> (genes of parents influence the way they treat offspring; genes of
> offspring  - their talents - influence the way they shape their
> environment).  There has not yet been found a method of education that
> raises IQ.  "Woefully inadequate" education leads to pupils not reaching
> the scholastic achievements (and ultimately not the SES) that could have
> been expected on the basis of their IQs - it doesn't lower their IQs.
> I don't know about studies of heritability of IQ in islamic countries.
> One might expect that in a country with environmental deprivation and
> very unequal opportunities heritability is lower.
> According to data of Lynn & Vanhanen IQ in Iraq is 87 (measured in 1968
> at IQ 85; corrected for time lapse); they have not found anything on
> Saudi Arabia.
> As for the "irrelevance" of average national intelligence: there are
> indeed more geniuses in Iraq than in Iceland. However, if you haven't
> got a meritocracy and there are lots of dimwits, the geniuses go
> unnoticed or are treated as oddballs (and perhaps become marginalized,
> lethargic or very frustrated and angry). In Iceland the geniuses are in
> science or play chess. What are the Iraqi geniuses doing at the moment?
> Marcel
> Lynn D. Johnson, Ph.D. wrote:
>> I didn't understand Joel's reaction here. Actually, I am not sure that
>> Frank is too far off base, but I think the observation is irrelevant.
>> Here is why: approximately 50% of IQ is inherited, and it appears that
>> all human varieties (races) have around the same inherited portion.
>> The other 50% comes from environment; it appears to me that the Arab /
>> Islamic environments are quite impoverished. Their education seems
>> woefully inadquate, and the home environment (primary place for
>> nurturing high IQs) seems to be not be so hot. So an average of 90
>> would seem reasonable.
>> But it is irrelevant because of the K / r reporductive strategies. If
>> we assumed the Islamic version is primarily r, then as Val says, they
>> are cannon fodder. Yet in every population there is a distribution.
>> there are outliers in the cannon fodder, the occasional brilliant one.
>> The average IQ is 100 (by definition, we keep moving the goalposts to
>> keep it that way) and the SD is 15. If a region has an average of 90,
>> it is likely some other region (the east side of Salt Lake City above
>> 1300 east, for example, or Jewish neighborhoods, or Asian
>> neighborhoods, where education is highly valued) has one of 110. It
>> has to balance out.
>> So proportionally, there are fewer >130 (superior) or >145 (genius
>> level) in the islamic group (further out from the mean, so fewer
>> examples) but because of the r reproductive strategy, you have a
>> larger group. Within that population, there will still be the 145
>> point IQ examples. They can surely produce some wicked viruses. That
>> is why the average is irrelevant. Because there are always outliers,
>> and the greater the population, the more outliers, in absolute terms.
>>> From what I understand, Iraq pre-Saddam was an enclave of smarties,
>> people who went to good universities and graduated in engineering and
>> science. Perhaps Saudi Arabia would be the mirror image, an
>> excessively religious society that de-emphasized secular learning. So
>> we might argue that Arab countries might have an average IQ of 90, but
>> Iraq would have been an exception. Saddam's blood thirsty appetite for
>> killing the best and brightest would keep education from being valued,
>> so the national IQ would naturally fall.
>> Respectfully submitted,
>> Lynn Johnson
>> Salt Lake City
>> HowlBloom at aol.com wrote:
>>> I agree wholeheartedly.  I'm astonished that Frank would say such
>>> things.  He is an extremely intelligent and well-informed man.
>>> If Frank's attitude is indicative of a widespread opinion, this
>>> nation is in serious trouble.  Or let's put it differently.  This
>>> nation IS in grave danger.  There's no doubt about it.  One reason is
>>> the complacency for which Frank momentarily acted as spokesperson.
>>> Howard
>>> In a message dated 7/24/2004 8:18:46 PM Eastern Standard Time,
>>> isaacsonj at hotmail.com writes:
>>>     Look, Premise Checker, it is downriight idiotic to pronounce an
>>>     "average
>>>     IQ of about 90" in Moslem nations.   Where do get your facts?
>>>     Also, denigrating the smarts of the adversary is an act of singular
>>>     stupidity, sepecially in this case.  Take it back and re-think
>>>     the wisdom of your attitudes

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