[ExI] The Anti-Flynn

Tara Maya tara at taramayastales.com
Tue Apr 28 23:53:30 UTC 2015

Nah, I don’t buy it. Too many holes in this methodology. 

One tests measures household vocabulary of American families from 1974. How does this test take into account immigrant families and people for whom English is not a first language? I saw nothing about that, and it seems to me that the immigration issue alone makes any measure of genetic evolution in America problematic… if not, in fact, worthless.

Another test uses text vocabulary words from 1500 to now. The number of people producing those vocabulary-rich texts was an incredibly smaller percentage of the overall population. So it’s like comparing texts produced by only the top 1% to texts produced by the top 80% of the bell curve and then noting that IQ seems to have gone down. In fact, as education expands and the literate population expands as well, the lowering of text difficulty is what we would expect to see.

(There’s another fallacy here, and that is that difficult words prove the writer is more intelligent. Having been forced to endure a post-modernist education, whose proponents believe in the same theory, I can assure you that often multisyllabic gobbdygook exhibits far less intelligence than clear, direct writing using simple and direct sentences with concrete nouns and verbs.)

In addition, I’ve read Murray’s works on the supposed distribution of genius, invention and works of art and I don’t agree with him at all that his standards are “objective.” On the contrary, any modern inventions and modern forms of art are discounted and degenerated. So if Mozart counts as a musical genius but a rap star doesn’t and the printing press counts as an invention but a new app for the iPad doesn’t, then OF COURSE it appears there were more “works of genius” in the past than among these good-for-nothing hooligan youngsters.

But the biggest problem with the Dysgenic crowd, in my opinion, is that they misunderstand the Demographic Revolution. They think that because the most educated, prosperous and (presumably) intelligent men and women entered the Demographic Revolution first, this meant they were suddenly losing the evolutionary race, when just the opposite was true. It would be like contemporary social scientists of the Agricultural Revolution wringing their hands because all  the most educated, prosperous and intelligent men and women of their time were no longer spending as much time hunting and gathering as the dullards… completely missing the fact that the reason is because the smartest members of society are the first of the bell curve to have taken up sowing and reaping instead.

Tara Maya
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> On Apr 28, 2015, at 4:05 PM, Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com> wrote:
> So it looks like the Flynn effect might be just a trivial language trend, while true intelligence steadily decreases:
> https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3c4TxciNeJZN1g0NjF0WmtUeHc/view?pli=1 <https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3c4TxciNeJZN1g0NjF0WmtUeHc/view?pli=1>
> A pity.
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