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The Bell Curve

Sophie Launey, These Andre Gerard 31 12 96, Ifremer DRV RA, slauney at ifremer.fr
Fri Feb 17 07:38:15 EST 1995

hello everyone! I'm also a newcomer on the network... I'm 22, PhD student
working on molluscs genetics, not married, adn I wear Doc Martens at work
(not the very big one s that look like astronaut shoes or worse ).

I received the following message on another network and wonder what you
think about it:

>I am reading a book called "The Bell Curve" by Richard Hernstein and
>Charles Murray.  It is a book about intelligence and class structure
>in American life.  Since I have started reading this book, I have
>become extremely interested in intelligence and genetics.  I was
>hoping to receive as much information: opinions, facts, recent
>updates, regarding these topics.  There are hundreds of questions I am
>dying to ask, so to start:
>-  What is intelligence defined as?  Does it have multiple
>-  What methods exist of measuring intelligence?  How accurate are
>they?  Can I obtain copies of these tests or test questions?
>-  Is Intelligence generally considered to be due to genetics or
>environment?  What evidence is there supporting either?
>-  What do you people see as the consequences of the revelation that
>intelligence may differ ON AVERAGE by racial group?
>-  Have scientists found an 'intelligence gene'?
>-  How does the brain function to form thought?  Is it just a reaction
>to various chemicals being shifted around?  If that is true, can we
>accurately predict every thought of the mind?
>As well, information on cases regarding tests done on identical twins,
>or children and parents, etc.  would be appreciated.  I am open to any
>and all comments and opinions.  Please respond,

there has been a lot of fuss here in france about that book, and I find it
hard to believe that people can still write such stupid (and dangerous)
ideas, and even worse - sell them. I answered to the netter advising him to
throw away his book and read instead SJ Gould (reading anything Gould wrote
can only make you more inelligent! and he wrote a lot on that matter). In
one of his book (The Flamingo's Smile) I found out that such ideas as those
expressed in "The Bell Curve" where already expressed one century ago (and
wildly criticized). I can't believe we have not make more progress since
then! (a slight progress anyhow: in the beginning of the century people were
sterilized to avoid the multiplication of "degenerate lines...")

any opinion on the subject?


*  Sophie LAUNEY                               *
*  IFREMER Unite de Recherche en Genetique     *
*  BP 133   17390 LA TREMBLADE    FRANCE       *
*  tel:(33)46363007   fax: (33) 46363751       *
*  email: slauney at ronce.ifremer.fr             *
*                                              *

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