Re: idiots

Bryant (
26 Aug 1996 15:35:53 -0600

In article <4vsc9c$>, (R.J. Baranick) wrote:
>> I live in a small mining town in Pennsylvania.
>> For the past hundred years, "the best and the brightest"
>> of each high school graduating class ( some 30-40% )
>> have left home to seek their fortunes "in the city".
>> This has happened generation after generation.
>> What is the probability that the remaining gene pool
>> will create a future town population of ( I don't know
>> how to put this delicatly ) "idiots"!!

Despite the relatively high heritability of IQ (estimated to be around
.5), the long-feared "decline" in national IQ due to low IQ folks having
more kids has not materialized. To the contrary, a rapid
inter-generational *increase* in IQ scores has been noted (the so-called
"Flynn Effect," named for its discoverer).

At any rate, I don't think your town elders have much to worry about. :)

A nice review of the current state of knowledge about IQ is available in:
Neiser et al., 1996. American Psychologist, 51: 77-101. It was produced
by a panel after the public became interested (again) in the debate after
the publication of _The Bell Curve_. If you would like my copy of this
article, I'd be happy to send it to you via snail mail.