Bruce McGuffin (
26 Jan 1995 13:02:47 GMT (David A. Johns) wrote:

> # (Michael Andrew Turton) wrote:
> #
> # > Getting back to TBC, Tom, perhaps you can provide a
> # > definitions of "race" "intelligence" and other words Murray
> # > flings around.

> # usefulness. We can predict many things from the weight of an
> # object; therefore, its weight is a real and important quantity.

> Why are you talking about IQ? Tom asked you to define *intelligence*.

Michael asked, not Tom. And I'm not Tom anyway. Nobody
asked *me* to do anything. Meanwhile I am trying to steer the
discussion back towards the book itself.

> # "Race" is a taxonomic concept. Taxonomists classify subspecies;
> # I don't see why it is illegitimate to talk about race.

> If you want to talk about human variation, that's fine. If you want
> to sort people into categories, you've got trouble.

All *I* want to do is discuss the book. Taxonomies are not
always meant to correspond to "natural classes"--they are sometimes
arbitrary divisions made simply to talk, in a fuzzy way, about
variation. Their value is heuristic. For example, frogs that
vary slowly along a north-south river so that the northernmost
frogs can mate with the ones in between but not with the
southernmost frogs, can be usefully divided into "northernmost",
"in between" and "southernmost" simply for the purposes of making
rough statements like the one I have just made. It is in this
rough way that we often talk, and it is in this rough way that
TBC is intended.