I love to present non- kosher essays.
I have a singular idea about IQ. It means I am not a fetishist of IQ. Why?
When my daughter was like 3 years old, or 3 1/2 years, I went to the library to ask for a book. The Lewis Terman test of intelligence book, also called of Terman-Binet, or Standford IQ test.
I was at first shocked when he said in page one, I am not going to define what is intelligence. After the initial shock, I cooled down by telling, by observing the items the test he is using, I would be able to understand what is the definition of intelligence of this author. By reading the items of the test I was reading his mind on this question.
Those that flattered the IQ test at the time, gave it a great importance, for it proved the blacks and in the general the very poor, were almost mental retarded. This proved in some way, the system was just and reasonable and proved the social system was not doing any injustice to blacks or the poor.
It was also said at the time, that the IQ test do not asked those questions you can learn by rote in school. That was right.
In essence the test was a test of language and it shows how good is a child, or an adult, in regard to language.
As soon the adversaries of the test examined it, they were complaining that lower class people, and specially black children, would have lower points in a test of spoken English. For they barely learn at home to speak proper English.
It is obvious that people of middle class is paying a lot of attention to the language development of his children. It represents not only a distinction of class, but the children with a more developed language would obviously perform better in school. They would have more ability to understand, but also to retain (store) more complex and longer sentences in their brains.
Because of the criticism about the Test of Stanford being a test of language, others invented something totally arbitrary, a test of progressive matrices. Well, the very notion of matrices implies an implicit development of language. A child cannot understand the meaning of matrices, something rather abstract, and numerical, unless someone had trained his brain at learning the logic of matrices. That means, language comes first, matrices later.
To put this in a clear light, we can imagine a test to verify the intelligence of children with a piano. Only the children that have had some experience playing a piano could show some intelligence playing the piano. Anyone that had not had any experience, the best he can say is: this thing is a piano.
Then, why am I not impressed with the IQ? Specially with higher rates of IQ?
Very simple. A very good pianist can speak, but if he does a test of IQ it would not have any high results. The same can be seen if a child is very good playing chess, or tennis or running around the playground. Well, what if a child in very good at maths? A sort of a prodigy with maths for his age? It would not have a very high level of IQ For the intelligence or the time he had expended learning maths was robbed from the general development of language, to some degree. The question here is time. You can expend a lot of time learning language, and this would show in the test giving you an IQ far superior to 130 or 140 points.
Then, the IQ measures how well you understand language, not how well you can play the piano, or how well you can play tennis, or do maths. I have known a number of people with some degree of language development, but they were unable to understand trivial concepts of maths or physics. They were also unable to understand trivial concepts of statistics. Even the people involved in the question of developing IQ test showed some degree of mental retardation for being scientists bragging to have a knowledge about intelligence. This was the case of notorious R.M. Yerkes that made a mental test with the recruits of the US army for WWI. He and his assistants had a lot of problems to made those tests because to the military authorities this was a silly distraction. They knew that the army, or the navy, did not need any special clever recruits. They had always used what young people they had on the place. Many of the recruits were immigrants from Europe that spoke very little English. Some of the questions of the test were only understood by native white Americans, but not by immigrants. Nevertheless Yerkes compiled the results of this poor done job and he made a book. He was repeating often the argument and complaining, that the population of the US or its recruits had an average mental age of 12 years. The experiment was a failure, both because he had not time to prepare a good job or a good test, but also because the army of US was not interested in the stupid experiment.
Then, to worship IQ means the person had not fathomed yet the meaning or the structure of a test of IQ. They had not taken the test in his hands and read one by one all the items of the test. If you do it, you would be able to understand what the test of IQ was measuring.
Then, to solve the puzzle it requires to ask the following question, what is intelligence? And you have to find a suitable answer.
The fist time I started to harbor serious doubts about the test of intelligence, was after reading a newspaper. Some scientists of US went to Africa to apply the test of intelligence to the Bantu people. The paper was saying the Bantu people were cow herders living in the mountains of south Africa. I was not yet 25 and it amazed me this stupid project. How on earth are they going to measure the intelligence of the cow herder Bantus? How this intelligence can be compared to children that live in a city of the US? This was the first time I had the idea, that some prestigious scientists were sort of stupid.