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The Mismeasure of Man Book ☆ 446 pages Download

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The Mismeasure of Man Book ☆ 446 pages Download Í ❰Read❯ ➭ The Mismeasure of Man Author Stephen Jay Gould – Feedmarkformulate.co.uk The definitive refutation to the argument of The Bell CurveHow smart are you? If that uestion doesn't spark a dozen uestions in your mind like What do you mean by 'smart' HThe definitive refutation to the argument of The Bell CurveHow smart are you? If that uestion doesn't spark a dozen uestions in your mind like What do you mean by 'smart' How do I measure it and Who's asking? then The Mismeasure of Man Stephen Jay Gould's masterful demolition of the I industry should be reuired reading Gould's brilliant funny engaging prose dissects the motivations behind those who would judge intelligence and hence worth by cranial size convolutions or score on extremely narrow tests How did scientists decide that intelligence was unipolar and uantifi NOTE Feel free to read the full review but I can sum it up in a fact Gould need only have written the two page epilogue to his book a concise essay rather than the remainder of the book In fact the entire thing is just so much pink fiberglass insulation leading up to the final page of the book Everything he intended to say is there without any jargon or facts and figures As a teacher I intend to photocopy and teach that page alone Carry on if desiredI am not a philistine nor am I stupid and rare is the book that totally mystifies me It is regrettable then that this which will be placed in due time on that narrow metaphorical shelf bewildered not out of being truly beyond grasping but rather out of poor presentation and overly technical writing I feel that this is relevant to the aims of this review I uote David Kipen's review of the The Zohar Pritzker Edition Vol 1If a book is so knotty that it makes a critic's skull ache most critics would consider that something an unwary reader deserves to knowAnd now you know To be clear the first four chapters are not troublesome; it's chapter five The Real Error of Cyril Burt that should've been omitted But I'll get to that in due timeThese are the main points of Gould's book a That there is no discernible difference especially of intellect between the various races of Homo sapiens; b that scientists are prey to the same biases and subjectivities as we all are and they may colour their work thus; c that intelligence is a nebulous unuantifiable entity and we often fall prey to the fallacy of reification when referencing intelligence ie we feel that that which is named is definable; and d that sociobiology as put forth by Richard Dawkins and E O Wilson is incorrect insofar as it seeks to find an explanation for human behaviour in Darwinian theory I can get behind propositions a through c but I find d revolting and completely off baseIn fact my point b above Gould's assertion that scientists' work might be shaped by their biases is the basis for the ultimate failure of The Mismeasure of Man Gould knows that I measures nothing and that sociobiology is false and that admitting any innate difference between human minds will lead to social darwinism so of course he's churned out this massive synthesis in support of precisely those ideas The fact that he doesn't realize his hypocrisy is or less vomit inducing The fact is that I measures something real so says recent moderate research see The Search for Intelligence by the ubiuitous Carl Zimmer Scientific American October 2008 pp 68 75 I agree with Gould when he uotes John Stuart Mill saying thatThe tendency has always been strong to believe whatever received a name must be an entity or being having an independent existence of its own And if no real entity answering to the name could be found men did not for that reason suppose that none existed but imagined that it was something particularly abstruse and mysteriousThe rub is that some things that don't answer to names actually don't exist for one Unicorns come to mind Another conundrum arrises when we take into account the first rule of behavioural genetics as uoted in Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate All human behavioural traits are heritableThis is key It simply states rather uncontroversially that all traits might be inherited and to say as much is not to embrace genetic determinism But in the book Gould poo poos sociobiology and the rule He states that human being have no innate leaning toward aggressiveness In a sense Mismeasure is the archenemy of The Blank Slate Gould never actually advocates that we are blank slates stating instead thatI cannot adopt such a nihilistic position without denying the fundamental insight of my professionHe does however essentially state that I is meaningless because it reifies intelligence and that there's nothing innately different about one human's brain or another's in a sort of Harrison Bergeron vision of euality Pinker pretty much shows this to be false but finds a way to celebrate our differencesTo me the problem with I is not that it measures nothing in theory although some people just don't test well and I exclude them from judgment My beef is that I is just so linear and one dimensional Who decided that skill in math and grammar was the sole indicator of intelligence? What about athletic ability? Artistic ability? Ability to categorize? Or to ask the big uestions? What about people with great people skills or an aptitude for mechanics? Educators will be familiar with Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences and I subscribe to it wholeheartedly Darwin himself was of average intelligence but excelled at research Gardner's naturalist intelligence And I believe that each of us is capable of whatever we wish to accomplish—there are pilots and painters without arms and I almost cringe before throwing out the token Beethoven was deaf nugget Genes are not destiny and work can overcome them That said smart people know their limits and they don't wax poetic about how they don't exist and we're all eual in every way I know that I am not good at math that is I was not born with an innate ability to comprehend mathematics intuitively I could certainly apply myself and learn math but why bother?—I understand biology and literature in ways most mathematicians do notAnd this brings us to the part of the book that made me give it one star—The Real Error of Cyril Burt consisting of eighty six pages of advanced math This is a fatal error for a pop sci book I had to skip the chapter after 20 pages; it was going in one eye and out the other or as Richard Ellis says MEGO syndrome set in My Eyes Glaze Over SampleThe original measures may be represented as vectors of unit length radiating from a common point If two measures are highly correlated their vectors lie close to each other The cosine of the angle between any two vectors records the correlation coefficient between themNot exactly uantum mechanics to be sure but enough to kill my interest and lose the point If Gould needs a lot of math to tell me something very loose and unsure and Pinker needs no math to tell me something completely concrete well Occam and his famed blade point to the latterThis is the second Gould I've read and it was the second to involve a disclaimer about a glut of details to come in the introduction When you're used to Richard Dawkins and Carl Sagan with their grand sweepingand poetic generalizations about life the universe and everything these details are not only shelter to the devil—they are the devilBelieve it or not I recommend this book The first four chapters and the epilogue—the story of a sterilized woman with Down's syndrome which broke my heart—are pretty good But bad editing is its downfall When I count three spelling errors I send the thing back to my mental publishers

Stephen Jay Gould ↠ The Mismeasure of Man Kindle

Able? Why did the standard keep changing over time? Gould's answer is clear and simple power maintains itself European men of the 19th century even before Darwin saw themselves as the pinnacle of creation and sought to prove this assertion through hard measurement When one measure was found to place members of some inferior group such as women or Southeast Asians over the supposedly rightful champions it would be discarded and replaced with a new comfortable measure The 20th century obsession with numbers led to the institutionalization of I testing and subseuent assig This book is a political document not a popular science book Unfortunately the book is an example of dishonest cherry picking of findings and selective omission of studies that would ruin the story Gould tries to construct Ironically Gould commits the same crime he accuses the racist scientists of selective biasThere is no scientific honesty in this book and as a conseuence Gould gives ammo to those he tries to discredit and disarm Irony once againMaybe this topic should be left untouched as there is great potention for harm associated with it That is my own personal conclusion after pursuing the primary literature on the topics raised by Gould

Doc Ú The Mismeasure of Man ↠ Stephen Jay Gould

The Mismeasure of ManNment to work and rewards commensurate with the score shown by Gould to be not simply misguided for surely intelligence is multifactorial but also regressive creating a feedback loop rewarding the rich and powerful The revised edition includes a scathing critiue of Herrnstein and Murray's The Bell Curve taking them to task for rehashing old arguments to exploit a new political wave of uncaring belt tightening It might not make you any smarter but The Mismeasure of Man will certainly make you think Rob LightnerThis edition is revised and expanded with a new introduction Intellectually fraudulent utterly ignorant of modern intelligence research politically biased