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Intelligence, Genes, and Success: Scientists Respond to The Bell Curve (Statistics for Social Science and Public Policy) Paperback – September 11, 1997


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Product Details

  • Series: Statistics for Social Science and Public Policy
  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Copernicus; 1997 edition (September 11, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0387949860
  • ISBN-13: 978-0387949864
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,500,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bernie Devlin is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Statistics at Carnegie-Mellon University. He serves on the DNA Advisory Board to the Federal Bureau of Investigation Director regarding standards for forensic DNA testing laboratories, and the National Forensic Review Panel for the National Institute of Justice regarding the performance of proficiency tests.

Stephen E. Fienberg is Maurice Falk Professor of Statistics and Social Science at Carnegie-Mellon University and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Statistical Association.

Daniel P. Resnick is Professor of History at Carnegie-Mellon University. His research deals with the relationship of historical thinking and experience to public policy development.

Kathryn Roeder is Associate Professor of Statistics, Carnegie-Mellon University. She has a strong research interest in applied problems including statistical genetics, DNA forensic inference and criminology.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 93 people found the following review helpful By nuenke@ix.netcom.com on January 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book has 25 scientific contributors, ostensibly to answer for the Carnegie Commission Task Force on Early Primary Education the question whether the publication of The Bell Curve in 1994 had any scientific merit. This book takes a look at the dataset and reanalyzes much of what Herrnstein and Murry had looked at.
Though it brings more perspectives on the subject, and takes issue with much of what TBC concluded, it does vindicate that TBC is now a serious beginning look at intelligence, genetics, and its impact on the nation. This book says, as so many other researchers have contended, "The Bell Curve is a serious book and is not to be ignored."
However, when reading the book, which I recommend for anyone that is very familiar with the subject, remember that of the 25 contributors, only John B. Carroll was also a signatory to "Mainstream Science on Intelligence: 52 scientists respond to The Bell Curve (12/13/1994) in the Wall Street Journal." This book is put together primarily by left-leaning academics. To balance its message, I would strongly recommend reading Arthur Jensen's book The g Factor: The Science of Mental Ability. So again, read this book but keep in mind it is highly biased.
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71 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Matt Nuenke http://eugenics.home.att.net on January 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book was written as a response to the 1994 book "The Bell Curve" by Herrnstein and Murray. But unlike several other books that condemned TBC without any empirical data, this book actually does expand the issue of racial differences intelligence and is well worth reading by any one interested in this ongoing debate. At least in this book, while still motivated by an egalitarian goal to deny racial differences in intelligence, the authors do give TBC credit for being essentially a very sound book empirically, while picking away at some of the issues at its periphery. But as they do this, they also make many fundamental errors and omissions. This is to be expected however because TBC is very hard to refute on empirical grounds alone.
As an example, the authors take TBC to task for using heritability in the broad sense rather in the narrow sense like breeders do, which reduces the heritability between races supposedly by about 20% or so. The problem is, as shown by Jensen in "The g Factor", heritability in the broad sense should be used in comparing group averages, while heritability in the narrow sense should be used in predicting the expected intelligence of one's children. TBC was not a book on how to have smart kids or breeding cows for higher butter fat production. So the argument was a feeble attempt at obfuscation.
Later in the book they admit that Blacks almost make as much money as Whites when wages are adjusted for the average difference in intelligence between the two groups. But they go on to say that "almost" is not good enough. The error here of course, as even they argue in this book, is that earnings are not just a matter of intelligence. It is the most important trait with regards to wages, but other traits are also important.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. CHANG on August 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is heavy stuff. It was written in a style similar to articles published in scientific journals. The opinions and views are drawn based on science and prior studies with thorough references. This book is not for the casual reader who is interested in the topic, but only wants to spend a few hours on it and hopes to walk away with a clearly understanding of the facts or the views of the experts.
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Format: Paperback
The contributors wrote in the Preface to this 1997 book, "the reported statistical work in The Bell Curve would require much input form others, and considerable space of the sort not available in the usual professional journals or in standard nontechnical publications. This we conceived of an unedited volume of response that attempted to take stock, in depth and from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, of the claims in The Bell Curve. The contributors to this volume were selected for their expertise and for their interest in The Bell Curve."

One writer suggests, "The evidence for the environmental hypothesis includes the fact that IQ increased by more than one standard deviation in the past 30 years. Moreover, results of studies examining the effects of adoption, increased nutrition, and enhanced education all indicate that IQ is malleable to varying degrees. It would be a mistake, however, to claim that the races exhibit no differences in any genes critical ti IQ, as this is almost impossible. The most likely scenarios if that the IQ differential is predominantly due to environmental effects." (Pg. 63)

Another notes, "The fact that an extra year of schooling can have a large impact on measured cognitive ability belies the pessimism of [Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray] about the efficacy of interventions." (Pg. 181) Another essayist states, "Ironically, then, if the effect of education on IQ is within the broad range we have estimated, The Bell Curve's demonstration of the importance of IQ for social and economic success... provides evidence for the importance of educational investment as a policy instrument, quite contrary to the conclusions that one might reach from reading The Bell Curve." (Pg.
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Intelligence, Genes, and Success: Scientists Respond to The Bell Curve (Statistics for Social Science and Public Policy)
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