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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: #1,860,028 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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98 of 150 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
When The Bell Curve first came out, I predicted that, 200 years from now, university professors would use it, along with the collapse of the iron curtain, to mark the end of "the Socialist Epoch" or "the Egalitarian Age," which I suppose, to make a nice round number, they will have in their textbooks as 1789-1989. Now I'm even more convinced. In fact, nothing could possibly better confirm the essential validity of the Bell Curve's claims than the fact, behind all the self-fueling sound and fury it provoked, and behind the holier-than-thou pretentions to be "debunking," "refuting," and "flattening" the Bell Curve, the careful reader cannot help but notice a striking absence of real, substantive objections to it. Instead, the supposed objections are either opposed to something the Bell Curve never said (and indeed, explicitly denied), or else they tend to try to nit-pick without actually disagreeing. Indeed, with Cafalli-Sforza's lead, we see a new formula emerging. If you are involved in writing up some potentially politically incorrect scientific research, here is what to do. First, write up the research, which, of course, largely confirms the hereditarian heresy (which most people have always known, or secretly suspected, anyway). Then, decorate the outside of the package with a lot of ostentatious window dressing which, ingenuously, implies that your book "flattens" the evil heresy. That ought to keep YOUR head out of the noose! Besides, it makes the reviewers much more likely praise you, and sells more copies too.Read more ›
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