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12/12/2018

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David Duffy

Lippmann is more usually remembered, I thought, as

"Although not a biologist, journalist and essayist Walter Lippmann (1889–1974), took on the eugenicists broadside in the 1920s over everything from immigration and sterilisation to I.Q. tests and education. Lippmann pointed out that the results of the acclaimed Army Intelligence Tests administered during World War I by Robert M. Yerkes of Harvard (and a committed eugenicist) started with the assumption that intelligence was inherited, and collected test data on recruits (1,700,000 of them)...However, Lippmann found that a far more compelling correlation existed between scores on the tests and number of years of schooling (Lippmann, 1923: p. 97). Furthermore, arranging group scores by region of the United States, and by availability of schools (per capita) in these regions, yielded another more significant correlation. Could not education, Lippmann asked, account for a large amount of higher scores compared to lower scores on the tests? Lippmann was sophisticated enough to realise that correlations do not prove causality, but his point was that the psychologists such as Brigham, who were also staunch eugenicists, had not bothered to make such comparisons themselves."

From Allen (2011) Eugenics and Modern Biology: Critiques of Eugenics,
1910–1945.

Eric Schliesser

That's swell, David. (I am not surprised Lippmann caught such problem because I am rather impressed by his insights.) In a way, it makes the problem of my passages even more interesting.

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Here's a link to my past blogging (and discussions involving me) at: New APPS.

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