This answer was improperly deleted, with the stated reason: "spam or rude or abusive":


It is neither rude nor spam. I can't undelete it because it says it was deleted by a moderator. It is sourced.

I wish to comment on the answer to ask for references for 'IQ as climate indicator' and also to ask why USA, Australia, Spain have high urbanization rates but low violence.

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    "It is sourced" No, it is not. It contains links. That does not mean it is sourced. Neither link supports any of the claims presented in the answer. The first one is to the abstract of a tangentially related article, written by someone more well known for his book on penis sizes. The second one is just a blurry image of unknown origin, that might or might not be relevant. – yannis Oct 18 '19 at 19:49
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    The first link supports the assertion that IQ is related to violence. I thought that was common knowledge. Leaded gasoline has been linked to both decrease in IQ and increase in violence. I won't comment on the penis book as that seems like a red herring and poisoning the well. I do wish to ask for more references on the urbanization rate map. – Chloe Oct 18 '19 at 20:26
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    @Chloe: For starters, the answer claimed that IQ "is the main factor in homicide" (emphasis mine). Which is a lot stronger claim than mere association and as far as I can tell not found in the source cited (I've looked at the full text, just in case). – Fizz Oct 23 '19 at 17:33
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    @yannis did you dismiss an article on PubMed because the author also studied the subject of penis sizes? If it offends your sensibilities, then maybe moderating questions/answers on politics is not your thing. If, on the other hand, you think that this separate area of expertise makes the article's author less serious or less rigorous, then you should probably justify that opinion given that it is published on PubMed. – grovkin Oct 23 '19 at 23:58
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    @LangLangC it is a database. It is for convenience. Its policy for including journals or articles is stated here. It includes the following sentence: "as part of the evaluation process, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) considers a journal’s scope as well as the scientific and editorial quality of the publication." Which means it's not just a database. It has fairly high quality criteria. Formality aside, it's NIH's store of peer-reviewed health-related articles FOR PETE's SAKE! Enough said. – grovkin Oct 24 '19 at 0:06
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    @grovkin Did you miss the part in my comment about the article only being tangentially related to the answer? What I do dismiss is the notion that the article actually backs up any of the bizarre pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo in the answer. – yannis Oct 24 '19 at 0:14
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    @LangLangC people regularly post links to Wikipedia as "sources". Are you suggesting that PubMed is less credible? The idea that PubMed is not credible is just bizarre. It's not set in stone, but nothing is. It higher standards than most sources which people link on this site. – grovkin Oct 24 '19 at 5:36
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    @yannis I don't see why bringing up a researcher's other interests, as a way to discredit him, is par for the course. I did see the rest of your comment. I didn't see anything wrong with the rest of that comment. So I didn't mention it. – grovkin Oct 24 '19 at 5:45
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    @LangLangC I am going to insist that an article on PubMed can be taken as credible unless and until evidence to the contrary is presented. – grovkin Oct 24 '19 at 21:41
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    @yannis imagine how odd it would be if someone referred to your post in software engineering (on SE) as something written by an author "best known for his contribution to Politics and Mythology on stackexchange". – grovkin Oct 24 '19 at 21:49
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    @grovkin That would be odd indeed, seeing how I am a top user on Software Engineering, and also a moderator until recently... – yannis Oct 25 '19 at 6:54
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    @LangLangC "Experimental evidence of dietary factors and hormone-dependent cancers" is absurd on its face. This doesn't violate the principle that PubMed articles are credible absent evidence that they are not. Absurdity is such evidence. – grovkin Oct 25 '19 at 10:32
  • @LangLangC ok, you got me. I misread the abstract. I am nowhere near as clever as you give me credit. I skimmed it quickly and it seemed like it said that fat-only diet was leading to cancers. Obviously it's more subtle than that. – grovkin Oct 26 '19 at 0:56

While I disagree with marking this answer as "spam or rude or abusive", I'd agree that it was rather a low quality answer thus some downvoting was fully justified. Moreover, as the subject and explaining factor is quite contentious, in such cases even better sourced explanation may still risking being a downvote magnet.

Not to be overtly general:

  • First link tangentially mentions issue of IQ and crime. Even if it was emotionally neutral issue like fruit flies or pea plants, you even did not bother to support it by data on what IQ is measured for different ethnic groups. Not good enough to prove your point and you already enter on collision course with people who maybe generally agree with evolution, but consider our specie intellectual capabilities to be exempt from it in last 70k years or disagree with the concept of IQ as a whole. You could have simply used Latino crime rate from the US, and extrapolate that for rest of South America.
  • Urbanisation rate — yes they have slightly higher rate than other continents, so by default would have more violence in cities, because of simply having more population there.

Both of those factors, I'd mark as possible contributors. However, it seems that you missed elephant in the room, what wrongly or correctly, some people interpreted very emotionally — some of those countries could be marked as failed states. Even if you implicitly go in to ethnic differences (genetic or culture factor) as the causal factor for observed quality of institution, then such mechanism would require extra explanation as it clearly does not work in for example Eastern Europe.

  • It wasn't my answer. – Chloe Nov 1 '19 at 0:00

Whoever deleted this answer did the right thing.

It is an incoherent piece that primarily displays prejudice and racism. It does that through a short string of allusions rather than bringing forth anything that would resemble a stringent argument.

Basically it says something like that: "dark people are dumb" and that "city dwellers are dangerous".

For 'referencing' that, there are then two links thrown in that have not much to do with the assertions presented.

One link leads to an abstract of a short study that talks somehow "about IQ" (and claims to find a correlation with that and suicide and homicide), but it is from a dubious person basing his 'research' on again racist 'political scientist' (Charles Murray).

More importantly, the report linked to knows nothing about climate at all. The most central claim at the start of the answer is therefore not referenced or "sourced". That is abusing a source trying to simulate referencing. Since the 'reference' is unrelated to the claim, this is cargo cult referencing.

Since OP here on meta quite rightly doesn't really find what is claimed either, the ensuing desire to comment for clarification is almost obvious:

wish to comment on the answer to ask for references for 'IQ as climate indicator' and also to ask why USA, Australia, Spain have high urbanization rates but low violence.

It seems strange when OP then goes on to insist on

"It is sourced."

It is obviously not. The answer is a short collection of unsustainable generalisations that are not referenced, that in fact can't be referenced with reliable sources that are not racist,

The point to observe is the main reason for deletion: that it's raving mad racism with abuse of name-dropping of scientific concepts almost completely unrelated to the content, with cargo cult referencing, and a lack of arguments and absence of stringency. Even OP here wants to comment in ways that should make it clear that eg "IQ as climate marker" is absolute nonsense (or is that the reason for US civil war outcome? ;). A non-answer.

For the benefit of OP asking for the possible influence of climate on cognitive performance, a wholly different take than in the deleted answer would be Environment and intelligence. The most cardinal sin of abusing "IQ" as a shorthand for 'intelligence' – another generally untenable position – one might take a read over from Taleb: IQ is largely a pseudoscientific swindle - INCERTO - Medium.

Since it looks like quite a few 'answers' to this question wanted to get 'this point' across, that there would be 'different countries with different IQ-levels':

That is complete bogus. An IQ-test is designed and calibrated to put individuals on a ranking system that actually reflects them being a member of the target population. All proper IQ-tests are calibrated to form a normal distribution with the average being always exactly 100! So taking an American IQ test and administering it to the most perfect English speaking Indians fails the basic validity criterion: by measuring something in people that are not part of the target population the test was designed for and calibrated on. Thereby, by giving you an average from mass testing that is ≠100, proving nothing more than that the test used was not culture-fair and improperly calibrated. Any conclusions drawn from such a gross mismeasurement are worthless.

Even more egregious is the silently to be assumed range of the explanation of "low-IQ = higher crime". That is so far from depicting reality adequately as to be just untrue:

The American Psychological Association's 1995 report Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns stated that the correlation between IQ and crime was -0.2.

This implies that the explained variance for this variable 'IQ' is less than 4% for these negative outcomes in 'crime'. (Example for a large Danish sample on juvenile offenses)

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    Taleb is largely a joke because he doesn't like what genetic mappers have found. – user9790 Oct 19 '19 at 15:22
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    Although tour point on stringency stands. It's a difficult subject – user9790 Oct 19 '19 at 15:27
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    Mainly, Taleb (one of many) puts his finger on an old wound full of pus. I wonder what genetic mappers should have found? Some would like to take genetics and again construct the genetic determinism thing, even for groups, when in reality there is just a small base (duh?) that may be calculated to account for < half of variance in outcome for the individual and nothing for intergroup differences, as intra-group differences are far more significant. The latest genetic findings don't tip the balance in nature/nurture. But that biological determinism thing is what the A wanted to resurrect. – LаngLаngС Oct 19 '19 at 18:23
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    The test used was not culture-fair and improperly calibrated. Is there an IQ test designed and calibrated in a (3rd world, non-OECD, etc.) country and then given to Americans or Japanese or some rich country? – Chloe Oct 23 '19 at 21:54
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    While this answer was very poorly written, in some places I consider your critique as excessive. Whatever IQ test actually measure, already that thing is quite good predictor of probability that individual would commit violent crime. The problem is that if you look at US ethnic groups through lens of their crime rate and average measured IQ, those data neatly match. – Shadow1024 Oct 24 '19 at 18:40
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    Moreover, it's a bit hard to explain everything in terms of racially biased courts and culturally biased tests, when ex. East Asians have in their countries low crime, and good education, even when born in the US tend to get lower crime rate than whites and tend to outscore whites on standardised tests (SAT, IQ), which were accused of being biased in favour of Western culture. / Even if we assume that against all tests, people from primitive tribes indeed have different type intelligence (not just skills) that we fail to measure - it would be useful only in case total civilisation collapse. – Shadow1024 Oct 24 '19 at 18:54
  • Do you have an authoritative link showing that Charles Murray comes form a place of racial bias rather than following his nose on the data? Obviously the accusation against him is common, but I'd be curious what it is based on. Please, don't point to some politically-motivated link. If you do, I'll assume that no real evidence of his bias exists. – grovkin Oct 26 '19 at 1:00
  • @LangLangC "racism in effect"? Is that an instance of an "offensive fact"? When I was in HS, Murray's book was FEATURED on all bookshelves in all bookstores as a best seller. I haven't read it. But I find it difficult to believe that his publishers and all book merchants missed some obvious racism before pushing his book. It went through multiple levels of vetting before getting to that point. If someone discovered something that they view as racist in it, well, I'd like evidence that it is based on inherent bias. I am sick of this attacking of researchers for what they discovered. – grovkin Oct 26 '19 at 22:52
  • @LangLangC aha. Translated: safety breads stupidity and there is evidence that some groups are effected by this more than other groups. Well, I am just surprised he abandoned the robe and hid the burning cross given such outrageous claims. Without vetting, btw? So he didn't have an editor? And the book sellers featured the book without reading it? Do you understand that these were long-standing companies which lived by their reputation for wholesomeness? This is pure fantasy. – grovkin Oct 27 '19 at 12:06
  • @LangLangC you haven't given any context. It's entirely plausible to make statements which can sound both as summaries of what was already introduced in the context and as empty predictions. And yes, I realized that the book itself is pop science. The wikipedia link actually has more evidence to challenge the claim that he is a racist than to support it. The strongest claim for his being a racist (in the WP article) is that he didn't give a good justification for considering why he took up the task of breaking up IQ by race. – grovkin Oct 27 '19 at 12:43
  • @LangLangC but the Wikipedia also provides evidence that the book was in line with the time's accepted mainstream views on intelligence. Of the 100 professors who responded, 52 signed a statement endorsing a number of views in the book, while 11 came out saying that it was not consistent with the mainstream views on intelligence. Calling someone like this a "racist psychologist" is actually over the top. It's at worst controversial. Although it maybe sloppy. – grovkin Oct 27 '19 at 12:46
  • @LangLangC you might consider reading this: rationalwiki.org/wiki/RationalWiki:Community_Standards before quoting "rationalwiki" again, btw. I don't feel like checking all of their claims, but one of them stands out as bizarre on its face. They claim that "cash supplements" are a form of welfare. In reality, a "cash supplement" is effectively what earned income credit is. Yet Friedman effectively invented EIC as a negative income tax in order to incentivize work. – grovkin Oct 27 '19 at 13:07

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