➛ The Mismeasure of Man free download ➠ Author Stephen Jay Gould – Transportjobsite.co.uk

The Mismeasure of Man summary The Mismeasure of Man, series The Mismeasure of Man, book The Mismeasure of Man, pdf The Mismeasure of Man, The Mismeasure of Man 0c2e71b2ac The Definitive Refutation To The Argument Of The Bell CurveHow Smart Are You If That Question Doesn T Spark A Dozen Questions 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 IQ Industry, Should Be Required 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 Quantifiable Why Did The Standard Keep Changing Over Time Gould S Answer Is Clear And Simple Power Maintains Itself European Men Of The Th 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 Th Century Obsession With Numbers Led To The Institutionalization Of IQ Testing And Subsequent Assignment 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 Critique 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 Lightner


15 thoughts on “The Mismeasure of Man

  1. says:

    Have you ever felt a little upset with white people saying black people are lesser people Well, prepare to feel furious Gould documents a series of scientific frauds by racist scientists seeking to show white racial superiority This book will make your blood boil but if people had read it no one would have fallen for all that bell curve rubbish a few years later Racism sucks, and it is based on ignorance If you are looking for a cure to such ignorance, this is as good a place to start as any.


  2. says:

    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 desired.____________________________________________I 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 quote David Kipen s review of the The Zohar Pritzker Edition Vol 1 If a book is so knotty that it makes a critic s skull ache, most critics would consider that something an unwary reader deserves to know.And 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 time These 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, unquantifiable entity, and we often fall prey to the fallacy of reification when referencing intelligence, i.e 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 base.In 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 IQ 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 IQ measures something real, so says recent, moderate research see The Search for Intelligence by the ubiquitous Carl Zimmer, Scientific American, October 2008, pp 68 75 I agree with Gould when he quotes 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 mysterious.The 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 quoted in Steven Pinker s The Blank Slate All human behavioural traits are heritable.This 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 profession.He does, however, essentially state that IQ 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 equality Pinker pretty much shows this to be false, but finds a way to celebrate our differences.To me, the problem with IQ 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 IQ 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 questions 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 equal 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 not.And 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 Sample The 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 quantum 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 latter.This 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, sweeping,and poetic generalizations about life, the universe, and everything, these details are not only shelter to the devil they are the devil.Believe 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.


  3. says:

    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 bias.There is no scientific honesty in this book, and as a consequence, Gould gives ammo to those he tries to discredit and disarm Irony once again.Maybe 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.


  4. says:

    Before a proper summation can be given, one first has to understand the Why of The Mismeasure of Man The Why being hundreds of years of conservative, white folk do well because they re smartest ideology supported by science , and the recent belief in the existence of an inherited IQ number by which all humans can be ranked, culminating in The Bell Curve, by Herrnstein and Murray 1994 It is a book that asserts poor people are, in short, intellectually inferior to the non poor, and thus can never rise above their status barring some fluke to achieve the success that wealthier people enjoy.The book was roundly criticized as sloppy, statistically inaccurate, and pandering to a conservative audience that wanted to believe the poor were not worth the money spent on them, with Gould as one of its loudest critics.In sum, Gould s book is an admonishment of ideology behind The Bell Curve Gould published The Mismeasure of Man years earlier, then republished when The Bell Curve was released and the willingness of social scientists to shape their findings to fit their narrative over the past centuries of anthropological research In essence, they found what they set out to find support for white, Europeans being intelligent than others , in spite of clear evidence to the contrary thus the title of the book He debunks the methodologies and findings of ideas such as mental capacity is determined by cranial volume, and how those who used these methods tried to fit their beliefs to their findings and preserve the idea that Wealthy White People have earned their status because they are intelligent this became a problem when some African skulls, and even some female skulls gasp , had greater volume than their caucasian counterparts , as well as the notion of a measurable IQ For those with a mathematical bent, the latter portion of the book explains the error of Herrnstein and Murray s calculations, and the continuing trend of partiality toward specific data that proved their hypothesis while ignoring data that might disprove it.The latter part of this trend is what Gould finds disheartening and enraging at the same time It is symptomatic of Bad Science That being when scientists find an abundance of evidence that points in a different direction from what they expected, yet cling to their preconceived expectations anyway, and search for a way to manipulate their data to confirm the existing bias Imagine if Newton had at first insisted his laws of motion were based upon the energy inherent in apples, and never allowed his findings to alter his opinion In the far future these notions of gender and race based intellectuality will be long behind us and we will look back in incredulity But if not for Gould, this book, and others like him, we might never take those steps forward.If you take anything from the book, or at least the idea of the book if you choose not to read it in its entirety, it should be 1 always approach an idea with some degree of skepticism, and 2 consider the possibility of an agenda behind a proposal even when offered by something so noble and ideal as the scientific community.


  5. says:

    Intellectually fraudulent, utterly ignorant of modern intelligence research, politically biased.


  6. says:

    The public school system I attended in Park Ridge, Illinois had us taking standardized texts several times a year, year after year Iowa Tests, California Testa, PSAT, NMSQT, ACT, SAT etc Some of us, the cooperative ones, got quite good at it and had our choice of colleges We were, we were told, intelligent or, correlatively, not living up to potential.Beyond the satisfaction of thinking myself smart, however, was an unease It wasn t just that I wasn t particularly good at much of anything except tests, it was because of the segregation of students from one another beginning in elementary school and continuting, with ever greater degrees of discrimination, through junior and senior high schools I couldn t buy it A lot of the kids I was being separated from seemed smarter than me by any number of practical estimations.Gould s book is a history and critique of intelligence testing It began in France, simply as a means of identifying areas of relative academic standing Its purpose was benign find the kids lagging in, say, numeration and pay enough attention to them to bring them up to speed It became, primarily under the North Americans, a ontological measure of inherent capacity.Much of Gould s exposition hinges on the uses and abuses of factoral analysis, a mathematical tool he himself employed in his own academic training His explanation of the method and of its history of abuse by intelligence measurers is clear and telling.Some of Gould s critique is based on a review, conducted by his students, of the data originally gathered and manipulated by early intelligence theorists Errors are found, lots of them virtually all tendentious Would that the means existed for such reviews of many of the foundational discoveries of science


  7. says:

    Gould is a good person and an excellent thinker This is a call to scientists to examine their own biases and it is a demolishment of centuries of racist genetic testing It s also such a pleasure to read someone who is a sound thinker and can write logically I know some of his debunkings i.e Morton have since been debunked, but that does nothing to diminish the importance of this work Also, he notes that racist science tends to proceed from movements demanding equality And so it is that the likes of Murray joined by a bunch of other people are once again advancing the guard of IQ determinism I could really use an updated Mismeasurement of Man right about now


  8. says:

    I m no expert in psychometrics, neuroscience, genetics, education, biology, physiology, psychology, factor analysis, or quantitative methodology I m only a layperson with an interest in literature, humanity, and science So just note that the comments below are offered by a nonprofessional.My comments on The Mismeasure of Man This book presents an interesting history of various attempts to measure intelligence among groups and attempts to rank groups by innate mental ability Gould argues, essentially, that such attempts are useless and unfounded because intelligence is not a reified thing, and that preconceived political and social views bias have always plagued efforts to measure intelligence and always will The book is an indictment of biological determinism, racism, and attempts to justify racism through science While his history of intelligence testing and racism is instructive, this book does not adequately describe how science and psychometrics have evolved matured in recent years So the book does not present a complete history, in my view.While his arguments appeal to my sensibilities, I think Gould fails in some degree to offer sufficient counter arguments by others who challenge his own thinking which is what I hoped for So, as with nearly all books, this work should be read and considered in conjunction with other works that both agree and disagree with Gould s analysis and conclusions.I certainly do appreciate Gould s critique on the attempts, past and present, to classify racial groups in some kind of hierarchical ranking However, I think, while a noble effort, Gould himself brings his own bias to the work This is just to say that I agree with Gould in general, but I read with caution In addition to this book, I have read Jensen s response to The Mismeasure of Man, an opinion paper by Bernard D Davis about the book two responses from people with opposing political views , and works by others who supported and criticized Gould s work My opinions hold firm Psychometrics and testing is of great value when identifying gaps in learning and evaluating education programs and policy There is absolutely no valid justification for racism Individual ability cannot be determined by race Mental ability is not a measure for social worth Bias does exist, but scientific reasoning and quantitative methodologies aim to eliminate bias Intelligence and academic success are influenced by a combination of biological, physiological, and psychological factors and a multitude of environmental factors including health, diet, education, social policy, culture, school climate, parenting, proximity to violence and crime, etc And, finally, what I ve learned most of all from this exercise is that there is always much, much to be learned I offer these references below not to advocate for the authors political view, but simply to present alternative perspective Davis, Bernard D 1983 Neo Lysenkoism, IQ, and the press The Public Interest, 74, 41 59.Jensen, Arthur R 1982 The debunking of scientific fossils and straw persons Contemporary Education Review, 1, 121 135.


  9. says:

    A history of the use of intelligence testing to support racism, sexism, and class boundaries, focusing on two areas 19th century craniometry and 20th century IQ tests The going gets a little heavy in the final chapters when Gould busts out the math, but it s an eye opener, using two specific historical examples to make larger points about the way science, though supposedly neutral, can be warped to enforce existing prejudices When poor Italian immigrants flooded into America in the early 20th century, research suddenly proliferated proving that Italians were a separate, mentally inferior nonwhite race in Britain, studies focused on supporting the innate rightness of the class system and recommending lesser education for poor children Gould s message is ultimately positive that our mental limits are far less relevant than our mental potential.


  10. says:

    I found this book very disappointing considering how much I love other books by Gould The Mismeasure of Man aims to attack some of the supposed evidence for scientific racism The book s purpose intrigued me initially, but as I began reading its content, I found Gould s method very unconvincing This is one of Gould s arguments that I found most difficult to buy Gould s attack on craniometry He first gives a brief background of some of the first craniometric studies of human races done by Agazzis and Morton quite informative Gould then points out the flaw in Morton s studies his measurements of the volume of skulls are done by filling the skull with seeds, and Morton might have, according to Gould, pressed the seeds further in the skulls that he believed a priori to be larger It is an interesting case study of confirmation bias, and Gould claimed that he repeated Morton s measurements to find out that Morton s measurements were indeed influenced by his preconceptions Gould s re measurements were then falsified by many other scientists anthropologists according to a critique titled Mismeasure of Gould Gould seems to forget that he too has his own preconceptions about the topic.I think it is very difficult to read a book that relies on claiming that its opponent is under the influence of confirmation bias The author would then simply repeat the experiment, only to be falsified by his critics, who suggest that he too is under the influence of said bias It somehow seems like an endless exchange of straw man arguments, and I don t find that very interesting to read about.Gould s fascination with the relationship between fact theory and human preconceptions in science is admirable, but he does it much beautifully in Wonderful Life I suggest that you should read that rather than The Mismeasure of Man.


  11. says:

    The Mismeasure of Man is often touted as a definitive refutation of racialist pseudoscience and eugenics However, while I would highly recommend Gould s work, I would do so as an entry point to the subject.Gould s prose is highly readable and entertaining as always His coverage of the history of eugenics and scientific racism is excellent and engaging and it s worth reading for this alone Now, on to the qualifications A flaw in the book is Gould s revised measurements of Morton s skulls Gould seems to have inadvertently proven his own point as revised measurements of their cranial capacity have been taken and it seems that Morton was mostly right, contra Gould See Nature mag This doesn t detract too heavily from Gould s main point in my opinion, as cranial capacity cannot be used as a proxy measurement for IQ anyway But it is hypocritical to accuse a long dead academic of ideological bias and sloppy methodology and then engage in the same distortions As Gould gets closer to the present, he begins to get sloppier He derails in one part to take some swipes at sociobiology and E.O Wilson For anyone familiar with the sociobiology debate, this comes off as Gould just venting about a personal squabble His rebuttals to the contemporary race and IQ proponents do not adequately address their methodology While placing them in historical context makes it fairly easy to see what their basic motives and mistakes are, Gould fails to rigorously refute their nuanced statistical arguments I would recommend the work of James R Flynn on contemporary race and IQ arguments Flynn s work on the subject is superior in its scholarship and nuance.Nevertheless, this book is a great place for the lay person to start when it comes to the sordid history of the use of biology and psychology in service of ideology and bigotry.


  12. says:

    Lo empec como una mera lectura curiosa, pero se convirti en un ensayo adictivo, mucho m s de lo que podr a haber imaginado en ning n momento Desmitificante cuando tiene que serlo, Gould da una clase soberbia sobre lo que ha de entenderse como objetividad en la actividad cient fica y rebusca en el archivo, desempolvando las caras b de muchos procedimientos, art culos y estudios cuya repercusi n ha llegado a nuestros d as.No es una obra dif cil, aunque s es cierto que hay momentos en que uno acaba afectado por la sobredosis de datos y de historias lamentables Porque lo que Gould trata son las medidas, como se ha tratado de estratificar las sociedades en base a una serie de datos prejuiciosos y endebles en la mayor parte de los casos Tiene una base envidiable y una argumentaci n capaz de clausurar cualquier tipo de dudas Tira de iron a si es necesario, hace autocr tica cient fica Y abarca todos los campos que considera esenciales, dulcific ndolos para que sean de comprensi n aceptable Si he de quedarme con algo es, sin duda, con los 4 primeros cap tulos, el quinto y el sexto son m s pesados y dif ciles de digerir, aunque interesantes de igual modo, y el ep logo, que cierra de un modo brillante con una cita de Darwin Si la miseria de nuestros pobres no es causada por las leyes de la naturaleza sino por nuestras instituciones, cu n grande es nuestro pecado Me parece muy recomendable.


  13. says:

    This was absolutely spectacular A scientific look at the prejudices that pseudo science has used to confirm and back unnecessary racism An inside look at the so called evidence that has furthered the labeling and segregating of mankind It was absolutely flawless I loved this book Page after page was extremely infuriating It is amazing how we can use science to twist facts to our own liking I am so glad I found this at the library It makes me both simultaneously wonder what other current facts are being distorted to further agendas, and feel extremely grateful that we are finally trying to put all human beings on an even footing There is no better time to be who you are than today.


  14. says:

    One shouldn t read Baron Cohen without first fortifying oneself with Gould.


  15. says:

    We pass through this world but once Few tragedies can be extensive than the stunting of life, few injustices deeper than the denial of an opportunity to strive or even hope, by a limit imposed from without, but falsely identified as lying within.I cannot do this book justice in a review The matter is complicated and lies at the heart of what I believe I have not yet taken an IQ test which I couldn t have done better if I had practiced certain things beforehand Next number in a line, logic it s all perfectly learnable and not a bit innate I could be as smart as I like, but if I didn t know the language of the test, I would fail That the result of this kind of testing would signify some kind of innate, inherited, intelligence is ludicruos I was sure of that even at 15 Validity of a test the extent to which it measures what it is supposed to measure Does an IQ test really measure intelligence, and what precisely IS intelligence According to Cyril Burt, Spearman, Richard J Herrnstein and Charles Murray intellligence is a single measurable thing, which is inherited and does not change This would be laughable if the consequences of their beliefs have not had such negative affects on society Stephen Jay Gould takes the studies of the intelligence researches and picks them apart He doesn t spare his words and that makes this book a refreshing and personal read He makes a strong point about Binet, the inventor of IQ in fearing that it would be used to limit possibilities which is exactly what happened Binet invented his test to find children who needed extra help in class that was his sole purpose He did not claim to measure intelligence, the intelligence quotient is a division of mental age with chronological age and to be used to determine whether a child needed special education or not Binet the scale, properly speaking, deos not permit the measure of the intelligence, because intellectual qualities are not superposable, and therefore cannot be measured as linear surfaces are measured The result of extensive intelligence testing in the United States resulted in the sterlization of thousands upon thousands of morons, imbeciles and idiots , to prevent further deterioration It also resulted in the 11 testing of children in Britain, separating the children 20% who would go on to secondary school in preparation of higher education and the ones 80% who were sent to vocational school with not hope of university studies Again, I cannot do the mismeasure of man justice here but I recommend everyone to read it It is frightening, upsetting and immensely informative.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *