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Hoisted from Archives: Charles Murray Has Misled People Before...

Dave Munger Wants to Educate Charles Murray

Dave Munger of Cognitive Daily is looking for help to educate Charles Murray:

Cognitive Daily: Help create a reading list for Charles Murray: Charles Murray (of The Bell Curve fame) has written a series of articles for the Wall Street Journal on intelligence.... One frustrating aspect of the articles is that Murray doesn't cite his sources....

Is Murray really suggesting that we shouldn't bother to teach children of average ability how to read and write effectively? Murray later claims that only small, "temporary" increases in IQ are possible, and that poor performance of many schools is due primarily to low IQ in their student population....

Only the gifted -- those with IQs above 120 -- are worthy or capable of being "good," Murray suggests. Murray offers little evidence to support these notions, other than to point readers back to his 1994 book. What I'm wondering is if Cognitive Daily readers might be interested in generating a list of resources to help open Murray's mind a bit. He could start with this one.

His first suggestion:

Duckworth, A.L., & Seligman, M.E.P. (2005). Self-discipline outdoes IQ in predicting academic performance of adolescents. Psychological Science, 16(12), 939-944.

The only thing you need to know about Murray's 1994 Bell Curve book is that he and his coauthor Herrnstein suppressed all education variables from the right-hand-side of their regressions because the results when education variables were included weren't what Murray and Herrnstein wanted them to be. With education suppressed as a factor determining accomplishment, it's hard to see how the 1994 book can inform anybody about the benefits of education vs. inherited genetically-influenced smarts.