Steve Hsu writes about his recent research predicting height from DNA with stunning accuracy:
Had we taken a poll on the eve of releasing our biorxiv article, I suspect 90+ percent of genomics researchers would have said that ~1 inch accuracy in predicted human height from genotype alone was impossible.
In the comment section I wrote the following:
This is absolutely brilliant research and in some ways it’s even more important than predicting IQ because height is a person’s most salient property and the most important datum police use in finding suspects.
Now that you have proven you can strongly predict height within a specific time and place (21st century Western countries), the next step is predicting the CAUSAL component of height, by building an algorithm that can predict height in ANY time and place. The scientific standard for proving A causes B seems to be that A precedes B in time and A correlates with B in all times and places. We know for example that the Y chromosome causes height because it precedes the development of height in time and because people with Y chromosomes are taller than those without it in virtually all countries and all centuries, so we know it’s not just some local interaction causing a spurious correlation.
So it would be even more fascinating and useful if your team had the computer learn how to predict heights on a global sample (i.e. a mix of people living in Europe, Asia, and Africa) since you have access to data from all of these continents. Now there would be a much larger margin of error because of the enormous differences in health and nutrition, but to help with this, I would enter the Human Development Index (HDI) of the country each individual was from.
The result would be an algorithm that could predict the height of anyone anywhere using just SNPs and HDI and because the predictor would work everywhere and everywhen, it would not just be correlative, but causal. It would prove the genome and HDI each have an INDEPENDENT (i.e. causal) effect on height. The advantage of causal predictors is not just that it would debunk the skeptics, but it might even allow you to predict the height someone living 40,000 years ago would have had he been born and raised in 21st century America (by entering modern America’s HDI into the formula)
The same type of study could also be done for IQ if you had a highly g loaded IQ test that was sufficiently culture reduced to compare people in First and Third World countries. Such a universal algorithm might even be used to estimate the IQ Neanderthals, Cromagnons or Denisovans would have if they were born and raised in 21st century America (assuming comparable genomic architecture)
“The same type of study could also be done for IQ if you had a highly g loaded IQ test that was sufficiently culture reduced to compare people in First and Third World countries.”
IQ tests are bound by culture.
Yes but it’s possible to create tests that minimize the effects of culture, such as intelligence tests comparing humans with apes.
I don’t see any justification for assuming that the tests test intelligence.
The justification is that species with bigger brains, greater encephalization, and more cortical neurons score higher on these tests, so whatever they are testing is correlated with physiological differences in information processing.
Intelligence is a mental ability. Genes influence physical traits. Intelligence is irreducible to physical structure (genes, brain states and structure). Therefore genes don’t explain intelligence.
Intelligence is irreducible to physical structure
One has to think while doing IQ tests. So:
Thinking is a mental activity which results in a thought. So if thinking is a mental activity which results in a thought, what is a thought? A thought is a mental state of considering a particular idea or answer to a question or committing oneself to an idea or answer.
These mental states are, or are related to, beliefs. When one considers a particular answer to a question they are paving the way to holding a particular belief; when they commit themselves to an answer they have formulated a new belief. Beliefs are propositional attitudes: believing p involves adopting the belief attitude to proposition p. So, cognition is thinking: a mental process that results in the formation of a propositional belief.
When one acquires a propositional attitude by thinking, a process takes place in stages. Future propositional attitudes are justified on earlier propositional attitudes. So cognition is thinking; thinking is a mental state of considering a particular view (proposition).
Thus, thinking is irreducible to the physical (and Ross’ Immaterial aspects of thought refutes both physicalism and functionalism).
I still don’t see how that’s justification for the claim that IQ tests test intelligence if IQ tests aren’t construct valid.
I don’t follow your logic and neither do the vast majority of biologists and neuroscientists who all agree intelligence has a physiological basis.
What’s hard to follow?
The language. It uses obscure philosophy lingo most people don’t know. Rewrite it like you’re talking to a guy in a sports bar.
Intelligence is a mental ability. Mental abilities are intentional states. Intentional states are irreducible to brain states.
Psychophysical reductionism is refuted by numerous arguments. See, for example, Ross’ Immaterial Aspects of Thought:
1 all formal thinking is incompossibly determinate
2 no physical process or functions of physical processes are incompossibly determinate
3 no formal thinking is a physical process (from 1 and 2)
4 machines are purely physical
5 machines do not engage in formal thinking (from 3 and 4)
6 we engage in formal thinking
C we are not purely physical (from 3 and 6)
The human brain is vastly more complex than a machine.
So? Ross’s argument establishes that thoughts aren’t physical nor are they functions of physical processes.
His arguments haven’t convinced anyone. Assuming those even are his arguments.
Read his paper.
name redacted by pp, aug 31, 2018 said:
but it’s possible to create tests that minimize the effects of culture
no such tests exist. sad!
“culture reduced” tests are usually more loaded than the supposedly culture loaded because psychology PhDs have low IQs.
Actually that gestalt test we created was relatively culture fair except for one item (even very low SAT culturally deprived people from ghetto schools like RR did better than some raised in elite schools) and Gestalt tests have among the highest g loadings ever discovered according to Jensen’s book “Bias in Mental Testing”. I am working on a culture reduced test of conceptual ability. It will never be fair to hunter/gatherers, but to people who are at least familiar with photographs (which is most of the world at this point), it could work.
RR uses technical philosophical jargon completely out of context a bit like hermeneutic philosophers do. But I like « incompossible ». That term could be in a high IQ verbal test 😉
Nb : Ross is mostly interested about Aristote philosophy and ethics. The irréductibility of the mental or of mental judgment (the grue thing for cognoscenti) are the same plates regularly served between « just so » drops
I was thinking: “I thought my verbal IQ was high, but I’ve never heard the word “incompossible” in my life!”
Anyhow, RR’ s comments are starting to make my eyes glaze over. He’s almost as bad as Santoculto was in that respect. But maybe I need to read more philosophy to appreciate what he says more.
PP which is obscure lingo? Incompossible? Proposition? Bruno right, those are Ross’ main interests. He did show that formal thinking is not a physical or functional process. Gondwanaman, read Anscombe, Davidson, Ross, and Bilgrami.
what does ‘incompossibly determinate” mean?
does it simply mean “we can’t determine what it’s composed of”?
So in plain english ross is saying:
1) we know what physical processes are made of
2) we don’t know what thoughts are made of
3) thus, thoughts are not a physical process
But 1) is not nessecarily true in all cases so the argument collapses
Yes this is what Ross is saying. 1 is true; we know what physical processes and functions of physical processes are. We know what physical processes and functions of physical processes are, so we know that thoughts are neither of those. Machines are purely physical but cannot engage in formal thinking. We can engage in formal thinking. Thus we are not purely physical.
The argument is sound. P1 is true.
Liam Milliken said:
Ever heard of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics?
The distinction between mind and body is illusory. “Mental” is just the name we give to some physical processes we don’t understand, so saying they’re not physical because we don’t understand them is just semantics.
Ross’ argument refutes the fact that “Mental” is a physical process. Psychophysical reductionism is false. If psychophysical reductionism is false then psychological traits cannot be genetically inherited/transmitted.
King meLo said:
It should be noted that RR does not understand what irreducibility means. The vast majority of Normativists and Property dualists(including all of the ones RR has cited) Subscribe to some level of phsyicalism and naturalism. They do not deny that Consciousness is an emergent physical phenomena. Reducible in this context relates to semantical explanation.
The argument Ross Formulates is erroneous for the following reasons:
“1 all formal thinking is incompossibly determinate”
False. We’ve known what thoughts are made of since hebbian theory was first proposed. RR has been asked multiple times to produce at least one example of a psychological phenomena unexplainable by neuronal interactions, and refuses to do so.
“2 no physical process or functions of physical processes are incompossibly determinate”
Also false, as liam mentioned Quantum mechanics has more or less shown that physical systems generally do not have definite properties prior to being measured, and quantum mechanics can only predict the probabilities that measurements will produce certain results. The act of measurement affects the system, causing the set of probabilities to reduce to only one of the possible values immediately after the measurement. This feature is known as wave function collapse.
The rest of the argument subsequently crumbles. Most of it of course is simply an argument from ignorance and therefore no definitive conclusion can be drawn from it. However, probability is against this thesis hence, why the ” the vast majority of biologists and neuroscientists who all agree intelligence has a physiological basis.” think it’s complete bullshit.
name redacted by pp, sept 1, 2018 said:
pure fraud: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/mar/23/the-dwarves-of-auschwitz
Oprah had way fewer fake guests than Jerry Springer. She probably thought no one would call her out because the holocaust is untouchable, but in the final years of her show, people were so sick of her enormous influence that they were looking for things to discredit her.
name redacted by pp aug 31, 2018 said:
peepee’s lying again.
in the exact same study shoe came up with a correlation of only about .3 between dna and IQ. this is an h^2 of only 9%. and that for a homogeneous and culturally similar samples. i believe it was white ‘mer’cans and white british. sad!
No highly g loaded test has ever been given to a huge sample of genotyped people afaik
There is a free site impute.me that makes lot of predictions from GWAS DNA study. Some are weirdly interesting. For example :
– For example, I have a +2.9 sd on basal cell carcinoma but -2sd on skin melanoma
– +2.5 sd on compulsive disorders (including Tourette) but -1 sd on Schizo, -2sd on anorexia as well as Bulimia
– +2.4 sd on obesity but -0.5 sd on early onset extreme obesity (my mum is fat as well as all maternal family, my father was extremely skinny as well as all paternal family)
– besides skin cancer, I have big risks with amyloidosis +3SD (no one in my family had that I know) , Hashimoto tyroid disorder (+1.5 sd, many people in my family have tyroid problems) and Dupuytren (1.7 sd, my grand father had that).
For height, they predict 1.91 cm +or less 5 cm (it is just a graph, but it is easy to guess the median score), and I’m just 196 cm,so it’s good. Nothing about IQ.
Thinking Mouse said:
How the heck would that algorith account for reaction norms and interaction intertwined?
I thought HBD was about showing that some individuals and groups cant infinately be improved with modern enviroments, not to reveal the architecture of human existance.
cmon, do it, youll win a nobel price for it 🙂
Thinking Mouse said:
Infinately and equally.
Pumpkin, say for instance your similarities subtest scores are 7 and 10 and 12 on WISC V and WAIS IV and WISC IV respectively, but you Verbal SAT scores are consistently in the 75th percentile, and on the other two tests you figure out the questions on later days to get up to a 12, or questions beyond the discontinue rules (you get them right), would make your score 12. Would 12 be the true score? You take the WISC IV first (assume everything is adjusted for the Flynn effect).