Reactions to the book center on threerngeneral myths about Q: that there is nornsuch thing as general intelligence, thatrnIQ tests are worthless, and that geneticsrnis insignificant when it comes to individualrnor group differences in intelligence.rnThe source of these fallacies is the ideolog’rnof egalitarianisn:., not scientificrnprecedent. Briefly, here is a closer lookrnat these popular myths.rnThe first is the idea l:hat “IQ” (generalrnintelligence) is a discredited and scientificallvrninvalid concept. WilliamrnRaspberr, columnist for the ‘WashingtonrnPost, argues this erv point. He claimsrnthat Murray “has embraced . . . largelyrndiscredited views regarding the heritabilit,rnmeasurabilitv and immutability ofrnintelligence.” What Raspberry meansrnb’ this is not e.xacth clear, since he failsrnto explain why these concepts are in-rnN-alid.rnThe lack of unanimity among expertsrndoes not mean that these ideas havernbeen “discredited.” hi fact, the oppositernappears to be true. The Snyderman andrnRothman survey of experts from 1988rnshows more agreement than disagreementrnover “heritabilitv” and “measurability.”rnThe importance of measuringrnintelligence is also summarized by MortonrnHunt in The Story of Psychology:rn”Whatever one calls them, and whateverrnone’s stance on intelligence testing,rnthe fact remains that mental measurementrnis useful, is beneficial to society . . .rnand remains one of psychology’s majorrncontributions to modern life in Americarnand most other dex’cloped nations.”rnAnother fallacy is that the influencernof genetics on IQ is trivial and ambiguous.rnCritics like E.]. Dionne of thernWashington Post question the scientificrnaceurac’ of “heritabilitv estimates” ofrnIQ. Dionne argues that such generalizationsrnarc unscientific because the “sciencernof the matter is utterly crude.” Initially,rnDarwin’s theory of naturalrnselection and Newtonian physics werernjust as “crude.” The fact that heritabilityrnestimates are “crude” makes themrnneither insignificant nor unscientific.rnThe most reliable data from twin andrnadoption studies sliow ihat the range ofrngenetic influence extends from nearlyrnhalf (40 percent) to slightly more thanrnthree quarters (80 percent). Behaviorrngeneticist Thomas ]. Bouchard, directorrnof the Minnesota Stud)’ of Twins, notesrnthat “the evidence regarding genetic influencernon intelligence, when viewed asrna whole, overwhelmingly supports thernconclusion that genetic factors are thernsingle most important source of variation.”rnA third fallacy is that alternative theoriesrnof intelligence, notably HowardrnGardner’s concept of multiple intelligencesrn(MI), refvite the traditionalrnnotion of general intelligence (psychometricrn”g”). Gardner’s research is oftenrnconsidered to be proof that a generalrnfactor of intelligence, or simply “g,” isrnscicntificalK discredited. In fact, mostrnexperts on intelligence do not favorrnGardners MI theory. The consensusrnfrom a 1992 Dahlem workshop onrnbehavior genetics shows that leadingrnresearchers accept “g” as a valid assessmentrnof intelligence:rnDespite many twentieth-centuryrnefforts to identify independent dimensionsrnof intellectual variationrn(e.g., by Thurstone, Guilford,rnHudson, Gardner), g-factors continuernto account for some 50 percentrnof the variance in matrices ofrncorrelations between abilities. Beyondrng, other independent dimensionsrneach typically account for lessrnthan 10 percent of the variance ofrnabilities. From this perspective, grnmay be to cognitive pschologvrnwhat carbon is to organic chemistry.rnThe Snyderman and Rothman surveyrnalso reveals that, among experts, “58 percentrnfaor some form of a general intelligencernsolution, while 13 percent feelrnseparate faculties are a superior description.rnOnly 16 percent think the data arernsufficientK’ ambiguous as not to favorrneither solution. Nonresponse rate was 15rnpercent.”rnOne of the most exhaustie studies ofrnhuman intelligence, John B. Carroll’srnHuman Cognitive Abilities, reiteratesrnthe importance of general intelligence.rnBased on more than 60 years of research,rnhis work reanalyzes 477 data sets compiledrnsince the eariy days of IQ testing.rnAlthough Carroll recognizes a numberrnof specialized abilities, he concludesrnthat the evidence of a general factorrnamong these cognitive abilities is indisputable.rnAnother yvidesprcad fallac’ is that individualrnand ethnic differences in IQ arernsimply the result of socioeconomic conditions,rnwhich brings us to the mostrnscrutinized parts of The Bell Curve: therntwo chapters and one appendix that explorernrace differences in mental ability.rnI lerrnstein and Murray take a biosocialrnapproach to this explosive issue, which isrnto say that while they affirm the role ofrnenvironment, they also recognize thernprobable influence of genetics. Whilernmany critics question the work of researchersrnwho explore genetic links tornrace differences—most notably studiesrnby Arthur Jensen, Richard Lynn, and J.rnPhilippe Rushton—few bother to pointrnout that these three scholars lead highlyrnrespected careers within their own professions.rnC>ontrary to recent allegations, Herrnsteinrnand Murray examine the complexrnissue of ethnic differences with greatrncare. Simply put, they conclude that thernunderlying sources of these differencesrnremain obscure. By reviewing Jensen’srn”Spearman hypothesis” and Rushton’srn”differential K theory,” they point to thernplausibility of a genetic basis for race differencesrnin IQ. Both I lerrnstein andrnMurray believe that these theoriesrnremain to be proven, but doubt thatrnracial disparities are strictly the result ofrnracism, poverty, or oppression.rnIn a recent issue of the Nation, NorthwesternrnUniversity professor AdolphrnReed, Jr., revives another myth: that SirrnCvril Burt, one of Britain’s most distinguishedrnpsychologists, fabricated IQrndata. Reed questions Bouchard’s findingsrnon identical twins by claiming thatrn”[Bouchard] has found the same strikinglyrnhigh correlations in IQ among hisrnsample of supposedly real twins raisedrnapart that Sir Cyril Burt found amongrnthe imaginary twins in his fraudulentrn’research.'” If taken at face value, Reed’srnassertion disregards recent major developmentsrnin the Burt case. This episodernillustrates why the crusade against IQrnresearch is ideologically driven.rnPerhaps Britain’s most distinguishedrnpsychologist, Burt was accused of fakingrntwin data a few years after his death inrn1972. Since then, the incident has receirned an endless amount of media coverage.rnTwo years ago, Omni magazinernidentified Burt as one of the top tenrnfrauds in history. But this is only part ofrnthe story. A few years ago, two meticulouslyrnthorough studies by two Britishrnscholars found that the allegationsrnagainst Burt were groundless and politicallyrnmotivated. In separate publishedrnaccounts, both authors concluded thatrnthe evidence was too flimsy to substantiaternthe charges against Burt. Evenrnthough these findings discredit Burt’srnMAY 1995/51rnrnrn