Wednesday, September 26, 2012

If you laugh at cartoons of Mohammed, you must be a scientist.

A few years ago, I blogged on parody and scientific inquiry. Short version: I argue that the cultural conditions that lead to scientific thought and inquiry are the same conditions that make possible the existence of parody. Parody and scientific inquiry are similar in some ways, and both depend on an idea of truth that is independent of constraint.

Yesterday's thoughts on IQ testing fall in with these ideas. The intellectual aptitude of humans depends heavily on both environment and cultural expectations. The intellectual aptitude of humans depends heavily on both environmental and cultural practices. Flynn, in his  article, also discusses the Raven's IQ test, which not coincidentally is used by Mensa worldwide because it is culture free. In other words, it's not culture itself that shapes IQ; IQ responds to cultural conditions.

What chance do people have when their cultural conditions are prescientific?  

The lesson is clear: Those culture that do not assimilate into modernity--not Western values, but modern values--will be internally unstable, a threat to their neighbors, and doomed to failure.

Without radical changes, these prescientific states will become feral states.

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