We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Perhaps the SAT does roughly correspond to IQ, but the reason to use IQ is to take into account unrealized potential in those who have had the misfortune of not being exposed to adequate education or of stimulating environments.
Admittedly, most people with intellectual ambition and special ability find a way to pursue it in youth, but there are surely plenty of diamonds in the rough out there with undiscovered glitter. If I were a college admissions officer, I'd want a kid with a 160 IQ and mediocre SATs over an over-achiever with decent SATs and a mediocre IQ.
Mind you, this is all about academic potential, not life potential. That's an entirely different topic. Only God can measure a life.
Chuck ... I'm glad to see you point that out. I sometimes think math talent is rather like having perfect pitch. Some few have it. Others don't, and I don't think it is tied to high IQ, necessarily. If you don't have high mathematical skills, you may have other skills which can fill in for you in that area. And today's computers can be a great help.
I stank at math skills when I took my College Entrance exams, even after taking a math coaching course. But I was top scorer in the country in English the year I took my College Boards, so I was accepted by the college of my choice [Radcliffe] where I spent my freshman and sophomore years. Later I transferred to Barnard College for my junior and senior years. Haven't had much use for math since, except in balancing my checkbook, and an adding machine helps me with that.
Funny, though. During my first [short, sweet] marriage, I worked for two years at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Electronic Computer Project, run by John von Neumann, he of Games Theory fame. And I never had trouble understanding computer theory in general. Maybe that's because I didn't think of binary numbers as math. They were more like a puzzle.
Anyway, it was interesting to see how fast the new developments came along, almost tumbling over each other in that short time -- the MANIAC [Mathematical and Numerical Integrating Analytical Computer] was one of only four such computers in the country at that point, and when I was hired, the MANIAC was literally the fastest computer we had in the country [this was back in 1951, you see]. While analog computers, like IBM's monster, filled whole rooms with equipment, our little fellow measured about 10 feet by 6 feet high by about 2 feet thick.
Its memory was stored on 24 cathode ray tubes, each with a raster [yes, that's how it was spelled] which contained 1024 bits of information]. During the time I worked there, our computer engineers developed the magnetic drum memory and then the magnetic core memory, which led to today's silicone chip memories in our miniature powerful computers and flash drives. I marvel at what has happened in my own lifetime in this field.
And I'm grateful for today's calculators to help me with my checkbook.
My dad started his programming career at GE with their first digital computer in 1951, OMIBAC, in Schenectady. They started work every morning checking all the vacuum tubes in the machine. My dad says one of his proudest moments came when he got the teletype machine to print a line. Now I maintain his PC.
SAT correlates more than roughly with IQ. Note that SAT's have long been divided into two scores (now three, rather pointlessly) for a reason, and IQ into two scores as well, Verbal and Performance. (Those are only an approximate match to SATV and SATM - IQ tests do measure a few things not covered by the SAT.)
Math is more separate than other abilities, but it is not an island.
Washington is full of high verbal, low math testers. Obama has all the marks of this, and I suspect he was something around 700V 500M. I suggest, in fact, that if his M was even a few points less, beginning with a "4," it would have undermined the aura of intelligence, and are thus hidden from view. Prof Steve Hsu of U Oregon has a fascinating blog "Information Processing" that covers the IQ-heritability science and HUman BioDiversity issues very well. He is now embarked on genetic testing of those with IQ's over 160.
Of interest. People of similar IQ will have about the same vocabulary by their late 50's regardless of how many years of schooling they had.
Assistant VIllage Idiot
In his book Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy F. Baumeister reports studies that that show the very best predictor to future success is willpower.
There was a study in the 1950s on predicting freshman academic performance from various aptitude and psychological tests. The best test predictors for academic performance were the SAT and a test that more or less measured willpower, the ability to surmount obstacles. "Stick-to-it-iveness," some called it.
My high SAT scores meant nothing until I realized that succeeding in engineering school, even with the high scores, meant that I had to put in 60+ hours a week.
Richard Nixon was one Republican the Libs couldn't label as dumb. As I recall, he finished something like 3rd in his law class at Duke. He gained the nickname of "iron butt" for the hours he put in studying at Duke.
Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
My take on the controversy is that minority kids who "need" so-called affirmative action to get into college are so lacking in preparation, if not in ability, that they are unlikely to graduate and shouldn't bother going.
In most cases I'd say the cause is some combination of these two, and it's debatable which: (1) public schools in poor neighborhoods are simply bad, or (2) the kids there are so handicapped by having absent fathers, mothers who don't care how they do, and peer pressure not to bother learning (not to mention unwillingness on the part of politically correct administrators to enforce even minimal discipline), that they don't even try.
I agree that the outcome -- underrepresentation of minorities among college grads -- is both appalling and unfair. But the colleges don't cause the problem and can't solve it. The K-12 schools need to do it, and/or they need to be supplemented, if not replaced, by a school choice (voucher) system. Minority parents overwhelmingly agree.
Why hasn't it happened? The NEA doesn't approve.
It's time to start publicly talking about how the teachers' unions are the cause of this problem. I'm not sure if the epithet "racist" is called for, but it's certainly one they would use if talking about *us*, so maybe it is.