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Zhuge Niu

The Drive

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Why have there been so few great female mathematicians and physicists? My theory is that it is somehow related to sex drive. Math and physics generally require a single-minded, obsessive focus that seems analogous to libido.

Isaac Newton and Leonardo are two prime examples of male geniuses. One thing they had in common was abstinence from sex, which I suspect has something to do with their successes. Then, in AR’s fiction you have creators like Roark and Rearden who pursue their narrow interests with an all-consuming drive. Dagny’s talents seem to be of a very different nature, integrating a big picture to manage a company effectively. AR herself seems to fit under this category as well.

It seems that that male drive can be diverted into creative energy. Personally, I have noticed a psychological difference after more than two weeks of complete abstinence—I’ve had more energy and focus in doing my work. Is this something other people (male or female) have noticed as well?

Note: I’ve intentionally omitted the names of previous people who have proposed this theory so as not to prejudice any readers.

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I have nothing to say for the female side of it, but I can say that even after a week of total abstinence, my thinking is a lot clearer.

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That topic is the one that got former Harvard president Larry Summers in trouble. According to this article, he offered three theories: time-allocation priorities, IQ distributions, and bona-fide sex discrimination.

The first, and most imporant says Larry, relates to time-allocation priorities. According to this theory, getting to the highest levels of academic subjects requires dedication and constant attention to the state of the art as it progresses through the years. Men are more likely to meet this standard than women because women tend to take time out to be mothers whereas men will let the womenfolk take care of that while they stay in the workforce (which includes academia). So, the theory goes, women fall behind and are more likely to give up trying. I have no idea how true the premise is in empirical implementation (ie what proportion of scientifically- and mathematically-inclined women can successfully mix having most of the child-rearing duties left to them while also being a top-flight academic).

The second, IQ distributions, was what got him in the smelly stuff. He raised the theory that while average male and average female IQ's are pretty much the same, the distribution curve for men's IQ's is broad and somewhat flat while that for women is more concentrated around the 100IQ mark. According to this theory, the proportion of men with average IQ's is lower than the proportion of women with average IQ's, but as one goes to either side of 100IQ the incidence of women's IQ's falls off much more than men's. By the time one considers very low and very high IQs there are now more men than women. Since the high-IQ range is a major influence on careers in the sciences and mathematics, it follows that, rather than sex discrimination, innate differences as reflected in IQ distributions is the chief explanation these days why there are more men than women at the highest levels of these subjects - which is also mirrored in the opposite end by there being more dumb-ass men than there are dumb-ass women. Other than that I do accept that there are differences in male and female brains, I wouldn't have a clue how true this theory is, but it's out there and taken seriously by seemingly credible academics.

The third needs no explanation. While there is no doubt it was a (if not THE) major-league factor in the past, I couldn't tell you anything about the prevalence and relative importance of sex discrimination in modern academia.

JJM

Edited by John McVey

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Why doesn't anybody on this forum consult the research literature on IQ? There is a searchable database online that contains all the papers called: pubmed. There are also many books by distinguished professors like Philippe Rushton, Richard Lynn, and Arthur Jensen, all of whom are the most highly cited eminent researchers in their fields. Their books compile the known research in the field. 

I suggest googling pubmed for their original papers and amazon for their books.  

I have read many of the original papers and I can tell you unequivocally that women operate at a deficit of 13 IQ points in visual spatial IQ, and something like 5 points in mathematical ability.  

Also, the variance of the male gaussian is not just wider than that of females, but it is also shifted to the right by 5 IQ points. This means that men are smarter in general and the interpretation that there are more male dullards on the left hand side of the gaussian curve when compared to females is dead wrong.  However the number of male geniuses on the right hand side of the curve is indeed on the order of 40 to 50 times that of females when you go out more than three standard deviations. 

That information definitively answers why more men are in STEM and why they achieve far more than women. There is no sexism in science, unless you count the loathsome evil quotas that keep better qualified men out of STEM careers and universities in order to prop up objectively inferior minds. That is sexism and it is vile. 


 

Edited by Derek Diaz

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1 hour ago, Derek Diaz said:

I have read many of the original papers and I can tell you unequivocally that women operate at a deficit of 13 IQ points in visual spatial IQ, and something like 5 points in mathematical ability.

Regarding the posts question on Mathematics and Physics, I would say that both are highly visual fields, and do agree that men are generally more visually inclined.  See Minkowski Space

Welcome to the forum Derek.  You can also create links to off-site papers, etc., by using the icon that looks like a "chain" and posting the address.

Edited by New Buddha

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2 hours ago, Derek Diaz said:

That information definitively answers why more men are in STEM and why they achieve far more than women. There is no sexism in science, unless you count the loathsome evil quotas that keep better qualified men out of STEM careers and universities in order to prop up objectively inferior minds. That is sexism and it is vile. 

It doesn't, partly because regardless of distribution, it doesn't say why IQ makes you more or less likely to enter a specific field. There is no IQ requirement to be a mathematician, for example. IQ is -not- a measure of one's mental ability overall, it's primarily a measure of how well you use deductive reasoning or following a set of rules. It is not a measure of an ability to discover new theories, use inductive reasoning, or anything thought of as creativity. If anything, your sexism is showing - you seem to be insinuating that "objectively inferior minds = female minds" based on some weird idea that IQ is a measure of a mind's quality as a whole.

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42 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

 

"It doesn't, partly because regardless of distribution, it doesn't say why IQ makes you more or less likely to enter a specific field. There is no IQ requirement to be a mathematician, for example."

 

In actual fact there is a defacto IQ requirement for fields like Physics and Mathematics. To excel in the field of Physics you need to be in the 130+ IQ bracket. Just to pass the basic undergraduate level courses you need to be somewhere between 110 and 115.  Oh, sure a lower IQ person can attempt to do higher mathematics, but they will be crushed since grades are given on a bell curve. The Freshman entry level physics and mathematical courses at universities are set up to weed out the chaff from the wheat intellectually. You are expected to self select out of the major if you are not up to it.  

"IQ is -not- a measure of one's mental ability overall, it's primarily a measure of how well you use deductive reasoning or following a set of rules."
 

What you said is just factually wrong. It is explicitly a measure of one's overall mental ability. It was you that I was addressing when I stated in my opening paragraph, " Why doesn't anybody on this forum consult the research literature on IQ? There is a searchable database online that contains all the papers called: pubmed. There are also many books by distinguished professors like Philippe Rushton, Richard Lynn, and Arthur Jensen, all of whom are the most highly cited eminent researchers in their fields. Their books compile the known research in the field. 

I suggest googling pubmed for their original papers and amazon for their books."
 

This is exactly what I was complaining about. This is what happens when people pontificate on subjects they have absolutely no knowledge of. I have attached a PDF titled "Mainstream Science on Intelligence". It was produced in reaction to all of the people like yourself that railed against the science of IQ, without having any knowledge of it, because they did not like what it implied about race and sex. 

 Read the very first bullet point in it:

"1. Intelligence is a very general mental capability
that, among other things, involves
the ability to reason, plan, solve problems,
think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas,
learn quickly and learn from experience. It is
not merely book learning, a narrow academic
skill, or test-taking smarts. Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for
comprehending our surroundings-“catching
on,” “ making sense” of things, or “figuring
out” what to do
.


"It is not a measure of an ability to discover new theories, use inductive reasoning, or anything thought of as creativity."

You are confusing the end result, the end product of intelligence, the discovery, with the intelligence that makes it possible, and notably, easier to accomplish, for the more intelligent. Being highly intelligent does not mean that a man will produce great discoveries, it just means he has the raw ability to do it, and it would be far easier for him to do it, if he applies his intellect, that it would be for someone else of lower IQ.

Of course anybody can use inductive reasoning. Anybody can turn a door knob as well.  Now can a more intelligent man perform inductive reasoning better, assuming both participants in this deductive reasoning test are both using the same laws of logic, say Aristotle's? Yes. He can.  This is exactly what IQ test are grading.  

 

Quote

 
 

 

iq-by-college-major  and   gender.png

1997mainstream (1).pdf

Edited by Derek Diaz

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43 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

"It is not a measure of... anything thought of as creativity."

This is bizarre charge that I have seen repeatedly from many people. It makes no sense. It is a poorly defined abstraction. Intentionally so. What is "creativity"?  How would you define it? 

"Creativity" used in arguments against IQ are always poorly defined. Well it doesn't measure creativity! Well, okay, and dogs don't wear socks! IQ was not designed to measure "creativity". Socks were not invented for dogs. IQ measures the human mind's ability to reason, to think logically, to manage large sets of information, to find patterns where other minds only see noise and confusion, to hold large data sets and process them faster and more efficiently than other minds and to rotate visually objects in one's mind to find a mechanical solution to a problem. Your objection is one of those that just comes down to saying "dogs don't wear socks" and feeling like you refuted something to do with IQ and it's impact on the ability to do Physics and Mathematics.  

"If anything, your sexism is showing - you seem to be insinuating that "objectively inferior minds = female minds"

It is not sexist to state objective facts of reality. Your hypersensitivity to facts is your problem not mine. 

"....based on some weird idea that IQ is a measure of a mind's quality as a whole."

It is not some "weird idea". That is what IQ measures. The mind's quality as a whole. Explicitly.  So, in reality if anything, your lack of familiarity regarding the science of measuring intelligence is showing. Do us all a favor take a few months and read through the actual research literature and then, if you can find an objection, come back with them. 

 

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"That is what IQ measures. The mind's quality as a whole. Explicitly."

No... It doesn't, even if it aims to measure it. There are more features of intelligence than what IQ measures. Simple as that. It measures a specific kind of thinking style. Not to say IQ doesn't matter, but it doesn't say whose mind is better.

IQ won't tell you if you're able to get anything done, it doesn't even get at measuring if you'd be good in your field. That requires dedication, and also an ability to think of new ideas. It takes also qualities of persistence. IQ is a factor, but after a certain point, it barely makes a difference. As far as I've seen, up to 120, it seems to matter. If your graph above is to be useful, it also requires a measure of what sort of outputs those fields produce. 

Edited by Eiuol

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2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

"That is what IQ measures. The mind's quality as a whole. Explicitly."

"No... It doesn't, even if it aims to measure it."

I find it odd when someone makes arbitrary claims, as you have here, without any proof of what they are saying, no references to research papers, and in complete disagreement with the entire body of empirical scientific literature that goes back over 100 years now, and that has been confirmed, and reconfirmed in nearly every country in the world.  

Did you read the PDF I attached titled, "The Scientific Consensus on IQ", signed by 53 of the top academics in the field?  That should give you a decent introduction to what was known in 1994 on IQ. The research since then has only cemented what was known then.  It  is a statement from the most highly regarded researchers in the field, from the most prestigious schools in the nation, and around the world, who unlike you, specialize in IQ research. Realize that the language they use in discussing the inferiority of certain minds is very guarded and politically correct because of people like you. Those researchers are trying desperately to not sound racist or sexist because people like you don't like hearing facts of reality and they know they will get hammered unjustly for anything that they can not back up with irrefutable data. Imagine what they would say if they did not have people like you hounding them for fabricated wrongs, and they instead could speak freely about what their own research data is really saying? 

However, I posted that PDF only as a starting point for you to get your toes wet in the field. A truly wise man who understands logic will want more than an argument from authority.  If you ACTUALLY READ the original research papers, which I urged you to do twice now, once indirectly in my introduction, when addressing the aggregate of users on this website, and again directly, after having interacted with you, then you will discover just how wrong you are. 

What you are doing is merely saying,  "No it's not! I disagree!". It seems like you think that making arbitrary statements means something, or has weight in an argument.   Are you sure you understand Objectivism? You are reacting like someone deeply invested in a Subjectivist way of viewing reality where your belief in something makes it real.    

"There are more features of intelligence than what IQ measures."

Here you are attempting to muddy the waters. That is a rhetorical move and it is utterly vacuous.  Let me remind you that I already defined what IQ measures in an earlier post and I did so in accordance with the body of 53 signatories in the field of IQ research, and I even reproduced  line item #1 from their paper for you above. So your attempt to move the goalposts by introducing a new vague ill defined floating abstraction regarding what intelligence is means that you have lost the argument and are vainly attempting to, as I said, move the goalposts by introducing your own definition for what intelligence is. 

"It measures a specific kind of thinking style."

This is you making a really bad attempt at defining intelligence. Note how it is not really a definition at all. It is just an assertion, an ill defined one.  

"Not to say IQ doesn't matter, but it doesn't say whose mind is better."

It does. It does so explicitly. It means one mind functions faster and better than another.  It means that in terms of raw horsepower, called Fluid Intelligence, it is superior.   Definitively and unquestionably so.  That is not my opinion on the matter. That is what the science has to say about it. 

 

Quote


 

 

Edited by Derek Diaz

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3 hours ago, Eiuol said:

"IQ won't tell you if you're able to get anything done"

That was never the discussion.

"it doesn't even get at measuring if you'd be good in your field."

Yes and no.  It caps your ability if your IQ is low. 

"That requires dedication"

That should be an obvious fact. How does this help your argument? Answer: It doesn't. 

"...and also an ability to think of new ideas."

...And you are back to muddying the waters with poorly defined concepts that were not part of the discussion. However, do you count solving a novel complex problem as "having a new idea"? People with high IQs do that better than people with low IQs when presented with a novel problem. The more complex that problem, the more people start dropping out, because they are unable to "think of new ideas". 

"It takes also qualities of persistence."

You are repeating yourself. See above "That requires dedication". 

Yes. Success takes persistence and dedication. How does this help your argument? Again, answer: it doesn't. 
What you have taken to doing is: introducing extraneous information, which while technically correct, has no bearing on the discussion of IQ. 

"IQ is a factor, but after a certain point, it barely makes a difference."

Then you have not been around exceptionally intelligent people. I have seen minds operating that were a marvel to behold. Also, the science is fragmented at the very highest end of the scale because there are so few of those men. We have to settle for anecdotal reports and they do not agree with you.  

"As far as I've seen, up to 120, it seems to matter."

Well if your measure is getting by, then yes. If your measure is Einstein then you could not be further off the mark. 

"If your graph above is to be useful, it also requires a measure of what sort of outputs those fields produce."

You are in luck that research has been done. It has been a while since I read up on it, but the men that win the Nobel Peace Prizes in Physics and Fields Medals in Mathematics tend to be well above 120 IQ.   That is if memory serves, they are pushing into the 130 and 140 and beyond.   Do some Googling. Really. 

 

 

Edited by Derek Diaz

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EDIT: I did say more, but I didn't want to pursue it. The question in the OP isn't about a single measurement, but an explanation as to what where a -drive- comes from. IQ doesn't measure grit, or things like openness to experience as measured by the Big 5 personality test.

Edited by Eiuol

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