New Mars Forums

Official discussion forum of The Mars Society and MarsNews.com

You are not logged in.

Announcement

Announcement: We've recently made changes to our user database and have removed inactive and spam users. If you can not login, please re-register.

#1 2018-10-18 06:11:56

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,163
Website

IQ and Space Colonisation

Absent an abundance of garden worlds and dirt-cheap space travel, there will be a strong selection pressure regarding who gets to go - colonists will either have to pay for a ticket themselves, or persuade someone else to pay it for them. I think it's safe to say that people with below average intelligence are unlikely to get t go, and the cut-off is probably going to be higher than 100: 115, say, or the top 16%.

Given that IQ is 60-80% heritable, their offspring, even with reversion to the mean, will have a significantly higher IQ than their Terran-born counterparts. What effects will this have on off-world cultures? How will this impact the divide between Earthborn and Spaceborn humanity? In addition to the wealth of material resources that the latter will have, they'll also have a better human capital and, to the extent that social dysfunction correlates to IQ, more functional societies. Will this lead to jealously on the part of the Earthborn (almost certainly)? How will they respond - and will Spaceborn have to take care when visiting the homeworld to avoid being attacked?


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

Offline

#2 2018-10-18 09:12:19

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: IQ and Space Colonisation

Just for fun I will participate.  Request my absence however, if it is a bother to you.

Yes, I suppose that people with money will be some of the early preferred customers.  And that could be a filter for results from I.Q. testing.
A harsh environment however may cause disruptions in the offspring, which may lower their results.

Two things, Man against Man, and Man against Nature.

For cultures where the best profit is to enslave other people, such as appears more true of some cultures far away from North America, the objective is polygamy, the propagation of Maleness based on domination of other populations, and the capture of additional females.  The damage this causes, is you don't have people suited to technology, as the people suited to domination of other people will specifically attack them with weapons and capture their females, out of jealousy of power and wealth.

This is a problem now in North America where serial polygamy is allowed more than before.  That is a man propagates with one woman, and then in a serial fashion abandons that family if he can, and takes another and another.

We can perhaps thank the Christian church among other entities for historically combatting polygamy and serial polygamy.  This probably protected the more advanced and less stone age maleness in many western populations.  And other groups which avoided the two types of polygamy should show similar results.

If your highest technology is to conquest other peoples with weapons, and to engage in polygamy rape, the consequences, I believe are detrimental to the gene pool.  That is if you want a population capable of a technological "Civilization".  One perhaps capable of becoming space faring.

So, it is possible that the movement of populations to Mars could filter out the stone age mentalities, as you cannot live on Mars without sophisticated technology.  If the stone agers go there, they cannot murder the technological man as they would kill the goose that laid the golden eggs.

Robots might change that as they could serve, but they cannot propagate, at least not yet.  And they are technological to a high state anyway.

…...

The industrial age, and mass production applied to schools, may have made sense in the competition of nations in a recent previous era, but it filters out people who think "Slow and Well", and ADHD people among others.

Why would this be bad?  A mass production classroom, is conducted with time limits, and does not tolerate a lack of attention to the mass classroom leader, "The Teacher".

People who think "Slow and Well" get filtered out, but they along with the ADHD may be the most inventive.

In the case of ADHD the individual is able to concentrate on a project of their interest, and this may be considered an asset, as such people can be more likely to invent things.  But it is hated in the mass production classroom, and such an individual cannot achieve high scores because they were paying attention to what they were working on, not what the teacher wanted them to work on.

People who lack ADHD in a sufficient amount are likely very good at absorbing materials presented to them and mimicking inventive people, taking control of the results, and pronouncing themselves as the best and brightest, or being mistaken by the test givers as the best and brightest.

……

And I.Q. tests should be held suspect, because I do believe, they are constructed by the rich and powerful, in order to give their own kind a free pass in life.  I am sure they have some merit, but I do believe that they are tilted.

…..

It may be that "Types" needed might be sponsored to go to Mars at a lower price, if their profiles fit needs for the Martian population.  This may include people that Ivory Tower types consider "Deplorables".

Done

Last edited by Void (2018-10-18 09:35:32)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

Offline

#3 2018-10-18 10:40:23

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,334

Re: IQ and Space Colonisation

The contention that IQ testing relates to intelligence is a lot of nonsense.  For one thing people's IQ increased remarkably over the space of a few decades between the invention of the tests and the start of the 21st century (not sure what happened - the rise was levelling off). It seems highly unlikely that the young people of 2000 were so much more intelligent than the young people of 1945 who flew planes, drove tanks, and planned battles. It seems much more likely the 2000 generation were exposed to a huge amount of information and many more examples of information manipulation than their forebears. The same things is seen with "primitive" tribes. Their scores will be hopeless before they are exposed to the ways of modern society. But as soon as they begin that adaptation their scores start to rise. If you change IQ tests so you use natural objects rather than symbolic printed symbols people from primitive tribes do much better than  people from advanced societies who aren't used to living in the natural world.

I think it's reasonable to conclude that initially people who could pass all the tests required to get to Mars are going to be of above average intelligence.

If the people were being subsidised by Earth, I think there might be envy. But otherwise, no. Mars people won't seek to dominate Earth.

However, if there were an open ticket system then it would soon be abused by billionaires keen to get their co-religionists to Mars. Poor people with few skills and below average intelligence would be natural candidates for that sort of colonisation, where it's a "numbers game". I hope Space X have well and truly buried the idea of an open ticket system.

Scientists do claim, I believe, that there is a tendency for things to drift back to the mean, if I understand that right...so law of averages would say that while you might start off with a highly intelligent population it would get less intelligent over time.

Terraformer wrote:

Absent an abundance of garden worlds and dirt-cheap space travel, there will be a strong selection pressure regarding who gets to go - colonists will either have to pay for a ticket themselves, or persuade someone else to pay it for them. I think it's safe to say that people with below average intelligence are unlikely to get t go, and the cut-off is probably going to be higher than 100: 115, say, or the top 16%.

Given that IQ is 60-80% heritable, their offspring, even with reversion to the mean, will have a significantly higher IQ than their Terran-born counterparts. What effects will this have on off-world cultures? How will this impact the divide between Earthborn and Spaceborn humanity? In addition to the wealth of material resources that the latter will have, they'll also have a better human capital and, to the extent that social dysfunction correlates to IQ, more functional societies. Will this lead to jealously on the part of the Earthborn (almost certainly)? How will they respond - and will Spaceborn have to take care when visiting the homeworld to avoid being attacked?


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#4 2018-10-18 12:23:49

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,163
Website

Re: IQ and Space Colonisation

Regression to the mean happens once. After the first generation is born, their mean is the mean that the population is distributed around.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

Offline

#5 2018-10-18 12:46:02

JoshNH4H
Member
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,526
Website

Re: IQ and Space Colonisation

I'd be willing to countenance the idea that the average IQ of Martian settlers will be higher than that of the average Terran, but I don't think IQ is a good metric to use for selection.  In fact my understanding is that it has fallen somewhat out of favor as a measurement of inherent intelligence since studies have shown that the heritability is substantially associated with social factors (for example, children who grow up in a home with a lot of books like to read; people who like to read have homes with more books; their children will grow up around books; reading correlates with intelligence, and it's not hard to believe that it is a causal relationship that goes both ways) and that, by studying for an IQ test, you can substantially improve your score.

Here are some other factors that I think will more strongly determine who gets to go than IQ:

  • Education

  • Professional experience, especially but not exclusively military

  • Work ethic

  • Personality (I imagine that the traits that make someone a good roommate will also score points in settlement selection)

  • Physical health, including family history

  • Age

  • Working in the space industry and having connections to the people who decide who gets to go

  • Acquiring some kind of certification that demonstrates knowledge of operating in a vacuum/radiation environment

Or:

  • Having enough money to pay your own way

I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of these factors correlate with intelligence as measured by IQ score to some degree or another but I would be surprised if there were a hard "cutoff" established by any organization.

Anyway, while I disagree with your characterization of a selection process I don't substantially disagree with your premise, that settlers in space will in some regards represent the best of humanity, and that this will no doubt have a big effect on the societies we build in space.

While I have been skeptical of this as a justification of Martian settlement, I think it's entirely reasonable to think that settlements in space will be a loci for technological progress.  I would expect that sooner or later (probably much later, 100+ years into the future) the best universities and most advanced research facilities will be in space, and that brain drain may become a problem for Earth.

A common trope in science fiction is for the Earth to be caught up and dragged down by the weight of 10,000 years of human history, while the people of space progress both technologically and socially.  While naturally there will be huge variations in both (and it's not at all crazy to think that settlements will be associated with a Terran nation for a long time) in broad strokes I would expect this to be true.  The colonization of the Americas or the Greek colonia may be something of a model here, insofar as the newcomers were affiliated with but distinct from their places of origin.


-Josh

Offline

#6 2018-10-18 13:08:16

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,861
Website

Re: IQ and Space Colonisation

Opportunity determines a lot. I grew up in a blue collar community. Transcona was incorporated as a small city, but with 2,000 people at the time, many would call it a town. It was a company town, a railroad town. The entrire town on one side of the tracks, but separated by the main road leading out of the rail yard main gate. My dad was a welder. He was a high steel construction worker before his wife got pregnant with their first child: me. His job title at the railroad was boiler maker, meaning he was certified to weld pressure vessels. Our house was on a neat and tidy semi-isolated crescent, but it was still the proverbial "wrong side of the tracks". I believed if I studied I could be anything, but school was definitely skewed. No one was allowed to advance beyond the class,; I was punished when I tried. There was no advanced learning program. Science class in elementary school was a joke, science really started in junior high. Library books had very limited information, basically think of first grade readers. Learning was limited to memorize and regurgitate, don't think for yourself. They constantly redirected students to things other than academics: track and field, music, art, comic books were actively encouraged at one point. Any thing other than STEM.

I saw TV programs were certain individuals were treated as exceptional, graduated with a Bachelor degree at age 15. I wanted to do that. When I found out there was no advanced learning program in my school, or the entire province, the only thing available was to skip a grade, I tried to do that. When my family visited relatives, a cousin a couple years older than me had a chalk board in her room. I asked about her homework. She explained the math she was working on. I learned 2 grades ahead in math in 20 minutes. But when I tried to use what I learned, give answers ahead of the class, the teacher actually marked my answers wrong. Every time I tried to get ahead of the class, my grades were dropped. Success would not be permitted.

I was transferred into remedial class. Obviously I did worse there. I was taken to another school division that had student services, they gave me an IQ test. Result was overall IQ of 132, but did poorly in English, excelled in math and logic, and spacial relations, the type of thinking for STEM. Specifically with logic and deduction my IQ was 155. The councillor claimed I did poorly because I was bored. They transferred me back to regular classes.

My parents moved to a better neighborhood when I was in grade 8, but the entire province didn't have an advanced learning program, and still doesn't. High school didn't have Advanced Placement either. Only the chemistry teacher's daughter was allowed to even apply for AP.

When someone brags they have a Ph.D. and I don't, that's not due to skill or ability, they're just the spoiled rich brat who had opportunities that I was denied.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2018-10-19 21:18:02)

Offline

#7 2018-10-18 14:30:31

IanM
Moderator
From: Chicago
Registered: 2015-12-14
Posts: 276

Re: IQ and Space Colonisation

I think RobertDyck is on to something with privilege and class being a larger determiner for the composition of a Martian settlement than what any of us would like. Any application process, if existent, to a Martian settlement ought to take it into account, but to what extent affirmative action should be used and for what parameters (race, sex, education, etc.) is up for debate. Even assuming there is some intrinsic intelligence, louis brings up a great point in that culture determines what type of testing is the best to determine it. At the end of the day, however, I do agree with the main point that Martians will tend to be at the very least more motivated than the average person.


The Earth is the cradle of the mind, but one cannot live in a cradle forever. -Paraphrased from Tsiolkovsky

Offline

#8 2018-10-18 15:21:23

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,163
Website

Re: IQ and Space Colonisation

Josh,

I'm not saying that prospective settlers will have to take an IQ test, and everyone who's not in the top 10% of the population (IQ 120) will be barred from going (though I won't be surprised if cognitive testing is used a lot). But IQ *is* strongly correlated to income and academic achievement, and so any selection process operating on those will indirectly select for high IQ. I think it's unlikely that anyone below average (IQ 100) will be going into space to settle.

IQ is a lot more heritable in adults than in children. I'm not sure they're even measuring the same thing - the IQ score in children seems to measure how fast they're developing. I suspect environmental influences claimed to increase children's IQ are, for the most part, simply accelerating their development.

Then there's the selection imposed by the environment itself. A government screws up on Terra, the water supply ends up contaminated by lead, people start falling ill, and they have to truck in water. They screw up on Mars, everyone suffocates because no-ones maintained the emergency shelters, and other people truck out the bodies.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

Offline

#9 2018-10-18 16:52:23

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,107

Re: IQ and Space Colonisation

Terraformer,

People with high IQ are routinely attacked here on Earth, especially as children.  In general, primates have an innate fear of the unknown.  If any chimp in the group of chimps demonstrates a behavior the other chimps don't understand, the typical response is to ostracize the chimp who demonstrated the behavior that was not understood by the rest of the group.  This response had a certain utility to it when one of the likely causes was a disease or disorder that could affect the rest of the group.  Today, it's mostly just dead-end biological programming.

All any IQ test can tell you is how capable someone is of learning something.  It can't tell you anything else, even if it is a reasonably good general indicator of future success in life.  A certain IQ level is required for learning, but that's it.  After that, basic curiosity and hard work become very important.  If you're trying to suggest that people with lower IQ levels are less useful to society writ large, or should be excluded from participating in our most challenging endeavors (Mars exploration), you're going to get considerable push-back.  About 10% of any Earth population you care to name off is incapable of learning in a useful way and that should be very troubling to all of us.  I don't know what to do about it, but I can tell you that we can't discard 10% of our people due to a problem we're all responsible for solving.

I will relate my own little "IQ experience" from Catholic school.  One of my teachers there wanted to prove I was stupid to my parents because I questioned her belief in god, it was apparent to the rest of the students that she couldn't provide much of a response explaining her beliefs, the rest of the students told their parents and my parents, and the rest of the parents' "not-so-pleased" response made its way back to her.  Needless to say, teachers with masters and doctorates weren't used to having grade schoolers question their beliefs in a way that made them look bad in front of the rest of the class.  I didn't understand this at the time and wasn't trying to make anyone look bad, nor did I have any concept of how or why that would be done.  My questions were driven by pure curiosity about why people who believed in science, who I thought were really smart, also believed in god.  After we were taught about the scientific method, that didn't make any sense to me.  I wanted to know why people with advanced degrees in science would believe in the existence of something they couldn't provide any evidence for.  That was a profound mistake on my part, but I lacked the social intelligence as a young child to understand what I'd done.  Instinctively, the rest of the students understood that you never questioned authority, and they let me know about it both when I asked the questions and after class.

In an act I can only describe as an attempt at revenge for daring to question her beliefs, she used the IQ test administered by the school for that purpose.  I was called to the Principal's Office where, to my great relief, I wasn't facing the paddle that day.  Well, facing the wall with the rules where you get paddled, actually.  I was just there to take the IQ test, away from the other children in my class, apparently.  At the time, I thought that I was suspected of cheating.  That was the only thing my young and naive mind could determine was the reason for me taking a test apart from the other students, even though I'd never done such a thing.  The Principal, Sister Bernard, happened to come by while I was taking the test.  She wanted to know what I was doing there, so I showed her the test I was told to take.  The Principal then asked my teacher why I was taking the IQ test administered to the faculty, whereupon she actually told Sister Bernard what she was doing to me.  Unbeknownst to me, instead of giving me the IQ test she gave to the other students in my class, she gave me the same test that she and the rest of their faculty were required to take.  Upon learning about what my teacher had done, Sister Bernard informed my parents.

When I was called back to the office after school, my father was waiting for me, which was normally not a good sign.  I fully expected Sister Bernard to tell my father that I was cheating.  I thought there would be more spankings and paddling to follow, but I couldn't possibly have been any farther off-base about why I was there.  Much to the chagrin of my teacher, I scored higher on the IQ test administered to the faculty than any of their faculty did.  Upon learning that they had a student that they could teach just about anything to, which I only later learned is all an IQ test really proves, it was suggested to my parents that I leave the school by both my teacher and Sister Bernard.  To say I was stunned would be something of an understatement.

My mother and father are both devout Catholics to this day (no longer parishioners of that church), and insisted that their children also attend church.  They both attended Catholic schools as children and wanted all of their children to attend Catholic schools as well.  I never did believe in god, much as I wanted to, and that interaction and a variety of others cemented that belief at a very early age.  In the interest of pleasing my parents and setting a good example for my younger brothers and sister, I always went to church with them and to Bible study until they signed the papers so I could join the Navy when I turned 17.  I haven't attended since.  Anyway, my parents relented shortly after that incident and allowed me to attend public school at my request and the request of the faculty.  We spent the entire first year at public school going over things we'd already learned the previous year in Catholic school and about half of the second year, which was an unexpected bonus for me.

As a result of that experience, my personal opinion is that an IQ test can and will be used as a weapon to exclude people who are qualified to do a job.  Beyond the simple ability to learn, the tests are of limited utility.  I agree with Josh's list of criteria for selection.  Those qualities have a profound effect on a candidate's suitability for a particular job.

Some of what Robert said is true and some of it is subjective.  If there truly is no opportunity to excel, then just as his experience suggested, you'll get nowhere.  My little sister graduated from high school a year ahead, but when she went to college she had serious problems during her first two years.  She slogged through it and graduated anyway, but lost the motivation to continue on to veterinary school.  Maturity often can't be accelerated, even if intelligence and knowledge are spot on.  Environment affects everyone differently.  No two kids are the same.  However, having a good attitude and refusing to give up is a huge factor in determining success or failure.  That's what I've tried to instill in my own children.

IanM, zero affirmative action should be applied.  You're either qualified or you're not.  I'm not qualified to be a NBA player, so I'm not.  It's not discrimination of any sort that matters to want qualified players on the basketball court.  Culture is also a lousy test criteria.  The "culture" of human space flight is any mistake you make can lead to your death and the death of your fellow crew members.  Once everyone let's go of the utopian idea, society will be a lot better off and so will any prospective Mars colony.  It doesn't exist, never did, and probably never will.

Offline

#10 2018-10-18 17:32:18

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,334

Re: IQ and Space Colonisation

Who defines "the population"?  You?

Terraformer wrote:

Regression to the mean happens once. After the first generation is born, their mean is the mean that the population is distributed around.

Last edited by louis (2018-10-18 17:32:37)


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#11 2018-10-18 17:37:07

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,334

Re: IQ and Space Colonisation

Lots of good points there.  I always think: "It tends to be the richest people who think that it is genes that determine success in life - but they are also the people who are the least likely to decide where their children go to school."

To take this to an absurd level, would a really intelligent person ever say "I don't care how my kid is brought up. In fact I think I'll travel somewhere and sell them into slavery.  It won't make any difference. They'll still make a success of life."




JoshNH4H wrote:

I'd be willing to countenance the idea that the average IQ of Martian settlers will be higher than that of the average Terran, but I don't think IQ is a good metric to use for selection.  In fact my understanding is that it has fallen somewhat out of favor as a measurement of inherent intelligence since studies have shown that the heritability is substantially associated with social factors (for example, children who grow up in a home with a lot of books like to read; people who like to read have homes with more books; their children will grow up around books; reading correlates with intelligence, and it's not hard to believe that it is a causal relationship that goes both ways) and that, by studying for an IQ test, you can substantially improve your score.

Here are some other factors that I think will more strongly determine who gets to go than IQ:

  • Education

  • Professional experience, especially but not exclusively military

  • Work ethic

  • Personality (I imagine that the traits that make someone a good roommate will also score points in settlement selection)

  • Physical health, including family history

  • Age

  • Working in the space industry and having connections to the people who decide who gets to go

  • Acquiring some kind of certification that demonstrates knowledge of operating in a vacuum/radiation environment

Or:

  • Having enough money to pay your own way

I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of these factors correlate with intelligence as measured by IQ score to some degree or another but I would be surprised if there were a hard "cutoff" established by any organization.

Anyway, while I disagree with your characterization of a selection process I don't substantially disagree with your premise, that settlers in space will in some regards represent the best of humanity, and that this will no doubt have a big effect on the societies we build in space.

While I have been skeptical of this as a justification of Martian settlement, I think it's entirely reasonable to think that settlements in space will be a loci for technological progress.  I would expect that sooner or later (probably much later, 100+ years into the future) the best universities and most advanced research facilities will be in space, and that brain drain may become a problem for Earth.

A common trope in science fiction is for the Earth to be caught up and dragged down by the weight of 10,000 years of human history, while the people of space progress both technologically and socially.  While naturally there will be huge variations in both (and it's not at all crazy to think that settlements will be associated with a Terran nation for a long time) in broad strokes I would expect this to be true.  The colonization of the Americas or the Greek colonia may be something of a model here, insofar as the newcomers were affiliated with but distinct from their places of origin.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#12 2018-10-18 17:48:06

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,334

Re: IQ and Space Colonisation

Although I don't agree with IQ testing as a measurement of anything more than IQ tests, I do completely agree with your point about opportunities.

When I was younger I would through work come across a lot of people who had clearly been denied the opportunity of pursuing tertiary education because of family finances but who were clearly as or often more intelligent as I was.

They were just unlucky to have been born a couple  of decades before me, that was all.

But, having said that, these were people who had been raised in an intelligent culture that valued hard work, self-esteem, free speech, and equality of opportunity for all individuals.  I would say culture is the key to intelligence. We definitely get more intelligent (better able to manipulate information and so our environment) through cultural exposure.

The people who were a generation older than me had been brought up in a culture that encouraged intelligence. I am not sure we are in such a culture now.



RobertDyck wrote:

Opportunity determines a lot. I grew up in a blue collar community. TransCanada was incorporated as a small city, but with 2,000 people at the time, many would call it a town. It was a company town a railroad town. The tnrire town on one side of the tracks, but separated by the main road leading out of the rail yard main gate. My dad was a welder. He was a high steel construction worker before his wife got pregnant with their first child: me. His job title at the railroad was boiler maker, meaning he was certified to weld pressure vessels. Our house was on a neat and tidy semi-isolated crescent, but it was still the proverbial "wrong side of the tracks". I believed if I studied I could be anything, but school was definitely skewed. No one was allowed to advance beyond the class,; I was punished when I tried. There was no advanced learning program. Science class in elementary school was a joke, science really started in junior high. Library books had very limited information, basically think of first grade readers. Learning was listed to memorize and regugitate, don't think for yourself. They constantly redirected students to thing other than academics: taxi and field, music, art comic books were actively encouraged at one point. Any thing other than STEM.

I saw TV programs were certain individuals were treated as exceptional, graduated with a Bachelor degree at age 15. I wanted to do that. When I found out there was no advanced learning program in my school, or the entire province, the only thing available was to skip a grade, I tried to do that. When my family visited relatives, a cousin a couple years older than me has a chalk board in her room. I asked about her homework. She explained the math she was working on. I learned 2 grades ahead in math in 20 minutes. But when I tried to use what I learned, give answers ahead of the class, the teacher actually marked my answers wrong. Every time I tried to get ahead of the class, my grades were dropped. Success would not be permitted.

I was transferred into remedial class. Obviously I did worse there. I was taken to another school division that had student services, they gave me an IQ test. Result was overall IQ of 132, but did poorly in English, excelled in math and logic, and spacial relations, the type of thinking for STEM. Specifically with logic and deduction my IQ was 155. The councillor claimed I did poorly because I was bored. They transferred me back to regular classes.

My parents moved to a better neighborhood when I was in grade 8, but the entire province doesn't have an advanced learning program. High school didn't have Advanced Placement either. Only the chemistry teacher's daughter was allowed to even apply for AP.

When someone brags they have a Ph.D. and I don't, that's not due to skill or ability, they're just the spoiled rich brat who had opportunities that I was denied.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#13 2018-10-18 17:54:53

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,334

Re: IQ and Space Colonisation

This is ludicrous argumentation!

Look at these chimps learning from each other.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Cp7_In7f88

Your argument that IQ tests demonstrate capability for learning is also absurd.  Very high IQ people often have huge difficulty in engaging in social interaction and actually accomplishing anything of significance.  We only really hear about successful high IQ people.  For every successful Bill Gates there will likely be ten unsuccessful ones on heavy duty medication.



kbd512 wrote:

Terraformer,

People with high IQ are routinely attacked here on Earth, especially as children.  In general, primates have an innate fear of the unknown.  If any chimp in the group of chimps demonstrates a behavior the other chimps don't understand, the typical response is to ostracize the chimp who demonstrated the behavior that was not understood by the rest of the group.  This response had a certain utility to it when one of the likely causes was a disease or disorder that could affect the rest of the group.  Today, it's mostly just dead-end biological programming.

All any IQ test can tell you is how capable someone is of learning something.  It can't tell you anything else, even if it is a reasonably good general indicator of future success in life.  A certain IQ level is required for learning, but that's it.  After that, basic curiosity and hard work become very important.  If you're trying to suggest that people with lower IQ levels are less useful to society writ large, or should be excluded from participating in our most challenging endeavors (Mars exploration), you're going to get considerable push-back.  About 10% of any Earth population you care to name off is incapable of learning in a useful way and that should be very troubling to all of us.  I don't know what to do about it, but I can tell you that we can't discard 10% of our people due to a problem we're all responsible for solving.

I will relate my own little "IQ experience" from Catholic school.  One of my teachers there wanted to prove I was stupid to my parents because I questioned her belief in god, it was apparent to the rest of the students that she couldn't provide much of a response explaining her beliefs, the rest of the students told their parents and my parents, and the rest of the parents' "not-so-pleased" response made its way back to her.  Needless to say, teachers with masters and doctorates weren't used to having grade schoolers question their beliefs in a way that made them look bad in front of the rest of the class.  I didn't understand this at the time and wasn't trying to make anyone look bad, nor did I have any concept of how or why that would be done.  My questions were driven by pure curiosity about why people who believed in science, who I thought were really smart, also believed in god.  After we were taught about the scientific method, that didn't make any sense to me.  I wanted to know why people with advanced degrees in science would believe in the existence of something they couldn't provide any evidence for.  That was a profound mistake on my part, but I lacked the social intelligence as a young child to understand what I'd done.  Instinctively, the rest of the students understood that you never questioned authority, and they let me know about it both when I asked the questions and after class.

In an act I can only describe as an attempt at revenge for daring to question her beliefs, she used the IQ test administered by the school for that purpose.  I was called to the Principal's Office where, to my great relief, I wasn't facing the paddle that day.  Well, facing the wall with the rules where you get paddled, actually.  I was just there to take the IQ test, away from the other children in my class, apparently.  At the time, I thought that I was suspected of cheating.  That was the only thing my young and naive mind could determine was the reason for me taking a test apart from the other students, even though I'd never done such a thing.  The Principal, Sister Bernard, happened to come by while I was taking the test.  She wanted to know what I was doing there, so I showed her the test I was told to take.  The Principal then asked my teacher why I was taking the IQ test administered to the faculty, whereupon she actually told Sister Bernard what she was doing to me.  Unbeknownst to me, instead of giving me the IQ test she gave to the other students in my class, she gave me the same test that she and the rest of their faculty were required to take.  Upon learning about what my teacher had done, Sister Bernard informed my parents.

When I was called back to the office after school, my father was waiting for me, which was normally not a good sign.  I fully expected Sister Bernard to tell my father that I was cheating.  I thought there would be more spankings and paddling to follow, but I couldn't possibly have been any farther off-base about why I was there.  Much to the chagrin of my teacher, I scored higher on the IQ test administered to the faculty than any of their faculty did.  Upon learning that they had a student that they could teach just about anything to, which I only later learned is all an IQ test really proves, it was suggested to my parents that I leave the school by both my teacher and Sister Bernard.  To say I was stunned would be something of an understatement.

My mother and father are both devout Catholics to this day (no longer parishioners of that church), and insisted that their children also attend church.  They both attended Catholic schools as children and wanted all of their children to attend Catholic schools as well.  I never did believe in god, much as I wanted to, and that interaction and a variety of others cemented that belief at a very early age.  In the interest of pleasing my parents and setting a good example for my younger brothers and sister, I always went to church with them and to Bible study until they signed the papers so I could join the Navy when I turned 17.  I haven't attended since.  Anyway, my parents relented shortly after that incident and allowed me to attend public school at my request and the request of the faculty.  We spent the entire first year at public school going over things we'd already learned the previous year in Catholic school and about half of the second year, which was an unexpected bonus for me.

As a result of that experience, my personal opinion is that an IQ test can and will be used as a weapon to exclude people who are qualified to do a job.  Beyond the simple ability to learn, the tests are of limited utility.  I agree with Josh's list of criteria for selection.  Those qualities have a profound effect on a candidate's suitability for a particular job.

Some of what Robert said is true and some of it is subjective.  If there truly is no opportunity to excel, then just as his experience suggested, you'll get nowhere.  My little sister graduated from high school a year ahead, but when she went to college she had serious problems during her first two years.  She slogged through it and graduated anyway, but lost the motivation to continue on to veterinary school.  Maturity often can't be accelerated, even if intelligence and knowledge are spot on.  Environment affects everyone differently.  No two kids are the same.  However, having a good attitude and refusing to give up is a huge factor in determining success or failure.  That's what I've tried to instill in my own children.

IanM, zero affirmative action should be applied.  You're either qualified or you're not.  I'm not qualified to be a NBA player, so I'm not.  It's not discrimination of any sort that matters to want qualified players on the basketball court.  Culture is also a lousy test criteria.  The "culture" of human space flight is any mistake you make can lead to your death and the death of your fellow crew members.  Once everyone let's go of the utopian idea, society will be a lot better off and so will any prospective Mars colony.  It doesn't exist, never did, and probably never will.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#14 2018-10-18 18:55:22

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,382

Re: IQ and Space Colonisation

We have covered this before in another manner in that the 100 sciencetist are not workers and that they do not contribute to there own self that when we do get to that level they will still need to work and thats not just the science....

Offline

#15 2018-10-18 19:22:33

Belter
Member
Registered: 2018-09-13
Posts: 184

Re: IQ and Space Colonisation

Still, chances are most anyone sent is going to have a PhD and a 140+IQ.   But they will also have a back up team of everyone in the universe at Mission Control making sure they can figure out how to program the remote control and can fix the drain.

Offline

#16 2018-10-18 19:33:00

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,107

Re: IQ and Space Colonisation

Louis,

Not all learned behavior is useful.  That was my point.  If all the other chimps start attacking one of the chimps and none of the attackers actually knows why, then maybe you'll begin to understand.  I didn't specify what high IQ people could learn, nor that they could learn to adapt to absolutely any situation with equal aplomb.  That's why I said the qualities that Josh said were important were the same qualities I'd want to use to select crew members.  I did say that IQ test results can be used to ostracize people without cause, as it was in my case.

Offline

#17 2018-10-18 19:58:21

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,861
Website

Re: IQ and Space Colonisation

Belter wrote:

Still, chances are most anyone sent is going to have a PhD and a 140+IQ.   But they will also have a back up team of everyone in the universe at Mission Control making sure they can figure out how to program the remote control and can fix the drain.

Be careful. I spoke with several individuals at Mars society conventions who have a PhD. I look up their current research project and education, then find something that effects the research that's outside his/her education. So far every time it's worked, the doctor didn't know that and was blown away. They just can't accept the idea of treating me as an equal.

One astrobiologist who you would know if I mentioned his/her name, didn't realize that plagioclase feldspar is alkaline. Basic geology. Or the same astrobiologist didn't know how chemistry from the petroleum industry would affect his/her research.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2018-10-18 21:42:20)

Offline

#18 2018-10-18 20:12:35

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,382

Re: IQ and Space Colonisation

I have done the same with electronic design engineers but they were always the ones that wanted my services to make the prototypes that they were dreaming of....

Offline

#19 2018-10-19 15:26:51

JoshNH4H
Member
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,526
Website

Re: IQ and Space Colonisation

RobertDyck wrote:
Belter wrote:

Still, chances are most anyone sent is going to have a PhD and a 140+IQ.   But they will also have a back up team of everyone in the universe at Mission Control making sure they can figure out how to program the remote control and can fix the drain.

Be careful. I spoke with several individuals at Mars society conventions who have a PhD. I look up their current research project and education, then find something that effects the research that's outside his/her education. So far every time it's worked, the doctor didn't know that and was blown away. They just can't accept the idea of treating me as an equal.

One astrobiologist who you would know if I mentioned his/her name, didn't realize that plagioclase feldspar is alkaline. Basic geology. Or the same astrobiologist didn't know how chemistry from the petroleum industry would affect his/her research.

How many PhDs in engineering does it take to operate a projector?

I'm not sure, but it's more than I've ever seen in a room together at once.

Higher education can be a valuable addition to a person's skillset, but it often comes alongside with overspecialization and an unwillingness to speculate on topics outside one's particular, narrow area of expertise.  That's fine if you're seeking to become preeminent in your field but in the context of the wide spectrum of tasks and jobs settlement entails is a big problem.


-Josh

Offline

#20 2018-10-19 16:16:50

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,382

Re: IQ and Space Colonisation

For mars work is what it takes to survive whether you have a phd or not and the science that some will go to do while it is paid work its not work unless it pertains to keeping ones self alive.

For the projector its needs one to find out that its not plugged in, one to solve that its not on, one to read the owners manual to solve why its not displaying and one to see why the computer feed is not function from the power point slides....and one to see that they were all looking at the wrong wall that its being displayed on.....

Offline

#21 2018-10-19 19:46:30

IanM
Moderator
From: Chicago
Registered: 2015-12-14
Posts: 276

Re: IQ and Space Colonisation

A PhD and other post-grad work is by its very nature depth rather than breadth. I do think that there should be some PhDs on a Mars settlement, but I think a Bachelor's or even Associate's degree would work just fine for the bulk of colonists.


The Earth is the cradle of the mind, but one cannot live in a cradle forever. -Paraphrased from Tsiolkovsky

Offline

#22 2018-10-19 22:05:43

JoshNH4H
Member
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,526
Website

Re: IQ and Space Colonisation

On the topic of affirmative action:

Diversity is critical to the success of a settlement.  In fact, I would say it's a sine qua non for any meaningful effort at permanent human populations on Mars.  I can think of at least two dimensions on which diversity is so obviously critical that most of us would endorse not just affirmative action but an honest-to-god quota system.

These two dimensions are professional skillset and sex.  The former to ensure that the settlement is adequately staffed to perform the functions it needs to survive, and the latter (among other reasons) because one male human and one female human are required to conceive children.  I suppose men aren't strictly necessary, but given that we're talking about STEM jobs I would expect there would be many more men than women without an effort at balancing the sexes.

I would go ahead and say that it's good to have a mix of ages in the settlement, from people who are younger and stronger to people who are older and wiser.

I would argue that other elements of diversity have value too, although they're sometimes hard to quantify.  When choosing members for settlement and choosing between otherwise comparable people it seems like no great loss (and indeed some benefit insofar as you're more likely to get different viewpoints) to choose the one coming from an underrepresented group. 

There can be political benefits too, insofar as your program will likely garner more support if more people can identify with it.


-Josh

Offline

#23 2018-10-20 08:56:08

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,382

Re: IQ and Space Colonisation

I can say that you are right on with the mix of people for the settlement from the start.
One thing to note with that selection is its not us against them when it comes to the sex selection quota and for the age composition of those that do go.

The older can not view the younger as personnel as whipper snappers and they as well can not view to older as old foggies...They must be able to communicate and do it with respect. Being able to view the work from both sides to get it accomplished.

I live and work with the situation every day being able to share that knowledge to those as I work as a peer never being condescending and willing to share what I know so that they can learn it. I not only give them the information but give them how I got there as well. The other part of what I am doing is capturing tribal knowledge so that all can learn from it, making the team stronger as a whole.

Lead by example and not by aurthority and those that are the leaders of aurthority will listen to you when there are problems of behavour or discord amoungst the rank and file of personnel.

Offline

#24 2018-10-20 16:12:02

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,334

Re: IQ and Space Colonisation

I very much doubt the Han Chinese (who are currently busy eliminating Tibetan and Uigur cultures) will agree with you. Also they have a "woman problem" (aka "man problem")...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-41652487

In case you haven't noticed, they have a space programme.

How far does your diversity obsession go Josh? Surely you want some trans people among the pioneers? The fact they might have some existential gender crisis while on Mars should not prevent us implementing the "diversity miracle".

What about physical disabilities? Mental illness?  How inclusive are you going to be?

JoshNH4H wrote:

On the topic of affirmative action:

Diversity is critical to the success of a settlement.  In fact, I would say it's a sine qua non for any meaningful effort at permanent human populations on Mars.  I can think of at least two dimensions on which diversity is so obviously critical that most of us would endorse not just affirmative action but an honest-to-god quota system.

These two dimensions are professional skillset and sex.  The former to ensure that the settlement is adequately staffed to perform the functions it needs to survive, and the latter (among other reasons) because one male human and one female human are required to conceive children.  I suppose men aren't strictly necessary, but given that we're talking about STEM jobs I would expect there would be many more men than women without an effort at balancing the sexes.

I would go ahead and say that it's good to have a mix of ages in the settlement, from people who are younger and stronger to people who are older and wiser.

I would argue that other elements of diversity have value too, although they're sometimes hard to quantify.  When choosing members for settlement and choosing between otherwise comparable people it seems like no great loss (and indeed some benefit insofar as you're more likely to get different viewpoints) to choose the one coming from an underrepresented group. 

There can be political benefits too, insofar as your program will likely garner more support if more people can identify with it.

Last edited by louis (2018-10-20 16:12:54)


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#25 2018-10-20 16:20:36

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,107

Re: IQ and Space Colonisation

The following represents the minimum number of crew members and fields of expertise required to execute a Mars mission with enough scientific return to justify the risks and cost.  This is our first attempt at a comprehensive field study of another planet in our solar system.  It's too far from Earth to resolve potential medical and engineering problems in a timely manner, no matter how many support staff are made available on Earth for that purpose.

As educational requirements are concerned, the science and medical teams are mission specialists, nominally PhD's in their field of study.  The command and engineering team should have masters or multiple bachelors to ensure that a comprehensive set of leadership and technical skills are available to contend with the inevitable human and technical problems that affect a mission's outcome.

The command staff must not be impulsive in nature, demonstrate affection for their fellow crew members, have good working knowledge of human psychology in high stress situations, and above all else, demonstrate good judgement and maturity that comes with experience.  Those requirements more or less mandate that older military test pilots be evaluated and selected for demonstrating those qualities.

The science team should be academics with a wealth of knowledge in their chosen field of study, but also demonstrate strong interpersonal skills and teamwork.  The specific areas of study I identified are pertinent to a comprehensive field study of Mars for purposes of characterizing the planet's resources, geological and hydrological processes, and for making comparisons with what we know of Earth.

The medical team must provide honest and accurate assessments of crew health.  The ship's doctor, one of the two surgeons, is the only member of the crew who may override the mission commander's decisions, but only out of medical necessity.  That is an accepted practice aboard most military and civilian ships.  The XO can relieve the CO of command if grossly improper decision making is observed, but may not override the CO's decisions.  The CO and XO must have excellent working and personal relationships to present consistent and clear command decisions to the rest of the crew.

The engineering team must have comprehensive technical knowledge of the ship's systems, but like everyone else they must also be personable team players.  A ship like BFS is a complicated electro-mechanically driven vessel with extreme performance requirements, thus extreme maintenance requirements.  All aircraft or spacecraft operated like jetliners or ships will require dedicated maintenance crews who know the ship's systems inside and out.  The manufacturer must provide adequate training for these personnel.

All crew members must have operator-level working knowledge of critical systems such as life support, communications, and first aid equipment.  Additionally, all crew members must demonstrate EVA and emergency action proficiency.  A naval ship drills all crew members in emergency response activities required to maintain the seaworthiness, in this case spaceworthiness, of the ship.  Every crew member has an assigned job during general quarters (an emergency action drill or actual emergency), in addition to his or her normal duties.

Command Team
Mission Commander / Commanding Officer (military test pilot school graduate) - responsible for hazarding the ship and executing its mission (decide how to execute a mission while also hazarding the ship in a prudent manner)
Pilot / Executive Officer (military test pilot school graduate) - responsible for piloting the ship and the morale of the crew (scheduling, division of labor, inspections, crew emergency action drills, and evaluating crew member fitness for duty)

Chemistry Team
organic chemist - primarily responsible for life support and propellant production systems since these systems are based upon processing of carbon bearing compounds; secondary duties include composition characterization of retrieved samples
inorganic chemist - primarily responsible for corrosion control, fatigue life assessment, and mechanical systems; secondary duties include composition characterization of retrieved samples

Geology Team
geophysicist - assessment of the processes that created the Mars of today to ensure colonies are built on suitable ground
hydrologist - assessment of how water shaped the Mars of the past and water resource identification for future colonization efforts
mineralogist - mineral resource identification for future mining efforts
petrologist - rock composition assessment for future mining efforts

Medical Team
neurosurgeon - crew neurological health assessment / treatment, to include radiation health effects
trauma surgeon - treatment of physical injuries, to include hyperbaric health effects
pharmacist - administering required medications, to include anesthesia
nurse practitioner - providing care for injured crew members and assisting the surgical team during surgeries

Engineering Team
aerospace engineer (structures and propulsion systems) - responsible for structures and propulsion systems maintenance
biomedical engineer (imaging and radiation physics) - responsible for operating biomedical support equipment for the medical team
electrical engineer (microelectronics and control systems) - responsible for maintenance of avionics, life support, and control electronics
software engineer (avionics and real time systems) - responsible for maintenance of avionics, life support, and sensor software

Future missions will undoubtedly carry more crew members, enabling increasing specialization of knowledge, but the first landings are surface exploration missions mandating minimum staffing levels for such operations.  The general idea behind a crew of 16 is related to scheduling of the ship's activities.  At any given time, a crew of 4 is on duty with the CO or XO to provide direction and a ship's duty doctor to deal with medical emergencies.  That means 12 hour watches for command and medical staff, with 8 hour watches for mission specialists and engineers.  Apart from real emergencies, drills or exercises occur at random times, whereupon everyone on the ship musters for duty.  That's just a normal part of shipboard life.

In this ship staffing methodology, no regard is given to culture or politics or other equally unimportant factors.  On the various ships I served aboard, nobody cared about your politics or religion or culture.  They had to trust that you would watch their back and they would watch yours.  The only affirmative action at play was the affirmation that any mistake would result in the punishment of everyone.  It's the old idea that peer pressure will cause you to perform as you should, in your own interest and in the interests of the crew.  It's worked quite well for many centuries.  Everyone aboard must be dedicated to the success of the mission.  If that's not adequately demonstrated, then remedial action or separation from the command is required.  Interpersonal problems are always handled at the lowest level first, then transmitted upwards through the chain of command.  If someone did or said something offensive, then you speak with the person who offended you first.

Other naval forces may be different, but the US Navy accepts people from nearly every country and walk of life.  My bunk mate was from Nigeria.  Our communications officer was from India and had a PhD in computer science from MIT.  Our flight surgeon was a multi-millionaire from the Philippines with his own medical practice.  Our Command Master Chief was a practicing muslim, though I forget where he was from.  Most of the enlisted men and women were from all over the US and from our allies in Asia and the Middle East.  We even had people from the US Army, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard who decided they wanted to try a different service.  We had a common goal and a common purpose.  In the end, that was enough.  Generally speaking, operations went pretty smoothly, technical SNAFU's not withstanding.  There were occasional fights, mostly over exceedingly petty things, and the command staff dealt with those situations in a uniformly swift and harsh manner.  I fully expect that the over-abundance of brain power on these Mars exploration missions will contribute to smooth operations since fights were less common amongst the ship's officers (still happened anyway, just not as common), or so I hope.

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB