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intelligence quotient

Henry Herbert Goddard

The Eugenics Archive

Why intelligence is not understood

The Intellectual Conceit of IQ Ideology

The birth of American intelligence testing

Henry Goddard: Eugenicist & Inheritability of Intelligence

Origin of the Word Moron: Eugenics, Racism and Henry H. Goddard



The social engineering idea of segregating out those people considered unfit to reproduce dates back to antiquity and may have biological underpinnings.

The hypothesis that early humans violently replaced Neanderthals through genocide was proposed by French palaeontologist Marcellin Boule in 1912.

The Septuagint describes the Amalekites – a supposedly degenerate group that God condemned to death for living in a unclean depraved manner.

"While the Jews were still in Rephidim, the Amalekites, a mightily and fierce people, descendants of Esau, and well-trained in the art of warfare, suddenly attacked the people of Israel. The battle lasted a whole day until the Amalekites were finally defeated and routed. An oath was taken to wipe the Amalekites - the incarnation of all evil - off the face of the earth. There could be no peace between Israel and Amalek for all time to come." - Jacob Isaacs

Fitness at this point in time requires the ability to serve God the Father.

At this time in human history there is always an Iærophántis assigned to stand in stead of God as the Caretaker and Patriarch of the Culture.

Even though the position is assigned each asignee has the choice to serve either Wakan Takan or, if they have chosen the dark path, Angra Mainyu.

Intelligence quotient becomes intricately related to the ability to dissemble.

340 BC Aristotle composes The Art of Rhetoric.

"Rhetoric then may be defined as the faculty of discovering the possible means of persuasion in reference to any subject whatever." - Aristotle

Aristotle lays out 3 types of persuasion that can be used in public settings.

Ethos, Pathos, and Logos are the modes used to convince audiences.

Ethos or ethical appeal - to convince an audience of expert credibility.

Pathos or emotional appeal - to emotional manipulation of an audience

Logos or appeal to logic - to convince an audience by linear logical reason.

Aristotle defines 3 ways the Art of Persuasion can be used in public settings.

In classical rhetoric, oratory is divided into three branches: judicial oratory (or "forensic"); deliberative oratory (or "legislative") and epideictic oratory ("ceremonial" or "demonstrative").

Aristotle stresses that rhetoric is closely related to dialectic.

1563 Council of Trent states that celibacy and virginity are superior to marriage.

early 1700s Concerns about environmental influences that might damage heredity – leading to ill health, early death, insanity, and defective offspring – are formalized as degeneracy theory.

Masturbation, then called onanism, is presented in allopathic medical schools as the first biological theory of the cause of degeneracy.

Degeneracy theory maintain a strong following until late in the 19th century.

1857 Bénédict Morel published degeneration theory Traité des dégénérescences physiques.

Morel includes images of twelve patients that demonstrat the physical, mental, and moral traits as evidence of degeneration.

Some of these characteristics included altered ear shape, asymmetrical faces, extra digits, and high-domed palates with psychological representations.

Foundation of degeneration theory: psychological disorders are genetic.

Bénédict Morel extends the causes of degeneracy to some legitimate agents – including poisoning by mercury, ergot, and other toxic substances.

Most scientists believe toxic environments cause degenerate heredity.

1877 The sociologist Richard Dugdale believed that good environments could transform degenerates into worthy citizens within three generations.

This position was the backdrop to his influential study on The Jukes, a degenerate family of paupers and petty criminals in Ulster County, New York.

1883 Francis Galton coins the term eugenics perceiving it as a moral philosophy to improve humanity by encouraging the ablest and healthiest people to have more children.

The Galtonian ideal of eugenics is termed positive eugenics.

Negative eugenics, on the other hand, advocated culling the least able from the breeding population to preserve humanity's fitness.

The eugenics movements in the US, Germany, and Scandinavia favor the negative approach.

1893 August Weismann studied how the traits of organisms developed and evolved in a variety of organisms, mostly insects and aquatic animals and publishes Das Keimplasma (germ plasm).

Degeneracy theory dovetailed into his work when he recognized a gradual loss of genetic information which occurs commonly in zoos and microbiology labs.
This basic inbreeding problem Weismann framed as naturally occuring.


Theory of the germ plasm convinces scientists changes in body tissue (soma) have little or no effect on reproductive tissue (germ plasm).

Inheritance in a multicellular organism must take place by means of germ cells: gametes - egg cells and sperm cells - inheritance is unaffected by environment.

It is theorized soma cannot pass information to germ plasm and other cells are unable to influence heredity.

The Weismannian notion that the germ cells are unaffected by somatic cells or their environment has proven incorrect.

Chemical modification of the nucleotide bases that constitute the genetic code such as methylation of cytosines as well as modifications of the histones around which DNA is organized into higher-order structures are influenced by the metabolic and physiologic state of the organism and in may be inheritable.

Such changes are epigenetic as they do not alter the DNA sequence.

1899 Fear of degeneracy leads Harry Clay Sharp, a prison physician in Jeffersonville, Indiana, to carry out vasectomies on prisoners.

The advocacy of Sharp and his medical colleagues, culminates in an Indiana law mandating compulsory sterilization of "degenerates."

1900 The model of August Weismann is eagerly adopted by degeneracy theorists who embrace negative eugenics as their favored model.

1904 Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon develop the first modern intelligence test in IQ history.

The French Ministry of Education asked the researchers to develop a test that would allow for distinguishing mentally retarded children from normally intelligent, but non-compliant children.

1907 The first eugenic sterilization law in the US enacted.

Adherents of the new field of genetics were ambivalent about eugenics.

Mainstream scientists – William Bateson in Great Britain, Thomas Hunt Morgan in the US – shun eugenics as a vulgar unproductive field of research.

Unfortunately, Bateson's and Morgan's contribution to basic genetics is quickly absorbed by eugenicists, who take an interest in Mendelian analysis of pedigrees of humans, plants and animals.

Many eugenicists had some type of agricultural background.

Charles Davenport and Harry Laughlin introduced by a shared interest in chicken breeding ran the Eugenics Record Office.

Both were active in Eugenics Section of the American Breeder's Association (ABA).

Davenport's book, Eugenics: The Science of Human Improvement through Better Breeding, had a distinct agricultural flavor, and his affiliation with the ABA was included under his name on the title page.

Agricultural genetics also provided the favored model for negative eugenics: human populations, like agricultural breeds and varieties, had to be culled of their least productive members, with only the healthiest specimens used for breeding.

Evolutionary models of natural selection and dysgenic (bad) hereditary practices in society also contributed to eugenic theory.

There was fear that highly intelligent people would have smaller families (about 2 children), while the allegedly degenerate elements of society were having larger families of four to eight children.

Public welfare might also play a role in allowing less fit people to survive and reproduce, further upsetting the natural selection of fitter people.

Medicine also put its stamp on eugenics.

Physicians like Anton Ochsner and Harry Sharp were convinced that social failure was a medical problem.

Italian criminologist and physician Cesare Lombroso popularized the image of an innate criminal type that was thought to be a reversion or atavism of a bestial ancestor of humanity.

When medical means failed to help the psychotic, the retarded, the pauper, and the vagrant, eugenicists shifted to preventive medicine.

The German physician-legislator Rudolph Virchow, advocated programs to deal with disease prevention on a large scale.

Virchow's public health movement was fused with eugenics to form the racial hygiene movement in Germany – and came to America through physicians he trained.

Eugenicists argued that "defectives" should be prevented from breeding, through custody in asylums or compulsory sterilization.

Many doctors felt that sterilization was a more humane way of dealing with people who could not help themselves.

Vasectomy and tubal ligation were favored methods, because they did not alter the physiological and psychological contribution of the reproductive organs.

Sterilization allowed the convicted criminal or mental patient to participate in society, rather than being institutionalized at public expense.

Sterilization was not viewed as a punishment because these doctors believed (erroneously) that the social failure of "unfit" people was due to an irreversibly degenerate germ plasm.

1910 Henry Herbert Goddard bring Binet's test to the US.

Goddard believes intelligence is a fixed quantity.

1916 Stanford University psychologist Lewis Terman standardized Binet's original test using a sample of American participants.

Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale became the standard used in the US.

The IQ score was calculated by dividing the test taker's mental age by his or her chronological age and then multiplying this number by 100.

For example, a child with a mental age of 12 and a chronological age of 10 would have an IQ of 120 (12/10 x 100).

Children who had exceeded the average of their age group were said to have a higher "mental age" while those who performed below that average were deemed to have a lower "mental age".

1955 David Wechsler publishes the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale.

Data collection for the next version (WAIS 5) began in 2016 and is expected to end in spring 2020.




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