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Ethiopia - Scholars Refute Kanazawa's Theory of Intelligence and Health
Photo Satoshi Kanazawa (LSE)
In several papers published in the current issue of the British Journal of Health Psychology (http://www.editorialmanager.com/bjhp/), scholars from the US and the UK refuted the controversial study of Satoshi Kanazawa that attempted to link health to intelligence.
It may be recalled that Kanazawa's paper, which was published in the November 2006 issue of the same journal, had trigged a universal uproar, especially for its use of questionable and dubious data about national IQs, including those of Ethiopia and many other African countries, to draw far-reaching conclusions concerning the relationship between intelligence and health.
Among the papers that appeared in the May 2007 issue of the journal is an article by Professors Demissie Alemayehu of Columbia University and Tilahun Sineshaw of Ramapo College of New Jersey, who argued, using extensive citations from evolutionary psychology and inferential statistics, that Kanazawa's research was "bereft of the rigour" required to address the problem under consideration.
Maintaining that ".... critical elements of his [Kanazawa's] study violate fundamental principles of research methodology...," Alemayehu and Sineshaw wrote:
"... the validity and robustness of the conclusions of the paper are compromised by fundamental problems, including failure to present competing views with fair balance, use of samples of convenience to draw conclusions about populations, performing tests of significance when there is no theoretical basis to do so and confusing association with causation." [British Journal of Health Psychology, Volume 12, Number 2, May 2007, pp. 185-190(6)]
With reference to the dubious nature of Kanazawa's data, the two scholars pointed out:
"[T]he source of most of Kanazawa's "macro-level" data is questionable at the best, and misleading at the worst. ... A case in point is the national IQ figure used for Ethiopia which was based on a group of 14-15 year-olds who took the Progressive Matrices Standard (PMS) test one year after they had emigrated to Israel (Kaniel and Fisherman, 1991). Even if one accepts the idea that the PMS test measures what has been dubbed general intelligence, the Ethiopian data set, which Kanazawa claimed had been 'directly measured,' cannot be taken as a direct measure of the IQ of Ethiopians. The group of adolescents used in the study came from an isolated and desolate region of the country that had experienced a devastating war and famine at the time, not to mention the trauma of moving to a completely new urban environment and the experience of blatant racism once in Israel (Wagaw, 1993). As Kaniel and Fisherman (1991, p. 26) also acknowledged in their original article, '[I]n Ethiopia, Jews generally lived in small villages of 50-60 families, remote from urban centers. .... prior to their exodus [to Israel], most had never seen electricity, a telephone, or any technological instruments.... In Israel, they must adjust to climatic differences, life in urban centers, a new language,....' By any measure, data from a disadvantaged group of people, who had emigrated from a specific region of a country with the attendant social and physical deprivations, cannot be considered representative of a country of over 70 million people with complex historical, ethnic, linguistic, and socio-economic diversity."
They further noted:
".... Kanazawa’s knowledge of the socio-historical circumstances under which the Ethiopian data were produced leaves much to be desired. The historical and sociological situatedness of empirical data and how much this contributes to or limits the accuracy of analyses and interpretations that follow have been well established (Cole, 1996). The fallacy of how the Ethiopian national IQ score was constructed certainly casts doubt on the credibility of the entire data and analysis and, by extension, the conclusions of the paper. Ironically, the data obtained from the Bete Israel, as the Ethiopian Jews like to call themselves, should have yielded, according to Kanazawa’s hereditarian view, an average IQ score closer to the Israel national score, since they are believed to be descendants of one of the lost tribes! "
Understandably, Kanazawa's paper had generated a lot of discussion, both in the print media and in popular online forums. Among the media that gave the discredited theory much publicity was the UK-based paper, "The Observer," which in its November 5, 2006 issue headlined, "Low IQs are Africa's curse, says lecturer." It would be interesting to see if those same news outlets would now give their readers the benefit of exposure to the opposing views expressed in the current issue of the journal.
Interested readers may get copies of the papers, including the aforementioned study by Demissie Alemayehu and Tilahun Sineshaw, directly from the journal publishers: email@example.com
Just to say THNANK YOU both Professor Demissie Alemayehu & Tilahun Sineshaw for such an eloquent response to such a misleading paper. It is unfortunate that there are “professors” like the guy who wrote the paper that haste to make conclusions and are self fulfilling.
It will be interesting to see how other readers will react to this. And definetely I ask all readers to say, “Thank you to both Tilahun and Demissie”
Well done!! Demisse Alemayehu and Tilahun Sinehaw, WE are proud of you. Could the UK based paper
” Obsever ” do the same thing or, if the research is done by low IQ people , they don’t even Bother? or they can now say, using proper sampling technique, two smart and articulate people out of 70 million
people are insignificant, and they couldn’t reperesent the whole population…… statistics
humm… well, am an ethiopian, lived most of my life their. I have IQ of 149, which is way more than the average human being. My IQ is better than almost all my American friends. Some might call it I am exeptional, though the truth is most of my Ethiopian friends have better IQ score than me.
IQ is not mostly what you know, rathar it is a measurment of your potentials.
I am proud of these two Ethiopian scientists that dismissed the baseless and misleading Kanazawa’s theory. The most interesting thing is that the Ethiopian scientists came up with a counter-argument not based on emotion but based on facts and tangible empiricall evidences to support their findings. Thus, I would like to congratulate Professor Demissie of Columbia University and Professor Tilahun Sineshaw of Ramapo College of New Jersey for their good job.
Alemayehu and Sineshaw:
Alemayehu and Sineshaw you grateful and Wonderful people do not let this Kanazawa’ !! “Kizen yilkekibutina”
If our political parties and people communicate like a family we were one of the best of everything, but….thanks to regional narrow mind leaders. Durg; with out basic knowledge and ability he become president and follower of communism. he spent his time killing educated people. we had terrible time. Now Ato Meles instead of creating New civilized Ethiopia by making the difference, he jail those key people to extend his power. What is the difference between Durg and Meles? I think Durg is better even though he destroyed people he protected our boundary. Our beloved poor people economy owned by Meles co. Erotracker camions, some industries and the country trade. WHO FEELS OUR COUNTRY DEVELOPMENT?
Kanazawa’ Just shut up Man! We can not hear you.
Alemayehu and Sineshaw:
“All human are equal”
If I see a child with diarroea he is not inferior
[Yetnebark, Edited, post just your comments, do not post articles in the comment section.]
While I do agree with the findings of our distinguished fellow ethiopian academicians, the bastard Japanese Professor may be referring to some of the low IQ Ethiopians who post a hateful, nonsense and dividing message in this and other Ethiopian websites.
If this garlic eating little Jap knew any thing about Ethiopians,he would not dare insult us like this.How ever if he is talking about the termites north of the Mereb River, I probably agree with him.
[Sodo, garlic is good for your heart and much more. lol]
People might oppose research findings but if their criticism is not based on credible evidence its effect is very minimal. As a PhD researcher in the United States I suggest to read the data carefully, examine his methodology closely, assess the result and interpretation and we can come to write about its inconsistency (if that is found to be true). Were hono Indayker be tikikilegan menged fetsho sirawn mafres new. I will read it and comment on it soon. Iskeziaw dires gin Selam beyalachihuber le agere lijoch yihun.
Kanazawa’ paper does not talk about Ethiopians,rather it talks about jews.though they are humans who had shelter in Ethiopia.
Excellent contribution and first class analysis totally inflating the “pseudo scientific” publication. It is obvious that weak and second or third rated individuals will try similar kinds of attempts mainly because they assume that the topic they chose or the area they want to publish will not closely be scrutinized or may be an easy way out for them to be credited as publishers. We are used to these kinds of publications in the Social science field where every Tom and Jerry used to call himself an expert on Ethiopia with an outrageous misrepresentation. However, pseudo scientists are also coming to the stage now as IQ experts, nutrition experts, biological experts and picking on topics and countries that can get away with murder.
Well done Demissie and Tilahun. I am not surprised by the excellent response of Demisse and Tilahun who are known for their scholarly talent and modesty. I just want to make unanemous tribute to these modest individuals and let me say few things for those of you who do not know them. I know they do not like it but I have to do it. They also do not know who is writing this. These are two gallant sons of Ethiopia who have a strong track record and dedication to serve Ethiopia and the people of Ethiopia. Demissie is one of the brilliant sons of Ethiopia since his child hood with an outstanding record in the Ethiopian School Leaving certificate Exam (scoring more than nine As and winner of Haile Selassie’s prize) and graduated with grate distinction from Addis Ababa University before getting his PHD in the USA again with great distinction. Tilahun and excellent scholar and former member of Addis Abeba University with similar records. Their service to Ethiopia and Scholarly work are many and multidimensional.
By the way Demessie’s and Tilahun’s IQs are far more and much higher than Mr. Satoshi Kanazawa and I am not saying that just to say it. Mr. try to meet and see for yourself. May be they will help you to learn how to be a genuine scientist serving science and humanity if that is salvageable.
[Ezana, thank you for kind words about our fellow Ethiopian brothers.]
That is what an Ethiopiawinet is all about! Bravo Ethiopians!
That’s what I am talking about, defending national interest together. For sure, western will respect us when we defend ourselves in intellectual manner.
same old, same old story
it is saddening to see nazret bringing such garbage to demean us.
just like the journalist freedom rankings etc, if we let white men and other non-ethiopians judge, rank, evaluate, belittle us and our history etc then we will always be feeling bad and sad about ourselves.
MENILIK DEFEATED THE WHITE PEOPLE, DON’T ENSLAVE YOURSELF BY WHAT WHITE PEOPLE KEEP CATAGORIZING YOU WITH!!!
WE ARE ETHIOPIANS, GET YOURSELF OUT OF THIS FEELING OF “HOW ARE WE ETHIOPIANS MEASURING UP” IDEOLOGY.
THE PEOPLE WHO ARE MEASURING ANYTHING ARE THE SAME PEOPLE WHO TRIED TO ENSLAVE YOU. MOST LIKELY THEY WILL ALWAYS TRY TO MAKE A MOCKERY OF AFRICA, ESPECIALLY TO SAY AFRICA WAS BETTER UNDER WHITE CONTROL etc etc.
i was pissed off when this guys talks about health, doesn’t he know the white men like the italians were the ones that spread so many kinds of diseases in east africa because they couldn’t beat us physically??
my fellow ethiopians, don’t feel down reading to garbage like this from non-ethiopians.
don’t let others who don’t know your history, culture, languages and customs measure you and humiliate you.
we are the sons and daughters of menilik and yohaness, the proud, the genius, the strong and the greatest people on this earth.
Long live ethiopia.
I think we Ethiopians have the lowest IQ in the world but not in the sense that jap described it.Look at the opposition,full of stupid people.They can’t even figure out how to bring down the woyane regime,can’t think out of the box,can’t cooperate-dayin/day out,it is more of the same.Yes,we are the dumbest people in the world.We do have some exceptions here and there,like mr.Zenawi.
Not to discredit the works of our brothers, but there still remains a big question an-answered. They might refute the claim of Knazawa based on research methodology but they didn’t tell us what the actual Ethiopian IQ is. More importantly we need to answer the big question why we are so poor and hunger ridden people un-paralleled in any part of the world in this century?? Why can’t we feed our selves?? Why???
These should have been the questions our distinguished country men should address, which definitely will have a consequence for the betterment of Ethiopian miseries. I am not a professional in the field, but I am not impressed in the simple argument that “You are stupid” and “How do you know??”
May 2nd, 2007 at 5:04 am
It is believed ethiopia is considered as one of the contributing factor to ward the fall off the british empire in the past. Ethiopians are the only unbowing country for colonizers. Desipte of the continious attack from out side by colonizers and from inside by “bandas”. As we know Japan was the most brutal and barbaric colonizer in their region untill they got humilated by the Americans and surrendered. The british empire also is the main architect of all this colonization idea and the master mind of cast system and aparthide. I mentioned british and Japan only because they are more involved in this flawed so called scientific journal and they deliberately let it published to inflict a premeditated damage on the moral and pride of Ethiopians in particular and africans but most of the present super powers share the same idea.For the colonizers greed make them to grab bigger lands in africa and confine their own ppls in a vry small land.Now they are envying their old colonized land and want get back at any price. That is why we are wittnesing teh present distruction in Africa and some other Arab countries. They use any form of military and psychological warfare on any one who stands aginst their interest in doing so they use their multiblion dollar media and any other form of legal institutions to undermine their oponents and twist the truth. my point of view is that “Kanazawa” is a double sward used by both Japan and british,who practiced and profited from the cast system and resent the present world power shift from old time colonizers to the colonized one,for example China and India, are the perfect examples. Kanazawa’paper is not the first one but he blutantly made the dirty work at a huge price on his acadamic integrety and driven by his incompitense.In addition to that the British Journal of Health Psychology bublished this paper desipite of the unaccaptable research methodology as explained by Professors Demissie Alemayehu of Columbia University. All in all this so called paper is a dangerous and politically motivated move that facilitate a moral justification for their past evil doing. It we may not be surprised in the future if one Japanees or British man said there has to be a diffrent law for Ethiopians or Africans than the present humanright law of the world.It is our guts that this old colonizers don’t like,Zereay deres defy their authority in their own country(rome), Abebe Bikila humilated the Japanese in Tokyo and Lidge Alemayehu of Thewodros rejected their fake hospitality in London.we are the pride of the black ppls we are the origin of humanbeing we are the only uncolonized ppls with diginity. We dominated the world in sport desepite of all what these colonizers wanted to paint us. How come unhealthy and stupid creature can accomplish all this in the present world if it is not may be in the contrary may be we are a supper race. These are the things that motivated an oportunist Kanazawa. It would japan whose so called IQ below may be 40 if some one conducted in simillar way on japanes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki who have abirth difect till present day and under achivers.Eventhough i don’t know Kanazawas orogin.In my openion it looks like they are envy of th eguts ethiopians.
Brace yourself, you’ve been claiming other ethinic groups are inferior, you’ve been mentioning other fellow africans as inferior, now they claimed your IQ is lower than that of a monkey. Beseferut kuna Yesferubetal I don’t agree we are sub-humans, or we are inferior.., However, if the current situation continues(arrogance, hate, laziness …) I believe probablly we will never prove them wrong that we are not inferior……………………………………………………….
As Kaniel and Fisherman (1991, p. 26) also acknowledged in their original article, ‘[I]n Ethiopia, Jews generally lived in small villages of 50-60 families, remote from urban centers. …. prior to their exodus [to Israel], most had never seen electricity, a telephone, or any technological instruments…………………………………………………….
Get real, they are ethiopians. Even the scholars think, Ethiopia is addis abeba only..
In fact Nazaret besides my comments I provided a supportive document You seem to be like a government agent looking a public opinion? Here is my comment
All human are equal”
Scientific racism emerged at the beginning f the 20th centaury with the discovery of Darwin’s theory of evolution. Which places blacks at the bottom of the evolutionary tree closer to Apes. It is this theory, which is the main reason for black segregation. And it was only one person who partially disproved this theory although not ceremonially.
Another is the inventor of transistor who won the noble prize 1956 believes that black neuron are smaller than white people neuron
Kanazawa’s theory is not different from the above. What he tried is to stereotype Ethiopians
I believe there is a relation ship between health and nutrition. There is also ample information on nutrition and brain development. The Kanazawa study should have been comparison between healthy and sick Koreans. Because environment is a major factor influencing IQ. So the journal should have rejected the paper for inappropriate methodology and Ethical reasons according to the Vancouver convention on scientific publication
He is the dumbest oriental, midget in size and mental faculty. How come all the major scientists die from loneliness and miserable life that ends up in suicide. Where is cancer and heart attack and obesity killing the most people? It is not in Africa. Why is rice the staple food of Asians are they vegetarians? No! We know that they eat rats and snakes. Why don’t they eat sheep, goat or cattle, because they have a country that is not endowed with such resources or are poor. Where do people work as slave and child labor, why does not he go to China, India, Korea, Bangladesh, Burma. If he was a smart man or healthy not insane, he could have found ample data in his back yard to arrive at a rational conclusion. What is the reason Asians has to lie down on the ground to look at the sun and the stars is it because of their crossed eyes. Why are Chinese and Koreans so short and west Africans are Masculine and healthy? Who is dying the fastest from cigarette smoking, and pollution it has to be China and Russia as a result of the creation of the middle class as a result of the greed of corporation who left America and went to Asia looking for poor people that work cheap.
By the way I am kidding when I say they lie down to look at the sun and the stars. They do the same as any human can.
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