Razib’s recent post on IQ at Gene Expression contained a particularly poignant passage that I thought I should quote:
Of course, there is “believe,” and then there is believe. The same people who don’t believe in intelligence are proud of their GRE scores, convinced that Republicans and religious people have lower IQ’s, and outraged when the mentally deficient, as measured on IQ tests, are executed. This probably reflects some mental modularity. People might say they don’t believe in IQ, but the decisions they make are to some extent informed by the assumption that intelligence exists, and individuals vary.1
While I frequently insist that measuring intelligence must, at least in principle, be a meaningful activity because all we do it implicitly in using words like intelligent or stupid to describe people — about which we are all in surprisingly good agreement –, I’d never thought of these very clear examples of hypocrisy in rejecting IQ only when it doesn’t serve one’s interests and prejudices.