Saturday, November 17, 2007

IV - Is the Establishment Reviving Eugenics?

The first detailed adaptation of Binet's IQ test was published in America in 1916 by Lewis Terman, a professor of psychology at Stanford University. Lewis M. Terman (1877-1956) was a major figure in the history of American psychology and the eugenics movement. Terman created the Stanford-Binet intelligence test before World War I and is credited with inventing the term, intelligence quotient or IQ in 1916.

In 1917 he joined a team of psychologists to create the famous Army Alpha and Beta IQ tests administered to more than 1.7 million army recruits. After the war Terman promoted the new IQ tests to school districts across the United States. He created the National Intelligence Tests for grades three to eight and the Terman Group Tests for grades seven to twelve. These tests were the most popular IQ tests used in public schools during the 1920s and 1930s to assist in placing students into ability grouping or tracks. Terman has been referred to as the "father of tracking."

Terman rose to prominence in the 1920s. In 1922 he was elected as President of the American Psychological Association and by the middle of the decade he had become the editor of six journals relating to educational research and psychology. He also had been active in the eugenics movement during this time. Terman believed the IQ test measured a relatively fixed and hereditarily determined intelligence and that there existed marked differences in intellectual capacity between different races. Terman was an active member in the American Eugenics Society and the Eugenics Research Association throughout the 1920s.

Terman's Americanized Stanford-Binet test was published under an explicitly different imprimatur than the test's creator Alfred Binet would have ever even imagined, much less condoned;
all feeble-minded are at least potential criminals. That every feeble-minded woman is a potential prostitute would hardly be disputed by anyone. Moral judgement, like business judgement, social judgement, or any other kind of higher thought process, is a function of the near future intelligence tests will bring tens of thousands of these high-grade defectives under the surveillance and protection of society. This will ultimately result in curtailing the reproduction of feeble-mindedness and in the elimination of an enormous amount of crime, pauperism, and industrial inefficiency. It is hardly necessary to emphasize that the high-grade cases, of the type now so frequently overlooked, are precisely the ones whose guardianship is most important for the State to assume.
You can't know where you're going to, unless you know where you've been..., in my occasionally humble opinion, it's vitally important to know the pedigree and the heritable ideology of key members of the establishment, particularly as toxic eugenic ideas continue to surface in mainstream media outlets such as the NY Times repackaged and broadly reinjected into the American popular culture. That these folks comprised and continue to profoundly and foundationally influence broad sectors of the current U.S. Establishment - means that their influence and the specifics of their belief system continue to hold wide sway and must be vigorously exposed and repudiated.

Unlike Binet, whose goal had been to identify less able school children in order to aid them with the needed care required, Terman proposed using IQ tests to classify children and put them on the appropriate job-track if they passed muster as possessing acceptable intellectual hygiene. If not, then they should be sterilized as sources of contagion in the societal germ plasm. He believed IQ was inherited and was the strongest predictor of one's ultimate success in life. Terman had a self professed IQ of 180. From the very beginning of his testing regime, he administered English tests to Spanish-speakers and non-schooled African-Americans, concluding:

“High-grade or border-line deficiency… is very, very common among Spanish-Indian and Mexican families of the Southwest and also among negroes. Their dullness seems to be racial, or at least inherent in the family stocks from which they come… Children of this group should be segregated into separate classes… They cannot master abstractions but they can often be made into efficient workers… from a eugenic point of view they constitute a grave problem because of their unusually prolific breeding” (The Measurement of Intelligence, 1916, p. 91-92).

Terman's biased tests gave "scientific" proof that, for many Whites, justified racial discrimination, segregation, and even eugenics.

Terman later joined the Human Betterment Foundation, a Pasadena-based eugenics group founded by E.S. Gosney in 1928 which had as part of its agenda the promotion and enforcement of compulsory sterilization laws in California.

Lewis Terman was the father of Frederick Terman, who, as provost of the Stanford University, greatly expanded the science, statistics and engineering departments that helped catapult Stanford into the ranks of the world's first class educational institutions, as well as spurring the growth of Silicon Valley.

Frederick Terman is widely credited (together with William Shockley) with being the father of Silicon Valley.

In 1963 Shockley left the electronics industry and accepted an appointment at Stanford. There he became interested in the origins of human intelligence. Although he had no formal training in genetics or psychology, he began to formulate a theory of what he called dysgenics. Using data from the U.S. Army's crude pre-induction IQ tests, he concluded that African Americans were inherently less intelligent than Caucasians — an analysis that stirred wide controversy among laymen and experts in the field alike.

Nonetheless, Shockley pursued his inflammatory ideas in a series of articles and speeches. Regularly interrupted by boos and catcalls, he argued that remedial educational programs were a waste of time. He suggested that individuals with IQs below 100 be paid to undergo voluntary sterilization.


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