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Matthew Hoy currently works as a metro page designer at the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The opinions presented here do not represent those of the Union-Tribune and are solely those of the author.

If you have any opinions or comments, please e-mail the author at: hoystory -at- cox -dot- net.

Dec. 7, 2001
Christian Coalition Challenged
Hoystory interviews al Qaeda
Fisking Fritz
Politicizing Prescription Drugs

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Friday, November 05, 2004
Election fallout continues: You can count the number of conservatives in a newsroom of several hundred people on your fingers -- with no need to borrow those of a friend. Last night I was asking an editor about the length of a story she was editing and she was really excited to show me something that one of her reporters had found for her on the Internet. It was a chart showing the average IQ by state and who each one voted for. She seemed very impressed with the "fact" that all of the smart states voted Democrat, and all of the dumb ones Republican.

I just shook my head and told her the chart is bogus. The average IQ of any state -- even with the smaller ones with only hundreds of thousands of people -- is 100. 100 is the average IQ -- period. If you get a large enough group of people -- and a state is plenty large enough -- the average IQ is 100. I reminded her of Garrison Keillor's statement about Lake Wobegon, "where all the children are above average."

I think I dampened her enthusiasm and engaged her critical thinking skills, but it should come as no surprise that some Democrats (and British newspapers) take refuge in the perceived superior intelligence following the shellacking they received Tuesday.

12:13 PM

I have to disagree with you. The average IQ of a large group of people is not necessarily 100. If I look at the group of college professors, the IQ won't be 100. If the IQ of any state is even fractionally less than another, then that result will be highly statistically significant; however, the fact that there's a variance in the IQs of the states doesn't surprise me at all, and it's certainly possible. Although I would think that a state-wide IQ average would be even more problematic than exit polls.
In 'The Bell Curve', Murray and Herrnstein lay out the IQ differences between large groups of people, by gene pools. Recently another book came out comparing GDP of various nations and correlating GDP with the IQ of the masses of the people. The 100 IQ number apparently only holds for certain genetic groups. For blacks, for instance, the average IQ (American blacks) is 15 or more points under the Caucasian average. So, since Democrats have around 90% of the black vote, that should lower their average IQ. That sounds like racism, but is only realism. One can argue, however, about whether IQ really means anything. If you're going to use the concept, though, it's hard to argue with Murray's exposition.
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