The Invalidity of I.Q.

A letter to the New York Times;

To the Editor: 

Nicholas D. Kristof (“It’s a Smart, Smart, Smart World,” column, Dec. 13) cites the new book by James R. Flynn on the world’s rising I.Q. scores. Serious education scholars have long abandoned the I.Q. test as a measure of intelligence.  

Instead, Howard Gardner, the Harvard psychologist, has pre-empted the dialogue on intelligence. 

For more than 28 years, we in education have been confronted with Dr. Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. He states that there are eight intelligences, of which I.Q. constitutes but two, language and math. Others include spatial (art) and music. 

Jackson Pollock and Charlie Parker transformed art and music, but they may not have done especially well on the I.Q. test. 

MAURICE R. BERUBE
Norfolk, Va., Dec. 13, 2012
The writer is scholar emeritus at Old Dominion University and the co-author of “The End of School Reform.”


Jackson Pollock died at age 44 driving drunk. Charlie Parker died at 34. The police report estimated his age as 65. In Clint Eastwood's Parker biopic, "Bird," Dizzy Gillespie (who died at 75) tells Charlie they're going to make a movie out of his life because he's going to die young.