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  • The Mismeasure of Man is a 1981 book by Harvard evolutionary biologist, paleontologist, and historian of science Stephen Jay Gould. It is both a history and critique of the statistical methods and cultural motivations underlying biological determinism, the belief that "the social and economic differences between human groups—primarily races, classes, and sexes—arise from inherited, inborn distinctions and that society, in this sense, is an accurate reflection of biology." The principal theme of biological determinism—that "worth can be assigned to individuals and groups by measuring intelligence as a single quantity"—is analyzed in discussions of craniometry and psychological testing, the two methods used to measure and establish intelligence as a single quantity. According to Gould, the methods harbor "two deep fallacies." The first is the fallacy of "reification", which is "our tendency to convert abstract concepts into entities" such as the intelligence quotient and the general intelligence factor, which have been the cornerstones of much research into human intelligence. The second fallacy is "ranking", which is the "propensity for ordering complex variation as a gradual ascending scale." Wikipedia

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