February 28, 2011

Smarts

Matt Hinton writes about the upcoming NFL draft:
Usually, leaked Wonderlic scores are embarrassingly low. Not so, however, for Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy, who nearly aced the test, scoring a 48 out of a possible 50 according to his hometown Fort Worth Star-Telegram. That score puts him on the high, high end of potential employees in any field, and especially among NFL quarterbacks. A 48 is twice the league average for incoming QBs, and matches the highest score for a quarterback on record, belonging to current Buffalo Bills starter Ryan Fitzpatrick, a Harvard grad. (Here is the most complete database of Wonderlic scores by quarterbacks through 2006. Only one other starter last year, the 49ers' Alex Smith, managed a 40 on the test; only one NFL player former Bengals punter Pat McInally – another Harvard grad – is believed to have scored a perfect fifty.)

By that standard, McElroy is one of the smartest quarterbacks in league history – no surprise, considering he was a finalist for a Rhodes scholarship last fall and has always been praised more for his poise and decision-making than his arm or athleticism.

If the mean on the Wonderlic IQ test is 21, and each additional right answer is worth 2 points, then a 48 is equal to a 154 IQ. On the other hand, I suspect the kind of guy who is aiming for an NFL quarterback career might do some serious test prep. In the case of one college quarterback who jumped from 94 to 136 in his two tries, you gotta wonder if his agent might have pulled a few strings. (Wonderlics by position here.)

If you take Peyton Manning as the gold standard of NFL quarterbacks (114) and Eli Manning (136) as representative of the merely pretty good NFL quarterback, then the usefulness of the test starts to look like it might be more in answering questions like: Smart enough to stay out of jail? Smart enough to not get caught for steroids? Smart enough to learn the playbook?

Meanwhile, Natalie Angier in the NYT riffs off Natalie Portman's Oscar:
Among the lesser-known but nonetheless depressingly impressive details in Ms. Portman’s altogether too precociously storied career is that as a student at Syosset High School on Long Island back in the late 1990s, Ms. Portman made it all the way to the semifinal rounds of the Intel competition. ...

Ms. Portman is one of a handful of high-profile actors who happen to have serious scientific credentials — awards, degrees, patents and theorems in their name. 

Natalie Angier being Natalie Angier, she goes on to list only female actresses such as Hedy Lamarr, who co-invented frequency-hopping for confidential radio transmissions. One actor ignored by Angier is action hero Dolph Lundgren, who came to America on Fulbright Scholarship to get an advanced degree at MIT.

Among directors, sci-tech-eng skills are not uncommon. Frank Capra was a chemical engineering graduate of Cal Tech, for instance.


72 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is there any real evidence that quarterbacks need brains? Or is this just a popular superstition that grew out of the defense of white quarterbacks?

I would think that you could take total yardage as your dependent variable and run it against things like pain threshold, arm strength, foot speed, and others variables. I would be surprised if IQ explained much variance.

But what do I know? I'm the Ninja Warrior fan. All football looks dumb to me.

Albertosaurus

FactChecker said...

It's time to keep you honest:

1. so smart's don't pay in the NFL? Peyton Manning has lower scores than Eli Manning, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Greg McElroy, and don't forget Chad Pennington, but he's better than all of them.

2. of the 69 years this Intel competition has been around, are you saying only 1 semifinalist or finalist is a famous person? Refer to this Malcolm Gladwell piece about unimpressive nerdy Hunter College graduates:

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/10/10/051010crat_atlarge?currentPage=4

Most of the scientific "moguls" like Gates and Zuckerberg seem like jerks or rule breakers incapable of complying with the rules of a stodgy contest.

3. If she's so smart, how did she get pregnant before her marriage?

-------------

IQ is important, but we can't forget intelligence is a means not an end. Granted at the sky-high macro Pat Buchanan level, you can't legislate IQ as a means, but you can legislate IQ as an end, by way of tighter immigration and more conservative social policy.

We need to be clear that the end is a happy, healthy, productive society and we think high IQ is one of the ingredients, but its not the only ingredient.

Glossy said...

"If she's so smart, how did she get pregnant before her marriage?"

Sadly, that question remains legitimate even after the last three words are removed.

josh said...

I can never hear the name Hedy Lamarr w/o thinking of Harvey Korman. I dont think anyone can. McElroy...Fitzpatrick...McInally...Why did these high IQ WASPs adopt Irish names?

spmeguy said...

This is why I visit this blog constantly: Heddy Lamar, football, and IQ all in the same post. I love it. I couldn't make out any pattern in the Wonderlic scores. Is there a bell shaped curve between success and the score?

Anonymous said...

Factchecker - 1. Was Steve saying smarts dont count in the NFL? Thats not how I read it.

2. After 69 years of the Intel competition, only one famous semi-finalist? Again thats not how I read it.

Anonymous said...

Just for Sh*ts and Giggles. This guy was recently removed after some of his insane FB postings.

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BY Joseph Kenan, M.D.
When first I joined ASAP seven years ago, I saw the organization as a strong, vibrant, and thriving organization…
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Finally, ABAP (American Board of Adolescent Psychiatry) and ASAP merged. The ASAP governing board has established a new council on Board Certification in Adolescent Psychiatry with our own Richard Ratner, M.D. as council chair. The council is working to develop a new exam at this time but board certification for Adolescent Psychiatry is ALIVE AND WELL.
Mark your calendars: the next ASAP conference is MARCH 26 and 27, 2011 in New York….
And that’s the State of the Organization. Thank you. Good night.

Whiskey said...

James Woods has an advanced math degree. He's astonishingly smart.

I suspect Peyton's real IQ is quite a bit higher than his Wonderlic score would indicate. He has a football obsessed mind, his idea of fun is watching games to break down defensive tendencies. Football is like chess with moving players colliding for him, I'd bet.

CrabbyCakes said...

@Glossy:

"If she's so smart, how did she get pregnant before her marriage?"

"Sadly, that question remains legitimate even after the last three words are removed."

Is it all right with you if intelligent young women reproduce after marriage?

Anonymous said...

hope he doesnt' get brain damage like most NFL players-the sport should be banned or seriously curbed - i think malcolm gladwel wrote an article to that effect.

Glossy said...

"Is it all right with you if intelligent young women reproduce after marriage?"

Yes, it's all right with me. Did you notice the word "sadly" in my comment?

agnostic said...

McElroy, Fitzpatrick, McInally, Manning, Manning...

So that's where the brainy Celtic people wind up (along with the military). Granted there was the Scottish Enlightenment, but overall they don't produce as many abstract and nerdy thinkers as their English neighbors do.

They'd rather use their brains to successfully lead their real or fictive kin to victory over the rival tribes. Or plan a raid of a neighboring clan's herd of sheep. Or charm up and seduce the local milkmaids (Bill Murray).

If you only have these pastoralist tendencies, your society looks like the Arabian peninsula or Eastern Africa. Too trigger-happy.

But if you only have sedentary farmers, you wind up stuck in a prudish, boring, and risk-averse rut like the Chinese. Too defensive.

Mix the herders and the farmers, and the society will have both a gun and a bulletproof vest. Hard to stop.

Big Bill said...

Natalie Angier writes an article about Hedy Lamarr, Portman, and Mayim Bialik? Hmm. What could the connection be?

Anonymous said...

"If she's so smart, how did she get pregnant before her marriage?"

She probably doesn't believe in marriage; a common attitude among highly promiscuous people like actors

Anonymous said...

". If she's so smart, how did she get pregnant before her marriage?

Maybe she doesn't care. It isn't like you get much criticism today for that. There is no stigma anymore. It may not be bad for the rich,but it's bad for the masses. She has plenty of money, so she doesn't need a husband to help with finances.

Anonymous said...

OK, so Portman maybe got pregnant accidentally before her wedding or else didn't care but I don't think it's any accident that her father is a fertility expert. I mean this girl is the embodiment of feminine perfection: brains, beauty, and extremely high on empathy. She also has a grandmother who was a spy.

Also, she has said that McCain was an extremely moral person & has given lectures on terrorism. I always thought McCain deliberately threw the 2008 election and was a closet Dem.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what Cameron Newton's Wonderlic score was? I'm sure his handlers made sure he didn't do as poorly as Vince Young did in 2006 with a 6 (Allegedly) Then they later claimed is was scored wrong and he was allowed to retake it and apparently got a 16. Couldn't the NFL just grade it correctly? Why the retake? No one who scores high is given a retake. Anyway, getting back to one of Steve's points, who exactly proctors these tests and why do you get to retake it if you score low? And how do you drastically improve your score a few days later? Well don't look to the MSM for answers to these questions. BTW, Newton may have hurt his draft stock with a poor throwing day at the combine, going only 11-21 in his passing drills.

Anonymous said...

Greg McElroy has an IQ of 154? If true, he's smarter than all his college professors.

You'd think somebody would have noticed, before.

The Bear said...

Finally! A college football post! And not just any college football post, but one about the Tide's former QB. No doubt he's a smart kid, but he'll never be anything other than a backup in the pros, if he's lucky. He lead Bama to a national title his junior season, completing 6 passes for 58 yards in the championship game against Texas. His contribution was basically not to make any mistakes.

Last season Bama lost 3 games, including blowing a 24 point halftime lead, AT HOME, to instate rival and eventual national champ Auburn. Their black quarterback, Heisman Tropy winner Cam Netwon, who'll be lucky to break double digits on the Wonderlic, kicked our collective *&$, pretty much on his own.

Bottom line: Auburn's black players were better than ours. We're race realists around here and that's why the state of Alabama, in particular, and the Southeastern Conference, in general, rule college football. Imagine what our country could accomplish if adopted race realism in all matters.

Anonymous said...

>I always thought McCain deliberately threw the 2008 election and was a closet Dem.

Me too, but maybe he was honestly dumb enough to hire a campaign manager who warned him he'd quit if it came down to a McCain/Obama race. Maybe McCain is honestly dumb enough to expect that backing immigration amnesty would get the Mexican vote. Maybe McCain was honestly dumb enough to think that good press RINOs get for badmouthing real Republicans would stay good when he ran against a Democrat.

Gary Wong said...

" Granted there was the Scottish Enlightenment, but overall they don't produce as many abstract and nerdy thinkers as their English neighbors do."

What utter rubbish - Scotland has always produced a dispropotionate number of great and remarkable minds. The number of outstanding figures in the areas of literature, philosphy and science who are of Scottish descent is extraordinary given the country's modest population.

Scots were also renowned during Britain's imperial heyday as an unrivalled supply of technical and engineering talent - hence the still undiminished stereotype of the Scottish ship's engineer.

The Scottish are overrepresented in England today within the country's political and entrepreneurial classes, and in the Australian city of Melbourne , Australians of Scottish-descent originally comprised the economically-dominant patrician-class elite.

Seems like Agnostic knows as much about areas peripheral to his core interests as he does about the subtle particulars of human social interaction and the opposite sex.

Gary Wong.

agnostic said...

Somehow Natalie Angier forget about Cindy Crawford, high school valedictorian who won a scholarship to Northwestern to study chemical engineering -- an even science-geekier subject than the people-focused neuro fields.

But Cindy was obviously secure enough about her brains that she didn't need to waste time getting another trophy to put on the shelf to impress her parents ("my daughter, the doctorate"), if she wanted to become a pop culture figure instead of an academic.

Yet looking pretty for the boys, especially in order to sell stuff, doesn't advance The Cause, so she gets blacklisted from Angier's hall of fame.

Just like a female to completely ostracize the not merely good-looking but mega-babalicious girl. The female mind may mature earlier, but lifetime development sure doesn't reach a higher level -- it's like they're still in middle school.

Anonymous said...

McElroy seems to have small hands. He had to "get behind" the football to get a great amount of velocity on the ball, which means a kind of "wind-up" type delivery. This takes an extra fraction of a second and is the equivalent of a longer-delivery. Manning and Brady have very short, very compact, quick deliveries. When they decide to throw the ball to X, its almost immediately out and going to X. That half-second difference between quick deliveries and average throwing motions is two-or-three yards for many defensive backs and is the difference between an open reciever and a not open reciever.

McElroy is interested in a career in politics and has stated that in several interviews. His is super-articulate in person.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkV3XAbrwdM

There is Greg McElroy being interviewed before his first start as a Junior at Alabama. He had never been heavily interviewed before, because he wasn't the starter before.

If you watch the six minute interview, you cannot help to be impressed by how easily articulate he is, even before his first start. Contrast him to our teleprompted politicians.

jody said...

i heard a rumor that james woods scored a perfect or near perfect SAT. i'm not willing to investigate that much, google seems to think the score was either 1570 or 1600 according to various sources. but that was decades ago back when the SAT was harder. and he did go to MIT.

i also heard james franco took 5 classes per semester at UCLA and had a 4.0 GPA before dropping out. again, not willing to go through the trouble of checking the specific numbers on his first, failed stint at college. but he did go back and finish, and now, he's going to two different colleges at the same time, one for a PHD and another for who knows what.

jody said...

i've been down on the methods used in the NFL combine for a couple years now. my thinking has changed to be more along the lines of, "strong enough"? "fast enough"? "smart enough"? that is probably the value of the tests and measurements.

some of the tests are not specific enough and some are not hard enough. also, the results of the 40 yard dash are now used in the wrong way. plus there seems to be no standard procedure for measuring the players electronically in this test, which is head scratching in 2011.

last year i concluded a 15 year personal study into strength in sports, which really moved me away from the "rank them by strength" way of thinking into the "strong enough" category. super strength just seemed to be not particularly applicable in many sports situations where i thought it would make more of a difference. i'm certain it's the same with speed and intelligence.

jody said...

ryan fitzpatrick was better at running than throwing when he came into the NFL. his throwing has improved, but he's still like the number 4 running quarterback. he's a strange combination of traits.

Anonymous said...

James Woods has an advanced math degree. He's astonishingly smart.

I agree he's a smart guy, but he majored in political science (at MIT), though he started out as a pre-med student. As I recall, he dropped out of MIT to pursue acting.

Re Natalie Portman: I remember seeing her interviewed by Jon Stewart shortly after she'd been accepted to Harvard. She came across as a very bright kid (Stewart quizzed her on bio, chem, history, etc., and she aced it.) Then a few years later, after her Harvard education and some time spent living in Hollywood, I heard her interviewed again and she sounded like a typically vapid, pretentious Hollywood ninny. Between old Crimson and La La Land, they sure managed to suck out all her brains, poor kid.

agnostic said...

"The Scottish are overrepresented in England today within the country's political and entrepreneurial classes, "

Hey geek, I said there were less geared to abstract and nerdy pursuits, less suited to the cloister of the pallid academic, not that they weren't involved in the arts and humanities or even the more applied sciences and business.

airtommy said...

Liberal activist Natalie Portman's bio reeks of "Diversity for thee, but not for me".

"In Washington, D.C., Portman attended Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. Portman attended a Jewish elementary school, the Solomon Schechter Day School of Glen Cove, New York. She graduated from Syosset High School in Syosset, Long Island."

Presumably her two Jewish schools were about 99% NAM-free. Wiki says that Syosset is about 3.5% NAM, which is about as low a number as you'll see today in America, so she felt it was acceptable to attend a public school there.

She also publicly states that she wants her children to be ethno-centric.

Anonymous said...

" Granted there was the Scottish Enlightenment, but overall they don't produce as many abstract and nerdy thinkers as their English neighbors do."

Scotland sired James Clerk Maxwell who was the first to write down the electromagnetic field equations; only Newton made a comparable contribution to Physics.

Cinco Jotas said...

Speaking of very high Wonderlic scores, Washington Redskins cornerback Kevin Barnes reportedly scored a 41, which translates to a 141 IQ, thus qualifying him to be a future president of the United States...

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/apr/23/barnes-licks-the-wonderlic/

Truth said...

"suspect Peyton's real IQ is quite a bit higher than his Wonderlic score would indicate."

HE SCORED 114 ON A FUCKING IQ TEST, THAT MAKES HIS REAL IQ (whatever the fuck that is) 114!

Ray Sawhill said...

Lisa Kudrow has a biology degree from Vassar.

Truth said...

"McElroy is interested in a career in politics and has stated that in several interviews. His is super-articulate in person."

I watched about 30 seconds of the clip you provided. Winston Churchill, there, used about 9 cliches.

Ole#12 said...

Overachiever: Terry Bradshaw had a 15 on the Wonderlic but he got four Super Bowl rings calling his own darn plays. Hoo-doggie!

Anonymous said...

Judging from his posts, Truth's IQ is pretty low.

Anonymous said...

Re our friends the haggis fans, Richard Lynn has said low scottish IQ was caused by selective migration. For the last few hundred years any Jock with something going on upstairs has taken a look at the dreary surroundings and lit out for someplace with better prospects.

http://news.scotsman.com/scotlandspopulation/Scotland-lags-Europe-in-IQ.2762056.jp

"Prof Lynn said: "I believe this has been caused by selective migration. Over the course of two centuries, there has been a trend for more intelligent Scots to migrate to London and beyond, to New Zealand, Australia, the United States and Canada.

Once in London, for instance, they have settled and reared children, who have inherited their high intelligence and transmitted it to further generations."

Prof Lynn claimed that Scotland was not alone in suffering from a long-term brain drain.

He said Corsica had a lower IQ than Paris because people gravitated to the economic powerhouses of major cities. Prof Lynn said: "This has hit Scotland particularly hard, so I was not surprised with this finding."

The survey showed huge variations in IQ across Europe, as well as within the UK. Scotland is 16th out of the 23 European nations, with eastern Europe filling most of the places below that.

Russia, Greece, France, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Serbia all score lower averages than Scotland, with Serbians notching up just 89 IQ points on average.

The European bright sparks, according to Prof Lynn, are the Germans and the Dutch (107 IQ points) and Poland (106 IQ points). The UK as a whole comes eighth, behind Sweden (104), Italy (102), Austria (101) and Switzerland (101). "

Whiskey said...

Peter Weller (Robocop himself) has a Phd in Italian Art History. He speaks/reads/writes Italian.

Cam Newton is likely to be bust in the NFL. A running QB can dominate for a while, but like Donovan McNabb, or Michael Vick, or Randall Cunningham, the legs give out.

Its all academic anyway. The NFL is hell bent for a lockout. They need it. Their owners are way over-extended, even with partial public financing of stadiums. They have not been able to grow abroad. Revenues in TV and attendance and merchandising are flat or declining. And they need revenue growth to bail-out some owners who want to sell, and others who need to meet debt covenants. So they must regain about $1 billion from players, hence a lockout.

Stuff Black People Don't Like said...

I'm quite interested in seeing Cam Newton's Wonderlic score.

The guy cheated at Florida, throws a stolen laptop out of his window while cops wait outside his room (told them he had to call his lawyer) and is from one of the least desirable cities in America.

But he can throw a football, so those who love the opiate of America only clap.

Anonymous said...

"plus there seems to be no standard procedure for measuring the players electronically in this test"

They've been measured electronically for a decade or so.

"last year i concluded a 15 year personal study into strength in sports"

I'd be really interested to see this because I've never seen any study that compared 1RM of elite athletes.

"super strength just seemed to be not particularly applicable in many sports situations where i thought it would make more of a difference. i'm certain it's the same with speed"

One doesn't have super strength without a loss in speed. The opposite is also true. If you're looking to correlate athletic measurables with athletic success, you should pick a lift somewhere in the middle of the speed strength continuum, e.g. power clean or power snatch.

"and intelligence."

If by "intelligence" you mean g, I completely agree. My best friend is around Peyton's IQ and is the best game player I've ever seen. I saw him beat a couple experienced friends with similar IQ's (135-140) at Go the very first time he played it. When we were in 6th grade he watched some rather skilled adults play Mortal Kombat for a few minutes before he racked up a 30 win streak. IOW, g is general. McElroy is smart in all kinds of ways, unfortunately timing a rush isn't one of them.

eh said...

Ha! Heath Schuler scored a lowly 16. He's now a Congressman. A Democrat.

TR said...

agnostic, I think you're overthinking things - setting out to study chemical engineering isn't the same thing as proving you can actually hack it. Lofty goals don't prove smarts. An actual degree, awards, etc. in a challenging subject does. Including Crawford in that article because she took one semester of coursework would make her look like an AA hire whose resume is painfully thin next to everyone else's.

Of course, Crawford was at the beginning of her career so dropping out made sense - the others were mid-career child actors on the cusp of adulthood, which is when a lot of child stars get out of show biz, at least temporarily - either because the opportunities aren't there, or because they want to take a breather & try something else (though Bialick & McKellar were probably just as driven by a strong interest in their subject - if you want a useless trophy, a Harvard English degree will do. Why sweat it out in math or neurobiology?)

No need to get outraged. There's room in our hearts for all kinds of hot polymathic chicks.

Gary Wong said...

Agnostic said: "Hey geek, I said there were less geared to abstract and nerdy pursuits, less suited to the cloister of the pallid academic, not that they weren't involved in the arts and humanities or even the more applied sciences and business."

Yeah, and you're still wrong. You only quoted a portion of my post - the rest made reference to the fact that the Scots are renowned for their cerebral prowess as inventors and engineers - and are also massively overrepresented in the fields of philosophy and science. Just look at a list of the key figures from the scientific and industrial revolutions - a remarkable number were Scottish.

" to the cloister of the pallid academic"

Cheesy, overwrought writing.

Anonymous said...

Per Anonymous (well one of us) on Lynn, the Germans and the Dutch have IQs higher than the east Asians.

goatweed

Anonymous said...

I suspect anyone with a couple of million dollars lying around from a career as a child actor can get into Harvard. It probably helps your scientific accumen not having to waste time in public schools, too.

Anonymous said...

"We need to be clear that the end is a happy, healthy, productive society and we think high IQ is one of the ingredients, but its not the only ingredient."

My conjecture is that to have a happy healthy society you need a nice smooth Gaussian distribution of intelligence centered at about 100.

My fear is that the US is headed for a bimodal distribution of IQ with a large peak at 85 and a substantially smaller peak at 115.

Anonymous said...

Natalie Portman looks like the kind of woman you feel you should be turned on by, but you aren't.

Anonymous said...

Scotland sired James Clerk Maxwell who was the first to write down the electromagnetic field equations; only Newton made a comparable contribution to Physics.
No Einstein and Fenymen are the greatest, eva! eva! no one is nearly as smart. Physics may well as not existed before then!

Concerning Crawford, did she reproduce with saxon stock? any idea if she has in HBD savvy today - or just feel good Bono/Bradjolie globalism?

Anonymous said...

the only IQ a quarterback needs is 'lose the ball before the 300 lb black guy or Samoan crushes me'.

Jehu said...

The wonderlic is a 12 minute test with 50 questions. Thus you've got a little less than 15 seconds on average per question. That means it is very easy to score less than your actual potential if your 'game' on such tests isn't good. THe old computation test section of the ASVAB was similar---the testers as much as said that they didn't expect anyone to actualy finish the test. Most students don't actually have a lot of experience with tests that put such a premium on speed. Someone who gets hung up on a question for even a minute or two can seriously tank their score. So it's not too surprising that some NFL players did a lot better on a retest than on their first administration.

Kylie said...

"Judging from his posts, Truth's IQ is pretty low."

Low for this crowd, yes, but I bet his IQ is average or slightly above, at least 100.

He's better at verbal manipulation than he is at constructing a logical argument (i.e., scoring cheap points rather than making valid ones) but he's got plenty of company there.

We make a mistake when we habitually underestimate all those who, to be blunt, have dumb opinions. Get Truth off the topic of race (not easy to do, I know) and he can be quite insightful.

Fred said...

What's interesting about Peyton and Eli Manning is that the smarter one (Eli) also seems like the more well-adjusted one. And for all Peyton's fancy stats, Eli has as many Super Bowl wins.

Anonymous said...

"McElroy, Fitzpatrick, McInally, Manning, Manning...

So that's where the brainy Celtic people wind up (along with the military). Granted there was the Scottish Enlightenment, but overall they don't produce as many abstract and nerdy thinkers as their English neighbors do."

The first three are 'Celtic' (actually Celts have little to do with the British Isles...), but Manning is an English name. Mannings are most common in East Anglia, in particular Suffolk.

http://gbnames.publicprofiler.org/Map2.aspx?name=MANNING&year=1881&altyear=1998&country=GB&type=name

http://gbnames.publicprofiler.org/Map.aspx?name=MANNING&year=1998&altyear=1881&country=GB&type=name

http://gbnames.publicprofiler.org/Comparisons.aspx?name=MANNING&year=1998&altyear=1881&country=GB&type=name

http://gbnames.publicprofiler.org/Statistics.aspx?name=MANNING&year=1998&altyear=1881&country=GB&type=name

keypusher said...

Steve, that wonderlic chart by position dates from the 1980s. Anything been done more recently?

Is there any real evidence that quarterbacks need brains?

There is surely some minimum below which you can't learn the playbook. That aside...

Basically wonderlic scores by position seem to measure how white the position is. The highest averages are at kicker and punter, two positions which impose pretty much zero cognitive demands. But they are all-white positions, or nearly.

At the opposite extreme, white cornerbacks pretty much don't exist. Speed and athleticism are not optional at cornerback.

I think qb remains a majority white position not because of IQ but because black advantages in speed and athleticism aren't so important there. Michael Vick is spectacular to watch and (last year) a terrific quarterback, but he still wasn't as good as Brady or Peyton Manning.

greenrivervalleyman said...

Director Paul Verhoeven (Show Girls) I think got a doctorate in physics. Didn't Will Smith also briefly go to M.I.T? Even with affirmative action I'd say that's impressive and means he's probably significantly brainier than Obama.

Philo said...

Your link gives Ryan Fitzpatrick's Wonderlic score as 38, not 48. I wonder how accurate the rest of the list is.

eh said...

I'm quite interested in seeing Cam Newton's Wonderlic score.

That makes one of you. Personally I think you ought to be more interested in how a guy who scored 16 got into Congress.

Truth said...

"Judging from his posts, Truth's IQ is pretty low"

So Whiskey, what does that make my "real" IQ?

"Get Truth off the topic of race (not easy to do, I know) and he can be quite insightful."

Well Kylie, that's actually quite nice of you.

Anonymous said...

McElroy has a 3.82 GPA in business marketing from Alabama. He's now mastering in Sports Administration, with a 4.0.

Wonderlic can be converted to IQ, but I'm skeptical if it's really an IQ test. Vince Young went from a 6 to a 15, which represents an 18point IQ boost. No way is that possible. The test has got to be highly coachable.

Here are some QB IQs based on Wonderlic:

Michael Vick - 100 IQ
Marcus Vick (Vick's bro) - 82 IQ
Steve Young - 126
Drew Brees - 116
Tom Brady - 126
Chad Pennington - 110
Drew Bledsoe - 134
Donovan McNabb - 88
David Garrard - 88
Dan Marino - 92
Eli Manning - 138
John Elway - 120
Brett Favre - 104
Ben Roesthlisberger - 110
Mark Sanchez - 116
Matt Haselbeck - 118
Matt Leinart - 130
Tony Romo - 134
Jarmacu Russel - 108

If you accept Wonderlic as an IQ test, Michael Vick is smarter than the majority of Americans. Jamarcus Russel is a decently bright guy. Eli Manning is above the top 1 percent of Americans. Tom Brady is in the top 4 percent. No way can you be that smart and not have people notice.

Besides, the 18 point IQ gap between Michael Vick and Marcus Vick seems funny too.

The lowest Wonderlic score this year is about 80 IQ (10). Sounds funny too.

Anonymous said...

Natalie Portman looks like the kind of woman you feel you should be turned on by, but you aren't.

Yeah, even today she still seems more like a kid than a grown woman. I've noticed that the guys who are really into her tend to be either adolescent boys or men who give off a slight pedophilic vibe.

Anonymous said...

I crunched the numbers for the NFL'
s starting quarterbacks and here are the stats (based on Wonderlic scores):

Mean Quarterback IQ: 116.5
Median Quarterback IQ: 116

Mean White QB IQ: 119.5
Median White QB IQ: 117

Mean Black QB IQ: 88.6
Median Black QB IQ: 88

If we take the medians, whites exceed blacks by 28 IQ points. Almost 2 standard deviations. For means, it's about the same.

That's about twice the white-black gap of 14 IQ points (Charles Murray). I think the test has to be coachable and whites must be studying more, on top of having an advantage on g. Or perhaps learning the Wonderlic material isn't so hard if you have a mean IQ above a certain threshold, which whites exceed much more often than blacks. I sincerely doubt there could be a 2 SD gap between white and blacks QBs. No way.

Anonymous said...

I suspect anyone with a couple of million dollars lying around from a career as a child actor can get into Harvard.

Yeah, the Ivy League LOVES movie people. Note how actors, actresses, and the sons and daughters of actors/directors/producers are well represented at Harvard and Yale in particular. The Ivies seem to regard them on a par with the scions of east coast Old Money dynasties.

The Fresh Prince said...

greenrivervalleyman said...

Director Paul Verhoeven (Show Girls) I think got a doctorate in physics. Didn't Will Smith also briefly go to M.I.T? Even with affirmative action I'd say that's impressive and means he's probably significantly brainier than Obama.


Half right,

Verhoeven received a doctorandus degree (M.Sc) in math and physics from the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. He never used his degree, opting instead to invest his energies in a career in film.

While it is widely reported that Smith turned down a scholarship to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he never applied to MIT,[9] although he was admitted to a "pre-engineering program" there.[8] According to Smith, "My mother, who worked for the School Board of Philadelphia, had a friend who was the admissions officer at MIT. I had pretty high SAT scores and they needed black kids, so I probably could have gotten in.

Anonymous said...

Portman has nice credentials. I'd bet she is pretty damn smart. That said, she's classically good looking too. That probably helped a lot with the acting career.

Same with Dolph Lungren. I believe he was a champion kick-boxer. Good background for an action movie guy. Though in his case it seems like he could have gone farther.

Anonymous said...

“That's about twice the white-black gap of 14 IQ points (Charles Murray).”

You mean the 1.1 S.D. (16.5 point) white-black gap?

“I think the test has to be coachable and whites must be studying more, on top of having an advantage on g. Or perhaps learning the Wonderlic material isn't so hard if you have a mean IQ above a certain threshold, which whites exceed much more often than blacks. I sincerely doubt there could be a 2 SD gap between white and blacks QBs. No way.”

Do black QBs have a 2 SD athleticism gap in their favor? There is more than one way to have success (at least to a certain point) as an NFL QB. You can be a running QB and win with your legs or a precision passer that picks apart defenses with your mind and hand-eye coordination. Some (e.g., Steve Young, Aaron Rogers) can do both. Perhaps most white QBs reach the NFL based on a different skill set than most black QBs do.


“Besides, the 18 point IQ gap between Michael Vick and Marcus Vick seems funny too.”

The average gap between two siblings is 11 or 12 points. Half the time the difference is more, half the time less. Remember, siblings only share half their genes on average.

Anonymous said...

Charles Murray reports the IQ gap between white and black youth at 14 points.

If blacks are 2 SD lower, they'd pretty much never throw and would get sacked a lot. If they did throw, it'd likely be incomplete or an interception almost every time. Almost nonexistent completion percentage. Is that an accurate reflection of how black QBs play? No.

Mike Hunt said...

Winnie Cooper is a bona fide mathemetician.

Anonymous said...

Does a mean Wonderlic score of 21, roughly equate to an IQ of 100? The vast majority of these supposed current college students going to the NFL it that most of them have a Wonderlic under 21. It would be interesting to test non athlete college freshman with there Football playing brethren on this test. I'm sure we get further proof that the student/athlete in NCAA money sports (football, basketball) is a oxymoron.

Anonymous said...

Per Anonymous (well one of us) on Lynn, the Germans and the Dutch have IQs higher than the east Asians.

I wonder if that was one of the genetic sources of Ashkenazi Jewish smarts.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing James Franco has a higher IQ than Natalie Portman. Unfortanately that didn't translate into being an entertaining Oscar host.

travis said...

The first three are 'Celtic' (actually Celts have little to do with the British Isles...), but Manning is an English name. Mannings are most common in East Anglia, in particular Suffolk.

The Mannings are descended from the Mannings of South Carolina (see here.) There is even a Manning, South Carolina. So most likely Peyton's and Eli's family migrated from the North of England (Yorkshire, Lanchshire). Besides I've met their father, Archie. He came across as a real Southern gentlement. I sense no hint of any Anglian/Puritan/Yankee fanaticism in his disposition.

Anonymous said...

"Mix the herders and the farmers, and the society will have both a gun and a bulletproof vest. Hard to stop."

OK. Little man.

Now explain to me then why WASPs are are minority in their own countries to other whites. And why whites are disappearing asymptotically wrt to world. I guess having a gun & and bulletproof vest makes people arrogant? An arrogance always gets its comeuppance. What say you, genius?