IQ, a History of Deceit

An investigation by Stéphane Bentura
Broadcast August 20, 2011 on France 5

IQ. Two letters. One of the most commonly shared fantasies in our modern world. French, American, British, Japanese people – every one cares about it. What does IQ really measure? Who invented it? Why and how was it diverted from its original purpose? Today, very few people are able to answer those questions. These two letters are omnipotent, they take advantage of people’s anxiety for themselves and the future of their children. IQ – two letters also hiding worrying ideologies: those who believe that IQ could be “innate” use it as scientific evidence that the poor are “genetically poor”, that at birth, “everything is predetermined”.

15 years ago, a Republican driven Congress was cutting welfare budgets based on the theory that poverty is innate. Today, human intelligence mysticism is back on tracks thanks to those who believe there is such thing as a “violence gene” or even a “homosexual gene” that would set each and every individual’s future. Serious scientific studies are trying tolink “sperm quality” to IQ. Some American agencies offer to breed “beauty queens” with “big IQs”.

The IQ imposture has been lasting for more than a century. Ever since migrants landing on Ellis Island, often quarantained, were asked to recognize drawings.