It's been several months since anyone posted in this thread, and I don't particularly feel like re-reading it (especially as I seem to remember it got derailed and sidetracked pretty quick), so I am just responding to Luke's post on its own, without reference to the rest of the thread.
Luke Skywalker wrote:1. Those who argue that book-dumb athletes still need to use their brains to play their sport don't seem to understand that this would actually support a distinction between two separate types of intelligence! I thought it was easy enough to understand that this thread is not for debating the difference between intelligence and the lack of intelligence, but between different types of intelligence.
The problem with arguments like this is that defining terms gets tricky real fast. How do you define intelligence? How do you delineate a "type" of intelligence? Are all cognitive faculties a "type" of intelligence? Theoretically, you could use this same logic to say that someone with an excellent sense of smell is really intelligent, but it's just a different type of intelligence.
Luke Skywalker wrote:2. Almost all stereotypes do have a basis in fact. When I point out that the highly intelligent tend to be less sexually active than the jock, I mean this as a broad generalization; pointing out that there exist exceptions to this rule does nothing to prove or disprove my point.
The problem is that you are assuming that "intelligent people are less sexually active" IS the rule. You have to first prove that this is the case before you can claim that other people are simply pointing out "exceptions" to this rule. Cultural stereotypes of this sort are both broadly inconsistent and persistent over time, you can't use the existence of a stereotype as ipso facto proof that it is accurate. Hell, it's tough to make the argument that stereotypes have a basis in fact when they can be mutually incompatible: for example, people from the Southern part of the United States have the stereotype both of being friendly ("southern hospitality") and of being violent (guns and racism). How do you reconcile these contradictions if you are assuming the stereotype is the rule to which we must prove the exception, as you are doing here?
Luke Skywalker wrote:But speaking of my point, I'm not trying to take a position either way. As petty as this may sound, I'd actually prefer to think that my mild absent mindedness is just a result of my mind wandering, and not my whatever-intelligence being markedly separate from my academic smarts.
I'm a little confused by what you mean here. Did anybody make the claim that absent mindedness was anything but just the result of your mind wandering?