The Instigator
Pro (for)
1 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

IQ numbers are meaningless.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/6/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,117 times Debate No: 58617
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




Hello, Today I will tell you why the IQ number is a meaningless number and that intelligence is not marked by a person's IQ level.

The first point I'm going to make is that the IQ test is outdated. IQ tests have been used for over 100 years in schools and back then they actually did mean what your future was going to be. Having a high IQ reading back then decided your job, your income etc. The IQ test has overstayed its welcome and now some schools still use it but they forget how meaningless it is.

The second point I'm going to make is that there are multiple types of intelligence. For example, artists aren't "intelligent" in the sense of the word at first, but in a sense they are intelligent as one of these intelligences is "Picture Smart" Athletes are smart in the sense of "Body Smart" The point I'm making is how vague of a word "intelligence" is. It could mean anything almost.

There's a secondary school in the UK called the Richard Hale school which uses the multiple intelligences in its classes where the students can show what happens using their part of intelligence. The whole teaching style seems very successful as you learn more from things which are more interesting and understand how other students learn themselves. Here's a video of that school using the multiple intelligence theory.

The literal meaning of intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. So that means a football player who can dribble past 5 defenders and score a goal is intelligent as he applied the skills he has learnt. An artist learns more brush techniques and applies them well, That means that she is intelligent. My point here is that IQ is a very small part of intelligence and it shouldn't be the marker of intelligence and shouldn't mark your future.



The definition of "meaningless" shall be: without meaning, significance, purpose, or value; purposeless; insignificant [1]. I want everyone to especially notice the reference to the part where something "meaningless" is referred to as having no purpose or value. With this in mind, all I have to do in order to win the debate is to illustrate IQ tests having at least one purpose or value. If I can do that, I've won. This debate is not about if IQ tests could be improved, and it's not about if there are other ways to determine one's value to society. The resolution is whether nor not IQ tests and their numbers are meaningless.

Here is some purposes for IQ tests [2];

Identification of Strengths
An intelligence test can help someone identify their academic strengths. A person may discover a previous unknown verbal fluency, or become more aware of numeric abilities or spatial perception understanding. Understanding your strengths can help you prepare for a career that utilizes your innate abilities.

Identification of Weaknesses
The result of an IQ test can also help you identify areas where you may have academic or cognitive deficits. This can inspire you to work harder in those areas to shore up your skills. Knowing that you are not innately good at a certain specific subject can also help you decide to avoid a career in that field because you may not enjoy it.

School Placement
Administrators can use IQ tests to help with academic placement. Students who are gifted in language acquisition may be placed in classes with other quick readers. Such placement can help them avoid boredom and provide them with additional motivation for remaining in school.

Help Disabled Students
Students who are found to have specific cognitive deficits as a result of intelligence testing can get the help they need to succeed in school. Educators can design a course of study that helps students who may struggle with reading, math skills or spatial perception awareness learn better. School officials may decide to decrease class size and provide struggling students with extra time from teachers and access to teacher's aides during the day. This can ultimately help them catch up to their peers academically.



Debate Round No. 1


Well, I'm going to start off with some of my own points and why I think that the IQ score is right next to meaningless. I argue that IQ scores are pointless. They don't help your CV, you can put that you have an IQ of whatever on it but what these employers are interested in are your qualifiactions. If you have an IQ of 80 (below average) but have the neccecary qualifications you can be much more likely to get the job than a 150 IQ person without the qualifications. Using the IQ number to judge people is wrong and people should be judged on their abilities and skills and not on a number they got on some measily little test a few years back. That's why I'm against using qualifications to judge people as well but that's beside the point.

All the points you referenced below just have better alternatives to go by. The IQ number would barely work for any of them. What the IQ test is, is just a group of problems which seem to not be different, but in fact are very similar to each other and use the same type of intelligence as each other. That's why the IQ number only marks a very small type of intelligence. as I refer to a point I made on my first turn. So it doesn't really help too well at finding strengths and weaknesses.

Your last two points can be simply put together as they are both to do with class placement of students but that shouldn't work off IQ either. It makes no sense to run off IQ at all. A far better way for the teachers to do it would be off the student's ability in the class or their past classes of the same subject, how they're progressing in relation to the rest of the class and relegate the student to the class below if there is a good reason to. This brings me back to how schools used to use the IQ score to decide the class the students were in which I already established was a poor way of running schools and education in general.

For the students with learning difficulties, I think the teachers would know about that as they were most likely professionally diagnosed at a young age before the IQ test would even be an option to find out how severe the learning difficulty is but again, the IQ test would be beaten out by a simple general knowledge quiz in the situation which would cover a slightly larger area of intelligence.

I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome at the age of 3 because of my delayed speech, repetitive movements and motor issues but I myself have never taken an IQ test as the professional who diagnosed me just didn't see a point as I was three years old. So the IQ test can't even be used for any professional diagnosis really. Also I have a very minor case, I might not even have it bacause of how some qualities came from mum and the others from dad. Saying I was diagnosed at three and that diagnosis is getting easier, it's now possible to diagnose autism at 6 months which is one of the more common of these learning disorders. (Asperger's Syndrome is an offshoot of Autism)

I'll leave you with a question, Would it be prejudice to call somebody retarded just because of their low IQ level? Even if they were talented in other areas such as cooking, drawing, sports, music etc.?


"Well, I'm going to start off with some of my own points and why I think that the IQ score is right next to meaningless."

This debate is basically over. My opponent has now backed away from his original resolution. Now he is saying that he believes IQ numbers are "next to meaningless". Well if something is ALMOST meaningless, it's not meaningless. With this statement, my opponent has implicitly admitted his resolution to be false. And because of that, I have won this debate.

" If you have an IQ of 80 (below average) but have the neccecary qualifications you can be much more likely to get the job than a 150 IQ person without the qualifications. "

This is poor argumentation by my opponent. What if two people have the SAME qualifications, but one has an IQ of 150, and the other an IQ of 80? In that case, the person with the higher IQ would have the advantage. This example shows that IQ scores have a purpose in certain situations, and are therefore not meaningless.

My opponent then goes on to say how he believes there are better measurements of a person's ability than IQ scores. But remember, that's not the resolution we are debating. We're not debating if one measurement is better than another, but rather if one is meaningless. IQ tests are one tool out of many one can use for any number of reasons and as such, they're not meaningless.

My opponent's personal story is what is known as anecdotal evidence. This is an unreliable source of information since the sample size is so small. I don't mean to offend, but that's just a fact.

I would answer the question posed, but it is irrelevant to the topic we are debating. If my opponent wanted to debate the use of the word "retard", he should have offered that resolution. But he didn't. He chose to debate "IQ numbers are meaningless". And from what we've seen from his very own words, he no longer believes what he originally claimed. The choice is clear; I have won. Please vote Con
Debate Round No. 2


You've won have you? Hahah no. You're just starting to get a little over yourself now and I haven't backed down from my original points at all. I still stand by them all. and I haven't admitted defeat and I won't. I will stand up to my beliefs and will not back down. You seem to take what I said with a bit too much salt and focus on that rather than the points I made. If anything, I can see you starting to falter a bit in this situation and instead of focusing on the points you're instead just trying to point out an oversight of mine and bragging that you have already won because of it.

Anyway, you're saying if there's a situation where there are two applicants with the required qualifications, where one has an IQ of 80 and the other 150... Okay. Assuming there's just one job position available would the employer choose the person with the higher IQ? Maybe. This situation is still too vague. If the lower IQ person had work experience to compensate then a good employer would be looking out for that more than anything. What about if the job both people was going for was what the lower IQ person had more interest than the other? We can keep asking questions but all that little number is for the higher IQ person is just something for them to brag about on their CV without the employer knowing if it's the truth or a lie more than anything and it may not even be believed by the employer.

The thing is though, I've known other people with relatives or themselves like me. So, it isn't only me and there is flat out plenty of evidence out there about being able to detect learning disorders earlier which further makes the IQ test even more irrelevant (Refer to my second argument and it's also what you lead me into for your first argument)

Also, you missed my point I was making with the question I think. You support using the IQ number. So by your logic you would support prejudism against people with lower scores. You think that people with 150 IQ ratings and above are all smart assuming your pro stance of this and that they deserve the vacant job spaces more than an equivelent person with a lower IQ number? That's prejudice my friend.

Just to make it clear, That was an oversight on my behalf. I still think IQ numbers are meaningless and irrelevant and that's the bottom line so don't bring that up. I posted it without noticing. What's done is done.

If you're going to ask for votes, you don't deserve them as you haven't won yet. That's all you're saying with your final point.


My opponent is now saying he accidentally typed "next to meaningless". He claims he meant to just type "meaningless". I imagine some will believe he is back pedaling from his original back pedal only because he realized he had just lost the debate. I will leave that up to the voters to decide. To be candid, I would be more likely to believe he accidentally typed "pejudism" and "equivelent" (see above). I am not even sure what "prejudism" means. Possibly he meant "prejudice".

The point of using IQ scores in the employment process is simple. If two candidates are equal in everything except IQ scores, then the applicant with the higher score will have an advantage. Whether or not this is fair is irrelevant to the question of "Are IQ scores meaningless?" This example alone shows IQ scores have at least some value. And if they have value, by definition, they can't be meaningless.

In summation, my opponent has implicitly admitted I was right (round two), misspelled two words, and offered no sources to support his claims. The choice couldn't be more clear. Please vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by dsjpk5 3 years ago
Hopefully since the latest voter.wrote a book.. the vote will not be deleted by air max. But we shall see. It's 5 to 1 me as of right now
Posted by Cazaam 3 years ago
The major problem with using IQ to judge intelligence is that IQ is a very narrow part of intelligence. For example, there's two people who take an IQ test. The first has practiced a lot for it and revised for it for a whole week but is no good at anything else. That would be your 150 IQ person. Are they necessarily smart just because of that number? No. The second person let's say was an extremely talented artist and didn't do any revision. She gets 95 IQ which is just below average. Then again you used an example of a person with an IQ of 50... That's a bit extreme. Possibly this person could be a severely autistic savant who can draw extremely well but isn't even verbal. In other words, he can't communicate, not even through the most simple of words.
Posted by 1814Username 3 years ago
The answer is actually yes and no. IQ tests have major flaws to them. There are much better tests out there. Experience also matters -- you get smarter as you are immersed in a field. However, there is a difference between a person who has an IQ of 50 and an IQ of 150. Neat question though.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Romanii 3 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Total points awarded:15 
Reasons for voting decision: BOP was on Pro to prove that IQ numbers have no meaning or use at all. Con gave several examples where IQ numbers do provide some information. Pro's main response was just "there are alternatives", without actually naming any... in order for such a response to be valid, he would need to have given some specific alternatives and demonstrated why they work better than IQ scores. He failed to do so. And he didn't use any sources either to back up his claims. Arguments and Sources to Con. Conduct to Pro because Con was harping WAY too much on spelling errors, which really don't matter unless they are significantly getting in the way of reading comprehension.