# How many Einsteins per Africa?

In 2008, Neil Turok, an eminent phycisist, gave a talk about trying to find the next Einstein in in sub-Saharan Africa. I was thinking about this a few days ago after his initiative re-surfaced in a minor news story,and wondered “what are his odds?”

Coincidentally, this morning I stumbled across the key figure needed to upper-bound them while researching something else.

So, how do you estimate something like that? Formally, what you’re looking for is an estimate of the frequency of Einstein-class brains in sub-Saharan Africa (“SSA” in the rest of this post). Or at least a statistical upper bound; that way we can make generous assumptions where we have a choice, insulating the calculation against various kinds of special pleading.

It may not be a sufficient condition for an African future Einstein to have Einstein’s IQ – he may have had some special creative spark not captured by testing – but tensor calculus is hard and depends on qualities about which there is no dispute that IQ captures well. (That is: both capacity for long chains of abstract logical reasoning, and spatial visualization.)

Therefore, we can upper-bound Turok’s number with an estimate of the number of people with Einstein-plus IQs in SSA. There are two problems with this project.

One is that Einstein never took an IQ test. There is, however, a mini-industry among psychometricians of estimating the IQs of historical figures from various proxies. If you do a little research you’ll find that the minimum IQ attributed to him is 160 (all figures Stanford-Binet).

I think this is low, myself; I’ve seen a median estimate of 175.
But since we’re looking for an upper bound, we’ll start with the low figure; this leaves statistical room for the maximum number of African Einsteins.

The other problem is that you need to know at least an IQ average for SSA. What I stumbled over this morning is just such a thing. The paper argues that previous estimates have erred by oversampling elite populations – and in African conditions that’s a pretty damn plausible argument. It marshals several lines of evidence for an average IQ of 68.

That’s almost all we need. I have a handy table of IQ percentages and rarities. Needs to be used with a bit of caution for two reasons. First, it’s based on a 100 average, so we need to slide our IQ target by 100-68=32 points to re-norm it. Second, it fails to account for the fact that black Africans probably have a slightly narrower IQ dispersion than the mostly Euro population the chart was based on.

I’m going to cheerfully ignore the dispersion issue (and avoid having to dig up cites for that claim) because, if anything, it will cause a slight overestimate of the fatness of the high-IQ tail in African populations. That is OK because (as with choosing a low estimate for Einstein’s IQ) it will make our upper-bound estimate err on the high side.

We also need one last piece of information: the population of SSA. This site says 1,050,135,841.

Time to crunch numbers. I didn’t actually do this calculation before I started writing this post, so I don’t know what the result will be. We’re targeting an IQ lower bound of 160 + 32 = 192 on the chart. That gives us a 16SD 1/X of 212343687. Dividing into population, we should expect 4.9 Einsteins per Africa.

Well, that could have gone worse. Me, if I were looking for Einsteins, I’d try the obvious population first: Ashkenazic Jews. (Well, duh!) But at least it’s good to know Turok is not, statistically speaking, fishing in a completely dry hole.

…Or is he? Most of the plausible ways for the inputs to be wrong punch hell out of that number. In particular, a median 175 estimate for Einstein’s IQ drops it to….looking…less than 0.9%. Actually probably a lot less since my chart tops out at IQ 202 and the target would be 207. Even at 202 that’s less than one Einstein in 100 Africas.

OK, that’s not so good. At that level Turok’s odds look really bad unless there is some way to drastically elevate SSA’s IQ mean. The good news is that Africa is the only place left in the world this might still be possible, and it leads to actionable advice for Turok’s plan.

Adult IQ is hard to increase. You can jack it up slightly and temporarily with drugs like DMSO and Modafinil, but there aren’t any known interventions (even in childhood) that are reliable and permanent. On the other hand, it is easily lowered by environmental insults in childhood. There’s a lot of indirect evidence that neurological growth can be stunted by poor early-childhood nutrition.

In most of the world poor childhood nutrition is largely a solved problem; this was not true as recently as the late 1960s and represents one of the great human achievements of the last half-century. Africa is the dolorous exception.

So this is my advice to Turok: if you want an Einstein in thirty years, start by improving the diet of young children in Africa now.

This isn’t guaranteed to work. To know how effective this would be we’d have to look at mean adult IQs in a representative sample of SSAs that have had good childhood nutrition…

…OK, as I was typing it occurs to me that that test may have been run already. Lynn & Meisenberg think that previous average-IQ estimates have been high due to oversampling elites, and they cite one of 80 that they criticize. In Africa, “elite” is pretty much defined by “you get to feed yourself and your kids decently”.

So, hm, what happens if we take 80 as an estimate of the average IQ of SSAs not subjected to severe childhood environmental insults? Let’s call this the “future SSA” estimate. One reason to think this estimate is plausible is that the average IQ of SSA-descended American blacks is about 85.

As before, I don’t know the answer yet; I’m calculating as I go. Target IQs on my chart is now either 160 or 175 + (100 – 80). That’s either 180 with a 16SD 1/X of 3483046 or 195 with a 16SD 1/X of 1009976678.

It turns out that these assumptions predict an upper bound of 301 Einsteins per future Africa and a most likely figure of almost exactly 1 Einstein per future Africa. That’s if Turok or others can prevent malnutrition and other insults from keeping Africa as a whole below the performance of their elites.

For comparison, the U.S’s population of 325,700,000 should include 10320 Einsteins at 160 IQ and 93 at 175. That makes 175 look much more plausible to me, which unfortunately implies that 1 Einstein per future Africa is probably an upper bound.

Of course, one Einstein can make a continent-sized difference. I wish Neil Turok the best of luck finding him or (though less likely) her.

## 724 thoughts on “How many Einsteins per Africa?”

1. Isn’t the real problem getting the next SSA Einstein or near-Einstein to do something useful instead of joining a boy army or working on blockchain?

• > Note that sub-Saharan Africa is projected to exceed 4 billion people around the end of the century.

Not going to happen unless (as is entirely possible) the native population has been replaced with people of Chinese descent.

China is gearing up to play Chinese and Africans (like Cowboys and Indians, except more brutal and with absolutely no residual guilt afterwards).

• Given the rather dire birth rate in East Asian, even in the countries where that wasn’t legally mandated, where is China going to get enough people of Chinese descent?

• Well, they do have a surplus of males thanks to their population control measures combined with their cultural desire for male babies.

One way to deal with having more young males than females for them to marry is for those young men to migrate to other lands and seek their fortune where the competition isn’t so stiff.

• > where is China going to get enough people of Chinese descent?

Unlike the Japanese, the Chinese aren’t having fewer children by choice, but by government mandate (up to and including forced abortions).

“Move to Greater West China (formerly known as Africa) and you can have all the children you want” would be pretty effective, I’ll bet.

> China will kill billions of Africans? That seems unlikely.

In the first place, there aren’t going to be billions. In the second place, look at the mass murders the Chinese have perpetrated against their own citizens. You expect them to be less ruthless toward Africans? I know it’s an article of faith among some that white European males are the most racistest people EVAR!!!. Yeah, no. Asians are far worse.

• > Unlike the Japanese, the Chinese aren’t having fewer children by choice, but by government mandate (up to and including forced abortions).

And do you have any reason to believe that when given the choice they’ll be have differently than the other East Asians? Note that this trend also occurs in ethnically Chinese countries like Taiwan and Singapore.

• > Note that this trend also occurs in ethnically Chinese countries like Taiwan and Singapore.

It occurs in *wealthy* and *crowded* ethnically Chinese countries.

There’s absolutely no reason to assume that this would be the case with a whole newly-emptied continent available, and plenty of reasons to assume it wouldn’t.

As previously noted, China is still doing forced abortions. That’s not a sign that the population is reluctant to have children.

• Well China is becoming wealthy and will definitely have to be so if it’s going to be taking over Africa.

• Those numbers are probably wrong.

Foreign aid is tied to population.

SSA kleptocracies have EVERY incentive to overestimate their population.

And, frankly, if they have an average IQ of 80, how good COULD their data be?

• Foreign aid isn’t just a straight per capita number, though. And Africa is at exactly the point on the economic growth curve where population growth is maximal – the kids have stopped dying so fast in infancy, but the population still regards a large family as a point of pride and an excellent retirement plan. Europe, the Americas, and Asia all had similarly explosive population growth at similar points in their development. Why wouldn’t Africa?

• …and to get more international aid to control population once their censuses (censae?) prove the population increase.

Forgive me my skepticism.

2. Assume that expressed adult IQ is the result of genotypic IQ minus an environmental insult factor lower-bounded at zero. Being rich maximizes your ability to lower your (or your children’s) environmental insult factor, and wealth correlates with expressed IQ. Thus, given high heritability of genotypic IQ, the populations with the highest genotypic IQ will probably also have the lowest environmental damage, and the hypothetical future African Einstein will almost certainly come from those populations. Thus, it’s probably just as likely to find this person now as in the future when you’ve fixed African malnutrition; doing that will bring a whole lot of people from 65 up to 80 (an enormous benefit), but probably not many people from 145 up to 160. (This is assuming the African elite populations are now just as good at avoiding environmental IQ insults as median Westerners, which is maybe not wholly true but seems reasonable within the margin of error.)

There’s also the complication that different ethnic strains within SSA have very different genotypic IQ distributions, so to do the calculation properly you’d have to account for that (probably just by reckoning the subpopulations separately and then adding their expected Einstein count). But that’s more complicated, and I don’t know where you’d get really good data on the ethnic breakdowns anyway.

Alternatively, you could cheat, and look for Einsteins among the remaining Boers. This is probably the most productive in the immediate sense…

• I think your arguments are sound, Ruckus.

Still, this back-of the-envelope calculation I did at least gives us a likely order of magnitude. For it not to, there’d have to be an SSA subpopulation of…say, “Wakandans” with a mean IQ up into Ashkenazic territory or better. If such a population existed in the real world, I think the effects would be impossible to miss.

• The most talk about high-IQ SSA subpopulations I can find is about the Nigerian Igbo, but it seems to be stubbornly devoid of an actual IQ estimate. It doesn’t help that much of this is based on the performance of African immigrants into the West, which is of course a very selected sample. But it certainly seems implausible that they’d be as high as the Ashkenazim.

In the short run, I think the search for an African Einstein is kind of pointless. Once most of the African continent has raised its standard of living solidly above “hellhole”, then we can take stock of what further achievements can be compassed. In the meanwhile, they’re just as capable of using GPS receivers as anyone else.

• Mali is where the great Islamic university was in past centuries, and they still have an incredible intellectual tradition there. Check out The Badass Librarians of Timbuktu for more on this.

• Mali is inhabited by Tuareg and Bambara people, neither of which are sub-Saharan Africans. The Tuareg are Berbers, and the Bambara are descended from other tribes of the Sahara desert.

• Better hurry if you plan to ‘look among the remaining Boers’…

3. Although in my opinion you did not say anything that is false or offensive, you’re gonna get it from SSJs today! heh Something, something, racist! heh. I hope you’re locked and loaded with comebacks!

• >you’re gonna get it from SSJs today!

What, you’re expecting me to get mobbed by Jesuits? :-)

I know who you meant. I shall exhibit unto them the awesome power of Not Giving A Flying Fuck What They Think.

• >>you’re gonna get it from SSJs today!
>
>What, you’re expecting me to get mobbed by Jesuits? :-)

Now, that would be worth following.

• I’d prefer the awesome power of Revealing Their Names and Addresses Online.

Punch back twice as hard!

• > What, you’re expecting me to get mobbed by Jesuits?

But now I’m wondering what might have happened if so many of the brightest European males hadn’t been funneled off off into the (celibate) church.

By comparison, rabbis are not celibate. Indeed, Jewish men (including rabbis) are obligated to marry and produce children if at all possible.

• As I understand it, the Catholic clergy wasn’t necessarily the brightest– they were more likely to be younger sons. And celibate means that they didn’t marry. They still had children, though I expect the children weren’t as well off in general as they would have been if they’d been legitimate.

My impression is that the Jewish advantage was that a poor boy who was good at Talmud (that is, memory and logical argument) had a chance at marrying a rich man’s daughter. I believe this argument is considered plausible but not at all proven.

• > As I understand it, the Catholic clergy wasn’t necessarily the brightest– they were more likely to be younger sons.

?
Second sons have the same genetics as elder sons. The point is that they weren’t serfs. You could be pretty dull and still do the job of a serf effectively. Being a noble in those days required a certain level of intellectual function (today, not so much). If you didn’t have a few wits about you, you’d soon find your lands expropriated by another noble. Of course, other factors were in play as well (e.g., sheer ruthlessness).

• I was replaying to this: “But now I’m wondering what might have happened if so many of the brightest European males hadn’t been funneled off off into the (celibate) church.”

I’m not at all sure that the nobles had extraordinary genes for intelligence, though you may be right that very stupid people couldn’t keep their lands.

I don’t have a feeling for what proportion ended up in positions where celibacy was required, nor how much that affected their number of children.

• In fact a lot of gentry and noble families dumped their useless kids on the Church. Many parish priesthoods were sinecures for some upper-class dork. Others were hived into monasteries. So were excess daughters, to save on dowries.

Also consider this passage from Rabelais, in the discussion of the ideal religious community of Theleme:
“Item, Because at that time they put no women into nunneries but such as were either purblind, blinkards, lame, crooked, ill-favoured, misshapen, fools, senseless, spoiled, or corrupt; nor encloistered any men but those that were either sickly, subject to defluxions, ill-bred louts, simple sots, or peevish trouble-houses. But to the purpose, said the monk. A woman that is neither fair nor good, to what use serves she? To make a nun of, said Gargantua. Yea, said the monk, and to make shirts and smocks. Therefore was it ordained that into this religious order [Theleme] should be admitted no women that were not fair, well-featured, and of a sweet disposition; nor men that were not comely, personable, and well conditioned.”

So the celibate priesthood and monasteries could have an eugenic effect.

• An awful lot of those priests produced bastards over the years. Of course, the girls they were seducing weren’t likely to be the brightest ones around, though.

4. File under “True But Forbidden.”

5. Two points, based on reading blogs rather than the academic literature:

1. On estimation: I believe the tails of an IQ distribution are actually somewhat fatter than those of a perfect normal distribution.

2. On nutrition: I believe the easy route concerning nutrition is making sure everyone gets enough iron and especially iodine in childhood. I think the typical route is supplementing drinking water.

• >1. On estimation: I believe the tails of an IQ distribution are actually somewhat fatter than those of a perfect normal distribution.

That would be very interesting if true, but I haven’t seen event a hint of it before.

>2. On nutrition: I believe the easy route concerning nutrition is making sure everyone gets enough iron and especially iodine in childhood.

I’ve seen some suggestions that kids have trouble making enough phospholipids in poor societies. So…more dairy products and fatty meats probably also matters.

• Regarding 1, there is a book called “Exceptionally Gifted Children”, by Miraca Gross, a longitudinal study of 15 kids of 160+ IQ in Australia. Three of them were identified as having IQs of 200+; one of them, with the pseudonym “Adrian Seng” (he is actually Terence Tao), was, if I recall correctly, 220.

You can argue that it’s a problem with the tests, but whatever. If we take the numbers at face value, the 200 number on your linked site is 1 in 4.8 billion (using the more generous SD=16 definition; the other is 1 in 76 billion). 220 isn’t even listed there, but I imagine that would be at the “hundreds of billions” or “trillions” level. The population of Australia, meanwhile, was about 20 million.

Also look up people like Marilyn vos Savant and Christopher Langan. Basically, you see enough reports of people with 200+ IQ that the notion that these people are truly 1 in several billion, or trillion, is absurd.

I don’t know if a fat tail is visible at, say, 160, where at least some tests are supposedly still reasonably calibrated.

The most obvious explanation for a fat-tailed distribution would be assortative mating.

• >I don’t know if a fat tail is visible at, say, 160, where at least some tests are supposedly still reasonably calibrated.

You raise an interesting point. I’ve occasionally thought that I know an oddly large number of people with IQs of around 160 given the general-population incidence numbers – I mean, I can name almost a dozen among my friends without trying hard, and at least three among the regulars on this blog – but I attributed this to (a) the concentrating effect of living near the middle of the Sprawl, which is a hell of a talent attractor, and (b) hanging out in subcultures that concentrate brights.

But maybe you’re right. Maybe the distribution really is fat-tailed and my experience is less exceptional than I have assumed. I’ll keep an eye out for evidence.

• FWIW, the validation sample for the WAIS is only around 9000, so we’re talking broad side of a barn at 4SD anyway. And that’s presuming administrators and protocols that aren’t erroneous; for example, several of the tests go with progressively harder instances until the subject can’t solve them anymore, but there are only a fixed set of problems, and it’s unclear to anyone who won’t pay five figures how they handle the case of a “perfect score, could have kept going”.

• The scores are less meaningful as you get away from the mean. We understand that and try to compensate for it, but I think we are still wildly overestimating the accuracy of the tests at the high end. Until I see some reason to believe that we can meaningfully tell the difference between 200 and 220, or even 200 from 180, I’m not going to draw any conclusions from an apparent overabundance of 220s or 200s.

I also think that a lot of reporting on extremely smart people involves quoting IQ scores from childhood tests as if they measure the same thing as adult IQ tests. Adult IQ scores measure “smarter”, while childhood IQ tests intermingle “smarter” with “sooner. This is why Baby Mozart (etc) boosts childhood IQ scores – those programs encourage “sooner”, but they have no effect on adult IQ scores because we literally have no idea how to do “smarter”.

• I’ve also read somewhere (don’t remember where) that there was an IQ test with an SD of 24 instead of 15 or 16, and many of the very high reported scores used that norming. So someone with a reported 175 may be only 3.1 SD above normal instead of 5 SD.

Also, the childhood tests are calculated differently – I’ve seen a conversion somewhere, but the SD on the upper half is definitely higher than 15.

• Adding iron to drinking water is not a good idea. Iron has a disagreeable taste.

As a nutrient, Iron is “difficult”. It tends to bind too strongly to other food and forms insoluble oxides.

Iodide has been added to salt, especially bread. That should cover the dietary needs of most people.

• > As a nutrient, Iron is “difficult”.

Nah, you just need to eat some meat.

Preferably red meat, though certain kinds of seafoods will also work.

• “Nah, you just need to eat some meat.”

Poor people are not always able to eat enough meat. This advice sounds a little like “Let them eat cake”.

• > This advice sounds a little like “Let them eat cake”.

No, it’s more like “Let them not be socialists”.

Korea used to be one of the poorest countries in the world.

North Korea still is.

Only rich countries can afford full-blown socialism, and then only for a limited time.

• “No, it’s more like “Let them not be socialists”.”

That sounds like “Poverty is a choice”. Just as stupid as a basis of policies to help undernourished children.

Btw, China and the litte tigers improved their economy by not following USA or Libertarian economic advice.

• You make it sound as if socialism were an individual decision. It really isn’t; if my whole country goes socialist, my choices are to find a way to endure socialism, or to emigrate (which may not be that easy).

• > That sounds like “Poverty is a choice”.

I don’t think the North Koreans were given a choice, actually. Despite the name, North Korea is neither “Democratic” nor a “Republic”.

• > Btw, China and the litte tigers improved their economy by not following USA or Libertarian economic advice.

What the hell are you smoking?

Japan’s economy was explicitly Westernized from the Meiji Restoration up to (and during) WWII. That’s how they transformed from a feudal society to an expanding empire.

Following the war, they were given a constitution (by force!) that was actually written by the United States. How is that “not following U.S. advice”? They weren’t given a choice, dude.

China, by contrast, went Communist, and had 15 million people starve to death as recently as 1959-1961. China’s current rise is exactly correlated with their adoption of a more market-oriented economy. Exactly.

No, they’re not “libertarian”, but they’re a long way away from the Marxist ideal expressed in Mao’s Little Red Book.

The other “little tigers” are all market-based, and, once again, their success is precisely correlated with how market-oriented their economies are.

The most pointed example, of course, is North and South Korea. Identical people. Identical culture. One communist, one not. One is a feudal slave state inhabited largely by people living the same way their ancestors did in medieval times. The other is one of the wealthiest countries in Asia.

It’s not often you get to run experiments like that on countries, but the evidence is clear.

To a lesser, but still striking, degree, the same was true of East and West Germany.

Then there’s the fact that Sweden (considered a wealthy country by European standards) has about the same per capita GDP as Alabama (considered a backward, poverty-stricken state by U.S. standards).

• They weren’t communists, dude.

Communism doesn’t work, no matter how much you (and The Guardian) don’t like that fact, or how much you (and The Guardian) try to spin it.

• Indeed, but you said nothing about communists. You claimed they should stop being socialists. And on this blog even US Democrats are considered socialists.

• “They weren’t communists, dude.”

You wrote: “Let them not be socialists”. No communism mentioned.

And given that on this blog, US Democrats are called socialists, these countries with solid state intervention in the economy and massive state spending on education qualify as “socialists”.

Currently, you will be hard pressed to find many North Korea style communists anywhere outside a few strongholds. That arguments is no explanation for iron deficiency in developing countries.

• It is not a binary. It is a continuum.

More socialism -> more of a shithole.

You can’t argue with the facts on the ground.

I see in this morning’s news that Venezuela is now having to import oil.

• “More socialism -> more of a shithole”

I have been in Scandinavia. It is pretty socialist but very, very far from a “shithole”. I live in the Netherlands, which would also qualify as “socialist” in this blog. People have said lots of nasty things about us, but never have I ever seen anyone accusing us of being a shithole.

Either you have not been around much or you are ideologically blinded, or both.

• Sir,

May I respectfully suggest that it is futile to argue against one so well indoctrinated in doublethink?

• “May I respectfully suggest that it is futile to argue against one so well indoctrinated in doublethink?”

The question is, who are you addressing here?

• Poverty, on a national level, IS a choice.

You choose socialism, and the harder you do it the poorer you get.

• “You choose socialism, and the harder you do it the poorer you get.”

China seems to get richer by the year, if not day. Also, the Scandinavian countries, Germany, and its neighbors are doing very, very well, thank you.

So, exactly, when are these “Socialist” countries supposed to finally going to go down the drain?

• China is succeeding–to the extent that it is–by following (largely) free market principles while maintaining a totalitarian grip on it’s people. This is, of course, what political elites in Europe and the US want–they can use party purity as a test to make sure THEIR kids get the best and f*k the rest. See also “inner city schools”.

Scandinavia was doing pretty well because it *wasn’t* all that socialist, and for the first few generations were it was socialist the sort of work ethic, integrity that is (was?) a part of the culture. Also it was an extremely homogeneous culture. Still is, but is changing. I want to see what your welfare state looks like after 3 generations of people on welfare.

• Wait wait WHAT!?

Do you even know what socialism is?

Two basic tenets of socialism. Profit is theft. Private property does not exist.

China is not longer socialist (so obvious that it does not need an explanation)

Scandinavian countries are extremely trade friendly and their trade policies are extremely lenient. They are mixed economies, not socialist -_-
Obviously, both China and Scandinavia allows capitalists to make profit and allows private property. You know, like being allowed to own a car, or a house, or to eat food that you own.

Government intervention!=socialism. By that logic, the US government is socialist too.

• “Do you even know what socialism is? ”

Your “definition” includes few, if any, countries. So that definition is outside of the scope of this discussion where it was alleged that extreme poverty in the world is somehow caused by socialism. Without socialist countries, that discussion is moot.

And I have seen writing by several Americans that claim the US government is socialist.

• > where it was alleged that extreme poverty in
> the world is somehow caused by socialism.

No, it was not.

What was stated was, and I quote me:

> You choose socialism,
> and the harder you
> do it the poorer
> you get.

There are other routes to poverty.

While FLMKane was wrong about the “tenets” of Socialism (those were more the tenets of revolutionary communism and sophmoric pricks everywhere), he wasn’t wrong about China or the Scandinavian countries.

Socialism, along with it’s kissing cousin Fascism, IS top down control of a countries economy, either directly (Socialism) by the government or a mix of direct control and indirect control through cartels (Fascism, Nazis), along with significant amounts of income redistribution (it’s not wealth redistribution because in those systems you can only build wealth politically. You do NOT want to be a Kulak).

And yes, we have more of that in the US than is good for us. Scandanivia also has more than is good for them, but as long as the taxes were levied against all, but the benefits were only applied to the in-tribe (cultural, not ethnic) then things were ok. Especially since those outside the in-tribe knew the rules and were transients.

Scandinavian culture is what made what little socialism was implemented viable. Watch as that breaks down.

6. Second, it fails to account for the fact that black Africans probably have a slightly narrower IQ dispersion than the mostly Euro population the chart was based on.

That strikes me as odd, given that we know from DNA studies that the majority of human genetic diversity is in the population of SSA.

I’m also skeptical of efforts to use US blacks to try to check data about Africans in SSA. The original African ancestors of US blacks were hardly uniformly sampled from Africa (important due to those modern DNA tests of genetic diversity), went through a massive selection pressure relative to those who remained in Africa (capture, Middle Passage, being held in slavery), and then interbred with persons of other ancestries (the average US black is about 24% European in ancestry, but of course there’s plenty of variance).

• >That strikes me as odd, given that we know from DNA studies that the majority of human genetic diversity is in the population of SSA.

You’re missing the backstory. It’s not SSAs that have an exceptionally narrow IQ distribution, it’s Europeans that have an oddly broad one. Actually it’s weirder that that; it’s European males that do. European female IQ dispersion looks like the narrower both-sexes dispersion of blacks and Asians and so forth.

I learned this years ago from La Griffe du Lion. I had it marked “possible, but doubtful” in my mind for years, until I noticed that the distribution of Nobel prizes and Fields medals implies that it almost has to be true.

Northeast Asians have a higher average IQ than Europeans, so as so soon they got to play in the international big leagues (early in the last century) you’d have expected their high-enders to join Ashkenazic Jews in scarfing up most of the Nobels. This has not happened – at all. It’s a reasonable inference that Asian IQ distribution tends to tail out below the level of the Nobels.

I have a friend who recently retired from teaching CS at an Ivy League school who confirms this from 40 years at ground level. He told me years ago that the Asian kids are the diligent high achievers but the odd-duck geniuses are pretty much always white. He didn’t have to say “and Jewish more often than not”; I knew that from my own experience.

• As I understand it, women in general tend to cluster around the middle in IQ scores, not just European women..

• You’ve missed his point. He’s not implying that European women are odd in that they cluster at the middle, but that European men are odd in that they are only demographic that doesn’t. That is, you can add non-european males in with the women to flesh out the “cluster around the middle” category.

Oh, such triggering to be had.

• >You’ve missed his point. He’s not implying that European women are odd in that they cluster at the middle, but that European men are odd in that they are only demographic that doesn’t.

Confirming.

I have a guess about why. Years ago William Calvin’s “Ascent of Mind” proposed that early humans migrating north out of Africa were strongly selected for behavioral plasticity by rapid alternation of cold and warm climate period during the oscillations of the last Ice Age. Had to happen – just as the genome might be about to settle into some kind of programming for stability it would get whipsawed, by rapidly changing environmental conditions, and this happened dozens of times.

I suspect that it’s not just IQ dispersion that’s unusually broad in European males but lots of other polygenic traits too – that our ancestral germ lines got pounded into a meta-strategy of retaining options.

And why not in females? Because female reproductive capacity was limited and precious. It makes sense that whatever meta-regulatory mechanism evolved would enforce more caution there.

• I suspect that it’s not just IQ dispersion that’s unusually broad in European males but lots of other polygenic traits too – that our ancestral germ lines got pounded into a meta-strategy of retaining options.

So you’re saying that the strategy that worked evolutionarily should also be used cognitively. Interesting.

• >So you’re saying that the strategy that worked evolutionarily should also be used cognitively. Interesting.

I think anyone who knows enough game theory would tell you the same thing.

• “And why not in females?”

I don’t get the argument here. If female reproductive capacity is so precious you want it to be more adaptable, not less.

• >I don’t get the argument here. If female reproductive capacity is so precious you want it to be more adaptable, not less.

Not suppressing expression of large amounts of variant alleles has costs. Lower fertility is high on the list of probable ones. That’s much more dangerous to a germ line’s survival in females than in males.

• To set one factor out explicitly:

Any given society can withstand losing a lot more men than it can women (whether by war or unfortunate genetic variations).

Female reproductive capacity is the bottleneck. A woman can produce a maximum of one baby every nine months. How many children can a man father in nine months? That’s only limited by the number of fertile women he can persuade to have sex with him. Dozens, anyway — maybe a hundred or more. Thousands if artificial insemination is used.

Kill off most of the men, and the remaining men will be able (and in many cases, very, very willing) to step up to the plate.

Kill off most of the women, and your society is doomed.

• > Dozens, anyway — maybe
> a hundred or more. Thousands
> if artificial insemination is used.

There’s a limit to how much semen a man can make every 24 hours, especially day after day. So you’re probably looking at maybe 180 to 200.

• > Because female reproductive capacity was limited and precious.

This is the reason I’ve always attributed to the wider variation among males of virtually every measurable metric. Evolution plays guinea pig with males because males can keep multiple females in the baby-making business if necessary, while the reverse is not true. In the Ancestral Evolutionary Environment, the main limiting factor on population is the number of healthy babies a female can produce before she either dies or has a complication that makes her able to have more. Virtually every gender difference (other than the obvious mammary development) is logically a consequence of the need to keep females being produced according to thoroughly-tested DNA, while males can be the beta-testers for new code.

It never occurred to me that the wider variation is more pronounced in Europeans than other genetic groups, but it does make sense that the climate in Africa was far more stable (other than the shifting borders of the Sahara) than in other places.

• The fact that the Y-chromosome is shorter than the X makes it almost a necessity that male genetic traits will have a broader distribution than female, whether the averages are the same or widely disparate. That’s always the result without error correction.

• >The fact that the Y-chromosome is shorter than the X makes it almost a necessity that male genetic traits will have a broader distribution than female, whether the averages are the same or widely disparate. That’s always the result without error correction.

True, but not sufficient to explain La Griffe du Lion’s Damned Fact. The alleles controlling intelligence and other major polygenic traits are spread out over the whole genome, not confined to the sex chromosomes.

• I wonder whether the sex differences in white IQ distribution is due to a combination of the hypergamy and the European tradition of educating women. Thus, the high IQ women would get educated and, unable to find a sufficiently high status husband, end up living out their days in some convent.

• The nuns living in those convents are literally “brides of Christ”, so they could argue they’d found the highest-status husband of all.

Today we have single mothers who are figuratively “brides of the State”, who can say something similar, but in their case, many the men in their pool of potential mates have little chance of being a better provider than the government.

• I have to ask for more information about your statement that asian kids or less likely to be “odd duck geniuses”, because that has also been my observation, but I thought it was just me.

Can you provide evidence that is not anecdotal?

I’m also wondering if there is ‘nature vs nurture’ argument to be made here. Possibly, the greater freedom that a westernized upbringing provides a child would allow mental development that would not be available to a child brought up to be rigidly obedient, and unflinchingly hard working.

• >Can you provide evidence that is not anecdotal?

Alas, no. Unless you count the pointer to La Griffe du Lion.

• black Africans probably have a slightly narrower IQ dispersion

That’s a suppostion I’d be sceptical of too, for a couple of reasons:
1. The distribution of wealth in SSA is such that it artificially pushes people away from the mean moreso than in developed regions. For instance, food stamp and welfare programs in the Western world put a floor on the impact poverty has on one’s diet, and – by extension – brain development. On top of this, most of the Western world affords better opportunities for poor children to receive schooling comparable to that of their wealthy peers than SSA does.
2. The ethnic fragmentation of SSA is much higher than in most of the West, and remains so due to low rates of ethnic intermarriage. So if high-IQ groups and low-IQ groups arose in SSA at some point in history, they’d have a better chance at preserving that distinction into the present day than if such a distinction arose between ethnic groups in the West.

• You are incorrectly drawing conclusions about thousands of years of evolution based entirely on conditions today.

Africa is the garden of eden, compared to Europe or North America. Everything is edible and the climate almost never tries to kill you. It is only in the last 50 or 100 years or so that SSA’s population has exploded beyond what the land could sustain with essentially zero human effort.

Meanwhile, it is only in the last 50 or 100 years that it has been perfectly safe to live an entire lifetime doing zero productive work in Europe or North America.

• Depends on where you live. Some places in Africa will kill you just as easily as in Europe. The Karoo is a quite hostile place, as is the Kalahari, and Africa has some pretty large animals roaming around.

• You are incorrectly drawing conclusions about thousands of years of evolution based entirely on conditions today.

No, I’m not. You’ve clearly failed to consider what I actually wrote. You address a rather different issue, and if you had actually generated a hypothesis from your reasoning, I suspect it would tend to support my conclusion.

I expressed scepticism of the idea that the inhabitants of SSA have a narrower distribution of IQs than their counterparts in the West, and offered two reasons to support my scepticism. Your response, which amounts to an argument that selective pressure was higher in the West than in SSA during the period of evolutionary adaptation, doesn’t contradict anything in either point.

First, I pointed out that the environment in which children develop is substantially different between the two locations, especially impoverished chidren – and that greater variation of environment is present in SSA. What I’m addressing is a developmental aspect (the “environmental insult” of the OP) rather than a hereditary one. Your argument about “thousands of years of evolution” is thus one of cross purpose, at best.

Second, I identified ethnic fragmentation as a possible explanation for variation in hereditary intelligence persisting longer. Following your chain of reasoning, we might suspect that if a low-IQ tribe arose by chance in SSA during the course of evolutionary history, it would be more able to survive than would a low-IQ tribe arising in the West, on account of the environment being more forgiving in the former case than in the latter. Consequently, variation of hereditary intelligence in the West would have been constrained by the tendency of the environment to cull the low end of the spectrum, while in SSA both tails of the curve have a reasonable likelihood of perpetuating themselves. So your argument would seem to at least corroborate my thesis, and certainly not support an attack on the basis upon which it rests.

7. It’s not just that there might be a special creative spark that IQ tests miss, IQ tests are certainly going to miss good fit between talent and opportunity. How many Einsteins does the world have now?

• >How many Einsteins does the world have now?

One fewer since Steven Hawking died.

Terence Tao is probably brighter than Einstein was. Has the depth and more breadth.

Hard to think of a lot of people operating at that level. I do contemplate them occasionally, when I feel like my humility needs maintaining.

• This gets to what you mean by an Einstein, since Terence Tao is a mathematician rather than a physicist.

My assumption was that an Einstein is someone who makes foundational discoveries in a math-heavy science and becomes famous for it. What do you mean by an Einstein?

Possibly related: Are ideas getting harder to find?. The premise is that ideas are harder to find– it’s not quite the same as the great stagnation, since the assumption is the ideas are still getting found, but at great cost.

• >What do you mean by an Einstein?

For purposes of this discussion, we don’t need a generative definition. All we need is to agree that whatever an Einstein is, Turok is not going to find more of them than there are people with Einstein-class IQs. This is why I keeping talking about upper bounds.

• > Terence Tao is a mathematician rather than a physicist.

From the .signature file:
“The difference between math and physics is the difference between masturbation and sex.”
–Paul Tomblin, in the Scary Devil Monastery

Somebody else probably said it first, but he’s where I read it.

• String theory has attracted a considerable number of very bright people, e.g., Edward Witten and Juan Maldacena. There is a constant fear that their brilliance will have been wasted if string theory turns out to have been a mirage.

In the empirical sciences, it is much more difficult to identify “Einsteins” as there is always teamwork involved. But I would think that some of the people behind the detection of gravitational waves and quantum teleportation/computing would qualify too.

8. An IQ of 68 is obviously a huge barrier to a society’s success. OTOH, my personal experience has shown me that too HIGH an IQ can fuck up a society as well. I’m not the only one to notice that high-IQ types tend not to have common sense, and miss obvious facts in front of their faces while spending their time and brainpower making pedantic arguments.

There’s probably a good evolutionary reason that the average IQ is 100.

• > There’s probably a good evolutionary reason that the average IQ is 100.

What?

No, really.

What?

• Because exceptionally high IQ’s have less children than more moderate IQ’s. I thought that would be obvious from the context.

• I think William’s bogglement is due to the fact that the mean IQ score was arbitrarily defined to be 100.

> Because exceptionally high IQ’s have less children than more moderate IQ’s.

Today? Yes, because children today are an expense rather than an economic asset.

Historically? I don’t there’s any evidence for that, and substantial evidence the other way.

One theory for why mean IQs are higher in Europe in Africa is that you simply had to be smarter to survive in Europe than in Africa. In particular, you had to be capable of planning for the winter (for instance, by being smart enough to develop food preservation methods like drying, salting, fermenting, etc.).

• > I think William’s bogglement is due to the fact that the mean IQ score was arbitrarily defined to be 100.

This.

Wrote something ’bout it, but the comment engine either ate it, or I neglected to hit “Post Comment”

• > (for instance, by being smart enough to develop food preservation methods like drying, salting, fermenting, etc.).

Was that actually rewarded evolutionarily? Sure, the *society* who had someone that figured out salted beef benefited from it, but the person themselves probably didn’t. It spreads too rapidly in the local area, and they’re not in serious evolutionary competition with people a thousand miles away. And how many such game-changing inventions have there been in the last few tens of thousands of years?

I don’t think that’s nearly a strong enough effect to cause a double-digit difference in mean IQ.

• >Was that actually rewarded evolutionarily? Sure, the *society* who had someone that figured out salted beef benefited from it, but the person themselves probably didn’t.

You’re missing the Doctor’s point. In harsher conditions than SSA inventiveness and thus intelligence were at a premium and germ lines that couldn’t produce it tended to die out.

That’s the conjecture, anyway. We can’t call it a fact, or even a theory because it’s not easy to see how to generate a testable prediction from it. It’s an attempt to explain why population mean IQs seem to be correlated with the latitude of their ancestral urheimats.

• I acknowledge that it’s conjecture. I’m just saying, I don’t buy it.

• What about native people from Alaska or northern Canada or Scandinavia or northern Russia? Is average IQ a gradient that climbs as you move north through the sample? Or do the “ends get fatter”, at least? Do we know?

• >What about native people from Alaska or northern Canada or Scandinavia or northern Russia? Is average IQ a gradient that climbs as you move north through the sample? Or do the “ends get fatter”, at least? Do we know?

I only know one thing that might be relevant. Inuits seem to have a ridiculously high average for visuospatial intelligence. This manifests as mechanical ability – I read once about a case of an Inuit man dismantling, fixing, and reassembling an outboard motor without knowing beforehand what it was for. That is, he could deduce what was wrong for it just by analyzing the spatial relationships among the components.

• > Inuits seem to have a ridiculously high average for visuospatial intelligence.

La Griffe du Lion’s article “Smart Fraction Theory II: Why Asians Lag” is relevant. It points out that while a nation’s mean IQ is highly correlated to GDP, their are four outliers in northeast Asia with high mean IQ and mediocre GDP. It turns out that GDP is even more highly correlated to the verbal/analytical component of IQ. The Asian outliers are ho-hum in that regard, only having such a high mean IQ because of their ridiculous visuospatial ability.

Those nations also happen to be neighbors to the Inuit, more or less. The article speculates that they are this way because tool making, which depends more on visuospacial intelligence, is critical to surviving ice ages in the north.

• Don’t forget they live in one of the harshest environments on the planet, so selection pressures on the low end have to be immense.

• > Sure, the *society* who had someone that figured out salted beef benefited from it, but the person themselves probably didn’t.

I don’t want to get sidetracked too much by food preservation; that was just one example

Nonetheless, I think you are greatly overestimating how fast food-related inventions are adopted and how deeply conservative most people are about their food (think of all the people today who are terrified of GMO food — for that matter, I’m old enough to remember when some people were terrified of food cooked in microwave ovens). In the milieu of First European Settlers, it wasn’t just a matter of wasting your disposable income on “organic”, non-GMO food. Refusing to eat the salt fish or sauerkraut meant that you suffered from severe malnutrition, scurvy, etc. in the wintertime, at best. At worst, it meant that you died.

Here’s the larger point I was trying to make:

1) In general, the climate of Northern Europe is harsher (for people) than that of Africa. I mean, the first Europeans had evolved for African conditions. Conditions as different as those of Europe couldn’t possibly have been optimal.

2) Intelligence is very useful in coping with the challenges of a novel (and harsh) environment. There are other things that are useful (for instance, many northern peoples also tend to be fatter and/or hairier), but intelligence has to be really high on the list. Given a choice between being dropped in an isolated sub-arctic region with the same or higher IQ and less hair and fat, or being dropped with a significantly lower IQ and more hair and fat, I’m going to go with IQ, as would, I suspect, just about everyone here.

I note in passing that suggesting that Europeans are hairier and fatter due to evolutionary pressure is not nearly as controversial as suggesting that evolution is the cause of the difference in intelligence.

• Only in some societies is the average iq 100, in a few (northeast Asia) it’s higher, in most it’s lower. I also wonder if hight iq people with common sense tend to not advertise their high iq much so we tend to associate high iq with dorkiness even if the correlation isn’t actually there.

Though of course the question remains, if high iq is so good why hasn’t it been selected more? and also why has it been selected for to a different extend in different populations?

As an answer to the first question I propose that the reward buttons evolution gave us mostly reward things that lead to reproduction but not reproduction itself and that smart people are better at figuring out that they can hit reward buttons at a higher rate if they keep postponing reproduction.

Of course now that contraceptives make not reproducing while hitting lots of reward buttons so easy the average person can do it evolution is madly scrambling to get reward buttons that reward reproduction itself. As soon as evolution succeeds in this we will get right back to Malthusian conditions.

• See: r/K selection.

• Well, the things evolution is currently working on appear to be either being too stupid/poorly organized to use contraceptives or being likely to follow a religion that prohibits their use.

• Though of course the question remains, if high iq is so good why hasn’t it been selected more?

Oh, that’s easy — secondary effects of the genes.

Humans have already slammed up hard against the maximum brain/skull size, to the point where we’re far more likely to die in childbirth than any other mammal; the raw route to higher intelligence was exploited until it hit a fatality-inducing limit.

So then there’s a matter of other routes of optimization. Assuming more intelligence is better, those too will be selected for until their negative side effects outweigh their beneficial effects.

So now we look at the subpopulation that produces the brightest people — Ashkenazic Jews. And you know what we see? A whole host of unique genetic disorders. Exactly the sort of thing that would indicate that genes for higher intelligence have negative side effects.

The variation in subpopulations would then reflect how much members of the subpopulation benefits from trading the risk of genetic disease against intelligence. Given male Ashkenazics spent several centuries (at least) being selected for in a culture where pretty much all the available occupations for men were disproportionately g-loaded and where intracommunity status/prestige (and thus mating opportunities) was based heavily on academic-type study (Torah scholarship), it’s entirely predictable they’d be unusually likely to be selected for IQ at the price of genetic defects. Other groups would have other tradeoffs.

For a cross-check, we can look at other subpopulations that were selected for intelligence and look at their kids; for example, Silicon Valley parents seem to be making lots of autistic children.

• I agree. The effects of genetically overclocking one’s brain are unlikely to be all positive (and you’ve cited some evidence that supports that).

• . I’m not the only one to notice that high-IQ types tend not to have common sense, and miss obvious facts in front of their faces while spending their time and brainpower making pedantic arguments.

What would you expect a high-IQ person with common sense to look like?

If common sense says “Hey, don’t go waving your IQ around!”, which I think is a pretty reasonable supposition, what if you don’t notice them? You’re getting a selection effect against noticing these people.

You also have a selection effect in favor of noticing the high-IQs with no common sense, because they make the biggest messes.

I don’t know if high IQ counters common sense. There’s a mechanism that would explain it (high IQ allows you to argue yourself into bad positions more powerfully), but then again, high intelligence also argues in favor of being able to figure out how the world works more quickly. I’d also find it easy to believe (though I lack evidence) that young people with high IQs are more likely to be unwise, but acquire wisdom more quickly and older smart people are more likely to be wise. If that was the case I’d also suspect the school system in having some involvement in inflating young egos in an environment that isolates them from the real-world feedback they need to develop wisdom.

But it’s all just supposition on my part; the data is lacking. I’m not even sure how you could fix that, since measuring “common sense” is pretty hard. (Odds strike me as being in the 90% range that anyone who did try to study this would simply define “common sense” as “is a leftist”, which would render the study a waste of the paper it was printed on.)

• What would you expect a high-IQ person with common sense to look like?

My grandboss is very, very sharp. Possibly smarter than me, and I don’t admit that easily. In discussions about some particular problem, he’ll listen for a bit, then ask exactly the right question to get people to a solution.

9. All right, Eric, here’s another question for you: how is IQ related to sexual attractiveness?

I know the average geek would like to believe that “the sexiest sex organ is the brain,” but that doesn’t seem to reflect reality.

It seems obvious that, even if we didn’t have a moral taboo against sex with mentally retarded adults, that most people wouldn’t find them attractive.

However, it’s a painful fact that those with IQ’s over 150 tend to be seen as unattractive as well…although it’s by no means as universal as the lack of attraction to retarded people.

It would be tempting to assume that an IQ of 100 would be the most attractive, but from my experience the optimum IQ would seem to be about 130. Perhaps there is a racial aspect in this; white people are the majority, and have slightly higher IQ’s than the average; they also tend to prefer other white people.

• > However, it’s a painful fact that those with IQ’s over 150 tend to be seen as unattractive as well…

I’m not sure that’s actually true — while they might not have dated the cheerleaders in high school, most such people do find mates and have children. Hawking had three. Einstein had three. Feynman (who was a notorious horndog, and had much success at it) had two.
The notable exception there, of course, was Newton, who may well have been gay. Even if not, I’d make a strong argument for Newton having been a genius of an entirely different magnitude than the others. I think it likely that he was the smartest person who ever lived — way beyond Einstein or Hawking.

• I think Einstein’s success with women was a product of the European subculture he was in. I think the secular Jews at the time had a tendency toward free love.And I do believe that Jews at the time had either arranged marriages or at least something close to them, so it’s no surprise that they did get married–especially since, at that time, it was much harder for Jewish women to marry gentiles.

One thing I notice on this and other “nerdy” discussion forums is that the people here WAY overestimate the mating value, and (heresy!!!!) the overall value of intelligence. I’ve spent most of my life working in more traditional fields, and I know that many bosses will sigh and roll their eyes when they find out that a new employee has a fancy college degree. This isn’t just prejudice; it’s bad experiences with overeducated fools who can’t perform their jobs.

As to the idea, expressed in an above post, that education of women, combined with female hypergamy, may have driven the European IQ upward–well, I don’t buy it. For the VAST majority of history, intelligence was not seen as an especially valuable trait. To the extent it was valued, it was mostly valued in military officers who used it to win wars, or more recently in men who used it in high-tech fields to make lots of money.

I think that intelligence only came to be seen as a desirable trait during and after WWII, when the need for high-tech weaponry became essential to national survival. Even then, men were seen as more attractive if they seemed like the type who could FIGHT wars, as opposed to just making weapons.

• >I think that intelligence only came to be seen as a desirable trait during and after WWII, when the need for high-tech weaponry became essential to national survival.

Not at all true. I’m reminded of the 17th and 18th-century social style of “bluestocking”, which among other things was pretty clearly a selective mating strategy, especially in women.

• I admit I did not know about bluestocking until you mentioned it, so I have only the Wikipedia article to use as a reference.

However, first of all, as you yourself more or less admitted, this was mostly a female trend, if I’m reading the wiki article correctly. For men, if you wanted a good marriage, you wanted to own a great deal of land.

Second, I gather from the wiki article that bluestocking women were about as popular with most men as feminazis are today, and probably for the same reasons.

Look, I’m not saying that intelligence is worthless, or that some women aren’t attracted to it. I’m just saying that what I call the “Cult of IQ”–the attitude that an IQ score (if you’re a conservative intellectual) or a more nebulous intelligence (if you’re an intellectual of the Left) is by far the most valuable trait a person can ever have, to the point where other traits, such as physical health and tenacity, can largely be overlooked–is mostly the perception of a very small group of people, highly overrepresented in “nerdy” sites on the Internet.

I don’t want to denigrate the hard mental labor of mathematicians or scientists, I just want to help people look reality in the face. All too often, I have seen people with high IQ’s become bitter anti-American leftists, because they thought that this nation owed them respect they weren’t getting.

• >Second, I gather from the wiki article that bluestocking women were about as popular with most men as feminazis are today, and probably for the same reasons.

Oh, no, they weren’t nearly that badly thought of in period. It was well understood that there was a category of men for whom bluestockings had appeal, and there was nothing particularly wrong or odd about those men. “She’s a bluestocking” could be either a recommendation or a mild warning.

• That relates to your earlier point about many highly intelligent men preferring stupid-but-hot women.

This phenomenon is very real, and there’s a good reason for it. Many intelligent men are actively REPULSED by high-IQ women.

First off, intelligent people tend to value their own opinions, since those opinions are the product of a great deal of thought. When they meet a high-IQ woman with markedly different opinions, they often dislike her, This isn’t always the case; some women are respectful enough that men can overlook their difference. From my experience, though, this is the exception rather than the rule.

Second, women are less likely to have jobs that need common sense than are men. So even a hard-core male nerd has usually gotten bit in the ass by life at some point, whereas a female nerd often sticks aggressively to her theories that don’t reflect reality.

• >Many intelligent men are actively REPULSED by high-IQ women.

I have never known this to be the case in my peer group. I therefore doubt the “many”, or think you must be describing an IQ or subcultural cohort I don’t have much contact with.

The bright men I know are acutely aware of the relative shortage of equivalently bright women (nobody’s fault, it’s that damned difference in IQ dispersion again) and desperately wish there were more of them.

• This strikes me as feminist fantasy (aka fiction). I’ve never met, nor even credibly heard of, anyone rejecting a woman for being too smart. I have, however, heard (and heard of) many repulsive women casting blame on anything and everything but their own behaviors for their inability to find a man willing to put up with their shit.

• Have either of you tried asking smart women about their experience? I’ve certainly seen and personally experienced the “you’ve got a brain and know how to use it – I’m outta here” reaction he describes. It’s not universal and is somewhat disguised by the fact that people often prefer a mate who’s different to them. If you define ‘bright’ as ‘works in STEM’ then the male:female ratio in STEM is going to combine with that preference to result in lots of STEM men marrying non-STEM women (which is my own observance, but may not hold in very concentrated areas like Silicon Valley or CERN)

• You sir, are fabricating stories.

Unless you can either provide legitimate references to back up your claim that smart men have a sexual preference dumber women, I’m not going to believe you.

Alternatively, you can try to construct an argument for smart men preferring dumb women within the context of evolutionary biology.

Otherwise, you are merely fabricating stories.

• >Unless you can either provide legitimate references to back up your claim that smart men have a sexual preference dumber women, I’m not going to believe you.

Why the weird insistence on absolutes? EVERYONE this, or EVERYONE that, is purely retarded.
People are not all the same, they have different preferences, strategies, and personality disorders. ;)

Counter example is my brother. We’re both about equally smart, rough guess iq in the 130-140 range. I’m a sysadmin, he’s an accountant.

I prefer smart women. For most of his life, he preferred not smart women. He’s come around somewhat in the past few years, but it’s been a struggle.

I view a marriage as a partnership, and the more capable the partners the better able to deal with a hostile world. He wants to make the decisions and be in control.

There are personal reasons that would help explain our different approaches, but I’d rather not go into them. Suffice it that they exist.

• I’d also add that the obsession with IQ among conservative intellectuals is one of the traits that drives a wedge between them and rank-and-file conservatives.

Speaking as someone whose intelligence and access to information would put him in the “intellectual” category, but whose life and employment history put him in the rank-and-file category, I say the following:

Look, I realize that the hate thrown at Charles Murray and the more or less successful attempts to silence him by the Left need to be fought–HARD. But mostly, I want him to present his case so that I can refute it.

On one of his predictions, he has been 180 degrees off. Specifically, he predicted that the conservatives would be a tiny sliver at the tip of the IQ iceberg, with the rest of the population supporting Leftist candidates and demanding welfare. In fact, the Left is now a coalition of overeducated idiots and a minority of bottom–feeders, while the Right is found in the middle of both IQ range and wealth.

I guess part of the reason I don’t much care for the Murray-like obsession with IQ is that it tends to create conservatives like, well, Charles Murray—people who have spent all their lives in academia, with a “loser” attitude that all is lost, and who thereby are the kinds of cowardly conservatives whom the Left can easily intimidate into silence. For all his faults, I prefer a Donald Trump who fights back.

• (in an earlier comment)
> This isn’t just prejudice; it’s bad experiences with overeducated fools who can’t perform their jobs.

(in this comment)
> In fact, the Left is now a coalition of overeducated idiots and a minority of bottom–feeders

You keep conflating “intelligent” with “being ‘overeducated'”.

Those aren’t the same thing. At all.

• What exactly does “overeducated” mean? How can one be “overeducated”?

• “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” —Mark Twain

• >What exactly does “overeducated” mean? How can one be “overeducated”?

By having been taught a great deal of academically fashionable nonsense, and believed it.

In the U.S., any college or university department with “studies” in the name is a reliable vector of such nonsense.

• Well, most basically, you take a lot of courses that purport to demand analytical or scholarly ability, but that are beyond your actual mental reach. And so you learn them in a formulaic way that doesn’t include actually being able to reason about them, or to critically assess material. And maybe you end up having courses taught that are intended to be learned that way, so that student can put in years on “higher education” that doesn’t actually demand much capability.

I earn the bulk of my living as a copy editor for scientific and scholarly publications. I’ve edited a tremendous range of material. But part of it has been by PhDs who could barely put an English sentence together, and who weren’t doing much in the way of critical assessment—this was for a publisher that emphasized the social sciences, the social welfare professions, and I think business administration. I don’t hesitate to say there are people in those fields who are “educated” beyond their capacity to benefit.

• So, if I understand you all well, over-education is bad education being on the one hand non-sense, e.g., a certificate in Creation Science, and on the other hand, over the head of the student, e.g., a course on pre-islamic Arabic poetry for someone who does not understand any kind of Arabic.

In both cases, I still do not understand why it is called “over”-educated. But if the English want to call it over-educated, then that it is.

• If you are implying that calling someone “over-educated” is technically misleading, I would agree; it may be more accurate to say “over-certified”, as the educational process involved is neither nonsensical nor incomprehensible to anyone involved. To me, the perfect practical example of what over-education means comes in the semi-traditional “toy question” asked in programming interviews (writing fizzbuzz, or reversing a linked list, or in-place swapping the contents of two hardware registers).

The “over-educated” candidate is capable of answering such questions, because their education taught them those answers without also providing the understanding of how they can be derived. In other words, someone who is “over educated” was specifically educated in (current) “qualifications” for the desired job, not the fundamentals of a field. This results in a candidate who can pass the formal interview process, but lacks the skills to correctly apply their learning to real-world problems.

• I don’t think the course in pre-Islamic poetry is a good example. In the first place, I have read the poetry of countries whose languages I don’t know—in translation, which admittedly is not as good as reading the actual poem, but it can give you some knowledge. But so far as it is a problem, the problem is not at all lack of ability; it’s lack of prerequisite knowledge. The core meaning of “overeducated” is that you have been exposed to academic subjects that are above the reach of your intellectual ability.

I don’t see why you find this difficult to get. Just think of it in terms of Aristotle’s idea of the mean. An undereducated person is one whose education falls short of what they are intellectually capable of doing; an overeducated person is one whose education goes beyond it. Do you find it impossible to understand why someone might be called “undereducated”?

• @Alex K.
“it may be more accurate to say “over-certified”,”

That sound right to me.

@Alex K.
“The “over-educated” candidate is capable of answering such questions, because their education taught them those answers without also providing the understanding of how they can be derived.”

That is the result of “Teaching to the Test”. That sounds very plausible as this practice is rather widespread. If that is the meaning of “over-educated”, then I totally see the point. But that is not a deficiency of the Student, but of the Educational system.

To give an example from outside the US, the Japanese test English language skills with multiple choice. As a result, the Japanese have the highest certified incomprehensible English speakers in the world. It is also always a joy to read: “A Mathematician’s Lament” by Paul Lockhart about this practice in Math.
https://www.maa.org/external_archive/devlin/LockhartsLament.pdf

@William H. Stoddard
“I have read the poetry of countries whose languages I don’t know—in translation, which admittedly is not as good as reading the actual poem, but it can give you some knowledge.”

That is nice for a introductory class in general poetry. It is worthless as a certification in such a specific subject.

@William H. Stoddard
“The core meaning of “overeducated” is that you have been exposed to academic subjects that are above the reach of your intellectual ability.”

In the Academic world this is generally seen as a failure of teaching. Only few students will grow to contribute new science to an academic subject, that is true. But that is mostly due to limits of time and interest. But Feynman diagrams and gravitational waves can be explained to almost everyone who is interested.

Gravital waves for kids
http://mocomi.com/gravitational-waves/

• This bifurcation of the Left’s base is best understood in the context of The Fundamental Contradiction of the Democratic Nanny State:

How can a person be deemed incompetent to make certain decisions for himself, but when he steps into a voting booth suddenly be competent to make those same decisions for everyone, either by direct democracy (initiative/referendum) or by electing someone who promises to do so on his behalf?

There are two broad classes of people who don’t seem bothered by this contradiction:

1) Those on the lower end of the competence spectrum who recognize they need someone to make those decisions for them.

2) Those who believe themselves to be on the upper end, and are therefore competent to make those decisions for others.

The people in the middle of the distribution are largely competent to make these decisions for themselves, and don’t need elites to run their lives for them.

• I once asked How do we explain the nonstandard nerd? and described a cohort of muscular alpha nerds you can find in the better grade of martial-arts school or military special operations groups.

Since the mating value of intelligence has been questioned, and it’s been brought up that Einstein and Feynmann chased women constantly (and often caught them), let me add a data point, going on having known quite a number of muscular alpha nerds and been one myself.

Muscular alpha nerds get lots of sexual action. Being intelligent does not seem to slow us down any. So it’s not that intelligence is a negative in the mating game, it’s that the standard bright nerd is lacking something else and the lack does slow him or her down.

My experience is the mating value of intelligence is not zero either, but it ain’t necessarily much with respect to potential sex partners unless they’re above-average intelligent themselves. It’s also not symmetrical by sex; bright men are more likely to find hot-but-stupid interesting than bright women are to invert that. (Though the men might possibly not stay interested for long.)

That asymmetry combines with the sex difference in IQ dispersion to create an unfortunate situation for male nerds who aren’t alphas. There aren’t enough women who might find their bulging brains attractive to go around, so they end up targeting hot-but-stupids who don’t. Disappointment ensues.

Meanwhile, alpha nerd males get bright women flinging themselves at us precisely because men further down the IQ bell curve don’t interest them much – and, well, we’ve got the alpha charisma thing going. Sometimes it’s like they use our IQs as an excuse to jump an alpha.

My conclusion: smarts do add mating value, but only under certain preconditions. Either the person you’re interested in has to be above-average bright him/her self and care about that trait in a partner a lot, or you have to have high-ish mating value in conventional terms at which point IQ becomes a bonus.

• First of all, ESR, thank you for giving my thesis respect, even if you don’t agree with it.

Second of all, though, I think you overlook the fact that nerdiness has two separate aspects which are correlated, but not 100%. Those attributes are, first, imagination; and second, problem-solving ability.

The fact that these two are correlated to a certain degree explains why you have so many high-tech types who also do something as seemingly opposite as playing Dungeons and Dragons.

However, since they are not PERFECTLY correlated, there are plenty of people who play D&D (or read sf, etc.) who are NOT especially good problem-solvers. These people often keep company with much more technically competent nerds because of common interest, and are identified as “geeks” by outsiders. I don’t doubt that some women who actively sought out nerds, thinking that they were a walking ATM, unintentionally hooked up with some of these low-functioning nerds and were turned off for good as a result.

(FWIW, there are also plenty of the opposite: people who can solve all kinds of problems and have the imagination of a cockroach. They probably tend to turn women off as well, simply because while they make the bucks, they are really annoying, stick-up-the-ass people).

10. I think you may be under estimating by considering that SSA has the same genetic diversity as the rest of the world. In fact, SSA has a much bigger genetic diversity than the branch that left to populate the rest of the world, whereas they had at that time a bigger genetic pool from which to to recombine and mutate. Add to that, that SSA population has many tribal groups that segregate from others by diverse causes be physical or mental attributes… Adding to that, there’s in SSA a cultural hidden practice of sacrificing retarded and physically handicapped children and babies to the ancient spirits, that translates in active eugenics. There is anecdotal evidence by people living in Africa of tribes in the Mozambique region that have very high learning abilities, extreme number senses and some tribes have been keeping astronomical records for several thousand of years…

• The problem here is that the IQ of any Black person is as much political as it is factual. We have 5-7 decades, depending on where in Africa, of some European nation trying to justify colonialism, and estimates of African intelligence doubtless played a part. In the modern era, I’d ask who is doing the testing and who is financing that testing… it’s one of those issues where there is so much interference by people with an axe to grind that I’m not sure anyone can really get an accurate estimate.

For myself, I’d head to someplace like Nairobi and hang out at a University for a couple weeks and see what was going on. That being said, Eric’s comments on childhood nutrition are definitely on point!

• >The problem here is that the IQ of any Black person is as much political as it is factual.

Your politics is making you spout drivel again. Colonialism has been dead in Africa since the Portuguese high-tailed it out of there in 1974. It’s been 43 years since anybody on the ground in Africa had a political incentive to futz with SSA IQ results in either direction; really I’d say since 1962 because, while French Algeria might have paid some attention to pyschometry, the Portuguese didn’t.

Besides, the diversity of sources in the data means it wouldn’t really be possible for anyone to futz with it for political reasons if they were trying. That average of 68, and the previous elite-oversampled one of 80 one, was from something like 44 countries. And don’t trot out “the tests are culturally biased”, that problem was solved decades ago as side effect of tuning for higher g-loading.

No. Reality bites hard in this case. Of course you’re going to get unpleasant degrees of social stratification when the elites average 2-3 STDS brighter than the folk average (in the U.S., it’s only a bit more than 1STD if you exclude the 12% of blacks). And the observed strength of correlation between IQ and time preference means that so many of those countries being violent, squalid shitholes is anything but surprising – you can do better if an exceptionally bright elite is running things (see: Botswana, the stonkingly obvious real-world model for fictional Wakanda) but otherwise the few people with the neurological equipment to do serious forward planning will just get swamped.

Maybe this can be fixed by rising wealth levels. I’m moderately hopeful. SSA with an average IQ of 80 rather than 68 would be a huge improvement and might be achievable. Above that we’d probably hit a ceiling in the genetics (there’s no real hope of raising the gentile European average to match the Ashkenazim, either) but you have to take what you can get in these things.

• > there’s no real hope of raising the gentile European average to match the Ashkenazim, either

Sure there is. Assuming everything doesn’t go smash, I expect that parents will be able to order their child’s attributes from a menu within 50 years.

P.S. is there some reason my comments keep going to moderation? While I’ve been involved in some heated debates here, I don’t think I’ve gone too far off the reservation by local standards.

• >P.S. is there some reason my comments keep going to moderation? While I’ve been involved in some heated debates here, I don’t think I’ve gone too far off the reservation by local standards.

It’s nothing I’ve done. I think Akismet is having a fit. Its soam filtering ain;t working ttoo well the last couple of days.

Although men appear to be a little brighter than women in most world populations, I have seen a few indications that the opposite (or at least a closer parity) be the case in SSA. It’s mostly intuition, but keep an eye out for it.

You note that East Asians have a higher average IQ than whites, but suspect a narrower distribution. That may be so, but there may be other personality traits involved. Two things spring to mind: whites may be more individualistic, and therefore more willing to buck conventional wisdom – which is a necessity for intellectual breakthroughs; alternately, I suspect that there is an aspect of *brokenness* in genius – that it is not just what one has, but what one is lacking that is sometimes vital to genius. This may explain why most of the people with the very highest measured IQs (over 200) have contributed very little in the way of intellectual breakthroughs.

The suggestion above of including the Boers may be more relevant than you think. The Boers are the descendants of both Dutch and Huguenot settlers. The Huguenots are not much remembered, but they and their descendants are largely responsible for the Industrial Revolution, the American Revolution, AND for a rather technologically advanced society in Africa in spite of considerable impediments. In fact, their Boer descendants are vital to the economies of many SSA nations, not just South Africa. Unlike the Jews, the Huguenots have tended to intermarry with other populations (see “Cape Coloured”), but given that the populations they intermarry into tend to do pretty well afterwards … well, I have some suspicions.

However, there are some native populations in Africa that show considerable promise. Combine their traditional elites with modern sanitation and nutrition, and the Igbo (Ibo) and Yoruba in Nigeria, the Ashanti in Ghana, the Tswana in Botswana and South Africa, and perhaps a few others might do considerably better than expected. The chief impediment here is that these tribes are few in number, and their elites even fewer.

However, another factor in Africa is that centuries of colonization have led to a number of Africans with some European ancestry, and the new influx of Chinese genes may result in unexpected acceleration of intelligence on the continent, especially if mixed with conflict.

12. At 175, how many Women “Einsteins” in the world?

Childhood nutrition is one thing, but also parental engagement, and early learning. If they just play in the dirt all day until they are 10, even if there was a 175 IQ, he wouldn’t be able to use it.

Stefan Molyneux has many videos about what increases IQ, and making sure the children have good nutrition (starting with breastfeeding!) is only one of them.

The other problem is the society will have 8 billion or more in 30 years (given age of marriage, number of children), and most won’t be Einsteins. Most won’t even be 100 IQ. Are you ready for a huge Stalinist / Maoist / You know who eugenics program, or what happens if there is a depression, famine, plague, etc? Those are likely to take out the Einsteins as much as the dolts.

13. I’m not clear on one aspect of your computation. Accepting mean African IQ as 68, you say that 68 = 100 – 32 and work backward to 160 + 32 = 192. But that seems to imply that there are as many Africans with negative IQs (!) as there are Europeans with IQ 32 or less. I’m not even sure negative IQ is defined.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to say 68 = 100 x .68 and work backward to 160 / .68 = 235? Of course, that probably gives you expected zero African Einsteins, and maybe a handful if you do 160 / .8 = 200. But I’m not sure why it wouldn’t be a more accurate comparison.

• >But that seems to imply that there are as many Africans with negative IQs (!) as there are Europeans with IQ 32

You raise an interesting point; I don’t know what the low end of the SSA distribution looks like, I’ve never seen a data plot for a population with a mean IQ that low.

I’ll do some poking around in the net. Straight multiplicative scaling probably isn’t right, though, It would narrow the dispersion of the distribution in such a dramatic way that I’m certain I’d have seen mention of it somewhere. No way the La Griffe du Lion guy would have missed commenting on that, in particular.

• Of course, IQ as it’s NOW defined (as opposed to the original mental age/chronological age concept) is probably interval, not ratio scaled. So in theory you could view IQ 0 as an arbitrary point on an interval, like 0°F. But I have the impression that IQ < 25 is defined as "nonresponsive," and I'm not sure how you'd get something more extreme than that.

14. What is an “Einstein”? Was Georg Riemann, whom Einstein was in awe of, an Einstein?

15. As a cross-check, what does your reasoning give for an estimated number of Ben Franklins and Thomas Jeffersons in a pre-Flynn-Effect 18th century North American population of ~3 million?

• >As a cross-check, what does your reasoning give for an estimated number of Ben Franklins and Thomas Jeffersons in a pre-Flynn-Effect 18th century North American population of ~3 million?

No idea. No estimate of average IQ for that time and place.

Thinking about it, Colonial America makes me wonder about the Flynn effect. The primary sources do not convey an impression of the general stupidity that you’ve expect if you project the Flynn effect of the last century backwards. Oh hell do they not – standards of written discourse were, if anything, higher than today’s.

This might be a clue. “Some studies have found the gains of the Flynn effect to be particularly concentrated at the lower end of the distribution” I didn’t know that, and it supports my favorite theory – which is that the Flynn effect has been driven by improvements in average wealth levels improving childhood nutrition. You’d see that change most in poor families.

If that’s so, the average IQ of the middle and upper classes in 1776 might not have been all that different from the U.S.’s today.

Web searches for Ben Franklin’s IQ cluster around 160. I believe that in a way I didn’t for Einstein. Running the numbers through my handy chart based on 100 IQ, there should have been about 265 Ben Franklins running around in the Colonies.

That’s comfortable margin. Even if we drop the average-IQ estimate to, say, 90, we still get 18 Ben Franklins. And, let’s see, about two 175-IQ Einsteins.

• “Some studies have found the gains of the Flynn effect to be particularly concentrated at the lower end of the distribution”

The population estimates of IQ are drawn from military draft cohorts, as these gave the largest population samples (of men). You might have noticed that the better educated contingents of the population were under represented in the draft cohorts as they had many ways to avoid service. With the increase in general education, that difference became less pronounced.

Anyway, the best explanations of the Flynn effect are improved general education. That obviously benefited the lower educated more than the better educated.

Here is a study that could attribute one third of the Flynn effect in Norway to a specific school reform in the 1960s:
Schooling in adolescence raises IQ scores
http://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/109/2/425.full.pdf

• >Schooling in adolescence raises IQ scores

“We find that this schooling reform, which primarily affected education in the middle teenage years, had a substantial effect on IQ scores measured at the age of 19 y”

I’ve seen this movie before from U.S. research. Temporarily jacking up childhood IQ with various kinds of intervention is not too hard, but 19 is about the latest age you can measure such gains. Go back a year or two later and you’ll find the subjects have reverted to an adult IQ well correlated with their genetic relatives. There’s a similar pattern in separated-twin studies – each twun’s IQ tends to track its adoption family’s until suddenly it doesn’t.

No, the Flynn effect can’t be from improved education. The incidence pattern is wrong; the effect is too broad and seemingly indifferent to whether the local schools are good or crappy. You are excused for not knowing this, as it’s going to be a difficult disjunction to spot in a small homogenous country with good schools.

• “You are excused for not knowing this, as it’s going to be a difficult disjunction to spot in a small homogenous country with good schools.”

Except that effects were measured across two world wars with famines in part of the populations. Furthermore, schools have been improved all over the world since the 19th century.

“Go back a year or two later and you’ll find the subjects have reverted to an adult IQ well correlated with their genetic relatives.”

For everything measured in biology it holds that “Use it or lose it”. You will reduce your IQ by not using your brain. After leaving school, your cognitive abilities will tend to match those of the people around you who will tend to be related to you. Anyhow, after reaching the labor market, people tend to ossify mentally, which is also bad for your IQ. But you can fight it:

What It Takes To Change Your Brain’s Patterns After Age 25
https://www.fastcompany.com/3045424/what-it-takes-to-change-your-brains-patterns-after-age-25

Ageing, cognitive abilities and retirement
https://art.torvergata.it/retrieve/handle/2108/123037/248635/Mazzonna_Peracchi_2012_EER.pdf

• You will loose bone mass. And muscles. Some of it irriversibly if you re also on a diet.

• I suspect the major influence of education is that people learn to use whatever IQ they have to the greatest possible advantage. Everything else is a numbers game.

• “people learn to use whatever IQ they have to the greatest possible advantage.”

This is just as incorrect as saying that exercising allows people to “learn to use the muscles they have”. The brain too is a very plastic organ.

All the empirical evidence (as opposed to “ideological faith”) shows that IQ is not fixed.

• >The brain too is a very plastic organ.

Er, probably not. I believed this too until about three days ago. But see

Scott has since corrected from “It doesn’t happen” to “Evidence for it is weak and tenuous and it probably doesn’t happen.”

Among other things, adult neurogenesis turning out to be most likely a mirage makes the possibility that adult brains can be permanently rewired for higher IQ much less likely. I think our best hope there is to figure out what the mechanisms of action of effective nootropics like modafinil are.

• I saw that too. But there are two remarks to be made.

1) The latest Nature study contradicts earlier studies. In a review of this study, questions were raised on how to reconcile these contradicting studies. I think it is too early to make a definite statement on this matter.
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-02629-3

2) Neurogenesis does not tell us a lot on neural rewiring. The computations of a neural network, both in vivo and in silico, take place in the connections and weights, not in the nodes/cell bodies. The fact that the number of neural cell bodies do not change tells us very little about the connections between the cells. Such plasticity has been shown to be considerable:

Neural plasticity across the lifespan
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5193480/

To summarize, whether or not new neurons can arise in adult humans does not change the observed neural plasticity of humans. It merely points out that this plasticity is not achieved by creating new neurons.

• That’s all very nice, but I wasn’t talking about IQ or brain plasticity, but the more simplistic issue of using one’s brain to its full potential, regardless of whether that means the full potential of someone with an 80 IQ or the full potential of someone with an IQ of 130. As someone noted elsewhere on the thread, a high IQ means nothing if one isn’t educated.

Einstein’s success wasn’t merely a matter of education; he was also well-enough educated that he knew what the hardest problems were in physics and was able to think about them intelligently (as opposed to thinking about where his next meal was coming from.) The education was a pre-condition of his success, as was the good luck to not spend much time wondering whether he was going to eat that day. I apologize, but I’m not saying this very well, but hopefully the application to finding an African Einstein is obvious beyond my tired attempt to clarify what I wrote a couple days ago.

I’d rather be a well-educated guy with an IQ of 110 than a poorly educated guy with an IQ of 130…

• “I’d rather be a well-educated guy with an IQ of 110 than a poorly educated guy with an IQ of 130…”

My point completely.

• >I’d rather be a well-educated guy with an IQ of 110 than a poorly educated guy with an IQ of 130…

Probably a good choice. However, be aware that further up the tail the assumptions behind it stop being valid.

There is an IQ threshold above which people get so good at autodicaticism that they will not fail to self-educate effectively unless you lock them up somewhere without access to books.

I don’t know where that threshold is on the numeric scale, but I’ve seen the consequences in my own life. Between the age of 5 or 6 or so and when I entered college the school system taught me almost nothing, as in probably less than 5% of what I learned.

The rest I got from life exposure or books. I learned French by translating Asterix comics, organic chemistry by reading an old textbook. By high school I had absorbed way more history, biology. and physics than were in the textbooks I was reading in school.

They did manage to teach me a little math I hadn’t already learned. But once I got interested I powered past the textbooks in that, too.

It was like a hunger. The schools couldn’t shove information at me fast enough to satisfy. I wanted to know everything and they wouldn’t teach it.

I’m sure I’m not unique in this, or even odd compared to my IQ peers. I’ve seen the signs in other bright people.

• “However, be aware that further up the tail the assumptions behind it stop being valid.”

That point is not reached at IQ 130.

On top of that, there is a lot that cannot be learned by auto-didactism. Anything that requires personal experience, e.g., picking edible mushrooms, or plumbing. Things that can be learned by reading and logical extrapolation might indeed fall under things that can be learned without formal education, if you are bright enough.

• >That point [of compulsive and effective autodidacticism] is not reached at IQ 130.

Agreed. Bearing in mind that my sample is small, I think you start seeing it ramp up in the mid-140s and it really kicks in somewhere between 150 and 160.

>Anything that requires personal experience, e.g., picking edible mushrooms, or plumbing [cannot be learned by auto-didactism].

Or martial-arts skills. I learn those somewhat faster than average, but not with the extreme-by-most-peoples’-standards speed that I’m now learning how to design low-power electronics.

>Things that can be learned by reading and logical extrapolation might indeed fall under things that can be learned without formal education, if you are bright enough.

• @esr:
I’m sure I’m not unique in this

You aren’t. In fact, ironically (at least for Troutwaxer), Einstein himself is an example of what you describe. The education that Troutwaxer lauds as essential to Einstein’s success was self-education: he went out on his own and learned about the latest physics of his day because his professors wouldn’t teach it.

• It’s not “fixed”, but it is “bounded”.

Some days I’m dumber than others–lack of sleep, low blood sugar, too long w/out sex etc.

But I’m never *smarter* than when I’ve had a good nights sleep, a decent breakfast and a blowjob.

• Never mind 1776, what about 1879, when Einstein was born? The Flynn effect was up and running by then, and since IQ rises by 2.93 points per decade, we conclude that average IQ in Europe then was 100-(2017-1879)*0.293 =~ 60. If so, the odds of an Einstein in Europe then were even lower than the odds of one in Africa today.

16. It is now 0800 in Amsterdamn/Copenhagen.

Winter comments in 5, 4, 3, 2…

• Why Copenhagen?

But I tend to start only around 9. Today even later.

And you are right, I tend to find this subject interesting. The efforts people are willing to expend to prove that education cannot have an effect on cognitive functioning has always fascinated me.

• > Why Copenhagen?

Couldn’t remember where you lived. Knew it was either Netherlands or Denmark.

17. But there are obviously not 175 Einsteins in the US. There are not even 175 Terence Taos, because you would know about them, they are not exactly obscure.

Sure, there are probably 175 or more than 175 super high IQ folks sitting at Mensa clubs and entertaining themselves with puzzles while having mundane jobs, being actors like James Woods, winning chess tournaments etc. so being, compared to their ability, relatively non-productive.

They are not Terence Taos because the requirement for being a Terence Tao is not only to be very smart, but to actually pour that into research, so find a truly productive use of that ability. Usually that is research.

And Terence Taos are not Einsteins, because to be an Einstein means to stumble unto something to research that has a potential of a world-shaking breakthrough that people talk about at dinner parties, not relatively obscure stuff.

• “And Terence Taos are not Einsteins, because to be an Einstein means to stumble unto something to research that has a potential of a world-shaking breakthrough that people talk about at dinner parties, not relatively obscure stuff.”

That is why we talk much more about Einstein and Hawking, and not, say, Dirac, Feynman, Witten, and Maldacena.
(with Feynman only “known” for his involvement with the shuttle disaster investigation)

• > with Feynman only “known” for his involvement with the shuttle disaster investigation

Maybe in Europe. He’s actually quite famous (for a physicist) in the United States.

• The Manhattan Project, obviously.

18. “but tensor calculus is hard and depends on qualities about which there is no dispute that IQ captures well.”

That is why Einstein needed a lot of help from mathematicians, e.g., Grossman, Levi-Civita, and Hilbert. It is not often acknowledged that although Einstein’s own feats were bordering on the miraculous, he too was standing on the shoulders of some pretty decent contemporary giants.

So, if you want an Einstein, or a Hilbert, or a Dirac, or a Hawking, or a Maldacena, you also need a lot of excellent teachers and colleagues and a high level community of peers.

For those who are interested:
Lost in the Tensors: Einstein’s Struggles with Covariance Principles, 1912-1916
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/ce2b/6fbe589a6235ebc91a130ab98d7eb7d15e43.pdf

Einstein the Stubborn: Correspondence between Einstein and Levi-Civita
https://arxiv.org/pdf/1202.4305.pdf

• If you really dig into the history, it has struck me before that Einstein’s biggest contribution is simply that he was the first to take the math seriously. There’s at least 2 (Lorentz and Minkowski, though he’d be racing his unfortunate death) and probably a good dozen other people who were in the position to beat him to the punch, but they were still stuck in a mindset where the math worked but there was still some sort of way to map it back to “real” reality, rather than it being the real reality. Though he did also contribute some real math and some testable predictions, I think just taking it seriously was a big contribution.

To a lot of people it sounds like this trivializes his contributions, but for anyone who has ever been through a course on relativity and really gets it they probably have some personal experience about how hard that actually was, even in the modern world where a good physics education is designed to lead you up to this understanding.

• As I learned the history, Einstein taking the math seriously had a precedent: James Clerk Maxwell looked at the known data on electricity and magnetism, expressed it in equations, said, “Hey, this would look better if there were this extra term in this one,” and predicted electromagnetic radiation. Then a few years later Heinrich Hertz showed that he was right. A lot of what Einstein was doing was trying to come up with an approach to mechanics that didn’t conflict with Maxwell, so Einstein certainly was aware of the precedent for “trust the math.”

On the other hand, it may have set a bad example for present-day physics.

19. I was left wondering what Einstein’s IQ was. Was he incredibly smart, or was he just ordinary smart, and just worked hard at solving problems that others did not work hard at because they thought them insoluble?

20. Hi Eric. I’ve found the problem here: Both of the people who critiqued the use of IQ testing in Africa are known racists:

Wikipedia describes Richard Lynn as follows: “He is professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Ulster and assistant editor of the journal Mankind Quarterly, which has been described as a “white supremacist journal”.”

Lynn is also responsible for such charming statements as “What is called for here is not genocide, the killing off of the population of incompetent cultures. But we do need to think realistically in terms of the ‘phasing out’ of such peoples…Evolutionary progress means the extinction of the less competent. To think otherwise is mere sentimentality.” and “I believe these predominantly white states should declare independence and secede from the Union. They would then enforce strict border controls and provide minimum welfare, which would be limited to citizens. If this were done, white civilization would survive within this handful of states.”

Gerhard Meisenberg is the editor of “Mankind Quarterly.” It’s worth noting that he is a professor of biochemistry and physiology, not an anthropologist, a psychologist, or a sociologist. (In short, he does not specialize in IQs or any kind of population study.) The school where he teaches is a Dominican for-profit medical school called “Ross University School of Medicine.” Possibly the school generates competent M.D.s, but in intellectual terms… let’s just say it’s not Yale.

‘Mankind Quarterly’ is another worthwhile Wikipedia lookup. Wikipedia states: “Critics call it a “cornerstone of the scientific racism establishment” and a “white supremacist journal”, “scientific racism’s keepers of the flame”, a journal with a “racist orientation” and an “infamous racist journal”, and “journal of ‘scientific racism'”.”

Wikipedia also notes that “Mankind Quarterly” is supported by the Pioneer Fund, which it describes as follows: “The organization has been described as racist and “white supremacist” in nature, and as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.”

Also note the following, from Another failure to replicate Lynn’s estimate of the average IQ of sub-Saharan Africans

“We thank Dr. Lynn (this issue) for commenting on our work (this
issue) in which we failed to replicate his low estimate of the average IQ
(on the basis of UK norms after correction of the Flynn Effect) of the
Black population of sub-Saharan Africa on the basis of their
performance on Raven’s Progressive Matrices (Lynn, 2006; Lynn &
Vanhanen, 2006). We attribute the difference of roughly 10 IQ points
between his estimate and ours to (1) our use of systematic methods
and a lack thereof in Lynn’s work; (2) our use of weighting by sample
size to estimate the mean IQ across samples and Lynn’s indifference to
sample sizes; (3) our decision not to include unhealthy samples, which
had met with problems, which Lynn attributes to low cognitive
ability of test-takers; (5) our exclusion of data from the Coloured
Progressive Matrices (CPM) for ages above 11 because the conversion
Progressive Matrices (SPM) artificially lowers the IQ; (6) Lynn’s
exclusion of a number of high-IQ samples that he deemed unrepresentative;
and (7) Lynn’s ad hoc downward correction of mean IQs
from primary and secondary school students by two and six IQ points,
respectively. Below we provide new estimates for these groups on
the basis of rigorous stratified random samples. These estimates again
fail to support Lynn’s assertion that Africans average an IQ below 70.”

In short, any numbers you got from Lynn and Meisenberg are complete crap.

I’ll further note, Eric, that this is the second time I’ve seen you taken in by what I describe as “white shoe racists.” This is very disappointing and you can do a better job of checking your sources. For your further elucidation, I’ll note that I used two simple techniques. First, I used Wikipedia. Second, I put the title of Lynn and Meisenberg’s paper into a search engine, and found the refutation easily enough.

• >I’ll further note, Eric, that this is the second time I’ve seen you taken in by what I describe as “white shoe racists.”

Nice attempt to shoot the messenger. “Has been described as” – you know, I basically don’t trust any such ascription any more, the “racist” slur having so often been hurled at people who clearly are no such thing. And we’ve almost reached the point where being denounced by the SPLC is a badge of honor (which is a damn shame, I think they did good work once upon a time).

Do you have any evidence that their actual data analysis is wrong or they’ve fudged the data? Have you read the paper? Or is your argument OMG RACISSS THEY MUST BE LYING!!!

I understand that you may find my counter-skepticism bewildering or even odious, because there was a time when accusations like this would have sent me running away from Lynn and Meisenberg’s report. Not any more – I’ve seen such fevered denunciamentos used to suppress Damned Facts too often.

Even the quote from “Another Failure…” doesn’t pass the smell test. Shorter version: “Well, we chopped and sliced the data to get the results we wanted, and we’re all pissy with Lynn because he interpreted it differently.” If the phrase “our decision not to include unhealthy samples” doesn’t raise a red flag for you, you’re asleep.

I once wrote “One of the most important reasons not to tell ourselves pretty lies about unpleasant realities is so that we do not hand evil people the power of being the only ones who are willing to speak the truth.” Welcome to the world bien pensants like you created, in which I judge that even outright racists (if Lynn and Meisenberg really are such) are somewhat more likely to be honest about psychometry and population genetics than anti-racists who think tolerance is best served by anodyne lies.

• …but if they are honestly willing to speak the truth (assuming we can reasonably determine ‘truth’ in this domain) then it categorically cannot be racism, surely, otherwise we’d be living in a weird reality where truth is racist…and if racism is truth, how can it be immoral?

I’m going to have a nap ;)

• >…but if they are honestly willing to speak the truth (assuming we can reasonably determine ‘truth’ in this domain) then it categorically cannot be racism, surely, otherwise we’d be living in a weird reality where truth is racist…and if racism is truth, how can it be immoral?

The truth can never be racist, because racism is an attitude and a set of emotional fixations. But speaking the truth doesn’t guarantee that one isn’t a racist, either.

When I say “In the U.S., Blacks have an average IQ a standard deviation below the white average,” I speak an objective truth that can be tested, and accusing me of racism for saying it is wrong. But when a Nazi repeats that statement, the fact that it is an objective truth does not absolve him of being a racist.

This is why I keep emphasizing that racism is a disposition, an attitude. A racist and a non-racist proceeding the from the same facts will reach different conclusions because the racist is addicted to certain kinds of fallacious reasoning, while the non-racist is not.

The reasoning of a Nazi (or any other kind of racist) is driven by a need to be be the superior man, and a lazy or vicious inclination to substitute pre-judgement based on group attribution for dealing with individuals as individuals. A non-racist knows that the individual is not the mass and that is both a rational and moral duty to judge individuals by their own observed qualities, not by the population statistics of some group they happen to be part of.

• This actually reminds me of something else I’ve been thinking about: the perennial debate about teaching evolution in schools.

While you can make a libertarian argument against forcing people to have their children taught something they don’t believe (and frankly, in my case, against public–or even most private–education), the issue mostly is believing creationists vs. everybody else.

However……

I can easily see why some parents might be disinclined to have evolution taught in schools, EVEN IF THEY BELIEVED IT TO BE TRUE.

The case that it should be taught in public schools rests on two assumptions: (1) that it is factual; and (2) that its widespread teaching is harmless.

On assumption # 1, I have no doubt. Anyone who has even casually studied comparative anatomy and physiology knows that if all species were created separately by God, then God must have a really twisted sense of humor.

Assumption # 2, however, is far more questionable. Many of the biggest proponents of teaching evolution in public schools also tend to be hard leftists, with an intense hatred for “backward” types. It’s just a hop, a skip, and a jump from “survival of the fittest” to “eliminate the unfit inbred rednecks.”

Yes, I know that one does not follow from the other. A logical reading of Darwin’s theory says not, “Kill lesser beings,” so much as it says, “Reality will bite lesser beings in the ass.” But most people aren’t that good at logic, and increasingly poorly informed students facing a lifetime of crippling student debt are probably going to love the idea of an Other to go after.

What do you think?

• >What do you think?

I think you can’t fight toxic leftism effectively by omitting to tell the truth.

This is the exact same mistake the left makes about race-related Damned Facts. Don’t fall into it.

• > Anyone who has even casually studied
> comparative anatomy and physiology knows
> that if all species were created separately by
> God, then God must have a really twisted
> sense of humor.

Nah, just a lot of [ctrl-c] [ctrl-v] using windows and a touchpad, so things don’t always line up.

• *snerk*

No no, it’d have to be mouse based like in X.

“What… no i didn’t press the damned middle mouse button you stupid device. Now there’s a fucking platypus in the world and I’ve already used up my meteor. Should have spent the extra on a stupid logitech mouse.”

• > Should have spent the extra on a stupid logitech mouse.

Their trackball line (at least the trackman with the thumb ball) has been steadily going down hill since the mid-90s.

• Quite so.

I was specifically referring to the 2 people mentioned because it seemed that they were being accused of racism for merely making such statements.

• > And we’ve almost reached the point where being denounced by the SPLC is a badge of honor (which is a damn shame, I think they did good work once upon a time).

When? The SPLC was founded by a former direct mail marketer (a.k.a., junk mailer) who realized that suckering aged boomers out of their money in the name of “fighting hate” was an under-filled niche. This was after all the actual civil rights victories.

• See also: The Center for Science in the Public Interest, which spends its time terrifying the suckers subscribers to its newsletter about things like the dangers of movie popcorn.

Yeah, movie popcorn probably isn’t the most healthy thing, but just how much movie popcorn do people actually eat? Is there a subculture out there that exists on an all movie popcorn diet? It seems unlikely.

Running one of these “scare the yokels” operations can be quite lucrative. Of course, they exist for all points of the political continuum.

• Eric:Nice attempt to shoot the messenger.

Bang! Bang! I get to do that.

It is entirely appropriate to consider an author’s agenda and prior statements and decide on the basis of what they have said previously and who they are allied with whether the author can be trusted on a particular subject. Obviously this kind of criticism can be abused – one joke does not a racist make and words can be taken out of context. Further, I do keep Richelieu’s comment about “six lines” at the forefront of my thinking where this form of criticism is concerned… but Lynn’s statements and behavior easily overcome worries about words being taken out of context or applied inappropriately. In fact, Lynn leaps over those barriers. Judge for yourself:

“I am deeply pessimistic about the future of the European peoples because mass immigration of third world peoples will lead to these becoming majorities in the United States and westernmost Europe during the present century. I think this will mean the destruction of European civilization in these countries.”

“…The broad picture is clear and inescapable: at some point in the foreseeable future the white British people will become a minority in these islands, and whites will likewise become minorities throughout the economically developed nations of European peoples. As the proportion of non-Europeans grows in Europe and in the United States (and also in Canada and Australia) and eventually become majorities, the intelligence of the populations will fall. The strength of the economies will equally inevitably decline to the level of developing nations.”

“Hardly a week goes by without some intellectual or politician declaring that immigration has been good for the country, that “in our diversity is our strength” and “we must celebrate our differences.” Others announce that they look forward to the day when whites become a minority. This is the first time in the whole of human history that a people has voluntarily engineered in its own destruction.”

“If the evolutionary process is to bring its benefits, it has to be allowed to operate effectively. This means that incompetent societies have to be allowed to go to the wall… What is called for here is not genocide, the killing off of the populations of incompetent cultures. But we do need to think realistically in terms of “phasing out” of such peoples. If the world is to evolve more better humans, then obviously someone has to make way for them otherwise we shall all be overcrowded. After all, ninety-eight per cent of the species known to zoologists are extinct. Evolutionary progress means the extinction of the less competent. To think otherwise is mere sentimentality.” Try reading that one with a German accent!

“Who can doubt that the Caucasoids and the Mongoloids are the only two races that have made any significant contribution to civilization[?]”

Where Lynn’s allies are concerned, note his affiliations with:

* The Pioneer Fund
* Right NOW (a fascist magazine,)
* Vdare.com (an anti-immigrant, white nationalist website)
* American Renaissance (White Nationalist magazine. Lynn is a frequent speaker at their conferences.)
* Washington Summit Publishers (White nationalist publisher – I think the other incident of you believing falsified information was one of their books. I think it was the last time you posted extensively on Black IQs.)
* Ulster Institute for Social Research (Lynn’s own racist organization.)
* The Occidental Quarterly (another racist journal. Published by the Charles Martel Society. William Regnary, another white-shoe racist, is their publisher.)
*Mankind Quarterly (Publisher of racist pseudo-science. Edited by Gerhard Meisenberg.)

In short, Lynn is a scummy, racist, fascist nutcase. How can you imagine that he wouldn’t lie about Black people? How can you imagine that he wouldn’t carefully fudge his data? The idea that someone with his obvious and well-known ideas and allies doesn’t have an agenda is completely beyond me. I can only conclude that you slept through the critical thinking unit during Junior High School, because that’s the only way you could possibly be so ignorant about what Lynn’s statements and affiliations point at.

Eric: Have you read the paper?

I have. The paper critiquing Lynn went on for a couple pages noting why Lynn’s work had problems. It went into some detail. You should read the whole thing.

On the subject of Lynn’s lack of scientific rigor, Psychologist Leon Kamin felt that “Lynn’s distortions and misrepresentations of the data constitute a truly venomous racism, combined with the scandalous disregard for scientific objectivity.”

Eric: If the phrase “our decision not to include unhealthy samples” doesn’t raise a red flag for you, you’re asleep.

It certainly raises a red flag, but where is the red flag pointing? I don’t know the anthropological standards for dealing with “unhealthy samples” but I’m guessing that such a standard exists and the Lynn violated it. I have no proof of this, obviously, but the red flag you raise could point at either of the sides in this debate. One of them has dealt with “unhealthy samples” incorrectly… Unfortunately I don’t have the time to track that one down, but maybe someone with more domain knowledge than I have can advise us. (But I do know which of the people accused of poor behavior is a racist and therefore likely to lie about racial issues.)

Eric: Welcome to the world bien pensants like you created, in which I judge that even outright racists (if Lynn and Meisenberg really are such) are somewhat more likely to be honest about psychometry and population genetics than anti-racists who think tolerance is best served by anodyne lies.

So the Nazis are the good guys? I’ll keep that in mind. (And note you just lost the argument.)

More seriously, the work of not-racist anthropologists and psychologists puts the IQ of SubSaharan Africans at around 80, and those scientists are taken seriously. Ordinary (non-racist and taken seriously) anthropology says the situation is very bad… and I’m mostly fine with that.*

But when you consider the kind of person who’s willing to look at that bad news then go lop off another 12 IQ points (with Nazi racial science) while saying “But we do need to think realistically in terms of “phasing out” of such peoples…” I’m very sad for you that you can take such assholes seriously.

* It would be really nice if we could fix the problem.

• You know, if you’re trying to revolt me with those Lynn quotes, you’re doing a pretty terrible job.

I do not think it is anywhere near certain that Third World immigration will fuck up Western civilization beyond repair – we did a pretty good job of assimilating the Indians and Japanese, and there’s at least a decent chance that success can be replicated with populations that have lower average IQs.

But I don’t think it’s crazy or racist to worry about that, either. Especially not when our elites are so paralyzed by fear of being thought racist that Islamic rape gangs can operate for a decade in Rotherham and other British cities while the police look the other way. And authorities in Sweden react to the statistics on immigrant crime by deliberately suppressing nation of origin from their records and actually prosecuting people who point out the obvious. And now there are literal hand-grenade attacks in their streets.

If the West still had the cultural self-confidence we did in 1965, I’d give Lynn’s worries less credence. Because the real concern about Third-World immigration is a legitimate culturist one, not a racist one. I don’t give a crap about what skin color the people who live here in Malvern fifty years from now will be, but if they aren’t Westerners in their hearts that will be a tragedy productive of vast human suffering. And if they have the IQ distribution of SSAs – even SSA elites – that, too will be a tragedy.

You do give one quote that whiffs of racism, I admit. The very last one. I’d like to see an actual cite tying it to Lynn, not just a third party allegation. I am especially suspicious because “Mongoloid” is long-obsolete terminology; the quote reads like wishcasting about what a “scientific” racist would sound like rather than what I expect an actual one would sound like (if such creatures actually exist at all).

I’ve only sampled about half the journals you cite. OK, maybe I found the ones you’d consider least noxious. But in the past I’ve found Vdare (for example) racist only under a definition of “racism” that requires a non-racist to to be – hmm, how shall I put it – I think “recklessly indifferent to Damned Facts” is a good summation. This makes me suspicious of allegations that any random organization (like, say, the “Pioneer Fund”, about which I know nothing) is racist. I’ve seen that cudgel wielded against truth-speakers too often.

(Recent case in point: Amy Wax.)

Dammit, I think I know what actual racism looks like. It’s not just a set of falsehoods, it’s systematic failure in the mechanism of belief maintainence, strongly resembling religious faith. A racist has a set of prejudices about irrelevant details like skin color that he/she not only doesn’t see past but refuses to see past because doing so would be too threatening to his/her self-concept. You have to have noticed that I scorch the crap out of people who peddle that here.

But noticing that mass immigration has troubling consequence for cultures that have lost the will to assert themselves isn’t racist, and every time I see an “anti-racist” assert this I become more dismissive of allegations of racism in general.

>I have. The paper critiquing Lynn went on for a couple pages noting why Lynn’s work had problems.

No, I meant the Lynn/Meisenberg paper.

>So the Nazis are the good guys?

Hardly. (OK; I’ll admit to considering them the lesser evil if the other side is Communists; I’ve compared the genocide numbers.) But I posted this to G+ yesterday. “When you banish unpleasant truths from polite discourse, be not surprised when they give power to werewolves.”

>(with Nazi racial science)

You damaged your case again with that remark. I actually know a good bit about Nazi racial “science” – I stumbled on some sources once and found them horrifyingly fascinating. Even the most hostile take on Lynn is nowhere near that weird or evil; you’re displaying either ignorance or a troubling lack of any sense of moral proportion.

• A racist has a set of prejudices about irrelevant details like skin color that he/she not only doesn’t see past but refuses to see past because doing so would be too threatening to his/her self-concept

I don’t think this is true.

I think that most racists use skin color as a proxy for culture, and that when they wind up in close proximity with someone of another race (or of the specific race they dislike) who doesn’t fit that they put them in the exception bucket.

I’ve got a dozen or so family members like this. I’ve also got a half-dozen or so family members married to Africans, Chinese, Coptic Egyptians etc.

• When I said “Nazi racial science” I was thinking more 1930s than 1940s. Not “this person is in a concentration camp and I can vivisect them right now if I want,” but “we need to gather some data so we can justify putting the Jews in camps when we gain power.”

I suspect the Dr. Mengele of 1935 was more like Richard Lynn than you’d like to admit. (Dude, go back and reread those quotes. Richard Lynn has said some really ugly stuff!)

• Those words may be uncomfortable for some to read, but I do not see any evidence of racism or fascism.

You’re just playing the same old one-string fiddle.

• > You’re just playing the same old one-string fiddle.

Yep. “Racist” and “fascist” nowadays just mean “disagrees with the communist party line about anything whatsoever“.

When I see someone like troutwaxer using those words, I just yawn and move on. In the unlikely event that a genuine neo-Nazi threat arises, no one is going to pay any attention. That’s going to be on troutwaxer and his fellow travelers.

Another example would be redefining the word “rape” to mean “once asked out a woman who didn’t want to be asked out” or “once had sex with a woman who’d had a glass of wine”, or (for the most militant) “once had sex with a woman that involved the use of a penis”.

Instead of ‘The Little Boy Who Cried “Wolf!”‘, we have ‘The Little Commie Who Cried “Nazi!”‘ and ‘The Little Feminist Who Cried “Rape!”‘.

• > Another example would be redefining the word “rape” to mean “once asked out a woman who didn’t want to be asked out” or “once had sex with a woman who’d had a glass of wine”, or (for the most militant) “once had sex with a woman that involved the use of a penis”.

You left out the “without being Muslim” part. A Muslim can force himself on a woman and it’s excused as “not-rape in his cultural context”.

• I actually ran into that a few months ago. I was down in San Diego county running a session of my fantasy RPG, and a turn of the conversation led me to bring up the Rotherham rape gangs. Most of my players went right into “that can’t possibly be true”; as the discussion ended, one of them was telling me that I should be aware that those men’s cultures looked at things differently. What’s more unnerving is that all of that denial was coming from women, which most of my players are. . . .

21. I’d be interested to find the number of up and coming Benjamin Franklins in SSA.

Franklin came to my mind as I was considering the claim that very high intelligence was an evolutionary disadvantage. The folklore of my youth would have it that Ol’ Ben sired 68 illegitimate children. If even a tenth that number were true, it’s a pretty significant indicator that brains (and repute, and relative wealth) count for SOMETHING in the market.

Franklin’s America held under 4 million souls and produced not only Franklin himself but an individual I think of as the ‘anti-Franklin’: Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford. Very gifted. I can’t suppose there was anything in the colonial water or upon the “magic dirt” that generated such minds. These two, apart from a general collection of “founders” who seem to be unGodly bright by comparison with the political and social leadership of our own day. Most of whom, also, seemed to have no difficulty in attracting mates and siring heirs. It’s almost as if the educational “opportunities” now offered stunt brains rather than develop them.

22. Let me emphasize the central assumptions: variance and tail fatness. Both can change the result dramatically.

The calculations below assume:
– A mean IQ of 85 (black average in the first world)
– A target of 160.

I’ll narrow the standard deviation to 12 (the more plausible number for Africans). Then, we’re looking at a target 6.25 sd’s above the mean ((160-75)/12).
Using percentiles of a normal distribution, that’s 0.21 Einstein’s per Africa. Ouch.

But fatten the distribution slightly, and the result changes. For a t distribution with 50 degrees of freedom we get 47 Einsteins. Quite a difference!

The lesson: tail fatness matters a lot when we talk about 4+ sd’s above average. And I made only a slight change: visually you won’t even be able to tell the difference between a normal and a t distribution (with 50 df), except by zooming in.
[You can play around with some values here: https://www.geogebra.org/m/pucbfs3W ]

I doubt there is much evidence for the shape of the distribution this far into the tails.

• >But fatten the distribution slightly, and the result changes. For a t distribution with 50 degrees of freedom we get 47 Einsteins. Quite a difference!

What do you get for a target of IQ 175 at averages 68 and 80?

• Here are the numbers (note how the results vary in magnitude):

Average 68, sd 12: 0.0034 Einsteins
Average 68, sd 16: 9.71 Einsteins
Average 80, sd 12: 0.1175245
Average 80, sd 16: 143 Einsteins

All of this is for a t distribution with 50 degrees of freedom (changing that will also change the result dramatically).

For those who are interested and want to play with the numbers, I did this in R, and the code is:
> pop_size * pt( (target – average) / sd, df, lower.tail = FALSE)

Or for a normal distribution:
> pop_size * pnorm( (target – average) / sd, lower.tail = FALSE)

(Although I got 4.7 instead of 4.9 with your settings, so maybe your table is somewhat different — not that it matters at these scales)

23. I am amazed at how relatively little this turned into a flame war. I think it would help if we understood a concept of “dual use facts”. The Iranian nuclear program has been built on technology that could equally be used for a peaceful nuclear program or to build nuclear weapons. The Brazilian nuclear program has used much of the same technology. We accuse Iran but not Brazil of trying to build nuclear weapons because of the context. Iran has set up their program so that they will have the ability to build a weapon quickly and secretly, and they have built the missiles they need to deliver them. Brazil has no delivery systems and keeps dual use technology in plain sight. Iran has engaged in Taqiyya, is in a cold war with Sunni neighbors and wants to destroy Israel. Brazil has been completely transparent and resolved diplomatic conflicts.

We need a similar process when empirical facts that are “loved by racists” are brought up. Look at the context rather than put the facts in the memory hole and give bigots a monopoly on truth.

• >We need a similar process when empirical facts that are “loved by racists” are brought up. Look at the context rather than put the facts in the memory hole and give bigots a monopoly on truth

Indeed. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

• > I am amazed at how relatively little this turned into a flame war.

I wonder how much that is due to our host’s comment moderation.

• >I wonder how much that is due to our host’s comment moderation.

None at all in this case. Or as a rule.

I can’t remember the last time I deleted a comment by a real human in the mod queue. It’s possible I’ve never done it.

• I’ve noticed some odd comment behavior recently.

If I put my gmail address in the email field, my comment simply disappears. Had that happen several times over a period of weeks. I use an old isp address, it accepts that.

• I’ve also had comments disappear. There are two useful solutions. The first is to create your comment in an editor (or word processor.) That way you can never lose it. As always, save frequently.

The second solution has to do with some kind of bug. When you make a comment, there is a button labeled “Post Comment” directly underneath the online editor. That button works and won’t lose your comment. However, if you scroll down below the “Post Comment” button you will see a preview of your post. Below the preview of your post is a button labeled “Reply.”

24. That number of 68 is really quite shocking. IQ of 70 is considered the point of “retardation”. “Retarded” in this sense means at the point where the person does not have the mental capabilities to support themselves, and may need to be institutionalized. And so this claim is that Africa has more that half of its population as retarded.

According to Jordan Peterson the US Army will not accept someone with an IQ below 83, and he describes a person in his clinical studies who had an IQ of about 80, who had the gravest difficulty performing a job that involved folding letters (some with attached photos) and stuffing them in envelopes. Stuffing envelopes being the limit of his learning skills.

It is hard to conceptualized just how intellectually limited such a person is. And that is half of Africa? I have an advantage, and perhaps you all have a similar thing. I am generally pretty smart, my IQ is in the high 140s. However, I have absolutely zero sense of direction. I can literally get lost two blocks away from where I live. It is a profoundly frustrating disability, and when I see others navigate with easy, I feel like it is like a piece of my brain is missing. I look at people who can understand direction, which way is north, what “two and a half miles” feels like, and am utterly baffled how they can do that. I think this must be what someone who has an IQ in the low 80s must feel like when presented trigonometry or the scientific method. No matter how hard they try they just can’t get it. So this lack of direction — I consider it a gift in a sense because it helps me to understand what “not understanding despite best efforts” means, and the fact that my disability can easily be compensated for with my cell phone.

However, I think in a sense my shock at this is a little egocentric. In the great scheme of IQ, which has no theoretical upper bound, the difference of 68 to 100 is only significant in respect to our human world and expectations.

I often wonder what would it be like to meet someone with an IQ of 1,000, or 10,000? How utterly feckless, happless and befuddled would we seem to them? It would be like having a conversation with a squirrel. Imagine a person so smart that he could acquire a fully in depth knowledge of quantum mechanics by browsing a cheat sheet for five minutes. What sort of things could such a person understand?

And this is a qualitative jump, isn’t it? Higher IQ does not just add speed to processing, but allows the understanding of higher level things. I’m no genius, but I can understand things like QM. Whereas my human cousins with an IQ of 68 not only cannot learn QM, they just don’t have the mental capacity to understand it.

Surely that is true of our 10,000 IQ person too? What miracles of abstract thinking an logic would he come up with that would leave me a slack jawed drooling ape?

• Stuffing envelopes being the limit of his learning skills.

And this is why I have a lot of trouble with this whole thing. When I was younger I did a lot of traveling in 3rd world countries, and most of the people I met would have had no trouble stuffing an envelope, even in places where you have some very dark skins, like the highlands of New Guinea or the east coast of Honduras or Costa-Rica.

Just to note the countries I’ve traveled to: Indonesia* (4 months,) Thailand (2 weeks,) Malaysia (2 weeks,) Mexico (1 month,) Belize (1 month,) Guatemala (6 weeks,) Honduras (3 weeks) Nicaragua (2 weeks,) and Costa Rica (1 month.) A couple things worth noting are that the people in these countries, particularly outside the cities, have a different set of skills than we do. Their physical skills are much greater; better muscles, better muscular control, better endurance, far less fat, better skills in tracking, hunting, fishing, etc; probably a lot of stuff no Eurocentric IQ test is really up to evaluating. How much of the brain’s tissue works on that is something I don’t know, but I never got the feeling that I was with someone inferior… even if they were ignorant in terms of book-learning, they frequently had skills and knowledge that I did not, and acted upon that knowledge at a high level. There simply was not the lack of competence I’d expect to see in people with an average IQ of 80… the simple fact of the matter is that it’s not remotely difficult to know when you’re dealing with a dumbass, even if you don’t speak their language very well, and they don’t speak yours.

So I look back on my own experience, and there’s something missing from both the “racist” POV and the “non-racist” POV regarding intelligence tests. Gerhard Meisenberg found that the Costa Ricans had an average IQ of 80. Considering my travels through that country? This is absolute fucking bullshit. Maybe a “non-racist” doing a similar study would find that the Costa Ricans have an average IQ of 87… it still feels like bullshit – the Costa Ricans are obviously smarter than that!

Obviously this is a kind of instinctive take based on personal experience rather than any kind of science… my revulsion for the thinking isn’t simply a matter of being Liberal, but I’ve been to a lot of the places guys like Lynn and Meisenberg are being ugly about and the picture is simply not the way they paint it!

* This included the Indonesian side of New Guinea.

• >Just to note the countries I’ve traveled to: Indonesia* (4 months,) Thailand (2 weeks,) Malaysia (2 weeks,) Mexico (1 month,) Belize (1 month,) Guatemala (6 weeks,) Honduras (3 weeks) Nicaragua (2 weeks,) and Costa Rica (1 month.)

But nowhere in SSA. That makes a difference I think you don’t grasp. Read this.

Three weeks after college, I flew to Senegal, West Africa, to run a community center in a rural town. Life was placid, with no danger, except to your health. That danger was considerable, because it was, in the words of the Peace Corps doctor, “a fecalized environment.”

In plain English: s— is everywhere. People defecate on the open ground, and the feces is blown with the dust – onto you, your clothes, your food, the water. He warned us the first day of training: do not even touch water. Human feces carries parasites that bore through your skin and cause organ failure.

Average IQs in your sample: Indonesia=87, Thailand=91, Malaysia=92, Mexico=88, Belize=84, Guatemala=79, Honduras=81, Nicaragua=81, Costa Rica=89. A lot of those in in your Third World were actually brighter than the average American black (85), and the average was probably around 80.

It’s no wonder they didn’t seem particularly stupid to you; they’re within the capability range U.S. society has evolved to fit, though hugging the low end of it.

SSA is something else again. Can you wrap your mind around the kind of persistent stupidity it takes to produce Senegal’s fecalized environment – to not notice what it’s doing to you and your children? Average IQ there 76. And there’s worse; say, the Central African Republic, a notoriously squalid and violent place compared to the relatively civilized coastal regions like Senegal, average IQ 71. Equatorial Guinea, average IQ 59, would probably make your head explode,

This is why I don’t think Lynn is lying or fudging about that 67 estimate. He has no need to. That relatively civilized part of SSA is not just a metaphorical shithole, it’s a literal one.

• >most of the people I met would have had no trouble stuffing an envelope, even in places where you have some very dark skins,

Upon rereading your comment I found this struck me as odd. Why is “dark skin” relevant? I don’t see anyone in this thread treating it as a significant variable.

• Dark skin is relevant because many of the people with dark skin in Central America and the Caribbean have ancestors who come from SSA, and there is considerable intermixing. “Dark skin” is something of a proxy for “mixed with genes from SSA.”

Also, the “scientific racists” are perfectly willing to practice their bullshit on people outside SSA; Gerhard Meisenberg reported an overall IQ score for Costa Rican students of 84 in 2009. I was in the region in the mid 1980s. If we accept the Flynn effect as factual the average Costa Rican IQ in 1885 would have been around 78… and I think I would have noticed that! The people next door to Costa Rica in Nicaragua, after decades of dictatorship, a Democratic-Communist revolution, and an attempted right-wing counter-revolution were clearly smarter than an IQ of 78!

By the way, this is why I would encourage anyone with the resources to travel outside the U.S. In 1986 it cost me something like \$3000 dollars to spend six months in Central America. I climbed volcanos, spent time hiking through cloud forests and rain forests, saw a number of Mayan cities, ate new foods, met lots of amazing people from multiple countries and gained much knowledge about the people and politics in Mexico and Central America… All you have to do is have a passport (visa rules may have changed since I went there, so get your visas in advance if you need them) and go to a city on the Mexican border and take the train or bus South. There are lots of good guidebooks. A couple semesters of Spanish would help, but it is not strictly necessary. My wild-ass guess is that it would cost around 6,000 to do a similar trip today.

Indonesia/Thailand is similarly inexpensive, although you do need an airline ticket.

I think the main effect of the travel, as a fifty-some in 2018 is that I’m immune to much of the bullshit peddled by the right today!

• >I think the main effect of the travel, as a fifty-some in 2018 is that I’m immune to much of the bullshit peddled by the right today!

I lived overseas for 11 years between 1960 and 1971 and did a lot of traveling between 1998 and 2005. Maybe immunization against left-wing bullshit just takes longer that six months.

• It depends where you lived. Were you in Americanized compounds/military bases, or someplace where you had more interaction with the locals? My experience has been that this distinction really matters – people in Americanized compounds and military bases frequently see the country outside their compound as a hostile “other place” – and this can be self-reinforcing to the point of real ugliness, particularly in the third world – whereas people who get outside those closed environments for long periods don’t see the outside country as “hostile/other” and have completely different experiences.

This distinction is large enough that I tend to think of people who lived on compounds/military bases as “not really having traveled.” Obviously they’ve traveled, but they haven’t traveled if that makes any sense.

Since I traveled on the cheap I was mostly with the locals or on the backpacker trail full of ravening neophiles. It makes a difference.

• >Were you in Americanized compounds/military bases, or someplace where you had more interaction with the locals?

Oh, most definitely the latter. Policy by my parents – we learned the local languages (I leaned and half-forgot three before I was 13; I was a crib bilingual in English and Spanish). We weren’t military kids; my father worked for a multinational pioneering new territories. We tended to live near diplomatic-service families from many countries but not in gated areas.

It left traces. I have cast-iron stomach. Four early-childhood years spent a mile high in the Venezuelan coastal range immunized me against altitude sickness. I retain a lot of the capacity for rapidly soaking up new languages on contact that adults normally lose. And it’s basically impossible to faze me with novelty – I mean, that could be part genetic, but I have to think my variegated childhood has something to do with the fact that I peg the meter on the Big Five “Openness” scale.

• Just in regards to troutwaxer, I’d be curious about your opinion on this Eric.

For a free market to work the participants need at least a certain level of intelligence to assess the value of a trade good to themselves, and a certain level of intelligence to be able to produce something useful. As I mentioned above the US Army allegedly does not accept people with an IQ below 83 presumably because they are not capable of doing any job, including basic things like digging a hole.

Given the extremely low level of intelligence that is endemic in such areas, is it even possible for a market economy to work in such an area?

Obviously, these countries don’t have such an economy, but there are lots of alternative explanations for this.

However, is there any justification in the claim that SSA populations cannot develop a free market because there just isn’t enough raw smarts to do so?

I don’t have a strong opinion on the subject, but curious to here what you think.

• >However, is there any justification in the claim that SSA populations cannot develop a free market because there just isn’t enough raw smarts to do so?

I don’t think so. For one thing, we can see a lot of market activity in indigenous SSA cultures.

• The problem with your line of thought is that a *free market* needs less intelligence than a top-down organized market, and needs LESS integrity.

With a top-down market the people in the top “half” need to be smart enough to gather and integrate LOTS of information, and have enough integrity and honesty to do that for their entire society–whether their tribe or not.

If you live in a society with a significantly degraded average IQ you’re not going to have enough people at the top who are smart enough to organize it.

• Not necessarily, there could be a separate population with a higher IQ than the majority, e.g., colonialism.

• I have to say that I feel a very deep envy for your early exposure to other languages – it probably also makes you a better software developer.

• Stuffing envelopes being the limit of his learning skills.

And this is why I have a lot of trouble with this whole thing. When I was younger I did a lot of traveling in 3rd world countries, and most of the people I met would have had no trouble stuffing an envelope,

I watched the same lecture Mr. Smith is talking about, and he’s leaving out the parts of the story that would lead to some understanding.

There were, IIRC, two different sized envelopes, and these were letters for a charity that had to be *folded* properly for the envelope they were intended to go in. And they had to be folded right the first time.

I’ve worked with a lot of nominally “intelligent” “second-worlders”, and they’re hella limited in either what they’re willing to learn, or able to learn. Can’t tell which.

• I wonder if a lot of the variations in tested IQs ties in with something my wife reported when she was teaching in a low-income middle-school in the Los Angeles Unified School District, which was that the most difficult thing she faced with any kind of standardized testing was simply getting kids to take the test.

By “take the test” I mean that she would frequently give a standardized test and get back scantron sheets where the kids had used the squares to make interesting geometric shapes, or sheets where the kids had not marked any option on any of the test questions, or sheets where the kids had drawn pictures (without using the squares) or where the kids had filled in ALL the squares. She reported that this did not have anything to do with intelligence – she was generally assigned kids with good records who were perfectly capable of reading questions and filling out the right square on a scantron sheet – but such tests simply failed to rise above the student’s base level of “I don’t have any fucks to give.”

She said that ninety percent of her gifted kids would fill out the tests, while 80-90 percent of her non-gifted kids would not fill out the test. So it’s very much a GIGO problem. (The scores did not affect the children’s grades – teachers would not get the data until the next school year.)

The problem apparently lay in convincing the kids that filling out a scantron sheet would affect their lives in any important fashion. They simply could not imagine that their lives would become better by taking the test, and they didn’t care about the consequences for the school. So they made pretty pictures with the squares, then went to sleep.

This makes clear how Lynn (in the paper originally cited by OGH) could find IQ tests where the level of choosing answers by chance (4 answers to each question) was below 25 percent. Someone didn’t care.

• >but such tests simply failed to rise above the student’s base level of “I don’t have any fucks to give.”

I think your informant’s belief that “this did not have anything to do with intelligence” is obviously nuts. I mean, completely freaking bonkers. Cloud-cuckoo land. Gaga. A nasty person would add “superficial” and “witlessly stupid” to that list

Intelligence (and I mean specifically the quality measured by Spearman’s g and thus any modern IQ test) is not just an isolated facility for abstract reasoning, it’s heavily tied to time preference and the ability to visualize future outcomes, forward-plan, and maintain task focus. The kids who have no fucks to give are in fact failing the test in a meaningful way.

If I didn’t know this from the psychometric literature, I’d know it from my own experience taking modafinil. I don’t know if the drug increases my ability to do abstract logical reasoning; if there is such an effect I can’t tell by introspective memory comparisons. What I can tell is that the drug strongly boosts my concentration, task focus, and executive function, just as the clinical studies say it does. What it’s doing is in significant part increasing my ability to give a fuck.

And this makes total sense. The evolutionary reason we have the quality measured by g is that there’s an adaptive payoff for being able to solve cognitively hard problems. The part of that capability we normally isolate as “reasoning” is simply not useful without the ability to keep our shit together while working the problem. As opposed to going oh-look-a-squirrel every few seconds.

My opinion of education majors just dropped. Again.

• My wife is not an education major (she knows much better than that, though she had to sit through an embarrassing amount of twaddle in order to get her teaching certificate.)

As to your objection that passing the test does have something to do with intelligence, there were in fact no consequences for failing to pass, or even take, the test, and this was by design. (I know, I’m shaking my head too.)

So I questioned my wife quite carefully on the issue, and she insisted that these were kids who otherwise worked hard to get good grades – obviously there were rewards for good grades – and were perfectly capable of dealing with the mechanics of taking the test if they chose to do so.

I’m struck by two things: First, my wife saying, “and then they fell asleep,” which possibly implies other issues. The other your lack of rigor. A kid who doesn’t care about taking the test is not at zero intelligence. If the average aggressive test take is at (offhand guess) 110 IQ points, the average non-test take might be at 90 IQ points. But their real-world intelligence is not 0. But if we average the two IQ scores, we get 50, which doesn’t work either.

Oddly enough, the middle class kids I grew up with all took the test, regardless of their intelligence. This may be a matter of political/social savvy rather than intelligence. Plus most of them had parents that didn’t do things, such as working two jobs to make ends meet, which would result in the kids falling asleep in class.

• >A kid who doesn’t care about taking the test is not at zero intelligence.

I never asserted that. I’m just astonished that anyone could believe sloughing off the test like that is unrelated to intelligence.

• I never asserted that.

No, you didn’t. But I thought it was worth mentioning because our purpose here is to measure national IQ accurately, not to deal with one or another kid’s refusal to time bind.

I’m just astonished that anyone could believe sloughing off the test like that is unrelated to intelligence.

I agree with you half-way on that, but in the interest of fairness, let me present the other argument. Time binding is not merely an aspect of intelligence. It is also a strategy, which shares in common with other strategies that sometimes it doesn’t work, and there are certainly counter-strategies available if your opponent insists on time-binding and you don’t want to time-bind.

Also, time-binding requires trust that the situation will be the same, (or will change as expected) over the years or decades that it will take the time-binding strategy to succeed. For myself, I sometimes choose to time-bind and sometimes choose not to. For example, let me present a common situation in my family, which always involves myself and a couple family members:

Abie – An older family member with considerable money and financial savvy.

Narcissa – Her pseudonym was chosen very carefully… plus she usually chooses not to time-bind, and is very ideological rather than practical. Also, Narcissa cannot be trusted to understand financial issues unless they have grown to crisis-level and people are shouting and crying.

About every six months Abie takes me out for a meal and makes a financial proposal, usually something that will require 10-20 years to play out. Sometimes he even offers to pay 100 percent of the start-up costs for his ideas.* Unfortunately, all of his proposals to date have had the unfortunate feature (BUG!) that Narcissa would be somehow involved. So each time I politely turn Abie (and his money) down. I don’t want him to spend money in a futile fashion, and I don’t want to lose my own money/good credit/time/energy on something where Narcissa will… be herself. So every time Abie approaches me I refuse to time bind.

I’ll grant you that middle school children from poor neighborhoods probably doesn’t make good decisions where time binding is concerned, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t thinking about the issues in some kind of coherent fashion, one which may relate to the level of trust they feel towards the system rather than their own intelligence

As for the rest of it, I’ve had some interesting thoughts, but I’ll deal with them below where I can be wider and people can more easily comment.

* I once turned down 32 thousand of Abie’s dollars on this basis. That was a really bad day.

• > * I once turned down 32
> thousand of Abie’s dollars
> on this basis. That was a

Dude, for that much money you could take a hit out on the chick and STILL have enough left over to buy a nice car.

• I don’t see why you think that’s a failure of time-binding, if by “time-binding” you mean acting with low time preference, or giving high weight to the future as a proportion of the present.

Here you are saying that you were offered substantial money by A, sometimes with no financial commitment on your part. That looks like a present payoff. But you foresaw that N’s involvement would lead over time to financial loss and/or personal frustration and suffering. That looks like a future cost. Ceteris paribus, turning down the former because you anticipate the latter seems like evidence of LOW time preference, or time-binding. It does not look at all like failure to time-bind.

If you lowered your time preference, you would never reach a point where the likely future costs became unimportant enough to get you to sign up. But if you raised it, eventually your future costs would be sufficiently discounted so the present gains would outweigh them. Right?

• I suppose that’s true, but the real point is that I made a judgement about whether to commit to something that someone else believed would pay off in the future…

By the same token, a Hispanic eighth grader attending a LAUSD school in a bad neighborhood can be forgiven for not believing that the results of a standardized test will make a difference in a few years. Getting another 30 minutes sleep may be of greater benefit. I don’t agree, but I also don’t live in their situation.

• “I never asserted that. I’m just astonished that anyone could believe sloughing off the test like that is unrelated to intelligence.”

Elsewhere in another comment section, I have linked to studies showing that other character aspects have a better predictive value on societal success than IQ. Time binding is just one of them.

http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=7871#comment-1937439

• How old were the children that your wife taught?

I remember years ago reading someone, possibly Stephen Jay Gould, making the point that unlike most other cultures (until very recently) white western middle class children are trained from a very early age to obediently sit still and do something that to a child is quite stupid and pointless. Namely, writing your name on a piece of paper and then answering a bunch of arbitrary questions that you don’t care about and if the grown ups wanted to know the answer why don’t they figure it out themselves instead of asking you? There’s definitely a societal effect there

• Something rather similar could be said about Chinese children studying to take civil service exams under the imperial government.

• I think your informant’s belief that “this did not have anything to do with intelligence” is obviously nuts.

I’m not so sure. The issue might have been simple credibility: they don’t believe the adults who tell them that doing well on the tests will make a difference in their lives. Given the history of education in the U. S., that could well be a sign that the kids are intelligent: intelligent enough to know when they’re being fed a line of bullshit to get them to do something that benefits the system, not them.

• > What I can tell is that the drug strongly boosts
> my concentration, task focus, and
> executive function

I noticed something *similar*, except that it didn’t help me pick *which* task I was going to focus on.

• It’s surprising how hard a task can be.

Many years ago I was running programming for the San Diego Comic-Con (this was before it metastasized). We needed name placards for panelists: sheets of cardstock in landscape orientation with the names printed across the lower half. So I set up the document format and asked one of my staff to prepare them. This involved (a) going into the Filemaker window, (b) copying a name, (c) going into the Word window, (d) pasting the name into the prepared location, (e) printing the Word page, and repeating for the next name. She *could not do it.* I couldn’t figure out what I needed to tell her to enable her to do it, so I gave them job to someone else after she had struggled with it for a bit.

This is an SF fan, of primarily Scots ancestry, with a college degree (and a teaching credential, though I’m not sure that’s evidence of intelligence). She was at the low end of the distribution for the people I know, but that has a fairly high average. It was really startling how much trouble such a routine task gave her.

• IQ of 70 is considered the point of “retardation”

It used to be 85. Our PC overlords changed it to 70 precisely because too many American blacks ended up falling into that category.

25. > 93 at 175

That rare? I’ve had girl friends with IQs of 168 and 175, a college friend and summer room mate with and IQ of 174, and a high school friend and later Putnam Fellow whose IQ I would guess was in the same general range. There may also be other factors relevant to Einsteins. My IQ isn’t all that high, but I was better at math than all but the Putnam Fellow, who was notably better.

26. You’re a hoot, Eric.

27. There is another factor in play: culture. Old Albert worked in a culture where asking questions that had what looked like nonsensical answers was acceptable behavior. What would he have been able to accomplish if he lived in an honor/shame or ancestor worship culture where questioning authority is frowned upon?

In SSA the local “Einstein”s may be focusing on better ways to divert foreign aid to their tribe.

28. The dirty little secret is that there hasn’t been a single black Einstein OUTSIDE of Africa.

• >The dirty little secret is that there hasn’t been a single black Einstein OUTSIDE of Africa.

True, but I’m not sure why you think this means anything. There haven’t been any Australian Aboriginal or Polynesian Einsteins either. So what?

The strongest inference you can draw from data like this (I think the distribution of Nobel prizes in Physics is a more robust probe) this is that SSAs are likely intelligence-disadvantaged against Europeans. But there’s no news there; every breeding population on the planet is similarly disadvantaged except for northeast Asians, and even they seem to have a much thinner right-hand tail.

• Being an “Einstein” is not merely a matter of intelligence. One also has to study a subject which is of high public interest. Feynman probably wasn’t less intelligent than Einstein, but it’s absolutely certain the Einstein got great publicity, while Feynman… most people remember him for dipping a rubber ring in ice water, but in fact the guy won a Nobel prize and was elected to the Royal Society

I think what Turok is looking for are Black Africans who are smart enough to be potential game changers, not necessarily someone to push Einstein off his throne – anyway, here is Wikipedia’s list of great Black scientists and inventors, all of whom look pretty smart to me. (I’ll note that as agriculturists go, George Washington Carver certainly punched at Einstein’s weight, and otherwise leave it alone:)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_African-American_inventors_and_scientists

29. I’ve been thinking about the IQ issue a lot over the past couple days, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the IQ numbers for Africa just don’t meet the “sniff test,” particularly as noted by a racist like Lynn, but also as noted by various other authorities who are not considered “Scientific Racists.” Consider, for example, Lynn’s list of national IQs, which you can easily find by googling. Here are the 10 worst national IQs as listed by Lynn:

COUNTRY – IQ
Lesotho – 67
Liberia – 67
Saint Kitts and Nevis – 67
Sao Tome and Principe – 67
Gambia – 66
Cameroon – 64
Gabon – 64
Mozambique- 64
Saint Lucia – 62
Equatorial Guinea – 59

Now consider the implications of these numbers in the light of a standard Bell Curve. There are some outliers; the mentally disabled are a small population on the left side and the “geniuses” are a small population on the right, but these two groups are no more than 20 percent of the population at the very most. Something like 80 percent of the population will be clustered around the middle of the Bell Curve. So for Equatorial Guinuea we can draw a line roughly* down the center of the Bell Curve at 59 IQ points. That means that approximately 80 percent of Equatorial Guinea has IQs ranging from 39 to 79 IQ points.

39 IQ points? What the heck?!

Here are some other interesting numbers: how we classify mental disability by IQ:

80 to 89 — Low average
70 to 79 — Borderline mental disability
55 to 69 — Mild mental disability
40 to 54 — Moderate mental disability
25 to 39 — Severe mental disability
01 to 24 — Profound mental disability

Note this means that something like 80 percent of the population of Equatorial Guinea has an IQ range from 39 – 79 IQ points. About 60 percent of the population would be 69 IQ points or less, which is the standard for Mild Mental Disability. Roughly 35 percent of the population would qualify as “Moderately Mentally Disabled, which means that their ability to complete an elementary education is in doubt, and (in the US at least) they would be held in an assisted living facility. And all this is without considering the ten percent of Equatorial Guinea’s population which is at the far left side of the Bell Curve where their IQ falls below 39, putting them into the “Severe” or “Profound” levels of mental disability.**

On the right side of the Bell Curve, we note that only ten percent of the population of Equatorial Guinea is of Low Average mental ability or higher.

In short, if we believe Lynn’s numbers, we would have to believe that half of Equatorial Guinea’s population is not capable of keeping their drool inside their mouths, and a quarter of them are not capable of potty training. Lynn’s numbers imply a situation which is not remotely believable or realistic. In short, these numbers do not pass the sniff test.

Shorter: THEY’RE BULLSHIT!

If you run the numbers for Liberia or Cameroon you get a slightly different set of numbers – instead of 25 percent of the population being unable to learn personal hygeine, you’ll show that 20 percent of the population is unable… but these still do not seem like remotely realistic numbers.

So what about the anthropologists and psychologists who aren’t “scientific racists.” If you want to see what kind of averages these folks are finding, add ten to each number on the list and you’ll be in the right neighborhood:

COUNTRY – IQ
Lesotho – 77
Liberia – 77
Saint Kitts and Nevis – 77
Sao Tome and Principe – 77
Gambia – 76
Cameroon – 74
Gabon – 74
Mozambique- 74
Saint Lucia – 72
Equatorial Guinea – 69

The same problems still manifest themselves as we consider the Bell Curves. For example, we still end up with something like 17 percent of Liberia’s population having an IQ of less than 70, and thus qualifying as mildly disabled, and when we add that ten percent of the population which is at the far left of the Bell Curve, we find that 27 percent of the population of Liberia is mentally disabled. I don’t buy that conclusion for even a second. These numbers are clearly wrong.

So what the holy heck is happening here?!

I think we need to go back to my wife’s classroom for this one, because strangely enough, the numbers add up in a remarkably similar fashion. To review briefly, before receiving her medical pension, my wife was a middle school teacher. She complained frequently that when confronted with a standardized test, (which did not affect their grades) her “ordinary” students frequently would not take the test. Instead, she would get scantron sheets back where the students had filled in the squares to make interesting geometric shapes, or sheets where the kids had not marked any option on any of the test questions, or sheets where the kids had drawn pictures (without using the squares) or where the kids had filled in ALL the squares… following which the kids would frequently sleep until the bell rang.

Just to keep things simple, let’s imagine a test with only three kids. A smart kid, an average kid, and a kid who uses the scantron sheet to make interesting shapes. The kids are taking an IQ test with four multiple-choice answers per question:

In actual reality, Smart Kid has an IQ of 120 points.
Average Kid has an IQ of 98 points.
Interesting Shapes Kid has an IQ of 86 points.

The total true IQ for all three kids is 304. The average IQ for each kid is 101 points.

However the test scores show that:

Smart Kid scores 120 IQ points.
Average Kid scores 98 IQ points.
Interesting Shapes Kid scores 23 IQ points.

The total tested IQ for three kids is 241 points. The average is 81 points.

Now we’re getting numbers similar to those scientists are getting in Africa.

I doubt that many of the scientists testing African kids are using scantron sheets, but there are lots of ways to screw up a test if someone decides they don’t care, or that putting effort into the test won’t help their community, or that the government (which is run by the nation’s other tribe) won’t help them, or whatever the reasoning might be…

But I’m for more inclined to believe that kids are blowing off the test than I am to believe that 60 percent of the people in Equatorial Guinea are mentally disabled!

.
.
.

* I say “roughly” and “approximately” because the average is not the median and I haven’t actually seen a Bell Curve on IQ from any African country.

** The Wikipedia article on Intellectual Disability states: In the field of special education, educable (or “educable intellectual disability”) refers to ID students with IQs of approximately 50–75 who can progress academically to a late elementary level. Trainable (or “trainable intellectual disability”) refers to students whose IQs fall below 50 but who are still capable of learning personal hygiene and other living skills in a sheltered setting, such as a group home. In many areas, these terms have been replaced by use of “moderate” and “severe” intellectual disability. While the names change, the meaning stays roughly the same in practice.

• There is at least one other explanation. Do you know the book Thinking, Fast and Slow? There is a kind of cognitive ability that goes with perceptiveness, quick decision making, and improvisation; there is a different kind that goes with retaining and analyzing large amounts of information, especially complex information. They aren’t perfectly correlated; there are people like me who have a fair bit of the second and not much of the first. And IQ tests often seem to measure mainly the second. You could have a population that was really bad at the second, but not nearly so bad at the first, and possibly rather good at it.

I’m thinking, for example, of the young black man I saw many years ago when I was taking the trolley home from work, who was cajoling a group of marines on leave into playing Find the Lady, with some really impressive oral poetry that made me feel as if I were hearing an ancient Greek bard. I could not possibly have equalled his ability at fast thinking. But the kind of ability he was displaying at that moment wouldn’t have been relevant in a seminar on theoretical physics or economic analysis.

• Okay. Given how countries that still have paper ballots have a glorious tradition of drawing dicks on the ballot, and schoolkids drawing dicks just on everything, I can easily imagine a non-rewarded, non-punished test becoming a dick-drawing contest, unless some special precautions are taken. For example, have a few really really easy questions and if half of them are not answered correctly discard the whole thing as a not serious effort. This would be justifiable by saying that truly, honestly not getting those right would imply such a level of retardation that those kids should not be even trying the normal test, they should be trying a special-ed test to gauge their special-needs accurately. Generally speaking you don’t normally test normal, exceptional, and clinically low ranges of abilities the same way, say, strength or balance. So it would be justifiable and if not done so, I say yes this could happen.

But please think. Feel free to call me a racist afterwards, but think first. The measured IQ levels of SSA seem to reflect their generally abysmal level of technological development before white people got there. Books like Guns, Germs and Steel try to explain that away in an almost cringeworthy “try hard to not think of a pink elephant… damn!” way, but it is the simplest explanation, because it works for every other group difference.

For example, the Chinese have higher visual-spatial IQ than whites but roughly the same level of verbal IQ, which retrodicts how Confucianism and Aristoteleanism were roughly similar and of the same quality, but they got tech better than us back from repeater crossbows to Zheng He having much larger and better ships than Columbus – the last 500 years of their technological backwardness was simply a matter of bad political decisions.

Similarly, knowing Ashkenazi Jews have higher verbal and about the same visual-spatial IQ as whites retrodicts perfectly why lawyer is a stereotypically Jewish profession but fashion designer is not, why everybody can name many famous Jewish writers but far fewer famous Jewish architects and why Israel’s modern architecture is boring, basic-bitch Bauhaus. But their literature is pretty cool and in the 20th century it seemed like everybody and their dog has their own magazine.

In both cases verbal and visual-spatial IQ differences delivered perfect retrodictions.

So the fact that Shaka invented the phalanx and basic formation tactics thousands of years after the Ancient Greeks or Chinese did, or how they never invented a writing, just borrowed it from Arabs in some cases and in many other cases did without, sure we can try to explain that with guns, germs and steel and the phase of the Moon, but the elephant is in the room. Maybe a racist elephant, but a real one.

• I see two things in your reply. First, that you acknowledge the possibility of poor testing being part of the problem. I appreciate your openness to the idea.

Second, I think you’re missing the elephant in the room. It’s not Chinese with higher visual-spatial intelligence, or Ashkenazi Jews with higher verbal intelligence, or even the issue that nobody invented the phalanx or writing.

The problem here is that (privileged language intentional) someone wants you to believe that sixty percent of Equatorial Guinea officially meets the medical standard for being considered RETARDED!

HELLO! DOES ANYONE SEE THE ELEPHANT?

Even if we go with the most optimistic figure for Equatorial Guinea, (approximately 69) and assume a Bell Curve which tends ridiculously towards the right, someone still wants you to believe that 40 percent of Equatorial Guinea fits the medical definition for CRETIN-HOOD! Somewhere in the course of turning these issues into science, the whole paradigm broke loose from reality and floated away in someone’s pea-soup-thick intellectual fog!

All this being said, I’m not totally opposed to the idea that IQs in Africa might run a little lower than those in, for example, Sweden. Africa has a combination of poor nutrition, parasite load, poor education, poor medical care, large families, etc., not to mention that Africa as a whole does a terrible job of keeping toxic waste out of their environment. I’d buy a 5-10 percent difference in average IQ due to all the easily observable factors involved, (and I suspect you’d see the same issues at work in say… Appalachia.)

But don’t feed me some over-educated creep’s intellectual diarrhea and tell me it’s a tasty stew. I’m not OK with that kind of bullshit.

Three asides:

On the subject of inventing writing, I’m not sure that means much. If writing is invented within a couple thousand miles of your city you’ll just grab it and run; it’s too useful not to steal. Note that writing is usually invented in super-fertile river valleys, like Egypt or Sumeria where people have a bit of leisure. The only people I know of who invented writing and lived in a really difficult environment were the Mayans – which arguably makes them the smartest people on Earth.

On the subject of REAL stupidity, what about the Europeans? They had no concept of the zero and had to steal it from the Arabs. (“DUR… Duh… I please have nums nums now?”) Meanwhile, most other societies, including the Mayans, independently invented the concept.

On the subject of cultural supremacy, while I was traveling in Guatemala some guy in the jungle near one of the Mayan ruins showed me 50 different pictures of dirt, of which I successfully recognized cat footprints and iguana tracks (by the tail-marks between the foot-marks.) I didn’t recognize any of the other pictures of dirt he showed me. He informed me that despite being 23, I only read trail at a 2nd grade level and should be in a board and care home because I clearly wasn’t capable of taking care of myself… ‘nuf said, I think.

• >someone still wants you to believe that 40 percent of Equatorial Guinea fits the medical definition for CRETIN-HOOD!

And you just admitted to a Mexican guide telling you “should be in a board and care home because I clearly wasn’t capable of taking care of myself”. Do you really not see the implication here?

Then William Stoddard points out the IQ tests often seem to measure mainly System 2 intelligence – slow-think – rather than reactive fast-think.

Then Dividualist points out, quite correctly, that the population satistics of IQ retrodict the actual relative performance of Ashkenazic Jews, other Europeans, Northeast Asians, and SSAs in pretty large historical terms.

I think these are all pieces of the puzzle.

And here is what is emerging. It is entirely possible that people in Equatorial Guinea are so bad at System Two thinking and handling abstractions that they will in fact qualify as profound retardates in a culture like ours where one requires those abilities to function. Just as you seemed rather like a retardate to your guide because you don’t have the skills required to function in his context. One which I doubt rewards System Two thinking much.

In effect, you can’t imagine Equatorial Guinea being full of people who would have trouble stuffing envelopes correctly because you can’t actually wrap your mind around the possibility that they might not actually need System Two thinking in the environment they’re adapted for. This failure of imagination on your part is your problem, not theirs.

The anodyne and true thing for me to say is that I wouldn’t survive very long if dropped naked in Equatorial New Guinea. Yeah boo, Mr. White Guy, not so smart now, are you? Unfortunately for us all, the situation is not as symmetrical as it appears. Armed with the products of System II thinking (like, clothes and a rifle and a map and GPS) I could adapt to that environment and even thrive there. Nobody with an IQ of 59 has any hope of coping with my native environment. Or anywhere else where his acquired System One responses are inadequate.

Still doubtful? Well…when you went off on your earlier rant about how impossible it is that the SSA average could be 69, the question I was going to ask you is this: What ceiling would you put on the IQ of people who create and maintain Senegal’s “fecalized environment”?

Even retardates in the U.S. with a nominal IQ lower than 69 wouldn’t do that. How much System Two thinking can your tribe possibly be doing if you literally live in your own shit?

Yeah, it really does look like SSAs average that stupid-in-our-terms. Whether or not the people bringing the news are nasty.

This is not something I want to believe. My libertarian dreams would be closer to reality if human inequality were not so profound as it seems to be.

You’re screaming because the universe doesn’t have a shape that makes you comfortable, so you stiff-arm Damned Facts with accusations of “scientific racism”. Well, excuse me, but I figured out a long time ago that the universe is not designed to make me comfortable. Time for you to figure that out and suck it up, bucko.

• Eric, I’m going to say that that fecalized environment isn’t as evidential as it may seem. It really depends on your cultural paradigm. I’ve read some history of the ancien régime, and as I understand it, when Versailles was new and shiny, the courtiers used to nip out of the ballroms and take a dump under the stairs, because there really were no provisions for the excretory needs of Louis Quatorze’s guests. Now, these were not stupid people; they were able to survive in an intensely politicized environment where long-term thinking was vital (it was said of one French diplomat, rather later, that if you kicked him in the backside you couldn’t tell it by his face till he had thought through the political implications of his response). And this was the era when France’s salon culture was emerging and putting a premium on sophisticated linguistic abilities. Yet it sounds as if the French nobility also lived in a fecalized environment.

I’d also point out that San Francisco currently has a steadily growing homeless population who literally shit in the city streets, and a city government that isn’t willing to arrest them for it. Or, at least, I’ve read news to that effect. And yet the average IQ in San Francisco is almost surely a lot higher than 70.

• >Eric, I’m going to say that that fecalized environment isn’t as evidential as it may seem.

An intelligent counterargument, William! But I don’t think it quite works.

The Senegalese don’t have a king telling them that they’re forbidden to dig slit trenches within walking distance of their huts. The correct way to upper-limit the intelligence of 17th-century French would be how they avoid fecal contamination under circumstances they have more control over.

The San Francisco crapfest is more complex in origin. A large part of it is that the homeless, like homeless everywhere, are unrepresentative. A very high fraction of them are alcoholic, drug-addicted, or mentally ill. You can’t draw any inferences about the IQ of the less damaged from that.

• Another part of the problem in SF is that it is one of the forward-thinking green cities that have implemented a total ban on plastic shopping bags. When plastic bags were plentiful, they were well known among the homeless population as a relatively safe, easy way to dispose of solid waste. Now that they’re gone the homeless still have gotta go when they gotta go — but now they have nowhere to go.

Which makes me wonder, how do the city’s dog owners clean up their dogs’ poop? Does the city have a dog poop ordinance (despite turning a blind eye to the human poop problem)? Does SF allow plastic bags for that purpose, but not for general purposes? If so, have the homeless started adapting to using plastic dog poo bags or is that too undignified? Or are dog poo bags priced out of the reach of everyone but the bourgeois elite?

• For a long time we clean up our dog using the plastic grocery bags, but those were big and annoying. We found dog specific bags on sale at a discount store and have been using them for the last 8 months. We are running out, so:

That is probably about a years worth, maybe a little more.

Thing is, with a grocery bag you could (if you’re practiced at it) open it up and drop one inside, then pick it up by the handles. With the doggy bags you have to pick it up.

This morning I stuck my finger through the bag whilst cleaning up after Le Chen Ombre. Kinda nasty. Glad for soap and clean water.

• For what it worths, I am extremely bad in System 1 “common sense” thinking, and was in similar situations as Troutwaxer in Mexico where highly unintellectual people correctly considered me a retard for lacking practical sense, like handling tools in a way that I could easily hurt myself, lifting (before deadlifts taught me) heavy things in the silliest way, or pretty much always getting a burn when I try cooking because picking something out of a hot pot by bare hands looked totally like a good idea, cussing, *and* then doing it again.

I tend to blame it on my ADHD – maybe ADHD is equivalent to System 1 stupidity, since I am taking noradrenaline boosters I got signficantly more practical.

The equivalent of the System 2 IQ test for System 1 is the Continuous Performance Task/Test https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuous_performance_task

I couldn’t find a free online CPT to take, but during my diagnosis I was hilariously bad at stuff like:

“In the IVA-2 CPT, clients are told that they will see or hear the numbers “1” or “2” and that they are to click the mouse when presented with a visual or auditory “1” and inhibit clicking when presented with a “2”. The task is made more challenging by the shifting of modalities between the visual and auditory stimuli. In the five “high demand” sections of the test, the targets are presented frequently. This creates a continuous response set so when the test-taker is suddenly presented with a foil, he or she may find it difficult to “put on the brakes.” Thus, the high demand sections pull for “errors of commission”, or impulsivity. The five “low demand” sections of the test pull for “errors of omission” or inattentiveness; targets are presented infrequently, and the inattentive test-taker is likely to lose focus and drift off, thus missing the target when it appears. Data are provided for over-all attentional functioning and response control, as well as separate visual and auditory attention and response control.”

I would bet good money Troutwaxer’s Mexican guide would be better at it than him.

Also ESR’s “any exercise but martial arts are too boring” smells a bit like this.

• “In the IVA-2 CPT, clients are told that they will see or hear the numbers “1” or “2” and that they are to click the mouse when presented with a visual or auditory “1” and inhibit clicking when presented with a “2”. The task is made more challenging by the shifting of modalities between the visual and auditory stimuli.

Several years ago I used to do defensive shooting training with a club. One of the course of fire we shot you were instructed to shoot every target with a weapon and written IN blue.

The guy setting up the course had written the word BLUE with green marker.

So take your above test and add the stress of time, and the “stress” of putting yourself in the mindset of someone trying to kill you.

That target got shot a LOT.

• > Armed with the products of System II thinking
> (like, clothes and a rifle and a map and GPS

You wouldn’t even need that.

You already know enough to start to survive in that environment, and it’s a pleasant enough place (Northern latitudes would be harder) that generally you have *time* to think of what your next step is. You don’t “need” much shelter because it doesn’t get that cold. Water is easy to come by, even relatively clean water. Food a bit harder, but there’s rules for that. No, you won’t “thrive” there, but you can apply System II thinking towards that.

I would bet 100 bucks Troutwaxer, if he’d have spent a couple *weeks* studying for the trail reading test, would have been able to do so at near a 8th grade level. He’d still miss the subtleties of things, but that would have come in the second or fourth month if he was doing it daily.

• On the subject of Senegal, you’ve left a few things out.

I didn’t take a critical look at your first post on the subject, because what else does a Peace Corps doctor say to a recently graduated college student, (they knows everything… right?) about sanitation in a third world country?

But then I started wondering where you’d found that particular quote, and I Googled it. The quote comes from Karin McQuillan, who was a Peace Corps volunteer in 1971 (47 years ago.) She made her statement in defending Trump’s comments about 3rd world shitholes, which is not the way to have any credibility. (Eric, you will understand immediately when I say that this is not a left vs. right issue. We have both traveled enough to understand that what constitutes a “shithole” is really complicated, and that Trump has not done that kind of traveling.) Anyway, here’s the original post about Senegal:

https://cairnsnews.org/2018/01/23/trump-was-right-africa-is-a-sh-t-hole/

You’ll note a certain kind of ugliness in her writing. More on that below.

An ex-Peace Corps volunteer critiques Ms. McQuillan as follows. Note particularly the following:

…the giveaway is in the penultimate sentence of her piece, where she references giving a year of her life to the poor Senegalese. PCVs make a two-year commitment; McQuillan quit early. In Peace Corps jargon, she ET’d (early termination).*

A lot of PCVs are unhappy. It can be a tough life. Some are homesick. Some become disillusioned about the work they’re trying to do. Some have bad things happen to them and have trouble recovering without the familiar comforts of home. Like Tolstoy’s families, every unhappy PCV is unhappy in his or her own way. Probably more of them should ET. A lot of miserable PCVs stick it out simply because they don’t want to feel like quitters.

I mention all this in order to make the following point: McQuillan is not a reliable narrator about Senegalese culture. The unhappy, embittered PCV is the absolute last person you want to use as cultural interpreter. Her surroundings become a canvas onto which she furiously splatters her bile.

So Eric, with reference to Senegal, sanitation, and smarts, let me note a few things:

1.) McQuillan’s experience in Senegal is 47 years old, and written about the Senegal she experienced 11 years after the country became independent in 1960. This may or may not be relevant to modern Senegal. Given how long ago McQuillan was in Senegal, the use of this material seems somewhat deceptive to me.

2.) McQuillan is quoting, from memory someone else’s 47-year-old comments. First, this is not exactly verifiable evidence. Second, this is the kind of thing everyone hears from their doctor when getting immunized/trained prior to traveling to a third-world country.

Once again, this is not evidence of anything except that the Peace Corps carefully trains its workers in sanitation (and note that the training is almost certainly general, not Senegal-specific.) Using it to imply low IQ of a specific population is a huge stretch.

3.) Ms. McQuillan is a regular commentator at American Thinker, which appears to be a right-wing publication that supports Trump and publishes unkind things about Obama. Her comments on the subject of Africa are unlikely to be neutral, and her writing on Senegal reads like a hit-piece of the ugliest kind, including racist tropes like ‘African women are whores,’ ‘African men are lazy,’ ‘Liberals say it’s racist to defend white culture,’** and (quoting McQuillan directly) “Our basic ideas of human relations, right and wrong, are incompatible.” Once again, the people who support your ideas all seem to have an ugly agenda of their own.

4.) As I (and others) have noted, European countries suffered from the same problems a couple hundred years ago, from people emptying chamber-pots onto the streets, to lack of sewers, to a lack of a germ theory of disease. It took more than 200 years (dating from Anton van Leeuwenhoek first observations of micro-organisms) for the germ theory of disease to be generally accepted, and it was not until 1870 that Lister developed sanitary surgical techniques based on the Germ Theory of Disease… While we did get there first, Europeans were distressingly slow to understand what their microscopes were telling them. I sense that someone needs to heed the biblical admonition to “…pull the plank from their eye before…” etc.

Ya know, if you’d do a better job about vetting the people who (seem to) support your ideas, you wouldn’t trip over yourself so frequently. McQuillan’s writing about Senegal is pretty ugly. Richard Lynn’s says things like, “What is called for here is not genocide, the killing off of the populations of incompetent cultures. But we do need to think realistically in terms of “phasing out” of such peoples.”

If such ugly people support your ideas, maybe your ideas are ugly.

* I must say I have a certain sympathy for Ms. McQuillan and any possible early termination from the Peace Corps. If her own writing truly is factual and she did witness a clitorectomy without any kind of warning/preparation, it is easy to see why she would develop a dislike for the culture (and might even be suffering from some kind of real trauma.)

** If you make a nasty comment about other peoples/cultures, blame a Liberal, right?

• >If such ugly people support your ideas, maybe your ideas are ugly.

You’re still making the same mistake. Sometimes reality is ugly. Sometimes people sound ugly because they’ve noticed what’s actually going on. Shooting the messenger doesn’t fix the ugly.

We shouldn’t believe her because the magazine she’s published says mean things about Obama. Did you really say that? Really?

And it is a fact – reported elsewhere – that recent emigres from SSA sometimes do shit in the streets until somebody makes them stop. That supports the rest of her story.

• It always has been, and always will be, fair to question a writer’s motivations. If you haven’t done so, read the link where her screed is printed in full. It contains literally EVERY anti-Black trope I can think of.

One of the things reading this blog has made me consider is the issue of what a good standard for racism might be; something that’s not linked to either Liberal or Conservative ideology. The answer I came up with is “If I was Black, would I be willing to be employed by _______?” This seems like a fair test, and I’m not someone who believes that an honest mistake or misunderstanding is unforgiveable.

You may safely believe, after reading her discussion of Senegal, that McQuillan has failed that test. (So has Richard Lynn.) Her writing is ugly and vicious and I wouldn’t trust her to be a fair employer – or a fair commenter on the world around her.

• >It always has been, and always will be, fair to question a writer’s motivations.

I think a far more important thing to do than examine the writer’s motivations is ask how much of his or her claims can be cross-checked against independent evidence. If what the person days seems to be true. I don’t give a…shit…about their motivations.

• >what a good standard for racism might be; something that’s not linked to either Liberal or Conservative ideology.

Mine would be “Emotionally wedded to false generalizations despite counter-evidance.”

• > It always has been, and always will be, fair to question a writer’s motivations.

In particular, in light of the complete disregard you’ve should for logic and common sense throughout this thread I think it’s time to ask how reliable your account to your trips abroad are.

• >In particular, in light of the complete disregard you’ve should for logic and common sense throughout this thread I think it’s time to ask how reliable your account to your trips abroad are.

As a person who has traveled and lived abroad far more that Troutwaxer has, I will say in his defense that I’m seeing some rose tint in his glasses but not any manifest falsehoods. I think he’s done a pretty honest job of interpretation given his limited experience.

• Thanks. I think. I should note that I’ve also traveled in Australia, England and Southeast Asia. I didn’t discuss those travels above because they were not relevant to our discussion of Richard Lynn. But for the record, also three months in Australia, four in Indonesia, a month in Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia, two weeks in Tokyo, and while in High School, six weeks in England… total time abroad was about 16 months.

• If such ugly people support your ideas, maybe your ideas are ugly.

Hitler was a vegetarian.

• *LOL* I think you’re deliberately missing the point here. Funny.

• “Africa has a combination of poor nutrition, parasite load, poor education, poor medical care, large families, etc., not to mention that Africa as a whole does a terrible job of keeping toxic waste out of their environment. I’d buy a 5-10 percent difference in average IQ due to all the easily observable factors involved, (and I suspect you’d see the same issues at work in say… Appalachia.)”

I recommend you reading some works of Jensen who addressed the issue “how much of the black-white gap in USA is due of parasite load, poor medical care etc” something like 50+ years ago.

It’s really unnerving when one sees one after another newcomer repeating the same claims without bothering to read the relevant literature.

• >I recommend you reading some works of Jensen

Oh, no. He couldn’t do that. Jensen was a “scientific racist”, you see.

It’s a self-protecting delusion, like a religious faith. The desired conclusions (“psychic unity of mankind”, “no such thing as race”, “population genetic differences stop at the neckline”) don’t just screen out evidence, they exclude the possibility that a Jensen can be anything but a sinner and a villain.

• “Oh, no. He couldn’t do that. Jensen was a “scientific racist”, you see.”

No need for that. His conclusions about the unchangeability of IQ have been rebutted all over the place. Not least by the Flynn effect.

Note that his claims about “80% of the variance in IQ in the population studied was the result of genetic factors” were unwarranted by the tools and knowledge available at the time. And even if it were true, that does not mean we cannot increase IQ. More than 80% of the variance in length in many populations are the result of genetic factors. We are still able to grow taller by the generation, just as we increase IQ by the generation. And there is no empirical evidence that this trend has a ceiling.

• “And there is no empirical evidence that this trend has a ceiling.”

If you are talking about Flynn effect, it has already reversed in Scandinavian countries. Also Jensen claim was about individual IQ (or, more precise, “g”) not about between-generation differences, so you are posing a strawman.

• We’re not gonna be 2.5 meters tall. There was a low-hanging fruit of getting taller by fixing childhood nutrition and the averages are getting taller as better nutrition is getting rolled out to more and more poor and remote places, but I am pretty sure aristocrats were not getting taller for 100 years and the middle class for 50 years etc. Averages are misleading in this sense. The average height of people who had good nutrition is not changing, just the percentage of people who had good nutrition.

So if you are simply saying IQ in Senegal can be improved environmentally that sounds obviously plausible, buit does NOT mean IQ does not have a strong heredity, nor does it mean there are no racial differences even after controlling for that.

Heredity is largely established by adopted twin studies where all those environmental factors are properly controlled for.

Recently the lefty media discovered that African-American boys born into rich families (i.e. pretty good environment) are likely to become poor later on e.g. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/03/19/upshot/race-class-white-and-black-men.html which is of course blamed on somehow a “poverty trap” or in case of AlterNet, structural racism, which is prima facie ridiculous, given how strongly racism is suppressed in the modern college and workplace and rich parents, regardless of their color, are likely to have the good kinds of social capital, so the most obvious reason must be heredity.

Putting it differently, if you can put a baby into a rich family, likely with parents who have good social capital, habits, network, and you strongly suppress racism at school and work, and they still don’t succeed, then just what environmental intervention could make it happen? Can you think of anything else?

Note that we knew this all along, just this knowledge was suppressed, but it is exactly like musical ability. Everybody understands musical talent as something inborn and often inherited. Sure there are music education methods that can improve it, but inborn talent still matters a lot.

• “Heredity is largely established by adopted twin studies where all those environmental factors are properly controlled for.”

Sounds plausible, except the part about controlling for environmental factors. That assumes that you know what you are doing, which is largely not true. Moreover, genetic differences can easily lead to the same maximal IQ under different environments. Keeping environments identical is only a small part of the story.

A stupid example from growth: Children with lactose intolerance will not grow as fast on milk as children without. But they still can grow as tall with different food stuff.

But it all boils down to the fact that all kinds of genetic causes are posed without actually doing a genetic screening. “Blacks” in the USA can be genetically pretty close to “Whites” in the US.

• To be more precise, Jensen IIRC wrote about environmental facts in general, not about specific factors; e, for example have found that, more or less, blacks in South Georgia are affected by environment, while blacks in California are not (seek his two papers on cumulative deficit theory).

• There is separation between ethnic/racial groups in the US which translates in widely differing cultural habits regarding food, education, raising kids, perinatal care, healthcare and SES. Furthermore, only recently have some of the early (prenatal) influences on child development started to be disentangled.

Jensen simply did not have the data to separate the confounding factors influencing IQ/G. As an absolute minimu, he should have compared genetically comparable populations from around the world. Flynn duscussed such differences. He found marked differences between countries and marked effects of discrimination on school results.

The same kind of effects were found in children with Down syndrome. After platic surgery that made them look normal, their IQ increased markedly.

• One thing that makes it hard to believe that African IQs are so low is that most European people with IQs below 70 are damaged. They have physical symptoms that make them look funny, and often behavioral characteristics which make then stand out as unusual.

This isn’t true for Africans, at least not at the IQ 70 level. I’ve seen reference to studies showing that African-Americans with IQ around that level often don’t have those symptoms, are able to socialize with their somewhat smarter peers, and fit in. They just take longer to figure things out and make more mistakes.

So when most white Americans think of a country full of people around IQ 70, they’re thinking of funny-looking retards, with a bunch of drooling idiots at the lower end, because that’s what you’d get if you had a sample of white people with that IQ range. But that’s not the right picture.

• > I’ve seen reference to studies showing that African-Americans with IQ around that level [70] often don’t have those symptoms, are able to socialize with their somewhat smarter peers, and fit in. They just take longer to figure things out and make more mistakes.

It would be consistent with a type of American black street kid I’ve been running into since the 1970s. Articulate to the point of glibness within a very limited vocabulary. Charismatic. Dressed trendy. Can talk the pants off a girl smoother than most white guys will ever manage.

But push a centimeter outside his limited experience and he’s utterly lost. No attention span for anything but the jive, and a complete absence of introspection. It’s like there’s nothing there but surface presentation and some well-oiled social reflexes.

Huh. Maybe this is what IQ 70 looks like in an American black – and that’d be 17% of them according to my handy chart. It’s even functional, provided he never has to deal with a job or an institution that requires more System II thinking.

• This doesn’t surprise me. If you are from a population of fast sprinters yet you cannot run fast, I wouldn’t assume you function like people of another population who are less fast but still smooth and efficient runners, because that would mean some entirely different genetics. I would assume you have the fast-runner genes but also some genetic defect, mutation that screws up your running in a way that is going to be different.

• There’s a guy I occasionally run into who is relatively handsome (strong jaw, good if grey hair, slender but not skinny) and as near as I can tell dumb as a *POST*.

He says “yes…uh-uh” a lot and looks very attentive but doesn’t seem to actual *get* what was just said.

But he’s quiet, and a hard worker. He can’t be too dumb because he’s got a real estate broker’s license so he must be able to read (and he was a Marine, so that sets a floor on his IQ).

• > He says “yes…uh-uh” a lot and looks very attentive but doesn’t seem to actual *get* what was just said.

Be careful that you are not mistaking poor hearing (and thus poor comprehension) for “dumb as a *POST*”. I’ve known people who were too proud to admit that they couldn’t hear as well as they used to, and so just ‘nod and smile’ and figure out what was said later (if they need to).

• Especially since he is a Marine. I’d say hearing loss is >90% the explanation..

• I am also a former marine, and I doubt it’s hearing loss.

There are dumb marines. I know, I was there.

30. Dennis Prager says leftism is a form of hysteria.

It’s true the Trouwaxers of the world do seem to be in a constant near hysteria.

“Flynn’s IQ data does not pass the smell test.” I can’t dispute this hate fact, but it must be wrong somehow.

• Racists have been trying to drape racism in the veil of science for centuries now. That that old trick is still working — and still capturing hearts and minds within the intelligentsia — should be cause for profound alarm.

• >Racists have been trying to drape racism in the veil of science for centuries now.

And Jeff chimes in with his usual blithe ignorance of history.

Before the end of WWII nobody had to drape what you consider racism in any veil of anything. It was a normal, respectable position with no social cost.

I do not, in case you are in any doubt, think we should return to that condition.

• ” evolution were widely used to justify racism:”

OMG, so everyone believing evolution today is a racist?

• >OMG, so everyone believing evolution today is a racist?

Winter’s argument is fallacious, but there is no need for you to descend into strawmanning in return.

• (a) If we’re looking at social Darwinism as a scientific cover for racism, then “centuries” is an exaggeration; The Origin of Species was published less than 200 years ago, and speculations about what it implied for human societies took a decade or two to start.

(b) A fair number of the people who thought of certain human behavior as “unevolved” or “atavistic” were not pointing particularly at nonwhites. See for example Lombroso’s theories of criminology, or the eugenics movement, which urged the sterilization of a lot of white people.

(c) Most importantly, I note that you are using the fact that people disagree with you to impugn their objectivity and good will, and in turn using their asserted lack of objectivity and good will to argue that their conclusions cannot be right. That’s a circular argument, and ever since Aristotle we’ve known that circular argument proves nothing. It’s also ad hominem; if you want to convince me that someone is wrong you need to show flaws in their evidence or their reasoning—because a valid argument is still valid even if the person advancing it is irredeemably wicked.

• “Most importantly, I note that you are using the fact that people disagree with you to impugn their objectivity and good will, and in turn using their asserted lack of objectivity and good will to argue that their conclusions cannot be right.”

The only one I have called a racist on this blog is a person who describes himself as such. I am not aware of any occasion where I said that something was (un)true because of the believes of the author. Such believes can explain why someone writes something, but they cannot tell us whether it is true or not.

I merely point out that science has been used to claim certain races are “better” than others even before Darwin (see my link). In all cases have contemporaries objected to the scientific rigor of these claims.

Things like skull measurements were used to support racism already in Napoleontic times, and they were denounced as dangerous pseudo science even then. That counts as centuries to me.

The motives or believes of the protagonists are utterly irrelevant in this discussion.

• I point out that you linked to an article on “scientific racism,” and then you said, “Not much changed, looking at the commenters in this blog.” That’s a plural, and therefore, if you are writing in English, you were equating more than one person to “scientific racists.” The fact that you didn’t name a specific person doesn’t change the grammar of your statement.

• “Not much changed, looking at the commenters in this blog.”

This referred to using science to support racism. The title of the article “Scientific Racism” was not on my mind when I wrote this. I was just pointing out that I have seen a lot of pseudo scientific arguments on this blog that were used as evidence supporting racism in the sense of claiming some people are less capable because of the roots of their family tree.

The most obvious example is how the concept of heritability which is utterly misunderstood and misapplied to argue that IQ differences between populations are the result of genetic differences and that these genetic differences somehow align with skin color (at least, with roots in SSA).

Heritability does not mean what you think it does.
http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=7268&cpage=1#comment-1797125

• >racism in the sense of claiming some people are less capable because of the roots of their family tree.

You racism filter is missing a piece.

Yes, some people are less capable because of the roots of their family tree. White men can’t jump. Black men can’t swim.

These are statistically true generalizations. The sports physiology behind them is well understood, relating to bone density and distribution of fast-twitch muscle. These in turn can be related to allele distributions that differ between European and SSA-descended populations. It’s not even difficult to do this relation, compared to a highly polygenic trait like intelligence.

So at this point you have two choices: add something to your “racism” filter so you don’t tag every sports physiologist in the world with it, or admit that it leads to absurdities.

• You are missing some beats.

Yes, black people have a dark skin, white people do not. That is not racist. Some people can run faster than others, and we find some of the best marathon runners in the Kenya and Ethiopia area. These runners are “black”. There is nothing racist in finding that the best runners tend to come from that region. And there are probably good physiological reasons for that. But it would be racist to conclude that “black” people are better marathon runners than “white” people. Because, skin color simply is just an accidental characteristic.

I once read a good test to see whether human races actually exist. If races exist, it must be possible to find three anthropological measures (skin color, length, hair constitution, ear wax constitution, whatever) that will classify all humans in the same classes. So, black and white would gives the same groupings as “afro” hair or not, and as flat noses or not.

Up to now, I have not seen even two such measures.

• >But it would be racist to conclude that “black” people are better marathon runners than “white” people. Because, skin color simply is just an accidental characteristic.

Actually it’s the other way around. Whites are on average better endurance athletes, blacks better at burst exertion. Black athletes do not dominate marathon runs the way they do sprinting.

(The burst/endurance difference is harder to notice because it’s confounded by another difference; whites average stronger in the upper body and therefore tend to dominate burst-exertion sports that rely heavily on that. So the best football players are almost all black, but power-lifting is very white.)

Sure, skin color is accidental in that it’s not causative – anyone who argues that black skin causes good sprint performance or low average IQ is a fscking idiot. But it can still be correlative enough to justify predictions that are statistically sound. And that’s why your loose definition of racist doesn’t work: it can apply to people who make justified inferences.

• Note that ESR isn’t (in this case) saying *Blacks Are*, he is specifying SSA blacks, and their descendants.

How come we can accept that everything is heritable except intelligence?

• >Note that ESR isn’t (in this case) saying *Blacks Are*, he is specifying SSA blacks, and their descendants.

Actually it looks like the relevant predicate isn’t even “SSA” but “never underwent cold-climate selection during the last Ice Age”.

>How come we can accept that everything is heritable except intelligence?

I’ve thought long and hard about this question, and studied the history of such denialism. (Steven Pinker delves into the subject in The Blank Slate, a good place to start.) I see at least two causes of it.

First: Many of the early-20th-century founders of the modern social sciences were believing Marxists. They wanted to believe that human nature was malleable and that the New Socialist Man could be engineered into existence by people much by themselves. It was therefore ideologically required that cultural construction be all and the human newborns be blank slates on which every desirable quality – including intelligence – could be inscribed. Hereditarian constraints on that perfectibility were threatening and Must Not Be.

Second: The (entirely justified) revulsion against Nazi racialism and its genocidal consequences. After that, anything that smacked of rank-ordering races, whether true or not, fell into the category of That Which Should Not Be Spoken. An entire phalanx of protective delusions developed around this commandment, including crazy denial that “race” and “intelligence” are even meaningful concepts.

• Now hold on, I said hold on a minute there. . . .

Okay. You say that “The title of the article ‘Scientific Racism’ was not on my mind when I wrote this.”

Looking back at your post, I see that the sentence “Not much changed, looking at the commenters in this blog” appears on the *very next line* after the link to the Wikipedia article on “Scientific Racism.” So you’re saying you intentionally linked to a Wikipedia article with that title, and in the very next sentence the title had ceased to be on your mind? What then did you think you were saying about the other participants in this discussion when you wrote “Not much changed”? Not much changed with respect to what, exactly?

• Winter, one remark. I wanted to write that earlier, but it never actually fit any of your comment in particular – I would prefer to reply to your comment below, but I can’t see a reply button with those comments.

The existence of races (or non-existence) is a problem orthogonal to a question whether the IQ differences between populations are driven by biological or environmental factors. That is, there could be a perfect cline between Poles and Chinamen, and yet all the IQ differences betwen Poles and Chinamen can in theory be based solely on genes.

Personally I think that many and maybe even all differences between populations are driven in some part (not in whole!) by genetic differences.

In fact, I think that should be our prior: that without absence of evidence to the contrary, we should assume the differences are driven by genes.

BTW, I admit I find your earlier comment about lactose tolerance fascinating (i.e. that genes which “cause” higher intelligence in one environment can be neutral or (maybe even “cause” lower intelligence!) in another).

• >The existence of races (or non-existence)

Data point. It turns out that if you pick the most prominent sets of alleles and haplogroups that seem to be associated with folk notions of “race” – like, say, the EDAR variant that produces glossy black hair and their characteristic tooth shape in Northeast Asians and is expressed in 88% of Chines and Japanese – and then ask people to race-identify themselves and each other…

…they’re really good at it. That is, the correlation between self-ascribed “race” and the marker haplogroups is very high, well above statistical significance.

This tells us that folk notions of “race” have some predictive validity. I think this would be an easy result to overinterpret, but it’s not nothing.

• @szopen
“Personally I think that many and maybe even all differences between populations are driven in some part (not in whole!) by genetic differences. ”

That is an empirical question with empirical answers. A lot of research has been done on genetic differences between human populations. They are minimal and do not support your case. Everything is genetically determined at some level, and environmentally at another. But the differences between the groups are far, far smaller than between the individuals. Empirically, the differences in environment between groups are much larger than the differences in genetic make up.

It has been said before. The genetic differences between SSA are much bigger than between non-SSA’s and any major group of SSA. Also, comparisons show that some SSAs are closer to non-SSA populations than to other SSAs.

Mitochondrial genome variation and the origin of modern humans
https://bioinformatics.bc.edu/~marth/BI820/files/Ingman-HumanOrigin-N-2000.pdf

• Notice the unsupported assumption that there must be draping going on. Notice Jeff’s lack of argument, merely the assertion that dissenters are being ‘captured’ by malicious forces. Notice Jeff spewing bigotry and prejudice.

Get bent, Jeff. Or at least, get parodied.

Communists have been trying to drape disagreement in the veil of racism for a century now. That that old trick is still working…”

• >“Communists have been trying to drape disagreement in the veil of racism for a century now. That that old trick is still working…”

Be fair. Still about thirty years until it will have been a century.

Not that I have any doubt they’ll still be doing it.

31. And what if there are no black Einsteins? Gonna rail at god for the unfairness of it all?

Who cares? Take geniouses where you find them

• I took the original claim as trying to refine the “find them” part of “take geniuses where…”. I see nothing wrong with that.

As Eric implied, the better place to look would probably be among the Ashkenazi, the Indians, and the Japanese.

And in the meantime, I also see great merit in improving the nutrition situation in SSA, for reasons alongside Einstein-hunting.

32. >> And in the meantime, I also see great merit in improving the nutrition situation in SSA, for reasons alongside Einstein-hunting.

“We” have done this before and led to an explosion in SSa populaiton. “Feed the world” remember?

Why can’t they do this on their own? Why must it always be the white hero who shows up to save them?

• Because that is where the money is. But currently, it is China tha invests most in SSA.

Not that “we” do not extract more money out of SSA than that “we” put in.

• Rhodesia fed large parts of Africa.

Zimbabwe, using “foreign aid”, imports a significant amount of basic foodstuffs.

China’s “investments” will, in a lot of ways, resemble the “investments” made by the Dutch in what is now South Africa, rather than the American and Western Europeans dumping 100s of millions of dollars into existing nations and political systems only to have that money diverted, wasted or otherwise stolen.

• And why is that where the money is Winter?

• “And why is that where the money is Winter? ”

Jared Diamond: Guns, germs, and Steel

Btw, this is a historical accident. For 8000 years, the “money” was in Asia. Only the last 300 years or so, the money is in NW Europe and North America. If there is any “racial” effect, it took a looooong time to show itself.

• I’ve read Jared Diamond’s book and it’s full of bad reasoning.

Moreover, it’s not “the last 300 years or so”. Look at the historical GDP per capita estimates. Some economists think that by 1500 Western Europe was wealthier than China – and that at 1AD (before the dark ages) Europe also was (per capita) wealthier than China.

Moreover, if there would be racial effect (which I do not claim it is), then based on IQ numbers one would actually _expect_ the money should be in Asia (as NE Asians have higher average IQ than whites).

• >I’ve read Jared Diamond’s book and it’s full of bad reasoning.

I’d be interested to see a more specific critique.

Yes, there was a huge howling mistake in the book. Diamond wrote it to refute hereditarian ideas of the superiority of Europeans, then failed to notice that he never accomplished this. All his evidence is consitent with a theory that Europeans has both an advantage derived from geography and some genetic advantage, and that both were causative.

(Note for the unusually stupid: I am not advocating a genetic-advantage theory by pointing this out.)

Other than that one huge bungle (and Diamond’s inexplicable belief that New Guinea aborigines are the superior people), I thought the book was pretty good. The stuff about easy crop travel only within the same day-length band implying that civilizations will preferentially site at east-west ends of your planet’s major continent, that really stuck with me.

• Well, he sure has some points, but he also used strange arguments. I could translate my own critique, but some time after reading I’ve stumbled into a piece written by either Cochran, which is much better (both because he is more intelligent than me and because he is native English speaker)

https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2017/09/04/guns-germs-and-steel-revisited/

tl;dr Jared argues that some populations had no available animals/crop to domesticate, and he argues that given their knowledge about their environment, they would domesticate them if they would be available and/or Europeans would domesticate them. That’s stupid. If you already had tamed animal filling some niche, there is lower incentive to tame another to fill the same niche. Same with crops.

Moreover, he forgets that all environments select for something.

Cochran is wrong in writing about ten generations it took to domesticate foxes. Within ten generations, the changes in behaviour already were readily visible, but the full domestication took more time (I remembered 50 generations, but wiki claims 40: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domesticated_red_fox).

Now the things Cochran has not mentioned (from my notes I made while reading the book):

Jared claims (at least in the version of book I’ve read) that tests of IQ measure the culture and knowledge, not generic intelligence. But there are also tests like “remember number of items and repeat them in same or backward order” or measuring reaction times. Hard to say how those would be culturally biased.

In New Guinea he writes (now I translate from Polish version of the book) “In traditional societies of New Guinea people with higher intelligence had higher chance of avoiding death than those with lower intelligence”. Reading this left me stunned. He just postualted that without any proof, and this is in addition totally contrary to your beliefs, because I don;t know why higher intelligence would help you in high-aggression, high-violence environment.

He writes that people in areas where the agriculture started earlier had advantage over other. Surely that would mean the world today should be ruled by Turkey, Iraq, Egypt. The agriculture reached northwestern Europe something like thousand years earlier than Africa, but it reached America roughly at the same time as Africa, and it reached New Guinea earlier than north-western Europe.

I don’t know also why he compares New Guinea to a fertile crescent instead of comparing it to, say, Mesoamerica. Why There were pyramids and advanced math in America, but not in New Guinea?

• >I’ve stumbled into a piece written by either Cochran [or Harpemding]

Ah, right, I’ve read that. I think Cochran’s points are pretty sound (Harpending died in 2016, I don’t think it was him).

Cochrane is a perfect example of why I think the term “scientific racist” should be banished from anywhere outside historical discussion of things like Nazi race theory. It invariably gets flung at people like him who just want to know what’s true and don’t care what sacred cows they slaughter while finding it out. I admire that quality; I try to manifest it myself.

Anyone who finds this thread interesting should read the archives of his blog. West Hunter.

• “I’ve read Jared Diamond’s book and it’s full of bad reasoning.”

He has collected a large amount of data and where I know what he is talking about, he is spot on. The rest is pretty good too, according to the reviews I have read.

“Look at the historical GDP per capita estimates. Some economists think that by 1500 Western Europe was wealthier than China – and that at 1AD (before the dark ages) Europe also was (per capita) wealthier than China. ”

Some do, and some don’t. The separate estimates for Mogul India and Egypt lower in that page show reasons to be careful drawing conclusions.

The issue does not seem to be settled. And when we look at 1AD Europe, we are looking at the Roman Empire, which got a lot of its wealth from Egypt and the Near East. 1AD UK and Germany were economically half as rich as Italy (if we can even believe these numbers).

But this is all beside the point. The “West” has dominated the world economy since the industrial revolution, with a ramp up in the centuries before. But before that, the economic powers moved along the length of Eurasia and North Africa back and forth. If anything, there was not genetic basis of what people were on top or not. Whether a population became powerful and rich, or not, depended mostly on whether they were able to grow more food than others. And that depended on the availability of the right food crops and climate.

• >If anything, there was not genetic basis of what people were on top or not. Whether a population became powerful and rich, or not, depended mostly on whether they were able to grow more food than others. And that depended on the availability of the right food crops and climate.

I think you are probably right, and that no genetic-advantage theory is required.

But denying racists a foothold in that discussion makes me happy, and for that reason I need to question my premises with extra care. What about the evidence indicates that some genetic advantage played no part? As opposed to some part that is difficult to disentangle from geography?

• (the great divergence and historical GDP)

All good points, but the recent research seems rather to point to an earlier date of the divergence. For example: https://www.nuffield.ox.ac.uk/users/broadberry/China14b%20clean.pdf

“Chinese GDP per capita was highest during the Northern Song dynasty and declined during the Ming and Qing dynasties. China led the world in living standards during the Northern Song dynasty, but had fallen behind Italy by 1300. At this stage, it is possible that the Yangzi delta was still on a par with the richest parts of Europe, but by 1700 the gap was too large to be bridged by regional variation within China and the Great Divergence had already begun.”

(As a sidenote, my own country and my people were far behind China for most of the history)

• >Moreover, if there would be racial effect (which I do not claim it is), then based on IQ numbers one would actually _expect_ the money should be in Asia (as NE Asians have higher average IQ than whites).

I think that’s probably true, but be careful because it depends on an unexamined premise. Is civilizational wealth driven more by average IQ or by the fatness of the high-IQ tail?

I don’t think I know the answer to this. But if it’s the latter, advantage actually goes to Europeans. See my previous discussion of the implications of the distribution of Nobels.

• I agree, but there is also another thing: both the breeder’s equation and the real life experiments with animals show that one relatively quickly radically shift the distribution of any given trait. In the famous case of those Russian foxes, it took 50 generations to turn wild foxes into cute, submissive pets. In terms of human generations, that’s thousand and quarter years (with very harsh selection regime).

That means that it’s possible that, even if differences in IQ are driven entirely in biology, two thousands ago they could be (in theory) totally different (i.e. it could be that my white ancestors two thousand years were dumb as f* compared to the Chinese)

• La Griffe du Lion explains why the NE Asian economies have middling GDPs despite their high mean IQs. http://www.lagriffedulion.f2s.com/sft2.htm

In short, while they have high IQs, it leans heavily toward visuospatial reasoning, where verbal/analytical intelligence is the thing that matters more for a nation’s GDP. When you look at just that component only, those economies wind up with the GDPs you’d expect.

33. “…the racist is addicted to certain kinds of fallacious reasoning, while the non-racist is not.

The reasoning of a Nazi (or any other kind of racist) is driven by a need to be be the superior man, …”

Well, phew! Good thing that doesn’t remind me of anyone on this board!

• Well, phew! Good thing that doesn’t remind me of anyone on this board!

Snerk!

I’m busy today, (It’s tax day and D&D night) but tomorrow or next day I’ll address some of that. *Cackles Madly*

34. Also, something’s borked with the Notify me of follow-up comments by email option

35. I have run some numbers and concluded that blacks at IQ 70 must be more functional than whites at IQ 70. If this weren’t so, the consequence would be huge and visible.

Numbers. Whites (including white Hispanics) 76% of the U.S. population. Blacks 12%. But the difference in IQ means implies that only 3.03% of whites are at IQ 70 or below, while 26.5% of blacks are (all figures assume a Stanford-Binet 16SD distribution). That works out to 7.43m whites and 10.3m blacks. 70 IQ is the upper bound for a diagnosis of retardation. OK, so put this together with the surveys that say 2-3% of the population is classifiable as retardates.

If all blacks at IQ 70 or below really were classifiable as retardates, the size of the diagnosed retardate population would more than double, and it would be majority black. I hardly think this could escape notice (and condemnation from the professional grievance-mongers).

My numbers are mildly inaccurate because I don’t know how to correct for narrower black IQ dispersion – that would reduce the 10.3m figure by some amount. But it would take a pretty large swing, of 3m, to falsify the conclusion.

So there’s your answer, Troutwaxer. There’s no elephant to explain away because not only are IQ 69 SSAs more functional in their environment than you’d expect, but IQ 69 American blacks with SSA ancestry are far more functional here than you’d expect.

This qualifies as the most interesting new thing I have learned in several months. Racists might be disappointed by it. I’m not.

• > while 26.5% of blacks are [IQ 70 or below].

I just noticed how similar this figure is to the oft-reported claim that one quarter of young black men in the U.S. are in prison. So I went looking for numbers.

The Wikipedia article on Statistics of incarcerated African-American males and it says the actual number is 1 in 9. And it says this:

“A 2013 study confirmed that black men were much more likely to be arrested and incarcerated than white men and that this disparity disappeared after accounting for self-reported violence and IQ” (emphasis mine).

So, just as the authors of The Bell Curve asserted, if you stratify by IQ “institutional racism” disappears. But it also suggests what’s actually happening to a lot of those IQ-70-and-below blacks. Instead of being non-functional retardates who wind up in institutions, they become barely-functional criminals and land in jail.

Murray & Hernstein predicted this, too. They said that one of the risks of having a society more and more shaped by the tastes and capabilities of cognitive elites would destroy the ability of those at the low-end of the IQ distribution to find work and dignity, producing a swelling criminal underclass.

• Hence the definitely not libertarian, but pragmatic NRx proposal of selectively banning automation in certain industries, mostly subsets of food and subsets of clothing, until unemployment gets very low.

Yes, this drives prices up and thus is a tax on consumers. But you cannot really avoid paying that anyway, as either you get taxed and it is paid out in welfare, or if even that is removed, then they will really have no recourse but crime and then you have to spend on security, more policing or more alarms on your house. Any way you do it, you cannot really escape that cost.

The idea here is that being something like a cobbler is not merely about making money. There is purpose and dignity in doing productive work, it is important for one’s self-respect, and will tend to make one beheave better than either watching TV on welfare or going on a crime spree just out of purposeless and boredom. And knowing you have this job only because they banned some machines does not really make it that much worse. A little, yes. But artisanal work adds an individual touch to it that mass manufacture does not.

Besides they are talking about agile instead of lean manufacturing for decades now. That means less of a one size fits all and more customized products to individual needs. Which does sound like a return of the cobblers, it did not actually happen, but making a state intervention in this direction would actually have some benefits to customers, beyond the drawback of increased prices: more customization. Of course, per definition, they price will be higher than they would be willing to pay for it. But as I explained above you have to pay it one way or another anyway.

• The idea here is that being something like a cobbler is not merely about making money. There is purpose and dignity in doing productive work, it is important for one’s self-respect, and will tend to make one beheave better than either watching TV on welfare or going on a crime spree just out of purposeless and boredom.

Better hope no one figures out why you are doing it then. Make-work is just as corrosive as no-work, perhaps more because it transforms your civilization into a society of liars.

puts on his broken record

We could also attack the problem from the other end and stop using an education system designed to produce conscripts with all of the psychological implications entailed by that. Ah well, like most things it is collapsing of it’s own accord anyway. It is nice when Bad Ideas do that.

• Hence the definitely not libertarian, but pragmatic NRx proposal of selectively banning automation in certain industries, mostly subsets of food and subsets of clothing, until unemployment gets very low.

Is this going to be a global ban? Cause otherwise you just move large chunks of the jobs offshore, and increase the cost on the others until they too disappear.

Americans eat out a LOT, but there’s a considerable amount of evidence to suggest that we *don’t have to*. If you increase the cost of restaurants they simply close.

As for the rest of it, work that can be done in a cheaper place (factories in the US moved from places with high labor and political costs to places with cheaper labor and political costs).

Which is to say this will not have the effect you’re looking for.

The idea here is that being something like a cobbler is not merely about making money. There is purpose and dignity in doing productive work,

Better hope no one figures out why you are doing it then. Make-work is just as corrosive as no-work, perhaps more because it transforms your civilization into a society of liars.

It’s not makework if it useful.

There was a group who advocated this sort of policy about 200 years ago.

“A toast to the Luddite martyrs then, who died in vain”–New Model Army.

• It’s not makework if it useful.

If you had to force people to do it that way you have already failed the usefulness test. Doing it for the explicit purpose of “giving the disadvantaged a sense of purpose” (tweak according to your preferred feel-goodisms) just adds insult to injury.

• Another approach would be to stop doing things that make it economically advantageous to use automation. Raising minimum wage for fast food jobs to \$15 an hour, for example, gives a big extra incentive to buy machines that do as much of those jobs as possible. So a lot of those employees go from working 1500 hours a year and earning \$12,000 to working 0 hours a year and earning \$0.

• Just one thing which you may find helpful in future calculations.

>My numbers are mildly inaccurate because I don’t know how to correct for narrower black IQ dispersion

I recommend using this online calculator.

http://onlinestatbook.com/2/calculators/normal_dist.html

For example, using this site one can quickly calculate that with mean IQ 85 and SD12, it would be 10.56% (4.214.294 from 39.908.095). If one assumes (as it seems you have above) mean IQ 80 and SD16, it would be 20.23% (8.073.407).

It does not render any of your point invalid, but you may find this calculator handy.

I’ve put the link in one of the previous replies, which however disappeared somehow – I presume It’s a fault of my browser, but if it was removed because it violated some blog rules, I’m sorry.

(Emil Kilkegaard also has some nifty calculator on hsi site, allowing also comparison of two different populations (e.g. how many “reds” for every “blue” above some threshold), but sometimes it mysteriously stops working for me: http://emilkirkegaard.dk/understanding_statistics/?app=tail_effects )

• Perhaps it is better to think of the IQ bell curve not as a continuous series of tweaks across its range plus the occasional \$WEIRD_THING thrown in, but rather as a tall and narrow region of “normal variation” that shades into people blessed/cursed with \$WEIRD_THING as you get farther away from the mean.

Yes yes, I know it is all a bunch of small variations and \$WEIRD_THINGs that are difficult to distinguish across the whole range. But I believe it is semantically useful to have those different categories given this latest finding, keeping in mind that we don’t really know what is up. And now that I think about it the wider bell curve for european males slots right in as well.

Hmmmm……

I’ll make the obvious inverted prediction from this: a 125 IQ American Black is likely to have some sort of cognitive ability that is distinctly different than his 125 IQ White peer.

• >I’ll make the obvious inverted prediction from this: a 125 IQ American Black is likely to have some sort of cognitive ability that is distinctly different than his 125 IQ White peer.

I read this and wanted to make the following joke:

We have a technical term for 125 IQ blacks. We call them “musicians”.

Then it occurred to me that this might not be a joke.

• Prince’s family recently released a demo of him singing (his composition) “Nothing Compares to You.” Oddly enough, when you subtract Sinead O’Conner and add Prince, it’s a good song!

• So there’s your answer, Troutwaxer. There’s no elephant to explain away because not only are IQ 69 SSAs more functional in their environment than you’d expect, but IQ 69 American blacks with SSA ancestry are far more functional here than you’d expect.

You might, kinda-sorta have solved the problem of the IQ-69 black male in the U.S., but you haven’t solved it for Africa.

I’ll start by noting that the average IQ for a chimpanzee is 35-50, with some special “genius” individuals testing as high as 80. (Don’t worry, I’m going someplace with this.)

So if we accept the non-Lynn scientist’s 69 as the average IQ in Equatorial Guinea, we end up with somewhere around 50 percent of the population having an IQ under 69. That means around 25% of the population is in the 59-69 IQ range, and 15-20% is in the 49-59 IQ range, and another 5-10% has an IQ lower than 49.

Without Lynn, 10 percent of Equatorial Guinea is equal in IQ to a chimp, (and that’s assuming a smaller spread around the average than is true in the U.S., 20 IQ points on either side of the average rather than 30.)

Using Lynn’s average IQ of 59 for Equatorial Guinea, we end up with around 50 percent of the population having an IQ under 59. That means around 25% of the population is in the 49-59 IQ range, and 15-20% is in the 39-49 IQ range, and another 5-10% has an IQ lower than 39.

If we believe Lynn’s numbers, 25% of Equatorial Guinea is of equal IQ to a chimpanzee.

Either way, the numbers are not believable. We’re looking at some kind of paradigmatic failure akin to phlogiston or the luminiferous aether. I’m not asserting this from an ideological standpoint, but a practical one. If your figures for intelligence show significant overlap between humans and chimpanzees you’re probably doing something wrong.*

* I suspect that part of the problem might be the Ravens test itself. The test may be culturally neutral, but is it “advancement neutral?” The Raven’s test is very easy to understand if you live in a society with architecture based on the square, rectangle, circle, and triangle, where various kinds of geometric progressions are common. But imagine taking the Raven’s if you’ve been raised in the bush and live in a grass hut? How do you compete (in this particular test) against a kid who’s lived in a house built of squares and rectangles since birth, who probably started playing with Duplos at 2, and Legos at 5-7 years old? Note that I’m not saying this is absolutely true, but I do think it’s worth looking at, and obviously the whole thing needs re-examination.

• >If your figures for intelligence show significant overlap between humans and chimpanzees you’re probably doing something wrong.*

Doesn’t follow. (Though it’s a respectable argument – much better than trying to shoot the messenger.) Here are some reasons why:

1. At any given IQ, there are still major, testable differences between a chimp and a human. Humans can handle hypothetical counterfactuals, while chimps cannot. “How many green balls would there be if that red ball were green?” Nonhuman primates lock up on that question – they can’t bend their world-model out of shape making it contradict what they can see.

2. The fact that 70 IQ SSAs are socially functional is strong support for the fact that IQ does not measure reactive intelligence but something else. The details of the System One/System Two split might not be perfectly correct, but some distinction like that is forced by the evidence we have. And – a chimp does not have the reactive intelligence of a human. To name one obvious way this is true, chimps can neither throw objects nor catch them with anywhere near human facility.

3. Having pointed this out, I have to wonder how you design a properly g-loaded test for a chimp. The big issue here isn’t the visuospatial part – I can believe that. But the best g-loaded test for verbal IQ test is vocabulary in the subject’s crib tongue, and how do you audit that for a chimp?

Finally, I note with genius chimp IQ extending up to 80 your incredulity starts to get a bit strained….

About the Raven matrices: processing straight lines and right angles is much less avancement-bound than you think. There are recognizers for them built into the retina, which means that something far back in the EAA made that capability really important.

• Years ago in an article about the problem of trash, tourists and bears in American National Parks a park ranger said “There’s an overlap between the smartest bears and the dumbest tourists”.

• > I’ll start by noting that the average IQ for a chimpanzee is 35-50, with some special “genius” individuals testing as high as 80. (Don’t worry, I’m going someplace with this.)

Where on earth are you getting these numbers? Given how your other posts have destroyed whatever credibility you have on the subject, I’d like to see your sources.

• This was a standard answer from multiple websites. The 80 IQ appears to be an outlier which was normalized against children. The 35-50 IQ is as normalized against human adults. Obviously the cases of a chimp and a human aren’t entirely parallel – an IQ of 50 is fine for everything a chimp needs to do, while a human with an IQ of fifty has terrible deficits, and a chimp has abilities a human does not; the chimp brain is not simply a human brain writ small, so the numbers are obviously approximate, and designing a culturally appropriate IQ test for chimps? Uh, I’ll just leave that to the experts.

• > This was a standard answer from multiple websites.

I just did an Internet search, found a few of the websites, but couldn’t find the actual papers giving the results.

36. Here is one very interesting post I have found related to the question of retardation rates. Quite frankly, I am a bit tired and I am not sure whether I have understood everything, but I think it will be of interest to other commenters.

https://menghublog.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/race-and-iq-mental-retardation/

The strange thing is that I already did read Jensen’s “g factor” mentioned by Meng Hu post, and right now I remember what he wrote, but somehow I forget it before I googled for the information abot mental retardation rates. Strange thing the memory is.

Not everyone might have access to Jensen’s book, so I can post his take on the issue. Because it’s quite long, below I will post only first two paragraphs (pages 367-368). If our esteemed host would allow and if others would be interested, I can post the rest.

“What originally drew me into research on test bias was that teachers of
retarded classes claimed that far more of their black pupils seem to look and
act less retarded than the white pupils with comparable IQ. This was especially
apparent in social interactions and playground activities observed by teachers
during recess and recreation periods.”

“Their observations were indeed accurate, as I later confirmed by my own
observation and testing of pupils in special classes. In social and outdoor play
activities, however, black children with IQ below seventy seldom appeared as
other than quite normal youngsters—energetic, sociable, active, motorically well
coordinated, and generally indistinguishable from their age-mates in regular classes.
But this was not so for as many of the white children with IQ below seventy.
More of them were somehow “ different” from their white age-mates in the
regular classes. They appeared less competent in social interactions with their
classmates and were motorically clumsy or awkward, or walked with a flatfooted
gait. The retarded white children more often looked and acted generally
retarded in their development than the black children of comparable IQ. “

• >Here is one very interesting post I have found related to the question of retardation rates

OK, so this post establishes that Arthur Jensen knew 20 years ago that black children at or below IQ 70 are usually normal-appearing and socially functional in a way white kids at the same IQs usually aren’t – this has been studied formally. I wonder how I missed already knowing this.

Sadly, many of those black kids will grow up unable to do enough System Two thinking to function well in even menial jobs. They’ll turn to petty crime and wind up in jail, and then some white liberal will scream about “systemic racism” and completely miss what’s actually going on. Sigh…

I don’t have a fix for this. Agricultural societies have a lot of economic niches for people who are not bright enough to handle abstractions or do forward thinking, but the squeeze on them has been getting progressively harder since the Industrial Revolution and the coming revolution in robotics is going to make it way worse.

I think really good nootropics or germ-line intervention to raise IQs is about the only way we can get out of this looming hole.

• Beyond the proposal above, one can consider tying welfare to a one child policy, so the number of the unemployable would halve every generation. The implementation of it would cannot help but be cruel and ugly, though.

• What nobody has noticed is that there’s a problem with White people here. If you’re Black and don’t get the good genes, your intelligence will degrade gracefully. If you’re White you’ll throw an error message (“Duh.”) and degrade badly. (If I were an anti-White racist I’d write a whole paper on this.)

• >What nobody has noticed is that there’s a problem with White people here. If you’re Black and don’t get the good genes, your intelligence will degrade gracefully. If you’re White you’ll throw an error message (“Duh.”) and degrade badly.

Debatable whether this is a problem. But I think you have said something interesting and worth engaging here, unlike your repeated attempts at messenger-shooting.

First, I applaud your summary of the facts on the ground. Congratulations for recognizing that there is a qualitative difference between Europeans and SSAs here; most left-liberals would be too stuck in screaming denial to get that far.

But this is not hard to understand. If you design a machine to tight tolerances, any error in manufacture is going to compromise its performance much worse than one designed to looser ones. I think that’s what’s going on here. The high average System II intelligence in whites (and probably Northeast Asians too) is easier to disrupt with accidents due to deleterious alleles or failures during morphogenesis than the lower average System II intelligence of SSAs.

I think this goes beyond intelligence. In general I’d say it’s good guess that the entire white genome is more fragile and vulnerable to morphogenetic error than the SSA ones are. The selective bottlenecks that produced it are more recent, postdating the migration out of Africa and thus most of the history of biological humanity.

The way I’m seeing it now is this: both SSA and Eurasian populations evolved under selective pressure IQ distributions that match the cognitive challenges of their EAAs (that’s “Environment of Ancestral Adaptation” for those of you unfamiliar with evo-psych jargon). But average-IQ boost has costs as well as benefits, as we see clearly in the number of exotic genetic syndromes almost exclusive to Ashkenazic Jews. Your population doesn’t go that way unless some kind of nasty truncation selection makes it happen.

One of the costs is this: 70 is outside the design range of Eurasian genomes. For a Eurasian’s IQ to go that low it’s not merely sufficient for there to have been some serious fuck-up in morphogenesis, it’s necessary – the system has indeed to have thrown an error. Thus, you expect a whole other bunch of problems to be co-morbid with it (Duh).

For SSAs, no such problem. IQ 70 is within their normal range – you don’t have to have a morphogenetic failure to produce it. Thus, IQ 70 SSAs don’t usually have classical retardate deficits.

Whether this is a “problem” is a question of definition. To me it looks like the same kind of engineering tradeoff as machining to tight tolerances, knowing that means manufacturing mistakes will take more of a toll. You do it if you need the extra performance, not otherwise.

• Interesting, I wonder if a similar phenomenon makes high IQ people more vulnerable to bad memes. Of the “this is so stupid only an intellectual would believe it” type.

• We have no evidence for this in this thread. (We also don’t have evidence against it). Has anyone looked at blacks that are at the low end of their bell curve? For all we know they don’t degrade gracefully either.

• >Has anyone looked at blacks that are at the low end of their bell curve? For all we know they don’t degrade gracefully either.

Well, sure. Below the design range of SSA genomes you’re going to start seeing morphogenetic failures that present like retardates do. It’ll be less common, though, because that low end is around 2SD lower than for Europeans.

37. “So there’s your answer, Troutwaxer. There’s no elephant to explain away because not only are IQ 69 SSAs more functional in their environment than you’d expect, but IQ 69 American blacks with SSA ancestry are far more functional here than you’d expect.”

So instead of grabbing Occam’s razor and asking “Well what good are these IQ measurements then?” you’d rather come up with the epicycle of differing environment or something else (reversion to genotype, perhaps?) to retrodict what you want. The superior man indeed.

• >So instead of grabbing Occam’s razor and asking “Well what good are these IQ measurements then?”

We already have a good answer to that. IQ predicts facility at what has recently been called “System II” thinking – reflective and reasoning and anticipatory rather than reactive. This is the Occam’s Razor explanation – otherwise you have to ignore the tons of outcome evidence that IQ (or Spearman’s g, anyway) is measuring something really damned important.

You need the quality measured by IQ to function well in a society like ours, even if it’s not required much in the kinds of societies SSAs form. I didn’t fully understand the latter point before; now it’s fitting together in my head with a lot of stuff like the difference between SSA and Eurasian family structures.

Try having an IQ of 70 and starting a business, or even filling out a tax form…

>The superior man indeed.

Well, yes. A person with an IQ of 100 is going to reason better, plan better, and function better than a person with an IQ of 70. The mistake racists make is to fixate on surface traits rather than the difference that is really important and to believe they can predict much more than they actually can from those superficials. The 100 IQ person with black skin will be superior to the 70 IQ white!

Indeed, the 100 IQ black person will, in an important sense, be quite a bit more superior to the 70 IQ white than the white would be if their positions were reversed. Because (and this is part of what I leaned from this thread) the 70 IQ white is probably defective – he had something go wrong with his morphogenesis to have an IQ that low, and probably has MBD problems like motor and sensory impairment. A black person with IQ of 70 is much less likely to be so afflicted – he’s within the normal range for his germ line.

• You need the quality measured by IQ to function well in a society like ours, even if it’s not required much in the kinds of societies SSAs form. I didn’t fully understand the latter point before; now it’s fitting together in my head with a lot of stuff like the difference between SSA and Eurasian family structures.

I don’t know if you’ve read Theodore Dalrymple’s After Empire–it chronicles his experience as a doctor in Rhodesia-Becoming-Zimbabwe–but he talks a little about the effects of family structure even among the brightest of the natives, i.e., the black doctors he worked with and other natives who entered the civil service.

Short version: the first loyalty of each was to his extended family. If you earned a higher salary as a doctor, it didn’t mean a much better lifestyle as it would for a European; it meant you had to share it with a larger circle of your cousins. (And came to resent the white doctors who might receive the same salary, but who could live much better lifestyles.) If you got a civil service job, you were expected to extract as much wealth as possible to meet family obligations–and the more wealth you extracted, the greater the obligations grew.

As he put it, “These considerations help to explain the paradox that strikes so many visitors to Africa: the evident decency, kindness, and dignity of ordinary people, and the fathomless iniquity, dishonesty, and ruthlessness of the politicians and administrators.” But it might also suggest why high IQ is not that great an advantage in a society like that…okay, great, you can do a high-status job; but economically that just means you have to support a lot of cousins who can’t.

• >But it might also suggest why high IQ is not that great an advantage in a society like that…okay, great, you can do a high-status job; but economically that just means you have to support a lot of cousins who can’t.

I was thinking of different angle. Something I read about in Scientific American back in the 1980s; it might be too un-PC to get published there today.

In Eurasia, human family structures have reorganized to fit the labor demands of hunting and agriculture in relatively cold climates over the last 12Kya. Male providership – husbandry in both senses of the term – is important. A high value is put on male industriousness, economic fidelity (e.g. some screwing around is tolerable but only as long as you bring home the bacon), and long-term commitment.

That change never took hold in much of SSA (there are local exceptions). Subsistence is easy there; male parental investment is less important. Thus, in the African family structure, children are raised by females in the mother’s kin-group; men are ornamental studs, who, in fact, spend a lot of their time lazing around like ruffed lions, exerting themselves only for sex or warfare or status competition. A second-order consequence is that women run the economic life of the family or village, because the men can’t be bothered.

Both sexes are much more promiscuous under the African system. Most of what the women want is sexy-son genes so their male offspring can play the game well, so it actually makes sense for them to be easy marks for a handsome man. And not care too much when he wanders off; there’ll be another one wandering by soon enough. The article did not say that this is why African men are…er…designed for sperm competition, but I can put two and two together and see four.

Really, in that kind of context there isn’t a lot of use for System Two intelligence, especially not in males. OK, maybe for social competition and talking the clothes off girls…or you could handle that with a version of System One that gets really good at charisma and the jive. Forward planning? That’s work for women, if it needs to be done at all.

You can see echoes of all this in the behavior of American blacks, but it’s much diluted by both genetic and cultural input from Eurasians. And in its home context it’s not a bad system; Eurasians tend to get all prissy about it only because our ancestors had to alter our behavior to survive glaciations.

• > And in its home context it’s not a bad system

Yes, it is. It stymies *any* sort of change, even the sort that produces something as trivial as “clean water”.

• >[The African system] stymies *any* sort of change, even the sort that produces something as trivial as “clean water”.

Only if you assume such change has to be led by males.

• A large percentage of people in Africa don’t have clean water readily available. Their children are LITERALLY dying from the lack.

Either they do not, as the 80s progressive song went “love their children too”, or their system is shit for making life better.

The parts of Africa that do have clean water, it was either entirely done for them by non-local labor, or the program that created it was managed and run by non-locals.

There are villages in Africa that have had First World types come in two or three times in the last 30 years and put in water systems. Which then failed and were abandoned for lack of maintenance.

The Wimmen can’t even keep the systems *working*, much less design and build them.

It’s not that the the change has to be lead by men, it’s that the change has to be made to the system.

• >The Wimmen can’t even keep the systems *working*, much less design and build them.

Who should be surprised at this if the average IQ is 69 76?

But I think you’re commingling different causes. The African family system doesn’t cause that low average IQ; if I’m reading the evidence right, it’s just what human beings were like until they were exposed to truncating selective pressure favoring the Eurasian family pattern and higher mean IQs.

You think it’s crazy that they can’t maintain the piping because your ancestors were brutally selected for being better at forward planning (which probably started with food storage). Which is OK, but value-laden assertions that they “should” change their behavior are useless if the armature of System Two intelligence you take for granted simply isn’t there. And yet they live fully human lives.

Now that I’m beginning to understand this, my reaction is…a kind of awe. The range of human variation is wider than I knew. The kind of intelligence I traffic in every day is nowhere near as fundamental an attribute of humanity as I thought. It is a wonder and a marvel. And humbling.

• My issue (in this case) is simply with one of your statements:

> And in its home context it’s not a bad system

Yes, yes it is bad. It is bad because “they” can barely keep roofs over their heads and can’t keep parasites out of their children’s water supply. Go read Kim Du Toit’s “let Africa Sink” rant/essay. Life is cheaper there than in inner cities in the US.

It’s a HORRIBLE system.

• I’m not sure it’s “their” fault. No matter where you go, development projects frequently fail. The question I’d ask is whether we’re doing them wrong. I haven’t studied this at all; it’s just a passing thought, but maybe someone who knows can weigh in.

• Mammoth-hunting is a not a good angle, you have established before, quite correctly, that high-risk, luck-driven undertakings lead to sharing as an insurance. Year-round vs. seasonal agriculture may be a better angle. Not really sure about that, though.

The causality goes like this: when monogamy is enforced, men are willing to work hard for their families. When it is not enforced, top studs have harems and beta men typically don’t want to work because there is no point. Societies that enforce monogamy outcompete ones that don’t due to more productivity meaning more kids meaning more warriors.

The question is why it didn’t happen in SSA. Was the year-round agriculture of yams and cassava really so productive that women could do it while having kids up to their biological limit? It tends to be labor-intensive and cassava is poisonous without again labor-intensive preparation.

• >Something does not add up.

What does not add up is that your notion of subsistence foods is too limited, and that you’re not including foraging. Even the !Kung San, living in a region Europeans regard as semi-arid and inhospitable, find little difficulty in gathering enough food daily, and have lots of leisure time.

• One theory I’ve heard, proposed by Steve Sailer, is that in Africa population density was limited by disease rather than food production. Thus it took a lot less work to obtain enough food in SSA.

• >One theory I’ve heard, proposed by Steve Sailer, is that in Africa population density was limited by disease rather than food production. Thus it took a lot less work to obtain enough food in SSA.

That is very plausible.

Ties into something else I’ve been thinking about. I’ve been puzzling for years over the fact that the instinctive mating strategy of (Eurasian) human females seems wildly dysfunctional given their bioenergetic incentives. Human women are way more willing to screw around and cheat on their partners than makes sense under modern conditions, in which you’d expect them to behave more as though they valued providership and stable marriage.

I knew this had to mean there was some adaptational pressure in the picture that I didn’t understand.

Recently I had the insight that this makes sense if you think of promiscuity as a hedge against rapidly varying epidemic disease. What’s messing modern women up may be instincts that formed in the EAA when capturing lots of gamma globulin variation for your offspring was really, really important – so important that the relatively high risk of being caught cheating was an acceptable tradeoff.

Now I’m reminded that women are even more promiscuous under the African system. Maybe one of the factors gluing that system in place in SSA is a high infectious-disease loading, making promiscuity more advantageous for their chances of having surviving offspring.

• What Dalrymple describes sounds remarkably like what I learned, long ago, about the mandarinate and “customary fees” in Imperial China. Families there would invest hugely in preparing a son to take the civil service examinations, but if he passed, he had to collect enough bribes to meet familial obligations.

In Darwinian terms this is not actually that unsound; enhancing the fertility of one’s brothers and cousins probably spreads the genes that make for intellectual achievement. And China doesn’t seem to have suffered from intellectual deficit.

• > but if he passed, he had to collect enough bribes to meet familial obligations.

And the Chinese government took steps to discourage this, e.g., sending newly crafted mandarins to work in provinces on the other end of China.

• “It’s the corruption, stupid.” Watch a civilization in the process of falling and the one commonality is corruption.

38. ” I think the term “scientific racist” should be banished from anywhere outside historical discussion of things like Nazi race theory.”

I’d be fine with replacing the term with “pseudo-scientific racism”, or “crimes against logic”, or “JADism”

• >I’d be fine with replacing the term with “pseudo-scientific racism”

Nah. The problem with “pseudo-scientific racism” is that it would still get flung around as a thought-stopper by people who aren’t interested in the truth – and, indeed, are frightened of the truth.

Meaning:

1. Race is a real concept.
2. The various races are somewhat different from each other.
3. These differences should be studied and understood not swept under the rug.

And without hate for any race or anyone.

• I’ve frequently thought that the problem is not whether the people testing IQs are correct, but how someone reacts to the knowledge. A racist like Richard Lynn responds to this knowledge by saying, “What is called for here is not genocide, the killing off of the populations of incompetent cultures. But we do need to think realistically in terms of “phasing out” of such peoples.”

A non-racist says, “that’s really sad” or “what can I do to help.”

(Weirdos like me say, “I don’t believe the math.)

• >I’ve frequently thought that the problem is not whether the people testing IQs are correct, but how someone reacts to the knowledge.

This is rather exactly what I mean when I say racism is an attitude and a set of fixations.

>A non-racist says, “that’s really sad” or “what can I do to help.”

Or, in my case: “Wow. So System Two intelligence turns out not to be an essential of humanity. The universe is weirder than I thought.”

• >Or, in my case: “Wow. So System Two intelligence turns out not to be an essential of humanity. The universe is weirder than I thought.”

Every once in a while you drop a bomb that makes me wonder if you grew up in a very isolated cloister.

I am reminded of an exchange we once had while talking about some nonsense from SSC, how over there they were somewhat sheltered and detached from reality, but at least they were trying.

• It appears that the current academic name is “human biodiversity.” It actually works fairly well; it could perfectly well be the title of a scholarly journal. On the other hand, the Wikipedia article says straight out, in the first paragraph, that it’s a form of “scientific racism,” so it’s not going to let you avoid being targeted by the same people who would condemn any position labelled “race realist.” It’s all thoughtcrime, it appears.

• >It’s all thoughtcrime, it appears.

Wikipedia is only mostly wrong here, not entirely.

I did a deep dive into HBD (human biodiversity) blogs a while back as part of my research on the Dark Enlightenment.

Some of the HBD crowd is obviously contaminated by racist sentiment. Much of it is not. Wikipedia wants you to throw out the baby with the bathwater, but there is undeniably some dirt in the bathwater.

• I think the problem here revolves around a US-centric idea of what racism looks like. Racism in the U.S. has a particular narrative which is fixated around the concerns of a plantation owner in 1795. Those worries went more or less like this:

Slave Revolt. Your White women taste “forbidden fruit.” Slave escapes. Slave learns that a better life is available and won’ t work. Slaves get educated.

So the plantation owners developed a “counter narrative” for all this, ranging from “they should be grateful that we’re civilizing them” to “the uppity black person,” with an emphasis on the idea that it’s not enough to let a Black person trip over their own (assumed) inferiority, but we have to deliberately, as a matter of policy, enforce failure and stupidity…

So in the U.S. we can recognize a racist cop or a KKK-type (and as good people we’re all appalled when we encounter them) because their behavior ties into a narrative we recognize, but we don’t have any attunement to other varieties of racism.

And that’s why we don’t see “scientific racism” as racism. It slips right through our filters, and even if we can “see” scientific racism, it doesn’t trip any alarms. And if we didn’t notice it and then we get called on it, we get defensive.

But the reality goes something like this: If you work in HR, you can’t wear your robes and hood to work and celebrate your “White Heritage.” You will almost certainly be fired from 99% of U.S. workplaces if you do this. But if you bring one of Richard Lynn’s papers to work the worst you can expect is a reprimand – and the best thing you can expect is a change in policy to something which quietly excludes people you don’t like.

You can’t wear your Nazi uniform to a senator’s office. But you can wear a suit and bring the paper OGH cited in his top post to a Senator just prior to a hearing on immigration. Or you can bring it to a college board meeting (probably not to a state school, but a private school may be another matter.) And when that board votes… you might get your way.

You can’t wear your robe and hood to recruit a bright high-school student into a racist group. But you can bring one of Richard Lynn’s “scientific” papers…

If you’re a racist and you show up with a suit and a Richard Lynn paper, there’s no downside. The work of people like Lynn is not meant to provoke a riot. Their work is meant to promote minor, but slightly harmful changes in policy, and it is carefully designed to slip through our filters. But when the riot does break out because the over the years Lynn and friends have pushed a dozen “minor changes in policy” which have caused the Black unemployment rate to soar, the authorities involved can say “all the changes we made to policy were very scientific, what’s wrong with those people?” (And someone like Faux News will show that frightened White person on TV without presenting the other side of the story.)

If you see something going on where Black people are mad as hell, and White people are looking around stupidly saying “what the fuck just happened?” you might look for scientific racism in the deep background.

• Yes, but you can equally well push policies that are argued to be intended to help black people, and that black people themselves with defend heatedly, but that have destructive effects on black people’s lives. If you advocate welfare policies that have a massive negative effect on the black family structure, there’s no downside; you will be credited with the good intention of helping disadvantaged children, and you can probably label people who criticize your policies as “racist.” Or, in an earlier generation, you can advocate “urban renewal” housing projects that destroy existing neighborhoods and produce behavioral sinks, in the name of modernity (see James Scott’s “Seeing like a State” for the logic of this).

And also, abusus non tollit usum: Just because racists have made use of a scientific finding to argue for racist policies does not mean either that that finding is false or that the people who made it had any racist agenda. The standard of legitimate science is logic and evidence. If they support a finding, that finding is scientific, and epithets such as “racist” or “heretical” or “deviationist” or “Jewish” are irrelevant; and conversely, if the finding is being abused or misinterpreted to support an agenda, it should be possible to show that by logic and evidence.

• I must definitely agree with you that some of our policies have had very poor outcomes; keeping people from being hurt by prejudice while allowing them to solve their own problems seems like the best approach to me. I’d love to see some real evidence-based policies, but whose “evidence” do we use?

…does not mean either that that finding is false or that the people who made it had any racist agenda.

The problem here is that science can be abused as easily as it is used; if a bunch of scientists are saying, of another scientist, “that’s just racist twaddle, here are the reasons why,” maybe someone should listen. If Richard Lynn has real evidence that IQs in SSA are not in the “average” range, but in the “high mentally disabled” range, he should present that evidence in the form of good science. Like maybe he should go to Africa and do his own original research or something.

Instead Lynn critiques the research of other people and does stuff like dropping the “coached” study that shows an average IQ of 84, while keeping the “coached” study which shows an IQ of 71, which approach is pure bullshit as far as I can tell – then he makes the “important” claim that the average IQ in SSA is 68… when a guy who believes in “phasing out” the lesser races makes the startling discovery that the IQs of that “lesser race” are 15 percent lower than previously discovered, I’m not impressed.

Disappointed? You bet. But not impressed. So back to the subject of evidence-based-policy, do we want to use Lynn’s “research” to decide any social issues? I can only suggest read the Anti-Lynn paper if you haven’t done so:

https://jeltewichertsdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/wichertsravenafr2010rej.pdf

Meanwhile… Fuck Lynn and the horse he rode in on.

• I personally don’t care much about the 10 or so IQ points that Lynn is arguing over. It seems to me that the people who argue that indigenous populations in SSA commonly have IQ around, say, 80 are already accepting that IQ is in some sense meaningful; that they are agreeing that different regional populations have different cognitive traits measured by IQ (as contrasted with claims that all human populations are cognitively equal); and that they are reporting that SSA is a region of notably lower ability. Do you know the joke whose punchline is, “We already settled that; I’m just haggling over the price”?

The problem I had with this discussion is that the first thing that was said about Lynn was that he was racist. Not even, “Lynn has ties to racist groups, so his arguments should be examined carefully”; your latest postings have gone there, but that wasn’t the first thing I saw. And that careful examination should be the first step in assessing the validity of his claims. It rather looked to me as if “racism” was being used as a substitute for actual critique, rather than a conclusion from it.

I’d also point out that I don’t necessarily take “the consensus of scientists in this field is X” as conclusive. I’ve read, for example, the history of eugenics, when the overwhelming majority of researchers on heredity supported theories about racial degeneration and policies of forced sterilization. The general scientific consensus of our time that all human beings must be essentially equal strikes me as just as much founded in political ideology as their general scientific consensus that human beings were radically unequal. In both cases the appeal to consensus looks to me to be an argument from authority.

And I’ve seen charges of “racism” flung about much too freely in recent decades; by now, an accusation of racism makes me extra mistrustful of the accuser.

• >I’d also point out that I don’t necessarily take “the consensus of scientists in this field is X” as conclusive.

Nor should you. See Error cascade: A definition and examples

I’m careful about “scientific consensus”. I trust it in fields that don’t have a history of political capture; physics is the most obvious example. I distrust it in fields that I think have been politically captured: climatology and most of the social sciences are equally obvious examples.

• The problem I had with this discussion is that the first thing that was said about Lynn was that he was racist.

This is basic critical reading, (which I understand is no longer taught in most schools.) The first thing you do is establish whether the writer has an agenda, and what that agenda is. The important thing here is that “agenda checking” is not a malicious move – after all, you might agree with the writer’s agenda and wish to reinforce their conclusions. You might even be editing your own work and looking for ways to make it stronger!

The important thing is that checking the writer’s agenda gives you an idea of where they might be fudging their results, repeating falsehoods, (deliberately or otherwise) or failing to bring in contrary evidence. (And in editing it might show you the faults in your own writing.) Or you might learn that Joe Author didn’t fudge their results, and does examine the contrary evidence.

So in Lynn’s case,* I was not saying, “He’s a racist, so don’t believe him” but “He’s a racist, so check his work carefully.” (Unfortunately, racists have a long history of doing bad science.)

And this is where I’m really disappointed in the readership of this blog. The connection from “proven racist” to “possibly does bad science in the service of racism” to “let’s check his work” should be obvious to anyone who isn’t freakishly blinded by some kind of ideological filter. (Despite being liberal I would certainly accept a logic of “he’s a Communist” to “does ideologically driven science” to “check to see if he’s using a Lamarckian biological argument.” And I’d accept that someone should be discredited on that basis if the science was truly bad.) This kind of critical reading is not wrong. It is not “unreliable,” it does not show “disrespect for the facts.” This kind of critical reading is very, very basic to the point that I was first taught about it in 8th grade.

In critical reading you do other things as well. You check the date the work was first published, so that you can know whether someone’s science needs updating. You check to see whether the author is reporting an anecdote or has real data. You check to see where the piece was published – the Wall Street Journal has a different editorial slant than the Village Voice. You check to see whether the writer included footnotes and a bibliography – if they didn’t, you need to question their facts very carefully.

And this is why the agenda comes first when you do critical reading – because it’s not hard for an author to mimic doing “all the right things; recent publication, footnotes, a bibliography, data not anecdotes, etc., and still produce crap, as Lynn does. The writer’s agenda tells you where s/he is vulnerable to fact-checking.

With all this in mind, I checked to see if anyone had critiqued Lynn’s work – once again, this is basic critical reading when a writer has an agenda (even one you agree with.) Upon checking I found that other scientists have a very poor opinion of Lynn, and was able to demonstrate that fact, to the tune of (at this point) something like 20 links to people who show us that Lynn is totally unreliable. (See my reply to Eric for the additional 15 links I added last night.) Essentially, other scientists tear Lynn a new one, time and time again, and notice that they don’t call him names; the use numbers and call out obvious contradictions in his work.

* Note, please, that I didn’t call Lynn a racist without first gathering evidence. Look him up on Wikipedia, or check out what the SPLC has to say about him, or just type his name into a search engine. He’s a board member of multiple racist groups and publishers. He’s made statements that sound like they should come out of the mouth of a Nazi villain in a bad movie. There’s no doubt of his agenda.

• > This is basic critical reading, (which I understand is no longer taught in most schools.) The first thing you do is establish whether the writer has an agenda, and what that agenda is.

And yet you later site the SPLC uncritically, so much for critical thinking.

• > The first thing you do is establish whether the writer has an agenda, and what that agenda is.

Ok, let’s apply this logic to your comments. Well, you started by calling Lynn a “racist” and listed his membership in “racist” groups that upon inspection were not. (Something by the way you still haven’t explained the source of your mistake or apologized for.) Then you proceeded to list some true things he said and try to pass them of as evidence that he’s an “evil rassiss” so we shouldn’t believe them. (Again failure to explain or apologize when called on it.) Now you cite the notorious frauds at the SPLC as a credible source. Given that, why should we put any trust into your cherry picked literature search?

• I’m going to answer you below where things get wider. If you can’t find it, look for your name.

• >the concerns of a plantation owner in 1795.

Historical note: That date is too early. While slavery was already racially loaded at that time due to the brutally simple fact that whites died doing fieldwork in the heat, you don’t start to see a fully developed racialist theory of slavery until a couple of decades or so later. Reality check: there was a class of black slaveowners (especially in Louisiana) that existed in an increasing tension with increasing popular racialism clear up until the Civil War.

>but we don’t have any attunement to other varieties of racism.

Sez you. I’ve actually dug into Nazi racial theory; I know the gory (and sometimes quite surprising) details. Ahem…I’m not the one operating from historical ignorance here.

• I did pull the date out of my ass, but the roots of the American style of racism in a plantation owners concerns are pretty obvious. I don’t see much need to justify that beyond simply saying so.

• But if you bring one of Richard Lynn’s papers to work the worst you can expect is a reprimand [and several other assertions in the same vein]

What universe are you living in? Because it certainly isn’t the same one where Damore got fired for trying to help the diversity quotas, or Milo is painted as a leader of the Alt-Right despite flamboyant faggotry and a taste for black men, or police in \$EUROPEAN_TOWN ignore systematic rapes because young girls getting abused or killed is less bad than arresting a disciple of the goatlover, or where women who are raped by said disciples won’t get help because they feel guilty about it.

You should really dig into this; if we can figure out how to bridge between the universes maybe we can help the people in the universe you are from.

• Remember that Damore wrote the paper that got him fired, and only after it went viral. I think anyone with decent social skills could find a way to introduce a Richard Lynn paper into most offices without getting more than a write up.

• The problem is that the Progressives, and those with similar mind sets perceive all members of a group as homogeneous.

Therefore if SSAs score 2 standard deviations lower on an IQ test, then ALL SSAs are dumber.

This is a fallacy.

40. A couple of vague elements which may shed some light:

1) The go to guy who has been thinking about family structures and how they shape the world is Emmanual Todd. Unfortunately not a lot of his work had been translated from French. As far as I am aware the two books translated into English may not contain his latest thinking and insights.

2) I remember reading a blog post of some kind by I think Gregory Chocran, talking about two evolutionary adaprations experienced by non-SSA humans. One of them had to do with the way information is organised in the brain, and is known to cause an intelligence boost. This is for the people with avarage to exeptional intelligence. For the people on the low end, it causes dysfunction and retardation.

This result in SSA people with a 70 IQ to be functional, but non-SSA people with a 70 IQ to be retarded.

I hope this shed some light.

• To chime in alongside point #2: this sounds somewhat like something I have thought for about a decade. There is a somewhat lesser-known result in psychology testing regarding abstract vs. practical questions. The prime example I have seen is as follows:

You are presented with a series of four cards which have a number printed on one side and a letter on the other. The following faces are immediately visible:

[A] [4] [R] [7]

You are told the cards also match the rule, “Even numbered cards have a vowel on the opposite side.” Which cards must be flipped to validate if this second rule is correct? (Select all that apply.)

IIRC, when asked of a general US population, this question was answered correctly only about 5% of the time. The truly surprising result, however, was that you can reverse that ratio merely by restating the question as a “moral” proposition:

A teenager has promised their parents that “Each time I borrow the car, I will completely fill the gas tank.” Under which of the following circumstances might this agreement have been broken? (Select all that apply.)

[car has full tank] [car was borrowed] [car has a half-empty tank] [car was not borrowed]

Both of these questions are identical in form—they pose “If P, then Q” and provide all four variations of (in this order!) Q, P, ¬Q, and ¬P. Therefore, both questions have the “same” answer and should (theoretically) be answered correctly at the rate in a survey. The fact the two questions will receive such different answers shows that for the vast majority, something is engaged in the brain by the latter question which is not triggered by the abstraction of the former. Furthermore, that should lead us to conclude that a a “culture-fair” IQ test composed entirely of abstract (shape-based) reasoning questions may not suffice as a proxy to predict life outcomes. (What we probably actually should be measuring is the capacity to answer the second, “moral/practical” question, rather than the ability to work through the same question in abstract form.)

• It would be interesting to run a test with these questions (in as many variations along as many axis [mathematical, moral, linguistic, etc] as you can) and see how *long* it takes someone to answer the question.

My bet is that the “moral” and possibly some of the linguistic answers go through “System I” processing, while the mathmatical and more sophisticated “linguistic” questions go through System II processing.

• >It would be interesting to run a test with these questions (in as many variations along as many axis [mathematical, moral, linguistic, etc] as you can) and see how *long* it takes someone to answer the question.

Yeah, that’d be interesting. For another reason besides the one you cite: There’s one theory of the physiological basis for Spearman’s g that says smart people think faster. Literally faster, with nerve conduction velocity being higher. This effect might be measurable.

And now I’m dimly remembering a study in which black people showed faster reaction times on some kind of sensory-discrimination tests than whites. Leading to the following speculations on my part:

1. SSA System One is faster than Eurasian System One. At constant IQ, a black’s reactive intelligence is slightly more effective than a white’s or NE Asian’s.

2. Some slowdown in System One is a cost you pay for rewiring the neocortex to do a lot of System Two.

Damn that would explain a lot. Including my ha-ha-maybe-serious about musicians. Also athletes. I think I’m going to rate these “Probably true; seek falsifying evidence.”

• There’s a language ambiguity in the first case: Does “even numbered cards” refer only to cards that show an even number face-up, or to cards that have an even number on either the face-up or face-down side?

The test intends the second interpretation, but natural language allows the first one.

• I was wondering what had glitched in my brain such that I was sure you needed to flip all 4 cards for the first case but only the middle two instances of the second case where instances when the promise might have been broken.

If the first case is only meant to refer to cards showing an even number face-up, it’s worded really confusingly and I’m having a hard time figuring out how it’s supposed to be identical to the second case.

• If the first case is only meant to refer to cards showing an even number face-up

It isn’t. It’s meant to refer to cards with an even number on either side. Under that interpretation, you need to turn over the two middle cards.

Under the other interpretation, where it’s only meant to refer to cards with an even number face up, obviously you only need to turn over the second card, the one that has an even number face up.

There’s no interpretation under which you need to turn over all four cards.

• Ah, now I see my glitch. I was mentally inserting an “only” in there – “only even numbered cards have a vowel on the other side”. You have to test all four cards for that case, but that’s not what was specified.

41. How does India fit into this? A lot of the symptoms described here (infra that cannot be maintained, etc.) as applicable to SSA would also hold for India even a couple of decades ago. But things are really changing for the better of late in India. How does this correlate with the IQ discussion?

• >But things are really changing for the better of late in India. How does this correlate with the IQ discussion?

On the one hand, average IQ in India = 82. Doesn’t bode well.

On the other hand, there is a large Indian diaspora that is doing quite well in high-tech jobs that put a premium on intelligence. The contrast with SSAs is really noticeable.

Fortunately, an answer to the puzzle is implied by Greg Cochran’s recent observation, on the genetic evidence that many jatis have been near-perfectly endogamous for thousands of years (so much for the idiotic notion that the British Raj hardened the caste system, a theory I see Wikipedia is still peddling). Thus, India is not one breeding population, it’s thousands of different ones.

Genetic drift pretty much guarantees that average IQ in these jatis is going to diverge over time. There are going to be castes with an average IQ comparable to Europeans and Northeast Asians, and others quite disadvantaged.

No prizes for guessing that the bright expatriates are mostly coming from high-IQ castes, with a handful of right-tail outliers from elsewhere. Nor that average IQ of a caste correlates with its rank in the caste hierarchy. After all, this is a system that put readers (Brhahmins) above warriors (Kshatriyas).

• >> On the other hand, there is a large Indian diaspora that is doing quite well in high-tech jobs that put a premium on intelligence. The contrast with SSAs is really noticeable.

The interesting part here is that India simply channels a huge number of people into high-tech jobs. Although most of them end up doing menial stuff in service companies, enough come out of the funnel and prove themselves to be really good at high-tech stuff. Now how do you explain the fact that such a funnel gets setup in the first place (considering average IQ of 82). Also, what prevents this from happening in SSA?

• >Now how do you explain the fact that such a funnel gets setup in the first place (considering average IQ of 82). Also, what prevents this from happening in SSA?

Clearly there’s a larger right tail in the Indian distribution than in the SSA one. I think this is nearly enough explained by genetic drift in endogenous jatis. What else needs explaining?

• Note that in India, for millennia, the highest jatis were Brahmins, and their intellectual traditions involved noteworthy work in linguistics, mathematics, and arguably philosophy (I’ve been told that many linguists consider Panini’s grammar of Sanskrit the most accurate description of a language ever recorded). That’s exactly the sort of thing that System II intelligence is good for.

On the other hand, some years ago I read Mayo’s Mother India, which among other things is an appalling portrayal of a society that really did oppress women horrendously. One passage in it described a city that built a water treatment plant to produce decontaminated drinking water. But since it didn’t produce enough for the entire population, they mixed the purified water back in with untreated water to make it go farther. . . .

• But that’s Lynn’s number for the national IQ. Lynn is an obvious and noted racist.

I’d be inclined to bet that the real number is closer to 92, and when you add the Flynn effect, parasite load, etc., as those things have been addressed the average IQ in India is going up quite rapidly. If they can keep up their food supply and medical establishment for a couple more generations I’d expect an Indian average of 100-ish by 2050 or so. Meanwhile a population of around 1,000,000,000 will produce some very smart people.

• >But that’s Lynn’s number for the national IQ. Lynn is an obvious and noted racist.

Every time you try to shoot the messenger your credibility drops. It doesn’t matter what Lynn’s views are. It only matters whether his evidence is real and his reasoning is sound. I’ve seen too much lies and bullshit from “anti-racists”, and too much truth-telling from people they scream at as “racist”, to make the assumptions you want me to.

Stop this. You’re only discrediting yourself with such tactics. Argue with the evidence, not the person.

• Here’s is Lynn and Meisenberg’s paper in full:

Here is the critique of Lynn and Meisenberg in full:

https://jeltewichertsdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/wichertsravenafr2010rej.pdf

Quoting from the critique: “The only characteristic of the samples that predicted Lynn and Meisenberg’s judgment of insufficient representativeness was average IQ itself: the higher the average IQ the greater the probability that Lynn and Meisenberg deemed the sample unrepresentative.” If you read the whole thing, it CLOBBERS any claim Lynn and Meisenberg might make to using any kind of valid scientific process.

Is Lynn a racist who uses poor methodology to create false faux-scientific “proof” of his racist ideas?

Let’s review the evidence:

1.) Lynn’s “science” finds IQs in SSA 15% lower than other scientists. EVIDENCE: We would expect a racist to “find” lower IQs. (This alone is not sufficient, of course. Keep reading.)

2.) Other scientists use fairly harsh language in the course of noting Lynn’s scientific failures, including phrases like “Lynn’s methods in selecting samples remain unsystematic; he is inconsistent in his reasons to exclude samples, and too unspecific to allow replication by independent raters” and “Lynn excluded some samples (Pons, 1974, MIQ= 84) because of coaching, but admitted other samples which were also coached (Knoetze, Bass, & Steele, 2005, MIQ= 71).” Notice what’s going on here: Lynn admitted the coached sample which found an IQ of 71, but did not admit the coached sample which found an IQ of 84. EVIDENCE: One would expect other scientists to find methodological errors in the work of a “scientific racist.” Multiple, very egregious methodological errors were found, (all of which lowered the average IQ for SSA.*) Once again, read the whole anti-Lynn paper.

3.) Lynn is a member of multiple racist groups, and is even a board member or leader of some of them. I think I listed 10-12 racist affiliations above. EVIDENCE: We would expect a racist to associate with, and even lead, other racists.

4.) Lynn has said/written some really ugly things, including this gem: “Evolutionary progress means the extinction of the less competent. To think otherwise is mere sentimentality.” Note that he’s making this statement about his fellow human beings, which gives it a special awfulness. EVIDENCE: We expect a racist to make ugly statements about race. (Also note my listing of his other ugly statements above.)

So the evidence against Lynn is extremely strong. He finds IQs in SSA 15% lower than anyone else finds, his findings disagree with those of non-racist scientists, his process is extremely vulnerable to scientific criticism, all of his “errors” lower the IQ of the group he dislikes, he’s a member/leader of multiple racist groups, and he makes very ugly racial statements some of which involve the idea that certain races should/will die in the process of evolution.

So our question above has been answered: Lynn is indeed a racist. He clearly uses poor methodology – multiple scientific errors, in fact – to create faux-scientific “proof” of his racist ideas.

In short, Eric, you lose.

What the fuck is wrong with you that you take this piss-poor excuse for a human being seriously? Just admit you’re wrong about Lynn, and admit you neglected to check his bona-fides before you hit “post.”

This admission should not be difficult if you’re the man you claim to be.

*If Lynn/Meisenberg’s errors were truly random, their IQ distribution would have come closer to that found by other scientists. What they do, in fact, is bring the IQs of SSA down from “average” to “mentally disabled,” skipping the “low average” category entirely. I think this is significant and possibly deliberate.

• >1.) Lynn’s “science” finds IQs in SSA 15% lower than other scientists.

You’re putting the cart before the horse. The first question is not “Is Lynn a racist?” It’s “Is he right?” The fact that you insist on putting that cart before the horse damages the rest of your argument.

>2.) Other scientists use fairly harsh language in the course of noting Lynn’s scientific failures,

And if I hadn’t spent my entire adult life listening to the establishment in the social sciences and and anthropology tell me lies about race and heredity – and not just lies, but obvious lies that insulted my intelligence by the very supposition that I ought to believe them for longer than it took me to think them through – I’d find that very persuasive.

As it is, I take “respected scientists” arguing against large variation across “races” (or clades, or whatever other label you want to use) with about the same skepticism as I take arguments for CAGW. Ideological monocultures who have shown great willingness to ignore, deny or suppress plain facts in the past have forfeited my trust in the present.

For an example of the kind of thing I mean, look up Lewontin’s Fallacy. Expecting me to believe that for ten seconds was insulting and bespeaks breathtaking mendacity on Lewontin’s part. For another, consider the hatchet job Steven Jay Gould tried to do in The Mismeasure of Man – even at the time I first read it, when I knew much less about the topic area than I do now, I could spot that many of his “facts” were bullshit.

>3.) Lynn is a member of multiple racist groups,

Bang! Another bullet flies at the messenger. Your credibility takes another hit.

>4.) Lynn has said/written some really ugly things, including this gem: “Evolutionary progress means the extinction of the less competent. To think otherwise is mere sentimentality.”

What about this is untrue? The fact that you consider it a mark against Lynn is, in my judgment, a mark against you.

What the fuck is wrong with you that you keep making such crappy arguments? Even to the point where you quote Lynn saying something that is obviously, almost trivially true as though it’s a reason to loathe him. That tells me you’re blinded by either sentimentality or ideology, and that I should probably trust Lynn more than I trust you.

“Evolutionary progress means the extinction of the less competent. To think otherwise is mere sentimentality.” How else in the fleeping frack do you think natural section operates? It’s not a cosmic episode of “My Little Pony” out there.

• What’s funny is that “evolution” is often used to denote some peaceful zen-like advance to a higher state. “Evolution, not revolution.”

Er, actually, evolution is a LOT bloodier than revolution.

• Eric, an hour’s worth of research into Lynn is devastating. The man lied and cheated his way through half-a-dozen books and scientific papers, inspiring comments like, “The bottom line is, we don’t know the average IQs for different regions in Italy, which is why Richard Lynn had to resort to making them up.”

That’s gotta sting!

Before I present the results of 60 minutes of Googling, let me help you with a little advice: If it looks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, it both swims and flies, and it migrates south for the winter… In other words, if someone tells you they are a racist, believe them.

Note that these are not the full critiques of Lynn’s scientific misbehavior; I’ve picked a relevant paragraph or a sentence from each, but I have not reproduced them in full. If you visit the links you’ll find additional examples of his poor work and longer explanations of what he’s doing wrong. Obviously I didn’t purchase any scholarly papers, but the abstracts are not kind to Lynn.
.
.
GENERAL CRITICISM:

“A more egregious example is provided by his treatment of the Eyferth (1961) study of two groups of illegitimate children fathered by (mostly) American black and white servicemen and brought up by their (carefully matched) German mothers. Eyferth reported an average IQ of 96.5 for the mixed race children and of 97.2 for the whites. Lynn reduces the former number to 94 to compensate for use of an old test, and compares it, not with the score of the white sample, but with an average IQ of 100 for German children.”

http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2006/09/more-massaged-data-from-richard-lynn.html

“We conclude that Lynn and Meisenberg’s unsystematic methods are questionable and their results untrustworthy.”

http://racialreality.blogspot.com/2011/08/devastating-criticism-of-richard-lynn.html

“The first column below are the original numbers from Buj (1981) taken from [1] and cross-checked against my own reading of the original paper. The second column are the numbers reported in IQ and the Wealth of Nations. Lynn rounds most numbers to the closest integer, but Italy’s score is rounded down (0.8->0), Austria’s score is rounded down (0.5->0), Ireland’s score is “rounded” up (0.2->1), Norway’s score is 1.8 lower than the real one, Greece’s score is 2.4 lower than the one reported by Buj (1981). All in all, 5 errors in 19 numbers from a single study.”

http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2004/08/richard-lynns-massaged-iq-data.html

“Many of the data points in Lynn’s book IQ and the Wealth of Nations were not based on residents of the named countries. The datum for Suriname was based on tests given to Surinamese who had emigrated to the Netherlands, and the datum for Ethiopia was based on the IQ scores of a highly selected group that had emigrated to Israel, and, for cultural and historical reasons, was hardly representative of the Ethiopian population. The datum for Mexico was based on a weighted averaging of the results of a study of “Native American and Mestizo children in Southern Mexico” with results of a study of residents of Argentina. Hunt, E. & Wittmann, W. (2008). “National intelligence and national prosperity”. Intelligence. Vol. 36, 1, January–February pp. 1-9.”

A brief explication is necessary here: Lynn was involved in a massive controversy in how he measured the IQs of Italian schoolchildren. Apparently he has this batshit theory that intelligence increases the further north you travel, and tried to impose this theory on the Italian peninsula.

“…purer measures of IQ obtained during the standardisation of Raven’s Progressive Coloured Matrices also show no significant differences in IQ between children from South and North Italy.”

https://italianthro.blogspot.com/2010/10/richard-lynn-further-refuted.html

“The bottom line is, we don’t know the average IQs for different regions in Italy, which is why Richard Lynn had to resort to making them up. And while Southern Italians are likely to be a few points lower than Northern Italians — as the Irish and Scottish are a few points lower than the English — there’s absolutely no reason to believe that North and South would be separated at their extremes by almost a full standard deviation. Lynn certainly hasn’t proven anything of the kind with this ridiculous study, nor has he provided any valid explanations for such a disparity.”

http://italianthro.blogspot.com/2010/09/refuting-richard-lynns-italian-iq-study.html

“In his article “In Italy, North–South differences in IQ predict differences in income, education, infant mortality, stature, and literacy,” Richard Lynn claims to have found the reason causing the divergence between the Northern and the Southern regions of Italy. This article identifies the four main hypotheses formulated in his paper and presents significant evidence against each one of them.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289610001121?via%3Dihub

“Knowledge of genetic differences in Italy does not support Lynn’s opinion that peoples from North Africa and the Near East strongly influenced the genetic structure of the Southern Italian population. Genetically, the influence of the Phoenicians and the Near East populations accounts for a very small fraction, while the predominant genetic influence derives from the long phase of Greek colonization.”

http://italianthro.blogspot.com/2011/10/another-richard-lynn-refutation.html

“However, data on Italian regional differences in educational achievement obtained in a much larger INVALSI study of 2,089,829 Italian schoolchildren provide unequivocal evidence that Lynn’s educational achievement measure is not a valid index of IQ differences.”

https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/17465721111175056

“Our examination of intelligence test score differences between the north and south of Italy led to results that are very different from those reached by Lynn (2010a). Our results demonstrate that by using intelligence tests to assess differences in ability rather than using achievement scores as a proxy for intelligence, children from the south of Italy did not earn lower scores than those from the north of Italy.”

“This paper provides evidence in contrast to this conclusion by arguing that the use of PISA data to make inferences about regional differences in intelligence is questionable, and in any case, both PISA and other recent surveys on achievement of North and South Italy students offer some results that do not support Lynn’s conclusions.”

We’ve discussed Africa extensively. I’m not going to link to the one study we’ve already discussed (you did read, it, right?)

“Wicherts and his colleagues examined over 100 published studies, concluding that there is no evidence to back up Lynn’s claims. Amongst other flaws, Lynn used selective data by systematically ignoring Africans with high IQ scores.”

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100121155220.htm

“We argue that their review of the literature is unsystematic, as it involves the inconsistent use of rules to determine the representativeness and hence selection of samples. Employing independent raters, we determined of each sample whether it was (1) considered representative by the original authors, (2) drawn randomly, (3) based on an explicated stratification scheme, (4) composed of healthy test-takers, and (5) considered by the original authors as normal in terms of Socio-Economic Status (SES).”

You want fries with that? Maybe a milkshake? Lynn is a crap scientist, and his racist agenda is the most probable cause of his many “errors” and misrepresentations. (Note that these problems with his data are real regardless of their cause.)

That being said, I think it might be profitable to approach the problem with Lynn from another angle. He claims a 15% difference in SSA IQs from what other scientists have found, enough to change the average intelligence of SSA’s inhabitants from the “average” range to the “mildly mentally disabled” range, skipping over the “low average” range entirely. If true, this would be a huge fucking deal; one which completely overthrows and invalidates our entire idea of African intelligence. In a world where scientists routinely argue heatedly over a couple percentage points, Lynn’s numbers would be revolutionary.

But what does Lynn offer as the extraordinary proof to his extraordinary claim? Did he travel the continent for ten years giving everyone the RAVEN’s test? Does he have some deep experience of Africa, perhaps as a high-level aid worker, to draw upon? Did he design and prove, to the satisfaction of other psychologists and anthropologists, a new and amazing test that is guaranteed to work as well for a Ph.D in suburban Nairobi as it does on the Kalahari Bushman? Does he even indicate that he speaks an African language?

Nope. Instead, he offers a literature review. He’s claiming, in a huge paradigm shift, that measures of IQ in SSA are wrong by 15% and as proof he offers a fucking literature review? How in the world is anyone supposed to take him seriously?

Darwin, in overthrowing the old paradigm, gave us Origin of the Species. Einstein gave us “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies.” Lynn gives us a literature review and it’s not even a very good one. The paper was heavily criticized because Lynn pulls shit like excluding the coached test with the high IQ, but not excluding the coached test with the low IQ. It’s heavily criticized because he made basic mistakes in choosing which literature to review (see the quote above,) because he arbitrarily chose to exclude IQ tests which came in too high because… they came in too high, apparently, and because nobody can find a consistent reason why he excludes any IQ test except that he didn’t like the results, and that’s not counting the papers he didn’t review because he was unaware of their existence because his literature search was as crappy as all his other work.

I’m not shooting the messenger because he is a racist.

I’m not shooting the messenger because he is a racist AND a poor scientist. (You’ll note that his fellows do not think highly of him.)

I’m not shooting the messenger because he is a racist, AND a poor scientist, AND because his work deliberately produces racially toxic results. (If I was going to turn IQ studies on their head the way he’s trying to, you can bet I’d do better than a literature review!)

I AM shooting the messenger because he is a racist AND a poor scientist AND because his work deliberately produces racially toxic results AND because other people haven’t noticed that his claims are bullshit. Apparently I’m the only person in this group who’s ever had formal instruction in how to read critically, and every time I follow that training and dig further into Lynn’s work, I find more and more evidence of scumminess! Lynn is a liar, a number fudger, a “scientist” who has poor skills at literature searches and reviews, who converts educational tests to IQ tests without considering the issues, who makes shit up, excludes professional literature in an inconsistent manner, who allows his personal racism to taint his scientific work, and who is despised by his fellow scientists… and if you read all those links I gave you, you’ll find many more examples of his shoddy work and falsifications.

So let’s turn this around… why do you want to keep his numbers? In the light of the evidence I’ve presented about both his work and his character; fourteen links on this post alone, multiple scientific papers pointing out his faults, multiple examples of his fudging numbers or incorrectly including/excluding evidence, not to mention that there is ample evidence of both personal racism and high-level racist affiliations with other racists and other racist groups, plus the obvious fact that his personal racism bleeds over into his scientific work. Why would you want to stain yourself by using him as a source for… anything at all?

• >So let’s turn this around… why do you want to keep his numbers?

I have no attachment to Lynn’s numbers. In fact I would rather prefer him to be wrong, on the general grounds that the consequences of a lower average IQ would be bad for everybody. I have a reflex about being extra suspicious about results that make me happy; it’s my way of hedging against confirmation bias.

I just don’t trust the motives or honesty of his critics. And where I do know something that touches his claims…hey, you know that claim about average IQ in Italy? I lived in Rome for two and a half years. Traveled to Venice, Sicily, all along the coast south through Naples and down to Messina and there along the “sole” and to the tip of the heel (and from there into Greece, but that’a another story). And when I say “traveled” I mostly don’t mean plane or train; I saw the south half of Italy from an RV, immersed in every little locale. And I doubt you know anyone else who’s actually been to San Marino.

And you know what? Lynn is right about their being a noticeable north-south intelligence gradient in Italy. It’s pretty freaking obvious if you’ve been on the ground there as much as I have. Furthermore it is a fact a lot of Italians will admit themselves, and it cascades into a lot of visible statistics like literacy and crime rates, GDP per head, and so forth.

So, on the one claim where I have direct personal knowledge from eyeball observation, acquired decades before I knew who Lynn was, Lynn is at least qualitatively right and his critics are attacking a truth. What is that supposed to make me think about the rest of the attack on him?

• My five cents: I think Lynn’s numbers are a bit underestimations.

(1) Lynn refuses samples which he considers “elite”: from educated, well-fed people. Wicherts refuses samples from samples he thinks are underrepresentative: from children suffering from recent malaria. Lynn thinks his method is sound because most of Africa is poor, underfed and plagued by parasites and diseases, and most people are uneducated.

Therefore, I think Wicherts number represents the future of Africa, while Lynns number represent the past – Africa is already less plagued that Lynn think it is, IMO.

(2) During long discussion with Chanda Chisala on whether scrabbles can represent IQ, I came to conclusion that Lynn’s numbers wrt to at last some African countries are untenable, unless (a) there is really, really fat tail in IQ distribution (b) there are subpopulation within those countries which have way higher IQ than the average. (c) the structure of IQ differs between whites/blacks (ie. the difference on some subscores might be waaay lower than the generally accepted 15SD).

Therefore, I am generally open to the idea that African blacks, when well fed and healthy, can have IQs about 80-85, and some elite subpopulations can have IQ even higher. That would be really great!

• >Therefore, I think Wicherts number represents the future of Africa, while Lynns number represent the past – Africa is already less plagued that Lynn think it is, IMO.

I implied in the OP that I think the pre-Lynn estimate of 80 is probably Africa’s future once they get their childhood nutrition problem solved, so I broadly agree with you.

• >(b) there are subpopulation within those countries which have way higher IQ than the average.

We know of at least one such. A lot of SSA countries have essentially imported their mercantile class from India. I haven’t checked to see whether the extent of Indian penetration correlates inversely with Lynn’s average-IQ estimates, but I’m expecting it will if I do.

• Wicherts refuses samples from samples he thinks are underrepresentative: from children suffering from recent malaria.

And this is correct procedure, because a sick person, or a person who is still recovering from illness is very likely to blow off the test and call it day. As we can see from my example above, if only a few members of your testing cohort blow off the test, it changes the average in profound ways.

• > Therefore, I think Wicherts number represents the future of Africa, while Lynns number represent the past – Africa is already less plagued that Lynn think it is, IMO.

Not necessarily since being a member of the elite is likely to be caused by having higher IQ.

• >Not necessarily since being a member of the elite is likely to be caused by having higher IQ.

Probably contingently true in SSA, where the elites are rather stupid by Eurasian standards and thus not very good at elitism. But the history of Eurasian societies is full of sociopolitical systems that were very good at propping up utter idiots in elite roles while excluding bright arrivistes. You should not assume this as a general rule.

• I strongly suspect you haven’t followed any of those links. I guarantee you that your reason for keeping the numbers is not nearly as good as the reasons, given in those links, for dropping them from your calculations. The first one alone, noting his deliberate math errors in Germany, all of which errors help “prove” Lynn’s racist ideology, should be enough by itself.

• The north-south Italian IQ gradient is largely due to selective migration. Northern Italy contains millions of white-collar workers (including plenty of doctors, scientists, lawyers, entrepreneurs, etc.) with recent southern Italian ancestry.

• It sound to me like you’re saying that Souther Italy is a little like Appalachia or the Rust Belt states. Everyone with a brain notices the lack of opportunity and leaves? Is this correct or am I misinterpreting your post? Also, can you provide some cites?

• >Everyone with a brain notices the lack of opportunity and leaves?

There is some truth to this.

I can also tell you that a lot of Northern Italians don’t like emigres from the meridionale much. My gaming buddy Marco from Venice has been heard to mutter about this.

• I’ve been thinking about this one. Essentially, you’re admiring a stopped clock because it validates your anecdotal evidence about what time it is. If Lynn is correct, it is purely be coincidence, because his Italian study is guilty of two real blunders. First, he attempts to convert from a standardized measure of education to an IQ. This is just about impossible without a major study about how the particular educational test converts to IQ (ask a testing maven if you don’t believe me) which apparently nobody has ever done for this particular test, and also Lynn’s belief that the “problems” he finds in Souther Italy can be attributed to African migration when most of the people show Greek descent!

• >Lynn’s belief that the “problems” he finds in Souther Italy can be attributed to African migration when most of the people show Greek descent!

Italians are aware that the region once known as Magna Grecia still bears strong cultural traces of Hellenic colonization. That’s not an emotionally meaningful fact for them any more than Spanish placenames in our Southwest are for us.

Greek descent? Not so much. Italians think Moorish genetic input from Africa is, as Lynn says, probably more important – especially in Sicily. One way Italians think they know this is that a lot of “morisco” (yes, the same word used in Spain) family names survive there. I have read (though only in one source. and not an Italian one) that in some parts of Sicily they form what are close to being occupational castes. I have it direct from Italians that there is still a shadow of anti-morisco prejudice; not hard to guess that it used to be much stronger.

There are some ethnic Greek minority groups in the South, but they mostly haven’t been there very long. They’re largely descended from people who fled West from the Ottomans in relatively recent times and have not forgotten this. There is one exception, a region near Bari in coastal Apulia where the Greek population goes back to medieval times. I actually knew about the Grikos fifty years ago; one of my friends at school in Rome was a Griko from Basilicata.

It is possible that if you did a haplotype check you’d get different results from what the Italians believe, but knowing what I do of the region’s history I doubt it. Southern Italy was very roughly handled – partly depopulated, if the archeological evidence is to be believed – by Islamic raiding in the first two centuries after the Hegira. But what was left of the settler Greeks had probably been wiped out a century earlier by the Lombards.

• I don’t have a lot of time to dig into this today, so I’ll settle for some quotes from Wikipedia on the Genetic History of Italy, then I have to finish submitting my hours. :(

The majority of Italians, Sicilians and Corsicans belong to Haplogroup R1b, common in Western and Central Europe. The highest frequency of R1b is found in Garfagnana (76.2%),[18] Tuscany. This percentage lowers at the extreme south of Italy in Sicily (34%).

A 2018 genetic study, focusing on the Y-chromosome and haplogroups lineages, their diversity and their distribution by taking some 817 representative subjects, gives credit to the traditional northern-southern division in population, by concluding that due to Neolithic migrations southern Italians “show a higher similarity with Middle Eastern and Southern Balkan populations than northern ones

Yet, the genetic distance between Northern and Southern Italians, although pretty large from a single European ‘nationality’ point of view, is only roughly equal to the one between Northern Germans and Southern Germans.

So there’s very little African blood involved. Lynn is wrong. Again.

• >So there’s very little African blood involved. Lynn is wrong. Again.

You ignored the implications of your own quote. It says “show a higher similarity with Middle Eastern and Southern Balkan populations than northern ones”.

Who do you suppose those “Middle Eastern” populations could be? Because on the historical evidence those “middle easterners” were almost certainly Moors from Africa. The serious corsair action, then as a millennium later, was out of what are now Algeria, Tunis, and Morocco. The Levant, oddly, didn’t do a lot of direct raiding.

How much SSA they brought with them is hard to guess – probably not a lot in the immediate post-Hegira period (not enough time for the Bedou to swive dusky slavegirls yet) but quite a bit by 300 years later. OTOH, we don’t know whether Lynn meant SSA, either. It wouldn’t be necessary to his diagnosis: the Arab parts of North Africa had a few moments of glory in Ummayyad times but have been pestholes ever since.

I can tell you from experience that the architecture in the older and crummier meridionale coastal towns resembles the pictures of North African vernacular architecture I’ve seen. I never made it far enough south into Sicily to check with my own eyes, but I’ve seen pictures; the resemblance is even stronger there.

And….this may not mean anything, but there’s a skin-color gradient too. Southern Italians are very dark-skinned by Euro standards. Italian folk memory does associate this with the Moriscos. Not just Italians, either; Spain and Greece have the same folk memory that their dark-skinned littoral populations are a Moorish legacy,

• If “…the genetic distance between Northern and Southern Italians, although pretty large from a single European ‘nationality’ point of view, is only roughly equal to the one between Northern Germans and Southern Germans…”

Then the presence of African blood means nothing to any differences between the North and South in Italy. Let’s get real; it would be completely ludicrous to imagine some kind of weird African tenor to whatever differences exist between North and South Germany…

Also, if the test they’re using can detect the difference between North and South Germans, they can certainly detect the difference between people from North Africa vs. The Muddled East. It was a valiant try, but your logic doesn’t hang together.

• I was in Italy in 2009, and one of the more memorably incidents was when the desk clerk at the Hotel Lirico (I recommend it–you can hear the Opera practicing some nights) started ranting about the folks in southern Italy the way American racists start ranting about Blacks or Mexicans, and very similar to the way Progressives talk about us Deplorables.

https://www.hotels.com/ho160939/?dateless=true&PSRC=G21&propertyid=160939&rffrid=sem.hcom.US.bing.003.00.05.s.kwrd=c.71468319278450.1143492485165846.270155583.0.kwd-71468639700681:loc-190.44450.1888.hotel%20lirico%20rome.CJiJmeTk0NoCFUyPxQIdsnoHSw.ds&PSRC=G21&msclkid=da140e1f4ce31b39696454c149369558&gclid=CJiJmeTk0NoCFUyPxQIdsnoHSw&gclsrc=ds

• This is just a minor note, but Darwin’s most important work was not titled “Origin of the Species” (in which “species” would be a singular, perhaps imagined to refer to the *human* species) but “The Origin of Species” (in which “species” is a plural, encompassing all biological species whatsoever in a general theory). I’m afraid it harms my confidence in anyone’s arguments when they get that title wrong; it’s evidence at least of poor scholarship and often of failure to grasp a basic conceptual point.

• I guess I blew that one. Did you follow any of my links above and read them?

• > not to mention that there is ample evidence of both personal racism and high-level racist affiliations with other racists and other racist groups

Why do you insist on discrediting yourself by repeating these easily refuted lies? Frankly, as I pointed out elsewhere if we applied your “critical thinking” standards to your own comments we would conclude that we would be justified in ignoring all the references you cite (or cherry pick).

• You don’t believe that Lynn said the following, in an interview with Alex Kurtagic, Lynn said the following?

“I am deeply pessimistic about the future of the European peoples because mass immigration of third world peoples will lead to these becoming majorities in the United States and westernmost Europe during the present century. I think this will mean the destruction of European civilization in these countries.”

You don’t believe that Lynn is affiliated with the following racist groups?

* The Pioneer Fund
* Right NOW (a fascist magazine,)
* Vdare.com (an anti-immigrant, white nationalist website)
* American Renaissance (White Nationalist magazine. Lynn is a frequent speaker at their conferences.)
* Washington Summit Publishers (White nationalist publisher)
* Ulster Institute for Social Research (Lynn’s own racist organization.)
* The Occidental Quarterly (another racist journal. Published by the Charles Martel Society. William Regnary, another white-shoe racist, is their publisher.)
*Mankind Quarterly (Publisher of racist pseudo-science. Edited by Gerhard Meisenberg.)

You don’t believe that Lynn has regularly been castigated by his fellow scientists, as in the examples I provide above?

Obviously you have some perceptual problems where basic reality is concerned.

• > You don’t believe that Lynn said the following, in an interview with Alex Kurtagic, Lynn said the following?

> “I am deeply pessimistic about the future of the European peoples because mass immigration of third world peoples will lead to these becoming majorities in the United States and westernmost Europe during the present century. I think this will mean the destruction of European civilization in these countries.”

The quote above is perfectly reasonable as our host explained in a comment above. Heck, I agree with is.

> You don’t believe that Lynn is affiliated with the following racist groups?

As our host explained in reply to your first comment those groups don’t appear to be “racist”.

Do you have a reading or memory problem or something?

• I have no obligation to agree with the host. In fact, I think he’d prefer that I don’t slavishly follow his ideas if I have strong beliefs of my own.

• I should point something out. Conservative ideas about what constitutes racism are really weird, and if you want to be attuned with reality you should probably abandon them. Note, for example, Kyle Rogers, who runs the Council of Conservative Citizen’s website, (the one which inspired Dylan Roof’s murderous rampage) claims not to be a racist. It would be cute, in the same way a lying child can be cute, if the outcome weren’t so horrid. Eric’s opinion that the organizations I mention aren’t racist is another example of the same absurdity:

Kyle Rogers, an official for the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), says he is not a white supremacist. Rogers’ beliefs allegedly inspired Dylann Roof to commit the Charleston shooting.

“I am not a racist,” Kyle Rogers, 38, said during an interview with the Daily Mail. “I would not marry a black woman as I want my children to look like me.”

So your website can inspire murder and you’re not a racist? Pull the other one!

• >Eric’s opinion that the organizations I mention aren’t racist is another example of the same absurdity:

I should have stepped on this mistake when Eugene Nier made it.

I did not assert that none of those organizations or journals you listed are racist. I said the ones I have sampled do not seem so. That’s a subset. You’d have to ask me about specific ones.

(Note: my control for this is a number of “ethnonationalist” blogs I’ve sampled, which are unequivocally racist.)

>So your website can inspire murder and you’re not a racist?

That doesn’t sound like a “conservative idea about racism” to me. It sounds like a contemptible little shit lying his face off.

I speak under the possibility of correction from an actual conservative. but I haven’t noticed there is any specific conservative idea about racism. Not even “the label is thrown around promiscuously and unfairly as a rhetorical club,” which isn’t specific to conservatives because libertarians generally agree.

• > I should point something out. Conservative ideas about what constitutes racism are really weird

Well the standard liberal definition of “racism” seems to be “someone who wins an argument against a liberal”. So by that definition I guess that makes me a “racist”.

More seriously, our host has repeatedly stated his definition of “racism”. Care to state yours. Also while you’re at it also explain why being a Troutwaxer!racist is a bad thing.

• > So your website can inspire murder and you’re not a racist?

Well you seem to have had no problem citing the SPLC even though they also inspired a murderer .

Also liberals seem to have no problems with all the left-wing violence and shootings they inspire. Even though that’s much more common.

• Troutwaxer: I can’t comment about Websites inspiring murder. But when the news about Rotherham was new, I looked into the reports on it (it was investigated by a child welfare scholar under UK government auspices). It appears that over ten years, there were multiple reports to Rotherham police and child protective services of sexual exploitation of underage girls, as young as 11 in some cases, and often using grossly coercive means. No action was taken; the occasional government employee who proposed to do so would be cautioned by superiors that since the sexual predators were mostly Muslims of Pakistani descent, they would be accused of racism if they took any action, and their careers would be at an end.

That is, antiracism provided cover for rape and sexual slavery over a decade. And there are similar reports from Rochdale and Telford in more recent news.

So do you expect me to believe that antiracists are not apologists for rape? Do I get to tell you “Pull the other one”?

Do you really want to play that game? Because there is no political philosophy anywhere that does not have some monsters as adherents, or that has not been used to excuse crimes.

• The far end of both the left and right both contain some really horrible people and some awful ideas. I won’t argue for a second about that. I’m comfortable about halfway between the center and the fever swamps on the left. All I want is intelligently-regulated capitalism, single payer health insurance, no racial prejudice (either gross or subtle) and real respect for the facts.

• > no racial prejudice (either gross or subtle) and real respect for the facts.

What about racial prejudices that are based on facts? Or does your philosophy require *a priori* that race can’t correlate with anything important like IQ? If that’s the case it would certainly explain your irrational need to dismiss any evidence of said correlation as “racist”.

• The problem with a racial prejudice based on “facts” is that in any real-world scenario, the “facts” are obliterated by normal human variation, and your moral obligation to the real human being in front of you is to deal with who and what that single person is.

So even if we accept a generalization that Black people are less intelligent than White people, you still have to make a hiring decision (for example) based on the accomplishments and ability of the Black person you are interviewing right now, not the Black person in your head.

• >So even if we accept a generalization that Black people are less intelligent than White people, you still have to make a hiring decision (for example) based on the accomplishments and ability of the Black person you are interviewing right now, not the Black person in your head.

I agree with this, of course.

My only qualification is that you may have to deal with an individual when you don’t have individual information. In which case you have to make a snap judgment that is based on the best information you have even if it’s a statistical generalization. In that case, your obligation is not to suspend judgment and hope for the best, but to use statistical generalizations that are true rather than false.

• >So even if we accept a generalization that Black people are less intelligent than White people, you still have to make a hiring decision (for example) based on the accomplishments and ability of the Black person you are interviewing right now, not the Black person in your head.

I agree with this, of course.

My only qualification is that you may have to deal with an individual when you don’t have individual information. In which case you have to make a snap judgment that is based on the best information you have even if it’s a statistical generalization. In that case, your obligation is not to suspend judgment and hope for the best, but to use statistical generalizations that are true rather than false.

• > The problem with a racial prejudice based on “facts” is that in any real-world scenario, the “facts” are obliterated by normal human variation

This is an empirical question and appears to be false in a lot of cases, e.g., jobs that require high IQ.

Also, having this as part of your philosophy requires you to dismiss any contrary evidence *a priori*.

• This is an empirical question and appears to be false in a lot of cases, e.g., jobs that require high IQ.

So you would turn down any Black person for say… a programming job, regardless of that person’s education and accomplishments? Dude! That’s messed up.

• Troutwaxer: The problem with a racial prejudice based on “facts” is that in any real-world scenario, the “facts” are obliterated by normal human variation

Me: This is an empirical question and appears to be false in a lot of cases, e.g., jobs that require high IQ.

Troutwaxer: So you would turn down any Black person for say… a programming job, regardless of that person’s education and accomplishments?

That’s not what I wrote. What your wrote was that your claim about racial differences in IQ being “obliterated by normal human variation” is false. As for your scenario, well it’s extremely unlikely to come up in practice because SSA’s that have IQ’s that for out in the bell curve are practically non-existent. And those that do (both of them), or at least come close, end up becoming professional tokens.

• > As for your scenario, well it’s extremely unlikely to come up in practice because SSA’s that have IQ’s that for out in the bell curve are practically non-existent.

Nope. Estimates of average IQs for computer programmers are hard to come by, but I found a few. They cluster in the 124-128 range, which seems about right to me. Looking at population figures, I find that there ought to be about 27,000 blacks in the U.S. reasonably equipped to be programmers.

They doesn’t compare well with the 13,000,000 you get from running a similar estimate on U.S. whites, but it’s not “all two of them”, either.

One interesting result you do get from this is the order of magnitude of fair representation for blacks in programming jobs. Turns out if it’s less than 2% you might have a problem that needs to be explained by prejudice rather than IQ distribution and population sizes.

Troutwaxer’s claim is indeed false. But so is yours.

• And one more I just discovered:

“The average IQ of the people of Equatorial Guinea is based on a lengthy book chapter (Fernández-Ballesteros et al., 1997). Although this chapter reports research conducted among members of an illiterate tribe in Equatorial Guinea, the WISC-R was not administered to these Africans… The chapter clearly indicates that this study with 48 subjects was conducted in Spain. “

http://humanvarieties.org/2013/01/19/the-human-varieties-global-i-q-dataset/

• >> “Evolutionary progress means the extinction of the less competent…
>

The concept of “evolutionary progress.” That phrase smuggles in an implicit assumption that there is some sort of purposefulness to evolution.

• >The concept of “evolutionary progress.” That phrase smuggles in an implicit assumption that there is some sort of purposefulness to evolution.

Huh? Hardly, or at least I do not so read it. Evolutionary progress is simply better adaptation to the species-typical environment – or, in the case of sophonts, more ability to adapt the environment to our needs.

• Seriously, are you suffering from some form of magical thinking that causes you to believe that repeating the same lies and bad arguments enough times will somehow made them true? Or is this an attempt at an argument from repetition?

• There’s *literally* a billion people in India.

To make progress in places that are “behind” on things like infrastructure and basic technology you don’t need Einsteins or even Borlaugs (the later is MUCH more useful). Most of the problems that India and Africa face are functionally *solved*, we know how to do this stuff, the thinking part is done.

They need people who can adapt existing designs and plans, and they execute on them.

When you have a billion people in your polity you’re going to be able to find enough people to keep things organizing.

• I think sometimes the issue of “tools to make the tools” is underestimated. You don’t just need plans adapted from a European city; you also need an adequate number of trucks, or a foundry which can do bespoke work (at local labor rates so you can come in under budget,) or any of a thousand other things that European society has “just lying around” because it evolved those necessary items things in a particular order.

• If you were starting over on a brand new planet where it took 60 years to get the order submitted and 200 years to get it shipped, maybe.

But this is the “modern” world where we have stuff like “Foreign Aid” where people who have streets and plumbing, (mostly) reliable electricity and (speaking historically) a surplus of stuff are willing to “give” or “loan” you what you need, including expertise in training the people who will build the tools to build the tools.

What you *need* is the understanding that working hard now makes life better *later*.

This is the problem with the African “system” as described above–to the extent that it is real it overvalues “now” stuff and undervalues “future” stuff. Which is also a YUGE problem with the underclasses–Black, white, brown, and a few Yellow. It’s not racial, it’s cultural and probably genetic–you see similar pathologies in the white underclass in Greatish Britain and a LOT in Russia for example. You just see the behavior in a smaller percentage of the population.

The funny thing is you saw some of this behavior in a smaller percentage of the African American population here in the US prior to the implementation of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society cr*p in the mid 1960s. In the 1950s and early 1960s out of wedlock births in the AA community were about where they are *now* in the white community–about 25%. Nowadays they’re about 70-75% for AA.

Of course, back then lower IQ types could work as *much* as they wanted, if not for high pay. All sorts of jobs were open to them that have become too complicated today.

42. Since this post is mostly about IQ, could it have been titled “How Many Ted Kaczynskis per Africa?”? Kaczynski had a measured IQ of 167, midway between ESR’s lower and upper bound for Einstein.

• >Here’s an interesting bit of genetics, maybe a little off topic, but if you’re looking for weird bits of human variation…

Yes. These people have developed and fixed two gross morphological changes that are favorable in their adaptive environment in less than a thousand years.

But “race” is just a social construct with no meaning or predictive consequences. All my alleged moral and intellectual betters tell me so, so it must be true.

Feeds directly back into why I’m inclined to trust Lynn and not his critics. The Bajau are in-your-face evidence that “racists” who think there are major functional differences between human breeding populations are right and the “anti-racists” have been lying to me retail and wholesale to sell a false narrative about human uniformity.

• Remember that Lynn’s critics are also finding very low average IQ numbers for SSA, ranging from 80-85. Lynn’s numbers make him the lowest-lying outlier, (it might be reasonable to discard his work on that basis alone) and his work has been mercilessly criticized for both sloppiness and unfairness. I’m not arguing about the general nature of African IQs. I’m arguing that Lynn’s work is bad and should be discarded.

Never forget that Lynn is the guy who took the numbers for a board-and-care home, in Spain, which housed low-IQ children, and applied it to an entire fucking country.

What’s worse, is that his “error” has propagated widely, and his incorrect data is being used to support some rather… exotic conclusions, most of which are racist and propagandistic in nature:

https://www.factslides.com/i-2213

http://fathersmanifesto.net/iq.htm

http://thezman.com/wordpress/?p=4394

http://www.occidentaldissent.com/2018/02/19/black-history-month-2018-the-only-miracle/

https://fellowshipoftheminds.com/tag/average-iq-of-equatorial-guinea/

https://www.amren.com/news/2012/04/six-brain-damage-scourges-that-cripple-iq-in-sub-saharan-africa/

http://rense.com/general96/IQreason.html

http://www.newsweek.com/why-do-some-nations-have-lower-iq-scores-74797

* From my rather extensive research into Lynn in the last week, I’d probably say his bad numbers have propagated much further than any correction I’ve seen.

• I think that Troutwaxer has provided enough information to show that Lynn is not only a racist, but that his conclusions are methodologically flawed anyway. This is not a hill you want to die on. Not giving a inch to the phantom enemy of the Left is just not worth the massive blow your reputation will suffer. (Yeah, I know you don’t care about being Mr. Famous Guy, but you’re putting the pool of potential willing collaborators on projects like UPSide at risk here. Racists rank just behind sexual predators on the list of “people whose professional achievements are completely invalidated by their extracurricular misdeeds”.)

• >Racists rank just behind sexual predators on the list of “people whose professional achievements are completely invalidated by their extracurricular misdeeds”.

Since, under current doctrine, I’m a racist just by being white, I refuse to worry about this.

More generally, if some SJW wants to accuse me of racism, my innocence of racist intent will not be an effective defense – the mob never actually cares about that. Therefore I refuse to spend any time or effort posturing to establish it.

Caring or even pretending to care about the opinions of SJWs gives them power. Therefore I refuse to do it.

• You seem to spend a lot of effort posturing to establish that Honey Badger Don’t Care about the opinions of SJWs and leftists. And it’s compromising you intellectually, because it means you take sides with people who are not only wrong, but quite likely academically dishonest for evil reasons. (Don’t think this incident will be forgotten the next time you criticize or lecture someone who cites Bellesiles.)

Thus, irrespective of your racist intent or lack thereof, the effect of your actions is to give succor to racists. That’s the point.

• >Thus, irrespective of your racist intent or lack thereof, the effect of your actions is to give succor to racists. That’s the point.

Fuck off, Jeff. I won’t be bullied in that way, either. It’s honey badger all the way down.

• And it seemed like Jeff was starting to wise up after listening to Peterson. Disappointed to see him backsliding like this.

• I think Peterson has some interesting things to say — particularly about the role of religion and myth in terms of describing and shaping the narrative arc of human lives — while being fabulously, spectacularly wrong about other things, like Canadian Bill C-16. Peterson (like ESR) also believes very strongly in the myth of “cultural Marxism” which is not an actual thing, but a snarl word originally coined by the Nazis to tar their opponents with.

I see no conflict here. Lots of gifted academics find themselves out of their depth when addressing topics outside their expertise. (Or inside it; Linus Pauling really should have known better than to promote orthomolecular mumbo-jumbo.)

• Wow.

Do you mean to say that Postmodernism *isn’t* marxist?

• >Do you mean to say that Postmodernism *isn’t* marxist?

Of course Jeff can’t see Gramscian damage; he lives inside the delusions it nourished. He’s a near-perfect example of the kind of useful idiot the propaganda was intended to create.

Though occasionally he has weird moments of unexpected lucidity, and I wonder then if he’s actually a superb parodist executing an intergalactic-class long-term troll job on all of us.

• One of postmodernism’s tenets is a rejection of grand narratives. Marxism, by contrast, is all about grand narratives — history as an ongoing Hegelian dialectic and all that. So on its face, postmodernism really isn’t Marxist. One Marxist, Fredric Jamison, famously called postmodernism “the cultural logic of late capitalism” — quite a far cry from cultural Marxism! He has a point — Ed Bernays and the PR and advertising industries had set fire to the notion of objective reality long before any French academic had gotten there. All the academics really did was to document the wreckage.

• Some of the mainstays of Postmodernism seem to disagree with you:
Jacques Derrida:

“…deconstruction never had meaning or interest, at least in my eyes, than as a radicalization, that is to say, also *within the tradition* of a certain Marxism in a certain *spirit of Marxism*.”

Fredric Jameson:

Marxism and postmodernism: people often seem to find this combination peculiar or paradoxical, and somehow intensely unstable, so that some of them are led to conclude that, in my own case, having ‘become’ a postmodernist, I must have ceased to be a Marxist in any meaningful (or in other words stereotypical) sense.

There’s others, but I have a meeting to attend.

• Do you mean to say that Postmodernism *isn’t* marxist?

It may have had an edgy French/Marxist connection at one point, but it’s one rhetorical innovation that’s been picked up by damn-near everyone. However, at this point the Right is far more postmodern than any other group. Take for example, the right’s constant redefinitions of racism: “He said that Europeans are superior to Colored people, and he wants to send all the Blacks back to Africa, but he’s not a racist.

• I’d initially posted a reply agreeing on your with Eric’s value and his appropriate tactics, while paying some attention to soothing Eric’s ego. After reading Eric’s reply to you, I’m glad it got eaten by the system. (Apparently your ESR-handling tactics aren’t as good as you thought they were, and I’m very happy there is no record of me following them.) ;)

• Since, under current doctrine, I’m a racist just by being white, I refuse to worry about this.

That’s not true, though there are some people in the fever-swamps of the left who want to make it true. IMHO the idea here is to preserve your viability (which does not necessarily mean agreeing with me*) until this particular group of partisans falls into the scrap-heap of history, hopefully along with their right-wing counterparts.

Nothing you do for any of the communities you’re a part of requires that you skyline yourself for an SJW sniper; I’d expect better tactics of you than that. Once again, you don’t have to agree with me, but you should keep your head down, gather data that isn’t as easily refuted, and come back to the fight when the pool of idiots on each side has subsided. Maybe you’ll win the next round.

More generally, if some SJW wants to accuse me of racism, my innocence of racist intent will not be an effective defense – the mob never actually cares about that.

You will have your defenders should such a thing come to pass, myself included. While I disagree with you about a lot of things, I firmly believe that your heart is in the right place.**

* Though I did kick your ass from here to Nigeria and back in this particular debate.

** Maybe I should say, “I firmly believe your heart will be in the right place, after your broken body has recovered from the clobbering I have administered during this debate.” You may now drag yourself back to the Honey Badger cave, muttering about “Damn Commie Liberals” the whole way.***

*** FOOTNOTE TO THE FOOTNOTE: Eventually some litigious idiot will read the footnote above. The clobbering was metaphorical, just in case that wasn’t obvious.

• >Nothing you do for any of the communities you’re a part of requires that you skyline yourself for an SJW sniper

This is not something I’m doing for my “communities”. I’m doing it for me.

Somebody has to set an example of courage. I am more or less constitutionally unable not to step up in situations like this, and that would be true whether the repressive orthodoxy were “left” or “right”.

>You will have your defenders should such a thing come to pass, myself included.

And if you think the mob will care about that, you’re naive. People in the grip of a full hate-on instantly write off “defenders” nominally on their side.

> Though I did kick your ass from here to Nigeria and back in this particular debate.

Oh, if wishing could make it so…

• Oh, if wishing could make it so…

Sorry. Did you prove Lynn’s numbers were good? That’s the heart of this debate, and I’ve got about twenty cites, which you have never refuted, showing that he is a serial falsifier (with a racist agenda.)

I’ve also got ten cites (and could easily find many, many more) showing how Lynn’s bad numbers have propagated throughout the web. And you haven’t refuted that either.

If “winning” is presenting better and more evidence, you’ve lost badly.

And P.S., you don’t get to win by brining up side issues (I agree with you on the “kill and castrate” thing BTW) or redefining racism. Since this debate seems to be winding down, I’ll leave you with one last cite: to the dictionary.com definition of racism, which easily covers guys like Lynn, Meisenberg, and Harpending.*

Whether we should redefine racism is another matter, which I’m of two minds about… make the argument and we’ll see if I agree with you.

* I spent a few minutes on Harpending, BTW. He appears to be a better, and probably more creative scientist than Lynn, but some of his statements are… ugly, to say the least. But not, as far as I can tell at a brief glance, someone who falsifies the numbers.

• >Sorry. Did you prove Lynn’s numbers were good?

Sorry. Did you prove Lynn’s numbers were bad?

Shame on you for trying to move the goalposts. There is no “proof” in an argument of this kind without a degree of access to primary datasets that neither of us had. There is only weight of evidence, which I still think favor’s Lynn’s figure. This is largely based on my high estimate of the probability that oversampling of elites did in fact distort previous estimates.

43. I find it hard to conceive of a society whose average IQ is only 68. Then I read that Australian aborigines (who are more closely related to Europeans than to Africans) have an average IQ of only *60*.

It leaves me with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach; what future can these people possibly have?

• Once again, that’s one of Lynn’s numbers, though he did say 62 rather than 60. I think by this time it should be very obvious, regardless of Eric’s protestations, that Lynn is not a reliable scientist.

Oddly enough, Lynn’s original estimate was around 85 for Aborigines, but as more tests came along he dropped his estimate. I don’t think he’s published a scientific paper on this; it was in one of his books, so we’d need to find all his cites to get the full story and at this point I’m not willing to dig any further into someone I’ve categorized as a serial falsifier of information.

I had very few encounters with Aboriginals while I was in Oz and only one lengthy encounter, so I can’t make any good judgments about Lynn’s numbers from my own experiences. The one aboriginal I spent much time with was obviously of mixed-race and probably in the high-average range of intelligence. She obviously wanted a sugar-daddy type relationship, but I didn’t hold that against her – at the time I was in OZ race relations were about where the U.S. was in the early 1960s, so her options would have been very limited – but from what I remember her vocabulary was good, her social skills were fair, and her conversation contained some stimulating elements.

44. Eugine Nier: Given that, why should we put any trust into your cherry picked literature search?

I think there are two good ways to address your question. First, a challenge: Show me anyone who’s said nice things about Lynn. For bonus points, show me that his scientific peers have said nice things about him. Provide links and prove that the people who say nice things about Lynn are not racists, fascists, members of the alt-right, White Nationalists, Nazis, etc. I guarantee you that your arguments for believing him are not nearly as good as my arguments for believing him to be a serial falsifier of information.

Second, and I think the best way to address your question, is for me to go back a couple steps, and answer a question I probably should have answered several days backs. The question was implied, not asked outright, but I’ll answer it anyway:

“Can “scientific racism” be usefully defined? What would “scientific racism” look like. Does “Scientific Racism” exist in the real world, and why should we care about it? Richard Lynn publishes scientific papers, and they look good to me, and they’re in places like Intelligence and other scientists talk about him in the journals; he looks legit to me. What in the world is all the fuss about.”

Once that question is answered I think you’ll understand why my other issues are legitimate.

CAN “SCIENTIFIC RACISM” BE USEFULLY DEFINED?

Let’s give this one a try: “Scientific Racism” is an attempt, on the part of an otherwise legitimate scientist, to justify prejudice against Blacks, Jews, Hispanics, etc., by publishing data which is false, (deliberately) misinterpreted or without context.”

CONCLUSION: We can give “Scientific Racism” a definition which is useful. That is, a definition which gives us the power to recognize “Scientific Racism” when we see it, and exclude research which does not meet the characteristics. For example, someone might publish false data about a race’s low IQ and this would meet the definition of Scientific Racism due to the falsehoods. Someone else could publish true data about a race’s low IQ and provide appropriate context, and this would not indicate that “Scientific Racism” was taking place.

WHAT WOULD “SCIENTIFIC RACISM” LOOK LIKE?

As an example, consider the IQ data we’ve been discussing. IQ data for Sub-Saharan Africa has two characteristics; low numbers and poor data. The low numbers are obvious. The poor data has to do with how many IQ studies have been done in Africa, (not nearly enough given the size of the population, Africa’s high genetic diversity, and the wide geographical area) whether tests were corrected for language and culture, (this is a really big issue, ask a testing maven if you don’t believe me) whether the groups tested were properly selected in terms of the populations they surveyed… lots of different stuff, all of which are complicating factors that would make IQ testing in Africa controversial even if no racial politics were involved.

In the case of Africa’s IQ data, a presentation which was “Scientifically Racist” would include obvious falsehoods, poor or non-existent context, or both. Deliberate (or unconscious) misinterpretations might exist, and they would tend to increase ordinary racism. The generally poor quality of the data would not be acknowledged. If a test being used had not been normalized for the language/culture it purports to examine, the scientist doing the testing might fail to mention this issue. A scientist might fudge the data while converting from standardized educational tests (or other IQ tests) to the IQ measurement they are using. The issues of poor pre/post-natal nutrition, disease load, parasite load, education levels, Flynn effect, etc., would not be made apparent (or would be misinterpreted, risking an increase in racial prejudice on the part of the reader.) Getting this right is much more important if you’re writing for a non-scientific audience, as unlike scientists who already publish in this field a lay audience may not be familiar with all the background issues, or the way test results can be misinterpreted.

All this should be obvious, but let’s get a little more specific. Let’s imagine that you are a researcher, and you’re confronted with the poor data on Africa, and you want to line up all your data for the whole African region in IQ form. Now you’ve got problems. Maybe it’s well known that Sierra Leone, for example, does not have a history of valid IQ tests, so you decide to use Sierra Leone’s standardized high-school exit exam as a proxy for IQ. Now you’re entering very difficult territory, because you have to solidly prove that Sierra Leone’s high-school graduation exams can be validly translated into IQ numbers, plus you must prove exactly how this works.* This is very difficult, and the difficulty only gets worse if you only have the cumulative scores and have never seen the tests. You don’t know if the tests emphasize math, reading, or history or how much of each test is dedicated to each subject, which means you simply cannot make a valid comparison. But what if you’re sloppy… Maybe you can cheat a little and make a comparison anyway, and due to math errors or unconscious bias, your numbers come out much lower than they should have… congratulations, you’ve just committed scientific racism. I’ll demonstrate how bad numbers can propagate below.

CONCLUSION: It is possible to define scientific racism in such a fashion that it can be easily recognized.

DOES SCIENTIFIC RACISM EXIST IN THE REAL WORLD?

I think it’s obvious that scientific racism can possibly exist. It is very possible to make scientific interpretations on the basis of conscious or unconscious racist beliefs, so let’s cobble together an “evil, racist plan” to publish a false paper about Black IQs and see if it would be possible for a scientist to follow that plan:

GOAL: I want to make Black IQs look as low as possible.

1.) To accomplish my goal, I am going to leverage the poor quality (and poor quantity) of the existing data about IQ in Africa. (I can count on my fellow racists to make assumptions about what this implies about Blacks in the U.S. or Europe.)
2.) I will do this by means of a literature review, in which I deliberately choose only literature which shows poor IQs in African populations.
3.) I will not be respectful of the truth in order to increase the odds of the plan’s success.
4.) I will attack all scientific literature about IQ in Africa which shows good IQ outcomes, and choose not to include it in my review. This will keep the average IQ low.
5.) I will publish this review in a journal where I am a board member to lower the possibility that is is rejected.

Would we expect a hypothetical “scientific racist” to follow a plan similar to this? My answer is yes. If scientific racists exist, they will follow this plan, or a similar plan, or plans which are similar in character.

PARTIAL CONCLUSION: Plans against a particular race based on “scientific racism” are very possible.

The next question would be this: Do we know of anyone who has attempted such a plan?

Yes, we do. Richard Lynn and Gerhard Meisenberg have written a paper which follows this plan almost exactly. It’s called “The average IQ of sub-Saharan Africans: Comments on Wicherts, Dolan, and
van der Maas” and Eric and I have both posted links. Here it is again.

So let’s review how Lynn/Meisenberg’s actual behavior fits into our hypothetical “evil racist plan:”

GOAL: I want to make Black IQs look as low as possible:

Lynn’s paper reduces the IQs of Sub-Saharan Blacks from the 82 found by Wicherts, Dolan, and der Maas in their paper A systematic literature review of the average IQ of sub-Saharan Africans to 68. I would say Lynn and Meisenberg have met their goal of showing us a vastly reduced IQ. Note again that the change in IQ scores takes SSA IQs from “average” territory to “high mentally disabled” territory. This would certainly fit the goals and parameters of an evil plan by “scientific racists.” Such a number would be propagated by people who don’t read critically, such as the author of this blog, and should easily be found on the web. (I didn’t go digging for the IQ 68 number, both because we’re all already here and are taking part in an example of such propagation, and because I’ve already laid out a similar example below.)

1.) To accomplish my goal, I am going to leverage the poor quality (and poor quantity) of the existing data about IQ in Africa.

Yup. Did that. Given the chaotic nature of IQ collecting from Africa, this is essentially automatic, but you probably couldn’t get away with it in the U.S. or U.K. where testing is much more prevalent.

2.) I will do this by means of a literature review, in which I deliberately choose only literature which shows poor IQs in African populations.

As the Anti_Lynn paper I’ve posted previously states:

“The only characteristic of the samples that predicted Lynn and Meisenberg’s judgment of insufficient representativeness was average IQ itself: the higher the average IQ the greater the probability that Lynn and Meisenberg deemed the sample unrepresentative. Lynn’s methods in selecting samples remain unsystematic; he is inconsistent in his reasons to exclude samples, and too unspecific to allow replication by independent raters. (Note that results which cannot be replicated are a very bad sign against a paper’s validity – Troutwaxser.) For instance, Lynn rejected one sample (Raveau, Elster, & Lecoutre, 1976, MIQ= 77) on the grounds that it was comprised of immigrants, but included another sample of immigrants (Kaniel & Fisherman, 1991, MIQ= 68), although it was comprised of illiterate Ethiopian Jews, who are generally considered to be unrepresentative of the Ethiopian population.”

Note the differences in IQ between what Lynn/Meisenberg accepted and rejected.

The Anti-Lynn paper also states:

“Also, Lynn considered two samples to be unrepresentative simply because of a high average IQ (Daley, Whaley, Sigman, Espinosa, & Neumann, 2003; Okunrotifa, 1976).”

3.) I will not be respectful of the truth in order to increase the odds of the plan’s success.

That’s shown by every critique I’ve seen of Lynn’s work, but let’s stick to our already stated specifics in the particular “plan” we’re investigating. First, Lynn and Meisenberg fudge the truth in the very first sentence of their own paper, writing “Wicherts, Dolan, and van der Maas (2009) contend that the average IQ of sub-Saharan Africans is about 80.” This is kinda-sorta true, but the actual number from the other paper was 82, and Lynn could have mentioned the exact number. This is significant for multiple reasons. First, 80 gets the numbers a little closer to the territory of “below average,” while 82 is firmly in the “average” territory. Second, this implies that the writers of the paper Lynn and Meisenberg are attacking would agree with “80” as an appropriate number. Third, this tactic knocks the public perception of SSA IQ down by a couple points. Fourth, knocking a couple IQ points off a survey of non-Whites/Asians is very typical of Lynn’s behavior. So the “little white lie” has fairly strong effects.

The Anti-Lynn paper also notes “Lynn’s ad hoc downward correction of mean IQs from primary and secondary school students by two and six IQ points, respectively.” In other words, Lynn falsified someone else’s information. It might be possible to argue that Lynn is simply a poor scientist, but all of his “errors,” and there are many, always move the IQs of his target population downward, (with one exception I’ve noted above.) This is highly suspicious.

4.) I will attack all scientific literature about IQ in Africa which shows good IQ outcomes, and choose not to include it in my review. This will keep the average IQ low.

Lynn and Meisenger’s paper says:

“WDM propose nine inclusion criteria for the acceptability of studies of the IQ in sub-Saharan Africa, but these do not include the crucial criterion that the African samples should be representative of the population. This is a strict criterion because there are no perfectly representative samples from sub-Saharan Africa. We therefore have to make judgments on which studies are sufficiently representative to use.”

Essentially, Lynn and Meisenberg have given themselves permission to delete studies at will. The anti-Lynn paper makes multiple interesting statements about this:

“The only characteristic of the samples that predicted Lynn and Meisenberg’s judgment of insufficient representativeness was average IQ itself: the higher the average IQ the greater the probability that Lynn and Meisenberg deemed the sample unrepresentative.”

and again

“Also, Lynn considered two samples to be unrepresentative simply because of a high average IQ (Daley, Whaley, Sigman, Espinosa, & Neumann, 2003; Okunrotifa, 1976).”

and

“Lynn excluded some samples (Pons, 1974, MIQ= 84) because of coaching, but admitted other samples which were also coached (Knoetze, Bass, & Steele, 2005, MIQ= 71).”

Note that Lynn/Meisenberg exclude the coached example which shows a high IQ, and include the coached sample which shows a low IQ.

and again

“For instance, Lynn rejected one sample (Raveau, Elster, & Lecoutre, 1976, MIQ= 77) on the grounds that it was comprised of immigrants, but included another sample of immigrants (Kaniel & Fisherman, 1991, MIQ= 68), although it was comprised of illiterate Ethiopian Jews, who are generally considered to be unrepresentative of the Ethiopian population.”

Note once again that despite the problem of immigrants, Lynn keeps the low IQ sample, and excludes the high IQ sample.

5.) I will publish this review in a journal where I am a board member to lower the possibility that is is rejected.

Yup, the article was published in Intelligence and Lynn is a board member of Intelligence.

IN CONCLUSION, we have two scientists who follow an “evil plan” of “scientific racism” by the numbers. So at least two “scientific racists” do exist. Other evil plans might include, “make a list of national IQs and substantially underestimate the numbers for African nations,” which is something Lynn also did, or “Prove that people in the North of Italy are smarter than people in the South of Italy by converting standard educational test results to IQ numbers” which is also something Lynn was involved in. (See my links in the posts above and note once again the problems with Lynn’s foray into the field of Italian IQs.)

The concession I would make regarding this matter is that I’m not inside Lynn or Meisenberg’s head. Their bias could be entirely unconscious and their behavior could be an extreme example of confirmation bias in action, but I’m not sure that matters given the damage a scientific racist can do to the reputations of the races he/they attack.

The concession I won’t be making is that Lynn’s associations and stated ideas are meaningless. His statements on the subject of race line up cleanly with the “scientific racism” of his published work. Also, see my post above.

WHY SHOULD WE CARE ABOUT SCIENTIFIC RACISM?

Scientific Racism has the ability to direct public policy in poor directions. It can cause governments to make errors in how they handle minorities or deal with cases of prejudice. It can cause NGOs (charities) and grantors of foreign aid to set incorrect goals or direct money elsewhere. Scientific Racism gets quoted frequently by racists and is used for recruitment, and as a justification for racist actions and for the policies racists support.

On the subject of both behavior and recruitment among racists, note that Dylan Roof shot up the Black church, killing multiple people, after reading a piece of scientific racism on the CCC’s website.

In Roof’s own words: “But more importantly this prompted me to type in the words “black on White crime” into Google, and I have never been the same since that day. The first website I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens. There were pages upon pages of these brutal black on White murders. I was in disbelief. At this moment I realized that something was very wrong. How could the news be blowing up the Trayvon Martin case while hundreds of these black on White murders got ignored?”

I’ll bet the CCC website deliberately did not provide any context for those black-on-white crimes; how the numbers compared to white-on-white or black-on-black crimes, what percentage of crimes are black-on-white, how many black-on-white crimes happen every year, whether such crimes are increasing or decreasing, how many black-on-white crimes result in convictions, etc., and this lack of context is, in large part, what turned Dylan Roof to murder.

Providing one example is clearly not enough. I’ll point you at one of the critiques of Richard Lynn, involving his scoring of the IQ of Equatorial Guinea at 59.

“The average IQ of the people of Equatorial Guinea is based on a lengthy book chapter (Fernández-Ballesteros et al., 1997). Although this chapter reports research conducted among members of an illiterate tribe in Equatorial Guinea, the WISC-R was not administered to these Africans… The chapter clearly indicates that this study with 48 subjects was conducted in Spain.”

http://humanvarieties.org/2013/01/19/the-human-varieties-global-i-q-dataset/

Follow the link and you’ll see that the IQ rating of 59 came from a board and care school for mentally disabled children in Spain. This is clear falsification. You can still find the false IQ number all over the web, and it is being used to support some very racist and ugly ideas. Rather than make you wade through the 450 posts on this thread, I’ll post them again below:

https://www.factslides.com/i-2213

http://fathersmanifesto.net/iq.htm

http://thezman.com/wordpress/?p=4394

http://www.occidentaldissent.com/2018/02/19/black-history-month-2018-the-only-miracle/

https://fellowshipoftheminds.com/tag/average-iq-of-equatorial-guinea/

http://ghastly.keenspace.com/d/20060625.html

https://www.amren.com/news/2012/04/six-brain-damage-scourges-that-cripple-iq-in-sub-saharan-africa/

http://rense.com/general96/IQreason.html

http://www.newsweek.com/why-do-some-nations-have-lower-iq-scores-74797

So the Ph.D with the crappy numbers publishes, and those numbers propagate!</i?

"RICHARD LYNN PUBLISHES SCIENTIFIC PAPERS, AND THEY LOOK GOOD TO ME, AND THEY'RE IN PLACES LIKE INTELLIGENCE AND OTHER SCIENTISTS TALK ABOUT HIM IN THE JOURNALS; HE LOOKS LEGIT TO ME.

Note my discussion on “critical reading” above. A well-formatted paper filled with charts, footnotes, and a bibliography can still contain crap. As to other scientists talking about him, consider what they are saying…

WHAT IN THE WORLD IS ALL THE FUSS ABOUT.”

If you don’t know now, I’m not sure I can explain it.

* Proving that a particular high-school exit exam can be translated to IQ numbers literally requires a whole study of its own, and if such a study has not been done, your numbers will have no relationship to reality. Add in the fact that such exams frequently change every year and the magnitude of the problem will become apparent.

• > Provide links and prove that the people who say nice things about Lynn are not racists, fascists, members of the alt-right, White Nationalists, Nazis, etc.

Given that your definition of “alt-right, White Nationalists, Nazis” appears to be “everyone to the right of me”, I don’t think this is a reasonable request.

> Let’s give this one a try: “Scientific Racism” is an attempt, on the part of an otherwise legitimate scientist, to justify prejudice against Blacks, Jews, Hispanics, etc., by publishing data which is false, (deliberately) misinterpreted or without context.”

What about an otherwise legitimate scientist who attempts to justify “anti-racism” by publishing data which is false, (deliberately) misinterpreted or without context? Let’s call these people “race-denialists”. Because there are certainly a lot of those, e.g., Gould, Lewinton, etc. Are they also worthy of criticism, or do you consider them praiseworthy “pious liars”? And those people are much more prevalent in academia than your hypothetical scientific racists. In fact they’re probably more prevalent than people interested in the truth.

So far you’ve not given me any reason to take Lynn’s critics’ word over his.

> I’ll bet the CCC website deliberately did not provide any context for those black-on-white crimes; how the numbers compared to white-on-white or black-on-black crimes, what percentage of crimes are black-on-white, how many black-on-white crimes happen every year, whether such crimes are increasing or decreasing, how many black-on-white crimes result in convictions,

I’m not sure what data is or is not on the CCC website. However, I’m familiar enough with the statistics and know that the black-on-white crime numbers don’t look so good in context either. So I’m guessing it was probably less misleading than whatever you’d find in the mainstream press.

• Given that your definition of “alt-right, White Nationalists, Nazis” appears to be “everyone to the right of me”, I don’t think this is a reasonable request.

You do understand that you are conceding the argument, right?

And I don’t believe that everyone to the right of me is a Nazi (or similar.) That would be very silly. I think I’m roughly half-way between the absolute center and the farthest left position imaginable. There is considerable territory to my right – proably fifty percent of the population – which I acknowledge as sane. For example, I don’t consider Eric to be a racist. (IMHO he’s terrible at critically reading a text, but he’s not a racist, and I do believe that his heart is in the right place.)

Just so you know, I don’t expect SJW-style “perfection” on racial issues. I understand that people are sometimes operating on old data, or that they said something thoughtless which they might later regret, or that they were raised with an older paradigm about race, or have heavy exposure to racist rhetoric to the point of not really recognizing it, etc. This is not a problem for me as long as someone can be persuaded by honest facts and is trying to improve. I myself am imperfect and sometimes make mistakes about race, so I try to be forgiving.

But if you truly disagree with me, find a scientist or intelligent lay-person who thinks Lynn’s numbers are good. If he’s not a serial falsifier there will be multiple people in that very large, sane territory to my right who will have something kind to say about him.

What about an otherwise legitimate scientist who attempts to justify “anti-racism” by publishing data which is false, (deliberately) misinterpreted or without context?

If you’ve got proof that someone who is involved with this particular argument (about average IQ among SSAs) is motivated by ideology and fudging numbers or failing to provide context, roll it out and I’ll take a look. If your proofs are good I will believe you.

I’m not sure what data is or is not on the CCC website. However, I’m familiar enough with the statistics and know that the black-on-white crime numbers don’t look so good in context either.

I believe the CCC removed the data after the Roof shooting. However, if you consider the number of Black-on-White murders against various other causes of death, and also consider that around 2,500,000 Americans die every year… the Black-on-White numbers are probably minuscule. (The example I always use to determine if there is a real problem is the 7500 people who die every year due to taking the wrong over-the-counter pain reliever – and nobody cares!) You can fire off your statistics if you want, but you don’t want to play cause-of-death numbers games with me; I’ll eat you alive (metaphorically speaking, of course.)

And I strongly suspect you didn’t read my cites. :(

• > Just so you know, I don’t expect SJW-style “perfection” on racial issues.

And I suppose your citation to the SPLC in this comment and your listing of Vdare.com in your list of “scummy connections” were just typos. Or you cited them without knowing anything about them.

> I understand that people are sometimes operating on old data, or that they said something thoughtless which they might later regret, or that they were raised with an older paradigm about race, or have heavy exposure to racist rhetoric to the point of not really recognizing it, etc. This is not a problem for me as long as someone can be persuaded by honest facts and is trying to improve. I myself am imperfect and sometimes make mistakes about race, so I try to be forgiving.

I notice your list didn’t allow for the possibility that the belief might be rational based on evidence or even true. So in other words your idea of a “racist” is anyone who refuses to agree with you after your bullying.

> But if you truly disagree with me, find a scientist or intelligent lay-person who thinks Lynn’s numbers are good.

> If he’s not a serial falsifier there will be multiple people in that very large, sane territory to my right who will have something kind to say about him.

Well let’s start with Harpending or do you also consider him a “racist”?

> And I strongly suspect you didn’t read my cites. :(

Until you’ve demonstrated that you are at all interested in arguing in good faith, I see no reason to waste my time dealing with your Gish Gallop. BTW: citation of the SPLC is extremely strong evidence against this.

• I’m about to leave for work and will leave you a longer reply later, but you should know immediately that your link to Harpending doesn’t work. (maybe a Mod can correct that so I can read it later?)

• There’s not much there, honestly. He seems to like Lynn, but I don’t know about the quality of his liking. What are Harpending’s credentials? What is his professional experience with IQ vs. Race? I do see he doesn’t like Liberals (what’s new?) but his critiques of Liberal complaints don’t have much substance.

Unlike Harpend, if you actually read my links you’d know that they lead to scientific papers or will provide links to scientific papers. The critiques I provide are mostly written by people with deep experience in the field. Nobody is saying “Racist! HaHa!” They’re all quoting data and pointing out numerical errors. It’s not hard to find a responsible critique of Lynn; if he can’t find one, Harpend isn’t trying.

So you found a blogger who likes Lynn. Big deal. Find me a psychologist or anthropologist who likes Lynn. (I suspect that even a racist scientist won’t support Lynn publicly, just because Lynn plays the game so badly.)

• Wow, you really aren’t serious about this, are you? It only took me a couple of minutes online to find Harpending’s biography, which mentioned that he had a PhD in anthropology from Harvard and was a full professor at the University of Utah; and to find the title of his book on the Herrero (astonishingly, Wikipedia includes it in a paragraph about his fieldwork with the !Kung). In other words, he wasn’t just a “blogger,” and it took hardly any research for me to find that out.

It seems as if, despite your readiness to lecture people on “critical reading” and looking into a writer’s background, you stopped your effort at critical reading as soon as you had decided to dismiss Harpending. That is, whatever the merits of checking an author’s quoted statements and associations in theory, in practice you used that approach more like a prosecuting attorney than like an impartial scholar. That makes me unwilling to trust your dismissal of Harpending and less willing to trust your other statements. And you’re not in a good position to be upbraiding people about “you didn’t read my cites.”

None of this, by the way, means that I’m saying that Harpending, or still less Lynn, is right. What it means is that at best you’d get a “not proven” verdict from me.

• I’d never heard of Harpending. I read the blog entry Eugene pointed to and didn’t see much to either like or dislike, except for his inability to find a good critique of Lynn (which now seems disingenuous by the way; a Ph.D at Harvard should have no problem finding someone who has critiqued Lynn from a scientific point of view.)

I’ll take another look at some point today or tomorrow.

• I don’t think “I never heard of Harpending” is a very satisfactory answer. You were saying that people who had never heard of Lynn ought to have done a search to check out what sorts of things he had said and who he was associated with, before reaching conclusions about him. But you were ready to make a conclusion about Harpending (“just a blogger”) without doing such a search. That looks like a double standard. That is, you recommend that people reading statements that you think objectionable should spend considerable effort to look into the background of the person making those statements to see if they find anything to discredit them; but when you have decided that someone looks objectionable you don’t make any serious effort to look into their background to see if they might have some merit.

What you asked was “show me an anthropologist who has anything favorable to say about Lynn.” You were offered Harpending. You dismissed Harpending as a “blogger” (a dangerous thing to do, as lots of academics now blog). I pointed out that Harpending IS an anthropologist and thus meets your stated criterion. Now you’re expressing doubts about his merits as an anthropologist—because he doesn’t reject Lynn! Really, this is starting to have a flavor of “no true Scotsman.”

• But you were ready to make a conclusion about Harpending (“just a blogger”) without doing such a search. That looks like a double standard.

My internal process to decide to read Lynn critically was more of an instinctual reaction; the number he got for IQ was sufficiently different from anyone else’s numbers to make checking him a reflexive act. (Note my post elsewhere about how Lynn does not play the game well.) Also, I tend to check anyone Eric blogs about, because Eric tends to either find scientists and misinterpret them, or find people who are already controversial in their field and can’t support their own conclusions.

For whatever reason Harpending’s post didn’t push my buttons.

Now you’re expressing doubts about his merits as an anthropologist—because he doesn’t reject Lynn!

That’s not what I said. I said that I find it disingenuous that an anthropologist can’t tell us about anyone who rejects Lynn on scientific grounds.

Think about that. Lynn is a pretty controversial figure. For a professional anthropologist not to know – very easily – where to find a scientific critique of Lynn, even if he does not agree with the critique… that’s pretty suspicious.

And as I said above, I will now pay more attention to Harpending.

• >And as I said above, I will now pay more attention to Harpending.

That will be difficult, since he died in 2016.

However, the blog he and Greg Cochrane founded, West Hunter, is required reading for anyone interested in human evolution and paleogenetics. Cochrane still updates regularly.

It’s a good source for an expert take on the latest results in paleogenetics, and an even better one for those who suspect that a lot of anthropology is fill of bullshit and PC lies. Because it is, and those two had the expertise and the fearlessness to call that stuff out and explain it in a way that makes the errors unmistakable. Cochrane carrie