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The IQ Gap Is No Longer a Black and White Issue

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If only environmental factors were responsible for the different IQs of different populations, we should expect to find some countries where Africans had higher IQs than Europeans. The failure to find a single country where this is the case points to the presence of a strong genetic factor.” Richard Lynn.

Regression would explain why Black children born to high IQ, wealthy Black parents have test scores 2 to 4 points lower than do White children born to low IQ, poor White parents.” Arthur Jensen.

The fact that black immigrants to the United States have shown achievements that are superior to native black Americans has been a phenomenon studied since at least the 1970′s. At first it was just the Caribbean blacks who were a subject of this unexpected outcome. As black Africans kept immigrating into the US, they showed even higher levels of achievement than the native blacks. Many scholars theorized on the reasons for these differences, from Thomas Sowell’s proposal that this disproved the validity of discrimination against native blacks as an explanation for their underachievement (Sowell, 1978), to other scholars who suggested that these immigrants were just the most highly driven members of their home countries as evidenced by their willingness to migrate to a foreign country (Butcher, 1990).

What most of these theories failed to predict was that the children of these immigrants would also show exceptional achievements, especially academically. It is only in recent years, as the immigrants have stayed long enough to produce a sufficiently high number of offspring, that it has been observed that they are over-represented among high academic achievers, especially when compared to native blacks, particularly at very elite institutions. What has been missed in the IQ debate is the full logical implication of these achievements: they have effectively nullified any arguments for a racial evolutionary explanation of the well-known IQ test score gap between blacks and whites. Even more fatal for the racial hereditarian side of the debate has been the corroborating data of school children performance in the UK, particularly when the black Africans are divided into their respective nationalities and tribal ethnicities, as reported in the latter section of this article.

Arthur Jensen gave at least two empirical tests that could potentially falsify his thesis of a race based genetic explanation for the black-white IQ gap. Firstly, if the gap is caused by genetic racial differences, the blacks with more white admixture should tend to show a higher IQ than blacks with less whiteness. Secondly, “regression to the mean” implies that children (or siblings) of extraordinarily high IQ blacks should tend to a lower IQ than the children or siblings of similarly high IQ whites. Social experiments concerning the first test have not been decisive, especially due to the difficulty of separating out environmental factors since lighter American blacks have historically faced more favorable socioeconomic conditions. The second test did indicate some evidence of regression to a lower black mean for African Americans, which only means that the racial genetic hypothesis was not nullified; it remained a valid proposition. Until now.

Using Jensen’s own empirical framework, the racial genetic hypothesis can be tested by comparing black African immigrants with native blacks, intellectually. If the genetic hypothesis is correct, children of elite African blacks will tend to have lower IQs than children of native black Americans, and perhaps even lower than children of low IQ blacks, the same phenomenon observed between American blacks and whites since native blacks are basically “more white” than African (or Caribbean) immigrants.

In the US, it is not only at elite universities where there is a clear over-representation of black immigrant children, it is also at public gifted schools and any kinds of intellectually gifted programs that are highly selective on intelligence. For example, when the New York Times did a story to show the experiences of blacks at Stuyvesant High School in New York, they had to use the personal account of a West Indian black child there (Ann-Marie Miller); if they had many native blacks, that would have certainly been their preferred subject. Furthermore, the only other student who was interviewed for that article, Opraha Miles, a former president of the black student society at Stuyvesant, also just happened to be Jamaican; no black American student was mentioned in the story. A close look at a number of other such institutions shows even more clear evidence of a tendency for black immigrants to be over-represented as selectivity requirements for an academic institution (or complexity of a subject) goes higher.

In the world of intellectually gifted schools, perhaps the most selective in the United States is a special program called the Davidson Academy started by Jan and Bob Davison in 2006 in Reno, Nevada. The tiny school boasts of selecting only the most profoundly gifted children (the highest of the five levels of giftedness) whose IQ is so high that “only one in every ten thousand children in America” can qualify to the school in any one cohort; it is more selective than Stanford or Harvard can ever be. The school makes no efforts or pretensions to affirmative action and as such, they have had very little “diversity.” However, a search through the promotional materials of the school for a black student – all schools and colleges will always show some black faces in their promotional materials if they have any – reveals that they have had at least one black student, and it was, unsurprisingly, a Nigerian Igbo name (the parent is interviewed in the ad posted on Youtube).

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At the tertiary level, a special program to promote African American academic pursuit of Science and Engineering called the Meyerhoff Scholars program was started by philanthropists Robert and Jane Meyerhoff at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). The program has attracted funding from a lot of companies by gaining a reputation for achieving something totally unexpected in American society: black students who take a deeply passionate interest in engineering and science majors and even proceed to advanced studies at elite universities. According to a book co-written by the Meyerhoff program’s leader, UMBC president Freeman Hrabowski III, they believe they have succeeded against all odds by having “strong academic advising and personal counseling, emphasis on group study and peer support, appropriate tutoring and mentoring, [and] involvement with faculty in research and access to role models in science.”

The program has been so successful that educators in other states and universities have been seeking to replicate its success by imitating its key principles and management practices. However, a closer look at the program reveals that their key to success is much simpler than it appears: they simply fill up their program with Caribbean and African blacks! For example, listening to the names of the graduating class of 2008 posted on youtube, this author could identify about half of the blacks in this class who were clearly of African (immigrant) descent. The other half can be expected to have a good number of Caribbean blacks, besides blacks with only an African immigrant mother (and black American father).

Many programs that have tried to emulate the Meyerhoff Program in other universities have failed, particularly in solving the problem of retention rates, according to one report in Science Magazine. One program that has also solved this apparently difficult task of keeping blacks enrolled after they enroll in a STEM course is another minority-focused program called the Biology Scholars Program (BSP) at UC Berkeley. However, it appears their secret to success is not different from Meyerhoff’s secret. Their homepage has a section on their members and it features the profiles of five minority students in their program, two of whom are black. Both blacks just happen to be of African (immigrant) descent!

Contrary to their boasting, neither the Meyerhoff Scholars Program nor the Biology Scholars Program has solved the intractable problem of low retention or low achievement in the real African American community (especially the African American male problem that the Meyerhoff’s program was originally intended for); their students simply come from black immigrant groups that already have those achievement and retention rates whether in their home countries or in the U.S., the U.K and elsewhere. This is not disclosed in Hrabowski’s triumphantly titled book, “Beating the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Males” or in its sequel on African American women!

Finally, browsing through some names of the competitive National Achievement scholars, which is the National Merit‘s program aimed at specifically recognizing and awarding academic scholarships to the best black high school graduates, also showed signs of clear over-representation of African immigrants, especially for STEM scholarships. In the 2014 Annual Report on their web site, they do not give all the names of their winners, but they give some special profiles of their most outstanding scholars. Of the three long profiles given in the report, one of the names is from the West Indies, and the other two are from Africa (one Ghanaian and one Nigerian); there is no native black American. The West Indian was awarded a scholarship to study multiple languages (including Arabic) due to her extraordinary talent in this area that has apparently been recognized by the State Department; the Ghanaian was awarded for medicine and the Nigerian for electrical engineering. Among the other smaller profiles given, the black immigrant names are still over-represented, especially for the harder sciences. This should put to rest the usual reasons given for why black immigrants are accepted into Ivy League universities more than native blacks, including the charge that these universities just favor immigrant blacks because “[whites] find them easier to get along with”, or native blacks just don’t apply to these universities, and so on. Apparently, occam’s razor wins again: they may just be smarter on average (for whatever reason).

The predictable response of the hereditarians is to adopt the environmentalist argument of super high immigrant selection to explain this unexpected trend: where some environmentalists propose that these immigrants are the most driven achievers in their countries, the hereditarians say they are the most intellectually elite, the ones from the topmost segment of the IQ bell curve in their countries; the outliers who got some lucky genes in an otherwise poor-gene environment. But like the hyper-driven-personality hypothesis, this argument cannot explain the equally, if not more impressive, achievements of their children: lottery winners never have children who also win the lottery. The stubborn refusal of their children to conspicuously regress to the much lower African genetic mean IQ (and not even to the African American mean IQ) predicted by hereditarians is simply inexplicable under their racial genetic hierarchy.

In a Harvard University paper that later sparked some unfortunate controversy, Richwine (2009) estimated the IQs of the black African immigrants from a supposedly culture-free test of backward digit span as 89. Although many in the hereditarian HBD crowd accepted these numbers on faith (and the Heritage Foundation used his paper to try to influence immigration policy), such estimates can be highly misleading. They lump together black Africans into one homogenous group when there are different kinds of black Africans, including a good number coming in as refugees from highly troubled countries, while other nationalities consist of the most educated ethnicities in America. As I demonstrate below with UK data, the different groups of African immigrants can have very large background differences that reflect in cognitive gaps among them that are even higher than the gap between American blacks and whites (and yes, these are reflected on “culture-free” tests too). In other words, the mean IQ of African immigrants may be as unrepresentative of black Igbo immigrants as it is of white South African immigrants. It’s a meaningless mean.

Without accepting this fact, the IQ approximations of Africans do not make sense in the context of their academic achievements in the US compared to black Americans. For example, when one HBD blogger broke down the IQs of black Americans by state using one of Lynn’s methods for estimating national IQs, he found over 30 states that had black IQ above 89, i.e., higher than the black African immigrant IQ found by Richwine. If these black immigrants really have a representative mean IQ from a normal distribution that is lower than the black mean in 30 whole states, there is no way they would dominate the native black Americans so conspicuously and predictably in all academically elite institutions. The black Caribbean immigrant IQ of 83 (assuming it is represented under “Central America/Carribean”), which is lower than Alabama’s black IQ, is even more implausible in the context of their well-noted achievements. Correcting the different states’ black IQ by subtracting 5 IQ points from each state would still not fix the problem of plausibility: if there is even one state with blacks that are definitely smarter than (or just equal to) the black immigrants, it would be the children of the blacks from that state who would be conspicuously over-represented in those elite programs. There certainly would be no Caribbean names there.

The only plausible way to possibly salvage Richwine’s data is to accept that there are such large variations mediated by highly variable environmental factors (rather than restrictive genetic factors) within the African (or Caribbean) immigrant group that their mean IQ is totally inappropriate to use for estimating social expectations for every black immigrant group within the United States. As the UK data below shows, it is very unlikely that children of immigrants from the Igbo or Yoruba groups of Nigeria or the Ashanti group of Ghana, for example, have an average IQ below the white mean IQ.

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AFRICAN ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN THE U.K.

The most definitive proof of Africans’ grossly underestimated genotypic IQ (80 according to Lynn, or 70 according to Jensen and Rushton, et al) has come in recent years from the performance of African school children in the UK. These results sparked instant reactions in the IQ debate world as soon as they started being reported by the news media, with some strong hereditarians suddenly becoming some kind of neo-environmentalists just to explain why white school children were not showing the kind of academic superiority over blacks that they have become accustomed to in the United States (wrong tests, declining white culture, an alleged war on whites, etc – the same kinds of reasons they always dismissed from liberal environmentalists explaining black underachievement in the US).

The first report that caused some consternation in the IQ blogosphere indicated that black African pupils were apparently catching up with British white pupils on their GCSE tests and that in fact, they had already overtaken them at the lower end: the poor black kids were now performing better than poor white kids (The Guardian, 2010). Hereditarian psychometricians and scholars from Jensen to Gottfredson, Lynn, Rushton, et al had after all declared that IQ predicted test scores on all kinds of tests since a common factor of intelligence, g, was highly robust.

(How Fair is Britain? Credit: Guardian 2010)

(How Fair is Britain? Credit: Guardian 2010)

A couple of years after that news and more stories of black and other minority progress on GCSEs, GL Assessment, an independent testing organization, published results of their Cognitive Assessment Tests (CAT), indicating the performance of different ethnic groups. The CAT, though given to children at age 11, is highly correlated with GCSE results at age 16. The CAT results confirmed what the GCSEs had shown: that black Africans were catching up with British whites, and this sparked even more panic in the IQ-human biodiversity blogosphere.

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Many bloggers and commentators came up with countless explanations for the unexpected trend among blacks from Africa who were expected to be around two standard deviations (30 IQ points) below whites in average IQ scores, but were only half a standard deviation below. Almost all the guesses on what could be causing this unexpected trend assumed that the upward trend would not continue in future to the point of actually equaling white scores, an event that could cause a crisis in the hereditarian camp.

In fact, what most scholars and bloggers in the IQ world seemed to not know is that by the time these pieces of news were coming out in the media, there were already African nationalities that had overtaken the white average by a significant margin. The reason it seemed that the black Africans were only trying to catch up now was the usual academic tendency of lumping Africans together into one big racial group when other groups were being identified by nationality (e.g. Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, etc rather than “Asian” or “South-East Asian” etc). Grouping Africans into the monolithic “Black African” ethnicity concealed the different experiences of African immigrants from different nations, some of whom had emigrated as refugees from war-torn countries, while others lad left countries that did not speak much English and were thus disadvantaged in the tests. A negative correlation with English as Another Language was evident on both the CAT scores and the GCSE scores.

Number of Black African pupils in the 27 LAs using extended Black African ethnicity codes for 90% or more of their Black African pupils in 2005 (excluding City of London). Source: Ethnicity and Education: The Evidence on Minority Ethnic Pupils aged 5-16, Department for Education and Skills, 2006.

Number of Black African pupils in the 27 LAs using extended Black African ethnicity codes for 90% or more of their Black African pupils in 2005 (excluding City of London).
Source: Ethnicity and Education: The Evidence on Minority Ethnic Pupils aged 5-16, Department for Education and Skills, 2006.

The pupils from these groups also had varying degrees of poverty levels, determined by how many were eligible for free school meals (2008):
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The performances of these groups were highly varied, with some of them having already overtaken the British average, at least as far back as 2003.

Source: Back to Basics: Towards a Successful and Cost-Effective Integration Policy

Source: Back to Basics: Towards a Successful and Cost-Effective Integration Policy

As the table above shows, some African nationalities, particularly Ghanaians and Nigerians, score way above the England mean (and the white British mean), while others, like the Somalis and Congolese, score way below (but still not as low as the Portuguese immigrants, apparently). The low scoring African groups are the ones that migrated as refugees and/or could not speak English, besides being very poor. Improvements among the Somalians have been impressive, especially due to programs dedicated to teaching them English.

Although the Chinese and Indians are still very conspicuously above even the best African nationalities, their superiority disappears when the Nigerian and other groups are broken down even further according to their different tribal ethnicities. Groups like the famous Igbo tribe, which has contributed much genetically to the African American blacks, are well known to be high academic achievers within Nigeria. In fact, their performance seems to be at least as high as the “model minority” Chinese and Indians in the UK, as seen when some recent African immigrants are divided into languages spoken at home (which also indicates that these are not multigenerational descendants but children of recent immigrants).

Source: Raising the Achievement of Black African Pupils: Good Practice in Schools

Source: Raising the Achievement of Black African Pupils: Good Practice in Schools

Africans speaking Luganda and Krio did better than the Chinese students in 2011. The igbo were even more impressive given their much bigger numbers (and their consistently high performance over the years, gaining a 100 percent pass rate in 2009!). The superior Igbo achievement on GCSEs is not new and has been noted in studies that came before the recent media discovery of African performance. A 2007 report on “case study” model schools in Lambeth also included a rare disclosure of specified Igbo performance (recorded as Ibo in the table below) and it confirms that Igbos have been performing exceptionally well for a long time (5 + A*-C GCSEs); in fact, it is difficult to find a time when they ever performed below British whites.

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It should be noted that in fact, the Chinese and Indian groups in the UK have the smallest number of pupils qualified for free school meals, a proxy for level of poverty.

Percentage of pupils in maintained schools eligible for FSM by ethnic group (2005) Source: xxxEthnicity and Education: The Evidence on Minority Ethnic Pupils aged 5–16 , Department for Education and Skills, 2006.

Percentage of pupils in maintained schools eligible for FSM by ethnic group (2005).
Source: Ethnicity and Education: The Evidence on Minority Ethnic Pupils aged 5–16 , Department for Education and Skills, 2006.

The Chinese and Indian levels of Free School Meals are even lower than the Ghanaian and Nigerian pupils when the Africa segment is broken down into nationalities.

If these Nigerian groups really performed so well under the years in question when the media started catching the news, one would expect some names of their students to be reported in the news among the best performing students in the country. Statistically, if girls outperformed boys and Igbos outperformed other ethnic groups in 2010, one would expect an igbo girl to be among the top performers in the country. In fact, according to a Daily Mail report on the GCSE results of 2010, the best student in the whole country was indeed a Nigerian girl, Chidera Ota. A check on Nigerian names confirms that she is of Igbo descent. Ota scored 15 A*s, higher than any Chinese, Indian or white student, and higher than any student from prestigious elite schools like Eton College (she was at a state funded selective high school for girls).

To put it into perspective, these results mean that the children of black Africans (or at least West Africans) are not only not scoring below the scores of low-IQ poor white children, as Jensen’s calculations would predict, they are even able to score above children of elite whites too (who go to Eton college etc).

What are the chances of a girl from a small minority group of immigrants whose home country is 2 standard deviations below the host country’s mean IQ achieving the best academic results in the host country? If the average IQ of SubSaharan African adults is equal to 11 year old Europeans, as their IQ scores estimate (Rushton, 2004), what are the chances that an African child of such adults would ever beat all European children in academic achievement? Had the low phenotypic IQ of black Africans truly been biologically caused even to some degree, such feats should be as rare as having the fastest 100 meters runner in the world coming from the slowest running ethnicity in the world. In short, what are the chances of say, an Indian immigrant to Jamaica winning the national 100 meters sprint? Even more incredible, what are the chances that the children of such “super-selected” Indian immigrant athletes would also (on average and on top) beat the children of native Jamaicans and other immigrants known for their superior athleticism?

The academic performance of the African students in the UK is even more remarkable when the well-known fact of higher black involvement in sport and athletics (at any level) is taken into account. Whereas Chinese and Indian students are not exactly expected to lead their schools or colleges to winning athletic championships, many black students are actively involved in athletics even when they have a strong academic focus. For example, a check on the Cambridge web site reveals that Chidera Ota, the UK’s best GCSE student in her cohort, was also the fastest runner in the girls 100 and 200 meters team for Cambridge (she qualified to Cambridge’s premed program after subsequently achieving straight A’s on her A-levels). Since she could not have just become a fast runner in college, it means that she achieved her academic performance in high school while being very active in athletics. It is quite plausible that the higher athletic commitments of black African students probably hinders them from achieving even further than they do in academics; it is especially difficult to develop a deep mastery of a specific academic field since this requires much more intensive focus and time commitments. On the other hand, it is also difficult for them to suppress their natural athletic (or artistic) gifts and interests for an unbalanced academic existence.

Chidera Ota, Cambridge Athletics.

Chidera Ota, Cambridge Athletics.

This trend of African blacks (especially West Africans) being expected to achieve exceptionally in both athletics and academics is not limited to their experience in the UK. African immigrants in the US (on average) are also highly involved in athletics, like other black students, while also being expected to perform exceptionally well in academics by their parents. A story in the SFGATE in 2009 confirms this typical double commitment of African immigrants. A Ghanaian American Owusu family had five star athletes at elite American universities who also just happened to be star students because if they ever got anything less than an A, “I will take them out of sports,” threatened their father, Francis Owusu. Owusu had migrated to America on an athletics scholarship from Ghana. His sons combined star athleticism and academic performance in such elite institutions as Stanford and Harvard (with a daughter at Colombia University), a data point that in itself goes against familial regression to the low African mean predicted by hereditarians.

NBA star Andre Iguodala (Nigerian heritage), the Most Valuable Player of the 2015 NBA Finals, was not an exception to this African requirement of combining academic excellence (and character) with athletic prowess, despite having decided early to become a professional basketball player. He was an Honor Roll student in high school besides being a star basketball player.

The tendency of black Africans to excel in both academics and sport may be one reason they are on such high demand with elite academic institutions in the United States. These universities get to preserve a reputation for academic excellence while also gaining some profitable athletic contributions to their student body, besides enhancing their “diversity” public profile.

Sporting victories and diversity are apparently not as important in UK universities as they are in American universities, at least in practice. This might explain why the two most elite universities, Oxford and Cambridge do not feel too pressured to take up as many black students as would be predicted by their impressive performance on the GCSEs. When pressed about this issue, the spokeswoman for Oxford admitted that there were many more blacks that academically qualify to enter their university each year than are accepted (the minimum qualification is three A’s or better on A-levels). She explained that one of the main reasons they do not accept as many blacks as would be expected is simply that they tend to apply to oversubscribed subjects (specifically, economics and management, medicine, and maths). Although this is a plausible explanation, it also highlights the difference between black American student performance (in the US) and black African performance (in the UK): can anyone imagine a similar situation happening in the US? What is the likelihood of the top universities in America turning down many black Americans who have scored among the very top high school students in the US, and then having, say, the Harvard University spokesman coming out to explain why they could only take a small portion of blacks with top SAT scores? (The reason itself is unimaginable in the US: too many blacks want to do maths!)

Another story that emphasizes this difference between black African performance in the UK compared to African American performance in the US was a report on London’s spectacular improvements in GCSE school achievement. The capital city has in recent years been doing so well compared to other areas of the country that it attracted some hot debates from different scholars about the causes. The main reason that has been offered and debated so far came from a highly reputable scholar who argued that these achievements of London are not due to any government policy but simply a result of three high achieving groups moving to London in recent years: Chinese, Indians, and Black Africans. The fact that such a statement can even be made proves how different the black Africans in the UK are from black Americans. How conceivable is it that researchers in America would propose something like, “the reason New York City is now leading in school performance nationwide is because it has a lot of Chinese, Indians and black Americans who have recently moved into the city in high numbers”? Mentioning blacks as part of the explanation for the academic success of any American city would sound like a page from an environmentalist science fiction novel, and yet it is accepted as a valid argument for the academic success of the biggest city in the UK!

Finally, it has to be noted that even if hereditarians can somehow manage to convincingly argue that the Nigerian (or Igbo) children in the UK do in fact have a lower IQ than average white children, as their biological model predicts (despite our evidence), they also have to show that these West African children even have a lower IQ than average black American children (since the latter have more white admixture)! At the very least, they should show that these children of “elite” Africans actually have a lower IQ than the children of equally elite native black Americans: the same elite black Americans whose children already score lower than poor whites, according to Jensen. That is by no means the most enviable task in academic history.

Chanda Chisala, originally from Zambia, has been a John S. Knight Visiting Fellow at Stanford University, a Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and a Reagan-Fascell Fellowship at the National Endowment for Democracy.

References

  1. Sowell, Thomas (1978).Three Black Histories. Essays and Data on American Ethnic Groups.The Urban Institute, pp 41-48
  2. Butcher, K. F (1990). Black Immigrants to the United States: A comparison with native blacks and other immigrants. Department of Economics, Princeton University.
  3. Business Insider (2015). An Elite Group of Students accepted to all 8 Ivy League Schools have one thing in Common
  4. Murray T, et al (2010). African and non-African admixture components in African Americans and an African Caribbean population. Genet Epidemiol.
  5. Anekwe, P N (2009). Characteristics and Challenges of High-achieving Second Generation Nigerian Youths in the United States, Universal Publishers.
  6. Jill Rutter (2013). Back to Basics: Towards a Successful and Cost-Effective Integration Policy
  7. White British Children outperformed by Minorities The Guardian 2013
  8. Ethnicity and Education: The Evidence on Minority Ethnic Pupils aged 5–16
  9. Gottfredson, L. S. (1998). The general intelligence factor. Scientific American Presents, 9(4), 24-29.
  10. The Grio (2011). Harvard has more black students than ever, but are they African-American?
  11. New York Times (2004). Top Colleges Take More Blacks, but Which Ones?
  12. The Guardian (2013). White British Children outperformed by Ethnic Minority pupils, says Think Tank
  13. Feyisa, D. (2009). Raising the Performance of underachieving Children: Success Factors
  14. Feyisa, D. (2013). Raising the Achievement of Black African Pupils: Good Practice in Schools. Lambeth Council
  15. SFGate (2009). Speed Runs in the Owusu Family,
  16. Science Magazine (June 2009). Minority Retention Rates are Sore Spot for Most Universities AAAS
  17. The Economist (2013). Ethnic-minority pupils are storming ahead, thanks partly to tutors.
  18. Hrabowski, F. et al (1998). Beating the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Males. Oxford University Press.
  19. Richwine, J. (2009). IQ and Immigration Policy. Department of Public Policy, Harvard University.
  20. The Guardian (2010). How Fair is Britain?
  21. The Guardian (2015). Is London’s ethnic diversity driving its school success story?
  22. Okoye, P. (2014). Academic Achievement of Nigerian and Ghanaian Students: Report on Academic Achievement of Nigerian and Ghanaian students in Camden Schools
  23. Strand, S. (2015). English as an Additional Language (EAL) and educational achievement in England: An analysis of the National Pupil Database. University of Oxford Department of Education
  24. Rushton, J. P., & Jensen, A. R.. (2005). Thirty years of research on Black-White differences in cognitive ability.Psychology, Public Policy, & the Law, 11, 235-294.
  25. Rushton, J.P. (2004). Solving the IQ Conundrum. Vdare.com
  26. Jensen, A.R. (1999). The g Factor: the Science of Mental Ability. Precis of Jensen on Intelligence-g-Factor. Psycoloquy: 10(023)
  27. Lynn, Richard;Vanhanen, Tatu(2002). IQ and the Wealth of Nations. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger.
  28. Lynn, R. (2008).The Global Bell Curve: Race, IQ, and Inequality Worldwide. Augusta, Georgia: Washington Summit Publishers.
 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity, Science • Tags: Africans, Blacks, IQ, Race/IQ 
The Race/IQ Series

461 Comments to "The IQ Gap Is No Longer a Black and White Issue"

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  1. Thank you for writing this piece and presenting this data. Very well done.

    It really intrigues me that the black-white IQ gap could be so much smaller in the UK. I would’ve assumed that perhaps selective migration played a role in this, but Black Caribbean (BC) migrants overwhelmingly were of non-elite origins. So it’s interesting to see that UK BC children are only about a third of standard deviation below the white mean.

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  2. Excellent article! It’s high time the IQ debate takes a more refined approach and starts adopting more precise categorizations, as this article does. To that end, it would be helpful if the broad category “white” were appropriately subdivided in some rational manner. One approach would be to divide whites by religious preference, as it has long been known that white Episcopalians, Unitarians and Quakers, for example, often score higher on IQ tests than Jews, and far higher than, say, Southern Baptist whites. Razib Khan wrote an article along these lines, titled “Pentecostals are stupid? Unitarians are smart?”

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  3. The predictable response of the hereditarians is to adopt the environmentalist argument of super high immigrant selection to explain this unexpected trend

    Selection isn’t an “environmentalist argument”, it is simple statistics and will apply even if hereditarianism is true. No matter what causes IQ differences, if you compare non-random samples, you will not generalizable results. Eg, if you compare blacks with PhDs to white high school dropouts, your results won’t be generalizable to the black and white populations at large.

    As for selection among African immigrants, it is obvious and enormous. To use Nigerian immigrants to the US as an example, 58.6% have college degrees and 28.3% had graduate degrees. Among Nigerians as a whole, less than 10% have college degrees. The immigrants are therefore a highly non-representative selection of the Nigerian population.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_immigration_to_the_United_States#Educational_attainment

    http://wenr.wes.org/2013/07/an-overview-of-education-in-nigeria/

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  4. I suppose the next natural question is: has the history of blacks in the United States been characterized by strong dysgenic trends?

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  5. ISSUE 1
    I don’t understand Jensen’s second test. If a black kid has good genes, then those genes would be inherited by her offspring. Sure if the kid has superhigh IQ there would be reversion to the mean. In the more common case of two black parents with IQ of 110, I do not understand why their kid’s expected IQ would not be the same (plus and minus variation equally likely).

    ISSUE 2
    You write “predictable response of the hereditarians is to adopt the environmentalist argument of super high immigrant selection to explain this unexpected trend”. If intelligent blacks move to the US, that is neither hereditary nor environmental influence. Of course with a very broad definition of environmental it could be included, but than Jewish intermarriage over 3000 years would also be counted as environmental).

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  6. On the one hand, I agree strongly with the argument that an undifferentiated “African IQ” of 68-70 is highly misleading; the British data shows this very conclusively. There are simply far too many high performing black Africans in the UK; in particular female African students are simply far too good, and consistently so. Nor is it simply elite migration; I see working class Nigerians routinely vastly out perform the (literal) princes of other nations.

    On the other hand, I don’t think this disproves genetic IQ variation among population groups, there is no reason to think that eg African-Americans do not have a genetically lowered IQ compared to white Americans. And while Afro-Caribbeans certainly out perform African-Americans, the British experience is that they do not show the brilliant academics of some black-African immigrant groups.

    The lesson seems to be that Africa is very diverse, there are a lot of low IQ population groups and some high IQ population groups, although family structures (“nepotism”) and other factors (“corruption”) mean that even these high-IQ groups have economically underperformed compared to white European groups of similar or lower IQ, but different social structures (“honesty”).

    The argument for immigration policy would be that if* high-ability immigration is desired, it needs to be selective. Nigerians, and especially groups like the Igbo, are preferable to groups like the Somalis. Furthermore, white admixture is not necessarily a magic IQ raiser; Ethiopians for instance do not seem to perform at as high a level as some Nigerian groups.

    *My own view is that there are no strong reasons for seeking mass immigration from highly divergent groups, or at least that there are significant negative externalities that need to be taken into account. But economic immigration from high-abililty groups is much preferable to “refugee/asylum seeker” immigration, where the migrating populations tend to be some of the worst on the planet in terms of human capital.

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  7. says:
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    Interesting data. A few comments:

    1. From the article:”If the genetic hypothesis is correct, children of elite African blacks will tend to have lower IQs than children of native black Americans, and perhaps even lower than children of low IQ blacks”
    This isn’t necessarily what you would predict. Regression towards the mean implies that the children of elite parents will be more average than their *parents*. Whether they regress to a lower mean than black Americans would depend on how strong the initial selection for elites was. If you pick elite enough members from a population, their children can have a higher mean IQ than any reference population (until they become so rare there are fewer than two elites in the world to produce children).

    2. You downplayed the low level of admission of black students to elite universities in the UK.
    From http://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/news/black-students-miss-out-on-oxbridge-(1)/
    “News this week that the total of 32 black students accepted by Oxford University in 2011 represents an increase from last year, is not much to write home about when 2010 figures show that fewer than one in 100 students beginning courses at Oxford or Cambridge were black.

    At Cambridge, the number of admissions for black students fell to 16 out of an intake of 2,624, compared with 25 the previous year.”

    From http://www.theguardian.com/education/abby-and-libby-blog/2013/dec/04/black-students-absence-diminishes-oxbridge :

    “In a statement, Oxford says it spends £4.5 million a year on outreach work “to encourage students from all socio-economic and ethnic-minority backgrounds to apply”. The university said: “School attainment is the main barrier to getting more black students to Oxford.”

    A spokesperson for Cambridge said in the Independent: “In the UK around 315 black students per year secure A*AA, our standard offer for admissions. This is around 1.2% of all UK students securing A*AA or better at A-level.”

    I don’t have an explanation that is consistent with both this and the GCSE results, so I don’t know what’s going on.

    3. Africa has the most genetic diversity of all continents. It is possible (even probable) that the average genetic IQ varies among regions and ethnic groups. I know you are taking Lynn and Jensen as the authorities on the hereditarian side, but their numbers can be off without it implying that there is a 100% environmental cause for the gaps.

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  8. ” To use Nigerian immigrants to the US as an example, 58.6% have college degrees and 28.3% had graduate degrees. Among Nigerians as a whole, less than 10% have college degrees. The immigrants are therefore a highly non-representative selection of the Nigerian population.”

    Yes, but they may be relatively representative of some tribes/groups within Nigeria (anecdotally, I see so many female Nigerian students from upper-working-class backgrounds perform so much better than the elites of other nations, it is hard for me not to believe this). In my experience, and from the data I’ve seen, the Nigerian Smart Fraction seems to be much much larger than with eg Middle Eastern populations, possibly superior to south Asia also, at least for female students.

    Nigeria seems to bear some resemblance to India, with discrete high-IQ groups and (many) lower IQ groups – Americans seem to think of Indians as high-IQ, due to selective migration, just as black Africans tend to perform highly in the UK.

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  9. Reversion to the ancestral population mean – a child with two parents of IQ 110, whose grandparents and great grandparents had lower IQs, will tend to have a lower IQ also. If the ancestral population mean IQ was 110 then the child will on average have a 110 IQ also.

    The result is that an Igbo child of high IQ parents will also tend to have a high IQ, whereas a child of high IQ African-American parents of typical ancestry (no paper-bag tests) will tend to have a lower IQ.

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  10. says:
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    For Issue 1, Jensen’s argument is about regression towards the mean.

    An IQ score is the result of heriditary(genetic and home environment) and non-hereditary (non-shared environment) factors. For short call them genes and luck. The average white person has an IQ of 100. If there are two white people with an IQ of 100, you can expect they have average genes and average luck. There children will on average have average genes and average luck as well, and so on average have 100 IQ.

    If two white people have a 130 IQ, the situation changes. You can get an extreme score by some combination of good genes and good luck. The population of people with 130 IQ has both above average genes and above average luck on average. If they have kids, the kids will tend to have good genes, but only average luck (by definition I’m calling everything that doesn’t pass between generations ‘luck’). The kids would then have an average IQ closer to 100 than their parents (though anything is possible in an individual case). It could be 129 if genes are almost everything or 101 if luck is almost everything, but as long as both contribute, the average kid with 130 IQ white parents will have an IQ between 100 and 130.

    If blacks have an average IQ of 85, then black parents with an IQ of 100 will on average have children with an IQ between 85 and 100, lower than the children of white parents with the same IQ. This is basically Jensen’s argument.

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  11. Interesting stuff and fodder for future debates. Some of this will go well with the reacosphere, like: Institutions indeed fake successes by chosing immigrant Africans instead of African Americans.
    I agree completely that African tribes and peoples shouldn’t be lumped together genetically. We wouldn’t do it in matters of athletics, so why do it in IQ studies and scores statistics?
    On the other hand, if we distinguish between genetically different kinds of “Africans”, a lot of these objections against the hereditarian theory would go down at the same time. For example, regression to the mean would mean “regression to the Igbo mean” and as such might be in accordance with the empirical data.
    (By the way, “regression to the mean” can be applicated by geneticists, but by environmentalists, too; it’s a purely statistical concept.)
    And of course, all this doesn’t cope with our most urgent social problem: What do we do with the people who indeed have a low IQ?

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  12. Lynn’s work has been discredited and debunked numerous times, as he makes up data, and cherry picks results – so no point quoting him!

    I agree with Drake above, there is massive selection for elite students from West Africa, to come to US colleges – so they are not representative of anything African. Some groups like the Ibo/Igbo of South Eastern Nigeria were rated as superior intellectually by the British, so there is no reason to believe they wouldn’t be similar today. Similar claims were made for the Tutsi of Rwanda.

  13. A really long piece that somehow avoided the most basic of analytic filters. And you demolished the entire argument with ten words.

    if you compare non-random samples, you will not generalizable results.

    I guess I should be applauding you, but I’m really wondering what Chanda was thinking.

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  14. I don’t understand Jensen’s second test. If a black kid has good genes, then those genes would be inherited by her offspring. Sure if the kid has superhigh IQ there would be reversion to the mean. In the more common case of two black parents with IQ of 110, I do not understand why their kid’s expected IQ would not be the same (plus and minus variation equally likely).

    That’s how I understood it, too. Someone like Einstein, who is estimated to be 4 standard deviations above the mean, has a son who is also a physicist, but not quite what dad was. And then his grandson is a doctor – still smart, but not necessarily off the charts like grandpa.

  15. says:
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    You’re right, and I can only guess why anyone would characterize it as an environmental factor. Okay, “immigration selection” would be cultural, but that’s not really what we’re talking about. The fact that they’re here isn’t hereditary, obviously, nor are the reasons for their coming, except indirectly. What does that have to do with the basis of their intelligence? Nothing.

    It may be that in practice blank slaters commonly make such arguments, in which case it would technically be an “environmentalist argument.” But there’s nothing essentially environmentalist about it.

  16. You mention Andre Iguodala of the Golden State Warriors. Another example would be his teammate Festus Ezeli who played some productive minutes in their championship run. He was born in Nigeria and completed high school at age 14. He then went on to earn a degree in economics from Vanderbilt before entering the NBA.

  17. If you want to get theoretically predicted values for regression to the mean, you need the theoretically assumed homogenously mixed breeding population that parents are drawn from, randomly. Is “African” a homogenous breeding population and parents of a given child are drawn “randomly” from it?

  18. I have several problems with this article:

    First, is the length. Plenty of peer-reviewed papers in evolutionary biology can communicate valid scientific findings without sprinkling references of cherry picked anecdotes such as the stories about the Meyerhoff Scholars Program and Biology Scholars Program. Why the scattershot approach?

    Second, is the language used. Frequent use of ‘racial hereditarian’ and ‘racial evolution’ is needlessly provocative. Biology has no theory of race, and for the author to conflate the two is sloppy science.

    Her proclamations, such as: “more fatal for the racial hereditarian side of the debate” and “the racial genetic hypothesis…remained a valid proposition. Until now.” Are pure propaganda.

    Third, and most damnably, the author has a faulty understanding of the very basic tenants of evolutionary biology, the science that seeks to understand genetics and Darwinian evolutionary processes.

    She states her logic thus: “If the genetic hypothesis is correct, children of elite African blacks will tend to have lower IQs than children of native black Americans, and perhaps even lower than children of low IQ blacks, the same phenomenon observed between American blacks and whites since native blacks are basically “more white” than African (or Caribbean) immigrants.”

    This ‘theory’ totally avoids the phenomenon of gene expression and gene silencing of recessive genes. Most first year biology students learn that a recessive traits (for example lighter skin, or blue eyes) will not be expressed if dominant genes are present in the DNA. A valid counter to her above argument is that genes responsible for higher academic achievement are recessive, and so not expressed in the target population of African Americans with European ancestry.

    I’m not saying my counter argument is true, just that the author displays academic laziness and dishonestly by not at least acknowledging that her hypothesis is just that, an unproven hypothesis.

    Her use of racist language, cherry picking of unrelated issues, faulty logic, and her inability to acknowledge that valid and respectable counter arguments exist makes it hard for me to take her claims seriously.

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  19. Fascinating. Real tragedy that the Igbo Biafran secession failed so badly…read some accounts and was always impressed by the degree of ingenuity on display among the Igbos. The rest of Nigeria really seems to drag them down.

    I’d bet on the Tutsis as another of the more intelligent groups.

  20. Great news…Africa then should be able to develop and not swamp the UK with immigrants.

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  21. 1. IQ isn’t being reported at a fine enough level of aggregation. Thus fine level detail is being lost.

    2. The reversion to the mean theory is flawed. There are clearly subgroups that breed for intelligence. As long as they do this, they won’t revert to the mean of the larger group.

    3. Here is another case where the use of the normal distribution is flawed. It is often misapplied to things because the math is easier. Point 2 implies that the distribution (at least on the upside – I don’t know of anyone who deliberately breeds for lowered intelligence) is not going to be normal.

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  22. It is plausible that the elites of some African countries could have IQs in the high 90s. But just look at the countries these relatively high-functioning blacks come from; without exception they are much more dysfunctional than Western European countries. Sky-high rates of homicide, corruption, HIV/AIDS, etc.

    I don’t blame them for wanting to emigrate into a relatively functional country in Europe, but these relatively competent Africans should focus on trying to improve their own countries. To do that, they have to stay there.

  23. says:
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    Dividing whites based on religion doesn’t reflect heredity very well. Razib explains this pretty well in the article you mentioned; there’s a lot of self-selection.

  24. Very interesting and informative article. A good counter to the dishonest, self-serving generalizations by the race “realist”/HBD gang. It is telling how they conveniently neglect to note that there are vast populations of non-SSAs such as south asians and MENAs who have IQs lower than african-americans. And among MENAs (who are classified as white caucasians by the US Census Bureau) the lowest IQ is that of the levantine syrians and lebanese who are recognized as the closest to europeans in phenotype.

    Likewise, they ignore the lower than global average IQs of european ethnicities like the Serbs and Irish…

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  25. One has to keep in mind how big the recent cohorts of children from african countries are. For example in Nigeria – a country with a population as big as the population of Poland some decades ago – there were more children born in the year 2000 than in the whole European Union. So, if one assumes that selective immigration plays a role in the high IQ of African immigrants there is at least a population big enough to select from, which would make this plausible.

    Anyway I have always doubted that the IQ differences between the races is actually genetic. But this does not make HBD as a whole wrong. I still think that differences between the races in regards to athletic ability, physical strength, personality and attractiveness (especially of males) are due to genetic differences. And actually I think those differences are more important than IQ differences.

  26. Thanks for your article. I think that the problem which bedevils much research on intelligence is the difficulty of getting representative samples. It is for that reason that birth cohort studies and other full population studies are so important. Even small rates of selective attrition can affect the overall means, and where samples are small and unrepresentative less reliance can be placed on results. For example, looking at the UK cognitive data you show above, the sample size for White British is 145,000 and the immigrant groups are at best 4000 or far less. Although one can have reasonable confidence about the error terms for the White British assessment, one would have to accept larger error terms for the smaller groups. Those latter groups could only be seen as representative of their genetic and cultural societies of origin if we can obtain proper measures on representative samples in their countries of origin. PISA and TIMMS have some data (though few African countries have ever participated in such studies) and the general pattern is for immigrant groups to reflect the same averages as in their countries of origin. As a general rule, single country immigrant histories are only indicators and not always representative, and currently the UK is a magnet for immigrant groups, particularly elites.
    There is certainly great merit in looking at elite genetic groups in Africa, but so far it has been hard to get many reliable representative studies (mostly they tend to be nation based). If genetic based intelligence research can be done in Africa that would go a long way to elucidating gene-intelligence effects.

  27. Kudos to Unz for showing this, which will no doubt enrage many of his commenters. Shows a true commitment to expressing different views.

    I actually do find this credible; I’ve known some pretty bright Igbo.

    Best explanation I can find is that there was some serious dysgenic selection among American blacks; supposedly they killed every slave caught learning to read, but that’s not sufficient. I wonder if it’s the ghetto culture and welfarism–if you subsidize all the kids of some layabout, irresponsible ghetto blacks with low IQ are going to have more kids than the more responsible ones who go to church and wait until they’re married. Still, that sort of selection should take centuries to happen. Any ideas? Maybe only the dumber Africans got caught by slavers?

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  28. This entire article is based on a misunderstanding of how long it takes for regression towards the mean to fully work. That is if the parents have high IQ the children will probably have a lower one, but still above the average. If the children engage in intelligence assortative mating it will take several generations for the regression towards the mean to bring the IQ to the average of that particular group and this is something that is driving the glacial pace of social mobility.
    The fact that smart immigrants have smart kids doesn’t disprove hereditarian theories.

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  29. ” And among MENAs (who are classified as white caucasians by the US Census Bureau) the lowest IQ is that of the levantine syrians and lebanese”

    The low IQ of Lebanese people is mostly among the Muslims. Lebanese Christians who immigrated to Latin America tend to be overrepresented among the wealthy Latin American upper class elite.

  30. I know next to nothing about genetics, statistics & intelligence testing but I would think that regression to the mean refers to regression to the ancestral-proximity weighted average. Not the population average.

  31. says:
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    If the genetic hypothesis is correct, children of elite African blacks will tend to have lower IQs than children of native black Americans, and perhaps even lower than children of low IQ blacks

    That’s not how regression to the mean works. The hereditarian prediction is that children of parents with extreme traits move on average towards their racial mean, as opposed to the racial-egalitarian view that all populations regress to the same mean because they are all drawing from the same genetic deck.

    Empirically, the hereditarian prediction has held true; Where samples of parent:child or sibling pairs exist, blacks and whites regress to their respective racial means, not a common group mean, in both positive and negative directions for each group. I am aware of no environmentalist explanation for observed regressions.

    The predictable response of the hereditarians is to adopt the environmentalist argument of super high immigrant selection to explain this unexpected trend: where some environmentalists propose that these immigrants are the most driven achievers in their countries, the hereditarians say they are the most intellectually elite, the ones from the topmost segment of the IQ bell curve in their countries

    Saying that a particular sample is non-representative is neither an environmentalist nor hereditarian argument, so I suspect you misunderstood the hereditarian view.

    There can be no question that African immigration to the U.S. and Europe has been highly non-representative of Africans generally. Due to political instability and fewer opportunities in their home countries, the educated middle class of nations such as Nigeria have been fleeing for decades in the so-called “African brain drain”, to such an extent that Nigerian medical school graduates now hold class reunions in the U.S., as that’s where the majority of them are now.

    … this argument cannot explain the equally, if not more impressive, achievements of their children: lottery winners never have children who also win the lottery. The stubborn refusal of their children to conspicuously regress to the much lower African genetic mean IQ (and not even to the African American mean IQ) predicted by hereditarians is simply inexplicable under their racial genetic hierarchy.

    This sounds like a leap. Children of African immigrants do indeed regress downwards on average in the next generation in the United States. As Rauh 2014 shows, this convergences happens faster for African immigrants than for any other group, suggesting that genetic regression is a stronger force, as the hereditarian view would predict. There is nothing exceptional about the nature of African immigrants or their children, only their starting position, which is the most non-representative of immigrant groups.

    Also, I don’t think most hereditarians expect U.S. blacks and Africans to regress to different means within the same environment. Most hereditarians think the two groups are roughly similar in their potential, such that all blacks raised with a western standard of living could be a smart as African Americans are now.

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  32. says:
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    This is very interesting. But a hereditarian might say that much of the logic in this article would not apply if we were to consider that an African tribe isn’t just a cultural group, but is also a sub-race, with African people much more genetically similar to others within the same tribe than to other sub-Saharan Africans.

    On the other hand, the Richard Lynn quote at top is a fairly weak argument, even if there are no African countries with 3-digit average IQs, because it rests on the assumption that the environmental factors lowering African IQs are not present in all of sub-Saharan Africa; that historical, environmental, cultural and economic factors are much more diverse across countries than are genetic factors.

    One might resolve some of these controversies by conducting IQ tests and tests on genetic similarity among the various African tribes, although I’m not sure how one quantifies whether two tribes’ genetic differences are greater or lesser than their cultural differences.

  33. If someone really wanted to be mean and snarky, they could point out that African-Americans are descended from the subset of Africans who were dumb enough to allow themselves to be enslaved by other Africans and then sold to Europeans.

    (And, for that matter, the White ancestors of today’s African-Americans may not have been the brightest bulbs on the string either.)

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  34. Is academic achievement a good substitute for IQ? Admission to an elite college IQ based or simply having a high GPA and letters of recommendation? To say that graduating from high school with an “A” average is indicative of high IQ is to suggest that the modern high school curriculum is challenging when all evidence suggests it is not. One might also suspect there is a bit of bias of the ‘dog walking on its hind legs’ sort. Teachers seeing a black student performing at grade level and even excelling in Algebra or Geometry is going to stand out as being ‘special’ whereas a white or Asian student will not.

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  35. My theory on IQ is test scores are always trumped by actual accomplishment. In keeping with this thinking we live in idiotic times, and toilet paper has more value than IQ test sheets.

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  36. I should have added a few more points, but will be very brief

    On GCSE results in UK I have already made a detailed comment in a previous post.

    http://drjamesthompson.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/immigrants-scholastic-ability-and.html

    On regression to the mean it is important to enter an appropriate estimate for heritability. Usually researchers use 60% heritability, which is a reasonable estimate for children still at home, but for adults higher percentages up to about 80% would be more appropriate.

  37. Maybe only the dumber Africans got caught by slavers?

    This was always my assumption. Perhaps the circumstances that led to African group A to successfully capture and sell into slavery members of African group B were evidence of higher intelligence in group A. So that difference has persisted among African-Americans compared to more recent immigrants.

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  38. Thanks Anonymous and ,

    I still do not get the argument. I read up a little bit on Galton’s Law. I’m comparing with selective breeding of animals. If I select for docile sheep then the offspring will be more docile on average. I understand that intelligence is probably expressed in a very complicated way (recessive genes, epigenetic effects, etc.). Still, if most of the effect is genetic, and if both parents have IQ=110, surely the reversion towards the mean should be small. What I do not understand is the idea of an ancestral population. How is the “memory” of that population actually encoded in the genome? Maybe some recessive genes.

    Okay, I’m rambling now. New to this site. Thanks for high quality comments

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  39. Correct. Perhaps the “unnatural” selection favored a less intelligent and independent-thinking population. The recent immigrants also have a strong work ethic of survivalists and the lack of victimhood complex.


  40. I think on should not to much rely on a interpretation of maybe contingent historic situations. Between 1750 and 1950 France and Germany had several wars, one time France won and could have taken each and every german as POW (though they did not), the other time Germany won. If some alien force would have taken Slaves from Europe by 1820 the French might have sold them the Germans. If the alien force would have came along by 1942 Germans might have sold French.

  41. says:
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    Marian,

    Unfortunately IQ is highly tied to ‘accomplishment’…we can’t simply wave our hands and pretend we are above it all.

    This stuff matters – *a lot*.

    You can close your eyes and plug your ears…but these issues will not go away.

  42. The entire thrust of this article implies that the genetic approach states that all whites are smarter than all blacks which has never been the contention of anyone serious. That some black groups have high IQ clusters and pass it on is utterly unremarkable.

    It is mind boggling that anyone could think all of Africa would be IQ homogeneous. Black Africans certainly don’t think so they tend to hold very strong opinions about who the smart and dumb Africans are.

  43. According to Wikipedia, there are about 32 million Igbo. Has anybody done extensive IQ testing of these people? If so, what is the mean IQ?

  44. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"]
    says:
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    The lesson seems to be that Africa is very diverse, there are a lot of low IQ population groups and some high IQ population groups, although family structures (“nepotism”) and other factors (“corruption”) mean that even these high-IQ groups have economically underperformed compared to white European groups of similar or lower IQ, but different social structures (“honesty”).

    So what would have selected for such high IQ in those groups?

    Remember, there is no such thing as a free lunch. The Brain is a very expensive organ to develop and maintain and if there have been no selective forces during the last 20 or so generations towards higher IQ, I would expect the other pressures (birth, development and normal maintenance) to select for lower IQ. These are the same arguments as can be used against those idiots who routinely claim that we normally only use 10% of our brains and thus can improve our performance enormously.

    Secondly, if these Black Africans have some secret genetic advantage, you would expect it to sweep through any population that has high selection for IQ because there has been enough admixture. It only takes a few percent for advantageous genes to sweep through a population under selection.

  45. Translating the author, “don’t call me ‘African ‘, we are Igbo, and we have been superior to ‘Africans’ since time immemorial.” The question for us is why we let them migrate here instead of staying with their people and making their homelands better? And further, given their great native intelligence, (and having sold slaves to us, back in the day) why are they getting Affirmative Action?

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  46. He’s thinking that he must by all means, by hook or by crook, attempt to prove that the continent of his ancestors really isn’t as intellectually inferior as numerous and countless scientific studies have concluded over decades and decades of research.

    Nigeria’s population is over 100 million. To suggest that less than 3% of the total (immigrants to the UK, US, etc) somehow represent the other 97% in IQ is ridiculous.

    One should also note that the author is from Zambia, which has long been noted to collectively have a higher IQ than most African nations.

    Let these people produce actual IQ scores (As Lynn, Rushton, etc have done) from within Nigeria and other African nations themselves and not look simply at the few immigrants that arrive to Western nations.

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  47. Lots of people have commented about the confusion with mean regression. I think some math will help.

    Suppose a mating pair of immigrants have a mean IQ of x. Suppose that their home breeding group has a mean IQ of x_mean1. Will their offspring have higher IQ than the mean into which they are immigrating – say, x_mean2? The expected IQ of their offspring is:

    h^2 * x + (1-h^2) * x_mean1 = g.

    h^2 is the heritability (the proportion of phenotypic variance due to additive genetic variance). I’ve called the expression “g” because it happens to be the mean additive genetic value (or breeding value) of the parents. The important point here is that we can’t say with this information alone whether this will be higher than x_mean2 until we fill in some numbers. What we certainly know is that h^2 is not negligible, so it’s entirely possible that the offspring will be above average in their new population if the parents are exceptional enough.

    Now let’s ask: what happens in the next generation? How will the grandchildren perform? To answer this question, you need to know how mating works. Let’s suppose, for example, that a sizable immigrant community is built up, and children of immigrants mostly marry endogamously. Let g_imm be the mean breeding value of this immigrant population. Then the expected IQ of the grandchild is

    1/2(g + g_imm)

    Continuing this forward, we conclude that descendants will decay toward the mean of the breeding group, g_imm. The important point here is that g_imm is not x_mean1; indeed, if most immigrants are like the child’s parents, then a decent guess for g_imm is just g! In that case, we would see little or no regression after the first generation!

    So, an immigrant population will not magically regress to the mean of the homeland if the population is largely founded by exceptional individuals. Immigrant communities could indefinitely maintain exceptionally high IQ via selective immigration and endogamy, even if the homeland mean IQ is low.

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  48. Selective migration is the key here, as others have pointed out.

    This is like looking at the behavior of the Amish and then using it to prove that whites are just as collectivist as Asians.

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  49. Shockley pointed out decades ago that there was some frightening dysgenics going on among American blacks in the 1960s ands 70s. The graphs were absolutely horrifying, beyond anything I’ve ever seen for whites.

    It’s been shown that evolution happens a lot quicker than was previously suspected. Studying immigrants to the UK is interesting in its own right, but doesn’t tell us much about American blacks.

  50. A superb piece, one that more that begins to put to rest the Black-White IQ gap. It also confirms what I have always suspected: that since humans use only a small portion of the brain for what defined as “cognition”, it is simply a matter of persistence and guidance, and indeed quite logically explains the achievements of narrowly defined, ethno-religious groups!

    Edison was right when he observed “Genius is 90 perspiration……..”

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  51. In your example where both parents are of IQ 110 the average IQ of their children will be 106 to 108, depending on whether you use heritability as estimated in childhood (60%) or in adulthood (80%).

  52. says:
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    Look at another example. Suppose you have a pocket full of coins (all fair coins), and you flip each one 100 times. Some of the coins might come up heads 70 times and others only 30, while the mean should be about 50. Suppose the most heads you got was 70, and now you flip this coin again 100 times. It might come out to be 70 or more heads of course, but probably not. The average in the future will be back all the way at the mean for all the coins, 50. The past results tell you absolutely nothing about the future under these assumptions.

    That is one extreme where the data you have is 100% noise (in the sense it is worthless for predicting future outcomes), so you get 100% regression towards the mean. The opposite extreme is where there is no noise in the data. If there is something you can measure with perfect precision (like the number of marbles in a jar) and it does not change at all between measurements, then all future measurements will be exactly the same as the first one and there will be 0% regression towards the mean.

    More realistic situations tend to be in between these extremes. The data you get has some statistical bearing on future measurements, but there is also a contribution to what you measure that has no persistence into the future.

    In the IQ examples, the “future measurements” are the children’s IQ. The parents IQ gives some information about the offspring IQ, but chance plays a role too. The really tempting thing is that when you hear someone has a 130 IQ is to assume that the underlying genetic IQ is also 130, but if you do that, you will never understand this phenomenon. If you have a 130 IQ, it is much more likely that luck is on your side than against you, just as it is much more likely that genes are on your side than that it’s all luck (there is a symmetry between the two). This means that the population of people with a 130 IQ actually on average has a genetic IQ less than 130 (though a few will have more), because chance is accounting for some of the result.

    Hope that clears it up.

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  53. There is another reason to question hereditarian explanations for cognitive ability. BGI Shenzhen sequenced and analyzed the genomes of several thousand smart and not-so-smart individuals. They failed to identify any strong correlates between genes and cognitive ability. They have said that successful identification of such correlates will require the sequencing and analysis of the genomes of at least a million individuals.

    Its possible that cognitive ability is rooted in epigenetics (DNA Methylation). It may also be determined in the biochemical environment of the womb during gestation.

  54. says:
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    I agree with everything you wrote except the last two paragraphs. It is not reasonable to assume g_imm is g. People with exceptional IQ’s as a population tend to have a higher than average non-genetic factor contributing to their IQ just as they tend to have a higher genetic contribution. That has to be the case statistically.

    g_imm should be between g_mean1 and g. Where in between depends on the heritability, and non-homogeneity of the source population is also a complicating factor.

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  55. Interesting article. However, I didn’t seem seem to read word one about culture, specifically the American Ghetto/Urban Sharecropper culture that seems to discourage parenting and intact families, academic achievement, and self-control. Wholly disfunctional, it stands in stark contrast to, say, the Jamicans, who do seem to value and stress academics, intact families, a work ethic, emotional control and self discipline. In other words, they’re high-functioning mainstream.

    Just a thought.

    VicB3

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  56. Thanks for clarification. So with your argument you are pretty much trashing the main argument of the article.

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  57. So, the best that Africa has to offer can measure up to the non black US average, and this means that ‘tabula rasa’ is valid? Some magical contortions going on here.

    I guess next Chanda is going to propose that blacks are athletically average. Or was ‘intellectually equal and more physically gifted’ the goal to begin with? Typical progressive dogma; physical differences are freely admitted, differences in mental ability must be rationalized away at all costs. One such cost is progress, which can’t be made until we’re ready to look at the issue honestly.

    There is a very poor understanding of regression to the mean here. If two parents both have IQs of 130, then thier mean average is 130. Why would you average the IQs of individuals who didn’t contribute any genetic material into the mean? If you’re going to consider the mean average of the larger group as the point being regressed towards, you need to bring their genes into the equation. Thus if a parent with an IQ of 130 pairs with someone whose IQ is the larger group’s mean (100), then you can expect a regression towards the larger groups mean. But not because it has anything to do with the larger group’s mean, it is because the new mean average of the parents is 115.

    Also, when you measure regression by scholastic achievement, you have to factor in that children of elites rarely have the ‘want to’ of their parents, due to their upbringing. Scholastic achievement is not entirely based on IQ.

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  58. ” this convergences happens faster for African immigrants than for any other group, suggesting that genetic regression is a stronger force, as the hereditarian view would predict. ”

    That’s one view, but you do have to consider that there is a very powerful anti-academic bias among African-Americans, and as the kids are brought up here, they are going to face strong pressure to ‘act black’. Some of them are going to succumb.

  59. Doesn’t mean that ‘tabula rasa’ is valid, just that some subgroups of Africans are highly intelligent. That doesn’t mean genetics don’t play a factor in our current racial troubles, with a different group of people of African descent.

  60. Notice I said “if most immigrants are like the child’s parents, then a decent guess for g_imm is just g.” Put another way: if all immigrating pairs are like the original pair I assumed, then when we do the heritability calculation to find g, we must get the same answer. So g_imm = g. I’ve already accounted for non-heritable factors: g < x.

    Now if the original pair is exceptional *even among the immigrants*, then you would be right.

    Heritability is a single-generation phenomenon: it gets you from the phenotype to the breeding value (or an estimate of it). From there on, it's all breeding.

  61. lottery winners never have children who also win the lottery.

    When you’re talking about genetic lottery, of course they do. It’s even more likely, relatively speaking. What are the genetic lotto balls from which a child’s draw is made, if not the parents’ genes? This is consistent with both hereditarianism and regression to the mean.

    I’m not sure what the point of this article is. If it’s to dispute hereditarianism, then showing a persistently high performance of a small sub-group (despite poverty!) is a curious way to go about it. If it’s to argue that the “black” IQ estimates are too low, then again singling out a small subset of blacks (e.g. Igbo immigrants to the West) is a non-starter. After all, you could do the same kind of analysis with the Chinese, the Indians (especially), and, gasp!, even whites. What are the average IQ and educational achievement of a white Episcopalian American expatriates in China, for example? I suspect they will be significantly higher than those of white Americans in general.

    Apparently, children of African immigrants are doing quite well. A perverse consequence of this, unmentioned in the article, is that they often clean up top affirmative action slots originally meant for descendants of America’s slaves. Still, ethnic boosterism feels good and everyone deserves it now and then. I will caution, though, that any inclusion of Kofi Annan as an example of excellence is in fact damning with faint praise.

  62. I wouldn’t say I trashed the original article. I’m just pointing out that the regression-to-the-mean argument is flawed. But that’s only a small part of the article. I don’t know anything about IQ variation within Africa, but it strikes me as likely that different subpopulations would show variation.

    I’d like to point out that regression to the mean is not an exclusively genetic phenomenon. It’s a statistical phenomenon that ultimately arises from persistence of quantities that can only be measured with error. In the case of genetics, the persisting thing is the genetic value, and the error is the environmental variance. But it could arise other ways: suppose that there are cryptically transmitted environmental and cultural variables that drive behavior, but we can only measure these with error. This would also yield regression to the mean, just like quantitative genetics (in short, replace “genetic value” with “cultural value”). So regression to the mean alone isn’t good evidence of heredity. (Twin studies are.)

    Another demonstration of this: give a classroom a series of tests. You will observe regression to the mean across test scores: people who score really well on the first test tend not to do as well on the next. Why? Because at least part of their great scores were due to chance (depending on how hard the test is, etc.). This isn’t a matter of heritability, it’s about measurement error around one’s “true skill.”

  63. Nor is it simply elite migration; I see working class Nigerians routinely vastly out perform the (literal) princes of other nations.

    There is a creeping danger of equivocation in this bit. The hereditarian is going to argue for selective immigration of the cognitive elite which may or may not be coextensive with the economic, political, and social elite. As long as you believe that the economic returns to cognitive skill are higher in the developed world (and how could you fail to believe this?), then you should also find selective immigration of the cognitive elite plausible.

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  64. Great article. My personal and 100% anecdotal observations completely coincide with the article’s thesis. That is, I have seen African and European blacks do perfectly fine at the highest levels of education in tough stem disciplines.

    But I’ve never seen American blacks do well in even ordinary first year university technical classes.

    To put it bluntly, successful African and European black people seem to be European-minded. They have European ideals, European manners, and European aspirations.
    While “African Americans” seem to be gangsta-minded.

  65. Bingo. How much of a role does assortative mating play in all of this?

    Heck, how much of a role is assortative mating playing in society in general these days? Has there ever been a time in history when we segregated people by intelligence and then left them to do what nature does when you put young men and women together, i.e. have babies?

  66. ‘Measure up’ to the non-black average? You wish.

    They are SIGNIFICANTLY higher than the non-black average in the UK. By a lot.

    Higher than Chinese as well.

    First of all, that the ‘best Africa can offer’ should outperform the white elite – Eton educated whites – as well as the ‘best China can offer’ (since presumably chinese immigration is selective as well) is itself hugely distubing.

    Second, the criticism that these are non-random samples has been addressed in the article, yet conveniently ignored by everyone bringing up the selective immigration idea.

    For a long time the data about IQ, I felt, very inadequately described what we see in the real world (for instance high IQ Asian nations are neither the wealthiest nor the best intellectual performers, and similar IQ European nations with similar institutional advantages yet display intellectual output of vastly differing quality, and have historically), and that the HBD people discussed IQ in so unintelligent a manner, simply ignoring glaring discrepancies and prefering abstractions to chaotic reality in a bland self satisfied manner that one might expect from the first person in a rural village to get a college diploma and is still excited that he learned some math, that it’s hugely refreshing to see even more discrepancies come to light.

    The truth is that now IQ has only limited ability to tell us anything about human achievement, and much more work has to be done.

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  67. Your first sentence suggests that you see putting the black-white IQ gap to rest as a mission/goal. Why shouldn’t we want to understand the truth?

  68. “Doesn’t mean that ‘tabula rasa’ is valid, just that some subgroups of Africans are highly intelligent.”

    I wish we could get our progressive leaders to admit even this much. But their political agenda trumps all, and thus any “immigrant” who is likely to vote for them is declared just as good as any other immigrant. Under this agenda, we have fashioned a program that enables certain segments of society to reproduce as rapidly as possible. And what members of society will accept a career in raising as many children as possible? (with bonus money for raising them in a single parent household) Well, it ain’t our best and brightest, that’s for sure.

    This is the problem I have with our societal engineers, an examination of their actions quickly reveals that they have no interest in engineering a society that benefits humanity, their sole interest is short term benefit to themselves. A focus on propagating the least productive members of society in order to create a government dependent class does not benefit that society unless one were to consider the entrenchment of a ruling class a benefit. Personally, I see this entrenchment as unavoidable in the long term, and perhaps beneficial if that ruling class did have the advancement of humanity as a prime consideration. But this potential ruling class is actively sabotaging humanity to advance themselves.

    Here’s a couple of questions for our resident mathematicians. The mean IQ of a group is 100. One particular member of the group is above average at 110. This member pairs with another member of the group whose IQ is unknown. What would be the expected IQ of the offspring?
    A: Save your answers, no one cares.

    Second question:
    The IQ of the second member is known, it is 190. Will the expected IQ of the offspring regress towards the mean of the group (-110), or will it regress towards the mean average of the parents? (150)
    A: Mathematicians; lots of brains, no common sense.

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  69. Typical progressive dogma; physical differences are freely admitted, differences in mental ability must be rationalized away at all costs.

    That’s only for cognitive traits. For physical traits, i.e. sex, the progressive reminds us that it is what is in the mind that counts. Chelsea Manning and Chaz Bono know all too well: “WO! I fell like a she-man!”

  70. if you compare non-random samples, you will not generalizable results.

    For those wanderers who find this article too long and tedious to read and advance to the comments, I am bumping Drake’s words here to confirm that you did not miss anything.

  71. Jensen’s argument of global racial IQ differences was largely based on extrapolations from US data to the world. It is certainly possible that the African American population, or the white American population, or both, are greatly genetically different from the rest of the black and white races, respectively, when it comes to IQ genes, due to strong selective pressures specific to these populations. However, the admittedly spotty international IQ data that have traditionally been available have been consistent with the thesis that the robustly attested black-white IQ gap in America reflects a global racial reality, justifying Jensen’s hypothesis of deep evolutionary roots for the gap.

    Traditionally, the black-white gap in the UK has been smaller than in the US, but a parsimonious explanation for this has been selective immigration: voluntary immigrants tend to be cognitively selected. As others have pointed out, selective immigration is not an “environmentalist” explanation but simply a logical and statistical one. I don’t think anyone would claim that immigrants are a random sample of their populations of origin.

    In recent years, some data from the UK have suggested that the black-white IQ gap in the UK has more or less closed. This appears to have happened very suddenly during the last 10-15 years. This is not expected on hereditarian grounds because cognitive selection among immigrants would have to have been extreme. The best evidence for the closing of the gap comes from GCSE results. On the other hand, GCSEs have seen extreme grade inflation over the very period when this closing happened (PISA exam results for the UK have declined over the same time period).

    As Anonymous pointed out above, blacks constitute only 1.2 percent of all students securing A*AA or better at A-levels (secondary school leaving qualifications), which are more difficult than GCSEs and taken at a later age. Blacks are 3 percent of the British population and a larger percentage of younger cohorts, so they appear to be strongly underrepresented among the very best students, regardless of Chisala’s anecdotes to the contrary.

    So, the British situation, while showing some good evidence of IQ convergence between whites and blacks, remains unclear.

    When it comes to America, Chisala’s case is entirely anecdotal and unconvincing. The fact that black immigrants and their children tend to attend exclusive educational institutions can be explained by reference to selective immigration and affirmative action. John Fuerst has showed that the children and grandchildren of black immigrants in America have similar IQs to slave-descended African-Americans.

    It is reasonable to expect there to be black populations in Africa with higher natural intellectual capacities than others. Any data firmly showing this remain scarce, though.

  72. “Second, the criticism that these are non-random samples has been addressed in the article, yet conveniently ignored by everyone bringing up the selective immigration idea.”

    So you understand that this was a whole lot of cherry picking, yet you want to pretend it is somehow representative. Gee, I don’t know why everyone won’t play along.

  73. This essay is confused about Jensen’s arguments, regression toward the mean, the distributions of IQ scores, the hereditarian position, etc. Extreme environmentalists have existed in the past, and this may still represent a PC stance; “hereditarians” have always accepted a substantial environmental influence on IQ scores. Isn’t dividing Africans into tribal groups hereditarian (racist)? We still have the lack of intellectual achievement in Africa and the Caribbean to explain. Advances in genetics will probably provide some answers in a decade or two. Let’s hope we will someday see the end of confused argumentation.

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  74. Has there been any data of how many blacks, including sub-sets like Igbo, Caribbean, etc, get National Merit Scholarships . In the 2015 list, for California, total winners = 2100, of which ;
    1100 are Orientals, 330 are Indians

    http://www.docstoc.com/docs/172418022/2015-National-Merit-Semifinalists-in-California

  75. “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.  Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”

    https://chandachisala.wordpress.com/about/

    Looks like Mr. Chisala is working hard to manufacture the facts that will fit his theories.

  76. This article reminded me of something Razib Khan posted several months ago…

    http://www.unz.com/gnxp/back-to-africa-and-the-bantu-explosion/

    Here are a few of the most important snippets:

    For far too long Africa was conceived of as a blackbox in genetic terms, eternally useful as an outgroup, basal to the rest of humanity…. Yes, everyone could agree that there were back migrations along the periphery of the continent, the great swath north of the Sahara around to the Horn of Africa, but Sub-Saharan Africa was neglected in these treatments. No more….

    For me the big topline result is in the figure above, where you see the collection of results suggestiong admixture into African populations from Eurasia and also between agriculturalists and hunter-gatherers….

    What is more interesting is that they observed Eurasian admixture within Yoruba people. This admixture has been suggested by others, as the Yoruba have traces of Neandertal ancestry. This group dates the admixture back to nearly 10,000 years ago, so it as likely associated with goings on that were trans-Saharan.

    Personally, I know a lot of Igbo who are highly educated, often physicians. I have also noticed that many have a skin tone and eye color (light brown) that one would not initially expect in West Africans. It would be ironic if their high achievement, rather than refuting the genetic hypothesis, actually ends up strengthening it!! I doubt too many researchers will be too gung-ho about trying to find out if there is a correlation between high African educational achievement and percentage of Eurasian ancestry though…

  77. says:
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    Jamaica has atrocious levels of violence and disfunction, worse than the US by far.

    Again, you are looking at a small, elite sample of Jamaican immigrants who have the education and aptitude to get to the US in the first place – and comparing them to the *average* American black. It’s not a useful comparison.

  78. Ancient Igbo, Benin, and Yoruba art was quite sophisticated for its time. Perhaps more than European at the same time. It reminds me a bit of Chinese art.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ife

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benin_Bronzes

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeology_of_Igbo-Ukwu

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  79. Great comment.

  80. I am highly skeptical about your lauding of “high-end” black Africans outperforming “high-end” (if that is what you actually meant by “elite”; the two overlap but are not necessarily synonymous) white Americans. There is quite a bit of variety even within the top 1000 of anything, but the fact that a given member of group A has a lower mark than a given member of group B in no way precludes group A from having a higher mean, median and/or mode than group B. Or vice-versa. Relatively few who take the position that a genetic role in IQ goes a way to explaining mean, median and mode for various differentials between phenotypes argue otherwise.

    In the same vein, relatively few who argue that genetics plays an important role in the outcome of an individual’s IQ argue that it is the only important factor.

    Most critics of cognitive racial determinism or of “biological determinism” appear to want to lump anyone who accepts such a correlation or role under those rubrics and discredit them summarily, on the basis of guilt by supposed association with those who would have us believe that the genes which produce dark skin, nappy hair and broad noses are responsible for cognitive ability or that environmental inputs do not significantly alter the expression of cognitive traits. But it’s easier to argue against a caricature than to engage in actual science, isn’t it?

    To wit, you also appear to confuse “human achievement” and “human development.” Those are even more complex topics as we move to societal scales even further removed from the individual, but a case can still be made that civilizational and economic *potential* is strongly correlated with average IQ. It is less than exact science but if you accept that there is more to truth than the scientific method it can be quite powerful.

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  81. Let these people produce actual IQ scores (As Lynn, Rushton, etc have done) from within Nigeria and other African nations themselves and not look simply at the few immigrants that arrive to Western nations.

    The whole point of comparing IQs of different races within a country (like the UK or the US) is to eliminate the “environment” variable. Since everyone agrees that the “environment” in countries like Nigeria is much crappier than that in countries like the UK, such measurements as you propose will do nothing to change anyone’s mind. Non-hereditarians will point out that the studies haven’t been controlled for environmental factors, and HBDers like you will stick to your guns and claim that blacks have lower IQs.

    If, as you HBDers claim, IQ is determined by race, then the IQs of immigrant children must regress toward a lower African mean, regardless of which portion of the source population gets to immigrate. And the writer has written a long article attempting to show that such regression does not occur. An article which you evidently did not bother to read in full.

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  82. This comment section is loaded with trolls. I take it Chanda brought them with her.

  83. Wait, are there people seriously arguing that the Amish are genetically predisposed towards collectivism?
    Or “Asians” (which ones?) for that matter.

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  84. says:
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    Mean % difference from England mean, 2010-11 ; Ethnicities:
    Nigerian +21,8; White British/English -2,3 ; Italian 2,8; Albanian and Kosovar 12; Turkish/Turkish Cypriot -19,7%; Pakiusatn mirpuri -23; White Eastern European -23,7

    There must be a reason for those funny results. Let´s take a look at the PISA 2012 results

    Mean score mathematics:
    Estonia 521; Poland 518; Slovenia 501; Czech Republic 499; United Kingdom 494; Latvia 491; Portugal 487, Italy 485, Slovakia 482, USA 481, Lithuania 479; Israel 466; Turkey 448, Cyprus 440; Albania 394; Tunisia 388; Indonesia 375

    Mean score science:
    Estonia 541; Poland 526; Slovenia 514; Czech Republic 508; United Kingdom 514; Latvia 502, USA 497, Lithuania 496, Italy 494, Portugal 489, Israel 470; Turkey 463, Cyprus 438; Albania 397; Tunisia 398; Indonesia 382

  85. “the IQs of immigrant children must regress toward a lower African mean, regardless of which portion of the source population gets to immigrate.”

    No, this is not what genetics predicts. Read comment #47 to see why not. Excuse the self promotion.

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  86. So the IQ data about blacks are consistent with lack of achievement in Africa.

    Do you feel the IQ data do a good job explaining the difference in intellectual achievement (and even wealth) between Asia and Europe, and between similar European countries? Or the fact that American Asians are 15%-20% of our elite universities (and should be much more), yet bring in only 5% of American Nobel’s?

    I know – you will reach for a host of non-IQ environmental factors.

    Yet such factors, apparently, can only be selectively applied to patch up holes in the IQ theory. Got it.

    Its sort of like the multiverse in physics – presented as an explanatory triumph, yet in reality is a theoretical invention to help hide the inadequacy of physics to explain everything.

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  87. Yes on both.

    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=amish+quotient

    https://hbdchick.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/big-summary-post-on-the-hajnal-line/

    Amish selected into their lifestyle and have seen their less collectivist members leave, so it would be quite impossible for that not to leave a genetic mark.

  88. So…in conclusion, eleven year-old blacks are at the bottom (more or less) of the IQ hierarchy in the UK, much like in the US, but the bottom there is higher. And the Chinese eleven year-olds over there are really smart—well, on two out of three tests, and perhaps their relatively low verbal reasoning score is partially a language thing, but the other immigrant groups do not seem to have been hit nearly as hard.

    Or maybe black and East Asian IQ is no higher there than here, while white British IQ is lower than the rest of whites in the Anglosphere, it’s just that the British IQ on this test is artificially inflated somehow. That might explain why despite this test showing a fairly high white British IQ, they do significantly worse than the rest of us on PISA tests.

    I’m not sure how relevant course pass-rates are, especially when the majority of all groups are passing. Show me numerical scores. Don’t the British take something like the SAT? I actually thought they did, and that the GCSE was just a preliminary.

    Maybe the Igbo, or whatever other African group, do have high IQs. But this is hardly conclusive evidence. You hypothesis that they have a high IQ based on their course pass-rates, but the only IQ chart you provide does not (at the racial group level anyways) seem to correspond all that strongly to pass-rates. The IQ chart shows Caribbean blacks as equal or slightly higher than African blacks, but their pass-rates are significantly lower, and it shows whites scoring at least as high as Indians, but they too have significantly lower pass-rates.

  89. 1. Sure. Applies to all groups, not just blacks.

    2. Regression to the mean is a mathematical fact, not a theory. You can beat it with assortative mating, but that doesn’t falsify it.

    3. Yeah, there’s evidence that the upper tail, too, is fatter than expected based on the normality assumption, but this isn’t really relevant here. The lower tail is fatter than expected because of large-effect mutations and the like.

  90. “Wait, are there people seriously arguing that the Amish are genetically predisposed towards collectivism?”

    Evolutionary theorists Henry Harpending and Gregory Cochran have recently argued that the Amish….“have probably experienced selection for increased Amishness—an increase in the degree to which Amish find their lifestyle congenial, since those who like it least, leave.”

    http://takimag.com/article/race_of_the_amish_steve_sailer/print

  91. “Second question:
    The IQ of the second member is known, it is 190. Will the expected IQ of the offspring regress towards the mean of the group (100), or will it regress towards the mean average of the parents? (150)”
    (I assumed you mean to write “100″ instead of “-110.”)

    Neither. But math is beneath you, so I won’t elaborate.

  92. “…since humans use only a small portion of the brain for what defined as “cognition”…
    What empirical evidence can you offer to support this statement?

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  93. You did suggest a great puzzle!

  94. RCB, Your argument is contradicted by the data. Children of high IQ, wealthy native black Americans do apparently regress toward a lower mean than whites. By your argument, that shouldn’t happen (since they are quite assortatively mated, which would be the equivalent of African immigrants marrying each other).

    As for others who are correcting my formulation of regression to the mean, I did not mean (obviously) that the IQ of African immigrant children should become equal to the average IQ in Africa. That’s not what regression “to” [or "toward"] the mean means. However, whatever regression happens to the immigrant blacks, it should be more than the regression that happens, not just to whites, but even to elite native blacks (see paragraph above), assuming that Jensen was right.

    Finally (for others still), this article is not about proving that everything that hereditarians say is false. Its limited objectives are clearly laid out in the article.

    (Oh, final finally: another commenter took issue with my use of the word ‘racial’; s/he is probably confusing it with the word ‘racist’.)

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  95. Wally [AKA "BobbyBeGood"]
    says:
    • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment

    ” … white admixture is not necessarily a magic IQ raiser …”

    I submit that whites who breed with blacks generally have much lower IQs than whites in general.

    Thanks

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  96. Concerning selective immigration from countries like Nigeria I actually doubt that it can be that selective, at least not in a meritocratic sense. In third world countries those who get things – like visa, green cards, a fake passport – are often not those who achieve most in a cognitive sense, but those who have the best contacts to people in offices, who are most corrupt etc.

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  97. So why does this researcher have to go to fairly specific scenarios to find some level of parity between black and white IQ? Confirmation bias involved? Possibly, but I also think it’s probable that there are notable differences from nation to nation in sub-Saharan Africa. I remember a few Nigerian foreign students in college being bright…probably better students than me ( but I wasn’t that great.) They also had a far more agreeable, engaging and academically confident attitude than American blacks. Not even in the same ballpark. This was 35 years ago.

    My wife – an academic – has often told me that minority grad students and colleagues who have come from affirmative action sources just aren’t up to snuff. (Asians are bright, though language can be a barrier.) She did say, however, that she had a Jamaican grad student who was very good.

    Still, I find the following “evidence” this researcher presents as something less than scientific (at least when trying to make a case for a larger population):

    In the world of intellectually gifted schools, perhaps the most selective in the United States is a special program called the Davidson Academy started by Jan and Bob Davison in 2006 in Reno, Nevada. The tiny school boasts of selecting only the most profoundly gifted children (the highest of the five levels of giftedness) whose IQ is so high that “only one in every ten thousand children in America” can qualify to the school in any one cohort; it is more selective than Stanford or Harvard can ever be. The school makes no efforts or pretensions to affirmative action and as such, they have had very little “diversity.” However, a search through the promotional materials of the school for a black student – all schools and colleges will always show some black faces in their promotional materials if they have any – reveals that they have had at least one black student, and it was, unsurprisingly, a Nigerian Igbo name (the parent is interviewed in the ad posted on Youtube).

  98. Now where have I heard this idea before…

    Oh yeah!

    Jede Kreuzung zweier nicht ganz gleich hoher Wesen gibt als Produkt ein Mittelding zwischen der Höhe der beiden Eltern. Das heißt also: das Junge wird wohl höher stehen als die rassisch niedrigere Hälfte des Elternpaares, allein nicht so hoch wie die höhere. Folglich wird es im Kampf gegen diese höhere später unterliegen. Solche Paarung widerspricht aber dem Willen der Natur zur Höherzüchtung des Lebens überhaupt. Die Voraussetzung hierzu liegt nicht im Verbinden von Höher- und Minderwertigem, sondern im restlosen Siege des ersteren. Der Stärkere hat zu herrschen und sich nicht mit dem Schwächeren zu verschmelzen, um so die eigene Größe zu opfern. Nur der geborene Schwächling kann dies als grausam empfinden, dafür aber ist er auch nur ein schwacher und beschränkter Mensch; denn würde dieses Gesetz nicht herrschen, wäre ja jede vorstellbare Höherentwicklung aller organischen Lebewesen undenkbar.

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  99. Hello Chanda,

    You must have missed my paper:

    Fuerst, J. (2014). Ethnic/Race Differences in Aptitude by Generation in the United States: An Exploratory Meta-analysis. Open Differential Psychology.

    I showed, based on the results from 18 nationally or semi-nationally representative samples, that first and second generation Black immigrants to the U.S. perform, on highly g-loaded tests, about as poorly as do Black natives.

    “Cognitive ability differences between racial/ethnic groups are of interest to social scientists and policy makers. In many discussions of group differences, racial/ethnic groups are treated as monolithic wholes. However, subpopulations within these broad categories need not perform as the racial/ethnic groups do on average. Such subpopulation differences potentially have theoretical import when it comes to causal explanations of racial/ethnic differentials. As no meta analysis has previously been conducted on the topic, we investigated the magnitude of racial/ethnic differences by migrant generations (first, second, and third+). We conducted an exploratory meta-analysis using 18 samples for which we were able to decompose scores by sociologically defined race/ethnicity and immigrant generation. For Blacks and Whites of the same generation, the first, second, and third+ generation B/W d-values were 0.79, 0.79, and 1.00. For Hispanics and Whites of the same generation, the first, second, and third+ generation H/W d-values were 0.76, 0.67, and 0.57. For Asians and Whites of the same generation, the first, second, and third+ generation d-values were -0.08, -0.21, and 0.00. Relative to third+ generation Whites, the average d-values were 0.99, 0.84, and 1.00 for first, second, and third+ generation Black individuals, 1.04, 0.71, and 0.57 for first, second, and third+ generation Hispanic individuals, 0.16, -0.18, and -0.01 for first, second, and third+ generation Asian individuals, and 0.24 and 0.04 for first and second generation Whites.”

    Thus, if you are correct that U.S. Black immigrant excel in educational indices, such as years of schooling attained, it must be that they do so on account of factors other than g.

    That might suggest a possible explanation for the GCSE scores, which are substantially non-g loaded. As for the UK CAT3 results, it so happened that the same version of the test in the U.S. (called CAT7) also showed only a 0.5 SD difference in the standardization sample, one given at the same time as part of a joint country standardization (Lankin and Gambrell, 2012). This opens the possibility that we are dealing with a test construct issue. On the other hand, the most recent A-level results show only about a 0.5 SD difference too.

    This isn’t to say that the UK results are not interesting. They are just not compelling. It is notable that you chose not to mention other results (UKCAT (2005-2014), LNAT, PIAAC (2012), ONS (2000), AMPS (2007) which make any neat explanation difficult. Instead, you more or less recycled an argument which I had previously made: https://z139.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/is-global-race-realism-still-tenable/

    Anyways, if you are interested in serious research, and not repeating points previously made, feel free to contact me.

    “Social experiments concerning the first test have not been decisive, especially due to the difficulty of separating out environmental factors since lighter American blacks have historically faced more favorable socioeconomic conditions.”

    Well, I have a data set which has genomic admixture and cognitive ability data. It would help to have a more diverse set of authors when it comes to analyzing, writing up, and publishing the findings.

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  100. Being myself an Eritrean-American, I can attest to the fact that 1) Eritrean-Americans do far better than African-Americans academically and economically and that 2) this disparity is not due to selective migration. Though in the 70s and early 80s some of the Eritreans who came here were students who simply decided to overstay their visas and to settle permanently, the overwhelming majority of Eritrean-Americans, including my parents, came as refugees fleeing war and poverty. I generally have no problem with accepting the validity of HBD–that is to say, I have no problem with the idea that IQ is at least partly genetic and that the IQ differences between the races, ethnicities, genders, etc, are also at least partly genetic–but I do agree with Mr. Chisala that the experience of African immigrants in the West complicates the matter greatly.

  101. “The hereditarian is going to argue for selective immigration of the cognitive elite ”

    Personally I’m against mass immigration from any highly divergent group unless perhaps there is a critical manpower shortage – eg “We better populate Australia/USA quickly or the Chinese/Spanish will get it” sort of thing. I suspect there is an economic advantage to UK GDP per capita from Igbo immigration, but I’m not sure that makes it a good idea. For one thing, the Igbo tend to compete with and outcompete many natives. For another, more people means less space. Still, it’s a much better idea than mass immigration of many of the low-IQ, high-crime groups we do get.

  102. I wasn’t making an empirical argument, so it can’t be falsified by data. I was explaining how genetic theory allows for the possibility that very smart immigrant parents can have smart children (and grandchildren), even if they come from a country with low IQ. It is perfectly consistent with group-level genetic variation in IQ. It was you who prematurely claimed to have falsified a hypothesis.

    The math exercise was applied to exceptional immigrants, not native black Americans. If native black Americans do mate endogamously, and that population has a lower mean genetic IQ than the white American population, then certainly we expect the descendants of smart black Americans to regress toward the lower mean. You can use the same math to show this, but now assume that x_mean2 < x_mean1.

    As for the regression point: I think I understand you now. The simple hereditarian position would predict that if you took 3 pairs of parents of *equally high* IQ, 1 of which is white European, 1 black American, and 1 black African, then you would expect the lowest IQ among children of the latter. I think that's what you meant in the last comment. Now, if the black African couple comes from a subpopulation with high genetic IQ, then this would be wrong. That's totally plausible, to me. Has this test been done? I'd be curious to know; I don't see any such measurements in your post. I only see you saying that smart immigrants have kids are smarter than the local average, which is a totally different matter.

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  103. Very good article.

    One thing I have noticed here in the US is how white parents make sure their kids receive the help they need to succeed should their kids have ADHD and other challenges. I am convinced that one of the reasons Black American boys do badly in school is many of them have undiagnosed ADHD and other mental/emotional health issues that are left to fester. These kids are very disruptive and so not much learning happens in the classrooms for anybody else.

    Some of these mental/emotional health issues are probably as a result of the stresses of American poverty and its dysfunctions such as poor parenting, child abuse, parental alcoholism and drug addiction and so on. How are these kids to do well in school when they live in chaotic child unfriendly households?

  104. This article says that for or a kid to test into Davidson Academy his IQ has to test at the 99.99th percentile nationwide. Can someone point me to a black man that I can believe has an IQ of 156?

  105. says:
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    So offhand comment, but I don’t think I fully get this regression to the mean thing.

    If the average white has an IQ of 100, then it seems to follow that, as a group, their genetic potential is that of 100- with some having higher (and getting unlucky in terms of their inherited genes, and some having lower (and getting lucky) but the average overall being that the average white with average luck has an IQ of 100.

    Why would this change when it comes to statistically less common IQs? It doesn’t seem to make sense that there is a lower pool of people with the mean genetic potential of IQ 130 than 2% of the population unless that IQ is being selected against when it appears.

    dunno if people are following what I am saying here?

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  106. says:
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    We need a breakdown of 2nd generation Igbo and Yorubi Americans. Studying the aggregate of black immigrant descendents isn’t detailed enough.

    As for sports, this year’s NBA finals MVP is Igbo. His teammate is also Igbo, who turned down Harvard basketball. Their two superstar teammates, which includes this year’s overall MVP, both have 1 black and 1 white parent each.

    It seems clear to me that both Nigerians and mixed black-white athletes do disproportionately well at sports and academia. I’m not aware of any other genetic group that dually talented, other than that one singular multiracial golfer, who was a genetic golfing freak who also attended Stanford.

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  107. American blacks, like people of any color, have been sunk into a life of degradation and violence by the drinking of ardent spirits.
    Africans, on the other hand, are usually Muslim.

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  108. What sort of people gets systematically enslaved, anyhow? And in Africa, no less. I mean, it’s not like the bar is very high over there.

  109. Proof is in the pudding.

    Africa had a stone age civilization when the white man set foot there. They had squat. If they had all these super intelligent blacks then why didn’t they develop a civilization over the last 3000 years instead squatting in grass huts and laying about(black men in Africa don’t work, females do).

    Even to this day, there is no real discernible civilization there, just squalor, corruption and violence on level unknown elsewhere in the world, except say parts of the ME.

    Now folks say they are at the top of STEM fields. I call BS on that. When I start seeing black principal design engineers at Xmos, Intel, Nvida, AMD, Cypress or even Google I’ll be impressed.

    Right now those companies are loaded with Chinese, Hindus and Whites in the brains department.

    In the medical field I’ve met a couple of blacks from Africa, I wouldn’t let them touch me. They were incompetent, they didn’t wash their hands before touching a patient, couldn’t communicate very well, and they didn’t like whites.

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  110. Clear response but genetics is not luck like drawing coins from an urn. I think it is more a situation in which we do not know yet exactly how the genes are related to intelligence (different genes interactive, recessive genes, epigenetic switching on and off). So if we could track everything the only random component would be mutations.

    If for instance slaves had lower intelligence because the most intelligent were not caught as slaves and the current immigration of say Nigerians are the university educated, then I do not understand how we can talk about the same underlying ancestral population. (compare Ashkenazi Jews).

    The article claims that the recent immigrants’ children do not regress towards the mean as expected by Jensen (as interpreted by the author). In my mind this indicates that the parent generation is not representative of any larger black population. A claim made by the author.

  111. @Prized Igbonels

    The Black immigrant population is too small to do this for actual measures of cognitive ability. One ends up decreasing the sample size and, as a result, increasing the confidence intervals of the estimates (and thus decreasing their reliability). That said, I did look at some SAT/ACT scores at elite schools in the U.S. by nations of origin, here:

    Fuerst, J., & Kirkegaard, E. O. W. (2014). Do National IQs Predict U.S. Immigrant Cognitive Ability and Outcomes? An Analysis of the National Longitudinal Survey of Freshman. Open Differential Psychology.

    I noticed nothing remarkable concerning variance for the (small) self identified Black/African sample. (Data is in the Suppl. File.) Also, the standard deviations in the Black immigrant samples are not inflated as one might expect were it true that Black immigrants from different nations vary wildly in measured cognitive ability.

    Generally, the only way you can currently do such national analyses is to use cognitive proxies such as educational attainment. This, of course, is problematic since these measures involve large non-g components. Also, for some indexes, positive discrimination is a factor — for example in the NLSF elite school survey both Black Africans and Black West Indians scored ~ 1Sd below the white mean, yet were not underrepresented in attendance, as one would expect if selection was solely based on aptitude (indeed they were wildly over-represented).

    If you want to make your case, try to find some actual cognitive data by nation of origin.

  112. You write

    The truth is that now IQ has only limited ability to tell us anything about human achievement, and much more work has to be done.

    One study showed that if you had IQ 140 or 150 did not explain human achievement. There might be countervailing forces. The 150 person might require more stimulation that might not be available. Or the 150 might cruise along and become more lazy for cultural reasons. However, if you compare across the relevant span of IQ, the situation is different. Add a person with IQ=80 and one with IQ=110 and you will see a clear picture of IQ having a huge ability to predict human achievement. Naturally, environmental factors matter too so it is not full determinism from the individual’s perspective.

  113. “I wasn’t making an empirical argument, so it can’t be falsified by data.”

    I don’t know what that means, but we can let that one go [from where I stand, theoretical arguments/explanations etc can be contradicted by data even if you're not "making an empirical argument"]. But let me get to your main point:

    “Now, if the black African couple comes from a subpopulation with high genetic IQ, then this would be wrong. That’s totally plausible, to me…”

    Correct. But this plausible alternative scenario precisely falsifies the racial genetic hypothesis. If there are African “subpopulations” (by which I believe you mean nations or tribes/ethnicities etc) that have a genetic mean IQ that is higher than the genetic mean of whites (or black Americans), then the American black-white gap can not be due to the “blackness”, genetically, since that subpopulation is also black. You’re agreeing with me by disagreeing with me!

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  114. I should note also that I was responding to claims such as the following:

    “The black Caribbean immigrant IQ of 83 (assuming it is represented under “Central America/Carribean”), which is lower than Alabama’s black IQ, is even more implausible in the context of their well-noted achievements.”

    Again, I looked at numerous samples and found that the U.S. meta-analytic first generation Black – native White gap was 15 points and that the second generation Black – native White gap was 13 points. The few samples that decomposed differences by African and West Indian origin did not show marked differences. Implausible as it may seem, this is what it is.

    Unfortunately, my cross-temporal meta-analysis of cognitive differences in the U.K. has been put on indefinite hold. I will just note that the general results are difficult to interpret.

  115. A country, a people, a nation is only as good as its average citizen.

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  116. Chisala has a 4 part series on ‘how Black pride produces poverty’ on his website which describes the ghetto mentality.

  117. Chuck: “It is notable that you chose not to mention other results (UKCAT (2005-2014), LNAT, PIAAC (2012), ONS (2000), AMPS (2007) which make any neat explanation difficult.”

    Do those results (and your research) make subdivisions into nationalities/ethnicities etc? You probably don’t understand the point I was making on the uk data (which may be why you think I was repeating your points!). In the article I do explicitly acknowledge that some of this data was already noticed in the HBD blogosphere and some of the logical implications were noted [the very first comment in your article tells you that others had analyzed this data before you]. My only aim here was to point out that the black African group in this analyzed UK data was not divided into its subgroups, which means the discussions were on data that was not as convincing as the current sub-grouped data.

    Chuck: “Thus, if you are correct that U.S. Black immigrant excel in educational indices, such as years of schooling attained, it must be that they do so on account of factors other than g.”

    Yes, such as.

    I will take a look at your paper, but this point reminds me of something in computing called the Turing Test. If black immigrants are excelling in educational indices which native blacks do not excel in, and this failure has been attributed (ultimately) to their lower g (by hereditarians), then if black immigrants are excelling using “factors other than g” that somehow mimic a high g, the hereditarian case is obviously weakened (or pointless).

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  118. A country has no credit but in its prophets.

  119. Here’s a really simple explanation–selection bias. Very few black Africans have the money or motivation to get to the West. Those that do are much more intelligent than the average subSaharan African…

  120. in the us we know white british are the dumbest you sent us piers morgan

  121. By definition, of course, IQ is not an “issue”, it is just a fact of life. Some people are more intelligent than others….so what?

  122. Correct. But this plausible alternative scenario precisely falsifies the racial genetic hypothesis. If there are African “subpopulations” (by which I believe you mean nations or tribes/ethnicities etc) that have a genetic mean IQ that is higher than the genetic mean of whites (or black Americans), then the American black-white gap can not be due to the “blackness”, genetically, since that subpopulation is also black. You’re agreeing with me by disagreeing with me!

    The average woman in the WNBA is taller than the average male. Thus, “gender” can’t explain that male-female difference in height in the United States.

    That argument is indistinguishable from the one you’re making here.

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  123. Oh my god’ – is it true – African blacks are smarter than American blacks – same genetics – what happened – how did African blacks evolve smarter than American blacks?

    Did 200 years of slavery and 100 years of Jim Crow and 50 years of family crushing politics by the Jews retard black folks.

    Hmm – it’s true – America has retarded its black people!

    What other logical conclusion can an honest person come too?

    p.s. Truth is a bitch.

  124. In other words, the question that Jensen and others try to answer is whether the black-white IQ gap in the United States can be explained by genetics. Furthermore, people claim that the different fates of Europe and Africa can be explained partly by genes.

    No one claims that there’s this magical quality called “blackness” that automatically makes any group that has that quality less intelligent than others.

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  125. this in not what you think I alluded to, (about the 10% urban myth). I do have friends at 2 top institutions, doing incredible work in the area of elevating “cognition” and indeed defining consciousness.

  126. Chanda I totally agree with your premise, analysis and conclusions. The fact that US blacks are greatly drawn from West African populations, and West African sub-ethnicities clearly demonstrate superior capabilities, a very reasonable conclusion is that the common property of “blackness” does not explain the gap observed in the US. While this might be a missing variables problem (and I can easily think of what that might be!), the question of averages, that someone down the thread disputes as being explanatory, was actually dealt by you (if I am not mistaken) via the tight standard deviation of that parameter among, at least, some of the ethnicities.

  127. > Africans, on the other hand, are usually Muslim.

    Mostly what she’s talking about an effect, which is pretty obviously simple elite immigrant selection–African immigrants heavily weighted to the elite with college degrees.

    But notably that the Igbo–which is the largest high performing disapora group–are Christians. Most of the others are mostly Christian. And even in mixed groups, i’d bet the high performing immigrants are skewed so even more particularly. No essentially Muslim African group is high performing.

    Just glancing around the world, at countries with where an ethnic group has religious minorities, Islam seems to knock about five points off a group’s IQ. It’s hard to separate genetics–selection for people who converted to Islam–from environment. But pick most any ethnic group and the Muslim faction of it is generally the dumber faction.

    Yeah, if you’re a drunk, converting to Islam is probably good for you. Otherwise you’re wise to skip it.

  128. If you have to take a special subset of “black and gifteds” and compare it to the “genetic mean of whites,” aren’t you agreeing with RCB by disagreeing?

    Maybe it’s time for the Dustbuster of fate in Africa: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/13/science/no-time-for-bullies-baboons-retool-their-culture.html

    I’ll keep checking back here in case someone can identify for me a black man with a 156 IQ.

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  129. No painting. No perspective. No vanishing points and horizon lines. No bodies with contra postura (weight-shift). No landscapes or believable illusion. No story-telling beyond beetle-faced warriors in full frontal pose. Above all else, no sense of tragedy. The Greeks were doing this and much more by 480 BC.

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  130. Thank you for writing this article as an Ashanti born and raised in America your article rings very true. School came pretty easy for me although I became lazy during my high school years.

    I’m not sure though that these trends among Ghanaians and Nigerians in the USA can continue as many African children marry Black Americans, so some slippage is bound to happen.

  131. This is spoken of among the Ashanti and other slave trading groups in Ghana. The slaves they sold were “useless”. There are accounts by European slave traders complaining about African traders trying to pass off lame slaves and driving hard bargains.

  132. says:
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    “The stubborn refusal of their children to conspicuously regress to the much lower African genetic mean IQ (and not even to the African American mean IQ) predicted by hereditarians is simply inexplicable.”

    It is quite explicable: the children of middle-upper class whites don’t regress to the “Walmart white” mean. It is a form of economic class gene-culture co-evolution.

  133. Chanda brilliant equivalence with the Turing Test premise and threshold!

  134. IQ differences between people with fetal alcohol syndrome, iodine deficiency, prenatal cocaine exposure and traumatic brain injury and those without these maladies apparently aren’t due to g either.

    http://www.iapsych.com/iqmr/fe/LinkedDocuments/flynn2014.pdf

  135. The large table showing the CAT results is for 11 year olds. Numerous studies have demonstrated that the black-white gap increases with age until IQ stabilizes at 18-20 years of age. Therefore that table probably underestimates the meaningful numbers (adult IQ levels)–and it is consequently misleading. It helps to have reasonable knowledge of a field before writing about it. Added to the logical mishaps, statistical blundering, strategic vagueness at various points, and several other informational gaps–this piece comes across as rather clumsy propaganda.

    The only interesting takeaway is the prospect of research into the possibility that Africa may be blessed with some relatively high cognition subpopulations. One possibility along these lines, per Greg Cochran: if a tribe eschewed procreation by older men, then its genetic load would be lower than neighbors practicing polygyny. Evolutionary theory, per Steve Hsu, dictates that lower genetic load tends to equate with higher IQ.

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  136. I actually looked at studies like this a few weeks ago and also found the failure of downward mobility to appear in the second generation surprising. I’m hypothesizing that this is purely due to IQ differences, not ones in effort, mainly due to personal experience. Note that in the graphs, educational outcomes from the Caribbean (which, due to the Caribbean’s ethnic homogeneity and upper-second-world status, should be less controversial than the African) are pretty darn low.

  137. Cracken, it also helps to have reasonable comprehension skills before commenting on an article. The article did give links to a paper that showed that those tests at 11 correlate strongly with other test results at 16.

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  138. Note that there being a large gender gap and a nonexistent class gap among Chinese compared with a tiny gender gap and a jaw-droppingly large class gap among White British is strong evidence for Unz’s “East Asian exception” theory.

  139. To be clear:

    I agree it’s possible that SSA sub-populations (tribes, ethnicities, etc.) vary in genetic intelligence. In fact it’s likely. Perhaps even substantial differences. In that case it wouldn’t be very informative to lump them all together. (You could still, of course, measure an African mean, but it would have a very large standard deviation – again, not very informative.) I’m with you there, although I’d like to see numbers.

    I disagree with your assertion that a persistently successful immigrant community proves that the homeland community is not low mean IQ. I (and others) have shown how this outcome is consistent with a typical hereditarian hypothesis.

    I outlined a good experiment in my last post. If you can provide evidence like the kind I outlined there, it would be a convincing use of regression-to-mean theory. The evidence you have provided so far do not pass that test.

    I don’t have a big stake in the outcome of this debate. I just dislike faulty arguments.

  140. Thanks for your comments. The comparison with Indian sub-populations is interesting — I’ve had plenty of encounters with immigrant Indians here in the USA who were highly intelligent, and the contrast between these men and women with rural Hindus in India proper is striking, despite their physical resemblance.

    There are simply far too many high performing black Africans in the UK; in particular female African students are simply far too good, and consistently so. Nor is it simply elite migration; I see working class Nigerians routinely vastly out perform the (literal) princes of other nations.

    Years back I saw an anthropology program on TV that included mid-20th-century video footage of a very large coastal West African market, most likely from Nigeria. What was striking was that all the buying and selling was done exclusively by women, and in a boisterous manner; the few men who were there were mostly working as physical laborers. Admittedly this is one scene from one town in a vast region, but it’s quite possible that generations of positive selection for sophisticated female merchants has created groups of high intelligence which tends to be particularly consistent among the women.

  141. […] chanda chisala, formerly a visiting fellow at both stanford and the hoover institution, and who is originally from zambia, has written a blogpost at unz.com that’s generating a lot of interesting discussion: The IQ Gap Is No Longer a Black and White Issue. […]

  142. @chanda

    do you have US National Merit Semifinalist data

    For 2015, for CA,
    total 2100 slots
    1100 Orientals
    330 Indians

    how many Igbo or other blacks in this

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  143. If there are African “subpopulations” (by which I believe you mean nations or tribes/ethnicities etc) that have a genetic mean IQ that is higher than the genetic mean of whites (or black Americans), then the American black-white gap can not be due to the “blackness”, genetically, since that subpopulation is also black.

    i agree. mostly. (^_^)

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  144. […] chanda chisala, formerly a visiting fellow at both stanford and the hoover institution, and who is originally from zambia, has written a blogpost at unz.com that’s generating a lot of interesting discussion: The IQ Gap Is No Longer a Black and White Issue. […]

  145. And among MENAs (who are classified as white caucasians by the US Census Bureau) the lowest IQ is that of the levantine syrians and lebanese who are recognized as the closest to europeans in phenotype.

    I’d like to see where you get this claim from, Bliss. Don’t quote Lynn, as others have mentioned he has been pretty thoroughly discredited.

    I picked this out because it rings about as true as “Everyone knows the Swiss are the least intelligent people in Europe.” The Levant has been a crossroads of trade from three continents for millennia. I have a very, very hard time believing that descendants of ancient Phoenicians, Arameans, Assyrians, Akkadians, etc. are less intelligent than the average among, say, Berber Algerians.

    Someone else already noted the exceptional business acumen of Christian Levantine emigrants (not just in Latin America, but also Africa btw). And let’s not forget that Steve Jobs’ biological father was a Syrian Muslim.

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  146. Forgive me for not reading through the multitude of comments. So I apologize in advance if I repeat what’s been already said:

    The fact that black immigrants to the United States have shown achievements that are superior to native black Americans has been a phenomenon studied since at least the 1970′s. At first it was just the Caribbean blacks who were a subject of this unexpected outcome. As black Africans kept immigrating into the US, they showed even higher levels of achievement than the native blacks. Many scholars theorized on the reasons for these differences, from Thomas Sowell’s proposal that this disproved the validity of discrimination against native blacks as an explanation for their underachievement (Sowell, 1978), to other scholars who suggested that these immigrants were just the most highly driven members of their home countries as evidenced by their willingness to migrate to a foreign country (Butcher, 1990).

    What most of these theories failed to predict was that the children of these immigrants would also show exceptional achievements, especially academically. It is only in recent years, as the immigrants have stayed long enough to produce a sufficiently high number of offspring, that it has been observed that they are over-represented among high academic achievers, especially when compared to native blacks, particularly at very elite institutions. What has been missed in the IQ debate is the full logical implication of these achievements: they have effectively nullified any arguments for a racial evolutionary explanation of the well-known IQ test score gap between blacks and whites. Even more fatal for the racial hereditarian side of the debate has been the corroborating data of school children performance in the UK, particularly when the black Africans are divided into their respective nationalities and tribal ethnicities, as reported in the latter section of this article.

    Only a mystery if you think that immigration always gives you a perfectly representative sample of the source population. That’s almost never the case (at the very least, there’s usually going to be selection for willingness to migrate vs. staying put).

    The predictable response of the hereditarians is to adopt the environmentalist argument of super high immigrant selection to explain this unexpected trend: where some environmentalists propose that these immigrants are the most driven achievers in their countries, the hereditarians say they are the most intellectually elite, the ones from the topmost segment of the IQ bell curve in their countries; the outliers who got some lucky genes in an otherwise poor-gene environment. But like the hyper-driven-personality hypothesis, this argument cannot explain the equally, if not more impressive, achievements of their children: lottery winners never have children who also win the lottery.

    The breeder’s equation | West Hunter:

    R = h2 S.

    imagine a set of parents with IQs of 120, drawn from a population with an average IQ of 100. Suppose that the narrow-sense heritability (in that population, in that environment) is 0.5 . The average IQ of their children will be 110. That’s what is usually called regression to the mean.

    The kids get the good additive genes, but have average ‘environmental’ luck – so their average IQ is 110. The luck (10 pts worth) goes away

    The next point is that the luck only goes away once. If you took those kids from the first group, with average IQs of 110, and dropped them on an uninhabited but friendly island, they would presumably get around to mating eventually – and the next generation would also have an IQ of 110.

    This isn’t that hard to understand.

    My family is a high average IQ one from Jamaica. The next generation (mostly all the products of Jamaican immigrants) also have above average IQs, if a bit lower than the previous generation.

    The general rule is this: the bigger the barrier, the better the immigrant (and vice versa). You can see this with Muslim immigrants to Europe vs. Muslims to North America (a matter of crossing the Mediterranean vs. crossing the Atlantic). You can also see this with African and Indian immigrants to the U.S. vs. Mexican and French Canadian immigrants. In the French Canadian migration, the U.S. got an immigrant population that was significantly below the mean of the source population (Quebecois and Acadians in Canada).

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  147. Chanda,

    I appreciate your argument. I will look over the GCSE data, though, generally, I find these test results to be difficult to interpret. For one, it’s difficult to believe that the Nigerian latent ability, relative to the UK White mean, was raised 10 GSCEQ points (going by the pass rate differences) in 8 years. If population scores are this malleable, then, to my mind, this calls them into question.

    I imagine you would argue that prior, in 2003, the UK Nigerian GCSEQ was environmentally/culturally/linguistically depressed, but now it isn’t. Now, you would argue, Nigerians are expressing their latent GSCE ability which is understandably high because they are heavily immigrant selected. Yet the reverse argument works just as well.

    What you need to shown is that differences now are measure invariant (i.e., no psychometric bias) but were not before — thus explaining the secular change. In the US, between (native) Blacks and Whites, MI is fairly established. We know for a fact that manifest differences are commensurate with true cognitive ability ones.

    Now, regarding hereditarian hypotheses, I would make a few observations. First, there is direct population genetic evidence that supports the position that the very populations which you are discussing are genetically depressed in cognitive/educational ability.

    Piffer, Davide (2015): A review of intelligence GWAS hits: their relationship to country IQ and the issue of spatial autocorrelation.

    It seems to me that such evidence must count for something. (If the results replicate with the new batch of 74 cognitive alleles to be released, the evidence will be, seemingly, dispositive.)

    Second, you infer that if a global hereditarian hypothesis is incorrect, then local ones must be. But the logic of migrant selection entails otherwise. It is notable, in this respect, that both Jensen and Eysenck initially suggested migrant selection — slave selection — hypotheses to explain differences in the Americas.

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  148. “i agree. mostly. (^_^)”

    You both are being ridiculous. Race, in the Darwinian sense, is defined in terms of propinquity of descent, which is indexed by neutral variation. Few argue that cognitive differences resulted from drift. Thus, strictly speaking no such differences would be “due to race”. Rather races, owing to differential selection, would coincidentally differ on average in such traits.

    Generally, there is more to race than just behavioral genetic differences (BGD).

  149. says:
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    The Dutch are tall and average about 6 feet in height while the Japanese are about 5 foot 7. It’s easy to see genotype differences when it comes to the physical body, but it’s harder to define their intelligence.

    There’s a risk that people might respond with negative remarks about how caucasians are somehow more “evolved” and advanced if we keep going on about all these testing methods and scores.

    The left wing always talk about equality. I’m concerned how this type of research will upset them and affect the social landscape.

  150. In general, it’s very easy to explain the high IQs of African immigrant kids through selective migration & better nutrition

    http://pumpkinperson.com/2015/01/05/more-thoughts-on-the-high-iqs-of-african-immigrants-in-britain-2/comment-page-1/

    It’s possible that there are specific ethnicities within Africa that are above the black genetic mean analogous to how some speculate that certain castes in india are well above india’s mean, or it could just be random fluctuation (small samples) or more extreme selection in some groups over others.

    It’s also worth noting that these high scores are on scholastic achievement tests, not official IQ tests.

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  151. A fair number of Sub-Saharan African societies were in the Iron Age when they were first discovered by Europeans.

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  152. Interesting article.

    How far could skilled white emigration from the UK be reducing the average IQ of those whites still left in Britain? This academic seems to think so:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/11435529/Britains-brightest-leaving-in-brain-drain-and-replaced-with-low-skilled-migrants.html

  153. What you’ve mostly falsified here is the proposition that American blacks do badly because of societies response and prejudice towards their “blackness” (a sociological term that no hereditarian would use). Bravo.

    What would you propose is the average IQ of Igbo and Yoruba, broad cross sections, in their native africa?

  154. I’d like to see where you get this claim from, Bliss. Don’t quote Lynn, as others have mentioned he has been pretty thoroughly discredited.

    If Lynn is thoroughly discredited so must be all the HBD bloggers who have for years relied on his extensive work on comparative IQ to buttress their race fantasies. So who are you left with? I am just using Richard Lynn’s data to hoist the HBD cultists aka race “realists” with their own petards. Lynn’s most recent (2010) list of national IQs shows Syria with an IQ of 79:

    http://www.ttu.ee/public/m/mart-murdvee/EconPsy/2/Lynn_Meisenberg_2010_National_IQs_calculated_and_validated_for_108_nations.pdf

    The Levant has been a crossroads of trade from three continents for millennia. I have a very, very hard time believing that descendants of ancient Phoenicians, Arameans, Assyrians, Akkadians, etc. are less intelligent than the average among, say, Berber Algerians.

    Unfortunately for you Syria and Lebanon have lower IQ than all of North Africa. Check the above link.

    Btw, according to Lynn the IQ of african-americans outside the South is around 90.

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  155. Maybe the Igbo have somewhat higher IQs than other Nigerians and there is more variation around the mean.

    That could explain the fairly large number of high IQ Igbos.

    -DR

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  156. says:
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    I’ll keep checking back here in case someone can identify for me a black man with a 156 IQ.

    You’re not making a salient point, you’re revealing an upper bound on your intelligence. I’d advise projecting ignorance in lieu of stupidity. It takes seconds.

  157. many black students are actively involved in athletics even when they have a strong academic focus. For example, a check on the Cambridge web site reveals that Chidera Ota, the UK’s best GCSE student in her cohort, was also the fastest runner in the girls 100 and 200 meters team for Cambridge (she qualified to Cambridge’s premed program after subsequently achieving straight A’s on her A-levels).

    This is interesting. Does this mean that african geniuses are less prone to nerdiness? Something similar has also been observed at the other end of the IQ spectrum. Whites with extremely low IQs (<70) look and act retarded while blacks with similar IQs tend to be more normal.

    Btw, I googled Chidera Ota and found that her younger sister is also a super-high achiever academically:

    http://www.kentonline.co.uk/sheerness/news/now-sister-has-great-grades-5287/

    An Eastchurch girl has achieved a star-studded set of GCSE results – almost matching her sister’s top grades three years ago. Chindi Ota, of Leet Close, found out she achieved 13 A*s and two As when she picked up her exam marks from Highsted Grammar School, Sittingbourne, last Thursday. The 16-year-old got the highest grade in English language, English literature, maths, statistics, French, history, biology, chemistry, physics, RE and an ICT qualification worth three GCSEs. The two As were in sociology and German. She is due to start at the King’s School, Canterbury, on Tuesday to study physics, biology, chemistry, maths and further maths A-levels.

    She doesn’t look nerdy either…

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  158. “However, whatever regression happens to the immigrant blacks, it should be more than the regression that happens, not just to whites, but even to elite native blacks (see paragraph above), assuming that Jensen was right.”
    I assume this refers to native blacks’ European ancestry.
    Elite native blacks are largely a creation of government bureaucracy, government job-creation and policies like Affirmative Action. Elite African immigrants are more likely to actually be, cognitively speaking, elite. I would expect the native, U.S. born black upper middle class to regress more.

  159. The author says it takes a 1 in 10,000 IQ to be admitted to Davidson. A black kid tested in. I’m asking for another example. Just one. I suppose you googled it and came up empty.

  160. says:
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    Don’t speak German, but I’m assuming this is some sort of Hitler quote? Can we leave out the Hitler shlock?

    It’s getting old.

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  161. As I suspected — straight from Lynn.

    There’s a false dichotomy here. Either you (a) utterly repudiate the “HBD cult” or (b) accept Lynn’s numbers as holy writ.

    Unfortunately for you Syria and Lebanon have lower IQ than all of North Africa. Check the above link.

    I am not in the (b) camp. In fact, I am in the (-b) camp as Mr. Lynn strikes me as an untrustworthy person. But even if his numbers were omnisciently accurate, it would not be “unfortunate” for me. I have no ancestry there, no friends or relatives with ties to that region. Nor am I “rooting for them” (as I infer the accusation) simply because they are typically lighter-skinned than the average Egyptian.

    I get the impression that some readers here interpret HBD discussions as a convoluted way of saying, “If you’re brown, stick around; if you’re black, get back.” Yep, that kind of attitude is prevalent, but I think you’ll notice that the more intelligent comments (mostly) eschew that simplistic outlook.

    But back to Lynn. I’ve heard multiple accounts from travelers that the sophistication and cogency of the Lebanese is remarkable, especially in contrast to other Arabic-speaking countries. Lynn has its average IQ listed at 82, below Turkey, Palestine, Jordan, Kuwait, the UAE, Oman, Yemen, all the North African countries (excluding Libya, omitted), Venezuela, Indonesia, and yes, even Papua New Guinea. Hmmm.

    Setting that aside, Lynn’s latest has Ghana’s average at 71 and Nigeria’s at 69. So apparently Nigeria is outgunned intellectually by Botswana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania; while barely beating out Swaziland and Lesotho. I would be amazed if both Ghanaians and Nigerians had lower average intelligence than Ugandans.

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  162. What’s your point? I think that low average IQ scores in impoverished countries are an expected result. We wouldn’t expect high averages. I don’t think that much of anything can be inferred from this, except that improving the economic performance of these countries will require an IQ increase. The same is true of blacks in the U.S. Attempts to improve black IQs in the U.S. have not succeeded, with the possible exception of the Abecedarian attempt — but the reported improvement from that expensive and intensive project is not convincing. The primary cause of poor performance among blacks is the low average IQ. Future research in genetics may provide some answers and maybe even solutions. Let us hope.

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  163. The Igbo have a class system where the Osu class are equivalent to the untouchables of India. Crossing the class barrier through marriage is not looked upon favourably. The elite Igbo’s higher IQ may be a result of generations of selective breeding, and the Osu class are like the Middle Ages Jews who couldn’t hack it in Talmud study and ended up being absorbed into the Gentiles.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7977734.stm

  164. In east London in the UK there are a small number of highly intelligent Nigerians. Taking GCSEs at six. A levels at 12. That sort of thing. I know. I have taught them. Only a few but far more than could be expected by chance or according to the normal probability law. I have never taught any other nationality that even came close except a couple of Chinese possibly.
    Not sure how they train on however. There subsequent careers have been a little disappointing.

  165. Kudos to Chanda Chisala for extracting detailed national and ethnic breakdown data from local authorities. No doubt, this must have been a time-consuming and expensive exercise.

    I have a few comments:

    (1) The number of Nigerians living in Britain is small enough for it to be largely – or even entirely – selected from the top 1% of the Nigerian population in terms of intellectual ability, so the mean IQ of the immigrant population might well be more than two standard deviations above the mean of the Nigerian population as a whole.

    (2) The mean IQ of Nigeria has been reported to be around 70 points, which we’ll assume to be accurate. If there’s a standard deviation of 15 points, the selectivity of immigration to the UK could indeed cause the immigrant population to have a mean IQ of 100 or higher, given a mean population IQ of 70. In fact, with the foregoing assumptions we should expect to see an average IQ higher than 104 – somewhere around 108, by my reckoning. We might also expect 1 in 400 to have IQs of 130 or higher.

    (3) Although mean IQ scores as low as 70 have been claimed for Nigeria, it has been suggested that the gap between Black African IQ and African American IQ might be all or nearly all due to environment, so the same population raised in an environment such as the UK provides might plausibly have a mean IQ of 85 or even higher.

    (4) Regression to the mean for Nigerians in the UK, assuming the immigrant Nigerians are drawn from the same gene pool as the average Nigerian, might therefore be less dramatic than the reported mean IQ of 70 would suggest. Say there’s a regression to a hypothetical mean of 85, and there’s a couple who between them have an average IQ of 108, and the heritability of IQ is .5, their offspring should have an average IQ of 96.5, which is higher than the mean IQ reported for African Americans, and slightly higher than the figures for Black Africans given in the Cognitive Ability Test data cited in your article. This means we have wiggle room – our assumptions could be slightly less stringent, and our results would still fit the data.

    (5) If mates are selected to any extent by cognitive ability, then the regression to the mean should be less. If there is a very strong tendency to select mates by cognitive ability (or educational achievement, which amounts to much the same thing), there could be very little regression to the mean, so the offspring and future descendants of Nigerian immigrants in the UK could continue to produce high educational achievement indefinitely, and it wouldn’t really tell us anything about the average IQ in Nigeria.

    (6) As for the suggestion that Igbos might by substantially more intelligent than other tribes – are they? Who knows? I don’t think there’s enough data. The numbers in the comparison table published by the London Borough of Lambeth swing so much from year to year (Yoruba, 39% in 2009, 75% in 2011; Igbo, 100% in 2009, 76% in 2011, Luganda 33% in 2010, 83% in 2011) that I’m inclined to think the numbers do not permit any strong inference.

    (7) However, if they are significantly more intelligent than their neighbours, here’s a possible explanation as to why: During the slave trade, they used to have a shrine at a place called Arochukwu, on the border of Ibibioland, where people were sent for trial. It was set up to make it look as if people condemned in the trial were killed by some sort of demon in a dark tunnel, but in fact the condemned were kept hidden, and later shipped by river to Calabar, to be sold as slaves. It’s likely that the stupid were subject to this fate alongside troublemakers. In other words, the Igbos may have discovered eugenics before Galton. If similar practices were widespread in West Africa, the IQ of West Africans as a whole might be, if raised with good health and nutrition, higher than that of American blacks.

    In conclusion, Chisala’s argument is interesting, but it doesn’t quite disprove the hereditarian thesis, which remains plausible. I expect it will be a while before we have any precise, definitive answer on sub-Saharan African IQ.

  166. So many interesting and thoughtful comments here; it’s hard to respond to them all (Thank you)!

    (But also plenty of unjustified overconfidence in a small number of the commentators: “it’s easy to understand…,” “there’s no mystery here…,” “you don’t understand Regression…” etc — while demonstrating a misunderstanding of the issues at stake! )

    I will respond very briefly to a few of the comments.

  167. I will just comment on your GCSE-skepticism.

    It is unlikely you will find that the problem is with the GCSEs because it predicts quite accurately other phenotypic expectations. For example, the subgroups within the Nigerian group that are the best in Nigeria or even in the US etc are also the best on the GCSEs. Also, the Traveller white (or whatever precise race) groups are placed by the GCSEs exactly where you would expect to find them. And of course, there’s Chinese.

    Secondly, it is very accurately consistent with the correlation with socioeconomic status within each ethnicity (no matter which direction you believe that goes).

    Finally, if there was something seriously wrong with the test, the people who do well on it would not do well on the A-levels. As we see, that best student in the country also did exceptionally well on her A-levels.

    Perhaps most importantly, it correlates extremely highly with the CAT taken at 11.

    If you throw it out, you will have to throw out a lot of other tests or “tests” it seems to correlate well with.

    The Nigerian changes on the GCSE from 2003, whatever their causes, are therefore more likely to reflect environmental changes in the Nigerian group that are not constrained by their genotypic IQ, which suggests it cannot be that low.

  168. It’s not “shlock”; it’s entirely relevant. “BobbyBeGood” had posited that whites who mix with blacks have lower IQ offspring. I was merely pointing out that Hitler had the same point of view. Bobby admires Hitler, so I don’t imagine it bothers him much.

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  169. says:
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    Intra-London and Intra-Ethnic group London vs Non-London differences, as likely between London-rUK differences drive some of the ethnic group differences

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pakistani_community_of_London#/media/File:London_Pakistanis_GCSE_Pass_Rates_5_A-Cs_by_Borough.jpg

    http://thinktankreview.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Screenshot-2014-10-19-18.08.32.png

    http://thinktankreview.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Screenshot-2015-01-23-10.15.19.png

    Certainly, congitive differences don’t explain any of between region difference.

    GCSEs may not be actually a very good tool for indexing cognitive performance any more, except within a fairly similar regime. That might be slightly concerning.

    Whatever has happened is probably useful though.

  170. Nobel prizes, even in Science and Technical fields, have definite inertia:
    unconditional right to nominate for prizes each year
    belongs to existing Nobel Laureates in any field; but not only them.
    Nobel Prize Committees also seek for nominations by other scientists,
    selected by Prize Committees. Nominations without “invitation” are not accepted.
    More “democratic” are the prizes by a Techno-Scientific Society, I have just spent some time to collect the data for a particular one.
    Here are altogether 22 different prizes, for which I took winners 2015 down to 2005. Reason was to cut off old scientific cohort. Each prize contained (median) 11 winners satisfying this criterion.
    Out of approximately 240 names of people I counted,

    12 awardees with Chinese last/first names,
    (one of them got 3 different awards, counted above 3 times, really very good scientist and technologist)

    8 with Japanese last names,

    7 with the names that sounded to me as from the Indian Subcontinent,

    1 with Korean name.

    Altogether
    12/240 = 0.05 for Chinese fraction,
    8/240 = 0.033 for Japanese fraction,
    7/240 = 0.03 for Indian fraction,
    1/240 = 0.004 Korean fraction,

    total fraction 28 / 240 = 0.117.

    I was surprised that a particular prize, which by statute may be awarded only to a person younger than 35 y.o., contained only 1 Chinese name (out of 11.)

    I.f.f.U.

  171. Jayman — are you 100% African or partially European or another race?

  172. Does anyone seriously believe that if you gave IQ tests to all humans of 100% African ethnicity and selected those who tested 1 out of 100,000 or better that their children would have IQs significantly lower than their parents?

    I don’t think that’s what regression to the mean is all about.

  173. Apparently, you did not just skip the comments but most of the article too. The assumption that the immigrants are not perfectly representative of their source populations is already granted in the analysis. And the fact that their children will still be higher in IQ than their home populations is also already assumed and it is not what is “a mystery”, which means you are fighting a dead straw man.

    Further, giving an example of yourself in that context confirms to me that you definitely didn’t read the article.

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  174. “No one claims that there’s this magical quality called “blackness” that automatically makes any group that has that quality less intelligent than others.”

    There definitely are people who believe this, just as there are people who believe whites are demons created by a mad sorcerer. I think quite a lot of US whites believe this – they have terrible experiences with African-Americans and they assume A-As are fully representative of all blacks.
    Personally I remember visiting the USA for the first time in 1996 and being amazed and horrified by the open racist hatred and contempt the black female airport staff at I think Detroit airport showed to me. I’d never experienced anything like it in the UK. I’m hardly surprised some US whites get a bit racist too.

  175. In general, it’s very easy to explain the high IQs of African immigrant kids through selective migration & better nutrition

    http://pumpkinperson.com/2015/01/05/more-thoughts-on-the-high-iqs-of-african-immigrants-in-britain-2/comment-page-1/

    Following the debate with you in the comments section of the link you provide, it is clearly not “very easy”!

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  176. “Does this mean that african geniuses are less prone to nerdiness? ”

    My ancedotal experience is that high-achieving west African female students never show nerdy characteristics, but Ethiopian and South African/Zimbabwean often do, at similar frequency to south-Asian, Middle Eastern, and white-European. My gut instinct is that there is something unusual going on in Nigeria & surrounds, and that the intelligence produced there has a somewhat different genetic(?) source than the usual, a source that does not correlate positively with nerdiness. The upthread commenter who mentioned female merchants may be on to something.

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  177. You all apparently missed Rindermann’ study of Nigerian elites. Their IQs average FAR lower than those for German elites.

  178. About Me

  179. Further, giving an example of yourself in that context confirms to me that you definitely didn’t read the article.

    I read the entire article. My comment stands. If I’m missing something, please do let me know.

  180. So what percent African are you?

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  181. My point is that you are inconsistent.

    You explain the poor performance of American blacks solely by IQ, yet the poor performance of Asians relative to their IQ you explain by introducing non-IQ factors, and the widely differing performance of similar IQ European populations is similarly explained by introducing non-IQ factors.

    This seems like an attempt to patch up an inadequate theory in a way that is unfortunately very common in science.

    If the IQ theory is inadequate to explain Asian performance and we must reach for environmental factors, then the IQ theory might well be inadequate to explain American black performance.

    An IQ test is a long, tiring, and effortful task whose relevance and value might only be readily accepted among certain groups, leading to a motivation differential of potentially vast magnitude. That motivation has not been controlled for probably makes comparisons among groups of far less value than IQ fundamentalists would like us to believe.

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  182. Following the debate with you in the comments section of the link you provide, it is clearly not “very easy”!

    Well maybe you didn’t follow closely so I’ll summarize:

    Black Africans who migrated to the UK during the last several generations are not only more educated than over 95-99.5% of their counterparts in Africa, but they enjoy a standard of living better than well over 99%.

    Both academic success & economic success are independently correlated with IQ, and these migrants became at the very very least, 2 SD higher in socioeconomic status than the average African.

    Since IQ correlates 0.7 with attained middle age SES, they would average at least 2 SD(0.7) = 1.4 SD more intelligent than the average African.

    Since the parent-child IQ correlation is about 0.6, their kids should be 1.4 SD(0.6) = 0.84 SD smarter than the average African

    Assuming black Africa has a mean IQ of 67 (SD = 15), their kids would have an expected IQ of:

    0.84(15) + 67 = 80

    But because first world nutrition is known to boost African IQ (and height) by about 0.87 SD, the expected IQ of the kids/grand kids of these African immigrants should be about 93

    And note, these are very conservative estimates because the standard of living difference between Africans in Africa & Africans in the UK is almost unmeasurable so they are likely way more than +2 SD more accomplished in SES than the average African.

    If I assume they are +3 SD & repeat those calculations, that brings their kids to about IQ 100

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  183. this is my 3rd post asking for an answer –

    In the California National Merit Semifinalist list for 2015, how many of these high IQ blacks, Igbo etc appear ?

    or in National Merit Semifinalist list for any state ?

  184. […] Sailor hosted a guest column with some very interesting points about academic achievement by certain groups of African […]

  185. Funny you of all people should bring up Serbs and Irish as low iq. This is reflective of a rural background. In the U.S., these nationalities are no different than other whites.
    btw, the actual inventors of the prosthetic tail for the injured dolphin were an Irishman and a Yugoslavian (Serb or Croat, I’m not sure which).
    In the movie, these two white men were rolled into one black actor named Morgan Freeman.

    I wish the blacks would find some genuinely smart inventors etc., that really are black, and stop appropriating whites in various films. There was also one about a black debating group that supposedly beat Harvard. As it turned out, this was fiction, but presented as fact. If they can find some smart, innovative Igbos, fine, please, make some movies about them and stop turning white achievers into black actors.

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  186. I bet some one reading this article is going to want to trade our black natives in America for the Igbo.

    This is why I think of myself as a culturalist as opposed to a racialist. Intelligence is a function not so much of genes or environment but values, attitudes, and culture.

  187. so the writer says it’s hard to believe that Africans could be as smart as they are in Britain if their IQ is low?

    Isn’t it hard to believe that Africans could be as dumb as they are in America if their IQ is not low?

    Time to add a little more detail to the story of Black IQ, everybody!

    Regarding IQ’s – Numbers (math formulae) or it didn’t happen! The endless comments to this very unscientific article are EXACTLY why REAL scientists formalize their theories and compute the solutions to problems!

  188. Both academic success & economic success are independently correlated with IQ, and these migrants became at the very very least, 2 SD higher in socioeconomic status than the average African.

    This is just one of the too obvious mistakes in your analysis. “Economic success” (income) may indeed correlate with IQ, but not between individuals in different economies, especially very different economies.

    I won’t be able to do a long back and forth with you, but your analysis makes too many obvious errors. [Another example: if the immigrants are coming from the top 1 percent or so of IQ in Africa, and SES correlates highly with IQ, then those immigrants are nutritionally not that bad in Africa, which means they can't possibly gain 15 points after migrating to the UK -- especially that most Africans (like other immigrants) continue eating their own home-country food (especially Nigerians). And YOU, can't have your cake and eat it.]

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  189. Chanda wrote – Finally, browsing through some names of the competitive National Achievement scholars,

    These hi-IQ blacks seem to pass the National Achievement benchmark, a PSAT score of 190, which other black-Americans already do

    None of the these imported blacks seem to cross over into National Merit list, PSAT = 220
    which is filled with Whites, Jews, Asians and Indians

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  190. This is just one of the too obvious mistakes in your analysis. “Economic success” (income) may indeed correlate with IQ, but not between individuals in different economies, especially very different economies.

    It might. The same intelligence that allows you to make a good living within one country may allow you to make the leap to a much richer country. In fact part of the reason high IQ prople make more money is they’re smart enough to know where to go & figure out how to get there.

    I won’t be able to do a long back and forth with you,

    You don’t have to respond; these are just points to possibly consider in your future research

    but your analysis makes too many obvious errors. [Another example: if the immigrants are coming from the top 1 percent or so of IQ in Africa, and SES correlates highly with IQ, then those immigrants are nutritionally not that bad in Africa, which means they can't possibly gain 15 points after migrating to the UK -- especially that most Africans (like other immigrants) continue eating their own home-country food (especially Nigerians). And YOU, can't have your cake and eat it.]

    Nutrition doesn’t seem to differ much within populations; only between them, so in West Africa for example, not only are the average people short compared to average African Americans, but the elites are short compared to African American elites.

    We see the same thing in America. As nutrition improved over the 20th century, everyone got taller and smarter (the Flynn effect). Even elites as priveliged as U.S. presidents got taller. The same thing seems to happen when african elites migrate to the First World.

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  191. Jack:
    The cited paper does not provide any breakdown by race. There is no reason to assume that each race’s scores at 11 years of age correlate equally well with scores as adults. There is reason to assume that they do not correlate equally well. Average correlation of a population tells you very little in itself about the correlation of a small sub-population.

    There are more serious errors in the piece, but no one had mentioned this one.

  192. It might.

    You seriously do not understand that people who get an income of 20,000 US dollars per year in Nigeria have a higher IQ than people who get that same amount (or even 10,000 dollars more) in the United States or the UK?

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  193. I’m sure I’m drastically oversimplifying here, but traditionally, haven’t the Igbo been seen as the Ashkenazi Jews/Ismaili Muslims/Overseas Chinese of West Africa? (ie. entrepreneurial, place high value on education and cognitively demanding jobs)

  194. None of the these imported blacks seem to cross over into National Merit list, PSAT = 220
    which is filled with Whites, Jews, Asians and Indians

    You can not get monetary scholarships on both the National Merit and National Achievement. So, obviously the “imported blacks” will rationally apply where their chances are quite guaranteed. The only thing you can get from the National Merit if you decide to apply there too is a non-monetary honorary “scholarship” or mention (if you do qualify). For example, the profiled Nigerian in my article who received that National Achievement scholarship did also receive the honorary National Merit scholarship.

  195. Chisala is refuting a claim that scholars do not make. Black Americans are obviously (excepting some recent immigrants) a population formed of multiple African and European subpopulations. Essentially, they are a new-made subpopulation. In Africa, the subpopulations are much older and were forged by very different selection pressures. It was never logical to claim that low black American intelligence proved equally low intelligence among all black African subpopulations–it suggests, however, that the subpopulations from which the original slaves were drawn had relatively low intelligence.

    Some differences observed between human populations were produced by genetic drift, ie randomness. It is these differences that geneticists analyze to determine genetic relatedness between different populations. The differences produced instead by selection pressure are not used to determine genetic relatedness. Most, perhaps all, who believe in some version of the hereditarian position argue that intelligence is a trait that has been selected for throughout human history. Therefore, intelligence is not to be considered a formal marker for genetic relatedness–though the intelligence trait may be expected to follow the contours of such relatedness insofar as selection pressures have been different for different populations. Since subpopulations exist within each major race, there are certain to be variations in selection pressures between subpopulations, resulting in phenotypic differences. Hereditarians have never presumed, nor found, equal intelligence levels throughout black African populations.

  196. IQ is definitely not the whole story. Some West African groups seem to over-perform academically relative to measured IQ, east-Asians may under-perform economically relative to IQ.

    One thing I noticed is that most population groups’ measured IQ correlates closely with brain size, eg Africans (IQ 70) and north-east-Asians (IQ 105) brain size fits with IQ on the same line.
    But Europeans are an outlier – by brain size they should have IQ 90, like Turks and typical of non-European Caucasians, instead of the actual measured 100. I think this has not been noticed because Europeans are treated as the default which sets the norm, but actually Europeans are a weird outlier with IQ elevated well beyond the norm for their brain capacity.

  197. It seems certain that the average Nigerian in London is much smarter than the average Nigerian in Nigeria. But other populations have selective migration, too. Why do the Nigerians seem so much smarter than most other immigrant groups? In terms of academics it’s even more striking. Among my own students, over the past ten years the ranking at the top looks something like:

    1. Germans & Nordics
    2. (white) French
    3=. Italians
    3=. Nigerians & other west Africans
    5. Spanish
    6. Turkish (westernised elites)
    7. eastern Europeans

    Whereas North African & especially middle-Eastern come near the bottom, with Saudi Arabia generally worst – the data I’ve seen with the Saudi top 5% Smart Fraction starting at IQ 95 seems accurate. South Asia can also be poor, with a lot of variation. Central/South America and Central Asia are generally moderate.

    This is not something I would have expected in advance, and this is not Political Correctness talking. It’s definitely a real phenomenon.

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  198. I read this piece with some enthusiasm for the idea that the present rapid population growth in Africa did not necessarily portend disaster including the devastation of Africa’s fauna and flora. But doubt set in about any conclusion that depended on hereditarians being radically wrong.

    The evidence in the article leaves open the possibility that Africa is like India in having inbreeding groups whom one may sensibly assume have significantly different average IQs. It leaves open accordingly the possibility that most Africans and African-Americans are in inbreeding groups with much lower average IQs than Eurasians as a result of selection rather than environment.

    The possibility is supported by the history of Jews and of Parsees as well as Greg Clark’s evidence in “A Farewell to Alms” which points to Britain’s brighter people outbreeding the dim for several hundred years. It would hardly be surprising if something similar had happened within the Indian caste system. What is lacking is evidence of some such differentiation happening in Africa but it seems to be an open question.

    It may be worth having another attempt to make the question of regression to the mean clear despite many Comments which have corrected errors.

    If one wants to suggest that the IQs of children of high IQ African immigrants should be expected to regress towards 85 or less which may be an African average then you have to suppose the parents are just rare sports from within a low IQ population. If instead they have bred like Ashkenazi Jews, Parsees, educated upper middle class 19th century Brits etc the relevant population average toward which regression occurs may be much higher. How does this happen? It simply requires a group already segregated for breeding purposes in which, for generations, the relatively dim don’t get to reproduce as early or as prolifically as the smart, or a group created and separated over several generations of assortative mating. Has it happened in Africa? We don’t seem to know.

    What of the immigrants overtaking the whites in Britain? It could be as simple as increasingly dysgenic breeding habits amongst whites. First the smart Protestants limited their families and- almost equally important – started them later than the dim. Now Catholics behave the same way and so do Jews in America.

  199. Hollywood these days simply casts Africans and black-British as African-Americans.

  200. You can’t use the US National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalist data as a measure, because blacks are encouraged to take a different test (for the National Achievement Scholarship Program) that’s only open to black candidates. We can make our guesses as to why a separate test exists, but it still means we don’t know how many black people could get onto the Merit semifinalist list if there weren’t a separate test.

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  201. I went through the math and found similar results. Using Barro-Lee’s Data set, 1990 and 2000 Nigerian/African emigrants to the OECD were ~ 2.2 SD selected in educational attainment (years of schooling).

    Pumpkinperson makes a mistake when it comes to estimating offspring IQ, though. The kind of random variance that doesn’t pass along across generations also happens to be the kind of variance that doesn’t predict outcomes (references on request). Thus if you select for IQ by a proxy variable like EA, IQ differences will almost fully be passed on since you already mostly eliminated the noise component. Thus, given an IQ x EA correlation, the kids should be only a little less than 1.4 SD selected.

    I’m not sure that we can assume a Nigerian/African IQ x EA correlation of 0.7. But I think that it’s reasonable to posit that Black Africans are at least 1 SD selected in IQ. I just looked through the PIAAC and other assessment scores. Black African adults age 16 to 65 score not more that 1 SD below the UK white mean. It’s more like 0.8 — and this is on (cultural loaded) reading and math tests. (Wide confidence intervals, though.)

    If we assume that most of these adults are African born and if we grant that Black Africans have measured IQs ~ 1.66 to 2 SD below the white adult UK mean, there must be significant selection. Further, Rindermann et al.’s paper, “Cognitive ability and epistemic rationality”, put the educated Nigerian IQ at about 15 points above the national average. Granted the sample size was tiny. These educated Nigerians would be the type that migrated to the UK. Anyways, these three points taken together suggest that Nigerian/African emigrants fall around at least the 84% percentile in cognitive ability relative to the Nigerian/African mean.

    Of course, we don’t have Nigerian/African biometric variance component estimates, so we are kind of stuck, unless we are willing to make strong inferences.

    Now, Chanda, I looked through your data. The “Raising the Achievement of Black African Pupils: Good Practice in Schools” paper was rubbish. The Black African sample size appears to be 411. And the schools were selective. Whites at those very schools performed 13 “percent points” above the national average — and Black Caribbeans 16. Indeed, discussing the sample, the authors note:

    “Six secondary schools with a high number of Black African students that serve disadvantaged communities were selected for case studies. The case study schools’ GCSE results were exceptionally good.. Key criteria for the selection of schools were as follow:
    –an above‐average proportion of students who are eligible for free school meals
    –‘outstanding’ or ‘good with outstanding features’ grades overall in the most recent Ofsted inspection
    –exceptionally good results, high standards
    –sustained GCSE improvement over the last 10 years”

    Hmmm… When I made the appropriate adjustments only Igbo (N= 16?, d = 0.68), Ga (N= 8?, d = 0.10), and TwiFante (N=37?, d= 0.15) performed above UK Whites at the same (select) schools (where d = the standardized difference). Your whole case, in that regards, ends up resting on the performance of a tiny group of Igbo speaking kids at an unrepresentative set of schools. (Note: I computed sample sizes by multiplying 411 by the reported % who spoke the language– it’s not clear if the 411 is for each year or for all year or what; the authors just note:
    “Of the 411 Black African students who took GCSE, 21% spoke English at home, 22% Yoruba, 13% Somali, 9% Twi‐Fante, 5% French, 4% Igbo, 4% Krio…”

    To be fair, you do cited other results. You note “A 2007 report on “case study” model schools in Lambeth…” and then mention again the amazing results of Ibo. But this is by the same author as above using the same sample, one which ran from 2007 to 2011. The same problems for this subsample exist as they do for the full case study sample!

    Now the Nigerians scores are more interested. Scores by immigrant nations are problematic, in general, since many African immigrants are White European or Asian. See, for example, Table 5 in Easterly and Nyarko’s (2008) “Is the brain drain good for Africa?”. However the vast majority of Nigerian emigrants happen to be Black, so in this case the scores can be in this respect unproblematically used.

    The Nigerian scores are though problematic on other accounts. Firstly, the paper you cited along with others noted that only select schools adopted extended ethnic codes, thus nationally representative samples and scores are unavailable. Second, I was able to find papers which reported multi-school Nigerian GCSE scores for three years: 2003, 2005, 2010/2011. (The one you reported plus one with 2005 data.) The standardized differences relative to UK Whites (transforming percent into d-value based on some questionable assumptions which the GCSE reporting method forces us to make) were 0, 0, and 0.6.

    I appreciate that you feel that the 2010/2011 value is the “true” one, but it’s impossible to tell. All of the papers which discuss these extended ethnicity codes noted that across time scores are not comparable since at different times different schools adopt different extended codes.
    So where does this leave us? It leaves us with what I already wrote 3 1/2 years ago and some suggestive evidence that Nigerians may perform between 0 and 0.6 SD above the Black African ~
    White UK mean. So basically, no progression from the mean I set; you are not even close to a reasonably sound argument!

    To constructs a dispositive one, you would need:
    (a) the latent ability differences between the natives of the UK and of West Africa
    (b) the latent ability differences between natives and Black emigrants from West Africa
    (c) the latent ability differences between White natives and the children of Black emigrants from West Africa
    (d) the environmental and genetic variance components for all four groups.

    Of course, we can only hold you to Lynn’s standards — which aren’t particularly high. So we can’t expect you to move beyond manifest values.

    As for those I just checked the 2013 GCSE scores and they were roughly the same as in 2010. And in 2010 the Black African CAT3 FSIQ score would have been around 0.6 SD below the UK white mean. (The average subtlest score d-value was around 0.5 SD.) So Black African parity with UK Whites in GCSE seems to be consistent with a Black African – White cognitive d-value of around 0.6.

    Generally, assuming that emigrant Black Africans are at least 1 SD selected relative to the mean and assuming that the h2 (narrow heritability) + c2 (shared environment) in Africa is ~0.6, the data is consistent with a proposed African “genotypic IQ” — a confused concept, but one everyone seems to employ — of 85.

    This is precisely what I deduced 3.5 years ago! All you managed to do is show that for Nigerians the calculations might possibly be more complex.

    And this: “…even if hereditarians can somehow manage to convincingly argue that the Nigerian (or Igbo) children in the UK do in fact have a lower IQ than average white children, as their biological model predicts (despite our evidence), they also have to show that these West African children even have a lower IQ than average black American children”

    Get out of here. I came across this on Wikipedia:

    “Most Igbo slaves were not victims of slave-raiding wars or expeditions, but were sometimes debtors and people who committed what their communities considered to be abominations or crimes”

    Probably not the educational elite being sold off.

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  202. They are both measured on the PSAT

    For National Achievement, the bar is 190
    for National Merit the bar is 220

    Roughly PSAT x 10 = SAT ( out of 2400 )

  203. Pumpkinperson makes a mistake when it comes to estimating offspring IQ, though. The kind of random variance that doesn’t pass along across generations also happens to be the kind of variance that doesn’t predict outcomes (references on request). Thus if you select for IQ by a proxy variable like EA, IQ differences will almost fully be passed on since you already mostly eliminated the noise component. Thus, given an IQ x EA correlation, the kids should be only a little less than 1.4 SD selected.

    But you can think of second generation immigrants as themselves being selected by an IQ proxy (the SES of their parents) only it’s a much weaker correlate.

    IQ correlates much more strongly with one’s attained SES (0.7) then with one’s parents’ SES (0.42), because the former is something you achieved yourself while the latter is something you merely inherited, so the children of extremely high SES people are less intelligent than their parents on average (though in this case they get a nutrition boost their patents lacked)

    So people who are, for example +2 SD in attained SES will average +2 SD(0.7) = +1.4 SD in IQ

    People who are +2 SD in SES of origin will average +2 SD (0.42) = +0.84 SD

  204. You seriously do not understand that people who get an income of 20,000 US dollars per year in Nigeria have a higher IQ than people who get that same amount (or even 10,000 dollars more) in the United States or the UK?

    I think it’s a debateable point. Someone who figured out how to get out of Nigeria & make $20,000 competing in a high IQ country like the UK might be much
    smarter, because they were smart enough to get to a country where they & their kids have access to a First World standard of living, nutrition, health care, infrastructure, culture (which is worth a heck of a lot more than $20,000!)

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  205. It seems certain that the average Nigerian in London is much smarter than the average Nigerian in Nigeria. But other populations have selective migration, too. Why do the Nigerians seem so much smarter than most other immigrant groups

    Because they are much more selected because:

    1) Nigeria has a low standard of living so the smart thing to do is leave, causing immigrants from Nigeria to be disproportionately smart. By contrast if you live in a better country, smart people will stay, thus immigrants from good countries will be only average

    2) The UK immigration officials probably prefer immigrants from non-black countries while there are far more blacks who want to migrate there. The huge supply combined with low demand means immigration is a far more competetive game for blacks, with only the best & brightest typically getting to the UK.

    By contrast the UK may be so desperate for non-black immigrants that they’ll accept almost anyone.

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  206. I have not seen any of these Super-Igbo on the Intel Talent Search Semifinalist list ( out of 300 each year ) ; Mathcounts semifinalists and in general semifinalists of any of the g loaded contests

    http://www.jbhe.com/features/53_SAT.html

    Almost No Blacks Among the Top Scorers on the SAT Test

    only 976 African-American college-bound students scored 700 or above on the math SAT and only 1,117 scored at least 700 on the verbal SAT – including the Igbo

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  207. In fact part of the reason high IQ prople make more money is they’re smart enough to know where to go & figure out how to get there.

    Is IQ positively correlated with the motivation to make lots of money? If you cannot prove that this is so, then your argument seems to fall apart.

    Is knowing where the money is to be made and playing the competition game a sign of truly high IQ or just moderate IQ? The competition to make boatloads of money is a zero-sum game, and those who make the most don’t have to be the smartest bulbs in their neck of the woods, just the smartest and most ruthless among those who have a similar motivation to make lots of money (which, as I stated above, need not be correlated with high IQ.)

    I am reminded of a couple of quotes by John Tuld, the CEO in the 2011 movie “Margin Call”, which he addresses to the genius quant Peter Sullivan:
    There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat.
    Maybe you could tell me what is going on. And please, speak as you might to a young child. Or a golden retriever. It wasn’t brains that brought me here; I assure you that.

    Now this is a movie, but these quotes aren’t purely the figment of the screenwriter’s imagination, but say something about real life.

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  208. 1) Rubbish. The thousands of African refugees trying to flee crisis zones every month aren’t geniuses for figuring out that they’re going to starve or get killed if they stay where they are, and it doesn’t take a genius to imagine why they prefer emigrating to Western countries. Nigerian emigrants are usually economic opportunists rather than humanitarian refugees, but it’s not hard to choose between London and Lagos.
    If anything , it’s the Eastern Europeans, Turks etc who should be smarter, because they have a less pressing need to emigrate and the benefits of switching countries are much smaller, so it requires more calculation to realize that emigrating to a slightly richer country can be advantageous. Without some research and planning, it’s hard to decide whether moving to London is a better opportunity than staying in Krakow. Yet it seems moving to Western Europe is indeed a smarter choice than staying in Eastern Europe: most migrants are definitely better off.

    Despite this, Nigeria apparently provides higher-quality immigrants than Eastern Europe and Turkey. There are many possible explanations for this, but I doubt yours is the right one.

    2) Pure speculation.

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  209. It seems to me that there are many examples of really smart people who didn’t pay any attention at all to making money and it is obvious that making a lot of money did not enter into their motivations. Making a lot of money is just one criterion that can be used when evaluating people and when you use that measure it really tells everyone quite a bit about yourself. In the modern age it does seem to be crowding out other criteria. It is interesting that some individuals who make a lot of money then spent many years spending it in ways that tend to remake their image into something other than just a person who made a lot of money.

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  210. The over-performance relative to home country IQ of some African countries is not restricted to the UK. In my studies of immigrants in Denmark and Norway, I found the same thing. It is very clear that there are strong selection effects for some countries, but not others, and that this is a large part of the reason why the home country IQ x performance in host country are not higher.

    See this post. http://emilkirkegaard.dk/en/?p=5347 It has plots. :)

  211. Is IQ positively correlated with the motivation to make lots of money?

    IQ is correlated with understanding the value of money, which almost can’t be overestimated. Low IQ people think money only buys material goods and are often motivated on that concrete level, but high IQ people understand money buys abstractions like time, freedom, political power (lobbying congress), cultural power (i.e. media platforms), convenience (private jets), beauty (mansions overlooking the oceans & mountains), scientific knowledge(funding research), health, good looks & even love.

    On the other hand, money isn’t free & you have to sacrafice a lot of your life to make huge amounts of it, so many high IQ people reject the rat race, but that’s because they already have access to a great standard of living just by living in a First World country.

    If you live in a Third World country & know that you can improve your standard of living for yourself & your descendants by orders if magnitude just by migrating, the highest IQ would see the wisdom in doing so


    Is knowing where the money is to be made and playing the competition game a sign of truly high IQ or just moderate IQ? The competition to make boatloads of money is a zero-sum game, and those who make the most don’t have to be the smartest bulbs in their neck of the woods, just the smartest and most ruthless among those who have a similar motivation to make lots of money (which, as I stated above, need not be correlated with high IQ.)

    We live in a World where virtually everything is for sale if you’re smart enough to know where to shop. The smartest would recognize that money is the ability to get almost anything you want whenever you want, but they would also recognize that the time & energy it takes to make money can rob you of the very the thing money buys: quality of life

    So i think high IQ people strongly pursue money whenever they don’t have to sacrafice too much to get it. High IQ people in the Third World have little to lose & everything to gain by moving to a rich country so they might be hyper-motivated to do so

    I am reminded of a couple of quotes by John Tuld, the CEO in the 2011 movie “Margin Call”, which he addresses to the genius quant Peter Sullivan:
    – There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat.

    Actually all three are correlated with IQ. Being first requires original thought & seeing opportunities others miss. Cheating is a sign of low IQ, but cheating smart people & getting away with it often requires high IQ.

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  212. Chanda Chisala:
    “Using Jensen’s own empirical framework, the racial genetic hypothesis can be tested by comparing black African immigrants with native blacks, intellectually. If the genetic hypothesis is correct, children of elite African blacks will tend to have lower IQs than children of native black Americans, and perhaps even lower than children of low IQ blacks, the same phenomenon observed between American blacks and whites since native blacks are basically “more white” than African (or Caribbean) immigrants.”

    Clearly, Chisala has not read Jensen. He deals with the hybridization issue in great detail in “The g Factor”. This is from page 479:

    “An ideal study would require that the relative proportions of European and African genes in each hybrid individual be known precisely. This, in turn, would demand genealogical records extending back to each individual’s earliest ancestors of unmixed European and African origin. In addition, for the results to be generalizable to the present-day populations of interest, one would also need to know how representative of the white and black populations in each generation of interracial ancestors of the study probands (i.e., the present hybrid individuals whose level of g is measured) were. A high degree of assortative mating for g, for example, would mean that these ancestors were not representative and that cross-racial matings transmitted much the same g-related alleles from each racial line. Also, the results would be ambiguous if there were a marked systematic difference in the g levels of the black and white mates (e.g., in half of the matings the black [or hybrid] g > white g and vice versa in the other half). This situation would act to cancel any racial effect in the offspring’s level of g.”

    ie if black had historically mated with low IQ whites, the white admixture would have little or no systematic effect on black IQ. It is likely that for social and geographic reasons, people socialize primarily with those of similar IQ, so one would not expect high IQ whites to have sex with blacks.

  213. 1) Rubbish. The thousands of African refugees trying to flee crisis zones every month aren’t geniuses for figuring out that they’re going to starve or get killed if they stay where they are, and it doesn’t take a genius to imagine why they prefer emigrating to Western countries.

    Almost nothing takes a genius to do, but the odds of making smart decisions (even simple ones) go up with each extra IQ point.

    So a Nigerian with an average IQ (67) might have a 10% chance of making the right decision, while a Nigerian with an IQ of 100 might have a 50% chance of making the right decision while a Nigerian with an IQ of 133 might have a 90% chance of making the right decision.

    Having made the decision to migrate, the smartest will also have much better odds of competently jumping through the hoops to get the goal

    We even saw the same pattern with Ashkenazi Jews during WWII. The smartest ones left Europe for America early & then helped to create Israel for those who were stuck behind & I blogged about how Ashkenazi Americans score 7 points higher than Ashkenazis in Israel

    The IQ selection would be much larger among African refuges because the African IQ is low, so huge numbers of the population would not even think to leave or understand how to do so, & why they should

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  214. There could well be some truth in this – the UK authorities like economic immigrants with good academic credentials, the Nigerians we get certainly have good academic credentials! In fact the robustness & high quality of Nigerian degrees – higher quality than UK degrees at the equivalent grade point (1st/2.1/2.2/3rd) – is something I’ve often noticed. Often my Nigerian students’ references will say things like “came top in class of 50″, which supports high-selection argument, whereas for other countries it’s more likely to be “my father is a judge” or “my grandfather was the king” – socially elite, but perhaps not so cognitively elite.

    BUT I definitely don’t think this is the whole story. There are lots of terrible countries, much worse than Nigeria, where people desperately want to get to the UK, but I don’t see lots of high-ability applicants from them. My postgrad course does get a boost when the USA trashes some country (eg recently Ukraine) and the children of the Westernised elites decide a year in London sounds like a great idea… and some of these countries produce decently capable students, but rarely at Nigerian level.

    One issue: the Russians typically seem really bright, but quite often lazy/unwilling to work hard, so they often perform academically far below their apparent IQ. The Igbo might not be as bright as Russians, but if they work much harder they could do a lot better (and typically do). The Germans/NW Europeans tend to do best of all, my impression this is because they combine both brains and a strong work ethic.

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  215. “But back to Lynn. I’ve heard multiple accounts from travelers that the sophistication and cogency of the Lebanese is remarkable, especially in contrast to other Arabic-speaking countries.”

    Well there you go. Sounds scientific to me.

  216. To settle this once and for all see Are White Men Gods? (II) by Fred Reed on this blog.

  217. I get what you are saying but I think your explanations are far from conclusive. Getting rich, or wanting to escape to a rich country, seem to be highly correlated with opportunism and lack of impulse control. As o