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Healthy Babies Are All Alike: Post Code More Important Than Genetic Code?
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Newspapers have very warmly received an international project which, in the author’s views, strongly suggests that healthy babies are all alike in their developmental milestones, at least as determined by a study of particular centres in different parts of the world.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/01/23/born-great-no-right-start-life-have-chance-succeed/

The study has the following general features: Find healthy pregnant women in several different comfortable parts of the world and then check whether the development of their children is the same or different between these centres. If the same, argue that race cannot be an explanation for differences between continental groups, since once they are equalized for health, child developmental differences disappear. This could well be true, so the excitement generated by the updated findings is understandable.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-07983-4.pdf

Newspapers are hardly to blame for reporting this study in glowing terms. The authors are bold enough to say:

It is evident that across developmental and growth parameters, only a very small percentage (around 10%) of the total variance in these fundamental human functions can be explained by differences among these populations (Fig. 3). The present results and previous publications, presented together in Fig. 3, support the position that most of the observed differences in growth and neurodevelopment across general populations or countries are primarily due to socioeconomic, educational and class disparities, i.e. postal codes define the health profiles of humans better than their genetic code.

For completeness, here is Fig 3

As regards differences between the peoples of different continents, the authors argue there is nothing much to see here, particularly on cognitive abilities, though there may be something happening with children’s behaviour. However, the authors suggest the behaviour difference is because of cultural differences in how people rate behaviour, not because children actually behave differently. Odd, because the authors were trying to ensure standard procedures were used across different sites, so as to be able to make valid statements about differences and similarities. You would have thought they would have ironed these things out in this large and long-term program of work. Anyway, for whatever reason, negative behaviours and emotional reactions vary between sites. Some kids seem to be more of a nuisance in some places.

You may see that Fig 3 shows very little differences in HC (head circumference) which has often been a bone of contention. Here are the actual figures for head circumference in centimeters at 37 weeks taken from the 2014 paper:

UK 34.5 (1.3)
USA 34.5 (1.4)
Brazil 34.2 (1.2)
Kenya 34.2 (1.2)
Italy 34.0 (1.2)
China 33.6 (1.2)
Oman 33.6 (1.1)
India 33.1 (1.1)

As you can see, UK and USA head circumferences are largest and have the largest standard deviations, India the smallest and the smallest standard deviation. Indeed, the mean for Indian head circumference is one UK standard deviation below the UK mean. Put like that, the centres differ somewhat in the brain size of the children.

What can we say about the apparent lack of any study centre differences in cognitive abilities? Few psychometricians would suggest that cognitive abilities could be reliably assessed at age 2. The Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence makes a brave start at 2 years and 6 months. Others find it better to wait till 4 years of age, or better still 7 years of age or, for the sweet spot of early testing with reasonable predictive power for adulthood, 11 years of age.

Let us see what these researchers have included in their cognitive assessment of two year olds.

The following is taken from their Inter-NDA instruction manual

1) Make a tower of 5 blocks. There are no higher scores for children who can do the task immediately. Any child doing it in 3 trials gets same score as child who does it in the first trial. A child who builds a 4 block tower gets same score as child who only achieves 3 blocks. This may lead to a lack of discrimination among brighter children.
2) Naming 4 colours. Better task, but naming of 1 or 2 colours gets lumped together. Some loss of discrimination.
3) Matching cubes of same colour. Good scoring system, giving a valid 3 point scale.
4) Handing cube to examiner. Simple scoring, the first to use a time cut-off.
5) Puts spoon in cup when asked. This is a very easy test, because many children will have seen spoons in cups. Some kids might put the spoon in the cup without being asked. It isn’t a pure test of language comprehension. The scoring system loses discrimination at the higher end. A child who does it immediately gets the same score as a child who takes 3 trials to get the hang of it. The child who takes a full 5 trials to do it gets the same score as those who do it in 4 trials. Once again, there is a ceiling effect in the scoring system
6) Match 3 shapes on board. Again, a very easy test, with 3 shapes to be put in their respective holes. Using 4 or even 5 might have given a more discriminative test. Again, the scoring system loses discrimination in the higher range, exactly as described above.
7) Point to the door/entrance in the room. Simple task, same loss of discrimination at higher end.
8) Place raisin into a small opening. A coordination motor task, but a weak test of cognition.
9) Drinks water from cup. A weak test of cognition.
10) Looks at something pointed at. A weak test of cognition.
11) Pretends to drink from a cup. Interesting idea, and a better scoring system.
12) Pretends to make a cup of tea. Some cultural loading here? Test of whether the child can do a pouring motion with a toy teapot.
13) Give the dolly some tea. Imitation.
14) Horizontal scribble Again, interesting, but scoring not sensitive to brighter children.
15) Finding a bracelet placed in full view under a cloth. Scoring system again could do with more range.
16) Child’s use of plurals when shown objects. Good language test, but again the scoring could be more precise.

There are then several tasks to be rated on the basis of parental report: can ask for toilet, runs back to mother, goes up steps, throws ball near something, kicks ball.
Then a language item about syllabic babbling, good topic, but again very crudely measured. Next items, all reasonable and interesting: uses two words together; indicates “no” by gesture; uses a pronoun; count of how many words the child uses during the assessment (this is a good item, but with restricted range at the top); how many 3 word sentences used (another good item, but with restricted range at top); whether child can follow the topic of conversation (good); combines word and gesture (good).

Summary: testing cognition in 2 year olds is difficult, and the authors have tried a wide range of tasks, which is good. However, the result is a very mixed bag in terms of varying cognitive demands. It would be good to see what the individual item responses look like, and any correlational and factorial analyses. They do not acknowledge any help from psychometricians, and that shows in the test construction. In my view the end result is a blunt instrument, which is fine for roughly screening the lower to middle range and identifying very slow developers, but does not allow brighter children to shine. The item response data might prove me wrong, but I think their scoring systems will severely diminish the relative advantage of brighter children.

There then follows a good observational section about the child’s behaviour during testing. I will not go into this further, other than to say that it probably provided very useful data.

Just to tell you about the selection criteria for entry into the study: healthy, breastfed children with minimum environmental, health, and nutrition constraints on growth from six populations in Brazil, Ghana, India, Norway, Oman, and the USA (n=8406). Results of the study showed striking similarity in linear growth in children from the six sites, thereby justifying pooling data to construct one international growth standard from birth to 5 years of age, which has since been adopted worldwide.

This study suggests that if we boost health outcomes for everyone in the world, many apparent racial differences will be shown to be due to bad environments and bad health systems.

Of course, if races actually differ, by choosing to study only those who are healthy and diligent then the differences could be brushed under the carpet in the form of selective sampling, different rejection rates, and for different reasons (early age of childbirth in some samples, later age in others). For example, soldiers in the US Army do not show much in the way of racial differences in intelligence. This is because many candidates from some racial groups have already been rejected by the intelligence-based selection procedure.

If you take the very brightest in the poorer parts of the world, who have risen by immense efforts to that level, such that they can afford environments which are excellent by local standards, and compare them with the average in wealthy countries, you might be picking from very different parts of the bell curve. This could well mis-represent real differences by apparently selecting for similar health environments across the world.

The fly in the ointment is that by picking healthy elites across the world the groups may have inadvertently have been roughly equalized for intelligence. This is really hard to determine. The Oxford sample is very highly educated, and even there only 22% of Oxford mothers met the study criterion. This sample seems to be super-selected for big brains. The results for each study centre have to be studied in detail.

most common reasons for ineligibility were maternal age younger than 18 years or older than 35 years (915, 11%), maternal height less than 153 cm (1022, 12%; mostly in India and Oman), and BMI of 30 kg/m 2 or higher (1009, 12%; mostly in the UK and USA). The contribution of each site to the total study population ranged from 7% (311/4607) in the USA to 14% (640/4607) in the UK. Of the 4607 enrolled, we excluded 36 women (0·8%) who developed severe conditions during pregnancy or took up smoking or drug use, and 71 (1·5%) were lost to follow-up or withdrew consent. Of the 4422 women who had live singleton births, 4321 (98%) had newborn babies without congenital malformations; their data comprised the FGLS population in this study.

The other disappointment about this very large study is that it stopped at age 2, long before proper intelligence testing could be carried out. It would be fascinating to do the follow-up, now that many of the children are of an age when testing is more strongly predictive of adult achievements.

Curiously for a study which was later used to say that there were no racial differences, the racial composition of the samples is not mentioned in the main results paper.

For example, the Kenyan sample is in Parkland suburb, originally designed by colonial Britain for civil servants, and is said to have a high Asian population, that is to say Indians from India. Was that the case in this sample?

The Brazilian sample was in Pelotas. The study details from the website do not mention the racial background of the sample. I wrote about Pelotas some time ago:

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/the-heartbeat-of-crime

The State of Rio Grande do Sul, in which the city of Pelotas is situated, is 79% European 9.5% African and 11% American Indian. Did the high-status sample conform to those proportions, or was it purely European? I cannot find this described in the paper, but it may be in some annexes.

The Indian centre was in Maharashtra, which is 8th highest province in national examinations in India, with a score of 258. Not the top (275), but well above average, and Indian province are very different in their scholastic attainments, more so than US states.

And, as already stated, Oxford mothers were all highly educated but only 22% of pilot study mothers met criteria for inclusion. This is super-selection for big brains.

It should be a simple matter to mention racial backgrounds in the paper (in may be in supplementary details somewhere).

The samples are not of equal sizes. The Kenyan sample is three times as big as the USA sample. This could unbalance some of the comparisons, though it is just a fact of life in international studies that some places are easier to study than others.

The study deliberately selected healthy women in un-polluted neighbourhoods.

At the individual level, we recruited mothers (and their newborn babies) for FGLS aged older than or equal to 18 years and younger than or equal to 35 years, who measured greater than or equal to 153 cm in height, had BMI greater than or equal to 18·5 kg/m2 and less than 30 kg/m2, who had no clinically relevant obstetric or gynaecological history, initiated antenatal care at less than 14 weeks of gestation (by menstrual dates), and met the entry criteria of optimum health, nutrition, education, and socioeconomic status.

They describe this as selecting for health. Of course, it may also select for intelligence. They say that about a third of the mothers in these areas met criteria. It would be good to know how representative these women were of their nations, not the wealthy urban areas with good health services chosen for the study. More important would be to find the educational backgrounds of the mothers.

This is a very large and well-funded project, and I think that some opportunities have been missed.

1) There may have been psychometric input, but I think they mostly consulted child psychiatry and obstetrics departments, and the cognitive assessment could have been better, and the scoring system improved.
2) Dan Freedman’s babies. This was a great opportunity to look at neonate behaviour in the first few days and try to replicate Freedman’s work.
3) Full genomes on children and parents.

Considering the strong statements the authors made to the press, about post codes being more important than genetic codes, they have chosen not to make that comparison in their actual study.

Lastly, the study patients did not undergo genetic profiling and, although this might seem to be a limitation, the eight populations included in the study are unlikely to be homogeneous when compared with each other.

Well, the lack of homogeneity does not make up for an opportunity missed. Also, as already mentioned, it would allow us to see which racial groups were represented in each of the centres, and to look at racial groups whichever centre they were tested at. This is a well-funded study (Gates Foundation) which could easily have afforded a SNP type analysis for about a $150 per child and a full genome for about $1000. Why not measure the code you are seeking to disparage?

What do I think of this study?

I think the authors have over-sold their findings. Their method is interesting and their findings could well be right (that once health is at a high standard, child development is relatively uniform in terms of major milestones), but a number of things are still uncertain.

They should have included genetic profiling. There is no longer any excuse for avoiding it. There is certainly no excuse for excluding the possible contribution of a variable you choose not to measure.

In that vein, why avoid even a description of the racial composition of each sample? The Brazilian sample is probably largely European in origin. The Kenyan sample might include many Indians. Why not disclose these matters if your wish is to show the unimportance of genetics? They may be of no consequence, but it would be good to be sure about it.

ALSPAC did it years ago:

The Avon Longitudinal Study of Children and Parents (ALSPAC) was established to understand how genetic and environmental characteristics influence health and development in parents and children. All pregnant women resident in a defined area in the South West of England, with an expected date of delivery between 1st April 1991 and 31st December 1992, were eligible and 13 761 women (contributing 13 867 pregnancies) were recruited. These women have been followed over the last 19–22 years and have completed up to 20 questionnaires, have had detailed data abstracted from their medical records and have information on any cancer diagnoses and deaths through record linkage. A follow-up assessment was completed 17–18 years postnatal at which anthropometry, blood pressure, fat, lean and bone mass and carotid intima media thickness were assessed, and a fasting blood sample taken. The second follow-up clinic, which additionally measures cognitive function, physical capability, physical activity (with accelerometer) and wrist bone architecture, is underway and two further assessments with similar measurements will take place over the next 5 years. There is a detailed biobank that includes DNA, with genome-wide data available on >10 000, stored serum and plasma taken repeatedly since pregnancy and other samples; a wide range of data on completed biospecimen assays are available. Details of how to access these data are provided in this cohort profile.

Two years of age is too early to make statements about cognitive ability, but the cognitive items could have been improved and scored more accurately. There is probably a reasonable cognitive measure lurking there. Another opportunity lost, though the next wave of testing can very probably provide further and better particulars. A truly negative result would have been really interesting.

In summary, there may well be a lot here which is worth considering, and which will contribute to our knowledge of early child development. The very restricted selection criteria may have been selecting on factors other than just health. With genome sequencing and some intelligence test data when the children are 7 and/or 11 years of age this study will be more informative.

 
• Category: Science • Tags: Heredity, Intelligence 
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  1. res says:

    Top level link at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-07983-4

    Supplementary Material only has two tables. Not terribly interesting.

    The Reviewer’s comments are a bit more interesting. Some samples.

    Reviewer #1 (Remarks to the Author):
    Overall, this revised manuscript has addressed the concerns of the previous review. This reviewer continues to believe, however, that reporting ethnicity for the samples is important (even if flawed) to better understand the cohorts studied. Even if one does not believe that ethnicity has an impact on cognitive functioning with respect to genetic background, ethnicity in many situations can be a proxy for social and environmental issues that could impact cognitive development. I believe that readers of this manuscript will want that basic information. It is not necessary to relate ethnicity to the developmental outcome.

    and in the authors response. Emphasis mine.

    We appreciate the Reviewer’s request. Therefore, we have included, in Supplementary Table 1, baseline socio-demographic data according to study site, which is the best proxy we can provide in these populations given that no information about ethnicity was collected.

    This manuscript has been previously reviewed at another journal that is not operating a
    transparent peer review scheme.

    details of both recruitment and the details of the measures themselves. While these have been published elsewhere and cited it would seem reasonable that some further detail is included in this paper.

    Any idea where this was published elsewhere?

    Given the following I really wonder what the ethnicity of their population was.

    The samples described are not representative of whole countries, regions or cities, nor were they intended to be. Instead, they were specifically selected – reflecting our conceptual approach to the issue – to include geographical areas populated by low-risk pregnant women and their children within each country or city. Hence, the samples are intended to represent a theoretical, healthy, low-risk population – rather than one that includes both low- and high-risk populations – within a country or city.

  2. ‘…This is a very large and well-funded project, and I think that some opportunities have been missed…’

    What? They knew what results they wanted, and they got them.

    • Replies: @Sowhat
  3. j2 says:

    The connection from head circumference in birth to school age IQ between ethnic groups is not so clear.

    From two studies, Singapore and Finland, both in 2014 and both countries high in PISA results with Singapore a bit better, we have this reference from Singapore:
    http://www.annals.edu.sg/pdf/43VolNo9Sep2014/V43N9p439.pdf

    Figure 3 shows that the average CM for boys is 32 cm, while this reference from Finland
    http://epublications.uef.fi/pub/urn_nbn_fi_uef-20141327/urn_nbn_fi_uef-20141327.pdf
    on page 16 gives the average CM for Finnish boys as 35.2 cm.

    Yet Singapore boys are apparently not less intelligent, more like a bit more intelligent. The Singapore paper has three races and announces as the only significant difference that Chinese boys had 0.5cm larger HC than Indian boys, but even with this increase, Singapore Chinese boys are much below Finnish boys, yet not at all more stupid.

    Baby growth charts change with time and the conclusion of the paper can well be justified. Much depends on the environment. Each nation has to use national growth charts, as is pointed out in the Singapore paper, and Finland also uses own charts, as the average chart leads to misdiagnoses.

    • Replies: @Rodolfo
    , @Nepotistic
  4. Post-Code analyses are much better at predicting end of life based on lifestyles by post-code. Race or ethnicity is a secondary factor, albeit an important one because it largely determines who sorts into or selects into a given post-code.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  5. @res

    Wow! Thanks. If one does not collect ethnicity data…….one may talk about the lack of importance of such data.

    • Replies: @res
  6. @The Alarmist

    Yes. We need postcodes-by-genetics (ethnicity) to look at predictive values without confounders.

  7. res says:
    @James Thompson

    If one does not collect ethnicity data…….one may talk about the lack of importance of such data.

    It is so blatant. I can’t believe it wasn’t even discussed in the paper itself. Do have to give Nature Communications credit for including the Reviewer’s Comments.

    What is more fun is following the trail a bit. Here is another paper from the first author: The satisfactory growth and development at 2 years of age of the INTERGROWTH-21st Fetal Growth Standards cohort support its appropriateness for constructing international standards
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002937817323293

    The word “ethnic” appears twice in that paper. Once where they claim (giving two references from the first author):

    We have summarized the key statistical, physiologic, ethnic, and genetic evidence relating to this issue.4, 5

    And once in the final reference for the paper: Racial/ethnic standards for fetal growth: the NICHD Fetal Growth Studies
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002937815008984

    Here is where the first paper references the second:

    Recent standardized, prospectively collected, fetal data have confirmed the complex effect of nutrition, the environment, migration, and social-cultural issues on fetal growth patterns.48, 49, 50

    But let’s go see what the latter paper actually had to say. This is the complete text of the conclusion:

    Conclusion
    Significant differences in fetal growth were found among the 4 groups. Racial/ethnic-specific standards improve the precision in evaluating fetal growth.

    But of course, THIS paper is not freely available. Fortunately there is libgen.

    Looking at Figure 3 I have some sympathy for the original paper. The differences don’t look that large expressed like that. Let’s see if this link embeds (if not, the figures are available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26410205 ):

    But Figure 4 shows that essentially all of the ethnic measurement differences are statistically significant. And Figure 5 shows the birth weight differences in a way where they look more important:

    Looking at the results, I think it is fair to say that the differences are important.

    RESULTS:
    EFW differed significantly by race/ethnicity >20 weeks. Specifically at 39 weeks, the 5th, 50th, and 95th percentiles were 2790, 3505, and 4402 g for white; 2633, 3336, and 4226 g for Hispanic; 2621, 3270, and 4078 g for Asian; and 2622, 3260, and 4053 g for black women (adjusted global P < .001). For individual parameters, racial/ethnic differences by order of detection were: humerus and femur lengths (10 weeks), abdominal circumference (16 weeks), head circumference (21 weeks), and biparietal diameter (27 weeks). The study-derived standard based solely on the white group erroneously classifies as much as 15% of non-white fetuses as growth restricted (EFW <5th percentile).

    Spitballing a bit, if we consider 5/95% as -2/+2SD for EFW (Estimated fetal weight) we get a white SD of ~150g which gives a Cohen’s d for the medians of about 1.1/1.7/1.7 for Hispanic/Asian/Black.

    Of course the key question is whether these numbers reflect environmental disadvantages rather than inter-ethnic variation (I assume the authors of the original paper would contend this). Table 1 summarizes the cohort characteristics and there ARE some significant differences (e..g see income). So what this indicates to me is that the question is worth studying. Unfortunately it needs a real study. Not one which does not even collect ethnicity data.

    On the ground in the US, the takeaway seems to be “use ethnicity specific ranges.” But that raises the question of whether the “erroneous” classifications in the second paper are truly wrong and whether they should be treated as “normal” or indicative of a problem.

    P.S. For completeness, here are references 4 and 5 from the original paper:
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002937815007188
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/141/2/e20172467

    I stopped reading when I came across:

    Furthermore, recommending that growth charts should be ethnic/racial-specific, based on the concept that certain ethnic or racial groups have a genetic predisposition to small or large size at birth, has no scientific basis in nonisolated populations. First, ethnicity and race are social, not biologic, constructs. As a Nature Biotechnology 2005 editorial concluded: “Scientifically, race is a meaningless marker of anything. Pooling people in race silos is akin to zoologists grouping raccoons, tigers and okapis on the basis that they are all stripey.”28 These are not even well-defined terms: a systematic review identified 116 definitions of self-reported race or ethnicity in the medical literature.29 Second, most populations have been subjected to marked genetic admixture, including the United States,30 such that >6 million North Americans, who self-identify as European, probably carry African ancestry.31 Third, nearly 700 genetic variants have been implicated in adult height (compared with the few associated with skin pigmentation), but even these only explain one-fifth of the heritability of height.32 The concept is also contradicted by the overwhelming literature that links physical growth in humans to socioeconomic, environmental, health, and nutrition conditions worldwide.33 Hence, there is no scientific basis for the adaption of fetal or newborn growth charts based on the self-reported ethnicity of the mother, which is a procedure that makes even less practical sense when we consider the multiple permutations of mixed-ethnicity couples and the extent of present-day mass migration.

    Hard to evaluate a question objectively when you don’t even allow for the possibility of it being true.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  8. @res

    Thanks for these very informative comments, always extremely helpful.
    I think they could have made their case in the following way.
    Take epidemiological samples in different continental locations, and report them fully, showing racial differences, if any.
    Compare the 8 different locations, without any reference to race.
    Then compare the entire group according to their racial groups to show differences, if any. In that study Europeans in Brazil would be lumped together with Europeans in Europe, Indians in Africa lumped together with Indians in India. If race counts for anything then there would be differences observed, which could be compared with any differences found between the centres once race was controlled for.
    Then they could draw a “healthy” sub-sample from each locations, showing from which part of the local bell curve they drew that healthy sample, and compare the centres. All this would make the potentially relevant factors open to inspection.

    • Replies: @dearieme
    , @res
  9. dearieme says:
    @James Thompson

    “All this would make the potentially relevant factors open to inspection.”

    But they chose not to. A trout in the milk?

  10. res says:
    @James Thompson

    Thanks for the kind words. I enjoy your blog very much and hope my positive contributions outweigh the negatives ; )

    I like your idea. It would also help substantiate (and quantify!) the “negative environment for group X” type assertions if they are correct. And I actually think they are. It’s just that I don’t think they are the complete explanation. In the US I find the classic default assumption of 50/50 genetic/environmental responsibility for the group differences to be a plausible starting point.

    P.S. As an aside, it looks like my Cohen’s d estimates may be affected by differences in Gestational Age (see Figure 5) between groups. Probably should correct for that, but I don’t see how without the underlying data (other than the Mark I Eyeball, which is not ideal).

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  11. @res

    Yes, open data would be best. Perhaps it should be required within a certain time limit, enough for authors to have plenty of time to analyse data, but not keep it under wraps for ever.

    • Agree: res
  12. @res

    This study is BCS…Best Case Scenario. The entire study was a set up and the data were cherry picked to get the conclusion they wanted. They may actually picked the data and worked backwards to do the study. That’s pretty common for some of these studies. It’s pretty sad to see how far the Journal Nature has fallen to get this politically correct Utopian View.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  13. Rodolfo says:
    @j2

    Yeah, head circunference to IQ correlation is smaller than brain volume to IQ, even within races.

  14. How many of each race and for how long would children at birth be needed if experiment were to maintain the subject children in the same (time and content) totally virtual non human environment

    hypothesis race do not matter, prior parental status matters, and gene profile and arrangement matters..

    control:
    same numbers, virtual environment excluded, but in a human social environment designed to be as much like the virtual environment as possible, and using the same (time and content) experience as in the virtual environment, except the experience is given by a human parent.

  15. Sowhat says:
    @Colin Wright

    Reminds me of the Global Warming Pseudo-Scientists and their ilk.

  16. Excuse me but this is all just too tedious. Of course there are racial differences and the biggest one is between blacks and all others. In fact, they may indeed be a different species. End of story.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  17. @j2

    I wonder whether these head circumference variations have more to do with delivery practices and maternal diet/insulin levels than actual IQ.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @j2
  18. Anon[424] • Disclaimer says:

    Useless research . Typical western pseudoscience , too many useless data and too little common sense .

    • Replies: @Franklin Ryckaert
  19. In our globalized world it is possible to find subjects for testing from different parts of the world who all belong to the same race. To conclude then that “there are no differences between the races” would be dishonest. If you want to compare different races then you should use different races and name them. Brazil is multi-racial and so is India. The US and the UK increasingly so. This test is dishonest right from the beginning.

  20. @Anon

    We live in an age in which not only most politicians are dishonest, but also most scientists.

  21. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:

    Another fake study by propagandists. I’m a White American living in anti White racist America where IQ and achievement are meaning less because of anti White affirmative action discrimination.

    Pontificate all you want Mr Thompson, I and mine will survive and thrive outside the
    outmoded be smart work hard and you’ll be rewarded with a good career bourgeois system than ended in the summer of 1968 with the passage of the affirmative action act.

    It’s 2019, not 1919

  22. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Nepotistic

    I don’t think it has anything to do with delivery practices or maternal nutrition It’s just genetics.

    Next there ‘ll be a major study proving what everyone in the world knows: girls puberty and growth spurt starts and ends about 10 & 1/2 to 13 while with boys it’s about 12 to 15 . And by 16 the boys are taller than the girls. And Asians have the straightest hair and blacks the curliest hair.

  23. beau says:

    this is amerika, ca 2019. to believe anything put forth is an exercise in gullability guaranteed to produce stupidity if embraced.

  24. In other words, no news here.

  25. J1234 says:

    Thanks, James Thompson, for a thoughtful and detailed (yet accessible and critical) look into this study. There might be some truth in the study, and it’s interesting to read about their methodology in a way that a non-scientist like myself can understand. I’m hoping your critique can be part of the general discussion.

    The Oxford sample is very highly educated, and even there only 22% of Oxford mothers met the study criterion. This sample seems to be super-selected for big brains.

    The other disappointment about this very large study is that it stopped at age 2, long before proper intelligence testing could be carried out.

    I often find comparative studies “stacked” towards a certain outcome in the world of 2nd Amendment politics, an area I have an interest in. There are something like 200 recognized nations in the world, yet those who would seek to diminish the 2nd Amendment in the US constantly rely on the same old dozen countries or so to prove their point that countries with stringent gun control are consistently safer than the United States.

    For example, It’s always the UK vs. the US, as Britain has less than about 50 gun deaths a year compared to America’s thousands. Gun restrictive Australia also always shows up on the studies. I should mention that it isn’t necessarily the people who conduct the studies, but the movement’s public mouthpieces who come up with the simplistic conclusions.

    Never mentioned is that Sweden and Switzerland’s intentional murder rate is noticeably lower than Britain’s (despite having a noticeably higher civilian gun ownership/possession rate.) Never mentioned is that, although it consistently has less than 50 gun related murders every year, the UK has many hundreds of murders (700 or 800) committed by other means. Suicide stats from the US are used to promote an anti-second agenda, but never suicide stats from gun restrictive western Europe, where suicide rates of many countries are higher than the US rate.

    Brazil also never shows up on the studies. It has relatively strict gun control, but has five times as many murders as the US, even though it only has 2/3 the population.

    • Replies: @Anon
  26. AaronB says:

    It’s a meritocracy folks, and the people on top deserve to be there.

  27. j2 says:
    @Nepotistic

    “I wonder whether these head circumference variations have more to do with delivery practices and maternal diet/insulin levels than actual IQ.”

    Baby head circumference correlates with the baby weight and length, probably for the same reason that the shoe size correlates with the height. In Finland babies weighted 3348.5 kg during 1950-70, 3548 kg in 1987, 3483,5 in 2010. This size gain is most probably related to the diet. I have no data on the head circumference, but if the size grows, sizes of parts of the body also grow. Some big heads are caused by delivery practices, but they are not the reason for head circumference variation between countries. The average height is largely genetic, so you have larger people with larger heads and smaller people with smaller heads. Taking two ethnic groups with a different average height you will notice different average head circumference that correlates positively with the average height and it is not related to the average IQ of these groups. There is a weak correlation between IQ, brain size and head circumference inside the population, but inside the population the genes for height are not correlated with genes for IQ, so this relation does not necessarily generalize to between populations differences. But in the Singapore paper they noticed a head circumference difference between Chinese and Indian boys. That may be related to IQ.

  28. JimB says:

    It took me about 30 sec to figure out this paper is plagued by selection bias roughly along the lines of the reasons you give in detail. The researchers clearly cherry picked something like 1600 kids from a sample 50,000 to test. This is not science. It is pseudoscientific propaganda. Good luck getting a grant for a follow up study to challenge their sampling methodology.

  29. Agent76 says:

    Dec 17, 2011 What babies learn before they’re born

    Annie Murphy Paul (author of “Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives.”) shares a powerful talk on what babies learn before they’re born.

  30. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @J1234

    Those UK vs US studies never mention that the UK has many more burglaries, home invasions and street robberies and attack’s than does the US. Even the most liberal anti gun English admit those stats are because the UK criminals know that the homes they Incase don’t have guns nor do the people they rob and attack on the street. So in the UK the criminals know their victims can’t fight back with a gun.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  31. Anonymous[379] • Disclaimer says:

    The when, who and how they tested was obviously manipulated to produce a propaganda taking point.

    A talking point about races.

    Which was something they specifically avoided measuring.

    Wow!

  32. TheJester says:

    James,

    What you are doing is describing a world in which TRUTH is a crime … whenever it deviates from the politically correct narrative. How sad!

    I religiously read your blog … but only rarely comment. The heuristic reason is perhaps that 23&Me relates that I’m genetically ill-disposed to carry a tune and, I can suppose, understand advanced mathematics. BWT: 23&Me is right in both respects.

    Nonetheless, I want to tell you how much I appreciate your essays. Yours is the only blog on the Unz Review that challenges my ability to comprehend. Be patient, it will take time. I’m working on it.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  33. If you sincerely wished to isolate the effects of 0-2 year environment on cognitive development, you would control for the effect of the parents’ genetic contribution.

    This could be done easily by measuring the parents’ IQs and seeing if the “good” early environment resulted in the same cognitive development regardless of parental IQ. If they had done this they presumably would have seen that cognitive development (to the extent it is even measurable by their bad tests at such an early age), is heavily determined by parental IQ even if the early environment is held constant.

    But that isn’t what they wanted to find, so they didn’t look.

    At this point, the environmentalist have nothing but smoke and mirrors. This study is the perfect example of junk science which is reverse engineered to produce a PC “conclusion” that can then be reported in the scientifically illiterate fake news media.

    • Agree: Commentator Mike
  34. @Anon

    It’s very much a case of “I wouldn’t be starting from here”. It’s hard to believe that anyone would design the existing set up of legislation and enforcement in the US if they could have anticipated the future even knowing about black dysfunction drug trafficking from Latin America. I’m glad that our unruly small minority of Sudanese youths can’t get guns and so the damage they do has so far been sleight.

    The US problem seems to be one caused by greed to sell guns preventing the most obvious common sense restrictions on being able to obtain and keep guns.

    The deterrent effect you mention seems logical but I can recall staying in houses in Aiken SC and Old Greenwich CT where doors were left unlocked for 16+hours at a time.

  35. James Thompson, what a pity the madly viciously PC can’t be as carefully polite as you. You let the bought pseudoscientists off lightly.

  36. jb says:

    I was under the impression that black (sub-Saharan) children developed faster than white children, and that it was only later that white children caught up and surpassed them cognitively. Is that true, or was I misled? If true, it would certainly make it difficult to draw any definitive conclusions about race and intelligence from a study of this sort.

    • Agree: Dieter Kief
    • Replies: @res
  37. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    … the mean for Indian head circumference is one UK standard deviation below the UK mean.

    This seems a pretty dumb comparison. Small people, women for instance, have smaller brains than large people, men for instance, but the difference is not indicative of a difference in IQ, which is not surprising since organ size is proportional to cell size, so a large individual with a large brain likely has no more brain cells than a small individual with a proportionately smaller brain.

    In fact, a small brain might be sharper, or faster anyhow, than a large brain since nerve impulses have shorter mean travel distances.

    What the authors of the study should have looked for is evidence of allometric differences in brain to body ratio. But psychologists seem as ignorant of biology as most physicists.

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  38. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Chris Bridges

    Of course there are racial differences and the biggest one is between blacks and all others.

    You nullify your own comment by identifying “blacks” with a race. Evidently, you do not understand what the word “race” means, and are unaware of the fact that racially, the “blacks” of Africa are the most highly diverse group of humans on the face of the planet.

    • Replies: @res
  39. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @niteranger

    This study is BCS…Best Case Scenario. The entire study was a set up and the data were cherry picked to get the conclusion they wanted.

    Yes, one has to suspect that, consciously or not, the authors sought an outcome consistent with the globalist intentions of the Money Power and owners of Nature, i.e., that we are all equal under the skin and therefore only ignorant KKK morons and far-right-wing extremist racist Nazis who refuse to read the Gruniard or NY Times could possibly object to the genocide of the European peoples by a combination of suppressed reproduction (i.e., sex ed that teaches that the only vice is reproduction, plus “the right to chose,” i.e., to chose a holocaust of the unborn, and even the unborn that are no longer unborn) combined with mass replacement immigration of people of an alien race and nation.

    Perhaps, as a late companion piece to Villar et al. we will shortly see in Naturean article proving that Islam, Christianity, Witchcraft and Voodoo and, indeed, atheism, are all essentially benign, equivalent and perfectly miscible cultural systems.

    • Agree: res
  40. res says:
    @jb

    Appears to be true (except the “caught up and surpassed” part, the gap is always present, it gets bigger later). If you pay attention you will notice that many studies purporting to show a small B/W IQ gap are done on young children. After the MORE is an extended footnote from pp. 407-408 of Jensen’s The g Factor discussing this.

    [MORE]

    First, the context of the footnote provides a good summary on page 377.

    In summary, the cross-sectional data show an increasing mean W-B IQ difference from early childhood (about 0.7σ), to middle childhood (about 1σ), to adolescence and early maturity (about 1.2σ). The same data provide no evidence to indicate a decrease in the mean W-B difference in IQ over the last 20 years or so.33 There is, however, considerable evidence of a significant decrease in the W-B difference on some scholastic achievement tests, largely due to educational gains by blacks— probably because of blacks’ increased attendance rates, years of schooling, and special services in recent decades. (See Chapter 14, Figure 14.2, p. 562.)

    The footnote itself from pp. 407-408.

    33. An article by Vincent (1991), which has gained rather favorable notice recently as a result of its being cited in a popular book, The Bell Curve (Herrnstein & Murray, 1994, pp. 290 and 720, Note 51), suggests that in recent years the W-B IQ gap has been shrinking. Vincent based this surmise on about a dozen previously published studies that seem to show a smaller W-B IQ difference for children tested after 1980, as compared with children tested before 1980 or with persons who were adults when tested. All of the post-1980 groups consist of children of preschool or elementary school age (two to twelve years). But a comprehensive review of earlier data (Shuey, 1966) on this age group indicates a smaller mean W-B IQ difference than is found in older groups, even on IQ tests in the period from 1920 to 1965. Moreover, with the exception of the normative data on the 1986 Stanford-Binet IV, none of the four other studies cited by Vincent is at all suitable for testing the hypothesis in question. The Raven scores cited by Vincent, which were obtained from relatively high SES areas, are not based on representative samples, particularly of the black population (Dr. John Raven, personal communication, July 23, 1995). Other data came from children enrolled in Head Start, for which the black, and especially the white, children are unrepresentative samples of their respective U.S. populations. Still other data were from black and white groups matched on SES and other social and scholastic variables. Yet another data set was based on the K-ABC, a test that is less g loaded than the WISC-R (and probably than most other IQ tests). Therefore, consistent with Spearman’s hypothesis, the K-ABC shows a somewhat smaller W-B IQ difference than do other IQ tests (Jensen, 1984c). The only appropriate data for the author’s purpose are the Stanford-Binet IV norms, which show the following mean W-B differences, both in IQ units and in σ units for each age group: ages 2 through 6 years: 13.7 IQ, 0.95σ; ages 7 through 11 years: 9.9 IQ, 0.65σ; ages 12 through 18 years: 17.4 IQ, 1.11σ (the last group not reported by Vincent, but in Thorndike et al., 1986, Table 4.5, pp. 34-36). Only the age group 7 to 11 is out of line with all the other data summarized in the text. It is the one and only legitimate item of evidence that would appear to support V incent’s suggestion that the W-B IQ gap may have narrowed in recent years due to improved educational and economic opportunities for blacks. But if so, why does the even younger group (ages 2 to 6) show a W-B difference of 13.7 IQ points (incorrectly reported by Vincent as 12 IQ points)? It cannot be the effect of schooling on raising the IQ in the school-age blacks, because the black IQ in the preschool age group is only 1.7 lower than in the school-age group. (The white and black IQ means for ages 2 through 6 are 104.7 and 91.0, respectively; for ages 7 through 11, 102.6 and 92.7, respectively; and for ages 12 through 18, 103.5 and 86.1, respectively.)

    Other recent evidence, in fact, suggests that the mean W-B IQ difference is not decreasing but is more probably increasing. Since at least 1970, U.S. Census data have indicated that among all women between ages 15 and 44 years (regardless of their marital status) there is a negative relationship between years of schooling and number of offspring (Jensen, 1981a, pp. 252-253). This negative relationship is more pronounced for black women than for white women. In 1970, for example, black women with less than 8 years of education had 1.3 more children than black women who graduated from high school and 1.8 more children than black women with 1 to 3 years of college. The corresponding numbers of children for white women were 0.8 and 1.3, respectively.
    Further, for both blacks and whites, there is a positive correlation between children’s IQ and their m other’s level of education. In the large representative sample selected for the National Longitudinal Study of Youth (NLSY) the percentage of black children born to mothers with IQ 110; the corresponding figures for whites are 19 percent and 22 percent. The conjunction of these demographic conditions suggests the widening of the W-B IQ difference in successive generations. This prediction is borne out, so far, by the NLSY data on the IQs of those children (tested at over six years of age) whose mothers were tested in the original NLSY sample. The mean W-B IQ difference for the mothers was 13.2; for their children it was 17.5 IQ points (Herrnstein & Murray, 1994, pp. 352-356). These statistics showing an average lowering of the mean black IQ vis-3-vis the mean white IQ, it should be emphasized, are not necessarily the result of anything that happened directly to the children in the course of their individual development, but rather they probably result from the different birth rates of blacks and whites within different segments of the IQ distribution of the children’s parents, as described above. Even supposing there was no racial IQ difference whatsoever in previous generations, then given the continuance of the present condition of birth rates that are differentially associated with IQ within each racial group, the inevitable result would be a racial IQ difference in subsequent generations. The resulting group difference would occur irrespective of the basic cause either of individual differences or of group differences in IQ. Whether the cause is environmental, or genetic, or both, would not alter the well-known educational, social, and economic correlates of IQ differences, which have been most fully spelled out by Herrnstein & Murray (1994).

  41. res says:
    @CanSpeccy

    I think you are the one who is unaware here. Or at least incapable of drawing correct conclusions from the facts you cite. PCA plots clearly show how blacks (here meaning sub-Saharan Africans) can simultaneously be the most diverse within their group while also being most distant from other groups. From http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2010/08/genetic-variation-within-africa-and-the-world

    Panel A shows sub-Saharan Africans make sense as a racial group at the continent level (with the Hazda being considered a separate race within that group) while panel B shows the intra-African diversity.

    When interpreting PCA plots it is important to know the % variance explained by each principal component so here it is:

    For panel A, PC1 = 20% of the variance, PC2 = 5%, and PC3 = 3.5%. For panel B the PCs didn’t drop off quite so much, PC1 = 11%, PC2 = 6%, PC3 = 5% and PC4 = 4%.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  42. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @res

    I think you are the one who is unaware here. Or at least incapable of drawing correct conclusions from the facts you cite. Panel A shows sub-Saharan Africans make sense as a racial group at the continent level (with the Hazda being considered a separate race within that group) while panel B shows the intra-African diversity.

    I said nothing about sub-Saharan Africans. I said:

    the “blacks” of Africa are the most highly diverse group of humans on the face of the planet.

    which is confirmed by your PCA data showing that blacks, including Ethiopians (Saharan Africans) , Cape mixed, African Americans, sub-Saharan Africans and Hazda account for most of the global variation.

    • Replies: @res
  43. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    The thing to remember when reading twaddle about head circumference and intelligence is that whereas the average adult male brain has a volume 1260 cubic centimeters, the volume of Einstein’s brain was only 1230 cubic centimeters, and the brain of the great genius Lenin was found on autopsy to be quite shriveled up.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  44. @CanSpeccy

    I thought phrenology has long been discredited. So they were measuring head circumference in this state-of-the-art study?! While leaving out so much as others have commented. Just goes to show.

    • Replies: @j2
  45. HiHo says:

    Clearly this is why the Industrial Revolution took place in Kenya.
    Also why Bolivia put the first man on the moon, and Bangladesh invented the wheel.
    And why Great Britain was still full of Stone Age tribes at the turn of the 21st century.
    DNA and cultural homogeneity counts for everything and always will unless you are of the cultural left.
    Cultural Marxism and political correctness dictate that intelligence potential (ie inate stupidity in the face of facts) is shared by us all.
    I’m so glad I never went to university and my common sense (rather than Common Purpose) is still intact.
    What a total waste of space this study is.

  46. j2 says:
    @Commentator Mike

    Of course not. They were measuring baby growth curves and baby cognitive development, which is a very valid topic in medicine. These curves are used for diagnostic purposes to know if the child has normal growth. They simply wanted to argue that the same plots could be used in all nations, but as it is not true they argued that for healthy babies one could use the same curves, but is also not true. Genetics has a role here.

  47. res says:
    @CanSpeccy

    I was complaining about the following (emphasis mine). You will note that I referred to “the facts you cite.”

    You nullify your own comment by identifying “blacks” with a race. Evidently, you do not understand what the word “race” means

    Regarding:

    your PCA data showing that blacks, including Ethiopians (Saharan Africans) , Cape mixed, African Americans, sub-Saharan Africans and Hazda account for most of the global variation.

    There was a reason I wrote “When interpreting PCA plots it is important to know the % variance explained by each principal component.” In panel A PC1 accounts for 4x the variance of PC2 and >5.5x that of PC3. Thus, in panel A most of the variation is between sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world (that is essentially PC1) with the major portion of variation contributed by non-sub-Saharan (and non-Hadza) Africans being either from admixture or an evolutionary cline from SSA into Europe (it can be hard to distinguish the two, but for example, I understand the Cape Mixed are admixed).

    Which is pretty much how I interpreted Chris Bridges’ comment and why I called your criticism of it out.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  48. apollonian says: • Website

    Reality Is Determined, Suckers (No Perfectly “Free” Will)–Following FM Objectivity (Aristotle)

    What’s this?–“post code more important than genetic code”?–actually it’s a trick question, right? So let’s begin fm the beginning.

    Thus reality is objective (Aristotle) or not. If reality is not objective, then anything goes–subjectivism (basically Plato) or outright mysticism. For note only objectivity gives the law of Identity, A is A, then non-contradiction, foundation of logic, science, and all and any reason.

    Following objectivity is DETERMINISM, absolute cause-effect, no perfectly “free” will; everything happens the way it has to happen, determined fm the very beginning.

    But subjectivists want to push the perfectly “free” will idea–for that is the golden method of controlling and manipulating the masses of people by means of guilt- and inferiority-complex–pretending there’s “free” will, and one must feel guilty if one doesn’t “choose” correctly, hoh o ho ho.

    Weaklings and inferiors follow the “free” will fallacy as it makes them HUBRISTIC, to feel like God, capable of miraculously changing reality and suddenly becoming “good”–they have to, so obsessively, feel “good,” because it salves their inferiority-complex.

    So note “genetic code” merely follows determinism, “genetic” being practically synonymous w. racism, racially-determined, etc. So race matters–it determines, along w. all other basic circumstances, what happens later–there’s no perfectly “free” will, which only God could possibly have.

    So note again, non-determinism is impossible because otherwise no science or logic would be possible without objectivity, hence determinism.

    Hence it doesn’t matter the conditions examined in this article here, by James Thompson–it couldn’t possible change the necessary metaphysics of objectivity, determinism, and racism. Regardless the conditions of infant equality of circumstances, the genetic, determinist code must kick-in somehow and sometime, as reality demonstrates.

    And of course racism is hated by subjectivists and Satanists (extreme subjectivists, making themselves God)–it’s easiest way to deny objectivity and determinism. For don’t thou want to feel “good,” to feel like God who’s capable of changing reality?–thus over-coming inferiority-complex. And the inferiors and weaklings (of any race) endorse subjectivism and “free” will–it’s the natural HUBRIS which so often and easily affects inferiors and weaklings, people who refuse to accept necessary reality.

  49. this is global science. there’s no difference between humans. we are all like clones. race is a social construct. also gender. actually, there’s no difference between species at all. rats and humans are almost alike. pigs too. if you take a pig and give him all the white privileges it will become a string theory scientist. we’re all EQUAL, men, pigs, rats. the world is a salad. the soul is a goulash

    THE END

  50. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @res

    Which is pretty much how I interpreted Chris Bridges’ comment and why I called your criticism of it out.

    Well here’s what Chris Bridges said:

    Of course there are racial differences and the biggest one is between blacks and all others

    A clear assertion that “blacks” constitute a race, which as I pointed out, is rubbish.

    Even excluding Australian aborigines, Dravidians, some Amerindian tribes, etc., and thus considering only the blacks of Africa and their descendants — which includes, contrary to your assumption, Ethiopians (who are definitely Africans, though not sub-Saharans) — are not only not one tribe, but constitute a vast number of tribes that collectively encompass more genetic diversity than the rest of the human population combined.

    But I do understand that, to the right-brain defectives of the Unz Review, the idea that blacks are anything other than one big tribe of unredeemable morons is beyond comprehension.

    • Replies: @res
    , @Franklin Ryckaert
  51. res says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Practically speaking, most people mean “of sub-Saharan African descent” when they say “blacks.” And yes, there are plenty of people with an insufficiently nuanced understanding of different racial groups.

    That PCA plot clearly shows where the biggest difference lies. Regardless of you trying to dance around it.

    And please leave off with the ad hominems. As I have said before. Ad hominems, best way ever to say to the person arguing with you: “you win.”

    P.S. As a devotee of Lewontin’s fallacy you need to learn that “constitute a vast number of tribes that collectively encompass more genetic diversity than the rest of the human population combined” does not lessen their difference from the rest of the world. If anything, it emphasizes it ; )

  52. @CanSpeccy

    Nobody says that black Africans are of “one tribe”, but most are of one race (the Negroid race) no matter how much internal genetic variation they may have due to greater age.
    The Africans of eastern Africa are a stabilized mixture of Negroids and Caucasoids (Hamites and Semites), while Pygmies and Bushmen are considered as separate races.
    If the word “Black” is used to denote Negroids, then it is right to call most SubSahara Africans “Blacks”.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  53. @CanSpeccy

    One cannot disprove a general correlation by choosing one case. Furthermore, in measuring brain size at autopsy one may need to correct for age. More to the point, the actual correlation is about o.3 See Tim Bates’s interchange with Wicherts about the samples included in the latter’s meta-analysis.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    , @apollonian
  54. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Franklin Ryckaert

    Nobody says that black Africans are of “one tribe”, but most are of one race (the Negroid race)

    LOL.

    So a member of the black race is defined as a member of the negroid race, negroid being a fancy term for black. That’s what’s known as a tautology. But I guess it’s about the best justification an IQ-ist can come up with for lumping a Luo with a Kung! tribesman, an Ethiopian, an Australian aborignal, and a Dravidian.

    You may, like the hypersensitive Res, want to define all black people, or all Africans, or all sub-Saharan Africans as of one race, but if so you are misusing the term “race,” at least as anyone with any understanding of human evolution and biological diversity would use the term. Might as well lump all non-black people in the “white race”. It makes as much sense, or at any rate, no greater nonsense.

    • LOL: res
    • Replies: @Franklin Ryckaert
    , @res
  55. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @James Thompson

    More to the point, the actual correlation is about o.3

    Meaning that brain volume accounts for less than 0.3 squared, or less than 10% of the observed variation in IQ, or whatever it is that is supposed to be a measure of intelligence.

    Actually, others have put the number at less than that: closer to 7%, I think was the number Gould came up with. But in any case the number is suspect because it has not been corrected for pathol0gical conditions leading to microcephaly, or post-developmental brain shrinkage. Lenin’s shrivelled brain is a case in point. In his prime, the Commie bastard may have had a normal sized brain.

    Interestingly, Lenin’s brain was atrophied on the right side, which might explain his rule for dealing with opponents, i.e., having them “shot on the spot.” Apparently, emotional affect is dependent largely on the right hemisphere, with only anger and irritability associated strongly with the left hemisphere, which was all that Lenin possessed by the time he came to power.

    That is one major problem with assessing intelligence solely on the basis of left-brain, computational-type capabilities, whereas it is the right brain that seems to account in large part for the capacity to integrate the minutiae of experience and make both moral and wise judgments.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  56. apollonian says: • Website
    @James Thompson

    Thompson Must Face Up To Metaphysics Which No “Science” Or “Experiment” Can Deny

    WHUT?–

    “One cannot disprove a general correlation by choosing one case.”

    Well, ok, so HOW MANY does it take?–2, 3, 4–18?–ho ho ho ho. Here we see Thompson trying to submerge within the trees of the forest, hoping to get sooo lost within details that he’s no longer responsible for the thesis regarding

    “post codes being more important than genetic codes,….”

    Thus it’s just another moronic excuse-laden shambles of scientific-styled jargon and psycho-babble pretending to “nurture over nature,” against the necessary determinism (absolute cause-effect), in favor of the usual, hubristic, perfectly “free” (God-like) human will, foundation of Satanism (extreme subjectivism–idea reality is created by mind/consciousness, making subject God, the creator–Satanism, by definition)–which Satanism humanity so desperately struggles with in this very day of Agenda-21 and -2030 GENOCIDE.

    Thompson needs to face simple fact science by definition is founded upon (Aristotelian) objectivity, hence identity and non-contradiction (logic). Hence no possible “science” can conceivably demonstrate non-determinism (no absolute cause-effect)–like no science, necessarily built upon non-contradiction (logic) can prove reality is not objective, not in accord w. non-contradiction. Why?–and How is this (regarding inability of science to prove reality is not in accord w. non-contradiction)?–well, because it would be contradictory–ho ho ho ho ho.

    And if “nurture” could overcome nature–THAT would be obviously contradictory, ho ho ho ho. For plainly, nature is the very basic thing which nothing else can overcome–for if it COULD so “overcome,” then that would necessarily be built-in within the original “nature.”

    So race and racism are quite valid and of great importance, racial loyalty being the usual outstanding virtue as we racists have always held, racism known and understood as virtue to all races and cultures of all peoples throughout history. “Anti-racists” are simply SUBJECTIVISTS and Satanists, and they’re the very people presently pushing Agenda-21 and -2030 genocide. Q.E.D.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  57. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @apollonian

    racial loyalty being the usual outstanding virtue as we racists have always held, racism known and understood as virtue to all races and cultures of all peoples throughout history.

    Yeah, the point being the amazing fact that we are the remote progeny of life that arose on this planet around four billion years ago. That is a truly an astonishing fact. Just about every reproductive line that ever existed on Earth went extinct long, long ago, yet by some astounding sequence of good luck and perhaps occasional good judgement, we got to be among the present generation of surviving terrestrial life forms. The probability of that is almost infinitesimally small.

    One of the things that was essential to our presence here today has been the near universal human tendency, to favor kith and kin over others, and fellow townsmen over others, and fellow tribesmen, countrymen and co-religionists over others.

    So yes, anti-racism, when it manifests in the promotion of open borders, positive discrimination for immigrants, etc., is a vote for the extinction of your hereditary line. Does it matter. Not to me if you want to be the end of your line, but don’t mess with me or my national/racial gene pool. And don’t expect too many others to adopt your suicidal philosophy. Expect, on the contrary, Yellow Vests, Nationalists and ultimately, if you are really stupid, revolutionaries seeking to eradicate the danger you represent to the future of your community.

    • Agree: apollonian
  58. @CanSpeccy

    You confuse scientific terms with popular terms. No serious scientist reckons Bantus, Bushmen, Dravidians and Aborigines to one race merely because they are black. Negroid is the scientific term for the majority of SubSaharan Africans. If we still want to use a popular term, then “Black” should be used only for Negroids, even though there are other races that are equally black.

  59. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    You confuse scientific terms with popular terms.

    Actually, that exactly describes your misunderstanding. Here’s the Oxford Dictionaries on the term negroid:

    Negroid belongs to a set of terms introduced by 19th-century anthropologists attempting to categorize human races. Such terms are associated with outdated notions of racial types, and so are now potentially offensive and best avoided.

    The Urban Dictionary defines a negroid as simply a black person, which is consistent with the origin of that term and cognate terms, including negro and nigger, all of which derive from the Latin niger, meaning black.

    Since the terms negroid race or black race are scientifically meaningless, the only useful meaning that can be attached to the term negroid is the above-cited definition from the Urban dictionary.

    A race is not defined by skin color or any other particular morphological trait, but by breeding pattern and genetic relatedness. Specifically, a race is an interbreeding population separated by geographical, political, social, or religious divisions from other groups. A race can therefore be defined by its gene pool.

    Racial boundaries are, obviously, permeable. Nevertheless, Han Chinese are not the same as Kung! tribesmen, who are different again from every one of Africa’s three thousand other tribes, virtually all of which Rez seems to have omitted from his latest chart, which chart does not refute my earlier statement that “the ‘blacks’ of Africa are the most highly diverse group of humans on the face of the planet.”

    And the tribes of Africa or anywhere else can no doubt be broken down into somewhat less clearly differentiated sub groups or proto-races: residents of Glasgow versus those of Edinburgh, for instance, a difference that must have been fairly clear until recent times. Indeed, until the onset of the industrial revolution, every village in Europe would have had a more or less distinct gene pool. In England, for example, Most residents of most villages were most likely descended from residents of the same place since the Norman conquest and probably much earlier.

    • Replies: @res
  60. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @CanSpeccy

    Head circumference is, in any case, a poor proxy for brain volume. Presumably data from imaging studies could now be used instead. The data could be further improved by eliminating cases where brain volume and whole body mass deviate from the normal allometric relationship, being thus indicative of a micro- or megalo-cephalic pathology. We would then have a better basis for saying whether infant brain volume has anything to do with IQ.

  61. res says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Racial boundaries are, obviously, permeable. Nevertheless, Han Chinese are not the same as Kung! tribesmen, who are different again from every one of Africa’s three thousand other tribes, virtually all of which Rez seems to have omitted from his latest chart, which chart does not refute my earlier statement that “the ‘blacks’ of Africa are the most highly diverse group of humans on the face of the planet.”

    By the way, it is !Kung not Kung!. At least try to get the details right.

    First, if you were paying attention you would have noticed I did not disagree with “the ‘blacks’ of Africa are the most highly diverse group of humans on the face of the planet.” In fact, I affirmed it while noting that it does not change the underlying fact that the major genetic split is between ‘blacks’ and everyone else. As clearly shown by the graphic in my comment 59. I sincerely hope you don’t think this pivot of yours away from the original issue regarding Chris Bridges’ comment confuses anyone. But when all you’ve got is redirection I suppose that’s the thing to do.

    As far as omitting tribes from the chart, do you think the other tribes filling out Africa would appear anywhere but in the ‘black’ subtree to the left? In particular, since you care so much about the !Kung, presumably they are included in “click speakers.”

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  62. res says:
    @res

    Any substantive response, apollonian? The LOL as a rhetorical slam only works when you can actually refute the point being made. Can you?

    • LOL: apollonian
    • Replies: @res
  63. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @res

    At least try to get the details right.

    First, if you were paying attention

    I sincerely hope you don’t think

    But when all you’ve got

    LOL

    But at least you

    did not disagree that “the ‘blacks’ of Africa are the most highly diverse group of humans on the face of the planet.”

    That’s good, since otherwise you’d’ be wrong. And that was my sole initial point, was it not? Specifically, what I wished to indicate is that talk about the “black race” and “negroids” is evidence of sheer ignorance about human diversity and the present-day scientific understanding of the concept of “race.”

    But no need for you to reply. I don’t want to burden your rhetorical faculty unduly.

    • LOL: res
    • Replies: @res
  64. res says:
    @CanSpeccy

    It would be funny how bad you are at this (as I amply chronicled) if it was not so sad. At least you manage to see the humor in your ineptness.

    And that was my sole initial point, was it not?

    No, it was not.

    Specifically, what I wished to indicate is that talk about the “black race” and “negroids” is evidence of sheer ignorance about human diversity and the present-day scientific understanding of the concept of “race.”

    As opposed to your so enlightened understanding of race? Now there’s a LOL. Good to see that you prefer vague statements like yours to science. I am having trouble reconciling that with your using “right-brain defectives” as a pejorative along with your laudatory comments about the right brain in comment 55.

    But no need for you to reply.

    No problem. It is fun to point out where you go wrong. But it would be a lot more satisfying if you actually engaged with what other people say rather than just arguing against your favorite strawmen.

    I don’t want to burden your rhetorical faculty unduly.

    Thanks for the concern, but don’t worry about that. Keeping up with you requires very little of my faculties.

    P.S. It is funny that you are responding to the only one of us (you and I) actually presenting science in this thread with an appeal to “present-day scientific understanding.” It shows just how ridiculous it is for you to try to shoehorn me into your strawman of ignorance of this topic.

    • Replies: @Franklin Ryckaert
  65. @res

    “Present day scientific understanding” of race is politically motivated race denial, which is as much “scientific” as Lysenkoism was in the Soviet Union.

    • Agree: res
    • Replies: @res
  66. res says:
    @Franklin Ryckaert

    “Present day scientific understanding” of race is politically motivated race denial, which is as much “scientific” as Lysenkoism was in the Soviet Union.

    Which is amazing given how much recent real science (e.g. David Reich’s work, or the paper I cited) there is contrary to that. Something has to give.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  67. res says:
    @res

    That LOL would be a no. Thanks for the clarification, apollonian.

    • LOL: apollonian
  68. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @res

    You quote this comment with reference to my definition of the present-day scientific understanding of race with apparent approval.

    Present day scientific understanding” of race is politically motivated race denial, which is as much “scientific” as Lysenkoism was in the Soviet Union.

    So let’s get one thing clear. Do you actually deny this:

    A race is not defined by skin color or any other particular morphological trait, but by breeding pattern and genetic relatedness. Specifically, a race is an interbreeding population separated by geographical, political, social, or religious divisions from other groups. A race can therefore be defined by its gene pool.

    If so, let’s have your definition. But spare us another of your useless caption-free graphics.

    • Replies: @res
  69. res says:
    @CanSpeccy

    You quote this comment with reference to my definition of the present-day scientific understanding of race with apparent approval.

    I think that quote captures most of the “scientific” zeitgeist (if not the scientific reality). But if you think race can be defined by gene pool then perhaps we disagree less than I thought based on your other statements. In which case I would expect you to be more accepting of genetic evidence like PCA and the dendrogram I presented. I do realize your understanding is more sophisticated than the “race is solely a social construct” version better represented by that quote. My response would be better read as agreeing that trend is prevalent and troublesome than as believing your thinking is exactly that.

    A good way to put it is I object to your statements where and to the extent they align with that comment.

    Regarding

    A race is not defined by skin color or any other particular morphological trait, but by breeding pattern and genetic relatedness. Specifically, a race is an interbreeding population separated by geographical, political, social, or religious divisions from other groups. A race can therefore be defined by its gene pool.

    I partially agree.

    I do agree gene pool provides a good definition for race (me presenting genetic evidence for my assertions might have provided a clue here). But since skin color and other morphological traits are largely dictated by genes they correlate quite heavily with race. Trying to pretend race and genes have nothing to do with physical (and behavioral) traits is exactly the kind of Lysenkoism I decry. At the same time, I agree single traits have a very imperfect relation to race. You have done a good job of drawing out the classic dark skin color examples demonstrating that.

    And since I am playing nice with you about that, please do me the courtesy of doing the same with this.

    Do you actually deny that the biggest single genetic split between human groups occurs between Africa and the rest of the world?

    If so, please grace us with your understanding of human genetic variation across geographic groups. In particular, I would be interested in learning whether you believe in the Out of Africa theory (strong or weak, I tend to believe in a weak version) and how that relates to your answer. You might throw in a discussion of how small founder populations affect genetic variation as well.

    But spare us another of your useless caption-free graphics.

    There is a reason I include links to the source when I post things like that. If you are incapable of understanding the graphic (as I assume from your response) then feel free to follow that link. Is spoon feeding you enough, or do I also need to pre-chew your food for you?

    I think the reason you object to my graphics is because they provide extremely compelling evidence for the points I make. And you aren’t man enough to admit that.

    P.S. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I interpreted you responding to my request to stop with the ad hominems by calling me hypersensitive as you saying you are thick skinned and I can feel free to heap as much abuse on you as I like. I can back off if you actually want to have a civil conversation about this. But don’t ever think my preference for civil conversation means I can’t trade insults with you.

  70. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    But since skin color and other morphological traits are largely dictated by genes they correlate quite heavily with race.

    That’s a weaseling comment. You know full well that my definition of race was given in direct response to those claiming that black is a race, which it is not, and moreover, black skin is not even indicative of probably race for the reasons I’ve already stated.

    The only excuse for calling black a race is that African-Americans are of multi-racial origin. Thus, to Americans, black may be taken as referring in most cases, to a person of mixed sub-Saharan ancestry. Insofar as African-Americans constitute an interbreeding population that has been more or less isolated from other breeding groups in America, e.g., whites, Jews, Hindus, whatever, they may be considered a race. But that does mean that sub-Saharan Africans are of one race, which they certainly are not.

    • Replies: @res
  71. res says:
    @CanSpeccy

    That’s a weaseling comment.

    The only excuse for calling black a race is that African-Americans are of multi-racial origin. Thus, to Americans, black may be taken as referring in most cases, to a person of mixed sub-Saharan ancestry.

    Pot, meet kettle. As far as my correlation comment, let’s elaborate on that a bit. Because there are multiple morphological variables involved (which correlate differently with race) it is generally possible to make racial distinctions using multiple variables. So just because some people are foolish enough to just look at skin color it does not mean one is unable to make pretty good judgments by appearance and behavior.

    But that does mean that sub-Saharan Africans are of one race, which they certainly are not.

    Race is clearly hierarchical (this is why the dendrogram is so useful as a representation). The point I have been focusing on throughout this thread is “the biggest single genetic split between human groups occurs between Africa and the rest of the world.” (again, do you deny that or not? refusing to answer just demonstrates how insincere you are being in this conversation) That means (as shown by the dendrogram) that the first split of any (sensible, genetic) racial decomposition is Africa/Other. Your primary point seems to be that sub-Saharan Africans include multiple races, which is simply a lumper/splitter quibble.

    And for what it’s worth, African-Americans are largely from West and Central Africa constituting a subgroup which is much more defensible to consider a single race than all of sub-Saharan Africa.

    That last comment of yours was weak sauce. Try to do better.

    • Troll: CanSpeccy
    • Replies: @Tim too
  72. Tim too says:
    @res

    “The point I have been focusing on throughout this thread is “the biggest single genetic split between human groups occurs between Africa and the rest of the world.” (again, do you deny that or not? ”

    I’ve seen similar ideas, with supporting DNA data. That data appeared to clearly show the biggest split was between Africa and everywhere else. There are multiple levels to the idea. Example, sickle cell anemia. See maps https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3060623/
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3708126/

    From the maps we see other separations, so that sub-Sahara has further partitions, eg farther south and farther east. The PCA you reference might be correlated to the maps.

    I could be misinterpreting your comments or views. Apologies if so.

    Other genes, genetic traits, similar bifurcations.

    • Agree: res
  73. White TRA$$Hes embodied the dilema

    ”What is the advantage to be smart–er but NUTZ**

    Merry Christymass…

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