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Race/IQ: Response to Lynn and Nyborg
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TAC-RaceIQ Richard Lynn has now produced a lengthy and detailed rebuttal to my article Race, IQ & Wealth questioning his theories, as has Helmuth Nyborg, another leading IQ expert and strong supporter of Lynn. Their analyses have been published or highlighted on several prominent racialist websites, and I am herein providing my own rejoinder.

First, I will admit to being a bit confused about Lynn’s overall position. Although he often seems to be endorsing my viewpoint in its generality, he seems to strongly dispute nearly all the specific details.

For example, Lynn claims that he has never denied the substantial role of educational and other environmental factors in determining the IQ results of different populations, and that he is simply suggesting that genetic factors may also influence “some” of the IQ differences he reports. As it happens, this is almost exactly the central thesis of my own article, in which I argue that the evidence overwhelmingly refutes what I call the “Strong IQ Hypothesis,” but that a “Weak IQ Hypothesis” might very well be correct. Essentially, I am proposing that the enormously large differences in population IQ reported by Lynn are primarily due to factors of social environment—poverty, education, rural deprivation—but that even if these external differences were completely eliminated, there still might remain a much smaller residual genetic effect, though its size and direction is somewhat speculative.

But although Lynn seems to be affirming my “Weak IQ Hypothesis” in the general case, he seems to oppose it in every given particular, which I find perplexing. For example, the word “education” appears only once in the index of his 300 page book IQ and the Wealth of Nations, and in that reference he provides a few sentences citing academic articles claiming a strong educational role in IQ, but then follows with a paragraph debunking and refuting the notion that education has any fundamental or permanent impact on IQ. Meanwhile, there seems to be no discussion anywhere of related factors such as “culture” or “rural deprivation”, and I am not aware that he raises any of these possibilities in his reporting and analysis of specific national IQ scores, even when these seem to show massive fluctuations over time. He certainly does recognize the important role of various biological factors such as nutrition and health, but even these merit only three or four pages out of 300.

In his 2006 sequel, he discusses these issues at greater length, but with little more clarity or consistency. For example, he raises the possibility of socio-economic factors substantially impacting both IQ and educational attainment, but concludes “This explanation cannot be correct” based on adoption studies (p. 44). Although at points in the book he vaguely seems more open to the role of “social environment” as a factor, he almost never seems to consider it when he discusses specific differences in national IQs. I might speculate that he is providing himself some “plausible deniability” by accepting non-genetic explanations in the vague abstract while almost always ignoring or dismissing them in each specific case. If I am mistaken, and he does indeed support “the Weak IQ Hypothesis,” I would be very glad to know this.

Numerous others might also benefit from such clarification. Not a single one of the vast outpouring of critical remarks I have received from Lynn admirers has ever suggested that I was misrepresenting Lynn when I characterized his position as essentially IQ-determinism.

 

As to the specifics of Lynn’s rebuttal, one significant problem I quickly encountered was a high degree of what seems to be serious factual error. For example, he directly and repeatedly quotes me as claiming “the European peoples are genetically indistinguishable” and “all the European peoples are genetically indistinguishable,” devoting several long paragraphs to refuting this claim. However, I never made any such totally absurd and scientifically ridiculous statements, and when I asked him for his source, he was unable to locate it anywhere in my writings. Admittedly, I did claim that East Germans and West Germans were indeed “genetically indistinguishable” and also that Greeks and Turks are quite genetically similar (as Lynn himself has stated on various occasions), but obviously such statements are entirely different from claiming the same is also true for Swedes, Basques, and Greeks. As Lynn himself explains in rebutting my (non-existent) claim, Nordics tend to be fair and blue-eyed while Sicilians are very rarely so, rendering it rather unlikely those two groups would be “genetically indistinguishable.” If Lynn wishes to portray me as a total ignoramus on genetic matters that is certainly his privilege, but I would prefer he read my writing more carefully and avoid inventing spurious quotations to buttress his case.

In another example, Lynn implies my review of national IQs was careless in that I relied upon the data in his 2002 and 2006 books, and ignored the more recent and extensive data presented in his 2012 book. However, since this latter book was actually published on July 16, 2012, six days after my own article had been sent to the printers, I do not believe I can reasonably be faulted for failing to incorporate his new material. Furthermore, once I managed to obtain an electronic copy of his new 2012 book, I discovered it contained at least several puzzling anomalies, which Lynn has been unable to clarify for me.

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For example, Lynn refutes my evidence for a low Ireland IQ during the 1970s by referring me to the more extensive data in his latest book, saying it debunks my claim. However, when I examined the Ireland IQs in that book (p. 402), I discovered that he had inexplicably failed to include the massive 1972 study of 3,466 students which established an Irish IQ of 87 and which had appeared in all of his previous books. When I asked him why he had excluded the largest early Irish IQ study, he said he had no answer, and that perhaps “this omission was a mistake.” As it happens, nearly all of his other Ireland data tends to be from around 1990 or later, and simply reinforces the strong evidence of a rapidly rising Irish IQ which I had already discussed in my own analysis.

As another example, I had pointed out that Austrians and Croatians were quite genetically similar, and that the huge 11-13 point IQ gap reported by Lynn (2002) seemed wildly implausible as a primarily genetic effect, probably instead reflecting the depressed socio-economic condition of Croatia at the time, and hence likely to rapidly shrink under economic development. Lynn “refutes” my claim by citing the more recent data in his 2012 book which shows the Austrian/Croatian IQ gap has now narrowed to just a single point, mostly due to a huge rise in Croatian IQ; this would seem the exact prediction of my own model. Strangely enough, his 2012 data allegedly includes a Croatian sample from the large Buj (1981) collection, which had never appeared along with the other 19 Buj results in any of his previous two books, and when I asked him why he had never previously included this particular Croatian result, he had no explanation.

Sometimes Lynn construes my slightly loose phrasing as serious error. For example, I mention that Lynn’s 2010 research showed that today the Southern Italian IQ “was as low as 89.” He claims I misquoted him, since only the Sicilian IQ was 89, while other parts of southern Italy were in the 90-92 range. Since his other studies had placed Northern Italian IQ at 102-103, I had described this gap of 10-14 points between Northern and Southern Italians as being “almost a full standard deviation” while he argues it is closer to being two-thirds of a standard deviation. Since the IQ gap between Southern Italians in Italy and those in America is so wide, he suggests that only the very smartest Southern Italians immigrated here, but this seems totally implausible, especially when we consider that mean reversion would have drastically reduced any initial difference. Furthermore, all the IQ data from the 1920s which I quoted placed Italian-American IQ back then in the 78-85 range, which directly contradicts Lynn’s hypothesis.

Lynn also challenges my Balkan analysis. His 2012 book places the Bulgarian IQ at 92.5 and the Romanian IQ at 91, with the largest and most recent Romanian study coming in at only 88. Just I claimed, these figures tend to be 10 points or more below such northern European peoples as the Germans, Dutch, or Swiss, and I find a strictly genetic explanation of this huge gap far less plausible than the obvious social differences between Europe’s wealthiest and its poorest countries. Lynn claims these very low Balkan IQs are due to substantial African and Middle Eastern ancestry, but I have never heard of this being the case for Balkan Slavs, and would like to see some evidence.

Lynn’s 2012 book also places the Greek IQ at 92, and he challenges my assertion that Americans of Greek or South Slav ancestry are actually well above the white American average in income, IQ, and other indicators of ability. However, I obtained this exact result from the GSS dataset by running RACE=WHITE/ETHNIC against the WORDSUM, EDUC, and CONINC variables. Both Greeks and Yugoslavs have Wordsum-IQ and years of education significantly above the white average, while the family income of both these ethnicities are among the highest of any white group, $122,700 for Greeks and $113,500 for Yugoslavs against just $97,900 for the average white American. These results would seem implausible if Lynn’s very low IQ figures for Greeks and Balkan Slavs were largely innate.

Again, Lynn suggests that only the absolutely smartest Greeks and South Slavs came to America, and again I point out there is no evidence for this, that the IQ differences results from such selective migration would have substantially regressed after the first generation, and that the 1920s American IQ tests for Greek immigrants placed them at just 83.

In attempting to rebut my GSS evidence of a very rapid rise in American-born Mexican-American Wordsum-IQ over the last few decades, Lynn cites a 2010 paper by Ang et. al which he says refutes my claim of such a Super-Flynn Effect. However, he is incorrect. The study he references aggregates all Hispanics, while my result was solely for American-born Mexican-Americans, a much smaller subset. Indeed, if the foreign-born Mex-Ams are included, the rise in Wordsum-IQ largely disappears.

Furthermore, I have also pointed out that between 1975 and 2011, there was a five-fold rise in the percentage of Hispanics taking the SAT, while the gap between white and Hispanic scores remained essentially unchanged. Given that the Hispanic results were dipping so much deeper in their ethnic ability-pool, I think this can only be explained by a large rise in general Hispanic academic performance.

Lynn also disputes my claim of an anomaly in the pattern of East Asian IQ scores. Yet across all of his 50-odd such IQ studies, there is just a single case of East Asians scoring below 100, despite enormous poverty and deprivation. Meanwhile, most of his Southern European IQ studies yield results closer to 90 than to 100. I am deeply skeptical that the East Asian/Southern European ability gap is actually so enormously large. Furthermore Lynn never addresses the historical fact that virtually all the Southern and Eastern European immigrant groups in America had tested IQs of around 80-85 during the 1920s, while their Chinese-American and Japanese-American immigrant counterparts usually scored 100 or above. I suspect huge factors of cultural, educational, and socio-economic deprivation were responsible for the absurdly low immigrant European IQ scores, and Lynn completely ignores this important evidence, perhaps because it would be very difficult to reconcile with his strongly genetic IQ model.

Finally, Lynn closes his rebuttal by repeating his boilerplate disclaimer that he has “never maintained that IQ is overwhelmingly determined by genetics,” although this seems to be his clear reasoning in every single particular example he discusses. However, if I am mistaken and he is not being disingenous on this point, I cannot possibly understand why he chooses to oppose the overall conclusions of my article. As mentioned above, I had emphasized that absolutely none of my analysis would rule out “the Weak IQ Hypothesis,” in which some residual European IQ differences might indeed be due to genetics rather than environment. If—as Lynn seems to be suggesting—this were actually his own position, why would he have written a heated 6,000 word rebuttal instead of simply thanking me for agreeing with him?

 

I find much less to discuss in Helmuth Nyborg’s rather brief rebuttal.

Nyborg criticizes me for relying solely on Lynn’s 2002 book, but as I have repeatedly made clear, I supplemented this with his 2006 book as well as some of his other books and writings. I obviously did not use the data in his 2012 book, since it appeared in print simultaneously with my own article. Nyborg also cites the contrary IQ evidence of twin/adoption studies, which I had already addressed at length in my own article.

He describes “the Strong IQ Hypothesis” as a “straw man” position, an “imposter” which “obviously runs counter to all behavior genetics evidence,” and I would certainly agree with those charges. But just because a hypothesis is patently absurd does not mean it may not be widely held or promoted in certain circles, and my entire article was merely intended to demonstrate that absurdity. Meanwhile, I pointed out that “the Weak IQ Hypothesis” seems perfectly consistent with all evidence, and if that is actually the position of Lynn and Nyborg, then we should have no major disagreement.

I am also very glad that Nyborg emphasizes that Lynn and his co-author stand as “undisputed and widely respected leaders of the field” of IQ studies. Some of my critics have grown very concerned over the major anomalies I have highlighted in Lynn’s data and have begun suggesting that by focusing my attention on Lynn’s work, I was unfairly attempting to discredit the entire field of IQ research.

Finally, I do regret the nasty personal attacks and misrepresentations which Nyborg, Lynn, and many of their allies have endured. But given the many hundreds of caustic insults and harsh denunciations I have recently received from Lynn’s energetic admirers, I would suggest that there might be two sides to this story.

(Republished from The American Conservative by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: IQ, Race/IQ 
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  1. Jonathan says:

    I believe the environment, culture and education have strong impacts on IQ scores. Unfortunately, there is no IQ test that can eliminate these factors. If we assume that there is an inherent “true IQ” of some sort, then I believe the distribution of inherent IQs varies with different races.

  2. JonF says:

    Re: Lynn claims these very low Balkan IQs are due to substantial African and Middle Eastern ancestry, but I have never heard of this being the case for Balkan Slavs, and would like to see some evidence.

    I’m puzzled by such a claim too. Sure, there were Turks in Bulgaria, but the Turks are sourced in Central Asia, not Africa or the Middle East, and what other Middle Eastern or African people were ever in the Balkans? Darius’ Persians tramped through Thrace once upon a time, but didn’t stay long. Meanwhile the Greeks and Romans were there for a quite a while, and the Goths (who were Germanic people) also set up shop there for some generations too. Plus there were assorted Avars, Bulgars and so forth– but all Turkic people from central Asia, the same gene pool that (mainly) gave rise to the Ashkenazi Jews*, whom no one accuses of being low IQ.

    * East European Jews started out as a Turkic tribe, the Khazars, who converted to Judaism in the early Middle Ages, with some later inflow from West European Jews who fled east to escape medieval persecution attendant on the Crusades and the Black Death.

  3. “Furthermore, I have also pointed out that between 1975 and 2011, there was a five-fold rise in the percentage of Hispanics taking the SAT, while the gap between white and Hispanic scores remained essentially unchanged. Given that the Hispanic results were dipping so much deeper in their ethnic ability-pool, I think this can only be explained by a large rise in general Hispanic academic performance.”

    I authored the SAT analysis. Your SAT numbers are in error. Please read my response: The Hispanic Asian Flynn Effect.

  4. JonF wrote:

    “East European Jews started out as a Turkic tribe, the Khazars, who converted to Judaism in the early Middle Ages, with some later inflow from West European Jews who fled east to escape medieval persecution attendant on the Crusades and the Black Death.”

    As far as I know the theory of Khazar origins for Ashkenazi Jews (once promoted by Arthur Koestler who thought it would destroy the basis of antisemitism) has been mostly disproven. Genetic testing seems to indicate that Ashkenazim are genetically a mixture between Mid-Eastern and (mostly Southern) European groups, without any discernible Turkic input (there were some recent posts about this on Razib Khan’s blog, like http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2012/07/ashkenazi-jews-are-not-inbred-2/
    I can’t say I understand most of it but maybe you are more scientifically literate than me).

  5. Art Deco says: • Website

    Lynn’s 2002 has a bibliography 16 pages long. Perhaps a tenth of the references are to economic literature. The references you do see are curious. You have reference books (presumably for descriptive statistics) and quite a few monographs. Some of the monographs are antique (with publication dates as early as 1950) and a number in addition are derived from a largely defunct research programme, dependency theory (again, with publication dates ranging from 1950 to perhaps 1983). There are repeated references to a multi-edition edited volume that appeared first in 1975 and was prepared not by economists but by a pair of political scientists. He did consult some articles by Angus Maddision and a few (count on the fingers of one hand) articles in a couple of academic journals (neither of which specializes in studies of economic development), but these are lost in a sea of literature on psychology.

    Hammer…nail maybe?

  6. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I really don’t want to steer the topic into different territory, but must take issue with JonF’s comment that “East European Jews started out as a Turkic tribe, the Khazars, who converted to Judaism in the early Middle Ages”.

    This interpretation is very far from the mainstream opinions on the matter. Arthur Koestler popularized this “Khazar hypothesis”, and to some limited extent there may be some detectable genetic signals in Eastern European Jews coming from Khazaria, but my sense is that the preponderance of evidence does not support JonF’s interpretation at all.

    The origins of the Ashkenazim in general and the “Ostjuden” in particular is somewhat murky, but JonF’s blunt formulation that “East European Jews started out as a Turkic tribe” is a pretty fringe opinion.

    Rather, the consensus opinion from historical studies is that the nobility of the Khazars converted to Judaism, but the extent to which the common people did also is unknown. Ethnogenetic studies indicate substantial Middle Eastern contributions to the genomes of Azhkenazim, and if I am not mistaken “Ostjuden” are conventionally categorized as Azhkenazic.

    There is a pretty interesting back-and-forth about genomics and ethnohistory over at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Genetic_studies_on_Jews

    Now, back to the main discussion, please.

  7. JonF says:

    Regardless of the genetic origins of the Ashkenazim, the Turkic people of central Asia are from the same gene pool as the Uralic and IndoEuropean peoples, their close neighbors for much of history. And the Turkic folks expanded over an area mainly populated by IndoEuropeans, and so absorbed a large dose of those genes.

  8. JL says:

    In another example, Lynn implies my review of national IQs was careless in that I relied upon the data in his 2002 and 2006 books, and ignored the more recent and extensive data presented in his 2012 book. However, since this latter book was actually published on July 16, 2012, six days after my own article had been sent to the printers, I do not believe I can reasonably be faulted for failing to incorporate his new material.

    You are misrepresenting Lynn. He criticizes you on your reliance on the 2002 book, and suggests that you should have used, among other sources, a 2011 article by Meisenberg & Lynn which contains a more extensive and reliable data set. The 2011 article and many other more recent and extensive listings of national IQs were available long before you wrote your article, so it’s curious that you used that old source.

    The problem with Unz and Lynn is that they each have an idée fixe that they want to promote, yet neither of them is willing to test their ideas more rigorously or to think about alternative explanations.

    Lynn is convinced that except for the effects of malnutrition, average IQ levels of nations are pretty much genetically determined. His many books on national IQs start from this assumption and he never really considers other explanations.

    Unz in turn is convinced that economic development and urbanization determines IQ levels, at least for whites and Hispanics. He bases this on apparent trends towards higher IQs in a few populations that have recently been exposed to more favorable economic conditions than before. However, his evidence remains anecdotal; it is easy to cherry-pick individual data points and make up all sorts of fanciful theories about them, as demonstrated by David Sanders at VDARE.

    To make a more credible case, Unz should show that his proposed explanatory variables are systematically related to IQ in Lynn’s data. For example, many of today’s wealthy Western European nations were quite recently just as poor and rural as the poorest Balkan countries are now. Did they have lower IQs then as well? Apparent trends in a few data points are most plausibly explained as measurement error, but if there is a similar trend in the data as a whole, then Unz is onto something.

    Another weak point in Unz’s analysis is that he seems to assume that there’s been no intermarriage between white ethnicities in America. For example, he thinks that the Irish Americans are genetically the same population as the Irish in Ireland. In reality, of course, most white Americans have ancestry from multiple countries. The connection between genetics and ethnicity is very tenuous for white Americans. Consider, for example, that between the 1980 and 2000 censuses the number of people identifying as English-Americans collapsed from 50 million to 25 million. Even if we had IQ data from representative samples of people who identify as Irish Americans or Greek Americans or whatever (and we don’t), these data could not be used to make any strong arguments for or against genetic explanations of intra-European IQ differences.

  9. Art Deco says: • Website

    JL, do you think a problem with Dr. Lynn’s work might be that he undertook to write a book about economic phenomena while consulting only odd fragments of the literature in economics? As far as I can see, his business is presenting bivariate analyses to demonstrate the association between the psychometric profile of a population and per capita income and growth rates. A hypothesis former, really, not much more. I am not sure you could get that published in an economics journal, where multivariate analyses are the order of the day.

  10. Art Deco says: • Website

    I would be interested to know, because I have not read the book, how strong a vector Lynn fancies the psychometric profile of a population is? The range of per capita incomes in the predominantly negroid Caribbean is quite large (> 15 to 1), among the world’s most dynamic economies in the last four decades has been Botswana down in subtropical Africa, and the superlatively smart Chinese steadily lost economic and politico-military ground to the Occident for about 400-odd years.

    Mark Steyn put it thus recently: “you want to know why Haiti is Haiti and Barbados is Barbados, biology doesn’t get you very far.”

  11. Achaean says:

    What none of the IQ experts have explained is why Europeans have been far more creative than all the other cultures combined. Lynn tries an answer in a paper
    published in Mankind Quarterly (Spring 2008). The abstract reads:
    “Race differences in intelligence are generally consistent with
    differences in the historical record of creative achievement in the
    arts and sciences. The North East Asians (classical Mongoloids) and
    the European Caucasoids have the highest intelligence and the greatest
    creative achievements, while other races have lower IQs and lesser
    creative achievements. There is however an anomaly: North East Asians
    have a higher IQ than Europeans, but their creative achievements have
    been less. Evidence is presented showing that the North East Asians
    have lower creativity measured by openness to experience. It is
    proposed that this explains their lower creative achievement.”

    But I don’t
    think Lynn grasps fully the massive discrepancy in creativity between Europeans and Asians. AND I
    don’t think we can attribute this gap to the presence of
    intelligent Jews in Europe, since Jews only started contributing to
    Europe’s high culture after the 1800s, and we know that Europeans were no
    less creative since ancient times and through the middle ages.

    Here are some measurements on Europe’s creativity according to Charles
    Murray’s, as presented in his book Human Achievements:

    The most striking feature of his list of the greatest scientists (the
    top 20 in Astronomy, Physics, Biology, Medicine, Chemistry, Earth
    Sciences, and Mathematics) is that they are all (excepting one
    Japanese) White. Murray concludes that “whether
    measured in people or events, 97 percent of accomplishment in the
    sciences occurred in Europe and North America” from 800 BC to 1950.

    The history of European literature, philosophy, music is
    characterized by immense originality from one great author to another,
    Descartes-Locke-Hume-Leibniz-Kant-Shelling-Hegel-Schopenhauer-Nietzsche-Heidegger…continuous creativity. Almost everything we associate with high culture was invented by Europeans, including all the disciplines we teach.

  12. JL says:

    Art Deco, yes, aside from problems with what Lynn’s IQ scores actually mean, the fact that Lynn and Vanhanen generally report only zero-order correlations between IQ and various outcome variables means that their causal conclusions rest on a weak foundation. The use of various econometric methods could have made their case much more credible. Some other researchers, e.g., the economist Garett Jones, have done some more sophisticated analyses of the relation between economic variables and Lynn’s IQ data.

    I would be interested to know, because I have not read the book, how strong a vector Lynn fancies the psychometric profile of a population is? The range of per capita incomes in the predominantly negroid Caribbean is quite large (> 15 to 1), among the world’s most dynamic economies in the last four decades has been Botswana down in subtropical Africa, and the superlatively smart Chinese steadily lost economic and politico-military ground to the Occident for about 400-odd years.

    Lynn and Vanhanen generally attribute positive deviations from the expected correlation between national IQ and economic outcomes to abundant natural resources (or tourism in the case of some Caribbean nations) and negative deviations to communism.

  13. Art Deco says: • Website

    Lynn and Vanhanen generally attribute positive deviations from the expected correlation between national IQ and economic outcomes to abundant natural resources (or tourism in the case of some Caribbean nations) and negative deviations to communism.

    I take it they do not correspond much with economists or geographers.

  14. JL says:

    I take it they do not correspond much with economists or geographers.

    Well, Lynn and Vanhanen’s argument is precisely that economists and other social scientists are wrong about the causes of wealth and poverty because they disregard innate psychological differences between populations.

  15. Art Deco says: • Website

    Well, Lynn and Vanhanen’s argument is precisely that economists and other social scientists are wrong about the causes of wealth and poverty because they disregard innate psychological differences between populations.

    There is a body of economic theory about the sources of economic dynamism and a body of empirical study including multivariate cross-sectional and panel studies of the sources of economic dynamism and … they do not read it. If they did, they might have come across a hypothesis with the label ‘resource curse’ concerning the effect of generous resource endowments on the pace and health of economic development.

    Put more simply, when you have a 15 fold variation in per capita income in the Caribbean, attributing the prosperity of the more affluent countries to ‘tourism’ beggars belief. Mineral exports account for about 20% of the domestic product of Botswana and revenues from services (tourism and offshore banking) account for about 20% of the domestic product of Barbados. These are important sectors in these places, but there is a great deal else going on there.

  16. ryan says:

    Ron, Isn’t obvious that your argument fails as a ‘game ender’ because you 1) do not quantitatively define, or thusly establish in any particular case, one of the core variables upon which your argument relies ‘genetic similarity’, thus leaving us with one well defined point of comparison (iq scores of national samples at time t)and one ‘hand-wavy’ qualitative point (your intuitive sense of the degree of genetic similarity of distinct populations).

    2) you make no effort to establish that there should be a linear relationship between overall genetic similarity and similarity with respect to the particular phenotype in question (iq) ( in fact such a linear relationship seems unlikely)

    and, relatedly, 3) you ignore the elephant in the biological room which is that very small genetic differences often yield large phenotypic effects (..also.. i wonder what our genetic similarity is to elephants, i bet it’s quite high) Slightly different selection pressures on prima facie distinct breeding populations could account for slight genetic differences of profound importance in competitive situations. In fact, the very notion of a ‘large’ phenotypic effect is interest relative. Human being simply care a lot about the slight differences between them. For this reason, IQ and other measures are honed to track these slight differences. (for a better treatment of this same point, confer William James).

  17. E says:

    Furthermore Lynn never addresses the historical fact that virtually all the Southern and Eastern European immigrant groups in America had tested IQs of around 80-85 during the 1920s, while their Chinese-American and Japanese-American immigrant counterparts usually scored 100 or above. I suspect huge factors of cultural, educational, and socio-economic deprivation were responsible for the absurdly low immigrant European IQ scores, and Lynn completely ignores this important evidence, perhaps because it would be very difficult to reconcile with his strongly genetic IQ model.

    Were the IQ test used in the 1920’s the same test used now?

    Was the black and Hispanic IQ also 10-15 points lower than they are now.

  18. utu says:

    I just came here from the discussion under Fred’s article about Mayans. I enjoyed reading your article v. much. The main point I took from it is that researchers (n=2) who do work on IQ vs. ethnicity vs. culture studies are extremely sloppy with data and they bring into their work their own cultural biases. Basically their work as far as IQ differences in Europe is pretty much useless. From now on I will be extra careful with arguments based on IQ studies.

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