It is extremely brave of Dr. Chanda Chisala (right) considering the hot water that even writing a critical letter to VDARE.com can get you into, to write a response to my article “Race Denier Chanda Chisala Doesn’t Deserve His 15 Seconds Of Twitter Fame” in the form of “Reply to Lance Welton: Why Blacks Outperform Whites in UK Schools.”
For Dr. Chisala, the fact African immigrant children in the UK score only 8 points lower in their GCSEs (English school leaving certificates taken at 16) demonstrates that race differences in IQ scores might not be genetic. Dr. Chisala doesn’t give the absolute numbers and he accepts that blacks generally do worse than white. But he points out that, in Britain, African-descended blacks, as opposed to West Indian-descended blacks, do almost as well as whites.
I disputed this in my article and in this piece I would like to respond to Dr. Chisala’s criticisms of my original critique. As far as I can see, his response—though brave and to be welcomed—is not persuasive.
African average IQ is 30 points lower than white average IQ. As I showed in my first article, this is almost certainly for genetic reasons, because there are race differences in the percentages of populations carrying alleles associated with extremely high IQ and these very strongly correlate with national differences in average IQ. But in my article, I contended that African immigrants to the UK are likely to be a relatively elite African population and that this would explain why the African-White difference in the UK do not reflect this broader genetic race difference.
Dr. Chisala countered that this hypothesis is unpersuasive because of “Regression to the Mean.” He wrote:
If it is true that the African immigrants are a select group whose IQ is, say 2 standard deviations above the African mean, their children should still regress significantly downwards—regression to the mean.
He then gave an example:
Jensen and others demonstrated that black American parents with relatively high IQ (and high income) still produce children with IQs that are so low that they score lower than poor whites in school tests.
But this is an (albeit common) misunderstanding of what Regression to the Mean actually is. Regression to the Mean does not mean that clever parents will always have children who are less intelligent than they are. If that were the case, we would become continuously less smart every generation and we would eventually have the cognitive abilities of snails.
Regression to the Mean is a statistical phenomenon whereby, if a random variable is extreme on its first measurement, then it will be less so on subsequent measurements.
What this means, in terms of the genetics of human intelligence, is that if two reasonably intelligent parents—for example Einstein’s parents—have a phenomenally clever child with extreme outlier high IQ, then Einstein’s children will probably “regress to the mean”—i.e. they will be similar in their IQ to their grandparents. This is because, argue Edward Dutton and Michael Woodley of Menie in At Our Wits’ End: Why We’re Becoming Less Intelligent and What It Means for the Future, [pp.23-24], Einstein’s outlier higher IQ—this term usually referring to more than 3 SD above the population mean, with the Ashkenazi mean being 112—has come about through unlikely, but possible, genetic combinations (and perhaps also unlikely environmental factors) and these are unlikely to reoccur in his offspring .
Similarly, it is possible that two sets of African American parents, each with IQs of about 85, could have, respectively, a son and a daughter with IQs of 115. If this son and daughter have children together, the children will “regress to the mean” and likely have IQs that are much lower, though pushed to their phenotypic limit due to being raised by intelligent parents.
But this scenario is extremely rare. In general, when African-Americans have IQs of 115 they have inherited this from similarly intelligent parents. They are at the extreme “right tail” of the bell curve of their race’s IQ distribution.
Richard Lynn’s meta-analysis Dysgenics reported [p. 101] that IQ is about 0.8 heritable: your IQ will be very similar to that of your parents. And research by J. Philippe Rushton and others has found that parents tend to have very similar average IQs to each other because IQ is strongly genetic and people tend to mate with those who are genetically similar to themselves, especially on intelligence. (He discussed this in Ethnic nationalism, evolutionary psychology and Genetic Similarity Theory, in Nations and Nationalism, September 27, 2005]
So, if elite Sub-Saharan Africans emigrate to the UK and they have an IQ of 115, then so will their children. And intelligence researcher James Flynn argues in Are We Getting Smarter? that the intellectual stimulation caused by living in a developed country pushes IQ to its phenotypic maximum. So these children’s IQ, in a Western country, is more likely to be pushed to its phenotypic maximum more than in than Africa. So these children of immigrants’ IQ might well be actually higher than that of their parents.
Dr. Chisala’s second argument is to defend the utility of GCSE Mathematics as a proxy for an IQ test. But as the Alternative Hypothesis YouTuber has pointed out in his video on this very subject—“The UK Gaslight”—GCSE Mathematics differs significantly from a standard IQ test. Most importantly, pupils are divided into “tiers”—easier and harder—in which they sit tests with different levels of difficulty, seemingly to maximize the possibility that the less intelligent children attain the best grade they possibly can, so boosting the place of the school in national League Tables of GCSE results.
Whites, it is pointed out by The Alternative Hypothesis, are more likely than blacks to take “higher tier” GCSE Mathematics. So, in many cases, blacks and whites in the UK are actually taking quite different tests. In other words, GCSE Mathematics is not an absolute proxy for an IQ test.
I would also highlight Dr. Chisala’s accusation that my critique involves “moving the goal posts”. He writes:
This has been the modus operandi of many HBDers [Human Biodiversity is the term for race realism popularized by Steve Sailer although he attributes it to anthropologist Jonathan Marks] in this debate. When a goal is scored against them (or even an own-goal by themselves), they simply shift the goal posts and declare it a non-goal.
First it was “Blacks can’t outperform whites in school anywhere in the world – just find one country where they do and it’s game over.”
When it was shown that black Africans do perform better than whites in the UK, it changed to “well, those are just pass rates, they can’t outperform whites when you look at actual scores.”
When actual scores were found and presented, it changed to, “Well, that’s in eight subjects; blacks can only beat whites in eight subjects because most of those are easy subjects, unlike hard subjects like math.”
Firstly, we shouldn’t see academic discussions in terms of opposing teams. That is a recipe for emotion and clouded thinking.
Consistent with this, secondly, I’m not sure anyone has ever asserted that all whites will always outperform all blacks on IQ tests. That is a straw man argument.
Thirdly, reaching the truth requires a degree of skepticism of what people tell you. So, if Prof Chisala makes an assertion, it is perfectly reasonable for people to present him with counter-arguments and ask him to respond to them…in pursuit of reaching the most parsimonious and empirically accurate model.
This is what this discussion has involved. Prof Chisala has critiqued my arguments and I have refuted those criticisms.
There is no inconsistency between his GSCE findings and the overwhelming evidence for considerable genetic average black-white IQ differences.
Lance Welton [email him] is the pen name of a freelance journalist living in New York.