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Despite being interested in intelligence, I am also on guard against judging the mind from the face (there’s no art to find the mind’s construction in the face) while probably doing just that all the time. I assume that I judge mental ability by conversations which go beyond pleasantries. Indeed, perhaps measuring how quickly people turn from pleasantries to content is an ability measure in itself. However, I have never knowingly made a judgement about a person’s intelligence by estimating pupil size. Perhaps I should.

J.S. Tsukahara, T.L. Harrison, R.W. Engle (2016) The relationship between baseline pupil size and intelligence. Cognitive Psychology Volume 91, December 2016, Pages 109–123


Pupil dilations of the eye are known to correspond to central cognitive processes. However, the relationship between pupil size and individual differences in cognitive ability is not as well studied. A peculiar finding that has cropped up in this research is that those high on cognitive ability have a larger pupil size, even during a passive baseline condition. Yet these findings were incidental and lacked a clear explanation. Therefore, in the present series of studies we systematically investigated whether pupil size during a passive baseline is associated with individual differences in working memory capacity and fluid intelligence.

Across three studies we consistently found that baseline pupil size is, in fact, related to cognitive ability. We showed that this relationship could not be explained by differences in mental effort, and that the effect of working memory capacity and fluid intelligence on pupil size persisted even after 23 sessions and taking into account the effect of novelty or familiarity with the environment. We also accounted for potential confounding variables such as; age, ethnicity, and drug substances. Lastly, we found that it is fluid intelligence, more so than working memory capacity, which is related to baseline pupil size. In order to provide an explanation and suggestions for future research, we also consider our findings in the context of the underlying neural mechanisms involved.

The authors explain:

Starting in the 1960s it became apparent to psychologists that the size of the pupil is related to more than just the amount of light entering the eyes. Pupil size also reflects internal mental processes. For instance, in a simple memory span task, pupil size precisely tracks changes in memory load, dilating with each new item held in memory and constricting as each item is subsequently recalled (Hess & Polt, 1964; Kahneman & Beatty, 1966). This research established the use of pupil dilations asan indicator of momentary changes in arousal, mental effort, and attention (Beatty & Lucero-Wagoner, 2000; Hess & Polt, 1960).

Because pupil dilations occur for a wide variety of tasks involving mental effort, psychologists had inferred that the task-evoked pupillary response was reflective of central brain processes (Beatty, 1982). For some, this was seen as providing an opportune way to study the dynamics of cognitive brain function (Beatty & Lucero-Wagoner, 2000). Until more recently, though, the method of measuring pupil size to study brain function did not gain much traction in the field. It was suspected that the reason for this was, ‘‘pupillometry is not widely employed in cognitive psychophysiology because the pupil lacks face validity as a measure of brain function” (Beatty & Lucero-Wagoner, 2000).

In a simple memory span task, pupil size precisely tracks changes in memory load, dilating with each new item held in memory and constricting as each item is subsequently recalled. High memory span subjects had larger pupils than low span subjects even during a ‘‘passive” baseline (in the absence of performing any specific cognitive task). Baseline pupil size was measured during a ‘‘passive” baseline while subjects stared at a fixation on a computer monitor.

In their first study 20 subjects with low working memory were compared with 20 subjects with high working memory on a simple letter span task, and had their pupil size measured before doing the task.

High working memory subjects’ pupil diameters were 0.97 millimeter larger than those with low WMC, a difference which is usually visible to the naked eye.

Iris and memory load

The change in pupil diameter over levels of memory load, seen in Fig. 1 reflects the increase in mental effort. The important finding was that pupil diameter increased as a function of memory load by the same amount for high and low working memory subjects.

Being cautious persons, the authors ran a second study to test whether familiarity with the university setting might have accounted for the difference. Their bright subjects were drawn from the university, the less bright ones from the general community, a possible source of considerable bias. Over three sessions they were able to show that familiarity of the environment does not account for the relationship between WMC and pupil size. Both groups got more used to the test setup after a few sessions, at roughly the same rate. Furthermore, the reliability of pupil size over time is high, as indicated by the high correlations ranging from 0.77 to 0.84. In these 102 subjects, average pupil diameter positively correlated with fluid intelligence at r= 0.37 which is a reasonable size for an indirect measure of this sort.

However, the comparison of high and low working memory groups is an extreme group design that can sometimes force a desired result. So, in Study 3 they studied the full range of intelligence on a large experimental sample. This is very welcome, and here are their procedures:


A total of 358 subjects took part in four 2-h sessions in which they were tested on a wide-variety of cognitive tasks. No subject had participated in a study in our lab previously. Subjects were between the ages of 18–35 and had corrected-to-normal vision. Due to technical issues with the eye-tracker, unable to calibrate eye-tracker, or excessive amounts of missing baseline pupil data, the total number of subjects was reduced to 337.

Materials and procedure

Subjects participated in four sessions that lasted approximately 2 h in which they completed a battery of cognitive tasks. Included in this battery were the measures of working memory capacity (WMC) and fluid intelligence (Gf) described below.

We measured baseline pupil size at the beginning of Session 4 before subjects started any tasks for that day. Immediately following baseline pupil measures subjects performed a simple memory-span task to measure task-evoked pupil dilations.

Measures of working memory consisted of the operation span, rotation span, and symmetry span tasks. Measures of fluid intelligence consisted of the Raven Advanced Progressive Matrices (Raven et al., 1998), Letter Sets (Ekstromet al., 1976), and Number series (Thurstone, 1938).

Given that the size of the pupil is affected by a variety of factors besides locus coeruleus activity, such as age and some drug substances, it is important to account for these. Nine different demographic variables were assessed: Ethnicity, Age (in years), College Student, Nicotine, Medications, Gender, Handedness, Caffeine, Alcohol, Sleep. All demographics were self-reported. At the end of Session 4, the same day as pupil measurements, subjects were asked about: the amount of sleep they got the previous night, their use of nicotine (in the last 10 h), medications (that might affect their attention and memory, in the last 24 h), caffeine (in the last 8 h), and alcohol (more than two drinks in the last 24 h).

Working memory explained 6% of the variance in baseline pupil size and with each 1 SD increase in WMC there was a 0.30 mm increase in baseline pupil diameter, b = 0.30, r = 0.24. Fluid intelligence explained 12% of the variance in baseline pupil size and each 1 SD increase in Gf was associated with a 0.45 mm increase in baseline pupil diameter, b = 0.45, r = 0.35.

Fluid intelligence, however, still predicted baseline pupil size after controlling for WMC, b = 0.45, r partial= 0.27, p< 0.05. These results provide strong evidence that it is fluid intelligence, not working memory, which is uniquely related to baseline pupil size.

What we have shown is that individual differences in fluid intelligence is related to differences in baseline pupil size. However, at this point, our brain story of the intelligence – baseline pupil size relationship is only reasonably informed speculation. Further research is needed to follow up on our findings if we want to draw any definite conclusions about the underlying neural mechanisms.

What are we to make of this? There was a period in which intelligence researchers were drawn to surrogate intelligence measures, which did not run into the storm of criticism which surrounded IQ tests. Reaction time, choice reaction time, tachistoscopic inspection time, analysis of EEGs and the like. Here is a more recent study, using illusory movement to measure a “Motion quotient”.

Far more detailed work has been carried out using modern scanning techniques, for example showing increases in glucose uptake while solving difficult problems.

I see this as a convergence of lines of evidence showing, as if it were necessary to spell this out, that intelligence is tested whenever people are presented with problems, and among all the things going on in the brain, pupil size varies by the difficulty of the task, and varies by the ability level of the subject solving the task even when at rest and not solving problems, dilated pupils being an indicator of higher ability.

All grist to the mill.

• Category: Science • Tags: Eyes, Intelligence 
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  1. EH says:

    Pupil size correlates with intelligence? Well of course kindergarten teachers aren’t professors, better marriage material, though… wait. Oh. Very interesting.

    Optically, the wider the aperture the sharper the focus and the higher the resolution can potentially be (though I don’t think most people are limited by aperture- the eye is not a precision optical instrument), but with reduced depth of field (depth of focus) and a so greater need to refocus at different distances. For most people, a smaller pupil allows sharper eyesight since the limitation on sharpness is the optical shortcomings of the lens etc.; squinting reduces aperture and allows compensating for optical imperfections.

    20/8 vision (the best possible) has over 6 times the optical information (# pixels equivalent resolution) as 20/20 vision, so requires more processing power, and extraordinary vision correlates with wider pupils.

    Maybe the wider aperture in smarter people is due to them just generally all-round being genetically healthier, so better eyes (apart from the minor linkage to nearsightedness) and better brains — partially due to direct genetics, but also maintained and improved by having to process more visual information. Conceivably eyesight could be improved by better neural function, the function and shape of the eye and its parts depend on precision muscle control, so giving a feedback circle of better neural function allowing better senses which bring in more information, which then requires more processing power.

  2. mcohen says:

    interesting conclusion.i once read that neil armstrong attributed his abilities as a test pilot to his excellent eye sight.

    • Replies: @Hulegu
  3. @EH

    It could be better health, but myopia, as you say, would be pushing things in the other direction.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  4. dearieme says:

    Has none of the poets (or other writers) commented on this? Had no Classical Greek noticed the effect? Nothing in Shakespeare? Or Darwin or Galton?

    • Replies: @Delinquent Snail
  5. @EH

    While I like to think the fact that in advanced middle age my eyesight was assessed as 20/12 reflects intellect or neurological fitness as well as eye geometry I find this all very puzzling. Before reading this article I would have said that the size of the pupil was merely an inverse function of the brightness of light reaching it directly or by reflection. Not so? Nonetheless I also now wonder about the poor eyesight severe myopia and prism effect inflicted on the first love of my life who I met in a dark room where her pupils were so large it made one think of belladonna. She was quite exeptionally observant about everything from birds to furnishings and jewellery and had an IQ plausibly measured, more than once, at about 175.

  6. @James Thompson

    See #5. Where does my primitive understanding of the relation of the brightness of light to pupil size fit in?

  7. iffen says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    first love of my life who I met in a dark room

    The Cupid power of dim lighting is well known and is exponential when combined with a glass of wine.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  8. How does this tie in with the research that shows correlation between pupil size and the degree of romantic interest?

    BTW, Chuck Yaeger also credited super eyesight with being a Sierra Hotel fighter jock.

    • Replies: @anon
  9. @iffen

    It could be represented as a pact of mutual advantage. She had been taken to the party by someone who had had too many glasses of wine or worse and was looking for someone who looked as if he might have a car. She never drank alcohol so I could afford to take her out to dinner.

  10. @Wizard of Oz

    Pupil size was measured under controlled light conditions.

  11. Could pupil size (relevant to light level) be affected by reading a lot in low (i.e. not natural) light levels? Or by myopia, which seems to be a consequence of same?

    (As a child of nine or ten I was an insatiable reader, often in low light levels (i.e. when I should have been asleep). I’d have thought reading a lot is correlated with IQ).

    • Replies: @Anonymous Nephew
  12. And what about involuntary flicking movements whether up and right or up and left. Add these to pupil size and quite a lot of information is available to the observers subconscious mind to detect never mind eyelid movements. There are people who come over vacant and prove so )(OK confirmation bias, I know).

  13. That is possible, but the interesting thing is that pupil size is affected by 1) light levels and 2) task difficulty and 3) intelligence

    • Replies: @edNels
  14. @Anonymous Nephew

    I’ll re-phrase that – could it be that reading a lot in low light levels actually permanently affects pupil size relative to light levels? (Perhaps another sample population might be child workers who do intricate tasks under poor lighting conditions – as in some parts of India. Do they have wider pupils than the average for a given light level, when they’re not working on difficult tasks?).

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  15. @Anonymous Nephew

    Don’t know, but it is a testable hypothesis. I will consult a specialist, and see what he says.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  16. EH says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    The main purpose of the pupil is to regulate light, to reduce bright light to an intensity that does not overwhelm the retina, but this has side effects, small apertures have greater diffraction effects, which create circles of confusion on the retina and reduce the sharpness when in focus. Some high-end video cameras have built-in light-reducing filters that can be flipped into place to allow using wide aperture in bright light without very short exposure times. Similarly, a good pair of sunglasses can improve visual acuity in bright light even for those with perfect eyesight. On the other hand, a very small aperture can work with no lens at all, as in a pinhole camera, but it won’t be as sharp as a wider aperture with a properly focused lens and in dim light will require exposure times beyond what humans can manage. As the aperture is reduced from maximum, the outer parts of the lens have less effect on the image quality, and in the eye the outer parts have the greatest distortion (and most of the area as well in all lenses) so small apertures improve sharpness up to a point. For camera lenses, usually around a stop or two smaller than the maximum lens aperture is sharpest, f/4 to f/8 depending on the lens. (f/4 is a higher numerical aperture, NA, than f/8 since the 4 is in the denominator. Microscope apertures are given as the inverse, f/4 = NA 0.25)

    With age increasing from 30 to 60, the range of motion in the lens and the iris is reduced due to increasing stiffness, so refocusing is slower and within a limited range and the maximum aperture is less, so everything is dimmer and harder to see in low light. This also affects the light available when using telescopes, binoculars and even microscopes – if the exit pupil of the optic is larger than the viewer’s pupil, light gets thrown away. (But some 30 year olds have smaller maximum pupil sizes than some 60 year-olds.)

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  17. @EH

    Interesting. Thanks. Though I haven’t taken the time to understand it all properly it prompts my attention to/memory of personal experience. The pleasant surprise is to find that my left eye, though having become slightly less myopic (perhaps -2.5 to -1.5 at a guess) to become my tennis eye as the right eye (as was discovered when it’s cataract was fixed) had the central vision distorted by a druse**, can allow me to read newsprint in bright sunlight without reading glasses. More than making up for that on the negative side is that my ageing eyes fail to accommodate quickly enough when an opponent hits the tennis ball high up where the light from high windows facing the SW sun or the halogen lights will require my eyes to adjust very fast. Similarly reflections from the court’s painted and polished concrete surface allow the ball to avoid the sweet spot 🙂

    ** try, for fun, seeing whether your medical friends know what a druse (plural drusen) is. I would guess there would be no more than a 50 per cent strike rate even though drusen are typical precursors to AMD. As to which there may be good news. There is an Australian company (Ellex Medical Lasers of Adelaide) now completing trials of a treatment for drusen which promises at least, from my experience of having one unusually large central druse reduced in size thanks to expensive (by Australian standards, not US) treatment collateral to the trial before health insurance backs it, to be an effective delayer if not preventer of AMD. Happuly I invested in the shares before they opened up in China and saw a 350 per cent increase in price though, be warned, I hear they have potential Chinese “regulatory” problems (IP? What’s that? Maybe nothing like that).

  18. @James Thompson

    In the light of the sort of facts dealt with in #16 it strains credibility that pupil size could have a strong causal connection with cognitive ability. (“causal connection” I use in the most general way to include common causes of different phenomena). And while I have your attention allow me to follow up Randal’s [I think] very recent suggestion that we ask you about the status of the Eysenck (and maybe Jensen) work on “Education and Personality” with particular reference to different teaching styles for extraverts and intraverts. I had raised the subject on a thread based on Steve Sailer’s article wrt learning styles. You might anyway get some nostalgic pleasure from reading Eysenck’s 27th October 1977 upbeat letter to the New Scientist which, as I not-too-querulously-I’hope noted, contained only one error.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  19. edNels says:
    @James Thompson

    “Eyes the window to the soul” (or IQ then). The size of the pupil registers something that isn’t known for any practicality so far.

    Pupil size was measured under controlled light conditions.
    that pupil size is affected by 1) light levels and 2) task difficulty and 3) intelligence

    How about testing pupil size fluctuations correlation to endorphin releases from having auto gratifications from the challenge of being the center of attention and/or just having some ”aha experiences” from figuring out answers in the clinic setting?

    Another thing might be about the ”controlled” light conditions, as to the full or extended spectrum of light, beyond that which is usually considered within the human range of reception, IE: if you watched birds, it seems like they can see more than the usual from a little spec that is food. Maybe the human subconscious is getting in the way of the recognition that there is more seen by the eye, or maybe some individuals have abilities not widely known. Maybe fluctuations in the pupil are a means to enhance reception, or more… a tool to communicate to others of like mind!

    You want to figure this all out before the AI folks take over.

  20. Wow, this study is a real eye opener. I think there is a resonance in etymology — the word “pupil” said to derive from the tiny image of a scholar reflected in the eye. If the ancients hadn’t noticed this correlation, maybe we’d call the aperture of the eye the “dummy”.

    As for me when the eye doc dilates my eyes thereafter I freak myself out looking in the mirror and don’t feel a lick smarter.

    You want to talk about cutting edge correlation of the eye to brain — I am fascinated with my own migraine auras. It almost makes getting one worthwhile just for the light show. I try to leverage the phenomenon to understand retina-optic nerve-cortex-rest of brain, since many people report the same experience.

  21. @Wizard of Oz

    Strains credulity? What is your modulus for credulity?
    The authors have put forwards a possible neurological pathway for the phenomenon, which I ignored.

    More to the point, (of evidence rather than credulity) Emil Kirkegaard has had a quick look yesterday at a much larger dataset and finds NO link with pupil size and intelligence. We will have a further look at this, to see if the measurements are comparable with the ones used in this paper, but at first blush it seems strong disconfirmatory evidence. We shall see.

    Eysenck and teaching styles. I assumed, on the basis of work done while I was still in his department, that there were such differences between introverts and extroverts, but I haven’t kept up with this. The popular Learning Styles work has just gone down the plughole, as you know, but it always had a weak evidential base anyway.

    In broad terms it has always been assumed that personality must contribute to scholastic achievement, but I think the findings has often been inconsistent.

    Thanks for your questions.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @CanSpeccy
  22. @James Thompson

    And thank you for your answer. I cringe a little at your replacing my “credibility” with “credulity” because I wouldn”t want it thought that I was attributing credulity to either of us or admitting it.

    I am not sure that I could expound a standard (modulus?) for credibility in general or the particular context but I was suggesting that there was so much of the pupil’s function concerned with dealing with light waves that it was hard to see how or why Lord Evolution would have found it useful for winning Nobel Prizes or becoming Lord Chief Justice.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  23. Agent76 says:

    Health as well. December 17, 2014 7 Signs: Your Eyes Say About Your Health

    Eyes have many signs that tell us what is happening in our bodies. Unfortunately, given the ‘polluted’ world we live in today, many of our bodies are loaded with toxins. As a result of this toxic load, there are many physical characteristics that present themselves over time. Sickness presents itself in many interesting ways, and for the eyes, there are several indicators as to what is going wrong or right with the body. Everything is connected in the body.

  24. @Wizard of Oz

    My apologies for equating credibility with credulity. They are only distant cousins.

    I recall Richard Feynman’s observation “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool. ”

    So, I may have been fooled by this paper, and will change my mind as rapidly as a wave takes down a just completed sandcastle, once better evidence is confirmed.

    Thanks for your comment.

    • Replies: @edNels
    , @Wizard of Oz
  25. DanC says:

    Why is no-one mentioning one of the most significant affects behind pupil size- arousal (at least the study’s authors do mention it at least once.)

    AFAICT arousal (of the erotic kind) has a much bigger effect on pupil diameter than mental work. Maybe I’m off base here.

    LOL, back in the day when being a seductress was a respected profession, women in the know would dilate their pupils using tincture of Atropa belladonna because men can’t resist woman who they subconsciously detect is being turned on.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
  26. edNels says:
    @James Thompson

    Good ole’ Professor Feynman, dreamed about infinite possible universes played Bongo Drums.

    Even wrote some Bs Science oriented stuff that a mortal could relate to, maybe you could take up a musical instrument.

    You look into somebodies eyes… and you are analizing pupil sizes? Is that fun?

  27. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @James Thompson

    Maybe there’s no correlation between pupil diameter and cognitive capacity because, except in cases of pathology, there’s no correlation between intelligence and any physiological or anatomical trait. Perhaps intelligence is entirely culturally determined, which would explain the importance in human development of schools and universities where modes of thinking are inculcated.

    Maybe the whole IQ science business is fake science. After all, how do you prove that IQ is equivalent to what we understand as intelligence, i.e., creativity, artistic genius, mathematical imagination, etc. when some of the most creative, artistic and imaginative people have quite ordinary IQ’s.

    Maybe the idea of reducing intelligence to a two or three digit number is one of the greatest blunders in science, one of the greatest blunders, that is, in the supposed science of psychology, a field littered with the ruins of some of the strangest monuments to human intellectual error: behaviorism, for example, and psychoanalysis.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
    , @James Thompson
  28. FKA Max says:

    because, except in cases of pathology, there’s no correlation between intelligence and any physiological or anatomical trait.

    [ While the team’s study results are likely to cause quite a stir, particularly among those lower in physical stature, it does add to a growing body of research that suggests there are physical, mental and in some cases emotional differences between people related to body size (both height and girth). In this effort, the team used data obtained from Generation Scotland: Scottish Family Health Study—where both medical tests and mental aptitude were tested—intelligence was measured via four basic metrics: mental reaction times, linguistic ability, processing speed and powers of recall. ]

    In analyzing data from the study, the team found what they describe as a “significant genetic correlation” between IQ and height—between taller and shorter people. Those that were shorter were on average, found to be slightly less intelligent than their taller counterparts. It’s important to note that the researchers are not suggesting that all short people are less intelligent, or that all tall people are more intelligent. Instead they are pointing out averages across a population. Also important to note is that the Family Health Study did not use standard IQ tests to measure intelligence.

    A February 2009 article in NewScientist magazine reported that physiognomy is living a small revival, with research papers trying to find links between personality traits and facial traits.[1] A study of 90 ice-hockey players found that a wider face in which the cheekbone-to-cheekbone distance was unusually large relative to the distance between brow and upper lip was linked in a statistically significant way with the number of penalty minutes a player was given for violent acts including slashing, elbowing, checking from behind and fighting.[23]

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  29. @dearieme

    It seems like you would need a pretty tightly controlled environment and very precise measuring instruments, 2 things that are easier to get and maintain nowadays then any other time in our history.

  30. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @FKA Max

    The absurdity of such research is amply demonstrated by the authors’ qualification:

    It’s important to note that the researchers are not suggesting that all short people are less intelligent, or that all tall people are more intelligent.

    So although Nobel Prize winner Winston Churchill was only 5 foot 7 inches tall, we don’t have to write him off as an absolute dummy, and anyway he was a bit taller than Napoleon, at only five feet six inches, and US President Madison, only 5 feet 4 inches, and the diminutive Kim Jong Il of N. Korea, dictator for life, at only 5 feet 3 inches. But what to make of Alexander Pope, a poet highly regarded in his day but standing a mere 4 feet 6 inches. Then there’s Henry Franklyn, goaltender for the Dartmouth Jubilees and inventor of what became the standard “butterfly style” of goaltending, who was a mere 3 feet 6 inches tall.

    Yeah that not all shorties are dummies seems the only definite conclusion to be drawn. Still, I suppose we should all watch out for ice hockey slashers with wide faces and short stature. Actually, the wide cheekbone thing is a Viking trait, which explains the shashing, elbowing, etc.

  31. @CanSpeccy

    For links with brain function see:

    For an account of processing speed measures, including choice reaction times and other variables, particularly regarding the relationship with lifespan see:

    For the predictive power of intelligence on achievement see:

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  32. FKA Max says:

    Still, I suppose we should all watch out for ice hockey slashers with wide faces and short stature. Actually, the wide cheekbone thing is a Viking trait, which explains the s[l]ashing, elbowing, etc.

    Vikings/Nordics with high activity MAOA should be OK, though:

    For instance, low IQ does not increase violent tendencies in men with MAOA-4R, but it does in men with MAOA-3R.
    So the perfect violence soup is low [activity] MAO-A, social isolation, high testosterone, being poor and having a low IQ.

    But you are partially correct, arguably, the most “deadly” people on the planet are tall [not short]/high IQ, high-testosterone/wide-cheekboned carriers of the low-activity MAOA allele. I guess, one could classify Special Forces soldiers as ‘modern-day Vikings.’ When you take a look at this recent blog post photo by Mr. Sailer, many of the Navy Seals seem to have high/wide cheekbones:

    For the SEALs, the problem extends beyond the officer corps into the enlisted ranks. Of its enlisted men, 45 SEALs are black, or about 2% of the 2,242 members of its elite force. There are more SEALs — 99, or 4% of the enlisted force — who are Native Americans or Alaskan natives.

    Among Army Green Berets, 85% of its 1,494 officers are white and 4.5% are black. Its 5,947 enlisted Green Berets are 86% white and 5.4% black.

    For the Air Force’s para-rescue jumpers, highly trained airmen who search for missing troops, only one of 166 is black, or .6% of that force.

    This is just anecdotal evidence, but it is interesting, but not entirely surprising, that this Navy Seal carries the “warrior gene.”

    Warrior Gene – part 9

    Uploaded on Aug 7, 2011

    Randy Hetrick – Former Navy Seal

    Kevin Dutton: Do Athletes Have Psychopathic Tendencies?

    Published on Jan 15, 2013

    I mean, these things are straight out of the sports psychology text books in many ways. So anyone from top golfers, to top cyclists, to top boxers, to top athletes, they are gonna be high on the psychopathic characteristics.

    Now where we start getting into the realms of criminal psychopaths is when we look at natural aggression levels and perhaps natural levels of intelligence. If you’ve got those characteristics right there that I’ve told you about and you happen to be naturally violent, and you also happen to be naturally stupid — not a very politically correct word there, but you happen to be low in intelligence – then your prospects, to be perfectly honest with you, are not gonna be that great. Okay? You’re gonna wind up smacking a bottle over someone’s head in a bar and you are gonna wind up in prison pretty quickly. Okay?

    However, if you’ve got those traits I’ve just mentioned to you and you are not naturally violent, and you are also intelligent, then it’s a different story altogether. Then, as the famous Reuters headline once mentioned, you are more likely gonna make a killing in the market than anywhere else.

    (Hare has said that if he couldn’t study psychopaths in prisons, the Vancouver Stock Exchange would have been his second choice.)

    Some additional information/comments on why, in my opinion, it is important to test for both IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and PQ (Psychopathy Quotient)

    Also, a very entertaining movie; the main character has very high/wide cheekbones:

    Goon – Official Trailer [HD]

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  33. @James Thompson

    An admirable answer if I may say so. I am sure you csn infer/guess from that most of what I might have said in the 1000 word rumination that I mulled over under the shower but deferred in favour of having a needed haircut on one of the discount days.

  34. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @James Thompson

    Re: predictive power of tests, your article linked above confirms the absurdity of the claim that intelligence can be measured on a single linear scale (i.e., with an IQ test).

    You say:

    Verbal and mathematical tests provide powerful predictors. Adding spatial tests (done for some of them in later testing) assists in getting even better predictions. There is no upper limit after which additional smarts make no contribution.

    Which is consistent with the University of Western Ontario study, which concluded:

    IQ tests simply can’t measure the many ways people can be smart, say Adrian M. Owen and Adam Hampshire from Western’s Brain and Mind Institute. They co-authored the landmark study with Roger Highfield of the Science Museum Group in London, England.

    “The whole concept of IQ really is bogus,” Owen said Wednesday. “The brain is complex and you can’t sum it up by answering a few question on a piece of paper.”

    Their study included 100,000 participants worldwide who completed 12 online brain tests to tap their memory, reasoning, attention and planning abilities.

    They also gave details on their backgrounds and lifestyles.

    The conclusion: Test performance is based on short-term memory, reasoning, verbal skills and a host of other abilities, both measurable and not.

    But, in fact, the highest ability is often quite one-sided. It is doubtful if Isaac Newton would have made any impact on the world had he not found a home for very eccentric scholars at Trinity College Cambridge. Or consider Kurt Goedel, considered too nutty to be a member of the faculty at Princeton University, though acknowledged as perhaps the greatest mathematician of the 20th century.

    In fact, truly exceptional originality seems more often than not associated with a measure of obsessive compulsive disorder that precludes effective functioning in most domains of life.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @James Thompson
  35. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @FKA Max

    Thank you for the links. Unfortunately, the video on the warrior gene doesn’t play in Canada. I guess it’s a US military secret.

    However, I get the general idea. In fact, many years ago, Science Magazine published a theory of mine, i.e., a letter (unfortunately not open access), about psychopathology and a negative feedback loop between the cognitive experience of emotion and visceral arousal via the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis. I later came to doubt the theory but it will be interesting to think about it again in the light of your references.

  36. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @The Alarmist

    Also iirc pupils dilate when people look at babies.

    could it simply be a correlation with niceness?

    i.e. populations selected most for civilization (aka pacification) correlate with those most selected for IQ?

  37. anon • Disclaimer says:

    The absurdity of such research is amply demonstrated by the authors’ qualification:

    The only relevance of the qualification is to the innumeracy of journalists.

    • Agree: Wizard of Oz
  38. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Re: predictive power of tests, your article linked above confirms the absurdity of the claim that intelligence can be measured on a single linear scale (i.e., with an IQ test).

    The military take in a lot of people with no academic qualifications and so they use IQ tests to figure out who should do the clever stuff. That’s why military helicopters aren’t crashing every five minutes.

    if Isaac Newton would have made any impact on the world had he not found a home for very eccentric scholars at Trinity College Cambridge…snip…In fact, truly exceptional originality seems more often than not associated with a measure of obsessive compulsive disorder that precludes effective functioning in most domains of life.

    quite possible – i wonder where we’d be if all the other Newtons had found such a berth?

  39. @CanSpeccy

    How come you can come up with an absurdity like your “The absurdity of such research is amply demonstrated by the authors’ qualification”? It would perhaps be true to say that “the author’s’ fear that their readers would include the dim and the incorrigibly prejudiced was demonstrated by their regarding it as necessary to spell out an obvious qualification”.

    Supposing you commissioned research to help the trainers within an Institute of Sport to select those who should be admitted to their programs. Advice includes the research result that only 10 per cent of regular players in the ABC league have reaction times which are not at least three sds above average. Wouldn’t it be a perfectly sensible qualification to proffer that this doesn’t mean that it is not worth bothering about lower reaction time candidates even if reasons have to be sought for regarding them as possible exceptions?

    Your comprehensively anti IQ rant left me scratching my head. Fortunately James Thompson seems to have answered your nihilism.

  40. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    Supposing you commissioned research to help the trainers within an Institute of Sport to select those who should be admitted to their programs. Advice includes the research result that only 10 per cent of regular players in the ABC league have reaction times which are not at least three sds above average. Wouldn’t it be a perfectly sensible qualification to proffer that this doesn’t mean that it is not worth bothering about lower reaction time candidates even if reasons have to be sought for regarding them as possible exceptions?

    It would be sensible if reaction times were shown to be correlated with performance and that, furthermore, those without reaction times three sds above average were never any good at the sport in question.

    But what has that to do with IQ test results. Are you seriously arguing that an IQ test is the best way of measuring reaction time?!!!

    And supposing you were selecting students for a music composition program? Would reaction times be terribly useful, or even IQ. Might it not be more useful to test for, say, pitch recognition, rhythm recognition and recall, and so forth?

    What I think is ridiculous is to take a single number as a measure of ability when intellectual capacity is unquestionably multi-faceted, and when, furthermore, it is known that different mental capabilities may depend on different parts of the brain system.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  41. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    The military take in a lot of people with no academic qualifications and so they use IQ tests to figure out who should do the clever stuff. That’s why military helicopters aren’t crashing every five minutes.

    US military helicopters are certainly not immune to crashing, as with Seal Team 6, or when Jimmy Carter tried extracting the Iran hostages.

    And in fact, one has to wonder about US army IQ tests. The first such tests were invented by someone named Arthur Otis, who went on to write a book refuting relativity theory on the grounds that velocities must be additive, which seems to have been a bit simple minded. An review writes:

    This is an extremely unusual book and a very strange book to review. First of all, the book is totally silly and useless for the study of relativity. So why do I give it five stars? The reason is for its historical significance, not for the accuracy of its content. As for the content, the author gives a perfect exposition of exactly how to misinterpret the material. He concludes that the Special Theory of Relativity is wrong! So why is it historically significant? It is because the author was a legend in his main field: IQ testing.

    Still, I’d agree that being able to pass any kind of paper and pencil test would suggest basic literacy and the ability to read stuff like “this way up” or “store in a cool place,” is probably useful if you’re selecting people who may have to handle explosive devices.

    • Replies: @anon
  42. Sparkon says:

    See #8, above.

    Agreed. I recall reading in a 1964 magazine or newspaper article (clipped and kept for years) that a female’s pupil dilation was a reliable indicator of interest.

    If you’re seeing big, black pools in your baby’s eyes, dude, you’re in like Flynn.

    Not that I personally ever used this knowledge in any way that was anything but to my own advantage, and then only a relatively few times, and then only with women who were otherwise completely irresistible anyway, and you know, as they say, strike when the pupils are wide…or grab, or something.

    All of that was not usually necessary anyway, because, to paraphrase Kipling:
    The female of the species is more horny than the male.

  43. Eyeball size is correlated with brain size, body size, and intelligence.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  44. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Still, I’d agree…

    cool, glad we settled that

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  45. @CanSpeccy

    You miss or appear to miss my point. I was seeking to illustrate by analogy how unfounded your inference from the authors’ offering a sensible qualification was.

    And you erect an Aunt Sally when you make your objection to the single number in your last par. Of course intelligence is multifaceted and special talents and tastes may be what count in the real world but it doesn’t mean that assessing that single figure is by antbmeans useless. After all, on average it is quite predictive as James Thompson’s links would show.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  46. @AnonymousCoward

    Nose and penis sizes are also correlated, if not strongly, with body size, and therfore, you would agree, with brain size, eyeball size and intelligence. Equipped with that knowledge even an illiterate family of selective breeders could probably turn a 99 average IQ into 101 over little more than a couple of centuries.

  47. @CanSpeccy

    It seems you have a high opinion of the Hampshire, Highfield, Parkin, & Owen study published in Neuron in 2012.

    I do not.

    Neither do leading experts in the field of intelligence:

    • Replies: @res
    , @CanSpeccy
  48. res says:
    @James Thompson

    Thanks for supplying the connections! Was there any more on this since the 2014 paper?

    For those with concerns about factor analysis, the 2014 paper from the second link makes interesting reading:

    Here is a key paragraph. Note that the rotation served to obscure the importance of a strong single factor (in contrast to an oft expressed concern by commenters that rotations might inflate the general factor, which doesn’t make sense mathematically).

    Hampshire et al. identified a strong un-rotated general factor and several other factors in their imaging data (supplemental Table 1) but then went on to rotate these factors to impose their independence. These independent factors were the basis of their interpretations and conclusions about two independent networks. As is the case in test score data, the un-rotated factor solution that shows the strong general factor reflects brain organization to the same degree as the statistically independent factors, and very likely could be tied back to the test score data exactly as Hampshire et al. demonstrated for the independent factors. The un-rotated factor, for example, could well be a “neuro-g” and it is important to consider the alternative interpretation. The authors should publish the basic correlation matrices as supplemental data so other researchers can explore other possible interpretations.

    One question for those who know more about FA than I do. Aren’t the original un-rotated factors independent? Then the rotation would be an attempt to impose a different(sub-optimally explanatory)set of basis vectors (factors), right? Am I misunderstanding?

  49. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    cool, glad we settled that

    ; namely, that

    being able to pass any kind of paper and pencil test would suggest basic literacy and the ability to read stuff like “this way up” or “store in a cool place,” is probably useful if you’re selecting people who may have to handle explosive devices.

    Yes, I too am glad we settled that.

  50. Factor analysis is the orderly simplification of a correlation matrix. I start by looking at that matrix, and seeing if I can detect a pattern. Usually, the highest correlations in psychometric data are between very similar tests (in fact, even higher for different ways of marking particular tests!) and the lower correlations indicate specific skills or measurement reliability errors.

    In other words, with some experience you can detect whether there is likely to be a common factor just by eye. You can also spot the likely members of minor factor groupings. You can then do a factor analysis with an inkling of what you will find.

    I have an old-school attitude to factor analysis, which is that factors should be orthogonal, and one determines what those factors represent (if anything) by looking at the loadings for each of the variables on each factor. I spent many hours in Eysenck’s department doing just that on the Isle of Wight followup data, partly on child behavioural scales, but also on scholastic attainments. When the pattern is clear then a factor name can usually be attached with a fair degree of descriptive honesty.

    However, if you twist factors, accept oblique solutions and so on, then I am far less confident that A) I can understand what the analysis really shows and B) what the factors stand for.

    • Replies: @res
  51. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @James Thompson

    It seems you have a high opinion of the Hampshire, Highfield, Parkin, & Owen study published in Neuron in 2012.

    I do not.

    I like how you quote yourself as an authority for what both you and “leading experts” assert.

    But, in fact, I did not quote Highfield, et al., since I have not read their study in Neuron — I’m not a psychologist. I was quoting an article (to which I provided a link, and again here) in something called LFPress, which included the statement: “The brain is complex and you can’t sum it up by answering a few question on a piece of paper.”

    That, to a biologist interested in learning about the mechanism and function of the mammalian brain — which, with its quadrillions of programmable synapses and its wide array of chemical signaling mechanisms, is the most complex thing on the face of the planet — seems a reasonable proposition.

    But the psychologist’s aim is perhaps rather different: to devise a means of exercising power by labeling people on the basis of such flapdoodle as the measurements of cranial circumference, reaction time, or the result of a 30-minute puzzle-solving test.

    I am not suggesting that gross differences in mental competence do not exist or that one cannot find limited correlations between aptitude expressed in one way or another and some test measurement.

    What I am saying is that it seems bizarre to anyone interested in understanding the human mind to suppose that such variation can be captured by a measurement on a single linear scale. Rather, it seems that to label people in such a way amounts to a form of psychological abuse.

  52. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    After all, on average it is quite predictive as James Thompson’s links would show.

    Quite predictive but it missed William Shockley, inventor of the transistor, J.D. Watson, co-discoverer of the genetic code, and Richard Feynman, probably the greatest American theoretical physicist of the 20th Century.

    But, yes, sure there are correlations between this and that. I bet that on an age-adjusted basis, the age and make of car that a person drives is about as well correlated with socioeconomic status, patents obtained, academic appointments, or whatever as are pupil diameter, cranial capacity, reaction speed, or IQ.

    The basic absurdity of IQism is the implicit assumption that with proper measurement it would be possible to rank Roger Bacon, Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare, Isaac Newton, Joshua Reynolds, Samuel Johnson, Charles Darwin, James Clark Maxwell and Francis Crick in order of ability.

  53. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    A further absurdity of IQism is that it implies that if Shakespeare and Newton had the same IQ, and had they been so inclined, Shakespeare could have written Newton’s Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica and Newton could have written A Misummer Night’s Dream.

  54. FKA Max says:

    So although Nobel Prize winner Winston Churchill was only 5 foot 7 inches tall, we don’t have to write him off as an absolute dummy, and anyway he was a bit taller than Napoleon, at only five feet six inches, and US President Madison, only 5 feet 4 inches, and the diminutive Kim Jong Il of N. Korea, dictator for life, at only 5 feet 3 inches.

    This is an interesting passage from the New Scientist piece; Churchill was both short and had a baby face:

    But there’s a twist. Baby-faced men are, on average, better educated, more assertive and apt to win more military medals than their mature-looking counterparts. They are also more likely to be criminals; think Al Capone. Similarly, Zebrowitz found baby-faced boys to be quarrelsome and hostile, and more likely to be academic high-fliers. She calls this the “self-defeating prophecy effect”: a man with a baby face strives to confound expectations and ends up overcompensating.

    Are all short men little Napoleons? It’s often said smaller men tend to be chippy and aggressive. But what’s the scientific evidence?

    Stalin was said to suffer from it, as did Mussolini and Attila the Hun. Some critics say it helps explain the behaviour of 5ft 5in former French president Nicolas Sarkozy.
    Psychologist Dr Glenn Wilson says: ‘For every nasty little Napoleon or Hitler, there’s an equally nasty Saddam Hussein or Colonel Gaddafi who is tall. It’s easy to think of case examples but scientific evidence is very limited.’

    Napoleon Wasn’t Short, Vikings Didn’t Wear Horned Helmets, and 3 More Historical Misconceptions

    My favorite is his explanation of Napoleon Bonaparte’s height. To ruin the story ever so slightly, it turns out that France has a history of special measurements, so the “French inch” used during Napoleon’s time differed from the English inch, making Napoleon average or even slightly above average for his time.

  55. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    Churchill was both short and had a baby face.

    Yes, when someone likened a baby’s looks to his, Churchill responded with “That’s because all babies look like me.”

    Whether one judges Churchill to have been better educated than most depends on what one takes education to be. At Harrow, a not particularly academic private school, Churchill remained for three years in the lowest class, and then, being unqualified for university, went to Sandhurst, the military college.

    However, Churchill seems to have read a great deal. When with the army in India, he requested his mother send him lots of books, boasting that he had “strong mental jaws.”

    Are all short men little Napoleons? It’s often said smaller men tend to be chippy and aggressive. But what’s the scientific evidence?

    Stalin was said to suffer from it …

    Nikita Khrushchev, it has been said, survived the Stalin purges because, at only 5 feet 3 inches, he was even shorter than Stalin.

    Khruschev demostrated his chippiness by banging the podium with his shoe while addressing the UN General Assembly and declaring that the Soviet Union would bury the West. However, he went soft over Cuba, agreeing with JFK not to have a nuclear extinction event, and was removed from office, to be followed by more normal sized leaders.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  56. @CanSpeccy

    Think thresholds. An earnest doctor’s son is naturally thought of as a possible future doctor but, if he regularly tests between say 109 and 114 on IQ tests and never stars in the maths and science subjects wouldn’t his school be doing the right thing by steering him towards a career as nurse, sports coach or primary teacher?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  57. @CanSpeccy

    You have quoted a newspaper article in the London Free Press, which gives an interview with the authors of a paper, and consider that interview to be superior to their published paper?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  58. res says:
    @James Thompson

    Thanks for the description. I come from more of a liner algebra/Principal Components Analysis background so I am used to just letting the eigenvectors speak for themselves. But I understand the desire to improve understanding and correspondence with known quantities to enable B. I’m not used to the terminology “oblique solutions”, but I assume that means non-orthogonal factors? (just checked for myself and see that is so)

  59. res says:

    To improve your IQ denialism you might want to add Luis Alvarez to that list. I’m familiar with the controversy about Feynman’s IQ, but how did it miss James Watson?

    This article talks about Shockley, Alvarez, and the Terman study and how those misses were used to help shape the form the SMPY took:

    You do realize that essentially everything you are saying is a strawman relative to what people here are arguing, right?

  60. @res

    And does “non-orthogonal/oblique” mean “only partly independent”?

    • Replies: @res
  61. @CanSpeccy

    I thought everyone interested would know (99 per cent) that the Feynman 123 IQ story persisted only because of his sense of humour. But what are the Watson and Shockley stories/myths?

    It is true that I once had access to records which showed that a very bright friend’s IQ had been recorded as 183 on one occasion but 137 on another. My memory of this was aided by the priceless comment of his former junior school principal, also recorded: “the true figure is probably somewhere in between”. When I once decided to entertain someone with a version of this story and related it in the presence of its subject in the form of 1. “Stratospheric IQ” and 2. “Merely what one would expect of your average High Court judge” my friend paused for almost two seconds with a twinkle in his eye before saying “I must have been having a bad day”.

    • Replies: @res
  62. res says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    I think that is a good way to put it.

  63. res says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    The Shockley story is real (similarly for Alvarez). What happened was the Terman study screened for high IQ (cutoff 140). Both Shockley and Alvarez failed to pass Terman’s screen. One of Terman’s hopes was that one of his group would win a Nobel prize. None did, but Shockley and Alvarez did. See the Nature article I linked above for some more details or search for “Shockley Alvarez Terman”
    Steve Sailer has discussed this as well. For example:

    Wiki for Terman study:

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  64. FKA Max says:

    According to Cartwright, in males prominent facial features such as high cheekbones and a strong jaw and chin are a sign of a high level of testosterone and are considered attractive physical traits in many cultures.[2]

    Just a quick follow-up on Mr. Churchill. His “baby face” seems to be an authentic indicator of his probably relatively low testosterone levels:

    “But, on whether Winston’s 57-year-long marriage was a career-motivated sham or the real deal, I would like to persuade you that it was the real deal.”

    She also said that Sir Winston was “a rarity among alpha males” who rose to lead their country because he was not a “sexual predator”.

    “He wasn’t a Bill Clinton with interns, he wasn’t a JFK with actresses,” she said. “He wasn’t even a John Major with a certain Tory MP.”

    Which probably also explains his “strong mental jaws”:

    [ Studies suggest that high testosterone lowers IQ (Ostatnikova et al 2007). Other studies suggest that increased androgen receptor sensitivity and higher sperm counts (markers for increased testosterone) are negatively correlated with intelligence when measured by speed of neuronal transmission and hence general intelligence (g) in a tradeoff fashion (Manning 2006).
    Further, studies verify the dorky nerd who can’t get laid stereotype. In high schoolers, as IQ rises, so does the likelihood of not having experienced sexual intercourse. The relationship holds through university. Even after graduating, higher IQ people have less sex and masturbate less. All in all, the higher the IQ, the lower the sex drive. ]

    – Testosterone levels

    Conclusion: Baby-faced (low testosterone), tall guys are the most intelligent people on the planet.

    Warren Buffett fits that bill, in my opinion. He is not extremely tall (5’10”), but not short either, and he has quite a baby face going for himself.

    Also John Maynard Keynes (6’6”) and John Forbes Nash (6’1”).

  65. @res

    It makes sense that once cognitive abilities as measured by IQ or similar tests approach three standard deviations the actrual high g achievements in competition with others are likely to be determined more by such attributes as energy and stamina, distravtibility, ambition, singlemindedness, specific talents and, pretty well negating all sorts of internal processing speed advantages, interface problems …. how fast can you talk/write/listen?

    • Replies: @res
  66. FKA Max says:
    @FKA Max

    Also Aldous Huxley (6 feet 4 1/2 inches tall).

    There is quite a resemblance in the facial features of Aldous Huxley and Michael Woodley of Menie.

    Does anyone happen to know how tall Mr. Woodely is?

  67. res says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    That’s part of it, but another component IMHO is how quickly the normal curve falls off at the extremes. Here are some frequencies (1/x) from
    IQ 1/x
    160 31,560
    150 2,330
    140 261
    130 44

    For the sake of argument, say the chance of a given achievement doubles for every 10 IQ points. A quick glance at those frequencies shows that even though a 160 IQ person has an 8x better chance of achieving than a 130 IQ person, in absolute numbers the 130 IQ people will dominate because there are so many more of them in the population.

    This in conjunction with your point is a big part of the problem with the IQ threshold idea. There are just so many more chances to get a great combination of other traits as IQ decreases through this range.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  68. @res

    Not presuming to disagree with you but is it really a “problem with the IQ threshold idea”?

    As I express that idea it is to say, for example, that you are most unlikely to get tenure as a full professor of physics if your two or three times measured IQ is less than 125. The point you make establishles that the pool of 120 to 130 IQ wannabe physics professors is going to be very large compared with the pool of 160+ IQ candidates. But… I don’t think it prevents my version of the threshold idea applying, including the proviso I offered of an assumed 2 per cent of such physics professors having IQs measured at <125 (my merely assumed figure which might be too high or too low). I think your perfectly valid point would support an expectation that most physics professors IQs were in the 130s. N'est-ce pas?

    • Replies: @res
  69. @res

    Yes, non-orthogonal factors such that you can line them up with what appears to be a more natural configuration of factors. Principal Components Analysis is fine! However, the argument is that it may hoover up so much of the variance that other important factors (or meaningful from an explanatory point of view) are lost in the scree slope.

  70. A general point on correlation: unless a coefficient attains unity it will not perfectly predict. The best predictor of success is an intelligence test, but it falls far short of unity, so a generally good prediction will include failures of prediction. A general tendency is not invalidated by having an error term.
    On the question of whether intelligence tests are good predictors of later intellectual achievements, they are, and at the same time they miss particular people who do well.
    Steve Hsu has explained this very clearly.

  71. res says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    I basically agree with you (and I appreciate thoughtful, reasoned disagreement), let me try to elaborate. I think the idea of a hard threshold is not true (this is what I see as one of CanSpeccy’s strawmen, e.g. considering Shockley a refutation of the utility of IQ). I think the idea of a soft threshold (with exceptions) is valid and useful. I see your previous comment as arguing for the latter. Another way of looking at a soft threshold is as a cutoff for the probability of success.

    I agree with your next to last sentence to some extent (all physics professors, subgroups by field or university “quality” will be different IMHO). I think the frequency of attribute(s) vs. probability of success idea is a great way to look at this. But I think it is critical to note (speculatively) that what is likely behind the success of 130 IQ physics professors is some combination of luck and exceptional other attributes (e.g. high end math, spatial, visualization skills). Being at the threshold is like being the just over six feet tall guy in the NBA. There are many of those, but they tend not to be the best and they also tend to have exceptional other skills. The average six feet tall man has virtually no chance at playing in the NBA (and then you have Allen Iverson who was an NBA MVP at 6’0″, or Feynman perhaps?).

    In other words, the probability of success probably contains/obscures other testable characteristics that would reduce the unexplained variance even further. This is a restatement of CanSpeccy’s observations that IQ is not sufficient for everything. I think Feynman’s IQ falls into this, with his Putnam and Princeton grad school admissions test results demonstrating the testability of his excellence even if an earlier IQ test failed to detect it.

    All of this also explains why there can be seemingly low average IQs for fields which we all “know” should be higher. The lower end of any group dominates numerically (though what constitutes “lower end” varies) which tends to place the mean near the soft threshold. (for those who also follow iSteve, this actually serves as a counterargument against my assertions about the average IQ of commenters there)

    Dr. Thompson, does the IQ literature discuss the idea that, because of the population density of IQs, highly selected by IQ groups are likely to have IQ means near their lower end even if IQ is critically important to membership in the group? That was stated awkwardly. Can anyone articulate the idea better?

    P.S. Wiz, I kind of went off above. I hope it illuminates rather than obscures, but if not please ask a followup question.

  72. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    but, if he regularly tests between say 109 and 114 on IQ tests and never stars in the maths and science subjects

    As an IQist, you think what’s important is that “he regularly tests between say 109 and 114 on IQ tests.” However, what I think important is his actual performance. If the kid’s academic performance matches the entrance requirements of a decent medical school, why the hell should he not go to medical school.

    But if the fact that Terman’s IQ testing excluded the only future Nobel Prize winners from among his batch of what were supposed to be high fliers and Nobel Prize winners is not enough to convince an IQist that IQ testing is bunk, probably nothing will.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  73. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @James Thompson

    You have quoted a newspaper article in the London Free Press, which gives an interview with the authors of a paper, and consider that interview to be superior to their published paper?

    I did not quote the Neuron paper by Highfield, et al. since, as I said, I have not read it. I was quoting what one of the Highfield et al. authors was reported to have said in an interview, specifically: “The brain is complex and you can’t sum it up by answering a few question on a piece of paper.” As a biologist with a passing interest in psychology (I was reading H.J. Eysenck, both his popular works and journal articles probably before you were born), that statement seems correct to me.

    I would add that I consider the notion that an individual’s intelligence can be defined by a single point on a linear scale is bound soon to join behaviorism and psychoanalysis among the strange and sad relics of discarded 20th century thought.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
    , @res
  74. anon • Disclaimer says:

    I am not suggesting that gross differences in mental competence do not exist or that one cannot find limited correlations between aptitude expressed in one way or another and some test measurement.



    I think objections to genetic IQ are mostly really about the issue of different racial averages. The thing is, if it’s all true then the cause is different gene frequencies in different groups and the only way it will ever be improved is by admitting it first.

    If it was admitted then the women in the groups concerned would start fixing it themselves by changing who they get pregnant by and the effect at the bottom end would be huge because 80% of the running with scissors is done by the bottom 20% and they would only need to be slightly less dumb to see a big improvement.

    The (slow) eugenic argument is the moral argument.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  75. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Quite predictive but it missed William Shockley, inventor of the transistor, J.D. Watson, co-discoverer of the genetic code, and Richard Feynman, probably the greatest American theoretical physicist of the 20th Century.

    I don’t find stuff like that strange.

    Say there are OCD brains and ADD brains where the former make breakthoughs through sheer brainpower and the latter are lazier and do it by making leap-connections then you might expect some of the latter type to get bored halfway through their IQ test and start doodling rocket ships instead.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  76. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @FKA Max

    Yes, relating intelligence to physiognomy and body shape is more amusing than trying to line people up from brightest to dumbest on a linear scale, however much the latter approach appeals to the authoritarian mind. Moreover I think there’s something in it, for is it not the general experience that on the rare occasions one meets a person who looks just like some other person one already knows, or knows of, that person seems to think in very similar ways to their body double?

    I once worked for a descendant of the so-called Pennsylvania Dutch, i.e., Germans of H. L. Mencken’s ilk. He had the same pyknic, or Churchillian, body form, the same affinity for alcohol and tobacco, the same joy in making language fizz and pop, and the same low-brow humor.

    But, alas, the psychologists have it seems already abandoned this promising field.

  77. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    I think objections to genetic IQ are mostly really about the issue of different racial averages.

    Not so. When you have a test of intellectual capacity that routinely and even with reliability screens out Nobel Prize winners, you have a bullshit test. You also have a test with the potential to cause psychological damage to those it so badly assesses.

    IQ tests are not only virtually meaningless — how can one number rank Shakespeare versus Newton, or Clark Maxwell versus J.K. Rowling — but socially harmful.

    As for comparing black and white IQ’s, the Flynn effect tells you all you need to know about the intellectual vacuity of the exercise.

    • Replies: @anon
  78. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    So we agree that the uselessness of IQ testing is not in the least bit strange.

    In fact, it seems possible that highly intelligent people view IQ test questions rather differently from the people of, in some cases, rather limited intellect who formulated those question, e.g., people like Arthur Otis (of whom see discussion above). In other words, wrong answers may sometimes be the right answers beyond the comprehension of the testers.

    • Replies: @anon
  79. @CanSpeccy

    I think we are at cross purposes as to what constitutes evidence in a fact-based discussion.

    • Agree: res
    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  80. anon • Disclaimer says:

    As for comparing black and white IQ’s, the Flynn effect tells you all you need to know about the intellectual vacuity of the exercise.

    Not if the Flynn effect correlates with the increased consumption of fish in the 3rd world since WWII – aka iodine intake – and if it plateaus at some level determined by gene frequency.

  81. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @James Thompson

    I think we are at cross purposes as to what constitutes evidence in a fact-based discussion.

    Perhaps so. But in that case, James, can you provide the fact-based evidence that demonstrates how one can meaningfully rank the cognitive capacity of Shakespeare versus that of Newton on a unidimensional scale that apparently excludes more Nobel Prize winners than it identifies in the selection of high fliers and geniuses?

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  82. anon • Disclaimer says:

    90% useful is not useless.

    Most of your counter arguments are straw men so either your objection is political – you don’t care what harm is done as long as it furthers a political goal – or your objection is moral.

    But like I say the moral argument is on the side of telling the truth as apart from diet the cause will be gene frequencies and gene frequencies can be fixed (slowly) without any unpleasantness simply through women weighting brains more highly when it comes to reproduction.

  83. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    Most of your counter arguments are straw men

    No example given.

    so either your objection is political

    My objection? What exactly are you referring to? We can’t debate hot air. If I have stated a proposition or drawn a conclusion that you wish to assert is false, you should state it explicitly.

    you don’t care what harm is done as long as it furthers a political goal

    Harm? What harm? That we cannot go on saying black people are mentally inferior to whites without providing some real evidence instead of the result of a test known to be (a) unreliable in predicting career outcomes, sometimes spectacularly so, (b) subject to all kinds of bias due to social, cultural and educational factors.

    Or your objection is moral.

    I have a moral objection to the misrepresentation of reality presented as science, that’s for sure.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  84. FKA Max says:
    @FKA Max


    From the above tables, it is clear that the race realist assertion is incorrect, whether one looks at the 7 so-called micro ‘races’ or the 3 so-called macro ‘races’. East Asians were found to have the highest average total plasma testosterone (5,673 ρg/mL) followed by Africans (5,442 ρg/mL) and then Europeans (4,992 ρg/mL). Given that the sample size for Africans is smaller (N < 10,000), their relative position may change with more data. Nonetheless, the claim that East Asians have the least testosterone is not supported by scientific data.

    From the results, if one considers only the so-called macro races, compared to European males, African and East Asian males have about 11% more testosterone on average. This is the result of some 199 peer-reviewed articles. and

    • Replies: @Santoculto
    , @Wizard of Oz
  85. @FKA Max

    total plasma testosterone

  86. @CanSpeccy

    Taking the testable part of your question ” a unidimensional scale that apparently excludes more Nobel Prize winners than it identifies in the selection of high fliers and geniuses” I suggest you use the search bar on my blog for “Lubinksi”.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  87. FKA Max says:
    @James Thompson

    I think it is “Lubinski”… “No results found” for “Lubinksi.”

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  88. @FKA Max

    Is the responsiveness to testosterone also measured and compared?

    • Replies: @FKA Max
    , @FKA Max
  89. res says:

    Just how old are you? You should probably at least make an effort to learn more about the person you are talking to before unleashing gems like: “probably before you were born.”

    Picking reading Hans Eysenck’s work as a way of trying to pull rank on Dr. Thompson is hilarious. He isn’t one to toot his own horn AFAICT, but you might want to read the first paragraph of this before trying that again:
    Perhaps Wizard of Oz can chime in on that score as well ; )

    P.S. Dr. Thompson, feel free to spike or edit this comment if you find it inappropriate.

  90. @CanSpeccy

    All your absurd demands for justifications e.g. of ranking Shakespeare, Darwin etc or of Terman’s work because of Shockley and Alvarez are erections of straw men.

    You appear to be a black and white thinker when you fail to see the utility and some area of validity for IQ testing. Think of it as the shorthand version of what should or could be for some purposes a much more nuanced and detailed set of tests.

    Consider the arrival of the school’s new twice a week cricket coach who has 40 boys from which to shape a team (of 11 plus 12th man) in three months time. He has a nice young gym teacher to assist him. I would back him in sorting out the top 15 -18 for his attention by a quick fielding test of stopping the hard hit bouncing ball and catching others arriving fast from odd angles. Start with those who have 100 per cent success with six test balls which is, say, four boys, and then continue the testing of all those who have had a one in three success rate. There might be some correlations (cp.g) but it doesn’t test the strength with which they might be able to strike the ball with bat or the ability to spin a ball as bowler or to deliver it at speed at an intended length. But does it not make sense if you can’t take all the boys on successive werkends cricket camps for comprehensive assessment?

    Some schools’ scholarship exams are mostly tests of competence in the subjects candidates are likely to have studied and to continue studying (maths, essay writing etc). Others administer tests which are much closer to typical IQ tests and presumably are happy enough year after year that they have boosted their schools medium and long term academic standing reliably by using the results. Is it the irrational nonsense you seem to be assetting?

    BTW what do you make of the use of SAT scores for making important choices given their close relation tobIQ tests?

  91. @res

    No doubt he will remember getting his first reliable anti-psychoanalysis views from his reading of Eysenck (? also Eysenck on behaviourism) so I would be interested to know when and how he woke up to Eysenck being all wrong about IQ. I recall (I think) Eysenck’s answer to objections to the 11 plus test which was to say that all candidates should have the chance to do it three times which would provide all the training needed and improve its fairness and validity.

    (I am not sure that ensuring all are adequately coached for grammar school entrance exams is enough to justify Theresa May’s bringing back the selective schools while the UK system continues to dump the failures into sink schools without proper vocational/technical alternatives).

  92. @CanSpeccy

    The mention of IQ seems to derange your brain into performance I doubt that you would fail to notice critically in others on a different subject.

    You totally ignore the way I expressed my point which implied nothing about the the kid not going to medical school if he matched its academic requirements. I trust that on reconsideration you can see that I was only implying that repeated IQ tests could give his school a pretty good idea as to the likelihood of his matching the medical school’s academic requirements.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  93. @res

    I shall enjoy finishing the readong of that linked piece. I see JT claiming to be the rare bird who has discussed psychology with both Hans Eysenck and Linda Gottfriedson. Me too!

    “And what did you learn about or contribute to psychology, Herr Doktor Doktor WoZ…?”

    Well, er, er, it was a while ago even with LG, just give me a moment or two to reconstruct our dialogue. ..

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  94. FKA Max says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    I am still reading up on this, so I am not completely familiar with all the details, but I just discovered some more fascinating information and connections on the topic. If you or anyone else has more interesting information to share on this, that would be wonderful. Thanks.:

    Do Asian males have less testosterone than European males?

    If I want to be pedantic, I’d say “no”.
    Of course, this goes completely contrary to what we would expect. Everyone can observe differences between ethnic groups in regard to virility. Stephen Jay Gould and Ashley Montagu claimed that Asians are more Neotenized, that is, they continue to appear more childlike in adulthood. We can see this in a variety of ways, but most directly apparent perhaps is that Asian men have less facial and bodily hair than European men.
    The human Androgen receptor has a repeat of three codons, CAG. More copies leads to lower sensitivity to testosterone. Asians tend to have more copies than Europeans, who have more copies than Africans. This contributes to disparities in prostate cancer, among other effects. Less copies of the CAG repeat also leads to a higher risk of acne in men.

    In the case of the mystery of body hair, we have an answer. Asian men have less of an enzyme that converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. Dihydrotestosterone is a form of testosterone that has a stronger virilizing effect on men, because it has three times grea[t]er affinity to the androgen receptor than regular testosterone.


    Potential side effects of the drug Trump reportedly takes for hair loss

    Together, finasteride and a closely related compound dutasteride (sold under the brand name Avodart) are a class of drugs called 5-alpha-reductase-inhibitors (5-ARIs) which work by blocking the conversion of testosterone to its more potent form, dihydrotestosterone.

    • Replies: @üeljang
  95. FKA Max says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Some more info:

    Race Differences in Androgens: Do They Mean Anything?
    The Differential-K theory of race may shed more heat than light
    Posted Jan 26, 2016

    However, they found that Africans were more similar to Asians than Caucasians on two of the androgen indicators. According to the logic used by Dutton et al., if sexual behavior is correlated with androgen levels, then it would be reasonable to expect Africans to be more like Asians in respect to sexual behavior as well. However, such a result would also be contrary to the predictions of their theory. I am not asserting that this is true, just that it is more consistent with what Dutton et al. found than what is predicted by their theory.

  96. üeljang says:
    @FKA Max

    “In the case of the mystery of body hair…”

    The first question that “the mystery of body hair” brings to my mind in this context is why on Earth anyone would use body hair as an index of masculinity under a hypothesis of a Negroid > Caucasoid > Mongoloid cline. Anyone who would mention that trait in support of such a hypothesis must be either disgracefully ignorant or appallingly stupid because Negroid men and Mongoloid men are approximately equally glabrous (and, if either group is slightly more hirsute than the other, it is Mongoloids). As with most visible physical traits, it is Caucasoids who are the outliers, whilst Negroids and Mongoloids tend to resemble one another.

    “However, they found that Africans were more similar to Asians than Caucasians on two of the androgen indicators. According to the logic used by Dutton et al., if sexual behavior is correlated with androgen levels, then it would be reasonable to expect Africans to be more like Asians in respect to sexual behavior as well.”

    Africans (Negroids) are more like Asians (Mongoloids) in respect to sexual behavior than either of those groups is like Caucasoids. This should be obvious to any observant person who has lived among groups of such peoples for long periods of time.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  97. FKA Max says:

    Thank you for your feedback!

    I absolutely agree with all your observations!

    I am a strong proponent of “race realism” and “human biodiversity,” but we need more intelligent/honest/disciplined representatives and researchers than Lynn et al. to advance this field of research, in my opinion, otherwise it just becomes/stays the laughingstock of the scientific community. In the past I had mainly focused on debunking their bogus theories in regards to supposed Ashkenazi, East-Asian superior intelligence, etc. This is my first day on testosterone levels, androgen receptors, etc.:

    I actually partially agree with Mr. Reed’s criticism of the “race realist” community. They have an extreme blind spot or an extreme fetish when it comes to Northeast Asians’ and Ashkenazi Jews’ high IQ/SAT test scores and rarely seem to take into account other genetic factors like the MAOA gene and its different allele expressions among the different races; which is more, or at least as equally as important to do, IMO

    This is the most realistic assessment of Jewish IQ/intelligence I have come across so far in the IQist-sphere

    Comment in that same thread by Mr. Unz:

    However, much more intriguingly, I pointed out that the average for the 14 studies from 1920-1937 was scarcely above the white average, being only 101.5, while the average of the nine studies from 1944-1960 was still only 107, while only the last nine studies from 1970-2008 averaged 111 (all of these were Flynn-adjusted). This stunning rise of tested Jewish IQ over merely a couple of generations obviously cannot be genetic and the pattern seems too striking for measurement-effects, very likely pointing to the impact of affluence, or educational/cultural factors.

    With research like this the field won’t be taken seriously anytime soon:

    Moving on to androgenic hair, Dutton et al. offer a highly speculative explanation of why Caucasian men have higher rates of body hair than other populations. This was actually my favorite part of the paper as I found it wryly amusing. They state:

    The anomaly that Caucasians have the highest levels of androgenic hair and Africans the lowest can only be speculated upon. It has been found that Caucasians, in contrast to the other two populations, retain a small percentage (2–4%) of Neanderthal genes. It has been argued that this may be one of the reasons why Caucasians are unexpectedly hairy (e.g. Sankararaman, et al., 2014).

    Note the reference cited in the last statement. There is a slight problem with this explanation, being that the facts stated are completely wrong. Here is what Sankararaman, et al. (2014) actually said about Neanderthal DNA:

    the proportion of the genome with confidently inferred Neanderthal ancestry has a mean of 1.38% in east-Asian and 1.15% in European populations consistent with previous reports of more Neanderthal ancestry in east-Asian than in European populations.

    Here is their only statement concerning hairiness:

    We do not detect tissue-specific expression patterns; however genes involved in keratin filament formation and some other biological pathways are significantly enriched in Neanderthal ancestry in European populations, east-Asian populations, or both. Thus, Neanderthal alleles that affect skin and hair may have helped modern humans to adapt to non-African environments.

    Hence, this reference does not actually state that Caucasians are hairier than Asians because of Neanderthal ancestry. It is therefore not clear at all how the data for androgenic hair are supposed to fit in with differential-K theory.
    For penis length, Lynn found: African > Caucasian > Asian.

    For androgenic hair, Dutton et al. found: Caucasian > Asian > African.

    For prostate cancer incidence, Dutton et al. found: Caucasian > Asian = African.

    I do not see how the pattern for the latter two results can be used to validate the first one. More specifically, if prostate cancer and androgenic hair accurately predicted penis length, then we would expect both African men and Asian men to have smaller penises than Caucasian men, contrary to what Lynn found. (Please note, I am not asserting anything at all about actual differences in penis length between races, because I do not have sufficient data. I am commenting on the methodology used to support such claims.)

  98. @res

    Thanks for reminding me about the Gottfredson essay. I first met Hans in 1969, when he kindly gave me half an hour’s tutorial on the pursuit rotor, which I was using to evaluate anti-convulsive medication in epileptic children.
    I then worked in his department from 1971 to 1973, housed in his famous PhD room, and he would pop in very occasionally to look at a factor analysis or two. That room was a great education.

    • Replies: @res
  99. @Wizard of Oz

    Pleased to be in good company.

  100. @FKA Max

    I must go back and read the whole of Ron Unz’s comment including the strange timing of the increasingly superior Ashkenazi Jewish IQ test results. But it seems appropriate to raise the question here whether the tests may have been relevantly redesigned over the years he refers to. (I was going to say “may have improved” but I can hear some smart-a…. adding “or possibly declined in quality?”).

  101. res says:
    @James Thompson

    Dr. Thompson, I don’t know how others here would feel, and it might be a bit off-topic for your blog, but I would enjoy hearing more about Hans Eysenck and his work. I am an admirer and greatly enjoyed his autobiography (including the well chosen title). Which reminds me that I really need to get around to reading the copy of “Hans Eysenck: Consensus and Controversy” that is sitting on my shelf. I only came to know about his work within the last 5-10 years (my background is in engineering) and his work is voluminous so I have some catching up to do.

    I am particularly interested in his work concerning the role of psychoticism in creativity (and IIRC his observation that the uncommon combination of ego-strength and psychoticism is key) and his work connecting intoversion/extraversion with stimulation (and the implications this has for things that affect stimulation, e.g. legal drugs like caffeine and alcohol). I find both theories compelling and don’t feel they have gotten the attention deserved.

    His famous PhD room sounds like an amazing place. It is a privilege and an honor (not to mention an education, as you said) to spend time in a place like that.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  102. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    The mention of IQ seems to derange your brain into performance I doubt that you would fail to notice critically in others on a different subject.

    You totally ignore the way I expressed my point which implied nothing about the the kid not going to medical school if he matched its academic requirements.

    Since, apparently, we are now to be as rude as we please, I will be blunt: You are lying.

    You said:

    Think thresholds. An earnest doctor’s son is naturally thought of as a possible future doctor but, if he regularly tests between say 109 and 114 on IQ tests and never stars in the maths and science subjects wouldn’t his school be doing the right thing by steering him towards a career as nurse, sports coach or primary teacher?

    So, if his achievement qualifies him for medical school, what relevance is the IQ test result? And if his achievement does not qualify him for medical school, what relevance is the IQ test result? In either case, all that matters is whether the individual makes the grade as measured by actual performance. But to you and all the other IQ Fascists, what matters, evidently, is the IQ score, by which you can, however unreliably, label people for good and piss on those labelled low-IQ.

    The IQ fetish also justifies the basic stupidity of much of America’s present-day elite. Those who went to Harvard must have terrifically high IQ’s, which means they needn’t bother to actually become accomplished in anything.

    To have a credible claim to a high IQ serves the same social purpose as an aristocratic title: it provides status without effort or moral justification and trumps actual ability measured by real-world performance.

    Personally, if I need surgery, I shall hope for a surgeon with excellent hand-eye coordination (pretty well unrelated to IQ) and a good track record for patient survival, not a high IQ.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
    , @Wizard of Oz
  103. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    One of Hans Eysenck`s hobby horses was that the statistical relationship between cigarette smoking and lung cancer.

    He held that the relationship was due to a pleiotropic gene that gave rise to both a predisposition to smoke and a high risk of lung cancer.

    Being a straight-forward and honest academic, he took 800,000 pounds in support for his work from the tobacco industry.

    Does that make IQism a form of “tobacco science”? LOL.

    • Replies: @res
  104. Thanks for your comment. I had an email discussion about his legacy with Richard Lynn and Nick Mackintosh, based partly on the published recollections of his son Mike, and I might be able to retrieve that.

  105. res says:

    This is a perfect sample of your “reasoning.” Thanks for confirming my realization that you have little worthwhile to say regarding IQ. Lots of FUD though. I am still curious about why you used Watson as an example earlier. What was his relationship to your anti-IQ argument?

    Eysenck’s tobacco work wasn’t his finest moment IMHO, but I have the impression that he approached it in an intellectually honest fashion at a time when there was some statistical and methodological uncertainty (more on the heart disease side, lung cancer always seemed to me a compelling case against tobacco given the low baseline risk and I thought Eysenck was grasping for straws there). Although being a smoker probably biased him, at least he wasn’t a hypocrite.

    And as far as taking all of that money goes. Although I have a problem with it, I can certainly understand the temptation to do so given the lack of popularity of much of his work and the need for funding. I wonder what I would do if faced with a similar decision?

    You remind me I also should read my copy of Smoking, Health and Personality more closely rather than just skimming the TOC and bits that caught my eye. Thanks.

    And to attempt to make some lemonade out of the lemons you hand me, I don’t think Eysenck’s observation about the role of genetic predisposition in smoking (e.g. the tendency of schizophrenics to smoke) and health (again, heart disease because even though the difference in absolute risk of smoking there is high the risk ratio relative to an already high baseline is less compelling) has received enough attention. This seems testable longitudinally given the drastic decline in the popularity of smoking. My hypothesis would be as smoking becomes less popular (and more expensive through taxes) the genetic predisposition would dominate more and this should result in an increase in the smoking/disease correlations. Also, has anyone done any studies on genetics and the difficulty of quitting smoking?

    P.S. Do you consider physics to be akin to alchemy given Newton’s history?

    P.P.S. Does anyone know of any non-hostile looks at Eysenck’s tobacco work (other than his own)? I’d be interested in seeing a thoughtful and relatively unbiased take on it.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @CanSpeccy
  106. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @FKA Max

    In the past I had mainly focused on debunking their bogus theories in regards to supposed Ashkenazi, East-Asian superior intelligence, etc. This is my first day on testosterone levels, androgen receptors, etc.:

    bear in mind age of puberty

    if one group (on average) starts at 12, another at 13 and another at 14 and they all plateau 10 years after they start then depending on what age is being tested you’d get different results

    i wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of the confusion over this is related to this

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  107. FKA Max says:

    The IQ fetish also justifies the basic stupidity of much of America’s present-day elite.

    You are displaying “inequity aversion,” which is a healthy, noble, and self-sacrificing instinct to have.

    Personally, I don’t call them “IQ Fascists,” but simply “Social Darwinists.” Their selfish behavior as you will read below is self-defeating, though. But too much humanitarianism is not healthy and recommended either.

    You’re just more comfortable with grinding swot work being confused with actual ability. And much more comfortable with open cheating.
    I refer to it as the “Social Darwinist” mindset, which is quite common among evolutionary psychologists and IQ-ists:
    On the inappropriate use of the naturalistic fallacy in evolutionary psychology

    The naturalistic fallacy is mentioned frequently by evolutionary psychologists as an erroneous way of thinking about the ethical implications of evolved behaviors. However,evolutionary psychologists are themselves confused about the naturalistic fallacy and use it inappropriately to forestall legitimate ethical discussion. We briefly review what the naturalistic fallacy is and why it is misused by evolutionary psychologists. Then we attempt to show how the ethical implications of evolved behaviors can be discussed constructively without impeding evolutionary psychological research. A key is to show how ethical behaviors, in addition to unethical behaviors, can evolve by natural selection.

    Is altruism compatible with game theory?

    Yes, absolutely. Game theory says nothing about what players want, or what they ultimately care about. It only says how they (collectively) behave given what they want.
    Fehr and Schmidt showed that disadvantageous inequity aversion manifests itself in humans as the “willingness to sacrifice potential gain to block another individual from receiving a superior reward”. They argue that this apparently self-destructive response is essential in creating an environment in which bilateral bargaining can thrive. Without inequity aversion’s rejection of injustice, stable cooperation would be harder to maintain (for instance, there would be more opportunities for successful free riders).[3]
    Here we show that ethnocentrism eventually overcomes its closest competitor, humanitarianism, by exploiting humanitarian cooperation across group boundaries as world population saturates. Selfish and traitorous strategies are self-limiting because such agents do not cooperate with agents sharing the same genes. Traitorous strategies fare even worse than selfish ones because traitors are exploited by ethnocentrics across group boundaries in the same manner as humanitarians are, via unreciprocated cooperation.

    • Replies: @Santoculto
  108. anon • Disclaimer says:

    you can tell – if you’re me anyway – that he accepts the IQ argument but wants to debunk it for some reason – probably the black-white thing

    (it should be easy to see why people might want to hide the truth for fear of how it might be used)

    the way to needle people like that is to point out that if IQ is based on gene frequency rather than carved permanently in stone then denying the truth blocks the only way of fixing it

    and it could be at least partially fixed very quickly just by women weighting their individual reproductive choices

  109. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    P.S. Do you consider physics to be akin to alchemy given Newton’s history

    Newton probably thought so. He has been described as the last of the great alchemists. We believe we know better.

    P.P.S. Does anyone know of any non-hostile looks at Eysenck’s tobacco work (other than his own)? I’d be interested in seeing a thoughtful and relatively unbiased take on it.

    You think it biased to point out how much Eysenck was paid by the industry that benefited from his theory that smoking was not responsible for the death by lung cancer of one in 16 heavy cigarette smokers?

    But, yes, I’d be interested too, in seeing what the tobacco industry got for their money other than an unsupported theory that conveniently negated the impact of the 1950 Doll and Hill epidemiological study that revealed the correlation between cigarette smoking and a vast death toll due to lung cancer.

    I am still curious about why you used Watson as an example earlier. What was his relationship to your anti-IQ argument?

    J.D. Watson, is said to have scored 124 on an IQ test, which is of course quite respectable — as good as Richard Feynman’s anyway (which Oz continues to try and laugh off, but without success, since there are multiple sources to confirm the validity of the claim, including Feynman’s wife and sister, the latter also a physicist).

    But Watson’s reported score of 124 refutes Terman’s assumption that very high IQs (above 150, I believe he assumed) are a prerequisite of genius. That idea seems to have been shown conclusively to be false, not only by Terman’s own study, but by evidence that has accumulated since. Or are we to assume that in view of their low IQ’s Feynman’s QED and Watson’s double helix cannot be very important discoveries. That is how Oz might spin it.

    • Replies: @res
    , @Stephen R. Diamond
  110. res says:

    J.D. Watson, is said to have scored 124 on an IQ test, which is of course quite respectable

    Thanks. This was the “best” reference I could find with an initial search for that:
    Looking further I found this which references his biography:
    Avoid Boring People has a vague comment about not much more than 120 on page 11

    Do you have a more solid reference for specifically 124? Worth noting that the tests were done in grammar school.

    Have you looked at Anne Roe’s work on the IQ of top scientists? I find that much more compelling than vague stories of grammar school IQ tests.

    Terman’s threshold was 140 IIRC. I think my population frequency argument above makes a compelling case for why that would not happen despite the importance of IQ. Have you looked at the SMPY or Duke TIP (Lubinski)?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  111. @anon

    A vuluable suggestion if I may say so. It reminds me of going to hear a paper decades ago at a medico-legal society and hearing the speaker say that early physical maturation went with higher IQs (I only vaguely remember that he used the expression IQ) and something, to raise a liitle laugh, like “So are the sexy smarter? Yes”. I noted it as just one of those generalisations or probability statements that obviously allowed for many exceptions as I thought of all the boys who had hair on their chests, deep voices and had started shaving years before me. (I caught up just in time to row in the school’s senior VIII and be part of our solid football half-back line so no great angst. Lucky we weren’t co-ed though!).

  112. @FKA Max


    I’m trying to understand

    Western and Isisrael forge wars in middle east…

    it’s pathologically altruistic**


    No doubt.

    West is not using in healthy way altruism because this reverse colonization it’s just part of big plan…

    West is avoiding kill billions of non-human living beings**

    Or reducing their pollution**

    Or helping poor people around the world*

    Or even, helping their own poor people in much more efficient ways**

    Full-use of altruism allied with knowledge = wisdom, never was used in any instance, in west or in other places.

    You can’t conclude that full-expression or use of altruistic approaches are not useful or efficient because it’s never was practiced.

    Kindness has been used always or quasi-always as propaganda and never as real-politics.

  113. CanSpeccy says: • Website


    I’m no expert in psychology and have absolutely no objection to the investigation of the relationship between scores on various kinds of test on the one hand and performance on various tasks or in life-time achievement on the other hand. However, there are, I believe, profound limitations to any test that purports to evaluate the human intellect on a single axis: the achievements of a Shakespeare and a Newton seem to me incommensurable.

    Further, I believe there is scope for real harm from such testing if much weight is placed upon it since it can imply the futility of striving among those of only moderate inferred talent — striving that could in fact lead to extraordinary achievement, while it may induce complacency in those who, whatever their innate ability, need to strive to fulfill their potential.

    Moreover, IQ testing is notoriously culturally biased and thus can serve to reinforce class and racial divisions, which according to enlightened opinion, we should be seeking to eliminate. The British 11-plus test for entry to the grammar schools, for example, was strongly culturally loaded as even its creator, the alleged fraud Sir Cyril Burt, acknowledged.

    Finally, I think it important to realize that psychology is in large part a questionable science with a history of promoting theories later seen to be of little or no validity: behaviorism, for example, which flatly denied the existence of mind or goal-oriented behavior, and psychoanalysis (effectively debunked by H. J. Eysenck, whose review of clinical studies showed that the rate of spontaneous recovery among untreated neurotics was comparable to the rate of recovery among patients undergoing psychoanalytical therapy). My own view is that IQ testing will join the list of more or less discredited ideas in due course.

    Anyway, have a pleasant rest of the weekend.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  114. @CanSpeccy

    I appreciate that you are a qualified biologist and refrain from the intellectually snobbish sneers that used to be close to the surface in my physics oriented friends but I do have a ptoblem with an intellectual formation so bereft of what Law, Philosophy or even English might have given you that you fall for that low grade digital age usage of “lying” which is as unintelligent as it is uncouth.

    A lie is an assertion of fact that is known at the time to be untrue. And, “white lies” excepted, you are speaking your own – or modern uncouth bloggers’ – language only if you assert that some is lying who has no motive to do so.

    Here you have again failed to deal with my clearly expressed point which is simply that in giving probabilistic career and therefore subject guidance a school is likely to say to young George’s parents “he’s very keen to follow you into medicine but we hsve to be realistic and our experience shows that a maximum 112 on repeated and different IQ tests means that, despite his being a hard worker, he’s likely to be disappointed if, after another seven years of aiming to meet medical school academic requirements he sits for the med school entrance exams. Not impossible but our experience suggests about a one in ten chance. That’s why we suggest that such a hardworking enthusiastic boy should prepare for something he is more likely to achieve and obtain satisfaction from. There is also the complication that, because he is black and most unlikely to star in his med school classes he could be subjected to demoralising jibes that he is an affirmative action beneficiary.” (Treat the AA bit as an optional add on).

    You write as though you are not closely familiar with many high IQ people and merely making assertions and generalisations from some inner source. I am familiar with many high IQ people and therefore have no illusions about high IQ guaranteeing anything (except some probability early in life to what are usually good opportunities). In Australia our PM and his immmediate predecessor are Rhodes Scholars and the present one even built a most impressive cognitively demanding career outside politics. But both seem to be duds who are going to have ensured that Australia has a truly appalling union based Labor careerist and his leftist colleagues inflicted on us. So, don’t think your handy over-simplifications about “IQ fascists” do more than show up your inflexibility and unwillingness or inability to handle nuance.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    , @CanSpeccy
  115. @CanSpeccy

    I assume you have read Jensen “Bias in Mental Testing” 1980, so you must have counter-arguments which you have not yet included in your comments.

  116. @Wizard of Oz

    Myopia (I recall) is correlated with IQ. And pupil size is correlated with state and trait anxiety.

  117. @CanSpeccy

    Do you happen to know which IQ tests were used regarding Watson and Feynman?

    I would distinguish three explanations: 1) W and F really weren’t terribly intelligent but succeeded anyway, showing that you don’t have to be that smart to succeed in intellectually groundbreaking projects; 2) IQ tests sometimes fail to accurately measure IQ; or 3) there no such thing as general intelligence.

    You suggest, I think, that Oz believes (1). So, I can probably exclude it from the set you would endorse. I would opt for (2). Are you suggesting (3)?

    • Replies: @Santoculto
    , @CanSpeccy
  118. @Stephen R. Diamond

    there no such thing as general intelligence

    Intelligence must be understood as ”organism” or ”system”. Creativity, rationality/to–wisdom, memory, etc, must be understood as parts or ”organs” of this system.

    So, entire system can be understood as ”general intelligence” or intelligence itself. Some people have higher well functioning of this system, others have more specific functioning. For example, Usain Bolt versus a sardinian centenarian fishman. The first have a intrinsic touch of genius in very specific aspect of your organism [even he also can have a good general functioning] or system and the sardinian man have a general well functioning of his body/organism.

    Because its broader and naturally broader concept, intelligence is a structural or systemic concept/reality as well organisms. Everything that is cognitive [and psychological] is in the domain of intelligence.

  119. Hulegu says:

    Either you misremember it as Armstrong when it was Chuck Yaeger, or Yaeger said exactly the same thing.

  120. FKA Max says:
    @FKA Max

    Conclusion: Baby-faced (low testosterone), tall guys are the most intelligent people on the planet.

    East Asians were found to have the highest average total plasma testosterone (5,673 ρg/mL) followed by Africans (5,442 ρg/mL) and then Europeans (4,992 ρg/mL).

    From Twitter:

    Emil OW Kirkegaard‏ @KirkegaardEmil 10h10 hours ago

    The femipatriarchy: higher social status and military rank correlates slightly _negatively_ with testosterone.

    – 9:04 AM – 22 Mar 2017

    • Replies: @Santoculto
  121. @FKA Max

    The only problem of this study, seems, is that it was done with PRE PUBERTAL children…

    If gifted boys tend to mature slowly if compared with normal ones, so…

    OR, this differences, at least in this study, will be constant even in adulthood;

    OR, this differences is particular to the people who were analysed;

    OR [and] this differences [comparative lower salivary testosterone among gifted and sub-normal ones] will not be constant in the adulthood.

    I thought based on my humbly insignificant understanding of hormones, active or circulating testosterone is more decisive than total testosterone to analyse people’s behavior and physical aspects.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  122. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    You write as though you are not closely familiar with many high IQ people and merely making assertions and generalisations from some inner source.


    In my immediate family of four, all graduated with first class honors, two with a faculty prize, one in math, one in biochemistry, one in biology and my daughter — whose passage through the academy was financed entirely with scholarships — in I’m not sure what, although the fine arts faculty at one major university tried to recruit her with a scholarship to participate in a Canadian universities program in Europe, while she was sought out by the physics department of another major university. And then there are the cousins, a Booker Prize winner, a leader of multiple orchestra’s, multiple doctors of various types, medical, veterinary, philosophical, corporate ceo’s, plus…. but it’s is not admirable to boast.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  123. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Stephen R. Diamond

    Are you suggesting (3)? [that there is no such thing as general intelligence]


    Which is not the same as saying that people do not differ in intelligence, or that those exceptionally gifted in one area may not be exceptionally gifted in many areas. Merely, I am saying that there is not, and cannot be, a single scale that measures aptitude in all domains.

    What that means is that a genius poet such as Shakespeare could be a total dope at mathematics even if they wanted to pursue a career as a string theorist, whereas a genius like Newton might be utterly bemused by Shakespearian comedy — as one imagines Murray Gell-Mann must have been while “perusing,” as he pompously described it, James Joyce’s Finnigan’s Wake, where, however, he found a name for the quarks.

    But I am impressed that someone here has been able to formulate the question as you have.

    Most, it seems, are so wedded to the idea that a 30-minute paper and pencil brain-teasing test provides a measure of aptitude in all areas of mental function equally that the idea of individual differentiation in the spectrum of intellectual capacities is beyond them. — like poor Oz.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  124. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    As for saying that you were lying, Oz, I don’t recall what we were talking about or what caused the irritation that provoked the charge, so allow me to take it back without reserve and with humble apologies.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  125. @CanSpeccy

    On UR you are in a very special class! I trust you are not ill and Catholic and worried about your immortal soul. (Oh come on WoZ, can’t you be gracious: your time will come to show humility, or in your case simiuate it, as you do modesty so well?). Actually it is Sunday 7.30 am here so perhaps a bit early for you to have gone to confession in eastern Canada where a mental picture arises of one of my colleauges on my big jury study tour finding a confessional one Saturday pm – at a cathedral in Montreal .I think.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  126. @CanSpeccy

    Very impressive. I think I believe you. Though thinking about all those close to me who got firsts or would have but for death or grabbing a career opportunity I think only one would have been abywhere near 3 sds above white average. Of course we would be at one in recognising that a lot else than pure rapid cognition counts over what I, and in soft form “res”, call thresholds. (When Isaiah Berlin visited Australia I naturally talked to him about a very distinguished Australian whom i had got to know well and whom I thought Berlin would have got to know in the 40s. When I described just how I saw this [other] great man using his mind with long periods of intense concentration and accurate observation he made a perfectly amiable remark which I could only interpret as meaning that he understood that such a great man could be, comlaratively, a plodder! The said plodder had once scoffed to me about IQ tests – asI recall it, that a bright 8 year old would be bored with them. On the same occasion Berlin had ever so gently indicated that our energetic, eloquent and prodective host’s fantasy of being invited to be a Fellow of All Souls was just that. So, what of IB? Well a distinguished Jewish scholar and man of the world said when I repeated a witticism of Bernard Williams “ah, the second cleverest man in England!” and of course he meant Berlin was the cleverest. But, but…. it was notorious that Berlin had never written a whole book).

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    , @James Thompson
  127. @CanSpeccy

    Now you are expressing your reservations (about what others seem to you to believe about intelligence) in a way which, without your words being being tautological, seems clearly true.

    I find it hard to accept how innumerate most people are (OK just as Gauss or Galois or Riemann would probably have wondered how I could be so slow to grasp their latest insights) so when a young niece is tested at over 3sds above average on a verbal test but only about 1 or 1.3 on mathematical I find it hard to get my head around. But I hope I might persuade you to accept that best practice IQ testing is valid and useful for indivating threshold intelligence for various likely futures that is valid for a very high proportion of those tested (not quite all I accept).

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @CanSpeccy
  128. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    Oh, I’m not yet worrying about my immortal soul, it’s still only early Saturday afternoon here.

    The immortal soul — it’s a lovely concept, don’t you think, though I’m not sure what it means. In fact what I think of when I think about the soul is that line of Stephen Leacock’s about the death of a villain, whose soul “departed its prison-house like a hunted cat over a garden fence.”

  129. @Wizard of Oz

    I saw a TV doco this week on an Indian educator providing good education in English for a lot of poor children in a town near Delhi by unashamedly giving Mensa IQ tests to select the “geniuses”. There is no doubt that, on the one hand 95 out of 100 would be disappointed but the ones selected were obviously bright.

    Given limited resources and many children could you have advised him how to do better for his country and the children?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  130. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    though thinking about all those close to me who got firsts or would have but for death or grabbing a career opportunity I think only one would have been anywhere near 3 sds above white average.

    There you are, the IQist obsession with performance on a collection of funny little brain teasers, rather than actual achievement.

    If anyone were to prove that Shakespeare had an IQ of 90, which taking into account the Flynn effect is perhaps a generous estimate for any man of the Elizabethan era, I would still rate him a genius of the highest rank.

    As for plodding and genius, is genius measured by accomplishment not always a matter of plodding, or an infinite capacity to take pains as, Winston Churchill put it (sorry, I know Churchill is not liked by Australians, but he was a Nobel Prize winner and a genius with a plain English sentence). Churchill also defined genius as 99% perspiration, 1% inspiration, which is consistent with Newton’s remark that he solved a problem “by keeping it constantly before the mind until, little by little, it opened up.”

    Unfortunately, the cult of IQ encourages too many intelligent people to rely for success on their genius, not hard work. And in that connection, I would say that insofar as Jewish achievement in America exceeds that of the majority, it has a lot more to do with Jewish culture and striving for success than any supposed mental superiority.

    Concerning my family, the most intelligent I did not mention since they are variously afflicted with autism, psychosis, ocd, etc., and therefore, more or less non-functional despite obvious gifts, musical and mathematical.

    I fortunately, am one of the normals in the family though possessed of some capacity for taking pains, something that should be developed in all young people, whatever their supposed potential.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  131. FKA Max says:

    I thought based on my humbly insignificant understanding of hormones, active or circulating testosterone is more decisive than total testosterone to analyse people’s behavior and physical aspects.

    Sorry, for just replying back to you now. I have been reading up a lot on the topic. It is an absolutely fascinating topic, with so many different variables/factors to be taken into account.

    Here some interesting studies that might interest you:

    Most circulating testosterone is bound to sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), which in men also is called testosterone-binding globulin. A lesser fraction is albumin bound and a small proportion exists as free hormone. Historically, only the free testosterone was thought to be the biologically active component. However, testosterone is weakly bound to serum albumin and dissociates freely in the capillary bed, thereby becoming readily available for tissue uptake. All non-SHBG-bound testosterone is therefore considered bioavailable.

    Testosterone concentrations in young healthy us versus Chinese men

    Previous small studies examining differences in testosterone concentrations by ethnicity found mixed results for Caucasians and Chinese men, which might be confounded by age differences and living standards. The aim of the present study is to examine the differences in total, free, and bioavailable testosterone concentrations between healthy young men from the United States (US) and from the most economically developed part of China, i.e., Hong Kong (HK).
    Main outcome measures were total testosterone (TT) and calculated bioavailable testosterone (Bio T) and free testosterone (FT).
    after adjusting for age, US men had higher TT (mean, 95% confidence interval: 21.64, 21.31–21.99 versus 20.20, 20.12–20.28 nmol/l), but not FT (0.47, 0.47–0.48 versus 0.47, 0.47–0.47 nmol/l) or Bio T (11.90, 11.83–11.97 versus 12.39, 12.35–12.42 nmol/l) than Chinese men.
    TT, but not FT or Bio T concentrations are lower in young healthy Chinese men than US men.

    Comparative rates of androgen production and metabolism in Caucasian and Chinese subjects.

    To enhance the sensitivity of detection, we used an isotopic kinetic method to directly measure 5 alpha-reductase activity and found no difference in testosterone to dihydrotestosterone conversion ratios between groups.
    Then, addressing the alternative hypothesis, we found that the Caucasian subjects excreted significantly higher levels of individual and total androgenic ketosteroids than did their Chinese counterparts. To distinguish genetic from environmental/dietary factors as a cause of these differences, we compared Chinese men living in Pennsylvania and a similar group living in Beijing, China. We detected a reduction in testosterone production rates and total plasma testosterone and sex hormone-binding levels, but not in testosterone MCRs in Beijing Chinese as a opposed to those living in Pennsylvania. Comparing Pennsylvania Chinese with their Caucasian counterparts, we detected no significant differences in total testosterone, free and weakly bound testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin levels, and testosterone production rates.Taken together, these studies suggest that environmental/dietary, but not genetic, factors influence androgen production and explain the differences between Caucasian and Chinese men.

    This might be a possible dietary explanation:

    Green Tea

    Research indicates that epigallocatechin-3-Gallate, or EGCG, one of the active constituents of green tea, also blocks the formation of DHT. A team of scientists from Harvard Medical School reported in the February 2003 issue of The Journal of Nutrition that green tea significantly reduced DHT and testosterone concentration in the blood. In another study published in The Prostate in 2009, British researchers found that EGCG decreased cell proliferation in prostate cancer cells by inhibiting DHT and promoting apoptosis, or cell death.

    EGCG suppresses prostate cancer cell growth modulating acetylation of androgen receptor by anti-histone acetyltransferase activity.

    First of all, most of the tea drunk in China is green tea, a much less processed tea than the standard black tea used in the West (which is often loaded with sugar and milk).
    Whereas Westerners tend to have a cup of tea once or twice a day, using a different tea bag each time, the Chinese drink tea all day long.

    Map: The Countries That Drink the Most Tea

  132. @CanSpeccy

    There was never any doubt about Churchill’s hero status for me though I knew a lot less about him than about my first hero the (1st) Duke of Wellington – both of them come to think of it unpromising students.

    I would agree with you about the importance of Jewish culture in explaining their success, as would most Jews in varying degrees. Parsees too perhaps. But I think the effect of there being perhaps five or ten times as many with IQs of 140 in proportion to population as there are other Europeans is at least equally important.

    One simple test is the rate of success of those with significant proportions of Jewish genes but no Jewish culture. I simply can’t tbink of any who are dumb or useless but immediately I have several Prime Ministers or provincial First Ministers, superior court judges, law officers of the Crown and other QCs, University Vice’Chancellors even without counting those like Madeleine Albright whose Jewishness was concealed from her.

    I share with you some family oddities if not quite pathological. There are those about whom I was stiff-upper-lip loyal until I said when they were about 40 that they were the living proof that vety high IQ could be compatible with complete foolishness.

    It can even be said (I’ve just thought of this precise formulation) that what IQ connotes can be high enough to be counterproductive to achievement unless something concentrates the ability in a limited field and prevents fissiparous lack of continuous focus in those who seem to have too much choice. Finding that in one class you regularly finish the maths tests in half the allotted time and in the Latin class you are most often the one who gives the correct translation first etc at the very least requires a Tiger or Jewish mother who is unhappy with 99 per cent….

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  133. @Wizard of Oz

    Of course I never met IB, but an older friend tells me good stories about him. Such glorious writing.

  134. @Wizard of Oz

    A mild intervention. Arthur Jensen always thought there was more to genius than just high intelligence. Necessary, but not sufficient. g Factor, pages 577-8.

    Also, the g factor accounts for more variance in those of lower intelligence. The more intelligent are somewhat more specialised. Woodley has extended this argument.

  135. @James Thompson

    Arthur Jensen was another test case for the Jewish genes for intellect but without the Jewish culture thoufgh that is unly surmuse about his upbringinging.

  136. @James Thompson

    I have just come across a couple of h-bd and intelligence related items of interest. One us a a doco on Ada Lovelace that told me a lot more than I hafl known about her. Her work in 1843 when she trandlated an Italian engoneer’s notea and was encouraged by Babbage to add her own ideas to it seems yo have ben a 100. year anticiparion of Turing’s brilliant work at Blettchey Park. Interesting that she had a Tiger Mother who made her study science and maths from an early age to eliminate any trace in her of her mad, bad and dangerous to know poet father.

    The other matter, on which I would be very intetested in your comment is an article in the March 2017 Scientific Ametican which has just arrived. Unfortunately I can’t give a link. It is by Kimbdrley G. Noble of Columbiz Univerdity Teachers College and entitled Brain Trust.. By the time I got to a par in which she wrote *we recently looked at whether socio-economic dispariies affect [sic] both cortical surface area and thickness” I had made the provisional judgment that this was a bit of naive question begging softheadeness and thought it time to issue an alert promptly to you, and probably to Steve Sailer for a slightly different angle. Wouldn’t it be wonderful: you should just try taking a bit more in tax from the smart and succsssful and givs it to the poor dim parents of mall brained children and we may build a generation in which all the children are cognitively superior and with equal weights of neural matter, aka fat heads.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  137. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz


    an Indian educator providing good education in English for a lot of poor children in a town near Delhi by unashamedly giving Mensa IQ tests to select the “geniuses”. There is no doubt that, on the one hand 95 out of 100 would be disappointed but the ones selected were obviously bright.

    Given limited resources and many children could you have advised him how to do better for his country and the children?

    This guy seems to have grasped the essence of the American system for destroying a civilization by undermining the incentive to work.

    You tell the hardworking child who mastered spelling and arithmetic: “sorry kid, you did well on the academic tests but you’re merely a drone, a plodder, like Winston Churchill, so there’s no point in your pursuing further education.”

    Then you tell the slacker who aced the 30 minute test of mixing and matching this set of squiggles with that: “Hey kid, you’re a genius, like Isiah Berlin (an enthusiast for sending low IQ Americans off to Asia to kill gooks), we’re sending you to Harvard.”

    No wonder that America is finished, as will be all those other countries, Britain, Australia, Canada, and now apparently India, that follow America’s insane educational policies.

  138. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    so when a young niece is tested at over 3sds above average on a verbal test but only about 1 or 1.3 on mathematical I find it hard to get my head around.

    There you are, the validity of IQ as a measure of general intelligence demolished by your own evidence. And of course there are many more facets to intelligence than the verbal and mathematical, although the SAT people haven’t figured that out yet, no doubt because they are IQ fanatics whose general level of understanding of the nervous system and its functions is seriously retarded.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  139. @CanSpeccy

    What a marvellous read that Hitchens piece is which, when I have finished reading it, I shall enjoy sending to my friend who was responsible for my one meeting with Michael Ignatieff and who arranged his lodgings while the biography of Berlin was being written. I shall have to express my mischievous reasons for doing so carefully.

    I proffer by the way what I like to think of as an original apothegm [dammit, I wish I had studied Greek so I didn’t have to look that up now that I have found my first chance to use it], namely that war is the great socialist activity. Surely Berlin, like I think Hayek, could have seen that sheer collective incompetence was enough reason to be less sanguine about Vietnam. Mind you I don’t think the US was defeated. On that I accept the Jerry Pournelle view.

    I think James Thompson’s remark (paraphrased from memory) that IQ/g provides more usefully differentiating information at lower IQ levels (for which the original Stanford Binet tests were devised I seem to remember) supports my view that, at the higher levels, it provides some sort of soft thresholds that, your point about the clever and lazy set aside, is useful for deciding where it is better to put resources, whether one’s self or big money. That maybe presupposes that my niece’s gap between verbal and mathematical abilities is quite a bit larger than usual though the answer is simple enough: make sure that the testing isn’t all just Raven’s Matrices if you want to ensure you get the best out of the unbalanced bright.

    I note your concern about the clever slackers. I sympathise. But I don’t think we have too much to worry about if we are depending, as we probably must, on the millions of high IQ Indians and Chinese to invent a beautiful future for us. (I see driverless cars taking me from country to city and vice versa reliably well before my 100th birthday and the medical advances that will keep me happy to be 100 will also have been the product of Indian and Chinese brains long after Jewish kids have taken to the pro golf circuit if not already too rich and therefore stay amateur. It is true that I can see the waste of good brains, by my idealised standards anyway, all round me – or closer, did I hear? – but India and China will only have a small equivalent class for a long time to come).

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  140. @CanSpeccy

    No, not demolished. See #144. Just made into a more complex or maybe subtle problem.

  141. @Wizard of Oz

    I have had discussions with her on these points, and certainly do not agree with her interpretations.

  142. @James Thompson

    And to add to my list of test cases of Ashkenazi Jewish genes expressing themselves with absolutely no help from Jewish culture the Christopher Hitchens piece on Ignatieff’s biography of Isaiah Berlin reminds me; Hitchens himself (thlugh he only got a third at Oxford). His eloquence would hsve earned him a spot as a prophet in the Bible but for his being an antitheist, as he described himself.

  143. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    But I don’t think we have too much to worry about if we are depending, as we probably must, on the millions of high IQ Indians and Chinese to invent a beautiful future for us.

    But those high IQ Indians and Chinese will be inventing a beautiful future not for us or our posterity, but for their own descendants. By relying on imported brain and muscle, the Western nations are committing suicide, or rather one should say, they are being suicided.

    Here, relating to the question of how useful IQ tests are in predicting performance is an excerpt from a paper in Psychological Science:

    [Among eighth graders] Self-discipline measured in the fall accounted for more than twice as much variance as IQ in final grades [and] high school selection …

    Nevertheless we tell bright kids: “you’re so smart, no need to sweat, hard work’s for the plodders and grinds.”

    But here’s something even more striking. Literature citations are a good general measure of the amount and impact of a scholar’s work. Among scientists, citations counts often predict who will win the Nobel Prize in a particular field. However, according to the article: Some Correlates of a Citation Measure of Productivity in Science in the journal Sociology of Education, citation counts have no correlation with a scientists IQ.

    This confirms that the cult of IQ is doing serious harm, by discouraging those written off at an early age as mere drones, plodders and grinds from pursuing careers in which they might achieve great success.

    It also points the fallacy of those studies showing a correlation between IQ and stuff like PhD graduation, grants of patents, tenured academic appointments, business success etc. According to one of James’s articles, an IQ of 160 indicates a high probability of such achievements. However, what he fails to note is that the great majority of those with such achievements, myself included, probably score nowhere near 160 on an IQ test. So here, again, what the IQist are doing is telling people with the potential for considerable academic, social or business success not to bother trying because they don’t have what it takes, a claim that is entirely and damagingly false.

    What the IQists fail to understand is that the brain is modular, and its capabilities are dictated by many genes. Even though some genes affect performance in many domains, performance in many areas will be determined by domain-specific genes.

    How many such domains or facets of intelligence there are, no one seems to know. Some say three, others say five, six, seven, eight, nine or fifteen. No doubt the neurological modules underlying particular domains of intellect share some resources and, depending on use, some modules will appropriate an increasing proportion of the shared resources. Hence the lopsidedness of some minds, Feynman’s for example, or your niece’s.

    I predict that just as cybernetics forced psychologists to acknowledge that humans, like automatic machines, are goal oriented, so the development of artificial intelligence will compell psychologists to recognize the modular organization of the intellect, each module subject in its development to its own set of genes and epigenetic factors thus giving rise to great variation in the mental capabilities of the individual, variation totally undetectable with an IQ test.

  144. FKA Max says:

    I think you need to distinguish more between quality and quantity here, especially in regards to number of citations, patents, etc.; the Nobel Prize winner selection has become or has for a very long time been a highly politicized/celebritized affair, as well:

    Does Science Advance One Funeral at a Time?

    The findings confirm previous work showing that the number of articles by collaborators decreased substantially — by about 40 percent — after the death of a star scientist. Publication activity by non-collaborators increased by an average of 8 percent after the death of an elite scientist. By five years after the death, this activity of non-collaborators fully offset the productivity decline of collaborators. “These additional contributions are disproportionately likely to be highly cited,” the researchers found. “They are also more likely to be authored by scientists who were not previously active in the deceased superstar’s field.”

    Few of the deceased scientists served as editors of academic journals or on committees overseeing the issuance of research grants, so the researchers rule out the possibility that the deceased scientists used their influence to limit who could or could not publish their work or receive grants within their field. Instead, they say, the evidence suggests that outsiders were reluctant to challenge the leadership within research areas in which an elite scientist was active. While entry occurs after a star’s passing, it is not monolithic. Key collaborators left behind can regulate entry into the field through the control of intellectual, social, and resource barriers.

    As to “grinds,” etc.

    One can “grind” for IQ tests, and of course for the SAT, etc., as well. For some people IQ-test-taking is even a hobby, and with practice and familiarity one gets better and more proficient at it.

    I would bet, that many “pencil and paper” (to paraphrase Mr. Woodley of Menie) high-test-scorers, are in fact “grinds” and not truly naturally gifted or talented. According to Mr. Woodley true geniuses (who are often autodidacts) often avoid the university environment, especially these days:

    55 min. into the video the most interesting part of discussion starts:

    Why Civilizations Rise and Fall | Michael Woodley of Menie and Stefan Molyneux

    Ecological Validity of the Testing Effect
    The Use of Daily Quizzes in Introductory Psychology

    The testing effect is the enhanced retention of learned information by individuals who have studied and completed a test over the material relative to individuals who have only studied the material.
    The control class studied assigned chapters from the textbook whereas the quiz class studied chapters and completed daily quizzes on those readings. Subsequently, both classes completed exams over this textbook information. The quiz class scored significantly higher than the control class on these test questions about the textbook information; these differences were significant both when the test questions were the same as the quiz questions and when they were new, related questions from the textbook.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  145. @CanSpeccy

    You make some good points, if i may say so without sounding patronising. (I note another very long reply to me from one of UR’s diligent literste obsessives. I would love to give him a truly patronising put down but to do so without having to read more than 5 per cent. Any thoughts about a good formula?)

    I find, however, too many straw men.

    Even your gloom about what bright Chinese and Indians will do for our future. In Australia they go to school with our children, often speak English at home, intermsrry, make up for the Anglos dysgenics of 140 years, and are often here because they value our culture, particularly political and legal, including those from the Chinese diaspora. They and the tens of millions in India and China will help give us all, and our descendants, the benefits of advanced medical science, green energy (already solarvoltaic costs are down 80 per cent in 10 years (Note to Canucks – do I use that term idiomatically? – the sun can be quite warming and energetic in the right latitudes). I’m sure they’ll do better for us and ours, and quicker, than we did for Aborigines and Inuits et al. ). We long ago had a Hong Kong Chinese Lord Mayor of Melbourne elected and re-elected, Mao”s Last Dancer is a member of arguably the country”s most prestigious private club which of course used to have, within current lifetimes, the not-quite-true reputation of rejecting Jews and Catholics. We had a Chinese Oxford graduate Senator from our most benighted state 25 years ago… What’s not to like? (Now a female CJ appointed under a right of centre government to our highest court: now that really is going too far down the wimpish Canadian road. I try to tell these formidable Amazons that they would do more for our posterity if they bred like their clever great-grandmothers…. yeah, I know even the male CEO would probably do more for our issue 100 years on if he had 15 children with a non bimbo). But maybe I have digressed and will have to return to your little IQish straw men. Tbc

    Oops! No time to proof read…

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  146. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @FKA Max

    In individual cases citations certainly don’t mean much. Alan Turing was disappointed that his paper describing a universal computing engine generated only one reprint request. That’s the penalty paid by those who are so original that they’re the only person in the field.

    Still, on the whole, the better papers get more citations that the mass of pot-boilers and worse that some editor with a deadline for making up the next journal issue will readily accept.

    I think there’s no doubt that the research world has undergone a radical transition beginning in the early 60’s from one dominated by dedicated intellectuals and idealists (to whom the notion of devoting one’s life to getting as much money and status as possible would have been repugnant) to one dominated by unscrupulous careerists. Although it must be acknowledged that, even then, there were unscrupulous careerists, and that, even today, there are still a few dedicated intellectuals and idealists. Woodley is correct, however, in saying that the social environment today is vastly more conducive to the recruitment and advancement of the former over the latter.

    I have no doubt about the testing effect. I graduated first in a class of over 1oo chiefly because in my final undergraduate year I read and took careful note on 70 mongraphs, textbooks or encyclopedia volumes, while writing answers to every exam question that had occurred in the previous five years. Naturally, when it came to writing the exams it was not like an open text exam it was like a series of very arduous automatic writing sessions. True there were lab exams too, but then if you cannot ace a lab exam you shouldn’t be in the sciences.

    No doubt the IQ crowd would say that my faculty prize was gained by what was tantamount to fraud, and that I unfairly robbed some less enthusiastic but brighter individual. To which I say, screw the bright individual without drive: it’s the fanatics like Charles Darwin who, while holding a previously unknown beetle in each hand, popped one of them into his mouth in order to secure yet another novel specimen. That’s the kind of drive, not poncing for applause among the IQ fanciers, that’s likely to result in real discovery.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  147. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz


    You got me there!

    Re genocide by population replacement, you have to distinguish between liking or respecting immigrants to the West (not necessarily all of them) and holding in contempt the traitors and globalist shills like Tony Blair and David Cameron who have made the English a minority not only in my father’s English home town of Leicester, where his ancestors lived since the middle-ages, but in London, Luton, and soon if not already, England’s second city, Birmingham.

    As for the Chinese in the West, mostly I like them. For one thing, they tend to be conservative, which I approve of. But how is one to react when a Chinese girl accompanied by a white guy is spat upon in China Town. I know how they feel, the spitters, I mean. And I know how the white guy feels, since Chinese girls are mostly very nice. But I’m for diversity not global homogenization, so I guess I’m with the spitters, sort of.

    I’m sure they’ll do better for us and ours, and quicker, than we did for Aborigines and Inuits et al. ).

    Some of them clearly intend doing to us precisely what we did to the Aborigines and Inuit. (Actually, Canada has not done too much to the Innuit, who have a self-governing territory about ten times the size of Britain to accomodate about 80,000 innuit. What’s more the innuit and the Indian first nations are the only groups in Canada with a fertility rate above replacement. Canadians are dying out fast, like the Brits, the French, the Germans, the Greeks and Italians, while Muslims swarm in vowing to replace them as fast as possible.


    Maybe, don’t bother.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  148. FKA Max says:

    No doubt the IQ crowd would say that my faculty prize was gained by what was tantamount to fraud, and that I unfairly robbed some less enthusiastic but brighter individual.

    I think exactly the opposite is true. They (will) applaud you, in my opinion, because in reality true, hardcore IQists are really/secretively Social Darwinists (as I mentioned before above), i.e., obsessed with credentials and worldly success. They judge a book or a person by its cover or his/her test score or net worth.

    They would applaud you for “working the system” properly, just like they are applauding “grinds” for “working the system” or “winning at the game of life.”

    This is actually what I tried to convey, that, I believe, IQists are not so much looking to find authentic and genuine geniuses and the truth, but that they are really interested to falsely elevate “grinds and nerds” to genius status.

    I think people like Mr. Woodley and Mr. Thompson are looking for real geniuses, and are not just trying to give cover to cheaters, frauds, or imposters.

    I actually believe you might be suffering from “Imposter syndrome”:

    Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon or fraud syndrome) is a concept describing high-achieving individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. The term was coined in 1978 by clinical psychologists Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes.[1] Despite external evidence of their competence, those exhibiting the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be.

    Be proud of what you have accomplished; you have earned it, and deserve it. Just understanding the “system” and then knowing how to “work the system” to your personal advantage tells me that you must be quite intelligent. You might very well be the most intelligent person participating in this discussion/debate. But nevertheless remain humble, pursue the truth above all else, and use your influence for good.

    Pursuing and telling the truth can be a messy and unappreciated business; that is why academic tenure was originally introduced:

    A common justification for tenure is the principle of academic freedom, which holds that it is beneficial for state, society and academy in the long run if scholars are free to examine, hold, and advance controversial views.
    Some have argued that modern tenure systems diminish academic freedom, forcing those seeking tenured positions to profess conformance to the level of mediocrity as those awarding the tenured professorships.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  149. @CanSpeccy

    Other straw men I detect from the pessimist….
    I don’t believe that “we tell bright kids ‘ no need to sweat, hard work is for the plodders and grinds” whoever the “we” might be. Indeed we have selective schools and streaming to help guard against it. Not that bright kids don’t get put off by being bored. And if you can come top of the class or near enough (the bright 13 year old who can beat the 15 year olds may have other priorities like not makung himself unpopular) you might not push youraelf to fulfill the demands of the Tiger Grandmother as in “where did that other 1 per cent go?”.

    What is more your suggesttion that lids are written off as “drones, plodders and grinds” amazes me. Who has done that and where in the last 80 years or so? Since Dr Spock indeed. The spending money available to some celebrities’ kida and some very nouveau very rich might do worae than that but I don’t see teachers, in either public or private system wanting to do other than at least hold out hope that the precious 1.6 kids can be polished to brilliance.

    But maybe I don’t have any idea who these “IQists” are ad you call them and charactŕise them. You seem to describe some very dim breed if they go on about intelligence and don’t “undrrstand that [the brain’s] capabilities are dictated by many genes”.

    As for your point about the 160 IQs that I think was dealt with by res and me, and I think, JT when I introduced the (not novel) idea of thresholds and settled after discussion for “soft thresholds”. Despite the shape of the normal curve you can safely say of a 13 year old whose IQ has never been measured on any of three annual tests at over 100 that he/she will never be a tenured professor of physics. Equally, if you find that only 2 per cent of tenured full professors pf physics have scored below 125 on repeated IQ tests you can be pretty sure that most would be within some sort of range as 129 to 142 and few indeed 160 or more. JT and others who support IQ testing ss capable of providing useful information would positively assert that.

  150. @CanSpeccy

    I didn’t realise Cansda had that kind of China Town. I thought most of your Chinese were investors, not least in real estate and a stable rule of law country as alternative or main home for their money and families. That’s the way they appear to be in Australia. And unlike Canadians we don’t even complain about their driving! I suppose you could find some rough types in a China Town who are constructiin workers on temporary visas…. Some of our native ferals have beaten up Indisns who tend to live in poorer suburbs than the Chinese.

    Sorry about “Inuits” which got used ss a short word. I could have said “Newfies” – efficiently exterminated by 1829. (I forget the correct name for them but remember they were the natives of Newfoundland). But you misunderstood what I intended to convey, though really a joke. I was thinking of our very long period of trying to do the right thing by our Stone Age hunter-gatherers and how little success we had had. Except that they now have a relatively high fertility as well as a very high rate of marrying non-Aborigines. I don’t fear either deliberate or accidental genocidal attitudes or activities by any East Asians. If evidence were needed I would point to the Chinese one child policy not being forced on anyone but the Han majority.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  151. @CanSpeccy

    Following America’s insane educational policies. Hmm… Apart from Melbourne University having adopted the expensive American way with lsw and medicine so you only start them as a graduate and Monash University having just adopted the trigger warning fetish I am not at all sure how or why we might be condidered as copying America. I should be interested to know. (I may be a bit out of date but Australia is anomalous in having a very high proportion of children educated in non government schools – maybe 40 per cent at higher secondary level).

    But you have sparked the thought that the now Anglosphere fashion for getting 40 to 50 per cent of the young into university or other tertiary college education is a recipe for disaster of a kind that hsf not hitherto struck me. What happens when you have perhaps 30 per cent of the population in these times where all must have, if not prizes, then at least self-esteem, quite without the anslytical ability and capacity and willingness to think for themselves signing up to be part of the tribe of soft leftists or fascist nationalists or whatever the herd’s fashion of the day is? You have maybe the dumbed down politics we see all round us where even the very bright (as I tentatively assume Australia’s last two PMs, both Rhodes Scholars, to be) are committed to the idiotic beliefs of their educated-but-modest-IQ crowd. Hence, for example, Australia wasting vast amounts of money which could be usefully slent on ridiculous CO2 emission reduction policies that cannot make the slightest difference to whatever climate change may inflict on Australia if dangerous warming does occur from any cause. Hence we go on taking in refugees ss potential voting citizens without much if any regard for how they will fit in to the evonomy pr society. And so on.

  152. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    I could have said “Newfies” – efficiently exterminated by 1829.

    No, the Newfies were never exterminated. Indeed, there are plenty enough of them, if not too many. It was the Beothuk of Newfoundland who were exterminated by British settlers, mostly Irish I believe, pretty much as were the Tasmanians. Although the bloodshed has been limited, the same process is now occurring in Europe, and in the European settler states where the Europeans have been slated for mongrelization or replacement by people from elsewhere.

    Glad to hear that the Abos are thriving. As I have written elsewhere, the Australians should be working to resurrect the Tasmanian aborigines, not the bloody Thylacine. Meantime, Europeans should be working like Hell to revive European fertility and give the boot to people like this.

    As for the:

    dumbed down politics we see all round us where even the very bright (as I tentatively assume Australia’s last two PMs, both Rhodes Scholars, to be) are committed to the idiotic beliefs of their educated-but-modest-IQ crowd.

    Are you really oblivious to the relationship between the Rhodes scholarships and Rhodes project for a New World Order? the dumbing down of the European peoples and their replacement by Kerlergi’s Egyptian-type mongrel is what the Rhodes scholars, those you mention plus many others including Bill Clinton (and the Rhodes inspired Round Table gr0ups and the Council on Foreign Relations with its ghastly beautiful people such as Angelina Jolie), are all about. It is for their role in fulfilling the Kalergist plan that appalling people like:

    1998 Poland Bronisław Geremek
    1999 United Kingdom Tony Blair
    2000 United States Bill Clinton
    2001 Hungary György Konrád
    2002 European Union The Euro
    2003 France Valéry Giscard d’Estaing
    2004 Republic of Ireland Pat Cox
    2004 Vatican City / Poland Pope St. John Paul II (extraordinary prize)
    2005 Italy Carlo Azeglio Ciampi
    2006 Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker
    2007 Spain Javier Solana
    2008 Germany Angela Merkel
    2009 Italy Andrea Riccardi
    2010 Poland Donald Tusk
    2011 France Jean-Claude Trichet
    2012 Germany Wolfgang Schäuble
    2013 Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė
    2014 Belgium Herman Van Rompuy
    2015 Germany Martin Schulz[1]
    2016 Vatican City / Argentina Pope Francis
    2017 United Kingdom Timothy Garton Ash

    Win the Charlemagne Prize.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  153. FKA Max says:
    @FKA Max

    For penis length, Lynn found: African > Caucasian > Asian.

    I had an idea this morning, and just found out that someone else already had had the same idea.

    What if penis size is due to a combination of genetic/hormonal and nutritional factors, plus Bergmann’s and Allen’s Rule?

    These data are not normalized for body size. If there is a correlation within populations between body size (measured as length of other parts, like legs) and erect penis size—and Wikipedia is ambiguous on this—then perhaps penis-length values should be relative (i.e. erect penis length/leg length) rather than absolute ones.
    The biggest penises are found in populations between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. According to Allen’s Rule, which specifies that protruding body parts tend to be larger in populations inhabiting warmer climes (they serve as useful heat radiators, like the huge ears of desert rabbits), perhaps penises helped cool our ancestors. Note: I’m kidding—although there is an Allen’s Rule for animal body parts like ears, limbs, and tails.

    I could be wrong, but this makes more sense to me than just the testosterone theory, even if androgen receptor sensitivity (lowest in Asians, highest in Africans), etc. is taken into account.

    This would also explain why northern Europeans despite their larger body size and taller stature (Bergmann’s Rule) don’t have the longest penises, because size/length is decreased due to Allen’s Rule?

    Am I normal? A systematic review and construction of nomograms for flaccid and erect penis length and circumference in up to 15 521 men

    Consistent and strongest significant correlation was between flaccid stretched or erect length and height, which ranged from r = 0.2 to 0.6.;jsessionid=EA6EF6893EDC33175C146EF93CD3C328.f03t01

    “Oversized” Penile Length In The Black People; Myth Or Reality

    The penile length for Nigerian Blacks was longer than those of the other races, but the differences were only statistically different in comparison with the Koreans.
    Conclusion: There is the possibility of racial differences in penile sizes, but there is no convincing scientific background to support the ascription of bigger penile dimensions to people of the Black race

    Allen’s Rule, Phenotypic Plasticity, and The Nature of Evolution

    In short, body proportions can be local non-genetic adaptations, or arise as a combination of genetic and ontogenetic causes. This paper further suggests that the mechanism is different than previously thought.
    Within species … across clines or subspecies … this raises very significant (and addressable) questions regarding adaptation in the genetic vs. the ontogenetic realms. If Allen’s rule is primarily an ontogenetic effect in some species, one can still consider the possibility that it is adaptive, but the nature of adaptation becomes somewhat more nuanced. Which is appropriate, because adaptation is probably never as straight forward as the textbook version of it towards whic[h] we tend to gravitate.

    Critical androgen-sensitive periods of rat penis and clitoris development

    Based on our findings, it is likely that final penile size in men depends on a sufficient level of androgen action within the MPW [masculinisation programming window] and that deficient androgen action at this time will have permanent and irrecoverable consequences for final penile size.

    Androgens and the masculinisation programming window

    The studies reported in this thesis show that neither availability of androgens nor the AR are important in determining onset of the MPW, and providing exogenous androgens either prior to or during the MPW does not advance or enhance masculinisation.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  154. FKA Max says:
    @FKA Max

    “Oversized” Penile Length In The Black People; Myth Or Reality

    The penile length for Nigerian Blacks was longer than those of the other races, but the differences were only statistically different in comparison with the Koreans.

    I forgot to provide a link for the study:

    Also there might be some biases due to differences in measurement techniques/standards:

    While Westling states that the erect lengths are used (and it is for the U.S. at 12.9 cm), this is not the case for South Korea where the stretched bone pressed length (9.66 cm) is provided.
    Using Internet data can be useful but the sources need to be verified and the data normalized. In the case of the male organ, some studies have sample bias (samples have urological issues), others are self-reported (inflated), and some are measured differently so that extrapolations on the GDP growth rate would not be possible unless only scientific sources are available.

    There is also this:

    Height Changes from 1914-2014

    [The largest gain in adult height over the past century has occurred in South Korean women [and I assume South Korean men gained height at comparable rates] and Iranian men, who became 20.2 cm (95% credible interval 17.5–22.7) and 16.5 cm (13.3–19.7) taller, respectively.] In contrast, there was little change in adult height in some sub-Saharan African countries and in South Asia over the century of analysis.
    Height is always interesting as a not-wholly-perfect analog for the Flynn Effect in IQ.
    Africans were taller when the colonial era ended in the 1960s. They may have lost height because of collapsing health care systems, rising population density and less dietary diversity among urbanites, the authors said.

    Since penile size and height are somewhat correlated (see above comment), this increase in height for South Koreans and other East Asians due to better nutrition, etc. should also then logically translate into a larger average penis size, and potentially a shorter average penis size in sub-Saharan Africans compared to the colonial era.

  155. @CanSpeccy

    Thank you for reminding me of the Beochuks without my having to labour through Google searching. Essential for Trivial Pursuit (Mad Division) if not for Scrabble with the kids. And reassuring to know that, despite Canadian Scots highmindedness the Beochuks preceded the Tasmanian Aborigines in their demise.

    I take your point about the Charlemagne Prize. I shall add in my will, in case there are any posthumous awards, that my name is to be withdrawn from any nominations. Ugh! It’s the Blair factor which settles it. (By the way, in a world full of mystery for me, I was told by a chap who was a year or two ahead of Blair at the same Oxford college that, when recruiting suitable freshmen to a dining club he discovered that they would defer to the opinion of their leader, one Anthony Blair. It beats me! And that is partly because I know of him having been influenced early by a low grade God-botherer I knew a bit about).

    I had forgotten about the New World Order. But of course, you jest. While the upright characters and highminded idealism of young people that must go a long way in explaining their leadership qualities demanded of Rhodes Scholars is everywhere shiningly apparent that idealism is likely to vary considerably in its aim given the huge number of selection committees round the world and their own highly various routes to membership. I am not sure that my Jewish friends’ young gay scientist from Australia is a natural conspirator with America’s “first black president” and definer of “sex”. And then there is the fun to be had by Googling “Rhodes New World Order” to find, quite high up, an article in which the Rothschilds are said to “own Israel”.

    On another topic, contrary to what you might think I would argue, I have a convoluted argument for the proposition that much Jewish success is cultural rather than g based.

    It is this. Way back when it was still being said that Ashkenazi IQ averaged 115, i.e. one sd above the Northern European and US white average, I calculated that if occupations like editors of major national broadsheet and heads of Hollywood studios (not to mention SCOTUS and Wall Street) typically required IQs of 145 (if only to compete to get there) then the approx. 50 per cent mark was got to by multiplying the Jewish percentage of the population by the approx. 17 x that one got from equating Jews with 2 sd over white average IQs with the 3 sds for others. It worked well. (Similarly for Russian chess grandmasters). But if the average Ashkenazi average IQ is really only about 111 then you need another factor to explain the disparity, Setting conspiratorial networking aside (and maybe one can when one reflects that Cain and Abel, and certainly Joseph’s nasty brothers were all Hebrews) it does seem that cultural factors are/were at work. All hail the Jewish mother? No longer: she’s not having enough children in the US unless she’s very very Orthodox or stranger than that.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  156. FKA Max says:
    @FKA Max

    I just (re-)discovered an old comment of mine here at the Unz Review, which will bring this discussion/debate full circle for me; it also has to do with “the secret in your eyes,” but not exactly with pupil size, and its potential connection to ‘genius.’ Excerpt:

    FKA Max
    July 12, 2016 – 11:01 am | Permalink

    Thank you, T.J..

    As I understood it, the author was arguing in this paper, that ‘genius’ is not merely a matter of intelligence, even though intelligence is a major component of it, but that ‘genius’ is a combination of intelligence plus creativity. Therefore it is tough to measure ‘geniusness’ and IQ tests therefore have a limited applicability in this field (I think you argued this point before as well in a little different context, in a short comment exchange we had about Christopher Langan on the topic of intelligence versus wisdom, where my argument was, that intelligence and wisdom always go hand in hand, but that there are plenty of very intelligent people, who lack wisdom, or can be outright evil, e.g. psychopaths. The same could be said about ‘genius’, in my opinion. Genius and high intelligence always come in a package, but there are plenty of highly intelligent people, who are not geniuses), but of course the probability to find and the frequency of geniuses increases in high IQ populations/groups, and so IQ tests are still a very valuable and important tool to figure out where to look for geniuses.

    By such reductionist accounts, present day computers, which even the strong programme in AI do not yet regard as “thinking machines”, are superior to humans. A present day non-thinking computer can be programmed to do better than humans (including East Asian and Jews) on many cognitive tests remembering that computers can beat humans at chess. Further, we would also expect that “creativity” should be an essential part of “intelligence”. Yet IQ tests do not measure creativity and have never intended to: H.B. Lyman, “Test Scores and What They Mean”, (Allyn and bacon, Boston, 1998), p.41.

    I have argued before, that this creativity and genius (and also pathological altruism/idealism) common in Whites (Faustian Spirit) is attributable to light eye pigmentation (which suppresses the secretion of melatonin, and is not very common in Asians, thus their lack of creativity/gen[iu]ses) plus a high IQ

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  157. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    Agree about the Jewish culture, having benefited from involvement with its intellectual component in my early years.

    Re: “Note to Canucks – do I use that term idiomatically? ”

    Originally, Canucks, was spelled with a K, and referred to French-speakers from Eastern Canada who moved to New England for jobs in the forest industry. They were’nt much liked by the locals, presumably because they not only spoke poor American, but undercut local workers in the job market.

    Hence Canuck was originally a term of derogation. However, in recent years Canadians have adopted it as a term of self-reference, presumably because of its original connotation, which makes it clear we’re not Americans, and we can lay claim to an even older (slightly) settler regime than the Americans, and one with at least some trace of the style and dignity of pre-Revolutionary French civilization.

  158. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @FKA Max

    … ‘genius’ is not merely a matter of intelligence

    Depends what you call intelligence, doesn’t it.

    Some might argue that creative genius is the highest form of intelligence, although I would argue that since creative intelligence takes many forms — mathematical, musical, artistic, architectural, literary, etc. — it is not one form of intelligence but many. Thus it is possible to be a math wizz of the highest order, but a pedestrian writer (e.g., Feyneman), or a person of the most penetrating intuition about physics, while being more or less clueless as a political philosopher (e.g., Einstein).

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  159. I may have linked to these before, but here are some papers on the link between creativity and intelligence.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  160. @CanSpeccy

    Depends what you mean by genius too. Without consulting a dictionary I would start confidently by positing that an intelligent eedecated person’s non-flattering, non-obsequious use of the word would connote not just an exceptionally high performance or capacity to perform something very demanding but a performance which is not just incremental but involving a difficult-to-explain leap which in some cases may be conceived of as not necessarily a vertical ascent to! greater superiority but possibly including a sideways swoop. Thus a special talent by a card player for playing the wrong card which just happens amazingly often to be the right card or the reputation for choosing to bowl a full toss to a settled in batsman which takes his wicket instead of being hit for six gives the flavour. By contrast the nagging persistence of the scientist whose observations over a long period make him think phenomena may have some causal connection in particular circumstances and eventually -by taking infinite pains – gets empirical proof of the connection and is credited with some truly important new knowledge would not, I submit, be an example of what we mean by genius if we care for definition rather than amiable Humpty Dumptyism. “Genius” I think connotes that there is something unexpected and unpredictable, if not ultimately inexplicable in the !eap above or above and away from the ordinarily methodical and talented or intelligent.

    Though those leaps may well be called creative you can see I have not used the word. This is partly at least because I don’t think it is as separate and defined as some would like to think. I have observed minds at work which throw up far more possible solutions (original at least in the company discussing them) than others by reason of those very qualities, once they have crammed or at least stocked their minds with the broad range of possibly relevant text or facts or competing explanations, that produce high IQ scores such as working memory and processing speed. Of course I can see it as appropriate to say, e.g. “his genius was in time after time finding a way to uncover the extraordinary data needed to prove, and sometimes disprove, his partner’s brilliant conjectures. From the description of his nights in the laboratory there were no flashes of light, it was hard slog trying out everything a logical and comprehensive approach suggested”. But then we really are using the word in a different way.

  161. FKA Max says:
    @James Thompson

    Thank you, Mr. Thompson.

    There are some great examples of characteristics in those posts, that I personally associate with “creativity;” this one in particular:

    openness to experience

    This is why I so appreciate Mr. Unz and love the Unz Review, because of its “openess to (new) experience(/view points),” even if some of the commentary and comments (my own included) can be on the more “eccentric” side of things.

    A high tolerance for eccentricity seems to be one of the keys in discovering and nurturing ‘geniuses.’

    See Mr. Woodley:

    WEIRD WEEKEND 2008 – SUNDAY – Michael Woodley

    Which brings me to the question from your blog post:

    Finally, to test the creative abilities of the presenters I confronted two of them and demanded they tell me what was the most creative idea humankind had ever come up with.
    What is your candidate idea?

    My candidates, after about 2 minutes of thinking about it, would be “Freedom of Speech and Thought” and Utilitarianism, in that order.

    Jeremy Bentham was quite eccentric as well, as I understand:

    Jeremy Bentham: Man and Myth (UCL)

  162. FKA Max says:
    @FKA Max

    For prostate cancer incidence, Dutton et al. found: Caucasian > Asian = African.

    I just discovered a very simple and probable reason for Dutton et al.’s unexpectedly low prostate cancer rates in Africans. Lynn and Rushton might be more correct than I thought on this particular issue:

    Prostate cancer develops mainly in older men. About 6 cases in 10 are diagnosed in men aged 65 or older, and it is rare before age 40. The average age at the time of diagnosis is about 66.

    Some of the countries Dutton et al.’s data in Africa is from:

    Kenya male life expectancy: 61.1 years

    Nigeria: 53.4 years

    Niger: 60.9 years

    Mali: 58.2 years

    Gambia: 59.8 years

    Senegal: 64.4 years

    Guinea: 58.2 years


    The higher the life expectancy, plus the higher the testosterone levels or sensitivity, the higher the prevalence of prostate cancer. Makes sense.

    For androgenic hair, Dutton et al. found: Caucasian > Asian > African.

    And the Neanderthal DNA could be the explanation why Asians have more androgenic hair than Africans, but less androgenic hair than Caucasians, despite having slightly more Neanderthal DNA, because of their lower testosterone levels and sensitivity compared to Caucasians.

    I stand corrected on these particular findings.

  163. @FKA Max

    Thanks. Interesting points. Will get Dutton to comment.

  164. @FKA Max

    Ed Dutton replies: According to this paper:

    black people in Texas are more likely to die of prostate cancer than white people when you control for many key variables, including age. This would be consistent with our original argument.

    I also note that some of your commenters are referring to my 2014 presentation, and specifically a summary of it by a psychologist called McGreal that was in Psychology Today. In the paper that was published in PAID, which was a development of the presentation, we dropped the penis data because it became clear that it is a very elaborate hoax. McGreal did not prove it was a hoax at the time. This was something that became clear from more recent evidence – i.e the nature of the current website.

    My own comment: the above paper is very interesting, but it “adjusts” for SES which is problematical, since achieved social class (rather than social class of origin) depends on ability and effort, which are set to zero by this “adjustment”. I will try to post something up about that later.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  165. FKA Max says:

    Rolf Degen‏ @DegenRolf

    Above an IQ of 120, the perceived (beneficial) effect of intelligence on leadership ability turned into a negative.

    This paper should make you happy:

    Can Super Smart Leaders Suffer From too Much of a Good Thing? The Curvilinear Effect of Intelligence on Perceived Leadership Behavior.
    Antonakis, John; House, Robert J.; Simonton, Dean Keith
    Journal of Applied Psychology, Mar 30 , 2017

    Although researchers predominately test for linear relationships between variables, at times there may be theoretical and even empirical reasons for expecting nonlinear functions. We examined if the relation between intelligence (IQ) and perceived leadership might be more accurately described by a curvilinear single-peaked function. Following Simonton’s (1985) theory, we tested a specific model, indicating that the optimal IQ for perceived leadership will appear at about 1.2 standard deviations above the mean IQ of the group membership. The sample consisted of midlevel leaders from multinational private-sector companies. We used the leaders’ scores on the Wonderlic Personnel Test (WPT)—a measure of IQ—to predict how they would be perceived on prototypically effective leadership (i.e., transformational and instrumental leadership). Accounting for the effects of leader personality, gender, age, as well as company, country, and time fixed effects, analyses indicated that perceptions of leadership followed a curvilinear inverted-U function of intelligence. The peak of this function was at an IQ score of about 120, which did not depart significantly from the value predicted by the theory. As the first direct empirical test of a precise curvilinear model of the intelligence-leadership relation, the results have important implications for future research on how leaders are perceived in the workplace.

    Do you have to be smart to be rich? The impact of IQ on wealth, income and financial distress

    Financial distress, such as problems paying bills, going bankrupt or reaching credit card limits, is related to IQ scores not linearly but instead in a quadratic relationship. This means higher IQ scores sometimes increase the probability of being in financial difficulty.

  166. FKA Max says:
    @James Thompson

    Thank you very much, Mr. Thompson.

    After doing some more thinking about Differential k theory I have come to the conclusion, that the theory is generally correct, but has only very poor/limited predictive power due to differences in resource availability (which includes access to contraceptives) — which is often due to lower cognitive ability — and other factors (culture, etc.). So paradoxically and ironically lower IQ likely reduces promiscuity (not fertility however); but of course on average a wealthy African is likely much more promiscuous than a wealthy Caucasian or East Asian, if there are no cultural, resource, etc. restrictions and constraints preventing him from engaging in promiscuous behavior. But how many fairly wealthy (and high IQ) Africans and countries dominated by Africans are there on average? Oil-rich countries in the Middle-East are somewhat of an exception to this rule, but there cultural/religious restrictions usually prevent/reduce promiscuity.

    Scott McGreal’s last article in his 3-part-series touches upon this and other factors:

    Schmitt’s results are more consistent with an alternative theory, known as strategic pluralism, that low sociosexuality and a preference for monogamy are more adaptive in harsh, difficult environments because infants then have a better chance of survival when bi-parental care is more prevalent. Conversely, in resource-rich environments, such as in developed nations, single-parenting becomes more viable and higher sociosexuality becomes more common.
    Another environmental factor associated with sociosexuality is imbalanced sex-ratio (Barber, 2008). —– For example, in societies where there are more men than women available for marriage, levels of sociosexuality tend to be lower. This would apply to China at the moment, where there is an oversupply of young males For the African American population on the other hand, the reverse is probably the case, since many young African American males are incarcerated, etc., so the male to female ratio imbalance in that population likely further increases levels of sociosexuality/promiscuity.

    In that regard Differential k theory has some similar predictive limitations as Bergmann’s Rule, however Bergmann’s Rule is generally still a very useful phenotypical predictor in the size/height of mammals, in my opinion. In my opinion Differential k theory is only useful in very specific and highly controlled circumstances and environments:

    Resource availability is a major constraint on the overall success of many organisms. Resource scarcity can limit the total number of organisms in a habitat, and over time can also cause organisms to adapt by becoming smaller in body size. Resource availability thus becomes a modifying restraint on Bergmann’s Rule.[18]

    I always give the blue whale as an example of why Bergmann’s Rule is accurate, in my opinion, if there are no constraints and limits on resource/food availability.

    Before whaling, the largest population was in the Antarctic, numbering approximately 239,000 (range 202,000 to 311,000).[12]
    The blue whale is the largest animal known to have ever lived.[30][31] By comparison, one of the largest known dinosaurs of the Mesozoic Era was Argentinosaurus,[32] which is estimated to have weighed up to 90 tonnes (99 short tons), comparable to the average blue whale.[33]
    An adult blue whale can eat up to 40 million krill in a day.[31] The whales always feed in the areas with the highest concentration of krill, sometimes eating up to 3,600 kilograms (7,900 lb) of krill in a single day.[30]

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