The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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The Key Is The Distribution
Many more men than women become lead engineers and theoretical physicists. Is the reason, as feminists assert, that society, the universities, and the mathematical professions discriminate against women? Or is the reason that men are naturally better at mathematics? Those who believe discrimination to be the cause point out that the male mean (i.e., average)... Read More
Mine is only the second generation of males in my family to wear underpants. I wear them, and my Dad wore them. Neither of my grandfathers did, though. They wore shirts with long tails. Before putting on their pants, they tucked the shirt tails round underneath to establish the desideratum — apparently universal in pants-wearing... Read More
Maybe, Anyway
The Bell Curve, an excellent book more maligned than read, pointed out a trend seldom noticed. The authors called it “cognitive stratification,” not a phrase Byron would have chosen but serviceable enough. It means the concentration of the intelligent.In 1850 people of high intelligence were dispersed through the population. If the child of a cowboy... Read More
This month is the tenth anniversary of the publication of The Bell Curve, the book by Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray about — to quote their own actual subtitle — "intelligence and class structure in American life." The book generated a huge controversy when it was published; so much so, that if you trawl... Read More
Probably More Trouble than They're Worth
To start with, some people insist that intelligence doesn’t exist; they are, I suspect, the best evidence for their case. Some people and some groups are obviously smarter than others. It’s daily experience.Then other people, also imbeciles, say that environment accounts for all difference in IQ: It’s all in how you are raised. The idea... Read More
I can never think about the topic of IQ without recalling the late Willard Espy's immortal "I-ku haiku." From memory: Espy's lines don't make much sense, but they make more sense than a lot of the stuff that gets written about IQ. Case in point: David Brooks's remarkably lame-brained piece in the New York Times... Read More
Since Justin showed me the courtesy of responding to my objections to his statements about Hillary-voters in West Virginia, I am herewith returning the favor. Because of the brevity of my blog retort to his commentary, it seemed necessary to add these words in order to make my views explicit. Like Justin I find those... Read More
Although Justin is entitled to his opinions about the 'pseudo-science of racialism' and the towering intellectuality of Obama, I feel compelled to respond to his misrepresentation about what I wrote. I did not attribute to him the view that 'race is destiny' and in fact I've no idea why he thinks that I did. What... Read More
Although I might otherwise enjoy continuing my dialogue with Justin, he and I plainly operate in such non-parallel universes that any further discussion between us must lead into a semantic snag. For example, I don't really know what he means when he identifies those who notice disparate IQ averages as 'racialists' or when he reveals... Read More
G is general intelligence, a common property we see in the similar test scores that people show for different cognitive tasks. But just what is this common property that makes some people generally smarter than others? There have been attempts to identify g with a specific brain characteristic. Unfortunately, as Anderson (1995) notes: Whatever g... Read More
The New York Times has run an article on genetic research by Dr. David Goldstein of Duke University. His main finding is that most human diseases with a genetic basis are not due to common alleles. They are apparently due to rare alleles that have not been eliminated by natural selection. This seems to argue... Read More
The October issue of Scientific American has an article on the search for genes that influence intelligence. Twin studies suggest that such genes exist, yet efforts to date have been disappointing for Robert Plomin, a behavioral geneticist at the Institute of Psychiatry in London. That means that there must be hundreds—perhaps thousands—of genes that together... Read More
The latest issue of Evolution and Human Behavior has an article on paternal investment and IQ. Using a longitudinal dataset of children born in Britain in 1958, Nettle (2008) found a significant positive correlation between a child’s IQ at age 11 and the father’s degree of family involvement. The less a father cared for his... Read More
Somethin' Ain't Right
A few years ago I encountered on the web groups of people, usually very smart people, who called themselves Race Realists and IQists, and regarded IQ as a scientifically valid concept. Fine, I thought. Some people are clearly smarter than others, and so are some groups. You could measure height, so why not intelligence? On... Read More
Pupils studying for the Chinese civil service exam. One conundrum of human biodiversity is the high mean IQ of East Asians, specifically Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese. On average, they outclass all other human populations on IQ tests, which were originally designed by and for Europeans. This intellectual success is matched by the economic success not... Read More
Meet Ragle Gumm
Did you see this news story the other day? The name that leaps to mind here is Ragle Gumm. At any rate, that's the name that leaps to mind if you are an old Philip K. Dick addict. Gumm is the hero of Dick's 1959 novel Time Out of Joint, which my early-teen self consumed... Read More
I had promised a couple of posts to bring those not necessarily familiar with HBD (i.e., Human BioDiversity) up to speed, but as I've not been getting around to those transitional posts, I've decided to skip that step and go on ahead. So here is my first semi-original contribution to the world of HBD. I'm... Read More
In an earlier post I mentioned the recent Italian cruise ship disaster. I stated that this was an example of "Italian incompetence." Italians have a certain reputation attached to them, as many of you may have seen with Italian jokes after the tragedy (a word I use deliberately, as we'll see). Southern Italians have been... Read More
Red-winged blackbird (source). Is dark coloration directly linked to male aggressiveness? For the past thirty years, psychologist Philippe Rushton has been using life history theory to explain human differences in many areas: IQ, sexual development, parental investment, mating system, time orientation, etc. Initially, he saw skin color as being incidental. In recent years, however, he... Read More
Edit, 3/13/14 8/24/13: Post updated. See below! This started as an e-mail I wrote to a friend to sum up the important events of the Middle Ages for Europe and the Near East. Then I decided that this was blog post worthy, so here it is: a nice, fairly concise summary of the events of... Read More
Someone brought this to my attention (sensational title and all), and I couldn't resist. All I can say is it's about damned time he said this! By Amelia Proud PUBLISHED: 19:36 EST, 27 April 2012 | UPDATED: 10:44 EST, 28 April 2012 Barack Obama had some advice for the single men of America today -... Read More
Edited, 6/6/13. See below! I'll have much more on this later, but I stumbled across this map, and I thought it was too poignant to ignore: This is a map of the 2010 unemployment rates across Europe, broken down by region, originally found here. I have filled in the unemployment rates of the former Yugoslav... Read More
In the spirit of (partial) full disclosure, in my earlier post on the topic, I announced that I'm liberal. In this post, I'll announce that I am Black. That is, at least, according to American hypodescent; I'm a mixed Black/White/Chinese second generation Jamaican-American. As such, of course I have a soft spot for the American... Read More
Post edited, 9/24/2012: See below! Earlier I discussed the origin of modern levels of IQ and the origin of modern ideologies. I noted that both of these things have roots in the societal conditions during the Middle Ages. But what, exactly, about this period led to the evolution of these traits? In this multi-part series,... Read More
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The Crowdedest Fifty People Known to Man
I belong to a list-serve of exceedingly bright people (I am not one of them) to include Ivy profs, who believe that IQ largely determines human destiny. This is in part I suspect because IQ is something they have, but it is possible that I am being snide in this. They regard as canonical the... Read More
Post updated, 11/17/13 4/14/13 1/19/13, see below! It is already known that educational attainment and income are highly heritable. However, finding specific genes linked to cognitive and behavioral traits has been difficult. This is primarily because most traits arise not from a few genes with large effects, but from many genes with small effects (and... Read More
Anecdotally, I have noticed that those who have sexual fetishes (or paraphilias as they are known technically) as a group have a higher average IQ than those who don't. I don't know of any data that verifies this (I haven't seen any studies linking sexual fetishes to IQ), but I suppose that runs into the... Read More
Courtesy Razib Khan's Pinboard Feed: ScienceDaily (July 15, 2012) — Your genes determine much about you, but environment can have a strong influence on your genes even before birth, with consequences that can last a lifetime. In a study published online in Genome Research, researchers have for the first time shown that the environment experienced... Read More
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What the facts tell us about a taboo subject
At the end of April, Charles Kenny, a former World Bank economist specializing in international development, published a blistering attack in Foreign Policy entitled “Dumb and Dumber,” with the accusatory subtitle “Are development experts becoming racists?” Kenny charged that a growing number of development economists were turning towards genetic and other intrinsic human traits as... Read More
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In “Race, IQ, and Wealth,” I examined the pattern of IQ scores for various European peoples as presented by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen in IQ and the Wealth of Nations and noted the considerable evidence for a large socio-economic influence. In nearly all cases, impoverished, rural populations seemed to exhibit far lower IQ scores... Read More
Former juvenile detention center in Torgau, East Germany. Was truancy treated the same way in West Germany and the DDR? (source) Ron Unz has come out with an article on “Race, IQ, and Wealth” in the latest issue of the American Conservative. He had earlier sent me a draft copy and asked for my comments.... Read More
Greg Cochran and Henry Harpending have recently proposed a hypothesis on their blog that posits that the lower average IQ of tropical peoples may be related to the number of fitness reducing mutations these people carry. Apparently, the rate of mutation is higher in the tropics. The majority of mutations that occur are neutral and... Read More
The central finding of my recent article "Race, IQ, and Wealth" was a simple one. Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen today rank as perhaps the world's leading academic advocates of the theory that the innate IQ of a given nation is fixed and determines its international success on a host of major economic and social... Read More
As I have recently mentioned to several people, I had been aware of the large anomalies and logical inconsistences in the Lynn/Vanhanen IQ model for nearly a decade, and had repeatedly pointed them out on various Internet discussion forums. But since nobody ever paid the slightest attention to what I was saying, I finally decided... Read More
Cover page of American Conservative, a megaphone for dubious science? (source) My comments on Ron Unz’s article “Race, IQ, and Wealth” have led to further exchanges between myself and Ron. There seem to be two sticking points: Ron is more like a military strategist than an academic. In other words, the goal is already decided... Read More
If New York is America's finance capital, with Los Angeles filling the same role for entertainment and Silicon Valley for technology, then surely the Boston area constitutes our center of academic and intellectual life, being home to a host of top universities such as Harvard, MIT, BU, Tufts, and many others. Partly for this reason,... Read More
As I've often told my friends over the years, the careful investigation of racial and ethnic differences presents huge difficulties in present-day American society. On the one hand, the topic is a very interesting and important one, especially in a society with America's enormous diversity, but the powerful social taboos surrounding such discussions have dissuaded... Read More
Ron Gunhame over at Inductivist has an interesting post looking at out-of-wedlock births had by Americans, by political orientation. By looking at the GSS data, he seems to have found that among the never married, conservatives were far more likely to have children. This is interesting, for one, because of its implications for my "pioneer... Read More
Does higher IQ correlate with colder temperatures? Not among people belonging to the same cultural system, such as the Chinese. (source) Big brains are costly, not only because of their high energy consumption but also because many genes have to interact to create neural tissue. The bigger and more complex the brain, the more it... Read More
Richard Lynn has now produced a lengthy and detailed rebuttal to my article Race, IQ & Wealth questioning his theories, as has Helmuth Nyborg, another leading IQ expert and strong supporter of Lynn. Their analyses have been published or highlighted on several prominent racialist websites, and I am herein providing my own rejoinder. First, I... Read More
Given the vast outpouring of agitated and angry remarks by those bloggers and commenters whose long-cherished beliefs have been challenged by my Race/IQ article, it's always very nice to discover a supportive voice, even if I might not necessary agree with absolutely every single point made. For example, Jason Antrosio's popular academic blog "Living Anthropologically"... Read More
Steven Pinker, a great academic, and whose 2002 book The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature introduced me to hereditarian explanations for human behavior (and which is required reading for anyone with no familiarity with the role that genes play in human behavior) has recently sent a note to Ron Unz attacking his... Read More
One of the many surprises I've encountered when reading the dozens of web pages and many hundreds of comments attacking my Race/IQ analysis is the overwhelming focus of these critics upon my Irish data. Although I discuss similar ethnic IQ evidence regarding the Greeks, Balkan Slavs, Southern Italians, Dutch, Germans, and various other European peoples,... Read More
You want to publish a book about HBD? You’ll have to find a wealthy patron. Debate is continuing over Ron Unz’s article on Race, IQ, and Wealth. In a favorable review at Living Anthropologically, the following comment caught my eye: Raised eyebrows ... And those people aren’t the only ones. Ron’s 2009 tax return mentions... Read More
Following my previous post. [youtube Liberals especially be mindful:
Half Sigma has an excellent post up which talks about a topic that is an under-appreciated concern: the obsolesce of human labor, thanks to automation. Virtually all of the increase in worker productivity over the past few decades is due to increased automation. I've quoted this post and some of the comments here: There’s an... Read More
Following up on my three previous posts, I want to talk again about what to do with this HBD knowledge. It is now clear, or at least should be, that demographic issues drive many of our current problems. Indeed, changes in the population drive history, and these changes are the primary reasons that civilizations rise... Read More
Although the claims regarding Irish IQ had unexpectedly attracted so many of the angry attacks on my recent Race/IQ series, it seemed quite obvious to me that this represented merely a stalking-horse for the related question of Mexican IQ. In my original article, I had pointed out that up to the early 1970s, both Mexicans... Read More
Sign for an inn, late 17th century, New France. Many merchants began as innkeepers who provided not only accommodation but also other services. (source) I have just published an article in the journal Advances in Anthropology: Tay-Sachs and French Canadians: A Case of Gene-Culture Co-Evolution? Comments are welcome. Abstract Tay-Sachs, an inherited neurological disorder, is... Read More
Although the vast majority of the angry responses greeting my Race/IQ article focused on a few of the ethnicities I had examined---Irish, Mexicans, Italians---my coverage had actually been quite broad, and I presented a large number of IQ gaps whose existence seemed inexplicible from a strictly genetic perspective. Indeed, the first example I cited was... Read More