April 4, 2009

Award-winning economist: I'm ignorant about my purported specialty and I intend to stay that way

From the NY Times's Freakonomist blog:

Last week, we solicited your questions for award-winning Oxford University economist Paul Collier, author of The Bottom Billion and the just-published Wars, Guns, and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places.

In his answers below, Collier talks about why the impact of colonialism on Africa is exaggerated, how African countries are “too big to be nations, yet too small to be states,” and his belief that the I.Q. of a country’s citizens is “not closely related to the performance of an economy.”

Collier received one unwelcome question:

Q. What do you think of Richard Lynn’s findings about race differences in intelligence and their relatedness to Africa’s continuing state of underdevelopment? In his work, Mr. Lynn compiled the results of numerous studies which appear to show fairly unambiguously that average I.Q.’s in sub-Saharan Africa are below 70. Studies furthermore show that this disadvantage is almost certainly inherited genetically. — Denis Bider

A. I don’t know this stuff and don’t want to. But I am just about prepared to believe that the average Chinese person is smarter than the average Englishman. Despite this, the average Englishman is more than 10 times richer than the average Chinese person — so intelligence is manifestly not closely related to the performance of an economy.

In other words, "Please don't Watson me! I'll be however stupid I have to be in order to keep my nice job at Oxford."

Ironically, the very low average IQs found in Africa can't all be genetic in origin because the gap between Africans (mean IQ of 70 according to dozens of studies) and African-Americans (mean IQ of 85 according to hundreds of studies) is as large as the gap between African-Americans and white Americans (100). Yet, African-Americans are no more than 20% white by genealogy.

Richard Lynn himself has repeatedly pointed to poor nutrition as one cause of low average IQs in some poor countries. We know of two micronutrients -- iodine and iron -- that can lower your IQ when not in sufficient supply in your diet. That's why in America salt is fortified with iodine and flour with iron. Extending these fortification programs to the Third World as a way to raise average IQ would probably give more bang for the buck than anything else.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

110 comments:

Proofreader said...

Steve, why are you staying away from the whole Michelle Obama's booty controversy, and from Queen Elizabeth's great ass-grabbing moment?

Some links:

http://www.racialicious.com/2008/11/18/salon-first-lady-got-back/

http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/feature/2008/11/19/michelle_obama_backstory/

http://michelleobamawatch.com/foolishness-and-chicanery-alert-saloncom-first-lady-got-back

Anonymous said...

I'm fairly young, so, I ask - has American political debate always been like this?

I mean, have those on the left always refused to engage with facts like this? I suppose in the '60s it was plausible the facets of their social endgame could be accomplished. Were their advocates more facile with argument and logic?

Nicholas said...

Steve, what did you mean (if anything by Ironically, the very low average IQs found in Africa can't all be genetic in origin.
What's the irony?

Steve Sailer said...

"What's the irony?"

Because, as Richard Lynn has pointed out, we know how to do something (not everything, but something) about low average IQs in Africa, but "experts" on Africa like Collier don't know about it and don't want to know about it.

Truth said...

The Chinese/ English thing is actually a pretty good response: Anyone care to take a crack?

jody said...

i still struggle GREATLY with the idea that the han chinese have a mean IQ over 100. again, this would mean that they are, BY FAR, the biggest collection of intellectual underachievers in human history.

the amount of things the chinese can't do, despite having a population of over 1 billion people "smarter than whites", is positively mind boggling. if all evidence points towards east asians not only being more intelligent on average, but MORE INDUSTRIOUS as well, then how is COLOSSAL chinese underachievement not THE story in HBD?

how much science, technology, and medicine could germany develop if there were 1 billion ethnic germans? german scientists, trying to create supersoldiers 80 years ago, invented the anabolic steroids that modern athletes take. are we to pretend that the chinese would NOT be interested in this kind of thing? where are all their military projects? why aren't they several generations ahead of dumb white guys in this stuff? what, they were too busy studying their math books to bother developing missile technology? spy satellites and ICBMs were not worth their time?

where are china's super advanced weapons? why can't they defend themselves from japan, let alone smash dumb white guys and their crappy little navies and air forces? doesn't china want to control taiwan? turn on the military channel and see how far ahead the white guys are over the chinese. there's 1 billion chinese and they have a mean IQ over 100 but they're two generations behind the white guys?

what are all these chinese geniuses doing with their time, when they could be curing cancer and building fusion reactors instead? how is it a demonstration of superior intelligence to watch your family and loved ones die from disease that you could easily fix, but prefer to let the dumber whites work on? why buy nuclear fission reactors from westinghouse and areva, when you could just build fusion power plants?

it's so much crap that the chinese are smarter. if they were smarter, it would be overwhelmingly obvious. they would control the planet. a germany, england, or russia with 1 billion ethnic citizens would EASILY dominate the entire globe.

Nick said...

In other words, you have to acknowledge a problem before you can start to address it.

But it's clear from his answer that Collier does know about the problem, but doesn't want us to know that he knows about it.

Anonymous said...

We know of two micronutrients -- iodine and iron -- that can lower your IQ when not in sufficient supply in your diet.... Extending these fortification programs to the Third World as a way to raise average IQ would probably give more bang for the buck than anything else.

I used to support raising the IQs of Africans in that way. Now I realize it is just another form of foreign aid: it may or may not help the indigenous people of the reason, but it definitely will be used as a reason to hate America (something like, America could have done this long ago, America knew all along that bad nutrition was depressing IQs and did nothing about it, the leftists who balked at talking about IQ are secretly conservatives, the rightists who wanted to raise IQ stole the idea from leftists, etc.)

Let someone else get punished for this good deed.

Anonymous said...

Always cracks me up how white people are totally willing to assume Asians are smarter than them but consider it heresy to suggest blacks are less smart. We're way past the point of political correctness and into white self-hatred.

Blode0322 said...

I mean, have those on the left always refused to engage with facts like this?

For a few generations this has been the case. It is born of the idea that the more you oppose American socialism, the more of a National Socialist you are (i.e. the central sleight-of-hand of the 20th Century). The left can't explain why it is a good idea to pay people to poor, to give the poor health care but not the working class, to give Visas to people who can't speak English, etc. They don't need to debate, they just use the Best Put-Down Ever: "Nazi".

Kevin K said...

Steve, I've been reading different reviews of Richard Nisbett's new book on Intelligence and culture. I haven't seen any interest from the HBD web community in the book. Its my understanding that Nisbett is not an idiot, but he repeats some points that I've read debunked here, but I wonder if you planned on saying something about it.

http://www.amazon.com/Intelligence-How-Get-Schools-Cultures/dp/0393065057/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1238858847&sr=8-1

Dennis Mangan said...

Iodine deficiency isn't confines to the Third World only. A number of researchers believe that it is severely impacting the health of the American population too. The amount of iodine in fortified salt is woefully inadequate. Link That probably accounts for the large number of cretins I run into.

Anonymous said...

Can eating more fat and fatty oils increase IQ in pregnant first world women?

25% of intelligence in first world populations is environment, and much of that environmental effect is likely environment in the womb.

Perhaps fat and oils can boost IQ by a few points during pregnancy.

Anonymous said...

"I'm fairly young, so, I ask - has American political debate always been like this?"

It's been fairly bad sinc the 60's, but since Bush became president in 2001, the political debate seems to have gotten 100 times more brain dead.

Anonymous said...


Because, as Richard Lynn has pointed out, we know how to do something (not everything, but something) about low average IQs in Africa, but "experts" on Africa like Collier don't know about it and don't want to know about it.


But Steve, if we did "something" about low IQs in Africa, the Elites would no longer be able to parade their superiority and call the rest us racist because of Africa. Surely you understand this?

William B Swift said...

There is a new post about African aid on Overcoming Bias that your readers may find interesting, especially some of the comments:
http://www.overcomingbias.com/2009/04/another-call-to-end-aid-to-africa.html

Richard A. said...

Steve,
Two macronutrients that appear to boost IQ are DHA -- an omega 3 fatty acid that is found in fish oil, and choline that can be found in egg yokes and soy lecithin.

I hope you are familiar with
www.pubmed.gov
where you can look this kind of stuff up.

Anonymous said...

"What's the irony?"

a major problem for africa is low IQ

well intentioned people want to help africa

well intentioned people also think it's evil to point out that a major problem for africa is low IQ

the low IQ in africa is probably remediable

the remedy is only available if we admint that a major problem for africa is low IQ

thus well intentioned people are harming africans

Lucius Vorenus said...

Anonymous: I mean, have those on the left always refused to engage with facts like this?

Yes.

Anonymous: Were their advocates more facile with argument and logic?

Probably more a case of their [would-be] opponents being more gullible and naive.

America's problem was that the [would-be] opposition was so gullible and so naive that they didn't even realize there was anything which needed to be opposed in the first place.

You know, Dubya gets a heckuva lotta grief in these parts, but I feel like he - and his father before him, and even Viagra & McAmnesty - tend to fall into this category. For some reason, they just can't bring themselves to see the manifest evil of The Left - these country-clubbers are just too nice, and too willing to allow themselves to believe in [what amount to] fairy tales about human nature.

Anonymous said...

I don’t know this stuff and don’t want to. But I am just about prepared to believe that the average Chinese person is smarter than the average Englishman

Note that he's prepared (well, almost prepared) to say that Englishmen are dumbshits compared to the Chinese, but nothing re: blacks. We know which way the multicult flows. It's OK for whites to criticize whites. It's OK for non-whites to criticize whites. It's OK for no one to criticize non-whites.

This is off on a tangent, but this reminds me of Chris Dodd's upcoming fundraiser at the exclusive Harmonie Club in New York, a club that is 90% Jewish and has no minority non-members. A Jewish Instapundit reader defended the club yesterday by saying that the reason it's still so Jewish is that no non-Jews were interested in joining, as if one just strolls up to the front desk and asks for a membership application. One gets asked to joing such clubs, and apparently none of its current members has bothered to ask many goys if they want to belong. Why would any goyish businessman want to associate with the Jewish movers and shakers of New York society? Can't see any business reason for doing so.

Again: ethnocentrism, racial/ethnic exclusivism are OK for anyone but white Christians.

Anonymous said...

How is the IQ of a population that is 70% illiterate accurately measured?

Anonymous said...

Steve, you might want to check this post at Mangan's about Vitamin D and brain development:

http://mangans.blogspot.com/2009/04/vitamin-d-and-autism.html

Mr. Anon said...

An excellent example of the trend that Steve has identified of modern adult people being proud - even boastful - of their naive undworldliness. Of course in this case it's even worse - an economist boasts about his ignorance (and his desire to remain ignorant) of a topic which has a significal impact on what he ostensibly studies.

"But I am just about prepared to believe that the average Chinese person is smarter than the average Englishman. Despite this, the average Englishman is more than 10 times richer than the average Chinese person — so intelligence is manifestly not closely related to the performance of an economy."

Is this what passes for an iron-clad logical argument in the world of economics? And notice how comfortable Collier is with allowing the possibility that the Chinese are smarter than the English, but he would never dare say - even as a hypothetical case - that whites may be smarter on average than blacks.

dearieme said...

Her Majesty gave every impression of warming to Mrs Obama (and to him too, for all I know). She seems to have been a little impatient with that clown Berlusconi. One of the columnists in today's Telegraph tells of being phoned by an American journalist who hoped to be told that Her Majesty was offended, apparently based on the assumption that the Queen of many predominantly black countries would somehow be reluctant to be pally with a Black Woman. Sometimes the blithely gormless provincialism of the American "elite" astonishes me.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Steve Sailer: Ironically, the very low average IQs found in Africa can't all be genetic in origin because the gap between Africans (mean IQ of 70 according to dozens of studies) and African-Americans (mean IQ of 85 according to hundreds of studies) is as large as the gap between African-Americans and white Americans (100).

Two points:

A) What about all those light-skinned African-Americans with the Scottish & Scots-Irish surnames? Heck, even in contemporary American society - much less antebellum chattel-slavery society - I can guarantee you from many hours spent shopping in Walmart that the phenomenon of the obese white redneck chick with the African-American baby daddy is very real, and very much on the rise.

B) The USA Caucasian average IQ is probably not "100" [definitions to that effect notwithstanding] and the USA "African-American" average IQ is probably not 85.

My guess is that the USA Caucasian average IQ is probably more like 102, 103, 104, or higher [again, definitions to the contrary notwithstanding].

And even you have admitted that the USA African-American average IQ is more like 83 and DECLINING:

More On The New Orleans Nightmare: Why We Have To Talk About Racial Reality Even If John Podhoretz Says We Can’t
Steve Sailer
September 11, 2005
vdare.com

...For example, if the average white IQ is 100 and the average black IQ is at 83.5 (according to Roth's meta-analysis), then the typical black falls at about the 14th percentile among the white population...

Is America headed for Idiocracy?
Steve Sailer
December 17, 2006
vdare.com

...50 percent of white children were born to women with IQs below the white mean... 58 percent of black children were born to women with IQs below the black mean...

Compare:

The Inequality Taboo
Charles Murray
Friday, August 26, 2005
aei.org

...Using a nationally representative subsample for the analysis, one finds that the mean AFQT score of the black women was 85.7. Sixty percent of the children born to this cohort were born to women with AFQT scores below that average. Another 33 percent were born to women with scores from 85.7 to 100. Only 7 percent were born to women with IQs of 100 and over...

The mean of the subset of mothers whose children were tested was 83.7. The mean of their children was 80.2. The mothers and children were tested with different instruments, so it should not be concluded that the black mean actually went down in the new generation. But these data certainly give no reason to think it went up...


Legal immigrants: hints of IQ scores
Steve Sailer
Monday, March 16, 2009
isteve.blogspot.com

Mexico 82

IQ and the Wealth of Nations
Richard Lynn & Tatu Vanhanen
en.wikipedia.org

Guatemala 79


My point in all of this is four-fold:

A) As regards USA "black" IQ versus African "black" IQ - I would be very surprised if the brown paper bag test [or the equivalent] was not strongly correlated with IQ.

B) There is probably much more than a 15-point difference between Black/Aboriginal Hispanic IQ and White IQ in the USA - Lynn & Vanhanen can't assert that the USA as a whole has an average IQ of 98 - when 30 percent or more of its population has an average IQ down around 83, 82, or 79 - unless the rest of the population has an average IQ which is a heckuva lot higher than "100" [whatever that means].

C) The difference between USA Caucasian/Asian IQ on the one hand, and USA Black/Aboriginal Hispanic IQ on the other, is probably INCREASING.

D) And most importantly: If you get sloppy with the numbers, and assert that Black [and aboriginal Hispanic] IQ is up around 85, when, in fact, it is probably down around 83, 82, or 79, and DECLINING OVER TIME, then, up in the rarefied air of IQ 85, you're a lot closer to the magic 90-point threshold where basic literacy is possible.

At an average IQ of 85, there might be some faint sliver of hope that literacy could be achievable.

But at an average IQ of 83, 82, or 79 [and declining], there is, on average, NO HOPE OF LITERACY.

Anonymous said...

Ironically, the very low average IQs found in Africa can't all be genetic in origin because the gap between Africans (mean IQ of 70 according to dozens of studies) and African-Americans (mean IQ of 85 according to hundreds of studies) is as large as the gap between African-Americans and white Americans (100). Yet, African-Americans are no more than 20% white by genealogy.

You assume that black slaves were breeding with average whites. If the old story that black slaves were breeding with slave owners is correct, then the white admixture is probably from whites with a higher average IQ - perhaps one or even two standard deviations above average. So black Americans might be a mixture of black Africans with IQs of 70 and white Americans with IQs in the 115-130 range.

We know this is true in at least one case - the case of Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson.

DYork said...

...Chinese person is smarter than the average Englishman. Despite this, the average Englishman is more than 10 times richer than the average Chinese person..

But not Chinaman versus English person.

That little bit of racial sensitivity gives the game away.

Steve Sailer said..."What's the irony?"

Because, as Richard Lynn has pointed out, we know how to do something (not everything, but something) about low average IQs in Africa, but "experts" on Africa like Collier don't know about it and don't want to know about it.


I'm guessing that would be improved nutrition and early age exposure to quality written material.

Thrasymachus said...

The thing is, Collier is right- obviously IQ does not corellate with economic performance, on the national level anyway. Under English common law it does much more closely.

Whether or not white people rule, white people's rule definitely rules.

Beastmaster said...

Given the fact that humans are social animals, that belief in equalitarian dogmas, even when faced with overwhelming evidence against them, correlates positively with educational attainment, or rather time spent in "institutions of learning," do you think that our education system is doomed end up the same way that a thousand other social institutions which were ubiquitous in their time have, in ruin?

Matt Parrott said...

Steve,

"Can't" is a mighty strong word. I agree that the most tenable conclusion given the current data is that environment plays a dominant role. But it is POSSIBLE that African-Americans are genetically more intelligent than native Africans.

Perhaps the Africans captured were more intelligent than the average African. Maybe the more remote and "primitive" an African was, the less likely the white folks were to snatch him. Maybe that while only 20% of the lineal inheritance of modern AA's is White, more than 20% of the genes for greater intelligence are prevalent due to sexual selection.

Maybe, and this is my pet hypothesis, the Africans are all suffering from a degree of inbreeding depression which outbreeding with a pan-African population resolved. This could also explain why White Americans are smarter than White Europeans, and could particularly explain why the Irish underperform so sharply in Ireland but do so well over here.

I'm not prepared to support any of those propositions, but I don't think it's appropriate to consider that issue as settled as you imply that it is.

Freddie Flintoff said...

The thing is, Collier is right- obviously IQ does not corellate with economic performance, on the national level anyway.

It does correlate just not highly; it's just one of several factors.

Communism is the obvious reason why China lagged so far behind the West.

TGGP said...

Bill Easterly seems like the go-to guy on critiquing Collier:
http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2008/11/easterly_on_col.html

Anonymous said...

Steve --

In a similar exchange in a previous NYT guest column the columnist directed a questioner(comment #206) to a chapter by Richard E. Nesbett in The Black-White Test Score Gap.

Nesbett argues that there is no evidence for any genetic differences in intelligence between blacks and whites, and while the book as a whole is clearly a one sided partisan effort, he does make what appear to be some telling points.

In particular, he argues that if whites were genetically superior to blacks then you would expect that American blacks with mixed African-European ancestory would test midway between whites and mostly-African blacks, but that efforts to find such a correlation come up with nothing.

This does seem like a fairly pursuasive argument. After all, everyone who looks for a black-white gap finds it easily. So why would the expected black-mulatto gap be so elusive -- unless of course the gap has nothing to do with genes, and everything to do with an environment that makes no distinction between full blacks and mulattos?

Anyway, I think it is quite plausible that the gap has a genetic component, but I haven't really seen this point addressed, and I'm wondering what your response would be, or if you can direct me to someone who has addressed this question.

Steve Sailer said...

Anybody who thinks that among African Americans fairness of skin color and IQ is positively correlated doesn't get out much. Nisbett should compare the skin tone of his African American grad students at the U. of Michigan to the African American athletes on Michigan's football and basketball teams.

It's not a huge correlation, but it's there.

Steve Sailer said...

Sorry, should be:

"Anybody who thinks that among African Americans fairness of skin color and IQ is NOT positively correlated doesn't get out much."

headache said...

During Apartheid they developed a porridge called ProNutro. It was intended to contain all the significant nutrients so Africans no longer had to suffer from malnutrition caused by their traditional diets. It was government subsidized so that Africans could afford it.

The porridge was developed at the CSIR (Council for Industrial Research and Development), the premier governmental scientific institution in South Africa

The only people who bought it were whites.

Nick said...

Queen Elizabeth has probably dispelled doubts on whether Michelle Obama is a man in drag but most Americans are still in the dark.

Anonymous said...

I've thought a bit about what the commenter jody has said.

I believe that the Japanese, the Koreans, and the southern Chinese have mean IQs that are slightly above 100. There is anecdotal evidence that the northern Chinese may have a lower mean IQ than the southern Chinese. Chinese Americans are almost all southerners, by the way. While it is true that Chinese civilization originated in northern China millenia ago, it is also true that subsequently the north was more heavily affected by devastating Mongolian, Manchurian, etc. invasions than the south. There is no doubt in my mind that nomadic East Asians (Mongols, Kazakhs, etc.) are on average less intelligent than either settled East Asians or Europeans.

Perhaps overall mainland Chinese IQ is being overestimated because the published tests were mostly done in urban centers? Perhaps the performance of overseas Chinese, including Chinese Americans, is unrepresentative of the overall Chinese mean because overseas Chinese are all southerners?

I looked at page 122 of my copy of "Race Differences in Intelligence" by Richard Lynn for some clues. He reports results of 10 IQ studies done in the People's Republic.

Study 1: IQ 107, Shanghai
Study 2: IQ 103, no geographic info
Study 3: IQ 101, no geographic info
Study 4: IQ 104, Shanghai
Study 5: IQ 109, Beijing
Study 6: IQ 103, Beijing
Study 7: IQ 107, "combined sample of urban and rural children"
Study 8: IQ 103, Shanghai
Study 9: IQ 113 college students in Shanghai
Study 10: IQ 107, Beijing

That is NOT representative. Obviously, the best and the brightest in China are flocking to Shanghai and Beijing. They have a legendarily competitive (and fair) college entrance exam system that is eerily reminiscent of their ancient civil service exam system. I'm sure that a disproportionate number of high scorers end up in Beijing and Shanghai.

Until several different outfits do a bunch of truly representative IQ studies in China, studies that test peasants, provincials, northerners, ethnic minorities as well as the urban elites, I'm going to take claims of mean PRC IQ of 100 with skepticism.

About innovation: the Japanese definitely do have a mean IQ above 100 and there's more of them than Germans, so how come historically they haven't achieved even 5% of what the Germans or the English have done in science and technology?

I think that the answer is that they're born conformists. High IQ seems like only one of several prerequisites for scientific progress to happen. Smart East Asians seem to be missing the rebel factor, which is kind of necessary if you're going to try anything truly new. They do get something for their high IQ though: exceptionally orderly, peaceful societies.

Anonymous said...

Steve said:

"Anybody who thinks that among African Americans fairness of skin color and IQ is NOT positively correlated doesn't get out much."

Steve, anecdotal arguments like this are not persuasive no matter which side of the aisle they come from. Again, anyone who does a study looking for a black-white gap finds it easily. So where are the formal studies showing a black-mulatto gap? Shouldn't that gap be almost as easy to demonstrate?

I certainly wouldn't expect the correlation to be small. I would expect that blacks who were mostly white -- and there are plenty around to test -- would score significantly higher than full blacks. If the correlation were in fact small, wouldn't that imply the gap was mostly environmental (just as a zero correlation would imply that it was all environmental)? Nesbett may be entirely wrong about all this, but I would like to see something better than a casual anecdotal counter to his argument.

Anonymous said...

"Anybody who thinks that among African Americans fairness of skin color and IQ is NOT positively correlated doesn't get out much."

here's the supporting data:

http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2006/09/skin-color-and-iq-in-gss.php

"In particular, he argues that if whites were genetically superior to blacks then you would expect that American blacks with mixed African-European ancestory would test midway between whites and mostly-African blacks, but that efforts to find such a correlation come up with nothing."

These experiments were done in the 70s with measures of admixture that were hopelessly flawed, and thus the results are meaningless. This experiment could be done cheaply and powerfully today but no one [associated with a university] will be allowed to do it.

Truth said...

"i still struggle GREATLY with the idea that the han chinese have a mean IQ over 100."

So, in other words you "struggle greatly with parts of the IQ by nations you do not want to believe and "agree wholeheartedly" with the parts you do?

Truth said...

"Perhaps the Africans captured were more intelligent than the average African."

Yes, that's a generally characteristic of people who lose wars, they're more intelligent then the people who defeat them.

"Maybe the more remote and "primitive" an African was, the less likely the white folks were to snatch him."

White people didn't "snatch" anyone in Africa, they had no immunity to malaria, and the average life span for a white man who got off a slave ship pre-vaccine was 45 days.

"Maybe, and this is my pet hypothesis,..."

It my behoove you to put that pet back in the kennel.

"his could also explain why White Americans are smarter than White Europeans,"

They're not.

"and could particularly explain why the Irish underperform so sharply in Ireland but do so well over here."

They don't.

MacSweeney said...

jody, you need to do some serious research on the Cultural Revolution and how badly it set back China's economic and technological development. So many people on this site are so obsessed with genetics, that they fail to take into account that environment is also extremely important.

Short history lesson. Japan's government made the wise decision to give up the old ways and modernize in the 1800s, bringing in experts from Europe to reform their institutions, whereas the Qing court remained stubborn. This would have far reaching consequences, as China's moment of weakness was taken advantage of, and it would set them back again and again, culminating in World War 2 and the Communist takeover.

You have to understand that Japan has been developing since the 1800s, and China has only been truly allowed to develop since 1978!

Intelligent people can't create a modern society and advanced technology instantly out of thin air. Hell, if you swapped out China's entire population with 1.3 billion Ashknenazi Jews it would STILL take a long time to pull themselves up from an agrarian, dirt poor country racked by chaos nearly the entire century, to 1st world status.

And you are once again forgetting that China was at or above Europe technologically until the fall of the Ming dynasty.

All the proof you need to see that the Chinese only need a good environment to be on par with or richer than Europeans, is to look at Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, and Chinese immigrants in the West.

So to answer your question as to why China doesn't control the world, the short answer is, they're working on it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...How is the IQ of a population that is 70% illiterate accurately measured?

Dunno exactly but I presume some testing is possible. What should worry you more is the possibility that that IQ testing was only done amongst the literate 30%.

Anonymous said...

with respect to jody's point, there are two empirical observations that are in conflict:

1) China (and East Asian countries in general) do extremely well in international comparisons of math/sci ability, whether they be the Olympiads or the TIMSS
2) At the very highest levels of achievement (Nobels, new inventions), East Asians lag the West

So there is empirical evidence for an inflection point at the extreme right tail of IQ.

The obvious explanation is that a multidimensional approach which quantitatively measures conscientiousness and aggressiveness in addition to IQ will find that extreme
success is due to being an outlier on all three. It may well be that the left-shift of the Chinese population on aggressiveness and the right-shift on conscientiousness serves them well in terms of civilizational harmony, but is responsible for
the lag at the extreme top ends of invention.

These are psychometric hypotheses that can be tested given the appropriate instruments.

Neeners said...

Steve says:

"Ironically, the very low average IQs found in Africa can't all be genetic in origin because the gap between Africans (mean IQ of 70 according to dozens of studies) and African-Americans (mean IQ of 85 according to hundreds of studies) is as large as the gap between African-Americans and white Americans (100). Yet, African-Americans are no more than 20% white by genealogy."


Where is the problem? Why is IQ supposed to have some perfectly linear correlation with whiteness? Even if the higher IQ of Africans comes from white genes, the 20% of white genes they have could contain enough dominant genes for higher IQs to create a large gain between pure Africans and Afro-Americans.

The other issue is that the higher IQs of Africans *can* be all genetic in origin because black slaves came from only a few places and probably from specific tribes in those places. There is no reason to believe that all sub saharan blacks have equally low IQs. The wealth of nations based their IQ estimations on sparse data.

Lynn perhaps accurately gauged India's average IQ as around 81 when it was later found out that many communities within India have IQs many SDs above that.

Africa is also filled with ethnic communities that only intermarry within themselves. In one area you have 4 ft tall pygmies and one hundred miles away, you may have a tribe of people that grow past 6 ft tall even though they starved all throughout their childhoods. It is not impossible that there is some group of Africans in west africa with average IQs of 85, 100 or 115. The problem with data on African IQs is that people extrapolate IQ onto several countries based on small sample sizes from tests taken at one or two places. Such might be representative of IQ in a country like the US where nearly everyone is an ethnic mutt with a highly mobile family, but why should it work on Africa?

For all we know, we got the smart Africans for slaves. After all, the slaves that ended up living to breed were the ones with the best immunity to European's diseases, which possibly implies that they somehow had more genetic similarity with Europeans to start out with.

Jody says:

"i still struggle GREATLY with the idea that the han chinese have a mean IQ over 100. again, this would mean that they are, BY FAR, the biggest collection of intellectual underachievers in human history."

lol, rather than questioning the validity of using IQ to predict economic prosperity and intelligence, you doubt the empirical data that shows east asians with higher IQs that whites? Even when the data is consistent between multiple asian countries?

Funny that you would probably never doubt the data when it shows that blacks have lower IQs.

Mr. Anon said...

"Matt Parrott said...

Perhaps the Africans captured were more intelligent than the average African. Maybe the more remote and "primitive" an African was, the less likely the white folks were to snatch him."

Of course, for the most part, white folks weren't snatching up black slaves. It was other africans who did that - whites just bought whatever merchandise was available at the dock.

Svigor said...

We know this is true in at least one case - the case of Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson.

I read somewhere that TJ wrote in a letter that, unlike himself, his "simple" cousin (I think it was his cousin) liked to cavort with the slaves into the wee hours of the morning, playing his fiddle and dancing.

Svigor said...

High IQ seems like only one of several prerequisites for scientific progress to happen.

Careful, you're approaching HBD heresy. Some of this crowd (many of them race-realists or even ethnic nationalists, mind) get pissed when you mess around with their IQ fetishism.

Seems obvious to me IQ is one of a battery behavioral genetic traits contributing to civilization.

Europeans seem to hit a sweet spot between conformity and individualism. But now that I've punched IQ in the face, it's worth remembering that the IQ gap between whites and yellows is pretty small, compared to other gaps (especially if La Griffe is correct); maybe that extra bit of T really is that important to innovation (keeping in mind that innovation is the demesne of a very small group, and might be very sensitive to small changes).

I guess my point is, innovation is the EXCEPTION, not the rule. BE CAREFUL in making untested pronouncements as to what causes it (and how far you can transplant it), because truth is, you don't know. It's worth being a bit "superstitious" about the whole thing.

In other words, all of humanity is out-of-their-minds stupid for letting Europeans commit collective suicide.

Svigor said...

so how come historically they haven't achieved even 5% of what the Germans or the English have done in science and technology?

A fair question, though it is worth pointing out that Europeans plucked all the low-hanging fruit.

Anonymous said...

Plenty of ethnic Mongols and Kazakhs lived in the Soviet Union. Economically and socially, they tended to lag quite far behind the Russians. Today Mongolia, Kazakhstan, and the rest of Central Asia are economically and socially quite lethargic.

In Kazakhstan, most of the economy is dominated by the large ethnic Russian minority. The industrial base of the country is concentrated in the predominately Russian north, while the heavily Kazakh south is languishing in poverty.

Shanghai was settled primarily by migrants from Zhejiang and Canton. They put down roots and populated the city. Beijing and Tianjin have always had substanial trading communities from Fujian and Canton. Even today, they continue to attract many migrants. Among the current wave of Chinese immigrants, a high percentage are from the southeast (Fujian, Canton, Zhejiang). In southeast Asia, the ethnic Chinese minority from Fujian and Canton run all the economies (Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Phillipines, Indonesia).

In the EU, substanial numbers of immigrants have come from the north and Zhejiang. While the Zhejiangese are entrapanuerial and are progressively climbing the economic ladeer, the northern Chinese have had a much tougher time in the labor market.

This divide between the south and the rest of China isn't neccessarily a product of genetics. It could be cultural. Just remember that the southeast has historically been a center of trade and commcerce, so the culture has always been much more materially oriented.

Svigor said...

[T]he average Chinese person is smarter than the average Englishman. Despite this, the average Englishman is more than 10 times richer than the average Chinese person — so intelligence is manifestly not closely related to the performance of an economy.

The average African-American is many times wealthier than the average Chinaman. Despite this, African-Americans have crime rates many times that of Chinamen - so crime rates are manifestly not closely related to poverty.

Black Sea said...

According to the link to "IQ and the Wealth of Nations" provided above by Lucius Vorenus, both China and the UK have mean national IQs of 100.

If these figures are accurate, this would:

a) refute the claim "that the average Chinese person is smarter than the average Englishman."

b) support the contention that cultural history, political and economic systems, national infrastructure, and a host of other factors play a substantial role in the development of national wealth.

c) go a long way toward explaining why nations such as China experience dramatic (though admittedly somewhat volatile) economic growth under an increasingly market-driven system, while some other nations, applying the same liberalization policies, simply flounder.

Anonymous said...

Truth,

"The Chinese/ English thing is actually a pretty good response: Anyone care to take a crack?"

I'll take a crack at it. Given first world institutions such as rule of law, property rights, etc., ethnic Chinese do very well economically. See, for example, Hong Kong and Singapore. Mainland China doesn't have these institutions, or is only in the process of developing them. Also, mainland China seems to have a lower-IQ population in its rural west. I don't have data on that, but those Westerners seem to be like China's own in-house Mexicans.

- Fred

silver said...

How is the IQ of a population that is 70% illiterate accurately measured?

One was is testing university students, by definition (hopefully) literate, and extrapolating the results based on what we know about IQ distributions elsewhere.

The Chinese/ English thing is actually a pretty good response: Anyone care to take a crack?

Capitalism and culture count too.

Furthermore, GDP is an increasingly piss poor method of measuring well being because it fails to account for the effect of diversity dampening, ie I'd rather make $20k and live in a culturally consistent and biologically coherent society than make $80k and live in LA.

Anonymous said...

In the past, China's IQ was probably lower because of poor nutrition (sometimes even starvation, even as recently as the 60's) and non-existent education. Conditions have only recently improved in the last few decades. Biological IQ may be ~105, but may lag in rural/older people because of the effects of poor nutrition during their lifetime.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and IQ and the Wealth of Nations uses old data. IQ and Global Inequality is the updated version http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IQ_and_Global_Inequality

Anonymous said...

About innovation: the Japanese definitely do have a mean IQ above 100 and there's more of them than Germans, so how come historically they haven't achieved even 5% of what the Germans or the English have done in science and technology?


I think it's fair to ask how do the English, Japanese, and Germans compare in post-war achievement. So now that everyone is at a level playing field, how well are they competing in terms of innovation.

Britain is out of the race.

But what about Germany v. Japan?

Anonymous said...

"I don't want to know..."

Words that will bring down the West.

Anonymous said...

Jody, I'm very familiar with Chinese culture and Chinese people. In many ways I view them positively. But they are poor planners and do not seem to cooperate well. Some people think as a group they are very greedy. Perhaps these things prevent them from taking full advantage of their intellects. I have no idea if these traits are caused by genes or the environment. But it wouldn't surprise me if these traits gradually change over several generations.

Anonymous said...

Pardon my French, but Jody is talking a lot of cr*p.
Go to any prestigious university's math, science or engineering departments and see exactly who are the students studying there.
As for all his chest-beating and tub-thumping about 'white people's inventions' (which are actually the achievements of someone OTHER than Jody), well the facts are these prior to aeround 1700 China and western Europe were about equal in technological achievement.Around that date an explosion in inventiveness took hold in England where crucial breakthroughs were made (notably the use of coke in iron smelting, the development of the steam engine and powered machinery).Why this happened in England is moot - it was oprobably due the hard scientific rationalism of the enlightenment combined with a political system that encouraged individual endeavor.
During all this time the Chinese Emperors had a deliberate policy of isolating themselves from Europeans (for very sound reasons - they knew what happened to India),which was carried on to the extent of banning all western influences and keeping China 'chinese'.
To say that the modern Chinese aren't great technical innovators is simply baloney.The fiber-optics that modern communications rely on was invented by a Chinese man.

ben tillman said...

We know this is true in at least one case - the case of Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson.

I believe the evidence points in another direction.

Anonymous said...

"Award-winning economist: I'm ignorant about my purported specialty and I intend to stay that way"

Your gig may not pay the best, Mr. Sailer, but how can anyone possibly be having more fun?

tommy said...

The Chinese/ English thing is actually a pretty good response: Anyone care to take a crack?

An insular and uncreative culture would be my best guess. I wouldn't be surprised if East Asians have certain genetic proclivities to such cultures. How much so is difficult to say. I don't think we have a very good scientific grasp of the problems of creativity and novelty at this time. It's difficult to quantify.

Still, I would venture to guess that over the next 50 years, the Chinese will be closing ground with whites and Africans will not.

tommy said...

Maybe part of the difference between East Asians and Europeans is rationality.

The Greek philosophers gave us things like syllogistic reasoning while East Asian philosophers gave us things like Zen Buddhism. The Greeks gave us axiomatic mathematics. The East Asians gave us Japanese Temple Problems. Some of these problems are highly clever in their origin and solution, but with no axiomatic approach to geometry, Westerners have discovered that the Japanese sometimes accepted solutions that were incorrect.

tommy said...

The Japanese are as technophilic as any people, but how much of the best science fiction has been written by the Japanese?

Anonymous said...

Steve, you are correct than in a strict sense "very low average IQs found in Africa can't all be genetic in origin," however, in a broad sense, the form a society and culture takes is influenced by the characteristics (and hence, underlying genes) of its constituent members. It takes certain mixes and ranges of cognitive ability and personality types to make a given society. In white-organized societies, blacks may have the genetic potential to achieve average IQ scores in the 80to 85 range, but there is no black run, black-majority society that appears to have the capicity to organize itself and create the public health and educational systems and living standards necessary for blacks to "maximise their genetic potental." This can only be done with exogenous help from whites. In that sense, much of black Africans' extremely low IQs is probably genetic in origin, either directly or indirectly.

Anonymous said...

Re Nesbit and percentage of black ancestry and IQ, Michael Hart discusses this in "Understanding Human History" (p. 114-115) and he is worth quoting at length:

"Among American blacks, there is no correlation between IQ and skin color (or percentage of African ancestry)." Unlike the last five arguments, this one is testable and would be important if it was correct. Richard Nesbitt, citing data compiled by Audrey Shuey claims that such studies show no significant positive correlation between lighter skin color and higher IQ. However, direct examination of Shuey's data shows the contrary. Shuey examined studies made between 1913 and 1964 by 13 different researchers, each of whom tested black-white hybrids and attempted to determine if light skin color (or other evidence of Caucasoid ancestry) correlated with the results of IQ tests. Twelve of those studies (with a combined sample size of 6,520) showed a significant positive correlation between Caucasoid ancestry and IQ scores - a large correlation in seven of the studies - whereas only four small studies (with a combined sample size of 460) failed to do so.

Because those studies that Shuey tabulated used different criteria, and did not reach uniform results, one cannot say that they provide conclusive proof that blacks with a higher fraction of white ancestry are more intelligent, but that is certainly the conclusion they suggest.

The best recent data is that collected and presentedy by Sandra Scarr and her associates in their review of the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study. That study found found that - under conditions where environmental factors had been equalized to an unusual degree - black children and teenages scored much lower than those of mixed-race, who in turn scored much lower than whites. Furthermore, the results of that study show that the scores of mixed-race children and teenagers are roughly half-way between those of blacks and whites, which is consistent with the predictions of the strong hereditarian view.

Anonymous said...

Re Jody's and anonymous' musings on Asian IQ, I think you are correct. Lynn (and Rushton) often overstate their case. If you look carefully at the studies they report on Chinese (and other NE Asian) IQs, you will quickly notice they they are not representative. Either they draw from urban economic and government centers such as Beijing and Shanghai, which are likely to attract talented people from all over the country, or they assume that populations are comparable that aren't. Take for example the several studes they cite comparing university and high school students. They think that by taking scores of white students at a given university or high school in the US (I belive, from memory, that one of the studies they cite is by Geary and the US students come from Georgia?) and setting that as a mean of 100, they can calculate Chinese IQ by comparing them with chinese students from a high school or university in Beijing or Shanghai. This is problematic. The quality of high school and university students varies enormously from district to district or university to untiversity. For instance, I could give an IQ test to UK students at Oxford or Cambridge and to US students at (pick a mediocre state university) and undoubtedly, the Brits would be much brighter, but have I shown that brits on the whole are brighter? I could also reach the conclusion that it the Americans who are geniuses by testing Harvard students and comparing them to UK students at, say, Charles Napier University. It's apples and oranges.

The best data, such as national norming studies on tests like the Wechsler batteries in Japan, do indicate higher g/IQs than whites, but only in the 101 to 103 range. Although the sample was small, the the NLSY data suggest an IQ of 103 for Asian Americans based on their AFQT scores. A study with Raven's Progressive Matrices from 15 different Chinese Urban centers (as opposed to just industrial hubs like Beijing and Shanghai) conducted in the 1990s indicated an IQ of about 100 or 101 for non-rural chinese compared to white americans, which is impressive given the difference between the two populations in per capita income (though there is a huge difference between Western and former Eastern bloc European countries in per capita income which does not seem to result in large IQ differences). In short, Hernnstein and Murray's guess that NE asians have an IQ advantage over whites of about 3 points is probably correct, but Lynn and Rushton's extravagant claims of 105, 106, 107 or even 110 don't look all that credible.

Another factor to consider is variance. I haven't been able to find much about this in the literature I've seen. Seligman (way back in 1992) mentions that the Japanese WISC norming sample had an SD of 13 compared to a US SD of 15 (but he wasn't clear whether we are talking about whites only or the US population in general - throwing in Hispanics and blacks would increase the sample variance). Steve Hsu, not too long ago on gnxp, took issue with the "Asians have a higer mean and lower variance" hypothesis. He showed that Asian countries do not have a smaller SD on the PISA math scores (which are highly correlated with g pre Rindermann)than white countries. So I don't think we can really reach any conclusions about variance. Also note that ability distributions, while roughly normal, aren't perfectly so and things can get a bit funny at the tails, so knowing the white and Asian means and SDs really don't tell us all that much about what portion of each group has an IQ of over, say, 150 or 160.

Q said...

On Chinese IQ:

There is bias in every single study of China.

Lynn's studies: as stated above, these were biased towards urban dwellers
Chinese in Hong Kong and Singapore: urban bias
Chinese in other countries: biased by immigration selection

Granted, getting information from China's rural provinces might have been difficult, which could be why Lynn and others did not do so.

What little data I have seen, however (from fluoride & iodine deficiency studies), shows that China's rural population suffers from malnutrition bias, which might be causing a drop of as much as 10-15 IQ points.

All of these factors combine to illustrate the difficulty of getting a clear picture of even just visuospatial IQ in developing countries. I have seen no satisfactory measurement of IQ potential with regards to third-world countries, for this reason.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

But not Chinaman versus English person. That little bit of racial sensitivity gives the game away.

So why the hell is "Chinaman" offensive, anyway? Anyone have a good answer? To me the only likely answer is that the Chinaman community wanted to see how far it could go in pushing us around, and found out. A group has (up to a limit) a right to be called what it wants to be called - a right that ends when the term it insists upon is inaccurate (historically or otherwise), confusing, or just a plain damn mouthful.

Anonymous said...

Tail ends of the distribution:

About the tail ends and which group has more 140+ IQ members, institutes of higher learning in Europe have for sometime facilitated the marriage of high iq males with the daughters of high iq males. One can easily imagine a high iq boon for Europe over the last 500 years. Such gains at tail ends ought to show themselves now in some developing countries.

Truth said...

"I read somewhere that TJ wrote in a letter that, unlike himself, his "simple" cousin (I think it was his cousin) liked to cavort with the slaves into the wee hours of the morning,"

"Simple cousin?" That's kind of like "imaginary friend" isn't it?

Did this "simple cousin" take his wife's 13 year old sister on trips to Europe?

"I'll take a crack at it. Given first world institutions such as rule of law, property rights, etc., ethnic Chinese do very well economically."

They had these things in China and Japan before Europe.

"I'd rather make $20k and live in a culturally consistent and biologically coherent society than make $80k and live in LA."

Oh I don't know about that one chief, 20k in Oslo might just about qualify you for "functional homelessness."

Anonymous said...

"But not Chinaman versus English person."

"So why the hell is "Chinaman" offensive, anyway? Anyone have a good answer?"

Maybe because of the deliberate, incorrect use of the noun form instead of the adjectival form in the first part of word. After all, you wouldn't call an Englishman an "Englandman", would you?

- Fred

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

1) China (and East Asian countries in general) do extremely well in international comparisons of math/sci ability, whether they be the Olympiads or the TIMSS. 2) At the very highest levels of achievement (Nobels, new inventions), East Asians lag the West.

What I despise about the references to "China" and "India" as countries is that in Occidental terms they are not countries but near-continental entities, like "Europe." In fact India and China each have significantly more people than all of Europe. Each has more people, in fact, than all of Europe plus Canada, the USA, New Zealand and Australia. If you took the top 5% of China and India in terms of IQ you'd have 125 million people. Send 20% of them to the West and you still have 100 million very smart people left at home.

So "China" beat "Finland" in the International Math Olympiad? Shocking.

Re American black IQ: besides the admixture, don't forget that blacks in America have been subject to 300+ years of selection in an advanced society.

I think it's fair to ask how do the English, Japanese, and Germans compare in post-war achievement. So now that everyone is at a level playing field, how well are they competing in terms of innovation. Britain is out of the race.

If cultural neuroses can affect Chinese and Indian output then they can affect Britain's, too, and Britain has been affected by a particular kind of post-war mental illness.

The fiber-optics that modern communications rely on was invented by a Chinese man.

Many people contributed to that technology, but Narinder Singh Kapany is generally considered its inventor. He's not Chinese.

I believe the evidence points in another direction.

I'm not going to wade into that argument except to say that there's near unassailable proof that a male Jefferson was the father of at least some of Hemings' children. Thomas is the most likely father, but even a nephew was still probably above average intelligence. As I said, those whites with sexual access to slaves were probably wealthier - and thus more intelligent than - average whites.

I would venture to guess that over the next 50 years, the Chinese will be closing ground with whites and Africans will not.

Over the next 50 years whites in virtually every historically Western country will be struggling to manage impossibly diverse societies with backwards subcultures. We'll be lucky to survive, let alone maintain our advantage.

Anonymous said...

Nesbitt will be interested to see how some of the gene alleles associated with IQ are distributed amongst HapMap populations (I'm not sure how representative these samples are though):

"Below is a graph showing the prevelance of "beneficial" allele for each SNP for all population groups sampled in the latest Hapmap. I put the word beneficial in quotes because, as noted, candidate gene association studiees are notorioiusly unreliable. Why, then, am I bothering to post this at all? These SNPs are candidate genes in the first place because they are known to affect the brain in one way or other. Thus, if there is a pattern whereby the Japanese are consistently closer to the Chinese than either group is to the Yoruba, it shows that in the past 50,000 or so years of human evolution, alleles affecting the brain were not, as some people like to believe, magically floating free from the forces of genetic drift and natural and sexual selection.

I've color coded the graph below so that the four black African populations are black, the two European populations are white, the Mexican population is red, the Indian population is brown, and the three East Asian populations are yellow. Please forgive me if this color scheme seems crude or offensive, as it isn't meant to be either. But I found that using any other colors for the different groups only made the graphs less immediately understandable. Also, I've arranged the groups from African on the left to East Asian on the right to reflect, however roughly, each group's overall genetic distance from the other.

As you can see, there's some clustering along traditional racial lines, most visible when comparing frequency rates among the three East Asian populations with the four black African populations. Regardless of whether these SNPs are ultimately found to be associated with intelligence (and even if they are, they are almost certainly going to be of very small effect), the fact that they are known to be expressed in the brain and that prevelance rates for all of them - with the possible exception of rs363039 - cluster to one degree or another along traditional racial lines illustrates that the forces of genetic drift and selection did not stop at the neck."

http://congenialtimes.blogspot.com/2009/02/evolution-didnt-stop-at-neck.html

Anonymous said...

So why the hell is "Chinaman" offensive, anyway? Anyone have a good answer?

My guess is it's the use of "China" instead of "Chinese" that rankles. We don't say "Franceman" or "Englandman", so "Chinaman" probably sounds too much like ungrammatical baby-talk, which might strike some Chinesemen as demeaning. But they'd probably object to "Chineseman", too, since it doesn't sound very idiomatic. I propose we call them Hanmen. Only Manchurians would object to that, and who the hell cares what Manchurians think?

MacSweeney said...

So "China" beat "Finland" in the International Math Olympiad? Shocking.

Actually, China beat the entire world at the International Math Olympiad. In 2008, the only two kids in the world to get a perfect score were from China. Wait a minute! A third person got a perfect score, and he's from the United States! Oh wait, he's Chinese too.

On Japan vs Germany: Japan did not have the scientific developments of Germany because they were quite comfortable in their island chain, enjoying relatively good relations with their East Asian neighbours. Of course, there were a lot of local clashes until the country was finally unified, but it was nothing like the ultra competitive environment of Europe, where developing new technology could mean the difference between surviving and being conquered. Now that Japan HAS modernized, I would say that their engineering achievements are on par with Germany, wouldn't you? Not to mention they export entertainment beloved world wide, such as video games and animation, whereas Germany produces nothing of the sort.

Anyway, I'm not even saying that East Asians are more intelligent than Whites. I believe that they are equal, with some significant cultural and environmental differences. It just drives me crazy when the people on this site put down Asian achievements with their smug little commentary. The smuggest one of all being "too cool for capital letters" jody. Just keep bragging about your SAT scores and supposed IQs, and riding the coat tails of your ancestors' achievements. Just remember that Terence Tao and Tsien Hsue-shen and any other number of "inferior" people are a thousand times smarter and have achieved more than you ever will.

I know it's profoundly terrible to you that a country not part of the master race is destined to become the world's superpower, but you can't do anything to stop China's rise. All you can do is watch helplessly as they go from one year of double digit economic growth to the next. Personally, I can see an upside to it. You don't want to see them become a "super Japan"? They have no interest in invading anybody (except Taiwan, but that's a different story), nor exporting their authoritarian government. That is baseless fear mongering by the media, who are desperate for a new super villain since the fall of the Soviet Union.

David said...

Anonymous said

I'm fairly young, so, I ask - has American political debate always been like this?

Yes.

Welcome to hell, kid.

ben tillman said...

So many people on this site are so obsessed with genetics, that they fail to take into account that environment is also extremely important.

I think you're really talking about culture rather than environment, and the best discussion of the importance of culture is found in the work of Rob Boyd of UCLA and Peter Richerson of UC Davis. You may find it interesting.

Anonymous said...

Anyone spotted if Nisbett's new book on IQ has been reviewed by anyone from the Gottfredson, Lynn, Rushton, Murray side of things...?

Or maybe a review's in the pipeline?

Matt

Svigor said...

Anyway, I'm not even saying that East Asians are more intelligent than Whites. I believe that they are equal, with some significant cultural and environmental differences. It just drives me crazy when the people on this site put down Asian achievements with their smug little commentary. The smuggest one of all being "too cool for capital letters" jody. Just keep bragging about your SAT scores and supposed IQs, and riding the coat tails of your ancestors' achievements. Just remember that Terence Tao and Tsien Hsue-shen and any other number of "inferior" people are a thousand times smarter and have achieved more than you ever will.

I know it's profoundly terrible to you that a country not part of the master race is destined to become the world's superpower, but you can't do anything to stop China's rise. All you can do is watch helplessly as they go from one year of double digit economic growth to the next. Personally, I can see an upside to it. You don't want to see them become a "super Japan"? They have no interest in invading anybody (except Taiwan, but that's a different story), nor exporting their authoritarian government. That is baseless fear mongering by the media, who are desperate for a new super villain since the fall of the Soviet Union.


I think you're missing the point. Scratch that, I KNOW you're missing the point. I think by and large, race-realists and ethnic nationalist Euros are fairly even-handed about the whole thing. Compared to the kind of screeching heard from Chinese nationalists, especially.

We're sitting here with a gun to our heads, sweating bullets and trying to talk the gunmen (our estranged brothers, no less) that our lives are worth saving. And you're hopping mad that in the process we said something about the Joneses down the street that you don't like.

The Chinese aren't facing an existential threat. We are. I'd go into a whole "shame on you" routine, which would be more than justified, but I don't know if Steve would let it pass through so I'll leave it at that.

Svigor said...

Yeah, it was Jefferson's nephew, not cousin. Sorry, his "imaginary" nephew, whatever tf that means.

Svigor said...

Oh, and for the record, I'D BE DELIGHTED if China, Japan, India, or whomever brought us into the next era and propagated throughout the world a raft of innovation equivalent to that which came from Europe previously. D-E-L-I-G-H-T-E-D.

But until they do, don't you think it's a good idea to be conservative? Hint: conservative here does not mean filling the golden-goose house with chickens, turkeys, ostriches, assuming golden-goose and chicken/turkey/ostrich interchangeability, etc.

All this in addition to the right of every people to not have their civilizations destroyed and themselves race-replaced out of existence (or at least, the right to resist these things).

Lucille said...

I read somewhere that TJ wrote in a letter that, unlike himself, his "simple" cousin (I think it was his cousin) liked to cavort with the slaves into the wee hours of the morning, playing his fiddle and dancing.

Interesting, but "I read somewhere" doesn't mean much. If you can give information about this letter, starting with what it says and where it was authenticated as being TJ's writing, it might mean something.

But even if Jefferson did write such a letter, it wouldn't go far. First of all, "playing the fiddle and dancing" doesn't exact equate to fathering children, although the vaguer term "cavorting" might mean such. Secondly, where was this cousin "cavort[ing] with slaves?" It might be Monticello, true, but it might just as easily be some other plantation.

Lastly, there's circumstantial evidence above and beyond the relatively recent DNA testing (which, obviously, did not form the basis for the original rumors), behind the claims that he fathered children with Sally Hemings, including the fact that Jefferson freed her children in his will.

A group has (up to a limit) a right to be called what it wants to be called - a right that ends when the term it insists upon is inaccurate (historically or otherwise), confusing, or just a plain damn mouthful.

Is the term "Chinese" "inaccurate, confusing, or ... a mouthful?"

Svigor said...

Hey, I thought my Chinaman/African American thing was pretty good. Anyone going to take a crack at it?

(Truth, why am I doing your job here?)

Svigor said...

Lucille:

Google

Lucille said...

(I do think that Jefferson fathered children with her, but I've not looked into the matter very deeply and I can be convinced otherwise.)

Svigor said...

[T]here's circumstantial evidence [...] behind the claims that he fathered children with Sally Hemings, including the fact that Jefferson freed her children in his will.

Keep going with the circumstantial evidence (genuinely interested here); Jefferson could just have easily freed Hemings' children because his nephew fathered them.

Besides, wasn't Jefferson convinced that blacks would be emancipated, and didn't he have rather mixed thoughts about the institution?

Truth said...

Hey, multicolored-graph guy:

The URL is too short. Why is it that you can formulate an interactive table making a erudite comparison of the relative merits of the races of man, but you can't create a hyperlink?

Truth said...

"(Truth, why am I doing your job here?)"

you know great minds think alike buddy.

"and didn't he have rather mixed thoughts about the institution?"

I'm pretty sure OJ had mixed thoughts too; before and after...sticking with the circumstantial evidence theme here.

Epicurean said...

I think that the answer is that they're born conformists. High IQ seems like only one of several prerequisites for scientific progress to happen.

I tend to agree.

In most respects, Asian societies are extremely conformist. OTOH, they are also more tolerant of high IQ and neuroatypicality, and lack Western nerd-bashing. Asians also have the idea of "place". Everyone, no matter how humble, has a place in society, and one's place is a source of pride. Thus Asia has avoided the dog-eat-dog competitive conformity of the modern West, which is a bad thing as well as a good. Little upward mobility, for one.

Smart East Asians seem to be missing the rebel factor, which is kind of necessary if you're going to try anything truly new. They do get something for their high IQ though: exceptionally orderly, peaceful societies.

I'm not sure if this has anything to do with conscious rebellion. Western society is such that ultra-smart people are forced to be rebels, and be labelled as pathological (sociopathic, schizoid, autistic, Aspergers, hyperactive, ADHD, ODD, etc.)

Asian societies typically ignore the eccentricities of the high IQers, rather than subtly persecuting them for it as in the West. Much of this persecution is a post-1945 thing. Some of it is not. A typical vulgar interpretation of "witches, wizards, and necromancers" is anyone with an IQ over 120.

Asia's consistent and respectful treatment of its smarties had backfired on itself. The Chinese civil service and mandarin justice system has ended up being a gilded cage for high-IQ citizens. Possibly, it was to create an artificial high-IQ elite to foster an ordered society, and prevent big-man warlordism. No Theory of Relativity, but no witch-burnings either.

The Greek philosophers gave us things like syllogistic reasoning while East Asian philosophers gave us things like Zen Buddhism.

Quite true.

The Greeks gave us axiomatic mathematics. The East Asians gave us Japanese Temple Problems. Some of these problems are highly clever in their origin and solution, but with no axiomatic approach to geometry, Westerners have discovered that the Japanese sometimes accepted solutions that were incorrect.

It seems that the East, while treating its intellectual exercises seriously, left them at the level of puzzles. It was the West that developed a theoretical framework, not just for geometry, but for pretty much everything. Peer review, standing on the shoulders of giants, not reinventing the wheel...

Lucille said...

Thank you. I'll take a look at those links.

Marc B said...

Something left out far too often from these discussions is temperament, because it is more difficult to quantify than intellect. I submit the reason China lags behind the Europe and the US in terms of wealth and quality of life is based on their collective temperament, not their brain power.

Since temperament is much more closely linked to biology than even IQ, I would posit that this "hivemind" is the reason they have been able to accept decades of Communism from the same government that purged a number estimated as high as 125 Million of their own stock without an outright rebellion.

While the continental Asians may be incredibly bright, they seem to lack much of the dynamism, creativity, and individualism of the Western Europeans, and even the Japanese.

This leads me to concur that the major stumbling block to success in an otherwise stable and free society for blacks is an issue of impulse control rather than intellect. It doesn't take an extremely bright person to discover a wealth creating activity (or even one needed for basic survival) and repeat that activity over and over again. But it does take a particular level of discipline to show up for work on a regular basis, and this sort of basic drudgery typical of the developed world might be much more difficult for blacks in significantly higher numbers than it is for other races to endure.

Anonymous said...

Re Jefferson, the rumors about Hemings were started by hack "journalist" James Callender, who was disappointed in what his services to the Republican faction had yielded him. He said J and H had children (in the plural); this contention is wholly false, as all but one of Heming's children has been conclusively shown not to be the offspring of any male Jefferson. The remaining child was fathered by some male Jefferson, but TJ, then in his sixties, is no likelier (and probably less so) than many of his male relatives, especially his nephew. Supposedly at least a dozen male Jeffersons lived within a day's travel of Monticello.

MacSweeney said...

While the continental Asians may be incredibly bright, they seem to lack much of the dynamism, creativity, and individualism of the Western Europeans, and even the Japanese.

Anybody who seriously studies Japanese history knows how massively important Chinese creativity was in bringing them new technology and developing every aspect of their society pre 1800s, including their writing system (leftovers of this are still evident today, in the form of Japanese kanji, which are literally Chinese characters).

Compare:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Chinese_inventions

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Japanese_inventions

Again, not trying to bash Japanese here, just irked at yet more China bashing.

Anonymous said...

"all but one of Heming's children has been conclusively shown not to be the offspring of any male Jefferson"

Not so. It is entirely possible that Jefferson fathered all of them, but that in each of the other cases there was a "paternity malfunction" later on down the line. :-) In fact, doesn't this pretty much have to be the offical line for anyone who believes that all of the children were Jefferson's?

Sideways said...

For Jody: the only appropriate thing here is to quote a really stupid movie

what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Ignoring culture is insanely stupid. Ignoring history is insanely stupid. The only way you can make your beliefs even slightly sensible is ignoring everything but the lives Chinese peasants live 30 years after a communist disaster.

Anonymous said...

The rise of China is coming, and possibly India if they manage to feed their malnourished children,which is at 45%, and pass the Brahman culture to the rest of country. What does the rise of the east entail. Probably nothing all that scary as they too are becoming Anglo-like societies, for better or worse. They will have increasing individualism and want of money. So what's to fear. Jobs. As their wages rise our jobs become more secure. So Godspeed Asia.

Anonymous said...

"So Godspeed Asia."

I'm sure you are right about Asia -- what terrifies me is sub-Saharan Africa! I am afraid they will not develop, ever. They will not stop multiplying, ever. Most of the rest of the world will turn into reasonably civilized and Westernized societies with low birthrates, while hundreds of millions of Africans continuously pour out of a continent that cannot govern itself, and is kept alive only by the charity of the rest of the world.

Maybe some world changing technology will end up saving us. But if not, how long before non-Africans are a shrinking minority worldwide?

Svigor said...

The URL is too short. Why is it that you can formulate an interactive table making a erudite comparison of the relative merits of the races of man, but you can't create a hyperlink?

Double-click it, genius. At least, that's my guess (haven't checked it myself).

Gene Berman said...

Anonymous:

One of Sally Hemmings' children was fathered by someone with DNA from the Jeffersons but that, by itself doesn't make it Tom. Nor is there any other particular evidence for that being the case (there were a number of jeffersons around at the crucial times). Sally spent years in France with him (and without his wife) and came back with several children, but none of those were from him.

Gene Berman said...

Capt.Jack:

The "advantage" enjoyed by whites, I would hasten to add, is of inestimably greater benefit to many others than to those whites themselves. Not quite the same but in the same sort of general way that the free market is of exraordinary benefit, not just to those making vast fortunes in one or another way, but, as well, to virtually everyone else.

Folks are apt to get a better idea of such relationships in the not-that-far-distant future, when they're without them.

Han said...

Some people on these websites claim HBD research will set us free. Prove that White Americans not responsible for the suffering of Blacks.

If anything furious pundits and bloggers will twist HBD to attack Whites. Collier is willing to accept the Oriental advantage. How much smarter does he actually think they are? I've seen bloggers attempt to smear Whites by claiming Orientals and Arabs have IQs of 115. Or that Indians have IQs of 135!

No, if "respectable" academics like Collier ever come to accept HBD it will only be because they have found a way to twist it so Whites are portrayed negatively.

Stan said...

"Not quite the same but in the same sort of general way that the free market is of exraordinary benefit, not just to those making vast fortunes in one or another way, but, as well, to virtually everyone else."

Ah yes, the wonder of the free market which has caused the middle class to sell their future to moneylenders to maintain a middle class lifestyle. A free market in which corporate bastards ship middle class jobs overseas to add to their fat salaries.

Anonymous said...

This leads me to concur that the major stumbling block to success in an otherwise stable and free society for blacks is an issue of impulse control rather than intellect.

That's a keen insight. I'm a horrible, callous person for thinking this, but I've long believed that AIDs is a great disease for weeding out the more impulsive types that keep Africa miserable and poor.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Two points.

1) You people who think that the Japanese didn't make any contributions to 20th century culture have obviously never heard of Kiyoshi Oka, Kenkichi Iwasawa, Yutaka Taniyama, or Goro Shimura.

2) You people who think that China is going to be some sort of a 21st-Century superpower obviously don't know anything about demographics.

Ever heard of this thing called the "1-Child Policy"?

For the last thirty years, the Chinese have had a systematic, society-wide, officially-sanctioned, government-enforced practice of murdering their own progeny.

[And that comes on top of previous government programs under Mao which murdered well over 100 million of their best & brightest.]

Until the Chinese can break free from the grip of nihilism, they are going nowhere but straight into extinction.

MacSweeney said...

1) You people who think that the Japanese didn't make any contributions to 20th century culture have obviously never heard of Kiyoshi Oka, Kenkichi Iwasawa, Yutaka Taniyama, or Goro Shimura.


Agreed. A lot more people I can think of too.

2) You people who think that China is going to be some sort of a 21st-Century superpower obviously don't know anything about demographics.

Ever heard of this thing called the "1-Child Policy"?

For the last thirty years, the Chinese have had a systematic, society-wide, officially-sanctioned, government-enforced practice of murdering their own progeny.

[And that comes on top of previous government programs under Mao which murdered well over 100 million of their best & brightest.]

Until the Chinese can break free from the grip of nihilism, they are going nowhere but straight into extinction.


First of all, the whole reason they made the One Child Policy in the first place is because China is overpopulated. It would benefit from a reduction in population, easing the strain on infrastructure, increasing quality of life and per capita productivity. They can repeal this policy at any time as necessary. We already know that there is a correlation between high wealth and low birth rate, so they won't need it anymore once the country becomes sufficiently developed. Italians having no kids is one thing, but China is a whole different story. It's going to take a REAL long time for low birth rate to wipe out 1.3 billion people.

If you're implying that the Cultural Revolution has harmed the gene pool itself because of the murder (and emigration) of intellectuals, maybe a little bit. However, this may have been offset somewhat by the people smart enough to avoid starving to death during the Great Leap Forward. That's pure speculation on my part though. Also, one generation isn't enough to make a significant difference. Maybe if we had 200 years of the Cultural Revolution we would start seeing some serious damage. However, the damage that it caused to the country's PRESENT scientific efforts is definitely real and massive. Former Paramount Leader Deng Xiaoping himself said that the Cultural Revolution produced "An entire generation of mental cripples" since the kids were too busy beating people up and destroying temples instead of going to school.

Ronduck said...

Lucius Vorenus said...

For the last thirty years, the Chinese have had a systematic, society-wide, officially-sanctioned, government-enforced practice of murdering their own progeny.

You seem to have not heard of Roe v Wade. America has an incredibly high abortion rate, possibly higher than China.

Anonymous said...

"Is the term "Chinese" "inaccurate, confusing, or ... a mouthful?"

No. "Chinese" is not difficult, like "French" is not difficult, nor "English." The adj. works fine.
ex.:
Chinese food, French wine, English gin

The problem comes when we need a noun.
A Frenchman drank wine.
An Englishman drank gin.

but...
A "Chinese" ate food? Not grammatically correct.

Or a "Chineseman" ate food? Awkward.

Or a Chinese person ate food? Just a plain, damn mouthful.