December 13, 2010

Does polygamy raise or lower IQ?

I don't have a definitive answer to that old evolutionary theory question, but I wanted to cite this one bit of data from that Iraqi terrorist who evidently tripped and blew himself up in Sweden:
In a recent profile he placed on an Islamic dating Web site, Muslima.com, the younger Mr. Abdaly appears as a tall, stern-looking, neatly dressed man standing in front of a white curtain, his dark hair cropped short, with a trimmed black beard.

“I am married since 2004,” he said on his dating profile, according to a translation of the original Arabic. He described himself as “very religious” and said that he had two daughters, aged three and one. “I want to get married again,” he said, “and would like to have a BIG family. My wife agreed to this."

58 comments:

Black Sea said...

Which seems most likely, that this guy's wife will be:

a. investigated and charged with something, anything.

b. deported to Iraq or anyplace else.

c. receiving state aid for quite some time.

sabril said...

It seems to me that you cannot consider the effects of polygamy in isolation. Clearly the effect of polygamy on IQ will depend on the nature of the society. For example, in a society where IQ is prized, polygamy would surely increase IQ.

Similarly, one can expect that the practice of polygamy will have an effect on society. Which will in turn have an effect on what qualities are valuable for getting ahead.

Matt Parrott said...

Can't this be settled by establishing a "polygyny quotient" for populations from a ratio of their male haplogroup diversity and female haplogroup diversity?

Sylvia said...

Aren't Mormons supposed to be very smart?

And of course, I mean 'smart' as defined by some sad IQ fetishists around here, not in the true meaning of the term.

Mudpuppy said...

I would guess that polygamy just accelerates the spread of alleles that help males to attain mating dominance. In a society in which intelligence is necessary to achieve the status position allowing for multiple wives, polygamy could improve population IQ. Otherwise not.

Anonymous said...

Well, according to classic evolutionary theory, reproductive success is a direct function of wordly success, and in today's world (and possibly in previous centuries), worldly success is highly correlated with IQ.If we agree that IQ is largely hereditary we can say that free-market polygamy can be considered a eugenic reproductive strategty.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Yeah, and the question that leaps to mind for me is, what was the shutter speed of the camera he used for his profile pic? It came out really great!

Just kidding. What I actually want to know is Why. The. F***. Anybody, anywhere, decided it's a good idea to open the West's doors so people from wildly disparate, even antithetical cultures can come in?

And of course, of course, there's the obligatory now-now-let's-not-jump-to-conclusions crap:

Mr. Reinfeldt, who leads a center-right coalition government, said the police were “treating this as a terrorist action,” but he appealed to Swedes not to jump to “the wrong conclusions” or allow preliminary reports about the explosions to stir fresh tensions over Sweden’s growing immigrant population, which includes about 450,000 Muslims. Sweden’s “openness is worth giving ourselves the time to get to the bottom of this,” he said.

Get to the bottom of WHAT?

RandyB said...

How do we know his wife didn't see it, and that's why he blew himself up?

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

A lot of the early Mormon leadership were polygamists, of course, and they produced a fair number of smart, successful descendants.

Look at Africa, Arabia, and Islam, however, and one can only guess that polygamy may select for things like ambition, testosterone, violence, and the like, but it most certainly does not seem to select for intelligence.

Perhaps polygamy is shaped by society rather than shaping it. Perhaps it selects for intelligence under some circumstances but not others. In lands where the rule of law exists, polygamy would select for intelligence, because those most capable of supporting multiple wives would be ambitious and smart. In lands where rule of law is not well established, it would be entirely different kind of men who'd be able to do so.

Europe's IQ hasn't seemed to suffer much from the lack of polygamy.

Chicago said...

It must have that effect seeing as how his IQ dropped to zero very quickly. Perhaps he was frustrated by the lack of response to his generous offer of taking a second wife. Such a deal, how could any woman pass that one up?

Anonymous said...

The guy was apparently "radacilized" at a university in London, so don't take this story at face value; there is very little I would put past the British elite.

Anonymous said...

Polygamy is still unusual in the Mid East.

Anonymous said...

My guess would be that in the short term, polygamy briefly causes IQ to rise [as the high-IQ dudes spread their seed], but that, within a few generations, the [necessarily*] resultant inbreeding has a disastrous effect on the gene pool.


*You can't "decrease" the size of the male contribution to the gene pool by a factor of four [as you would in Muslim countries, where Islam allows for four wives at a time] without a concomitant "decrease" in genetic variability [i.e. an "increase" in genetic homogeneity] by a factor of four.

Anonymous said...

Half Sigma,
It seems to me that high IQ groups are the product of eugenic breeding.

It should be clear that over the past thousand years Ashkenazi had eugenic breeding. And it should further be clear that they achieved this through monagomy.

Ashkenazi villages generally made sure that the highest IQ young men were given the support needed to have ten or more children. The village would essentially test the IQ of even the poorest boys and if their IQ was high enough they would be supported by the community in having ten or more children.

Meanwhile, young men in the Ashkenazi villages who had low IQ were encouraged to not have any children at all. In some cases, the village sent the low IQ young men in to the Czar's army and in that way removed low IQ young men from the gene pool.

If you have a village in which the high IQ young men have very large numbers of children and the low IQ young men have no children, you get a pretty powerful eugenic effect.

The above facts are pretty well known, but I am posting this in order to hear from the historians on this board how powerful these effects were. How consistent were ashkenazi in pushing for high IQ young men to have very large numbers of kids? How consistent were askhenazi in pushing for low IQ young men to have no kids?

What was the impact of the father's wealth. If the wealthiest man in town had a super low IQ son, would the wealthy man encourage his son to have no kids, in order to preserve the town's gene pool, or would he encourage the son to have kids anyway?

Clearly the IQ created by Ashkenazi eugenics is extraordinary. I admire this IQ very much. I would like to better understand the mechanics behind the eugenic programs that produced it.

Anonymous said...

Steve, It seems to me that understanding of HBD gives us the power to relatively quickly create a super high IQ society. Assume that we as American citizens want what is best for our country. Our loyalty to the group (America) is greater than our loyalty to our own selfish genes.

Simply have every man in the USA tested for IQ. Give every man not in the top 1% a vasectomy. All men in the USA will of course continue to marry and continue on as before, but only 1% will have the ability to father the next generation.

Collect sperm from the top 1% and use it to impregnate all the females that want to be mothers.

The next generation of children will be fathered 100% by the top 1% of men.

repeat the process in the next generation so that only the top 1% of men reproduce.

Repeat it over and over again.

After three or four generations the USA will have by far the highest IQ in the world.

Men who are denied access to females and / or denied access to wives can get frustrated and violent. But through the above system, all men get the same access to females / wives that they have now, only the genetics of each generation are improved.

So in the past polygamy has NOT led to a higher IQ. But in the future deliberately eugenic breeding can indeed do so

P Coderch said...

Polygany would raise IQ in societies where men of high intelligence reach the pinnacle of the social ladder. This is simple deductive logic. Contrary to what many believe, the increase of intelligence of Eurasians might not have resulted from men being selected for provisioning rather thann mating, but rather from more intelligent heads of tribes during the late Paleolithic being able to ensure survival of their tribes better than less intelligent leaders of tribes. These men would get to pass on their genes, conquer the enemy tribes of less intelligent leaders, mate with their women as well, etc.

The provisioning theory, that Eurasians got to be more intelligent than tropical populations because the need for survival precludes men from engaging in sexual competition and allows men who don't excel at sexual competition to pass on their genes because they might posses other skills that might be necessary for allowing women to survive and ensure the passign of their genes, is an attractive theory but is flawed. It is flawed because the alpha male system works in every civilization and society that has ever been observed. I suggest that there were selection pressures in Eurasian populations for high intelligence both natural and sexual. Intelligence allows men to better plan for the winter and observe his environment which makes him a better provider, and men who had these skills but who were unsexy got to pass on their genes. Their descendants today would be the scientists, theoreticians and scholars. Conversely, intelligence is a sexually slected trait in Eurasian populations. Why? Because sexual competition is about acquiring dominance over the Society, and a highly organized and complex society that is necessary for the successful survival of children in harsh environments demands a high intelligence to be understood and controlled. Ergo, in Eurasian population intelligence is an alpha male trait because succesful sexual competition for social dominance and hence mating rights between men requires the men to understand the environment he is trying to control(Society) just like the provider tries to understand the natural environment and how things work. So Eurasian societies slected for highly manipulative and cunning men capable of understanding complex social interactions and games. In an African tribe a man might intimidate other men and win mating rights with nothing but the size of his muscles and with verbal pu-downs to intimidate rivals, but in provisioning, highly complex societies an alpha needs high intelligence. The descendants of these men would be the salesmen, politicians and corporate raiders. As you can see, in the case of Eurasian populations, both natural and sexual slections worked harmoniously to increase selection pressure for intelligence. Men who are providers are selected for to understand a complex environment where survival is hard, and these men thus create a highly organized and complex Society, which in itself selects for intelligence for men trying to gain control over such Society. In both cases, intelligence is selected for both monogamously and polyganimously. Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

What'd be the IQ difference between a polygamous society and one in which married rich men have a mistress or two on the side?

Whiskey said...

Intelligence (I can't believe the flaw in the reasoning here by most commenters) is not the same as power-patronage.

Idi Amin was a successful power-patronage leader. He was highly polygamous, as was the Saudi King founder, his successors, and Charles Taylor. None of these men have the type of intelligence that produces widespread wealth.

European society really took off around 1000 AD after the Dark Ages as resources spread around. And it was not a "eugenic" type breeding, but rather self-reinforcing. While the highest IQ guys in China ended up as Eunuchs to the Emperors, the higher and wider genetic diversity inside Europe was given expression by individuals being able to better their own way by being better/cannier traders and financiers, with new innovations (letters of credit, international banking), not to mention better textile, gun-making, compasses, watches, chronometers, and everything and anything else that could be made better, cheaper, quicker, and more profitably than that of the next guy.

That process was not top-down (a fallacy that most here figure is required for society). IT WAS BOTTOM UP. No one "selected" Gutenberg and the other pioneer printers (Aldus, Caxton, etc.) ala the Chinese model. Instead massive ground-level competition produced the most winning groups, and lots and lots open-ness to CHANGE allowed European society to incorporate constant CHURNING technological change from the bottom up. Which was far more effective in producing wealth and comparative advantage.

This required monogamy and a relatively flat hierarchy compared to say, polygamous China, the ME, much of Asia, and Africa. Because it produces organic, Darwinistic competition and random mutations that enhance wealth creation and IQ. Particularly that related to technology.

Ken said...

Polygamy and welfare dependency: dysgenic
Polygamy and high status males: eugenic

FF said...

Interesting the different dynamics pertaining to a Muslim dating site.

Is a Muslim woman who is looking for a husband more likely to be attracted to an already married man with children, or a single 'umproven' man?

Out of all the religions does Islam intrinsically understand human nature best?

In this case the oft mentioned propensity of women to covet what other women have....in terms of partners.
By the wording of his ad the man is signalling that there are advantages in being number two wife.
As a consumer in today's western society where Muslim fertility is greatly subsidised by the taxpayer, it is enough for him to say that he can support a wife and two children (at least the state is manipulated in doing so) and probably more, without giving any indication of his profession, which might imply his IQ.

Baloo said...

When did Ashkenazi stop being polygamists?

Anonymous said...

"Clearly the IQ created by Ashkenazi eugenics is extraordinary. I admire this IQ very much. I would like to better understand the mechanics behind the eugenic programs that produced it."

Yes, this is an interesting subject. A lot of people seem to just take it for granted that Jews have high-IQ genes by virtue of being God's chosen people or something, but a scientific explanation would be much more rational. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that such an explanation would just demonstrate much of what we already know, and the practices that contributed to this phenomenon would be considered horrific in modern times.

Anonymous said...

Just imagining a society in which there are the equivalent of tall, strong football/basketball players with an average IQ of maybe 90, and skinny/pudgy guys with an average IQ of maybe 110... I don't see the higher-IQ guys getting the wives.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure anyone wants a world of all chiefs and no Indians; just a world where the indians don't set fire to your car.

K(yle) said...

I'd say in theory polygamy is more naturally eugenic than monogamy. However I think that the effect is vastly diluted in the highly illiberal societies that practice polygamy.

Most women involved in polygamous marriages in these cultures aren't going to be actually choosing their mates. Most polygamists tend to be steeped in their native culture and religion which usually also means arranged marriages. So no men are not necessarily being selected for based on their appeal to females (including intelligence), as they usually aren't being selected by females at all.

These societies are also highly stratified, so having the economic sway to draw in four wives is increasingly based on the fitness of the man's ancestors. Even the Shieks stupid sons will have four wives, and I have little doubt that many of these wives will themselves not be selected based on their intellect regardless of arranged marriages.

So a society that practices polygamy, is complex and capitalistic, and is liberal enough to allow men and women to draw in their own mates will experience eugenic effects. Although this cut-throat crucible doesn't sound particularly fun to live in.

Eric said...

In a society in which intelligence is necessary to achieve the status position allowing for multiple wives, polygamy could improve population IQ. Otherwise not.

This. If the criteria for breeding involved gladiatorial combat you'd get more big and strong people.

I might add, too, that in the US we have polygamy, too, it just happens serially and only the very wealthy can afford more than two.

SFG said...

"It is flawed because the alpha male system works in every civilization and society that has ever been observed."

Christianity and the resulting monogamy evens things up quite a bit. If one of the side effects of Christianity is allowing nerds to get laid, one might consider it as one of the big evolutionary advantages of Christianity in terms of...providing a competitive society! Yeah, that's it.

And, yeah, the Mormons seem to do pretty well for themselves.

Anonymous said...

After three or four generations the USA will have by far the highest IQ in the world.

You need to read up on what happened to the Asgard when they messed with that shizzle [cf. e.g. this].

Anonymous said...

Lee Kawn Yu certainly believe thsa, in China at least, polygamy led to an increased IQ.

europeasant said...

High IQ is nice but without high testosterone levels it ain't shit! You gotta get out there and grab those females and make your future. If you don't have that aggresivness then I suggest you start using alcohol or drugs to break down your passivity. God created alcohol for people like you so that you future progeny can make it into the generation.
You high IQ dip shits have to wake up. Demographics is ultimately what will determine a nations success. Get the "F***" out your parents basements and hook up with some females, for God's sakes.

Not a feminist said...

One of the problems with polygamous societies is that a harem does not employ the same selection criteria on women as a monogamous society does. Raising children, especially in harsh environments is not easy. Running the domestic side of a farm is not easy either. In a monogamous society, the woman's intelligence is directly related to the survival and thrival of her children. A woman who could not figure out how to raise kids and do her part to provide for them, would lose them. It wasn't all about the man providing the bacon. But in a harem, you have a more communistic environment where the dumbest and fastest breeding benefit from the work and wisdom of the smartest. Also, I think that the woman's contribution in a haring is less significant than in the average monogamous household.

Anonymous said...

"Simply have every man in the USA tested for IQ. Give every man not in the top 1% a vasectomy. All men in the USA will of course continue to marry and continue on as before, but only 1% will have the ability to father the next generation."

Wait, does this mean men in the top 1% will be allowed to impregnate their own wives? What if they are married to hot looking simpletons?

I agree that IQ isn't the only important human trait. Some of the smartest people I know have the worst taste in music and art; they are also some of the ugliest son-of-a-bitches I've ever seen, and a lot of them have emotional problems.

The most agreeable people I know are somewhere in the middle of the Bell curve. How about just sterilizing the bottom 15%, male and female, and letting the mean creep up gradually to say 103, then throttle down the percentage you sterilize until the average stays constant at about 105.

Whiskey said...

Ashkenazi Jews seem to have had high IQ selected for even more as Northern Europeans underwent the same selection. The effect accelerating over time. Monogamy was likely part of it, and Biblical and other evidence suggests that monogamy came into being around the time of the Hellenistic Conquest of the Near East. Along with many other "Jewish" things that are really, Hellenistic Greek (particularly the humanism in the New Testament). Christianity being merely a Hellenistic Greek Jewish heresy.

Regardless, neither Josephus or any other Roman writer found the Jews "smart" in the way that say, the Parthians, or Persians, or Carthaginians, or even some Numidian or Gallic or Germanic leaders were thought smart. That seemed to come into play only later, around say 1200 or so.

Anonymous said...

Re: Mormons

Guys, I very much doubt that the Mormons practised polygamy long enough to have a significant eugenic effect. Also, consider that Mormonism is a missionary religion, so I that modern Mormons on the whole do not descend from 19th-century polygamist Mormons.

If want my opinion, I think the LDS is fairly successful at keeping people from the middle and the left side of bell curve on the straight and narrow, and this accounts for a lot Mormon success. I'm using "bell curve" as shorthand for intelligence + self-discipline + other success traits.

Cennbeorc

Big Bill said...

Baloo: "When did Ashkenazi stop being polygamists?"

check this website out.

Polygamy is not against Jewish law, it is just ill advised. Sephardim can have several. It's just that they don't want so many. Would you?

Anonymous said...

Was the guy who was lured by the FBI into the failed false flag bombing in Portland a few weeks ago also a polygynist? That guy obviously wasn't too bright.

Also, interesting how this "real" terrorist attack has taken the attention off that bungled false flag. Coincidence, I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

"And of course, I mean 'smart' as defined by some sad IQ fetishists around here, not in the true meaning of the term."

So IQ does not measure 'smarts'? Please elaborate, although I doubt you can.

corvinus said...

This should be obvious.

Polygamy lowers IQ.

It does so by increasing inbreeding in the succeeding generations, who would after all descend from only a few men. In a monogamous society, the next generation would descend from a wide selection of men, and be healthier genetically.

IMHO, it's no surprise that the parts of the world with high levels of polygamy also have the lowest IQ.

Jonathan said...

Cennbeorc said:Also, consider that Mormonism is a missionary religion, so I that modern Mormons on the whole do not descend from 19th-century polygamist Mormons.

But most Utah mormons do have polygamist ancestors and this caste of mormons seems very endogamous. A dsiproportianate size of these mormons are highly sucessful in powerful positions in America, especially in business.

Anonymous said...

Northeast Asia was polygamous until the 20th century. In fact, I believe most non-European-descended societies were polygamous until the modern era.

Anonymous said...

"Polygamy lowers IQ.

It does so by increasing inbreeding in the succeeding generations, who would after all descend from only a few men."

Good answer. But what about ghetto polygamy, where a large number of men each father large numbers of children on a large number of women. I contend that would have a similar effect, increasing the frequency of close relatives procreating in successive generations.

Of course, it's important to make a distinction between Mexican and black ghetto polygamy. Compared to Mexicans who tend to chase low wage employment opportunities from state to state, blacks tend to be geographically static (unless a hurricane drives them out) forming hard luck settlements in places where jobs and industry have long ago been driven away by some combination of globalism and unreasonable wage demands (Detroit, Oakland, Richmond, Newark, East St Louis, South Side of Chicago, etc) . It would be interesting to the study historic trends for certain birth defects linked to inbreeding in these black settlements. I surmise birth defect rates are tightly correlated with the post 1950's rise in the percentage of births to unmarried females.

Mexican ghetto polygamy has more to do with random mixtures of families and unattached men and women living under one roof. When the lights are out, any female over the age of eight is fair game.

Skeptical said...

Ashkenazi villages generally made sure that the highest IQ young men were given the support needed to have ten or more children. The village would essentially test the IQ of even the poorest boys and if their IQ was high enough they would be supported by the community in having ten or more children.

Meanwhile, young men in the Ashkenazi villages who had low IQ were encouraged to not have any children at all. In some cases, the village sent the low IQ young men in to the Czar's army and in that way removed low IQ young men from the gene pool.

If you have a village in which the high IQ young men have very large numbers of children and the low IQ young men have no children, you get a pretty powerful eugenic effect.

If you have a village in which the high IQ young men have very large numbers of children and the low IQ young men have no children, you get a pretty powerful eugenic effect.

The above facts are pretty well known


I've never seen this documented anywhere. It seems a romantic and unlikely old wives tale like those in Fiddler on the Roof.

The truth was probably the common story of the smart fraction outmaneuvering their fellow competitors, coethnic or not.

Do you have any historical proof of this?

Wandrin said...

"Simply have every man in the USA tested for IQ...but only 1% will have the ability to father the next generation."

Apart from the inbreeding effect if 99% of the males were looking after children that weren't genetically there's then there would be a very dramatic negative effect on society as a whole.

"The most agreeable people I know are somewhere in the middle of the Bell curve."

Agree. Good health is equally important also.

Well Duh said...

Of course polygamy can raise IQ just as it can enhance any genetically-related trait.

That's how mankind shaped the evolution of life like boarder collies, draft horses and corn from ancestors that had little in common.

Ashkenazi and Gentile populations have had opposite selective effects for IQ. Over the past 2,000 years Gentile culture has generally been an anti-intellectual warrior culture compared to Ashkenazi who have more frequently been traders, money lenders and bureaucrats.

An intelligent Gentile would often be ostracized from his own society and more likely than average to end up celibate in the Church or simply childless. Even today, high-IQ Gentiles disproportionally end up childless or married to a high-IQ NE Asian or Ashkenazim with kids who are less likely to identify as European white.

Ashkenazim have noticeable non-Jewish blood compared to their original Sephardic or non-Jewish Semitic brothers (who both have unexceptional IQs). One can reasonable assume those non-Jewish genes were highly selected for positive traits like IQ given Ashkenazim values and the roles they played in alien societies.

On the other hand, the less exceptionally gifted Ashkenazim who mixed with the Gentiles would find more acceptance in a Christian identity.

This selective group membership shaped by dominate cultural values related to high-IQ also explains why Unitarians have the highest IQ of any religious group (including Jewish).

WJ said...

But most Utah mormons do have polygamist ancestors and this caste of mormons seems very endogamous. A dsiproportianate size of these mormons are highly sucessful in powerful positions in America, especially in business.

I don't know that Mormons are disproportionately prominent in business, etc. Mormons are about 2% of the American population, and they don't seem to do much better than that. I saw SAT scores broken out by religion a few years ago and white Mormons did only slightly better than the white average.

I do agree that the Mormons descended from the early converts - and therefore most likely to have had polygamist ancestors - are, on average, the smartest. This I think is mostly due to the fact that as time has gone on most of the claims of the Book of Mormon have been seriously challenged if not outright debunked. A reasonably smart person in the 1800s might have believed such claims, especially if he was smart but uneducated, as so many people were.

Nowadays, especially in the internet era, few people are fooled. Potential converts even 20 years ago had to go to the library to dig for information on the claims of the Mormon Church. Nowadays they just Google it. The result is that a very large share of new converts in the US are Hispanic. I'd wager that at least 1 in 3 US-destined misisonaries are now called to Spanish-speaking missions.

DanJ said...

Polygamy can not raise IQ´s because it is an idiotic concept and does not appeal to smart people. Easy as that!

Anonymous said...

Whiskey: Christianity being merely a Hellenistic Greek Jewish heresy.

Which sounds exactly like the kind of chatter we get around the table every year at our Scots-Irish Christmas dinner:

"Hey Mom, can I have a little Testimonium with my eggnog? Thanks!"

Eric said...

A dsiproportianate size of these mormons are highly sucessful in powerful positions in America, especially in business.

Is that because they're more intelligent, or is that because they don't drink and they have a lot of mouths to feed?

Anonymous said...

While the highest IQ guys in China ended up as Eunuchs to the Emperors

This is possibly dumber than the people who think the Imperial Exams created selection pressure.

As the "eugenics" of the Ashekenazi, I see no plausibility to the idea that community internal processes had any importance.

...

I agree with what I believe Sabril says however as to the social dynamics being more important, which is to say that polygamy may be eugenic as it relates to intelligence in situations where having very high IQ allows one to support a large number of brides, while not having a high IQ does not.

In situations such as

- the African situation where the men's IQ was effectively irrelevant or extremely relaxed and there was little if any relative selection for intelligence amongst them compared to Eurasia or even likely the Americas (selection for intelligence on the women being likely to be stronger)

or

-the situation of the Eurasian lords where ability and willingness to inflict violence rather than intelligence were substantially important in lead to the financial position necessary to be a polygamist

there was unlikely to be any or any strong eugenic effect on intelligence.

Having said this, all things being equal I would say that I would expect a trend polygamy being generally worse than simply having equivalent numbers of children with a single woman, since I would expect mating effort with multiple women to disadvantage intelligence, all things being equal.

Of course, the term eugenics merely depends on what you want out of it (what is "good" breeding and good traits?), so if you admire the traits of the pre-modern Eurasian power elite or those selected for amongst African males, you may find it plausible that it is eugenic.

Anonymous said...

Polygamy should improve IQ in areas where polygamy isn't supported by a welfare state. Why? Because in these situations, only the most able providers can be polygamists*. (Practical ability is, of course, highly correlated with IQ). The least able individuals, of course, end up not propagating their genes. This may account in part for Northeast Asian IQ's being relatively high.

* The bride price (essentially the reverse of the dowry, which the bride's family had to provide to the groom's family), in which Northeast Asians had to essentially buy the bride from her family, ensures that the groom is someone of sufficient means or ability to support the bride.

corvinus said...

Polygamy should improve IQ in areas where polygamy isn't supported by a welfare state. Why? Because in these situations, only the most able providers can be polygamists.

You're assuming, of course, that the men in a polygamous society "provide" at all...

corvinus said...

But most Utah mormons do have polygamist ancestors and this caste of mormons seems very endogamous. A dsiproportianate size of these mormons are highly sucessful in powerful positions in America, especially in business.

Mormons have been monogamous since 1890. Before that time, they didn't really have a reputation for being highly civilized (Mountain Meadows Massacre, anyone?), and even for quite a while afterward, Mormons in Idaho were disenfranchised.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the question should be does polygamy along with inbreeding raise or lower IQ?

Anonymous said...

You're assuming, of course, that the men in a polygamous society "provide" at all...

I suggest you do some research into polygamous societies in non-welfare-state countries before assuming that women will attach themselves to indigent men.

Anonymous said...

The sterotype on college campuses is that Mormons are perhaps slightly smarter than other non-Jewish whites. But they are much harder working that anyone but the NE Asians.

Certainly everything I know about the religion indicates that it selcts for high conscientiousness, but not necssarily high IQ.

corvinus said...

I suggest you do some research into polygamous societies in non-welfare-state countries before assuming that women will attach themselves to indigent men.

1. Steve already did that research. He had up an article a while back about some old polygamist who was asked how he was able to support so many wives. His confused answer was that they supported him.

2. You're also assuming that women do the attaching. In addition, in Muslim countries, there's an added layer of inbreeding going on due to arranged/cousin marriages.

Wandrin said...

"Polygamy should improve IQ in areas where polygamy isn't supported by a welfare state."

Depends entirely on what traits make a man successful in any particular environment. If it's violence i'd say there was an optimal IQ level well below the maximum.

Also it's not successfully having lots of children it's successfully having children who have children. My experience is that high investment monogamous parenting is on average dramatically more efficient at achieving this outside of the welfare underclass.

Jonathan said...


Mormons In Business - CNN Report



This report suggest the success of mormons in business is entirely explained by culture. But the fact that these succesful people seems to be mostly old stock mormons might suggest heredity factors are also at play.