Reality, Politics And IQ

One of the stranger parts of fringe politics is the fetish by some who deny the accepted view of Ashkenazi intelligence. Long before empirical support for the claim was available, Americans assumed Jews did so well because they were smart and they worked hard, avoiding the vices that can lead to failure. For the last half century or so, psychometry has provided another primary cause. Ashkenazi Jews have, on average, a significantly higher intelligence than the rest of us.

There is a subculture within the anti-science subculture that denies this. Much like those who deny the reality of evolution, they spend their time picking nits at the claims by the HBD people with regards to Jews and intelligence. More often than not these are people who have only a superficial understanding of the material, but they are sure there are gaping holes in the Jews-are-smart argument. This post from a person calling himself Academic Agent is a good example of the genre.

The argument in that post is not original. Some versions of it have been kicking around for a long time among antisemites. For some reason, they cannot accept that their favorite enemy is winning because they are smart, among other things. Perhaps losing to a tiny minority of morons feels better for some reason. Here is a more sophisticated version of the same argument. Here is a much less sophisticated version of the same argument from Vox Day.

Putting aside the motivations for this line of reasoning for a second, the question at the core of it is what is the proof of Ashkenazi intelligence? The HBD people have been responding to these arguments against Jewish intelligence for a long time as well and it turns out that the answer comports with observation. Here is one that goes through the test data and here is an updated version from the same author. The person called Thuletide linked above has admitted his error here.

While the data supports the argument that Jews are the most intelligence ethnic group this leads to another question. What is the gap? This matters as the general claim is that Jewish success is primarily driven by a large IQ edge. Some have argued it is a full standard deviation, while others say it is closer to half that. Here is a post diving into that debate and the data supports the lower figures. Genetics is also pointing to a gap of roughly half a standard deviation.

None of this should lead one to believe that the only reason Ashkenazi Jews perform so much better than everyone else is intelligence. The fact is, IQ is roughly half of what determines life outcomes for people. Personality traits, culture and dumb luck all play a role in the success of a person. Naturally, this applies to groups of people. It is just that having all of the good behaviors is never enough. One has to have the right genetic stuff, so to speak, in order for the other stuff to make a difference.

If the parsimonious explanation for Jewish success is high intelligence, plus things like Jewish culture and clannishness, why are some antisemites determined to “debunk” the claim that Jews are smart? Again, if you think your enemy is a blockhead and your enemy is winning, it does not speak well of you. Logic says the antisemites should be embracing the Jewish IQ narrative, maybe even using it as a reason for excluding Jews from their proposed societies.

The most likely reason here is the need to think of politics in purely moral terms, which is what Carl Schmitt observed with the friend-enemy distinction. Friends and enemies are not determined by the facts of the various political positions. Those political positions indicate moral positions. Friends are the good guys, striving for the good moral ends, while the enemies are the bad guys, those who either seek to prevent reaching the promised land or have evil intentions.

Another way to see what is happening here is to look at the news coverage of a new book called “White Rural Rage: The Threat to American Democracy.” The authors have been making the rounds, peddling their brand of bigotry to the entirely sympathetic media figures interviewing them. Replace “white” with “Jewish” and these guys would be famous antisemites. They are making the same argument, just swapping out the ethnicities and their relative roles in the moral drama.

In other words, the reason the antisemites keep attacking the Jewish IQ stuff is they associate intelligence with good things, but they cannot allow their enemy to have good qualities, so they have no choice but to strip this from their enemy. The antiwhite bigots do the same thing, but instead assign what they view as negative qualities to their enemies, things like rage or closed mindedness. You cannot hate people you respect, so politics requires you to demonize your enemies.

What all of this points to is the impossibility of the diverse society. Those guys peddling their antiwhite act to like-minded media drones are telling us that they cannot live in the same society as rural white people. The antisemites are a bit more candid about it, as they have been marginalized for a long time. Even so, when they argue against Jewish IQ, they are saying that they cannot live with Jews. Repeat this with more groups and you end up in a war of all against all.

Putting the purely political, there is a larger different reason behind the IQ-denialism you see in posts like the one from Academic Agent. Intelligence as a biological fact strikes them as determinism, which contradicts their liberal conditioning. For most of human history humans knew the apple to did not fall far from the tree, so the idea of men having superior genetics would not be shocking. In fact, it is the assumption that is the foundation of inherited rule, the norm for mankind.

Liberalism, however, assumes both equality and malleability. In order to have a liberal society, everyone must be able to participate in it. This means everyone must have the ability to participate. Since we can see that all men are not equal in talents, the only acceptable explanation is systemic. This means a genetic basis for intelligence or identifiable human qualities is intolerable. If we are our genes, then the liberal project comes crashing down under the weight of biological reality.

Given that most of the liberal skeptics have liberal priors, it stands to reason that some of them will embrace views that seem to contradict their anti-liberal claims. That is what you see with the people arguing against Jewish intelligence. They are not necessarily antisemites or even anti-science. It is that that they cannot accept the fact that you cannot will yourself beyond the limits of your biology. They do not accept the Jewish IQ claim because they cannot accept it.

In the end, this is the great struggle of this age. On the one hand is the reality of the human condition and on the other is the liberal assumptions about the human condition, which are crashing into biological reality. What science is telling is that our ancestors were right about the human condition. The differences in people, individually and collectively, are immutable. That may be inconvenient for the liberal mind, but reality is that thing that does not go away when you stop believing it.

If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!

Promotions: Good Svffer is an online retailer partnering with several prolific content creators on the Dissident Right, both designing and producing a variety of merchandise including shirts, posters, and books. If you are looking for a way to let the world know you are one of us without letting the world know you are one one is us, then you should but a shirt with the Lagos Trading Company logo.

The Pepper Cave produces exotic peppers, pepper seeds and plants, hot sauce and seasonings. Their spice infused salts are a great add to the chili head spice armory, so if you are a griller, take you spice business to one of our guys.

Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that roasts its own coffee and ships all over the country. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at

Staircase Wits

Whenever the downward trend in Western intelligence gets discussed, the focus is always on the right side of the curve. America is no longer able to get to the moon because NASA is full of diversity, but it also lacks the smart guys it used to have to solve the necessary problems. In other words, the West is no longer able to make these great leaps because the decline in human capital has reduced the number of geniuses that are always needed to make those leaps.

At the heart of this line of thinking is the assumption that a society can only be successful if it is moving forward toward something and expanding in terms of material prosperity and cultural progress. This may be true, but it is one of those assumptions that has been handed down so many times that no one remembers who made the original claim or why they made it. Why must the economy always expand? Why must humanity expand its domain to the stars?

One reason to ask those questions is to think about the other side of the bell curve that gets neglected in these discussions. What happens to a society when the supply of stupid people increases? The model of societal intelligence is always a smooth normal distribution, so when the number of smart people declines it means the number of stupid people must increase. The curve moves left. What is the impact on society when the curve moves beyond some critical point?

The easy answer is Somalia. East Africa has some of the lowest averages IQ’s in the known world so it is used as an example and a warning. Without the interference of the more developed countries of the world, East Africa would quickly move back to a lightly populated land full of pastoral people. The societies of East Africa would look like what we think the world looked prior to agriculture. Life for the people who lived there would be nasty, brutish, and short.

There are a number of problems with this line of thinking. For starters, the West is not going to suddenly drop thirty IQ points. It is a process. According to Ed Dutton and others who have tried to quantify Western IQ decline, every ten years we are losing about one IQ point. Put another way, we are about three hundred years from reaching the level of East Africa if nothing changes. The fact is Western man was never at this point and will never decline to that point.

More important though is the fact that people do not live on the smooth bell curves preferred by those who like modeling things. Model makers are the sort of people who like a tidy universe, so they move back from reality as far as they need to in order to get a model of the subject that is neat and tidy. Smooth normal distributions make for aesthetically pleasing graphs, so it is assumed that everything that needs to be measured will result in a normal distribution.

That is not how intelligence works in daily experience. Instead, it is like a weird set of stairs on which people are various IQ groups stand. The people who are in your IQ group are the people you see every day. The people a step above and below are people you will experience less often. The people several steps above and below are people you rarely encounter. When you do encounter them, you do not notice until something happens the requires intelligence.

For example, when an averagely smart person stops at a sandwich place for lunch, he may run into a low IQ person working there. The guy tasked with keeping the floors clean and stocking the shelves might be a dumb guy. The shop itself is run by a smart guy and he has people mostly at or just below normal level, but he has a few guys a step or two below that for the menial work. If it is a sole proprietorship, then the owner is probably a step above the average person.

This is where to think about the decline in intelligence. In many jobs like this, the owner used to depend on people from the normal step to do the work. Many were young in their first real job. Many were part-time people. These jobs were designed for people at or close to the average IQ of the West. The few people a couple of steps below were supervised officially and unofficially by the normals. Normal people served the normal customers close to their level.

Now, when the curve moves left, the supply of people who can fill the jobs at the sandwich show will also decline along with the supply of guys who can build rockets to take people to the moon. Sure, many of the jobs can be staffed with people a step or two down the IQ staircase, but something else happens too. The demands on the guy running the place and the remaining normal people increases. Suddenly, customers of the sandwich shop experience smart fraction theory.

This is where that staircase image is important. The confusion at the sandwich shop resulting from an overloaded smart fraction means the people on that large average step make direct contact with people several steps below them. They suddenly have to deal with people with whom they lack a common understanding. Assumptions about things like timeliness and efficiency are missing. All of a sudden, lunch becomes a safari into an alien world of incomprehensible ineptitude.

For all of human history, as far as we know, the people of sub-Saharan Africa existed like people everywhere. The typical African lived his life on one of the steps on the IQ staircase, rarely experiencing anyone beyond a step above or below. Then Europeans arrived and the African was suddenly confronted by people several steps above the experience of the average African. Europeans did not just have better stuff. They had an alien and incomprehensible way of thinking about things.

The West is now experiencing the reverse. Through generations of dysgenic cultural policy and mass migration from the global south, your typical European is like the typical African centuries ago. Instead of people with magical abilities to conquer nature, the normal person is experiencing people lacking the basic ability to function in even the most basic jobs. It is not that the sandwich shop is disorganized, but that the people working there are too stupid to be organized.

Roll this out across society and European people are not only experiencing a decline in their own IQ, but they are experiencing people with an IQ several steps below them on a daily basis. Intelligence suddenly moves from the periphery to center stage for the average European person. This means it becomes even more acute for the people a step above them for whom the experience is even starker. Most Europeans are about to go on safari in their own societies.

Just as contact with the West has permanently changed the identity of sub-Saharan Africans, this new process will change Western people and society. If you cannot run the sandwich shop along Western lines due to the decline in intelligence, the guy running it must find a new solution. The dilemma of the sandwich shop owner will play out across that vast middle step on the IQ staircase. The people on that step will have to suddenly recognize the staircase itself.

If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!

Promotions: Good Svffer is an online retailer partnering with several prolific content creators on the Dissident Right, both designing and producing a variety of merchandise including shirts, posters, and books. If you are looking for a way to let the world know you are one of us without letting the world know you are one one is us, then you should but a shirt with the Lagos Trading Company logo.

The Pepper Cave produces exotic peppers, pepper seeds and plants, hot sauce and seasonings. Their spice infused salts are a great add to the chili head spice armory, so if you are a griller, take you spice business to one of our guys.

Above Time Coffee Roasters are a small, dissident friendly company that roasts its own coffee and ships all over the country. They actually roast the beans themselves based on their own secret coffee magic. If you like coffee, buy it from these folks as they are great people who deserve your support.

Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at

Posted in IQ

The NFL’s Racial IQ Problem

The absurdity of America’s racial politics is no more obvious than in sports, where a collection of low-IQ jocks and circus performers wrestle with the irreconcilable contradictions of race and racial morality. Everyone involved is smart enough to understand the message they are required to push, but they lack the brainpower to make it work. Guys like Stephen A. Smith or Michael Wilbon come off as white nationalist parodies.

The NFL is probably the best place to see the ridiculousness, as that league has been trying hard to racially atone for the last twenty years. The NBA has been a black sport for generations now. Even the coaches are black. Hockey and baseball are impossible to make into black sports, because running and jumping are not critical qualities in either game. Outside of a few positions, running and jumping are important qualities in American football.

The main area of focus in the NFL has been quarterback, which is a position dominated by white players. The assumption has always been that the position requires smarts, and, well, you know. The league has been working to make it easier for the passing game by limiting what defenders can do. By making it easier to pass the ball, the threshold for being a quarterback has dropped. Add in changes to enhance the value of running quarterbacks and you get more black quarterbacks.

This is not all due to racial morality. The target audience for the NFL is declining in IQ so they are dumbing down their sport to chase the audience. Stupid people like to see simple plays where the star does all the work. Complex offenses that require field generalships are no fun to the typical fan. It will not be long before CGI is added to make the games more interesting for television. Maybe a new play will be the Fast & Furious style car chase.

A feature of football broadcasts is the talking heads assuring us that the quarterback who makes his living running the ball, a guy like Lamar Jackson, for example, is actually winning through intelligence. Jackson’s test scores say he is a full standard deviation below the typical quarterback, but we are told he is a football genius. In reality, he is just faster than everyone else at the moment. He is the Michael Vick of this generation, less the dog fighting business.

This demand to respect the intelligence of the new vibrant quarterback is turning up in the controversy over Tua Tagovailoa. He was slammed to the turn in a game and suffered a serious concussion. He was carted off on a back board and sent to the hospital for evaluation. The sports commentariat has been ordered to put on their outrage faces over this. How dare the league put this young genius at risk by letting him take a blow to the head!

The video looks like one of those things that happens in sports. Whenever one human being tries to throw another human being onto the ground, there is a chance someone is going to get hurt. Given that hitting the ground means sudden deceleration, concussions are to be expected. Anyone who has played football or boxed or wrestled has had their bell rung more than once. It is just a thing that happens, no matter how hard you try to prevent it.

Of course, concussions are a controversial issue. A whole new racket has grown up around the dubious claims from the CTE people. The term is short for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. Concussions probably have some negative impact on brain function, but the science is unclear. The CTE business is mostly a scam, which has a racial element to it. The guy who sold the idea is named Bennett Omalu. Will Smith played him in a movie.

The racial angle in the concussion story gets even more nutty when you look at the efforts to remediate the issue. The NFL has set up a fund to compensate players claiming to suffer from CTE. The NFL is race norming the concussion settlements to reduce payouts, which brings out the usual suspects. You see, Jamal is stupid because of the concussion, not because of genetics. It is a classic example of biological reality slamming into racial and political morality.

The truth is no one knows if concussions have a direct or even an indirect connection on cognitive issues later in life. We have always known that taking blows to the head is bad for you. We have the term “punchy” for a reason. Boxers who took too many blows over their career were often quite stupid later in life. It has always been assumed that it is the blows to the head, but no one really knows for sure. Maybe they started out stupid, which is why they took so many shots to the head.

There is a good chance that IQ plays a role. Intelligence strongly correlates with health outcomes, so it is possible that it plays a role in concussions. Higher IQ players may suffer fewer concussions or suffer less from them than low-IQ players. Boxers have never been known as smart guys, so maybe the reason they seem punchy in their later years is the combination of blows and their low-IQ. Maybe smarter people are better at avoiding concussion and recovering from them.

None of this is allowed to be said, so it does not matter much. The NFL is going to have to pay for these black former players. In a way, it is like the ongoing demands by blacks for compensation because of slavery. The math is not the issue. It is the moral blackmail that comes once you accept the current morality of race. The NFL, like white society, can never pay for the sins of the past, but it must keep paying. Discrimination is a nightmare from which will never awake.

In the larger context, the dumbing down of the sport and the presentation of it, corresponds with the dumbing down of race relations. Half a century ago, race relations were better because they were more thoughtful. Both sides sought an accommodation based on what was possible. Today it is two tribes flinging their poo not at one another, but at the rest of us. Like car chases in movies, race relations are now part of the menticide inflicted on our society.

If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!

Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at

The Great Dimming

For a long time, it was understood that the success of a people was tied to the quality of the people in terms of their abilities. A highly capable people would do better at the necessary things of society than an incompetent people. Often, moral claims would cloud the view. Maybe one people were chosen by God to rule over the others or maybe the people offended the gods and had been punished as a result. Even so, there has always been a link between talent and results.

Today we understand that Mother Nature does not distribute her gifts equally between peoples or among people. Some people are smarter than others. Some people have cultural qualities that seem to be rooted in their shared genetics. These cultural qualities provide a benefit when it comes to the tasks of society. A people who values hard work and honest dealings will do better than a people who favor sloth or lying. Whether these cultural qualities can be inculcated is debatable.

The blank slate crowd are sure that everything about a human society is a construction of the mind and can therefore be deconstructed. Western society, which has towered over the rest of mankind for more than five hundred years, can be disassembled and then reassembled to put non-Western people in charge. There is no evidence to support the claim, but a great global experiment is underway, nonetheless. There is mass migration from the Global South into the West.

A dozen years ago, Jason Richwine did his doctoral thesis in the topic and found that migration into the United States from the south was decreasing the quality of human capital by reducing the over all IQ of the population. He relied upon the mountain of IQ studies that show the average intelligence of Hispanics to be ten points below the average for Europeans. The usual suspects flew into a rage and had Jason Richwine condemned for heresy.

No one bothered to challenge the conclusions of his study, as that would suggest moral claims can be subject to objective measures. A key component of any religion is that the moral claims are unassailable. The new religion of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity operates like every other religion. Its principles are beyond question. In this case, it means that all people are equally capable and the differences seen between people are due to the racism of white people.

You see this in a response by a writer at Reason Magazine. Ronald Bailey makes no effort to dispute the factual claims of Richwine, as he lacks the intellectual capacity to understand them, much less dispute them. Instead, he draws a parallel between Richwine and eugenicists from a century ago. You see, “eugenics” is a bad word so laying it in the same area as a person makes that person bad. You can then safely dismiss the words of the bad people without addressing them.

Even if you accept the claims in that Reason post, the flow of people from the south into America is having a clear impact on IQ. The claim is that the people coming in will get smarter by standing on the better dirt in the United States, but it will take four or five generations for that to happen. That is roughly a century. While that is happening, the population of low IQ people rises. This is happening rather quickly due to the age distribution of the white population.

For example, using government data, whites have an average IQ of 100, blacks are at 85 and the new people are around 90. This is consistent with what Richwine found in his research and what subsequent research has shown. This is one of those times when the official government position mirrors reality. That means that the average IQ in the United States in 1950 was around 98. By 1980, with the uptick in immigration and decline in white fertility, the average was just over 97.

In other words, with very stable demographics and little immigration, the average IQ in the United States had not changed very much in thirty years. This would explain why the country was able to pull out of the cultural lunacy of the prior decades and turn things around so quickly. There were a lot of smart people. Societies with high average intelligence also have a much larger number of smart people. These are the people who solve the problems made by other smart people.

By 2000, the effects of immigration were showing up in the test scores. The average IQ of the country, based on the new demographic mix, was below 97. By 2020 the average had fallen to below 96. In another decade it will fall below 95 and when the white population is a minority, it will be around 93. Note also that the aging off of the white population lowers white IQ. Not only are white people getting dumber, but old people are dumber than their younger selves.

Imagine a wardrobe made for a man who is 6’5″ and athletic being handed down to a man who is 5’10’ and a lazy person. The latter can pretend he does not like the style, but the reality is the clothes simply do not fit. This is what is happening in America as the people are replaced with new people. The old cultural, political and economic institutions were made for a people with an IQ close to 100. The new people will struggle to operate what they have inherited.

The flat earth people argue that culture is meaningless and the new people will be able to run the country as they like with the same economic results. The only thing that will change is the complexion. Instead of white guys staring at their mobile devices as they walk into traffic, it will be trans-lesbians of color. In fact, the final end of whiteness will unleash the creative energy of the nonwhite people. The result will be the paradise the prophets have long promised.

The trouble is the facts suggest otherwise. Twenty years ago, Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen made the connection between intelligence and economics. In IQ and the Wealth of Nations they showed that average national intelligence corresponds with the over all wealth of society. The usual suspects condemned the book and the authors, while accepting their conclusions. There is a reason the best universities do not draw names from a hat for admissions.

Recently, researchers George Francis and Emil O.W. Kirkegaard have revisited the topic and came to the same conclusion, which is to say there is a strong correlation between national wealth and national IQ. Francis notes that national IQ correlates not only with economic prosperity, but every national indicator of success. That means things like crime, social trust, affordable family formation and all of the other things we associated with stable, happy societies.

Of course, there is the smart fraction issue. As civilization becomes more complex, the demand for cognitive ability increases. At the top, where the most complex decisions are made, the demands go up much faster. The more complex a society, the more above average people are required to manage it. A society where everyone is the same IQ of 100, will not perform as well as a society where the average is 100 and intelligence is normally distributed.

The trending down of national IQ means the relative number of people in the smart fraction initially declines, but the overall smart fraction grows. In time, however, this reverses and the smart fraction begins to decline quickly in total and in relation to the size of the population. There are not enough smart people around to keep the system running, so the system must become less complex. Put another way, it must disaggregate, either slowly or all of a sudden.

What this means in terms of public policy is debatable. The most likely answer is that debating it is a waste of time. There is no arresting the demographic changes and there is no changing what that means as far as human capital. Even if there is a way to make it work, there are not enough smart people around willing to do it. At some point North America passes through the marching moron phase into something else. That something else will poor, nasty, brutish, and short lived.

If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!

Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at

Buddha’s Children

In his interesting post on Robert Mugabe’s intelligence, the blogger calling himself Pumpkin Person notes “One reason for thinking he’s in the upper end of this range is that he was a Marxist, and left-wing politics are positively correlated with IQ (at least if you control for race and income).” This does not imply that all Marxists are highly intelligent. He is simply noting the observation that left-wing politics of the radical sort highly correlate with intelligence. Smart, educated people tend to be radicals.

This is an assertion most people have heard, if they have gone to college, spent time on a college campus or consumed popular culture. The assertion, that intelligence and radicalism are traveling partners, is a part of the cultural bath in which every western man swims. It certainly holds up when you look at the data. Whoever the Democrats nominate for President, no matter how nutty and deranged, that person will win more than 80% of the vote in every college town of America.

Now, normal people chafe at this assertion as the obvious implication is that stupid people oppose radicalism. That’s certainly what the usual suspects have always claimed, until biology became a taboo of late. Anyone over the age of forty probably recalls being told something like this in college. Of course, it was never just a passing observation. The link between radicalism and intelligence was always supposed to put critics on the defensive, as if they are inferiors.

The power of this can be seen in how Bill Buckley adopted the over-the-top WASP intellectual style. The point of it was to inoculate himself against the claim he was too dumb to understand what the Left was claiming. George Will’s silly bowtie or Kevin Williamson’s quill pen act are other recent examples. These affectations are intended to signal the person is smart and therefore cannot be dismissed by the Left. It’s Athena’s shield for the right-wing Perseus of left-wing politics.

It is certainly true that the data supports the claim. The voting patterns of the educated bear this out. There are exceptions from time to time, but generally speaking, the more credentials you have acquired, the more likely you are to be on the Left. Since credentials are a pretty good proxy for IQ, the original assertion holds. The smarter you are, the more inclined you are toward radical politics. Or, if you prefer, the smarter the person, the more open they are to radical politics.

The problem with this observation is that it a logical fallacy. Specifically, it is the fallacy of association. A famous example of this fallacy is the observation that hardcore drug takers usually start with marijuana, so pot is a gateway drug. All hardcore drug takers start life drinking milk, but no rational person would say milk leads to smoking crystal meth in adulthood. In other words, there is no causal link established between IQ and radicalism in politics, no matter how much the Left would wish it so.

Then there is the issue of how one defines left-wing politics. Every single establishment right-winger would have been called a radical a century ago. Two centuries ago the radicals in the West were people advocating liberalism. All of these terms used to describe politics are relative and their definitions shift over time. To pretend that Left and Right are timeless categories is to reveal a total ignorance of history. Even figuring out the relative poles in each era is not always possible, as we see today.

There is another angle here that is more important to the topic. People are social animals and we are a self-segregating species. People of like mind will tend to congregate with one another out of instinct. This is obvious to anyone who has been in a lunchroom of a large public school. This is not just true of mature humans. Even babies are attracted to their kind. This is why the college campus is so intolerant of free inquiry and dissent. Over time, it has boiled off those with contrary opinions.

What this means is smart people are naturally going to end up in areas around other smart people, like the college campus. The ornery and disagreeable will usually be boiled off for all the natural reasons. Most, however, will be as open to peer pressure as everyone else, maybe more so. Most smart people tend to live sheltered lives, insulated from the harsh reality of the human animal. If they are not left-wing when they hit the college campus, they soon adapt to their new friends and new culture.

This is such an obvious thing we have memes for it. The know-it-all coed, back from her first year at college, is a standard type in American culture. It’s a stock character in television and movies. Then you have the modern meme of sweet little Suzy heading off to college and coming back and blue-haired lesbian with a nose ring. This happens less frequently with males, which probably explains why the college campus is looking more like a hormonal coven these days than anything imagined by Aristotle.

Another thing to consider is that 500 years ago, if one were to use modern techniques to measure IQ and politics, the correlation would look much different. Instead of the intelligent tending toward radicalism, they would tend toward monasticism. The smart men of the age, if they were not the first born, often ended up in the Church. That’s where smart, curious men of the age went to be around other smart men. Maybe they would end up in the court of their king, defending the natural order.

Putting it all together, the reason radicalism and intelligence seem to go hand-in-hand in this age is that radicalism is the secular religion of this age. Just as the best and brightest of a prior age would have been great theologians, the smart set of this age seek to advance the secular religion of today. That means coming up with novel ways to justify it in the face of observable reality. Of course, there’s always profit in being the defender of the faith, so the Left attracts the most ambitious too.

The reason we currently observe a correlation between left-wing politics and intelligence is because left-wing politics is the secular religion of this age. In America this has been true since Gettysburg. In Europe, neo-liberalism has been the dominant faith since the end of the last war. To be in the high IQ world means embracing the religion of the high IQ world. If tomorrow, those people become Buddhists, the smart young people of tomorrow will suddenly trend toward Buddhism.

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Too Dumb To Make It

In dissident circles, it is generally accepted that the West has lost its way due to two main problems. One is that the ruling class has embraced a set of ideas about human organization that are at odds with biological reality. Either from a desire to feel righteous or just from reckless disregard for their duties, they have embraced a set of beliefs about humanity we loosely call multiculturalism. The two roots of this belief set are the blank slate and egalitarianism. We are amorphous blobs with equal potential.

The other problem is that this desire to include everyone has allowed all sorts of barking at the moon crazies to gain positions of influence in the culture. These are the people who show up in the corporate human resource department chanting about the need make sure everyone holds the exact same opinions, all in the name of diversity. These are the people running around attacking statuary on the college campus. Fear of these crazies has damaged our normal mechanism for defending society from external threats.

At Our Wit’s End: Why We’re Becoming Less Intelligent and What It Means for Our Future, by Edward Dutton and Michael A. Woodley of Menie, offers an alternative explanation for why we are seeing the West in crisis. Ed Dutton is an English anthropologist who teaches at the University of Oulu in Finland. Michael A. Woodley is a British ecologist and intelligence researcher with the Center Leo Apostel at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Both have written extensively about human intelligence.

Their book is an effort to track general intelligence in the West, against the backdrop of human accomplishment in the West. More specifically, they make the case that the West is getting dumber, even when adjusting for immigration, and the process has been going on for a long time. As a result, the West is following in the same path as prior civilizations that experienced a similar decline in general intelligence. Stupid people do stupid things and cumulatively, they eventually bring the whole thing down.

The book starts with one of those obvious examples that is so obvious, you wonder why you did not notice it. Fifty years ago this July, humans landed on the moon. The lunar program was started roughly a decade before and NASA went from having crude rockets unable to put satellites into space to sending people to the moon and bringing them back safely. To people alive in that time, it was an incredible moment, and one they assumed was the dawn of the space age, when man would traverse the stars.

Today, we cannot reach the moon. In fact, we struggle to hurl a probe to the moon. The Israelis are celebrating because their probe managed to actually hit the moon, rather than miss it entirely. NASA is no longer able to do much of anything and instead spends its time celebrating diversity. Whatever the reason, in this one area, the West is clearly not where it was fifty years ago. Instead of the moon landing being a launching point for the exploration of space, it was the peak of human ability to explore the stars.

Another obvious example they begin with, one that should hit home for men in their middle years, is the Concorde. If you were a kid in the 1970’s, the Concorde was the shape of things to come. Instead of six and seven hour flights across the continent or the Atlantic Ocean, flight time would be a few hours. Everyone was sure we would soon be hopping on super-fast planes to be halfway around the globe in a few hours. Instead, we stand in line for hours at the airport to get on planes no faster than fifty years ago.

These two great examples are the jumping off point to explain that we are not only getting dumber, but the biological process causing it. The book itself is actually a series of essays, grouped together into topics related to the main theme. It is written for a general audience, so even if the reader has little exposure to cognitive studies, the material is easy to follow. In fact, the book also works a great introduction for those curious about IQ and the ways in which science has for studying human cognitive ability.

For those with an interest in Roman history, the discussions of intelligence in the Republic, as well as the Empire, are very interesting. There are a great many theories as to why the Republic collapsed into autocracy and why the Western Empire collapsed. In fact, that’s the fun part of studying the Romans. Why they suddenly, so it seems, veered from consensual government to military dictatorship and empire is one of the great stories of Western history. It’s a great story full of amazing characters, both good and bad.

What the authors suggest is that a biological process was the root of the rise of Rome, it’s flourishing as a republic and then it’s decent into autocracy and eventually collapse. Their theory is a great addition to Joseph Tainter’s ideas about the collapse of complex civilizations. Taken together, it suggests Spengler’s observation about civilization is the result of people building social organizations that eventually become too complex for them to manage. Or, they simply become too dumb to operate what their ancestors left them.

Perhaps the most compelling example is their look at the golden age of Islam. Maybe it is because it is unfamiliar to Westerners, so we have no emotional bias, but the math presented to explain the rise and fall is revelatory. Not only does it explain the collapse of “high Islam” but it explains the rise of modern Islam. It opens the door to understanding this strange, esoteric civic cult that has taken up residence among the ruling elites in the West. It is a short essay, but very powerful in explaining their argument.

Now, the one complaint about the book is it really could have gone into great depth about some of the examples used to make their points. The section on Islam would make for a great 10,000 word essay. They only brush up against the phenomenon of religion rising, falling and then rising again in the late stages of civilization. It is a great example of a short book that the reader will wish was much longer. Usually, the opposite is true. Most books are too long and in need of a ruthless editor. This is not one of those books.

Finally, for dissidents, this book is a black pill. Most of us hang onto the hope that we can find a way to argue and organize our way out of this decline. The truth is, the West may simply lack the human capital to keep the plates spinning much longer. In other words, the die may have been cast a dozen generations ago when smart people started limiting their fertility and helping the poor make it too adulthood. The result being a steady decline in our IQ to the point where we are no longer fit to carry on as a civilization.

A Rambling Post About Sportsball

If you have ever followed sportsball, the one thing you have surely noticed is that some franchises never win, while others win a lot. In America, the New York Yankees are the example of perennial winners. In English soccer, Manchester United is the club that is the example of consistent excellence. The opposite is true as well. In America, the organization best known for futility is the Cleveland Browns. It’s not just that they never win anything. They find hilarious ways to lose and embarrass themselves.

The question is why? In the case of baseball, market size has always been assumed to be the main driver. With unlimited budgets for payroll and player development, the teams with deep pockets could dominate. The Yankees operate in New York. The Dodgers are in Los Angeles. Over the years, the correlation between winning and market size has been strong enough for most people to assume that’s the reason. Of course, the Mets and Cubs stand out as stark exceptions, so there is more to it.

In other sports, like English soccer, the market share answer does not apply. Manchester is the thirst largest metropolitan area, behind Birmingham and London, but it is a fifth the size of London and much poorer. The dominance of Manchester is a lot like the success of the Green Bay Packers in American football. Not quite to that extreme, but Man U has had much more success than the Packers. While having a big market helps in all sports, the rules and some other factors often neutralize the advantage.

One area where this “something” else is easier to notice is in how teams hire their front office people. The reason the Cleveland Browns, for example, lose all the time is they hire stupid people to run their club. The New England Patriots, in contrast, hired a cerebral coach, paid him well and staffed their front office with smart people. They also make sure the culture of the organizations rewards the smart and punishes the stupid. When these people leave for better jobs, they often fail in their new organizations.

While it seems obvious, the reason franchises have sustained success or failure is due mostly to their organizational IQ. This is most obvious in baseball. The Oakland A’s are credited with being the first team to employ statistics in player evaluation. Moneyball, as it is called, seeks to find the best value in the market for talent, but also the most useful players in the market. The stat-geeks have re-evaluated the stats in baseball and created new metrics to measure a player’s contribution to winning games.

What the Oakland A’s learned is they could get players that were 90% as good as the big stars, for 30% of the investment. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it is a useful way of thinking of it. They understood that a player who walks a lot is more valuable than a guy who strikes out a lot, but also hits for a high average. The former is on-base more often, so he contributes more runs than the latter. Hitting home runs is a good way to get a big contract and sell tickets, but getting on base is what counts most.

Now, all of the big clubs have armies of stat-geeks doing the moneyball thing. The Boston Red Sox have the godfather of stat geeks, Bill James, on their payroll. The use of stats has become so pervasive, it is changing the game. Managers no longer make decisions during games. Instead, they consult probability charts and select from the options the front office created before the game. It’s an odd form of computer chess. Instead of humans controlling the robot pieces, it’s the robots controlling the human pieces.

The fact is, winning is about avoiding error. Since the Greeks this has been understood, so why is this not a universal part of all sport? The owner of the Cleveland Browns is probably a smart guy. He’s rich enough to own a sportsball team, so he may not be a genius, but he is pretty smart. Why does he not hire a team of behavior scientists to study winning and create personality models for the various jobs within the organization? He could hire people to model how the Patriots run their organization.

It does not have to be a sci-fi version of this stuff to work. The team of analysts could come up with the five facts common to all failed coaches in the Browns organization and then compare that to the least successful coaches in the game. Odds are, they will find some commonalities. Knowing what does not work, they could simply avoid hiring coaches with any of those qualities. That would not guarantee success, but maybe it eliminates embarrassing, catastrophic failure. Better is better.

Sports organizations are systems, so the tools used in system analysis should apply to sports teams, corporations, political movements and so forth. American business employs continuous improvement techniques to fine tune daily operations. Some are more committed than others and some things work better than others, but fixing small things tends to have the greatest impact on performance. This is true in most systems. Fixing a simple error in a line of code can greatly increase system performance.

Despite this well-known reality, human organizations are the least likely to embrace empirical techniques. Politics is the most obvious. If the parties simply required an IQ test for party membership, they would save themselves a lot of trouble. Sports franchises tinker around with this stuff, but they have never embraced it. Even big corporations seem to drift from a focus on incremental improvement in various types of magic. Google is now a cult of sorts, which is how they make blunders like this one.

The point of this post, if there is one, is that there is something that prevents otherwise smart people, like sportsball owners, from using well known techniques to improve their organizations. The result is a repetition of unforced errors. Sportsball owners are hyper-competitive, yet they are often allergic to considering concepts and tactics that work in other organizations. It is only after an innovator proves it can work that we see the rest jump on board and start aping what worked for them.

An even stranger thing about sportsball teams is that this institutional blundering attracts owners prone to the same sort of blundering. These bad franchises come up for sale and the new owners turn out to be as accident prone as the previous ones. In fact whole cities seem to attract losers in this area. Again, Cleveland is a great example. All of their sportsball teams are terrible and the owners are some of the worst in sport. Maybe there really is something in the water there that causes this.

Anyway, it is something reformers and rebels should probably consider when plotting how to attack the Death Star of modern culture. Maybe that silly plot device from Star Wars has a grain of truth to it. The bad guys left the back door to the Death Star open, because in the end, they were the Cleveland Browns of space villains. Perhaps all villains leave a window open at some point. Maybe size makes organizations stupid and then exploitable to those with subversion on their mind.

The Fear Of Disbelief

I was looking for something I remembered Sailer posting about and I stumbled upon this post from Tyler Cowen. The post is from eight years ago and it is something I found interesting. I did some searching around in his blog to see if he had bothered to revisit the issue and the search came up dry. Cowen, who is one of those guys who likes pitching himself as a step outside the crowd, has avoided the topic for close to a decade, suggesting it was around this point when the subject was declared heretical.

Another thing I found interesting, amusing actually, was that Cowen succumbed to the claim that there is greater genetic diversity within racial groups than between them. While it is true that there is greater variation between individuals, than between groups of individuals, it does not invalidate classifying individuals into different racial groups. Traits common to one group, even in great variety, may not exist in another. Cowen was falling for what is informally known as Lewontin’s Fallacy.

Of course, what screams from the post is the hysteria induced in people like Cowen, when they are sheered between observable fact and prevailing dogma. On the one hand, their brains force them to look at reality. On the other hand, their fear of the morality police makes them want to shriek in terror. Cowen is a gold plated phony, but he is not a dunce. Even back in 2009, the evidence was clear. There are bone-deep differences between the races that go beyond physiognomy. It is right there in the mountain of IQ data.

People can be forgiven for not going against their betters. Even spergs like Cowen want to believe in the prevailing orthodoxy. You see that in the end where he writes “racism itself is far, far more harmful, whether in the course of previous history or still today.” That is the sort of thing a true believer writes, when he is thinking of maybe writing something heretical, but then grows frightened of where it could lead. That whole last paragraph is so carefully worded, it reads like it was written by a committee.

It is not just the smart guys who are tormented by this stuff. Most normal whites get weepy when they see a guy like Sheriff Clark or Allen West say the sorts of things honkies say in private. It is confirmation. When you see a gazillion re-tweets of something a conservative black posted, it is not hard to imagine the relief normies felt when they saw it and the joy with which they passed it along. A couple of generations of whites have been raised up to think of blacks as mystical moral arbiters. Black approval is the highest honor.

There is also the old noblesse oblige hook. Smart people like to think of themselves as having a duty to guide the less smart toward the correct opinions. A guy like Cowen is not wealthy and he is largely dependent on the state for his livelihood, like most libertarians. Nevertheless, he imagines himself as a member of an intellectual elite, charged with training the next generation and providing intellectual guidance to the ruling class. Promoting the blank slate silliness about the evils of racism feels like his moral duty.

On this point, there is a strange phenomenon that I have witnessed. It is not a lot different than what happens in a church when a long standing member quits because they no longer believe in God. There are members who will try to talk the guy out of it, telling him that they too have lost their faith, but they continue attending services to maintain the tradition or support those who to continue to believe. I have never seen this work. Every person who has quit their church did so in their mind long before they left the pew.

I suspect something similar goes on with our betters. They know that even entertaining heretic thoughts can be trouble. They have seen enough old white guys throw in the towel, like James Watson or John Derbyshire. They know that once that seed of doubt gets lodged in the head, it grows into a mighty oak of doubt. Then comes struggle, apostasy and finally banishment from the community of good thinkers. It is better for strangers to think you are a moron than to have your friends and colleagues say you are immoral.

Most people reading this probably belonged to the universal church of biological denialism at some point in their life. It has been dogma for a long time. Probably every white person has felt the warm glow of seeing blacks succeed at white things or showing their appreciation with public acts of patriotism. The opening ceremonies have become American’s favorite part of the Olympics, because it is where they see well behaved non-whites wearing the stars and stripes and looking proud to be Americans.

Race denialism, as John Derbyshire calls it, has been part of the official canon for generations now. Biological denialism has been official dogma for as long as I have been alive. Belief is easy when everyone else believes the same thing. Disbelief, however, is inevitable when belief is at odds with reality. When no matter how hard you try to make the belief real, it is thwarted by reality, doubt is the only option. That is where most whites are now. The question is, what will they believe in next?

Cornpone Nonsense

A long time ago, I decided I would just ignore the intelligent design people. I’m perfectly fine leaving them to their beliefs, as I don’t think it causes any harm for people to believe in a supernatural designer. In fact, I feel the same way about creationists. There’s no harm in it and if it brings people some peace and comfort, that seems like a good thing. The reason I will not debate evolution with them, however, is that intelligent design people rarely argue in good faith. They engage in sophistry and logical fallacies, rather than honest debate.

ID’ers will often misrepresent some bit of science, in order to discredit it, and by extension, everything they claim rests upon it. The thermodynamics and entropy argument that was popular with them for a while was a grossly inaccurate interpretation of the science and a faulty application of it. order cannot arise from disorder.By the time you corrected them, they were onto some other half-baked claim. It is simply a waste of time debating them as they just keep moving the goal posts, demanding you prove them wrong.

Anyway, this steaming pile of nonsense from Fred Reed the other day reminds me a lot of the way ID’ers attack evolution. If I recall, Reed is a flat earth guy, so it is probably a habit of mind that puts ID’er and IQ denialists in the same pew.

Apologies to the reader. Perhaps I wax tedious. But the question of intelligence is both interesting to me and great fun as talking about it puts commenters in an uproar. It is like poking a wasp’s nest when you are eleven. I am a bad person.

This Gomer Pyle routine has always been a part of his act. It’s a form of intellectual base stealing where the writer gets to declare the subject, upon which he intends to opine, is easily reduced to folk wisdom. The author is the folksiest of folk wizards, so that means he can be an expert on the countrified version of the topic. He also likes playing the Jon Stewart game of wearing the serious mask when criticizing others, but then donning the clown mask when receiving criticism. In Reed’s case, it is “Ah shucks fellers, I’m just a simple country boy. Why are you sore with me?”

Clearing the underbrush: Obviously intelligence is largely genetic–if it were cultural in origin, all the little boys who grew up in Isaac Newton’s neighborhood would have been towering mathematical geniuses–and obviously the various tests of intellectual function have, at least among testees of similar background, considerable relation to intelligence.

This is a good example of what ID’ers like doing when attacking evolution. It is the false concession. He appears to be conceding that iQ is not cultural, but in reality he is saying it is not magic.  What Reed is describing, with regards to Newton, is not culture. It is magic. Culture is the highly complex feedback loop that evolved over time among a group of people with a shared heritage and biology. Mere proximity does not mean culture. That’s just a version of Magic Dirt Theory. No one would call that culture.

Some individuals have more of it than others. For example, Hillary, a National Merit Finalist, scored higher than 99.5 percent of Illinois and can reliably be suspected of being bright. Some groups are obviously smarter than other groups. Mensans and Nobelists are smarter than sociologists. Of course, so are acorns.

But knowing that a thing exists and measuring it are not the same thing.

Notice the Hillary gag. He knows his readers are not Hillary voters so he attempts to discredit the idea of intelligence, by pointing out that, according to standardized testing, Clinton is intelligent. “How ’bout that fellers? These pin-headed IQ people are so dumb they they think that fat commie Hillary Clinton is smart! Shazam!” It is a way to get the reader to accept a point that the writer was never able, or never bothered, to prove. It’s basically guilt by association.

Notice also the subtle confusion of the idea of shared group traits. When people in the cognitive sciences talk about shared traits, they mean biological groups, not social groups or arbitrary categories like Nobel Prize winners. The implication of what Reed is claiming here is that sub-Saharan Africans, for example, are just a random a collection of people like the local PTA or Rotary Club. That’s absurd. They are people with a shared biological heritage and as a result, a shared sent of traits that evolved in Africa.

This fits in well with the last line where he claims you can know something exists, without measuring it. This is complete nonsense. We cannot know something exists without having some evidence of it. Seeing a a mysterious animal may not tell us much, but it is data of an animal. How accurately we can measure a thing like IQ or height or weight is the question, not whether we can measure it. Of course, what he is trying to slip in here is the assertion that just because something can be measured does not mean it exists.

Virtuosity in taking tests is similarly affected by experience in taking tests. Like most in my generation, I was subjected to unending tests: an IQ test in the second grade when my teacher thought me retarded (as many readers still do). Some sort of Virginia test. PSATs. NMSQT. SATs. GREs. Marine Corps General Qualification Test. FSEE. And so on.

As I suppose others did, I learned the technique for acing tests. Run through all the questions rapidly, picking the low-hanging fruit, putting a tick mark by those questions not instantly obvious. Run through again, answering those of the tick-markeds susceptible to a minute’s thought, double tick-marking the really difficult ones. Then to the really hard ones and finally, with an eye on the clock and knowing how the tests are scored, eliminate one or two answers on the remaining ones and guess.

This is a bit of folk nonsense popular with people who have no idea how intelligence testing is constructed. Test designers have understood for generations that guys like Fred Reed will try to game the test. People who have done a lot of test administration learn that people in the high normal range really worry that they are just in the normal range, rather than some level of genius. Therefore, they will be the ones who are the least honest in test taking. That’s why the tests are designed to mitigate this observed phenomenon.

The most common way of defeating the scheme Fred thinks is effective is to make the exams progressively more difficult. Therefore, running through and answering the easy ones just means you get frustrated quickly as you find fewer and fewer cherries to pick from the exam. Some tests are designed such that non-consecutive answers will be discarded. These days, test takers will use a computer and not have the ability to skip ahead looking for easy questions, even if they think it will work.

Among the lumpen-IQatry, the tendency is to regard SATs, NAEP, and so on as surrogates for IQ, and thus for intelligence. This is error. The SATs in particular are not intelligence tests and were never intended to be. Their function was to measure the student’s ability to handle complex ideas in complex normal English, which is what college students used to do. The tests did did this well. The were not intelligence tests as their scores were functions of at least three things, intelligence, background, and experience in taking tests. IQ = f(a,b,c…)

This is a what is called a lie. Yes, some standardized tests correlate with IQ tests in narrow areas, but exactly no one in the cognitive sciences thinks the SAT is a surrogate for an intelligence test. As for the claim regarding cultural bias, that’s always been nonsense, as anyone who has taken the Raven’s Progressive Matrices would know. When researchers look at IQ among groups, they specifically use these sorts of exams. Here’s a short presentation on IQ testing in Africa for those interested.

Like those ID’ers I referenced at the start of this post, Fred has the habit of assuming that his position must be right if the alternative is not proved beyond all doubt. If evolutionary biology has not answered all of his questions to his satisfaction, then it must all be wrong and his brand of oogily-boogily is correct. Similarly, because there are lots of things we don’t know about IQ, he feels free to dismiss all of it, even the stuff that is correct.

What’s objectionable about Fred Reed is not the sugar-coated goober routine that he lays on so thick it gives you cavities. That’s tolerable if it is sincere. When he gets into these topics, there is a distinct lack of authenticity. There’s a meanness to his approach, as if he is bitter at not being able to keep up with the crowd, so he invests his time in trying to prove there’s no reason to bother. Regardless of the motivations, his brand of cornpone nonsense is exactly that, nonsense.

The White Man’s Lead Burden

One of the more ridiculous claims floating around the Cult of Modern Liberalism is the claim that lead makes black people stupid and violent. Kevin Drum has been peddling the idea on lunatic websites for years. The claim is that lead poisoning makes people stupid and violent, particularly when exposed as children. Poor people are most likely to live where lead content is high, thus explaining why they have higher crime rates and lower IQ’s, if IQ was a real thing, which it is not.

The theory resonates with the Cult because it has an almost mystical quality to it, much in the same way climate change has an unsaid supernatural element. Gaia is vexed about your lawnmower so she is causing floods in Texas. It can’t be proved, but it can’t be disproved either. In the case of lead, it also solves the problem as to why black crime rates are off the charts. Racist whites have packed blacks into lead saturated ghettos.

The theory suffers from a number of problems. No one can explain why this effect is race specific, without dragging in a bunch of things that could be better explanations for the data than lead. Then there is the failure to replicate any of the studies purporting to show a link of any sort. Even taking Drum’s assertions at face value, lead is responsible for at most 20% of the increase in crime.

Think of it this way. If the ghetto in question has a murder rate of ten per month prior to the invention of crack by the CIA and a murder rate of 20 after crack, only two of those murders are due to lead. The other eight are, presumably, due to crack. But, that also means those two lead murders needed another element, in this case crack. In other words, lead alone is not a cause.

That does not stop the Cult from trotting out science! to make the case for environmental factors explaining away what everyone knows, but no one is allowed to say. America’s newspaper of record has a story on a new study that purports to prove that air pollution makes poor minority people stupid.

The city’s air is polluting children’s brains.

Big Apple kids exposed to high levels of airborne filth and economic hardship have lower IQs that will haunt them into adulthood, according to an exhaustive, first-of-its-kind study by Columbia University.

Or maybe their parents being low-IQ people end up living in crappy areas that have high levels of airborne filth and economic hardship.The one thing no one ever mentions is that the poor are clean freaks. The reason is they tend to be dirty.

“The findings are a concern because, as has been shown with lead [poisoning], even a modest decrease in IQ can impact lifetime earnings,” warns the report published in the medical journal Neurotoxicology and Teratology.

Researchers reached the alarming conclusion by tracking the development of 276 minority children from Harlem, Washington Heights and the South Bronx for seven years — starting while their moms were pregnant.

The kids who were exposed to the most pollutants and came from the poorest families scored 6.6 points lower on the overall IQ test than others in the group.

The average score on an IQ test is 100.

What does not appear to be in the study is the IQ of the parents. Tracking down the fathers would be impossible, but testing the IQ of the mothers would not be hard. But, that would lead to uncomfortable subjects so better to leave that alone.

In addition, the kids scored 8 points lower for “working memory,” which is what people use to plan and carry out behavior, and 5.7 points lower for “perceptual reasoning,” which allows people to visualize solutions to non-verbal problems.

Following their births, researchers examined blood from each baby’s umbilical cord for biological markers that reveal exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), toxic chemicals created by the burning of gas, diesel, heating oil and other products.

This is why these results are never replicated. Within the underclass, the slightly brighter lights will perform better in life’s little tasks like not inhaling diesel fumes. You can control for that by making sure the cohort of mothers represents a representative range of IQ’s, but that could lead to trouble so lets not go down that road.

The moms also carried air monitors in backpacks during their third trimesters, and were later interviewed repeatedly about their ability to adequately feed, clothe and house their kids. The groundbreaking study stemmed from ongoing research that has shown how prenatal exposure to PAH is tied to a host of childhood ills, including developmental delays, reduced verbal skills and symptoms of anxiety and depression.

The latest study concluded that the effects of PAH were exacerbated by poverty, calling it the latest evidence of how “socioeconomic disadvantage can increase the adverse effects of toxic physical ‘stressors’ like air pollutants.”

“This report adds to the growing literature on the vulnerability of the developing fetus and young child to the toxic effects of environmental pollutants,” the study says.

One of the fascinating aspects of modern times is the two tracks on which social science is discussed. The one track, the dominant track, is all about environment. Any discussion of heritability is ruled out of bounds. Even the most slapdash study that “proves” the environmental model of human behavior is waved around by the press. Those minority kids are victims of the white man’s pollutants!

Then there is the other track where real science is conducted. The massive amount of genetic data coming out is reshaping anthropology, biology and history. Every day something new comes out changing our understanding of nature and human history. But, little of it reaches the mainstream. If you want to know about this stuff you have to read hate thinkers on obscure websites.

At some point, the fantasy version of human relations will have to be brought back into line with reality. Whether it happens by force or by choice is unknown to me. I suspect the way to bet is the former. The new religion is based on the belief that man is a blank slate and people tend not to give up their religious convictions without a fight.