Chanda Chisala has been writing a series of articles for the Unz Review for almost a year now. They are on the nature of the black-white IQ gap. I’ve been eagerly awaiting his theory on the cause of the gap, as I always welcome any and all new information concerning this. Well, I was pretty underwhelmed by his theory.
Sowell has always used two arguments to cast doubt on the genetic hypothesis: the first one is the Flynn Effect or prior versions of it that he had noted himself, which shows that IQs have been rising with time for blacks and other people all over the world.
The “Flynn Effect” is rubbish. PumpkinPerson says:
It turned out Rushton was one of those “The Flynn effect is irrelevant” people. He found it prima facie absurd that we could have been a nation of mentally disabled people a century ago. It simply didn’t make any sense to him, given the outstanding achievements of early 20th century society. But it didn’t make any sense to me why the same tests that were culture reduced enough to measure the intelligence of South Africans could be so wrong when measuring Victorian intelligence. I needed an explanation. The Flynn effect is unrelated to g (general intelligence) and that was enough for him to just dismiss it and move on.
So even though Rushton and Jensen rebutted Flynn, as well as Flynn and Dickens, Chisala still chooses to use the Flynn Effect argument. Here is why it is irrelevant:
Let’s say Flynn is right. The average black now is as intelligent as the average white in 1945. That’s supposed to show that the race difference in IQ is environmentally caused because there hasn’t been that much genetic change in the white population and the IQ has allegedly gone up 15 points. So, you can have a 15 point difference created by just an environmental change, no one knows why. Some think better nutrition or malnourished brain, etc. That’s also a fallacy. Just because a change in one group over time is due to an environmental change, doesn’t mean, or even make it probable, that a difference between 2 groups at the same time is due to an environmental change. The Flynn Effect make’s that highly unlikely and here’s why.
The Flynn Effect, assuming it’s real, has been acting completely uniformly in every population. Any country you ask, the rate of increase is 3 per decade. That means it’s an environmental factor that affects whites and blacks the same way as well as the whole world. And as a result of this uniform environmental factor, you have a difference in IQ that’s being preserved. That would suggest that the response on the parts of blacks and whites is due to some non-environment factors, a genetic factor, which is making the difference in IQ remain constant as the Flynn Effect goes into effect.
What makes it even more unlikely, in the last 60 years, their environments have become very similar since segregation. These differences don’t exist now, they go to the same schools by court order, same TV shows, same movies, basically same environment for both, and yet, that increasing similarity in the environment, the Flynn Effect, the IQ gap has remained intact. Which means whatever counts for the gap is genetic and not environmental. The more and more similar the environment, the less and less of the difference can be due to the environment and the more and more it must be due to genes. So this 15 point gap surviving these changes in the environment, seems more and more likely to be genetic in origin.
So because this ‘Effect’ is the same across all populations and the gap didn’t close, that means it’s genetic. If the gap persisted even when IQs were rising 3 points per year, the B-W gap has still persisted, proving that it’s genetic.
That is why the Flynn Effect is irrelevant. This “Effect”, has been a slight upward trend in IQ, around 3 points per decade, which, in my opinion, has to do with the advent of better nutrition and an industrialized society. The rise in IQ started around 1880, almost perfectly coinciding with the industrial revolution in America. Along with a more industrialized society, it’s possible to give most citizens in the country good enough nutrition to where they are not iodine deficient (adding iodine to our salt boosted Americans IQs), as well as being deficient in zinc, iron, protein and certain B vitamins which the effects of not getting enough leads to the brain not growing to its full potential, which in turn leads to a lower IQ.
One more point on the Flynn Effect. The Flynn Effect does not occur on g, as it is not a Jensen Effect. Rushton defines Jensen Effect as follows:
Significant correlations occurring between g-factor loadings and other variables have been dubbed “The Jensen effect”.
Thus the secular increase in test scores (the “Lynn±Flynn effect”) is not a “Jensen effect” nor is this the first time the discriminating power of the Jensen effect has been shown.
The Flynn Effect is not on actual g. The black-white IQ gap is most heritable on those sub-tests that correlate highly with g. Through correlations on scores on inbreeding depression, Rushton and Jensen (2005) conclude that the magnitude of the black-white IQ gap is 80 percent genetic and 20 percent environmental.
Now to get to this other part of his theory.
The second very unique and original argument he has used is the differential IQ performance of black males and females, which seems to favor the females. He charges that the genetic hypothesis can not explain this, but it is explainable under an environmental hypothesis.
Sowell’s second argument is much stronger than the Flynn Effect argument because it is very difficult for hereditarians to explain why there should be a gender difference in African American IQ, especially one favoring females (let’s call this the “Sowell Effect,” to avoid repetition). This is very problematic for hereditarians, particularly since the trend is normally for male IQ to exceed female IQ, especially at the higher levels of the IQ distribution curve. We can see this unique trend among blacks even in the applications to medical school, a field that is considered a good metric for group intellectual comparisons.
This is very simply explained. Occam’s Razor anyone?
Even today in Africa, the women did the hunting and gathering, giving them more selective power. The same holds true for Eurasian men, who have a slight advantage in IQ over Eurasian women. Because of the colder climate in Eurasia, meat was one of the staples they had. So that shifted selection pressure from women over to men. Since men had the food, and the ability to hunt for it for that matter, men had more selection power to select the best possible mates. This led to Eurasian women being selected for beauty, whereas this led to African men being selected for physical attractiveness.
To quote from Erectus Walks Amongst Us:
In Africa, the women, even today, farm and gather food, so they have more selection power, but in the colder climates more of the food was meat, especially in the winter, and hunting was done by men, shifting some selection power to men. (Miller, 1994a). As a result of selection by men, Eurasian women have become more beautiful and, as a result of selection by women, Eurasian men have become workaholics and slightly more intelligent than Eurasian women (more intelligence = a better provider in Eurasia). African women have become slightly more intelligent than African men, however, who have become the more physically attractive sex.
So more intelligence led to a better provider. Being able to farm for and or hunt for food gave those who did it the selection ability to be able to sexually select to their liking.
Sowell (2013) claims this empirical victory in Intellectuals and Race (page 79):
Further evidence that the male-female difference in IQs among blacks is cultural is that black orphans raised by white families show no such female superiority in IQs, in addition to both sexes having higher average IQs than other black children.
Chisala says the Sandra Scarr data from the Minnesota Study does not back up this claim.
There are other studies that could possibly back Sowell up if he is right and we should check those too. For example, there is the well-known Eyferth Study in Germany which monitored the IQs of illegitimate children of black and white American soldiers who were stationed there at the end of the Second World War.
Wikipedia got its data from The g Factor, a book by Arthur Jensen (1998) that is probably the most cited in the racial intelligence debate. I went to the cited page and indeed found that Wikipedia had correctly reported Jensen’s data. The Sowell Effect had apparently disappeared among the black children born in Germany and the strong culture hypothesis seemed to be vindicated.
Arthur Jensen explains the cause for the mixed race children (and at the same time the cause for black female children having a higher IQ) on pp 483 of The g Factor: The Science of Mental Ability:
Finally, heterosis (the outbreeding effect; see Chapter 7, p. 196) probably enhanced the IQ level of the interracial children, thereby diminishing the IQ difference between the interracial children and the white children born to German women. A heterotic effect equivalent to about + 4 IQ points was reported for European-Asian interracial offspring in Hawaii.
This means that we can also resolve the debate about whether the black soldiers in this experiment were more selected than the white soldiers. It appears that the hereditarians were probably right on this point: the black soldiers had to have been significantly more intelligent than the white soldiers because the presence of a Sowell Effect indicates that the IQ of the black children has received extra depression (through an abnormal lowering of the male IQ, as usual.) However, it’s another Pyrrhic victory for hereditarians: the continued existence of apparent extra depression for black male IQ makes their simple models impotent, just as it does for standard environmentalist models.
Yet another point that Rushton and Jensen shoot down in their magnum opus paper:
Second, 20% to 25% of the “Black” fathers were not African Americans but French North Africans (i.e., largely Caucasian or “Whites” as we have defined the terms here). Third, there was rigorous selection based on IQ score in the U.S. Army at the time, with a rejection rate for Blacks on the preinduction Army General Classification Test of about 30%, compared with 3% for Whites (see Davenport, 1946, Tables I and III).
Huge error. About one-quarter of the ‘black fathers’ were French North Africans! Because North Africans have a higher genetic potential for IQ (nowhere near that of SSA), this is not a true representation of black fathers and white mothers.
Thus, racial hereditarians can not explain why the race of the mother matters
Is he being serious right now? It’s easily explained. We know that the mother’s IQ is the most important predictor of the child’s IQ. The prenatal environment is better in the white mother than in the black mother. Due to the mother’s IQ being the most important predictor of a child’s IQ, doesn’t that end the black-white IQ debate right there? Due to the fact that mixed race black and white children with white mothers show higher IQs than those with a black mother and white father, doesn’t that end the black-white IQ debate?
We racial hereditarians can definitely explain why the race of the mother matters. You should have done a bit more research into this matter.
And now on to my favorite part of this article. It’s so out there in its propensity for being a possibility for the cause of this gap between the races.
In Black Rednecks and White Liberals, Sowell (2006) theorizes that the modern ghetto culture of black Americans came from their association with white rednecks during the time of slavery and he believes it is the preservation of this detrimental culture – preserved with the intellectual help of “white liberals” – that keeps the black IQ low due to its anti-educational, anti-intellectual disposition. Sowell convincingly demonstrates some very uncanny similarities between ghetto black culture today and some aspects of white redneck culture that was more dominant in the South in the past than it is today, as more and more whites have decided to abandon it.
One huge problem with this. If that’s the case, if the cause of lower intellectual achievement is due to black Americans association with white rednecks during the time of slavery, all we need to do is look at Africa to see how they did without the “association with white rednecks during the time of slavery”! We can also look at those countries never touched by colonialism to see that they’re the same backwards countries.
Of course there will be “uncanny similarities”. When you have two groups who have lived amongst each other for a certain period of time, traits of both groups will rub off on each other. This is not a genetic cause, but an environmental cause. The similarities come down to being around other groups.
And here it is, here is the kicker:
Although I agree that the case for a cultural transfer from some groups of Southern whites is very strong, I think it is more likely that this “culture” was actually passed to blacks genetically rather than through mere influence and imitation. If that is the case, then it was in fact the presence of relatively strong mutations in that sub-population of whites that was affecting the stranger aspects of their behavior and intelligence, and they passed on the same genetic condition to blacks through mating with the black women.
THIS is his big reveal? No. Way. This has to be one of the funniest things I’ve heard in the black-white IQ debate. Hey, Chanda, there is something called Regression to the Mean (nice post, Jayman), which throws your theory out of the water.
blacks in fact had more stable families and even had less out-of-wedlock children than whites. He uses this to show that if slavery was the root of these problems, they could have started much earlier.
In this paper by Steven Ruggles, he says that analysis confirms that the high incidence of black Americans of single parenthood and children residing without their parents is not a recent phenomenon. Data shows that from 1880 through 1960, black children were two to three times more likely to reside without one or both children than white parents. This directly goes in the face of what liberals say is the cause of the demise of the black family structure. Ever since blacks have been free from slavery has this begun to happen.
What explains this perfectly, is Rushton’s r-K Selection Theory (now known as Life History Theory). Those who are more r selected (Africans), will have more children but spend less energy caring for them. Conversely on the other side, those more K-selected (Orientals and whites in the middle of K and r), will have fewer children but show more attention to them.
Some of Sowell’s strongest critics on this theory also suffer from the same progressional problem. Scholar and investigative journalist, Steve Sailer, for example,argued that much of the negative behavioral tendencies in black ghetto culture must have come with them from Africa. His theory is also unlikely to be true if the statistics about marriage and out-of-wedlock births etc are true. If their culture came with them from Africa they would not have had a long period where that culture seems to have been almost absent only to forcefully show up much later, in generations that had the least connection to or memory of Africa.
Sailer is correct. See my above cite showing that from 1880 through 1960 black children were two to three times more likely to reside with one or both children than white parents.
So we can see that it’s not a recent phenomenon.
Our theory thus explains a paradox that is difficult to explain by present environmental or hereditarian models: when blacks from Africa, the Caribbean and the US are compared, it is the least white-admixed black group that apparently performs best (the Africans), followed by Caribbean blacks who are in between; the most white-admixed group, the native black Americans, do worst. And yet within these communities, it is not necessarily true that the more white-admixed individuals perform worse; they may actually be over-represented on the highest levels of academic or social performance.
Dr. James Thompson says the sample for the Caribbean blacks in the UK is not a representative sample. Also, the hereditarian theory does not say that ALL Africans and African-descended peoples have a lower average IQ. It’s perfectly within the hereditarian hypothesis to have some African countries, as well as peoples, descended from African countries around the world, show a genetically higher IQ.
The evidence of such deleterious mutations still existing among modern day poor whites can be seen, not just from their low intellectual performance (going even lower than poor Caribbean boys), but even from their violent reactions against their fellow well-performing students, a culture that is also seen among ghetto black Americans, which is further evidence of a mutational rather than an imitational cause.
Wow, you mean to tell me that American whites aren’t a monolith and that there are some white groups in America with a lower average IQ? News to me!!
This solves one of the stronger challenges raised against the Unzian Asian Exception conjecture, asking why it was not East Asians who produced the greatest epochs of human intellectual achievements in history if it is true that their average IQs have consistently been stubbornly high for most of modern human history. It would be because the same canalization that protected them from low intelligence also “protected” them from producing the numbers of super-creative intellects that would be required for such revolutionary achievements in a concentrated period of time. They have a small creative smart fraction, in short.
The cause for lack of East Asian creativity is due to conforming in East Asian societies, which Rushton says in Race, Evolution and Behavior that it’s a genetic trait. Rushton did say that a larger average brain size means more creativity and that with social restrictions lifted, that East Asians may possibly become more creative than whites.
From time to time Lynn notes anomalies in his theory that require explanations. One of these is that Europeans made most of the great intellectual discoveries, while the East Asians, despite having a higher IQ, made relatively few—a paradox extensively documented by Charles Murray in his 2003 book, Human Accomplishment. Lynn proposes an explanation for this: it may be that East Asians are more conformist than Europeans and this inhibits creative achievement. (In Race, Evolution, and Behavior, I presented evidence that this personality trait has genetic roots.)
And yet the same hereditarians admit the conspicuous paucity of highly significant originators and innovators among East Asians, despite showing over-representation in high intellectual aptitude, sometimes very precociously so. East Asian women, who have the highest canalization coming from gender and race, are the most exemplary of this contrast. The shortage of such super-creative phenotypes can not be because they lack the numbers of people with the right genotype, but because the genotype is “buffered” from phenotypic expression by canalization.
Ashkenazi Jews, on the other hand, may be the most over-represented at the top of creative achievements in different intellectual fields (from chess to physics to literature, etc) simply because they happen to also be quite lowly canalized.
No. No way. Ashkenazi Jews are over-represented at the top of creative achievements in different intellectual fields because they mated with Roman women thousands of years ago. I have already noted about the mother being the best predictor of child’s intelligence. That’s the cause for high Ashkenazi IQ, not canalization.
Lower canalization also means that their improvement will be more rapid when such environmental conditions positively change (as can also be seen among recent black African immigrants, whose radical improvements begin even in children who were born under bad conditions in Africa, thus defying all kinds of hereditarian limitations.)
This is a case of super-selection. Only the most intelligent peoples leaving the country to immigrate.
In short, there is basically false assortative mating among black elites on average. This also explains why the mixed black male children have lower IQ when their mother is black than when their mother is white, as we demonstrated above.
I went over this earlier. Black mothers have a worse prenatal environment than do white mothers.
This obviously would not mean that the usual theories of environmentalists are correct either, since it should also not make a difference to them if the boys are included or excluded from the black American samples, especially in elite families. However, as we have faithfully acknowledged, both environmentalists and hereditarians also have some empirically confirmed arguments. Our present hypothesis, taking account of differential gender and racial canalization in human populations, can hopefully help to unify the valid aspects of the environmental and hereditarian frameworks.
I’ve noticed that Chisala used a hybrid environmentalist-hereditarian position to explain his theory on the black-white IQ gap.
I refuted the “Flynn Effect”, as well as the part of the Eyferth Study that talks about higher black female IQ, refuted the section about Caribbean blacks in the UK, and finally, I refuted his claim that we hereditarians “have no explanation for a mother’s IQ being the best predictor of the child’s IQ”.
In conclusion, this is just an extremely long-winded way of saying “whites are the cause of low black achievement, crime, IQ and anything else negative that affects blacks in Western countries”.
If that’s the case, Mr. Chisala, why is Africa so backwards?