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Strong Evidence, Strong Argument: Race IQ and Adoption

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Commenter Salger brought this article to my attention, Weak Evidence, Weak Argument: Race, IQ, Adoption in which an environmentalist in the B-W IQ debate regurgitates the same old and boring long-refuted studies and the same long-refuted researchers, to attempt to prove that the gap in IQ is purely environmental in nature. I have written on this before, so his reasoning that there is “weak evidence” and “a weak argument on race and IQ” is clearly wrong, as we know the studies and researchers he cites have been disproven. Steele then references another discussion he had on the black-white IQ gap, speaking about people being “uninformed” about a position while arguing it.

My problem with this kind of data is as follows. It isn’t overly useful data in proving much of anything: small sample sizes, lack of effective controls and control groups, abundance of confounding factors, difficulty of replicability, etc.

Since he’s saying that there is a “difficulty of replicability” with IQ tests in transracial adoption studies, he hasn’t read the ones for the hereditarian argument and seeing how they show the biological origin of IQ or he’s just being willfully ignorant. I’ll go with the first one.

We know through other research that racial biases are immense in our society, and this other research tends to be of a higher quality than the adoption (and twin) research. Studies have found various forms of racial biases in a wide variety of areas, from education to policing. It’s well supported that this is systemic and institutional.

There are no racial biases in education nor policing. Police arrest less black offenders than are reported by the NCVS and affirmative action getting blacks ahead shows that the racial bias is for them, not whites. Saying that it’s “systemic and institutional” is a cop out since you know he doesn’t want to even entertain the idea of the hereditarian hypothesis.

It is also well supported that it is often internalized, and typically unconscious. Studies have shown that even minorities show prejudice against other minorities and that this is worse toward those with darker skin. Plus, studies show an internalized racial bias by way of stereotype threat, where the framing of a situation apparently causes the person to in a sense unintentionally sabotage themselves (because of added stress and cognitive load).

Stereotype threat, my favorite. ST can only be replicated in the lab. “Prejudice” doesn’t matter.

For any of these adoption (and twin) studies to be useful, it would require taking into account all the known confounding factors. I don’t know of a single study that does this or even attempts to come close to doing this. It would be ludicrously counterintuitive to presume that these endemic and internalized racial biases weren’t effecting the results.

All this leaves us is to speculate based on weak and probably misleading data. This means interpretation inevitably will follow ideology, as long as we limit ourselves to this data and ignore the larger context of data.

What other confounders could be controlled for that you think had a negative impact on the mean IQ of blacks at adolescence throughout adulthood? “Internalized racial biases” don’t matter since blacks have a higher self-esteeem about their physical attractiveness (Kanazawa, 2011), so “internalized racial biases” (which includes things such as one’s thoughts of one’s self physically) do not matter as they are more confident than are whites. This is due to testosterone, which makes blacks more extroverted than whites who are more extroverted than Asians (Rushton’s Differential-K Theory). If these racial biases were really to manifest themselves to actually sap 15 to 18 (1 to 1.2 SDs) IQ points from blacks, this would show in their self-confidence about themselves. Yet they are more confident, on average, than the other two major races.

All this leaves us is to speculate based on weak and probably misleading data. This means interpretation inevitably will follow ideology, as long as we limit ourselves to this data and ignore the larger context of data.

It’s been discussed ad nasueam. The data attempting to say that blacks are just as intelligent are whites are wrong, as I will show below. The data for the hereditarian hypothesis is not weak, as I have detailed on this blog extensively.

This is highly problematic, for the issues involved are complex. That is just the way reality is. If you want to deal with complex reality, you better find sophisticated ways of dealing with it. On that account, these studies fail in various ways. Still, they give us some possible insights in new directions to take with better research.

IQ has been tested for 100 years, and every time, whites outscore blacks 1 to 1.2 SDs.THAT is reality, not some made up, contorted view of reality for some egalitarian dogma.

In conclusion, my basic point is that all of this demonstrates how weak is the argument being made by hereditarians. As for those who prefer environmental explanations, they don’t need this data at all, since there is already plenty of other data that supports their position. Given what we know, all of the racial disparities, IQ or otherwise, can be explained without recourse to genetic determinism.

My basic point is that all of this demonstrates how weak the argument being made by environmentalists really is. What other data supports the environmentalist position that “they don’t need any data at all”? I’d love to see it. The gap is 80/20 genetics and environment respectively. From averaged correlations on subtests that correlate highest with g, we can say that the gap is around 80 percent genetic and 20 percent environment. Genetic determinism in terms of IQ, save extreme environmental factors, will always beat any environmental model.

This is an obvious statment, for the simple reason that race itself is a social construct, not a scientific fact. Social constructs and their social consequences need social explanations of social causes. The debate of the racial IQ gap is about as meaningful as attempting to compare the average magical intelligence of those sorted into each Hogwarts Houses by the magical sorting hat, if one were to base a society on such strange notions.

Race is not a social construct, but a biological reality. If this debate is “about as meaningful as attempting to compare the average magical intelligence of those sorted into each Hogwarts Houses by the magical sorting hat”, why waste youre time writing this post with tons of misinformation?

Steele cites Block (2005), a “philosopher of science”. Rushton and Jensen (2005, p. 279) say that those (Block) who say that gene-environment interactions are so hard to entangle, why then, do identical twins raised apart show identical signs of intelligence (among many other heritable items)?

Eyferth comes out, of course, which the study has been discredited. To be breif, 20 to 25 percent of the fathers to German women’s children weren’t sub-Saharan African, but French North Africans. 30 percent of blacks got refused in military service in comparison to 3 percent of whites due to rigorous testing for IQ in 70 years ago. One-third of the children were between the ages of 5 and 10 and two-thirds were between the ages of 10 and 13. Heritability estiamtes really begin to increase around puberty as well, so if the Eyferth study would have retested in the following 5 to 8 years to see IQ scores then, the scores would have dropped as that’s when genetic effects start to dominate and environments effects are close to 0.

He then cites Richard Nisbett, who I have discussed here, on the Moore study.

The study conducted by Elise Moore (1986) compared IQ scores of 23 7 to 10-year-old black children raised by middle-class white families and the same number of black children but raised in black families (normal adoption).The findings indicated that traditionally adopted black children raised by black parents had normal IQ scores (85), whereas those black children who were adopted by white families had IQs 1 standard deviation (100) above the black mean. Moore states that multivariate analysis indicates that the behaviors of black and white mothers were different in regards to how the black children were treated. She states that white adoptive mothers reduced stress by joking, laughing, and grinning. Whereas black adoptive mothers reduced stress in less positive ways including coughing, scowling and frowning. She also says that white adoptive mothers gave more positive reinforcement to their adoptive child’s problem solving whereas black adoptive mothers gave less (as I am arguing here, these traits are mostly genetic in origin, driven by IQ). She concludes that the ethnicity of the rearing environment exerts a significant influence on intellectual ability as well as standardized test scores. The sample sizes, however, are extremely small and to infer that the black-white IQ gap is environmental in origin because of a study with a small sample size is intellectually dishonest.

He cites a study of black children in the UK, but this is a case of super-selection, as only the most intelligent Africans emigrate.

Steele then cites this article:

These results make some common sense. We know that intelligent people tend to have intelligent children— but not always. Some studies have also suggested that intensive programs may make a large difference in disadvantaged children’s intelligence quotient (IQ) scores.

Headstart gains are temporary, and there is a fadeout over time.. Arthur Jensen was writing about this 50 years ago. IQ and scholastic achievement gains only last for a few years after Headstart, then genetics starts to take effect as the child grows older.

The article then mentions how European ancestry can be measured in American black populations. However, the studies fail to choose genetic markers with large allele frequencies between Europeans and African Americans (Jensen, 1998, p. 480).

He cites Lee Willerman and his colleagues who found that children with white mothers and black fathers scored higher on IQ tests than children with black mothers and white fathers. This is due to the mother being the best predictor of intelligence of the child. White mothers have a better prenatal environment than do black mothers.

He cites the Wikipedia article on Race and Intelligence, which brings up all the usual, Moore, Tizard (will address below) and Eyferth. The article cites Nisbett (2009) as claiming that Rushton and Jensen’s (2005) claim that the three aforementioned studies did not retest at adulthood, and that “heritability between ages 7 and 17 are quite small, and that consequently this is no reason to disregard Moore’s findings.”

That’s a lie. IQ heritability jumps from 40 percent at age 7 to 82 percent at age 18, with some studies showing heritabilities up to 90 percent.

From the same Wikipedia article:

Another study cited by Rushton & Jensen (2005), and by Nisbett et al. (2012), was Moore (1986) study which found that adopted mixed-race children’s has test scores identical to children with two black parents – receiving no apparent “benefit” from their white ancestry

As shown above, since the mother’s IQ is the best predictor of intelligence and the black-white IQ gap being 80 percent heritable, this means that the amount of white ancestry an American black has, the higher his IQ score will be.

Tizard (1972) observed 2 to 5-year-old black and white children in a nursery setting. The white and black children both had IQs at 102.6 and 106.3 respectively. She found no significant gap in the three groups tested (white, black and West Indian). However, she did note that the single significant difference was in that of non-white children. But that doesn’t mean anything as genetics doesn’t take full effect until around 18, where the IQ gap will be the largest.

Levin and Lynn (1994) disputed Weinberg et al’s conclusion with a hereditarian alternative. That the average IQ and school achievement scores of the black children directly reflected their amount of African ancestry. At both age 7 and 17, the adopted children with 2 black parents had lower average IQs and worse school achievement tests than those with one black parent and one white parent. So right here, in the MTAS, it shows that mixed-race people DO score better than just blacks, which is attributed to their white ancestry.

He then cites a bunch of quotes from Nisbett’s book Intelligence and How to Get It, yet Ruhston and Jensen have refuted this too.

Even with equalized environments these gaps still persist. Your allegations of supposed racism or any other factor you want to bring up for the racial gap in intelligence are unfounded. Environmental differences do not account for the 1.2 SD gap between blacks and whites; environment accounts for, at best, 3 IQ points, so you’ll need to explain what environmental effects cause that kind of IQ drop. In America, blacks don’t have the same environmental factors, i.e., parasitic load, bad nutrition and the high disease rate, so they can hit their phenotypic IQ, plus a bit more due to 22 percent white ancestry on average.  Why you cite discredited studies and researchers to help prove your point is beyond me.

Stereotype Threat is false. Non-replicable studies outside of a lab setting, as well as a meta-analysis that looked at 55 published and unpublished studies that showed that Stereotype Threat is discredited. As shown above, blacks have higher self-confidence than do whites, so this imaginary “stereotype threat” doesn’t affect blacks taking real tests; it only affects them in a lab setting. Steve Sailer has covered stereotype threat as well.

This debate is meaningful, and environmentalist who thinks that they can attempt to explain everything away by environmental factors are being extremely disingenuous. Even giving blacks everything they want in a school system with having one of the highest budgets at 430 million dollars did nothing to close the IQ gap or do anything for integration. Why do we have to deny reality, all for egalitarian dogma based off of philosophical musings then taken by Franz Boas to deny the biological validity of race?

To quote the concluding paragraph in Rushton and Jensen’s refutation to Nisbett:

There is no value in denying reality. While improving opportunities and removing arbitrary barriers is a worthy ethical goal, we must realize that equal opportunity will result in equitable, though unequal outcomes. Expanding on the application of his “default hypothesis” that group differences are based on aggregated individual differences, themselves based on both genetic and environmental contributions, Jensen proposed “two laws of individual differences”—(1) individual differences in learning and performance increase as task complexity increases, and (2) individual differences in performance increase with practice and experience (unless there is a low ceiling on proficiency). We must recognize that the more environmental barriers are ameliorated and everybody’s intellectual performance is improved, the greater will be the relative influence of genetic factors (because the environmental variance is being removed). This means that equal opportunity will result in unequal outcomes, within-families, between-families, and between population groups. The fact that we have learned to live with the first, and to a lesser degree the second, offers some hope we can learn to do so for the third.



  1. Salger says:

    Dandy work taking on that article. Now, what about this article?

    This article’s doing something like the race deniers in that it says there is more variation within sexes than between them. I would put those who play down sex differences, especially when it comes to g differences, on the same level as race deniers.


    • RaceRealist says:


      The idea that people have either a “female” or “male” brain is an old one, says Daphna Joel at Tel Aviv University in Israel. “The theory goes that once a fetus develops testicles, they secrete testosterone which masculinises the brain,” she says. “If that were true, there would be two types of brain.”

      Does this NOT happen or something? Does test not get secreted from the testicles to masculinize the brain?

      Sex steroid hormones exert a profound influence on the sexual differentiation and function of the neural circuits that mediate dimorphic behaviors. Both estrogen and testosterone are essential for male typical behaviors in many species. Recent studies with genetically modified mice provide important new insights into the logic whereby these two hormones coordinate the display of sexually dimorphic behaviors: estrogen sets up the masculine repertoire of sexual and territorial behaviors, and testosterone controls the extent of these male displays.

      Control of masculinization of the brain and behavior (Wu and Shah, 2010)

      This attempt to say that all of these degenerate things that are now happening in our societies is “normal” due to there “not being a male or female brain” is ridiculous. It’s clearly due to media influence and how people are susceptible to propaganda through predictive programming and hearing things from people who look like them.

      Tel Aviv University in Israel… Anyone else surprised?

      To say that there are “not two types of brains” is an attempt to normalize behavior such as homosexuality and transgenderism, which should be treated with therapy.

      How it brings up that culture influences behavior is a blank slate argument. We know that we differ in our brains, thought processes and behavior from birth. We are not “blank pieces of paper waiting to be written on”.

      When it talks about math and women being engineers, there are reasons for that as well. Even after feminism, women Nobel Prize wins actually decreased. Even with all of these barriers broken down for women to succeed in these fields, they didn’t get any more representation in those fields, proving a genetic cause.

      And of course at the end, the point of the article comes out, “a genderless future”. This is an attempt to normalize all of the “gender fluid” “transgender” “lifestyles” of people.

      I’ll get to that article tomorrow.


  2. watitdew says:

    >they are more confident than are whites.


    >Police arrest less black offenders

    it’s fewer

    >environmentalist who thinks they can attempt to explain everything away


    >That the average IQ and school achievement scores of the black children directly reflected their amount of African ancestry

    how much african ancestry?

    Could you at least proofread your shit?


    • RaceRealist says:


      What do you think it means? Blacks are more confident than are whites.

      it’s fewer

      They’re interchangeable. Hey, you should call all supermarkets and tell them about their “12 items or *less* line.

      how much African ancestry?

      Not specified. As I said, average IQ and school achievement scores re-elected their amount of African ancestry. Meaning, the more African ancestry the lower the IQ and scholastic achievement scores.

      Could you atleast proofread your shit?

      I did last night but missed a few things apparently. Thank you for pointing them out.


  3. […] was noticing again a post by RaceRealist from last year: Strong Evidence, Strong Argument: Race IQ and Adoption. It’s in response to a previous post of mine: Weak Evidence, Weak Argument: Race, IQ, […]


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