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A Reversal of the FLynn Effect?

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JP Rushton

Richard Lynn

L:inda Gottfredson


2600 words

As I showed back in September, FLynn (“FLynn” to give Richard Lynn the credit of noticing it as well) losses were not due to immigration, but due to dysgenic effects (and partly to do with nutrition). One must wonder: When will the FLynn Effect stop—and reverse? It looks like it will happen sooner, rather than later. A new paper just released today, Survey of expert opinion on intelligence: The FLynn effect and the future of intelligence by Rindermann, Becker and Coyle (2016) talks about the future of this FLynn Effect. What did they find?

The FLynn Effect is a slight increase in IQ scores—about .3 points per decade—and is due to better nutrition (the biggest cause in my opinion), health, living standards and education. Contrary to popular belief, education DOES have an effect on intelligence. If one is educated, they are able to reach their genetic max. The authors state:

The decline of the FLynn effect in developed countries, and its increase in developing regions with currently lower than average ability levels (e.g., Africa), may lead to a narrowing of international gaps (Meisenberg and Woodley, 2013 and Rindermann, 2013).

Now, I didn’t need a scientific paper to tell me this, it’s just common knowledge. I do believe that the gap will obviously close between countries, as a lot of the countries with lower average IQs are near the equator and have to deal with inadequate nutrition, diseases and parasitic load, and as these geographic areas come go from third-world to first-world countries, their IQ scores will increase as well. The genetic IQs of peoples in the equatorial localities around the world will increase as their standard of living increases, and as dysgenic fertility continues in first-world countries, these populations will close the gap a bit, but barring some extraordinary circumstances, I don’t see this occurring.

Going to quote this whole paragraph as it has huge implications (and I’m sure the full paper will get taken down eventually so I’m saving this in my files on my computer):

Future IQ changes are linked to past cognitive development and expected demographic changes, which permit predictions of future development at the country level (e.g., + 0.45 to + 0.76 IQ points per decade in the US; Rindermann & Pichelmann, 2015). Demographic changes may be linked to genetic effects, which are influenced by asymmetric birth rates in modern populations (e.g., Lynn, 2011 and Nyborg, 2012). Negative genetic effects on intergenerational changes in ability are plausibly linked to: (a) parent-children correlations in intelligence (for individuals about r = 0.40 to 0.50; Plomin, DeFries, Knopik, & Neiderhiser, 2013, p. 76), (b) the well established theory that intelligence is not only transmitted via family environment but also via genes (backed by twin research; Plomin et al., 2013) and (c) better educated and more intelligent adults having fewer children (e.g., Loehlin, 1997). If these three statements are correct, negative genetic effects on intergenerational intelligence development are a logically compelling consequence. Such negative effects may be aggravated, if migration produces brain drain in developing countries, which occurs when high ability people in developing countries immigrate to developed countries (e.g., Kapur & McHale, 2005), or if low ability people (relative to the level in destination countries) immigrate to developed countries, a pattern observed in the West over the last decades (e.g., Rindermann & Thompson, 2016).

There is no doubt in my mind that immigration from MENA countries WILL have a negative effect, but as I showed back in September, the alarm bells shouldn’t be ringing yet because they didn’t even put a dent in the scores yet.

So we have better educated and more intelligent adults having fewer children (CLASH AKA r/K selection theory in action), intelligence being transmitted through genes (well known by now) and parent children correlations that show that the negative generational effects on intelligence for the native population is due to the differential birth rate between lower and higher IQ (educated) people. Of course these effects can be heightened by mass immigration (as is currently happening in the West at the moment), but I’ve shown, at least with the case of France, that mass immigration is not a cause, YET, of decreasing IQ scores and that dysgenics is a better explanation.

The authors state why they did a survey of expert opinion:

An expert survey has three advantages. First, according to the Spearman-Brown prediction formula, increases in the items being analyzed (here expert ratings) will increase the reliability of the final averaged result. Second, the average result of an expert survey may be closer to the truth than the average result of a non-expert survey (e.g., Rindermann et al., 2016). Third, in the current study, data collection procedures were designed to ensure anonymity, which reduced pressure for socially desirable responses and increased the likelihood of obtaining honest opinions about controversial issues.

Expert surveys are great ways to get information—especially on such a controversial topic such as intelligence. With an anonymized survey, people won’t have to worry about losing their careers or have hecklers attempt to ruin their careers and make life a living hell for them as happened to Rushton and Jensen during their heyday.

Question 1 is:

“In your opinion, what are the most plausible scientific theories about the Flynn-effect (FLynn-effect) in 20th century?” Predetermined answers were presented in the following order: (1) rising standard of living (wealth), (2) decline of group-inequality, (3) genetic changes, (4) better education and school-systems, (5) longer education for more people, (6) better education in families, (7) better nutrition, (8) better health, (9) smaller families, (10) TV and media, (11) computer (and similar as smartphones), (12) immigration, (13) more test experience, (14) more educated parents, and (15) more intelligent social environment. Respondents rated each factor on a scale of 1 (“not important/not true”) to 9 (“important/true”).

A dearth of answers, I’ll answer what I think.

I believe that the most plausible theories on the rise in IQ across the globe have to do with better nutrition (in my opinion, the most important variable), better health (goes back to my disease and parasitic load post), and better education and school systems. I rank these as 9,9, and 6 respectively.

The second question:

The second question concerned a possible end of the FLynn effect: “In your opinion, if there is an end or retrograde of the FLynn-effect in industrial nations, what are the most plausible scientific theories to explain this development?” The following options were presented: (1) decline in educational values, (2) worse education and school-systems, (3) worse education in families, (4) worse nutrition, (5) worse health, (6) low intelligent adults have more children than others (genetic effect), (7) low intelligent adults have more children than others (socialization effect), (8) TV and media, and (9) migration.” The rating scale varied between 1 (“not important/not true”) to 9 (“important/true”).

In my opinion, if there is an end (there is) or retrograde to the FLynn effect, the causes are low intelligent adults haveing more children than others (genetic effect), worse health (partly), worse nutrition, and migration (a small effect as I’ve documented—so far). I rate these 9, 5, 7, and 2 respectively.

The third and final question:

Finally, we asked participants about the future development of intelligence in different world regions. The question was: “What is your opinion on the future development of intelligence up to 2100 in listed regions? Please mark the IQ points how much average cognitive ability will increase (right side) or decrease (left side) or remain stable (0) (in today’s norms).” The predetermined scale of IQ changes consisted of 19 levels, from “− 29 or less” to “+ 29 or more”. The world regions comprised: (1) Western countries in general, (2) Scandinavia, (3) West-Middle Europe, (4) Southern Europe, (5) Eastern Europe, (6) USA, (7) Canada, (8) Latin America, (9) Australia (10) East Asia (China, Japan, Korea), (11) Africa, (12) Arabian and Muslim countries, (13) India, and (14) Israel.

Western countries in general will get less intelligent with more illegal (and legal) immigration); Scandinavia I’d say will not get less intelligent as the US as quickly, but with more immigrants going to these countries the IQ scores will decrease further (along with dysgenic fertility); West-Middle Europe I’d say they both will continue to get less intelligent as the birth rates are seriously below replacement in these countries (1.3 TFR in Germany, for example); Southern Europe I can see getting less intelligent due to more immigration along with dysgenic fertility but they will fight back against immigration more than other Western countries; Eastern Europe is the same as Southern Europe; As more and more immigration from the South of the border occurs and as our ‘Presidents’ allow more MENA immigration into our country, our IQ as a whole will fall sooner rather than later; Canada has the same situation as the US; I can see it staying stable in Latin America, Australia I see as being just like the US and Canada; East Asia I see staying the same and allowing no immigration as the West does and will conserve their IQ; Africa is on the rise mostly due to the Chinese and along with better infrastructure and nutrition, some of their woes will be ameliorated, not enough to ‘bridge the IQ gap’, however; Arabian and Muslim countries I see decreasing sightly; the more they inbreed, they will become slightly less intelligent (as well as the factor of nutrition) I see India on the rise as they are showing a lot of development in the South of the country as well as getting better nutrition; and finally Israel I see getting slightly more intelligent due to them disallowing immigration (or being strongly selective) and as the Ashkenazi population increases, the country as a whole will get more intelligent.



Table 1 shows the experts’ ratings in what the causes for the FLynn effect are. Better health, longer education, improved schooling and better nutrition were the main causes the experts thought were enough to explain the FLynn gains. These variables, in concert, definitely would cause this secular increase in intelligence scores over the past 100 years. Do note that the gains we see in IQ scores have started around the industrial revolution, which better nutrition and institutions (schools) happened in these industrialized countries. Now, think to the third-world countries that are ‘coming up’, basically their own ‘industrial revolution’, they will have their own IQ increases as seen in Africa currently BUT, this will not close any GENETIC gaps in intelligence.

Then this comment:

In the comments, one expert mentioned that the FLynn effect is mostly on non-g factors, suggesting that the increases are not general and therefore less relevant for everyday life achievement.

Echoes what JP Rushton (who was not mentioned in this paper, dissapointed at that, however Jensen was) said back in 2000: “Flynn Effects Not Genetic and Unrelated to Race Differences“. Rushton and Jensen had a long back-and-forth with Dickens and Flynn on the nature of the black-white IQ gap, which I will cover eventually. I love how someone echoed Rushton’s sentiments on the FE, since Rushton was not cited in the paper.


Table 2 shows less intelligent adults having more children along with migration. This explanation is two-fold here. Migrants, more often than not, are super-selected. That is, they are a highly selected immigrant sample and are not representative of their native population. But as more and more migration occurs, the super-selected sample will no longer be migrating and the low IQ peoples then flood the countries and lower the average IQ (this will decrease QoL as well, among numerous other variables). The next explanation was low intelligence, more children. This is a huge cause for FLynn loses, as I’ve covered already. Health and nutrition showed less support, all though I slightly disagree with health not being a factor. If there were no health/parasite/disease problem, they’d reach their genetic IQ. I’d love to see a huge study one day on a representative sample of people from all geographic locations across the world and see what they would look like in first-world conditions.

The authors state:

The correlation between the ratings of all experts and FLynn experts was very high (r = 0.97, N = 9 categories, p < 0.001), as was the correlation between FLynn experts (N = 16) and the other cognitive ability researchers (N = 43) (r = 0.91, N = 9 categories, p = 0.001). The high correlations indicate that the pattern of ratings was consistent across different groups of experts.

And some comments:

In the comments, two raters noted that education, nutrition and health have not become worse but that their benefits are diminishing and have reached a ceiling, comparable to other trends in post World War II development. One person mentioned that dysgenic changes are accumulating across generations.

The dysgenic changes across generations are the culprit in my opinion.


Finally, in table 3 the FLynn experts and the rest of the experts thought that East Asia, India, Africa, Latin America and Muslim/Arab countries will show the largest gains in IQ by 2100. You may be wondering “Why East Asia?” Because a lot of the East Asian population does live in poverty (especially in rural China), and better nutrition among other factors that occur in urban environments. The FLynn experts also expect huge decreases in Israel, Canada, Australia, all parts of Europe and all Western countries in general. I agree with this trend (except for Israel, I see nothing that’s occurring there to drop their IQ in the next 84 years).

Quoting the last paragraph of the discussion:

However, such an outlook may be moderated by country-level policies. Such policies may include incentives that increase birth rates among well educated people, incentives that attract high ability immigrants, and improved environmental conditions for cognitive development at all levels of the ability spectrum, including for the gifted and less advantaged. Improved environmental conditions may have especially large effects on less educated and lower ability people, who are more likely to benefit from improvements in health, sanitation, and education (e.g., Glewwe & Kremer, 2006).

I fully agree with this. We do need incentives for the more intelligent, more educated people to need to have children so we can offset the current trend towards idiocracy that America and the West as a whole is currently observing.

The truth about genetics and IQ is slowly coming out, and with this paper coming out today (November 14, 2016) I hope to see more talk about intelligence as a whole and what mass immigration will do to the overall intelligence of a country as well as stopping (or doing extremely limited) immigration as I have proposed here).

Taking back our countries’ spirit—i.e., halting mass immigration—is not only important for the preservation of people and culture, but is important for the average IQ of the nation, as mass immigration from less intelligent countries is a net negative for the richer and more intelligent countries that get emigrated to (I mean, would you go anywhere else?). Eventually, not too far off in the near future, I see our countries in the West getting more sensible, HBD-aware politicians and activists that understand the truth of this research. Once that occurs, immigration can be halted and we can take care of that one problem for declining national IQs. After that, we need policies that encourage the intelligent and educated to have more children, maybe giving them a tax break on the number of children they conceive. There are numerous ways to go about these problems and differing solutions to help tide them. I just hope that we get people in power who actually realize this and are actually for preservation of people and country. Remember, that the environments we live in are products of our genetics. “Race is not a socal construct, society is a racial construct. Society and culture derive from race/biology.”—Douglas Whitman

To top it off, not surprisingly, when the researchers had anonymity, many (unsurprisingly) said that the cause for the retrograde of the FLynn effect was genetic (people with lower intelligence conceiving more children). It’s sad that people have to say these things anonymously, but one day we’ll be able to talk about these real things in society, I just hope it’s soon before it can’t be reversed.


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Arthur Jensen

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