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North/South Differences in Italian IQ: Is Richard Lynn Right? Part II

1500 words

In my first article on this matter, I showed how Richard Lynn claims the average IQ in Italy is around “89-92” for Sicily and the South and around 103 for the North. I showed how he was wrong and what data he overlooked to fit his hypothesis. Lynn’s 2011 article IQs in Italy are higher in the north: A reply to Felice and Giugliano was a reply to Myth and reality: A response to Lynn on the determinants of Italy’s North–South imbalancesFelice and Giugliano brought up Lynn’s four main theses: a) the South’s “economic backwardness” in terms of economics ‘throughout history’; b) the evidence provided by Lynn wasn’t enough to ‘prove’ a cause of lower IQ for S. Italians; c) the evidence provided by Lynn wasn’t enough to show that S. Italians score lower than N. Italians; and d) the supposed ‘high rates of MENA admixture’ in S. Italians. I blew up all of  these claims in the beginning of the year, more specifically I blew up up the claims about MENA admixture back in January. I’ll be going through Lynn’s 2010b article correcting any discrepancies. It’s worth noting that he still pushes the so-called ‘MENA admixture’ as being a substantial CAUSAL factor when there is NO evidence for this big of a ‘gap’ between the North and the South. The Lynn quotes will be from his 2010 paper linked above. I had also thought that ‘migrants’ from MENA countries could have contributed to the gap between the North and South, but since this isn’t the case for France then it shouldn’t be so for Italy. However, since Italy is a hub for these people when they first illegally enter Europe, they may stay and get counted as citizens and the children of these immigrants grow up and get accounted in the data. This is plausible, since a lot of ‘migrants’ may stay where they first get which is Southern Europe, mainly Sicily and Southern Italy.

We now present new data showing that IQs are higher in the north of Italy than in the south. In the previous study, data were presented for 12 Italian regions from the PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) 2006 study of the reading comprehension, mathematics and science performance of 15 year olds, regarded as measures of intelligence. We are now able to give similar data on the reading comprehension, mathematics and science performance of 15 year olds in 20 Italian regions obtained in the 2009 PISA study (OECD, 2010). These are given in Table 1. This shows, reading from left to right, the latitude of the Italian regions, the mean PISA scores for 12 regions for 2006 given in Lynn (2010a), the mean scores of 15 year olds on reading comprehension, mathematics and science understanding for the 20 Italian regions obtained in the 2009 PISA study, and the averages of the three 2009 PISA scores given because it provides a convenient summary of the scores on the three tests.

I already went through this in my previous article, but for clarity, I’ll go through this again.

Cornoldi, Giofrè, and Martini (2013) showed how there are problems inferring Italian IQ from the very PISA data that Lynn cites. There was a relevant decrease between the North and South. If the PISA test showed genetic proclivities between the North and South, why was there a relevant decrease in the three-year period? Because it is not an intelligence test, but a test of educational achievement. D’Amico et al (2011) conclude:

Our examination of intelligence test score differences between the north and south of Italy led to results that are very different from those reached by Lynn (2010a). Our results demonstrate that by using intelligence tests to assess differences in ability rather than using achievement scores as a proxy for intelligence, children from the south of Italy did not earn lower scores than those from the north of Italy. Rather, they were even higher in Raven’s CPM. However, we see no advantage in claiming that children in the south are “more intelligent” than children in the north, because these groups are different on a number of variables (e.g., environmental factors, educational influences, composition of the samples) that influence differences in test scores.

Either no difference or Southern Italians scored higher. When using purer measures of intelligence (Raven’s Progressive Matrices) so-called “differences” in “intelligence” disappear.

Lynn says:

It will be noted that the regional differences in both language and math ability increase with age. For example, in language ability the regional differences in the youngest children (P2) range between 1.6 and −3.8, a difference of 5.4, while the differences in the oldest children (2S) range between 3.6 and −4.4, a difference of 8.0. Similarly, in math ability the regional differences in the youngest children (P2) range between 0.8 and −1.0, a difference of 1.8, while the differences in the oldest children (2S) range between 4.3 and −5.4, a difference of 9.7. These age differences would be predicted from the thesis that the regional differences have a genetic basis, because the heritability of intelligence increases during childhood (Plomin, DeFries, & McClearn, 1980, p. 334).

On other measures of achievement, such as the INVALSI examinations, Southern Italians do not score lower, and in some cases may even score higher (Robinson, Saggino, and Tommasi (2011). Moreover, the N/S differences in ‘cognitive ability’ don’t exist at age 7, the IQ/income relationship didn’t exist in the past, and the MENA admixture in Southern Italians is minute (Daniel and Malanima, 2011). The so-called MENA admixture that Nordicists and Lynn like to say is the subject of my next point.

Lynn says:

Further data for the proportion of North African ancestry in the Italian regions are available in the frequency of the haplogroup E1b1b allele. This is a marker for North African ancestry, where it reaches frequencies above 50% and peaks at around 82% in Tunisia (Zalloua et al., 2008). The frequencies of the haplogroup xR1 and the E1b1b alleles are taken from Capelli et al. (2006), Capelli et al. (2007), Di Giacomo et al. (2003), Balaresque et al. (2010), Scozzari et al. (2001), and Semino et al. (2000). These data are given in columns 11 and 12 of Table 1 and the correlations between these and the other variables are given in Table 2.

As said and cited above, the so-called admixture from MENA populations in Southern Italians accounts for an extremely small fraction of the overall Southern Italian genome. The cause for lower achievement (“IQ” according to Lynn) in Southern Italians rests on this very pertinent point. And it’s wrong. Furthermore, and this is for Sicilians, the contribution of their genome by the Greeks is 37 percent, with the North African contribution being 6 percent. Daniel and Malanima (2011) ask ” Can the Greek heritage to the Western culture really be associated to a lower IQ?” The answer is, clearly, no. Moreover, a Central Italian province has the highest amount of MENA admixture, yet they have higher scores than Southern Italy. What does that tell you?

Richard Lynn’s Italian IQ data is garbage. Purer measures of intelligence such as Raven’s Colored Progressive Matrices show a decrease in the “intelligence gap” and in some cases, Southern Italians score higher than Northern Italians. When using measures of “IQ” from PISA data, these so-called differences disappear. Lynn’s data he cites in his 2010a paper don’t control for socio-cultural differences and school quality. There is numerous data that suggests the school quality in Southern Italy is worse than that of the North; this difference in school quality then affects educational achievement. Since PISA is a test of educational achievement and not intelligence (D’Amico et al, 2011), what accounts for these differences in achievement in the various studies may (and in my opinion, does) account for the differences in educational achievement between Northern and Southern Italians. The measurements in various studies may be influenced by the larger between-schools variability that is present in the South (Cornoldi et al, 2010; Daniel and Malanima 2011).

Finally, some people may point to the GDP differences between North and South Italy as proof of genetic/intelligence differences between them. However, the Mafia accounts for around a 20 percent drop in GDP in Southern Italy. To say that any differences in GDP can be accounted for without first controlling for things like this is dishonest. The presence of Mafia in areas shows lower growth and a sharper increase in murders. Each time homicides rise, GDP falls between 16-20 percent (Pinolli 2012). The presence of the Mafia had a devastating effect on the economies in that area between the 70s and 00s.

In sum, PISA is garbage to infer intelligence from as they are tests of achievement and not intelligence. Other tests of achievement show a decrease in the gap and/or Southern Italians scoring higher. Moreover, no substantial genetic differences exist between the North and the South, falsifying Lynn’s thesis for the causality of the differences between the North and the South. The oft-cited GDP difference between Northern and Southern Italy can be accounted for by the presence of the Mafia. Whenever the murder rate rises (due to Mafia activity), the GDP decreases. None of these factors have been taken into account and they explain the difference between the North and the South. It is environmental in nature–not genetic. Lynn’s Italian IQ data is garbage and should not be cited. It’s just a Nordicist fantasy that Southern Italians score lower than Nothern Italians.


Are Australoids and Pacific Islanders Negroid? A Reply to PumpkinPerson

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I’ve been in a few discussion with PumpkinPerson on phenotype and if the similar phenotype found in Australoids and Pacific Islanders meant they were Negroid. However, just because two *dissimilar groups* look *phenotypically similar*, that doesn’t mean that they are *genotypically similar*. Afrocentrists have also latched on to this ridiculous theory, saying that blacks are ‘all over the world, displaced by whites yada yada yada’. Today, I’ll show that just because those two groups look similar to Africans doesn’t mean that they are similar on the genotype.

PP wrote an article last week, The importance of leaving Africawhich I will be quoting from for the remainder of this article.

The root of this debate is not so much genuine scientific disagreement, but ethnic genetic interests.  The black Afrocentrists believe it’s good for black people to be seen as part of this larger, global black community, thus dispelling the claim that blacks only left Africa in chains.  For leaving Africa was one of the milestones that separates humans from our closest living relatives (chimpanzees), so the claim that blacks never left Africa is seen as racist indeed.

I agree here that Ethnic Genetic Interests is the main driver of the dispute.

But if the mere leaving of Africa did indeed screen for IQ, why do the Australoids score even lower on IQ tests than sub-Saharan Africans do, and have somewhat smaller brains

Because the environment is similar it would select for similar phenotypes, but just because the environment is extremely similar doesn’t mean that no genetic change occurred in the 70 ky that Australoids left Africa in.

By contrast, the non-black HBDers think it elevates their racial status to promote the idea that their ancestors did something that blacks couldn’t accomplish: leaving Africa.

Well, as I’ve covered here last year (time flys), those who left Africa had specific alleles, the DRD7 and DRD4 alleles, which are absent from SSA populations. This ‘wanderlust’, due to the DRD7 allele, is the *cause* of the migration OoA. It has nothing to do with being more intelligent than those who stayed, it has to do with the genetic mutation that arose from a common ancestor around the time of the OoA migration. The cause of the migration does come down to genetic differences in the founder population (s), but not intelligence differences.

Two notes on the DRD4 allele: populations with a history of migration have a higher chance of having the allele in comparison to sedentary populations. And: a correlation of .85 was found between km traveled and the rate of DRDR4 allele frequency distributions. These alleles are more prevalent in South America, which is not surprising since they had to travel the furthest.

PP then starts talking about why Australoids have lower IQs, saying:

With agriculture/civilization, the dark caucasoids traveled the World, spreading their high IQ mutation to every corner of the globe except those that are most isolated.  So the mean genetic IQ of the entire World increased by 13 points, with the exception of places that were too hard to get to, such as Australia and Papua New Guineas, the Congo rain forest, the Southern tip of Africa, and the Americas.  Since most of sub-Saharan Africa got the genes, they suddenly leaped from having lower IQs than the Austaloids, to being smarter (only the bushmen and pygmies, who like the Australoids, were too isolated to get the genes, remained behind the Australoids).

This is a great hypothesis. It makes a lot of sense. The ‘Dark Caucasoids’ as PP calls them, better known as Anatolian/Neolithic Farmers could have had a higher chance for more high IQ mutations due to the fact that they could farm and thus have a higher population giving more of a chance for higher IQs.

The downfall for the dark caucasoids was spreading these genes to whites and East Asians.  Because of cold winters, East Asians and whites were smarter than pre-mutation dark caucasoids, and now with these mutations, they were smarter once again.

I’m confused here. What we call whites today did not exist that far back in the past. Europeans are an amalgamation of four different ancient populations, basically are an amalgamation of ‘Dark Caucasoids’. Is he also saying that the Neolithic Farmers were more intelligent than East Asians?

Eurasians didn’t become a distinct breeding group until the end of the last Glacial Maximum. This is why there is ‘genetic similarity’ to modern-day Europeans with some old, 10k year plus peoples in the Americas. Because the two groups didn’t split into distinct populations, they show a similar genotype. This is what proponents of the Solutrean Hypothesis need to get through their heads. (I recently got into a nice discussion over at The Alternative Hypothesis, scroll down for comments. I’m going to make a more comprehensive post on the SH in the near future as I have come across even better data on it.)


We can see from this PCA graph (from Zainel Abidin et al) that Australoids don’t even cluster in the vicinity of Africans. They are on the complete other side of the graph, showing how great of a genetic distance there is between these two populations. You can see the other Oceanic peoples (the orange dots, who Afrocentrists and others say are Negroid, Abos, Papuans, Melanesians, etc) are also clustered away from Africans. PCA graphs show that the three populations are not genetically similar and that phenotype, sometimes, isn’t enough to show who belongs to what racial grouping. PCA analysis refutes peoples ‘feelz’ on what they believe with their eyes. Even with this data, their ‘feelz’ still overrides the truth and they still believe lies.

While on this subject of similar phenotype not meaning one population is racially the same as another, people use this same fallacious reasoning for ‘white-looking’ peoples in the ME.

Quoting Razib Khan:

The final issue is that a lot of the phenotypes that we racially code are recent. This probably explains why groups like the Kalash and Nuristanis can look more like Europeans than South Asians, but they’re genetically more like South Asians.

What does any of this have to do with non-scientific things? I don’t really know. My interest in population structure is intellectual, not personal. But a certain type of person should probably stop talking about how white people have been in Europe for 40,000 years. First, the ancestors of modern Europeans 40,000 years ago were almost all residing outside of Europe. An assertion that holds until 15,000 years ago. And most would still be resident outside of Europe 8,000 years ago as depending on how you count/calculate. *** And, perhaps more importantly, the typical phenotype of Northern Europeans probably really coalesced only around ~5,000 years ago. ***

How can there be such phenotypic similarity in two populations separated by thousands of miles?

Easy. The Kalash and other ME ‘white-looking’ populations have ancient Siberian ancestry. As shown in my linked article, modern-day Europeans have a great deal of Siberian ancestry, mostly from the true Aryans, the Yamnaya peoples.

And in the comments Razib was asked:

“Could I bother you to list the top three theories/positions that you see falling into this unsupportable category?”


To which he responded:

“that phylogeny and phenotype track closely. just because you can’t tell the physical difference between two pops (e.g., solomon islanders and sub-saharan africans) they must be phylogenetically close. this is not the case.”

Pretty much seals the deal.

Just because populations look similar on the outside doesn’t mean they are genetically similar. As shown from Razib’s post, the phenotypes that we code are relatively recent, which is why there are some populations separated by thousands of miles yet look extremely similar.


This was said in the comments:

I can’t really tell about the genetics since I don’t have the scientific background, but my impression is a lot of those white identity guys have an extremely mythologised view of the past. This seems to be true even of the smarter ones; e.g. I recently read a bit of Richard Spencer’s twitter account (out of interest in the alt right phenomenon) and he throws out such totally retarded comments as “Europe has always been unified, even before Christianity” (totally ignoring what is known about the ancient Greeks’ intimate links to the Near East, the Greeks’ and Romans’ unflattering view of the northern barbarians, the emergence of Latin Christendom in the middle ages and the fairly late rise of the concept of Europe etc.) or “Europe is a nation”. There seems to be little awareness of the complexities of historical change because everything is reduced to some supposedly unchanging racial essence reaching back into the mists of prehistoric times. Now I’m pretty far right and “racist” myself, but a lot of this really seems pretty stupid…like myth-making for identity politics.

To which Razib responded:

i knew the pre-WN richard spencer (we lost touch after his ideological changes ~2010). he’s smart. i have a hard time believing he doesn’t know the latest research, which was evening starting to be evident back then. so i think it’s myth-making.

p.s. a friend of mine sent me a link to a richard spencer interview with kevin macdonald last year i think, pointing to a specific segment of the podcast talking about ancient genetics. kevin was telling richard how europeans 40,000 years ago were white, and those are the ancestors of europeans. that’s wrong.

Europeans 40kya were not white those in the area at that time are *not* the ancestors of today’s Europeans.

Both Afrocentrists and Nordicists need to keep up with the new information that’s constantly coming out. Because what they say in regards to genetics and/or anything else is mostly wrong.

Nordicist Fantasies: The Myth of the Blonde-Haired, Blue-Eyed Aryans and the Origins of the Indo-Europeans

750 words

Nordicists say that the Aryans, the Indo-Europeans, had blonde hair and blue eyes. Though, recent genetic evidence shows that the origin of the Indo-European language is from the Russian steppe, originating from the Yamnaya people. The originators of the Indo-European languages weren’t blonde-haired and blue-eyed, but dark-haired and dark-eyed. Better known as the ‘Kurgan Hypothesis’, this is now the leading theory for the origin of Indo-European people.

Haak et al (2016) showed that at the beginning of the Neolithic period in Europe (approximately 7 to 8 kya) that a closely related group of farmers appeared in Germany, Hungary, and Spain. These ancient populations were different from the indigenous peoples from the Russian steppe, the Yamnaya, who showed high affinity with a 24000-year-old Siberian sample. Approximately 5 to 6 kya, farmers throughout Europe had more hunter-gatherer ancestry than their predecessors from the early Neolithic, but the Yamnaya from the Russian steppe were descended from the Eastern European hunter-gatherers, but also from a population with Near East ancestry (Ancient North Eurasians, ANE). Further, the migration of haplotypes R1b and R1a traveled into Europe 5000 years ago.

The Late Neolithic Corded Ware culture from Germany trace approximately 75 percent of their ancestry to the Yamnaya, which confirms a massive migration from Eastern Europe to the heartland of the continent 4500 years ago. This ancestry from the Yamnaya persisted in all of the Europeans sampled up until approximately 3000 years ago, and is common in all modern-day Europeans. The researchers then conclude that this provides evidence for a steppe origin for some of the Indo-European languages from Europe.

As mentioned above, Haber et al (2016) show how, as I alluded to above, that the Yamnaya people share  distant ancestry with the Siberians, which is probably the source of one of the three ancient populations that contributed to the modern-day European gene pool (Ancient North Eurasians, West European hunter-gatherers, and Early European farmers from Western Asia with the fourth population being the Yamnaya people).

Olade et al (2015) show that since the Basque people speak a pre-Indo-European language that this indicates that the expansion of Indo-European languages is unlikely to have begun during the early Neolithic (7 to 8 kya). They, like Haak et al, conclude that it’s in agreement with the hypothesis of the Indo-European languages coming out of the East, the Russian steppe, around 4500 years ago which is associated with the spread of Indo-European languages into Western Europe.

Finally, it is known that the Yamnaya people had dark skin (relative to today’s Europeans), dark hair, and dark eyes. Knowing what is presented in this article, this directly goes against the Nordicist fantasy of the blue-eyed, blonde-haired Indo-Europeans. Nordicists also like to claim that the Indo-Europeans had blonde hair and blue eyes, when genetic evidence goes directly against this claim:

For rs12913832, a major determinant of blue versus brown eyes in humans, our results indicate the presence of blue eyes already in Mesolithic hunter-gatherers as previously described. We find it at intermediate frequency in Bronze Age Europeans, but it is notably absent from the Pontic-Caspian steppe populations, suggesting a high prevalence of brown eyes in these individuals.

Further, the Yamnaya were a tall population. Since the Yamnaya had a greater genotypic height, it stands to reason that Northern European populations have more Yamnaya ancestry.

The Yamnaya herded cattle and other animals, buried their dead in mounds called kurgans, and may have created some of the world’s first wheeled vehicles. They were a nomadic population that, some linguists say, had a word for wheel. The massive migration into Western Europe from the Russian steppe contributed large amounts of North Asian ancestry in today’s Europeans. The Yamnaya are also shown to be the fourth ancient population that is responsible for modern-day Europeans.

Modern-day genetic testing is shattering all of these myths that are told about the origins of Europeans and Proto-Indo-European peoples and languages. The ACTUAL basis for most PIE languages is from the Russian steppe, from a relatively (to modern Europe) dark-skinned, dark-haired, and dark-eyed people who then spread into Europe 4500 years ago.

The Nordicist fantasies of the Aryans, the originators of Proto-Indo-European languages has been put to rest. It was originally proposed based off of myths and stories, mostly from ancient Indo-European cultures who were situated thousands of miles away from the original Indo-Europeans (the Yamnaya).

The Kurgan Hypothesis is now the theory that’s largely accepted by the scientific community as being the homeland of the Proto-Indo-Europeans. The Yamnaya people now make a fourth founding population for Europeans, with the other three being West European hunter-gatherers, Ancient North Eurasians, and Early European Farmers.