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… what IQ tests actually assess is not some universal scale of cognitive strength but the presence of skills and knowledge structures more likely to be acquired in some groups than in others. (Richardson, 2017: 98)
For the past 100 years, the black-white IQ gap has puzzled psychometricians. There are two camps—hereditarians (those who believe that individual and group differences in IQ are due largely to genetics) and environmentalists/interactionists (those who believe that individual and group differences in IQ are largely due to differences in learning, exposure to knowledge, culture and immediate environment).
However, one of the most forceful arguments for the environmentalist (i.e., that the cause for differences in IQ are due to the cultural and social environment; note that an interactionist framework can be used here, too) side is one from Fagan and Holland (2007). They show that half of the questions on IQ tests had no racial bias, whereas other problems on the test were solvable with only a specific type of knowledge – knowledge that is found specifically in the middle class. So if blacks are more likely to be lower class than whites, then what explains lower test scores for blacks is differential exposure to knowledge – specifically, the knowledge to complete the items on the test.
But some hereditarians say otherwise – they claim that since knowledge is easily accessible for everyone, then therefore, everyone who wants to learn something will learn it and thus, the access to information has nothing to do with cultural/social effects.
A hereditarian can, for instance, state that anyone who wants to can learn the types of knowledge that are on IQ tests and that they are widely available everywhere. But racial gaps in IQ stay the same, even though all racial groups have the same access to the specific types of cultural knowledge on IQ tests. Therefore, differences in IQ are not due to differences in one’s immediate environment and what they are exposed to—differences in IQ are due to some innate, genetic differences between blacks and whites. Put into premise and conclusion form, the argument goes something like this:
P1 If racial gaps in IQ were due specifically to differences in knowledge, then anyone who wants to and is able to learn the stuff on the tests can do so for free on the Internet.
P2 Anyone who wants to and is able to learn stuff can do so for free on the Internet.
P3 Blacks score lower than whites on IQ tests, even though they have the same access to information if they would like to seek it out.
C Therefore, differences in IQ between races are due to innate, genetic factors, not any environmental ones.
This argument is strange. One would have to assume that blacks and whites have the same access to knowledge—we know that lower-income people have less access to knowledge in virtue of the environments they live in. For instance, they may have libraries with low funding or bad schools with teachers who do not care enough to teach the students what they need to succeed on these standardized tests (IQ tests, the SAT, etc are all different versions of the same test). (2) One would have to assume that everyone has the same type of motivation to learn what amounts to answers for questions on a test that have no real-world implications. And (3) the type of knowledge that one is exposed to dictates what one can tap into while they are attempting to solve a problem. All three of these reasons can cascade in causing the racial performance in IQ.
Familiarity with the items on the tests influences a faster processing of information, allowing one to correctly identify an answer in a shorter period of time. If we look at IQ tests as tests of middle-class knowledge of skills, and we rightly observe that blacks are lower class than whites who are more likely to be middle class, then it logically follows that the cause of differences in IQ between blacks and whites are cultural – and not genetic – in origin. This paper – and others – solves the century-old debate on racial IQ differences – what accounts for differences in IQ scores is differential exposure to knowledge. Claiming that people have the same type of access to knowledge and, thusly, won’t learn it if they won’t seek it out does not make sense.
Differing experiences lead to differing amounts of knowledge. If differing experiences lead to differing amounts of knowledge, and IQ tests are tests of knowledge—culturally-specific knowledge—then those who are not exposed to the knowledge on the test will score lower than those who are exposed to the knowledge. Therefore, Jensen’s Default Hypothesis is false (Fagan and Holland, 2002). Fagan and Holland (2002) compared blacks and whites on for their knowledge of the meaning of words, which are highly “g”-loaded and shows black-white differences. They review research showing that blacks have lower exposure to words and are therefore unfamiliar with certain words (keep this in mind for the end). They mixed in novel words with previously-known words to see if there was a difference.
Fagan and Holland (2002) picked out random words from the dictionary, then putting them into a sentence to attempt to give the testee some context. They carried out five experiments in all, and each one showed that, when equal opportunity was given to the groups, they were “equal in knowledge” (IQ). So, whites were more likely to know the items more likely to be found on IQ tests. Thus, there were no racial differences between blacks and whites when looked at from an information-processing point of view. Therefore, to expain racial differences in IQ, we must look to differences in the cultural/social environment. Fagan (2000) for instance, states that “Cultures may differ in the types of knowledge their members have but not in how well they process. Cultures may account for racial differences in IQ.”
The results of Fagan and Holland (2002) are completely at-ends with Jensen’s Default Hypothesis—that the 15-point gap in IQ is due to the same environmental and cultural factors that underlie individual differences in the group. However, as Fagan and Holland (2002: 382) show that:
Contrary to what the default hypothesis would predict, however, the within racial group analyses in our study stand in sharp contrast to our between racial group findings. Specifically, individuals within a racial group who differed in general knowledge of word meanings also differed in performance when equal exposure to the information to be tested was provided. Thus, our results suggest that the average difference of 15 IQ points between Blacks and Whites is not due to the same genetic and environmental factors, in the same ratio, that account for differences among individuals within a racial group in IQ.
Exposure to information is critical, in fact. For instance, Ceci (1996) shows that familiarity with words dictates speed of processing to use in identifying the correct answer to the problem. In regard to differences in IQ, Ceci (1996) does not deny the role of biology—indeed, it’s a part of his bio-ecological model of IQ, which is a theory that postulates the development of intelligence as an interaction between biological dispositions and the environment in which those dispositions manifest themselves. Ceci (1996) does note that there are biological constraints on intelligence, but that “… individual differences in biological constraints on specific cognitive abilities are not necessarily (or even probably) directly responsible for producing the individual differences that have been reported in the psychometric literature.” That such potentials, though may be “genetic” in origin, of course, does not license the claim that genetic factors contribute to variance in IQ. “Everyone may possess them to the same degree, and the variance may be due to environment and/or motivations that led to their differential crystallization.” (Ceci, 1996: 171)
Ceci (1996) also further shows that people can differ in intellectual performance due to 3 things: (1) the efficiency of underlying cognitive potentials that are relevant to the cognitive ability in question; (2) the structure of knowledge relevant to the performance; and (3) contextual/motivational factors relevant to crystallize the underlying potentials gained through one’s knowledge. Thus, if one is lacking in the knowledge of the items on the test due to what they learned in school, then the test will be biased against them since they did not learn the relevant information on the tests.
Cahan and Cohen (1989) note that nine-year-olds in fourth grade had higher IQs than nine-year-olds in third grade. This is to be expected, if we take IQ scores as indices of—cultural-specific—knowledge and skills and this is because fourth-graders have been exposed to more information than third-graders. In virtue of being exposed to more information than their same-age cohort in different grades, they then score higher on IQ tests because they are exposed to more information.
Cockroft et al (2015) studied South African and British undergrads on the WAIS-III. They conclude that “the majority of the subtests in the WAIS-III hold cross-cultural biases“, while this is “most evident in tasks which tap crystallized, long-term learning, irrespective of whether the format is verbal or non-verbal” so “This challenges the view that visuo-spatial and non-verbal tests tend to be culturally fairer than verbal ones (Rosselli and Ardila, 2003)”.
IQ tests “simply reflect the different kinds of learning by children from different (sub)cultures: in other words, a measure of learning, not learning ability, and are merely a redescription of the class structure of society, not its causes … it will always be quite impossible to measure such ability with an instrument that depends on learning in one particular culture” (Richardson, 2017: 99-100). This is the logical position to hold: for if IQ tests test class-specific type of knowledge and certain classes are not exposed to said items, then they will score lower. Therefore, since IQ tests are tests of a certain kind of knowledge, IQ tests cannot be “a measure of learning ability” and so, contra Gottfredson, ‘g’ or ‘intelligence’ (IQ test scores) cannot be called “basic learning ability” since we cannot create culture—knowledge—free tests because all human cognizing takes place in a cultural context which it cannot be divorced from.
Since all human cognition takes place through the medium of cultural/psychological tools, the very idea of a culture-free test is, as Cole (1999) notes, ‘a contradiction in terms . . . by its very nature, IQ testing is culture bound’ (p. 646). Individuals are simply more or less prepared for dealing with the cognitive and linguistic structures built in to the particular items. (Richardson, 2002: 293)
Heine (2017: 187) gives some examples of the World War I Alpha Test:
1. The Percheron is a kind of
(a) goat, (b) horse, (c) cow, (d) sheep.
2. The most prominent industry of Gloucester is
(a) fishing, (b) packing, (c) brewing, (d) automobiles.
3. “There’s a reason” is an advertisement for
(a) drink, (b) revolver, (c) flour, (d) cleanser.
4. The Knight engine is used in the
(a) drink, (b) Stearns, (c) Lozier, (d) Pierce Arrow.
5. The Stanchion is used in
(a) fishing, (b) hunting, (c) farming, (d) motoring.
Such test items are similar to what are on modern-day IQ tests. See, for example, Castles (2013: 150) who writes:
One section of the WAIS-III, for example, consists of arithmetic problems that the respondent must solve in his or her head. Others require test-takers to define a series of vocabulary words (many of which would be familiar only to skilled-readers), to answer school-related factual questions (e.g., “Who was the first president of the United States?” or “Who wrote the Canterbury Tales?”), and to recognize and endorse common cultural norms and values (e.g., “What should you do it a sale clerk accidentally gives you too much change?” or “Why does our Constitution call for division of powers?”). True, respondents are also given a few opportunities to solve novel problems (e.g., copying a series of abstract designs with colored blocks). But even these supposedly culture-fair items require an understanding of social conventions, familiarity with objects specific to American culture, and/or experience working with geometric shapes or symbols. [Since this is questions found on the WAIS-III, then go back and read Cockroft et al, 2015 since they used the British version which, of course, is similar.]
If one is not exposed to the structure of the test along with the items and information on them, how, then, can we say that the test is ‘fair’ to other cultural groups (social classes included)? For, if all tests are culture-bound and different groups of people have different cultures, histories, etc, then they will score differently by virtue of what they know. This is why it is ridiculous to state so confidently that IQ tests—however imperfectly—test “intelligence.” They test certain skills and knowledge more likely to be found in certain groups/classes over others—specifically in the dominant group. So what dictates IQ scores is differential access to knowledge (i.e., cultural tools) and how to use such cultural tools (which then become psychological tools.)
Lastly, take an Amazonian people called The Pirah. They have a different counting system than we do in the West called the “one-two-many system, where quantities beyond two are not counted but are simply referred to as “many”” (Gordon, 2005: 496). A Pirah adult was shown an empty can. Then the investigator put six nuts into the can and took five out, one at a time. The investigator then asked the adult if there were any nuts remaining in the can—the man answered that he had no idea. Everett (2005: 622) notes that “Piraha is the only language known without number, numerals, or a concept of counting. It also lacks terms for quantification such as “all,” “each,” “every,” “most,” and “some.””
(hbdchick, quite stupidly, on Twitter wrote “remember when supermisdreavus suggested that the tsimane (who only count to s’thing like two and beyond that it’s “many”) maybe went down an evolutionary pathway in which they *lost* such numbers genes?” Riiiight. Surely the Tsimane “went down an evolutionary pathway in which they *lost* such numbers genes.” This is the idiocy of “HBDers” in action. Of course, I wouldn’t expect them to read the actual literature beyond knowing something basic (Tsimane numbers beyond “two” are known as “many”) and the positing a just-so story for why they don’t count above “two.”
Take a non-verbal test, such as the Bender-Gestalt test. There are nine index cards which have different geometrical designs on them, and the testee needs to copy what he saw before the next card is shown. The testee is then scored on how accurate his recreation of the index card is. Seems culture-fair, no? It’s just shapes and other similar things, how would that be influenced by class and culture? One would, on a cursory basis, claim that such tests have no basis in knowledge structure and exposure and so would rightly be called “culture-free.” While the shapes that come on Ravens tests are novel, the rules governing them are not.
Hoffmann (1966) studied 80 children (20 Kickapoo Indians (KIs), 20 low SES blacks (LSBs), 20 low SES whites (LSWs), and 20 middle-class whites (MCWs)) on the Bender-Gestalt test. The Kickapoo were selected from 5 urban schools; 20 blacks from majority-black elementary schools in Oklahoma City; 20 whites in low SES areas of Oklahoma; and 20 whites from middle-schools in Oklahoma from majority-white schools. All of the children were aged 8-10 years of age and in the third grade, while all had IQs in the range of 90-110. They were matched on a whole slew of different variables. Hoffman (1966: 52) states “that variations in cultural and socio-economic background affect Bender Gestalt reproduction.”
Hoffman (1966: 86) writes that:
since the four groups were shown to exhibit no significant differences in motor, or perceptual discrimination ability it follows that differences among the four groups of boys in Bender Gestalt performance are assignable to interpretative factors. Furthermore, significant differences among the four groups in Bender performance illustrates that the Bender Gestalt test is indeed not a so called “culture-free” test.
Hoffman concluded that MCWs, KIs, LSBs, and LSWs did not differ in copying ability, nor did they differ significantly in discriminating in different phases in the Bender-Gestalt; there also was no bias in figures that had two of the different sexes on them. They did differ in their reproductions of Bender-Gestalt designs, and their differing performance can be, of course, interpreted differently by different people. If we start from the assumption that all IQ tests are culture-bound (Cole, 2004), then living in a different culture from the majority culture will have one score differently by virtue of having differing—culture-specific knowledge and experience. The four groups looked at the test in different ways, too. Thus, the main conclusion is that:
The Bender Gestalt test is not a “culture-free” test. Cultural and socio-economic background appear to significantly affect Bender Gestalt reproduction. (Hoffman, 1966: 88)
Drame and Ferguson (2017) and Dutton et al (2017) also show that there is bias in the Raven’s test in Mali and Sudan. This, of course, is due to the exposure to the types of problems on the items (Richardson, 2002: 291-293). Thus, their cultures do not allow exposure to the items on the test and they will, therefore, score lower in virtue of not being exposed to the items on the test. Richardson (1991) took 10 of the hardest Raven’s items and couched them in familiar terms with familiar, non-geometric, objects. Twenty eleven-year-olds performed way better with the new items than the original ones, even though they used the same exact logic in the problems that Richardson (1991) devised. This, obviously, shows that the Raven is not a “culture-free” measure of inductive and deductive logic.
The Raven is administered in a testing environment, which is a cultural device. They are then handed a paper with black and white figures ordered from left to right. Note that Abel-Kalek and Raven (2006: 171) write that Raven’s items “were transposed to read from right to left following the custom of Arabic writing.” So this is another way that the tests are biased and therefore not “culture-free.”) Richardson (2000: 164) writes that:
For example, one rule simply consists of the addition or subtraction of a figure as we move along a row or down a column; another might consist of substituting elements. My point is that these are emphatically culture-loaded, in the sense that they reflect further information-handling tools for storing and extracting information from the text, from tables of figures, from accounts or timetables, and so on, all of which are more prominent in some cultures and subcultures than others.
Richardson (1991: 83) quotes Keating and Maclean (1987: 243) who argue that tests like the Raven “tap highly formal and specific school skills related to text processing and decontextualized rule application, and are thus the most systematically acculturated tests” (their emphasis). Keating and Maclean (1987: 244) also state that the variation in scores between individuals is due to “the degree of acculturation to the mainstream school skills of Western society” (their emphasis). That’s the thing: all types of testing is biased towards a certain culture in virtue of the kinds of things they are exposed to—not being exposed to the items and structure of the test means that it is in effect biased against certain cultural/social groups.
Davis (2014) studied the Tsimane, a people from Bolivia, on the Raven. Average eleven-year-olds scored 78 percent or more of the questions correct whereas lower-performing individuals answered 47 percent correct. The eleven-year-old Tsimane, though, only answered 31 percent correct. There was another group of Tsimane who went to school and lived in villages—not living in the rainforest like the other group of Tsimane. They ended up scoring 72 percent correct, compared to the unschooled Tsimane who scored only 31 percent correct. “… the cognitive skills of the Tsimane have developed to master the challenges that their environment places on them, and the Raven’s test simply does not tap into those skills. It’s not a reflection of some kind of true universal intelligence; it just reflects how well they can answer those items” (Heine, 2017: 189). Thus, measures of “intelligence” are not an innate skill, but are learned through experience—what we learn from our environments.
Heine (2017: 190) discusses as-of-yet-to-be-published results on the Hadza who are known as “the most cognitively complex foragers on Earth.” So, “the most cognitively complex foragers on Earth” should be pretty “smart”, right? Well, the Hadza were given six-piece jigsaw puzzles to complete—the kinds of puzzles that American four-year-olds do for fun. They had never seen such puzzles before and so were stumped as to how to complete them. Even those who were able to complete them took several minutes to complete them. Is the conclusion then licensed that “Hadza are less smart than four-year-old American children?” No! As that is a specific cultural tool that the Hadza have never seen before and so, their performance mirrored their ignorance to the test.
The term “logical” comes from the Greek term logos, meaning “reason, idea, or word.” So, “logical reasoning” is based on reason and sound ideas, irrespective of bias and emotion. A simple syllogistic structure could be:
If X, then Y
We can substitute terms, too, for instance:
If it rains today, then I must bring an umbrella.
It’s raining today.
∴ I must bring an umbrella.
Richardson (2000: 161) notes how cross-cultural studies show that what is or is not logical thinking is not objective nor simple, but “comes in socially determined forms.” He notes how cross-cultural psychologist Sylvia Scribner showed some syllogisms to Kpelle farmers, which were couched in terms that were familiar to them. One syllogism given to them was:
All Kpelle men are rice farmers
Mr. Smith is not a rice farmer
Is he a Kpelle man? (Richardson, 2002: 162)
The individual then continuously replied that he did not know Mr. Smith, so how could he know whether or not he was a Kpelle man? Another example was:
All people who own a house pay a house tax
Boima does not pay a house tax
Does Boima own a house? (Richardson, 2000: 162)
The answer here was that Boima did not have any money to pay a house tax.
In regard to the first syllogism, Mr. Smith is not a rice farmer so he is not a Kpelle man. Regarding the second, Boima does not pay a house tax, so Boima does not own a house. The individual could give a syllogism that is something like:
All the deductions I can make are about individuals I know.
I do not know Mr. Smith.
Therefore I cannot make a deduction about Mr. Smith. (Richardson, 2000: 162)
They are using what are familiar terms to them, and so, they get the answer right for their culture based on the knowledge that they have. These examples, therefore, show that what can pass for “logical reasoning” is based on the time and place where it is said. The deductions the Kpelle made were perfectly valid, though they were not what the syllogism-designers had in mind. In fact, I would say that there are many—equally valid—ways of answering such syllogisms, and such answers will vary by culture and custom.
The bio-ecological framework, culture, and social class
The bio-ecological model of Ceci and Bronfenbrenner is a model of human development that relies on gene and environment interactions. The model is a Vygotskian one—in that learning is a social process where the support from parents, teachers, and all of society play an important role in the ontogeny of higher psychological functioning. (For a good primer on Vygotskian theory, see Vygotsky and the Social Formation of Mind, Wertsch, 1985.) Thus, it is a model of human development that, most hereditarians would say, that “they use too.” Though this is of course, contested by Ceci who compares his bio-ecological framework with other theories (Ceci, 1996: 220, table 10.1):
Cognition (thinking) is extremely context-sensitive. Along with many ecological influences, individual differences in cognition are understood best with the bio-ecological framework which consists of three components: (1) ‘g’ doesn’t exist, but multiple cognitive potentials do; (2) motivational forces and social/physical aspects of a task or setting, how elaborate a knowledge domain is not only important in the development of the human, but also, of course, during testing; and (3) knowledge and aptitude are inseparable “such that cognitive potentials continuously access one’s knowledge base in the cascading process of producing cognitions, which in turn alter the contents and structure of the knowledge base” (Ceci, 1996: 123).
Block (1995) notes that “Blacks and Whites are to some extent separate cultural groups.” Sternberg (2004) defines culture as “the set of attitudes, values, beliefs and behaviors shared by a group of people, communicated from one generation to the next via language or some other means of communication.” In regard to social class—blacks and whites differ in social class (a form of culture), Richardson (2002: 298) notes that “Social class is a compound of the cultural tools (knowledge and cognitive and psycholingustic structures) individuals are exposed to; and beliefs, values, academic orientations, self-efficacy beliefs, and so on.” The APA notes that “Social status isn’t just about the cars we drive, the money we make or the schools we attend — it’s also about how we feel, think and act …” And the APS notes that social class can be seen as a form of culture. Since culture is a set of attitudes, beliefs and behaviors shared by a group of people, social classes, therefore, are forms of culture as different classes have different attitudes, beliefs and behaviors.
Ceci (1996 119) notes that:
large-scale cultural differences are likely to affect cognition in important ways. One’s way of thinking about things is determined in the course of interactions with others of the same culture; that is, the meaning of a cultural context is always negotiated between people of that culture. This, in turn, modifies both culture and thought.
While Manstead (2018) argues that:
There is solid evidence that the material circumstances in which people develop and live their lives have a profound influence on the ways in which they construe themselves and their social environments. The resulting differences in the ways that working‐class and middle‐ and upper‐class people think and act serve to reinforce these influences of social class background, making it harder for working‐class individuals to benefit from the kinds of educational and employment opportunities that would increase social mobility and thereby improve their material circumstances.
In fact, the bio-ecological model of human development (and IQ) is a developmental systems-type model. The types of things that go into the model are just like Richardson’s (2002) “sociocognitive affective nexus.” Richardson (2002) posits that the sources of IQ variation are mostly non-cognitive, writing that such factors include (pg 288):
(a) the extent to which people of different social classes and cultures have acquired a specific form of intelligence (or forms of knowledge and reasoning); (b) related variation in ‘academic orientation’ and ‘self-efficacy beliefs’; and (c) related variation in test anxiety, self-confidence, and so on, which affect performance in testing situations irrespective of actual ability
Cole (2004) concludes that:
Our imagined study of cross-cultural test construction makes it clear that tests of ability are inevitably cultural devices. This conclusion must seem dreary and disappointing to people who have been working to construct valid, culture-free tests. But from the perspective of history and logic, it simply confirms the fact, stated so clearly by Franz Boas half a century ago, that “mind, independent of experience, is inconceivable.”
It is a noteworthy feature of all preceding (cognitive approaches) that they make no reference whatsoever to the environment in which the person actually lives and grows. The implicit assumption is that the attributes in question are constant across place; the person carries them with her wherever she goes. Stating the issue more theoretically, the assumption is that the nature of the attribute does not change, irrespective of the context in which one finds one’s self.
Such contextual differences can be found in the intrinsic and extrinsic motivations of the individual in question. Self-efficacy, what one learns and how they learn it, motivation instilled from parents, all form part of the context of the specific individual and how they develop which then influences IQ scores (middle-class knowledge and skills scores).
If blacks and whites are, to some extent, different cultural groups, then they will—by definition—have differing cultures. So “cultural differences are known to exist, and cultural differences can have an impact on psychological traits [also in the knowledge one acquires which then is one part of dictating test scores] (see Prinz, 2014: 67, Beyond Human Nature). If blacks and whites are “separate cultural groups” (Block, 1995) and if they have different experiences by virtue of being cultural groups, then they will score differently on any test of ability (including IQ; see Fagan and Holland, 2002, 2007) as all tests of ability are culture-bound (see Cole, 2004).
1 Blacks and whites are different cultural groups.
2 If (1), then they will have different experiences by virtue of being different cultural groups.
3 So blacks and whites, being different cultural groups, will score differently on tests of ability, since they are exposed to different knowledge structures due to their different cultures and so, all tests of ability are culture-bound.
So, what accounts for the intercorrelations between tests of “cognitive ability”? They validate the new test with older, ‘more established’ tests so “based on this it is unlikely that a measure unrelated to g will emerge as a winner in current practice … [so] it is no wonder that the intelligence hierarchy for different racial/ethnic groups remains consistent across different measures. The tests are highly correlated among each other and are similar in item structure and format” (Suzuki and Aronson, 2005: 321).
Therefore, what accounts for differences in IQ is not intellectual ability, but cultural/social exposure to information—specifically the type of information used in the construction of IQ tests—along with the test constructors attempting to construct new tests that correlate with the old tests, and so, they get the foregone conclusion of their being racial differences, for example, in IQ which they trumpet as evidence for a “biological cause”—but it is anything but: such differences are built into the test (Simon, 1997). (Note that Fagan and Holland, 2002 also found evidence for test bias as well.)
Thus, we should take the logical conclusion: what explains racial IQ differences are not biological factors, but environmental ones—specifically in the exposure of knowledge—along with how new tests are created (see Suzuki and . All human cognizing takes place in specific cultural contexts—therefore “culture-free tests” (i.e., tests devoid of cultural knowledge and context) are an impossibility. IQ tests are experience-dependent so if one is not exposed to the relevant experiences to do well in a testing situation, then they will score lower than they would have if they were to have the requisite culturally-specific knowledge to perform well on the test.
The “fade-out effect” occurs when interventions are given to children to increase their IQs, such as Head Start (HS) or other similar programs. In such instances when IQ gains are clear, hereditarians argue that the effect of the interventions “washes” away or “fades out.” Thus, when discussing such studies, hereditarians think they are standing in victory. That the effects from the intervention fade away is taken to be evidence for the hereditarian position and is taken to refute a developmental, interactionist position. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Think about where the majority of HS individuals come from—poorer environments and which are more likely to have disadvantaged people in them. Since IQ tests—along with other tests of ability—are experience-dependent, then it logically follows that one who is not exposed to the test items or structure of the test, among other things, will be differentially prepared to take the test compared to, say, middle-class children who are exposed to such items daily.
When it comes to HS, for instance, whites who attend HS are “significantly more likely to complete high school, attend college, and possibly have higher earnings in their early twenties. African-Americans who participated in Head Start are less likely to have been booked or charged with a crime” (Garces, Thomas, and Currie, 2002). Deming (2009) shows many positive health outcomes in those who attend HS. This is beside the case, though (even if we accept the hereditarian hypothesis here, there are still many, many good reasons for programs such as HS).
Students who were randomly assigned to higher quality classrooms in grades K–3—as measured by classmates’ end-of-class test scores—have higher earnings, college attendance rates, and other outcomes. Finally, the effects of class quality fade out on test scores in later grades, but gains in noncognitive measures persist.
So such gains “faded out”, therefore hereditarianism is a more favorable position, right? Wrong.
Think about test items, and testing as a whole. Then think about differing environments that social classes are in. Now, thinking about test items, think about how exposure to such items and similar questions would have an effect on the test-taking ability of the individual in question. Thus, since tests of ability are experience-dependent, then the logical position to hold is that if they are exposed to the knowledge and experience needed for successful test-taking then they will score higher. And this is what we see when such individuals are enrolled in the program, but when the program ends and the scores decrease, the hereditarian triumphs that it is another piece of the puzzle, another piece of evidence in favor of their position. Howe (1997: 53) explains this perfectly:
It is an almost universal characteristic of acquired competences that when their is a prolonged absence of opportunities to use, practise, and profit from them, they do indeed decline. It would therefore be highly surprising if acquired gains in intelligence did not fade or diminish. Indeed, had the research findings shown that IQs never fade or decline, that evidence would have provided some support for the view that measured intelligence possesses the inherent — rather than acquired — status that intelligence theorists and other writers within the psychometric position have believed it to have.
A similar claim is made by Sauce and Matzel (2018):
In simpler terms, the analysis of Protzko should not lead us to conclude that early intervention programs such as Head Start can have no long-term benefits. Rather, these results highlight the need to provide participants with continuing opportunities that would allow them to capitalize on what might otherwise be transient gains in cognitive abilities.
Now, if we think in the context of the HS and similar interventions, we can see why such stark differences in scores appear, and why some studies show a fade out effect. Such new knowledge and skills (what IQ tests are tests of; Richardson, 2002) are largely useless in those environments since they have little to no opportunity to hone their newly-acquired skills.
Take success in an action video game, weight-lifting, bodybuilding (muscle-gaining), or pole-vaulting. One who does well in any one of these three events will of course have countless of hours of training learning new techniques and skills. They continue this for a while. Then they abruptly stop. They are no longer honing (and practicing) their acquired skills so they begin to lose them. The “fade-out effect” has affected their performance and the reason is due to their environmental stimulation—the same holds for IQ test scores.
I’ll use the issue of muscle-building to illustrate the comparison. Imagine you’re 20 years old and just start going to the gym on a good program. The first few months you get what are termed “newbie gains”, as your body and central nervous system begins to adapt to the new stressor you’re placing on your body. Then after the initial beginning period, at about 2 to 3 months, these gains eventually stop and then you’ll have to be consistent with your training and diet or you won’t progress in weight lifted or body composition. But you are consistent with training and diet and you then have a satisfactory body composition and strength gains.
But then things change you stop going to the gym as often as you did before and you get lazy with your nutrition. Your body composition you worked so hard for along with your strength gains start to dissipate since you’re not placing your body under the stressor it was previously under. But there is something called “muscle memory” which occurs due to motor learning in the central nervous system.
The comparison here is clear: strength is IQ and lifting weights is doing tests/tasks to prepare for the tests (exposure to middle-class knowledge and skills). So when one leaves their “enriching environments” (in this case, the gym and a good nutritional environment), they then lose the gains they worked for. The parallel then becomes clear: leave the enriched environments and return to the baseline. This example I have just illustrated shows exactly how and why these gains “fade out” (though they don’t in all of these types of studies).
One objection to my comparison I can imagine an IQ-ist making is that training for strength (which is analogous to types of interventions in programs like HS), one can only get so strong as, for example, their frame allows, or that there is a limit to which one only get to a certain level of musculature. They may say that one can only get to a certain number of IQ and there, their “genetic potential” maxes out, as it would in the muscle-building and strength-gaining example. But the objection fails. Tests of ability (IQ tests) are cultural in nature. Since they are cultural in nature, then exposure to what’s on the test (middle-class knowledge and skills) will have one score better. That is, IQ tests are experience-dependent, as is body composition and strength, but such tests aren’t (1) construct valid and (2) such tests are biased due to the items selected to be on them. When looking at weights, we have an objective, valid measure. Sure, weight-lifting measures a whole slew of variables including, what it is intended to, strength. But it also measures a whole slew of other variables associated with weight training, dependent on numerous other variables.
Therefore, my example with weights illustrates that if one removes themselves from their enriching environments that allows X, then they will necessarily decline. But due to, in this example, muscle memory, they can quickly return to where they were. Such gains will “fade out” if, and only if, they discontinue their training and meal prep, among other things. The same is true for IQ in these intervention studies.
Howe (1997: 54-55) (this editorial here has the discussion, pulled directly from the book) discusses the study carried out by Zigler and Seitz. They measured the effects of a four year intervention program which emphasized math skills. They were inner-city children who were enrolled in the orgrwm at kindergarten. The program was successful, in that those who participated in the program were two years ahead of a control group, but a few heads after in a follow-up, they were only a year ahead. Howe (1997:54-55) explains why:
For instance, to score well at the achievement tests used with older children it is essential to have some knowledge of algebra and geometry, but Seitz found that while the majority of middle-class children were being taught these subjects, the disadvantaged pupils were not getting the necessary teaching. For that reason they could hardly be expected to do well. As Seitz perceived, the true picture was not one of fading ability but of diminishing use of it.
So in this case, the knowledge gained from the intervention was not lost. Do note, though, how middle-class knowledge continues to appear in these discussions. That’s because tests of ability are cultural in nature since culture-fair impossible (Cole, 2004). Cole imagines a West African Binet who constructs a test of Kpelle culture. Cole (2004) ends up concluding that:
tests of ability are inevitably cultural devices. This conclusion must seem dreary and disappointing to people who have been working to construct valid, culture-free tests. But from the perspective of history and logic, it simply confirms the fact, stated so clearly by Franz Boas half a century ago, that “mind, independent of experience, is inconceivable.”
So, in this case, the test would be testing Kpelle knowledge, and not middle-class cultural skills and knowledge, which proves that IQ tests are bound by culture and that culture-fair (“free”) tests are impossible. This, then, also shows why such gains in test scores decrease: they are not in the types of environments that are conducive to that type of culture-specific knowledge (see some examples of questions on IQ tests here).
The fact is the matter is this: that the individuals in such studies return to their “old” environments is why their IQ gains disappear. People just focus on the scores, say “They decreased”—hardly without thinking why. Why should test scores reflect the efficacy of the HS and similar programs and not the fact that outcomes for children in this program are substantially better than those who did not participate? For example:
HS compared to non-HS children faired better on cognitive and socio-emotive measures having fewer negative behaviors and (Zhai et al, 2011). Adults who were in the HS program are more likely to graduate high school, go to college and receive a seconday degree (Bauer and Schanzenbach, 2016). A pre-school program raised standardized test scores through grade 5. Those who attended HS were less likely to become incarcerated, become teen parents, and are more likely to finish high-school and enroll in college (Barr and Gibs, 2017).
The cause of the fading out of scores is simple: if you don’t use it you lose it, as can be seen with the examples given above. IQ scores can and do increase is evidenced by the Flynn effect, so that is not touched by the fade-out effect. But this “fading-out” (in most studies, see Howe for more information) of scores, in my opinion, is ancillary to the main point: those who attend HS and similar programs do have better outcomes in life than those who did not attend. The literature on the matter is vast. Therefore, the “fading-out” of test scores doesn’t matter, as outcomes for those who attended are better than outcomes for those who do not.
HS and similar programs show that IQ is, indeed, malleable and not “set” or “stable” as hereditarians claim. That IQ tests are experience-dependent implies that those who receive such interventions get a boost, but when they leave their abilities decrease, which is due to not learning any new ones along with returning to their previous, less-stimulating environments. The cause of the “fading-out” is therefore simple: During the intervention they are engrossed in an enriching environment, learning about, by proxy, middle-class knowledge and skills which helps with test performance. But after they’re done they return to their previous environments and so they do not put their skills to use and they therefore regress. Like with my muscle-building example: if you don’t use it, you lose it.
On Twitter, getting into discussions with Charles Murray acolytes, someone asked me to write a short piece describing the argument in The Bell Curve (TBC) by Herrnstein and Murray (H&M). This is because I was linking my short Twitter thread on the matter, which can be seen here:
In TBC, H&M argue that America is becoming increasingly stratified by social class, and the main reason is due to the “cognitive elite.” The assertion is that social class in America used to be determined by one’s social origin is now being determined by one’s cognitive ability as tested by IQ tests. H&M make 6 assertions in the beginning of the book:
(i) That there exists a general cognitive factor which explains differences in test scores between individuals;
(ii) That all standardized tests measure this general cognitive factor but IQ tests measure it best;
(iii) IQ scores match what most laymen mean by “intelligent”, “smart”, etc.;
(iv) Scores on IQ tests are stable, but not perfectly so, throughout one’s life;
(v) Administered properly, IQ tests are not biased against classes, races, or ethnic groups; and
(vi) Cognitive ability as measured by IQ tests is substantially heritable at 40-80%/
In the second part, H&M argue that high cognitive ability predicts desireable outcomes whereas low cognitve ability predicts undesireable outcomes. Using the NLSY, H&M show that IQ scores predict one’s life outcomes better than parental SES. All NLSY participants took the ASVAB, while others took IQ tests which were then correlated with the ASVAB and the correlation came out to .81.
They analyzed whether or not one has ever been incarcerated, unemployed for more than one month in the year; whether or not they dropped out of high-school; whether or not they were chronic welfare recipients; among other social variables. When they controlled for IQ in these analyses, most of the differences between ethnic groups, for example, disappeared.
Now, in the most controversial part of the book—the third part—they discuss ethnic differences in IQ scores, stating that Asians have higher IQs than whites who have higher IQs than ‘Hispanics’ who have higher IQs than blacks. H&M argue that the white-black IQ gap is not due to bias since they do not underpredict blacks’ school or job performance. H&M famously wrote about the nature of lower black IQ in comparison to whites:
If the reader is now convinced that either the genetic or environmental explanation has won out to the exclusion of the other, we have not done a sufficiently good job of presenting one side or the other. It seems highly likely to us that both genes and environment have something to do with racial differences. What might the mix be? We are resolutely agnostic on that issue; as far as we can determine, the evidence does not yet justify an estimate.
Finally, in the fourth and last section, H&M argue that efforts to raise cognitive ability through the alteration of the social and physical environment have failed, though we may one day find some things that do raise ability. They also argue that the educational experience in America neglects the small, intelligent minority and that we should begin to not neglect them as they will “greatly affect how well America does in the twenty-first century” (H&M, 1996: 387). They also argue forcefully against affirmative action, in the end arguing that equality of opportunity—over equality of outcome—should be the role of colleges and workplaces. They finally predict that this “cognitive elite” will continuously isolate themselves from society, widening the cognitive gap between them.
JP Rushton’s career was pretty much nothing but peddling bullshit. In the beginning of his career, he was a social learning theorist. He published a book Altruism, Socialization, and Society (Rushton, 1980). I bought the book a few years back when I was still a hardcore Rushton defender to see what he wrote about before he started pushing IQ and evolutionary theories about human races and I thought it was pretty good. In any case, Rushton got a lot wrong. So much so, that his career was, in my opinion, wasted peddling bullshit. Rushton was shown to be wrong time and time again on r/K theory and cold winter theory; Rushton was shown to be wrong time and time again on his crime theorizing; and Rushton’s and Jensen’s papers on the causes of the black-white IQ gap rest on a misunderstanding of heritability. In this piece, I will cover those three subjects.
Recently, two new papers have appeared that have a bone to pick with Rushton: One by Flynn (2019) and the other by Cernovsky and Litman (2019). Flynn discusses Rushton’s claims on the method of correlated vectors, his cold winter theory (that Asians and Europeans were subjected to harsher climates which led to higher levels of intelligence and therefore IQ) and his misuse of regression to the mean. He also discussed how the black-white IQ gap is environmental in nature (which is the logical position to hold, since IQ tests are tests of middle-class knowledge and skills (Richardson, 2002) and they are not construct valid).
Cold Winters Theory
Rushton theorized that, due to exposure to harsher environments, that Europeans and East Asians evolved to be more intelligent than Africans who stayed in the, what I assume to be, less harsh environments of Africa (Rushton, 1985). This is Rushton’s “Differential K theory.” Flynn (2019) writes that he “can supply an evolutionary scenario for almost any pattern of current IQ scores.” And of course, one can do that with any evolutionary adaptive hypothesis.
Even Frost (2019) admits that “there is no unified evolutionary theory of human intelligence, other than the general theory of evolution by natural selection.” But since “natural selection” is not a mechanism (Fodor, 2008; Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini, 2010), then it cannot explain the evolution of intelligence differences, nevermind the fact that, mostly, these claims are pushed by differences in non-construct valid IQ test scores.
In any case, Rushton’s theory is a just-so story.
Judith Anderson (1991) refuted Rushton’s hypothesis on ecological grounds. Rushton asserted that Africans were r-selected whereas Asians and Europeans were more K-selected. Rushton, however, did not even use alpha-selection, which is selection for competitive ability. So r- and K selection is based on density-independence and density-dependence. K-selection is expected to favor genotypes that persist at high densities—increasing K—whereas r-selection is expected to favor genotypes that increase more quickly at low densities—increasing r. Alpha-selection can also occur at high or low population densities but is more likely in high densities. Though alpha-selection “favours genotypes that, owing to their negative effects on others, often reduce the growth rate and the maximum population size” (Anderson, 1991: 52). I further discussed the huge flaws with Rushton’s r/K model here. So Rushton’s theory fails on those grounds, along with many others.
When it came to race, Rushton was a lumper, not a splitter. What I mean by these terms is simple: lumpers lump together Native Americans with East Asians and Pacific Islanders with Africans while splitters split them into further divisions. Why was Rushton a lumper? Because it fit more with his theory, of course. I remember back when I was a Rushton-ist, and I was, too, a lumper, that to explain away the low IQs of Native Americans—and in turn their achievements—was that they still had their intelligence from the cold winters and that’s when they did their achievements. Then, as they spent more time in hotter climates, they became dumber. In any case, there is no justification for lumping Native Americans with East Asians. Looking through Rushton’s book, he gives no justification for his lumping, so I can only assume that it is bias on his part. Now I will justify the claim that splitting is better than lumping. (Rushton also gave no definition of race, and according to Cernovsky and Litman (2019: 54), Rushton “failed to provide any scientific definition of race …”
Race is both a social and biological construct. I can justify the claim that Natives and East Asians are distinct races in one way here: ask both groups if the other is the same race. What do you think the answer will be? Now, onto genetics.
Spencer (2014) discusses the results from Tishkoff et al (2009), saying that when they added 134 ethnic groups to the ones found in the HDGP sample of 52, the K=5 partition clustered Caucasians, Mongoloids, and three distinct sets of Africans. Mongoloids, in this case, being East Asians, Native Americans, and Oceanians. But Tishkoff et al oversampled African ethnic groups. This, though, does not undercut my argument: of course when you oversample ethnic groups you will get the result of Tishkoff et al (2009) and since Africans were oversampled, the populations more genetically similar were grouped into the same cluster, which, of course, does not mean they are the same race.
Census racial discourse is just national racial discourse. The census uses defers to the OMB to define race. How does the OMB define race? The OMB defines “race” as “sets of” populations. Race in US racial discourse designates a set of population groups, thus, race is a particular, not a kind.
I can then invoke Hardimon’s (2017) argument for the existence of minimalist races:
1 There are differences in patterns of visible physical features which correspond to geographic ancestry.
2 These patterns are exhibited between real groups.
3 These groups that exhibit these physical patterns by geographic ancestry satisfy conditions of minimalist race.
C Race exists.
Now we can say:
1 If Native Americans and East Asians are phenotypically distinct, then they are different races.
2 Native Americans and East Asians are phenotypically distinct.
C Therefore Native Americans and East Asians are different races.
Rushton arbitrarily excluded data that did not fit his theory. How dishonest. Cernovsky and Litman (2019) write:
When Rushton presented crime statistics derived from 2 Interpol Yearbooks as allegedly supporting his thesis that Negroids are more crime inclined than Caucasoids, he arbitrarily excluded disconfirmatory data sets. When all data from the same two Interpol Yearbooks are re-calculated, most of the statistically significant trends in the data are in the direction opposite to Rushton’s beliefs: Negroids had lower crime rates than Caucasoids with respect to sexual offenses, rapes, theft, and violent theft or robbery, with most correlation coefficients exceeding .60. While we do not place much credence in such Interpol statistics as they only reproduce information provided by government officials of different countries, our re-analysis indicated that Rushton excluded data that would discredit his theory.
Further throwing a wrench into Rushton’s assertions is his claim that Mongoloids constitutes both East Asians and Native Americans. Well, Central America has some of the highest crime rates in the world—even higher than in some African countries. What is the ad-hoc justification for explaining away this anomaly if they truly are the same race? If they are the same race, why is the crime rate so much higher in Central America? Surely, Rushton’s defenders would claim something along the lines of recent evolution towards X, Y, and Z. But then I would say, then on what basis are they the same race? No matter what Rushton’s defenders say, they are boxed into a corner.
Lastly, Rushton and Jensen (2005) argued, on the basis of heritability estimates, and twin studies, that the black-white IQ gap is largely genetic in nature. But there are a few problems. They rely largely on a slew of trans-racial adoption studies, all of which have been called into question (Thomas, 2017). IQ tests, furthermore, are not construct valid (Richardson and Norgate, 2015; Richardson, 2017). Heritability estimates also fail. This is because, in non-controlled environments these stats do not tell us much, if anything (Moore and Shenk, 2016). Likewise, Guo (2000: 299) concurs, writing “it can be argued that the term ‘heritability’, which carries a strong conviction or connotation of something ‘heritable’ in everyday sense, is no longer suitable for use in human genetics and its use should be discontinued.” (For more arguments against heritability, read Behavior Genetics and the Fallacy of Nature vs Nurture.)
Rushton and Jensen (2005) also relied on the use of twin studies, however, all of the assumptions that researchers use to attempt to immunize their arguments from refutation are circular and ad hoc; they also agree that MZs experience more similar environments than DZs, too (Joseph et al, 2014; Joseph, 2016, see a summary here; Richardson, 2017). In any case, the fact that G and E interact means that heritability estimates are, in effect, useless in humans. Farm animals are bred in highly controlled environments; humans are not. Thus, we cannot—and should not—accept the results of twin studies; they cannot tell us whether or not genes are responsible for any behavioral trait.
There was a lot that Rushton got wrong. His cold winters theory is a just-so story; East Asians and Native Americans are not the same race; heritability estimates are not a measure of how much genes have to do with phenotypic variation within or between groups; IQ tests are not construct valid; r/K selection theory was slayed as early as 1991 and then again in 2002 (Graves, 2002); twin studies are not informative when it comes to how much genes influence traits, they only measure environmental similarity; and finally, Rushton omitted data that did not fit his hypothesis on racial differences in crime.
It’s sad to think that one can spend a career—about 25 years—spewing nothing but pseudoscience. One of the only things I agree with him on is that races are real—but when it comes to the nuances, I disagree with him, because there are five races, not three. Rushton got a lot wrong, and I do not know why anyone would defend him, even when these glaring errors are pointed out. (For a good look into Rushton’s lies, see Dutton’s (2018) book J. Philippe Rushton: A Life History Perspective and my mini-review on the book.)
I just came across this video on YouTube published yesterday called “White people are not 100% human (Race differences) (I.Q debunked)“, with, of course, outrageous claims (the usual from Afrocentrists). I already left a comment proving his nonsense incorrect, but I thought I’d further expound on it here.
His first ‘evidence’ that whites aren’t 100 percent human is showing some individuals who are born with tails. Outliers are meaningless, of course. The cause of the human tail is due to the unsuccessful inhibition of the Wnt3-a gene. When this gene isn’t successful in signaling the cell death of the tail in early embryonic development, a person is then born with a small vestigial tail. This doesn’t prove anything.
His next assertion is that since “94 percent of whites test positive for Rh blood type” and that “as a result, they are born with a tail”, then whites must have interbred with rhesus monkeys in the past. This is ridiculous. This blood type was named in error. The book Blood Groups and Red Cell Antigens sums it up nicely:
The Rh blood group is one of the most complex blood groups known in humans. From its discovery 60 years ago where it was named (in error) after the Rhesus monkey, it has become second in importance only to the ABO blood group in the field of transfusion medicine. It has remained of primary importance in obstetrics, being the main cause of hemolytic disease of the newborn (HDN).
It was wrongly thought that the agglutinating antibodies produced in the mother’s serum in response to her husbands RBCs were the same specificity as antibodies produced in various animals’ serum in response to RBCs from the Rhesus monkey. In error, the paternal antigen was named the Rhesus factor. By the time it was discovered that the mother’s antibodies were produced against a different antigen, the rhesus blood group terminology was being widely used. Therefore, instead of changing the name, it was abbreviated to the Rh blood group.
As you can see, this is another ridiculous and easily debunked claim. One only needs to do a bit of non-biased reading into something to get the truth, which some people are not capable of.
What he says next, I don’t really have a problem with. He just shows articles stating that Neanderthals had big brains to control their bodies and that they had a larger, elongated visual cortex. However, there is archeological evidence that our cognitive superiority over Neanderthals is a myth (Villa and Roebroeks, 2014). What he shows in this section is the truest thing he’ll say, though.
Then he shows how African immigrants to America have a higher educational achievement than whites and immigrant East Asians. However, it’s clear he’s not heard of super-selection. The people with the means to leave will, and, most likely, those with the means are the more intelligent ones in the group. We also can’t forget about ‘preferential treatment’, AKA Affirmative Action.
The concept of ‘multiple intelligences’ is then brought up. The originator of the theory, Howard Gardner, rejects general intelligence, dismisses factor analysis, doesn’t defend his theory with quantitative data, instead, drawing on anthropology to zoology findings for his claims, being completely devoid of any psychometric or quantitative data (Herrnstein and Murray, 1994: 18). The Alternative Hypothesis also has a thorough debunking of this claim.
He then makes the claim that hereditarians assume that environment/experience play no factor in performance on IQ tests/life success. We know that both the individual heritability is 80/20 genetics and environment, with the black-white gap being the same (Rushton and Jensen 2005: 279). Another easily refuted claim.
The term ‘inferior’ is brought up due to whites’ supposed ‘inferiority’, though we know that terms such as those have no basis in evolutionary biology.
He claims that a black man named Jesse Russel invented the cell phone, when in reality a white man named Martin Cooper did. He claims that Lewis Latimer invented the filament lightbulb, when a man named Joseph Swan obtained the patent in the UK in 1860. Of course, individual outliers are meaningless to group success, as they don’t reflect the group average as a whole, so these discussions are meaningless.
He finally claims that the “black Moors civilized Europe”. Europeans didn’t need to “be civilized”, I guess people don’t understand that empires/kingdoms rise and fall and go through highs and lows. That doesn’t stop people from pushing a narrative, though. Further, the Moors were not black. People love attempting to create their own fantasy history in which their biases are a reality.
I don’t know why people have to make these idiotic and easily refuted videos. Lies that push people further from the truth of racial differences, genetics, and history as a whole. Biases such as these just cloud people’s minds to the truth, and when the truth is shown to them, refuting their biases and twisting of history, genetics, and IQ, they then look at it as an attack on what they deem to be true despite all of the conflicting, non-biased evidence shown to them. Afrocentric loons need to be refuted, lest people believe their lies, misconceptions and twistings of history.
With all of my recent articles on neurons and brain size, I’m now asking the following question: do neurons differ by race? The races of man differ on most all other variables, why not this one?
As we would have it, there are racial differences in total brain neurons.In 1970, an anti-hereditarian (Tobias) estimated the number of “excess neurons” available to different populations for processing bodily information, which Rushton (1988; 1997: 114) averaged to find: 8,550 for blacks, 8,660 for whites and 8,900 for Asians (in millions of excess neurons). A difference of 100-200 million neurons would be enough to explain away racial differences in achievement, for one. Two, these differences could also explain differences in intelligence. Rushton (1997: 133) writes:
This means that on this estimate, Mongoloids, who average 1,364 cm3 have 13.767 billion cortical neurons (13.767 x 109 ). Caucasoids who average 1,347 cm3 have 13.665 billion such neurons, 102 million less than Mongoloids. Negroids who average 1,267 cm3 , have 13.185 billion cerebral neurons, 582 million less than Mongoloids and 480 million less than Caucasoids.
Of course, Rushton’s citation of Jerison, I will leave alone now that we know that encephilazation quotient has problems. Rushton (1997: 133) writes:
The half-billion neuron difference between Mongoloids and Negroids are probably all “excess neurons” because, as mentioned, Mongoloids are often shorter in height and lighter in weight than Negroids. The Mongoloid-Negroid difference in brain size across so many estimation procedures is striking
Of course, small differences in brain size would translate to differences differences neuronal count (in the hundreds of millions), which would then affect intelligence.
The ability to plan for the future, a significant function of prefrontal regions of the cortex, may be key indeed. According to the best definition I have come across so far, put forward by MIT physicist Alex Wissner-Gross, intelligence is the ability to make decisions that maximize future freedom of action—that is, decisions that keep most doors open for the future. (Herculano-Houzel, 2016: 122-123)
You can see the difference in behavior and action in the races; how one race has the ability to make decisions to maximize future ability of action—and those peoples with a smaller prefrontal cortex won’t have this ability (or it will be greatly hampered due to its small size and amount of neurons it has).
With a smaller, less developed frontal lobe and less overall neurons in it than a brain belonging to a European or Asian, this may then account for overall racial differences in intelligence. The few hundred million difference in neurons may be the missing piece to the puzzle here.Neurons transmit information to other nerves and muscle cells. Neurons have cell bodies, axons and dendrites. The more neurons (that’s also packed into a smaller brain, neuron packing density) in the brain, the better connectivity you have between different areas of the brain, allowing for fast reaction times (Asians beat whites who beat blacks, Rushton and Jensen, 2005: 240).
Remember how I said that the brain uses a certain amount of watts; well I’d assume that the different races would use differing amount of power for their brain due to differing number of neurons in them. Their brain is not as metabolically expensive. Larger brains are more intelligent than smaller brains ONLY BECAUSE there is a higher chance for there to be more neurons in the larger brain than the smaller one. With the average cranial capacity (blacks: 1267 cc, 13,185 million neurons; whites: 1347 cc, 13,665 million neurons, and Asians: 1,364, 13,767 million neurons). (Rushton and Jensen, 2005: 265, table 3) So as you can see, these differences are enough to account for racial differences in achievement.
A bigger brain would mean, more likely, more neurons which would then be able to power the brain and the body more efficiently. The more neurons one has, the more likely it it that they are intelligent as they have more neuronal pathways. The average cranial capcities of the races show that there are neuronal differences between them, which these neuronal differences then are the cause for racial differences, with the brain size itself being only a proxy, not an actual indicator of intelligence. The brain size doesn’t matter as much as the amount of neurons in the brain.
A difference in the brain of 100 grams is enough to account for 550 million cortical neurons (!!) (Jensen, 1998b: 438). But that ignores sex differences and neuronal density. However, I’d assume that there will be at least small differences in neuron count, especially from Rushton’s data from Race, Evolution and Behavior. Jensen (1998) also writes on page 439:
I have not found any investigation of racial differences in neuron density that, as in the case of sex differences, would offset the racial difference in brain weight or volume.
So neuronal density by brain weight is a great proxy.
Racial differences in intelligence don’t come down to brain size; they come down to total neuron amount in the brain; differences in size in certain parts of the brain critical to intelligence and amount of neurons in those critical portions of the brain. I’ve yet to come across a source talking about the different number of neurons in the brain by race, but when I do I will update this article. From what we know, we can make the assumption that blacks have less packing density as well as a smaller number of neurons in their PFC and cerebral cortex. Psychopathy is associated with abnormalities in the PFC; maybe, along with less intelligence, blacks would be more likely to be psychopathic? This also echoes what Richard Lynn says about Race and Psychopathic Personality:
There is a difference between blacks and whites—analogous to the difference in intelligence—in psychopathic personality considered as a personality trait. Both psychopathic personality and intelligence are bell curves with different means and distributions among blacks and whites. For intelligence, the mean and distribution are both lower among blacks. For psychopathic personality, the mean and distribution are higher among blacks. The effect of this is that there are more black psychopaths and more psychopathic behavior among blacks.
Neuronal differences and size of the PFC more than account for differences in psychopathy rates as well as differences in intelligence and scholastic achievement. This could, in part, explain the black-white IQ gap. Since the total number of neurons in the brain dictates, theoretically speaking, how well an organism can process information, and blacks have a smaller PFC (related to future time preference); and since blacks have less cortical neurons than Whites or Asians, this is one large reason why black are less intelligent, on average, than the other races of Man.
In 2005, Linda Gottfredson published What If the Hereditarian Hypothesis Is True? in the journal Psychology, Public Policy, and Law defending Rushton and Jensen’s (2005) conclusions on the black-white IQ gap. This gap in intelligence between the races has been noticed since the IQ test’s inception 100 years ago. What if the hereditarian hypothesis is true—what if there are genetic differences in intelligence between races? How should society handle such a ‘discovery’ if one were to occur?
In Rushton and Jensen’s opus paper, they didn’t set out to prove that the hereditarian hypothesis is true, rather they set out to prove that the hereditarian hypothesis—which states that 50 percent of racial differences in intelligence come down to genetic factors with environment dictating the other 50 percent—is more tenable the culture-only hypothesis—0 percent genetics 100 percent environment. Gottfredson states that the hereditarian hypothesis becomes scientifically plausible “only after five evidentiary requisites have been met”: “IQ differences among same-race individuals represent (a) real, (b) functionally important, and (c) substantially genetic differences in general intelligence (the g factor), and mean IQ differences between the races likewise reflect (d) real and (e) functionally important differences on the same g factor.” (Gottfredson, 2005: 311) The past one hundred years of intelligence testing has proven all of this. The black-white differences in intelligence are on subtests that are more heritable, proving a genetic component.
The hereditarian hypothesis has been proven by adoption studies such as the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study, to differences overall in IQ tests, to differences in life success etc. Environmentalists believe it’s ‘racism’ or ‘classism’ that’s the cause for racial/ethnic/class differences in achievement, when a genetic explanation makes a lot more sense.
The Denial of the Hereditarian Hypothesis
The denial of the hereditarian hypothesis has greatly harmed American society. Before the push for multiculturalism in the 60s, a genetic reason for racial/class differences was widely accepted. Minorities couldn’t perform well in school in comparison to whites because they had lower innate g. The difference in g causes differences in wealth attainment, salary, mortality, fitness, educational attainment, and other pertinent achievements. This then leads to programs with an abysmal ‘success rate’, such as Head Start. Head Start does not work, its gains fade away in a few years after the program. It’s time to stop Head Start, because it makes people believe that parental intervention can have any kind of effect on a young child, when it’s shown that these so-called gains fade away in a few years as the heritability of intelligence increases. Individuals differ on g, races differ on g, there are differences in achievement and more people in one SES bracket and other people in another SES bracket and it’s down to g. Denying the hereditarian hypothesis wastes taxpayer money as more and more money goes towards programs like Head Start that don’t do anything to close any of the gaps they promise to close.
Academic achievement in math, science, art, humanities, and second language were all shared by the same genes. They found that 60 percent of the results in GCSE scores were attributed to genetic factors. Genes and not upbringing had more of an effect on the scores one receives on the GCSE.
Moreover, other behavioral traits such as psychopathology and personality also account for genetic influence on GCSE scores beyond that predicted by intelligence. This shows that ‘nature’ wins out in the nature-nurture debate. If individual differences in test scores are largely determined by genetics, why not the black-white difference?
Individuals nor groups are ever ‘equal’ in terms of any capacity. One will be better at something than someone else, and that will largely be determined by genetic factors. Training and repetition brings out the best in one that’s genetically inclined to excel. We accept genetic differences for differences in sports, such as sprinting and distance running. They are genetically inclined to excel at those competitions due to fast and slow twitch muscle fibers. Take Usain Bolt. Do you think anyone can train to get to that level? Do you think random Joe can just wake up one day and decide to try to be the fastest man in the world? If you say no, you’re a hereditarian. Of course Bolt’s training makes him better, but without his genetics, he wouldn’t be the fastest man in the world.
Now take the genetic differences from sports (that any sane person would recognize), and think about that in regards to brain power. We are talking about 2 groups that have been genetically isolated for tens of thousands of years. They had to do different things to survive and both faced different selective pressures that would have an effect on intelligence.
The worldwide differences in IQ between East Asians, Europeans and Africans; an inverse correlation between the race differences and brain attributes and black-white-East Asian differences in body maturation; . 2 and .4 correlations with skull size and in vivo brain volume, moderately high correlation of .6 to .7 of different IQ test’s g loadings on the magnitude of the black-white-East Asian differences as well as the measures of the subtests being rooted in biological and genetic processes; rising heritability of IQ; differences in crime, gestation, and sex ratio at birth, law-abidingness, marital stability; and a genetic divergence of world population groups during evolution. The most telling one is the last one, genetic divergence of world population groups during evolution. These differences in the brain are rooted in genetic factors. The hereditarian hypothesis fully explains within and between group differences in achievement and intelligence. No “culture-only” hypothesis could ever convince me otherwise.
Richard Nisbett has attempted to say that the hereditarian hypothesis is wrong and that culture-only theory is the only game in town. He couldn’t be more wrong. Citing studies like Moore and Eyferth to make your case against the hereditarian hypothesis won’t get you anywhere. They had a smaller sample size, and some of the subjects were extremely young. Environmentalists use these studies to say that the difference in IQ comes down to a type of ‘ghetto’ environment that saps American blacks’ intellect and that raised away from that type of environment, they’d be able to score on par with whites. Except that’s not what was found in the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study. This is the only study to test the children again at age 17, when genetics would be taking its full effect. The racial gap in intelligence still stayed the same (Rushton and Jensen, 2005: 258). I’ve written about the strong evidence for the hereditarian hypothesis in regards to adoption studies and how they support the hypothesis that genetics, and not culture, are the cause for differences in intelligence.
If the Hereditarian Hypothesis is Accepted What Policies Should Change?
If the general public were to ever accept a genetic hypothesis for individual and group differences as a whole, then affirmative action and other such programs that shoehorn kids with lower ability into schools should be abolished and these spots should be filled on merit. Sure there would be fewer blacks and more whites, Jews, Asians, than blacks, ‘Hispanics’ and others but that’s how a merit-based society looks, not one based on feelings and imaginary causes of racism as the culprit for any types of intellectual downfalls. When we come to our senses with genetics and educational achievement and intelligence—which should be coming soon due to the advent of CRISPR—then America can start to become less polarized, in my opinion, on the so-called ‘racist system’ ‘holding down’ minorities. Maybe if people/groups accepted they were less intelligent and it was due majorly to genetic factors, then some of this racial animosity between groups in America will die down. That’s an extremely far reach, though, and I can see them then arguing that accepting by accepting the hereditarian hypothesis then we should continue these programs.
That’s an extremely far reach, though, and I can see them then arguing that accepting by accepting the hereditarian hypothesis then we should continue these programs due to genetic differences. They would say “Well, as a group, we are less inclined to make it into higher areas of learning so we, therefore, should continue to receive these benefits.” To that I would say you’ve been taking advantage of these benefits for 50 years and what’s changed? Billions of dollars have been spent on affirmative action and related cases since the 60s and what has changed? These groups still complain and talk about being oppressed by ‘the man’ not getting what they want. Yet there is an ongoing racial preference for blacks and ‘Hispanics’ over whites and Asians in US medical schools. This is all an effect of affirmative action and the policies it brings to American institutions. Admission into places of higher learning should be completely merit-based, not based on what racial/ethnic group you belong to. That in and of itself is continuing the so-called ‘racism’ and ‘prejudiced attitudes’ that people complain about since they insist on having special privileges based on their ancestral background.
If we were to accept the hereditarian hypothesis as a country, I’d hope to see an abolishment of affirmative action, Head Start, and related programs that do not work. The acceptance of the hereditarian hypothesis would only be a net gain over time, as people would learn to not blame ‘the man’ on their problems, but would look to better themselves in ways that accentuate their strengths. Since any attempt at raising scholastic achievement has failed due to the heritability of intelligence and how it increases as one ages (which is why Head Start doesn’t work and should be abolished) once this is accepted then other avenues can be taken to address these issues that don’t focus on attempting to raise scores. Gottfredson states at the end of her paper that we should have targeted intellectual support for those with an IQ below 80. She also says we should make some jobs less complex, ie “inadequate or overly complex labeling, instructions, and forms”, target training and education towards people with that level of intelligence, and provide more assistance in daily living matters, This can increase their QoL and ability to attain meaningful employment.
She sees a more positive outlook in the future than I do. I see things become more stratified as automation rolls out. This will have the lower IQ people out of work, while the higher IQ people still are sitting well at the top due to the increasingly complex society that we make for ourselves. Accepting the hereditarian hypothesis can ease this slightly by targeting programs at the less intellectually inclined as well as attempt to soften the claims of ‘racism’ when this starts to really become noticeable. The only way to explain such a disparity is with a genetic hypothesis, at least 50/50 genetics culture. The culture-only theory has no leg to stand on. Once we accept that individual and group differences are due to genetics, then we can begin to accept some of the differences in our society in terms of class and race.
Today is the 4th anniversary of Jensen’s death, with the 4th anniversary of Rushton’s being three weeks ago on October 2nd. The fact that two of the biggest names in the IQ game, and race science game died in a 3-week span was crushing to the truth. When they were pushing their theories on racial differences in intelligence, they had their classes stormed in on and they pretty much couldn’t teach. All of this, in a country where so-called ‘freedom of speech exists’, we can have people shout others down when they speak uncomfortable truths when they don’t like what they’re hearing. BUT, just because those truths don’t want to be heard does not change the reality of them. Rushton and Jensen were pretty much explaining why black Americans have less academic achievement over whites. But when a genetic explanation is brought up instead of the Left’s want for there to be a fully environmental, ‘racism’ explanation they storm classrooms and protest against the so-called ‘fascists’ who are just reporting what they find.
In Rushton’s article The New Enemies of Evolutionary Science, he extensively talks about the derision he faced from students while he gave his lectures. It was so bad that he couldn’t teach:
Behind the scenes, however, I became the target of a witch hunt by some of the administrators. Dismayingly, my dean, a physical anthropologist, publicly declared that I had lost my scientific credibility and spearheaded an attack on me in the newspapers. She issued a series of preemptive statements making plain her negative opinion of me and my work. “What evidence is there for this ranked ordering of the evolution of the human races?” she wrote. “None.” Claiming that her views represented only her academic opinion she emphasized that she was not speaking in any administrative capacity. Her letter was nonetheless widely interpreted in the media as a refutation by my “boss.” Henceforth, in order to support me, a person would now have to go up against the dean in addition to prevailing opinion. Next, the chair of my department gave me an annual performance rating of “unsatisfactory” citing my “insensitivity.” This was a remarkable turnaround because it occurred for the same year in which I had been made a Fellow of the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. My previous twelve years of annual ratings had been “good” or “excellent.” Indeed, my earlier non-controversial work had made me one of the most cited scholars at my university.
Some radical and black students mobilized and held rallies, even bringing in a member of the African National Congress to denounce me. In one demonstration, a mob of 40 people stormed through the psychology department, banging on walls and doors, bellowing slogans through bull horns, drawing swastikas on the walls, and writing on my door “Racists Pig Live Here.”
The administration responded by barring me from the classroom and ordering me to lecture by videotape on the pretext that they could not protect me from the lawlessness of students. Again I launched formal grievances. After a term of enforced teaching by videotape, I won the right to resume teaching in person, though then I was required to run a gauntlet of demonstrators shouting protests and threats. Only after several forced cancellations of my classes did the administration warn the demonstrators that further action would lead to suspension and legal action. That brought the protests to a halt.
This sounds just like today huh? Seems like much hasn’t changed in the past 30 years. The amount of derision that Rushton faced just for his areas of research interest speaks volumes. Clearly, people are scared of the truth about human nature, whether individually or racially/ethnically. The fact that Rushton couldn’t teach because his classes kept getting interrupted shows that people don’t care about factual data, especially when it hurts their feelings or conflicts with any type of egalitarian nonsense they have in their heads. Once challenged, they get mad, scream ‘racist’ and simply do anything in their power to make life a living hell for the person who dares to speak non-politically correct things. But, and a huge but, just because one stops, for the time being, this from being spoken of, DOES NOT make the racial differences between groups go away. People look for any and all types of environmental explanations to attempt to explain away racial IQ gaps and other racial differences both physically and mentally, but they don’t hold up to the genetic explanation, which was shouted down by people who don’t want their fragile reality broken.
The same thing, of course, happened to Arthur Jensen:
In the 1990s protesters in London pelted him with tomatoes at a lecture hall. “Jensenism” became a term of rebuke, used against those who championed theories about whites’ superiority. “Jensenism,” evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould once declared, rested “on a rotten edifice.”
AR: Well, the sorts of things that you’ve been telling me, the sorts of things you’ve been doing research about, can you and do you freely teach these things in your classes?
Jensen: I sure do. I soft-pedaled things 20 years ago, and even then, there were great protests. I had students who would drop the course if these things were brought up even in a very mild way, in a hypothetical way. Students today wonder what all the shouting was about.
AR: Is that so?
Jensen: Yes, it’s rather hard to get students to believe that there were these protests and so on. They take a lot of this for granted. Oh, there’s been a great change in the students in that respect … But even in 1969-1970, I never saw a black in any of these demonstrations.
AR: Is that right?
Jensen: Not a one.
AR: They were SDS [Students for a Democratic Society]-types?
Jensen: All SDS and Progressive Labor Party, mainly. I tried to put them out when they tried to audit my course, because they were hecklers, and so some of the SDS people would sign up for the course. Of course, then they’d have to do the assignments and take the exams.
Interestingly enough, they usually were the top students in the course because they did so much outside reading to try and give me a bad time. They would go out and read everything Galton wrote! They were bright students. They just happened to be political radicals. “
Years ago, if I gave talks at the APA or the American Educational Research Association, the least little thing you’d say, people would get up on the floor and start denouncing you. I haven’t run into that for a long time, except in Canada and Australia. There’s about a ten year cultural lag in those places, I think, on this topic.
AR: I guess nowadays, as compared to fifteen or twenty years ago, you’re not a notorious presence on campus? People don’t say, “There goes Jensen!” You just don’t get that anymore?
Jensen: No, no. I used to. I used to have to be accompanied around campus by two campus policemen. In fact, they told me not to leave my office and go to the library, or any place, except to go to the men’s room around the corner, but not anywhere else without calling the campus police. They’d whiz across campus in a car and they’d be here in just a couple of minutes and walk with me wherever I wanted to go. One year I had two campus policemen, plain clothes men, in all my classes. They audited my courses.
He had to be escorted around campus by two campus police, all because of his research areas of interest. Why did Jensen have to be protected by two men in plain clothes just for talking about his scientific research? There is a clue in what he said: the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the Labor Party, not coincidentally, leftists who like to censor free, true speech when it doesn’t match to their false views of egalitarianism. But as we know, just because the causes for racial differences aren’t spoken of, that doesn’t mean that they go away. Is race a causal factor in intelligence? Yes, it is. ‘Discrimination’, a so-called ‘stereotype threat’ is not the cause for lower black intelligence. Rushton and Jensen showed that the races differ by 1.2 SDs at the most, and that it was 80 percent genetic in nature (Rushton and Jensen, 2005: 279). Were the public to accept truths such as this and not any false ‘truths’ such as what the left puts out, Rushton and Jensen would not have received the derision they did when they were publishing and pushing their theories decades ago. I recall a specific poster that I saw on AmRen a few years back talking about how Jensen was a ‘racist’ and along with Shockley, both needed to be fired and lose their jobs because they just so happened to speak these uncomfortable truths.
When I met Phil in person for the first time the following year, I could not believe that a man so intensely hated in public (nearly always by idiots who did not know him personally and who did not know anything about science) could be so gentle, genial, and generous in person. His very kind and mild manners always impressed me, especially in stark contrast to how people thought and assumed he was.
There is one very small consolation in Phil’s tragically early death: Phil was not an artist, he was a scientist. When an artist dies, his art dies with him, which is why there has not been (and will never be) Beethoven’s 10th Symphony or Guernica II. Unlike art, however, science is cumulative. The rest of us can honor his memory and his scientific legacy by continuing his work. Phil was simultaneously a tremendous role model and a very tough act to follow. He was a model of scientific integrity. Unlike Galileo, he never recanted.
Science is cumulative. He, Jensen, Murray, Herrnstein, Gottfredson, Lynn et al are Modern Day Galileos. They spoke out against this leftist paradigm that has persisted in universities for decades, and even while shown extreme derision, they never recant their statements because they know they are just speaking the truth. Any allegations of so-called ‘racism’ are just that: allegations with no factual backing behind them. The fact that they need to be called childish words such as ‘racist’ and they need to have their lectures and classes interrupted by ‘protests’ speaks volumes on the research they were doing. The fact that the left has nothing to say except untrue vitriol shows who was right. When you have to attempt to silence someone because you don’t like what they’re saying or it ‘offends you’, that says volumes about your character than the one’s character you’re trying to spew vitriol at.
The fact of the matter is, no matter what anyone or any entity does to attempt to hide racial differences in intelligence, or any other trait for that matter, the truth will always come out. When answers one receives don’t line up to what one sees in his day-to-day life, one goes and looks for the truth. And that truth is that some races aren’t as intelligent as others which leads to differences in scholastic achievement and life success. These differences persist through the generations and when a downtrodden individual (no matter the race) realizes that those have a better social standing then they, they make mental leaps in their head that ‘they’re being held down’ or ‘the man is out to get them’ not even thinking that it’s their own innate ability that’s holding them down in comparison to the other group.
Rushton and Jensen will be fully vindicated one day. It’s only a matter of time. David Piffer showed that IQ alleles differ in frequency between races, meaning that a FULL vindication of Rushton, Jensen, Gottfredson, Murray, Herrnstein, Lynn, Kanazawa et al are going to come soon.
RIP to two great men who had a huge effect on my worldview and the reasons for differences around the world. I only hope that others rise up to continue their work and prove, once and for all, that they were right.
(This goes along with my refutation of Steele here: Strong Evidence, Strong Argument: Race IQ and Adoption)
There is a 15 point, 1 standard deviation between black and white IQs. I will argue that they are not biased towards any group, as well as there being both positive and negative life outcomes based on IQ, crime included. This is due to false ideas of equality, some “blank slate” idea that we all have the same capacity for cognitive ability, athletic ability and so on. These egalitarian ideas, in turn, have devastating effects on our society, as we a) deny the reality of intelligence and b) deny any type of racial gaps in intelligence.
The famous words “Compensatory education has been tried and has apparently failed” in Jensen’s paper in the Harvard Educational Review that reignited the firestorm on the race/IQ debate called How Much Can We Boost IQ and Scholastic Achievement? is the reason why this debate got thrown back into the public eye (Jensen, 1969). It will be argued in this paper that he was correct and that his main thesis that blacks need differing education than do whites is correct and needs to be done.
IQ tests were first developed off of Army Aptitude Tests in the early 1900s by French psychologist Alfred Binet. They were originally used to identify at-risk populations in terms of who is mentally retarded. People then say that due to this, that IQ tests don’t test anything of worth due to the reason why they were originally developed.
In 1976, a study was conducted called the Minnesota Transracial Adoption study where they took children of different races who were adopted into different families and tested their IQs at age 7 and again at age 17. A follow-up study was published in 1992. What was found, was that IQs of transracially adopted children didn’t differ at all from children raised by their biological parents in the same area.
Dr. David Duke states in his book My Awakening: A Path to Racial Understanding (1998), that the authors waited about 4 years to publish these findings. This, of course, has to do with the political climate of today. Any allegations of “racism” can and most likely will end someone’s career; so most individuals just go the politically correct route to play it safe and keep their credentials. Blacks raised in white families hardly did any better than blacks raised in black families. If the differences supposedly were environmental in the way environmentalists say it is, how come blacks raised in rich white families didn’t reach the IQ of whites if “IQ is malleable by the immediate environment?” Because the differences are genetic.
Though, there are other studies that state that environment matters more than genetic factors. These three studies (Moore 1986; Eyferth 1961; and Tizard, 1972) all conclude that the black-white IQ gap is environmental in nature.
A study was conducted that 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) (Moore, 1986). 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.
One study conducted in Germany in 1959 observed IQ scores of out-of-wedlock children fathered by US soldiers stationed in Germany during WWII and reared by white German mothers (Eyferth, 1961). Mean IQ scores for 83 white children and 97 mixed-race children were 97, 97.2 for the whites and 96.6 for the mixed-race children (Rushton and Jensen, pg. 261). However, these results are disputed. One, the children were extremely young, one-third of the children in the study were between the ages of 5 and 10 whereas the remaining two-thirds of the children were between the ages of 10 and 13. The malleability of intelligence is very well-known in regards to children. The heritability of IQ at age increases with age (a phenomenon known as ‘the Wilson Effect’), which Arthur Jensen states that as a child ages, social environment can increase IQ (as heritability for children aged 5 is 22 percent and children aged 7 at 40 percent). Though, as the child ages, genes activate, and they fall to their genetic potential, with genetic effects accounting for a lion’s share of intelligence (80 to 90 percent) and environment having no effect. Second, 20 to 25 percent of the ‘black’ fathers were French North Africans (Caucasians). This shows why the mixed-race children had higher IQs in the sample: about a quarter of the sample was Caucasian (Rushton and Jensen, pg. 261). Finally, rigorous selection was done on both the white and black soldiers. With 3 percent of whites getting rejected compared to 30 percent of blacks, it is shown that high IQ blacks were selected for, therefore, skewing the sample.
Yet another study on black and white children observed 2 to 5-year-olds in a nursery setting (Tizard, 1972). 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.
All three of the above studies that get cited ad nauseum have something in common: they did not retest the children again at age 17 like was done in the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study. This is very critical. As it was alluded to earlier, as children mature, genetics exerts more of an effect than does socialization. Any IQ differences that are brought about by socialization will be mediated by genetics at adulthood, falling to the racial mean. It also noted how the age of adoption does not influence children’s IQ scores after age 7 (Jensen 1998b). This is due to, again, genetic effects being heightened as age increases.
What the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study (Weinberg, Scarr, and Waldman, 1992) and the Eyferth study (1961) had observed was that the children born to a white mother and a black father had statistically significant differences in IQ in comparison to those birthed by a black mother and white father. This is attributed to prenatal environment. It was observed that mothers who had higher IQs and were more educated (which both correlate highly with each other), had children which, in turn, had higher IQ scores as well (Erikson, 2013). The results of the study suggest that mothers who are more educated have children who have higher intelligence. This should end this debate right there. Since, clearly, a white mother is more conducive to foster a higher IQ than is a black mother, this shows that racial differences in IQ are largely genetic in origin.
The black-white IQ gap has been noticed for over 100 years, ever since the test has been first conceptualized. Egalitarians may say that “they’re biased against minorities” or “they don’t learn the right things on the test”, all of these are easily refutable. This was true in the 70s, according to Herrnstein and Murray, but today there is no bias of that magnitude on these tests of cognitive ability.
Jensen states that genetic and cultural factors influence the black-white IQ gap the same as individual factors (80 percent genetic factors, 20 percent environmental). Since both individual differences in IQ, as well as the mean difference in the black-white IQ gap are genetic, this shows that some individuals are genetically predisposed to have lower IQs. Moreover, a multitude of traits in life fall on a bell curve, you will have some individuals at one end, and others at the opposite end, but you’ll see a majority fall in the middle of the racial mean (85 for blacks, 100 for whites, 104 for East Asians and 107 for Ashkenazi Jews). So, with equalized environments, the gap can be closed by around 3 points, but still a lion’s share of the gap is still there, which again gives credence to the genetic hypothesis.
Those who disbelieve the validity of IQ tests at the individual level, as well as the between-group level, say that test biases are the cause for lower scores in certain individuals in minority populations. Gottfredson et al state in their publication that was released after the controversial book The Bell Curve, Mainstream Science on Intelligence, that if you speak the language, IQ tests are not biased. If you don’t speak the language, you then get a special IQ test that is culture free, based on pattern recognition called Raven’s Progressive Matrices. Even then on these culture-free, word-free IQ tests, there is still a one SD gap, 15 points, between blacks and whites.
People have tried to bridge the gap, even going so far to make a test that’s ‘culture fair’ to blacks called the B.I.T.C.H. (Black Intelligence Test of Cultural Homogeneity) IQ test (Williams, 1972). What was found was that blacks scored highly, whereas whites lagged behind. But, the thing is, this test has ridiculous concepts that don’t test actual intelligence. The way that people say that regular IQ tests are biased towards blacks don’t even realize that the way the B.I.T.C.H. IQ test is set up does not mirror the supposed biased nature of regular IQ tests on blacks.
Flynn noticed that no matter which country you look IQs have gained around 3 points per decade. Herrnstein and Murray then coined the term The Flynn Effect, after the man who focused the most attention on the phenomena. Flynn argues that since IQ scores have been gaining the same amount of points in any population no matter where you look, that the black-white IQ gap has to be environmental in origin.
However, the Flynn Effect is a fallacy and is overstated. In 1945, the average IQ of whites in America was 85, the same as the black average today. That statement is supposed to show that the between-group differences are environmental in origin and since there haven’t been any big genetic changes in both populations to account for this difference, then the gap must be environmental in origin. 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.
Any country you look at, the rate of increase is 3 IQ points per decade; but gaps in IQ stay the same. This shows that this same uniform factor affects all groups the same throughout the world. And due to this uniform factor, as a result, you have a difference in IQ that’s being preserved. This suggests that the response on the parts of blacks and whites is due to non-environment factors, a genetic factor, which makes the difference in IQ remain as the Flynn Effect goes into effect.
Blacks and whites also have a similar environment, especially since segregation ended. Since environments are similar, the more and more similar the environment, the less and less differences are due to environment and the more and more they are due to genetic factors. So the 15-point gap surviving this change in environments proves that the racial gap is genetic in origin.
Dickens and Flynn state that black Americans have closed the gap in recent years, but this, however, is not the case. Most of those studies were done on children; Jensen states that the black-white IQ gap becomes more noticeable as they get older because genetic effects take over at adulthood with the environment having little if no effect on IQ (Rushton and Jensen, 2005). Jensen concludes that the SD gap between blacks and whites at early adulthood is about 1.2 SDs or about 17 IQ points. In Rushton and Jensen’s 2005 paper, Flynn and Dickens sidestepped a theoretical analysis in which it’s showed that the higher amount of white admixture a black has, the higher his IQ score is.
The Flynn Effect is not on g, or the general intelligence factor, which the most heritable items on the subtests show the most differences between blacks and whites (Rushton and Jensen, 2010). Since the Flynn Effect does not fall on g, this should not even be in the discussion. A Flynn Effect is not a Jensen Effect, which is real gains in g over time (Rushton, 1998). Rushton found it ridiculous that we had a nation of mentally handicapped children 100 years ago. This was enough for him to disregard the Flynn Effect.
Other proposed causes for this gap involve a mechanism called ‘stereotype threat’ (Steele and Aronson, 1995). Stereotype threat is a situational predicament in which people find themselves falling into the stereotype of whatever group their group is a part of. Though, this is not the case for blacks. Blacks are rated as seeing themselves as more attractive, which a) shows more self-confidence and b) shows that the so-called effects of white racism making blacks feel ugly and inadequate in their own skin are simply not true. Kanazawa (2011) noted that both male and female blacks rated themselves higher than other groups; showing that there are no lingering effects of racism as well as this silly belief that just by thinking you’re going to fall into a stereotype means that you will fall into it.
Still, others may state that poverty is a cause for the IQ disparity between the races. People have causalities mixed up when they make this statement. Since lower IQ is correlated with lower SES, the cause of poverty is people being born with low intellect which manifests itself in the wealth attainment of the individual. Many recent studies have come out saying that poverty decreases IQ, yet the only environmental factors that can do such a thing is malnutrition, extreme abuse, and extreme isolation. Other than that, all a parent needs to do is just give the child an ‘OK’ environment and genetic factors will take care of the rest.
Critics of the public school system have said for decades that you can’t solve educational problems by throwing money at them, but those who believed in the public schooling system said it has yet to be tried. They did try, in Kansas, MO, and failed miserably (Ciotti, 1998). This desegregation experiment cost 11,700 dollars per student, more money spent per individual on a cost of living basis than 280 school districts around the country. This tax-payer money bought “higher teachers’ salaries, 15 new schools, and such amenities as an Olympic-sized swimming pool with an underwater viewing room, television and animation studios, a robotics lab, a 25-acre wildlife sanctuary, a zoo, a model United Nations with simultaneous translation capability, and field trips to Mexico and Senegal. The student-teacher ratio was 12 or 13 to 1, the lowest of any major school district in the country.”
Despite all of these variables to enrich the environment of the black students, even bussing in white kids from out of district, the gap did not diminish, test scores did not change and there was less, not more, integration. Moreover, numerous individuals say that poverty and schooling systems are the cause for anti-intellectualism in the black community. I, however, argue that there is a considerable genetic component to the black-white IQ gap (Rushton and Jensen, 2005 p. 279).
Where does all of this leave us? Yes, blacks are less intelligent than whites, but what does this mean for our society that we refuse to acknowledge the existence of innate intelligence, as well as racial differences in intelligence? The average IQ of a repeat juvenile criminal in America is 92 (Herrnstein, Murray, and Cullens, 1998). At adulthood, the average IQ for a repeat criminal is 85. The reason for the IQ of a repeat adult offender being lower than that of teenaged offenders is due to as you age, the environment doesn’t matter as genetics takes over at adulthood.
The fact that we are disregarding g (intelligence) and its multiple covariates is extremely alarming. The fact that America is headed down the path to dysgenesis (Lynn, 2006) and we are not doing a thing about it troubles me greatly. The way we treat black underachievement in America is completely wrong. To succeed as a country, we need to recognize biological truths in that certain groups achieve highly whereas others have low levels of academic achievement, we need to recognize that there is no insidious plot to hold down others; we need to realize that some groups are less intelligent as others due to evolution in differing climates over tens of thousands of years. The trillions of dollars we have spent on all of these programs have not worked. We have tried them, and they have failed. No matter what we do, black underachievement will always be around. By recognizing black underachievement, they will be better able to succeed relative to themselves and not compare themselves to other high-achieving groups. There is a considerable genetic component to the gap (80 percent genetic) and that due to this, blacks should have differing standards in comparison to the rest of the population (Jensen, 1969).
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