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

1500 words

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lynn says:

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

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

Lynn says:

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Refuting Afrocentrism Part 2: Are Italians Black?

1400 words

Afrocentrists like to say things like ‘Italians were black’ and ‘the Romans were black’ and ‘The Moors were black’. All of this is based on shoddy evidence and uneducated people not knowing what they’re talking about.

In this article by an Afrocentrist, he claims that ‘Italians were black’ and talks about ‘dark-skinned Sicilians’.

Southern Italians were considered “black” in the South and were subjected to the Jim Crow laws of segregation. They weren’t allowed to marry “whites.” It was difficult, damn near impossible.

They were designated as “black” on census forms if they lived in the South and that is because the majority of them were dark-skinned Sicilians.

No idea what he’s talking about. In America at the time, Northern Italians said that Southern Italians were of a different race due to a slightly different look. Well, genetic testing shows similarities between the Northern and Southern Italians which I will get to later.

First off, it’s not only Sicilians who are ‘dark-skinned’. It’s all of Southern Europe.

UV rays

The map seen above is a map of UV rays that Europe and parts of North Africa get. Notice how North Africa and Southern Europe get the same amount of UV rays. That’s the cause of the difference in appearance between the North and South of Italy.

Mass lynchings happened to them often.

Mass lynchings happened to everyone often, not just blacks and Italians. Lynchings happened to anyone who raped, murdered, or did any other heinous crime. 27 percent of those lynched between the years of 1882-1968 were white. It wasn’t only a ‘black problem’.

One of the biggest mass lynchings happened to Italians in New Orleans when they thought that a Italian immigrant had killed a “white” police officer.

Right. It was the biggest mass lynching ever in the history of the US, 11 Italians got lynched. But, what he says about the cause being ‘killing a “white” police officer’ is unfounded. They got lynched for killing the police officer, not because they were of ‘another race’.

The very few Northern Italians that immigrated here perpetuated the myth that Southern Italians and Greeks were of a different race than them in order to save their own asses. This wasn’t true, and there are actually dark-skinned Italians all over Italy, not just in the South, as well as light-skinned Italians all over Italy.

But it is true. The differences between Northern and Southern Italians are embellished due to political reasons. There are dark-skinned Italians who live in Italy but are not genetically Italian/Greek. Yes, light-skinned ‘all over Italy’, those in the North are more Germanic, while the South has slight admixture  from North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. Though, some from the South migrated to the North and vice versa. The amount of non-white admixture in Italians is less than that of the average for Europe:

Combined data from two large mtDNA studies provides an estimate of non-Caucasoid maternal ancestry in Italians. The first study sampled 411 Italians from all over the country and found five South Asian M and East Asian D sequences (1.2%) and eight sub-Saharan African L sequences (1.9%). The second study sampled 465 Sicilians and detected ten M sequences (2.2%) and three L sequences (0.65%). This makes a total of 3% non-white maternal admixture (1.3% Asian and 1.7% African), which is very low and typical for European populations, since Pliss et al. 2005, e.g., observed 1.8% Asian admixture in Poles and 1.2% African admixture in Germans. (Plaza et al. 2003; Romano et al. 2003)

Similar data from the Y-chromosome reveals Italians’ even lower non-Caucasoid paternal admixture. Both studies obtained samples from all over the mainland and islands. No Asian DNA was detected anywhere, but a single sub-Saharan African E(xE3b) sequence was found in the first study’s sample of 416 (0.2%), and six were observed in the second study’s sample of 746 (0.8%). The total is therefore a minuscule 0.6%, which decreases to 0.4% if only Southern Italians are considered and 0% if only Sicilians are considered. Again, these are normal levels of admixture for European populations (e.g. Austrians were found to have 0.8% E(xE3b) by Brion et al. 2004). (Semino et al. 2004; Cruciani et al. 2004)

An analysis of 10 autosomal allele frequencies in Southern Europeans (including Italians, Sicilians and Sardinians) and various Middle Eastern/North African populations revealed a “line of sharp genetic change [that] runs from Gibraltar to Lebanon,” which has divided the Mediterranean into distinct northern and southern clusters since at least the Neolithic period. The authors conclude that “gene flow [across the sea] was more the exception than the rule,” attributing this result to “a joint product of initial geographic isolation and successive cultural divergence, leading to the origin of cultural barriers to population admixture.” (Simoni et al. 1999)

These studies show the opposite of what Afrocentrists, and even Nordicists say.

The reason I say very few is because over 80% of Italian immigrants were from Southern Italy (Sicily, Abruzzo, Calabria, Campania, Sardinia, Naples, etc.)

Correct, and as seen above with those 3 studies, neither of them are ‘African’. My grandmother was born in Calabria. She looked like any other normal Italian woman you see on the street. These people take their ideas from movies, take genetics information from a movie like True Romance and attempt to say that all Italians are ‘black’ or ‘African’ or ‘Moorish’.

It was highly unlikely (damn near impossible) for a Southern Italian to own a slave because they were seen as the same as blacks, and at the time, they were the second (right behind blacks) most discriminated against group.

Too bad Italians started coming to America in the 1870s. What he states doesn’t even make sense because blacks owned slaves way disproportionately than whites. 4.8 percent of Southern whites, along with the North, being 1.3 percent of all whites in America in 1860 owned slaves. There are reports from New Orleans from their 1860 census that showed 3000 freed blacks owned slaves, accounting for 28 percent of the city’s population.

In 1860 Louisiana, at least 6 blacks owned more than 65 slaves, with the biggest number of slaves being 165 slaves who worked on a sugar plantation. So even if Italians were looked at as ‘black’, as you can see, blacks themselves had no problem owning slaves, and actually did it more than whites did right before slavery ended.

A lot of this confusion comes from the race of the Moors. The Moors are a Caucasoid Muslim group from North Africa. People hear ‘Africa’ and automatically think sub-Saharan Africa. Well, the Moors were Cacausoid for one. 2, as I have shown above, the amount of Moorish/Berber admixture is minute in Italians. 3rd, I will show now that the Berbers are not sub-Saharan African.

You have other Afrocentrist websites who talk about so-called ‘black Moors’. Well, the Moors were Berbers and Arabs, who are Caucasian.

Berbers live in groups scattered across NorthAfrica whose origins and genetic relationships with their neighbours are not well established. The first hypervariablesegment of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region was sequenced in a total of 155 individuals from three Tunisian Berber groups and compared to other North Africans. The mtDNA lineages found belong to a common set of mtDNA haplogroups already described in NorthAfrica. Besides the autochthonous North African U6 haplogroup, a group of L3 lineages characterized by the transition at position 16041 seems to be restricted to North Africans, suggesting that an expansion of this group of lineages took place around 10500 years ago in NorthAfrica, and spread to neighbouring populations. Principal components and the coordinate analyses show that some Berber groups (the Tuareg, the Mozabite, and the Chenini-Douiret) are outliers within the NorthAfrican genetic landscape. This outlier position is consistent with an isolation process followed by genetic drift in haplotypefrequencies, and with the high heterogeneity displayed by Berbers compared to Arab samples as shown in the AMOVA. Despite this Berber heterogeneity, no significant differences were found between Berber and Arab samples, suggesting that the Arabization was mainly a cultural process rather than a demographic replacement.
berbers
berberchildwh1
Above are pictures of modern day Berbers.
Here is what Afrocentrists would like you to believe they looked like:
Moors3
Which has no basis in genetics or history. The Moors were Caucasoid and not African.
In conclusion, Italians aren’t black, nor were they ever looked at as black. Southern Europe getting the same UV rays as Northern Africa explains the slight appearance differences between Northern and Southern Italians as well as being greatly embellished due to political reasons. Genetic testing shows lower non-European admixture than average for Europe.
On the Moors: Genetic testing shows North African admixture, as well as Arabization being a cultural process and not a demographic replacement.