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Race/IQ Revised

Last year I published Race, IQ, and Wealth [1], presenting the overwhelming evidence that group IQs were far more malleable and shaped by social influences than is widely acknowledged in many quarters. The result was a lengthy and ferocious Internet debate [2], including an overwhelmingly negative and even hostile response to my suggestions, mostly by bloggers who had long specialized in that forbidden topic.

As the dozen or so rounds of the debate played out, some of my critics, including the most scholarly, began to acknowledge that my arguments actually had quite a bit of merit, and these “second thoughts” continued after the controversy had died down.

For example, late last year an erstwhile blogger-critic informed me that he had discovered the precise details [3] of the huge but hotly-disputed 1972 IQ study in Ireland that I had repeatedly cited, and the methodology seemed exceptionally well-designed and sound. Therefore, I think it can not longer be seriously disputed that just forty years the population of Ireland did indeed have a mean IQ of only 87 [4].

The recent defenestration [5] of the unfortunate Dr. Jason Richwine has brought these issues once again back to the fore, and apparently sparked renewed interest. During the previous debate, one of my earliest and strongest quantitative critics had been someone styling himself “The Occidentalist” and running a blog of a similar name. But a few days ago, he published an extremely detailed 5,000 word article entitled “The Argument Ron Should Have Made” [6] in which he now grudgingly acknowledges that many of my central arguments seem to have been correct after all.  This is a welcome change from his original response last year, which had characterized me as “egregiously dishonest” and my views as “laughable commentary.” [7]

As I’ve noted before, it’s a bit ironic to me that virtually all the significant debate on this important topic takes place without the substantive participation of the huge population of “anti-racist” intellectuals, who apparently confine their activities mostly to keeping their fingers firmly jammed in their ears while occasionally organizing employment blacklists of a few Richwines here and there.

Indeed, Steve Sailer, founder and leading figure in the racialist blogging community, yesterday posted an interesting item [8]. Apparently a “leading academic” had contacted him and said he planned to introduce Sailer’s ideologically heretical material in his college course, but was wondering if there existed any remotely plausible arguments on the other side, anywhere on the Internet.

Sailer replied that as far as he knew, no one had ever significantly rebutted his own genetic-determinist theories on IQ or other matters, and that all the prominent intellectual figures who had once tried had long since abandoned their efforts as futile, recognizing that Sailer was entirely correct. To this posting, one of Sailer’s regular commenters replied “LOLOLLLOLOLOLOL!” [9].

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#1 Comment By Turmarion On June 9, 2013 @ 11:08 pm

From the Young Fogey at a Conservative Blog for Peace, my emphasis:

Next Big Things that weren’t and aren’t…. Hispanics in America as a political power and dominating the culture. Remember 25 years ago when Madonna sang lines in bad Spanish? Her market research was wrong. I don’t hate them [Hispanics] like Sailer seems to (I’m one of them: a grandmother was a Spanish-speaking Catholic) but HBD’s true.

Then, [10], once more, my emphasis:

This touches on a theme I see in Sailer and Takimag: both fear and envy of clannish, low-trust cultures. The worst seems to want to dump individual rights and fight dirty by being racists: ‘white power’, ‘if they can do it, so should we’. Not a Christian option. (Political correctness is a Christian heresy.)

I don’t think it’s really a Reconquista; a point of my original post. Again, they mostly don’t vote. The Saileristas (ha) are worried about a kind of soft Reconquista: a low-average-IQ group increasing and dragging down the country. How do you handle that without trampling on human rights? Not Nazi eugenics. Individualist meritocracy. If you’re smart and hard-working, bienvenidos. The clans are welcome but the moment you break the libertarian no-harm, non-aggression principle (no one has the right to initiate force against another), out you go. (You choose to come here, you play by our rules, ¿comprende?) It also knocks the wind out of other obnoxious identity politics (Jewish, black, etc.), such as the mascots/proxies of the leftist white elite warring against prole conservative whites.

I don’t necessarily agree with Fogey on everything, but it’s important to point out that he’s liberterian, individualist, mertiocratic, and by his own statement says he believes human biodiversity (HBD) is true. Note also his take on large numbers of what he calls “Saileristas”: they hate other races (or at least seem to), they are envious of identity politics, and they “want to dump individual rights and fight dirty by being racists”. Note also Fogey’s clear statement that such things are not an option for Christians (I know not everyone here is one, but food for thought for those who are).

I think this in a nutshell is what Scotty and JonF are arguing. The debates about social policy if IQ differences are biological and intractable are not some abstract argument descending from the Empyrian as if there is not a trace of real-world history of discrimination, exclusion, and so on. I make no claims about any specific person here (not being an Internet mind-reader), but a hugely disproportionate number of race realists actively dislike, even outright hate blacks, Hispanics, etc., and (when they can control themselves enough to do so) cloak that hatred in science, social policy, and so on.

Once more, I point out that Fogey is a libertarian (an orientation that seems over-represented among the HBD crowd) and thinks HBD is true. Thus, one who should be the natural ally “Saileristas” does not hesitate to call it as he sees it in regard to them. It’s not just rabid, evul librul leftists like me, Scotty, or Jon who can call it like it is.

OK: So a group of people say that they just want to do the science and see where that leads and what we should to on the basis of it vis-&agrave-vis your race/religion/ethnic group/whatever; but it’s a clear as daylight that large swaths of these people hate your guts just because of your race/religion/ethnic group/whatever. So even if there is some scientific basis to what they say, it’s a surprise to these people that you don’t trust them why?

#2 Comment By Glaivester On June 9, 2013 @ 11:31 pm

An interesting question, and a clever framing of things: You seem to be suggesting that the veracity of our legal system concerning racial equality–the 14th and 15th Amendments, the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act, and numerous other acts of law that seek to restrain racial discrimination–ought to depend on establishing some level of “biological equality”; and if this biological equality cannot be established (or is disproven), then our civic commitment to civil rights ought to collapse like a house of cards.

That is absolutely not what Curle said. Read more carefully:

In a society where elites rigorously enforce the notion of equality of result as the natural condition of mankind absent the intervention of malignant forces, such as racism or bigotry, it is important that we test the truthfulness of such revelations.

He’s not talking about civil rights and discrimination. He is talking about the assumption that unequal outcomes are proof of discrimination.

When we say “everyone has the capacity to be a scientist, teacher, mathematician”… or, for that matter, a professional athlete, a virtuoso musician, a renowned author, a successful entrepreneur, or President of the United States…

I’m not talking about the saying “anyone can be president.” I’m talking about the idea that all we need to do is give everyone a college education and they will be able to do high-IQ white collar work. There are a great many people who believe that the only thing standing in the way of blue collar workers getting white collar work is education, or that an economy that gets rid of blue collar jobs can re-employ everyone as accountants, etc. This is a real way people think, I’m not arguing against the straw-man of a too-literally interpreted old saying.

#3 Comment By Glaivester On June 10, 2013 @ 7:27 am

There is a whole system in place to discriminate against whites in order to help fight “white privilege” and supposed discrimination. Minorities get set-asides in contracts, preferential treatment when applying for colleges, and have a leg up when applying for government jobs. Indeed, government policy as a whole is [11].

This is all based on the idea that somehow the socio-economic gap between blacks and whites (or Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites) is due entirely to white discrimination, and that it needs to be corrected. I would think that if we are going to base a policy on such an assumption, we should at least ask ourselves if it is true.

But Scotty and JonF believe that no such question should be asked, and that it is too dangerous to consider other possibilities, so the solution is to keep on punishing white America. Of course, while raising the specter of racial differences should be avoided because we know of the dangers that can lead to, no one needs to worry about the dangers of taking a particular ethnic group (whites in this case) and blaming them for all of the problems of other groups.

#4 Comment By Glaivester On June 10, 2013 @ 10:07 am

I don’t necessarily agree with Fogey on everything, but it’s important to point out that he’s liberterian, individualist, mertiocratic, and by his own statement says he believes human biodiversity (HBD) is true. Note also his take on large numbers of what he calls “Saileristas”: they hate other races (or at least seem to), they are envious of identity politics, and they “want to dump individual rights and fight dirty by being racists”.

Turmarion, I don’t particularly like racial identity politics, but what is happening now is that everyone but whites engages in it. Do you seriously think that white people can avoid engaging in racial identity politics if everyone else is doing it? That would be suicidal.

You are calling for whites to acquiesce to their own extermination, and cloaking it in “anti-racism.”

I think this in a nutshell is what Scotty and JonF are arguing. The debates about social policy if IQ differences are biological and intractable are not some abstract argument descending from the Empyrian as if there is not a trace of real-world history of discrimination, exclusion, and so on.

But that works both ways. This is not some academic question where pretending that there is no difference when there is a difference is simple politeness. This is not some abstract discussion as if there are no policies deliberately intended to give non-whites a leg up on the basis that all socio-economic disadvantages are due to irrational discrimination.

Your position boils down to “we can’t discuss HBD, because believing in racial differences might lead to resentment against minorities.” But the fact that denying all racial differences might lead to unjust resentment against successful races, and lead to hatred against them is not considered.

but a hugely disproportionate number of race realists actively dislike, even outright hate blacks, Hispanics, etc., and (when they can control themselves enough to do so) cloak that hatred in science, social policy, and so on.

It seems to me that a lot of the critics of HBD actively hate whites as a group (yes, that includes a lot of self-hating whites), or at least hate whites whom they see as socially inferior, and cloak that hatred in “anti-racism,” claims of “white privilege,” social policy, and so on.

Remember, EngineerScotty misrepresented what Curle said: Curle suggested that equality of results is not the proper yardstick for measuring civil rights and Scotty made out that he said that we should not have equality of rights. This type of misrepresentation suggests to me that the loudest voices on the anti-HBD side are not honest brokers.

As for the Young Fogey, if we were living under a libertarian system, he might have a point. But the fact of the matter is, allowing increased immigration while maintaining the non-aggression axiom is not currently an option, because the immigrants are not going to adhere to it and the government won’t make them.

For someone concerned about how politics would work in the real world as opposed to in some abstraction, you certainly seem to be quoting a blogger whose entire argument for what policy should be in this area is based on an abstract utopian government isolated from real-world politics.

If we got rid of affirmative action, welfare, hate crimes laws, etc., maybe we could try his ideas. But they are not going away, and we can’t make libertarian immigration laws until there is enough political power to make them go away. What would happen in practice would be that whites give up identity politics, while identity-politicking Jews, blacks, etc. would relentlessly attack them.

So he is simply peddling naivete, a common problem amongst libertarians.

#5 Comment By Curle On June 10, 2013 @ 10:23 am

EngineerScotty says: “You seem to be suggesting that the veracity of our legal system concerning racial equality–the 14th and 15th Amendments, the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act, and numerous other acts of law that seek to restrain racial discrimination–ought to depend on establishing some level of “biological equality”; and if this biological equality cannot be established (or is disproven), then our civic commitment to civil rights ought to collapse like a house of cards.” ——————

At one level you are correct, I don’t believe that legal systems have veracity. Nor do they make claims subject to a truthfulness test. They are instruments of social power and little else. They have legitimacy, but veracity is not a relevant consideration when evaluating legal systems. Establishing the truth of kinship group average differences in intelligence will only change the facts with which the legal system operates and it might accelerate the reversal of the fraudulent disparate impact rule (fraudulent because it is an exception to the rule I just stated in that it assumes unestablished facts as a rule of law), however this latter development is already underway which is why Holder and company are working so hard to ensure no disparate impact case comes before the SCOTUS.

#6 Comment By Michael O’Hearn On June 10, 2013 @ 12:25 pm

Irish Catholic children making up the vast majority in Ireland were systematically denied basic education in the 18th and 19th centuries, as were working class kids in France during the 17th century. This obviously has a negative generational impact which you completely overlook. My suggestion was and is that scientists look at the correlation between intelligent test scores and cranial capacity within discrete populations to gain better insight. Obviously, the inability to score above a certain level is to a large extent racially fixed.

#7 Comment By Ricardo Toledano On June 10, 2013 @ 1:02 pm

Dashwood,

Yes, I agree with you, “race” in itself is a model and as George Box used to say “all models are wrong, some are useful”, I suggested the way I think a proper model must be built to address this matter, with some simplifications, mainly that a phylogenetic tree should in fact be a phylogenetic network.

#8 Comment By EngineerScotty On June 10, 2013 @ 2:53 pm

This is all based on the idea that somehow the socio-economic gap between blacks and whites (or Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites) is due entirely to white discrimination, and that it needs to be corrected. I would think that if we are going to base a policy on such an assumption, we should at least ask ourselves if it is true.

Your observation would be more correct if you remove the word “entirely”. Other factors come into play, obviously–many subcultures in this country exhibit rampant social pathology, which negatively impact the prospects of the identifiable ethnic group(s) in question.

But are you suggesting that white discrimination is a thing of the past–are you thinking that racism in this country ended in 1964? Good lord, it’s alive and well, right here in this comment thread. Every week, it seems, one hears about a new case of somebody (whether a dumb-ass pizza delivery driver, or a high-powered executive, or a United States congressman) caught complaining about “n****rs” or “wetbacks”when they think nobody’s looking or watching (or even when the cameras are rolling and they know it). Every day, black motorists get pulled over by white cops for technical violations of the motor vehicle code, like failing to signal 100 feet from the intersection–an indignity that white motorists are seldom subjected to. And every day, it seems, there’s another litany of suggestions that the reason that the nation’s political and business power structure is overwhelmingly white (the POTUS notwithstanding), is that blacks are lazy or dumb or otherwise undeserving of access to power–racism can’t possibly have anything to do with it–and the few who do make it are roundly accused of being undeservedly promoted due to “affirmative action”.

While EEOC offices do sometimes go overboard in pursuing discrimination complaints–there is plenty of actual discrimination occurring each and every day. Studies continue to show that resumes with white-sounding names get called back at a higher rate then resumes with black-sounding or Spanish names. And plenty of commenters here at TAC are rather open about their view that this is a GOOD thing–that doing business with African-Americans is Just Too Risky, and that the Civil Rights Act (and subsequent laws) were bad ideas.

As Tumarion puts it–the reason most of civilized society in the US rejects or ignores race/IQ research, is that the entire program has a long history of being the province of bigots, looking to science to justify their bigotry. Nobody complains about medical researchers studying subjects like “heart disease in black men” or “ovarian cancer in white women”–such research is conducted in good faith, and intended to benefit the populations being studied. But race/IQ research is, by and large, conducted and funded by those looking for a pretext to discriminate.

If Richwine or Unz and others want to make this a serious field of study, step one is to do what William F. Buckley did to the Birchers a few generations ago: drive the cranks and kooks from the field. Demonstrate good faith.

Until that is done–research on this topic will always be suspect.

#9 Comment By Turmarion On June 10, 2013 @ 6:22 pm

Glaivester: Your position boils down to “we can’t discuss HBD, because believing in racial differences might lead to resentment against minorities.”

You’re misrepresenting me–in fact, I think Ron Unz is doing an excellent job of discussing it in a neutral and dispassionate way. The thing is that when discussing controversial topics it’s best to strive to keep out those with ideological axes to grind as much as possible on both sides. At least one commenter, on Rod’s blog here, said outright that even if blacks were identical to whites in IQ, crime rates, etc., he’d still favor whites because they’re “his people”. Now I don’t know if you’d go that far or not, but that’s clear out of the realm of rational discourse, in my view.

I don’t particularly like racial identity politics, but what is happening now is that everyone but whites engages in it.

The traditional parent statement comes to mind: “Well, if everyone else jumped off a cliff, should you?”

I don’t know what faith commitments you have, but I agree with the Fogey as to the incompatibility of tribalism, identity politics, and political correctness with Christianity. Read Acts–the Greek-speaking Christians were distrusted and disliked by the Jewish Christians, and Paul is constantly pleading, there and in his epistles, that everyone should see Christians as “one body in Christ”. Of course, I’m sure the Judeo-Christians would have had all kinds of views about those upstarts threatening to swamp Jewish identity, etc….

BTW, I’m not against immigration reform. I don’t hold the libertarian immigration views that the Young Fogey seems to. I think mass immigration of low-skilled workers distorts labor markets, depresses wages, puts a drain on resources, etc. This would be true if it were English yobs coming over here as much as for Mexicans. Immigration control shouldn’t be about racial or ethnic reasons, but for economic ones. I also agree that assimilation should be encouraged more for those here already, but once more that’s something that all immigrants should do.

Do you seriously think that white people can avoid engaging in racial identity politics if everyone else is doing it? That would be suicidal.

You sound here like the kind of 70’s hawks who argued that we build our nuclear arsenals ever higher, because them Russkies are doing it, too, and not to keep up would be suicidal. Then a Republican president decided that strategic arms reduction would be a good idea, and the rest is history. One doesn’t react to bad racial identity politics by jumping on the bandwagon, but by trying to bring said wagon to a stop for everyone.

You are calling for whites to acquiesce to their own extermination….

I’m sorry, but this is pure hysteria.

It seems to me that a lot of the critics of HBD actively hate whites as a group (yes, that includes a lot of self-hating whites)….

Two wrongs don’t make a right–blacks or Hispanics who might hate whites aren’t an excuse for hating back. And the “self-hating white” canard is soooo old. Look, FYI the elites on both sides of the aisle in Washington hate working class whites (working class everyone, in fact). They’re hardly even on the Democrats’ radar, and the GOP views them as useful stooges in election years. I’ll go all Marxist and say that poor, blue-collar whites, blacks, and Hispanics ought to be natural allies in pressing for better wages, stronger immigration controls, better conditions, etc. If they could all work together, they could bring corporate America and its political whores to their knees. However, the elites on both sides are all too happy to divide and conquer by sowing racial grievances and yes, identity politics, on all sides.

For someone concerned about how politics would work in the real world as opposed to in some abstraction, you certainly seem to be quoting a blogger whose entire argument for what policy should be in this area is based on an abstract utopian government isolated from real-world politics.

I’m no libertarian, but my point was to refute the “only self-hating librul white ijits” could argue with the HBD perspective. One can even, as Fogey and for that matter Ron Unz, do, agree with HBD without hysterically thinking that Poor, Oppressed, Beleaguered White American is in imminent danger of liquidation, or buying into the Sailerista spiel.

Finally, what Scotty at 2:53 PM said.

#10 Comment By Red Phillips On June 10, 2013 @ 6:49 pm

Tumarion, one trick of the PC right think enforcement brigade is to label everything they deem wrongthink as “hate.” Where is the evidence that Steve Sailer “hates” Hispanics? That is just absurd. Such nonsense may fly at Think Progress, but you’re going to get called on it here.

#11 Comment By Red Phillips On June 10, 2013 @ 7:27 pm

“I’m well aware of the continuum fallacy, and no, I’m not engaging in it.”

Engineer Scotty, saying that race can’t be qualified or doesn’t exist because there exists a continuum is a textbook example of the continuum fallacy, hence the name. I would be hard pressed to find a more perfect example if I tried.

And all the quibbling over IQ testing is a similar error – because something is not as precise as we would like, then it is of little or no utility at all.

If an alien landed on earth without all the PC baggage infesting his mind and was asked to explain persistent group differences in test scores, wouldn’t he automatically consider both nature and nurture as a possibility? That nature is a possible explanation is intuitive.* To believe that it is of minimal importance you have to actively discount a perfectly plausible possibility. So is this active discounting based on evidence or ideology? Are the PC enforcers believing what the evidence suggests or what they want to believe (or more accurately what the ideology demands MUST be believed)? I say the latter. If it were the former then they wouldn’t always resort to obvious sophistry about the validity of IQ and the reality of race.

*One could argue that nature is actually the choice suggested by Occam’s razor. When presented with evidence that Thoroughbreds are consistently faster as a breed than Quarter Horses, what is the intuitive assumption? That Thoroughbreds are a faster breed. It would actually take a great deal of evidence that Quarter Horses are consistently hindered by inadequate nutrition etc. to persuade you otherwise that the speed differences are primarily environmental, and you know it.

Quit being a PC enforcing tool and have some intellectual self-respect.

#12 Comment By EngineerScotty On June 10, 2013 @ 9:27 pm

Red,

What I said was ““race” is a social construct as much as a biological one”; which is not to say that it doesn’t exist. But much of what we call “race” doesn’t have a strong biological basis–which is why in many cases, I have used terms such as “population” or “community” or “diaspora”. As such, it must be accounted for carefully.

IQ isn’t useless–as noted above, it does correlate well with perceptions of human cognitive ability and such; and is used as a diagnostic criteria for various conditions–there are many aspects of human mental capability it favors to capture. My biggest objection to its use in this context is the idea that it ought to be a proxy for civic merit or economic fitness. Even if we have IQ scores directly (as opposed to inferring them from statistical distributions based on skin color), we don’t generally use it as a criteria for anything other than Mensa membership. Yet many people here seem to think decades of social policy and law ought to be overturned based on one-sigma-at-best variations in this one particular parameter, between different populations.

Your comparison to horses is somewhat inappropriate. Quarter-horses and thoroughbreds are not naturally-occurring phenomenon, but horses bred for specific purposes. And if you take a prizewinning stallion and mare, breed them–and then starve and neglect the foal during its first years; chances are the foal will not win the Kentucky Derby.

While humans frequently breed with other humans of similar circumstances, nobody these days is intentionally breeding humans (particularly without their consent) to produce offspring with particular attributes. (And contrary to what Jimmy the Greek infamously opined, breeding of slaves in the antebellum South was generally geared towards quantity and not quality).

Many human traits, including skin color, do obviously inherit–nobody is arguing this. Many others exhibit more complicated origins, or are are largely environmentally-caused. While there is ample evidence that smarter parents are more likely to produce smarter offspring, how much of this is nature vs nurture is not known; there’s ample evidence that the latter is a significant contributor.

The whole purpose of this movement, though, seems to be to demonstrate that not only a) is nature (genetics) a significant cause; but b) there are variations between various ethnic groups that cannot be explained otherwise, and c) this should justify potentially-retrograde social policies. In short, trying to “prove” that blacks are dumb so we society dispense with “PC nonsense”. You can understand why many would object to this line of inquiry, particularly when conducted by folks with such motives? The Tobacco Institute produces reams of research “proving” that smoking is harmless; I don’t listen to them either.

Let me ask you another question, though: East Asians often outperform whites on IQ tests. What should the social impact of THAT be? And do you suppose that this is biological, or cultural?

#13 Comment By EngineerScotty On June 10, 2013 @ 10:13 pm

And contrary to what Jimmy the Greek infamously opined, breeding of slaves in the antebellum South was generally geared towards quantity and not quality

To clarify my own remark:

Oddsmaker [12] infamously got sacked from a network TV gig for inarticulately (and incorrectly) suggesting that the athletic achievements of African-Americans was due to breeding of slaves, in order to select for physical ability. Generally, this wasn’t the case.

Under chattel slavery, slaves often had no agency over their own reproduction–with forced “marriages” and/or rape by overseers (or even plantation masters) being common. Generally, this was done without regard to the characteristics of the parents involved–there was little attempt to select either for or against particular traits. Several factors, such as the decline of the Atlantic slave trade, instead caused many plantations to encourage slave families to have large numbers of children.

[13]

A nasty business, slavery was. And as noted before, often justified on specious claims that black Africans and their progeny were thoroughly unsuitable for civic life–a thought that even the more obnoxious bigots of today don’t entertain, at least not publicly. Again, you can see why those of us who view basic human dignity as a fundamental principle, object to attempts to bifurcate mankind in this fashion–in particular based on arbitrary, immutable attributes such as skin color.

#14 Comment By Curle On June 10, 2013 @ 10:16 pm

EngineerScotty says:
June 10, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Other factors come into play, obviously–many subcultures in this country exhibit rampant social pathology, which negatively impact the prospects of the identifiable ethnic group(s) in question.

Egg meet chicken.

Every week, it seems, one hears about a new case of somebody (whether a dumb-ass pizza delivery driver, or a high-powered executive, or a United States congressman) caught complaining about “n****rs” or “wetbacks”when they think nobody’s looking or watching (or even when the cameras are rolling and they know it).

An amazing achievement. A few people make derogatory remarks and an entire race of people decide to lower their academic aspirations.

Every day, black motorists get pulled over by white cops for technical violations of the motor vehicle code, like failing to signal 100 feet from the intersection–an indignity that white motorists are seldom subjected to.

Assuming again, for arguments sake, that Blacks do get pulled over more. How does this make the targets less capable at excelling on the IQ test? Do you imagine the children of concentration camp Jews, or the survivors themselves, to have similarly rejected academic aspiration as a consequence of facing considerably harsher abuse? Traffic citations vary greatly by jurisdiction. Do you imagine that IQ tests decline in cities where police hand out a lot of tickets?

And every day, it seems, there’s another litany of suggestions that the reason that the nation’s political and business power structure is overwhelmingly white (the POTUS notwithstanding), is that blacks are lazy or dumb . . .

If a group were, on average, both lazier and dumber than their competitors would it not manifest itself in fewer from that group occupying positions where rewards are given to those who are neither lazy nor dumb? Again, chicken meet egg.

Studies continue to show that resumes with white-sounding names get called back at a higher rate then resumes with black-sounding or Spanish names.

But not Asian names. Your underlying presumption, that whites are willing to hurt themselves by purposefully avoiding the best possible candidates in pursuit of some abstract, and impossible to quantify, malignancy of perception while simultaneously failing to behave the same way with other races is quite the puzzle, isn’t it? By such reasoning, an investor should be able to wallop their competitors simply by targeting for employment all the high performing but undervalued black workers available on the market. Are there not some black investors who will make such an investment if it is so clear that whites are undervaluing this pool of workers?

But race/IQ research is, by and large, conducted and funded by those looking for a pretext to discriminate.

Or are those engaging in IQ apologetics for underperforming groups willing to throw any half-assed theory against the wall as long as it distracts from the best available evidence regarding causation and performance?

#15 Comment By Glaivester On June 10, 2013 @ 10:51 pm

Turmarion: You sound here like the kind of 70′s hawks who argued that we build our nuclear arsenals ever higher, because them Russkies are doing it, too, and not to keep up would be suicidal. Then a Republican president decided that strategic arms reduction would be a good idea, and the rest is history. One doesn’t react to bad racial identity politics by jumping on the bandwagon, but by trying to bring said wagon to a stop for everyone.

But unless we show that we are willing to engage in identity politics, we don’t have any leverage with which to bring the wagon to a stop. Reagan didn’t unilaterally totally disarm and then ask the USSR pretty please to do so as well.

Currently it is seen as legitimate for non-whites to engage in identity politics and not for whites to. Until whites insist on the right to organize for white interests and begin to do so, we have no leverage to use to shame others into dropping it.

Note that when a newspaper started publishing the names and addresses of gun owners, the response wasn’t to ask them pretty please to stop. It was to publish the names and addresses of people writing for the paper. There was no moral shaming until the gun rights groups forced the issue.

#16 Comment By Glaivester On June 10, 2013 @ 11:02 pm

I don’t know what faith commitments you have, but I agree with the Fogey as to the incompatibility of tribalism, identity politics, and political correctness with Christianity. Read Acts–the Greek-speaking Christians were distrusted and disliked by the Jewish Christians, and Paul is constantly pleading, there and in his epistles, that everyone should see Christians as “one body in Christ”. Of course, I’m sure the Judeo-Christians would have had all kinds of views about those upstarts threatening to swamp Jewish identity, etc….

Actually, while Paul thought all Christians were on in Christ, he still felt loyalty to his people.

For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race,

At least one commenter, on Rod’s blog here, said outright that even if blacks were identical to whites in IQ, crime rates, etc., he’d still favor whites because they’re “his people”. Now I don’t know if you’d go that far or not, but that’s clear out of the realm of rational discourse, in my view.

I think that there is something to what M_Young said. There is nothing wrong with feeling a loyalty to one’s own; I think our immigration policy ought to be more oriented toward Europeans.

I also think I would prefer to live in a majority European-American neighborhood, or more specifically a majority WASP neighborhood.

I don’t think it is bad as long as you don’t argue that morality itself is race-based; that is, a white murdering a black is as bad as a black murdering a white.

#17 Comment By Red Phillips On June 11, 2013 @ 7:47 am

“But race/IQ research is, by and large, conducted and funded by those looking for a pretext to discriminate.

If Richwine or Unz and others want to make this a serious field of study, step one is to do what William F. Buckley did to the Birchers a few generations ago: drive the cranks and kooks from the field. Demonstrate good faith.”

WRONGTHINK ALERT! WRONGTHINK ALERT! PURGE THE WRONGTHINKERS! PURGE THE WRONGTHINKERS! WRONGTHINK ALERT! WRINKTHINK ALERT!

ES, perhaps you should make your PC toolery a little less obvious.

Have you ever stopped to think that maybe, just maybe, the reason that this research attracts “cranks and kooks” and axe grinders is precisely because the rightthink enforcement apparatus makes the climate so toxic that people with anything to lose avoid it like the plaque? If you want for it to not be a field of kooks and cranks and axe grinders then stop the rightthink enforcement.

#18 Comment By Red Phillips On June 11, 2013 @ 8:03 am

“Let me ask you another question, though: East Asians often outperform whites on IQ tests. What should the social impact of THAT be? And do you suppose that this is biological, or cultural?”

I suspect it is largely biologic that East Asians outperform Europeans on average on IQ tests. Although I think there is evidence to suggest that the European bell curve is broader and flatter and hence there are proportionally more European geniuses, which would help explain the grossly disproportionate contribution of Europeans to great developments and advancement. (Charles Murray wrote a book about that too.) There might also be something about the European endowment that contributes to this such as greater creativity however one might measure that, and some have suggested that Christianity is also a factor.

I think greater East Asian academic achievement (which is related to but different from IQ) (and this goes for certain groups of Indians as well), has to do with IQ and a culture that heavily emphasizes academic achievement.

#19 Comment By Sam On June 11, 2013 @ 12:10 pm

I would like to see the evidence that Sailer is a racist

I don’t think Sailer is a racist in any way. He is very honest though and he has no problem dissecting HBD AND culture. That Sailer is as interested in culture is apparently lost on people with an axe to grind.

I’m an black african and I have read a ton of Steve Sailer articles and I can’t remember ever being offended. Some times he confirms your worst fears about your own people but ultimately we are all better of knowing the truth.

#20 Comment By Turmarion On June 11, 2013 @ 12:23 pm

Ironically, Glaivester, Paul spent most of his post-conversion life among Gentiles. The sadness he felt for his fellow Jews was that they refused to join as “one body” with the Gentile Christians, and that even those who did wanted to keep to themselves. Consistently, through all his writings, he inveighs heavily against tribalism, factionalism, and divisiveness: “There is in Christ neither Jew nor Gentile, man nor woman, slave nor free” (Galatians 3:28); and if he’d lived to day, I think he might add that there’s no black nor white, urban nor rural, high IQ nor low IQ, Anglo nor Mexican, and so on.

If we were having this conversation in the time of Paul, I suspect you’d be the Jew saying, “This Saul guy wants us to merge with those ex-pagan Gentiles?! As ‘one body’?! Doesn’t he realize that’ll destroy our heritage and that we’ll be absorbed into some crazy group and lose our identity as a separate people?” But of course in Pauline thought, that we all in a sense lose our identity in Christ (“I live now, not I, but Christ in me”–Galatians 2:20) is a feature, not a bug.

I also think I would prefer to live in a majority European-American neighborhood, or more specifically a majority WASP neighborhood.

You mean, even if the crime, education level, degree of assimilation of any immigrants, and the social respectability of the neighborhood were all equal to the Euro-American/WASP neighborhood? And noting the “P” in “WASP”, you don’t want to be around those questionable Catholics?

There is nothing wrong with feeling a loyalty to one’s own….

See, this is where I come up against a wall and disagree. Trivially, I would be less comfortable among a community of, say, recent Estonian immigrants, or in a rural village in Northern Alaska, because of the differences in culture (not ethnicity as such). Heck, it took me a little while at first to adjust, as an Appalachian, to my Midwestern inlaws–even among WASPs (or WASC, in my case) cultural differences can exit. I assume that’s not what you’re talking about, though.

Though I disagree with John Derbyshire on most things, I think he hit it when he described people like himself as “anti-social loners” with very weak feelings of group identity or affiliation. I’d put myself in that category. I am from clannish Appalachia, but I don’t feel a strong connection to Appalachian culture or my own region of birth. Honestly, as a bright kid in a rather blue-class, if you will, “hillbilly” region, I never particularly liked my native culture. I hold my religious commitment as a Catholic (by conversion, not birth) to be important; but I don’t feel any strong connection to a random Catholic I might meet just because he’s Catholic than I do to anyone else. The English language and Anglo-American culture are my native language and culture and thus those through which I understand the world; but they are not ipso facto superior or inferior to any other (I think my culture is better than some and worse than others–I’m not a cultural relativist, but the fact that a culture is mine or someone else’s doesn’t come into play in assessing it). And so on.

Obviously one’s primary obligations are to “one’s own” in the narrow sense of one’s family, friends, and immediate circle. Beyond that, I just don’t get it. I don’t feel any particular solidarity with Appalachians, or males, or whites, or Catholics just because I happen to be all of those. As to “preserving” one’s culture–well, cultures come and go. There are no Thracians left, though they were a vast and formidable people at one time. There are languages, cultures, and religions that have died out, some of them not even known to us. Krishna’s famous speech in the Bhagavad Gita (which Oppenheimer mistranslated) is indeed true: “I am Time, the destroyer of worlds.” A millenium or two hence, there may be no white Americans, or no black Americans; there may not be a Mexico or a USA; what we speak may no longer be spoken, and people may no longer worship as we worship. What our little preferences are become petty and irrelevant.

I don’t even necessarily think that there will be a recognizable Christianity millennia from now (see Luke 18:8). I do believe in Christ, and that there is something beyond this world, something unchanging. I just think that he can perhaps work with larger changes than we think he can.

In any case, one might fall back on the “But people are tribal and that’s how it is” canard. You know what? People are also mean and petty and violent and all other kinds of things. We don’t approve those things because they’re “natural”. In my mind, tribalism, preferring “one’s own”, is the single greatest factor in human violence, conflict, war, and oppression throughout human history. I think it is a bad thing and something to be fought. Whether it can ever be defeated fully is another issue; but just because we’re not sure of the outcome of a conflict doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take sides. I take the anti-tribalism side. So, in that respect, I in fact think that there is much wrong with misplaced “loyalty to one’s own”.

#21 Comment By EngineerScotty On June 11, 2013 @ 1:58 pm

Red,

Knock of the Orwell references. While I may think that much race/IQ research is motivated by racism; and I’m pretty sure that you are a racist; I have no desire to send any of you to Room 101. Your crap is not wrongthink, it’s merely stupidthink.

Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from criticism. Y’all have a right to say whatever you like on the subject, and conduct whatever research you think appropriate–and I and like-minded folk have a right to denounce you for it.

I’ll be blunt. I consider racism a grave moral evil, and I regard its perpetrators accordingly.

#22 Comment By Ricardo Toledano On June 11, 2013 @ 2:42 pm

“Although I think there is evidence to suggest that the European bell curve is broader and flatter and hence there are proportionally more European geniuses, which would help explain the grossly disproportionate contribution of Europeans to great developments and advancement.”

From all the data that I saw about this in my life this does not make any sense, the SAT scores if analyzed would reveal against your thesis, I did this analysis in 2006 for a consultancy job for a client, back then I lived in the USA, sadly I do not have access to the article any more to send, and what I found was exactly the reverse, Asian-Americans have a higher variance than White-Americans.

I thought at the moment that this was mainly because their smaller number (and hence higher probability of higher variance, you have to know about the law of large numbers for this to make sense) or that the fact that the various Asian ethnicities are grouped together (this is what got me interested in using modern bioinformatics methods to classify groups and analyze from there.)

Since then I found this article from Linda Gottfredson: [14] that basically is close to what I found back then (you have to look on the notes of figure 10.1.)

#23 Comment By Ana Bell On June 11, 2013 @ 6:37 pm

“Last year I published Race, IQ, and Wealth, presenting the overwhelming evidence that group IQs were far more malleable and shaped by social influences than is widely acknowledged in many quarters”

Your article was hardly convincing. As noted by Steven Pinker, you purposely left out vast swaths of data regarding adoption studies and the like – all of which clearly contradict your assumptions. Furthermore, your critics did a pretty good job of debunking many of your selected criticisms. You were even forced to retreat a bit and settled for demanding your critics only acknowledge that the correlation was “weak.” In that light, you are welcome to stop claiming that “overwhelming evidence that group IQs were far more malleable and shaped by social influences” because that is clearly not the case. The evidence is clear: group differences exist are are virtually intractable.

Ron Unz is simply full of himself.

#24 Comment By Ana Bell On June 11, 2013 @ 8:07 pm

“While there is ample evidence that smarter parents are more likely to produce smarter offspring, how much of this is nature vs. nurture is not known; there’s ample evidence that the latter is a significant contributor.”

Actually, it is known – at least in the ballpark. The variance in virtually every study is between 0.5 and 0.7. Identical twins studies, which Unz purposely ignored, factor the environment; in virtually every instance, they show that variance in cognitive ability is substantially genetic. Environment may play a role but so does genetics. Amazingly, people still act as though this is something that no one has looked at before.

Genetics plays a substantial role, as it does with other conditions (such as predisposition to develop mental illness). Since it is clear that individuals vary in cognitive ability and that it is heritable, it is not too much of a leap to suggest that groups separated by thousands of years may also vary in relative intelligence, as they do with other traits.

Other traits, beyond simple physical ones, do vary by race and have arisen fairly recently: drug metabolism, alcohol metabolism, amylase metabolism, etc. SE Asians, for example, are far better able to digest starchy diets than Caucasians. Why? Well, Unz might falsely claim that this fact is the result of some malleable social phenomenon, that SE Asians are raised on such a diet and acclimate to it…and he would be completely wrong. It is provably the result of Asian (Chinese) genetics – they have a greater number of amylase producing genes, something that has arisen just over the last 10,000 or so years. If the average SE Asian is taken from SE Asia an placed in Europe, he will be better able to digest starchy foods, just like his kinsmen. Strangely, this effect is also seen in adoption studies where Asian are adopted by Europeans and end up with higher IQs that their parents or non-Asian social groups. In the case of food metabolism, the invention of agriculture and the focus on a particular diet has altered the genetics of the population at large over a very short timescale. In the light of innumerable such examples, it is just preposterous to believe that groups separated by the same or much greater lengths of time couldn’t also vary in other traits such as relative intelligence, something that almost certainly has a genetic component.

Mental illness is another example. Monozygotic twins shed some light on the issue. For example, if you share an identical twin who has developed schizophrenia, you are 48 times more likely to develop it yourself than someone of the general public – and the same goes for a host of other mental disorders. This relationship holds even when environment is factored out. Propensity to develop this disorder also increases with relatedness – monozygotic twins > fraternal twins > parent/child > uncle/nephew > first cousins, etc. So, not only do people vary in traits such as food and drug metabolism but also in traits affecting brain development, function, and possibly morphology…but oh no, according to Unz, there is a magic line between this and the ability to affect intelligence for some reason.

I’ll sum up Unz’s previous IQ articles if you didn’t care to read them:

pompous non-scientist selectively picks IQ data (as if that were the “say all, end all”) and some outliers in such data – falsely implies, as Gould did, that his critics were saying that IQ is ALL genetic, goads his critics to respond, celebrates when they do not immediately (The American Conservative is the center of the world, after all), is stunned when large sections of his article are debunked by more recent data, is called out for ignoring data that doesn’t fit with his assertions (twin studies / adoption studies where adoptees display the IQ of the country they originated from and not the IQ of their adopted parents and social groups, ruling out a completely environmental explanation for IQ), tries to respond, gets more of the same, backs off a little and tries to get the opposition to say that the link between genetics and intelligence is “weak” when what he really means is “insignificant” … (which, as with the inheritance of mental illness, it clearly is not), loses argument, comes back to argument when he thinks no one is paying attention.

Frankly, Unz is not the intellectual he thinks he is. He certainly is not a scientist (a shout out to his germ theory of homosexuality: [15]), and neither are 99% of the environmentalist crowd; they are concerned with making themselves look morally superior, not with facts or simple logic. They are just a slightly better educated offshoot of the intelligent design crowd. Despite Unz’s assertions above, he proved/disproved nothing about intelligence. I wonder, is ego also heritable?

Food for thought:

Haplogroups as evolutionary markers of cognitive ability
Heiner, R. et al., 2012

Mice get brain boost from transplanted human tissue [debunks topic mentioned in Pinker’s “Blank Slate” where 70s radicals claimed that a human brain made from mouse neurons would be just as good as a human one…nope, genetics plays a role here, too].
[16]

Brain Imaging Can Predict How Intelligent You Are:
‘Global Brain Connectivity’ Explains 10 Percent of
Variance in Individual Intelligence
[17]

Stanford study says MRI scans can predict outcome of math tutoring
[18]

How to spot a murderer’s brain
[19]

Born to rule? Scientists uncover gene that may help create natural leaders
[20]

#25 Comment By Red Phillips On June 11, 2013 @ 9:55 pm

“Knock off the Orwell references.”

Why? They are perfectly appropriate, and they hit a nerve because they are so spot on. You specifically called for a purge.

#26 Comment By Red Phillips On June 11, 2013 @ 10:12 pm

“There is in Christ neither Jew nor Gentile, man nor woman, slave nor free” (Galatians 3:28)

Tumarion, this verse is often abused by PC enforcers and it does not mean what you are suggesting it means. This verse is a reference to salvation, not social organization. If it means that we are no longer to consider ethnicity, then it also means that we are no longer to consider gender (man nor woman), but Paul goes on to specifically endorse gender roles much to the chagrin of feminist everywhere.

#27 Comment By Curle On June 12, 2013 @ 2:22 am

EngineerScotty says:
June 11, 2013 at 1:58 pm

I’ll be blunt. I consider racism a grave moral evil, and I regard its perpetrators accordingly.

Yes, and in times past people felt witches were a grave moral evil. And these witch-hunters felt pretty good about themselves fighting their imagined evils. Problem is, they saw witches even when the witches weren’t there. Perhaps this is because they were themselves possessed of a mental fog imposed by superstitious beliefs not much distinguishable from today’s revelatory egalitarianism. It may well be time for you to recognize that most egalitarian thought is superstitious. Allowing a modern day witch hunter to rile people up over non-problem problems by proclaiming the operational effects of nature a malignancy isn’t noble, advanced or admirable. In fact, it is pretty pathetic and more than a little egotistical and narcissistic.

#28 Comment By Turmarion On June 12, 2013 @ 6:52 am

Red, blathering about PC this, PC that regarding anything you don’t like, or tossing around terms like “enforcers”, as if you were being quashed by some kind of evil police state, isn’t actually making an argument. On the actual merits of the case: As to ethnicity, it very much appears that Paul was talking about social organization, as he consistently opposes all forms of factionalism in all his epistles (see 1 Corinthians, for example). As to women, scholars have debated whether many of the passages in question are authentic, based on stylistic discrepancies in the original Greek; and even if one assumes they are original to Paul, their interpretation isn’t quite as straightforward as it appears. For extended discussion of this, see [21] and also [22], which Rod Dreher has written about on his blog.

If you want to make arguments on the merits, and look at the actual Scriptural scholarship, that’s fine; but if you’d rather keep name calling, then there’s nothing to be said.

#29 Comment By Red Phillips On June 12, 2013 @ 2:18 pm

Turmarion, “blathering” about PC wouldn’t be necessary if everytime this conversation came up it wasn’t immediately in evidence. To say that the term “enforcers” is inappropriate means that you obviously haven’t read this thread or the many others like it or that you are so immersed in the thought structure that you can’t seperate yourself from it enough to see it. You can defend attempts to enforce rightthink if you like, but you can’t deny that it happens and expect to maintain any credibility. Just ask Jason Richwine. Just ask John Derbyshire.

And Paul warns against factionalism within the Body of Christ. As I said, the verse is addressing the spiritual realm.

I guess one easy way to deal with verses you don’t like such as the ones about gender roles is to suggest they aren’t authentic. How convenient. But if he was addressing social organization instead of the spiritual realm then what about the reference to slave and free? He later goes on to acknowledge the condition of slave and free without commanding people to free their slaves. Are those verses inauthentic as well?

Why would anyone even expect the Bible to condemn gender roles? The Bible is a pre-modern book and takes gender roles (as well as ethnocentric social organization) for granted. The Bible is full of calls for fairness and equity, but it is not full of calls to abolish hierarchy or the existing social order. Such is taking a modern view and attempting to impose it on the Bible rather than taking away from the Bible what it is trying to tell us.

#30 Comment By EngineerScotty On June 12, 2013 @ 2:55 pm

Me: “Knock off the Orwell references.”

Red: Why? They are perfectly appropriate, and they hit a nerve because they are so spot on. You specifically called for a purge.

A purge in the intellectual sense–by which I mean:

* Legitimate researchers in the field publicly denounce racists.
* Legitimate researches do not accept funding from racists or organizations with racist ties
* Legitimate researches do not publicly associate with racists, publish in publications associated with racists, and the like.

Which is pretty much what Buckley did to the John Birch Society way back when.

A purge does not refer, in this case, to lining anyone against a wall to be shot, or otherwise using the powers of the state to police thoughtcrime.

Of course, such a cleansing may not be sufficient: In addition, if this is to become a legitimate field, its practitioners would be wise to:

* Broaden the horizons so the research program doesn’t appear designed to give political ammunition to racists
* Use smaller subject groups that entire races or nationalities. If you want to conduct genetic research, use actual genetic markers, not loosely-correlated phenotypes like skin color.
* Measure things other than IQ, which is a problematic measure in this particular context.
* Better control for social conditions.

Right now, y’all have about as much credibility with the broader scientific community as Monsieur Candy (Leonardo DiCaprio) lecturing about African phrenology in Django Unchained

#31 Comment By Turmarion On June 12, 2013 @ 8:55 pm

Red Philips: And Paul warns against factionalism within the Body of Christ. As I said, the verse is addressing the spiritual realm.

On what basis do you assert this? Paul dispensed with the necessity for the two most obvious things separating Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians–that is, circumcision and the kosher laws. In short, the things that were separating them socially were to be done away with. To put it another way: Tribalism–Jew vs. Gentile, Jewish Christian as more authentic, etc.–was to have no place in the new order. That sounds a lot more than just “spiritual” to me.

As to the slave and free: First, I do not assert that the verses on slavery are inauthentic (though in a broader sense the question of which of the Pauline letters are fully or partially authentic is a complex question). Even granting this, though the Letter to Philemon strongly implies that slavery is wrong–Paul strongly exhorts the eponymous recipient of the Epistle to free his runaway slave Onesimus. However, I acknowledge that Paul nowhere explicitly condemns slavery. Now if one thinks that Christian teaching is static and never develops or changes, then there’s nothing to be done about it. However, most theologians would agree that Christian teaching develops over time as new situations arise and as the Church reflects over the ages.

I assume you don’t think slavery is a good thing, despite Paul’s failure to condemn it adequately, right? If this is so, then implicitly you acknowledge that at least aspects of Biblical teaching can and should change. If the teaching on slavery can change, then why not on women and gender roles? On the other hand, if you think that slavery is not intrinsically wrong, then I guess we’re in such different places that I have nothing further to say.

Finally, if you want to discuss Scripture, do it right: give citations, defend your interpretations rather than just asserting them, and so on. If you’re not going to give evidence that you’ve actually read the relevant scriptures and have some idea of their context, then cut the blathering about PC and go do the research. If you’re not willing to do that, then you’ve defeated your own perspective by not being willing to understand and defend it.

Scotty, what you said.

#32 Comment By Michael Blonde On June 13, 2013 @ 1:36 pm

What I don’t understand about the generic hypothesis for group IQ differences is why some ethnic groups would evolve to be smarter than others. Skin color changed to adapt to northern climates, lactose tolerance evolved among cattle herders, the gene that causes malaria resistance and sickle-cell anemia appeared and spread multiple times in regions with high levels of malaria. Why, however, would intelligence be more advantageous in Europe or Asia compared to Africa or the Americas? It can’t be because those regions had more advanced civilizations because the vast majority of people were illiterate peasants in even the most sophisticated premodern cultures.

#33 Comment By Red Phillips On June 13, 2013 @ 5:20 pm

“On what basis do you assert this?”

What do you mean on what basis? The basis I just explained. Paul mentions Jew and Greek, male and female and slave and master all together. They are mentioned in parallel and all illustrate the same point. In the natural world they are differences/distinctions. Within the Body of Christ they are not. You can’t then pick and choose which distinction you want to abolish in the real world and which one you want to keep based on this verse. If it really means that there should no longer be Jew or Greek socially speaking, then it also must mean that there shouldn’t be male or female distinctions and shouldn’t be master and slave distinctions circa AD 70ish. (While the verse mentions slave and master specifically it is implying hierarchal relationships in general – Captain/Private, boss/employee, teacher/student, etc.) So if you say the verse was intended to abolish all those things, then you can say that and be consistent but you are going to run into problems with the verses that endorse gender roles and the fact that nature establishes gender roles. The people with the most problems with consistency here are the people who want to use the Jew and Greek part of the verse to mean Christians should support throwing open the borders or whatever but who aren’t willing to abandon gender distinctions based on the verse. (This would include the emerging group of evangelicals for immigration “reform” – Russell Moore comes to mind.)

I have heard the idea that Christianity abolishes ethnic distinctions called neo-Babelist. I think this is an accurate label. I believe the story of Babel illustrates that ethno-linguistic social organization is God’s plan and that one worldism is dangerous.

You say I just assert things, but I explained why your use of that verse was illegitimate. Perhaps my explanation above is clearer. Then you turn around and imply that I don’t know what I’m talking about. That’s as convenient as getting to declare the verses you don’t like inauthentic. Accuse the other guy of just asserting things then just assert he doesn’t know what he is talking about and you do. (For the record I am quite familiar with the theological debate regarding immigration reform, which is why I knew Russell Moore’s name off the top of my head.)

And clearly we are coming at Scripture and Christianity from a different perspective. So yes, by and large I actually do believe that Christian teaching should be “static.” There is some room for looking at things in context and situation, but I don’t believe Christians teaching should “broaden” or “adapt” to the times. It should declare God’s Truth as He intended it. If I believed the former then I would be a Christian liberal, which I clearly am not. As for what “most theologians” think, I guess that depends on which theologians you’re talking about. If you’re talking about the faculty of Harvard and Yale Divinity Schools, then I suspect that it’s true that most believe Christians teaching should “develop and change.” If you’re talking about the faculty of Westminster or Bob Jones then not so much.

#34 Comment By Turmarion On June 13, 2013 @ 8:36 pm

Red Philips: If it really means that there should no longer be Jew or Greek socially speaking, then it also must mean that there shouldn’t be male or female distinctions and shouldn’t be master and slave distinctions circa AD 70ish.

For obvious reasons it’s neither possible nor desirable to abolish all male/female distinctions. Aside from that, yes, I think abolition of all these differences, at least as far as possible, is exactly what it means. Could that have been fully implemented in 70 AD? No. Neither could “peace on earth” and refusing to “take up the sword” lest one “die by the sword”. However, the full implications of Christianity didn’t immediate drop from the sky the day after the Ascension. Ideals were expressed that took awhile to be actualized. For example, slavery took a long time to be abolished, but eventually it happened.

Btw, I don’t interpret “master and slave” to imply hierarchical relations in general; and in the fallen world we live in, to do so completely would not be possible. In principle, however, I do think the ideal is indeed the abolition of all hierarchies. See 1 Corinthians 15:24: “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.” The ultimate ideal, realizable only in the eschaton, but hinted at in the current order, is that God puts down (“abolishes” in more recent translations) all rule and authority besides His own.

Look at the Amish. No one would ever accuse them of being liberals by any means. Despite this, they are strictly pacifist and as egalitarian as it is possible to be (there are elders who direct worship, but aside from that, everyone has fully equal standing). They are actualizing right now what all Christians ideally should be, though it won’t be possible for all us until the end. Can a majority of Christians ever fully carry such things out? No. We’re not excused from trying as best we can, though.

Christianity doesn’t abolish ethnic distinctions in the sense that everyone should speak the same language, eat the same food, have the same folk music, etc, btw. It does, however, trump such distinctions. That two people are both Christians is infinitely more important than differences in race, ethnicity, language, and so on. In short, diversity is good; but if a situation arises in which it’s a matter of either maintaining the faith or maintaining ethnic or cultural distinctions, I make no apology for asserting that the faith must prevail and the distinctions go. Also btw, nothing I’ve said here has anything to do with immigration or immigration reform in any way, shape, or form.

As to the Bible: Except for Fundamentalists and Biblical literalists, no one, not even conservative scholars, believes that the Bible is free of spurious verses, or literally true in all its particulars. For example, no one believes Moses himself wrote the Pentateuch, or that Daniel was written at the time it is claimed to have taken place, etc. Even most conservatives outside of Fundamentalists wouldn’t take things like the creation account of Genesis, the Flood, and such as literal. That’s just basic, square-one Biblical scholarship. I’d also point out that it’s not just a matter of debating technique. Just because something is spurious, that doesn’t necessarily mean the verse or pericope in question isn’t to be taken account of or to be considered binding. One of my favorite stories in the New Testament, John 8:1-11, was almost certainly not written by the author of John (whoever he was), and was almost certainly added later. I don’t consider it any less valid or Scriptural for all that.

Look, I’ll accept everything in the Pauline Epistles as equally valid whether or not Paul wrote them; and if you insist, for the sake of argument, I’ll even specify, against all evidence, that Paul wrote them all. That doesn’t necessarily mean that everything he wrote in the context of his time is binding now. I assume that women in your church, for example, don’t feel the need to “cover their heads” during services (1 Corinthians 11:5), right?

Now if you do accept a literalist view of Scripture, then there’s not much else to be said, since we’re coming from vastly different places. However, it would be interesting to see how, on that basis, you’d justify such departures from Scripture as lack of head covering for women, moving the Sabbath to Sunday, and so on. On the other hand, if you don’t, then on exactly what basis do you make allowance for changed times? If head coverings were appropriate then but not now, then why aren’t the teaching about women preaching or other things about women’s role also no longer operative? What’s your logic?

There is some room for looking at things in context and situation….

Well, how much room? That’s the $64 question, isn’t it? As I said above, unless you maintain that things must be exactly as they were in the 1st Century–and it seems you don’t–then who decides what to keep and what to change, and on what basis?

Finally, if you’re holding up Bob Jones University as a model of Christian scholarship and teaching, then we’re not on different planets, we’re in different universes, and dialogue probably isn’t possible.

#35 Comment By Red Phillips On June 14, 2013 @ 1:10 am

“Finally, if you’re holding up Bob Jones University”

I mentioned Bob Jones specifically because I was trying to bait you into going PC, but to your credit you didn’t take my bait. But while I’m not a dispensationalist or young earth, I certainly would chose the faculty of Bob Jones (or Liberty or Dallas or Reformed etc.) over the faculty of Harvard Seminary because those faculty actually believe orthodox (creedal) Christianity to be true. If I thought Spong was on the right track, then I would just sleep in on Sundays.

“As to the Bible: Except for Fundamentalists and Biblical literalists, no one, not even conservative scholars, believes that the Bible is free of spurious verses, or literally true in all its particulars.”

Well that’s a pretty big “except” don’t you think? We already had this thing called the Fundamentalist vs Modernist debate, and much to your apparent surprise, the Fundamentalists didn’t concede.

And personally I do think women should wear head coverings in church, but unfortunately that cat seems to already be out of the bag. That is clearly the safest interpretation of that verse, and I don’t think it can be dismissed as entirely culture bound precisely because it is illustrating the universal principle of gender roles that we have already discussed.

#36 Comment By Curle On June 14, 2013 @ 1:18 am

Michael Blonde says: What I don’t understand about the generic hypothesis for group IQ differences is why some ethnic groups would evolve to be smarter than others.

You are seeking meaning where happenstance is an adequate explanation. Does there need to be a larger purpose for something seeming so significant? Or will higher rates of mutation resulting from a greater concentration of people perhaps because of the move to agriculture suffice as an explanation? In other words, grand changes to humanity don’t need to be the consequence of grand plans. They can be the consequence of mundane events.

#37 Comment By quaker78 On June 14, 2013 @ 1:22 am

Um natural selection Michael. It is easier to survive in Africa than it is to survive in Europe. Likewise it is possible that the early settlers who left Africa might have had a higher IQ. You do understand right that sickle cell spreads because it helps one survive right. It’s not like people were persuaded to adopt sickle cell. I sincerely hope you aren’t the type of person who snears at baptist about denying evolution because you don’t seem to understand genetic drift or natural selection. Moreover, literacy wasnt a great proxy for IQ in ages when the opportunity to learn how to read or even need to read were very limited. That’s why mass literacy campaigns in Africa and South America have been less impressive in their results than Europe’s mass literacy. Literacy is neither a necessary or sufficient factor for high IQ.

#38 Comment By Curle On June 14, 2013 @ 1:23 am

EngineerScotty says:
June 12, 2013 at 2:55 pm
EngineerScotty says:
June 12, 2013 at 2:55 pm

A purge in the intellectual sense–by which I mean:

* Legitimate researchers in the field publicly denounce racists.
* Legitimate researches do not accept funding from racists or organizations with racist ties
* Legitimate researches do not publicly associate with racists, publish in publications associated with racists, and the like.A purge in the intellectual sense–by which I mean:

* Legitimate researchers in the field publicly denounce racists.
* Legitimate researches do not accept funding from racists or organizations with racist ties
* Legitimate researches do not publicly associate with racists, publish in publications associated with racists, and the like.

Not one of your assertions is true. In fact, not one of of your assertions is less than disreputable, not to mention false. Your statements reflect a mind committed to the embrace of lies.

#39 Comment By Ricardo Toledano On June 14, 2013 @ 1:28 am

Michael,

Well, Lynn have a theory for that, why differences developed, but I tend not to respect Lynn methodology in this issue very much, he did good research early in his career.

His theory is about some ethnic groups were exposed to cold winters, a climate that was not present in the Homo Sapiens homeland in Africa and this put some pressure on humans to adapt, a little genetic drift later this put some groups with a higher cognitive ability.

His theory famously fails to explain why the Inuit and other Artic peoples for example are not the group with higher cognitive ability given that they live some thousand years in climates that basically provide perpetual winters. He provide a little addendum about why he thinks this is the case, something about impact of the land where a population live, but frankly I’m unconvinced.

First let me say that IQ is just a measure to some cognitive ability that was proposed by Jensen called the g factor, IQ correlates (imperfectly) with the g factor, Jensen proposed that g factor was a useful construction for analyzing neural efficiency (this is called neural efficiency hypothesis), that is higher IQ simply means that people higher capacity of information processing in the brain using less resources/energy in relation to those with low IQ.

Having considered that, which I believe is a sensible theory I think probably that the case of genetic drifts happening multiple times raised the cognitive ability of some groups, not a single event because if that was the case these groups would probably rather seek greener pastures than adapt to harsher conditions, as is the case of Lynn theory, remember this all happened in a time all of us were still hunter-gatherers without much technology.

Cochran theory of Ashkenazi intelligence is well known, and I think wrong, he received much criticism of his model of the development of Ashkenazi intelligence by supposing too much stuff that simply show signals of genetic drift in a situation of population bottleneck the early Ashkenazim probably faced.

A corollary of this is that a group does not have a “maximum IQ”, they would have a moving average that can move in both directions, although it will only generally move to extremes if the population is small or in a extreme circumstance (such as selective pressure or artificial selection), I read in a lecture given by Stephen Hsu that children will generally be normally distributed with a mean of M * 0.6 (he considered IQs distributed with 13 as SD, the 0.6 is a parameter between [0.5, 0.7] then 0.6 was taken for convenience), where M is the mean IQ of their parents.

EngineerScotty,

I don’t think a purge is necessary, what is needed is that people in the field move on, some researchers on the field are more interested on building identity politics, discussing about immigration and fighting the “liberal taboo of the elites” (between quotes because I as a skeptic think these labels, used often, are ridiculous) than for example use whatever new stuff we learned since the 60s, such as autosomal testing coupled with recent IQ tests to get a more fine grained view of how common ancestry and environment play each other in determining IQ, remember that even Jensen think environment has something to do with IQ, or analyzing Jensen’s neural efficiency hypothesis.

#40 Comment By Bud Wood On June 14, 2013 @ 5:18 pm

There are certainly a lot of profound comments, here. In fact, most comments are worthy of needing footnotes.

It could be very, very educational if all these “mini-essays” were consolidated (condensed) into a meaningful compilation. But I suppose that could only work if the compiler was totally objective. Of course, that’s impossible.

#41 Comment By Turmarion On June 14, 2013 @ 7:36 pm

Red: But while I’m not a dispensationalist or young earth….

Well, that’s good to know.

I certainly would chose the faculty of Bob Jones (or Liberty or Dallas or Reformed etc.) over the faculty of Harvard Seminary….

I wouldn’t choose either. I do admit that I’d reject the former with much greater vehemence because they are hotbeds of young-Earthism dispensationalism. The latter I think is one of the most dangerous trends in modern theology, since it results in a certain element of the Fundamentalist right supporting Israel not because of love of the Jews, but because they see it all as part of the run up to Armageddon. Creepy people.

Me: As to the Bible: Except for Fundamentalists and Biblical literalists, no one, not even conservative scholars, believes that the Bible is free of spurious verses, or literally true in all its particulars.

Red: Well that’s a pretty big “except” don’t you think?

The U. S. is really the only country with predominant Christian population where Fundamentalism and Biblical literalism is common. Here–well, there are plenty of them, but I think their exegesis is totally untenable. Look, you said you’re not a young-Earther, so you don’t believe the Bible is “literally true in all its particulars” either, right?

For what it’s worth, [23] has a good, if brief, non-technical discussion of the history of modern Biblical scholarship and why it became evident that the traditional beliefs about Scriptural authorship came to be recognized–rightly–as untenable. The late, great Raymond Brown is another good source, though his books are a bit on the more scholarly side. Bart Ehrman is good, too. I completely disagree with him religiously, and I dislike his attitude; but his scholarship on Biblical authorship is essentially correct.

[M]uch to your apparent surprise, the Fundamentalists didn’t concede.

It doesn’t surprise me at all–a certain type of mentality won’t concede that black is not white and up is not down if it’s part of their ideology. That they didn’t concede doesn’t make them right. I just find it unfortunate that they have such numbers and influence in this country.

And personally I do think women should wear head coverings in church…I don’t think it can be dismissed as entirely culture bound precisely because it is illustrating the universal principle of gender roles that we have already discussed.

I appreciate your straightforwardness in this. I think you’re totally wrong; but it’s good that you are upfront about where you’re coming from. I do not, in fact, believe that Scripture intends to propagate a certain set of gender roles–or to reify some purported “universal principle” thereof–that were once normative but which have changed since then. Obviously we disagree on that, which is fine. On this issue, at least, it seems the vast majority are in the “culture-bound” camp, which, from my perspective, is a good thing.

#42 Comment By Ricardo Toledano On June 16, 2013 @ 2:46 pm

Only to clarify I wrote a wrong information, in the lecture Hsu said that children are distributed the following way:

If M is the average of the parents and M is n SDs above or below* the mean then the children will be distributed under a normal distribution with mean (M+0.6*n*15) and SD 12.

This is cited in this post [24]

* He analyzes only the above case, but I don’t think there’s a problem with the below case.

#43 Comment By Glaivester On June 17, 2013 @ 7:54 am

EngineerScotty:

The problem with your desire for a purge is that for any organization that challenges conventional wisdom, once it starts purging people to become respectable, tends to keep doing so until it no longer challenges conventional wisdom.

Your prescription for being taken seriously, if followed, would pretty much come down to no longer doing any ethnological
IQ studies, so in essence you are saying “want human biodiversity to be taken seriously? Stop studying it, or at least study it as indirectly as possible.”

You’re speaking power to truth.

#44 Comment By Angela On June 29, 2013 @ 10:53 am

How can one determine that differences in IQ test performance are based on “race”, if the concept of race is essentially an artificial construct and IQ tests are not culturally or class neutral? And even if some people are smarter than other people – so what? Are the more intelligent, more entitled? If so, why so?

#45 Comment By EliteCommInc. On June 30, 2013 @ 2:13 am

As with so many behaviors. There is not a scintilla of evidence that the biologic trait of skin color has any bearing on brain function. No geneticist has found a brain gene or combination of genes that highlight a more intelligent white person over a black person or vice versa. My room mate is forever cornering me on some NPR program on rather interesting topics. Today it was intelligence. And while I am unclear what the sample sizes were, several studies engaged in rather shrewed bit of testing. A group of blacks and a group of whites given a battery of tests. Were informed that the tests were intelligence tests — the whites scored signifigantly higher. Taking the same tests groups of whites and blacks were given the same tests, but no mention of the tests relating to a test of intelligence — groups scored relatively the same — no marked difference.

A golf game or battery of challenges were presented — when informed that the battery was a test of athletic ability blacks outscored the whites in similar fashion when no suggested purpose of the battery was presented both groups — fared the same.

I don’t know what controls they used, if any, I am unclear of the sample size —-

But understanding of intelligence and how it should be measured and what the results mean and how one scores is the result of social envirionment as opposed to any pure genetic superiority of whites.

As I have said before, I doubt the villagers of any African community would think highly of the genius of Einstein, if he were dropped off in their neighborhood jungle.

#46 Comment By AZS On June 30, 2013 @ 10:17 pm

The problem with these racial statistics, without diminishing their importance, is that the category “Hispanic” or “Latino” is much too broad for determining these questions. It encompasses a huge group of people from a huge portion of the world with many significant cultural, racial, and economic differences between them. There are Hispanics who look like Wesley Snipes and Hispanics who look like Charles Lindbergh, Hispanics who live like kings and ones who live like farm animals. And of course, many who fall somewhere in between. These differences matter, and not enough people on the Right on the immigration question take them into account.

#47 Comment By Lew On December 26, 2013 @ 11:08 am

‘Intelligence’ is not a solid-enough concept to use in these discussions.

My wife is Russian, tells ‘Chukcha’ jokes, standard putdowns of minorities intelligence most cultures have. Chukchi are natives to northern Siberia, one of the more challenging environments of earth. Others living in such environments are the Kalahari Bushmen, Australian aborigines, Tibetans, peoples of the Sahara, the Gobi, …

For at least the Australian Aborigines, the populations have lived in those environments for 30,000 years, others merely 1000s, during which populations were at the carrying capacity of their environments, just like China.

For anyone to believe the hypothesis that Chinese are more intelligent because of their cultural-biological history, there would need to be an explanation of how natural selection would select for general intelligence more strongly in China vs Australia, etc.

I think it far more likely that all of the IQ data is a measure of assimilation into the dominant culture : American blacks and American natives have not done so, all of the other minority groups have within a few generations. Assimilation == adopting the mental framework and aborbing general knowledge that allows doing well on IQ tests.

There will be many genetic differences that produce different specific mental skills, e.g. Australian Aborigines have very good visual memories produced by larger and thicker visual cortex. Chinese superiority (undeniable) will turn out to be a personality trait that allows them deal with denser populations and has the side-effect of better assimlation of the culture.

From that POV, proper eugenices would be mixing the races as fast as possible — hybrid vigor in the offspring and a better genetic base for further evolution.

Also, the brain size arguments are silly. Brains require a lot of energy and should be selected for higher efficiency and smaller size. Small brains are not necessarily less intelligent, as shown by grey parrots and border collies with vocabularies of 1000 words and a grasp of grammar.

Overall, these arguments are not close to the sophistication of other discussions in biology, e.g. Wilson’s “Consilience”.