What is Terence Tao’s IQ?

In this article, I discuss Terence Tao’s scores on the old (much more difficult) SAT.

Verbal score

According to this source , at age 8.8, Terence Tao scored 290 on the verbal section of the pre-1995 SAT(hat-tip to commenter Tenn for finding this data since my google searches for Tao’s verbal SATs turned up nothing) .

If all American 17-year-olds took the old SAT in the 1980s (not just the college-bound elite) the mean verbal score would have been 375.8 and the standard deviation (SD) would be 102.

Thus Tao scored 0.84 standard deviations below the average American-17-year-olds.  But given that he was only 8.83, he deserves a huge age bonus.

On the WISC-R Vocabulary subtest (the subtest most similar to the verbal SAT), an 8.8-year-old who scores about 0.84 SD below American 16.8-year-olds (16 to 25 percentile), is actually about 2.17 SD above the mean for his own age (98-99 percentile), implying a verbal IQ of 133 (U.S. norms) or 132 (white norms).

Math score

The New York Times magazine reports:

By the spring of 1985, with a 9-year-old Tao splitting time between high school and nearby Flinders University, Billy and Grace took him on a three-week American tour to seek advice from top mathematicians and education experts. On the Baltimore campus of Johns Hopkins, they met with Julian Stanley, a Georgia-­born psychologist who founded the Center for Talented Youth there. Tao was one of the most talented math students Stanley ever tested — at 8 years old, Tao scored a 760 on the math portion of the SAT — but Stanley urged the couple to keep taking things slow and give their son’s emotional and social skills time to develop.

If all American 17-year-olds took the old SAT in the 1980s (not just the college-bound elite) the mean math score would have been 411.5 and the standard deviation (SD) would have been 109.

Thus Tao at about age 8.8, scored 3.2 standard deviations above the average U.S. 17-year-old.

I don’t know where this would put him compared to U.S. 8.8 year-olds on the math SAT, but on the WISC-R IQ test, U.S. 8.8 year-olds who score in the top 15% of U.S. 16.67-16.997-year-olds on Arithmetic (the subtest most similar to the math SAT) make the top 0.01% among their own age group.  This suggests an age bonus of about two standard deviations.

Thus Tao, was likely 5.2 standard deviations above the U.S. mean for his age, suggesting a math IQ of 178 (U.S. norms) and also 179 (white norms).

Composite score

Assuming about a 0.67 correlation between verbal and math, the composite IQ of someone with Tao’s cognitive profile is about 161 (U.S. norms); 161 (white norms).

It’s possible I’m underestimating Tao’s IQ because his childhood Raven IQ is arguably even higher than his math IQ and people of East Asian descent often do best at spatial ability which both the SAT and Raven downplay. On the other hand, I could be overestimating his IQ because some math geniuses lack social intelligence and common sense, which is also not especially well measured by the SAT.

Both of these objections likely cancel each other out, leaving 161 as a good proxy for his overall cognition.

The Nature of Genius and Intelligence

[The following is a guest article by illuminaticat; and does not necessarily reflect the views of Pumpkin Person. Please read it then take the survey at the end to share your feedback]

I found the most difficult puzzle I have ever tried.

It gives me a real appreciation of how intelligence works.

Basically, it is that the ability to use a tool requires the ability to deal with many components at once.

How many parts go together. That is you need to understand all parts together at the same time.

My opinion of the ubermensch is satisfactory lower now that I understand Nietzsche viewed it. The ubermensch is just the peak man or woman regarded by society to be superior physically intelligently and morally that is life-affirming not degenerate at all. To me, this sets a low bar. Because anyone will do, to become one. What I am interested in is Geniuses i.e. intelligence. From Age 12 I studied it. I wrote a paper about it in high school for my a.i. project. So moral character and fortitude is nice and all but I have this already, I does not take much. but intelligence is different, The high IQ are super rare. A real Uberman is much higher than Nietzsche’s 145 level set for him. But The Genius, It is like they have a supercomputer in their heads that can understand in the simplest terms what we consider astronomically complicated. It is because they can see things in such simple terms that to them as Einstien said they can explain it to a child.

I was told by a genius on the Kurzweil forum that these people have hard lives because they are as superior to the elite as 135 is to 85. I knew an old woman at work who could not understand what an atom was. I told her they were tiny balls that stick together and we are made of them. This is the way geniuses view everyone in the world almost. Not in a condescending way but as a matter of total isolation. Chris Michael Langan was abused as a child and views all rich people as evil money grabbers.

People believe that Intelligence is not natural but in fact, a very specific way of understanding intelligence is in how we get all the subsystems of the brain to work together. It is called control theory. In the theory were have feedback error-correcting. When we do not understand something the brain generates ideas about what is possibly the case for what we are experiencing. This happens at all levels of a hierarchical structure. The top levels of the hierarchy are actually the emotions because they tell us what is most important. It is then that the details of what happens first and in parallel take place. Without emotions regulating the system, a context cannot be formed in how to deal with the world.

As IQ is not a concrete measure of intelligence many times geniuses are overlooked who do not fit the standard bell curve. Mensa is not the peak. Intelligence regarding the peak is a higher resolution on the object perception. That is not only a quantity exists, but a quality. The brain’s metabolic efficiency allows them to anticipate things before they happen. Reality to them is highly predictable and logical. People may confuse them for psychics. The density and complexity of their brainwave mean they have a deeper sense of reality. And in this people believe we can increase intelligence with metabolic processes. Not only with health and diet (get rid of lead paint) but with super drugs.

The main obstacle is that the neurochemistry of the truly superior genius is highly genetically tuned. You cannot use a trumpet as a flute or a drum as a violin. They just have a complexity in the regulation of emotions that cannot be duplicated at our current technological level. Often it has been suggested that these people are mutants. Their accelerated abilities to hear, taste, touch, smell, and see have an alien-like quality to them. Davinci’s paintings were considered so divine as to not have been created by a human at his time.

In modern times the prevalence of stories where exceptional human beings exist that can see colors that do not exist is actually true. There are people with 4 cones in their retina. They can see 100 million colors compared to the normal 1 million. This is why comparing people at such high levels of intelligence by a deviation becomes ridiculous. Just the number of parts your brain can handle is not the question we should be asking when understanding this category of human beings. We do not know what it is like to understand the world they occupy in their dreams or the ideas of which are inexpressible through any language.

There is a way to quantify intelligence as what number of patterns one recognizes in comparison to others but the true Ubermen have seen and mentalized patterns that have never nor will ever be seen by anyone but them. They have seen things impossible to imagine for anyone but them.

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The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Pumpkin Person rating 10/10

Based on the novella by the brilliant Stephen King and written and directed by Frank Árpád Darabont, The Shawshank Redemption is an utterly perfect movie. The film reminds me of one of those great American novels that we’d pretend to read in high school like The Great Gatsby or To Kill a Mockingbird and it spans huge swaths of American history, from the end of WWII to the middle of the Vietnam war, or as IQ aficionados like to say, the Wechsler Bellevue era, to the original WAIS era.

Like this movie, David Wechsler’s original tests were deeply rich in Americana, and all about what it meant to be an intelligent adult in the 1940s to the 1960s, and so my mind wandered into images of each character being administered the ancient WBI by a prison psychologist just as the Nazis were during the Nuremberg trials.

Andy Dufresne IQ 160 (U.S. white norms)

Played by Tim Robbins, Andy is a successful banker sentenced to jail in the mid 1940s for shooting his wife and her golf pro lover after seeing them in bed together. Like almost everyone at the Shawshank prison, he claims to be innocent, and while this character is sometimes too smart for his own good (calling the prison warden “obtuse” and getting severely punished for it) he also displays sophisticated understanding of tax law and a superhuman ability to adapt his impossible situation to his advantage and outsmarts the warden at his own game. His best friend “Red” says he’s “as smart as they come.” He was certainly the smartest at the Shawshank prison, or virtually any other U.S. prison. Assuming about a million Americans were incarcerated from the mid 1940s to the mid 1960s, and assuming that on a scale where white American average an IQ of 100 with a standard deviation of 15, criminals average about 90 with an SD also about 15, we’d expect the smartest U.S. prison inmate to be about 160.

Red IQ 119

Whenever I read IQ books written in the 1920s or 30s, I come across the term the American Negro. This is highly offensive by today’s standards because it sounds like you’re describing some kind of animal (The Canadian Grizzly, the Alaska Salmon). And yet whenever I think of the American Negro, I think of Morgan Freeman. Freeman plays Andy’s best friend Red, the guy in prison who knows how to get stuff for people, whether it’s smuggling cigarettes or a poster of Rita Hayworth. While some might complain that Freeman is cast as the token black best friend, this film was made before the era of wokeness and Freeman is absolutely perfect for the part. One mystery is why he is virtually the only black in the entire prison.

On a scale where white Americans average about IQ 100, black Americans have historically averaged 85, but criminals of all races are probably about 10 points lower, and Red, a convicted murderer, might thus be expected to average IQ 75. On the other hand, he’s extremely tall which is a sign of high IQ that roughly cancels out his criminality, making him likely 85.

More importantly his best friend Andy has an IQ of 160. The IQ correlation between best friends is not known but 0.45 is a good estimate since that’s the correlation between spouses. So in the typical case one’s IQ is 45% of the distance between one’s population mean, and the IQ of one’s best friend. This would put Red at about 119, which sounds about right. Red is about as smart as a person can be while still being below 120.

Samuel Norton (the Prison warden) IQ 113

Played by Bob Gunton, Samuel is the corrupt, sadistic Bible thumping warden of the Shawshank prison. There seems to be a pattern in Stephen King films of religious people being evil (the psychotic mother in Carrie, the child cult in Children of the Corn). To have risen to a position of power indicates some intelligence, but to be so corrupt and religious indicates some stupidity too. I’d say he has the IQ of the average Republican congressman. According to Duke professor Jonathan Wai, about 11% of Republican congressman attended schools indicative of top 1% ability. This suggests Republican congressman are, on average, about 1 standard deviation above the U.S. mean of 98 (during the era of this film), so 113.

Brooks IQ 90

Played by James Whitmore, Brooks has one of the saddest story arcs in the film. After 50 years of good behavior, he’s released from prison and doesn’t want to leave. He simply can’t adapt to the high tech modern World of the 1950s, full of automobiles and television sets. He seems a bit dumber than the average criminal (IQ 90) but this can be explained by his old age, and since IQ is normed for age, he’s not penalized for this.

Tommy Williams IQ 90

Played by Gill Belows, on paper  Tommy Williams seems dumber than the average criminal. In the system since age 12, can hardly read, etc, however given that he finds the wherewithal to get his high school equivalency, the comic timing to make his friends laugh, and the memory to solve an important murder case, I’d put him at at least 90.

RIP Tina Turner 1939-2023

As the World mourns the passing of the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, this iconic clip of Tina Turner surprising Oprah on her 50th birthday goes absolutely viral. What an incredible talent and inspiration she was. She will be missed.

Estimating Loaded’s IQ

Loaded’s parents are ridiculously well educated people, both with PhDs or equivalent and in STEM fields to boot. In Pakistan I estimate roughly 6.9 million people come of age every year, and of those, only 1400 obtain PhDs so a PhD for someone born there is like a one in 4,928 achievement which means the median PhD would be roughly one in 10 thousand. In other words, if there were a perfect correlation between IQ and education, Loaded’s parents would average 56 points above the Pakistani mean of 80 (white norms). However since the correlation between IQ and education(within age cohorts) is only at most 0.7 (at least in the U.S.), our best guess is they would be 0.7(56) + 80 = 119.

Now assuming they’re both 119 we can apply my formula for predicting an offspring’s IQ from their parents:

0.31(dad’s IQ – population mean) + 0.31(mom’s IQ – population mean) + population mean = offspring’s expected IQ

0.31(119 – 80) + 0.31(119 – 80) + 80 = 104

However people tend to score much better when raised in America than they would have in the Third World. For example the mean IQ in Nigeria is 68, but full-blooded descendants of American slaves (who were not selected for high IQ) average at least 80.

Analogously, we’d expect Loaded to score 12 points higher than he would have if raised in Pakistan, thus 104 + 12 = 116, which sounds like a very believable figure!

A reader seeks advice

So I’ve once again decided to turn to the mail bag, from which I got the following email:


I am nearly 50 of English and German descent. A Puerto Rican woman of 36 wishes to have my child; she has a lovely heart and I am considering the situation. I discovered that she receives Social Security payments for a learning disability. This surely means she scored below 70 on an IQ test, and her life history would indicate low general intelligence. 

She left school around grade 10 and informed me that she largely taught herself to read. She is able to read and write, but I notice that she uses phone voice commands and prefers to seek solutions via YouTube rather than reference articles. I have seen her complete forms and other similar materials; she has had a job as a notary (to be sure there are many types of notary scenarios, I doubt she would be able to cover them all). She has zero awareness of politics and I am quite certain little knowledge of world history and even basic geography. She has been employed but I think her few jobs have come and gone because she experiences frustration; but there is not enough data to make concrete observations (to be sure she did very well at her last job where she needed to work fast and work with the computer interface). She becomes very jealous of other women interacting with me, even in a professional context; I assume this could be related to low intellectual functioning and an internal need for resource protection. Her brother is highly dysfunctional, her mother allowed an abuser to live in her childhood home (infer as you may), and her romantic partners have all been dysfunctional. She has five children, none of whom are in her custody, but she is trying to regain co-parenting with two (however, her rate of accomplishment on that front is slow. Under circumstances that most of us cannot relate, she fell into benzodiazepine addiction, which pretty much sent it all tumbling, prior to that she had one man in her life since High School. All of this sounds bad, and it is bad, but this woman has a lovely heart and survived a lot of childhood trauma (on a plus, she has made a few witty jokes). Needless to say she is looking for a man to care for her; this is bad on the one hand, but for a man my age, it’s better than a fat boss bitch. She has also made a few dinners that require independent functioning and the proper array of timings (not easy, so no sign of a true sub-70 IQ. One thought: it is possible that she is dim, but not a true sub-70 IQ and her parents simply gamed the system for cash but I don’t know when benefits began paying: Disability Benefits for Low IQ | Nolo). She is able to take animals to the vet, go shopping, and do tasks independently. However, she is largely incapable of planning ahead – (gets a job and gets a massive car payment). 

Regarding me, I have no kids and am very intelligent. I am not sure how high is my IQ, but my profitable young company is very sophisticate and there is a good chance it can spiral quite well. Let’s say that I have an IQ of 130 and the woman has an IQ of either 70 or 85. What would be the likely IQ range for our child? I do not want to introduce a child into the world with an IQ lower than 112. I recall reading that more genes for intelligence are coded with the mother’s DNA; I don’t know if that is accurate. I also read on r/hapas that Asian men/white female couples produce more amazing children than the opposite pairing, so that would indicate may men play a larger genetic role; or maybe it’s just that more outstanding Asian men get white females and lower white men get Asian women. One thing I can say is that her sister used a sperm bank and chose a South Asian donor and she reports her nephew is super bright. I want to make this woman happy, she has historical issues, but those don’t bother me. It is surely an adaptation to partner with someone possessing a lesser intellect, but I have the web and my work for intellectual discourse; what I don’t have is fun. I see a lot of smart people in miserable situations with unfun wives who get fat and bitch. I am guessing regression to the mean would be from the Puerto Rican average and not from her score because low IQ could result from gestational insult (although her dim brother is cause for concern). My father is 99% percentile ASVAB and my mother graduated from a top 15 law school. My aunts and uncles are mostly very bright (lawyers, Colonels, Doctors, but then the oddball). 

Any insights into what I could use to make a general assessment of her intelligence? I am wondering if there is a 10 question exam that is highly g-correlated. I could then slip a few questions here and there. This all sounds terrible, but I just don’t want to burden a child should they not be bright enough to make it in the coming world. 

Tough question. My guess is that she’s just using you for your money so I would not even move in with her, let alone father her kids, because depending on the laws in your state, she might be able to claim half your wealth, especially since she’s considered disabled.

I share your skepticism over whether she even is. Another possibility is that she outgrew her impairment. Because the long-term stability of IQ might be as low as 0.7, people who test in the mentally retarded range in childhood or even age 18 should typically regress up (progress) to their population mean in later adulthood assuming they’re not segregated.

As for the IQ of any children you might have, as far as I know the father’s IQ and the mother’s IQ both correlation 0.45 with the offspring’s IQ. However because the IQs of father’s and mother’s correlate 0.45 with one another, the independent effect of both is reduced:

0.31(dad’s Z score) + 0.31(mom’s Z score)

Let’s say you’re about +2 standard deviations (SDs) for a white male, and she’s -1 SD for a Puerto Rican female. Then your kids would be expected to be:

0.31(+2 SD) + 0.31(-1 SD) = 0.62 SD – 0.31 SD = +0.31 SD = +5 IQ points above the mix of both ethnic groups.

Now the average white American has an IQ of 103 (U.S. norms) and the average Puerto Rican is 15% Native American (IQ 91) , 21% pure black (IQ 83) and 64% white (IQ 103), so in theory there IQs should average IQ 97 (they actually average 90); thus the offspring of white and Puerto Rican couples should average exactly at the U.S. mean defined as 100 (could have saved myself a lot of time by ignoring race and just treating you both as just Americans)

Thus your kids should average about 5 points above this mean so IQ 105 on average (but there’s a lot of error around this estimate) . As for a quick test, for measuring your wife, I would use the PATMA. In my limited experience, it gives results within 10 points of the person’s true IQ.

Autism: The Real Truth

[The following is a guest article by Illuminaticatblog. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Pumpkin Person]

The most associated myth of autism is that it is a theory of mind deficit. That people with autism cannot understand other people and that they are highly focused on narrow interests. The DSM-5 defines autism as a developmental disorder. But what does that mean? Before there was a neuroscience-based approach to autism people just said that people who are stupid socially were autistic. That they were only interested in things, not people. The reality is that autism is a neurological metabolic problem. Too many connections exist that do not go away fast enough.

The clinical vs psychiatric disorder of autism is simple. Clinical autism as said has too many connections that do not prune away. This creates sensitivity. When an autistic person processes stimuli they get overwhelmed. The signals become overly dense. And this means that outside data becomes too much. Attention in working memory overflows. It is just too much.

In the free energy principle, it is signal density that determines if a person is typically average, autistic, or schizo. Schizos have sparse density signals. In the model, signals fail to propagate and so the schizo needs to be overly stimulated to get their cognitive processes to work. The reason schizos are delusional is that when the signals fail to propagate weird associates form in the brain. Their brain fails to link cause and effect in the right way because of a delay when the signals come together. It makes it so magic becomes real and the mind can cause the environment and people to read your thoughts and act for or against you.

The part of the brain that represents a person’s theory of mind is the right temporal parietal junction. The temporal lobe recognizes objects that move and the parietal lobe recognizes objects in space. They both through the junction use the frontal lobes and emotional limbic system to make judgments on what to do when people act. The medial frontal lobes have to do with the self so together they find a person’s relationship with others as they move in space. In autism, kids with extreme clinical autism may or may not have this area of their brain damaged.

What signifies that an autistic person has a deficit in their theory of mind is when the extreme case happens that they fail to watch other people. They fail because they have too much happening inside themselves to gather an understanding of why people do things naturally. In the schizo, they have an obsessive fixation with people. But fail to connect why people do what they do for the opposite reasons of neglect. Rember that the schizo thinks others can read their mind. And that there is a reason for what people do all the time. They believe every action a person does is intentional. They begin to hallucinate what others are thinking when in reality other people’s motivations are usually unconscious to themselves. People rationalize why they do what they do 95% of the time because they had no true reason for what they did. It is either a hidden emotion or a subconscious urge.

When autism is diagnosed via the DSM it is often done as an excuse for the doctors to label patients because they do not know the cause of the deficits. There may be abuse in the family or school and the kid has shut down. they may be getting the wrong kinds of foods in their diet. They may have executive problems and or low intelligence. Many things can cause symptoms of clinical autism and that is why psychiatry is not a science. It only observes the outside and not the inside. And clinical autism has a gradient o severity. It is not all autism or nothing. Neuron growth happens at different rates in children’s brains so it takes more than observations to rule out clinical autism.

More than half of autism diagnoses can be attributed to neglect and diet. Functional medicine has been shown to cure “autism” in cases where children are evaluated genetically and biochemically. In true clinical autism people have been evaluated to have regulation problems and so have been given pharmaceuticals that balance the signal density to release the processes of overstimulation. In schizophrenia, doctors observe that brains have thining in grey matter and metabolically why propagation fails to reach through the entire brain. they have also been given pharmaceuticals that enhance signal regulation. Often these experimental treatments have stopped neurodegeneration.

In conclusion, schizophrenia, and autism are caused by a failure of the brain to self-regulate. Autism has high-density signals and schizos have low-density signals that fail to propagate. This causes schizos to seek out stimulation and autists to block out and shut down. Schizos are overly fixated on people and hallucinate their intentions and autists cannot pay attention because people overwhelm them. This is a spectrum so neither autists nor schizos fully have on or off deficits in theory of mind. Self-regulation can be restored with the right interventions.

IQ of one of the sons in Mother’s Day (1980)

First I want to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to the mothers of all my readers because they obviously raised you well if you’re reading this blog.

I wanted to discuss a scene from one of Eli Roth’s favorite films, Mother’s Day. Apparently his parents were so liberal that they let him show this at his bar mitzvah.

At the other extreme is Roger Ebert who was so repulsed by the film he gave it no stars out of four writing:

During the next 100 minutes or so, the “Mother’s Day” audience witnessed a series of violent events, held together by the flimsiest of stories. The plot: A demented old woman lives in a shack in the woods with her two cretinous sons. Their entertainment is to capture unwary campers and torture, rape and kill them for the delight of their mother. In between, they behave like pigs. A typical dinner scene involves one of the sons shooting a can of pressurized cheese whip down his throat.

The term cretinous seems to be a recent edit in the age of wokenss. Ebert’s book was my cinematic Bible as a kid and I distinctly remember the sons being described as mentally retarded. Indeed that was why I rented the film in the first place. On the other hand long-term memory can often play tricks on us.

But was Ebert (as I recall him) right? Were the sons mentally retarded?

We can answer this question scientifically, because there’s a scene in the film were the mother (who seems like she’d be a HUGE Trump fan) is angry that some of the women they captured escaped. She turns to one of the sons and says:

“Tell your brother Ike that a hound dog that comes home with nothing in his mouth should keep it closed

The son struggles to repeat this 16 syllable proverb and only manages the first six before being forced to paraphrase. This implies a short-term memory scarcely above that of a three-year-old.

To put this in perspective, on the Sentence Repetition Test norms developed by Carmichael and MacDonald (1984), 12.5-year-olds have a mean of 16.8 with an SD of 3.2. This gives him an IQ equivalent of about 51(Canadian norms, which are like U.S. white norms) however this is an underestimate because he’s a full-grown man not a 12-year-old.

Unfortunately their norms don’t exceed age 12, however looking at the Digit Span norms (a similar test) on the WISC-R and WAIS-R, it seems at the very low end, short-term memory only increases by about 0.33 SD (5 points on the IQ scale) from age 12.5 to young adulthood. Thus his IQ is perhaps 47, putting him in the Trainable (moderate) Retardation range, and what he’s been trained by mother to do is rape and kill.

Of course there’s a lot more to IQ than just short-term memory; indeed as a test of general intelligence, Wechsler called it among the poorest. But Wechsler felt short-term memory was an especially effective test at the low end, famously writing:

Except in cases of special defects or organic disease, adults who cannot retain 5 digits forward and 3 backward will be found, in 9 cases out of 10, to be feeble-minded or mentally disturbed”

The East Asian vs Native American IQ gap

Genetic evidence suggests the ancestors of Native Americans split from Siberians and East Asians about 25,000 years ago, perhaps when entering the now mostly drowned landmass of Beringia, which bridged North America and the Russian Far East. Thus any cognitive differences between Native Americans and East Asians may tell us a great deal about the very final stages of human evolution.

161 Native Americans (mean age about 57) were administered a battery of cognitive tests including the verbal abstract reasoning and spatial analytical reasoning subtests of the WAIS-R on which they averaged raw scores of about 9.5 and 25.3 respectively. For their age group, this equates to IQ equivalents of 85 and 105 respectively (U.S. norms) or about 82 and 103 (white norms). However correcting for the Flynn Effect (the study is from 1992 and the WAIS-R was normed in 1978) reduces the verbal IQ to 79 and their spatial IQ to 100. Given the 0.56 correlation between these two subtests in the 55-64 year-old age group, this works out to a composite IQ of 88. The participants were from the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. About 52% had completed high school compared to 65.5% of Native Americans adults in general in 1990.

To put this in perspective, on the same subtests, black Americans would average a verbal IQ of 89, a spatial IQ of 83 and a composite IQ of 84 (white norms). But considering that black Americans are about 25% white on the genetic level, correcting for white admixture gives verbal IQ 85, spatial IQ 77, and composite IQ 79.

On the same two subtests, Japanese 16-year-olds average a verbal IQ of 102 , a spatial IQ of 116 and a composite IQ of 110.

It makes sense that Native Americans would have a higher spatial IQ than unmixed black Americans (100 vs 77) given the extreme selection pressure of the Last Glacial Maximum and the visual-motor skills needed to sew clothing, build fire, make shelter, hunt mega fauna etc. But it’s curious that Native Americans should have a lower verbal IQ than unmixed black Americans (85 vs 79) and much lower than East Asians (102 vs 79).

Given that East Asians and Native Americans are both mongoloid, it’s interesting that they should both show such a huge verbal < spatial IQ gap. As Richard Lynn speculated, the extreme cold of Northern Siberia likely caused evolution to select enhanced spatial ability at the expense of verbal skills, with the left hemisphere of the brain (normally reserved for language) forced to take on more spatial processing.

But what explains the huge East Asian > Native American IQ gap? What happened in the last 25,000 years to drive these two cousins apart? Perhaps the common ancestor of East Asians and Native Americans would have scored like Native Americans today (verbal IQ 79, spatial IQ 100) but civilization in East Asia raised their verbal IQ 23 points, and since the verbal and spatial subtests correlate 0.56, a verbal increase of 1.5 SD would cause a spatial increase of about 1 SD.

Similarly, the fact that blacks have higher verbal IQ than Native Americans might also be explained by black Africa (located near the Middle East) having more exposure to civilization than the Northern Americas.

[UPDATE MAY 11, 2023, a previous version of this article contained a mathematical typo that was corrected after exposed in the comment section]

Guest post by Illuminaticat

The views expressed in this guest post do not necessarily reflect those of Pumpkin Person.

Executive Front Brain

Jordan Peterson calls the frontal lobe the programmer of the brain. I call it the central coordinator. What it does is finds errors in a linear sequence of sensory-motor commands. Reflex is where you automatically get away or purge oneself. Instinct is a primal pattern recognition. The frontal lobes actually monitor all conditions. It brings them into one central planner. This is why IQ tests work. We pay attention to input and the feedback we get from the output and combine them into one representation of go no go motor signals. Time-relevant and space-relevant relations are calculated in the production of algorithms that can be used in the future. The executive function creates plans for achieving certain outcomes and these outcomes are the result of what has worked and what has not worked. Again this is the “monitoring” of which algorithms produce what results and arranging them in a hierarchical system of protocols to make it to the goal.

The more algorithms that can be combined and tested at the same time is what IQ tests are “measuring”. And the brain remembers all combinations that work and do not and in all possible configurations of them. Crystilized memory then is the pattern recognition of all memorized algorithms to solve a problem. This is muscle memory, perception, and language. A world model is built on how all things in the world act. And IQ is the total of memorized algorithms and the total of new algorithms that can be generated to solve novel problems. Long-term memory is retrieval and short term is sensory recall.

Metacognition is the assessment of errors in our model in real-time via intuition i.e. the collective recognition of mismatch algorithms in the system through clustering: Categorical selection of the taxonomy of contextual relevance for each algorithm in relation to other algorithms. This means we distribute everything we know holographically. All processes are stored everywhere in the brain. But eventually, the wheat is sifted from the chaff. Each idea we have is put in relation to all other ideas. Then we fill in the missing spots, the sparse distributions of statistical gaps.

There are known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns. – NASA