Excellent data on Jewish IQ raises more questions than it answers

I’ve been informed in the comments by William that Wikipedia is claiming Ashkenazi Jews have a mean verbal IQ of 125.6!  Although I’d like to believe this because it would nicely explains the incredible economic and cultural achievements of U.S. Jews, it’s hard to believe a people so genetically related to whites and Arabs could have a verbal IQ dozens of points higher than both.

I decided to turn to chapter 10 of my hero Daniel Seligman’s excellent 1992 book A Question of Intelligence, since Seligman was especially curious about how his people scored on IQ tests.  I learned that most studies of American Jews are not very representative, because samples are often drawn just from New York city or from children in Orthodox schools.

Seligman notes that the closest thing we have to a representative sample is Project Talent, a wide ranging survey, done in the early sixties, of Caucasian high school students.

Seligman writes:

The students were given an exhaustive battery of tests (forty-nine in all!) when they were in the ninth grade, then tested again (though not on all forty-nine) in the twelfth grade.  The Project Talent data included results for 1,236 Jewish students.

Seligman then goes on to quote a summary of the results from scholar Miles D. Storfer.

Jewish math IQ 113

Storfer writes:

The scores of the Jewish boys averaged almost a full standard deviation above those of non-Jewish boys, and the Jewish girls’ scores exceeded those of their non-Jewish counterparts by a nearly equivalent degree (0.75 standard deviations); because boys substantially outperform girls on this test, the average score of the Jewish boys was in the top 1 percent of all test takers.

Averaging boys and girls together, it seems U.S. Jews outperform whites by 0.88 standard deviations (SD), implying the average math IQ of 113 (white norms).  Of course this is approximate because IQs are calculated with reference to sex-combined norms, which don’t necessarily correspond to the average within sex norms.  I’m also baffled as to how the average Jewish boy could possibly be in the top 1% of the sex combined sample (implying an astonishing math IQ of 135) if they are only 1 SD higher than white boys, unless the male SD is far higher than the sex-combined SD and/or the sex gap is absolutely colossal.

U.S. Jewish verbal IQ 109

Storfer writes that on verbal knowledge:

…Jewish boys’ scores averaged 0.7 standard deviations higher than those of the non-Jewish boys, and the Jewish girls outperformed their non-Jewish Caucasian counterparts by slightly more than half a standard deviation.

So averaging both sexes together, we see Jews are +0.6 SD on white norms, suggesting an average verbal IQ of 109.  That’s an incredibley impressive average for an entire U.S. ethnic group, but it’s nowhere near the verbal IQ of 125.6 claimed by Wikipedia.

U.S. Jewish processing speed IQ 100

Storfer writes that on measures of perceptual speed and accuracy, “…non-Jewish students were on par with the Jewish students in this test of visual-motor coordination under speeded conditions…”.  Note that psychometric processing speed should never be confused with chronometrics as the two measures have relatively low correlations.

U.S. Jewish grammar IQ 100

Storfer notes that non-Jews also matched Jews “on a test of grammar and language use.”

U.S. Jewish spatial IQ 93

Storfer notes that on reasoning with spatial forms, “…Jewish students scored significantly less well on this test (half a standard deviation lower than the non-Jewish sample)”  This implies an average spatial IQ of about 93.

U.S. Jewish memory IQ 96

Storfer notes that Jews “also performed poorly on a measure of short-term recall of sequences of nonword letter strings (scoring 0.3 standard deviations below the non-Jewish sample).”  This implies a memory IQ of 96.

U.S. JEWISH OVERALL IQ 102?

Given such a wide range of scores, it’s fascinating to ask what the overall Jewish IQ is.  Averaging across all six subtests, Jewish Americans outperformed U.S. whites by 0.12 SD.  Converting that into a composite IQ requires knowing the intercorrelations of the subtests, however on a comparable battery of tests (the WISC-R), someone who averages +0.12 SD across all the subtests has a composite score that is +0.13 SD, equating to a full-scale IQ of 102.

This is substantially lower than the U.S. Jewish mean of 110 commonly cited by Richard Lynn.  Of course it depends on the test. If one goes by tests like the SAT, which are all about verbal and math talent, Jews should easily score 110, but on a more comprehensive global sample of intellectual abilities,  it seems U.S. Jews are virtually tied with U.S. whites.

So it depends how you want to define intelligence.  I like to define it as the mental ability to adapt: to take whatever situation you’re in, and turn it around to your advantage.  For the last 100 years or so Jews have been incredibly adaptable, emerging as 36% of U.S. billionaires and 50% of media pundits, despite being only 2% of America.  However in the early 20th century, Jews were poor, and their intellectual achievements were scarce before the 19th century.

Why did Jews struggle to adapt for so long, and then suddenly start thriving economically and culturally?  Is this because Jews only recently evolved their high IQs as scholars Cochran and Harpending argued, or did their genes stay the same, while the environment suddenly began to favour their specific cognitive talents (verbal and math)? Spatial IQ might be useful for building a civilization, but once the buildings and technology is built by others, wordsmiths and math types rule the roost.

Ashkenazim IQ in Israel, 8 points lower than in the U.S.

But one reason it’s hard to believe that the mean U.S. Jewish IQ is 102 is that American Jews are perhaps the elite of worldwide Jewry. In the 2006 book Race Differences in Intelligence (pg 94), Richard Lynn claimed that Ashkenazim in the U.S. and Britain averaged 107-115, while Ashkenazim in Israel averaged 103 (eight points lower).  But if U.S. Jews average only 102 on a more complete measure of IQ, does that means Israeli Ashkenazim average only 94?

Although such figures would be consistent with the slightly smaller brain size that’s been found among Jews and Israel’s dependence on U.S. support, it is inconsistent with the incredible scientific achievements of Jews throughout the 20th century.

 

What do mainstream science types think about intelligence & genes?

Those of us in the HBD blogosphere can sometimes get trapped in our little bubble, and lose touch with what mainstream science thinks about genes and intelligence.

When I was in high school (I’m now in my thirties) I asked a biology teacher if he thought intelligence was genetic and I will never ever forget his response.

“Is this loaded question?” he said with a laugh.

“No,” I replied.

“I believe certain intellectual abilities are genetic, like being good or bad at math, being able to grasp concepts, or having a good or bad memory.”

Teachers know intelligence is a hardwired physical property of the human head because they can see it.  I remember in my grade nine math, I overheard our teacher gushing that a South Asian girl had solved a certain geometry problem.

“Very impressive,” he said in his Quebec accent.  “There are only two people in this class who can answer that question.  You and Veemo” he said, pointing to the South Asian boy in the class.

“You either have the brain to do it or you don’t,” he said.

Although dark caucasoids tend to have IQs below the white mean, Canada got a loft of the best and brightest Third World immigrants (at least in those days) and it’s rumoured in HBD circles that some Indian castes have high IQs.

Meanwhile there was this pale skinned red head in the class who struggled so much to grasp the math.  Everyday most of the teacher’s time was monopolized personally tutoring her on the most basic of concepts and she always had this look of complete bewilderment.  It was like there was some physical biological genetic block, preventing the concepts from being grasped.

I’m reminded of this brilliant metaphor for intelligence by scholar Douglas Detterman:

 a traffic jam. All the modules of the brain have to go through a central hub, and the poorer the connection the lower the intelligence.

At the deepest level of analysis, mental abilities are PHYSICAL abilities.

Genetic abilities.

Several years later we would discover that the red-headed girl was pregnant and the father was black.  When she announced this a black classmate went hysterical, screaming:

“Noooooooo! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.”

A bunch of classmates held him back, racistly assuming he was depraved enough to attack her unborn baby.

He couldn’t stand the thought of her stupidity being passed down to another generation and because her child would be half black, people would blame its low IQ on black genes, not knowing it came from the pale Nordic white mother.

 

Charles Murray’s Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010

 

Murray is probably extremely bright given his large cranial capacity, enormous influence on society, high income, and elite education.  He looks a bit like Charles Darwin, and his reflective haughty speaking style adds to his learned air.

Picture of Darwin

A few years ago, Murray wrote a fascinating book (which I’ve partly read) about the new upper class called Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010, the theme of which is that today’s elite is different in kind than elites of past generations.  The biggest, and from an HBD perspective, most fascinating, difference between today’s elite and elites in the 1950s is that the former are Jews and the latter were WASPs, but that distinction is perhaps too taboo even for Murray, lest he lose the respect of Charles Krauthhammer and William Kristol, the latter of whom describes Murray as the best social scientist in America!

Although I find Murray an absolute pleasure to listen to, I struggle a bit to fully grasp his point.  Yes today’s elite is far more likely to have attended an elite school than in past generations, but that seems largely because today many people attend college, while in 1920, just attending any college at all was an elite education.  Seems to me like a simple case of credential inflation, and perhaps not the social revolution Murray implies.

But perhaps Murray’s most compelling point is that in cities like LA, San Francisco, and New York, there are entire geographic areas consisting of at least 100,000 people, where the average person is in the top 0.5% of all Americans in a composite of education and income.

I would estimate that people who average in the top 0.5% of attained socioeconomic status average in the top 5% in IQ (IQ 125 U.S. norms, IQ 123 white norms), and given regression to the mean, their kids might average IQ 115; U.S. norms (IQ 112 white norms).

Murray worries that having so much money, education and brains located in just a few geographic areas instead of being spread out all over the country like it used to be, is creating social classes much less mobile than they used to be, thus killing the American dream.

I think Murray is overestimating how much cognitive stratification has increased, partly because as I mentioned, elites have always been the most educated, it’s just that Ivy League degrees are the new college degrees.

But more importantly, Murray thinks people who’ve attended elite colleges are obscenely smart, having an average IQ of 135+ (U.S. norms) (see page 375, note 36 from his book), which is certainly true if measured by SAT scores, but not even close to true if measured by neutral test that they weren’t explicitly selected for. Murray vaguely acknowledged this issue when he co-wrote The Bell Curve (see page 694, note 32), but seems to greatly underestimate it.  This is not to deny that SAT might be a valid measure of IQ (I cite SAT scores all the time), but only when used to measure the IQs of people not largely defined by being selected by it, lest you get a selection bias effect where the test used to screen a group gives systematically higher scores than all other tests the group has taken.

But Murray does make a great point when he implies brains have far more market value (independent of education) than they used to, probably because society has become so complex.  I’ve noticed this just from perusing old issues of the Forbes 400.  The richest Americans used to be retail and oil tycoons.  Today they’re largely nerds, and the average self-made decabillionaire might have an absolutely stratospheric IQ of 151 (it’s unlikely the richest few Americans have ever before been that far above the cognitive average).

But if Murray is right that the college sorting system combined with market forces are turning America turning into an IQ caste system, with more and more assortative mating and stratification by IQ, and that this has been going on since the 1950s, compound one generation after another, then what we should find a secular increase in IQ variance, as the cognitive elite mates with each other, and so does the other extreme, making the cognitive gap between the brightest and dullest 10% higher each generation.  Of course the standard deviation (SD) on IQ tests is set at 15 in each birth cohort, but by giving a very old IQ test to a representative sample of kids today, we should expect to see an increased SD if Murray is right.

Is IQ more accurate when measured in childhood?

At first glance, it might sound strange to suggest that an IQ test given at age seven is more accurate than IQ test taken when you’re an adult and your brain is fully developed.  Indeed one of the most stunning discoveries of behavioral genetics is the doubling (yes doubling) of IQ’s heritability from childhood to older adulthood.  Of course the majority of these studies estimate heritability by comparing the correlation of MZ twins raised together with DZ twins raised together; a method that is vulnerable to criticism because of the equal environment assumption. But we have corroborating evidence (i.e. the zero correlation between the IQs of unrelated people raised together, the vanishing of IQ gains caused by adoption) that IQ does indeed become more genetic with age, at least within a given developed country.

But the rising heritability of IQ might be misleading.  We know from the Flynn effect that shared environment effects like schooling and socioeconomic status have HUGE effects on IQ (though perhaps not intelligence) but as scholars Dickens and Flynn brilliantly noted, within generations, these cultural effects get counted as genetic effects because people with certain genes spend more time in culturally stimulating environments.

So when we say IQ is 80% genetic by late adulthood, we’re not necessarily saying genes DIRECTLY cause IQ.  Rather genes cause you to engage in IQ increasing behavior. It’s a bit like saying weight is highly genetic, when what we really mean is diet and exercise choices are genetic (which cause weight). So adult IQ is not necessarily measuring who is the most biologically clever.  It could merely be measuring who got a PhD in English literature, thus artificially boosting their score on vocabulary beyond what it should have been.

In order to truly measure REAL intelligence (if you believe in such a construct), you need to return to childhood, where people haven’t had as much time to coach themselves for IQ type tests.  Of course children who come from rich and educated homes have an unfair advantage on IQ tests but because the gene-environment covariance is much smaller in kids than in adults, the effects of shared environment can be separated from the effects of genes by statistically adjusting for social class.

How do you adjust childhood IQ for social class?  Let’s say you have a seven year-old child from an upper class family who scores 120 on an IQ test (white norms) This implies he’s smarter than 90% of white Americans his age.  However most white kids his age were not raised in upper class homes.  Now you could compared him only to other white kids from his class, but that’s misleading because they’re a genetically elite sample (since they inherited not only their social class from their parents, but the genes that caused it).  What you need to do is compare him to a genetically random sample of white kids raised in upper class homes, and the closest we have to that are adoption studies.

After correcting for old norms and converting to white norms, the sixteen white adopted kids in the Minnesota transracial adoption study had an age seven IQ of 109 with an SD of 11.3, compared to the general U.S. white population which by definition has a mean IQ of 100 with an SD of 15.  What this shows is that if every white seven year-old in America was raised by the upper-class, the mean IQ would rise and the variability would shrink.  This makes sense because we’ve removed a huge chunk of the variance from IQ (cultural effects) leaving hopefully only direct biological effects (genes and biological environment).

So a white upper class seven-year old with an IQ of 120 is 0.97 SD above the mean if all white kids were raised in his social class.  Thus his social class adjusted IQ would be 115.

If being raised in an upper class home causes the  mean IQ to increase by 9 points (and the SD to drop to 11.3) we might guess that being raised in a lower class home causes the mean IQ to drop by 9 points.  So if all white kids were raised by low income high school dropouts, the IQ distribution at age seven might be 91 (SD 11.3).

So a seven-year-old from a low class family with an IQ of 120 is an astonishing 2.57 SD above the mean if all white kids were raised in such homes.  His social class adjusted IQ would be an incredible 138!

So here we see two kids with an identical IQ score, but by adjusting for social class, we find that one kid is actually 23 IQ points smarter than the other.  The kid from the lower class will probably get a good education and enter the upper class when he’s older, and by 40, his measured IQ might become as high as his age seven adjusted IQ.  By contrast the upper class kid might go down a bit in social class, causing his measured IQ at age 40 to also match his adjusted IQ at age seven.

On the other hand, if the upper class kid is especially curious, and the lower class kid has no interest in learning, the opposite might occur.  This is why IQ tests when measured in childhood, if properly adjusted, might be far better measures of real intelligence than measurements taken after kids are old enough to shape their own environments in ways we can’t adjust for.

 

Conservatism, race and IQ, part 2

I define conservatism as siding with the powerful over the powerless.  This may seem like a strange definition but it’s the single umbrella that covers the many forms conservatism takes.  For example, if you support  tax cuts for the rich, you are siding with the rich (who have power) over the poor (who lack power).  If you oppose feminism, you are siding with men (who have power) over women (who lack power).  If you oppose affirmative action, you are siding with non-blacks (who have power) over blacks (who lack power).

If you support the death penalty, you are siding with the government (who has power) over prisoners (who lack power).  If you support the Israeli occupation, you are siding with Jews (who have power) over Palestinians (who lack power).  If you support traditional values, you are siding with the establishment (who have power) over the counterculture (which lacks power).

Now studies (mostly done on whites) have found conservatives to be less intelligent than liberals.  This is perhaps because from a moral perspective, conservatism is the wrong answer because it promotes inequality, and low IQ folks, by definition, get the wrong answer to all questions that require reasoning, including those that have a moral component.

One paradox is that blacks tend to be more liberal than whites, despite having lower IQs.  This is perhaps because if you’re black, conservatism is not just wrong from a moral perspective, but also from the perspective of your self interests, and from the perspective of your ethnic genetic interests.  In other words, for a black to be a conservative, they need to be wrong in three different ways, while a white only needs to be morally wrong to be conservative.  This would explain why whites can be more conservative than blacks, despite having higher IQs.  It also predicts that those blacks who are conservative, will be especially low in IQ (on average).

However commenter Tenn begs to differ, writing:

I disagree for two reasons. 1) a black person voting conservative rejects the herd mentality of that ethnic group to vote democrat, demonstrating the ability to think independently.

The flat earth society also shows an ability to think independently, but I wouldn’t characterize them as smart.  Independent thinking may be a signing of critical objective analysis, or it could show an inability to learn from others, eccentricity, or just plain autism.

Tenn continues:

2) More importantly, liberal policies are not in fact in the genetic interest of the black community.

The liberal policies that you presume play to blacks advantage, such as welfare programs, do indeed work well in the short term. But over the long term they have crippled the black community. The best (or rather, worst) example is the aid to single mothers programs. Begun in the 50s and expanded in the 60s under LBJ, these programs systematically disincentivised marriage in the black community, which in turn led to greater rates of single motherhood. Kids raised without dads are far more likely to flunk out of school, get involved in crime, and bear fatherless kids themselves. Over the last 50 years, this has shattered the black community and is why, despite five decades of racial reconciliation, the black American is worse off today than he was at the end of Jim Crow.

It takes a sober mind to look past the short-term benefit of welfare aid and see the long-term disadvantages associated with dependency. Therefore, I’d wager that conservative blacks are some of the very smartest of their race.

At first glance, this sounds like an excellent argument, however according to blogger JayMan, shared environment has virtually zero effect on most life outcomes.  Hard to believe, I know.  So if the behavioral geneticists are right, kids raised in fatherless welfare homes should have roughly the same behavioral outcomes as kids raised in stable two-parent homes.  Of course these behavioral-genetic models may only apply within races and birth cohorts, not between them, making them a risky rebuttal to Tenn’s argument.

But Tenn’s argument is based on the assumption that LBJ’s Great Society programs of the 1960s crippled the black community, and I would argue that they have not.  While it’s true that blacks are more likely to be in poverty and jail than whites are, when you control for IQ, the black-white wage gap virtually vanishes, and the occupation gap actually reverses (see chapter 14 of The Bell Curve).  For example, a black with a high IQ has a much better chance of entering a high status occupation than a white with a high IQ.  President Obama being the most obvious example.

So although blacks are still enormously disadvantaged in American society, I would argue that they are much less disadvantaged then they would have been, had it not been for LBJ’s efforts.

 

 

Conservatism, race & IQ part 1

One of the most fascinating correlates of IQ is conservatism.  I find this correlate fascinating because IQ tests justify anti-black racism (a conservative value) by showing that dark skinned people have lower IQs (on average) yet at the same time, IQ tests condemn racism by showing that anti-black racists also have low IQs.  So one can’t use IQ tests as a racist weapon without impugning their own likely IQ.

The other reason conservatism is such a fascinating correlate of IQ is that it’s one of the few variables that correlates positively with IQ between groups, but negatively with IQ within groups. That is, higher IQ races tend to be more conservative than low IQ races, yet within each race, I’ve argued that higher IQ people tend to be less conservative.  For someone who likes to statistically predict IQs from biodemographic variables, this is an incredibly useful property.

Why?  Because one of the biggest problems with predictive statistical models is multicollinearity. In other words, when trying to guess a person’s IQ based on many variables, you run into the problem of the variables being positively intercorrelated and thus not adding new information.  For example, if I know you’re homeless, I can guess with 90% certainty that  have a low IQ because 90% of America’s homeless are below 100 IQ (white norms).  Now if I also know you’re also high school dropout, the odds of you having a low IQ increase (because you now belong to two low IQ groups), but the odds don’t increase as much you’d think, because the mere fact that you’re homeless already suggests you’re probably uneducated.

On the other hand if I know you’re black, I might guess your IQ is below 100, but I can’t be certain, because millions of blacks have high IQs, but if I know you’re also conservative, the odds of you having a low IQ increase precipitously, because conservatism is not something I could have guessed from your blackness.  Just the opposite: blacks tend to be liberal, so conservatism predicts low IQ completely independently of blackness.  Statistically, one would need an especially low IQ to belong to belong to the two low IQ groups that have almost zero overlap.

Pumpkin Person endorses Jill Stein for President of the United States

h8barakastein

Pumpkin Person is officially endorsing Green Party candidate Jill Stein for President of the United States.  Just watched this brilliant and moral woman and her fabulous VP pick Ajamu Baraka on CNN, and wow, what a breath of fresh air they were.

With a few exceptions, there’s been a complete media blackout of this woman preventing her to rise in the polls, which is why it’s so important for bloggers to endorse her.  I watch cable news all the time, and tonight was the first time I’d ever even seen her.

What a shame it will be if Americans are denied an opportunity to see this excellent candidate debate Trump and Hillary because she doesn’t get the requisite 15% support needed to be in the debates.

But what few media appearances she’s been allowed to make have gained rave reviews.

Let’s watch Jill Stein in action:

 

And here’s Jill and Ajamu thanking us for watching their CNN town hall meeting:

 

The concept of “more evolved”

Many people, including eminent biologists, struggle with the concept that some life forms are more evolved than others.  It’s not particularly controversial to say humans are more evolved than Australopithecus africanus, because the latter is extinct, and thus humans are the product of an extra two million years of evolution.

Much more controversial is claiming that one extant life form is more evolved than another.  This is because many scientists view all extant life as not a linear chain of ancestors to descendants, but rather cousins who are all parallel forms of time tested evolutionary success.

When creationists say to biologists “if humans evolved from apes, why aren’t apes still evolving into humans?”, the biologists laughs at the creationist’s ignorance, and says humans did NOT evolve from apes.  Rather humans and apes share a common ancestor.

But what few biologists grasp is that humans really did evolve from apes (in the popular sense of the term).  True, we did not evolve from any extant ape like gorillas or chimps, but if we could clone our ancestors, most people would describe them as apes.

ape-to-man-evolution

Of course the scientist would say:

Well technically, the common ancestor is no more genetically related to modern apes than it is to a human.

That’s true if you measure genetic relatedness by neutral DNA, which, because it changes at a consistent rate, serves as a molecular clock measuring time since divergence from a common ancestor, but it’s perhaps false if genetic relatedness is measured by substantive DNA, which changes as a function of selection pressures.

Who is most evolved?

In order to determine who is more evolved than who, you need to look at the evolutionary tree.  If you’re the first branch, and you don’t do anymore branching, then you are less evolved than higher branches.

At the highest taxanomic level, there are just tree domains of life: Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukaryota.  Humans are eukaryotes and thus are more evolved than bacteria, which branched off prematurely:

Among eukaryotes, there are at least three major divisions: plants, animals and fungi.  Plants branched off the evolutionary tree first, making them less evolved than us animals:

Among animals, us chordata are most evolved:

Among chordates, us mammals are most evolved:

Among mammals, us primates are tied for the most evolved:

Among primates, “homos” are most evolved:

Among homo, we see that Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals are tied for most evolved:

Among Homo Sapiens, it seems Northeast Asians and Arctic Asians are tied for most evolved.

A genetic tree created from page 119 of L.L. Cavalli-Sforza's book "The Great Human Diasporas"

A genetic tree created from page 119 of L.L. Cavalli-Sforza’s book “The Great Human Diasporas”

Of course this is uncertain because it seems Sfroza somewhat arbitrarily divided humanity into nine races (I prefer a three race model).  A different classification scheme might have resulted in a different race being more evolved, though the same criticism applies to almost every phylogenetic tree.

Does more evolved mean superior?

Scholar J.P. Rushton is quoted as saying that from an evolutionary perspective, superiority can only mean adaptive value, if it even means this.  Humans are perhaps the most evolved animal on Earth and we are arguably the most adaptable, but there are also very unevolved life forms that are extremely adaptable too, like cockroaches for example.

But if evolution is all about trial and error, life that emerges later should, on average, be more adaptable than life that appears earlier, and yet cockroaches, one of the oldest forms of life, has stood the test of time.

How do we resolve this paradox?  One possibility is that the more primitive organisms benefitted from coming first and thus monopolizing the low hanging fruit: those ecological niches that were easiest to adapt to.  More complex newer life forms might be more adaptable in principle, but all the good real-estate has been taken.

 

More evidence that East Asians are genetically superior

51439-6a00d83451b05569e201310f1de7f3970c-450wi

Despite being more evolved, Asian foreign exchange student can’t land the white girl who bunks under him in John Hughes’s adorable 80s classic Sixteen Candles

 

Way back in 1980s, when many North Americans were first learning about East Asians through weird and exotic comical stereotypes in movies like Sixteen Candles:

It was against this backdrop that scholar J.P. Rushton proclaimed “Orientals” the most advanced of the three main races, in part because they diverged from the human evolutionary tree more recently than the rest of us.

“One theoretical possibility is that evolution is progressive, and that some populations are more advanced than others,” said Rushton.

At the time of Rushton’s ground breaking research, DNA science was in its infancy.  Now a quarter century later, it seems Rushton was right.  Research from 2013 shows East Asians are a genetically very young race, suggesting they might be genetically less primitive than the rest of us:

The study also found that Europeans had more harmful mutations than Africans did, due to their race being “diluted” twice over 30,000 years ago which caused “bad” mutations to build up in the European population.  Bustamante calls this a “genetic echo.” Most Non-Africans descended from a small group of migrants who left the African continent 50,000 to 100,000 years ago.

The study also revealed that Native Americas showed less genetic diversity than Europeans.  Its proof that the part of the world they lived in was the last to be settled.  They are descendents of the Yakruts of Eastern Siberia who entered North America about 10,000 years ago.

The researchers study proved that life did start in Africa with Africans having the greatest amount of genetic diversity, followed by Middle Easterners, then Europeans, South Asians and finally East Asians.

The myth that African Americans have a higher genetic IQ than black Africans

Many people (including me until recently) believe that African Americans have a higher genetic IQ than black Africans because the former have white admixture.  This is thought to explain why African Americans average 85 on IQ tests while black Africans average in the 60s.

However an average IQ in the 60s is actually incredibly high when you consider that the average black African man is so malnourished, he averages several inches shorter than black American men, has only an 8th grade education, and was probably raised dirt poor by parents with only a 5th grade education.   We have strong evidence that malnutrition stunts non-verbal intelligence, and lack of education cause folks to underperform on all but the most culture reduced of IQ tests.

Adjusting for these factors, it seems black Africans score as well, if not better, than African Americans.  How is that possible when the average African American has substantial (20%) white admixture?

Whatever high IQ genes African Americans may have inherited from their 20% white admixture are probably negated by the fact that those blacks who became slaves were among the least intelligent of black Africans.  Because intelligence can be defined as the ability to adapt: to take whatever situation you’re in and turn it around to your advantage, those who lose the most precious advantage of all (freedom) would tend to have lower IQs on average.

The most intelligent Africans would have evaded the traps planted by slave traders or they would have noticed them coming sooner and ran far away.  They also likely had the political savvy to not get sold into slavery by their own people.

Even today, we know from studies of prison inmates, that people who end up getting captured have IQs 10 points below the rest of their population, so my guess is that the original slaves who were taken from Africa had a mean IQ 10 points lower than the average black African, however because of regression to the mean and white admixture, their descendants are now genetically equal to the average black African.

However those African Americans who have very little white admixture, are probably genetically about 5 points lower than black Africans, but because of the incredible U.S. environment, score much higher on IQ tests.

These very dark skinned African Americans suffer a triple stigma.  Non-blacks look down on them for being black.  Other African Americans look down on them for being so dark.  Yet pure blacks in Africa look down on them for being descendants of slaves.

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