Race, IQ & scrabble


I had several articles planned for this weekend, but I wanted to comment on a recent article by Chanda Chisala (hat-tip to commenter Race Realist for telling me about the article and helping me to locate the references).  I admit that I haven’t read the entire thing,  nor did I read the article’s prequel in its entirety, but the bottom line seems to be that the large number of African scrabble champions proves that HBDers are severely underestimating the intelligence of black Africa.

Chanda writes:

My argument is therefore not against the low IQ score estimates for African nations (by Richard Lynn, et al), but whether this reflects some restrictive racially linked genetic cause. If it is indeed basically genetic, it should practically be impossible to find any area of relative cognitive performance of Africans that is inconsistent with this large IQ deficit with whites and other groups…We can ignore all the statistical arguments and actual testing evidence indicating that the world champion level players would exceed IQ 140 or perhaps even IQ 150 (since Putnam Fellows have won, but no women have won), and conservatively assume that only IQ 130 is needed for such extreme distinction.

The self-reported SAT scores of scrabble experts is 1408 which translates into an IQ of about 136 (white norms) or 144, depending on whether they took the new SAT or the pre-recentered SAT in the early 1990s .  Given that their median birth-year in the above linked study was in the mid-1970s, probably an equal mix of both, so let’s split the difference and assume IQ 140.  But this might be a large overestimate given that people with lower scores tend not to self-report them.

Nonetheless, assuming their average IQ is 140, the minimum IQ to be a scrabble champ would be dozens of points lower than the mean, just like the minimum height to be an NBA player is more than a foot shorter than the mean height on the NBA, as 5’3″ “Muggsy” Bogues can tell you.

Chanda continues:

There should still (statistically) be no single person from African countries like Gabon. And yet they exist, constantly outperforming math professors and computer scientists from the developed world. That’s a statistical problem for the racial hypothesis but it is not a problem at all for the alternative hypothesis: the African nominal national IQs are artificially depressed by more than 30 IQ points due to an extremely deficient cognitive environment.

I don’t doubt that the average sub-Saharan IQ of 67(as estimated by Richard Lynn) is substantially supressed by environment.  The environmental suppression probably contains both a biological component (malnutrition and disease) that lowers real intelligence, and a cultural component which lowers performance on tests without harming functional ability, so not only is their real biological intelligence below its genetic potential, but their test scores underestimate their real biological intelligence.

The black standard deviation is NOT 12!

But even if their real biological intelligence were indeed only IQ 67, and even if it were 100% genetic, which not even Richard Lynn has ever come close to arguing, there would still be many sub-Saharan Africans with IQs of 130+.

Chanda’s assumption to the contrary is based on his mistaken belief that on a scale where white Americans have a mean IQ of 100 with a standard deviation (SD) of 15, blacks have a standard deviation of only 12.  Under this assumption, the black African mean IQ of 67 and population of say, 988 million, would predict only  about 99 people in all of black Africa who have IQs of 130+.

While Chanda cites sources as impeccable as Arthur Jensen himself to claim that the black American SD is only 12 (which Chanda takes the liberty of generalizing to black African countries), this figure is based largely on studies that were more interested in determining the average black IQ, not the SD.

It’s much harder to estimate a population’s variability than it is to estimate its mean.  A mean can be estimated by finding a sample of average folks conveniently located in an average part of town or average class, but estimating an SD requires either random sampling or carefully making sure that every segment of a population is included in your sample in the same proportion that they exist in the census.  Black populations are notoriously difficult to sample because they have a large underclass that is inaccessible to testers and who score close to the floor of the test, masking their full variation.

The gold standard for IQ testing and norming are the Wechsler intelligence scales which (at least since the 1990s) carefully make sure that the educational distribution of blacks and whites in their norming sample, match the educational distribution of blacks and whites in the census.  This is crucial for getting a correct SD because if educational extremes (college grads vs 8th grade dropouts) are not correctly represented in your sample, you will miss some of the cognitive extremes in the general U.S. population which contribute to the variance.  When calculated on a scale where the white U.S. mean is set at 15, the black SD was 13.48 for the 1995 norming of the WAIS-III and 15.43 for the 2006 norming of the WAIS-IV.  Both figures are higher than 12.

And of course all this assumes that Chanda is correct in applying black America’s SD to black Africa.  Direct data from black Africa tells a different story.  In one of the largest studies ever done on black African IQ, an astonishing 1,093 black South Africans drawn from 28 schools were compared to 1,056 white South Africans drawn from 20 schools, on the Raven Progressive Matrices.  The White South Africans correctly answered 45.27 (SD = 6.34) of the 60 items, while the blacks averaged 27.65 (SD = 10.72).


If we convert the white mean and SD to IQ 100 and 15 respectively, than the black mean and SD become 58 and 25.4 respectively!

Despite the extremely low mean of 58, the colossal SD of 25.4 implies black Africa would have more than two million people with IQs of 130+. Of course such a low and wide distribution probably suggests there’s something wrong with the data (Raven raw scores may not be normally distributed because of large and uneven jumps in difficulty between test items) but at the very least it shows the black African SD is higher than 12 and is quite possibly higher than the white SD.

Regression to a much lower mean

But the larger problem with Chanda’s thesis is that scrabble is simply not an IQ test.  Even if the average American scrabble champ has a mean IQ of 140,  that tells us very little about the IQs of black African scrabble champs because scrabble is just a crude proxy for IQ, not a valid IQ test itself.  Research suggests performance at intellectual games like chess (and presumably scrabble) only moderately correlate with IQ because of the huge role of practice, study, and special talents.

We also don’t know the minimum IQ to be a scrabble champ, because that minimum is a function of all the variables that can influence scrabble skill which are very different in a county like Nigeria where scrabble is state sponsored and incredibly prestigious than in the United States where only a few thousand people play competitively.

To make an analogy, the average height of male weight champions (people over 980 lbs) is an impressive 6’1″,  but the average height of female weight champions is only 5’5″.  So even though weight is a rough proxy for height within both sexes, because the worldwide height gap between men and women is so large, even at the highest extremes of weight, men are an astonishing 3 SD taller!

For all we know the same could be happening with scrabble.  Despite the fact that scrabble is a rough proxy for IQ within populations, because the U.S. IQ is so much higher than black Africa’s IQ, the average American scrabble champ (IQ 140?) might be dozens of IQ points higher than the average black African scrabble champ.

One can’t assume that Americans and Africans matched on scrabble skill will be matched on IQ anymore than one can assume men and women matched on weight will be matched on height. Because weight and scrabble are only rough predictors of height and IQ respectively, people who are extreme on the former variable will regress precipitously to the mean on the latter variables, and if they come from very different populations, they will regress to very different means.

Oprah continues to rank as the first and only multibillionaire black in the entire developed World


Survival of the fittest: Oprah and Michael Jordan got rich by completely dominating the incredibly competitive fields of TV talk shows and professional basketball respectively

There’s a lot of important stuff I need to blog about but it’s that time of year again.  Forbes has released their annual list of the World’s billionaires, and Oprah continues to tower as the ONLY black in the history of the developed World to be a multibillionaire (since multimillionaires by definition are worth several million or more, multibillionaire are worth several BILLION or more: $3 billion and above).

With a net worth of $3 billion, Oprah is quite simply the richest descendant of black slaves in human history.  The closest competition are high tech geek Robert Smith with a net worth of $2.5 billion and basketball superstar Michael Jordan, with a net worth of $1.31 billion.

Capitalism is a metaphor for evolution in that the same traits that allowed our ancestors to survive in the Darwinian struggle, are also what make people rich today.  This makes sense because wealth is just an extreme form of survival.  You need wealth (in the form of material goods like food, shelter, and clothing) to stay alive, so extreme wealth is just extreme survival, or living the good life as they say.


As we evolved from monkey to man, brains got bigger, bodies got taller and more coordinated and tool use got more advanced

When one looks at our evolution from monkey to man, it’s clear that the same traits that were selected by survival of the fittest, are also selected by capitalism.  For example, as the image shows, brain size roughly tripled because it allowed for more intelligence, and we see that even today, Oprah’s superhuman cranial capacity may have helped give her the intelligence so instrumental in getting rich.

But brain size is not the only physical trait human evolution rewarded, as the above image shows. There was also selection for greater height and physical coordination, and the fact that super tall and coordinated Michael Jordan is the third richest black in the developed World, implies that capitalism continues to reward what the now defunct  survival of the fittest used to reward.

Thirdly human evolution was characterized by increased tool use, and the fact that high tech geek Robert Smith is the second richest black in the developed World,  shows capitalism rewards technological prowess.

But one of the biggest things that evolution rewarded was our ability to talk and interact socially, and once again, no one personifies those gifts more than talk show queen Oprah Winfrey.

But talking is hardly Oprah’s only talent.  She’s also one of the best actors in show business,  and critics are already gushing over Oprah’s devastatingly brilliant performance in a new HBO movie airing tomorrow called The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks.

Oprah plays Deborah Lacks, a woman who discovers that her mother Henrietta’s cells were taken without her permission and used to cure diseases and make gazillions of dollars for the pharmaceutical companies, while the Lacks family struggles in poverty.


The performance of the decade: Critics are stunned by Oprah’s fluid and nuanced portrayal of Dorothy Lacks

I have mixed feelings about this.  On the one hand there’s something terribly unjust about pharmaceutical companies raking in cash off the cells of a poor woman who got zero compensation.  On the other hand, part of the price we must all must pay for the medical care we are lucky enough to receive is that scientists are free to do what they want with the leftovers.

Having been the biggest celebrity in America for 25 years, Oprah was eager to retire into a behind the scenes role when she ended her talk show in 2011, and so she had no intention of starring in this film, instead suggesting a lot of up and coming actresses to play the part of Dorothy Lacks, however HBO, would have none of it.  “We want you,” she was told by the top HBO execs.  It’s hard to think of another actor who has the intelligence to pull off such a subtle and nuanced role or the celebrity status to make a TV movie a blockbuster.

Just watching the trailer gives me goose bumps.  My favorite part is when Oprah’s character says of her dead mother’ who remains anonymous despite her cells changing the World, “you famous, just nobody knows it.” HAHAHA, could say the same about me.


Gestalt IQ test

As part of my research for an imminent article on commenter Bruno’s IQ, I decided to try to norm brief little test he took which was posted by commenter Mug of Pee.  The test requires you to correctly perceive what’s in each of the following images.  Unfortunately the test was too easy to say much about someone as brilliant as Bruno but most people find it challenging , so try it on yourself for fun before looking at the answers and scoring which are located way below the four images:

Item 1


Item 2


Item 3


Item 4



Scroll down if you are ready to see answers














Item 1:  If you correctly identified this as a giraffe, you get 1 point.  If you identified it as some other striped or spotted mammal like a cheetah, a leopard (including panther), or a zebra, you get 0.5 points.  Preliminary research shows that somewhere between 93% to 100% of white adults can get at least half-credit on this item, and 86% can get full credit.

Item 2: If you correctly identified this as a dog, you get 1 point.   If you identified it as some other four legged mammal like a pig, you get 0.5 points. Preliminary research shows that 36% of white adults can get at least half-credit on this item, and 29% can get full credit.

Item 3: If you correctly identified this as a man on a horse, you get 1 point.  If you could only see a horse but not the man on it, you get 0.5 points.  Preliminary research shows that 29% of white adults can at least get half-credit while only 14% can get full credit. No credit for seeing a man but not a horse.

Item 4: If you correctly identified this as Jesus, you get 1 point.  If you could only identify it as a human face, without know who’s, you get 0.5 points.  Preliminary research suggests that 21% of white adults can at least get half-credit, while only 14% can get full credit.

Note: Give credit if you could see a credited answer, even if you also saw a few wrong answers, and weren’t sure which was correct

Total raw score: Sum of partial and full credits on all 4 items.

Maximum raw score: 4 points


My stats for this test are based on the fact that earlier this month, I tried this test on a relatively random sample of 14 white adults in different parts of Ontario.

Their scores out of 4 listed from highest to lowest were: 3.5, 3, 2.5, 2.5, 2, 2, 1.5, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 0.5, 0.5.  The mean was 1.64 and the population standard deviation was 0.95.  Using the mean and SD, any raw score can be converted to a Z score and Z scores can be converted to IQ equivalents by multiplying the Z score by 15 and adding 100, but don’t take the results too seriously because this test is way too short and simplistic to be meaningful and I’m not a professional.

But for entertainment purposes only, here are what the IQ equivalents would be:

Raw score 0 = IQ 74 or lower (borderline mental retardation)

Raw score 0.5 = IQ 82 (Dull)

Raw score 1 = IQ 90

Raw score 1.5 = IQ  98 (Average)

Raw score 2 = IQ 106

Raw score 2.5 = IQ 114 (Bright)

Raw score 3 = IQ 121 (Borderline Genius)

Raw score 3.5 = IQ 129

Raw score 4 = IQ 137+ (Mild Genius)


Population genetics and language, by Afrosapiens

[Note from PP, April 8, 2017: The views expressed in this guest post do not necessarily reflect the views of Pumpkin Person.  Out of respect for the author, please try to keep all comments on topic.  I understand conversations naturally evolve, but all comments should at least start on-topic. UPDATE April 9, 2017: after consulting with the author, a few minor edits were made]





Source: Wikimedia Commons and http://lingvo.info/en/babylon/language_families

I’m introducing you to this map of language families to show you how complex it is to classify human populations. Of course, language is not really genetic in the sense that we don’t need a specific genotype to speak a specific language. Nevertheless, many language families are closely related to mtDNA and Y chromosome haplogroups and reflect prehistoric migrations.

As you can see from the complexity of language families and population genetics as a whole, there is no such thing as humans branching off a main route. Instead, we should picture a gas, spreading across planet earth, with particles randomly moving back and forth then blending with other currents. As a result, no population can be defined by genetic markers or traits that are both exclusive and universally shared by its members and geographical proximity is the strongest correlate of genetic similarity between two populations. Any cluster, cline or “race” is chosen arbitrary, without a threshold of genetic dissimilarity that justifies separation.

Although language is not purely genetic, this very human ability shows an actual instance of Human BioDiversity that no HBDer ever touched to my knowledge: the genetically-driven inclination to tonal or non-tonal languages. From Wikipedia:

A new allele (version) of ASPM appeared sometime between 14,100 and 500 years ago with a mean estimate of 5,800 years ago. The new allele has a frequency of about 50% in populations of the Middle East and Europe, it is less frequent in East Asia, and has low frequencies among Sub-Saharan African populations.[10] It is also found with an unusually high percentage among the people of Papua New Guinea, with a 59.4% occurrence.[11]

The mean estimated age of the ASPM allele of 5,800 years ago, roughly correlates with the development of written language, spread of agriculture and development of cities.[12] Currently, two alleles of this gene exist: the older (pre-5,800 years ago) and the newer (post-5,800 years ago). About 10% of humans have two copies of the new ASPM allele, while about 50% have two copies of the old allele. The other 40% of humans have one copy of each. Of those with an instance of the new allele, 50% of them are an identical copy.[13] The allele affects genotype over a large (62 kbp) region, a so called selective sweep which signals a rapid spread of a mutation (such as the new ASPM) through the population; this indicates that the mutation is somehow advantageous to the individual.[11][14]

Testing the IQ of those with and without new ASPM allele has shown no difference in average IQ, providing no evidence to support the notion that the gene increases intelligence.[14][15][16] However statistical analysis has shown that the older forms of the gene are found more heavily in populations that speak tonal languages like Chinese or many Sub-Saharan African languages.[17]

So we have this genetic tendency for tonal languages that varies across populations, but once again, it’s not race. We don’t need a specific genotype to learn a tonal or a non-tonal language, it just happens that a high frequency of an allele in a population will lead to keeping or losing tone in a language. Moreover, many language families are multiracial and most races are divided in many language families, some of them being racially overlapping.

Looking back to the loss of tonal language and the emergence of writing and agriculture and then civilization, I had a realization: tonal languages are extremely difficult to write because they have too many homophones, see that famous Chinese story below:



“Shí Shì Shī Shì Shī Shì, Shì Shī, Shì Shí Shí Shī.Shì Shí Shí Shì Shì Shì Shī. Shí Shí, Shì Shí Shī Shì Shì. Shì Shí, Shì Shī Shì Shì Shì. Shì Shì Shì Shí Shī, Shì Shǐ Shì, Shǐ Shì Shí Shī Shì Shì. Shì Shí Shì Shí Shī Shī, Shì Shí Shì. Shí Shì Shī, Shì Shǐ Shì Shì Shí Shì. Shí Shì Shì, Shì Shǐ Shì Shí Shì Shí Shī. Shí Shí, Shǐ Shí Shì Shí Shī, Shí Shí Shí Shī Shī. Shì Shì Shì Shì.”

In English

“There was a poet named Mr.Shi who lives in a stone den. He liked to eat lions, and vowed to eat ten lions. Therefore Mr. Shi would usually visit the market to look for lions. At 10 o’clock exactly ten lions just arrived at the market. At that very moment, Mr.Shi shot a few arrows from his bow and killed those ten lions. Mr. Shi then brought the ten dead lions back to his stone den. Because the den might be too wet to store the lions. So he ordered his servant to clean and dry the den. After the den was cleaned, Mr.Shi started to try to eat those ten lions. However, only until he was eating the lions he found out that those ten dead lions were actually ten stone lions. Would you try to explain what was happening?”

Reading this, you understand why the Chinese scripts are so complex and non-phonetic, you also understand why the Chinese are not too fond of romanizations like the Pinyin script. You also understand why It took so long and such a huge population to develop this script that is still evolving and why the populations under Chinese influence developed phonetic scripts when they spoke non-tonal languages like Korean and Japanese.

The Chinese script has probably handicapped China’s technological development since it is highly inconvenient in printing, similarly to Arabic or South Asian languages. Sub-Saharan Africa is also an area of tonal languages and it’s only ancient indigenous writing system, the Nsibidi, looks like early Chinese scripts. Non-tonal speakers in Africa quickly adopted and modified West-Asian scripts however, Muslim West Africans developed Ajamis from Arabic and Ethiopians created the Ge’ez from ancient South-Arabic scripts.

Due to the difficulties associated with writing tonal languages, it makes sense that losing them was an advantage in developing writing systems, the mothers of all subsequent technological and cultural innovations.

Anyway, back to our world map of language families, the intent of this piece was to show that whatever the variable we consider (language being the closest to mental traits that could impact a population’s intelligence, namely verbal IQ) it is impossible to strictly divide mankind into races in the way we divide dogs and cats in breeds.

Last but not least: I hope this very factual post with clearly announced speculations will sound like a lesson of HBD to some people.

Even more evidence that the black race is EXTREMELY old

Evidence continues to accumulate showing that the black race is extremely ancient.

A reconstruction of the first anatomically modern humans from 195,000 years ago reveals a black looking man:


A forensic reconstruction of early humans 120,000 years ago revealed a black woman:


Mitochondrial Eve

A reconstruction of an African from 70,000 years ago revealed a black man:



A reconstruction of the first humans to enter Europe revealed a black man in the process of becoming Caucasoid:


A reconstruction of the first South Americans (before they were replaced by Mongoloid populations) revealed a black woman dubbed Lucia:

Walter Neves, an archaeologist from the University of Sao Paolo, has taken extensive skull measurements from dozens of skulls, including the oldest, a young woman who has been named Lucia.

“The measurements show that Lucia was anything but mongoloid,” he says.

The next step was to reconstruct a face from Lucia’s skull. First, a CAT scan of the skull was done, to allow an accurate working model to be made.

Then a forensic artist, Richard Neave from the University of Manchester, UK, created a face for Lucia. The result was surprising: “It has all the features of a negroid face,” says Dr Neave.


And now the most shocking evidence yet:

The Andaman islanders have long puzzled scientists.  They look like African pygmies yet are located in the Bay of Bengal.  “How the hell did these people get out of Africa?” raged one European monarch.  Indeed they are so indistinguishable from Black Africans that they were long believed to be survivors of a slave ship.

Below is a fascinating documentary about these enigmatic people.

The most important part comes at the 8 minute mark when the narrator describes the research of a scientist:

She could see that the Andaman islanders not only looked like African pygmies, they were genetically very closely related to the Africans of today

What this suggests is that not only are all non-Africans descended from a migration out of Africa that occurred maybe 70,000 years ago, but that the Andaman islanders, because they lived in such isolation, are a relic of these original migrating Africans, and thus have preserved that African phenotype.  If this documentary correctly described the scientist’s research (and it may not have) it’s strong evidence that the black race is at least 70,000 years old.

There is however a problem with this theory.  As our very own anthropology expert Phil78 has noted, a 36,000 year-old skull found near Hofmeyr, South Africa resembled the earliest Europeans more than it resembled modern Africans.

But what is a modern African?


Any definition must be broad enough to cover all these diverse forms of blackness yet narrow enough to exclude all Caucasoids and Mongoloids.

Scientist JP Rushton defined Negroid race in the following way:

A major division of mankind originating and predominating in sub-Saharan Africa.  Skin pigmentation is dense, hair wooly, nose broad, face generally short, lips thick, and ears squarish and lobeless.  Stature varies greatly, from pygmy to very tall.  The most divergent group are the Khoisan (Bushmen and Hottentot) peoples of southern Africa.

Of course no black person will have all these traits, but if one resembles this prototype more than any other race, one is arguably black.  Of course it’s possible that people like the Andaman Islanders evolved these traits independently (convergent evolution) instead of inheriting them from Africans.  If so, they’re not black no matter how black they look.

A simple, elegant explanation of race IQ differences

Science should be as simple as possible, but no simpler – Albert Einstein

Einstein may not have said those exact words, but the quote has been credited to him, and what an important quote it is.  In looking at racial differences in IQ, or any other topic, we must always seek the simplest most elegant explanation that can explain as much of the data as possible.  To reduce the complexity of life to a simple formula is a triumph of science.

In his controversial 2006 book Race Differences in Intelligence, Richard Lynn argued that racial differences in IQ had a major genetic component and that it had two major causes: (1) some races evolved in colder climates and thus faced more selection for IQ, and (2) some races had larger ancestral populations, and thus more genetic mutations to select from.

This was a great hypothesis but had a few flaws.  The first (as commenter MeLo is quick to point out) is that Neanderthals also evolved in a cold climate and most scientists think they were less intelligent than modern humans who evolved in Africa (though Neanderthals may have had tiny populations).  Second, Ashkenazi Jews have arguably the highest IQs of any “race”, but they not only have roots in the warm middle east, but also had small populations.

In order to get beyond such anomalies, I propose an alternative grand theory for explaining the worldwide pattern of racially genetic IQ differences, also based on just two simple variables: 1) splitting off dates, and 2) neighboring dark caucasoids

Splitting off dates

In 1989, scholar J.P. Rushton (who only studied the three major races (Negroids, Caucasoids, and Mongoloids) noted that racial differences in IQ and other higher traits seemed to correlate with the time period when each of the races branched off the main trunk of the human evolutionary tree. “One theoretical possibility,” said Rushton, “is that evolution is progressive and some populations are more advanced than others”.

As science writer Perter Knudtson noted,  such thinking flies in the face of the mainstream scientific consensus that all extant life forms are equivalent cases of time tested evolutionary success.  Nonetheless modern humans clearly colonized different regions of the World at different times, and for whatever reason, the legacy of these ancient migration lives on in the IQ scores of current populations.



Image found here

It seems that for whatever reason, races that evolved in regions that were colonized late in Earth’s history, have higher IQs than races that evolved in regions that were colonized early.

And indeed this is a pattern we see over and over again in Earth’s history.  Animals lived in the ocean before they colonized land, and even after billions of years of evolution, land animals are more encephalized and intelligent than marine life on average (with notable exceptions such as dolphins, who were land mammals before returning to the ancestral ocean).  Primates lived in trees before they lived on land, and those who are confined to the trees, never made the leap to human intelligence.

Similarly with human races: we lived in the tropics first but advanced technology didn’t appear until we migrated North, and Ashkenazi Jewish intelligence didn’t evolve until well after civilization and the emergence of advanced economies.

Intelligence is uniquely characterized by an ability to adapt to new challenges and solve novel problems, so perhaps leaving the ancestral environment stimulates brain evolution.

Neighboring dark Caucasoids

Over and over again in human genetic and cultural evolution, the Middle East has played a central role.  It was the place where humans first lived once they first left Africa.  It was the place where interbreeding with Neanderthals primarily occurred.  It was the place where agriculture was first invented and the place of the first civilization.  It was the place where the Prophet Muhammad and Jesus of Nazareth  became two of the most influential humans of all time, the place where the World’s currently richest and most influential race (Ashkenazi Jews) originated and it’s the place that even today, dominates Worldwide headlines concerning everything from the death of Bin Laden to the war in Iraq to the Israeli-Palestinian peace feud.

Even more fascinating: I have found that human races that do not border the dark Caucasoids, who evolved in the Middle East and expanded to South Asia and Northern Africa, score significantly lower on IQ tests than races who do (on average).  One possibility is that because the Middle East is so centralized in location, that it has long been a place to exchange genes among humans of all backgrounds, so those races that didn’t neighbour a dark Caucasoid population did not benefit from new genetic mutations and evolution stimulating innovations that went with them.

A simple formula

With the help of the above map, I tried to very crudely estimate the splitting off dates of various races, as well as determine whether their ancestral populations neighbored dark Caucasoids.  In a previous article, I had crudely estimated the genetic IQ of each race, but these numbers are extremely rough and could contain large errors because of sampling problems, cultural biases, and a lack of systematic data selection.  All the numbers are summarized below:

race splitting off date (years before present) neighboring dark caucasoids

yes = 1 no = 0

estimated genetic iq
arctic people 21,000 0 95
east asians 40,000 1 105
europeans 40,000 1 100
native americans 21,000 0 90
dark caucasoids 100,000 1 90
capoids 225,000 0 70
congoids 225,000 1 85
australoids 60,000 0 70
southeast asians 100,000 1 95
pacific islanders 2,500 0 90
ashkenazi jews 700 1 110

From this data I was able to create a simple formula for estimating the genetic IQ of a people:

Genetic IQ = 89.8266 – 0.000103591 (splitting off date) + 16.4043 (neighbouring dark Caucasoid)

This formula does a good job predicting the genetic IQs of each of the 11 human races, but that’s hardly surprising since that data was used to construct the formula.  The real test will be whether it can predict the genetic IQ of a population not used to make the formula.

Predicting Neanderthal IQ


One such population are the Neanderthals.  They colonized Europe about 300,000 years ago, so I’ll use that as their splitting off date.  While evolving they had no contact with dark Caucasoids who didn’t exist yet.  Thus applying the formula:

Genetic IQ = 89.8266 – 0.000103591 (300,000) + 16.4043 (0)

Genetic IQ = 58

Such a low IQ might be true because as scientist Steve Hsu has hinted, despite existing for nearly 100,000 years longer than modern humans, they never invented the bow and arrow, never created figurative art, never discovered agriculture, never developed civilization,  and never went to the moon.  On the other hand, using a within species formula to predict between species differences is extremely risky for several reasons, not least of which is Gould’s punctuated equilibrium.

Letters to autism by the Philosopher

[Note from PP, April 1, 2017: The following are a series of “letters” a commenter known as “The Philosopher” wrote to or about people he considers autistic.  The views expressed in this guest post do not necessarily reflect the views of Pumpkin Person.  Out of respect for the author, please try to keep all comments on topic.  I understand conversations naturally evolve, but all comments should at least start on-topic.  Title & art selection by Pumpkin Person]


Image found here


Feb 24, 2017:

O was thinking avout the commenters suggestion that schizoid and aspergers present virtuay the same.

[first part of sentence redacted by PP, April 1, 2017] the difference is quite simple. A schizoid would never got out to a bar or a club alone for socialising reason.

Autists want to socialise and have friends. Schizoids do not.

However schizoid can easily become drug addict, alcholic.

The preponderence of substance abuse and schiz is very high. I think there was a stat that 90% of diagnosed schizophrenics smoke.

The fact mel is a boderline alco ia another reason why i think mel gibson is a genuine para schiz quite aside from his glare and very aggressive personality and movie topic choice.

He is also very creative. Watch the behind the scenes on braveheart. A maestro.

The fact mel is thinking about directing the passion part 2 to really stick it to the Hollywood [one word redacted by PP, April 1, 2017] is for me, to be honest, well… if i had a pussy it would be sopping. What a role model for us all.

March 4, 2017:

I am an INTJ.

The reason I think you are autistic is because you cannot see what lies in the hearts of men and women. You essentially do the thing you accuse me of – and see yourself in the hearts of men ‘waiting to come out’ or ‘distorted’ or some other ‘just around the corner any time now’ fable of the true virginal believer.

What you must ask is – what defines an animal, its thought process or its behaviours? What benefit is there in not thinking instinctively beyond solving sudoku puzzles? Am i neurologically incapable of seeing instinct in others? Why does that instinct exist?

Real intuition isn’t ‘oneness’ or some other Buddhist head in the toilet idiocy. Real intuition is recognising the darwinistic sorting mechanism for what it is – a kind of game of opposing players. Games don’t get resolved by getting the other player to agree not to play the game.

Everything is set up for it to be a competition. It is in the fibre of the design…can you not see it like Zion? Zion, being the highest IQ race was perhaps to see the Struggle as the first racial supremacist cult. Our dopamine rushes and serotonin depend immeasurably on relative outcomes, not absolutes. That’s why technology is totally irrelevant you hippy! If we cannot have Oreos, than the people would be equally happy on bread and butter – as long as everyone has the same – but you can’t see it!

Your aspergers intuition leads you to a foregone conclusion which you think is readily apparent for all to see with enough ‘introspection’ to your neurologically dulled mind – peace and openness.

People that don’t care how the game is resolved by definition will be dissolved.

My intuition leads me to see the Struggle of the Will because I have not been created in a test tube to be a servile factory worker.

The objective reality of course is The Struggle of the Will. The Struggle defines real happiness and sadness, victory and sorrow. Not provisioning or lack of provisioning by some higher power’s kindness like a woman would desire off her dominant husband.

You are intuitive only in the sense you have melded low testosterone into a semi-coherent rationale for living…

March 9, 2017:

You’re an idiot [named redacted by PP, April 1, 2017]. The more centralised power became the more the rulers selected for eunuchs. Thus people specialised economically. The more the rulers could defend surplus from other rulers, the more specialised the economy became allowing individual people previously not viable – i.e asperger engineers and Silicon Valley workers to breed. Even then it only works under strict monogamous enforcement through religion, law and social mores.

[One word redacted by PP, April 1, 2017] is deregulating the sexual market which is bad news brown for Mr Autist who hoped has 150k salary was going to boost his chance of pairing off and reproducing.

Look at how Chinese guys do in non-regulated sexual markets.



Artificial Intelligence by Animekitty / Illuminati Cat

[Note from PP, March 28, 2017: The following article is a guest post by long-time blog commenter Animekitty / Illuminati Cat and does not necessarily reflect the views of Pumpkin Person.  I did very little editing of this article, other than fix two typos and redact personal information I felt the very candid and honest author might regret sharing in retrospect.  The picture was selected by me. 🙂 Out of respect for the author, please try to keep the comments on topic. Although I understand that conversations naturally evolve in new directions, please start on-topic.]


Image found here

Hello, my name is Animekitty / Illuminati Cat.

I have been reading pumpkins blog for 2 years. I have learned a lot so far from him. [Personal details redacted by PP, March 28, 2017]  He has said that the parallelism of the brain means that intelligence doubles every 5 IQ points. [Comment from PP, March 28, 2017: This theory is not my own, but based on a Promethean Society member’s observation that speed of complex learning and problem solving seems to double every 5-10 IQ points][More personal details redacted by PP, March 28, 2017]  What I want to show in this guest post are my ideas I have regarding Artificial Intelligence. The reason I am interested in IQ is because I think that it is key to developing smart computers that could one day be our friends.

I have been studying intelligence since I was 12 years old when I first got interested in Artificial Intelligence while reading books at my middle school library. I went to a magnet middle school for science because I had written an essay about science in 5th grade. Every lunch period I would go to the library and read books on lasers and computers. I would draw diagrams of my ideas on my windows 95 computer. I saw characters on my Gameboy and thought how could I make them smart. Here is a diagram I made in 7th grade from all the books I read:

In 9th grade in high school I read this book:

Artificial Life: A Report from the Frontier Where Computers Meet Biology Paperback – July 27, 1993 by Steven Levy

I became fascinated with evolving systems and digital DNA.

Later on in 10th grade, I discovered that loops exist in the brain. Because of this I now understood that patterns could be stored and recognized by and arrangement of loops. I made this diagram:

Once I was in 11 grade I was put into and advanced computer class. In this class, we had to choose a project and I chose to do A.I. based on Jeff Hawkin’s book On Intelligence. The book said the brain was a hierarchy of pattern recognizers and that understood the world by predicting which patterns came next. The teacher in my class confused this with back propagation but a hierarchy is not just about error correction. It has to do with prediction and temporal patterns.

In back propagation, you have a picture, like a dog or cat and then you categorize it. This is completely a feed forward network. The picture is categorized and if a signal goes into the wrong category an error signal is propagated backward to get the signals into the right category. In the hierarchy system I was making, there were no categories. What it did was to predict signals with a compression algorithm that would send signals forward only when they became unpredictable. As the unpredictable signals moved forward they would be stored based on redundant temporal patterns. The program would also predict the consequences of its own actions when interacting with a teacher through reinforcement learning. This is my final report on my high School A.I. Project [report containing personal info redacted by PP, March 28, 2017].

After high school, I made little progress in my A.I. ideas up until recently. The main reason is that I did not understand how programming works and even in my high school project most of the code I did had nothing to do with higher level programming. My current idea is about recurrent neural networks and selective attention. Selective attention is the basis for learning in a parallel fashion. Recurrence is when output is feedback into the system. The results of your actions are fed back into your perceptions. And thinking is just the ability to feedback imagined perceptions. The decision process in the frontal lobes determines whether two ideas should be connected or not. We imagine if an idea fits with another idea just as in the real world we use tools that fit the task that needs to be done.

A main component of the brain is called the limbic system. This part of the brain gives us our motivations. It is what drives us forward to what we want and away from what we don’t want. The brain evolved to help us move in our environment and the limbic system is vital to that processes. Intelligence is at its core a way of learning how things move in the environment. Pumpkin calls it the mental ability to adapt. So there are two components to intelligence. Learning how other things move in patterns and then moving yourself based on your motivations. Imagination and creativity are the results of temporal patterns that the limbic system feels must go together. New ideas come together in the associative regions of the brain.

Recently I made a program in Java that rewires itself based on selective attention. A node will randomize what other nodes it is connected to if the sum of the signals it receives from those nodes does not match its main input signal. This is the motivation that a node wants its collective inputs to match its main input signal.

I know that I am probably not smart enough to create A.I. but I do want to understand how it will work someday. A person I know online who is 170 IQ said that he created A.I. in the 90’s but that he had no environment for it to learn and grow in. There are several brain models I have seen at online university lectures that demonstrate rudimentary intelligence. One of them is called BabyX that is a simulated baby. I think that because software is a hyperplastic medium, that future A.I. will most definitely have IQ’s exceding 170. Their virtual brains will not get tired nor need sleep. They will see patterns we cannot because the way their brain is connected it will coordinate selective attention much better than we can. Parallelism will make them smarter than humans

Tim (1979)

Pumpkin Person rating: 7.5/10


I had purchased a ton of movies from a discount bin at Walmart a few years ago and one of them was a little known 1979 Australian movie called Tim, staring a young Mel Gibson.  I had actually forgot that I had purchased this film until commenter “Philosopher” asked me to do a blog post about Gibson, and so last week I finally decided to watch it.

The film, set in Australia, starts with a beautiful wealthy educated middle-aged woman named Mary (played by Piper Laurie who horror fans will remember as the mother in Brian De Palma’s 1976 film Carrie).  When Mary’s gardener hurts his back, she hires Tim, a 24-year-old labourer (played by Gibson) to do work around her house.  It slowly dawns on Mary that Tim is not all there mentally,  but she continues to employ him and the two slowly fall in love.

Unlike the educated Mary, Tim comes from a working class family which would  make sense according to scholar Arthur Jensen, because he appears to have what Jensen called familial retardation, which means that unlike organic retardates, whose low IQs are caused by physically deforming freak mutations and chromosomal abnormalities, Tim is a handsome athletic physically healthy normal guy, who just happens to have an incredibly low IQ.

Because his low IQ is biologically normal, we’d expect him to come from a low IQ social class, with Tim just being an exceptionally extreme case.  By contrast organic retardation is just as likely to occur with any socioeconomic background.

As a fan of the slasher genre, I’m used to watching movies where scantly clad women are objectified and all the camera shots are from the male Point of View of the stalker watching from the bushes.    Although my reasons for liking slasher films are 100% non-sexual (I was a fan of the genre long before puberty) I realize a lot of them are just one level up from porn and serve a prurient need for the viewer, so I was a bit uncomfortable seeing a film shot partly through the female gaze (Mary’s) and a man (Tim) being objectified, though I suppose it’s only fair.

It’s interesting that the film is based on a novel by a female writer, which proves that women can be sexually drawn to men they look down on intellectually, occupationally and economically, if they find the man physically attractive, and indeed part of Mary’s attraction to Tim is his low IQ: his vulnerability inspires her maternal instincts.

How low is Tim’s IQ?  The movie never gives a number, but one clue is that he doesn’t know what death is and Mary has to explain it to him.  Not knowing what death is suggests Tim has the mind of a 10-year-old, so on the old fashion age-ratio IQ scales (which gives reasonable results from about IQ 65 to IQ 135), Tim’s mental age would be 10, which is only 63% of adult mental age (16+), suggesting an IQ of 63, which sounds about right.  Usually one step-up from Trainable (moderate) Retardation, familial retardates tend to be educable and only mildly retarded.

Gibson did a great job capturing this level of intelligence, because as commenter G-man has noted, such people often seem completely normal and it’s only after interacting with them for a bit that you discover the impairment.  Unlike a lot of cinematic portrayals of retardation which are over-the-top and unintentionally comical, Gibson was subtle, quiet, and understated; perfectly walking that fine line between normal and sub-normal.

If you don’t wait too long, you can watch the ENTIRE film on YouTube for free, though sadly, a lot of people lack the compassion, patience, sensitivity and emotional depth to appreciate such an innocent and poignant movie.

Two educational videos

First a special thanks to commenter race realist for his recent guest blogging on the evolution of human athleticism.  Even though I don’t necessarily agree with every point, It was an incredibly well researched article  that has stimulated a lot of great discussions.

An urgent request from Afrosapiens

Speaking of great guest bloggers, commenter Afrosapiens really wanted us to watch this urgent video he found on the internet:

Afro writes:

Welcome to the real world, kids.



No donation is too small….


It’s an emergency, give guys please.I don’t know what to do to soften you hearts but please just do something, relay the message at least.

A DNA discussion

Well Afro was watching that urgent video, I was watching this presentation by Professor Moses Schanfield:

Now I’m no biologist (obviously) but I was struck by his claim around the 6 minute mark that only 2.5% of our DNA codes for phenotype.  Now he notes that the other 97.5% of DNA is not truly junk DNA since it serves important functions, but one major function it serves is just to absorb harmful mutations.  So if I understand correctly, animals were selected for a lot of non-coding DNA in part, to increase the odds that a mutation wouldn’t occur on the important genes?  On the other hand, a lot of non-coding DNA can be very important in its own right, and is not just there to sacrifice itself for the coding DNA.

One of the arguments I’m always making is that how race, species  (or other taxonomic categories) are classified by DNA, doesn’t perfectly correlate with how it’s classified by morphology.  So one has to decide what one means by taxonomical categories like “race”, “species” and “genus”.  Does one simply mean a group with a shared breeding history, or does one mean a group that is morphologically similar, or both?  I prefer to define a taxon as:

A group of one or more populations of an organism or organisms that share a relatively similar phenotype genetically inherited from a common ancestor.  The more shared the phenotype, the more specific the taxon (i.e. race is more specific than species which is more specific than genus).

So two populations might share a really recent common ancestor, but if they haven’t both preserved the phenotype of that common ancestor, they’re not in the same taxon as I would define it.  Or, two populations might have identical phenotypes, but if they didn’t inherit them from the same common ancestor, they’re also not the same taxon, as I would define it.

On the other hand, two populations could share an incredibly ancient common ancestor, but if they both genetically PRESERVED the phenotype of that common ancestor, I’d consider them the same taxon no matter how old that common ancestor was.

That’s just my layman opinion, but even among specialists there’s great debate about how taxonomy should be done, so I don’ think the issue is settled.

One provocative part of the above video is at the very end: Schanfield seems skeptical of the widely accepted claim that modern humans interbred with Neanderthals.   Neanderthals and modern humans are considered different species, and as Race Realist has pointed out, one definition of species is a population that can only produce fertile offspring with other members of its population.  However I’ve heard on various reputable science documentaries (sorry no specific source) that primate populations that have been reproductively isolated for 1-2 million years can still produce fertile offspring so I don’t think that definition works.

Of course Schanfield is not arguing about the definition of species, but instead arguing that scientists can’t distinguish Neanderthal DNA caused by admixture from Neanderthals from DNA caused by ancient shared ancestry with Neanderthals.