Who was right about cold winters: Richard Lynn or Jayman?

Both Richard Lynn and Jayman have argued that cold winters helped select for racial differences in IQ, but both of them also noted that the cold winter explanation was incomplete. For example, the most cold adapted race are the arctic people yet these appear to be somewhat less intelligent than Whites even though their brains are supposedly much bigger than those of Whites.

Richard Lynn resolved this paradox by arguing that because of their low population, Arctic people did not have genetic mutations which increased brain efficiency. So even though Arctic people faced more selection for high IQ than whites did because of the cognitive demands of their colder winters (making clothes, shelter, fire & hunting etc), evolution could mostly just select for bigger brains, while in Whites, selection was weaker but had more ways of making people smart, so more cognitive evolution occurred.

Although this theory makes sense, it appears to be wrong. Davide Piffer’s data shows that Native American (a proxy for Arctic people) score way below whites on polygenic scores for education (a crude proxy for IQ), even though the SNPs used are common in all races.

Jayman on the other hand argued that cold winters selected for brain size (via thermoregulation) but that only those cold adapted big brained races that acquired civilization would evolve high IQ.

The problem with this theory is that if civilization selected for IQ, it would also have also likely selected for brain size (though to a much lesser degree than if brain size were directly selected by the cold) and that doesn’t seem to have happened. Also, if civilization had selected for IQ, then people today would be better at drawing (a crude proxy for IQ) than they were in Upper Paleolithic Europe, and that doesn’t seem to have happened either.

Thus I’ve been forced to propose a third theory. Cold winters both selected for IQ directly (survival skills) and indirectly (big brains keep you warm) but the ratio of direct to direct selection was higher in Whites than in Arctic people because Whites lived in more population dense areas, where resources were running out. By contrast Arctic people (and Native Americans) were had a whole continent to themselves so there was less competition for survival skills, but you still need big heads to keep warm.

The verbal IQ of apes

In his 2006 book, Richard Lynn said chimpanzees “have a vocabulary of around a dozen cries to convey information,
including the presence of predators, intrusion into their territories of neighboring groups, the location of a supply of food, willingness or unwillingness to share food, and so on.”

Using my formula for equating total vocabulary to verbal IQ (Pumpkin Person 2021) a vocabulary of 12 equates to a verbal IQ of 19 (U.S. norms).

Verbal IQ = 0.002(vocabulary) + 19.35827

One problem with this estimate is that humans are socialized by other humans, and thus exposed to far more words than chimps are. A more accurate test of ape ability comes from studies of apes raised by humans. One such ape was Nim Chimpsky who was raised from infancy by humans in an attempt to debunk Noam Chomsky’s theory that only humans can use language.

Wikipedia reports:

While Nim did learn 125 signs, Terrace concluded that he had not acquired anything the researchers were prepared to designate worthy of the name “language” (as defined by Noam Chomsky) although he had learned to repeat his trainers’ signs in appropriate contexts.[2] Language is defined as a “doubly articulated” system, in which signs are formed for objects and states and then combined syntactically, in ways that determine how their meanings will be understood. For example, “man bites dog” and “dog bites man” use the same set of words but because of their ordering will be understood by speakers of English as denoting very different meanings.

One of Terrace’s colleagues, Laura-Ann Petitto, estimated that with more standard criteria, Nim’s true vocabulary count was closer to 25 than 125. However, other students who cared for Nim longer than Petitto disagreed with her and with the way that Terrace conducted his experiment. Critics[who?] assert that Terrace used his analysis to destroy the movement of ape-language research. Terrace argued that none of the chimps were using language, because they could learn signs but could not form them syntactically as language.

So raised by humans Nim had a vocabulary anywhere from 25 to 125, which in my formula equates to a verbal IQ of 19 to 20 (the same as chimps in the wild).

More impressive claims are made for Koko the gorilla which is surprising because although gorillas have bigger brains than chimps, they are less encephalized and more genetically distant from humans.

Wikipedia reports:

Her instructor and caregiver, Francine Patterson, reported that Koko had an active vocabulary of more than 1,000 signs of what Patterson calls “Gorilla Sign Language” (GSL).[4][5] This puts Koko’s vocabulary at the same level as a three-year-old human.[6] In contrast to other experiments attempting to teach sign language to non-human primates, Patterson simultaneously exposed Koko to spoken English from an early age. It was reported that Koko understood approximately 2,000 words of spoken English, in addition to the signs.[7]

2000 words equates to a verbal IQ of 23. But if humans use words in qualitatively superior ways than apes do (syntax) then vocabulary might overestimate ape verbal IQ, because even when humans and apes are matched on vocabulary, the human can put the words in much more meaningful order. On the other hand, it’s largely because apes can’t grasp syntax that their vocabularies stagnate in the first place, so perhaps this measure is reasonable.

Another excuse to play one of my favorite bands:

Total vocabulary and IQ

Contrary to lay opinion, the size of a man’s vocabulary is not only an index of his schooling, but an excellent measure of his general intelligence. Its excellence as a test of intelligence may stem from the fact that the number of words a man knows is at once a measure of his learning ability, his fund of general information and of the general range of his ideas.

From the Measurement and Appraisal of ADULT INTELLIGENCE by David Wechsler 4th edition 1958

One of the great things about using vocabulary as a measure of IQ (or at least verbal IQ) is that like physical measurements, it’s a true ratio scale with an actual zero point.

So how many words does the median young adult know and how does this map to IQ?

From How Many Words Do We Know? Practical Estimates of Vocabulary Size Dependent on Word Definition, the Degree of Language Input and the Participant’s Age by Marc Brysbaert,* Michaël StevensPaweł Mandera, and Emmanuel Keuleers

According to the above study, among young U.S. adults, the 5th percentile, 50th percentile and 95th percentile, know 27,100, 42,000, and 51,700 lemmas respectively. These percentiles equate to verbal IQ equivalents of 75, 100, and 125 allowing me to equate total vocabulary to the IQ scale.

Notice how linear the relationship is? Verbal IQ appears to be a true interval scale, at least within 2 SDs from the mean.

ŷ = 0.002X + 19.35827

Verbal IQ is almost a true ratio scale too because notice how 51,700 (verbal IQ 125), is roughly 125% as large as 42,000 (verbal IQ 100). On the other hand, a vocabulary of no words equates to a verbal IQ of 19, and not zero.

It is interesting to ask what would be the verbal IQ equivalent of someone who knew every word in the English language. According to the study data cited above, the maximum number of lemmas is 61,800 which would equate to an IQ of 143. Although 143 is an exceptionally high IQ, it’s absurd to think one in several hundred Americans knows every single word (even on a very superficial level).

Reading the above study further I find:

A first limitation is the list of 61,800 lemmas we used. Although we are reasonably sure the list contains the vast majority of words people are likely to know, there are ample opportunities to increase the list. As indicated above, the Collins scrabble list could be used to more than double the number of entries. We are fairly confident, however, that such an increase will not change much in the words known by the participants (see also Goulden et al., 1990). The words we are most likely to have missed are regionally used common words and recently introduced words.

So if the maximum number of lemmas could be doubled to 123,600, that raises the ceiling of verbal IQ (as measured by total vocabulary) to 267! I doubt anyone could ever score that, unless they have some kind of autistic obsession with reading scrabble dictionaries, in which case the test would be invalid for them.

Just watched the first episode of HBO’s Mare of Easttown.

The show tells the story of Mare, a detective who lives in the same small rundown Pennsylvanian town she went to high school in 25 years earlier. Mare lives with her mother (who she can’t stand), a teenager who I think is her daughter, and her grandson. Usually people as young as Mare are not grandparents unless you’re in the ghetto, but it’s a sign of how far working class white America has fallen that the same dysfunctional patterns we saw in in the inner-city in the 1980s are now commonplace in working class white America.

It’s almost like white America is splitting into two races. The working class that lives in both the South and rundown towns in the Rust Belt, and the elites who live in New York, LA, Silicon Valley etc. This was very much the theme of Charles Murray’s book Coming Apart.

Fortunately, a member of the white upper class (a national book award winning novelist) landed a gig teaching creative writing in Mare’s town and picks her up in a bar. They have sex at his place and he wants to see Mare again but perhaps fearing rejection, Mare is unsure if she wants to continue the relationship.

Meanwhile the show paints a dark image of teenaged life in these Rust Belt towns. Mare’s kid is hardly the only unwed teenaged parent in the neighborhood and we meet a young girl who must deal not only with her father going ballistic that he has to pay for his unwanted grandchild, but the girlfriend of her baby’s daddy plotting against her.

The show is so good that I hate watching just one episode a week. Nice thing about HBO is that you can stream episodes anytime so I may need to wait for several of them to accumulate so I can have a big marathon.

Over 30 years later, she’s still haunted by the ghost of Rushton

Image found here

In the late 1980s Notisha Massaquoi (who was pretty cute I must say) was the only black student in Rushton’s psychology class at the prestigious University of Western Ontario. In an interview with the fabulous CBC, she states:

When I signed up for the course it was like any other course that I was taking at the school at the time. And what started happening very slowly throughout the course would be small bits of racist ideology being spewed to us. And I equate it to being groomed for the big reveal of his theory, to be honest. So little things like positive stereotypes such as Asian people are extremely bright. But then it started escalating in subsequent classes to things like Black children develop much faster than white babies because they have to be able to become more independent because their families can’t parent appropriately or take care of them. The big day came when Rushton started to reveal what we then come to find out is his theory of racial inferiority and which he proclaimed that we were ranked intellectually with Asian people being more intelligent than whites and Blacks being more or less intelligent than white people.

A student asked at that time, ‘Is this always the case? Can we always guarantee that this will be the case?’ And he then turned to the class and said there is some variation except if you are Black. If you are Black, you are genetically inferior and intellectually inferior to all other races.

WTF? Was Rushton trolling his own students? I know for a fact Rushton believed these putative differences were only on average and that there was genius in every race, so why would he say such a thing?

Maybe he meant that all the black ethnic groups averaged low, while among white and East Asian ethnic groups, there was overlap (e.g. Jews, despite being Caucasoid, are smarter than virtually all Mongoloid ethnic groups), or maybe he was intentionally trying to brainwash his students into feeling superior to even the brightest blacks, or maybe she’s just misremembering what he actually said.

Unless other witnesses from that time period come forward, we may never know.

Rushton’s dismissive attitude towards some of his fans

Interesting video below of Rushton taking questions from his fans. What strikes me is how eloquent and upper class he was, especially when answering the question about Indian Americans:

The Indians that we notice over here are almost higher scorers than white people. They earn more money. They dominate in physics departments, engineering departments of universities, over-represented in information technology, they do extremely well; entrepreneurial and so on.

Rushton’s ability to just rattle off four examples of Indians intelligence (income, academic acumen, technological talent, and business success) while throwing in fancy adjectives like “entrepreneurial”, all with flawless elocution, shows verbal skills on a level that Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman never came close to achieving.

I noticed too in the conversations I’d have with him, while he would sometimes misunderstand my questions, his answers were always extremely articulate and commonsensical. For example when asked about Oprah’s super sized brain, he replied:

There are always going to be those who are way off in the top 1%, and indeed one would have to be to succeed in a field as competitive as television talk shows

When asked about regression predicting IQ from income:

Billionaires are going to be more intelligent than millionaires who are going to be more intelligent than the middle class, who are going to be more intelligent than welfare recipients. That’s the way the model works.

He was also the best writer of all the prominent HBDers, writing:

Archaic forms of the three main races seem to differ in antiquity.

What a beautiful sentence. Rushton understood the rhythm of language.

Rushton was in a tough position, being a very non-autistic man with a hugely autistic following, and you could see the frustration in the dismissive way he answered some of the questioners in the below video. When one man went on a monologue about accepting high IQ people of all races, Rushton rudely dismissed him with “Okay thanks for the thought”.

It’s almost as if Rushton was angry that non-racist open borders people were among his fans.

He dismisses another questioner with the dumb cliché “It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future”

GENETICALLY SUPERIOR: Great scene from the Karate Kid

So on Saturday night they were playing The Karate Kid trilogy on AMC so I order a dozen egg rolls and started watching. Can’t believe Ralph Macchio was 23 in the original. I genuinely thought he was 12 until I googled and usually I’m pretty good at guessing age.

My favorite scene is when the genetic superior confronts a Caucasoid bully and reminds him of his second-rate place in the evolutionary hierarchy. I love how when the Caucasoid puts up his dukes, the genetic superior just stands there staring at him like Michael Myers would do.

Mare of Easttown on HBO

I’m so excited about this new HBO show that I’m literally counting down the hours until debuts. The trailer is really well done and dark.

Don’t know what it is about this show that makes me want to watch so badly. I love watching shows about white people in small towns where everyone knows everyone and all went to high school together.

I love exploring characters who peaked in high school and how they cope with that decades later.

I love the fact that even though the main character is in her 40s, she can still get picked up by a guy in a bar because he realizes he’s no spring chicken himself. I love the fact that even though they’re both in their 40s, they both look kind of good and make a great couple.

I love the fact that the main character can’t stand her mother because judging from the town, her mom’s probably a right-wing wacko who I wouldn’t be able to stand either.

I love the scene where the main character’s little kid is so proud his mom’s a legend in the town “Dey think you a heroooooo!”

And of course, there’s even the obligatory “noble negro” stereotype that offers her salvation at the end of the trailer.

I also love the haunting music.

GENETICALLY SUPERIOR: East Asians TOWER with the highest polygenic scores

A recent paper by Davide Piffer shows that East Asians tower on whatever common genetic variants predict education in Western populations.

You might say this is meaningless since the correlation between DNA and education in one particular culture is not nessecarily causal, let alone reflective of intelligence, but it’s striking how well a polygenic score built to predict education among whites does at predicting where whites rank compared to all the non-white groups in mean IQ.

For example when representative samples of the major races are reared in the same environment, you tend to get the following IQ ranking: East Asians > Whites > South Asians > Amerindians > Blacks, which is exactly the same pattern observed in the education polygenic scores.

Some people find it hard to believe East Asians could be smarter than whites because whites have invented so much of the modern world, but it’s well known that creative achievements require more than just ability; they also require certain primitive personality traits. Whites were evolved enough to have high IQ, yet still primitive enough to have the mental illness, non-conformity, and narcissism upon which creative output depends. It was this perfect balance between derived and basal traits that allowed whites to dominate.

But even this point should not be overstated. Throughout most of World history, non-whites have been on top.

NOTE: Kevin Bird has a paper countering some of Piffer’s claims so until this debate is resolved, strong conclusions are not justified.

Estimating a reader’s IQ Part 4: Current psychometric functioning

At this point in the series I wanted to know how the reader would score on tests that he did not select for himself but that I chose for him. I figured a good measure of overall IQ would consist of at least 3 major cognitive domains, so the domains I selected were Verbal, Visual, and Numerical. To assess these three domains, the tests I chose were Vocabulary from the ancient WBI, Mug of Pee’s Gestalt, and the PATMA. These tests were chosen because they’re all quick, highly g loaded and normed by me personally.

Vocabulary from the ancient WBI: Verbal IQ 138 (mild genius)

Long before the WAIS or WISC, there was the WechslerBellevue Intelligence Scale. Originally Vocabulary was considered too culturally biased to be one of the core subtests, but was used as an alternate subtest. Wechsler randomly selected words from the dictionary that were then tried out on groups of people of known intelligence. Those words that best discriminated between the bright and dull were included in the final selection of 42 words that were used in the 1937 standardization.

When the reader was given rare access to this ancient list, he got full credit (1 point) for 34 of the 42 words and partial credit (0.5 points) for 2 of them, giving him a raw score of 35 out of 42. This equated to +1.66 SD among Wechsler’s 1937 sample of young adult White New Yorkers (selected to be representative of white Americans as a whole), however by the 21st century, many of the words on the list have become impossibly difficult, so using modern white norms, the reader’s score is +2.4 SD. But since the white population of the U.S./Canada has a slightly different IQ distribution from that of the overall U.S. population, it equates to +2.5 SD or IQ 138 (U.S. norms). This is remarkably consistent with a historiometric estimate of the reader’s vocabulary based on his kindergarten teacher’s subjective impression.

Mug of Pee’s Gestalt: Visual IQ 95 (average range)

Mug of Pee’s Gestalt was normed on a random sample of 15 white Ontarians. When the reader was asked to take this test his self-reported score was -0.66 SD below the norming sample’s mean. Unfortunately, education level for this sample was not obtained so it’s unclear if the Ontarians were representative of Canadians as a whole or Ontarians specifically. This is important because on achievement tests, Ontarians outperform the rest of Canada (at least in childhood), but it’s not clear if this difference would map to fluid IQ measures like Gestalt.

Assuming that on a scale where Americans have a mean of 100 and an SD of 15, the Ontarians, like Canadians on the whole score 103.9 (SD = 13.9) on perceptual reasoning tasks, the reader’s score would equate to an IQ of 95. This is perhaps not surprising because the reader’s psychometric history showed his lowest score on Paul Cooijmans’s spatial test and there’s no historiometric evidence of spatial precociousness.

The reader also self-reported a high score on Cooijmans’s aspergoid test. Although my amateur clinical impression just from reading a few of his emails is that the reader is not autistic, his relatively low Gestalt might suggest otherwise because one theory is autistics lack big picture thinking. More testing is needed to confirm or debunk this hypothesis.

The PATMA: Numerical IQ 131 (mild genius)

The PATMA is a quick test of lateral mathematical reasoning that appears to be exceptionally g loaded. The reader self-reports a score of 8 out of 10. Based on 11 (mostly self-reported) score pairs from people who have taken both the PATMA and (abbreviated) WAIS-III/WAIS-IV (roughly corrected for old norms) a score of 8 is now equating to an IQ of 131.

Overall global intellectual ability: Full-scale IQ 131 (mild genius)

It’s hard to calculate a composite score without knowing the intercorrelation of the above three tests, but a rough approach is as follows: The average score of the reader on these three tests is +1.42 SD (U.S. norms). If you average +1.42 SD on the 10 core WAIS-IV subtests, your full-scale IQ is 131. If we assume the above 3 tests are statistically equivalent to a random sample of WAIS-IV subtests, an overall IQ of 131 is implied.