The 3 main divisions in the human species

There are many cranio-facial traits that separate us Humans from Neanderthals such as our spherical crania and small tucked in face. Just as skull dimensions can be used to divide the Homo genus into different species, they can also be used to divide our species into different races. In a landmark analysis called Cranial Cluster 28 Groups, Harvard anthropologist William W. Howells found that the many skull dimensions of 28 diverse human populations all fit nicely and neatly into just three categories which have historically been known as Negroid, Caucasoid and Mongoloid. In Howell’s tree Negroids would include Africans, Andaman Islanders, and Australoids. Caucasoids would include Caucaoids (duh!) and Amerindians and Mongoloids would include Japanese, Asian, Ainu, Guam, Eskimos and Polynesians:

The above dendrogram should not be confused with a family tree because the cranial distance between populations does not necessarily reflect the time since their ancestors diverged (though there’d be a correlation).

For example Africans and Andaman islanders have virtually no cranial distance even though they have enormous chronological distance (70,000 years since they last shared an ancestral population).

Many people think of races as huge families so they would object to grouping populations that don’t share recent ancestry. However my attitude has always been, it’s not how recently you share a common ancestor, it’s how much of a common ancestor you share.

Unless their similar morphologies evolved independently, Africans and Andaman Islanders clearly share the Negroid phenotype which thus must have pre-dated the ancient African exodus 70,000 years ago.

The White supremacists hate this because they want to claim blacks only left Africa in chains. The Afro-centrists love this because they want to believe blacks were a pioneers who spread as far as Australia.

White supremacists cite DNA to argue that Africans and Australoids are among the most genetically distant populations on the planet, so how dare African take credit for colonizing Australia, but what they don’t understand is that much of our DNA has no impact on our phenotype and serves only as a molecular clock. Any accomplished race will by definition divide into distantly related families because colonizing distant lands for long periods of time is the very definition of evolutionary success, as long as those distantly related families genetically preserve the phenotype of their common ancestor. If we only defined taxa by DNA similarity, then by definition there would be no successful races or species because as soon as you existed or dispersed long enough, neutral DNA (a mere measure of time) would redefine you as a new taxa.

IQ of Kamala Harris vs Barack Obama

Commenter Hail asked me to estimate Kamala Harris’s IQ and given her similarity to Barack Obama, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit his IQ to boot. Both are late boomer Afro-multiracial second generation immigrant lawyers from elite backgrounds who grew up to be the first non-whites on a major presidential ticket.

African Americans are 12.7% of the population, but about 10% of them do not have enough sub-Saharan ancestry (>50%) to technically qualify as black. Thus 1.27% of Americans are Afro-multiracial.

Assuming 1.27% of America’s 76 million baby boomers (some are dead) are also Afro-multiracials, that’s 965 thousand people. Now assuming the average U.S. Afro-multiracial has an IQ of 93 (half-way between the U.S. white and black means of 100 and 85 respectively; most U.S. Afro-multiracials are hybridized whites) with a standard deviation (SD) of 15, if there were a perfect correlation between IQ and power, we’d expect the two most powerful U.S. Afro-multiracials ever (Obama and if elected Harris) to have IQs 71 and 69 points above the Afro-multiracial average. But since the correlation between IQ and power is only about 0.37, their expected IQs would only be about 37% as extreme, so 26 points above the Afro-multircial mean which would put them at 119.

But it’s unlikely both Obama and Harris have the statistically expected IQ of the most powerful African Americans. To add more precision to our estimate, let’s compare their education levels to other U.S. Afro-multiracials who’ve enjoyed comparable power:

Obama’s education ( Columbia University (BA) a Harvard University (JD)  magna cum laude ) would put him at or slightly above all six members of our control group so let’s say his education is at the top one in seven level compared to other Afro-multiracial super elites. Assuming Afro-multiracial super elites have an SD of 13.94 (since they’re selected for power which correlates 0.37 with IQ, their SD would be slightly less than the typical 15), if there were a perfect correlation between IQ and education, we’d expect Obama’s IQ to be about 15 points above the Afro-multiracial super-elite mean of 119.

But in fact the correlation is much lower than perfect. In the general U.S. population (and presumably within U.S. racial groups), the correlation between IQ and education is 0.57, but to estimate the correlation among Afro-multiracial super-elites, we need to know the correlation holding power constant. Assuming a 0.37 correlation between IQ and power and a 0.5 correlation between education and power, the partial correlation between IQ and education is 0.48.

Thus, instead of being 15 IQ points smarter than the average 119 IQ Afro-multiracial super-elite, Obama would be (0.48)15 = 7 points smarter, or IQ 126.

This seems a little low for Obama given that his LSATs might have been in the 94th to 98th percentile of LSAT takers (who themselves tend to be in the top percentiles of the general population). On the other hand, Obama was a very uneven debater, and a former “CIA” guy claims that Chinese spies found Obama’s childhood IQ (as measured by the WISC) to have been 128 (somewhat lower when you adjust for old norms), so perhaps 126 is spot-on. Indeed back in 2009, Steve Sailer estimated Obama’s IQ to be 125.

What about Harris? Her education (Howard University (BA)
University of California, Hastings (JD)) puts her near the bottom of our above control group of six Afro-multiracial super-elites (17th percentile). If there were a perfect correlation between IQ and education, we’d expect her to be 13 points dumber than this group’s 119 average, but given the partial correlation of 0.48, we might guess she’s (0.48)13 points dumber, so IQ 113. This may seem a little low given her Brahman heritage on her mother’s side, but it’s consistent with estimates in the blog’s comment section and consistent with her debate performance where she came out strong with her rehearsed take-down of Joe Biden, but couldn’t adapt when ambushed by Tulsi Gabbard.

Harvard & the Presidency

There are roughly 222 million Americans old enough to have gone to Harvard. Of these, only 279,000 have actually attended Harvard. If we crudely assume that Harvard is the pinnacle of credentials, attending Harvard puts you at the top one in 796 level achievement (normalized Z score = +3).

Meanwhile of America’s 76 million baby boomers (alive or dead), only four grew up to be President of the United States (so far). If we crudely assume being President is the pinnacle of power, the Presidency puts you at the top one in 19 million level. The median U.S. president would therefore be at the one in 38 million level in power (normalized Z = +5.47).

Of the five living U.S. President, two have attended Harvard (Bush & Obama), so an achievement that is +3 Z in the general population, is only +0.27 Z among Presidents. This implies the average U.S. President is +2.73 Z in education (3 – 0.27). Considering the average U.S. president has an IQ of about 130 (+ 2 Z), this implies education is more important for achieving power than IQ (as Lion of the Blogosphere would agree).

This makes sense because education reflects not just IQ but social class and work ethic as well.

We can estimate that IQ correlates 0.37 with power (2/5.47) while education correlates 0.5 (2.73/5.47).

Professor claims so-called aliens are future humans

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I’m a huge skeptic when it comes to people claiming to have seen aliens, but I’ve always loved the way these aliens (known as Greys) are depicted as having so many high IQ traits (large cranial capacity, extremely thin, etc). I’ve always thought they looked like the next stage of human evolution but I dismissed such thoughts as sci-fi nonsense because how could such an advanced form of humanity already exist when our species only just evolved a few hundred thousand years ago.

But what if they don’t already exist, they just appear to because they are time travelers from the future. That’s the fantastical thesis of Dr. Michael P. Masters. At first I thought this was nutty, but there are two reasons why it’s worth considering. First Dr. Masters comes across as highly intelligent and well educated on the subject of human evolution, and second, his theory has enormous explanatory power.

His theory explains:

  • why supposed aliens look like the natural extension of the last six million years of human evolution
  • why supposed aliens keep such a low profile (if they are time travelers, they probably don’t want to mess with their history because it could affect their present)
  • why supposed aliens appear despite no astronomical evidence for life on other planets (they are from our own planet, just in the future)
  • why if time travel is theoretically possible, we never see people from the future (we do, it’s just they’re from so far in the future that they’re no longer “people”)

The main problem with his theory is (1) it’s based on dubious evidence for the existence of these aliens, and (2) why would human evolution keep continuing in the same direction (bigger brains, smaller less ape-like faces, less muscle) now that we’ve largely overcome natural selection and are on the precipice of genetic engineering?

You can see Dr. Masters discuss his theory in the below video.

Take the Pumpkin Adult Test of Math Ability (PATMA)

Math ability is one of the best proxies for IQ so I decided to create a little math test for anyone who’s interested. It’s completely anonymous. There are only 10 questions ranging from extremely easy to extremely difficult. The easiest question can probably be answered by over 99% of the general U.S. adult population while the hardest can probably be answered by less than 0.1%. To enhance the g loading, I picked questions that emphasized mathematical intuition and conceptual understanding as opposed to brute number crunching.

There’s no time limit, but try to take the test in one sitting without use of calculator, pen, paper or other aids, though I doubt they would help much. Take the anonymous poll to let us know how you scored.

Why the high reliability of IQ tests is misleading

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Anyone who’s taken multiple intelligence tests knows dramatically the scores can vary. For example, we have commenters on this blog who claim as much as 2 standard deviation gaps (2 SD) between their SAT scores and their Wechsler scores. Imagine if two different stadiometers gave a 2 SD difference in height (that’s over 5 inches!) . Why is a level of imprecision that would never be tolerated in the hard sciences handwaved away in psychometrics, and what do we do to fix it?

At first glance IQ tests seem incredibly reliable as evidenced by the 0.98 reliability (standard error (SE) of 2 points) reported for the WAIS-IV. But how was this number arrived at? For most subtests, reliability was measured by randomly dividing the subtest in half (odd vs even items), taking the correlation between both halves, and then correcting the correlation for the full length of the subtest. Once they have the reliabilities for all the individual subtests, they then combine them into a composite reliability for the entire scale.

But if the subtest level reliability is calculated by randomly dividing the subtests items into odd or even numbered items, why not calculate the full-scale IQ reliability by dividing the subtests into odd or even numbered subtests? The WAIS-IV might be an extremely reliable measure of how smart you are on the abilities measured by the WAIS-IV, but are the abilities measured by the WAIS-IV a representative sample of all cognitive abilities?

Unlike the WAIS-IV, the original WAIS was arguably a pretty representative sample of human cognition. Although there was some selection bias for subtests that correlated well with other subtests, for the most part Wechsler just wanted a very diverse group of subtests that were easy to administer, fun to take, and provided clinical insights into how people think.

A psychotic mental defective obtained the following scores on the original WAIS (keep in mind that subtest scores have a mean of 10 and an SD of 3, unlike the verbal, performance and full-scale IQ’s that have a mean of 100 and an SD of 15)

Information4
Comprehension5
Arithmetic3
Similarities3
Digit Span9
Vocabulary4
Digit Symbol0
Picture Completion8
Block Design4
Picture Arrangement4
Object Assembly7
Verbal IQ71
Performance IQ66
Full Scale IQ67

So using my favorite standard deviation calculator, we find this person has a mean subtest score of 4.64 with an SD of 2.54. Now because there are 11 subtests, we divide this SD by the square root of 11, which gives a standard error (SE) of 0.77. What that means is that assuming the 11 WAIS subtests are equivalent to a random sample of all cognitive abilities, then this person’s true average level of functioning has about a 2/3rd chance of falling anywhere from a scaled score of 3.87 and a scaled score of 5.41 (+/- 1 SE). For his age (17) on the original WAIS, this equates to a true IQ range of 61 to 72, implying an SE of 5.5! (more than twice as high as the SE claimed by the WAIS-IV based on a misleading definition of reliability)

We can arguably say with 95% certainty that if the WAIS included every cognitive ability possessed by the human brain, his full-scale IQ would be anywhere from 56 to 78 (+/- 1.96 SE). But that’s a bit like saying his height is anywhere from 5’2″ to 5’6″. Unless this person has an abnormal amount of subtest scatter, it may take an IQ test with over 60 subtests for IQ to have a meaningful reliability as high as height’s.

New data on Trump’s cognitive score

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Trump’s test scores have been in the news a lot lately. It started over a year ago when Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen told congress that he threatened Trump’s university Fordham not to release his SAT scores (which is illegal anyway). An official from Fordham confirmed this.

More recently, Trump’s niece Mary Trump has said that when Trump transferred to the University of Pennsylvania he hired a boy named Joe Shapiro to take his SATs for him. The White House denies this.

More recently still, Trump has been bragging about acing the Montreal Cognitive Assment (MOCA) during a screening for dementia.

Trump may sound like an idiot to most liberals but remember that IQ is scored on an age based curve and many people in their 70s can barely string together a sentence, so the mere fact that he can argue with the press in a fast and entertaining way should put him comfortably above IQ 100 (the population mean). But how much much above 100?

Trump claims to have scored 30 out of 30 on the MOCA but given Trump’s history of exaggerating personal accomplishments (net worth, TV ratings, etc) that’s highly suspect. His doctor confirmed that, but when it comes to presidential politics, even medical reports can’t be trusted.

But assuming he’s being truthful, I emailed Dr. Ziad Nasreddine (the test’s creator) to ask what percentage of non-demented elderly people score perfect on this test. He replied “10% of normals score 30/30”.

Of course the MOCA does not call itself an IQ test, but aside from the brief administration time, incredibly low ceiling and bias towards memory items, it’s content is virtually indistinguishable from one. It includes general knowledge “What’s today’s date?”, picture vocabulary “identify pictures of common animals”, spatial reasoning “draw a cube”, arithmetic “count backwards from a 100 in multiples of 7”, short-term memory “repeat words”, and verbal abstract reasoning “state how common objects are alike”.

Still, I wouldn’t recommend using this as an IQ test in above average populations. A Nobel Prize winning theoretical physicist could have a verbal and mathematical IQ in the stratosphere, but because they lack the spatial IQ to draw a clock at a given time, they’d end up with a score lower than Trump’s.

On the WAIS-IV, if an elderly person scores in the top 10% of the “healthy population”, they’re assigned an IQ of 119, however by excluding the demented from the norms, I’ve long felt the WAIS-IV underestimates elderly IQs. IQ is supposed to reflect your cognitive rank within the range of cognitively normal variation so it makes sense to exclude people with gross chromosomal abnormalities (i.e. Downs syndrome) from the norms, but dementia is arguably just the low end of normal elderly cognitive variation.

Research suggests 13.9% of Americans aged 71+ have dementia, so about 86.1% do not. So if Trump scored in the top 10% of the non-demented, that puts him in the top 8.6% of the general population which equates to an IQ of 120.

That sounds quite plausible. On a scale where (white) Americans average about IQ 100, U.S. presidents average IQs of 130, but the heart of Trump’s base (Birthers) probably average IQ 90. So just as Trump’s base averages about 10 IQ points lower than (white) voters, Trump himself is likely 10 points lower than U.S. presidents.

Some might argue that if Trump hit the test’s ceiling, he could in theory be much higher than 120. This is somewhat unlikely given that Trump failed to correctly multiply 17 by 6 (something half of North Americans in his age group at the time can do). If 17 times 6 were added to the MOCA, Trump’s score might be 30/31 instead of 30/30.

BREAKING NEWS: Trump sends well-wishes to Ghislaine Maxwell

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At a press conference about an hour ago Trump was asked about Ghislaine Maxwell and whether she would expose powerful men, and he responded by saying that he wishes her well. Social media reacted with disgust but the MSM predictably buried the story (not to protect Trump who they despise, but to limit interest in the Epstein case).

Why would Trump speak positively of a woman as vilified as Maxwell? One possibility is she has dirt on him and he’s sending her a message “be nice to me and I’ll pardon you”. Another possibility is that Maxwell used her high social IQ to complement Trump in the past (“my oh my you are rich!”) and this appeal to Trump’s ego overwhelmed any disgust he has with her alleged behavior.

Either way, this will create enormous cognitive dissonance for the QAnon morons who will likely dismiss it as more 5-D chess on Trump’s part.

How life saving advice from Oprah took down Jeffrey Epstein

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Back in 1991, Oprah had on a guest named Sanford Strong who gave STRONG advice to women being physically attacked:

NEVER LET THEM TAKE YOU TO THE SECOND LOCATION!

This advice resonated deeply with Oprah and she knew it would have the same effect on her viewers.

Over the years Oprah’s intuition was confirmed as she got letters from viewers about how this advice saved their lives.

But I bet not even Oprah is aware that none other than Maria Farmer (the alleged victim who brought down Epstein) heard this advice. When a thug was allegedly sent to kill her she remembered the advice she heard on Oprah:

NEVER LET THEM TAKE YOU TO THE SECOND LOCATION

So Farmer began clinging to house and did everything in her power not to leave. She would survive to report everything to the authorities and that’s what brought down Epstein.

Converting the post-2016 SAT to IQ

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Commenter blubbalubba writes:

When will you do another study on the post 2016 SAT? There was a 60 points inflation. It would be great if you looked into this recent change.

For years I’ve complained that the SAT is normed on college bound students, but in order to convert it to IQ equivalents, we need to know how the general U.S. population would score. Well perhaps someone from the college board was reading because their website has now started publishing two types of norms:

Nationally Representative Sample Percentiles are derived
from a research study of U.S. students in grades 11 and
12 and are weighted to represent all U.S. students in those
grades, regardless of whether they typically take the SAT.


SAT User Percentiles are based on the actual scores of
students in the past three graduating classes who took
the current SAT during high school. These user percentiles
are reported on tests completed in August 2019 through
June 2020.

So for example, a combined score (verbal + math) of 1055, which makes you dead average (50th percentile) among the college bound elite who takes the SAT, would make you slightly above average (59th percentile) among the nationally representative sample.

One problem is even the nationally representative sample is a bit elite because many of the dullest Americans don’t make it to grade 11, let alone grade 12. so how do we adjust for this?

It turns out we don’t have to because only 6% of U.S. high school students now dropout, and even assuming none of this 6% would score high, the percentiles would only change by a fraction of a percent. For example, if you score in the top 1 out of 100 high school seniors, including the high school dropouts would only move you to 1 out of 106. A trivial difference (at least at the high end)

Verbal SAT (Evidence-based reading & writing)

On this section the median high school senior scores 510 so let this = verbal IQ 100. The 98th percentile is 720 so let this = verbal IQ 130. Thus:

Verbal IQ = 27 + 0.14(verbal SAT)

Math SAT

On this section the median high school senior scores 505 and the top 2% score 740, so let these scores equate to math IQs of 100 and 130 respectively. Thus:

Math IQ = 36 + 0.13(math SAT)

Combined SAT (verbal + math)

Overall the median high school senior scores 1055 and the top 2% score 1480, so let these scores equate to composite IQs of 100 and 130 respectively. Thus:

IQ = 26 + 0.07(Combined SAT)

Is the SAT an IQ test?

I have never found a study correlating the SAT with Wechsler IQ in the general U.S. population but I did find such a study correlating the WIAT (which also measures reading and math knowledge) with IQ in a very representative sample of U.S. 16-19 year-olds (n = 142). Reading comprehension and math reasoning correlated 0.71 and 0.82 with Wechsler full-scale IQ respectively (WAIS-III WMS-III Technical Manual page 85-86).

However there are several reasons for thinking the SAT may correlate somewhat less: 1) the enormous importance of the test for some creates huge differences in motivation, test-prep and cheating, and 2) people diagnosed with learning disabilities can take the test without time limits, 3) my research on the Wechsler IQs of Ivy Leagues students suggest they regress at least a third of the way to the mean from their SAT scores, suggesting a correlation no higher than 0.66.