Posted on November 30, 2011

The Study of Intelligence, Ctd.

Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Beast, November 30, 2011

{snip} I’ve reached out to some academic pros in the intelligence field, and the feedback I get is that the exploration of IQ and race is effectively toxic as a subject. But the rest of the research area is more complex than my first post suggested. An academic writes:

Within some subfields of psychology, there is a small degree of pushback against studying intelligence, but this is not true of psychology as a whole–there are thriving societies and journals, and reports of intelligence measures are not uncommon in mainstream journal articles. Nor is it unusual for researchers to document the degree of heritability of IQ (once again, within races). The study of racial differences in intelligence, however, particularly when it comes to assessing the possibility of genetic contributions, is still radioactive. Few researchers other than Jensen and Rushton are willing to go there, while marginal phenomena such as “stereotype threat” that superficially seem to suggest that the race difference is 100% environmental are avidly pursued.

And there are distortions in the larger hot zone around the race-IQ Ground Zero, such as the provably false claims that race is entirely a social construction, that general intelligence is an artifact of IQ tests, that the tests are worthless, that IQ was the basis of immigration restrictions and the Holocaust, and so on. Fortunately these are not as common (particularly within psychology) as they were in the 1970s and 1980s.

So there is some veiling of the truth here–or a decision just not to go there. Notice that there is also a great deal of research attempting to disprove any genetic component to intelligence. It’s worth noting here that Murray and Herrnstein, despite the relentless smear campaign against them, never stated that genetics was responsible for all the racial gaps. They were merely debating the balance between genes and environment, and conceded that there was no firm way to calculate the balance. So we know that environment affects IQ–malnutrition depresses it in the developing world. But since IQ is proven to be inheritable, the notion that genes play no role whatever–that we remain the “blank slate” some left-liberals want us to be–is a reach. {snip}


{snip}Whatever we call it, “race” has a biological component that can be genetically mapped. When you apply robust intelligence tests based on general intelligence (g) to this map, there are non-trivial differences between races that are strikingly resilient across the world. Quite why is unclear. My position is simply a) that the notion that genes are not involved in this area is highly unlikely; and b) that, as Razib [Khan] says

I think an understanding of the phylogeny of the human race is a grand story. Population structure in the present is a shadow of histories past. And with the possibility of admixture with archaic lineages and recent adaptations that story has a lot of novel plot elements to keep your attention.

I’ll tackle the question of whether we are better off simply ignoring this in another post soon. If you are just joining the thread, previous posts here, here, here, here, here and here.

36 responses to “The Study of Intelligence, Ctd.”

  1. White E says:

    I am no scientist by any measure, but less than 10 years ago when I was in high school I took biology. They explained to us that when your parents reproduce the genetic material from all of your ancestors could potentially be in your DNA. They said it was basically a roll of the dice which genes you ended up with and from which ancestor. Genes control your hair and eye color, your heart, whether you are likely to develop cancer, male pattern baldness, ect.. My question is why would genetics dictate so many minute details about your body but not effect your intelligence or brain in any way? It doesn’t make any sense. Anyone who could say that genetics have no effect on intelligence with a straight face is either stupid or a liar. So why would they lie about this? Why are facts only relevant when they shed the multicultural viewpoint in a good light? Facts are facts, and the truth is the truth like it or not.

  2. dd says:

    Well if you admit that any portion of intelligence is genetic then it sort of invalidates the argument that we should spend billions of dollars to “close the gap” because by definition, it can’t be done.

  3. john says:

    I can think of no topic of the past century that requires such cautious, qualified, and fearful tiptoeing around the central truth as does the question of human intelligence as related to racial groups.

    Being too forthright (if totally and indisputably correct) about it can mean banishment, dismissal, ostracization, or even financial ruin. All for simply speaking the clear truth, even when your critics secretly agree with you.

    I can’t think of any comparable forbidden topic in our national history as the question of race and intelligence. Often people see the truth as irrelevant, claiming that knowing the truth would serve no purpose. Well, it certainly would put paid to all the endless searching for “root causes,” castigating individuals and companies for allegedly racist conduct or failing to do enough to redress non-existent wrongs.

    Obviously, at some point the truth will out, though the damage caused by resisting it is damaging every facet of our society, damaging it socially, economically, and competitively.

  4. Question Diversity says:

    This is surprising, because Andrew Sullivan, probably the world’s first blogger, has politics that vacillate back and forth between the moderate-liberal and the moderate-RINO. But even he is beginning to think that race exists, and like intelligence, is genetic.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Just the economic disparities between white and non-white nations speak volumes regarding racial intelligence differences. This country has wasted tremendous amount of money, resources, and time in avoiding the finding of real solutions to racial difference in intelligence and social behavior due to the agenda of some who are less than truthful in their perceptions of reality. Every nation on this planet has been uplifted by white brain power and the whites need to proudly acknowledge their very significant contribution to humanity instead of voluntarily being submitted to white guilt. This white guilt drum has been beating for over 40 years and the time to throw off this yoke is long overdue.

  6. Urban Teacher says:

    Some day, when I’m ready to retire, I will teach a course on race and IQ.

    The course description will read, “Why do people, such as James Watson, claim there are racial differences in IQ when the mainstream says there are no such differences”.

    I will have my students read Phillipe Rushton’s and Gladye Whitney’s papers.

    I will note that although the research literature finds large and permanent IQ differences between races, virtually all textbooks say there is no difference. I will ask the students how that can be.

    I will take no stance myself.

    It will be interesting to see how long I will last.

  7. Reel says:

    Read Linda Gottfredson. Go to her ‘Publications’ link. She is a true professional in the area of psychology and intelligence. See what she has to say:


  8. Joey says:

    Wow. This article should end the long love affair Andrew Sullivan has had with the left. He has always been an oddball gay neoconservative but this is heresy to the dogma on the left. My opinion of him has been elevated to some extent. It takes a lot of cojones to even talk about this subject honestly.

  9. Madison Grant says:

    Tip of the hat to Sullivan, whom I thought too p.c. to write about this topic.

    This depressing piece states that during the last four decades the heroic Arthur Jensen and Phillippe Rushton have been almost alone in having the guts to study this vitally important issue.

    Meanwhile the p.c. establishment wastes time and $ studying absurd, trendy theories like “stereotype threat”.

  10. Ben N Indiana (AWG) says:

    Today’s bedtime story:

    Once upon a time there was a world in which all humans were highly intelligent and race was a social construct. That world was cursed by evil White people. Their greed caused global warming and poverty among intelligent dark people. In time the the evil White people would be displaced by the good dark people and they would live happily ever after.

    Leftists actually believe that!

  11. Jim says:

    You won’t last long, Urban Teacher, but I hope you teach that course. I’m hoping for a critical mass at which point Americans simply refuse to lie about this issue any longer. “I know the truth, and I shall speak it!”

  12. HH says:

    It is interesting. The election of Barack Obama hasn’t ushered in the much balleyhooed “post-racial” age, but rather in many ways just the opposite – a sort of ‘hyper-racial’ age! Mainstream society today seems absolutely OBSESSED with race! And simply put, the more we talk about it, the more exposure the topic gets in general, the more difficult it becomes to deny the most obvious realities, to ignore what is and has been right in front of our faces all along.

    For many long years, academics, elected officials, media mouthpieces and all of their ilk have sold us this myth of equlity, of an egalitarian utopia that could and would be achieved, if only us nasty White bigots just gave the poor, put-upon “minorities” a chance – a fair chance. Fast forward to a Black family in the White-House, Blacks dominating the sports and entertainment worlds, Hispanics by the millions overtaking entire towns and operating in their own Spanish-speaking realms, etc., etc. Yet, the great utopia still eludes us!! Blacks are still mired in “poverty,” the fail utterly to achieve academically, and Hispanics do little better, and people, when left alone to make their choices, continue to separate along ethno-racial lines wherever humanly possible!!!

  13. kulak says:

    dd writes:

    Well if you admit that any portion of intelligence is genetic then it sort of invalidates the argument that we should spend billions of dollars to “close the gap” because by definition, it can’t be done.

    That’s the same mistake liberals make. The difference is, liberals can’t stand the thought that it can’t be done, and nothing liberals do ever works. Whatever liberals recommend backfires.

    People generally conflate 1) environmental and tractable, and 2) genetic with intractable.

    Though liberals will never close the gap, the gap CAN in fact be closed.

    It can be closed by changing the environment to modify the genetic intelligence of successive generations of blacks.

    That is, the achievement gap can be closed through eugenics.

    However, I don’t think I’d advise that avenue, unless, at the same time, we also reduce black impulsivity and psychopathy.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The broader and inextricable issue is not (1) whether research is taboo but (2) whether dispassionate discussion (in classrooms , at psychological conferences ) of the large body previous research is becoming less taboo. And within this context is another:(3) whether private conversational discussion is becoming much more common. The lines of evidence for (3) are necessarily limited but they do suggest a burgeoning private, personal recognition of the likelihood that “Jensenism” is solid science and likely due full vindication. But if so, this is not a healthy state of affairs. The terrible spectre in it all is the eclipsing of eventual incipient public discussion by a political earthquake question of “Why were we not able to discuss this decades ago???” It’s all headed for the contemporary American counterpart to the 1920’s German beer halls. Tragedy looms.

  15. John Engelman says:

    On the subject of global warming, and the role the consumption of fossil fuels plays in contributing to it, those on the right are prone to express anti scientific nonsense that occasionally appears in comments posted on American Renaissance. Nevertheless, those on the right do not try to destroy the careers of those who tell the truth about the greenhouse effect.

    When it comes to the relationship between genes, IQ, success in life, race, and crime those on the left are not content to express anti scientific nonsense; they punish those tell the truth.

    An alternate title for “The Bell Curve,” could have been, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

  16. Mark R says:

    Good for Andrew Sullivan. He claims to be a conservative – or at least he used to. I like that he’s become more independent-minded over the years. Hopefully he won’t be the last mainstream blogger to raise these questions.

  17. elitist says:

    The study of intelligence is banned in our society for the simple reason that since racial differences in intelligence are self-evidently real, any objective scientific inquiry is bound to not only corroborate ordinary observation, but also give us the biological reasons for the mental inferiority of some races, compared to others.

    Discussions of race and intelligence are banned BECAUSE the reality of racial differences in intelligence are undeniable – NOT!!!! Because they’re somehow controversial or debatable.

    It’s nice to have scientific corroboration, but no one really need IQ tests, SAT tests, genetics, anthropology, or psychology, to tell us that most blacks and Hispanics are fairly limited intellectually, that Jews tend to be bright, that Oriental Asians are often good in technical fields, etc.

    That is why you are allowed to tell the Jews that they are stupid without any fear of the consequences:

    Tell a Jew that Jews are stupid, and here she will simply shrug contemptuously and turn back to the business of being successful and prosperous.

    Now try telling a black person that blacks are stupid…

    The study of intelligence is banned because it is IMPOSSIBLE to study human intelligence without concluding that the human races evolved different levels of intelligence.

    To be more precise: if you’re doing work relevant to racial differences in intelligence, you must use euphemisms to get funding, avoiding publishing your results to openly, etc. etc.

    Another words: the scientific data on human intelligence is accumulating steadily, and when it reaches a critical mass, the firewall between scientific reality and public hallucinations will start to break down.

    If the members of the scientific community were not so craven and cowardly, it would have collapsed decades ago.

  18. john in germany says:

    To number 1. I think they lie because they don’t want to hurt the feelings of “minorities”. They can’t be blind or stupid enough to really believe it.

  19. Luke says:

    There answer to poster #1’s excellent question is two-fold.

    First, the Cultural Marxist, anti-white, white genocide promoting left and neo-con right are demanding that sane and reasonably intelligent white people accept their ridiculous premise that of all the parts that make up the human anatomy, one and only one part has been specifically exempted from the laws of heredity that govern all of the other parts of the human anatomy, and that exempted organ is the human brain – which controls intelligence or lack thereof. Secondly, by trying to make any discussion of IQ and racial differences taboo – they are attempting to deliberately conceal these intractable and genetically determined IQ differences as they use their control of our mainstream media and entertainment industry to promote miscegenation between the whites who they lust to genocide and render extinct – and all of these other racial groups who are falling consistently short on any measurement of IQ, academic performance or scholastic achievement.

    In short, the Prime Objective is White Genocide. Whether it be promotion of race mixing or promotion of massive numbers of genetically low IQ non-white aliens being allowed to flood into all White European nations – if it speeds along the genocide of White Western people and the destruction of the White West, these policies will be cheered and applauded by the Frankfurt School of Cultural Marxism crowd of nation wrecking enemies who are inside our gates.

    Permit me to once again point out that this toxic and fatal form of destructive mental insanity known as ‘Cultural Marxism’ has infected both of the mainstream political parties, and has also been spread to nearly all of the mainstream Christian, Protestant, and Catholic Churches. Thus, if we in the AR and White Nationalist community wish to prevail – our #1 objective must be the total and complete destruction of the ideology of Cultural Marxism and the arrests, trials, and imprisonment of every last treasonous individual who have been pushing this poison into our society.

  20. Fritz says:

    Racial differences in intelligence are obvious. We need some scientific studies to explain why we refuse to admit them.

  21. olewhitelady says:

    Anyone living on this planet can’t help but observe differences in levels of intelligence between ethnic groups. For thousands of years, people assumed it was a genetic, thus racial, phenomenon. Then, for a half century after the civil rights revolution, the public was told it was all environmental. But, if people read the bare-bones, mathematical data regarding the matter, it becomes obvious that the ancients were correct. If, for instance, blacks in Africa, America, and Europe have an average IQ of 75-85–a standard deviation or more below the white average–then slavery or bigotry cannot be the overall cause. The only weapon the environment-espousers have is continued ignorance. They can struggle to keep the public from finding out about IQ studies, or they can deny that IQ even exists–which most people will not believe.

    Now, with the presence of the internet to provide information, the war to keep people ignorant is almost lost. Commentators like Sullivan apparently see this and are abandoning the cause.

  22. Istvan says:

    3 — john wrote at 6:54 PM on November 30: Obviously, at some point the truth will out, though the damage caused by resisting it is damaging every facet of our society, damaging it socially, economically, and competitively.

    The damage has become irreversable without drastic, harsh action. Lokk at most of our major cities. And all the major candidates for president want more of it.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Re: 7, they do, but not to the same extent. Unfortunately anti-science attitudes towards global warming are far far more dangerous than denying HBD. A nation is no use without a planet with a decent climate. Of course the left are just as guilty with their antinuclear nonsense. Conservatives need to do a bit more conserving.

  24. Franklin Ryckaert says:

    Some comments on comments:

    Ad (2) Accepting the truth of racial IQ differences will save a lot of money.Truth is cheap,lies are expensive.

    Ad (6) Teaching a course on racial IQ differences might get you arrested for a “hate crime” in the modern Soviet States of America.

    Ad (12) You can as much usher in a “post-racial” age as you can usher in a “post-biological” age.

    Ad (13) You want to “close the gap” for Blacks by eugenics. Are you aware of the fact that for that purpose you’ll have to change society into a human breeding farm and that for many thousands of years? Not very practical.

    Ad (15) You want as an alternative title for “The Bell Curve”: “An Inconvenient Truth”. That sounds so Al Gore-like.Why not:”An Inconvenient Curve”?

    Ad (17) In the humanities science more often than not confirms popular wisdom.Therefore it has to be denounced so vigorously as “bigotry”.

    Ad (19) It is ironic that the USA, the most anti-communist country in the world is also – culturally – the most Marxist country in the world.It will take a “long march through the institutions” to change that.

    Finally: The idea that “all men are equal” is perhaps the most destructive one ever invented by human minds.The US will have come to its senses if it dares to change the words “…we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” into: “…we can prove scientifically,that all men evolved unequally…”

  25. Auntie Em says:

    In the Sixties when I was a college freshman, and ripe for the the liberal brainwashing that was my parent-financed due, I sat in a class of equally callow students and heard a young Sociology 101 instructor announce that we were all born a “tabula rasa.”

    “Whoa,” my overweening intuition whispered, “that can’t be right.” And in my youthful zeal I challenged the Word from on High. Big mistake. And I got the dressing-down of my life. Lesson learned: don’t challenge the One True Word.

    At the time I hadn’t a clue about the implications of my challenge. Or why a threat to its veracity needed to be so staunchly defended.

    Years later, and both of us older and wiser, I saw my now-retired professor and asked him if he had time to discuss “tabula rasa.”

    Unfortunately he had a pressing engagement. I get it now. Guess he does, too.

  26. A Swain says:

    I am of the opinion that intelligence levels are attributable to 50% environmental influences, ie, the availability of suitable nourishment and the sufficient control of disease mechanisms, AND as importantly, choice of lifestyles.

    On the issue of Black IQ, those who were lucky enough to have availed themselves of opportunities in the higher education sphere, have absolutely no excuse for not having ultimately increased their IQ level significantly by the very fact that higher educational opportunities automatically expand knowledge and know-how both generally and specifically, in the first place.

    Over the centuries, many thousands have been fortunate enough to have enjoyed surperior education both in White countries and though overseas White missionary outposts. The majority of Africa today should be a shining example of Black excellence as a result of White endeavours, but it’s not. Why?

    It has to do with character and the ability to exercise self-control over humanity’s most basic instincts, I’m afraid.

  27. kulak says:

    Dear Franklin R,

    I did not say I wanted to close the gap. I merely said that we can close the gap by eugenics.

    I also very much doubt it would take 5 thousand years. It takes but 5 generations of selective breeding to turn foxes human-friendly. That would only be 70 years for blacks.

    But there are unintended side effects for the fox, like floppy ears.

    And of course it would take a great deal of tyranny to do it one lifetime.

    That’s why eugenics originated with “progessives.”

    Granted, everything else progressives have tried also requires a great deal of tyranny, but eugenics would work.

  28. anonymous says:

    Auntie Em at 1:55 PM on December 1:

    Good story that I can definitely relate to——- I too, finally realized over the years that some things cannot be said or an attack will come. I’ve always been amazed by that, esp. in the scientific world with global warming — you would think they would adhere to the scientific methods, but oh no…… it must be the grants etc…… and it’s depressing that so many either use those trains of thought or buy into them. Why blacks must have an IQ equal to whites is another thing I can’t quite get a handle on.

  29. nerry says:

    Someone should have a course on controversy, and taboo. Then they could discuss a variety of topics and examine how society deals with uncomfortable topics. That is more interesting than each topic on it own. It would also probably last longer because the college would be able to deny better that they supported any side of each controversy, while no one would deny that each topic is controversial.

  30. Anonymous says:

    IF blacks etc.. had equal IQ’s, it would just make the criminal element MORE dangerous, because they would also have higher testosterone, which means they would have taken over the world by now with that extra athletic ability.

    Tell that to a goofy Lib next time you talk to one about this stuff, and watch him choke.

  31. Madison Grant says:

    To #30 (Anonymous):

    Intelligence is usually correlated with morality so if blacks had the same IQs as us their crime rate would be somewhat higher than ours (thanks to higher testosterone) but considerably lower than it is currently.

  32. Franklin Ryckaert says:

    Ad (30):If a liberal is so foolish to deny racial differences in IQ,then he will also deny racial differences in testosterone.All men are equal,you know…You can’t win from a dogmatic.

  33. Sureesh says:

    I know how we can close the SKIN COLOR gap (not race gap but skin color).

    Import large numbers of dark skinned South Indians to America. We are docile, hard working, and high achieving. If we outnumbered Blacks, the ‘skin color’ gap would disappear overnight.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Post#29 nerry.

    Excellent observation.

    #17 elitist: These are insightful observations but , respectfully,

    I think a serious limitation of your remarks is not understanding how very many people suspect the reality of biologically-based lack of equipotentiality but are frightened about whether humans are large enough ethically and creatively to deal with this (to them ) Frankenstein reality. We should not scoff at that.

    I think most of us devoted to the general principles of AR sense

    the issue is a choice between (a) a here-and-now public discussion and policy formation that would have vast

    BANG potential for pain and dislocation and (b) an evaded

    confrontation and discussion of reality that if evaded much longer leaves us moving inexorably to a quiet WHIMPER catastrophe.If you want to live in a social and political “hell on earth” wait until “wake up time” comes–after– after our doom is sealed.

  35. John Engelman says:

    I would like to believe that those who deny the relationship between genes, IQ, success in life, race, and crime are lying. Unfortunately, lies have been told so often and for so long by those with intellectual credibility that many people believe the lies.

    If race really was a social construct without biological significance those who want others to believe this would not feel the need to suppress a scientific inquirery into the matter.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Once it is understood that “eugenics” is practiced by all people, everywhere, and has been done for a long time, the so-called guilt about entertaining thought on the issue of biology and IQ should disappear. For after all, people always breed to the optimum as defined by their context; African, Asian or white it makes no difference. We all are the way we are because of the eugenic decisions made by our predecessors.