Posted on December 3, 2012

Everybody Is Hurt When Journalists Confuse Science with Politics

Helmuth Nyborg, Dispatch International, November 29, 2012

A few days ago, the journalist Niklas Orrenius published an article in the Swedish newspaper Expressen (November 25, 2012 — The scandal will pursue Sverigedemokraterne). The story was that “racism and extremism” flourish in party. According to Orrenius, this is seen most clearly in the SD’s [Swedish Democrats’] decision to send free copies of Dispatch International to all party members. Expressen’s journalist is particularly aghast at Dispatch International’s September 20 issue, which carried an article by me.

Orrenius reports that racism is reflected in five statements from the article: 1) Immigrants are “korkade”, i.e. stupid; 2) Massive low-IQ immigration makes Sweden’s national average IQ drop; 3) Democracy is rarely seen in countries with an average IQ lower than 90; 4) Massive low-IQ but high-fertility immigration to Europe and USA combined with the low fertility of the native populations will cause average intelligence to drop in both geographic areas; 5) In primordial times, cold winters eliminated the weak and less intelligent but the modern welfare state reverses this natural selection process and causes the gene pool to decay.

This, according to Expressen, is pure racism and extremism, and for that reason no other political party in Sweden would ever touch Dispatch International with a barge pole. To stress his point, Orrenius adds that “all established parties now despise the SD even more”.

This journalistic treatment is interesting because it targets a scientific report, published after anonymous specialist peer-review in a professional international journal, which was the basis of my article in Dispatch International. If the scientific observations in my article are correct, as I believe they are, the Swedish public should be made aware of them. That is not likely to happen as long as Expressen and all other leading Swedish newspapers only see racism and extremism in inconvenient scientific reports.

To test the validity of Niklas Orrenius’ accusations of racism, we will take a look at whether he either: 1) misunderstands, 2) cannot count, 3) is scientifically illiterate, 4) is ignorant of recent demographics, or 5) simply doesn’t understand the consequences of evolution — or is perhaps guilty of all these errors combined.

I have neither said nor meant that immigrants are “korkade” or stupid. To the contrary, I have carefully differentiated among immigrants according to their 235 nations of origin and then categorized them according to whether they come from high-IQ countries (Western) or low-IQ countries (non-Western). I have noted that most immigrants to Europe come from non-Western countries (60 percent in the case of Denmark). I have acknowledged that literally hundreds of solid studies confirm that IQ is up to 80 percent genetic, that IQ is the most stable behavioral trait ever measured in psychology, that IQ differences have been documented to be stable over a lifetime in individuals, across individuals, over multiple generations, and across nations. I have reported that IQ is close to normally distributed in all known populations. This means that even in a very low-IQ immigrant group, there most likely will be a few very high IQ individuals. In light of this, it is simply poor journalism to claim that Dispatch International promotes the idea that immigrants are stupid, and the jury is still out on whether Orrenius deliberately misled his readers, simply misunderstood, or perhaps was too lazy to check the relevant scientific facts.

Second, Expressen’s journalist demonstrates a lack of numerical skills and seems unable to understand that low-IQ immigration will inevitably lower Swedish average IQ — and more so the more low-IQ immigrants Sweden takes in. To see this as racism is to acknowledge that he does not know that all well-standardized IQ tests are “color”-blind. Another point is that low IQ has been amply demonstrated to create troubles for all affected individuals and nations — irrespective of race, color or creed. We know that even in the most gifted immigrant groups (i.e. North East Asian or Jews) there will be a few low-IQ individuals, statistically speaking of course, and we see that they encounter problems much like those low-IQ Swedes run into. These, and many other facts, are well documented in countless studies. Anybody who can count and read knows that.

Third, the Finnish researcher Tutu Vanhanen (Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the University of Tampere) has analyzed the quality of democracy in multiple countries and noted that democracy is absent in almost all nations with average IQs below 90. Instead of accusing people of racism, Expressenshould present this essential demographic information in large print on its front page. That would give Swedish politicians and intellectuals reason to ponder what implications the current massive low-IQ immigration will have for Swedish democracy and the open society.

Fourth, demographic studies have recently begun to include IQ as a parameter. We know that Sweden is a high-IQ area (the most recent estimate is IQ 98.6), and that Swedes have a replacement rate far below the 2.1 children per woman necessary to maintain the population. When we combine this knowledge with another observation — that low-IQ people have more children than high-IQ people (at least since the year 1850) — it is easily seen that there will in future be fewer gifted Swedes in the world. Generally, non-Western immigrants have lower IQ and higher fertility rates than Swedes. The end result is that low-IQ individuals will eventually form a majority in former Swedish territories — most likely before the end of the century, as the tendency seems to be exponentially accelerating. A population dynamic like this will reduce average Swedish IQ to a point where democracy may no longer be tenable. Instead of talking about racism, Expressen should highlight this story and ask the people responsible for an explanation.

Fifth, to realize what all this means for the future of Sweden, it is necessary to have some knowledge of evolutionary theory and combine this with behavior genetics. Unfortunately, many people seem to have a hard time understanding that the genetic potential for high IQ was originally harshly selected for in cold areas of the world, in particular in the far North, and that this would go some way towards explaining the massive North-South differences in national IQs and GDP. For some it is impossible to realize that massive low-IQ immigration will reverse this selection process. They tend to consider it a moral issue, and refuse to acknowledge that this development comes at a price — to be paid by future generations.

These observations pose a final but rather important question about ethics: Why does Expressen scream “racism” instead of reporting the data needed for an objective perspective? Could it be that the paper is oversensitive to the opinion of leading politicians?

Or perhaps Expressen’s journalist thinks it is great fun, and also good for his personal promotion, to accuse academics of bad science, racism, Nazism or extreme right-orientation? At least one Danish journalist (Jørgen Ølgaard from the Danish Forskerforum) was candid enough to tell me that he thought it was such great fun. Even universities join in this witch-hunting over what they consider controversial research. They may lie and misinform, but you will never hear them admit that they were driven by political correctness.

To give an example (among many — see, and in particular: The Greatest Collective Scientific Fraud), Dean Svend Hylleberg at the University of Aarhus in Denmark told the public that I had measured penis size in a developmental study. This was untrue. The director of my institute, professor Jens Mammen, lied to the university as well as to the public that children in my study were forced to be photographed nude, which made the study meaningless. Such photography is international standard procedure to determine the relationship between biological age and chronological age, but of course no force was ever applied. A third colleague, Pia Ankersen, lied to a local committee that I had refused to cooperate with her in connection with a publication on sex difference in intelligence, despite the fact that I had asked her four times previously for her cooperation. When presented with this series of lies, the chancellor of Aarhus University suspended me for scientific misconduct. However, after an independent committee concluded that the allegations were baseless, he had to back off. Instead he issued a grave warning about “highly inadequate and unacceptable” research. This warning loses all meaning in the face of the fact that prominent international science journals (all with anonymous peer-review) continue to publish my countless scientific publications and books, and that more than 40 of the leading international experts in the relevant scientific fields wrote critical letters to Chancellor Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen, asking him to stop the witch hunt. The politically correct university administration could not have cared less. Instead they tried in vain to initiate an official disciplinary case against me for telling international colleagues about the university’s handling of the case. The final attack came when I was denied the usual emeritus status after leaving due to age. I was told that the university and I do not share the same “values”.

The witch-hunting of scientists who study individual and group differences in intelligence and personality, or who consider them from a demographic perspective, does not stop here. Critics accuse them of doing immoral and indecent science or initiate court cases against them. Others overwrite their Wikipedia pages. I am, for example, accused of administering sex hormones to improve the intelligence of women with chromosome anomalies. This is a blatant lie. Being a psychologist, I am not even permitted to prescribe hormones or any other medicine. I am even accused of courting Nazi circles, despite the fact that I have repeatedly stressed my absolute opposition to all totalitarian ideologies.

This entire affair is not about the truth but an attempt to discredit a researcher.

Ultimately, the victims will be the Swedes that are forced to live with their country’s bleak future — a fact that is deliberately withheld from them by the very people who created it.

[Editor’s Note: The Dispatch International website was subject to a sophisticated hacking attack because of Prof. Nyborg’s articles. There is evidence that the mainstream Swedish media were involved in the attack. Dispatch International has reported the attack to the police.]