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January 05, 2003

Increase in IQ-there is hope! (?)

Jason Malloy has noted (as has Steve Sailer) that the white admixture of genes into the black American population can not explain the discrepancy between the average West African IQ (~70) and that of American blacks (~85). On a tantalizing note, Lynn did some work in England that seemed to show that the South Asian IQ was about 95 [1]-about 15 points higher than the mean in India. The IQ that Lynn gives for Fiji Indians though is about 85. This does not take into account the different streams of migration (I would not be surprised if South Asians in the United States had mean IQs of 110 at least because of the nature of that migration) and possible dysgenic effects. But an optimist can hope that if Third World nations modernize their IQs will rise. I would like to see how the "Celtic Tiger" now fares after 10 years of economic development (Ireland had the lowest IQ in Western Europe at ~90).

[1] The Indians were higher, Pakistanis and Bangaldeshis somewhat lower. Lynn attributed this to the fact that latter groups were more likely to be recent arrivals with a less fluent command of the language. But the East African exile population probably has more social and genetic capital than typical of South Asia.

Posted by razib at 01:43 AM

Hey, the Irish are 93- a mere point below Israel!


And you know how smart they're supposed to be, what with inventing the uzi and making the desert bloom and so forth.

Also, that "Irish curse" thing has just gotta' be a myth.

(. . .Not that a guy named Malloy has any reason to care or anything.)

Posted by: Jason Malloy at January 5, 2003 02:45 AM

israel is 20% arab and half the jews are "sephardic" (which includes non-sephardic oriental jews from iraq, yemen and central asian, not to mention the falashas). for jewish IQ, look not further than the ashkenazi elite.

as godless would have said, israel has a multi-modal IQ distribution :) also, as far as irish IQ, the fact that protestants in Northern Ireland have far higher IQs than catholics is always used as proof that racial differences don't really exist, just prejudice (obviously, i don't believe that one leads to the other).

Posted by: razib at January 5, 2003 03:12 AM

I was musing about the Flynn affect the other day (I really, really need to get a life...), and I had a thought I haven't seen elsewhere: Could the otherwise unexplainable drop in crime during the 90s be due to the crossing of an IQ "threshold" (a la Griffe) in the population?

Posted by: jimbo at January 5, 2003 11:27 AM

As a representative of the Irish of Eastern Europe, the Polish (though the Irish were fortunate to have the English as oppressors, Poles had to endure Prussians and Russians), I’m awaiting the day we will rise up to the era of a “Slavic Tiger”, rather than the unfortunately more alliterative “Slavic Sloth.”

I have to admit I think the 99 IQ for Poland was slightly inflated, it did come from two separate widely disparate readings of 92 and 106. Seeing as it was likely that Polish researchers were behind both numbers, the 92 would probably be more accurate.

I think the discrepancy between the Slavic worlds and Germanic worlds is particularly interesting. Does it have a genetic component? Slavs and Germans are closely related, both have fair complexion and wide instances of light hair and blue eyes. Slavs tend to be shorter and have wider skulls. Linguistically, Slavic appears more closely related to Iranian and Germanic to the Celtic and Romance languages, though it is possible that German was originally more closely related to Slavic and Baltic and then thru cultural proximity, became more influence by the other European languages. In some ways Germans appear to be the more gifted older brothers.

And in a certain sense, the Slavs do seem to be a younger culture. Whereas there are clear historical references and ample archeological documentation of Celtic and Germanic culture, the origin of the Slavs is much more murky. This would point to an “ethnogenesis” of Slavs probably around 2000-2500 years ago around Eastern Poland/Western Ukraine. Ethnogenesis is the ethnic/cultural equivalent of speciation and likely occurs when a small band becomes isolated from a larger ethnos and develops independently for several generations or hybridizes with other small bands. It is possible that isolated bands were cast-offs from the larger group's lower, servile class. It is likely that the recent ethnogenesis of Slavs in a culturally isolated area is the reason that their neighbors tended to be much more politically organized and posess a more sophisticated culture. These characteristic continue even today.

Posted by: Steve at January 5, 2003 11:47 AM

Is it time for a Polish joke? I got millions from living in Milwaukee.

Anyway. A not on black admixture. I believe there was an article on how there is a bimodal distribution of white genes in the American black population.

To wit: the vast majority (90+%) of American blacks have nearly no white genes (less than 5-7% IIRC). The rest are anywhere from 30% to more white.


Posted by: David at January 5, 2003 01:39 PM

I'm a big fan of "IQ and the Wealth of Nations" but individual country's scores should be taken with a grain of salt, unless there are either a lot of studies (such as the 10 for Japan) or a major IQ test has been standardized on a national sample (as in Britain and the US). It's hard to put together a truly representative sample. In general, there is a surprising amount of internal validity (e.g., if there are two or three studies for one country, the averages come out roughly the same). There are enough exceptions however (such as the 92 and 106 for Poland) to demonstrate that individual country scores are not terribly trustworthy.

Posted by: Steve Sailer at January 5, 2003 09:25 PM

David, fire away with the Polish jokes; I’ve probably heard them already. But if not, please include explanations;-)

Regarding the white admixture in black Americans. According to Steve Sailer’s article on population geneticist Mark Shriver, there are two bits of information we can use to determine how the genes are distributed

- The average African-American's proportion of white ancestry appears to be 17%-18%.
- Only about 10% of self-identified adult African-Americans are more than half-white.

Assuming a normal distribution, to fit these stats would require at least a bimodal distribution. One possibility is that 80% of black Americans are clustered around 10% white and 20% are clustered around 50% white. It could also be multimodal with clusters around 1/16, 1/8, ¼, ½, etc. white. It would take many generations of random inbreeding to create a single modal distribution. Given that the breeding isn’t completely random and there is a continuing and rising influx of white genes into the black population, this is unlikely to occur.

Posted by: Steve at January 6, 2003 11:26 AM

The slavs are white alpines (short, braquicephalic skulls, etc), and germans are white nordics (tall, dolicocephalic skulls) and mixed alpine-mediterraneans (mesophalic skulls), this is the diference

Posted by: Juan ascaño at January 6, 2003 07:42 PM

Juan, as a nitpicker I think it's more accurate to say Slavs tend more toward the Alpine archtype and Germans to the Nordic. Then you have the Dinaric Serbs who are quite tall as reflected in their basketball success. Whether or not these traditional subraces reflect genetic relatedness is an open question, afterall the Alpine category was used to describe people from the Alps. Slavs seemed to be an afterthought in this traditional classifying scheme.

Posted by: Steve at January 6, 2003 08:44 PM

these terms you are using are more for entertainment purposes in my opinion. after all, bavarians and austrians tend to be "alpine."

Posted by: razib at January 6, 2003 10:56 PM

I think the low Indian IQs are of a piece with the low Afrikaner IQs -- typically rural. With a more stimulating early environment they could well rise. And the Sephardim being racially mainly Arab is a sufficient explanation for the surprisinglyy low Israeli IQs.

By the way, there will be a good review of the evidence for the importance of IQ on http://gfactor.blogspot.com tomorrow.

Posted by: John Ray at January 8, 2003 05:23 AM

This book is not based on science. The authors seem to have a very poor knowledge of statistics. And it is also ridiculous that the most intelligent and ancient people like Indians-Greeks-Iranians-Israelis etc have a lower IQ than the US/UK??? Was it an English language test?I am an American and see no difference between the IQ of a tennessee redneck and a Ghana tribal.

Posted by: ttttt at January 31, 2003 08:38 PM

just stumbled on this, have to say that in recent IQ tests done on the national t.v. station of britain (BBC1) it was found that the irish scored highest in IQ and general knowledge. they were ahead of the english welsh and scots. these stats people are coming up with about IQ of different nationalities are (as a scientist and a statistician) unfounded. if any major study was done on IQ in ireland i would have known.

Posted by: hiber at February 18, 2003 01:19 PM

as an addition. as i understand it this flynn effect involves a rise in jewish iq some few decades after arrival in america. doesn't this logically support the notion that either (1) this generation having no new "superior" genes brought into their gene pool as generally the jewish population is an insular one, the increase must be brought about by environmental effects, such as education or as the second generation in the adopted country perhaps they became more culturally atuned to the specific IQ test. or (2)the trauma of their previous existence retarded their developement. the second option certainly explains why other peoples of obvious cultural achievement as greeks, iranians etc. got such low scores. utter rubbish something like neo-eugenics based on cranial contours.

Posted by: hiber at February 18, 2003 01:30 PM

Regarding Slavs, I don't know what big of a difference there is between them and austrians for example. The features seem to be the same unless you're talking about skull sizes and etc. Look at germans, norwegians, swedish, etc.. Alot of them don't have the "norse" look. The most norse looking people you could find in Ireland i guess But to me Swedish are typically eastern european looking and don't forget there's alot of blondes among northern slavs. It seems funny to me why slavs are questioned regarding race purity or doubted regarding their origins but no one is asking about germanic origins. who's more aryan here? Isn't the west close to French? and I can tell you that Poles, balts and russians are generally more white than French or spaniards. I've been all over europe and I'm not just saying this out of the blue. Is there possibility that germans were mixed with french who are mixed with spaniards and spaniards were mixed with african moors? afterall, french language is in the family of german famly of languages.

Posted by: Radek at May 1, 2003 03:19 PM