Friday, January 13, 2017

IQ: A Skeptic’s View

Intelligence is worth talking about because both the reality of intelligence and perceptions regarding intelligence set limits on the possible and influence policy. For example, if the population of India on average really is below borderline retardation, the country can never amount to anything. If Latino immigrants really are as stupid as white nationalists hope, then they will always inhabit an underclass and, through intermarriage, enstupidate the American population. IQists–those who believe that IQ  is a reliable measure of intelligence–insist that intelligence is largely genetic, which it obviously is, and that IQ tests reliably measure it. The latter is doubtful.


  1. IQ tests are heavily influenced by familiarity with the material.

    No one doubts this.

    Also, nutrition plays a role. But genetics also play a role.

    1. OK, I've now read the article. He makes some interesting arguments. I hadn't expected much from the article, but I now see it is good.

      I like that attempt at questioning accepted wisdom.

      Some partial replies could be that:

      Indians benefit from "immigrant vigor", which is a tendency for first generation immigrants to be overachievers.

      Populations change over time, aren't necessarily the same group living in the same area. So, one group might move in, replace a previous group. So, Egyptians living in Egypt today aren't necessarily much descended from those who designed the Pyramids.

      And an elite can be fairly intelligent while the rest of a group isn't. So, for the case of American blacks, there's a common saying that 10% of them are very successful, while the rest aren't for whatever reason. So, perhaps you'd expect that, given a strong culture American blacks could create a decent society if empowering that 10%.

      And you could say other things, like how in capitalism there's an attempt at "upward mobility", so one generation acquires enough wealth to then jump to the next rung. So, over time, you'd expect that some could improve themselves, including IQ, if successfully moving up rungs.

      Regardless, that is a very good article.

      I do believe there are racial differences even if we can't place quite what those differences are.

      I do not agree with, for example, the assumed traits that Nordics are today claimed to have. I think Nordics would be much better off if acting contrary to how many white supremacists claim is their nature. And perhaps someone could label me with some shocking label, but I mean to target how, I do not believe Nordics are so individualistic as is assumed today. I think rather we're very group-oriented, only more shy; and this is because we lived in more sparsely populated societies until recent times. In more heavily populated areas, social skills would have been more important.

      Frequently you hear how different Northern Europe is from Southern Europe, but I don't believe those differences are accurately labeled. China has a better understanding of how northern Chinese differ from southern Chinese. I prefer China's view of that divide which I think largely applies to Europe's divide.

      Anyway, I very much like Fred Reed's approach both here and to eugenics, which he was very critical of. I favour a degree of eugenics or at least an attempt at thwarting "dysgenics", but I'm also very wary of eugenics going overfar.

    2. He's an excellent writer and you would enjoy many of his back articles.

  2. And culture trumps intelligence. Every adult has had personal experience with "do it because I told you to" even when their native intelligence tells them it is stupid.

    But the real weakness in Fred's argument is that IQ-ists looks at population averages, which are point estimates, not in distributions around those points. Thus, the average IQ of Mexico can be quite low and still have plenty of people to staff their universities, build hospitals, even have a successful space industry, if they wanted to. Conversely, America, which takes great pride in having put a man on the moon, still has a sizeable part of our population that can't program their VCR (dated argument, but still works).

    Finally, the 100 IQ is a moving target. Thus, "average" can get dumber every year and still be "average".

    Fred's argument is correct when he points out, that all his friends, family and neighbors in Mexico aren't imbeciles. That's likely because all his imbecile Mexican neighbors moved to Virginia and are now my neighbors.

    1. "do it because I told you to"

      I had to do it or get my butt whacked numerous times with my Mother's long handle, plastic hair brush. :)


      all his imbecile Mexican neighbors moved to Virginia and are now my neighbors.


  3. Fred leaves out a few things like the fact that the Spanish conquered Central and South American and still pretty much run it. The same could be said about the influence of Europeans in Africa and India which doesn't mean that at stupid but simply still enjoy some of the benefits of it. Kind of like ancient Rome and the effects they have had on the world.

    He also doesn't mention how schools and tests, including IQ, have been "dumbed down" to accommodate the less capable while at the same time holding back the most capable. After all if the test doesn't yield the expected result it must be "racist" and in need of 'refinement.'

    While I don't agree that IQ is "everything" it sure as heaven ain't nothing. To ignore it's reality is to punish everyone involved and to create a poorly functioning system where accusation fly, feeling are hurt, and society spends more time re-evaluating and apologizing than it does advancing and living in peace. Modern United States anyone?

    Average Joe

    1. Thanks and he has written about the dumbed down and now no more FSEE

  4. Even a gorilla can be taught sign language. We have those in congress.

  5. Oh, I want to add that from a Kinist perspective, the dream that all races are somewhat intelligent and otherwise capable of Christian civilisation is a wonderful thing.

    Kinists haven't tended to worship IQ, even if they acknowledge its benefits. Kinists have tended to want Christian society.

    That's one of the things I liked about them. I remember a post by one saying how he very much wishes blacks are capable of Christian society if ruling themselves.

    Kinists have a very different perspective than how they're assumed to view the world.

    1. Thanks and I believe deeply religious Southern blacks are/would be.