Revisiting Stuff on Race and IQ.
White People Deserve to Know
There are many well meaning whites who engage in activism to the point of mental illness.
This is not an endorsement of ideology based on these rates, it is just me saying that maybe if super liberal people worried about something other than race, you could see some differences.
A meta analysis by Emil showed that these are not some trivial coincidences that happened on a single survey — they were robust findings and what really was the kicker is that it is the most far left that has the psychological issues. There is not much of a difference between liberal and conservative.
I think that white people (who comprise most of the left) deserve to know that there are alternative hypotheses as to what causes societal ills that bother them.
When asked questions about the the future number of children, what percent of kids get vaccinated globally, and the global status of women’s education — US journalists get these questions wrong at a higher rate than the theoretical chimpanzee population that would get the questions right 33% of the time with random guesses.
There were a whole bunch of questions and people consistently guessed the world as being worse than it is. I find it very interesting that American journalists knew the most about the kids. That is unsurprising. For whatever reason, there is a celebration of these things amongst Americans.
What are Life History Strategies?
Here is how the Khan Academy defines life history strategies.
Life history patterns evolve by natural selection, and they represent an “optimization” of tradeoffs between growth, survival, and reproduction. One tradeoff is between number of offspring produced and the amount of energy (both physical resources and parental care) put into each offspring.
In humans, here are how life history strategies seem to manifest in the following ways and the rate of two egg twins is also another one that is not in this chart.
When people say that race realists believe that Europeans were in the Goldilocks zone, essentially yes, that is more or less correct. I am biased as a health person and would say “Han Chinese is the best ethnic group to be in the 21st century followed by Ashkenazi Jewish.” This is because of stuff related to impulsivity which is important for heath behaviors.
The best way to describe a fast life history is “life fast, die young” and a slow life history strategy could be described like Yoda — slow, judicious, long life, and few offspring. I have heard of “Baby Yoda” but I do not know if that is part of the main series, I do not think Yoda had any kids. I never actually have watched a Star Wars Movie though (shame on me for being 21 and never having seen them I guess).
I think that Rushton may have been wrong about neuron counts. His hypothesis was reasonable for the time, but modern technology suggests that the neuron density and the length of dendrites influence cortical volume and IQ. Maybe the number of neurons plays a role and influences race differences, but that actually is not super relevant in my mind. Scientists have found number of neurons to matter in mice, but mice and human have wildly different brains, even if some declare that they can teach us a lot.
Life Expectancy and IQ
In a study called “Kanazawa, S. (2006). Mind the Gap…In Intelligence: Re-Examining the Relationship Between Inequality and Health” he shows that the relationship between national IQ and economic data is likely driven by IQ’s and not so much the economic data.
This is STRONG evidence that the life history strategies stuff is more useful. In fact, the economic data has practically no explanatory power on top of the national IQ data. What is really interesting about life history strategies is that racial/ethnic differences relate to IQ, but not between individuals.
In the classroom, we learned all about the Preston Curve — the relationship between economic activity and life expectancy.
Rugged individualism for the rich countries — it is the fault of stupid Americans for being fat (I am not, but that is not the point), and it is not those white colonizing a** holes that made sub saharan Africa terrible. Obviously, China is effectively colonizing Africa and these woke idiots say nothing about it. In fact, I talked to an African American guy who thought the interaction was mutually beneficial because Africa will be an economic powerhouse in 50 years. Great, so when white people effectively did the same thing, it was bad, but when they voluntarily get colonized, it is good?
Social Brain Hypothesis
Organisms living in cohesive and complex societies will evolve to have larger brains to accommodate for cognitive demands.
I do not really like this universalist hypothesis. In fact, it seems that it is not something that is valid in certain rodents (Kverkova et al., 2018). It is, however, relevant to primates based on my interpretation of the handbook of paleoanthopology — it seems that is the consensus or at least a plurality of experts in terms of primates.
And contrary to all sorts of goofy stuff promoted by social psychologists and others, people are mostly tribal. It is human nature.
Results of Diversity in America
Get a load of the diversity of the states with the most liberal whites — Oregon, Washington, most of New England, etc. The truth is that rural America is conservative due to cultural reasons, but they are not against progressive economics. Protectionist trade policy, UBI, subsidies for farmers, etc. they are cool with all of that. JUST STOP BEING WOKE!
Trumpism and Latinos
This is an image from the classic Kaufman paper. Can we really be shocked? Some people argue that the education is a confound, I disagree. The fact that the Latinos move to poorly educated places is a result of their traits (low average IQ) which is probably part of the reason that they are less desirable residents to have in the ZIP code. There are race differences in IQ across the SES spectrum, so this is not shocking to me. There is a decline in racism as people get more affluent, this is almost certainly because the average non-white that they interact with is more similar to them in IQ and behavior than the average white person and they live near mostly white people anyways. Also it is true that evolutionary cognition diminishes as people are more affluent. This explains a whole lot about all of the things about Ivy League kids.
Black People Commuting to Work in a ZIP Code
There was an interesting paper called Black Workers in White Places: Daytime Racial Diversity and White Public Opinion and it looks to see if white opinions are influenced by the presence of African Americans — even if they do not live there. This study did find that the more white a place was, to more heavily they responded. I take this as meaning “communities that have more social capital to lose are more hostile to out-groups” however, this is subject to interpretation.
Here are how to interpret the scales that have a slope that you cannot guess:
Climate: Higher Number=Cares less/Believes it less
Guns: Higher Number=Supports more gun control
Abortion: Higher number=More Pro Choice people
The abortion and guns one really are things that have an intrinsic racial component in practice which shows that these are not views people form from sophisticated thought, it is just an intuitive thing. Their ideologies are not transformed by these racial attitudes.
While I am not affiliated with AmRen, I find Jared Taylor’s writing to be persuasive. In his essay “Noble Fiction” — or Noxious Poison?” He makes many good points.
He outlines the three arguments in favor of suppressing the truth — while it is the truth, I would say that suppressing debate is a better way to put it.
“1) Any discussion of IQ is a crushing insult to blacks, and if differences were widely acknowledged it would drive them to despair or even violence.
2) Mean-spirited whites will use IQ data as an excuse to hurt blacks.
3) Racial differences have no legitimate implications for public policy, so there is no point even thinking about them”
- African Americans are often genuinely curious about these group differences. They are not dogs — they can look at the state of Africa. The belief that an average IQ that is probably somewhere between 80 and 90 means that they are totally incompetent is nonsense. Let us assume the mean is 85 Even Arthur Jensen said that race differences in associative learning ability are not likely to exist. This means that they are just as afraid to walk around in the ghetto as white people are. They have questions of their own. Over half of Nigeria has accessed the internet in the last year and their per capita GDP is on par with what many European nations had going on in the late 1800’s. Not that long ago, race differences in intelligence were universally known to be true and there was more civilized behavior in many regards. Many African Americans see race differences in intelligence as legitimate possibilities themselves. The belief that African Americans are too fragile for the topic to be debated openly is patronizing.
- The whites that deliberately inflict harm on African Americans for the color of their skin are not motivated by IQ test scores. Taylor cites an instance of a man who was raped in prison by African American men as somebody who was not thinking about IQ tests when he committed a hate crime. This is a major point to the debate. Would the existence of race difference give any credence to racism? I do not even think that arguments in favor of more genetically compatible immigrants to reduce harm on social cohesion would win out. The belief that these facts would cause transformations in society is absurd.
- These facts do have consequences because the status quo of race based preferences results in allocative inefficiency.
Developmental differences between human races should be viewed no different than we view differences between other groups of organisms, both scientifically and dispassionately.
Conflating r/K Life History Strategies With Culture
Human diversity appears to be far greater than originally estimated (Ochoa & Storey, 2019). In fact, some pairwise Fst values are strikingly high using this method. John Storey is well respected and is a brilliant biostatistician.
Larger brains relative to body size tend to be robustly correlated with various life history traits across species and we cannot deny this.
And of course in primates as well.
Here is are two graphs from the book Factfulness. As you may be able to tell, nations with similar childhood mortality rates level off in how low they can make them, but they have a wide variety of birth rates. These differences are then said to be due to economic development. I find it most likely that the answer is due to life history strategies.
While westerners haver intervened in Africa to reduce these differences, the Chinese were largely able to do it on their own through economic liberalization and mutually beneficial trade with America. This is certainly not the case in most of Africa which is largely dependent on foreign aid, philanthropy, etc.
In fact, there are some methods by which we can test these theories.
Black women are also much more likely to have low birthweight children, and this persists in net of socioeconomics and other demographic variables. We also have to consider that on average, African American women that get higher levels of education have more non-African Admixture.
It is highly unlikely that disparities of this magnitude are based purely off of racism. Hispanics have lower access to healthcare than African Americans. Asians being classified as low birth weight is a misleading category in my opinion. We do not have racial/ethnic norms that match the reality of racial/ethnic norms in my opinion.
“One in every five babies born to mothers who smoke during pregnancy has low birth weight. Mothers who are exposed to secondhand smoke while pregnant are more likely to have lower birth weight babies. Babies born too small or too early are not as healthy.” — CDC Page on Smoking During Pregancy
Does not establish causality.
“Sibling analysis showed that continuous smoking reduces birthweight by 162 grams for mothers who were light smokers (1 to 9 cigarettes per day) and 226 g on average for those who were heavy smokers throughout the pregnancy in comparison to non-smoker mothers” — Juarez & Merlo, 2013
Sibling analysis/within family data implies probabilistic causality to me.
Here is a county level regression of the rates of low birth rates
Let’s examine the residuals! Woah! Surprise!
Causal variable vs. Variable that you are racist for associating with it, unbelievable!
Breast feeding differences also tend to converge with the life history strategies. The belief that we should merely consider this a cultural difference is unfounded given the nature of gene-culture co-evolution, but also, it does not seem to be too relevant to race.
“Breastfeeding rates differ between racial/ethnic groups in the United States, resulting in considerable health disparities for infants. Black infants are breastfed for substantially shorter periods compared with white infants, and Hispanic infants are breastfed for significantly longer periods.”
Hispanic women breastfeed longer and do not have kids with higher IQ’s than whites, even when matched for SES (established earlier). This strongly implies that the breastfeeding is not a cause of the racial/ethnic differences unless you believe that the causes of these differences are “sometimes” genetic.
From an evolutionary perspective, which is more probable — major differences in the quality of maternal instinct or differences in developmental time lines that exist? I think that developmental differences that exist between those with autism and those without, men and women, and between different human subpopulations is exponentially more probable than women of one race being oblivious to their child’s development. Especially in a first world nation like America. Maybe in Africa they do not have the medical expertise, but I think that African American women would get the message if they were doing everything wrong.
I would have to see evidence that there is a relationship between IQ and breastfeeding that produces gains that correlate with g loadings similar to the way that the race differences do. It is equally likely that certain behaviors are done more frequently by high IQ people. Is it more likely that having movie theater in the house raises the child’s IQ or that high IQ people have good jobs and can afford homes with movie theaters in them?
There is a also a high heritability of different motor milestones. While high heritability estimates do not disqualify the possibility of race differences being purely environmental, it gives a good sense of the probability of a genetic explanation vs. mix of genetic and environmental factors. For example, would you suggest that the difference in height between the average Northern European and the average Italian are purely environmental? I think that I would pump the breaks on that one.
There are considerable race differences in the age of puberty onset as well.
With time, over the decades in the 20th century, there was actually divergence between the physiological development timelines between white and black girls.
This incredibly strong evidence for the argument that black children just develop quicker and the mothers stop breastfeeding at a younger age. This has been argued as a basis for black intellectual superiority, which is fine — they are free to argue this. There is no reason that it should be off limits to argue differences in life history strategies using a similar set of facts, but applying them to an alternative theory that is more mainstream in ecology.
Arguments that these differences are due to socioeconomic status can actually be dismissed because these developmental differences are not dependent on socioeconomic status.
I have heard cultural arguments on this stuff too, I find it stupid to be honest. A more in depth analysis to proves causality is required. For the same reason that I cannot correlate IQ scores to melanin on the international level and use a correlation to prove causality, people should not find a simple correlation and assume that it is a causal relationship (or at least expect others to take it at fact value). I find it unethical to tell black people that their culture is to blame for their misfortunes without any hard evidence for it. This sort of “black people need to be better” stuff is no better than “white people need to be better.” The reality is that it is nobody’s fault. Should black culture be better? Yeah, it could improve — but being honest with them is much better than blaming their culture for their IQ scores.
Additionally, the prenatal environment is something that you really inherit in a way. If your mom has some weird blood trait that causes you to not receive enough nutrients, you are highly likely to inherit this trait to some degree.
For fetal hemoglobin, Bao et al., 2019 estimated the heritability to be 31.6%. Compared to other blood heritability estimates, this is very low and should be considered as a possible deviation from the norms. A different study, found a narrow sense heritability of 60.9% and a broad sense heritability that 70.8% for fetal hemoglobin in twins (Pilia et al., 2006). The 2019 study was in sickle cell patients, so the results are less generalizable than other studies.
Most blood traits tend to have a considerable heritability. The confidence intervals for some traits in this study from 1999 are rather large, so more recent studies should be considered.
Some more recent estimates are a bit more conservative and suggest 41% for hematocrit and 45% hemoglobin levels (Lin et al., 2005). Interestingly, red blood cell count has had higher estimates which appear to exceed 70% heritability (Mahaney et al., 2005). I think that it can be said with a comfortable degree of certainty that the numbers for all parameters are somewhere over 35%, which implies that genetics are a non-trivial factor.
Heritability is not a pure estimate of the degree to which a trait is malleable, but it is the best estimate we have. One of the biggest blunders of modern science is debating the legitimacy of twin studies, heritability, and many other things — basically, the argument will forever be “you may not acquire the knowledge by which you would figure out the truth, you must act as though there are no differences.”
There seems to be developing consensus that race is a factor and there is a whole range of interconnected traits that centers around the muscle fiber type and the bodily demand for oxygen.
“Accumulating evidence suggests that various physiological factors (e.g. hemoglobin levels and muscle fiber type) may help to explain lower aerobic capacity in non-Hispanic Black subjects [11, 24–28]. Additionally, imbalances in these physiological structures (reduced hemoglobin and greater percentages of type II muscle fibers) are associated with several metabolic abnormalities (hypertension, type 2 diabetes)  and may help to explain a portion of the health disparities seen between non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic White subjects [10–12].” — Ceasar & Hunter, 2015
To sum that all up, African Americans have more type II muscle fibers as a percentage of muscle mass. Type II fibers do more anaerobic metabolism. This is highly likely to why they have lower lung capacity and lower hemoglobin, though to some extent, the environment may be a factor. This could explain race differences in the rate of physical activity. If cardiovascular exercise is more taxing, they will do it less.
One study concluded
“Hemoglobin levels were substantially lower in black children (120.3 g/L) than in white children (126.8 g/L). Hemoglobin concentrations were also lower in black women (128.4 g/L) than in white women (133.9 g/L), and in black men (144.8 g/L) than in white men (153.2 g/L). Blacks had lower hemoglobin concentration than whites at most levels of dietary iron intake, serum ferritin, transferrin saturation and erythrocyte protoporphyrin. Despite their lower hemoglobin levels, blacks had higher serum ferritin levels than whites. These results suggest that the difference in hemoglobin concentrations between blacks and whites in the United States is the result of factors other than iron intake and iron status. More specific investigations of both the genetic and environmental determinants of iron utilization in blacks are needed.” — Perry et al., 1992
A study of young Americans revealed
“New criteria, based on population distribution of hemoglobin levels, may be needed for defining anemia and polycythemia in black populations and cigarette smokers.” — Cresenta et al., 1987
and a study of post menopausal women revealed
“These data suggest that differences in Hb and aerobic capacity of muscle are related to reduced VO2max in AA women. However, Hb and aerobic capacity of the muscle can only partially explain the racial differences in VO2max.” — Hunter et al., 2001
So these are differences that are persistent across the lifespan and appear to have a mix of genetic and environmental factors. I think that it would be sort of dumb to argue that there is NO genetic differences or that there are NO environmental differences.
The serum iron levels has always been a red herring in a sense that iron is not a part of the body and is something that the body uses. If the differences in groups is that they do not have the proper blood composition to process the iron, why does it matter? One reason that foods are better than vitamin supplements is that your body cannot process that much nutrients all at once and just removes the excess through urine. If the threshold at which African Americans meet their capacity of iron intake and just urinate it out is lower than that of whites, it is not the end of the world — it is not outside the realm of possibility to use methylation therapy to change the rate at which hemoglobin is reduced and see if this helps the race differences. The problem is that people would have ethical objections.
This is a reasonable hypothesis, sorry if you think that it is insulting, the human brain requires a lot more oxygen than that of other organisms. As far as the issue of East Asians, using the method of correlated vectors, we can see that the differences between whites and East Asians is of different etiology, however, that is not too hard to explain. If you extend the expensive tissue hypothesis onto muscle mass, you can easily argue that a larger proportion of the body’s oxygen is available for the brain in East Asians which combined with encephalization quotient would certainly outweigh any sort of blood differences.
What exactly is serum iron and why do people correlate it to IQ? Serum iron is the amount of iron in your blood. It is stored in hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein found in erythrocytes — red blood cells. The amount of red blood cells that you have called RBC count. There are race differences in all of these things and the only one one people talk about is the serum iron levels because of their internal biases and they would sound silly making more biologically literate arguments.
Hematocrit is the proportion of the blood volume that erythrocytes occupy and MCV means mean corpuscular volume. Corpuscular volume is referring to the volume of the red blood cells.
Among age-matched subjects of the same sex, the average hemoglobin level was higher in whites (0.72 g/dL in women; 0.58 g/dL in men) as was the hematocrit level (1.55% in women; 0.92% in men). The average MCV was also lower in African-Americans (2.99 fl in women; 2.72 fl in men).
There are group differences in both hematocrit % and red blood cell counts (Lim et al., 2015). It has been found that red blood cell count is extremely heritable, at over 70% (Mahaney et al., 2005). Differences in a trait that is so highly heritable are highly unlikely to be due to environmental factors alone, which has appeared to be a persistent scientific consensus across decades. Given the combination of high heritability and longstanding scientific consensus, it is incredibly difficult to argue against the assertion that differences in prenatal environments are not at least partially due to genetics.
Using environmental evidence to say that races are actually the same in IQ is impossible to me. There are no differences when you extract g? That is — the only reason environments differ are IQ scores.
This is a big deal. If you are growing up in poverty, best of wishes. I do not wish misfortune on anyone, however, The Bell Curve is what it is. Some people in poverty really are smart, but on average, around the midpoint of the parents is to be expected.
Performance in school is strongly correlated to IQ. More cerebral subjects (math and science) correlate better than English, which correlates better than music and arts, which correlates better than gym. More advanced schooling (high school and college) tend to produce better correlations than elementary and middle school, and intelligence tests with both verbal and non-verbal components tend to correlate better with outcomes (Roth et al., 2015; Postlethwaite, 2011). Blaming systemic racism is a dubious tactic.
Additionally, the SES throughout childhood is mediated by the genetics of your parents — your genetics come from your parents. Twin studies show that the heritability of income is about 40% in men. I don’t think that income impacts IQ, but if it does, teasing apart the genetic factors matters. Additionally, are there biological predictors of runaway fathers? Well yes, but I think that I will assume it is the culture and not the race on this one (despite lots of data that suggests this is a global pattern for Sub Saharan Africans in non African nations — America, Brazil, UK, and so on).
The fact that poor people stay poor is not a product of a rigged system. It is not a product of cyclic oppression, it is called the heritability of intelligence in the knowledge economy. While IQ is not everything when it comes to income, at the aggregate level, it is a pretty good indicator.
Another environmental variable that some blame as a unique factor is the environmental racism. Using county level data from the CDC, I investigated environmental racism.
It seems to be a dubious hypothesis to me, Chief. A lot of these counties without black people are just cornfields in Nebraska that do not have a whole lot of people.
A very small percentage of the variation can be explained by the % African American and the number of African Americans in a county. In fact, this is really just a proxy for environmental regulation and urban areas. I guess in a way, it is unfair that African Americans vote for democrats who want environmental protections and conservative whites stop that. It has been shown that being around African Americans and Hispanics makes whites more conservative.
A map of COPD suggests that it is particularly white areas, aside from Mississippi, that have these issues the most and Latino Areas. Florida, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and a whole lot of white places. I attribute this to smoking, others say it is socioeconomics. Bottom line, the air quality is certainly not bad in Chicago (Cook County) or Detroit (Wayne County) relative to the national averages. To be complaining about sub-par by local standards is absurd. There is not an X-factor of environmental racism.