Sunday, October 21, 2007

Are people of color less intelligent?


The statement last week by Nobel Laureate Geneticist Dr. James Watson regarding Africa as a laggard has slightly re-opened the taboo subject of the link between race and intelligence.
Here's what The Times of London reported: "The scientist, who won the Nobel prize for his part in discovering the structure of DNA, was quoted in an interview in The Sunday Times saying he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours - whereas all the testing says not really.”
When I saw this, my first reaction was: Does Watson have a history of racist thinking? Like another Nobel Laureate and semiconductor pioneer William Shockley? Or he just naively spoke his mind without realizing the consequences? Well, Dr. Watson is no stranger to controversy. He has previously argued that stupidity is a disease that should be cured, and that "it would be great" if women were genetically engineered to be pretty
Nonetheless, I decided to search for "testing" that Dr. Watson refers to. And here's what I found:

Richard Lynn, "Race Differences in Intelligence: An Evolutionary Analysis" 2006 Table 16.2 (indigenous populations) Estimated average IQ
Arctic Peoples 91
East Asians 105
Europeans 100
Native Americans (north & south) 86
Southern Asian & Northern Africans 84
Bushmen (southern Africa) 54
Africans (subsaharan) 67
Native Australians (aboriginals) 62
Southeast Asians 87
Pacific Islanders 85

Apparently, this is a compilation of data from "credible sources" and published in respected journals such as American Journal of Psychology. The neutrality and factual accuracy of these studies and data have been questioned by many researchers and scientists. The most common criticisms are that these studies and tests are developed in the European context and they measure mainly problem-solving capability and skills.
For those who are curious, Pakistanis are included along with Indians in Southern Asia with an average IQ of 84, about 16 points below Europeans and almost 21 points behind East Asians including Chinese, Japanese and Koreans.

On the question of nature versus nurture, here are some data on minorities tested in North America and Europe:















This data indicates that the context and the environment do have an impact on the IQ test results but they do not completely erase the difference. However, the debate continues with lots of questions as to the design, the content and the bias in IQ tests.
What do you think? Please comment.

Related Links:

Mena Pakistan

14 comments:

Riaz Haq said...

With an IQ of 123, Barack Obama is well ahead of the average of 100 for whites and 85 for African-Americans. For comparison, McCain's IQ is 133. For all practical purposes, McCain and Obama are in about same range. However, both Bill and Hillary Clinton have higher IQs in the range of 135-140.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt of a piece by Bill Gates:

The cognitive problems created by malaria are another strong reason why our foundation has made fighting it a priority. We’re trying to help develop a safe, highly effective and affordable malaria vaccine, while also supporting efforts to improve treatment, diagnostics and other malaria control measures.

Widespread infectious disease may even impair kids who don’t get sick themselves. Adults who are ill are less productive; farmers grow less food, for example. Less food means less energy available for their kids and their kids’ brain development. An article in The Lancet medical journal estimates that because of malnutrition, poverty and poor health, over 200 million children under five years are not fulfilling their developmental potential.

In the past, some people have suggested that poor countries are poor because the people there have lower IQs. But it’s really the other way around. Poverty breeds disease, which can affect brain development, which reinforces poverty. Improving global health is a way to break this cycle.

Riaz Haq said...

Bill Gates, a strong financier and supporter of vaccination against infections diseases, has a reported IQ of 160.

If you want to find out IQs of other famous people like Albert Einstein, Albrecht Haller, Alexander Pope, Andrew Jackson, Andrew Wiles, Andy Warhol, Anthonis Dyck, Antoine Arnauld, Arne Beurling, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Baruch Spinoza, Beethoven, Ben Franklin, Benjamin Netanyahu, Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Blaise Pascal IQ Score, Bobby Fischer, Carl Linne, and Charles Darwin, please take a look at http://www.kids-iq-tests.com/famous3.html.

Riaz Haq said...

Here is a little trivia in response to the worst of the right-wing caste-ist Hindu racists and bigots who claim higher levels of intelligence:

According to Lynn's worldwide IQ data published by Webster Online dictionary, Pakistanis avg IQ rose from 81 in 2002 to 84 in 2006, while Indians's avg IQ increased by just one point from 81 to 82.

http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/definitions/IQ+and+Global+Inequality?cx=partner-pub-0939450753529744%3Av0qd01-tdlq&cof=FORID%3A9&ie=UTF-8&q=IQ+and+Global+Inequality&sa=Search#922

A recent UNM study linking IQs and disease burdens can be the basis for rationalizing it.

Looking at the situation in South Asia, it appears from the WHO data that Pakistan is doing a bit better than India in 12 out of 14 disease groups ranging from diarrhea to heart disease to intentional injuries, and it is equal for the remaining two (Malaria and Asthma).

Poverty, hunger, unsanitary or unsafe conditions and inadequate health care in South Asia's developing nations are exposing their citizens to high risk of a variety of diseases which may impact their intelligence. Every year, World Health Organization reports what it calls "Environmental Burden of Disease" in each country of the world in terms of disability adjusted life years (DALYs) per 1000 people and total number of deaths from diseases ranging from diarrhea and other infectious diseases to heart disease, road traffic injuries and different forms of cancer.

In the range of DALYs/1000 capita from 13 (lowest) to 289 (highest), WHO's latest data indicates that India is at 65 while Pakistan is slightly better at 58. In terms of total number of deaths per year from disease, India stands at 2.7 million deaths while Pakistani death toll is 318, 400 people. Among other South Asian nations, Afghanistan's DALYs/1000 is 255, Bangladesh 64 and Sri Lanka 61. By contrast, the DALYs/1000 figures are 14 for Singapore and 32 for China.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from a paper by Professor J. Philippe Rushton on IQ variations across the world:

Classical anthropology often placed South Asians and North Africans in the same taxonomic group as Europeans and designated them both as Caucasoids. But modern genetic studies, such as those by L. L. Cavalli-Sforza, show the South Asians/North Africans are a surprisingly distinct "genetic cluster". They can be distinguished from Europeans to their north as well as from sub-Saharan Africans to their south and the other Asian groups to their east.

The evidence that the average IQ of the North Africans/South Asians is as low as 85 is extensive. Lynn reviewed 37 IQ studies from 16 countries such as India, Pakistan, Turkey, Iran, and Iraq and found an IQ range of from 77 to 96 with a median of 84. He reviewed 13 studies of immigrants from those countries in the UK and Australia and found a median IQ of 89. He reviewed 18 further studies of South Asians and North Africans in Continental Europe and found a median IQ of 84. He reviewed 9 studies of South Asians in Africa, Fiji, Malaysia, and Mauritius and found a median IQ of 88. Finally, Lynn reviewed 13 studies of select South Asian and North African high school and university students and found a median IQ of 92, eight points higher than that of general population samples.

Lynn’s finding of an average South Asian IQ of 85 has been corroborated by Jan te Nijenhuis and colleagues in Holland, who analyzed thousands of respondents including nationally representative samples. They found an average IQ of 81 for first generation Turks and Moroccans living in the Netherlands. They found an IQ of 88 for the second generation, who spoke Dutch and had been educated in the Dutch school system. They published their results in the 2004 European Journal of Personality.

Another finding of a low South Asian IQ came from a review of studies on the Gypsies (or Roma as they are now often called). This South Asian population migrated to southeastern Europe from northwest India between the 9th and 14th centuries and currently number between 4 and 10 million. Their average IQ in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, based on a review of 10 studies by Petr Bakalar, is below 80. His review was published in the 2004 Mankind Quarterly.

I too have confirmed the very low IQ for the Roma. This was in a study carried out in and around Belgrade, in Serbia. My colleagues and I individually tested 323 16- to 66-year-olds over a two-year period in three separate communities using the Raven’s Matrices, a widely-used, culture-reduced, non-verbal test of general intelligence, and four other tests usually given to children. On these tests, we found the Roma averaged at the level of Serbian 10-year-olds. (Our study was published in the January 2007 issue of Intelligence.)


http://www.vdare.com/rushton/070926_indians.htm

Mayraj said...

Yet in tests measuring many traits, from intelligence to self-control, the power of the home environment pales in comparison to the power of genes and peer groups. We may think we're sculptors, but the clay is mostly set.
A new paper suggests that both metaphors can be true. Which one is relevant depends, it turns out, on the economic status of families.



When it came to the mental ability of 10-month-olds, the home environment was the key variable, across every socioeconomic class. But results for the 2-year-olds were dramatically different. In children from poorer households, the choices of parents still mattered. In fact, the researchers estimated that the home environment accounted for approximately 80% of the individual variance in mental ability among poor 2-year-olds. The effect of genetics was negligible.


The opposite pattern appeared in 2-year-olds from wealthy households. For these kids, genetics primarily determined performance, accounting for nearly 50% of all variation in mental ability. (The scientists made this conclusion based on the fact that identical twins performed much more similarly than fraternal twins.) The home environment was a distant second. For parents, the correlation appears to be clear: As wealth increases, the choices of adults play a much smaller role in determining the mental ability of their children.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703954004576090020541379588.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

Why Rich Parents Don't Matter

Riaz Haq said...

The quality of primary and secondary education is clearly important in preparing students for higher education, and there has lately been a lot of hand wringing on about declining test scores in the US, particularly with respect to minority kids in schools.

Here are some of my thoughts on it:

1. I think the idea of pre-school education a la Sesame Street that reaches millions of kids in Pakistan is a very good one. And if it helps promote tolerance at a tender age, then that's even better. But it's not a substitute for good primary education.

2. With a PISA reading score of 500, US kids outperformed those in Germany( 497), France (496) and UK (494).

3. Based on PISA reading scores as analyzed by Steve Sailer, US Asians (score 541) are just below Shanghai students (556), US whites (525) outperform all of their peers in Europe except the Finns, and US Hispanics (466) and US Blacks (441) significantly outperform kids in dozens of countries spread across Asia, Latin America and Middle East.

For example, US Hispanics did better than Turks, Russians, Serbians, and all of Latin America.

In fact US Hispanics outperformed all BRIC nations with the exception of China.

And US Blacks did better than Bulgaria, Mexico, Thailand, Brazil, Jordan, Indonesia, Argentina, etc.

http://www.vdare.com/sailer/101219_pisa.htm

4. The only data available for India is 2003 TIMMS on which they ranked 46 on a list of 51 countries. Their score was 392 versus avg of 467. They performed very poorly. It was contained in a report titled "India Shining and Bharat Drowning".

I think Pakistani kids would probably also perform poorly on PISA and TIMMS if these tests administered there.

http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~tzajonc/india_shining_jan27_flat.pdf

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from a piece by Steve Sailor of VDare:

Lynn digs up 32 IQ studies of American Jews and seven of British Jews. He concludes that Ashkenazi Jews (ones with Yiddish-speaking ancestors) average about ten points higher than non-Hispanic white gentiles, or 110 on a scale where white Americans and Brits average 100. That would put the median Ashkenazi Jew at about the 75th percentile among whites.

IQ testing in Israel suggests that the other Jewish communities trail the Ashkenazi. Lynn estimates that Sephardim score about two points less than white gentiles, or 98. The Mizrahim (Jews from the Arab world) average around 91.

That ten-point gap between Ashkenazi and gentile whites is substantial, but not enormous. The proportion of individuals with IQs of 115 or above is about twice as great among Jews as among white gentiles. But the absolute number of gentiles is much larger.

Jews are, per capita, twice as common relative to American gentile whites over the 115 IQ level that Lynn sees as the bottom threshold for the professions, but are about 5 times more common per capita among doctors and lawyers. And in many other developed countries, these ratios are even higher.

Lynn significant (and subtle) conclusion: superior Jewish IQ isn't everything. He writes:

"This suggests that the success of the Ashkenazim is attributable to more than just their high IQs and that they also possess strong motivational and work-ethic qualities."

This profound subject has only just begun to be explored.


http://www.vdare.com/articles/lynn-on-the-jews-yes-it-s-intelligence-but-there-s-something-else-too

Riaz Haq said...

Here's interesting report linking IQ with DNA and brain size:

(RTTNews) - In what is perhaps the world's largest brain study to date, researchers have uncovered specific genes that are linked to brain size and intelligence.

The study, conducted by a team of more than 200 scientists from 100 institutions worldwide, measured the size of the brain and its memory centers in thousands of MRI images from 21,151 healthy people while simultaneously screening their DNA. According to the researchers, a variant in a gene called HMGA2 affected the brain size, as well as a person's intelligence.

Remember that every gene contains a unique sequence of four bases namely, adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T). People whose HMGA2 gene held a letter "C" instead of a "T" at a specific location on the gene possessed larger brains and scored more highly on standardized IQ tests, noted the researchers.

According to the study, there was a consistent relationship between subtle shifts in the genetic code and diminished memory centers in people with smaller brains. Since reduced brain size is a biological marker for disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, Alzheimer's disease and dementia, if we identify the gene variants that deplete brain tissue beyond normal in a healthy person, it can be targeted with a drug to reduce the risk of those diseases, said the researchers.

Commenting on the study findings, lead researcher Paul Thompson, a neurologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine, said, "This is a really exciting discovery, that a single letter change leads to a bigger brain. For the first time, we have watertight evidence of how these genes affect the brain.


http://www.rttnews.com/1860746/big-brain-and-high-iq-a-one-letter-change-in-genetic-code.aspx

HopeWins Junior said...

^^RH: "Here is a little trivia in response to the worst of the right-wing caste-ist Hindu racists and bigots who claim higher levels of intelligence..."
----

http://alturl.com/kvy5h

Riaz Haq said...

The latest 2012 IQ data published by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen puts mean IQ of Pakistanis at 84 and of Indians at 82.2, and Bangladeshis at 81.

Each country has big std deviations and large positive outliers.

The highest IQs are reported for East Asia (100+) and the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa (just over 70).

https://lesacreduprintemps19.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/intelligence-a-unifying-construct-for-the-social-sciences-richard-lynn-and-tatu-vanhanen.pdf

Riaz Haq said...

Recent studies have suggested that India’s traditional caste system remains surprisingly intact despite the country’s economic surge. A 2011 report, for instance, found that in “40 percent of the schools across sample districts in Uttar Pradesh—India’s most populous state, with 199 million people—teachers and students refuse to partake of government-sponsored free midday meals because they are cooked by dalits (once known as untouchables).” It's also certainly still a factor in the country's politics, as shown by the emergence of the controversial Dalit politician Mayawati.
But when did the caste system actually begin? One team of researchers believes the country’s genetic history holds the key. In a recent paper published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, researchers from Harvard, MIT, and the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad assembled what they call the “most comprehensive sampling of Indian genetic variation to date,” using samples collected from 571 individuals belonging to 73 “well-defined ethno-linguistic groups.” The data allowed the authors to trace not just the genetic mixture between these groups but how long ago this mixture occurred.
Five thousand years ago, the ancestors of modern Indians were comprised primarily of two groups: ancestral North Indians, who related to people of Central Asia, the Middle East, the Caucasus, and Europe, and ancestral South Indians, who are not closely related to groups outside the subcontinent. The mixture between these two groups and their many subcategories happened mostly between 4,200 and 1,900 years ago, according to the study. The authors note that this period is significant as it was a "time of profound change in India, characterized by the deurbanization of the Indus civilization, increasing population density in the central and downstream portions of the Gangetic system, shifts in burial practices, and the likely first appearance of Indo-European languages and Vedic religion in the subcontinent.”
Around 1,900 years ago, the mixture largely stopped, as Indian society moved toward endogamy—the practice of avoiding intermarriage or close relationships between ethnic groups—which reached its most extreme form in the creation of the caste system. As one of the study’s authors told the Times of India, "the present-day structure of the caste system came into being only relatively recently in Indian history."
How long it will last into the future is another question.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_world_/2013/08/20/origins_of_india_s_caste_system_genetic_research_suggests_the_country_s.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a review of Nicholas Wade's book "Troubled Inheritance" written by Matt Ridley:

Humans are not all the same under the skin
Matt Ridley
The Times
Monday May 12, 2014
There are genetic variations between races, but they don’t matter. It is co-operation that brings progress to our species.
Is it necessary to believe that racial differences are small and skin-deep in order not to be a racist? For the first half of the last century, science generally exaggerated stereotypes of racial difference in behaviour and assumed that they were innate and immutable. For the second half, science generally asserted that there were no differences — save the obvious, visible ones — and used this argument to combat prejudice.
Yet that second premise is becoming increasingly untenable in the genomic era as more details emerge of human genetic diversity. We will have to justify equal treatment using something other than identity of nature. Fortunately, it’s easily done.
Human evolution did not cease thousands of years ago; it has been “recent, copious and regional”, in the words of Nicholas Wade, a veteran New York Times science writer and the author of A Troublesome Inheritance, an eloquent but disturbing book on genes, race and human history, which was published last week. ...
Perhaps people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent have high average IQs because for centuries their ancestors worked almost exclusively in professions such as money-lending, where exceptional literacy and numeracy were rewarded with greater fecundity. Or perhaps Chinese people show greater conformity because for centuries those who could stomach Confucian rote-learning and obedience got to have more surviving children. These are no more far-fetched arguments than to suppose that ancestral Inuit with genetic adaptations for coping with the cold had more offspring.
Nor is it implausible that over millennia of settled, agricultural and urban living, with the execution or ostracism of “skull-cracker” misfits, selection took place for tameness in the natives of Europe or India compared with say, New Guinea or the Amazon. Thanks to “soft sweeps” — where multiple existing gene variants change in frequency — evolution can work a lot faster than we used to think. ...
So Wade is absolutely right that the old assumption that human behaviour did not evolve much after the divergence of human races at the end of the old Stone Age has to be wrong. The comforting message that biologists sent to social scientists in the 1960s — that they were sure there was no biological basis for race, which could instead be regarded as a social construct — is bunk.
True, the boundaries of races are blurred, and the differences between individuals dwarf those between average members of different races, but differences there are, and not just in skin pigment. The more we look, the more genetic variation we will find between races, as well as between individuals, so we had better get ready to deal with such discoveries, if only for medical reasons. Some diseases afflict certain races more; some drugs work differently in different races.
However, I part company with the next step in Wade’s argument. He tries to explain too much of human history by gene changes. The industrial revolution started in Europe and not China, he suggests, partly because Europe had been preconditioned by genetic evolution for the sort of economic openness that sparked accelerating innovation. ...


http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/columnists/article4086860.ece

Riaz Haq said...

Why can't we talk about IQ?
By Jason Richwine

I’m speaking from experience. My Harvard Ph.D. dissertation contains some scientifically unremarkable statements about ethnic differences in average IQ, including the IQ difference between Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites. For four years, the dissertation did what almost every other dissertation does — collected dust in the university library. But when it was unearthed in the midst of the immigration debate, I experienced the vilification firsthand.
( PHOTOS: 10 wild immigration quotes)
For people who have studied mental ability, what’s truly frustrating is the déjà vu they feel each time a media firestorm like this one erupts. Attempts by experts in the field to defend the embattled messenger inevitably fall on deaf ears. When the firestorm is over, the media’s mindset always resets to a state of comfortable ignorance, ready to be shocked all over again when the next messenger comes along.
At stake here, incidentally, is not just knowledge for the sake of knowledge, but also how science informs public policy. The U.S. education system, for example, is suffused with mental testing, yet few in the political classes understand cognitive ability research. Angry and repeated condemnations of the science will not help.
What scholars of mental ability know, but have never successfully gotten the media to understand, is that a scientific consensus, based on an extensive and consistent literature, has long been reached on many of the questions that still seem controversial to journalists.
For example, virtually all psychologists believe there is a general mental ability factor (referred to colloquially as “intelligence”) that explains much of an individual’s performance on cognitive tests. IQ tests approximately measure this general factor. Psychologists recognize that a person’s IQ score, which is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors, usually remains stable upon reaching adolescence. And they know that IQ scores are correlated with educational attainment, income, and many other socioeconomic outcomes.
In terms of group differences, people of northeast Asian descent have higher average IQ scores than people of European lineage, who in turn have higher average scores than people of sub-Saharan African descent. The average score for Hispanic Americans falls somewhere between the white and black American averages. Psychologists have tested and long rejected the notion that score differences can be explained simply by biased test questions. It is possible that genetic factors could influence IQ differences among ethnic groups, but many scientists are withholding judgment until DNA studies are able to link specific gene combinations with IQ.
( CARTOONS: Matt Wuerker on immigration)
How can I be sure all of this reflects mainstream thinking? Because, over the years, psychologists have put together statements, reports, and even books aimed at synthesizing expert opinion on IQ. Many of these efforts were made in explicit response to the periodic media firestorms that engulfed people who spoke publicly about cognitive science. It’s worth reviewing some of those incidents and detailing the scholarly responses — responses that are invariably forgotten before the next furor begins. I’ll place my own experience in that context.
Let’s start 25 years ago, with the publication of The IQ Controversy, a book by Mark Snyderman and Stanley Rothman. The authors surveyed more than 1,000 experts in the field of cognitive science to develop a picture of what the mainstream really looks like. It was very similar to the description I’ve supplied above.



Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/08/opinion-jason-richwine-095353#ixzz4I7zV5Axd
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