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I normally don’t participate in comment-threads, since responding to one item might obligate me to respond to additional ones as well. But TomB is a frequent and thoughtful commenter here and he raises an important issue, so I’ll make a special exception in this particular case.

I really was being quite sincere in my statement that I saw almost none of these huge and ignored scandals as having anything to do with the traditional Left/Right ideological fault lines. And that would certainly include the three or four at the end that I’m hoping the media might now finally decide to notice. I think the only major exception would be the “Communist Spies” with which I opened my article, whose non-coverage obviously did and does have a clear ideological skew.

If TomB or anyone else claims that most of my other scandals do have liberal roots, he really should list them and explain why they clearly fall into the Left agenda, which escapes me. For example, according to Sibel Edmonds senior American government officials were selling our nuclear weapons secrets for cash to foreign spies, and this hardly seems part of the ACLU playbook (indeed Edmonds won some sort of ACLU award for her whistleblowing). The corrupt officials involved were apparently Democrats working under Clinton, but they were later protected by their friends, who were Republicans working under Bush.

Admittedly, about 95% of the American media skews liberal, so denouncing the American media as incompetent or corrupt necessarily means you’re mostly denouncing liberals. But FoxNews contributes its own share and anyway I just don’t see an ideological factor at work.

I’m certainly not denying there may be other media scandals with a clear ideological tinge. For example, in the past I’ve expressed my skepticism over Global Warming, and if that’s indeed a hoax promoted by the media, ideology would certainly play a role. But since I’m not at all convinced of the true facts one way or the other, I really can’t use that example: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/two-cheers-for-heresy-on-global-warming/

I’d be the first to admit that liberalism is wrong about all sorts of things and has promoted many harmful policies over the decades (though I’d probably say the same about modern conservatism). But I just don’t see much connection with the topics in my American Pravda article.

2013-06-06 02:58:05 Ron Unz

Glaivester: Greg Cochran may be brilliant, but he is also quite arrogant, so anyone who disagrees with him on anything is in for a lot of grief from him.

Well, you appear to be correct. After he produced his lengthy post attacking my critique of his Gay Germ theory, I showed up and published a couple of comments in response, but he now seems to have censored/banned me, perhaps because I was defending myself a bit too well. Here are my two published comments:



His response to the second was:
Chlamydia often causes sterility. There are parts of the world – Africa’s ‘sterility belt’, where tens of percent of women were sterile or had drastically lowered fertility, before antibiotics became widely available.

According to your argument, that can’t have happened. But it did.

Enough already. Your style of argumentation is not productive.

To which I responded:
Aren’t sterile women in those African societies usually forced into prostitution? Hasn’t there been quite a bit of speculation in ev-bio circles that the sterility inflicted by the disease therefore greatly increases the effectiveness of its vector transmission to additional hosts? Now *that* is an ev-bio disease hypothesis that makes perfectly good sense to me.

After three tries last night, my comment still hasn’t appeared, so I suppose our dialogue is at an end. Obviously, it’s his blogsite and he can do whatever he wants with it, but I doubt if such behavior enhances his scientific credibility. Stephen Jay Gould would be proud.

2013-04-17 19:56:12 Ron Unz

(I generally avoid involving myself in TAC comment-threads, but I’ll copy my response from the Westhunter debate)

Of *course*, I’m aware of all those Hamilton inclusive-fitness issues, and quite possibly have been for much longer than gcochran, given my strong interest in the topic stretches back to the late 1970s. And I also agree that E.O. Wilson is almost certainly mistaken on the Gay Uncle Hypothesis, but since the Gay Germ Hypothesis seems just as ridiculous, I don’t think the harsh insults to Wilson’s intelligence were warranted.

Consider the Gay Germ model. I don’t think that anyone has ever suggested that the germ actually transmits itself via the sexual behavior in question, so that behavior is seemingly a inessential byproduct to the germ life-cycle. If the behavior doesn’t matter to the germ, but obviously matters very, very much to the genes of the host, there would be powerful selective pressure upon the germ to drop that particular extended phenotypic expression, after which the host would declare a permanent truce in the evolutionary arms race. After all, the human body is filled with a multitude of free-riding germs, so who cares about a few more?

GCochran correctly points out the *massive* selective pressure against gay behavior. So if the germ didn’t really need it for anything, why keep it?

This is *extremely* different from the case of nearly all infectious diseases, in which the harm inflicted upon the host is directly related to the massive multiplication or propagation of the germ. If gays ran around biting straights and thereby turning them gay, then I’d agree that a germ was probably responsible.

2013-04-17 04:07:01 Ron Unz

Abe Kohen:

The regular volume of comments usually precludes my direct participation, but given your detailed examination of the issue, I’ll make a special exception in your case.

Your list of likely Jewish names in the 2013 Harvard PBKs generally seem very reasonable to me, though there will always a small number of borderline cases. But since only the full 2012 PBKs had been finalized, I stopped with that year, and focused on the 1966-2012 lists, ignoring the partial 2013 results.

Small samples inevitably lead to the problem of statistical fluctuations, and this is obviously true for the “Junior 24 PBKs.” In fact, checking my own estimates for 2000-2012, I found a huge dispersion of annual results, with the number of likely Jewish names ranging between 0 and 9, but averaging about 4.6. So it’s very possible that the 2013 figure is just an outlier due to the academic quality of the particular students for that year.

The total PBKs for a given year generally run 160-170, so the annual fluctuations are much smaller, but still present. During 2000-2012 my estimates of the number of likely Jewish names ranged between 17 and 35, or 10% to 20%. For these reasons, I only reported my results aggregated by decade, thereby minimizing these fluctuations.

You might want to examine some of the annual lists on the Harvard website, and see how well your estimates of likely Jewish names might match my own, as reported in Appendix G. I doubt the match would be exact, but I do suspect it would be reasonably close.

Incidentally, as I also discussed in that appendix, the presence of large numbers of International students in recent decades renders the PBK figures somewhat unreliable as an estimate of the distribution of American performance. The overwhelming majority of International students come from countries with very small or even non-existent Jewish populations, and it’s very possible that a disproportionate number of the Harvard PBKs with Asian or non-Jewish white names may be such Internationals, thereby distorting the implied American ethnic ratios. That’s one reason I confined my mention of the PBK estimates to just a footnote.

2013-02-05 03:26:32 Ron Unz

Chuck: I checked the GSS data and was unable to replicate Inductivist’s results.

I looked at your blog posting and I think you have severe reading comprehension difficulties. The GSS calculation performed referred to AMERICAN-BORN Mex-Ams, as was heavily emphasized both in the original Inductivist posting and my own article. I just now went back to the GSS system, and by an amazing coincidence replicated his findings precisely. The GSS variables to use are: WORDSUM, YEAR, ETHNIC=MEXICO, BORN=YES. Without attempting any Wordsum-to-IQ conversions, the raw figures I got were:

Avg Wordsum for American-Born Mex-Ams: 1970s=4.17, 1980s=4.04, 1990s=5.11, 2000s=5.58

Avg Wordsum for Whites: 1970s=6.12, 1980s=6.14, 1990s=6.33, 2000s=6.41

Avg Wordsum Mex-Am/White Delta: 1970s=1.95, 1980s=2.10, 1990s=1.22, 2000s=0.83

The Mex-Am sample for the 1970s is tiny—just 12—so let’s focus on the 1980s forward. We see that between the 1980s and the 2000s, the Wordsum-IQ gap between American-Born Mex-Ams and whites has dropped from 2.10 to 0.83 or about 61%. I loosely described this as “almost two-thirds”

As for the NLYS-97 Mex-Am IQ calculation, the results were provided to me by a somewhat prominent rightwing blogger who is strongly anti-immigration and highly-skilled in quantitative matters. Unfortunately, he asked me not to reveal his identity. But now that he’s read my article and found it quite impressive, I’ve asked him whether I can reveal the source of my result.

gcochran: this analysis reminds me of your…idea that there are still a number of POWs left in Indochina.

Well, I realize that “gcochran” is an individual of totally unparalleled genius in all matters throughout the universe. But perhaps people should consider the overwhelming evidence compiled by one of America’s foremost Pulitzer Prize winning Vietnam War journalists, who later served as a top editor of the New York Times. Incidentally, his detailed claims have been backed by two other New York Times Pulitzer Prize winners as well as a couple of former Republican Congressmen with an Intelligence background, and were privately confirmed to me by various other reasonably credible individuals.

Read and decide for yourselves:

Was Rambo Right?

McCain and the POW Cover-Up

2012-07-25 05:50:20 Ron Unz

The parasites grow fearful for their continued access to the host…

2011-12-21 17:44:56 RKU

Paul Gottfried: I’m also not sure that their anti-abortion enthusiasm is as great as Michael suggests. Pat Robertson touted Giuliani as a presidential candidate on his television program, despite Giuliani enthusiastic advocacy of a pro-choice position throughout his career.

Actually, the evidence may be much stronger than that. I remember a few years ago Robertson happened to get a little careless on TV and said he personally supported the forced-abortion policies of the Chinese government, which made sense because China was over-crowded. Now it seems to me this tends to raise all sorts of doubts whether Robertson (and perhaps some of his other ranking Evangelical colleagues) really do believe that abortion violates Divine Law.

Unless I’m mistaken, Protestant clergymen never used to care much about abortion until a few decades ago, unlike Catholics, who always condemned it (along with birth control). I’m not exactly sure what changed, but I doubt it was the text of the Protestant Bible…

2011-05-13 00:53:34 RKU

Well, the U.S.Gov keeps changing its story and changing its story and changing its story.

Meanwhile, that free-lance mercenary (a.k.a. “U.S. Diplomatic Staffer”) was caught with all those guns, ammunition, and other extremely suspicious possessions. And several Pak officials have allegedly confirmed that the two locals he shot dead (who never drew their guns) were indeed ISI agents, tailing him because of suspicions regarding his extremely nefarious activities.

Seems to me, if a Pak mercenary in DC suspected of terrorist activity shot dead the two FBI agents assigned to tail him, the American government would be a little peeved. But, hey, what do I know…

2011-02-11 20:37:28 RKU

“That does raise the obvious question of how the U.S. would have reacted had it been a Pakistani gunnng down two Black Americans in Washington, D.C. under similar circumstances and the Pakistani “diplomat” was operating under a visa similar to the one carried by the American sharpshooter in Pakistan.”

Or perhaps gunning down two FBI agents in DC, with a Pakistani backup-team then striking down a pedestrian as well…

2011-02-10 05:23:21 RKU


Ha, ha! I guess that Lynn’s IQ numbers must then just be totally wrong, or at least the studies done in Europe and based on the largest sample-sizes.

And frankly, I’m not totally sure whether the history of the last few hundred years in Ireland is such a shining example of the tip-top peaks of world civilization…

2010-03-16 03:03:56 RKU


Or the Irish in Ireland. One of the largest studies in Lynn’s IQ book found that the 1970s Irish IQ was precisely the same—87!

I wonder why the British never thought of using that same trick against the IRA…

2010-03-15 18:57:49 RKU

Well, I certainly have mixed feelings on the war issues involved, being pretty close to “Patrick” in my overall evaluation. But we should keep in mind that aside from New Mexico, most of the vast territory involved was basically almost empty semi-desert. I think that the entire Spanish-speaking population of California at that point was something like 8,000, and even that of Texas was just 15,000-20,000. Perhaps the analogy with Alaska might be closer than most people realize.

2009-11-14 18:32:49 RKU

Well, perhaps. But I find this detailed Iranian election analysis much more persuasive:


And Flynt Leverett, who was top NSC staffer specializing in Iran, comes to a similar conclusion:


2009-06-23 01:34:03 RKU

Q: Tom Maheras, how could you have made such a dreadful mistake?

Maheras: Look, I walked away with $137 million…What mistake??!!

2008-11-24 23:56:20 RKU

This brings to mind the late Sam Francis’s notion of “Anarcho-Tyranny”, but extended to the international category.

We go around the world attacking lots of countries for no logical reason and endlessly meddling in things that don’t concern us…

Meanwhile, gangs of pirates begin hijacking huge oil-tankers sailing down rom the Persian Gulf, and nobody does anything about it…

2008-11-20 04:23:30 RKU

“Anschluss”…or “Ribbentrop-Molotov”?…

2008-11-18 20:27:24 RKU
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Aren't sterile women in those African societies usually forced into prostitution? Hasn't there been quite a bit of speculation in ev-bio circles that the sterility inflicted by the disease therefore greatly increases the effectiveness of its vector transmission to additional hosts? Now *that* is an ev-bio disease hypothesis that makes perfectly good sense to me. 2013-04-16T23:50:22-06:00 Ron Unz
Look, none of this is very complicated. Why do hosts oppose the presence of infectious disease germs (or any other type of parasite)?

(1) The germ may convert substantial portions of the host's nutrients or biomass into more germs.

(2) The germ may clog up or otherwise disrupt the host's functional systems in order to propagate itself throughout the host.

(3) The germ may alter the host's behavior in ways that are harmful to the host but necessary to transmit the germ to other hosts.

Now let's consider which of these symptoms are found in individuals infected with the alleged "Gay Germ":

(1) Nope.

(2) Nope.

(3) Apparently not.

So as near as we can tell, the only negative impact of the alleged germ is to alter the host's sexual behavior in a way apparently not beneficial to the germ but *massively* harmful to the host's genes. This makes absolutely no evolutionary sense for an infectious disease.

One of the problems with your particular disease examples is the same one you use to attack Wilson: the huge selective pressure involved. I really don't think 3% of every generation got paralyzed by polio before reproducing, and I similarly doubt that leprosy or syphilis generally had a 3% impact on the reproductive fitness of a population. And in the case of the hypothetical mimicry, the harm inflicted is directly, causally related to the needs of the germ to safeguard itself.

A 3% hit to reproductive fitness is HUGE---the host population will evolve rapidly to protect against something like that. And if it's a useless byproduct of the germ's activity, the germ will be under strong pressure to modify it and declare a truce with the host.

For example, I just checked on Wikipedia. In the 1916 American polio "epidemic", there were 27,000 total cases, most of them probably not crippling. The total population was over 100M. That's a rate of 1/4000, absolutely trivial. And remember, that was an "epidemic" year.

Offhand, I'd think that the vast, vast majority of harmful infectious diseases produce harms that are directly linked to the necessary activities of the disease. I've never heard of a *massively* harmful disease in which the harm isn't necessary to the disease. Sounds needlessly malicious to me.

Until you can propose *some* plausible reason why a Gay Germ needs the gay part, you're far behind where Wilson was. At least he came up with an explanation, even though it was wrong and silly. But you haven't yet proposed any explanation at all.
2013-04-16T23:15:19-06:00 Ron Unz
Of *course*, I'm aware of all those Hamilton inclusive-fitness issues, and quite possibly have been for much longer than gcochran, given my strong interest in the topic stretches back to the late 1970s. And I also agree that E.O. Wilson is almost certainly mistaken on the Gay Uncle Hypothesis, but since the Gay Germ Hypothesis seems just as ridiculous, I don't think the harsh insults to Wilson's intelligence were warranted.

Consider the Gay Germ model. I don't think that anyone has ever suggested that the germ actually transmits itself via the sexual behavior in question, so that behavior is seemingly a inessential byproduct to the germ life-cycle. If the behavior doesn't matter to the germ, but obviously matters very, very much to the genes of the host, there would be powerful selective pressure upon the germ to drop that particular extended phenotypic expression, after which the host would declare a permanent truce in the evolutionary arms race. After all, the human body is filled with a multitude of free-riding germs, so who cares about a few more?

GCochran correctly points out the *massive* selective pressure against gay behavior. So if the germ didn't really need it for anything, why keep it?

This is *extremely* different from the case of nearly all infectious diseases, in which the harm inflicted upon the host is directly related to the massive multiplication or propagation of the germ. If gays ran around biting straights and thereby turning them gay, then I'd agree that a germ was probably responsible.
2013-04-16T21:54:06-06:00 Ron Unz
GCochran: Clearly Ron was wrong about the numbers in the Math Olympiad. The percentage Jewish was never as high as he thought, and not nearly as low in recent years as he thought. We hear this from people deep in the bowels of the math olympiad. Well, if you're basing your claims on the Mertz journal article, that's factually incorrect. As I had already pointed out in my response, on p. 1253 Mertz et all summarized their ethnic findings in a table, determining that 26 of the 1988-2007 Math Olympiad winners were Jewish, based on exhaustive biographical research. My own figure was 23, based on spending a few minutes glancing at their names. So my casual surname analysis was off by 13%, which surprises me not in the least. See http://www.ronunz.org/2013/02/13/unz-on-meritocracy-response-to-prof-gelman-on-jewish-elite-overrepresentation/ As for all the other points, I covered them both in my original text, and later in my more recent responses, so won't bother doing so yet again. The whole topic is pretty open-and-shut. 2013-02-27T15:57:44-07:00 Ron Unz
Well, I spent a few more minutes hunting up some additional evidence on the possible long-term/more-recent Hispanic mix in NM...

As I'd mentioned, the NM Hispanic population increased over 100% from 1980-2010, while the white population grew just 21%. Now I'd assume at least of the portion of the white increase was in-migration, perhaps including a certain Cochran family, so unless there was also a great deal of Hispanic immigration, the reproductive skews between the two populations would have needed to have been astonishingly huge.

Now supposedly the theoretical maximum for human population growth is the Amish-type case, in which populations double something like every 18 years. So for the NM Hispanics to double in 30 years via natural increase, I think they'd need a TFR of around 6-7 children during those decades. Let's investigate how plausible that might be.

The Census doesn't seem to have national Hispanic TFR before 1990, but from 1990 to 2010, it averaged between 2.73 and 2.96, which seems an *awfully* long way from 6-7. Furthermore, all studies I've seen seem to show that recent Hispanic immigrants are the ones keeping the rate so high, with the second and later generations down much closer to 2. And under your model, the overwhelming majority of NM Hispanics are those later generations.

But maybe New Mexico Hispanics just crazy outliers in TFR compared to average Hispanics. So I located the recent Hispanic birth rates, as provided by the Kaiser Family Foundation. CA and TX together completely dominate the population of Meso-American Hispanics, and they have almost identical Hispanic birth rates. Meanwhile, the New Mexico Hispanic birth rate is actually a bit lower than in either of those big states. So it seems *awfully* unlikely that just a decade or two ago, NM Hispanics had triple the birthrate of all the other Hispanics in America.

I think the numbers require a great deal of NM Hispanic immigration over the last 30-40 years, and presumably there had been some more before that. I'd guess that if you took all NM Hispanics and apportioned their genetic ancestry, no more than about half would be 3rd+ generation Hispanic, and obviously less if you're talking 4th or 5th.
2012-08-17T12:45:43-06:00 Ron Unz
The first Census estimate of the Hispanic population was in 1970...The 2010 Census estimate was 970,000 970,000/379,723 = 2.55, a 155% increase. Correct. But the other Census figure for NM Hispanics in 1970 was 308,340, which would yield an increase of 215% by 2010. So the increases based on official Census estimates were between 155% and 215%, which I loosely characterized as "something like 200%." Your lower figure may certainly be correct, but I don't have a clue why the 1970 Census data would have such wide variance, nor can I judge the undercount claims you make. But suppose we leave aside the divergent 1970 figures and look at the 1980 Census data, which you argue is more accurate. During the thirty years 1980-2010, the NM Hispanic population grew a bit over 100%, which still seems an extraordinary rate if almost entirely due to natural increase. By comparison, the CA Hispanic population grew 200% during that same period, but everyone knows that the vast majority of that increase was due to a massive tidal wave of immigration; I doubt the CA Hispanic natural increase was even close to 50% over those 30 years. 2012-08-14T19:32:22-06:00 Ron Unz
‘recent’ was defined to be the past five years. New Mexico was the lowest in the US, with 6.4% Well, hasn't the national inflow of Mexicans gone to zero or even reversed over the last few years? Maybe that has something to do with it. But let's look at the broader trends and do some thinking. From what I've read, demographers tend to use the Hutterites or Amish to model the approximate theoretical limit of human population growth given their typical age of marriage and fertility---I think they average something like 10-11 children. And as a result, their populations tend to double in less than 20 years, corresponding to over 300% growth in 40 years. Now as I pointed out, during the 40 years 1970-2010 the white population in NM grew about 35% while the Hispanic population grew something like 200%. Unless the Hispanic growth had been substantially due to immigration, wouldn't that put them in the general ballpark of the Amish? "High fertility" is one thing, but I'd think you'd need an *average* TFR of something 7-8 children for a couple of generations, with families of 15 children to balance out every spinster. I don't know that I've ever been to NM, so maybe it's indeed filled with brown-skinned Amish, but I'd really find that pretty surprising. For example, the Hispanics I know with NM roots seem to have averaged 1-2 children or so over the last 50 years. 2012-08-14T11:04:03-06:00 Ron Unz
Until the wave of refugees produced by the Mexican Civil War of 1910-1920, the overwhelming majority of Hispanics in America probably had New Mexico roots. Not only had the Spanish-speaking populations of CA and TX been tiny in 1850, but they were immediately swamped demographically by the white influx, and mostly intermarried and disappeared, especially in CA. Since NM remained very heavily Hispanic, the ones there didn't disappear in the same way.

But even with the gradual inflow of Mexican immigrants this century, the Hispanic numbers were totally trivial until just the last few decades. For example, Hispanics were estimated at just 1.4% of the national population in 1940 (I don't think that includes PR), and even that recently I wouldn't be too surprised if something like 1/4 of all American Hispanics had NM roots, when you include the ones who'd gradually spread out to CO and AZ. For example, back then CA had 13x the population of NM, but only 2x the number of Hispanics.
2012-08-13T22:35:19-06:00 Ron Unz
I think you're still missing important aspects of demographic comparison between CA and NM.

For example, between 1970 and 2010, the number of Hispanics in CA increased by almost 500%. It's perfectly plausible that only 38% of CA Hispanics are foreign-born, but the vast majority of the remainder are only second-generation. If you look at the longer-term Hispanic population trends, I'd guess that 95% of the average ancestry of today's (self-identified) CA Hispanics is post-WWII. The overwhelming majority of CA Hispanics are 1st or 2nd generation, even though a majority may be American-born.

Now let's consider NM. According to Census statistics, the NM Hispanic population increased about 200% between 1970 and 2010, not as fast as CA but still awfully fast for just 40 years. For example, during that same period, the NM non-Hispanic white population grew by only about 35%. Unless NM Hispanics are total rabbits compared to their white neighbors, it's obvious that a very substantial fraction of the NM Hispanic increase came from immigration, just like in CA. I don't doubt your figure about just 17% of NM Hispanics being foreign-born, but I'd guess that something close to half NM Hispanics are either 1st or 2nd generation, obviously much less than CA, but still a great deal.

By contrast, only 1% of West Virginians are foreign-born, and I'd bet that adding second-generation immigrants would only boost the figure to something like 2-3%. NM is a substantially immigrant state, while WV isn't. I obviously never claimed that NM was *as* heavily immigrant as CA, which is right around the very top.
2012-08-13T22:02:23-06:00 Ron Unz
Well, I'd hardly consider myself an expert on New Mexico grocery stores. In fact, I'm not even sure whether I've ever been to New Mexico. But here are a couple of points to consider.

On the anecdotal level, an amazingly high fraction of all the 3rd/4th+ generation Hispanics I've known all around the country over the years have told me their families originally came from New Mexico. That's not too surprising since a hundred-plus years ago, the overwhelming majority of all American Hispanics lived in New Mexico or came from there. For example, at the time of the Mexican-American War there were supposedly only about 7500 Spanish-speakers in California and (I think) maybe 15,000 in Texas, while NW's population was over 60,000. It seems plausible that over the 150 years or so, the more energetic and ambitious ones regularly moved away to less rural and impoverished states, just as in the case of WV and other Appalachian areas.

As for the current NM demographics, Cochran should be a bit more familiar with the details of his own state. Over the last few decades, NM has witnessed the same sort of massive Hispanic immigration as most of the rest of the Southwest, with the Hispanic population increasing by perhaps 200% since 1970. In fact, I think "illegal immigration" was a top issue in the last gubernatorial election. Recent Hispanic immigrants tend to be quite youthful, so it's not surprising the mean NM age isn't elderly, despite the traditional out-migration of the more able. By contrast, WV doesn't have a gigantic immigrant population.

If you examine NM's urban crime statistics, they tend to be very notable (negative) outliers compared to other cities with similar (heavily Hispanic) ethnic demographics. This tends to support my hypothesis, or at least requires some alternate explanation: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/his-panic/

But since I don't regularly shop at New Mexico grocery stores, what do I know...
2012-08-10T20:52:13-06:00 Ron Unz
OC: Ireland was suffering massive continual brain drain, as opposed to recent years in which it has had a huge influx of talented people from its diaspora and elsewhere Well, here's an exercise to the student. Let's assume based on recent PISA scores, the performance of Irish-Americans, and various other datapoints that Ireland's underlying "true IQ" was at least pretty close to 100 a few decades ago. Then what fraction of the Irish population would have had to be "brain drained" away each generation for the reported 1972 IQ figure of 87 to be possible, and what would be the necessary distribution of that emigration "brain drain"? Frankly, I think you're better off going with your alternate theory that Irish-Americans are very heavily Ashkenazi Jewish in ancestry... 2012-08-05T20:21:56-06:00 Ron Unz
Mark: Regarding the IQs of southern Italians, are the southern Italians scoring so well in the US full southern Italian? Or have they mixed with other white groups?...Anyway my basic point is that mixture with other groups may be confounding regression to the mean. That's a perfectly valid point, and obviously our dataset is highly imperfect. However, let's consider the (Catholic) Irish in America. Among all significant white ethnic groups, they have nearly the highest Wordsum-IQ, and are also very near the absolute top in education and family income. On Wordsum-IQ, they are above the English, Scots, Swedes, and Norwegians, and far above the Germans, French, Dutch, and Scots-Irish. Yet as recently as the 1970s, the Ireland IQ was apparently the lowest in all of Europe. So if the (self-reported) Irish-Americans are above virtually every other (self-reported) American ethnic group in Wordsum-IQ, then who would they have "mixed with" in order to raise their IQ to that level? 2012-08-05T17:21:38-06:00 Ron Unz
Response to Lynn and Nyborg:
2012-08-04T19:00:05-06:00 Ron Unz
Well, it's since to see "gcochran9" has now provided a few sentences of negative commentary on my lengthy article somewhat more substantive than just wandering around the Internet, dismissing my 9,000 word analysis as "cherry-picking" based on "crumbs of data" and "not worth discussing," and myself as basically a silly fool as he had previously done.

Obviously, his personal experience of having lived in New Mexico for twenty years vastly trumps all the detailed statistical evidence I have provided from Lynn, the GSS, the SAT, PISA, and numerous other highly reputable quantitative sources. Would that all of us could had such infallible insight into all matters great and small acquired from visits to the local grocery store.

Since Cochran obviously has zero interest in actually examining the data and prefers to rely upon the anecdotal evidence from his home state, perhaps I should reiterate a point I have previously made on several occasions.

Consider West Virginia. I've heard its white population is perhaps the most purely British-ancestry of any state, and certainly has American roots going back centuries. Meanwhile, the social, economic, and academic performance of those whites are absolutely dismal, perhaps the worst in the country. Just to cite one minor statistic, on an age-adjusted basis West Virginia whites are imprisoned at a rate three to four times higher than that of West Virginia Hispanics. Furthermore, most of the surrounding and also very heavily British-ancestry Appalachian region has similarly poor performance numbers.

Does that prove that British-ancestry whites are generally stupid? Not really---some of the smartest and most successful people I know grew up in West Virginia or their parents did. I'd think the main factor is that the state is very rural and for the last century or two, a good fraction of the most able and ambitious individuals of each generation have moved away to the Big City elsewhere, thereby leaving behind a residual population of much lower quality, which also gradually produced negative cultural consequences.

And as far as I can tell, New Mexico is essentially the Hispanic West Virginia. For example, its urban crime statistics tend to be dramatically worse than those of other cities with similar (overwhelmingly Hispanic) demographic characteristics. But that's all "quantitative nonsense"---anecdotal evidence from grocery store visits is far superior...

Incidentally, I have since added perhaps another 9,000 words of follow-up analysis to my Race/IQ column, all conveniently located at www.ronunz.org, while my very detailed 2010 analysis of the crime figures I mentioned above is at http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/his-panic/
2012-08-04T12:31:20-06:00 Ron Unz
Interesting---didn't know that about the wheat/rice difference in Japan. Certainly might be true in China as well.

But it seems to me that's one of the problems with this very slow/mild genetic-load argument based on something like temperature---it can so easily be swamped by almost any other larger/faster factor such as a random wandering tribe, whose impact occurs in years or decades rather than many generations.
2012-07-17T14:24:56-06:00 RKU
Well, color me a little skeptical that temperature-induced mutational loads would be much of a factor in the evolution of local intelligence, at least at the time-scales seemingly under consideration.

One difficulty with evaluating this hypothesis is that I think in most of the world there's been considerable gene-flow over time, and e.g. a 10% admixture of some wandering barbarian tribe might tend to confuse the issue. Another difficulty is measuring intelligence before modern times. Were the Greeks really that much smarter than the Phoenicians---who can say?

But if we look at the case of China, they've been nationally administering competitive exams for almost 1,500 years, over 10x longer than anywhere else. Also, external gene-flows have generally been pretty small, since the couple of time they've been conquered it's been by relatively tiny nomadic tribes, and Chinese otherwise don't move around that much.

As it happens, the best exam results have traditionally come from the Southern provinces, especially a couple of them whose names I forget, to such an extent that a national system of quotas had to be implemented. So various Southerners seem to have stayed quite a bit smarter over the last 1,000+ years, or almost 50 Chinese generations. Don't know the temperature-gradient across China...
2012-07-17T05:36:43-06:00 RKU
Yes, this seems a pretty obvious point, which I've sometimes myself made on various blogs over the years.

A crucial distinction must be made between innate and socially-constructed tendencies toward ethnocentricity/tribalism.

For example, some people, especially WN types, sometimes claim that the Chinese are a highly ethnocentric race. But let's think this through. I'd guess that until the last generation or two, something like 99% of the Chinese living in China had scarcely had a single ancestor who'd ever even encountered a non-Chinese during the previous thousand-odd years. For the last couple of thousand years, virtually everyone a Chinese person encountered was another Chinese, usually genetically-indistinguishable. Given that a trait such as ethnocentricity carries significant negatives, including reactive problems and false-positives, I'd say that finding ethnocentricity among the Chinese is about as likely as finding wings on a gopher. Same for the Japanese and various other peoples.

By contrast, consider India. That society has long contained hundreds or even thousands of genetically differentiated and highly endogamic sub-castes, mostly living side-by-side and often mutually hostile. One would expect the evolution of extremely strong innate tribalistic tendencies in such an environment.

Obviously, these evolved tendencies can be modified or over-written by social conditioning in either one direction or the other. But the underlying behavioral tendencies are useful to keep in mind.
2012-03-01T23:13:21-07:00 RKU
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Well, I admit it's really just a matter of semantics. I've always considered "eugenics" to represent a *conscious* breeding effort, aimed at a deliberate goal.

But here's an argument I could make. Dysgenics is obviously the opposite of eugenics, but I can't see how "dysgenics" could even be defined absent a conscious goal. For example, suppose conditions exist that favor the selection of individuals (people or animals) that are stupid, physically weak, but have lots of offspring, which shifts the species in that direction. From the perspective of blind natural selection, such trends are just as successful and beneficial as those in the opposite condition. It's just when we impose a set of conscious goals that we can call the result "dysgenic."

Anyway, that's my perspective....
2013-03-23T20:24:50+00:00 Ron Unz
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Incidentally, somewhere among all his endless lengthy comments on this thread, I noticed that my energetic critic “NB” denounced me for incompetence or perhaps fraud for failing to have included a 2013 Texas NMS semifinalist list that he himself easily located via Google. He pointed out that his Weyl Analyis of the Jewish names on that list produced much higher results than those for 2010 Texas list which I had included, and darkly hinted at bad faith on my part.

Naturally, I followed his link, and noted that the news article was released in mid-September, towards the end of my main round of data gathering; if the item had taken a few extra weeks to rise in the Google rankings, I might have missed it. I doubted very much that averaging the 2013 Texas results with those of the 2010 Texas list would significantly alter my national estimates based on some 43 such lists, but I planned to add it as an Addendum to my Quantitative Appendix E, for completeness.

However, once I began inspecting the 2013 list, I noticed that it contained only 600 names, while Texas lists have over 1300. I also noticed that Houston and all other major cities outside the Dallas-Ft. Worth area were missing. Since this list ran in the Dallas Morning News, which described it as containing “local semifinalists,” it was obviously not a complete Texas list and useless for my purposes. During my extensive research, I had found and discarded dozens of similar non-statewide lists.

I would be the first to admit that my NMS estimates might easily be off by small amounts here and there. Surname analysis is hardly precise and in examining over 23,000 names, I might also have easily overlooked a “Bernstein” here or a “Kim” there. Furthermore, a sampling technique such as Weyl Analysis is subject to large statistical fluctuations. In my paper I repeatedly emphasized that all all intermediate results should be treated with considerable caution and might contained significant error. However, since the overall anomaly I detected was in the 1,000% range, errors of 10% or 20% in the individual subcomponents seemed unlikely to completely eliminate it.

Making estimation errors of 5% or 10% are unavoidable in this process. However, in his angry and desperate pursuit of any possible means of undermining the credibility of my research, “NB” apparently failed to notice the difference between a Texas NMS list containing 1300+ names and a “Texas” NMS list containing just 600. Given that he apparently devoted quite a bit of time to performing Weyl Analysis on that latter list and denounced me based on his findings, this would seem a major lapse on his part: the difference between 600 and 1300 is far greater than a 5% error.

This simply underscores his ideologically-driven incompetence, which had been apparent to me from the first. He also claims to have performed Weyl Analysis upon several Harvard class rosters that are not publicly available, and thereby concluded that the standard figures provided by Hillel and Karabel are wildly incorrect. This is certainly possible, but given his factor-of-two numerical mistaken for Texas, I’d be quite cautious in accepting those claims.

2013-02-16 14:30:19 Ron Unz

Yes, that’s exactly correct, and a point I’d privately made to a few people.

Each NMS semifinalist list contains roughly 16,000 American whites and Asians, while the figure for each Harvard class is under 1200, representing an enormous factor of 13x difference in raw selectivity, which might surely impact all surname distributions.

I’d also pointed out in my article that over the last couple of decades the likely Jewish names on the Olympiad and STS lists—which are vastly more selective than NMS—have seemed disproportionately of immigrant (usually East European) background, based on first name and spelling of surname relative to the fraction of all American Jews. It seems quite plausible that such immigrant Jews might have surname distributions very different from that of the general Jewish population, and would be also disproportionately admitted to Harvard. This would also tend to invalidate Weyl Analysis.

Let’s consider the alternate hypothesis advanced by my critics. They seem to accept the Hillel claims that until about 20 years ago, Jews were 20-25% of Harvard students, but they argue that the figure these days is just 10-11%. Thus, they claim that the number of Jews at Harvard has declined by 50-60% over the last two decades, without Hillel or anyone else noticing. Indeed, even while this huge decline was occurring Harvard Hillel had been claiming that the number of Jews was actually rising.

I find this alleged scenario a little unlikely absent strong evidence. Just consider the media firestorm at Princeton over a far lesser decline in Jewish numbers.

2013-02-15 22:19:21 Ron Unz

Rob Schacter:

Well, I don’t really know much about the LSAT or the law school admissions process, but those estimates—presumably obtained by “direct inspection”—don’t surprise me. As I mentioned in my article, psychmetricians agree that Jewish ability peaks in the Verbal subcomponent, being weaker in Math and generally mediocrate in Spatial. Combining that with the strong Jewish historical and cultural affinity for law and argumentation, you’d expect top law schools to be disproportinately Jewish. Since the East Asian profile follows an inverse pattern (high in Spatial, low in Verbal), you’d similarly expect their law numbers to be small relative to their general ability, with cultural factors reinforcing this. If anything, I would have guessed that the Jewish enrollment at top law schools was far higher than 20%.

It would be interesting to try to track down the comparable figures for other elite grad programs such as med schools, whose students would have a different profile. I’d strongly suspect that the Jewish/Asian ratios would be substantially shifted from the law case.

The main reason I focused on elite undergrad enrollments is that they constitute a single choke-point in the system, being the targets of the overwhelming majority of top students, regardless of particular interests. But after college, all the choices diverge, and you’d need to somehow separately examine and somehow aggregate professional schools—law, med, business, engineering—as well as all the different academic programs, and students who just go straight into business or something else. There just doesn’t seem any practical way of doing that sort of analysis.

But if someone did manage to locate the graduation rosters of the various top professional schools and estimate their Jewish/NJW/Asian/Hispanic/black distributions, I’d bet they’d show some intriguing patterns based on type.

2013-02-15 21:34:58 Ron Unz

More confusion I’m afraid…

If you’ll carefully reread my 30,000 word article, you’ll notice that I only applied Weyl Analysis at one single point, namely to the aggregated 40-odd NMS semifinalist lists that I had managed to locate for 25 states. The combined total of 23,000 names was sufficiently large to allow Weyl Analysis sampling to produce meaningful results, and my sole use of the technique was to validate the direct inspection methodology that I had applied to all those states and also used everywhere else in my paper. Weyl Analysis sampling produces erroneous results when applied all but very large datasets, and you yourself discovered this when you noticed it over-predicted the results for about half the individual states (though you failed to notice it under-predicted the results for the other half). One would think that such matters would be covered in an elementary statistics course.

Meanwhile, all my Jewish enrollment data was drawn from the most utterly reputable sources available, including leading scholars such as Karabel, Oren, and Synnott, sources that everyone has always accepted without question. To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever previously questioned these statistics. However, you are certainly welcome to do so yourself. For idiosyncratic reasons, you seem to be focusing your criticism on the most solidly established portions of my article.

If you had actually bothered reading Karabel’s book or my citations from it, you’ll discover that he dramatically closed his 700pp study by emphasizing Harvard’s very high 2000 Jewish enrollment of 21%, which had actually surpassed the once-dominant white Protestants. The figure he cited was from Hillel. If you believe Karabel’s claim is totally erroneous, you should certainly bring that important fact to his attention.

Certainly some of the other claims I made were vastly more controversial, notably the detailed accounts of corrupt admissions practices at Wesleyan, Harvard, and various other universities, in which I named names and provided specific dollar amounts, notably including payments to Harvard totalling $2.5 million. Under certain circumstances, such charges could surely be regarded as libelous. However, I was simply quoting the published accounts of Pulitzer Prize-winning former WSJ reporter Daniel Golden and NYT National Education Correspondent (and now College Admissions Editor) Jacques Steinberg. Since I wasn’t present at the events they describe, I can’t personally vouch for their accuracy, but anyone who disputes my article should take the matter up with Golden and Steinberg, not myself.

I think I once wrote an article in which I mentioned North Dakota. But I’ve never been to North Dakota, and can’t really be sure it exists, just because “everyone says so.”

Overall, I suggest you get in touch with Karabel, Oren, Synnott, Golden, and Steinberg, as well as the top officials at Hillel, and resolve your disagreements with them.

2013-02-15 19:25:35 Ron Unz

Okay, let me summarize a few things:

(1) Universities do not release their student rosters, which presumably is prohibited by various Federal privacy laws. I suspect that if I went around bribing college clerks to obtain them, I’d go to prison.

(2) For 90 years, Hillel has been America’s major Jewish student organization and currently has branches at over 500 campuses. For decades, they have been compiling and releasing Jewish enrollment statistics, which are then also published annually by various Jewish magazines (whence I obtained them). These enrollment statistics are a major factor used to produce lists of the “top colleges for Jews” provided by various Jewish organizations. Each year, over 50,000 Jewish freshmen enter college, and probably a substantial fraction of those students have made their enrollment choices partly based on those rankings. Thus, over the last decade, Hillel’s published figures have determined the flow of many billions of dollars in student tuition. Yet you seem to be claiming that the Hillel data is totally erroneous, and possibly even fraudulent. Those are very, very serious charges to be making.

(3) Berkeley Sociology Professor Jerome Karabel is one of America’s leading scholars on university admissions issues, and has published the definitive history of Jewish enrollment in the Ivy League, which received an award from the American Sociological Association as well as almost universally glowing reviews everywhere in the media. If you examine my Appendix D, you’ll notice that a large fraction of my Jewish enrollment data is drawn from Karabel, and if you consult the particular page references, you’ll find that Karabel heavily relied upon Hillel. Another major one of my major sources was Dan A. Oren’s Joining the Club: A History of Jews and Yale (1985), and Oren also relies quite heavily upon Hillel data.

You seem to be suggesting that Karabel never made any effort to establish the accuracy of his Hillel data during the ten years of exhaustive research spent producing his book. Those are also very, very serious charges to be making.

(4) I should mention that when I cited the Hillel figures in my own article, I pointed out that they were probably estimates, and might be somewhat inaccurate, emphasizing that such possible inaccuracy was one of the major sources of potential error in my own results. Neither Karabel, Oren, nor any of the other academic scholars who have used this same data seems to have been nearly as cautious: they generally provided the figures without comment.

(5) Suppose I write an article in a small opinion magazine and cite a New York Times article as source for some particular statistics. If you suggest that the New York Times is wrong about those facts, you should obviously take that matter up with the Gray Lady not me. If you are right and both Hillel and Prof. Karabel are totally wrong, the resulting scandal will be enormous and should certainly reach the front pages of all the major newspapers, at which point I will be glad to admit my error in trusting unreliable sources. Good luck with your future efforts in that regard.

(6) Taken together, the five items above may also directly relate to one of my findings. I believe you’ve claimed somewhere that you’re a Jewish recent graduate of Harvard or something like that. In my article, I made a strong circumstantial case that Harvard seems to have begun admitting large numbers of intellectually undistinguished Jewish students in recent years. Hmm…

2013-02-15 03:29:26 Ron Unz

Yes, indeed. Karabel’s magisterial book—with 700 pages and 3000 endnotes—was exceptionally thorough and persuasive, and represented the single most heavily cited source in the footnotes to my own Meritocracy article.

I should mention that the Jewish enrollment data that constitutes the quantitative backbone to Karabel’s analysis was almost entirely based on exactly the same Hillel data that I myself also used but that Gelman and others now suggest may be wildly inaccurate.

I’ll feel quite sorry for Prof. Karabel if those charges turn out to be correct, forcing him to return all the scholarly awards he received for his magnum opus, whose underlying research absorbed ten full years of his life.

2013-02-14 18:54:07 Ron Unz

Prof. Gelman:

I’d only come across your blog when you referenced my original article. With regard to your current 3,500 word critique, my operating assumption had been that you were a highly respectable scholar, who became a bit careless and was momentarily hoodwicked by a couple of agitated ideologues like Mertz and Baytch. But now I wonder…

I had claimed that across the combined NMS lists, the Jewish estimates produced by the sampling technique of Weyl Analysis almost exactly matched those produced by direct inspection, thereby validating the latter approach. You devoted a major section of your column to debunking this claim by pointing out that Weyl Analysis actually produced a substantially higher Jewish estimate than my direct inspection for the 8 states you listed. However, you neglected to note that Weyl Analysis also produced a substantially *lower* estimate for the other 17 states I used. This is exactly what one would expect of any sampling technique, and is fully consistent with my claim that the overall averages converged across the very large sample of 25 states. Your blogsite does describe you as an award-winning Ivy League statistics professor, does it not?

America’s national elites in academics, finance, media, and politics are today drawn overwhelmingly from Harvard (which rejects some 95% of all applicants) and the rest of the Ivy League. These universities publicly claim that they admit applicants less on objective academic merit than on broad “holistic” factors, which are known only to them. This policy is partly to ensure that their student body is fully “diverse” and reasonably reflects America’s overall population.

According to Hillel, whose estimates are accepted everywhere, Ivy League undergraduates are 23% Jewish, implying that they are some 3,000% more likely to be enrolled than non-Jewish whites of a similar age. You challenge the Hillel figures, suggesting that they are probably incorrect. However, Jews constitute roughly 1.8% of the national college-age population, and unless the true enrollment figure were that low, Jews would be considerably overrepresented. Given the extremely large gap between 23% and 1.8%, I tend to doubt Hillel’s numbers are off by nearly a factor of 13.

The least troubling possible explanation for the 3,000% overrepresentation of Jewish students is that Jewish academic performance is so enormously greater than that of white Gentiles, they are admitted by the Ivies at correspondingly greater rates, even though the Ivies publicly discount academic performance as an overriding factor in admissions. The best means of testing this “Jewish out-performance” hypothesis is to estimate the number of Jewish students ranked as NMS semifinalists. But unless an unreasonably large fraction of top-performing Jewish students actually have completely non-Jewish names, this approach fails. I would suggest that the burden of proof is upon those who argue that Jewish students are actually 3,000% more likely to be high-performing than their non-Jewish classmates.

Let us consider the following thought-experiment. The number of college-age Mormons in America is roughly the same as the number of college-age Jews. Suppose an astonishing fraction of all top Ivy League officials were either Mormons or married to Mormons, while a leading Mormon campus organization reported that young Mormons were 3,000% more likely to be enrolled in the Ivy League than young non-Mormons. To avoid dark suspicions, one would surely attempt to locate some solid evidence that Mormon students were 3,000% more likely to be top-achievers than non-Mormons, or perhaps were 3,000% more likely to apply to the Ivy League.

2013-02-13 17:51:31 Ron Unz


Meritocracy: The Yale Debate and Surname Analysis, February 1, 2013

Meritocracy: Response to Prof. Gelman on Jewish Elite Overrepresentation, February 13, 2012

2013-02-13 09:32:25 Ron Unz

Keith M. Ellis: you need to be certain that those surnames are pretty much proportionately represented in your population under study as they are in the reference population.

I’m not sure this is too serious a problem, at least in the cases under discussion. For example, when I was analyzing NMS semifinalist lists, I just used “Nguyen” as the proxy for Vietnamese and “Kim” as the proxy for Koreans, since they’re such high percentages of each of those groups (about 28% and 18% respectively), overwhelmingly more relatively common than any Anglo-Saxon name. I’d really be surprised if they’d differ too widely in characteristics from the ethnic general population, but I suppose someone could check this by comparing e.g. mean age.

For most other groups, including Jews, a large number of names need to be used to produce any sort of reasonable sample, which makes the process much less efficient. Also, since the Census doesn’t count Jews, their total numbers are uncertain/ambiguous to at least 10-15%, inducing similar errors in multiplicative factors to use for surname sampling.

Incidentally, Weyl compared the results for “old Chinese” surnames to the ones of post-WWII immigrants, and found that the latter performing 2-3x better academically, which is pretty reasonable since the former immigrant flows had been far less selective.

I think I saw a newstory somewhere a few months back that Gregory Clark had just unveiled this “revolutionary new technique” for ethnic analysis, which is a little silly since Weyl’s very detailed research has been around for almost 50 years…

2013-01-07 02:11:20 Ron Unz

Actually, I forgot to mention one necessary simplifying assumption: that performance is equal across different surnames of a given ethnicity. This may not actually be correct, and Weyl noted that certain particular Anglo-Saxon names were massively over-represented in high-performance results compared to other, more common ones. But it would be difficult to determine this secondary factor for relatively small ethnicities due to sampling size problems.

2013-01-06 22:23:32 Ron Unz

Actually, your correspondent might want to consult the books by Nathaniel Weyl, who pioneered exactly this surname analysis technique— The Creative Elite in America (1966) and The Geography of American Achievement (1989). Both have been long out of print, but are inexpensively available on Amazon.com.

The very simple idea is to focus solely upon uniquely distinctive ethnic names, then estimating the total ethnic representation by the relevant ratios, easily available from Census data. Thus, Nguyen, Tran, Kim, and Park would be used, while all the Lees would be ignored completely, because of the obvious ambiguity. Almost all ethnic groups have at least a smattering of such extremely distinctive surnames, and once you determine them and their ratios, it doesn’t really matter whether they constitute just 5% of the total or 40%.

Obviously, such statistical methods are only reliable for large sample sizes, and may not be effective if you’re examining e.g. just a single medical school class. But if you were looking at 20 years of such classes, or all the American med school classes in 2012, they might work reasonably well.

In my own research, such Weyl Analysis could only be applied to the NMS semifinalist lists, whose numbers were sufficiently large, and I employed it as a validation-check upon my more subjective estimates of Jewish surnames for that dataset. I was very pleased to find that the match was quite close. For example, my estimate of Jewish NMS semifinalists based on direct inspection was 5.95%, while the estimates based on Weyl Analysis were 5.92% and 6.03%, depending upon the particular subset of distinctive surnames selected. This tended to increase my confidential in the direct inspection methods I also applied to the far smaller lists of Olympiad winners and such.

2013-01-06 22:15:22 Ron Unz
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Those Q and NV Chinese scores are simply astonishing—112 and almost 110. However, the numbers are tiny, so maybe they tend to be from elite professional immigrant backgrounds, like businessmen or engineers.

I’ll admit I’m also a little surprised that all the students with any non-white ancestry amount to only about 13% of the total. To hear all the WNs complain on blogsites, you’d think they’d be over 30% of the younger age cohorts.

2012-08-23 04:23:00 Ron Unz

Brezhnev then says, “Comrades, Comrades, let’s draw the curtains, turn on the gramophone and pretend we’re moving!”

Ha, ha, ha.

As such, if its IQ comes out to be appreciable lower than 95 (my own estimate is 90-92) then it would be a further blow against Ron Unz’s theory of the East Asian Exception (to the Flynn Effect).

Well, maybe. But do the Southeast Asians such as the Vietnamese really tend to cluster with the East Asian peoples? Perhaps, perhaps not. Genetically, they supposedly have a good deal of overlap with Southern Han, but they lack 2000 years of heavy economic pressure, which might be a factor. So I’m not sure their performance would necessarily impact the hypothesis one way or the other. I’d certainly never argue it applies to Malays or Filipinos, though for all I know it might.

2012-08-23 04:09:05 Ron Unz

Thanks for the generous comments, and you raise excellent points.

Actually, prior to my getting sidetracked on my Race/IQ article, I was spending a great deal of time researching my old analysis, rereading all the source material I’d originally used—most of which I hadn’t looked at in decades—and reviewing a great deal of the newer Asian demographic research which had appeared since the late 1970s. Unfortunately, by the end of that investigation I found my theory much less persuasive than I had at the beginning.

First, I’d imagined that the extreme malthusian conditions of rural China so vividly described in the source accounts had been present for most of the last 2000 years. But that’s not at all clear. The last couple of centuries had been especially difficult times for the Chinese, and it might be incorrect to extrapolate that back to the more distant past. Indeed, there’s even a scholarly dispute about whether serfdom—a totally different system of land-tenure—may have remained widespread as recently as the Ming Dynasty. So the time horizon of my selection model may be much shorter than I realized.

Even more seriously, I discovered that Japan’s land tenure system had always been strict primogeniture, nothing remotely like China’s fenjia. So the my model wouldn’t apply to Japan, and the Japanese seem about as smart as the Chinese. (I haven’t yet investigated the rural population pressure in traditional Korea, or its inheritance system.)

Despite these very serious problems, I’m still inclined to try publishing the piece, partly because it was recently cited in the academic literature, and the existing version is such an embarrassment. But I’ll obviously emphasize the major flaws, and let people decide for themselves. After all, the severe selective pressure in rural China wasn’t solely focused on intelligence but probably upon a whole basket of traits, and the Chinese and Japanese differ in all sorts of other ways.

And I agree that Clark’s evolutionary model for England suffers from similar problems, namely that he’s produced an interesting theory explaining why the English are smarter and longer-time oriented than all the other Europeans. Except they aren’t.

2012-08-18 04:13:04 Ron Unz

Exactly—‘fenjia’ was a key element in my analysis. I think that downward mobility is often more important than upward mobility in these evolutionary situations.

When you read some of the source material about rural China or even some of the journal articles by mainstream sociologists, the selective pressure comes across as so thick you could cut it with a nice. And we’re talking about something between 500 years and 2000 years. It really astonished me that Gregory Clark got it all totally backwards.

2012-08-17 17:11:01 Ron Unz

Actually, I forgot to add one more point.

The maximum IQ reached by rich Latin peoples barely nudges 100; typically it is in the high 90’s. Greece is around 95.

While I don’t necessarily discount this estimate, I think it’s important to be cautious. For example, back in the 1920s, the South Italians had about the lowest IQs in America, down around 80, and the Greeks were only at 83. But today the Wordsum-IQ of Italian-Americans is right at the white average, a bit higher than German-Americans and far above Dutch-Americans, while Greek-Americans are even higher. Now I personally suspect these results are strongly distorted by the relative urbanization of these groups, but it does raise questions about the likely European IQs of Greek or South Italian infants fortunate enough to be adopted into German or Dutch families—would they really tend to have IQs that much below than their foster siblings?

My own guess—and it’s purely a guess—is that under identical social environments, the gap between Southern Europeans and the Swiss or Germans would at most be 3-5 points, though I’m not necessarily suggesting your position is radically different.

2012-08-17 17:05:06 Ron Unz

Anyhow, I wish we could do tests on North Koreans.

I agree that the NKs would be a perfect test, and I strongly suspect they’d do amazingly well relative to their income, chronic malnutrition, and massive deadly famines. After all, I’d guess that by most economic measures, they’re currently poorer than Nigerians or Guatemalans, but they’ve developed nuclear weapons and very long-range missiles, so they can’t be THAT stupid.

“It’s just hard to believe they had IQs much below 100, and China was one of the absolutely poorest parts of the world back then.” This is very interesting anecdotal evidence. Could you provide a name or two?

Sure. William Hinton’s Fanshen provides 600pp of detailed description of one post-WWII rural Chinese village, the Crooks published a book on another covering the same era, as did Martin Yang. The obvious possible origins of high Chinese intelligence popped into my head the moment I read this material back in the late 1970s, and I’m hoping to finally publish my analysis in the near future. The (embarrassingly crude) 1980 version of my unpublished paper is up on my website at http://www.ronunz.org/?p=2833.

One of America’s greatest early sociologists, A.E. Ross, published an excellent 1911 book The Changing Chinese, which analyzed Chinese society, and he certainly thought the Chinese seemed just as smart as Europeans, though obviously technologically backward and ignorant.

The population of the entire Greek world in 4th century BCE was about 8mn-10mn

That’s true, but I was thinking more of Athens during its Golden Age, when I think the total citizen population was something like 100,000, but the intellectual output seemed to outmatch that of most major modern European countries.

“the European Scientific and Industrial Revolutions…” Not sure as it basically assumes the divisions between classes are discrete as opposed to forming one bell curve.

Remember, under my “urbanization IQ model,” the genetic potential IQ of those peasants and the intellectual elites might be part of a single Bell Curve, but the expressed IQ of the former might be reduced by 10-15 points. So you could easily have 110 IQ elites and 80-85 IQ peasants being part of the same genetic continuum. I’m not saying my model is necessarily correct, but it would allow for such things.

2012-08-17 13:36:58 Ron Unz

The urban-rural ratio was essentially 50/50 according to the 2010 Census.

Well, I was using the figures from Google Public Data, which claims China was still 56% rural in 2009; I suspect there’s a lot of fuzziness in this sort of estimate. And I probably should have used the PPP-adjusted GDP, just like I carefully did in my original article, which Google says was $6,800 in 2009. So the rural 56% of the population was probably around $2000 rather than $1000. And I never claimed that China was malnourished or desperately poor and backward these days.

However, let’s step back a moment. China’s PISA scores, including the impoverished rural majority, are pretty close to those of the richest, most advanced European countries such as Germany and Switzerland, and ahead of Britain, France, or Norway. I find that simply astonishing, the sort of empirical fact that really requires a special explanation. Remember, Rumania is still twice as rich as China, but its scores aren’t exactly leading the world.

Now if it were just this one PISA result, coming from today’s middle-income China, perhaps you’d have a point. But don’t forget that virtually ALL of Lynn’s other Chinese IQ samples, going back to 1984, were very similar. In 1984, China’s average GDP was around $700, and the (Shanghai) IQ sample came out at 107.4. Can you imagine any European population scoring above 107 while being as poor and underdeveloped as China was thirty years ago?

There are lots of other East Asian datapoints along similar lines. The Hong Kong Chinese were terribly poor in 1968, but they scored 103.4; the Taiwanese scored 101 in 1956; the Japanese scored 102 in 1951. There just seems an extremely sharp IQ divide between impoverished or rural populations which are East Asian and those which are not.

There’s also a very similar pattern in America. Back in the 1920s, all the various impoverished Eastern and Southern European immigrant children tended to have IQs around 80-85, and most of the psychometricians thought the scores were probably innate and wouldn’t change much. But during *exactly* the same period, the Chinese-American and Japanese-American children mostly tended to score at or above their white mainstream classmates’ 100. I think there’s overwhelming evidence that *something* interesting is going on with EAs, though I can’t really say whether it’s biological or cultural.

Here’s another interesting detail. If you’ve ever read any of the first-hand accounts of life in desperately poor rural Chinese villages back in the 1930s or earlier, you’d find that the level of “business complexity” regarding land usage and such seemed *enormously* complex, almost like—I’m obviously exaggerating—what you find in corporate LBOs these days. And the people involved in those transactions weren’t Harvard MBAs, but dirt-poor typical peasants, who probably died of starvation if they made a serious mistake. It’s just hard to believe they had IQs much below 100, and China was one of the absolutely poorest parts of the world back then. So, yes, I really wouldn’t be too surprised if the Chinese in 1700 also had a mean IQ of 95-100, probably vastly above most Europeans. After all, the European Scientific and Industrial Revolutions were probably driven by a tiny elite fraction of the population, and not really dependent upon most peasants having testable IQs above 80-85 or whatever.

As an analogy, consider Classical Greece or just Athens. The intellectual output from such a minuscule population-base was astonishing, so high I wouldn’t be surprised if the mean Athenian citizen IQ was something crazy like 120. But none of that output depended upon the slaves who plowed the fields or worked in the silver mines, so perhaps their IQ would have tested at more like 80-90. In pre-industrial societies, advances were probably much more dependent upon the intelligence of the elites and the average ability of the total population.

2012-08-17 06:12:56 Ron Unz

Very thorough analysis…

Incidentally, I clicked on the link to your discussion of the Pomeranz book, and agreed wholeheartedly. I just happened to read it a few weeks ago and also think it’s one of the most impressively detailed and persuasive “Big Think” books I’ve ever read, totally in a different league from Landes and others in the same general subject.

2012-08-14 02:53:03 Ron Unz

Yes, that’s a perfectly valid point about the numbers being from just a few of China’s brighter provinces. I’ll admit I hadn’t closely read the details of your entire posting before I jumped the gun and added my enthusiastic comment.

2012-08-13 17:27:07 Ron Unz

Fantastic post! If the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal were even remotely competent, they’d be racing each other right now to turn your data into an immediate front-page story, and maybe even give you full credit for it.

One of the astonishing things that really jumps out from this data is that although Europe still has 5-10 times China’s per capita GDP, China’s average PISA scores are higher than that of almost any European country. In fact, even if we use your analysis from May, and look at only the native-born European PISA results, China’s still ahead of everyone in Europe except Finland, Germany, Switzerland, and the Low Countries. And I think a substantial fraction of Chinese probably still have an income of less than $1000 per year.

I don’t know if you ever saw my “China’s Rise, America’s Fall” article from a few months ago, but I don’t think this data will persuade me to retract my analysis: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/chinas-rise-americas-fall/

2012-08-13 04:24:51 Ron Unz

Thanks—that’s very interesting about the China results, and it does probably tend to support the view that China might have a moderate socioeconomic Flynn Effect, given the huge difference in per capita income with South Korea.

And I’m sorry about your comment being spammed. Frankly, I don’t really have anything to do with operating the TAC website, and although I’ve always suggested they be very open to all comments, they claim lots of them are so nasty they’d scare off all the regular TAC readers. But I’ll see if I can somehow locate and retrieve your fine comment, though it may have been vaporized.

2012-08-12 03:17:31 Ron Unz

As I just pointed out on that Epigone blogsite, you might want to separate your “Irish” category by Catholic vs. Protestant. A sharp-eyed commenter somewhere noticed that the “Irish” ethnicity seems to lump together the Irish-Irish (who are urban and have very high Wordsum-IQ) with the Scots-Irish (who are heavily rural and have very low Wordsum-IQ). When I did that stratification, I didn’t bother with AGE or BORN, but I doubt that would impact the Irish too much, and my Irish Wordsum-IQ came out right near the top, very close to the Russian category.

To my mind, that’s another bit of evidence for my Urban/Rural Hypothesis, since the Irish in Europe had a very low IQ when they were overwhelmingly rural, while in America, they’re very heavily urban and have an extremely high Wordsum-IQ.

2012-08-11 23:35:30 Ron Unz
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hbd chick / hbdchick.wordpress.com

the exception that proves the rule

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HBDChick: what i pointed out is that you said the buj studies "tend to be extreme outliers" My apologies for the slightly imprecise phrasing of my blogsite comment. As I've since pointed out, eight of the nine widest European IQ spreads involve a Buj study, almost always at the high end. My poor phrasing aside, I'm glad that we now appear to agree on the substantive point that the Buj samples should probably be excluded. steven pinker thinks that you have mischaracterized lynn’s position on the genetic heritability of intelligence Well, I'll admit I found it a bit "odd" to discover that Pinker's private comments to me on a very early draft of my article had now been published as a "rebuttal" to my final version, let alone on Jared Taylor's website. But in any event, I'm not sure your interpretation is correct. As Pinker's note indicates, he had been very skeptical when I'd characterized Lynn as being such a strong IQ-hereditarian. I told him that was my impression based on reading some 900 pages of Lynn's books, gave numerous examples of my evidence, and asked him which of Lynn's writings led him to think otherwise. Based on his response, it wasn't entirely clear whether he'd ever read any of Lynn's books, hardly surprising since he described Lynn as being a rather "obscure" and "radioactive" figure, whose views were "anathema to 99.99% of psychologists and...academics." I can't see how Pinker's comments really constitute a strong refutation of my claims. If I've simply misunderstood Lynn, and he actually believes that non-biological factors frequently account for most of the differences in ethnic IQs, then I certainly stand corrected. in skipping over the “small town” category in the gss, you left out 32% of the german-american population!!...well, no wonder they look “signficantly” more rural to you than to anyone else Well, as I already pointed out the "Town" category seems to include both Amish who might live in hamlets of 250 and Midwesterners living in cities of 49,750, with no obvious way to distinguish between these two groups. So if you criticize me for excluding the "Town" category from my Rural/Urban stratification, should I treat it as Rural or as Urban? Everyone knows that the GSS categories aren't always totally unambiguous. 2012-08-12T13:21:48-07:00 Ron Unz
You're being more than a bit silly. I never meant to suggest that *all* the 19 Buj (1981) IQ studies were extreme outliers, merely that many of them were. And also that I'd seen a claim floating around that the Buj samples were non-representative, having been conducted in the capital cities of the various countries. I haven't tried to track down the Buj paper myself to verify this, but it seems reasonably plausible from the pattern they follow.

Let's try to investigate my claim in a systematic manner, by restricting our attention to the European samples in Lynn (2002), which I conveniently included as a table in my article. The widest IQ gap for any country is the 14 point spread for Poland, with the high score being from Buj. The second widest gap is the 13 point spread for Portugal, with the high score being from Buj. The third widest gap is the 11 point spread for Ireland, with the high score being from Buj. The fifth widest gap is the 8.5 spread for France, with the *low* score being from Buj (but note that by 1979 France's capital city of Paris already contained a substantial population of impoverished African and North African immigrants). The sixth widest gap is the 8 point spread for West Germany, with the high score being from Buj. The seventh widest gaps (tie) is the 7 point spread for Greece and the 7 point spread for Sweden, with the high score in each case being from Buj.

So we discover that eight of the nine widest national IQ spreads involve a Buj sample, which in all but one case was the high extreme, just as we might suspect for capital cities in (mostly) impoverished rural countries. In the case of France, the Buj outlier was the low value, pretty consistent with Paris being much more heavily impoverished non-European immigrant back then than the rest of that country.

(If I included all your Spain IQ numbers, the pattern would have been nine out of ten, but if you reread Lynn (2002), you'll notice that he claims the Spanish IQ=90 results are completely unrepresentative and should be discarded.)

Is this pattern for the Buj studies just pure coincidence? Maybe...but maybe not...

As for omitting the "Town" category of the GSS dataset, it was intermediate, including populations anywhere up to 50,000. Now I think a case can be made that someone growing up in a town of 49,000 is clearly "urban", but someone from a "town" of 500 people is closer to being "rural." Unfortunately, the GSS lumps these two individuals together. So you tell me: should "Town" be lumped with Urban or with Rural?...
2012-08-11T19:31:06-07:00 Ron Unz
Frank: thirteen points below a 1979 study which found an IQ of 101...fourteen points less than a previous study in 1979...We do have other data for Ireland – the 1979 study finding an IQ of 98 Well, it's always nice to notice when someone never bothers to read a single word I've written. As it happens, all three of those near-100 IQ studies from 1979 are part of the 19 national samples contained in the Buj (1981) collection, which tend to be extreme outliers in all the various countries. Supposedly, the Buj IQ studies were totally non-representative and were generally conducted in capital cities, which might help explain why usually they often tend to be 10-15 points higher than other IQ studies from those same countries. The Buj studies are the only reason that Lynn (2002) shows such a huge spread in the IQs for Poland, Ireland, Portugal, Greece, and Sweden. Perhaps the Buj studies should all just be ignored. Furthermore, the 1979 Buj study for Ireland yielding an IQ of 98 was based on just 75 participants, which is an absurd sample size and just not to be taken seriously, especially when weighed against the 1972 sample of 3,500 students, which Jason Malloy has now claimed was careful and well designed. As for whether an IQ of 87 for Ireland in the 1970s was remotely plausible, Lynn himself certainly seemed to think so, based on his many years of personal research there. However, if you want to just dismiss Lynn as some sort of crackpot, that's none of my business. I certainly don't claim to be any sort of IQ expert. But I do find it a little troublesome that the very obvious problems I've noticed seem to be quite a shock to so many of the IQ experts who've invested so much time in the subject... 2012-08-08T04:43:46-07:00 Ron Unz
HBDChick: 40 years (1972 to 2012), no? Actually, I was thinking of the 2009 PISA scores and Ireland moving ahead of Britain, France, and Germany in per capita GDP by about 2000, so 30-40 years is a reasonable estimate. But unless Ireland underwent the greatest wave of race-replacement immigration in all recorded history during 1972-2000, with 100% of the newcomers drawn from the world's highest IQ country, there's just no f***ing way that would have raised mean Irish IQ by almost 15 points in thirty years... hmmmm. i could live with getting the number of kids wrong by just two — but going from 5-11 year-olds to 13 year-olds is way too wrong. Actually, the quote from Lynn has a typo: his book says 6- to 13-year-olds, which isn't too different from the other description of the study. Anonymous: In other words, even those who buy the genetic IQ argument should expect environment to play a larger role than genes in the 5-11 age group that was tested in the Irish IQ study in question. To determine the maximum extent of the genetic effect on IQ it would then be necessary to focus on studies of mid-life IQ, not childhood IQ. That's nice, but as I've already pointed out previously, with the sole exception of the 19 Buj (1981) IQ studies---which are doubtful and probably unreliable---absolutely ALL of Lynn's European IQ studies involve children rather than adults. So what you're basically saying is we should just throw Lynn's IQ books in the trash. Fine with me, I suppose... 2012-08-06T12:49:31-07:00 Ron Unz
HBDChick: who cares? well, an argument is only as good as the data on which it’s based, right?...was the average iq of the irish in 1972 really 87? i’m leaning towards maybe/probably, but i’m not certain about it because i don’t feel secure about the data. That's a perfectly valid question, though just as you indicate, all the particulars we have sound pretty solid. (Also don't forget that Lynn himself had spent years doing personal research in Ireland around the same time, and although he never published his results, they were clearly consistent with a very low apparent IQ.) But I suspect that if the same sort of "strict scrutiny" were applied to most of Lynn's other hundreds of collected IQ scores, the results would be far, far worse, certainly with regard to those astonishingly low IQ scores based on tiny samples in totally backward Third World countries. Or let's just focus on Europe. Close to one-third of all of those IQ studies in Lynn (2002) came from the Buj (1981) collection, which I've heard was based on utterly non-representative samples from capital cities. Perhaps coincidentally, many of the Buj results are enormously higher than the other national samples we have for Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Poland, Sweden, Netherlands, etc. So let me put this another way. I wouldn't be surprised me if that 1972 Irish sample turns out to be more reliable (based on methodology, size, and representativeness) that 90% or 95% of all the IQ studies in Lynn (2002). So if you throw it away, pretty much all of Lynn's results might probably follow it into the trashcan. Finally, I make no claims about the Irish IQ in 1840 or 1890. But since there's an enormous amount of evidence that the current Irish IQ has been pretty close to 100 for the last decade, I'd really like to see some "biological" explanation for how it got there from 87 in just 30 years... 2012-08-06T10:35:22-07:00 Ron Unz
Response to Lynn and Nyborg:

2012-08-04T17:58:20-07:00 Ron Unz
Greying Wanderer: So i find it hard to believe a one-band invasion like Turkey-Balkans could make more than 1-5 points of difference depending on the final proportions Looks like someone here may be shifting a bit to what I call the "Weak IQ Hypothesis".. 2012-08-03T11:34:24-07:00 Ron Unz
HBDChick: my idea is — and i don’t know if anyone else has suggested this or not — that, in additon to those nasty deleterious mutations, long-term inbreeding leads to a lower average iq just because low iq individuals are not weeded out of the population. But then I wouldn't really call it a consequence of inbreeding, but a consequence of social relations that you claim might be connected with inbreeding, which is something entirely different. Here's a clarifying example. Suppose someone argued that Christianity was associated with low-IQ, because Christian charity tends to support the least successful members of a population. Offhand, I think that would be just as plausible or perhaps more so than your inbreeding speculation. Inbreeding depression caused by harmful recessives is a hard scientific fact. I'd really put these other sorts of arguments more in the hand-waving category... 2012-08-01T20:07:45-07:00 Ron Unz
HBDChick: don’t overlook the fact that those inbreeding coefficients (1/8th for first cousins, etc.) are based upon a perfectly randomly bred population (dunno if that truly exists in nature or not). That's obviously correct. But my impression had been that inbreeding problems are generally due to relatively recent harmful recessive mutations, which haven't been around long enough to get weeded out the gene-pool. If you're talking about the sort of background genetic overlap that's found among e.g. all Icelanders, those harmful mutations would probably have mostly dissipated over the last few centuries. After all, since most Icelanders have them, the bad genes would manifest phenotypically and disappear. I'd always imagined that the problem tended to be a new point-mutation that popped up, being recessive remained hidden, then was passed down through two separate branches of the tree, and suddenly manifested itself when cousins married in the third or latter generations. Obviously, the probability of one particular harmful mutation following that exact trajectory wasn't high, but since there are lots of mutations in each individual, first-cousin marriages had a pretty fair chance that one might pop up. But my impression of the scientific model might easily be wrong, since I've never taken a genetics course in my life... 2012-08-01T17:55:25-07:00 Ron Unz
Well, I've always seen inbreeding discussed in the context of first-cousin marriages, where the genetic overlap for recent new mutations is 1/8. I'd think that the impact of the sort of overlaps you're looking at---1/16, 1/32, 1/64---would be relatively small unless such inbreeding is almost universal rather than just fairly common. However, I'm no expert in this topic, and if someone's published some serious simulation results showing substantial phenotypic harms, I'll certainly accept that.

But let's say you're 100% right and I'm 100% wrong, and the reason for the huge apparent IQ gaps between Irish, Greeks, South Italians, etc. in Europe and America is because of the ending of rural inbreeding rather than the urban social environment I hypothesize. Wouldn't this just as easily explain the huge apparent rise in Mex-Am IQs, since they're coming from rural villages with significant inbreeding and moving to cities where there's very little? And you further point out that even now, Mex-Ams have a much higher rate intra-ethnic marriage than any white ethnic group, so as this gradually falls over time, wouldn't you expect further IQ rises by your model?

Offhand, it seems to me that my hypothesis and yours both tend to support the reality of a large apparent rise in Mex-Am IQ, which is probably the issue provoking the most heated debate.
2012-08-01T09:52:10-07:00 Ron Unz
Frank: The difference in PISA scores between Irish and Germans is trivial. But it favors the Irish over the German... "in America, the (Catholic) Irish have much higher Wordsum-IQ than the Germans."---Higher? Yes. Much higher? No. You attribute vast importance to minor differences...Your stubborn refusal to acknowledge your errors no matter how often or how many people point them out to you is rather exasperating...Ron Unz is a stupid person Well, I may or may not be a stupid person---I really can't say. But I do think the evidence favors my position on your more substantive points. First, when someone supposedly bothered breaking out the native European PISA scores, the Germans ended up right near the top, far above the Irish, when all the PISA subcategories were averaged: http://akarlindotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/pisa-scores-migrants.jpg Second, I got a Wordsum-IQ of 6.25 for German-Americans on the GSS, while the host of this website got a Wordsum-IQ of 6.99 for (Catholic) Irish-Americans, which corresponds to over one-third of an SD, or well over 5 IQ points. Whether a white ethnic IQ gap of 5+ points is big or small is obviously subjective, but please do consider that it's about two-thirds of the Wordsum-IQ gap currently separating American-born Mex-Ams and non-Hispanic whites. 2012-07-31T11:23:04-07:00 Ron Unz
HBDChick: i’m still not convinced that the irish-irish who immigrated to the u.s. from 1840-whatever until today had that 1970s average iq of 87...there must be more early iq test results out there...weren’t they sorta nuts for intelligence tests in the 1920s and 1930s? I doubt there's any low-IQ quantitative data to be found on the American Irish. Don't forget that the Irish arrived far earlier than almost all of the other groups except for the Germans, mostly between about 1840 and 1880 I think. Since they became overwhelmingly urban, any hypothetical "urbanization effect" would have already manifested itself by the time IQ testing got really going in the 1920s, and the Kirkpatrick data and WWI testing data seems to show the Irish as being smart or at least normal compared with Southern and Eastern European immigrants, who tested *very* low. However, there's a *vast* quantity of anecdotal reporting (collected by Sowell and others) indicating that the Irish seemed pretty "stupid" when they first arrived, which tends to support my hypothesis. Consider also that the Irish and the Germans arrived at the same time, and according to all anecdotal reports, the Germans were "smart" and the Irish were "stupid." The Germans tended to buy farmland and become rural, while the impoverished Irish stayed in the cities and became (extremely) urban. And the Wordsum-IQ of the (Catholic) Irish these days is far higher than the Germans. Hmmm... Greying Wanderer: Why is that odd? Are you saying Lynn’s data – which supports the view that urbanization is a critical factor – is still bad despite it supporting your view that urbanization is a critical factor?...Your original point was that the situation in America disproved Lynn’s data and the genetic case for IQ. I think you're a bit confused. I've never claimed that Lynn's (large sample-size) data was "bad", just that it actually tended to support my theory rather than his (and yours). After all, the vast majority of the evidence in my article came straight from Lynn. It seems the main fallback against accepting my rural/urban theory in these comments is now "inbreeding depression." But I think I've now demonstrated that Flynn-adjusted Irish IQ rose by about 13 points in 30 years between 1972 and the mid-2000s. Did the Irish really still have enormously high inbreeding as late as the 1960s, and it all disappeared within a generation? Clicking a comment link, I discovered that this very website had last year had a posting demonstrating that first-cousin-marriages in Ireland had dropped to 0.16% by the 1960s, so inbreeding-depression goes totally out the window. The PISA tests show that the Germans are smarter than the Irish in Europe these days. But in America, the (Catholic) Irish have much higher Wordsum-IQ than the Germans. Is there any evidence that the Germans in America have become heavy inbreeders? I'd say that resistence to my rural/urban hypothesis may be moving toward the endgame... 2012-07-31T03:15:13-07:00 Ron Unz
hbdchick: point to ron? (~_^) Ha, ha... But actually, I really do owe you one... I'd vaguely assumed all the "Irish" were Irish-Irish, and hadn't bothered checking the religion. But you did and discovered that a good slice of them are almost certainly Scots-Irish. Now the overall "Irish" category has pretty good Wordsum-IQ, certainly above the white average though not hugely above. However, you found that the Irish-Irish have an *outstanding* Wordsum-IQ of 6.99, which I think is above the English/Welsh, Scots, Yugoslavs, and every other white ethnic group I checked. So America's Irish-Irish are maybe about just about the smartest whites in the whole country, which seems a little odd since Lynn found that the Irish back in Ireland were the dumbest whites in all Europe. Hmmm... Back when Lynn was doing his research and sadly concluded that the Irish needed lots of sterilizations, Ireland was one of the most rural parts of Europe, and your figures indicate that the Irish-Irish are just about the most urbanized white ethnic group in America. What a really weird coincidence... 2012-07-30T22:34:21-07:00 Ron Unz
protestant irish-americans = 6.08, roman catholic irish-americans = 6.99 That's an enormously wide Wordsum-IQ gap between the "real Irish" and the Scots-Irish, in favor of the former. But in Ireland itself, weren't the Scots-Irish dominant for centuries, much better educated, and generally wealthier? I hate to sound like a one-trick pony, but I'll bet you'd find something pretty interesting if the checked the rural/urban skew of the Irish Irish versus the Scots-Irish. I'm not cheating since I haven't myself run the GSS for that calculation... 2012-07-30T20:01:50-07:00 Ron Unz
HBDChick: "Greeks, Yugoslavs, Irish, and South Italians were all very low in Europe"---you haven’t convinced me of this...one of your main references for this is thomas sowell’s Ethnic America...sowell’s footnotes there — 160, 161 and 162 — all reference — thomas sowell! i.e. “Race and I.Q. Reconsidered"...that’s fine but, while i have a lot of respect for thomas sowell, he does seem to have a dislike for the “hard hereditarian” position...what primary sources did sowell use Please do give me a little credit on these matters. My Sowell reference was *not* to Ethnic America, but instead to his original American Ethnic Groups book, which contained exactly the source essay you mention. However, I naturally then located and checked the original references which Sowell had used, which included Clifford Kirkpatrick's 1926 Immigration and Intelligence, and the data was exactly along the lines Sowell claimed. Furthermore, Kirkpatrick seems to have been a very reputable and careful scholar. If you check, you'll see that I mentioned all of this in my "Rejecting the Ostrich Reponse" column from just a few days ago. But anyway, none of my claims here had to do with Sowell's American data, but instead with the European figures. The low Irish IQ figures come from the massive IQ study in 1972 plus Lynn's testimony regarding his years of personal research in the late 1960. A few years ago, Lynn published results claiming that even today the Sicilians are down around 89 in IQ, with the South Italians were scarcely better. And the low Greek and South Slav figures come straight from Lynn. Furthermore, even today the PISA results for Greece, Serbia, and Croatia are terrible, and since the overall Italian results are just so-so, I'd bet a lot that the Southern Italian ones are also dreadful. in support of your rural/urban theory...haven’t an awful lot of east asians (chinese esp.) been urban for a really long time? Nope, it's exactly the other way round. For nearly all of its thousands of years of history, China has been almost entirely rural, and that continued up until the present time. Until well into the 20th century, probably something like 95% of all Chinese had always been rural peasants, and Japan also has an overwhelmingly rural tradition. By contrast, major parts of Western Europe became much more heavily urbanized over the last few hundred years, even before the Industrial Revolution. 2012-07-29T14:55:36-07:00 Ron Unz
HBChick: well, i can’t find any such correlation. i get a correlation of precisely zip for white american urban-ness and high iq. I'm not sure your analysis is the best approach to testing my rural/urban hypothesis. Consider that although I strongly criticized a rigidly IQ-determinist model, I actually proposed "the Weak IQ Hypothesis" as a possible alternative, namely that various European peoples might indeed differ in innate IQ, but that those differences were quite small compared to the gigantic ones suggested by Lynn. Obviously, lots of other factors such as local cultural and socio-economic patterns might also play a role. Therefore, I would suggest that it would be better to examine those cases in which there was a seemingly large IQ shift between the ethnicity in Europe and in America, and try to detect a clear pattern. As I pointed out, Greeks, Yugoslavs, Irish, and South Italians were all very low in Europe and are high or at least above average in the U.S. Meanwhile, the Dutch and Germans are very high in Europe and very low or at least below average in America. There are other examples as well. These changes exactly track the rural/urban ones. But the Norwegians tend to be rural in both locations with IQ close to 100 in Europe and a bit higher in America. Meanwhile, the British IQ is normalized to 100 in Europe and the English/Scottish/Welsh IQ is slightly above that in America, where they're a somewhat more rural than the white average. So none of these shifts are nearly as extreme or striking as the several mentioned just above, and tend to be much weaker evidence. Probably the most thorough approach would be determining the complex correlation between the relative Europe/America differences in IQ and the differences in rural/urban factors, but that would be fairly complex to work out. 2012-07-29T11:38:37-07:00 Ron Unz
That's odd, I used the Nesstar GSS data and got quite different results for some of the cases. For example, the Wordsum for all whites was 6.26, but was much higher for the Irish at 6.46, even higher for the Yugoslavs at 6.77, and still above average for the Greeks at 6.34 and Italians at 6.27, while the Germans were 6.25 and the Dutch 5.88. It's hard to believe that the dataset differences of 1972-2006 vs. 1972-2010 could make that much of a difference. (And personally, I prefer not to convert Wordsum into IQ, since it's just a rough proxy---you can also fill in all the missing pieces of your table directly from the GSS.)

I'm no great expert in using the GSS, but the calculation seems to be a very simple one, so the discrepancy is strange.
2012-07-28T18:31:11-07:00 Ron Unz
georgedelatour: Be as mono-ethnic, monoglot and/or mono-cultural as you possibly can. China is incredibly mono-ethnic and mono-cultural for the most populous nation on Earth: 92% of the population is Han Chinese. Actually, I tend to doubt that ethnic homogeneity is much of a factor, except at a very secondary level. I just think that the Han Chinese tend to be smart and hard-working, and would probably be just as smart and hard-working in a country where they were a small minority...like the U.S. However I'd suggest that even the 92% Han figure tends to exaggerate China's ethnic diversity. I think most of the non-Han population lives in a few outlying provinces, most of which hadn't even been part of China until they were conquered along with China itself by the Manchus and incorporated into the same empire. So it's a little like if America were 92% white European, but with almost all the non-whites living in Hawaii, Alaska, and New Mexico, and the other states being 98% white. 2012-07-28T18:00:49-07:00 Ron Unz
georgedelatour: China’s results in international education tests – which have never been published – are "remarkable"..Even in rural areas and in disadvantaged environments, you see a remarkable performance...the test results showed the "resilience" of pupils to succeed despite tough backgrounds...The levels of resilience are just incredible Yes, exactly. I'd seen those comments by Schleicher on the Chinese PISA results when they appeared, and I think I actually alluded to them in one of my recent comments somewhere. But I didn't bother including them in any of my articles on East Asian differences, though perhaps I should have. 2012-07-28T12:56:22-07:00 Ron Unz
HBDChick: your original article in TAC left the impression that you thought your hypothesis was quite sound, when now it turns out it isn't Actually, I think you're missing something. The central focus of my main TAC article was that there exists overwhelming evidence that the large IQ differences between various European peoples are probably not genetic but mostly "environmental." I was debunking the Strong IQ Hypothesis and I think my case is a very strong one. As to the particular "environmental" factors responsible, I devoted a few paragraphs to a Rural/Urban Hypothesis as one possibility, but hardly claimed to have proven it. Then, in my most recent piece, I provided a great deal of additional evidence for the Rural/Urban Hypothesis, strengthening the case but still certainly not proving it. So I think I've convincingly refuted the Strong IQ Hypothesis and provided a plausible replacement, but you're certainly welcome to come up with a superior one. 2012-07-27T21:41:16-07:00 Ron Unz
Mark: You mean how low they currently are? Because if the smarter ones left, then who did they leave behind? The problem is that merely a small fraction of the existing Greek, Yugoslav, etc. populations ever immigrated to America. So even if the smartest ones mostly left, the remaining average wouldn't have changed too much. Furthermore, mean regression would have dissipated about half the difference after one generation. Not really. The Dutch and Germans aren’t any smarter than anyone else. Well, if you go by Lynn's IQ studies, they do have about the highest IQs in Europe. Admittedly, some of this comes from the Buj studies, which may not be too reliable. But if you look at the 2009 PISA results, and exclude immigrants, the native Germans and Dutch do have just about the highest scores in Europe, certainly far above the Western European average, let alone the horrible PISA scores in the Balkans and Southern Europe. And PISA results are often used as a proxy for IQ. Remember, I'm the one who says we have to be very cautious in actually believing what IQ-type scores tell us. But that is what they are telling us. 2012-07-27T21:25:34-07:00 Ron Unz
Yes, I'd been aware of the Norwegian exception to the rural/urban IQ pattern and various others as well. I certainly never claimed that the rule was absolute or that the pattern was perfect. I'm also not claiming that my hypothesis is proven, just that there seems to be quite a lot of evidence for it. Remember, the Wordsum-IQ ethnic patterns in the U.S. represents only a small part of evidence I've collected.

Anyway, what's an alternate explanation? Given how low the Greek, South Italian, Yugoslav, etc. IQs are in Europe, is it really plausible to argue that only the smartest tiny slice of those populations came to the America? And given how high the Dutch and German IQs are, we'd also need to argue that only the absolutely dumbest people from those countries immigrated. Isn't that a huge number of totally ad hoc assumptions to make? Maybe there's a better explanation than my rural/urban hypothesis, but that was the one which immediately jumped out at me.

Keep in mind that most of these groups arrived something like 4-6 generations ago, though perhaps the Dutch might go back quite a bit farther. You'd need absolutely massive selective pressure to shift population IQs that quickly, and why would the shifts have been in completely opposite directions for the various groups? None of this makes any sense.

And I'd also noticed myself that the American-Americans were just about the most rural whites in America and also had just about the lowest Wordsum-IQ, but didn't bother including them.
2012-07-27T19:28:39-07:00 Ron Unz
Well, it does indeed look like I made a careless error. But in fact, I think my corrected claim might strengthen my theoretical argument.

I'd certainly been mistaken in stating that Americans of British origins had lower Wordsum-IQ than those from Ireland, Italy, Greece, or Yugoslavia. In fact, the two ethnicities---England/Wales and Scotland---both have rather high Wordsum-IQs, higher than all the four other groups in question. But it also turns out that neither of those groups is particularly rural, so it accords with my hypothesis.

A much better example I should have used instead were German-Americans, who are significantly more rural than the white American average and have a Wordsum-IQ below the Greeks, Yugoslavs, Irish, and Italians. Furthermore, according to Lynn's IQ data, Germans have one of the highest IQs in Europe, significantly above the British and far, far above the Irish, Greeks, (South) Italians, and Yugoslavs. So the reversal in America is even more inexplicable from a genetic model of IQ.

Thus, my comparison using "British and Dutch" should be changed to "Germans and Dutch," with the two highest IQ nationalities in Europe becoming two of the lowest white IQ ethnicities in America, even as they switched from being among the most urbanized Europeans to generally being rural in America, while the Greeks, Irish, Italians, and Yugoslavs moved in the opposite direction on both the IQ and rural fronts. This seems far too strong to merely be coincidence.

As for my GSS calculation, I just used RACE=WHITE, ETHNIC, and WORDSUM. My ethnic urban/rural estimate substituted RES16 for WORDSUM, and I considered Country+Farm as being "rural" while "City+Suburb+Big City" was considered urban. The Italians, Irish, Greeks, and Yugoslavs come out heavily urban, the Dutch heavily rural, and the Germans somewhat rural.

Anyway, thanks for spotting my error, especially since fixing it seems to actually strengthen my case.
2012-07-27T06:55:56-07:00 Ron Unz
HBDChick: also, where are the wordsum data for all these groups? i mean, i know they’re in the gss, but how about a chart or a link or at least some search terms for the searches conducted. most sciencey bloggers nowadays present their data That's a perfectly reasonable request. Since I've never been a blogger, I'm not familiar with formatting GSS results-tables or that sort of thing. Magazine articles very rarely have footnotes, and interspersing GSS codes and data in the text would look very peculiar, but I should certainly be able to provide an explanation of my calculation. Audacious Epigone: Unz is off when it comes to the English/British My "British" total included the low-performing "Old Stock" population, which no longer traces to a particular European ancestry, but is almost certainly overwhelmingly British in origin. The descriptions in the current text came from a spreadsheet containing a great deal of ethnicity stratification data which I'd produced several months ago, and I'll go back and recheck the calculations. It's certainly possible I might have made a mistake somewhere, since I ended up using almost none of the data in my original article, and hence didn't check it as thoroughly as the detailed IQ figures. 2012-07-26T21:49:14-07:00 Ron Unz
The Irish: Lynn provides three Irish IQ samples: a 1972 sample of 3,466 yielding an IQ of 87, a 1993 sample of 1,361 yielding an IQ of 93, and another 1993 sample of 2,029 yielding an IQ of 91. These are all very large samples. There is also another minuscule 1979 sample of 75 which (unsurprisingly) yields an outlying value. All these results are Flynn-adjusted by Lynn. Furthermore, in a recent interview Lynn himself stated that his Dublin research in the late 1960s convinced him that the Irish were a low-IQ people, and that only a strong campaign of eugenics could solve the country's problems. His opinion is very consistent with the (independent) test scores I have given above. Now I suggest that the huge recent rise in Irish IQs is probably due to changes in urbanization and socio-economic factors, and you dispute this. Let us assume Ireland actually had an innate, genetic IQ of 87 in 1972. Since there has been negligible genetic change since then, we'd expect to see approximately the same figure today, yet as I pointed out Ireland has roughly the same PISA scores as nations such as Britain, France, and Germany, whose IQs are around 100. You argue this might be explained because 20% of France's population were low-IQ minorities, and the 8% of Britain's population fell in the same category. Does this make any sense? Could a British population which was 92% high-IQ and 8% low-IQ really have the same average academic performance as an Irish population which was 100% low-IQ? Furthermore, if Ireland actually had an IQ of 87, something like 15-20% of the entire Irish population would be subject to clinical mental retardation. Do you believe this is the case? The fact to keep in mind is that a 15 point difference in IQ---a full SD---between two subpopulations is absolutely gigantic. It seems totally implausible that the Irish who stayed in Ireland and those who immigrated differed by 15 points. Actually, given mean-regression, the two groups of Irish would have needed to differ by around 30 points at that time. Do you really find this plausible? American-Born Mex-Ams: As I've pointed out, between the 1970s and the 2000s, roughly 61% of the Wordsum-IQ gap between white Americans and American-born Mex-Ams disappeared due to an enormous rise in the Wordsum-IQ of the latter group. These are hard, empirical facts. Perhaps my explanation is entirely wrong. But what is your alternate explanation? Rural/Urban Americans: Interestingly enough, in the 1970s the Wordsum-IQ gap between rural whites and urban/suburban whites was almost exactly the same size as the Wordsum-IQ gap between Americans whites and blacks. These numbers would tend to indicate that something like 10% of white farmboys in America had IQs below 70, and were clinically retarded. Do you really believe that during the 1970s 10% of all the white farmboys in America were mentally retarded? I have provided a great deal of hard, empirical data on these matters, as well as my own theoretical hypothesis. Perhaps my own hypothesis is entirely wrong. Then what is your alternate hypothesis? And under normal circumstances, I prefer not to engage in insult. However, I also prefer not to be accused of fraud or misrepresentation. 2012-07-25T19:26:57-07:00 Ron Unz
JayMan: The only other thing I was going to add is that most of the studies that Unz singles out as giving anomalously low average IQs were all done on children, when IQ is known to be unreliable Hmmm... Someone separately pointed out that the IQ studies done by Buj are widely seen as unreliable and should be discarded because they were all done in the European capital cities, and hence are hardly nationally representative, which seems a very fair point. But as it happens, Buj's studies were the *only* European ones cited by Lynn that involved adults---every other IQ study was based on children. And you're now arguing that all those children IQ studies be excluded. That leaves Lynn's book with ZERO European IQ studies, and obviously renders his results totally consistent, since zero datapoints is consistent with anything and everything. [*redacted* - please refrain from making rude comments towards other commenters. thank you. hbd chick.] 2012-07-23T19:47:44-07:00 Ron Unz
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Jason Collins blog / jasoncollins.blog

Behavioural economics. Behavioural and data science. Economics. Evolutionary biology.

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My response to Lynn and Nyborg:

2012-08-08T01:05:40+08:00 Ron Unz