Sunday, November 05, 2006

Africans are not very smart-mind the evolutionary gap?


Dr. Satoshi Kanazawa is an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics (LSE). And a highly controversial and versatile one at that. He has just published a paper in the British Journal of Health Psychology alleging that African states were poor and suffered chronic ill-health because their populations were less intelligent than people in richer countries.

In the paper he cites Ethiopia's national IQ of 63, the world's lowest, and the fact that men and women are only expected to live until their mid-40s as an example of his finding that intelligence is the main determinant of someone's health. The LSE is supporting Kanazawa’s right to academic freedom of expression. The commissars of political correctitude are predictably demanding his head. I am a little doubtful on the value of Eugenics, which was after all so influential on certain political forces that shaped the intra-war period. Kanazawa certainly has the right to express his views. Will the LSE stand by their man? I wouldn’t bank on it.

* Kanazawa has authored other controversial papers, such as "Why beautiful people are more intelligent," and "Teaching may be hazardous to your marriage," which contends that male high school teachers and college professors constantly exposed to young women may begin to find their wives less attractive and their marriages less satisfying. I wouldn’t know about that last one....

25 comments:

Voyager said...

Universities are places for debate rather than modern versions of the Inquisition.

Let his research go through the normal processes of refutation and evidential proof

istanbultory said...

Exactly. His paper has been subject to a refereed process of review. They found it worthy of publication...the matter should be left at that. Will it?...I think not.

Ellee said...

Will anyone act on the evidence he has produced, will anyone care enough to improve the lives and education of those living in such social and economically deprived countries?

istanbultory said...

Ellee,
I very much doubt it. Pontificating by Blair and Bono are certainly not going to solve the problem.

Vol-in-Law said...

Good point Ellee. The thing that makes me angry is that it's well known that African median IQ at around 68-70 is severely depressed by environmental factors, such as iodine deficiency - eg the African-American median IQ is 85+, around 15 or so points higher than African IQ in Africa, and this is almost entirely for environmental rather than genetic reasons. 85 is close to the world median IQ of 90 (where 100 is median UK or US IQ - China's is around 105-108), whereas 68-70 is dangerously low for the development & maintenance of an advanced technological society. But cultural Marxists, instead of promoting education & nutrition in Africa, just want to bury the data and scream Racist at anyone who discusses it.

Vol-in-Law said...

Here's a slightly out of date list of IQ by country:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nations_by_IQ

The listec Chinese IQ of 100 is inaccurate, it was arbitrarily lowered by the researchers - at the time reliable China data for the interior wasn't available. They've since revised figure upward to 105 and this is likely to be revised up further; it looks like north-east-Asian median IQs are in the 105-108 range, the world's highest for a major population group. Turkey's median IQ of 90 puts it at the global median.

istanbultory said...

Vol-in-law, greetings.
The majority of African Americans have IQ scores well below 85 points. This is reflected in the large number of African Americans who never graduate from high school(graduation in many US cities is less than 17% of the student body and more than one-half of African American graduates are functionally illiterate

Vol-in-Law said...

No, 50% of African Americans have IQs below (roughly) 85, and this is remarkably consistent across many thousands of studies, just as (eg) white median British IQs are consistent. Americans love IQ tests - eg every applicant to the US military sits the AFQT, an IQ test - and with the vast reams of data this is certain beyond any reasonable doubt. Furthermore there isn't much variation by State or region, no more than about 5 points - there's similar, slightly larger, variation in European-American IQ scores.

Not graduating from high school, or being functionally illiterate, are not always due to a low IQ. A population can have high IQs and still have huge societal problems - Russians, for instance.

Ellee said...

There doesn't seem any point in collating this data unless it is going to be presented to the WTO or UN or an organisation with power to help those who are suffering.

istanbultory said...

Those institutions wouldn't dare use the data in the design of policy as the politically correct tendency would be down on them like a ton of bricks. Come to think of it, those institutions are already led by the politically correct tendency.

Colin said...

"African-American median IQ is 85+, around 15 or so points higher than African IQ in Africa, and this is almost entirely for environmental rather than genetic reasons."

That's absolutely correct!

However, the army has some experiences with IQs of 85+: "From 1992 onward, only 1% of the new enlistees allowed into the U.S. military came from Category IV -- the 10th to 30th percentiles on the Armed Forces Qualification Test, the military's main IQ test. People who score from 80 to 92 in IQ were just more trouble than they were worth in today's high tech military."

An individual with an IQ of 85 is able to handle unskilled work (see Slide no. 15 of Dr. Harpending's IQ lecture. And slide 20 shows that individuals with an IQ of up to 90 are mainly performing unskilled work, which is not in high demand in industrialized countries. Skilled workers have an IQ of at least 90 but mostly of 100+ according to slide no. 20. Furthermore, a much higher percentage of individuals with an IQ of 90 are unemployed, divorced, have illegitimate children as women, are incarcerated as men, are high-school drop-outs, live in poverty and are chronic welfare recipients.

BTW, I am against eugenics because nobody should have so much power to decide about the reproduction of humans as if they were cattle.

Serf said...

I think this chap may have confused cause and effect. My understanding was that Africans have low IQs because their brains are stunted by malnutrition.

Colin said...

Serf,

You said "My understanding was that Africans have low IQs because their brains are stunted by malnutrition."

That's correct. Malnutrition results in a lower IQ.

However, without malnutrition the major cause of IQ is genetic. As vol-in-law said: "African median IQ at around 68-70". The African IQ is the result of malnutrition AND genes.

What would the African IQ be without malnutrition being only determined by genes? For an estimate, scientists look at well-nourished individuals with African genes, i.e. approx. Afro-Americans. The IQ of Afro-Americans is 10-15 points higher than that of Africans, i.e. ca. 80-85, see Figure 21.10 in Harpending's IQ lecture.

Since it isn't possible yet to increase the genetically determined IQ, there obviously is a problem for individuals with an IQ < 90 in the industrialized world to earn a living.

Furthermore, Figure 21.10 shows a large overlap between the IQs of people of African and of European descent.

However, Figure 21.10 also demonstrates that individuals with an IQ of > 130 are extremely rare among Afro-Americans while approximately 2% of Americans of European descent fall in this category. An IQ of > 130 is considered essential for inventors and other geniuses responsible for the high levels of Western civilization.

"Only about 700 blacks in the 18 year-old national cohort [in the USA] each year have an IQ of 130 or higher, while some 130,000 or more whites do."

Scientists drawing attention to these facts are called racists or nazis by the Western PC crowd. On the other hand, East Asians are very proud of the fact that they have the highest IQs in the world. Well, intelligence isn't everything in life but sometimes it is helpful, isn't it.

istanbultory said...

What I want to know is whether the LSE will ditch him or not. Does academic freedom of expression still have a protected place in western higher education or do politically correct notions render that an impossible task? Discuss.

Praguetory said...

Colin mentions the industrial world. IQ is even more important in the services industry (the post-industrial world). I fear that attempts to level economic outcomes are more likely to fail because of the real and increasing economic premium attached to being able to handle concepts, manipulate ideas and master IT rather than because of some perceived inherent unfairness in upbringing (the Lefty view).

I've made no comments re blacks, but I believe that it is just as feasible that different racial groups have genetic differences affecting intellect as physique (that bias is demonstrable in 100m sprints).

Vol Abroad said...

colin:
"And slide 20 shows that individuals with an IQ of up to 90 are mainly performing unskilled work, which is not in high demand in industrialized countries"

True, but populations with median IQs of around 90 have plenty of smart (IQ 90+) people able to do the skilled jobs. Examples include Turkey (90), Greece (92), and the extreme case of the Republic of Ireland (93), which now has a wealthier and higher-tech economy than most countries with IQs 100+. My point is that African-American median IQ at 85 (possibly as high as 87 now) means that as a group African-Americans, if they were a nation, could sustain a high tech society, whereas sub-Saharan Africans may currently lack a sufficient population base of IQ 90+ individuals to do so. And this is rectifiable, primarily through through nutrition.

Vol-in-Law said...

Above post was me, Vol in Law (Vol Abroad's husband) :)

Colin said...

"Does academic freedom of expression still have a protected place in western higher education or do politically correct notions render that an impossible task? Discuss."

There are sufficient cases in academia to suggest that scientists publishing findings incompatible with PC beliefs run into a lot of troubles or had their careers distroyed. A few examples for illustrations:

Arthur R. Jensen

J. Phillipe Rushton

Richard Lynn

They all survived. However, Christopher Brand was dismissed following disciplinary tribunal. In his own words: "After fourteen months of 'inquiring' into Chris Brand, censoring Chris Brand and suspending Chris Brand, the University of Edinburgh next sacked its 'race realist' IQ psychologist. -- though an appeal by Brand and his lawyers will follow, and then perhaps legal action in Scotland's public courts.

What on earth is this all about? How can a once-great university have chosen to abandon the principle of academic freedom rather than hear any more from the hereditarian psychologist whom it had employed without complaint for 26 years? Read on and learn how Edinburgh University caved in to Political Correctness and kindred modern pressures!"
Furthermore, how tyrannous PC arrived in quaint UK and his Wikipedia article.

The trial of Chris Brand is a reminder of Galileo's trial in Rome: " The sentence of the Inquisition was in three essential parts:
* Galileo was required to recant his heliocentric ideas; the idea that the Sun is stationary was condemned as "formally heretical".
* He was ordered imprisoned; the sentence was later commuted to house arrest.
* His offending Dialogue was banned; and in an action not announced at the trial and not enforced, publication of any of his works was forbidden, including any he might write in the future."


I hope that Satoshi Kanazawa will not get sacked as was Chris Brand.

Shotgun said...

The main point, surely, is that this research and data will be discarded, and it will be undoubtedly, because it does not fit in with the political elites current musings.

I've spent a long time in Africa, and I don't mean the cities, and I can tell you that Africans are indeed unintelligent...but...by OUR definition of what constitutes intelligence, which is realy a wholly different thing IMO to actual brain power.

Africans can do things most westerners are not capable of as a general part of their existence. Because they mostly live in hot cuntries they do tend to have a slower pace of life generally and this can be misleading.

The data may be true, and it will not be allowed to go unchallenged, but I suspect it is not the whole story and is coming at the question from a set angle which is also misleading.

istanbultory said...

"The main point, surely, is that this research and data will be discarded, and it will be undoubtedly, because it does not fit in with the political elites current musings"

Shotgun, you are undoubtedly right. Alas.

Colin said...

Vol-in-Law,

Thank you for sharing your view with the readers of this blog.

You said: "My point is that African-American median IQ at 85 (possibly as high as 87 now) means that as a group African-Americans, if they were a nation, could sustain a high tech society, whereas sub-Saharan Africans may currently lack a sufficient population base of IQ 90+ individuals to do so. And this is rectifiable, primarily through through nutrition."
..
"populations with median IQs of around 90 have plenty of smart (IQ 90+) people able to do the skilled jobs."


That was precisely my argument when I discussed the matter with others because I simply do not like the idea of ethnic differences in intelligence. So what made me change my point of view?

Reality. You pointed out that in principle "as a group African-Americans, if they were a nation, could sustain a high tech society". Why restrict your conclusion to the status of a nation? Let's look for a control group in the USA with similar conditions but different mean IQ. The poor Chinese workers, who came to America for building the railroads, had to live in ghettos (e.g. San Francisco's Chinatown), had to suffer from ugly white racism and were treated very badly.

Today, half of the university students in Berkley are of East Asian's descent, mostly Chinese. Afro-American students are favored by affirmative action at almost every American University but very rarely do you ever see an Afro-American engineer, computer scientist or mathematician. Silicon Valley is dominated by Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Libanese and Indian computer scientists. In addition, Japan, Korea, China, India had developed the most advanced civilizations of the world until about 200 years ago when the British invented the industrial revolution. And today, these high IQ countries have no problems in catching up with the West. The same cannot be said of sub-Sahara Africa. However, we have to admit that the EU is treating Africans unfairly by not letting them export agricultural products to Europe.

Nevertheless, the question remains, why Afro-Americans as a group perform poorly in the USA as compared to other ethnic groups. And since Afro-Americans do not suffer from malnutrition, it is rather unlikely that solving the malnutrition problem in Africa will transform Sub-Sahara Africa into high tech nations.

Besides IQ, additional factors seem to play a role in regard to the underperformance of Afro-Americans because you correctly pointed out that other groups with a similar average IQ are relatively more successful: "Examples include Turkey (90), Greece (92), and the extreme case of the Republic of Ireland (93), which now has a wealthier and higher-tech economy than most countries with IQs 100+."

Therefore, we should turn our attention to the fact that Subsaharan Africans and Afro-Americans do not only differ in IQ but also in regard to the effects of testosterone, muscularity and personality dimensions. With regard to the latter, they display a lower level of cautiousness and a higher degree of sociability, impulsiveness and aggressiveness than Europeans or Orientals. See, Rushton: Chart 1 on page 9. And it isn’t difficult to see that an average IQ of 85 combined with a lack of caution and impulsive aggressiveness is not a formula for professional success.

However, I admit that I wish that you were right. Unfortunately, realities have the ugly habit of destroying our cherished hypotheses and beliefs. Without our quasi-religious belief in the equality of all humans, we wouldn't try so hard to make reality match our faith. But if we simply look back at our own experience at school, it is difficult to deny that not all pupils had the same cognitive abilities and that the best soccer players were rarely good in math and vice versa.

Vol-in-Law said...

Colin - you may be right that I'm over-optimistic, and obviously from the US data it's clear that Chinese will always have higher IQ than Africans (and higher than Europeans too, though not as much). Even leaving aside genes, the median IQ of well-nourished Jamaicans is lower than that of African-Americans, probably for entirely environmental reasons.

My point is not that Africans can become Chinese in anything less than thousands of years, just that Africa doesn't have to be in as terrible a state as it is currently. And better nutrition = better IQ would help.

Colin said...

Vol-in-Law,

You wrote: "My point is.. that Africa doesn't have to be in as terrible a state as it is currently. And better nutrition = better IQ would help."

I couldn't agree more. The question is how to achieve this. There seems to be successful and unsuccessful means for achieving this end.

One of the methods which has been proven to be unsuccessful is the meddling of Western governments in African affairs. It only is a cover-up for the exploitation of Africa by bribing local dictators with tax money extorted from the Western populace.

Chirac and his cabinet minister just [in 2004] proposed a global tax on financial services to be administrated by the United Nations. The tax will bring in about $50 billion a year, which Mr. Chirac claims will be used to fight hunger in the poorest countries around the world."

The successful method for Africa has been adopted by Botswana and studied by Professor Scott A. Beaulier. In his article Limited Government and Economic Growth in Botswana, he explains: The “African growth tragedy” best describes the economic experience of sub-Saharan Africa since the 1970s. In many countries, the overall level of income per capita is no higher today than it was at the time of independence. Corruption and excessive governmental intervention into the economy plague these countries...

Botswana managed to escape its low level of development and prosper. Botswana went from being the third poorest nation in the world in 1965 to an upper-middle income nation today. Between 1966 and 1996, it was the fastest growing nation in the world with an average annual growth rate of 7.7 percent. Unlike its fellow sub-Saharan countries that chose anti-capitalist, statist routes to development, Botswana’s leaders opted for the path less traveled- an economic system built around the rule of law. Botswana’s political leaders pursued policies that secured property rights and limited the government’s role in the economy. As a result, the citizens prospered.


There is hope for Africa if Western governments stop meddling in their affairs.

Another good example is the educational system in Africa. According to Professor James Tooley the state has failed to deliver good education for the great mass of the people in developing countries. But would globalisation and privatisation produce something better? Yes, it would, says British experts James Tooley, and comes up with some remarkable empirical evidence.

"In the urban slums and villages in developing countries increasing number of poor parents are sending their children to private schools – with fees of $2 per month or less, run by educational entrepreneurs who want to serve their communities, as well as make some money.

My research has found such schools in battle-scarred buildings in Somaliland, in the shanty towns built on stilts above the Lagos lagoons in Nigeria, scattered amongst the tin and cardboard huts of Africa’s largest slum, Kibera, Kenya,..

Why are parents paying fees when state schools are free? It’s because of the failure of state schools across Africa and Asia...

What is the main advantage that private education has over state schools? The Probe Report put it succinctly: accountability. The private schools, the report said, were successful because they were more accountable: ‘the teachers are accountable to the manager (who can fire them), and, through him or her, to the parents (who can withdraw their children)’. Such accountability was not present in the government schools, and ‘this contrast is perceived with crystal clarity by the vast majority of parents’...

The World Bank is funding the provision of free primary education in Kenya to the tune of $80 million, but suburban state schools get the funding, the slum private schools none. The British Department for International Development (DfID) is pouring money into government education in West Africa; simultaneously a mass exodus of poor parents is fleeing the state sector to send their children to private school."


There is hope for Africa, if the people of Africa take their future in their own hands.

Vol Abroad said...

Thanks Colin, lots of interesting points there.

"Botswana’s leaders opted for the path less traveled- an economic system built around the rule of law."

I think that says it all, really.

Vol-in-Law said...

Was me, ViL, again.