I agree but your last sentence is the opposite of reality. Cold climates have produced people who are big, but also smart. Scandinavian countries have one of the highest IQs on Earth and they are also one of the largest people to. Reason being, dumb people cant survive easily in a cold climate, they will either freeze to death, or starve to death.

On the other hand, Tropical climates lend themselves to those who are small and dumb. You dont need to think about how to survive the winter there...since even in winter, its still hot in the tropics. This is probably why hunter/gatherer societies were common until the early 1900s in Africa and S.America, the native people never had a reason to advance beyond that point. A cold climate can force people to adapt and weed out the ones not intelligent enough to adapt.

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Don't want to delve too deep here since; a) I'm not addressing hybrid virgor directly and b); I can see I'm a bit out of my league intellectually, but let's be careful about presuming that intellegence is a net plus.

It seems that desirable traits such as strength or intellegence often come at the expense of some other desirable trait. So, much depends on the environment.

Being brainy might not make up for the loss of some other desirable trait. In a cold environment it might be better to be big and dumb as opposed to smart and small.

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The answer to the IQ question is already there. Look at a map of Earth. What countries are just barely out of the Stone age technology wise...

Let's see.

Nearly all nations in Black Africa are primitive and backwards. Except for South Africa [why is that, hmmm].

Most Arabs and North Africans are mixed race people today, they are mixed Caucasian and Black African. Their IQ is between the average IQ of a European and a African, and it shows in their nation's development level.

However according to this article, you would think that Arab and North African nations would be First world since the population of those nations are mixed race. However this article is obviously incorrect. Arab and North African nations are still backwards compared to Europe and North America on the development index.


Japan, Korea and China are all either first world nations now, or are rapidly on their way to becoming first world.

IQ tests for East Asians show that they are among the most intelligent groups of people on Earth. It shows in the development level for East Asian nations like Japan.

Clearly IQ has a genetic basis to it. If it did not then there would be no development pattern among nation's on a racial basis. Again look at Black Africa. The nations there are all among the same level development wise, which is not very developed at all..Then look at Europe which is developed. And North Africa is right in the middle development wise.

For the doubters...Look at Haiti. It is a 99% Black African descended nation smack dab in the middle of the Carribean, yet it is also the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere. Its development index is on par with nations actually in Africa...Yet the only connection Haiti has to Africa is its people are racially Africans. Is that solid proof for a genetic basis for IQ ? Yea its as good as it gets for proof. That may be seen as racist, but racist or not it is the truth.

More proof - Canada, Australia, New Zealand, USA. All white majority nations. All have development indexes on par with Europe. The exceptions are cities such as Detroit - which have a black majority population - and predictably, resembles more of a African city than it does a White European one as far as development goes.

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interesting to find this comment as I'm documenting the on my extended family's genealogy

I was born in the US and my wife in Peru - but both are of Sicilian descent

We learned that we both carried the gene for sickle cell during a genetic counseling session during my wife's pregnancy

I've also learned that in addition to the fact that we're both of spanish and sicilian descent

We both have croatian ancestors and our great-grandparents come from areas of Sicily that were heavily norman and sephardic

As a result, it's interesting to for me to think that across multiple generations there can be these extreme levels of gene recombination like ours - a small counter-current running against diversity

if this is the case, the genes we have passed on to my son may be as close as this pair of DNA have been in over 500 to 1000 years and I suspect could go back even further

I'm considering DNA analysis just to see what it tells me regarding the origin of my collective family

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It is hard to believe that people still talk about the "Flynn" effect.1) Before Flynn it was noted by others; he just put it in terms that seemed to argue against IQ from genes and more for IQ from environment.

2) The so called effect is only on timed test that are multiple choice. Adults can teach kids to guess! So on test that are not timed that have a penalty for a wrong guess the 3 points per decade vanishes like magic!

3) genes and epigenetics (yes environment like breast milk for some allels) explain IQ. To argue and pretend not is to be like those who saw the emporors clothes as the best!

4) I also see hybrid vigor as good. But I also think that the genetic and epigenetic data that is being created faster and faster willl enlighten us all and help us to make more informed choices.

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Another explanation may be that parents of mixed-race children are more likely to be intelligent.

This is for two reasons:

First, a recent study has shown that persons who are liberal, and who don't subscribe to any particular religion, are more intelligent on average. (http://www.thestar.com/livi... It is axiomatic that persons who are liberal and persons who are athiests are less set on marrying or otherwise socialiize someone from exactly the same ethnocultural background. A Norwegian-Canadian leftie isn't going to listen to her Lutheran parents from Tromso when they disapprove of her marrying or sleeping with the child of Muslim-American parents from some small village in Iran.

Second, a person (e.g., an Indo-canadian) who is attractive and intelligent is less-likely to have to depend on traditional match-making systems to find a mate. She's likely to get hit-on by some hot Russian guy in college, rather than remaining single and having to crawl to her parents and ask them to arrange a marriage with some 7th cousin in the Punjab.

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I'm not sure why endorsing the hybrid-vigor hypothesis is at all related to "recognizing that differences in sub-populations may account for much of the current inequalities between races".

Hybrid vigor may be accounted for by the same principle which leads to increased risk of birth defects among children of two close relatives.

Many genetic "defects" - from aesthetic actually result in physical or intellectual problems only (ranging from dry, disgusting ear wax and facial asymmetry to sickle cell disease and deadly Tay Sachs disease) if the child has received copies of the same non-functioning gene(s) from each of her parents.

People from different regional populations (i.e., "races") have the same overall frequency of non-functioning genes (hence no "superiority" of one vs. the other). However, the chances of precisely the same genetic mutation arising independently in two people whose parents are completely unrelated and coming from populations that separated 50000 years ago (e.g., Swedish and Zulu) is quite low. The chances of a maladaptive (unattractive / unhealthy) feature having persisted in both of those populations is particularly low because its transmission would occur only by chance, and because it would actually reduce its bearers' chances of having offspring,

In contrast, individuals whose parents come from the same regional population or "race" (e.g., two Sicilians or to Ashkenazis) are likely to share more and more recent common ancestors. It is thus more likely that they will have some of the same genes (relatively rare in the world as a whole), because they might have inherited them from the same individual.

When the two more related people (i.e., the homoracial couple), with some of the same defective genes contribute those genes to a biological child, it is likely that the child will receive two copies of some of the defectives gene, and thus have disgusting, waxy ears, a slightly lopsided face etc., which make her less physically- attractive.

You may ask why the same thing wouldn't happen with very attractive or healthy features (such that mixed-race individuals would also be less likely to be exceptionally good-looking). There are two reasons for this.

First, the prevalence of healthy and attractive (i.e., adaptive) traits is not dependent on chance. It is favored by natural selection. As noted above, maladaptive (sexually unattractive or unhealthy) genetic traits are less-likely to be passed on to the next generation. In contrast, a person who manifests genetic traits that are sexually desirable, or which cause him to live longer, is likely to produce more offspring. His genes are thus likely to become more and more prevalent in the population. The most healthy and attractive traits are thus the ones most-likely to persist in more than one human population, and thus be shared by both members of a heteroracial couple.

The second (though perhaps related) reason why we would expect mixed-race individuals to be more attractive is that humans tend to find people with statistically-average features the most attractive (this has proven to be independent of the effect of symmetry and facial smoothing produced by composite imaging). Many traits that are not autosomal recessive (e.g., oval vs square face, face length, face width) are polygenetic, and move along a sliding scale based on the aggregate effect of multiple genes. To the extent that particular sub-populations manifest more extreme characteristics (e.g., longer or shorter faces, noses etc.), a child of parents from two different sub-populations is likely to have a characteristics that are more moderate, and thus, studies show, more attractive.

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If biracial people are attractive on average, is it possible that attractive people are more likely to breed outside of their race? If a black athlete comes together with a white cheerleader, then that could produce people like Halle Berry and Tyra Banks. I've seen a lot of tall, attractive white women with part-black offspring. I'm not saying it's that way most of the time of course.

As for the possibility that biracial people have higher IQs and more talent, could it be that parents of biracial children invest more in their kids? This article postulates that :


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Each generation is obviously more knowledgeable than the previous due to the increase of knowledge as well as the changing of lifestyles. Also, prior to the twentieth century most people were still consumed with survival and didn't have the resources or free time to spend reading, writing, surfing the internet, etc. like we do today.

But in looking at actual historical documents, journal entries, music, etc, I believe our ancestors had better reasoning skills and deeper understanding and wisdom.

One of my college professors said they had to change tests and academic programs every few years due to less capable students. Are the IQ tests updated as well?

If so, then what is the standard of intelligence? And what are the IQ tests measuring? When I look at today's kids, I see children who are taught knowledge and testing skills but lack deeper understanding and reasoning skills.

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I read up on a study which stated that children of parents who speak more than one language in the household do better (not necessarily ebonics) with IQ, so does the study get into the impact that causes, and compensate for it? Likely not, since the study seems focused on a biological observation to assess the theory.

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I have taught highly gifted mathematics students in a magnet program for 35 years. I have had many students whose parents were from two different races: Asian(Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indian) and Causian, African-American and Causian, even parents from Eastern Europe and American. All of these students were exceptionally intelligent, highly talented, responsible. mature, and most were far more physically attactive than the average teenagers. In most cases they had other high level talents: music, ballet, ice skating, soccer, other sports as well as leadership skills within their schools. Interestingly, as a teacher of the highly gifted, I had many more biracial students than most teachers. I also taught brilliant math students with Aspberger's syndrome and some with emotional disorders and strange behaviors, but these students were never among the biracial students. I came to the conclusion by myself long before I heard of the concept of "hybrid vigor" , "heterosis", or "the Flynn effect" that interracial marriage was very much an advantage for the children - at least genetically if not socially. Certainly this is not a scientific experiment - just an observation of a Mathematics teacher with 40 years of classroom experience.....

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The Flynn effect is rather large, approximately 15 points of IQ gain in the past 50 years. That's one standard deviation. It has been observed in every country where reliable measurements are available.

One could postulate the racial-mixing hypothesis in the US or Europe, but the Flynn effect is equally observable in countries like Japan, where racial mixing is almost non-existant.

Nutrition seems like a better candidate in most countries, but in the US - and especially the white population - nutrition has been at a very high level for well over sixty years. There must be some other explanation. I wish I knew.

Isolated by race, the 2007 black US population today does better on IQ tests than the white population did two generations ago.

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A half dozen years before Mingroni, Arthur Jensen discussed how hybrid vigor has a (modest) upward effect on IQ in his 1998 magnum opus "The g Factor." Jensen cited one study in Hawaii that found a 2 point IQ advantage for interracial marriage, but I haven't seen much else to support this, and 2 points is down around the margin of error.

In general, to overcome in-breeding depression, you don't have to marry somebody from the next continent -- somebody from the next valley will do fine. The big problem causing in-breeding depression is not prejudice against interracial marriage but cousin marriage, which is wildly popular in much of the world -- e.g., in Iraq, about half of all married couples are first or second cousins!

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Anders, is simplicity bias something that has been documented as widely occurring? That phrase isn't well known, and I doubt it's a sufficiently strong pattern to explain the degree to which people believe "biology is destiny".

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Hopefully, I have no idea what you mean by "making a belief as teams pander in the OP."

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Adrian, regarding your point #3:

The concepts "undoing apparently race-correlated differences in achievement would be impossible" and "a basis for anti-miscegenation laws" do not follow from "IQ [is] heritable rather than environmental", but I think that's a fairly easy point to grasp, and has been probably since the discourse on this topic began. Thus I think this whole dynamic was primarily performative. Michael Kinsely has a great expression he uses for some public political exchanges, he calls them "kabuki". I think there's a kabuki element to the whole discourse on IQ, heredibility, and human subpopulations, which is a damn shame because it's a distraction from actual scientific inquiry, in my opinion.

And I think Robin plays into it by making a belief as teams pander in the OP. Thankfully, other posters to this blog (notably Eliezer) are being more transparent, and thus more enlightening, on these dynamics. Eliezer's posts on Belief as cheer/attire: very enlightening. Robin's foil-seeking post regarding the "political correctness team" -- enlightening primarily as an example of problematic phenomena Eliezer's been describing.

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