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lexico
12-11-05, 20:31
Richard Lynn (http://www.rlynn.co.uk/default.asp)'s Eugenics is Flawed.

Richard Lynn
Professor Emeritus,
University of Ulster
Research Interests:
Intelligence
Sex Differences
Race Differences
Eugenics
Intelligence as a human trait (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligence_%28trait%29)
Race (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race)
Eugenics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics)

Richard Lynn appears to be, in all earnest, a serious scientist - albeit subjectively. How far his studies go to prove scientific truths, or whether he is effectively promoting racist views, is difficult to assess at the moment. Nevertheless, I suspect there is a fundamental flaw in his philosophical perspective on scientific method; where there is only correlation without necessarily a causal relationship, he seems to read into his data and attribute causal relationships. I further suspect that his particular causal relationships are reversed, or misinterpreted, and essentially flawed. Here are some excepts from his home page.

Most of my work has been on intelligence. In 1983 I published a paper in Nature showing that the IQ in Japan had increased over the course of the previous half century, a phenomenon now known as the Flynn Effect following the demonstration by Jim Flynn of secular increases in intelligence in number of countries. In 1989 I proposed that the increases in intelligence have been caused by improvements in nutrition. I have also published several papers showing that intelligence is associated with brain size and reaction times.
See Flynn effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flynn_effect) on wikipedia.
Also Human brain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_brain),
Reaction time (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reaction_time).

My major discovery is that the Oriental peoples of East Asia have higher average intelligence by about 5 IQs points than Europeans and peoples of European origin in the United States and elsewhere. I first published this finding in 1977 in a paper on the intelligence of the Japanese. In subsequent years the high Oriental IQ has been confirmed in numerous studies of Oriental peoples in Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, China, Singapore and the United States.
It could be argued that cultural differences in perception influenced recognition speed and simple logical(verbal)/quantitative(non-verbal) operations. Furthermore, the recent history of industrialisation could only have heightened the need for more mental activity for many individuals in the recently developed/developing countries in East Asia.

In 1991 I extended my work on race differences in intelligence to other races. I concluded that the average IQ of blacks in sub-Saharan Africa is approximately 70. It has long been known that the average IQ of blacks in the United States is approximately 85. The explanation for the higher IQ of American blacks is that they have about 25 per cent of Caucasian genes and a better environment.
In like manner, the difference in intelligence quotient figures could only be lower in populations that have not been exposed to the stimulus of industrialisation in comparison to other population or subgroups thereof. This could very well explain the difference between sub-Saharan African peoples and African-Americans. Therefore Lynn's claim have a fundamental logical hole.

The theory I have advanced to explain these race differences in IQ is that when early humans migrated from Africa into Eurasia they encountered the difficulty of survival during cold winters. This problem was especially severe during the ice ages. Plant foods were not available for much of the year and survival required the hunting and dismembering of large animals for food and the ability to make tools, weapons and clothing, to build shelters and make fires. These problems required higher intelligence and exerted selection pressure for enhanced intelligence, particularly on the Orientals.
Interesting postulate, and one which might prove true; however to consider the genetic difference as the primary factor is likewise considered suspect of logical failure; flawed analysis of causal relationship.

My book IQ and the Wealth of Nations (co-author Tatu Vanhanen of the University of Helsinki) considers the problem of national differences in wealth and economic growth. Economists and other social scientists have been trying to solve the problem of why some nations are so rich and others so poor since Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations (1776). We argue that an important but hitherto unrecognised factor is the IQs of the populations. We give measures and estimates of average IQs in the world's 185 nations and show that national IQs are strongly related to national incomes and rates of economic growth. The principal reason for this is that nations whose populations have high IQs can produce goods and services that command high values in international markets. See below for more details of this argument and on the IQs of every nation in the world.
I would, were I involved in this line of study, look towards these two possibilities that Lynn fails to consider.

That the realtionship between wealth and intelligence quotient is either

1) greater industrialisation creates an environment fostering quick perception and operation that is being tested in most intelligence quotient tests

2) hence greater wealth and higher IQ figures are both the effects of industrialisation, not in causal relationship to each other either way.

Mycernius
12-11-05, 22:38
I heard of one theory about human intelligence and development is down to eating fish. I can't recall the exact article, might have been in New Scientist. It goes along the lines of early man catching and eating fish. Various proteins, oils and vitamins found in fish helped the develpopment of the human frontal lobes, the part that gives us our higher intelligence compared to our nearest cousins, great apes. It partially links in with the aquatic ape theory of human evolution. We are the only ape that swims and enjoys water activity. Orangs, Gorillas and Chimps do not like deep water and cannot swim. Our bodies are partially adapted to an aquatic lifestyle, the aqualine nose, the partial webbing on the hands, our general streamline shape. Whether or not one of our ancestors enjoyed an aquatic lifestyle is still very much in debate, but a fish diet has shown to help with brain health and development.

Void
12-11-05, 22:54
I`ve read about correlation between high IQ and fish eating. There also exist another assumption about dependance of growing IQ on improved nutrition, some statistics (if i am not mistaking this particular dealt with French population) show correlation between nutrition quality and number of kids born with schizophrenia



The theory I have advanced to explain these race differences in IQ is that when early humans migrated from Africa into Eurasia they encountered the difficulty of survival during cold winters. This problem was especially severe during the ice ages. Plant foods were not available for much of the year and survival required the hunting and dismembering of large animals for food and the ability to make tools, weapons and clothing, to build shelters and make fires. These problems required higher intelligence and exerted selection pressure for enhanced intelligence, particularly on the Orientals.


this one is questionable for me. For example, i live in a region with low concentration of oxigen (along with some other elements). This causes organic changes of the brain which result in its earlier ageing and degradation of some its functions. Besides we have great pressure and temperature drops which, of course are no good for vascular system

Tsuyoiko
13-11-05, 14:08
I would argue that most studies attempting to correlate intelligence and race are flawed in some way - either the sample sizes are too small, or other explanatory factors not directly related to race (such as economic background) have not been properly taken into account. Almost the first thing you learn in high school Science is the importance of fair testing - a test is only fair if variables are minimised as much as possible. This seems impossible when human beings are the test subjects, as it is extremely difficult to eliminate or properly account for all the variables. The only fair test in this case would be to compare a large number of black and white people who have had identical environments, upbringing, education etc. I don't see how that's possible.

According to this wiki article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_and_intelligence_(Average_intelligence_gaps_a mong_races)), the most recent study (which was also suitably large with a sample size of over 20,000) showed that the gap is not as large as previously believed, and that the difference could be entirely explained by environmental factors. I bet if they did a study between black and white college graduates they would find no difference in IQ.

Having said all that, who cares? Even if races do differ in IQ (which I doubt), what does it prove? And how does it help those who are getting a raw deal when it comes to education and opportunities?

Maciamo
13-11-05, 15:28
Let me remind you that that are 2x 2 opposite types of IQ's :

- fluid vs crystallized
- verbal vs non-verbal

Fluid IQ is highest during one's childhood, with a peak around 18-20 years old, then it slowly decreases. Crystallized IQ doesn't change with age, except from old age or due to brain disease.

Verbal depends on education and is culture-biased (e.g. native English speaker score higher on a verbal test in English). The non-verbal test is called "culture-fair" and theoretically isn't influenced by culture, age or education.

So a test can be fluid non-verbal, fluid verbal, crystallized verbal or crystallized non-verbal. IQ societies like Mensa use crystallized non-verbal IQ tests, as it is the most reliable.

In fact, there are more types than that, as non-verbal can be further divided in spatial, mathematical logics, colours, etc. People naturally score differently for each type of sub-category of IQ tests.

So before discussing whether IQ varies based on the race, we should determine which IQ we are talking about. Verbal IQ certainly depends a lot on how developed a country is, how good is its education system, the wealth and intelligence of the parents, etc.

I am pretty sure that poor nutrition, especially during pregnancy and childhood, negatively affects a person's IQ. The worse the nurtitious deficiency and the worse the IQ deficiency. That is why I do not understand how all "East Asians" could have higher or lower IQ than another group of peope, given that people starve in North Korea, have starved for a few decades under Mao in China, or a bit during WWII anywhere, but are now very well fed in Japan, Taiwan or South Korea. The generation gap is certainly very big when we see how many poor people there were until a few decades ago.

Sensuikan San
13-11-05, 23:14
Let me remind you that that are 2x 2 opposite types of IQ's :

- fluid vs crystallized
- verbal vs non-verbal

Fluid IQ is highest during one's childhood, with a peak around 18-20 years old, then it slowly decreases. Crystallized IQ doesn't change with age, except from old age or due to brain disease.

Verbal depends on education and is culture-biased (e.g. native English speaker score higher on a verbal test in English). The non-verbal test is called "culture-fair" and theoretically isn't influenced by culture, age or education.

So a test can be fluid non-verbal, fluid verbal, crystallized verbal or crystallized non-verbal. IQ societies like Mensa use crystallized non-verbal IQ tests, as it is the most reliable.

In fact, there are more types than that, as non-verbal can be further divided in spatial, mathematical logics, colours, etc. People naturally score differently for each type of sub-category of IQ tests.

So before discussing whether IQ varies based on the race, we should determine which IQ we are talking about. Verbal IQ certainly depends a lot on how developed a country is, how good is its education system, the wealth and intelligence of the parents, etc.

I am pretty sure that poor nutrition, especially during pregnancy and childhood, negatively affects a person's IQ. The worse the nurtitious deficiency and the worse the IQ deficiency. That is why I do not understand how all "East Asians" could have higher or lower IQ than another group of peope, given that people starve in North Korea, have starved for a few decades under Mao in China, or a bit during WWII anywhere, but are now very well fed in Japan, Taiwan or South Korea. The generation gap is certainly very big when we see how many poor people there were until a few decades ago.

Good points.

With regard to starvation, there has been at least one European study on this.

An examination was conducted some years ago of Dutch folks of my own generation. People who had had the misfortune of being born and introduced into life during that rather horrible period when Nazi Germany was flooding the countryside and starving the populace as part of their effort to retain their foothold in occupied Europe.

It was distressingly found that, yes, IQ's had dropped overall in that generation - but a propensity for criminal.... even psychotic behaviour had increased by a dramatic degree!

... So ... eat plenty, folks! ... and watch what you eat!

ジョン

Maciamo
14-11-05, 03:49
It was distressingly found that, yes, IQ's had dropped overall in that generation - but a propensity for criminal.... even psychotic behaviour had increased by a dramatic degree!

... So ... eat plenty, folks! ... and watch what you eat!


There is probably a link between malnourishment, low IQ and criminal behaviour. Ultimately, it could be one of the reasons why poorer people have less chances to complete school or college (even when it's free like in Europe), and more chances to become deliquents or criminals. I wonder if that may explain why immigrants from poor countries with a bad environment tend to cause more problems to the host society than immigrants from less poor countries. This could be a key to solving racism problems (i.e. thinking that "race" is the cause in itself, when it is nutrition), although it would still stigmatise poor immigrants, and children born in poor families.

There is also very probably be a link between poor quality nurition and criminality. The USA would be a good case study on this. What I mean is that the "quantity" of food available is not the only factor that would solve the low intelligence high criminality issue. Quality food, with a balanced and varied nutrition, especially for pregnant women and small children, is extremely important. Personality and intelligence are both decided before the age of 5, and, I believe, the criminal tendencies too.

In other words, it's almost useless to give more funds to schools or spend money on special integration or anti-discrimination programmes, as people won't change much after the age of 5. It's essential to tackle the issue by assuring that pregnant women and infants get the best environment and nutrition possible, in all the society. Maybe there should be some compulsory classes on diet and lifestyle during pregnancy and how to be good parents, special pregnancy care centres that further assure that this is done properly, and special government funds (in the form of "coupons") for pregnant women and mothers of children until age 5 that can only be used on "good food" matching exactly the stage of pregnancy or age of the child. These would be available in pharmacies, special centres or supermakets. Of course, this would be available to all citizens of the country, not just the poorerst, as it would act as an incentive to fight decreasing birth rates. I am pretty sure this would have a dramatic effect on society as a whole.

Maciamo
14-11-05, 07:46
I heard of one theory about human intelligence and development is down to eating fish.

Eating meat and fish rather than a vegetarian diet, has provided more proteins and allowed the brain to grow bigger. However, I doubt that this has much influence in the short term (read "within a few thousands years"). For example, most ordinary people couldn't afford meat anywhere in the world until recently. Even 100 years ago, meat was still a priviledged dish in the richest part of the world (Western Europe). We haven't seen that European royal families have developed bigger brains or higher IQ (certainly not !) because they have eaten a lot, including a lot of meat and fish, for the last 20 or 30 generations, while ordinary people haven't.

Some kinds of fish (those rich in omega-3, like salmon) can improve memory when consummed regularily. But memory is not the same as IQ. Some people with a high IQ have a bad memory, and others with an excellent memory have a very average IQ. The reason is that memory depends enormously on practice. It is like muscles, suppleness or physical endurance. The more one practices, the more performant one becomes. Naturally, people with the right diet (high protein for muscles, unsaturated fat for memory) will do better at equal training, but the individual that practices a lot over the long term will normally do better than the one with the better diet. There are of course genetic and inborn factors that help having a better memory or physical condition. People born with more neurons will have a better memory. Those born with higher testosterone levels will develop muscles more quickly. Age reduces both.

Consequently, a good diet can have a positive effect on memory for an adult, but not over generations and between races. A good diet of the pregnant mother and young child will also increase intillegence of the child, but this is limited to infancy. Therefore diet has no influence on race whatsoever, but only on individual intelligence. I am pretty sure that identical twins separated at birth and given very different diet during their childhood (one very rich and varied, the other poor), will develop different intelligence and quality of memory.

den4
24-11-05, 21:01
Was kind of curious about the recent trend (at least in the US) where fish are said to contain mercury (that is pretty bad for the brain) and wonder if there are any independent studies that can actually show how much the variety of levels of mercury (if any) are contained in the various species of fish. I kind of suspect that the beef industry is behind the "fish is loaded with mercury" at least in the US, but I could be wrong :D
Seems like many studies on Intelligence (at least in the past) have been made using flawed data and the agenda of various government agencies to keep certain segments of population from reaching their full potential.

I like the line (that I will paraphrase) from the Autobiography of Malcolm X where Malcolm recalls when he was a kid that his "white" teacher asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, and when he said his answer (I forget what it was, but it was something like a doctor or scientist or something of influence) and the teacher said, "Malcolm, you have to be realistic. Nobody is going to hire a black person for that job. Why not be a carpenter, you are good with your hands." and Malcolm goes on, saying, how many undiscovered great works in medicine or science or other discoveries are never made because of this "keeping a people from reaching their potential" due to racism, and thus keeping the human race from reaching its potential. That is the great tragedy of racism and flawed studies on Intelligence.

Why I bring this up is when I was a kid, I happened to watch the Andromeda Strain movie. Wanting to know more about what the story was about, I went to a local market to buy the book. The kindly lady at the check out stand said to me, "Oh, this book looks way too complicated and difficult for you to read at your age. Why not choose one of them comic books on the shelf instead?"
Just because one group in authority, in this case an adult vs a child, thinks they know what's good for another, is using the same flawed reasoning by holding back another person based on age. Whether using age, race, gender, whatever, it is a crime to hold back a person wanting to learn or know something (unless that knowledge is for harming other people) to better themselves and everybody else around them. If nothing else, it creates resentment and a grudge against the person or people that keep such potential out of reach. Really too bad that even after all this time and getting into a new century, people are still held down by their stupidity and stereotypically flawed views.

bossel
25-11-05, 03:11
keeping the human race from reaching its potential. That is the great tragedy of racism and flawed studies on Intelligence.
Studies on intelligence (flawed or not) are not to blame. Blame is on those idiots who think (more blame on those who suggest) that group average means everybody in the group is like that.


Whether using age, race, gender, whatever, it is a crime to hold back a person wanting to learn or know something (unless that knowledge is for harming other people) to better themselves and everybody else around them.
It is not yet a crime, but maybe it should be made one. I always hated it when people told me what not to read or learn.

Maciamo
25-11-05, 03:31
Nobody is going to hire a black person for that job. Why not be a carpenter, you are good with your hands." and Malcolm goes on, saying, how many undiscovered great works in medicine or science or other discoveries are never made because of this "keeping a people from reaching their potential" due to racism, and thus keeping the human race from reaching its potential.

I find this view extremely US-biased. I mean, of over 200 countries on earth, there is almost only the US and South Africa that have a significant Black and White population. So it really feels like the "keeping the human race from reaching its potential" means that the US is the human race,. It means that 100% Black countries are obviously not going to produce good scientists, or that more ethnically homogenous countries like Japan, China or some European countries, also do not contribute in reaching human potential !


Whether using age, race, gender, whatever, it is a crime to hold back a person wanting to learn or know something (unless that knowledge is for harming other people) to better themselves and everybody else around them.

I agree with that.

Axion
08-10-20, 23:48
Consequently, a good diet can have a positive effect on memory for an adult, but not over generations and between races.

interesting thread, i'll say coz the human brain is working on sugars as thinking fuel, probably this was the main factor for faster racial divergence, oligoelements like zinc and calcium are also key factor, first for the cell growth and the second for more oxygen consumption by the cells, thus my opinion is that we cant isolate which race was more faster growing in IQ, but we can assume that those which have diet with fruits would have better chances, ho this would cover the neolithic period till the bronze age, because later the known world exploded in sharing know-how which eventually influenced more thinking and more experimenting that eventually mixed the racial tendency to more or lesser IQ i.e. we cant say that per-se the diet was the main factor ...