“Racism has a new name: HBD”

Hbd* chick recently linked to the following Daily Kos article: Racism has a new name: HBD. The writer is obviously none other than the [Erasmussimo] of the comment section of Peter Frost’s “Looking back and ahead” post. For comparison:

From: Erasmussimo of Daily Kos

The HBD movement covers a broad range of ideas, from the genuinely scientific to the nakedly racist. At the scientific end of the range we have people like HBD Chick, who aggregate lots of evidence on matters anthropological and genetic as they relate to human behavior. At the other extreme we have Steve Sailor, a conservative who promulgates racist ideas
…There’s an easy way to differentiate the scientific side of HBD from the racist side: fixation on IQ….They triumphantly trumpet the results that support their prejudices and quietly ignore results that undermine their prejudices, such as the finding that national IQ scores are correlated with GDP per capita
…My greatest objection to the use of IQ scores is that human cognitive performance cannot be adequately measured in a single dimension. The cognitive talents that make a great violinist are in no wise comparable with the cognitive talents that make a great mathematician. Yet most of the IQ aficionados are certain that a single number — sometimes they call it “g” and sometimes they call it “gma”, but when speaking loosely they call it “intelligence” — does a good job of explaining most cognitive performance.

From “Erasmussimo” of Peter Frost’s blog.

I had a long conversation with a lady with a doctorate on related stuff. I can’t recall the label on her doctorate, but her research thesis involved DNA work. Anyway, she hadn’t heard of “HBD” so she spent a few hours looking it over, and came up with a characterization that rings true for me. She sees a spectrum starting with evolutionary psychology, going through HBD, and ending in outright racism. She doesn’t see anything wrong with evo psych, and some of the HBD stuff she saw was OK, but at the far end of the HBD range she found some scary stuff. She was particularly hard on Steve Sailor…
…I’m back, having read through some of Steve Sailer’s writings, and it didn’t take long to find lots of intellectual crimes in his writing…. And he uses facts only as they are convenient to his argument. For example, in one article, he described as very important a finding that average national IQ correlates well with national GDP per capita. But then he fails to draw the obvious connection with domestic IQ, namely that IQ of any population should be closely correlated with the per capita income of that group.
….I’ll just summarize my case
1) the significance of gma has not been adequately demonstrated due to insufficient testing of other cultures.

Anyways, apparently, I introduced him to the concept of general mental ability. I presume that his later investigations convinced him of this scientific construct’s practical validity, thus saving him from writing an embarrassingly misinformed article. And I seemed to have convinced him of the non-intrinsic irrationality of the hereditarian hypothesis. Quote, from article:

I fervently believe that “All men are created equal”, but I am willing to entertain the hypothesis that some men are born with lesser cognitive talents than others. If solid evidence arises that blacks are cognitively less capable than whites, then I shall accept the hypothesis and move on to asking how we reconcile scientific conclusions with political theory. So far, however, the evidence I have seen is completely inadequate to support the hypothesis.

Versus days earlier…

Tom S., why in the world does HBD have to focus on racial differences? Can you direct me to any post by Peter that concludes some sort of cognitive difference between blacks and whites? His work on eye color and hair color is not the slightest bit racist; it discusses issues of human biodiversity that are real, are scientifically significant, and deserve investigation. In much the same fashion, the investigations into lactose intolerance are clearly solid examples of human biodiversity.

HBD strays into territory dangerously close to racism when it takes up IQ data. As a psych professor once told me, “IQ is a score you get on a test — nothing more.” I do not accept the assumption that IQ is an indicator of human cognitive performance. I do not accept the notion that the performance of the human mind can be measured in a single dimension. I believe that the human mind possesses a wide array of cognitive talents, and human biodiversity includes a highly diverse mix of these many talents among individuals. Thus, when people start using IQ data to suggest that one genetically related population is smarter than another, I’m ready to accuse them of racism.

As to the whole articles, Steve Sailer notes, “Surprisingly, it’s not at all that bad.” Well, “interminable” discussions aren’t always pointless. Just endpointless.

My apologia for the moral righteousness of HBD, though, fell on impaired ears. He seems to have come to agree that making propositional statements concerning race differences, innate or not, is not “racist” per se. “Racism”, now is, “prejudice”:

There’s an easy way to differentiate the scientific side of HBD from the racist side: fixation on IQ. These people love to wring the IQ data for every ounce of scientific justification they can find for their racism. They analyze IQ scores by race, religion, gender, national origin, and lots of other factors; I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them hasn’t calculated the correlation coefficient of IQ score with aversion to broccoli.

(Versus days earlier …

chuck, I’ll first answer your request that I define what I mean by racism. I define it to be any assertion of the superiority or inferiority of individuals based upon their race. By that measure, it certainly seems to me that you are a racist.


Of course, “prejudice” is another famously empty term:

prej·u·dice [prej-uh-dis] Show IPA noun, verb, prej·u·diced, prej·u·dic·ing.
1.an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason 2.any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable. 3.unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, especially of a hostile nature, regarding a racial, religious, or national group. 4.such attitudes considered collectively: The war against prejudice is never-ending. 5.damage or injury; detriment: a law that operated to the prejudice of the majority.

His usage is most consistent with the first or third definition. By both he would be arguing that “racists” are people that have unfavorable 2nd hand opinions of e.g., Blacks. And, apparently, they justify their feelings by learning the intricacies of race differences. Obviously, the “prejudice” can’t be with regards to what these “racist” have learned, because prejudice is, by this understanding, characterized as “without knowledge, thought, or reason.” But then what’s the content of the supposed unlearned unfavorable opinions? Ok, but, nonetheless, progress was made. And it was made through the time tested process of bringing clarity to confusion, a confusion which has been purposely sowed to prevent progress and understanding –or, at least, to prevent understanding and to progress Progressiveness. One sees the conceptual chaos ripe in the comment section of the article:

First, IQ tests were originally designed as measures of the efficacy of educational systems, and they predominantly reflect education. Human genetics has not changed in 100 years, but IQ scores have gone up by something like 20 points over that time.

IQ score differences versus latent ability differences. Secular changes in Stratum I ability differences versus stratum III ability differences. (Discussed in e.g., Wicherts, et al. (2004). Are intelligence tests measurement invariant over time? Investigating the nature of the Flynn effect; te Nijenhuis (2012). The Flynn effect, group differences, and g loadings.)

“To boil down volumes of research into a single grand overstated generalization, about 50% of human behavior is determined by genetic factors.”

Organisms express genetics in a particular environment which means that virutally all traits are the result of the interaction of both. Even in terms of the quantitative genetics from which such estimates are derived have three terms: genetic differences, environmental differences, and the interaction term. (This is how the statistcial models are designed)

The difference between interactionism in the biometric sense and in the developmental sense. (Discussed in e.g., Sesardic (2005). Making sense of heritabilit; Tabery (2007). Biometric and developmental gene-environment interactions: Looking back, moving forward.)

Is that it communicates a false understanding of how genetics works and what “caused by genetics” actually means. Yes, quantitative genetics is gret for breeding new strains of corn, but in terms of developing a political understanding it creates te idea that something with a genetic cause is immutable, which is dangerously wrong. As a professor of mine used to say, bad eye sight may have a genetic component, but this does not mean we do not know how to make eyeglasses.

The relation between heritability and modifiability in practice, not principle. (Discussed in e.g., Sesardic (2005). Making sense of heritability. (Chapter 5).)

Most importantly (and utterly and completely crucially) a heritability value for a trait tells you nothing about the extent to which genetics plays a role in differences between 2 different populations.

Of course these are unlikely extremes but all these arguments about genetic differences in IQ among races are not supported by the data, even if you were to assume that a) IQ is a valid measure and b) that the heritability is accurately estimated.

The mathematical relationship between within and between population heritability and the logical constraints that the latter places on environmental explanations. (Discussed in e.g., Sesardic (2000). Philosophy of science that ignores science: Race, IQ and heritability; Jensen (1998). The g factor: The science of mental ability. (Chapter 14)).

generally come down to pretending that group averages or other aggregates statistically behave the same way as do individual measurements. There is no logical reason that they should; between-group variation and within-group variation are two completely separate phenomena and if they have the same causes, it’s only by coincidence.

The Two Worlds Hypothesis and the relation between within and between group variance. Methods for determining if the variance between is caused by the factors that cause the variance within. (Discussed in e.g., Rowe, et al. (1994). No more than skin deep: Ethnic and racial similarity in developmental process; Lubke, et al. (2003). On the relationship between sources of within-and between-group differences and measurement invariance in the common factor model.)

And then, of course, there are all the really stupid comments that one could not possibly reply to, such as:

If someone believes in that stuff, they also have to admit that there is a wide, overlapping range of actual results. That means that if they haven’t taken an IQ test recently it is possible that they are on the low end of white intelligence. The level of African American intelligence above them may be fairly significant. If they are racist that should make them uncomfortable.

But then there are really stupid comments that one could reply to, if one can grasp the illogical thread:

We legislate issues like affirmative action because of prejudice directed at classes of people. There is still in every case the requirement that the person both meet the stated qualifications for the position and overcome the implicit biases of the person or group accepting or hiring applicants, that is, they must still demonstrate individual capabilities specific to the situation (plus more). Even if everything the race and IQ crowd said were true (which is extraordinarily unlikely for many excellent reasons), it would have NOTHING to do with how an individual, who can fall anywhere along such a distribution, might score, how well he or she would perform, or what their individual capabilities are. Implicit in all arguments about race or gender and IQ or skill strengths is the fallacy that the mean of a distribution should be applied to opportunities offered to individuals, who could lie anywhere along that distribution. It is an argument that would be rejected out of hand for other kinds of categories, but the racists and sexists seem to ignore this happily, and embrace the fallacy. Their eagerness is an argument by itself.

Affirmative action — a form of institutional racial group discrimination — is justified because it counters a form of non-institutional racial group discrimination. We know that this non-institutional racial discrimination exists because there are outcomes differences — and nothing else could explain these, except, uh, the IQ differences, but nothing else but discrimination could explain these IQ differences, uh, except genes. But offering a genetic hypothesis for mean differences in IQ is racist — because, uh, in doing so one treats individuals as, uh…

And others where the fallacies smack one in the face so hard that one can’t tell if the arguments are made in earnest:

The reason I selected and highlighted this particular argument from an article in Nature Genetics is that while there is genetic homogeneity based on geography, this finding is not applicable to the US. We are not now, nor have we truly ever been a country that was geographically isolated in the history of the world as were Europe, Asia or Africa where it is at least a plausible argument to search for distinctions in IQ based on race. The legacy of slavery as well as the more voluntary immigration patterns that have shaped the US mean that it is quite unlikely that the US has the clearly demarcated genetic boundaries that would underlie relevant racial distinctions for IQ.

Admixture mapping is a fallacy. (e.g., Winkler, et al.. (2010). Admixture Mapping Comes of Age.)


…though both the rate and nature of such boundaries seems likely to me to be difficult to predict. As does total confusion about what we are measuring as IQ and a depth of confounding variables. Depending on immigration date, non-indigenous people here are in F10 or less, and there’s some fixed rate of blend…one could do the math based on various pictures of what the genetics might be ( along differential equation changing with what genetic mechanism you posit) but with everything confounding it, I can’t see how it would be meaningful. A racist could still argue for linked alleles or expression mechanisms which serve their hypothesis, and since their measure of “intelligence” is basically mush, in a soup of culture, they will fish out the stinky bit they want so badly.

And Population genetics is a fallacy. (e.g., Bryc, et al. (2010). Genome-wide patterns of population structure and admixture in West Africans and African Americans.)


Yes, if it were convincingly proven that global warming is not caused by release of hydrocarbons, etc., I would accept that. But the record of racist pseudo-science is so long that, to borrow a legal term, it deserves “strict scrutiny,” at the very least.

“Racist pseudo-science” such as research on, uh, intelligence differences, which, is deeply suspect because it’s, after all, “racist pseudo-science.”

And more, from Erasmussimo:

“Yes, the long history of racist misuse of science demonstrates a strong proclivity in that direction. More alarmingly, the HBDers occasionally slip and reveal their inherent racism. For example, in one conversation I had with one of these people over IQ scores, he described the results as demonstrating that whites are “superior” to blacks in intelligence. No real scientist would phrase such a concept in so judgemental a manner; instead, the phrase would be something like “higher mean test scores” that closely represents the actual data. By making the leap from numbers to “mental superiority”, they show their true stripes.”

The reference to “one of these people” would be to me — and I cited a recent article by James Flynn and friends who characterized –without malicious intent?– the hereditarian hypothesis as being a claim that certain populations were “genetically inferior.” I suppose that these esteemed researchers are “no real scientists.”

After that, we get a lot of incoherent and conceptually confused statements, such as:

While I believe there are some genetic factors which influence IQ scores, that doesn’t necessarily correlate into intelligence.

there is no significant difference between races. That is settled science and the Baggers and Medievals should not even be humored on this one.

In all those IQ tests that measure racial differences, how was the race of test takers determined? Blood tests? DNA analysis? Detailed reconstruction of ancestry?

You don’t even have to ask if IQ measures anything meaningful (although it doesn’t). You just have to know that anyone who claims to have divided IQ test takers on some racial basis in any way that matters is just making shit up.

Now, what’s interesting is that while this group of commentators exhibited a degree of aptitude, the statements were, save for a couple, either uninformed, irrational, internally inconsistent, conceptually confused, irrelevant, or idiotic. Despite this, virtually all the commentator thought they were right in dismissing the hereditarian hypothesis. I find this situation to be most perplexing. Not the reason for it being. That’s obvious. From a post a long time ago:

Republicans, IQ

Sailer asks: “Why do Republicans hate thinking about race and IQ, too?”

Whatever the answer, it needs to explain why Republicans hated thinking about race and IQ 50 years ago:


The real question is: how did liberals establish the innate-equality dogma? How did they establish racial egalitarianism (and white iniquity) as the moral and empirical default position and shift the burden of justification and proof onto those who would argue otherwise? A passage from Gottfredson’s 1994 piece, “Egalitarian Fiction and Collective Fraud,” comes to mind when I think about this question:


Eleanor Wolf, of course, puts it a little different: “Our most outstanding contribution to this movement may have been that of depriving its opponents of any claims to intellectual respectability.” So there you have it. Liberals dominated academia; they made racial inegalitarianism unrespectable; Liberals still dominate academia; they try their best to keep racial inegalitarianism from gaining respectability; and here we are — issue unresolved.

The perplexing aspect is how to move forward, which gets to the topic of this post, which is: Is HBD over? Which was the question that Peter Frost was handling when Erasmussimo dropped by. Now, before we answer this question, we have to clarify it. Well, we don’t have to, but we will. HBD in the sense of researching biomedical differences surely isn’t over. Nor is HBD in the sense of population genetics. These types of HBD are just taking off. So which is over? Apparently, what is meant is behavioral genetic HBD — the application of behavioral genetic models to between population differences in “human nature” (e.g., differences in criminality, reproductive strategy, personality, cognitive ability, life history strategy, polygamy etc.). (Readers are refereed to Peter Frost’s “Human nature or human natures?” — a copy of which can be found here.) Well, some of this is going on under the guise of “cultural neuroscience“:

Cultural neuroscience is a n emerging research discipline that investigates cultural variation in psychological, neural, andgenomic processes as a means of articulating the bidirectional relation-ship of these processes and their emergent properties(Fig. 2). Research in cultural neuroscience is motivated by two intriguing questions of human nature: how do cultural traits (e.g., values, beliefs, practices) shapen eurobiology (e.g., genetic and neural processes) and behavior and how do neurobiological mechanisms (e.g., genetic and neural processes) facilitate the emergence and transmission of cultural traits. (Cultural neuroscience: a once and future discipline.)

But researched are population differences in behavioral genetic traits such as collectivism, not intelligence. Traits which are not highly practically important and so highly “value-laden.” And either the objectively measured practical importance or the subjectively estimated value of the traits seems to be the issue. Indeed, after much discussion, Erasmussimo’s critique of my statements turned into a critique of my using value-laden terms to characterize differences in socially value-laden traits:

I agree with [Erasmussimo] that “superior” and “inferior” are frequently used in context to traits which are socially valued in a certain society. When the terms are used, they connote: “being higher/lower in value … in a trait that is socially valued.” So we might speak of superior “stamina,” “health,” and “endurance,” but typically not superior “pinky length.” I disagree in that I see nothing inappropriate in what said. General mental ability so happens to be socially valued in our society. (Whether or not it is is a purely empirical issue.) As such, I am using the term “superior” and “inferior” perfectly appropriately (i.e., in context to a trait which is socially valued). I might agree with Chris, had I said that African Americans were inferior, on average, in the ability to taste phenylthiocarbamide. That would be a gratuitous slam, as PTC tasting ability isn’t socially valued.

[Erasmussimo] continues: “Instead, you chose to use terms that connote degrees of dignity, worthiness, or value. These are not scientific concepts, they are personal values. In using them, you demonstrate that your purportedly scientific approach is actually a veneer concealing a personal animus towards African Americans.”

I used terms that connote social value. “Social value” defined as “What people in a given society tend to value” is a scientific concept; it falls in the domains of sociology and anthropology. Insofar as the trait I described is socially valued, my usage was appropriate.

Your response here is interesting, because it sheds light on what you mean by “racism” and why you are opposed to it. Either you are equating social value with intrinsic value (and are making the faulty assumption that discussion of difference in socially valued extrinsic characteristics (e.g., intelligence, stamina) is tantamount to discussion of intrinsic difference (which are socially valued)), or you are merely opposed to discussion of differences in traits that are socially valued.

Now Erasmussimo was never able to clarify why precisely he objected to the terms I used, given the justification offered and defense for the usage. This interchange reminds one of Levin’s Is There a Superior Race? A philosophical answer tothe inevitable question:

Whether some races are superior to others is a question all racialists must consider, if only because their critics are sure to force them to. Just say that whites are, on average, more intelligent than blacks, and you will be told “Oh, so you think whites are superior to blacks.” If you say that Jews are, on average, more intelligent than gentiles you will be lectured that that sort of thinking led to the Holocaust.

Behind all this passionate confusion lie real issues. Academics tend to duck them, from a desire for scientific neutrality or simply to avoid trouble. They will say that race differences in IQ and temperament have nothing to do with questions of value, that the greater intelligence of whites, for example, is just a fact of nature like blood pressure. But very few people view intelligence this way, and I am sure the typical psychologist prefers that his children have IQs of 120 rather than 80. In fact, both views of racial differences are valid. The scientist’s “Sgt. Friday,” just-the-factsma’am approach is basically right, I believe, but at the same time, we must acknowledge that group differences touch people’s deepest hopes and fears….
…all cultures agree on the value of certain traits. This is why racialists are always accused of claiming racial superiority when they note the high intelligence of whites. The average person values intelligence, and assumes that other people, including psychometricians and racialists, do too. So when he hears whites described as more intelligent than blacks, he naturally concludes that the speaker is calling whites superior. This, after all, is the inference he would draw from the same data. Deep down, even egalitarians view intelligence as an important standard of personal value, so, since they would conclude that whites are superior if they admitted to themselves that whites are more intelligent, they foist this view on racialists. Hearing someone say a steak is tender and juicy, you would as a matter of course assume he is praising it. You would be surprised and a little doubtful if he insisted he was only describing the steak’s properties…

Now, my view is different from Levin’s but not largely so. We both agree that intelligence, psychometrically defined, is socially valued, at least in the West. And so, we both would agree that the statement, “An intellectually worse off groups is an intellectually inferior group,” is as correct as the statement, “Feeling good feels good.” And we both distinguish between (intelligence qua) social value and (intelligence qua) inherent value. The key difference is that, consistent with lex naturalis and Catholic teaching, I also distinguish between intrinsic and extrinsic (nature or) differences and, with these differences, inferiorities (e.g., inferiority in being versus inferiority in e.g., congenital health). Because of the latter, unlike Levin, I exhibit no hee hawing on this topic. Levin still seems to be concerned with the idea of some groups being inferior, which shows in his approach: “So what should you say if someone asks you whether you believe in racial superiority? Ask him what he means by “superior,” what standards he has in mind.” Because he makes no distinction between being inferior (i.e., in X, Y, and Z) and inferior being, the distinction between socially values and inherent value only carries him so far down stream. He’s still left with the conclusion that some individuals and groups “are inferior.”

Now, of course, I would never argue that all human populations are actually equal in intrinsic being. I’m neither a Catholic nor a Humanist nor an Egalitarian. On this matter I’m decidedly agnostic. That said, I don’t consider it intellectually unrespectable for others to consider some individuals or groups of them to be intrinsically inferior. Doing so is very Hellenic. Indeed, it’s reasonable to dismiss the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic nature, all together, as metaphysical abracadabra. And with it the distinction between socially and inherently valuable. Just recognize, appreciate, evaluate, and valuate differences in one undifferentiated experience. I would just argue that one should be consistent. If intrinsic population differences, intrinsic individual differences within populations. But, then, why? If one is inclined towards thinking about variance between populations as qualitatively different from variance within populations, how could I oppose that — without myself resorting to some abracadabra on rationality/irrationality (in the 18th century sense) or other metaphysical distinctions.

Now, I’m unable to identify anything remotely conceptually problematic about the above stream of consciousness, which ends with a justification of racial supremacy as an wordview. The process towards this justification is simply the reversal of the tyranny of abstractions which has come to rule over modern man. An unlearning of mental over-training. An undifferentiated of unnatural differentiations (e.g., between “extrinsic”/”intrinsic”, “valuable to me/valuable per se). That is, there is a simple, undeniable animal logic to the types of mental states which people oppose value- laden behavioral genetic HBD to oppose. So, for those who oppose racial supremacy, it makes some sense to oppose HBD.

Of course, to the extent value- laden behavioral genetic HBD is true, reality reflects this. And to the extent reality reflects this, forcing people to see otherwise is unnatural. It’s a perceptual distortion — and yet, again, to the extent HBD is true — this distortion is not only occurring but is prevalent. So the simple animal logic of racial supremacism need not be feared. It can be contained just as the simple animal tendency of observing the tendencies of the world (e.g., HBD) can be constrained. Instead of focusing their energy on making people not see what is and not connect the dots, the establishment would have to focus their energy on making people mentally differentiate between e.g., intrinsic and extrinsic differences. And, imaginably, this is what they will do when value-laden HBD is established.

The question then is: Why don’t they do this, now? In short, why all the intellectual and scientific fraud? And the answer is, obviously, because there’s a more complex political calculus involved. Now this is a semi-important point. The establishment could reduce its toil by shifting focus from anti-HBD, which involves the denial of phenomenal reality, to non-racial supremacist HBD, which involves the denial of animal logic. It doesn’t. We deduce ulterior motives. If these motives exist, then so long as they do, there is no reason that the establishment will change its mind concerning HBD. No internal reason.

This is why, I think the best way to proceed for HBD is to establish one of these value-laden differences. This will force the establishment to shift from anti-HBD, per se, to anti-racial supremacy, per se. We will move from anti-A to anti-B/C. Establishing one key difference will force a re-conceptualization from anti-racial supremacism therefore anti-HBD to HBD, therefore anti-racial supremacism, proper.


(The Evil Argument)
Premise 1. There are average biologically mediated IQ differences between ancestral populations.
Premise 2. Some of the differences have a genetic basis.
Conclusion 1: There is a partial genetic basis to the some of the average biologically mediated IQ differences.

B. (The Presumed, and Presumable Acceptable Argument Part 1)

Premise 3. (Genetic essentialism). Individual genetic predispositions define ontological status.
Premise 3a. Humans potentially exist along a graded ontology, such that some humans can be superior or inferior, per se, with respect to others.
Premise 4. (Intellectual Elitism) General intelligence defines value.
Premise 5a. The axiological and ontological exist in one system, such that value is tied to being-status.
Premise 5b. Low general intelligence equates with low axiontological value.
Conclusion 2. Everyone left of you on the bell curve (within populations) is inferior in being.

(The Presumed, and Presumable Acceptable Argument Part 2)

C. Premise 6. (Platonic Realism). Individual status participates in group status and group status inhers in individual status.
Premise 7a. The participation of individuals in group and inherence of groups in individuals applies to the axioontological system, such that inferiority, per se, can be inhered and participated in.
Premise 7b. Human genetic populations represent groups subject to the metaphysics of participation and inherence.
Premise 7c. Individual genotype and population genome mediate participation and inherence, with respect to genetic populations.
Overall argument

Populations which are genetically predisposed to have lower IQs, (families, superfamiles, clines, races, species) and individuals from those populations are inferior, per se, relative to those who are disposed otherwise.

Now, of all the value-laden traits, intelligence is the most well studied. It’s the one genetic trait difference that, at present, could be established between populations. Quote Gottfredson (2013):

Of all human traits, variation in general intelligence (g) is the functionally most important in modern life. The first question that behavior genetics tackled was “how heritable are within group differences in intelligence?” – the answer: “very.” The next obvious question is “how heritable are the between-group differences in phenotypic intelligence?” It could be easily answered using today’s analytic methods, but no scientific discipline will touch it. Most would have to be shut down completely, however, to avoid getting relevant evidence (Resolute ignorance on race and Rushton, Personality and Individual Differences.)

But see my commentary. Look, maybe SEM couldn’t do it. But the yearly cost of running “Vdare” could probably pay for a simple admixture study to start to bring this debate to a close e.g., intelligence as indexed by certified SAT/GRE scores and e.g., 23andme ancestry.

Game changer. This point is so patently obvious that I will probably only make it a few dozen more times.

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8 Responses to “Racism has a new name: HBD”

  1. TangoMan says:

    simple admixture study to start to bring this debate to a close e.g., intelligence as indexed by certified SAT/GRE scores and e.g., 23andme ancestry.

    Rushton made this offer to his critics – they jointly write a paper on the outcome but no one took him up on his offer.

    A question that cannot be asked cannot be answered.

  2. JL says:

    A while back, I had a discussion about some of these issues with “Erasmussimo” here. Not much gets through to him. It’s not useful to debate the likes of him who inject their moral and ideological convictions into scientific discussions at every turn, and use evidential double standards to reject unpalatable ideas.

    • Chuck says:

      Jl, I disagree. Debating opponents, like clarifying points and developing models, is an important part of defending an idea e.g., the Huxley–Wilberforce debate. Generally, the goal is not to convert opponents to one’s position — that would be a surprising bonus — but to intellectually shame them into silence or, alternatively, to force them to accept conclusions which will put them at a rhetorical disadvantage in later arguments. .Generally, I think that HBDers have not been dogged enough in this regards — you being an exception. Liberals are intellectually vain creatures and, as a result, their positions are quite vulnerable in the face of a rational, coherent argument. This is why they employ, as a preemptive defense, all sorts of fallacies to blunt the convincing power of their opponents arguments (e.g., ad hominems e.g., “that’s racist pseudoscience”). Half Sigma argues that people are not primarily moved by reason, but by emotion. I agree. He concludes that, therefore, debating about HBD is pointless. Here I disagree. It so happens that Liberals (and others) pride themselves on being right and on holding rational ideas. As a result, reason moves them — not because of “the light of reason” but because of an emotional attachment to the idea of being right.

      • Kiwiguy says:

        ***Half Sigma argues that people are not primarily moved by reason, but by emotion. I agree. He concludes that, therefore, debating about HBD is pointless. Here I disagree. It so happens that Liberals (and others) pride themselves on being right and on holding rational ideas. As a result, reason moves them — not because of “the light of reason” but because of an emotional attachment to the idea of being right.***

        This is why when debating HBD I often ask the other person if they are a creationist. Emotionally they recoil from that backward type of belief. It also frames the issue in terms of something they have to accept: evolution and the idea that cultural and geographic environments may favor different traits. I also find it useful to point out to them that they can still have humane and progressive views and point them to Peter Singer’s “A Darwinian Left”.

      • JL says:

        Beating someone like this Crawford guy in a debate does not seem very useful. However, one benefit you get from such debates is that they force you to polish your arguments.

    • Chuck says:

      JL, “Human Varieties” is now officially a collaborative HBD blog. Jason Malloy requested that I ask if you could contribute a post to the blog (so as to raise the mean IQ of the contributors, myself dragging the mean down as it is). The post need not be anything complex. If you’re up for this, I’ll send an invite.

  3. collin237 says:

    This is worse than pseudo-science. This is anti-science. Propping up flawed studies to excuse your own hatred. That’s not the American Way.

    • Chuck says:

      You come across as a very close minded fellow. Worse, I can’t make sense of your gibberish. You must have attended public schools when young. Well, there is nothing we can do about that.

      If you wish to discuss this matter and discover why what I have said makes sense and, conversely, why what you said is nonsenses, I will oblige you. I prefer a reversed Socratic style. Ask one question at a time and I will answer it.

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