This is an interesting question that we have been discussing in the comments threads.
I haven’t taken an official position on genetics and IQ yet, because I don’t want to say that some race or another, particularly, say Blacks or Hispanics, is genetically inferior to some other race. It’s not something I want to believe, much less say. At some point, the evidence will become so overwhelming that one will look like a kook if you deny that, but we are not really there yet.
I deeply fear that this may be the case though. Nevertheless, the evidence is not yet so clear-cut that one is almost engaging in pseudo-science to deny it, hence it is still safe to hedge one’s bets and be an IQ agnostic.
One of my principal agendas on this blog, though, is to fight the (what I call) pseudo-science that says IQ and other intelligence tests are meaningless in terms of measuring brainpower; that is, I advocate that IQ tests are indeed meaningful and real measures and are not culturally biased or whatever.
This latter is still a common position, especially in the softer sciences, but increasingly I feel that it needs to be called out as BS. One can certainly be a Leftist and believe in the reality of IQ and other psychometric tests. An acquaintance of mine, James Flynn (discoverer of the Flynn Effect), is a Leftist who very much believes in the reality of IQ.
Deep inside though, I really do fear that genetic Black IQ may be as low as ~70, possibly ~67. That’s what it is in Africa. Caribbean Blacks with a bit of White in them and maybe a better environment only score ~71. I really think that the true genetic IQ of US Blacks ought to be ~72.5, just going by their African + White mix.
What is very strange though is that the US Black is so unaccountably high, why it is ~87 and not ~72.5, where we would expect it to be on account of their genetics. In other words, US Black IQ is way too high to be explained by genetics alone.
No one really knows why this is. Either they engaged in some eugenics while here in the past 100 years or so to select for higher IQ’s, or the nutrition and extremely advanced environment of the US has jolted the IQ up. Anyway, the evidence seems to suggest a gain of about 15 IQ points in US Blacks, relative to Whites in about 100-125 years.
Concomitantly, we have seen a massive increase in head size in US Blacks. The head size changes seem to be due partly to nutrition but also partly to genetics.
The only way they could be due to genetics is if US Blacks have been eugenically selecting for IQ somehow in the past 125 years. At the same time, the US Black phenotype has become much more progressive and much less archaic, particularly with regard to prognathism. That is, in the past 125 years, US Blacks seem to have been selecting for both more progressive features and higher IQ. This makes sense since more progressive phenotypes tend to have higher IQ’s.
So Blacks closed the B-W IQ gap in the US by about 15 points in the past 125 years. Now that right there is quite shocking!
Then we have Britain. Several lines of evidence suggest that Anglo-Jamaican IQ in the UK ought to be ~72. That’s what is in Jamaica. Nevertheless, Jamaican Blacks have about the same IQ’s as US Blacks (86 to ~87 for US Blacks).
This is very odd, but it lines right up with the evidence from the US, and suggests that merely moving Blacks in an advanced Western environment results in an IQ gain of about 15 points. In Black kids, it’s even higher. Black kids in the UK and US have IQ’s as high as 95 (age 5). It does plunge back down, but once again, that looks like the Western environment is jacking up Black kids’ IQ’s by up to 25 pts.! Now that does drop to a 15 pt gain with adulthood, but still.
I think this is hopeful. To me this suggests that if you move Africans into a Western environment, by the second generation, their IQ’s could well gain up to 15 pts. If the average African IQ is 67, that would give them IQ’s of 82. That’s not great, but it’s probably workable. India and Pakistan have IQ’s in that range, and they more or less function.
What worries me is the possibility that Blacks in the West can only achieve about a 15 point IQ gain on account of the improved environment. After that, they might ceiling out. I’d rather see them close the gap altogether.
Now the US Black IQ of ~87 is not low by world standards. That’s the same IQ, approximately, as many Latin Americans, Arabs, Polynesians, Micronesians, Melanesians and Filipinos. Most of those folks seem to be able to create more or less functional societies. I’m aware that US Blacks can’t even seem to run Detroit, much less a whole country, but whatever the reason for that is, I don’t think it’s because they’re stupid.
Now even an ~87 IQ may not be so great in the West. Here in the US, Blacks possibly have one of the lowest IQ’s of any major group, despite the fact that an 87 IQ isn’t all that low. In advanced Western societies, the key term is group competition. If there’s a tiger after you and me, I don’t have to outrun it, I just have to outrun you. And here is the rub. If even at an ~87 IQ, US Blacks are outcompeted by most other groups, the relatively higher IQ will be less meaningful since they will still tend to fall behind the competition.