How Much IQ Gain Might We See in Africans Transplanted to the West?

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.

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20 thoughts on “How Much IQ Gain Might We See in Africans Transplanted to the West?”

  1. Even the most egalitarian U.S. liberals believe in I.Q.s when they’re discussing G.W. Bush or Sarah Palin. Just something I’ve noticed. IMO, attacking people simply for being “stupid”–whether from left- or right-wing POVs, is pretty childish and counterproductive, even if it might be true at times.

    1. Someone’s IQ is their IQ. I don’t see why we should be attacking people over their IQ’s, especially when most agree that it’s something people can’t help one way or the other. Plenty of slow people are really nice. It’s quite graceless to hate another human being solely for having less God-given brainpower than we do.

  2. Either Richard Lynn or Philippe Rushton (or both) has said that the genomic African IQ should be about 80, with 70 including an environmental component. If the average Negro is 25% white, that should make their IQ 85, which it is.

    As the Negro kids being close to white at young ages, don’t they mature faster?

    1. Both of those guys rule out environment as best as I can tell, except for nutrition. They are trying to figure out why African IQ is 67 and US Black IQ is 87. The only way to do that and still play the hereditarian game is to say that African IQ is artificially depressed by poor nutrition. That’s dubious since Caribbeans probably have good nutrition and only have an IQ of ~71, yet they are around 9% White.

      67 IQ * .09 = 71. The Caribbean IQ is about what we would expect if Black IQ was genomically 67 or so, as I suspect it is.

      The reason these guys have set it at 80 is so they can explain the US Black IQ by hereditarianism. If genomic Black IQ is really 80, US Blacks, with a bit of White in them (actually 14.5%) should end up around 85 or so. Circle squared.

      The reason they play this silly game is that they just can’t get their minds around a 15 pt increase in Black IQ solely due to a Western environment. That fucks up their whole hereditarian game, so they have to make the facts fit the theory instead.

      I much prefer my version, with genomic Black IQ at 67 or so, and then White genes plus Western environment jacking that up by 20 pts to ~87.

    2. About the Black kids maturing faster, fine, but in Africa, I believe that the Black IQ is 67 at age 5 and 67 at adulthood. So there doesn’t seem to be any Black genes maturing faster thing going on.

      What’s going to happen though is that the environmental effects are going to be strongest in youths, then they will wear off to some extent by adulthood. I’m afraid that’s what we are seeing in Black kids. The environment is so strong in the West that it pushes their IQ’s all the way up to 95, but then by adulthood, some of that starts to wear off as genes start to become more important, but you still get a 15 pt kick instead of a 25 pt kick.

  3. That being said, I admit that there are people who are just *too* slow for me. I feel terrible about it, but–for example–there is one guy at work who will take forever to give you one, tiny piece of information. And to tell him anything, even something totally simple and mundane, you have to repeat yourself at least three times, and even then you’re not sure it’s sunken in. It’s gotten to the point that whenever I see him, I pretend to be on my way to put out a fire or to be working on something roughly equal in importance to the Manhattan Project. Some people are quite vicious and rude to him. Other people seem to regard him as some sort of Holy Fool, and seek his advice on important matters. I try to be as nice as I can, but I wonder what I’m missing.

  4. Professor Lynn’s claims that the sub-Saharan African IQ average is 67 has recently been attacked (and perhaps successfully debunked) by Professor Jelte Wicherts and colleagues at University of Amsterdam in a series of recent papers in the journals Intelligence and Personality and Individual Differences . Wicherts claims that the real value for the sub-Saharan African IQ average is about 80. In his most recent rejoinder to Lynn in the journal Intelligence, Wicherts makes the bold claim that Lynn has systematically (and for no justifiable reason) excluded data from essentially all studies that show African IQs to be over 75. Wicherts feels that the African average IQ (currently about 80) might be susceptible to future Flynn-effect type influences that could greatly increase it.

    Wicherts also ridicules Lynn’s low estimate of some countries such as Egypt (only 81) given that the ancient Egyptian civilization appeared to be more advanced than those of northern Europe (100). However, here I think Wicherts might be erring since most of the Arab inhabitants of Egypt had invaded after the time of Mohammed, instead it would be interesting to know the average IQ of Egyptian Copts who are more genealogically representative of the ancient Egyptians.

    1. I would like to know in greater detail how these IQ statistics of the African population are being compiled. I have the feeling that some of these scores were from older, more culturally biased test. I think people are getting the global IQ scores from the book IQ and The Wealth of Nations. This book doesn’t conduct any studies of it’s own and uses quite questionable methods of estimating IQs of various nations, see the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IQ_and_the_Wealth_of_Nations#National_IQ_estimates

      Read the criticism of the methodology and it will cause you to seriously question these oft repeated global IQ scored: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IQ_and_the_Wealth_of_Nations#National_IQ_estimates

      There may very well be large differences in IQ around the world, but we’re not going to get to the truth of the matter using shoddy research like this.

  5. Mmm. I believe Lynn’s figure for south Africa, 72, comes from a study that showed the actual IQ to be in the upper 80s, but he decided it was OK to deduct 15 points just because they were positively selected for by being college students.

    1. That’s the kind of stuff I’m talking about. The data coming out of Africa is pretty shoddy at best and certainly nothing to base any serious conclusions on. I’m not sure if there’s ever been any comprehensive culture-free IQ testing in African countries. It would probably be very difficult to get funding for such a study given the controversial nature of the topic. That’s why I think the race realists tend to rely on outdated and tenuous studies of African IQ. That’s why we have these conundrums where we ask how the hell can Africans live functional lives such as working, having friends, paying the rent, getting married, driving, etc with IQs that would have them institutionalized as functionally retarded if they live in the west. I don’t think anyone’s certain what the real African IQ is. I’ve also read that when heritability is much less a factor when looking at the impoverished. For example, if someone is raised in a family that makes $150,000 a year, most of their IQ will be heritable. But if they come from an impoverished family, most the IQ score will be environmental. This was just looking at American poverty, not the 3rd world. The amount of that score that is heritable rises with affluence, and falls with poverty. That’s why I think it’s essential that we need to look at the IQs of African children who have been adopted by western families to get a true idea of what’s going on. I did a search but could not find such a study. Only think that comes up is the Minnesota transracial adoption study. But I know quite a few westerners have adopted African kids and not just Angelina Jolie and Madonna. There’s at least enough for a comprehensive study.

  6. I took an IQ test at the same time as a Nigerian and Peruvian friend of mine (both were very “native,” no white blood whatsoever) and we all got in the same high 130s range. Of course, knowing what I know about IQ distribution I thought this couldn’t be the case. The chances were just extremely slim. For the Nigerian friend of mine, even though he claims to be descended from nobility (say a 15 point increase, by virtue of good breeding/education) he would still be a good 3 and a half standard deviations from the mean (provided “nobility” gives him the average increase of the “college-educated US class”) which would make him insanely rare to come across. Granted, he was a US immigrant, and Nigerians have done quite well for themselves here, but I found myself very doubtful of the truth and efficacy of the IQ tests taken in Africa. Moreover, he grew up in Africa for a good while and did not receive US education until high school and college.

    Then again, both of their heads, I noticed (becoming a rather suspicious physiognomist all of a sudden) were rather large, with high foreheads and extended ends, much like Caucasian heads, though still retaining the Amerindian Mongoloid and Black African features. By comparison, I saw a girl, black, when I was substitute teaching, and saw she had a smaller and more sloped forehead than I’d ever seen before–she was, I believe, recently from African and not American Black, though I didn’t verify this.

    What to make of all this? For one, we have to remember that Africans are more genetically diverse and more culturally diverse (tons and tons of tribes) than we bottle-necked whites and Asians are. That may have some influence. Second, how are children birthed over there? Something so simple as not injuring the head can have a huge impact. Third, they tend not to feed the kids much, in favor of the adults. All big impacts.

    My own hunch is that the black IQ cannot be so low as it is, but that it is probably around 87, since it seems have stopped increasing in Western society. Keep in mind, we measure IQ having a Western diet and upbringing, and not long ago the US white IQ was much lower (they had to update the tests) and increased a good 15 points–just what you see in African populations. For Amerindians, I’d say something like low 90s is a good estimate in the context of the US.

  7. 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.

    It’s really not that hard to understand. Blacks in Africa have IQ’s of 67 because of malnutrition. That’s why they’re both shorter and dumber than U.S. Blacks. With first world nutrition, their height increases several inches and their IQ’s leap to 80. Add a splash of white genes at they increase to 85.

    It’s analogous to the Flynn Effect. White men in the 1910s were only 5’7″ tall with IQ’s around 80. With better nutrition, their height is now 5’11” and their IQ’s are an impressive 100.

    1. During the slave trade and throughout the slavery process eugenics were carried out at every stage.

  8. There are exceptions there was a black student who at age 11 got accepted to college so this bullshit about blacks having low iq is too general as there are exceptions I myself is black with creole and a small amount of jewish admixture and I have an Iq of 101 that admixture wont make a difference because it happend so long ago.

  9. There are always exceptions to an average and to say an average is too general is saying you cannot understand basic basics.

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