8 thoughts on “Richard Lynn's Notion of Intelligence as a Unifying Principle in the Social Sciences”

    1. “lynn is unreliable, why do your still take him seriously.”
      Because he is expressing at least one VERY important idea, if correct — as it probably is. To wit: the association of population I.Q.s with national social/socioeconomic success, democratization, and other good stuff. That idea, if true, is very important because I.Q. is so malleable. It gives us a wonderful focus, a deep causal focus, for national development effort. That is, if it is true — as it probably is. (See his books and related literature, e.g. of Rinderman and others.)

  1. Hi, Oval! Perhaps you did not read the thread that started this, the “gender feminist bingo” thread. (Wrong title for this topic.)
    From that thread:
    August 20, 2012 at 4:38 AM
    There’s material for more than one post in here, very likely. Interesting developments in the race/IQ wars…..
    and, for the record:
    August 20, 2012 at 11:33 AM
    While I’m on the subject: here’s a link to the pdf of the full text of Lynn’s new book, just released weeks ago:
    A Unifying Construct for the Social Sciences
    by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen
    Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen argue that intelligence should be adopted as a unifying construct for the social sciences, akin to mass, energy, pressure and the like that unify the physical sciences. They show that differences in intelligence between individuals explain numerous phenomena including educational attainment, earnings, crime and health and extend this to the explanation of differences between groups including socio-economic classes, regions within countries and nations. They develop further their work on national IQs for all countries in the world and show that these contribute significantly to the understanding of numerous phenomena in economics, political science, demography, sociology, criminology, anthropology and epidemiology.

  2. I provided some new estimates for African and Latin America countries based on regional tests:
    The estimates are mostly in accordance with those presented by Lynn and others.
    One major mistake of some of the commentators above is to assume that these “national IQs” are Lynn’s creations. On the contrary, quite a few estimates have been made by others and they all highly — though not perfectly — correlate. Much of the research concerning international cognitive differences is being conducted in education and economics, where it’s assumed that the differences are wholly environmentally conditioned, yet nonetheless acknowledged that they are casually important. Authors there merely use the term “educational achievement” instead of “IQ.” See for example:
    Generally, the same correlations and causal pathways are found (e.g., Cognitive Competency to Economic Growth). Lynn is just adding a theory of the ultimate cause. Apart from that, his work is superfluous.

    1. The discussions are becoming mainstream therefore, advanced thought along with critical examination will surly become more of the everyday conversations on the streets of America. This is good, no? CSU SS, Grad…

  3. Chuck: “Much of the research concerning international cognitive differences is being conducted in education and economics, where it’s assumed that the differences are wholly environmentally conditioned, yet nonetheless acknowledged that they are causally important.”
    Assuming the differences are wholly environmental is not a bad idea, for practical purposes. Of course, they may NOT be (and probably are not) wholly environmental, but it does not matter much, for practical purposes. The environmental contribution is certainly large, and the need is to raise the low population I.Q.s., to whatever extent they can be raised (probably a lot). It will take many decades of concerted effort to do this; probably a century or more. With all this work in front of us, what is the point of bickering about the precise level of genetic vs. environmental contribution? It is a distraction and a waste of energy.
    Chuck: “Lynn is just adding a theory of the ultimate cause. Apart from that, his work is superfluous.”
    You’re saying, I take it, that Lynn’s theory of the ultimate cause is I.Q., as opposed to (presumably) down-stream stuff like success in school.

    1. One more thing, on this “ultimate cause” business: I.Q. itself is just an abstraction. It does not cause anything, because abstractions cannot cause anything. Rather, it is a reflection of neurological development
      (or at least so we think, and we’re probably right!), and one with considerable predictive value. The nature of the neurological links to I.Q. are being worked out, very slowly. This will probably pick up steam in coming decades.
      In passing: I’ve noticed that the race realist crowd seems to have almost no interest in the actual neurological underpinnings of I.Q., except to repeatedly intone “it’s genetic!” — a vague, wastebasket “explanation” for things. The questions are: Which genes, and what do they do? Which enzymes do they code for? Which hormone synthetic pathways? Which receptor types? Which signalling molecules? etc. Yes, it’s all genetic, 100% — before we learn what is going on and what to do about it. I want to know the specifics. Specifics are ACTIONABLE, or at least potentially so, and are therefore uplifting, while foggy allusions to black boxes like “genetics” breed nihilism, defeatism, paralysis (which might in some cases be the intent). Enzyme action can be modified; synthetic pathways can be tweaked; receptors can be stimulated; etc. Gene expression can be changed in many ways; we’re doing it right now, as we click and type. And much more sophisticated ways of doing it are on the way.
      Jensen has some ideas about nerve conduction velocity in relation to I.Q., but that is quite downstream.

      1. “Gene expression [and mental performance, and I.Q.] can be changed in many ways; we’re doing it right now, as we click and type” …. those dramatic alterations from clicking and typing (haha) may depend on the composition of breakfast:
        PLoS One. 2010 Dec 8;5(12):e15213.
        Breakfast staple types affect brain gray matter volume and cognitive function in healthy children.
        Taki Y, et al. Division of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at the Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan.
        snippet from the full text, which is free, online: “the full-scale IQ of the rice group was substantially higher [nearly 4 points higher, per table 2 — alan2102] than that of the bread group (t = 1.892, p = 0.06) after adjusting for age, gender, socioeconomic status, average frequency of eating breakfast, and number of side dishes in the two-group comparison.”
        snippet from the abstract: “one possible mechanism underlying the difference between the bread and the rice groups may be the difference in the glycemic index (GI) of these two substances; foods with a low GI are associated with less blood-glucose fluctuation than are those with a high GI. Our study suggests that breakfast staple type affects brain gray and white matter volumes and cognitive function in healthy children; therefore, a diet of optimal nutrition is important for brain maturation during childhood and adolescence.”

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