Archives for posts with tag: ron unz

extra-long [insert dongle joke here] linkfest this week since there wasn’t one last sunday (sorry, dog ate it…). note that there (probably) won’t be one next sunday either, ’cause i’ll be too busy hunting for easter eggs…. (^_^)

Common DNA Markers Can Account for More Than Half of the Genetic Influence on Cognitive Abilities“In the same sample of 3,154 pairs of 12-year-old twins, we directly compared twin-study heritability estimates for cognitive abilities (language, verbal, nonverbal, and general) with GCTA estimates captured by 1.7 million DNA markers. We found that DNA markers tagged by the array accounted for .66 of the estimated heritability, reaffirming that cognitive abilities are heritable. Larger sample sizes alone will be sufficient to identify many of the genetic variants that influence cognitive abilities.” – via race/history/evolution notes.

Genotypes over-represented among college students are linked to better cognitive abilities and socioemotional adjustment“The present study investigated … genotype frequencies of 284 SNPs covering major neurotransmitter genes in a sample of 478 Chinese college students, comparing these frequencies with those of a community sample (the 1000 Genomes dataset)…. Results showed that 24 loci showed Hardy–Weinberg disequilibrium among college students, but only two of these were in disequilibrium in the 1000 Genomes sample. These loci were found to be associated with mathematical abilities, executive functions, motivation, and adjustment-related behaviors such as alcohol use and emotion recognition.” – via … somebody … can’t remember who. sorry!

Genes and Smarts – from the derb.

Why Bacteria Commit Suicide“[I]nfected individuals self-destructed before they could spread the virus to others.”

Evolution via Roadkill“Cliff swallows that build nests that dangle precariously from highway overpasses have a lower chance of becoming roadkill than in years past thanks to a shorter wingspan that lets them dodge oncoming traffic. That’s the conclusion of a new study based on 3 decades of data collected on one population of the birds. The results suggest that shorter wingspan has been selected for over this time period because of the evolutionary pressure put on the population by cars.”

‘Out of Africa’ Story Being Rewritten Again“Our early human ancestors may have left Africa more recently than thought, between 62,000 and 95,000 years ago, suggests a new analysis of genetic material from fossil skeletons.” – see also Mitochondrial DNA tree calibrated with ancient DNA @race/history/evolution notes and Revised timescale of human mtDNA evolution from dienekes.

How Social Darwinism Made Modern China“A thousand years of meritocracy shaped the Middle Kingdom.” – good stuff from ron unz. see also the derb and peter frost and anatoly.

Does the Clark-Unz model apply to Japan and Korea? – from peter frost.

Did evolution give us inflammatory disease?“[S]ome variants in our genes that could put a person at risk for inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease or rheumatoid arthritis, have been the target of natural selection over the course of human history.” – original research article.

Genes may be reason some kids are picky about food“The study looked at 66 pairs of twins between ages 4 and 7 years old, and found that genes explain 72 percent of the variation among children in the tendency to avoid new foods, while the rest was influenced by environment.”

A Tale of Three Maps – from jayman.

Dan Freedman’s babies and National Character – from greg cochran @west hunter (buy the e-book!).

HVGIQ: The Bahamas – from jason malloy.

The Personality of Tribalism – from staffan.

Remembering Stephen Jay Gould: Bully and Boob – from steve sailer.

Depicting reality or escaping from it? – the awesome epigone asks a good question/makes a good point about something in steven pinker’s Better Angels.

Assortative mating and shared life history strategy – from mr. mangan.

Uh-Oh… – malcolm pollack on why there’s not so much “diversity” in silicon valley: “It’s because Silicon Valley … *is* a meritocracy — you just can’t fake being good at writing code, solving complex engineering problems, or designing high-tech gadgetry….”

Was inbreeding common among early humans? 100,000-year-old deformed skull adds evidence to theory of ‘very small’ communities“The discovery adds to growing evidence that early humans inbred often” – prolly because populations were small. see also Abnormalities in Pleistocene Homo from dienekes.

Moral Matter – the neuroscience of morality.

Crime and punishment: From the neuroscience of freewill to legal reform

Men programmed to avoid sex with best friends’ wives: study“Researchers suggest guys may have a biological predisposition against hitting on their best friends’ partners…. A University of Missouri study has found that adult males’ testosterone levels dropped when they were interacting with the marital partner of a close friend.”

Downton Abbey: Earl of Grantham maximizes inclusive fitness – @occam’s razor.

Experts Say Food May Contribute To Anger, Violent Behavior“Pace and other nutritionists say if you eat plenty of fish, eggs, beans, fruits and green leafy vegetables, you should have the nutrients you need. However, people who tend to eat a diet loaded with processed or packaged foods could find themselves more easily irritated.”

Women abused as children likelier to bear autistic child

One of Us – animals are people, too.

Text mining uncovers British reserve and US emotion“An analysis of the digitized texts of English-language books over the past century concludes that, since the 1980s, words that carry emotional content have become significantly more common in US books than in British ones.”

Evolution and Existentialism, an Intellectual Odd Couple“On the basis of evolutionary existentialism, I would therefore like to suggest the heretical and admittedly paradoxical notion that, in fact, we need to teach more disobedience. Not only disobedience to political and social authority but especially disobedience to some of our troublesome genetic inclinations.” – hmmmm….

Forbidden City“The left-wing stranglehold on academia.”

bonus: Life found deep under the sea“Oceanic-crust microbes survive on hydrogen and carbon dioxide.” in other microbial news: Mariana Trench: Deepest ocean ‘teems with microbes’“The deepest place in the ocean is teeming with microscopic life, a study suggests.”

bonus bonus: Palestinian Mother Speaks Out About Daughter’s Honor Killing“[H]onor killing defendants [are] usually given light sentences. Three years in prison was the stiffest in these cases. Life sentences or execution were never a consideration…. Offenders receive reduced sentences pursuant to Article 18 of Penal Code no. 74 of 1936, which is entitled ‘Necessity.’ The article provides for ‘leniency in punishment for crimes that offenders have committed in order to avert consequences, which could cause irreparable damage to their honor, money, or the honor of those such offenders are obliged to protect.’”

bonus bonus bonus: The Hate List“[T]he [$]PLC’s site explains that it counts counted ’1,007 active hate groups in the United States in 2012,’ including ‘organizations and their chapters.’ But ‘The Year in Hate and Extremism’ did not make the ‘chapter’ distinction explicit. It is rarely drawn out in the organization’s frequent media appearances, nor was it mentioned in a letter from the SPLC to the Justice Department warning of the growing threat.” – see also What’s hate got to do with it? @bad data, bad!

bonus bonus bonus bonus: Amazing photographs reveal the lost world of the Omo tribes of Ethiopia

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: A Tiny Village Where Women Chose to Be Single Mothers“30 years ago in this bucolic village in northern Vietnam, the fierce determination of one group of women to become mothers upended centuries-old gender rules….”

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Cannibals of the Past Had Plenty of Reasons to Eat People

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Phallus-shaped fossils identified as new species [insert dongle joke here]

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: Global Internet Porn Habits Infographic – ‘sup finnish people?! and romanians and hungarians (“mom and son”?!)?!

bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus bonus: i love the ukrainian parliament. no, i really do! (~_^)

(note: comments do not require an email. double dongle.)

**update 08/12 – see below**

i’m using unbelievable in two senses of the word here: 1) that what run unz says cannot be believed, and 2) i can’t believe the things ron tries to get away with! (see what i did there? (~_^) )

an example of point 1:

ron said wrt the buj iq studies that appear in lynn and vanhanen’s IQ and the Wealth of Nations (tWoN):

“As it happens, all three of those near-100 IQ studies from 1979 are part of the 19 national samples contained in the Buj (1981) collection, which tend to be extreme outliers in all the various countries. Supposedly, the Buj IQ studies were totally non-representative and were generally conducted in capital cities, which might help explain why usually they often tend to be 10-15 points higher than other IQ studies from those same countries.”

frank pointed out that this is simply not true. and frank is right. i just went through steve sailer’s table summarizing the results of tWoN (thanks for the link, frank!) and picked out all the nations included in the buj study. here are all of the adjusted iq scores for each of those countries as found in tWoN:

103 – Moyles
101 – Buj

103 – Goosens
99 – Goosens
98 – Buj

94 – Buj
91 – Lynn, Paspalanova

Czech Rep/Czechoslovakis
98 – Buj
96 – Raven

99 – Buj
97 – Vejleskov

98 – Kyostio
96 – Buj

102.5 – Dague
96.5 – Bourdier
94 – Buj

West Germany
107 – Buj
105 – Raven
101 – Raven
99 – Winkelman

80 – Buj
62 – Glewwe

95 – Buj
88 – Fatouros

99 – Buj

98 – Buj
87 – Raven

103 – Tesi
101 – Buj

107 – Buj
101 – Raven
99 – Van Bon-Raven

98 – Buj

106 – Buj
92 – Jaworowska

101 – Buj
88 – Simoes

98 – Buj
96 – Raven
90 – Nieto-Alegre

104 – Buj
97 – Skandinaviska

102 – Raven
101 – Buj
99 – Raven

i’ve highlighted the nations where the buj scores seem to be “extreme outliers,” i.e. in which the buj scores are 10-15 points different from other iq tests done in those countries, and I only find three (3) examples: ghana, poland and portugal. if i were feeling generous, i might throw in ireland, too, with a nine (9) point difference. that’s hardly what i’d call “often.” quite the opposite — in the vast majority of the cases, the buj scores align very nicely with other test scores.

i can’t see how ron unz couldn’t have been aware of this since he’s apparently spent so much time combing through the lynn and vanhanen data. either he forgot what was really in tWoN, or … i dunno … he’s being economical with the truth? whatever the case — and given all the other “careless errors” he’s made with the data — ron is…


an example of point 2:

wrt his original data collection from the gss on how rural or urban different white american ethnic groups are, ron said:

“As for my GSS calculation, I just used RACE=WHITE, ETHNIC, and WORDSUM. My ethnic urban/rural estimate substituted RES16 for WORDSUM, and I considered Country+Farm as being ‘rural’ while ‘City+Suburb+Big City’ was considered urban. The Italians, Irish, Greeks, and Yugoslavs come out heavily urban, the Dutch heavily rural, and the Germans somewhat rural.”

i should’ve paid more attention to this at the time, ’cause now just the other day, dan pointed out (thanks, dan!) that ron just SKIPPED a whole gss category of rural/urban folks, namely the small town folks [quote from here]:

“My analysis only focused on the City/Suburb/Farm categories (leaving out e.g. small towns), since those seemed to provide the sharpest sign of some sort of surprising Rural/Urban Divide.”

why would you leave out a WHOLE CATEGORY OF THE DATA?

perhaps that’s the reason that, unlike ron, i found that german-americans are not significantly more rural than other white american ethnic groups. ’cause i used ALL the data available in the gss.

who knows what else is “not quite right” with ron’s data points given his selective use of them (plenty examples of which have already been pointed out many, many times over in the comments here on this blog — thanks to everyone who’s drawn attention to these little problems in ron’s methodology!)?


update 08/12: i’m gonna just go ahead and add one more point — the constantly shifting sands of ron’s argument.

in my first post about ron’s iq theory, i said that one point that needed to be taken into account is exactly who are taking the iq or pisa or whatever tests. i pointed out that:

“today’s french’ population includes ca. 19% (11.8M) foreign born immigrants or their direct descendants, about one-third (4M) of whom are from north africa. and the u.k. had 7.86% minorities as of the 2001 census (and it’s well known that those rates have gone up since then)…. it’s very possible that the average pisa/iq scores of ethnic french or british kids are higher than their current national scores….

“you don’t think the immigrants in these countries could bring down the pisa scores? think again. the irish have actually experienced this even with the comparatively small number of immigrants they have….” [see the previous post for the full example.]

ron dismissed that the presence of large numbers of immigrants could have any significant effect on iq/pisa scores in france or britain — or anywhere, i guess:

“You argue this might be explained because 20% of France’s population were low-IQ minorities, and the 8% of Britain’s population fell in the same category. Does this make any sense? Could a British population which was 92% high-IQ and 8% low-IQ really have the same average academic performance as an Irish population which was 100% low-IQ?”

now, in the comment thread of this very post (!) — just down there ↓ — ron says:

“The fifth widest gap is the 8.5 spread for France, with the *low* score being from Buj (but note that by 1979 France’s capital city of Paris already contained a substantial population of impoverished African and North African immigrants).”


well, which is it?! can a good-sized population of immigrants affect iq scores or not?? it’s hard to tell when you’re discussing a problem with ron unz. shifting sands, shifting sands.

here’s another example of this: ron’s original argument, if you’ll recall (and iirc), involved the “facts” that british-americans and dutch-americans are both very rural groups and that they have, comparatively, low iqs. when it was made clear to him that british-americans don’t have comparatively low iqs, he suddenly changed his tune:

“A much better example I should have used instead were German-Americans, who are significantly more rural than the white American average….”

only they’re not. see also point number 2 above.

shifting sands, again. unbelievable.

see also: Unz on Race/IQ – Is It “Game Over”? (also here)

(note: comments do not require an email. skeptical macaque is skeptical.)

fierce tiger pointed out (thanks, 猛虎!) that ron unz writes:

“Lynn refutes my evidence for a low Ireland IQ during the 1970s by referring me to the more extensive data in his latest book, saying it debunks my claim. However, when I examined the Ireland IQs in that book (p. 402), I discovered that he had inexplicably failed to include the massive 1972 study of 3,466 students which established an Irish IQ of 87 and which had appeared in all of his previous books. When I asked him why he had excluded the largest early Irish IQ study, he said he had no answer, and that perhaps ‘this omission was a mistake.’”

well, that is weird, i agree.

i still wanna know, though — has anybody ever looked at the actual data from this 1972 study? i mean, evaluated the research — the testing and how it was conducted and so on. i’m not saying that the finding (average iq of the irish in 1972 was 87) is wrong. i just want to know if anybody’s — you know — double-checked it. did richard lynn actually check it personally?

as far as i can figure out, the only people who have seen the original data are the authors of the master’s thesis for which the data was collected — one enda byrt and one peter edward gill — plus jonn raven (note: not john c. raven). the data has not been published anywhere afaics — only in the master’s thesis itself, a copy of which can be found in the reference section in the library of a university in ireland. i discovered the reference for it in this paper by john raven: The Raven’s Progressive Matrices: Change and Stability over Culture and Time [opens pdf]. (<< you might want to read that paper, ron, if you haven’t already.) i can’t find any academic traces of enda byrt, but gill seems to be teaching at a university in sweden.

here’s what john raven had to say about the irish data in his paper:

pgs. 5-6: “In 1972, Byrt and Gill (1973), working with the author [i.e. john raven], collected data from a nationally representative sample of 3,464 primary school children ages 5 to 11 in the Republic of Ireland. The urban norms seemed to corresponded [sic] to the 1938 Ipswich norms, although the figures for the rural areas lagged behind.”

pg. 9: “[N]orms for rural and isolated communities are typically lower than others. The previously mentioned norms for the Republic of Ireland and Newfoundland can, in this context, be seen to confirm this.”

pg. 32: “Thorndike suggests that television may have had an effect [on rising scores, a la the flynn effect]. However television was widely available in Ireland when what can now be seen to be low Irish norms were collected.”

so, according to raven, the data was nationally representative and so should be ok. maybe it is. i would feel a little better about it, though, if it had been publically published somewhere so that others — people who had not been involved in the data collection — could’ve had a look at it.

who cares? well, an argument is only as good as the data on which it’s based, right? (that statement is gonna bite me in the *ss one day, i just know it! (~_^) ) was the average iq of the irish in 1972 really 87? i’m leaning towards maybe/probably, but i’m not certain about it because i don’t feel secure about the data.

another argument entirely is whether or not a score of 87 in 1972 tells us anything about the average iq of the irish in 1840. or 1890. don’t think ron can extrapolate backwards from that 1972 score. i mean, if the current scores for the irish are correct, and say we didn’t have any iq scores for the irish from the 1970s, we never would’ve guessed the score back then (in the ’70s) had been so low. (if, indeed, it was so low.)

i still think that my — and anatoly’s — suggestion that there was a ca. 130 year brain drain in ireland that resulted in that low score, which just happens to coincide with the lowest point in their population stats btw, is pretty good. i suppose ron will continue to ignore that possibility. that’s certainly his prerogative.

(note: comments do not require an email. hi there!)

@american renaissance: Replies to Ron Unz

one interesting excerpt:

“Mr. Unz concludes that the East Asians are an exception to his theory that depressed socio-economic conditions are responsible for the low IQs in southern Europe.

“The East Asians are indeed an anomaly for Mr. Unz’s environmentalist theory. The IQ in impoverished China is the same as that in affluent Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea. But Mr. Unz is wrong in his assertion that the high IQs of the East Asians despite depressed socio-economic conditions are an exception. The same problem for Mr. Unz’s environmentalist theory is present in the IQs of western and eastern Europe, where communism depressed socio-economic conditions but IQs have been virtually identical to those of affluent western Europe. In our 2012 compilation we give a median IQ of 97.2 for ten former communist countries and a median IQ of 99 for 14 countries of northern and central western Europe. This negligible difference of 1.8 IQ points indicates that the depressed socio-economic conditions of eastern Europe had virtually no adverse impact on their national IQs.

“The comparison of the IQs in eastern Europe with those in northern and central western Europe provide a quasi experiment to test Mr. Unz’s environmentalist theory. Take a group of ten nations in eastern Europe, subject them to communism for half a century, with the result that their standard of living is greatly reduced compared with that in the control group of 14 affluent countries of northern and central western Europe. Mr. Unz’s environmentalist theory predicts that the IQs in the nations in eastern Europe will be greatly impaired, while our genetic theory predicts that the adverse environment will have had little adverse effect on their IQs. The fact that the impoverished environment of communism has had virtually no adverse effect on he IQs in eastern Europe confirms our theory of the largely genetic determination of national IQs and is a serious anomaly for Mr. Unz’s environmentalist theory.

“The IQ of 97.2 in eastern Europe is significantly higher than that in the Balkan nations that have also experienced depressed socio-economic conditions comparable to those in eastern Europe, but where the median IQ is 92. The most reasonable explanation for this is that the people of the Balkans are a mixed race European-Middle Eastern people who differ genetically from those of eastern and western Europe.”

previously: ron unz and iq and mexican-american iq and more from ron unz on iq and rural white americans and ron unz’s rural/urban data… and irish-american iqs and distributions of wordsum scores

(note: comments do not require an email. lemur alert!)

Inbreeding’s Downside Is Not All in the Genes – epigenetics and inbreeding. ruh roh. – “[T]he abnormal methylation might result from some of the rare genes exposed by inbreeding, especially if these genes help regulate the attachment and removal of methyl groups.”

Social Deprivation Has a Measurable Effect On Brain Growth

Hunter-Gatherer Energetics and Human Obesity. see also: Hunter gatherer clue to obesity“A study of the Hadza tribe, who still exist as hunter gatherers, suggests the amount of calories we need is a fixed human characteristic.”

Did Modern Humans — Not Environmental Catastrophe — Extinguish the Neandertals?

IQ estimates from wordsum scores by ancestry – from the awesome epigone.

Hispanic performance by generation and Hispanics, the NLSY 97 – from chuck (the occidentalist).

Did Ron Unz Score An Own Goal, Too? – from anatoly.

bonus: The spectre of plagiarism haunting Europe“Last month it was revealed that more than a third of a new book for law students on how to write papers properly was plagiarised, including liberal smatterings from Wikipedia. Fittingly, even the chapter on plagiarism was plagiarised.”

bonus bonus: The Redder the Better: Wing Color Predicts Flight Performance in Monarch Butterflies

bonus bonus bonus: Estimate: A new Amish community is founded every 3 and a half weeks in US

bonus bonus bonus bonus: The skin’s secret surveillance system“Microorganisms that reside on the skin found to influence host immunity.”

(note: comments do not require an email. why hello there!)

…just don’t hold water.

yesterday, using the nesstar gss data, i showed that ron’s statement that…

“German-Americans … are significantly more rural than the white American average”

… is untrue. they are not. the white american average of “ruralness” is 27% (according to the nesstar gss data). thirty-three percent (33%) of german-americans live in rural areas. that’s just a six point difference from the average. it’s higher than average, but not a LOT. meanwhile, 41% of white american-americans (“american only”) live in rural areas. that’s significantly more than the white american average. (only ca. 10% of italian- and greek-americans live in rural areas.)

today i took a look at the sda gss data (no, apparently i don’t have a life). here’s a screenshot of my search parameters so you can see what the h*ck i did (click on image for LARGER view):

the results are — not all that different from yesterday’s results (click on image for LARGER view — should open in a new tab/window — you might have to click on it there to get it to be full-sized):

dutch-americans are, indeed, very rural. and italian- and greek- and yugoslav-americans are all very urban. german-americans are quite rural, but again not much more than anglo-, scots- or even irish-americans. and american-americans are more rural than german-americans.

for some of the groups, i added to the chart the iq scores that the awesome epigone calculated based on the gss wordsum test results. as the a.e. said:

“Contrary to Unz’ assertion, those of English or Welsh descent outscore Italians, Irish, Greeks, and Slavs, though the Dutch do not.”

nor do the germans.

ron’s idea is that urban living produces a sort-of super-flynn effect — at least for peoples of european stock. so you’d think that there ought to be a positive correlation between high average iqs for white americans and urban living — the more urban a group, the higher the iq, right?

well, i can’t find any such correlation. i get a correlation of precisely zip for white american urban-ness and high iq. below is a little chart showing that absent correlation. the x-axis represents my “rural-urban index” (“difference %rural-%urban” from my table above) — more urban is to the left, more rural is to the right. the y-axis represents the awesome epigone’s iq scores. as bob would say, that’s a scatter plot:

several of the highest white american iqs are held by rural groups: swiss-americans (103.6 – 42% rural), norwegian-americans (102.1 – 38% rural), danish-americans (102.6 – 32% rural), and anglo-americans (102.4 – 29% rural). the swiss and norwegians started off rural back in europe and stayed pretty rural in the u.s. — more so than the germans — but they’re awfully smart in the u.s. why don’t they have low average iqs? the danish- and anglo-americans started off pretty urban back in europe, but now they’re rural in the u.s., but they’re smart, too. what is going on?

meanwhile, white puerto ricans are some of the most urban (92% urban) of all these groups and their iq is only 89.9. and whites from mexico, too — very urban (80% urban) — but with an average iq of 87.7.

nope. i just don’t think this rural/urban explanation is gonna work.

previously: rural white americans

(note: comments do not require an email. i need a drink.)

i admit it: this old/new world european, rural/urban iq discussion is starting make my head spin. (o_O) but i’m going to stick with it, d*mnit! (~_^)

ok. lemme see if i’ve got this straight. ron thinks that living in a stimulating urban environment raises the average iqs of certain populations a LOT in a relatively short period of time — like in a couple of generations. examples? europeans? check. east asians? nope. mexicans? he thinks so. blacks? he doesn’t say. the upshot is: iq is not something that is strongly genetic, and so we shouldn’t be too worried about tens of millions of mexicans moving to the united states ’cause they’re just gonna become smart like us in no time at all.


his proof of this consists (in part) of: 1) the rising iq of mexicans in the u.s. over the last two generations or so — only chuck the occidentalist has shown that this does NOT seem to be the case; and 2) the rising iqs of rural europeans who became urbanites after moving to the u.s., and the falling iqs of urban europeans who became country hicks after moving to the u.s. ron says:

“A much better example I should have used instead were German-Americans, who are significantly more rural than the white American average and have a Wordsum-IQ below the Greeks, Yugoslavs, Irish, and Italians. Furthermore, according to Lynn’s IQ data, Germans have one of the highest IQs in Europe, significantly above the British and far, far above the Irish, Greeks, (South) Italians, and Yugoslavs. So the reversal in America is even more inexplicable from a genetic model of IQ.

“Thus, my comparison using ‘British and Dutch’ should be changed to ‘Germans and Dutch,’ with the two highest IQ nationalities in Europe becoming two of the lowest white IQ ethnicities in America, even as they switched from being among the most urbanized Europeans to generally being rural in America, while the Greeks, Irish, Italians, and Yugoslavs moved in the opposite direction on both the IQ and rural fronts. This seems far too strong to merely be coincidence.”

so according to ron, the germans and the dutch are generally rural in america while the greeks, irish, italians, and yugoslavs are urban. and the german-americans are significantly more rural than other white americans.

ron says he got this data from the gss by looking up the following search terms (thanks, ron!):

“As for my GSS calculation, I just used RACE=WHITE, ETHNIC, and WORDSUM. My ethnic urban/rural estimate substituted RES16 for WORDSUM, and I considered Country+Farm as being ‘rural’ while ‘City+Suburb+Big City’ was considered urban. The Italians, Irish, Greeks, and Yugoslavs come out heavily urban, the Dutch heavily rural, and the Germans somewhat rural.”

i never know what people mean when they say they looked something up in the gss ’cause you can use a couple of different databases: there’s the sda @berkeley which has data from 1972 through 2010, and the nesstar database which has data from 1972 through 2006. i’ve elected to use the nesstar database ’cause you can easily download a spreadsheet of whatever data you’re looking at. if you can do that on the sda site, i haven’t figured it out (if you know, please tell me!). so, if ron used the sda site, his results might be a bit different than mine.

having said that, i looked at RACE, ETHNIC (COUNTRY OF FAMILY ORIGIN), and RES16 (TYPE OF PLACE LIVED IN WHEN 16 YRS OLD). i looked at the raw data so i could calculate the percentage of rural and urban residents for each of the different ethnic groups. rural=“in open country, but not on a farm” and “on a farm”. urban=“in a small town or city (less than 50,000),” “in a medium sized city (50,000-250,000),” “in a suburb near a large city,” and “in a large city (over 250,000).”

here’s what i got — i’ve sorted these results by most rural on the top to most urban on the bottom (i.e. the difference between rural and urban for each ethnic group) — click on chart for LARGER view (should open in a new window/tab — click on it again there to get it to be REALLY BIG):

dutch-americans certainly are very rural folk — they’re in the top 5 groups of white americans who live in rural areas, right after swiss-americans, belgian-americans, american-americans and finnish-americans. and italian-americans, greek-americans and yugoslav-americans are certainly more uban than rural — italians and greeks are very urban (confirming the stereotypes!).

but german-americans are hardly signficantly more rural than groups like anglo-, scots- or irish-americans. 33% of german-americans live (or grew up, rather, i guess) in a rural setting, while 29% of anglo-americans did, and 27% of both scots- and irish-americans. that’s awfully similar, afaics.

and what about the american-americans (“american only”)? who are they, anybody know? mightn’t they be a lot of anglo-, scots-, even irish-americans? i dunno, but they are very rural. and german-americans are less rural than they are.

also, as far as i know, finns and norwegians back in europe are pretty rural peoples — particularly in the nineteenth century when they immigrated in large numbers to the u.s. and they’re very rural here in the u.s. and today their iqs are pretty durned high back in their home countries. and the norwegian-american iq is pretty durned high here, too, despite the fact that they are still overwhelmingly rural in the u.s. (dunno about the finnish-americans.) so it doesn’t seem like you need to move to an urban place to get a high iq. you can start off rural and stay rural and still be very clever.

nope. don’t think i’m buying ron’s “move to the city and become smart” thesis. there seems to be too many exceptions to the rule (not that i don’t like those!): east asians, mexicans, anglos, scots, irish, germans, norwegians….

if i feel like it, i might process the sda gss data. then again i might not. again, if anyone knows how i can download it quickly into a spreadsheet, please let me know.

previously: more from ron unz on iq and mexican-american iq and ron unz and iq and a message for ron unz

update 07/28: see also ron unz’s rural/urban data…

(note: comments do not require an email. the most interesting sifaka in the world.)

ron unz has a new post up: Unz on Race/IQ: The Rural/Urban Divide. he says:

“[O]ne very intriguing pattern is that according to Lynn’s IQ data certain European populations such as the South Italians, Irish, Greeks, and South Slavs tended to have IQs much lower than other European populations such as the British and the Dutch. However, according to the Wordsum-IQ data, this pattern is exactly reversed in the United States, with the descendents of immigrants from Southern Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Yugoslavia having much higher IQs than Americans of British or Dutch ancestry.”

as i (and others) have already pointed out to ron, he has no way of knowing from the gss data if italian- or irish- or greek- or slavic-americans are comparable to the italians and irish and greeks and slavs back in europe. for one thing, there is the problem with the irish of which irish we’re talking about, both in the u.s. and in the republic of ireland. native irish? scots-irish? anglo-irish? for another thing, how italian or slavic is someone who self-identifies themself as italian or slavic on the gss? fully? one-half? one-quarter? (is obama black or white?) if you don’t have your populations sorted out from the start, any comparisons will be a waste of time.

also, where are the wordsum data for all these groups? i mean, i know they’re in the gss, but how about a chart or a link or at least some search terms for the searches conducted. most sciencey bloggers nowadays present their data, not just write lengthy articles with barely any references. ron is making some strong, and possibly very interesting, claims here. someone out there might like to try to replicate his findings.

and how about looking at other data in additon to the gss (if possible)? chuck (the occidentalist) has shown that the gss wordsum scores for mexican-americans aren’t in accord with other iq measurements for that population, so maybe it would be a good idea to look at some additional data, too. just to be on the safe side. (note that i’m not discounting the gss wordsum data completely. i understand that it’s a fairly good proxy for iq scores.)

ron also again rejects the idea that european immigrants to the u.s. (and elsewhere) might have “self-sorted” themselves — i.e. higher iq folks emigrating leaving lower iq folks behind, thus resulting in low average iqs back in europe and higher iqs for these populations in their new homes. because he believes this, ron concludes that nineteenth century european immigrants to the u.s., and europeans back in europe, have experienced extraordinary increases in their iqs in the last couple of generations:

“Finally, let us consider the European evidence. Today, the international PISA academic tests are widely regarded as one of the best means of estimating national IQs, and if we consider the 2009 PISA scores, we find that the scores were extremely similar for Ireland, Poland, Britain, France, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and several other countries. Since Lynn standardizes the British IQ to 100, that indicates that Ireland and Poland today have IQs around 100, which seems quite plausible.

“However, a huge sample placed Ireland’s IQ at 87 in 1972, and Lynn himself has stated that his own Ireland research in the late 1960s convinced him that the Irish were a low IQ population, whose only hope for the future lay in a strong eugenics program. So the evidence indicates that the Irish IQ was around 87 at that point, and has risen nearly a full standard deviation in the four decades which followed. Lynn also provides two additional very large samples, which placed the Irish IQ at around 92 in the early 1990s, so at the half-way mark, the Irish IQ had risen by half the difference between the endpoints, which seems remarkably consistent.

“Obviously, for the Irish to raise their Flynn-adjusted IQ by nearly a full standard devision in just over one generation is a total absurdity from a genetic perspective; thus, the huge rise must be due to some class of ‘environmental’ factors. When we consider that Ireland had been one of most rural European countries and rapidly urbanized during exactly that period, the impact of urbanization seems a plausible possibility.”

to repeat, i don’t think ron has convincingly shown what the iqs of italian- and irish-, etc., americans are, so it remains difficult to compare the old and new world iqs for each of these populations. and several commenters (like in this discussion thread) have suggested that the one figure of 87 for the irish in 1972 is just one figure, so perhaps it’s not all that reliable. (the data on which that 87 score is based upon are from a master’s thesis, btw. i found the reference here – opens pdf.)

but let’s say, for the sake of argument, that that figure was correct. ron doesn’t think that this low score could’ve been the result of selective migration because he thinks the immigrants would’ve been from the lowest classes of european society (i.e. presumably those with the lowest iqs):

“Even if we ignore all contemporaneous evidence and argue that 19th century European immigrants to America and elsewhere somehow constituted the IQ elite of their originating countries, the theory of selective migration still remains implausible…. So even if we hypothesize that the Irish, South Italians, Jews, and Greeks who immigrated to America constituted the smartest small slice of their generation — rather than, as seems more likely, often the poorer and most miserable….”

this, however, is an erroneous assumption. from thomas sowell’s Ethnic America: A History (pgs. 22-23):

“Although the cost of a trip to the United States in the hold of a cargo vessel was less than ten pounds sterling (less than fifty dollars at contemporary exchange rates), the poorest of the Irish could not afford even that, so that immigration was very low from the poorest fourth of the Irish population. Those a notch above them on the economic scale emigrated in large numbers, often by selling their belongings, using up savings, and spending money sent by relatives already in America. From one-third to three-quarters of the Irish immigrations to America in the 1830s and 1840s was financed by money sent from North America.”

so, as i said in my previous post, it wasn’t “the poorer and most miserable”, or even “the smartest small slice of their generation” that emigrated from ireland to the u.s. (or britain or australia), but folks in the middle — individuals above “the poorest fourth of the Irish population”. in other words, people of average-ish iqs.

and they left in the millions. for 140-150+ years.

if that wasn’t a dysgenic brain drain, i don’t know what was.

and all that emigration (and famine-related deaths) is reflected in this population graph for the republic of ireland:

the population of the republic of ireland seems to have bottomed out just around the time of lynn’s 87 iq score for the irish in the 1970s. the irish economy improved in fits and starts in the decades after that, and really took off in the heydays of the celtic tiger nineties and noughties (how’d that work out for them anyway?). then there wasn’t any need for anyone with half a brain to leave the country anymore — and there was an additon of something like 1.4 million individuals in two-and-a-half generations (ca. a 35% increase in the population) — and the iq scores started to improve (as ron points out the average iq was measured to be 93 in the early 1990s) — possibly (i’d say likely) as the national average regressed to its natural mean (whatever that might be, presumably higher than 87). (plus the usual flynn effect and possibly effects of better nutrition and other stuff like that.)

that scenario is a strong possibilty anyway, which ron just dismisses based on very shaky evidence.

speaking of dysgenic brain drains, how about southern italy? according to wikipedia (so it must be true!), 80% of immigrants from italy to the u.s. came from southern italy. and look at the iq (pisa) scores there today.

(btw, i don’t think this mass emigration scenario is the whole story re. the low iq scores for the peripheral european countries, but it certainly shouldn’t be discounted as easily as ron has done.)

ron theorizes that these differences in average iqs have something to do with urban vs. rural living, which is an interesting idea, but he hasn’t made a convincing argument i think. he talks, for instance, about differences in iqs between urban and rural white americans:

“Next, consider the aggregate IQs of rural and urban/suburban whites. During the 1970s according to Wordsum-IQ data, the intelligence gap between whites raised on farms and those who grew up in an urban/suburban background was enormous, almost exactly equal to the white/black gap.”

well, that’s interesting, but again i ask — where are the data? (show me the data! (~_^) )

finally, ron says:

“Unfortunately, this discussion has been almost entirely restricted to narrow racialist circles, with virtually all non-racialist journalists or pundits maintaining a studious silence on the matter and giving the controversy a very wide berth, although I would argue that issues of race and intelligence have considerable importance in American society.”

i agree! the situation is unfortunate. very unfortunate. i wish everybody would think and talk about human biodiversity all the time! (ok, maybe not all of the time.) i wish it were a regular topic on oprah! (does she even have a show anymore?) i can’t see how we’re gonna solve even half the world’s problems if we don’t — but then i’m beginning to suspect that most people aren’t really interested in that (prolly me, neither). *sigh*

thanks to ron for bringing up the subject at all! (^_^) (although i think there are big holes in his argument. (~_^) )

previously: ron unz and iq and mexican-american iq and a message for ron unz

(note: comments do not require an email. hi there!)


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