italian genetics

no, i don’t know much about them, but via the italianthro blog, here’s a couple of charts from tian, et. al.’s European Population Genetic Substructure: Further Definition of Ancestry Informative Markers for Distinguishing among Diverse European Ethnic Groups (*whew*). northern italians are the little white triangles outlined in black — italians from the u.s., mostly southern italians, are the little yellow triangles outlined in black — and people from tuscany are the green diamonds with the dark green outline:

notice that there’s not much overlap between the northern italians, tuscans and southern italians. in other words, they’re different populations. they’re not wildly different populations — it’s not as if there were eskimos living in northern italy and australian aborigines living in southern italy — but they are different.

dienekes has found that there is a greater north african component (K=6) in southern italy/sicily than in northern italy:

and also that there is a greater northwest european component (K=10) in northern italy than in southern italy/sicily:

italianthro has objected to me having said about italy that there are: “different populations — broadly speaking, more germanic in the north, more greeks and arabs and others in the south.”

in one way he is correct — the genetic differences between northern and southern (and maybe central) italians is not due to just an influx of germanic, greek and arab genes into italy/sicily. i will readily admit to having been incorrect to put it like that. but there are genetic differences in italy’s population — the people living in italy/sicily are not entirely one people. the differences, tho, probably go back further than the arrival of the greeks and goths, so it was not right of me to just point to the german, greek and arab migrants, although they also contributed to the genetic differences that are found in italy today (for example).

that the genes of italians living in different regions of italy look somewhat distinct is the nature of genetics. if you compare my genome to my first-cousin’s, they’ll look rather different. but if you compare my genome and my first-cousin’s to an eskimo’s genome, then me and my first-cousin are going to look awfully alike.

tian, et. al., mentioned this about their italian samples:

“It also is worth noting that the inclusion of the Arab population groups results in larger separation between northern Italian and southern Italian (and/or Greek) subjects and suggests that inclusion of the Arab population genotypes may be useful in analyses of southern European population groups (data not shown).”

in other words, the southern italian samples were pulled farther away from the northern italian ones, towards the arab samples. that’s because there’s some amount north african/arab genes in the southern italy population — or, rather, that southern italians share genes in common with north africans/arabs.

when geneticists drill down further into italian genetics, they’ll no doubt find even greater differentiation; but at the same time, clearly italians are, on average, different from arabs or africans or eskimos.

(note: comments do not require an email. italian-americans!)

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34 Comments

  1. I’m told that northern Italians used to refer to the Mezzogiorno (southern Italy) as “Africa’s last colony in Europe”. Looks like there’s a bit of truth in that…

    Always look forward to your posts, you always find lots of interesting stuff.

    Reply

  2. tschafer – “Always look forward to your posts, you always find lots of interesting stuff.”

    thanks for saying so! (^_^) glad you enjoy them. (^_^)

    Reply

  3. This post proves my point that there’s very little difference between Northern and Southern Italians. Of course, there’s no reason to expect them to cluster together, because genetic distance is largely a product of geographic distance (Germans don’t all cluster together either). From the Tian et al. study:

    “For most individuals with self-reported ethnic identities, there was a general correspondence with the geographical location of origin. For example, the relationship of Italian groups and the subjects from the island country of Sardinia shows a striking resemblance to maps of Europe.”

    The slightly higher “European” component in the North vs. the slightly higher “non-European” component in the South is an expression of this phenomenon, as these components are clinal in Europe, which has nothing to do with Germanic or Arab/Berber admixture (except for possibly a few percentage points linked to historical events).

    Reply

  4. @italianthro – “Of course, there’s no reason to expect them to cluster together….”

    so we’re in agreement — northern and southern italians are not the same genetically speaking. (~_^)

    Reply

  5. @Italianthro

    “This post proves my point that there’s very little difference between Northern and Southern Italians.”

    Little, says who? How do you decide how “little” is little? I think that’s one of the points you’re missing. Your own words…

    “Of course, there’s no reason to expect them to cluster together, because genetic distance is largely a product of geographic distance (Germans don’t all cluster together either).”

    …demonstrate that these Italian groups are indeed distinct populations, with a discernible difference between them, but you seem to be dismissing these differences as irrelevant because they are smaller than some arbitrary size But here’s a key fact that you overlook: we don’t know what most of the genes do. A seemingly small difference in the genome could make all the difference in the world in terms of IQ and behavioral traits. Not all genetic variation is as good as any other genetic variation. As Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending discuss in The 10,000 Year Explosion, anthropologists have been aware of the genetic differences between different populations but are only recently starting to consider what these differing genes do. The variation that we see in the genome of Italians is, as far as we know, more than enough to account for the group average difference in IQ observed between northern and southern populations (which approaches one-σ between Friuli and Sicily).

    Reply

  6. >>> “so we’re in agreement — northern and southern italians are not the same genetically speaking. (~_^)”

    Never said they were. Now try reading the rest of what I wrote.

    Reply

  7. >>> “these Italian groups are indeed distinct populations”

    All populations are “distinct”. That’s completely irrelevant. The issue here is whether Italian groups are distinct because some are “Germanic” and others are “Arab/Berber”. They’re not.

    >>> “group average difference in IQ observed between northern and southern populations (which approaches one-σ between Friuli and Sicily)”

    That isn’t real IQ data. It’s Richard Lynn “IQ data”. Big difference.

    Reply

  8. “All populations are “distinct”.”

    Exactly.

    “That’s completely irrelevant. The issue here is whether Italian groups are distinct because some are “Germanic” and others are “Arab/Berber”. They’re not.”

    No, that’s NOT the issue. Even if it were, the answer to that is YES, they are distinct, in part, because of some admixture from these groups. However, admixture isn’t necessary to cause the observed IQ differences because they could (and probably do) stem from preexisting (pre-Lombard/Arab invasion) differences in the population. The admixture bit is a red herring.

    >>> “group average difference in IQ observed between northern and southern populations (which approaches one-σ between Friuli and Sicily)”

    That isn’t real IQ data. It’s Richard Lynn “IQ data”. Big difference.

    Richard Lynn isn’t the source of the IQ data, they were drawn from others and are merely summarized by Lynn in the cited paper. That doesn’t make the results any less “real,” nor would it in any case. Do you have anything better than an ad hominem?

    Reply

  9. @jayman – “The admixture bit is a red herring.”

    yes. and (and this is addressed to italianthro) i have already admitted that what i wrote in my original post about the north being more germanic and the south being more arab — which is, in fact, the case — was not entirely correct and that i should’ve phrased myself better.

    the point is, there are genetic differences between northern and southern italy — yes, just like there are genetic differences between the populations of other countries such as germany.

    and maybe those genetic differences account for the cultural differences between northern and southern italians. or maybe they do not.

    Reply

  10. >>> “No, that’s NOT the issue.”

    Yes, it is. This blog post and the discussion that inspired it are about the issue of admixture. You showed up late and started talking about something entirely different.

    >>> “Richard Lynn isn’t the source of the IQ data, they were drawn from others and are merely summarized by Lynn in the cited paper.”

    Read the link I provided. Lynn’s reviews of the literature are unsystematic and untrustworthy. He cherry picks and manipulates data to fit his predetermined conclusions.

    The majority of studies on IQ test performance of Africans not taken into account by Lynn (and Vanhanen) and Malloy showed considerably higher average IQs than the studies that they did review. We judge the reviews of Lynn (and Vanhanen) and Malloy to be unsystematic. These authors missed a large part of the literature on IQ testing in Africa, failed to explicate their inclusion and exclusion criteria, and made downward errors in the conversion of raw scores to IQs (Wicherts, 2007).”

    […]

    “We argue that their review of the literature is unsystematic, as it involves the inconsistent use of rules to determine the representativeness and hence selection of samples. […] We found that Lynn and Meisenberg’s assessment of the samples’ representativeness is not associated with any of the objective sampling characteristics, but rather with the average IQ in the sample. This suggests that Lynn and Meisenberg excluded samples of Africans who average IQs above 75 because they deemed these samples unrepresentative on the basis of the samples’ relatively high IQs. We conclude that Lynn and Meisenberg’s unsystematic methods are questionable and their results untrustworthy.

    The guy’s a fraud. And that’s not “ad hominem”. It’s a simple fact.

    Reply

  11. >>> “the north being more germanic and the south being more arab — which is, in fact, the case”

    That’s a blanket statement that’s not entirely accurate. Lombardy probably has a little more Germanic admixture, but other Northern regions don’t. Likewise, Sicily has a little more Arab admixture, but other Southern regions don’t. And regardless, the admixture in both cases is so low that it can hardly be used as a basis to draw sweeping conclusions about the two populations, much less their behavior, achievement, IQs etc.

    Reply

  12. @italianthro – “And regardless, the admixture in both cases is so low that it can hardly be used as a basis to draw sweeping conclusions about the two populations, much less their behavior, achievement, IQs etc.”

    well, if you’re right, then … yay! that leaves more room for my theory to be correct. (^_^)

    Reply

  13. >>> “No, that’s NOT the issue.”

    Yes, it is. This blog post and the discussion that inspired it are about the issue of admixture. You showed up late and started talking about something entirely different.

    I’ve been reading this topic from the beginning and I’ve been following your posts in particular for a while. This blog post is about differing admixture in the various Italian populations—a point that it indeed demonstrated—but the discussion that spawned it was about the genetic differences between the Italian populations and the significance of those differences to Italian society. On THAT point the issue of admixture is an irrelevant red herring, and was IS relevant is that there ARE genetic differences.

    >>> “Richard Lynn isn’t the source of the IQ data, they were drawn from others and are merely summarized by Lynn in the cited paper.”

    Read the link I provided. Lynn’s reviews of the literature are unsystematic and untrustworthy.

    I read that link, did you read the comments on said link? If you didn’t, I think you should, and here’s a few that perfectly capture the situation:

    Your making such a weak argument would hardly affect Lynn’s credibility at best and your criticisms show you don’t understand his work.

    The worst you can find on him is that he had a difficult time finding representive samples from Africa. But it is not representive to put such an emphasis on African test takers when they are part of the more elite. He wants the average iq of each population and obviously different populations have different conditions. This is one of the relationshio be wants to study, iq and gdp. And those studies alone aren’t meant to prove that the inherent iqs are differnt because he knows living conditions affect iq (the reverse is true too!). He uses other studies to understand why countries have different gdps and different iqs. The point is that he wants the average.

    I won’t even get into how he knows the population differences are PARTLY genetic…

    Also, Lynns argument and the relevance of his findings are not even under threat because even the guy who overestimated the African iq, with more elite samples, still cane up with a low number for Africa.

    “Criticism of Lynn’s compilation centred on the small sample sizes of many of the studies, and reservations about their representativeness. However, in those cases where larger, epidemiologically sound methodologies have been employed, the results have often been close to those obtained in the original smaller samples. (Richard Lynn’s contributions to personality and intelligence).”

    “If Lynn’s data is so untrustworthy, how do you explain it’s the predictive power? Here was Rindermann’s latest paper: http://lesacreduprintemps19.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/intellectual-classes-technological-progress-and-economic-development.pdf

    (the abstract of which, btw, says: “Two studies, using a cross-lagged panel design or latent variables and measuring economic liberty, shares of intellectual classes and indicators of scientific-technological accomplishment, show that cognitive ability leads to higher wealth and that for this process the achievement of high ability groups is important, stimulating growth through scientific-technological progress and by influencing the quality of economic institutions. In modernity, wealth depends on cognitive resources enabling the evolution of cognitive capitalism.”)”

    Now, back to the topic at hand:

    “The guy’s a fraud. And that’s not “ad hominem”. It’s a simple fact.”

    Again, none of this is Lynn’s data. If you doubt what he claims, in this case about Italian IQ, you can always check his references yourself. But it seems that what you’re saying is—especially in regard to his analysis about IQs in Italy—is that his work can’t be right not because X,Y, or Z errors in his analysis or his data, but because Lynn said it (and he’s just sooo awful)! Come on now. That’s the definition of an ad hominem my friend. Unless you can tell me what the specific flaws in Lynn’s analysis (that data for which summarized here, as I’ve linked to earlier), then all you have is a bunch of logical fallacies and not an argument.

    Reply

  14. >>> “I’ve been reading this topic from the beginning”

    Then you need to work on your reading comprehension.

    >>> “I read that link, did you read the comments on said link? If you didn’t, I think you should”

    That’s the difference between you and me. I focus on the expert criticism quoted in the blog post, and you focus on the idiotic opinions in the comments section. But yes, I did read the comments on my own blog, and I or other commenters replied to them. Did you read those replies? If you didn’t, I think you should.

    >>> “Again, none of this is Lynn’s data.”

    Um, he manipulates other people’s data too. If you had really read the link I provided, you would know that by now.

    >>> “That’s the definition of an ad hominem my friend. Unless you can tell me what the specific flaws in Lynn’s analysis (that data for which summarized here, as I’ve linked to earlier), then all you have is a bunch of logical fallacies and not an argument.”

    You need to wake up to reality. Lynn has been totally exposed for the fraud that he is, and that has tainted his entire body of work. I don’t have access to all his sources so that I can check for errors and evaluate the research, but given his track record, there’s a high probability that he fudged the data somehow or selected the samples based on their low IQs, regardless of their representativeness, and then omitted all other samples that showed a higher IQ. That’s the kind of thing he does, and as a result, nothing he says can be trusted. Period.

    Reply

  15. >>> “I’ve been reading this topic from the beginning”

    Then you need to work on your reading comprehension.

    Really dude? I’m not going to descend into a personal contest, especially when it’s so much more effective to actually talk about the facts…

    >>> “I read that link, did you read the comments on said link? If you didn’t, I think you should”

    That’s the difference between you and me. I focus on the expert criticism quoted in the blog post, and you focus on the idiotic opinions in the comments section.

    Wow, the messenger really does matter to you more than the message, doesn’t it? You see, I don’t care who/i> makes a claim, I focus instead on the claim’s substance. Being an “expert” doesn’t automatically make one right nor does being a blog commentator automatically make one wrong.

    >>> “That’s the definition of an ad hominem my friend. Unless you can tell me what the specific flaws in Lynn’s analysis (that data for which summarized here, as I’ve linked to earlier), then all you have is a bunch of logical fallacies and not an argument.”

    You need to wake up to reality. Lynn has been totally exposed for the fraud that he is, and that has tainted his entire body of work. I don’t have access to all his sources so that I can check for errors and evaluate the research, but given his track record, there’s a high probability that he fudged the data somehow or selected the samples based on their low IQs, regardless of their representativeness, and then omitted all other samples that showed a higher IQ. That’s the kind of thing he does, and as a result, nothing he says can be trusted. Period.

    Again, I await your analysis of his data for errors. I admit, it’s a pain not having access to a university library, so I understand that limitation, but you’re still saying that he’s gotta be wrong because it’s Lynn. For the record, I’ve seen no sign of the wholesale fraud you accuse Lynn of, at worst a few mistakes here and there and perhaps a lack of meticulousness at times, hardly enough to invalid his claims, even if that was the issue anyway. In any case, I presented enough of Lynn’s data and their sources for you work with. I await to hear what you think about it (beyond Lynn is a you-know-what, I gathered that that was your impression of him already).

    Reply

  16. >>> “Wow, the messenger really does matter to you more than the message, doesn’t it?”

    It depends on who the messenger is. I just found it amusing that your response to four studies thoroughly ripping apart Lynn’s entire body of work was to copy-and-paste a bunch of anonymous rants from Lynn fanboys. Not all messages are equal, you know.

    >>> “For the record, I’ve seen no sign of the wholesale fraud you accuse Lynn of, at worst a few mistakes here and there and perhaps a lack of meticulousness at times”

    Again, I refer you to the comprehensive and devastating criticism by Wicherts et al. They uncovered a lot more than “a few mistakes” and “a lack of meticulousness”. More like fundamental flaws in his methodology, and deceptive tactics in his handling of the data.

    >>> “I presented enough of Lynn’s data and their sources for you work with. I await to hear what you think about it”

    Like I said, I don’t have access to his sources. I won’t accept his word (for obvious reasons), so if you want to offer the data he cites as evidence, then the burden is on you to produce the original sources.

    Reply

  17. >>> “Wow, the messenger really does matter to you more than the message, doesn’t it?”

    It depends on who the messenger is.

    EXACTLY! I’m glad you’re forthcoming about this at least. For the record, in science the messenger should NEVER matter, all that should matter is the data, and ONLY the data. Otherwise, your argument rests on an appeal to authority/ad hominem, which is always a fallacy.

    I just found it amusing that your response to four studies thoroughly ripping apart Lynn’s entire body of work was to copy-and-paste a bunch of anonymous rants from Lynn
    fanboys.

    I find it amusing that you have not addressed the content of these “rants” but rather the people who made them. Amusing, and very telling.

    Not all messages are equal, you know.

    Indeed, but it’s not the messenger that makes them so.

    >>> “For the record, I’ve seen no sign of the wholesale fraud you accuse Lynn of, at worst a few mistakes here and there and perhaps a lack of meticulousness at times”

    Again, I refer you to the comprehensive and devastating criticism by Wicherts et al. They uncovered a lot more than “a few mistakes” and “a lack of meticulousness”. More like fundamental flaws in his methodology, and deceptive tactics in his handling of the data.

    They were at worst some oversights, nothing as damning as you make it out to be. Again, see the comments that address (in other words, if you’re going to keep this up, please BE SPECIFIC about what errors were in Lynn’s work that rendered his claims invalid).

    >>> “I presented enough of Lynn’s data and their sources for you work with. I await to hear what you think about it”

    Like I said, I don’t have access to his sources. I won’t accept his word (for obvious reasons), so if you want to offer the data he cites as evidence, then the burden is on you to produce the original sources.

    Alas, I no longer have access to a university library, or I gladly would for the purposes of satisfying your skepticism. If you don’t want to accept Lynn’s claims because you don’t like/trust him or whatever, that is your prerogative. Do be aware that this does not constitute a valid criticism of his claims, however.

    Reply

  18. >>> “in science the messenger should NEVER matter, all that should matter is the data, and ONLY the data.”

    But when a “scientist” is known to deliberately and repeatedly fudge the data, then the messenger and the message become indistinguishable.

    >>> “I find it amusing that you have not addressed the content of these “rants” but rather the people who made them. Amusing, and very telling.”

    Your poor reading skills are showing again. I or other commenters answered all of those rants. But regardless, the researchers who’ve pored over Lynn’s body of work and meticulously uncovered his many errors and manipulations are much more attention worthy than a bunch of Lynn-apologist, IQ-fetishist keyboard warriors whose defense consists of little more than proclaiming “he’s not that bad”. To wit…

    >>> “They were at worst some oversights, nothing as damning as you make it out to be […] please BE SPECIFIC about what errors were in Lynn’s work that rendered his claims invalid”

    Are you kidding me? I’ve linked you to the relevant passages several times, with the most important lines bolded. I’ve even copied and pasted same in this very thread. Do I have to read them to you like a bedtime story? Lynn cherry-picked samples with low IQs and omitted samples with higher IQs so that he would get the results he wanted. He also used samples of illiterate and disabled people, and of people to whom the test had been administered incorrectly. Wake up!

    >>> “If you don’t want to accept Lynn’s claims because you don’t like/trust him or whatever, that is your prerogative. Do be aware that this does not constitute a valid criticism of his claims, however.”

    Manipulating data has been shown to be a key part of Lynn’s methodology, and his claims are based on said data. That’s a valid criticism and reason enough not to accept them.

    Reply

  19. I’ve linked you to the relevant passages several times, with the most important lines bolded. I’ve even copied and pasted same in this very thread. Do I have to read them to you like a bedtime story? Lynn cherry-picked samples with low IQs and omitted samples with higher IQs so that he would get the results he wanted. He also used samples of illiterate and disabled people, and of people to whom the test had been administered incorrectly.

    Either you’re ignoring what was actually said or you don’t understand. Since you keep recycling this notion about Lynn manipulating his data, allow me to repeat the relevant words on this topic that I posted earlier:

    Also, Lynns argument and the relevance of his findings are not even under threat because even the guy who overestimated the African iq, with more elite samples, still cane up with a low number for Africa.

    “Criticism of Lynn’s compilation centred on the small sample sizes of many of the studies, and reservations about their representativeness. However, in those cases where larger, epidemiologically sound methodologies have been employed, the results have often been close to those obtained in the original smaller samples. (Richard Lynn’s contributions to personality and intelligence).”

    “If Lynn’s data is so untrustworthy, how do you explain it’s the predictive power? Here was Rindermann’s latest paper: http://lesacreduprintemps19.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/intellectual-classes-technological-progress-and-economic-development.pdf

    But regardless, the researchers who’ve pored over Lynn’s body of work and meticulously uncovered his many errors and manipulations are much more attention worthy than a bunch of Lynn-apologist, IQ-fetishist keyboard warriors whose defense consists of little more than proclaiming “he’s not that bad”.

    A rose by any other name, son. An appeal to authority and an ad hominem are still an appeal to authority and an ad hominem no matter what you call them. So let’s get the discussion away from the fallacies and to the facts:

    First of all, let’s note that Wicherts’, Dolan’s, and van der Maas’ (WDM) values for African IQ isn’t all that different from Lynn’s: ~77 vs 70, respectively, which is still considerably lower than the African-American mean. Even if WDM were correct about flaws in Lynn’s methodology (which they’re not), that sub-Saharan Africans have a low average IQ is still clear.

    Lynn himself (along with Gerhard Meisenberg) has responded to the criticism given by WDM. Here’s a passage from their response that summarizes what’s going on well:

    WDM propose nine inclusion criteria for the acceptability of studies of the IQ in sub-Saharan Africa, but these do not include the crucial criterion that the African samples should be representative of the population. This is a strict criterion because there are no perfectly representative samples from sub-Saharan Africa. We therefore have to make judgments on which studies are sufficiently representative to use. We do not follow WDM in rejecting studies in which (1) “Test administration should not be described as problematic” because this means that the samples lacked the cognitive ability to understand the instructions and/or the test was too difficult; (2) sub-Saharan Africans are compared with matched whites, because in some studies this comparison is more appropriate.

    It turns out that what you call data “massaging” is in fact an attempt to get a value that is representative of the true mean, as has been explained to you. As you can see in the paper, the claim by WDM that Lynn manipulated the data deceptively could easily be turned around! At worst, all you have is a difference in methodological approach, of which Lynn & Meisenberg have the more correct approach, considering that the value that L & M found agrees with the results from tests of educational attainment like the TIMSS.
    All of this was discussed thoroughly by Arthur Jensen and J. Philippe Rushton in their review of Richard Nisbett’s book Intelligence and How to Get It. They note that, as I’ve noted before, several other studies done in sub-Saharan Africa (by Africans and non-hereditarians) also observe a mean of ~70:

    Lynn’s reviews covered over two dozen studies from West, Central, East, and Southern Africa, all of which found a low average IQ. Some of these studies had quite large Ns. In Ghana, Glewwe and Jacoby reported a World Bank study of 1,736 11- to 20-year-olds representative of the entire country, all of who had completed primary school, and half of who were attending middle-school. Their mean IQ on the Progressive Matrices was less than 70. In South Africa, Owen examined 1,093 African high school students aged 15-16 years on the Standard Progressive Matrices for which Lynn calculated an IQ of either 63 or 74, depending on the correction for secular trends. Nor should there be any doubt as to the impartiality of the investigators of African IQ as they include both Africans such as Fred Zindi from the University of Zimbabwe and nonhereditarians such as Robert Sternberg. For example, in Kenya, Sternberg and colleagues administered the Progressive Matrices to 85 12- to 15-year-olds who scored an IQ equivalent of about 70. In Tanzania, Sternberg et al. gave the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task to 358 11- to 13-year-olds who received a score equivalent to the 5th percentile on American norms (i.e., IQ = 75).

    As well, Rushton himself once administered Progressive Matricies IQ tests to university students in South Africa. He found µ=84. Since college students are typically 1σ above the mean, this also corroborates a µ of 70.

    I’m just going to hope that now your response won’t be that Rushton and Jensen can’t be trusted, either, for whatever reason….

    And of course, IQ tests are equally predictive of African performance as already stated by Lynn and others and by Rushton and Jensen here.

    Note that this is essentially what I pointed out to you earlier, and pointed out to you again here, as stated in the comments by that “bunch of Lynn-apologist, IQ-fetishist keyboard warriors whose defense consists of little more than proclaiming “he’s not that bad”.”

    I’m hoping that now we can finally put this subject of Lynn’s “fudging” of data to rest, and can move on discuss something substantive about the topic at hand.

    Reply

  20. >>> “An appeal to authority and an ad hominem are still an appeal to authority and an ad hominem no matter what you call them.”

    Neither of those apply here. Wicherts et al. are attention worthy because they put in the work and produced the evidence. The commenters are not because they do nothing but hand-wave and rationalize.

    >>> “First of all, let’s note that Wicherts’, Dolan’s, and van der Maas’ (WDM) values for African IQ isn’t all that different from Lynn’s: ~77 vs 70, respectively”

    Incorrect. Lynn’s estimate is <70 and the actual number is 82. That's almost a full standard deviation and makes a huge difference. The former is borderline retarded, while the latter is low but still normal in light of the Flynn Effect. (Source)

    >>> “It turns out that what you call data “massaging” is in fact an attempt to get a value that is representative of the true mean, as has been explained to you.”

    And as I explained in my comments section and again here, Lynn’s sole criterion for representativeness was the IQ of the sample — if it was low he included it, and if it was high he didn’t. He had no qualms about using samples of mentally and physically disabled people, as well as samples where the test was not administered in its entirety, a time limit was imposed when it shouldn’t have been, proper instructions were not given, or there were a lack of appropriate norms. That’s not “a difference in methodological approach”. It’s fraud, plain and simple.

    >>> “the claim by WDM that Lynn manipulated the data deceptively could easily be turned around!”

    Dream on. Wicherts et al. used all of the “samples that were based on stratified or clustered random sampling and were deemed representative by the original authors”, and then “three independent raters assessed five objective criteria for representativeness of all samples and their ratings showed moderate to almost perfect agreement.”

    >>> “I’m just going to hope that now your response won’t be that Rushton and Jensen can’t be trusted, either, for whatever reason….”

    They can’t…for the same reason.

    >>> “I’m hoping that now we can finally put this subject of Lynn’s “fudging” of data to rest”

    Yes, I’m sure you’d love that. It would be very convenient for you.

    Reply

  21. All right, this is officially getting old.

    Lynn’s estimate is <70 and the actual number is 82. That's almost a full standard deviation and makes a huge difference. The former is borderline retarded, while the latter is low but still normal in light of the Flynn Effect.

    Unfortunately, as we’ve seen, studies that are representative of the population, including those done in semi-developed South Africa (by African researchers) report a mean ~70. As well, it is that number (70) that correlates with other indicators in the continent.

    And as I explained in my comments section and again here, Lynn’s sole criterion for representativeness was the IQ of the sample — if it was low he included it, and if it was high he didn’t.

    That is of course not true, and if you read the papers I directed you to (and understood them), you’d see Lynn’s criterion for inclusion/exclusion. Lynn’s goal was to obtain representative samples, and all the previous postings as well as Lynn’s own words explain his rationale for deciding representativeness.

    >>> “I’m just going to hope that now your response won’t be that Rushton and Jensen can’t be trusted, either, for whatever reason….”

    They can’t…for the same reason.

    Surprise, surprise…

    So wait, I mention Rushton’s and Jensen’s defense of Lynn and his methodology, which was discussed in the former’s critique of Nisbett, and you cite claims from Nisbett from five years earlier? Indeed, R & J responded to Nisbett back in 2005 here.

    A detailed discussion isn’t necessary; it was all contained in Rushton’s and Jensen’s paper. But to recap, here is a summary of Rushton and Jensen’s answers to Nisbett’s claims:
    1. Nisbett claims that Blacks have closed the gap on Whites in IQ scoring in the U.S, and that the Flynn effect would eventually eliminate the entire gap. An analysis of the NAEP tests show no such narrowing, and indeed, Flynn himself has reversed his position on that point.
    2. Nisbett claims that intervention programs can help close the gap. The best of these show little or no change, or change persisting to adulthood. Even if there are tiny changes in say school achievement, since IQ is only part of school achievement, marginal improvement (which come at a high price) is not out of the question.
    3. All of Nisbett’s cited studies on the degree of European admixture among American Blacks are old and outdated. Newer studies do find a relationship between IQ and skin color among Blacks (lighter individuals having higher IQ). Studies of mixed-race children of Black G.I.’s stationed in post-war Germany is suspect because A) the children were young when tested and IQ heritability increase with age B) the Black fathers were a select group as the U.S. Army was more selective by that time C) 20% of the “Black” fathers were in fact French North Africans.
    4. As for Trans-racial adoption studies, data here is fairly scant, but the Minnesota Twin Study, which did a longitudinal study of White, mixed-race and Black children adopted into middle-class White homes did find an IQ cline going White -> mixed -> Black, just as one would expect.

    And finally, bringing this back to topic, this whole foray into the trustworthiness of Lynn (and apparently, anyone who agrees with him, such as Rushton and Jensen) has been one long red-herring, because the topic at hand was the IQ cline in ITALY, to which you still haven’t shown how Lynn is in error about his claim of the lower IQ in southern Italy, which included an actual IQ test done in Sicily (N > 5000) that found µ = 90 (only saying that it MUST be wrong just because—which is hardly scientific).

    On that note, I’m going to end this here, as this doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. You’re not posting anything new, or relevant to the topic. As becomes obvious upon reading some of your writings, you have an agenda against Richard Lynn, so it’s not surprising that you fail to be convinced by the evidence. All the relevant information has been posted here, so readers can decide what is correct for themselves. I’ll leave you to the last word, unless we come back to the topic with something substantive not just ad hominems against Lynn, Rushton, and Jensen.

    Reply

  22. >>> “Unfortunately, as we’ve seen, studies that are representative of the population, including those done in semi-developed South Africa (by African researchers) report a mean ~70.”

    No. That figure is based on Lynn’s cherry-picked and questionable samples. The figure of ~80 is based on a review of all of the literature using random samples and objective criteria for representativeness that were verified by independent raters.

    >>> “That is of course not true”

    Yes, it is:

    The majority of studies on IQ test performance of Africans not taken into account by Lynn (and Vanhanen) and Malloy showed considerably higher average IQs than the studies that they did review. We judge the reviews of Lynn (and Vanhanen) and Malloy to be unsystematic. These authors missed a large part of the literature on IQ testing in Africa, failed to explicate their inclusion and exclusion criteria, and made downward errors in the conversion of raw scores to IQs (Wicherts, 2007).”

    […]

    “We argue that their review of the literature is unsystematic, as it involves the inconsistent use of rules to determine the representativeness and hence selection of samples. […] We found that Lynn and Meisenberg’s assessment of the samples’ representativeness is not associated with any of the objective sampling characteristics, but rather with the average IQ in the sample. This suggests that Lynn and Meisenberg excluded samples of Africans who average IQs above 75 because they deemed these samples unrepresentative on the basis of the samples’ relatively high IQs. We conclude that Lynn and Meisenberg’s unsystematic methods are questionable and their results untrustworthy.

    >>> “Lynn’s goal was to obtain representative samples”

    Mentally disabled people are representative? Groups to whom the test was not administered properly are representative?

    >>> “Surprise, surprise…”

    Rushton and Jensen (like Lynn) are primarily racialists and eugenicists, not scientists. They’re affiliated with organizations like the Pioneer Fund and American Renaissance, and they have plenty of critics.

    >>> “An analysis of the NAEP tests show no such narrowing, and indeed, Flynn himself has reversed his position on that point.”

    Rushton and Jensen don’t refute Dickens and Flynn’s claim that blacks have made gains on whites. They simply re-include the samples that D & F had excluded (for valid reasons), which leads to a lesser narrowing of the black-white IQ gap, but a narrowing nonetheless. Same with Nisbett’s NAEP test scores. Also, D & F responded to their criticism.

    >>> “Newer studies do find a relationship between IQ and skin color among Blacks (lighter individuals having higher IQ).”

    I hope you’re not referring to Lynn’s studies because he used scores on vocabulary tests, not IQs, and the correlation was only 0.17 anyway.

    >>> “you still haven’t shown how Lynn is in error about his claim of the lower IQ in southern Italy, which included an actual IQ test done in Sicily (N > 5000) that found µ = 90”

    Because you still haven’t provided the source. All we have is Lynn’s word, which is obviously not enough.

    Reply

  23. Just responding to this claim:

    >>> “you still haven’t shown how Lynn is in error about his claim of the lower IQ in southern Italy, which included an actual IQ test done in Sicily (N > 5000) that found µ = 90″

    Because you still haven’t provided the source. All we have is Lynn’s word, which is obviously not enough.

    Actually, I did, it was in the link I posted here.

    The citation is (published in Italian):

    Location: Sicily; N=5370; Age=18; Test= Cattell Culture Fair; µ = 90

    Pace, F., & Sprini, G. (1998). A proposito della “fairness” del Culture Fair di
    Cattell. Bollettino di Psicologia Applicata, 227, 77−85.

    Reply

  24. Don’t be dense. I said the source, not just the citation. You’ve still only provided Lynn’s “interpretation” of what’s in that study.

    Anyway, I did your work for you. I don’t have the full text but I found the abstract, and it raises a big red flag:

    Introduzione: La presente ricerca ha lo scopo di dare un contributo alla taratura italiana del Culture Fair Intelligence Test (CF) di Cattell e contestualmente mettere alla prova il grado di fairness (equita’) del test quando somministrato a soggetti appartenenti alla stessa cultura, ma in presenza di condizioni differenti.

    […]

    Metodi: Il campione, costituito da 5370 studenti dell’ultimo anno di diverse scuole secondarie superiori della Sicilia, proviene dalla banca dati del Servizio di Orientamento Scolastico-Professionale dell’Universita’ di Palermo. Sui dati raccolti sono state condotte delle ANOVA prendendo in considerazione le variabili sesso, tipo di scuola frequentata e residenza dei soggetti.

    Risultati: I risultati mostrano come ognuno dei tre fattori presi in considerazione costituisca fonte di variabilita’ per la performance al test. In particolare, il ruolo del tipo di scuola frequentata risulta particolarmente rilevante.

    Conclusioni: Non viene confermata la fairness dello strumento in eta’ scolastica.

    Translation:

    Introduction: This research aims to contribute to the calibration of the Italian Cattell Culture Fair Intelligence Test (CF) and simultaneously to test the degree of fairness (equity) of the test when administered to subjects belonging to the same culture, but in the presence of different conditions.

    […]

    Methods: The sample, consisting of 5370 final year students from different high schools in Sicily, comes from the database of the Service for Scholastic and Professional Orientation at the University of Palermo. ANOVA was conducted on the collected data, taking into account the variables of sex, type of school, and residence of the subjects.

    Results: The results show that each of the three factors taken into consideration constitutes a source of variability for test performance. In particular, the role of the type of school attended is particularly relevant.

    Conclusion: The fairness of this tool for school-age children is not confirmed.

    Reply

  25. @italianthro – “‘…the role of the type of school attended is particularly relevant.'”

    any idea what they mean by “type of school”? because, of course, if we’re talking about differences between, say, expensive, private schools versus public (governmental) schools, well then they could just be picking up on differences in iq between two populations: i.e. the children of high-iq parents being sent to private schools versus the children of lower-iq parents going to public schools, for instance.

    Reply

  26. @Italiananthro

    From what I gleamed of the title of the paper, I pretty much suspected that it said something along that line. I’m only going to assume that I don’t have to tell you that things such as “type of school” and location (wealthier as opposed to poorer towns, let’s say) are expressions of IQ, and not the other way around, as hbd chick pointed out.

    Reply

  27. There’s no evidence that social environments are “expressions of IQ”. Given the well-documented Flynn Effect, it’s much more likely to be the other way around.

    Anyway, the point is that the subjects were selected deliberately for the experiment, not randomly for their representativeness. So comparing them to Northern subjects from other studies who were not selected that way is questionable (like everything Lynn does).

    Reply

  28. @italianthro – “There’s no evidence that social environments are ‘expressions of IQ’.”

    so, you don’t think that successful people have, on average, higher iqs than unsuccessful people?

    Reply

  29. Italiananthro,

    I didn’t realize when I first commented here that you were a full blown HBD-denier, hence the ridiculous comments about Lynn, Rushton, and Jensen, and others. You have posted some complete rubbish that shouldn’t be left unanswered, so I’m going to address it here, and to do so, I’m going to address the subject in a much broader manner.

    Pointing out that Rushton, Jensen, or Lynn have critics, by itself, doesn’t amount to much (ala my earlier mention about the ad hominem/appeal to authority fallacies). They are researchers talking about race differences in an establishment that wants to deny such differences, so of course they have “critics.” The relevant question is whether said criticism has scientific merit, and as we’ve seen, the answer to that question is “not really.”

    There’s no evidence that social environments are “expressions of IQ”.

    Come on son, I’d ask if you seriously believe that, but I’m pretty sure you do. In any case, it’s easily shown to be flat-out wrong, as you can see here, here, or in Jensen’s own 1998 book, The g Factor. High scorers on a broad range of tests such as the SAT, the WISC, or the U.S. Armed Forces Qualifying Test do indeed have better outcomes, on average, than low scorers. (Why do you think the U.S. military uses IQ?)

    Given the well-documented Flynn Effect, it’s much more likely to be the other way around.

    As I said before, Flynn himself no longer believes this point. That is, Flynn doesn’t think that the causes of the Flynn effect are the same as the Black-White gap:

    American blacks are not in a time warp so that the environmental causes of their IQ gap with whites are identical to the environmental causes of the IQ gap between the generations. The race and IQ debate should focus on testing the relevant environmental hypotheses. The Flynn Effect is no shortcut; correlations offered by Rushton and Jensen are no shortcut. There are no shortcuts at all.

    Rushton and Jensen show that the Flynn effect does not indicate increases in g, but rather that IQ tests are slowly losing their g-loadings.

    Yeah, I know, Flynn has responded to R & J, and I know you’re probably going to cite his response, but let’s look at the big picture:

    Flynn’s argument is that the cognitively undemanding environment of Blacks is responsible for the Black-White gap. This argument is basically a last stand for environment-only explanations for the source of racial differences in intelligence, facing the massive and ever increasing evidence for a partial genetic explanation. All these explanations fall short if you look at the totality of the evidence. If a poorly stimulating environment was the source of reduced intelligence of lower achieving groups, then:

    Why do national IQ scores cluster by race?

    Why do Blacks perform poorly on intelligence tests and on real-world indicators the world over? Indeed, why is the racial hierarchy in terms of socioeconomic standing the same no matter where in the world you look?

    What about the fact that lower-IQ groups have smaller brains than higher-IQ groups?

    Why is it that when we look at some of the outliers on the national IQ-GDP per capita curve, we find some countries that have high per capita incomes with low national IQs? That is, why do fairly wealthy countries, such as many of the oil-rich Middle Eastern ones, have less than impressive intellectual performance? If better environments make people smarter, why has this wealth not improved the lot of these people? And conversely, why do the Chinese, even in the impoverished rural areas, score well? More tellingly, why do both these peoples score close to their neighbors, even those of markedly different wealth (i.e., Middle Eastern countries do roughly the same in IQ whether they have oil wealth or not, and the communist Chinese score as well as their capitalist South Korean, Taiwanese, Japanese neighbors)? And of course, why do the Inuit, a people who didn’t have modern amenities until fairly recently, and who today live in considerable poverty (by Western standards) have a fairly high average IQ, at 91, considerably higher than other hunter-gatherers?

    How do you explain the development of nations in modern history? The biggest blow to Flynn’s hope that environmental forces are wholly responsible for the poor performance of lower IQ groups is recent global history. The post WWII-era especially has seen much of the world enter the modern era. Why did some nations, such as South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong (collectively known as the Four Asian Tigers), Finland, and Israel emerge from complete poverty to become highly developed nations today, while others, even those who been free of colonial rule for centuries (e.g., Haiti, much of Latin America) did not (and interestingly, in Latin America, GDP per capita increases as the White fraction of the population increases)? Even more interestingly, why do the “winner” and “loser” nations cluster by race?

    While there have been some attempts to explain away some of these with environment-only explanations, no non-hereditary explanation can account for all these facts. As I said to hbd chick elsewhere, Occam’s Razor is your friend.

    Not to mention that recent direct genetic evidence has established that the MINIMUM heritability of fluid g is 51%, and crystallized g is 40%, so much of this argument is moot.

    Of course, Flynn’s argument is shaky in when talking about reaction time differences, which have found to be highly correlated with IQ (specifically, g), and vary by race as do racial mean IQ’s, with higher scoring groups having shorter reaction times.

    Never mind that one’s earnings are clearly heritable, correlated with IQ, and (surprise, surprise), not affected by shared environmental forces (i.e., parents).

    In your discussion of the subject, you have—as many HBD deniers have—employed the sociologist’s fallacy. Since IQ is highly heritable (70-80% so, in fact), and IQ does have a bearing on income, and income clearly has an impact on place of residence, it necessarily follows that children whose parents come from more affluent areas have higher IQs, on average.

    Anyway, the point is that the subjects were selected deliberately for the experiment, not randomly for their representativeness. So comparing them to Northern subjects from other studies who were not selected that way is questionable

    As for the Italian study, I have obtained a copy of the full-text paper. I have yet to translate it, but from what I’ve seen in the abstract, there’s nothing that indicates that the rather large sample is unrepresentative (nor can I confirm that it is representative). The fact that these are 18 year-old lends to the reliability of the scores (as the heritability of IQ increases with age), and if anything, probably biases the score upward because of student attrition. That they found that average IQ of the students correlate with the place of residence and type of school attended (and apparently, by school major) is precisely what one would expect, as per above.

    So to recap, the methods that Lynn has used to compute the IQ of the various Italian regions are valid, and it is clear that IQ does significantly decrease going north to south. This is should come as no real shock when one considers the economic development of Italy (as seen in this table of unemployment rates across the country) and the contributions of the various Italian regions from the Medieval times onwards. The lion’s share comes from the North and Central parts, cuisine and organized crime notwithstanding.

    Reply

  30. @jayman – sorry ’bout the delay in approving that last comment of yours (all the links meant i had to approve it — *sigh*) — christmas interference. (~_^)

    Reply

  31. With the exception of the ancient Greeks in Southern Italy, historical admixture [including Germanic and “Arab”] in Italy is minimal if not negligible, it wont reach over 5 percent total in any area.

    “An analysis of the genetic makeup of Italy’s modern population argues that the various distinctive genetic combinations currently found in different regions within the peninsula by and large track the linguistic distribution that resulted from the migrations of the Iron Age. No data indicate the subsequent large-scale infusion of new genetic material into the populations of these regions except in the case of southern Italy and eastern Sicily, which is explained by the well-documented Greek migrations there.”

    SOURCE : Rosenstein, Nathan. Rome at War: Farms, Families, and Death in the Middle Republic. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

    Reply

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