irish-american iqs

or wordsum scores, rather.

donnacha thinks that i make too much out of any possible differences between different groups that came Out of Ireland — scots irish vs. native irish, for example.

they look different in the gss though.

if we look at the mean wordsum scores for protestant irish-americans vs. roman catholic irish-americans, they look like this:

protestant irish-americans = 6.08
roman catholic irish-americans = 6.99

now wordsum scores are not the exact equivalents of iq scores, but they are an ok proxy. (to convert wordsum scores to iq scores, see the awesome epigone.) in any case, the point is that the scores between different sub-populations of irish-americans are different.

why? i dunno.

but i can tell you that the largest group of gss protestant-irish (24% of the total) is found in the south atlantic region of the u.s. (virginia, west virgina, the carolinas, etc.) and another 14% are in the east south central region (kentucky, tennessee, etc.), so i’m gonna call this group as being largely scots-irish — hackett fischer’s backcountry folks.

meanwhile, a full 32% of gss roman catholic irish-americans grew up in the mid-atlantic region (new york, new jersey, pennsylvania). another 21% are in the east north central region (illinois, wisconsin, michigan). by virtue of their religion and their settlement patterns, i’m gonna call this group as being largely native irish.

so i think that there are differences between scots-irish folks and native irish — at least in the u.s.

why there should be a difference in iq between the two groups, i’m not sure. inbreeding depression? the native irish and the lowland scots (the ancestors of the scots-irish) both had long histories of inbreeding. and a lot of the scots-irish in the u.s. certainly kept right on inbreeding after they got here. but the irish back in ireland seem to have still been inbreeding probably into the late nineteenth/early twentieth century, too. not by the mid-twentieth century, though.

dunno. that might not be it at all. perhaps the roman catholic irish simply started outbreeding more once they got to the u.s. unlike the scots-irish. again, dunno. maybe it’s something else.
_____

speaking of protestant vs. roman catholic iqs, here are the wordsum scores for german-americans:

protestant german-americans = 6.17
roman-catholic german-americans = 6.50

_____

gss nesstar searches:

1) RACE (OF RESPONDENT) + ETHNIC (COUNTRY OF FAMILY ORIGIN) + RELIGION (IN WHICH RAISED) + WORDSUM
2) REGION OF RESIDENCE (AGE 16) + RACE (OF RESPONDENT) + ETHNIC (COUNTRY OF FAMILY ORIGIN) + RELIGION (IN WHICH RAISED)

(note: comments do not require an email. hbd mistress. eeek!)

109 Comments

  1. Per the GSS data-
    Percentage of Irish-Americans with a four year degree or higher – 32.2%
    Percentage of Irish-Americans who graduated high-school – 91.9%

    Both of these figures are pretty normal for American whites. Not high, not low.

    Percentage of Scots-Irish with a four year degree or greater – 39.7%
    Percentage of Scots-Irish who graduated high-school – 94.5%

    Both are higher than average.

    On the other hand, the Irish out-earn the Scots-Irish. What does it all mean? I’m not sure. I suspect that part of what it means is that the word-sum data is not very useful though.

    Reply

  2. This is my post over at AE in response to Anonymous post:

    rjp said…

    I am going to back up Anonymous here, “All else being equal, a group of people living in an urban area will have a higher income, a higher average educational level, and a higher wordsum score than a group in a rural area.

    What Unz cannot wrap his head around is that this does not mean that the urban group is more intelligent. His innate liberalism keeps leading him to faulty lines of thought.”

    While the Wordsum test may be accurate in testing IQ among more learned individuals, it would be useless among the highly intelligent who were not avid readers. Vocabulary is learned for the most part, the ability to fit shapes together is cognitive (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children).

    I have never taken a Wordsum. AE (I think) gave me this link for another test a few months ago: http://www.eskimo.com/~miyaguch/schmies.html

    Something I thought of while I was making a sandwich — how do people of moderate intelligence (by standard testing methods), but who speak multiple languages (say Greek, Italian, and English), do on the Wordsum — that would probably be the control for determining it’s reliability, I would think.
    7/30/12 10:38 AM
    Anonymous said…

    On this very site there was a breakdown of wordsum projected IQ’s by occupation, which found that librarians and schoolteachers are “more intelligent” than engineers and electricians.

    I’m here to tell you that they are not. Librarians and schoolteachers are more likely to know the meanings of the sorts of words which appear on wordsum tests, but that’s all you can conclude.

    Now what would the primary difference be between Protestants and Catholics?

    Public school vs. parochial school.

    As I said above, I have not done the WordSum, but, for the record, I have had the WISC and the Stanford-Binet administered to me.

    Reply

  3. @rjp – “Public school vs. parochial school.”

    you’re saying that roman catholic irish-americans tend to get a better edumacation than protestant irish-americans?

    could be.

    Reply

  4. “perhaps the roman catholic irish simply started outbreeding more once they got to the u.s. unlike the scots-irish”

    The early arrivals who had been farmers back home could become farmers in the US. The later arrivals who had been farmers back home couldn’t do that because the land was already taken so they stayed in the cities.

    Result: early arrivals from low pop. density rural regions in Europe moved to medium pop. density rural regions in the US. Later arrivals moved from low pop. density rural regions back home to high pop. density urban regions (apart from Chinese / Japanese rice farmers who moved from high pop. density rural regions to high pop. density urban ones so nothing changed.)

    That’d be my guess (for part of it).

    Reply

  5. protestant irish-americans = 6.08, roman catholic irish-americans = 6.99

    That’s an enormously wide Wordsum-IQ gap between the “real Irish” and the Scots-Irish, in favor of the former. But in Ireland itself, weren’t the Scots-Irish dominant for centuries, much better educated, and generally wealthier?

    I hate to sound like a one-trick pony, but I’ll bet you’d find something pretty interesting if the checked the rural/urban skew of the Irish Irish versus the Scots-Irish. I’m not cheating since I haven’t myself run the GSS for that calculation…

    Reply

  6. >>” But in Ireland itself, weren’t the Scots-Irish dominant for centuries, much better educated, and generally wealthier?”

    They were (and still are, in the North) in power, with all that implies in terms of wealth and education. That’s not necessarily indicative of greater intelligence though, only of greater power.

    Reply

  7. Irish and Scotch-Irish data in one page.

    http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_10_SF4_DP02&prodType=table

    To reproduce, go here.

    http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/searchresults.xhtml?ref=ci&refresh=t#none

    Then select “Irish” and “Scots-Irish” where prompted to “select race or ethnic groups”. The data you want is then in “DP02 – Selected Social Characteristics in the United States”

    The data indicates that the Scotch-Irish are a lot more likely to serve in the military. Perhaps this background has some bearing on their word sum scores. I served myself and not a lot of military people can use “jejune” correctly. That’s not a reflection on their intelligence, it’s a reflection on the sorts of words which are useful for them to know given the career they are engaged in.

    I believe the wordsum scores are bound to reflect an occupational bias. AE did a post on wordsum score by occupation, and the results were distinctly odd.

    Reply

  8. @ron – “I hate to sound like a one-trick pony, but I’ll bet you’d find something pretty interesting if the checked the rural/urban skew of the Irish Irish versus the Scots-Irish. I’m not cheating since I haven’t myself run the GSS for that calculation…”

    how’d i know you were going to say that? (~_^)

    ok. i’ll check.

    Reply

  9. @ron – “I hate to sound like a one-trick pony, but I’ll bet you’d find something pretty interesting if the checked the rural/urban skew of the Irish Irish versus the Scots-Irish. I’m not cheating since I haven’t myself run the GSS for that calculation…”

    nesstar search terms: RACE + ETHNIC + RELIG16 + RES16

    total protestant irish-americans = 2463
    total roman catholic irish-americans = 1840

    rural protestant irish-americans = 38%
    urban protestant irish-americans = 62%

    rural roman catholic irish-americans = 12%
    urban roman catholic irish-americans = 88%

    point to ron? (~_^)

    Reply

  10. Here’s the most surprising thing I found in looking at this database. I had always assumed that people who described themselves as “Italian-American” or “Greek-American” or “Scotch-Irish” were drawn from the lower classes. But the opposite is the case. Within the overall white population, people who identify themselves as part of an ethnic group consistently outperform – in educational levels and income – those who self-identify as just “white” and “American”. This seems to have some serious implications for the notion of the melting pot.

    Reply

  11. I don’t doubt that urban members of population X will tend to have better wordsum scores than rural members of population X.

    I do doubt that this reflects a difference in intelligence.

    Reply

  12. @frank – “Within the overall white population, people who identify themselves as part of an ethnic group consistently outperform – in educational levels and income – those who self-identify as just ‘white’ and ‘American’.”

    yes. somebody else mentioned this in a comment somewhere along the lines in this discussion — i don’t recall if it was here or on another blog. (maybe it was you?)

    Reply

  13. @frank – “I don’t doubt that urban members of population X will tend to have better wordsum scores than rural members of population X.”

    and there’s still also the problem of which direction is this working (which ron hasn’t answered to my satisfaction): are people in urban areas becoming smarter, or are smart people moving to urban areas?

    i’d need to see more definitive early iq measurements.

    Reply

  14. @ron – “But in Ireland itself, weren’t the Scots-Irish dominant for centuries, much better educated, and generally wealthier?”

    the wealthiest of the wealthy were the anglo-irish — the protestant ascendancy crew. the scots-irish (ulster-scots) were certainly better off than the native irish, but i don’t know how really wealthy they ever were. the ulster-irish always struck me more as a yeoman class — free men but hard-working farmers mostly.

    Reply

  15. nesstar search terms: RACE + ETHNIC + RELIG16 + RES16 + WORDSUM

    total rural protestant irish-americans = 443 (21% of total irish-americans)
    total urban protestant irish-americans = 755 (36%)

    total rural roman catholic irish-americans = 98 (5%)
    total urban roman catholic irish-americans = 810 (39%)

    rural protestant irish-american mean wordsum = 5.64
    urban protestant irish-american mean wordsum = 6.33

    rural roman catholic irish-american mean wordsum = 6.16
    urban roman catholic irish-american mean wordsum = 7.11

    Reply

  16. hbdchick: point to ron? (~_^)

    Ha, ha…

    But actually, I really do owe you one…

    I’d vaguely assumed all the “Irish” were Irish-Irish, and hadn’t bothered checking the religion. But you did and discovered that a good slice of them are almost certainly Scots-Irish.

    Now the overall “Irish” category has pretty good Wordsum-IQ, certainly above the white average though not hugely above. However, you found that the Irish-Irish have an *outstanding* Wordsum-IQ of 6.99, which I think is above the English/Welsh, Scots, Yugoslavs, and every other white ethnic group I checked. So America’s Irish-Irish are maybe about just about the smartest whites in the whole country, which seems a little odd since Lynn found that the Irish back in Ireland were the dumbest whites in all Europe.

    Hmmm… Back when Lynn was doing his research and sadly concluded that the Irish needed lots of sterilizations, Ireland was one of the most rural parts of Europe, and your figures indicate that the Irish-Irish are just about the most urbanized white ethnic group in America. What a really weird coincidence…

    Reply

  17. If population density effects the lifting of pre-existing inbreeding depression and the earlier waves of immigrants settled the farmland in the east of the country leaving the later waves of immigrants to settle in the cities then the inbreeding depression of the later arrivals would lift more (unless the pop. density of the farming regions along the east coast was large enough to have the same effect.)

    However as the frontier was moving west for a long time and immigration continued for a long time then if the lifting of inbreeding depression model is part of this and *if* the percentage of the later waves (German / Irish / Polish / Italian etc) who are rural now increases at variable rates along a west to east cline then their wordsum scores might decline in proportion as you went west also.

    There’s a lot of ways this could be distorted of course especially by California as i assume a lot of migration there was only about filling up farmland in the early days.

    Reply

  18. “So America’s Irish-Irish are maybe about just about the smartest whites in the whole country, which seems a little odd since Lynn found that the Irish back in Ireland were the dumbest whites in all Europe.”

    Ireland was one of the most rural parts of Europe, and your figures indicate that the Irish-Irish are just about the most urbanized white ethnic group in America.”

    Why is that odd? Are you saying Lynn’s data – which supports the view that urbanization is a critical factor – is still bad despite it supporting your view that urbanization is a critical factor?

    Surely you should now be celebrating Lynn’s data as evidence of the importance of urbanization?

    Your original point was that the situation in America disproved Lynn’s data and the genetic case for IQ. We’ve now half overturned that and we have a possible explanation for why Lynn’s data was correct. The question remaining is whether urbanization is a critical factor for genetic or environmental reasons (or a bit of both).

    Reply

  19. @ron – “So America’s Irish-Irish are maybe about just about the smartest whites in the whole country, which seems a little odd since Lynn found that the Irish back in Ireland were the dumbest whites in all Europe.”

    i’m still not convinced that the irish-irish who immigrated to the u.s. from 1840-whatever until today had that 1970s average iq of 87.

    there must be more early iq test results out there than just kirkpatrick (who didn’t have anything on the irish). weren’t they sorta nuts for intelligence tests in the 1920s and 1930s? you should look for more results, wherever they may be. hiding out in archives somewhere? dunno.

    @ron – “But actually, I really do owe you one…”

    i’ll remember that. (~_^)

    Reply

  20. again we shouldn’t get too caught up by Wordsum. Irish-irish (and Celts in general) were always considered good with words, but not good with planning & practical stuff. Vice versa for scots irish. It seems another stereotype is confirmed.

    As the great Anglo-Irish George Bernard Shaw wrote:

    HIGGINS. Pickering: this chap has a certain natural gift of rhetoric. …”I’m willing to tell you: I’m wanting to tell you: I’m waiting to tell you.” Sentimental rhetoric! That’s the Welsh strain in him. It also accounts for his mendacity and dishonesty.

    PICKERING. Oh, PLEASE, Higgins: I’m west country myself.

    Reply

  21. The Irish have a specific cultural predilection for verbal fluency. It’s difficult to be scientific in measuring this, but if you look at the Irish contribution to English literature, and remember how small Ireland’s total population is, there could be something to it. Think of James Joyce, Seamus Heaney etc. I don’t think it’s a general tendency across all cognate endeavours. It’s quite specific to linguistic endeavours.

    Reply

  22. HBDChick: i’m still not convinced that the irish-irish who immigrated to the u.s. from 1840-whatever until today had that 1970s average iq of 87…there must be more early iq test results out there…weren’t they sorta nuts for intelligence tests in the 1920s and 1930s?

    I doubt there’s any low-IQ quantitative data to be found on the American Irish. Don’t forget that the Irish arrived far earlier than almost all of the other groups except for the Germans, mostly between about 1840 and 1880 I think. Since they became overwhelmingly urban, any hypothetical “urbanization effect” would have already manifested itself by the time IQ testing got really going in the 1920s, and the Kirkpatrick data and WWI testing data seems to show the Irish as being smart or at least normal compared with Southern and Eastern European immigrants, who tested *very* low. However, there’s a *vast* quantity of anecdotal reporting (collected by Sowell and others) indicating that the Irish seemed pretty “stupid” when they first arrived, which tends to support my hypothesis.

    Consider also that the Irish and the Germans arrived at the same time, and according to all anecdotal reports, the Germans were “smart” and the Irish were “stupid.” The Germans tended to buy farmland and become rural, while the impoverished Irish stayed in the cities and became (extremely) urban. And the Wordsum-IQ of the (Catholic) Irish these days is far higher than the Germans. Hmmm…

    Greying Wanderer: Why is that odd? Are you saying Lynn’s data – which supports the view that urbanization is a critical factor – is still bad despite it supporting your view that urbanization is a critical factor?…Your original point was that the situation in America disproved Lynn’s data and the genetic case for IQ.

    I think you’re a bit confused. I’ve never claimed that Lynn’s (large sample-size) data was “bad”, just that it actually tended to support my theory rather than his (and yours). After all, the vast majority of the evidence in my article came straight from Lynn.

    It seems the main fallback against accepting my rural/urban theory in these comments is now “inbreeding depression.” But I think I’ve now demonstrated that Flynn-adjusted Irish IQ rose by about 13 points in 30 years between 1972 and the mid-2000s. Did the Irish really still have enormously high inbreeding as late as the 1960s, and it all disappeared within a generation? Clicking a comment link, I discovered that this very website had last year had a posting demonstrating that first-cousin-marriages in Ireland had dropped to 0.16% by the 1960s, so inbreeding-depression goes totally out the window.

    The PISA tests show that the Germans are smarter than the Irish in Europe these days. But in America, the (Catholic) Irish have much higher Wordsum-IQ than the Germans. Is there any evidence that the Germans in America have become heavy inbreeders?

    I’d say that resistence to my rural/urban hypothesis may be moving toward the endgame…

    Reply

  23. @hbd chick. Personally I have never been able to tell that any one group was smarter than any other. I don’t deny it. I just have never seen it. On the other hand some people seem to enjoy working their minds. Things may have changed, but not that long ago, the Southeast US (which includes a lot of Scotch Irish, were producing more jokes and more music than any other place in the world. And while most smugglers rely on stealth or on corrupting officials, the mountain boys perfected the high compression engine and simplhy drove away from the revenuers.
    Somebody once declared himself to be the poet laureat of the South. One of his compositions:
    “Alas for the South, it is too true,
    She ain’t too much for the literachoo. ”
    Another:
    “Alas for the South, there’s nothing truer.
    She ain’t too much for the literature.”
    See what I mean? The joy is there. The brains, well, ….

    Reply

  24. rural roman catholic irish-american mean wordsum = 6.16
    urban roman catholic irish-american mean wordsum = 7.11

    This could again amount to the difference between public schools vs. parochial school.
    Or it could point to “word” learning vs. practical learning.

    FTR, I am a product of a public school. We hatched chicks in 5th grade in an incubator. Unless you have access to fresh unrefrigerated eggs you can’t do that.

    Reply

  25. “I’ve never claimed that Lynn’s (large sample-size) data was “bad””

    So you accept Lynn’s base data as valid?

    .
    “just that it actually tended to support my theory rather than his (and yours).”

    Not mine. People on here have been suggesting for a long time that the medieval manorial explosion in northern Europe due to the invention of the heavy plow was effectively a mini-urbanization event which brought a lot of inbred peasants from old settlements into new settlements and that, combined with the Catholic Church’s ban on cousin marriage, is what sparked the European explosion.

    My personal opinion is that there are latitudinal IQ bands (for a bunch of possible reasons) which can be depressed by various things, especially inbreeding, which i think has both the standard near cousin form where you get two copies of a particularly bad gene and a more general form where populations get a slow buildup of what Cochran calls junk dna i.e. dna with a very small negative effect on their own but a big collective effect, which particularly effects very small breeding populations i.e. those that existed in most times and places in human history until relatively recently.

    .
    “But I think I’ve now demonstrated that Flynn-adjusted Irish IQ rose by about 13 points in 30 years between 1972 and the mid-2000s.”

    Wasn’t that Lynn?

    .
    “Did the Irish really still have enormously high inbreeding as late as the 1960s, and it all disappeared within a generation?”

    Well that would be an excellent question to ask. Does the effect of having a very small breeding population over a very long period of time create a version of inbreeding depression of IQ (or height) similar but different to first cousin marriage and how quickly can it dissipate if you take the inbred populations of remote villages in Ireland and mix them up in Brooklynn?

    Reply

  26. oops, forgot a bit

    “I’d say that resistence to my rural/urban hypothesis may be moving toward the endgame”

    from

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/race-iq-and-wealth/

    “Similarly, much of the evidence accumulated by the leading advocates of the innateness of IQ, such as the Pioneer Fund, comes from twin adoption studies, which seem to show that individuals’ IQ and personality traits are far closer to those of their fraternal or (especially) identical twins raised apart than to unrelated foster siblings or parents, and this pattern of similarity grows steadily stronger over time. Not unreasonably, many psychometric experts have argued that these results prove that IQ is largely determined by genetic factors and cannot be changed via environmental influences within any normal range. Lynn and Vanhanen cite several of these studies to argue that IQ is at least 80 percent hereditary.

    These individual results, usually based on relatively small statistical samples of adopted twins or siblings, seemingly demonstrate the extreme rigidity of IQ—the “Strong IQ Hypothesis”—while we have also seen the numerous examples above of large populations whose IQs have drastically shifted over relatively short periods of time. How can these contradictory findings be squared? I do not have the solution, but it would seem a very worthwhile subject for further research, on both theoretical and practical grounds.

    Quite.

    Reply

  27. >>”So you accept Lynn’s base data as valid?”

    Lynn’s base data is not especially “valid” for the purpose of determining national IQs. It can still be valid for the various purposes for which it was gathered by the original researchers.

    Reply

  28. >>”The PISA tests show that the Germans are smarter than the Irish in Europe these days. But in America, the (Catholic) Irish have much higher Wordsum-IQ than the Germans.”

    The difference in PISA scores between Irish and Germans is trivial. But it favors the Irish over the German, not the Germans over the Irish. Rindermann looked at PISA scores and calculated the IQ by country. He arrived at 99.9 for Ireland and 99.1 for Germany.

    http://iratde.org/issues/1-2009/tde_issue_1-2009_03_rindermann_et_al.pdf

    As for wordsum scores, you rely far too much on this highly unreliable metric. German-Americans graduate high-school and college at the same ate as do Irish-Americans. That would be a startling result, if German-Americans had a lower IQ. The fact is that they don’t. Your analysis of data continues to be amazingly poor.

    Reply

  29. >>”in America, the (Catholic) Irish have much higher Wordsum-IQ than the Germans.”

    Higher? Yes. Much higher? No. You attribute vast importance to minor differences.

    Reply

  30. >>” I think I’ve now demonstrated that Flynn-adjusted Irish IQ rose by about 13 points in 30 years between 1972 and the mid-2000s”

    You have done nothing of the sort. Your stubborn refusal to acknowledge your errors no matter how often or how many people point them out to you is rather exasperating.

    Reply

  31. Ron Unz is a stupid person. I don’t say that to be rude or uncivil, I mean it as a literal statement of fact.

    No matter how many times his extremely large mistakes are pointed out to him, he just charges on ahead as if what he is saying has not already been refuted. His response to people pointing out his errors is to pretend it never happened!

    Unz does act as a useful illustration of why America’s ruling class is so dysfunctional. The unwillingness – the inability – to accept any negative feedback is truly remarkable.

    Reply

  32. >>”So America’s Irish-Irish are maybe about just about the smartest whites in the whole country, which seems a little odd since Lynn found that the Irish back in Ireland were the dumbest whites in all Europe.”

    Lynn did not “find” that the Irish in Ireland were the dumbest whites in all Europe. Lynn’s data cannot be used to draw any such conclusions.

    You just keep pretending to ignore me, and I’ll keep pointing out what a charlatan you are.

    Reply

  33. >”‘Back when Lynn was doing his research and sadly concluded that the Irish needed lots of sterilizations”

    “Sadly”? As an Ulster Protestant Lynn was about as “sad” to suggest that the Irish should be sterilized as the Nazis were to suggest that the Jews needed a final solution.

    Sadly!

    Reply

  34. Greying Wanderer>>”Are you saying Lynn’s data – which supports the view that urbanization is a critical factor ..”

    Lynn’s data does NOT support the view that urbanization is a critical factor. Perhaps you have been misled by Ron’s cherry-picking of that data. While Lynn’s numbers do appear to suggest that in some countries urbanization coincided with an increase in IQ, in other countries the reverse appears to happen. I say “appear” with good reason, since in no case does the data say anything like this. The data in question were not national IQ tests. It is that fact which explains the seemingly odd rapid shifts in IQ both up and down.

    Reply

  35. Frank
    “Lynn’s data does NOT support the view that urbanization is a critical factor. Perhaps you have been misled by Ron’s cherry-picking of that data.”

    I’m not misled. You’re talking about the data. I’m talking about the logic of statements.

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  36. Frank: The difference in PISA scores between Irish and Germans is trivial. But it favors the Irish over the German… “in America, the (Catholic) Irish have much higher Wordsum-IQ than the Germans.”—Higher? Yes. Much higher? No. You attribute vast importance to minor differences…Your stubborn refusal to acknowledge your errors no matter how often or how many people point them out to you is rather exasperating…Ron Unz is a stupid person

    Well, I may or may not be a stupid person—I really can’t say. But I do think the evidence favors my position on your more substantive points.

    First, when someone supposedly bothered breaking out the native European PISA scores, the Germans ended up right near the top, far above the Irish, when all the PISA subcategories were averaged:

    Second, I got a Wordsum-IQ of 6.25 for German-Americans on the GSS, while the host of this website got a Wordsum-IQ of 6.99 for (Catholic) Irish-Americans, which corresponds to over one-third of an SD, or well over 5 IQ points. Whether a white ethnic IQ gap of 5+ points is big or small is obviously subjective, but please do consider that it’s about two-thirds of the Wordsum-IQ gap currently separating American-born Mex-Ams and non-Hispanic whites.

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  37. Mr. Unz,

    On-going errors in your analysis:

    1. Ethnic identities of White Americans as reported by the GSS are to a degree unreliable—certainly to the extent that you’re trying to use them. This has been mentioned numerous times.

    2. The WORDSUM score does not correlate highly enough with IQ to be taken as a set-in-stone measure. As such, a difference of less than one 1 point on the average score between groups is really meaningless—at least for your purposes.

    3. As Razib Khan discovered, Whites of the same ethnic group have vastly different WORDSUM scores, depending on region, being reliably lower for all groups in the South. This should demonstrate the problems of relying too heavily on WORDSUM to tease out fine differences between different groups.

    4. As for the urban-rural effect, where it even exists at all—which is by no means clear at this point—is very easy to explain, as HBD Chick did above:

    and there’s still also the problem of which direction is this working (which ron hasn’t answered to my satisfaction): are people in urban areas becoming smarter, or are smart people moving to urban areas?

    This is plainly evident if your urban area is say New York City and the adjacent suburban counties, or Washington, D.C. and its surrounding suburbs. (Who do you think lives in Manhattan south of 96th St?)

    It seems to me that if your efforts were directed elsewhere as you continue to become more familiar with this stuff through debating it, you might actually be able to make some useful discoveries.

    Reply

  38. You can look at the NAEP data explorer (http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/naepdata/dataset.aspx) and check out the differences between urban and rural, both nationally and in a state, as the variable “school location” (under school factors).

    Basically no difference as far as I can tell in the categories I first looked at, between city and rural in raw terms, still –

    Looking at Grade 12 reading, on the basis that it is an OK proxy for wordsum.

    There is a small difference within Whites, Asians, Blacks if we control for race within the city, suburb, town and rural categories. About a 1/4 sd (or 3.75 IQ points, scaled) between city Whites and rural Whites, the same within Asian/PIs and slightly less than that within blacks and Amerinds. ‘panics are flat. And the Asian/PI and White groups score the same for the same urbanisation status.

    The same is true for maths, except that Asian/PI score about 1/3 sd higher than Whites of the same urbanisation status.

    Not sure how supportive this is of anything! Kind of bad for the idea that Hispanics are backward because they are rural, but supportive of a slight enrichment of ability in urban locations for all other ethnic groups.

    Of course, education is a poorer proxy for IQ than the likes of Wordsum…

    Reply

  39. @georgesdelatour – “Think of James Joyce, Seamus Heaney etc.”

    my favorite poetic image eveh (i think) was conjured up by seamus heaney:

    “…You are my palpable, lithe
    Otter of memory
    In the pool of the moment,

    Turning to swim on your back,
    Each silent, thigh-shaking kick
    Re-tilting the light,
    Heaving the cool at your neck.

    And suddenly you’re out,
    Back again, intent as ever,
    Heavy and frisky in your freshened pelt,
    Printing the stones.”

    delightful!

    Reply

  40. @anon123 – “Irish-irish (and Celts in general) were always considered good with words, but not good with planning & practical stuff. Vice versa for scots irish. It seems another stereotype is confirmed.”

    well, these wordsum scores might (might) reflect one side of this equation. it’d be nice/interesting to have some iq scores showing the more practical side of the scots irish (if the stereotype is true).

    Reply

  41. @ron – “I doubt there’s any low-IQ quantitative data to be found on the American Irish.”

    well, for other groups then. i’m just saying that you need more evidence for your purported early low iq scores of rural europeans as they landed in the u.s. they don’t need to be irish. i was just thinking that there must be more test scores out there somewhere. collecting dust in archives is my bet.

    @ron – “However, there’s a *vast* quantity of anecdotal reporting (collected by Sowell and others) indicating that the Irish seemed pretty ‘stupid’ when they first arrived, which tends to support my hypothesis. Consider also that the Irish and the Germans arrived at the same time, and according to all anecdotal reports, the Germans were ‘smart’ and the Irish were ‘stupid.'”

    what sort of stupid behaviors appear in the anedotal evidence? was it, for example, that the irish could only be taught read with much difficulty as opposed to the germans? or was it that the irish exhibited stupid behaviors like fighting at the drop of a hat or being unable to hold a peaceable townhall meeting?

    i just wonder if the stupid behaviors have to do with the stuff discussed around here a lot: that inbred groups are not “civil” in the way that nw europeans understand it. the irish might’ve seemed stupid to anglo-americans ’cause they (the irish) were clannish and didn’t manage to behave properly in civic society, whereas the outbred germans would’ve had no problems with that.

    just a thought.

    (i got my own hobbyhorse. (~_^) )

    Reply

  42. @ron – “Clicking a comment link, I discovered that this very website had last year had a posting demonstrating that first-cousin-marriages in Ireland had dropped to 0.16% by the 1960s, so inbreeding-depression goes totally out the window.”

    no it doesn’t. not since the irish population had been inbreeding for at least a couple of thousand years before that, prolly right up until the twentieth century (see the links for the irish in the left-hand column below).

    a couple of generations of non-consanguineous marriage in the first half of the twentieth century most likely would not — could not — have gotten rid of all the depressive effects of all that inbreeding, especially when the mating patterns were still very local and, therefore, very endogamous (i.e. likely third- or fourth-cousin marriages, or something along those lines).

    now, by 2012, with a good century of outbreeding behind them plus lots of population movement in the modern era … that could be quite a different story.

    and a big point here is that the irish in moving to the new world might’ve really started outbreeding there (here!). dunno. remains to be seen.

    Reply

    1. @hbd mistress “a couple of generations of non-consanguineous marriage in the first half of the twentieth century most likely would not — could not — have gotten rid of all the depressive effects of all that inbreeding” I have heard that idea before. It was in the movie “The Hawaiians.” The Charleton Heston character had married a Hawaiian woman, who promptly went insane. His explanation was that one of her parents had been Hawaiian royalty, among whom there was a lot of inbreeding, which causes insanity, and so that was where her madness came from. I thought, “Stuff and nonsense. Any genetic effect of inbreeding is instantly reversed in the first generation of outbreeding. It’s straightforeward Mendel.” Since then I have seen the same thing written by those far more qualified than I. But if you were to invoke methylation, then all bets are off. There just might be a more durable effect. But nobody has even worked this out in fertility, which is easy to quantitate, much less intelligence. Give me a few months and I may have something to offer.

      At the same time, contemporary data says that rural born Americans in cities have less schizophrenia then urban born, and Darwin’s own son compared the incidence of “insanity” among the inbred as distinct from the average and found sure enough there was less insanity among couples who shared a last name. That’s mental illness and not the current topic. But rural folk keep coming up with amazing stuff. It was the hillbillies who perfected the modern car engine. It was the inbred and starving Scots who accomplished the things outlined in “How the Scots Created the Modern World,” and they say the Hungarians, at the time the poorest of Europe, contributed most to the introduction of the atomic age.

      A few geniuses does not mean a higher average, of course.

      The Scotch Irish do seem to turn up in trailer parks, so high IQ yeilds high income would mean we aren’t that bright. There is a cultural element there. For a thousand years or so we could be pretty confident our homes would be burnt out every generation or two by either the thrice acursed English or the thrice accursed Scots, so there is a bias toward maintaining a low profile. We act poor even if we’re not.

      What is the intelligent choice? After a lifetime of gruelling work, independent thinking and struggling to be as respectable as my Brahmin ancestors, I begin to see the appeal of living poor and drinking your life away. So the task at hand, trying to relate anything else to mental acuity, is going to monumentally difficult. I think we could all cut each other a lot more slack.

      Reply

  43. @ron – “It seems the main fallback against accepting my rural/urban theory in these comments is now ‘inbreeding depression.'”

    my main “fallback” is still that you haven’t shown that the iqs of the immigrant irish or italians (or greeks or yugoslavs) was, in fact, low back in the day.

    for the irish, i’ve repeated several times now (and anatoly has brought this up, too) that the only iq score you’ve got for them from the 1970s (87) might be a reflection of a brain drain that happened between ca. 1840-now. but you just keep ignoring this point.

    plus everything jayman said above.

    Reply

  44. @frank – “As an Ulster Protestant Lynn….”

    heh. i was wondering when someone would notice that/point it out. yeah, lynn might be personally biased against the irish. he might not be, of course. but it’s … tricky … to take his word on the matter, i think, given his own ethnic background (and the centuries of animosity between the two groups there).

    otoh, the data (the 87 score from the 1970s) i’m willing to believe — even though it was collected as part of a master’s thesis.

    Reply

  45. @matt – “Looking at Grade 12 reading, on the basis that it is an OK proxy for wordsum.”

    oh, no! not a proxy for a proxy! (~_^)

    seriously — thanks for that link! (^_^)

    Reply

  46. >>”First, when someone supposedly bothered breaking out the native European PISA scores, the Germans ended up right near the top, far above the Irish”

    Your understanding of the word “far” leaves a lot to be desired. The difference between the German and Irish PISA scores on the chart you linked to is about 4-5%. That’s 4-5% of PISA scores, not of IQ. But I don’t doubt that German IQ is slightly higher than that of the Irish, or that of most other Europeans.

    >>”I got a Wordsum-IQ of 6.25 for German-Americans on the GSS, while the host of this website got a Wordsum-IQ of 6.99 for (Catholic) Irish-Americans, which corresponds to over one-third of an SD, or well over 5 IQ points.”

    AE looked at ethnic groups in the US, and found no such difference.

    http://anepigone.blogspot.com/2012/07/iq-estimates-from-wordsum-scores-by.html

    But that’s almost beside the point. As I’ve been pointing out – to the sound of crickets – the wordsum test is a poor indicator of IQ. We should expect that IQ is a good predictor of both academic success and economic performance. Conversely, we should expect that academic success and economic performance reflects IQ. And if you examine the high school graduation rates, college graduation rates, and household incomes of various white ethnic groups in the US, you find that they do not track the wordsum scores at all.

    I would not say that the wordsum test is entirely worthless, but it is in measuring IQ.

    Reply

  47. @ron – “It seems the main fallback against accepting my rural/urban theory in these comments is now ‘inbreeding depression.’”

    i should clarify that my idea re. the inbreeding thing is that it might (might) explain why the irish, italian, greek, yugoslav scores were historically lower than the anglo and german ones, the peripheral groups of europe having been inbreeding for much longer than the “core” europeans (english, french, germans, poss. others including the dutch) who started outbreeding in the early medieval period.

    i wasn’t suggesting that the german-american scores have gone down (if they have) because they started inbreeding in the new world (but who knows about the ones in rural areas?).

    Reply

  48. @linton – “Any genetic effect of inbreeding is instantly reversed in the first generation of outbreeding.”

    i think it must depend upon how far out you outbreed. if you switch from regular first-cousin marriage to regular second- or even third-cousin marriage, a lot of your “bad genes” are still gonna be floating around in your local population. if you suddenly get up and move to the other side of your country and marry someone there — sure, then you’re gonna get rid of inbreeding depression more quickly. and if you marry someone from another country or from the other side of the world, even more quickly.

    @linton – “It was the inbred and starving Scots who accomplished the things outlined in ‘How the Scots Created the Modern World’….”

    ehhhhh, i still think that most of the clever scots were anglo-scots. a lot of arthur herman’s scots who “created the modern world” were lowland scots, i.e. having anglo-saxon backgrounds (examples: francis hutcheson was an ulster-scot, therefore likely a lowland scot; henry home, too, born in the borderlands of scotland and england; william adam was a cranstoun on his mother’s side – border country folk again).

    Reply

  49. @linton – “But if you were to invoke methylation, then all bets are off. There just might be a more durable effect.”

    yes, who knows what happens then! i haven’t given it much/enough thought.

    Reply

    1. @ hbd mistress “i still think that most of the clever scots were anglo-scots” A bright Swedish woman once said to me, “In the old days water didn’t keep people apart. It brough them together.” If you doubt that, find a lake in an undeveloped area. Paddle a couple miles along the bank and then try to walk back. If it was true for the Kattegat, it was true of the North Irish Sea. The ancient community, and I mean dating back to when the English channel first opened, lived in Ulster and the Scottish lowlands. To their north were the seafaring Neolithic people who came up the west coast of Europe and the British Isles and around to the north. They were the ones who built Stonehenge along with an enormous number of megalithic structers from Sudan to the Faroe Islands. I suspect they formed the clans. From the south came wave after wave of invaders: Celts, Romans, Saxons and from the East came Vikings. The Romans called the people who stopped them “Picts.” The last recognized Pictish community was right in the middle of lowland Scotland, hemmed in on all sides. When scientists looked they found just one man with a Y chromosome that came from the most ancient population. He was right where the Picts were last seen. But the genes as a whole, about half of the British Isles come from the the old ones. The lowlanders have probably just a few percent more of the ancient genes.

      For a civilized person it is natural to think of groups of people as the named groups. But to say that the Scotch Irish are a mixture of Saxon and Celt (using the old definition. the meaning of the word has now changed so that anybody in Britain before the Saxons is “Celtic.” That’s for political reasons.) just won’t wash.

      Most people nowadays say “Scots Irish.” I regard that as an insult to true Scots, and I do have some highland ancestors – clans Bruce, Allen and Campbell of Argyle. The Scots hate the word because it could get confused with the despised Scotch Irish. In fact, when the Scots refer to the English they use a word that sounds like “Sassanach.” It is the most loathsome, disgusting, repulsive, depraved, horrible word they have. It’s Gaelic for “lowlander.” Yep. That’s us-all.

      My mother said we were Scotch Irish, so I’m sticking with it.

      Reply

  50. Ron
    “Is there any evidence that the Germans in America have become heavy inbreeders?”

    They wouldn’t need to.

    Ignoring the data for the minute and just sticking to the logic of it for the sake of argument, assume

    1) The average IQ limit varies with latitude and all else being equal is equal along a band of latitude.
    2) The average IQ in the region can be depressed from the latitudinal limit by various factors including inbreeding depression.
    3) Inbreeding depression has both the near cousin form and a genetic load form.
    4) The size of the breeding population has an effect on flushing out genetic load i.e. the rate of adding genetic load is the same across the latitude but the rate of flushing it varies with the size (and culture) of the breeding population.

    (I’m not saying these are all 100% true but i think they are all partially true.)

    Now, again for the sake of argument, say the Irish-German latitudinal IQ limit is 100 and both population’s ancient-valley sub-populations have 10 points of IQ depression.

    Then say

    1) Both sets of farmers get 4 points over time from the church’s cousin-ban taking them both to 94.
    2) The German farmers get an extra 4 points from the effects of the heavy plow / manorialism event increasing pop. density and reducing genetic load taking them to 98.
    3) The German 98 IQ farmers emigrate to America and settle as farmers in a region with a similar pop. density breeding population they had back home (and possibly with the same people from the same place back home as well) and remain at 98 with 2 points of depression.
    4) The Irish 94 IQ farmers emigrate to America and all the farmland is taken so they settle in the high pop. density cities and lose all their IQ depression ending up at 100.

    Again, this is just to illustrate the logic not the data. The inbreeding depression idea – regardless of whether or not it’s correct – doesn’t require rural Germans in America to have inbred more but to have not outbred as much.

    As to why a larger breeding population size might reduce genetic load faster, i’d suggest “Queen of the May” type reasons. if you were given the blind choice of having the Queen of the May from a valley with 1000, 8000 and 40,000 people i’d pick the latter.

    .
    Linton
    “It was the inbred and starving Scots who accomplished the things outlined in “How the Scots Created the Modern World,”

    The lowland Scots were outbred, prosperous and well-fed with an exceptionally high (for the time) literacy rate.

    Reply

    1. @ Greying Wanderer. ““It was the inbred and starving Scots who accomplished the things outlined in “How the Scots Created the Modern World,” The lowland Scots were outbred, prosperous and well-fed with an exceptionally high (for the time) literacy rate” Well we do like to read. And we don’t mind work. My Scotch Irish mother once exclaimed regarding some unfortunate folk, “How can they be starving? They’re standing on dirt, aren’t they?” So I take your point as quite arguable. Any ideas about the Hugarians?

      Reply

  51. >>”I do think the evidence favors my position on your more substantive points.”

    As usual, when you say things like “the evidence favors my position”, you mean your own cherry-picked subset of evidence. If you grab your preferred PISA score from one place, and your preferred IQ test from another, and your favored wordsum results from a third, you can assemble “evidence” to support any idea you care to come up with.

    The totality of the evidence indicates that the Irish and Germans in America possess essentially the same level of intelligence.

    The best available evidence is that Germans in Germany are slightly more intelligent than either the Germans or the Irish in America. There are many possible explanations for this.

    There exists zero solid evidence to support your oft-repeated claim that the Irish in the 1960’s had an unusually low IQ. The IQ tests Lynn looked at were not (and were not intended to be) of representative samples of people. Lynn took multiple IQ tests and averaged them together in an effort to get around this problem. When you disaggregate his data you introduce errors which he attempted to remove.

    Reply

  52. >>”i should clarify that my idea re. the inbreeding thing is that it might (might) explain why the irish, italian, greek, yugoslav scores were historically lower than the anglo and german ones, the peripheral groups of europe having been inbreeding for much longer than the “core”

    >>”the irish population had been inbreeding for at least a couple of thousand years before that, prolly right up until the twentieth century (see the links for the irish in the left-hand column below).”

    Your links do not establish what you think they establish. They do not establish that first-cousin marriage was the norm in Ireland (and Scotland, Italy, etc) up until recently. You are correct that the clan was the norm in Scotland and Ireland for a long time, but this does not automatically lead to less out-breeding, as you assume.

    For most of human history the great majority of people lived their lives in close proximity to the people they were born near. This meant that if you were born in a village in either England or Scotland in 1600, just about everybody you encountered would be related to you to some degree. This situation still exists in villages in England and Scotland today. (I speak from first-hand knowledge here)

    It’s true that if you were born a MacDonald in Scotland in 1600, your chances of getting married to another person named MacDonald would be greater then your chances, if born a Smith in England, of marrying another person surnamed Smith. But this does not mean a greater degree of out-breeding occurred in England. It merely means that surnames were handled differently.

    You are assuming that Joan Cooper marrying John Smith in Little-English-Village indicates greater out-breeding than Heather MacDonald marrying Ian MacDonald in Little-Scottish-Village. And it does not. The Coopers and Smiths were living and interbreeding in that little English village since before the surnames “Smith” and “Cooper” came into use. In all probability the marriage of Joan to John would represent the same degree of in-breeding/out-breeding as the marriage of Heather to Ian.

    Your central assumption – that the scores of the Irish, Greeks, Italians, etc were lower than those of the Anglo-Saxons/Germans – is based on nothing that I can see. So you are working hard to fashion a hypothesis to explain a theory which is highly speculative at best.

    The underlying theory cannot be either proved or disproved. There’s no way we can go back to 1600 or 800 and run IQ tests on various populations. But the in-breeding/out-breeding idea is flawed.

    Reply

    1. @ Frank (well the name does mean blunt and straight speaking) ” For most of human history the great majority of people lived their lives in close proximity to the people they were born near.” I tend to go along with that. The renouned Robin Fox said, I believe it was in THE TRIBAL IMAGINATION something to the effect of, “Thoughout almost all of history almost everybody married cousins.” He didn’t mean first cousins. Just close. They say that there is evidence that two bands of Kalahari Bushmen (I like them from the move THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY and I am sticking with the name.) within walking distance of each other were as genetically distinct as Europeans are from Asians. Exceptions are interesting, of course. And even though I may be the world’s only inbreeding fan, even I must concede the possibility that outbreeding produces a kind of hybird vigor with maybe higher IQ, (maybe at the cost of increased schizophrenia), and bigger frame (maybe followed by obesity in the next generation and metabolic syndrome in the next) and tolerance of our gay brethren (maybe followed by joining them in the next generation). I am not saying it happens. I just think it’s possible. But how in the world would anybody ever put together data that could support it or disprove it? The task seems impossible to me, but it’s kind of fun to watch people try.
      As for fertility. Hoom. Give me time on that one.

      Reply

  53. Is there any decent evidence to support the idea that in-breeding leads to lower IQs and out-breeding to higher ones? For population sizes above a dozen people? A lot of high IQ populations seem to be notably clannish.

    Reply

    1. @ Frank ” Is there any decent evidence to support the idea that in-breeding leads to lower IQs and out-breeding to higher ones? For population sizes above a dozen people? ” Bless you my son. At last a number that potentially has some biolgical meaning. Might I ask where you got that number?

      Reply

  54. @linton – “But to say that the Scotch Irish are a mixture of Saxon and Celt … just won’t wash.”

    i’m just saying that nearly every time i read about a famous scot who invented something-or-other (and there were a lot of them, it’s true), they’ve had an anglo background, either partially or wholly — and/or been from an area of scotland where there had been anglo-saxon settlement. conversely, i can’t really recall ever hearing about famous scottish inventors from the outer hebrides.

    that’s just my impression. i could be wrong.

    it’s definitely the case that most of the ulster-scots (scots-irish in the u.s.) were lowland-scots and northern english people, tho. that is not in dispute.

    Reply

    1. @hbd chick ” conversely, i can’t really recall ever hearing about famous scottish inventors from the outer hebrides.” I have not made myself clear. I don’t mind being wrong, but I rather prefer not to garble what I am saying. The Hebrides are on the upper west coast. That is right in line with the Neolithic seaboard expansion. Those were the master builders. They put up Stonehenge, Avebury, Carnak, Karnak, the Fairy Stone, the Malta ruins, the great stones of the Faroe Islands, probably the pyramids. They were the master builders. They were latecomers to Britain. They aren’t Scotch Irish. We were there when they arived, just as the Indians were there to greet the Eropeans. If you look at them now, in Basque country, Wales, Brittany, among the Berbers, they are dark, slight, incredibly self contained, rather mysterious. Look at the Picts, if you want to call us that. Big boned, , hearty, freckled, (whoever else has freckles?), red haired, easily preturbed, no time for tribe OR central government, OR in fact much for extended family. We think of ourselves as individuals. Didn’t you say that the Tea Party is largely males from the southern US? We aren’t a mixture of latecomers like the Master Builders, the Celts. or the Saxons. We were there, thank you, long before any of them established their cultural (and if you like genetic) pattern. We are the last shred of Paleolithic people on earth. Sure, we are irrelevant to the modern world. We’re just a curiosity. All we have done in the last couple or three centuries is build the United States, keep it alive and try to keep it honest.
      No big deal. We’re all taking the long walk anyway. But don’t think that the Hebrides represent the primordial Brits. The people arrived there only about four thousand years ago. The Scotch Irish had already been there something like sixteen thousand years.
      At least that’s the way I put it together. I could be wrong. I frequently am.

      The Cullen mountains I think are on Sky. (Everything to the west is “outer” Hebridies.) Cucullen, (Hound of the Cullens) may have been a Pict. It’s laid out in THE CATTLE RAID OF COLEY. So it does get rather mixed up. But a lot can happen in twenty thosuand years.

      Reply

  55. @frank – “There exists zero solid evidence to support your oft-repeated claim that the Irish in the 1960′s had an unusually low IQ. The IQ tests Lynn looked at were not (and were not intended to be) of representative samples of people. Lynn took multiple IQ tests and averaged them together in an effort to get around this problem. When you disaggregate his data you introduce errors which he attempted to remove.”

    just for the record, the two tests that lynn looked at for ireland in IQ and the Wealth of Nations were:

    1) a sample of 3,466 thirteen year-olds from 1972. no idea if this was a nation-wide study or what the story was. the data was collected as part of a master’s thesis project and isn’t published anywhere that i could find apart from in the thesis itself. the mean iq was 86; lynn adjusted this to 87.

    2) the buj (1987) study of 75 adults. the average iq found was 100; lynn adjusted this to 98.

    ron has discounted the second study (because of it’s small sample size?). i think it would be nice to know if the other study was nation-wide or locally conducted or what.

    certainly i think it’s awfully hard to extrapolate from this one test back in time to the 1840s, even given the anecdotal evidence (from where?) for the stupidity of the irish immigrants. there wasn’t any data for the irish in kirkpatrick. maybe there’s also iq data for irish-americans from the wwi soldier tests? i dunno. i’m starting to lose track….

    Reply

  56. @frank – “Your central assumption – that the scores of the Irish, Greeks, Italians, etc were lower than those of the Anglo-Saxons/Germans – is based on nothing that I can see. So you are working hard to fashion a hypothesis to explain a theory which is highly speculative at best.”

    that’s not my central assumption. that’s ron’s central assumption. i was just offering a possible, alternative explanation for it if it is/was the case.

    i will note that today’s iq/pisa scores for greeks and southern italians (and the southern spanish) are all lower than the english/germans today, and they all inbreed more today than the english/germans — and they all have a longer history of inbreeding than the english/germans. the modern irish scores are not low, and it’s difficult to say what the irish scores in the recent past were. and if they were low in the recent past, why.

    Reply

  57. @frank – “They do not establish that first-cousin marriage was the norm in Ireland (and Scotland, Italy, etc) up until recently.”

    no, they do not. nor have i ever said that. (although it IS true for southern italy, actually!) please, see my thoughts on why inbreeding (consanguineous and/or endogamous mating patterns) lowers average iqs over time.

    @frank – “For most of human history the great majority of people lived their lives in close proximity to the people they were born near.”

    yes, but this doesn’t apply so much to the english and other nw europeans (especially the germans during the ostsiedlung, for example) from the medieval period onwards. please read the entries under england and ireland and germany in my mating patterns in europe series which i’ve linked to in the left-hand column below. also in the general section — stuff about the hajnal line, for instance.

    Reply

  58. @frank – “Is there any decent evidence to support the idea that in-breeding leads to lower IQs and out-breeding to higher ones? For population sizes above a dozen people?

    see here and here.

    @frank – “A lot of high IQ populations seem to be notably clannish.”

    yes, there are clannish groups with high average iqs: the chinese and other east asians, ashkenazi jews.

    but there are an awful lot of clannish/tribal groups with low average iqs: the arabs, almost everybody in the middle east, north africa, the mashriq, pakistan, afghanistan, all the ‘stans, sudan, somalia, eritrea, the indonesians are not that bright, everybody in latin america.

    please see my comment in which i explain that the whole inbreeding/outbreeding thing doesn’t explain EVERYTHING. it’s just another selection pressure which i think should be added to all the others that we know about (and the ones that we don’t).

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  59. @linton – “The renouned Robin Fox said, I believe it was in THE TRIBAL IMAGINATION something to the effect of, ‘Thoughout almost all of history almost everybody married cousins.’ He didn’t mean first cousins. Just close.”

    i’m glad you got this. i’ve seen several people that have misunderstood him and taken him to mean that he was referring literally to first cousins.

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  60. @linton – “They aren’t Scotch Irish. We were there when they arived, just as the Indians were there to greet the Eropeans. If you look at them now, in Basque country, Wales, Brittany, among the Berbers, they are dark, slight, incredibly self contained, rather mysterious. Look at the Picts, if you want to call us that. Big boned, , hearty, freckled, (whoever else has freckles?), red haired, easily preturbed, no time for tribe OR central government, OR in fact much for extended family. We think of ourselves as individuals. Didn’t you say that the Tea Party is largely males from the southern US? We aren’t a mixture of latecomers like the Master Builders, the Celts. or the Saxons. We were there, thank you, long before any of them established their cultural (and if you like genetic) pattern. We are the last shred of Paleolithic people on earth.”

    i think the ulster-scots/scots-irish are anglo-saxons with, perhaps, a bit of pictish/other native scottish thrown in for good measure. but i could be wrong. (^_^)

    Reply

    1. @ hbd chick “i think the ulster-scots/scots-irish are anglo-saxons with, perhaps, a bit of pictish/other native scottish thrown in for good measure” Many years ago Scientific American published a map of Rh negative distribution. Northern Ireland and Scotland were higher than anyplace else in the the British Isles. Unless there was some selection for Rh negative while migrating to Ulster, I’m afraid you just have to give up on Anglo-Saxons there. Besides the book Saxon, Vikings and Celts found almost no Saxons even in England (And no Celts, by the old definition, but the writer was very tactful about it.
      If blood type seems a bit hard to get at, just look at the freckles. I can buy almost any story of inbreeding-good, inbreeding-bad, this-group-clever, that-measure-invalid. But I am quite sure I have freckles. I am quite sure freckles have a biological basis. I am quite sure other Scotch Irish have a lot of freckles. I am quite sure they are more common in Scotland and Northern Ireland and among the Scotch Irish than any place else in the world. And I am quite sure you can mix all the Teutons, Basques, Romans, Celts if you can find any, and body else , and you will never get freckles. Am I safe in believing these things?

      Reply

    1. @ hbd chick “”almost no Saxons even in England….” on the other hand. (~_^) in any case, i guess we’ll find out one way or t’other soon enough” BTW welcome back. We all liked HBD Mistress, but a lot of us prefer the familiar. Something to do with falling in love with cousins.
      In my reference I may have mixed up the book’s data with some I had read earlier, but I think the bottom line is about unchanged. The book’s a good read, but you have to be careful to keep an eye out for the oldest Y chromosome and recognize that by “Celt” he does not mean anybody that Vercingetorix would have thought anything but strange. Actually, I guess the book is all about human biodiverstiy, the genes, anyway. He has no interest in anything specific that genes might do.

      Reply

  61. @Frank
    This meant that if you were born in a village in either England or Scotland in 1600, just about everybody you encountered would be related to you to some degree.

    This is not true for England [PDF, p.204]:

    From at least the latter part of the Middle Ages until the second half of the nineteenth century or the early years of this century, it was common in rural England for young adults to leave their parental households to work as agricultural servants in other households for a prolonged period. […] Servant exchange among households of the same social status was widespread.

    In other words, it was common for a farmer to send his son out as an agricultural servant on a farm, say, in the neighboring village, while he took other young servants into his own household as agricultural laborers. This practice appears to have affected the majority of young adults in rural England during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Peter Laslett has pointed out that approximately half of all young people of both sexes between 15 and 24 years of age were servants. The extent of this practice implies that the great majority of young adults in England left their parental households more or less permanently between 15 and 19 years of age.

    This widespread English practice of ‘swapping out’ their young people as laborers to neighboring villages sets them apart in Europe. In southern Euro countries children were far more likely to work in their own families’ homes (and, presumably, marry within the same village). That’s one reason why HBD Chick and others have speculated the English really are more outbred than the norm, with significant time depth.

    Reply

  62. Also, I just got back from holiday and have been trawling through your recent posts bookmarking like mad! Lots of interesting stuff there, esp. the English/Scottish inbreeding paper and the Balkan marriage practices. (I find the Albanians fascinating for some reason.)

    I have to say, though, I think there’s been more on IQ here in the last week than in the whole history of the blog! Seems like when HBD Chick gets her teeth into a question, she won’t let go til it’s sufficiently masticated… ;)

    Reply

  63. I appreciate that contribution, M.G, but I don’t think it contradicts what I’ve said. For most people, for most of human history, the horizon of the known world was very small, perhaps a dozen miles or so. Even in the clan system it was a common practice for surplus children to leave their parents household and work in other peoples households.

    the great majority of young adults in England left their parental households more or less permanently between 15 and 19 years of age

    Unless you can establish that they moved some considerable distance from their homes, this does not mean that they failed to marry distant relatives.

    In other words, it was common for a farmer to send his son out as an agricultural servant on a farm, say, in the neighboring village, while he took other young servants into his own household as agricultural laborers.

    I suppose it would take only a couple of generations of this before all the people in the neighboring village were related to all the people in the first village. Keep in mind that the neighboring village might be between one and three miles away. We’re not talking about an exchange of people between London and Lincoln.

    Reply

    1. @ Frank “Keep in mind that the neighboring village might be between one and three miles away” I once bought a very old map of part of England. It didn’t even show roads. As you say the villages were close together. An area six miles across, an hours walk in any direction from the center, contained about a hundred farms. Elsewhere there was a story from the same part of England, apparently within thirty miles of the sea. Some sailor had dropped a crab he was carrying in a basket. When it was found it was met with such consternation that they found the oldest man in the village and put HIM in a basket and carried him to the spot to see if he could recognize it. He couldn’t.

      Reply

  64. @frank – “Is there any decent evidence to support the idea that in-breeding leads to lower IQs and out-breeding to higher ones? For population sizes above a dozen people?

    see here and here.

    I’m not talking about first cousin marriage. I’m questioning the idea that if some group of people with, lets say, a total population of 200,000 marry only within the group while excluding cousin marriage, they will be less intelligent than if they interbred with other groups of people. Does any evidence exist to support that idea?

    Reply

  65. please, see my thoughts on why inbreeding (consanguineous and/or endogamous mating patterns) lowers average iqs over time.

    Before forming a hypothesis as to “why inbreeding .. lowers average iqs over time”, might it not be useful to try to determine whether or not this actually occurs? Because for a great many values of endogamous, your assumption is obviously incorrect. Unless you think that the average IQ of European Jews would rise if they mated frequently with black Africans. The same applies for all sorts of pairs of groups where one pair is higher IQ than the other. Whites and blacks, for instance.

    @frank – “For most of human history the great majority of people lived their lives in close proximity to the people they were born near.”

    yes, but this doesn’t apply so much to the english and other nw europeans

    Yes, it does apply to the English and other north-west Europeans. The great majority of people in England lived their entire lives in close proximity to the people they were born near. Your own links bear this out. Close proximity does not mean “within a hundred yards”, but it does mean “within easy walking distance”. For people who walked everywhere, a two hour walk was the same as you popping down to the local store.

    Reply

  66. @Frank:

    “Because for a great many values of endogamous, your assumption is obviously incorrect. Unless you think that the average IQ of European Jews would rise if they mated frequently with black Africans. The same applies for all sorts of pairs of groups where one pair is higher IQ than the other. Whites and blacks, for instance.”

    I think you’re mistaken on the degree of inbreeding that’s relevant here. An “inbred” population, for the purposes of HBD Chick’s hypothesis, and with respect to IQ, is one where there’s consistent mating with 1st, 2nd, and perhaps 3rd cousins (from either line). You’re going a bridge way too far to talk about intermixing with distantly related groups (to the level of different races).

    As far as actual inbreeding depression, it is really only relevant as far as 1st out to perhaps 3rd cousin marriage. But I don’t think inbreeding depression the major in producing reduced average IQs, but rather it is the within-clan “welfare state” that tends to flourish in inbred societies.

    Reply

  67. @frank – “For most people, for most of human history, the horizon of the known world was very small, perhaps a dozen miles or so.

    yes, but the point is that this hasn’t been the case, comparatively speaking for n.w.europeans for quite a while now (beginning in the early medieval period). the english may not have been going from lincoln to london regularly, but they were going from lincoln to newark-on-trent and marrying someone from there with much more regularity than just about everybody else. everybody else, like you say, was marrying someone from right in their village if not an actual known family member. (interestingly, there’s one group that i’ve recently learned about who do have a practice of marrying out a lot and that’s the bushmen. more about them soon! (^_^) )

    @frank – “Even in the clan system it was a common practice for surplus children to leave their parents household and work in other peoples households.”

    afaik, and i’ve read a lot about this now, this is not true. this is not what it says in the literature anyway (goody, macfarlane, mitterauer, hajnal, laslett). so i’m going to have to ask you for a reference.

    what i am aware of in the clan systems of the british isles (scottish and irish) was the practice of fosterage, but that was usually between (distantly) related families.

    Reply

  68. @frank – “I suppose it would take only a couple of generations of this before all the people in the neighboring village were related to all the people in the first village.”

    yes, but the point is they are all less related than say the polish who continually married in their villages — and, in fact, on the very manor to which they were attached. very different system altogether. see alan macfarlane’s The Origins of English Individualism for example.

    Reply

  69. @frank – “I’m questioning the idea that if some group of people with, lets say, a total population of 200,000 marry only within the group while excluding cousin marriage, they will be less intelligent than if they interbred with other groups of people.”

    that’s not what i’m saying.

    Reply

  70. @frank – “Unless you think that the average IQ of European Jews would rise if they mated frequently with black Africans. The same applies for all sorts of pairs of groups where one pair is higher IQ than the other. Whites and blacks, for instance.”

    now you seem to be the one ignoring large sections of someone else’s discussion points. please see my comments here and here when i explain that i don’t think that inbreeding/outbreeding explains EVERYTHING related to iq (or anything else). it’s just one more factor/selection pressure that i think should be taken into account.

    why? because if we’re talking about traits which are at least partly coded for by genes, we should consider how those genes get distributed around in populations. and that inbreeding can affect their frequencies (by fiddling with the selection pressures).

    Reply

  71. @frank – “Before forming a hypothesis as to ‘why inbreeding .. lowers average iqs over time’, might it not be useful to try to determine whether or not this actually occurs?”

    yes, of course. but there are no good data sets out there on endogamous mating patterns over time. that’s what i’m working on. (~_^)

    everything on this blog is part of a working hypothesis. of course it could all be wrong. failure is always an option!

    Reply

  72. @m.g. – “Also, I just got back from holiday and have been trawling through your recent posts bookmarking like mad! Lots of interesting stuff there, esp. the English/Scottish inbreeding paper and the Balkan marriage practices. (I find the Albanians fascinating for some reason.)”

    welcome back! (^_^) you have been sorely missed.

    yes — that thesis on mating patterns in wiltshire is just fantastic! i had/have more to say on that, but i got distracted (as per usual)…. yeah, the albanians are an interesting bunch! g.w. pointed out a while ago that they love their blood feuds. =/ not a big surprise really.

    @m.g. – “Seems like when HBD Chick gets her teeth into a question, she won’t let go til it’s sufficiently masticated… ;)”

    woof! (~_^)

    Reply

  73. @linton – “BTW welcome back. We all liked HBD Mistress, but a lot of us prefer the familiar.”

    heh. yeah, that was funny — but only for a couple of days. (^_^)

    Reply

    1. @ hbd chick “yeah, that was funny — but only for a couple of days” I’m not quite sure where to fit this idea in. Maybe I said it before. But my own conviction – which I do not expect anyone to share – is that at the end of the day, when the facts are finally in, you will find that things ya’ll have been working on are of incredible importance. I mean you have no idea. This stuff will make the Higgs boson folks look like Bozo’s. Space travel? Astronomy? Olympics? No, this is where it action is.

      Reply

  74. @jayman – “…it is the within-clan ‘welfare state’ that tends to flourish in inbred societies.”

    that’s a nice/good way of putting it!

    Reply

  75. Frank
    For most people, for most of human history, the horizon of the known world was very small, perhaps a dozen miles or so…Unless you can establish that they moved some considerable distance from their homes, this does not mean that they failed to marry distant relatives.

    That’s not the idea and *definitely* not the problem.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2008/02/why-cousin-lookin-fertile/

    “show a significant positive association between kinship and fertility, with the greatest reproductive success observed for couples related at the level of third and fourth cousins.

    If people are marrying exogamously over a long period of time within the same homogenous population then the total size of their breeding population will determine how close (or far away from) they get to that fertility sweetspot.

    That’s fertility not IQ of course but the idea isn’t that “outbreeding good, inbreeding bad” in an absolute sense. It’s that inbreeding/outbreeding has an effect on lots of things.

    So the English didn’t neccessarily need to have moved halfway across the country for the effect of their unusual culture to have an effect. They just needed to have broadened the base of their local breeding population a bit more than the average while simultaneously limiting the closest relatives a little more than the average, like a donut shape, a bigger hole in the middle and a slighter wider radius. Secondly the idea is it’s a process that takes place over multiple generations not a single event.

    Reply

  76. Frank
    I’m questioning the idea that if some group of people with, lets say, a total population of 200,000 marry only within the group while excluding cousin marriage, they will be less intelligent than if they interbred with other groups of people. Does any evidence exist to support that idea?

    I think it’s mainly me suggesting that (at the moment) and it’s basically just a restatement of cochran’s genetic load idea combined with hubchik’s marriage patterns. I would guess it’s a lot lower than 200,000 though.

    1) The total breeding population in an ancient-valley won’t matter if it has an endogamous marrying culture where people only marry from within a particular set of close cousins. The effective breeding population for each clan type structure in that situation will be much lower than the total population.
    2) Only in an (extremely rare until industrialization) freely exogamous marrying culture might the small size of the local breeding population counter-act the effect of the exogamous marrying culture (if any).

    I think the total population size where (2) could happen would be a lot lower than 200,000. If you’ve ever hiked / marched around the countryside you’ll see how land shapes people into little bowls of population (ancient-valleys) where (off the major invasion routes) mostly the same people have been intermarrying for a thousand years of more. I’m guessing at the average size of an ancient-valley and even then the total population will be a function of population density over time but i’d guess the average ancient-valley population would number in the low 10s of thousands – maybe much lower in marginal / pastoral environments with lower population densities – and a bit higher in particularly fertile high density environments.

    Basically if cochran’s theory is correct then the Hajnal line marriage pattern creates a mechanism for shedding genetic load and if IQ is depressable by genetic load then reducing genetic load will raise average IQ up to whatever the limit is for that population.

    Reply

  77. Frank
    Unless you think that the average IQ of European Jews would rise if they mated frequently with black Africans. The same applies for all sorts of pairs of groups where one pair is higher IQ than the other. Whites and blacks, for instance.

    That’s not the idea. The idea is that population groups have a limit (latitudinal imo) on their IQ but that maximum can be depressed by genetic load. The marriage patterns adopted within the hajnal line in Europe and even more so in medieval England created as a side-effect a mechanism for shedding some of that genetic load. It’s not that two people with a lot of genetic load marry and it magically disappears it’s that the marriage pattern creates different losers. In an endogamous marrying culture you win if you’re related to the right people. In an exogamous marrying culture you win if you win the lottery on genetic load i.e. attractiveness.

    (Assuming there is some correlation between genetic load and attractiveness.)

    Example Brad Pitt, Danny Devito, Angelina Jolie.
    1) In an endogamous clan-based marrying culture where Danny Devito is related to the right people he gets to have kids with Angelina Jolie.
    2) In an exogamous ancient-valley with a low population Brad Pitts are more rare (simply because N is lower so the distribution is less gaussian) so on average an Angelina Jolie marries a Brad Pitt if one is available and a Danny Devito if not.
    3) In an exogamous ancient-valley with a large N you get a Brad Pitt more often so an Angelina Jolie marries a Brad Pitt more often thereby reducing the average genetic load – especially if a couple with a low combined genetic load means more surviving children.

    (Differential miscarriage rates may be the non-cultural way this is done.)

    #

    Also, but mostly separately, if there is an ancient valley with a low population over a long period of time then it seems to me the first cousin double recessive large-effect gene problem could occur within that population *if* the trait in question wasn’t too damaging. I’m thinking of this more in relation to height but i also think it’s possible (if not likely) that it may relate to IQ as well, as a shepherding culture could lose a few IQ points and it not make much of a difference overall and not individually either if everyone in the valley has it. or marriage fitness is based mainly on relatedness.

    Reply

  78. It is often left out of the discussion that many Irish Americans are descended from dispossessed gaelic ruling class. In addition many have Norman derived surnames.
    This ruler class was proto-urban at the time of dispossesion (at least in the same sense of Elizabethan England).

    The scots-Irish were an imposed colonist class culled from country folk.

    I’d bet on the Gaelic descendents any day in a modern context.

    Duncan.

    Reply

    1. @Duncan “I’d bet on the Gaelic descendents any day in a modern context. Duncan.” I may have read the book wrong, but from my understanding of Saxons, Vikings and Celts by Bryan Sykes, he couldn’t find any Gaelic folk in the British Isles. Of course they might have come here. Politically the Gaelic folk (and I tend to use the word interchangeably with Celt and Gaul, I could be wrong there) are a formidable force. So much so that no acedemic wants to go up against them. But genetically, they seem to have taken the long walk. That doesn’t speak badly of them. They say there are a lot of Europeans with genes from Atilla the Hun. He raped local women with unseemly enthusiasm. The Celts seem to have been decent people by contrast. Have a look at the data. It’s an area where I have done a lot of thinking and could well be carried away by my own prejuces.

      Reply

  79. the english may not have been going from lincoln to london regularly, but they were going from lincoln to newark-on-trent and marrying someone from there with much more regularity than just about everybody else.

    What is the basis for this assertion? Lincoln and Newark-on-Trent are fifteen miles apart, a leisurely day’s travel even in 1400, Why do you assume that people in Italy, Scotland, Ireland etc were not making similar journeys at the same time and with the same regularity?

    everybody else, like you say, was marrying someone from right in their village

    I never said that “everybody was marrying someone from right in their village”. I said that people married other people who lived in “close proximity”. You’re the one who is interpreting this to mean “less than a thousand yards away”. In many cases it was impossible to marry somebody from your own village, because of the Christian prohibition on cousin marriage. Regardless of whether you lived in England, Scotland, or Ireland, this mandated a trip further afield, starting with the next village a mile-and-a-half down the road.

    This is still “close proximity’, and even if the population of the two villages were utterly dissimilar at one point, it would only take a century or so for them all to become related. And most villages predated the Norman conquest ..

    what i am aware of in the clan systems of the british isles (scottish and irish) was the practice of fosterage, but that was usually between (distantly) related families

    Every family in the countryside is distantly related, and every family knows the relationships, distant and otherwise, of itself and every other family.. This includes families living in adjacent villages and thirty miles away. If you’d ever lived in the countryside you’d know this.

    Reply

    1. @ Frank. ” Lincoln and Newark-on-Trent are fifteen miles apart, a leisurely day’s travel even in 1400″ I was wondering about that. A “hund” meaning a hundred “hides” was about six miles across and had a hundred farms. Call that 200 reproducing adults. I it is two and a half times that far, the area enclosed should contain 1,250 adults of reproducing age. That’s just at the edge of what seems to be the biological limit. So if lots, but not all of them, traveled about that distance it just might work. Besides, even at such a distance it’s quite possible that the direction of travel was not slavishly random. The the actual size may have been substantially smaller. I am no longer incredulous. Thanks for the facts.

      Reply

  80. @frank – “In many cases it was impossible to marry somebody from your own village, because of the Christian prohibition on cousin marriage. Regardless of whether you lived in England, Scotland, or Ireland, this mandated a trip further afield, starting with the next village a mile-and-a-half down the road.”

    yes, but this statement of yours has made me realize that you’ve (i think) missed the point of the discussion.

    like i said in this other comment here, what i’m (we’re) talking about here is the evolution by natural selection of some “innate social aptitudes of man” and how that evolution can be affected by mating patterns. so we’re talking about the evolution of social behaviors over time.

    the major difference between england and ireland (and i think parts of scotland are more like ireland, although i’m not 100% sure yet) is that the irish HAVE NOT followed the christian prohibition on cousin for AS LONG as the english. the irish stuck to their cousin (and uncle-niece, apparently) marrying ways well into the medieval period where, comparatively speaking the english did not. see jack goody and micahel mitterauer and alan macfarlane for more info on the english (and the germans and french).

    the irish — and other peripheral populations in europe — have a longer history of cousin marriage (and endogamous marriage) than the english or other “core” europeans like the germans and the french. that is important to understand when we’re talking about evolution.

    Reply

    1. @ hbd chick “i think parts of scotland are more like ireland” Usually thay say parts of Ireland are more like Scotland. The real Irish tend to be Catholic and occupy most of the island. The Scotch Irish tend to be Presbyterian and live in Ulster. Scotland is largely (and this was more true in the past) Preseterian as in “protestant work ethic.” The English are different. They are or were Anglicans (Episocopalians). They aren’t Catholic because of Henry VIII and they certainly aren’t protestant. No Anglican ever protested anything AS an Anglican until very recenlty when it got to be trendy to badger religions about attitudes about sex. That’s what they say. I infer a genetic difference for other reasons, but the difference if it exists at all is very small.

      Reply

  81. Frank

    “Every family in the countryside is distantly related, and every family knows the relationships, distant and otherwise, of itself and every other family.. This includes families living in adjacent villages and thirty miles away.”

    And the *average* level of relatedness of those families will (obviously) vary by
    – pop. density
    – marriage culture
    – modes of travel
    – difficult terrain
    – level of clan violence
    etc

    (Most of which are at least partially correlated with physical geography, climate etc.)

    – A lower pop. density means longer travel distances to contain the same number of people.
    – Marriage culture may determine that only a subset of people within range are suitable.
    – Add or subract foot, wagons, horses, buggies, bicycles, railways, cars and airplanes to the travel range.
    – Add or subtract the role of difficult terrain in reducing the pre-modern travel range.

    So the *average* level of relatedness of a population in any particular ancient valley will vary from case to case and in most cases *will have* varied over time as well.

    #

    The same 14 square mile region
    – in a relatively high pop. density broad fertile valley with an exogamous marriage culture
    – in a relatively high pop. density broad fertile valley with a clan-based marriage culture
    – in a relatively low pop. density marginal or pastoralist valley with an exogamous marriage culture
    – in a relatively low pop. density marginal or pastoralist valley with a clan-based marriage culture
    will all have different outcomes in terms of whatever traits are effected by (relative) inbreeding / outbreeding.

    This must be so just on an arithmetic basis. The question then is whether relatively small changes in average relatedness,or the form of that relatedness, can be significant?

    #

    One example of how small changes in average relatedness can be significant:

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2008/02/why-cousin-lookin-fertile/

    “show a significant positive association between kinship and fertility, with the greatest reproductive success observed for couples related at the level of third and fourth cousins.”

    So lower fertility at 1st and 2nd cousin peaking at 3rd and 4th and dropping again at 5th.

    Reply

  82. @frank – “Every family in the countryside is distantly related….”

    yes. but the point is, in some places in europe, the families in the countryside (everywhere in the nation, in fact) are more related to one another than in other places. that, i think, has to do — in part — with long-term mating patterns.

    @frank – “If you’d ever lived in the countryside you’d know this.”

    fyi, i spent large parts of every summer as a kid on my grandparents’ farm back in europe — in one of the peripheral countries with the high historic inbreeding rates. i know all of my first cousins — all 52 of them — around half of them very well. i also know all of my first-cousins-once-removed (those’d be my cousins’ kids AND my parents’ first cousins), and about half of my second cousins. i’m somewhat aware of who our more distant relatives are in and around the village(s) back in the old country, but not as aware of them as my relatives back there are.

    otoh, i’ve also spent some amount of time in rural areas in anglo parts of the world and i have noticed that they don’t seem AS concerned about who their second and more distant cousins are. it’s just not AS big of a deal. that includes in england, btw.

    oh, and — *hbd chick looks out her window* — look! well, whaddya know?! fields!! and a barn! no, TWO barns! (you should never assume things about people you don’t know. it can make you look silly.)

    Reply

    1. @hbd chick “*hbd chick looks out her window* — look! well, whaddya know?! fields!! and a barn! no, TWO barns!” Nice picture of your family in the old country. What you describe strikes me as NORMAL. That means it’s almost everybody thoughout almost all of history. Gosh it’s nice to meet a normal person for a change. As you say, eveybody I meet really doesn’t care or know. When we say “outbreed” we mean the far side of the world.
      Looking at the numbers you and Frank were chewing on, I can make a case for the “exogamy” you describe being at a sort of Goldilocks intensity. While mose of the word. optimizes mating strategy for maximum fertility (Robin Fox says tribes subdivide just as they reach a size that is the same throughout the world) or pesimizes for total demographic collapse (that means everybody I ever met in person in this country) the dratted English just may have optimized for stability. Am I know going to have to say something nice about them?

      Reply

  83. The reported high I.Q. for Irish Catholic Americans is a reflection of the availability of good educational opportunities. The recent rise in the scores in Ireland is a reflection of Ireland catching up with the rest of Europe. A portion of I.Q. is obviously environment which is certainly true for the Irish. Genetically, recent DNA puts the Irish in the same family as most of Western Europe and most closely with Welsh, Scottish and English. England is predominantly Celtic from a DNA standpoint.

    Reply

  84. I have observed that there is a significant amount of missing information with respect to the Irish-American experience leading to false suppositions. There was a huge Irish Catholic diaspora community in the pre-revolutionary colonies. It was just virtually impossible to remain Catholic in that time period. Thus millions of Americans hold names that would be easily recognised as a Celtic-Irish such as ‘Murphy’ but have been Protestant for multiple generations. They are Irish-American Protestants but are not Scots-Irish or Anglo-Irish. Likewise a huge percentage of Irish famine refugees settled in rural as opposed to urban settings, definitely in the 40+% bracket. In reality it is inaccurate to truly label the Irish-Catholics as urban. Myths persist but they are still myths nonetheless. In using the scientific method to examine intelligence these inaccuracies need to be factored in.

    Reply

  85. @anonymous – “There was a huge Irish Catholic diaspora community in the pre-revolutionary colonies.”

    if wikipedia is to be believed, something like 175,000 catholic irish came to the u.s. pre-1800s. don’t know if that consitutes “huge” or not, but certainly, yes, they should be taken into account.

    it’s also a problem, obviously, trying to gauge ethnic background from the gss, because the data there are self-reported. someone saying they’re irish might, of course, be half irish and half something else … or any combination of ethnicities. *sigh*

    what we need are full genome sequences for everybody in the country! (^_^) (i’m only half kidding….)

    Reply

  86. @ hbd chick if wikipedia is to be believed, something like 175,000 catholic irish ame to the u.s. pre-1800s. don’t know if that consitutes “huge” or not, but certainly, yes, they should be taken into account.

    If you read the history of the Cromwellian period and the Irish expulsions to the Colonies and the New World, the native or Celtic Irish made up a significant percentage of the total population of the Colonies. Tens of thousands arrived 200 years prior to the famine. Simple mathematics would illustrate that their descendants today would be vast, perhaps exceeding the total number of Irish-Catholics today. These early native Irish are undoubtedly Protestant for the most part in America today and heavily assimilated.

    If all the brains left Ireland it would not account for Ireland’s unprecedented rise in virtually every positive aspect of life: Education, standard of living, quality of life…etc..etc..etc. The efforts of previous generations are finally paying of in huge dividends. Likewise if the Irish were not the brightest bulbs in the pack, it would serve to lower the reported scores of those with partical Irish-American ancestry which is not the case.

    Those with Irish-American Catholic ancestry, full or partial are consistently measured amongst the brighest White European people in America and I might add Canada. The Irish also display an ‘attitude of gratitude.’

    Reply

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