what’s in a name?

we’ve all seen headlines like this…

The 13-year-old Belgian boy fighting in Syria

…only to click through and find that this “belgian’s” name is younes abaaoud and his parents are (or at least his father is) originally from morocco. i know that most of the members of the press are hopelessly politically correct and that they must want to obscure the origins of people like abaaoud — or they really believe it when they say this kid is belgian, which is an even scarier thought — i know this, and i’ve known it for quite a while now, but it still irritates me when i read such headlines. it irritates me because it’s such misinformation. it’s unhelpful. when i read the word “beligan,” i picture a short, round little man with a curious moustache. or at least an obviously north european person making waffles.

we have words for things — give names to things — for a reason: to help in identifying those things and to communicate something about them. and — and perhaps i am and have always been misguided about this — i thought the idea of naming things was to aid in the communication process, not make it all more confused. but i’m beginning to think i might’ve been wrong about this.

at the very least, i think someone like abaaoud — a second-generation immigrant to belgium with (i don’t think) any belgian or european ancestry whatsoever — ought to be called a moroccan-belgian. to aid in the communication process.

since it’s st. patrick’s day (woo-hoo!), i’m going to use ireland as an example. (disclaimer: all of my recent ancestors came from ireland. i’m pretty sure that a very large part of my ancestry is “native irish,” but there’s also some amount of scots and maybe even some norman. i doubt there’s much anglo-irishness in me.)

once upon a time, we had names for the different populations in ireland, and they were actively used: the gaelic or native irish (the people(s) who were in ireland before the viking and norman invasions), the hiberno-normans, the old english, the ulster scots, the anglo-irish. there were even names for rival viking groups at one time (names that were eventually reused for some of the normans). more and more nowadays, however, i see everyone from ireland being called simply “irish.” needless to say, i think we should keep right on using the variety of more specific terms we have.

i can hear some of you objecting already: “but hbd chick! it doesn’t matter anymore! those norman and anglo settlers arrived in ireland so long ago!” oh, really? [links added by me – fine gael and fianna fáil are two of the largest political parties in the republic of ireland]:

“FF and FG tribal split traced back to 12th century”

“THERE ARE real tribal differences between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil that date back hundreds of years before the foundation of the State, according to two political scientists.

“An analysis of the names of all of the TDs [members of parliament] who have served in the Dáil shows that Fine Gael TDs are more likely to come from Norman/Old English families while Fianna Fáilers tend to come from Gaelic backgrounds.

“The analysis was carried out by Dr Eoin O’Malley of DCU (a son of former Progressive Democrat leader Des O’Malley) and Dr Kevin Byrne of Trinity College Dublin.

“They based their research on the fact that Irish surnames are among the oldest in the world, dating back many centuries.

“The origin of almost all of those names, whether Gaelic, Norman or English, is known.

“After identifying the surname origin of every one of the 1,100 TDs ever elected, the researchers found significant differences in the distribution of surnames between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

“While 64 per cent of Fianna Fáil TDs have surnames of exclusively Gaelic origin, only 51 per cent of Fine Gael TDs do.

“The opposite pattern is seen for Old English (Norman) and New English surnames, with 22 per cent of Fine Gael TDs bearing names of that origin, but only 12 per cent of Fianna Fáil deputies.

“‘While a surname of a given origin isn’t enough to predict a politician’s party, there is a bias in affiliation toward Fianna Fáil TDs having Gaelic surnames and Fine Gael TDs having Old and New English surnames,’ say the researchers.

“They add that the probability of these differences arising by chance is very remote, so they conclude that the tribal polarisation between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael is statistically significant.

“‘In addition, Fianna Fáil has significantly more TDs with Gaelic surnames than would be expected given the Irish population, while Fine Gael has more deputies with Old and New English surnames than a random sampling of Irish citizens would warrant,’ they add….”

so there. (except see here.)

furthermore, whenever you hear about some famous “irish” person, like a scientist or an author, they’re more than likely to have anglo-irish or scots-irish ancestry.

for instance, if you look at this list on wikipedia of famous “irish” scientists (*chuckle*), the vast majority are or were either of scots-irish, old english, or anglo-irish background, not native irish. one or two were even partly or fully of some other ethnic background(s) (i.e. french huguenot and sephardic jewish). i can pick out only seven who are likely candidates for having a (mostly) native irish background: louis brennan, pádraig de brún, nicholas callan, aeneas coffey, richard kirwan (“one of the last supporters of the theory of phlogiston”), william dargan, and john philip holland — and i’m not so sure about dargan or holland (both of those surnames could be either british or irish). so that’s five to seven native irish out of a list of forty “irish”, and i bet most of you have never heard of any of them.

and if we look at “irish” nobel laureates (heh — yes, there have been a couple!), of the science ones, we’ve got ernest walton (physics, 1951) aaaaaand…no, sorry, that’s it. ernest walton. needless to say, walton is an old anglo-saxon name, and ernest’s father was a methodist minister, so probably not very native irish. (maybe there are some native irish laureates in amongst the u.s. or canadian or australian winners. i didn’t get around to checking that.)

and all those famous irish authors? w.b. yeats? anglo-irish. oscar wilde? anglo-irish. bernard shaw? anglo-irish. jonathan swift? anglo-irish. samuel beckett? anglo-irish. bram stoker? anglo-irish. j.m. synge? anglo-irish. clearly overrepresented. (not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

can’t even give the native irish much credit for our trademark alcoholic beverages, guinness or jameson. arthur guinness was anglo-irish, although he does appear to have had some native irish roots, so a bit of a mix he was:

“Why Guinness is less Irish than you think”

“MARCH 17th is St Patrick’s day, a celebration of all things Irish—and of one thing in particular. Around Ireland and all over the world people will celebrate with a pint or two (or three, or four) of Guinness, Ireland’s unofficial national intoxicant…. But how Irish is it really?

“Arthur Guinness, who founded the brewery in Dublin in 1759, might have been surprised that his drink would one day become such a potent national symbol. He was a committed unionist and opponent of Irish nationalism, who before the Irish Rebellion of 1798 was even accused of spying for the British authorities. His descendants continued passionately to support unionism — one giving the Ulster Volunteer Force £10,000 in 1913 (about £1m, or $1.7m, in today’s money) to fund a paramilitary campaign to resist Ireland being given legislative independence. The company was alleged to have lent men and equipment to the British army to help crush Irish rebels during the Easter Rising of 1916, afterwards firing members of staff whom it believed to have Irish-nationalist sympathies.

“The beer the company has become most famous for — porter stout — was based on a London ale, a favourite of the street porters of Covent Garden and Billingsgate markets. Since 1886 the firm has floated on the London Stock Exchange, and the company moved its headquarters to London in 1932, where it has been based ever since (it merged with Grand Metropolitan and renamed itself Diageo in 1997)….”

and john jameson was scottish.

my point here is that, given our numbers, the native irish haven’t achieved all that much. comparatively speaking, anyway. we were not the first population to go to space, and we won’t be the first to land on mars.

is any of this a problem? no. is it of any interest? h*ll, yeah! if you want to really know anything about “irish” people or scientists or authors or whatever, you might want to know their true background. same goes for terrorists and isis volunteers.

what’s in a name? INFORMATION!

some people might think that i want to single out immigrants or minority groups when i say that i want to be specific about what they’re called. nothing could be further from the truth. i believe in (can i still say this?!) calling a spade a spade. because THAT tells me something. calling a spade a shovel would misinform me.

p.s. – there is also this theory as to why the native irish haven’t gone to mars first. (~_^)

previously: “core europe” and human accomplishment

(note: comments do not require an email. spade vs. shovel.)

more from ron unz on iq

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

finally, ron says:

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

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

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

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

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

ron unz and iq

i hate taking time out from my usual routine of thinking/reading/writing about all-things-altruistic, especially when it means thinking/reading/writing about iq, ’cause 1) i’m far, far from being any sort of expert on iq, and 2) i’m not really interested in the topic (although i know, i know — iq is interested in me!) — but ron unz’s latest on iq (which i’m sure you’ve all heard about if you haven’t actually read) has forced me, ever so unwillingly, out of my comfort zone. plenty of folks smarter than me have already pointed out some of the ways that unz has got his thesis wrong — the thesis being that mexicans will catch up iq-wise to european-americans any day now just like previous immigrant groups to the u.s. did — but i’m going to add a couple of more to the innerwebs anyway.

here they are in no particular order:

– who are these irish-americans unz is talking about?

in his original article, unz makes a big deal out of the low-iq scores of irish people back in the 1970s and earlier versus their higher scores today. for example, unz says:

“The evidence today is that the tested IQ of the typical Irish-American — to the extent it can be distinguished — is somewhat above the national white American average of around 100 and also above that of most German-Americans, who arrived around the same time.”

a lot of “self-identified” irish-americans that i have met are, in fact, scots-irish folks (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). scots-irish people are a whole other kettle of fish than the native irish, and they’re not really found in the republic of ireland where, as i’ll talk about below, the modern pisa scores for “the irish” come from. rather, the scots-irish are found in ulster which is part of the u.k. so you’d have to weed out those irish-americans who are scots-irish and not native irish in order to compare irish-american iq scores with irish iq scores.

you’d also have to weed out anglo-irish scores from both irish-americans and the irish back in ireland ’cause they, too, are a whole other kettle of fish, and an awful lot of them have been quite clever so they might inflate either the irish-american or the irish iq scores if there were too many of them included in one of those groups.

also, like peter frost said:

“As for Irish American IQ, just what is an ‘Irish American’? Is Mariah Carey Irish? (She’s one quarter Irish, like me). It all comes down to self-identification and interest in Irish culture, music, etc. That factor alone would bias your sample towards the better educated.”


– who emigrated from europe?

unz dismisses the idea that there might’ve been any “self-sorting” amongst the immigrant groups that he talked about — southern italians, greeks or irish:

“Even if we ignore all contemporaneous evidence and argue that 19th century European immigrants to America and elsewhere somehow constituted the IQ elite of their originating countries, the theory of selective migration still remains implausible. It has long been established on both theoretical and empirical grounds that IQ scores generally follow a mean-reversion pattern, in which the children of outlying individuals tend to regress toward the typical levels of their larger population or ethnic group. So even if we hypothesize that the Irish, South Italians, Jews, and Greeks who immigrated to America constituted the smartest small slice of their generation — rather than, as seems more likely, often the poorer and most miserable — roughly half their relative IQ advantage would have dissipated after a single generation. Thus, the apparent one standard deviation gap between American Irish and Ireland Irish a few decades ago would have required an initial gap of something closer to two standard deviations at the time the immigration occurred, a difference so large as to be totally implausible.”

so unz doesn’t think that, perhaps, smarter individuals may have emigrated from europe leaving dullards behind, something which could account, for example, for the very low irish iq score of 87 from the 1970s. he thinks it more likely that it was “often the poorer and most miserable” — and presumably, therefore, those with the lowest iqs — that emigrated.

but that wasn’t the case. at least not according to thomas sowell, who unz actually referenced in his article (pgs. 22-23):

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

so it was not those with the least resources who immigrated to the u.s. — nor was it the “smartest small slice of their generation” either. the wealthy and, therefore, likely smartest people would probably have had little reason to leave their native countries. no. nineteenth century european immigrants to the united states were people who could afford passage to the new world — people with some resources — but also people with a reason to leave. in other words, most likely people with average-ish iqs. not on the top, but not on the bottom either.

emigration from ireland to britain, the u.s. and australia went on for 150 years (and counting!). and the population in ireland hit rock bottom in the 1960s and 1970s — just when lynn’s average iq of 87 for the irish was obtained (as part of a master’s thesis, btw):

iq scores started going up in ireland from the 1970s onwards not (just) because living standards improved (although better nutrition has probably helped), but because smarter irish folks chose to remain in the country (especially since the nation joined the e.u. which created more economic/job opportunities).

the irish iq score of 87 from the 1970s most likely reflects the fact that a vast majority of the average-to-bright irish individuals had left the country between roughly 1840 and 1960. the increase since the 1970s probably does have to do with some sort of regression to the mean (whatever it is). but it’s not obvious that this increase should give anyone hope that the same thing will happen in the mexican population since, afaik, they haven’t experienced the same sort of brain drain that ireland did.

– who’s taking these pisa tests?

unz said:

“Furthermore, the most recent 2009 PISA international student academic tests sponsored by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development provide us with results that raise further doubts about the correctness of the Lynn/Vanhanen IQ scores from a wide range of European countries…. During the early 1970s, a huge national sample had placed the Ireland IQ at 87, the lowest in all of Europe, but today Ireland’s PISA scores are about average for the continent and roughly the same as those for France and Britain, while Irish per capita incomes have pulled a little ahead.”

i wondered over @evoandproud about which irish kids in ireland have been taking the pisa tests. i was concerned that perhaps the pisa tests were mostly conducted in and around dublin which would bias the sample (i.e. include more anglo-irish and smarter folks who had moved to the city), but i’ve read (quickly) through the 2009 pisa report for ireland [opens pdf] and the samples seem to have been drawn from around the country, so … never mind!

however … there does seem to have been a slight bias in the selection of participating schools which may have resulted in an inflation (perhaps only slight, i dunno) of the 2009 irish pisa scores.

there are, apparently, different sorts of high-schools in ireland: voluntary secondary schools, vocational schools, and comprehensive or community schools. the breakdown of what percentage of students attends each type of school looks like this:

voluntary secondary schools = 57%
vocational schools = 28%
comprehensive/community schools = 15%

but the breakdown of schools included in the 2009 pisa tests looks like this (pg. 129 – opens pdf):

voluntary secondary schools = 61.5%
vocational schools = 23.1%
comprehensive/community schools = 15.4%

so, 28% of high-school age kids in ireland attend vocational schools — you know, where you can learn a trade — but the kids at these schools only made up 23% of the pisa test takers. the missing 5% seems to be over in the voluntary secondary schools which are privately owned.

somehow i imagine that more well-to-do parents in ireland prolly try to get their kids into such private schools rather than vocational schools. i smell a bit of a bias in the irish pisa scores. maybe they wouldn’t be quite as high as they are without this bias. dunno for sure. just a thought.

furthermore — re. who’s taking these pisa tests? — unz also said:

“During the early 1970s, a huge national sample had placed the Ireland IQ at 87, the lowest in all of Europe, but today Ireland’s PISA scores are about average for the continent and roughly the same as those for France and Britain, while Irish per capita incomes have pulled a little ahead.”

indeed, the overall 2009 pisa scores for france, britain and ireland were (respectively): 496, 494, 496. so, yeah, the irish are just as smart nowadays as the french and the british, right? not necessarily.

today’s “french” population includes ca. 19% (11.8M) foreign born immigrants or their direct descendants, about one-third (4M) of whom are from north africa. and the u.k. had 7.86% minorities as of the 2001 census (and it’s well known that those rates have gone up since then). ireland just had ca. half that as of 2011. in other words, we’re just not comparing apples with apples here. it’s very possible that the average pisa/iq scores of ethnic french or british kids are higher than their current national scores and, therefore, higher than the pisa score for ireland.

you don’t think the immigrants in these countries could bring down the pisa scores? think again. the irish have actually experienced this even with the comparatively small number of immigrants they have (pg. 188 – opens pdf):

“There have been some marked demographic changes in the school-going population in Ireland since 2000. One such change was the increase in both the percentage of students with immigrant status and the percentage who spoke a language other than English or Irish at home (Table 9.2; see also Tables 6.19 and 6.20). Furthermore, the relationship between immigrant status, language spoken at home and achievement changed since 2000. In 2000, immigrant and ‘other language’ students had higher mean scores than native students, while in 2009, immigrant students and ‘other language’ students did significantly less well than native students. This is likely to be due to the differing composition of these two groups in 2000 and 2009 (e.g., in 2000 ‘other language’ students had a higher socioeconomic status than the students who spoke English or Irish whereas in 2009 the socioeconomic status of the two groups did not differ) (Cosgrove, et al., 2010).”

so, the more immigrants ireland got, the lower their pisa scores became. terrific.

– what about new mexicans?

plenty of other people have pointed this out in comments elsewhere, but what about the success rates — or lack of — of the mexicans that have been in new mexico for several generations now? steve sailer has repeatedly written about this (see here and here for example), and the awesome epigone found that new mexico ranks 49th as far as average state iqs go (just in front of mississippi and washington d.c.). why haven’t the mexicans in new mexico caught up with european-americans given they’ve been here for several generations now?

– what about african americans?

african americans apparently haven’t caught up with european-americans iq-wise either even after a couple hundred years. why not?

and given those last two points, why would ron unz conclude that the average iq of mexicans in america will increase to match those of european-americans? even if that did happen with the southern italians, greeks and irish, which is by no means certain, we already have examples of that not happening with mexicans (and african americans) so … well, i dunno … i don’t know what he’s thinking.

i’m not a “hard hereditarian.” environment matters. nutrition matters. neglecting kids when their brains are developing seems to matter. the flynn effect is a real phenomenon. h*ll, evolution happens! — so a population’s average intelligence is hardly written in stone for eveh. but different populations are different because we’ve had different evolutionary histories. differences that prolly won’t be overcome overnight — or even in a generation or two, no matter how much ron unz (or i) would wish that to be possible. and it seems very cavalier to me to risk an entire society on the basis of a wish.

and don’t forget: iq isn’t the only thing to consider when thinking about the immigration of masses of people.

tomorrow … back to the regularly scheduled programming.

footnote: pardon me for indulging for a sec in one of those annoying innate behaviors that women (apparently) possess: shaming.

in this debate over his article, ron unz has resorted on more than one occasion to personal attacks on commenters. example:

“All in all, it appears that an enthusiastic interest in engaging in IQ debates is no strong sign of actually possessing much of the attribute under discussion.”

unnecessary and uncalled for. the points of the discussion — the evidence — will stand or fall on merit. there is no need for argumentum ad hominem.

that is all.

(note: comments do not require an email. italian immigrants.)