Race differences in intelligence: how research changed my mind to overcome the “all races are equal” dogma.

I grew up indoctrinated by political correctness. Like a large part of citizens in Western countries I was brainwashed: Races do not exist, all are equal. Saying anything different, saying that there are racial differences, is racism, a crime.

Read this, everything you need to know about scientific research about racial differences: RACE, EVOLUTION, and BEHAVIOR: A Life History Perspective, by J.P. Rushton

In school I heard disparaging remarks about Artur Jensen and other “unscientific” “dishonest” “cheating” scientists doing faulty research about race differences.

The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray actually looked fairly convincing to me, but if even President Bill Clinton denounced it, there must be something wrong about it.

There always was some complex theory to explain away the IQ differences:

  • different culture
  • parental expectation
  • mother’s malnourishment
  • IQ measurements are racially and culturally biased

race_intelligence_adoption_rushtonsm1
Adopted Children's IQ by Race

My opinion changed when I read about trans-racial adoption studies. That was the last drop that really disproved all these desperate attempts to explain away racial differences in intelligence.

“The best evidence for the genetic basis of race-IQ differences comes from trans-racial adoption studies of Oriental children, Black children, and Mixed-Race children. All these children have been adopted by White parents at an early age and have grown up in middle-class White homes.”

Chart 9 summarizes the results for Oriental children adopted into White middle-class homes.
Korean and Vietnamese babies from poor backgrounds, many of whom were malnourished, were adopted by White American and Belgian families. When they grew up, they excelled in school. The IQs of the adopted Oriental children were 10 or more points higher than the national average for the country they grew up in. Trans-racial adoption does not increase or decrease IQ. The three-way pattern of race differences in IQ remains.”

In plain English: adopted Asian babies grew up to be very bright, adopted black babies grew up to have low intelligence.

One more desperate argument that was posed to save the “racial equality” dogma:

They claimed “expectancy effects,” not genes, explained the pattern. They argued that the Black and White children were not treated the same. Even if parents took good care of their children, the schools, classmates, and society as a whole discriminated against Black children and this hurt their IQs. Because we expected Black children to do poorly in school, they lived up to our low expectations.”

Even that argument got promptly destroyed.  Rushton:

A special analysis of the Scarr study compared parents who believed that they had adopted a Black baby but, really, had adopted a Mixed-Race (Black-White) child. The average IQ for these Mixed-Race children was just about the same as for other Mixed-Race children and above that for adopted Black children. This was true even though the parents who adopted these Mixed-Race children thought their babies really had two Black parents.

Quotes and chart from RACE, EVOLUTION, and BEHAVIOR: A Life History Perspective, by J.P. Rushton

That did it for me. It destroyed my ingrained indoctrinated beliefs that all races must be equal. It opened up my mind to the possibility that there could be racial differences.

Before we go on, may I stress a few more points

  • I have no axe to grind against blacks. I am not interested in proving that blacks are stupid or inferior. I am not a white supremacist
  • I have an axe to grind against dogmatism, blindness, stupidity. I have an axe to grind against the catholic church for repressing Galileo’s truth about the moving and revolving earth. And I have an axe to grind about political correctness repressing the truth, repressing research.
  • This site is about human stupidity versus truth and consciousness
  • Rushton, though much maligned, is not some crazy cook but one of the most prestigious research scientists to date: Rushton holds two doctorates from the University of London (Ph.D. and D.Sc) and is a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American, British, and Canadian Psychological Associations. He is also a member of the Behavior Genetics Association, the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, and the Society for Neuroscience. Rushton has published six books and nearly 200 articles. In 1992 the Institute for Scientific Information ranked him the 22nd most published psychologist and the 11th most cited. Professor Rushton is listed in Who.  Some of Rushtons scientific publications can be found on his University page: http://psychology.uwo.ca/faculty/rushton_pubs.htm

Summary of Racial differences

Racial differences summarized (J.P. Rushton)
Racial differences summarized (J.P. Rushton): Why does history show Africa trailing behind Asia and Europe? Why do Whites average between Orientals and Blacks in so many areas? Why do the groups with larger brains have lower rates of two-egg twinning? To know the answer you must look at all of the traits taken together (see Chart 1). The traits in Chart 1 form a pattern. No known environmental factor can explain all of them taken together. There is, however, a gene based explanation. The patterns make up what is called a “lifehistory.” They evolved together to meet the trials of life -- survival, growth, and reproduction.

Then of course, the non-scientific “evidence”, the hearsay, the anecdotal evidence, our daily experience, suddenly made sense:

The Whites who explored China were just as racist as those who explored Africa, but their descriptions were different from what they and the Arabs had written about Africans. In 1275 Marco Polo arrived in China from his native Italy to open trade with the Mongol Empire. He found that the Chinese had well built roads, bridges, cities connected by canals, census takers, markets, standardized weights and measures, and not only coins, but paper money as well. Even a postal system was in existence. All of these made him marvel when he compared the Chinese to what he saw in Europe and the Middle East.
Even though he was an Italian, proud of his people and well aware of the greatness of Ancient Rome, Marco Polo wrote: “Surely there is no more intelligent race on earth than the Chinese.”

In amazing ways, Rushton forms a coherent picture to make sense of all the racial differences shown in reasearch.  Some differences are biological and can not be talked away by simple psychobabble or sociology-babble.

In a few cases medical treatment and medication showed racial differences. which proves a real quagmire for race equality dogmatist. Should they talk away and hide the differences as racist and cause medical malpractice and suffering for black patients? Or should they accept the scientific facts and actively promote racial analysis of medical studies and see their beloved pet dogma undermined?

Rushton’s book sums up the relevant research. Please forgive me for always quoting Rushton, incessantly. Nobody can say it better, nobody summed up the entire field in a more concise and coherent manner then Rushton.

Many statistics in Chart 1 come from the United States, where Orientals are a “model minority.”
They have fewer divorces, fewer out-of-wedlock births, and fewer reports of child abuse than Whites.
More Orientals graduate from college and fewer go to prison.
On the other hand Blacks are 12% of the American population and make up 50% of the prison population. In the U.S., one out of every three Black men is either in jail, on probation, or awaiting trial. That is much more than the number who graduate from college.
Chapter 2 shows how this racial pattern in crime is found worldwide. INTERPOL Yearbooks show the rate of violent crime (murder, rape, and serious assault) is four times lower in Asian and Pacific Rim countries than in African and Caribbean countries. Whites in the United States and in European countries are intermediate. The 1996 INTERPOL violent crime rates clearly show this pattern: Asian countries, 35 violent crimes per 100,000 people; European countries, 42; and African countries, 149.
Chapter 2 also finds that Oriental children are slower to mature than White children while Black children are faster to mature. This is true for the rate of bone and tooth development and the age at which a child first sits, crawls, walks, and puts on clothing. Oriental children do not begin to walk until about 13 months, White children at 12 months, and Black children at 11 months.
Chapter 3 looks at racial differences in sexual activity. Orientals are the least sexually active, whether measured by age of first intercourse, intercourse frequency, or number of sexual partners. Blacks are the most active on all of these. Once again Whites are in between. These contrasts in sexual activity lead to differences in the rate of diseases like syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes, and chlamydia. There are high levels of AIDS in Africa, Black America, and the Caribbean and low levels in China and Japan. European countries again fall in between.
The races differ in rate of ovulation (Chapter 3). Not all women produce one egg during the menstrual cycle. When two or more eggs are produced at the same time, a pregnancy is more likely. So is the likelihood of producing fraternal twins (i.e., two-egg twins). The number of twins born is 16 out of every 1,000 births for Blacks, 8 out of every 1,000 births for Whites, and 4 or less for Orientals. Triplets and other multiple births are rarest in Orientals and highest in Blacks, with Whites in between.
Chapter 4 is about race and intelligence. Hundreds of studies on millions of people show a threeway pattern. IQ tests are often made to have an average score of 100, with a “normal” range from 85 to 115. Whites average from 100 to 103. Orientals in Asia and the U.S. tend to have higher scores, about 106, even though IQ tests were made for use in the Euro-American culture. Blacks in the U.S., the Caribbean, Britain, Canada, and in Africa average lower IQs — about 85. The lowest average IQs are found for sub-Saharan Africans — from 70 to 75.
Chapter 4 also looks at brain size. Bigger brains have more brain cells and this leads to higher IQs. The races vary in brain size. The Collaborative Perinatal Project followed more than 35,000 children from birth to seven years. Orientals had larger brains than Whites at birth, four months, one year, and seven years. Whites had larger brains than Blacks at all ages (see Chart 2). The data on adults in Chart 2 come from a sample of 6,325 U.S. Army personnel.
Chapter 5 asks whether differences in our brain size, our bodies and our behavior are because of genes, environment, or both. It also asks whether individual differences can tell us anything about race differences.

Chapter 6 discusses the gene based “life-history theory” I have proposed to explain the racial pattern in brain size, intelligence, and other traits. Evolutionary biologists call it the r-K scale of reproductive strategies. At one end of this scale are r-strategies that rely on high reproductive rates. At the other end are K-strategies that rely on high levels of parental care. This scale is generally used to compare the life histories of different species of animals. I have used it to explain the smaller but real differences between the human races.

On this scale, Orientals are more K-selected than Whites, while Whites are more K-selected than Blacks. Highly K-selected women produce fewer eggs (and have bigger brains) than r-selected women. Highly K-selected men invest time and energy in their children rather than the pursuit of sexual thrills. They are “dads” rather than “cads.”

Chapter 7 shows that the race differences in reproductive strategies make sense in terms of human evolution. Modern humans evolved in Africa about 200,000 years ago. Africans and non-Africans then split about 100,000 years ago. Orientals and Whites split about 40,000 years ago.

The more north the people went “Out of Africa,” the harder it was to get food, gain shelter, make clothes, and raise children. So the groups that evolved into today’s Whites and Orientals needed larger brains, more family stability, and a longer life. But building a bigger brain takes time and energy during a person’s development. So, these changes were balanced by slower rates of growth, lower levels of sex hormones, less aggression, and less sexual activity.

Why? Because Africa, Europe, and Asia had very different climates and geographies that called for different skills, resource usage, and lifestyles. Blacks evolved in a tropical climate which contrasted with the cooler one of Europe in which Whites evolved and even more so with the cold Arctic lands where Orientals evolved.

Because intelligence increased the chances of survival in harsh winter environments, the groups that left Africa had to evolve greater intelligence and family stability. This called for larger brains, slower growth rates, lower hormone levels, less sexual potency, less aggression, and less impulsivity. Advanced planning, self-control, rule-following, and longevity all increased in the non-Africans.

I realize that these topics are controversial and that readers will have many questions. Chapter 8 lists the questions I am most asked about Race, Evolution, and Behavior, and my answers to them.

Conclusion

Race is more than “just skin deep.” The pattern of Oriental-White-Black differences is found across history, geographic boundaries, and political-economic systems. It proves the biological reality of race. Theories based only on culture cannot explain all the data shown in Chart 1. The next three chapters describe the scientific findings on race differences (summarized in Chart 1) in greater detail. Later chapters explain why these differences follow such a pattern.

Quotes and chart from RACE, EVOLUTION, and BEHAVIOR: A Life History Perspective, by J.P. Rushton

You can download the abridged version, in various languages, here: RACE, EVOLUTION, and BEHAVIOR: A Life History Perspective, by J.P. Rushton

If you really are interested, then, of course, you will read the unabridged version. Unfortunately, I could not find it at Amazon

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377 thoughts on “Race differences in intelligence: how research changed my mind to overcome the “all races are equal” dogma.”

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    Well as a white person with an IQ of 130, I don’t think we should judge or generalize. You are going to get variations within groups. If you look back at the history of Europeans, it was often extremely violent and bloodthirsty. They were capable of being complete barbarians. This went on until comparatively recently in our history. Look at Nazi Germany where a supposedly civilized, refined society committed some of the most atrocious crimes against humanity in history. A whole country fooled by a madman who rose up during a politically and economically unstable time. We think we know better now but it could easily happen again under a certain set of conditions.

    I grew up in a very multicultural environment and don’t understand the need to categorize and label people. The media makes it worse with the stereotypes they encourage and I think to a certain extent, TPTB don’t mind the general public being divided against each other.

    But human nature being what it is, there is probably always going to be some division and prejudice. Never a perfect unity. But we could at least endeavor to treat others whom we consider ‘different’ with some mutual respect. My thoughts anyhow…

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