Make The World Flat

fringeelements’ panoptic 220 minute video on race and intelligence

1. Context of the “debate”
- Steven Jay Gould: Egalitarian Fraud (0:00)
- Franz Boas: Egalitarian Fraud (5:20)
- The Egalitarian Fiction and the Collective Fraud (11:10)
- Mainstream Science on Intelligence (16:45)
- Mainstream Science on Race (30:18)
- The Validity of Race (34:31)
2. Egalitarianism in practice
- Affirmative Action and Civil Rights (40:20)
- Black Invention Myths (46:25)
- Hate Crime Hoaxes (51:33)
- The Lynching and Police Discrimination Myths (55:58)
- South Africa (1:01:18)
- Non-European Immigrant Populations (1:13:04)
- Questions for Egalitarians (1:19:17)
3. Basic Principles
- Ecological Correlation (1:22:14)
- Validity of IQ (1:25:38)
- Test Bias (1:26:48)
- Controlling for Socioeconomic Status (1:28:57)
- Heritability of IQ (1:29:49)
- The Flynn Effect (1:37:15)
- Egalitarian Backbone Fallacies (1:39:43)
- Not Enough Genetic Distance (1:43:26)
4. Race and IQ
- Broad Arc of Data (1:47:07)
- Concepts and Science (1:53:19)
- A Review (1:55:25)
- The Default Position (1:57:10)
- Dog Breeds, Human Races and Double Standards (1:57:31)
- Prevalence of Myopia by Race (2:00:32)
- Gene Amplification (2:29:39)
- Regression to the Mean (2:35:42)
- Brain Size (2:39:52)
- Intermediate race, intermediate IQ (2:48:17)
- Eyferth (2:51:21)
- Nutrition (2:53:21)
- Abecedarian Project (2:57:12)
- Is the gap narrowing? (2:58:52)
- Stereotype Threat (3:00:37)
- Guns, Germs, Steel and Red Herrings (3:06:00)
- You can raise your IQ! (3:11:02)
- Correlation is not Causation (3:12:59)
- You can’t find every gene associated with intelligence! (3:15:23)
5. Conclusion
- Who’s the creationist (3:20:12)
- Make the World Flat (3:33:41)

“World’s Best Countries” world’s smartest countries

National IQs explain 70% of the variance in Newsweek’s (2010) list of “World’s best countries” [1]. Newsweek’s criterion were (Education, Health, Quality of Life, Economic Dynamism, Political Environment).

This isn’t particularly surprising since Newsweek’s scale closely matches with Lynn and Vanhanen’s Index of Human Condition, which correlates with national IQ at .8.

Vanhanen, T (2011). Suomen paikka kansainvälisissä vertailuissa. Tieteessä tapahtuu, 29,1,19–23.)

IQ & malleability, again

Someone pointed me to a recent study — Ramsden et al (2011) — which seems to have gotten a bit of press (e.g. “Congressman Fattah Cites Study Showing Malleability of IQ in Teenage Brains“). [To summarize the study: 33 kids had their intelligences measured and brains scanned at ages 14 and 18; the test-retest correlation was 0.8; the range in IQ change between intervals was 20 points; and the IQ change correlated modestly with brain differences.]

As for the study, the authors’ comments notwithstanding — ” Neuroimaging allows us to test whether unexpected in measured IQ are related to brain development” — the found IQ changes are in line with what is typically found. Here is a table out of Brody (1992 p. 233; Intelligence, Chapter 8: Continuity and Change in Intelligence). As can be seen there can be considerable change in IQ scores between years, though the volatility both in terms of mean and range decreases with age.

Likewise, as would be expected from the above, the age to age reliability of test scores increases with age.

So the “unexpected longitudinal fluctuations,” per se, are of little interest. What is is that the score changes correlated with brain changes. As such, the fluctuations can not solely be attributed to measurement error and non-ability/developmental differences. Of course, this implies that measures of IQ have more validity than is sometimes thought (i.e. the known fluctuations in scores across development actually track fluctuations in ability, as indexed by cortical volume). Imagine the press if these results were not found (e.g. “Congressman Fattah Cites Study Showing the lack of validity of IQ in Teenage Brains”)!

But what about malleability? The paper clearly shows the changeability of IQ and the brain in this sample, but it’s not clear how much of this runs from the outside in. A while back I pointed to a few studies which found that the causality between IQ and brain volume largely runs from the inside out:

In a more recent paper by van Leeuwen et al. (2009, also see De Moor et al. 2008), the authors argue that if the causal path runs from cognition to brain, then there should be both environmental and genetic correlations between cognition and brain, since there are significant environmental and genetic effects on cognition, which would then be passed onto brain in the causal chain. Since they found only genetic but not environmental correlations between brain volumes and cognition in this study, they argue that only a causal path from brain to cognition or pleiotropy (possibilities 2 and 1 above) are consistent with their data. In the current results, since we also found significant genetic but not environ- mental correlations between brain and cognition, the most likely causal models are either a causal path from brain to cognition or pleiotropy. The same argument could be made from Posthuma et al. (2003)’s study with adults, which also did not find both environmental and genetic correlations between any cognitive and brain volume measures. (Genetic Covariation Between Brain Volumes and IQ, Reading Performance, and Processing Speed)

At least for g. Which is another issue, as the authors of the Ramsden et al (2011) note:

The locations of the grey matter changes associated with VIQ and PIQ changes do not correspond to the anterior frontal and parietal regions associated with general intelligence7 (g factor). It may therefore be the case that g remains relatively constant across ages, but changes in the ability to perform individual subtests depend on changes in sensorimotor skills. It is also notable that although completion of the subtests comprising verbal and performance measures must implicate a network of brain regions, only structural changes in regions associated with sensorimotor skills showed correlations with changes in VIQ and PIQ.

It would have been informative if they extracted g out to see if or to what extent the structural change correlated with it. General intelligence (and genes for it) is largely what gives stability to IQ scores, after all. In an analysis of the Capron and Duyme (1989) study, a study which is frequently cited in support of claims of IQ’s malleability, Jensen found that the adoption effect was not a Jensen effect. One likewise probably would find that the changes here were not g changes.

The take home message of this study (or message worth taking home) is that while cognitive abilities, at least lower level ones, are stable, they are not fixed and can fluctuate, especially during the development period. But there is really nothing new here.

Vanhanen on National IQs and their future

Vanhanen, 2011. National IQs and their demographic correlates

National IQs calculated by Richard Lynn on the basis of intelligence tests carried out in many countries of the world measure differences in average mental abilities of nations. His cold winters theory provides a reasonable theoretical explanation for the emergence of these differences. Lynn’s database on national IQs is unique. Many researchers have already started to use national IQs in their studies exploring to what extent differences in average mental abilities of nations could explain national differences in various social phenomena. The purpose of this paper is to tell about the evolution and expansion of data on national IQs in the connection of the author’s and Richard Lynn’s joint efforts to explore to what extent differences in the wealth of nations and in other social conditions are related to differences in national IQs.

Other recent articles:

Jones, 2011. National IQ and National Productivity: The Hive Mind Across Asia

Rindermann, 2011. Intellectual classes, technological progress and economic development: The rise of cognitive capitalism

Meisenberg, 2011. National IQ and economic outcomes

Hassall and Sherratt, 2011. Statistical inference and spatial patterns in correlates of IQ

Rindermann and Thompson, 2011. Cognitive Capitalism : The Effect of Cognitive Ability on Wealth, as Mediated Through Scientific Achievement and Economic Freedom