In the July 18 issue of The American Conservative Ron Unz, its publisher, wrote a thoughtful article reanalyzing Richard Lynn’s collection of IQ test data from around the world. His conclusion was that IQ test scores in eastern and southern Europe had increased dramatically along with improving socioeconomic conditions in recent decades and that this response to environmental improvement was also happening in the US Hispanic population. He also pointed out that in East Asian populations IQ scores had remained static and that there and uniquely there no apparent response to environmental improvement occurred.
His article was remarkable for its gracious and even tone with extensive citation to data, not only from Lynn but from “quant bloggers” who follow the literature on ethnicity and cognitive testing. A flurry of responses and critiques soon appeared, and these are detailed and linked in Unz’s followup article. He points out that serious and useful criticisms come almost entirely from “racialist” bloggers while none come from what he might call “anti-racialist” bloggers. There are several interesting aspects of this debate that encourage us to hope for higher grade public awareness and discussion of ethnicity and IQ.
First, the debate is civil and scholarly and polite. Unz feels that Lynn should have noticed what he (Unz) did in Lynn’s data while he acknowledges Lynn’s important contributions to the literature. Second, there is so far no useful analysis from the “liberals” at all. (I use the L word following convention but I don’t think it is right: I am a liberal and most of them are not.) This confirms my long-held impression that diversity deniers are not very numerate and that down deep their assertions are shallow.
The same collegiality is apparent in responses to Unz by Lynn himself and by Helmuth Nyborg at the American Renaissance website. There is a real prospect of useful understanding of the issue to emerge from all of this.
Third, Unz refers unselfconsciously to “racialist” blogs, often called “HBD” blogs, without loading his term with any value. Again, exactly the right touch.
There is plenty of talk about race, ethnicity, and IQ available on the web but it is dominated by sites with lowbrow commentariats that are not very helpful, for example at one extreme sites like this and at the other occasional bouts at sites like this or this. There is hope for us after all.
Unz’s political take in his article is that there are no grounds for concern about low IQ illegal Mexican immigration into the US because within a decade or two the IQ of that population will pop right up to Irish or Dutch levels. I personally favor mass deportation, not on IQ or social capital grounds, but tree hugger that a I am, on the need for us to get our population down and preserve things like wilderness and farmlands. It might not be so difficult: there must be a large number of FEMA trailers that could be used to stock processing centers and in Utah, the site of several WWII Japanese internment camps, plans and blueprints must exist to reconstruct those camps.