Daily Archives: November 15, 2012

Genetics and Evolution of IQ and Head Size in Antiquity and Modernity

Objectivity, a very strong HBD type, writes,

All of the race realist ranting about dysgenics grows very tiresome. Humans are intelligent creatures. It’s only logical that the evolution that drove us to this point is ongoing

But the selection that drove us to this point was probably NATURAL selection where only the smartest few could SURVIVE long enough to have children. Since the advent of agriculture, there’s been enough food for everyone, so evolution has been more about SEXUAL selection and that slightly favors low IQ classes and races because these tend to be the most promiscuous (see Rushton).

That’s why there’s probably been virtually no GENETIC increase in brain size or IQ in the last 10,000 years aside from perhaps a decrease in inbreeding. Actually the malnutrition caused by abandoning our hunter/gather diet probably shrunk brain size and IQ for thousands of years, and only with the advent of 20th century nutrition are we reverting back to our big brained selves. This explains the secular rise in brain size and IQ performance, though probably only half of the Flynn Effect is a real rise in intelligence; the rest is just that our increasingly educated society is good at faking high intelligence on IQ tests.

And I don’t think the black-white IQ gap is narrowing. You’re only looking at a small sample of tests. Rushton & Jensen examined the totality of data and found no shrinkage in the gap, and in fact they speculate that the true black American IQ might be only 78 if samples included blacks living in parts of the inner-city so scary it’s too dangerous for psychologists to even test them.

This argument is simply wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. There are so many things wrong with this that I don’t know where to start.

No evidence for genetic increases in brain size or IQ for the last 10,000 years. Fine, but there is also no evidence that there has not been any genetic increases in IQ over 10,000 years. Certainly certain groups such as Ashkenazi Jews, via widespread inbreeding, have evolved extremely high IQ’s. NE Asians have also evolved some very high IQ’s, possibly through preferential breeding with the brightest. There is no evidence that the NE Asian IQ of 105 is not the result of an increase in the past 10,000 years, and in fact, that is exactly what is suggestive. I would suspect that Confucian culture whereby females sought to breed with the smartest males is part of the answer. The same mechanism occurred with the Jews, whereby men not smart enough to study the Torah and Talmud simply left Judaism and converted to Christianity. The females then competed for the most intelligent young males. Females continue to preferentially select for the brightest males in Chinese society today.

Furthermore the article in which this comment appeared involves a comparison of White and Black skulls from colonial times to the present. The study found that skulls of both races grew dramatically larger and more progressive over a 200-300 year period. The study author said some of the result was due to environment (especially in the Blacks) but that most of the changes were genetic. Therefore, there were large increases in Black and White skulls over 200-300 years in the US favoring larger skulls and more progressive features. At the same time, we have seen dramatic increases in US Black IQ versus Caribbean and African Black IQ (Caribbean and African Black IQ = ~70 while US Black IQ = 87). Only a couple of those points can be attributed to White genes, leaving the rest unaccounted for. The changes in US Black skulls occurred since 1900 and involved a trend towards larger and more progressive skulls.

What happened was this. Since colonial times, Whites and Blacks have been selecting for more progressive features and less archaic features. As more progressive features tend to have higher IQ’s than more archaic features, these changes led to increased IQ. There was also selection for larger heads, possibly on the part of females choosing more intelligent males. The selection only occurred since 1900 in Blacks. After Liberation, Blacks were now free to make money. In Black communities, considerable money could be made. More progressive or “Whiter” features were valued and more archaic or “Blacker” features were devalued by both males and females. Black females preferred females with more progressive features for beauty purposes. Black males with more progressive features may have been less discriminated against and more able to pass. Further, more intelligent Black men made more money in the Black community and hence were preferred by females for breeding purposes due to status and income. Before 1900, most Blacks were very poor and very Black looking and there was not a lot to select for in terms of income or progressive features.

In fact, the selection has been so dramatic that Blacks and Whites today resemble each other more than they do their own ancestors! That is, modern Whites look more like modern Blacks than they look like Thomas Jefferson or George Washington. Modern Blacks look more like modern Whites than they look like Sally Hemmings or other slave ancestors from Colonial America.

There is no evidence whatsoever that the agricultural revolution led to a decrease in brain size and IQ. In fact, as civilization expanded dramatically during this era, the opposite seems true.

There is also no evidence whatsoever that the Agricultural Revolution led to increased malnutrition as opposed to the hunter-gatherer lifestyle. In fact, most hunter-gatherers have experienced extreme famines with horrible natural selection events possibly involving the deaths of 90-95% of the population. Thus they have thrifty constitutions and are subject to diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, etc. Agricultural populations have no such thrifty constitutions. Hence, it appears that hunter-gatherers have experienced more famine events than agriculturalists which means that hunter gatherers are more subject to malnutrition than farmers. In our modern era, agriculturalists have the highest IQ’s of all and hunter-gatherer IQ’s tend to be lower than that of agriculturalists. This holds true even within races, as African hunter-gatherers are thought to have lower IQ’s than African agriculturalists.

It is not true that only half of the Flynn Effect is an increase in real intelligence. There is just about zero effect of test taking on the Flynn Effect. All of the FE is real. It’s just a matter of what you think it all means. In some ways, we really are smarter than our grandparents, but in other ways, we are not. Increased eduction also makes humans smarter, contrary to your POV.

The B-W IQ gap is definitely narrowing in children. That much is beyond dispute. I say that the adult B-W gap is narrowing by ~2 points for adults also, but that’s a lot more controversial. Even Charles Murray agrees that there has been a 7.5 point narrowing of the B-W IQ gap among adults since 1920.

There is no evidence that the Black IQ is 78, not 87, in the US. Tests are routinely conducted at inner city schools, no matter how dangerous they are. This has been going on for decades now, and at any rate, Black ghettos were much less dangerous 50 years ago, IQ’s were not 78 then.

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