This book is very popsci and can be read in 1 day for any reasonably fast reader. It doesnt contain much new information to anyone who has read a few books on the topic. As can be seen below, it has a lot of nonsense/errors since clearly the author is not used to this area of science. It is not recommended except as a light introduction to people with political problems with these facts.
But a drawback o f the system is its occasional drift toward
extreme conservatism. Researchers get attached to the view of their
field they grew up with and, as they grow older, they may gain the
influence to thwart change. For 50 years after it was first proposed,
leading geophysicists strenuously resisted the idea that the continents
have drifted across the face of the globe. “Knowledge advances,
funeral by funeral,” the economist Paul Samuelson once observed.
Wrong quote origin. en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Max_Planck
>A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.
Academics, who are obsessed with intelligence, fear the discovery
of a gene that will prove one major race is more intelligent than
another. But that is unlikely to happen anytime soon. Although
intelligence has a genetic basis, no genetic variants that enhance intel
ligence have yet been found. The reason, almost certainly, is that
there are a great many such genes, each of which has too small an
effect to be detectable with present methods.8 If researchers should
one day find a gene that enhances intelligence in East Asians, say,
they can hardly argue on that basis that East Asians are more intelli
gent than other races, because hundreds of similar genes remain to be
discovered in Europeans and Africans.
Even if all the intelligence-enhancing variants in each race had
been identified, no one would try to compute intelligence on the basis
of genetic information: it would be far easier just to apply an intelli
gence test. But IQ tests already exist, for what they may be worth.
We have found a number of SNPs already. And we have already begun counting them in racial groups. See e.g.: openpsych.net/OBG/2014/05/opposite-selection-pressures-on-stature-and-intelligence-across-human-populations/
It s social behavior that is of relevance for understanding pivotal—
and otherwise imperfectly explained— events in history and econom
ics. Although the emotional and intellectual differences between the
world’s peoples as individuals are slight enough, even a small shift in
social behavior can generate a very different kind of society. Tribal
societies, for instance, are organized on the basis of kinship and differ
from modern states chiefly in that people’s radius of trust does not
extend too far beyond the family and tribe. But in this small variation
is rooted the vast difference in political and economic structures
between tribal and modern societies. Variations in another genetically
based behavior, the readiness to punish those who violate social rules,
may explain why some societies are more conformist than others.
The lure of Galton’s eugenics was his belief that society would
be better off if the intellectually eminent could be encouraged to
have more children. W hat scholar could disagree with that? More
of a good thing must surely be better. In fact it is far from certain
that this would be a desirable outcome. Intellectuals as a class are
notoriously prone to fine-sounding theoretical schemes that lead
to catastrophe, such as Social Darwinism, Marxism or indeed
By analogy with animal breeding, people could no doubt be
bred, if it were ethically acceptable, so as to enhance specific desired
traits. But it is impossible to know what traits would benefit society
as a whole. The eugenics program, however reasonable it might seem,
was basically incoherent.
The principal organizer of the new eugenics movement was
Charles Davenport. He earned a doctorate in biology from Harvard
and taught zoology at Harvard, the University of Chicago, and the
Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences Biological Laboratory at
Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island. Davenport’s views on eugenics
were motivated by disdain for races other than his own: “Can we
build a wall high enough around this country so as to keep out these
cheaper races, or will it be a feeble dam . . . leaving it to our descen
dants to abandon the country to the blacks, browns and yellows and
seek an asylum in New Zealand?” he wrote.9
Well, about that… In this century europeans will be <50% in the US. I wonder if the sociologists will then stop talking about minority, as if that somehow makes a difference.
One of the most dramatic experiments on the genetic control of
aggression was performed by the Soviet scientist Dmitriy Belyaev. From
the same population of Siberian gray rats he developed two strains, one
highly sociable and the other brimming with aggression. For the tame
rats, the parents of each generation were chosen simply by the criterion
of how well they tolerated human presence. For the ferocious rats, the
criterion was how adversely they reacted to people. After many gener
ations of breeding, the first strain was now so tame that when visitors
entered the room where the rats were caged, the animals would press
their snouts through the bars to be petted. The other strain could not
have been more different. The rats would hurl themselves screaming
toward the intruder, thudding ferociously against the bars of their
Didnt know this one. The ref is:
N icholas Wade, “N ice R a ts, N asty R a ts: Maybe I t ’s All in the G en es,”
N ew York Tim es, Ju ly 2 5 , 2 0 0 6 , www.nytimes.com/2006/07/25/health/
25 ra ts.h tm l?p a g ew a n ted = a ll& _ r=0 (accessed Sept. 2 5 , 2 0 1 3 )
Rodents and humans use many of the same genes and brain regions
to control aggression. Experiments with mice have shown that a large
number of genes are involved in the trait, and the same is certainly true
of people. Comparisons of identical twins raised together and sepa
rately show that aggression is heritable. Genes account for between
3 7% and 72% of the heritability, the variation of the trait in a popula
tion, according to various studies. But very few of the genes that under
lie aggression have yet been identified, in part because when many
genes control a behavior, each has so small an effect that it is hard to
detect. Most research has focused on genes that promote aggression
rather than those at the other end of the behavioral spectrum.
This sentence is nonsensical.
Standing in sharp contrast to the economists’ working assumption
that people the world over are interchangeable units is the idea that
national disparities in wealth arise from differences in intelligence.
The possibility should not be dismissed out of hand: where individu
als are concerned, IQ scores do correlate, on average, with economic
success, so it is not unreasonable to inquire if the same might be true
Marked sentence is nonsensical.
Turning to economic indicators, they find that national IQ scores
have an extremely high correlation (83%) with economic growth per
capita and also associate strongly with the rate of economic growth
between 1950 and 1 9 9 0 (64% correlation).44
More conceptual confusion.
And indeed with Lynn and Vanhanen’s correlations, it is hard to
know which way the arrow of causality may be pointing, whether
higher IQ makes a nation wealthier or whether a wealthier nation
enables its citizens to do better on IQ tests. The writer Roy Unz has
pointed out from Lynn and Vanhanen’s own data examples in which
IQ scores increase 10 or more points in a generation when a popula
tion becomes richer, showing clearly that wealth can raise IQ
scores significantly. East German children averaged 90 in 1 9 6 7 but
99 in 1984. In West Germany, which has essentially the same popu
lation, averages range from 99 to 107. This 17 point range in the
German population, from 90 to 107, was evidently caused by the
alleviation of poverty, not genetics.
Ron Unz, the cherry picker. conservativetimes.org/?p=11790
East Asia is a vast counterexample to the Lynn/Vanhanen thesis.
The populations of China, Japan and Korea have consistently higher
IQs than those of Europe and the United States, but their societies,
despite their many virtues, are not obviously more successful than
those of Europe and its outposts. Intelligence can’t hurt, but it doesn’t
seem a clear arbiter of a population’s economic success. W hat is it
then that determines the wealth or poverty of nations?
No. But it does disprove the claim that IQs are just GDPs. The oil states have low IQs and had that both before and after they got rich on oil, and will have in the future when they run out of oil again. Money cannot buy u intelligence (yet).
From about 9 0 0 a d to 1700 a d , Ashkenazim were concentrated
in a few professions, notably moneylending and later ta x farming
(give the prince his money up front, then extract the taxes due from
his subjects). Because of the strong heritability of intelligence, the
Utah team calculates that 20 generations, a mere 5 0 0 years, would be
sufficient for Ashkenazim to have developed an extra 16 points of IQ
above that of Europeans. The Utah team assumes that the heritability
of intelligence is 0 .8 , meaning that 8 0 % of the variance, the spread
between high and low values in a population, is due to genetics. If the
parents of each generation have an IQ of just 1 point above the mean,
then average IQ increases by 0 .8 % per generation. If the average
human generation time in the Middle Ages was 2 5 years, then in 20
human generations, or 5 0 0 years, Ashkenazi IQ would increase by
2 0 x 0.8 = 16 IQ points.
More conceptual confusion. One cannot use % on IQs becus IQs are not ratio scale and hence division makes no sense. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levels_of_measurement#Comparison