The Truth behind the HBD Cult part 4

Guest blogger T. continues to educate over here at NLU and bring up valid reasons why the science and studies behind HBD aren’t as conclusive as HBDers would like everyone to believe.  Just like there is no question that there is a difference between races and genetics makes up a part of that difference today  T. shows how and why environment even more so than genetics makes up the other part. Poking holes at a famous study that HBDers love to throw around as an absolute truth behind HBD being irrefutable. We are introduced to sterotype threat and shown how our society uses it in the learning environment. Sit down class is in session.



(HBD because I read one study that proves everything… Any questions?)









In the past two installments we discussed Carol Dweck’s fixed mindset research, and how it affects both people with positive stereotypes about themselves and people with negative stereotypes about themselves. People with positive stereotype about themselves, such as a belief in their own natural, effortless superiority, begin to have problems once they face setbacks that make them start doubting whether those positive stereotypes are true for them after all.

Once someone with a fixed mindset faces an ego threat in the form of a perceived failure, they go into defensive mode. They focus on avoiding challenges so that they won’t be revealed to themselves or others as defective. They self-sabotage and subscribe to self-defeating beliefs that provide them with built-in excuses for failure (AKA Self-handicapping). They become pessimistic about life and feel helpless about their ability to improve. They start constantly blaming external forces and other people for their problems. They focus less on practical, realistic solutions. They become chronically angry and vengeful. They become both emotionally and physically violent. They develop dysfunctional, combative romantic relationships. They get lazier and resort to shortcuts, or even cheat or commit crimes, in order to maintain an image of effortless superiority. They behave more narcissistically. They focus more on maintaining their image via impression management than with achieving genuine growth.

The twist, though, is that these negative ramifications only begin coming to the surface when the image of natural superiority the fixed mindset person formed is threatened. So long as everything is going well and there are no setbacks, all these negative ramifications don’t come to the surface for the most part. Once the do setbacks happen, however, they go from being afraid of losing a positive label and finding out it isn’t true to becoming afraid of earning a negative label and proving that true. It’s at that point that the negative side-effects really kick into high gear. They also become afraid to work twice as hard, because having to resort to working harder registers as just more proof of being defective.

Stereotype Threat, a concept largely developed in research papers by Claude Steele and Joshua Aronson, but followed up on in hundreds of studies, has to do with the fixed mindset in people who start off from the very beginning with the fear of earning a negative label and proving it to be true. Unlike the previously described students who start out in life believing they were naturally superior and are originally working with a positive label, these people always felt they were working with and against a negative, unchangeable label from the very beginning. Thus they started displaying the negative side-effects of the fixed mindset right from the very start. You can find a summary of stereotype studies here. [This link contains names of and summarizes all the references, over 110 studies and books in all. Rather than me listing them all out exhaustively, I decided to just refer to this summary and the bibliography at the end of it to supply the supporting research.]

Another interesting stereotype threat finding is that you don’t have to personally buy into a stereotype to be affected by it. For example, if a white guy doesn’t tip at a restaurant, he’s just viewed as an individual who didn’t tip. But a black person knows that if he doesn’t tip, he will be viewed as a “typical black guy” and as confirmation of a stereotype. For the white guy, it would be seen as a personal choice. For the black guy, it would be viewed as fundamental defect of his very identity and the added burden of contributing to the negative image of his whole race. There are tons of little concerns like this that come across the mind of many black people throughout a day, especially when middle class or higher. They may walk around cognizant of it and always overcompensating to avoid being mistaken for the stereotype.

Also interesting is another phenomenon related to stereotype threat, which is the Pygmalion Effect. Pygmalion Effect is described in this link I just provided on page 438.

[I]n a recent study, Arnold and Cross (2003) had teachers rank-order the children in their Head Start classes with respect to their interest in math activities. The teachers rated the Asian children as far more interested than African American or Anglo children, quite in line with the stereotypical image of Asians as math-oriented. But the picture in the teachers’ heads was misleading: Expert objective observers found nothing to confirm the teachers’ rankings of math orientation—neither the children’s self-reports nor objective recordings of children’s observed interest in playing math games revealed any differences. The black and Latino kids liked math just as much as the Asian kids, but the teachers missed it.

The problem, as we know from years of research, is that these distorted perceptions are not inert; people act upon them, treating the targets as if the stereotypes are true. Beginning with Rosenthal’s Pygmalion studies (Rosenthal & Jacobson, 1968; Rosenthal, 2002), research shows that stereotyped expectations shape social interactions and over time can resuit in the stereotype’s fulfillment, a process knowrn as a “self-fulfilling prophecy.” Specifically, if a student’s social identity suggests high ability, interest, or potential, he or she may be treated accordingly by a teacher—receiving more warmth, more chalienging material, more patience, and so on—and over time, develop into the bright student the teacher imagined initially. By the same token, negative expectancies based on group réputation can have the opposite effect, leading a teacher to create a colder, less chalienging environment for students from these groups. For example, teachers in a study by Brophy and Good (e.g., 1974), treated differently students they had labeled as strong or weak. When a “strong” student faltered, say, during a reading task, teachers were more likely to give subtle clues until the student came upon the solution. When a “weak” student faltered, teachers were more likely to simply supplv the correct answer. thus depriving the student of the opportunity to build skill and a sense of accomplishment. The process can be subtle and nonverbal, and it can occur without intention among individuals who consciously (and even adamantly) reject the stereotyped notions (Darley & Gross, 1983; Word, Zanna, & Cooper, 1974; Fazio, Jackson, Dunton, Sc Williams, 1995).

Or to put it more simply, when you stereotype or typecast another person, you start treating them differently. When you treat them differently and develop different expectations for them, you create a different environment for them, even within the same classroom, household, or family. The pygmalion effect doesn’t just work for creating a negative fixed mindset in minority children, but it also likely contributes to the positive fixed mindset that many white children develop.

Another way teachers can accidentally reinforce a negative fixed mindset was discussed in the Dweck research: by giving praise that’s insincere and unearned, just to bolster a student’s self-esteem. Praise must be specific, earned, and sincere, and must praise effort rather than innate ability in order to be effective. Otherwise it may excite suspicions of being inauthentic and be viewed as proof that the praise is not genuine and is in fact “pity praise.” The teacher who accepts the stereotype and acts harsher and the bleeding heart teacher who overcompensates against stereotyping with unearned, nonspecific praise can both end up increasing stereotype consciousness.

One popular study HBD people love is the Minnesota Transracial Adoption study, which supposedly proves conclusively that improving environments doesn’t improve black academic performance, because the black kids in the study who were adopted by white middle class parents didn’t improve much compared to black kids raised by black parents. HBD people like to argue that this shows black IQ inferiority is genetic in nature because despite a positive change in environment, black IQ performance remains largely the same.

However is the case so open and shut? Is it a slam dunk for genetic determinism or are there other plausible explanations worth exploring? Is it possible that the change in environment didn’t actually change the area that needed to be changed the most: whether or not the black kids still had a negative fixed mindset?

For example, why is it that African and Caribbean immigrants, despite also being descended from Sub-Suharan Africans, are often able to excel in American schools, despite the fact they are often said to have just much if not more African genetics than African-Americans, the fact that they have two Black parents, the fact they often grow up with less resources, and the fact they grew up with mostly black teachers? What I propose is, maybe a major contributing factor to the difference in academic performance relates to the fact that African and Caribbean immigrants don’t subscribe to stereotypes and the negative fixed mindset to the same extent that African-Americans do, and that plays an important role.

A big part of stereotype threat is the fear of proving your inferiority, especially in the presence of the people you fear are stereotyping you and who you fear may believe they are superior. For example there have been stereotype threat studies done of white athletes who believes that they were naturally genetically inferior to blacks in athletics. It was found that these white athletes performed much worse when being evaluated by black coaches than when evaluated by white coaches, presumably due to heightened anxiety at what the black coaches would think.

Since Caribbean and African immigrants grow up mostly among blacks, this fear of messing up in front of White people and of proving their inferiority is not something they grow up as consumed by compared to American blacks. Because they don’t grow up in a majority-White country that had such an ugly, racist history that involved hundreds of years of slavery, then lynchings and Jim Crow, then the Great Society,they don’t have the same racism fixations that American-born blacks have. Their parents weren’t constantly warning them about white racism because interacting wth whites wasn’t a huge part of their daily lives. Since everyone around them was largely black, they were freer to focus on other forms of comparison, such as class and wealth. Their teachers were primarily black so there was less chance of experiencing Pygmalion Effect from the teachers due to being black, since the teachers themselves did not subscribe to stereotypes strongly.

Recently, there was a controversial Superbowl commercial by Volkswagen about Jamaicans. Many African-Americans found it to be racist. Also, many White Americans also found it to be incredibly racist, especially White liberals. However, what was really interesting is that Jamaicans themselves by and large didn’t find it to be racist at all. They mostly just laughed it off. News outlets kept reporting that Jamaicans found the ad hilarious. Athlone McGuinness, who is of Jamaican descent, also weighed in on how the ad wasn’t racist. All my Jamaican friends felt similarly.

But what it did show was how engrained stereotype obsession is in America, both among whites and among blacks. Americans, both white and black, spend a lot of mental energy either consciously avoiding any discussion of stereotypes, reveling in discussing stereotypes, or overcompensating against stereotypes. When it comes to being cognizant and hyperaware of racial stereotype concerns, African-Americans are surprisingly more similar to White Americans than they are to Caribbeans.

So given that race and stereotypes are an obsession among Black Americans and White Americans, and given the findings of the stereotype threat and Pygmalion effect studies, isn’t it very possible that white adoptive parents in America may be transmitting stereotype fears into the black kids in much the same way that black parents do, and that’s why African-American students still do bad either in African-American households or White American households? Is it possible that the negative fixed mindset ends up affecting the African-American students despite the color of the parent, given that both African Americans and White Americans are both extremely stereotype conscious, as shown by their reactions to the VW ad? And if it’s possible these things played a role, and if Caribbean and African immigrants give us evidence that people with Black genes and less stereotype concerns are capable of superior academic performance, isn’t it to early to say these adoption studies are conclusive proof that genetics are the sole reason for the results?

Also, even though there are white kids with white middle-class parents and black kids with adoptive white middle-class parents, can we truly say they share the same environment given what we know about fixed mindsets, stereotype threat, and pygmalion effects? For example have you seen two siblings grow up in the same household, but one is treated like the golden child while the other like a scapegoat pariah? Sometimes even the same house and same parents can still be a different environment to two different people. So if a black kid is being raised by adoptive middle-class white parents and going to predominately white schools, given how he is likely not treated exactly the same as a white children being raised by their natural parents and going to a predominately white school. It’s the same place, but it’s not the same environment. And it doesn’t have to be deliberate, overt mean-spirited racism that causes the problems. It could even be the perception of benign racism in the form of lowered expectations of him by his adoptive white parents and teachers that could make him excessively self-conscious about stereotypes, or negative fixed mindsets. Much like African-American parents studied were shown to have lowered expectations for the academic performance of their kids than White and Asian parents did for their own kids, an adoptive White parent to an African-American kid may also show signs of having lowered expectations for the adopted Black kid than for his natural-born children.

Meanwhile, ask most American-born children of African or Caribbean parents whether their parents held them to lowered standards for academic performance. Although I speak anecdotally based on my own experiences and those of others like me I know, I’m pretty sure the answer is usually no. I can also say that I, nor my cousins, were not especially raised to obsess over white racism in the way that I noticed many of my African-American black friends were. In fact, my unwillingness to use the race card as much as they did was often a source of disagreement with us. And I don’t find I was an anomaly in this respect.

Consider this quote from this Larry Elder article:

The Democratic Party relies on the massive black vote, and does so by creating this “victicrat” mentality. In a “Spirit of Democracy Symposium on Diversity,” the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation complained about the failure of African and Caribbean immigrants to see themselves as black, and thus, recognize the “racism” they face in the job market. The Washington Times’ Steve Miller writes, “U.S. black leaders have failed to get African and Caribbean immigrants to think of themselves as ‘black’ and have created a rift among the groups.” Miller quotes William Spriggs, executive director of the National Urban League Institute for Opportunity and Equality: “Black politicians … haven’t been able to get (black immigrants) to buy into what white America is all about, about what white privilege is. Immigrants don’t come here with that understanding. We have to change our language to let them know that these are their problems.”

Here’s the problem. African and Caribbean immigrants do well. According to the Associated Press, income for blacks from the Caribbean and Africa averages $40,000, $7,000 higher than “African-Americans.” They also have more education, suggesting – gasp – a link between education and income. In short, unlike many indigenous “African-Americans,” blacks from the Caribbean and Africa do not see themselves as “victicrats.”

This isn’t to say that somehow Caribbeans and Africans are inherently superior to African-Americans. They just have very different histories and environments that led to very different results in how they view both themselves and white people. They subscribe much stronger to the negative fixed mindset than Africans and Caribbean immigrants do, and for understandable reasons, given much of their history in this country. American Blacks have been forced to be hyperconscious about race, stereotypes, the stigmas attached to them, and what whites think of them to an extent that Caribbean and African Blacks haven’t. It was something that was once a very necessary survival mechanism but that has now become maladaptive. This leads them to fall into many of the same fixed mindset behaviors Dweck discussed in relation to “smart” kids with positive fixed mindsets: self-sabotage (like self-handicapping by not adequately preparing for challenges, just so they can have an excuse ready), increased blaming behavior (like blaming almost everything on racism), low confidence, increased cheating and criminality, overcompensation with increasingly narcissistic behavior (look at all the extreme bragging and showing off in black music and the ghetto for example), contentious romantic relationships, looking for and justifying shortcuts and shying away from challenges for fear of failing (the continued unwillingness to let go of Affirmative Action), etc.

When African and Caribbean immigrant parents have children in America, with each generation they tend to identify more with American-born blacks. And sure enough, the academic performance differences between the immigrant blacks and the African-American blacks lessens with each successive generation born in America as a result. This to me also shows the possibility that the environment of growing up in America and absorbing its attitudes about stereotypes probably plays a role.

Now I want to make clear: I am not trying to argue a blank slate argument, or claim that genetics have no effect on IQ levels within populations. I am trying to show that the implications of all the research is far more complicated and less one-sided than HBDers try to portray, and I want to show that there are many plausible, extensively researched, possible contributing factors besides genetic determinism to consider when discussing many of the studies HBDers love to refer to. All of these need to be explored before anyone can conclusively blame genetic destiny for the problems of blacks. Also, I ‘m not trying to argue that America is a nasty racist place where all of the problems of Blacks are still largely the result of racist Whites. What I am trying to say is that Americans, both of White and Black descent, tend to be more hyperconscious of stereotype and race implications of many seemingly innocuous events in ways that many non-Americans aren’t, and perceive racism more, whether it’s real or not.

Also, before anyone tries to use this article to claim that it justifies segregation, diversity is something that has long left Pandora’s box and isn’t getting stuffed back in. The same HBD people who love to bash diversity and its effects are often the same ones who love to brag about White contributions to technology, progress, capitalism, and exploration. Well guess what? Those same forces you’re so proud of the same ones that created the diversity “problem” in the first place. When exploration and colonization create a path to travel to another land, they also create a path for people from that land to eventually travel back in the opposite direction. If you build a bridge to connect to and travel to somewhere else, it’s inevitable people from that place are going to cross it in reverse as well. Capitalism, technology, and progress create a pressure to find the cheapest labor possible, and an incentive to import cheap labor, beginning with African slaves, then with the poor European immigrants, and continuing to this day with Hispanic illegals. If HBD people want to trumpet white contributions to capitalism, innovation, exploration, and progress, they have to take ownership for diversity as well, and realize that the exact same things they brag about are what made diversity an irreversible inevitability.

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About The Author

Been in the game since 2005 and still learning everyday. But now I feel comfortable giving back and sharing wisdom with guys looking to improve one or two things in their lives that could increase their self confidence and the chance of having a favorable outcome in any romantic interaction with women. When you step to her you know you've already put in that work on your end. Nothing is left to chance.


  1. Wallace Beery February 27, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    All this handwringing over HBD because somebody’s favorite wingman is black. Race is real. Get over it.

  2. Coupe De Villain February 27, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    What’s your take on the Afro-Caribbean experience in Canada? In the UK?

    And how do the HBD’ers explain the Red States? Eastern Europe?

  3. Donny February 27, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Yeah I knew the VW commercial wasn’t racist b/c I know white Jamaicans who sound like that. Just because someone feels like something is racist doesn’t mean it’s legit.

  4. Scott February 27, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    I’d bet the #1 reason for the higher rates dysfunction in the black community is single parent homes. There’s an argument about monogamy and genetics that I don’t care to get into because I don’t know enough about it. Liberal crusaders (redundant) have done more to hurt blacks collectively than any racist rednecks.

  5. ant February 27, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Tim Duncan is an example of those Caribbean blacks who excell compare to his Af-American contemporaries.

  6. Matt Walker February 27, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    ” Once someone with a fixed mindset faces an ego threat in the form of a perceived failure, they go into defensive mode.”

    True. Well established. How many piles of psycho-jargon will it take for you to feel the ego threat has abated? Realistically, the ego threat you’re defending against never will abate (because the numbers that matter aren’t going to change any time this millenium), so wouldn’t your time be better spent doing something useful? Maybe something that would actually benefit the “disadvantaged”.

    Not that it matters. You’re like the anti-game MRAs and the 9/11 troofers and Holocaust revisionists. Futile.

    By the way, your last paragraph is absurd. Everybody knows how black Americans got here. Even though there are actually HBDers who fit the racist redneck sterotype you’re obsessed with, nothing obligates them to pretend that every singlee thing every white person ever did was a good thing in every way.

    You can’t seem to make a single point, ever, that doesn’t depend on an obvious logical fallacy. You’re not arguing, you’re turning out flimsy talking points, fit only for a tightly policed echo chamber. Sad stuff.

    • Nate February 27, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      Perhaps my logic needs work, could you please point me towards some of these fallacies?

    • Virgle Kent February 27, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      someone is mirin

    • T. AKA Ricky Raw February 28, 2013 at 12:29 am

      Hi Matt, I’m just curious about something. You and other HBDers keep mocking my pieces because they rely on findings of psychology studies. There are hundreds of studies of stereotype threat conducted by psychologists, done by studying children and students. I linked to Dweck’s research and to the research that built off of Dweck’s work, well over 100 studies in all, most of which was done by psychologists studying children and students. You keep mocking these pieces because they rely on psychological research and dismiss the studies.

      The IQ test was created by Alfred Binet. A psychologist. IQ and the IQ test are psychological concepts. As Wikipedia says, Binet published over 200 books, articles, and reviews in areas now known as experimental, developmental, educational, social, and differential psychology. He created his theories of intelligence by studying children, specifically his young daughters, as well as students. He further worked on the concept of IQ with another man, Theodore Simon, a psychologist, and they created the Binet-Simon Intelligence test, which is still the basis for IQ tests used today. So two psychologists who studied children created the IQ test.

      The next revision of the IQ test was the Stanford-Binet IQ test, created when Lewis Terman, a Stanford PSYCHOLOGIST, revised the Binet-Simon IQ test. This became the standard IQ test in the US for a while.

      The next development in IQ testing was the Wechsler Intelligence Scales, developed by David Wechsler, a PSYCHOLOGIST.

      So modern IQ testing is based on the work of four psychologists, and the one who invented IQ in the first place was a man who developed his IQ theory by doing psychological studies with children.

      If HBDers keep implying that psychology is junk, and that the type of research I’ve been providing thus far which has to do with psychological studies of children is junk, are you also saying that the whole concept of IQ testing is junk too, since it’s also the product of psychologists, their studies, and their work with schoolchildren?

  7. jack February 28, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Caribbean blacks and Africans who come over are generally from the upper class of such societies. Such people are already head and tows above their own country men and generally outperform American blacks as well. When you import the general populous from such countries (as the UK has done) the results are even worse than American blacks.

    • T. AKA Ricky Raw February 28, 2013 at 8:55 pm

      The Caribbeans and Africans who come over to the US are not only or even mostly from the upper class of such societies. There are plenty of Caribbean immigrants in New York who were dirt poor, working class, and lower middle class in their home countries. It’s a typical story to find African and Caribbean immigrants who are cab drivers, entrepreneurs, or administrative workers, and their American-born children are the first generation ever to attend college and are high academic performers. These early waves of Caribbean and African immigrants may not have been the absolute dregs of those societies, but they weren’t all the creme de la creme upper class like you’re trying to portray.

      But even if they were…let’s go with that questionable premise. The reason HBD people love the Minnesota Adoption study is because it “proves” that even if you put black genetics in a well-to-do household, they will still underperform. Their genetics are such that the best schools and the most resources will make little to no difference. So if the excuse now is to say that Caribbean immigrants do well because they’re the upper class of their society, then that’s saying the opposite of the Minnesota Adoption story: that the right environment and external influences CAN lead to superior academic perfomance and IQ among people with black genes.

      So you basically just cosigned the idea that genetics aren’t everything and that the right environments and mindsets can help blacks achieve high.

  8. Matt March 3, 2013 at 5:34 am

    So far I have read all four of Ts installments regarding scientific racism and its causes, as well as a couple hundred of your comments, and I find it very hard to come to any conclusions at all. T, your blog about psychology is brilliant, and your psychological analysis of obsessive HBDers is very perceptive, although it hasn’t helped me form an opinion as to the validity of race research. I do think that it would help out if looked at each specific study in more depth and its strengths/shortfalls. It is hard to form an opinion when peoples comments on both sides of the debate are so wildly speculative. For example, if stereotype threat is so strong, yet Asians are stereotyped as being so smart, then has anyone looked at the IQs of Cambodian and Laotian children adopted by white American families? According to “race realists” southeast Asians have an average IQ of 70 while Chinese, Koreans and Japanese average 105. Or how about Sephardic Jews adopted by Ashkenazi Jewish parents in both Israel and the US? I’m guessing stereotype threat is bigger in Israel in this case where there is more of a distinction between different kinds of Jews. Or how about all the hybrids? Do any readers know of any studies about the IQs of Israelis that are half Ashkenazi and Half Sephardic? If Ashkenazi Jews have an average 110 IQ and Sephardi closer to 90, then this should tell us a hell of a lot about where IQ research stands. All in all I feel that these discussion would be more productive if we looked at the nitty gritty differences in scientific design between different studies. Maybe some more scientifically rigorous well read and unbiased readers can clue me in: How does the Minnesota study differ from the German study where half black children of American officers had IQs just as high as the German populace? Do some studies have better methodology?

    • T. AKA Ricky Raw March 3, 2013 at 4:18 pm

      For example, if stereotype threat is so strong, yet Asians are stereotyped as being so smart, then has anyone looked at the IQs of Cambodian and Laotian children adopted by white American families? According to “race realists” southeast Asians have an average IQ of 70 while Chinese, Koreans and Japanese average 105. Or how about Sephardic Jews adopted by Ashkenazi Jewish parents in both Israel and the US? I’m guessing stereotype threat is bigger in Israel in this case where there is more of a distinction between different kinds of Jews. Or how about all the hybrids? Do any readers know of any studies about the IQs of Israelis that are half Ashkenazi and Half Sephardic? If Ashkenazi Jews have an average 110 IQ and Sephardi closer to 90, then this should tell us a hell of a lot about where IQ research stands. All in all I feel that these discussion would be more productive if we looked at the nitty gritty differences in scientific design between different studies. Maybe some more scientifically rigorous well read and unbiased readers can clue me in: How does the Minnesota study differ from the German study where half black children of American officers had IQs just as high as the German populace? Do some studies have better methodology?

      No offense, but that just sounds like mental masturbation hell that would muddy the waters more than clarify anything.

      The question posed by the Minnesota Adoption Studies is simple: are black IQ genetics so hardwired and unchangeable that blacks are doomed to perform no matter what environment they’re placed in, no matter how good that enviornment is? I proved real-world evidence that there actually are certain circumstances and environments where people with black genetics consistently perform highly. I also provide studies showing evidence of the existence of stereotype threat, along with real life examples showing that stereotype formation is much stronger among Americans than among Caribbeans and Africans.

      Somehow you say that’s not directly relevant enough evidence, but that studies on Ashkenazi Jews, southest Asians, German adoptees, etc. IS more directly relevant and will be more enlightening?

      I really don’t get your logic. So evidence that gives real-life examples of a group of blacks who consistently perform highly and gives a very plausible, well-researched theory as to what it is that causes them to perform so highly sheds no light on the question of whether blacks can ever perform highly. But studies on Ashkenazi Jews, Cambodians, and Sephardics is more productive? I just don’t see it. I’m not saying such research is worthless, just that I don’t see how it is more relevant to the question of whether blacks are capable of high achievement than evidence that actually shows blacks achieving highly and isolating the environmental causes behind the high achievement.

  9. Matt March 9, 2013 at 12:26 pm


    I veered off topic quite a bit although I don’t think my reasoning was completely irrelevant to you posts either. I don’t think the studies you mention are irrelevant, they just don’t shed quite enough light on whether HBD makes sense, they don’t give us the big picture.

    If one looks very precisely at “race realism” research, then we realize that “race” itself is not the issue. Comparing the castes in India which HPD claims over the last couple thousand years developed completely different IQs in different environments is a perfect example. The same goes for Ashkenazi vs. Sephardic Jews who are claimed to have faced completely different evolutionary pressures even though recent studies show that their genes are remarkably similar after being apart for so long.

    The problem I have with studies on blacks is that there are no dichotomies like this among black populations. Aside from Great Zimbabwe very long ago blacks have not had enough time to develop any civilizations. (And these people with high IQ’s all happen to be from the most highly civilized countries).

    This is why an adoption study with different groups of Asians would shed light on the issue, and as an added bonus, would rid us of any stereotype threat.

    I am not saying any of this is simple or “black and white” pardon the cheesy pun. What even makes me question my own reasoning is the colonization of the Americas. There were the simplest tribes there, as well as the most advanced civilizations. But for some reason all of the descendants of Native Americans do poorly on IQ tests according to HBDers.

    I’m not saying I have the answers or that your quoted research is irrelevant. But I do think that intelligence is additive and that a more systematic approach to studying its causes would be key to understanding it, because there are too many discrepancies in HBD research.

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