January 25, 2017

Race and IQ: the Case for Genes

This article will lay out the basic case for “hereditarianism” or the view that genes are an important cause of racial IQ differences. At this point, you may already be thinking something like “no reputable scientist would ever think this!”, “Race doesn’t even exist!”, “IQ tests are culturally biased and don’t measure intelligence anyway!”, “What about poverty, racism, single motherhood, education, etc.,!” all of which will be dealt with in this article. For the time being, just try to keep an open mind. Then, after reviewing the evidence fairly, you can decide whether or not I’m a crack pot.

Race and IQ tests

Some people are skeptical of the very ideas of “race” and “IQ”, so let’s deal with that first.

Races are just populations that evolved in different environments. Racial groups correspond to genetic clusters and differ enough genetically such that differences in IQ are plausible. If you really doubt the basic existence of race, see this article dealing with that subject in isolation.

Now let’s turn to IQ. The most popular IQ tests include items which test mathematical ability, pattern recognition, short-term memory, verbal comprehension, and vocabulary. They are not perfect measures of intelligence, but they predict how smart a person’s peers say they are as well as how well people do in school and on the job (Denissen et al., 2011; Palhusand and Morgan, 1997; Bailey and Hatch, 1979; Bailey and Mattetal, 1977). In fact, IQ is a better predictor of income and educational attainment than parental socio-economic status is (Strenze, 2006).

Now, you might think that other notions of intelligence are important too. Certainly, IQ is not the only important thing about a person and whether to call a given skill “intelligence” is just a fight about words. If you want, you can replace the term “intelligence” with “IQ”. The important point is not that IQ is everything we normally call intelligence, it’s not, but that it is real and important.

Some people think that IQ tests only measure intelligence among Europeans. This is not true. Surveys of experts show that the vast majority of researchers in this area do not think that IQ tests are substantially culturally biased, and this is for good reason.

Bias in Tests Survey.png

(Reeve and Charles, 2008)

If IQ tests painted non-Whites are being less intelligent than they actually are then they should under-predict how well non-Whites do in school and the work force. They do not (Kobrin, 2001; Cucina et al., 2016; Jensen, 1980). Moreover, if IQ tests are biased, there should be “bias” problems which are among the hardest problems for non-Whites but the easiest for Whites. Actually, Whites and non-Whites rank the difficulty of IQ tests items essentially identically (Jensen and McGurk, 1986; Reynolds and Suzuki, 2003). Further still, if IQ tests were really biased against non-Whites, you would expect Europeans to score the highest on them. They don’t, East Asians do (Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen, 2012; Faulk, 2016A). In summary, the idea that IQ tests are culturally or racially biased makes several testable predictions and they have all been falsified.

Establishing the Gap

It is uncontroversial that racial differences in IQ exist. Meta-analyses of data on more than 6,000,000 people have shown that Blacks in America score about 15 points lower than Whites do (Roth et al., 2001). East Asians, by contrast, score a few points higher than Whites do.

Of course, this does not mean that every African American has a lower IQ than every European American. Actually, these numbers imply that around one in ten African Americans will have an IQ of 100 or higher (the White average) and one in six Whites will have an IQ of 85 or lower (the Black average). The point is that these groups differ on average.

Why gaps matter

That being said, these gaps do matter. If you control for IQ, many social inequalities between the races disappear. For instance, if you hold IQ constant, Blacks are more likely than Whites to get a college degree and get paid the same for the same work.

education-holding-iq-constantwages-holding-iq-constant

(Murray and Herrnstein, 1994)

Controlling for IQ also eliminates most of the Black-White Incarceration gap.

Incarceration holding IQ constant.png

(Murray and Herrnstein, 1994)

IQ is also an excellent predictor of national wealth, and changes in national IQ overtime predict changes in economic growth (Lynn and Vanhanen, 2012; Pietschnig and Voracek, 2015).

Thus, these differences have social importance aside from the fact that human differences are inherently interesting.

Obvious Environment Causes

At this point, some people may be thinking that the Black-White IQ gap can by explained away by poverty, racism, education, or single motherhood. These explanations have each been refuted.

First, let’s look at poverty. Poverty does correlate with IQ, but controlling for socio-economic status, whether measured by parental income, education, neighborhood, wealth, or any other way, does not eliminate the Black-White IQ gap. This has been shown in more than 60 studies over the last 100 years (Last, 2016A). In fact, poor Whites do better on standardized tests than rich Blacks do.

SAT by Income.png

(Black Journal of Higher Education, 2008)

The same is true of single motherhood. Even when just looking at people from two parent homes, the Black-White IQ gap persists (Prifitera et al., 2005, table 1.4; Weiss et al., 2016, table 5.6). Moreover, research has shown that the Black-White IQ gap, and the White-East Asian IQ gap, still exists even when only looking at people raised (via adoption) in White homes (Faulk, 2016A).

minn 2.png

(Loehlin 2000; Lynn, 2015)

Another possibility is that differences in access to education cause the Black-White IQ gap. This is not possible because the Black-White IQ gap exists by age 3 which is prior to the beginning of formal education (Malloy, 2013). Moreover, the Black-White IQ gap remains after controlling for parental education (Prifitera et al., 2005, table 1.4; Weiss et al., 2016, table 5.6). Further still, Blacks with graduate degrees score worse than Whites without even a four-year degree on tests of cognitive ability (Faulk and Last, 2016). Clearly then, education is not the cause of racial cognitive differences.

Finally, let’s look at racism. To affect intelligence, racism must impact Blacks through some concrete mechanism. As we’ve seen, racism making Blacks poorer, less educated, or more likely to be from single-parent homes cannot explain the IQ gap. Another possibility is that racism has caused Blacks to internalize negative stereotypes about their intellect which in turn impacts their performance on tests. This hypothesis is refuted by the fact that Blacks score higher than Whites on measures of general self-esteem and are more likely than Whites to describe themselves as being smarter than average (Twenge and Crocker, 2002).

“Black students estimate their own academic competence more highly than Whites despite their own objective and self reported lower academic achievement (Hare 1985: Table 3; Tashakkori 1993: 97). Black high school seniors in the Coleman study were more apt than Whites to classify themselves as “among the brightest” and less likely to agree that “Sometimes I feel that I just can’t learn” despite poor academic performance (Coleman et al. 1966L 287-288, Tables 3.13.11, 3.13.12). Remarkably, southern rural Blacks, whose academic performance fell below that of all other blacks as well as all Whites, were more apt than other Blacks to classify themselves as Bright and able to learn” – Levin, 2016, page 75

Beyond this, there is no obvious way that racism could lower the intelligence of Blacks. Moreover, the Black-White IQ gap is found all over the world, including in Black countries, and did not fall in America between 1920 and 1970 even though there was a huge decline in racism during this time (Last, 2016B).

To be fair, some of these potential causes, such as poverty, may contribute a few points to the Black-White IQ gap. However, they cannot account for even half of the difference, let alone all of it.

Evidence for a partly genetic cause

Obviously, these environmental explanations failing does not mean that a genetic explanation will succeed. So, why think genes have anything to do with racial intelligence differences, or, for that matter, intelligence in general?

We know that genes impact intelligence through studies of identical twins raised apart and non-biological relatives raised together. Such studies show that the heritability of IQ rises with age and is well over 50% by adulthood (Last, 2016C). This is backed up by studies showing that genetic similarity between individuals predicts how similar their IQ scores will be and by recent studies showing that genetic tests can predict standardized test performance (Last, 2016C, Selzam et al., 2016). This research also shows that non-biological relatives raised in the same home are no more similar than average in terms of IQ despite a far more similar than average experience in home environment. This suggests that differences in home environment explain little to no variation in intelligence in adults.

Before going any further, you should know that hereditarianism isn’t a fringe theory. Surveys show that most intelligence researchers take the hereditarian view on the Black-White IQ gap.

B-W Heritability survey.png

(Rindermann, Coyle, and Becker, 2013)

Recent advances in genetics are consistent with this viewpoint. For instance, Piffer (2015) looked at racial differences in 9 IQ related gene variants and found that Whites were more likely than Blacks to have the high IQ related variants of all 9 genes. East Asians were also more likely than Whites to have the high IQ related gene variant in the majority of cases.

IQ related genes by race.png

Becker and Rindermann (2016) provided further direct genetic evidence when they analyzed data on 101 countries and found that the more genetically different two populations were the larger the IQ difference between them tended to be.

Indirect evidence also points to a genetic explanation. Consider the fact scores on IQ test questions vary in their heritability. Some cognitive abilities are more heritable than others and it turns out that the more heritable a cognitive ability is the larger the racial gap in that ability tends to be  (Jensen, 1973; Nichols 1970; Last, 2016D). This finding is easy to explain on the hereditarian view but very hard to explain otherwise.

Research has also shown repeatedly that mixed race individuals have IQ scores in between the mean scores of the races of their parents (Faulk, 2016B; Faulk 2016C). One study even found that this was true of mixed race Blacks who incorrectly believed they were fully Black (Weinberg et al., 1992). Once again, this is exactly what the hereditarian viewpoint would predict.

Furthermore, Blacks have smaller brains than Whites, who have smaller brains than East Asians (Last, 2016E). Contrary to what you may have heard, brain size does predict a person’s IQ score. Moreover, changes in brain size over time predict changes in IQ, and the same genes which influence IQ are known to influence brain size. A plausible explanation for this data is that variation in brain size causes variation in IQ. More on this can be read about here.

There are several reasons to think that racial differences in brain size have a genetic cause. First, the races differ in brain size even at birth (Schultz, 1922; Rushton, 1997Ho et al., 1980). Research also shows that the races differ in dozens of traits which tend to co-evolve with brain size in a way that is consistent with the brain size differences (Rushton and Rushton, 2003). (For instance, women need larger hips to give birth to larger brained children.) Furthermore, several studies have shown that mulattoes have an average brain size in between that of Blacks and Whites (Pearl, 1934Bean, 1906). Finally, the Black-White brain size gap did not shrink in the 100 year period between 1880 and 1980 even though the Blacks and Whites converged in every conceivable measure of social inequality (Last, 2016E). Given all this, there is reason to think that genetically caused racial brain size differences play a role in racial intelligence differences.

Finally, the racial gap “looks” genetic based on how it changes over time, age, and geography. First, the Black-White-Asian IQ gap is seen all over the world.

RAce and IQ around the world.pngLynn (2006)

As mentioned earlier, the Black-White gap is also known to be present at age 3, and the Black-White IQ gap did not converge at all between 1920 and 1970 even though the social inequality between the races declined markedly between 1920 and 1970. This basic pattern of data is what we would expect if the underlying cause of the gap was genetic and makes explanations which appeal to environmental variables which impact people later in life, or are particular to a specific set of countries, unlikely.

In summary, there are many lines of evidence which converge on racial intelligence differences having a partially genetic cause. This doesn’t mean they are entirely caused by genes. They aren’t. But it does mean that genes are an important factor which we should not ignore.

Environmental Causes

To drive home the point that I am not proposing purely genetic explanation of racial intelligence differences, I’m going to briefly mention a two environmental factors which I do think are involved. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it shows that I really don’t think racial IQ gaps are 100% heritable.

Child abuse has been shown to negatively impact IQ and, unfortunately, child abuse is more common among African Americans than it is among Whites. This accounts for a small proportion of the Black-White IQ gap in America. I’ve written about this in more detail here.

There is also good evidence that breastfeeding raises IQ and African Americans are less likely than White Americans to breastfeed. This too likely contributes to the Black-White IQ gap in America.

Of course, none of this negates, or is mutually exclusive with, the positive evidence for a partially genetic cause. Rather, the take away is that a complex mix of genes and the environment account for racial intelligence differences. Given the strength of the genetic evidence and the high heritability of IQ in the general population, I am inclined to think that racial intelligence differences are at least 50% heritable if not more so, but that still leaves room for plenty of other causes.

Conclusion

This article is meant as an introduction to the hereditarian case on race and IQ. A more comprehensive set of articles can be found here for those who require further evidence. If the case presented here was compelling to you, here is what I consider to be the key take away: racial inequalities are probably a permanent feature of society that we’ll have to learn to deal with and they aren’t anybody’s fault. If society can internalize that truth, we’ll have made real progress towards understanding ourselves as a species.

Facebook Comments
  • Mike Eisenberg

    re: “seen all over the world.” reliable source there

    • Lynn’s data has been shown to be pretty valid. It predicts a wide range of national differences.

      • Mike Eisenberg

        I’m just fucking with ryan. I have a paper I wanted you to comment on, if you have time. Short, only 30 pages. Have to get final edits in before the end of the month.

  • Mike Eisenberg

    “If you really doubt the basic existence of race…From ref: ‘A race of people is just a geographically defined set of populations.'” How are your united states, south american, and european “africans” “geographically defined”. FAIL!

    • Medieval Knievel

      Are you retarded. You sound really slow.

      • Mike Eisenberg

        Ha! Can’t even give a coherent definition. Why no one takes you crackpots seriously.

        • Medieval Knievel

          I guess you are.

          • Mike Eisenberg

            We are all Africans in origin, dude.

          • Medieval Knievel

            Yeah and dogs all originated from wolves but yet you still have different breeds.

          • Mike Eisenberg

            breeds are often sympatric populations; thus not geographically defined. are rather in terms of conspicuous phenotypes. if you want to define race in terms of e.g., color, say so.

          • Mike Eisenberg

            but no doubt you believe that your pigment makes you superior. sure.

          • Martheric Sherwood

            As long as there’s an exception to a definition, that definition will not be good enough for you. If we applied the same autistic standard to species as you do to race, we’d be calling impotent humans not actually human because they cannot reproduce.

          • Mike Eisenberg

            Are you interested in discussing the topic or not?

          • Medieval Knievel

            You are being autistic here. When he says geographically defined, he is obviously talking about where these different population groups adapted and evolved differently from each other.

          • Mike Eisenberg

            so the pleiotropic effect of melanin makes the colored people “race” inferior?

          • Medieval Knievel

            No. Nobody here thinks any race is superior or inferior. The races are just different.

          • Mike Eisenberg

            yes, we know darker pigmented people are different from lighter ones. by definition. why some would imagine this implies differences in intelligence is the mystery.

          • Medieval Knievel

            Well intelligence is part of our genes and behavioral genetics and genetics in general shows that every trait in humans is inheritable. So it’s highly likely that there are partial genetic causes for racial differences in intelligence.

          • Mike Eisenberg

            so it’s probable that every IQ difference between every imaginable group is genetic because IQ differences within groups tend to be genetic? which is why the difference between people born now and in the 1950s is “highly likely” to have a partial genetic cause?

          • Medieval Knievel

            Well partially genetic because groups of people did evolve with each other which is going to make group averages.

          • Mike Eisenberg

            south asian, oceanian, sub-saharan african, etc. populations — all people part of your dark pigment race — didn’t exactly evolve together….

          • Medieval Knievel

            We don’t consider everyone with dark skin part of the same race.

          • Mike Eisenberg

            how, exactly, do you delineate “races” then? You guys can’t seem to make up your mind. First it’s in terms of geography, then in terms of ancestor’s geographic origin, then color, now what?

          • Medieval Knievel

            A mixture of all. Race is anatomy, bone structure, ancestral origin and genes. Europeans generally evolved with each other, sub Saharan Africans did, East Asians did, Semites did and so forth. And within races you have more groups like ethnicity. Within the European race there would be Italians, Germans, British and so forth.

          • Mike Eisenberg

            So a member of the Italian sub-race: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2014/01/italy-mp-blacks-up-anti-migrant-speech-20141175475595566.html ? Or are Italians not now ‘evolving with each other.’

          • Medieval Knievel

            What does that have to do with this?

          • Mike Eisenberg

            A supposed coherent definition of “race”…

            “geographic population” — defined in terms of geographic proximity
            “breeding population”/ “deme” — defined in terms of chance of mating
            “form” — defined in terms of common features
            “morph” — defined in terms of common features
            “species” — defined in terms of reproductive isolation
            “ecotype” — defined in terms of ecological adaptation
            see how it works? now, try “race”…

          • Medieval Knievel

            You are making this way more difficult than it needs to be. Most people know what we mean by race when we say that word. You are doing this though for a reason. To make it sound more complicated than it really is.

          • Mike Eisenberg

            so you can’t give a simple definition for “race” — like I can for every other widely accepted biological construct?

          • Medieval Knievel

            A race is a group of people with a common ancestral background in an area of the planet. The same as what Sean wrote. Just worded differently.

          • Mike Eisenberg

            So now the human species is a race — an African race?

          • Medieval Knievel

            No. A common ancestral background would be like proto Europeans and stuff like that. Again the human species broke up and evolved in different areas of the planet making different groups which we refer to as race.

          • Mike Eisenberg

            So, by definition, all Latinos have a common ancestral origin; and like virtually every other geographic-breeding population their ancestors, as a group, have been “evolving separately” for generations.Do they form a unified race too?

          • Medieval Knievel

            Latinos are mixed race groups. if you are talking about natives than yes.

          • Mike Eisenberg

            What makes them “mixed” and other groups “full” races. Thought you just defined races as groups of people whose ancestors evolved together in different areas. Hispanics seem to meet that criterion.

          • Medieval Knievel

            For example the Mexicans are a mixture of the Europeans and the Mexican natives. This has been shown in genetic tests.

          • Mike Eisenberg

            Sure, likewise Europeans are a mix of Neolithic Anatolian farmers, people from the West Eurasian steppe, and Palaeolithic Europeans. Genetics tests have shown this quite clearly. So they are a mixed “race” too?

          • Medieval Knievel

            Pretty much. Mexicans can be considered their own group just like the Europeans are since they came from proto europeans.

          • Mike Eisenberg

            We were talking about all Latin Americans in the US, not just Mexicans. Can all of these “populations” form their own racial group — like European can — or not?

          • Medieval Knievel

            No. Some Latina are full black, full white or a mix like mexicans.

          • Mike Eisenberg

            So not all ‘groups of people whose ancestors evolved together in different areas’ are races. What then are your fantasmic “races”?

          • Medieval Knievel

            But that’s the thing, I said ancestral background. A white Hispanics ancestral background is still Europe since genetic tests can show this.

          • Mike Eisenberg

            so you don’t mean ‘geographic ancestral background’ (ancestry with respect to some region. per se)?

          • Medieval Knievel

            Could be a better way of putting it. Also are you a troll? You commented up there that you’re fucking with Ryan.

          • Mike Eisenberg

            I’m still confused. Imagine the set of 5%/95% “genetic test” “African”/”European” individuals living in the US whose immediate ancestors were from Latin America and the set of 95%/5% “genetic test” “African”/”European” individuals in the US whose immediate ancestors were from Sub-Sahara Africa. Would you assign them to the same “race” or not. Why or why not?

          • Medieval Knievel

            It depends. If a group of Germans moved to a deserted South American town and stayed there for thousands of years than they could be considered their own race. But if a German couple move to Latin America and have a kid, then that kid moves to the U.S. and marries a white girl than no because him and his kin haven’t evolved long enough away from other Europeans.

          • Mike Eisenberg

            What if the German couple moved to the South American town 150 years ago and had a descendant who ended up 6% “genetic test” African and this descendant moved to the US and married a white girl, and their son identified as a Hispanic African American on hypodescent grounds to get Affirmative action. Could, by your conception, the son reasonably qualify as a bona fide biological non-white, given his genetically verifiable long enough evolved away African ancestry?

          • Medieval Knievel

            No. 150 years isn’t enough and if you could still trace a great majority of his ancestry back to Europe than no. Plus I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t identify as African. He would most likely still look white.

          • Mike Eisenberg

            So now Elizabeth Warren wouldn’t qualify as a biological Amerindian, because we are grouping, more or less, by propinquity of decent like a 19th century Darwinian racialist? Dude, you know this is the 21st century, right?

          • Medieval Knievel

            Ok no. I’m done with this. You sound like a troll.

          • Mike Eisenberg

            Sure, but what if a twin earth popped up in our solar system and a mostly twin Earth twin European ancestry twin geographically Latin American migrated to the this earth US. What race would he be then, as he could not “trace a great majority of his ancestry back to” this Earth Europe. A separate race from his this earth doppelganger despite his phentic similarity or the same race despite his complete ancestral difference?

          • Falcon9R

            the Flynn effect is low on many Wechsler subtests, as you already know, liar.

    • Mengerian Knight

      They’re descended primarily from people in the genetic clusters that evolved in different regions over the past several thousand years. It’s obvious, stop trying to play dumb, you aren’t going to fool anyone on this website.

      • Mike Eisenberg

        “Genetic clusters” are the output of a clustering algorithm. These don’t evolve and people don’t descent from these. Try again,

        • Mengerian Knight

          “”Genetic clusters” are the output of a clustering algorithm.”
          False.

          “These don’t evolve”
          False.

          “people don’t descend from these.”
          False.

    • Homo Sapiens Europaeus

      Fail, obviously a race or subspecies is a population within a species that differs from the rest of the species by having distinctive racial characteristics. Of course, this has nothing to do with geography.

      -why some would imagine this (race) implies differences in intelligence is the mystery-
      Well, it did not seem to be so mysterious to any nineteenth-century European. And after so much time Africa is even worse now than when the Europeans decolonized it.

      What are you both talking about? Mexicans are mostly Native Americans with a bit of European and African mix. The prehistoric peoples who populated Europe successively did not belong to different races, they were Caucasoids!

      • Mike Eisenberg

        “a population ,,, that differs from the rest of the species by having distinctive racial characteristics” So you resort to a self referential definition? What are “distinctive racial characteristics”?

        • Homo Sapiens Europaeus

          What is a self-referential definition? Does not matter. Do you know the concept of subspecies? Some may use the word ‘race’ with the same meaning as a species, but I use it as a subspecies and it seems to me that most people do it when they are talking about humanity. But back to your question, it is a hereditary biological characteristic, both physiologically and psychically and obviously it concerns all living beings. If you can not distinguish a racial characteristic you could not distinguish a man from an orangutan or a tortoise from a hare. It’s that simple. The only thing that differentiates a species from a subspecies or ‘race’ is that different subspecies can procreate, that’s all. And I could give you many examples of racial characteristics, from the shape and size of the skull to the shape and position of bones of the face or the duration of the process of maturity to the color of the skin. The famous epicantic fold is the most characteristic form of the Mongoloid eye, and blue, gray and green eye colors are characteristic of Caucasoids.

          • Mike Eisenberg

            You were defining “race” by making reference to the term being defined. It was as if I said: “oh, there are human sniffues.” And when you asked what sniffues were, I replied: “of course, groups between which there are distinctive sniffue differences!” Such a reply merely punts the ball. But now, helpfully, you have offered a definition of a “racial character”: “a hereditary biological characteristic”. A such, according to your revised definition, if I have this right, any “group of organisms within a species that differs from the rest by distinctive inheritable biological characteristics” constitute a race. So, to clarify, albinos constitute a race, as do all people with blood type O? Or would you say that blood types are not inheritable?

            As for “subspecies,” it was my impression that the term is generally used to refer to both the taxonomic rank immediately below species and to the taxa — those formally recognized groups deemed worthy of a Latin name — assigned to this rank. Are you equating “race” with this? What then are the formal Latin names of the so-said human subspecies? And is this then the only valid “racial” division — no subdivision of these groups? If not, if some infrasubspecific divisions are also races, you must be using “subspecies” in an idiosyncratic non-taxonomic way, which allows both divisions at and below the subspecies rank to be called by this name. But, yes, I am familiar with the concept of “a taxonomically recognized subdivision of a species”, typically called “subspecies”, however, I am not aware of any such human groups. Perhaps you could point me to a conservation magazine that lists the trinomen.

          • Homo Sapiens Europaeus

            First of all english is not my language, I did not quite understand what you said at the beginning, sorry. First, albinism is a disease so it would not be something valid it affects not only humans but also other animals, anyway, you went to the extreme and that has nothing to do with reality. You asked me what a racial characteristic was (singular) and I answered you in singular (a hereditary biological characteristic). But the concept of subspecies does not work like that. If we go to the extreme case it would be absurd to say that people who have freckles are other race to those who do not have them, conversely, it would also be absurd to say that monkeys and men are the same species because we have hands. Reality shows us that human groups are markedly different biologically as I said and that is clearly shown in genetics, where you can see that the allelic frequencies that shape the phenotype, vary clearly from one continent to another coinciding almost perfectly with the classic traditional categories of ‘races’, you need a set of distinctive hereditary characteristics to identify a race not just a single feature as you claim, you would tell me that bonobos and chimpanzees are not different species because they are virtually identical, right? In fact they are much more similar to each other, than what a Chinese and a Congolese look like at first glance. But if we use science, we can clearly see that chimpanzees form different species and humans form different subspecies, end of story.

            I actually use race (though it has more meanings) as subspecies equivalent just like Charles Darwin. Do you want me to show you the different human subspecies? Are you blind and unaware of genetics? In that case, in my opinion the best classification is ‘Race’, John R. Baker, but there is plenty of scientists who have made racial classifications of humanity since the founder and considered ‘father’ of the modern taxonomy Carolus Linnaeus made his own classification to which I pay tribute (Homo Sapiens Europaeus), to the most recent book on the subject (I believe) by Nicolas Wade, is ‘A Troublesome Inheritance’ (2014), risking being defamed and ostracized by the inquisitorial antiracist establishment. If you want to find a human racial classification, you do not need to dig much you will find it. Anyway, there are a lot of scientists both ancient and modern that despite not doing their own classifications have shown agreement on the reality of human subspecies, including co-discoverers of the DNA structure, Francis Crick and James D. Watson (Both Nobel), despite the current social/official pressure.

          • Mike Eisenberg

            Darwin used “sub-species” to describe those “hereditary varieties” which were close to but not so differentiated to deserve the rank of “species”. As his hereditary varieties were “communities of descent,” delineated in terms of overall descent, his subspecies were likewise. He used “race” more inclusively; thus his infrasubspecific varieties, sub-specific varieties, and species were all races. See, for example, his discussion on p. 497 to 501 in Origin. It’s not clear that your usage is the same. For one, groups delineated by a set of distinctive hereditary characteristics, depending on that selected, need not correspond with ones delineated by pedigree.

          • Homo Sapiens Europaeus

            I know very well that in the nineteenth century the word ‘race’ was even used to refer to the social classes, but I think I explained it wrong, I’m sorry. My intention was not to use the term race as Darwin, my point was that Darwin used the term subspecies (as well as race) in humans.

          • Mike Eisenberg

            Since you are not adopting the Darwinian understanding, I am left wondering how you precisely delineate groups. Let’s start here: Can your races be polyphyletic like certain of Mayr’s polytypic subspecies (“the evolutionist knows that such populations are not identical genetically, but since the subspecies is not an evolutionary concept, taxonomists sometimes combine such visually identical populations into a single subspecific taxon”) or certain biologists’ ecotypes (“populations with convergent morphological, demographic and behavioural adaptations to similar ecological conditions … [which] are designated based on ecological criteria, not phylogenetic criteria”)? The recognition of such polyphyletic groups as your sense races would seem to be consistent with your formal definition, though not with your suggestion that races are also way stations, as Wade put it, to species — a qualification which would also require that they be, as far as I can tell, evolutionary and phylogenetic units.

          • Homo Sapiens Europaeus

            To make things clear, I’m a darwinist. In Darwin’s time the word ‘race’ had a diffuse and undefined meaning (as it is nowadays), so Darwin used it fickle and also for subspecies, which is why I said that I used race like Darwin. That does not mean that I use it exactly like Darwin, I use it as a term equivalent to subspecies in humans, that’s all.

            Polyphyletic groups are artificial joints of dispersed branches of the evolutionary tree that exclude the most recent common ancestor and are due to errors in the interpretation of kinship and are universally rejected in modern classifications. There are no polyphyletic groups in mankind. The common characteristics between humans races or between chimpanzees are not the product of an independent evolution, but of a common ancestor. Therefore they are phylogenetic and evolutionary beings. The concept of subspecies that I defend in humans is the same that by biologists use in animals. For more information look up. :]

  • Chaim Goldberg

    Heritability does not mean portion of a trait affected by genes vs environment. It means to represent how variation in
    DNA relates to variation in traits across a population.

    “Although it would, of course, be useful to have a measure of the biological inheritability of complex
    traits, scientists have never been able to develop such a measure.”

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wcs.1400/pdf

    • Medieval Knievel

      Ryan and Sean already know this. We all do.

      • Chaim Goldberg

        If he knows it why is he saying that 50% of IQ is from genetics?

        • Medieval Knievel

          You obviously don’t know what you are talking about. The degree of variance between races attributable to genetics. He is using it validly.

    • Yes, heritability refers to the proportion of variance in a trait attributable to variance in genetics. In this article, I am talking about the degree of variance between races attributable to genetics, a perfectly valid use of the term.

      • Chaim Goldberg

        But your claim that “Large reviews of more than 200 such studies have determined that the
        heritability of IQ lies somewhere between .5 and .7, meaning that 50-70%
        of IQ variance in the population is explained by genes” is not true, right?

        If heritability is variance, then if a group is more homogeneous, then heritability goes down. If we do not know the portion of IQ that dependent on genes than how can you claim that racial differences, or any differences are based on genetics?

        • Medieval Knievel

          Heritability estimates how much variation of a trait is due to genetic variation. Basically how many difference are due to genetic differences. Again this doesn’t disprove us.

  • Emil Kirkegaard

    You did not include any admixture data, but this data is very relevant. Null findings would disprove genetic models outright, and while they don’t prove genetic models, they do increase their likelihood.

    Aggregate-level genetic admixture studies consistent with genetic models. See e.g. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/298214364_Admixture_in_the_Americas_Regional_and_National_Differences

    There is not yet sufficient individual-level genetic admixture data for IQ, at least that I can get a hold of (it does exist, but is hard to get access to). However, we did manage to find some data and it does show the expected relationship. Preprint: https://osf.io/z8dy5/ There are plenty of reported results for social measures (education, income etc.), and these also show pretty robust relationships to European ancestry, mean r ≈ .18 (meta-analysis). Preprint: https://osf.io/ydc3f/.

    There’s also a lot of adoption data. E.g. large scale Swedish study discussed here: http://emilkirkegaard.dk/en/?p=5663

    There is not yet a completely convincing study, but the overall evidence is considerably in favor of genetic models. Still we get articles like this one http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886916303099