EGI Notes

Monday, July 18, 2016

Against Lynn: First RLP Blog Post Reproduced Here

Answering Amren lies.

I see that Lynn has been defending his Italian IQ nonsense against Unz, which found its way on Amren in August 2012 – Amren of course always being willing to attack gentile white ethnics while being hysterically reticent to feature anything even remotely negative about Jews. Lynn’s understanding of population genetics and racial history is very poor, and features outrageous cherry-picking and misinterpretation of single locus data, along with a reliance on studies from the mid-1990s, along with the false claim that published findings agree with his Kempian cartoon-like imaginative “history.” Reality can be better observed with this more recent autosomal work, which is by Northern Italian authors who themselves use Lynnian rhetoric, but show data not compatible with Lynn’s misinterpretations and distortions. See here.

It is clear that Northern Italians have less of the Northern European-like component and more of the Near Eastern-like component than do Northern and Western Europeans. Central Italians have less of the Northern European-like component and more of the Near Eastern-like component than do Northern Italians and Southern Italians have less of the Northern European-like component and more of the Near Eastern-like component than do Central Italians. This in fact shows a very clear cline of gene frequencies, similar to what has already been shown by Novembre and colleagues (as well as others since then) – genes vary with geography. Looking at the data, it is clear that the three Italian groups are much more similar to each other than any are to the Northern and Western Europeans to the left or the Middle/Near Eastern and North African groups to the right. The relatively small differences are in the proportions of the genetic components and, again, it is clear that despite the differences, the Italian groups are remarkably similar to each other. Fst data from the same work support this; as is expected from clinal differences, Southern Italians are a bit closer to the Middle/Near East than are Northern Italians, but again, all Italian groups are very close to one another, and Southern Italians are genetically closer to Northern and Western European populations like CEU and French than to the Middle Easterners. 

Given the relatively small differences among Italian groups (looking at the data and not the breathless writing in the aforementioned manuscript), it would seem that if “low-IQ” Southern Italians are substantially “admixed” with Middle Easterners and North Africans, then the “high-IQ” Northern Italians are as well, albeit to a slightly lesser extent. But one does not need to invoke modern admixture to account for the bulk of these intra-European differences. This work [UPDATED NOTE: no longer online] suggests the possibility that Southern Europeans are predominantly of Neolithic European “farmer” origin and that Northern Europeans are a mix of that and earlier Mesolithic peoples, who had some affinities with East Asians.

From that work, the authors make the following conclusions about the overall genetic history of Europe:
1. The arrival of Neolithic farmers probably from the Middle East.
2. Nearly complete replacement of the indigenous Mesolithic southern European populations by Neolithic migrants, and admixture between the Neolithic farmers and the indigenous Europeans in the north.
3. Substantial population movement into Spain occurring around the same time as the archaeologically attested Bell-Beaker phenomenon (HARRISON, 1980).
 4. Subsequent mating between peoples of neighboring regions, resulting in isolation-by-distance (LAO et al., 2008; NOVEMBRE et al., 2008). This tended to smooth out population structurethat existed 4,000 years ago.

Thus: increased "Middle Eastern" Neolithic ancestry in Southern Europe, decreasing in a cline going northwards, and "isolation-by-distance" creating the smoother clines of gene frequencies observed in Europe today, and which are clearly shown in the Italian genetic data.

Now, one could argue that the Eurasian Mesolithic hunter gatherers were under greater selective pressure for intelligence, and, hence, populations with greater Mesolithic origin have higher IQs than the more Neolithic European groups. But there’s no need to invoke a mass, widespread historical admixture with modern Middle/Near Eastern and/or North African populations. Southern Italy no doubt has a bit more such modern admixture than Northern Italy, but the levels are small and cannot be invoked to explain Lynn’s purported IQ differences. Most of the genetic differences within Europe were likely in place by the end of the Neolithic.

With respect to the IQ issue, Lynn’s reliance on achievement tests and self-administered online IQ tests is laughable. g-loaded IQ testing has shown that Sicilian children did not have lower IQs than Northern Italian children. Another group mentioned in the same link, using a cognitive assessment test, found IQs of 100.5, 101.2, and 103.1 in Northern, Central and Southern Italy, respectively. That’s not the final word on the subject, and it may well be possible that Northern Italians, with greater Mesolithic origins, do have a bit higher IQ than Southern Italians. But that has to be established via careful IQ testing, not Lynn’s bizarre use of non-g tests and online self-administered test data.  It's unlikely that when the "dust settles" that Lynn's conclusion of a 2/3 of a SD difference in IQ between Northern and Southern Italy will hold.  Lynn's dogmatic and close-minded insistence on his original IQ claims, and the fanciful ancestry tales spun around those claims, does not reflect well on his commitment to serious academic scholarship.

But that’s to be expected from someone who “estimates” Irish IQ by averaging results from one test given to Irish children, with scores in the high 80s, and a different test given to Irish adults, with scores in the high 90s – giving an “average” in the low 90s. The almost comical absurdity of this – which may pass as “scholarly” in the oxymoronic “social sciences” – doesn’t past muster in real science, where averaging can be done only on real replicates.  You cannot average completely disparate data sets!

How would Lynn measure racial differences in running speed I wonder? Average Olympic sprinting times with that of five year olds running potato sack races in Kindergarten? The responsible approach to the Irish IQ data would be to attempt to evaluate why the findings were so different and which are more accurate. Even better – give the same standardized test to both Irish children and adults. But, no. As long as the “estimated” score falls into a preconceived notion of an IQ-GDP/achievement correlation, there's no need to seek the truth. It’s all a shame, since the study of racial differences in intelligence and behavior is important, and needs to be carefully examined by real scientists, not by biased, addled ideological demagogues, who are “enabled” in their shocking pseudoscience by a cheering section with a vested interest in the “findings” thus generated.   IQ fetishists on the right and IQ deniers on the left are two peas in a pod. Neither deal in real science and scholarship.

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