I recently found myself at the annual conference of ISIR, the International Society for Intelligence Research. Taking place at the Shattuck Plaza Hotel in Berkeley, CA, it is the world’s premier gathering of researchers on IQ and related matters. Absent, of course, was Richard Lynn, who had died a few weeks earlier at the age of 93, though you still wouldn’t know that if you checked Wikipedia. As Steve Sailer has hilariously pointed out, Lynn apparently will live forever there—at least until an enemy of science announces his passing in a broadly anti-science (and thus Wikipedia-approved) Legacy Media source.
Few people have made so many important contributions to the study of intelligence as Richard Lynn. He discovered the Flynn Effect—evidence of a cumulative rise in IQ scores in Western countries across the twentieth century—even before James Flynn, after whom it has become named, something Flynn himself generously acknowledged [The “Flynn Effect” and Flynn’s paradox, by James R. Flynn, Intelligence, 2013]. This has led to some researchers to insist on calling it the “Lynn-Flynn Effect” [The Intelligence Paradox, by Satoshi Kanazawa, 2012, p.188] or the “FLynn Effect” [Cognitive Capitalism, by Heiner Rindermann, 2018, p.85].
Lynn also discovered that Northeast Asian IQ is higher on average than that of Europeans. And, most importantly, he collected and analyzed national IQs so that we could better understand the geopolitical impact of differences in average IQ [The Intelligence of Nations, by Richard Lynn and David Becker, 2019].
It was also Lynn’s research that demonstrated that adult males have, on average, slightly higher IQ than females—something that even many of his fellow race-realists were reluctant to accept. He finally produced a book on this subject when he was 91 [Sex Differences in Intelligence].
I was therefore surprised, as the ISIR conference banquet progressed, to realize that nobody, not the president nor any of the current officers, was going to stand up and raise a toast to Richard Lynn. They were not going to do this even though Lynn had, until recently, been on the board of the journal Intelligence and even though his contribution to the field had been so profound.
I say it was surprising, but, in a way, it was all too predictable. Lynn was an increasingly controversial figure to our Woke cultural masters. The field of intelligence research has come under sustained attack in recent years from opponents of science. It has been accused of being associated with eugenics, and there has even been a petition to shut down Intelligence.
Paradoxically, however, the fact that intelligence research actually replicates (which disgracefully little in psychology does [Replication Crisis, by Psychology Today Staff, Psychology Today, ND]) means it has a certain level of prestige.
In my opinion, this attracts the personality type called “Machiavellians,” who put status over truth or loyalty, and thus try to balance their attraction to intelligence research by signaling at least some adherence to the Regime.
This is, in essence, why independent scholar Emil Kirkegaard’s presentation was “cancelled” by ISIR last year, at the very last minute, so that keynote speaker Abdel Abdellaoui [Tweet him], a genetics researcher at the University of Amsterdam, could virtue-signal about his insistence on this.
Alas, there were many such Machiavellians at the feast. They weren’t going to risk getting up and raising a toast to Richard Lynn, the grand old man of “race science,” who had done so much for so many of them—and who had thought these people were his allies.
But some attendees, including an extremely senior member of ISIR, suggested that I should raise a toast, especially as Lynn had made fairly clear that he regarded me as a protégé [Interview With a Pioneer, by American Renaissance Staff, American Renaissance, February 19, 2016].
I was reluctant, being a first-timer at the conference. So the senior member said that he would stand up first and introduce me. So, this over with, I stood up and began to speak, without note and completely unprepared.
I had, of course, been thinking a great deal about Lynn since he died. I first began tentatively emailing him around 2006, when I happened upon a number of his books in the library at Oulu University in northern Finland, especially Race Differences in Intelligence. I found this “forbidden” research extraordinary. The idea that psychological differences in socially salient traits could be strongly genetic was fascinating, and incongruous with everything I had been taught. Lynn always wrote back, which surprised me, as, after all, who was I? And he was always unfailingly polite.
I think it was when I positively reviewed two of his books for the Quarterly Review—Dysgenics: Genetic Deterioration in Modern Populations, and The Chosen People: A Study of Jewish Intelligence and Achievement—that we started to be in regular contact. He seemed to be very interested in the fact that my Ph.D. is in the Study of Religion.
Towards the end of 2012, he asked about my employment situation. I told him I was a journalist, mainly working for an English-language newspaper in Oulu aimed at expatriates. “This sounds most unsatisfying,” he wrote, and offered me funding to write a book on the relationship between religiosity and intelligence: Religion and Intelligence: An Evolutionary Analysis. I consciously wrote this in his dry academic style; though if you read his memoirs you will see that he was actually a superb literary stylist.
I was in the U.K. for Christmas 2012 and Lynn suggested we meet. So I took the train from London to Bristol, in the southwest of England. Lynn, though born in Hampstead in London, was raised in Bristol and attended Bristol Grammar School before National Service (Britspeak for conscription) and Cambridge University. Eventually, Lynn founded the Psychology Department at the University of Ulster—which, in 2018, vindictively withdrew his emeritus professorship in the wake, so they absurdly claimed, of the scandal over the London Conference on Intelligence having taken place at University College London since 2015. But he had returned to England in 1998 upon retirement and the death of his second wife. In 2001, finding Herefordshire too remote, Lynn moved back to Bristol.
I turned up at Bristol Temple Meads Station, nervous, looking for Lynn. Eventually my eyes were drawn to a little old man, at that point 81, hunched over, with gleaming white hair, waving a white handkerchief. Into his snug Ford Fiesta I went. Lynn took me to one of Bristol’s oldest pubs: The Llandoger Trow had been serving beer since the mid-seventeenth century. He drove me to a Medieval church, and then he took me for lunch at an Italian restaurant, where he was insistent we have dessert.
Both polite and slightly reserved, we nevertheless clicked somehow and made each other laugh. However, I was aware, even then, that he was getting on a bit. “If you don’t mind,” he said, could he drop me off at the station as he took a nap in the afternoon. He was aware I’d have to wait quite a while for my train, so he gave me a book on the psychology of religion, stressing that the time would fly by as “you’ve got plenty to read.”
We kept in touch thereafter, mainly via email. The following year he wanted me to research a book (it became Race and Sport, which was translated into Russian). We also started to coauthor papers and I began to publish my first studies on intelligence. Among significant studies I coauthored with Lynn: the first meta-analysis of the reversal of the Flynn Effect (i.e., intelligence is in decline on IQ tests); a study demonstrating clear national differences in ethnocentrism and the causes; and a widely reported study on declining IQ in France.
The following year, Lynn invited me to the inaugural London Conference on Intelligence, which, as he notes in his memoirs, took place at London club.
Turning up, it was like the first day at school. Lynn was the only person there I had met. But he introduced me to other fellow Dissident researchers and, well, my career developed from there.
I got the impression that Lynn funded this conference, yet another testament to his generosity. There were other London Conferences on Intelligence, such as in 2017, where he insisted on taking all the speakers out for a meal, on him.
Lynn would also take responsibility for mistakes; an admirable trait in a boss. He was becoming a tad forgetful. He knew this and by his late eighties discussed it with me. This had an unfortunate consequence.
As I have written in my Foreword to Kerry Bolton’s The Tyranny of Human Rights, in early 2013, soon after I began working for him, Lynn and I had produced a paper in the journal Intelligence showing that IQ in Finland was in decline. It had drawn upon a table in a Finnish master’s degree thesis, forwarded to us by the Finnish Army. We understood this table to simply be reporting the Army’s data, conveniently forwarded to us by an Army representative. I felt it best to cite the thesis anyway, even though we understood it to merely be quoting the army’s data, but Lynn disagreed, so the citation was removed, he being the boss. The thesis was, however, cited for other information, which could be clearly understood though in Finnish. And I also cited it in my own book on religion and intelligence as the source for the negative Flynn Effect data via the Army.
The result: in 2016 there was a minor moral panic in Finland. The largest newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat, reported that two academics who researched intelligence differences and other highly controversial issues may have leaked military data. The military concluded that this was not so. There was then a plagiarism investigation by Oulu University, to which I was affiliated as a “docent” (a kind of adjunct senior lecturer, a qualification in Nordic countries above doctorate and below full professor which renders you affiliated to the university that bestows it. I was granted this, by the Department of Cultural Anthropology, two years prior to becoming seriously interested in intelligence research).
I pleaded with the committee: Which is more likely, that there had been some kind of genuine confusion or that the discoverer of the Flynn Effect, and his colleague, had deliberately plagiarized an obscure master’s thesis on this subject and, concomitantly, drawn attention to the fact that they knew of the existence of the master’s thesis, as if desiring to be caught out?
Apparently, it was the latter. Even though Lynn wrote to them accepting full responsibility for the mistake, we were both found guilty of plagiarism. There was no way Dissident researchers were going to be treated fairly or given the benefit of the doubt. It was just too good an opportunity to attack them. But, n.b., Lynn took responsibility.
We continued to frequently correspond and meet, roughly once a year, with me editing Lynn’s 2019 book Race Differences in Psychopathic Personality. I last met him at the London Conference on Intelligence in 2019. And at Christmas 2022 I interviewed him live on my channel The Jolly Heretic, having sent a Gen Z-type to Bristol to help bring this technological feat about. I did know that it would be his last ever interview; one in which his intellectual sharpness and bravery still shone through.
This, in a much-abridged form, was roughly what I said when I stood there at the ISIR banquet on the evening of 28th July. I then invited people to raise their glasses to “Professor Richard Lynn.”
“Richard Lynn,” many of them chorused. I sat down to silence.
Then someone started clapping, then others, then others still.
And people began approaching me to thank me and share their memories of him: Brave and kind; that seemed to be the general feeling.
Both characteristics totally lacking in his vilifiers—and his supposed allies.
Edward Dutton (email him | Tweet him) is Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at Asbiro University, Łódź, Poland. You can see him on his Jolly Heretic video channels on YouTube and Bitchute. His books are available on his home page here.