Indian science writer Angela Saini, writing in the U.K. Guardian, is horrified to learn that people at University College, London have been talking about differences in IQ between groups. (A regular conference there, involving James Thompson, who blogs at Unz Review and is a professor at UCL, has attracted some hate.)
Mankind Quarterly’s editor-in-chief, Gerhard Meisenberg, told me last month that there were likely to be biological differences in intelligence between racial groups, which he believes will eventually be discovered by genetics. He referred to “low-IQ countries”, including Pakistan. Meisenberg, a professor at the Ross University School of Medicine, based in Dominica, says: “The question of whether there are genetic ability differences between people in different countries is perhaps the most fundamental question in development economics.”This last, as @outsideness said sarcastically on Twitter, makes him "Clearly a Nazi freak in need of institutional silencing, then."
Views such as this, unsupported by evidence, generally receive little to no attention from within the everyday scientific community. What is worrying, though, is that people such as Meisenberg and Mankind Quarterly’s assistant editor, Richard Lynn, have managed to penetrate more mainstream scientific circles.
Lynn sits on the editorial advisory board of Personality and Individual Differences, produced by Elsevier – one of the world’s largest scientific publishers, whose titles include the highly respected journals the Lancet and Cell. Among his papers was The Intelligence of American Jews (2004), arguing that “Jews have a higher average level of verbal intelligence than non-Jewish whites”.
Racism is creeping back into mainstream science – we have to stop it, by Angela Saini, The Guardian, January 24, 2018 [Emphases added, links in original]
The problem seems to be not the particular view that Richard Lynn or Mankind Quarterly's Meisenberg have of which groups have a higher average IQ, but that they have any views on the subject at all. And of course their views aren't "unsupported by evidence"—rather, it's the "Standard Social Science Model,” which assumes all races have the same average IQ, that's totally unsupported by evidence.
Ms. Saini [Email her] has two college degrees, works for the BBC, and has written two books. The first is Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong-and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story, which seems to be about how everything science knows about women (such as they're weaker than men) is wrong, and women are actually "as strong, strategic, and smart as anyone else".
Sounds like an anti-science "screed" to me!
The second: Geek Nation, which is subtitled "How Indian Science is Taking Over the World". (Two different covers pictured.)
Here's how Amazon.com describes its thesis
India: it's a nation of geeks, swots and nerds. Almost one in five of all medical and dental staff in the UK is of Indian origin, and one in six employed scientists with science or engineering doctorates in the US is Asian. By the turn of the millennium, there were even claims that a third of all engineers in Silicon Valley were of Indian origin, with Indians running 750 of its tech companies.The "scientific ingenuity of its people"? That sounds like one of those "eugenics" things!
At the dawn of this scientific revolution, Geek Nation is a journey to meet the inventors, engineers and young scientists helping to give birth to the world’s next scientific superpower – a nation built not on conquest, oil or minerals, but on the scientific ingenuity of its people. [Emphasis added]
Of course, India is not a particularly high-IQ nation—it's below Pakistan in the list provided by Richard Lynn in his book (co-written with Tatu Vanhanen) IQ And The Wealth Of Nations. (Pakistan is 103rd in the world with an average IQ of 84, India is 122nd in the world with an average IQ of 82.) India is also a massively poor country—Wikipedia says that "In 2006, India contained the largest number of people living below the World Bank's international poverty line of US$1.25 per day", 15% of its population is undernourished, and 40% of the population practices "open defecation"—which even Haitians try to avoid.
The secret to Indian dominance of Silicon Valley is that (a) we get the brightest people emigrating from Indian, and (b) they work cheaper. Even if it's only top 1 or 2 percent that are capable of displacing the American tech workers, that's skimmed off the top of 1. 3 billion Indians.
How does one determine, in this ancient civilization, who's at the top? Well, one way is by competitive examination, a system India retains as one of the benefits of the former British Raj. The other, much older, is the caste system.
Most actual "eugenics" in Western society is done by individuals choosing someone to marry that they think will be a good father or mother to their children—I went into this in a 2010 piece titled “Eugenics” Is What Happens When Cousins Don't Marry.
One of the people who claims to practice this is President Donald Trump, who has publicly stated that he feels that if a clever fellow like himself marries beautiful and intelligent women, they'll have good-looking smart kids. This produced horror at the Huffington Post in 2016:
Trump’s father instilled in him the idea that their family’s success was genetic, according to Trump biographer Michael D’Antonio.At the time, I was astounded by this—not because this is what Trump believes, but because it's what everyone believes. Not believing in it is not believing in heredity, which more like not believing in gravity than it is like not believing in evolution.
“The family subscribes to a racehorse theory of human development,” D’Antonio says in the documentary. “They believe that there are superior people and that if you put together the genes of a superior woman and a superior man, you get a superior offspring.”
The Huffington Post dug back through the archives and found numerous examples of Trump suggesting that intellect and success are purely genetic qualities and that having “the right genes” gave him his “very good brain.”
This May Be The Most Horrible Thing That Donald Trump Believes| And it just may be the master key to unlocking how he thinks, by Marina Fang and JM Rieger, Huffington Post, September 28, 2016
The much-denounced eugenics laws of the early 20th century placed very mild restrictions on who could not marry—they were intended to prevent the births of, among others, the mentally retarded. Nevertheless, both Americans and English objected to this as monstrous invasion of human liberty.
But it's nothing to the amount of restriction on who you can marry or not marry imposed by India's caste system.
The thing is, this whole business of breeding within your own caste is eugenic, tending to preserve useful traits.
Let’s randomly pick, for example, the Saini caste, which Wikipedia says is a
a caste of North India who were traditionally landowners (zamindars) and farmers. Sainis claim to be descendants of a king, Shurasena, as well as of Krishna and Porus, and to be related to the ancient Shoorsaini clan, noted in Puranic literature….The Saini caste is an "endogamous community" which means they generally only marry other Saini. Oh, and they're mostly named Saini, like Guardian writer Angela S.
As both a statutory agricultural tribe and a designated martial race during the British Raj era that followed the Indian Rebellion of 1857, Sainis had been chiefly engaged in both agriculture and military service since then until recent times. However, since the independence of India, Sainis have diversified into different trades and professions other than military and agriculture. Sainis are now also seen in increasing numbers as businessmen, lawyers, professors, civil servants, engineers, doctors and research scientists, etc.
It's not just that the high castes are traditionally privileged within Indian society, but they really seem to be superior to what are called the "Scheduled Castes"—previously known as "Untouchables"—who qualify for India's version of Affirmative Action, and apparently need it, too. See Thomas Sowell's Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study, for details.
So it seems rather hypocritical for Ms. Saini, as author of Geek Nation, to complain when psychologists try to determine, scientifically, that some nations are geekier than others.
And it seems odd for a beneficiary of thousands of years of selective breeding to complain that other people are discussing "eugenics".
James Fulford [Email him] is a writer and editor at VDARE.com.