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Refuting Chanda Chisala

Chanda Chisala

3,709 words

Zambian scholar Chanda Chisala wants us to believe that racial differences do not explain the IQ gap. He claims that “environment explains the entire IQ gap” between the races, and that the evidence he offers constitutes “a total refutation of the race hypothesis” in intelligence and psychometric research. He does not deny racial differences, but seems to believe that such differences are in truth too superficial to use as measuring sticks to rank different races without taking environment into account. According to him, under optimal environmental conditions “when no one faces any significant detrimental assaults,” the races will rank differently (and presumably much more closely) than they do today. That he claims to be a race realist who allows for differences in average intelligence across the races while rejecting racial determinism in IQ makes his position both unique and baffling.

Regardless, Chisala’s attack on the race hypothesis warrants serious consideration. He deserves attention in this matter partially because he forgoes the standard Leftist tactics of accusing his opponents of racism, or demanding that the race hypothesis meet an unreasonably high bar, or simply refusing to talk about it. (Not that I am calling Chisala a Leftist; I have no idea what he is politically). Chisala also stands out from other egalitarians because he actually brings data to the table, and his data shows how black African students actually outperform British whites in the UK in their Best 8 GCSE scores. GCSE stands for General Certificate of Secondary Education and, according to Infogalactic, “is an academically rigorous, internationally recognised qualification awarded in a specified subject, generally taken in a number of subjects by pupils in secondary education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland over two years (three years in certain schools).”

So far, Chisala’s opponents have been quibbling over Chisala’s practices as well as the nature of the GCSE itself. For a quick rundown, Lance Welton at VDARE accused Chisala of manipulating and misrepresenting his data, something that Chisala strenuously denies. Neither, however, makes explicit enough what’s going on. In his 2018 Unz Review article, “A Troublesome Intelligence?,” Chisala chides Charles Murray for including Caribbean blacks in his UK racial analysis given that such blacks “have much lower scores than black Africans.” He then writes:

When broken down into different African nationalities, it becomes clear that even the relatively small 8 IQ point racial gap observed in favor of British whites does not exist. The Black-White performance gap is completely eradicated, and in fact appears somewhat reversed, when you just look at children from African countries that speak English.

In my opinion, Chisala is rigging the game in his favor. He’s not manipulating the data since he’s being up front about his methods, but that doesn’t mean the game isn’t rigged. Put bluntly, he wants to toss out a population of dumb blacks so that he can keep only a population of smart blacks in an effort to refute the IQ hereditarians. He also changes the definition of the debate. This is all about racial IQ gaps, not national IQ gaps. So if it is all about race, why should we care about “different African nationalities”? He says it’s because African blacks who come from nations where English is spoken tend to outperform African blacks who don’t. Well, sure, but what Chisala doesn’t mention is that black Caribbeans also appear in his data, separated by the English-speaking divide – and they perform poorly on either side of it (as do other non-African blacks). If Chisala is going to make hay over “blacks” from English-speaking backgrounds being super-smart, he must include Caribbean and other blacks in his analysis or give up all this talk about race (or prove that non-African blacks are somehow not black). After all, the subtitle of his response to Lance Welton is, “Why Do Blacks Outperform Whites in UK Schools?”, not “Why Do Certain African Blacks from Certain African Countries Outperform Whites in UK Schools?” This second subtitle would be more honest given Chisala’s research and arguments.

Instead, Chisala would rather talk about race when it suits him, and then talk about nationalities when it suits him. Note how he does not afford the white kids the same latitude. Imagine if a similar researcher were to say, “Well, the white kids from Region X are largely descended from a group of whites that historically haven’t been very smart, whereas the white kids from Region Y are simply brilliant just like their ancestors. So let’s drop the Region X kids from our analysis in order to make whites as a whole look better.” That would be an absurd tactic because race is race; you take the good with the bad, as well as the smart with the dumb. But Chisala doesn’t do this because it would run counter to his anti-hereditarian agenda.

Welton objects to Chisala’s conclusions in other ways as well. He points out that immigrants tend to self-select for intelligence, thereby being more likely to represent the best rather than the worst of a race. Chisala disputes this fairly well, in my opinion, but I would like to read Welton’s counter-argument whenever it comes. Chisala in particular makes some interesting points regarding regression towards the mean and how African IQs may be higher than they seem. One should read Chisala’s Unz article, Welton’s response, and Chisala’s response to his response to get caught up on this fascinating debate.

Welton also states that the GCSE is not an IQ test, and that measuring the Best 8 scores doesn’t always give an accurate picture of a child’s aptitude since these scores won’t necessarily include “hard” fields like math and English, and instead could include mostly “soft” fields like art or physical education. Chisala gets around this by claiming that

[m]y easy refutation of this claim was to present the group scores in GCSE Math (and GCSE English) separately. The Africans in questions outscored the British whites even in those “hard” GCSEs.

The problem here is that Chisala does not include this data in either article I’ve linked (or maybe I just somehow missed it). His Unz Review article does present black African scores in Math and English, but fails to compare them to the white scores. The link to his source data, which was compiled by Steve Strand of Oxford University, appears to be broken.

Chisala does provide a table in his response to Welton, however, which shows how Nigerians (who outscored the English mean by 21.8 percent in the GCSE) outscored the English mean by only 1.5 percent when excluding the math and English portions of the GCSE. But he admits that the table is hardly conclusive given that scores from other African nationalities either did not swing as dramatically or were not collected sans math and English:

Regardless of whatever faults exist or don’t exist with Chisala’s methods or his data, I’m willing to refute him while accepting his arguments at their strongest. I will assume for argument’s sake that the outstanding black African scores had not been inflated or doctored in any way, even though that sort of thing does happen. I will also assume that Chisala is correct about everything he claims and still save the racial hereditarian position. I will do this using three main tacks:

  1. By presenting a more complete picture by including all blacks taking the GCSE.
  2. By showing how Chisala sets the bar of success too low to be persuasive.
  3. By demonstrating that Chisala’s single-minded focus on the black-white gap limits the reach of his arguments and dooms them to fail.

Presenting a More complete Picture

Here is the data that Chisala relies upon for his thesis. The figures supporting his rather specific claim that black Africans outperform British whites are circled in red, while the figures that would help lead to a broader racial conclusion are circled in blue:

The columns under EAL (English as an Additional Language) refer to kids who either don’t speak English well, learned it late, or come from households, communities, or countries where English is typically not spoken. The header to the right, “English First (EF) Language,” speaks for itself. First, we notice the N counts: 6,011 African blacks outperforming 424,754 British whites. Okay, so the sample size of the former group should be a lot larger in order to provide a comprehensive picture of African intelligence. This must cast a shadow of doubt on all of Chisala’s assertions which rely on this figure. Regardless, we’re stuck with the data we have, and we can’t fault Chisala for that.

Secondly, if we include the other black scores in the EF column, we come away with a different picture. In this data set, we have 15,785 blacks taking the GCSE who are proficient in English. Arithmetic shows us that ((6011×356.2)+(7659×334.6)+(2115×339.6))÷15,785=343.5.

Thus, the overall average black score on the GCSE is 343.5. That’s still pretty good, but not nearly as stellar as Chisala lets on, and definitely not higher than that of British whites. Further, if we are going to group all the blacks together, we should do the same with the whites. This will add 1,849 white Irish and 6,312 other whites with average scores of 355 and 359.2, respectively, resulting in a moderate boost of 0.2 to the overall white average. Even including the 122 Traveller Irish, the white average remains 346.6 after rounding.

So in fact, “blacks” do not “outperform whites in UK schools,” as Chisala claims. To be fair, Chisala in his response to Lance Welton remembers to specify British whites when comparing them to the EF Africans, so the specific claims he makes are correct – but his article’s sub-heading isn’t. Furthermore, it’s misleading given that the headlines are typically all that people are going to read, anyway.

Still, this can be seen as a victory for the anti-hereditarians in that the scores are so close. For a race that supposedly has a fifteen-to-thirty-IQ-point deficit compared to whites to score so closely with them is remarkable. Doesn’t this refute the racial hypothesis anyway?

Well, not so fast.

Setting the Bar of Success Too Low

Right away in his Unz Review article, Chisala tells us where he’s placing his goal posts. Certainly, he doesn’t move them in the way he accuses Welton of moving his, but by placing them so low and wide apart, he’s making his conclusions out to be less impressive than they really are.

He starts with a pair of quotes from psychologist and famous race hypothesis supporter Richard Lynn (emphasis Chisala’s):

If a multiracial society is found where these race differences in intelligence are absent, the evolutionary and genetic theory of these differences would be falsified. Those who maintain that there are no genetic differences in intelligence between the races are urged to attempt this task.

And (emphasis mine):

If only environmental factors were responsible for the different IQs of different populations, we should expect to find some countries where Africans had higher IQs than Europeans. The failure to find a single country where this is the case points to the presence of a strong genetic factor.

So you see where this is going. Richard Lynn, the stalwart defender of the race hypothesis, issues a challenge from on high to find a single instance in which Africans have higher IQs than Europeans and then claims that under such circumstances, “the evolutionary and genetic theory of these differences would be falsified.” Chanda Chisala then says, “Game on!” and manages to find one instance in which a small subset of black children outperform a much larger subset of white children on a series of exams.

Does this mean that Chisala refuted the race hypothesis in IQ? No. It means he refuted an unwise and arrogant statement made by Richard Lynn. Congratulations to Chisala on that. Supporters of the race hypothesis needed to be shaken out of their complacency, and Chisala did so. My heartfelt thanks goes out to him – no kidding, it does. But that doesn’t mean the race hypothesis is wrong. Here’s why.

Chisala makes the race hypothesis out to be more universal than it really is. It all really boils down to that. He paints the race hypothesis as an all-or-nothing affair. And after showing how the “all” part of it fails, he leads us by the nose to his conclusion: nothing – as in, race has nothing to do with IQ. Observe:

Remember, the more universal your claim, the more it can potentially be falsified by a simple singular unambiguous event, which is why Lynn was right to give such a simple falsifying standard. It is not the complex confirmatory data that is critical for a hypothesis; it is the potentially disconfirmatory data.

If you hypothesize that all swans are white, it doesn’t matter how “overwhelming” the number of white swans you’ve observed in the past is; it will take only one black swan – no pun intended – to falsify your universal hypothesis.

Chisala’s mistake should become clear now. The race hypothesis was never so universal as to say that all whites are smarter than all blacks, or that average white intelligence will always and everywhere exceed black average intelligence. The race hypothesis does not even entirely rule out environmental factors in determining IQ. But the race hypothesis must do all of these things if Chisala’s “singular unambiguous event” is to falsify it.

In reality, the race hypothesis merely posits the strong racial component behind average intelligence, hardly a universal claim. When dealing with averages under any circumstances, of course there will be outliers: a group of women who happen to be taller than a group of men, for example, or the occasional black swan among the white ones. In no way does the race hypothesis rule out a group of very smart blacks living in close proximity to a group of average whites. Such a scenario could very well happen, and under a confluence of extremely fortuitous events (coincidental or not), may have happened recently in England. There are around a billion black people on the planet; even with a low average IQ, their standard deviation should tell us that there will still be a large number of intelligent blacks on the far end of their bell curve.

Here is a series of thought experiments may further illustrate the paucity of substance in Chisala’s position (and, yes, I’m paying homage to The Onion from back when it was funny over fifteen years ago):

  • Point: Blacks make superior basketball players to whites. Find me one majority-white starting team that wins the NBA championship, and my claim will be falsified!
  • Counterpoint: The 1980s Boston Celtics.

 

  • Point: Blacks make superior sprinters to whites. Find me one white sprinter who can clock a 100-meter dash in under ten seconds, and my claim will be falsified!
  • Counterpoint: Christophe Lemaitre, 2010.

 

  • Point: Men make superior chess players to women. Find me one woman who can defeat the highest-rated man, and my point will be falsified!
  • Counterpoint: Judit Polgar, 2005.

In all cases, the initial point never gets refuted. The vast majority of data we have points to black superiority in basketball and sprinting and male superiority in chess. The counterpoints refute only the ridiculous challenge following each point – which, if you think about it, is fairly arbitrary. Suppose Richard Lynn had said the following (with my edit in italics):

The failure to find at least three countries where this is the case points to the presence of a strong genetic factor.

Would Chanda Chisala have even written his articles had Lynn said this? Certainly, this would have forced him to place his goalposts a lot higher and closer together (and note these are Lynn’s goalposts, not Chisala’s). He would have had to work much harder to pose a serious challenge to the race hypothesis – and all because of a couple sentences one man once jotted down or said before a crowd. It seems that Chisala is missing the bigger picture here. Scientists should be verifying theories against data in the natural world, not verifying cherry-picked statements from a single man down to the letter. One feat is a lot more impressive than the other.

And speaking of impressive, in order to truly refute the race hypothesis, Chisala has to produce evidence on a scale that rivals the vast volume of psychometric data we’ve been collecting for around a century. He has 6,011 African blacks that outperform British whites on a series of exams (or 15,785 blacks that nearly equal them). On the other hand, the IQ hereditarians in America have millions of blacks who consistently underperform against their white counterparts in standardized tests, and have been doing so since the tests were first administered. And remember, these blacks speak English and live in one of the wealthiest nation in the world. This means we can toss much of Chisala’s environmental concerns out the window when it comes to American blacks. In 2014, it was shown that Black America enjoys the forty-fourth highest per-capita GDP in the world when adjusted for purchasing power. This is only fifteen points and nine thousand dollars below that of the UK and well above countries such China, Russia, and all African nations south of the Sahara. Yet American blacks always do poorly on their standardized exams, and it doesn’t matter if it is the IQ test, the SAT, the GRE, the MCAT, the LSAT, or what have you. Every single psychometric measure we have says the same thing.

Here is Michael Levin saying as much in his 1997 classic Why Race Matters (emphasis mine):

The main scientific evidence of black/white differences in intelligence is black and white performance on standardized intelligence tests. Competent authorities agree that, as measured by the Wheeler Adult Intelligence Scale, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, the Raven’s Progressive Matrices, and similar instruments, the mean IQ of whites exceeds that of American blacks by about one white standard deviation. When IQ is scaled so that the white mean is 100 and the SD is 15, the black mean is about 85 and the black SD slightly less than 15. (Sternberg 1994: 899-907). This difference was first observed during the World War I, and has remained fairly constant.

The most thorough survey of the literature through 1966 is Shuey’s The Testing of Negro Intelligence (1966), which reports 382 comparative studies involving 80 different tests administered to hundreds of thousands of black and white children, high school and college students, military personnel, civilian adults, deviates, and criminals. The average black score in these studies was a bit below 85 and the average white score a bit above 100, with the difference in the means in the various studies ranging from 12 to 18 points.

And since 1997, very little has changed – otherwise Kevin Drum of Mother Jones wouldn’t be calling the black-white testing gap both real and a disgrace like he did in March 2019.

Bottom line: Blacks don’t do as well as whites. It’s not even close. Even wealthy blacks do poorly in comparison to whites. Blacks don’t do as well as Hispanics in their standardized tests, and one would be hard-pressed to prove that the circumstances of American blacks are any worse than that of Hispanics (who in many cases speak English as a second language). Are we to pretend that none of this is true simply because 6,000 black kids in England know how to buck a trend? Are we to just look the other way because Richard Lynn once said something a tad foolhardy?

I don’t think so.

Demonstrating Chisala’s Single-Minded Focus on the Black-White Gap

I’ve saved my easiest and strongest argument for last.

There is one aspect of Chisala’s data set that no one is talking about: the Chinese. Below is the previous table of test scores with the Chinese scores highlighted in green:

Note how the Chinese EAL score is significantly higher than that the EF score of both British whites and black Africans. Note further how the Chinese EF score towers over all the others. If this isn’t a slam-dunk for the racial hypothesis, I don’t know what is. Are the environments of both black Africans and British whites in the UK that much worse than those of Chinese kids who have not yet mastered English to explain such an enormous gap? To say yes would be ridiculous. There is simply no explanation other than a racial one when accounting for Chinese success on the GCSE.

Of course, the Chinese N count of 570 EF students is tiny – but not as tiny as the black African N count relative to the British white one. Again, arithmetic: 6,011÷424,754=0.014. This means that the number of black Africans taking the GCSE is only 1.4 percent of the number of British whites. Meanwhile, 570÷6,011=0.094. This means that the number of Chinese taking the GCSE is a whopping 9.4 percent of the number of black Africans. So if Chisala is not concerned about the low N of black Africans compared to that of British whites, he should not be concerned about the low N of the Chinese compared to that of the black Africans.

We should always remember that this isn’t Montgomery, Alabama in 1962, where the only races that warrant discussion are black and white. Further, no researcher or writer should enter this debate to defend the honor of his race. Psychologists like Richard Lynn aren’t stirring up a pot of home cooking when ranking the races by intelligence (otherwise, they wouldn’t ascribe the highest average IQs to the Asians). Instead, they’re applying the racial hypothesis in IQ to all races, and have found time and time again that it has real predictive power. Race is deep, and race is real – and not just with regards to intelligence. Races differ greatly in terms of temperament and behavior as well, greatly enough to make big differences on standardized exams.

Chanda Chisala’s objection to this reminds me of how twentieth-century physicists were able to find minute ways in which Isaac Newton’s laws of motion fail, especially when attempting to predict the position and velocity of electrons. This marked an important moment in the history of quantum mechanics and has kept physicists busy ever since. But this does not mean that physicists should simply do away with Newton in the same way Chisala wants to do away with people like Richard Lynn. Newton might not be able to predict the motion of sub-atomic particles, but he sure can predict whether a football will sail through goal posts.

And so can the race hypothesis.

Spencer J. Quinn is a frequent contributor to Counter-Currents and the author of the novel White Like You.

 

28 Comments

  1. Posted December 13, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Igbo academic superiority in Britain

    Although the Chinese and Indians are still very conspicuously above even the best African nationalities, their superiority disappears when the Nigerian and other groups are broken down even further according to their different tribal ethnicities. Groups like the famous Igbo tribe, which has contributed much genetically to the African American blacks, are well known to be high academic achievers within Nigeria. In fact, their performance seems to be at least as high as the “model minority” Chinese and Indians in the UK, as seen when some recent African

    immigrants are divided into languages spoken at home (which also indicates that these are not multigenerational descendants but children of recent immigrants).

    Africans speaking Luganda and Krio did better than the Chinese students in 2011. The igbo were even more impressive given their much bigger numbers (and their consistently high performance over the years, gaining a 100 percent pass rate in 2009!). The superior Igbo achievement on GCSEs is not new and has been noted in studies that came before the recent media discovery of African performance. A 2007 report on “case study” model schools in Lambeth also included a rare disclosure of specified Igbo performance (recorded as Ibo in the table below) and it confirms that Igbos have been performing exceptionally well for a long time (5 + A*-C GCSEs); in fact, it is difficult to find a time when they ever performed below British whites. The Chinese and Indian levels of Free School Meals are even lower than the Ghanaian and Nigerian pupils when the Africa segment is broken down into nationalities.

    http://www.afripol.org/afripol/item/1813-uk-nigerian-academic-performance-in-destroys-the-myth-of-black-low-iq.html

  2. Crom Cruach
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    One little point that I find quite interesting is how there’s such a large gap between Gypsies who speak English as a first language and those who don’t, which might well correlate to how Roma Gypsies from Central Europe are pretty much fully Indian in appearance whereas English Romanichal practically look fully European.

  3. Anon
    Posted December 8, 2019 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    I am not too interested in race-IQ issues (“common racism”), but I’ll give my 2 cents.

    I do not believe in mean-reversion, for my own reasons. I think it is a terrible hill for a heriditarian perspective to die on. The hereditarian perspective can survive without mean-reversion. It strikes me as being informed by some really bad statistics jargon (I am pretty well trained in statistics).

    If the African immigrants to UK were particularly tall, their children would not revert to the African mean. They would also be tall. This is how genes and additive random variables work.

    It seems that “mean-reversion” was just a post-hoc way of hand-waiving the sad phenomenon of African American children’s underperformance, in order to avoid the terrible reality that African Americans do have major social and cultural issues in America (obvious to anyone who is fair-minded). I simply disagree that the way to fix black America is through policies that destroy white America, and I also hold that diversity itself is a problem for black America. Black kids are happier in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, etc.

    Having said this, it is obvious that immigrants in the UK are particularly high-performing, because it is difficult to immigrate there (I have tried), and their system selects for entrepreneurs, rich people, “extremely skilled” people, “experts,” and so on. The Nigerian-Brits are probably among the most hopeful, confident, and motivated of their people.

  4. helper
    Posted December 7, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    “The problem here is that Chisala does not include this data in either article I’ve linked (or maybe I just somehow missed it). His Unz Review article does present black African scores in Math and English, but fails to compare them to the white scores. The link to his source data, which was compiled by Steve Strand of Oxford University, appears to be broken.”

    Here’s the Strand study:
    https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/bitstream/handle/10871/23323/EAL_and_educational_achievement2.pdf?sequence=1

    • Spencer J. Quinn
      Posted December 7, 2019 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for this.

  5. gregor
    Posted December 7, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Chisala’s argument about mean reversion seems flawed. It is simply not true that we should expect a particular group of immigrant children to revert back all the way toward the Sub-Saharan average. In reality populations aren’t that homogeneous. You revert toward a sort of “family” average which can be much higher than the broad national average. If you assume essentially random mating within a nation, then, yes, over time all families will gravitate toward the overall average. But if there is assortative mating and certainly if there are specialized tribes and castes, you can get families or sub-groups that will have a higher baseline than the broader population. In that case, subsequent generations won’t get dumber unless they start marrying down.

    • Spencer J. Quinn
      Posted December 7, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Interesting. Did you post this in the comments either in Unz or VDARE?

    • Chess Player
      Posted December 7, 2019 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Correct. The Brahmin caste in India maintains extraordinarily high IQ within the Indian system without reverting to the national mean. Likewise Parsi in India, Jews and gypsies in Europe.

      If these Africans are Igbo or Yoruba then they would stay at their own mean.

  6. Threestars
    Posted December 7, 2019 at 4:51 am | Permalink

    Are the environments of both black Africans and British whites in the UK that much worse than those of Chinese kids who have not yet mastered English to explain such an enormous gap?

    Yes, British lower classes live in notoriously decrepit environments. Most Chinese children in the UK are the sons and daughters of corrupt Chinese officials, a highly selected and wealthy group.

    To say yes would be ridiculous. There is simply no explanation other than a racial one when accounting for Chinese success on the GCSE.

    Sorry to say, but you kept your worst argument for last. Drawing attention to the GSCE’s very low ceiling would have served our case a lot better. The test is so easy, in fact that it’s more a measure of conscientiousness than intellectual ability. And again, British young people’s attitude towards “striving” is well known.

    • gregor
      Posted December 7, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      “The test is so easy, in fact that it’s more a measure of conscientiousness than intellectual ability.”

      The female mean score being higher than the male mean would also suggest this. If these scores reflect IQ, then these scores suggest that girls have about a quarter of a standard deviation advantage over boys (about 4 points). This is of course nonsense. If anything, the data suggest a modest male advantage (perhaps 2 to 3 points). Any supposed “intelligence” metric showing a substantial female advantage is picking up other attributes.

      In the US, minorities not only have lower scores, their actual performance tends to be somewhat worse. They actual underperform their test scores (also true for Asians, incidentally, though that is a completely different discussion). In other words, other traits like conscientiousness, etc. exacerbate rather than attenuate the black-white intelligence gap.

    • Spencer J. Quinn
      Posted December 7, 2019 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      3Stars, thanks for you insights. I should have consulted with you before writing!

  7. Jud Jackson
    Posted December 7, 2019 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    Thanks Mr. Quinn,

    When I read Chisala’s article on Vdare a week or so ago, I was definitely troubled. It genuinely scared me since my views on the Race IQ problem were formed long ago in 1998 after I read Michael Levin’s “Why Race Matters.” “What, I thought? Was Levin wrong? Was Rushton wrong? Were these and all my other heroes wrong?” I didn’t know how to refute it but you certainly do.

    • Spencer J. Quinn
      Posted December 7, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Jud. Something didn’t seem right about Chisala’s analysis. It took a lot of thought and research to refute him.

  8. Oswald
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    1.GCSE tests \= IQ tests

    2.I believe that in the bell curve made reference to certain studies where black children had been adopted by white Minnesotans and this had initially seemed to raise their IQ ( on IQ tests) however, these IQ increases did not last into later life.

    3.It would be interesting to compare educational conditions in London to those in the provinces.

  9. Nikandros
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Excellent job and such a quick response too! Hopefully, Chisala sees this and/or Unz publishes it. I had some other thought after reading Chisala’s piece.

    1. Sub-Saharan Africans are fairly diverse. Much like there is a difference in intelligence between Germans and Albanians, for example, I believe there are differences in intelligence among SSA sub-races. I don’t know how well these correspond to all the various tribes; I’m sure there is overlap. Nonetheless, Lynn gives Nigeria an national IQ of 84. However, the Yoruba and Igbo tribes (genetically identical) have the reputation of being the most intelligent and successful (without oil money) Nigerians. I would guess that their averages IQs are in the 86-90 range, higher than the other rural and Muslim tribes. That’s pretty dang good for SSAs. There are also 79 million of them, and there are only about 200,000 Nigerians in the U.K. , pretty much all of which are Yoruba or Igbo. It’s not hard to imagine significant selection bias going on here despite Chisala’s misunderstanding of regression to the mean.

    2. In line with his selection bias argument, Chisala tries to use South African university student IQ scores as a substitute for Nigerian university IQ scores. However, one would never substitute German university student IQ scores with Albanian university student IQ scores. And I believe that Germans and Albanians are closer to each other genetically than South African Bantus are to Nigerian Yorubas/Igbo.

    3. Some commenters had brought up private school test scores and whether they are fully represented in the data. I would guess that most private school students in the U.K. are white.

    • Spencer J. Quinn
      Posted December 7, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Hi Nikandros,

      Yes, Chisala will bring up blacks as a race when it suits him, and then as a particular nationality when it suits him. You make some interesting points as well. Do you know if the kids taking these exams are only public school students, and if private school kids are being omitted?

      • Nikandros
        Posted December 7, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        I know some private school students take the test, but I’m not sure what the percentages are compared to public school students.

        • Sartor
          Posted December 16, 2019 at 12:07 am | Permalink

          The GCSE is universal in UK schools so the stats would cover state and private schools. The O’Level examinations are not however a true equivalent to IQ tests. As the old adage goes, they are a measure of stickability not ability. ( The Advanced Level required for university entrance is, however, considered a measure of ability.) if you are dumb you won’t pass GCSE but if you are conscientious and have good teachers it’s not difficult to. Explains why girls do better than boys and a lot else. They are more a measure of the success of schools and the education system than IQ. Great article though; wonderful to see such informed and objective discussion.

  10. James
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    There is something that has interested me when it comes to race and intelligence in relation to a comment attributed to Greg Johnson, which I hope is an accurate quote from him.

    “I have actually taught logic and critical thinking to such blacks over the course of a semester, and I administered tests to them. After a while, I began to notice that ALL of these apparently “bright” black students were not particularly capable of logic and critical thinking, even though they were highly attuned to the social realm and quite capable of giving the superficial impression of high-level cognitive functioning. Over the years I did, however, encounter a few black students who were genuinely intelligent, on the rightward fringe of the black bell curve. But none of these students were superficially “bright” at all.”

    This comment would indicate that blacks with a high IQ on a Wechsler test, more specifically the Verbal Comprehension Index are scoring high in the subtest called Comprehension. This test selects for a type of social awareness, and not critical thinking or the ability to construct a logical argument. Does anyone know if it is the case that high IQ blacks for the Verbal Comprehension Index are predominantly scoring higher in the Comprehension subtest as opposed to the subtests which include Information, Vocabulary, and Similarities?

    • Rhodok
      Posted December 7, 2019 at 12:12 am | Permalink

      I believe you hit upon an important aspect here. When looking at society as a whole it is necessary to look at the outliers, not so much the mean. White success is mostly due to the extreme high achievers that have pushed the boundary. The average people have never contributes much (except of course to give rise to the existence of high achievers!)

      It seems to me that the black high achievers -which I would assume are now represented by these black scores in the UK- were simply not high enough to push their origin population to the same hights as the NW-europeans did. (evidenty so)(nor did they have a need for it)

  11. Some Guy
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Girls score 20 points ahead of boys on the GCSEs, they are clearly not a pure intelligence test. On an actual IQ test 2197 black Africans in the UK score 94 on the non-verbal and quantitative parts: https://lesacreduprintemps19.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/glassessment.pdf (bottom page)

  12. Chess Player
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    I thought someone had previously done an article at Unz arguing that the population of blacks in question were in fact Igbo peoples, an unusually talented group of west Africans, dubbed the “Jews of africa.” Most of the African writers you may have heard of, like the author of Things Fall Apart, are in fact Igbo. Nigerians in general seem a cut above to me, but Igbo in particular. If anyone knows of a book source on the Igbo I would be interested.

    Myself, I’m simply skeptical of the data. There occasionally have been ructions over the decades where some cohort of blacks equaled the white average and upon persistent scrutiny methodological errors are uncovered. The charter school debate is one case.

    Also, I would ask, how psychometric are these examinations? How are the goal posts determined? Are perhaps East Indians included in the cohort?

    I have a speculative hypothesis about the Igbo. In the early centuries AD, Bantu peoples developed iron working skills in west Africa and migrated eastward, replacing the earlier populations. Phoenician sailors and possibly other groups had made it to Nigeria in BC. Could possibly iron working skills have been introduced into west Africa by a colonialist group of Phoenicians, Egyptians or other semites and their founder population maintained some genetic insulation over the centuries, resulting in a high IQ?

    • David Rowie
      Posted December 6, 2019 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      Good article.

      Concerning the Igbo, Peter Frost wrote the article in question “The Jews of West Africa?” at the Unz Review in 2015 or so, and like the above, completely dispells the work of Chisala.

  13. Alexandra O
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    I think we can argue charts, graphs, testing methods, and other parameters of intelligence until the cows come home, but there is no refuting the facts of white European civilization’s advances in all fields of human endeavor and culture from approximately 1500 to 2000, and ongoing . I would push the years back to Athenian Greek culture and Roman civilization as well. Our innovations, advances and inventions during the past 2000 years simply cannot be swept under the rug and torn from us by the shrieks of non-whites about slavery, colonialism or oppression, and ‘injustice’. Now they are bringing up I.Q. as well.

    As for I.Q. tests, the only one I was ever involved in, back in 1959, was the Iowa Tests given in the 11th and 12th grades. I attended a Los Angles suburban school, probably 90% white. No one in ‘those days’ prepared in any way for these tests — no mentoring, no ‘preparation centers’, no coaching, etc. They were just announced about a week ahead of time, and the tests dropped onto our desks during a couple hours for 3 consecutive days. I scored 99 on three of the categories, 97 and 93 in two others, and an abysmal 52 in math, which lowered my overall score to 92. I had numerous classmates (mostly in my Latin class and advanced history class) that scored 99, so I was devastated! Yet I managed to obtain two college degrees and worked for 53 years supporting myself. I would like to know the results of schools in south-central L.A. on the same tests. I am sure Chanda Chisala would defend the low scores by assigning the blame to ‘environment’, yet my school was ‘just across the tracks’ from Watts.

    • Jud Jackson
      Posted December 7, 2019 at 5:05 am | Permalink

      My experience is somewhat different. The “Iowa Test of Basic Skills” were given to my classmates and me in grade school from ages 8 till 13, maybe every other year. In high school, we took the SAT and ACT during our junior (i.e. 3rd) year when most of us were 16 or 17.

  14. Rob Bottom
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    As you surmise, this could easily be explained by the relatively small number of blacks living in the UK compared to other racial groups. Typically the most intelligent people in the third world find a way to immigrate to first world countries ahead of their duller compatriots. Therefore it’s reasonable to guess that the UK’s black population (minus the Caribbeans) may be of an unusually high IQ relative to the native populations in Africa.

    If this theory is correct, the numbers merely reflect that if you skim off the top 0.01% of the African population and add it to the general population of ANY country, you’re going to get skewed results like this. It should not a surprise, and it certainly shouldn’t be used to suggest that the UK import millions more Ugandans and Nigerians.

    Indeed, it is an argument not to allow them into our countries at all, for they are desperately needed back home. It is because countries as populous as Pakistan and Nigeria have not produced anywhere near the number of smart people as countries with much smaller populations, like those in Europe, that they remain stuck in third world conditions. If the average Nigerian or Ugandan was more intelligent than the average Brit, we would expect that Nigeria and Uganda would already be first world countries and the not the third world countries they are.

  15. Don
    Posted December 6, 2019 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    If blacks are equally as good as whites, then when are blacks going to start creating societies and countries equally as good as white countries to which they flee from their failed black countries?

    The great theme in black “progress” is the trend of blacks to run away from their own kind and live among whites. The late Mrs. Martin Luther King was chased out of her black neighborhood by black criminals and fled to the safety of an upscale white neighborhood. More recently, Michelle and Barack Obama bought their $15 million dollar ocean front mansion in 98% WHITE Martha’s Vineyard. (Apparently the Obamas are not worried about rising sea levels.)

    This trend goes back many years. In 1809, more than 3,000 blacks from Haiti, a country that abolished slavery, migrated to New Orleans, Louisiana, where slavery was still allowed. Of course they didn’t volunteer to be slaves, but they did volunteer to run away from a black country that abolished slavery to a white country where black slavery was legal because life was and continues to be better in societies run by white men.

    I don’t trust high IQ blacks anymore than I trust high IQ Jews. Both are enemies of the White race, even if in different ways.

    • Nico
      Posted December 12, 2019 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      “I don’t trust high IQ blacks anymore than I trust high IQ Jews. Both are enemies of the White race, even if in different ways.”

      I have at least one very well-read and certainly not stupid black African friend and two or three good and intelligent Jewish (albeit atheist) American friends, but I have always regarded them as outliers and it took me a long time of backs and forths before I came to trust any of them and were I to initiate discussion with another black or Jew in the future I would definitely subject the relationship to the same temporal and tentativity vetting.

      “The great theme in black ‘progress’ is the trend of blacks to run away from their own kind and live among whites. The late Mrs. Martin Luther King was chased out of her black neighborhood by black criminals and fled to the safety of an upscale white neighborhood. More recently, Michelle and Barack Obama bought their $15 million dollar ocean front mansion in 98% WHITE Martha’s Vineyard. (Apparently the Obamas are not worried about rising sea levels.)”

      Well, sure. We don’t blame Mrs. King or the Obamas for their choice of zip codes nearly so much as we blame them for their abject disingenuity in explaining their motives and more specifically in misdirecting the “blame” away from “their own.”

      And that’s the real problem with integration, from the white perspective. There are enough “good, uppity” blacks moving in to white neighborhoods who are perhaps good enough not to sully the place or commit crimes or engage in disorderly conduct but not good enough to remember what and more importantly WHO drove them out of such places in the first place. “There goes the neighborhood” is not a panic attack to a couple of black folk trotting up the steps next door but sentiment cultivated by the time-tested observation that in the long run, far too many of the “good” ones will bring with them friends and relatives who will move out of the ghetto but not have the ghetto move out of them. There are a few exceptions but they are as we say exceptional and contrary to what the Eleanor Roosevelts of the world would have us say completely uninstructive for how to proceed with workable aggregate policies.

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