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Richard Lynn in 2008


Richard Lynn (born 1930) is a Britishmarker Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Ulster who is known for his views on racial and ethnic differences. Lynn says that there are race and sex differences in intelligence.

Lynn was educated at Cambridge Universitymarker. He has worked as lecturer in psychology at the University of Exetermarker, and as professor of psychology at the Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin, and at the University of Ulster at Coleraine. He has written or co-written more than 11 books and 200 journal articles spanning five decades. Two of his recent books are on dysgenics and eugenics.

In the late 1970s, Lynn wrote that he found a higher average IQ in East Asians compared to Whites (5 points higher in his meta-analysis). In 1990, he proposed that the Flynn effect – an observed year-on-year rise in IQ scores around the world – could possibly be explained by improved nutrition, especially in early childhood.

Like much of the research in race and intelligence, Lynn's research is controversial. He is cited in the book The Bell Curve. He was also one of the 52 scientists who signed "Mainstream Science on Intelligence", an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal defending The Bell Curve. He sits on the editorial boards of the journals Intelligence and Personality and Individual Differences. He also sits on the boards of the Pioneer Fund, and of the Pioneer-supported journal Mankind Quarterly.

Race differences in intelligence

Past works

Lynn's psychometric studies were cited in the 1994 book The Bell Curve and were criticized as part of the controversy surrounding that book. His article, "Skin color and intelligence in African Americans," 2002, Population and Environment, concludes that lightness of skin color in African-Americans is positively correlated with IQ, which he claims derives from the higher proportion of Caucasian admixture.

In IQ and the Wealth of Nations (2002), Lynn and co-author Tatu Vanhanen (University of Helsinki) argue that differences in national income (in the form of per capita gross domestic product) correlate with, and can be at least partially attributed to, differences in average national IQ. One study following up on Lynn and Vanhanen's hypothesis, "Temperature, skin color, per capita income, and IQ: An international perspective" (Templer and Arikawa, 2006), is listed as the most downloaded article in Intelligence at ScienceDirect (Jan - March 2006).

More recent works

Race Differences in Intelligence
Lynn's 2006 Race Differences in Intelligence: An Evolutionary Analysis is the largest review of the global cognitive ability data. The book organizes the data by nine global regions, surveying 620 published studies from around the world, with a total of 813,778 tested individuals.

Lynn's meta-analysis lists the average IQ scores of East Asians (105), European (99), Inuit (91), Southeast Asians and Amerindians each (87), Pacific Islanders (85), Middle Easterners (including South Asians and North Africans) (84), East and West Africans (67), Australian Aborigines (62) and Bushmen and Pygmies (54).

Lynn has previously argued at length that nutrition is the best supported environmental explanation for variation in the lower range, and a number of other environmental explanations have been advanced (see below). Ashkenazi Jews average 107-115 in the U.S. and Britain, but lower in Israel. Lynn argues the surveyed studies have high reliability in the sense that different studies give similar results, and high validity in the sense that they correlate highly with performance in international studies of achievement in mathematics and science and with national economic development.

Following Race Differences in Intelligence, Lynn co-authored a further paper along the lines of IQ and the Wealth of Nations with Jaan Mikk (Šiauliai University, Lithuania) - in press in Intelligence - and has co-authored a second book on the subject with Vanhanen, IQ and Global Inequality, which was published later in 2006.

Lynn's most recent book is The Global Bell Curve: Race, IQ, and Inequality Worldwide, published in June 2008. In describing the book, Lynn says "it concludes that IQ is a key explanatory variable for the social sciences, analogous to gravity in physics." It was reviewed by J. Philippe Rushton around the time of publication.

Immigration

Lynn has spoken against immigration in Britain at a 2000 American Renaissance magazine sponsored conference, citing problems of unemployment, crime, illegitimacy, and low IQ, considering African and African-Caribbean immigants to perform worse in these measures than Indian and Chinese immigrants. Lynn spoke on his book IQ and the Wealth of Nations at a 2002 American Renaissance conference.

Sex differences in intelligence

Lynn's research correlating brain size and reaction time with measured intelligence led him to the problem that men and women have different size brains in proportion to their bodies, but consensus for the last hundred years has been that the two sexes perform equally on cognitive ability tests. In 1994, Lynn concluded in a meta-analysis that an IQ difference of roughly 4 points does appear from age 16 and onwards, but detection of this had been complicated by the faster rate of maturation of girls up to that point, which compensates for the IQ difference. This reassessment of male-female IQ has been bolstered by Paul Irwing's meta-analyses in 2004 and 2005 which conclude a difference of 4.6 to 5 IQ points (see BBC coverage). Irwing finds no evidence that this is due primarily to the male advantage in spatial visualization, and concludes that some research previously presented to show that there are no sex differences actually shows the opposite.However, Lynn and Irwing's findings are not without controversy.

Dysgenics and eugenics

Dysgenics
In Dysgenics: Genetic Deterioration in Modern Populations (1996, out of print), Lynn discusses dysgenics in modern societies.

The history of eugenics is reviewed, from the early writings of Bénédict Morel and Francis Galton through the rise of eugenics in the early 20th century and its subsequent collapse. Three main concerns of eugenicists are identified: deterioration in health, intelligence and conscientiousness. Lynn suggests that natural selection in preindustrial societies favoured traits such as intelligence and character but no longer do so in modern societies. The author argues that due to the advance of medicine, selection against those with poor genes for health was relaxed. With constant appearance of mutant genes, the prevalence of genetic disorders like phenylketonuria is increasing each generation.

Regarding intelligence, Lynn examines sibling studies. Lynn concludes that the tendency of children with a high number of siblings to be the least intelligent is evidence of dysgenic fertility. Lynn concedes that there has been a genuine increase in phenotypic intelligence (see Flynn effect), but argues that this is caused by environmental factors and is masking a decline in genotypic intelligence.

Lynn points to evidence that those with greater educational achievement have fewer children, while children with lower IQ come from larger families

as primary evidence that intelligence and fertility are negatively correlated. Continuing the theme of correlates of fertility, socioeconomic status appears to have a negative effect on fertility, which Lynn thinks is because there is increasingly ineffective use of contraception with declining socioeconomic class. Regarding intelligence, Lynn agrees with Lewis Terman’s comment in 1922 that “[t]he children of successful and cultivated parents test higher than children from wretched and ignorant homes for the simple reason that their heredity is better”.

Lynn goes on to present evidence that socioeconomic status is negatively correlated with indicators of conscientiousness such as work ethic, moral values and crime. Next the genetic basis of differences in conscientiousness is discussed, and Lynn concludes that twin studies provide evidence of a high heritability for the trait. The less conscientious, such as criminals, have more offspring.

While most of the book discusses evidence for dysgenics in developed countries, Lynn acknowledges that it is less strong in developing countries, but concludes that “dysgenic fertility [...] is a worldwide phenomenon of modern populations” (p. 196).

Lynn concludes with an examination of counter-arguments. These include that the traits discussed are not genetically determined, that intelligence and fertility can be inversely related without dysgenics, that socioeconomic classes do not differ genetically, and that there is no such thing as a ‘bad gene’. These arguments are dismissed, and Lynn asserts that these trends represent a serious problem. Finally, he expresses support for eugenics, which is the subject of his next book, Eugenics: A Reassessment.

A review of Dysgenics by W.D. Hamilton, FRS, Royal Society Research Professor in evolutionary biology at the University of Oxfordmarker, was published posthumously in 2000. In this lengthy review, written according to the author in "rambling essay format", Hamilton writes that Lynn, "discussing the large bank of evidence that still accumulates on heritability of aptitudes and differentials of fertility,shows in this book that almost all of the worries of the early eugenicists were well-founded in spite of the relative paucity of their evidence at the time"; in the second half of the review, several directions not covered in Lynn's book are explored.

Another review of Dysgenics was written in 2002 by N.J. Mackintosh, FRS, Emeritus Professor of Experimental Psychology in the University of Cambridge. Mackintosh writes that, "with a cavalier disregard for political correctness, he argues that the ideas of the eugenecists were correct and that we ignore them at our peril." While recognizing that the book provides a valuable and accurate source of information, he criticizes Lynn for "not fully acknowledg[ing] the negative relationship between social class and education on the one hand, and infant mortality and life expectancy on the other." He calls into question Lynn's interpretation of data. He also points out that according to Lynn's reading of the theory of natural selection, "if it is true that those with lower IQ and less education are producing more offspring, then they are fitter than those of higher IQ and more education"; he writes that on the contrary the eugenecists' arguments rest not as Lynn suggests on some "biological imperative, but rather on a particular set of value judgements."

In Eugenics: A Reassessment (2001), Lynn argues embryo selection as a form of standard reproductive therapy would raise the average intelligence of the population by 15 IQ points in a single generation (p. 300). If couples produce a hundred embryos, he argues, the range in potential IQ would be around 15 points above and below the parents' IQ. Lynn argues this gain could be repeated each generation, eventually stabilizing the population's IQ at a theoretical maximum of around 200 after as little as six or seven generations.

Eugenics received praise in the American Psychological Association Review of Books (Lykken 2004) as "[an] excellent, scholarly book ...one cannot reasonably disagree with him on any point unless one can find an argument he has not already refuted.", as well as by the journal Nature as a "comprehensive histor[y]" and a welcome one, "given the importance of the topic" of dysgenic trends.

The Pioneer Fund

Lynn currently serves on the board of directors of the Pioneer Fund, and is also on the editorial board of the Pioneer-supported journal Mankind Quarterly, both of which have been the subject of controversy for their dealing with race and intelligence and eugenics, and have been accused of racism. Lynn's Ulster Institute for Social Research received $609,000 in grants from the Pioneer Fund between 1971 and 1996.

Lynn's 2001 book The Science of Human Diversity: A History of the Pioneer Fund is a history and defense of the fund, in which he argues that, for the last sixty years, it has been "nearly the only non-profit foundation making grants for study and research into individual and group differences and the hereditary basis of human nature ... Over those 60 years, the research funded by Pioneer has helped change the face of social science."

Criticism

Lynn's work on global racial differences in cognitive ability, mostly surveys, has been accused of misrepresenting the work of other scientists' studies, and has been criticized for its associated measurement difficulties, distortion, and conclusions drawn from extremely poor and very limited samples.

For example, many of the data points in Lynn's book "IQ and the Wealth of Nations" were not based on residents of the countries in question. The datum for Suriname was based on tests given to Surinamese who had migrated to the Netherlands, and the datum for Ethiopia was based on the IQ scores of a highly selected group that had emigrated to Israel, and, for cultural and historical reasons, was hardly representative of the Ethiopian population. The datum for Mexico was based on a weighted averaging of the results of a study of “Native American and Mestizo children in Southern Mexico” with result of a study of residents of Argentina.The datum that Lynn and Vanhanen used for the lowest IQ estimate, Equatorial Guinea, was the mean IQ of a group of Spanish children in a home for the developmentally disabled in Spain. Corrections were applied to adjust for differences in IQ cohorts (the “Flynn” effect) on the assumption that the same correction could be applied internationally, without regard to the cultural or economic development level of the country involved. While there appears to be rather little evidence on cohort effect upon IQ across the developing countries, one study in Kenya (Daley, Whaley, Sigman, Espinosa, & Neumann, 2003) shows a substantially larger cohort effect than is reported for developed countries (p.?)

In a critical review of The Bell Curve, psychologist Leon Kamin accused Lynn of disregarding scientific objectivity, misrepresenting data, and racism. Kamin argues the studies of cognitive ability of Africans in Lynn's meta-analysis cited by Herrnstein and Murray show strong cultural bias. Kamin also criticized Lynn for "concocting" IQ values from test scores that have no correlation to IQ. Furthermore, Kamin argues Lynn selectively excluded a study that found no difference in White and Black performance, and ignored the results of a study which showed Black scores were higher than White scores.

Journalist Charles Lane made similar criticisms in his New York Review of Books article "The Tainted Sources of 'The Bell Curve'" (1994), which was replied to in the same publication by the Pioneer Fund president of the time, Harry F. Weyher.

Notes

  1. Psychology Research Institute
  2. Richard Lynn
  3. Call for re-think on eugenics BBCNews Friday, 26 April 2002
  4. Gottfredson, Linda (13 December 1994). Mainstream Science on Intelligence. p A18.
  5. Intelligence[1] and Personality and Individual Differences[2] publisher's pages.
  6. [3]
  7. Praeger; ISBN 027597510X
  8. [4]
  9. [5]
  10. [6]
  11. Washington Summit Books; ISBN 1-59368-020-1
  12. Lynn derives these groups from global genetic branches identified in previous genetic cluster analysis (Cavalli-Sforza et al. 1994, p. 79).
  13. Herrnstein and Murray 1994; Lynn 1991a; Lynn 2006
  14. Lynn, R. and Vanhanen, T. (2002). IQ and the wealth of nations. Westport, CT: Praeger. ISBN 0-275-97510-X
  15. In RDiI Lynn surveys NGO reports of four different signs of severe malnutrition - underweight, anemia, wasting, and stunting - for five developing regions, ranking Latin America as suffering the least malnutrition, followed by the Middle-east, Asia/Pacific, Africa, and finally South Asia, suffering the worst malnutrition of any region (ch. 14).
  16. Lynn's data is somewhat weak on Ashkenazi Jews (Malloy 2006), and only allows an indirect, weighted estimate in Israel (103), compared with (similarly indirect) estimates of 91 for Israeli Oriental Jews, and 86 for Israeli Arabs. Israeli Ashkenazi's scores may average lower than U.S. and British Ashkenazi, Lynn suggests, due to selective migration effects in relation to those countries, and to immigrants from the former Soviet Block countries having posed as Ashkenazim. The data isn't necessarily strong enough, however, to rule out identical scores for Ashkenazi across these nations (Malloy 2006).
  17. [7]
  18. Discussed in Lynn and Mikk 2006. See review by Rushton in Personality and Individual Differences (October 2006).[8]
  19. [9]
  20. [10]
  21. Guardian reporting Lynn & Irwing study and Blinkhorn's reply, 2005
  22. Richard Lynn: Dysgenics: genetic deterioration in modern populations Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 1996., ISBN 978-0275949174
  23. Modell, B. and Kuliev, A. M. (1989) Impact of public health on human genetics. Clinical Genetics. 36: 286-298.
  24. E. Ramsden. (2007). A differential paradox: The controversy surrounding the Scottish mental surveys of intelligence and family size. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 43, 109-134
  25. Terman, L. M. (1922) Were we born that way? World's Work. 44: 660-682, p. 671)
  26. Richard Lynn: Eugenics: a reassessment Praeger, Westport, Conn c2001., ISBN 978-0275958220
  27. Martin 2001
  28. [11]
  29. Rowman & Littlefield; ISBN 0761820418
  30. Hunt, E. & Wittmann, W. (2008). National intelligence and prosperity. Intelligence. Vol. 36, 1, January-February pp. 1-9.
  31. Wicherts, J.M. (2007). Group differences in intelligence test performance. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Amsterdam., p. 130.
  32. [12]
  33. [13]


References

  • Beaujean, A. A. and Osterlind, S. J (December 2005). Assessing the Lynn-Flynn Effect in College Basic Academic Subjects Examination ( PDF). International Society for Intelligence Research manuscript.
  • Cavalli-Sforza, L. L., Menozzi, P., & Piazza, A. (1994). The history and geography of human genes. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Flynn, J. (1982). Bulletin of the British Psychological Society, 35, 411.
  • Flynn, J. (1984). The mean IQ of Americans: massive gains 1932 to 1978. Psychological Bulletin, 95, 29-51.
  • Flynn, J. (1987). Massive gains in 14 nations: what IQ tests really measure. Psychological Bulletin, 101, 171-91.
  • Lykken, D. (2004). The New Eugenics. Contemporary Psychology, 49, 670-672.
  • Lynn, R. (1982). IQ in Japan and the United States shows a growing disparity. Nature, 297, 222-3.
  • Lynn, R. (1990). The role of nutrition in secular increases of intelligence. Personality and Individual Differences, 11, 273-285.
  • Martin, N. (2001). Retrieving the 'eu' from eugenics. Nature, 414, 583.
  • Neisser, U. (1997). Rising Scores on Intelligence Tests. American Scientist, Sept.-Oct


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