Friday, 10 May 2013

Jason Richwine and a bottle of Rich Wine


 One of the pleasures of taking a break in France is that when you “French Google” (an enquiry after meaning, not a sexual position) the case of Jason Richwine, currently subject to a public hate session, you get a reassuring collection of articles on fine wines. But, away from la belle France, in the land of Coca Cola the name of Richwine is now up in the spotlight of the haters, being Watson’d (see James Watson, Nobel Laureate and UnPerson on this blog) for repeating out loud the well-known data on intelligence, scholastic achievement and employability which is normally published in discrete tables in obscure papers, where it will not frighten the horses.

Although our genetics we will always have with us, the code of our ancestry written in every cell of our bodies, the labels we attach to racial groups, generally accurately, vary from country to country. The US census lumps together Mexicans, Puerto Ricans and other Spanish speakers, usually calling them Hispanics or Latinos. I can qualify linguistically, if not genetically. Facts on this group can be found from the Census, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, and other official sources. As ever, Steve Sailer has a good set of meta-analyses:


He identifies one of the largest studies:


Heiner Rindermann at the University of Chemnitz, Germany,  is working on the latest NAEP results, in a paper which may be coming out soon in Intelligence, and which is with reviewers at the moment.

I have had a look at what Jason Richwine has said, and his comments are in line with the current data.  So here is the challenge: a bottle of fine French wine sent to the first person who can show that Hispanic/Latino American intelligence and scholastic ability is on the same level as European American intelligence and scholastic ability.

Data please.

35 comments:

  1. I used to work for a company where every year we had a "smoker" where waggish elements would poke fun at the senior management. As my section head said, the leading lights were always staff approaching retirement, whether they knew it or not.

    Have a care, JT.

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  2. Happily, there are many young researchers entering the field of intelligence

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  3. Elijah Armstrong10 May 2013 at 19:00

    I can only think of two - one of whom (to be arrogant) is me, and the other one of whom is not very young (28).

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    1. Elijah, you are right to think of yourself as the youngest researcher, but what makes you think you know what age I consider young?

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    2. I assumed you meant ~30 or younger. If you mean, e.g., ~50, then of course there are quite a few more. But to my knowledge (and excluding HBD bloggers), there are only two intelligence researchers under-30.

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    3. I think the modal age of first publication in a science journal is 29 years of age. (This is from memory). I think that in terms of the time it takes to accumulate the knowledge required to make an original contribution, we should consider 29 to 39 as "publication young". Also, it would allow us to set up the behavioural science equivalent of the Fields Medal, which is given for contributions to mathematics made before 40 years of age. What would we name it? And who would fund it, other than my willingly contributing a good bottle of French wine?

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    4. You're on the board of UISR, are you not?

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  4. As my section head said, the leading lights were always staff approaching retirement, whether they knew it or not.

    Could you explain this interesting sounding comment. I didn't understand it?

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  5. The implication is that guying the senior management could lead to your being ushered out of the company.

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  6. how do you define Hispanics? Descendents of penisulares, who are all from Spain and last time I checked that was part of Europe? Do Argentinians count as being hispanic? Only about 600,000 Argentinians are native American and the overwhelming numbers of Argentinians are of European descent.
    Is it something in the water that causes people in Argentina are just dumber even though they are whiter and more European than America? Or maybe it has a lot to do with the economic base and Democracy over generations.

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    1. "how do you define Hispanics?"

      Self-identification.

      For example, every single 2010 Census forms asked residents if they were Hispanic or not. The ones who checked Hispanic get counted as Hispanic. The ones who didn't, don't.

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  7. I explained that "Hispanics" is a very general category, mixing different cultural and genetic backgrounds. It is usually better to be more precise about exactly which groups are being discussed, and the date of arrival of immigrant groups. As to Argentinians, they are gloomily aware of their particular brand of cultural misfortune. However, even in adversity they retain their humour. Although the official rate of the dollar is 5 pesos, the real market rate is 10 pesos, so a dollar is called "a Messi" after Leo Messi's No 10 shirt number

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  8. "Thank you for the offer, but I can buy my own French wine," said the 30-year old Hispanic American with an IQ of 138, with a PhD, a bank account of roughly $12 million, and holdings in 4 separate multi-million dollar business ventures across the United States. Good luck trying to find someone who can refute a logical fallacy with "statistical" evidence. If you can do that, I'd be happy to send you a case of wine from my next vineyard tour of France in October.

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    1. What do you mean Dutch men are tall?! I know, like, three Dutch midgets!

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    2. I am Hispanic. So is my sister. My two step brothers. My mother. My father. My aunt, uncle, and my 8 cousins as well as their children. We are professors, successful business owners, producers who contribute significantly to the GDP. And we're all pretty damn smart. Why is it so appropriate for you to call us dumb but it's so inappropriate for us to call people like Richwine racists? They're both epithets. And, seriously, his dissertation draws no logical or statistically significant correlation between IQ scores and potential or ability. He merely suggests a correlation and then uses speculative theories to argue that higher intelligence quotients cause economic prosperity. It's statistical heresy.

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    3. To quote (a parody of) Hilary Putnam: "It would be an interesting exercise to count all the fallacies in this "argument." (It's really awful, isn't it?)"

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    4. To quote just one of the many problematic passages from Richwine's dissertation: “Doctors are surely smarter on average than truck drivers, and we would want any good IQ test to reveal that difference.”

      That is not scholarly work. It's presumption.

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    5. This is a nit-picky criticism. You could just as easily say "Nobel laureates in science..." and "the general population...".

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    6. And you could just as easily continue to defend an poorly written and ill-conceived dissertation. I mentioned that the passage I chose was merely ONE instance of his argument run afoul of academic standards of judgment, which require more than simply speculating or assuming that a relationship exists between IQ and your value as a citizen (or sunject) of a nation (or community). The passage I chose demonstrates the circularity of Richwine's broader argument, which I challenge you to read. Otherwise, there's no way to have a productive conversation about the value of his research.

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    7. ...and last time I checked, Richwine wasn't a Nobel Laureate. His own committee members disagreed with his research. Harvard is disavowing it. Close to 30 Harvard student organizations have petitioned the administration to look into the matter...

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  10. When two groups differ in means there will still be considerable overlap of the standard normal distributions, unless the mean difference is very large indeed. Even with a large 1 standard deviation difference there is considerable overlap. It is not that bright people do not exist in the group with the lower average mean, but simply that there are fewer of them than in the group with the higher mean. Certainly there are bright professional people of Hispanic/Mexican/Puerto Rican origins and of African origins, but if the figures are correct then there will be proportionately fewer of them who achieve a particular standard. Incidentally,that gives us a way of checking that the group means are correct. By finding the absolute number of Hispanics who have achieved a particular national criterion (wealth, PhD theses, professional achievements, patents and so on) it is possible to do a backward check on the distributions. So, a disproportionate success rate for Hispanics in SAT scores, Forbes wealth rankings, citations in science publications and the like would raise strong doubts about the intelligence and scholastic test results. One needs more than one talented family to prove the case, but with several tens of thousands of talented families, then a case can be made.

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    1. Too bad his IQ of 138 doesn't translate into basic understanding of statistics. Or basic knowledge of the field of intelligence.

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    3. First of all, I am a woman. Second of all, I have a very firm grasp of statistical analysis. I'm not sure why you are bent on launching attacks on my personal charater by claiming that I am a no-nothing type, Mr. Armstrong. My only criticism, from the beginning has been that Richwine's argument is fallacious; it suffers from such leaps in logic as to make it seriously suspect. The statistics are not incorrect; his ultimate use of them, however, is worth questioning. Richwine is making a policy argugment. Policies have to be justified by 1) evidence, 2) values, and 3) the policy itself or the suggested course of action. I took no issue with his statistics; I took issue with his value judgments. Just because Hispanics (on average) are shown to have lower IQs does not justify the claim that they are of no national value. Richwine wants us to believe that there is a relationship between IQ and various economic indices that proves sound his judgment about excluding low-IQ (read: indigenous Mexican) immigrants. I say that it does not, which is perfectly in line with standards of statistical analysis. You cannot say that a low average IQ causes poor economic performance, especially when you're looking for a reason to justify restricting the immigration of dumb people. That is a perversion of statistical science. In the end, Richwine shows only a correlation, which is not significant enough to prove his values ethically sound. I have every right - logically, statistically, and ethically - to disagree with him. You, however, have no basis for continuing to issue ad hominem attacks against me.

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  11. Ah, please forgive me for assuming you were male.

    The following links argue for a CAUSAL RELATION, not just a correlational one, between high IQ and types of performance:
    https://lesacreduprintemps19.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/arthur-jensen-the-g-factor-the-science-of-mental-ability.pdf
    http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/1997whygmatters.pdf
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289611001620

    Yes, a low IQ causes poor economic performance. This simply is not in doubt.

    Your statistical illiteracy is reflected in your ridiculous claim that your high IQ and that of your family counts as evidence against the low IQ of Hispanics. (Incidentally, while Hispanics have a low IQ, they probably also have a high standard deviation, given that it is a diverse ethnic group. (No, this is not evidence against Richwine's thesis, because he advocated admitting immigrants on the basis of IQ and NOT on race.))

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    1. I think it bears repeating that I never disagreed with his statistics; I did not use my family's example to refute the mean IQ of Hispanics, which I have repeated (now) three times in our discussion of Richwine's work. However, before I take you to task one last time, let me point out that my argument is mainly logical - though it does incorporate some statistical elements - and my outrage was with the idea that citizenship or the idea of political community should be treated as a good only to the benefit of national averages like GDP. I think it's abhorrent to exclude people based on their IQ when there are many, many reasons people come to this country. As a singularly profound thought problem: Should we submit asylees to IQ exams when they are fleeing war-ravaged countries? Should your IQ be the only determinate of whether or not you should be presented with an opportunity to live a life free of violence? Should only smart people be offered an opportunity to pursue happiness?

      On another note: I have not read the whole of Why g Matters, but it seems to suggest that the significance of g is related to the performance of specific jobs rather than to national economic goals. I really don't have the time to sift through a novel dedicated to The g Factor, but the introduction suggests that there are multiple factors that influence ability of which IQ is only one. The main source that Richwine uses to justify a causal relationship between IQ and economic outcomes is The Bell Curve, which has been criticized for the immutability of g and IQ - i.e., exactly what Richwine assumes for his argument. The supposed immutability of these intelligence factors is used in Richwine's paper as a justification of his policy prescriptions, which is curious because EVEN HE notes that IQ is variable across generations...and generally the mean of both parents' IQs.

      So...what does all this mean?

      Richwine is assuming that immigrants, over the course of 3, 4, or even 5 generations will continue to be the progeny of immigrants - strictly immigrants - and that this seemingly incestuous trend will continue until the end of time. In other words, his controlling assumptions place doubt on both his statistical analysis and raise serious questions about why he thinks of immigrants as a distinct group of people from "natives."

      I'll leave you with a few policy questions to consider:

      1) Should everyone be required to take an IQ test in order to be granted citizenship?

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/stuartanderson/2012/03/09/ending-birthright-citizenship-would-be-costly-for-americans/

      2) At what age should we test for IQ in immigrants?

      http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/10/20/141511314/iq-isnt-set-in-stone-suggests-study-that-finds-big-jumps-dips-in-teens

      3) Are you serious or just plain stupid?

      http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/2671/economics/factors-affecting-economic-growth/

      After all, we are talking about the economy, Stupid.

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  12. As civilian in the statistics wars, I'm not able to judge these arguments, but I do have a question about his dissertation (probably a non-question to those in the know).

    If he is correlating high economic value of a person with their IQ, does that also apply to women, whom I understand to have less economic value than men in our society?

    Also does his study take into account the effects of racism in our society on economic value of groups?

    thanks for your help.

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  13. Richwine studied male wages because he pointed out that women can drop out of the labour force to bring up children, which is not a skill-based employment factor. When you do studies of many different nations then national average IQ is closely related to GDP, and there are ground for seeing IQ as causal. Rindermann has published on this issue.
    Racism as an explanatory variable for ability differences has been studied in a variety of ways. For example, comparing the scholastic progress of different groups who might be subjected to prejudicial treatment (say Chinese, Japanese, European Jews etc) and seeing to what extent there is a reasonable match. Usually the intellectual results do not fit well with the prejudice model. The Chinese in the US used to have low socio-economic status and were subject to discriminatory legislation, yet did very well on tests of ability. The other approach is to compare the abilities of immigrants with the general ability level of the countries from which they are drawn. Usually immigrant IQs are similar to those of the countries of origin. There is now additional data on immigrant's scholastic abilities in other countries (there are countries other than the US) which gives interesting insights. Usually the second generation has better scholastic achievements than the first generation, while still falling short of the host population. However, in some countries second generation achievements are lower than the first. In terms of college participation there is under-representation of Mexican Americans which seems to have persisted for 5 generations. I will try to post about this another time, but am looking at cancer risks and mastectomy at the moment, so it will have to wait.

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  14. In fact, in Richwine's thesis, table 2.6 gives the figures for second generation immigrants, and third generation immigrants. Both Mexicans and Other Hispanics seem to have fallen slightly back in the third generation.

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  15. My Theory on Why East Asians and Ashkenazi Jews Have Highest Average IQ Scores in the World

    http://thethinktankguideforsmarterliving.blogspot.sg/2014/04/my-theory-on-why-east-asians-have.html

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  16. The American Dream is Already Dead: How Jason Richwine is Actually Right in His US Immigration Policy that Disfavours Races with Lower Average IQ

    http://thethinktankguideforsmarterliving.blogspot.sg/2014/04/the-american-dream-is-already-dead-how.html

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  17. How People Misunderstood Jason Richwine's Dissertation: Explaining Racial Incompatibility is Different From Denigrating Them
    http://thethinktankguideforsmarterliving.blogspot.sg/2014/04/how-people-misunderstood-jason.html

    The definition of the word "racism" is the following:

    "1. the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races."

    To judge whether or not people are racists, one has to judge their intention to denigrate others and not simply by judging their actions and behaviour alone, because racism is based on a person's intention to denigrate others, racism cannot be determined simply by judging the words they wrote in a dissertation.

    Jason Richwine's dissertation was to explain whether or not certain groups of people would be compatible or incompatible for American society and its economy.

    Being analytical about different races' compatibility to living in American society does not make the person a racist that is obsessed with denigrating other races of people.

    Jason was perceiving the incompatibility/compatibility of different races for living in American society in his dissertation, no one except him can know whether or not he had any intention to denigrate those races.

    For people to simply assume that Jason had the intention to denigrate those races without evidence(of his true intentions) is simply being unfair, over-assuming, immature and perhaps blame-shifting as well.

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