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Recently, ATP contributor Alan Duval skillfully debunked some claims concerning race and IQ made here by one of the more controversial commenters. This is why I don’t censor as much as others – it allows for free and open conversation whereby spurious claims are found out, or, indeed, found to be more robust.

In the thread of this post (“Race and IQ“) there has been a slew of comments by variously “Rob” and “Rob Smith” who has thrown about many claims about how blacks have, on average, lower IQ than whites and Asians. He defines whites as those humans who evolved post-hybridisation with Neanderthals. Sub-Saharan Africans, who he defines as “blacks”, do not have Neanderthal genes assimilated into the genome as a result of this genetic introgression (funnily enough discussed on Radio 4 with Adam Rutherford yesterday!). It is this hybridisation, he claims, that is the root of the supremacy of whites over (sub-Saharan) blacks. This led to larger and heavier brains, and thus IQ and intelligence.

The sorts of claims he has made (and supported with citations here and there) include:

Are genetic phenotypes that produce different physical traits an arbitrary social construct? Are the differences in allele frequencies exhibited by the different races an arbitrary social construct?

Do you believe in dog breeds?

Blacks are Humans 1.0; modern man evolved from Blacks and are Humans 2.0, the improved version. They were formed by hybridization with the large-brained Neanderthals which created larger, denser, more complex brains:

• Blacks = 2% Archaic admixture
• Whites = 4% Neanderthal admixture
• Asians = 5% Neanderthal + Denisovan

So how is the 3D-ID computer able to determine which race a person is if there is not even such a thing as a race?

With mixed race populations, geneticists can now track along an individual’s genome, and assign each segment to an African or European ancestor, an exercise that would be impossible if race did not have some basis in biological reality.

So then how are anthropologists able to determine race simply by observing a skull?

Blacks are the only race with no Neanderthal DNA, therefore they share no common ancestor with the other races. Are they then a separate species? A strong case for this can be made because Blacks have a genetic distance of 0.23 from Whites and Asians, but only 0.17 from Erectus. That means Blacks are more closely related to archaic hominids than to modern man.

What about the fact the different races become afflicted with different diseases, and have different genetic mutations that require different controls in pharmaceutical drug testing?

Since you claim there is no such thing as a race, should the National Institute of Health cease warning Black men to be vigilant about undergoing regular prostate exams because they have 21% higher testosterone levels compared to White men?

Serum testosterone levels in healthy young black and white men.

Blacks in the United States have the highest prostate cancer rate in the world and nearly twice that of whites in the United States. The 2:1 black-to-white ratio in prostate cancer rates is already apparent at age 45 years, the age at which the earliest prostate cancer cases occur. This finding suggests that the factor(s) responsible for the difference in rates occurs, or first occurs, early in life. Testosterone has been hypothesized to play a role in the etiology of prostate cancer, because testosterone and its metabolite, dihydrotestosterone, are the principal trophic hormones that regulate growth and function of epithelial prostate tissue. Mean testosterone levels in blacks were 19% higher than in whites, and free testosterone levels were 21% higher. Both these differences were statistically significant. A 15% difference in circulating testosterone levels could readily explain a twofold difference in prostate cancer risk.

J Natl Cancer Inst. 1986 Jan;76(1):45-8.

PMID: 3455741


Black-White IQ Distribution:

For a graphical representation of the racial IQ gap Google: racial IQ bell curve

Percentages below are from a cumulative percentages graph for readability:

5% above 110 IQ
16% above 100 IQ
40% above 90 IQ
70% above 80 IQ
40% below 80 IQ
18% below 75 IQ
10% below 70 IQ

10% above 120 IQ
18% above 115 IQ
27% above 110 IQ
40% above 105 IQ
50% above 100 IQ
60% below 105 IQ
35% below 95 IQ
15% below 85 IQ

So, the smartest 16% of Blacks are as intelligent as smartest 50% of Whites. 80% of Blacks score at or below the “low functioning” category.

The least intelligent ten percent of Whites have IQs below 80; forty percent of Blacks have IQs that low.

Only one Black in six is more intelligent than the average White; five Whites out of six are more intelligent than the average Black.

These differences show in every test of general cognitive ability that anyone, of any race or nationality, has yet been able to devise. And they are reflected in countless everyday situations, “Life is an IQ test.”

Further, only one-in-3.5 million (.00003%) African Blacks have an IQ of 140 or higher (genius level). But one-in-83 (1.2%) U.S. Whites is a genius. Therefore the per capita genius rate for U.S.-resident Whites is 41,000 times higher than it is for African Blacks.

As the New York Times put it, “…the difference in I.Q. points between the groups is quite significant. It means that the top sixth of Blacks score only as well on I.Q. tests as do the top half of Whites.”

Black females have higher IQs than Black males. Black female IQ is 2.4 points higher than Black male IQ. There are twice as many Black females as Black males with IQs over 120 and five times as many Black females as Black males with IQs over 140.


The racial intelligence disparity is scientific fact.

Believing the races are equal is a sign of a person so saturated in political correctness as to have lost their ability to reason.

and (I have stitched some together into one for ease here):

Are societies more safe and prosperous if they are more White, or more Black?

Name a single contribution from sub-Saharan Africans to the world?

Why do you supposed Blacks were never able to create a civilization (or even a written language)?…

OK, explain how sub-Saharan Africans created clothing without having invented the loom?

Explain how they created music without having devised a written language? In fact, name a written language you think was created by Blacks?…

Do you believe the races are equally intellectually endowed?…

Where in the entire history of the universe have Blacks ever been successful?

What are we to make of the fact that Blacks are the only race unable to provide for themselves?…

The simple fact is, the more White a society is, the more safe and prosperous it is….

The crux of what he claims appears to boil down to:

Should Whites worry about allowing too many Blacks in their nations?…

But Blacks are so genetically inferior that the fate of humanity is at risk.

Why would you want us to mix with a race that has small brains and low IQ?

Now, I don’t want to get bogged down by too much of an emotional response. I want to lay out some philosophical issues that I have with his claims. I am not even going to challenge his claims. Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that they maintain. Instead, I want to take issue with his cherry picking of categorisation.

It is clear to me that he is racist. I say this because he seems to want to claim the superiority of the group that he is in compared to a group below him. This classic in-group / out-group psychological approach is one that appears to seek to dehumanise, in some sense, his target: blacks. I will try not to mention Hitler. Damn, fail. He seems to ignore glaring logical issues with his position in order to continue believing in some for of racial elitism.

There are three major, glaring problems that, in the thread, he has (at time of writing) failed to address.

HIS Contributions to the World

Let me exemplify his claims in this area:

Name a single contribution from sub-Saharan African to the world….

Whites are only 10% of the world’s population, yet are the most industrious, ingenious, and innovative race the world has known. Whites have formed nations, built civilizations, assumed and administrated power, created the Renaissance, the Age of Discovery, the Industrial Revolution, automation, technology, discovered electricity, nuclear energy, X-rays and invented automobiles, airplanes, jet engines, spacecraft, submarines, helicopters, radio, television, internet, computers, telephones, anesthesia and medicine, communication satellites, microwave ovens, concrete, light bulbs, telescopes and microscopes, cameras. Whites were the first to circumnavigate the planet by ship, and orbit it by spaceship, to walk on the moon, to explore the solar system, create architecture, unlock the secrets of DNA, and relativity, climb the highest peak, reach both poles, exceed the sound barrier, descend to the deepest point of the oceans…… sub-Saharan Africans still cannot even feed themselves.

This point is easily refuted. He is generalising blacks’ inventiveness. Of course, if we look at the commenter himself, we can ask that if he is willing to discriminate against X people because they can’t do Y, then what about him as his own subclass. Has he done Y? In other words, what has he invented? What has he contributed to society?

The answer, in the same way as he looks at blacks, is nothing. He has proved himself as no better than the people he attacks. He hasn’t invented a written language, the wheel, the internet, and so on.

So he has hoisted himself by his own petard. Applying his own logic to himself, he would find himself in a less than envious position, but one he would like to see blacks in. What’s good for the goose…


Asians have the genetic heritage of both Neanderthals and Denivosians. They, however, when categorised separately to whites, have a higher IQ. This means that whilst he claims whites are superior to blacks, and thus blacks should be discriminated against, he must also accept that whites should be discriminated against by Asians. In fact, if he is American (I have no idea), one would assume that whites should receive less support and preference than Asians; that Asians should be given primacy of immigration and visa over whites, thus raising the average IQ, in all probability, of America if whites were discriminated against in favour of Asians.

He seems to have rather problematic double standards here. I would love to see how it would feel for him to be grossly discriminated against by Asians. Would he continue his rabid assault?

Cherry Picking Categories

Purely on the accident of birth, Rob Smith appears to be wanting to restrict a subgroup of people. This is because they are black, and because they have lower IQ, he states.

What he is failing to see is that he is arbitrarily using these categories (race and IQ) to show some kind of elitism, and this is fairly terminal for his case. Because anyone could come back at him with another way to carve up humanity.

For example, you could choose IQ as pertaining to:

  • sex
  • gender
  • socio-economic standing
  • IQ (in and of itself)
  • IQ (geographical)
  • neurotypical vs non-typical
  • etc. etc.

…as opposed to race. So here, IQ would still be what defines who you discriminate against, but race would not be the the metric used to quantise the IQ spectrum. He is a man, so this 2012 source that states that women finally have more IQ than men would have interesting ramifications for his position. He should, using the same logic, advocate for discriminating against men. It could be women, or men, or geographical areas (more specifically than race). There are copious ways of carving up the IQ spectrum. He has chosen race because that fits in with his idea of the world, and with his idea of white supremacy.


The above map shows variations in average IQs in Europe, an arbitrarily selected area. Why not do it (discriminate) on Geography?

Or, if people with lower socio-economic standing have lower IQs (some say the pressures can lower IQ by 13 points) or that it affects IQ more in the US than elsewhere, then surely we should just do away with the poor. They are lowering our average IQs!

All this kind of position does is advocate elitism along whatever arbitrary line the claimant desires.

Let’s look again at the biological sex category, but this time in terms of violence and safety. This, in my opinion, utterly destroys Rob Smith’s argument.

There is a subset of humanity that is 882% more likely to violent crime. It would be wise to restrict their participation in society, or their migration, or to vilify them in some other way, etc etc.

Of course, they are men. You are one, Mr. Smith. I would say that being a man is FAR, FAR, FAR more problematic in comparison to blacks vs. white violence. Just reading books like The Anatomy of Violence by Adrian Raine or Incognito by David Eagleman should cause Rob Smith to pause and reflect on his very dubious position. He should be far more vehemently protesting against men if safety and violence is important to him, if he really feels strongly about it.

But it need not just be IQ that is used. We could divide people up on any number of abilities or skill sets. Coordination, cultural heritage, art, use of logic, survival skills, musicality… The list goes on.

And, to me, that is what makes him racist. He is being arbitrarily (non-rationally) phobic or discriminatory of a race. He could choose any number of elitist categorisations to attack others, but he chooses race.

Why Bother?

I could go on, but I will stop here. What remains to be said, or asked, is why this person bothers with this crusade at all? I could vilify autistic people, or quadriplegics, as not offering something or another to society. But I don’t because I am a compassionate human. Where is Rob Smith’s humanity? He is simply advocating for eugenics based on the colour of someone’s skin. Commenter Thnkas4AllTheFish made a couple of comments that, for me, nailed it:

Sub-Saharan Africa is very fertile and has an abundance of animal life. If you understood evolution at all, you would know that environment plays a critical part in evolutionary change. With all this abundance, the indigenous people had no need for huge cities and castles to defend their realm. Hunting and gathering satisfied their needs whereas in Europe, the climate was much harsher and necessitated evolutionary change. Does this make European peoples better than sub-Saharan Africans? Absolutely not. It only makes them different. This is what you fail to understand.

Journals from early European explorers write about how they were amazed at the variety and richness of African culture that had developed outside of white influence. Discoveries of the Monomotapa Kingdom, Zagwe Dynasty, the Axumite, Ghana, Mali, Sonhai, Kanem, Nri, and Bornull Empires showed a richness of culture unknown to Europeans prior to the 1200’s. You dismiss all of this because it doesn’t fit into your superiority narrative and I understand that. What you need to understand is that a written language, IQ, or intelligence is not what really bothers YOU about Blacks, et al.

What bothers you about Blacks is that they exist and they apparently threaten your sense of superiority. The rest of us don’t see black people – we just see people. That is the primary difference between a racist and an actual Human Being.


So what? None of this matters to anyone but white supremists. All of us used to wriggle around in the primeval slime. You paint with a broad brush but the fact is some blacks are smarter than some whites and many Asians are smarter than many whites. My post indicates that those who worry about such matters are in need of a mental health professional.

Black people in America have demonstrated one overwhelming superiority to white people – enormous restraint. If I had been treated the way Blacks and Native Americans have been treated, I would have slaughtered you all in your sleep….

Is the point of this discussion to show that white people are somehow superior to others because they have a greater IQ? If one were to accept this premise (as if it even mattered), is the end goal to round up all the Black, Asian, Hispanic, etc. folks and put them to work picking cotton or something? Why should anyone care what race is the smartest? That seems like a fools errand unless some sinister eugenics plot or cross burning is in the offing. If your whole life revolves around trying to justify how smart and superior you are because your skin happens to be white, frankly you are a racist jackass and you need to get over yourself. One thing pretty much everyone agrees on is that being a racist or bigot is not a sign of superiority, higher IQ or intelligence. It is a sign of mental illness, however.

Treating people as fellow human beings. That’s what it is to be a humanist, and of that I’m proud.

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Jonathan MS Pearce

A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...