By Inside_my_head.jpg: Andrew Mason from London, UK derivative work: -- Jtneill - Talk (Inside_my_head.jpg) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Reading Time: 14 minutes By Inside_my_head.jpg: Andrew Mason from London, UK derivative work: -- Jtneill - Talk (Inside_my_head.jpg) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Reading Time: 14 minutes

This one is for my long-suffering readers who have had to put up with certain commenters not being banned. As you may know, I am not a fan of censoring people and banning them, that is until they cross an arbitrary line of no return… I prefer to let their words and claims speak for themselves, and if their claims stand, then I need to reassess my own position, no matter how uncomfortable the conclusion might be.

One of these commenters is Otto T. Goat (OTG) who has peddled a racist agenda that often derails threads due to his dog-with-a-bone insistence on bringing his claims into play. It goes something like this, and is usually in the context of crime, violence, guns, education or intelligence:

Me: Look, guns are heavily correlated with violence etc.

OTG: High crime in the US correlates to blacks, because they commit crimes at a much higher rate than other races. Causation is lower IQ and violence genes.

Me: What about all the confounding variables, such as Socio-Economic Status (SES) and so on?

OTG: [fudge, excuse, ignore].

ME: Also, what about the idea that men are 882% more likely to commit violent crime than women? I mean, even if I agreed with your analysis of blacks vs whites, what about it? What is the point of pointing this out? Anyway, what do you want to do with the information?

OTG: [Tumbleweed] … … … High crime in the US correlates to blacks, because they commit crimes at a much higher rate than other races. Causation is lower IQ and violence genes.

On and on and merry-go-round on.

So I am going to give him a challenge to answer or I will delete every future instance of him bringing this up. But first, a bunch of arguments and words.

Alam Duval, here at ATP, took the main source OTG was using and deconstructed it skilfully here. I advise you read it. However, for the sake of time and parsimony:

Issues with the single paper that Otto is using as evidence of his contention:

  1. It is unclear what methodology was used to account for confounding variables.
  2. Without that information, we have to allow for the fact that the study had only a 1 in 15 chance of getting reasonably matched populations, and even then, only on SES.
  3. If the populations were matched-pairs, the data is then skewed by not being representative of the US as a whole, unless corrected for.
  4. There is no indication as to which of these disparities is the case, and how it was taken into account.
  5. The paper misstates the “analytic sample size,” or it mislabels two of the tables, and one of the figures.

Serious issues with the paper given other papers cited above:

  1. When poverty is made salient a 13-point drop in state IQ is noted. Wave 4 participants were in their 30’s – no longer juveniles living with a parent.
  2. When raised in poverty individuals may be more than one SD (>15 IQ points) behind peers by age 15.
  3. These two potentially additive effects could cause as much as two SDs to be wiped off what would genetically be expected – but African-Americans are only behind by one SD according to Otto’s cited paper.
  4. African-Americans are arrested for marijuana possession at 15 times the rate of whites, and imprisoned at between four and eight times the rate, despite the fact that whites use marijuana slightly more than African-Americans.
  5. African-Americans have, on average, around 20% European DNA.
  6. 2% of self-defining African Americans may have less than 2% African DNA, but 10% non-European DNA.
  7. Whose definition of “African” is used by the study, or indeed by race realists?
  8. The impact of paler skin on access to Socio-Economic improvement has been the case for 400 years and is not necessarily linked to European DNA, given that relative darkness caused individuals to be forced to work in the sun thereby getting darker.
  9. Some Africans were possibly Caucasoid, but are nevertheless now considered African-American by racialists.

So, for Otto to make his race realist case, he has to account for all 14 issues (some obviously easier than others).

The fundamental problem Otto has is that African-Americans have, on average, around 20% European DNA, and one has no way of knowing whether the relevant SNPs that make up that 20% impact intelligence, and whether they do so positively or negatively, likewise with the 70+% that actually is African.

Otto will have difficulty claiming that the genes for melanin production and intelligence are linked. So, whether he assigns someone an African-American identity (with around 20% European DNA), or they self-identify as African American (with a 2% chance of only having 2% African DNA) there are some serious statistical issues for making the case stick.

The likelihood that 400 years of racism continues to relegate African-Americans to disproportionately low Socio-Economic Status, and thus lower IQ, irrespective of gene-based intelligence, cannot be discounted by the paper, or Otto’s rhetoric.

Otto failed to give any substantive comeback. So let’s give him a second chance here.

Further to this, and this is my main thrust of this post, I replied with another post (IQ: Using Race Divisively), which included (after laying out a number of examples of the sorts of comments that make huge claims about blacks):

[For every claim concerning Rob Smith here, think also in terms of OTG.]

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 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. His genetics, together with his environment, has produced an outcome that has fallen short of his own benchmark.

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

This is my main point. Purely on the accident of birth, Rob Smith (OTG) 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 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 and OTG’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/OTG. 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. Men are 882% more likely to commit violent behaviour. This is a huge difference and dwarfs that claimed between blacks and whites. Women iun the UK account for only 5% of the prison population, but are 50% of teh population.

We men should be more like women, no?

I mean, that is what OTG is saying: blacks should be more like whites?

I said this to OTG: I can ignore your statistics there because you seem to ignore the statistics on men against women. We know the statistics for men committing violent crime and gun crime far outstrips that committed by women. However, you seem to ignore these statistics in your hellbent desire to persecute blacks. Your double standards are quite incredible because you never seem to campaign so vociferously against men. However, the statistics of men versus women compared to blacks versus whites is considerably different.

His reply?

It’s not a double standard, and observing facts is not “persecution”. No one denies the fact men are more violent and criminal than women, but liberals like you deny the fact blacks are much more violent and criminal than whites. Blacks are 12% of the population and commit more total homicides than whites and Hispanics combined.

Men are roughly 50% of the population can commit 882% more violent crimes. (He also never gives any stats after controlling for all variables).


And eventually:

And black men commit crimes at a much higher rate than white men.

This is his modus operandi. When presented with a difficult corner to fight out of, he simply repeats his original claim. In this case, both, myself and another commenter (Anri) asked him several times what he wanted to do with his claimed information, even ignoring my points:

Okay, so if I agreed to your narrative about blacks (I don’t), then what? What is your point that you want to raise whenever you raise this narrative? Because whatever you suggest should happen with blacks should happen to massively far greater extent with men. And herein lies your double standards, no doubt.

His reply?

Why do you insist on denying the fact blacks commit crimes at a higher rate than whites? You present yourself as a rational, truth seeker, but that’s clearly not the case.

One of the reasons it needs to be raised is because people like you attribute American crime to guns.

And that’s the closest, after many times of asking, that he has got to answering the oft-asked question.

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.

It is also worth noting that if iQ is his thing, then he needs to accept that lower IQ is also linked to higher religiosity:

In a 2013 meta-analysis of 63 studies, led by Professor Miron Zuckerman, a correlation of -.20 to -.25 between religiosity and IQ was particularly strong when assessing beliefs (which in their view reflects intrinsic religiosity)…

Naturally, it is worth really unpicking the data for a number of confounding causal variables, but we know OTG doesn’t like to do that, so we can assume that he will accept that the negativity of violence and crime as caused by lower IQ in blacks (his claim) also causes another negativity or religiosity. Unless he wants to mess around with religiosity being a good thing and undermining his argument such that a low IQ can cause bad things, but this is balanced by good things.

But that would be far too nuanced for him…

Why Bother?

I could go on, but I will stop here. I will ask again: why do these people bother 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  and Otto’s humanity? Are they simply advocating for eugenics based on the colour of someone’s skin? Commenter Thanks4AllTheFish made a couple of comments that, for me, nailed it (on Duval’s piece):

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.

Some Research

Although I said I would grant them their claims for sake of argument, I can’t resist a bit of a dig. I will refer to “Explaining the Gaps in White, Black, and Hispanic Violence since 1990: Accounting for Immigration, Incarceration, and Inequality” by Michael T. Light and Jeffery T. Ulmer. It is a recent meta-analytical paper that is well worth a read. Here are some relevant snippets:

Across all three comparisons—white-black, white-Hispanic, and blackHispanic—we find considerable convergence in homicide rates over the past two decades. Consistent with expectations, structural disadvantage is one of the strongest predictors of levels and changes in racial/ethnic violence disparities. In contrast to predictions based on strain theory, racial/ethnic wealth inequality has not increased disparities in homicide. Immigration, on the other hand, appears to be associated with declining white-black homicide differences. Consistent with an incapacitation/deterrence perspective, greater racial/ethnic incarceration disparities are associated with smaller racial/ethnic gaps in homicide….

Combined with the incarceration findings, our research suggests that rather than policies focused solely on criminal elements within communities (e.g., incarceration and more police), policies aimed at improving overall community conditions in minority areas through economic investment, housing equality, and spending on education, drug treatment, and work training programs, would go a long way toward reducing racial/ethnic differences in violence without worsening racial inequality in other social domains.

Taken together, our results have important implications for understanding the future of racial/ethnic disparities in violent crime. On the one hand, disparities in homicide between whites, blacks, and Hispanics decreased over the past two decades, to the point where there is now near parity between whites and Hispanics.

Ulmer et al also recently found strong causal drivers in disadvantage, family structure and poverty in racial differences in violent crime.

As Wiki states:

While there is a correlation between blacks and Hispanics and crime, the data imply a much stronger tie between poverty and crime than crime and any racial group, when gender is taken into consideration.[63] The direct correlation between crime and class, when factoring for race alone, is relatively weak. When gender, and familial history are factored, class correlates more strongly with crime than race or ethnicity.[64][65] Studies indicate that areas with low socioeconomic status may have the greatest correlation of crime with young and adult males, regardless of racial composition, though its effect on females is negligible.[64][65] A 1996 study looking at data from Columbus, Ohio found that differences in disadvantage in city neighborhoods explained the vast majority of the difference in crime rates between blacks and whites,[66] and two 2003 studies looking at violent offending among juveniles reached similar conclusions.[67][68]

The evidence is mixed on the causality for racial disparity, and at least part of this (as Duval pointed out) is the difficulty in finding comparable data between ethnic groups in terms of SES (and this tells another story!). Simply put, we can’t seem to find the same sort of deprivation amongst a comparable white US population.

Controlling for variables does certainly lead to, at best, a weak correlation. When it comes to men vs women, that correlation stands strong. So a controlled statistic that starts getting toward parity versus a difference of almost 9 times (there’s movement either way on this depending on how you define it).

If there was still to be a difference in black and white IQ and/or violence, then this would be far, far smaller than the difference in, say, male-female statistics, after controlling. And yet Otto chooses race over sex because, you know, racism.

The Challenge

If Otto is attacking blacks on account of being more violent (due to some kind of genetic determinant), such that when controlling for all other variables, then whatever action he wants taken on account of this must be taken to a much greater degree against men. If he wants to disallow immigration from/lock them up/shoot them/generally pour scorn on them, then he must start doing this to all men. From now. That’s, you know, logical.

In other words, since he will not do this, or since it will lead to ridiculous and no doubt sexist conclusions, he doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

Either he deals with this point by destroying the data on male violence, or he accepts it and changes his tack to not only include men in his consistent comments and attacks but to start seeing them as the far greater problem. Every comment would now need to state something like:

High crime in the US correlates to blacks men, because they commit crimes at a much higher rate than other races biological sexes.

Perhaps we can make a feminist of Otto?

If he does not deal with at least this point in substantial robustness, I will simply delete all further invocations of his agenda.

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,...

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