IQ, Black Intelligence, ancient Egypt, and Western Civilization

A Blog Post for GameBanana

Hi. Today, there are a few topics which I would like to discuss. 

First, I've used some of Dr. Peter J. White's articles to attempt to disprove IQ tests, but my conclusions have come under attack. Here are a few of the criticisms:
  • "A geneticist in the 1970s famously observed that there are more genetic variation WITHIN a "race" than between them." That's Lewontin's fallacy. Just because there is significant variation within population in no way proves there are insignificant differences between populations only. A good example is physical strength in men and women, respectively, or height in Scandinavians vs Pygmies. In both cases the variations within populations are huge (the strongest woman is many times stronger than the weakest woman, same for men) but men still have 90% higher upper body strength. Similar with height for Scandinavians/Pygmies.
  • Oh, and by the way: "Of 3,636 subjects of varying race/ethnicity, only 5 (0.14%) showed genetic cluster membership different from their self-identified  race/ethnicity". For something supposedly shaky in empirical foundation, I'd say that 99.86% predictive effectiveness is a tad better than that of social sciences (0.2 to 0.4 at best). That's almost predictive power typical in physics. And then the airheads talk about race being a "shaky" concept.
  • The rest of this garbage is crank's view of mathematics. The fact is IQ has very real predictive power, regardless of silly quasi-proofs that rest on a bunch of misrepresentations of the thing. If you do digit-backwards test with Asians, Blacks or Whites, you get respective results as expected. Quasi-proofs are no counter-argument against empirical evidence like this. The author of that blog post is simply incompetent. Consider e.g. this: "However, IQ gains over time show score gains on the WISC subtests occurring independently of one another. How can intelligence be both one and many?". Answer: it's called "correlation", dumbass, and that's exactly what "general mental ability", or "g factor" is: a correlation of various subtests.
  • The one that you cited from the Independent stated claims from those so-called scientists at the Science Museum in London in which they claimed that IQ tests are invalid. Why? Simply because the quoted scientists said that those were invalid. And that was all said while never defining in that context what "invalid" mathematically implies. And that so-called scientist also had the temerity to claim that based upon a sampling of 16 subjects who were subjected to MRI scanning while supposedly taking the tests devised by the so-called scientists at the Science Museum definitely proved (as in a mathematical theorem is proved valid) other IQ tests are invalid! What kind of idiot claiming to work in the field of psychometrics, genetic testing, neurology, etc. makes claims about the validity of their experiments when their raw error bars are plus/minus 25% (raw data error = square root of the number of samplings, in this case 16)?

So, is IQ really an accurate measure of genetic intelligence? Or is it nothing more than hot air?

Second, according to Richard Lynn's book Race Differences In Intelligence, during infancy, Blacks have the highest brain growth, Whites are average, while East Asians are retarded (page 252).

Take a look at my comment, based on Bantu Kelani's YouTube comment, "What Ancient White Writers Said About Black Intelligence". In that comment, Bantu Kelani wrote that many scientists were astonished by the brilliance of Black babies, which indicates that Blacks may have high genetic intelligence, but this is offset by poor environment.

If this is true, then "race realists" have gotten the racial hierarchy backward. The scientific ranking would be: Blacks at the top, Whites second, and East Asians at the bottom.

Third, Arthur Kemp's book The Children Of Ra: Artistic, Historical, And Genetic Evidence For Ancient White Egypt, claims that "Tutankhamen's male lineage DNA is a 99.6 percent match with Western European Y chromosomes" (page 69). The claim was based on an episode from Discovery Channel. However, the researchers who were working to decode Tutankhamen's genome have claimed this is "unscientific".

Also, I would like to discuss pre and protodynastic Egypt. This period is where Egypt's religion, art, science, architecture, and high culture were born. Take at look at the statues of Narmer, Khufu, and the other early dynastic kings. They certainly don't look European, do they? 

Fourth, Ricardo Duchesne's book The Uniqueness Of Western Civilization, which has generally received positive reviews, have come under attack. I'll post the full critique here:

"The Uniqueness Of Western Civilization by Ricardo Duchesne
Reviewed by Geetanjali Srikantan
Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore, India

Why have the great accomplishments in the arts and sciences been overwhelmingly European and why is Europe the most creative culture in the world? One fails to be persuaded by Ricardo Duchesne's focal question in his heavily cited voluminous 540 page effort to prove that there is something "wrong" with the non-Western world. The author's objectives include tracing the devaluation of the Western world in academic culture and refuting the arguments of multicultural revisionists. He argues that the traditional Eurocentric historiography is important and that the development of a liberal democratic culture was indispensable in the rise of the West. The roots of this libertarian spirit lie in the aristocratic egalitarianism of the Indo-Europeans who are the progenitors of Western civilization.

The first half of the book concentrates on evaluating the work of prominent world historians such as Immanuel Wallerstein, Patrick Manning, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto and Kenneth Pomeranz among others. Duchesne's object of ire is the replacement of the Western civilization course in American universities by the world history course which seeks to see events and achievements in Europe being the result of intercultural connections in the context of a history of the world. With an impressive array of sources, he empirically refutes the claim that Europe's technological achievements were the result of borrowings by showing the adaptation and innovation of outside ideas and advances in the natural sciences. He is however less successful in showing that Europe did not need colonial profits and resources. His argument that Britain did not need coal and could have industrialized based on its own technological advances (such as water power) and that in "the case of commodities produced by slave labor there were many instances in which the terms of trade were favorable to the Americas" (p. 145) vindicates the colonial enterprise as a project of exploitation. It is surprising that he argues that the Chinese indirectly benefited from the discovery of silver in the New World but does not investigate how Switzerland and Germany may have benefited from New World resources (Duchesne mentions these countries as examples of how industrialization could take place without colonization).

Duchesne may be right about the crisis that world history faces and that present methodologies make Western culture unintelligible. He however scarcely offers an understanding of this crisis let alone a coherent description of Western culture. According to him the West is "the ideal of freedom" and the ideal of a "reflexive public culture", a culture becoming Western when it is self-legitimizing and self-grounding, individuals being free to exercise their own faculties (p. 238). It is hard to understand how this vague psychologized definition can describe a culture. This makes it difficult to evaluate the argument in the second half of the book where he makes shaky connections between these traits and what he calls the "aristocratic warlike culture" of the Indo- Europeans to explain the West's dominance.

Duchesne begins this argument by summoning a range of resources in philosophy, history, art and music to show all major achievements in the world can be traced to the West. It is noteworthy that the "invention" of polyphony and the novel find place on this list but not ayurveda or acupressure. Kant, Weber, Hegel, Habermas, and Nietzsche (Marx is left out with no explanation) are then analysed in order to build a fragmented history of the distinctive nature of Western freedom and reason. Through Weber the Jewish contribution to the Protestant ethic in relation to the doctrines on prohibition against idolatry and salvation are drawn out (interestingly the influence of Islam on Europe merits just a few sentences). It is also argued that the "aristocratic desire for personal distinction" led to the dialectic of Western reason and freedom captured in Hegel's work Phenomenology of the Spirit. The master-slave dialectic, ancient Greek mythology and philosophy are deployed to define "aristocratic" as individual heroism in an ethos of egalitarianism. Duchesne tries to show that such an ethos existed in the Indo-European culture on the basis of archaeological evidence. This argument is flawed as one does not know the intention and agency of the Indo-Europeans due to lack of records.

The major drawback of the text is its reliance on secondary sources to make a vast and ambitious argument. The deployment of selective commentary on philosophical works along with the author's own analysis of the philosophical work (Duchesne's analysis of Hegel and Nietzsche being combined with commentaries by Micheal Foster and Alexander Nehemas) gives the impression that these sources have been cited merely because they have been favorable to the author. Non-Western theorists are not analyzed with the exception of cursory nods to Edward Said and Amartya Sen in the footnotes.

One also finds discrepancies that one does not expect in an academic text. It is unusual to assert that a) "non Han Chinese living today in South Asia were expelled by the Han" (p. 66), b) describe Java as part of Bali (p. 433), and c) describe Stalin being a political despot due to his "Asian/Georgian background" (p. 424).

It is clearly alarming that such scholarship has had positive reviews. Duchesne is free to make his arguments but must substantiate the same with rigor."

So, what do you guys think? Would like to hear your opinions. Thanks.

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