Helmuth Nyborg on the Genetic Decline of Western Civilization: Denmark as a Case Study

Kevin MacDonald


Prof. Helmuth Nyborg

The Danish psychologist Helmuth Nyborg has an academic paper soon to be published in Personality and Individual Differences (“The decay of Western Civilization: Double Relaxed Natural Selection“). Nyborg is well-known for his work showing a sex difference in IQ favoring males, a paper which resulted in an investigation of his work and a reprimand from his university. (Nyborg describes the “witch hunt” he endured  here.)

Nyborg’s latest paper charts past trends and projects IQ changes in Denmark as a result of two trends: relaxation of natural selection among the traditional Danes, and an influx of low-IQ immigrants. These two trends together amount to what he terms a “double relaxation of natural selection” (DRNS).

Relying on Richard Lynn’s work Dysgenics: Genetic Deterioration in Modern Populations, the relaxation of internal selection is thought to have begun around 1850 as the fertility of the lower classes exceeded the upper classes because of improvements in hygiene and reduction in diseases. He cites Lynn’s estimate that England lost 6.9 IQ points over 90 years (1920-2010) and estimates that Denmark’s average IQ dropped around 10 points since 1850 due to internal relaxation of natural selection.

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However, the main point of the paper is to evaluate the influence of non-Western immigrant population on IQ. Nyborg estimates that by 2072 around 60% of births in Denmark will be to people of non-Western origin, and Danes will be a minority by 2085. This is due to markedly higher birth rates among non-Western immigrants and their descendants  — nearly 4 times greater than the native Danes. Moreover, Nyborg projects that the low IQ (70–85) immigrant share of the population will grow steadily to nearly 60% of the share of all births by 2072.

This implies a drop in IQ for the entire population. Especially chilling is his Figure 5 which shows a dramatically increasing number of Danish citizens in the 70-85 IQ range. This IQ band is projected to be the majority of the population not long after 2075 and to dominate the school system by 2050.

The grim conclusion is that in the period from 1850 to 2072 there will be a total phenotypic decline of 15.39 IQ points. Given a heritability of 0.82 for IQ, this means genotypic damage of 12.62 IQ (i.e., 15.39 X .82) points from the internal relaxation of natural selection. Foreign immigration adds another 6 IQ points, including nearly 5 IQ points in genetic decline . The projection then is for an average population decline of around 21 IQ points and around 17 points in genetic potential for IQ since 1850.

Nyborg concludes:

Why were early dysgenic warnings neglected and the messengers demonized? Because too many leading scientists, politicians and intellectuals (Nyborg, 2003; in press) ignored Darwinian principles and started a historically hitherto unheard of voluntary, humanistic, democratic and financed replacement policy, whereby dwindling genetically weakened (Lynn, Harvey, & Nyborg, 2009) sub-fertile Western European populations will rapidly be replaced by more fertile low-IQ non-European immigrants. … The result is that Western European peoples become minorities in their own ancestral homelands before the end of the 21th century, and other modern societies undergo similar demographic transitions (see also Coleman, 2006, 2010).
Nyborg points out that this decline in IQ will have momentous effects on Western societies, including the decline of democratic governance and lowered economic output. But the Denmark conquered by these non-Western foreigners will be a shadow of its former self:
The damage implies that even if fertile low-IQ non-Western immigrants are the ultimate winners in the third demographic transition [i.e., the double relaxation of natural selection], they will conquer a lesser country. Danish average IQ will, for example, then have approached 90, or perhaps even be close to the projected mean immigrant of IQ 86. An intellectual corrosion this size will have undermined the economic and educational infra-structure of [Denmark], and ultimately made its democracy unsustainable. Another factor is the increased frequency of partly heritable antidemocratic attitudes, authoritarian culture, and dogmatic religious preferences, traits often seen in low-IQ countries.
All this would seriously challenge the characteristic social coherence and solidarity of the Danish tribe. Tragically, the third demographic transition may also simultaneously damage the countries of origin, due to brain drain. In short, [the double relaxation of natural selection] may increasingly doom modern countries, harm developing countries, and has nothing to do with racism or nationalism.
Nyborg cautions that these projections may well be on the conservative side because they appear to underestimate future immigrant fertility because they don’t adequately take into account the youthful age of the immigrants. He also cites recent studies showing that the Lynn-Flynn effect has been reversed in Denmark and Norway. The Lynn-Flynn effect is the phenomenon increasing IQ’s resulting over historical time, resulting presumably from improved environments in the 20th century acting in opposite direction to the dysgenic effects of relaxed internal natural selection.
Four points:
  • These projections do not take account of the well-documented negative effects of multiculturalism: The rise of ethnic conflict, a decline in willingness to contribute to public goods, and increasing political isolation among other negative effects. The future Denmark will not only be less intelligent, less economically productive and less democratic. It will also be a much more hostile place as the formerly homogeneous Denmark (Nyborg repeatedly refers to the ethnic Danes as a “tribe”) come to grips with ethnic- and religious-based conflict. As the Danes become a minority in a society no longer infused with democratic impulses, they are likely to be the targets of the new non-Western ethnic majority that they allowed to develop due to scientific malfeasance and misplaced moral idealism. Unlike the individualistic Danes—a consequence of their heritage as northern Europeans, the non-Western immigrants are far more prone to ethnocentrism and collectivism, with the expectation that they will see Danes as a negatively evaluated outgroup and act accordingly.
  • The decline in the IQ of the ethnic Danes is likely to make them more defenseless against this expected onslaught from non-Western ethnic groups. Nyborg’s results are a wake-up call for the importance of eugenics among Whites in general.
  • In addition to declines in IQ, there is clearly natural selection against the Danish gene pool in general. That is, at the same time that Darwinian natural selection has been relaxed for IQ, immigration (especially non-Western immigration) has resulted in intense natural selection against Danes as an ethnic group, with the result that in the long run they will be displaced entirely. That is, if we continue these population projections well beyond 2072 when ethnic Danish births are projected to be 33% of the total births in Denmark, the births to ethnic Danes will become a vanishingly small percentage of the total births and there will be selection against genetic combinations unique to Northern Europe. For example, the genes underlying the Nordic appearance of people like Nyborg would become a less and less common. This is Darwinian selection with a vengeance.
  • In attempting to account for what Nyborg labels the “unheard of voluntary, humanistic, democratic … policy” of ethnic displacement, one cannot avoid discussing the erection of what I term the “culture of critique” promoted by Jewish intellectual and political movements beginning early in the 20th century. It should not be surprising that the end result of these movements is the dispossession and displacement of Europeans: These movements are case studies of hostility engendered by ethnic competition, in this case competition between Jews as a hostile elite and the traditional peoples and culture of the West. These movements are a foreboding of the competition and hostility that the future will bring as native Europeans become minorities in the societies they dominated for millennia. A major thrust of these Jewish intellectual movements was the attack on eugenics which dominated intellectual discourse a century ago. As I noted in describing the effects of Franz Boas’s revolution in anthropology,

the entire enterprise [of Boasian anthropology] may thus be characterized as a highly authoritarian political movement centered around a charismatic leader. The results were extraordinarily successful: “The profession as a whole was united within a single national organization of academically oriented anthropologists. By and large, they shared a common understanding of the fundamental significance of the historically conditioned variety of human cultures in the determination of human behavior” (Stocking 1968, 296) [that is, genetic influences were discounted in favor of the view that environment was all-important]. Research on racial differences ceased, and the profession completely excluded eugenicists and racial theorists like Madison Grant and Charles Davenport.

By the mid-1930s the Boasian view of the cultural determination of human behavior had a strong influence on social scientists generally (Stocking 1968, 300). The followers of Boas also eventually became some of the most influential academic supporters of psychoanalysis (Harris 1968, 431). Marvin Harris (1968, 431) notes that psychoanalysis was adopted by the Boasian school because of its utility as a critique of Euro-American culture, and, indeed, as we shall see in later chapters, psychoanalysis is an ideal vehicle of cultural critique [most notably, the Frankfurt School]. (The Culture of Critique, Chapter 2: The Boasian School of Anthropology and the Decline of Darwinism in the Social Sciences, p. 28)

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