Editor’s note: I have added the MP3 versions of all three parts of the review derived from Google’s advanced text-to-speech algorithm. I thought that it came through quite well. Comments appreciated.
Written version, Part 1;
Written version, Part 2.
MP3 version of Part 3:
Lynn’s account of his years in Ulster devotes some attention to the ongoing guerilla warfare between racial realism and egalitarian obscurantism, a kind of highbrow analog of the Northern Irish Troubles that did not get anyone killed but ruined a number of careers. In 1975, e.g., a prominent British Conservative politician named Sir Keith Joseph made a speech deploring the large numbers of children produced by the underclass and their dysgenic effect. To combat the problem, he advocated the free distribution of contraceptive pills to less educated girls. This aroused enough outrage, including from within his party, to put an end to his political ambitions. “If he had not made this speech,” writes Lynn, “he would likely have become leader of the Conservative Party and later prime minister.”
In the event, of course, Margaret Thatcher went on to attain both positions. Many years later, long after the end of her term as Prime Minister, Lynn was introduced to Lady Thatcher: “She asked me about my work and I explained my research on race differences in intelligence. She commented that this was very interesting but too incendiary for her to cite.” No doubt she remembered Sir Keith Joseph’s fate.
In 1974, three years after the death of Sir Cyril Burt, Leon Kamin launched an attack on him for some inaccuracies in his papers on the correlations for intelligence of identical and non-identical twins. The purpose of the exercise was to attempt to discredit a researcher who had done much to demonstrate the high heritability of intelligence.
Kamin even went so far as to state that intelligence could well have a zero heritability. The only person Kamin succeeded in discrediting was himself, so overwhelming is the evidence from many studies for a high heritability of intelligence.
Kamin accused Burt of falsifying data. The controversy could not be settled because Burt’s private secretary had
asked Liam Hudson’s advice on what to do with Sir Cyril’s papers after his death, and Hudson told her to throw them all out, which she did. Hudson was one of Burt’s most ardent opponents. The answers to these questions would have been resolved if Liam Hudson had had a bit more sense and advised that Sir Cyril’s papers should be preserved.
Although Kamin was able to point up some instances of carelessness in Burt’s work, plenty of other researchers have put his conclusions about the heritability of intelligence beyond reasonable doubt.
Lynn includes brief comments on a few books which influenced him during these years. The first was Harry Jerison’s Evolution of the Brain and Intelligence (1973) which showed that species evolve larger brains when they occupy new environments which impose greater cognitive demands. Jerison argued that there have been four principal evolutionary jumps of this kind, including the transition from reptiles to mammals, then to primates, and finally to hominids. “It was a masterly analysis which curiously has not been given the recognition it deserves,” writes Lynn.
The following year saw publication of John Baker’s Race, which summarized what was then known about racial differences in intelligence, a subject Lynn would later do much to expand upon and refine. Baker argues that such intellectual differences explain differences in the development of civilization:
He drew up a list of 21 criteria of a civilization, e.g. the use of writing, arithmetic, substantial buildings, a legal system and the domestication of animals. He concluded that all 21 had been developed by the Chinese about 4000 BC and by the South Asian Caucasoids in India and Iraq at about the same time. He concluded that 10 of the 21 had been developed by Native American Indians and none by the sub-Saharan Africans and Australian Aborigines. It is remarkable that the book was published by the Oxford University Press. It would never have published such a book in the twenty-first century, such has been the development of informal censorship among publishers in recent years.
E.O. Wilson’s Sociobiology, a synthesis of sociology and biology, appeared in 1975.
It showed that many characteristics of human societies are also present in animal societies, such as competition between males for status, dominance hierarchies, hostility to out-groups, territoriality and the like. Wilson argued that these characteristics are genetically programmed. I had been thinking along the same lines for a number of years, and I found Edward Wilson’s book a brilliant exposition of my half-formed views.
Lynn considers the development of sociobiology, now known as evolutionary psychology, as “one of the most important developments in psychology during my life.” The following year, he himself contributed to its discussion with an article titled “The Sociobiology of Nationalism.”
I argued that nationalism defined as identification with one’s own nation was a further sociobiological characteristic. I supported this position by describing the view of Charles Darwin that “a high degree of in-group loyalty, in combination with hostility to outgroups, makes the group a better fighting force, and more likely to survive.” [This view] was elaborated by the Scottish anthropologist Sir Arthur Keith in his largely forgotten 1948 book A New Theory of Human Evolution in which he argued that people have an instinctive preference for maintaining the independence of their group and breeding within it. I predicted from this that in the UK many of the Scots and Welsh would come to demand independence from England, which has proved to be the case.
In 1977, Lynn published a paper calculating the average IQ of Japan as 106.6 in relation to an American mean of 100, and a second calculating the IQ of ethnic Chinese in Singapore as 110. Lynn has done more than anyone else to confirm the high intelligence of Northeast Asians. He was also studying regional differences in intelligence in Britain and France, where he found the highest average IQs in the capitals.
In 1978 Lynn came to America to attend a small conference convened by Jared Taylor at a hotel in Long Island to discuss racial conflict and black underachievement.
Among those who attended [was] Dick Herrnstein, the senior professor of psychology at Harvard. I had read and liked his book IQ in the Meritocracy in which he argued that the United States is a meritocracy in which intelligence and effort led to achievement. He told me his parents had been radical Jewish political activists in Hungary in the 1930s and had fled to the United States. I put to him that the increasing numbers of non-European immigrants in the United States would likely continue, the higher birth rate of these peoples would also likely continue and consequently Europeans would probably become minorities sometime in the second half of the twenty-first century. And, I added, would this would surely mean the end of European civilization in the United States. I was expecting he would refute this prediction, but his reply was short and laconic. “Yes”, he said, “it’s inevitable”.
The meeting was held in a room which had doors that could be opened up to another larger room. Shortly after the start of our discussions we could hear a great deal of noise of clapping and chanting coming from the adjoining room, and Jared opened the doors to reveal about fifty blacks holding a religious revivalist meeting. The noise was so great that we could not make ourselves heard and it was impossible to continue, so we abandoned the room and found a quiet one where we could continue. As we left, Dick Herrnstein looked at me, lifted his eyebrows and observed “Says it all, doesn’t it?”
Lynn also met Phil Rushton at this conference.
In 1984, the Galton Institute invited Lynn to give a lecture on race differences in intelligence:
I accepted and the gist of my lecture was that Galton had been right in the estimates he gave in his Hereditary Genius, although it was a pity that he had omitted the Chinese and Japanese who according to my calculations had IQs about 5 IQ points higher than Europeans. In previous years all the lectures delivered at the annual conferences had been published in a book but on this occasion, mine was omitted as it was apparently considered too controversial.
That same year, a colleague informed Lynn about the Pioneer Fund, which he had not heard of, and suggested he turn to it for research support.
I send a grant application to continue my work on the intelligence of the Chinese and Japanese. A few weeks later I had a call from William Shockley saying that he was in London and would like to meet me. Shockley had won the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the transistor and then taken up the issue of the black-white difference in intelligence, which he proposed was largely genetic. I knew about this, so I readily assented and went to meet him for dinner at the St Ermine’s hotel in London. He told me he was in England to receive an honorary degree from the University of Leeds, but at the last moment some students discovered that he had written on race differences in intelligence and had lobbied the Vice-Chancellor, Sir Edward Boyle, to withdraw the invitation, which he duly did. Shockley issued a press statement on this and the story was covered in a number of newspapers. He loved publicity.
Later during dinner he pulled out my application to the Pioneer Fund, which Harry Weyher, the director of the Fund, had sent him for his opinion. We talked about it and he said it was an interesting project and he would support it.
I invited Shockley to come and give a lecture at Ulster and he agreed to do so, provided his expenses and those of his wife were paid. Although he was a multi-millionaire, Shockley was very close with his money. I assented to this and he duly arrived and gave his lecture on the black-white difference in intelligence, which passed without incident. After the lecture, a few of us took the Shockleys to dinner at a restaurant. The party include Ronnie Wilson, our lecturer on genetics, who said he thought it could plausibly be argued that there is some genetic basis to the black-white difference in intelligence but he did not think this could be quantified. Shockley replied that the only useful statements were those that could be quantified. He told Ronnie to put a £1 coin on the table, which he duly did. Shockley pocketed this and gave him a ten pence coin in return, saying “This will teach you the importance of quantification”. Shockley was notoriously abrasive. However, he was apparently as good as his word in supporting my grant application to the Pioneer Fund, which was approved a few weeks later.
It was around this time that Phil Rushton began to publicize his r-K life history theory of race differences. Lynn’s work on the high intelligence of Northeast Asians was one of the components on which the theory was built, as was his earlier work on national differences in anxiety and neuroticism.
In 1990, Lynn married his longtime research assistant Susan Hampson. That summer, he organized a conference in New York to discuss race differences, dysgenic fertility and related topics. Attendees included Dick Herrnstein, Phil Rushton, Art Jensen and his wife Barbara, Hans and Sybil Eysenck, Frank Miele, Linda Gottfredson, Chris Brand, John Loehlin, Charles Murray and Marian van Court. Chris Brand has recorded some memories of this conference: he learned from Barbara Jensen that her husband’s magnum opus Bias in Mental Testing had been purchased by only seven out of one hundred university libraries they surveyed. Popular opposition to hereditarianism was getting so strong that most academic libraries simply refused to allow such works onto their shelves.
Lynn had spent much of his time during the 1980s collecting IQ data from around the world, and published his first paper on the subject in 1991:
I set the British IQ at 100 with a standard deviation of 15, and calculated the IQs of other peoples on this metric. The results were that other Europeans also had an IQ of 100 except in the south where it declines to the mid-90s. The IQs were 106 for North East Asians; 92 for New Zealand Maori; 86 for Native American Indians; 86 for South Asians represented by India; 70 for sub-Saharan Africans; and 79 for Australian Aborigines. Subsequent studies have shown that these IQs are about right except for Australian Aborigines [later estimated at 62].
Later in 1991 I published my theory that these race differences evolved when early humans migrated out of Africa around 100,000 years ago into the temperate environments of North Africa and South Asia, and then into the cold environments of Europe and North East Asia. I argued that these more northerly environments were more cognitively demanding because people became wholly dependent on hunting to obtain meat.
I well remember how I came to formulate this theory. I was reading The Memoires of Sergeant Bourgoyne, who served in Napoleon’s army that invaded Russia in 1812. The sergeant describes [the] arduous journey back to France. By the time they had made about four hundred miles and were approaching the Polish border it was mid-winter. It was bitterly cold, and for food they had to kill a horse from time to time. The sergeant describes how when the horse was killed it would soon freeze solid, and it became impossible to cut it up into pieces that could be cooked. To overcome this problem, they had to cut it up it into small pieces quickly, so that later they could thaw out one of these and cook it. I realised that this must have been what the Europeans and the North East Asians would have had to do during the last ice age, and they only had primitive flint tools with which to do it. This was when I realized that the European and North East Asians must have evolved a high IQs to survive during the 28,000 years or so of the last ice age.
Shortly after publishing these papers, two busloads of goons showed up in Belfast representing an organization called “the Anti-Nazi League.” They disrupted Lynn’s lectures and put up posters demanding his sacking; the university made no attempt to stop them.
Up until this time, there had existed a broad scholarly consensus that men and women are on average about equal in intelligence. In 1992, however,
Dave Ankney and Phil Rushton independently published papers showing that men have larger brains than women, even when these are controlled for body size and weight. Ankney calculated the average male brain, adjusted for larger body size, is 100 grams heavier than that of the average female brain. Rushton calculated from another data set that the average male brain, adjusted for larger body size, is 1,442 cc and the average female brain is 1,332 cc, a male advantage of 110 cc. One cc of brain tissue weighs approximately 1 gram, so the Ankney and Rushton results are closely similar.
It was evident that these results presented a problem. It is well established that brain size is positively related to intelligence at a correlation of about 0.4. As men have larger brains than women, it seemed to follow that men should have a higher average IQ than women. Yet all the experts were agreed that males and females have the same intelligence. I grappled with this problem for about six months [before] I found the solution. When I looked at the studies in relation to the age of the samples being tested, I found that males and females do have the same intelligence up to the age of 15 years, as everyone had said. But I found that from the age of 16 years onwards, males begin to show higher IQs than females. I showed that if intelligence is defined as the sum of the three major abilities of reasoning, verbal comprehension, and spatial abilities, the male advantage reaches about 4 to 5 IQ points by adulthood, consistent with their larger average brain size.
Lynn presented these results at a conference in Baltimore, USA, in 1994. He recalls: “Phil Rushton was there and we took advantage of being fairly close to Charles Murray’s home in Maryland to visit him.” This was, of course, the year Herrnstein and Murray’s book The Bell Curve was published. Shortly before publication, co-author Dick Herrnstein
notified some of his friends including me that he had begun to cough up blood, and that his physician had told him that he had lung cancer and could expect to live for only a few weeks. He wrote us observing wryly that one of the advantages of dying was that “At least I won’t have to meet any of these damned Harvard liberals anymore.” He was not a wholly typical American Jew in so far as he was by nature a conservative and married a gentile.
At the end of September 1995 Lynn, now 65 years old, retired from the University of Ulster. He expresses considerable pride in the department he founded there and the scholarly work produced by its lecturers and graduates.
A teacher from Lynn’s King’s College days once told him that the moment he retired he was going to toss all his books and papers into a dumpster. Apparently, he had “come to the conclusion that his work was going no-where,” writes Lynn, since “academics who believe that what they are doing is worthwhile go on working after retirement.” The man lived only three more years.
We may be grateful Richard Lynn had a better opinion of the value of his work, for his productivity greatly increased once he was freed from academic duties. Having produced three books in the course of his academic career, he has gone on to publish over a dozen in retirement. The first of these was Dysgenics: Genetic Deterioration in Modern Populations (1996):
which set out the evidence that modern populations have been deteriorating genetically from around 1880 in respect of health, intelligence and moral character. The reason for the genetic deterioration of health was that improvements in public health, medical treatments and welfare were reducing the mortality of those with genetic diseases. The reason for the genetic deterioration of intelligence and moral character was that the more intelligent and those with stronger moral character began to have fewer children. I estimated that the rate of decline of genotypic intelligence has been around 1 IQ point per generation. Although it is not possible to quantify the deterioration of conscientiousness, it has probably been of about the same order and contributed to the increases in crime that have been present in most economically developed countries during the twentieth century.
The response to Dysgenics displayed a pattern which would recur with most of Lynn’s subsequent books: it was favorably reviewed by a handful of fellow dissidents (Tom Bouchard, Victor Serebriakov and William Hamilton) and studiously ignored by larger circulation periodicals:
I circulated a press release on the theme of the book that modern populations have been deteriorating genetically for approximately a century, but none of the papers ran the story. I sent review copies of Dysgenics to a number of quality papers and magazines but none of them reviewed it.
Lynn offers some speculation on the temperamental differences between conformists and dissidents so clearly revealed in the reactions to recent scientific work involving human differences and heredity. He mentions a colleague, e.g., who “struck me as intelligent but very conformist, as if he had been conditioned against saying anything controversial.” The man was a product of one of England’s prestigious public schools.
At this time, small boys at public boarding schools like Eton, Harrow, Rugby and Winchester were frequently beaten by the prefects and masters for quite trivial breaches of school rules. The objective was to instill a respect for authority and fear of stepping out of line. This was frequently effective and perhaps a good discipline for those who would later enter the armed services, civil service or the church and generally stood them in good stead in their subsequent careers. It was not so good for the few who became academics who have to be breakers of the conventional consensus if they are to do good original work. I have noticed that several of those who attended one of these public schools retained a lifelong fear of breaking the conventional consensus and have a strong aversion to others who do so.
Perhaps men with such an upbringing are as out of their natural element in the academy as the young Richard Lynn was in the British Army. Given the grief upholders of egalitarian orthodoxy have given men such as Lynn, it is generous of him to acknowledge that such a trait may be socially useful in certain contexts; but, as he also notes, the frontiers of human knowledge are emphatically not such a context.
Lynn once questioned Arthur Jensen about his willingness to violate popular consensus:
I asked him why he was one of the very few who worked on race differences in intelligence and what was different about him that led him to work on this controversial topic that generated so much animosity towards him. He replied that he thought the explanation was that he didn’t mind being disliked by a lot of people. Most people, he said, have a dread of being disliked, but this was not something that bothered him.
Jensen was exceptionally indifferent to pressure for social conformity. He once told me that he was when he was eight years old he attended Sunday school, but he said “The stuff they were telling us about miracles and the like just didn’t make any kind of sense, so I kept raising objections and eventually they expelled me.” On another occasion, he told me that he had never had any interest in team sports. This is likely attributable to Jensen’s lack of identification with groups and is a further expression of his independence of mind.
As mentioned above, the young Richard Lynn had evinced this same lack of team spirit at the Bristol Grammar School.
A certain emotional detachment also seems to contribute to the makeup of the dissident. Lynn writes that it “has always been difficult for me to understand” why “work on race differences excites a hostile emotional reaction in many people. For me race differences are simply a matter of scientific interest and I have never felt any emotion about the question.” Elsewhere he recalls attending a conference dominated by academics who favored environmental explanations of human behavior. One of the asked him: “Do you feel you’re among enemies here?”
I said I didn’t because I have never thought of these environmentalists as enemies and it is difficult for me to understand that this is how many of them regard me and others who regard genetic factors as important.
Richard Lynn would seem to be the very type of that disinterested rationality which has been the source of so much of European man’s historical achievement. Yet I cannot help but wonder whether a certain inability to perceive enemies is not intrinsically bound up with this virtue. If our people and civilization are to survive in an increasingly hostile world, we will need both disinterested rationality and a fierce commitment to collective survival.
- The Science of Human Diversity: A History of the Pioneer Fund (University Press of America, 2001), reviewed by Louis Andrews, Winter 2001-2: Vol. 2, No. 1
- IQ and the Wealth of Nations (with Tatu Vanhanen, Praeger, 2002) reviewed by Edward M. Miller, Winter 2002-3: Vol. 2, No. 4
- Race Differences in Intelligence: An Evolutionary Analysis (Washington Summit Publishers, 2006), reviewed by Leslie Jones, Summer 2006: Vol. 6, No. 2
- IQ and Global Inequality (with Tatu Vahanen, Washington Summit Publishers, 2006), reviewed by Matt Nuenke, Summer 2007: Vol. 7, No. 2
- The Global Bell Curve (Washington Summit Publishers, 2008) reviewed by Donald I. Templer, Fall 2008: Vol. 8, No. 3
- Dysgenics: Genetic Deterioration in Modern Populations, 2nd (Ulster Institute for Social Research, 2011), reviewed by F. Roger Devlin, Spring 2012: Vol. 12, No. 1
- The Chosen People: A Study of Jewish Intelligence and Achievement (Washington Summit Publishers, 2011); and
- Intelligence: A Unifying Construct for the Social Sciences (with Tatu Vanhanen, Ulster Iinstitute for Social Research, 2012) reviewed F. Roger Devlin, Summer 2012: Vol. 12, No.2
- Race and Sport: An Evolutionary Analysis (with Edward Dutton, Ulster Institute for Social Research, 2015) reviewed by F. Roger Devlin, Spring 2016: Vol. 16, No. 1
- The Intelligence of Nations (with David Becker, Ulster Institute for Social Research, 2019) F. Roger Devlin, Fall 2019: Vol. 19, No. 3