Black-White IQ Gap Debate

In theoretical physics, there is a big debate over ‘mass gap’; in the world of HBD, the debate is over ‘IQ gap’, on Unz over blogger Chanda Chisala’s two articles which refute Africans have a lower IQ than whites:

The IQ Gap is no Longer a Black and White Issue
Closing the Black-White IQ Gap Debate, Part I

This is one of the ‘better’ rebuttals of HBD, which is probably why Unz posted it and why it has generated so much discussion. But there are still holes.

First point, the data of low-IQs in Africa has been corroborated by many studies, as summarized in Rushton’s influential paper
Race Differences in Cognitive Ability:

Most disputed is the validity of the low mean IQ scores reported for subSaharan
Africans. Lynn’s (1991) review of 11 studies found a mean IQ of 70. A
subsequent review of over two dozen studies by Lynn and Vanhanen (2002) found
an average IQ of 70 for West, Central, East, and Southern Africa. For example,
in Nigeria, Fahrmeier (1975) collected data on 375 children ages 6 to 13 years in
a study of the effects of schooling on cognitive development. The children’s mean
score on the Colored Progressive Matrices was 12 out of 36, which is at the 4th
percentile for 91⁄2-year-olds on U.S. norms, or an IQ equivalent of about 75
(Raven et al., 1990, pp. 97–98). In Ghana, Glewwe and Jacoby (1992) …

Second, the slowness of ‘reversion to the mean’ doesn’t disprove self-selection bias. Reversion to the mean is probably slow due to assortative mating, which is common among high-IQ individuals.

A commenter writes:

Anyway, given the high level of assortative mating for intelligence I am not confident that a large degree of regression to the mean would be predicted in any circumstance. Jensen seemed to think other wise, but I am not sure why. In Jensen and Rushton’s 2005 paper they seem to imply that significant regression is predicted because of epistatic effects with their metaphor about dice rolling. This is extremely odd given that the actual inheritance pattern behind the genetics of intelligence is usually thought to be extremely additive.

How much reversion or how quickly it occurs is hard to quantify exactly, but it exists. And slow reversion is insufficient to disprove Rushton’s IQ meta analysis; maybe Jensen is wrong, which is always a possibility.

The author continues…

What are the chances of a girl from a small minority group of immigrants whose home country is 2 standard deviations below the host country’s mean IQ achieving the best academic results in the host country? If the average IQ of SubSaharan African adults is equal to 11 year old Europeans, as their IQ scores estimate (Rushton, 2004), what are the chances that an African child of such adults would ever beat all European children in academic achievement?

Statistically, the chances are technically more than zero, which is why it occasionally happens. No one in the HBD community would say it’s exactly zero.

Third, he’s over-generalizing the HBD community as being this monolithic group whose entire thesis hinges on whites being superior to blacks. Obviously, he hasn’t read many HBD blogs, because HBD is more nuanced with a focus on data and empiricism over race-based zealotry. IQ is an accurate predictor of socioeconomic outcomes, with lower-IQ people being over-represented in poverty, crime, welfare dependency, and other societal ills. And I also support policy such as more money for gifted education – for high-IQ individuals of all races – so as to not squander America’s most important resource: cognitive capital. The aforementioned statements alone are enough to elicit much mouth foaming from the ‘blank slate’ left, let alone introduce race.


Africans in the UK who have both low income and low wealth have children performing at the white average or even above (and as I will definitively prove in part 2, this is certainly true of African immigrants in America too).

‘African American elites’ is not to be conflated with self-selected African elites who study in Europe and America, the former who score poorer on IQ and achievement tests then the later. The later are selected by IQ; the former mostly by wealth. It’s smart Africans who are immigrating, not just rich Africans.


The fact that these high income blacks live in good neighborhoods with high quality schools should have indicated to policy makers that the solution for black children underachievement is not more spending on education or taking poor blacks to schools in better neighborhoods (since the ones already living in good neighborhoods still perform badly); it is not even about improving their incomes, clearly. But that would be in a world where policy is driven by cold logic and data rather than hot sentiments and ideology (from the left or the right).

I agree political correctness has resulted in ineffective policy, hence wasted resources. Both sides would rather repeat feel-good platitudes than deal with biological reality.


I actually know that the average African immigrants to the UK from any nation or tribe are not from the African elite class, economically or intellectually (even if there is a small segment from the super-professional class), as many people on both sides of the debate assume,

Anecdotal evidence does not refuse the aforementioned IQ studies, nor does it disprove self-selection bias. If these non-elite but high-IQ Africans were dumped back to their villages and towns in Africa, I’m sure they would feel socially awkward. To the author who is of above-average IQ, these other high-IQ Africans probably seem normal, but to the typical African they are not.

As the debate progresses, I’m skeptical the Race/IQ question will ever be answered to anyone’s satisfaction, but there is probably uniform agreement about the social implications of IQ.