Why is it that the Left is so pathetic and useless that there is virtually nobody who could argue seriously with Stefan Molyneux on this issue?
First of all, if you are a Leftist and you seriously wanted to debate a race realist, you will never get anywhere by denying these propositions, which are certainly supported by overwhelming evidence from modern science:
(1) human beings have lived in different environments and been subject to different Darwinian evolution and selective pressures over at least the past 40,000 years;As I said above, accepting the truth of these propositions is the starting point and foundation of any serious debate about race realism.
(2) because of (1), evolution has produced human beings who have a common descent in different regions with distinctive gene allele frequencies which in turn cause distinctive phenotypic traits like skin colour, bodily traits, facial features, immune systems, frequency of common blood types, etc.
(3) there is very good evidence that human general intelligence (as measured in proper, culturally-neutral IQ tests) is largely genetic. The best estimate of the heritability of adult IQ is somewhere between 70–85%. Very good evidence for this comes from twin studies (especially genetic twins adopted and separated at birth) and adoption studies (Plomin and Petrill 1997; Bouchard 2009 and 1998), and increasingly genetic science. The particularly strong evidence is that siblings (either fraternal or genetic) adopted at birth or infancy will have IQs strongly correlated with their biological parents, while a correlation with their adopted parents is either very low or almost zero (Petrill and Deater-Deckard 2004; Hunt 2011: 230–231; Haier 2017: 47).
And even the liberal American Psychological Association (APA) admitted years ago that the heritability of adult IQ is about 0.75 (see Neisser et al. 1996: 96), and the democratic socialist James R. Flynn (after whom the “Flynn Effect” is named) – the leading environmentalist on gaps in IQ between population groups – himself accepts that current evidence shows that the heritability of IQ in adults is probably about 0.75 (Dickens and Flynn 2001: 346; and for a recent review of the overwhelming evidence, see Haier 2017).
(4) the average IQs of different human population groups as defined in (1) and (2) above appear to be different as measured by modern psychometrics. You can see the data as organised by region and by nation here.
The fundamental question in professional academic debates about race realism is this: what causes the differences in average IQs between population groups? In order to seriously debate this topic, you need to acknowledge that the differences in average IQ do actually exist, but most Leftists/Liberals will vehemently refuse to acknowledge even this.
We know the differences exist. In academic debates about average IQ differences, there are two explanations of the evidence:
(1) The environmentalist explanationSo if any Leftist/Liberal really wanted to engage with the Alt Right or libertarians like Stefan Molyneux on race realism, they would – at the very least – have to be extremely familiar with the work of James R. Flynn, and, in particular, the following works:
The environmentalist explanation holds that the differences in average IQs between population groups is entirely or largely environmental. The most well-known and respected environmentalist is James R. Flynn, who is a democratic socialist.
(2) The genetic/hereditarian explanation
The genetic/hereditarian explanation holds that the gaps in average IQs between population groups are largely or (less probably) entirely genetic and caused by differing evolutionary histories. However, most hereditarians today probably accept that it is both genetic and environmental, but with the genetic factor being the major cause.
Flynn, James R. 2008. Where Have All the Liberals Gone?: Race, Class, and Ideals in America. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York.But, unfortunately, you will struggle to find anybody who demonstrates even basic familiarity with these works, or Flynn’s arguments, or even the basic issues (and waving the phrase “Flynn effect” in people’s faces does not per se refute the race realists either, because it is entirely possible that the Flynn effect is real and that race realism could be real as well).
Flynn, James R. 2009. What Is Intelligence: Beyond the Flynn Effect (expanded edn.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Flynn, J. 2008. “A Tough Call,” New Scientist 199.2672: 48–50.
Flynn J. R. 2009. “Requiem for Nutrition as the Cause of IQ Gains: Raven’s Gains in Britain 1838–2008,” Economics and Human Biology 7: 18–27.
Flynn, J. R. 2010. “The Spectacles through which I see the Race and IQ Debate,” Intelligence 38: 363–366.
Flynn, James R. 2012. Are We Getting Smarter?: Rising IQ in the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York.
Flynn, James Robert. 2012. How to Improve your Mind: Twenty Keys to Unlock the Modern World. Wiley-Blackwell, Malden, MA.
Flynn, James R. 2013. Intelligence and Human Progress: The Story of What was Hidden in our Genes. Elsevier Inc. Oxford, UK and Waltham, MA.
Flynn, James R. 2016. Does your Family make you Smarter?: Nature, Nurture, and Human Autonomy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Why is this? The reason is straightforward: in order to even seriously debate this issue, you have to acknowledge the truth of the four propositions I listed above, but the modern Left has become so insanely politically correct, so intellectually bankrupt, and so extreme in its science denial and fanaticism that it cannot even acknowledge the truth of those propositions. Anybody who does will immediately be smeared and slandered and, if they are well known enough (say, like academics without tenure), probably subject to persecution, and professional ruin. I imagine that these days even the democratic socialist James R. Flynn would probably be hounded and defamed for even defending the traditional environmentalist explanation of racial IQ differences, because that explanation explicitly admits that the average IQ differences do exist and that IQ is real.
So how does James R. Flynn explain average IQ differences? In the context of America, Flynn has studied the difference between the average adult IQ of African Americans (which stands at about 85) and the average adult IQ of white Americans (which stands at 100). In brief, a lifetime of research by Flynn suggests to him that the environment in which African American children and teenagers are raised in is, generally, less cognitively-demanding than other groups, more prone to families with single mothers, and also affected by the influence of anti-intellectual and anti-social black teenage subculture and behaviour (Flynn 2008; you can read Flynn’s article here). A combination of these factors, Flynn argues, causes the lower average adult IQ of African Americans (Flynn 2008).
You can listen here to Flynn himself discuss some of these issues in an interview with Molyneux:
To stress my point above: if a Liberal/Leftist really wanted to seriously argue with Molyneux, then he would use the arguments of Flynn as I have sketched them.
But note carefully: Flynn’s environmentalist explanation here is itself likely to be condemned as “racist” by the modern politically correct Left, and probably most Leftists are so ignorant and stupid about the subject and the necessary background knowledge they wouldn’t be capable of properly explaining it as a counterargument against race realism anyway.
Like so many other issues, the modern Left is intellectually and morally bankrupt on this issue.
Moreover, the modern Left has no solution if real realism were true, and is so incompetent and stupid they leave all serious political discussion of the consequences of race realism to the Alt Right or crackpot libertarians like Stefan Molyneux.
In reality, however, if race realism were true, the Left can easily provide a humane and compassionate response to this truth, as follows.
What is the Humane Democratic Socialist/Progressive Liberal Response to Race Realism, if it were True?
If race realism were true, the policy consequences proposed by the Alt Right or libertarians do not necessarily follow, and certainly the economic policies proposed by crackpot libertarians do not follow.
The answer to serious genetic differences in turn causing deleterious phenotypic differences between races is advanced reproductive technology and genetic engineering of the type described here.
In short, the humane and compassionate Democratic Socialist answer is providing the kind of safe, regulated reproductive technologies described in the link above to all people free of charge as a social service (perhaps even with subsidies to encourage people to use it), and, above all, to people at risk of having children disadvantaged by the accident of genetics, so that average IQ gaps – and other deleterious traits like high propensity to aggression or low impulse control – between groups can be eliminated over time.
This does not mean that our societies will be engaged in some kind of endless, mad genetic engineering to create “superhumans” or any such thing. Rather, it would be a Social Democratic society that allows parents to have children who are not disadvantaged by genetic diseases, serious predisposition to diseases or mental disorders, handicaps, or lower than average IQ, in a system where all such reproductive technologies are intensely regulated and subject to severe ethical and social scrutiny.
In the long run, any such serious group differences in IQ, in either developed nations or the Third World, can be fixed by universal health care systems that include free access to severely regulated reproductive technologies to fix this problem. In time, it is likely that the average IQ of the whole species would also rise.
However, none of this means that the West should continue to support open borders, unending Third World mass immigration, or multiculturalism because these policies are extremely harmful on economic, social and cultural grounds, even if race realism were false.
Instead, the advanced and rich First World should provide technologies to the Third World and encourage their use there, to solve the problems caused by divergent Darwinian evolution.
However, the modern Left will probably be incapable of any serious or effective response to race realists, except for more defamation, ignorance, hysteria, and just active persecution of anybody pointing out the truths I listed above from (1) to (4). As in so many other areas, the modern Left is intellectually bankrupt and will be humiliated and defeated, because it now is – in its own way – almost as anti-science as any fanatical religious fundamentalism.
Bouchard, T. J. 1998. “Genetic and Environmental Influences on Adult Intelligence and Special Mental Abilities,” Human Biology 70: 257–279.
Bouchard, T. J. 2009. “Genetic Influence on Human Intelligence (Spearman’s g): How Much?,” Annals of Human Biology 36: 527–544.
Dickens, William T. and James R. Flynn. 2001. “Heritability Estimates Versus Large Environmental Effects: The IQ Paradox Resolved,” Psychological Review 108.2: 346–369.
Flynn, J. 2008. “A Tough Call,” New Scientist 199.2672: 48–50.
Haier, Richard J. 2017. The Neuroscience of Intelligence. Cambridge University Press, New York, NY.
Hunt, E. B. 2011. Human Intelligence. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Neisser, Ulric, Boodoo, Gwyneth, Bouchard Jr., Thomas J., Boykin, A. Wade, Brody, Nathan, Ceci, Stephen J., Halpern, Diane F., Loehlin, John C., Perloff, Robert, Sternberg, Robert J., and Susana Urbina. 1996. “Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns,” American Psychologist 51.2: 77–101.
Petrill, S. A. and K. Deater-Deckard. 2004. “The Heritability of General Cognitive Ability: A Within-Family Adoption Design,” Intelligence 32: 403–409.
Plomin, R. and S. A. Petrill. 1997. “Genetics and Intelligence: What’s New?,” Intelligence 24: 53–77.