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This post was edited by china-israel at 2011-12-30 02:04|
[continuation of article]
Natural Selection Breaks Down: Health and Intelligence
Mutations occasionally pop up in any population. Since the vast majority are adverse, stable fertility for an entire population still means deterioration. The maintenance of the quality of the population requires not just a stable population at all levels but the active weeding out of the unfit. The results of the slacking of selection in our modern world is apparent in disease. Today, almost 1% of children born have a mutation for a common genetic disorder. Due to carriers of bad genes surviving and new mutations, it’s estimated that the rates of hemophilia, cystic fibrosis and phenylketonuria are increasing every generation by 26%, 120%, and 300% respectively. Humanity requires that we save children that can be saved but breeding for those with diseased genes needs to be restricted. Lynn hints that better genetic screening and selective abortion can offset some of the consequences of modern medicine.
American psychologist Theodore Lentz was the first to devise a method for finding the relationship between intelligence and fertility. He tested the IQs of children and found out how many siblings they had. Assuming that children have the same IQ as their parents, if those with lower IQs had more brothers and sisters than children with high IQs then it could be determined that dysgenics is happening. In 1927 Lentz calculated an IQ drop of 4 points per generation. Calculations in Britain found a drop of about 2 points per generation. These surveys didn’t include the childless but since they are disproportionately those with higher IQs the studies actually underestimate the extent of dysgenic fertility. Reviewing various studies and using findings from twin and adoption cases showing that IQ is 82% heritable, Lynn calculates a genotypic IQ decline of 5 points in Britain from 1890-1980. In the US he calculates a drop of 2.5 IQ points for whites and 6.2 for blacks over three generations. Interestingly, women are shown to universally have more dysgenic fertility than men. This is partly because low IQ men probably have a harder time finding mates than low IQ women.
The Fall of Greece
Greece is a particularly interesting example. Papavassiliou (1954) looked at IQ, socioeconomic status and fertitlity for men and came up with the following results.
Intelligence and Fertility in Greece, 1950s
Socioeconomic status N Mean IQ N of Children
Professional 41 117.2 1.78
Skilled Workers 80 100.9 2.66
Semiskilled 27 91.0 4.00
Unskilled 67 82.2 5.56
My calculations give an IQ of 96.9 for the parent generation and an IQ drop of 4.9. Using a heritability of .82 for IQ puts the IQ of the children’s generation at 92.9 (IQ of parent generation – .82 x 4.9) . Lynn has found elsewhere that the IQ of Greece is 95. This low (for Europe) figure is surprising considering the country’s historical accomplishments. Papavassiliou’s data may solve the puzzle.
Does the Flynn Effect Disprove Eugenics?
While science has shown that traits for IQ and socioeconomic status are heritable and those with poor genes are outbreeding those with good genes, actual performance on IQ tests in the industrialized world has risen over the last century. How can this be? This seeming paradox is called the Flynn effect, after the scientist who estimated IQ gains of about 3-4 points per decade over the 20th century.
We can rule out the effect of increased familiarity with written tests or better education because these gains are present in children as young as two years old. It is doubtful that it is due to increased stimulation because adoption studies show that the effect of shared environment is negligible; two biologically unrelated people raised in the same house are no more alike than any two random strangers. Lynn’s explanation is that the Flynn effect is due to better nutrition. This seems like the best explanation, as over the same time period height and brain size have increased by one standard deviation: the same as the increase in IQ.
So while genotypic intelligence, which can be seen as underlying genetic quality, has decreased, actual performance, phenotypic intelligence, has seen an increase. This increase can’t last forever and the evidence shows that in the developed world, with even the poorest suffering from obesity, the Flynn effect has hit its ceiling. We can now expect a decrease in observed intelligence in the developed even discounting low IQ third world immigration.
The Case of Character
Francis Galton and the early eugenicists weren’t only concerned with the decline in intelligence and health but what they called character: a moral sense, ability to delay gratification and work towards long term goals and sense of duty. Modern psychologists call this conscientiousness and Lynn gives a working estimate for it being 66% heritable. The news here is even worse than the data on intelligence.
Looking at criminals and psychopaths and their number of siblings yields a decline in consciousness that is twice the rate of the decline in intelligence. This has had real life consequences
The straightforward prediction is that the high fertility of criminals has led to an increase in the number of genes in the population responsible for crime and this will show up in increasing crime rates. These increasing crime rates have certainly occurred in most of the economically developed nations during the second half of the twentieth century. In the United States, crime rates approximately tripled between 1960 and 1990; in Britain they quadrupled, and similar increases have occurred in many other countries.
Rates of out-of-wedlock births tell a similar story. Western populations are morally worse than ever and we can expect the modern welfare state to continue to accelerate the decline. Unfortunately, most social scientists and policy makers are too steeped in the environmentalist dogma to deal with these problems.
Does the Universality of the Problem Mean It’s Hopeless?
While there are no direct studies for IQ and fertility in the third world we can check to see how socioeconomic status and education, both correlated with IQ, relate to number of children. Lynn calls the birth rate of the lowest class over the birth rate of the highest class the dysgenic ratio. For example, if those in the lowest class have 3 children per woman and the higher class have 2, the dysgenic ratio is 3/2 = 1.5. Anything over 1 indicates dysgenic fertility and anything under 1 indicates eugenic fertility. While a number over 2 is high for modern Western nations, ratios have been calculated at 3.1 for Columbia, 2.6 for Guatemala, 2.7 for Mexico and 3.1 for Brazil. Muslim and African countries have lower ratios, but only because even the highest classes have large numbers of children. In a worldwide survey the only exceptions are Bangladesh, Fiji and Indonesia who have ratios of 1.01, 0.93, and 0.86 respectively. The developing world can be expected to remain “developing” indefinitely.
So dysgenic fertility is found everywhere: among rich and poor and every race. Does that mean it’s hopeless? We won’t know until we at least acknowledge and try to deal with the problem. Communism once controlled half the planet and today its equivalent is globalization and the supposed triumph of liberal democracy. While communists can say that true communism “has never been tried” and continue to be liberals, the legacy of Nazism poisons the eugenics movement. Of course, blaming the ideas behind eugenics for the crimes of the Nazis is as silly as blaming the ideology of the welfare state for Soviet labor camps. So there is no rational reason why eugenics can’t capture the hearts and minds of policy makers the way it did 100 years ago. While the facts of differential fertility may discomfort our feminized elites we must never stop repeating that the cost of doing nothing is the end of civilization. There’s no virtue in ignoring that.