Human Biodiversity FAQ

See HBD bibliography

Darwin’s great discovery was the principle of natural selection, which he synthesized from his own natural history observations and from the writings of other eminent nineteenth-century thinkers, perhaps above all Thomas Malthus (1766–1834) on population growth. As framed by Darwin and still employed by evolutionary biologists, natural selection is grounded in three observations: (1) that individuals within a breeding population vary in morphology and behavior, (2) that offspring tend to inherit features of morphology and behavior from their parents, and (3) that not all individuals contribute equal numbers of offspring to the next generation.

Klein, The Human Career






Core Articles

Linda Gottfredson; Jensen; Bell Curve



Steven Pinker:

Ideas & Data:

Research on group differences in IQ has more statistical power than all other surveyed medical and social science disciplines.

Citation Discipline Mean Power
Button et al. (2013) Neuroscience 21%
Brain Imaging 8%
Smaldino and McElreath (2016) Social and Behavioral Sciences 24%
Szucs and Ioannidis (2017) Cognitive Neuroscience 14%
Psychology 23%
Medical 23%
Mallet et al (2017) Breast Cancer 16%
Glaucoma 11%
Rheumatoid Arthritis 19%
Alzheimer’s 9%
Epilepsy 24%
MS 24%
Parkinson’s 27%
Nuijten et al (2018) Intelligence 49%
Intelligence – Group Differences 57%

Group Differences in IQ

I suspect many people in the HBDsphere have their favorite “launching pads” for beginning these discussions. Mine takes the form of a challenge. Standardized intelligence tests (PISA) have shown that Chinese schoolchildren perform better than the average for the developed OECD countries, even though at least until recently China was a fairly poor country. (At around $14,000 PPP today, it is still lower than Mexico’s level). Meanwhile, US blacks consistently perform 1S.D. worse than US whites (documented to oblivion), and the rich Arab oil states if anything do even worse – even though per pupil spending in both cases is an order of magnitude higher than in China. How do you explain this with the assumption that most or all of the causality between wealth and IQ goes from the former to the latter?

Second challenge, which is really mostly an extension of the above – Why are virtually all exceptions to the otherwise extremely strong correlation (r=0.9+ !) between IQ and wealth either oil states (upwards outliers) or states with a Communist/central planning legacy (downwards outliers)?

* Economic arguments