Report: Eugenics

Papers in (for) Eugenics



IQ Will Put You In Your Place

Raymond B. Cattell and The Fourth Inquisition

Egalitarian Fiction and Collective Fraud

Ideology and Censorship in Behavior Genetics

The Case FOR Cloning

The Consequences of Variable Intelligence

Reproduction Technology For A New Eugenics

1963 - An Interesting Exchange of Ideas

Eugenics: Economics for the Long Run

The Mismeasures of Gould

The Concept of Heredity in the History of Western Culture, Part I

Whatever Happened to Eugenics?

More on the Bell Curve

Intelligence and Fertility in the United States: 1912-1982

New evidence of dysgenic fertility for intelligence in the United States

Special Book Review

Special Review: The Attack on The Bell Curve

The New Enemies of Evolutionary Science

Evolution, Eugenics, and God’s Will

Dysgenics: Genetic Deterioration in Modern Populations

Review: Science for Tomorrow

National Wealth and Intelligence

Adam, Eve, and Evolution

Eugenics: A Reassessment

How Can We Encourage Bright Young Couples To Have More Children?

Eugenics and the Third Reich

The Human Situation And Its Reparation





Website: Future Generations




Future Generations is about humanitarian eugenics.

Humanitarian eugenics strives to leave a genuine legacy

of love to future generations: good health, high intelligence,

and noble character. We advocate measures to improve the innate

quality of humankind which are entirely voluntary. Please be forewarned

that most ideas expressed on this website are “politically incorrect.” We aspire

to total honesty, believing that it is the only policy for people with integrity,

and furthermore, that in the long run, honesty is far-and-away the most compassionate

policy. If we ever hope to solve the problems which face our species, it’s imperative

that we first look at them objectively, and assess the scientific evidence without

bias. If the truth about genetics and behavior, about eugenics, or about

race, is considered “taboo,” and falsehoods are the only socially

acceptable opinions, then this is truly a sad state of affairs,

but we won’t let it deter us.








Welcome to Future Generations! Future Generations is concerned with the current and future direction of human evolution. While much has been said and written about our past evolution, about how, over many thousands of years, we evolved larger brains and greater intelligence, remarkably little attention has been paid to the critical question, “Where are we evolving now?”


The fact is, human evolution didn’t grind to a halt at the beginning of the 20th century. Just as history marches on indefinitely into the future, so does evolution. Reproductive patterns of each generation shape the innate character of successive generations--for better, or for worse. Future Generations wants to insure that we evolve in a favorable direction, for the good of all who come after us.


It’s natural to want to give our children the same legacy our parents gave us, or, if at all possible, a better legacy. We want to leave them the rain forest, pure air and water, and a sound economy. However, the most important legacy we can leave to our descendants is the innate ability to maintain and advance civilization, for without civilization, chaos reigns, “might makes right,” and suffering abounds.


In a word, Future Generations is about eugenics. The eleventh edition of The Encyclopedia Britannica defines eugenics as “the organic betterment of the race through wise application of the laws of heredity.” Most people draw a blank when they hear the word, or it conjures up images of swastikas and jack-booted Nazi’s. But eugenics has had a long history, extending back to ancient Rome (and probably beyond).


Here’s our argument, in a nutshell:


  1. Human intelligence is largely hereditary.


  1. Civilization depends totally upon innate intelligence. Without innate intelligence, civilization would never have been created. When intelligence declines, so does civilization.


  1. The higher the level of civilization, the better off the population. Civilization is not an either-or proposition. Rather, it’s a matter of degree, and each degree, up or down, affects the well-being of every citizen.


  1. At the present time, we are evolving to become less intelligent with each new generation. Why is this happening? Simple: the least-intelligent people are having the most children.


  1. Unless we halt or reverse this trend, our civilization will invariably decline. Any appreciable decline is synonymous with an increase in the collective “misery quotient.”


Logic and scientific evidence stand behind each statement listed above.


1. Human intelligence is largely hereditary.


Scientists have discovered that identical twins separated at birth and raised apart are remarkably similar in IQ--almost as similar as they are in height. They also resemble one another strikingly in their mannerisms, the way they laugh, their likes and dislikes, phobias, temperament, sexual preference, educational achievement, income, conscientiousness (character), musical ability, whether they’re criminals or law-abiding, and just about everything else that’s ever been tested. (Bouchard, 1993) The extent of their similarity amazes even the researchers and the twins themselves.


The primacy of genes is also demonstrated in adoption studies. Adopted children’s IQs resemble those of their biological parents--whom they haven’t seen from day 1--more closely than they resemble those of their adoptive parents, who essentially provided their environments. When adopted children are grown, there’s almost no resemblance at all between their IQs and those of their adoptive parents. Other traits show resemblance between adopted children and their biological parents to varying degrees (Loehlin, Willerman, and Horn, 1987).


These are established facts, the consensus of hundreds of studies conducted in different times and places by different researchers. The conclusion from both the twin studies and the adoption studies is obvious: heredity counts for a great deal in life. Yet many people are unaware of this, because the liberal media invariably portray scientists who believe in heredity’s strong influence on intelligence (such as Arthur Jensen, William Shockley, Richard Lynn, Chris Brand, Raymond Cattell, Philippe Rushton, and Richard Herrnstein) as screwballs, or downright evil.


Furthermore, the media assert again and again that most experts in IQ testing believe IQ is largely environmental. This has been proven to be utterly untrue. In fact, the majority of researchers in the field of intelligence testing believes heredity is more important than environment in explaining variations in IQ among individuals (Snyderman and Rothman, 1988). It’s obvious the liberal media have been misleading the public on a grand scale. One wonders to what extent journalists are merely ignorant, to what extent they are too cowardly to speak an unpopular truth, and to what extent they tell the public what they think is best for the public to believe (viewing the public as not quite capable of being trusted with the truth).


The liberal journalists have sold North Americans and Europeans a real bill of goods. In non-Western countries, the idea that there are no innate differences between people would be considered nonsense, just as it would have been in the West in years past, and just as it will be again in the not-too-distant future.


2. Civilization depends totally upon innate intelligence.


This assertion is pretty much self-evident. Lions, wild dogs, bees, ants, chimpanzees, and many other animals live in social groups, yet they have nothing that could be called civilization. Why? ‘Cause they’re not smart enough!


Obviously, if civilization depended entirely upon being exposed to an “enriched” environment, we’d all still be skulking about in caves!! Think about it--if human beings first existed in primitive conditions, and if civilization depended entirely on the environment, how could any progress ever have occurred? It’s obvious there’s an inborn streak of genius that drives the creation of technology and civilization.


One way to look at the relationship between intelligence and civilization is to speculate about ancient civilizations--why they rose, and why they fell. But a far more straightforward approach would be to simply look around us, and to survey the various countries of the world. Today, in 1997, there are countless gradations of civilization all over the globe. Japan has an average IQ of 104, compared to the U.S. average of 100 (Lynn, 1991). A small shift in the average makes a big difference in the tails of a bell-shaped distribution. (The tails in this case represent the very intelligent, and the very unintelligent.) So is it any wonder Japan is a an economic powerhouse, despite being a tiny country with virtually no resources? It’s also a peaceful and predictable place in which to live. In Tokyo, a bag of money left on a park bench will probably sit there a while, and eventually someone will turn it in to the authorities. Would this happen in New York City? In Baghdad? In Soweto?


Israel and Japan have higher average IQs than America, Mexico has lower, and the black African nations have the lowest. Interestingly, the very same hierarchy of nations replicates itself in America, both in IQ scores and in socio-economic status. For example, Americans of Japanese ancestry score higher on IQ tests, and are more successful, than average Americans. (The fact that people of Japanese ancestry--both in Japan and in the U.S.--score high neatly disposes of the common objection that IQ tests are “culturally biased” in favor of Caucasians.) Jews, whether in Israel, Russia, or the U.S., score higher than average, and earn more.


Socio-economic status among individuals within one country is determined to a great extent (though not entirely) by innate intelligence. One U.S. study found that in families with 2 or more brothers, the boys with higher IQs than their fathers tended to move up on the socio-economic ladder when they became adults, whereas those with lower IQs tended to move down (Jencks, 1982). Brothers have almost identical environments--same parents, same house, same schools, same neighborhood. Why do they often differ? Because they get different rolls of their parents’ genetic dice. Siblings share their environment almost entirely, but on average, they share only 50% of their genes. Some siblings will share more, some less. [Sperm and eggs are made with half the genes of each parent, so that when they unite, the fertilized egg will have the full complement of genes. But one child won’t get the same identical half from his father or mother that his siblings got.] Is it any wonder brothers and sisters often grow up to be quite different? The fact that the smarter ones move up, and the duller ones down, proves that socio-economic status is, in part, due to innate intelligence.


3. The higher the level of civilization, the better off the population.


Question: “Why do people from countries with low levels of civilization continually risk their lives to get to countries with high levels, but the reverse never occurs?” Answer: “They risk their lives because they think life is much better there, and they’re right.” If this were not the case, why would such one-way migration occur?


To say, “The higher the level of civilization, the better off the population,” is almost axiomatic, like saying, “It’s better to live than die.” The fact is, people who live in countries with a high level of civilization are better fed, better housed, live longer, suffer less disease, have less uncertainty in their lives, endure less crime, possess more personal power, learn more, and generally enjoy happier and more fulfilling lives.


Innate intelligence is the sine qua non [without which, nothing] of civilization. But given that a population has sufficient intelligence to create civilization, other factors enter into the picture. For example, history has shown that Communism stifles innovation and progress, whereas democracy and free enterprise give them a big boost.


4. At the present time, we are evolving to become less intelligent with each new generation.


We have both the knowledge and the ability to leave future generations the same genetic legacy, or a richer one, than the one we inherited from our parents, yet the sad fact is, we are leaving them a poorer legacy, both in terms of who they are, and in terms of the society they will inhabit.


Dysgenics: Genetic Deterioration in Modern Populations, by Richard Lynn, summarizes all the important studies on the current direction of human evolution. This is surely the most important book on eugenics ever written. It looks at studies from all over the world, and everywhere finds that the most unintelligent, poorest, least well-educated people are having the most children. In the United States, we may be losing as much as one IQ point each generation. It also demonstrates that we are losing ground in terms of character, as well as IQ. The only hopeful fact is that the cause of the difference infertility is largely attributable to greater birth control failure on the part of the unintelligent. So if all people had the size family they wanted, we would at least break even genetically.


5. Unless we halt or reverse this trend, our civilization will decline.


This conclusion follows logically from premises 1-4.


Herrnstein and Murray, in their brilliant book, The Bell Curve, found that all social problems were exacerbated when they moved the average IQ down statistically in their sample by just 3 points, from 100 to 97. The number of women chronically dependent on welfare increased by almost 15%, illegitimacy increased by 8%, men who were incarcerated increased by 13%, and number of permanent high school dropouts increased by 15%. (P368) Every single percentage point of each social problem represents a great deal of unhappiness for the many thousands of people who are directly involved, and it also represents vast sums of taxpayers’ dollars, thus unhappiness indirectly for millions more. When civilization declines, everything bad increases, everything good decreases, and the collective “misery quotient” skyrockets.


Another way to think about what, precisely, it means when “civilization declines,” North Americans, Europeans, and Japanese can simply imagine living their entire lives in Mexico. Mexicans can imagine living their entire lives in Africa.


“OK, but . . .”


At this point, you may well be thinking to yourself, “OK, it’s obvious we need civilization. And civilization depends on intelligence. And the studies show our innate potential for intelligence is declining. But, why aren’t people all upset about this? Why isn’t Congress doing something about it?”


I’ve already touched on the liberal media’s distortions, and I will try to address this question specifically in the following segments. But the short answer is that “eugenics” has become a bad word’ in the Western world. To say it’s “very, very unpopular” would be an understatement! Eugenics is more than unpopular, it’s a taboo subject. It’s the worst possible heresy to the liberal egalitarian ideologues who currently have a stranglehold on public opinion. So it simply can’t be discussed openly (except perhaps to condemn it vehemently), except here on the Internet, where freedom of expression reigns.


Egalitarianism: Politically Correct, Scientifically Wrong


Egalitarianism is the ideology the Western world has embraced since the end of World War II. It is simply the belief that all people are born equal in intelligence, character, talents, and every other way, except for trivial differences in hair color, eye color, and so on. Immediately the question pops up, “If we’re all born equal on everything, how did we end up so different?” Differences are said to be caused by environmental factors, and any kind of social problem or psychopathology is said to be the result of “cultural deprivation,” “traumatic experiences,” “sub-standard housing,” and that ubiquitous arch-villain, “society.” Genes and biology are obviously relevant to plants and animals, but somehow human beings--or at least their brains and their behavior--are exempt from the laws of nature which govern the rest of the world.


Egalitarianism is the ideology of the political left. Egalitarians have succeeded not only in making it the accepted view, but also in making it the only acceptable view. They have cowed the public by repeating in a thousand different ways that to question their basic argument is tantamount to racism.


Egalitarians give the pretense of scientific legitimacy by pointing to studies that report associations between one social pathology and another: “Children who grow up in poor neighborhoods tend to become criminals.” On the basis of such associations, billions of dollars are spent trying to solve social problems. It’s obvious to any casual observer that associations exist between poor environments and pathologies of various sorts. But associations do not prove causation! Roosters crow at sunrise. Does this mean roosters cause the sun rise? If poverty causes crime, shouldn’t the U.S. have had an astronomical increase in the crime rate during The Great Depression? Well, it didn’t!


There is no proof that the environment is responsible for any social problem, but the philosophy of egalitarianism seeks environmental solutions to problems it assumes are environmental in origin. Belief in the all-pervasive influence of the environment underlies ambitious governmental programs to turn criminals into good citizens, raise the IQ of the retarded, and induce the mentally ill to become sane. Despite high hopes, lofty rhetoric, and truly enormous expenditures, demonstrable benefits have been tiny, transient, artifactual, or non-existent.


The philosophy of egalitarianism is a left-wing political ideology masquerading as science. Again and again, it’s predictions are not borne out, and its programs fail utterly. The welfare program in the United States (AFDC) was intended to eliminate poverty, and ameliorate the host of social problems associated with it. A major study of its effects reported that it has actually made the problems it was intended to solve worse, while costing taxpayers billions (Murray, 1986).


Programs designed to solve social problems based on liberal-ideology-disguised-as science are universally ballyhooed at the beginning. Extravagant claims are made about what will be accomplished--eradicating poverty, rehabilitating criminals, and raising the IQs of the retarded. For example, Head Start was supposed to dramatically increase the IQs of disadvantaged children by providing them with an “enriched” early environment. Few people realize there is not one particle of evidence that it has succeeded, and many studies have shown it has failed utterly (reference.) Somehow, its original purpose has been forgotten, it’s lauded as a great “success,” and it grows ever larger.




We often feel a self-satisfied, smug superiority when we read about follies of the past--the Salem witch trials, the Inquisition, bizarre medical practices, such as letting blood or applying leeches to cure disease. Watching old films of man’s early attempts at flight is always guaranteed to get a laugh. “Those people who lived in the past--ha! What silly ideas they had!”


But how do we know we’re not, at this very moment, ourselves in the grips of one stupendous folly which will seem outrageously stupid to people who look back on us? How embarrassing! It really wouldn’t be too far-fetched to say egalitarianism is the most prevalent “superstition” of the 20th century, perhaps of all times, given that it is a belief about causality which literally millions of people accept, for which there is no scientific evidence, which science has, in fact, disproven.


Does egalitarianism qualify as a superstition? Judge for yourself. Webster’s Ninth Collegiate Dictionary defines superstition as:


    a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation . . . a notion maintained despite evidence to the contrary [my emphasis]


A popular song entitled “Superstition” has lyrics that are quite appropriate: “When you believe in things that you don’t understand, then you suffer.” This sums things up pretty well. We, as a society, have accepted without question a huge amount of misinformation about human nature from the liberal journalists, for which there is no scientific evidence. Furthermore, abundant scientific evidence disproves their claims. As a consequence of our illusions, we suffer. We suffer in 2 ways: (1) We spend vast sums of money, for which we get nothing. (2) We waste precious time and energy that could be spent actually doing something useful, such as implementing a eugenics program.


People all throughout history may have had some strange ideas, but they had more common sense than to believe there are no innate differences in personality or intelligence. (Can anyone who has more than one child fail to notice they have their own unique personalities from the time they’re born?) Only now, in the last 1/2 of the 20th century in the Western world, has this totally implausible doctrine become the widely-accepted belief.


This Disgraceful State of Affairs


Why? Why is the Western world so deluded? It seems incredible! How could the population remain totally ignorant, on such a massive scale, of scientific evidence about human behavior? How can they believe virtually all differences in behavior are caused by the environment, when there’s a mountain of scientific evidence--which has been around for decades, and which is available in any library--which proves conclusively that heredity plays a crucial role (often the crucial role)?


The fact is, I really don’t know precisely why this disgraceful state of affairs has come into being. In the early decades of the century, egalitarianism would have been laughed at, and eugenics was widely accepted by prominent people whose views spanned the entire political spectrum. To list just a few proponents: George Bernard Shaw, Charles Darwin, Margaret Sanger, H.G. Wells, Francis Galton (who coined the term “eugenics”), Theodore Roosevelt, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Alexander Graham Bell, Charles Lindbergh, Winston Churchill, and Julian Huxley. Interestingly, Julian Huxley described eugenics as “. . . of all outlets for altruism, that which is most comprehensive and of longest range.” Yet today, eugenics is considered evil! Why ideas go in and out of fashion like this is something I don’t pretend to understand. However, below are 5 factors which almost surely enter into the picture:


(1) After World War II, the salient beliefs of the vanquished countries were universally rejected. German propaganda had placed a large emphasis on genetics, though not in the same way modern eugenicists do. (Hitler opposed IQ tests on the grounds that they were “Jewish.”) Still, it was an emphasis on genetics, behavior, and race, so these things came to be regarded as unsavory ideas, indeed. Despite the fact that 23 other countries had eugenics legislation during the same period, that the movement originated in Britain and the United States, eugenics became associated in the minds of many with Hitler. This unfair association has been absolutely devastating to eugenics.


It’s a sad state of affairs that because Hitler (along with thousands of others) once espoused eugenics, no one is permitted by the liberal thought-police to seriously propose the idea ever again, regardless of the price to be paid. (Wasn’t Hitler also a vegetarian?)


(2) Christianity says “All men are equal in the sight of God.” Nowhere in the Bible does it suggest they’re all equally good at physics, basketball, and playing the clarinet, but people interpret it this way nevertheless.


(3) America has an egalitarian philosophy. “All men are created equal” has been taken to mean all men are created with equal ability. It’s abundantly clear from their other writings that the Founding Fathers meant “equal before the law,” not equal in innate ability


(4) Public opinion in the Western world is largely shaped by journalists. Studies have shown that journalists tend to be far more liberal politically than the general population. One study of students at a university showed that the business and hard-science majors were the most conservative politically, the literature and journalism students the most liberal. This suggests there’s a self-selection on the part of journalists--people who are drawn to journalism, for whatever reason, tend to be liberal by temperament. Liberal beliefs hang together, and egalitarianism is one of them. Also, journalists don’t seem to evince much interest in, or knowledge of, science.


A fascinating study was conducted in 1988 comparing what was reported about IQ--on TV, in newspapers, and in magazines--to what the scientists actually said about it. It was found that the media consistently gave extremely biased accounts, suggesting that IQ didn’t really measure anything, that it was irrelevant, that it was “culturally biased,” and that most experts agreed with such assertions, when, in fact, most experts disagreed with the assertions (Snyderman and Rothman, 1988).


(5) Genetic influences on behavior has become a taboo subject, much like sex in the Victorian era. People are afraid to express, or even believe, anything that’s unpopular. Also, it seems so unfair that people are not all born equal in ability, and so unkind of nature to have made it this way. What’s worse, people may also come to believe that racial differences are to some extent genetic, which is the most heinous sin according to the egalitarian religion.


Here again, on the issue of race, the liberal media have failed utterly in their responsibility to report scientific findings to the public. Actually, it’s far worse than “failing in their responsibility to report the facts,” because that would imply that they really just didn’t do all they should have done. In reality, the media have blatantly lied to the public. This may sound like inflammatory rhetoric. But what kind of dishonesty should the term “blatantly lied” be reserved for, if not for this? There is proof of their deception. The same study mentioned above found that the majority of scientists who do research on IQ believes part of the black-white difference in IQ is genetic. This study also found (by analyzing hundreds of media reports) that the media overwhelmingly portray this view as one held only by a few screwballs (Snyderman and Rothman, 1988).


This massive disinformation campaign about IQ, genes, and race has been going on for several decades. Such a thing might be expected under a Communist regime, but for this to have occurred in democratic societies cries out for an explanation, and for justice. Shouldn’t journalists be held accountable, like everyone else? This is a big story with dirty secrets to be uncovered. Investigative reporters should investigate this.


An Open Challenge to Marxists and Other Radical Left-Wingers


Some people--particularly Marxists and other radical left-wingers--will be positively incensed by the very existence of Future Generations. It’s true! Just hearing the word “eugenics” makes them start to tremble with rage. Like a knee-jerk reaction, they cry “Nazi’s!” There are a number of profound differences between Hitler, and Future Generations, not the least of which is that Future Generations strives to educate the public and effect changes in a democratic society, whereas Hitler was a totalitarian dictator who permitted not free speech!! This is what’s been shown, again and again, to be dangerous and destructive, this lack of freedom-whether in the form of Fascism, or of Communism--not any particular scientific fact.” The Communists believed everything was caused by the environment, yet they murdered more people, and caused more misery, than the Nazi’s and all the rest of the world’s tyrants combined. But in either case, the way to assess the validity of scientific claims is through science, not by judging the morality or immorality of political regimes whose ideologies adopted simplistic and often inaccurate versions of them.


To anyone who opposes what we do, for whatever reason, may I suggest the best way to neutralize our influence is to engage in honest debate, and to show the world we’re wrong. Name-calling is childish. Instead, try finding an error in our reasoning! Provide counter-evidence! For example, show us (if you can) that intelligence is not profoundly influenced by heredity, or that intelligent people actually have more offspring that unintelligent people have, or that savagery is preferable to civilization.


Three Choices


We have 3 choices in dealing with the misery of the world: we can 1. ignore it, 2. continue paying massive amounts of money on misguided egalitarian programs that promise the moon and deliver nothing, or 3. implement a eugenics program.


To give you an idea of the power of eugenics, consider this. Over one-third of all mentally retarded people have a retarded parent. It therefore follows that if all mentally retarded people refrained from reproducing, mental retardation could be cut by one-third in one generation (Willerman, 1984). It may be unrealistic to think they could all be induced to adopt some permanent form of birth control, but just imagine for a minute that it actually happened. Do you realize what it would mean to have mental retardation cut by a third? It would mean a reduction in misery so vast it can’t be comprehended all at once. It would mean a dramatic decrease in all social problems--crime, illegitimacy, chronic welfare dependency, illiteracy, chronic unemployment. It would be a huge boost to the economy. Taxpayers would save trillions of dollars.


Programs based on egalitarian ideology take a circuitous route to changing people--they keep trying (and failing) to change people by altering their environments. Despite witnessing their abysmal string of failures, our natural desire to alleviate suffering and improve the world persists. This desire is finding a new outlet in eugenics based on science, not ideology and wishful thinking. Eugenics takes the direct route. It holds the unique potential of actually delivering what it promises, of creating a better world, of making profound, lasting improvements in the human condition by improving humanity itself.







IQ Will Put You In Your Place

By Charles Murray


Imagine several hundred families which face few of the usual problems that plague modern society. Unemployment is zero. Illegitimacy is zero. Divorce is rare and occurs only after the children’s most formative years. Poverty is absent - indeed, none of the families is anywhere near the poverty level. Many are affluent and all have enough income to live in decent neighbourhoods with good schools and a low crime rate. If you have the good fortune to come from such a background, you will expect a bright future for your children. You will certainly have provided them with all the advantages society has to offer. But suppose we follow the children of these families into adulthood. How will they actually fare?


A few years ago the late Richard Herrnstein and I published a controversial book about IQ, The Bell Curve, in which we said that much would depend on IQ. On average, the bright children from such families will do well in life - and the dull children will do poorly. Unemployment, poverty and illegitimacy will be almost as great among the children from even these fortunate families as they are in society at large - not quite as great, because a positive family background does have some good effect, but almost, because IQ is such an important factor.


“Nonsense!” said the critics. “Have the good luck to be born to the privileged and the doors of life will open to you - including doors that will let you get a good score in an IQ test. Have the bad luck to be born to a single mother struggling on the dole and you will be held down in many ways - including your IQ test score.” The Bell Curve’s purported relationships between IQ and success are spurious, they insisted: nurture trumps nature; environment matters more than upbringing.


An arcane debate about statistical methods ensued. Then several American academics began using a powerful, simple way of testing who was right: instead of comparing individual children from different households, they compared sibling pairs with different IQs. How would brothers and sisters who were nurtured by the same parents, grew up in the same household and lived in the same neighbourhood, but had markedly different IQs, get on in life?


The research bears out what parents of children with unequal abilities already know - that try as they might to make Johnny as bright as Sarah, it is difficult, and even impossible, to close the gap between them.


A very large database in the United States contains information about several thousand sibling pairs who have been followed since 1979. To make the analysis as unambiguous as possible, I have limited my sample to brothers and sisters whose parents are in the top 75 per cent of American earners, with a family income in 1978 averaging £40,000 (in today’s money).


Families living in poverty, or even close to it, have been excluded. The parents in my sample also stayed together for at least the first seven years of the younger sibling’s life.


Each pair consists of one sibling with an IQ in the normal range of 90-110 ,a range that includes 50% of the population. I will call this group the normals. The second sibling in each pair had an IQ either higher than 110, putting him in the top quartile of intelligence (the bright) or lower than 90, putting him in the bottom quartile (the dull). These constraints produced a sample of 710 pairs.


How much difference did IQ make? Earned income is a good place to begin. In 1993, when we took our most recent look at them, members of the sample were aged 28-36. That year, the bright siblings earned almost double the average of the dull: £22,400 compared to £11,800. The normals were in the middle, averaging £16,800.


These differences are sizeable in themselves. They translate into even more drastic differences at the extremes. Suppose we take a salary of £50,000 or more as a sign that someone is an economic success. A bright sibling was six-and-a-half times more likely to have reached that level than one of the dull. Or we may turn to the other extreme, poverty: the dull sibling was five times more likely to fall below the American poverty line than one of the bright. Equality of opportunity did not result in anything like equality of outcome. Another poverty statistic should also give egalitarians food for thought: despite being blessed by an abundance of opportunity, 16.3% of the dull siblings were below the poverty line in 1993. This was slightly higher than America’s national poverty rate of 15.1%.


Opportunity, clearly, isn’t everything. In modern America, and also, I suspect, in modern Britain, it is better to be born smart and poor than rich and stupid. Another way of making this point is to look at education. It is often taken for granted that parents with money can make sure their children get a college education. The young people in our selected sample came from families that were overwhelmingly likely to support college enthusiastically and have the financial means to help. Yet while 56% of the bright obtained university degrees, this was achieved by only 21% of the normals and a minuscule 2% of the dulls. Parents will have been uniformly supportive, but children are not uniformly able.


The higher prevalence of college degrees partly explains why the bright siblings made so much more money, but education is only part of the story. Even when the analysis is restricted to siblings who left school without going to college, the brights ended up in the more lucrative occupations that do not require a degree, becoming technicians, skilled craftsmen, or starting their own small businesses. The dull siblings were concentrated in menial jobs.


The differences among the siblings go far beyond income. Marriage and children offer the most vivid example. Similar proportions of siblings married, whether normal, bright or dull - but the divorce rate was markedly higher among the dull than among the normal or bright, even after taking length of marriage into account. Demographers will find it gloomily interesting that the average age at which women had their first birth was almost four years younger for the dull siblings than for the bright ones, while the number of children born to dull women averaged 1.9, half a child more than for either the normal or the bright. Most striking of all were the different illegitimacy rates. Of all the first-born children of the normals, 21% were born out of wedlock , about a third lower than the figure for the United States as a whole, presumably reflecting the advantaged backgrounds from which the sibling sample was drawn. Their bright siblings were much lower still, with less than 10% of their babies born illegitimate. Meanwhile, 45% of the first-born of the dull siblings were born outside of marriage.


The inequalities among siblings that I have described are from 1993 and are going to become much wider in the years ahead. The income trajectory for low-skill occupations usually peaks in a worker’s twenties or thirties. The income trajectory for managers and professionals usually peaks in their fifties. The snapshot I have given you was taken for an age group of 28-36 when many of the brights are still near the bottom of a steep rise into wealth and almost all the dulls’ incomes are stagnant or even falling. . . .


The inequalities I have presented are the kind you are used to seeing in articles that compare inner-city children with suburban ones, black with white, children of single parents with those from intact families. Yet they refer to the children of a population more advantaged in jobs, income and marital stability than even the most starry-eyed social reformer can hope to achieve.


You may be wondering whether the race, age or education of siblings affects my figures. More extended analyses exist, but the short answer is that the phenomena I have described survive such questions. Siblings who differ in IQ also differ widely in important social outcomes, no matter how anyone tries to explain away the results. Ambitious parents may be dismayed by this conclusion, but it is none the less true for all that.


A final thought: I have outlined the inequalities that result from siblings with different IQs. Add in a few other personal qualities: industry, persistence, charm, and the differences among people will inevitably produce a society of high inequalities, no matter how level the playing field has been made. Indeed, the more level the playing field, and the less that accidents of birth enter into it, the more influence personal qualities will have. I make this point as an antidote to glib thinking on both sides of the Atlantic and from both sides of the political spectrum. Inequality is too often seen as something that results from defects in society that can be fixed by a more robust economy, more active social programmes, or better schools. It is just not so.


The effects of inequality cannot be significantly reduced, let alone quelled, unless the government embarks on a compulsory redistribution of wealth that raises taxes astronomically and strictly controls personal enterprise. Some will call this social justice. Others will call it tyranny. I side with the latter, but whichever position one takes, it is time to stop pretending that, without such massive compulsion, human beings in a fair and prosperous society will ever be much more equal than they are now.


From the Sunday Times, UK, May 25 1997.






Raymond B. Cattell and The Fourth Inquisition


By Glayde Whitney

Florida State University


This paper originally appeared in The Mankind Quarterly , vol. 38, #1 & 2, Fall/Winter 1997, p.99-124.


Raymond B. Cattell was selected to receive the Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement from the American Psychological Foundation. The award ceremony was canceled at the last minute when threats were made to disrupt the Chicago convention of the APA amid charges that Cattell’s work was racist. It took only two political activists to derail the APF. This event is analyzed as an instance of Inquisitional attack on rational thought and inquiry, in the context of modern liberalism with radical egalitarianism.


The events of August 1997 will assure that the already eminent scientist Raymond B. Cattell will be remembered in history as elevated to the pantheon occupied by such as Roger Bacon, William of Occam, and Galileo Galilei. The infamous events of August and the players will be summarized below, but first a context needs to be established in order to make any sense of the scurrilous attack and the craven response of the American Psychological Association (APA).


Approaches to Knowledge


The Harvard biologist, historian and philosopher of science Ernst Mayr (1982) has suggested that as human populations evolve from savagery to civilization their approach to knowledge takes one or another of two paths.


One approach leads to modern science, the other to authoritative dogma. The direction toward science, traceable back to the philosophies of ancient Greece, is unique to Western civilization. The much more common direction toward authoritative dogmas is illustrated by the revealed religions that sprang from the Middle East.


The direction toward science traces to the first recorded Western philosopher, Thales of Miletus (c.636-c.546 BC). Thales maintained that to gain knowledge and understanding one should start with naturalistic observation, that is, descriptions of events as they exist in the real world. We should then seek natural explanations for natural phenomena. Gods, supernatural beings, and forces or events that were outside the system should not be invoked as explanations for events within the system. A third major position was that it is acceptable, even encouraged, to question existing explanations, to use criticism in order to improve knowledge and theories. These three principles that trace to the beginnings of recorded Western thought capture the essence of modern science; naturalistic observation, natural explanation, and criticism as a beneficial tool to advancing knowledge.


Alas, from Thales’ time through today his approach has, on a worldwide basis, been a minority position under constant attack. The road to dogma starts with assertions of knowledge based in authority. Often from a great man or leader come statements, frequently but not always based in revelation. The religious and political aspects of dogmatic systems often become commingled. The revelations leading to dogmas often claim supernatural inspiration, but this is not necessarily the case. Christian theology, Marxian sociology, and Freudian psychoanalytic theory equally well illustrate dogmatic belief systems. The systems with their statements to account for reality become codified into a set of rigid beliefs. Not only is criticism and questioning not encouraged, it is condemned. The less than complete supporter, the doubter, is shunned, outcast, outlawed, a heretic, criminal and evil sinner. Followers will believe on the basis of acceptance of authority (“on faith”) and will not deviate from the established dogmas that tend to become ever more rigid. Encounters with the partially understood real world, in all its foibles, always lead to discrepancy between dogma and natural observation of real phenomena.


It is considered necessary to preserve the authoritarian dogma and the power of the authorities in the face of conflicting truths. The Path of Righteousness knows what is good for man and society. Dissenters, free thinkers, or those with new knowledge are viewed as a threat to all that is Good. Sanctions, laws, censorship, need to be imposed and enforced. This is the realm of Inquisitions. In the history of Western civilization there have been four main identifiable inquisitions. It is the fourth that we suffer today.




First Inquisition. The first major inquisition was established in 1233 AD to suppress heresy. The groundwork leading up to the need for this inquisition extends back to the origins of the Christian religion in the west. The few centuries around the time of the fall of the Roman Empire were turbulent. The Roman Emperor Constantine I had his famous vision (312 AD) which led to his establishment of Christianity as the official religion of the Empire. Shortly thereafter the Empire fell; various invading Germanic tribes repeatedly sacked Rome. In the turmoil many of the writings of the ancients, Greek and Roman, were temporarily “lost” to Western civilization. Aristotle, Galen, Thales, were reintroduced only centuries later.


St. Augustine (354 - 430 AD) early systematized Christian doctrine in his monumental On the Trinity. He argued against paganism in The City of God, and provided what has been called a “classic of Christian mysticism” in his autobiographical Confessions. Augustine came to be recognized as the father of theology and over the centuries of the dark ages his approach became official dogma.


The essence of Augustinian dogma is that truth must be accepted on faith. And truth resides in the revealed word of God as represented in the Bible and interpreted by the leaders of the Church. With the “rediscovery” of the learned writings of the Ancients, often acquired from Islam and translated from Arabic back into Latin, problems arose. Here was knowledge, and approaches to knowledge such as Aristotelian deductive logic, not envisioned in the existing dogma. The age of the scholastics was upon the world as scholars tried to incorporate the new knowledge.


Robert Grosseteste (1175 - 1253), Franciscan and first chancellor of Oxford University, studied Aristotle and attempted to integrate the Greek knowledge with Christian dogma. He suggested that there were actually two routes to knowledge, observation with deductive reasoning was one route, while authority (revelation from the written word as interpreted by dogma) was another. In the direction of science, Grosseteste formulated his famous Principle of Falsification: when faced with an apparent conflict between observation and dogma, go with the observation. Experience can falsify the pronouncements of authority.


This won’t do at all, hence the Papal Inquisition of 1233. Times were dicey for the scholastics. William of Occam (c.1285 - 1349) escaped capture when he fled. In the same year (1264) was published Roger Bacon’s De Computo Naturali and Thomas Acquinas’ Summa Contra Gentiles. For his troubles Bacon (c. 1214 - 1294) was imprisoned - 15 years - for heresy. Among the charged crimes was “suggesting novelties”. Although it was touch-and-go for Acquinas (1225 -1274), he was eventually sainted and his solutions (Summa Theologica) became the new dogma. As had Grosseteste, Acquinas tried to integrate Greek natural philosophy, essentially Aristotle, with Christian dogma. In God’s perfect wisdom these two approaches to knowledge will always ultimately agree. However, in our fallibility there will on occasion appear to be a conflict between rational observation (science) and the revealed word (religion). When in doubt, go with revelation. The subsequent hardening of the new theology into dogma set the stage for the third inquisition.


Second Inquisition. The second of the major inquisitions was established in 1478 as the Spanish Inquisition. This one was primarily the result of conflicts between competing segments of society. The Spanish monarchy established the inquisition to enforce laws of conversion and to catch false converts. Over the preceding centuries members of the Jewish community had steadily amassed increasing proportions of wealth and power. They, along with Muslims, had been forced to either convert or leave the country. When it was suspected that many of the conversos were secretly retaining their Jewish values and culture, the inquisition was established to root them out. A consideration of this second recognized inquisition would lead too far astray for the present essay. MacDonald (1994) provides an in-depth consideration of the Spanish Inquisition from the point of view of the social sciences.


Third Inquisition. The third of the main inquisitions was established in 1542 to suppress heresy. As with the first inquisition, a basic problem was that the established authorities would not integrate new knowledge that was discovered after the establishment of their dogmas. Instead the new knowledge was treated as a central threat to all that was good in society. Suppression and censorship was the answer.


The synthesis of Greek wisdom and Christian theology that was rigidified as dogma after the work of St. Thomas Acquinas included the flat earth with man as the center of the universe. Clearly the Copernican heliocentric theory of the solar system could not be tolerated. Although widely discussed, Copernicus’ theory was published only in 1543 when the author was on his deathbed, and then presented only as a speculative thought exercise. It was in 1591 that Giordano Bruno (1548 - 1600) was arrested for a variety of thought crimes, including that he believed the Copernican “theory” to be true.


Andrew White (1896/1965) poignantly wrote:


    But the new truth could not be concealed; it could neither be laughed down nor frowned down. Many minds had received it, but within the hearing of the papacy only one tongue appears to have dared to utter it clearly. This new warrior was that strange mortal, Giordano Bruno. He was hunted from land to land, until at last he turned on his pursuers with fearful invectives. For this he was entrapped at Venice, imprisoned during six years in the dungeons of the Inquisition at Rome, then burned alive, and his ashes scattered to the winds. Still, the truth lived on. (p.125)


It has been pointed out that in the latter decades of the 20th century the fourth inquisition no longer burns its victims, although it has arranged the firing of rather many.


The story of Galileo Galilei (1564 - 1642) is well known to all. Only a decade after the burning of Bruno, Galileo built a telescope. By 1610 he was proclaiming on the basis of new evidence the truth of the Copernican Theory. In essence, “come look through the telescope and see for yourself the evidence for the theory”. Arrested by the Inquisition in 1616, he was released only to be re-arrested in 1633. Held under house arrest, the old man was forced under threat of torture to recant.


For the physical sciences the inquisitional suppression and censorship was coming to an end. Indeed, Isaac Newton (1642 - 1727), born in the year of Galileo’s death, lived to be knighted and upon death was buried in Westminster Abbey, two of the highest honors from his Church and Country.


Lagging the physical sciences by a few centuries, the psychological and social sciences are still suffering attempts at suppression and censorship, which characterize the inquisitional approach.


Fourth Inquisition. The fourth inquisition was established in the mid-twentieth century to suppress heresy. As with the first and third inquisitions, a main problem has been that the ideologues did not integrate new knowledge with their already established objectives and dogmas. Instead they viewed new discoveries as a direct threat to all that was good and important in society. As with the earlier inquisitions, the fourth attempts to suppress and censor new knowledge that is perceived to be threatening to old dogmas.


Somewhere between Thomas Jefferson and William Jefferson Clinton an influential segment of the intelligentsia lurched far to the ideological and political left. Thomas Jefferson certainly did not confuse rule of law (“all men are created equal”) and hereditary reality. In a letter to John Adams, Jefferson wrote,


    I agree with you that there is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents .... For experience proves, that the moral and physical qualities of man, whether good or evil, are transmissible in a certain degree from father to son.” (Jefferson, 1813).


In the face of what experience proves, and in open antagonism to much of twentieth century science, a powerful strain of modern liberalism worships radical egalitarianism. Modern liberalism is attempting to enforce Lysenkoism throughout Western civilization. The travesty that is Lysenkoism ruined the science and economy of the Soviet Union. It is well known as an example of the folly of attempting to repeal truth in the service of ideology (Berg, 1988; Medvedev, 1971; Soyfer, 1994). What is less often acknowledged is that the spirit of Lysenkoism is alive and well in the form of modern liberalism’s enforcement of radical egalitarianism.


There and here the guiding theory is identical; it is socialist utopia based on egalitarianism, with what the behavioral scientists call environmental determinism. In 1948 Stalin actually outlawed genetics as being a western bourgeois construction that was incompatible with the truths of Marxist-Leninism. Like outlawing the heliocentric nature of the solar system. Hillary doesn’t have quite that political clout, yet.


The theory that Stalin and Hillary share is that all those newborns, wheat plants for Uncle Joe, human babies for Mother Hillary, have identical potentials for growth and development. If some individuals don’t do as well as others, it is because of their early experience. This is obviously true - everyone knows that fertilizer is important for wheat plants, and everyone knows that early nutrition and stimulation is important for humans. This is so obviously true that anyone who questions its application to the problems at hand is an idiot, an enemy of the state, and a mean-spirited hate monger. There the eminent scientist who objected, the geneticist Nikolai Vavilov, died of disease and starvation in Gulag. Here eminent scientists that voice objections are subjected to vitriolic ad hominem attacks [And the end of whatever federal research support they may have had].


In addition to individual differences there are those vexatious group differences. There winter wheat and spring wheat did not produce equal crop outcomes. Here it is altogether too obvious that various ethnic/racial groups do not produce equal educational, criminal, or job performance outcomes. Although no one was actually sure of all of the reasons for the differential outcomes, if you did not acquiesce to the environmentalist socialist egalitarian explanation, you were evil, a maverick beyond the pale, beyond the bounds of acceptable discourse. There a hated Morganist-Mendelist, here a contemptuous racist. (Whitney, 1997).


Exactly where and how modern liberalism escaped the bounds of reality is a topic of widespread discussion. The seeds of radical egalitarianism may be contained in the basics of Christianity, with its teaching that all men are equal in the eyes of God (Bork, 1996; Pearson, 1996). Certainly the nineteenth century New England, largely Unitarian, social reformers were influenced not only by their religion, but also by the contemporaneous revolutionaries in Europe.


A major lurch to the left occurred with the bloody French revolution’s slogan of “liberty, equality, fraternity”. Then there was the 1847 publication of the Communist Manifesto, followed by the 1848 wave of riots and revolutions throughout Europe. The 1867 first volume of Das Kapital was dedicated to Darwin for the notions of evolutionary materialism and progress in the world. However, it is essentially non-biological and like the rest of Marx’s writing contains no appreciation of evolutionary biology.


In areas pretending to science, as late as 1934 Franz Boas was maintaining that the basis of all serious study was the work of Theodor Waitz. Waitz’s major work of 1858 was the pre-Darwinian On the Unity of the Human Species and the Natural Condition of Man. This thread was not originally anti-Darwinian; rather it was a-Darwinian or non-Darwinian, an approach to the study of man rooted in biblical creationism with a monogenesist emphasis (Mayr, 1982; Degler, 1991).


Many writers agree that a major wrenching leftward happened with the protest decade of the 1960s. In his autobiographical Radical Son, David Horowitz (1997) describes how a group of ideologically committed red-diaper babies, with support and encouragement of the underground Communist Party, engineered much of the radicalism of the 1960s. In Destructive Generation Collier and Horowitz (1995) explain that “the utopianism of the Left is a secular religion. However sordid Leftist practice may be, defending Leftist ideals is, for the true believer, tantamount to defending the ideals of humanity itself. To protect the faith is the highest calling of the radical creed. The more the evidence weighs against the belief, the more noble the act of believing becomes” (p. 246).


There is a “readiness to reshape reality to make the world correspond to an idea” (p. 37). There is a “willingness to tinker with the facts to serve a greater truth” (p.37). And so it has obviously been since the 1960s. Over recent decades, as the scientific data accumulate the stridency of the Left intensifies. Driven by ideology and not constrained by the truth, as all else fails they engage in misrepresentation and character assassination.


Raymond B. Cattell described some aspects of the workings of this inquisition which has been snarling at his heels for many decades. In A New Morality from Science: Beyondism, Cattell (1972) wrote:


    The danger is not only that politicians and private institutions with axes to grind will find tame or corruptible social scientists to support their positions. The greater danger which recent experiences both here and abroad, e.g., Lysenkoism in Russia, have revealed is that partisans primarily political in interest and intention either accidentally or deliberately infiltrate the ranks of science. In the case of the Lysenko episode, and comparable events in Nazi Germany, the disturbing realization to scientists was that the exile or death of those ejected from their academic positions followed what seemed initially to be severe technical criticism by fellow scientists, but was actually politically staged.” (p. 38).


Robert Bork has commented on a recent high-profile example of “what seemed initially to be severe technical criticism by fellow scientists” (Cattell, 1972, p.38). Bork (1996) pointed out that:


    For egalitarians there is always lurking the nightmare that there may be genetic differences between ethnic groups that result in different average levels of performance in different activities. Only that fear can explain the explosive rage with which some commentators received The Bell Curve by the late Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, which, as a small part of a much larger thesis concluded that there are heritable differences in cognitive ability among the races. Some comments expressed respectful and thoughtful disagreement, some asked for careful reexamination of the data and arguments, but some did little more than shout “Nazi”. Herrnstein and Murray are not racists but serious scholars. They may be right or they may not, but the episode indicates the degree to which the ideology of egalitarianism censors expression and thought in sensitive areas. (pp. 267-268).


Many contemporary events amply illustrate the truly inquisitional nature of modern liberalism in the defense of radical egalitarianism. The titles of some papers written by targets of the inquisition are informative, such as “Egalitarian fiction and collective fraud” (Gottfredson, 1994) and “Ideology and censorship in behavior genetics” (Whitney, 1995). While under criminal investigation instigated because of his research, Rushton (1994) wrote “The equalitarian dogma revisited”.


It is Christopher Brand, lately of Edinburgh University, UK, who in 1997 suffered the high penalty of being fired for challenging the egalitarian fiction. Having been on the psychology department faculty for over twenty years, in 1996 Brand authored a book entitled The g Factor. Published in the UK by John Wiley & Sons, one of the largest of the international scholarly houses, the company’s promotional literature contained the statement:


    The nature and measurement of intelligence is a political hot potato. But Brand in this extremely readable, wide-ranging and up-to-date book is not afraid to slaughter the shibboleths of modern ‘educationalists’. This short book provides a great deal for thought and debate.


Brand’s book enjoyed brisk sales in the UK for about 6 weeks, and was scheduled for release in the US, when it was suddenly “depublished”, actually withdrawn from circulation, seemingly at the command of Wiley’s New York executive headquarters. Wiley told the media that the book “makes assertions that we find repellent”. Branded a “racist”, Christopher Brand was in due course suspended from teaching and administrative duties at Edinburgh University. A “Special Tribunal” was convened, following which Mr. Brand was sacked. At the time of this writing, and in accord with the procedures of classical Lysenkoism, the proceedings of the Special Tribunal remain secret.


The present fourth inquisition is directly analogous with the preceding first and third inquisitions. The agenda and objectives of liberalism were established first before, and then with complete disregard for, Darwin’s (1859) On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. The dogmatic position of modern liberalism with radical egalitarianism was established in a philosophical and political context. The positions were hardened into dogma with no regard for the discoveries of the explorations of the 19th century. Additionally, the genetics and behavior genetics that routinely attacked with religious fervor by the radical egalitarians twentieth century science, not nineteenth century political theology. Marx was writing in the 1840s and 1860s, while Mendel’s epoch-setting experiments and theory were not widely appreciated until after 1900.


Unfortunately the radical egalitarianism characteristic of modern liberalism became formalized as a quasi-theological dogma just before the discovery of much new knowledge. Just as the first inquisition arose because the existing dogma did not encompass knowledge of Aristotle, and the third inquisition functioned because the dogma was inconsistent with the discoveries of Copernicus and Galileo, so the current fourth inquisition exists in large part because its dogma is inconsistent with the discoveries of Darwin, Galton, and Mendel.


One must never underestimate what Richard John Neuhaus called “the profound bigotry and anti-intellectualism and intoler- ance and illiberality of liberalism.” (Bork, 1996, p. 336).


The Events of August 1997


The highest honor bestowed by the American Psychological Association (APA) is the Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in Psychological Science. As the APA prepared for its 105th annual convention to be held in August, the house organ American Psychologist (1997) for August announced the winner of the Gold Medal.


    The American Psychological Foundation (APF) Gold Medal Awards recognize distinguished and enduring records of accomplishment in 4 areas of psychology. The 1997 recipient of the Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in Psychological Science is Raymond B. Cattell.


    Joseph D. Matarazzo, President of the APF, will present the Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in Psychological Science at the 105th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association on August 16, 1997, at 5:00 p.m. in Ballroom III of the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers in Chicago. (p. 797).


The 92-year-old Cattell, with a traveling companion to assist him, traveled from his retirement home in Hawaii to be at the meeting in Chicago to receive this special honor, a gold medal award for a lifetime of work. But Joseph D. Matarazzo did not present the Gold Medal on August 16. Instead:


    On Aug. 13, the foundation decided to postpone the presentation of the award to Raymond B. Cattell, in the week preceeding the opening of the APA’s 1997 Annual Convention, concerns that Cattell’s writings were racist and advocated the separation of the races were voiced to the association. (


Since its founding in 1892, the American Psychological Association (APA) has only once changed the statement of objectives contained in its bylaws. In 1892 the one objective was “to advance psychology as a science.” From 1945 there have been three: “The object of the APA shall be to advance psychology as a science, as a profession, and as a means of promoting human welfare”. From 1945, political concerns, left wing, became a more prominent, and contentious, part of the APA. In the files of the historian of the Psychonomic Society are letters from prominent psychologists of the time: “All manner of interests, mostly non-scientific, sprang up”; the APA proliferated into a “chaotic monster” that “fails to discriminate between science and charlatanry”. It engaged in much political lobbying for mostly liberal causes. In protest, breakaway scientists formed the Psychonomic Society in 1959. Many members of the APA drifted away over the years, often in protest of the politicization of the Association. Finally a major schism occurred. In 1987/88 psychologists who wished to separate from the increasingly professional and political APA formed the American Psychological Society. Perhaps it should not be a surprise that the remnant APA was such an easy mark for the Inquisition in 1997.


The New York Times for August 15 reported an interview with Rhea Farberman, director of communications for the association:


    Ms. Farberman said a committee had voted to give Cattell the award “before it knew of the information that has since come to light,” adding “This new information has raised a lot of concerns, and we want to be thorough in making a judgment.” (Hilts, 1997).


This excuse of new information “coming to light” is preposterous. Cattell has never been retiring about his interpretations of data and theory. Frankly outspoken throughout his long career, his views have been widely known for decades among the scientific community. Ms. Farberman appears to be impugning the competence of the leading psychologists that had in full knowledge chosen Cattell for their most prestigious award. It was not even for “new information” that Cattell is on the hit list of the Inquisition; that information has been public knowledge for years.


Poor Ms. Farberman, and the APF, should have realized that with the (as yet) uncensored Internet it is becoming almost impossible to hide the most embarrassing details of organizational snafus. From winnowing great masses of Internet traffic (and admittedly some of it second-hand or further removed, and impossible to cite confidential sources) it seems that it was not new information but failure of courage that tripped up the APF. Apparently the original and lengthly letter of nomination spelled out both Cattell’s scientific strengths and specifically flagged those of his views that are deemed controversial. A committee of some six well-informed past-presidents chose Cattell as deserving the Gold Medal with full knowledge of his works. Then after the award was publicly announced, a well- experienced Inquisitor, Barry Mehler (not himself a psychologist), is reputed to have threatened to disrupt the convention if the award were given to Cattell. Shades of a ‘60s convention in Chicago! Against much advice, and with at least one eminent psychologist threatening to resign if he did so, Matarazzo decided to cancel the ceremony and further investigate the award.


The official citation that accompanied the Gold Medal Award is as follows:


    In a remarkable 70-year career, Raymond B. Cattell has made prodigious, landmark contributions to psychology, including factor analytic mapping of the domains of personality, motivation, and abilities; exploration of three different medias of assessment; separation of fluid and crystallized intelligence; and numerous methodological innovations. Thus, Cattell became recognized in numerous substantive areas, providing a model of the complete psychologist in an age of specialization. It may be said that Cattell stands without peer in his creation of a unified theory of individual differences integrating intellectual, temperamental, and dynamic domains of personality in the context of environmental and hereditary influences. (Amer. Psychol, 1997, 797).


The fact is that it was Cattell’s massive contribution to science that led to the APF decision to select him for this prestigious award, but the decision to withhold it was made on purely political grounds, i.e. that he “advocated the separation of the races.” It is that substantive and theoretical domain specified in the last two words of his citation, “hereditary influences”, that long ago flagged Cattell as a target of the Inquisition. In craven response to the attack on Cattell, the APA announced that the American Psychological Foundation would now appoint a special Blue Ribbon Panel, to consist of both psychologists and non-psychologists, to review the award.


The Accusers


Only two accusers have been publicly mentioned as attacking the award of the Gold Medal to Cattell. Apparently it doesn’t take much to derail an organization as sensitive to the Inquisitional furies as is the APA. Neither were psychologists. The heavyweight was Abraham Foxman, identified in the New York Times as “the national director of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith,” who has “written to the association protesting the award, saying it would give the group’s ‘seal of approval to a man who has, whatever his other achievements, exhibited a lifelong commitment to racial supremacy theories.’” (Hilts, 1997).


Although it was probably the criticism of the influential ADL organization that caused the APA to hold up the award at the last moment, the initiative would seem to have come from the lesser accuser, one Barry Mehler, an associate professor of humanities at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. Mehler has incorporated something that he calls “The Institute for the Study of Academic Racism (ISAR)”.


    On the Internet Mehler has provided quotes of himself: “‘ISAR created this story and it’s far from over,’ Mehler said. ‘It is gratifying to see my Institute attain this level of credibility in so short a time. I will be monitoring the investigation of the blue-ribbon committee.’ ... Mehler ... has made national headlines with his recent criticism of the American Psychological Foundation’s (APF) choice of psychologist Raymond B. Cattell for a lifetime achievement award .... Mehler’s protest has stirred up national publicity in the New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Reuters, and the Associated Press. Mehler has been interviewed by radio giant WBAI in New York and has received numerous inquiries into the Cattell issue”. Mehler has also posted a sample of his writing, a paper entitled “In Genes We Trust: When Science Bows to Racism”. Mehler reports that the paper was a cover feature in the magazine Reform Judaism for Winter 1994, and was revised and republished in four further outlets, 1, The Public Eye, 2, RaceFile, 3, Networking: A Publication of the Fight the Right Network, and 4, B’nai B’rith Messenger.


The paper is replete with passages such as: “With its legacy of Dr. Josef Mengele’s twin experiments at Auschwitz and Dr. Burt’s bogus science, twin studies fell into disfavor”. Adjectives scattered throughout include “racist”, “Hitler’s race ideology”, “Nazi produced”, “Fascist ideologist”, “notoriously anti-Semitic”, “fraudulent”, and it concludes, “we must beware of scientists who wish to play God”.


Such loose use of similies is reprehensible. Mehler is seemingly confusing anti-liberalism with anti-Semitism. Anti-liberalism apparently is often confused with anti-Semitism. To illustrate, in the newsletter Details for July 1997, published by The Jewish Policy Center, Rabbi Daniel Lapin wrote:


    I would like to argue that the root cause of both anti-Semitism and intermarriage in America today is the same, namely, the Jewish community’s disproportionate liberalism .... The vast majority of Americans care deeply about the value of family and religion. They recognize that these institutions have been the pillars of moral society for millennia. They realize that liberalism, which devalues these institutions, is largely responsible for the fact that life in America has become more squalid, more expensive, and more dangerous over the past 30 years .... Though virtually all Americans are too decent to let this blossom into full-fledged anti-Semitism, there is always that threat.” (pp. 1-2).


Mehler has been guilty of this confusion for a long time. In the book Race, Intelligence and Bias in Academe (Pearson, 1997), author Roger Pearson provides a chapter entitled “Activist Lysenkoism: The Case of Barry Mehler”. In this he points out that decades ago Mehler was a student in a “Program for Training in Research on Institutional Racism” that was headed by Jerry Hirsch, and that Hirsch had long ago attacked Cattell. For example, he quotes Hirsch as saying “‘my University of Illinois squandered a career-long research professorship on [Cattell].” Likening Cattell to the “disgraced Vice President Spiro Agnew,” Hirsch railed against Cattell’s “Hitler-like recommendations on the need for eugenic foresight” (p. 259).


Pearson continues:


    Today Hirsch is retired, and we hear less from him. But his torch is being carried by someone who appears to be even more of a zealot. That someone is his erstwhile student, Barry Mehler. Let us look at this disciple of Jerry Hirsch, an excellent example of a political activist operating from the security of the academic world. Mehler has published little or no non-political material: he appears to specialize in politicized diatribes, filled with inaccuracies, for fringe publications on the Far Left, and glories in participating in non-academic TV shows such as Geraldo. His published works have targeted respected scholars with impressive research credentials who reject the aberrant theory that all individuals and peoples are equal (i.e., identical) in their inherited potential abilities. Moreover, copies of these error-filled and scandalous attacks on such scholars have often been mailed to journalists in anonymous envelopes. Recipients have ranged from well-known figures such as Jack Anderson, the syndicated columnist, to editors of student journals and to journalists working for local newspapers in towns where the scholars Mehler lambasts work and reside. (pp. 259-260).


    Several qualities consistently characterize Mehler’s attacks on the scholars he selects for ‘exposure.’ He seldom attempts to present scientific evidence to contradict the findings of their research. Clearly, since they are writing within the limits of their own or related disciplines, and he has no demonstrated or academically recognized competence in these areas, he cannot do this. Instead he falls back on ad hominem attacks, labeling some of America’s and Britain’s finest scientists ‘racists,’ ‘nazis’ and ‘fascists.’ Those whom he has attacked include a long list of distinguished scholars, such as: John Baker (Oxford), Thomas Bouchard (Minnesota), Sir Cyril Burt (London), Raymond Cattell (Illinois and Hawaii), C. D. Darlington (Oxford), Hans Eysenck (London), Linda Gottfredson (Deleware), James Gregor (UC Berkeley), Richard Herrnstein (Harvard), Arthur Jensen (UC Berkeley), Travis Osborne (Georgia), J. Philippe Rushton (Western Ontario), Nancy Segal (Minnesota), William Shockley (Stanford), Audrey Shuey (Randolph Macon Woman’s College), Ernest Van den Haag (CUNY), and Daniel Vining (Pennsylvania). (p. 262).


The Charges


The charges lodged against Cattell have been described at some length. There is absolutely no need here to go into any detail with regard to any of Cattell’s many technical scientific achievements. This is because, true to the form described above by Pearson, the scientific accomplishments of the great man do not figure in the charges leveled against him. The charges fall into three categories: [A] heresy; [B] blasphemy; and [C] cavorting with devils. In taking the charges up one-at-a-time, I hope to show that after cutting through the invective, and discarding the gratuitous ad hominems, there are indeed large kernels of truth embedded in each of them. As with most victims of Inquisitions, the target is largely guilty as charged.


[A] Heresy. The charge is made that Cattell has been, since the 1930s, an advocate of eugenics. Indeed beyond that, Cattell followed Galton’s lead in suggesting that the science of eugenics could form the basis for a new approach to religion. Cattell proposed an ethical system founded in science, to be called “Beyondism”. Mehler tells us:


    Cattell first outlined his ‘evolutionary ethic’ based on natural selection in Psychology and Social Progress (1933), and that “Cattell’s first monograph on the topic was, A New Morality from Science: Beyondism (Cattell, 1972), followed by Beyondism: Religion from Science” (Cattell, 1987).


The invective is contemptible. Mehler tells us that “‘Beyondism’ is a neo-fascist contrivance. Cattell promulgates ideas that he formulated within a demimonde of radical eugenicists and neo-fascists ... it is striking for its extremism, racism, and virulent bias”. Of course the underlying heresy here, a belief in the well-established truth of genetic influence on individual differences, is totally at odds with the radical egalitarianism that is the Inquisition’s most sacred dogma. Only with genetic causes would most of the practices advocated as eugenics be effective. People who have studied the life and works of Sir Francis Galton know that his original “eugenics” has since divided into two parts. One part, the basic science, has developed into what is today known as genetics and human genetics. The second part, the application of hereditary knowledge for the good of man and society, has developed into the largely voluntary genetic counseling of today (Whitney, 1990). Even Cattell is quoted as saying that his ideas have evolved and he is today an advocate of voluntary eugenics.


Contrary to Mehler’s attempts to invoke wrath at the alleged anti-Semitism inherent in research into heredity, he should recognise, as so many Jewish scientists do, that the Jewish community has benefited from hereditarian research and eugenical practices at least as much as any other population. The case of population screening for carriers of Tay Sachs disease, followed by amniocentesis for heterozygous couples and voluntary abortion of affected fetuses, has been hailed as a great “life-giving”. Parents can now choose to have a healthy baby instead of suffering through the agonizing death of a Tay Sachs affected child. For many years screening for Tay Sachs was limited to members of the Ashkenazim because they are the only population group with a relatively high frequency of the gene for Tay Sachs disease (Kaback, 1977). This is applied genetics eugenics in action. So too is the recently announced screening for the first identified gene that is causally linked to colorectal cancer. The screening is to be limited to Ashkenazim, the only group yet found to harbor the gene (Hopkins, 1997a, 1997b; Laken, et. al., 1997). Again, eugenics in action. It is hard to understand how such hereditarian research and application eugenics is in any way “anti-Semitic”, as Mehler has claimed.


Other sources list many advocates in making the point that back into the 1930s and before, many social progressives of both the right and the left were enthusiastic eugenicists (Pearson, 1996). One only has to think of H. G. Wells, J. B. S. Haldane, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, and Herman J. Muller. It has also been emphasized elsewhere that the painting of eugenics with the tar brush of a slippery slope to Nazism is post-war propaganda that is largely devoid of substance (Whitney, 1996). The very recent “exposés” in the newspapers of governmental sponsored eugenic programs in various social democratic countries even into the 1970s (e.g. Canada, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland) serves to underscore the lack of relationship.


The charge published in The New York Times that Cattell is “a man who has, whatever his other achievements, exhibited a lifelong commitment to racial supremacy theories” (Hilts, 1997) needs translation out of political invectese. Yes, it is true that as an outstanding scientist with many other achievements, Cattell has exhibited a lifelong commitment to attempting to understand the causes of both individual and group differences. Cattell is guilty of being a scientist with an interest in the causes of individual differences. As such he has followed the empirical data wherever it may have lead. As just one example of suspected environmental effects, cognitive scientists have in recent decades been very interested in the so-called Flynn effect. The finding that in industrialized societies there seems to be taking place a substantial and prolonged increase in the level of intellectual functioning (Flynn, 1987). This is a phenomenon that Cattell empirically found and reported decades ago (Cattell, 1951).


Cattell is only guilty of advocating a version of secular humanism incorporating aspects of morality and ethics that would be informed by knowledge from modern science. He named it “Beyondism”.


[B] Blasphemy. Mehler plays the Hitler card in order to underscore Cattell’s reprehensibleness:


    Hitler actually shared many values of the average American. He aimed at full employment, family values, and raising the standard of living, and countless other things, including the Volkswagen, which he designed himself for the average family. (The Beyondist, 1994, p. 2).


This is simply an attempt to smear Cattell by making him out to be a fan. Mehler is essentially quoting out of context. He omits the next and concluding sentence of Cattell’s passage, which was:


    The man turned out evil in his militarism and his treatment of the Jews and dissident Catholics, but that does not justify, to a rational person, calling all his attitudes mistaken.


If we were to respond flippantly to Mehler’s nonsense, we could point out that according to customer information at the Volkswagen Company (phone 1-800-822-8987), through March of 1996, 21,276,932 persons have voted with their purchase in agreement with Cattell that in the Volkswagen Hitler did a good thing. But on a much more serious note, here it is only Mehler that is guilty of blaspheme. Mehler in effect trivializes the Holocaust by his loose and inappropriate invocation of Hitler.


[C] Cavorting with Devils. Mehler freely engages in guilt-by- association. Quite a few, mostly obscure or effectively marginalized, persons are named.


Wilmot Robertson seems to be the worst of the lot. Mehler says “To my knowledge, Cattell is the only major academic willing to be forthright about his association with Robertson.” We are informed that Wilmot Robertson has written a few books, including one entitled The Dispossessed Majority, and that he publishes a “neo-fascist magazine” that is targeted toward an educated audience that is named Instauration. But that may be as it may be. Cattell is certainly not responsible for anything Robertson may write or publish. Neither is any interest he may or may not have in reading Robertson’s publications a justifiable reason for denying him a well-earned award for his contributions to science. The recent behavior of the APA seems to indicate that science is still subject to politics under the current rule of the Fourth Inquisition.


Mehler even attacks Cattell’s association with The Mankind Quarterly, protesting that: “Cattell has published numerous times in Pearson’s Mankind Quarterly and Pearson has published a number of Cattell’s monographs.” Cattell has served on the editorial board of The Mankind Quarterly for many years. Although that journal does not always bend to comply with the dogma of modern politicized liberalism, there is nothing even remotely anti-Semitic about its contents. Mehler may understandably resent Pearson’s exposé of his own writings (see Pearson, 1991). but Cattell’s willingness to lend his name to the advisory board of The Mankind Quarterly in no way impugns Cattell’s own status as a scholar, reflecting only to the credit of The Mankind Quarterly.


Another View


An eminent student of the human condition, the recently deceased Hans J. Eysenck, once addressed the very issues that now face the Blue Ribbon Panel convened by the APF to look into Cattell’s Gold Medal:


    This, then, is the “trahison des clercs” of which I make complaint: that both students and their elders and betters have begun to play a child’s game of goodies and baddies, in which a man’s work is judged, not in terms of its scientific content, or on any rational, empirical basis, but in terms of whether it agrees with the critic’s preconceptions. And my suggestion for the future is that which Sir Francis Bacon gave centuries ago in The Advancement of Learning:


    “To have the true testimonies of learning to be better heard, without the interruption of tacit objection, I think good to deliver it from the discredits and disgraces it hath received, all from ignorance; but ignorance severally disguised; appearing sometimes in the zeal and jealousy of devines; sometimes in the severity and arrogance of politiques; and sometimes in the errors and imperfections of learned men themselves ...”


However that may be, there are of course difficult ethical and moral problems and dilemmas involved in the discussion, and the exhortations of militant Leftists should not preclude serious discussion of these problems. Note first of all a ‘Resolution in Scientific Freedom,’ signed by 50 eminent scientists, among them: Francis H.C. Crick, Nobel Prize-winner, Cambridge University; Jacques Monod, Nobel Prize-winner, College de France; Arthur R. Jensen, University of California; Richard Herrnstein, Harvard University; C.D. Darlington, Oxford University; and John C. Kendrew, Nobel Prize-winner, Cambridge University. The Resolution reads as follows:


    The history of civilization shows many periods when scientific research or teaching was censured, punished, or suppressed for non-scientific reasons, usually for seeming to contradict some religious or political belief. Well-known scientist victims include: Galileo in orthodox Italy; Darwin, in Victorian England; Einstein, in Hitler’s Germany; and Mendelian biologists, in Stalin’s Russia.


    Today, a similar suppression, censure, punishment, and defamation are being applied against scientists who emphasize the role of heredity in human behavior. Published positions are often misquoted and misrepresented; emotional appeals replace scientific reasoning; arguments are directed against the man rather than against the evidence (e.g. a scientist is called ‘fascist’, and his arguments are ignored).


    A large number of attacks come from non-scientists, or even anti-scientists, among the political militants on campus. Other attackers include academics committed to environmentalism in their explanation of almost all human differences. And a large number of scientists, who have studied the evidence and are persuaded of the great role played by heredity in human behavior, are silent, neither expressing their beliefs clearly in public, nor rallying strongly to the defence of their more outspoken colleagues.


    The results are seen in the present academy; it is virtually heresy to express a hereditarian view, or to recommend further study of the biological bases of behavior. A kind of orthodox environmentalism dominates the liberal academy, and strongly inhibits teachers, researchers, and scholars from turning to biological explanations or efforts. Now, therefore, we the undersigned scientists from a variety of fields, declare the following beliefs and principles:


    (1) We have investigated much evidence concerning the possible role of inheritance in human abilities and behaviors, and “we believe such hereditary influences” are very strong.


    (2) We wish strongly to encourage research into the biological and hereditary bases of behavior, as a major complement to the environmental efforts at explanation.


    (3) We strongly defend the right, and emphasize the scholarly duty, of the teacher to discuss hereditary influences on behavior, in appropriate settings and with responsible scholarship.


    (4) We deplore the evasion of hereditary reasoning in current textbooks, and the failure to give responsible weight to heredity in disciplines such as sociology, social psychology, social anthropology, educational psychology, psychological measurement, and many others.


    (5) We call upon liberal academics - upon faculty senates, upon professional and learned societies, upon the American Association of University Professors, upon the American Civil Liberties Union, upon the University Centres for Rational Alternatives, upon presidents and boards of trustees, upon departments of science, and upon the editors of scholarly journals - to insist upon the openness of social science to the well-grounded claims of the bio-behavioral reasoning, and to protect vigilantly any qualified faculty members who responsibly teach, research, or publish concerning such reasoning.


    We so urge because as scientists we believe that human problems may best be remedied by increased human knowledge, and that such increases in knowledge lead much more probably to the enhancement of human happiness, than to the opposite.


I was asked by the British Association for the Advancement of Science to contribute an article on the ethics of science and the duties of scientists, with special reference to these events. What I wrote then I still believe to be right, and consequently the body of the text of my contribution is reprinted here in full. This is what I said:


    It used to be taken for granted that it was not only ethically ‘right’ for scientists to make public their discoveries; it was regarded as their ‘duty’ to do so. Secrecy, the withholding of information, and the refusal to communicate knowledge were rightly regarded as cardinal sins against the scientific ethos.


    This is true no more. In recent years it has been argued, more and more vociferously, that scientists should have regard for the social consequences of their discoveries, and of their pronouncements; if these consequences are undesirable, the research in the area involved should be terminated, and results already achieved should not be publicized.


    The area which has seen most of this kind of argumentation is of course that concerned with the inheritance of intelligence, and with racial differences in ability; many even of those who acknowledge that Jensen’s arguments are scientifically correct have argued that he was wrong (and that Herrnstein and I were wrong) in actually publishing the conclusions to which all the experimental work was leading. Stressing the possible hereditary nature of the IQ deficit of American blacks, as compared with American whites, might have serious consequences in jeopardizing the integration between the races so earnestly desired by both sides to the argument; carrying out further research might offend liberal opinion, and lead to further dispute, strife, and even bloodshed.


    What good could come of work along these lines, it was frequently argued; the results would be of purely academic interest as both sides were agreed that there was much overlap in ability between the two races, so that each individual would still have to be judged in terms of his particular pattern of abilities, rather than as a member of a particular race. Better let sleeping dogs lie and studiously turn a blind eye to such facts and theories as might impinge on the general belief in universal egalitarianism, and threaten its very foundations.


    “I believe that there are powerful arguments against this modern belief in the opportunistic silencing of inconvenient theories, and the refusal to support research which might unearth equally inconvenient facts, all in the supposed interests of society. The first argument by itself, I would suggest, is quite conclusive; it is based on the impossibility of forecasting the social consequences (or even the scientific consequences) of one’s findings and theories. It is impossible to read the history of science without becoming aware of the fact that even the greatest scientists were incapable of looking ahead even a few years and predicting the consequences of their actions.” (Eysenck, 1997, pp 45-48).


Guilty as Charged


With regard to Giordano Bruno, “His reward indeed came even for his faulty utterances when, toward the end of the nineteenth century, thoughtful men from all parts of the world united in erecting his statue on the spot where he had been burned by the Roman Inquisition nearly three hundred years before.” (White, 1896/1965, p.80).


We can only hope that the Blue Ribbon Panel of the APF can render its verdict with regard to Raymond B. Cattell in a more timely fashion.






Egalitarian Fiction and Collective Fraud


By Linda S. Gottfredson


This paper originally appeared in Society, March-April 1994 v31 n3 p53(7)


Linda S. Gottfredson is professor of educational studies at the University ofDelaware and co-director of the Project for the Study of Intelligence and Society. She has published widely on fairness in testing and racial inequality, focusing most recently on race-norming and the dilemmas in managing workforce diversity. Her current work examines social policy based on the egalitarian fiction.


Social science today condones and perpetuates a great falsehood - one that undergirds much current social policy. This falsehood, or “egalitarian fiction,” holds that racial-ethnic groups never differ in average developed intelligence (or, in technical terms, g, the general mental ability factor). While scientists have not yet determined their source, the existence of sometimes large group differences in intelligence is as well-established as any fact in the social sciences. How and why then is this falsehood perpetrated on the public? What part do social scientists themselves play, deliberately or inadvertently, in creating and maintaining it? Are some of them involved in what might be termed “collective fraud?” Intellectual dishonesty among scientists and scholars is, of course, nothing new. But watchdogs of scientific integrity have traditionally focused on dishonesty of individual scientists, while giving little attention to the ways in which collectivities of scientists, each knowingly shaving or shading the truth in small but similar ways, have perpetuated frauds on the scientific community and the public at large. Perhaps none of the individuals involved in the egalitarian fiction could be accused of fraud in the usual sense of the term. Indeed, I would be the first to say that, like other scientists, most of these scholars are generally honest. Yet, their seemingly minor distortions, untruths, evasions, and biases collectively produce and maintain a witting falsehood. Accordingly, my concern here is to explore the social process by which many otherwise honest scholars facilitate, or feel compelled to endorse, a scientific lie.


The Egalitarian Fiction


It is impossible here to review the voluminous evidence showing that racial-ethnic differences in intelligence are the rule rather than the exception (some groups performing better than whites and others worse), and that the well-documented black-white gap is especially striking. All groups span the continuum of intelligence, but some groups contain greater proportions of individuals that are either gifted or dull than others. Three facts regarding these group differences are of particular importance here for together they contradict the claim that there are no meaningful group differences. Racial-ethnic differences in intelligence are real. The large average group differences in mental test scores in the United States do not result from test bias, which is minuscule overall, as even a National Academy of Science panel concluded in 1982. Moreover, intelligence and aptitude tests measure general mental abilities, such as reasoning and problem solving, not merely accumulated bits of knowledge - and thus tap what experts and laymen alike view as “intelligence.”


Regardless of how we choose to construe them, differences in intelligence are of great practical importance. Overall they predict performance in school and on the job better than any other single attribute or condition we have been able to measure. Intelligence certainly is not the only factor that affects performance, but higher levels of intelligence greatly increase people’s odds of success in many life settings. Group disparities in intelligence are stubborn. Although individuals fluctuate somewhat in intelligence during their lives, differences among groups seem quite stable. The average black-white difference, for example, which appears by age six, has remained at about 18 Stanford-Binet IQ points since it was first measured in large national samples over seventy years ago. It is not clear yet why the disparities among groups are so stubborn - the reasons could be environmental, genetic, or a combination of both - but so far they have resisted attempts to narrow them. Although these facts may seem surprising, most experts on intelligence believe them to be true but few will acknowledge their truth publicly.


Misrepresentation of Expert Opinion


The 1988 book The IQ Controversy: The Media and Public Policy, by psychologist-lawyer Mark Snyderman and political scientist Stanley Rothman provides strong evidence that the general public receives a highly distorted view of opinion among “IQ experts.” In essence, say Snyderman and Rothman, accounts in major national newspapers, newsmagazines, and television reports have painted a portrait of expert opinion that leaves the impression that “the majority of experts in the field believe it is impossible to adequately define intelligence, that intelligence tests do not measure anything that is relevant to life performance, and that they are biased against minorities, primarily blacks and Hispanics, as well as against the poor.” However, say the authors, the survey of experts revealed quite the opposite: On the whole, scholars with any expertise in the area of intelligence and intelligence testing ... share a common view of [what constitute] the most important components of intelligence, and are convinced that [intelligence] can be measured with some degree of accuracy. An overwhelming majority also believe that individual genetic inheritance contributes to variations in IQ within the white community, and a smaller majority express the same view about the black-white and SES [socioeconomic] differences in IQ.


Unfortunately, such wholesale misrepresentation of expert opinion is not limited to the field of intelligence, as Rothman has shown in parallel studies of other policy-related fields such as nuclear energy or environmental cancer research. However, the study of IQ experts revealed something quite surprising. Most experts’ private opinions mirrored the conclusions of psychologist Arthur Jensen, whom the media have consistently painted as extreme and marginal for holding precisely those views. As Snyderman and Rothman point out, the experts disclosed their agreement with this “controversial” and putatively marginal position only under cover of anonymity. No one, not even Jensen himself, had any inkling that his views now defined the mainstream of expert belief. Although Jensen regularly received private expressions of agreement, he and others had been, as Snyderman and Rothman note, widely castigated by the expert community for expressing some of those views. Several decades ago, most experts, among them even Jensen, believed many of the views that the media now wrongly describe as mainstream - for example, that cultural bias accounts for the large black-white differences in mental test scores. While the private consensus among IQ experts has shifted to meet Jensen’s “controversial” views, the public impression of their views has not moved at all. Indeed, the now-refuted claim that tests are hopelessly biased is treated as a truism in public life today. The shift in private, if not public, beliefs among IQ experts is undoubtedly a response to the overwhelming weight of evidence which has accumulated in recent decades on the reality and practical importance of racial-ethnic differences in intelligence. This shift is by all indications a begrudging one, and certainly no flight into “racism.”


Snyderman and Rothman found that as many IQ experts as journalists and science editors (two out of three) agreed with the statement that “strong affirmative action measures should be used in hiring to assure black representation.” Fully 63 percent of the IQ experts described themselves as liberal politically, 17 percent as middle of the road, and 20 percent as conservative - not much different than the results for journalists (respectively, 64, 21, and 16 percent). Moreover, as Snyderman and Rothman suggest (and as is consistent with personal accounts by Jensen and others), many of the surveyed experts, while agreeing with Jensen’s conclusions, may disapprove of his expressing these conclusions openly. Consistent with this, when queried about their respect for the work of fourteen individuals who have written about intelligence or intelligence testing, the IQ experts rated Jensen only above the widely but apparently unjustly) vilified Cyril Burt. Despite the fact that most agreed with Jensen, they rated him far lower than often like-minded psychometricians who had generally stayed clear of the fray. Jensen even received significantly lower ratings than his vocal critics, such as psychologist Leon Kamin, whose scientific views are marginal by the experts’ own conclusions. By contrast, the experts in environmental cancer research behaved as one would expect; they gave higher reputational ratings to peers who are closer to the mainstream than to high-profile critics. Snyderman’s and Rothman’s findings therefore suggest that a high proportion of experts are misrepresenting their beliefs or are keeping silent in the face of a public falsehood. It is no wonder that the public remains misinformed on this issue.


Living Within a Lie


IQ experts feel enormous pressure to “live within a lie,” to use a phrase by Czech writer and leader Vaclav Ravel characterizing daily life under communist rule n Eastern Europe. Ravel argued, in The Power of the Powerless, that, by living a lie, ordinary citizens were complicit in their own tyranny. Every greengrocer, every clerk who agreed to display official slogans not reflecting his own beliefs, or who voted in elections known to be farcical, or who feigned agreement at political meetings, normalized falsification and tightened the regime’s grip on thought. Each individual who lived the lie, who capitulated to “ideological pseudo-reality, “ became a petty instrument of the regime. As many commentators have noted, Americans may not speak certain truths about racial matters today. To adapt a phrase, there is a “structured silence.”


Social scientists had already begun subordinating scientific norms to political preferences and creating much of our current pseudo-reality on race by the mid-1960s. Sociologist Eleanor Wolf, in a 1972 article in Race, for example, detailed her distress at how fellow social scientists were misusing research data to support particular positions on civil rights policy: presenting inconclusive data as if it were decisive; lacking candor about “touchy” subjects (such as the undesirable behavior of lower-class students); blurring or shaping definitions (segregation, discrimination, racism) to suit “propagandistic” purposes; making exaggerated claims about the success of favored policies (compensatory education and school integration) while minimizing or ignoring contrary evidence. As a result, social science and social policy are now dominated by the theory that discrimination accounts for all racial disparities in achievements and well-being. This theory collapses, however, if deprived of the egalitarian fiction, as does the credibility of much current social policy. Neither could survive intact if their central premise were scrutinized.


No wonder, then, that IQ researchers find themselves under great professional and institutional pressure to avoid not only engaging in such scrutiny but even appearing to countenance it. The scrutiny itself must be discredited; the egalitarian fiction must be raised above serious scientific question. Scientists must at least appear to believe the dogma. As was the case in Ravel’s communist-dominated Eastern Europe, in American academe feigned belief in the official version of reality is maintained largely by routine obeisance of academics as they pursue their own ambitions.


Scholars realize their scholarly ambitions primarily through other scholars. Peer recognition is the currency of academic and scientific life. It is crucial to a scholarly reputation and all the steps toward status and success - publications, professional invitations and awards, promotion, tenure, grants, fellowships, election to professional office, appointment to prestigious panels. One’s ability even to carry out certain kinds of research, funded or not, may be contingent upon peer recognition and respect - for instance, getting collaborators, subjects, or cooperation from potential research sites. Just as in personal life, a high professional reputation depends upon a sustained history of “appropriate” behavior, and it may be irreparably damaged by hints of scandal or impropriety. Similarly, the reputations of scientists and their organizations are enhanced or degraded by those for whom they show regard and approval. Associating oneself with highly regarded individuals or ideas enhances, even if slightly, one’s own status.


Awarding an honor to a luminary can enhance the reputation of one’s own organization, especially if the recipient accepts the honor with genuine appreciation. By the same token, one risks “staining” one’s reputation by associating with, honoring, defending, or even failing to condemn the “wrong” sort of individual or idea. In short, how one gives or withholds one’s regard is important for one’s professional reputation because it affects the regard one receives. Such a social system enhances the integrity of science and is furthered by personal ambition when the members of the community base their regard on scholarly norms, such as competence, creativity, and intellectual rigor. However, such . a system breeds intellectual corruption when members systematically subordinate scientific norms to other considerations -money, politics, religion, fear. This is what appears to be happening today in the social sciences on matters of race and intelligence. As sociologist Robert Gordon argues, social science has become “one-party science.”


Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, virtually all American intellectuals publicly adhere to, if not espouse, the egalitarian fiction. And many demonstrate their party loyalty by enforcing the fiction in myriad small ways in their academic routine, say, by off-handedly dismissing racial differences in intelligence as “a racist claim, of course,” criticizing authors for “blaming the victim,” or discouraging students and colleagues from doing “sensitive” research. One can feel the gradient of collective alarm and disapproval like a deepening chill as one approaches the forbidden area. Researchers who cross the line occasionally face overt censorship, or calls for it. For example, one prominent (neoconservative) editor rejected an author’s paper, despite finding it scientifically sound, because there are social “considerations” which “overweigh the claims of social science.” Another eminent editor, after asking an author to soften the discussion in his article, recently published the revised paper with an editorial postscript admonishing scientists in the field to find a “balance” between the need for free exchange of research results on intelligence and the (presumably comparable) “need” that “no segment of our society...feel threatened” by it.


Covert and Overt Censorship


Whether motivated by a sincere concern over supposedly “dangerous” ideas or by a desire to distance themselves publicly from unpopular ideas, editors who use such non-academic standards discourage candor and stifle debate. They deaden social science by choking off one source of the genuine differences of opinion that are its lifeblood. Overt censorship of research is uncommon, probably because it is an obvious affront to academic norms. Less striking forms of censorship directly affect many more academics, however, and so may be more important. Easier to practice without detection and to disguise as “ academic judgment, “ they serve to keep scholars from pursuing ideas that might undermine the egalitarian dogma.


A less obvious form of censorship, which has become somewhat common recently, is indirect censorship. It is accomplished when academic or scientific organizations approve some views but repudiate or burden others on ideological grounds. Sometimes the ideological grounds are explicit Campus speech codes are a well-known example which, had they been upheld in the courts, would have made repudiation of the egalitarian fiction a punishable offense on some campuses. The earlier (unsuccessful) attempt to include possible “offense to minority communities” as grounds for refusing human subjects approval is another example.


Gordon reports yet others, including the National Institutes of Health’s new extra layer of review for politically “sensitive” grant proposals and the University of Delaware’s recent policy (reversed by a national arbitrator) of banning a particular funding source because, so the university claimed, it supports research on race which “conflicts with the university’s mission to promote racial and cultural diversity.” Gordon also outlines in detail - as political scientist Ian Blits has done - the covert application of ideological standards to facilitate expression of some views but burden others. This form of indirect censorship, also falling under the rubric of “political correctness,” occurs when university administrators, faculty, or officers of professional associations disguise as “professional judgment” an ideological bias in their enforcing of organizational rules, extending faculty privileges, protecting faculty rights, and weighing evidence in faculty promotions and grievances.


Recently, some American universities have invoked “professional judgment” as a pretext for reclassifying “controversial” scholarly publications in their annual merit reviews as “non-research,” to misrepresent outside peer reviews in evaluating controversial professionals up for promotion, and to limit student access to these professors. Such thinly veiled bias publicly demonstrates the officials’ own adherence to the prescribed institutional attitudes and their willingness to enforce them, not only protecting those officials from protest but also encouraging fellow members of the institution to toe the line.


Covert censorship is far more common than overt or indirect censorship. It consists of bias in the application of scientific norms when reviewers evaluate their peers’ work for funding, publication, presentation, or dissemination. Individual ideological biases are found in all fields, of course, but the hope is that such biases remain small and will cancel each other out over the long run - hence the importance of a free and open exchange of data, theories, and results. What I have in mind is systematic bias and a pervasive double standard which impedes one line of research and accords another undeserved hegemony. In one-party science, the disfavored line of work is subjected to intense scrutiny and nearly impossible standards, while the favored line of work is held to lax standards in which flaws are overlooked (called “oversight bias” in the psychological literature). Similarly, the disfavored idea is rejected unless it is “balanced” by including proponents of the favoapplication of scientific norms when reviewers evaluate their peers’ work for funding, publication, presentation, or dissemination.


The broader circle of critics in the social sciences often implicitly dismisses the legitimacy of research on intelligence itself by arguing that “intelligence” is undefinable or unmeasurable - as if the critics’ own favored constructs (social class, culture, self-concept, anxiety, and so on) were as well validated and operationalized. Others now also seek to deny IQ researchers (but not themselves) use of the concept “race” because, they assert, race is not a biological condition, but is socially constructed. The double standards can even ricochet back and forth, depending on the particular question being considered. Gordon recalls how sociologists failed to criticize sociologist James Coleman for omitting student ability from his analyses of school integration (which led to overstating the impact of integrated schools on black achievement-for sociologists a favorable outcome), but how they criticized him roundly for the very same omission in analyses of private versus public schools, (which led to overstating the impact of private schools on black achievement - an unfavorable outcome). In short, in one-party science, scientific regard flows like political patronage to loyal and active party members, who can demonstrate their loyalty by being alert to hints of dissidence. Like all one-party political systems, one-party science becomes intellectually corrupt and arrogant as it gains confidence in its power.


The most insidious corruption to which one-party science leads is pervasive self-censorship, what involved researchers generally prefer to regard as “prudence” or “avoiding unnecessary trouble.” Coleman has drawn particular attention to the problem of “self-suppression” - “the impulse not to ask the crucial question” - in research on race. In an example from his own research for the influential “Coleman Report,” he describes his failure to conduct important analyses that might have produced embarrassing findings about the abilities of black teachers. Another way of avoiding unwanted results is to ignore certain data, subjects, or variables. Or unwanted results can be omitted, buried in footnotes, explained away, or simply ignored in one’s conclusions. The most subtle form of self-censorship is deliberate avoidance of making crucial connections, or denying them. Psychologist Richard Herrnstein has noted that it was his drawing out the implications of one such connection, namely, that some portion of (white) social class differences in intelligence is genetic, that sparked his public excoriation in the 1970s.


Normally, scholars are eager to explicate illuminating connections between sub specialties. They are reluctant to do so, however, when these connections put in question the egalitarian dogma on race. Virtually all sociologists and economists ignore the literature on intelligence despite its central importance to core issues in their disciplines, such as inequalities in occupation and income.


Many psychometricians, especially those working for large testing organizations, avoid referring to “intelligence” and often seem reluctant to say much about the practical or theoretical meaning of the racial differences they observe on unbiased tests. But even remaining within one’s sub field is often not enough, for the field of intelligence itself is widely suspect. Hence some scholars explicitly disavow unpopular connections that critics might attribute to them. For example, they will argue in favor of the importance of intelligence for scholastic performance but then assure their readers, over-optimistically, that the racial gap “!seems to be closing rapidly.” The tenor of these preemptive disclaimers is clear. While researchers in any field may lightly dismiss the credibility of key connections regarding race and intelligence, no one ever lightly endorses their credibility with impunity. Even those of us committed to candor are exceedingly cautious when expressing informed opinions on certain topics, especially the genetics of race. Thus, publicly stated opinions of researchers about matters outside their sub fields tend in one direction -to dispute or undercut the facts necessary for toppling the egalitarian fiction. What may be tolerable behavior at the individual level becomes intolerable bias at the aggregate level. Censorship - even self-censorship - requires justification, or at least apparent justification. On the whole, those who would squelch open inquiry of the egalitarian fiction base their justification on two assertions: 1) Research on racial differences in intelligence has already been scientifically “discredited.” 2) Inquiry into racial differences is immoral.


Point one asserts that the egalitarian premise is absolute truth and hence beyond scientific scrutiny. Point two is indifferent to its truth. Both counsel outrage at the very thought of the research. The claim that the research has been discredited rests largely on extensive misrepresentation that is often embarrassingly crude or casual - for example, contradicting arguments an author never made, while ignoring what was actually stated; attributing policy preferences to an author which are opposite of what the author actually expressed; or simply alleging fraud or gross incompetence without any substantiation whatsoever. The claim that the research is immoral rests squarely on the view that, regardless of the truth, the study itself can only be harmful. In fact, some critics assert (mostly privately) that the greater the truth, the greater the danger it poses to lower-scoring groups, and thus the greater the need to suppress it.


Despite their differences, both justifications for censorship often take the form of demonizing open inquiry by labeling it (and the people who practice it) as “dangerous,” “fascist,” “ideological,” or “racist.” The study of race and intelligence is something, they tell us, that no decent person - let alone a serious scientist - would ever do and that every decent person and serious researcher would oppose. Thus, in a kind of Orwellian inversion, marked by what Gordon calls “high talk and low blows,” the suppression of science presents itself as science itself. Intellectual dishonesty becomes the handmaiden of social conscience, and ideology is declared knowledge while knowledge is dismissed as mere ideology. Neither social policy, nor science, nor society itself is served well by scientific silence on racial differences in intelligence.


Enforcement of the egalitarian fiction has tragic consequences, especially for blacks. The outcomes are even worse than researchers of intelligence predicted two decades ago. The falsehood, because it tries to defy a reality that has conspicuous repercussions in daily life, is doing precisely what it was meant to avoid: producing pejorative racial stereotypes, fostering racial tensions, stripping members of lower-scoring groups of their dignity and incentives to achieve, and creating permanent social inequalities between the races. Enforcement of the lie is gradually distorting and degrading all institutions and processes where intelligence is at least somewhat important (which is practically everywhere) but especially where it is most important (in public schools, higher education, the professions, and high-level executive work). The falsehood requires that there be racial preferences and that their use be disguised, wherever intelligence has at least moderate importance. Society is thus being shaped to meet the dictates of a collective fraud. The fiction is aiding and abetting bigots to a far greater degree than any truth ever could, because its specific side-effects - racial preferences, official mendacity, free-wielding accusations of racism, and falling standards - are creating deep cynicism and broad resentment against minorities, blacks in particular, among the citizenry.


Enforcement of the egalitarian fiction is not a moral or scientific imperative; it is merely political. It is terribly short-sighted, for it corrupts both science and society. However, just as the fiction is sustained by small untruths, so can it be broken down by many small acts of scientific integrity. This requires no particular heroism. All that is required is for scientists to act like scientists - to demand, clearly and consistently, respect for truth and for free inquiry in their own settings, and to resist the temptation to win easy approval by endorsing a comfortable lie.






Ideology and Censorship in Behavior Genetics


Glayde Whitney’s address to the

Behavior Genetics Association


This paper originally appeared in The Mankind Quarterly , vol. 35, number 4, pp. 327-342


Scott-Townsend Publishers, Washington DC., Summer 1995


Glayde Whitney

Past President Behavior Genetics Association

Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida


Presented below is the entire text of my presidential address presented to the Behavior Genetics Association (BGA) on the occasion of its 25th annual meeting at Richmond, VA on the second of June, 1995. Since the journal Behavior Genetics is sponsored by the BGA, some explanation is required as to why this presidential address is not published in the Association’s own journal.


The primary topic of the address was ideologically-based dogma and taboo hampering the pursuit of knowledge in the science of behavior genetics. The response to the address has been such a parody of political correctness that it might appear to be an instance of collusion between the perpetrator and the detractors for the purpose of exposing an absurdity of our times. However sadly, there is no collusion. Both the author and the detractors appear to be sincere.


The address was presented at an evening banquet. The very next morning at a meeting of the BGA Executive Committee the author was shunned except for a brief scolding, and was the recipient of demeaning ad hominem asides. The Executive Committee busied itself with how to distance the BGA from the offensive talk. The editor of Behavior Genetics refused to publish the paper (contrary to understood policy) and the Executive Committee voted (with one abstention - mine) to issue an official statement of denouncement. Then shortly after the meeting there began a call for the author to resign from the BGA. As stated in a public mention of the affair (Science, 1995), officers of the BGA, and a few others, began to post condemnatory “open letters” on the BGA’s electronic bulletin board.


The issuers of these calls for resignation seem to have lost track, in the finest Lysenkoist tradition, of the many distinctions between scientific organizations and political/religious organizations. Scientific organizations are composed of scientists with some common interests, wherein science consists of alternative hypotheses, the truth value of which is judged by their congruence with observable data. Typical as a scientific organization, the BGA bylaws state purposes which include the promotion of scientific study, assistance in training of research workers, and dissemination of knowledge. Nowhere in the BGA bylaws is there a creed or a listing of necessary beliefs.


On the other hand, political/religious organizations usually have an official creed, or party platform, to which members swear fealty. Those heretics that violate the faith are typically shunned, expelled, or forced to resign. Science has no heretics, and honest science does not thrive in an atmosphere of inquisitional control (Whitney, 1995). A century ago Andrew White (1896/1965) wrote an excellent historical account of the warfare between science and ideology.Although the battlefields shift, the war continues.


It would be highly misleading to leave the impression that the author is alone, adrift in a sea of condemnation. On the contrary, private letters of support and commendation greatly outnumber the public critics. In view of the attempt at censorship, I greatly appreciate the editors of The Mankind Quarterly providing an archival repository for the address:




Today there are more and better data concerning genetic influences on behavioral and neuroscience variables than ever before in history. We have tremendously benefited from the revolution in molecular genetic techniques - the new genetics. In 25 years behavior genetics has come from being a small field on the fringe of the social sciences to being recognized as central to an understanding of the human condition (Wiesel, 1994). Just a few weeks ago Science noted that the new director of NIMH should be someone who appreciated the role of genetics in mental health (Marshall, 1995). This is an amazing shift from 25 years ago when behavioristic environmental determinism still reigned supreme. We are obviously well into a paradigm shift of major dimensions, perhaps a true Kuhnian revolution in Science and Society (Barker, 1985; 1992; Kuhn, 1970). In the future it might be referred to as the Galtonian Revolution, on a par with the Copernican. The shift is but one illustration of the long-term self-correcting nature of science: Objective investigation of the real world, conducted with integrity and interpreted without intentional ideological bias, can eventually lead to real advance.


As has sometimes been the case for these after dinner talks, I want to take just a few minutes to share with you some personal reminiscences and some personal views. Twenty-five years ago I got my first full-time faculty position. This was after student days at Minnesota, a bit of a time-out for military service, and a post-doctoral stint in Colorado. At Colorado the Institute for Behavioral Genetics was a wonderful setting. Gerry McClearn and John DeFries, along with Jim Wilson, were running the place. There were a bunch of stimulating graduate students around: I recall Tom Klein studying the taste of mice and Boris Tabakoff messing with alcohol. Doug Wahlsten and I were side-by-side post-docs, Joe Hegmann had just left and Carol Lynch was just arriving. Wonderful friends and colleagues, all of them. The best of days in a stimulating environment.


Well then, I got hired to represent behavior genetics in the neuroscience program at Florida State University. A good program but vastly different in orientation. Not a lot of geneticists. I was there only a brief time when one of the old-timers who ran the place came by for a friendly chat. As polite southerners do, he began with a lengthy discussion of weather, trees, traffic, chiggers, and children. And then, finally, by-the-way, he said “Glayde, you know we hired you because we want genetics in our psychology program, but, as a Professor at a southern university, we hope you will have the good sense to keep away from that human business. Because of your location you would have no credibility, and none of us need the flak”!


Well. That in fact was consistent with my plans, I was busy setting up a mouse laboratory at the time and sure-enough had enough good sense to do passably well with mouse research. After all, I’ve still got the job and I’ve been invited here tonight.


To understand my mentor’s concern, we need to view it in historical context. 1970 was an interesting time. Tallahassee, being a state capital with two state universities, had already had its share of demonstrations, riots, burning and looting. It was in 1970 that Black Panther supporters got around to killing jurors and a judge; 1970 that a mathematics building was bombed on the campus at Wisconsin, also with loss-of-Iife (Collier & Horowitz, 1995).


It was also in 1970 that our colleague Arthur Jensen was taking a lot of flak (Pearson, 1991 ). As everyone in behavior genetics knows, Jensen published an interesting review paper in 1969 (Jensen, 1969). Interesting but hardly ground breaking. As a student at Minnesota, I had had the course in differential psychology .With interesting textbooks (Anastasi, 1958; Jenkins & Paterson, 1961) and team taught by such professors as Lykken and Meehl. We had considered 50 years worth of data, and various interpretative theories. Jensen in 1969 had a few new data, by-and-large consistent with all that had gone before. No big deal scientifically, at least not to any student of behavior genetics from Minnesota. But obviously a great big deal in some circles.


Over the intervening 25 years it has become obvious that Jensen’s sins were, and continue to be, two-fold. First, he did not stay within the confines of a reigning dogma, and second, he violated a current taboo.


The dogma of course is that of environmental determinism for all important human traits. This dogma has relaxed in recent years, at least for individual differences, and at least within science. But the dogma has not relaxed for group differences and has not relaxed within politics as differentiated from science. The attacks on Jensen, and by extension on all human behavior genetics, are clearly political, ideological, philosophical.


The Marxist-Lysenkoist denial of genetics, the emphasis on environmental determinism for all things human, is at the root of it (Davis, 1986; Medvedev, 1971; Pearson, 1991; Weiss, 1991). Economic oppression is at the root of all group differences and don’t you dare say anything else. The Marxist invasion of left-Iiberal political sentiment has been so extensive that many of us think that way without realizing it.


It has been suggested that I should talk about “Marxitis” that is, the Marxist infection of ideas. Many of the scholars that suffer from Marxitis do not realize that they are infected. The symptoms of this disease include an intellectual bias, an insistence on environmental determinism as the acceptable cause of group differences. In severe cases, it includes an unbending intellectual absolutism akin to medieval scholasticism. It is lethal to honest science.


A couple of quotes from heretics that have left the movement: “the utopianism of the Left is a secular religion ... However sordid Leftist practice may be, defending Leftist ideals is, for the true believer tantamount to defending the ideals of humanity itself. To protect the faith is the highest calling of the radical creed. The more the evidence weighs against the belief, the more noble the act of believing becomes” (Collier & Horowitz, 1995, p. 246).


There is a “readiness to reshape reality to make the world correspond to an idea” (Collier & Horowitz, 1995, P. 37). There is a “Willingness to tinker with the facts to serve a greater truth” (Collier & Horowitz, 1995, p. 37). And so it has obviously been with many of the critics of behavior genetics. Over the last 25 years, as the scientific data accumulate, as the paradigm shifts, the stridency of the critics intensifies. Driven by ideology and not constrained by the truth, when all else fails they engage in misrepresentation and character assassination. They accuse their targets of committing the very propagandistic excesses that they themselves are doing (Avery, et. al.,1994; Beardsley, 1995; Brimelow, 1994; Gould, 1994; Kamin, 1995; Lane, 1994; Miller, 1994; Murray, 1994; Weyher, Lynn, Pearson, & Vining, 1995).


Some one among them coined the term “Jensenism”. Near as I can tell “Jensenism” consists of scientific integrity, outstanding technical competence, and objective honesty.


Well, Jensen’s first sin was to venture outside the Left-Liberal Marxist dogma of environmental determinism. His second sin was even less forgivable, he violated a Taboo: He mentioned race outside the environmental envelope. The Behavior Genetics Association has been in existence for 25 years. The end of the Second World War was 50 years ago. Peter Brimelow (1995) has suggested that since the second world war we have been suffering what he calls “Adolf Hitler’s posthumous revenge on America” (Brimelow, 1995, p. 1). The posthumous revenge is that the intellectual elite of the western world, both political and scientific, emerged from the war “passionately concerned to cleanse itself from all taints of racism or xenophobia” (Brimelow, 1995, p. xv). The aversion to racism has gone so far that the scientific concept of race itself is frequently attacked. The results are often ludicrous. For example, on three adjacent pages of a recent issue of Science we are led to believe that races do not exist, but that it is important to assess the genetic diversity of remaining native populations, and a black scientist at a black university should be funded to investigate the black genome as a route to appropriate treatment of diseases of blacks! (Kahn, 1994). The many and important distinctions between objective investigation of group characteristics, and prejudicial pejorative values are lost in apolitical atmosphere where objective reality is sacrificed to political creed.


Brimelow suggests that the term “racist” is now so debased that its new definition is “anyone who is winning an argument with a liberal”. (Brimelow, 1995 p. 10, italics in original). He suggests that we feel uneasy because we have been trained - like Pavlov’s dog - to recoil from any explicit discussion of race.


Let’s test Brimelow’s theory of emotional conditioning with just a couple of illustrations of data. Here and now is the setting for our experimental test. Here we are scientists, sophisticated with regard to behavior genetics. We tell our students that we are the scientists concerned with the causes of individual and group differences (Fuller & Thompson, 1978; Rowe, 1994 ). Any time you observe a phenotypic difference between definable groups, it is a reasonable scientific hypothesis that the difference might be caused by environmental difference between the groups, or the difference might be caused by genetic differences between the groups, or by some combination of genetic and environmental differences. Elementary.


Now to look at the data relating to the Brimelow test, we include five figures.


The first figure has data from a UN demographic yearbook (United Nations, 1994). The variable here is murder rate per 100,000 of population, for a few countries. This is a typical representative figure: Among so-called advanced nations, or industrialized nations, the United States suffers a high murder rate. The environmental determinists have many theories, some complex and all critical to aspects of American society. Often we are asked, for instance, “why are Scandinavians in the U.S. so much more murderous than are Scandinavians in Scandinavia?” The answer is that they are not. The premise of the question is false.


The second figure has the same “industrialized” European, largely Caucasian, countries along with an estimate of the murder rate among whites in the U.S. Surely nothing to be proud of, the murder rate among whites is pretty consistent across countries, the rate among U .S. Caucasians is identical to England, and somewhat lower than the two Scandinavian countries. The United States is of course a multicultural, racially diverse country. This same point has been made previously, with data from different sources (Taylor, 1994).


The third figure has the murder rate for the United States across 22 years, by race. Obviously quite consistent, approximately a 9-fold difference averaged across years (Uniform Crime Reporting Program, 1988).


Like it or not, it is a reasonable scientific hypothesis that some, perhaps much, of the race difference in murder rate is caused by genetic differences in contributory variables such as low intelligence, lack of empathy, aggressive acting out, and impulsive lack of foresight.


The United Nations has a lot of indexes; another one is the HDI (that is, Human Development Index). The HDI is meant to index a bunch of desirable characteristics (such as longevity, knowledge, real income, etc. ). Overall, the U .S. ranks fifth among the nations in the HDI. To get fifth on the international list, you combine U.S. whites, who rank first, with US blacks who rank 3lst, a level similar to some other black countries (Eisenberg, 1995), and this after more than a generation of racially preferential social policies. If you equate for IQ, U .S. blacks are actually doing at least as well as U.S. whites (Hermstein & Murray, 1994).


Back to murder rates. Environmental determinists seem generally befuddled by murder, and most of their social policy suggestions, when implemented, seem to make matters worse rather than better. Of course environments do matter, and environmentalistically based policies do have an impact. In 1994, the murder rate in New Orleans, LA, reached 86.5, while in Richmond, VA, the murder rate was 77.9, for second-worst large city in the United States (Perlstein, 1995). Obviously, the environmental determinists are not benign; they do not occupy amoral high ground; their policy recommendations do have consequences.


We can do a pretty good job of predicting differential murder rates, simply by considering racial composition of the population. For example, in the fourth figure we have aggregate data across the 50 states of the United States. The simple correlation between murder rate and percent of the population that is black, is r= +0.77. For Figures 4 and 5, the homicide data are from the U .S. Department of Justice (1981), while the population percentages are from the 1980 census (Race, 1981). I know of no environmental variable that accounts for more of the variation. Rather than the 50 states, we can look at all of the 170 cities in the United States that had a 1980 population of at least 100,000. With 170 data points, it would make a messy scatter-plot; the overall correlation between murder rate and percent of the population which is black is r= +0.69 (Kleck & Patterson, 1993; Kleck, 1995).


Simply for illustrative purposes, the fifth figure is the rate-by-state as in figure 4, but with the values for Washington, DC included. As you can see, the very high murder rate for Washington, DC is simply what one would predict, given knowledge of its population composition.


We could go on-and-on, there are books-full of variables (Baker, 1981; Rushton, 1995). But this is enough to conclude the Brimelow Test.


Do you have an emotional reaction? I know I do: Uncomfortable to even consider; Anxious; Repulsed; Upsetting. I conclude that I have been quite thoroughly conditioned. The Taboo against considering race runs deep. But some of our social problems continue to get worse.


I would like to conclude on an uplifting and happy note. But what to say? Perhaps the optimistic prediction that over the next 25 years, as we get further into the second century of the Darwinian revolution, we in behavior genetics will do for group differences what we already have accomplished with individual differences.






The Case FOR Cloning


By Roger Pearson

Institute for the Study of Man


This paper originally appeared in The Mankind Quarterly , vol. 38, number 3, pp. 69-73


Scott-Townsend Publishers, Washington DC., Spring 1998


    With advances in medical research it would now seem possible to apply cloning techniques to human beings, and C. Richard Seed of Chicago has announced his intention of proceeding with a pilot scheme to implant embryos containing the genes of donor adults into the wombs of surrogate mothers. Because human reproduction has in the past involved a constant intergenerational reassortment of genes, public opinion has been encouraged to react against voluntary reproduction by means of cloning on the grounds that this would produce exact replicas of living individuals. The vailidity of these objections is discussed in this article, and it is pointed out that such objections also constitute an affront against the dignity of identical twins.


    KEY WORDS: Cloning, bioethics, identical twins, birth control, positive eugenics, intelligence.


Citing a “national consensus” that human cloning is “morally unacceptable,” President Clinton has come out in support of a recommendation of the National Bioethics Commission (created in 1995) to effectively outlaw introduction of the new technique. But as we all know, consensus does not necessarily signify unanimity, and the reason the Bioethics Commission deemed such a law necessary is that many scientists are only too eager to begin work in the area. If they were not, there would be no need for legislation. If a country decides to restrict scientific activity in this area, there are in fact several legislative options: to ban all research into human cloning, to try to regulate future research, or third, to ban the actual production of human babies by cloning.


The Arguments Against Human Cloning


If cloning research were pursued, it has been estimated that human cloning could become a practical reality within the next one to two decades. However, some of the arguments in favor of banning cloning were listed in the July 1997 issue of the ABN Journal. These may be summarized as follows:


1. Nobody can claim that the right to clone is constitutionally protected as a fundamental liberty or privacy right - Lori B. Andrews, professor of law at Chicago-Kent College of Law.


2. Once we start down the path of research into human cloning, how do we limit how far we should go - it is a small step from genetic enhancement to eugenics, a pseudo-science aimed at improving the human race through selective reproduction. The nazis seized on these theories of racial superiority and extended them to the most fiendish ends -Mark A. Rothstein, professor at the University of Houston Law Center .


3. In the clone age not there could be other physical replicas of myself running around - R. Alto Charo, professor of law at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. A member of Clinton’s National Bioethics Advisory Commission.


The Arguments FOR Cloning


So if, as Clinton claims, there is “consensus” on the subject of totally banning reproduction by cloning, there is still a minority opinion. What is this and what are the minority’s arguments? On the ideational front, human ecology is a topic which refuses simply to “go away,” and over a half century after the suppression of eugenics throughout the Western world (but not in the Orient), medical genetics is pushing eugenics to the forefront again, and new treatises of eugenic interest continue to appear .It is a simple fact that human evolution (in the sense of genetic change, either eugenic or dysgenic) has not only not come to a halt, but is actually proceeding at a speed heretofore unknown. Birth control methods and modem social conditions have created an evolutionary mechanism which will have altered the genetic makeup of humankind in the time it takes to read this brief comment - and it is irrational to believe that thinking individuals are unaware about what is happening, no matter how studiously they may seek to avoid open discussion of the facts in the current intellectual climate.


The nature/nurture argument has basically been a holding tactic pursued, very effectively, by extreme egalitarians. There are only three possible positions which could be taken on the topic: is human behavior controlled by genes, environment, or both? All serious scientists now agree that human behavior is a product of both genes and environment. As for total genetic predisposition, this view has never been seriously argued, but the extreme environmentalists have managed to successfully maintain the opposite: that human individuals are a tabula rasa, a “clean slate “ capable of accepting any text that the environment, cultural as well as physical, imprints on them.


The deterministic worldview of nineteenth-century positivism encountered enormous emotional resistance, and the past century and a half has been dominated by a view of human nature that emphasizes the software of the human brain over its hardware Freudianism, Marxism, radical feminism, Skinner’s behaviorism, the anthropology of Franz Boas and Margaret Mead, and the theories fashionable in modem criminology, all explain human behavior almost exclusively in terms of environmental influences -while inherited traits are rejected as invidious and offensive. As for those who put these theories to the test, they have all earned that the messenger can be quickly hanged on the nearest tree if his missive is received unfavorably.


In the 19th century, Sir Francis Galton, Darwin’s cousin and the founder of statistics, was deeply troubled by differential fertility patterns whereby young people of ability were neglecting to have children. His gloomy demographic projections are proving to be frighteningly accurate. As readers of the Wall Street Journal already know, 40% of births in today’s America are now financed by Medicaid,l while America’s elites devote their fertile years to graduate training, professional development and global junketing. Economists even explain fertility on the basis of a cost curve: one baby costs the equivalent of X-number of televisions, sports cars, condos, etc. Society suffers from a cruel contradiction: the more accurately it selects its future leaders for training and careers, the more effectively it deflects them from the essential task of species reproduction. Now it is the welfare population that serves as our breeding stock. This is a problem encountered across races, economic systems, and continents.


There are negative and positive eugenics. Negative eugenics calls for reducing the fertility of persons suffering from low intelligence and physical defects that can be passed on to future generations. In effect, cloning could operate as a form of positive eugenics, increasing the number of births of persons whom the genetic lottery has favored with good health and high intelligence. Clones are little different from identical twins, and although in some primitive societies identical twins were regarded with such superstitious fear that the second was customarily killed, surely in our modern enlightened age we are not saying that identical twins are in some way less desirable than fraternal twins or other siblings? A certain amount of cloning would minimally increase the number of identical twins in society - hardly the horror it is made out to be by the sensation-hungry popular press.


As of mid-1996, the global population had risen to 5.7 billion people. By simply glancing into any textbook on statistics, we can see that only one person in 10,000 has an IQ exceeding the mean by 3.7 standard deviations (which corresponds to an IQ of 155 in European populations). Globally, only 570,000 persons are in the range of 3.7 standard deviations above the global mean, whatever that mean may be. It is arguably to these more talented people that we owe the great breakthroughs in science, out of all proportion to their percentage in the global population. William Shockley, who helped make the modern computer possible, was one such individual -who was nevertheless castigated for interesting himself in the link between heredity and human intellectual achievement.


This year, some 8,000 persons will be born with an IQ exceeding their national mean by 3.7 standard deviations. This is an insignificant figure in global terms, yet continued advances in science will demand a continued supply of persons of high intelligence in future generations .By way of comparison, the world population is increasing (births over deaths) by 2% per annum, or 11.4 million per year.


There is a long-standing discussion on the nature of intelligence and “g-loading”: is there an underlying general intelligence, or is high IQ simply a combination of exceptional talents in a number of areas? The pro-cloning argument does not hinge on this question. If IQ is simply a statistical mean score of unrelated talents which are individually heritable, then this statistical mean will itself be heritable in subsequent generations .


Many would correctly argue that it is desirable to select not only for high IQ, but for a nwnber of other characteristics. Let us imagine what we want for our children: health, mental ability, and sense of altruism that embraces the wellbeing of future generations , not only those alive today. It is true that such factors are the product of culture as well as heredity, but so long as heritability is a factor, we are left dealing with the fact that many who exhibit these qualities fail to have children or at least to reproduce themselves at even replacement level.


One of the chief scientific objections raised against cloning, though not mentioned amongst those quoted in the ABN Journal cited at the beginning of this brief article, is that it reduces genetic variability in a population. While this is true, the magnitude of this reduction in variability in relation to the current global population would be in any conceivable circumstances insignificant. By way of comparison, cheetahs have gone through such a narrow genetic bottleneck in the past that at one point there may have been only one or two breeding pairs alive. Indeed, on a less dramatic scale, genetic bottlenecks are a crucial component in evolution, and our ancestral hominids lived under conditions of extremely tight interbreeding, a condition that actually facilitated rapid selective evolution. Modem society has largely blunted the pruning process of natural selection: but every generation remains a genetic bottleneck. With the declining importance of natural selection in our contemporary socio-cultural environment, the future of Homo sapiens today hinges on the fact that it is not necessarily the more capable segments of the world community that will shape the genetic quality of posterity, but only the more prolific.


1. Anita Sharpe, “Cash on Delivery: How ‘Medicaid Moms’ Became a Hot Markel for Health Industry: Doctors and Hospitals Chase Poor Pregnant Women and Fat Reimbursements: Free Blankets and Baby Seats, “ Wall Street Journal, May 1, 1997, AI, A6.






The Consequences of Variable Intelligence


By: Tatu Vanhanen


University of Helsinki, Finland


[The following article originally appeared in Mankind Quarterly, Volume XXXV, Number 4, Summer, 1995.]




Human Intelligence and National Power:

A Political Essay in Sociobiology

Seymour W. Itzkoff

New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 1991.


The Road to Equality: Evolution and Social Reality

Seymour W. Itzkoff

Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, 1992.


The Decline of Intelligence in America:

A Strategy for National Renewal

Seymour W. Itzkoff

Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, 1994.


Seymour W. Itzkoff argues in his three books published in 1991-94 that there are significant hereditary intellectual differences between individuals and groups and that as a consequence of this variation there are very large differences in educability, social status, and economic achievements of individuals and groups. According to him, intelligence is part of each individual’s inheritance, as much as one’s height and personality. Therefore,


    “the issue of intellectual variability in humans and the consequent variability in average intelligence between groups of individuals, and their ethnic, racial, religious, and national identities, is the Copernican problem of our time” (1991, 10).


He challenges the egalitarian dream of socialists, sociologists, and liberal egalitarians, according to which intelligence is uniformly distributed in all populations and all humans were equal to any social and intellectual task if only they were not held down. Itzkoff points out and enumerates great failures of social policies based on these unrealistic views of human nature. The theme is the same in all three books, but he discusses it from different perspectives.


In Human Intelligence and National Power. A Political Essay in Sociobiology (1991), he focuses on the evolution of human intelligence and the emergence of intellectually different human groups, as well as on various consequences of the variability of human intelligence, including the European florescence, the failure of communism, the rise of Japan’s power, the decline of the United Sates, and the Third World debacle. He emphasizes the significance of intellectual homogeneity in ethnically homogeneous nation-states and examines the ways to raise the level of general intelligence “g”.


In The Road to Equality: Evolution and Social Reality (1992), Itzkoff focuses on the failure of Marxists and liberal egalitarians to create an egalitarian and classless society and argues that their basic assumptions of human nature were wrong. They failed to recognize that human beings are endowed with differing quantities and qualities of intelligence and that the same concerns ethnic groups. From this perspective, he examines the hallucinations and misfortunes of our evil century, the methods to achieve classlessness and to end oppression and degradation, the ethic of intervention, the democratic quest, essential feminism, the mysterious ethnicity, and the significance of the wealthy. His message is that America’s social dilemmas are in part due to hereditary intellectual differences between individuals and groups.


In the latest book, The Decline of Intelligence in America: A Strategy for National Renewal (1994), Itzkoff analyses the problems and social pathologies of America and claims that they are related to the decline of general intelligence. His central idea is that new generations are coming from the lower end of the intellectual, and thus the social, scale. As a consequence, a population of permanently poor Third World Americans is emerging. In the second part of the book, he recommends policies intended to turn the trend. The solution proposed in this book is simple: the government should stimulate the finest to form families of the traditional sort in which children are conceived, born, raised, and educated to the highest levels for which they are capable, and the helpless should be encouraged and guided not to have children that they cannot rear and educate to functional cultural levels.


The problems analyzed in Itzkoff’s books are extremely important. He has had courage to take up issues that have not been discussed because it has not been politically correct to assume that there might be intellectually different human groups and that social inequalities might in part be due to variable intelligence in humans. It has been difficult even for evolutionary biologists to accept the idea that humans vary in general intelligence (see, for example, Gould 1981; Lewontin 1982). Even more difficult it has been to accept the claim that there are hereditary intellectual differences between ethnic groups (see Vine 1994). I try in this essay to tell about Professor Itzkoff’s central ideas, arguments, evidence, examples, and renewal proposals and to evaluate the practical significance of his theoretical insights and reform proposals.


The Evolutionary Roots of Intellectual Differences


Let us start from his central idea concerning hereditary differences between individuals and groups. How to explain the origin of assumed group differences?


He traces the origin of intellectual variability of human groups to the geographical dispersion of early humans and to the variation in their environmental circumstances. According to him, Homo erectus originated in Africa, but it possibly split into modern geographical races of man already one or 1,5 million years ago when some groups emigrated from Africa to the other Old World continents.


At this stage of human evolution, from about 1,5 to 0.5 million years ago, various groups of humans, whether races or ethnic groups, seem to have had similar levels of intelligence. There were not many differences in tools used by them. However, after 500,000 B.P., a revolution begins to occur in the North, in Europe and western Asia among Caucasoids during the Pleistocene Ice Ages. Intelligence helped the survival of people in harsh and variable environmental conditions. High intelligence was useful. The average brain size and intelligence increased in Caucasoid populations through natural selection. He says that


    “in the challenging environment of the north, a big brain had extraordinary selective value. These humans could think deeply and analytically” ( 1992, 37).


Finally, about 35,000 B.P., Cro-Magnon appeared in Europe. His assumption is that Homo sapiens sapiens evolved in Europe as a consequence of adaptation to harsh and variable environmental conditions:


    “the northern quadrant of humanity subject to the flow and ebb of the glaciers inhabited a far more challenging and dangerous environment than those living in the tropical south” (1991, 194).


There was not similar pressure for intellectual evolution among the human populations living in “millions-of-years-old tropical garden of Eden.” Consequently, northern populations achieved a higher level of general intelligence than tropical populations.


Itzkoff assumes that the ability of large-skulled, adaptively able northern sub-species of Homo to handle this ferocious Ice-age environment and even prosper probably forced them to migrate for more space. Over the period of 150,000 years, they moved east and south and spread their genes. He further assumes that


    “modern blacks originated in Western Africa after 10,000 B.P. as a result of mixtures between indigenous proto-Negroids and Pygmies, and incoming Caucasoids” (1991, 40).


    [As a consequence,]


    “Negroid and Caucasoid races have biologically more in common with each other than they do with any of the other races” (1991, 42).


The original Mongoloid descendants of Homo erectus pekinensis along the Yellow River Valley also absorbed a steady stream of Caucasoid wanderers across the Siberian and Kazakhistan plains. The same concerns the Koreans and Japanese,


    “who speak a Uralic/Altaic language related to the hybrid Siberian steppe peoples and thence to the Estonians and Finns” (1991, 42).


    [In this way the Cro-Magnon people wandered from their unknown Eurasian homeland to the other parts of the world]


    “hybridizing with the existing transitional erectine-sapiens humans all over the world.”


    [The New Guinea, Australian and Tasmanian Australid populations are possible exceptions (1991, 18, 39). Today’s]


    “racial divisions are the remnant memories of ancient human separations that go back several million years”

    ( 1992, 7).


This is a very interesting assumption on the origin of intellectual differences between human populations and of geographical races. It differs radically from interpretations, according to which the evolution of modern people took place in Africa.


C. B. Stringer, for example, claims that


    “all living people are closely related and share a recent common ancestor who probably lived in Africa. From that African ancestral group, all the living peoples of the world originated. “


He continues that the ancestors of Europeans , Asians and the populations of the American and Australian continents probably share common ancestors within the past 60,000 years. This idea does not presuppose any significant intellectual differences between human populations. In fact, Stringer emphasizes their similarity:


    “What is certain is that the early modern peoples of each part of the world were all similar in basic anatomy and behavior, but regional differences in physique and culture rapidly developed subsequently” (Stringer 1992, 249. See also Howells 1992; Ritter 1981, 98-101).


Stephen Jay Gould, similarly, assumes that Homo sapiens


    “is tens of thousands, or at most a few hundred thousand, years old, and all modern human races probably split from a common ancestral stock only tens of thousands of years ago” (Gould 1981, 323).


Itzkoff’s assumption differs from the “Out of Africa” hypothesis in two important points: (1) he claims that human populations have racially differed from each other one or 1.5 million years, although there have been new mixtures later on, and (2) he provides a plausible explanation for the origin of intellectual differences between human populations. The alternate hypothesis would be unable to provide any explanation for intellectual differences between the northern and tropical populations. The crucial question is whether such differences really exist.


General Intelligence “g”


Itzkoff’s claims that individuals vary in intelligence and that such variation is principally due to hereditary factors. What kind of evidence does he provide to support this claim?


He refers to intelligence tests (I.Q.) that have been carried out in various countries since the beginning of this century. They indicate consistently that humans vary in intelligence. A heated debate has continued on the question whether such variation is more due to hereditary or environmental factors and whether there is any “general intelligence” that could be measured (see Gould 1981; Lewontin 1982; Itzkoff 1987).


Itzkoff refers to evidence of the existence of general intelligence “g” and of its hereditarian character. According to him, 50-80 percent of general intelligence seems to be due to hereditarian factors. Innumerable studies of monozygotic and dizygotic twins have provided evidence on the hereditary nature of intelligence. For example, he says,


    “identical twins reared apart in differing life circumstances are much more similar intellectually than fraternal twins reared under the same roof” (Itzkoff 1987, 142; cf. 1991, 27).


    [ Worldwide studies of sibling adaptation, he continues,]


    “regardless of the race or ethnicity involved, reveal that a sociologically uplifting environment has no long-term impact either on the personality or the intellectual profile that the children bring with them from their biological heritage” (1992, 88).


The results of these studies also imply that the genetic variation in intelligence depends on a relatively small number of genes because the possible variability between even closely related individuals seems to be enormous (see 1992, 31-32; 1994, 101). Itzkoff comes to the conclusion that it


“should be clear to all but the most ideologically and theologically devout environmentalists that human achievement and personality have a dominating biological and thus hereditary component” (1992, 31).


I think that it would be difficult to disprove his argument that human intelligence varies and that hereditary component is dominating in this variation. If we accept the argument on the hereditary intellectual differences between individuals, it becomes difficult to deny the possibility that there might be hereditary intellectual differences between ethnic groups, too.


This is a much more inflammatory proposition than the claim of individual intellectual differences. Everybody has probably made observations of great individual differences in intelligence, but it is more difficult to make observations of the average intelligence of ethnic or racial groups. Therefore, it has been easy to deny the existence of such differences and to argue that there cannot be any significant differences in the average intelligence of ethnic or racial groups. And if all human races separated from a common ancestral stock in Africa only some tens of thousand years ago, it would be difficult to find any plausible explanation for the emergence of such differences. However, Itzkoff has a plausible explanation for the origin of intellectual differences between human groups, as mentioned above, and he provides data that indicate the existence of such differences among contemporary ethnic groups His evidence is based on the consistency of the results of intelligence tests (I.Q.) carried out in many countries.


According to the results of intelligence tests given in his books, the average I.Q. for American whites is 100, for African-Americans 82-85, for Hispanics somewhere in between, and for native Americans in the low to mid-90s, whereas it is 103-107 for Japanese and probably more than 100 for Han Chinese, too. Itzkoff stresses that they are ethnic groups that differ from each other in intelligence, not racial groups, but, on the other hand, he emphasizes the difference between northern and tropical populations. In general


    “the northern peoples of the world, the residue of the original Caucasoids and Mongoloids have more on average brain power” (1992, 50).


This is probably the most controversial part of his argumentation, but because his conclusions and policy recommendations are based on it, those who disagree with him should try to show that he is wrong. It is not enough to say that it is not politically correct to make such propositions. In open society, people should be prepared to discuss and examine also the ideas that contradict their own convictions and belief systems.


Itzkoff provides additional support for his thesis from empirical data on educational and economic achievements of different ethnic and national groups. According to him, it was natural that the technological civilization emerged in the North, in the area of Caucasoid Eurasians. The present great economic inequalities between the north and the south are related to intellectual differences. Therefore, it has been difficult to equalize economic conditions between the industrially developed north and the Third World countries. It has succeeded only in the parts of the world where national ethnic groups have been intellectually approximately equal with Caucasoids. This concerns particularly northern Mongoloids, Japanese, Koreans and Han Chinese.


On the other hand, development aid from the north has not been enough to generate and maintain technological development in Africa. Itzkoff finds further evidence for his thesis from the fact that all immigrant groups have not succeeded equally in America. According to his data, more intelligent ethnic groups have succeeded much better than less intelligent groups.


Social Consequences


We come to the social consequences of variable intelligence. They are enormous. For example, Itzkoff refers to many types of social facts and problems connected with variable intelligence in humans. He argues that social inequalities are persistent because humans vary in intelligence. He accuses the ideology of egalitarianism for the genocides and holocausts of this century. Communists killed tens of millions of people of higher intelligence to further equality. The failure of communism was caused, according to his interpretation, by their erroneous assumption that intelligence is distributed homogeneously among individuals. They believed that the masses could easily be educated to fill the vacuum created by the destruction of the bourgeoisie establishment.


It was not so. Marxists had forgotten Marx’s refutation of those sections of the Gotha Program (German socialist parties) that asserted the absolute uniformity of human abilities. Marx himself believed in the existence of intellectual differences in human beings.


Itzkoff further argues that Japan’s economic success story has been powered by the high intelligence of the ethnically homogeneous Japanese people. Because of universally high intelligence of its ethnically homogeneous population, the Japanese state does not need to subsidize any permanently “catch-up” portions of the nation, and because there is a rich supply of talent ready to step in, the salaries of executives remain relatively low. In Japan, the average chief executive earns about eight times the average of his workers; in the United States the average chief executive earns about 160 times the worker average (1992, 152).


Itzkoff presents an extremely inflammatory and important explanation for the failure of modernization in most parts of the Third World. According to his assumption, it is due to clear differences in average intelligence between the northern and southern populations. Northeast Asia, including mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea, are rapidly rising from war and political chaos because of the high intelligence of their populations, whereas in Africa, Central and South America, and many parts of southern Asia, the pace of modernization has been at best slack. Many hundreds of billions of dollars in loans have simply gone down the drain in corruption and incompetence. The reason for the Third World debacle is in the fact that the level of intelligence is lower in the tropical south. He supports this assumption by the experiences gathered from minority populations of the tropical south living in the north. Some members of such minorities thrive and prosper, but the majority falls into despair.


On the other hand,


    “ethnic Han Chinese living in either Indonesia, Malaysia, or the Philippines achieve at levels parallel to their Chinese compatriots in the U.S. or Hong Kong, despite extensive negative discrimination.” And Japanese, Germans, and Italians born in Brazil achieve as their confreres do in their respective homelands (1991, 195).


The Decline of the United States


The major problem examined by Itzkoff concerns the decline of the United States and its causes. He complains of the lack of open discussion and warns that never


    “in history has a society that has blocked the open search for truth survived to prosper. “


    [ In America, the intellectual leadership of the great public media institutions and the universities has effectively handcuffed the elected political representatives and prevented them from considering solutions:]


    “The taboo word is, of course, race. Because so much of our internal tragedy does involve the minorities of color, the stereotyped excuse is that discussions about biological intelligence and the variable behavior that it elicits will militate against the interests of these minorities.”


    [He does not accept this argumentation, and he tries to show that it is in the interest of all Americans to think deeply ]


    “about this reality of variable human intelligence and whether there might be a connection between this issue and the fact that our national profile is sinking so rapidly” ( 1994, 6).


What does he mean by “decline of the United States?” Itzkoff claims that this decline


    “can be confirmed by any of the criteria that historians have ever used to measure the state and condition of a nation and its people” (1994, 3).


The indicators of decline used by Itzkoff include the rise of criminality in American cities, the status change from a great creditor nation to the world’s largest debtor nation, the enormous loss of high-wage jobs, the fact that some 50-80 percent of the workforce is not able to work and produce at an internationally competitive level, the decline in educational standards and achievements of the public schools as indicated by the quarter-century decline of SAT (the Scholastic Aptitude Test) scores, social disintegration, and the expanding poverty populations at the bottom of society. It seems to me that he has presented enough empirical evidence on the decline of the United States compared to Japan or to some European nations.


Itzkoff explains the economic and educational sinking of the United States by the decline of the average intelligence. The welfare policies encouraged the poorest, least capable sectors of the population, from all the races and ethnic groups to have children. However, he does not provide much statistical evidence for his claim that poor sections of the population have produced relatively more children than more wealthy and educated ones. It is not self-evident that this claim should be true.


According to sociobiological theories, wealthy and dominant sections of the population are expected to have been reproductively more successful than poor ones, at least until modern times (see Betzig 1986; Rogers 1990, Roskaft et al. 1992). Therefore, I would like to see more statistical evidence. One example, to which he refers, concerns the blacks. The proportion of black citizens in the U.S. grew from 9.8 percent in 1940 to 12 percent in the mid-1980s.


Itzkoff sharply criticizes the welfare-policies that have produced a new human zoo. He says:


    “Like animals whom we now have trained to reproduce in captivity, there is a new and growing class of Homo sapiens living within the ostensibly modern societies.”


    [He assumes that even Marx would look at this new and classically unrecognized situation with horrified wonder:]


    “What he would see would be the public welfare hospitals where they are born, the flocks of social workers who minister to their dole, the Head Start teachers, then the special education and remedial classes in the state schools, the drug clinics, probation officers, public health nurses, the police and the jails, the crime-ridden public housing projects, the food-stamps, the underground subways, bus terminals, and railway stations and the spaces over the heating vents on the public streets that serve as sleeping places, the municipal hospital emergency rooms, and then the AIDS wards and hallways where they die” (1992, 90-91).


On the other hand, the invention of “the pill” and feminist ideas decreased the birth rate among educated and more intelligent sectors of the population. Liberal equalitarians told the people that it was not important who had the babies. The children could easily be educated to high levels of social productivity, they preached. To the educated classes,


“both men and women, they urged liberation, careerism, and material consumption, heaven forbid conceiving, bearing, and raising large families” (1992, 91).


[As a consequence,]


“the United States mean I.Q. has dropped about five points over the last several generations, the result of this differential birth rate” ( 1991, 163-187).


Briefly stated, Itzkoff argues that the poor and intellectually lower sections of the population have been reproductively much more successful than the wealthy and more intelligent sections of the population and that it has caused the fall of national intelligence. He estimates that already by 1994, roughly half of the American population can be seen to be sinking below international levels of intellectual and educational achievement needed to maintain competitive production. And he asks, what is “to become of these individuals, and then of the formerly wealthy nation that encouraged their coming into being?” (1994, 107). He assumes that they will be pushed deeper and deeper into the culture of poverty. What to do?


Remedies Proposed


Professor Itzkoff argues that because social pathologies and other problems of the United States have been aggravated by the decline of general intelligence of its population, the best remedy would be to increase the level of general intelligence. He stresses that it is not a purely racial or ethnic issue because those at the bottom of the intellectual pyramid come from all groups, white, African-American, Latino, and others. It is clear, however, on the basis of his books that the problem focuses on African-Americans and other ethnic groups originated from the south.


The remedy proposed by Itzkoff is simple: the most intelligent and educated men and women should bear and raise many more children than those from the bottom of the economic and educational social class structure. Besides, the traditional nuclear heterosexual family should be saved. He accuses liberal egalitarians for hating monogamy and the nuclear family:


    “They fear and despise men as heads of household, and thus with a woman actively raising her brood of children in the home, the kids not out in day care or with illegal aliens acting as ‘foster’ parents. The idea that males and females differ in any important bio-cultural manner, physical or intellectual, is anathema to their unisex ideology, and their despising of historical male and female values.”


    [ As a consequence of liberal policies, Itzkoff continues, we]


    “have lost the children of almost two generations of our educated and liberated women. It has had almost the same effect as if it had been genocide” (1994, 126, 133).


According to his interpretation, it will depend on the policies of the government whether the reproduction trends change to the proposed direction or not. The government should pass


    “ social policy legislation aimed at creating inducements, as well as legal protections, that will lead to the wealthy and successful having more than their share of children and the poor limiting their procreative activity in the interest of their own individual social and economic aspirations” (1992, 160).


The prescription is clear, but it seems to me that he does not yet have any clear idea what such “social policy legislation” should include and how the government could carry out such policies. However, he makes some proposals.


    * First, people should be reeducated.

    * Second, job priorities should be given to married men with families.

    * Third, all births should require the identification of the father.

    * Fourth, men and women at the top of social scale without children should be punished through the tax system.


The government should try


    “to establish a long-term social policy that will ‘encourage’ the birth of 50 percent more children from the upper half of the social and income brackets than from the lower.”


    [It is not clear how it could be done, although he says that we]


    “must persuade the potentially parasitic classes at the top and at the bottom of society to act appropriately. The wealthy educated will have to validate their socially acquired assets by bearing their own offspring or adopting needy children. Those at the bottom should be humanely persuaded, with generous gifts if deemed appropriate but for one generation only to refrain from conceiving and having children” (1994, 192-195).


Itzkoff makes several other interesting reform proposals. I refer to only two of them. He would like to decrease the relative number of African-Americans because their average level of general intelligence “g” is low. The discouragement of illegitimate births would serve this purpose.


On the other hand, he suggests that the “talented tenth” of the African-Americans should produce many more children than the less intelligent majority. In this way it would be possible to raise the general intelligence of the African-American minority.


Besides, the United States should change its immigration policies radically. No more illegal immigration, he says, and


    “those who are here in violation of our laws, along with the children that have been born here in the interim,” must return to their homelands (1994, 161).


Only talented people, irrespective of their race, should be allowed to immigrate to the country.


Itzkoff is deeply worried about the declining intelligence in America because he would like to retain his country among the first class nations in the competitive world of the twenty-first century, which is not possible without a highly intelligent population. America’s crisis is a natality crisis, he says, but the leadership of the United States is indifferent to this issue. It does not care who is having the children.




I agree with Professor Itzkoff in most points of his analysis. Evidently humans vary in intelligence, and this variation is principally due to hereditary factors. He has convinced me that ethnic groups may also vary in general intelligence “g”. I agree with him that social consequences of intellectual variability are enormous and that they can be seen in all areas of human life. The origin of social inequalities is in the fact that humans are not similar in their intelligence and other capabilities. It is also quite probable that a significant part of the persistent poverty in the Third World is related to intellectual differences between ethnic groups. He is probably right in his central assumption that the level of general intelligence would increase if the upper half of social and income brackets could produce 50 percent more children than the lower half. The problem is how to get people to follow his advice.


According to the sociobiological inclusive fitness hypothesis, all organisms are programmed to further their own reproductive interests and not to concern themselves about others (see, for example Dawkins 1976; Alexander 1980). Therefore, I assume that it would be extremely difficult or impossible to persuade the members of any minority ethnic group to sacrifice their own reproductive interests for the assumed higher interests of the nation.


It might be possible to achieve some results by economic and other inducements, but it is quite possible that coercion and even force would be needed to achieve substantial results. Itzkoff has not proposed or discussed the use of coercion, although he proposes that the births should be reduced at the bottom of the social and economic scale and that all births should require the identification of the father. Is this a case in which the government might use coercion and even force to carry out its family policy?


If the father cannot be identified and made responsible for the child, the state might require the prevention of the birth by compulsory abortion. However, if coercion and force become necessary to prevent the births of unwanted children, we have to ask whether the aims are worthwhile enough to justify such policies. Is the maintenance of intelligence so important that it justifies the use of coercion and force against women who break the legal rules of reproduction? I do not know, and Itzkoff has not discussed this problem. It should be discussed because I do not believe that his radical reproductive reforms could be carried out without coercion.


It is true that African-Americans are at the bottom of the social and economic scale, but I would like to point out that they have not been losers in the Darwinian struggle for existence. In fact, according to the data given by Itzkoff, they have been even more successful than the whites because their relative number has increased in the United States since the 1940s. It means that in some way they have become better adapted to their social environment than the white majority. Despite their poverty, they have borne and raised children more than their share, whereas many wealthy and educated and probably also highly intelligent whites feel themselves so poor and insecure that they cannot afford to have children.


We should remember that in the Darwinian struggle for existence reproduction is the only criterion of success, not wealth, education, or intelligence. By this criterion the American blacks have been more successful than the whites.


Itzkoff has brought into discussion the issue of variable intelligence in humans and indicated through extensive evidence and examples its crucial importance in national and international politics. I think that it is time for us to take biological factors seriously and examine their relevance from various perspectives.


As Itzkoff says, the scientific evidence for the biological roots of our social behavior continues to accumulate (1994, 5). It is becoming clear that environmental egalitarians were wrong in their traditional assumption that human behavior and social structures are principally, if not completely, shaped by our environment. Human nature matters probably more than we can imagine. Itzkoff has focused on one very important aspect of human nature, to hereditary intellectual differences between individuals and groups, and he has disclosed its social and political relevance in superb manner.







Reproduction Technology For A New Eugenics


Paper for The Galton Institute conference

“Man and Society in the New Millennium”

16 - 17 September 1999

at The Zoological Society of London

Regents Park, London NW1 4RY


Published as: Whitney, G. (1999). Reproduction technology for a new eugenics. The Mankind Quarterly, XL, #2, 179-192.





The first century or two of the new millennium will almost certainly be a golden age for eugenics. Through application of new genetic knowledge and reproductive technologies the Galtonian Revolution will come to fruition. This new revolution in the new millennium, which I call the Galtonian Revolution (Whitney, 1995; 1997a) will be more momentous for the future of mankind than was the Copernican Revolution or the Darwinian Revolution. For with the Galtonian Revolution, for the first time, the major changes will not be to ideas alone, but rather the major change will be to mankind itself.


In order to briefly discuss some of the reproductive technology that will contribute to the new eugenics, I need first to define the term “eugenics”. So many different people with so many different agendas have appropriated this neat word, coined by Sir Francis Galton in 1883, that the word by itself can stand for almost anything (Whitney, 1990). Surely to some eugenics is a route to prevention rather than mere treatment of the ills of humanity. Also a path to the greatest good for the greatest number. To others eugenics is a new blasphemy, a devil-word; a term of hate and abhorrence, a term that in word associations is supposed to be linked with Hitler, Holocaust, genocide and the murder of innocents.


For the purposes of today’s talk the definition of “eugenics” is one given by Sir Francis Galton himself. In 1904 at a meeting of the Sociological Society, Sir Francis said:


    “Eugenics is the science which deals with all influences that improve the inborn qualities of a race; also with those that develop them to the utmost advantage.”


It is interesting, and overlooked by many, that Galton’s own definition included both nature and nurture approaches to the improvement of humanity.


In that same talk Galton (1904) went on to briefly address what is meant by “improvement”. “What is meant by the syllable Eu in Eugenics, whose English equivalent is good?” First of all, the goodness of a trait depended upon the balance of that trait with others in appropriate proportions; thus goodness was relative to the balance of traits in the individual and also to the make-up of the population. What was good might be much influenced by education, and the goodness or badness of traits was not an absolute, but relative to the current form of civilization. Thus Galton suggested that as much as possible we should keep morals out of the discussion and avoid absolutes, to keep out of endlessly entangling philosophical distinctions. One wishes that some of our current crop of so-called “bioethicists” would heed this advice.


Galton suggested that although


    “no agreement could be reached as to absolute morality, the essentials of Eugenics may be easily defined. All creatures would agree that it was better to be healthy than sick, vigorous than weak, well fitted than ill-fitted for their part in life. In short that it is better to be good rather than bad specimens of their kind, whatever that kind might be. So with men.”(Galton, 1904: 36).


And so with men. As we approach the new millennium we have at our call a reproductive technology that is beyond any imagined by the early eugenicists.


Reproductive Technology


The advances over the last 50 or so years in genetics, molecular genetics, and developmental biology, are placing in our hands a wide range of technology that can be applied to eugenic ends. However, not all of these applications of reproductive technology are new.


Artificial insemination with a thought toward quality of offspring has been around for a long time. Dr William Pancoast of Jefferson College of Medicine in Philadelphia used sperm donated by “the best looking medical student” in his class when he impregnated a woman whose husband was infertile. That artificial insemination took place in 1884, although it was not reported until 25 years later, out of fear of controversy (NABER, 1996).


In vitro fertilization, the making of “test tube babies”, has led to much consideration of a technological revolution in the field of human reproduction. It was only on July 25th, 1978, that Louise Brown, at 5 ¾ lb., was born in an English hospital. She was the first test tube baby (Bayertz, 1994). In the slightly more than two decades since the birth of Louise Brown there have been thousands of instances of in vitro fertilization. About 15% of couples are sterile, and in about half of the cases the problem is with the female, often blocked Fallopian tubes. For these couples in vitro fertilization with subsequent implantation of the embryo allows them to birth their own genetic child.


However, the embryo need not be implanted in the uterus of the woman that provided the egg. The first instance of egg donation was reported in 1984 from Australia (Cohen, 1996). People wanting pregnancy can be implanted with an embryo made with someone else’s egg, or surrogate mums can carry the embryo as a service for someone else. The laboratory access that is a part of in vitro fertilization makes possible a wide range of procedures that depend on access to the embryo - diagnosis, genetic manipulation -and a whole series of further techniques such as embryo preservation.


Cryopreservation, combined with artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization, greatly expanded the possibilities for eugenic births. It has been suggested that the half-life of semen frozen in liquid nitrogen is more than 1,000 years. With liquid nitrogen, frozen semen, eggs, or embryos can be shipped to almost any location. The famous “Repository for Germinal Choice”, founded by Robert K. Graham and Hermann J. Muller, the 1946 Nobel Prize Winner, opened for business in 1980. Originally intended as a sperm bank for Nobel Prize Winners, it was later expanded to accept material from a wider range of healthy and outstanding donors. The Los Angeles Times (Hotz, 1997) reported that as of 1997 the Repository had contributed to the birth of 218 children, in at least 5 different countries, and the children that the staff knew about were all “bright and healthy”.


According to news reports, in June of 1999 China opened a government-run “Notables’ Sperm Bank” that accepts donors in three categories: intellectuals with at least a master’s degree; top businessmen; and successful artists, entertainers, and athletes (Holden, 1999). Clinic officials are quoted as saying that they “would seek ‘select sperm with high-quality characteristics’ to fulfil a popular demand for ‘attractive, intelligent children’” (Pottinger, 1999). It sounds to me like a fine plan indeed.


Nuclear substitution is an even more recent innovation. For mammals the first viable offspring from the substitution into an egg of the nucleus from an adult cell, was “Dolly”, the famous sheep from Edinburgh that was announced in 1997 (Wilmut, et. al., 1997). Such cloning of the adult genome has attracted tremendous interest. Of course the resulting offspring will not be a phenotypic duplicate of the adult that donated the nucleus. Often overlooked in discussions is that the clone will also not be a complete genetic duplicate of the donor. The nuclear genes, those on the chromosomes, will be duplicates, but the mitochondrial DNA will be that provided by the egg. It remains to be seen how important this will be.


However, from the point of view of eugenics nuclear substitution with adult material will be extremely interesting. What is sidestepped is the genetic recombination that takes place at meiosis, the chromosomal crossing-over and the random sampling of a half-helping of genes into the haploid gametes that combine at fertilization. Instead of playing nature’s roulette, the blind chance and dumb luck of sexual reproduction can be eliminated by substituting an already proven diploid genome. One of the major consequences would be a reduction in regression toward the mean for multifactorial traits. The action of Galton’s “law of filial regression” could be largely eliminated. Also, as David Lykken (Lykken, et. al., 1992) has emphasized, some genetic characteristics are not normally transmitted from parent to offspring. The phenotypic traits that result from dominance and epistatic interactions among the genes in a unique genotype are lost with sexual recombination, but can be retained by cloning. He refers to such traits as “emergenic”, extremes of genetic characteristics that are often not familial, but rather emerge as a consequence of a unique combination of genes in a unique genotype. Geniuses are perhaps one class of emergenic individuals. The amazing, often precocious abilities of geniuses has posed a problem for both genetic and environmental explanations; the truly extreme genius often crops up in an otherwise undistinguished family and often leaves undistinguished progeny. As Lykken puts it, “The answer is, I think, that genius consists of unique configurations of attributes that cannot be transmitted in half-helpings” (Lykken, 1999). Such emergenic individuals, where the half-helping of a haploid gamete loses the unique configuration, will have a chance at recreation through nuclear substitution.


Many authors have commented on the irony that Sir Francis Galton himself passed without progeny. With improvement of techniques for recovery of DNA from tissue samples, and nuclear substitution, I expect that Sir Francis’ unique genotype will be reborn in the new millennium.


Pre-natal diagnosis has been a real possibility since the 1959 discovery that aneuploidy, specifically trisomy-21, was the cause of Down’s syndrome. Initially dependent on amniocentesis, newer and less risky procedures are available for the prenatal diagnosis of chromosomal anomalies as well as a large number of single-gene disorders. Advocates of pre-natal diagnosis, combined with the possibility of therapeutic abortion, have made the strong case that these essentially negative eugenic procedures are life-enhancing and life-giving, rather than life-destroying. Instead of suffering the agony and long term problems of a defective child, the pregnancy can be terminated and replaced with a healthy baby. Now so many prospective parents benefit from testing that Down’s syndrome, once the most common form of severe retardation, is becoming rare in advanced countries. So too, Tay-Sachs disease among Askenazi Jews is a well-known success story for the eugenic benefits of pre-natal diagnosis.


Pre-implantation diagnosis and modification, made possible by in vitro fertilization, provides whole new dimensions to pre-natal diagnosis. The revolutionary impact of in vitro fertilization with regard to eugenics is that it involves as a matter-of-course access to the embryo during its earliest stages of development. The cells of early embryos are totipotent stem cells, when separated each is capable of producing a complete individual.


Separation in nature gives rise to monozygous - identical - twins or triplets, sometimes even more genetically identical clones. In the laboratory, cell mass division of the early embryo was first used to produce multiple clones of a human embryo in 1993 (Harris, 1998). With multiple copies of the identical genotype, a wide range of diagnostic procedures can be conducted with some of the clones, without fear of damage to the clone that might eventually be implanted for gestational development.


Access to the egg, sperm, and early embryo facilitates a wide range of genetic manipulations. Many techniques already routine in animal research might find application in human eugenics. Knockouts are individuals in which specific genes have been rendered non-functional. Gene substitution techniques can insert functional genes to compensate for defective natural genes, or to enhance trait expression beyond the naturally occurring range. Transgenic procedures involve the insertion of functional genes, even ones from other species. In wide use for research, a recent experiment demonstrates the application of transgenic technology to primates: Monkeys are being developed that have bioluminescence from jellyfish (Lau, 1999). Personally, I have no interest in having my private parts glow in the dark; however, it would be interesting to be able to navigate like a homing pigeon.


Many additional and more sophisticated techniques are undoubtedly on the way; in June of 1999, at the meeting of the American Society of Gene Therapy, “chimeraplasty” was considered, by which single-base DNA mistakes can be corrected in cell cultures and experimental animals (Gura, 1999). It is only a matter of time until these techniques are perfected to a level permitting moral application to human problems. Many of the techniques mentioned earlier, such as nuclear substitution and genetic manipulations are not yet efficient enough to be unquestionably suitable in therapeutic and eugenic application for humans. But with the pace of research it is surely only a matter of time, and a short time at that.


Designer children is a label often disparagingly applied by critics in discussions of individual’s new abilities to make personal choices and eugenic decisions about their own children. Critics of eugenics blather about invented moral and ethical issues. But as bioethecist John Harris (1998) has said,


    “The best I can do here is repeat a perhaps familiar thought, namely that although this is often taken to be a difficult question and indeed the idea of parents being able to choose such things very often causes outrage, I have found difficulty in seeing this question as problematic. It seems to me to come to this: either such traits as hair colour, eye colour, gender, and the like are important or they are not. If they are not important why not let people choose? And if they are important, can it be right to leave such important matters to chance? (Harris, 1998:29).


Ideological and Political Problems


Which brings us to the issue of social attitudes toward eugenics. For at least the last half of this century there has been an unrelenting campaign to demonize eugenics. This propaganda assault has been so influential that all of the institutions and academic departments that were founded by Sir Francis Galton and Karl Pearson to advance the study and application of eugenics, have changed their name to eliminate the term. As one example, and the longest hold-out, in 1988 at its annual meeting the Eugenics Society adopted a resolution that changed its name to eliminate the word “eugenics”. This organization that had started in 1907 as the Eugenics Education Society, was renamed to the more innocuous “Galton Institute”(Pearson, 1991), to which I am indebted for the honor of being here today.


How is it possible that the prevention of human suffering has become identified as evil? From whence has come the unrelenting propaganda campaign to demonize eugenics, which after all is devoted to the prevention of suffering and the improvement of mankind? In a word, the answer is Marxism, including its present incarnation as Politically Correct modern liberalism.


In order to understand the campaign against eugenics, it helps to place it in the context of an on-going ideological and political war. Two general commentaries about the political scene in America, and that generalize to western civilization, catch the flavor of events with their titles. One is entitled “It’s a War, Stupid!” written by David Horowitz, Peter Collier and J.P. Duberg (1997). David Horowitz is one of the more prolific writers among the crop of American “neo-conservatives”; they are radical-left activists from the 1960s who have grown up. Horowitz is a self-proclaimed “red-diaper baby”, raised in the communist party atmosphere of New York City. It’s a War, Stupid! Makes the point that a one-sided ideological war has been going on for much of this century, a war of socialists against traditional society. As with any war, truth is one of the first casualties. Horowitz’s message is that many of the combatants on the side of the good guys don’t even realize what is going on.


The other title is “America’s 30 Years War: Who is winning?”, written by Balint Vazsonyi(1998). Vazsonyi escaped his native Hungary during the short-lived Revolution of the 1950s. Having lived under two socialist totalitarian regimes, the Nazi and the Soviet, he is personally familiar with the tactics. His concern in the book is that socialism is slowly transforming America. While the liberal media tout the end of the cold war with the collapse of the Soviet economy, it is the socialists who are winning a worldwide ideological and political war. Vazsonyi points out the unique English, Anglo-Saxon roots of what he calls America’s basic founding principles. He identifies four: rule of law; individual rights; guarantee of personal property; and a shared cultural identity. These basic principles are slowly being replaced by socialism. Today we have government-mandated group rights, government controlled redistribution of property, and divisive multiculturalism.


The basis for this late-20th century all-out war against eugenics is that the big winner from the Second-World War was Bolshevism, international socialism. As early as the 1920s, while many western progressive socialists were still also eugenicists, Stoddard was warning of Bolshevism’s denial of heredity (Pearson, 1991). Two of Marxist-Leninist’s bedrock ideological underpinnings became environmental determinism, and radical egalitarianism. In the socialist state, all differences between individuals or groups are said to be caused by past exploitation, and since all people are inherently the same, social engineering can transform the world. Of course genetics, recognizing both inherited and environmental causes, is inconsistent with Marxist ideology, and eugenics, the application of genetic knowledge for the benefit of humanity is anathema to socialist environmentalism.


Everyone knows of the travesty of post-war science in the Soviet Union - the 1948 purging of genetics because it was inconsistent with Politically Correct environmentalism - that became known as Lysenkoism. Under Lysenkoism the only acceptable explanation for differences, even among strains of wheat, was environmental differences, thus they practiced “vernalization”, that is, early education of little plants as they allowed their seed grain to deteriorate genetically (Soyfer, 1994). Everyone knows of Lysenkoism, and rightly criticizes the absurdity of denying scientific reality in the service of an ideology.


Yet today, no one acknowledges the obvious fact that there is no substantive difference between Lysenkoism and official government policy toward education in America (Whitney, 1998).


Both of the major political parties entertain various vernalizations -ever earlier head start programs - while they demonize as “hateful” or “racist” anyone who suggests that radical egalitarianism and environmental determinism miss an important part of the real world. With Political Correctness, and though-control crimes, euphemistically called “hate crimes”, western society is becoming ever more constricted. In some European countries, such as Germany, one can be imprisoned for discussing basic science. In the United Kingdom, long term university faculty can be sacked, as illustrated by Christopher Brand, lately of Edinburgh University, sacked for the high crime of telling the truth (Whitney, 1997b).


A favorite attack on eugenics is to equate it with Nazis. In various ways a slippery slope is argued: official government sanctioning of eugenic concepts leads inevitably to, racism, anti-Semitism, euthanasia, genocide, holocaust, and all the rest of it. Confounding eugenics with Nazism has been so successful a tactic since World War 2, that many people who are interested in eugenics do what they are suppose to do: hang their head in shame and shut their mouth. However, what should be shouted is that the whole argument is a sham, another falsehood.


As Marian Van Court has pointed out, in the first half of the 20th century, a total of at least 29 countries passed eugenic laws, including Germany, United States, Canada, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Greece and Spain. One of these advanced countries proceeded in time of war from euthanasia to genocide. The other 28 countries did not. One out of 29 does not establish a pattern (Van Court, 1998). The post-war propaganda linking eugenics to Nazism and a slippery slope to holocaust is just that: Horrific, continuing propaganda warfare.


Unintended consequences


The tone and content of this paper is strongly supportive of eugenics. However, there is one aspect of traditional eugenic programs that I have concerns about: That is government regulation of any sort. Voluntary personal decisions are one thing, government coercion is another. I can think of nothing as grotesque as to have the likes of Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, or Tony Blair making my reproductive choices.


One problem is that we actually know so little about genetics that it is terribly premature for government regulation. Imagine what the central planners that gave us the soviet economy could do with the vastly more complex human gene pool. Although the Human Genome Project is well along toward sequencing the bases in a human genome (Whitney, 1997a), we know next to nothing about what most of the genes do. We don’t even know how many there are. Just recently the human mutation rate was estimated to be considerably higher than previously thought (Crow, 1999 ). Just in mid-1999 it was reported that the functional human genome may be one-third larger than previous estimates (Wade, 1999).


Playing in the dark as we are at this time, it may be best to let people make their own decisions. We do not need totalitarian control, a set of self-chosen “anointed ones” (Sowell, 1996) controlling the reproductive behavior of a domesticated proletariat. In little understood systems we must expect to encounter what we seem to have encountered, which is unintended consequences.


For example, when effective means of contraception were introduced last century, some of the main results seem to have been dysgenic (Lynn, 1996). Sir Francis Galton spoke of ways to test and bring together promising young men and women so that they would be more likely to form eugenic matches. This desire for assortative mating was not a prime reason for the push for women’s liberation including co-educational higher education, but it has been one of the consequences of young women going to college with young men. Assoritative mating extends the range of a metrical trait even if there is no change in gene frequency (Lynch & Walsh, 1998). With the characteristics of the IQ distribution, if a population raised its average by only 5 points, it would double the incidence of gifted people 3 standard deviations above the mean, and cut by half the number of retarded. Selective higher education may be genetically stratifying our society, another unintended consequence (Herrnstein & Murray, 1994; Weiss, 1995).


The legalization of voluntary abortions in the United States in 1973 may have had the unintended consequence of lowering the crime rate in the 1990s. This is because women at higher risk of raising criminals; teenage mothers, single mums, blacks, have disproportionately higher rates of abortion (Donohue & Levitt, 1999).


As a final example of unexpected consequences, consider the effects of modern medicine on the gene pool. Many eugenicists have lamented the dysgenic effects of modern medicine that keeps alive severely affected, genetically anomalous individuals. However, the provision of supportive medicine may actually reduce the incidence of the deleterious genes. John Hartung and Peter Ellison (1977) have reported that, probably due to the psychological and physical stress of caring for a severely affected offspring, parents of such medically maintained children tend to have fewer later progeny, enough fewer to actually reduce the incidence of the responsible genes.


Although we know so little at the present time, our store of genetic knowledge and reproductive technology is vastly greater than at any time in the past. And our rate of acquisition of new knowledge and techniques is accelerating. If we can just educate the people, defeat the socialist ideologues, and keep the politician’s hands off, then, with the new reproductive technology contributing to the Galtonian Revolution, a brave, and wonderful, new world awaits us in the new millennium.







1963 - An Interesting Exchange of Ideas


The following are excerpts from Man and his Future, a CIBA Foundation Volume edited by Gordon Wolstenholme, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, Toronto, 1963. At this symposium, a number of papers were presented and discussions held. One thing that’s particularly interesting is how they grappled with the eugenicists’ dilemma-- the obvious need for eugenics and the extreme difficulty of formulating a workable plan. The first quote is from Biological Future of Man, by Joshua Lederberg:


    Human talents are widely disparate; much of the disparity (no one suggests all) has a genetic basis. The facts of human reproduction are all gloomy--the stratification of fecundity by economic status, the new environmental insults to our genes, the sheltering of humanitarian medicine [of] the once-lethal defects. Even if these evils were tolerable or neutralized or mis-stated, do we not still sinfully waste a treasure of knowledge by ignoring the creative possibilities of genetic improvement?


    Why bother now with somatic selection, so slow in its impact? Investing a fraction of the effort, we should soon lean how to manipulate chromosome ploidy, homozygosis, gametic selection full diagnosis of heterozygotes, to accomplish in one or two generations of eugenic practice what would now take ten or one hundred. What a clumsy job we would have done on mongolism even just five years ago, before we understood the chromosomal basis of the disease!


The following excerpts are from a discussion among the symposium participants (transcribed in the same volume) on the subject of Eugenics and Genetics. Several references were made to Muller’s idea. They are referring to Hermann J. Muller, Nobel-prize winning geneticist, and his idea of a repository of germinal material obtained from superior men to be used for artificial insemination. (Muller’s idea later materialized into The Repository for Germinal Choice, founded by Hermann J. Muller and Robert Klark Graham, which began operations in 1979.)


Francis Crick:


    I certainly agree with what Dr. Lederberg has said about the extraordinary rate of increase in biological knowledge, particularly in some fields. What impresses me even more is the great lack of biological knowledge among ordinary people; the ordinary educated layman, and to some extent among scientists other than biologists. I also think it’s deplorable the knowledge of natural selection is not taught properly in schools . . . .


    Lederberg and I have arrived independently at an idea (which I hope he does not mind me quoting) that the type of solution which might become socially acceptable is simply to encourage by financial means those people who are more socially desirable to have more children (this is not the idea favoured by Muller). The obvious way to do this is to tax children. This seems dreadful to a good liberal [a conservative or libertarian in the US] because it is exactly the opposite of everything he has been brought up to believe. But at least it is logical. There are various objections; there will be people who, however much the tax is, will have many children, but they may be a minority. It is unreasonable to take money as an exact measure of social desirability, but at least they are fairly positively correlated. Of course, it is perfectly clear that you could not take such measures, as Muller very rightly said, with public opinion as it is, and with the general lack of biological knowledge.


    Now to come to Muller’s ideas. Is it possible that his scheme is the best way to give this type of biological education to the public at large? If some individuals were allowed to choose the father in the way he suggests, this might make the population as a whole reflect on the social responsibilities of parenthood . . . . . [I]t might happen that one particular country would initiate a larger-scale programme than any of the others, and after 20, 25, or 30 years the results might be rather startling, if, for example, all Nobel Prizes began to go to, say, Finland because they had gone in for improvement of their population on an extensive scale! If there are advantages in these techniques, and one society or nation does adopt them with marked success, this will accelerate adoption elsewhere.




    Taking up Crick’s point about the humanist argument on whether one has a right to have children, I would say that in a society in which the community is responsible for peoples welfare--health, hospitals, unemployment insurance, etc.-- the answer is No. . . . What has always seemed to me the ideal contraceptive technique would be a situation in which people would normally be infertile, and should do something if on any particular occasion they wished to become fertile. If such a method were available, how much trouble would it cause in a community once the idea had penetrated?


Francis Crick:


    I believe that basically society has the right to decide, but what techniques can our society use to impose this to a reasonable extent (not necessarily 100%), without incurring some other costs? The proposal of licensing that I somewhat playfully suggested might, or might not, be acceptable in our present social system . . . .


Joshua Lederberg:,


    In answer to Dr. Bronowski’s question about our motivation, I think that most of us here believe that the present population of the world is not intelligent enough to keep itself from being blown up, and we would like to make some provision for the future so that it will have a slightly better chance of avoiding this particular contingency. I am not saying that our measures will be effective, but I think that is our motivation; it is not the negative but the positive aspects of genetic control that we are dealing with here.


    On the other hand, I have serious doubts about the proposals for controlling reproduction that have been presented to us. The aspects of social control that seem to be necessary to make these proposals technically effective are I think extremely offensive and extremely dangerous. But leaving the matter to individual choice, which from a social standpoint is the most ideal, is certainly not going to be technically effective . . . .


Sir Julian Huxley:


    . . .[T]he main thing is to aim at positive improvement. Much is possible and there are methods to do it. You need not start with drastic methods; nobody is going to solve the population problem by saying that a certain number of people are not going to be allowed to have any children. But you can make a start. At the moment many governments are encouraging people to have more children than they otherwise would by means of family allowances . . . . At the moment the population certainly wouldn’t tolerate compulsory eugenic or sterilization measures, but if you start some experiments, including some voluntary ones, and see that they work and if you make a massive attempt at educating people and making them understand what is at issue, you might be able, within a generation, to have an effect on the general population. After all, our moral values evolve like everything else, and they evolve largely on the basis of the knowledge we have and share.




    . . . . I have never understood how the human race got over the biological hurdle of moving from polygamy to monogamy. Under the polygamous system the favoured and cultured person, the king or chief, sires a large number of people in the community, and under those conditions we ought to have intelligence building up more rapidly than under the conditions of monogamy. As far as I understand, the human race was polygamous for the best part of a million years, whereas it has been monogamous in varying degrees of stability for a very short time . . . .


Francis Crick:


    . . . [T]hose of us who are humanists have a great difficulty in that we are unable to formulate our ends as clearly as is possible for those of us who are Christians. Nevertheless there are some ends that we can all share, even though we have these differences. In is surely clear that good health, high intelligence, and general benevolence--the qualities Muller listed--are desirable qualities which we would all agree on. We would agree also that these qualities are not evenly distributed. There are people who are deficient in intelligence (I mention intelligence because this is something we can to some extent measure). Surely it is a very reasonable aim for us to try to increase that. Some of the arguments that nature is doing it all right may possibly be correct but they seem to me only to reflect conservatism and to have no real basis in fact . . .


    Are the methods for improvement which we have at our disposal effective? Now there are difficult technical questions here, but my point, which Huxley made rather strongly, is that we are likely to achieve a considerable improvement--not perhaps as fast as we could do by other methods or even as fast as may turn out to be necessary--by using a very primitive knowledge of genetics; that is, by simply taking people with the qualities we like, and letting them have more children . . .






Eugenics: Economics for the Long Run


By Edward M. Miller, PhD

Department of Economics and Finance

University of New Orleans

New Orleans, La. 70148


This paper originally appeared in Research in Biopolitics, Vol. 5, Steven A. Peterson

and Al Somit, Eds., Greenwich, Connecticut; JAI Press, 1997, p. 391-416.


Paper requested for Recent Explorations in Biology and Politics.

Al Somit & Steven A. Peterson, Ed. JAI Press


There is a simple economic argument for eugenics. Eugenics is defined as efforts to improve the gene pool in a particular population. Standard micro-economic theories of wages hold that a worker’s wage equals the marginal product of his working time. Much textbook discussion of his marginal product focus on the quantities of cooperating factors: capital, land, and natural resources which labor has to work with. However, another important determinant is the worker’s attributes and abilities. There is evidence that these are strongly affect by his genes (see below). It follows that efforts to maximize a nation’s standard of living should try to improve its citizens’ genetic quality, especially with regard to intelligence and other economically important traits. Improving the genetic quality of citizens calls for having those carrying the genes for desirable traits (as evidenced by their possession of the traits themselves) producing more than their proportionate share of that nation’s children.


A secondary economic goal is to minimize the externalities in the economy resulting from the activities of one citizen affecting another citizen. An example would be minimizing the amounts that must be expended on welfare for those unable to earn the socially established minimum standard of living. Such people may be on welfare because of disease and handicaps, because low intelligence or personality problems make it hard to find and retain jobs, or because of drug addiction and alcoholism. Many of these conditions have an important genetic component.


Another important externality is criminal activity. Again it is known that from adoption studies and other sources that criminality has a significant genetic component (Rowe & Osgood, 1984; Lynn, 1996). As a result, an eugenics program can hope to reduce crime rates.


Notice the above arguments hold regardless of whether the intelligence of the population is believed to rising, falling, or remaining constant. If the intelligence is falling and expected to continue falling, it does follow that eventually something must be done or the maintenance of a modern industrial civilization will prove impossible. The available evidence is that those of higher IQ (who typically have genes that make for higher IQs) are having smaller families than those of lower IQ’s (Herrenstein & Murray, 1994; Lynn, 1996; Miller, 1997a).


If a program of eugenics is to be introduced into modern countries, it will most likely be as a byproduct of births being restricted to restrain population growth. Thus, it will be argued below that in the long run society is faced with a choice between having the population restrained by misery, and having it restrained by conscious restrictions of births. Once the idea of preventing some births is accepted, it will then be natural to discuss the question of which births. It is then very likely that decisions will be based at least partially on preventing the births that are most likely to result in what that society regards as low quality citizens. This will be a eugenics program, although as will be pointed out some of the gains may arise from insuring that those children born are born into the families that provide better environments.


Consequence of Unrestrained Fertility


To introduce the case for eugenics consider Diagram 1. [Not available. Ed.] There is a simple income distribution on it with income increasing from left to right. Also shown is a certain level of income below which people fail to reproduce themselves. This is shown as a straight line. However, in practice it is probably a band, with women slightly below the line having only slightly less than two children surviving to adulthood. Women far below the line have relatively few children surviving to adulthood. Above the line the differences in survival to adulthood probabilities are probably small. But in the interests of simplicity, these complexities can not be shown.


What are the conditions for long run equilibrium? The first condition is that the population be stable. Obviously a continually growing population eventually exceeds the resources of the earth, or of the home country. This is not the place to get into debates about just what these limits are, or exactly when the world as a whole or particular country will come up against these limits. The purpose here is to show how societies will differ depending on how the state of zero population growth is achieved, and whether it is done by misery of the Malthusian type, or by eugenics.


It is important that the world is asymmetric, such that being far above the line probably does less for childhood survival than being below it. The diagram shows how with unrestrained fertility, the more unequal the income distribution, the higher the average income. The reason is that for population growth to be constrained by poverty to zero, there must be many below the poverty line. A given level of misery among those whose reproduction is being restrained by poverty is consistent with many different standards of living for those above the line. A more unequal distribution of income permits the average to be further above the line, consistent with any given amount of poverty, including that amount of poverty needed to keep the population stable.


If the distribution of income is to be completely equal, the average woman has to be at the poverty line, such that poverty prevents her from raising only slightly more than a single female offspring to reproductive age. It takes extreme poverty to achieve this outcome. Even in many poor third world countries the population is growing, and the typical woman much more than reproduces herself.


If income becomes more unequal, it becomes possible for most of the population to be far above the poverty line, while still allowing a high enough fraction of the population to be far enough below the poverty line to prevent population growth. This leads to the very unpleasant conclusion that for a nation to enjoy a high average income is consistent with that nation having a stable population only if that income is unevenly distributed. Only with high inequality will enough of the population be far enough below the poverty line to prevent population growth.


Without birth control, any attempt to raise the poor’s living standard merely increases their children’s survival rates, increases the population, and pulls the average standard of living back down. If income is redistributed from the rich to the poor, one predictable effect is that the rich live less well. Another is that the poor increase in number until rising misery returns the population growth rate to zero. This rather unpleasant vision is the standard Malthusian one.


Unfortunately, in the long run, without population control, attempts to eliminate poverty merely increase the population and reintroduce poverty. The obvious solution is to replace misery as a device for controlling population growth with some other program for limiting the birth rate and stabilizing population. While there is certainly something very intrusive about the government acting to limit births, it seems preferable to allowing population growth to be limited by poverty.


If there is to be some family size limitation, at least among certain families, perhaps we should be asking what criteria should be used to decide who should have children, and who should be prevented or discouraged from having children?


The Role of Genes


This may be a good point to refer to the evidence that many humans traits are strongly influenced by genes (Rowe 1994; Lynn 1996; Miller, 1997a). This evidence come from the science of behavior genetics. The first testable predication of a theory that variability in a trait is genetically influenced is that the trait will run in families. However, traits can also run in families because they are environmentally influenced, and each generation creates for their children an environment similar to the one they themselves were raised in. Thus, it is necessary to look for situations where environmental theories and genetic theories make different predictions.


One such situation is in adoptions, where the environment is created by the family of adoption, and the genes come from the biological parents. If there is no genetic influence, there will be zero correlation between the children’s traits and those of the biological parents. To the extent the environment of rearing is influential, the adoptee’s traits will be correlated with the family of rearing, while to the extent that genes are influential (or prenatal conditions) it will be correlated with the family of genetic origin.


Another method is twin studies. Here findings that monozygotic twins are more alike than dizygotic twins provides evidence of genetic effects. This is an example of a more general effect, in which, by examining the extent to which those who differ in genetic relationships resemble reach other, one can model the role of genetic factors. Especially impressive are the studies of separated twins that were raised apart. These frequently grow up to be quite similar in personality and intelligence (Bouchard, Lykken, McGue, Segal, & Tellegen, 1990; Pederson, Plomin, McClearn, & Friberg, 1988).


Due to space limitations, this is not the place to present all the evidence for the importance of genetic factors in intelligence and personality. However, there is strong evidence that most traits are genetically influenced (see for instance Rowe 1994 for summary evidence on the large number of traits for which genetic influences have been shown). Even what appear to be social attitudes have been shown to be affected by genes (Eaves, Eysenck, & Martin, 1989).


In general, the evidence for the role of genes in so many factors raises the possibility of controlling who bears children to influence the traits found in succeeding generations. This makes it useful to begin to discuss how eugenic policies might be carried out


Non-Eugenic Discouragement of Population Growth


In the short run, population growth can be restrained by encouraging smaller families by various voluntary means. By lecturing about the dangers of population growth and the environmental problems of a large population, some people may be persuaded to choose smaller families. However, these are likely to be the most responsible people. With each generation, the fraction of such responsible people is likely to decline. There is evidence that altruism (Rushton, 1980) is affected by genes. A voluntary program selects against such genes. Eventually this method will fail.


Because women that have many opportunities for high prestige jobs (professors etc.) frequently take them and choose to have few children, a common proposal for reducing the birth rate is to increase women’s access to such jobs (Hoffman, 1975). Rhetorically this makes it easy to be both feminist and concerned about population growth.


For instance, in America the number of children per women 35-44 (when women have virtually completed their child bearing) is 1.6 for women with 16 years or more of education (college graduates usually), while it is 2.6 for those with 0-11 years of education (usually non-high school graduates), with those with in-between levels having 1.9 children for some college, and 2.0 children for high school graduates (Herrnstein & Murray, 1994). Presumably the college graduates delay the start of childbearing to complete their education (which may continue into graduate and professional school), and then frequently choose an interesting career over staying at home for child rearing. If these effects are caused by the education (rather than a common cause, such as a desire for a career causing the education), it would follow that providing more education for females would reduce population growth. If the whole population of the world had the US pattern of female education and birthrates, overpopulation would not be a threat.


Observations like the above lead many to argue that the solution (or at least a major part of it) for excessive population growth is to educate women, and to increase their opportunity to play high prestige roles in society. Women will then choose these roles over child bearing and rearing.


However, there are problems with this policy proposal (besides the obvious ones of whether the education is really causing the low birth rates, and how poor countries could afford to educate their women so well).


Unfortunately, the evidence is that much of what determines whether women will have access to high paying, high prestige jobs is genetic, notably the genes for intelligence (Jensen 1981; Herrnstein & Murray, 1994; Seligman, 1992, Storfer, 1990). Educating women and encouraging them to take up jobs that reduce their childbearing will work for the first few generations, but it will gradually lower the intelligence level of the population.


Herrnstein & Murray (1994) show that the average IQ of female college graduates was 111, versus 81 for the women who did not finish high school. The others were in between (103 for those with some college, and 95 for high school graduates). If we try to control population growth by encouraging the more intelligent women to choose careers over childbearing, in the long run the average intelligence must decline. This occurs because of the high heritability for intelligence. Because the intelligent women usually marry intelligent men, discouraging reproduction by intelligent women also reduces reproduction by intelligent men. Thus, this apparently desirable method for controlling population growth, so consistent with modern feminism, lacks long run viability.


However, there are other problems with any voluntary method for controlling population growth. It is likely that the drives for fatherhood or motherhood run in families for either cultural or genetic reasons. Those with weaker drives to be parents will be more readily persuaded to forgo parenthood. However, efforts to persuade people to voluntarily forgo parenthood merely assure that in the next generation will come disproportionately from those with stronger drives for parenthood. Thus, a voluntary program will eventually eliminate those who are easily persuaded to forgo parenthood. Those left will, for either genetic or cultural reasons (including religious ones), be unwilling to forgo parenthood. This is similar to the argument made above for appealing to the citizen’s altruism to limit population growth. After the altruistic have been persuaded to limit their reproduction, and to gradually eliminate themselves, who is left that can voluntarily be persuaded to limit their births?


It is also true that some ethnic groups have higher birth rates than other (most likely for cultural reasons). If these differences persist, the mathematics insure that eventually the nation’s growth rate will equal the growth rate of its fastest growing ethnic components. To use an extreme example, Hutterites (a sect that does not believe in birth control) may be the fastest growing group in a nation. If other groups can be persuaded to restrict their birth rates, given enough time the Hutterites will become any nation’s dominant group. Then that nation’s population growth rate will be that of the Hutterites.


Thus, eventually, population must stabilize and the alternatives are:


1. That this is done by restricting births by government coercion


2. This is done by poverty.


For the type of society that can result from poverty see Scheper-Hughes (1992) description of everyday life in Northeastern Brazil. She paints a disturbing picture in which most families live in poverty and infant mortality is very high, high enough so that parents become reconciled to losing children. Indeed, it appears as if they are subconsciously deciding to let some children die of malnutrition. Yet as bad as the situation described is, the population is still growing. The typical poor women still manages to more than reproduce herself. A even higher degree of misery would be required to limit population growth.


Besides limiting population growth rates, there is one other advantage to limiting family size. Right now the poorest families are the largest (Lynn 1996: Herrenstein & Murray, 1994). Mathematically, this implies that the percentage of the nation’s children that are raised in poverty exceeds the percentage of the adults that are poor. In the US, child advocacy groups regularly point out the high fraction of the nation’s children who are being raised in poverty. They consistently fail to point out how restricting the birth rates among the poor would help to solve this problem. The effect would be partially by lowering the percentage of children who are born into poor families. If this resulted in lowering family size among the poor, the low income families could spread their resources out more among their children.


Spreading the family’s resources among fewer children would increase the per child amounts not only for economic resources such as money, but also of non-economic resources. It also permits (but does not guarantee) more parental time per child, and more supervision, which is usually believed to be good. For instance, it is know that children raised in large families more often grow up to be criminals, and in mainstream criminology this is attributed to such children receiving less parental supervision (Lynn, 1996)


Possible Eugenic Goals


If the government is to decide who is to have children, they may wish to decide on some rational criteria, so as to improve the gene pool or to accomplish other goals.


Admittedly, some might try to restrict population growth by an across the board restriction, thus apparently avoiding hard decisions about who should be allowed to reproduce. For instance, families might be somehow limited to two or three children (China now has a limit of one). However, for a stable population, two is too few, and three too many. In theory, one might alternate restriction of two with those of three for different generations (two children per family in several generations, and then a generation permitting three children per couple to rebuild the population). Likewise, if the number required for a stable population was 2.2, one might randomly assign certain families to the three child category, thus avoiding having to make choices on a rational basis. However, either of these procedures for avoiding making hard choices seems to forgo the advantages of selectivity for little reason.


If parental time for child rearing is very important, or if most adults want strongly to be parents, the goal might be families approximately equal in size. Any limits would then be to two or three children per family, and the selectivity would be limited to deciding on some basis which families would be allowed to have three children rather than two.


If the emphasis is more on insuring that children are born with the best possible genes, a greater degree of variability in family size might be considered desirable. Each family might be allowed a minimum of one child to give them the pleasures of parenthood, and possibly to provide society with whatever benefits may result from adults being parents (more conservative behavior among males for instance). The desired average of a little more than two children per family could then be achieved by having the selected parents have at least three children, and possibly more.


While different policies have implications for the percentages of the children that have occupied different birth orders, there is not now strong evidence that would justify preferring children of any particular birth order (Ernst & Angst, 1983). Clearly different strategies could change the percentage of middle children relative to first and last borns. Sulloway (1995, 1996) has presented evidence that first born are more conservative and later born more likely to be rebels, but it is not obvious which society should pick when it can choose.


Of course, if the goal is to provide an even more rapid genetic improvement while still retaining traditional family structures, those couples with the worse genetic endowment would be prevented from reproducing. The deficit would be made up for by much larger families among the couples with the better genes (however defined). This would require that many of these families have four or more children. Since there is no real evidence that large families are bad for children, this would seem to be an acceptable alternative.


Of course, if one is willing to explore unconventional family structures such as making more use of artificial impregnation, even where the wife has a husband who could father her children, or where the potential mother lacks a husband (as with single women or lesbian couples), there is scope for more rapidly spreading desirable genes. One might even consider cloning now that this has been shown to be possible in mammals (Specter, 1997).


Eugenic Aspects of Non-Eugenic Policies


Anything that slows the reproduction of those with genetic traits society does not want to perpetuate may be an eugenic policy. These aspects are not always discussed.


For instance, prison visits of wives for sexual purposes may encourage births by those carrying genes for criminality. Yet the discussions of this typically consist of the opponents saying that prison should be as unpleasant as practical, and that it is inconsistent with punishment to provide sexual access. On the other side, those in favor of conjugal visits typically argue they help to hold marriages together, prevent the spouse from being penalized, and perhaps help in managing the prisoners. Mention of any genetic effect seems to be missing.


It is sometimes proposed that rapists be castrated. This is generally proposed merely as punishment, but yet it should reduce the births of those with personality traits (possibly poor impulse control) that lead to rape and other crimes (for a discussion of the role of genes in rape see Ellis, 1989)..


Castration seems to work. Recidivism rates have been found to be 0 to 7.4% in a study of 2,055 European rapists (Bradford, 1990), which is far lower than the US recidivism rates, which have been reported to be as high as 40%. Given that castration is likely to be far cheaper than years of imprisonment, it might be used.


Perhaps even more effective in reducing rapes might be surgery that prevented erections by cutting relevant nerves. This would eliminate the reinforcing effects of fantasies accompanied by masturbation, probably reducing the motivation for rape and other sex crimes. This is purely a speculative proposal at this stage, but one that should be the subject of some discussion.


In principle, castration might be used for other violent crimes also. It has the attraction of being relatively low cost. If there is a substantial genetic basis for most crimes, and the evidence is that there is (Lynn, 1996), castration would reduce the number of offspring left by such criminals. If it is desirable to reduce the rate of population growth for other reasons, as was argued above, criminals would seem to be good ones to deprive of the benefits of fatherhood.


Of course, castration of criminals might deprive their wives or girl friends of parenthood. It is likely in many case they would become pregnant even without artificial insemination. However, with the availability of artificial insemination, they would be expected to frequently choose artificial insemination rather than remaining childless. The result would be replacing the sperm of a criminal with what could be a very high quality sperm. Obviously that would tend to reduce the frequency of the genes most closely related to criminal activity.


One side benefit of such a program would probably be selection against low intelligence. It is known that arrested criminals tend to have below average intelligence. For instance, Herrenstein & Murray (1994, p 248) found that 12% of the male whites in the very dull category were in a correctional facility when interviewed versus 3% for the whole sample.


Population Control via Incentives: Eugenic Aspects


There are a number of ways people might be induced to limit births that would not involved coercion (other than to pay the taxes to finance the programs). Most such programs would probably have an eugenic effect since those with lower incomes or shorter time horizons would probably find any given incentive program more attractive.


Payments for sterilization might be offered, say $5,000 or $10,000. These sums would be attractive to those who have a weak desire to leave descendants. Very likely such programs would select for other desirable traits such as a tendency to weight income in the distant future less than in the present. Banfield (1974) has argued that a greater desire for current pleasure (related to the economist’s concept of time preference) lies behind many of the inner city problems. For instance, if one needs $20 for a date tonight the easiest way to obtain it is to snatch someone’s purse. Admittedly, repeated purse snatching is likely to end in a jail sentence, but that is sometime in the distant future. At a high enough interest rate, stealing the purse becomes rational.


Likewise, drug taking brings immediate pleasure even if at the cost of future addiction. Sex brings immediate pleasure even if the cost is unwed motherhood, or for the father, financial responsibility for children. Watching TV is more pleasant than studying, but studying has long run returns in higher income. Maintaining real estate takes time, but over the long run it makes for a more comfortable home. Saving (and forgoing use of credit) reduces current consumption, but increases future consumption. Creating a small business often means putting in long hours and doing without many pleasures. However, eventually, the small business may succeed. One can imagine many such examples.


There is very little solid research on whether time preference has a genetic basis. It is known to vary with ethnic background. For instance, in Trinidad children of Indian descent (ancestors from India) are less willing to accept a small piece of candy now rather than a larger piece of candy in the future than those of African descent (Mischel & Metzer, 1962). However, since most personality traits are strongly affected by genes with a substantial heritability, it is very likely that the ability to defer gratification is a trait with a genetic component.


If a desire for immediate gratification plays a role in criminality, as it appears to (Wilson & Herrnstein, 1985), it is to be expected that restraining the reproduction of convicted criminals would also tend to restrict the reproduction of those with a short time preference.


It is very likely that many modern methods of birth control select for a desire for immediate gratification. Consider for instance the simple condom. Using this for birth control requires stopping the sequence of events (often seduction) that lead to impregnation to put a condom on. Those who have a strong desire for immediate gratification are much less likely to do this. The same argument applies to inserting a diaphragm, coitus interruptus, or using sponges. Even using birth control pills requires obtaining the pills in advance, and remembering to take them at the right time.


A significant fraction of births represent failures of birth control (Van Court, 1983). For the United States, the Kost & Forrest (1995) analysis of the National Survey of Family Growth reported that 36% of births were unplanned. For those with less than twelve years of education, 58% of the births were unplanned versus only 27% among college graduates. Besides the obvious dysgenetic effect on intelligence, these probably have a dysgenic effect in that the families that who have children through birth control failure are probably less willing to defer gratification, and have a lower ability to plan ahead. Also, it is very likely that inability to defer gratification goes with a lower intelligence. Incidentally, the high fraction of births that are unplanned suggests that improved methods of birth control that are easier may have a significant eugenic effect.


One other trait that may go with accidental pregnancies is drinking alcohol. Many people are inhibited about sex and loosen up with alcohol (or are plied with alcohol by their potential sex partners). Alcohol in general lowers inhibitions. These lower inhibitions are both towards having sex, and towards having unprotected sex. In the modern world, where most children born are raised to sexual maturity, the fact that birth control methods are readily available to most everyone to be used or not, may act as a selective agent for alcohol consumption. The reason is that people who are drunk, or merely under the influence of alcohol are less likely to use birth control, and are therefore more leave offspring with the same propensity for alcohol consumption. However, this desire for alcohol also goes along with alcoholism, and this makes a mate less desirable (and intoxication can make the sex act harder for males).


Boulding (1969) has proposed transferable licenses for child bearing, each couple to get 2.2 licenses. They could then be bought or sold. Those who valued children most would have the larger families (probably a good in itself). In practice, many poor people and those with short time horizons would sell their licenses for the money. This would have a desirable eugenic effect.


Barry (1969) has proposed payments for potential parents who have no more than two children, such payments to be proportional to income. He bases the proposal to make the payments proportional to income on a desire to have the upper and middle classes restrict their fertility as much as the lower classes. His rationale for trying to restrict fertility as much in the upper and middle classes is to maintain the opportunity for upward mobility for the poor. Interestingly, this paper, although appearing in a journal stating on the cover that is was formerly the Eugenics Quarterly, displays no awareness that restriction of fertility among the lower classes would increase the genetic quality of the population. However, his explicit rationale for trying to avoid disproportionate fertility restriction among the lower classes does point out a possible disadvantage to eugenics programs. If fertility is disproportionately restricted among the lower classes as a successful eugenics program would do, there is likely to be more social downward mobility, with more of the population feeling they were ranked lower than their parents (and they will be correct). If moving downwards in the social hierarchy makes people feel bad (and it does), this is a disadvantage to an eugenics program.


Any plan that offers large sums of cash for sterilization, or for restricting child bearing, would reduce the birth rates most among those with a strong desire for current consumption. Such large cash payments would be especially attractive to drug addicts who often need money to purchase drugs. There could be expected to be effects on future rates of drug abuse from such an eugenics program.


If it were politically possible, one might even trade drugs for sterilization or implantation of a birth control device, or at least provide enough drugs so that there would not be withdrawal problems around the time of the sterilization.


Since crack, alcohol, (and probably other drugs) affect the fetus, there would be strong social savings if these addicted women could be prevented from having children. It could also slow down the spread of AIDS, which is frequently transmitted from mother to child. Notice that such benefits are environmental in nature.


Welfare and Birth Control


An obvious idea is to tie the receipt of welfare to using a drug which prevents having additional children while on welfare, such as Norplant. Given the correlation of being on welfare with low intelligence, and probably with other undesirable genetic traits, such a proposal would improve the nation’s genetic stock. Given the difficulty of knowing whether promises to use birth control are being observed, tying receipt of welfare to using most methods of birth control is probably infeasible. Penalizing mothers for having babies after they promised not to would either end up penalizing the children, or force the mothers into having abortions.


It is to be expected that any measure that reduces the pool of low IQ, uneducated individuals would reduce the competition for the jobs such people can do. Such a program should reduce the unemployment rate, and raise incomes among the low IQ part of the population.


The final outcome of such birth control would be to reduce inequalities by two mechanisms.


1 Reducing the number of those with traits leading to low income (low IQ, short time preference, etc.) in the society. This raises the weighted average skill level.


2. By raising the wages rates for unskilled labor. It is a standard prediction of economic models that reducing the supply raising the price. It follows that reducing the supply of low wage labor would raise the wage rates for such services.


Public support


Although the word eugenics is very unpopular among intellectuals, there may not be as much opposition among the ordinary voters.


One Texas legislator in an informal poll found 3,533 to 2,604 in favor of sterilization for welfare moms with 3 or more children. (Reilly, 1991, p.161). The Boston Globe found, in a call in telephone poll, that 49% supported sterilization of the mentally ill.


China has apparently adopted a sterilization law targeting mentally retarded parents in one province (Reilly, 1994, p. 164). While China is politically quite different from the United States, this still shows that such actions may be possible


Singapore has announced eugenic programs aimed at promoting births by the better educated (Chan, 1987), and in particular by graduate women. There was also announced a program to reward low income families under 30 with less than two children for being sterilized with US$4,000 as a down payment for a government low cost apartment.


Arguments Against Eugenics


Of course, there are arguments against eugenics programs. Government power over private citizen’s lives is always subject to abuse. So history teaches. US state run programs seem to have had problems with some sterilizations that were not for good eugenic reasons (Reilly, 1991). Any government program is going to make numerous mistakes and possibly suffer from some corruption. Certainly it has not always been known which traits were genetically influenced, and there were some sterilizations done under the various laws that probably do not contribute to improving the genetic stock. For instance, there is a case of a woman who was the offspring of incest, but apparently otherwise unhandicapped, being sterilized.


Currently, we are far from having much knowledge of which genes influence particular traits, or from knowing all the traits that are subject to genetic influences. If we were given complete copies of the genetic sequences for two individuals we could not tell which one we preferred. That is true. However, such a high level of knowledge is not needed for a useful eugenics program.


It is generally known that many traits are genetically influenced (see above) and people generally agree on which direction is good. For instance:


    1. High intelligence is good.


    2. Self control is good.


    3. Criminality and rape are bad.


    4. Most diseases are bad.


The above provides a basis for deciding whose reproduction to encourage. At this point we could proceed with a start on programs, hoping to improve knowledge in the future.


One theoretical concern is that many traits may be influenced by pleitropic genes such that selecting for a desirable trait also selects for another trait that is undesirable. Thus there could be unintended consequences from an eugenics program.


To illustrate the type of problem that is theoretically possible consider myopia. This is widely considered to be a genetically influenced condition. It is known to run in families, and twin studies show it to have a high degree of heritability (Curtin 1985). However, it is also known that high intelligence and myopia go together (Teasdale, Fuchs, & Goldschmidt, 1988; Rosner & Belkin 1987; Benbow & Benbow 1984, p. 484 and 1986). High intelligence is also known to be a partially genetic trait. The evidence is that the two genetic traits are pleitropic, with one gene affecting both (Cohn, Cohn, & Jensen, 1988). One possibility is that the close work that results from reading and studying leads to myopia. Another, which the writer has proposed, is that a single gene (or gene complex) affects both brain size and the size of the eyeball (which is embryologically derived from the same tissue as the brain) and this produces the correlation (Miller 1992, 1996d).


Now, if someone tried to discourage those with myopia from reproducing, a byproduct would be selection for lower intelligence. This would be unfortunate, since myopia is relatively easily handled with corrective glasses. Of course, enough is known so that the above mistake appears unlikely. About the only way it could be made would be for a version of political correctness to make selection for intelligence impossible, while selection against genetic disease related conditions was promoted.


A slightly more difficult problem is the possibility that genes that promote certain forms of mental illness are also genes that contribute to genius or originality. There is some evidence for this proposition (Eysenck 1995; Goodwin & Jamieson, 1990; Karlsson, 1991). Efforts to discourage reproduction by those with manic-depressive illness or schizophrenia, both of which have been shown to have a genetic component in twin studies, might produce adverse effects on creativity.


One can also imagine other unanticipated genetic problems. Many polymorphisms are believed to protect against one disease but to increase vulnerability against another. They survive in the population over the long run because whenever a particular allele become more common, the diseases it makes for vulnerability to become more common, and the allele making for vulnerability is selected against.


It must be admitted there is a chance that this could happen. If we knew that a particular allele made for vulnerability to a particular well-publicized disease, say AIDS, there might be pressure to discourage reproduction by carriers of such an allele. Indeed, a mutation that appears to protect against AIDS has been recently found (Kolata, 1996). This could increase vulnerability to another disease where the effect was not known, or just possibly a new disease would then emerge that could then spread more rapidly. It is also conceivable that a gene for a desirable trait may also increase vulnerability to a disease.


Another theoretical argument that is sometimes heard is that genetic diversity is needed for further evolution and that eugenic programs might reduce this diversity, eliminating a desirable allele. The analogy is sometimes made with certain crops where the genetic diversity may have been greatly reduced, increasing the vulnerability to certain diseases.


However, in any one generation any realistic program will make only minor changes in the gene pool. This will give plenty of time to reverse direction if unintended consequences emerge. Desirable genes are unlikely to be eliminated from the gene pool by a feasible short-term eugenics programs. Any appreciable reduction in diversity is so far in the future that little concern is needed for now.


Eugenics when the Problem is Partially Environmental in Origin


Frequently those who object to eugenics programs to reduce births in families suffering from a particular problem assert that the targeted social problem is environmental in origin. For instance, if it is proposed to raise average intelligence levels by reducing the number borne to parents with low intelligence, it may be argued that low intelligence is of environmental origin. It is definitely true that there is an environmental component to most social problems, including low intelligence and poverty.


However, it does not follow that eugenics programs cannot reduce problems caused by social causes. Whenever a problem is known to run in families, reducing the number of children in families with the problem should reduce any problem’s incidence. Suppose low intelligence was caused by a unknown type of bad parenting that was in certain families, with each child as an adult copying its own parents’ bad parenting. Increasing the fraction of children in the families that practiced good parenting (which might be determined by the parents themselves being of high intelligence) would still increase intelligence in the next generation. An environmentally caused problem whose exact mechanism is unknown can be handled by decreasing the fraction of births in certain families, just as a genetically caused problem can be handled. In most cases the policy implications of environmentally and genetically caused low IQ are the same as far as who is encouraged to have children. The key question for predicting the effects of a program is the correlation between the IQ’s of parents and children. Knowing the causes of this correlation is not critical.


There are a few cases of low IQ known to be due to environmental causes (say an accident that injured the brain) where there would be no eugenic objection having children. However, such cases are rare. Even in these cases, one might feel that it was best for the child not to have a low IQ parent and wish to discourage childbearing.


Eugenic programs that work by manipulating family size can be expected to work, although slowly and over a period of generations. If there are unrecognized environmental factors being transmitted from parents to children, such programs will also increase the percentage of children exposed to such positive environmental effects.


Westman (1994), convinced that bad parenting leads to most problems has written a book which proposes licensing parents. Some of his proposals would probably end up having eugenic effects. Those who could not get licensed as parents would probably be of genetically low intelligence, and the proposal would end up having positive eugenic effects.


Admittedly, if it were known that there existed a particular environmental factor that affected intelligence, an obvious alternative would be to deal directly with the factor. For instance, if it turned out that rocking children to sleep promoted intelligence (the reference is to speculations in Storfer 1990), it would still be true that we could increase the percentage of intelligent children in the next generation by encouraging parents who were intelligent (who had probably been rocked to sleep themselves). Even more efficient would be to encourage those who planned to rock children to sleep to have large families. Of course, if we did have knowledge that such a simple intervention raised intelligence, we would not choose to exploit it by manipulating family size depending on their proclivity to rock children to sleep. Instead we would have a program to teach mothers to rock their children to sleep, or perhaps we would discover that mothers themselves had already read the research results and were rocking their children to sleep.


However, as of now we know of few environmental interventions that do much for children’s intelligence, or that improve other aspects of their personality. Spitz (1986) has traced the history of efforts to raise intelligence by environmental means. There is a long series of episodes in which some intervention was proposed, received much favorable publicity, and was then found to have little permanent effect. The most recent such episode has involved early childhood programs of the Head Start type. These were found to temporarily raise intelligence scores. However, once removed from the program the children were found to gradually return to the low level of performance of those who had never been in such programs.


That there is little hope for environmental manipulation in raising IQ is shown by adoption studies in which even the intervention of putting children into whole new environments seems to have little effect on their adult intellectual performance, although some effect on childhood performance is seen.


For instance, Loehlin, Horn, & Willerman (1989) found that unrelated adopted siblings, when tested at 13-24 years of age, had essentially no resemblance to each other (r=-.01). Scarr and Weinberg (1978) studied children aged between 16 and 22 in adopted and biological families. In the adopted families the correlations were .16 between adopted father and child, .09 between mother and child, and -.03 between siblings. Children who were raised from infancy together differ as much as unrelated pairs of children. This provides powerful evidence that the environment of rearing has little impact on adult intelligence. If the massive intervention of changing the family of rearing (which also affects things like schooling) has little impact, the chances seem small that more modest interventions that affect only schooling, housing, health, or a similar variable will have much impact.


The same study showed correlations between siblings of .35 when raised in biological families, and .40 between father and child, and .41 between mother and child. Since it was argued above that the family of rearing had relatively little impact, most of these similarities must be because parents, children, and sibling share genes. This, of course, is evidence for genetic effects.


However, regardless of what is causing the resemblance between parents and children in biological families (which are the vast majority of families), the fact of such resemblance suggests that increasing the percentage of children borne into high IQ families will raise the intelligence of the next generation. One should not hope for a massive rate of improvement, but the potential for improvement is there.


It is here that one finds the chief political problem with eugenic programs. At best one can hope for only slow increase in the frequency of genes for a trait. If a politician is looking for something he can announce that will plausibly make a difference by the next election, or even by when he retires, eugenic programs will seldom appeal. Given the ease of confusing correlation with causation, and the large number of variables that can be correlated with social outcome variables, there will virtually always be some intervention that can be plausibly argued to have the potential for having a quicker impact. Some may even be plausibly claimed to capable of solving the problem, eliminating the need for a eugenics program. Since there is usually significant prestige and money associated with sponsoring such an intervention, there can be expected to be partisans for one or more such interventions arguing for them. For a politician looking for a program he can announce that will plausibly be dealing with a serious social problem, there will usually be several candidate programs supported with at least correlational evidence (even if no one has yet done a well controlled intervention study).


How are such partisans to be defeated, or how is one going to determine whether they should be defeated (since there is a small chance that one of their interventions will indeed prove very effective)? It is probably wise to press for actual experimental evidence (from studies with adequate controls) that such programs work. A problem is that partisans are likely to be so convinced that their programs work that they will argue that it is unethical to deprive some citizens of the program in order to provide a control group. Yet this must be done if we are to know which, if any, interventions work. When the interventions take the form of providing poorer children with what the educated prosperous families already enjoy, the evidence from the low correlations of adopted children with siblings can be used to suggest the programs will not work.


Eugenic type programs are unlikely to be adopted because of arguments that they are solutions for social problems. They work too slowly to be attractive for this alone. They are likely to be adopted when there is agreement that birth rates are too high, and that some will have to forgo child bearing. This then forces consideration of the question of who should forgo childbearing. One can then argue that the parents which do not exhibit the traits that society values, and (who are likely to be carrying undesirable genes), are those that should forgo child bearing.


The biggest political problem with eugenics now is its association with Nazi Germany and the claim that the extermination of the Jews was part of their eugenics program (see Kuhl, 1994). While there is not space here for a full answer, it appears the Nazi Anti-Semitism was why they tried to exterminate the Jews (see Saetz, 1985). Given the strength of that drive, the outcome would have been the same regardless of their views on eugenics.


The Racial Obstacle


The other major political problem is that desirable genes are distributed unequally among the racial groups, as is the socioeconomic status and phenotypic traits that would be used as surrogates for the possession of desirable traits. The trait that is most economically important is intelligence (Herrenstein and Murray, 1994; Seligman 1992). There is no real dispute that races differ in measured intelligence, and not much dispute among experts on intelligence that the difference is real in the sense that it is reflected in unequal school and job performance. There is more debate as to what causes it.


Even in the 1980’s the experts were divided three to one in favor of explaning for black/white differences in IQ by both genetic and environmental causes (Snyderman and Rothman, 1988).


Perhaps the most powerful evidence for a difference in the frequency of genes affecting intelligence is provided by the outcomes of the experiment of adopting black children into white households, where at age 17 the gap between black and white adoptees was approximately that which is found when children of each race are raised in families of their own race (Levin, 1994; Lynn, 1994).


Among the recent pieces of evidence that at least part of the racial difference is genetic is the Jensen & Johnson finding (1994) that the black/white difference in head size in children disappeared when intelligence was controlled for. Jensen (1994) also found that the extent of the g loading on a test (roughly how well the test measures only intelligence) was significantly related to the correlation of the test with head size.


There are numerous other reasons for believing that the genes affecting many socially important traits differ in frequency between the races (Miller 1994b, c, d, 1995a, b, 1996a, b, 1997b, 1997c; Rushton 1995).


It follows that any eugenics program in the United States that does not contain special provisions for blacks will restrict the reproduction of blacks more than it does of whites. In the current environment, such a program would be denounced strongly as racist. This alone would prevent such a program from being adapted. Of course, programs could be designed to provide quotas for different racial groups, or to make other special provisions. On the other hand, if the program offers voluntary payments for sterilizations or for having Norplant inserted, blacks and other low income groups would receive a disproportionate proportion of the financial incentives. However, this is unlikely to keep the current black leadership from objecting vehemently to such programs.


Forces for Eugenics


However, in the developed world of the US, Europe, and Japan there does not seem to be the compelling need to restrict family sizes. Birth rates are near, and often below, that needed to keep the population from growing. In these circumstances, the power elites will see eugenic programs as restricting their freedoms and are unlikely to be supportive. This leaves one with the somewhat pessimistic conclusion that a slow deterioration in the genetic quality of the developed world’s population is likely to continue. What could change this?


Probably the most likely thing to change is the state of scientific knowledge. As time passes, more and more knowledge of genetics accumulates. More importantly, the molecular genetics revolution makes it likely that someday the working of the relevant genes will be discovered at the molecular level. It is also possible that the biology behind intelligence and certain forms of behavior will come to be understood well enough so that it will seem very plausible that genes are determinative.


For instance, Tu & Israel (1995) have found that alcohol consumption by Orientals in North America is predicted largely by a single gene. Berman & Noble (1995) have found reduced visuospatial performance in children with the D2 dopamine receptor A1 allele. Plomin et al (1995) have found evidence for genetic markers being related to IQ. Skuder et al (1995) have found evidence for a polymorphism in mitochondrial DNA that is associated with IQ. Reed et al. (1995) have shown lower cognitive performance in normal older adult male twins carrying the apolipoprotein E*4 allele. The apolipoprotein E*4 allele (Kamboh, 1995) is known to increase susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease. Keltikangas-Jarvinen, Raikkonen & Ki (1993) have shown apolipoprotein E phenotypes affect temperament in children, adolescents, and young adults. Bertilsson et al (1989) have shown that there are personality differences that correspond to differences in Debrisoquine hydroxylation (a genetic difference). Lesch et al (1996) have very recently presented evidence that differences in a gene affecting the regulation of serotonin affects anxiety. As findings of this type accumulate, it will be easier for the public to accept the idea that genes affect behavior.


As another example, the author has put forward a theory in which intelligence depends on the extent of myelination (Miller 1994a, 1996c). The theory is supported by extensive empirical analysis and explains a wide variety of facts. It is also empirically testable by directly measuring the amount of myelin after death for the more intelligent, and comparing it with the amounts found in the less intelligent brains. Likewise, there is now a large literature showing that brain size (and head size as a proxy for brain size) is correlated with intelligence (Miller, 1992; Rushton & Ankney, 1996; Wickett, Vernon, & Lee, 1994; Willerman, Schultz, Rutledge, & Bigler, 1991). As such evidence becomes better accepted, more people will find it easy to believe that such variables as brain size or myelination are subject to strong genetic effects. Hopefully, this in turn will make it easier to accept that intelligence is itself genetically influenced. For those that doubt that brain size has substantial heritability there is already evidence that head size has substantial heritability (Rushton & Osborne, 1995).


Another possibility is that technology may make some types of eugenics more feasible, and they become popular. Modern fertility enhancing technology is expensive and is primarily used by families of high income who badly want a child. Thus it probably has some eugenic effects.


Artificial insemination has a potential for being used for eugenic purposes. In many couples where the male has inadequate quantity or quality of sperm, the couple chooses to use artificial insemination in order to have children. There is probably some positive eugenic effect in the current sources of sperm since many are reported to be near universities or medical schools where the population would be of above average intelligence. However, while great care is taken to screen donors for genetic diseases and for sexually transmitted diseases, it is not now customary to use an intelligence test to select donors of high intelligence, although such tests would be easy to administer.


Yet given the willingness of parents to pay for expensive college educations for their children, it would surely seem worthwhile for the potential parents to pay the slightly higher costs of higher quality sperm. The costs would be slightly higher because not only would there be the cost of testing, but it would probably be necessary to pay more to donors in order to have a larger pool to select from. However, the cost would still be minor in relation to the total cost of conceiving and rearing a child. If well-heeled parents seek the best designer jeans for their offspring, why shouldn’t they seek the best genes?


However, one sperm bank has received considerable publicity by seeking high quality, intelligent donor, originally Nobel prize winners. (See Grahm, 1983) There is no reason other sperm banks could not adopt similar methods. Since one sperm donation can supply several inseminations and donors can be expected to donate repeatedly, the cost of seeking high quality donors would be low.


In spite of the apparently very high benefit-cost ratio from selecting sperm on the basis of the donors intelligence, an Italian doctors group has decided that there should be no selection of sperm based on the social, economic or professional standing of the donor (Montalbano, 1995). Yet, these are all cheaply ascertained surrogates for intelligence, and other genetic traits that contribute to obtaining high social and professional standing.


Should Lesbians or single women become mothers by artificial insemination? If the sperm used is of high quality, it is very likely that the offspring will be of high intelligence, and unlikely that they will become public burdens. Should post-menopausal women have babies using advanced technology and their husbands sperm, as a 62 year old women recently did in Italy (Montalbano, 1995). Given the high cost of such technologies, it is very likely that their husbands had genes for high intelligence. Yet this measure was to be banned by the new Italian doctors code, as was artificial insemination after a partner’s death .


More speculatively, it is now feasible to fertilize a woman’s egg outside of the womb and then implant it. Right now the procedure is used only for couples who would otherwise be infertile. One can imagine a time when the wealthier couples have potential embryos checked for genetic problems, or perhaps have several embryos fertilized and then select the one for implantation that appears genetically the best.


Mammalian cloning has been shown to be possible, and if applied to humans will probably involve the cloning of high IQ individuals, even if the basis for choosing an individual to clone is something else (being the dictator, or having extraordinary talents in certain areas).


It is also conceivable that selective abortion might be used to avoid bearing children that carry what are considered undesirable combinations of genes. This is done to a limited extent now for Downs syndrome and certain other genetic conditions. If such expensive procedures are adapted they may be adapted by the wealthier couples rather than the poorer ones.


A factor that could lead to eugenics programs is that the power elite is likely to have the genes that we would like to encourage. This elite will be very receptive to rationalizations that will permit those who wish for large families to have them. A rule that exempted those of high IQ from family size restrictions would virtually always exempt the elite (politicians, executives, professors, union leaders, army officers etc.) from family size restrictions. Likewise, programs that discourage those convicted of crimes (or suffering from alcoholism or drug abuse) from having children are unlikely to impact heavily on the ruling classes. If circumstances emerge where nationwide family size restriction is desirable, eugenics may come to provide the rationale for the rule makers to exempt themselves from the rules.




There is sufficient knowledge now about the importance of genetic factors to indicate that, over time, income could be raised by eugenics. Such a program is not politically feasible now, but someday it may be, especially when overpopulation makes it necessary to restrict births. Eugenics may then become popular among the ruling classes because it provides a rationale for exempting them from the restrictions that would otherwise apply.


In practice, eugenics programs may take the form of trying to reallocate child bearing from families with undesirable traits to families with desirable traits. This should increase for the next generation the proportion of the population with desirable traits. Although such programs are traditionally referred to as eugenics programs (i.e. ones to improve the population genetically), such programs can be expected to work for traits transmitted within families from parents to children regardless of whether such transmission is by genetic means or by other means. All that is necessary to predict the success of such programs is to know the correlation to be expected between parental traits and those of the offspring, information that is already available for many traits.


Even when the degree of political support for direct eugenic measures is weak (say only 20% of the population would vote for them) consideration of the eugenic effects of alternative ways of accomplishing certain goals might change the ranking of alternative methods for accomplishing these goals, and produce some eugenic benefits.







The Mismeasures of Gould


By J. Philippe Rushton


(Originally published in The National Review, September 15, 1997)


Mr. Rushton is professor of psychology at the University of Western Ontario in London. This article is adapted from his review in the referred academic journal Personality and Individual Differences, Vol. 23, pp. 169-180. The complete article can be found here.


“[Steven Jay] Gould occupies a rather curious position, particularly on his side of the Atlantic. Because of the excellence of his essays, he has come to be seen by non-biologists as the pre-eminent evolutionary theorist. In contrast, the evolutionary biologists with whom I have discussed his work tend to see him as a man whose ideas are so confused as to be hardly worth bothering with, but as one who should not be publicly criticized because he is at least on our side against the creationists.”


YEP, that’s the Steven Jay Gould -- Harvard paleontologist, best-selling science popularizer, Natural History magazine columnist, and media superstar -- in the opinion of John Maynard Smith, one of the founders of modern evolutionary theory. Smith’s skepticism about Gould is pervasive among his peers. Daniel Dennett’s brilliant 1995 book, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, was largely devoted to dispelling Gouldian misinformation. John Alcock, author of standard animal-behavior textbooks, recently described Gould as “consistently employing the same limited set of debating techniques and stylistic devices . . . while simply ignoring evidence to the contrary.”


This civil war among evolutionists has now burst into the open. Gould struck back, with his trademark deceptive elegance, in The New York Review of Books (June 12, June 26, August 14), house organ of the New York intelligentsia that has long been his real constituency.


The point at issue between the evolutionists and Gould seems arcane. Does evolution proceed gradually or through “punctuated equilibrium” -- immobility interrupted by transforming upheaval? Gould’s preference for the latter reflects his left-wing politics -- for evolutionary upheavals, read social revolutions. Yet it may also be traced to his refusal to admit that systematic differences, probably evolutionary in origin, exist among human beings.


That same refusal regularly distorts Gould’s 1981 The Mismeasure of Man, now reissued in a “revised and expanded” edition (Norton, $13.95). The Mismeasure of Man (which in its first version sold 250,000 copies, was translated into ten languages, and became required reading for undergraduate and even graduate classes) dealt with questions that are delicate, controversial, and (to the scientific layman) even discomfiting: IQ, brain size, sex, and race. It did so by unscrupulously mishandling the evidence. The new version -- described by the publisher as “an acclaimed classic that refutes the conclusions of The Bell Curve” -- is expanded but hardly revised. It regurgitates character assassinations of deceased scientists, misrepresents their work despite published refutation, and studiously withholds 15 years of new research that contradicts every major scientific argument Gould puts forth.


Perhaps the single most devastating development for Gould: new research on brain size. Was he asleep throughout the 1990s -- called, with good reason, “The Decade of the Brain”?


Gould originally charged nineteenth-century scientists with “juggling” and “finagling” brain-size data in order to place Northern Europeans at the apex of civilization. Implausibly, he argued that Paul Broca, Francis Galton, and Samuel George Morton, all “finagled” in the same direction and by similar magnitudes using different methods. Gould asks us to believe that Broca “leaned” on his autopsy scales when measuring wet brains by just enough to produce the same differences that Morton caused by “over-packing” empty skulls and that Galton caused with his “extra loose” grip on calipers while measuring heads! Yet even before Mismeasure’s first edition, new research was confirming the work of nineteenth-century pioneers. Gould neglected to mention that Leigh Van Valen had already established a positive correlation between brain size and intelligence in 1974.


Subsequently, of course, discoveries using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), which creates a three-dimensional image of the living brain, have shown a strong positive correlation (0.44) between brain size and intelligence. And there is more. The National Collaborative Perinatal Study, as reported by Sarah Broman and her colleagues, showed that head perimeter measured at birth significantly predicts head perim-eter at 7 years -- and head perimeter at both ages predicts IQ. Recent studies also show that head size and IQ vary with social class. It is now clear that the nineteenth-century pioneers were right.


The first of the MRI studies were published in the late 1980s/early 1990s in leading, mainstream refereed journals like Intelligence and the American Journal of Psychiatry. My colleagues and I routinely sent Gould copies and asked him what he thought. He never replied. Now he has chosen to withhold all these data from his readers.


Indeed, in the 1996 edition he deletes the very section of his own 1981 book that discussed the brain-size/IQ relation. In 1981, he had pooh-poohed Arthur Jensen’s report (in Bias in Mental Testing) of a 0.30 correlation between brain-size and IQ -- but he omits this dismissal, without explanation, from the revised version. I can only infer that when Gould read Jensen’s review of his book (which he mentions), he realized that Jensen’s correlation was based on Van Valen’s 1974 review and so could no longer be dismissed as “just Jensen.” And, given the weight of the new evidence, simply repeating this section verbatim would have destroyed his entire thesis. He therefore left it out.


Is it reasonable, however, to expect brain size and cognitive ability to be related? Yes. H. Haug in 1987 found a correlation of 0.479 between the number of cortical neurons and brain size in humans. Gould dismisses differences in brain size as “trivial.” But a difference of one cubic inch in brain size translates into a very nontrivial millions of cortical neurons and hundreds of millions of synapses -- a significant difference in mental activity and potential.


It is, of course, relationships between brain size/IQ and sex and race which, understandably, arouse the most anxiety. Some critics have even suggested a social taboo on discussion and research in these fields. That would run counter to the entire tradition of scientific inquiry. Be that as it may, it is surely indisputable that if such research is to be conducted, it must be done accurately and scrupulously. And here Gould fails again.


An absolute difference in brain size between men and women has not been disputed since at least the time of Broca (1861). Gould, however, claims that the sex difference disappears when appropriate statistical corrections are made for body size or age of people sampled. But when he used multiple regression to remove the simultaneous influence of height and age, he succeeded in reducing the sex difference by only one-third. He then invoked additional unspecified age and body parameters, claiming that if these could be controlled the entire difference would disappear.


David Ankney in 1992 questioned Gould’s methodology. He re-examined autopsy data on 1,261 American adults and found that at any given body surface area or height, men’s brains are heavier than women’s. His research -- since confirmed by my own 1992 survey of 6,325 U.S. Army personnel -- attributes only about 30 per cent of the sex difference in brain size to differences in body size.


Admittedly, the brain-size studies present a paradox. Women have proportionately smaller brains than men but, apparently, the same intelligence scores. Ankney suggests that the difference in brain size may relate to those intellectual abilities at which men excel -- namely, spatial and mathematical ability -- which may require more “brain power” than do verbal abilities. Other theories are that men average slightly higher in general intelligence than do women, and finally that these particular differences in brain size have nothing to do with cognitive ability at all, but reflect greater male muscle mass and physical coordination in tasks like throwing and catching.


Similarly, Gould denies that brain weight varies with race. He repeats verbatim his 1981 claim that Samuel George Morton -- a giant of nineteenth-century American science -- “unconsciously” doctored his results on cranial capacity to prove Caucasian racial superiority. Yet he must know that John S. Michael reported in Current Anthropology in 1988 that he had checked Morton’s work and found very few errors -- and these not in the direction that Gould asserted. Instead, Michael found errors in Gould’s work.


In my own published work, uncited by Gould, I have shown that brain sizes vary systematically by race -- but not to the benefit of Caucasians. For what it is worth, Mongoloids average about a cubic inch more than Caucasoids and over three cubic inches more than Negroids. This result has been corroborated many times since 1980, and by every available technique. And these findings are in line with the (by now) accepted IQ results: the average IQ scores for “African,” “Latino,” “White,” “Asian,” and “Jewish” Americans are 85, 89, 103, 106, and 115, respectively. Of course, whether these differences are the result of genetic or environmental influences, and whether (or to what extent) they are remediable by purposeful action -- these remain matters of dispute.


GOULD’S faults extend well beyond sins of omission to include sins of commission. His “new” edition repeats the same false accusations about individuals that have been thoroughly refuted since 1981. Thus, Gould leaves unmodified his denigration of Sir Francis Galton as “a dotty Victorian eccentric.” This was rightly described by Cambridge statistician A. W. F. Edwards in the London Review of Books (1983), as “a thoroughly tendentious portrait.” Edwards pointed out that Gould, in a book full of references to correlation, multiple regression, principal-components analysis, and factor analysis, totally failed to inform his students that this whole statistical methodology was pioneered by Galton -- and to measure human intelligence.


He also repeats his trashing of Sir Cyril Burt, the eminent British educational psychologist, who reported a heritability for IQ of 77 per cent for identical twins reared apart. After his death in 1971, Burt was widely accused of fabricating his data. However, five separate studies of identical twins raised apart have now corroborated his findings. Two meticulously researched books, by Robert B. Joynson and Ronald Fletcher, have vindicated Burt, describing how he was railroaded by anti-hereditarian zealots. Gould ignores them.


Gould’s most inflammatory allegation is to blame IQ testers for increasing the toll of the Holocaust. His thesis is that early IQ testers claimed Jews as a group scored low on their tests. This finding was then allegedly used to support passage of the restrictive Immigration Act of 1924, under which Jewish refugees were denied entry in the 1930s. Gould even claims that Henry H. Goddard in 1917 and Carl C. Brigham in 1923 labeled four-fifths of Jewish immigrants as “feeble-minded . . . morons.”


In both cases, this has repeatedly been shown to be untrue. For example, Goddard was testing to see if the standard Binet test identified what were then called “high-grade defectives” as well among immigrants as it did among native-born Americans. (It did.) He explicitly did not assert that 80 per cent of Russians, Jews, or any immigrant group in general were feeble-minded.


Gould repeats his account despite widely disseminated refutations. Historian of psychology Franz Samelson began setting the record straight in the journal Social Forces as early as 1975. Mark Snyderman and the late Richard Herrnstein, writing in The American Psychologist in 1983, corroborated Samelson’s conclusions and showed that the testing community in general did not view its findings as favoring immigration restriction, and that Congress took virtually no notice of intelligence testing in framing the legislation.


The eminent historian Carl N. Degler, in his 1991 book In Search of Human Nature, took Gould to task for ignoring contradictory information. He points out, for example, that the high scores of Orientals did not prevent them from being excluded from immigrating -- and that their scores would have embarrassed any attempt to make IQ the basis of immigration policy. Daniel Seligman debunked Gould’s anti-testing propaganda in his book A Question of Intelligence. Herrnstein and Charles Murray, in their book, The Bell Curve, also highlighted the issue in a special boxed section. Gould reviewed The Bell Curve (twice!). Yet he ignores all these counter-arguments in his “revision.”


Indeed, in his account of The Bell Curve, Gould charges Herrnstein and Murray with “disingenuousness.” He then withholds from readers the fact that their book was principally an empirical analysis of social stratification drawn from the 12-year National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Most high-IQ 17-year-olds, blacks as well as whites, went on to occupational success in their late twenties and early thirties. Many of those with low IQs, both black and white, went on to welfare dependency. Thus IQ tests are predictive.


Gould’s attack on The Bell Curve focuses on its use of the “general factor of intelligence,” or g, which psychometricians hypothesize underlies tests of mental ability. Gould likes to leave his readers chanting the mantra, “g is nothing more than an artifact of the mathematical procedure used to calculate it.” But every major study shows that different IQ tests tend to be significantly intercorrelated, suggesting an underlying commonality. Thus Nathan Brody, Arthur Jensen, and John Carroll have all provided detailed empirical and analytical demonstrations of the reality of g (including, incidentally, a strong correlation with brain size). Gould ignores them all.


Gould employs another technical trick as well as attacking g: he continues to argue that findings about IQ differences within groups cannot be applied to differences between groups. (Curiously, he does not object when environmentalists use nutrition as an explanation of both within-group and between-group differences.) Research has found that racial differences are more pronounced on subtests that are highly heritable than on less heritable tests. This clearly supports the genetic hypothesis. Gould ignores it.


And most transracial adoption studies provide evidence for the heritability of racial differences in IQ. For instance, Korean and Vietnamese children adopted into white American and white Belgian homes were examined by E. A. Clark and J. Hanisee, by M. Frydman and R. Lynn, and by M. Winck et al. Many had been hospitalized for malnutrition. But they went on to develop IQs ten or more points higher than their adoptive national norms.


Gould does refer to adoption studies -- but only to a German finding of “no difference” between pre-puberty mixed-race children fathered by black soldiers and those fathered by white soldiers. He also mentions a similar result in Minnesota which seems to refer to an early report of the famous Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study. That study has subsequently found, however, that marked black/white differences emerged by age 17. (Environmental influences typically wash out by adolescence.)


FINALLY, Gould continues to ridicule the “ape in some of us” hypothesis proposed by Cesare Lombroso (1836 - 1909), the founder of criminology. Lombroso argued that many criminals were throwbacks to man’s ancestral past, and that “natural-born criminals” could be identified by anatomical signs of primitiveness. (Contrary to Gould, however, Lombroso also believed that criminal behavior could arise in “normal” men.)


The reader of Mismeasure will search in vain, however, for even a dismissive reference to recent evidence that criminal behavior does indeed have a biological basis. Adrian Raine has reviewed several studies using MRI, Computerized Tomography, and Positron Emission Tomography to inspect the brains of violent and sexual offenders. He tentatively concluded that frontal-lobe dysfunction was associated with violent behavior, including rape. Further, it has been long established that criminals tend to have lower IQs than non-criminals. So, given the relation between brain size and IQ, Lombroso’s finding of a smaller brain in criminals is probably correct.


Nor does Gould feel compelled to let his readers know that Lombroso’s ideas have now received considerable support from behavioral genetics. Studies reported by Raine, David Rowe, and myself show that criminality is substantially more likely to be shared by identical twins than by fraternal twins. This clearly suggests a genetic factor, since both sets of twins share environments, but only identical twins have identical genes. Similarly, American, Danish, and Swedish studies of children adopted in infancy show that adopted children were more likely to be criminals if their biological parents -- rather than their adoptive parents -- were also criminals.


Even Lombroso’s theory of bodily markers is not as far out as Gould would have you believe. It is now understood that drugs in pregnancy or other “insults” to the fetus may disturb its brain development and simultaneously produce a minor physical anomaly (MPA). For example, fetal ears start low on the neck and gradually drift upward. An insult to development can stop this and result in low-set ears -- an observable MPA. Thus, the number of MPAs is a rough index of (perhaps hidden) central-nervous-system anomalies.


For children raised in unstable families, Raine found that the number of MPAs at age 12 was related to violent behaviors at age 21. More generally, Raine even found that antisocial children often had more facial deformities, as judged by expert plastic surgeons.


In suppressing the hypothesis that genetics matter in crime by sneering at the long-dead Lombroso and ignoring the latest research, Gould is actively obstructing scientists from finding ways to spare both future victims and delinquents -- who, in their own fashion, are also victims. It is thus Gould who is -- in Lombroso’s words -- the delinquent man.


Gould tells us that he originally considered titling his book Great Is Our Sin, from Charles Darwin’s remark: “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” He avers that the scientific study of human differences in mental ability is nothing but an apology for elitist European enslavement and oppression of the rest of the world. This has become the apostle’s creed of the adversary culture. However, even the most deeply held views cannot justify withholding evidence, engaging in character assassination, and repeating unfounded charges despite refutations.


“May I end up next to Judas Iscariot, Brutus, and Cassius in the devil’s mouth at the center of hell if I ever fail to present my most honest assessment and best judgment of evidence for empirical truth,” swears Gould on page 39 of his new introduction. By his own standard, Gould has consigned himself to the innermost circle of hell. But science, fortunately, is neither religion nor politics. Gould can save himself by owning up to the facts and ending his career of relentless special pleading.







The Concept of Heredity in the History of Western Culture, Part I


by Roger Pearson

Institute for the Study of Man


This paper originally appeared in The Mankind Quarterly, vol. 35, #3, Spring 1995, p. 229-265.


The recent publication of Herrnstein and Murray’s The Bell Curve, reviewed in this issue of The Mankind Quarterly, has led to a remarkable controversy within the media itself. Several of the initial reviews were favorable, as in The New York Times Book Review, but the commitment to the fanciful concept of biological egalitarianism, so strong in the politicized world that is contemporary multi-racial Western society, soon led to a violent reaction against the book and all associated with its message. Few if any of the reviewers who criticized it cared to challenge the data contained in it: most preferred to trash it by seeking to demonize it by emotional and irrational tirades. Unfortunately, co-author Richard Herrnstein died of cancer shortly before it was published, and this placed the entire weight of its defense on Charles Murray. In particular, The Mankind Quarterly was criticized by several radical commentators, such as Leon Kamin, a former New England editor of the U.S. Communist Party’s weekly newspaper, and by journalist Charles Lane, also the holder of strong political views. Lane attacked The Mankind Quarterly as the source of a number of the articles containing data cited in The Bell Curve, complaining that “[N]o fewer than seventeen researchers cited in The Bell Curve have contributed to Mankind Quarterly.” This is a charge the present writer, as publisher of The Mankind Quarterly, does not dispute: though he regards it as an accolade rather than a criticism.(1)


However, the general reading public, including possibly a high percentage of those who have been exposed to contemporary politically biased university courses in the humanities, fail to appreciate the true history of Western thought concerning the role of heredity and race for race is nothing if not a matter of heredity. The writer therefore feels that it might be useful to present a brief outline of this history, showing how committed the Western world was to a recognition of the efficacy of heredity until academic and media attitudes were affected in the first half of the present century by changes in the social, political and demographic climate.


This first article is consequently designed to illustrate the deep belief in the importance of heredity and race which prevailed from the earliest times until roughly the end of the first quarter of the present century. It will be followed by a second article, in the Fall issue of The Mankind Quarterly, which will document the rise of politically-motivated egalitarian ideology in the classrooms, which with the support of a substantial portion of the media eventually succeeded in making the idea of biological inequality politically unacceptable. Despite the fact that there is today a rapidly developing body of scientific research which, when viewed without fear or prejudice, clearly validates the age-old comprehension of the role of heredity in shaping the potential limits of individual human abilities, too many people are unaware of the mechanics behind the swing toward the powerful political notion of the biological equality of mankind. It is to be hoped that the following observations will encourage readers to enquire more deeply into this remarkable development.


Heredity in Ancient Europe


Western tradition has long recognized that heredity plays a significant role in determining not merely the characteristics of plants and animals but also the mental and physical qualities of human beings. Some elementary recognition of the role of genetics as a causal force may have originated as early as the Neolithic revolution, when cultivators learned how to improve upon the various species of wild grasses and to breed domesticated milk- and meat-giving animals which were biologically more useful to mankind than those they found in the wild. By the time of the great classical civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome it had become commonplace knowledge based on observing and remembering the generations from the same family that heredity also played an important role in determining the character and abilities of men and women.


In most early European societies, as in virtually all early societies that achieved an advanced culture, the social group was seen by its members as an intergenerational affair, with the family and the ancestors playing an important role in the self-concept of the individual. Life does not begin, nor does it end, with the individual. As Fustel de Coulanges pointed out in 1864, in his classic study of ancient Greek and Roman culture entitled The Ancient City (1955), it was the idea of common descent from the same ancestral forebears the idea of belonging to a specific community of families, and of sharing the same, hopefully eternal, thread of life that held the freemen of the Greek city-state together. As long as the lineage survived, the ancestors lived on in the minds and bodies of their descendants; death was only final when the entire nation was eliminated. The biological reality was interpreted into religious terms. The individual was seen as the product of the forces of biological causality, a living link in the chain that was the lineage, just as the lineage comprised a vital component of the nation-state, and the nation-state was a distinctly biological unit, with its own distinctive gene pool:


    Reproduction in the ancient community was a religious duty... The religious society was the family, the genos. Paternal dignity and sacerdotal dignity were fused: the eldest son, upon the death of the father, becomes the head and priest of the family. The deceased father is honoured by his children as a kind of divinity. He himself is honoured by his children as a kind of divinity. He himself rendered the same worship to his ancestors: thus the greatest misfortune that his piety had to fear, is that the line shall be stopped. For then his religion would disappear from the earth, his hearth would become extinct, the whole series of his departed ones would fall into oblivion ...


The qualities that characterized individuals were acquired, it was believed, from their ancestors. Thus we find a speaker in the Odyssey (IV, 60) observing that “the blood of your parents was not lost in you, but ye are of the line of men that are sceptered kings, the fosterlings of Zeus, for no churl could beget sons like you.” Similarly there are references to the disguised Athena as being “delicate of countenance such as are the sons of kings” (XIII, 216), whereas in the Iliad Thersites is described as ill-formed with a warped head. It was recognized that the even well-born individuals had to be schooled and trained to develop their inborn qualities to the maximum, but basic potential was inborn. In Homeric Greece, even truthfulness a revered value was deemed to be an inherited virtue, and to call a eupatrid, or “person of good ancestry,” a liar was tantamount to calling him a bastard, a man of impure, inferior descent. Even as late as Classical Athens, Aristotle defined the physical and moral characteristics that were deemed to constitute nobility as “an inherited virtue” (Pol. IV. 8). In this, as in so many of his opinions, Aristotle was echoing ancient convictions expressed in the Iliad, as when a speaker protests that: “Therefore ye could not say that I am weak and a coward by lineage, and so dishonor my spoken word” (Il. XIV, 126).


According to L. R. Palmer, the authority on the Pylos tablets, Achaean kings held their office by virtue of the purity of their descent. Among the Achaeans, he wrote: “Where the ‘luck’ of the tribe is concerned, there is no substitute for blue blood” (Achaeans and Indo- Europeans 1955, p. 9). Werner Jaeger went even further, describing the Hellenic ideal as an “aristocracy of race (1945, p. 205).” Because of their respect for good breeding, the Greeks honored their women as the progenitors of the race, and it was said that men chose their wives as they chose their horses, by the length of their pedigrees. The desirability of breeding from proven stock had become a cultural requirement, and only children born of legitimate wives (i.e., of quality ancestry) could inherit the social status of the father. Indeed, in ancient Athens and other Greek city-states, the eupatrids were men descended from no less than nine generations of untainted noble stock on both sides of the family tree.


Plato’s interest in eugenics is well known, and he praises the Spartan interest in eugenic breeding (Laws, 630). Aristotle is equally impressed by the need to breed good stock. Theognis of Megara constantly praises the importance of heredity, complaining that well-born men and women will sometimes take inferior marriage partners in pursuit of riches, laments that “We seek well-bred rams and sheep and horses and one wishes to breed from these ... [but] men revere money, and the good marry the evil, and the evil the good. Wealth has confounded race.” (Theognis, V. 183). Racial purity was linked to physical appearance, with Spartan women being renowned for their beauty; and character was seen as inherited along with personal features: “Thou art pleasing to look upon and thy character is like to thy form” (Stobaeus, lxxxviii, 71). In Greek literature the importance of heredity is repeated again and again: “Noble children are born from noble sires, the base are like in nature their father” (Alcmeaon, Fr. 7); “I bid all mortals beget well-born children from noble sires” (Heraclitus, 7);”If one were to yoke good with bad, no good offspring would be born, but if both parents are good, they will bear noble children” (Meleager, Fr. 9).


The early Romans similarly held lineage in great respect and enforced a system of connubium, whereby freeborn Romans could only marry into certain approved stocks. However, the Romans were relatively few in number and, when their unparalleled military and administrative ability converted the Roman empire into a fully multi- ethnic community of enormous size, the circumstances became ripe for the rise of egalitarian political ideologies. Rome, the “multicultural giant,” disappeared before the onslaught of the smaller, more homogeneous, Germanic nations, which still retained a sense of group identity.


The Germanic peoples (the Germans, Dutch, Flemings, Anglo- Saxons, Franks, Lombards, Scandinavians, Goths, Burgundians and Vandals) who founded so many of the modern states of Europe following the demise of the Roman Empire, carried the concept of heredity to its logical conclusion in their virtually unique system of kinship. Unlike their kinsmen, the Greeks, Italics, Celts, Slavs, and East Balts, they did not organize themselves in patrilineal clans and phratries which recognized only their father’s kinfolk, but saw kinship in fully genetic terms. The Germanic “kindred” comprised all the individual’s relatives on both the paternal and the maternal sides, assessing the degree of closeness according to the closeness of their actual genetic relationship; this was a quite different system from the concept of patrilineal or matrilineal clans so widespread amongst other peoples of the world. This Germanic kindred was the subject of the exhaustive study Kindred and Clan in the Middle Ages and After (Phillpotts, 1917). To this day most North Americans of European descent have come to accept the Germanic tradition, where kinship is determined by the closeness of genetic relationship, whether the relatives be on the maternal or paternal side, as distinct from patrilineal and matrilineal clan systems. In ancient Scandinavia the belief in inherited talents was reflected in the concept of hamingja, an inherited “luck” force. However, it was recognized that siblings inherited qualities in different patterns, and kings who were “unlucky,” and under whose leadership things went badly, were readily replaced by more competent individuals from the same royal lineage that had already produced generations of distinguished and successful leaders. The belief in breeding and the intergenerational transmission of genetic qualities was overriding, or as the old Germanic folk dictum expressed it, one could not make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear!


Indeed, most Indo-European peoples, including those who resided outside the geographical borders of Europe, seem to have placed considerable trust in the powers of heredity. Max Weber documented the same emphasis on heredity among other Indo-Europeans. In The Religion of India (1958), Weber described the semi-magical xvarenah attributed to Indo-Iranian kings as a belief in inherited ability, calling it “familial charisma.” The Indian caste system, he maintained, was sustained by a similar belief in the genetic inheritance of human qualities. The charisma of a caste, of a sib, and of a family, was genetically transmitted; its roots were to be found in the concept of inherited ability.


The coming of Christianity plunged classical philosophy into centuries of near-oblivion and clashed with the established and ancient European belief in the inequality of men. Spreading first among the slaves and lowest classes of the Roman empire, Christianity came to teach that all men were equal in the eyes of a universal Creator God, an idea that was totally alien to older European thought which had recognized a hierarchy of competence among men and even among the gods. Opposing the traditions of classical philosophy and scientific enquiry, Christianity introduced the concept of a single, omnipotent “God of History” who controlled all the phenomena of the universe with men and women being creations of that God. Since all men and women were the “children of God,” all were equal before their Divine Maker! Faith in the church’s interpretation of supposedly prophetic revelations became more important than scientific or philosophical enquiry; and to question the church’s view of reality came to be perceived as sinful.


However, traditional European convictions as to the significance of heredity never completely died. Heroes, aristocrats and other national leaders had been regarded as superior beings by virtue of their descent from famed heroes or even from the gods, just as the Germanic kings claimed descent from Woden.(2) Kings and nobles were believed to inherit qualities superior to those of the average man, and to carry these qualities in their “blood.” In ancient myth heroes might even challenge the gods; and the Christian church, jealous of the “divinity” awarded to kings and nobles by virtue of their lineage,(3) but finding it convenient to win their goodwill, offered them the “divine right” to rule as earthly representatives of the Christian God for so long as they obeyed the wishes of the Church as the representatives of God on Earth. The “divine right” to rule with the church’s approval was a very different concept from the “divinity” that came from well-born stock.


Consequently, the idea of any disparity in genetic qualities came to be subtly discouraged by the church; and the success of the church was such that by the Middle Ages those who tilled the fields began to ask the rhetorical question: When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the Gentleman?


Stripped of their belief in the significance of human heredity and the notion of the state as a kinship unit “a family writ large” and believing instead in the essential equality of all men and women as the children of God, dissident sects espousing radically egalitarian ideals arose at intervals to protest social and economic inequality, especially at times when this became oppressive.


In time, secular political movements also began to assert the idea of biological equality, a theme which tended to be favorably received whenever the disquietude of a divided society erupted into revolution. Such was the case of the Levellers who fought alongside the Parliamentarians in seventeenth century Britain; of the Jacobins, who decimated the accomplished aristocracy of eighteenth century France; and of the Bolsheviks who wrought genocidal slaughter among the more successful members of Czarist Russian society nobles and peasants alike following the Bolshevik Revolution in the early twentieth century.(4)


In recent times, calls for political revolution have frequently invoked attacks on “genetic determinism” in favor of the alternate, wildly illogical, philosophy of human “biological egalitarianism.” Despite the fact that both Marx and Engels personally believed in the significance of heredity and race Marx being particularly fond of resorting to some of the more vulgar racist terms to abuse his rivals in correspondence with his friends the ideological movement that emerged from their teachings eventually yielded to the notion of biological egalitarianism as a necessary ploy to inspire revolutionary passions among members of what they chose to call the proletariat. It was under Stalin, who sought to spread revolution in the Third World against “capitalist imperialism,” that communist theoreticians found it convenient to overlook the fact that much economic inequality could be explained by biological inequality: the suggestion that one individual might be inherently more creative or productive than another tended to dampen the feelings of resentment so necessary to incite the masses to revolutionary action.


The Discovery of Evolution and Genetic Science


Yet even while the myth of biological egalitarianism was gaining ground in the Western world, the momentum of scientific enquiry, freed by the Renaissance from the shackles of medieval religious dictates, was deepening Man’s knowledge about himself and the world around him. In addition, a renewed enthusiasm for the application of selective breeding to plants and animals in the agricultural revolution of the eighteenth century focused enlightened thought once again on the significance of heredity.


In the second half of the nineteenth century, Charles Darwin finally restored the concept of heredity to its rightful place with the completion of his epic work, The Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life ([1859] 1914). It is of some small interest that his research troubled his deeply religious but loyal wife, because she sensed that it challenged the still dominant pattern of religious thought. Facing the need to defend his overall theory of evolution as applied to all living species, Darwin is described by his biographer, Sir Arthur Keith, as having decided to refrain from extending his evolutionary theory to explain the inequalities between the surviving races of man, which he regarded as being so apparent.(5)


What Darwin found it necessary to avoid, so inundated was he with criticism of his claim that mankind as a whole had evolved from “lower” forms of life, his half-cousin Sir Francis Galton did not hesitate to tackle. Indeed, Galton established the science of statistics as he sought to apply mathematics to the study of inheritance. In his own way, Galton was quite as great a contributor to evolving science as was Darwin, for apart from the attention he directed to the need to study heredity, he not only laid the foundations for the science of meteorology, but together with his close friend, co-worker, and biographer Karl Pearson, he established the basic techniques of modern statistical methods and quite literally founded the science of eugenics. The goal of eugenics, a word created by Galton from the Greek eugnes (“well born”), was to apply scientific knowledge about heredity to the problem of human evolution in order to combat deleterious demographic trends which threatened to lead to a decline of genetic quality in modern societies. In Galton’s own words, the purpose of genetic science was “to give the more suitable races or strains of blood a better chance of prevailing speedily over the less suitable.” Significantly he described eugenics as “that science which deals with all influences that improve the inborn qualities of a race; also with those that develop them to the utmost advantage” (1909, 35). In short, Galton realized that nature and nurture work in tandem and are not to be seen as mutually exclusive opponents. Heredity was important, but so was a healthy and congenial environment.


Using mathematical techniques to demonstrate the role of genetics in shaping mankind, Galton argued that it was scientifically possible to increase the frequency of desirable qualities among human beings, and to prevent the spread of deleterious qualities, by eugenic measures, and the idea quickly attracted the favorable attention of most serious scholars following the publication of his epoch-making study Hereditary Genius: An Inquiry into Its Laws and Consequences (1869). This seminal text was followed by Natural Inheritance (1889) and Essays in Eugenics (1909).


It is on record that Darwin was impressed by his cousin’s work on Hereditary Genius. In a letter dated December 3, 1869 Darwin commended Galton on his “memorable work,” stating that “I do not think I ever in my whole life read anything more interesting and original and how well and clearly you put every point You have made a convert.” Two years later, in chapter seven of The Descent of Man, he developed Galton’s observations concerning the differences between human races, noting that:


    ... the various races, when carefully compared and measured, differ much from each other as in the texture of hair, the relative proportions of all parts of the body, the capacity of the lungs, the form and capacity of the skull, and even the convolutions of the brain. But it would be an endless task to specify the numerous points of difference. The races differ also in constitution, in acclimatization and in liability to certain diseases. Their mental characteristics are likewise very distinct; chiefly as it would appear in their emotion, but partly in their intellectual faculties. Everyone who has had the opportunity of comparison, must have been struck by the contrast between taciturn, even morose aborigines of S. America and the light-hearted talkative negroes.”


Thus both Darwin and Galton came to the same conclusion, expressed by Galton as follows:


    It is in the most unqualified manner that I object to pretensions of natural equality. The experiences of the nursery, the school, the university, and of professional careers, are a chain of proofs to the contrary ... In whatever way we may test ability, we arrive at equally enormous intellectual differences.


Galton’s younger colleague, Karl Pearson, developed Galton’s novel statistical techniques to new levels of effectiveness, laying the foundations of modern scientific method in his publication The Grammar of Science (1892). Like Galton, Pearson realized that the genetic legacy each generation leaves to its successors is of prime importance for the future of mankind. Every generation, in fact, is a bottle-neck which sifts and determines which genes are to survive. Pearson delineated the fundamentals of the new field of eugenic science in a number of publications, including National Life from the Standpoint of Science (1905), Nature and Nurture: The Problem of the Future (1910). He expressed his concern for the genetic future of the British nation in a warning to his fellow-Britons in his Huxley Memorial Lecture of 1903:


    …the mentally better stock in the nation is not reproducing itself at the same rate as of old the less able and the less energetic are the more fertile ... The psychical characters which are the backbone of a State in the modern struggle of nations are not so much manufactured by home and school and college; they are bred in the bone, and for the last forty years the intellectual classes of the nation, enervated by wealth or by love of pleasure, or following an erroneous standard of life, have ceased to give in due proportion the men wanted to carry on the ever- growing work of the Empire. (Pearson, 1903)


Early Eugenics in Britain


Any people who recognize the significance of heredity must naturally think in terms of breeding. Once science had revalidated the concept of heredity in the Western world, the reaction in favor of extending the principles by which the quality of plants and animals had been improved to human beings was natural. The conditions of life in modern society seemed to be reversing natural selection and lowering the quality of each succeeding human generation. Support for the eugenic ideal quickly came from a wide range of varied intellectuals, including not only traditionalists who had always retained their belief in good breeding combined with good training, but also progressive thinkers. Those who cared for the unfortunates of this world saw how simply much human suffering could be eliminated in future generations by eugenic policies, and socialists such as George Bernard Shaw, whose Man and Superman (1965, p. 159) (essentially an ode to the inborn instinct to procreate the race) complained of contemporary society that “being cowards, we defeat natural selection under cover of philanthropy.” H. G. Wells, another reformer who likewise cared for posterity, proclaimed that “the children people bring into the world can be no more their private concern entirely, than the disease germs they disseminate” (Kevles, 92). Others who supported the eugenic ideal were the youthful J. Maynard Keynes; left-leaning Julian Huxley, who sought not revolution but the reduction of human suffering by genetic improvement; and J. B. S. Haldane, who adopted Marxist values but always opposed its anti-hereditarian extremes. Numerous other social reformers of that time, such as Sidney and Beatrice Webb, likewise embraced the eugenic ideal they were patriotic in the tradition of William Morris and Charles Dickens and eschewed revolutionary socialism, but feared emerging capitalism as a threat to the traditional bliss of agrarian England, and felt that much misery could be eliminated by rearing fit and healthy children rather than those who were burdened by genetic handicaps.


Also joining the eugenics cause was the ardent advocate of social change, Havelock Ellis, who supported the call for female liberation but emphasized the essential role that women played in ensuring the future of the race. Ellis (1912, pps. 4647, 205) declared that the aims of eugenics “could only be attained with the realization of the woman movement in its latest and completest phase as an enlightened culture of motherhood.” The new St. Valentine, he observed, would be a scientific saint, not one of folklore, because marriage should be for the procreation and health of the race, not merely for personal pleasure. Scholars and politicians alike applauded the new sense of responsibility in procreation,6 with diverse figures such as the Cambridge biologist Francis Maitland Balfour, founder of the British school of evolutionary biologists, British Prime Minister Arthur James Balfour,(7) and the young politician Winston Churchill, all paying homage to the eugenic ideal. Galton, childless himself, applied his personal fortune toward the promotion of research into heredity and eugenics, funding the establishment of a biometrics laboratory at the University of London under the direction of his fellow-eugenicist Karl Pearson, for the primary purpose of studying heredity in man. He also helped finance the establishment of the Eugenics Education Society, which later changed its name to the more simple Eugenics Society. Patriotic Englishmen who feared a dysgenic trend in national ability eagerly supported the eugenic doctrine that the fittest, most intelligent and creative parents should be encouraged to have larger families. In this, they were joined by Fabian socialists, who sought to decrease what was seen to be an excessive rate of reproduction among the genetically unfortunate, so as to “level up” society instead of “leveling it down” which latter was the usual outcome of revolutionary socialism.


Possibly it was Julian Huxley who best summed up the confidence with which so many British academics who lived during the first half of this century viewed the future, when he wrote (1941, p. 22):


    Once the full implications of evolutionary biology are grasped, eugenics will inevitably become part of religion of the future, or whatever complex of sentiments may in future take the place of organized religion. It is not merely a sane outlet for human altruism, but is of all outlets for altruism that which is most comprehensive and of longest range.


In all honesty, although it would seem difficult to envisage his prophecy becoming a reality in any foreseeable date in the Western world, tendencies in Mainland China, and in the Chinese republic of Singapore, strongly indicate that it may be the billion-plus Chinese people who first realize Huxley’s dream of the future.


The Eugenic Ideal Finds Favor in America


Scientific ideas are seldom confined to one country in the modern world, except where political suppression enters onto the scene, as in Marxist Russia, and although it was in England that the concepts of evolution and eugenics first saw light, European and American scholars soon responded. We will not here attempt to cover the continental scene, although scholars such as Ernest Haeckel, who became an ardent advocate of Darwinian evolution, seeing nations as potentially incipient races and the major racial divisions of mankind as virtually separate species, undoubtedly influenced the English-speaking world. At this time the determination of what constituted a species had not yet come to be linked to the concept of mutual inter-fertility, but was judged purely by the extent of phenotypical variation, as in the Linnaean system of classification still broadly accepted by biologists today. Consistent with such views, Haeckel and others began to urge not only eugenic breeding but also racial purity.


The concept of a new eugenic science was also welcomed in the United States, which shared the same traditional appreciation of the role of heredity held by those Europeans who had remained behind in Europe. At the turn of the century, the United States was still a land of opportunity, yet one which had already acquired a sense of nationhood, so that many of its most important families had developed a profound social conscience and a strong desire to ensure that the hopes they held for the well-being of their descendants, as Americans, would be realized. Idealists such as president Theodore Roosevelt were convinced that the existing American population possessed generally superior genetic qualities, shaped by severe selective evolution over the previous generations. Their forebears had been adventurous individuals who had first elected to undertake, and then survived, what was in earlier centuries a dangerous ocean crossing. After arrival in the New World, they had to protect themselves and their families from the depredations of the native Indian tribes who had the advantage of familiarity with the local environment. While doing this, they had to tame vast primeval forests and grassland wildernesses something Europeans had not seen since their forebears first began to convert the forests of Europe into the rich but increasingly overpopulated farmlands of civilized agrarian and mercantile culture. Thus a century and a half ago, Ralph Waldo Emerson reflected the views of his countrymen when he wrote that: “Where the race is right, the place is right”.(8)


Americans at that time did not think of their country as a potential microcosm of all humanity, but as an emerging micro-race of predominantly European origin. President Theodore Roosevelt, credited with advancing the “melting pot” ideology, wanted only quality immigrants from ethnic stocks which would readily assimilate into the “Old American” population a term used to refer to persons descended from Europeans who had settled in North America prior to the War Between the States. While the British eugenicists were primarily concerned with maintaining the breeding quality of the resident population of the British Isles, Americans also debated the question of immigration, since they instinctively knew that immigrants affect what we would today call the national gene pool quite as significantly as differential selection within that pool.


Like Theodore Roosevelt, eugenicists felt that the new America must remain a vital and homogeneous nation. But, Roosevelt strongly believed that the Old Americans were not producing enough children, and that they must either change their ways or submit to an invasion of non-white peoples, most likely from Asia. Selected immigration from Europe was welcome, but those who would not fit in were not wanted. Immigrants should desirably match the genetic character of the existing population, and, to ensure this, most favored the restriction of immigration to the nations from which the predominantly North European pioneers who had built the United States had been drawn. The eugenic ideal matched perfectly the optimistic, forward-looking spirit of the people of the United States as they entered the twentieth century (although Roosevelt was fearful that those who advocated negative eugenics might discourage large families). But when eugenicists looked at increasing Asian and Hispanic immigration, some feared that the “great race” as eugenicist and conservationist Madison Grant (1924) described those whose ancestors had pioneered the establishment of European civilization in North America might be drowned by hordes of immigrants from Asia and Central America, too numerous to be assimilable, if it failed to defend its coasts and increase its own rate of reproduction. Madison Grant’s own ancestors, it might be noted, had come to the American colonies from Scotland following the failure of the 1745 Highland uprising led by Bonnie Prince Charlie. His writings were therefore well received by a generation of proud, self-confident, and essentially prosperous Old Americans who wished to see their lovely country remain in the hands of their own kind, and who like the Greeks of old treasured the memory of the achievements of their forebears. American scholars, wealthy self-made industrialists, farmers, and even politicians saw the eugenic ideal as a means of ensuring the future well- being and happiness of the new nation to which they were proud to belong. Indeed, it was those who could claim to be Old Americans who gathered most enthusiastically in support of the eugenic cause.


The hopes of the eugenicists were raised in 1910 by the establishment of the Cold Spring Harbor Eugenics Record Office by the Carnegie Institute of Washington. This was funded by Mrs. Mary Harriman,(9) the widow of E. H. Harriman, whose forebears left England for America in the seventeenth century. The director was Charles B. Davenport, the Harvard zoologist who was twice president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), as well as president of the American Zoological Society. The superintendent was Harry H. Laughlin, a leading light in the eugenics movement which flourished in America during the first half of the present century. The distinguished inventor, Alexander Graham Bell, figured prominently among the members of the Board of Scientific Directors established to support the work of the Eugenics Record Office. In a letter to Davenport, dated December 27, 1912, Bell revealed himself as a “mainstream” eugenicist who believed in “positive eugenics,” which aimed at increasing the percentage of healthy and talented individuals in succeeding generations, rather than in “negative eugenics,” the term commonly ascribed to measures designed to prevent the spread of deleterious genes. In light of the somewhat limited development of genetic and medical science at that time, and the heavily dysgenic impact of two World Wars which were shortly to follow, his observations reflect the perspicacity of a scientist whose name will live forever in history as a major contributor to technological progress and as a benefactor of the human race. Bell attended eugenics conventions, and himself authored several papers on eugenics, such as his essay entitled “How to Improve the Race,” which appeared in the January 1914 issue of the Journal of Heredity, edited by Paul Popenoe.


The Galton Society formed in New York in 1918 at the American Museum of Natural History by Henry Fairfield Osborn, C. B. Davenport, and Madison Grant became actively involved in endeavors to shape U.S. policy relating to population quality. Spontaneous eugenics societies were established in many American cities, and hopes for a bright future for eugenics and future generations were raised when in 1923 (due largely to the efforts of Alexander Graham Bell, Luther Burbank and Charles B. Davenport) the American Eugenics Society was established, with branches in numerous American cities. With the foundation of the Society, the eugenics movement began to take shape in a businesslike manner, placing heavy emphasis on the participation of scholars as scientific advisors on various advisory committees. Other eugenics organizations proliferated at this time, among which were the Eugenics Research Association, the International Federation of Eugenic Organizations, the American Social Hygiene Association, and even such bodies as the American Genetics Association, and the American Association for the Study of Human Heredity. Eugenicists were kept informed of new developments in science through a publication the Eugenical News.


Devoted to the well-being of their young nation, many of the early American eugenicists were proud to claim to be of Old American stock.(10) The term “Old American” was further popularized by the book of the same name, compiled by the anthropologist Ale Hrdlika. Hrdlika was himself a recent European immigrant, of Bohemian origin, who had accompanied his father to America at the age of fourteen and, after working in a cigar factory as a teenager, had entered the Eclectic Medical College of New York and graduated with an M.D. at the top of his class. Hrdlika practiced medicine for a while but soon found his interest turning to the problem of human quality and the significance of racial differences, which he saw in an evolutionary context. Traveling extensively to study the diverse living peoples of the world, as well as paleontological remains, he emerged as America’s leading physical anthropologist, serving as editor of The American Journal of Physical Anthropology (which he founded in 1918), and as first president of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists. Significantly he found nothing wrong in the historical pride of his new compatriots, and served for many years on the American Eugenics Society subcommittee on anthropometry and on the advisory council, being deeply concerned, as an expert on evolution, with the threat of dysgenics (of a deterioration in genetic stock) facing modern man. In his article “Race Deterioration and Destruction with Special Reference to the American People,” published by the Race Betterment Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan as part of the Proceedings of the Third Race Betterment Conference held on January 26, 1928, Hrdlika defined “race deterioration” as “the degradation of its standards of mentality and effectiveness, generally attended also by the lowering of those of physique” (p. 82). “Race destruction,” another threat with which he was concerned, meant the loss of racial identity either “through complete submergence into another race” (p. 82) or simply by failure to reproduce itself. History, Hrdlika noted, recorded the rise and fall of nations. Vital, healthy nations tended to rise, but nations could also fall when, weakened by luxury and the exhaustion of ambition, they suffered a “dilution of the physical as well as mental status by admixture with poorer blood” (p. 83). He observed (pp. 84-85):


    There are still some benevolent minds who would like to see all men, white and black, potentially equal. Yet they will hold that there are differences between one family and another family, and even between the children of the same family, in the same racial group. If they did not, there would obviously be no use for eugenics ... no use even for much of genetics and biology. As a matter of fact there are similarities but no absolute equality anywhere in living nature, either in races, or families or even individuals. The problem is merely how great in a given case is the dissimilarity. Races, especially the further distant ones ... are not equipotential, or equally effective, or able ...


The Race Betterment Foundation, which sponsored the conference at which Hrdlika presented these views, was first established in 1906 as the American Medical Missionary Board (but soon changed its name to the Race Betterment Foundation). Its founder was John Harvey Kellogg, a descendant of an Englishman named Joseph Kellogg who had arrived in North America as early as 1651. Kellogg, who launched the breakfast cereals industry by introducing granola to the American public as a health food, was chief surgeon at the then world-famous Battle Creek Sanitorium.


Publishing a journal called Good Health, the Race Betterment Foundation became a major center of the new eugenics movement in America. Kellogg himself was an important and respected figure who authored numerous medical and eugenics treatises, and his circle of influence extended to several successful businessmen including J. C. Penney and C. W. Barron, whose names remain familiar to this day. Another member of the Kellogg family, Vernon Lyman Kellogg, a zoologist of international repute, also espoused the eugenics movement. As a personal friend of President Herbert Hoover, he served on various national health and agricultural committees, becoming a trustee of the young Brookings Institute and of the Rockefeller Foundation while continuously taking an active role in the eugenics movement as the latter grew in size and influence.


The movement was also early supported by famed educator David Starr Jordan, first president of Stanford University.(11) Jordan’s first American ancestor had arrived in the North American colonies from England circa 1700. Jordan’s status in the American education scene of his day is illustrated by the fact that he was a trustee of the Carnegie Foundation and president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Educational Association, and the California and Indiana Academies of Science, as well as vice president of the Eugenics Education Society in Britain. In the opinion of the present writer, his major contribution to eugenic thought was the emphasis he placed on the dysgenic effect of modern warfare in such books as War and the Breed (1915). Charles William Eliot, president of Harvard University, trustee of the Carnegie Institution of New York, and one of the most eminent educators in America, also rallied to the eugenic crusade, as did astronomer William Wallace Campbell, president of the University of California, whose Scottish forebears had migrated to the colonies in the eighteenth century. Livingston Farrand, president of the University of Colorado and subsequently president of Cornell University, chairman of the central committee of the International Red Cross, and editor of the American Journal of Public Health, similarly espoused the eugenics movement, as did innumerable other educators and faculty members of note.


American paleontologists and anthropologists were also generally enthusiastic. Another leading anthropologist who served on the American Eugenics Society subcommittee on anthropometry was Earnest A. Hooton, the respected Harvard professor who later became director of the Peabody Museum. Hooton’s father had been born in England, and Hooton himself attended Oxford University on a Rhodes scholarship. Returning to America, where he became one of the main pioneers of physical anthropology, Hooton was an active member of the American Genetics Association and the Galton Society. He saw eugenics in terms of different levels of human evolution, and strongly believed that different inherited personalities contributed to susceptibility to engage in criminal behavior. Hooton collated data on some seventeen thousand criminals, and took a keen interest in the effects of race mixing. His Up from the Ape (1931), Apes, Men and Morons (1937) argued that heredity was at least as important as environment as a determinant of human behavior.


Most scholars who were in any way connected with the study of evolution came to see races as representing different levels of human evolutionary development. Ellsworth Huntington, a Yale geologist descended from one, Simon Huntington, who had emigrated from England to the colonies in 1633, was at one time or another president of the Association of American Geographers, president of the Ecological Society of America, director of the Population Association of America, member of the American Eugenics Society advisory council and chairman of its Committee on Biologic Genealogy.(12) A widely traveled scholar, Huntington expressed his fear that the more advanced human stocks would likely be overrun by the less advanced, and, as a prolific author (he wrote no less than twenty books and several hundred articles), his views reached a broad audience of educated men and women. Biologists were naturally prominent among those who recognized the role of heredity in human affairs, and many adopted the eugenics cause. Notable amongst these was H. S. Jennings of The Johns Hopkins University, himself of Old American stock, who wrote several influential books on the subject: notably Prometheus or Biology and the Advancement of Man (1925), which forecast a bright future for mankind through the application of eugenic policies, and The Biological Basis of Human Nature (1930). Jennings was president of the American Society of Zoologists and the American Society of Naturalists, as well as a member of the advisory committee of the American Eugenics Society.


Psychologists who were interested in intelligence also tended to become involved with the new ideal of population improvement. R. M. Yerkes, a descendant of Anthony Yerkes who had come to America from Holland in 1700, became an enthusiastic member of the American Eugenics Society and the Galton Society. A professor of psychology at Harvard, Yerkes is particularly known for his mammoth World War I study of the IQ ratings of one and three-quarter million U.S. military recruits, compiled while he was head of the psychology division of the office of the United States Surgeon General. Yerkes’s concern with the different qualities of individuals and races led him to become active in the matter of immigration control, and he was elected chairman of the Committee on Human Migration in 1922. Leaving Washington to take a professorship at Yale, Yerkes recognized the potential for sociobiological studies in helping to explain human behavior, and in 1929 he founded the Laboratory of Primate Biology in Florida for this purpose. He also served as chairman of both the American Psychological Association (1916) and the American Society of Naturalists (1938). Carl C. Brigham, professor of psychology at Princeton University and author of A Study of American Intelligence (1923) was another member of the American Eugenics Society who became involved in immigration control, seeking to ensure that the American gene pool would not be adulterated by inferior genes, and was a keen member of the Galton Society and the Eugenics Research Association.


Possibly the most influential of the early psychologists who were active in the eugenics movement was William McDougall. Born in England, and educated at the universities of Cambridge and Göttingen, McDougall taught at Oxford University before eventually emigrating to the U.S. to take up a position at Harvard. With his experience of anthropological work in Borneo, McDougall was a fellow of the prestigious Royal Society in Britain and the author of numerous major textbooks which earned him preeminence in the field of social psychology. His respect for heredity showed itself in a series of books, beginning with An Introduction to Social Psychology (1908). Acutely conscious of the role of heredity in shaping human behavior, McDougall was an evolutionist who realized that human behavior was shaped by the evolutionary past of the human race. Because of the significant degree of racial diversity within the living peoples of the world, he prophesied that “racial psychology” would one day become a recognized field of study. As a believer in the quality of the North European stock relative to diverse other populations in the contemporary world, McDougall also took an interest in the composition of the future population of America: his book Is America Safe for Democracy? (1926) stressed the need for a selective immigration policy which would ensure that the United States remained a relatively homogeneous nation, and the need to design a truly scientific eugenic policy.


Of equal significance, however, was Lewis Madison Terman, president of the American Psychological Association and of the National Academy of Science. Terman authored a number of popular books on psychology, sex, and mental health, but is academically best known for his revision of the Binet Scale (1916), his co-authorship of the Stanford Achievement Tests, and his massive four-volume Genetic Studies of Genius (1926-30). Terman was a major voice in the eugenics movement, and was a key member of the Eugenics Society committee on psychometry.


Notable sociologists also rallied to the logic of eugenics. Franklin H. Giddings, author of several major works in early American sociology, professor of sociology at Bryn Mawr College, later chairman of the sociology department at Columbia University and president of the American Sociological Society, was a strong supporter of the eugenics movement who helped organize some of the first international conferences on eugenics and population. Giddings was descended from George Giddings who came to the colonies from England as early as 1635. Frank H. Hankins, a Columbia University educated sociologist who taught at Clark and Smith Colleges, was an active member of the board of directors of the American Eugenics Society. President of the American Sociological Society, and of the later-formed Population Association of America, Hankins authored a penetrating study entitled The Racial Basis of Civilization (1926).


Another sociologist who firmly believed in the importance of heredity was Robert M. MacIver, a Scottish immigrant who had been born in Stornaway on the isle of Harris. Well known for his many sociology texts, MacIver taught at Barnard College and Columbia University, and later was president of the New School for Social Research, which did not prevent it from later becoming identified with leftist views. A dedicated humanist, MacIver recognized the importance of good heredity and enthusiastically served on the board of the American Eugenics Society.


Another realist was the renowned sociologist and social psychologist, Emory Stephen Bogardus, who likewise served on the American Eugenics Society advisory council. A professor at the University of Southern California, Bogardus edited the Journal of Sociology and Social Research for over forty years, was founder and editor of the Journal of Applied Sociology, and a contributing editor to the Journal of Social Forces and the Journal of Educational Psychology. He authored numerous textbooks which were widely used and his Development of Social Thought (1960), written toward the end of his life, remained a classic survey of the history of sociology right into the fourth quarter of the present century. Less remembered today is his Immigration and Race Attitudes (1928), which more clearly shows his personal convictions on the importance of an understanding of heredity to the shaping of national policies.


The common cause between liberals and the traditionalists who both initially welcomed eugenics eventually became somewhat strained over the question of the feminist movement. This was not because the traditionalists despised women, but because they saw the outcome of the feminist movement differently. In general, the liberals favored “negative eugenics,” a reduction of the number of births among the less favored, while the traditionalists tended to think in terms of the competition between nations and races, and favored “positive eugenics,” which sought to encourage a higher rate of reproduction among the better stock.


Women made up an appropriately high proportion of those who attended eugenics lectures in both America and England, showing a proper concern for the future of the children they bore and the nation they nourished. Consequently, feminists such as Margaret Sanger, who for eugenic reasons wanted to make contraceptives equally available to the poor as to the middle and upper income groups, agreed with eugenicist Margaret Stopes when the latter proclaimed: “[m]ore children from the fit, less from the unfit that is the chief issue of birth control” (Hall 1977). Traditionalists such as the British eugenicists W. C. D. and C. D. Whetham, authors of The Family and the Nation: A Study in Natural Inheritance and Family Responsibility (1909), while agreeing with the female liberationists in that statement, nevertheless feared that feminism and the entry of the more intelligent women into the professions would reduce the birth rate among precisely those women who should be having more children: “Woe to the nation whose best women refuse their natural and most glorious burden,” they wrote, warning that “freedom from marriage and reproduction ... is suicidal” (pp. 198-99).


Today, the low birth rate in the Western and more advanced nations of the world, and the massive ongoing population explosion in the Third World, have rendered the views of these traditionalist eugenicists prophetic. Even the Singaporeans, who are not a Third World nation, have noted the low birth rate among the more intelligent and educated of their womenfolk. As Leonard Darwin, Charles Darwin’s son, a leading supporter of the British Eugenics Education Society and the British Eugenics Review, warned in 1927, the spread of birth control devices has been “racially devastating” to the more advanced countries. Sir Charles Galton Darwin, grandson of the renowned evolutionist and one of the early editorial board members of The Mankind Quarterly, also stressed the threat of overpopulation arising from reduced infant mortality in the Third World as a result of modern medical advances in his book The Next Million Years (1951) and in his 1960 Mankind Quarterly article “World Population: Can Man Control His Numbers?”


Nevertheless in the early decades of this century, both in America and in Britain, there was a generally happy overlap of interest on the subject of eugenics between leading liberals, who espoused negative eugenics aimed at discouraging the genetically defective from procreating, and traditionalists such as Leonard Darwin and Coldstream Guards officer C. P. Blacker, who generally supported positive eugenics and who were more concerned that the talented and healthy should be sure to pass on their genes to future generations. This political overlap was matched by a softening of the attitude of the Church, and the Bishop of Ripon urged the greater procreation of the fit in order to populate the British dominions overseas. The same moderation of attitude toward eugenics among the more progressive churchmen was also to be found in America. As Rudolph M. Binder wrote in his article “Eugenics and Religion,” in the Eugenical News:


    There has always been a double line in theological reasoning. One holds that God is not only omnipotent but controls absolutely everything; and all the various phenomena in the universe, including human activities are but manifestations of his power. This theory is best known by the term “predestination,” and would imply that ... any attempt at contraception is an interference with the will of God. Hence, the opposition to eugenics which, while primarily concerned with the increase of good stock, is at least indirectly opposed to the propagation of poor stock.


    This theological theory has gradually yielded to a more ethical conception of the deity. The omnipotence of God is less emphasized than His love. And the new theory permits a different interpretation of man. He has some liberty, he is held responsible for his acts, he is praised for his good actions as a co-worker with God and blamed for his bad ones.


With various other religious leaders such as Dean Inge of St. Paul’s Cathedral supporting eugenics, the years between 1900 and the early 1930s were generally marked by a happy collaboration among those who truly desired to improve the conditions of life for future generations of human beings.


The More Advanced Countries Adopt Eugenics Laws


Today, continuing and rapid progress in genetic science holds out the promise that gene ‘splicing’ or genetic ‘surgery’ may make the elimination of many hereditary defects a real possibility in the foreseeable future. If individual deleterious genes can be replaced by healthy counterparts so that future generations can inherit all the desirable qualities of their forebears free from adverse mutations and other heritable disabling conditions, one of the major dreams of eugenicists will have been realized. Of course, this will not solve the entire eugenic problem, for although it is easy to repair a disabled Rolls Royce by replacing a leaking hosepipe or other defective part, it is not practicable to attempt to convert a Yugo or Lada into a Rolls Royce by replacing a major number of parts: not only is the task too large, but also many of the Rolls Royce parts would be incompatible with those of the inferior vehicle. The justification for “positive” or “mainline” eugenics the encouragement of an appropriate rate of reproduction among overall healthy and competent individuals would still remain. However, in the early decades of the twentieth century, although the consciousness of responsibility for the well-being of posterity ran high, genetic engineering was still hopelessly out of reach, and eugenicists knew that if the members of their generation were to pass on their genetic heritage to posterity in at least as good a condition as they had received it, it was necessary to avoid an undue proliferation of deleterious genes and to ensure the transmission of at least an undiminished percentage of the more desirable genes. It was obvious to the more conscientious that modern conditions of life had undermined nature’s own methods of preserving the quality of the human stock in those populations that had emerged from a feral state of life and had advanced into what they so proudly called a “civilized” existence. Something had to be done to block the dysgenic trends that were weakening the quality of the population in the more technologically advanced nations. Native tribes living in the Amazon were still subject to nature’s pruning knife and did not yet face these dysgenic trends, but they too, as their lifestyle became “modernized,” were likely in the course of time to face the same dysgenic influences.


As a result, the more responsible members of the advanced Western nations, conscious of their duty to the well-being of future generations, came to press for eugenic laws, and the majority of the more enlightened nations of the West introduced some such kind of legislation. Some might argue today that they should have waited until genetic science had advanced to the level where genetic “surgery” had become a real possibility, but the immediacy of the dysgenic threat introduced by modern conditions did not permit the luxury of delay. The entire genetic potential of future generations was going to be restricted to whatever collation of genes those who were living in the early decades of the twentieth century passed on to their heirs. Eugenicists realized that the future genotype of a nation depends on the reproductive activity of each successive generation, and the massive dysgenic impact of modern warfare, combined with the emergence of disproportionate rates of reproduction between the fit and the unfit, indicated that there was no time to be lost.


In consequence, virtually all the more enlightened nations of the Western world decided to introduce eugenic laws intended to control the reckless spread of deleterious genes. With this objective in mind, eugenic laws were introduced in Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Lithuania, Estonia, Iceland and a number of Swiss cantons. Germany introduced similar laws and has been much criticized for this, but so also did Austria, Hungary, Italy, Greece, and Spain. Britain, which had largely pioneered the eugenics movement and was suffering from the decimation of its leadership class in World War I, did not get around to following suit. Even outside Europe, there were countries such as Argentina, Chile, Peru, Brazil where laws covering hereditary mental pathologies, hereditary feeblemindedness and serious hereditary physical pathologies were enacted.


It is of some interest that these legislative measures, designed to protect future generations, were largely pioneered by the United States; U.S. legislation being copied by many of the other countries, including Germany. By 1931 twenty-seven of the forty-eight states of the U.S. had eugenics laws on their statute books, and no less than thirty states in all passed such laws at one time or another. In addition, many states had statutes prohibiting miscegenation, on the theory that the scrambling together of separate gene pools created by nature might be dysgenic. In Canada, both British Columbia and Alberta adopted similar laws, and it seemed probable that in the course of time all the leading nations of the West would eventually take steps intended to free their future populations from the dysgenic threat already so apparent. Responsible intellectuals were confident that science and moral vision would combine to save Homo sapiens from itself and enable him to take control of the evolutionary steering tiller which modern science would allow them to steal from nature to chart a rational course to a happier future than any to which primitive man could ever have dreamed to aspire. Julian Huxley’s prophecy seemed about to be fulfilled.


Eugenicists as Conservationists


To truly appreciate the social conscience of those who supported eugenics, it is revealing to note that those who desired to preserve the genetic quality of the human population were also anxious to preserve all that was wonderful in the world of nature. Indeed, it was mainly those who were anxious to conserve the genetic heritage of mankind who pioneered the conservationist movement which similarly sought to conserve the rich variety of plant and animal species that nature had bequeathed to the care of man.


Possibly the most notable figure in this conservationist movement was Gifford Pinchot a grandson of one of Napoleon’s generals, who was a professor of forestry at Yale and who had the honor of having Mount Pinchot named after him. A respected and popular figure, who was twice elected governor of Pennsylvania, Pinchot combined his services to the environment with active engagement in the eugenics movement. But the list of eugenicists who were active in the conservation movement is a long one. The foundation of the American Bison Society was largely due to eugenicist Madison Grant and his like- minded personal friends. The Save-the-Redwoods League owed its existence to eugenicists Madison Grant, Henry Fairfield Osborn, and paleontologist John Campbell Merriam (president of the American Paleontological Society and of the Geological Society). Merriam, who was proud of his father’s “Old American” ancestry and his mother’s Scottish ancestry, also served as president of the Carnegie Foundation of Washington, and as an extremely active president of the Save-the- Redwoods League. Despite a full calendar, he seldom missed a meeting of the Galton Society or of the Eugenics Advisory Council.


With the support of Theodore Roosevelt, eugenicists Madison Grant and Henry Fairfield Osborn founded the New York Zoological Society in 1893, where animals could roam freely in conditions similar to their natural habitats instead of being confined to cramped cages. Irving Fisher of Yale president of the Eugenics Research Association in the 1920s was a member of Theodore Roosevelt’s National Conservation Commission in 1919. Antioch College president Arthur Ernest Morgan, a civil engineer by profession, was another keen eugenicist who supported the conservation movement. Botanist and eugenicist James Arthur Harris, of “Old American” English stock, a student of Karl Pearson in London and winner of the Weldon Medal (named after the noted English eugenicist), was also an ardent conservationist, and served as president of the American Society of Naturalists. Perhaps even more typical of the academic naturalist and eugenicist of the day was Francis B. Sumner, a sociologist who began teaching at City College, New York, became director of the laboratory of the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, before moving to the University of California, La Jolla. Sumner combined his various duties as a section chairman of the AAAS and president of the Western Society of Naturalists with active membership of the American Genetics Association and the Save-the- Redwoods League.


It is only logical that eugenicists should be ardent conservationists: the humanitarian idealism of the first decades of the twentieth century was the natural outcome of discerning and cultured men and women who were prepared to devote their lives to obstructing the tide of biological destruction which was already beginning to sweep America, damaging both the human and the non-human genetic heritage alike. These were people who deemed it their duty to leave the world a better place than they had found it or if that were not possible, at least as good a place as previous generations had left it. Eugenicists, after all is said and done, are conservationists first and last, and there are few eugenicists who do not care about the survival of a rich legacy of flora and fauna in a healthy environment as a logical extension of their concern that the earth should be in the care of persons capable of appreciating its qualities and conserving these for future generations. The historical record shows that they put superhuman effort into their struggle as conservationists, both with respect to plants and animals as well as to humans, and much of what in fact has survived to the present day is a result of their efforts.


The success of the conservationist movement in the United States at this vital period in the nation’s history was facilitated by the sympathy of President Theodore Roosevelt, who was deeply concerned about the threat to the quality of both the natural and human stock of America. The contemporary generation of “Old American” pioneering origin, he held, were guilty of committing race suicide by allowing their birth rate to drop below the rate necessary to populate the lands their forebears had won.13 But he also cared deeply for the zoological and botanical heritage, and inviting George Bird Grinnell, a pioneer conservationist who had been publicizing the need for conservationist action through the medium of Forest and Stream magazine, to dinner to meet like-minded individuals, Roosevelt formed the highly respected Boone and Crockett Club, without the activities of whose members, such as Madison Grant and Gifford Pinchot, there undoubtedly would be no Yellowstone Park today. Nor would the early conservation laws which saved much wild life, trees, plants, and wildernesses from destruction have been enacted. Glacier National Park is another example of the treasures that exist largely due to the Boone and Crockett Club.


With Madison Grant serving as secretary and later as president, the Boone and Crockett Club was largely comprised of eugenicists and eugenics sympathizers. Renowned as one of the more active members of the eugenics movement, and especially for his efforts to preserve the “Old American” component of the American population, Grant worked just as ardently to preserve the natural heritage for future generations of Americans and should be remembered always with honor as one of the nation’s greatest benefactors.


As to legislation, the members of the Club worked both inside the Club and outside to ensure the passage of federal and state laws that would protect certain species of animal and plant life, notably the giant redwoods, from extinction. Their fear was that the increasing population of North America and modern economic development would eliminate the heritage nature had bequeathed to their generation, and that this could also happen worldwide. As Madison Grant prophetically warned in Trail and Camp Fires (1904) that unless active steps were taken:


    [i]t may be confidently asserted that [man] ... will have destroyed most, if not all the large African fauna certainly including the most beautiful antelopes in the world and game in India and North America in a wild state will almost have ceased to exist.


Henry Ford, who was concerned about preserving both the quality of the population and the quality of the environment, assigned one of his staff to act as a full-time lobbyist to aid in the passage of a major conservation bill which was signed into law by President Taft on March 4, 1913. It was also no accident that Henry Fairfield Osborn, one of the most active exponents of eugenics, was among those who worked most strongly for passage of the bill.


The opening decades of the Twentieth Century were in many ways a credit to the flowering of American conservationist idealism. Led by patriotic and far-seeing descendants of the early European settlers of North America, and with the whole-hearted collaboration of the nobler- minded among more recent European immigrants, there was a strong dedication to the need to hand down a rich heritage to future generations of Americans. To have personally known any of these farsighted American leaders from the early part of this century is a privilege now denied to all except a few more elderly citizens. The names mentioned are but a few of the dedicated individuals who graced early twentieth century American society and who freely gave their time, talents and money to the effort to save for posterity all that was best of the plant, animal, and human wealth still plentiful in their day. These men and women were inspired by a noble sense of public duty, and although subsequent generations have not preserved the high level of genetic and environmental conservation to which they aspired something at least of their spirit still exists, and the overall logic behind their views has since been demonstrated to have been totally sound.


Biological Egalitarianism Infiltrates Academe


But just when it seemed that the Western nations of the world were rising to a new level of social consciousness and moral responsibility, World War I wrought political and genetic havoc upon the Western world. Striking Europe the most heavily, with Britain and France suffering genetic losses from which they never recovered, it also led to significant changes in America which were further accentuated by the ensuing Great Depression. The forces of revolutionary socialism, seducing significant segments of the public by painting a fanciful image of a distant egalitarian paradise, were the only beneficiaries of the disastrous maelstrom of genetic and economic destruction wrought by the war. Although eugenicists saw the war losses as additional evidence of the urgent need to preserve the drastically weakened heritage of beneficial genes, the public’s confidence in the future was shattered by the Great Depression and the resultant struggle simply to survive. Popular concern, often little directed toward the distant future, was redirected even more strongly to the problems of the present day, and the revolutionary socialist creed of egalitarianism and anti- hierarchicalism steadily won control of the high ground that the eugenicists were unable to retain.


In some countries, as in Russia, the massive losses of World War I led to violent revolutionary victory for those who preached anti- hereditarian views: although this brought with it neither freedom nor equality for the common man, only a truly cruel form of dictatorial government that showed no interest in either environmental conservation or human genetic conservation. Even in Western Europe and North America, where there was no violent Marxist seizure of power, the forces of social revolution made egalitarianism their slogan. This steady slide from idealistic concern for the future to crude appeals to the material interests of the present generation was facilitated by the penetration of the academic world by advocates of social revolution, and the political influenceof the latter gained ground rapidly during an era troubled by economic depression.


Positive and Negative Eugenics


Changes also developed at this time within the eugenics movement which first seemed to strengthen the argument in favor of eugenic action, but eventually led to a major setback. Traces of this can be identified in the double-edged manner in which president Theodore Roosevelt had viewed the eugenics movement. Roosevelt strove mightily to persuade healthy Americans to have more children, and fussed against members of the eugenics movement whose advice, he feared, could discourage childbearing among otherwise healthy Americans. Genetic science was not then sufficiently advanced to enable the precise identification of deleterious genes, and Roosevelt and many other supporters of the eugenic ideal justifiably believed that the best route to take in the prevailing circumstances was to encourage the procreation of those stocks that seemed to be generally fit and creative.


Those were days, it must be remembered, when concern about the “yellow peril” was common. This was based on the evidence, already apparent but since then magnified many times, that while the white race was threatened by a decline in numbers and quality, the speed with which the population of Asia was increasing, and the attempts Asians were already making to migrate into North America, constituted a threat to the United States which then perceived itself as a white nation. G. Stanley Hall, president of Clark University, was among those who warned that the traditional character of America as a European-based nation was threatened by the uncontrolled immigraton of Asians logically and prophetically commenting that “the future belongs to those people who bear the most and best children and bring them to maturity”. In Britain the Whethams similarly warned against the immigration of genetically quite diverse peoples(14) and echoed the same theme: that the future belongs to the more prolific, and that, if the disparity in births continued, the world could one day fall to the Chinese.


Theodore Roosevelt’s criticism of eugenicists who were ignoring the international numbers competition proved to be a forerunner to a division of interest which was to split the young eugenics movement within a few decades of its explosive origin. Roosevelt might be described as being what some have since called a “mainstream eugenicist.” Mainstream eugenicists placed emphasis on positive eugenics, on encouraging the reproduction of healthy families chosen from among stock of proven historical capability. Being mostly of Northwest European origin themselves, the mainstream eugenicists saw eugenics as a national issue closely connected with the survival of their own national stock at a time when the birth rate of that stock was declining and the population of non- whites was beginning to increase rapidly.


But mainstream eugenics was doomed to wither. As genetic science continued its initially slow and halting advance, many geneticists became so enthralled with the hunt for biological illneses and defects that could be clearly identified as genetic in origin that they began to lose interest in mainstream eugenics a goal which lent itself less readily to laboratory research. Geneticists began to seek out specific genetic diseases, and took less interest in encouraging creative families to increase or even maintain their birth rate, an activity which fell more realistically into the political arena. This search for inherited diseases was dubbed “reform” eugenics. Its goal could hardly be faulted; but as the memory of the massively dysgenic impact of World War I began to fade in the public mind, reform eugenics increasingly diverted attention away from the ideal of those who sought to preserve an adequate reserve of genetically healthy, creative stock. Unfortunately it would be many long years before scientists could even begin to foresee a day when it might be possible to effectively eliminate individual defects.


Thus the eugenics movement found itself increasingly divided at precisely the time when the eugenic ideal the desire to free future generations of mankind from genetic handicaps and to provide posterity with an adequate heritage of genes for above average creativity came under increasing attack from those who were ideologically committed to egalitarianism. The latter refused to see the eugenic ideal in any light other than as an hierarchical concept implying superiority and inferiority the precise pattern of thought they sought to eliminate from the social consciousness, and the foundations were laid for the highly emotional struggle which today dominates both academia and the media, concerning research into behavioral genetics and the propagation of information about the significance of heredity in shaping human behavioral potential to the general public.







Whatever Happened to Eugenics?


Glayde Whitney’s review of

Heredity and Humanity: Race, Eugenics, and Modern Science

By Roger Pearson

This paper originally appeared in The Mankind Quarterly , vol. 37, p. 203-215.


Scott-Townsend Publishers, Washington DC., 1996

ISBN 1-878365-15-S 162 pps.



    “Most of those who have sought to suppress human knowledge about heredity have done so with kindly intentions, but sound policies can never be constructed on bad science or unsound data. Any society that sets itself against the immutable causal laws of biology and evolution will ultimately bring about its own demise” (Pearson, p. 140).


Whatever happened to Eugenics? How is it that the prevention of human suffering came to be considered as the greater evil? In this delightful little book Roger Pearson takes us on an excursion through history, science and ideologies.


In so doing he illuminates the origins of great concepts and names the heroes and the villains in a saga that is not yet complete. In recommending this book to a Seminar in Evolutionary Psychology I told the graduate students that it is “an anti-PC, anti-egalitarian, historical polemic, well referenced and worth reading- this is not the story you got in cultural anthropology class.” This is a story well-told that needs wide telling, and serious pondering by all who are concerned for the welfare of our civilization.


The opening chapter (The Concept of Heredity in the Ancient World) serves to remind the reader that heredity has been considered important since before the beginning of recorded history, and at least until earlier in the twentieth century. Unfortunately, these observations will be new to many students who have suffered a modern deconstructed education. Pearson announces his agenda in that the opening chapter


    ...illustrates the deeply held belief in the importance of heredity and race which prevailed from the earliest times until roughly the end of the nineteenth century. Subsequent chapters document the rise of political&-motivated egalitarian ideology which, heavily supported by the media, eventually succeeded in making the idea of biological inequality taboo. Despite the fact that there is today a rapidly developing body of scientific research which validates the age-old comprehension of the role of heredity in shaping human abilities, too many people are unaware of the mechanics behind the swing toward the notion of the biological equality of mankind (p. 9).


The mechanics of the swing will be well understood by the readers of this book. Pearson reasonably speculates that an appreciation of heredity probably existed at least as early as the Neolithic origins of agriculture and animal husbandry. It is well documented with ample quotes (Plato, the Odyssey, Theognis, etc.) that the ancient Greeks had a keen appreciation of hereditary contributions to both physical and mental traits. Unlike the matrilineal and patrilineal clan systems of many other peoples, the ancient Germanic “kindred” acknowledged the actual degrees of genetic relatedness on both paternal and maternal sides. This Germanic kindred is the basic traditional approach to family shared today by most North Americans of European descent.


Multicultural egalitarianism reared its civilization- destroying head in the ancient world. Early on, freeborn Romans could only marry among certain stocks under the system of connubium. But with military and bureaucratic successes the empire grew to become a “multicultural giant”, “ripe for the rise of egalitarian political ideologies” (p.13)


    The coming of Christianity plunged logic and classical philosophy into centuries of near-oblivion and clashed with the established and ancient European belief in the inequalities of men. Spreading first among the slaves and lowest classes of the Roman empire, Christianity came to teach that all men were equal in the eyes of a universal Creator God, an idea that was totally alien to older European thought which had recognized a hierarchy of competence among men - and even among the gods. Opposing the traditions of classical philosophy and scientific enquiry, Christianity introduced into Europe the concept of a single omnipotent ‘God of History’ who controlled all the phenomena of the universe - with men and women being creations of that God. Since all men and women were the ‘children of God’, all were equal before their Divine Maker! Faith in the church’s interpretation of supposedly prophetic revelations became more important than scientific or philosophical enquiry; and to question the church’s view of reality came to be perceived as sinful. . . . . Christianity carried the anti-intellectualism of the Middle Eastern prophets to its extreme (p. 14). And the weakened, multicultural egalitarian Roman Empire soon fell “before the onslaught of the smaller, more homogeneous, Germanic nations, which still retained a sense of group identity” (p.13).


Across the centuries of church domination the notions of hereditary differences among men were discouraged in the service of Church Power. The “divine right” to rule, given by God, became quite different from the earlier concept of hereditarily noble ruling lineages. Stripped by the Church of belief in the importance of human heredity and of the notion of the state as a kinship unit - “a family writ large” (p.16), believing instead in the essential equality of all God’s children, the stage was set for the development of egalitarian-espousing secular political movements:


    Such was the case of the Levellers who fought alongside the Parliamentarians in seventeenth century Britain; of the Jacobins, who decimated the accomplished aristocracy of eighteenth century France; and of the Bolsheviks who wrought genocidal slaughter among the more successful members of Czarist Russian society. In recent times, calls for political revolution have frequently invoked attacks on ‘genetic determinism’ in favor of the alternate, wildly illogical, philosophy of ‘biological egalitarianism’.... The suggestion that one individual might be inherently more creative or productive than another was unlikely to fuel the feelings of resentment necessary to incite the masses to revolutionary action (p. 17).


After more than a thousand years of intellectual suppression, there eventually was a renaissance. By the eighteenth century thinking people were well aware of inherited differences among individuals and races. Thomas Jefferson certainly did not confuse rule of law [ . . . . all men are created equal . . ..] and hereditary reality. In a letter to John Adams, Jefferson states that


    I agree with you that there is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents. . . . . For experience proves, that the moral and physical qualities of man, whether good or evil, are transmissible in a certain degree from father to son. (Jefferson, at Monticello, October 28, 1813).


Jefferson’s view concerning the profound inherited differences between the black and white races are well known, and are documented in his “Notes on the State of Virginia” and elsewhere throughout his writings.


In the chapter “The Discovery of Evolution: Eugenics and the Pioneers of Modern Science” Roger Pearson presents the scientific heroes of early eugenics. The topmost trinity are Charles Darwin, Sir Francis Galton, and Karl Pearson. By all accounts a kind and gentle man, Charles Darwin delayed over twenty years between formulating his theory of evolution by natural selection and its publication (Desmond & Moore, 1991). His feeling for his wife’s religious sensitivities, and a reluctance to be excoriated by correct society, contributed to the delay.


Were it not for Alfred Russel Wallace, Darwin may well have traveled the road of such luminaries as Copernicus and Descartes and not published until beyond the reach of disapprobation. However, Darwin received instant acclaim among important scientists when appeared in 1859 his masterpiece The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.


Among those profoundly influenced was Darwin’s half-cousin (same grandfather - Erasmus Darwin - different grandmother) Francis Galton. Already an eminent scientist, explorer, and inventor in his own right, Galton later wrote to Darwin:


    I always think of you in the same way as converts from barbarism think of the teacher who first relieved them from the intolerable burden of their superstition. . . ..the appearance of your Origin of Species formed a real crisis in my life; your book drove away the constraint of my old superstition as if it had been a nightmare and was the first to give me freedom of thought. (from Karl Pearson, 1924).


It was Galton who immediately took up the scientific study of human diversity, human ability, and the evolution of civilizational capacity. By 1865 Galton published two important articles which shared the title “Hereditary Talent and Character”, in 1869 he published Hereditary Genius: An Inquiry into Its Laws and Consequences. From the beginning Galton’s work on heredity combined science (which later developed as human genetics) with notions of applications for the benefit of humanity. Galton founded, and then in 1883 named, the new science, eugenics. The term was from the Greek eugenes (“well born”), and Roger Pearson tells us: In Galton’s own words, the purpose of genetic science was “to give the more suitable races or strains of blood a better chance of prevailing speedily over the less suitable.” (p. 19).


The humanitarian goal of eugenics was summarized by Galton in 1908:


    Man is gifted with pity and other kindly feelings; he has also the power of preventing many kinds of suffering. I conceive it to fall well within his province to replace Natural Selection by other processes that are more merciful and not less effective. . . . . Natural Selection rests upon excessive production and wholesale destruction; Eugenics on bringing no more individuals into the world than can be properly cared for, and those only of the best stock. (Galton, 1908, p.3233).


Heartened by Galton’s applications of evolution to humanity, by his investigations into the laws of heredity, Darwin was encouraged to prepare his own notes and thoughts concerning human evolution, and, in 1871 published The Descent of Man. In light of what came after it is important to emphasize that neither Galton nor Darwin, nor I dare say any competent scientist, doubted that the races differed profoundly in hereditary characteristics. As illustration Roger Pearson provides the following excerpt from chapter seven of The Descent of Man:


    . . . . the various races, when carefully compared and measured, differ much from each other - as in the texture of hair, the relative proportions of all parts of the body, the capacity of the lungs, the form and capacity of the skull, and even the convolutions of the brain. But it would be an endless task to specify the numerous points of difference. The races differ also in constitution, in acclimatization and in liability to certain diseases. Their mental characteristics are likewise very distinct; chiefly as it would appear in their emotion, but partly in their intellectual faculties. Everyone who has had the opportunity of comparison, must have been struck by the contrast between taciturn, even morose aborigines of S. America and the light-hearted talkative negroes (p. 20).


In order to study heredity Galton revolutionized methods, becoming “The Father” of modem statistics. The younger applied mathematician and social activist Karl Pearson [later to be Galton’s major biographer] became an important colleague. Karl Pearson generalized the mathematical foundations of Galtonian statistical concepts, and further developed statistics in his quest of eugenical science. He was one of the most influential scientists at the turn-of-the-century, and emphasized eugenics in books with titles such as National Life From the Standpoint of Science , and Nature and Nurture: The Problem of the Future (1910). Karl Pearson had deep concerns for the welfare of the British Empire, he feared that current conditions were having dysgenic consequences such that the quantity of qualified persons would be insufficient to maintain the Empire.


Judging from the changes to the British Empire over the century from 1896 to 1930, there is certainly nothing apparent that contradicts his concerns. At one point he lamented “We have placed our money on environment, when heredity wins in a canter”.


Roger Pearson makes abundantly clear with extensive documentation and fascinating text that the period up until approximately 1930 saw the flowering of eugenics in science, society and law. Many humanitarians of both the left and the right were united in an enthusiasm to improve human stock and prevent human suffering, rather than to only treat suffering after the fact. Eugenic ideals were embraced by such luminaries as George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, Havelock Ellis, A. J. Balfour and Winston Churchill, to list but a few in Britain. In the United States such influential people as Henry Ford, Madison Grant, Margaret Sanger and Theodore Roosevelt were enthusiastic. The Carnegie Institute of Washington established, with Harriman family funds, the Cold Spring Harbor Eugenics Record Office under the leadership of the geneticist Charles Davenport.


Organizations such as The Galton Society and The Race Betterment Foundation were founded with ample scientific and social support. Writing for a majority (only one justice dissented) of the United States Supreme Court in 1927, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., noted:


    It is better for all the world if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. . . . . . Three generations of imbeciles is enough (Buck v. Bell, 1927).


With such widespread support eugenics might have continued to develop as a major component of progressive society. Alas, such was not to be. Within the movement, R. Pearson points out, there developed schisms between those interested in race betterment and those more interested in prevention of specific genetic diseases - a breach between positive and negative eugenics. At the same time the “eugenic ideal - the desire to engineer a healthy genetic heritage for future generations - came under increasing attack from those who were ideologically committed to egalitarianism. The latter refused to see the eugenic ideal in any light other than as an hierarchical concept implying superiority and inferiority - the precise pattern of thought they sought to eliminate from social consciousness. They, too, sought to engage in social engineering, though engineering of a political nature which would have unanticipated dysgenic consequences, and the stage was set for the intense emotional struggle which today dominates both academia and the media, about the political correctness of permitting research into behavioral genetics, as well as the right to propagate information about the role of heredity in shaping the limits of human abilities and behavior.” (pp. 52 - 53).


The arch villain on the academic front, instrumental in supplanting and then demonizing eugenics was Franz Boas, aided by a large entourage of students and fellow-travelers. One of the main take-home messages is that honest empirical science does not fare well, at least in the short run, when up against ideologically inspired polemics in which almost anything goes in the service of a greater good [the end justifies the means]. In Chapter V (Radical Egalitarianism Penetrates Academe), and the following few chapters, Roger Pearson exposes the players and the agenda promoting the egalitarian fallacy. It is a fascinating expose of names, dates, and events, too rich to be dealt with adequately in even a lengthy review.


The reader is reminded of the Verona files, recently released documentation of the extensive infiltration of American government and society by communist agents. In very important respects Joe McCarthy was neither paranoid nor mistaken. Roger Pearson here makes clear that the academic and anthropological/psychobiological scientific fronts were not immune from the same intellectual infestations.


Born of a pair of politically radical socialists who were active in the 1870-71 wave of revolutionary movements across Europe, Franz Boas emigrated to the United States in 1886. In coming to America he was following Abraham Jacobi, an uncle by marriage, who came after being released from prison for armed violence in the Cologne revolution of 1848. Jacobi was active in the revolutionary socialist movement in the United States, and was in a good position to provide influential contacts for his kinsman. Boas “became the head of a department of anthropology established at Columbia University, where he trained and awarded doctoral degrees to numerous selected students. Equipped with the earliest American doctorates specifically designated as being in the field of anthropology, his students by default became the leaders and prime builders of academic anthropology in the United States, rapidly establishing themselves as the arbiters of anthropological research, publishing and teaching in American universities.


Interestingly, as late as 1911, in his book The Mind of Primitive Man, Boas had admitted that: “[d]ifferences of structure must be accompanied by differences of function, physiological as well as psychological; and, as we found clear evidence of differences of structure between races, so we must anticipate that differences in mental characteristics will be found.”


    However, Boas was shortly to reverse this position when he realized that the recognition of genetic forces conflicted with the goals of his egalitarian and internationalist ideology, which sought to demolish the unity and coherence of national units. Instead he began a massive campaign to undermine national and ethnic consciousness and ‘combat racism’ in whatever form it might find expression. In particular, his [books] were devoted to downplaying the concept of heredity and undermining the eugenic ideal. . . . . The spread of Boasian doctrines was further facilitated by the position of world dominance then enjoyed by the Western nations.


    Spurred by an ethical desire to shoulder ‘the white man’s burden’ in a shrinking world, many academics came to believe that Mankind should now abandon the Darwinian struggle and treat the diverse subspecies of mankind as members of a single, international gene pool. This . . . . was an ethical concept not shared by the non-western nations, who adhered to more functional, self-promoting, competitive patterns of behavior. . . . . the desire that biological egalitarianism be true gained strength as human altruism was redirected away from the immediate group ..[to].. an ideology which favored overall sapiens homogenization. The new radicals in U.S. social science found it convenient to downplay heritability; and Boas’s earlier acknowledgment of human biological disparities was edited out of his 1938 edition . . . . . Those to whom Boas awarded doctoral degrees in anthropology generally shared his ideologies and became prime disciples of ‘egalitarian universalism’. (pp. 57 - 59).


Among his many students were Margaret Mead, the “mother of American anthropology”, eventually exposed as a hoaxster and communist propagandist, and Israel Ehrenburg (A.K.A. Ashley Montagu) whose “entire career was built around a bitter crusade against the work of respected scholars such as Carleton Coon, who recognized race as a vital product of human evolution” (p. 62). Others too numerous to even list are exposed in their infamy.


Many world events contributed to the growth of anti-eugenic egalitarianism, not least among which was the suffering associated with the world-wide depression which followed World War I. The growth of Nazism and the outcome of W.W. II provided an unfortunate boost to anti-eugenic sentiment. It was a propaganda coup of tremendous proportions to be able to paint eugenics with the tar brush of Nazi anti-Semitism. Never mind that it makes no more sense than to condemn all of pharmaceutical science or medical surgery because German science and applications were well developed in those fields. The propaganda damage was done, and it became unacceptable to even mention the possibility of race differences in behavior at the same time that Lysenkoism, condemning all genetics, was taking hold in the Soviet Union.


Biological egalitarianism became the only ‘politically correct’ doctrine among Marxists throughout the world, and . . . . permeated Western [universities] through the teachings of faculty members who were ideologically attracted to egalitarianism but were balefully ignorant of even elementary biology.” (p. 71).


The Science for the People movement sprang up as part of the counter-culture protests in the era of the Vietnam War; “The political left-wing had now achieved ascendancy in the universities of the Western world. Indeed, many contemporary evolutionary scientists still seem to wish to be perceived as believing in equality, . . . . in a degree of malleability of human nature that does not exist. . . [Pee-Cee evolutionists focus] their writings on the ‘panhuman’ traits shared by all living hominids” (p. 73). They attempt to deny any genetic diversity among living races. Indeed, some even deny the existence of races. A sickly accurate joke has it that “It takes a Ph.D. in biology from Harvard to not be able to discern any difference between an Eskimo and a Hottentot”!’


    “On the one hand, DNA fingerprinting can now establish, from a drop of saliva or dried blood, the race of origin to a probability of error of less than one-in-a-hundred-million.”


The second half of the book deals in fascinating depth with essentially current happenings, both in eugenical science [genetics], and in ideological countermoves to empirical science. On the one hand, DNA fingerprinting can now establish, from a drop of saliva or dried blood, the race of origin to a probability of error of less than one-in-a-hundred-million. Incredibly, at the same time popular media and scientific publications stridently proclaim that biological [genetic] races do not exist. We are now in critical times, a race is occurring around us between humanitarian applications of modern genetic science (eugenics, that is) and the suppression of knowledge by PeeCee ideologues. The media, by-and-large trained by egalitarians, know no better than to attack as “racist”, “repellent”, or “repugnant” almost any admission of information concerning behavior and genetic diversity among human races. Yet at the same time the human genome project in combination with a wide variety of research in the neurosciences [brain science] and behavioral medicine and genetics in general, is quickly taking us beyond the point where race differences can be obfuscated or denied. So? It is ominous that there is a proliferation of ‘hate crime’ and ‘hate speech’ laws being considered or already in existence in various European countries, Australia, and Canada. While in the United States, under the umbrella of first amendment freedom-of-speech protection, academic tenure is under wide-spread attack and previously respectable academic publishers are censuring authors and censoring their book lists, even withdrawing from publication a title deemed “repellent” for including mention of race differences.


Whatever happened to eugenics? In China it is alive and well. The “Maternal and Infantile Health Care Law” went into effect on 1 June 1995. A media mention states “The official Xinhua News Agency reported that China currently has more than 10 million disabled people whose births could have been prevented if such a law had been in effect” (Tallahassee Democrat, 1994).


Meanwhile, in the West, eugenics continues to encounter politically motivated attempts to suppress. As the scientific advances continue at an accelerating pace, it remains to be seen if rational humanitarian applications of sound genetic knowledge can be implemented for the benefit of mankind, or if we will slip into another era of anti-intellectual totalitarianism. Anyone concerned for the future of mankind should carefully read this book. It is not the story you were told in cultural anthropology class.


    . . . there is now no reasonable excuse for refusing to face the fact that nothing but . . . . eugenics . . . . . can save our civilization from the fate that has overtaken all previous civilizations (p. 136).


* ‘ On April 17, 1996, at the order of President and C.E.O. Charles R. Ellis, the New York headquarters of academic publisher John Wiley &Sons, Inc. took the unprecedented action of depublishing -withdrawing from publication and circulation -a book which they had released just six weeks earlier in the United Kingdom. The reason given for depublishing Christopher Brand’s The g Factor: General Intelligence and its Implications was that “The management of John Wiley & Sons, Inc., does not want to support these views by disseminating them or be associated with a book that makes assertions that we find repellent.” [letter, 9 May 1996 from Susan Spilka, Wiley Manager, Corporate Communications, to G. Whitney]







More on the Bell Curve


By Charles Murray and Daniel Seligman


(Originally published in The National Review, December 8, 1997)


Is The Bell Curve the stealth public-policy book of the 1990s?


Mr. Seligman is the author of A Question of Intelligence: The IQ Debate in America. Mr. Murray is co-author of The Bell Curve.


DS: Three years after publication of The Bell Curve, I find myself endlessly reading news stories about great national controversies in which all the participants do their best to ignore the data you and Dick Herrnstein laid on the table. Three recent examples:


1) the row over school vouchers, whose advocates (e.g., Bill Bennett in the Wall Street Journal) endlessly take it for granted that poor performance by students reflects only inadequacies by the teaching profession -- inadequacies among the learners being a huge unmentionable;


2) the President’s astounding proposal (never characterized as such) that all American youngsters, including those with IQs at the left tail, should have at least two years of college;


3) the expressions of surprise and rage when it turned out that, in the absence of affirmative action, prestigious law schools would be admitting hardly any black students. The participants in these controversies were in no sense talking back to The Bell Curve. They were pretending its data do not exist. What’s your perspective?


CM: I read the same stories you do and ask the same question: Do these guys know but pretend not to? Or are they still truly oblivious? In the case of education vouchers, there is a sensible reason to ignore The Bell Curve: inner-city schools are overwhelmingly lousy. Bill Bennett has read the book, understands it, and (rare indeed) has defended it on national television. But his battle cry is, and should be, “These kids are getting a raw deal” -- not a lot of qualifications about the difficulties in raising IQ.


Bill Clinton and his pandering on college education is another story altogether. Vouchers for elementary school can be a good policy idea, no matter what our book says about IQ. But universal college education cannot be. Most people are not smart enough to profit from an authentic college education. But who among Republicans has had the courage to call Clinton on this one? A lot of silence about The Bell Curve can be put down to political cowardice.


Affirmative action was still politically sacrosanct when The Bell Curve came out in October 1994. Within a year, the tide had swung decisively. Did the book play any role? Damned if I know. Dick and I were the first to publish a comprehensive account of the huge gaps in SAT scores at elite colleges, but I have found not a single citation of the book during the affirmative-action debate.


My best guess -- and the broad answer to your question -- is that The Bell Curve is the stealth public-policy book of the 1990s. It has created a subtext on a range of issues. Everybody knows what the subtext is. Nobody says it out loud.


DS: I am reading with fascination your “afterword” in the paperback edition, and I have an argumentative question about the passage where you speculate on long-term responses to the book. You postulate a three-stage process. In stage one, the book and its authors take endless rounds of invective from critics who simply want to suppress the message that human beings differ in mental ability. These critics turn to thought control because they look at your findings and conclude, in Michael Novak’s words, that “they destroy hope” -- a hope which Novak sees as a this-worldly eschatological phenomenon. [eschatalogical = relating to the end of the world. MVC] In stage two, the invective attracts the interest of scholars not previously involved in these disputes. They look over the empirical record, deciding in the end that your case is supportable and may indeed have been understated in some areas. In stage three, these scholars build on your work, and in the end do more than The Bell Curve itself to demolish those eschatological hopes. In the long run, the thought control shoots itself in the foot.


This process seems entirely plausible. But I wonder: Will the truth ever break out of the academic world? Remember, the basic message (including even a genetic factor in the black - white gap) was already pretty well accepted by scholars in the mid Eighties as the Snyderman - Rothman book documented. What I never see is acceptance of any part of this message in the public-policy world, where the term “IQ” is seldom uttered without the speaker’s sensing a need to dissociate himself from it.


Among many horror stories is the current row over Lino Graglia, the University of Texas law professor now in trouble for having stated an obvious truth: that black and Mexican-American students are “not academically competitive” with white students. Graglia gave the most benign possible explanation for this educational gap: minority students were not genetically or intellectually inferior but were suffering from a cultural background in which scholarship was not exalted. But that explanation got him nowhere. He has been attacked by every editorial page in Nexis that has weighed in on the matter. (He did better in the letters columns.)


NOW, I can see the process you envision going forward -- with some scholars and maybe even some journalists looking at actual academic performance at Texas and other universities. What I cannot imagine is defenders of Graglia surfacing in any institutional setting -- at least not in the realms of politics and education, nor in major media. Meanwhile, what with Texas campus demonstrations and Jesse Jackson’s call for Graglia to be made a social pariah (cheered at the demonstrations), scholars have got the crucial message: Stay under cover if you hold beliefs challenging to those eschatological hopes.


CM: Graglia said “culture.” What everybody heard was “genes.” As soon as anyone argues that racial differences in intelligence are authentic, not an artifact of biased tests, everyone decodes that as saying the differences are grounded in genes. It is a non-sequitur, but an invariable one in my experience. America’s intellectual elites are hysterical about the possibility of black - white genetic differences in IQ.


As you know, The Bell Curve actually took a mild, agnostic stand on the subject. Dick Herrnstein and I said that nobody yet knows what the mix between environmental and genetic causes might be, and it makes no practical difference anyway. The only policy implication of the black - white difference, whatever its sources, is that the U.S. should return forthwith to its old ideal of treating people as individuals.


But how many people know this? No one who hasn’t read the book. Everyone went nuts about genes, so much so that most people now believe that race and genes is the main topic of our book.


Why? The topic of race and genes is like the topic of sex in Victorian England. The intellectual elites are horrified if anyone talks about it, but behind the scenes they are fascinated. I will say it more baldly than Dick and I did in the book: In their heart of hearts, intellectual elites, especially liberal ones, have two nasty secrets regarding IQ. First, they really believe that IQ is the be-all and end-all of human excellence and that someone with a low IQ is inferior. Second, they are already sure that the black - white IQ difference is predominantly genetic and that this is a calamity -- such a calamity indeed that it must not be spoken about, even to oneself. To raise these issues holds a mirror up to the elites’ most desperately denied inner thoughts. The result is the kind of reaction we saw to Lino Graglia.


But when people say one thing and believe another, as intellectual elites have been doing about race, sooner or later the cognitive dissonance must be resolved. It usually happens with a bang. When the wall of denial gives way, not only will the received wisdom on race and IQ change, the change will happen very rapidly and probably go much too far. The fervor of the newly converted is going to be a problem. I fully expect, if I live another twenty years, to be in a situation where I am standing on the ramparts shouting: “Genetic differences weren’t a big deal when we wrote The Bell Curve and they still aren’t a big deal.”


DS: Watching Clinton perform in Little Rock the other day, and picking up especially on his lament about the extent and persistence of discrimination (including employment discrimination) in American life, I went back for one more look at that table on page 324 of The Bell Curve -- the one showing that job discrimination is essentially nonexistent in the United States today. At least it is nonexistent among the younger workers in that huge sample from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth.


Your argument begins by noting that when you control for age, education, and socioeconomic status (SES), black earnings are still only 84 per cent of white earnings, which implies continuing discrimination. As the table shows, however, when you bring IQ into the picture, everything changes. Even if you forget about education and SES and control only for age and IQ, the black - white earnings gap essentially disappears. To be precise: when you average the results for many different occupational categories, blacks of similar age and IQ make 98 per cent as much as whites. When you control for gender as well, the figure goes to 101 per cent.


These findings seem stunning to me, on several counts. First, they show that employers are astonishingly good at seeing through the imperfect credentials represented by educational levels and family background, and at figuring out which job prospects have the most ability. Second, the findings are surely big news -- and good news. They imply that much, or most, or essentially all (depending on the extent to which NLSY data can be generalized to the labor force as a whole) of what is routinely identified as invidious discrimination is nothing of the sort. It is rational behavior by employers and it shows them to be amazingly color-blind. So why is this news not on the front pages?


CM: Think about how that front-page story would have to be headlined. It would have to convey the thought, BLACKS WITH EQUAL IQS GET EQUAL PAY. You see the problem. No matter how reasonable the explanation, it is not intellectually permissible at this moment in history for blacks or women to have different outcomes from white males. If you really want egregious examples of that attitude, don’t bother with IQ and blacks. Look at the military performance of women. A military officer came into my office some months ago, almost with tears in his eyes. “We’re killing people,” he said, referring to the degradation of entrance requirements and training standards for combat pilots -- a degradation carried out so that enough women could get through. How many journalists in major U.S. papers have been willing to write that story straightforwardly? When the problem of female combat performance is mentioned at all, it is with an “on the one hand, on the other hand” presentation, even though one side has all the data and the other side is only an attitude.


DS: Let me ask you to weigh in more heavily on an issue we touched on earlier -- the “average child” fallacy. This is the notion that any normal child can learn anything if only he gets the right teaching. Your data make plain that this view is nonsense. Indeed, you add: “Critics of American education must come to terms with the reality that in a universal education system many students will not reach the level of education that most people view as basic.”


That thought was so important that you put it in italics. In our current debate on national standards and educational reform, however, no one is paying attention to it -- certainly not Bill Clinton, but also not many conservatives. I recently caught Jeanne Allen of the pro-voucher Center for Educational Reform in a debate on CNN. She was complaining about education bureaucrats “that don’t believe, or don’t necessarily think, all children are capable of learning to the highest level. I think that’s scary.”


Isn’t it about time to scold conservative fans of education reform for persistently dodging reality when they’re out there selling vouchers?


CM: I propose a new term: “suspension of belief,” defined as “basing a public-policy stance on an assumption about human beings that one knows to be untrue of oneself.” Do you suppose Jeanne Allen believes herself capable of learning to the highest level if we’re talking, say, about quantum mechanics? Of course not. Only a few silly people who have never tested themselves are under the illusion that they have no educational limits.


Putting that last sentence on the screen, however, makes me pause. Many bright liberal-arts graduates have not tested themselves. In the liberal arts and some of the soft sciences it is possible to get a PhD without having to confront that awful moment: “My God, studying hard won’t be enough. It is beyond the power of my intellect to understand this.” With me, it came halfway through a graduate course on the theory of matrices, and it was an invaluable lesson. Isaac Asimov once gave a rule of thumb for knowing when you’ve hit the wall: when you hear yourself saying to the professor, “I think I understand.”


Another factor may also be operating here: the isolation of the cognitive elite. If you have never had a close acquaintance with an IQ below 100, then you have no idea what “dumb” really means.


Should we scold our conservative allies for this kind of na¨iveté? Chide, I guess. But I am uncomfortably aware of a sentence in a well-known conservative tome that reads, “I suggest that when we give such parents [who are actively engaged in their child’s education] vouchers, we will observe substantial convergence of black and white test scores in a single generation.” The book is Losing Ground, page 224. So I have a first-stone problem here.


DS: One last question: Have you had second thoughts about formulations in The Bell Curve?


CM: If Dick and I were writing it again, I suppose we would go over the section on race and put in a few more italics, and otherwise try to grab readers by the shoulders and shake them out of their hysteria. But it probably wouldn’t do any good. We would certainly incorporate an analysis of siblings into the chapters of Part II that deal with IQ and social problems -- the kind of analysis I did in that Public Interest article you mentioned earlier. And there’s a highly technical error we made that had the effect of understating the statistical power of our results; I would like to fix that. But that’s about all. The book’s main themes will endure just fine.


The reality of a cognitive elite is becoming so obvious that I wonder if even critics of the book really doubt it. The relationship of low IQ to the underclass? Ditto. Welfare reform is helping the argument along, by the way, as journalistic accounts reveal how many welfare mothers are not just uneducated, but of conspicuously low intelligence. The intractability of IQ? Dick and I said that IQ was 40 to 80 per cent heritable. The identical-twin studies continue to suggest that the ultimate figure will turn out to be in the upper half of that range. More importantly, the literature on “nonshared environment” has developed dramatically since Dick and I were researching The Bell Curve. Its core finding is that, whatever the role of environment may be in determining IQ, only a small portion of that role consists of influences that can be manipulated (through better child-rearing, better schools, etc.). For practical purposes, the ability of public policy to affect IQ is probably smaller than Dick and I concluded.


With regard to race differences, nothing has happened to change our conclusions about the cultural fairness of the tests, the equal predictive validity of the tests, or the persistence of the 15-point gap. Recent data from the NLSY indicate that in the next generation not only is the black - white gap failing to shrink, but it may be growing.


So I do not expect any major finding in The Bell Curve to be overturned. I realize that attacking the book has become a cottage industry. The New York Times recently used one such attack to announce that our “noxious” conclusions have been definitively refuted. But in the same month that this most recent definitive refutation was published, the journal Intelligence had a special issue devoted to IQ and social policy. The articles in it are not written as defenses of The Bell Curve; they just happen to make our case on a wide variety of points. And that’s the way the debate will eventually be resolved -- not as a judgment about a book that has been almost buried by controversy, but by continuing research on the same issues. As that happens, it is not just that Dick and I will be proved right. We will be proved to have been -- if you will pardon the expression -- conservative.







Intelligence and Fertility in the United States: 1912-1982



Department of Psychology

The University of Texas at Austin



Department of Sociology and Population Research Center

The University of Texas at Austin



Results are presented for the first analysis of the relationship between IQ and completed fertility using a large, representative sample of the U.S. population. Correlations are predominantly negative for cohorts born between 1894 and 1964 but are significantly more positive for cohorts whose fertility was concentrated in the “baby boom” years. Previous studies reporting slightly positive correlations appear to have been biased in their restriction of samples to atypical cohorts.


In the advanced industrialized nations, the rate of change in fertility and mortality - the two major forms of selection acting upon intelligence—began rapidly accelerating with the onset of the “demographic transition.” In the United States, fertility began to decline in the late 1700s, moving from an average number of live births per woman of around 8.0 before the Revolutionary War to one Of less than 2.0 during the 1970s (Grabill, Kiser, & Whelpton, 1958; Rindfuss & Sweet, 1977). Although the evidence on mortality is more limited, it appears that steep declines in mortality also occurred during this period (Kitagawa & Hauser, 1973). Whereas most observers would agree that differential mortality operated prior to the demographic transition to increase intelligence, it is not certain whether differential fertility or differential mortality was the dominant selective agent in the latter stages of the transition. Nevertheless, the possibility of the former led many theorists at the beginning of this century to forecast a lowering of average levels of intelligence.


Studies conducted in the early 1900s seemed to bear out the more pessimistic prognostications. The relationship between family size and intelligence was measured by correlating the IQ scores of school children with their number of siblings. Negative correlations were consistently reported in a large number of studies conducted in the United States and England (Cattell, 1936; Lentz, 1927; Mailer, 1933; Roberts, 1939; Roberts, Norman, & Griffiths, 1937; Sutherland, 1929; Sutherland & Thomson, 1926). Naturally, these findings were met with considerable alarm. It was predicted that a loss of 1.0 to 1.5 mean IQ points would occur per decade (Cattell, 1937, 1936).


Large-scale investigations were launched in an attempt to measure predicted losses in population IQ over time. In the Scottish survey, the entire 1 l-year-old population was tested in 1932. Again in 1947, all 1 l-year-olds were given the same group verbal-intelligence test. Contrary to expectations, there was an average increase of 2.3 points (Maxwell, 1954). Cattell conducted an equally ambitious cross-decade study of 10-year-olds’ performance on a nonverbal test in England, and found a 1.2-point increase in the mean IQ of children tested in 1950 over those tested in 1936 (Cattell, 1951). Intelligence test performance of US high school students showed small gains over a 20-year period (Finch, 1946), and American soldiers from World War II were reported to have significantly higher verbal-ability scores than their counterparts from World War I (Tuddenham, 1948).


Clearly, results of the family-size-IQ studies and cross-decade studies of populations yielded contradictory results. If people with lower IQ scores had larger families, why was there no discernible loss of IQ over time? Investigators adduced a variety of explanations attempting to resolve the paradox. Predicted losses might have been masked by rather substantial improvements in education, nutrition, and other facets of the environment. Tuddenham (1948) stressed the importance of better education and improved mass communication. Cattell (1951) discussed the possibility of increased test sophistication and noted that the relationship between intelligence and marriage rates had not been investigated. Reed (1965) suggested that such small gains as those reported in the cross-decade studies could easily have been caused by sampling error, testing errors, or some other unknown source of error. Osborn’s (1940) “Eugenic Hypothesis”, had predicted that a eugenic trend would naturally emerge in a modern democratic society, because parenthood would become wholly voluntary when there was free access to birth control (Osborn, 1940, pp. 193-198). At the opposite extreme, Cook (1951) adopted perhaps the bleakest outlook in the controversy when he characterized a decline in intelligence as “inevitable” and wrote that “(I)f this trend continues for less than a century, England and America will be well on the way to becoming nations of near half-wits” (p. 6). Still others expressed skepticism that real changes in either direction were taking place. Penrose (1950a, 1950b) believed a genetic equilibrium existed. Dobzhansky (1962, 316) concurred, suggesting a balanced polymorphism for intelligence in which both extremes failed to produce their quota of offspring.


In 1962, Higgins, Reed, and Reed provided what has come to be regarded as the definitive answer in their landmark article, “Intelligence and Family Size: A Paradox Resolved.” They studied the completed fertility of a large Minnesota sample. Although they found the usual sizable negative correlation between IQ and number of siblings, they found a tiny positive correlation between IQ and completed fertility. The latter correlation was dependent upon the inclusion of individuals who had never married—apparently, their automatic exclusion in previous family-size-IQ studies using school children had biased earlier result because the unmarried were disproportionately found at the lowest IQ levels Higgins, Reed, and Reed reported that 30% of those with IQ’s less than 70 were, unmarried, in contrast to 10% with IQ’s between 100 and 110, and 3-4% with IQs over 110.


Several more studies of IQ and completed fertility reported similar result (Bajema, 1963, 1971; Olneck & Wolfe, 1980; Spuhler, 1962; Waller, 1970). In Bajema’s Michigan sample, the higher rate of childlessness among those with very low IQs was due more to their childless marriages than to their lower marriage rates, but the net result was the same. With direct evidence such as this the dire predictions of the early 1900s were rejected as totally unfounded (Falek 1971; Osborn & Bajema, 1972). In a 1971 review article, Falek wrote


    There is no evidence of a decrease in intelligence from generation to generation .... (B)ehavioral scientists concerned with the problem have resolved, in approximately a quarter of a century, all the contradictions which plagued the understanding of the direction of human intelligence. In doing so, most investigators have turned around 180 degrees, and are now confident that, with regard to intelligence, evolution is on a positive track. (p. 14)


Despite the wide acceptance these studies received, they contained two potentially serious sources of bias. First, the samples were not random, because they were composed principally of white, native-born Americans living in either the Great Lakes states or New England (Cattell, 1974; Jensen, 1969; Osborne, 1975; Weyl, 1973). Second, they were largely restricted to a narrow range of birth cohorts (Vining, 1982). In a pathbreaking recent analysis, Vining (1982) cast doubt on conclusions derived from previous fertility-IQ studies, suggesting that the absence of a negative correlation may well have been peculiar to the cohorts studied. Previous samples were largely confined to cohorts which had their main reproductive years during the “baby boom,” a period of rising fertility, unprecedented; since such records began to be kept. Vining hypothesized that during periods of rising fertility, there will be a zero or slightly positive relationship between fertility and intelligence, but during periods of falling fertility which characterize the entire modern era, with the one exception of the baby boom years of the late 1940s and the 1950s—there will be a negative relationship. He correlated intelligence test scores with number of children, using a large, national probability sample of men and women aged 25 to 34 as of the late 1970s. For each category of age, sex and race examined, correlations were negative, ranging from -.104 to -.221.


One acknowledged limitation of Vining’s sample is that many of the respondents had not yet completed their fertility. In addition, the information it provides is confined to a restricted age cohort. The purpose of this paper is to report the results of research on the relationship between IQ and completed fertility (as well as partly completed fertility) which extends the range of cohorts to encompass those born between 1894 and 1964, whose major reproductive years span 1912 to 1982. In so doing, we may also be able to reconcile results of previous research on this issue and to discern whether a positive or negative relationship in fact emerges during periods of rising or declining fertility.





The National Opinion Research Center (NORC), a nonprofit research organization affiliated with the University of Chicago, conducted the General Social Survey (GSS) in the United States each year from 1972 to 1982, except for 1979 (Davis, 1982). A combination of block quota and full probability sampling was employed. Hour-long interviews were completed with a total of 12,120 respondents, who were English-speaking, noninstitutionalized adults (18 years or older) living within the continental United States. Such questions as age, place of birth, income, and occupation were asked in each interview. Other questions about attitudes on various social, political, and moral issues were rotated in different years.


Variables of relevance to the present investigation include total number of liveborn children, number of siblings, and scores on a steeply graded, untimed vocabulary test given in 1974, 1976, 1978, and 1982 (total N = 6,021). The vocabulary test is made up of 10 questions selected from a test originally devised by Thorndike for use in large demographic surveys in which a full-scale IQ test would not be feasible (Thorndike, 1942; Thorndike & Gallup, 1944). The two forms of the original version were standardized against the Otis Test (Miner, 1957) and included 20 multiple-choice questions each (one item taken from every level of the I.E.R. Intelligence Scale CAVD).


Although no attempt has been made (to our knowledge) to standardize the GSS version against another test of mental ability, there is good evidence that brief vocabulary tests such as this perform quite well as measures of general intelligence. Miner (1957, pp. 28-29) found a median correlation of .83 between scores on several dozen similar short-vocabulary tests and scores on standard IQ tests. Vocabulary correlates more highly (r = .75) than any other subtest with total score on the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) (Wechsler, 1958, p. 98). Furthermore, preliminary analyses of the GSS test showed internal characteristics and relationships with other variables which accord well with those reported for traditional, full-scale IQ tests. Scores are normally distributed with a Mof 6.0 and a SD of 2.2. The internal reliability (Cronbach’s Alpha) is .79. Test scores correlate 0.5 with highest educational level obtained. As with other measures of crystallized intelligence, there is a very gradual improvement in performance until old age and then a gradual decline. Blacks average 0.70 SDs below the mean for whites, and there is a negligible sex difference (0.06 SDs) favoring women. A previous study found the GSS vocabulary test to be the most powerful predictor of adult white men’s income (r = 0.29), better than both educational level and family background (Peterson & Karplus, 1981). Another study reported it to be strongly negatively correlated with “anomie” (r = .42) (Segilman, 1981).


The test was designed to provide only a rough grading of mental ability. In the “ideal world,” the test might have been nonverbal and longer, though unreliability could only vitiate relationships between intelligence and other variables, and correlations to be presented could hardly result from random errors. The unique opportunity this data set affords is an overview of the relationship between intelligence and fertility for a nationally representative sample of Americans whose major reproductive years fell between 1912 and 1982.




Data were consolidated from the four surveys in which the vocabulary test was given (1974, 1976, 1978, and 1982). Respondents were divided into 15 birth cohorts of 5-year intervals ranging from before 1894 to 1964. Cohorts 1-9 can be considered to have completed their fertility (because the youngest would be 40 years old), whereas cohorts 10-15 would have completed their fertility to varying degrees. Correlations between vocabulary test scores and total number of children ever born for all 15 cohorts are presented in Table 1. Correlations corrected for attentuation (divided by the square root of 0.79, the coefficient of test reliability) are also presented in parentheses. It is clear that the relationship is predominantly negative, with 12 of 15 correlations statistically significant.




Number of Offspring and Vocabulary Scores, Zero-Order Correlations by Cohort

M (SD)


Date of Birth



Corrected r








5.2 (2.5)

2.3 (2.4)






5.5 (2.4)

2.6 (2.3)






5.7 (2.3)

2.5 (2.1)






5.4 (2.5)

2.4 (2.0)






6.2 (2.2)

2.3 (2.0)






6.2 (2.4)

2.6 (1.9)







2.8 (2.0)






6.2 (2.1)

3.1 (2.0)






6.2 (2.2)

3.3 (2.0)






6.2 (2.2)

2.8 (1.8)






6.3 (2.1)

2.3 (1.6)






6.3 (2.1)

1.5 (1.3)






5.8 (2.1)

0.9 (1.1)






5.4 (2.0)

0.5 (0.8)






5.1 (1.8)

0.2 (0.4)


Note. Tests are one-tailed.

*Significant at p < .05

**Significant at p < .01

***Significant at p < .001.


It is of particular interest to see whether the correlations of cohorts 8 and 9 are typical or atypical. Cohorts 8 and 9, whose fertility occurred squarely within the baby boom years, are the cohorts which largely comprised the samples of previous studies which reported small positive correlations. Although the correlations for both are negative, they are less negative than the other correlations. Vining’s hypothesis of zero or slightly positive correlations during periods of rising fertility might thus be considered partly substantiated, and his hypothesis of a negative relationship during declines in fertility is more fully substantiated. But it appears that other factors, in addition to cohort effects, will be required to account fully for the differences between Vining’s results and those of previous studies. To determine whether exclusion of nonwhites may have also constituted a source of bias in previous studies, a separate analysis of whites was performed for all 15 cohorts (see Table 2). Comparing the correlations in Tables I and 2, it can be seen that overall, the effect of exclusion of nonwhites is negligible.



Number of Offspring and Vocabulary Scores for Whites, Zero-Order Correlations by Cohort

M (SD)


Date of Birth



Corrected r








5.5 (2.5)

2.3 (2.3)






5.6 (2.4)

2.6 (2.3)






5.8 (2.3)

2.5 (2.0)






5.6 (2.5)

2.4 (2.0)






6.3 (2.2)

2.3 (2.0)






6.4 (2.3)

2.6 (1.9)






6.4 (2.3)

2.3 (2.0)





( .00)

6.4 (2.1)

2.9 (1.9)






6.4 (2.2)

3.2 (1.9)






6.4 (2.2)

2.8 (1.7)






6.5 (2.1)

2.3 (1.5)






6.0 (2.0)

1.4 (1.3)






6.0 (2.0)

0.8 (1.0)






5.6 (2.0)

0.4 (0.8)






6.3 (1.7)

0.2 (0.4)


Note. Tests are one-tailed.

*Significant at p < .05

**Significant at p < .01

***Significant at p < .001.



Although nonwhites average more children and lower test scores, they comprise only 11% of the sample. However, with nonwhites excluded, cohorts 8 and 9 exhibit a more positive relationship than the other cohorts (t = 2.04, p < 0.025, one-tailed test. It should be added that nonwhites were not over-sampled in the General Social Survey (as are blacks in some large surveys), so the total number of nonwhites (N = 622) does not permit separate analysis by cohort.


Correlations between vocabulary scores and number of siblings are presented in Table 3. They are markedly negative across all 15 cohorts, in agreement with the numerous family-size IQ studies of the early 1900s. Vocabulary-sibling correlations are more negative in every cohort than vocabulary-offspring correlations. If the childless had disproportionately low scores in this sample as in previous ones, this would weaken the negative relationship between vocabulary and offspring, but it would not affect the correlations between vocabulary and siblings, and thus it might reconcile the two sets of correlations. In actuality, the opposite turned out to be the case&#151;the childless were found to score higher than those with one or more children in nearly every cohort. It should be noted, with regard to the difference in magnitude between the two sets of correlations, that the variability is considerably greater for number of siblings (M = 4.3, SD = 3.3) than it is for number of offspring (M = 2.1, SD = 1.9).



Number of Siblings and Vocabulary Scores, Zero-Order Correlations by Cohort

M (SD)


Date of Birth



Corrected r













































































































Note. Tests are one-tailed.


***Significant at p < .001.


Recall that in previous studies people with very low IQs were found to be more often childless, so their inclusion in fertility-lQ correlations had the effect of neutralizing otherwise negative correlations. Greater childlessness among those with low IQs purportedly reconciled the conflicting results from cross-decade studies of IQ and IQ-family-size studies—the markedly negative IQ-family-size correlations using number of siblings as a measure of family size were thought to be spuriously inflated, because they automatically excluded the childless. An error appears to have been made in generalizing these conclusions from nonrepresentative samples, for our analysis of childless respondents from the General Social Survey shows them to score higher, not lower, on the vocabulary test,




This paper reports the results of the first analysis of the relationship between intelligence and completed fertility (as well as partially completed fertility) in the United States which employs a large, representative sample of the population. The major finding is that the relationship has been predominantly negative from 1912 to 1982. Previous reports of a neutral or slightly eugenic relationship appear to be due to the nature of the samples used, in part because the cohorts chosen were atypical (both with regard to their overall fertility and to their fertility-IQ relationship), and in part because they did not include nonwhites. Childless respondents averaged slightly higher scores than did those with one or more children, indicating that the automatic exclusion of the childless from sibling-IQ studies has not spuriously inflated negative correlations (as had been previously believed).







New evidence of dysgenic fertility for intelligence in the United States


By Richard Lynn

University of Ulster


County Londonderry

Northern Ireland


By Marian Van Court


Future Generations

Marlborough, MA 01752



Data from the General Social Survey (GSS) collected in the years 1990—1996 are examined for the relationship between fertility and intelligence as measured by vocabulary. The results show that the relation between fertility and intelligence has been consistently negative for successive birth cohorts from to 1900 to 1979, indicating the presence of dysgenic fertility for all of the 20th century studied thus far. The most recent cohort for which fertility can be regarded as complete is that born in the years 1940—1949. In this cohort, the decline of genotypic intelligence arising from the negative association between intelligence and fertility is estimated at .90 IQ points per generation. The decline of genotypic intelligence of Whites is estimated at 0.75 IQ points a generation.


1. Introduction


For almost a century and a half there has been concern that there is a negative association between people’s intelligence and their number of children. A negative association of this kind is known as dysgenic fertility. The reason it has aroused concern is that it would entail a decline in genotypic intelligence, i.e., the genetic quality of the population in respect of intelligence. In the 19th century this concern was voiced by Galton (1859) and in the earlier decades of the 20th century by Cattell (1937), Fisher (1929), and Muller (1963), among many others. Evidence for the presence of dysgenic fertility in the economically developed nations for the last 150 years or so and in most of the rest of the world during the 20th century has been reviewed in Lynn (1996). The general trend has been that fertility became strongly dysgenic in the closing decades of the 19th century, whereas in the early decades of the 20th century the dysgenic trend weakened but was still present.


The leading theory to explain the onset of dysgenic fertility in the second half of the 19th century was differential use of contraception. A variety of methods of contraception including the sponge, spermicidal chemicals, pessaries, douches, the condom made from sheep gut, and withdrawal were described in a series of books including Richard Carlile’s (1826) Every Woman’s Book, Robert Owen’s (1832) Moral Physiology and Charles Knowlton’s (1832) The Fruits of Philosophy. It is assumed that these books were read and the methods of contraception were used initially and predominantly by those with higher intelligence levels, who used this knowledge to reduce their fertility in the second half of the 19th century. By the early decades of the 20th century, knowledge and use of contraception had become widespread. This brought about a decline in fertility throughout the whole population and reduced the dysgenic effect.


In the middle decades of the 20th century, a number of those concerned with this issue believed that dysgenic fertility would be a temporary phenomenon and would disappear as contraception became used efficiently by the whole population. It was argued by Osborn (1940) that when this occurred, fertility would become eugenic because the more intelligent would tend to be higher earners, would be able to afford more children and would have more. Osborn called this the “eugenic hypothesis.”


Some studies carried out in the United States in the 1960s suggested that dysgenic fertility had already disappeared and therefore that the eugenic hypothesis was right (Bajema, 1993 and Higgins et al., 1992). However, several studies in the 1980s found that dysgenic fertility was still present (Retherford & Sewell, 1988; Van Court & Bean, 1985 and Vining, 1982). This paper presents new data on this issue for the United States collected during the years 1990—1996.


2. Method


The data for this study are drawn from the General Social Survey (GSS) carried out by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) (Davis & Smith, 1996). These surveys are carried out annually on nationally representative samples of approximately 1500 individuals aged 18 and over drawn as national probability samples from the continental United States but excluding those who do not speak English and those in institutions. Full details of the sampling procedures are given by Davis and Smith (1996). The data from the surveys are available on disks from NORC and it is from these that the results presented in this paper have been derived.


The GSS collects a vast amount of information. The variables with which we are concerned are the vocabulary score, the number of children and the race and sex of the respondents. The vocabulary score is taken as a measure of intelligence. The vocabulary score is derived from a multiple-choice test asking the meaning of 10 words and the score is the number of words defined correctly. Vocabulary scores are highly correlated with measures of general intelligence. For example, the vocabulary subtest correlates .75 with the full-scale IQ of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, more highly than any of the other subtests (Wechsler, 1958).


The GSS data for the years 1974, 1976, 1978, and 1982 were analyzed for the relationship between vocabulary scores and fertility by Van Court and Bean (1985). The reason for using these years was that the vocabulary test is not given every year and these were the years in which it was given during the period 1974—1982. Van Court and Bean found negative correlations of around −.15 between vocabulary and fertility. The present study is an examination of more recent GSS data to see whether the negative association between vocabulary and fertility has continued to be present. The present study examines the GSS data collected in the years 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, and 1996. The data from these 5 years were combined to give a single sample of 6522 respondents. The vocabulary test was not given in the 1993 or 1995 surveys.


3. Results


Because the present study is a follow-up of the investigation carried out by Van Court and Bean in the early 1980s, it is useful to start by considering the results of the two studies together so that they can be considered as a whole. This is done in Table 1, which divides the subjects into eight birth cohorts. The first two of these are 20-year birth cohorts consisting of those born between 1880—1899 and 1900—1919, followed by 10-year birth cohorts of those born 1920—1929, 1930—1939, etc. to 1970—1979 (the first two cohorts are 20-year cohorts because of small numbers). Table 1 shows the numbers in each birth cohort and the correlations between vocabulary and number of children as found by Van Court and Bean and as found in the present study. There are three interesting features in this table. First, all the correlations in both data sets are negative, indicating consistent and prolonged dysgenic fertility. Secondly, there is a close similarity between the correlations obtained by Van Court and Bean and those in the present data. Thirdly, there is no tendency for the magnitude of the negative correlations to decline in more recent birth cohorts. On the contrary, it increases.


    Table 1. Correlations between vocabulary scores and number of children



In evaluating these negative correlations, it is important to consider whether the fertility of the cohorts is complete. The reason for this is that the more intelligent tend to have their children later (see, e.g., Vining, 1995), so young cohorts can show a negative association between intelligence and fertility, which may be reduced or disappear as the cohort grows older and the more intelligent start to have children. For practical purposes, fertility can be considered to be largely complete for those who have reached the age of 40. In the Van Court and Bean series, fertility is complete up to and including the 1920—1929 cohort and can be assumed to be more or less complete for the 1930—1939 cohort, which was aged 35 to 52 at the time the data were collected between 1974 and 1982. In the present series, the latest cohort that can be considered to have completed its fertility is that born between 1940 and 1949, which was aged 41 to 56 at the time the data were collected between 1990 and 1996. The next cohort born 1950—1959 was aged 31 to 46 at the time the data were collected between 1990 and 1996. Probably its fertility was largely but not entirely complete.


We now analyze the 1990—1996 data in more detail by breaking down the association between vocabulary scores and fertility by sex and race. In regard to race, the GSS categorizes respondents as White, Black and other. The numbers in our sample are 5450 Whites, 806 Blacks and 286 other. The “other” category is considered to be too few for analysis, so the analysis is confined to Whites and Blacks. Table 2 shows the numbers and correlations for Whites and Blacks, broken down by males and females and by cohorts. The correlations vary somewhat, probably because of small numbers, particularly for the Blacks. To provide a clearer overall picture, the four first age cohorts, 1900—1919 through 1940—1949 of those whose fertility can be regarded as complete, have been aggregated and the results are shown in Table 3. There are two interesting features of the data. First, the negative correlations between vocabulary and fertility are present within the two racial groups and in males and females. Secondly, the negative correlation is approximately twice as great for Blacks as for Whites.


    Table 2. Correlations between vocabulary scores and number of children, broken down by race and sex


    Table 3. Correlations between vocabulary and number of children of those born 1900—1949


Because the 1940—1949 cohort is the most recent for which fertility can be regarded as complete, it provides the most recent data on which to examine the magnitude of the deterioration of genotypic intelligence per generation arising from the negative association between intelligence and fertility. The formula for calculating the change in a trait as a result of differential fertility (the response to selection) is given by Plomin, DeFries and McClearn. (1990, p. 281) as the product of the narrow heritability of the trait multiplied by the selection differential (narrow heritability is the additive heritability, i.e., the heritability attributable to the effect of additive genes, while total heritability includes the effects of dominant and recessive genes). The formula is derived from Fisher (1929) whose work on the problem is summarized by Plomin et al. (1990, pp. 284—285). These authors also provide an extensive discussion of selective breeding studies (Plomin et al., 1990, pp. 278295).


For the present problem of calculating the magnitude of the deterioration of genotypic intelligence, the figure adopted for the narrow heritability of intelligence is .71 given by Jinks and Fulker (1970). The selection differential is the correlation between IQ and fertility and is −.17. Thus, we obtain a decline in genotypic intelligence of .12. This is in the metric of vocabulary scores. To express this in conventional IQs, we need to express it in S.D. units. The S.D. is 2.08, so the decline is .06 S.D. units and this is the equivalent of .90 IQ points. For Whites, the correlation between IQ and fertility is lower than for the total sample at −.15 as compared with −.17. Hence, for Whites the decline of genotypic intelligence is also less and is −.15 multiplied by .71=.11. The S.D. for whites is 2.02, so the decline is .05 S.D. units and is the equivalent of .75 IQ points.


We turn now to the issue of the fertility of those with very low vocabulary scores. The interest of this question is that the method used early in the century to investigate the problem of whether fertility is dysgenic consisted of examining the correlation between intelligence and numbers of siblings. It was found that these correlations were invariably negative. It was inferred that there must be a negative correlation between the intelligence of parents and their number of children (see, e.g., Lentz, 1927, for the United States, and Cattell, 1937, for Britain). An objection made to this method was that it failed to sample those in the parental generation who were childless. If these had low IQs, their lack of children would counterbalance the dysgenic fertility inferred from the negative association between intelligence and numbers of siblings. Studies by Bajema (1993) and Higgins et al. (1992) reported that childlessness was most prevalent among those with very low IQs. These results have been widely considered to invalidate the methodology of inferring that fertility was dysgenic from the negative associations between intelligence and numbers of siblings (e.g., Ehrlman & Parsons, 1976). However, several subsequent studies reviewed in Lynn (1996) have found that those with low IQs do not have a high rate of childlessness. To throw further light on this problem we have analyzed vocabulary scores in relation to numbers of children. All those born up to 1949 have been analyzed, those born from 1950 onwards being excluded because they may not have completed their fertility. The results are shown for Blacks and Whites and for males and females in Table 4. The results do not confirm the theory that the childless tend to have low IQs. On the contrary, their vocabulary scores are higher than average.


    Table 4. Mean vocabulary scores in relation to number of children


Stating the same claim slightly differently, it has been argued that those with very low IQs tend to have relatively few children (e.g., Erhman & Parsons, 1976). To examine this claim the mean numbers of children have been calculated for Black and White males and females, for those born 1900—1949. The results are shown in Table 5. They show no tendency for those with the lowest vocabulary scores to have small numbers of children. The mean vocabulary score of the entire sample is 6.1 and the standard deviation 2.1. Hence, those with vocabulary scores of 0—1 score 2 standard deviations below the mean, equivalent to conventional IQs in the range 55—70. Inspection of the data set out in Table 5 will show that if those in this range are aggregated they have about the same numbers of children as the total sample.


    Table 5. Mean number of children in relation to vocabulary scores


4. Discussion


This study contains five principal points of interest. First, it goes some way towards resolving the problem of the differences between the Higgins et al. (1992) and the Bajema (1993) studies, showing a positive relationship between intelligence and fertility, and the Van Court and Bean (1985), Vining, 1982 and Vining, 1995, and the Retherford and Sewell (1988) studies, showing a negative relationship. The results of the present study confirm and extend the second set of studies in that they show that the association between intelligence and fertility has been consistently negative for all birth cohorts from 1900—1919 up to 1970—1979. This negative association holds for the American population as a whole and within White and Black and male and female subpopulations.


When Vining (1982) found a negative association between intelligence and fertility he proposed that this could be reconciled with the positive association reported earlier by Higgins et al. (1992) and by Bajema (1993) if fertility had been dysgenic in the early decades of the century, subsequently turned eugenic (as found by Higgins et al. and by Bajema), and then had turned dysgenic again. This interpretation of the evidence is not supported by the present results showing that fertility has been consistently dysgenic from the 1880—1899 cohorts onwards. These results are consistent with the negative associations between educational level and fertility that were present in the cohort born in the last decade of the 19th century and has continued throughout the 20th century, as shown in Lynn (1996, p. 114). Because of the association between educational level and intelligence, it is improbable that educational level could be negatively associated with fertility, while in the same cohorts intelligence was positively associated with fertility. Since the negative associations between educational level and fertility are derived from census data they have to be regarded as stronger evidence than the positive associations between intelligence and fertility found by Higgins et al. and by Bajema in rather small samples whose representativeness is doubtful. In fact in the Higgins et al. study the initial sample showed a negative association between intelligence and fertility (r=−.08 for men and −.11 for women). It was only when the sample was reconstructed by including the siblings of the sample that the association appears to have turned positive, although the correlations were not reported. As regards the Bajema result, it was obtained on an urban sample from a school in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The positive association between intelligence and fertility may have arisen because of the omission of rural subjects since rural populations typically have lower mean IQs and higher mean fertility, so their inclusion might have turned the association negative.


Secondly, our results give no support to the eugenic hypothesis advanced by Osborn (1940) that dysgenic fertility would prove to be a temporary phenomenon of the demographic transition and would soon be replaced by eugenic fertility. On the contrary, the magnitude of the dysgenic fertility has increased from the cohorts of 1900—1919 to that of 1940—1949, whose fertility can be regarded as complete, and to that of 1950—1959, whose fertility can probably be regarded as approaching completion. These results are inconsistent with the secular trend of fertility in relation to educational levels, which show reduced dysgenic fertility in more recent cohorts (Lynn, 1996). The reason for this inconsistency is not clear.


Third, our results show that dysgenic fertility among Blacks is about twice as great as among Whites. This confirms the results obtained by Vining, 1982 and Vining, 1995. It is also consistent with census data on the relationship between educational level and fertility, which shows a stronger negative relationship among Blacks than among Whites (Lynn, 1996).


Fourth, our results show that there is no tendency for the childless to have low IQs or for those with low IQs to be childless. This suggests that the studies finding negative associations between intelligence and numbers of siblings were correctly interpreted as indicating the presence of dysgenic fertility, and makes these studies consistent with the results of the Retherford and Sewell (1988) and Vining, 1982 and Vining, 1995 studies and the present data.


Fifth, it is useful to compare the present results with those obtained by Retherford and Sewell (1988). In the present data, the decline of genotypic intelligence for the 1940—1949 birth cohort is calculated at .9 IQ points per generation for the overall population, and .75 IQ points per generation for the White population. Retherford and Sewell calculated a genotypic decline of .81 IQ points from their data set consisting almost entirely of Whites and born around the same time. The present results are therefore very close to those obtained by Retherford and Sewell results in showing that fertility is slightly dysgenic.


We now consider a limitation of the study that the sample excludes institutionalized individuals of whom the majority will have below average IQs. If these have fewer than average children, the effect of their exclusion from the sample would be to reduce the magnitude of the negative correlation between intelligence and numbers of children. Those in institutions and excluded from the sample are the severely mentally retarded, psychotics in psychiatric hospitals, and criminals in prisons. The severely mentally retarded in institutions most of whom have IQs below 50 have lower than average fertility, so their exclusion reduces the magnitude of dysgenic fertility, but these constitute only about 0.3% of the population and the effect of this will be negligible. Psychotics in institutions also have below average fertility but these are fewer than 1% of the population and the effect of their exclusion will also be negligible. We do not know of any data on the numbers of children of criminals in the United States, but in Britain criminals tend to have above average numbers of children (Lynn, 1995). If this is also true for the United States it would provide some counterbalance to the below average fertility of the mentally retarded and mentally ill. In any case the numbers excluded from the sample because they are in institutions are considered to be too few to have any appreciable effect on the results.


We consider finally the significance of the decline of genotypic intelligence. A decline of .9 IQ points of genotypic intelligence for one generation cannot be regarded as of great practical consequence. However, the consistently negative association between intelligence and fertility from the birth cohort of 1880—1899 onwards shows that dysgenic fertility has been present for three generations and, therefore, that over this period genotypic IQ has declined by approximately 2.7 IQ points. This is an appreciable decline but it has been counteracted by the much greater increase in phenotypic intelligence that has increased by approximately 3 IQ points per decade from the 1930s up to 1978 (Flynn, 1984). The fact that phenotypic intelligence has increased while genotypic intelligence has declined is not a problem. The increase of phenotypic intelligence is a result of improvements in the environment such as better nutrition and possibly other factors such as the greater availability of cognitively stimulating toys, computer games, television, and radio discussed by a number of contributors to Neisser’s (1998) book. These have brought about an increase in phenotypic intelligence that has greatly outweighed the deterioration in genotypic intelligence arising from dysgenic fertility. It seems probable that the increase of phenotypic intelligence will not continue indefinitely but is likely to peter out with diminishing returns from environmental improvements. These is some evidence that this has already begun insofar as the mean IQ in the United States tested with Wechsler and Binet tests increased by approximately 3 IQ points per decade over the period 1932—1978 (Flynn, 1984), but increased by only 1.7 IQ points over the years 1978—1995 (Flynn, 1998). If this trend of declining secular gains is projected into the future, and if dysgenic fertility continues, the secular increase in phenotypic IQ would be expected to fall to zero and then be replaced by a decline. As first argued by Galton (1859) and later by Cattell (1937) and Fisher (1929), this would have an adverse impact on the nation’s economic and military strength, its intellectual and cultural achievements and of the efficiency with which work is performed at all levels of society.







Special Book Review



J. Philippe Rushton,

Department of Psychology,

University of Western Ontario,

London, Ontario, N6A 5C2 Canada


In press, 22 October 2001, in Elsevier Science journal

Personality and Individual Differences


The Bigger Bell Curve: Intelligence, National Achievement, and The Global



IQ and the Wealth of Nations, Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen, Westport,

CT: Praeger (2002), 256 pp., U.S. $64.95 (Hdbk.) ISBN 0-275-97510-X


This is a book that social scientists, policy experts, and global investment analysts cannot afford to ignore. It is one of the most brilliantly clarifying books this reviewer has ever read. IQ and the Wealth of Nations does for the study of human diversity and achievement among nations what The Bell Curve did for IQ and achievement in the USA. The central thesis is that the IQs of populations play a decisive role in the economic destinies of nations. With concise logic, Richard Lynn (professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland), and Tatu Vanhanen (professor emeritus of political science at the University of Tampere in Finland), systematically document their stunningly straightforward and yet greatly overlooked hypothesis.


IQ and the Wealth of Nations analyses the relation between national IQ scores and measures of economic performance. In one analysis of 81 countries for which direct evidence on national IQs is available, mean national IQ correlates 0.71 with per capita Gross National Product (GNP) for 1998, and 0.76 with per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 1998. Other analyses consistently demonstrate national IQs predict both long term (1820-1922) and short term (1950-90; 1976-1998) economic growth rates measured variously by per capita GNP and GDP (mean rs ~ 0.60). Regression analyses of the 81 countries, and then of 185 countries, including 104 whose national IQs are estimated by averaging those from adjoining countries, shows the national differences in wealth are explained first, by the intelligence levels of the populations; second, by whether the countries have market or socialist economies; and finally, by unique circumstances such as, in the case of Qatar, by the possession of valuable natural resources like oil.


The book has a lucid, expository style. Chapter 1 reviews the various theories advanced over the last 250 years to explain why some countries are rich while others are poor. These include climate theories (temperate zones are said to be best), geographic theories (an East-West Axis is said to be best), modernization theories (urbanization and division of labor are said to be good), dependency theories (exploitation and peripheralization of poor nations are said to be bad), neoliberal theories (market economies are said to be good), and psychological theories (cultural values like thriftiness, the Protestant Ethic, and motivation for achievement are said to be good). While some of these theories almost certainly account for some of the disparities between countries, IQ scores turn out to be the single best predictor.


Chapters 2 to 4 discuss the nature of general intelligence, defined as a single unitary construct underlying performance on many specific cognitive tasks. A review of the literature shows that an individual’s intelligence is an important determinant of his or her educational attainment, earnings, economic success, and other significant life outcomes. In the United States and Britain, the correlation between IQ and earnings is approximately 0.35, an association the authors argue is causal because: IQs predate earnings, are moderately heritable, are stable from 5 years of age onwards, and predict not only the earnings obtained in adulthood, but educational level and many other positive outcomes along the way. It makes sense that intelligence determines earnings because more intelligent people learn more quickly, solve problems more effectively, can be trained to acquire more complex skills, and work more productively and efficiently. Nations whose populations have high IQ levels also have high educational attainment and relatively large numbers of individuals who make significant contributions to national life, including the social infrastructure conducive to economic development. Conversely, nations with low levels of intelligence have low levels of educational attainment and relatively few individuals who make significant positive contributions to the social infrastructure. Low intelligence leads to a number of unfavorable social outcomes including crime, unemployment, welfare dependency, and single motherhood.


Chapter 5, the “Sociology of Intelligence,” provides the first analyses of IQ at the group level, analyzing sub-divisions within nations such as those of cities, districts within cities, and regions. For example, studies carried out using the 310 administrative districts of New York City in the 1930s, found correlations of 0.40 to 0.70 between average IQ scores (gained from tests administered to children in schools) and measures of per capita income, educational attainment, welfare dependency, juvenile delinquency, mortality, and infant mortality. Similar studies carried out in regions of the British Isles, France, and Spain in the 1970s corroborate these relationships.


Chapters 6 to 8 (and their appendices) provide the critical core of the authors’ analyses. These chapters describe in detail the variables and procedures by which the very testable hypotheses are tested and confirmed. The main IQ data are those published from 81 countries in the scientific literature over the previous 70 years. These are standardized to a British mean IQ of 100 with a standard deviation of 15, along with adjustments made for the secular increases in IQ which average 2.5 points a decade since the 1930s. The IQ data turn out to be highly reliable and valid. For example, in 45 countries for which there are two or more IQ measures, the inter-correlation is 0.94; in 38 countries for which there are data from international studies of achievement in mathematics and science, the correlation with IQ scores is 0.87.


The widespread though rarely stated assumption of economists and political scientists that the peoples of all nations have the same average level of intelligence turns out to be seriously incorrect. To the contrary, the evidence clearly reveals that there are considerable national differences in average intelligence level. The highest average IQs are found among the Oriental nations of North East Asia (IQ = 104), followed in descending order by the European nations of Europe (IQ = 98), the nations of North America and Australasia (IQ = 98), the nations of South and Southwest Asia from the Middle East through Turkey to India and Malaysia (IQ = 87), the nations of South East Asia and the Pacific Islands (IQ = 86), the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean (IQ = 85), and finally by the nations of Africa (IQ = 70).


One of the most surprising aspects of these data is how few nations have IQs as high as the British average of 100 (only 15 out of the 81, or less than 20%) and how many nations have IQs of 90 or less (40 out of the 81, almost 50%). The mean IQ of the 81 nations based on averaging the 7 regional IQs listed above is 90, a serious problem if the book’s conclusion is correct that IQ = 90 is the threshold for having a technological economy. However, even if all the IQs turn out to be underestimates, it is likely that the rank-order among the nations will remain highly similar.


The range of IQs can be considerable within a geographic or political boundary. For example, in Latin America and the Caribbean, IQs range from 72 in Jamaica to 96 in Argentina and Uruguay and appear to be determined by the racial and ethnic make-up of the populations. Some racially mixed countries were assigned IQs proportionate to the IQs known for the various groups that make up the country. Thus, the national IQ for South Africa is given as 72 based on the weighted average for Whites, Blacks, Coloreds, and Indians (e.g., Owen, 1992).


For some (not all) analyses, 104 of the countries had their IQs estimated by averaging those from the most appropriate neighboring countries. For example, Afghanistan’s IQ was estimated by averaging those from neighboring India (IQ = 81) and Iran (IQ = 84) to give an IQ of 83. The tables provided in IQ and the Wealth of Nations will be invaluable for researchers wishing to analyze subsets of the data or to extend them with additional data. Of course, the authors are aware that their data on both national IQs and economic indicators are only estimates and will contain errors. Their stunning results, however, leave little doubt that the margins of error were small enough to make the exercise meaningful. Error variance is typically randomly distributed and so works to diminish the strength of the associations between variables.


Although the correlations between IQs and economic performance are high, some countries had higher or lower per capita incomes than expected from their national IQs. These results are also informative. An analysis of those countries that deviate most from a regression line shows that a major additional factor for economic success consists of whether countries have market or socialist economies. A third contribution to wealth is the unique circumstances a country finds itself in.


Some of the countries with a large positive residual, and therefore a higher per capita income than would be predicted from their IQs, are Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Ireland, Qatar, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, and the U.S. With the exception of Qatar, South Africa, and Barbados all of these are technologically highly developed market economies and their higher than predicted incomes could be attributed principally to this form of economic organization. Qatar’s exceptionally high per capita income is principally due to its revenue from oil exporting, which is actually managed and controlled by corporations and people from European and North American countries. South Africa’s much higher than expected per capita income derives from the high performance of the industries established and managed by the country’s European minority. Similarly, Barbados’s high positive residual can be traced to its well-established tourist industry and financial services, which are owned, controlled and managed by American and European countries.


Some of the countries with a large negative residual are Bulgaria, China, Hungary, Iraq, South Korea, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Thailand, and Uruguay. Some of these are present or former socialist countries. Iraq has suffered from losing the Gulf War and a decade of UN trade sanctions. The Philippines have had a large amount of ethnic conflict, which other studies show results in decreased growth (across countries, a 1 SD increase in ethnic conflict is associated with a 0.30 SD decrease in growth rate; Easterly & Levine, 1997).


Chapter 9 contrasts IQ theory with its competitors, explains anomalies, and provides historical accounts of particular nations and regions. For example, two significant exceptions to the view that a tropical climate is detrimental to wealth are Singapore and Hong Kong, which lie in the tropical zone but are among the richest countries in the world. Two exceptions to the view that a temperate climate is beneficial are Lesotho and Swaziland, which lie slightly south of the Tropic of Capricorn, but are among the poorest countries in the world. The explanation for these differences can be understood in terms of intelligence theory: the people of Singapore and Hong Kong belong to the ethnic group with the highest IQs, while the people of Lesotho and Swaziland belong to the ethnic group with the lowest IQs. Historical vignettes are presented to explain how geographical isolation in central Asia (e.g., Tajikistan) may hinder economic development, and how economic fluctuations in Britain, Germany, and India have coincided with their governments’ commitments to a market economy.


Modernization theories, according to which all nations would evolve from subsistence agriculture through to various stages of urbanization and industrialization, have worked for Western Europe and the Pacific Rim but have failed for the four remaining groups of nations (South Asia, the Pacific Islands, Latin America, and sub-Saharan Africa). IQ and the Wealth of Nations proposes that modernization theories worked for Western Europe and the Pacific Rim because these nations have appreciably the same or somewhat higher IQs than in the United States but they did not work for the other four groups of nations because these have lower IQs than those in the United States.


One of the most perplexing problems for the general theory is why the peoples of East Asia with their high IQs lagged behind the European peoples in economic growth and development until the second half of the 20th Century. China’s science and technology were generally more advanced than Europe’s for around two thousand years, from about 500 B.C. up to around 1500 A.D. In engineering, for example, China had canal systems, including canal locks, centuries ahead of Europe. In agricultural technology, the Chinese were the first to invent the collar and harness for horses (250 B.C.), and the chain pump for lifting water for irrigation (80 A.D.). They also invented the wheel barrow (240 B.C.), which did not appear in Europe until 1250 A.D. In printing and paper making, the Chinese invented making paper from bark (105 A.D.), printing from engraved wooden blocks (650 A.D.), printing with movable type (1040 A.D.), and color printing for paper money (1100 A.D.). In military technology, the Chinese invented the stirrup (475 A.D.) enabling soldiers on horseback to sit securely in the saddle and attack enemies with swords and lances, gunpowder (1044 A.D.), rockets (1200 A.D.), bombs producing shrapnel (1230 A.D.), small firearms shooting bullets from bamboo and metal tubes (1260 A.D.), and cannons (1280 A.D.). In Europe, gunpowder wasn’t used until the 1300s. In marine technology, the Chinese built ships with rudders (2000 B.C.), and the magnetic compass for navigation at sea (1100 A.D.). Still other Chinese inventions included: cast iron (300 B.C.), iron chain supported suspension bridges (580 A.D.), spinning wheels (1035 A.D.), water powered mechanical clocks (1080 A.D.), and porcelain (840 A.D.). In mathematics, the Chinese invented the decimal point (1350 B.C.), and negative numbers (100 B.C.). In the 15th century Chinese inventiveness in science and technology came to an end and from that time on virtually all the important advances were made by Europeans, first in Europe and later in the U.S., perhaps because while Europeans developed the market economy, the Chinese stagnated through authoritarian bureaucracy and central planning.


The failure of Japan to develop economically until the late 19th century is largely attributed to a regulated economy and isolation from the rest of the world. By 1867-68 a revolution occurred and the new rulers embarked on a program to modernize Japan by adopting Western education and technology, and by freeing up the economy by transforming state monopolies into private corporations. Much of the Japanese economic success in the 20th century was built by adopting inventions made in the West, improving them, and selling them more competitively in world markets. Japan thereby built up its motorcycle, automobile, shipbuilding, and electronics industries. Although it is sometimes asserted that the Japanese have not made any significant scientific and technological innovations of their own, this underestimates their technological achievements. Philip’s Science and Technology Encyclopedia (1998) lists a number of important discoveries and technological innovations made by the Japanese: the fiber-tipped pen (1960), “bullet” trains traveling at 210 km per hour, much faster than any Western trains (1964), laser radar (1966), quartz watches (1967), VHS video home systems (1976), flat screen televisions using liquid crystal display (1979), video discs (1980), CD-ROM (read only memory) disks (1985), digital audio tape (1987), and digital networks for sending signals along coaxial cables and optical fibers (1988).


African nations are at the other extreme to China and Japan in levels of national IQ and this may explain why they are such a major anomaly for modernization theory. The low rate of economic growth of African countries following their independence from colonial rule in the 1960s is one of the major problems in developmental economics. During the years 1976-98, the average rate of economic growth per capita GNP of the 41 nations of sub-Saharan Africa for which data are available is much lower than in the rest of the world. Many of the African countries even suffered negative per capita growth rate since 1960 (see also Easterly & Levine, 1997). Several economists have quantified all possible factors such as climate, ethnic diversity, geography, mismanagement, unemployment and the like and compared the situation to elsewhere in the world, especially Asia, and have concluded that these factors do not provide a complete explanation and that there is some “missing element.” Some have identified the low level of “social capital,” i.e., the widespread corruption and lack of trust in commercial relationships, poor roads and railways, unreliable telephones and electricity supplies, and the prevalence of tropical diseases such as malaria. IQ and the Wealth of Nations suggests that the missing link is IQ, and that some of the factors identified by economists as contributing to the low economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa are themselves attributable to a low level of intelligence in the populations. For example, the poor telephone services and electricity supplies, the low agricultural yields, and the poor advice given by government advisory boards are themselves due to the low average levels of IQ. With a cognitive capacity of IQ = 70, the populations of Africa cannot be expected to match the rates of economic growth achieved elsewhere in the world.


In chapter 10, the final chapter, various predictions are made. One clear prediction is that future growth is most likely in those countries with the largest negative residuals, that is, whose national IQ scores are high but whose present economic performance is weak. The countries of the former Communist Blocs -- such as Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, and Romania, and the People’s Republic of China, and Vietnam -- are obvious possibilities. This chapter also lists some of the factors (both environmental and genetic) that might raise IQ scores, and so alleviate the problem. These include better nutrition, education, and health, and also ending the dysgenic fertility wherein the lowest IQ people produce the most children. For example, fertility figures from countries such as Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua show that among parents with secondary education in the late 1990s, the average number of children produced lies between 1.8 and 2.2, while among women with the least education, it lies between 5.0 and 6.1. Thus the least educated are having two to three times the number of children of the most educated. Since educational levels in these countries are to some degree correlated with intelligence, their demographic trend is strongly dysgenic.


The final conclusion of IQ and the Wealth of Nations is that national differences in IQ are here to stay, as is the gap between rich and poor nations. Hitherto, theories of economic development have been based on the presumption that the gaps between rich and poor countries are only temporary, and that they are due to various environmental conditions that could be changed by aid from rich countries to poor countries, and by poor countries adopting appropriate institutions and policies. It has been assumed that all human populations have equal mental abilities to adopt modern technologies and to achieve equal levels of economic development. The authors call for the recognition of the existence of the evolved diversity of human populations.






Special Review: The Attack on The Bell Curve


By Richard Lynn

University of Ulster

Department of Psychology


Co Londonderry, N Ireland BT52 1 SA




This paper originally appeared in Personality and Individual Differences 26,


(1999), pp. 761-765


B. DevUn, S.E. Fienberg, D.P. Resnick and K. Roeder (Eds). Intelligence, Genes and Success: Scientists Respond to The Bell Curve, Springer-Yerlag, New York (1997), ISBN 0-387-94986-0, 376 pp.


C.S. Fischer, M. Hoot, M.S. Jankowski, S.R. Locas, A. Swidler and K. Yoss (Eds), Inequality by Design: Cracking The Bell Curve Myth, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ (1996). ISBN 0-691-02899-0, 318 pp.


It is doubtful whether any book in the entire history of psychology has been so extensively attacked as The Bell Curve

by the late Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray (1994). The book has been the subject of several hundred critical reviews, a number of which have been collected in edited volumes, some of whose very titles such as Measured Lies (Kincheloe, Steinberg and Gresson, 1996) betray the emotional strength of the hostility the book has evoked. However, many of the initial attacks on The Bell Curve fell wide of the mark. Now we have two more serious books, both of which examine the arguments of The Bell Curve and find then deficient. They contain contributions from geneticists, psychologists, sociologists and statisticians, and they attempt to refute all the essential arguments made in The Bell Curve.


Before considering how well they succeed, it will be useful to summarise H and M’s major points. These are (1) the social structure of the United States is to some degree genetically stratified by intelligence and has at its apex a ‘cognitive elite’ of professionals and senior executives who are genetically superior to the rest of the population; this situation has come about relatively recently through social mobility, by which those with high IQs have risen in the social hierarchy and those with low IQs have fallen; (2) this social stratification by IQ has increased in recent decades as a result of greater equality of opportunity through which those with high IQs are increasingly securing entry to elite universities and occupations, where they are meeting and marrying people like themselves and having elite children; this has been producing a widening intelligence gap between the social classes and this is likely to continue, leading to a caste society with increasingly genetically differentiated social classes; (3) for this to be taking place, intelligence must have a reasonably high heritability, which H and M estimate as lying between 40-80 percent; (4) intelligence is socially important and is a significant determinant of educational attainment, social status and incomes; (5) low intelligence is a significant determinant of a variety of social pathologies including poor educational attainment, chronic unemployment, long term welfare dependency, crime, single motherhood and poverty; (6) these social evils would be reduced if the intelligence of the population could be increased and it would be desirable if this could be accomplished; (7) there is little chance of being able to do this because the things that have been tried as improving education and headstart programs have little or no impact on intelligence; (8) the situation is getting worse because the genetic component of intelligence is deteriorating through the process of dysgenesis or dysgenics resulting from the tendency of the intelligent to have fewer children than the unintelligent, for the generation length to be shorter for the less intelligent, and through the large scale immigration of those with low intelligence; (9) blacks have on average lower intelligence than whites and Asians and this contributes to the over-representation of blacks in respect of the social pathologies of poor educational attainment, single motherhood, crime, etc.; the low average IQ of blacks probably has some genetic basis; the social condition of blacks is likely to deteriorate in the future because dysgenics is greater among blacks than among whites and this will lead to a widening of the intelligence gap between blacks and whites; (10) nothing much can be done about any of this; the United States will become increasingly like South America, with high IQ whites and Asians living in fortified enclaves protected by high fences and armed guards from ‘the menace of the slums below’ (p. 518); (11) the future is consequently pretty bleak and the best that can be done is to try to return to a simpler small town America of yore in which the unintelligent could be usefully employed doing cognitively undemanding jobs and the local cognitive elite could exercise stronger social controls over those who step out of line by punishing them more swiftly and effectively than is done in the megalopises of the contemporary world..


Nearly all of these propositions are challenged in the two books under review. In the first of these, Daniels, Fienberg, Devlin and Rhoeder dispute the genetics of H and M. They argue that the heritability of IQ is much lower than that proposed by H and M, that dysgenesis/dysgenics is not taking place and that there is no persuasive evidence for a genetic component to the black-white IQ difference. On the heritability issue, they argue that H and M should have distinguished between narrow and broad heritability (the heritability due to additive genes only, and that due to additive genes plus dominants and recessives). They say that only additive genes are transmitted reliably from parents to children and could become stratified by social class, that hence only narrow heritability should be considered in the emergence of the genetic congitive elite thesis; that the narrow heritability of IQ is only 0.34; and that this is too low to produce agenetic cognitive elite.


There are several errors in this argument. First, contrary to the authors’ statements, dominant and recessive genes are transmitted reliably from parents to children and are frequently disproportionately represented in certain populations. For instance, the dominant gene for myotonic dystrophy has an exceptionally high prevalence in the population of the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec, where it is more than 100 times more frequent than is typical for Caucasian populations (Veillette et al., 1992). Similarly, recessive genes for sickle cell anaemia are almost entirely confined to black populations and the recessives for Tay-Sacks disease are carried with much greater frequency among Ashkenazi Jews than among gentiles. There is no reason whatever why the dominant and recessive genes for high intelligence should not have become disproportionately represented among the cognitive elite and those for low intelligence disproportionately represented in the underclass and it is virtually certain that this has in fact occurred.


Second, in estimating the narrow heritability of intelligence at 0.34, Devlin et al. make the mistakes of (a) using the data for all age groups; it has become well known since Bouchard (1993) analysed the data that the heritability of intelligence is quite low among young children, becomes progressively greater among older children and reaches its peak among adults. Probably the explanation for this is that the environment provided by parents exerts effects on young children which wash out by the time they become adult, or that there are genes for intelligence which do not become active until adolescence. Whatever the explanation, the important figure for heritability is that derived from adults and this, according to recent estimates, is around 0.80 (Finkel et al., 1995; Petrill et al., 1998); (b) a second error made by Devlin et al. is that they fail to correct the familial correlations for IQ for measurement error; this should have been done and the effect is to increase the heritability by around 12%. These two mistakes put the heritability estimates made by Devlin et al. way off target. If any criticism is to be made of H and M on their heritability estimate it is that they erred on the side of caution in placing it between 40-80%. The correct figure for adults is around 80%.


Devlin et al. also criticise H and M’s conclusion that genetic deterioration for intelligence is taking place through the process of dysgenics. H and M demonstrated an inverse association between intelligence and numbers of children from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth data, from which they inferred the presence of dysgenics. Devlin et al. object that the data are for 25-33 year olds who have not completed their fertility, that higher IQ women tend to have their children later, that only data for completed fertility can be used to establish the existence of dysgenics and that ‘insofar as we are aware, there is nothing but anecdotal evidence for dysgenics’ (p.61). The extent of their awareness of the evidence on this issue is seriously deficient. It is true that completed fertility needs to be assessed to establish the presence , of dysgenics but they fail to note that three studies carried out in the 1980’s and 1990’s fulfilled this condition on large representative samples of Americans and all three found completed fertility is dysgenic (Vining, 1995; Van Court and Bean, 1985; Retherford and Sewell, 1988). H and M summarise these three studies, but Devlin et. al. have failed to notice this. There is in addition a large amount of evidence from censuses and other surveys showing an inverse association between completed fertility and educational level (a proxy for intelligence), and between socio-economic status and intelligence (another proxy for intelligence), summarised in Lynn (1996). The evidence for dysgenic fertility is far from anecdotal. It is securely established. Furthermore, Devlin et al. do not address the dysgenic impact of shorter generation length among the less intelligent, nor that of immigration, for both of which H and M provide evidence.


Devlin et al. turn next to the possibility of a genetic component to the back-white difference in IQ. They reject this by citing three studies showing that the IQs of black-white hybrids are not related to their amount of Caucasian ancestry. They fail to cite the 18 studies of the relation of skin colour to IQ summarised by Shuey ( 1966), of which 16 found that light skin colour, a measure of the amount of Caucasian ancestry, is positively related to IQ. They assert that adoption studies show the malleability of IQ but fail to note that the leading study of this question by Waldman, Scarr and Weinberg (1992) showed that as young adults blacks adopted by white families showed no IQ gains (Lynn, 1994) and that the authors of this study have conceded that their evidence indicates a genetic component to the low black IQ (Waldman, Weinberg and Scarr, 1994). Finally, Devlin et al. write that ‘it is not clear to us why IQ would be positively selected in Caucasians but not in Africans’ (p.62). They are apparently unaware of the theory that Caucasians were subjected to the cognitively demanding selection pressures of survival in cold winter environments for around 100,000 years, to which Africans were not exposed, a theory which also explains the high IQs of East Asians, and which now commands wide assent as the evolutionary explanation for the genetically based high mean IQ of Caucasians and East Asians (Lynn, 1991; Miller, 1995; Rushton, 1995; Levin, 1997; Jensen, 1998).


Two later chapters discuss the nature of intelligence and the issue of whether H and M were justified in treating intelligence as a single entity called Spearman’s g. Carroll is generally supportive of H and M and says that the scores on tests of various abilities (reasoning, verbal, spatial, etc.) can legitimately be summed to give a single measure which can be called general intelligence. Hunt opposes the concept of general intelligence and prefers the multiple intelligences model. However, he agrees that these are positively intercorrelated and can for practical purposes be summed to give a measure of general intelligence, and concludes that H and M’s general intelligence is ‘not exactly inaccurate but is simplified in an important way’. This conclusion is not seriously damaging to H and M’s case. Everyone from Spearman onwards has accepted that g is a simplification and that there is more to intelligence than g. Simplification of the real world is precisely what science is about.


The book turns next to the importance of intelligence for earnings and other social phenomena. Cawley, Conneely, Heckman and Vytlacil examine the NLSY data for the relation between intelligence and earnings. They calculate that in different subsamples of males and females and of blacks, whites and Hispanics, IQ accounts, for between 0.12 and 0.17 of the variance in earnings, implying correlations of between 0.34 and 0.41. They conclude that H and M were wrong in their contention that IQ is an important determinant of earnings. There are two defects in their analysis. First, they omitted both the unemployed, who have low IQs and no earnings, and college students, who have high IQs and will in time have high earnings. These omissions reduce the correlations between IQs and earnings and adjustments should have been made for them. Second, corrections should have been made for the unreliability of the measures of both IQ and earnings. If these adjustments had been made they would have increased the contribution of IQ to earnings and the authors would have reached a different conclusion.


Cavallo, EI-Abbadi and Heeb consider sex and race differences in the contribution of IQ to earnings. They find that the black-white difference in earnings is largely due to IQ differences and that controlling for IQ, black males earn 96% of the earnings of whites, while black females earn 15% more than white females. They do not attempt to explain the reasons for these differences but fault H and M for not breaking down their analysis by sex. The sex difference they reveal is interesting, but it hardly dents H and M’s case that the earnings of blacks and whites are pretty much the same once IQ is controlled. In fact, black females earn more than would be predicted from their IQs, possibly because they benefit more than black males from affirmative action.


Winship and Korenman discuss the effects of education on intelligence and argue that it is greater than H and M allow. They analyse the NLSY data and calculate that each year ofeducation increases the IQ by 2.5 IQ points. Wahlsten also argues that education raises IQ. They fault H and M for being too pessimistic about the scope for raising IQs by improving and increasing education. The weakness of this argument is that many intelligence tests consist of cognitive tasks taught in schools, such as arithmetic and language problems, and this is particularly true of the AFQT used in the NLSY. Scores on such tests do improve with education but this is not necessarily the same thing as increasing intelligence, which consists of many thousands of cognitive skills not taught in schools. The scope for raising intelligence by increasing education is much less securely established than these critics argue.


The relation between intelligence, crime and race is considered by Manolakes. She accepts H and M’s contention that among whites IQ is negatively associated with crime. H and M did not consider this relationship among blacks. Manolakes faults them for this and finds that among blacks in the NLSY sample IQ is positively associated with crime. She criticises Hand M for not discovering this themselves, failing to note that Hand M were not primarily concerned with race differences. She has certainly made a remarkable discovery considering the large research literature showing that crime is predominantly committed by the less intelligent. Before taking this result too seriously it should be noted that the data consist of self-reported crime and people do not invariably report their crimes truthfully. Nevertheless her apparent discovery that IQ is positively related to crime among blacks certainly deserves further research.


The remainder of the book consists of chapters by Glymour, a philosopher who asserts that The Bell Curve is pseudoscience; Zigler and Styfco, who agree that head start programs do not raise IQs but believe they may have other useful effects; and Lemann, a journalist who doubts whether there is a cognitive elite in America except in the professions of law, medicine and business consultancy. The book ends with a summary by Resnick and Fienberg, respectively a historian and statistician, who endorse the generally tendentious and frequently erroneous arguments of the contributors. The academic disciplines of these authors belie the book’s subtitle Scientists Respond to The Bell Curve. Of the twenty five writers in this book, there is scarcely one who could properly be called a scientist.


Poor as Intelligence, Genes and Success is, it is no-where near so bad as Inequality by Design. This is a joint effort produced by six members of the sociology department at Berkeley. Their basic argument is that intelligence, earnings and socio-economic status are wholly environmentally determined. Their model (p.74) is that the family and neighborhood environment determine schooling and the cognitive skills of intelligence and educational attainment, that these determine inequality of earnings, which in turn determine the social problems of chronic unemployment, welfare dependency, single motherhood, crime, etc. Since intelligence is determined by the environment and by schooling, it could be increased by providing better environments and better schooling and this would reduce poverty and its associated ills. This should be done by raising the taxation of those with high and middle incomes and distributing the proceeds to the poor.


In order to establish their case that IQ is solely determined environmentally, the authors would have to show that all the twin and adoption studies indicating that intelligence has a moderate” to high heritability are flawed, but they make no attempt to do this. They should have considered Taubman’s (1976) work on the similarity of the incomes of twins showing that income has a heritability of around 50%. They should also have considered the evidence that intelligence measured in young children remains fairly stable over subsequent years and predicts later educational attainment. For instance, it has been shown that the IQ of 5 year olds predicts their performance in an examination in mathematics taken at the age of 16 at a correlation of.72 (Yule, Gold and Busch, 1982). All this evidence is ignored. The authors of this deplorable book stand squarely in the tradition of sociological ostriches who have for so long averted their eyes from evidence they prefer not to see.


In the early and middle decades of the century sociologists largely ignored the role of genetics and intelligence as determinants of earnings, socioeconomic status, poverty and other social conditions. In the early 1970’s a valiant attempt was made by the sociologist Christopher Jencks (1972) to remedy this blindness of sociological analysis. Jencks presented a path model linking genes to intelligence to social outcomes which was a forerunner of the analysis presented in The Bell Curve. Jencks seriously underestimated the strength of these causal links because he understated the heritability of intelligence and failed to correct for measurement unreliability but he made a major contribution by formulating the right model. It appears that, so far as the faculty of the sociology department at Berkeley is concerned, he wasted his time.


There is nothing in either of these two books that makes any serious case against the conclusions of The Bell Curve. With the exceptions of the chapters by Carroll and Hunt in the first book, the authors systematically distort the data and ignore the relevant evidence. Just what mix of ideology and sheer ignorance is responsible for the positions the authors of these two books adopt is difficult to assess. Whatever the explanation, these two books represent the benighted environmentalist timewarp in which much of contemporary social science is still enmeshed.






The New Enemies of Evolutionary Science


By J. Philippe Rushton

Department of Psychology

University of Western Ontario

London, Ontario N6A 5C2


(Note: The following report by J. Philippe Rushton was originally published

in Liberty, March, 1998, Vol. II, No. 4, pp. 31-35)


The decencies and pieties of the age are at war with the pursuit of truth.


On January 19, 1989, in the Sausalito Room of the San Francisco Hilton Hotel, my life changed forever. I stood before a lectern speaking to a symposium of scientists belonging to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The title of the brief paper I proceeded to present to the meeting was “Evolutionary Biology and Heritable Traits (With Reference to Oriental-White-Black Differences).”


I reviewed the international literature recently published in academic peer-reviewed journals. I summarized data about traits like brain size, temperament, speed of maturation, family structure, and reproductive variables. I tentatively concluded, roughly speaking, that East Asians, on average, were slower to mature, less fertile, less sexually active, with larger brains and higher IQ scores than Africans, who tended to the opposite in each of these areas. Whites, I found, fell between the other two groups.


I further contended that this orderly tri-level hierarchy of races in average tendency had its roots not only in economic, cultural, familial, and other environmental forces but also, to a far greater extent than mainstream social science would suggest, in ancient, gene-mediated evolutionary ones. Heredity, or nature - to use the term popularized by Francis Galton, Charles Darwin’s younger cousin - was every bit as important as environment or nurture, often more so.


To account for the racial pattern in brain size and the other “life-history variables,” I proposed a gene-based life-history theory familiar to evolutionary biologists as the r-K scale of reproductive strategy. At one end of this scale are r strategies, which emphasize high reproductive rates, and, at the other K-strategies, which emphasize high levels of parental investment. This scale is generally used to compare the life histories of widely disparate species but I used it to describe the immensely smaller variations within the human species. I hypothesized that Mongoloid people are, on average, more K-selected than Caucasoids, who in turn are more K-selected than Negroids.


I also mapped this theory onto human evolution. Molecular genetic evidence shows that modern humans evolved in Africa sometime after 200,000 years ago, with an African/non-African split occurring about 110,000 years ago, and a Mongoloid/Caucasoid split about 41,000 years ago. The farther north the populations migrated, “out of Africa,” the more they encountered the cognitively demanding problems of gathering and storing food, gaining shelter, making clothes, and raising children successfully during prolonged winters. As these populations evolved into present-day Europeans and East Asians, they did so by shifting toward larger brains, slower rates of maturation, and lower levels of sex hormone with concomitant reductions in sexual potency and aggression and increases in family stability and longevity.


I did not claim to have established the truth of these hypotheses. They may never by established in their entirety. But if they, or any part of them, or even any parallel hypotheses were eventually confirmed, we would have an explanation of why the measured traits are statistically distributed among racial groups in the distinct patterns evident in the data I had examined. The theories provided testable hypotheses and consequently complied with two fundamental goals of any science: the search to provide causal explanations of phenomena, and the search to unify separate fields of thought. These powerful incentives pulled me forward.


I emphasized two caveats in my presentation before the AAAS. First, because there is enormous variability within each population and because the population distributions overlap, it is always problematic to generalize from a group average to any particular individual. Secondly, because genetic efforts are necessarily mediated by neurohormonal and psychosocial mechanisms, many opportunities exist for intervention and the alleviation of suffering.


My hypothesis so stunned AAAS organizers that they quickly called a press conference to publicly dissociate themselves from my remarks. At the press conference, the president of the AAAS, Dr. Walter Massey, vice-president for research at the University of Chicago, told reporters that my credentials as a psychologist were good and that scholars participating in the conference were free to draw any conclusions they choose. Massey affirmed that the AAAS would never consider muzzling any scholar because the free expression of views was the essence of academic discussion. He went on to say that I had made “quite a leap of faith from the data to the conclusions” and that he found the paper “personally disturbing” and its conclusions “highly suspect.” The scene was eerily reminiscent of the closing sequence of the film Rosemary’s Baby with the media setting up to take pictures of the newborn devil, cloven hoofs and slit eyes, ready to raise hell on earth. I was about to become an academic pariah.


By the time I returned from the conference to my home in London, Ontario, and my job as professor of psychology at the University of Western Ontario, the uproar was in full swing. “Canadian Professor Provokes Uproar With Racial Theories,” proclaimed Canada’s national newspaper, the venerable Globe and Mail. “Theory Racist: Prof Has Scholars Boiling,” declared the influential Toronto Star. “UWO Professor Denies Study Was Racist,” trumpeted the local London Free Press.


Newspapers took my views to hostile social activist groups and got their predictably hostile opinion. They said I should be fired for promoting hatred. The press then took this idea to the president of the university who upheld the principle of academic freedom. The ongoing conflict was serialized for weeks. Student activist groups soon entered the fray, demanding that I meet with them in a public forum.


TV coverage of my theories juxtaposed photos of me with footage of Nazi storm troops. Editing and voiceovers removed any mention of my qualification that the race differences I had identified were often quite small and could not be generalized to individuals and didn’t mention that like any decent human being I abhor Nazi racial policies. Newspapers caricatured me as wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood or talking on the telephone to a delighted Adolf Hitler. The Toronto Star began a campaign to get me fired from my position, chastising my university and stating “This protection of a charlatan on grounds of academic freedom is preposterous.” Later, the same paper linked me to the Holocaust saying, “[Thus] there emerged the perverted ‘master race’ psychology of the 20th century, and the horror of the Holocaust. Oddly, the discredited theories of eugenic racism still are heard, most recently from an academic at an Ontario university.” I had no choice but to hire a prestigious law firm and issue notices under the Libel and Slander Act against the newspaper. This brought the media campaign against me to a halt.


Hate Crime Laws


In the U.S. there is a First Amendment to protect the right of every citizen to free speech and there is not much the government can do to silence unpopular ideas. In Canada and many Western European countries, however, there are laws against free speech, ostensibly enacted to inhibit “hate” and the spreading of “false news.”


Two weeks after my AAAS presentation, the premier of Ontario denounced my theories. My work was “highly questionable and destructive” and “morally offensive to the way Ontario thinks,” he said. It “destroys the kind of work we are trying to do, to bring together a society based on equality of opportunity.” The premier told reporters he had telephoned the university president and found him in a dilemma about how to handle the case. The premier said that he understood and supported the concept of academic freedom, but in this particular case dismissal should occur “to send a signal” to society that such views are “highly offensive.”


When the university failed to fire me, the premier asked the Ontario Provincial Police to investigate whether I had violated the federal Criminal Code of Canada, Chapter 46, Section 319, Paragraph 2, which specifies: “Everyone who, by communicating statements, other than private conversation, willfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of an indictable offense and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.”


The police questioned my colleagues and members of the administration and professors at other universities, demanded tapes of media interviews, and sent a questionnaire to my attorney to which I was obliged to reply in detail. (There’s no Fifth Amendment in Canada either). After harassing me and dragging my name through the dirt for six months, the Attorney General of Ontario declined to prosectue me and dismissed my research as “loony, but not criminal.”


This did not halt the legal action. Eighteen students, including seven Black students, lodged a formal complaint against me to the Ontario Human Rights Commission claiming that I had violated Sections, 1, 8, and 10 of the 1981 Ontario Human Rights Code guaranteeing equality of treatment to all citizens of the province. In particular, I was charged with “infecting the learning environment with academic racism.” As remedy, the complainants requested that my employment at the university be terminated and that an order be made requiring the university to “examine its curriculum so as to eliminate academic racism.”


I was outraged. A more flagrant attack on the right to freedom of expression was difficult to imagine in a supposedly free country. “Human rights” tribunals were becoming a menace - a direct threat to the very human rights and fundamental freedoms they were supposed to protect. The Ontario Human Rights Commission could no more change the truth about human races than could the Christian Inquistion about the solar system or the KGB about the genetics of wheat. I found it difficult to accept the increasingly obvious fact that in the post-Soviet world, an academic was freer to say what he believed about some things in Russia, than in Canada.


Four long years after the complaint was lodged, the Ontario Human Rights Commission abandoned its case against me claiming it could no longer find the complainants to testify.


Events at the University


In its relations with the outside world the university administration stood firmly for academic freedom. The president gave a press conference to state categorically that there would be no investigation of me, that I would not be suspended, and that I was free to pursue any line of research I chose.


Behind the scenes, however, I became the target of a witch hunt by some of the administrators. Dismayingly, my dean, a physical anthropologist, publicly declared that I had lost my scientific credibility and spearheaded an attack on me in the newspapers. She issued a series of preemptive statements making plain her negative opinion of me and my work. “What evidence is there for this ranked ordering of the evolution of the human races?” she wrote. “None.” Claiming that her views represented only her academic opinion she emphasized that she was not speaking in any administrative capacity. Her letter was nonetheless widely interpreted in the media as a refutation by my “boss.” Henceforth, in order to support me, a person would now have to go up against the dean in addition to prevailing opinion. Next, the chair of my department gave me an annual performance rating of “unsatisfactory” citing my “insensitivity.” This was a remarkable turnaround because it occurred for the same year in which I had been made a Fellow of the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. My previous twelve years of annual ratings had been “good” or “excellent.” Indeed, my earlier non-controversial work had made me on of the most cited scholars in my university.


Because unsatisfactory ratings can lead to dismissal, even for a tenured professor like me, I contested the rating through various levels of grievance, wasting an enormous amount of time and emotional energy. The proceedings that followed were Kafkaesque, terrifying when they weren’t simply funny. For example, the grievance procedures required that I first appeal the Chairman’s negative assessment to the Dean. The Dean had already spoken out against me, so I asked the Dean to recuse herself from hearing the case. She refused. So I had to appear before her.


At my hearing, the Dean’s folded arms and glowers of fury made her decision obvious, and six weeks later, she upheld the Department Chair’s decision. In a seven-page letter justifying her decision, she cast aspersions at my “sensitivity,” and my sense of “responsibility,” and questioned whether ther were, in fact, “any” papers that had ever been published that had supported my perspective other than those I had written myself.


I decided on a more drastic defense. I wrote to colleagues around the world and received over 50 strong letters of support, many endorsing the evidence I had presented. When the Dean found out about this she went absolutely ballistic, on one occasion screaming and spitting at me in fury.


I eventually won my appeal against the Dean and the Chair and two separate grievance committeess chastised them for their actions against me. My annual performance ratings are back to receiving grades of “good” and “excellent.”


Some radical and Black students mobilized and held rallies, even bringing in a member of the African National Congress to denounce me. In one demonstration, a mob of 40 people stormed through the psychology department, banging on walls and doors, bellowing slogans through bull horns, drawing swastikas on the walls, and writing on my door “Racist Pig Live Here.”


The administration responded by barring me from the classroom and ordering me to lecture by videotape on the pretext that they could not protect me from the lawlessness of students. Again I launched formal grievances. After a term of enforced teaching by videotape, I won the right to resume teaching in person, though then I was required to run a gauntlet of demonstrators shouting protests and threats. Only after several forced cancellations of my classes did the administration warn the demonstrators that further action would lead to suspension and legal action. That brought the protests to a halt.


De Facto Censorship and the Corruption of Scholarship


As a graduate student at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1973, I witnessed a physical assault on Hans Eysenck, who was studying the biological basis of intelligence and had recently published his book Race, Intelligence, and Education (1971). The slogan of that day was “Fascists Have No Right To Speak,” and Eysenck became a target for attack. No legal charges were brought for the widely witnesses assault because another popular slogan of the 1960’s , for those who approved the message but disapproved the tactic, was “There are no Enemies on the Left.” Stories of harassment and intimidation could be told by many others who have had the temerity to research topics that touch on the genetic or distributional basis of race differences.


Today, many campus radicals from the 1960’s are the tenured radicals of the 1990’s. They have become the chairs of departments, the deans, and the chancellors of the universities: senior political administrators in Congress and Houses of Parliament, and even the presidents and prime mimisters of countries. The 1960’s mentality of peace, love, and above all, equality, now constitutes the intellectual dogma of the Western academic world. There are laws to prohibit platforms for those denounced as “fascists” and others deemed to be not politically correct.


In his book, Kindly Inquisitors, Jonathan Rauch showed that even in the U.S. with the First Amendment in place, many colleges and universities have set up “anti-harassment” rules prohibiting - and establishing punishments for - “speech or other expression” that is intended to “insult or stigmatize an individual or a small number of individuals in the basis of their sex, race, color, hankicap, religion, sexual orientation or national and ethnic origin.” (This is quoted from Stanford’s policy, and is more or less typical.) One case at the University of Michigan became well known because it led a federal court to strike down the rule in question. A student claimed, in a classroom discussion, that he thought homosexuality was a disease treatable with therapy. He was formally disciplined by the university for violating the school’s policy and victimizing people on the basis of sexual orientation.


In Canada and Western Europe, governments can and do prohibit speech on topics they consider obnoxious. In Denmark, a woman wrote a letter to a newspaper calling national domestic partner laws “ungodly” and homosexuality “the ugliest kind of adultery.” She and the editor who published her letter were targeted for prosectution. In Great Britain, the Race Relations Act forbids speech that expresses racial hatred, “not only when it is likely to lead to violence, but generally, on the grounds that members of the minority races should be protected from racial insults.” In some parts of the world you can be jailed, exiled, or even executed for expressing forbidden opinions.


Irrespective of religious background, or political affiliation, virtually all American intellectuals adhere to what has been called ‘one-party science.’ For example, only politically correct hypotheses centering on cultural disadvantage are postulated to explain the differential representation of minorities in science. Analyses of aptitude test scores and behavioral genetics are taboo. Cheap moralizing is so fierce that most people respect the taboo. This intellectual cowardice only encourages viscious attacks by activist groups on those who are engaged in legitimate scientific research showing that there is a genetic basis underlying individual and group differences.


The high-placed pervasiveness of the egalitarian orthodoxy is scary. Even more frightening than what happened to me is the experience of Christopher Brand, professor of psychology at Edinburgh University. On February 29, 1996, Brand’s book on intelligence, The g Factor, was published in the United Kingdom by the British subsidiary of John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. On April 14, newspaper reports of interviews with him began to appear saying that he thought black people had a lower IQ than did whites and that these were probably partly genetic. On April 17, Wiley’s company in New York denounced Brand’s views as “repellent” and withdrew the book from bookstores. A blizzard of “refutations” of Brand appeared in the U.K. media under outraged headlines. Protests from members of Parliament, student boycotts of his lectures, and calls for his resignation by faculty at the University of Edinburgh all predictably ensued. Brand’s refusal to be silenced and his defense of free speech led him to be fired (on August 8, 1997) for bringing his university into disrepute. There but for the grace God, go I.


In 1995, my monograph Race, Evolution, and Behavior was published by Transaction Publishers. Subsequently, the book was translated into Japanese (1996) and released as a softcover edition (1997) with an Afterword updating the science since the hardback went to press.


The book garnered a lead review in the New York Times Book Review (October 16, 1994) where Malcolm Browne, the Times science writer, discussed it along with Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray’s The Bell Curve and Seymour Itzkoff’s The Decline of Intelligence in America. Browne concluded his analysis with the statement that “the government or society that persists in sweeping this topic under the rug will do so at its peril.” Dozens of other journals, including the National Review, Nature,andThe Nation, also reviewed it.


Its publication by an important academic press touched off a new round of hysteria. A lurid article screaming “Professors of HATE” (in five-inch letters!) appeared in Rolling Stone magazine (October 20, 1994). Taking up the entire next page was a photograph of my face, hideously darkened, twisted into a ghoulish image, and superimposed on a Gothic university tower. In another long propaganda piece entitled “The Mentality Bunker” which appeared in Gentleman’s Quarterly (November 1994), I was misrepresented as an outmoded eugenicist and pseudoscientific racist. A photograph of me was published in brown tint reminiscent of vintage photos from the Hitler era.


Incredibly, Canada Customs seized and witheld copies of one shipment of the book for nine months while they tried to decide whether to condemn the book as “hate literature” and ban it from entering Canada. The fact that an academic book was even the subject of an investigation stunned my publisher: “I’ve never heard of such a thing,” said Mary Curtis, Chairman of the Board of Transaction. “This is not supposed to happen in Canada. The last time the company had trouble shipping scholarly works was in the mid-1980’s, when some books shipped to the Moscow Fair didn’t make it.”


Michel Cléroux, a spokesman for Canada Customs, said Customs were just following orders by investigating possible hate propaganda. A departmental policy prohibiting hate propaganda includes this definition: “Goods alleging that an identifiable group is racially inferior and/or weakens other segments of society to the detriment of society as a whole.” After an “investigation” lasting nine months, Canada Customs relented.


Harassment continued at another meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The AAAS routinely allows the militantly disruptive International Committee Against Racism (INCAR) and Progressive Labor Party (PLP) to have official “Exhibitor” status, along with a booth, at its annual meeting. At the February 1996 meeting in Baltimore, INCAR and PLP festooned their booth with posters of Karl Marx and signs taking credit for interfering with the University of Maryland conference on “Genes and Crime” in September 1995.


At the AAAS meeting, INCAR targeted my poster presenting a review of the literature on brain size and cognitive ability. When INCAR encountered me the day before the poster presentation, they yelled so many death threats that the AAAS called the Baltimore police, who dispatched an armed officer to stand by the presentation. Despite the guard, INCAR continued to utter threats. One demonstrator took photographs of me saying they were for a “Wanted: Dead or Alive” poster. “You won’t be living much longer,” he said. Incredibly, instead of cancelling the Exhibitor Status of organizations that threaten violencee, the program director of the AAAS’s annual meeting said, in an interview published in The Scientist (March 4, 1996), that AAAS would tighten up the screening process to make it more difficult for presentations like mine to get on the program!


As Charles Murray has observed in the aftermath to The Bell Curve, social science is corrupt on the topic of race. Yet, the genetic hypothesis for the pervasiveness of the three-way racial pattern across so many traits, and which calls into question simple explanations based only on social factors like discrimination and poverty, needs to be discussed.


In his commencement address to the graduating class of 1997 at the University of California (San Diego), U.S. President Bill Clinton called for a new dialogue on race and for “deepening our understanding of human nature and human differences.” But apparently there are some aspects of human nature and human differences he’d rather leave unexplored.


I’ve learned a great deal since that day in 1989 when I stood before that meeting of scientists and presented a summary of my research, thereby making myself the target of harassment by the politically correct and the object of intimidation by the government of Canada. Despite the viscious campaign against investigation of the possible genetic basis of group differences, my interest never wavered. Work on other topics seemed shallow by comparison. Spurred by attacks and aided by colleagues, I have sought out more definitive tests of the genetic hypothesis and continue to publish my research.


I’ve also learned how important freedom of inquiry is to science, which must always remain to pursue truth without regard for where that pursuit leads. I’ve learned to treasure such remnants of freedom of speech as I enjoy as a citizen of Canada, and remain more committed than ever to the search for truth. As Benjamin Franklin observed more than two centuries ago, “Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom, and no such thing as public liberty, without freedom of speech.”






Evolution, Eugenics, and God’s Will


by Marian Van Court


This famous scene from the ceiling of the Sistene Chapel has recently been interpreted in a startling new way. After it was cleaned and restored, the original details were revealed. The vehicle in which God is traveling, along with God himself, all the angels, the sashes, etc, conform remarkably well to the structures of a human brain (turned sideways, facing Adam). It’s long been known that Michelangelo performed dissections so that he could fully understand the human body. Instead of the old interpretation of God giving life to Adam, it seems clear that Michelangelo’s intention was to portray God giving the highest form of intellect to Adam, a uniquely human gift which is the product of the human brain (Meshberger, 1990).


This painting provides a wonderful artistic illustration for the subject of this paper. If one understands the large genetic component to our very souls -- not only our intelligence, but our honesty, our kindness, our courage, our creativity, and our unique personalities -- then one can immediately grasp the potential of eugenics for evolving ourselves into better people, more fully in the image of God. Francis Galton envisioned eugenics as a large-scale humanitarian endeavor, firmly grounded in science, which also contained the seed of a new religion:


    The chief result of these Inquiries has been to elicit the religious significance of the doctrine of evolution. It suggests an alteration in our mental attitude, and imposes a new moral duty. The new mental attitude is one of a greater sense of moral freedom, responsibility, and opportunity; the new duty which is supposed to be exercised concurrently with, and not in opposition to the old ones upon which the social fabric depends, is an endeavor to further evolution, especially that of the human race.


    Those who enjoy a sense of communion with God can dwell on the undoubted fact that there exists a solidarity between themselves and what surrounds them, through the endless reaction of physical laws among which the hereditary influences are to be included. They know that they are descended from an endless past, that they have a brotherhood with all that is, and have each his own share of responsibility in parentage of an endless future ( Blacker, 1952).


Evolution is the Crown Jewel of Creation


Evolution by natural selection fashioned creatures with conscious awareness from one-celled animals over vast expanses of time. The consciousness of human beings has evolved to such a degree that we are able to love one another, to experience joy at the beauty of nature, to create, to explore, to struggle to comprehend the nature of God, and even to manifest glimmerings of divinity ourselves. If Creation can be said to have anything resembling a purpose or destiny in a spiritual sense, the evolution of conscious beings has got to be at the very heart of it. For this reason, evolution by natural selection can legitimately be regarded as the “crown jewel” of Creation.


And isn’t “the crown jewel of Creation” a far cry from how Darwin’s theory was first greeted by the public in the late 1800s?! Christianity’s vehement rejection of the theory of evolution was understandable since it contradicted a literal interpretation of the Bible. Although it was a painful process, fraught with bitterness, in the long run this conflict was healthy. Now we think of the story of Adam and Eve as an allegory, and a lovely one at that. We have sufficient understanding to welcome Darwin’s message because we recognize evolution as a vitally important key to life, to our consciousness, and ultimately to God.


All major religions say, in one way or another, that we are created in God’s image. In Genesis it is written, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is within you.” An Indian proverb (East Indian) elegantly expresses a similar notion:


Divinity sleeps in stones,

breathes in plants,

dreams in animals,

and awakens in human beings.


Consider the fact that we were created in God’s image through the process of evolution--this can hardly be an insignificant fact. The creation story in the Bible may be lovely, but isn’t the way we actually evolved into ourselves more awesome and more overwhelmingly beautiful than God merely dictating by fiat the existence of the first man and woman? Science has established conclusively that evolution is true, and this is not in doubt. But perhaps evolution could also be said to surpass the story of the Garden of Eden as being more probably true purely on aesthetic grounds (just as in physics sometimes the more beautiful of two theories is given more credence).


Dysgenics: A Cosmic Sacrilege?


The process of evolution quite naturally evokes our deepest fascination and respect, but it is the product of evolution, our consciousness itself, which is precious -- one might even say “divine.” Yet the shocking fact is that today, our evolution has shifted into reverse, and our precious consciousness -- acquired at such an enormous cost in suffering and death, over so many millennia -- is now deteriorating. Scientific studies have shown that we, as a species, are currently evolving to become less intelligent, more violent, less healthy, and more mentally disturbed (Van Court and Bean, 1985, and Lynn, 1996; Lynn 1995; Lynn, 1996; Comings, 1996). The word for this is “dysgenics,” which is the opposite of “eugenics.” Dysgenics means human genetic deterioration. It’s difficult to imagine worse news. If evolution by natural selection is the crown jewel of Creation--having produced human beings in the image of God--then dysgenics must constitute one cosmic sacrilege.


Un-natural Selection


How did dysgenics come about? Simple. By a process that might well be called “un-natural selection,” because it is a reversal of natural selection resulting from society’s corrupting influence. In a nutshell:


(1) Modern societies quite understandably take care of sickly people who previously would have died, but then these people go on to have children with a high incidence of the same illnesses, and


(2) although contraception is available to everyone, it’s more consistently and effectively used by all of the “best” and the most admirable people, i.e., the smartest, most responsible, hard-working people who make a positive contribution to the larger society.


A high percentage of the “worst” and least-admirable people either don’t know, or don’t care, that unprotected sex brings babies into the world, so they have sex with little or no thought of contraception. They include: psychopaths; sociopaths; criminals; psychologically disturbed people of all varieties; alcoholics; drug addicts; irresponsible, short-sighted, and selfish people; the mentally retarded; just-plain-dumb people; and people who are too lazy to take a trip to the corner drugstore. Because of their negligence, they contribute a disproportionate share of their least- admirable genes to future generations.


Professor Richard Lynn of the University of Ulster conducted a study in which he found that despite lengthy sojourns in prison, London criminals still managed to produce more children on average than ordinary, law-abiding citizens (Lynn, 1995). Lynn calculated the increase in crime that would be expected, given the degree to which criminal behavior is a function of heredity, and estimated the increase in crime which should result (other factors being equal) by the excess fertility of criminals. His excellent book, Dysgenics, (see review on this website) is the most comprehensive and authoritative work on the issue of eugenics and dysgenics to date.


Instead of implementing a eugenics program of incentives and disincentives in order to rectify the problem of dysgenics, most governments are making it worse by subsidizing the reproduction of the least-productive segment of society, and taxing heavily the most productive segment.


Farmers and breeders have utilized the principle of “select the best” for their crops, livestock, and pets, and this has given us bountiful crops of every variety, high-yield milk cows, fast, beautiful, and gentle horses. Yet we take far less care when it comes to human beings, and in effect, we “select the worst.” It would be unconscionable to breed stupid, sickly, and vicious dogs -- surely it’s at least as cruel to do this to human beings.




It’s not necessary, nor even possible, to do away with contraception entirely because the technologies and information for preventing conception are “out,” and only a severely repressive government could keep them from the people, and then only partially. However, we can reverse dysgenics and continue the process of improving the human species by implementing a eugenics program. We can once again evolve in a positive direction with self-directed evolution. From a spiritual point of view, when we take on the mantle of eugenics, we insure that our evolution will be guided more directly by God, who lives and breathes within us.


The word “eugenics” conjures up draconian images of Nazis and death camps, but even a cursory examination of the issues shows that this association is unwarranted. Eugenics has been practiced since ancient times, and in the 20th century Sweden had a eugenics program that lasted for 40 years (Broberg and Roll- Hansen, 1996). In fact, a total of 28 countries practiced eugenics in the 20th century, and one country, Germany, committed genocide, so despite Marxist propaganda to the contrary, it’s apparent that no causal association can be drawn between eugenics and mass murder. (For a more detailed discussion of these important issues, see the review of Dysgenics and the Mission Statement on this website.)


Critics of eugenics often argue that we will never agree upon which traits we want, so therefore, the entire enterprise is hopeless. But this argument is utterly without merit. It’s perfectly predictable that we will choose health, beauty, intelligence, talent, courage, kindness, and honesty for our children because these are universally valued traits. All over the world parents value them today, just as parents valued them a hundred years ago, and a thousand years ago.


Is Dysgenics God’s Will? Three Fundamental Truths


Scientists entering the realm of theology for the first time suddenly find themselves on very shaky ground, indeed. How does one know this or that is true? Where’s the evidence? In this paper, I have assumed only that most readers believe in God. Now, given this assumption, at least it becomes possible to say, “If one accepts this statement about God, then such-and-such logically follows.”


Is the current genetic deterioration of the human species “God’s will?” I hope to address this question in a such a way that it will be applicable to Christians and devotees of other religions, as well as to most people who believe in God but don’t adhere to any particular religious creed. First I’ll state three fundamental truths about the nature of God upon which all major religions agree. Then I’ll attempt to draw inferences from them about dysgenics.


(1) God loves us. All major religions hold that this is so.


(2) God wants us to be kind to one another. Jesus said “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” The current Dalai Lama (spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists) says, “Be kind to one another.” Kindness to others is one of the most important -- if not the most important -- teaching of all religions.


(3) God has accorded human beings a special place in the animal kingdom, with a distinct destiny. All major religions believe that human beings are the pinnacle of God’s creation. In Genesis, God said, “[L]et [man] have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepith upon the earth.” In Hindu writings about reincarnation, people are considered the highest and most spiritually advanced creatures. No major religion teaches that we are indistinguishable from lower animals.


Now we get to the heart of the matter--namely, what inferences can we draw from these three fundamental truths? Is dysgenics God’s will? Is dysgenics contrary to God’s will? Or, is dysgenics simply irrelevant to God?


Let’s take the first statement, that God loves us. If God loves us, then he doesn’t want us to suffer unnecessarily. That certainly follows, doesn’t it? Dysgenics means that our children’s generation will be less well-endowed genetically than our generation is, and it’s inescapable that they will suffer as a result. To be sickly, to be retarded, to suffer psychiatric illness -- these are all things we definitely do NOT want for our children, nor for anyone else we love. It hardly requires a giant leap of faith to conclude that if God loves us, he doesn’t want us to suffer needlessly.


With regard to the second point, that God wants us to be kind to one another -- is it kind for us to leave the next generation genetically stupider, more sickly mentally and physically, and worse people morally? Inflicting pain and suffering on enormous numbers of innocent beings is hardly the definition of kindness. I challenge the reader: can you think of anything that is more cruel, on such a vast scale? Communism certainly comes to mind as a possible contender, but I would argue it ranks second to dysgenics. At any rate, we know what our health means to us--it means everything. And we know how much our intelligence means. Imagine what life would be like if you had been born mentally retarded -- you wouldn’t even be you! These traits are profoundly important to everyone, past, present and future.


In addition to leaving our children’s generation a poorer genetic legacy, if we do nothing about dysgenics, we will also bequeath to them the same cultural taboo against eugenics which we have inherited -- the taboo which has paralyzed the Western world for the past 50 years on the vitally important issue of our own biological evolution. Until dysgenics is reversed, each generation will become successively less and less capable of solving the problem of dysgenics -- or any problem, for that matter.


Third, God has accorded human beings a special place in the animal kingdom, with a distinct destiny. Could our “distinct destiny” possibly be to evolve closer and closer in the image of God for hundreds of thousands of years -- more intelligent, more loving and kind, healthier and more civilized -- and then suddenly to reverse direction, to squander all the hard-won gains, and evolve backwards, less in the image of God, more like lower animals? How could this be God’s will? It’s inconceivable.


By examining three fundamental truths upon which all major religions agree, a very short and sure step of reasoning leads us, in each case, to the conclusion that dysgenics must be against God’s will.




Our biology and our spirituality are inextricably linked, and they evolve (or de-volve) hand in hand. From the standpoint of Christianity, it’s fascinating to realize that as we de-volve to become more criminal, more stupid, and more primitive, there will inevitably be (1) a large increase in the total amount of sin, and therefore (2) a higher percentage of people condemned to Hell!! Amazing though it may seem, science has proven that Good and Evil have roots in biology, and we ignore this fact at our peril.


In conclusion, the most capable of our small, ape-like ancestors survived and reproduced in greater numbers so that our species gradually evolved larger brains, higher intelligence, and greater human-ness, and the result of this extraordinary Creation is us. However, “we” aren’t the end of the story!! “Creation” is still in motion, and now we are participants in it, whether for good or for ill. We can, and we must, reverse the current process of dysgenics if we are to carry out God’s will, and if we feel any love or compassion for all those who come after us.






Dysgenics: Genetic Deterioration in Modern Populations


by Richard Lynn

- Praeger, 1996

237pp., $59.95


reviewed by Marian Van Court


[A somewhat abbreviated version of this review appeared in the Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies, Volume 23, Number 2, Summer 1998. MVC]


Countless volumes have been written about the past evolution of the human species, yet hardly any attention has been paid to the crucial question, “Where are we evolving now?” Richard Lynn, of the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland, courageously addresses this question in his controversial book Dysgenics: Genetic Deterioration in Modern Populations. Professor Lynn presents compelling evidence that much of the world is deteriorating in its genetic potential for intelligence, health, and conscientiousness (or good character). The word for this is “dysgenics,” the opposite of “eugenics.”


The Bell Curve devoted one chapter to the question of where we are evolving with regard to IQ (Herrnstein and Murray, 1994). Dysgenics picks up where The Bell Curve left off. Professor Lynn surveys studies from all over the world, and everywhere finds the least intelligent people having the most children. The only exception is sub-Saharan Africa where contraception is rarely used. Our genetic potential for intelligence has been declining in Europe and North America since the mid- 1800s, with a total loss of about 5-8 IQ points. Currently, we are losing almost one IQ point each generation.


The decline in genotypic intelligence coincided with the dissemination of information about contraception. For several centuries prior to 1800, married couples had natural fertility, essentially uninfluenced by efforts to limit it. During this period, there was a strong taboo against sex outside of marriage, and many people never had children because they were too poor to marry. Illegitimacy was rare. Infant mortality was high, especially among the lower classes. Harsh though it may have been, natural selection operated to maintain a healthy population, and to keep intelligence gradually increasing.


Then in the early 1800s, several books on contraception were published. These ideas naturally affected the reading classes disproportionately. Goodyear perfected the vulcanization of rubber, making it an ideal material for the mass production of condoms and diaphragms. By the middle of the century, it was becoming apparent that educated people were having fewer children than the uneducated. Charles Darwin worried about the fact that “the scum” of society were so prolific, and expressed deep concern about the future of civilization because natural selection had ceased to operate. Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton, coined the term “eugenics,” and was its main proponent:


    The chief result of these Inquiries has been to elicit the religious significance of the doctrine of evolution. It suggests an alteration in our mental attitude, and imposes a new moral duty. The new mental attitude is one of a greater sense of moral freedom, responsibility, and opportunity; the new duty . . . is an endeavour to further evolution, especially that of the human race.


Man is gifted with pity and other kindly feelings; he has also the power of preventing many kinds of suffering. I conceive it to fall well within his province to replace Natural Selection by other processes that are more merciful and not less effective. This is precisely the aim of eugenics. (Blacker, 1952).


In the early decades of the 1900s, eugenics societies were being formed in Great Britain and the United States, and eugenics was advocated by leading thinkers along all points of the political spectrum. H.G. Wells summed up its common-sense appeal: “It seemed to me that to discourage the multiplication of people below a certain standard, and to encourage the multiplication of exceptionally superior people, was the only real and permanent way of mending the ills of the world. I think that still.” Julian Huxley described eugenics as “of all outlets for altruism, that which is most comprehensive, and of longest range” (Van Court, 1982).


Eugenics made sense because few doubted that heredity was important. Life was more closely tied to the land, and farmers knew from experience that plants and animals vary widely depending on their inborn qualities. Common sense dictated that human beings, like all the rest of nature, are strongly influenced by heredity. In addition, most people had larger families back then. If a couple had many children, all of whom turned out good except one, it was perfectly reasonable to think that what accounted for the difference was inborn, especially if there were signs from early childhood. Since all the children grew up in the same house, with the same parents, eating the same food, it was just a matter of common sense.


Common Sense Confirmed by Science


Professor Lynn’s major thesis in Dysgenics is that scientific evidence has proven the eugenicists were absolutely right in their concerns about genetic deterioration, and that we, as a society, have made a serious mistake by discounting them. Twin studies and adoption studies have established beyond any doubt the important role of heredity in determining IQ. Identical twins separated at birth have quite similar IQ’s. When adopted children grow up, they resemble their biological parents more closely than their adoptive parents in IQ. Just as the eugenicists assumed, social mobility over centuries has produced a social class gradient for intelligence, and social class is determined partly by innate intelligence. One U.S. study found that in families with 2 or more brothers, the boys with higher IQ’s tended to move up the SES ladder when they grew up, whereas those with lower IQ’s tended to move down. Finally, the evidence shows we are deteriorating genetically because the most intelligent people are having the fewest children.


A number of recent studies point to contraceptive practices as the key to understanding dysgenics today. People with low IQ’s, whether married or unmarried, are less likely to use any form of birth control. Among women using the same birth control methods, those with low IQ’s have much higher failure rates. After an unwanted pregnancy has occurred, low IQ couples are less likely to obtain abortions. Thus each factor selects against intelligence. One minor contribution to dysgenics is the fact that high IQ women often end up not having as many children as they would have liked to have had. By the time a baby is “convenient,” it may be too late. However, the major reason for the decline in our genetic potential for intelligence is greater birth control failure on the part of low IQ women. In the United States, women of all IQ levels report that they would like, on average, about 2.3 children. But low IQ women frequently have more children, often far more children, than they would ideally like to have. If all women had exactly the number of children they desired, there would be no dysgenics, and we would at least break even in our genetic potential for intelligence (Van Court, 1983).


The loss of a 5-8 IQ points may not be a tragedy for an individual, but when applied to a population, it has profound consequences. As readers of The Bell Curve may remember, small shifts in the average of a bell-shaped distribution produce large effects on the tails--in this case, the retarded and the gifted. For example, a decrease in the average IQ of just under 5 points doubles the number of retardates (IQ less than 70), and cuts in half the number of gifted (IQ over 130). Furthermore, Herrnstein and Murray found that when they moved the average IQ down statistically by just 3 points, from 100 to 97, all social problems were exacerbated: the number of women chronically dependent on welfare increased by 7%; illegitimacy increased by 8%; men interviewed in jail increased by 12%; and the number of permanent high school dropouts increased by nearly 15%.


One anomalous finding known as ‘the Flynn effect’ adds an element of mystery to this picture. James Flynn, political scientist from New Zealand, has reported “massive gains” in IQ in the U.S. and elsewhere. When IQ tests are standardized, people consistently find earlier versions of the tests easier, and score higher, than did the original test-takers. There’s no consensus on whether this is due to actual increases in intelligence, or some sort of artifact. Certainly, enormous gains are difficult to reconcile with casual observation and declining SAT scores. Many people dismiss ‘the Flynn effect’ on the grounds that if the population had actually gained 3 points per decade since 1932 as claimed, “Our ancestors would have been morons.” Flynn himself is not unsympathetic to this view. Christopher Brand makes a convincing case that people have merely become more savvy test-takers over the years (Brand, 1996). Professor Lynn believes the gains are real, and probably due to better nutrition, which is thought to be the cause of comparable increases in stature. He likens the situation to poorer quality seeds given ever greater quantities of fertilizer. But even if his optimistic view proves to be correct, there should soon be a limit to how much more benefit can be derived from nutrition, if the limit hasn’t been reached already.


Decline in health and conscientiousness


Throughout our evolution, the weak and diseased died young and didn’t pass on their genes. Now, because of modern medicine, people with numerous genetic diseases live long enough to reproduce and transmit defective genes to their children. (Examples: cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, diabetes, pyloric stenosis, various heart defects, thalassemia, phenylketonuria, and sickle cell anemia.) The incidence of many of these disorders is doubling or tripling each generation. No one would deny sufferers treatment, but it’s important to realize that, as a result of it, our genetic potential for robust good health is declining. Life-long care will require ever-increasing expenditures. Furthermore, while sufferers are grateful for medical advances, most would nevertheless be quick to point out that the quality of their lives would be far better if they’d never inherited a disease in the first place.


Conscientiousness, traditionally known as “good character,” consists of honesty, a strong work ethic, and concern for others. Since IQ is positively correlated to a number of desirable traits (such as altruism, anti-authoritarian attitudes, and middle-class values of hard work, thrift, and sacrifice), when IQ declines, so do these traits. People with low IQ’s are far more likely to become criminals, so the fact that our genetic potential for intelligence is declining means our genetic potential for crime is increasing. Moreover, some evidence suggests that despite lengthy sojourns in jail, criminals still manage to procreate at a faster rate than the rest of us. Professor Lynn’s research on London criminals found they had nearly twice as many offspring as non-criminals, and those figures are almost certainly underestimates. In demographic studies of fertility, the entire category of underclass males is frequently omitted because reliable data on their offspring simply can’t be obtained--their sexual behavior is often promiscuous, and their relationships transient. Since twin studies and adoption studies have established that there is a substantial genetic component to criminality, the higher fertility of criminals significantly increases the genetic potential for criminality in the population.


What to do?


The solution to genetic deterioration in intelligence, health, and conscientiousness is not a matter of knowhow or resources. Rather, it’s a matter of overcoming the pernicious association of eugenics with Nazi genocide. This association has made eugenics a taboo subject, and prevented most rational discussion of it for at least the past few decades. Previously I have addressed this issue:


    An almost primitive fatalism and superstition underlie the assumption that as a society, we are utterly powerless to alter our course, however disastrous a legacy we may be leaving to future generations through our negligence, and the irrational fear that if we dare attempt to guide [our evolution] . . . . we run a grave risk of being suddenly forced against our wills through some mysterious, outrageously implausible yet inexorable sequence of events culminating in genocide and World War III (Van Court, 1983).


The public has witnessed numerous grim and frightening stories about the Holocaust, along with Nazi propaganda on the creation of “a master race,” so quite understandably, it has come to associate eugenics with Nazis and genocide. Who could ever forget the sight of bulldozers shoving mountains of emaciated bodies into mass graves? It’s not surprising that the Nazi’s strong and vocal support for eugenics has utterly destroyed it as a social movement, because nothing, no matter how inherently benevolent, could survive an association with such nightmarish images. But Germany is just one example of a country with a eugenics program--one very, very conspicuous example.


In the first half of the 20th century, a total of 29 countries passed eugenics laws, including Germany, The United States, Canada, Switzerland, Austria, Venezuela, Estonia, Argentina, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Brazil, Italy, Greece, and Spain. History tells us that in one country, Germany, there was genocide; in the other 28, there was not (Saetz, 1985). Further-more, numerous cases of genocide have been committed without so much as a mention of eugenics. Communism--far and away history’s biggest mass murderer--never advocated eugenics, and, in fact, held the opposite beliefs from the Nazis, that the environment causes everything, and heredity counts for nothing. So how can there possibly be a causal connection between eugenics and genocide? In order to prove causation, it’s necessary minimally to show a true association. Put simply, one case out of 29 does not an association make.


Consider the following analogy: Imagine that the most salient historical event of all times was the Crusades, instead of the Holocaust, and that for the past 50 years, the Crusades had been the subject of highly sensational movies, documentaries, commemorative ceremonies, newspaper and magazine articles, books, lectures, museum exhibits, and so on. If we didn’t know much about Christianity, it would be easy to conclude that it was a war-like religion, and quite reasonably, we’d be concerned that if we should ever convert to Christianity, we might wind up fighting and dying in some Crusade. The emotionally-charged association between “Christianity” and “war” would become indelibly imprinted in our consciousness after being paired thousands of times. It wouldn’t be a true association, with predictive value--whenever there’s Christianity, there’s likely to be war (and vice versa), as would be the case if Christians had actually engaged in a disproportionate share of the wars throughout history--but in fact, it would be a false association, because it’s based on just one event which is replayed again and again.


Ghost of Adolf Hitler


To say, “The Nazis believed in eugenics, and they did terrible things” just isn’t good enough as a reason to reject eugenics forevermore. Before rejecting the only solution to dysgenics--a serious problem which isn’t ‘could be’ or ‘might be’ but rather is--it must be firmly established that a eugenics program would actually cause more harm than genetic deterioration of the population. In order to do that, it would have to be shown that genocide (or some other clearly-specified catastrophe) is, in fact, a very real danger of a eugenics program, and not merely hysteria and irrational anxiety resulting from a false association with Nazi’s. The idea that there’s an actual risk of genocide as a result of implementing a eugenics program is preposterous, and it has never been established flimsily, let alone firmly!


Draconian practices would be wholly unacceptable and unnecessary in a modern-day eugenics program. Professor Lynn offers no recommendations in Dysgenics, leaving that for his promised sequel, to be entitled Eugenics. But in light of the problems touched upon in this review, several possible eugenic measures come to mind. Since low-IQ women are much more likely to have unwanted children due to birth control failure, a reasonable first step might be to offer them free long-term and permanent contraception. (Prevention of unwanted births would be a worth-while humanitarian goal in itself, aside from eugenic benefits, because unwanted children are far more likely to be neglected and abused.) A second step might be to provide incentives to criminals (such as reduced sentences) to have vasectomies or tubal ligations. A third step might be to implement various measures to ease the burden of parenthood for college students. Such a program could go a long way toward halting dysgenics, or possibly even reversing it.


Professor Lynn concludes Dysgenics with a word to his critics:


    [W]e have considered the criticisms of the view that the genetic quality of modern populations is deteriorating. These are that there is no genetic determination of intelligence, conscientiousness, crime, educational attainment or socioeconomic status; that there can be an inverse association between intelligence and fertility without genetic deterioration occurring; that there are no genetic differences between the social classes; that there are no such things as bad genes; that the genes for genetic diseases should be preserved, especially in other people, because they make a positive contribution to creative achievement; and that all human types, including the mentally retarded, criminals and psychopaths, are equally valuable. All these arguments have been examined and found wanting. Only one verdict is possible concerning the critics of eugenics who have advanced these arguments, and that is that they have not taken the trouble to examine the research evidence. The eugenicists believed that modern populations were deteriorating genetically. The evidence set out in this book shows they were correct.


Perhaps Professor Lynn is being charitable to his critics by suggesting that they are merely ignorant. A decidedly less charitable view would be that--at least with regard to the high percentage of Marxists and nihilists among them--his critics have read the research, and know perfectly well that it’s true, but publicly they insist it’s utterly false (in a tone of moral indignation, no less) because it threatens their thinly-veiled political agenda. Like all important works on genetics and IQ of the past few decades, Dysgenics is bound to send Marxists/ nihilists into apoplexies of agitation and rage. They respond to scientific facts which don’t fit their egalitarian ideology by attempting to suppress them, branding scientists who report them “Nazis” and “racists,” and publishing devoid-of-substance, pseudo-scientific “rebuttals,” which--unlike the scholarly, substantive, straightforward works they line up en masse to rebut--are welcomed with open arms by the politically-correct media. They can do all of these things, and they can pitch a fit ‘till they rupture an artery in their collective, thoroughly repugnant, brain. But they cannot make these facts go away.


We are deteriorating genetically, and the only alternative to leaving future generations an increasingly chaotic, violent, degraded society is called “eugenics.” What a dilemma! Have we no other choice than to bequeath to our children a poorer genetic legacy than the one we ourselves inherited? And what if they too live in terror of the ghost of Adolph Hitler? Where will it end?


From every imaginable perspective--the economy, education, literacy, crime, welfare, government, the “misery quotient,” advancing civilization, and science, to name just a few--human genetic deterioration in intelligence, conscientiousness, and health is a disaster. For the believers among us, add to these the religious implications of dysgenics: How could it be God’s will for us to behave irresponsibly and cruelly to people who come after us? Would it not be a sacrilege to thoughtlessly squander God’s most precious gifts--in fact, the very ones used to create us in His image?


In retrospect, it seems inevitable that at some point, the widespread knowledge and use of contraception would bring about dysgenics. Many people feel it’s wrong for society to attempt to influence reproduction in any way. But it should be borne in mind that dysgenics came about as a result of society’s ‘meddling’ with the natural order of things by introducing contraception, and it’s clear some sort of ‘compensatory meddling’ will be required if we are ever going to set our evolution back on a healthy course.







Review: Science for Tomorrow


The Science of Human Diversity:

A History of the Pioneer Fund

by Richard Lynn

Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 2001

$75 U.S.

lxii + 581pp.



A Reassessment

by Richard Lynn

Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2001

$67.50 U.S.

ix + 367pp.


Reviewed by Louis Andrews


Among today’s egalitarian ideologues, the studies sponsored by the Pioneer Fund and the ideas of eugenics are perhaps the object of more hatred than the Second Amendment, patriarchy, and homophobia combined.  In two recent books, Richard Lynn, a British psychologist, explores both the contributions of the Pioneer Fund and the promise of eugenics from the standpoint of reason, not political correctness.  Lynn has published widely on psychological issues, especially on the worldwide variations in IQ based on ethnicity and race, for over thirty years.  These two most recent of his books are the culmination of his career.


The Science of Human Diversity begins with a long introduction to Wickliffe Draper and the Pioneer Fund by the latter’s president, Harry F. Wehyer.  By all reasonable standards, Wickliffe Preston Draper was a memorable man.  Born in New England in 1891 to a prominent and wealthy family, he had on his father’s side an uncle who had been a congressman from Massachusetts and another who was governor of the state.  On his mother’s side, his grandfather had been a congressional representative from Kentucky as well as ambassador to Spain.  After graduating cum laude from Harvard, Draper traveled throughout Mexico on horseback, personally witnessing the revolutionary environment of Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa.  When war started in Europe, he joined the British Army and received both the 1914-1915 British Star Medal and the Belgian Croix de Guerre.  He was wounded at Ypres, and after the U.S. entry into the war transferred to the U.S. Army.


Draper’s private wealth enabled him to live the life of a gentleman philanthropist.  In the 1920s he developed an interest in archaeology and anthropology, and during an expedition to the Southern Sahara helped discover the remains of “Asselar Man.” For this he was made a fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and awarded the 1928 Gold Medal by the Societié de Geographie.  Draper was a small aircraft pilot, a powerful swimmer, swordsman, and marksman, and hunted trophy class animals of most of the large game of the world.  Besides his wide reading, as his interest in anthropology and human pre-history and history developed, he was able to hire private tutors to keep him up to date on the latest information in a variety of fields.


For much of his life, Draper gave large sums to charitable causes, including conservation, art education, and health.  He refused at least three honorary degrees from universities in the U. S. and abroad and remained a very private man until his death in 1972 from prostate cancer.


In 1937, after privately supporting a number of research projects in biology and psychology, Draper and four others including John M. Harlan, later Supreme Court Justice, founded the Pioneer Fund.  Draper was its primary benefactor and at his death left 3.3 million dollars to the Fund.


So why was this extraordinary man and the organization he created and funded vilified by ABC News (Peter Jennings) and other media such as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Review of Books as proto-Nazi and evil?  The Wall Street Journal, that citadel of property rights and free enterprise, has even hinted that perhaps men such as Draper should not have control of their own assets, since they might use them for purposes of which presumably the Journal would not approve.


In addition to the lengthy introduction by Harry F. Weyher who has been president of the Pioneer Fund since 1958, The Science of Human Diversity consists of forty largely biographical chapters.  Lynn notes that for the past sixty years the Fund has been “nearly the only non-profit foundation making grants for study and research into individual and group differences, and the hereditary basis of human nature... Over those 60 years, the research funded by Pioneer has helped change the face of social science.”


The Pioneer Fund has been the primary funder of research into individual and group differences.  It has made grants to organizations as diverse as the Sickle-Cell Anemia Foundation of New York, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center for Mental Retardation for a research program on Tay-Sachs disease, and the genetics department of Tel Aviv University.  While the Fund has supported over 60 projects over its history of more-than-60 years, a few stand out above the rest.  First, T. J. Bouchard, Jr. and others for the famous Minnesota Twins study discussed later in this review, J. Philippe Rushton at the University of Western Ontario for his ongoing study of race differences and the r-K continuum, Arthur Jensen at the University of California at Berkeley for his psychological research, especially into group differences in IQ and the nature of g, and Roger Pearson and the Institute for the Study of Man for continued publication of the journal The Mankind Quarterly have all been recipients of Pioneer grants.  In addition, Pioneer funded Richard Lynn himself, for his decades-long study of group differences in intelligence as well as studies of dsygenics and eugenics, and Linda Gottfredson at the University of Delaware, whose work in employment testing and intelligence has been some of the most useful sociological research conducted in recent years.  In addition the list includes many others who have made substantial contributions to our knowledge base such as Hans Eysenck, Lloyd Humphries, William Shockley, R. Travis Osborne, A. James Gregor, Bruno Chiarelli, Michael Levin, and Garrett Hardin.  The latter was supported more for his emphasis on population issues than human diversity directly, though his views on human diversity and social issues are apparent in his last two major books, Living Within Limits and The Ostrich Factor.


The Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart is perhaps the best known of Pioneer-supported studies.  In fact, Pioneer has been the primary funder of the study since its inception in 1979.  The study has two parts.  First, the twins (who were all separated early in life) were brought in for a psychological and medical assessment, which lasted for a week.  Monozygotic and dizygotic twins were identified.  The testing included IQ, interests, psychomotor skills, personality, and academic skills.  The medical portion of the assessment was a complete workup including dental examination.  The second portion was a longitudinal study of aging that lasted for 10 years.  The investigators were led by Thomas J. Bouchard, Jr. and included such luminaries as Nancy Segal, Matt McGue, and David Lykken.  The Minnesota investigators have published about 130 papers detailing their findings, and the study is generally considered the most important twin study ever done.  Even so, the University of Minnesota, which hosted the center that is carrying out the study, has come under attack by egalitarians because of the support of the Pioneer Fund.  Thankfully, they have stood their ground and the research project, which has lasted fro more than 20 years, is now near completion.


Thus despite the attacks and the opposition of radical egalitarians, the Pioneer Fund has been able to support the work of many prominent scholars.  As Lynn notes, grantees and directors “have been elected as presidents of the American Psychological Association, the British Psychological Association the Behavior Genetics Association, the Psychonomic Society, the Society for Psychophysiological Research, the Psychometric Society and the National Council on Measurement of Education.”  They have also included Guggenheim Fellows, Nobelists, and an American Supreme Court Justice.


Richard Lynn’s production since his recent retirement from active teaching has been nothing short of phenomenal.  Besides keeping up his steady stream of journal articles, he has produced this volume on the Pioneer Fund, a full treatment of eugenics (reviewed next in this essay) and in February 2002 released his latest, IQ and the Wealth of Nations, co-authored with Tatu Vanhanen of the University of Helsinki, Finland.


Like Dysgenics: Genetic Deterioration in Modern Populations, his 1996 work, Eugenics: A Reassessment is published by Praeger and is available at a price guaranteed to limit the number of copies sold.  Eugenics is superbly written and well edited.  It contains perhaps the finest statement of the nature and purposes of classical eugenics as well as a look at what Lynn calls “the new eugenics.”


Any history of contemporary eugenics must begin with the English polymath Sir Francis Galton, cousin of Charles Darwin.  Galton’s lifetime output was prodigious, and his IQ has been estimated as about 190.  (Gavan Tredoux has created a remarkable website that contains a number of the published works of Galton online at  His contributions to statistical analysis alone would make him an extremely important figure in the history of science, but that was only one part of his contribution to the social sciences.  Even though much of his research and output in eugenics occurred prior to the rediscovery of the work of Gregor Mendel in genetics, it has, for the most part, stood the test of time.  But this should not surprise us, for animal breeders have been able to direct and improve the nature of their stock for thousands of years without the microscope or even a concept of genes.


Galton divided the population of a country into three groups for the purposes of eugenic activities.  First there were the “desirables,” who would be encouraged to have a number of children because of the value they added to society.  Second were the “passables,” who were about 80 percent of the population and were just that and should be left alone.  Lastly were the “undesirables,” whose reproduction should be limited by social controls.  Lynn notes that this approach, which was called eugenics at the time, elicited the support from intellectuals across the political spectrum.  Of course this was in the years pre-dating the conquest of the social sciences by Boasian egalitarianism that divided the world morally into evil racists and good non-racists (i.e., Boasian egalitarians).  The linking of eugenics and Nazism by these egalitarians was such that the intellectual leaders of the Western world now almost universally see eugenics as evil, thus completing this propaganda conquest.  But Lynn shows that this view of eugenics is merely leftist egalitarian propaganda.  The Nazis’ eugenics program was actually a pale shadow of that of other European countries, such as Sweden and even many of the individual states in the U.S.


Lynn’s first book on eugenics, Dysgenics, resulted in an invitation to present two papers at a conference sponsored by the American Psychological Association.  The proceedings of this conference were later published by the APA as The Rising Curve, edited by Ulrich Neisser.  If one had to choose between Lynn’s volumes on eugenics, then Eugenics is the one to buy.  Not only is it better edited, but also what it offers concerning the probable future of mankind is more important.


The book is divided into four parts: History and Introduction, the Objects of Eugenics, the Implementation of Classical Eugenics, and the New Eugenics.  Lynn argues that eugenics now consists of eight core propositions.  These are


1.      Certain human qualities are valuable

2.      They are valuable because they provide the foundation for a nation’s achievements and quality of life.

3.      Genetics substantially determine moral character, intelligence, and health.

4.      With respect to the preceding proposition 3, the Western World has been in a dysgenic spiral for the last 150 years.

5.      Classical eugenics offers a solution to number 4 via both “positive” and “negative” eugenics -- positive to increase the number of higher quality (in terms of number 3) births and negative to reduce the births among those of lower quality.

6.      New and coming developments in human biotechnology can be used to do the same.  This he calls the “new eugenics.”

7.      Eugenics benefits both nation-states and the individual, whether parent or progeny.

8.      History shows that suppression of technologies that serve human needs is not possible.  The real issue about eugenics is what countries will develop it to its fullest and, if this will be a threat to the West, how can it be countered?


After his discussion of the origins of eugenics, Lynn briefly surveys the contributions of Hermann Muller, author of “The Geneticists’ Manifesto,” Carlos Blacker, author of Eugenics: Galton and After (1954), Cavalli-Sforza, and others.  While they generally agreed with Galton’s program, each emphasized or de-emphasized one or more of his ideas.  Blacker, for example, believed that physical courage was the primary quality that should be promoted, with intelligence being second.  Cavalli-Sforza argued that artistic talent and beauty were also quite important, and it seems reasonable that parents, if given the choice, would certainly opt for beauty in their offspring.  Surprisingly, Lynn rejects the idea that beauty should be an objective of eugenics, but most will find this position unconvincing.


Lynn also notes that eugenics often had a nationalist flavor, such as with Blacker who naturally wanted the British to develop their level of physical courage and Lee Kuan Yeu who worked to improve the quality of the people of Singapore.  Lynn contrasts this with the “universalist eugenics” of Raymond Cattell, whose Beyondism books encouraged “cooperative competition between competing nations” in developing eugenic programs.  Interestingly though, this could also be considered an expanded form of “nationalist eugenics,” since each program was nation-specific, even though it might be regulated by a supra-national entity like the United Nations, in Cattell’s plan.


Lynn says that there are about 7,000 disorders and diseases that are genetic in origin.  Despite the vocal public opposition to eugenic ideas, many of these are today being dealt with in a eugenic fashion.  We live in the age of “stealth eugenics,” and most seem happy with the positive programs as long as their eugenic nature is not explicitly mentioned and especially if the word itself is not used.


In terms of intelligence, Lynn shows that “if none of the mentally retarded were to reproduce, the frequency of mental retardation in the next generation would decline by about 25 percent.”  He also suggests that in the near future the IQ of a child could be raised about 15 points over that of the parents with embryo selection if countries are willing to allow it.  If this were to continue for a number of generations Lynn seems to believe that the mean IQ of most groups could be raised to about 200 with substantial uniformity within the population, which seems to be the theoretical limit for the process.  Frankly, this projected uniformity seems doubtful, and while the standard deviation might be reduced somewhat, it is more likely that it would remain substantial.  Also it seems reasonable to assume that, if allowed, existing higher IQ groups would more often opt for genetic improvement; thus we could expect substantial group differences, whether national, ethnic, or racial, to continue.


Perhaps as important in terms of a benefit to society in Lynn’s view is a reduction of psychopathology via eugenics.  As H. G. Wells noted, “They soil the world for others.”  Nevertheless, here Lynn urges caution since with any attempt to limit psychopathology via eugenics “there might be some loss of creative achievement.”


Lynn’s wake-up call lies in the final section.  Here he argues rather convincingly that the Western nations are about to exit their time on the stage of history, to be replaced by China, which will rule the world perhaps until the end of time.  Why?  Because the Chinese accept eugenics as a positive good and are not hampered by Western liberal ethical concerns about population control and genetic manipulation.  Lynn does hedge a little, saying that some cataclysmic socio-political upheaval in the West might prevent it, but his bet is on China.  It is clear that he sees the Western concern for individual rights vs. the Oriental tendency to think in terms of value to the group as the straw that will eventually break the back of the West.


Lynn’s view of a world ruled by China seems idealistic in that he argues that they would achieve submission of the rest of the world and then behave much as the European colonial powers did from Rome to England and France.  He thinks they would provide the top administrators and bring in locals for the balance of the governmental structure.  In addition, he thinks they would encourage the genetic improvement of the non-Chinese world they would then rule, especially that of whites whose creative abilities they would recognize as greater than that of the Chinese.  This seems much too idealistic.  Why assume that the Chinese would suddenly adopt Western altruistic values instead of looking out for themselves first as historically they have done?  More likely they would look instead to replacement policies, i.e. remove the birth control limitations they have placed on their own people and ship the surplus population to other areas of the world with the intent that the world population would eventually be largely Chinese.


Lynn’s view of a future world ruled by China is rather dismal for the European peoples of the world, but as he notes,


    this is not really the point.  Rather, it should be regarded as the inevitable result of Francis Galton’s (1909) prediction ... that “the nation which first subjects itself to a rational eugenical discipline is bound to inherit the earth.”


Richard Lynn has sounded the clarion call.  We in the West still have the opportunity to control our own destiny, but do we have the will to seize it?  Will our dedication to individualism and egalitarianism allow our destruction or can we overcome these twin albatrosses?  Time indeed is the “beast that killed Egypt,” and it does not appear to be on our side.


Louis Andrews is a businessman and creator of the Stalking the Wild Taboo website. He is also web editor/publisher of The Occidental Quarterly. Mr. Andrews has written for Right Now! and other publications and lives in Augusta GA.






National Wealth and Intelligence


IQ and the Wealth of Nations

by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen

Westport, CT: Praeger, 2002


256 pp.


Reviewed by Edward Miller


The thesis of Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen’s IQ and the Wealth of Nations is that differences between nations in income are basically due to differences in their populations’ intelligence.  Countries with more intelligent populations are better able to master complex modern technologies and hence enjoy higher standards of living.  While this theory has probably occurred to others, this is the first time it has been rigorously developed and put to a quantitative test.


The heart of the book is the demonstration that national IQ and national incomes are correlated.  Lynn is well suited for this exercise because he is probably the leading expert on international comparisons of IQ.  In the course of other work, he has accumulated a massive database of studies in which IQ tests were given in different countries.  Because there are different tests, scored in various ways, an appreciable amount of work had to be done to make all of the scores compatible.   Since test scores appear to be increasing over time (for reasons that are unknown, although Lynn has speculated that improved nutrition is a major part of the explanation), scores had to be adjusted to provide for this factor as well.  A natural question is whether it is even meaningful to talk about an average national IQ.  By comparing cases in which a minimum of two tests had been given in the same nation, Lynn demonstrates that similar scores were achieved, thus showing that the reliability is sufficient to make international comparisons.


The book’s most important finding is in 1998 there was a correlation of 0.733 between real gross domestic product and the national IQ calculated over eighty-one nations.  The gross domestic products here have been calculated using published exchange rates. Since some think it is more accurate to compare national incomes in terms of what the incomes will actually purchase, results are also presented and compared for gross domestic products using purchasing power parity. For sixty-five countries with suitable data in 1998, the correlation was 0.775.


Lynn and Vanhanen also run and plot regression analyses of national product versus national IQ.  IQ explains part of the differences in national product, but only part.  The natural question is what explains the part of national income that is not explained by the level of national intelligence: the residuals.  Presumably, it is some factor specific to one or more countries.  A few of the largest positive residuals can be explained for 1998.  Equatorial Guinea has such a low measured IQ that the regression equation predicts a negative national product.  Since this is impossible, it has a large positive residual.  Qatar has an income well above expectation; this is probably explained by income from oil production.  Barbados has a positive residual; this may also be explained by natural resources (Barbados is a well-located tropical island), which makes possible enough well-paying jobs to raise its income above what it would otherwise be.


In a later discussion, Kuwait, Bahrain, Brunei, Gabon, and the United Arab Emirates are added to Qatar as countries whose high income is explained by oil. Botswana benefits from diamonds.  The Bahamas, Antigua and Barbados, Cyprus, Malta, and St. Kitts and Nevis appear to be other island states for which tourism (related to natural resources) raises income.


Although the authors point out (correctly) that foreigners provide the expertise for the tourism and petroleum industries, standard economic theory provides that countries with high ratios of natural resources to population are expected to have higher per capita national products.


Standard economic theory has always recognized that national income is influenced by the quantity and quality of natural resources.  Possession of oil is probably the most important of such natural resources.  It would appear an even more important factor, except that IQ data are lacking for most of the world’s thinly populated oil-producing countries.  Although less important in the world economy, small islands with good beaches (an island can have a high ratio of beaches, coral reefs, and picturesque ports to population), distinct cultures, and the possibility of exploiting their independent status to become an international financial center are provided for in mainstream theory.  A relatively small number of tourist-related and financial service jobs can raise national income appreciably in a small country.  Of course, the percentage of the world’s population on such islands is small.


Similar analyses are provided for historical data on national incomes along with attempts to explain the outliers.  For instance in 1900 Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand had large positive residuals, which the authors attribute to these countries efficiency of agriculture and livestock production. An economist might note their large amounts of good farmland per capita and predict that this would raise their income above what would be justified by their labor inputs alone.  When this higher income was divided by the population, their per capita incomes would be found to be above average.


Many of the positive and negative residuals in the historical data can be explained by whether the “industrial revolution” had reached them yet.  For historical reasons industrialization began first in northwestern Europe, then spread slowly across the rest of the world.  The largest negative residuals in earlier data included China, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Taiwan, and Thailand, which the industrial revolution had not yet reached.


Similar attempts are made to explain the deviations for 1930 and 1960, but the accounts seem a little ad hoc and thin.  Perhaps the problem is that neither of the authors is an economist, much less familiar with the large literature on economic development.  It is to be hoped, however, that now that the intelligence hypothesis has been put forth along with sufficient data to make it plausible, specialist researchers with a knowledge of the many factors the authors have discussed, including the historical peculiarities of regions and countries, will join the fray and specify the other factors that have played a role in such deviations.


Let us return to understanding today’s national incomes.  South Africa has a large positive residual; yt is a mixed-race country with the key decision makers and business leaders drawn from the white population.  This case suggests an important qualification.  Perhaps what is important is not so much the average intelligence (which is the variable used) as the fraction of the population that is of high intelligence, and thus able to organize industry and trade.  In a country with a homogeneous population, the fraction with high ability can be calculated from the mean IQ and the standard deviation (or just from the mean if one assumes the standard deviations are typical).  In a country with several distinct populations, however, the number of very able individuals will exceed what would otherwise be calculated from the average IQ.  South Africa, with its large white minority in a predominantly black population, would be expected to have more individuals in the IQ ranges needed to understand modern technology than would have been predicted from its average IQ.  This qualification could be important for a number of other countries.  


More countries with negative residuals may be explained by special factors. Samoa and Tonga are small and isolated, which, it is suggested, limits their income (presumably if they had been close to North America or Europe they might have been more like Barbados and been above the regression line).  Iraq suffers from the sanctions imposed after the Gulf War.  Uruguay and Peru have lower than expected incomes, which is attributed to their high inflation rates.  The authors note that most of Latin America has negative residuals.  This suggests to them (and other authors) certain cultural factors.


Several Asian countries had appreciably negative residuals.  The authors suggest the problem in the Philippines is related to ethnic strife (which they also give as a possible reason for poor performance in South American Surinam).  They also suggest that shortfalls in Indonesia and Thailand may be related to lingering effects of the Asian economic crisis.  Taiwan and South Korea are other Asian countries whose incomes are less than would be predicted.  Although these countries are considered among the “Asian Tigers” because of their economic success, their populations do so well on intelligence tests that, according to the authors’ thesis, these two countries ought to have performed even better economically.


The largest group of nations with positive residuals are technologically highly developed, Western, and East Asian: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United States, which all have market economies.


Of the countries whose incomes are appreciably lower than would be expected from their levels of intelligence, six are former socialist countries (Bulgaria, China, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Russia).  The residuals are negative for all former or current communist countries. The authors suggest that the low incomes of these countries are a result of their former political and economic systems.


Weighing all the residuals, positive and negative, it appears that the type of economic system has been an important factor: nations that have had free economic systems are above the regression line, and the communist countries, both past and present, are below it.


Clearly, the intelligence-based theory of this book explains only part of the differences between nations in incomes.  One plausible explanation is economic and political structure.  There was data on indices of economic freedom (for 1997) and democracy (for 1998) for 122 nations.  As noted, the low incomes of the communist and formerly communist countries suggest that economic freedom may be important.


Actually, economic freedom appears a little more powerful than IQ.  For 1998 GNP per capita, the correlation with national IQ is 0.645, while it is 0.656 for economic freedom.  For democracy the correlation is a little less at 0.542.


One of the authors, Vanhanen, had previously worked on measuring democracy and provided the Index of Democratization.  Together, economic freedom and democracy can explain as much of the variation in per capita incomes as national IQ.  Unfortunately, economic freedom, democracy, and national IQ are all correlated with each other, making it difficult to untangle the different variables statistically.


One quantitative experiment is tried in IQ and the Wealth of Nations.  Measures of economic freedom (the extent to which there is a market economy) and democracy are introduced into an equation along with national IQ.


For real gross domestic product per capita for 1998, the percent of the variance explained by IQ alone is 51%.  Adding the measure of economic freedom raises this to 62%.  In contrast, IQ plus the Index of Democratization raises the percent of variance explained only from 51% to 52%, while IQ, economic freedom, and democratization explain 62% of the variance.


It seems clear that economic freedom, when added to national IQ, makes an important contribution, but that democratization adds little.  One of the authors’ figures (8.5) shows that the economic freedom measure is much more important for the countries with IQ over 90.  The role of the type of economic system has been noted above.


Although the subject of the book under review is IQ and national wealth, the evidence shows clearly the importance of the type of economic system.  Socialist command economies have been much less favorable for economic development than have market economies.  This having been established by other authors, the contribution of IQ and the Wealth of Nations lies in its demonstrating the powerful explanatory power of a single variable, the IQ of the country’s population.


Edward Miller, research professor of finance at the University of New Orleans, is the author of over 150 articles as well as numerous book chapters in edited monographs. He received a Ph.D. from MIT in 1970.






Adam, Eve, and Evolution


by Marian Van Court


The traditional interpretation of the story of Adam and Eve is that they disobeyed God by eating the forbidden apple, which is the origin of Original Sin. I shall present a new interpretation (based largely on the principles of evolutionary psychology) that the story symbolizes the major step in our evolution from animal to human, a transition which spanned millions of years.


Occasionally people refer to Adam and Eve eating from the tree of knowledge. They leave off the “of good and evil part”, which is crucial. The Biblical passage clearly states that they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If it were merely the tree of knowledge, the passage would make no sense whatsoever. God said:


    Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.


Later, the Serpent assured Eve that what God had told her was untrue, and that her fears were unfounded:


    Ye shall not surely die. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods . . . .


Adam and Eve ate the apple, and when God realized this, He said:


    Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.


Thus, God confirmed that what the Serpent had said when he tempted Eve was, in fact, true. Now they have souls, and their consciousness lives forever, even after their bodies are gone. They have become as one of us.


In the traditional interpretation, the Serpent is considered wicked. Its plain from the text that the Serpent was perfectly truthful in everything he said to Adam and Eve, and the fact that he was telling the truth is somehow overlooked, as is the fact that God deceived them, at least until the point at which they ate the apple. This is an inescapable conclusion, and God admits as much later on. The fact that God lied to them is also ignored or glossed over by the traditional interpretation.


God told Adam and Eve if they ate from that one tree, they would die. But clearly, they ate from the tree, and they didn’t die!! It could be argued that, in the very broadest sense of the word, that they did die, the change in them being so great, their former selves and their former lives being lost forever. However, a stronger case could be made that God simply deceived them. Maybe it was for their own good, but He deceived them, nevertheless. God goes on to confirm everything the Serpent predicted, and Adam and Eve became as gods. How did the Serpent know all these things?


Perhaps it makes sense to view God and the Serpent as two aspects of the same entity. God loved Adam and Eve, and didn’t want to see them suffer, but, having planted the tree in the Garden, God knew it was inevitable that at some point they would eat from it. In this story, God and the Serpent may represent the two opposite poles of a conflict similar to the one parents feel as their children grow up, need them less, and venture out into the cold, cruel world. Parents want their children to become independent, but they also want to keep them at home, forever safe.


What exactly is meant by knowledge of good and evil? It means morality, a distinctly human trait. It means the entire array of emotions, beliefs, and behaviors that goes along with it, such as the assumption of free-will, desire for approval and respect, fear of rejection, guilt, pride, envy, admiration, desire for revenge, ambition, anxiety, shame, remorse, love-- in short, all the emotions that make up the glue holding human social groups together, motivating members to suppress hostile impulses, forgo selfish interests, and work for the common good. Eventually, this leads to the development of civilization, along with its numerous ramifications.


Acquiring the knowledge of good and evil means evolving from animals to human beings. Becoming human was both a blessing and a curse. There was much to be gained from it--as the Serpent said, “your eyes shall be opened”. But it entailed a steep price. God said to Eve, “I will increase your labor and in labor you shall bear children.” Why specifically that? Because becoming human meant becoming more intelligent, and in order to do that, their brains had to grow larger, resulting in extremely painful births which lower primates, with smaller head-to-body ratios, do not experience. This evolution of larger brains, along with an un- avoidable increase in pain during childbirth, is at the very heart of the process of becoming human.


Before, they were naked, but unashamed, their sexuality uninhibited, like animals. Afterwards, they suddenly realized they were naked, and they stitched loincloths from fig leaves. Strong social restrictions on sexual behavior characterize any civilized people, and make up an integral part of the whole cluster of moral beliefs and behaviors that distinguish us from lower animals.


When Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden, they began the long, Faustian journey to human-hood, striving for understanding and mastery. God said to Adam, “You shall gain your bread by the sweat of your brow until you return to the ground.” No longer could he pluck fruit from a tree when he got hungry the way a monkey does. He cultivated the land, tended his flock, and put away food for hard times. He had the intelligence to envision the horror of famine, and he knew if he didn’t work hard and plan wisely, he and his family would starve.


Back in the security and isolation of The Garden, good and evil were hardly salient concepts. But suddenly they become very real, and very potent forces, in human social groups where survival itself is uncertain. Good is whatever helps the group as a whole to survive and prosper--courage, honesty, unselfishness, intelligence, hard work. Evil is whatever harms the group--cowardice, dishonesty, selfishness, stupidity, and laziness.


The concepts of good and evil were integrated into the culture. Parents taught children to share, to be honest, and to consider the feelings of others. The concepts became internalized, along with all the whole vast array of emotions, both powerful and subtle, that go with them. For example, a man feels instinctive rage when he discovers his wife with another man. People feel spontaneous resentment upon witnessing the selfish or deceitful behavior of others. They experience fear and anxiety when they imagine themselves ostracized by the group for engaging in forbidden acts. And they feel pride after being praised for making a major contribution to the group. All of these pleasant and unpleasant emotions form a system of positive and negative reinforcement that molds the behavior of individuals and keeps the group working successfully as a unit.


The importance of the group is paramount, for we know that human beings must band together in order to survive. Groups with a highly developed morality survived in greater numbers than those without it, thus the genetic predisposition increased in the population. The most successful hunters and warriors received the admiration and gratitude of all, as did the most ingenious inventors--in short, those who contribute to the group. Thieves and murderers were executed or banished. Adolescent boys dreams of glory constituted specially potent fuel for the creative process that constructed technology and civilization. This entire dynamic, the network of prescriptions and proscriptions, facilitated group co-operation, cohesion, morale, progress, and ultimately, survival.


How does the story of Adam and Eve end? They (or shall I say “we”) are still evolving. Will we become more and more human--smarter, more compassionate, more creative--until eventually we become one with God? Maybe in some symbolic sense we will come full circle back to the Garden. The story of Adam and Eve is a beautiful and powerful allegory. I hope what I have suggested fits the original text from Genesis reasonably well, and that it at least provides an interesting alternative interpretation to the traditional one.






Eugenics: A Reassessment


By Richard Lynn

Human Evolution, Behavior, and Intelligence (ISSN: 1063-2158)

Praeger Publishers. Westport, Conn. 2001. 380 pages

LC 00-052459. ISBN 0-275-95822-1. C5822 $119.95

Available (Status Information Updated 7/27/2004)


** Description **

“[T]his book should be read by everyone concerned about the “brave new world” the advancement of human biotechnology allows. General readers; upper-division undergraduates through professionals.”


Lynn argues that the condemnation of eugenics in the second half of the 20th century went too far and offers a reassessment. The eugenic objectives of eliminating genetic diseases, increasing intelligence, and reducing personality disorders he argues, remain desirable and are achievable by human biotechnology. In this four-part analysis, Lynn begins with an account of the foundation of eugenics by Francis Galton and the rise and fall of eugenics in the twentieth century. He then sets out historical formulations on this issue and discusses in detail desirability of the new eugenics of human biotechnology. After examining the classic approach of attempting to implement eugenics by altering reproduction, Lynn concludes that the policies of classical eugenics are not politically feasible in democratic societies.


The new eugenics of human biotechnology--prenatal diagnosis of embryos with genetic diseases, embryo selection, and cloning--may be more likely than classic eugenics to evolve spontaneously in western democracies. Lynn looks at the ethical issues of human biotechnologies and how they may be used by authoritarian states to promote state power. He predicts how eugenic policies and dysgenic processes are likely to affect geopolitics and the balance of power in the 21st century. Lynn offers a provocative analysis that will be of particular interest to psychologists, sociologists, demographers, and biologists concerned with issues of population change and intelligence.






How Can We Encourage Bright Young Couples To Have More Children?


By Nathaniel Weyl


Originally published in The Eugenics Bulletin, Spring-Summer 1984


Our country annually spends billions of dollars to support the indolent and unemployable while they reproduce. Can it not do at least as much for healthy young couples of good character and above-average intelligence? The children of the latter group will usually enhance the productivity and progress of the nation, while those of the former will usually become burdens on society and a dead weight that the productive population must carry.


It is essential that our intelligent young men and women not defer child-bearing and child-raising until their years of greatest fecundity have passed. They should be encouraged to have children during those years when they are naturally best suited to do so, even though they may not be self-supporting at the time. The additional expenses of child-rearing weigh harder on youth and those beginning careers than on the middle-aged. It therefore becomes a social duty, both for the nation as a whole and its individual members, to assist bright and deserving couples to reproduce, and in that way improve the genetic quality of the American population. Affluent people past their own reproductive years are especially able to assist in this matter, but unfortunately they rarely do so.


The greatest impediment to progress in progressive eugenics (also called “positive eugenics”) is the fact that we live in an egalitarian society. The notion that all men are equal in intelligence and abilities is a proposition in which no sensible person believes, yet one to which every prudent politician must pay lip service. Hence, schemes for financial aid to parents to enable them to produce large families are either indiscriminately applied or selectively applied to the most genetically impoverished elements of the population. Any plan to restrict public aid to those parents who have demonstrated that they are law-abiding and of at least average intelligence would be howled down as an affront to the democratic spirit and as class legislation to oppress the poor.


To maintain leadership in the modern world a nation should combine abundant fertility on the part of its intelligent and virtuous youth with higher educational facilities available to everyone with the requisite mental capacities.


For men and women of above-average intelligence, the coeducational colleges of the nation are today the most significant institutions for mate selection and family formation. They are admirably suited to fill this role because they are semi-closed communities in which young men and women live and study together during years of heightened sexual vigor, fecundity, and growing interest in forming stable emotional unions. Marriages of college students, during study or upon graduation, tend to bring together men and women more assortatively mated than the average for intelligence and with greater than average promise of producing superior-to-gifted children. Education and child rearing need not conflict. Parents should realize that discouraging children from marrying during their college years lowers the fertility of their families, for the number of children parents will ultimately have depends in large part on when they begin. Zero Population Growth (ZPG) had a disproportionately large influence on the campuses, thus contributing to the intellectual impoverishment of the American people. Fortunately, it appears largely to have died out.


Scholarships, stipends, fellowships, grants-in-aid, loans, subsidies have made it possible for most mentally qualified Americans to acquire a college education. Some 7 1/2 million Vietnam veterans, and millions of post-Vietnam veterans, have been potential beneficiaries of generous educational benefits. Partly because of the massive presence of veterans on campus, government and the universities and colleges have become more attuned to the problems of young married students with children, and have assisted them with loans, part-time employment, day-care centers, and subsidized housing. At the same time court orders and administrative decisions have forced formerly male and female colleges to become coeducational, thus widening the role of these institutions as communities of mate selection.


Under pressure from militant minority organizations and academic liberals and Marxists, the eugenic role of the colleges is diminished, however, when admissions and graduation standards are lowered. Furthermore, some universities, such as Columbia, Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Southern California, Wayne State, and Temple have found themselves so swamped by slums that they seem to be small islands of order in oceans of vice and crime. Instead of moving to more healthy environments, these universities have generally committed themselves to the attempted “rehabilitation” of their neighborhoods, which has usually been unsuccessful.


One result is that such universities have largely ceased to be communities either for mate selection or other purposes, and have become places where students and faculty put in minimal time, sometimes at considerable personal risk. It also goes without saying that they are hardly good places to raise families.


What are the practical steps that could be taken to strengthen the role of the campus as an area of mate selection and family formation?


The fundamental step would be economic and would consist of the elevation of the economic position of parents over that of the childless, i.e. financial and other aid to young couples on a scale sufficient to eliminate the economic incentive to remain sterile. This aid might include the following specifics: *Help in obtaining employment, both for students and non-student spouses


*Low-cost heavily-subsidized housing which provides a pleasant, healthy, and safe environment in which children can grow up


*Free day-care centers *Free provision of children’s nurses and aides to the parents


*Special scholarships and fellowships


*Partial forgiveness on student loans for each child born, up to 100 %


*Relocation allowances for married students moving to attend the institution


*Fully-paid and adequate maternity leave from work at the university


*Low-cost and comprehensive health insurance for children of student parents


*Increases in university salaries for each child born


Such a program would not only have far-reaching eugenic benefits, but could also be in the immediate interest of institutions adopting it, since they would become more competitive in attracting top graduate students, many of whom are married. In this way their prestige would rise, which ultimately is translated into endowments, grants, research funds, and donations. Such a situation would also redound to the benefit of the towns and cities in which the institutions are located.


Aside from the universities themselves, the agency best equipped to plan and carry out much of this program is the Department of Education. Unfortunately, there is very little pressure on it to do anything of the sort, partly because in our highly-fractionated country, where pressure groups occupy the place where consensus once reigned, young parents are one of the few major groups which is not organized to lobby for its special interests. Yet these interests, unlike those of some other minorities, largely coincide with those of the nation as a whole.


In addition to programs and incentives, what is needed is a fundamental change in attitude, a recognition that to court biological extinction is immoral. A new ethic on the campus could inspire so many of the brightest to become parents that those childless by design would feel their self-imposed barrenness as a reproach and would be prompted to marry and reproduce in order to participate.






Eugenics and the Third Reich


By Stephen B. Saetz


Originally published in The Eugenics Bulletin, Winter 1985


Paul Popenoe, one of the four most active figures in the early American eugenics movement, was asked in 1962 to account for the eclipse of the movement worldwide, and he replied: “The major factor in the decline of eugenics was undoubtedly Hitlerism” (letter of February 20, 1962 to Donald K. Pickens, in Pickens 1968: 99).


Ask almost anyone who has heard of eugenics which word comes to mind when “eugenics” is mentioned, and the answer will be “Nazis.” This association provides a field day for misinformation and sensationalism. The following assertion by historian Lucy Davidowicz perhaps encapsulates the entire series of conceptions surrounding this matter:


    Almost as soon as the Nazis came to power, they began to apply their racial ideology and enact these racial notions into law. The first step came with the law on compulsory sterilization, enacted July 14, 1933 . . . Thereafter the German dictatorship embarked on a program to carry out a policy of racial eugenics or, if you will, racial biology. That program had two aspects: positive eugenics and negative eugenics. Positive eugenics was a program designed to increase the population of persons who were regarded as racially pure “Aryans” (and good Nazis as well). Negative eugenics was a program designed first to halt the procreation of persons or categories of persons who did not meet the standards of racial purity through sterilization and then eventually to kill them and to kill those who were regarded as the racial enemy - - the Jews and the Gypsies (“Biomedical Ethics and the Shadow of Nazism. A Conference on the Proper Use of the Nazi Analog in Ethical Debate / April 8, 1976,” p. 3).


A number of prominent contemporary eugenicists have themselves accepted some or all of these conceptions, so pervasive have the latter become. For example, Carl J. Bajema has said:


    Does eugenics include brutal racist evolutionary practices such as those of Nazi Germany? The tragic history of Nazi Germany indicates that racism and man’s attempts to influence his own genetic evolution are not necessarily mutually exclusive modes of behavior . . . Eugenics includes such policies as those of Nazi Germany if eugenics is defined as the social control of human genetic evolution (Bajema 1976: 5).


C. P. Blacker has written: “ . . . [the] principles [of eugenics] had been perverted by a detested political tyranny” (Blacker 1952: 144). Nathaniel Weyl and Stefan Possony have asserted: “Eugenics, through sterilization of the supposedly unfit . . . is a power subject to terrible abuses as the history of Nazi Germany reveals” (Weyl & Possony 1963: 250). Marian Van Court has stated:


    Ironically, the Nazis’ pseudoscientific perversion of the eugenics concept had the greatest influence on public opinion, promulgating the notion of eugenics as the ideology of racism and genocide. Largely because of this pernicious association, eugenics as a social movement has remained dormant since the end of World War II (Van Court 1982: 30).


Many other such examples could be cited.


Without a doubt, the link with atrocities committed during the Third Reich is the greatest cross which contemporary eugenics has to bear. Is this association fully or partially justified, or is it a case of guilt by association? Historical data can put this question into proper prospective.


A thorough analysis of the purported relationship between National Socialist policies and eugenics evinces four basic elements:


I. The attempted extermination of European Jewry


II. Euthanasia


III. Attempts to breed a biological elite through (a) Lebensborn, and (b) SS selection and marriage criteria


IV. Negative eugenics, which is claimed to have been quantitatively and not just quantitatively different from similar policies elsewhere in the world


How justifiable are these association? It is time the decks were cleared.






There are two questions to be answered here. Did eugenics have anything to do with the motivation, advocacy, implementation, or justification of these actions? If not, what was the source?


Let the facts--the primary sources--speak for themselves.


Adolf Hitler’s fundamental view of the Jews had been formed in late adolescence in Vienna, and it consisted of the following basic beliefs: that they constituted an unassimilable, ethnically alien State-within-a-State wherever they resided; that they pursued their own interests exclusively to the detriment of the non-Jewish peoples among whom they lived; that they lived a parasitical existence based upon the accumulation and manipulation of money for its own sake and even more as a source of power; that they were the creators and propagators of movements inimical to the spiritual and material welfare of European peoples, e.g., Bolshevism, Marxism, finance capitalism, Free Masonry, liberalism, egalitarianism, and Freudianism; that they acted as the bearers of the corrosion of national life, functioning as nihilistic agents of the dissolution of national and ethnic feeling and tradition and of all organic bonds, in the process setting various segments of the population against each other, e.g., capital and labor, in order to “divide and conquer”; that they were venal, materialistic, and totally devoid of idealism; that they were racially inferior; that they played a decisive role in manifestations of social degeneracy such as prostitution, usury, pornography, modern art, financial crimes, and the narcotics trade; that they possessed no ethics or morality as Europeans understood these terms; and that they had been engaged in a 4,000-year-old conspiracy to dominate the world pursuant to their view of themselves as the Chosen People. These characteristics and values he held to be rooted in the biology of the Jewish people, and therefore ineradicable (cf. generally Mein Kampf). In all this, Hitler was fully in the mainstream of European racial anti-Semitism which he had absorbed in Vienna.


From the time he came to power to the end of his life, Hitler was convinced that world Jewry was to blame, first for agitation abroad for war against Germany, and then for the outbreak of war itself and its extension into a world war. He asserted that important Jewish organizations and prominent Jewish spokesmen had stated explicitly that they would not rest until the openly anti-Semitic National Socialist regime was destroyed, even if it required war to do it; and that powerful Jewish figures in politics, the press, radio, and films - particularly in the U.S., Britain, and France were in the forefront of this agitation for war.


The policy of the German government prior to World War II had been to bring about complete social segregation, to deny Jews German citizenship, and to eliminate systematically Jewish influence in German life. Later in the prewar period - after November 1938 -punitive measures were instituted to force Jews to emigrate at a faster rate. By 1939 400,00 of the 600,00 Jews of pre-1938 Germany had departed. From the outbreak of the war until mid-1941, various plans were devised to resettle the Jews within the German sphere of control--in Madagascar, and later in Eastern Poland but these plans were abandoned for various reasons.


Hitler’s first explicit threat to exterminate European Jewry was made in a famous speech before the Reichstag (Parliament) on January 30, 1939:


    In the course of my life I have often been a prophet, and have usually been ridiculed for it . . . I will once more be a prophet: If the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevisation of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation [Vernichtung] of the Jewish race in Europe (To1and 1977: 700).


This “prophesy” Hitler was to hark back to a number of times, for instance in a speech of January 30, 1942 in Berlin:


    We realize that this war can only end either with the wiping out of the Germanic nations, or by the disappearance of Jewry from Europe. On September 3 [the actual date was January 30, 1939], I spoke in the Reichstag--and I dislike premature prophesies--and I said that this war would not end the way the Jews imagine, that is in the extermination of the European Aryan nations, but that the result of this war would be the destruction of Jewry. For the first time, it will not be others who will bleed to death, but for the first time the genuine ancient Jewish law, “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” is being applied (Hitler 1944: 83)


He reiterated his intentions on February 24, 1942 in another speech: “My prophecy shall be fulfilled that this war will not destroy humanity but it will exterminate the Jew. Whatever the battle may bring in its course or however long it may last, that will be its final course” (Toland 1977: 969). On April 26, 1942 in Berlin he spoke clearly again on this matter: “Death will come to all liars, who, pretending to protect the world against domination by a foreign power, in reality are only endeavoring to save their own world domination” (Hitler 1944: 84). On September 30, 1942 he repeated his threat that if Jewry instigated “an international war to exterminate the Aryan peoples it would not be the Aryan peoples that would be annihilated but Jewry itself” (Toland 1977: 985). In his annual speech to Party veterans at Munich on November 8, 1942 he sounded the same note: “As a prophet they always laughed at me. But of those who laughed loudest then, countless laugh no longer today. Nor are those who are still laughing even now likely to laugh when the time comes” (Irving 1977: 12). Other pronouncements of the same sort can be culled from various of his speeches from 1941, 1943, and 1944.


In his table talk for February 13, 1945, close to the end of the war, he put the matter forcefully:


    I have always been absolutely fair in my dealings with the Jews. On the eve of war, I gave them one final warning. I told them that, if they precipitated another war, they would not be spared and that I would exterminate the vermin throughout Europe, and this time once and for all. To this warning they retorted with a declaration of war and affirmed that wherever in the world there was a Jew, there, too, was an implacable enemy of National Socialist Germany.


Well, we have lanced the Jewish abscess; and the world of the future will be eternally grateful to us (Hitler 1961: 57).


Finally, in a retrospective attempt to justify his actions, he announced the following in his Political Testament, dictated on April 29,1945 the day before he committed suicide:


    I have left no one in doubt that if the people of Europe are once more treated as mere blocks of shares in the hands of these international money and finance conspirators, then the sole responsibility for the massacre must be borne by the true culprits: Jewry. Nor have I left anyone in doubt that this time millions of European children of Aryan descent will starve to death, millions of men will die in battle, and hundreds of thousands of women and children will be burned or bombed to death in our cities without the true culprits being held to account, albeit more humanely (Hitler 1976: 346).


Paul Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda and Gauleiter (District Leader) of Berlin, and an anti-Semite as vociferous as Hitler himself, echoed these same sentiments. After a conference with the latter about the Jewish question on August 18, 1941, he wrote in his diary:


    The Fuehrer is convinced that the prophesy he uttered in the Reichstag- that if the Jews once more succeeded in provoking a world war, it would end with the destruction of the Jews is coming true. It is coming true these weeks and months with a dread certainty that is almost uncanny. In the east the Jews will have to square accounts; they have already footed part of the bill in Germany and they will have to pay still more in the future. Their last refuge will be North America, and there too they will one day, sooner or later, end up footing the bill . . . In the coming world the Jews will have little cause for mirth . . (Irving 1977: 302-303).


On November 16, 1941, in a long editorial entitled “The Jews are to Blame!” in his prestigious weekly newspaper Das Reich, Goebbels wrote:


    We are now witnessing the acid test of this prophesy, and thus Jewry is experiencing a fate which is hard but more than deserved. Pity or even regrets are entirely out of place here. World Jewry, in starting this war, made an entirely wrong estimate of the forces at its disposal, and is now suffering the same gradual process of destruction which it had planned for us, which it would apply without hesitation were it to possess the power to do so. It is in line with their own law, “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” that the ruin of the Jews is now taking place . . .


    The Jews are our destruction. They provoked and brought about this war. What they mean to achieve by it is to destroy the German state and nation . . . The treatment we give them does them no wrong. They have more than deserved it . . . (Remak 1969: 155, 156, 157).


In a lead article in Das Reich, Goebbels once more publicly enunciated these points: “In this war the Jews are playing their most criminal game, and they will have to pay for that with the extermination of their race in Europe and perhaps far beyond” (New York Times, June 12, 1942).


The Goebbels Diaries 1942-1943 contain further relevant material. The following is an entry for March 27, 1942:


    A judgment is being visited upon the Jews that, while barbaric, is fully deserved by them. The prophecy which the Fuehrer made about them for having brought on a new world war is beginning to come true in a most terrible manner. One must not be sentimental in these matters. If we did not fight the Jews, they would destroy us . . . there is nothing funny in it for the Jews, and the fact that Jewry’s representatives in England and America are today organizing and sponsoring the war against Germany must be paid for dearly by its representatives in Europe -and that’s only right (Goebbels 1948: 148) .


Another entry for December 14, 1942 states:


    The Jewish race has prepared this war; it is the spiritual originator of the whole misfortune that has overtaken humanity. Jewry must pay for its crime just as our Fuehrer prophesied in his speech to the Reichstag; namely, by wiping out the Jewish race in Europe and possibly in the entire world (Goebbels 1948: 243-244).


The official charged with carrying out the Find Solution was Heinrich Himmler, Reichafuehrer-(National Leader) SS and Chief of the German Police. In a speech made in Posen to the assembled Higher SS and Police Leaders on October 4, 1943, he spoke openly of the extermination of the Jews, and strove to justify it in these terms: “. . . We had the moral right, we had the duty to our people, to destroy this people [dieses Volk umzubringen] which wanted to destroy us” (Himmler, October 4, 1943). On October 6, 1943, in the same city, he reiterated the same points and admissions to the assembled Gauleiters and Reichsleiters, almost all of whom were hearing them for the first time, as Baldur van Schirach, Gauleiter of Vienna and former head of the Hitler Youth, relates (Schirach 1967).


The Final Solution was initiated with the commencement of the German-Soviet conflict in June 1941, and was terminated by unilateral order of Himm1er in October 1944. The extermination operations were carried out in maximum secrecy - particularly those in the camps - and with very few exceptions, only those directly involved were permitted knowledge of them. A larger group in the Party had suspicions, but only a small minority knew absolutely. Himmler drove home the need for secrecy, and spoke of the unawareness of the German people of this matter, in his speech to the Gauleiters and Reichsleiters in Posen. He concluded the part of the speech dealing with the Jewish question with these words:


    You now know what is what and you must keep it to yourselves . . . Perhaps at a much later time we shall consider whether something about it can be told to the German people. But it is probably better to bear the responsibility on behalf of our people (a responsibility for the deed as well as for the idea) and take the secret with us into our graves (Toland 1977: 1052).


If the objection be raised that, in view of the unequivocal and repeated public pronouncements by Hitler and Goebbels previously cited, the German people must have been fully aware of what was transpiring, it must be emphasized that these and other similar statements were regarded as pure rhetoric by a people who had been well-accustomed to hearing the most radical rhetoric since 1920. In reality, the statements cited were not mere rhetoric, but were uttered in dead earnest, and were the external expressions of a criminal program with terrible consequences for the Jews, and also for traditional European values, raciology, nationalism, eugenics, and the German people.


Certainly social, economic, political, ideological, and racial-theory considerations (together with his personal experiences) account for Hitler’s radical anti-Semitism. However, they do not account for the ultimate application of this anti-Semitism, the Final Solution. There was no necessary or logical causal relationship between the two. Milton Himmelfarb, a contributing editor to the prestigious Jewish cultural organ Commentary, and an editor of the American Jewish Year Book, makes this point clear:


    Traditions, tendencies, ideas, myths - none of these made Hitler murder the Jews. All that history, all those forces and influences, could have been the same and Hitler could as easily, more easily, not have murdered the Jews. . .


    Anti-Semitism was a necessary condition for the Holocaust, it was not a sufficient condition. Hitler was needed. Hitler murdered the Jews because he wanted to murder them . . . The obedience of Himmler and the SS was to Hitler, not to anti-Semitism . . .


    That one man made so much difference may be even harder to accept emotionally than intellectually. The disproportionate frightens us. We need to believe that causes are proportionate to effects . . . We would rather talk about socioeconomic stresses and strains, political backwardness, group psychopathology, religious hatred, racism . . . (Himmelfarb 1984: 37, 38).


What did determine Hitler’s choice of the Final Solution? Unlike many racial anti-Semites who hated Jewry in an abstract but non-personal sense, Hitler felt profound revulsion for individual Jews and for the collectively of Jewry at the physical and emotional levels. His high level of emotionality made him prone to view things in black and white terms, and therefore to incline to extreme solutions. Because of these factors, he was fully able to dehumanize them and view them in his own mind as “bacilli.”


What clearly and consistently emerges is that the motivation behind his policy of extermination lay in Hitler’s fanatical hatred of the Jews, and in his fixed conviction, shared by his associates, that the Jews were responsible for the origin, enlargement, and prolongation of World War II. This motivation on the part of Hitler, Goebbels, Himmler, and others had absolutely nothing to do with eugenics, nor was it justified or implemented in terms of even pseudo-eugenic considerations.






The euthanasia program--which accounted for the deaths of perhaps as many as 80,000 people, largely institutionalized mental patients--has come to be confused with eugenics in the minds of many. The historian Joachim Remak, editor of The Nazi Years: A Documentary History, devoted his entire chapter on “eugenics” in the Third Reich to euthanasia. What are the facts?


In a secret order issued in September 1939, Adolf Hitler initiated a euthanasia program. The order was both simple and direct:


    Reicheleiter Bouhler and Dr. Brandt, MD, are herewith given full responsibility to enlarge the powers of certain specified doctors so that they can grant those who are by all human standards incurably ill a merciful death, after the most critical assessment possible of their medical condition (Irving 1977: 21).


The rationale for the issuance of this order seems clear:


    The ostensible occasion for this formal decision was related to war needs. About a quarter of a million hospital beds were required for Germany’s mental institutions; of Germany’s disproportionately large insane population (a result of centuries of lax and indiscriminate marriage laws) of some seven or eight hundred thousand people all told, about 10 percent were permanently institutionalized. Others were in and out of hospitals. They occupied bed space and the attention of skilled medical personnel which Hitler now urgently needed for the treatment of the casualties of his coming campaigns . . . . . . Hitler instructed Dr. Conti that in view of the war, a program for the painless killing of the incurably insane should be initiated; this would release badly needed hospital beds and nursing facilities for patients with a greater national priority (Irving 1977: 20-21).


The Jewish historian Gitta Sereny, who discusses it at length, characterizes the euthanasia program as having been undertaken for “starkly economic” reasons (Sereny 1983: 50).


It is often contended that those at whom this order was directed composed a large segment of those considered unfit from a eugenic standpoint. In the quotation by Davidowicz cited in the introduction to this paper, she claims that euthanasia was somehow the extension of eugenic sterilization: “Negative eugenics was a program designed first to halt the procreation of persons . . . and then events to kill them [sic] . . .” Neither common sense nor the historical record provide any support for this notion. The interest of negative eugenics in cases of genetic defect is that they not reproduce, a purpose fully accomplished by sterilization or segregation. What eugenic purpose could possibly have been served by putting to death institutionalized patients who had no possibility of procreation whatsoever? None. The rationale behind euthanasia was pragmatic, not eugenic.








The most sensational accusation made against the Third Reich in this category is that it attempted a sort of positive eugenics program by the establishment of a “stud farm” institution known as Lebensborn (Spring of Life), where selected unmarried women of Nordic phenotype were supposedly mated with SS men, and the illegitimate offspring of these unions raised by the institution. Whether such an endeavor could ever legitimately be called a type of positive eugenics or not is irrelevant, since Lebensborn was nothing of the kind. To quote John Toland, the respected author of the most comprehensive biography of Hitler in the English language:


    . . . To promote (his) racial policy (Himmler) established Lebensborn (Spring of Life), an SS maternity organization whose main function was to assist racially sound unwed mothers and their children. Thousands of children in the occupied territories were kidnapped and raised in special SS installations . . . Lurid postwar accounts describe Lebensborn as “stud farms” where SS men and suitable young women were mated to breed a master race. While Himmler’s program did nothing to discourage illegitimacy, there is no evidence that he sponsored illicit sexual liaisons nor is there any proof that the kidnapping of children was done on a large scale. The fact that there were only 700 employees in n1 the Lebensborn homes casts doubts on such claims (Toland 1977: 1046n).


Eleuel (1974: 217,221) also exposes the “stud farm” myth:


    Fantastic rumors surrounded the Lebensborn or “Fount of Life” association, not only during the Third Reich but even more so after its downfall. SS brothel or stud-farm, or a cross between the two--such were the sensational constructions placed upon it by each according to his particular flight of fancy. The truth . . . was far simpler and less lurid. Lebensborn was in fact a rather bourgeois institution founded in conformity with a conservative sexual code, serving to keep up an appearance of middle-class respectability and run in accordance with an almost monastic set of regulations.


    . . . (M)en were strictly forbidden to visit the home except on special occasions. Male guests might then be invited to sip a cup of coffee, but any more intimate form of hospitality was taboo. The Lebensborn motto - “Every mother of good blood is our sacred trust” was puritanically followed to the letter.




The National Socialist attempt to create a biological elite from which would come the future leadership corpus of the Reich was centered upon the SS. The program was initiated by Himmler in April 1929, four years before Hitler ‘s accession to power, when he submitted to him and to the current chief of the SA a draft of regulations according to which no one was to be allowed to enter the SS who did not meet the strictest criteria, which were almost exclusively racial and aimed at selecting for Nordic phenotypes (Hoehne 1971: 59). In a wartime speech, Himmler described the program retrospectively:


Applicants for the SS had to submit photographs, and Himmler would peer at them through a magnifying glass until he was convinced that the applicants possessed “good blood” (Hoehne 1971 : 60) . On one occasion he told his officers:


    I used to think: are there any definite indications of foreign blood in this man--prominent cheekbones, for instance, which might cause people to say “he has a Mongolian or Slav look about him”? Why did I do that? Let me draw your attention to the lessons of experience. Think of the types who were members of the soldiers’ councils in 1918 and 1919 (Hoehne 1971: 60).


(The soldiers’ councils were German soviet-style Communist organizations.)


Hitler held out to the World War I generation of soldiers the prospect of the formation of a racial aristocracy, an ideological elite. In the late 1930s, he ordered the RuSHA (Rasse und Siedlungshauptamt = Race and Settlement Main Office) to compose new and more stringent criteria for SS candidates. SS Hauptsturmfuehrer (Captain) Professor Bruno K. Schultz, a physical anthropologist, transmitted a set of criteria to the RuSHA Racial Commission, before which all prospective SS members had to appear for their final examinations (Hoehne 1971: 166).


Schultz divided his criteria into three parts: racial phenotype, physical condition, and “general bearing.” He aimed his set of values to favor the Nordic type. He listed five racial groupings: “pure Nordic,” “predominantly Nordic or Falic” [Falic = Brunn], “harmonious bastard [cross-breed] with slight Alpine, Dinaric or Mediterranean characteristics,” “bastards of predominantly East Baltic or Alpine origin,” and “bastards of extra-European origin.” Only those in the first three categories were eligible to join the SS. Schultz also composed a list of nine categories of physical proportion as a guide for the physical examination of SS candidates (Hoehne 1971: 166). Candidates achieving ratings of 6-9 were passed; categories 4 and 5 were only passed after proving “Nordic qualities” in their behavior; while ratings 1-3 were failed (Knoebel 1965: 26). Himmler was adamant that his men be “of well-proportioned build; for instance there must be no disproportion between the lower leg and the thigh or between the legs and the body; otherwise an exceptional bodily effort is required to carry out long marches” (Hoehne 1971: 166-167). As to “Nordic bearing,” Himmler put it this way: “The point is that in his attitude to discipline the man should not behave like an underling, that his gait, his hands, everything, should correspond to the ideal which we set ourselves” (Hoehne 1971: 167).


No mention was made of intellectual or educational attainments. As Knoebel (1965: 27) states: “No moral and intellectual achievement was refined to qualify as a Herrenmensch [a man born to be master].” Knoebel (1965:18) explains why this had to be the case:


    . . . Certainly the SS never could have been developed along educational or social lines. The only criterion which could serve as a uniting bond was to establish the new elite along the lines of racial selection. This would make the Schutzstaffel [SS] attractive to ambitious upstarts as well as promise continued membership in the new elite to upper bourgeoisie and especially the nobility. Himmler had been fascinated with eugenic breeding ever since he had studied poultry science.


Alcoholics were rejected or expelled, as Knoebel (1965: 29) makes clear: “Others, who qualified superbly according to the racial charts by the commission, were dismissed because they were found incapable of controlling their consumption of alcohol.” On December 31, 1931 Himmler issued a marriage law for SS men which stated that they could marry “solely if the necessary conditions of race and healthy stock were fulfilled” and only after approval by him or by RuSHA. The SS man and his fiancee had to fill out a RuSHA questionnaire, take a comprehensive physical examination administered by an SS doctor, provide photographs of themselves in bathing suits taken from three angles, and submit proof of Aryan ancestry back to 1800 (for officers, back to 1750). (The term “Aryan” as used in National Socialist laws and regulations denoted a person of non-Jewish European origin.) RuSHA would determine if both prospective spouses deserved to be entered into the SS clan book; in the case of SS leaders, Himmler would make the decision personally (Hoehne 1971: 168-169, 177). To quote this order:


  1. The SS is a formation of German men in the Nordic mold . . .


  1. In keeping with National Socialist ideology and cognizant that our national future depends upon the selection and preservation of racially and hereditarily good stock, I am . . introducing a “marriage permit” for all single members of the SS.


  1. The intended aim is (to produce) a valuable clan of German stock in the Nordic mound.


  1. The marriage permit will be granted or refused solely on grounds of race and hereditary health.


  1. Every SS man who intends to marry must obtain a marriage permit from the Reichsfuehrer-SS.


  1. SS members who marry notwithstanding the refusal of a marriage permit will be expelled from the SS . . .


  1. The relevant processing of marriage applications will be the task of the “Racial Bureau” of the SS.


  1. The Racial Bureau of the SS will keep the “Clan Book of the SS,” in which the families of SS members will be entered after a marriage permit has been issued or a request for registration granted (Bleuel 1974: 265-266).


Jochen van Lang (1979: 440-444) has reproduced the actual SS medical examination form as it stood in late 1939. It was designed to be employed for both male and female applicants. The examination was divided into five sections: “Permission for Disclosure,” “Past History of Family,” “Past Medical Treatment,” “Personal History,” and “General Findings of Examination.” Under “Past History of Family,” the only category of interest here is “precise data on chronic diseases, i.e., endocrine disturbances, allergies, alcoholism.” Family members included children, parents, siblings, children of siblings, and grandparents. Under “Personal History,” there was a question about “Mental development (schooling, career training, delinquency if any),” on which the candidate had only to secure a rating of “normal” (average), and two questions on “Character development” and “Noteworthy special giftedness.”


Section 5 was the most detailed and significant. It included a whole series of anthropometric and somatotypic measurements, as well as points on “Bearing and stride,” coloration of skin and eyes, coloration and texture of hair, and presence or absence of the Mongolian fold (inner epicanthic eyefold). The racial diagnosis followed, and then a long list of meticulous medical determinations. For women, the listing “Capability to bear children” appeared, and for men “Reproductive capability.” The nebulous listing “Degree of talent” followed, but could be passed simply by a rating of “normal.” Next followed the question, “Does the subject of the examination make a credible and frank impression?” Finally, the form requested a “Summary judgment on suitability for marriage,” and four questions were asked: “Total impression”; “Is perpetuation in racial/national sense desirable?”; “Are any conditions present that would affect medical opinion to contraindicate advisability of entering into a pregnancy?”; and “Is the subject now pregnant?” The rest of the form largely contained standard medical questions, although in greater number, detail, and specificity than one would normally expect.


Himmler expected his newborn biological elite to have large families, and did virtually everything in his power in the way of propaganda and indoctrination to assure such a result. In 1936 he decreed that SS men should marry between the ages of 25 and 30 (Smith 1975: 234). In the former, and in the latter as well, he was to be bitterly disappointed. The SS birth rate differed little from that of the population of the Reich as a whole. Knoebel (1965: 68-69) states:


    The ideal image of an SS family as portrayed in the SS Leithefte [SS Manuals] consisted of a rather young couple surrounded by a large number of children . . . Yet the image was a fraud and statistics for 1937, for example, belie this picture. They show that the leaders of the SS, who often had adequate incomes, by and large remained captives of bourgeois customs. They enjoyed the convenience their positions afforded but were reluctant to assume the inconvenience and burden of a large family. According to statistics, each married SS officer who did not derive his income from the Schutzstaffel [SS] had 1.59 children. The ratio of children per marriage was a mere 1.28 children for those officers who were employed full-time by the Schutzstaffel or one of its sub-branches.


As of the end of 1939, instead of Himmler’s heavily-emphasized average of 4 children, the 115,650 married SS men under officer rank had an average number of children per family of only 1.41. Even his broad hints that illegitimacy was fully acceptable for SS men if the women involved were of “good blood” availed practically nothing: of 12,081 children of married SS leaders between 20 and 50 years of age, only 135 were illegitimate (Hoehne 1971: 178-179). A caveat to be entered here is that these sets of figures could not, in many cases, have represented completed fertility. One must remember that the Waffen SS (Armed SS, i.e., combat troops), which composed the vast bulk of SS membership by 1941, sustained battle losses far in excess of those of other branches of the German fighting forces, many units being virtually decimated, which obviously had serious effects on the overall SS birth rate. In addition, the average age of members of the Waffen SS was significantly lower than that of members of the other branches of the fighting forces, and this was especially true of the officers.


What can be validly stated about this entire program from the standpoint of positive eugenics? Himmler undoubtedly saw it in positive eugenic terms. Several selection criteria fit into the framework of positive eugenics: freedom from hereditary defects, “noteworthy special giftedness” (a rather indefinite phrase), and good health. In addition, as noted, alcoholics were expelled. However, if one looks at the overall aims and criteria employed, one sees that they were largely racial--as Himmler intended. It is valid, then, to conclude that his program was intended to be positive eugenics--as eugenicists understand the term to some extent, but that the bulk of it can not be so characterized.






Adolf Hitler always intended that a large-scale negative eugenics program become an integral part of his future State. He expressed himself forthrightly on this point in Volume II of Mein Kampf, written in prison in 1924:


    (We live) in a time which on the one hand gives every depraved degenerate the possibility for propagation, but which burdens the products of such a union themselves as well as their contemporaries with untold misery, while on the other had, the means for preventing births to even the healthiest parents are offered for sale in every drug store and by every street-hawker. Thus in this present State of quiet and order, in the eyes of its representatives, this brave bourgeois national world, the prevention of the procreative faculty of sufferers from syphilis’ tuberculosis, hereditary diseases, of cripples and cretins is a crime, whereas the practical prevention of the procreative faculty of millions of the best is not looked upon as an evil and does not offend the good morals of this hypocritical society, but is rather of advantage to the short-sighted inertia of thought. . .


    How boundlessly unideal and ignoble is this entire system! One no longer endeavors to breed the best for posterity, but one lets things go as they go. . .


    It would correspond to the meaning of the most noble in this world if our two Christian churches . . . would teach our European mankind with kindness but in all earnestness, that with unhealthy parents it is a God-pleasing work to take pity on a healthy, poor little orphan, in order to give him father and mother, rather than putting a sick child into the world which will bring itself and the rest of the world only misfortune and suffering.


    The voelkisch [ethnic-nationalist] State has to make up for what is today neglected in this field in all directions . . . It has to take care that only the healthy beget children; that there is only one disgrace: to be sick and to bring children into the world despite one’s own deficiencies; but one highest honor: to renounce this . . . Hereby the State has to appear as the guardian of a thousand years’ future, in the face of which the wish and the egoism of the individual appears as nothing and has to submit. It has to put the most modern medical means at the service of this knowledge. It has to declare unfit for propagation everybody who is visibly ill and has inherited a disease and it has to carry this out in practice . . .


    He who is not physically and mentally healthy and worthy must not perpetuate his misery in the body of his child. Here the voelkisch State has to achieve the most enormous work of education . . . By education it has to teach the individual that it is not a disgrace but only a regrettable misfortune to be sick and weakly, but that it is a crime and therefore at the same time a disgrace to dishonor this misfortune by one’s egoism by burdening it again upon an innocent being; that in the face of this it gives proof of a nobility of the highest mind and of most admirable humaneness if the innocently sick, by renouncing his own child, gives his love and tenderness to an unknown poor young descendant of his nationality, whose health promises that one day he will become a vigorous member of a powerful community . . .


    The prevention of the procreative faculty and possibility on the part of physically degenerated and mentally sick people, for only six hundred years, would not only free mankind of immeasurable misfortune, but would also contribute to a restoration that appears hardly believable today. If thus the conscious methodical promotion of the fertility of the most healthy bearers of the nationality is realized, the result will be a race which, at least at first, will have eliminated the germs of our present physical, and with it of the spiritual, decline . . .


    In the voelkisch State the voelkisch view of life has finally to succeed in bringing about that nobler era when men see their care no longer in the better breeding of dogs, horses and cats, but rather in the uplifting of mankind itself, an era in which the one knowingly and silently renounces, and the other gladly gives and sacrifices (Hitler 1941: 606-610).


In 1925, eight years before Hitler came to power, a eugenic sterilization draft law was submitted to the Reichstag but failed of passage. Between 1927 and 1933 a small number of sterilizations were performed on a consensual basis under an amendment to the German Criminal Code of 1927 which provided for the explicit consent of the Court of Chancery if costs were borne by public authorities (Harmsen 1955: 227). In 1932 the last pre-National Socialist government was about to introduce a eugenic sterilization law to be implemented on a voluntary basis.


When Hitler came to power on January 30, 1933, one of his first priorities, as promised in Mein Kampf, was the introduction of a comprehensive, compulsory eugenic sterilization law. It is well to remember that at this time the 18-member Reich Cabinet consisted of only 8 National Socialists, including Hitler as Chancellor, and 10 nationalist conservatives. Furthermore, Hitler not only had a (conservative) Vice-Chancellor, Franz van Papen - retained until mid 1934 but above all had over him the venerated Reichspraesident (President of the Reich) Field Marshall Paul van Hindenburg, who could have removed him at any time until his death in August 1934. Thus, it is apparent that during this period Hitler was subject to several checks upon his power.


On July 14, 1933 the Gesetz zur Verhuetung erbkranken Nachwuchses (Act for Averting Descendants Afflicted with Hereditary Disease) was enacted. Anthony Smith states that it “could well have been initiated without the help of the Nazis because the idea had been actively promoted for several decades” (Smith 1975: 220). The act provided for the compulsory sterilization of all those in and outside institutions who were afflicted with specific hereditary conditions. These conditions, and the contemporary German estimates of the number of citizens in each category, are listed below:


Hereditary feeble-mindedness: 200,000

Schizophrenia: 80,000

Epilepsy: 60,000

Manic-depressive psychosis: 20,000

Serious physical deformities: 20,000

Hereditary deafness: 16,000

Hereditary alcoholism: 10,000

Hereditary blindness: 4,000

Huntington’s chorea: 600

TOTAL: 410,600

(Santoro 1938: 126)


Another purpose of the law was to reduce expenditures for the care of persons afflicted with the conditions named above, on the presumption that after sterilization, many institutionalized cases could be released. To provide some idea of the extent of institutionalization in Germany as of 1936, when the total population was about 60 million, the following figures are cited: 300,000 persons suffering from physical defects were interned in State-run homes - 44 for cripples, 42 for general paralytics, 123 for “incurables,” etc. In addition, the State maintained 243 mental homes, 74 homes for the mentally retarded, 57 homes for nervous cases, and 19 homes for alcoholics. The entire German nation from 1870--the year before its unification under Bismarck- -increased in population by 50%, while in the same period the number of cases with hereditary pathologies increased by 450% (Santoro 1938: 126).


Under the law, the application for sterilization could be made by the patient, his lawyer (if the Court of Chancery approved), or a local public health officer. If the person was institutionalized or hospitalized, the institutional director could make the application. Erbgesundheitsgerichte (Hereditary Health Courts), which were annexed to District Courts, issued the preliminary judgments. Appeals could be made against their decisions within two weeks, and these appeals went before Hereditary Health Courts annexed to Provincial Courts of Appeal(Harmsen 1955: 228). The court of final resort was the Eugenic Supreme Court in Charlottenburg, a suburb of Berlin. An additional statute provided for the compulsory sterilization of those committing sexual crimes. The Reich government also announced that it was undertaking a census of genetically defective stocks so that thorough data could be secured on prospective sterilization cases (“Eugenical Sterilization in Germany,” pp. 89, 90). The preamble to the law laid stress on the expenses incurred by the State for the maintenance of “asocial, degenerate, and incurably diseased persons.” The State was spending more than one billion marks per year for that purpose, while at the same time Germany was suffering a severe economic depression (Santoro 1938: 126).


The first Verordnung (official ordinance) to implement the law was issued on December 5, 1933 by the of the Interior and the Reichminster of Justice. The greater part of this ordinance is reproduced in Appendix 1. A second Verordnung was promulgated on May 29, 1934 by the same authorities. It specified that as a preliminary to the application for sterilization the official doctor could call in the person for medical examination and, if necessary, call upon the police to aid him. Hospitals, institutions, and physicians were required to provide information to the official doctors upon request.


On May 19, 1934 a Circular Letter on the law was sent out by the Reichsminister of the Interior, Dr. Wilhelm Frick. Among other things, it declared that official doctors were to visit private institutions and, in consultation with the directors, decide which patients came under the provisions of the law. A patient could avoid sterilization by entering a “closed” institution (where patients were not permitted to leave the premises). The Eugenics Courts, it was stated, would find it advantageous to hold sittings in these institutions or even in institutions treating outpatients coming under the law (Lewis 1934:184).


An official commentary on the law by three figures who played a leading part in its development was published in book form in 1934. The first of the three was Professor Dr. Ernst Ruedin, founder of psychiatric genetics, Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Psychiatry in Munich, Director of the German Society for Race Hygiene (an alternate term for eugenics widely in use at the time), and a collaborating editor of the Archiv fuer Rassen- und Gesellechaftsbiologie (Archive for Racial and Social Biology). The second and third authors were Medizinalrat (Medical Officer) Dr. Arthur Guett, and Dr. Falk Ruttke, both officials of the Ministry of the Interior ( Fisher 1934: 40, 41; Lewis 1934: 184).


The book contained an appendix on surgical techniques for vasectomy and salpingectomy (tubal ligation). The law specified that an official doctor presented with difficulties of psychiatric diagnosis which he was not qualified to settle might send the patient into a mental hospital or clinic for diagnosis, and that this could be done before decision on the case by the Eugenic Court. The three commentators described this provision as applicable when the person to be sterilized attempted to evade the operation. They also discussed another provision whereby a patient in a “closed” institution who appeared to come under the law could neither be discharged nor given leave until application for sterilization had been put and a decision rendered. Dr. Ruedin declared that it was the intention of the Reichstag that all research in human genetics be exempted from its provisions (Lewis 1934: 184, 185, 186).


Further sections of the official commentary dealt with the diseases specified in the law. The view that valuable qualities - even genius - which might accompany manic-depressive psychosis should be weighted against the psychosis in a decision about sterilization was discounted. Applications were to be put in all such cases, regardless of the completeness of recovery, subsequent duration of good mental health, or any particular valuable endowments. It was explicitly stated that, in view of variations in medical terminology, especially in psychiatry, diagnoses other than those specified in the law would require notification. Some examples named were melancholia, depression, paranoia, confusional states, delusions of persecution, religious mania, delirium, paraphrenia, convulsions, and states of excitement. In the section on physical malformations, a broad range of conditions was dealt with, and it was stated that such a disorder as severe myopia had to be reported (Lewis 1934: 186-187).


The commentary further stated that the word “can” in the law was to be understood in a permissive sense. Prior to the law, all eugenic sterilization was assumed to be forbidden, but the law permitted it in instances specified. However, where the diagnosis was certain, and none of the stated grounds for exemption applied (i.e., when age, health, or permanent segregation precluded procreation), then the applicable word was “must.” A decision of the Eugenic Court in Stettin confirmed this compulsory interpretation (Lewis 1934: 187-188).


At the lecture course given by the German Mental and Racial Hygiene Union, of which Dr. Ruedin was Reichskommissar (National Commissioner), and subsequently at the annual congress of the German Psychiatric Society, he stated that the law applied to foreigners resident in Germany, but those coming under the law had the alternative of leaving the country. He added that in matters of genetic disease and sterilization there could be no compromise, and that defects in the law could not be permitted to obstruct activity. He advised critics to stop criticizing and to join in the endeavor themselves (Lewis 1934: 188, 189).


Dr. Ruedin sent out from the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute a questionnaire to all hospitals and sanitarial requesting data on patients with hereditary physical and mental pathologies for both research purposes and possible recommendations for sterilization (Lewis 1934: 189). Dr. Dornredden, an official of the Reich Ministry of Health, supplied figures obtained from 21 selected mental institutions housing over 24,000 patients at the end of 1933. Of these more than 80% had one of the genetic mental pathologies named in the law. It was found that 67% would require permanent institutionalization, and of the remainder more than 2/3 would have to be sterilized prior to discharge, the majority suffering from schizophrenia or severe mental retardation. Taking the total portion of German mental hospitals and institutions as 160,000, Dornredden projected a figure of 36,000 sterilizations. This figure did not include the yearly influx of patients and those living outside institutions. He added that his figure was probably too low (Lewis 1934: 188).


Catholic judges and surgeons were exempted from participation in the administration of the law, since the Church had specifically condemned sterilization. Dr. Ruedin, in reply to an inquiry, stated that priests and nuns were subject to the provisions of the law if they were mentally defective on the supposition that their mental status impeded them from fulfilling their vows of chastity (Lewis 1934: 187).


Hereditary feeble-mindedness, schizophrenia, and hereditary epilepsy accounted for 85% of the sterilization’s. Sterilization’s were performed on equal numbers of males and females. Those for hereditary feeble-mindedness were performed more often on females, while those for chronic alcoholism more often on males. Two-thirds of all sterilizations occurred between 1934-1936 (Harmsen 1955: 228-229) .


It is interesting to note that some cases which fell into one of the categories liable for sterilization were not in fact sterilized on the grounds of “social proof.” This occurred when it could be demonstrated that a person with, for example, a hereditary physical malformation, was self-supporting, or made some contribution to the nation. As a case in point, Harmsen (1955: 229) was able to demonstrate in 1935 that persons with congenital dislocation of the hip were in general quite talented and socially valuable; the result was that many applications for sterilizations in these cases were rejected, and many were not even put at all. He adds: “ The rather high proportion of decisions of the superior court rejecting a sterilization on account of ‘social proof’ likewise shows precision in handling the law” (Harmsen 1955: 229). He further states: “By bringing a case to the Erbgesundheitsobergerichte (Hereditary Health Superior Courts) as the higher court, which was done fairly frequently, local influences could be avoided and new scientific knowledge could be taken into account”(Harmsen 1955: 229).


In an address in Berlin on June 28, 1933, Dr. Wilhelm Frick, Minister of the Interior, made the following comments in justification of the sterilization law, and of eugenics generally:


    Since we have not yet taken any heredo-biological census, we are confined to estimates. While we may assume that the cases of serious physical and mental hereditary diseases number about 500,000, the number of minor cases is considerably higher. According to some authors 20% of the German population are considered to be hereditary detectives, whose progeny is therefore undesirable. In addition to this, consider that just the feeble-minded and inferior persons multiply at a rate greatly exceeding the average. Deplorable as it sounds, the healthy German family of today hardly produces an average of two children while we find that just the feeble-minded and inferior produce twice and even three times as many children, on the average. This means, however, that the highly endowed and valuable stocks decrease from generation to generation, facing complete extinction -with their achievements and German culture - in very few generations . . .(T)he possibility of our economic and social survival and our capability of self-defense is constantly being reduced by this decrease and deterioration of our people . . .


    With the exceedingly heavy burdens placed upon our people by taxation, wage deductions and interest payments, we must realize the necessity for revision of our entire legislation and a reduction of the great burden of inferior and antisocial population. It is only by examining the sums expended by the Government, the State and the communities for the maintenance of the unfit, the antisocial, diseased, feeble-minded, insane, deformed (meaning only hereditary deformities and not those acquired by disease or injuries) and criminal, that we realize the disproportionate burdens put upon a population already struggling for its existence. Here are a few examples: the daily per capita cost of maintenance amounts to


    4.00 RM [Reichemarks] for the insane,


    3.50 RM for the criminal,


    to 6.00 RM for the deformed and the deaf and dumb,


    while the unskilled laborer earns about 2.50, the employee 3.60 and the minor official approximately 4.00 RM daily. These are the consequences of a system of exaggerated care for the single individual, a system which kills the energy of the healthy and brings up a nation of dependents. On the other side the valuable families are so overburdened that they consequently resort to birth-control. What we have practiced heretofore: personal hygiene and the care of the individual have been overdone and without considering the principles of heredity, of selection and of race-hygiene. This sort of modern “humanity” and social care of the diseased, weak and inferior individual must, when we consider the nation as a whole, prove the greatest cruelty to the people and finally lead to its ruin.


    In order to avert the threatening disaster, it is urgent to reform the entire public health system, as well as the attitude of physicians; it is necessary to change our duties from the point of view of race-hygiene . . .


    To increase the number of sound offspring, it is above all our duty to reduce the expenditures for the antisocial, inferior and those suffering from hopeless hereditary diseases and to prevent reproduction by hereditary defective persons. . .


    The scientific study of heredity (based on the progress of the last decades) has enabled us clearly to recognize the rules of heredity and selection as well as their meaning for the nation and the state. It gives us the right and the moral obligation to eliminate hereditary detectives from procreation. No misinterpreted charity nor religious scruples, based on the dogmas of past centuries, should prevent us from fulfilling this duty; on the contrary it should be considered an offense against Christian and social charity to allow hereditary detectives to continue to produce offspring ~ having recognized that this would mean endless suffering to themselves and to their kin in this and future generations . . . . . . (T)he salary scale of officials should be more effectively adjusted in proportion to the size of the family and the number of children. The salary of an official should not only be a compensation, but afford sufficient income for the family. An income necessary to support a family of 3 or 4 children should be adopted as the standard from which salaries may be graded upwards and downwards . . . (T)he free professions and the industrial middle-class could be reached by drastic tax reductions . . . (O)ur public health system should be unified and placed in the service of race-hygiene by constructive measures. Together with the present sanitary regulations it will be necessary to banish the dangers of hereditary defects in accordance with our knowledge of heredity and race hygiene. This would insure the propagation of hereditarily sound and fit human stock . . .


    To enlighten the people on the subject of heredity and anthropology, these studies must develop into an eugenic education of the youth of the entire nation, as a preparation for matrimony. In order to make this knowledge available to all and to put appropriate educational material at the disposal of teachers and educational institutions, I have organized a Public Health Committee . . . Too prolonged scientific education, as much as exaggerated sports, prevent an early establishment of the family. Just the educated strata are most affected, because postponed marriages are often the cause of celibacy, (venereal) disease and unhappy unions. Here again it is up to the educated youth . . . to strive toward improvement of their own family-stocks by suitable matings . . . We must have the courage to rate our population according to its hereditary value, in order to supply the State with leaders. If other nations and foreign elements do not wish to follow us in this course, that is their own affair. I see the greatest aim and duty of the Government of our national revolution in warranting the improvement and preservation of our German people in the heart of Europe (Frick 1934: 34, 35, 36, 37, 38).


Frick defended the law before an international audience of scholars in August 1935 when he addressed the International Congress on Population:


    . . . (T)his law has for its aim to relieve not only the present generation, but also future ones, of the heavy burden of disease with its resulting sufferings. Hence the law, considered from a moral standpoint, is superior to the law of Christian charity which is restricted in its operation to the living generation.


    We are reproached with inaugurating a “racial religion” and with violating by these eugenic measures the Christian commandment of charity. If, however, it was not too venturesome to modify the original system of Nature by enabling, thanks to the progress of science, a large number of sick persons to prolong their lives, it cannot be unjust to prevent the benefit which has thus accrued to sick persons from becoming in its turn an impediment for those who have the privilege of enjoying health (Santoro 1938: 125).


The sterilization law was amended on June 26, 1935 to provide for the consensual castration of sex offenders if, in the opinion of a public health officer or forensic physician, the operation was considered necessary to eliminate degenerate sexual desires from which further sexual offenses could reasonably be expected. The amendment did not affect the existing law providing for the compulsory castration of dangerous, habitual sex offenders, which could be ordered by the ordinary criminal courts (Wittelshoefer 1942: 91). The sterilization of dangerous, habitual criminals was also provided for, and consensual eugenic abortion was legalized in cases where either spouse suffered from a genetic pathology (Santoro 1938: 126).


The law was further amended on February 24, 1936 to permit an abortion to be performed along with a sterilization with the consent of the pregnant woman, unless the fetus was viable or the termination involved serious danger to the woman’s life or health. This regulation conformed to the general intent of the sterilization law, i.e., to risk losing normal offspring in order to prevent the birth of those who might be defective (Wittelshoefer 1942: 91).


On September 13, 1939 the Ministry of the Interior ordered that medical health officers not apply for sterilization of women if pregnancy were unlikely, e.g., for those undergoing menopause or those who had been married several years without reproducing, if the diagnoses were unclear, or if the cases were considered borderline. A further order of the Ministry on April 8, 1943 laid down additional restrictions, and directed medical officers to place applications for sterilization only where the diagnosis was unmistakably clear and a “classic form of development” could be predicted, or if a particular case could be diagnosed with certitude as a hereditary pathology. Judgment was said to be based upon “practical genetics” and “social adjustment” (Harmsen 1955: 229).


In the domain of negative eugenic marriage legislation, on October 18,1935 the Law Relating to Matrimonial Hygiene was promulgated (Santoro 1938: 125).Prior to this law, the standard State loans provided to newlyweds had been denied when one or both partners suffered from a genetic mental or physical pathology regarded as rendering the marriage “undesirable in the interest of the nation” (Fischer 1934: 43). The law prohibited marriages in cases where admitted infirmities would cause future unhappiness for parents and offspring. It also stated that m marriage could be contracted without a medical certificate attesting to the biological fitness of both partners (Santoro 1938: 125). Any marriage contracted in violation of the law was void. The certificate was to be issued by the local Health Office, which was connected with the Premarital Counseling Center, a kind of basic genetic counseling facility where healthy unions were encouraged and undesirable ones discouraged (Mullen 1937: 270).


With the coming of the war, the foregoing provisions were applied only in very serious cases. The mere existence of one or more of the impediments to marriage detailed in the law no longer justified the refusal of the prenuptial health certificate. Henceforward, it was to be denied only if severe damage to the nation’s health or to the “purity of German blood” could be expected. The registrar was required to demand it only when he entertained serious suspicions about the possibility of impediments under the law, or when the Public Health Office (which he had to notify in cases of all applications for the banns) suggested it. When a certificate was required the local Public Health Office had to perform a special medical examination of the couple. If there was no doubt from the records that the case was serious, the couple would be denied the certificate without an examination. (It should be mentioned that as of 1942, at least, the certificate had not become generally compulsory.) (Wittelshoeffer 1942: 91-92).


An ordinance of October 22, 1941 specified that as of December 1, 1941 all engaged couples, other than those including members of the armed services and similar units, had to produce an Ehebedenklichkeitsbescheinieun--(Certificate of No Objection to Matrimony) to the registrar when the banns were applied for, or, at the latest, just before the marriage. The new certificate did not certify the absence of the impediments specified in the law, but declared only that according to the records of the Public Health Office there was no objection to the proposed union. In actuality, it did not change the conditions for refusal, but left it up to the couple to tell the truth. The couple would apply for the certificate, and the Public Health Office had to grant it if there were no suspicion of a serious case. The registrar then had to register the union unless he received contravening information from the Public Health Office (Wittelshoefer 1942: 92). These modifications in wartime were made to encourage the maintenance of the birthrate in view of heavy casualties.


Parenthetically, in other areas relating to negative eugenics, a provision that prospective civil servants be free from any “hereditary taint” (erbliche Belastung) was added to the requirements for obtaining government positions in the early years of the regime (Wullen 1937: 270), and the State undertook the enormous task of recording the family pedigrees of the entire German people. By 1936, 600,000 had been obtained, verified, and filed. The pedigrees included the propositi, their parents, grandparents, and other close relatives, and recorded sufficient data to indicate, among other things, the physical and mental status of every person (Campbell 1936: 25).


How many sterilizations were actually carried out in Germany in the years 1933-1945? No precise figure can be given, since most of the records were lost during the war (Harmsen 1955: 227). Franz Guertner, Minister of Justice at the time, stated that 62,463 were sterilized in 1934 and 71,760 in 1935. After 1936, however, there was a significant decrease in the number of cases referred to the Hereditary Health Courts. Fritz Lenz, Germany’s leading eugenicist, estimated a maximum of 350,000, but Harmsen surmised a figure of between 200,000 and 250,000. Harmsen added that his estimate “exceeds by far the total number of sterilizations in all other countries of the world since the enactment in 1907 of the first sterilization law in the American state of Indiana” (Harmsen 1955: 227).


It should be recognized that eugenic sterilization laws were far from unique to National Socialist Germany. Indeed, it was the United States which pioneered them. By 1931, 30 of the 48 states had passed such a law at one time or another, and they were still on the statute books in 27, even if not always enforced (Haller 1984: 137). These laws were unique ventures observed closely by foreign eugenicists. The first non-American jurisdictions to enact such laws were the Canton of Vaud in Switzerland (Kemp 1947: 182) and the Canadian province of Alberta in 1928 (Wullen 1937: 272). Denmark followed suit in 1929 (Kemp 1947: 182). The State of Veracruz in Mexico adopted such a law in 1932 (Mendoza 1933). The Canadian province of British Columbia followed in 1933 (Wullen 1937: 272-273), Norway in 1934 (Kemp 1947: 182), Finland in 1935 (Kemp 1947:182), and Iceland (Stefansson 1939: 127-129) and Estonia (Kemp 147: 182) in 1937. Wullen (1937: 273-275) provides information on negative eugenic marriage laws in the United States, Estonia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Lithuania, Sweden, Iceland, Bulgaria, Mexico, Panama, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, E1 Salvador, Venezuela, Italy, Monaco, Austria, Hungary, Greece, and Spain. All these laws prohibited marriage in cases of hereditary mental pathologies, hereditary feeblemindedness, and, in a couple of instances, specified hereditary physical pathologies.


The charge has sometimes been made that Germany’s sterilization program was used for political purposes. After the war, the case records in certain instances gave the impression that the law had been abused to punish political enemies of the regime. Harmsen investigated the matter, and reported his results:


    . . . I asked my students of the Akademie fuer Staatsmedizin [School of Public Health] in Hamburg to examine the documents on the carrying out of the Erbgesundheitsgesetz [Hereditary Health Law] in representative urban and rural zones. The results obtained by these public health officers have been collected in a series of papers. In all these investigations there was no evidence that any reasons other than eugenic ones influenced the handling of the proceedings. The improper political misuse mentioned above seems to have occurred only to a very insignificant extent....1955: 228).


What, then, is our verdict on the German eugenic sterilization program? First, it was not qualitatively different from others - e.g., those in the United States--but it differed markedly in a quantitative sense, a result of the fact that when the German totalitarian State decided on definite objectives, such as eliminating unemployment or increasing the birthrate, it did not generally carry them out slowly or by half-measures. Second, it should by now be evident that there was nothing particularly unusual or perverse about the criteria or implementation of the German sterilization law.






The major conclusion to be drawn from the historical evidence presented in this paper is completely at variance with popular assumptions. Put simply, there was no barbaric abuse of eugenics in National Socialist Germany. The exterminations had nothing to do with eugenics--Hitler ordered the Jews destroyed because he held them responsible for World War II and despised them bitterly. The euthanasia program was instituted for pragmatic reasons which bore no relation to eugenics. The notion of Lebensborn as a “stud farm” is pure fiction. A few of the criteria for SS membership and marriage were eugenic, but most were not, and the aim of increasing the SS birthrate was never fulfilled. The eugenic marriage laws were not extraordinary. Finally, the sterilization program could in no sense be characterized as perverse or barbaric.


In response to the question posed in the introduction to this paper as to whether the main source of the opprobrium eugenics has suffered for forty years is “guilt by association,” the answer must be an unequivocal “Yes.” It is analogous to a man being convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for a crime he never committed.


In view of the evidence presented, the reader might well wonder, “How did the false association between eugenics and atrocities committed in the third Reich ever come into being? And how has it managed to sustain itself all this time?” The explanatory factors include: the general confusion, intentional and unintentional misinformation, uncritical attitudes, and error which abound concerning this period; pure sensationalism - always lucrative, with Hitler an ideal subject; and conscious and unconscious perpetuation of this false association by such enemies of eugenics as liberals, Marxists, and other egalitarians.


It is incumbent upon us to devise and implement positive and negative eugenics programs, and they must be considered on their own merits, apart from sensational and false popular associations with exterminations, euthanasia, and so-called “stud farms.” What the eminent Jewish political philosopher Leo Stress has called the “reductio ad Hitlerum argument” has done nothing more than obscure the real issues and postpone the day of reckoning when the most pressing problem confronting humanity must be faced.


I wish to express my deepest gratitude to Marian Van Court for her invaluable help and steadfastness in the preparation of this article.


Stephen B. Saetz holds an M.A. degree in physical anthropology from Rutgers University, and is going on to take his Ph.D. in a combination of physical anthropology and human behavioral genetics. He has also done extensive independent work on the history of the Third Reich.






The application for sterilization is not to be made if great age or other causes render procreation impossible, if the operation would endanger life, or if the patient has to be permanently detained in a “closed” institution. In the last instance, he may not be discharged or given parole until the application for sterilization has been made and the decision given. Sterilization is not to be undertaken before completion of the tenth year.


Punitive institutions in the sense of the law are institutions where convicted prisoners or prisoners on trial are detained, or in which measures associated with the loss of liberty are carried out for the purpose of securing or improving persons.


If a qualified doctor in the course of his profession gets to know a person who has a hereditary disease as specified, or who suffers from severe alcoholism, then he must immediately report it to the official doctor. The same duty rests on other persons who have to do with the treatment, examination or advising of patients.


If the official doctor thinks sterilization is called for, he shall set about getting the person to be sterilized or his legal representative to put forward the proposal. If this fails, he must do so himself.


The Eugenic Court or Supreme Eugenic Court can, after hearing the official doctor, order the commitment of the person to be sterilized to an appropriate hospital for a period up to six weeks. If sterilization is finally decided upon by the court, then the official doctor has to call on the patient in wring to be sterilized within two weeks; the appropriate hospitals are to be enumerated in the notification. If the patient has not alone put forward the proposal for his sterilization, he must further be informed that the operation will be done, even against his will.


If the person to be sterilized has obtained admission at his own cost to a “closed” institution, which guarantees that he will not procreate, then on his proposal the Court orders that the operation shall not be undertaken as long as he stays there or in a similar institution. If his legal representative made the application for this before the patient had completed his eighteenth year, then the patient can, on attaining this age, apply to be sterilized.


If, after the given period, the operation has not been performed and the person to be sterilized has not been admitted to a “closed” institution, or has left such an institution, then the operation is to be carried out with the help of the police, if necessary by the application of direct force, in an institution designated by the official doctor. Direct force may not be employed for the sterilization of young people until they have completed their fourteenth year.


A patient whose sterilization has been decided upon, but who has been admitted to a ‘closed” institution, may not be discharged or given parole unless he has been sterilized or the decision has been reversed.


Any doctor who sterilizes or castrates a patient to avert a serious risk to life or health must report it in writing within three days to the appropriate official doctor (Lewis 1934: 183-184).






The Human Situation And Its Reparation


by Robert Klark Graham


A great drive toward higher intelligence began when the very early precursors of man began to walk erect. This freed their grasping forelimbs from use in locomotion and made them available as hands, as implements of the mind. Of the mammals only those ancestral to man walked fully erect.


During the next approximately 3 million years the human brain trebled in size. This was one of the most remarkable developments known and it gradually brought into the world a new force: the power of high intelligence.


“The human brain is the most complicated mechanism in the universe. Crammed within its relatively small volume of 1.5 liters are billions of individual neurons, many of which receive tens of thousands of connections from other neurons. The neuronal wiring in the brain is genetically determined.”


The gains in brain size and intelligence continued within the ancestral line of hominids throughout almost its entire hunting stage. It culminated in the tall, powerful, intelligent Cro-Magnons and their cognates, regarded by anthropologists as the most impressive creatures nature has produced. Cleland commented, “The Cro-Magon Brain was much larger than the average of today. It was a superb race both physically and mentally.” Kroeber agreed, “The size and weight of the brain of the early Cro-Magon people was some fifteen percent or twenty percent greater than that of modern Europeans.” Humankind never again reached such a state of average excellence.


Apparently this peak was reached only by the early Cro-Magons. Later generations of these same peoples were not quite the equal of their forebears. Their workmanship was less admirable. This was the first known regression in the development of our kind. There is reason to conclude that increasing control of the environment (including fire, shelter and weapons ) weakened the intensity of natural selection until less endowed individuals could survive in debasing numbers.


With the ending of the latest Ice Age, about 11,000 years ago, agriculture became possible. Given the warmer climate and the relative abundance which food production provided, man redoubled his numbers again and again until he had cities and then civilizations. Types which never could have survived by hunting in semi-glacial wilderness now multiplied prodigiously. This great quantitative gain produced some qualitative loss. Over time the average brain, once 1500 cc., regressed to less than 1400 cc.


With increased numbers and increased leisure the creative segment of society began a whole series of dazzling accomplishments. They invented the wheel, writing , the smelting of metals and more. Although now in the minority, there are probably more creative individuals in the populous world today than the Cro-Magnons could have mustered at any one time. Cultural accomplishments can still accumulate while the innate condition of man regresses.


Since the beginning of agriculture there have been twenty-six identified civilizations. They include the Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek and Roman. Every one of them broke down or died out expecting so far only the youngest our own. Why were they not self-sustaining?


A common factor, which appeared in the late stages of many of these failed civilizations, was the gradual dying our of their abler peoples, the types who had initiated the civilizations and might have sustained them. They failed to reproduce sufficiently. Consequently their civilization died out at the top and their society became unable to cope with problems it once could have surmounted, including invasions.


    The tendency of civilized life to sterilize its ablest the experience of nearly all countries which enjoy even as passable degree of prosperity...For example, the earlier Roman emperors were continually in difficulty because of the extinction of the senatorial families, which were the class whose administrative ability had been so largely responsible for the creation of the Roman Empire.”


Today there is a specific remedy for this chronic affliction of civilization.


A normal woman whose childbearing is not restricted will have an average of 15 live children. 1.8 is the present reproduction rate of our more able citizens (European and American). This is significantly below the 2.1 rate necessary for them just to maintain their numbers. This failure of the most able segment is even more serious when we realize that 4.1 is approximately the reproduction rate of the exploding world population today.


How did this happen? Possibly from observing the behavior of domesticated animals, someone deduced the caused of pregnancy. Discovery of the cause led to ways to prevent it. Ever since, the more capable members of society have been more effective than the average in the prevention of pregnancy. When they reduced the pregnancies of their own kind below replacement level, they exerted an especially sinister influence on human quality. No civilization survived long once this destructive morbidity set in. (“Extinction from within,” Spenger called it.)


Late in the development of our Western civilization we see evidence of regression for the twenty-seventh time. We live in a nation desperately in debt. It no longer maintains its borders as it once did. Crime worsens. The SAT scores have declined. There is evidence that the genetic component of human intelligence has declined measurably in recent generations. Some authorities estimate that the decline is not less than one IQ point per generation.


For thousands of years our kind has borne the gradual weakening of natural selection. We have also endured world wars which killed millions of the best of young manhood before they could reproduce. It has seen the proletariat kill millions of its own intelligentsia and bourgeoisie. It sees a nation paying indigent females to bear millions of largely non-self supporting offspring. Most sinister of all, today it suffers the gradual elimination of the intelligent by the intelligent themselves- -a direct negation of the natural selection which once built our brain.


It is not to be expected that we stand unhurt by massive dysgenic catastrophes such as these. The details are not all known but the evidence is stark. Where it counts most, man has lost more than 100 cubic centimeters of brain mass. There are about 600 million fewer brain sells than there used to be. The brainy creature is squandering his capital. We are still the dominant creature. We overpopulate the earth. But we are no longer an upwardly evolving organism.


Why must humankind achieve great civilizations repeatedly, only to fall back into decline more than twenty times? Has man reached a limit? Must he continue as a physiologically declining organism? The answer depends on the character of the lives yet to come and over this we have some influence.


The reproductive deficiency prevalent today among the leaders, the savers and investors, the entrepreneurs, producers and professionals, is not due to infertility. It is due to suppression of their fertility. If instead, more of this fertility were released, many of our gravest problems could soon be ameliorated. Encouraging the procreative impulse where would do the most good could be decisive.


Man can be improved gradually by increasing the proportion of advantageous genes in the human gene pool.


The situation is complex but its remedy is straightforward. It is contingent on many of the healthiest and most intelligent women having more children by the healthiest and most intelligent men. If this can be accomplished abundantly, as in former times, it will conserve and multiply our most valuable genes. It will lead to more good families, to preservation of our great civilization and even to humanity resuming its evolution into increasingly competent beings.


One of the ways to accomplish this elemental healing would be for society to recognize widely that the more intelligent you are the more children you should have. This simple, basic principle is mankind’s opportunity. It could do for us what natural selection formerly did, without natural selection’s cruelty. Learned in childhood, understood and lived up to, this would put mankind back on the path of upward evolution.


Specifically, if you are in good health and your intelligence is substantially above average, you should have at least five children. A family of five bright children is really one of the greatest blessing a man and woman can have in their lifetime. When you can give to children the most lasting, the most persistently satisfying, the most all around useful of natural endowments- -a really good mind- -give generously. This giving does not deplete your fund.


We need the finest counsel to bring about wide recognition of this powerful source of reparation, for the sake of all and especially for the generations to come.