More strong evidence for the genetics of intelligence. by Chris Brand december issue.
The moment the anti-racists and egalitarians have dreaded has now arrived.
In September, University of Chicago geneticists published data in the prestigious journal Science that links two sets of genetic variations (alleles) to brain size, race, and spurts in human evolution. In particular, these genetic variations-arguably responsible for greater intelligence-were relatively common in Europe and Asia, but markedly less common in sub-Saharan Africa.
Previously, the same researchers had shown these variations to be much more frequent in man than in other mammals, though our closest relatives, the chimpanzees, showed levels that suggest some evolution in the direction of humans. This excellent new Chicago work has been carried out under the direction of a young Chinese, Dr. Bruce Lahn. His team had studied the prevalence of variants of two genes that are disabled or damaged in human cases of severe microcephaly, in which the brain develops to only 30 percent its normal size. The fact that they are damaged in microcephalics suggests they are necessary for normal brain growth.
Dr. Lahn's researchers examined the DNA of 1,184 people around the world-though not in racially mixed areas like North America, Russia and Australia. They estimated that one undamaged variation, microcephalin haplogroup D (let us call it variation one, or V1) first appeared around 40,000 BC and has since spread to some 70 percent of humans. It is more common in Europe, Asia, South America and Latin America than in black Africa. At three percent, it is especially infrequent in Congo pygmies, whom black Africans commonly regard as inferior.
A second variant of the gene, abnormal spindle-like microcephaly-buttociated haplogroup D (let us call it V2), arrived more recently, around 6,000 BC, and has since spread to 30 percent of humans. It is most common in Europe and the Middle East, somewhat less common in Asia, and distinctly rare in black Africa.
Dr. Lahn and colleagues noted that the arrival of V1 coincided roughly with the first signs of human habitation and agriculture; V2 appeared about the time of the first cities and the development of written language. The Chicago team believes these new alleles gave rise to these important developments, and that their possessors reproduced quickly by occupying the new niches offered by agriculture and written language. Geneticists can estimate the age of an allele by observing the number of mutations found in it and calculating back to when the allele first appeared in the most recent common ancestor. Mutations arise at predictable rates, and are considered to be a reasonably accurate measure of relatively short periods of evolution. It is by this method that scientists estimate it has been five to six million years since humans and chimpanzee had a common ancestor Needless to say, the Chicago scientists went to great pains not to pose too great a challenge to modern sensitivities about race and genes. At their press conference, they insisted there was "not necessarily" a connection between these gene variations and brain size. However, they found that sub-Saharan blacks were the most distinct of the racial groups they studied, in that they had a markedly lower frequency of both variants. This is consistent with the distinct black African profile of smaller brains and lower IQ.
The Chicago results are exactly what we would expect from the work of Professor Phil Rushton of University of Western Ontario, who has used modern brain scanning methods to establish a correlation as high as .40 between brain size and IQ. Needless to say, the Chicago researchers could not mention Prof. Rushton's name for fear of jeopardizing further funding. Some suspect they already have data in the pipeline linking these genetic variations directly to IQ, and that when they hold another press conference to announce these findings they want someone to attend. Naturally, the authors wrote only of "geographical" and not of racial differences in the frequency of these alleles, but no one is fooled by this piety. They buttured the press that their V work does not mean black Africans have a low IQ or any other disadvantage. At the same time, Dr. Lahn implied the opposite when he volunteered that Africans could well turn out to be blessed with still other variations that might be shown one day to give them advantages of their own. In other words, it may have been purely by accident that the advantage in Europeans and Asians had come to light first. The findings came hard on the heels of work in Brisbane by Professor Nick Martin, who has found sizeable IQ differences within families buttociated with variations in the DNA on chromosomes 2 and 6. His work did not look for race differences in the distribution of these variations, but that would be an obvious area of research. At the same time, the October 24 issue of New York Magazine devoted eight pages to Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending's theory that high rates of sphingolipid genetic diseases like Tay-Sachs in Ashkenazi Jews may be buttociated with a substantial advantage in IQ (their work originally appeared in the June issue of the British Journal of Biosocial Science).
The media and even the scientists themselves can hedge and fudge all they like, but their favorite "post-modern" pretense that there is no such thing as race is looking sillier all the time. The West's anti-racists have succeeded in suppressing most references to the g (general intelligence) factor and the London School that discovered and developed the concept, but they now face an buttault from an unexpected quarter. Dr. Bruce Lahn may be more the diplomat than one normally finds in nature vs. nurture debates, but he got his first taste of dissent as a student rebel in his home town of Peking during the Tianenmen Square demonstrations. This suggests he has a strong dislike for Communism's tyrannical and useless environmentalism, and that he may have principles that will soon see him linked to his natural allies in the London School. Chris Brand, formerly of Edinburgh University, is the author of The g Factor (reviewed in "Whys and Wherefores of Intelligence," AR, July, 1996). ;;;;;
Nb: there are several other corrleations between IQ and genes developing. They will probably link to race soon enought and then to underlying biological fators such as neural conduction speed.
No doubt bob geldof will insbreastute "neuron aid"