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The Global Bell Curve: Race, IQ, and Inequality Worldwide [Perfect Paperback]

Richard Lynn


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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
115 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another landmark book by Lynn 15 Sep 2008
By Volkmar Weiss - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Perfect Paperback
For the last 25 years of IQ-research, the books by Richard Lynn are the only ones which are making a substantial difference. Around 1980 the last but one step forward had been made by Arthur Jensen, Hans Jürgen Eysenck, Helmar Frank, Siegfried Lehrl and myself in discovering the relationship between elementary cognitive tasks and IQ and hence working memory storage capacity. In a world where even the pages of such a journal as "Intelligence" are inflated with a lot of plagiarism and mediocrity, we had to wait long for such a new breakthrough, and we are struggling still for even a far greater one, the discovery of the genes underlying psychometric intelligence.

Even I myself, active in this field for 40 years, till then did believe that the low mean IQ scores of some populations were mainly the result of inadequate sampling (caused by social stratification of samples) and environment. Since I read Lynn, I am convinced that population differences are not mere artefacts. This new book adresses IQ differences within societies as Brazil, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Southeast Asia, where social inequality is correlated with racial stratification.

In 2002, after the publication of IQ and the Wealth of Nations and the preliminary reports of PISA 2000, I became aware that PISA tests can be understood as IQ tests and that the transformation of PISA scores into IQ results yields very similar numbers. PISA scores, mean 500, standard deviation 100, can easily be transformed into IQ values, mean 100, standard deviation 15, by adding or subtracting the deviation from the mean in the relationship 100 : 15 = 6.67, that a mean of PISA 433 corresponds to IQ 90, PISA 567 to IQ 110, if PISA 500 is set to be IQ 100. Heiner Rindermann in his publications has confirmed that PISA transformed scores of nations and social strata nearly identical with IQ means, published by Lynn.

The The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Success by Achieving More with Less, the law of the vital few, states that, for many events, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. The power of a nation does not depend of its mere number, but of the percentage of its cognitive elite, optimized by social evolution. Highly intelligent people are networking, and the economic effect of networking is the square of the nodes of the network, i.e. in our case the square of the number of people involved.

Even within developed nations without substantial racial stratification the difference between prosperous and more backward regions amounts to 10 and more IQ points. For example, in Germany the IQ average of Bavaria is about 10 points higher than that of Bremen; in Italy the difference between Venice and Sicily is 13 points; in Spain the difference between Aragon and Andalusia 8 points; (and in the United States the difference between New Hampshire and Mississipi is 10 points). Such differences, aggravated by internal migration between the economic core and the backward regions -- but not always of such magnitude -- will be found in any country. Within Brazil, the federal states of the south have an average IQ and GDP per capita similar to South Europe and four times higher than the states in the north-east of Brazil.

As we know, political turmoil and ethnic cleansing can eliminate or drive away the gifted of a country, and within a very short time harm the economy for decades to come. Highly-skilled citizens from stagnating economies are unlikely to merely watch their standard of living decline, and they will vote with their feet. Their migration amplifies economic divergence.
There are three types of men: men (with IQ above 123), who invent machines, men (with IQ above 104), who repair machines, and men, who use machines. In a country where there are not enough men (with IQ above 123) to construct and to repair (with IQ above 104) a bridge, sooner or later traffic by railway will break down. This is one of the messages of this extraordinary book, published by Washington Summit Publishers.

In my youth in former communist East-Germany it was forbidden to listen to the broadcasts of the "Voice of America: a free voice in a free world". Therefore, it is very disconcerting for me to read in a foreword by the publishers: "We are distinguished by the fact that we are not a publisher of choice but one of last resort. We celebrate that status as it grows directly from our resolve not to tolerate the strictures of political correctness. Our authors come to us after having been worn to a nub by rejection slips from established houses that only a few years ago would have been figthing for their manuscripts. But now a velvet tyranny seeks to oppress the mind."
63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars why the racial hierarchy? 31 Aug 2008
By Alexander Kemestrios Ben - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Perfect Paperback
The lastest offering in Lynn's vast and ever growing corpus of works is perhaps his most convincing. The Global Bell Curve synthesizes all of his vast research on race and intelligence, takes the basic idea of The Bell Curve and expands it world-wide. The breadth of scholarship and explanatory power of Lynn's framework are tremendous. Liberal equalitarian dogma's aside, the evidence Lynn lays out clearly shows that there are racial differencs in intelligence and achievement. Further, by utilizing intelligence, Lynn has a extremely parsimonious theory. Most social scientists explain the low achievement of african americans by recourse to racism. However, this explanation is hard to believe because north east asians and jews have certainly experienced similar racism, yet they have achieved high levels of socio-economic status in almost every nation. Lynn's explanation cuts through this obfuscation.

It is hard to give this book a five star rating, however. The quality of the book is mediocre- at best. Typos appear on many pages, tables are double printed, or incomprehensible, the writing style is inconsistent.

Yet despite all these flaws, which may or may not be minor depending on your politics, the book still presents a challenge to many bromides of our era. The evidence on race, iq, and achievement is accumulating and it seems to be falling in one direction. For those concerned with real science and for those willing to let go of the moralistic fallacy such evidence demands an explanation. The real question is: Can anybody take the world wide data and come up with a more satisfactory explanation? If not, then I suggest Lynn's conclusions are provisionally accepted. Science is science, data is data. We do not get to pick and choose which data we accept based on our own whims.
42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Study Refutes Egalitarian Theories of Racial Differences in IQ 31 Aug 2008
By Kevin T. Lamb - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Perfect Paperback
Richard Lynn surveys the mounting evidence from the psychometric literature to support his thesis that Herrnstein and Murray's 1994 blockbuster The Bell Curve offers an irrefutable explanation for racial inequalities in multiracial societies. The gist of Lynn's thesis is that sociological paradigms (global racial inequalities are the result of social class differences, discrimination, etc.) inadequately explain these lingering racial inequalities. Lynn presents a logical case that average differences in IQ levels and achievement provide a better explanation for this global pattern of racial disparities. The book is a must read for anyone interested in the field of IQ research.
The biggest disappointment and the main reason the book doesn't warrant a five-star rating is the book's mediocre design and overall lack of professional editing. Tables of data are presented in a virtually unreadable format that paralyzes the reader's attention span. Style inconsistencies are rampant throughout the text. A desperate and awkward plea for donations, placed by the publisher on the inside front cover, undermines the legitimacy of the author's scholarship and cheapens the author's case for an otherwise solid account of a much-needed alternative to popular egalitarian fallacies of persistent racial inequalities in multiracial societies.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More handwringing is in store 19 Feb 2012
By B. Orzechowski - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Perfect Paperback
"Equalitarians" will find this book even harder to stomach than The Bell Curve - a book more frequently condemned than read. The original Bell Curve made 3 points about intelligence: It has a (1) strong genetic component; (2) correlates with phenomena such as crime and socio-economic status (SES); (3) varies by race and ethnicity.

Richard Lynn postulates that lightness of skin correlates positively with IQ. He then shows that stratification based upon intelligence and skin color, exists globally, whether whites are present, or not.

Avg IQ (and SES) distribution is thus: Jews 110; E. Asia (China, Japan, Korea) 104; white 100; Hispanic and S. Asia 89; black 85; Sub-Saharan Africa 69. (Lynn achnowledges a paucity of data in under-developed countries.) It follows that mixed-race offspring possess intermediate IQs - Creole children will score midway between their African and European parents.

I was amazed to learn the vast number of countries to which Chinese (and to a lesser extent, Japanese) have immigrated. They usually arrived as coolies, and then worked to achieve great success, often in the face of massive discrimination.

The native majorities, whose IQs typically trailed the Chinese by a full standard deviation, often envied and resented the successful Chinese. Redistribution and affirmative action programs sought to offset their success. Ethnic cleansing occurred in Indonesia, where 500,000 Chinese were killed in 1965. In Uganda, Idi Amin dispossessed, and then expelled the immigrant Chinese.

This edition of the book has a few editorial shortcomings. Most especially, there are several typos, and part of the chapter on Brazil is missing. On a personal note, I'd like to have seen more data on rural China and the Middle East - but I realize that the author had to stop somewhere.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Global Bell Curve: Race, IQ, and Inequality Worldwide 8 Dec 2008
By Igor Mandel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Perfect Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's very useful book, summarizing a huge material. What is lacking, however, from this type of book (as title promises):

a) absence of estimations for huge groups of the population (the most important, frome Central Asia and Middle East, from Russia, etc.), with unproportional emphasis on some tiny groups
b) almost complete absence of the st.deviation estimates, which are critically important for this types of generalizations. It reduces the value of the studies very much;
c) lack of analysis of differences and practical (social, political, etc.) impementations (it seems, it is covered in other Lynn's works, but not here).

But except of this - it's great.

Igor Mandel, PhD
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