Friday, January 22, 2016

"No, It Ain’t Gonna Be Like That"

The reason stereotypes exist is because there is truth in them. "Whites create, Asians copy, and blacks sing and dance." Old saying.

This was written by Satoshi Kanazawa and is an excerpt from his book. It's from

I have noticed whites are much more superior in abstract thought than other races. Certain individuals can engage in abstract thought, but not enough to create much of anything.

Abstract: For cultural, social, and institutional reasons, Asians cannot make original contributions to basic science. I therefore doubt Miller’s prediction for the Asian future of evolutionary psychology. I believe that its future will continue to be in the United States and Europe.

1. Asians can’t think

And they certainly cannot think outside the box. Miller is correct to point out that East Asians have slightly higher mean IQs than Europeans (Lynn and Vanhanen, 2002). However, East Asians have not been able to make creative use of their intelligence. While they are very good at absorbing existing knowledge via rote memory (hence their high standardized test scores in math and science) or adapt or modify existing technology (hence their engineering achievements), they have not been able to make original contributions to basic science.

Table 1 presents revealing statistics from the entire history of Nobel prizes (1901-2005). The first set of five nations in Table 1 have produced the largest number of Nobel Prizewinners (USA – 155; Germany – 91; UK – 67; France – 38; Switzerland – 24). They are all Euro-American nations. The second set of nations are the nine Asian nations which have ever produced any Nobel laureate (Japan – 12; India – 7; China – 5; Taiwan – 2; South Korea – 1; Bangladesh – 1; Pakistan – 1; Myanmar – 1; Vietnam – 1). The last two nations have produced only Nobel peace laureates. These numbers are listed in Column (1).

Table 1: Nobel Prizewinners by Nationality, 1901-2005 (summary)

Relative representation of Nobel Laureates (Share of Nobel laureates / Share of population) Column 5 USA 4.3225 Germany 9.1641 UK 9.3804 France 5.2128 Switzerland 28.0909 Japan .7789 India .0526 China .0377 Taiwan .7429 South Korea .1757 Bangladesh .0591 Pakistan .0531 Myanmar .1667 Vietnam .0992

Column (2) shows the relative representation of Nobel prizewinners from each nation out of the total 776 laureates. Column (3) shows each nation’s population as of mid-2005, and Column (4) shows the relative representation of each nation’s population in the world out of the 6.451 billion. So, for example, the United States has produced 20% of Nobel Prizewinners while its share of the world population is less than 5%. Column (5) shows the relative representation of Nobel prizewinners standardized for population. Any number greater than 1.000 signifies overrepresentation; any number less than 1.000 signifies underrepresentation.

The contrast between the five Euro-American nations and the nine Asian nations cannot be starker. The first four Euro-American nations are overrepresented among the Nobel laureates by a factor of 5 to 10; Switzerland is overrepresented by a factor of 28! In sharp contrast, all Asian nations are underrepresented among the Nobel laureates. Japan, for example, has been a major geopolitical and economic power for most of the 20th century (Small and Singer, 1982). Yet it has produced only 12 Nobel laureates, the same number as Austria, which has one-sixteenth of Japan’s population.

This problem has long been known to East Asian specialists as the “creativity problem” (Eberts and Eberts, 1995, pp. 123-127; Taylor, 1983, pp. 92-123; van Wolferen, 1989, pp. 89-90). Some argue that the ideographic Asian languages curb abstract thinking and creativity among Asians (Hannas, 2003). Others point out that Asian cultures, religions, and educational systems devalue and discourage logical thinking (Eberts and Eberts, 1995, pp. 120-123; van Wolferen, 1989, pp. 236-244). Whatever the reason, it is evident from Table 1 that some combinations of cultural, social, and institutional factors combine to stifle basic science in Asia.

The message of Table 1 is clear: Science is not democracy; it is inherently elitist. A nation does not dominate science by having a large number of people but by having good ideas. And there appears to be a dearth of good, original, scientific ideas in Asia in the last century. If Leda Cosmides were born Japanese, she with her high intelligence would have made an excellent product engineer for Sony and contributed to making the robot dog Aibo look and behave even more like a real dog. But it would have never occurred to her that the human brain might be composed of distinct modules, let alone to modify an obscure logic test to uncover the existence of one such module. That requires massive creativity, which Asians lack.

3. The political reality of China

As the most populous nation on earth, People’s Republic of China (PRC) figures prominently into Miller’s vision of the Asian future of evolutionary psychology. While Miller emphasizes recent economic achievements of PRC, however, he conveniently neglects the political reality of communist China. Miller is correct to point out that, due to its higher average intelligence and the largest population, there are millions of bright young students in PRC, but for political reasons we are not likely ever to meet them.

The communist government of PRC has a policy of not letting their brightest students leave the country for fear of the brain drain and of forcing them to study home at Chinese universities. Then it sends the second-rate students to American universities and the third-rate students to British universities, both with falsified transcripts and exam results to make them look first-rate. Here at LSE where I teach, we receive a large number of these third-rate Chinese students dressed up as first-rate. (About 5-10% of all undergraduate and graduate students at LSE are from PRC.) Virtually every Chinese applicant to LSE boasts “the highest exam scores in their province.” Apparently it has not occurred to the LSE admissions office that there could not possibly be that many provinces in China. Naturally, most of these PRC students do very poorly and fail out of the program, and, when they do, many confess to having purchased or otherwise fabricated their exam scores and transcripts before they applied for LSE.

Yes, there are millions of bright Chinese students in PRC, but we are not likely to meet them anytime soon until or unless the political reality of PRC changes or otherwise the communist government ceases its policy of sending second- and third-rate students to the US and UK.

4. The conformist culture of Asia

Part of the reason why Asians cannot think for themselves and make original and creative contributions to science is because they are too conformist. One of the factors that Miller identifies as a possible obstacle to the Asian future of evolutionary psychology (“academic conservatism”) is actually fatal. Scientific revolutions happen by challenging the established paradigms. No conformists have ever brought about a scientific revolution.

Once again, at LSE, we have an enormous problem of plagiarism among our Asian students. Despite the fact that each student, Asian or otherwise, must sign a declaration that their work is original and they have not plagiarized, many Asian students simply copy the work of established scholars. To them it is a venerable act of honoring their masters to “borrow” from them, by copying their words verbatim. No matter how much we tell them that it is wrong, Asian students simply cannot understand why it is wrong to honor their intellectual masters by faithfully reproducing their work. Needless to say, this is no recipe for scientific progress.

The future of evolutionary psychology (abridged)

Our enemies are not fundamentalist Christians; they are instead our university colleagues in Women’s and Cultural Studies Departments. Our true obstacle is not the Christian fundamentalism in the wheat fields of Kansas; it is the political correctness in the ivy-covered buildings on our own campuses. The feminists and social constructionists, all of whom have Ph.D.s and no problems with the theory of evolution by natural selection (as long as it is not applied to the human brain), are in a position to do far greater damage to our science than the Christian fundamentalists. Really, what can Christian fundamentalists do to us? Refuse to pump our gas? Spit in our Big Mac? In contrast, our politically correct feminist and social constructionist colleagues control our recruitment, tenure, and promotion processes, and influence our research funding. If anything can interfere with the future of evolutionary psychology in the United States and Europe, it is the cultural insanity of political correctness. That is the true enemy that we must fight.


Anonymous said...

"Miller is correct to point out that East Asians have slightly higher mean IQs than Europeans (Lynn and Vanhanen, 2002). However, East Asians have not been able to make creative use of their intelligence."

I think that the way IQ is measured is flawed. In my opinion, creativity, imagination, and innovative thinking are much greater factors in determining a persons' IQ and overall native intelligence, not just merely being able to memorize a lot of information.

If white Europeans are more creative and imaginative and such, then it should be reflected in the IQ, and Europeans should have a higher mean IQ compared to east asians.

Glen Filthie said...

Not so, Bob.

The Mongols skirmished with Europeans and were poised to crush them the same way they had with all their enemies before them. The only thing that saved Christiandom from the Mongol horde was the death of the Khan back east and the ensuing power struggle. Had they continued west history would have been quite different.

In the 80's the Big Three had to learn how to build cars from the Japanese. Half the parts in our fighter planes come from Japan as well. Harley Davidson is using Chinese parts in their new motorcycles. This ingrained conceit of American/Caucasian superiority was highlighted by the war in the Pacific with Japan too. We cannot afford this in the days ahead.

Thane Eichenauer said...

Where is #2?

ray said...


Genetic wiring also plays a role in racial and language-group differentiation and specialization. So do trans-temporal spiritual influences. The East has long been unified in that regard, appearances notwithstanding.

Good closing paragraph. Christians are only a threat to those who hate the truth, to thugs and thieves and bullies. So because our rulers in government and law and the academy are on the right side of history, it's strange they should be so worried about Christians or right-wingers. After all, the future will prove Feminism, Identity Politics, and Progressivism out.

Anonymous said...

Regarding intelligence (and it's application thereof in actually doing things that matter), how much is contributed by biology (brain physiology) and how much is contributed by culture, values, mentality, etc.? Is there that much of a difference in brain structure between white Europeans and East Asians? Is culture and upbringing also a big factor in affecting how societies develop and advance, or not?

Regarding the Mongols, just because they conquered a whole lot of people doesn't necessarily mean that they had a higher native intelligence than their enemies. It doesn't take a super-smart Einstein brainiac to swing a battle axe or shoot a bow and arrow and kill lots of people. There is also the issue of luck, chance and serendipity having a part in affecting events and outcomes. White Europeans could still have had a higher native intelligence, but due to a confluence of negative circumstances (epidemics, famine, disease, political problems, etc.), it made them vulnerable.

AAB said...

Thane Eichenauer said...
Where is #2?

Here it is:

2. Asians can't write
Nor can they speak English. While Miller correctly points out that East Asians have slightly higher overall IQs, he neglects to mention the particular pattern of Asian intelligence. East Asians have much higher visualization IQ than verbal IQ (Lynn, 2006, pp. 121-148). For East Asians in Asia, in studies which assess both types of IQ, the mean visualization IQ is 108.6 while the mean verbal IQ is 101.4. Their high visualization IQs explain East Asians' relative success in mathematics and mathematics-based sciences such as physics and chemistry. Of the 27 Nobel prizes awarded to Asians in Table 1, 10 have been in physics, 5 in chemistry, and 3 in physiology or medicine; there have only been 5 Nobel literature prizes awarded to Asians, and 1 in economics (Amartya K. Sen).

It is true, as Miller points out, that English is universally taught as a second language in all Asian nations. But that does not mean that Asian students learn it. In fact, Asians are notoriously poor at acquiring foreign languages, particularly English, compared to the relative ease with which Europeans speak English. Their low verbal intelligence may explain their difficulty.

Their inability to express themselves in English is likely to hamper Asians' contribution to evolutionary psychology, as long as it remains largely a verbal (i.e. non-mathematical) science, which, for better or worse, it is likely to remain for some time. East Asians might begin to make significant contribution to evolutionary psychology once it attains the level of formalization of the current evolutionary biology. Miller argues that we cannot worry about the accents of our successors, which is true. However, accents are one thing; impenetrably thick accents which prevent mutual intelligibility is another. That's what many Asians have.

If Geoffrey F. Miller were born Chinese, The Mating Mind would have been filled with elegant mathematical equations, and all of his theses would have been mathematically proven. But it would not have been the literary gem that it is, and nobody would have read it. Nobody could have understood him either.


There's also a 5, 6, 7 and conclusion if you're interested, about 4 pdf pages in total.

Unknown said...

"Where is #2?"

I am mystified how I missed that.

Quartermain said...

You might find this article of interest:

kurt9 said...

My Japanese wife agrees with me that the Japanese (and other East Asians by association) completely lack the pioneering spirit in the Robert Heinlein definition. However, they are perfectly capable of innovation as the people I worked with while living in Japan demonstrated to me.

Andrew said...

As someone who has taught in China, I can tell you it's impossible to exaggerate the level of cheating in Chinese schools. They see nothing wrong with this. A related idea is that they see academic achievement is something to be bought rather than earned. We had many parents threaten to sue our school or ask for a refund because their child's grades were not high enough.

Once, I caught a student cheating on a physics exam I was giving and gave him a zero. His parents then asked the principal for their money back. Eventually, they agreed to compromise; the boy would get all A's and a glowing letter of recommendation from the principal if he would transfer to another school next year.

Andrew said...

As far as "race" and Asian nations go, they are not racially conscious as Westerners understand race. Pan-Asianism might be a thing among American college students of Asian descent; it is definitely not a thing in Asia.

What they do have is a very strong nationalistic consciousness. When I lived in Kunming, Yunnan, China the local yoofs celebrated the anniversary of the Rape of Nanking by torching Japanese cars.

Unknown said...

I've met Asians over here who have the attitude, "I feel shame and it's your fault."

Anonymous said...

"As someone who has taught in China, I can tell you it's impossible to exaggerate the level of cheating in Chinese schools. They see nothing wrong with this."

I graduated high school in 1989 and remember all the talk about how Japan, and eventually China, Korea and Taiwan were going to take over everything (at least economically), and dominate the US. I always thought, and was led to believe, that East Asians were on top of things when it came to academics, engineering, science and business, but apparently that is not true - maybe it's somewhat true when compared to Africa, Latin America and the middle east, but not compared to the US, Canada, Australia, and Europe.

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