More from Mr Li On Intelligence, Creativity and the West by Peter J. White

We have been debating a most delightful fellow from China who objects to our material. At first I thought that he was defending the notion that the Chinese were the smartest people on Earth, but he has said in a recent email that he is sceptical that intelligence differs between races, citing the falsification of the supposedly low genetic IQ scores of Hispanics when better environments are provided: see also Fred Reed’s critique of the racial realists on this point:

However Mr Li also believes that the Ashkenazi Jews are “smarter than my people, the East Asians.” He says that this is “Not because of genetics, but because of their culture, which emphasizes learning for the sake of knowledge, unlike ours, which merely emphasizes learning for the sake of getting a better life.”
Well, blow me over – so much for the Confucian ethic and the virtues of learning, all seemingly long gone:

The issue of Jewish intelligence will be given a separate treatment.

Mr Li raises interesting questions about the uniqueness of the West and Western inventions, he clearly feels that intelligence does not explain all that much. I agree with him, as there are many factors at work. He rightly notes that Charles Murray in Human Accomplishment  (Harper Collins, 2003), notes that the majority of the world’s technological inventions and discoveries were made, from 1400-1950 in four countries: Britain, France, Germany and Italy, and that it is unlikely that other European countries such as Sweden accomplished less merely because of intelligence. Agreed; there are many factors at work, the most important being levels of economic development and the resources devoted to research. This explains China’s surge in inventions in the last 10 years which cannot be due to intelligence alone, but must have some economic basis.

So, at the end of the day, after a long debate, we seem to agree on some points. I know that Brian Simpson will continue on this debate, but I have more pressing matters, after presenting my paper on Jewish intelligence.



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Thursday, 28 October 2021
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