Professor of Psychology, University of Ulster,
Lecturer in Psychology, University of Exeter,
Winner of US Mensa Award for Excellence, 1985
and 1988, for work on intelligence.
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His controversial answers are
bound to shock and offend many people, but Right NOW!
believes the issue to be of such compelling importance
that it is now necessary to talk openly about formerly
THE ISSUES of ethnicity, race
and immigration constitute the hottest of hot
potatoes in today's politics: issues that generate
more heat than light.
To try to ascertain some hard facts on the subject
NOW! went to Professor RICHARD
LYNN, Director of the Ulster Institute for
Social Research, recognised as one of Britain's
leading scientific authorities on ethnicity.
Both my father and my maternal grandfather were biologists
and plant breeders who had a good knowledge of genetics,
so I was brought up with the idea that heredity is important.
However, as a schoolboy at the Bristol Grammar School
I was not greatly interested in biology. The subject that
interested me most was history. I was fascinated by the
struggles for power between individuals - the ambition
to get to the top of the slippery pole,
as Disraeli put it; between social classes and religious
sects that erupted in the English Civil War and the French
Revolution; in the incessant warfare between nations,
and the rise and fall of empires. I also came to realise
the shortcomings of the analyses of great historical events
offered by historians. At the age of 16 I concluded that
the explanation for these events must lie in human psychology,
and decided that this was the subject I would take up
at university. I set my sights on Cambridge as the leading
scientific university, took the scholarship examinations
and was awarded a scholarship by Kings College.
I found psychology at Cambridge a bit disappointing.
The interests of the department were narrowly experimental.
However, I read widely and soon discovered the work on
intelligence that had been done at University College
in London by Charles Spearman and Cyril Burt, and the
work on personality that Hans Eysenck was doing at the
Institute of Psychiatry. I knew immediately that this
was where my true interests lay, and although I stayed
on at Cambridge to do my PhD, by the time I graduated
I was a committed member of the London school.
I spent the first few years of my academic career at
the University of Exeter, where I worked on Eysencks
theory of personality. Although I was interested in intelligence,
I did not carry out research on it until the 1970s. In
1967 I moved to Dublin to a professorship at the Irish
Economic and Social Research Institute. I became interested
in the problem of national differences in economic growth.
The miracle economy of the post world war years was Japan,
and I wondered what could be the secret of the Japanese
economic success. I read the work of economists on the
question of national differences in rates of economic
growth and I soon discovered that they hadnt the
slightest idea why economic growth rates differed - any
more than historians had any idea of the real causes of
group conflict, warfare orthe rise and fall of empires,
as I had discovered as a school boy. In the 1970s it was
well known in psychology that intelligence is a major
determinant of social mobility and economic success among
individuals, so I began to wonder whether intelligence
might not also be a factor in the economic success of
nations. Noone had ever attempted to measure the intelligence
in different nations, so there was no way of tackling
this question. However, I was thinking about the issue
and, as Louis Pasteur observed, chance favours the
prepared mind. Through chance I discovered that
several American intelligence tests had been administered
and standardised in Japan. I hired a translator to have
the test manuals translated into English and from these
I was able to calculate the average Japanese IQ. It came
out at 106, 6 IQ points higher than the average of American
whites. I published this result in 1977, noted that this
was the highest IQ ever recorded for a population and
argued that it probably reflected genetic superiority.
It was noted by people working on intelligence and was
soon recorded in the standard textbooks, such as those
by Hans Eysenck and Philip Vernon which appeared in 1979,
and in subsequent textbooks.
Yes, I have made this my specialism and have collected
and calculated the IQs for a number of Oriental peoples
including those in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, China,
and Korea. I have found that these peoples invariably
have average IQs a little higher than whites in the United
States, Britain and Continental Europe. Thelr overall
average is about 105. My work also stimulated Philip Vernon
to make a study of the IQ of ethnic Japanese and Chinese
in the United States, and he came to the same conclusion
that their intelligence is about 5 IQ points higher than
that of whites.
The high IQ of Orientals is an irritant for them because
they have argued that intelligence tests are craftily
constructed by white middle class males to ensure that
they score best on the tests, or alternatively that the
tests simply reflect environmental advantages. As some
of the Japanese who scored higher than whites had been
born and brought up during the privations of World War
Two and its aftermath, these explanations were obviously
not credible. So some environmentalists have tried to
nit-pick my results, but their criticisms do not stand
My work on this question has consisted of examining the
IQs of blacks in Africa. Hundreds of studies have been
done of blacks in the United States, where their average
IQ comes out at about 85. A few studies have been done
of blacks in Britain, where their IQ is a little higher
at around 89. This is probably because the more intelligent
blacks migrated to Britain. But no-one had ever looked
systematically at the intelligence level of African blacks.
So in the late 1980s I made a search for all the studies
that had been done on this question, most of them published
in very obscure publications. I found 11 studies on representative
samples and estimated that the average IQ of African blacks
is approximately 70.
Yes, those with IQs of below 70 are considered in Western
countries as mentally retarded.
It does. The negative economic growth of recent years
in much of sub-Saharan Africa is likely to continue.
There are probably two reasons. The first is that the
great majority of American blacks have some white ancestry
and this raises thelr intelligence. The second is that
American blacks enjoy a high standard of living, and this
has given an environmental boost to their intelligence.
I began to think about this question in the mid-1980s.
I concluded that the higher intelligence of the Oriental
and Caucasian peoples was probably an evolutionary adaptation
to the problems of survival in cold northern environments.
Human beings first evolved in tropical Africa where survival
was relatively easy. Then some of them migrated northwards
into Eurasia and they found life wasnt nearly so
simple. They had to survive through long cold winters,
build shelters, make clothing and fires, and hunt animals
in order to survive. They had to become more intelligent
to deal with these problems, or they would have died out.
The climatic conditions were a bit more severe for the
Oriental peoples in north east Asia than they were in
Europe, so that is why Orientals evolved slightly higher
It has been known since the 1930s from twin studies that
intelligence is mainly under genetic control. In addition,
the blackwhite difference in intelligence has been found
universally, in the United States, Britain, the Caribbean
and in Africa. There is also solid evidence that, on average,
blacks have smaller brains than whites.
Poor educational attainment, poor vocational skills,
high unemployment, high rates of crime and single motherhood.
Low intelligence is a major causal factor in all these
They are very serious. All these problems have been
identified for some time in the United States and have
been well reviewed by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray
in The Bell Curve. They have also appeared in Britain.
For instance, official government figures have shown that
in 1995 62 per cent of young black males are unemployed,
as compared with about 18 per cent of whites. Black crime
in Britain is about three times higher than white. The
1991 census showed that slngle motherhood among blacks
was 51 per cent, about double that of whites.
Most crimes are committed by people with low intelligence.
This is partly because the unintelligent have less to
lose by being caught because they generally have poor
jobs, or are unemployed, and partly because they cant
figure out so well the likelihood and consequences of
Yes, this is true. It may be that the explanation for
this is that blacks are led into crime through peer pressure.
In addition one of the things Rushton has shown (Race,
Evolution and Behaviour, J Philippe Rushton, Transaction
Press, New Brunswick, 1994) is that blacks have high levels
of testosterone, the male sex hormone that makes males
aggressive, and this probably contributes to their high
In The Bell Curve, ( Ed:
see RN, issue 7 ) Richard Herrnstein
and Charles Murray estimated that the average IQ in the
United States would decline to about 95 by the middle
of the 21st century because of the growth in numbers of
a low IQ non-European populatlon.
Yes. Immigration into the United States is running at
about 1.4 million annually. The great majority of these
are Hispanics, most of whom are of mixed Spanish and American-Indian
ancestry. Their average IQ is 92. There are also substantial
numbers of blacks entering the United States from the
Caribbean and Africa. They probably number about 150,000
a year. In the next century Hispanics and blacks will
form an increasing percentage of the population and will
become a majority in about 50 years time. This will
inevitably reduce the overall American IQ, as Herrnstein
and Murray predict.
It is impossible not to be pessimistic. It looks set
to become like many of the Latin American countries where
whites live in their own fortified housing estates while
Hispanics hybridised with American Indians and blacks
live in lawless shanty towns.
It is probably too late. Theoretically all immigration
into the United States could be stopped as from today,
but the political problems of doing this are enormous.
And there would still be a large amount of illegal immigration.
I think the only solution lies in the breakup of the
United States. Blacks and Hispanics are concentrated in
the Southwest, the Southeast and the East, but the Northwest
and the far Northeast, Maine, Vermont and upstate New
York have a large predominance of whites. I believe these
predominantly white states should declare independence
and secede from the Union. They would then enforce strict
border controls and provide minimum welfare, which would
be limited to citizens. If this were done, white civilisation
would survive within this handful of states.
Not yet. Both the political will and the understanding
of the seriousness of the problem are lacking. Things
will have to get a good deal worse before they can get
Britain has the same problem of a significant black
minority with high fertility and the continuing immigration
of illegals and bogus refugees. The numbers are much fewer
than in the United States, but will grow in the years
that lie ahead. There is the same problem in mainland
Europe. The immigration of Third World peoples should
be much more tightly controlled.
These peoples have about the
same intelligence level as whites, as would be expected
because they are Caucasians. They are not a genetic
Born February 1930.
Professor of Psychology, University of Ulster. 1972-1995.
Lecturer in Psychology, University of Exeter, 1956-67.
Winner of US Mensa Award for Excellence, 1985 and
1988, for work on intelligence.
Published works -
1966 Attention, Arousal and the Orientation Reaction
1969 The Irish Braindrain
1969 The Universities and the Business Community
1971 Personality and National Character
1972 An Introduction to the Study of Personality
1974 The Entrepreneur
1981 Dimensions of Personality
1987 Educational Achievement in Japan
1991 The Secret of the Miracle Economy
Numerous articles on personality, intelligence and