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Brain genius Stefan Molyneux wants you to know that the only real racism is racism against people who can’t help being so smart

Serious intellectual Stefan Molyneux DESTROYING you with LOGIC and REASON

By David Futrelle

Stephan Molyneux, the gabby YouTube “philosopher” whose racism is as overinflated as his ego, has been spouting nonsense about race and IQ for a long time. But over the last month or so he’s become so utterly obsessed with the subject he can barely go a day without posting some absurd new pronouncement on Twitter.

Molyneux is convinced that IQ differences between races are rooted in genetics and are more or less immutable. And that the refusal to acknowledge this truth — which is not in fact true, as I’ll get to in a minute — is causing incalculable damage to all of us, high IQ whities and low IQ non-whities alike, although Molyneux is most exercised about what he sees as the terrible bigotry faced by high IQ people (like, presumably, himself) for being the genetically superior people they can’t help but be.

Oh, and did I mention that he thinks “high IQ populations” — ie, white people in Western nations — are in danger of being swamped by brown and black dummies coming over the borders, or just staying home and causing troubles in their own low IQ countries? Because he thinks that, too.

But let’s start with his most basic assertion:

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1071116953538809856

Molyneux speaks with the confidence of a true expert, but he is not an expert on the subject, nor are his pronouncements true. Most of the actual scientists who study these issues think that views like the ones he holds are dangerous nonsense.

As noted by three psychologists who recently offered a detailed rebuttal to contemporary “scientific racism” in Vox,

the racial groups used in the US — white, black, Hispanic, Asian — are such a poor proxy for underlying genetic ancestry that no self-respecting statistical geneticist would undertake a study based only on self-identified racial category as a proxy for genetic ancestry measured from DNA. …

There is currently no reason at all to think that any significant portion of the IQ differences among socially defined racial groups is genetic in origin. …

Asserting that the relatively poorer intellectual performance of racial groups is based on their genes is mistaken theoretically and unfounded empirically; and given the consequences of promulgating the policies that follow from such assertions, it is egregiously wrong morally.

Moreover, the three scientists note, numerous studies have shown that IQ is not fixed. Overall intelligence in the United States, at least insofar as it can be measured on IQ tests, increased by 18 points from 1948-2002. (There is some concern that this increase, seen broadly around the world, may have begun to decline or reverse in recent years.) The gap between average white and black IQ in the US has narrowed dramatically. And programs like Head Start have helped to dramatically raise the reading levels and later educational success of poor children.

Molyneux handwaves away such objections. Like most modern “scientific racists” he’s not only convinced he’s not actually racist; he insists that he’s somehow fighting against racism. As he sees it, it’s those who don’t want to talk about race and IQ as if they’ve just walked out of a Klan meeting who are the real racists.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1072879353438994432

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1081365013921583105

On more than one occasion, he’s self-righteously declared that he spreads what he sees as The Truth about race and IQ in order to … protect his daughter from accusations of racism?

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1076650065911902209

Piggybacking on the Trump administration’s demonization of Mexican and Muslim migrants, as well as on the alt-right’s racist hysteria about the alleged danger of “white genocide,” Molyneux claims that “high IQ” countries like the US and Canada and other mostly white countries in Europe are in danger of being overwhelmed by “low IQ” immigrants with darker skin.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1071128003130744832

He also claims that the US is in danger of being undermined from within by our own brown-skinned “low IQ” citizens — some of whom even voted for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the last elections!

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1071137393711804416

Even letting in relatively high-IQ people from low-IQ countries can come back to bite countries like the US, in Molyneux’s view.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1055642346283401216

Molyneux has managed to convince himself that this racist garbage isn’t actually racist; he’s just using REASON and LOGIC to defeat the COMMUNIST MENACE.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1079874553906524160

Ironically, while Molyneux thinks it’s terrible for “low-IQ populations” to come to “high-IQ countries,” he also thinks it’s pretty bad for them to remain in their own, because, he contends,”low IQ populations” can’t sustain democracy.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1053324093808771072

Indeed, at one point he declared that hundreds of thousands of lives could have been saved in Iraq if those in the US who got us into the Iraq war had been willing to recognize that Iraq was full of stupid people.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1082489068741513217

For what it’s worth, he also thinks that the housing crash was caused by a refusal to acknowledge that black and brown people are dumber than white people.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1078868440826314752

He’s also convinced, weirdly, that “fiat currency” is going to somehow make us dumber — never mind that IQ in the US is up considerably since Nixon’s decision to take us off the gold standard in 1971. You’ll have to ask him to explain this one.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1075992766436364288

Molyneux still claims, incredibly, that he’s not a white supremacist — noting that he acknowledges that the IQ scores of Jews and East Asians tend to be higher than (non-Jewish) white people. (Though the claims about Jewish IQ are now looking somewhat shaky.) But he certainly walks and quacks like a white supremacist.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1082457646647500800

And he’s happy to repeat outrageously racist far-right conspiracy theories — like the idea that some nefarious group is pushing “propaganda” encouraging white women to hook up with black men.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1077314912102297600

He similarly regurgitates the neo-Nazi talking point that blacks in South Africa are committing “white genocide” against white farmers; indeed, he’s obsessed with this imaginary crisis.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1079121379994218496

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1077998063921184768

While Molyneux thinks that acknowledging the very real violence that racism inflicts, both figuratively and literally, upon people of color is itself racist, and just serves to make people of color get mad about problems that are really the result (and not the cause) of their lower average IQ scores, Molyneux does agree that one form of prejudice is very real and very damaging.

And that is the terrible prejudice against smarties.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1082349279065235456

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1078914353657565185

Let’s pour one out for our high-IQ homies!

For more on the issue of race and IQ — and more specific rebuttals of the claims made by Molyneux and other “scientific racists” — see the Vox article I quoted from above, as well as this piece in the Guardian, which puts the recent revival of “race science” in broader perspective (and also handily rebuts Molyneux assertions about Jewish IQ). For an even more detailed history, see this long piece in the International Socialist Review.

And if you’re interested in some of the issues with IQ tests themselves, the eccentric statistician and randomness guru Nassim Nicholas Taleb was annoyed enough by some of Molyneux’s recent tweets on the subject that he wrote up a brief polemic on the subject. Here’s a less-technical look at some recent research suggesting that IQ tests are “fundamentally flawed” as a measure of actual intelligence.

UPDATE: I made a few small changes and removed a few tweets that were largely redundant.

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Tony
Tony
3 years ago

Dear Stefan M,
Who exactly, is stopping anyone from talking about this malarkey?

Also, someone is stuffed to the gills with inane beliefs about IQ.

Scientists who study intelligence have not, to my understanding, come up with any kind of consensus on what intelligence IS, let alone how to measure it.

Yet here is Captain McRacist Asshat pontificating about intelligence with certainty.

Le sigh…

epitome of incomprehensibility

Sorry science-deniers, you’re up against a father’s devotion, one of the strongest forces in the universe.

Okay, science-acknowledger: would you classify “a father’s devotion” as gravitational force, electromagnetic force, strong nuclear force, or weak nuclear force? Well??

Valentin - Emigrantski Ragamuffin
Valentin - Emigrantski Ragamuffin
3 years ago

I hate this man.

GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
3 years ago

George Armitage Miller (February 3, 1920 – July 22, 2012) was an American psychologist who was one of the founders of the cognitive psychology field. He also contributed to the birth of psycholinguistics and cognitive science in general.

As a freshman at Harvard over 50 years ago, I took a psychology course for which Prof. Miller was the guiding spirit and principal lecturer. Asked to define IQ, he quipped that it is “that which is measured by IQ tests.” The irony is that IQ tests are often validated by showing that they provide approximately the same results as earlier tests — in other words, that they are skewed in the same directions.

It is almost child’s play to poke holes in arguments based on IQ as it is tested today. I have always taken the fact that someone believes that human intelligence can be accurately measured by a standardized test and represented by a single integer value between 0 and 200 as clear evidence that that individual is not very intelligent, or at least has not done any real thinking on the subject. What should be the balance between spatial/numeric function and verbal function in an “IQ” test — you would get different results depending on that balance. And in real life you get rewarded for solving problems that have not yet been solved, and in using imagination to solve them, and how do you test that with a standardized test — particularly a multiple-guess one. Also, it is impossible to design a test without cultural biases — including the way a given language influences thinking. Maybe if you could design a totally language-independent test — but that would probably under-reward verbal skills. I think the burden of proof that an IQ test measures anything about actual intelligence — let alone proves what portion is genetic — lies very heavily on the person who argues that it is highly meaningful.

And assuming that you could devise a test that accurately measures “intelligence” that proves that one racial group (defined how?) is on average slightly more intelligent than another, how is that useful? Are we going to advantage a member of the “smarter group” over a member of the “dumber group” even if the latter performs better than the former? (That, in fact, seems to be the real purpose of most people who enter the IQ Debate. “I’m white and therefore entitled to preferential treatment.” That sort of thinking hardly proves superior intellect.)

When people try to defend this thinking against charges of racism by saying “But the Jews …” or “But the East Asians …”, I always point out that the Jewish and East Asian cultures tend to respect knowledge and learning for more than at least some parts of the European-American culture, and wouldn’t that have some effect on the development of intelligence in their children?

I favor a useful term of technical psychology to characterize argument like Molyneux’s: Hogwash. But I do think this is a topic that helps one to determine whether someone is doing real thinking or merely indulging in motivated reasoning.

epitome of incomprehensibility

On a more serious note, I now have a possible reason why my creative writing teacher puts emphasis on “intelligence” in her lectures. For a while it bothered me, and for reasons: the risks of ableism (some people have conditions that give them a lower IQ, which doesn’t make them less worthy) and of misdiagnosing willful ignorance as stupidity (e.g. calling Trump an idiot – as if that’s his main problem).

But there’s also the fact that, since she’s black and American, born in the 1960s, she’s had to deal with shitty attitudes like Molyneux’s a lot more than I have. So it makes sense to give that “race and IQ” bullshit some pushback, and maybe that’s why she talks about intelligence a lot. Besides, she usually defines it as being well-informed, not as having a high IQ.

Moreover, the three scientists note, numerous studies have shown that IQ is not fixed.

Based on my own anecdata, yes. One of my friends, evidently burdened with free time, took a bunch of Internet IQ tests as a teenager. Her scores increased to “genius” level over a pretty short time, suggesting you can get better at IQ tests simply by practice. Mind you, she’s also good at the things those tests tend to cover.

(Her mother is black; too bad she had to White Genocide by having kids with a white dude, thus “lower[ing] the average IQ of the offspring.” All three of these offspring are now in math-heavy engineering fields – but I’m sure they have easy peasy jobs that aren’t at all high-competition, right, Mr. Science?) ?

ETA: Oh, I CAN cut and paste emojis from Twitter! I think that’s my easiest option for the eye-roll one. 🙂

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
3 years ago

Well, the US is having trouble sustaining democracy, and it’s largely due to racist asshats like Molyneux. I guess we can thank him for lowering our collective IQ.

(Weird how I’ve never seen anyone unironically use the terms “high IQ/low IQ” who wasn’t themselves a Dunning-Kreuger poster child. IQ seems to be a talisman, like Harvard and Albert Einstein, that people latch onto to signify a Reellee Smaurt Personn.)

I don’t see how you can draw meaningful comparisons of performance on standardized IQ tests between first-world and third-world countries when there’s such a wide disparity in educational opportunities, literacy, infectious diseases, exposure to pollutants, and other environmental factors that have a negative impact on early childhood brain development. Especially when the standardized tests are drawn up by Western Europeans to begin with, based on criteria that Western Europeans have decided are correlated with intelligence. Drop Molyneux in the bush in Botswana, and I bet he’d appear pretty stupid to the locals.

Valentin - Emigrantski Ragamuffin
Valentin - Emigrantski Ragamuffin
3 years ago

Most people in the world haven’t completed and will never complete IQ test so he can actually not know at all what is a “high IQ” country and a “low IQ”country. It is only in USA and Canada that there are regular IQ tests on school children and young adults, and these tests are made in these countries too.

There are basically *no* statistics to support his argument at all.

But his existence at all makes me so angry I don’t even want to try to argue against his ideas. I wish he will just shut his fucking racist, ignorant, arrogant mouth.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy

Anyone who proceeds from the assumption that an IQ test result indicates “intelligence” is not worth paying any attention to, at least on that topic.
Lately, Stefan has tweeted that western civilisation developed because of colder weather; that melting ice caps don’t pose a problem because when ice cubes melt in your drink it doesn’t affect the volume of liquid (!!!); and that women should have babies because if we faint or something the kid can call an ambulance, whereas if we’re single our cats will eat our eyeballs.
Not gonna lie, that last one is my absolute favourite. I almost changed my Twitter handle for it.

Shadowplay
3 years ago

I almost changed my Twitter handle for it.

Don’t!

I’ve only just got used to the current one – meaning I still get the giggles but not the gigglesnorts. 😛

I do wonder if this dolt could pass a Turing test though, never mind an IQ test.

tim gueguen
3 years ago

Strange how he claims people from 3 different countries, Honduras, Puerto Rico, and Iraq, all have IQs in the 80s. I’m getting a strong smell of “pulled out of his ass” for those figures.

As always with these guys it’s strange he doesn’t advocate convincing people with high IQs to reproduce with each other, regardless of race. Yes, he does mention white women procreating with “East Asian” men. But if you’re really intent on increasing IQ you can’t just randomly have that happen, as a women might fall for one who has a considerably lower IQ.

I wonder how he defines East Asian. I would imagine some racists wouldn’t have included South Korea in the past, but would now given how well the country is doing these days.

His comment about not providing aid to the developing world is disturbing. It strongly implies he thinks we should let things like mass starvation continue unabated, so the “inferiors” will die out.

Mels
Mels
3 years ago

I think IQ can be sufficiently debunked by pointing out that Scott Adams is a MENSA member.

Mayu Kitsune
Mayu Kitsune
3 years ago

Stefan is just an actual griffter, for a man who apparently is anti-state, he sure loves it when the state oppresses non-white non-cis non-het people and women, given how he thinks taxes are a form of slavery, but Apartheid was good for South Africa. And don’t people like Stefan get so angry when scientists suggest that maybe gay and trans poeple exist and should be treated with respect, crying out “THERE’S NO POLITICS IN SCIENCE” and heres stefan, saying the US staying in Iraq was “Science” what ever that means

MrsObedMarsh
MrsObedMarsh
3 years ago

I wanted to try to join Mensa as a child because I liked the idea of being in a smart-people club. Dad shot down that idea, saying that people who pride themselves on their high IQs usually aren’t very smart.

Thanks, Dad!

Robert
Robert
3 years ago

Whenever someone starts gassing on about tests of intelligence or suchlike, it reminds me that I did very well on standardized tests getting into college. While I enjoyed college and learned a lot, in retrospect I never actually understood what I was *supposed* to be learning.

I may have been in the last generation that was able to get a stable, secure office job with benefits without a college degree.

saltylurker
saltylurker
3 years ago

This article is why those interested in documenting an actual phenomenon prefer the term “intellectually gifted”, and why schools that truly understand the issue do more than just IQ tests to screen children for their gifted education programs.

The school I went to didn’t even use anything close to an IQ test to determine which kids needed to be placed in the gifted program, in fact.

Gifted individuals do experience social and emotional difficulties, but they have nothing to do with “bigotry” and much to do with correlated things like sensory processing disorder that are difficult to deal with, stigmatized, and that you don’t need to be “gifted” to end up with. So Molyneux can extra go step on a Lego, preferably in place of somebody actually dealing with sensory processing disorder.

(Yes, whatever IQ is trying to measure might also create some communication difficulties and things like existential depression, but the tests are worthless for quantifying that, so it’s better to just practically deal with issues as they come up)

…it’s irrelevant to the facts of talking intelligence because we know that IQ tests aren’t producing an actual standard distribution, but I found it amusing getting the impression that Molyneux doesn’t seem to understand the statistical model you need to have in mind while analyzing score differences from an IQ test, either. Under 110 isn’t “high”, bud.

Catalpa
Catalpa
3 years ago

It did strike me that this relentless propaganda for “white women with black men“ would serve to lower the average IQ of the offspring.

You don’t see nearly as much “white women with East Asian men,” whose offspring would tend to have higher IQs on average.

This doesn’t make any sense even if you assume that racial IQ bullshit has any merit at all.

If we accept the bullshit premise that IQ is inherited, and that the offspring split the difference, and that there are three individuals, with arbitrary assigned intelligence scores of 94, 96, and 98. If 96 has a child with 94, then the result is a child with a score of 95- a one-point reduction from the higher intelligence score. And if 96 has a child with 98, the the result is a child with a score of 97- again, a one-point reduction from the higher intelligence score. There is the same amount of “loss” in intelligence regardless.

If avoiding that “loss” and having the smartest offspring is a priority, then by this logic only East Asian folks should be having babies, and only with each other. Everyone else will only drag them down.

Tia
Tia
3 years ago

I know it’s not the main issue here, but what modern Finnish research is he talking about? The person he refers to is Danish. He’s quoting a Danish guy citing some Finnish research, but no sources are provided. I’m Finnish, I’ve lived here my whole life, I’m an academic, and I have no idea what he’s talking about. It seems to me that sometimes people use Finland in their racist rants because they have the idea that Finland is 100% white or something (it’s not). Also Finland’s very small, no one speaks the language, and I guess they’re not worried about Finns making a lot of noise about these weird lies. It just bothers me that these people are using me and my fellow citizens to spew bigotry and hate. Maybe we as Finns need to be more vocal when we see stuff like this (like we were when Trump claimed that we rake our forests).

Megpie71
3 years ago

IQ basically measures your ability to perform well on intelligence tests. Intelligence tests assess a person’s ability to… perform well on intelligence tests. Psychology hasn’t yet come up with a definition of “intelligence” which doesn’t include a link to … performing well on intelligence tests.

What do intelligence tests ask for? Well, they ask people to be basically answering questions which may, or may not, require a certain amount of culturally predicated knowledge – even the ones which attempt to avoid cultural bias still rely on certain cultural assumptions (such as assumptions about which is the “natural” way to read an image or text; assumptions about certain literacies with regards to symbols and colours and so on; and assumptions about necessary or vital skills which are based on cultural presumptions of what is important). So if you’re a birth citizen of the culture from which your test originated, you’re going to score a higher “IQ” result than someone who hasn’t been raised up in that culture from birth. There’s also class-based assumptions in there (which is why IQ tests usually show that working-class whites have lower IQs than university-educated whites). It’s highly likely the test isn’t measuring “intelligence” – whatever that is – at all, but rather measuring cultural literacies.

Oh, and you can study to pass IQ tests. The more someone’s IQ is measured, the more it grows… as they remember more and more of the answers, and thus score higher and higher marks.

Basically, if you have a high IQ, and that’s all you have to feel proud about, you’re going to insist that having a high IQ is something to be proud of. Rather like white supremacy and male chauvinism, really.

(I speak here as a person who does perform well on intelligence tests – but whose “high intelligence” hasn’t necessarily helped them all that much in life, since the most useful function I’ve found for my intelligence is helping me to logic out how social stuff works… with inconsistent results. Ah, the joys of being on the autism spectrum).

ellesar
ellesar
3 years ago

It just bothers me that these people are using me and my fellow citizens to spew bigotry and hate.

Tia – have you ever seen ‘Wag the Dog’? The same thing happened to Albania!

And then life imitated art with Clinton trying to hide his ‘indiscretion’ with his controversial political decisions.

Knitting Cat Lady
Knitting Cat Lady
3 years ago

According to my mental health team I’m of ‘above average intelligence’.

Contributing factors:
-I have smart parents who like to learn and who did lots of stuff that involved some type of learning with me when I was small
-I had enough to eat growing up, especially protein. You can’t grow a brain and you can’t learn if you’re constantly hungry or starving
-I have a memory like a steel trap for things that interest me. Comes with being an Aspie

Did genetics play a role? Possibly. It probably determines the potential you can reach.

But things like having enough to eat when you’re small and having parents that encourage learning are much more important.

anti-fascist all day
anti-fascist all day
3 years ago

It’ll never cease to amaze me how often white men will blame the fall of “western culture” and civility is directly related to non-whites mere existence, while other white men inspired by that garbled bullshit go out in roving, violent groups to harass and attack their victims in a sociopathic glee. All for an ideology that necessarily requires an unscientific and largely emotional validation of their racist, bigoted, authoritarian desires.

They’re behaving like violent troglodytes yet they’re the embodiment of civilization, intelligence and culture? The mental gymnastics of these fascists and their pseudo-intellectual elite are pretty wild.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

I took a professionally administered WAIS-III test; and scored 67.

Whether that’s evidence for or against IQ tests being accurate is left as an exercise for the reader.

Specialffrog
Specialffrog
3 years ago

I’m Canadian and I suspect roughly the same age as Molyneux and I have never taken an IQ test. If Canada has ever done systematic IQ testing it seemingly stopped doing so when we were children at the latest.

So I am wondering if there is any meaningful data on IQ in Canada in the first place.

The rest of his argument is top-to-bottom nonsense anyway but it strikes me that even the idea that Canada is “high IQ” is unsubstantiated.

Masse_Mysteria
Masse_Mysteria
3 years ago

Re:Raking forests

I’ve recently learned (but I forget where I got this info from) that we Finns do rake our forests, except its not a nice outdoorsy group exercise* where we get the leaves out of the forest floors but something the forest industry does with machinery after cutting down the trees.

So they say that Trump wasn’t wrong to say that we rake the forests, because people just misinterpreted what he was saying, and president Niinistö for some reason denied talking about the thing with him. All this made me wonder whether I should check my prejudices when I still can’t stop thinking that, hearing “raking the forests”, Trump just assumed we all take a rake with us whenever we go to a forest.

* like the ones we have unemployed people do to keep them “active”, which is not a form of slavery, honest!

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