alt-lite alt-right bad science Dunning–Kruger effect grandiosity imaginary oppression immigrants irony alert literal nazis men who should not ever be with women ever misogyny none dare call it conspiracy playing the victim racism Stefan Molyneux

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:

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.

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?

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.

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!

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

We Hunted the Mammoth is independent and ad-free, and relies entirely on readers like you for its survival. If you appreciate our work, please send a few bucks our way! Thanks!

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
3 years ago


Fair enough on the audiobooks. Like most things on the planet, they’re not for everyone at all times. XD

And the British version of I, Claudius is the one that was shown on Masterpiece Theatre way back when. When it came to showing dramas, PBS was essentially the BBC-America of the seventies and eighties. (Hey, they showed the color Classic Dr. Who back then! 😀 ) And if the Wiki link is anything to go by, there are some decent DVD versions out there. Most recent seems to be 2013, if that helps you any.,_Claudius_(TV_series)

Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

@ redsilkphoenix & valentine

I would also recommend ITV’s six part series The Caesars. Made in the 60s and now somewhat overshadowed by , the excellent, I Clavdivs.

Covers the same ground, but some interestingly different interpretations of the personalities. And just top notch acting all round.

They’re all up on YouTube now.

3 years ago

I’m trained in giving the Wechsler tests for both children and adults, and there are definitely parts on those tests that are very much cultural/socially affected that affect the scores of minority groups. This includes asking “common knowledge” questions such as who created the lightbulb or asking children to identify what’s missing in pictures (one was a plane, another had snow) that would require a child to be familiar with what those scenes would normally have.

3 years ago

I’ve done a few IQ tests in my life and regularly score over 130. I also think IQ tests are a steaming pile that show nothing about how well you’ll do in life. I was an amazing student. I got As without trying. In real life, though, I haven’t really worked since I graduated university due to disabilities, trauma and other issues. I’ve been living in poverty on disability for the last 13 years. So much for all the great advantages of having a high IQ. I would have been better off going into the trades like I considered rather than going to university, but my parents were of the “You must go to university, you can’t waste your potential.” types. Wonder how they would have managed with and adoptee who wasn’t good at school?

Anyway, an anecdata about how IQ tests are completely culturally biased bs, which isn’t even mine but from a book I read by an escapee from one of the many Mormon fundamentalist groups. Her husband decided they were going to build this new home for the group in the jungle in – I believe Brazil, so her and her sister wives and their dozens of children spent over a decade on this isolated compound in the middle of South America eking out an existence and “homeschooling” the children.

A couple of years after coming back to US, she had escaped and put her kids into public school. She gets a call from the school to go in and discovers that they think her youngest child is severely delayed based on…an IQ test. She laughs in their faces and tells them said child is actually her smartest. They act like they think she’s delusional or in denial, so she asks to see the test and what he got wrong. They show her questions about baseball (he’s never seen or heard of it), different kinds of fruits and vegetables (that the child, again has never heard of). Basically the whole test is an example of assumptions that everyone grows up in the US with certain sports, activities and foods and they were using that to “prove” her child was delayed when really, he was just lacking the cultural specifics the test assumed everyone would have.

3 years ago

Man with no scientific training claims to be expert on scientific stuff and refuses to accept criticism regarding glaring methodological issues with research he did not actually do cause he’s smarter than everyone else as proven by a bunch of pattern based puzzles he solved over the course of an hour or two many years ago.

(full disclosure: this is not an argument, just an observation)

1 3 4 5
%d bloggers like this: