Stefan Molyneux, Race and IQ – quackery?

Stefan Molyneux is a conservative Canadian podcaster and YouTuber who is known for his promotion of Race and IQ theories. Others have called it scientific racism and white supremacist views.

The Independent described Molyneux as having a perverse fixation on race and IQ (intelligence based on genetics), and as Molyneux often says, is the major contributor to understanding the differences in culture and their success – or lack of success. News Forecasters asks, is this Race and IQ theory promoted by Stefan Molyneux and others, quackery? And what implications does it have for our future?

Few dispute that there are differences in race and IQ – the question is whether it is nature or nurture (here is a view of IQ by country). If the differences are nature (i.e., genetics), this would justify racism if we want to live in a merit-based society. If the differences are nurture, then one would need to examine the environmental racism that caused this.

There has been much research done (here is one) on whether IQ is nature or nurture. Here is another that suggests that nature has little to do with IQ. The reality is that it is a bit of both. After researching various studies News Forecasters estimates the consensus is that IQ obtained from nature is between 20 to 40%, though some would disagree. The point here is that it is for sure, IQ is not 100% nature – Molyneux would probably agree.

Molyneux goes on and sets up a staw model that says, to be a star basketball player, one needs to have a minimum genetic height, or they will never be successful as a basketball player – Molyneux then extrapolates this onto being a successful human needing a minimum IQ. This extrapolation is a gross exaggeration from a singular fit for purpose best of class objective onto a very complex purpose of being a successful human, let alone a race.

IQ is not the only “value” needed to be successful. There are other “value” qualities, as well. One could use the same Molyneux straw model to claim another “value” other than IQ is just as needed. For example, to be a star artist, one would need a lot of innovation skills not necessarily related to IQ. Though it may be true that IQ and innovation may both score high on “star” level people, when getting into “median” level people, low IQ can be made up with high innovation skills. So we really need to look at all “values,” not just IQ.

So what are these other “values?” There has been a lot of work done on developing value frameworks that demonstrate this – here, here and here are just a few. News Forecasters put on its thinking cap and asked, what would be a grouping (or framework) of all needed “values” to be successful that are of equal “value?” Of course, this is News Forecasters’ opinion, but it is not far from what others have derived – see inset chart. The following is the description of the four general equal “value” areas of our value framework:

  • Interpersonal (25%) – are the behaviors and tactics a person uses to interact with others effectively. The term refers to a person’s ability to work well with others. Interpersonal skills range from organizational skills, communication, listening, and the ability to see/act with social cues.
  • Character (25%) – skills here refer to the ability to self-motivate, have wisdom, emotional balance, common sense, take appropriate risks, leadership, ambition, work ethic, and moral behavior.
  • Innovation (25%) – skills refer to the talent of creating and exploiting new ideas for the purpose of gaining value.
  • IQ (25%) – the capacity for logic, analysis, understanding, learning, knowledge, reasoning, and problem-solving skills.

Hence when looking at the News Forecasters value framework, taking an IQ test and measuring nature’s IQ would be looking at best, at 10% of the entire requirements needed to be successful. Deviations within this 10% could easily be made up with other nature “values” and/or using nurture. Hence, Molyneux is grossly exaggerating the role of race and IQ – I will let you ponder why he does this.

You might think this “primarily singular nature” view, is only the domain of far right-wing folks. Left-wing people do it too. Today many are attributing sexual behavior as 100% genetic – nurture has nothing to do with it. It is the basis of many LGBTQ civil rights. These beliefs can have equally devastating results in society. Unfortunately, with the rise of genetic studies, even gene-editing technologies, these types of extreme views may become more commonplace. News Forecasters will have more on this in future articles.

A video presentation of this subject:

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