#IQ Part 4: What’s Race Got To Do With Intelligence? Nothing.

In The Bell Curve Murray and Herrnstein found a correlation between race and I.Q. scores; white people generally have higher I.Q. scores than black people. Some people used the data to support their racist views and some other people buried their heads in the sand and refused to address the controversy.

Mixed Mental Arts agrees: There is a correlation between race and I.Q. scores. A correlation that is as meaningful as the one between Nicolas Cage movies and the rate of swimming pool drownings.

It’s absolutely happening, but it means absolutely nothing.


Here’s the real deal.

If you look at a sample of I.Q. scores you will see that yes, there is a correlation between race and I.Q. disparities. But if you widen that sample out you will also see a disparity across generations. Remember I.Q. scores have increased across the board about 30 points since 1815, meaning the increase is the same for whites and blacks. Race cannot explain the “Flynn Effect”.

In fact, according to Joe Henrich “…the racial categories developed historically by Europeans— such as Caucasian, Negroid, and Mongoloid— do not convey or contain much, if any, useful genetic information…”

Unfortunately, The Bell Curve is passed off as legitimate science because most people haven’t yet been exposed to the gospels of the Holy Trinity of Cultural Evolution.


Humanity’s superpower is our ability to learn from each other. We blindly download culture through Awe-motion.

Think about it. Everything you do, the way you talk and dress and even what you believe, is because you blindly copied a culture from the people around you. Like it or not culture drove A LOT of your choices in school.

If you’re black in America the chance that you downloaded white redneck culture and its low opinion of education is pretty high, according to Thomas Sowell in his book Black Rednecks and White Liberals.

The thought that black people copied culture from white people might make you feeeel uncomfortable or angry. Let’s sort through those feelings. Avoiding a discussion on culture has allowed race-based thinking on I.Q. to continue. It ends now.


Despite holding onto a few elements, Africans who were enslaved and brought to America were robbed of their authentic culture.

People can’t live culture-less so the African slaves OVERWHELMINGLY picked up on the culture of their enslavers, namely rednecks, because it’s what they were exposed to. Anyone can see that the culture of Southern whites and Southern blacks (including those who have since moved North) is nearly the same. They talk the same, eat the same foods, and have many of the same attitudes. In fact, if you read Hillbilly Elegy and The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace side by side you’ll notice a lot of the same patterns.

Both J.D. Vance and Robert Peace were raised in cultures that did not consider education a manly or worthy enterprise. J.D. Vance was lucky enough to find the support he needed; Robert Peace wasn’t able to and ended up dead.



Sowell painstakingly lays out these matching cultural patterns.

So does Saturday Night Live.


If you stop looking at I.Q. scores based on skin color but instead based on culture things make a lot more sense.


Sowell’s book is how you end racism. The examples defy the narrative of race by comparing people whose ancestors went through the experience of slavery in the American South with people whose ancestors went through the experience of slavery in the West Indies (Caribbean). Both groups are black-skinned and have ancestors from the same parts of Africa. The only distinction is culture. These cultural differences drive very different behaviors and very different outcomes. The people of West Indian descent massively out preform black rednecks in employment and income success.

The reason The Bell Curve found a meaningless correlation between race and I.Q. is because most black people in America are descended from slaves whose culture was stolen from them and in response they downloaded redneck culture. White Americans have a more diverse history of coming to America and therefore are statistically less likely to be rednecks.


“With blacks as with whites, the redneck culture has been a less achieving culture. Moreover, that culture has affected a higher proportion of the black population than of the white population, since only about one-third of all whites lived in the antebellum South, while nine-tenths of all blacks did.”—Thomas Sowell


Confusing race for culture is what happens when you see banana hammocks.


Black Rednecks and White Liberals is not only a critique of rednecks. All of American culture has contributed to this harmful dysfunction. To change that and raise the collective I.Q. a lot, America’s many cultures must learn from each other. No gene editing required.

Once you understand that educational performance comes down to cultural differences, you have a playbook for how to improve and fix a lot of basic things. Believing race influences I.Q. leaves no such options.

If this presentation of the evidence against what you’ve been told or believed brings up feeeelings then take some time to Think Slow.

We’ll wait. We’ll even help you sort your feeeelings out as best we can. Unlike some people (Hint: Name rhymes with Dam Tarris) Mixed Mental arts understands the relevant biology regarding intelligence, but we don’t pretend to be experts on anyone’s emotional experience. So tell us yours.

Mixed Mental Arts is offering humanity the chance to raise I.Q. faster than any previous group of humans in history regardless of what culture they started from. And we want you to help us.

There’s no time to waste.

Read Part 5 here.


[This piece is part of a larger science-off between Derek Zoolander (Sam Harris) and Hansel (Hunter Maats). In the first three parts, we covered the hijacking of the I.Q. Test, how humanity’s superpower has caused I.Q. scores to go up 30 points in the last 200 years and how much race tells us about genetics.]


Right after being born in Saudi Arabia, I was taken to the Callen house. Since then, Bryan and I have travelled the world with our Citibank fathers and somehow ended up in LA together. There we'd run into each other at family gatherings and do something that no one else in LA seemed to be doing: we talked about books. Since Bryan was kind of a big deal, Hunter and Bryan hatched a scheme to use his podcast to get on their favorite authors and professors. Out of that evolved Mixed Mental Arts and this tribe. For me, the marriage of entertainment and education is a return to how things used to be before our culture split story into two separate things. It's exciting to be able to build on the work Katie O'Brien and I did for The Straight-A Conspiracy and expand it out to every area of life. While I play a series of roles in the Mixed Mental Arts community (including Shitty Dutch Uncle and Bryan's #1 fan) my favorite role is as Toto who pulls back the curtain and let's the world see that there are no wizards...only men and women who try and puff themselves up to seem important.

One Comment

  1. Abu Reply

    Please read. Here is an observation on Sam Harris and race IQ :

    Think about a scenario. Take 1000 newborn children from 9th century London and raise them under best parents of 10th century Baghdad or Cordova. Compare these 1000 English young adults IQ with another 1000 young adults IQ of natives in Baghdad. Natives of Baghdad or Cordova would score much higher than English children. Because of ancestry (not race) factor thats helping natives of Baghdad or Cordova whose immediate ancestors have been driven, successful and incrementally more educated for generations. Ashkenazi Jews were never successful, its was mostly Semitic Jews (Sephardic). They became extremely successful if they strived for success for generations and this creased their overall IQ. The similar culture you can find among Chinese / Korean parents who push their children to the limit for generations and they strived to become more successful for generations which evetually made them successful. Or if you take Nobel prize winners most of them had generations super educated parents, grand parents or great grand parents. If Black middle class strive for success for generations, ancestry factor will add value and within centuries they can become the new Ashkenazi Jews. The best example would be Barack Obama, whose father was Harvard alumni and this added value to Obamas high IQ, not unsuccessful mother’s gene.

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