A conversation with Davide Piffer, for American Renaissance

laurea   Davide Piffer is an evolutionary anthropologist. He obtained his BA in Anthropology from the University of Bologna and a Master of Science in Evolutionary Anthropology from Durham University. His Master’s thesis was on the sexual selection of sleep patterns among humans, and was the first to link mating behavior to chronotype within an evolutionary framework. His research effort later moved to quantitative genetics (i.e. twin studies), when he published one of the first accounts on the heritability of creative achievement. In 2013 he moved to molecular genetics, focusing on the polygenic evolution of educational abilities and intelligence and this is still his main focus. Within this research area, his main finding is that ethnic differences in intelligence are explained by thousands of genetic variants that predict cognitive abilities within populations. He has published a book of poems.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: You have made a well-known attempt to provide a theoretical framework within which creativity—in science, philosophy, technology, music, mathematics, or literature—may be defined more precisely and measured. Could you present us your theory as it stands?

  Davide Piffer: Creativity is not a single cognitive function or ability. Hence, it is not possible to measure creativity with paper and pencil or computer tests, unlike for example intelligence, or working memory. Creativity is the capacity to generate creative products, that is, scientific theories, poems, paintings, sculptures, inventions that are novel and useful or meaningful. Hence, the only way to measure a person’s creativity is via one’s creativity output (i.e. achievement) which is the sum of creative products over an individual’s (or society/ race) lifespan. A lot of cognitive abilities contribute to creativity, and in my seminal paper (Piffer, 2012), I argued that the widespread use by researchers of divergent thinking as the sole measure of creativity is a mistake. In fact, there are many cognitive and personality predictors of creative achievement besides divergent thinking, including IQ or general mental ability, working memory, openness to experience and non-clinical schizophrenic tendencies (i.e. “shizotypy” to use the psychiatrist’s jargon). Hypomania, or the tendency to feel positive emotions, has been linked to creativity, as well as bipolar disorder. All of these factors constitute what I call “cognitive potential”.

  Divergent thinking (DT) is actually an important cognitive function which has been confined to creativity research. However it would benefit other areas of psychology as well. My opinion is that it would be better to regard DT as a form of intelligence, and to include divergent thinking measures in psychometric batteries and standardized intelligence tests (i.e. WAIS). Since psychometrically it is correlated to general cognitive ability but it taps into different neurological substrates, it would provide a more complete picture of one’s mental power, possibly less tied to academic intelligence and more to artistic or daily-life accomplishments.

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A conversation with Richard Storey, for The Council of European Canadians

2gsjgnRrABUb4zYhgrB2BPEdMRNiHnWu8cSAeH6Pk1prKVACUsqDy9xYCGfpGpThi4tJo1w5Fq4Bi7VpwdSVdyfCyL3bggPDkvzzsdJmJVXKggXiCe  Richard Storey LL.M is a Catholic traditionalist, sometimes described as a medieval libertarian. His writing spans law, history, theology, and cultural criticism, and he is the author of The Uniqueness of Western Law: A Reactionary Manifesto. He lives in England with his wife and three children.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: Ayn Rand’s notion that scientific racism is the worst form of collectivism has virtually reached the whole libertarian spectrum. How do you conciliate libertarian individualism and race consciousness?

  Richard Storey: Well, at once we need to first understand what we mean by libertarian. Most libertarians would believe they are libertarians because they are Austrian economists or because they are extremely individualistic, I would say, “hyper-individualistic”. That is not libertarianism. Libertarianism is only a theory of law, that’s it. What kind of law is that?  Well, it is the rule of law – a deontological theory of law. The law rules above everyone. The law is king of kings, if you want to put it that way. And so I think most libertarians do not even understand what the word means themselves.

  So, where does this more modern, secular libertarianism, which we are more familiar with, come from? It emerged from an Anglo-liberal, classical liberal background, inspired by figures like John Locke. It is very individualistic, of course, as anyone with a passing knowledge of Ayn Rand can see full well. And yet, even figures like Murray Rothbard, Jeff Deist, who is of course the current President of the Mises Institute, recognize and speak very openly about the necessity of family and of the groups into which we are born; they speak about culture, they speak about religion, and of course nationality – your territorial, ethnic group if you like. That is something you are born into as much as your family, your immediate family. Or at least it used to be.

  Of course, in cities, in the artificial environments we have been created for the past 2000 years, the situation is very different. Your family, or what you might call your family might just be a group of loose friends that you have, maybe who you meet at the café, or some people you see at work and, really, you do not have a great deal of interaction in your community, in your neighbourhood. So, many libertarians are now realising, through my writings, those of Frank van Dun and Hans-Hermann Hoppe, that the former intermediary institutions and communities between the individual and the state, which formed medieval society, were essential in preventing the rise of centralised, coercive states among European civilisations.

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A conversation with Richard Lynn, for American Renaissance

Richard-Lynn Richard Lynn is an English psychologist and author. A former professor emeritus of psychology at Ulster University and assistant editor of the journal Mankind Quarterly, Prof. Lynn is perhaps the world’s foremost proponent of eugenics. He is also well known for his studies of racial differences in intelligence. Many of his books have been reviewed at American Renaissance.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: When assessing both your personal and intellectual lifetime retrospectively, what may have been your equivalent of Isaac Newton’s Annus Mirabilis—namely the year 1666 when he theorized the law of universal gravitation after he allegedly saw an apple falling—; or Albert Einstein’s one… namely the year 1905 when he published his four papers in Annalen der Physik shaking the notions of space, time, mass, and energy?

  Richard Lynn: It was in 1977 when I discovered that the intelligence of the Japanese was 3 IQ points higher than that of white Americans. Hitherto, virtually all discussions of race differences in intelligence had been concerned with the problem of why white Americans and British had higher IQs than other peoples, and this was generally attributed to the tests being biased in their favor. My discovery about the Japanese set me thinking about whether other Northeast Asian peoples (Chinese and Koreans) have higher IQs that Europeans. I began collecting studies on this and found that they did.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: The 2005 review by Rushton and Jensen on race and cognitive ability had a huge impact and has now over 500 citations. What are more recent discoveries—in life history theory, cognitive psychology, sociobiology, or evolutionary anthropology—that you feel should be documented?

  Richard Lynn: I regard the most important to be what I have called “the cold winters theory” to explain the evolution of race differences in intelligence. The theory explains the relation between the IQs of the races and the coldness of the winters. Thus, the Northeast Asians had to survive the coldest winters and evolved the highest IQs (105) followed by the Europeans (100), North Africans and South Asians (84) and sub-Saharan Africans (70). I first proposed this theory in 1991 and it has become widely accepted.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: You make no secret that you worry about “dysgenic immigration” and the great replacement with which both the white race and national IQs are threatened in the West. What is the current extent of the danger?

  Richard Lynn: In 2016 Rindermann & Thompson have calculated that the intelligence of immigrants in all European countries is lower by an average 6 IQ points than that of indigenous populations. Further data confirming this conclusion for a number of economically developed countries have been reported by Woodley of Menie, Peñnaherrera-Aguire, Fernandes & Figueredo in 2017.

  It can be anticipated that in the decades that lie ahead migrants from sub-Saharan Africa will continue to try to get into Europe. There has been a huge increase of the population in sub-Saharan Africa from approximately 230 million in 1960 to approximately one billion in 2018 and it will likely continue to grow. There are high rates of unemployment and poverty throughout sub-Saharan Africa that are likely to continue and inevitably large numbers will seek a better life in Europe and many will succeed.

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A conversation with Gerhard Meisenberg, for Psych

Gerhard Meisenberg is a retired professor of biochemistry who lives in the Caribbean island nation of Dominica. Originally from Germany, he studied at the universities of Bochum and Munich where he obtained his Ph.D. in biology. He then did biochemistry research in the United States for three years, before joining the faculty at Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica. He worked in Dominica from 1984 until the end of 2018. He became known as the senior author of a major textbook of medical biochemistry that has so far been printed in four editions. In addition, he embarked on research in educational research and psychometrics. His special interest is in secular trends of intelligence (Flynn effects), which he studied in Dominica.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: You are best known for your textbook Principles of Medical Biochemistry as well as your evolutionary psychology treatise In God’s Image: The Natural History of Intelligence and Ethics. How do you move from the former to the latter?

  Gerhard Meisenberg: Biochemistry and the study of human behavior both are part of biology, although at slightly different levels. Psychology is one step down in the “hierarchy of sciences”: more complex, and less precise. What attracted me to human behavior are the big questions about why humans are the way they are, how they got that way, and what it means for our ongoing evolution. As Theodosius Dobzhansky famously said, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” I realized that the “big picture” of human history cannot be understood without an understanding of the ongoing evolution of the value systems that determine what aims people pursue and the intelligence that determines how good they are at attaining these aims. Neither of these are etched in stone. They keep evolving, both culturally and biologically.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: A short while ago you co-wrote an article on sex differences in intelligence with Professor Richard Lynn. Could you remind us of the outlines of your perspective on this subject conducive to arousing hysteria?

  Gerhard Meisenberg: There was actually a big debate about sex differences in the journal Mankind Quarterly, where contributors exposed the different views in the field. Briefly, there are those who hold that in modern Western societies there are no sex differences in intelligence that are big enough to have any real-world importance. James Flynn defended this position. The second view is represented by Richard Lynn, who claims that boys and girls start out pretty equal, but from the age of about 15 males gain an advantage over females because their mental as well as physical growth continues to an older age. Lynn estimates that adult men score 3 to 5 IQ points higher than women, which is a very small difference. He thinks that together with a higher male standard deviation, this is sufficient to explain male dominance in many intellectual fields. Then there are those, including myself, who emphasize that males and females have different strengths and weaknesses. For example, males have an up to one standard deviation (15 IQ points) advantage in mechanical reasoning, but females come out on top in tests of emotional intelligence and of verbal and episodic memory. There isn’t a huge amount of disagreement among scientists who study these sex differences. It’s a matter of emphasis.

  Another thing to consider is that sex differences in some non-cognitive traits are much bigger than those in measured intelligence. Some aspects of vocational preferences have sex differences of at least one standard deviation, although this depends much on the way the differences are measured and analyzed. Perhaps the reason why women have lower mechanical comprehension is not that they are innately deficient in this kind of reasoning, but that they have zero interest in the workings of gears and pulleys. Therefore they never bother to develop the ability to understand these things.

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