Some researchers have claimed that the average IQ of the Irish used to be really low by West European standards but has recently caught up, and this shows that IQ can be raised by improving social conditions.
Russell Warne recently conducted an analysis of 55 samples of 29k Irish examinees, the IQ data collected in various years from 1916 to 2015. The mean was found to be 98.0. As you see in his graph below, there was at most a slight increase in mean IQ over this period. This pattern contradicts the optimistic nurturist view.
A reality-check approach might offer a nice complement to the IQ data. If mean Irish IQ were, say, 85 a century ago, we should not expect Ireland to have produced many eminent scientists.
I will rely on the inventories of significant scientists, mathematicians, and technologists listed in Charles Murray's Human Accomplishment. I will use Scotland, Denmark, Norway, and Finland as comparisons. They are NW European countries with population sizes roughly similar to that of Ireland, and as far as I know, no one has claimed that those countries used to be low-IQ.
You can see from the lists below that Scotland smokes the other countries with 57 significant figures. Pound for pound, Scotland is an impressive country. Denmark is a distant second with 14 eminent men, but Ireland is a close third with 13 significant figures. Norway has 8, and poor Finland only has one. Impressive country but not for its past scientists.
So Ireland falls to the middle of the pack. No reason here to think that the Irish used to be dumb but have only recently improved their intelligence level.
Scotland -- 57 Significant Figures
Denmark -- 14 Significant Figures
Norway -- 8 Significant Figures
Finland -- 1 Significant Figure
Ireland -- 13 Significant Figures
You should adjust this to per capita and realize that some of these eminent people may be in a land but not ethnically native.ReplyDelete
These men flourished in different periods so the denominator of per capita would vary quite a bit. I chose to adjust for this in a rough way by choosing countries not vastly different in pop size. Supposedly, Murray listed country based on where the men were raised.ReplyDelete
There is one Irish name in the Irish list, Kennedy. Fitzgerald is a typical Irish name but the first was the bastard son of a Norman invader (most likely). I think the traditional Gaelic Irish were considerably less intelligent than the English Planters (and still are) but then again, so was everyone else in the world.ReplyDelete
Cochran has written about this before. Eminent Irishmen were almost always of English or Scottish ancestry.ReplyDelete
William Parsons - Englishman, born in York.
John Tyndall - English-decent.
Thomas Andrews - born in Belfast w. Scottish surname.
John Bernal - Irish/Spanish/Portuguese/Italian Jew (mother is a Protestant 'Miller' from Antrim, so might not be Irish anyway).
Adair Crawford - Born in Belfast. Adair is a Scottish surname, Crawford can be Scottish or English. Probably a Scots family.
Francis Beaufort - French Huguenot father, English-descent mother
Edward Sabine - English-descent
George Fitzgerald - Could be a mix? Anglicans. Definitely had some recent English ancestry 'Burtons' and 'Stoneys' as mothers. (Alan Turing's mother was a Stoney)
George Stokes - English-descent.
George Stoney - English-descent.
Ernest Walton - Could be a mix? Walton is an English surname, 'Sinton' mother is Scots. Methodist.
Arthur Kennedy - I don't know who this is. 'Kennedy' is an Irish surname.
Charles Parsons - English-descent.