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HBD Fundamentals

Open_book_2_by_sbmdestockI’ve been meaning to put this page together for some time. Every once in a while, we are faced with the task of explaining (or defending) the fundamentals of Human BioDiversity (HBD), such as genetic inheritance, the reality and significance of IQ, the reality of biological sex and race differences. I often found myself digging up references that demonstrate these basic principles. Now, I’m going to put these basal references in a single, easy follow list.

This is a non-exhaustive list of important reading and videos reviewing the evidence we have for biological human differences. This is the “required reading” so to speak, and is meant to be a fairly quick and dirty introduction for the newcomer to the topic that is also easy to follow and navigate. I will continue to update this list as time goes on.

The next time you’re in a debate with a blank-slatist or other HBD-denier, just point them to this page. 😉

Table of Contents:

1. Start with (key reading)
2. On biological sex differences
3. On the reality of IQ
4. On the science of behavioral genetics
5. On the reality of race
6. On racial differences in IQ and their global impact
7. On the evolution of modern advanced civilized peoples
8. On genetic load
9. On the economic impact of demographic changes (particularly immigration and the Baby Boom in the United States)
10. On racial and ethnic strife, the pull of genetic similarity, and challenges presented by “diversity”

Start with (key reading):

Top of the list: Pinker, Steven (2002). The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. Viking.

Harris, Judith Rich (1998). The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do. Free Press. Revised and Updated edition, 2009.

Harris, Judith Rich (2006). No Two Alike: Human Nature and Human Individuality. W.W. Norton.

Cochran, Gregory & Harpending, Henry (2009). The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution. Basic Books.

Frost, Peter (2011). Human nature or human natures? Futures, 43, 740–748.

Clark, Gregory (2014). The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility. Princeton University Press.

On biological sex differences:

A video of a debate between Steven Pinker and Elizabeth Spelke – Edge: THE SCIENCE OF GENDER AND SCIENCE (2005)

The video from the above site has been removed, but can be found here. The above text contains a transcript of the debate and each presenter’s slides.

This discussion/review of sex differences by Larry Cahill (2014): Equal ≠ The Same: Sex Differences in the Human Brain

Indeed, see much of the rest of Cahill’s work on this.

Ingalhalikar, Madhura, et al. (2013). Sex differences in the structural connectome of the human brain, PNAS 2013

Cahill, Larry (2006). Why sex matters for neuroscience, Nature Reviews Neuroscience | AOP, published online 10 May 2006.

Ruigrok, Amber N.V.; Salimi-Khorshidi, Gholamreza; Lai, Meng-Chuan; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Lombardo, Michael V.; Tait, Roger J.; and Suckling, John (2014). A meta-analysis of sex differences in human brain structure, Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 39, 34-50.

Schmitt, David P. (2003). Universal Sex Differences in the Desire for Sexual Variety: Tests From 52 Nations, 6 Continents, and 13 Islands. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85(1), 85–104.

Schmitt, David P. et al. (2012). A Reexamination of Sex Differences in Sexuality: New Studies Reveal Old Truths. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 21(2), 135–139.

Schmitt, David P. (2013). When Is a Sex Difference Real? | Psychology Today

Browne, Kingsley R. (2013). Biological Sex Differences in the Workplace: Reports of the End of Men are Greatly Exaggerated (As Are Claims of Women’s Continued Inequality). Boston University Law Review, Forthcoming. Wayne State University Law School Research Paper No. 2013-04.

Borkenau, P., Hřebíčková, M., Kuppens, P., Realo, A. and Allik, J. (2013), Sex Differences in Variability in Personality: A Study in Four Samples. Journal of Personality, 81, 49–60.

This video interview with Kay Hymowitz, The Plight of the Alpha Female:

Also this article by Kay Hymowitz (2013):

Think Again: Working Women – By Kay Hymowitz – Foreign Policy

Sommers, Christina Hoff (2013). Lessons from a feminist paradise on Equal Pay Day – Society and Culture – AEI

Sommers, Christina Hoff (2013). What ‘Lean In’ Misunderstands About Gender Differences – The Atlantic

Lemos, Gina C.; Abad, Francisco J.; Almeida, Leandro S.; and Colom, Robert (2013). Sex differences on g and non-g intellectual performance reveal potential sources of STEM discrepancies. Intelligence 41(1), 11-18.

(2011) Sex differences in the Brain: Fact or Fiction?: A video lecture by Margaret M. McCarthy that goes into great depth about the evidence for human and non-human animal sex differences in the brain and behavior (see starting at 28:09 for humans).

And of course, Harald Eia’s Brainwash episode on gender.

On the reality of IQ:

This talk by Steve Hsu:

Also see these blog posts by Steve Hsu:

Information Processing: Horsepower matters; psychometrics works (2009)
Information Processing: Do advanced education and a challenging career make you smarter? (2009)

Information Processing: Life impacts of personality and intelligence (2014)

More on the predictive validity of IQ, see this essay:

Murray, Charles (1997). IQ and economic success. The Public Interest, Summer 1997, 21-35

On the central importance of g to many aspects of life:

Gottfredson, Linda S. (1997). “Why g matters: The Complexity of Everyday Life.” Intelligence 24

On the science of behavioral genetics:

See these key papers on behavioral genetics:

Bouchard, Thomas. J. and McGue, Matt (2003), Genetic and environmental influences on human psychological differences. J. Neurobiol., 54: 4–45.

Bouchard, Thomas J. (2004),  Genetic Influence on Human Psychological Traits A survey. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13(4): 148-151

Bouchard, Thomas J. (2008). Genes and Human Psychological Traits. In Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence, and Stephen Stich (Eds.), The Innate Mind, Volume 3: Foundations and the Future (69-89). Oxford University Press.

See this key defense against popular criticisms of behavioral genetics and a review of the evidence underlying the solidity of its methods:

Barnes, J.C.; Wright, John Paul; Boutwell, Brian B.; Schwartz, Joseph A.; Connoly, Eric J.; Nedelec, Joseph L.; and Beaver, Kevin M. (2014), Demonstrating the Validity of Twin Research in Criminology. Criminology.

Steger, Michael F.; Hicks, Brian M.; Kashdan, Todd B.; Krueger, Robert F.; Bouchard Jr., Thomas J. (2007). Genetic and environmental influences on the positive traits of the values in action classification, and biometric covariance with normal personality. Journal of Research in Personality, 41(3), 524-539.

On the impact of genetics on IQ:

Plomin, Robert and Deary, Ian J. (2014) Genetics and intelligence differences: five special findings. Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication 16 September 2014

(2013) The Genetics of Intelligence « Meng Hu’s Blog

On the genetic contributions to economic success, including the role of IQ, and the lack of effects of the family environment on such (i.e., parents):

Essays on genetic variation and economic behavior – Cesarini, D. A. (2010). Essays on genetic variation and economic behavior. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from DSpace@MIT. (

Hyytinen, Ari; Ilmakunnas, Pekka; Johansson, Edvard; and Toivanen, Otto (2013). Heritability of Lifetime Income. Helsinki Center of Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 364

Visscher PM, Medland SE, Ferreira MAR, Morley KI, Zhu G, et al. (2006) Assumption-Free Estimation of Heritability from Genome-Wide Identity-by-Descent Sharing between Full Siblings. PLoS Genet 2(3): e41.

Davies, G., Tenesa, A., Payton, A., Yang, J., Harris, S. E., Liewald, D., … Deary, I. J. (2011). Genome-wide association studies establish that human intelligence is highly heritable and polygenic. Molecular Psychiatry, 16(10), 996–1005.

Plomin, Robert et al. (2013). Common DNA Markers Can Account for More Than Half of the Genetic Influence on Cognitive AbilitiesPsychological Science, April 2013, 24(4) 562-568.

Trzaskowski, Maciej; Harlaar, Nicole; Arden, Rosalind; Krapohl, Eva; Rimfeld, Kaili; McMillan, Andrew; Dale, Philip S.; and Plomin, Robert. (2013) Genetic influence on family socioeconomic status and children’s intelligence. Intelligence, 42, 83-86.

Verweij, K. J. H., Yang, J., Lahti, J., Veijola, J., Hintsanen, M., Pulkki-Råback, L., … Zietsch, B. P. (2012). Maintenance of genetic variation in human personality: Testing evolutionary models by estimating heritability due to common causal variants and investigating the effect of distant inbreeding. Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution, 66(10), 3238–3251.

Also see this wonderful and comprehensive review of the heritability of brain structure and the relationship between this structure and IQ:

Strike, Lachlan T.; Couvy-Duchesne, Baptiste; Hansell, Narelle K.; Cuellar-Partida, Gabriel; Medland, Sarah E.; and Wright, Margaret J. (2015) Genetics and Brain Morphology, Neuropsychology Review, March, 14, 2015.

And of course, my own blog posts on the matter:

All Human Behavioral Traits are Heritable
Taming the “Tiger Mom” and Tackling the Parenting Myth
Environmental Hereditarianism
The Son Becomes The Father
More Behavioral Genetic Facts

As well as Harald Eia’s Brainwash episode “The Parental Effect

On the reality of race:

These five key blog posts by Steve Hsu:

(2008) Information Processing: “No scientific basis for race”
(2008) Information Processing: Human genetic variation, Fst and Lewontin’s fallacy in pictures
(2012) Information Processing: Rare variants and human genetic diversity
(2013) Information Processing: Learning can hurt
(2014) Information Processing: What’s New Since Montagu?

These papers describing some of the genetic processes used, particularly principal component analysis (PCA):

Price, Alkes L.; Reich, David (2006). Population Structure and Eigenanalysis. PLOS Genetics.
McVean, Gil (2009). A Genealogical Interpretation of Principal Components Analysis. PLOS: Genetics.

These blog posts by Peter Frost:
(2011) Evo and Proud: Apples, oranges, and genes
(2012) Evo and Proud: Trans-species polymorphisms

As well as these two by Greg Cochran:

(2012) Lewontin’s argument | West Hunter
(2014) Phenotypes vs genetic statistics | West Hunter

And this post by Razib Khan:

(2013) Why race as a biological construct matters | Gene Expression

This video of racial differences in newborn behavior:

Cross-Cultural Differences in Newborn Behavior
Discussed in Freedman, Daniel G. (1979). Human Sociobiology: A Holistic ApproachFree Press.

Also see: Kagan, Jerome, & Snidman, Nancy C. (2004). The long shadow of temperament. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press.

And also see my own blog post:

How Much Hard Evidence Do You Need?

And of course, Harald Eia’s Brainwash episode on Race.

On racial differences in IQ and their global impact:

Rushton, J. Philippe and Jensen, Arthur R. (2010). Race and IQ: A Theory-Based Review of the Research in Richard Nisbett’s Intelligence and How to Get It. The Open Psychology Journal, 3, 9-35.

On the effect of poverty and socioeconomic status on IQ (there isn’t one) and said explanations for racial gaps, this blog post:

(2013) The Unsilenced Science: Black Suits, Gowns, & Skin: SAT Scores by Income, Education, & Race

Rushton, J. Philippe & Jensen, Arthur R.  (2010). The rise and fall of the Flynn Effect as a reason to expect a narrowing of the Black-White IQ gap. Intelligence, 38, 213-219

Nijenhuis, J., & van der Flier, H. (2013). Is the Flynn effect on g?: A meta-analysis, Intelligence

Nijenhuisa, Jan te; Jongeneel-Grimenb, Birthe; & Armstrong, Elijah L. (2015). Are adoption gains on the g factor? A meta-analysis, Personality and Individual Differences 73, 50-60.

Gottfredson, Linda S. (2007). Shattering Logic to Explain the Flynn Effect. Cato Unbound.

Lynn, Richard and Tatu Vanhanen. (2002). IQ and the Wealth of NationsPraeger/Greenwood.

Lynn, Richard (2008). The Global Bell Curve: Race, IQ, and Inequality Worldwide. Washington Summit Publishers.

Lynn, Richard and Tatu Vanhanen, (2012). Intelligence: A Unifying Construct for the Social Sciences.

Also see this blog post by Jason Malloy (2006):

Gene Expression: A World of Difference: Richard Lynn Maps World Intelligence

Also see the ongoing discussion over at Human Varieties

Also these posts by La Griffe du Lion:

(2002) The Smart Fraction Theory of IQ and the Wealth of Nations
(2004) Smart Fraction Theory II: Why Asians Lag

Rindermann, Heiner (2007). The g-factor of international cognitive ability comparisons: the homogeneity of results in PISA, TIMSS, PIRLS and IQ-tests across nations. European Journal of Personality 21, 667-706.

Rindermann, Heiner; Sailer, Michael; and Thompson, James (2009). The impact of smart fractions, cognitive ability of politicians and average competences of peoples on social development. Talent Development & Excellence 1 (1), 3-25.

Christainsen, Gregory B (2013). IQ and the wealth of nations: How much reverse causality? Intelligence 41, 688-698.

On the evolution of modern advanced civilized peoples:

Clark, Gregory (2007). A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the WorldPrinceton University Press.

Frost, Peter (2008). Sexual selection and human geographic variation, Special Issue: Proceedings of the 2nd Annual Meeting of the NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society. Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, 2(4),169-191

Frost, Peter (2010). The Roman State and genetic pacification, Evolutionary Psychology, 8(3), 376-389.

Frost, Peter and Harpending, Henry (2015). Western Europe, State Formation, and Genetic Pacification, Evolutionary Psychology, 13(1), 230-243.

Harpending, Henry (2012). Genetics and the Historical Decline of Violence? | West Hunter

Frost, Peter (2013). Evo and Proud: Making Europeans kinder, gentler

Frost, Peter (2013). Evo and Proud: Where do those tensions come from?

Unz, Ron (2013). How Social Darwinism Made Modern China | The American Conservative

Cochran, Gregory; Hardy, Jason; & Harpending, Henry (2006). Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence. Journal of Biosocial Science 38, 1-35

Also see these blog posts by Peter Frost (2013):

East Asia’s Farewell to Alms
Does the Clark-Unz model apply to Japan and Korea?
Final thoughts on the Clark-Unz model

Fischer, David Hackett (1989). Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America. Oxford University Press

Woodard, Colin (2011). American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America. Viking Adult.

And of course, the work of HBD Chick:

start here | hbd* chick
clannishness defined | hbd* chick
big summary post on the hajnal line | hbd* chick
the middle ages « hbd* chick (2011)
year-end summary, 2011 | hbd* chick
outbreeding, self-control and lethal violence | hbd* chick
2012 top ten | hbd* chick
historic european homicide rates … and the hajnal line | hbd* chick
medieval manorialism’s selection pressures | hbd chick

In addition to my own summaries of her work:

An HBD Summary of the Foundations of Modern Civilization
How Inbred are Europeans?

And about the regional “cultures” of North America (for example, liberal New England vs. the conservative Deep South), see my series on the matter:

A Tentative Ranking of the Clannishness of the “Founding Fathers”
Sound Familiar?
The Cavaliers
Flags of the American Nations
Maps of the American Nations
Rural White Liberals – a Key to Understanding the Political Divide
More Maps of the American Nations

On genetic load:

First, be sure to see these blog posts by Greg Cochran on West Hunter (2012):

Get Smart
More thoughts on genetic load
The genetics of stupidity
The Golden Age


Keller, Matthew C., & Miller, Geoffery (2006). Resolving the paradox of common, harmful, heritable mental disorders: Which evolutionary genetic models work best? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28, 285-452.

On the economic impact of demographic changes (particularly immigration and the Baby Boom in the United States):

Blog posts by Peter Turchin (2013):

The End of Prosperity: Why Did Real Wages Stop Growing in the 1970s?
Cutting through the Thicket of Economic Forces (Why Real Wages Stopped Growing II)
A Proxy for Non-Market Forces (Why Real Wages Stopped Growing III)
Putting It All Together (Why Real Wages Stopped Growing IV)
More on Labor Supply (Why Real Wages Stopped Growing V)

This post by Dennis Mangan (2012):

Spot the Correlation: Wealth vs. Immigration

On racial and ethnic strife, the pull of genetic similarity, and challenges presented by “diversity”:

Putnam, Robert D. (2007). E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century — The 2006 Johan Skytte Prize. Scandinavian Political Studies, 30(2), 137-174

Also, on that note, see this ranking of the most peaceful U.S. states, in which, Maine (see HBD Chick here) consistently tops out at #1!

United States Peace Index « Vision of Humanity

Krupp, D.B., Debruine, L.M., Jones, B.C., and Lalumiere, M.L. (2012) Kin recognition: evidence that humans can perceive both positive and negative relatedness. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 25 (8). pp. 1472-1478.

Also see

Also see this much more comprehensive list of research supporting human biodiversity here:

Human BioDiversity Reading List:


Leave a Comment
  1. Curious Guy / Jun 15 2020 4:51 PM

    This post was from 2013. Surely more interesting evidence and work has arisen since then. Are you able to update this post with the latest findings?

    • JayMan / Jun 15 2020 4:52 PM

      Following me on Twitter is your best bet. Unless you’re going to pay for me to have the time.


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