I have just recieved word via Twitter that English researcher and psychologist Richard Lynn has died peacefully in his sleep, aged 93. Lynn was the last of the OG noticiers and so-called ‘HBD’ scientists who specialised in the study of population psychometry. His perhaps notable work was the controversial IQ and the Wealth of Nations, a book he co-authored with Tatu Vanhanen (father of Matti Vanhanen, former president of Finland) that attempted to estimate the various IQ differences of populations at the national level around the world. While the estimates produced in this work have been disputed to the exact measured degree, it’s unlikely (to the chargin of Lynn’s critics) that they were never not in the correct ballpark.
Like the late Arthur Jensen and Philippe Rushton before him, Lynn was principally a population hereditarian, who largely believed that observed physical and psychological differences between different human populations were mostly the result of human evolution, as opposed to differential cultural or environmental exposures. For this Lynn was persecuted and despised, including by individuals who loudly proclaimed their affinity for the scientific method and free evidential enquiry. Indeed, Lynn was the first person to observe the cognitive differences between Oriential East Asians and European Caucasians (with a roughly 3-5 IQ point gap between these populations in favour of Asians); despite this, his work was still apparently underpinned by his latent white supremacy.
Given the current political climate it’s hard to imagine another person like Richard Lynn can ever come along again. This is unfortunate if it implies many of the hanging issues Lynn outlined can never be definitively resolved, if the current extant body of evidence is not enough to persuade a person they already have. He’ll be remembered by all those who had a penchant for noticing things. I also suspect this will be the only piece of homegrown Australian ‘journalism’ that will mention his passing; Wikipedia hasn’t even updated his article yet. R.I.P.