Psilocybin, IQ, and the Stoned Ape Hypothesis

A while back, I wrote a post discussing the potential for psychedelics to increase intelligence. There are many reasons this is of particular interest. For one, we have been looking for an “IQ pill” for a long time now with no luck. The main choices are nootropics like modafinil, Adderall, etc. Unfortunately, these don’t seem to work too well. Second, there are obvious benefits to a higher IQ, particularly in the labor market (Gwern, 2016; Strenze, 2015; Salgado and Moscoso, 2019). Third, as I will talk about shortly, even a very small, but significant increase in intelligence due to psilocybin may have some interesting implications for the so-called Stoned Ape hypothesis.

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On Single Motherhood and Crime

So, the most popular option offered by conservatives to explain race differences in crime or criminology in general is single motherhood. Some popular pundits who expunge this theory are Larry Elder, Thomas Sowell, and Charlie Kirk. Overall, this theory is strongly flawed.

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What is the proper interpretation of the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study?

The Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study was a long project dedicated to directly measuring the influence of shared environment on the racial gaps in intelligence. The original paper about it came out in 1976 and the authors hypothesized that socialization in favorable environments would significantly reduce the racial gap in IQ (Scarr and Weinberg, 1976). At that point, the data did suggest an environmentalist hypothesis regarding race differences, however it was revisited by the authors in 1992, an event which caused much more controversy regarding the results. While the authors still supported an environmentalist position (Weinberg et al., 1992), their data brought a number of replies. In this post, I am going to summarize the main arguments used by the authors and review the replies as well as the authors’ responses to those replies.

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The Black Plague and European Intelligence

In this post, I want to detail some evidence as to how the ‘Black’ plague or bubonic plague caused a change in European genetic makeup, particularly that concerning intelligence. A few years ago, a study made mainstream news showing that Europeans have less susceptibility to HIV, and generally have stronger immune systems than before, because of the black plague (Laayouni et al., 2014). Now, that finding is not actually the focus of this post, but it allows the ideas within the post to become more realistic.

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