Richard Lynn

Date of Birth: 

For 50 years, Richard Lynn has been at the forefront of scientific racism. An unapologetic eugenicist, Lynn uses his authority as professor (emeritus) of psychology at the University of Ulster to argue for the genetic inferiority of non-white people. Lynn believes that IQ tests can be used to determine the worth of groups of people, especially racial groups and nations. The wealth and power of nations, according to Lynn, is due to their racial intelligence and “homogeneity” (or “purity”). He argues that the nations with the highest IQs must subjugate or eliminate the lower-IQ groups within their borders in order to preserve their dominance.

In his own words:
“I am deeply pessimistic about the future of the European peoples because mass immigration of third world peoples will lead to these becoming majorities in the United States and westernmost Europe during the present century. I think this will mean the destruction of European civilization in these countries.”
—Interview with neo-Nazi Alex Kurtagic, 2011
"I think the only solution lies in the breakup of the United States. Blacks and Hispanics are concentrated in the Southwest, the Southeast and the East, but the Northwest and the far Northeast, Maine, Vermont and upstate New York have a large predominance of whites. I believe these predominantly white states should declare independence and secede from the Union. They would then enforce strict border controls and provide minimum welfare, which would be limited to citizens. If this were done, white civilisation would survive within this handful of states.”
—Undated interview with fascist magazine Right NOW!
"Only one conclusion is possible… . [T]he broad picture is clear and inescapable: at some point in the foreseeable future the white British people will become a minority in these islands, and whites will likewise become minorities throughout the economically developed nations of European peoples. As the proportion of non-Europeans grows in Europe and in the United States (and also in Canada and Australia) and eventually become majorities, the intelligence of the populations will fall. The strength of the economies will equally inevitably decline to the level of developing nations. World leadership will pass to Russia and Eastern Europe, and to China and Japan, if these manage to resist the invasion of non- European peoples. We are living in an extraordinary time. Nothing like this has ever occurred in human history. Mass immigration of non-Europeans will inevitably result in the European peoples becoming minorities and then increasingly small minorities in their own countries, as they are in most of Latin America and the Caribbean islands. Throughout the Western world the European peoples are allowing themselves to be replaced in their own homelands by non-Europeans. What is even more remarkable is that the European peoples have become quite complacent about their own elimination. Some even welcome it. Hardly a week goes by without some intellectual or politician declaring that immigration has been good for the country, that "in our diversity is our strength" and "we must celebrate our differences.” Others announce that they look forward to the day when whites become a minority. This is the first time in the whole of human history that a people has voluntarily engineered in its own destruction.”
—“Race Differences, Immigration, and the Twilight of the European Peoples,”, 2009
“If the evolutionary process is to bring its benefits, it has to be allowed to operate effectively. This means that incompetent societies have to be allowed to go to the wall… . What is called for here is not genocide, the killing off of the populations of incompetent cultures. But we do need to think realistically in terms of "phasing out" of such peoples. If the world is to evolve more better humans, then obviously someone has to make way for them otherwise we shall all be overcrowded. After all, ninety-eight per cent of the species known to zoologists are extinct. Evolutionary progress means the extinction of the less competent. To think otherwise is mere sentimentality.”
—Review of Raymond Cattell’s A New Morality from Science: Beyondism, 1974

Since the 1970s, Richard Lynn has been working tirelessly to place race, genes, and IQ at the center of discussions surrounding inequality. Through his own writings and those published by his Ulster Institute for Social Research, in Northern Ireland, Lynn argues that members of different races and nations possess innate differences in intelligence and behavior, and that these are responsible for everything from the incarceration rate of black Americans to the poverty of developing nations. Lynn is also an ethnic nationalist who believes that countries must “remain racially homogenous” in order to flourish.

Lynn, along with other “race researchers,” divides the world’s population into three main racial groups: “Mongoloid,” “Caucasoid,” and “Negroid,” referring to east-Asians, white Europeans, and black people of African descent, respectively (Lynn considers other ethnic groups to be mixtures of these three categories). Lynn’s “studies” of race and IQ purport to show that “Mongoloids” have the highest average IQ (100-106), closely followed by “Caucasoids” (100), with “Negroid” having a much lower average intelligence (70).

Lynn uses this framework not only to explain and justify the present-day wealth and poverty of nations, but the entire course of human history, asking, “Who can doubt that the Caucasoids and the Mongoloids are the only two races that have made any significant contribution to civilization[?]” Lynn goes beyond arguing for differences between these three groups, however; he also recycles Nazi-era arguments for Nordic superiority within the “Caucasoid” group, claiming that a “north-south continuum” exists, with people from northern Europe having evolved to be more intelligent than their southern neighbors.

Lynn believes that “racial differences in intelligence are one of the most important reasons for the differences in the wealth and poverty of nations that are present throughout the world (the other main reason being the presence of a market economy or of some form of socialism or communism). Intelligence is a major determinant of competence and earning capacity, so inevitably the European and Far Eastern peoples whose populations are intelligent achieve higher standards of living than other peoples who are less intelligent.” His estimates of national IQ, for example, bode “rather poorly for the potential of black Africans for democracy and economic development.” This is because, according to Lynn, IQ correlates not only to wealth, but also to “democracy and associated political institutions of civil liberties, political freedom, property rights, the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and the efficiency of government bureaucracy,” presumably because “people in countries with low national IQs are not as able to organize themselves, to take part in national politics, and to defend their rights against those in power as people in countries with higher national IQs.”

Not only does Lynn argue that nations without a white majority are incapable of self-governance and economic success, he believes that minorities, especially immigrants, threaten western nations’ success as well: “The single most important issue [facing western society] is the increasing immigration of low-IQ third-world peoples into the United States, Canada, and Europe. The effect of this, combined with their higher fertility, is that they are replacing Europeans. By the end of the twenty-first century Europeans will become minorities in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe.” This represents, to Lynn, a “demographic catastrophe” in which “the European peoples are… being dispossessed in their own countries by the influx of non-European peoples.”

Although Lynn claims that continued immigration is the biggest threat to “western society,” he also uses his pseudo-scientific arguments to argue against policies aimed at helping immigrants and ethnic minorities who already reside in western countries. Lynn claims that such policies are futile because “when non-European peoples migrate to Europe and North America their lower IQs make it difficult for them to cope in economically developed societies.” On education policy, Lynn bemoans the idea that “[i]t is impossible to envision the president saying that nothing can be done to advance the blacks, Native American Indians, and Hispanics because of their low IQs and personality characteristics.”

By “personality characteristics,” Lynn is referring to his belief that racial groups have genetically determined behavioral patterns, and that crime, disruptiveness, and antisocial behavior are part of minorities’ genetic makeup. In this way, Lynn has provided a veneer of scientific respectability to long-discredited racist theories like those popularized by Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein in The Bell Curve. Lynn insists — along with Murray and Herrnstein, who used Lynn’s work as the foundation their book that “[h]igh rates of crime seem to be a universal characteristic of Blacks,” and most other “non-Europeans.” Lynn has since tried to extend arguments about race differences beyond intelligence and into questions of mental illness, arguing that ”[t]he issue of race differences in personality is one of the big problems that still has to be tackled. I attempted to make a start on this in 2002 with a paper in which I assembled evidence suggesting that psychopathic personality is highest among blacks and Native Americans, next highest in Hispanics, lower in whites, and lowest in Orientals.”

Lynn is one of the few remaining “race scientists” who is willing to explicitly endorse addressing these supposed problems through eugenic policies. While authors like Murray and Herrnstein emphasize the threat posed by groups with “inferior” genes for intelligence and behavior, they shy away from arguing that the government should be involved in people’s reproductive decisions. Lynn, on the other hand, unabashedly suggests just that, favoring a “parental licensing scheme” in which “couples would have to apply for and obtain a license to have children.” He also believes that there is “a good case for reviving the sterilization of the mentally retarded and criminals,” and has promoted a “commendable scheme” targeting poor mothers which “would require sterilization as a condition of receiving welfare.”

Unsurprisingly, Lynn’s arguments that minorities and immigrants lower national IQ, cause increased crime, and pose an existential threat to “European civilization” have made him a favorite among white supremacists. He has contributed to several white supremacist publications including, The Occidental Quarterly, and American Renaissance. He also sits on the editorial committee of Mankind Quarterly, a pseudo-scholarly journal dedicated to publishing “articles in controversial areas, including behavioral group differences and the importance of mental ability for individual outcomes and group differences” — a thinly veiled admission that they primarily print racist pseudoscience.

Lynn is the current president of the notoriously racist Pioneer Fund. Prior to becoming president in 2012, he received hundreds of thousands of dollars in Pioneer Fund grants, both directly, and through the Ulster Institute for Social Research. Lynn is the founder and president of the Ulster Institute, “a think tank for the support of research on social issues and the publication of works by selected authors in this field.” According to its website, “The Ulster Institute for Social Research specialises in the application of psychology to the analysis of social problems,” which translates to promoting racist research by Lynn and several of his colleagues and collaborators.

Like many “race scientists,” Lynn also believes in inherent differences between the sexes, arguing that “one of the main reasons why there are not more female science professors or chief executives or Cabinet ministers is that, on average, men are more intelligent than women.” As with his work on race, Lynn insists that the disagreement of the overwhelming majority of geneticists and psychologists is nothing more than “the forces of political correctness” which has “made the reporting of this sort of statistic virtually impossible.” (Ironically, this accusation of censorship appeared in an article he wrote for The Daily Mail, the second largest newspaper in the United Kingdom.)

Despite his claims of persecution, Lynn has successfully translated his status as a scientist and open racist into a high-profile and profitable career, even though other scientists have repeatedly found his work to be riddled with methodological flaws and bias. Critics have noted that “an important drawback of Lynn (and Vanhanen)'s reviews of the literature is that they… do not adhere to systematic methodology to control for potential biases in the many choices made by the reviewer,” while prominent psychologist Leon Kamin stated that "Lynn's distortions and misrepresentations of the data constitute a truly venomous racism, combined with the scandalous disregard for scientific objectivity.”