An interesting piece in The Guardian
which suggests that people in warmer, hotter, more southerly countries (they mean Africa but dare not
say it) might have lower IQs than people in the north, on account of some mysterious process by which the body devotes too much energy and resources to fighting infectious diseases and not enough
to the brain. Right. In the same piece the very right wing chap Richard Lynn turns the argument on its head by saying if they weren’t so thick they’d have got rid of the infectious
diseases in the first place.
This is the first time I’ve read an article in The Guardian – or in any other national daily newspaper – which implicitly accepts that people in, uh, warmer, hotter, more
southerly countries (Africa, then) might indeed have lower IQs than those elsewhere, on average. They have done so on this occasion in order to explain it away as a consequence of some exterior
factor. I am not sure they are right in either case; IQ seems to me to be culturally sensitive. While it is true that almost all IQ studies show east Asians at the top and Africans at the bottom
(quite hot and infectious in Cambodia, though, isn’t it?) and that these tests broadly correspond with educational achievement in various western states with high levels of immigration, the
differences in IQ between races is far less marked than the differences within them.
Also, descendants of Africans living in the USA have markedly higher IQs than those still in the, uh, dark continent – which suggests that average IQs are far more quickly affected by
environmental factors than would be the case if IQ was a straight-forwardly genetic phenomenon. I think the Guardian is racist and we should all boycott it. If we weren’t