Global differences in IQ - based on the book “IQ and the Wealth of Nations” by Dr. Richard Lynn
First of all: This is a controversial map about about a very controlversial subject. People will always have strong feelings about the implications of the research that is the basis of the statistics behind this kind of map, but I’m hoping we can have a rational discussion about facts instead of just downvoting on gut feeling.
That being said, I’m 90% sure this post will be downvoted into oblivion, because it’s not politically correct.
This map is the result of research done on the basis of IQ testing around the world from Dr. Richard Lynn, who has written several very interesting books on the subject. He finds that IQ is highly correlated with GDP per capita, literacy rate, life expectancy, infant mortality, GINI index, HDI, poverty, democratization and many other things.
For 71 nations, IQ testing was available. For the other nations, IQ has been estimated by averaging the IQ of neighbouring nations.
The books have been the subject of heated discussion. I will give you two of the most common criticisms of Dr. Lynn’s research, and his replies:
The research is based on a small sample size - This is true, in many cases the data point for a country is based upon a few dozen people, but Lynn argues that this is irrelevant because many nearby important data points are based on huge sample sizes. And the focus of data is the regional differences in IQ - not the exact values of single data points. The total amount of test-takers in sub-saharan Africa was over 37 000 - that is definitely a big enough sample size to draw conclusions from.
The IQ test itself it biased towards Europeans/Western civilization - This is a common argument, but the IQ tests used are non-verbal and no language or cultural skills are needed. It is a simple series of cognitive tests often based on pattern recognition. Furthermore, the argument of test bias has been thouroughly disproven. A 1996 report by the American Psychological Association states that controlled studies show that differences in mean IQ scores were not substantially due to bias in the content or administration of the IQ tests. Furthermore, the tests are equally valid predictors of future achievement for black and white Americans.
I could continue this post ad infinitum, but since I will probably be downvoted anyway, I will end it soon. If you are interested in further reading, I can recommend you read the Wikipedia articles about Dr. Richard Lynn’s books:
I can also recommend reading the books themselves, as they are extremely interesting. Coupld with the documentary Guns, Germs & Steel they provide great insight into why the world looks like it does today.
Here is another article that takes up many of the criticisms of the research that I did not have time to mention:
If you read this far, I hope you were able to contain your anger at the notion that challenges one of the pillars of modern, humanist philosophy - that all men are created equal - and actually look at the science in an objective manner. I’m hoping that we can have a rational discussion about the points I bring up in this post instead of just downvoting out of spite.
If you read this far, I also assume you are mildly curious as to why sub-saharan Africans display such different results on IQ tests than non-Africans, and there is actually a very interesting explanation to this that we had no idea about just 5 years ago. Because why would Africans be so different - we are all homo sapiens, right?
Actually, not exactly. All non-Africans on earth are actually hybrids between Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis. Non-Africans actually have between 1% and 4% Neanderthal DNA.
This might not sound like a lot, but it’s huge. Consider that we share 98% of our genome with the chimpanzee. Homo neanderthalensis had very large brains and were better at vision & visual analysis, although they had slight difficulties with speech and running (and some say, social networking), which it why they were outcompeted by Homo sapiens - at least that’s what we thought previously. In fact, they were absorbed into the population of Homo sapiens. But this was after the great migration from Africa 125 000 years ago, and the Neanderthal DNA was never integrated into the African genome.
This was revealed when the Neanderthal Genome Project was completed in May, 2010.
Homo neanderthalensis had an average brain size of 1 450 cc (cubic centimeters) ranging up to 1 750 cc. The average modern Homo sapiens brain size today is 1 330 cc.
For further reading I recommend this link: