Friday, November 19, 2010

Explaining the Cold Climate Theory for the Evolution of High IQ

The Fjordman Report

The noted blogger Fjordman is filing this report via Gates of Vienna.
For a complete Fjordman blogography, see The Fjordman Files. There is also a multi-index listing here.

Following rapid advances in our understanding of genetics a new branch of biohistory — history informed by genetics and human evolution — has emerged. For my essay Why Did Europeans Create the Modern World? I included it as one of the aspects explaining different levels of accomplishment, inspired by the great 2007 book Understanding Human History by the American Jewish astrophysicist Michael H. Hart, which is available online as a pdf file. Some readers have stated that this subject was interesting but my essay a bit too long. I will try to shorten the text here, although this essay may still be too long for some people’s taste.

Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared DiamondProfessor Jared Diamond in his bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies from 1997 shows that the Near East had access to a wealth of useful local plants and animals. Four species of big mammals — the goat, sheep, pig and cow — were domesticated very early in the Fertile Crescent, possibly earlier than any other animal anywhere else in the world except the dog. Agriculture was launched in the Fertile Crescent by the domestication of eight “founder crops,” the cereals emmer wheat, einkorn wheat and barley; the pulses lentil, pea, chickpea, and bitter vetch and the fiber crop flax. He maintains that writing arose independently in the Near East, Mexico and possibly China because those were the first areas where food production emerged in their respective hemispheres, a plausible theory.

Being an evolutionary biologist, he doesn’t reject the possibility that there could be unequal levels of intelligence among ethnic groups, but insists that if there are, Europeans are inferior and that “in mental ability New Guineans are probably genetically superior to Westerners.”

Cannibals in New GuineaMr. Diamond also states that many New Guineans have widely practiced cannibalism until nearly the present day. He says this matter-of-factly but does not clearly indicate that he disapproves of this. In fact, in his writings he appears to be more critical of television than he is of cannibalism. Moreover, he thinks it is morally loathsome if those denounced as “white supremacists” should believe that people of European origins might have higher intelligence than, say, Australian Aborigines, but he apparently thinks it is fine to say that New Guineans have higher intelligence than Europeans. Does that make him a New Guinean supremacist?

Diamond accepts the possibility that there could have been major genetic changes until about 50,000 BC, but considers it “loathsome” and “racist” to suggest that genetic changes between various human groups could have happened after this. Yet humans who settled in Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and finally the Americas lived in different natural environments for tens of thousands of years after this date and must have adapted to their local environments.

The West at the turn of the twenty-first century is dominated by Darwinists who don’t believe in the theory of evolution. If you think that sounds like a contradiction in terms, consider the message of Guns, Germs, and Steel. The essence of Diamond’s beliefs is that evolution has been going on for billions of years, creating elephants out of single-celled organisms, but it miraculously stopped 50,000 years ago. This is, rationally speaking, completely absurd, yet it has nevertheless become the unquestioned ruling orthodoxy in Western media and academia.

DNA strandWhat happened in the decade after Diamond first published GGS is that the human genome was mapped shortly after the year 2000. New insights have completely shattered the myth that human evolution more or less came to a halt 40-50,000 years ago, except for some supposedly superficial traits such as skin color. As I write these words, every week a new study is presented showing evidence of recent natural selection for specific traits. Many of these are related to teeth, bones, etc., and don’t necessarily have implications for mentality, but it is likely that a few of them do. The new paradigm can be called recent accelerated human evolution. It is outlined in the fine 2009 book The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution by US scholars Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending.

Evolution proceeds by changing the frequency of genetic variants known as “alleles”, one of two or more versions of the same gene. The advent of agriculture vastly increased the total amount of food available. The larger and more permanent settlements associated with agriculture gave birth to new infectious crowd diseases, as a critical mass of humans lived in close contact with each other and with domesticated animals and their germs. The bodies of those who practiced it also had to adapt to a new diet consisting of foods that had previously been of little or no importance. Food production allowed for the accumulation of wealth, trade specialization, and the rise of non-productive elites, who ruled others because they could.

Understanding Human HistoryMichael H. Hart in Understanding Human History supports the “cold climate” theory for the evolution of high genetic intelligence measured in IQ. Essentially, it predicts that as certain humans moved into regions with a cooler climate they had to develop higher intelligence to cope with a harsh natural environment, cooperate and plan ahead to survive the cold winters.

Several objections can be raised against using IQ as a measurement. By far the most common one is that it is immoral because it implicitly suggests that not all human beings are equally intelligent. This is an entirely anti-scientific argument and should be dismissed as such.

The second objection is that because IQ-measurements were initially developed by Europeans they are by nature “Eurocentric” and therefore biased. This is a silly argument. Almost all modern measurements of everything from electric charge to air pressure were invented by Europeans. All temperature scales in use in the industrialized world were developed by men from Western Europe. As far as we know, Europeans were the only ones to create the barometer and to develop a method for measuring atmospheric pressure. In order to be logically consistent you would have to reject the meteorological terms “high pressure” and “low pressure” along with IQ since these concepts, too, were developed exclusively by Europeans. I wish those individuals good luck in creating a non-Eurocentric weather forecast.

Intelligence is a complex entity which cannot easily be measured by a simple two- or three-digit number, but there is much empirical evidence suggesting that IQ is a reasonably good indicator of general intelligence. Several studies have shown that people with higher IQs make wiser economic choices. There is a strong correlation between IQ and economic level, for individuals as well as for nations. It may be an imperfect measure of general intelligence, but it is far from useless. Until somebody comes up with a better yardstick, IQ can be used.

The Pleistocene from roughly 2.6 million to 10,000 years BC was punctuated by a series of “ice ages” when glaciation was far more extensive than it is now. These periods, and the last Ice Age in particular, may have had a significant impact on human evolution. Like Hart I will use the mainstream “out-of-Africa” theory as my starting point. Even in sub-Saharan Africa the climate was somewhat cooler during the ice ages than it is today. It was never outright cold as it could be in Eurasia, and food was probably plentiful, but even this moderate cooling may have been sufficient to trigger certain evolutionary pressures. Still, early humans who left Africa would have encountered entirely different natural conditions, and they had to adapt to them.

Lascaux: huntersSomething momentous took place in the capabilities of early humans 100,000-50,000 years ago. Around 40,000 years ago the Cro-Magnons moved into Europe. At about the same time we find the first evidence of human colonization of New Guinea and Australia via Southeast Asia, and a bit later the Americas. The Upper Paleolithic is the final subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age, from ca. 40,000-10,000 BC. The period from 12,000-8,000 BC marked the end of the last Ice Age and the gradual establishment of a climate similar to ours.

Genetic changes allowed important human cultural and technological developments after 40,000 BC that hadn’t been possible in 100,000 BC. The archaeological record clearly stands out from anything seen for hundreds of thousands of years prior to this. Burial with associated rituals, a distinctly human activity, became much more common than before. At Dolni Vestonice, located in what is now the Czech Republic, archaeologists have found the remains of five structures marked by mammoth bones, blocks of limestone and postholes. In Russia and the Ukraine, where natural shelters such as limestone caves were rare, we see dwellings that used many mammoth bones and must have required considerable planning and effort.

The most visible aspect of the Upper Paleolithic is the creation of the first real sculptures and the first elaborate cave paintings, made with carbon black or ochre. This is when we encounter the so-called Venus figurines in northwestern Eurasia, small statuettes of naked women with exaggerated hips and breasts. The most famous of these is the 11.5 cm high Venus of Willendorf from about 23,000 BC, discovered near Willendorf in Austria.

The oldest Venus figurine found so far in Europe is the Venus of Hohle Fels from ca. 34,000 BC, unearthed in southwestern Germany, carved out of the tusk of a woolly mammoth. This figurine may be the first example of figurative art, meaning art that is supposed to resemble a real person or object. A bone flute made from the radius of a griffon vulture found at the Hohle Fels Cave dates from the same time period. Music and sculpture — different expressions of artistic creativity — apparently emerged in tandem among early modern humans in Europe.

The jump from abstract art to representative art might reflect a leap in the cognitive capacity of the human brain itself. The oldest traces of man-made symbolic objects, presumably created by anatomically modern humans before they left Africa, date back to 75,000 or 100,000 years ago in places like the Blombos Cave in South Africa. However, this art was abstract and consisted of geometrical designs engraved on pieces of red iron oxide. It is sometimes cited in support of the hypothesis that there was no “Great Leap Forward” after 50,000 BC, merely gradual change, yet these early examples are nowhere near as complex as those seen from 40,000-10,000 BC, made by Cro-Magnons (anatomically modern humans and the ancestors of modern Europeans) in some of the non-glaciated regions of Europe.

Stone tools made hundreds of thousands of years ago by early humanoids were crude and can barely be recognized as man-made objects. In contrast to this painfully slow rate of progress, much more rapid changes occurred during the Upper Paleolithic with the introduction of such innovations as sewing needles, early ceramics, bow and arrow, harpoons, fishhooks, flutes for music etc. Archaeological evidence indicates that few of these inventions were made in the tropical regions; they were predominantly made by humans living in cooler climates.

The Venus of Dolni Vestonice from around 27,000 BC currently constitutes arguably the oldest known piece of ceramics (fired clay) in the world. Two kilns were found on the site surrounded by fired ceramic fragments, but most of the recovered objects show thermal cracks, and ceramics at this date apparently served no purpose besides art. The first pottery vessels for practical use have been found in northeast Asia, in northern China and Japan, starting from about 16,000 BC, thousands of years before we see evidence of agriculture here.

Solutrean pointsAuthor Michael H. Hart suggests that “The main reason why the rate of progress increased during the Upper Paleolithic was simply that humans living then were more intelligent than their distant ancestors had been. (One aspect of that greater intelligence, of course, was their greater linguistic ability.) Similarly, an important reason why the rate of progress has been even higher in recent millennia than in the Upper Paleolithic is that human intelligence has continued to grow, and is higher today than it was then.”

Technological progress continued to accelerate further in the Neolithic Era, or New Stone Age. In the Neolithic Revolution, agriculture arose more or less independently in at least half a dozen separate regions around the world, which brings us to a couple of intriguing questions: Why did this development not begin until after about 10,000 BC, and why did it then occur in widely separated regions within a few thousand years?

In Michael Hart’s view, useful plants and animals were a necessary factor for the rise of agriculture, but not a sufficient one; a population with a minimum level of intelligence was needed, too. The reason why agriculture wasn’t invented by early humans forty thousand years ago is that none of them had yet developed the necessary intelligence to successfully make the huge conceptual leap that was required to start growing food. Hart believes that the “threshold” level required to originate agriculture even in a region with suitable climate, plants and animals was a mean IQ in the 80s. Following tens of thousands of years of evolutionary pressures, the IQ of some human groups had finally become high enough, but agriculture was nevertheless not introduced first in the most challenging northern climates.

Neolithic figurineHe considers the alternative model for the development of civilization presented by Professor Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel, who suggests that the comparative backwardness of for instance pre-colonial Australia compared to major Eurasian civilizations was entirely due to geographic factors. Surprisingly, he is willing to consider the possibility that there could be a genetic component to intelligence as long as this reflects poorly on whites, which is so intellectually dishonest that it very seriously undermines his general conclusions. Diamond himself indicates that he wrote the book specifically in order to undermine “Eurocentrism.”

The ancient Near East really did have a favorable climate as well as a far greater local supply of useful and easily domesticable plants and animals than any other region. This is in all likelihood an important reason why agriculture and urban civilization emerged so early there. However, according to Hart sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) enjoyed an advantage over Mesoamerica as it was not completely cut off from other civilizations. Some aspects of Eurasian technology such as ironworking reached SSA, as did domesticated camels and goats:

Mesoamerica was far more advanced than SSA was, or ever had been. For example, Mesoamericans had originated writing on their own, had constructed many large stone structures, and had built large cities (rivaling any existing in Europe, and far larger than any in sub-Saharan Africa). Furthermore, the Mayan achievements in mathematics and astronomy dwarf any intellectual achievements in SSA. We must therefore conclude that, although Guns, Germs, and Steel is an informative book, the obvious superiority of Mesoamerican technology to that of sub-Saharan Africa appears to be a fatal blow to the main arguments presented in it.

The Maya built cities in the tropical rainforest. Doesn’t this disprove the cold climate theory? That is a fair question, but the answer is no, it does not. Exactly when the first peoples entered the American continent remains a hotly debated topic. They were present at least by 12,000 BC, but possibly several thousand years before that date. It is conceivable that the New World was settled in several waves, but the main thrust appears to have come with hunters crossing the Bering Strait between Eurasia and Alaska in North America over a land bridge during the last Ice Age. This presumably means that they had undergone thousands of years of natural selection in cold regions of northern Eurasia before they settled in Mesoamerica or elsewhere.

Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending don’t write specifically about genetic intelligence or IQ the way Hart does, but they do state in their book that “There were at least two streams out of Africa 50,000 years ago, one northward into Europe and central Asia, and another eastward around the Indian Ocean to Australia, New Guinea, and parts of Oceania. There is no trace of any creative explosion in populations derived from the southern Indian Ocean movement, who brought and retained Neanderthal-grade technology and culture.”

Socrates mosaicMichael H. Hart evaluates the accomplishments of various civilizations, from Egypt to India and China. Why did the ancient Greeks achieve so much in the arts and sciences? Possibly the geography of Greece made them a seafaring nation and led them to engage in exploration. Yet many other peoples enjoyed a similar geographic advantage, and the Phoenicians, while being great seafarers and traders, did not create anything approaching the scientific achievements of the Greeks. Hart believes that while other Europeans had at least as high IQ as the Greeks, science is above all the creation of urban, literate cultures, and in this crucial aspect the Greeks benefited from early contact with the literate civilizations of the Middle East:

The best explanation for the Greek phenomenon lies in a combination of genetic and geographic factors. The peoples living in the cold regions of Europe had, over a period of many millennia, evolved higher average intelligence than the peoples living in the Middle East. However, because of the mild climate in the Middle East, and the availability of a large assortment of useful domesticable plants and animals, the inhabitants of the Middle East developed agriculture long before the peoples of northern Europe. The early advent of agriculture and cities in the Middle East enabled them to make major progress during the Neolithic Era and the early historic era, and to get a big jump on the rest of the world in technology and in intellectual matters. In time, the superior genetic endowment of the Europeans would enable them to overcome that head start. However, between European groups, the one most likely to advance first was the one which had the earliest opportunity of learning from the civilizations of the Middle East and Egypt.

Hart says, correctly, that non-Muslim dhimmis under Islamic rule were barely even second-rate citizens, but rather non-citizens who lacked many of the most basic civil rights. For example, they could not testify in court against a Muslim. He disputes whether conversions to Islam were always “voluntary,” given the various humiliations, pressures and taxes non-Muslims continuously had to face merely for the sake of being non-Muslims.

Regarding cultural achievements, he mentions some noteworthy scholars and figures and says that Alhazen was “probably the greatest” of the scholars in the Islamic world, which I agree with. In his view, Middle Eastern scholars made few major discoveries in science or technology; nothing comparable to printing and gunpowder in China or spectacles and mechanical clocks in Western Europe. While they did produce a limited number of scholars who made minor contributions and a handful who made medium-level ones, they never produced truly great geniuses such as Aristotle, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler or Newton.

Hart attributes this to their lower genetic intelligence compared to Europeans, with a mean IQ in the 80s, whereas many European nations, at least north of the Alps, have a mean IQ of about 100 or slightly more. This meant that there were fewer Middle Easterners at the lower and medium levels in science, and virtually none at all at the highest levels of achievement. This is plausible, although I would personally add the repressive atmosphere created by Islamic orthodoxy as a significant contributing factor as well. Ideas have consequences.

Hart rates Chinese civilization as the only one that could rival European civilization. For those who take IQ seriously, by far the most challenging thing to explain is why East Asians didn’t originate the Scientific Revolution instead of Europeans. With around 104-107 they have a slightly higher mean IQ than northern Europeans and significantly higher than southern Europeans. This is a very interesting subject, but it has to be dealt with in a separate essay.

I could briefly mention that the cold climate theory also predicts that there could be minor differences between northern and southern Europe. These will be much smaller than between Europe and Africa, but not necessarily statistically insignificant. Swedes have for instance made many contributions to modern science and technology, whereas Albanians in the Balkans have made very few. Some of this discrepancy might be attributed to IQ differences.

Hart, like myself, supports the theory which suggests that the Indo-European expansion started before 3000 BC north of the Black Sea in northeastern Europe. The first phases of it may well have been aided by the recent introduction of wheeled vehicles, but the Indo-European languages have by now been spreading in wave after wave for more than five thousand years, and continue to this day with the use of English as an international language. Clearly, all of this cannot be attributed to wheeled vehicles, as this advantage would have been lost millennia ago when other peoples adopted this innovation. The author attributes the tremendous long-term success of the Indo-Europeans to the high IQ of the northern peoples.

Throughout history, most of the instances where people from one region have conquered another have involved “northerners” invading lands to the south. China has never been conquered by the nations south of it but has been repeatedly attacked from the north. Within China itself, the northerners created a unified country by conquering southern China. The same goes for India, which has been invaded several times by people from the north. The first civilizations there, too, developed in the north. As Hart says, “The obvious — and, I believe, the correct — explanation for the military superiority of the northerly peoples is the higher average intelligence of those peoples compared with the inhabitants of more tropical regions.”

He admits that the Muslim conquests constitute a major counterexample to this general rule, and the Romans also conquered some lands to the north of Italy. Historically speaking, the greatest external military threats to Europe have often come from the east, from the cooler regions of Central Asia with the Huns, the Mongols and for that matter the Turks, not from Africa or the south. It is true that Muslims at the end of the day didn’t manage to establish lasting control over Europe, as they did in North Africa and the Middle East, but the impact of Islamic Jihad over many centuries on the nations of southern Europe was far from marginal.

Immigrant boatSome would claim that the mass immigration of low-IQ peoples to white majority Western nations at the turn of the twenty-first century is another exception, but this development constitutes such a large anomaly in world history that it must be treated as a special case. Western nations have not been military defeated. These immigrants/colonists would not have been able to settle in these countries if they couldn’t exploit the deranged altruism and political-ideological flaws of the modern West. They have always received substantial aid from high-IQ groups within the West itself, chief among them white Marxists, business leaders who desire unlimited access to markets and cheap labor, and occasionally Jewish Multicultural ideologues, of which Jared Diamond himself might be counted as one.

High IQ is always an advantage in warfare, first of all by providing greater ability for strategic thought, for developing and executing plans and for exploiting an opponent’s weaknesses, but perhaps primarily by enabling a society with a strong economic and technological foundation. However, you have to actually be willing to fight, otherwise high IQ will be of little use.

One of the reasons why Islam expanded as much as it did is because it promotes constant mental readiness for war. Muslims harbor no doubt over the justice of going to war against others, and no guilt when doing so. High-IQ peoples face the potential problem of getting lost in the maze of their own abstract ideas and ideals. They can lose to lower-IQ peoples if they are not willing or able to properly defend themselves, a condition technically known as “decadence.”

Camp of the SaintsThe Camp of the Saints by Jean Raspail from the early 1970s is a parable about the Third World invasion of the West, condensed in time so that what might take fifty years in real life takes fifty days in the novel. It describes how millions of poor people from India set sail to France to live in the West, the land of milk and honey. The natives have the physical and military means to repel the invaders, but their willpower has been so weakened by doubt and self-loathing that they are unable to put up any resistance at all. As the author says, “For the West is empty, even if it has not yet become really aware of it. An extraordinarily inventive civilization, surely the only one capable of meeting the challenges of the third millennium, the West has no soul left. At every level — nations, races, cultures, as well as individuals — it is always the soul that wins the decisive battles. It is only the soul that forms the weave of gold and brass from which the shields that save the strong are fashioned. I can hardly discern any soul in us.” The book reminds us that “…ideas are the stuff that keeps man alive.”

There are admittedly a few cases that do not fit easily into the mold of the cold climate theory. For example, those living consistently at very high altitudes, such as Tibetans, have to deal with cold, but the most pressing issue in this environment is the lack of oxygen. Consequently, this is where you will see the strongest evolutionary pressures. Tibetans have reasonably high IQs, but not higher than those who live in the densely populated Chinese lowlands.

Early types of humans, starting with Homo erectus, spread from Africa all the way to China (but apparently not Australia or the Americas) 1.5 million years ago. The Neanderthals were one of the later subspecies who lived in northwestern Eurasia. Anatomically modern humans would have encountered pockets of them. A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany led by Svante Pääbo from Sweden, in 2010 demonstrated that between 1 and 4 percent of the DNA of non-Africans today came from Neanderthals. Perhaps later studies will show that we picked up beneficial genes from other kinds of archaic humans, for instance evolved Homo erectus in Asia, while displacing them.

We don’t yet know for sure why Homo sapiens sapiens — we modern humans — displaced the Neanderthals in Europe, where they had successfully managed to survive in the difficult climate for tens of thousands of years and had evolved brains that rivaled our own in size. Whatever the cause, we did eventually replace them so we must have enjoyed some crucial advantage over them.

Another challenge to the cold climate theory is presented by the Eskimos, or Inuit peoples. In Arctic North America and Greenland they certainly live in some of the coldest places on Earth, which should accordingly have made them into some of the smartest people on Earth. They do have above average intelligence by global standards, which they must have to survive in such a harsh environment, but there is nothing that indicates that they have a higher mean IQ than northern Europeans or northeast Asians. This requires a different explanation.

Authors Cochran and Harpending in The 10,000 Year Explosion suggest that a larger population mass and growing population density during the Stone Age in itself became a major factor in human evolution by increasing the number of potentially beneficial mutations:

10,000 Year ExplosionHuman numbers had already been on the increase since the advent of behavioral modernity, partly as the result of migration into the far northern regions of Asia, over the sea into Australia, and across a land bridge into the Americas — all places that archaic humans had been unable to settle — and partly because of improvements in food production technology (such as nets and bows). An educated guess puts the total population of the world 100,000 years ago at half a million, counting both anatomically modern humans in Africa and archaic humans (Neanderthals and evolved erectus) in Eurasia. By the end of the Ice Age some 12,000 years ago, there may have been as many as 6 million modern humans — still hunter-gatherers, but far more sophisticated and effective hunter-gatherers than ever before. Farming, which produces 10 to 100 times more calories per acre than foraging, carried this trend further. Over the period from 10,000 BC to AD 1, the world population increased approximately a hundredfold (estimates range from 40 to 170 times). That growth in itself transformed society — sometimes, quantity has a quality all its own.

In other words: evolution in large populations may be faster than in small ones. If we postulate that cold winters triggered evolutionary pressures for high IQ, but this effect could be modified by total population mass, then the most favorable combination would be a place with cold winters, but good enough natural conditions to support a relatively large population.

This hypothesis predicts two peaks of high IQ: north-central Europe and northeast Asia. This would explain why the Germans and Dutch have at least as high IQs as people living in Lapland in far northern Scandinavia, and why the Chinese, Koreans and Japanese have higher IQs than the Eskimos, who for thousands of years lived in very cold and sparsely populated regions. If we combine these two factors then the correlation with observed IQ realities becomes very strong, so strong that in my view it is unlikely to be entirely coincidental.

For tens of thousands of years, climate may have been the single most important driving force behind human evolution, though not necessarily the only one. In more recent millennia, after the rise of agriculture and cities, other forces came into play as well. Human beings themselves increasingly shape the environment they live in and can now enjoy electric heating in near-Arctic areas and air-condition in tropical ones. One of the most fascinating tales of human evolution apparently had little to do with cold weather, that of Ashkenazi Jews.

According to a hypothesis presented by Gregory Cochran, Jason Hardy and Henry Harpending in 2005, which is largely supported by Hart, the very high average IQ of modern Ashkenazi Jews is an example of Darwinian evolution in response to external social pressures, as European Jews for many centuries had to occupy a very narrow and unusual economic niche as merchants, tax collectors and moneylenders, occupations which placed great practical value on high intelligence. The Christian majority population was forbidden from taking interest, and many occupations were closed to Jews. Only those with very high IQs managed to flourish in this cultural climate and pass on their genes. This situation prevailed from the Early Middle Ages until legal emancipation after the Enlightenment and created a social environment which substantially raised the average IQ of an entire people.

The Jewish evolutionary strategy was very efficient if you measure IQ points per millennium, but it had a few serious drawbacks. The “climatic” evolution of Europeans and East Asians may have been somewhat slower, but it eventually raised the IQ of the entire population living in these regions. The Jewish strategy raised the IQ of a small and demographically vulnerable minority. Jews paid a heavy price for this in the twentieth century in particular.

Thilo Sarrazin

In our time, speaking about IQ differences has become one of the greatest social taboos in the Western world. In 2010 Thilo Sarrazin, a German central banker and politician, was forced to resign from his position due to certain statements about German immigration policy. He has suggested that many Arab and Turkish immigrants are unwilling to integrate, that Muslims rely much more on social services and that their intelligence is lower than that of native Germans. While being demonized by the political and media elites, his book Deutschland schafft sich ab (“Germany Does Away With Itself”) quickly sold more than a million copies.

Professor Helmuth Nyborg at Aarhus University in Denmark did research which revealed that there are differences between the sexes when it comes to intelligence. This triggered massive resistance from his colleagues. He states that “Within the realm of psychology you are not allowed to talk about intelligence. You cannot measure intelligence and you cannot rank people according to intelligence. The entire field of intelligence is a so-called ‘no-go area.’“ If you look at differences between ethnic groups then you are immoral and a “Nazi.” Nyborg warns that Western authorities, the United Nations and human rights organizations are playing a dangerous game with globalization and open borders Multiculturalism. Worst case scenario: their policies of mass importing low-IQ peoples with dysfunctional cultures could turn all Western countries into backward “banana republics” — without benefiting developing nations.

While Jared Diamond’s book Guns, Germs, and Steel contains some worthwhile parts, the overall conclusion is almost certainly wrong. You can just look at the state of California to disprove it. By the 1960s and ‘70s California was the economic engine of the USA, and by the extension the world. By 2010 it is close to bankruptcy. The reason for this is not that the geography of California changed, nor its plants or animals to any significant degree. What changed was the demographic make-up of California. As long as it was predominantly inhabited by whites it was a dynamic region. As soon as it became inhabited by mestizo Mexicans and other lower-IQ peoples it came increasingly to resemble a Third World region. Diamond is currently a Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), which means that he can see clearly that his theories are flawed just by looking out the window.

Jared Diamond is a poor and dishonest scientist for failing to seriously consider alternative hypotheses which sometimes explain observed reality better than his own. So why has he become so popular and influential? Because he gave the Western Multicultural elites exactly what they wanted to hear: people are genetically equal; what matters is geography. This is an ideological green light for unlimited mass immigration of peoples from failed countries and cultures to the West, and the continued dispossession of whites in all Western countries.


Anonymous said...

There is another evolutionary question associated with the development of crops in particular. Diamond measures the weight of the grains of wild cerials today. Turns out the heaviest grains are the ones that we grow most extensively.

However, if the plants were bred for 7000 years to be bigger in cultivation, wouldn't the wild population (over 7000 years) have been repeatedly pollinated from the larger grained cultivated population, and consequently the wild population in those areas would also be larger today? In effect, that would not explain why the cerials have been extensively cultivated, but the extensive cultivation would explain why the grains are heavier in the wild population.

The same holds true for the domestication of animals. If zebras (for instance) had been domesticated 5000 years ago and selected for more gentle individuals, all individuals would now be more gentle. I mean, how do we know what a wild auroch was like?

Diamond also states that no new animals have been domesticated in sub-Saharan Africa. This is untrue. We dometicated ostriches, we breed them in captivity for leather, feathers and meat. I had a lovely ostrich steak for dinner last night!

Sparky said...

A couple of thoughts related to the post ...

Around this time of year, I don't leave my house without my winter hat as a great deal of heat would otherwise be lost through my head. Some of this heat is generated by the brain, and some of the heat is carried by circulatory system from the rest of the body. If a larger or smarter brain generates more heat, it would seem to me that it would be easier to keep the brain cool (dispose of the extra heat) in a cooler climate than a warmer one. If the idea of heat generation and dissipation is correct, then I think it would be statistically more likely to see a larger or smarter brain evolve/develop in a cooler climate than a warmer one.

Although it is probably not easy to do, I wonder if it is possible to establish a comparative intelligence between animals from cooler/colder climates to those of their counterparts in warmer areas. Additionally, would a similar pattern/trend/statistical difference emerge?

Juniper in the Desert said...

That certainly explains why islam has flourished in hot countries!

sulber nick said...

All this presupposes the accuracy of the 'out of Africa' theory. I'm not so sure. I'm still waiting for an explanation of black skin, coarse black curly hair, and black eyes 'evolving' into fair skin, fine blonde straight hair, and blue eyes. Is there one?

Fjordman said...

Sulber nick: I use the mainstream out-of-Africa theory as my starting point, as does Michael Hart. I know that early human evolution was a complex matter and I am perfectly willing to discuss the subject, but I personally believe that the OoA-theory is largely correct.

Yes, the first human settlers in Europe probably had rather dark skin. Unlike Lawrence Auster I find this both likely and perfectly OK. The point is that those who remained in Europe and northern Eurasia evolved in different directions. Skin color is actually one of the easiest mutations to explain, as we get vitamin D from the Sun's rays and would need a lighter skin to absorb more of the weaker sunlight north of Africa.

Now, if you read about the silver fox experiments of the Russian scientist Dmitry Belyaev in the 1950s you will notice that only a few mutations were sufficient to make the foxes change their appearance. What is even more interesting is that when they changed their outward appearance they also changed their behavior and mental disposition. Biologically speaking, the same principle may apply to humans, too.

Fjordman said...

As I briefly indicated above, one of the things that does not fit into this model is the fact that the Neanderthals were apparently displaced by more recent African immigrants. I cannot explain why that happened. Maybe they embraced Multiculturalism and "Neanderthal guilt," or perhaps the immigrants were supposed to be doing the work that the Neanderthals were no longer willing to do. What do I know.....

EscapeVelocity said...

Maybe they embraced Multiculturalism and "Neanderthal guilt," or perhaps the immigrants were supposed to be doing the work that the Neanderthals were no longer willing to do. --- Fjordman


jeppo said...

Excellent essay. Fjordman reaches new heights of political incorrectness (i.e. inconvenient truth telling) when he points out the key role that Jewish multicultural ideologues have played in enabling the Third World immigration invasion of the West, and also the substantial IQ differences between northern and southern Europeans, which is what I want to talk about here.

This research paper on La Griffe du Lion's "Smart Fraction" theory compares average IQ scores from dozens of countries around the world, based on test scores from TIMSS, PISA and PIRLS.

To compare scores between northern and southern European nations, I've used the traditional geographic definition of Europe: the territory north of the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and Caucasus Mountains, and west of the Caspian Sea, Ural River and Ural Mountains. Mainly-European Russia is included while mainly-Asian Turkey and the Transcaucasian and Central Asian former Soviet republics are excluded.

I've divided the continent into north and south based on the origin and/or present location of the major ethno-linguistic groups in Europe. Northern Europe includes all the nations where the majority of the population speaks a Germanic, West Slavic, East Slavic, Baltic or Finno-Ugric language. Southern Europe includes the nations that speak a Romance or South Slavic language, plus Greek, Albanian and Maltese speakers.

I've also added the white-majority settler societies of North and South America and Australasia, so that Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand are included with northern Europe, while Argentina and Uruguay are included with southern Europe.

There are 26 northern European nations listed in the study, ranging in average IQ from a (rounded off) high of 103 in Finland to a low of 93 in Ukraine, with an overall average of 98.9. Of the 19 southern European nations listed, Slovenia had the highest average IQ at 99, while Albania had the lowest at 81, with an average of 91.1.

The difference between N. and S. Europe is 7.8 points, or about half of one standard deviation. This is roughly similar to the gap between the two found in Lynn and Vanhanen's numbers from "IQ and Global Inequality". So I think that this significant north-south difference in the average intelligence of Europeans is yet more evidence that the Cold Climate Theory for the evolution of high IQ is correct.

EscapeVelocity said...

I did a project in college where we were supposed to use what we learned from Probabilities and Statitistics to analyze data.

I did IQ to latitude analysis at the country level.

I dont think that the instructor liked the results of my analysis.

EscapeVelocity said...

That should be IQ, per capita GNP, and latitude.

As I remember there were some outliers, like Singapore and Israel, Mongolia and Eastern Europe.

But the data was fairly remarkable.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for this post! Since reading the article yesterday I read the mentioned book "Understanding Human History" (thanks also a lot for the pdf link!).
I have been searching for answers to this questions since a while. This book came to me at the perfect time. Thanks for posting about it!

jeppo said...

Looking more closely at the numbers from IQ and Global Inequality, the 27 northern European nations listed have an average IQ of 98.2, while the 17 southern European nations average 94.4, a difference of 3.8 points. So while the north-south IQ gap remains in Lynn and Vanhanen's numbers, it has considerably tightened up.

However there are some anomalies in their data that need to be addressed. All of the northern European nations have average IQs between 96 and 101, except for Ireland at 92 and Lithuania at 91. All of the southern European nations have average IQs between 90 and 98, except for Italy at 102. In contrast, Rindermann's study (linked above) lists the average IQ of Ireland at 100, and both Lithuania and Italy at 97.

So if we eliminate these three statistical outliers from the "IQ and Global Inequality" data, then the N. European average jumps slightly to 98.8, while the S. European average falls to 94.0, a difference of 4.8 points. That's about one-third of a standard deviation compared to one-half of an SD based on Rindermann's estimates, but yet more evidence confirming the cold climate theory for the evolution of higher intelligence.

BTW, unless Michael H Hart mentioned it, I believe Fjordman is the only writer to have used the cold climate hypothesis to point out and explain the differences in average IQ between northern and southern Europeans. And I think I might be one of the only people to--however clumsily--have tried to draw a definitive political border between N. and S. Europe and statistically quantify such IQ differences between the two.

rickl said...

I know I'm not the first to suggest this, but it certainly appears that the elite proponents of World Government are using open immigration to homogenize the human population in preparation for the establishment of a one-world government. After all, it wouldn't be "fair" if certain regions had an advantage over others.

rickl said...

That was a great essay, Fjordman.

I don't mean to sound flippant, but has anyone ever considered the possibility that the Neolithic Venus figurines were the world's first pornography? I'm completely serious.

EscapeVelocity said...

After all, it wouldn't be "fair" if certain regions had an advantage over others.

Then you couldnt wage permanent class warfare, to gather votes for your hegemony.

One_of_the_last_few_Patriots_left said...

rickl said,

"I don't mean to sound flippant, but has anyone ever considered the possibility that the Neolithic Venus figurines were the world's first pornography? I'm completely serious."

Actually, rickl, this has been a pet theory of mine for years: the various "Venus" figurines and other crudely executed depictions of women are in fact stone age PORN!

I remember some years ago I saw a video of some politically correct anthropologist woman insisting that
"anatomically correct" depictions of naked women at some archaeological site (in Turkey, IIRC?) were fertility symbols that celebrated women's power and that these were part of the cult of "the Godess," etc. The PC archaeologist woman was terribly earnest about this. I took one look at the artifacts and guffawed out loud, "Naw, that's PORN, ha,ha,ha....."
(My girlfriend at that time, who was the one who wanted me to watch that video, was very upset with me.
:) )

In 26,000 BC they had no Playboy magazine like I had when I graduated from High School in 1974 AD. Of course, in 2010 AD we surf the Net for this stuff!

One_of_the_last_few_Patriots_left said...

By the way, has anyone seen the hominid reconstructions that "paleo-artist" John Gurche has done for the Smithsonian?

Go to the Smithsonian's website or try the artist's own site:

Amazing stuff!

P.S Again, Fjordman, thanks for a very interesting and thought provoking essay on this, a subject which has always fascinated me. Note that it is only in Western Civilization that anyone cares about fossils, archaeology, or prehistoric people.

Anonymous said...

Interesting article, Fjordman. Thank you.

I must say that as far as the first Europeans' skin color goes, I see more evidence for Auster's and sulber nick's position than the fashionable view.

You wrote,

"Yes, the first human settlers in Europe probably had rather dark skin....Skin color is actually one of the easiest mutations to explain, as we get vitamin D from the Sun's rays and would need a lighter skin to absorb more of the weaker sunlight north of Africa."

Right, but then we'd expect those areas with the least sun exposure to be dark, not light. The palms of one's hands, certainly the palms of one's feet, one's genitalia, the scalp on one's head should all be darker, not lighter: they get little to no sun, they have therefore little to no reason to lighten.

Actually, following this logic, it would be much easier to assume that the Africans used to be lighter skinned, not darker. After all, how can you explain the lightness of their palms, hands and feet which persists today? Why not conclude that only those body parts of Africans which were exposed to the sun darkened over time--to prevent UV ray overexposure--leaving unexposed parts as pink as the rest once were?

Blogger said...

I don't agree with this article for several reasons. The book "The Victory of Reason" by Rodney Stark, argues that Christianity was the foundation of success and political/economic stability in Europe. In fact, Italy, not northern europe, was its genesis. If you look up the genetic makeup of Italians (see Islamic era of Italy in Wikipedia), it is traced to north africa. Italy - a hot country - is the home of Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, and scientists such as Gallileo. (BTW I am not Italian!). Ancient Greece was also an an advanced nation, and it is here where Christianity was developed on the back of Greek philosophy.

There are so many aspects to this argument, that I have no time to cover all. But the Mexicans to California argument is flawed because it is usually the poor and uneducated who go to California to make some money. If they had more education and money they would not leave their homes.

car313 said...

Looks like the non-Caucasians will just have to shove it. They ought fall on the feet of Caucasians and beg to be taken slaves. There would be much merit in that. Also that would retrospectively increase their IQ. So the master race can rule the world justly and wipe out non-Caucasian populations. That would be Darwinian justice as IQ is the holy grail of existence. As the whites have the monopoly on calculus and algebra, they ought to be Gods by default. How very nice and reasonable!

VoxVocis said...

In the interest of full disclosure I'm English, and I am convinced of the cultural and scientific superiority of Northern Europeans; especially the English :), but...

This is not the great essay you all wish it was. It begins with a simple appeal to authority; that IQ is a useful measure because other scientific measures are European in origin. That is a glaring fallacy I'm afraid.

Also In your desperate need to bash Islam (and I would agree it needs to be bashed) you conflate modern, historical time spans with evolutionary ones.

cumpa_29 said...

All of this depends on whether you take evolution or IQ tests seriously. Lower IQ tests may just as well reflect social impoverishment, insecure collective consciousness, and varying degrees of acculturation, as it does races being intellectually unequal. This isn't to say that IQ tests are totally worthless, but rather that they should be understood in broader contexts, especially when the consequences can be dangerous.

Evolution is also something that I regard as a joke. It still exists as a secular creation myth and a weapon against established religion (read: christianity). I always get a chuckle at seeing "COEXIST" bumper stickers existing alongside Darwinian fish with legs that mock Christian belief. If there is anything Darwinism DOESN'T imply, its coexistence.
Evolution was never more than a viable hypothesis which became obselescent with the discovery of the genetic code and the complexity of the cell.
As the situation stands, Intelligent Design is the most viable explanation for what we see at this, most fundamental, level. We are told that biogenesis is "unscientific" by our Academic mandarins, EXCEPT for the origin of the first cell (for some odd reason). We are told that the latest versions of Homo Sapiens MUST be an evolutionary chain of events, rather than possible variations of our genetic code. If pygmies did not currently exist, and a pygmie skeleton was found dating from eons ago, I would bet money that it would be interpreted as our "distant relative", rather than, well, us. Just as the Science can be distorted for ideological reasons as in the case for global warming, so to can it be distorted for Darwinism.
Bill Gates said that the genetic code is like a computer program, only infinitely more complex than anything we have devised. It is less of a stretch to believe a laptop crawled out of the primordial ooze, than it is to believe in the accidental formation of the first cell. Anyone who says that inferring design is not scientific, should speak to cryptologists, and the guys at SETI who look for signs of intelligent life in the galaxy. Anyone who cries "Creationism!" is a flat-out liar peddling red herrings, as Creationism means forcing science into a literal reading of Genesis.

cumpa_29 said...

There is a HUGE leap in the fossil record between the supposed ancestors of modern day apes and humans, and their descendants. Not to mention that dead species of apes can be just as easily used as evidence for proto "humans", as pygmies could for closer relatives.

You are right in saying that people who embrace evolution while claiming that whites are inferior are being dishonest. I think that the only reason these guys go out of their way to say whites are inferior, is because they secretly believe the opposite. While it still could be possible that certain races are indeed smarter than others (just as dogs are), even from within an Intelligent Design perspective, I still believe that this is not the case (and in all honesty, don't want to believe it either). In my opinion, intellectual ability is a bit like musical sensibility and sense of humor -affected by culture but more or less evenly distributed. And in the case of dogs, remember that humans can breed dogs into breeds not permitted by natural selection. (Just because I don't believe natural selection acting on random mutations produces new species, it doesn't mean I don't believe in natural selection). Humans have to survive in the wild. Domesticated dogs don't.
The only thing natural selection did for humans, was to help keep it in the best shape that our genetic code would allow: a well-functioning average. And the selective pressures keeping humanity at its highest average was NOT the weather, but other people. The social environment is the most unforgiving of all. And if this is true, which it is; and if it is true that social conditions exist wherever people exist, which they by definition do; and if its true that the different races of man are expressions of one genetic code that will never break into being another species, and are shared by all people regardless of location, which it is, then my position is valid: human intelligence as it currently stands is the reflection of a well-functioning average of our genetic code expressed across all races.

As far as rapid advances in technologies among our troglodyte forefathers being evidence for accelerated evolution, can't this phenomenon just as easily be explained by higher populations? Higher growth means more chances of contact across groups and cultures. In this environment, its a bit of a no brainer that technological achievement should expand quickly.

Also: To say that people from the frigid north are smarter, only to then assert that it must be because they are from the north, is more than a tad tautological. And if (aside from bogus evolution and questionable IQ tests) your supporting evidence comes with "just so" stories explaining away inconsistencies, then remember that plenty "just so" stories can explain away the opposite position.
Perhaps people south of China did not conquer it because the uses of horses in the jungles of Nam are limited. The horse therefore did not become as central to these societies as it did to Mongolians living in cold deserts. To conquer a land as large as China, you NEED horses, and lots of them. Perhaps Hindus never successfully crossed the Hindu Kush ("Killer of Hindus") as an invasion force because the physical trauma of moving from jungle conditions to frigid mountains is greater than that of coming from the other direction (with all the implications for reinforcements and supply lines that this has). Perhaps India's relative geographic isolation also lessened its exposure to new ideas (which it did). There could be MANY reasons, not just simple north-smart, south-stupid scenarios, which in itself is at least weakened by Romans conquering Britain and Gaul. And if you cite the collapse of California as due to being invaded by hispano-aztec morons, why is the same not applicable to Rome with its northern barbarians? Was it the enviably high IQs of the Germans that caused the fall of Rome, or its own internal problems?

cumpa_29 said...

Lastly, if it is disingenuous of people to insist that racism only works against white people, it is also disingenuous to insist that belief in the notion of "superior races" doesn't come with potentially unsavory moral consequences. Eugenics did happen, as did racial genocide.
I'm not calling you a racist, Fjordman, but your ideas certainly are. Congitive dissonance when it comes to morality in a racist world doesn't make it any less dangerous.
In your defense, believing different groups taller or shorter due to genetics is certainly a "racist" idea in the technical sense, but once you get to something as fundamental as intelligence (we are Homo Sapiens Sapiens, after all), things change. Racial intellectual inequality may be at least theoretically true, but, again, it is playing with fire. Implications must be addressed and not hand-waived away, otherwise the chances of getting burned exponentially. Above all, it is important to not act too forcefully on too little information, or to make too much of it too soon, especially when the moral side effects could help legitimize something like Himmler.

If your belief in Darwinism is misguided, which it is, so too may be your belief in racial superiority (which is largely, though not wholly, dependant on Darwinism).