Sunday, April 05, 2009

Global Warming Will Make People Dumber

I have just come across a book, Race Differences in Intelligence: An Evolutionary Analysis, which has given me something new to worry about. Global warming - if it lasts long enough - will cause the average IQ of the human race to decline.

Here is a bit from a review of the book.

The book's central finding: the world average IQ is no more than 90, and declines from north to south. An IQ of 90 is equivalent to the mental age of a White14-year-old. (Standardized IQ tests are normed to 100, the mental age of the average white 16-year-old.). Lynn also draws attention to the fact that a north-south IQ continuum has evolved, apparently through selection for survival in cold winters.
The danger is obvious. If the planet stays warm enough for long enough the average IQ in the cooler climates will decline. OTOH that could be a good thing for eliminating the disparities in wealth that are caused by intelligence differences. So in the long run global warming could lead to a more egalitarian world. But there is a small problem. Such a decline in average IQ may reduce the opportunities for women. What to do? What to do?

Cross Posted at Classical Values


tomcpp said...

This is nonsense. It's not the winters that make people smarter ...

In fact the story of three little piggies makes more sense than the plain "heat" explanation. What matters is the requirements the lack of heat (the wolf in the story) places on people, and the consequences (ie. death, or being the wolf's lunch in the story)

What do winters do ? They kill anyone who's unprepared for them. Being prepared means 2 things :
1) labour in spring/summer (not even that much, but strictly more than 0)
2) actually plan and execute saving up enough food
3) sufficient research must be carried out to be capable of managing the growth of several plant types

Anyone who does not satisfy those conditions ... dies. Evolution simply does not work without death.

Now obviously in the middle east (and in Africa), as long as you have the high ground (ie. the oasis/fertile plain/river/...) you will simply find food all around you all year round.

In other words what matters in the middle east is conquering, at any cost, the high ground. And the tactic that works best is simply showing up in huge numbers.

Unfortunately, a welfare state is a type of "high ground", very similar to the situation in the middle east, something muslims know very well. Of course, once conquered those welfare states will collapse immediately.

In a welfare state, nothing can cause death. You can be as stupid, as unprepared as you like.

In other words, what is killing the intelligence of the world ? Socialism, both the socialism "lite" of the EU, and Barack Obama.

Like the situation in the EU has been so many many times : Europeans will remain, and Christianity will keep on dominating Europe, but before Europe becomes succesfull again, a massive disaster has to happen.

Snake Oil Baron said...

I think there may have been an element of satire in the suggestion.

On the serious side, I wonder if urban environments - with their complex physical environments, educational opportunities, social dynamics and such - will prove to be a selective pressure against stupid and antisocial people. With urbanization occurring at its current rate and the high proportion of the species already living in such environments it will be interesting to see. Gang violence, susceptibility to addictive substance abuse and other behaviors can already decrease one's reproductive success through early deaths and prison terms. Many generations of that type of selection may alter the population of city dwelling humans and, through dispersion, the rest of humanity.

Christophe said...

Personally I think that cities INCREASE (not decrease) stupidity (and not just a little bit). At least were I live a person that grew up inside a city (or "some" suburbs for that matter) has little chances to make university.

You see, as bad as gangs and crime may be for your survival inside a city, NOT being part of said gangs is a lot worse.