Skip to comments.People in Developing Countries 'Have lower IQs because their bodies are focused on surviving'
Posted on 07/02/2010 11:55:56 PM PDT by wac3rd
People in developing countries have lower IQs because their bodies divert energy from brainpower to fighting disease, researchers claimed today.
In hot nations blighted by deadly infections, the priority is survival and populations have evolved to develop stronger immune systems rather than intelligence, according to the controversial theory.
Some critics warned the study could become an excuse for racism if it was used to suggest that people in the Third World are not as intelligent as those in cooler, richer climes.
Others pointed out that the ancient Persians, Greeks and Romans lived in hot climates and still boasted extraordinary civilisations. U.S. researchers claimed their work could explain why national IQ scores vary around the world and are lower in some warmer countries stricken by diseases such as malaria, tetanus and tuberculosis.
Infection could have as important an impact on intelligence as education, diet and wealth, said researcher Randy Thornhill and a team from the University of New Mexico. Children under five use most of their energy for brain development and this can be restricted if the body has to fight disease, they wrote in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. They compared data from worldwide IQ studies with disease maps drawn up by the World Health Organisation and concluded that the higher the level of infectious disease in a country, the lower the average national IQ.
'The effect of infectious disease on IQ is bigger than any other single factor we looked at,' said Chris Eppig, lead author on the paper. Disease is a major sap on the body's energy, and the brain takes a lot of energy to build. If you don't have enough, you can't do it properly. (snip)
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
Sounds like racism to me...
It is a terrible vicious cycle, but the scientists are trying to tie survival vs. intellect, which is an interesting take...the problem is that they use climate as a base, and there are exceptions to a rule they are desperately trying to prove.
...they live in Developing Countries.
I've known some who've left such places. To a man and a woman, they're very intelligent.
This study would tend to support reintroducing the use of DDT.
What decides a high IQ?
Good memory, math skills, logical thinking? I really don’t know what the-powers-that-be value in order to make a high IQ.
Developing IQ’s result in developing countries.
Except the smart people, as I've encountered, up and leave and come here.
These are the kinds of people we SHOULD want to come here. Even if they eventually go home and try to make things better back there, they're contributing while they're here.
My sister used to be a peace corps volunteer in Africa in the 1970s. The thought at the time was that the children in Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) were as smart and able as any on the planet between birth and age four or so. When they were completely weaned from breastfeeding and had to get by on the local, meager and unsanitary food, they began to fall behind in development, compared to children in other countries.
It’s poverty, not heat.
BTW, Singapore is plenty hot, and it has a lot of smart people, but they are well-fed.
I don’t think it’s racist, although it could be cherry-picked to push a racist agenda.
If you don’t get enough nutrition, if you get sickened by bad drinking water, if your parents are uneducated, if you live in a war zone. . .
you are probably not going to grow up to your full potential. Regardless of your race.
Sounds reasonable.... hafta have a stable economic base to pursue education, etc...
Of course, the benefits of western civilization seem to be ignored here. Things like, educational emphasis, stable governments, stable currencies with a capitalist economy come to mind.
There are plenty of developing countries that are becoming developed countries. Singapore, the Chicoms, and several others are making the transition from more humble conditions just 50 years ago. As I recall, the literacy rate in Singapore is higher than the US. There’s more to account for the “retardation” than infectious disease.
Egypt is loaded with infectious diseases and parasites, plus it ain’t too cool there either. Yet, living conditions are not so bad.
As to the “oiled” middle eastern countries, they are definitely a mixed bag. Were those countries lacking the blessings of oil, they would be driving something more organic than a Mercedes. When the oil runs out, there will no be much to support their “lifestyle”. Even the Iraqis educate their women. The rest of the arab/islamic countries....not so much.
How do they know the frequency of infectious disease isn’t a result of low IQ, rather than vice versa? A low-IQ society would obviously have more trouble avoiding infectious disease than a high-IQ one.
could education count for it? A few lessons to teach you how to think /look at issues can make a huge difference in any IQ test.
“People in Developing Countries Are Focused On Survival Because of Their Lower IQ’s, hence the word “Developing””
You nailed it. Very succinctly.
If the author’s hypothesis is correct, African Americans born and raised in chilly Detroit or Chicago’s south side would have higher IQs than Africans in Africa. Hmmm.
It may seem far-fetched but versions of the role of diet can be racist or, at least, a way of explaining why some are intellectually inferior. For example, consider the great and influential 19th century German philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach. Feuerbach constructed a broad and complicated materialistic philosophy that said, in part, “You are what you eat.” From there he went on to say that some peoples - like the Irish, who had potatoes as a disproportunately large part of their diet - were intellectually inferior as a result of this diet. Time and space force me to oversimplify this but Feuerbach elaborated on this dietary role at great length.
I can’t cite a source, but it’s been argued from time to time that the dominance of entrenched aristocracies in pre-modern societies was partly due to superior nutrition, which led to superior physical and mental development. The peasantries tended to be underfed and malnourished.
IQ’s just the measurement of how well you can adapt to a stress-free Western Culture. Things like logic and mathematics mean nothing to somebody who’s trying to hunt for their next meal or grow their next crop and try to avoid crop failure. There needs to be more culturally sensitive IQ tests in order to truly measure “intelligence”.
That being said, I wonder why those thugs from the ghetto have such low IQs even though they grew up in this country yet the Africans FOB do so well even though there’s such a cultural difference. They face the same racism (Sometimes from many African-Americans) and bigotry as these ghetto rats, but they do so well economically.