Explaining Low IQ Scores in Africa, South Asia

Discussion in 'World Affairs' started by RiazHaq, Aug 1, 2010.

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  1. RiazHaq
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    RiazHaq SENIOR MEMBER

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    It has long been known that IQ scores vary by regions. The lowest average IQ scores have been measured in the African nations of Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Mozambique, Gabon, and highest score found in the nations of Singapore, South Korea, China, Japan, and Italy. However, the research surrounding intelligence assessment has been highly controversial and tainted by pseudosciences such as craniometry that was used by the Nazis to prove the white “race” as the most intelligent.

    Here is some published data on average IQ scores of people from different races:

    Richard Lynn, "Race Differences in Intelligence: An Evolutionary Analysis" 2006 Table 16.2 (indigenous populations) Estimated average IQ Arctic Peoples 91 East Asians 105 Europeans 100 Native Americans (north & south) 86 Southern Asian & Northern Africans 84 Bushmen (southern Africa) 54 Africans (subsaharan) 67 Native Australians (aboriginals) 62 Southeast Asians 87 Pacific Islanders 85
    Apparently, this is a compilation of data from "credible sources" and published in respected journals such as American Journal of Psychology. The neutrality and factual accuracy of these studies and data have been questioned by many researchers and scientists. The most common criticisms are that these studies and tests are developed in the European context and they measure mainly problem-solving capability and skills, not innate intelligence.

    For those who are curious, Pakistanis are included along with Indians in Southern Asia with an average IQ of 84, about 16 points below Europeans and almost 21 points behind East Asians including Chinese, Japanese and Koreans.

    Recent data, published by the University of New Mexico and reported by Newsweek, shows that there is a link between lower IQs and prevalence of infectious diseases. Comparing data on national “disease burdens” (life years lost due to infectious diseases) with average intelligence scores, the authors found a striking inverse correlation—around 67 percent. They also found that the cognitive ability is rising in some countries than in others, and IQ scores have risen as nations develop—a phenomenon known as the “Flynn effect.”

    According to the UNM study's author Christopher Eppig and his colleagues, the human brain is the “most costly organ in the human body.” The Newsweek article adds that the "brainpower gobbles up close to 90 percent of a newborn’s energy. It stands to reason, then, that if something interferes with energy intake while the brain is growing, the impact could be serious and longlasting. And for vast swaths of the globe, the biggest threat to a child’s body—and hence brain—is parasitic infection. These illnesses threaten brain development in several ways. They can directly attack live tissue, which the body must then strain to replace. They can invade the digestive tract and block nutritional uptake. They can hijack the body’s cells for their own reproduction. And then there’s the energy diverted to the immune system to fight the infection. Out of all the parasites, the diarrheal ones may be the gravest threat—they can prevent the body from getting any nutrients at all".

    The results of the study point to the need for fighting infectious diseases in the developing world with greater urgency. Reduction in infectious diseases like diarrhea, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and malaria can help improve the cognitive capabilities, and with it, the intelligence and the quality of life of billions in Africa and South Asia.

    Haq's Musings: Infections Cause Low IQ in South Asia, Africa?
  2. CardSharp
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    CardSharp ELITE MEMBER

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    I read this article when it came out in the Economist. I think the only lesson to be taken from this is to feed your children well and really care about their nutrition because it clearly effects their intelligence later in life. This means no more malnourished children if you want a good economy and strong country in the future. (because we all know IQ is correlated with the economy IQ and the Wealth of Nations )
  3. ptldM3
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    ptldM3 SENIOR MEMBER

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    I'm sure nutrition has some part in it but the biggest factor in my opinion is location and the education system. Of course people in Africa are going to have low IQ scores compaired to people in developed nations. Notice all of the coutries that rank high on IQ test scores are densly populated urban countries, so well educated college gratuates which are common in large cities are going to score high; poor farmers with little or no eduation are going to score low.
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  4. M82
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    IQ has nothing to do with race or region. it purely depends on how the kids were exposed to the world and technology...

    the reason for Africa to be low on IQ is they were not exposed to hi-tech but the so called high IQ people cannot match the way the Africans hunt...
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  5. Tayyab1796
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    Tayyab1796 FULL MEMBER

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    watch '3 idiots ' and u will know y .
  6. ptldM3
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    ptldM3 SENIOR MEMBER

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    It does have alot to do with region, and it shows. I also disagree with your view about exposure to high tech technology. What good is high tech technology when people are illiterate? I think most sensible people will agree that blackberry phones, computers, and the latest gizmos arn't to do squate in terms of IQ scores.

    An education is the only way to insure a high IQ score, take a look at this:

    What is the average IQ and education level of an average US citizen?



    So, like i said, the more education the better the scores.
  7. CardSharp
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    CardSharp ELITE MEMBER

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    Read the article. It only says that a high disease load early in life can have enough of a nutritional impact that it will lower intelligence as measured by the intelligence quotient. I'd be hard pressed to find any statistically relevant data suggesting a link between urbanization and intelligence (most east Asian countries mentioned were dominated by peasant farmer populations for the majority of their existence, certainly urbanization hasn't happened on a long enough timescale for evolutionary advantage to form in humans)

    I beg to differ. IQ's do vary with race and region, it's been statistically proven. BUT it doesn't mean we should treat anyone differently ever.


    Here is a email from a chem prof who's blog I use to read. I emailed him an article on Race and intelligence and heres what he had to say.
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  8. CardSharp
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    CardSharp ELITE MEMBER

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    Oh man this is such a classic case of mistaking cause and effect. :victory:

    Do these people become smart because of education OR (more likely) are smarter people predisposed to succeed in higher education/profession.
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  9. Chinaownseverything
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    Most of the people working the lower jobs dropped out of highschool, most of the people in the top jobs went to university.

    It is most likely the high IQ that causes success in education not the more time you spend in school the higher your IQ gets.
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  10. Luftwaffe
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    Luftwaffe PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    Bad guess, IQ has nothing to do with Region, take a look at russia its one of the coldest parts of the world. And when it comes to race, I would not deny india is one of the leading nations in IT I don't know the listings but perhaps india is in a slot in top 5.
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  11. ptldM3
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    ptldM3 SENIOR MEMBER

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    Countris such as South Korea and Japan are densly populated and mostly urban. Africa, on the other hand is not, and not all people in Africa starve. Much of the top countries that are high on the IQ scale were mostly made up of farmers not too long ago, but today that is not the case, and you are missing my point, people living in urban areas have access to higher education, poor people living in rural areas do not, so it has nothing to do with evolution, but everything to do with education.

    Look at the sourse i posted above, professors and scientists rank extremely high while unskilled/less educated people score low.
  12. humanfirst
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    humanfirst SENIOR MEMBER

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    I think it has more to do with the culture than race.Children of Indians and living in usa seems much more intelligent and industrious and have more chance to be a scientist or doctor than indian kids living in home country,while being the same race.
  13. Donatello
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    I guess it is also more genetic related, people having high IQ ancestors would be more likely to have high IQ.
  14. ptldM3
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    ptldM3 SENIOR MEMBER

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    Much of what is on an IQ test is basic reasoning, mathematics, and even geography, just to name a few. Now tell me how on earth is a farmer in Africa going to solve an equation or dicipher a name of a river located in south America?

    It's also not a suprise that children's brains develop and adapt quickly, so it's imperitive that children learn to read, wright, and learn reasoning as well as problem solving skills. Children in Africa usually do not receive this luxury.

    Even adults can stimulate their brains.

    Take a look at this:

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour..._LjZAg&usg=AFQjCNFV2r4JJnzlQT9NWAOqsJsMJwgwdA

    The more schooling or education one has the more they stimulate their brain, even rats get smarter after they learn new things, so yes, education relates to IQ scores. The more education a person receives the more they are challenged and thus the more their brain is stimulated. Likewise, some questions on an IQ test such as mathematics and geography is something that poor farmers in Africa will not be able to answer, for the simple fact that they were never taught.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
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  15. Speeder 2
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    I agree with what most Carsharp and Chinaownseverything said, and almost totally disgree with the rest.

    Pls don't get personal, since we are talking about average IQ here, not individual IQ, for which any of you guy might be higher than me, or not, that's not important.

    That said, I see plenty of elementary mistakes here , either on related knowledge set or logic.

    Here are the basics:

    1. IQ may not fully test ones' intelligence, but it's the single best coefficient that humans have thus far to predict one's overall true intelligence, whatever that is.

    2. IQ is inheritable, is by and large decided by genes. Many IQ tests have been conducted exclusively on age group between 5 and 12, or even younger, to demostrate one's innate IQ has only a little to do with temporar nutrition, education level, cultural influence ( what could be the impact of those on a 5-year-old? ridiculous. ), but much much more to do with genes - so caled "you're born with it." Since different races with different genes settle in different geographic areas and form states/countries mostly of their won kind, so IQ-gene-race-region is highly correlated. Is that so hard to understand or what?

    3. IQ can be affected by environment, so called Flynn Effect, but only limited, half-dozen IQ points or so as far as I'm aware. And there's recent phenomena called Reverse Flynn Effect as well which casts serious doubt on the overall impact of still limited Flynn Effect.

    This should be easy to undetstand, for if envionment is anything close to significant, why Blacks living in N America and Europe (the UK) for 100s for years - the same enviroment as whites, still have significant low IQ? Why East Asians, everever they live around the globe having the same environment, nutrition, education level, culture, language as the local population , in good or bad places ( whether in early dirt poor settlements in SanFrancisco, in Brazil, Fiji, or in Indonesia, South Africa or Europe, etc.) all have the same average IQ? Why starving Korean infants adropted by whites (mostly) and blacks (in some cases) of the US after the Korea War, speaking no Korea but only English, living in different environment ( rich white families or poor black families) on average still have high IQ than Whites, and much higher than blacks? these kinds of studies /research are abundent...

    4. education level, numbers of universities, density of population, city or rural environment, local desease level, parasitic infection in brains, etc of course have some correlations with IQ. In fact almost anything could have some degrees of correlations with IQ, e.g. the intensity of sunlight, the density oif trees around, the materials of the hourse they live in, the timing of how they feed themselves of any day, intensity level of sexual activities... I can go on and on to name a zillion reasons/factors as casual excuses, if the so -called "more worms in the brain" doesn't work. But the fact remains, as CardSharp put it already earlier: they are cause and effect. The OP article is therefore reversing effect for the cause - an ridiculous fallacy of primary school level.

    In the pre-historic times, were the smart people the ones who have choosen to avoid places with high level of deseases to settle, and lived together in groups (later called "city") to have higher chance of survival? ; or in the pre-historic time, cities and education ( built by Martians must be?) made these people smarter later on? The answers seem obvious, don't they?


    By the way, Luftwaffe:

    "indian IT" one of the top 5 in the world? :rofl: In what measure top 5 or even anything remotely close to top 5?, may I ask? total number of innovations? total # of IT patents? # of patents per cap? The size of India IT software market? or the size of India's IT hardwre market? The size of IT-related Stock market? Or the number of IT-related high tech gargets India invent or made...? or what? You've been brainwashed by Inida's own propanganda into believing India's IT is a "giant". India's IT is a gaint of outsourcing only- which is mostly decided by labour cost. Without US and UK's outsourcing call centers, you'll see almost nothing significant there.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
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