Six Brain-Damage Scourges That Cripple IQ in Sub-Saharan Africa

Hank Pellissier, IEET, March 7, 2012

Why do academic tomes like Wealth and the IQ of Nations insist that the average Sub-Saharan African’s IQ is 30-40 points lower than an East Asian’s IQ?  How can that book give Hong Kong an IQ of 106 and Equatorial Guinea a mere 59?

In 2002, Wealth and the IQ of Nations posited frightfully low IQ numbers for Sub-Saharan Africa.  When the book’s authors—Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen—recalculated the data in their 2006 update, IQ and Global Inequality, they arrived at equally abysmal figures: Sierra Leone (64), The Congo (65), Zimbabwe (66), Guinea (66), Nigeria (69), The Gambia (66), Senegal (66), Mozambique (64), Gabon (64), Central African Republic (64), Equatorial Guinea (59), Liberia (67), Lesotho (67), Angola (68), Niger (67), South Africa (72).

The IQ numbers compiled by Lynn and Vanhanen were lambasted by other researchers, and a rival study, led by Jelte M. Wicherts of The Netherlands, claimed a considerably higher average IQ for the Sub-Saharan region: 82.  But even this lags excruciatingly far behind East Asia and the Western world. Why?

Obviously, Africans have been oppressed by colonialist imperialism, capitalist exploitation, and authoritarian regimes. One way oppression oppresses its victims is by stunting their cognitive abilities, diminishing their ability to be productive and politically engaged. Development economists and the public health community recognize this as an intrinsic part of the gloomy cycle of underdevelopment.

Does oppression impact IQ scores? Yes.  The Sub-Saharan human brain is severely maimed in gestation and early childhood, due to six post-conception horrors: disease, violence, malnutrition, pollution, poverty and illiteracy. {snip}

Decent humans want to believe everyone remains equal in mental ability, no matter how disparate the environments. I appreciate this idealism, but it is anti-scientific and counter-productive to view our brains as impervious to outside harm. {snip}

{snip} Nigeria will be primarily used in this essay as a source of dismal statistics, because it is the most populous nation in the region, with 160 million citizens.

DISEASE: Two recent studies—a 2010 report from the University of New Mexico and 2011 research from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada—have strongly correlated low national IQs with high rates of infectious disease. {snip}

In my email correspondence with the biologists at the University of New Mexico, I was informed by the above study’s lead author Christopher Eppig that, “Based on our own research… a social policy aimed at elevating IQ would want to focus on reducing the infection rates and durations of the infections that are most costly to the brain, which we predict include malaria, diarrheal diseases, tuberculosis, and intestinal worms.”


{snip} Young Sub-Saharans are alarmingly vulnerable to drastic IQ reduction due to the malarial threat because, as University of New Mexico researchers state, “From an energetic standpoint, a developing human will have difficulty building a brain and fighting off infectious diseases at the same time, as both are very metabolically costly tasks.” {snip}

Diarrhea: The diarrhea rate in Nigeria is 18.8%, with 150,000 children dying annually of the disease. Diarrhea weakens the immune system and can quickly lead the sufferer to malnutrition, pneumonia, and a host of additional plagues. University of New Mexico researchers note that, “if exposed to diarrhoeal diseases during their first five years, individuals may experience lifelong detrimental effects to their brain development, and thus intelligence. Parasites may [also] negatively affect cognitive function in other ways, such as infecting the brain directly…” {snip}

 Tuberculosis: Nigeria has the 4th highest TB rate in the world, with more than 400,000 cases per year. Tuberculosis—commonly associated with the lungs—has the potential to attack the brain, causing Tuberculosis Meningitis (TBM). Although this occurs in only 1% of TB cases in developed nations, reports indicate that TB leads to TBM in Nigeria between 7.8-14% of the time. The result? At least 20% of survivors are left with severe brain damage. Tuberculosis also creates a severe toll on the immune system, retarding the cognitive development of young children. {snip}

Intestinal Worms (helminth infections): Nigerian schoolchildren are widely at risk of three intestinal parasites: roundworm, whipworm, and hookworm. One study revealed a 54.9% infection rate in urban public schools, 63.5% infection in rural public schools, and 28.4% in private schools. Intestinal worms have been associated with reduced IQ in many studies; one estimate is that “the average IQ loss for children left untreated is 3.75 points per worm infection.” {snip}

VIOLENCE: Being subjected to violence, or witnessing violent activity, puts a traumatic burden on children that leads to cognitive decline.  How steep is the subtraction? A 2002 study from the Children’s Hospital of Michigan concludes that “a child experiencing both violence exposure and trauma-related distress… would be expected to have a 7.5-point decrement in IQ and a 9.8 decrement in reading achievement.” {snip}


MALNUTRITION: Prior to the recent focus on infectious disease hampering IQ levels, the prevalent opinion in scholastic circles was that malnutrition was the brain’s primarily oppressor. On the website nextbigfuture, author Brian Wang asserts that “if everyone had optimal levels of micronutrients the IQ of over half the world would be increased by up to 20 IQ points.” {snip}

Iodine Deficiency: If a pregnant mother’s diet is low in element #53, her child’s IQ can be severely hampered. Cretinism is the worst result of iodine deficiency, with its shocking retardation of physical and mental development. A recent report indicates that every year 900,000 Nigerian children will suffer an IQ loss because their mothers didn’t ingest enough iodine during their pregnancy. How large of an IQ loss? The website suggests “the loss of intellectual capacity by as much as 10 to 15 percentage points.” {snip}

Iron Deficiency (anemia): An alarming 75.6% of Nigerian children are anemic, claims This lack punishes developing brains. “Various tests of cognitive skills associate lack of iron during infancy and early childhood with significant levels of disadvantage, affecting IQ scores by as much as 5 to 7 points,” notes {snip}

Lack of Breastfeeding: Recent research by Oxford University and Essex University asserts that infants breastfed for just four weeks are granted a 3-point IQ boost. Many specialists advice breastfeeding for at least six months, because the fatty acids in the mother’s milk aids infant brain development. Unfortunately, breastfeeding rates in the Sub-Saharan are among the lowest in the world.  UNICEF calculates that only 31% of the region’s mothers breastfeed, a low figure compared to East and South Asia’s 43-44%. {snip}

POVERTY: The per capita income in Nigeria, for example, is a mere $191 annually. Numerous studies have indicated that growing up poor causes severe damages to one’s ability to achieve full cognitive potential. For example, wealthier parents can provide “better educational resources and spend more time with their children” notes Elliot Tucker Drob, an assistant psychology professor at the University of Texas at Austin.


POLLUTION: Numerous elements and molecular compounds are severely debilitating to human brain development. I’ve listed two dangers below; additional chemicals that cause harm in the Sub-Saharan are cadmium, manganese, petroleum hydrocarbons, mercury, and others. Water pollution and soil contamination are merit attention.

Lead Poisoning: The brain-toxic 82nd element is pervasive throughout the Sub-Sahara. Leaded gasoline wasn’t phased out until 2005 with settling fumes caking the soil, and subsequently, the agricultural produce. {snip} The effect of lead on IQ varies in research reports, but a 2001 study, from School of Public Health University at Albany Rensselaer (New York) estimated that lead exposure in children caused a “permanent loss of IQ of approximately 5 to 7 IQ points.” {snip}

Air Pollution (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons): Lagos—with its 12 million residents—has severe air pollution, largely caused by auto fumes and burning garbage. {snip} Research in Krakow, Poland and New York City  claims that air pollution exposure before birth lowers IQ by 4 points, because smog harms the developing brain. {snip}

ILLITERACY: In the Sub-Saharan, a mind-boggling 58% of the population is illiterate. Benin is the worst with 82.4% illiteracy; only 11.9% of its women can read and write. In Nigeria, nine nine million kids don’t go to school, instead they just “roam the streets.” Illiterate children don’t take the standard “Alpha” IQ test, instead, they tackle the non-verbal Revised Beta Examination.  Barely literate children are at an extreme disadvantage with the language-based Alpha. {snip}

GENETICS—Adding to the multiple environmental factors listed above are at least two genetic circumstances that damage IQ. Both problems could be alleviated with improved social, educational, and health policies. The two genetic factors are sickle-cell disease and cousin marriage.

The Sub-Saharan has the highest prevalence in the world in sickle-cell disease, with up to 2% of all children born with the genetic blood disorder. A 2011 Emma Children’s Hospital study at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam discovered that children with sickle-cell disease were at-risk for lower intelligence and executive dysfunction, with possible deficits in visual-spatial working memory, attention, and planning.  The impact was significant: “More than one in three children with SDC had a full-scale IQ below 75.”

Cousin marriage, known as “consanguinity,” is prevalent in many Sub-Saharan groups.  In Nigeria it is practiced by the 18 million members of the Hausa tribe, preferentially in marrying patrilateral parallel cousins. The custom is also common among the Yoruba.  Cousin marriage increases the risk of birth defects, due to sharing of the genes. In 1993, an Aligarh Muslim University report from India study showed an IQ drop of 11.2 points (from 99.6 to 88.4) in the offspring of cousin marriages.

Summary: The tragic liabilities listed above have created a climate so vicious to brain development it’s amazing the tormented Sub-Saharan IQs aren’t even farther behind the 3-digit East Asians and high-90’s Westerners. {snip}

Regarding the IQ gap, my hope is that charitable developed nations and NGOS will continue to donate. {snip}

Addressing the systemic problems I’ve noted in my essay is imperative in fixing the stunted abilities of the region. Truth is, there’s reason for optimism—the brain is marvelously “plastic” and IQ is enormously malleable.  Children damaged by malnutrition, pollutions, and other grim factors can swiftly improve.

Techno-progressive solutions are also critical now—a prime current hope is that Internet access and low-cost computers in the Sub-Saharan will accelerate the residents into an egalitarian future. {snip}

Another interesting “transhumanist” advance is Nigeria’s recent development of it’s own pharmaceutical “smart drug”—called Cognitol. The pill is a clinically proven, 5mg vinpocetine tablet that can improve information storage, memory and IQ.  Additionally, there are other cognitive enhancement therapies that provide enormous benefits for those with stunted abilities, benefits that can enable them to rapidly close the gap between themselves and luckier individuals who received optimal nutrition and environments. {snip}

With correct future policies and neuro-technology, Sub-Saharans can be equal to all, by every material and mental measure.

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  • haroldcrews

    Wouldn’t an obvious method to eliminate any environmental factors be to test the IQ’s of Africans in other environments such as the US, the Caribbean or South America?  Or are they merely looking to explain away the difference?

    • I W

      They used to do just that; but the results were (predictably) deemed “racist” when the results showed what everyone already knows.

      • Terry Field

        The stupid pc nonsense is over. The data is clear. relative intelligence difference is established.

  • WmarkW

    Does anyone have the data to construct the following graph for nations with at least a milllion blacks:

    The vertical axis of “median income among blacks’
    The horizontal axis, “percent white population”

    It would become clear real fast that living as a minority is easily the best thing for blacks (USA), followed by having a substantial white minority (South Africa and Brazil) and worst is to have a totally black nation (Haiti and Ethiopia).

    This should dispel any notion that the white man is what keeps the African down.

    • IstvanIN

      You sound like Rev. David Manning.

    • Terry Field

      Look at studies done in the USA, Germany, the UK.

  • haroldcrews

    Presumably European populations are not living in an environment conducive to optimal or enhanced (through pharmaceuticals) IQ.  Could not every population increase its average IQ through manipulation of the environment? 

    • IstvanIN

      Europeans lived though harsh winters, plague, drought, starvation, etc. and figured out ways to manipulate their environment to avoid or lessen the impact of such disasters.  Africans just sat there and let it happen.  The enviroment is not what kept their IQ low.

      • haroldcrews

        No argument from me.  I was thinking that very thing about higher IQ’s helping people avoid communicable diseases or infections.  The author is this article is confusing cause and effect.

    • MikeofAges

       Not in our current legal and political atmosphere. What is needed to improve the performance of the Caucasian group in American society is strictly verboten (forbidden in  German).

  • I’m happy for this article.  Why?  Because it lists most of the lame excuses and bromides the egalitarians use to explain what are really inherent IQ differences, and it does it in one handy article.

    By the way, most of these explanations can’t be used to explain IQ differences because they’re a symptom of IQ differences.  It’s as stupid as saying that your sneezing and sniffles will cause you to catch a cold, when the cold virus is the cause of your sneezing and sniffles.

    As far as the real diseases and pathologies that are said to reduce IQ, I was always under the impression that IQ is nothing more than a measure of one’s innate abilities, regardless of one’s actual education.  IOW, IQ measures the size of your barrel, education is the amount of grain inside the barrel.  I think these diseases will interfere with the amount of grain in the barrel, but they won’t decrease the size of the barrel.

  • Then why do african americans, who have an average of 20%(I forget the exact number) european dna score a mere 85 IQ points, which, if you follow the genetic argument, explains their larger IQ as opposed to their subsaharan brothers perfectly?  There was another study which showed that adopted east asian children had a higher iq than their adopted white parents in Belgium and the US, in line with their race.  The oppression argument doesn’t hold either, as every group has been oppressed at one point or another.  In fact I’d argue that whites had it worst, as our constant bits of organized violent warfare were both far bloodier and longer lasting then the periodic tribal spats suffered by most of black africa.

    Also, I fail to see how continuing to waste money on Africans will stop them from marrying their cousins, nor how it will solve their high rate of sickle cell disease.

    • haroldcrews

      If anything oppression would be an additional selective pressure for intelligence.

      • MikeofAges

        Evolution can only rearrange what is. Also, keep in mind, when it come to the issue of human being vs. everything else, the game is rigged. Even in Africa. In the world of nature, that’s what counts. From nature’s point of view, the Black African is a successful entity. Only when Westerners came along and created artificial means of building and sustaining extraordinary populations (i.e. mass agriculture and bulk food distribution) did anything other that the ability to survive in a given environment become the issue anywhere in the world.

  • JohnEngelman

    Jewish children who grew up in Nazi concentration camps do not seem to have these problems. 


    There is a bit of truth in this article, but a lot of lying and omission of truth.

    It is true that most of those environmental factors can lower cognative ability of individuals during development.  However, the fact that Africans still have amazingly low IQ when raised at high-standards of living in Western nations shows that IQ is largely genetic.   Twin- and adoption studies also demonstrate the dominent effect of genes on IQ.  Even when millions are spent on pre-natal care, Head Start, enrichment programs, Affirmative-action, etc, Blacks are still cognitavely dysfunctional.

    Now, let’s talk about cause-and-effect.  Humans that evolve in the tropics where water, shelter, warmpth, and food are abundant, have less selection for high IQ.   i.e., in the tropics, one’s survival is the same whether you are smart or dumb, becasue there is always warmpth, water, and food in abundance.   In fact, the main selective agent is disease.   Hence, natural selection is selecting for rapid and prolific reproduction and disease resistance, and not intellegence.  Rapid and prolific reproduction assures that at least one offspring might survive. 

    In contrast,  cold temperate zones, where food comes in large defended packages (mammoths, bison) and where the environment is frozen 6 months out of the year,  selects for high intellegence, cooperation, future-time-orientation, and low reproductive rate.  This is because it takes a high IQ to plan and work during the short summer to survive all winter long.   In the cold temporate zones, death is caused by stupidity — such as not planning ahead for the winter — not creating the technology to survive the long-cold.  

    Hence, people who evolved in cold temperate zones evolved high IQ.
    People who evlolved in humid, disease ridden tropics had less need for high IQ (were not selected based on IQ).

    The result is that people who evolved in humid, diseased tropics are generally low-IQ.  It’s the result of evolution and is genetic. 


    • MikeofAges

       Another thought, and it may or may not be valid. Does life in the tropics condition the male-female dynamic not only culturally but perhaps even genetically? Reportedly, tropical plants typically provide more biologically available iron, which the human female needs. This makes the tropical female inherently more autonomous and more able to disregard, dominate and diminish the male.

      Might even explain why white women are such great wheedlers. “Honey, I need some iron. Get me some.” LOL.

    • Terry Field

      The IQs are not amazingly low. They are just low. That is how life is.
      Whatever the lefties would have you believe.

    • Mary

      So why do Jewish people have such immensely high IQ then? Israel is a very warm country. Why does people from Singapore and Hong Kong have very high IQ? Singapore is in a tropical location. More or less the same with Hong Kong. Why do Inuit’s and Laps have relatively low IQ? You see your Darwinian, evolutionary argument is not any better. Its full of holes.

      • Mary

        The answer is of course that this has to do with culture. Protestant Christianity, Judaism, and certain Confucian value and belief systems puts a strong focus on studies, productivity, and hard work. These philosophies are more or less non existent in fate -based African animist cultures and islamic countries.

  • redshirts

    Six Scourges that Cripple Whiteness:

    Diversity is our Strength.

    Disparate Impact.

    Affirmative Action.

    Social and Redistrbutive Justice.

    Eric Holder’s “my people” DOJ.

    Sons of Obama.

    Anti-racism is codeword for anti-White. Diversity is a vile hate crime against God’s kingdom plan for our White privilege and violates White Humanity’s ordained destiny.

    Transgressing Diversity is the new erotic turn on for Whites Only dating. Increase your hotness quotient by trangressing Diveristy and manifesting Whiteness.

    “But never forget the thrill of transgression. Right-wing ideas are transgressive. And are therefore interesting, and sexy. Herbert Marcuse once wrote about the eroticism of the Right. Susan Sontag did as well. And the Right is more erotic than the Left, is more exciting than the Left. The Left is boring, the Left is extraordinarily grungy and erotically unexciting, you know, despite its prevalence and its penchant for decadence, there’s a degree to which it is not as radically outside the box.”  -Jonathan Bowden

  • holyflower

    Hank Pellissieer: “Decent humans want to believe everyone remains equal in mental ability, no matter how disparate the environments.”


    Another descriptor comes to mind other than “decent”.  The co-discoverer of the double helix structure of DNA, James Watson explains:

    “There is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically. Our wanting to preserve equal powers of reasons to some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so.” (James D. Watson, Avoid Boring People, p. 326)

  • Pseudo-intellectual, politically correct slumgullion. Their IQs are lower because they’re lower; sub-Saharan Africans don’t have the mental capacity of Europeans or Asians.

    And by the way, anyone who waded through all that “My Eyes Glaze Over” horse manure must have a bad case of masochism.

  • ” Obviously, Africans have been oppressed by colonialist imperialism,
    capitalist exploitation, and authoritarian regimes. One way oppression
    oppresses its victims is by stunting their cognitive abilities,
    diminishing their ability to be productive and politically engaged”

    Obviously???  Africans have been ruled by the worst authoritarions since they first walked upright and continue to be to this day, they are far more brutal than any European colonist. And you would expect the introduction of human civilization to the sub-saharans by the colonizers would have spurred their cognitive abilities and improved their produtivity and enabled them to become politically engaged, but obviously civilization has not taken root in that region.

    • IstvanIN

      Rev. Manning has a video where he discusses how blacks didn’t have anything until the white man showed up.  And he doesn’t count Egypt as African.

  • razorrare

    yeh,right..maybe they should spend a billion of taxpayers dollars investigating how it is that a black inmates on death row who have had an average i.q. of 85 suddenly drops to 70 to avoid the chair..U.S. law stipulates no state can put a person to death whose i.q. is that of 70 or lower(scientifically regarded as “retarded”)….funny how you dont hear the egalitarians shouting “thats racist!!”..put him or her to death!! We are all the same!!”

  • deadindenver

    Although the author try’s to come off as scientific his own training is in History, the Humanities and Religious studies.  Clearly that last one indicates his agenda.  That being said, this article better supports why American Blacks who are not subject to the conditions of Africa have average of 10 to 15 more IQ points then there African brothers but that is still substantially below White & Asian average IQ’s.  

  • sbuffalonative

    Does oppression impact IQ scores? Yes.  The Sub-Saharan human brain is severely maimed in gestation and early childhood, due to six post-conception horrors: disease, violence, malnutrition, pollution, poverty and illiteracy.
    The author admits that IQ is real and measurable. That’s a win for us.
    As for the reasons given for low sub-Saharan IQ’s, Africans born and living in western nations for multiple generations largely  free of most of these alleged causes should show IQs comparable to native white Western populations.

  • KenelmDigby

     Saying all that, the author has got it all absolutely and completely wrong – and I wish many peole would stop acting so smug about this supposed IQ difference.

    My point is this – the real people with the sub-retarded, sub insect, sub bacterial, sub-everything IQ AREN’T the sub-saharan Africans. No, no way, rest assured they will still be here and thriving centuries from now when whitey has vanished – and in evolutionary terms, they great universa plan, or whatever you might like to call, isn’t that the ‘name of the game’, no need for any over elaborated or high faluting BS.
     No the real fools beyond foolishness, so dumb in fact that that the word ‘intelligence’ is pretty much meaningless in this context, are the entire political and elitist class of the White western world who formulate immigration and ‘equalitities’ policies in western nations, and not content in with merely abusing and persecuting those who dare to speak out aren’t shy of shedding blood in the cause of their madness.
     Whatever viewpoint you might take, whether scientific or mystical to explain the puzzle of existenc, the madness and inanity of the westen political class can only be described in the terms of cosmic catastrophe, rather like the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs. I repeat myself, it is a course of action beyond the bounds of rationality (ie it transcends stupidity as measured by human terms, which normally just means plain good old fashioned ignorance).It belongs to something else entirely.


      In evolution, the future belongs to whome ever leaves the most offspring — whomever breeds the most.  Intellegence or morality do not matter — it is only reproduction.

      A variety that reproduces more, and at an earlier age will out breed another, every time.  Even better, if the fast-breeding variety can get the slow-breeding variety to pay for (provide resources for) the fast-breeders.  In this way, the slow-breeders produce even fewer offspring, because they are forced to transfer resources to the fast breeders.

  • If that is the case, why would blacks in the Caribbean score in the 70s and the low 80s?

    Why would blacks after centuries in a first world nation like America still score in the 80s?

    Finally, the explanation is a symptom of stupidity, not the cause. Nigerians aren’t stupid because of things like helminth worm infections and malnutrition. Helminth worms and malnutrition occur because Nigerians are stupid.


  • I always wonder why college types don’t ponder the fact that the oldest race is still the most primitve race.  Don’t they ever wonder why the africans weren’t the ones sailing around the world colonizing north and south america, europe, etc?  With at least a 200,000 year headstart over other races, all the innovations of civilization should have originated in africa. Instead, when the first whites ventured into africa, before the oppression and capitalist exploitation, they were amused to find a people living as they had 50,000 years ago.

    I also wonder why these college types don’t recognize that humans encountered all the same diseases and conditions as the africans did, and either overcame them, avoided them, or minimized them.  Where humans have mastered their environment, animals are at the mercy of their environment

  • Laura White

    The DWLs want so badly for this nonsense to be true. 

    The fact is that the One Banana meme that has been going around is the true explainer of black cognitive deficits. 

    Here’s how it works: 

    One banana weighs on average 120 grams. This in turn is the average difference in brain weights between blacks and euros. 

    In the 19th century this stuff was common knowledge. Heck, all you have to do today is look with your lying eyes at the skull of a black in line at Wal Mart, to see that their heads are shaped a lot different from the heads of other races. 

    How do these DWL really expect us to swallow the “equal ability” lie when the One Banana meme explains everything you need to know? 

    Remember: the great Doctor Samuel Morton in his 1839 tome “Crania Americana” went to humungous lengths to understand racial differences in human groups from around the world. And then, a century and a half later, the verminous little weasel Stephen J. Gould managed to pull the wool over the eyes of two generations of gullible white college kids, who were required to read his anti-euro pro-minority bible “The Mismeasure of Man,” which basically shot down Samuel Morton as a lying white supremacist. 

    Yeah, right! As if whites really needed to lie and be sneaky to explain european preponderance in all things civilizational. The good news of course is that Samuel Morton was vindicated last summer, and Stephen J. Gould was called out for the lying little anti-white creep that he is (was). In many ways, the debunking of “Mismeasure” marks a crucial turning point in the HBD realism movement. We await with gleeful trepidation that more such truths soon be revealed. Sincerely, – Artur ps: From Morton’s “Crania,” a description of the African : AFRICAN “Characterized by a black complexion, and black, woolly hair; the eyes are large and prominent, the nose broad and flat, the lips thick, and the mouth wide; the head is long and narrow, the forehead low, the cheekbones prominent, the jaws protruding, and the chin small. In disposition the Negro is joyous, flexible, and indolent; while the many nations which compose this race present a singular diversity of intellectual character, of which the far extreme is the lowest grade of humanity. … The moral and intellectual character of the Africans is widely different in different nations.  The Negroes are proverbially fond of their amusements, in which they engage with great exuberance of spirit; and a day of toil is with them no bar to a night of revelry. Like most other barbarous nations their institutions are not infrequently characterized by superstition and cruelty. They appear to be fond of warlike enterprises, and are not deficient in personal courage; but, once overcome, they yield to their destiny, and accommodate themselves with amazing facility to every change of circumstance. The Negroes have little invention, but strong powers of imitation, so that they readily acquire mechanic arts. They have a great talent for music, and all their external senses are remarkably acute.”

  • Each and every point the author makes is easily disputed or proved to be preposterous. Take lead for example. Whites have been exposed to far far higher levels of lead over a much longer period of time than all of africa. Starting with Romans and lead water pipes to lead paints to modern plumbing with lead alloy solder, all of which africans avoided for most of their existence.  And as far as automobiles, if you take South Africa out of the equation, the per capita ownership for africa was probably 1 per 100,000 for the entire century, not enough to impact the environment or public health.

  • I W

    Typical liberal reversal of causality.

    By their own arguments the printing press could never have been invented in Europe when it was, as Europe was swimming in disease and poverty (bubonic plague was at its height less then 50 years before Herr Gutenberg created movable type.)
    Their argument falls flat on its face in light of European developments of Sanitation systems and sewers -as (if their argument held water) the conditions that necessitated the development of sewage treatment for example would (by their argument) have prevented the development of waste removal systems because everybody would have been too ‘dumbed down’ by the raw sewage running in the streets.
    Every technological development coming from either Europe or the Far East could be held to this same standard, and each and every one would show the same intellectual poverty of their argument.

    Would Pennicillin have been discovered if Not for disease? Would Mr Lister have made his name world famous (Listerine) if not for rampant disease and a percieved (European) need to cure it?

    How on Earth did European people manage to pull themselves out of the (so-called) Dark Ages then?

    The endless brow beating about ‘why Africa cannot pull itself out of the gutter’ is pointless unless they are willing to honestly see that the problems with sub-Saharan Africa are entirely due to a population of sub-Saharan Africans.

    • introspection

      “How on Earth did European people manage to pull themselves out of the (so-called) Dark Ages then?”

      Time. How long has Africa been in poverty?

  • MikeofAges

     But it’s a tough life, what you are talking about. Maybe the Chinese and the Indians are better suited to it after all. And less subject to resentment than the European.

  • elwood p. dowd

    The only way Nigeria “developed”  Cognitol was by stealing the formula from someone else. The main ingredient is a shrub found in India and is on sale right now, and has been for some time.

    Quite frankly it seems like the same sort of crap peddled in health stores in the US that also make all sorts of off the wall claims.  I wonder what qualifies  a drug as “clinically proven”  in Nigeria?

    Though the company selling this mentions a few things the author seems to have forgotten:

    >>  as an aphrodisiac (Just what Nigeria needs!)
    >> to produce improvements in IQ in mentally retarded children

    It also potentially has a boatload of nasty side effects, This UK site emphasized over and over how important it is to be carefully monitored while on the stuff, that dosages need to be carefully determined and so on:

    As best I can tell the drug is not approved for distribution in the US, either on a prescription basis or OTC. (But oddly there was a patent filed in 2000 under that name.) In the UK they’re apparently using it for stuff like Parkinson’s, but it seems that’s only on a limited basis and under highly controlled conditions. Whereas Nigeria seems ready to hand the stuff out like M&Ms.

    I wonder…If a few Nigerians die from this quackery what contusions are
    they going to go through to blame whitey?  After all, nothing is ever
    their own fault.

  • rational2012

    Correlation, even when done sloppily and with brainless overlap, is not causation.

  • introspection

    Richard and Tatu are not serious scientists. How can they say the national IQ of Ethiopia (a nation of 80+ million people) is 63 because some 250 children of Ethiopian Jews, who had only 3 to 4 years of education scored that in an IQ test in Israel? The test was given in Hebrew, a language the children have just learned instead of Amharic, which is a language the children has spoken all their lives. They “calculated” the IQ of neighboring countries based on this data! I am no academic but this mustn’t be classified as a “rigorous” research. I am ashamed for them. Yes, I believe IQ does measure intelligence. I am not going to blindly oppose their claim that there is a ge

  • introspection

    1. Which word in the bracket is most opposite in meaning to the word in capitals?

    QUERULOUS (petulant, equable, worried, hopeful, straightforward)

  • introspection

    #2. 5, 16, 49, ? , 445

    • introspection

      I figured this one out. It is 148.

  • introspection

    #3. Which is the odd one out?

    pivotal, incidental, substantive, seminal, salient

    • introspection

      English is my third language. “incidental” seems to have a different meaning from the rest.

  • introspection

    This is introspection. This is my comment as a guest before I signed up.

  • introspection

    #4. In a right-angled triangle, what is the length of the shortest

    side if the length of the hypotenuse is 65 cm and the length of

    the second-longest side is 63 cm?

    • introspection

      16 cm. This is an easy one.

  • introspection

    Come on people, I thought you loved IQ tests.

  • Terry Field

    This article is soggy codswallop.
    Not a shred of evidence for the assertions made,
    What we DO know is that studies in the USA and the UK and Europe done by highly reputable institutes have recorded huge differences between the racial sub-groups and not in the favour of those who have originated in Africa.
    The reduced IQ in Europe currently being reported are being speculated to result from the effect of multi-racial inward migration.

  • lib2libertarian

    Academic achievement and intelligence are independent variables.

  • dan

    To be honest as a colored man, it’s pretty obvious that there is a difference in intelligence between people of difference (heritage?) as in black people vs white people, and it’s in favor of whites.

    A lot of people here stop at that point and don’t appear to want to do anything about it in general, A few comments saying it is the way it is and it wont change.

    I beg to differ, evolution favored Europeans, but evolution does not have to be a natural occurrence, if you could provoke unnatural evolution, you could in theory increase the IQ of Africans, without needing extensive knowledge in genetics and how they work (which we don’t really have yet).

    Most people would agree that if two intelligent people breed the resultant offspring will also be intelligent, somewhat relative to their parents, now there are exceptions to every rule, but in general this would be how it works?

    So if people got out of their politically correct seats, we could in theory increase African IQ through unnatural selective breeding, this is quite invasive, but perhaps necessary. It’s easier said than done, how many people want to give up birth rights? or genetic birth rights? especially when it would be aimed predominately at males since 100 men could provide sperm for as many women as necessary per year (within reason) whereas 100 women can only have 100 children per year.

    Of course you want as many males as possible since inbreeding would be a problem.

    If I have something wrong let me know, I would hate to repeat this somewhere else and have made a fundamental blunder.

  • laine sams

    I remember a backpage news story citing the results of a third or forth study that once again confirmed a correlation between skull diameter at birth with later IQ in an elementary grade. I wondered why such a study had already been repeated so many times, until I read that it was one of the bits of evidence presented in The Bell Curve book. When you factor this along with how the early onset of puberty impacts academics, the conclusions are inescapable.

  • Mary

    That’s not true at all. There has never been any church edict about that. The discussion about that was always open. These are lies from communists and certain “enlightenment” philosophers.

  • Tory

    However the calculations were arrived at, assuming they carry any validity, a low average IQ score amongst a particular population does not indicate a constant. One could logically assume the Sub Sahara Africans you referenced above who’ve managed to gain entry to & ultimately graduate with high GPA’s from prestigious Western universities, most likely do have IQ’s well above average on any scale and the fact that pursuing an education worthy of their intelligence, necessitates their leaving Sub Saharan Africa to do so, certainly isn’t going to improve these figures over time as your last comment speaks to.