Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Recruiting Laplanders as Professors

For all I know, this ranking of European IQs is based on solid science, but you wouldn't know it from the description in the article.

The data makes little sense, and even less sense when interpreted with the quotes. So, with an average IQ of 89, we are to believe that the average Serbian is only about 4 points into the normal range? I don't know a lot of Serbians, but the few I met weren't drooling all over themselves.

Then we get the quotes attributing higher IQs to colder, northerly climates. Fine, except that of the top three countries on the chart are in central Europe, and we've got to go through countries such a Italy before we get down to Norway. Of course, that whole line is a little silly (I hope a misquote or poorly contextualized quote), since it assumes that since people were "early human beings" (which I take to mean "cave men") they haven't really moved from one region to another. I wonder why the Romans built all those roads, since people are such homebodies? And, apparently, anyone with any brains at all immediately moves to a city and starts breeding.

Buried in the article is this little gem: "He found that university students had, at 109, the second-highest undergraduate IQs in the world, beaten only by their US counterparts on 110." My average student has a 110 IQ? Excellent! More homework! Longer assignments! Double up on readings! Hey, they can handle it, since the average American undergrad is apparently three IQ points higher than the average German.

So, what is the upshot of all this research? Universities should try to recruit male Laplander professors, especially those who got their undergraduate degrees from American schools. Since in war "the side with the highest IQ normally wins," the US military should start recruiting more Inuit soldiers.

And Santa Claus, of course, must be absolutely brilliant, with a skull the size of Brainiac from the planet Zolton.


  1. And Santa Claus, of course, must be absolutely brilliant, with a skull the size of Brainiac from the planet Zolton.

    Not fair--I just about spewed coffee all over my laptop.

  2. Anonymous1:06 PM

    Call me crazy, but I thought the myth about "larger brain size = higher intelligence" had been debunked a long time ago...

  3. Cappy,

    If you only had a larger head, you'd know better.

  4. Anonymous12:53 PM

    you're right -- d'oh!