Friday, April 3, 2009

Burying your head in the sand

Freakonomics has an interview with someone from Oxford who studies the economy of Africa:


What do you think of Richard Lynn's findings about race differences in intelligence and their relatedness to Africa's continuing state of underdevelopment? In his work, Mr. Lynn compiled the results of numerous studies which appear to show fairly unambiguously that average I.Q.'s in sub-Saharan Africa are below 70. Studies furthermore show that this disadvantage is almost certainly inherited genetically.


I don't know this stuff and don't want to."

I have never seen such a blatant admission of willful ignorance.  He then goes on to make up some stupid story about how intelligence has nothing to do with economic development, in spite of mountains of evidence showing the link between IQ and success in life.

The true irony is that recent research explains why poor people have lower IQ, and why this effect is inherited.  The simple fact is that growing up in stress and poverty stunts your brain's development.  This will lowering your ability to get a good job and succeed in life.  Poverty causes stupidity, and then stupidity causes poverty.  The people who admit that this cycle exists are working on how to break it, but people like the interviewee who will not face the facts are doomed to remain useless.

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