The noted blogger Fjordman is filing this report via Gates of Vienna.
For a complete Fjordman blogography, see The Fjordman Files. There is also a multi-index listing here.
Fjordman has joined in an interesting discussion over at Mangan’s place. Some of his assorted comments are below:
Regarding the Germans, this is an intriguing question. I am quite convinced that IQ is an important variable and I have seen several rankings listing the Germans as having the highest average IQ in Europe. Nevertheless, IQ does not explain everything. No single factor ever does. For instance, it does not explain why Europeans and people of European origins outperformed East Asians by such a wide margin, despite the fact that the latter match us in average IQ.
It is interesting that very roughly speaking, IQ increases the further north you get. This means that Europe as a whole has higher IQ than the Middle East, and much higher than tropical Africa. However, there are also minor differences within Europe, and not necessarily statistically insignificant ones. Europeans north of the Alps have slightly higher IQs than those in southern Europe. It is possible to argue that the Swedes and Dutch have outperformed some of the Balkan peoples because of this. The Italians are often listed as having the highest mean IQ in southern Europe, which is consistent with the fact that Italians make up the southern European nation that ranks the highest in modern human accomplishment. The greatest riddle are the Greeks, who in ancient times could produce great geniuses such as Aristotle, Archimedes and Hipparchus, but today have one of the lowest IQs on the European continent.
The fact that average IQ seems to increase the further north you get is consistent with the “cold weather” hypothesis for the evolution of human intelligence in prehistoric times championed by Michael Hart in Understanding Human History, which I have commented upon previously.
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The nations that had the biggest impact on the development of chemistry were the usual suspects: France, Germany and Britain, followed by the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Russia, Switzerland, Belgium etc. However, if you look at per capita contributions you could claim that Swedes did more per person to develop modern chemistry than any other nation on Earth. The average person would be familiar with Alfred Nobel because he invented dynamite and established the Nobel Prizes, and he does receive a very high ranking in the Technology index. However, by far the most scientifically important Swedish chemist was Jöns Jacob Berzelius, who also receives by far the highest ranking of any Scandinavian in the Combined Sciences index by Murray. I suspect that the Swedish scientist closest to him in importance would be Linnaeus. Sweden does well in chemistry and biology and to a lesser extent in astronomy, technology, physics and medicine.
Denmark does well in astronomy and astrophysics, with individuals such as Tycho Brahe (born in southern Sweden), Ole Rømer and Ejnar Hertzsprung. The only science category where Norway performs best among the Nordic nations is mathematics, with Niels Henrik Abel receiving by far the highest ranking. If I recall correctly, number two on the list is also Norwegian, Sophus Lie. Both are correct, in my view. Henrik Ibsen is ranked highest from the Nordic countries in Western Literature, followed by August Strindberg from Sweden and Hans Christian Andersen from Denmark. Edvard Munch is ranked highest in Western Art and Edvard Grieg in Western Music, only rivaled by Jean Sibelius.
I don’t think there is much of an IQ difference between the Nordic peoples. If Denmark and (southern) Sweden rank highest in the sciences I suspect this has partly to do with population density and different levels of urbanization; you don’t just need a few smart people sitting on separate mountain tops, you need a cluster of smart people to create innovation. Finland would probably receive a higher ranking now with Nokia and telecommunications, Linus Torvalds and Linux etc.
If we are approaching a discontinuity in Western history then we will probably witness selection pressures in favor of ethnocentric warrior creeds. Europeans, and arguably people from the Germanic-speaking regions of northwestern Europe in particular, have for centuries been among the least ethnocentric people on Earth, which is why we invented archaeology, comparative linguistics etc. I don’t think any single factor ever explains everything, not even genes or IQ, but if we assume that Europeans, and Germanic Europeans in particular, have a genetic profile which favors altruism then we will probably be facing a bottleneck in the coming generations where only those whites capable of carving out a land exclusively for them and expelling intruders will survive and pass on their genes.
For hundreds of thousands of years, early humans became more intelligent very, very slowly due to evolutionary pressures as average IQ rose, probably more in colder regions than in tropical ones. What we have witnessed during the past century is the unprecedented situation where the global human population has exploded, but mainly in dysfunctional Third World countries. If high-IQ countries such as Germany and Japan have stagnating populations and low-IQ countries such as Nigeria and the Yemen have booming populations, does that not mean that the global average IQ is declining? It probably does. What kind of effect will this have on world civilization? This question is perhaps the greatest possible taboo that exists in the modern West, but in my view it needs to be asked.
Have we arrived at the unprecedented situation of “survival of the least fit”? I suspect that this question stems from a misunderstanding of the theory of evolution. The most “fit” are the ones who successfully pass on their genes. End of story. Survival of the fittest is first and foremost survival of the survivors. If we don’t survive then we are by definition not the most fit. Around WW1, people of European origins made up at least a third of the world’s population. Now we’re soon down to single digits and still falling. This is rapidly turning into a question of survival.
Personally, I am quite confident that whites possess the necessary genetic skills and intelligence to survive the coming bottleneck, but it is possible that whites in the future will come from fewer bloodlines than we do today. We should remember that most of the population growth in the Third World has been caused and sustained by the global impact of Western technology. When the West is no longer willing or able to carry these countries on our backs then many of them will simply implode. I am not sure that the global population will be ten billion or more at the end of this century. It may well be substantially lower than it is today when all is said and done.
I have seen the claim of a larger standard deviation for whites than for East Asians referred to many places and have quoted it myself, but I must say that while it remains plausible I haven’t seen conclusive proof that this claim is true.
The Germans usually come out on top, followed by the Dutch, the Swedes and others, with the Balkan peoples having the lowest average IQ in Europe. However, some of the details in between vary considerably. One ranking referred to in the London Times in 2006 listed the Germans and the Dutch as having an IQ that was 13 points higher than the French. I just don’t buy that.
Notice, by the way, that you can state even in the respectable London Times that the Germans have higher IQ than the French. However, if you state that the Germans have higher IQ than Arabs then you’ve suddenly become a crypto-Nazi. We shouldn’t have to put up with this kind of totalitarian anti-scientific nonsense.