Sunday, 11 April 2010

We live in the smartest place in the world: Hong Kong!

Just back from 1,200 miles on the South China Sea, a yacht race to the Philippines and back.  So, thought I'd slide gently back into Jihad-watching, with a bit of light reading, in the course of which I came across the figures below.  They are IQ per  country, showing a high correlation between GNP and IQ (0.73).
To preempt howls of protest about the various biases of IQ tests, I direct readers to a thoughtful article on the issues here .  These figures are from a study called IQ and the Wealth of Nations by Lynn and Vanhanen and there's a critique of this book here .
So: we live in the "smartest place in the world"!  Hong Kong, whoopee!  
There's another thing a veteran JWatcher can't help but notice: the high correlation between Islamic countries and poor IQ performance (these are marked in grey).  This is nothing to do with race or ethnicity, as Islam is not a race.  It does have to do, however, with the influence of Islam on the wealth of these nations: for in the doctrine on Islam, "innovation" is haram (forbidden) and the specific lack of -- or at least weakness of -- the rule of law (for the ultimate law is that of Allah), have surely contributed to their poor performance.  Indeed, the Arab Development Report makes this point, though only touching lightly on the issue of Islam.  For me, I can't see how it can't be relevant: when you discriminate against half your population (women), suppress free speech, are wary of democracy and free markets, and prefer the rule of Sharia to the rule of law.
(Of course, I can see that not all the poor performers are Islamic countries.  There are many reasons for poor performance.  I just say that Islam is a key factor in those countries that are Islamic.  Or: being a free non-Islamic country is a necessary, but not sufficient reason, for higher IQ scores.
(BTW: I did not know that the average score in the world is not 100 but 92).  Read the references above for a lot more about this complex and vexed topic of IQ scores, their strengths, weaknesses and biases).

Hong Kong (PRC)107
South Korea 106
Japan 105
Taiwan (ROC) 104
Singapore 103
Austria 102
Germany 102
Italy 102
Netherlands 102
Sweden 101
Switzerland 101
Belgium 100
China (PRC) 100
New Zealand 100
United Kingdom 100
Hungary 99
Poland 99
Australia 98
Denmark 98
France 98
Norway 98
United States 98
Canada 97
Czech Republic 97
Finland 97
Spain 97
Argentina 96
Russia 96
Slovakia 96
Uruguay 96
Portugal 95
Slovenia 95
Israel 94
Romania 94
Bulgaria 93
Ireland 93
Greece 92
Malaysia 92
Thailand 91
Croatia 90
Peru 90
Turkey 90
Indonesia 89
Suriname 89
Colombia 89
Brazil 87
Iraq 87
Mexico 87
Samoa 87
Tonga 87
Lebanon 86
Philippines 86
Cuba 85
Morocco 85
Fiji 84
Iran 84
Marshall Islands 84
Puerto Rico (US) 84
Egypt 83
India 81
Ecuador 80
Guatemala 79
Barbados 78
Nepal 78
Qatar 78
Zambia 77
Congo-Brazzaville 73
Uganda 73
Jamaica 72
Kenya 72
South Africa 72
Sudan 72
Tanzania 72
Ghana 71
Nigeria 67
Guinea 66
Zimbabwe 66
Congo-Kinshasa 65
Sierra Leone 64
Ethiopia 63
Equatorial Guinea 59