Dutch, German are brightest – claim
March 27, 2006 Leave a Comment
New research suggests German and Dutch people have more in common than cold weather and a Germanic language – the northern neighbours are also the most intelligent people in Europe.
Both countries score 107 in the league table of European IQs drawn up by Professor Richard Lynn of the University of Ulster, the Times reported on Monday.
The ‘British Isles’, in contrast, comes 8th in the ranking, with a score 100. The British newspaper takes some comfort from the fact France, its traditional rival, is in 19th place on 94.
Still the island nation that once ruled a empire stretching across the globe lags behind Poland, Sweden, Italy, Austria and Switzerland, not to mention its former maritime rival The Netherlands and Germany. Norway also scored 100.
Belgium – traditionally the butt of many Dutch jokes – are just behind on 99, tied with Denmark and Finland. Sunny Spain comes 15th with a score of 98.
Professor Lynn, caused controversy last year by suggesting men were more intelligent than women by about five IQ points on average. He now hypothesises people living in the more challenging environments of Northern Europe developed larger brains than those in warmer climates further south.
The average brain size in Northern and Central Europe is 1,320cc and in southeast Europe it is 1,312cc, the Times reported.
“The early human beings in northerly areas had to survive during cold winters when there were no plant foods and they were forced to hunt big game,” Lynn said. “The main environmental influence on IQ is diet, and people in southeast Europe would have had less of the proteins, minerals and vitamins provided by meat which are essential for brain development.”
He added that differences in intelligence across Britain could be attributed to bright people moving to London over hundreds of years. Adults in England and Wales have an IQ of 100.5, higher than Ireland and Scotland, both with 97. People living in London and the South East average 102.
Lynn said this pattern is repeated in other countries. In France, IQ scores in Paris were much higher than those in rural areas.
Professor Lynn has spent three decades analysing thousands of test results to scrutinise the role of evolution in IQ. He has published his findings in a new book.
He links the differences between British and French intelligence levels to the results of military conflict. He described it as “a hitherto unrecognised law of history” that the side with the higher IQ normally wins, unless they are hugely outnumbered, as Germany was after 1942, according the Times.
A “normal” IQ ranges from 85 to 115 but exceptionally gifted people have scores starting at 145.
Source: Expatica Netherlands, ANP, 27 March 2006