Home > Archive > Volume 44, No. 2 > This paper

IQ Population Genetics: It's not as Simple as You Think

Gerhard Meisenberg


Published: 2003/12/01


The question of cognitive differences between human populations is one of the most contentious issues in the study of human diversity. After reviewing the worldwide patterns of cognitive test performance, this article evaluates alternative causal hypotheses and evolutionary mechanisms. Racial affiliation and latitude correlate with IQ test performance, as does economic development. Religion, a history of colonialism, and a history of Communist rule are important in some cases. This article proposes mechanisms of gene-culture co-evolution that can explain the worldwide patterns. The genetic component of these mechanisms is likely to become testable with further advances in molecular genetics.