So a Polish guy walks into an IQ testing center...

Mary
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This ought to interest the six people in the world who still find "dumb Polack" jokes funny "“ it turns out Poles are smarter than all the other Europeans, save the Germans and the Dutch. A British professor recently surveyed all the nations on the Continent and found that those three nations had the highest average IQs (107 for Germany and the Netherlands, 106 for Poland), while the poor Serbians clocked in last at 89.

 

I'm not sure the nutty professor's work is all that solid "“ as the token girl on this blog, I take issue with his claim that men are smarter than women "“ and I'm also not sure I buy his explanation for the higher IQ scores in Northern countries. Early humans living in cold environments ate more protein-rich meat than their warm-weather counterparts, which may have caused them to evolve bigger brains. (The neurobiologist William Calvin wrote a fantastic book on this subject.) That theory is pretty well regarded, but Professor Lynn takes it further and says the cold weather and resulting bigger brains led to the higher IQs in his survey. The relationship between IQ and brain size is a touchy subject among psychologists; it's by no means proven. I wonder what the professor would have to say about the brain of mental_floss patron saint Albert Einstein (that's it in the photo), which was organized in a unique way but not especially huge. Clearly, at least in that case, size didn't matter.

 

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March 31, 2006 - 4:15am
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