Although HBD claims some human populations are more intelligent and well behaved than others, this is usually explained in terms of evolutionary adaptations to different environments.  Very rarely does HBD ever claim that some populations are more evolved than others.  Of course this is not surprising.  The very idea of some extant life forms being more evolved than others is considered pseudoscience by the likes of biologist Stephen Jay Gould and his millions of followers.

It used to be argued that the oldest population was the most evolved.  Before the days of evolutionary theory it was argued that Europeans were the first humans, made in God’s image, and as they migrated in different directions, they began to degrade into other races.

Once evolutionary theory became accepted, there was Carleton Coon’s theory which seemed to imply that Europeans were the oldest modern humans and thus the most evolved, while other populations were behind the curve.  Of course this assumed that different races all made the leap to humanity in different places, a theory that has since been replaced by the single origin model which argues that modern humans all evolved in one place (sub-Saharan Africa) 200,000 years ago, and only after leaving Africa 70,000 years ago did they split into different races.

Of course this allowed Afrocentric types like Louis Farakhan to argue that since the first modern humans were Africans, they are the parents of other races, and other races must respect their parents.  However scholar J.P. Rushton flipped this argument on its head by arguing that the earlier a race split off the main trunk of the human evolutionary tree, the less advanced it was, arguing that Negroids were the oldest race, Mongoloids were the youngest race, and Caucasoids were intermediate. Rushton based his theory on the idea of evolutionary progress which I’ve blogged about in-depth.  However when I personally asked Rushton about this splitting off date theory (which I thought was absolutely fascinating) he seemed ambivalent, noting that his colleagues felt it made no evolutionary sense.  I tried to argue that it was very logical, but not wanting to belabor the point, I dropped the subject.

But I return to it now, by noting a genetic linkage tree geneticist Cavalli Sforza published:

A genetic tree created from page 119 of L.L. Cavalli-Sforza's book "The Great Human Diasporas"

A genetic tree created from page 119 of L.L. Cavalli-Sforza’s book “The Great Human Diasporas”

Now Sforza is very politically correct and would never imply any kind of racial hierarchy, but when you look at his tree above, and compare it with brain size data of various populations in the chart below, a striking pattern emerges.  Sub-Saharan African populations branch off the genetic tree after just one split, and have a brain size of about 1275 cc (1270 cc for Bushmen, 1280 cc for other sub-Saharans).  Australoids branch off the tree after three splits and have a brain size of 1225 cc.  Pacific Islanders (1317 cc), Southeast Asians (1332 cc), American Indians (1366 cc), whites (1369 cc), and non-white Caucaoids (1293 cc) all branch off the tree after four splits and all have bigger brains than less branched populations.  Lastly, the biggest brains on Earth belong to East Asians (1416 cc) and Arctic people (1443 cc) and these branch off after five splits (more than any other populations).  Coincidence?    Although there are exceptions (australoids having smaller brains than Africans, despite doing more branching), there appears to be an extremely strong correlation (roughly +0.9) between the amount of branching in a population’s evolutionary history, and how large its mean brain size is.  A similar correlation would probably exist between the mean IQ of each population and the degree of branching, but since Lynn’s IQ data is so controversial, I focused on the brain size data instead.

Table from Richard Lynn's book "Race Differences in Intelligence"

Table from Richard Lynn’s book “Race Differences in Intelligence”


Of course much depends on how the populations are classified.   Sforza divided humans into nine genetic clusters.  Using a different number of clusters you might get different results, but it is interesting that the classification scheme that Sforza considered reasonable, caused the degree of branching to correlate so well with brain size, even though Sforza himself rejects racial theories.  Of course it should be noted that these brain sizes have not been adjusted for nutrition, and such adjustments would probably decrease the brain size differences between first world and third world peoples substantially, though I believe the rank order of brain sizes would remain.

When doing this type of analysis, it’s important to compare life forms with the same level of taxonomic specificity.  So you compare races within the same species, species within the same genus etc